CNN's GUT CHECK for October 9, 2013
October 9th, 2013
05:08 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 9, 2013

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

OBAMACARE OUT. ENTITLEMENTS IN: Republicans seem to be shifting the shutdown/debt ceiling battle line from an argument over Obamacare to one over entitlements. After spending the first week of the shutdown trying to tie anything that would fund the government and end the impasse to President Barack Obama's signature health care law, the word "Obamacare" hasn't come up as much in recent days. – Leigh Ann Caldwell and Z. Byron Wolf

‘COVER OUR SHAME’: The federal shutdown has found its angry prophet. “Lord, when the federal shutdown delays payments of death benefits to the families of (soldiers) dying on far-away battlefields, it's time for our lawmakers to say enough is enough,” Senate Chaplain Barry Black said in his prayer opening the Senate on Wednesday. “Cover our shame with the robe of your righteousness. … Forgive us. Reform us. And make us whole.” – Daniel Burke

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY, the economy is not the top concern of Americans …. What replaced it? See “What Caught Our Eye” below …

A FIRST FOR THE FED: President Barack Obama nominated Janet Yellen Wednesday to be Federal Reserve chairman. If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would be the first woman to lead Fed. “I'm honored and humbled by the faith that you've placed in me,” Yellen said. “If confirmed by the Senate, I pledge to do my utmost to keep that trust and meet the great responsibilities that Congress has entrusted to the Federal Reserve.”

MARKET WATCH: Stocks end mixed after Janet Yellen nominated to be Fed chairwoman. Dow gains 28 points but Nasdaq falls 0.5%.

(Answer below)
All federal monuments in Washington, D.C. are closed because of the government shutdown. What monument first opened on this day in 1888?

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

How is this for a Gut Check, Capitol Hill:

According to a newly released Gallup Poll, "dysfunctional government" is now the nation's top problem in the eyes of Americans, outpacing unemployment, the deficit and healthcare.

Nineteen percent of Americans said dysfunctional government is the nation's top issue, while 12% answered unemployment, another 12% said the deficit and an additional 12% responded healthcare.

What is most shocking is the precipitous increase of this fear. Just last month, only 16% of Americans said "some aspect of government leadership" was the nation's top issue. In the Gallup poll – just four weeks later – that number has nearly doubled to 33%.

During the last government shutdown, in January 1996, only 17% of Americans said "some aspect of government leadership" was the nation's top issue – a number that is half of today's figure.

"These latest results are still one more example of the overwhelming lack of faith the U.S. public has in their government," Frank Newport of Gallup writes. "Congress approval is now within one percentage point of being the lowest in history, trust and confidence in government was at record lows before the shutdown occurred, and the upheaval in Washington is causing Americans' confidence in the economy to drop precipitously."

Congratulations Washington.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Ted Cruz: Democrats' new bogeyman
It's official: Ted Cruz is Democratic enemy number one. Democrats are now raising his profile at every turn, in political campaigns from Brooklyn to San Diego, casting him as a right wing zealot and hoping to hang the controversial tea party icon around the necks of every Republican office-seeker in the country. – Peter Hamby

Leading Drudge: Obama Approve Drops To 37%
Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown as public esteem sinks for all players in the impasse, President Barack Obama among them, according to a new poll. It's a struggle with no heroes. – By the Associated Press

Leading HuffPo: Essential: Congress Gets Perks While Public Sacrifices
Members of Congress continue to pump iron in their exclusive gym, ride on special trolleys so that they don't have to walk a few extra feet and in some cases, protect their entire staff from the furloughs faced by other federal workers. Here's a look at the maddeningly arbitrary nature of the government shutdown, and at what has been declared “essential” and “nonessential.” – Amanda Terkel

Leading Politico: John Boehner's endgame
As he tries to navigate the politics of a government shutdown that he never wanted, leading a Republican Conference with little interest in being led, House Speaker John Boehner in recent days has scored an unlikely victory of sorts. – John Bresnahan and John F. Harris

Leading The New York Times: Yellen’s Path From Liberal Theorist to Fed Voice for Jobs
The choice of Janet L. Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve would reinforce the bank’s change from an institution run by bureaucrats focused on inflation to one run by academics committed to a broader mission. – Binyamin Appelbaum

Leading CNN Opinion: Goodbye to the strategy Republicans knew was a fantasy
Republicans had accomplished the seemingly impossible: They trampled their own message on Obamacare. They finally had a great hook. But what were they doing instead? Scrambling to find ways to re-fund parts of the government to curb public outrage. Great strategy. – Gloria Borger

The political bites of the day

- Paul Ryan doesn’t mention Obamacare in government shutdown plan -
REPUBLICAN REP. PAUL RYAN OF WISCONSIN IN A WALL STREET JOURNAL OPINION-EDITORIAL: “Right now, we need to find common ground. We need to open the federal government. We need to pay our bills today – and make sure we can pay our bills tomorrow. So let's negotiate an agreement to make modest reforms to entitlement programs and the tax code.”

Gut Check Full Service: Some conservatives give the piece two thumbs down… “There is one big word missing from this op-ed. It's start with an O and ends with BAMACARE,” tweeted Amanda Carpenter, a speechwriter and senior communications adviser to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. “Much like White House press, Paul Ryan doesn't mention Obamacare in WSJ oped,” tweeted Dan Holler, spokesman for the conservative group Heritage Action.

- Is a grand bargain possible? GOP Sen: No -
CNN'S JAKE TAPPER: "Do you think at this point the only way out of this is some sort of big grand bargain type of deal, such as the one I described earlier in the show?"
TOOMEY: "I think a big grand bargain is quite unlikely, Jake. Honestly, I think the biggest problem is the president’s insistence that he will not negotiate. The president thinks that he should be the first and only president in modern times not to have to address the most challenging issue that faces our country, which is getting our spending, getting our fiscal house in order."

- Sen. Roberts: We need to get a room -
REPUBLICAN SEN. PAT ROBERTS OF KANSAS IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “We are not lacking for plans. What we are lacking is a room. We don’t have a room! We don’t have a table. We don’t have chairs and we don’t have anybody in the chairs! And by the way I would just as soon not have another super committee that didn’t turn out to be very super selected by the leadership.”

- Boehner keeps foot on the gas re: Obamacare ‘Calamity’ –
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “You know the law had a big rollout last week but it’s been called, and I’ll quote, an inexcusable mess. A rolling calamity. Consumers face dramatically higher rates. Many remain locked out. They are surprised their premiums went up. Instead of making it easier for people to get insurance it is going be a lot tougher. What a train wreck. How can we tax people for not buying a product from a website that doesn’t work? How can he give big businesses a tax break and leave hardworking families out in the cold?”

- Veterans Affairs’ chief: Shutdown could lead to homeless vets -
ERIC SHINSEKI, SECRETARY OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, AT A HEARING ON CAPITOL HILL: “I don't want to be alarmist but I want to speak for the veterans who are looking in on this. Not only do we have a large number of beneficiaries who are looking for those checks, I have vets myself who I employ, one-third, over 100,000 veterans. A number of them are going to be subject to furlough and so if they are furloughed and they are also recipients of disability checks their resources go to zero and then I have the responsibility of trying to keep them from becoming homeless.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Lynn Sweet (@lynnsweet)
232 House Republicans invited to White House; #Boehner sending 18 House GOPers instead. All House Dems at WH today.

Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis)
Seems like only yesterday Obama canceled the Congressional picnic. Now it's, 'hey, everybody come to the White House'

Barbara Starr (@barbarastarrcnn)
First on CNN: DOD signs contract with @FisherHouseFdtn to pay expenses families of the fallen

Steve Inskeep (@NPRinskeep)
AP finds Obama approval rating down to 37%. Congress approval cracks single digits, 5%. AP finds 62% blame GOP for shutdown.

Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson)
AP poll suggests the GOP message isn't working: President Obama is +11 on "doing enough to cooperate."

David Daniel (@CNNLADavid)
Pentagon strikes deal with charity to pay #military death benefits #CNN #shutdown

Vaughn Sterling (@vplus)
Rep Buck McKeon tells @WolfBlitzer that *less than 10 Americans* have enrolled in Obamacare.. VIDEO:

Philip J. Crowley (@PJCrowley)
In a world of six billion cellphones, why would #Washington think the rendition in #Libya would remain secret?

Chris Moody (@Chris_Moody)
Michele Bachmann: "I’ve never done twerking in my life."


The Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial are all closed because of the government shutdown.

The Washington Monument, however, while closed, is celebrating its 125th birthday.

On this day in 1888, the public was first allowed to enter the monument and it was at the time the tallest structure in the world until the 1889 completion of the Eiffel Tower.

In its first year, according to the National Parks Service, as many as 55,000 people went to the top every month.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Peter Ubertaccio (@ProfessorU) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question. Nice job.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Larry in Houston

    the only issue i'm going to comment on, is the new fed reserve chairperson, Janet Yellen.

    ""If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would be the first woman to lead Fed""

    Well, to be perfectly honest, I thought Alan Greenspan was too senile to do the job, in the first place, (he's been too senile for Years) until Bernanke came along, and for some odd, unknown reason, I have never liked Bernanke. He seemed like some kind of crook, or something. Sort of reminds me of Bernard Made Off – (remember him)

    I think this Yellen gal may be all right for the Job, especially after reading up on her, her accomplishments & so forth. After I googled her name, she seems like she knows what's going on, and has the experience. I Just hope Bernanke doesn't lead her astray. lol – while giving her some extra advice.

    October 9, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. Joseph Lopez

    The constitution requires the Congress to fund all law and US debt (incurred by former Congress)...the last President to face this kind of Congressional opposition was President Lincoln. Constitutionally, the President cannot allow the US to default...period.

    October 9, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Michele Bachmann: "I’ve never done twerking in my life." "

    But I betcha Marcus has.

    October 9, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Carol

    There are lots of coversation and news about making cuts but I have yet to hear anyone start looking at the existing 83 federal programs that represent Welfare. As of 2011 we are spending 1.03 trillion dollars on Welfare which is more than we spend on any other program including Social Security. I would think after examination that Affordable Care Act should override some of these programs. Shouldn't these programs be examined as part of the cuts? Can't this be used for negotiations!

    October 9, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP teaparty and Cruz are batting 0 so far , let's keep it that way!!!!!!

    October 9, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  6. rs

    On the GOP's shifting sands of shutdown motivations-
    so, the GOP screams the shutdown isn't their fault because Mr. Obama won't negotiate with THEM, yet one week into the shutdown, and they have already shifted the table and have new demands. Would we have to presume that had the President opened talks on the ACA that by today, the GOP would have changed their minds and issued new extortion demands? Would they have failed to follow through just like they did when the ACA was working its way through Congress?

    How can they rationally believe that they are seen as real players under these conditions? Either their pointless shutdown stunt is about the ACA, or its about "entitlements", or about whatever they decide its about next week- it can't be all three, or "none of the above" and it cannot be a moving target. If this is their game then their shutdown stunt is about nothing but their hatred of good government.

    Real Americans don't want their government to fail, and those who do really could becalled "terrorists". or simply fools.

    October 9, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. The Ham

    It also requiers a budget... but whatever...

    October 9, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. T. Hale

    I have said this many times before. If we, as Americans, do not pull together and lead our government by helping them to facilitate plans that will benefit us now and our future, then they will do what they feel is necessary for us whether we like it or not. Think about it this way. Are we not responsible for the actions of our pets if they go and maliciously bite an inocent person? I think so. In the last 50 years, I have seen our way of life become more and more out of control. I am talking about not only our government, but also our neighbors and the officials who govern our states and towns. We have become rude, lazy and greedy. This is all because we are the biggest consumers on this planet. I do not say this to upset anyone. I say it because this is what I see and I care. I'm afraid that if we don't change and start caring for each other... I can't really say at this time. I am hoping I'll be wrong.

    October 9, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  9. Mikel Sansaver

    Is there any thing in the constitution to use to get rid of The Speaker so a vote could be called for?
    If the votes are there, call for the vote.
    Thank you President Obama for continuing to stand up for us!

    October 9, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  10. talorr morris

    I just don't think its fair for 62 percent of people blame obama

    October 9, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |