Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) joined MSNBC’s Alex Wagner on Thursday for a wide-ranging and contentious interview focused on President Barack Obama’s push for American intervention in the Syrian civil war. What followed was a tense and heated exchange between the two ideologically unaligned figures about the need for intervention in Syria, American foreign policy in general, and Paul’s speaking before “anti-Semitic” groups. Wagner opened by asking about a recent interview Paul conducted with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on his web-based interview program, but the conversation quickly turned to the push for intervention in Syria. Paul questioned the “so-called gas
President Barack Obama faced a heavy lift in Congress this fall when his agenda included only budget issues and immigration reform. Now with Syria in the mix, the president appears ready to spend a lot of the political capital that he would have kept in reserve for his domestic priorities.A resolution authorizing the use of force in Syria won’t make it through the House or the Senate without significant cajoling from the White House. That means Obama, who struggles to get Congress to follow his lead on almost everything, could burn his limited leverage convincing Democrats and Republicans to vote
The sound of artillery reverberated Thursday through a predominantly Christian village north of Damascus as government troops and al-Qaida-linked rebels battled for control of the mountainside sanctuary. The hit-and-run attacks on the ancient village of Maaloula, one of the few places in the world where residents still speak Aramaic, highlighted fears among Syria´s religious minorities about the growing role of extremists among those fighting in the civil war to topple President Bashar Assad´s regime. The fighting came as President Barack Obama´s administration pressed the U.S. Congress for its authorization of a military strike against the Assad regime, while the president arrived at
Lobbying on Syria has inspired coalitions of the unlikely, aligning President Barack Obama with Sheldon Adelson, the Republican billionaire who spent about $70 million trying to defeat him last year, in the push for a military response to the use of chemical weapons. (Snip) The pro-Israel community contributed $14.5 million to federal campaigns for the 2012 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s more than the $11.1 million in donations by the defense aerospace industry, one of the biggest and most consistent political contributors. While most of the Jewish groups’ donations lean Democratic, Adelson alone transformed the 2012
The powerful pro-Israel lobby AIPAC is planning to launch a major lobbying campaign to push wayward lawmakers to back the resolution authorizing U.S. strikes against Syria, sources said Thursday. Officials say that some 250 Jewish leaders and AIPAC activists will storm the halls on Capitol Hill beginning next week to persuade lawmakers that Congress must adopt the resolution or risk emboldening Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear weapon. They are expected to lobby virtually every member of Congress, arguing that “barbarism” by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated, and that failing to act would “send a message” to Tehran
Sen. John McCain felt the heat of opposition to U.S. military intervention in Syria on Thursday during a town-hall meeting in Phoenix that exposed the emotions and ethic and religious tensions connected to crisis in the Middle East. During his opening remarks at the more than one-hour session, McCain, R-Ariz., had just started making the point that he was against “having a single American boot on the ground” in the Syrian civil war when he was interrupted by war opponents who shouted “not good enough” and “not good enough at all.” “You don’t respect our view!
It´s not often that people feel sorry for NFL players. With even the lowest-paid rookies earning hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, they live a life that most fans could only dream of. But in the states of Colorado and Washington, the general public enjoy at least one privilege that NFL players do not. As long as they are 21 or older, those fans can smoke marijuana. Despite being legalised in both of those two states, marijuana remains on the NFL´s list of banned substances; players found to have used the drug are punishable with fines and suspensions. Not
Internet pioneer Matt Drudge may have had enough of the Republican Party. Though known to needle the GOP and its leaders from time to time, the founder of Drudge Report let loose over the party´s direction on Twitter this week. Asking why anyone would vote Republican, Drudge listed his grievances: "Raised taxes; marching us off to war again; approved more NSA snooping. WHO ARE THEY?!" His tweets referred to Republican leaders, like House Speaker John Boehner, getting behind the president´s military-strike push in Syria and other positions. But Drudge´s comments also touched on the broader internal fight in the party. Or as Drudge put
Vice President Joe Biden hosted a late-afternoon briefing on Syria with a small set of House and Senate members in the White House Situation Room Thursday, according to a White House official. Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, who has taken an increasingly high profile during the Syria debate, joined Biden in briefing lawmakers. Attendees included Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), according to a photo of the meeting distributed by the White House. With Congress threatening to vote down President Barack Obama’s request for formal authorization to launch reprisal strikes in Syria, the administration has
If the House voted today on a resolution to attack Syria, President Barack Obama would lose — and lose big. That’s the private assessment of House Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides who are closely involved in the process. If the Senate passes a use-of-force resolution next week — which is no sure thing — the current dynamics suggest that the House would defeat it. That would represent a dramatic failure for Obama, and once again prove that his sway over Congress is extraordinarily limited. The loss would have serious reverberations throughout the next three months, when Obama faces off against Congress
Three Russian warships crossed Turkey´s Bosphorus Strait Thursday en route to the eastern Mediterranean, near the Syrian coast, amid concern in the region over potential US-led strikes in response to the Damascus regime´s alleged use of chemical weapons. The SSV-201 intelligence ship Priazovye, accompanied by the two landing ships Minsk and Novocherkassk passed through the Bosphorus known as the Istanbul strait that separates Asia from Europe, an AFP photographer reported. The Priazovye on Sunday started its voyage from its home port of Sevastopol in Ukraine "to the appointed region of military service in the eastern Mediterranean", a military official told
Louisiana has emerged as America´s most corrupt state with the highest rate of convictions for people in public office, official figures revealed this week. The Southern state came top for public corruption convictions with nine per 100,000 population. Overall Louisiana convicted 403 public officials in the past ten years. The data was compiled by the Justice Department, covering the period from 2002 until 2011. [Snip] The lowest conviction rates for public corruption are South Carolina, Oregon, Washington, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Utah--with 1 per 100,000 population. Corrupt public figures in Louisiana have littered the headlines in the past few years.
Nancy Pelosi waxed rhapsodic in 2010 as she imagined the benefits of Obamacare: “Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.” Well, that was the economy we used to have. But as Obamacare begins to kick in, artists, photographers, writers, and other members of the “creative class” who have access to health insurance programs through numerous professional organizations will lose that coverage. Up until now professional organizations have worked with insurance providers to craft reduced-rate plans for their members. But
While President Obama is conferring with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, current and retired senior American intelligence officials fear he is blind to a growing threat from a resurgent Russia. These officials say that Moscow continues to probe America´s skies and seas with bombers and submarines, both to assert itself and to see just how far Russia can push Obama. In June 2012, Russian strategic nuclear bombers broke protocol and conducted maneuvers in the Arctic without alerting the U.S. A month later a Russian Tu-95 Bear-H strategic bomber, capable of carrying nuclear-armed cruise missiles,
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia—French President François Hollande pressed European leaders attending the Group of 20 summit here to support a statement denouncing the Syrian regime, but divisions remained and Russian resistance persisted. "It´s really important that the Europeans here at the G-20 are on the same page in condemning the use of chemical arms and condemning the regime that used them," said the French leader, who has been the lone Western ally supporting U.S. President Barack Obama´s push for military action in Syria. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said G-20 leaders at the two-day summit here were divided over whether to back
Wednesday´s 10-7 vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee supporting an authorization of military attacks on Syria may have been affected by varying levels of financial support the senators got from political action committees representing the defense industry, and from the companies´ employees. On average, a ´yes´-voting senator received 83 percent more money from defense contractors than one who voted ´no.´ [Snip] The resolution would not authorize the deployment of ground forces, but MailOnline reported Wednesday that the Pentagon has already estimated the need for 75,000 troops to secure Syria´s vast supplies of chemical weapons and the factories that produce
We have a problem. The president proposes attacking Syria, and his top military officer can´t tell you the objective. Does the commander in chief know his own objective? Why, yes. "A shot across the bow," explained Barack Obama. Now, a shot across the bow is a warning. Its purpose is to say: Cease and desist, or the next shot will sink you. But Obama has already told the world — and Bashar Assad in particular — that there will be no next shot. He has insisted time and again that the operation will be finite and highly limited. Take the shot,
The White House and its Democratic allies pressed Thursday to win Senate approval of a measure authorizing limited military strikes against Syria, with President Barack Obama making calls to senators from abroad and party leaders starting a formal head count to size up Democratic support. The White House said that Mr. Obama, while in Sweden in advance of this week´s Group of 20 summit, called five senators about the Syria resolution. And it announced he had cancelled a trip to California next week so he could focus on Syria. Mr. Obama has said he wants to "degrade" Syria´s military capabilities after concluding
Commenting on my column last month ("Today´s ´Useful Idiots´ Are Just Like Those In USSR" — Aug. 6), a reader lamented: "Authors writing about socialism need to know what socialism is. The author of this article would rather just go into a tirade about the problems in our country ... and automatically jump to the conclusion the problem is socialism. Huh? What? Where is the socialism you´re talking about?" An old Soviet joke goes as follows: "A Soviet and an America journalist argued about whose society is freer. The American declared, ´I can stand in front of the White House and yell
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), who on Saturday said he supported President Obama’s decision to launch military action in Syria, has changed his mind. In a statement Thursday, Grimm says the window for action has now passed and that the feedback from his constituents has made him re-think his previous position. “Thus, after much thought, deliberation and prayer, I am no longer convinced that a U.S. strike on Syria will yield a benefit to the United States that will not be greatly outweighed by the extreme cost of war,” Grimm said. Grimm added: “Now that the Assad regime has seen our
Syrian Crisis: President Obama asks Congress to save him from his own mess on America´s stance toward a terrorist state. Has he given one credible reason why the egg should be on members´ faces too? The liberal Think Progress blog´s count Thursday found nearly 200 congressmen leaning against Obama´s request to approve a strike on Syria, and fewer than 50 leaning in favor. It called this "a drastic change that has occurred literally overnight." But with the president using the bully pulpit to make the case for this supposed national security priority, how can this be? The last straw for our self-important elected
With U.S. diplomats secretly talking with their Russian counterparts behind the scenes at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg in hopes of avoiding a stalemate over Syria, publicly Moscow warned that a military strike on Syria could have catastrophic effects if a missile hit a small reactor near Damascus that contains radioactive uranium. But a U.S. official attached to the United Nations delegation told MailOnline that while Obama´s admission on Wednesday that U.S.-Russia relations have ´hit a wall,´ the president´s team is overreaching with an ambitious proposal that has no chance of success.
The most powerful men and women in the world tonight sat down for dinner in the luxurious surroundings of the Peterhof Palace in St Petersburg. The luxurious setting and the seemingly civil ambience belies the simmering tensions and rivalry that have dogged the G20 summit in Russia as nations clash, Cold War-style, over the civil war tearing through Syria. [Snip] Earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama said he was convinced that the chemical attack in Damascus last month was the work of the Syrian government and claims the world must intervene to prevent further attacks and uphold the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Watsonville - A 31-year-old Watsonville woman was arrested after she was found swinging a dead rabbit around, Santa Cruz County sheriff´s deputies reported Monday. Around 9 a.m. Sunday, Rocio Camberos was seen walking on Coward Road near Riverside Drive carrying a dead rabbit, deputy Ryan Kennedy said. When Camberos confronted a person with the rabbit, the person reported the confrontation. Deputies arrived and found her swinging the carcass over her head in a helicopter motion, Kennedy said. It wasn't likely Camberos killed the rabbit herself, Kennedy said.