RealClearDefense has assembled a “whip count” analyzing how House members are likely to vote on the authorization for use of military force in Syria. RCD´s count is based on public statements, discussions with staff, and past votes. This count will change and will be continually updated by RealClearDefense to reflect new information. Check the RCD Senate Whip Count. Updated: September 6, 9:14am 371/435 Representatives Shown
The unemployment rate in the African American community climbed from 12.6 percent in July to 13.0 percent in August, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time, the number of African Americans 16 year or older who held jobs dropped from 16,318,000 in July to 16,108,000 in August--a decline of 210,000. The labor force participation rate in the African American community dropped from 61.4 percent in July to 60.8 percent in August. The 60.8 percent African American labor force participation rate in August was the lowest that rate has been since July 1982. When President Barack
The number of Americans who are 16 years or older and who have decided not to participate in the nation´s labor force has pushed past 90,000,000 for the first time, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS counts a person as participating in the labor force if they are 16 years or older and either have a job or have actively sought a job in the last four weeks. A person is not participating in the labor force if they are 16 or older and have not sought a job in the last four
Liberal activist and scholar Dr. Cornel West last week pointed out the contradiction between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and President Barack Obama’s push for U.S. military intervention in Syria. “Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. Barack Obama’s got drones. Martin Luther King Jr. had prophetic missions. Barack Obama’s got deadly missiles that he’s ready to use,” West said on the “Smiley & West” show last week while discussing Obama’s speech at the 50th anniversary celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. “I ask myself how is that we honor Martin today
The first question President Obama received during his press conference from the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia this morning concerned the support, or lack thereof, from the international community for potential U.S. strikes in Syria. During his lengthy answer, Obama acknowledged the inherent irony in a president who was “elected to end wars” ordering new military action in the Middle East. Obama addressed the hesitancy of the UN Security Council to back his proposed actions, but warned against allowing the international community to become “paralyzed” in the face of an atrocity as great as Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons
An Indian-born woman who penned one of India’s best-selling books, “A Kabuliwala’s Bengali Wife,” about the challenges of marrying an Afghan man and escaping the clutches of the terrorist group in the 1990s, was shot multiple times outside of her husband’s home in Afghanistan. Shar Wali, who heads the Afghan Police Criminal Investigation Department in Paktika, said in NBC on Friday that Sushmita Banerjee died at the scene and that the Taliban was responsible for her killing. Mr. Wali said the militants stormed her house, tied up her husband and family members, then took her outside and shot her several
Vienna - The UN nuclear watchdog has received a request from Russia to assess the impact if a missile were to hit a small Syrian reactor and is considering the issue, the Vienna-based agency said on Friday. Russia said this week a military strike on Syria could have catastrophic effects if the research reactor near Damascus that contains radioactive uranium was struck, "by design or by chance". It called on the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to urgently assess the risk as the United States considers military action to punish Syria´s government for an alleged gas attack.
President Obama said he will make his case for a military strike on Syria in an address to the nation on Tuesday. The president announced his intention during a press conference Friday at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he warned that "the Assad regime´s brazen use of chemical weapons isn´t just a Syrian tragedy." "Failing to respond to this breach of this international norm will send a signal to rogue nations … that they can develop and use weapons of mass destruction and not face consequences," Obama said. Obama´s decision to address the country from the Oval
Will President Barack Obama order military strikes on Syria even if Congress rejects using force? Asked that hugely consequential question on Friday, a senior White House official strongly suggested that the answer is no. “The president, of course, has the authority to act. But it’s neither his desire, nor his intention, to use that authority absent Congress backing him,” Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken told NPR. Blinken’s comments lent weight to a New York Times report published Friday that cited unnamed officials as saying that Obama views going to war if Congress says no as “almost unthinkable” – and
DC Comics´ Batwoman is losing its two co-authors. In a blog post late Wednesday, co-authors J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman wrote that they´d be exiting the comic after Issue 26 is released in December, citing creative difficulties with DC. Batwoman was relaunched in 2010 as a stand-alone series that told a new origin story about female Caped Crusader Kate Kane (aka Batwoman), this time a member of the U.S. Military Academy who was forced to leave after allegations arose that she was gay. Rather than hide her sexual orientation, she opted to leave the academy.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry indicated it was more important to talk about the lives of those killed by chemical attacks in Syria than the four Americans who were murdered in Benghazi. Kerry seemed annoyed, bordering on angry, when Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) insisted that Benghazi was "germane" to the Syria debate. "We´re talking about people being killed by gas, and you want to talk about Benghazi and Fast and the Furious," Kerry angrily told Duncan (R-SC), who was holding up a picture of Tyrone Woods, the former Navy SEAL who was one of four Americans killed in
A war nobody believes in, led by a man nobody trusts. If Barack Obama is still looking for a legacy, here it is. Everything about the Syrian dilemma stinks. Bashar Assad is recognized by nearly everybody as the source of at least half the stink. But only half. The rest of the stench is supplied by the rebels. It’s tempting to suggest that Mr. Obama, who yearns for applause, deserves the dilemma. Bombers always sound to the uneducated ear like the cheap, quick and sensible way to punish international bad guys. Lots of bang-bang, fire, smoke and bravado is exciting, stimulating and
With ObamaCare scheduled to launch on October 1, Democrats seem more than a little anxious about their ability to execute. That´s the only fathomable explanation for their nervous breakdown over a routine House inquiry. The Affordable Care Act is paying for "navigators," or non-government groups that received federal dollars in August to help people figure out and enroll for subsidies. That such a program even exists explains a lot about the complexity of the new entitlement. The navigators were supposed to cost $54 million, but the Health and Human Services Department dipped into a "wellness" slush fund to bump that
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 playbook and has
WASHINGTONThe State Department is ordering nonessential U.S. diplomats to leave Lebanon due to security concerns as the Obama administration and Congress debate military strikes on neighboring Syria. In a new travel warning for Lebanon issued early Friday, the department said it had instructed nonessential staffers to leave Beirut and urged private American citizens to depart Lebanon. The step had been under consideration since last week, when President Barack Obama said he was contemplating military action against the Syrian government for its alleged chemical weapons attack last month that the administration said killed more than 1,400 people near Damascus. Hezbollah, an
President Obama, who´s over in Russia today not talking to President Vladimir Putin, has canceled next week´s fundraising trip to California. That´s something he didn´t even do a year ago next Wednesday night when four Americans were murdered in Benghazi by terrorists who had nothing to do with a YouTube video. And it´s another sure-sign that he´s in trouble on his congressional vote to authorize attacks on Syria for using chemical weapons on rebels. Will Obama actually deign to lobby members? Thursday one more representative changed his mind.
Testifying about the proposed attack on Syria before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 4, Secretary of State John Kerry said, "With respect to Arab countries offering to bear costs and to assess, the answer is profoundly yes. They have. That offer is on the table. ... In fact, some of them have said that if the United States is prepared to go do the whole thing the way we´ve done it previously in other places, they´ll carry that cost. That´s how dedicated they are at this. That´s not in the cards, and nobody´s talking about it, but they´re
The U.S. economy added just 169,000 jobs in August, a number that will likely prolong the debate over when and how the Federal Reserve should start scaling back its easy-money policies. The headline unemployment rate fell to 7.3%, according to numbers released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor, down from July’s rate of 7.4%. Economists had forecast an increase of 180,000 jobs. Anticipation has been high for the government’s August jobs data because it’s widely believed the Fed is poised to start winding down its $85-billion-a-month bond purchasing program known as quantitative easing, possibly as soon as this month.
As expected, G20 leaders meeting in St. Petersburg found “no consensus” over Syria during a working dinner Thursday, but even setting aside the longstanding opposition from Russia and China the Obama administration’s assertions of a growing “broad coalition” continue to look shaky. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington Secretary of State John Kerry was asking “for countries to speak publicly about their support.” She named nine countries which she said have “publicly and explicitly expressed support for U.S. military action,” but then confirmed that did not mean they have offered to participate in any strike against President
The streak is still alive. The city of Newark continued its awe-inspiring murder streak Thursday evening with its tenth homicide in as many days. A 14-year old boy, Ali Rajohn Eric Henderson, was gunned down in the courtyard area of Riverview Terrace Housing Complex. Heroin and weapons were reportedly found in Henderson’s bedroom. It looked like a close call Thursday as to whether Newark would be able to continue its recent streak of nine murders in nine days or would drop below its 1.0 per day murder rate for the ten-day period, but the city, as always, rose to the
As Congress debates whether to support President Obama’s call for a limited strike against Syria for the alleged use of chemical weapons, Iran is vowing to back Bashar al-Assad’s regime to the hilt and threatening to unleash terrorism should the U.S. strike. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Forces, Wednesday told the Assembly of Experts — the body that chooses the supreme leader — that “[w]e will support Syria to the end.” And in an unprecedented statement, a former Iranian official has warned of mass abductions and brutal killings of American citizens around the world and the rape and
Wednesday, John Kerry told the Senate not to worry about the cost of an American war on Syria. The Saudis and Gulf Arabs, cash-fat on the $110-a-barrel oil they sell U.S. consumers, will pick up the tab for the Tomahawk missiles. Has it come to this — U.S. soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen as the mercenaries of sheiks, sultans and emirs, Hessians of the New World Order, hired out to do the big-time killing for Saudi and Sunni royals? Yesterday, too, came a stunning report in the Washington Post. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations has joined the Israeli lobby AIPAC
The statesmanlike case for voting Yes on the congressional resolution to use force against the Assad regime has been made widely and well by conservative foreign policy thinkers. At the end, the case boils down to this: As a policy matter, a Yes vote may be problematic in all kinds of ways. But a No vote would likely be disastrous for the nation in very clear ways. Statesmanship requires choosing the problematic over the disastrous. It’s true that Republicans on the Hill lack confidence in President Obama’s execution of the military action they are being asked to vote to authorize.
Most Americans say they believe the law is inadequate in protecting their privacy online. The e-mail or social media accounts of one in five have been broken into. And most American consumers take great efforts to mask their identities online. These findings are part of a survey by the Pew Internet Center that was released Thursday. They come amid a cascade of widely publicized revelations about the depth of United States government surveillance on the electronic communications of its citizens. And they challenge the conventional wisdom advanced in support of both commercial tracking and official monitoring of Web services: “If you’ve
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
The terrace doors of the opulent Intercontinental Carlton Cannes hotel on the French Riviera were supposed to be locked. But before lunchtime on the last Sunday of July, a thief—whose face was obscured with a bandanna and a motorcycle helmet—managed to slip through them and directly into an exhibition room loaded with millions of dollars worth of Leviev diamonds, "the world´s most extraordinary." Armed with an automatic pistol and an uncanny familiarity with the setting, the mystery bandit began his heist.