MOSCOW--Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday the U.S. Congress had no right to approve the use of force against Syria without a decision from the U.N. Security Council, and that doing so would be an "act of aggression".(Snip)"They lie beautifully, of course. I saw debates in Congress. A congressman asks Mr Kerry: ´Is al Qaeda there?´ He says: ´No, I am telling you responsibly that it is not´," Putin said at a meeting of his human rights council in the Kremlin. "Al Qaeda units are the main military echelon, and they know this," he said, referring to the United States.
One irony of the Syria debate is that President Obama is now appealing for support on foreign policy from a Congress that he treats with contempt on domestic issues. Witness, in merely the latest example, his decision to suspend the enforcement of a federal drug law because it doesn´t fit his political agenda. In a sweeping memorandum last week, the Justice Department all but ordered U.S. attorneys nationwide not to enforce federal marijuana laws. The memo was a long-delayed response to voter referenda last November in Colorado and Washington states that legalized adult recreational use of marijuana, not merely in the
Economics: It wouldn´t be right to let the passing of one of the 20th century´s great economists, Nobel winner Ronald Coase, go without comment. You might not know his name, but his ideas have surely affected you. The unassuming Coase died this week at 102, productive to the very end: He published his final book, "How China Became Capitalist," in 2012. Talk about longevity. The article that won him fame — "The Nature of the Firm" — was published back in 1937. It´s still called the most-cited economic text ever. But Coase´s most influential idea came from a 1960 article, "The Problem
Fans of reality TV have long tuned in to gawk at the curiosities of American subculture. Unfortunately, the country on display is typically a blooper reel of drunken brawling ("Jersey Shore"), cutthroat competition and casual racism ("Big Brother"), and amateur singers enduring needless pain for cash prizes ("Killer Karaoke"). Is there any show that paints an admirable, more accurate portrait of life in the U.S.? Unlikely as it might seem, "Duck Dynasty" might fit the bill. The A&E show, now in its fourth season, has managed to become the most popular reality program in cable history. The season premiere on Aug.
The U.S. faces no serious military threat today, yet is constantly at war. Today U.S. naval vessels are clustering in the Eastern Mediterranean, with Syria the latest target. Traditionally, Washington did not look for wars to fight. The government´s overriding duty is to protect the American people — their lives, liberties, prosperity and nation. Measured on this scale, there is no cause for entering the bloody Syrian imbroglio. The regime has little capacity to harm the U.S. or to resist the overwhelming retaliation that would occur in response to any attack. Syria´s chemical weapons have little more utility than high explosives and
President Obama isn´t easy to follow up San Juan Hill, or for that matter even Capitol Hill. Rather than walk point on national security, he prefers to blend in with the enlisted men and women. Consider his astonishing statement on Wednesday at a press conference in Stockholm about his comments last year drawing a "red line" on the use of chemical weapons by Bashar Assad in Syria. "First of all, I didn´t set a red line," the President said. "The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98% of the world´s population said the
The pastor and some members of a Christian church in Brandon, Miss., say city officials won’t grant them their permit request for a massive cross to be built on their property because the city is afraid the symbol might offend Muslims. City officials, however, say they’re hesitant to allow the cross construction because it would violate zoning rules. Fox News reported that the First Baptist Church of Brandon wants to erect a 110-foot-tall cross on its land as part of a nonprofit group’s project, “Crosses Across America,” to line the nation’s highways with the Christian and historical symbol. The pastor
Change: In authorizing limited strikes on Syria, Congress may inadvertently give its stamp of approval to an ideological revolution in the use of U.S. power. Our military can´t and shouldn´t be a global genocide watchdog. It struck many observers as strange that Barack Obama would suddenly act totally out of character and ask permission for something from a Congress with one house controlled by Republicans. After all, he´s been imperially presidential on ObamaCare, gun ownership, recess appointments, immigration, Egypt, Libya and plenty of other issues. On Wednesday, Obama was, oddly, trying to put big pressure on Congress from that geopolitical epicenter, Scandinavia. He
BEIRUT — Al-Qaida-linked rebels launched an assault Wednesday on a regime-held Christian village in the densely populated west of Syria and new clashes erupted near the capital, Damascus — part of a brutal battle of attrition each side believes it can win despite more than two years of deadlock. As the world focused on possible U.S. military action against Syria, rebels commandeered a mountaintop hotel in the village of Maaloula and shelled the community below, said a nun, speaking by phone from a convent in the village. She spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. The attack came
PITTSBURGH- A Pennsylvania congressman caught a cutting-edge ride to the airport on Wednesday. Rep. Bill Shuster, a Republican from Altoona, made a 33-mile trip from Cranberry Township to Pittsburgh International Airport at about 11 a.m. in a computer-operated car. The so-called driverless Cadillac SRX was designed by Carnegie Mellon University researchers who have been working on the project since 2008. The car uses inputs from radars, laser rangefinders, and infrared cameras to maneuver in traffic. Shuster is the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and he was accompanied by Barry Schoch, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
TUCUMCARI, N.M. —Just a stone´s-throw away from historic Route 66 in Tucumcari sits a sign that everyone´s talking about. The sign sits atop an outhouse and says "Obama´s Presidential Library." Some in town say it´s in bad taste, while others support it. Either way, everyone knows about it. One man said people have been treating it like a tourist destination, taking pictures all the time. As for the man who put it up, he refused to give Target 7 his name or reveal what prompted him to construct the controversial commode, but he said he has no intention of taking it down.
Happy Rosh Hashanah. Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner got into a heated exchange with a Jewish voter during a campaign stop in Brooklyn on Wednesday. Weiner was seen on video walking out of a Borough Park deli when he stopped, turned around and yelled to the man, “Yeah. It takes one to know one jackass.” The two got into a shouting match after the voter called Weiner “disgusting” and told him to “stay out of the public eye.” “You don’t get to judge me because you have shown no sign that you are superior to me and you are not
Barack Obama is either the most inept president ever to sit in the White House or he is an enemy of the Republic. For the last 10 years, I have watched this man´s uncanny rise to the pinnacle of power and vacillated between those two choices. I have come to the conclusion that ideology trumps inexperience. His ego is so massive, and his leftist beliefs so strong, that he is willing to throw our country under the big international bus. Let´s review our Middle East policy since Obama took office. He made it his top priority to go to the
Moves were made in Brussels today to form an EU-controlled military powerbase that would act as a rival to Nato on strategic defence issues. The European Parliament’s majority group of MEPs called for a new headquarters that would direct major civilian and military crisis operations. The European People’s Party said governments “have to start building stand-by forces under Union command", a move branded as the latest drift to federalism by the UK Independence Party. The proposal came in a new report from the EPP which wants Europe to redefine its security interests and to begin achieving these by actual operational
The Germans seem to have coined a word for every dark emotion -- schadenfreude (joy over someone else´s misfortune), futterneid (envy over someone else´s superior food) etc. -- but I´ve been searching in vain for a Teutonic term for that annoyance one feels when someone agrees with you for the wrong reasons. Since I can´t find it, I´ll just make it up: zustimmenärger.President Obama´s decision to seek congressional approval for attacking Syria has my zustimmenärger levels in the red zone. Not so many of my friends on the right. While pretty much everyone across the ideological spectrum is shaking their
On Tuesday´s PoliticsNation on MSNBC, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post and MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor joined host Al Sharpton to lambast the GOP for suffering from "Obama Derangement Syndrome," picking up on criticism of President Obama putting his foot on his desk in the Oval Office, without noting any of the visceral hatred felt toward George W. Bush by the Democratic base during his time as President. At one point, Milbank may have been vaguely hinting at hatred coming from Democrats in the past, although the Washington Post columnist accused the GOP of greater transgression as he claimed that Republicans
The White House´s case for a military strike on Syria enters Round II Wednesday. Secretary of State John Kerry returns to the Hill, this time to be grilled by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Republican Congressman Michael Burgess has said the case on Syria is thin. Burgess heard the arguments presented before the Senate Tuesday, and the Senate drafted a new resolution later that day limiting authorization for action in Syria. "I´m still a likely no vote," said Burgess, who said a strike against Syria should perhaps follow the same approach the U.S. took in Iraq. "I don´t think that cruise missiles
RUSH: Here´s Maria in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, as we head back to the phones of the EIB Network. Hello. CALLER: Hi, Rush. Quick question for you, sir. RUSH: Yeah. CALLER: Is it too soon to say. "Obama lied, people died; hell no, we won´t go; Obama´s chickensssss have come [home] to roost"? I say to you, sir, to quote Charlie Rangel, "Resist we mush." (sic) RUSH: That was Al Sharpton that said, "Resist we much." CALLER: Yes, sir. RUSH: And to his audience at MSNBC. CALLER: Oh, I´m sorry. I thought it was Charlie. RUSH: No, that was Sharpton. CALLER: Good old Charlie.
AMMAN, Jordan — Ahmad Nemah, a midlevel Syrian rebel commander, is certain there’s sound military logic behind President Barack Obama’s decision to delay U.S. missile strikes against the Syrian regime, but he’s having a hard time persuading his subordinates. “I know that this is not a postponement but a strategic pause to . . . set up for a surprise attack,” insisted Nemah, a former colonel in Syrian air force intelligence. “Of course, people are depressed, and I’m having trouble convincing everyone that there will be a strike.” There’s a good reason why Nemah is having difficulty selling his
STEVE HOLLAND, REUTERS: Have you made up your mind whether to take action against Syria whether or not you have a congressional resolution approved? Is a strike needed in order to preserve your credibility for when you set these sort of red lines? And were you able to enlist the support of the prime minister here for support in Syria? PRESIDENT OBAMA: Let me unpack the question. First of all, I didn´t set a red line. The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world´s population said the use of
RUSH: You know, ladies and gentlemen, this Syria stuff, I just have to say this is getting embarrassing. This is not how a great power operates. This is just rank amateur time, everybody involved. Here´s McCain at the hearing yesterday caught playing poker on his iPhone, and Wolf Blitzer over at CNN had to be convinced that it was just a game. He thought that McCain was actually online gambling, was trying to make a story out of it. And I´m sitting there thinking maybe McCain will draw four queens and think that he´s now in a Muslim marriage and
Authorities in China have scooped up around 220,000 pounds of dead fish today that they say were poisoned by ammonia from a chemical plant. Locals said dead fish covered the surface of the Fuhe River in central China and stretched for about 25 miles. The Hubei province environmental protection blamed local company Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Stock Co for the disaster. Officials said sampling of its drain outlet showed that ammonia density far exceeded the national standard. The company said it was not going to immediately comment. About 1,600 residents in nearby
RUSH: This is this morning in Stockholm, Sweden, President Obama and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt -- who I have to credit. This guy speaks English better than most Americans do, certainly better than most low information Americans do. It was a joint press conference. During the Q&A a reporter said (impression), Mr. President! "Mr. President, have you made up your mind whether to take action against Syria, whether or not you have a congressional resolution approved? "Is a strike needed in order to preserve your credibility for when you set these sorts of red lines? And were you able to
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted Wednesday to approve a resolution authorizing U.S. military action against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The committee spent most of Wednesday debating the merits of a resolution behind closed doors and for about an hour in public. So how did senators vote? Here’s a breakdown: Final tally: 10 to 7, with one senator voting present. Who voted yes?: Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) (by proxy — was absent due to the Jewish holiday), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.),
Arizona congressman Matt Salmon’s constituents have called his office 500 times about Syria, he tells National Review Online in an interview, but only two callers have expressed support for intervening there. “This is not hyperbole!” he says emphatically. And Salmon himself is firmly against authorizing a strike. “I don’t see any national-security imperative for our country at all. Both sides in this equation are bad actors.” He also notes that Obama has been unable to form an international coalition and hasn’t laid out an overall objective for a missile strike. “Other than saving face for the president,
BEAUFORT, S.C. -- South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford says he will vote against military intervention in Syria. The Republican lawmaker says his constituents are weary of military and financial engagements in the Middle East. And Sanford says the Obama administration has not answered questions about why it’s in America’s interest and what the exit strategy would be. Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee late Tuesday drafted a resolution permitting a 90-day military mission in Syria but prohibiting U.S. troops on the ground there.