CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for April 1, 2013 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: The U.S. Navy is moving a sea-based radar platform closer to the North Korean coast in order to monitor that country's military moves, including possible new missile launches, a Defense Department official said Monday. – Barbara Starr
DEVELOPING: Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, is the latest lawmaker to voice support for same sex marriage.
NRA ‘SAFETY SHIELD’ PLAN COMING: The nation's largest pro-gun lobby is set to prominently return to the debate over gun rights and restrictions this week when it unveils the conclusions of its school safety initiative in Washington on Tuesday. The National Rifle Association first announced the National School Shield Program in December as its response to the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school shooting a week earlier. It posted a bare-bones website and pledged to report back with a set of school safety proposals.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end lower on underwhelming manufacturing data. Dow dips 6 points. Nasdaq falls 0.9%, S&P drops 0.5%.
In 1927, Grace Coolidge brought a pet to greet children rolling eggs on the White House lawn. What type of animal was it?
At ballparks across the country, people are playing hooky from work today to be part of the time honored tradition known as “Opening Day” – where every baseball team has an equal shot of winning the World Series.
In these tough economic times, though, a trip to the ballpark can be a major expense and a dollar just doesn’t stretch as far as it once did to pay for such things as peanuts and popcorn and Crackerjacks. And don’t forget about the hot dogs and a cold beer – staples for many fans visiting the nation’s baseball stadiums.
Depending on where you live, a hot dog can set you back several dollars or just a buck. For example, the cheapest place to buy a hot dog is at a Cincinnati Reds game, $1. Compare that to a New York Mets game where a hot dog costs $6.25. At a Washington Nationals game, a 16 ounce beer costs $8, while a 14 ounce beer at Arizona Diamondbacks' Chase Field costs $4.
For some of our loyal readers you will be happy to know you are getting a deal, while others will be angry. Let us know what you think.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics.com: So far, forced spending cuts not as bad as advertised
Forced government spending cuts, known in Washington jargon as sequestration, took effect a month ago amid doomsday predictions of freed criminals, weakened borders and a crippled military. President Barack Obama and other federal officials warned that the harshest impacts would hit in April, with worker furloughs and program cuts rippling through the economy to stunt growth during a sluggish recovery. But as April dawned Monday, little evidence of widespread damage had emerged, leaving the president vulnerable to accusations that he hyped the impact for political purposes in the unending battle with Republicans over taxes and spending. – Tom Cohen
Leading Drudge: The Roll Must Go On!
For President Obama, the White House Easter Egg Roll turned into one of those "best of times, worst of times" kinds of deals. The best: Hanging out with the Easter Bunny. The worst: Going only 2-of-22 on the basketball court. - David Jackson, USA Today
Leading HuffPo: Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing Reelection
After Todd Akin lost the Missouri Senate race to Democrat Claire McCaskill in November, he had one final piece of business to take care of as an outgoing member of the House of Representatives - giving piles of government money to his staff. Akin nearly doubled the salaries of his House staffers in the quarter after his defeat, according to the website LegiStorm, which tracks congressional pay. – Ryan Grim
Leading Politico: Social conservatives fight back
The preferred plot line for many in the GOP establishment for revitalizing their party goes something like this: They move to a more libertarian stance on key social issues — particularly same-sex marriage — and the Bible-thumping, evangelical wing of the party meekly complies, realizing times have changed. – Jonathan Martin
Leading The New York Times: As Views Shift on Guns, Reid Corrals Senate
It was, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada ebulliently proclaimed, a “happy day for me” as he stood with Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association, in 2010 at a new shooting range in Las Vegas made possible by federal money secured by Mr. Reid. “People who criticize this probably would criticize baseball,” Mr. Reid said before firing off a few rounds. – Jennifer Steinhauer
The political bites of the day
- Carney says immigration progress encouraging -
JAY CARNEY AT THE WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING: “The president's principles are clear. We are again encouraged by the progress. We note comments by Senators Graham, Schumer and Flake over the weekend about just how far that group has come and how close they are to producing an agreement and we find that good news. However, we're not there and this process is still underway in the Senate. Legislation has to be written, drafted and we will evaluate the specific aspects of that legislation when it is produced.”
- Inhofe reserving judgment until immigration bill is out -
IN AN INTERVIEW FROM THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER, SEN. JAMES INHOFE, R-OKLAHOMA, TALKS TO WOLF BLITZER ABOUT A DEAL ON IMMIGRATION: “There are so many unknown things right now. When they talk about a path to citizenship, they don't have any of the details. We now know that Pat Leahy wants it to go through his committee. It's going to have all these amendments and so I would almost say to my good friends, the Republicans and Democrats, they don't know enough right now in terms of what they've put together. There are too many things, too many changes that could take place. There is no specific path to legal entry. There is no specific path to citizenship, and there's not any of the answers in terms of the border. So it's a work in progress."
GUT CHECK DVR: The full interview runs on CNN's "The Situation Room" Monday.
- Former intelligence chief concerned with bin Laden raid leaks –
FORMER CIA DIRECTOR AND DEFENSE SECRETARY LEON PANETTA SPEAKS ON CNBC ABOUT “ZERO DARK THIRTY” AND OTHER ACCOUNTS OF THE OSAMA BIN LADEN RAID: “From the very moment that the operation was successful and we were able to accomplish that mission, I think we all knew that it would be very difficult to contain some of the elements of what took place in terms of the effort to develop that plan. Having said that, I think we have to protect areas of classified information, because those operations can only work if we are able to protect the classification of information that surrounds those operations. You can't do that if everybody knows what you're doing. So I am a little concerned about the amount of information that came out on it, but I also understand that's the world we live in.”
- Perry tells Texans to be careful after DA shooting -
TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY AT A NEWS CONFERENCE: “I suggest everyone should be careful about what goes on, whether they are a public official or otherwise. This, I think, is a clear concern to individuals who are in public life, particularly those who deal with some very mean and vicious individuals, whether they're white supremacy groups or whether they're the drug cartels that we have.”
- Gallup on the environment -
MORE AMERICANS THINK THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT DOING ENOUGH: Americans tilt toward the view that the government is doing too little to protect the environment (47%), while 16% say it is doing too much and 35% say the government’s efforts on the environment are about right.
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Bo Obama may have made an appearance at Monday’s White House Easter Egg Roll, but in 1927 the star attraction was Grace Coolidge’s pet raccoon Rebecca. The first lady strolled around the White House lawn letting children attending the event meet the unusual animal.
Monday’s event was the 135th White House Easter Egg Roll, an affair that actually began on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. Lawmakers eventually got tired of children ruining the grass and leaving eggs to rot afterwards, and passed a law disallowing the use of the Capitol grounds as a play area.
Enter President Rutherford Hayes and wife Lucy. The couple invited children to relocate the egg roll to the White House, beginning the tradition that continues today. It’s been cancelled in bad weather and during both world wars, but has otherwise occurred annually on the Monday following Easter.
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