CNN's GUT CHECK for December 2, 2013
December 2nd, 2013
06:02 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for December 2, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for December 2, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING … METRO NORTH TRAIN WAS TRAVELING AT 82 MPH WHEN IT DERAILED: The commuter train involved in a deadly weekend derailment in the Bronx was doing 82 mph as it entered the 30-mph curve where it jumped the tracks, federal safety officials said Monday.
The NTSB is not currently aware of any problems or anomalies with the breaks on the Metro North train that derailed Sunday, according to board member Earl Weener.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D- NEW YORK: “When I heard about the speed, I gulped. It sort of takes your breath away.”

HEALTHCARE.GOV UPDATE: A senior administration official says the beleaguered website is on pace to surpass 800,000 visitors today

THE BUZZ: GOP’s ROSA PARKS TWEET BACKFIRES: As the Republican National Committee has been working to expand its outreach to African-Americans, it now finds itself playing defense after a well-intentioned but unpolished tweet honoring the legacy of Rosa Parks seemed to ignite some backlash. The RNC on Sunday, commemorating the day Parks was arrested in 1955, sent out a tweet to recognize the civil rights activist.

"Today we remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in ending racism," its Twitter page read. Attached was a photo of a young Parks.

A few hours after the original tweet, the RNC tweeted a clarification on the latter end of the statement.

"Previous tweet should have read "Today we remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in fighting to end racism," the tweet stated.

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end lower after muted Black Friday sales. Dow sinks 79 points. S&P sheds about 0.3%. NASDAQ falls 0.4%.

(Answer below)
Which national president attended Jeff Zients' wedding? (Hint: The answer is not Barack Obama.)

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading New ad compares Obama to Rob Ford
A Republican congressional candidate in New York released a new ad Monday that lumps President Barack Obama and incumbent Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in the same category as Rob Ford, the embroiled mayor of Toronto who admitted to using crack cocaine. – Ashley Killough

Leading Star Ledger: Christie's flip-flop on immigration: Editorial
When the governor was seeking the Latino vote weeks ago, he assured advocates he’d support New Jersey’s version of this bill. But now that he’s been re-elected with 51 percent of the Hispanic vote, he’s backpedaling. Christie told a radio station last week that he would not sign the Dream Act, which passed the state Senate and is expected to be taken up soon by the Assembly, for reasons that make no sense. – Star-Ledger Editorial Board

Gut Check Full Service:
Ashley Killough (‏@KilloughCNN)
Christie denies he reversed position on NJ DREAM Act

Leading WMUR: Fmr U.S. Sen. Bob Smith changes mind, will challenge Shaheen
Former New Hampshire Republican senator Bob Smith said he has changed his mind and will try to defeat Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen for his old seat next year. Smith told WMUR Political Scoop on Sunday that he had made a decision not to run largely to get out of the way for other candidates, but as weeks came and went no major candidates got into the race, and he kept getting encouragement to run. – James Pindell

Leading Drudge: NTSB: Train going too fast at curve before wreck
The National Transportation Safety Board says a train that derailed in New York City was traveling 82 mph as it approached a 30 mph zone.
The Metro-North Railroad commuter train jumped the tracks Sunday morning along a sharp curve where the speed limit drops from 70 mph to 30 mph. Four passengers died.

Leading The New York Times: Insurers Claim Health Website Is Still Flawed
The site appears easier to use for most people, but problems in the systems that deliver consumer information to insurers still have not been fixed. – Robert Pear and Reed Abelson

The political bites of the day

- Adviser: People are as mad as hell -
ROB COLE, ADVISER TO DEMOCRATIC INCUMBENT GEORGE DEMOS' CAMPAIGN ON HIS NEW AD, IN A STATEMENT: "I wouldn't say that we're comparing them ... We're just saying these three people are politicians ... just think people are fed up with politicians, and that's the point."

–Gates on Jeff Bezos’ Delivery by Drone concept -
BILL GATES TO CNN’s JOHN BERMAN: “Physical products delivered by drone, I would say he's probably on the optimistic or perhaps overoptimistic end of that. It's great that people have dreams like that. If we can make the cost of delivery easier, then it's not just books, it's getting supplies out to people in tough places. Drones overall will be more impactful than I think people recognize in positive ways to help society.

- The Sunday sound people still are buzzing about -
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, MEMBER OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE, TO CNN’S CANDY CROWLEY ON SUNDAY: I think terror is up worldwide, the statistics indicate that, the fatalities are way up. The numbers are way up. There are new bombs, very big bombs, trucks being reinforced for those bombs. There are bombs that go through magnatometers. The bomb maker is still alive. There are more groups that ever and there's huge malevolence out there.

– Bergen Reaction: Not necessarily a real threat to U.S. -
CNN’S NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST PETER BERGEN TO CNN’S WOLF BLITZER: “Clearly al Qaeda, in places like Iraq and Syria, is building the truck bombs described by Senator Feinstein and is unfortunately enjoying a renaissance in both countries. The next question though, is to what extent is that a threat to the United States? And for the moment, these groups are being very focused on overthrowing the Assad government in Syria or attacking the largely Shia led government in Iraq and they've shown no indication of a willingness to attack the United States or even any interest so far. They have recruited a very small number of Americans to fight in Syria. Maybe ten. We've had an American citizen die in Syria fighting alongside one of these groups.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Lisa Desjardins ‏(@LisaDCNN)
Carney: there were 375,000 visitors to today by 12n ET.

Glenn Thrush ‏(@GlennThrush)
So why'd they leak it? MT @jeneps Carney won't confirm report of 100k signups in November... ‏(@csmonitor)
#SCOTUS declines appeal by Liberty University, a Christian university, that challenged several aspects of the ACA:

Deon Guillory ‏(@Deonguillory)
US Vice President Joe Biden lands in Japan for Asia trip that will also see him visit China and South Korea -...

Steve Clemons (‏@SCClemons)
Nice security note fr Hotel Okura abt @JoeBiden delegation. Maybe #china might considr such tone in Air ID Zone?

maggie haberman ‏(@maggiepolitico)
Asked about Bloomy absence yesterday, de Blasio says "I'll let the current mayor speak for himself about his choice. For me it would be..."

maggie haberman (‏@maggiepolitico)
"...generally important to be instinct in these things is to" be present.

Caleb Patterson ‏(@cspatter)
Jeff Bezos wants to use drones to deliver Amazon packages (& presumably copies of the Washington Post) in 30 mins.

Charlie Spiering ‏(@charliespiering)
PIC -> What would look like on Cyber Monday if it was created by team

Mark Teixeira ‏(@teixeiramark25)
Can an Amazon Drone deliver me to #Yankee Stadium every day? That would really cut down on my commute.

Matt Katz ‏(@mattkatz00)
.@GovChristie reshuffling staff: Chief of Staff Kevin O'Dowd nominated as AG; aide Regina Egea is new chief of staff. 3rd COS for Christie.

Michael Symons (‏@MichaelSymons_)
Other top staffers in @GovChristie's office to remain, including deputy chiefs of staff Lou Goetting, Maria Comella and Bridget Kelly.

CNN Entertainment (‏@CNNshowbiz)
Drag racing called possible factor in 'Fast & Furious' actor Paul Walker's death

Ray Lawson ‏(@Lawsonbulk)
House will meet 126 days next year with 239 days off. Slightly more work days then this year

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

Former President of South African Nelson Mandela attended Jeff Zients’ wedding to Mary Menell, a native of South Africa and family friend of Mandela’s.

President Obama tapped Zients to oversee the improvements to the website that launched on October 1st.

Zients is the former deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. He joined the White House in 2009 with the mission of improving federal bureaucracy through technology. Starting January 1, 2014, Zients will be replacing Gene Sperling as the Director of the National Economic Council under the President of the United States.

Zients’ wife, Mary Menell, grew up in South Africa and came to the United States for high school. Menell grew up in a prominent South African family. Her parents are friends with the Mandela’s.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to the dynamic duo Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) and Peter Ubertaccio (@ProfessorU) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Stuffit

    Just saw on the news how Hillary lied when she denied bilateral talks with Iran. Democrat liberals want to replace one liar with another.

    December 2, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Entire NY subway needs to be checked thoroughly. Fix this subways. Nation needs infrastructure.

    December 2, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. Thomas

    Why doesn't America have a quality rail system ?

    The same reason we didn't have affordable healthcare .

    GOP has no vision !

    December 2, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    The haters sent here from faux news and the oxyaddict will blame Obama for this tragedy too.

    December 2, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |