President Obama cleared his first hurdle on Wednesday in his push for a military strike in Syria, as a key Senate panel voted to authorize the use of force. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-7, with one senator voting present, to approve a military strike in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack last month. The full Senate is expected to vote on the measure next week. The vote came after Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., raised objections to an earlier draft. The objections forced lawmakers to renegotiate the language; McCain ultimately won some tougher language clarifying that U.S. action
President Barack Obama said he retains the right to order strikes against Syria even if Congress doesn´t authorize them, but he is seeking approval from U.S. lawmakers because he thinks it will strengthen America´s response. "We will be stronger as a country in our response if the president and Congress does it together," Mr. Obama said at a news conference on Wednesday in Stockholm. Asked whether he would launch strikes in Syria if Congress doesn´t authorize them, the president said: "As commander in chief I always preserve the right and the responsibility to act on behalf of America´s national security. I
With less than a month before the Obamacare exchanges open, the administration dispatched former president Bill Clinton to tout the unpopular law. Speaking at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas on Wednesday, President Obama’s “Secretary of Explaining Stuff” offered up a practical sell for Obama’s signature law. “I’ll do the best I can in plain language to say how the law works, what’s happened so far, what has to be done now, what the unsolved problems are,” he said. “And why we’re better off working together to fix those problems than continuing to fight to repeal the law,
President Obama has done himself no favours today with his disingenuous statements on Syria in Stockholm alongside Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. As The Weekly Standard first reported, Barack Obama claimed “he didn’t set a red line” on Syria’s use of chemical weapons, arguing that “the world set a red line” when it passed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention prohibiting the use of chemical weapons. He also declared that his credibility isn’t on the line, but Congress’s credibility, America’s credibility and the international community’s credibility is at stake if military action isn’t taken on Syria.
BERLIN — French leaders warned Wednesday that failing to respond to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government would send a dangerous signal to the dictators of the world. But French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also said that his country would not launch a retaliatory strike on Syria if the United States decides not to do so. “France will not act without U.S. support,” he told his country’s Senate as France’s Parliament began to debate whether the country should take military action to punish the government of President Bashar Assad for a chemical weapons attack that the
Secretary of State John Kerry said at Wednesday’s hearing that Arab counties have offered to pay for the entirety of unseating President Bashar al-Assad if the United States took the lead militarily. “With respect to Arab countries offering to bear costs and to assess, the answer is profoundly yes,” Kerry said. “They have. That offer is on the table.” Asked by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) about how much those countries would contribute, Kerry said they have offered to pay for all of a full invasion.
The Diocese of Gallup plans to petition for Chapter 11 reorganization in federal bankruptcy court because of mounting legal claims over sexual abuse by clergy members. In a statement read in parishes during Mass over the weekend, Bishop James Wall said the filing “is the most effective and thoughtful course to take in light of the claims from those who were abused.” The diocese includes parishes in six counties in New Mexico, three counties in Arizona and seven American Indian reservations. It will become the ninth Roman Catholic diocese to seek bankruptcy protection since the abuse scandal erupted in 2002.
As 2013 rolls on from summer into fall there is still no end in sight to one of the great energy impasses of the year—will the Keystone XL pipeline ever be approved, or is it fated to become a historical footnote? The pipe, in case you have forgotten, is planned to allow 830,000 barrels a day of heavy crude to move from Canada’s oil sands development all the way to refineries on America’s Gulf Coast. Keystone needs approval from the State Department because it crosses the Canadian-U.S. border. The debate on whether it is a good idea or not has seemingly been
Veteran Democratic strategist James Carville has been tapped to write a bi-weekly column for "The Hill"; his first will be on modern Republicanism and modern conservatism, the congressional news outlet announced on Wednesday. "James’ voice is among the most recognized in politics," Hill editor-in-chief Hugo Gurdon said in a statement. “We are so pleased to include his unique take on current affairs. James will be an ideal complement to our diverse and prominent line-up of contributors.” Carville came to fame as lead strategist on Bill Clinton´s 1992 campaign; he now spends his time as a media personality and international consultant.
The White House is pushing back against those who say President Obama was trying to shift responsibility on Syria when he said, "I didn´t set a red line, the world set a red line," during a joint press conference on Wednesday. After NBC News White House correspondent Chuck Todd tweeted that this was "a new answer on his red line comment," White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer shot back: "No, pretty sure the WH said this to you as recently as this weekend." "This has been a redline for the world for decades," Pfeiffer later tweeted. "We [would] be having
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is railing against what he calls the Obama administration’s “blatant misuse of federal dollars to promote a fundamentally flawed law.” In a letter sent to Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday, the Republican lawmaker called on the department to cancel a planned $8.7 million advertising campaign promote President Obama’s health care law using taxpayer dollars. “This blatant misuse of federal dollars to promote a fundamentally flawed law is extremely concerning, especially considering the extensive unknowns surrounding the coming launch and implementation of Obamacare,” Rubio said. “Until critical questions can be answered regarding the
Although President Obama’s first-term habit of serially offending U.S. allies appeared to be a procession of gaffes and errors, there actually was a strategy behind it. Picking fights with the Israeli prime minister; delaying and reconsidering free-trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia; shelving missile-defense plans in the Czech Republic and Poland to curry favor with Russia, and announcing it on the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland; pointedly ignoring India; and of course the absurd series of insults so dignifiedly absorbed by Britain were all part of a plan. It wasn’t a good plan, but it was a plan
In Obama’s 2002 speech against the Iraq war, he scoffed at “armchair weekend warriors” who pursue “dumb” and “rash” interventions. As if to punctuate that he has become what he once opposed, Obama went golfing on Saturday right after announcing his plans to bomb Syria. Not even Wag the Dog captured that level of presidential cynicism. In his 2002 speech, Obama said that “petty dictators” don’t justify military intervention, that Saddam Hussein posed no “imminent threat” to the U.S., that war would divert attention from domestic problems, and that a poorly conceived war would “fan the flames” of the Middle East
President Bill Clinton has been telling everyone he is a vegan since 2009, but it turns out Clinton’s a liar. The former president, who has been enlisted to sell the nation on Obamacare, told reporters that he was joining his daughter, Chelsea, in an all vegan diet after he had had heart trouble. He was even named PETA’s person of the year in 2010. But in a recent interview with AARP, Clinton said he ate salmon and omelets once a week. “Once a week or so, [Clinton] will have a helping of organic salmon or an omelet made with omega-3-fortified eggs,
If former Ambassador to the UN John Bolton were a member of Congress, he said Tuesday that he’d vote against a plan to use military strikes in Syria. “I think if I were a member of Congress, I would vote against an authorization to use force here. I don’t think it is in America’s interest. I don’t think we should in effect take sides in the Syrian conflict,” Bolton said on “Fox and Friends.” Bolton, who said he “would not have referred the matter to Congress,” added there isn’t enough to convince him that a strike would made an impact in
Sen. John McCain, President Obama´s biggest cheerleader on Capitol Hill for a strike in Syria, said Wednesday that he would not support a Senate panel´s draft resolution authorizing the use of force. "There are a number of people who are unhappy," McCain told reporters on Capitol Hill. Asked if he supported the measure, McCain said, "In its current form, I do not." The decision is a setback for the administration´s effort to win swift support from Congress for an attack. McCain, who has long favored stepped-up U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war, said he opposes the resolution crafted by fellow
A power cut has left 70% of Venezuela without electricity, including parts of the capital Caracas. The blackout disabled traffic lights in the city, causing traffic chaos. It also partially disrupted the underground transport system. Thousands of workers were sent home. Power was slowly being restored in different areas after the cuts. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blamed the opposition for "sabotage" to power transmission lines. "Everything seems to indicate that the extreme right has resumed its plan for an electrical strike against the country," he said in a tweet. In a live address on state television, the president also said the cuts
NEW YORK— Last week, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued final regulations on the individual shared responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with few changes to the provisions of the proposed regulations. "Most people associate the ACA solely with the creation of the healthcare exchanges and the individual and employer insurance mandates," says Lindsey Buchholz, a tax lawyer and a lead analyst in The Tax Institute at H&R Block. "However, the ACA also alters "how much taxpayers owe, how much they can put in a flexible spending account and how much they can deduct in medical
Secretary of State John Kerry is leading the charge for airstrikes by the Obama Administration against Syria. The former Senator, however, has a shameful track record of appeasement of the brutal dictatorship in Damascus. During his time in the Senate, Kerry expended a great deal of effort in extending the hand of friendship to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom Hillary Clinton famously dubbed as a “reformer.” Significantly, during the Bush Administration years, Kerry was a fierce critic of Washington’s hardline stance against Assad, and worked hard to undercut the White House sanctions regime against Syria, advocating a policy of engagement
WASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit widened sharply in July from a four-year low in June, as companies exported fewer goods and imported a record number of foreign-made autos. The larger trade deficit could dampen economic growth in the current July-September quarter. The Commerce Department says the trade gap rose 13 percent to $39.1 billion. That´s up from June´s $34.5 billion, the smallest since 2009. (Snip) A wider deficit could hold back third-quarter growth because it means companies are selling fewer goods overseas while importing more foreign-made products.
Well, we always knew the Democrat leadership would fall in behind the Prez on Syria--and Nancy Pelosi led the pack. [Snip] A) Nancy discusses foreign policy with 5-year olds. B) They know more about it than her. But it turns out that the GOP leadership is supporting Barack Obama, too. Sigh. We might have always expected John McCain (“Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”) and Lindsey Graham (Republican By Rumour Only) to come out strongly for war, but it’s disappointing to note that John Boehner and Eric Cantor were quick to follow. At least these gung-ho Americans are all being
St. Petersburg, Russia -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday declared the world’s credibility “is on the line” when it comes to punishing Syrian President Bashar Assad for his regime’s purported use of chemical weapons. Speaking at a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, ahead of a global economic summit in Russia where he will seek to rally support for a U.S. military strike against Syria, Obama said the “red line” he set against a year ago against Syria’s use of chemical weapons isn’t his, but an international standard. “I didn’t set a red line, the world set a red line,” Obama
Bashar Al-Assad launched the chemical attack which killed hundreds of people because he ´lost his nerve´ in a moment of panic and worried that Damascus would fall to rebel troops, according to new intelligence. In a telephone call which was tapped by German spy chiefs, a senior Hezbollah commander told the Iranian embassy in Lebanon that Syria´s president intended to tilt the balance of power towards the regime in the battle for control of the country´s capital. However, it appears that the chemical attack backfired, as it looks set to prompt a major intervention from American and French troops aimed at
Charlie Baker, the Swampscott Republican and the GOP´s best hope to take back the Corner Office, is taking a more personal and positive take on his gubernatorial candidacy than he did in his failed bid three years ago, telling supporters in a video to "aim high" in announcing his intentions to run in 2014. “Let’s aim high," Baker says in the clip released this morning. "Let’s be great, Massachusetts.” The announcement makes official what GOP party leaders have long anticipated, putting Baker -- who lost to Gov. Deval Patrick in 2010 -- into a wide-open gubernatorial field that is expected