CNN's GUT CHECK for December 13, 2013
December 13th, 2013
04:52 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for December 13, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for December 13, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING… SCHOOL SHOOTER IN COLORADO HIGH SCHOOL DEAD FROM POSSIBLE SELF-INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUND, SHERIFF SAYS: The suspect in the shooting at Arapahoe High School is dead from what appears to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Sheriff Grayson Robinson told reporters. At least one person - a minor - has been taken to Littleton Adventist Hospital with a gunshot wound. – CNN Staff

SUSPECT PLANNED SET OFF EXPLOSIVES AT WICHITA AIRPORT A local man was arrested trying to deliver a vehicle packed with fake explosives that he thought were real onto the tarmac of the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in Kansas, federal officials said. Terry Loewen, 58, who worked at the airport, was taken into custody about 6:40 a.m. ET "when he attempted to open a security gate with his pass," said U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom.

GOV. SAM BROWNBACK, R-KANSAS, AT A PRESS CONFERENCE: “In our ongoing war on terrorism, the good guys won one today. The joint operation with federal, state and local components, captured a would-be terrorist before he caused any harm. This is the way your government is supposed to operate, united and effective and it happened today.”

ANOTHER RESIGNATION IN CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION OVER BRIDGE SCANDAL: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Friday the resignation of New Jersey's top Port Authority official Bill Baroni, as controversy swirls regarding allegations that politics played a role in a traffic study that closed several access lanes to the George Washington Bridge–one of the busiest in the world–in September … Critics of the governor speculated the lane closures were an act of political retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie in his re-election campaign this year. – Ashley Killough

GOV. CHRISTIE AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE: “National Democrats will make an issue about anything about me. So get used to the new world everybody. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.”

Gut Check Full Service: FORT LEE MAYOR MARK SOKOLICH TO A PORT AUTHORITY OFFICIAL QUESTIONING THE REASONING BEHIND BRIDGE CLOSURES ON SEPTEMBER 12: “Try as we may to understand the rationale without the benefit of a response from the Port Authority, we are reaching the conclusion that there are punitive overtones associated with this initiative … What other conclusions could we possibly reach?"

OBAMA STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH SET: The White House accepted Friday the official invitation of House Speaker John Boehner for President Obama to give a State of the Union address before a Joint Session of Congress on January 28, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET. “He will be there,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in his daily briefing.

THE BUZZ: Vanity Fair has proclaimed George W. Bush a “bona fide hipster icon.” The magazine says that the former President’s passion for painting, love for animals, use of social media, biking hobby and tech savviness have a driven him from being the most “uncool” and “unpopular” president to a hipster sensation.

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end lower as concerns continue over timing of the Fed's tapering of stimulus. Dow drops 103 points.

(Answer below)
Which U.S. president was known to have a fear of Friday the 13th?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Democrats' dream of a blue South: Moon pie in the sky?
The Southern Progress Fund, a super PAC of Democrats whose goal is to provide money and infrastructure to down-ballot Democrats in the South - state legislators, attorneys general and mayors - put on the "Southern Supper." "We are trying to turn the South blue," said Amanda Crumley, the group's executive director. "This event is all about how Democrats can win in the South again." – Dan Merica

Leading Los Angeles Times: Celebrities and social media promote healthcare enrollment
Celebrities And Social Media Promote Healthcare Enrollment

It was just last week when officials at the state's health insurance exchange, Covered California, gave the green light to Obama impersonator Iman Crosson to come up with a rap song to sell young people on the virtues of Obamacare. – Maeve Reston

Musician Adam Levine‏ (@adamlevine) tweets: California is where I call home. Now you can #GetCovered if you're a resident. So hurry!

Leading Miami Herald: Charlie Crist: "Thank you, Senator Rubio, for your endorsement of" Obamacare
Charlie Crist loves the fact that his old opponent, Sen. Marco Rubio, is enrolled in Obamacare. The email: ‘Senator Marco Rubio’s endorsement of Obamacare for his own family should end the rhetoric coming from Governor Rick Scott and other tea party groups.’ – Marc Caputo

Leading The New York Times: Tension Eases in Senate Ahead of Weekend
After a second straight late-night session, Democrats and Republicans said they were calling a weekend cease-fire that will allow them to move on to the unfinished budget and defense bills next week. – Jeremy Peters

Leading HuffPo: Marco Rubio: I Knew 'All The Details Of The Important Parts' Of The Ryan-Murray Plan
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) rejected the criticism that he came out against the bipartisan Ryan-Murray budget agreement before reading it, saying Friday on CBS' "This Morning" that he knew the "details" of the plan before it came out. – Luke Johnson

Leading Politico: How Patty Murray won over Dems on budget fight
President Barack Obama was on the phone repeatedly with Sen. Patty Murray during the high-stakes budget talks and asked how he could help. Murray’s response: I got this. – Manu Raju

Leading Denver Post: Ken Salazar teams up with billionaire Louis Bacon to form PAC
Congressional candidates willing to work on land conservation efforts could benefit from a new political action committee announced Thursday. The bipartisan America's Conservation PAC is spearheaded by former U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and billionaire philanthropist Louis Bacon. Will Shafroth, founder of Colorado Conservation Trust and the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund, will serve as the PAC's executive director.

Leading Drudge: Snow Hits Cairo, First In 100 Years
Snow coated domes and minarets Friday as a record Middle East storm compounded the suffering of Syrian refugees, sent the Israeli army scrambling to dig out stranded motorists and gave Egyptians a rare glimpse of snow in their capital. – Laura King and Batsheva Sobelman

Leading Cleveland Plain Dealer: Rep. Marcia Fudge writes fan letter to Pope Francis
"Since the beginning of your service, you have been vocal about the need for elected officials to acknowledge the growing inequality in our world," said Fudge's letter. "You have called upon us to look beyond the superficial approach to problem-solving and to dig deeper in addressing the real needs of people in our society. You have asked that we work together to make the structural changes required to close the widening gap between the rich and the poor. For more than 41 years, this has also been the charge of the Congressional Black Caucus." – Sabrina Eaton

The political bites of the day

- Huckabee sensing support for a potential 2016 run –
FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR MIKE HUCKABEE IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE BRODY FILE: “I’m not even close to being ready to saying yeah I’m going to run but I think that there’s an openness now … A lot of it has to do with the fact that I’ve had some incredible encouragement from people that I wasn’t expecting to get it from … I think even from people who didn’t support me before … I’m a little surprised at the intensity people feel.”

- Conservative think tank leader slams establishment GOP -
HERITAGE ACTION CEO MICHAEL NEEDHAM IN AN INTERVIEW WITH MSNBC ON FRIDAY: “The speaker is trying to turn this into a boring fight between outside groups and himself so we are not having a policy debate about whether or not this is a good deal …This deal increases spending, this deal increases taxes. And that is bad for the county and that is what we want to be focused on … The establishment is very upset with the notion that there are people having conversations with their voters, and I think that is good for Democracy.”

- Palin: ‘Read My Lipstick: No New Taxes’ -
SARAH PALIN IN AN OP-ED IN BREITBART: “No one can argue with the fact that Paul Ryan's compromise budget bill raises taxes and increases spending …The TEA Party's very acronym stands for "Taxed Enough Already." We sent these politicians to Congress in an historic landslide election in 2010 with a mandate to stop the runaway spending train bankrupting our nation … 2014 is just around the corner. If any member of Congress thinks raising taxes and increasing wasteful spending is a winning strategy to run on, then by all means they should vote for the Ryan budget. We'll be watching.”

- Kerry: “No comment” on missing former CIA operative in Iran -
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY IN REMARKS TO THE TRAVELING PRESS IN ISRAEL: “With respect to Mr. Levinson, I don’t have any comment whatsoever on the condition with respect to employment or any other issue except to say to you that we have raised the issue of his whereabouts on a continuous basis. I have personally raised it with the Iranians in the course of our discussions and we will continue to try to seek his release and return to the United States.”

- WH: Levinson wasn’t a U.S. government employee when he went missing in Iran -
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT A PRESS BRIEFING: “Bob Levinson was not a U.S. government employee when he went missing in Iran. As there is an ongoing investigation into his disappearance, I am not going to comment further on what he may or may not have been doing in Iran. I am not going to fact check every allegation made in the story you referenced, a story we believe it was highly irresponsible to publish and which we strongly urged the outlet not to publish out of concerns for Mr. Levinson’s safety.”

Gut Check Flashback: IRANIAN PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN’S CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR ON SEPTEMBER 24: “There are two issues. First you mention a person I never heard of … Mr. Levinson, we don’t know where he is, who he is … sometimes you’re speaking of people who come to court of trial and other times people who disappear it’s not a clear question to put these two categories side by side. He is an American who has disappeared, we have no news of him, we do not know where he is, we are willing to help and all the intelligence services in the region can come together to gather information about him to find his whereabouts, and we’re willing to cooperate on that.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Sam Stein (@samsteinhp)
Pentagon announces that as of today, same sex spouses are able to obtain DoD identification cards in every state.

Alex Stark‏ (@AlexMStark)
BBC: UN report confirms Sarin gas used in Damascus; but no indication of by whom … #Syria

Ed Henry‏ (@edhenryTV)
WH says chief Congressional lobbyist Miguel Rodriguez, is out; Katie Beirne Fallon is in. President says: "I will miss his advice & counsel"

Governor Dan Malloy (‏@GovMalloyOffice)
Gov. Malloy has directed US & state flags to fly half-staff on Sat. (12/14) in honor of the 1yr anniversary of the tragedy in #SandyHook

Senate D Floor (Watch‏@DSenFloor)
The #Senate confirmed Heather Higginbottom to be Deputy Secretary of State, 74-17.

Streetz 94.5 ATL‏ (@streetz945atl)
Beyonce's unexpected album is already #1 in 66 countries in less than 24hrs of being released. 😳👏

Don Neils (‏@ArticleSweep)
VIDEO: Kanye West Compares His Job to Police or Military Service

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

For the superstitious among us, Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day. So unlucky, in fact, that there is a term to describe extreme fear towards the day, called triskaidekaphobia.

Ironically, the man who proclaimed, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” had a fear of Friday the 13th. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was said to have had such a bad superstition for Friday the 13th that he wouldn’t travel on the 13th of any day.

Journalist John Gunther wrote in his 1950 biography of Franklin, ‘Roosevelt in retrospect, a profile in history,’ “Like most people with good luck, FDR was moderately—not excessively—superstitious. He hated Friday the thirteenth, he would never start an important trip on a Friday if he could help it, and he disliked sitting down with thirteen at dinner.”

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "BREAKING… SCHOOL SHOOTER IN COLORADO HIGH SCHOOL DEAD FROM POSSIBLE SELF-INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUND, SHERIFF SAYS: The suspect in the shooting at Arapahoe High School is dead from what appears to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound"

    That's too bad. He must've missed the news that he could get away with it by simply claiming affluenza.

    "William Znatzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll, with a cane that he twirled 'round his diamond ring fingers..."

    December 13, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Sarah Palin / Ted Cruz 2016

    Bonnie and Clyde on Taxes

    December 13, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. Sheila

    nothing new here – guns / violence / education system is failing / gangs / more school shootings / rape / robberies / thievery / drugs everywhere you look or go / more people shooting people or kids / the breakdown of the American "Family" / kids having kids / we will be a country with 95% of 1 "parent" raising kids / instead of a 2 parent home / bullying /more home robberies / destruction /

    lets see, have I covered everything ?

    December 13, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. Ol' Yeller

    "Sarah Palin / Ted Cruz 2016"

    Please O' Lord and Savior of mankind, I beseech you.... Please let the republicant party continue their insane decision making long enough to make this happen. Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is my Shepherd... he maketh me to see the light at the end of the dismal tunnel should these two somehow be allowed to run together on the National ticket, finally ending this decades long nightmare as the gop goes down in flames. It could not happen to two more deserving people.
    Please O' Please Lord, I'll never ask you for anything else (won't have to, the scourge would be over)...

    December 13, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "lets see, have I covered everything ?"

    You forgot......


    December 13, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Sarah Palin / Ted Cruz 2016

    Bonnie and Clyde on Taxes"

    Perhaps more like Harold and Maude on bath salts.

    December 13, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Don in albuquerque

    I suppose that children will just have to learn that the NRA and gun owners have decided they are viable targets that the rest of us need not be concerned about. Think of it like chicken pox.

    December 13, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. Ol' Yeller

    "Perhaps more like Harold and Maude on bath salts."

    Another actual laugh out loud line.
    Thanks, Sniffit.

    December 13, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. Scott

    In good form again, Sebelius blithely modifies Federal Law while Obama is out of town getting in trouble with Michelle doing selfies with a blond from Denmark at a funeral.

    Sebelius authorizes healthcare coverage based on $1 down payments on $50 monthly Obamacare insurance premiums. Make your $1 deposit on the 31st, get your care on the 1st.

    In her head it works.

    December 13, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  10. Silence DoGood

    nothing new here – guns / violence / education system is failing / gangs / more school shootings / rape / robberies / thievery / drugs everywhere you look or go / more people shooting people or kids / the breakdown of the American "Family" / kids having kids / we will be a country with 95% of 1 "parent" raising kids / instead of a 2 parent home / bullying /more home robberies / destruction /

    lets see, have I covered everything ?
    You didn't say who would be Grand Czar of this Glorious Moral Theocracy that is going to tell us all how to live.

    December 13, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. ED1

    Enforce the laws we have now and make it harder to buy guns by having tougher background checks including the people who have mental problems.

    Look at the people that have done the killings and you will find the largest majority of them have mental problems. Have a 7 day wait period after you apply to get a gun too. The more stupid things you put in a bill that has nothing to do with guns the harder it will be to get passed. We are finding out now with Obamacare what happens when you a load of crap that has nothing to do with health care and you really need to read whats in the bill too.

    December 13, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    Pass gun-ban, term-limits. Period. USA needs desperately.

    December 14, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  13. Larry in Houston

    hey CNN – I didn't see the "LEDE" on megan Kelly's remarks on Santa & Jesus (both) being "white" ?
    Hello ? Did I miss something ? LOL –

    Doubt if you print this, but I really don't care....

    Here are the Facts – "Santa" was a made up character from "long ago" & he was always a heavy man, and IF one looks it up on google, wiki pedia says this whole thing about Kris Kringle" guy, was that this was a "myth" and it came about in the early 18th or 19th century, and it came from a "European" or "Dutch" or "Finnish" ( Finland) Background.
    Answer : This would mean this made up guy would most likely have been "White"

    And Jesus : well, there's no doubt about that one, the majority of the people born in the middle east have olive skin.... But they would be "Caucasian" that would not mean one would necessarily have "white" skin.....The Greeks are Caucasian, the people in Rome or the Italians are Caucasian, people that is born & raised in Turkey are Caucasian, the Arabs are, as well. & I can go on....It's just not the Finns/ the Swiss / the scotch / the Germans / the French / the Swedes / that are "white" or Caucasian, but the Anyone that is not Black/Hispanic/Asian/ Indian – would be considered "White" or "Caucasian"

    December 14, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |