CNN's GUT CHECK for May 9, 2013
May 9th, 2013
04:39 PM ET
7 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 9, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 9, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEVELOPING: SPEAKER URGES WHITE HOUSE TO RELEASE BENGHAZI EMAILS... House Speaker John Boehner called on President Barack Obama today to release e-mails that he says show how the White House wanted to change the Benghazi attack “talking points.”

ANALYSIS: BENGHAZI INVESTIGATION BOTH LEGITIMATE AND PARTISAN Tough legitimate congressional oversight or partisan politics? Leading Republicans say the former; most Democrats the latter. Truth is, it is both.– John King

IMMIGRATION BEGINS: The first congressional votes were cast on Thursday on the politically explosive issue of immigration reform. Members of the Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee started formal consideration of a massive bipartisan bill, debating and voting on the first of more than 300 proposed amendments. – Alan Silverleib

MARKET WATCH: NASDAQ and S&P snap 5-day winning streak, losing 0.1% and 0.4%. Dow falls 23 points.

(Answer below)
What president signed the official proclamation making Mother's Day a national holiday?

DAN(@DanMericaCNN) & MARK (@PrestonCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis argued on Thursday that the Boston Marathon bombing is further proof the United States must increase domestic video surveillance in order to protect soft targets – locations that are not armored or are largely undefended.

In his lengthy written testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security, Davis said that in order to defend these areas, law enforcement agencies need to “deploy more assets including technology, cameras, undercover officers and specialized units.”

“It is clear after these events and other types of mass casualties such as those which have happened in our nation's schools and colleges that we need to continue to harden soft targets, especially events that lend themselves toward large gatherings celebratory in nature,” Davis wrote.

Surveillance video was crucial in helping to catch the accused terrorists. Investigators solicited video from many of the business around the marathon route and used it to help find the bombing suspects. Davis wrote that the video they used to find the accused bombers was “almost exclusively” from business in the area.

In a pre-butal to civil libertarians, Davis writes that enhanced surveillance “violates no constitutionally protected rights.”

“I strongly support the enhanced ability to monitor public places,” Davis writes. “This monitoring, which been upheld by the United States Supreme Court, violates no constitutionally protected rights but gives police the ability to investigate and effectively prosecute. Images from cameras do not lie. They do not forget. They can be viewed by a jury as evidence of what occurred.”

And a recent CNN/Time Magazine Poll finds that the American people are behind Davis' push for more cameras. Eighty-one percent of Americans polled said they supported expanding cameras surveillance in public places. Only 18% said they oppose it.

That number has increased from a 2001 poll that was conducted shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Then, only 63% of Americans favored increasing camera usage, while 35% opposed it.

According to Popular Mechanics, a science magazine, “there are an estimated 30 million surveillance cameras now deployed in the United States shooting 4 billion hours of footage a week.” LINK

If public sentiment and the words of Boston's top cop are any signal, that number could be going up.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: W.H. holds meeting on sexual assault in military
About a dozen members of Congress were invited to meet at the White House Thursday with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and the first lady's chief of staff Tina Tchen to address the issue of sexual assault in the military, a senior administration official said. – Dan Lothian

Leading Drudge: All Hat No Cattle
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz welcomed President Obama to Texas Thursday, where Obama is scheduled to begin his “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour,” by highlighting Texas’ job record in comparison with the administration’s. “America is stuck with high unemployment and low GDP growth, so it’s encouraging to see the President coming to Austin to talk about jobs — perhaps he will learn how to create some from the folks who know how,” Cruz said in a statement. – Caroline May for The Daily Caller

Leading HuffPo: Getting Even: Warren Fights 'Crushing' Problem
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) unveiled her first bill Wednesday, designed to set student loan interest rates at the same level the Federal Reserve offers to big banks. With some student loan rates set to double on July 1 - from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent - Warren's bill would reduce student loan interest rates to 0.75 percent, opening the Fed's discount window to students. – Ryan Grim and Will Wrigley

Leading Politico: NRA-Gabrielle Giffords fight heats up
The Senate voted down a gun control measure last month, but the fight is just beginning. The National Rifle Association and new pro-gun control groups headed by former Rep. Gabby Giffords and Michael Bloomberg are in an arms race since a background check bill narrowly failed in the Senate last month – ramping up their fundraising, airing attack ads and revving up their grassroots machines. – Anna Palmer

Leading The New York Times: In Senate, Efforts to Reshape, or Derail, Immigration Bill
Lawmakers are considering more than 300 amendments to legislation to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws, keeping an eye out for “poison pills” intended to thwart the bill. – Ashley Parker

The political bites of the day

- Obama goes to Texas -
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN A SPEECH TO THE MANOR NEW TECH HIGH SCHOOL IN AUSTIN, TEXAS: “We've got to make America a magnet for good jobs. Second, we've got to help people earn the education and develop the skills they need to do those jobs. And, number three, we've got to make sure that people who are working hard are able to achieve a decent living. All right? That's what we got to focus on.”

Gut Check Full Service… Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a speech on the Senate floor: “Today the president plans to travel to Austin, Texas. I understand his trip includes a visit to the technical high school and to chat with workers. The idea I presume is to show folks that the White House has once again pivoted to jobs. And if you are someone who is all about the visual then of course putting on a pair of goggles or showing up at a factory is a great way to at least look like you are doing something about job creation. Whether or not that means you are actually getting the job done well that is a different story. An unfortunately robust job creation has been talked about a lot, a lot in this administration even as millions, millions remain out of work or are stuck in part time jobs.”

- Republicans compare current immigration bill to 1986 legislation -
REPUBLICAN SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY, RANKING MEMBER OF THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, AT A HEARING: “Sponsors of the bill want Americans to believe that people will wait 10 or 13 years until citizenship is granted, they say it will be a tough and expensive road. It would be easier to just go home than go through the process. I disagree with that sales pitch. Unfortunately this bill looks too much like the 1986 bill that failed to take care of the problems we are now trying to solve.”

- Democrats: Don’t kill this immigration bill -
DEMOCRATIC SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER AT A SENATE JUDICIARY HEARING: “We know our present system is broken, we know the status quo is unacceptable, but we also know that there are many who will want to kill this bill. I would ask my colleagues, if you don't agree with everything, no one does – be constructive, we are open to changes but don't make an effort to kill a bill that is the best hope for immigration reform, I believe, that we have had in this country and frankly, the best hope to help the partisan gridlock that has strangled the Senate, the Congress and the country.”

- Kerry approves $100 million more in aid to Syrian rebels -
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY AT A SPEECH IN ROME: “President Obama has asked me to authorize an additional $100 million in aid for humanitarian purposes, $43 million of which will be designated directly to Jordan in order to assist, to relieve the burden that they are currently feeling.”

- Comedians joke, show disdain for Sanford -
DAVID LETTERMAN ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “South Carolina had a congressional election yesterday and you remember Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina? He got himself into some trouble and he had to go away. Well, he's back and he won the congressional seat and the race yesterday and it's crazy because there's nothing like a guy who stands up for traditional values while he's banging an argentine spit spitfire.”
JAY LENO ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “In a stunning comeback, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, remember him? He's the guy who told his wife he was going for a hike, then went to Argentina to see his girlfriend. He was then exposed as an unethical lying cheating weasel. He has been elected to Congress where he'll fit right in.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less


Woodrow Wilson gave his mother the ultimate present on this day in 1914: He issued a presidential proclamation that officially recognized the first national Mother’s Day.

“Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country,” read the presidential proclamation.

Since Wilson’s first proclamation it has become customary for a president to issue a Mother’s Day proclamation. In 2011, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation that spoke at length about the challenges facing women who are raising a family.

The movement to get the holiday recognized started in 1912 with the establishment of the Mother’s Day International Association headed by Anna Jarvis of Webster, West Virginia. Interestingly enough, by the 1920s, Jarvis has become disgusted with the commercialization.

“A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother — and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment,” she was known to tell people.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Erin (@Erin_in_AR) for correctly answering today’s gut check trivia question. Won for her first time yesterday and is now a back-to-back winner.

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    Republicans in Congress do absolutely nothing but obstruct, distort, and work towards politically favorable outcomes. They never, ever actually do anything to fix problems – not when they can take advantage of an operational crisis or fabricate a conspiracy. These are the same radicals who obstruct in the Senate, and load every bill in tghe House with politically toxic riders. They ENJOY creating failure in our federal government. Throw them out in 2014 and 2016!

    May 9, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Top CNN "don't touch" stories that they apparently don't want to talk about:

    GOP/Teatrolls now blocking the 'regular order" on the budget that they've been demanding for almost 3 years now...claiming that conference on the Senate and House budgets cannot commence until their demands have been met. Their demands essentially boil down to "we won't conference to reconcile these we've been demanding be done for 3 years now...unless you agree before we even sit down to negotiate that we get everything we want and you get nothing."


    Boehner and McConnell have now refused to make the recommendations required in the ACA for the IPAB review board, effectively allowing the administration to handle it all themselves. Each of them is supposed to recommend 3 of the 15 members...i.e., they were given the opportunity to influence the board's makeup. They think they're being clever and obstructing the ACA and generating talking points for themselves, but all they're really doing by refusing to participate as required by the law is allowing the executive branch to exercise all that much more power and control over it. I can guarantee you that's fine by Obama haha. Besides, the ACA is not going away and it's not getting repealed...even with their silly 37th vote for repeal scheduled for next they're essentially pouting and refusing to eat their broccoli at this point. Political toddlers.

    May 9, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. Larry in Houston

    letterman & leno might have been telling it in a joking way – but in reality, they are telling the truth. And Kerry ? they seem to throw money around like it's paly money – 100 million for this – and another 43 million for that – how about the poor – here in your own country ? how about those roads/bridges/infrastructure & etc ? I guess it's easier to send it all to the 3rd world countries, instead of helping your own people.

    May 9, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Larry in Houston

    letterman & leno might have been telling it in a joking way – but in reality, they are telling the truth. And Kerry ? they seem to throw money around like it's play money – 100 million for this – and another 43 million for that – how about the poor – here in your own country ? how about those roads/bridges/infrastructure & etc ? I guess it's easier to send it all to the 3rd world countries, instead of helping your own people.

    May 9, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "“Today the president plans to travel to Austin, Texas. I understand his trip includes a visit to the technical high school and to chat with workers. The idea I presume is to show folks that the White House has once again pivoted to jobs....."

    It's just bare bones insulting to everyone's intelligence that Beaker has the unmitigated gall to make a statement like that while the GOP/Teatrolls have scheduled a 37th symbolic vote on repealing the ACA for next week. Beaker needs to GFH.

    May 9, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. anonymous

    "...........history repeats itself and we need to know exactly what happened for that very reason"......
    Exactly, which is why we needed hearings on the Iraq war cover-ups and lies. Since that didn't happen
    we have to be sure no Republican sits in the White House until it does.

    democrats controlled the house and senate from 2006 – 2010. four years to investigate this. too lazy? too incompetent?? why? maybe nothing to investigate as they also voted to go to war and bill clinton was talking about wmds before republicans were. please give this nonsense a rest and address obama's incompetence. this blame bush stuff is rather ridiculous at this point.

    May 9, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  7. norma jean.

    The Democratic party should give John Boehner the same consideration he and the Republicans give to them ....... which is "NO".. and ."NOTHING.""...... When the Repubs. ignore anything the president requests.. he should do the same to them....This is a two party system which they indicated from the start meant nothing to them!!!!.They paid for it in the last election and will again in the next election!!

    May 9, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |