CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for August 8, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
JUST IN … U.S. MILITARY LAUNCHES SECOND ROUND OF AIRSTRIKES IN IRAQ: The U.S. military has begun a second round of airstrikes against ISIS near Irbil, U.S. officials told CNN on Friday afternoon. News of the latest airstrikes came just after the governor of Irbil, Nawzad Hadi, told CNN that ISIS fighters may be as close as 30 kilometers to Irbil. Air strikes are "very important" because ISIS fighters are well armed and are outgunning the Kurdish forces, thanks to the weapons the militants seized from the Iraqi military in Mosul, Hadi said. During that second airstrike, four U.S. fighter jets struck an ISIS convoy of seven vehicles, according to Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby. The warplanes dropped four laser-guided bombs, Kirby said.
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Earlier Friday, two U.S. F/A-18 jet fighters bombed artillery of Sunni Islamic extremists in Iraq, escalating America's military involvement more than two years after President Barack Obama brought home forces from the country. Obama on Thursday authorized "targeted airstrikes" if needed to protect U.S. personnel from fighters with ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State. The U.S. military also could use airstrikes to prevent what officials warn could be a genocide of minority groups by the ISIS fighters. – Tom Cohen and Ben Brumfield
SPEAKER BOEHNER: “The president’s authorization of airstrikes is appropriate, but like many Americans, I am dismayed by the ongoing absence of a strategy for countering the grave threat ISIS poses to the region. Vital national interests are at stake, yet the White House has remained disengaged despite warnings from Iraqi leaders, Congress, and even members of its own administration. Such parochial thinking only emboldens the enemy and squanders the sacrifices Americans have made.”
MAJORITY LEADER REID: “I support President Obama’s decision to send humanitarian air drops to the thousands of stranded Iraqi civilians who have been forced to flee their homes and are at risk of dying. I also support the President’s decision to launch air strikes as long as no combat forces are on the ground. These air strikes are the correct action for our national security, they will protect American interests and save lives in Iraq. I look forward to the Administration’s continued close consultations with Congress.”
Gut Check Flash Back: PRESIDENT OBAMA ON ISIS IN AN INTERVIEW IN JANUARY: “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”
GAZA CEASE-FIRE OVER, ROCKET FIRE BEGINS … For residents of Gaza and southern Israel, the fleeting period of calm is over. The Israeli military said it carried out strikes on militant targets in Gaza on Friday in response to a barrage of rocket fire after a three-day truce in the region came to an end without a longer-term agreement. – Azadeh Ansari, Jethro Mullen, John Vause and Matthew Chance
TEA PARTY STRIKES OUT IN TENNESSEE … ALEXANDER WINS PRIMARY: Longtime GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander easily won the Tennessee Republican primary Thursday, defeating tea party backed candidate state Rep. Joe Carr. With nearly all precincts accounted for, Alexander held off Carr with just under 50% of the vote while Carr received just over 40%, according to the Associated Press. The Republican primary was the tea party's last chance – albeit a distant one – to beat an establishment incumbent this election year. – Dana Davidsen
THE BUZZ: WHITE HOUSE GOES ON TODDLER ALERT… President Barack Obama was about to address the nation on Iraq Thursday night when the briefing was delayed because of a security breach on the North Lawn of the White House. A toddler forced the President, the press corps and the nation to wait. The little boy managed to squeeze himself between the bars of the White House fence, just before the briefing was expected to start. It forced a temporary lockdown. – Melodi Smith
MARKET WATCH: The Dow, NASDAQ and S&P all rally Friday, pushing the three indexes higher after a rough week.
What was Richard Nixon's last meal at the White House before he resigned 40 years ago today?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Hillary Clinton's unpaid warriors
All over the Internet, bloggers and their circles of friends with no backing from the Clinton orbit defend the former first lady from attacks. While their defenses don't have the weight of a Clinton spokesperson or a former top aide, they are influential in their small community of friends and family. And they are standing up for the person they hope becomes the next President. – Dan Merica
Leading Los Angeles Times: NRCC chairman to stump for 8 GOP congressional candidates in Calif.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden will host an event Thursday for military veteran Paul Chabot, who is battling Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat, for the Inland Empire seat being vacated by Rep. Gary Miller (R-Rancho Cucamonga) … The other districts Walden is scheduled to campaign in include two in Sacramento suburbs, where Assemblyman Dan Logue of Loma Rica is challenging Rep. John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove) and former congressman Doug Ose is taking on Rep. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove). – Jean Merl
Leading CNNMoney: FDA allows use of Ebola drug. Stock soars
The company behind a potential Ebola drug is red-hot again. Canadian biotech firm Tekmira Pharmaceuticals announced that the Federal Drug Administration knocked down a key barrier to its medicine, TKM Ebola, reaching some patients. The FDA moved the drug from a "full hold" to a "partial hold," which means Tekmira can use the drug in limited experiments. – Melvin Backman
Leading Alaska Dispatch News: Murkowski attorney demands Begich take down TV ad touting cooperation
An attorney for Alaska Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s political committee is demanding that the re-election campaign of her Democratic counterpart, Sen. Mark Begich, take down a TV ad that features a photo of the two senators standing together. Begich, who is running in a hard-fought campaign against three Republican challengers, has used the ad to tout his cooperation and frequent agreement with Murkowski, over her objections. -Murkowski attorney demands Begich take down TV ad touting cooperation. – Nathaniel Herz
Leading Des Moines Register: Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman vote alike more often than you might realize
According to data maintained by Open Congress, a project run by the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan watchdog group, Brown and Portman voted in unison on 227 out of 548 roll call votes. – Stephen Koff
Leading The Hill: Tea Party Senate candidates flop
The Tea Party’s much-hyped war on GOP Senate incumbents is officially a bust. With Sen. Lamar Alexander’s (R-Tenn.) victory on Thursday night, conservative groups have failed to net a single incumbent scalp this cycle. No other GOP incumbents face major primary challenges this year.- Jessica Taylor and Cameron Joseph
Leading New York Times: Clintons Support de Blasio's Push to Bring Democratic Convention to Brooklyn
Hillary Rodham Clinton has never been more of a New Yorker than she has since she left the State Department a year and a half ago. And if she runs for president in 2016, she would appreciate a Democratic National Convention on her home turf. – Amy Chozick
The political bites of the day
- Issa: Over 20 Obama officials ‘lost or destroyed’ emails -
HOUSE OVERSIGHT CHAIRMAN DARRELL ISSA IN A STATEMENT: “The Obama administration has lost or destroyed e-mails for more than 20 witnesses, and in each case, the loss wasn’t disclosed to the National Archives or Congress for months or years, in violation of federal law … It defies logic that so many senior Administration officials were found to have ignored federal recordkeeping requirements only after Congress asked to see their e-mails.”
- Alexander: ‘Stuck to my guns’ on immigration -
LAMAR ALEXANDER, R-TENNESSEE, IN A PHONE INTERVIEW WITH THE WASHINGTON POST: "I had a good win, and I pretty well stuck to my guns.” On lessons learned: “If you have a solution to immigration, it is possible to come home and defend it … Run a Colin Powell-type campaign. Have a clear objective and use overwhelming force."
- Davis rips Abbott in ad highlighting rape case -
NARRATOR IN A NEW WENDY DAVIS FOR GOVERNOR AD: “March 26, 1993. A pleasant spring day in Seguin, Texas. But for one woman, it quickly became a nightmare. A Kirby Vacuum salesman came to her door to offer an in-home demonstration. And while her children slept in the very next room the salesman brutally raped the young mother. The salesman was a sexual predator on probation…but the Kirby vacuum cleaner distributor had failed to perform a routine background check on him. The woman and her husband went all the way to the Texas Supreme Court. Fighting for their right to sue Kirby. Six judges – Democrats and Republicans – ruled in their favor and they won. But Greg Abbott sided with the company against the victim. Saying the company had no responsibility. Thank god, this time…Greg Abbott lost.”
- Bernstein on Nixon resignation: ‘My feeling was just one of total awe’ -
CARL BERNSTEIN TO POLITICO’S MIKE ALLEN: “We were aware that we had a real role in what had happened. My feeling was just one of total awe. The nation had gone through this, and now it seemed it was finally going to end. … The whole system worked. The press had done its job.”
Gut Check Flash Back: NIXON RESIGNATION SPEECH, AUGUST 8, 1974: “I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interest of America first. America needs a full-time President and a full-time Congress, particularly at this time, with problems we face at home and abroad. Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Ford will be sworn in as President at that hour in this office.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Alan Grayson (@AlanGrayson)
There is no such thing as humanitarian bombing, in Iraq or anywhere else. Petition: NoNewWar.com pic.twitter.com/clKCrZccCz
Chris Moody (@moody)
Mitch McConnell's wife joined board of a group spending $50 million to shut down coal plants. http://news.yahoo.com/mitch-mcconnell-s-wife-sits-on-the-board-of-a-group-working-to-kill-the-coal-industry-041726501.html …
Sam Stein (@samsteinhp)
CONFLICT: in Playbook, Woodward says he and Bernstein ate bologna sandwiches as Nixon announced resignation. Bernstein says they ate pizza.
Alex Fitzpatrick (@AlexJamesFitz)
A false-alarm bomb threat at the National Zoo triggered ape escape rumors http://ti.me/1sFFgMA
Vaughn Sterling (@vplus)
Big day in our newsroom. It's @CNNSitRoom's NINTH birthday (a feat in the rocky seas of cable news) & our great intern @KOMarchand final day
State of the Union (@CNNsotu)
Pinning the blame on Nixon. 40 years later: Buttoning up Nixon’s resignation. http://cnn.it/1ojqOtu #cnnsotu pic.twitter.com/LdUDSKseod
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
President Richard Nixon resigned from office 40 years ago tomorrow. His last White House meal was one of his favorites - cottage cheese with pineapple and a glass of milk. View the archived picture of his final meal here.
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Congrats to Jessica Niestzche (@jneetch) and Steve Liguori (@SteveL387) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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