CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for June 23, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
KERRY TO IRAQIS: WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK IF YOU UNITE AGAINST MILITANTS ... U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Iraqi leaders Monday as radical Sunni militants continue their march toward Baghdad during the country's tensest time since the U.S. withdrawal of troops in 2011. "The future of Iraq depends on decisions made in the next few days and weeks," Kerry said after meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the man who some observers say needs to step down ... “Our support will be intense, sustained," and will be effective if Iraqi leaders unite to face the militant threat, he said. – CNN’s Chelsea J. Carter, Hamdi Alkhshali and Susanna Capelouto
Gut Check Full Service: Half the public says the U.S. doesn't have a responsibility to do something about escalating bloodshed in Iraq, according to a new national poll.
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2016 WATCH ... ON THE LEFT: BIDEN TOUTS MODEST FINANCES AS CLINTON WEALTH CONTROVERSY SWIRLS ... He's long joked about his modest financial standing, but on Monday Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged he's come a long way since being listed among the poorest members of Congress. The vice president's comments came a day after Hillary Clinton rekindled debate over her and her husband's wealth by making a comparison to other wealthy people who the former secretary of state said were "truly well off."
"The first thing you're going to say is, 'Look at Biden, man. He's got a mildly expensive suit on,” Biden said at a White House Summit for working families. He's Vice President of the United States of America. He makes – notwithstanding that he is listed as the poorest man in Congress – he still makes a lot of money as Vice President of the United States.' And I do by the way ... Don't hold it against me I don't own a single stock or bond," Biden continued. "Don't hold it that I have no savings account."– Kevin Liptak
AND ON THE RIGHT: CHRISTIE’S CLIMBING ... New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is inching up in Iowa, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today, but the Republican Governor still trails Hillary Clinton 44 – 36 percent,. Still, for Christie, his numbers are improving in a hypothetical matchup between himself and Clinton, who led him 48 – 35 percent In March.
PRIMARY DAY TOMORROW: WHAT WE'RE WATCHING ... Tuesday primaries kick off again tomorrow and we’ve got our eyes on a few key races. In Mississippi, a runoff between GOP contenders is predicted to be close as ever. Six-term Sen. Thad Cochran will battle Chris McDaniel to retain his seat after both candidates fell short of the 50% threshold needed to avoid another contest. In New York, longtime Harlem Rep. Charlie Rangel is fighting to retain his 13th congressional district seat after 22-years in the House in a primary battle against state Sen. Adriano Espaillat.
THE BUZZ: WORLD CUP SHATTERS RATINGS RECORDS – 25 MILLION PEOPLE WATCHED U.S. VS. PORTUGAL ... CNN’s Brian Stelter reports: Reflecting the growing popularity of soccer in the United States, the 2014 World Cup keeps setting new ratings records. The USA-Portugal match on ESPN averaged 18.2 million viewers on Sunday, topping the 11.1 million that tuned in for USA-Ghana on June 16. Another 6.5 million viewers watched a Spanish-language broadcast of the USA-Portugal match on Univision, according to Nielsen ratings that were released Monday. Combined, the ESPN and Univision telecasts averaged almost 25 million viewers. (Another 1.4 million watched on the cable channel ESPN3.)
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end mixed, with Dow and S&P 500 backing away from record highs. NASDAQ finishes slightly higher.
Who was the last person to be expelled from the U.S. Senate?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNN Investigations: Veterans neglected for years in VA facility, report says
Two veterans in a Veterans Affairs psychiatric facility languished for years without proper treatment, according to a scathing letter and report sent Monday to the White House by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, or OSC. In one case, a veteran with a service-connected psychiatric condition was in the facility for eight years before he received a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation; in another case, a veteran only had one psychiatric note in his medical chart in seven years as an inpatient at the Brockton, Massachusetts, facility. Examples such as those are the core of the report released Monday by the OSC, an independent government agency that protects whistleblowers.- Nelli Black, Scott Bronstein and Drew Griffin
Gut Check DVR: Watch AC360 tonight at 8pmET to see CNN’s Drew Griffin’s exclusive interview with the scheduler who says she was ordered to keep the infamous secret list at the Phoenix V.A. hospital; she explains how she had to make life-and-death decisions.
Leading Drudge: Illegals Hop 'Death Trains' To USA
Thousands of illegal immigrants are flooding the U.S.-Mexico border and the problem isn't likely to get better anytime soon. In a mad dash to make it to the U.S., many of the Latino minors are hopping aboard a network of Mexican freight trains called "El Tren de la Muerte," or Death Train. The phenomenon may support claims that the Obama Administration's lax stance on immigration is encouraging thousands of children to put their lives at risk. – Breitbart’s Kristen Tate
Leading HuffPo:Blame Game
Less than a week after being elected majority leader of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is blaming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for all of Washington's dysfunction. – Laura Bassett
Leading Politico: How Congress brought the measles back
In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a stunning declaration: Measles — a disease that once infected 3 million to 4 million Americans each year, and killed 500 of them — had been eliminated in the United States. It was a victory decades in the making, the product of a highly effective vaccine and a strong public health system. – Sarah Despres
Leading Clarion-Ledger: Cochran staffer arrested, fired over campaign signs in DeSoto
A DeSoto County staffer for U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran's re-election campaign has been arrested and fired from the campaign for allegedly taking or destroying Chris McDaniel campaign signs. "He's fired," said Cochran campaign spokesman Jordan Russell of Lee Blair, field rep for Cochran in DeSoto County. "Unlike Chris McDaniel, we don't tolerate that kind of behavior." – Geoff Pender
The political bites of the day
- Obama: Double standard for working moms –
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT A WHITE HOUSE WORKING FAMILIES SUMMIT: “These are common sense issues. It’s about you too men! Men care about having high quality child care. Dads rearrange their schedules to make it to the teachers meetings and school plays just like moms. Although somebody pointed out to me – this is a useful insight – that when dads say, `I’ve got to leave early to go to a parent-teachers conference’ everybody in the office says `Aww, isn’t that nice?’ And when women do it everybody is all like, `You know, is she really committed to the job? Right?’ So there can be a double standard there.”
- Obama: Sports Center good for daughters’ development –
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT A WHITE HOUSE WORKING FAMILIES SUMMIT: “I remember taking the nightshift when Malia was born and when Sasha was born and being up at two in the morning and changing diapers and burping them and singing to them and reading them stories and watching Sports Center once in a while which I thought was good for their development. It was. We want them to be well-rounded.”
- Pope excommunicates Italian mobsters —
POPE FRANCIS IN A VISIT TO CALABRIA, ITALY SATURDAY: “Those who in their life have gone along the evil ways, as in the case of the Mafia, they are not with God, they are excommunicated.”
Gut Check Full Service: The Pope’s remarks will resonate strongly in this part of southern Italy, where the Mafia attempt to portray themselves as upstanding religious men in good rapport with the Catholic Church, in order to maintain local credibility. – Daniel Burke
- Rep. John Lewis: M.L.K.J. museum opening will hopefully inspire young people to get in “good trouble” -
REP. JOHN LEWIS TO CNN: “I hope that people, all people, but especially children and young people that pass through this museum will be inspired. My folks had told me over and over again when I would ask them about those signs - white waiting, colored waiting, white only, colored only - they would say. ‘That’s the way it is. Don't get in the way. Don't get in trouble.’ But Dr. King and Rosa Parks inspired me to get in trouble, good trouble, and maybe this museum would inspire another generation of young people to get in trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble, to make our country and make our world a better place.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
jess mcintosh (@jess_mc)
Twitter machine tells me GOPers have been using "hispandering" since 2012. Worked out pretty great for them clearly.
Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT)
Iowa R says they'll have signs for Joni Ernst and David Young reading, yup, "Ernst and Young"
Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN)
Pic: John McCain stumping for @ThadforMS in Jackson this am. Much more energy around cochran than last 2 time(1/2)
Rick Santorum (@RickSantorum)
Helping my friend @henrymcmaster get out the vote in South Carolina today! #sctweets pic.twitter.com/PMac6CEvDR
Alex Isenstadt (@politicoalex)
Note that @BarackObama has endorsed in several Dem primaries this year, incl. Mike Honda and Marc Veasey – both lesser known than Rangel
Paul Steinhauser (@psteinhauserCNN)
A CNN/ORC poll released Monday illustrates the tough task Democrats face this November when it it comes to turnout. http://cnn.it/1j6In99
Jeff Mapes (@Jeffmapes)
Monica Wehby shakes up her campaign team; her manager to head Dennis Richardson effort http://orne.ws/1m4kMKR #ORElection
James Hohmann (@jameshohmann)
Inbox from the Library of Congress: "President Warren Harding’s Love Letters to Open to the Public on July 29."
KATY PERRY (@katyperry)
I told hillaryclinton that I would write her a "theme" song if she needs it... ߇ڰ߇ذߑɰ߇ڰ߇ذߑɰ߇ڰ߇ؼ/SPAN> http://instagram.com/p/pe0gUfP-Xa/
Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton)
.@katyperry Well that’s not a Hard Choice. You already did! Keep letting us hear you Roar.
The amount of #TV programming hours of #soccer events in the U.S. increased 43% between 2010 and 2013. http://niel.sn/1uLw2hx #WorldCup
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Sen. Jesse D. Bright, D-Indiana, was the last U.S. Senator to be expelled in 1862. Bright was dismissed from his chamber after being charged with supporting the Confederate rebellion.
A senior Democrat, Bright was well-respected amongst his Democratic colleagues, but his power receded after Republicans took control of the chamber in 1861. That year, Republicans obtained a letter Bright wrote to Jefferson Davis in defense of a captured arms merchant’s attempt to cross the Confederate border and used it as evidence of disloyalty against him.
While dozens of senators have been charged in various cases since, there have been no official expulsions - only retirements and dropped charges.
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Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) and Justin P (@JPancham) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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