CNN's GUT CHECK for July 18, 2013
July 18th, 2013
04:49 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for July 18, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 18, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BANKRUPT: The city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy Thursday afternoon, said Bill Nowling, spokesman for Detroit Emergency Manger Kevin Orr. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder approved the bankruptcy filing, Nowling said, which is the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

LIBERALS TARGETED, TOO: The inspector general who reported Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups said Thursday that he didn't have information until last week that the word “progressive” also was on a list of criteria for extra scrutiny of tax-exempt applications. – Tom Cohen

BEING BIDEN: WHAT IF HE NEVER BECOMES PRESIDENT? “I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States of America. But it doesn't mean I won't run,” Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview with GQ magazine.

WHAT GOV’T MISTAKES LED TO SNOWDEN? A senior-level defense official said Thursday that keeping top-secret information on one shared server and giving an individual the ability to view and move that data were two mistakes that allowed NSA leaker Edward Snowden to disclose top-secret information. “This is a failure to defend our own network,” Carter said. “That failure originated from two practices that we need to reverse.” – Dan Merica

MARKET WATCH: Dow and S&P close at record highs. NASDAQ finishes at highest level since September 2000.

(Answer below)
Who is famous for exclaiming "I have not yet begun to fight"?

PETER (@PeterHambyCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

Marco Rubio’s decision to help draft a Senate immigration reform bill raised inevitable questions about whether the effort would imperil his chances of winning over the conservative voters who dictate the Republican presidential nominating process.

So does Rubio have a budding problem among Republican caucus-goers in Iowa, the first state to vote in the presidential race?

If Sam Clovis is any barometer, the answer is an unmitigated yes.

Clovis is a mustachioed, suspenders-wearing college professor from Sioux City who's running for Senate in Iowa, as a Republican. He’s not the favorite to win the nomination, but he’s no slouch either.

He also happens to be a popular conservative talk radio host who speaks the language of grassroots Republicans and has a keen sense of what motivates them.

That's why a low-budget web video posted by Clovis Wednesday, trashing Rubio for his work on the immigration bill, is an ominous sign for the Florida senator and would-be presidential candidate.

Despite recent hand-wringing about the flawed nature of the Iowa caucuses, the state is all but assured to keep its leadoff position in the 2016 nomination process. If Rubio runs, he'll have to make nice with Iowa conservatives. They just might not be nice to him.

“I might have expected this out of John McCain,” Clovis says of the immigration bill. “But we certainly didn’t expect this out of Marco Rubio. Marco Rubio was elected by conservatives in the state of Florida and he was supported by conservatives all over the United States. And there is nothing conservative in this bill.”

Like any self-styled member of the tea party movement, Clovis labels the bill “amnesty,” says it fails to adequately secure the border with Mexico and claims it will impose a heavy financial burden on state and local governments.

Clovis punctuates the video with a straightforward admonition: “Shame on Marco Rubio.”

Bottom line: If midterm Republican candidates in Iowa think they can score points with conservative voters by attacking Rubio and tying him to President Obama and reborn pragmatist John McCain, Rubio’s got some critical repair work to do on the right.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Exclusive: DNA test proves congressman not model's father
CNN obtained DNA from Victoria, and John Brink – the man who raised her – and from Rep. Cohen, who didn't want to appear on camera for this story. The results showed that Cohen was not Victoria Brink's father – and that John Brink was. – Miguel Marquez

Leading Drudge: Admit: NSA Spies On Friends' Friends' Friends
As an aside during testimony on Capitol Hill today, a National Security Agency representative rather casually indicated that the government looks at data from a universe of far, far more people than previously indicated. – Phil Bump

Leading HuffPo: 'Nonsense'
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) bristled at a suggestion on Thursday that Congress has been "historically unproductive." "That's just total nonsense," he told reporters at a press conference on Capitol Hill. "Now listen, we made clear when we took over, that we weren't going to be doing commemorative legislation on the floor. A lot of changes. In addition to that, most Americans think we have too many laws. And what they want us to do is repeal more of those. So I reject the premise to the question." – Amanda Terkel

Leading Politico: DeMint back at war with Republicans
Jim DeMint’s at war with Republicans — again. The tea party firebrand who made his mark in GOP primary races across the country is now at the helm of the Heritage Foundation where its political arm is doing the same thing: holding conservatives' feet to the fire. – Anna Palmer and Manu Raju

Leading The New York Times: Politicians Are Slowed by Scandal, but Many Still Win the Race
Across the country, politicians have faced opponents tainted by scandal — some of them seemingly muddied beyond saving — yet they have gone on to lose anyway. – Campbell Robertson

The political bites of the day

- Fairness on the border -
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER AT HIS WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE: “Now those principles of fairness should extend to the issue of immigration as well. Americans expect that as a nation of laws that we'll enforce them, starting at the border. I think it's only fair. They expect that no one who broke our laws will get special treatment.”

- Half of the country affected if Obamacare repealed, says Carney -
PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: “We’re at a point now where the reality of repeal, if it were to ever happen, is that half of the country, because half of all of you have pre-existing conditions, would once again, if the Affordable Care Act were repealed as Republicans want, face the prospect of being denied insurance coverage.”

- ACLU leader offers first vocal defense of Snowden -
ANTHONY ROMERO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ACLU, IN REMARKS AT THE ASPEN SECURITY FORUM: “I think he did this country a service. I have not said that publicly until this point. I think he did this country a service by starting a debate that was anemic, that was left to government officials where people did not understand fully what was happening.”

- Congress honors Mandela -
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER AT A CAPITOL HILL EVENT CELEBRATING MANDELA’S BIRTHDAY: “At times, it can almost feel like we're talking about an old friend, and the reason for that I think is scarcely a week, a day goes by without us pointing to Mandela as an example – an example of standing on principle, of loving your neighbor, and of extending the reach of freedom.”
HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI: “As President, he would extend the blessings of freedom even to men and women who denied him his own freedom. That was the true mark of courage. That was the statement of his values. Today, on his 95th birthday, that remains his legacy.”

- The other border wall -
STEPHEN COLBERT ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “When will we build the border wall with Florida? We cannot let, we cannot let those maniacs into our country. It is legal to shoot each other down there.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance)
“Those of you who are old enough may remember a time when Barack Obama was plagued with scandal.”

John R Parkinson (@jparkABC)
President King? NY Republican @RepPeteKing Considering Run for White House

jennifer bendery (@jbendery)
Lawsuit filed in 3, 2, 1.... RT @LEBassett: Rick Perry Signs Abortion Bill Into Law

John Presta (@MrGrassroots)
Liz Cheney says that Sen. Mike Enzi is "confused" about her running for his seat. Code word for "old." via @allvoices

Elise Foley (@elisefoley)
Crossroads GPS has a new "ObamaCareNado" video,

Lisa Desjardins (@AskLisaD)
NOMINEE TIDAL WAVE: Tom Perez confirmed by Senate 54-46 as Labor Sec., second major nominee greenlighted in three days.

Manu Raju (@mkraju)
59-40, McCarthy confirmed as new head of EPA

Matt Dornic (@mdornic)
Lost children fleeing despair pay smugglers thousands to enter Europe. #CNN exclusive on digital mag


The life of John Paul Jones reads more like an epic Alexandre Dumas fiction novel than the nonfiction life of one of the U.S. Navy's greatest heroes.

Jones, a Scot who moved to Virginia as a teenager, sided with the Americans in the American Revolution and quickly became a lieutenant in the small U.S. Navy. Sent to England to raid forts and port cities, Jones became a hero because of his bravery and skill in battle.

Without a doubt, however, it was Jones actions on the Bonhomme Richard that immortalized his service. Going up against the massive HMS Serapis, Jones' ship was hit and began taking on water. When the British ordered Jones to surrender his beleaguered ship, he proudly proclaimed his most famous line.

"I have not yet begun to fight," Jones told the British.

And he was right. At the end of the battle, Jones had overcome the damage to his ship and had taken command of the Serapis.

On this day in 1792, after countless death-defying raids and battles, Jones died of a kidney disease in Paris. Honored as one of the fathers of the U.S. Navy, Jones body is entombed at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Christian Laatsch (@ChrisLaatsch) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question. Nice work.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. tom l.

    Ahhh, the city of Detroit. Run soley by democrats for decades. Just filed for bankruptcy. I'm sure it has to do with the obstruction by the repubs.

    July 18, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "In addition to that, most Americans think we have too many laws. And what they want us to do is repeal more of those."

    "...unless, of course, we're talking about enacting legislative womb leashes and mandating probe rapes," he continued, "in which case, the more the merrier!"

    July 18, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    I am sure jobs going to china or India have nothing to digits it. Ask your twit.
    Btw, anyone want to buy made in the USA? Go to the Bahamas. Couldn't believe it.

    July 18, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. tom l.

    What is so unreasonable about 20 weeks? There are many doctors who believe through research that a baby starts to feel pain between 20-24 weeks. Why are you, as a liberal who is supposed to be so open minded, so closed off to another's opinion and throw out an ad hominem attack to thwart any reasonable discussion?

    July 18, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. rs

    tom l.

    Ahhh, the city of Detroit. Run soley by democrats for decades. Just filed for bankruptcy. I'm sure it has to do with the obstruction by the repubs.
    Hey Tom- Just where are all those jobs (or even jobs bills) Boehner used to talk about? Or, is the anti-abortion movement a jobs getter?

    Think of how much worse off Detroit would have been under Romney- and no General Motors!

    July 18, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. TrustKnow1

    Here's a "Gut Check": Why have Americans ever trusted the government in the first place?

    July 18, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  7. kanjaji

    Any bets the IG didn't find the word "progressives" in the IRS's criteria until a week ago because it didn't exist until two weeks ago? I don't believe it was "overlooked" for a minute.

    July 18, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  8. Loathstheright

    Oh really, and this has been a big issue for the "Corporate Conservative Media" that the reichwing propaganda machine calls the "Liberal Media".....this country and this world has become a "My company can buy congress and the media to spew our mind control"...great, you betcha, on the intelligent people get this one...the conservatives lap it up.

    July 18, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  9. ManWithThe1000PoundBrain

    Detroit's population peaked in the 50s, not unlike many other cities that saw movement out of the cities after the expressways made it easy for people to commute. However, Detroit's most recent problems have been exasperated by a double whammy. First, corporate greed has led to CEOs emphasizing quarterly profits over long term planning and investment in order to "justify" enormous CEO pay and bonuses. This being the case, GM and Chrysler got caught with their pants down after the GOP induced Great Recession hit. And yes, it was the GOP "deregulation" "wild west casino" policies that led to the Great Recession. The first 6 years of the Bush presidency, the GOP controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House and the "deregulation" mentality went into high gear, along with poor or non-existent government oversight (GOPers don't believe the government should intervene in the private sector). When G.W. Bush became President, it was the first time since the Great Depression (Hoover) that the GOP had control of the White House and Congress. The tax base in Detroit deteriorated more so than in other cities after the Crash.

    July 18, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  10. barssbb

    LOL – believe it when i see it!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 19, 2013 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  11. Name Uche Agonsi

    Funny Boehner should admire Mandela for loving his neighbours & people that hate him. But, in the US House of Reps where the Repubs are majority & Boehner is heading, such loves& neighbourly accomodations are rarity. The Repubs abhors all cooperation with the Democrats. Is everything the way they want it, not even a morsel for the Democrats . Contrarily, in the Senate where the Democrats are majority there have been some bipartisan bills & agreements that show a lot of cooperation. Boehner should therefore ask himself if cooperation, love, should be a one-sided affair.

    July 19, 2013 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  12. White House Monitor 2483

    CNN keeps running this headline over and over and over and over and over again "liberals targeted too! Really, we swear!"

    This media outlet has zero credibility. Just let the White House write your articles from now on!

    July 19, 2013 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  13. Alfred E Newmann

    Ohh Ohh! I have a new name for the Detroit ball team! The Detroit Twinkies!

    July 19, 2013 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  14. I am not a crook

    No, the IRS may have spent some more time on a small number of leftist groups that were blatantly advocacy ones. They TARGETED ones from the party not in power. And, as we now know, the General Counsel, an Obama Appointee, had a hand in it.

    July 19, 2013 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
  15. Howard

    Be nice if Gut Check made mention of the topic that headlined it on the CNN front page.

    July 19, 2013 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  16. Roy

    Time for a national sales tax and do away with the IRS.

    July 19, 2013 05:46 am at 5:46 am |