If there is one thing that even Barack Obama’s fiercest critics acknowledge, it is that the President can give a good speech. But on Tuesday night, in a live address from the White House, he will have to deliver one of his very best. For Mr Obama will be trying to persuade a nation weary of war--and particularly weary of interventions in the thankless, draining sands of the Middle East--that the US should once again deploy its military might there. [Snip] In a gamble that is shaping up as a make-or-break moment for his second term in office, Mr Obama
President Obama has said the U.S. will studiously avoid putting “boots on the ground” during any conflict with Syria, but the same does not hold true for CBS News. The Eye’s news division has already scored some impressive wins in its coverage of the Syria situation by figuring out how to get its journalists into the strife-torn nation. CBS has had a reporter, Elizabeth Palmer, holding forth from Damascus, billing her on air as “the only network reporter inside Damascus.” And on Sunday, the network scored another coup: Charlie Rose, the “CBS This Morning” co-anchor, secured an interview with Syrian
PINE BLUFF, Ark.- A 107-year old Pine Bluff man died Saturday after a shootout with officers and S.W.A.T. members. The Pine Bluff Police Dept. released the following information about the incident on Saturday evening. "On September 7, 2013, at approximately 4:25 p.m., Officers of the Pine Bluff Police Department responded to a disturbance at 1411 W. 16th. [Snip] Shortly afterwards, a S.W.A.T. entry team, inside the residence, breached the door to the bedroom and threw a distraction device into the bedroom. Isadore then began to fire on the entry team and the entry team engaged Isadore, killing him."
WASHINGTON—An aggressive White House campaign to win congressional approval for military action against Syria intensified Sunday as Chief of Staff Denis McDonough vigorously reasserted the administration´s arguments in a blitz of television appearances. Entering a crucial week for winning the support of lawmakers, Mr. McDonough argued there is widespread acceptance that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons in a late August attack, leaving only the question of how to respond. "There´s not a single member of Congress debating the intelligence with us right now," Mr. McDonough said on CNN´s "State of the Union" show. "We are no longer debating whether
On Thursday, the Obama administration showed graphic video footage of Syrian victims of sarin gas to members of the Senate Intelligence committee. The video, which the administration claims is authentic, has since been released to the media. The administration appears to be using the video in an attempt to make the case for military intervention in Syria. In doing so, they appear to be counting on emotions instead of rational thought. I don´t presume to know who is using sarin gas against innocent civilians in Syria. There appears to be confusion about who is actually using the gas to kill people
It is entirely understandable that Barack Obama´s way of dealing with Syria in recent weeks should have elicited responses ranging from puzzlement to disgust. Even members of his own party are despairingly echoing in private the public denunciations of him as "incompetent," "bungling," "feckless," "amateurish" and "in over his head" coming from his political opponents on the right. For how else to characterize a president who declares war against what he calls a great evil demanding immediate extirpation and in the next breath announces that he will postpone taking action for at least 10 days—and then goes off to play golf
Conrad Black has an interesting column in the New York Sun about parallels between the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990-91, the fall of France in 1940, and the collapse of American influence in the last few years, Black, an interventionist on Syria, nevertheless offers lessons on how to throw away American power by electing incompetent leadership: What we are witnessing now in the United States, by contrast, is just the backwash of inept policy-making in Washington, and nothing that could not eventually be put right. But for this administration to redeem its credibility now would require a change of direction
Former Democratic representative Jane Harman said she believes both Republicans’ and Democrats’ concerns about primary challengers are persuading them to not support military intervention in Syria. “These folks think their reelection, in my view, matters more than perhaps taking a principled stand,” said Harman, who is currently president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, on Meet the Press this morning. “They want this to pass, they just don’t want to vote for it.” “The base in each party is against this,” she added. Harman recalled that she faced primaries three times as a California representative after she supported intervention in Iraq.
Democrats tend to be more “principled” in their opposition to President Obama’s request for authorization for military strikes in Syria than their Republican counterparts in Congress, according to NBC’s Chuck Todd. “I think about half of the Republican opposition here is a political opposition, but I think a good 50 percent is not,” Todd said on Meet the Press the morning. “I think about 75 percent of the opposition in the Democratic party is rational and principled, and about 25 percent of it is politics.”
MELBOURNE, Fla. -- The deadly violence percolating half a world away in Syria and the warnings of a possible U.S. attack have some people not only looking ahead to what might happen in the coming days — but also looking backward into ancient, apocalyptic prophecies in the pages of the Old Testament. In recent weeks, some dire prophecies have turned up on websites, in book stores, as the subject of Bible studies and in sermons by some Christians and others who see a link between the old passages and modern-day events in Egypt, Libya and Syria. "Behold, Damascus is about to be
As President Obama makes his rounds on major news nets to plead his case for limited military action against Syria, CBS and PBS may have landed the biggest interview in the hotly-contested international crisis yet: one with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Charlie Rose interviewed the Syrian leader Sunday morning in Damascus, and discussed with the prez his alleged use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians on August 21. Per Rose, who called in to CBS’ “Face the Nation” and relayed details of the interview, Assad wholly denied the allegations. Assad “denied that he had anything to do with the attack,” Rose
According to researchers from the George Washington University (GWU) School of Public Health, in 2010, almost half of all births in the United States were paid for by Medicaid, and that rate is only going to go up. Medicaid was responsible for 48% of the 3.8 million births in 2010, an increase of 90,000 births from 2008, which was an 8% increase during that period. Lead investigator Anne Markus, an associate professor of health policy at GWU, said, "As states expand coverage, low-income women of childbearing age will be able to obtain more continuous coverage before and between pregnancies. Now, for
Following up on multiple questions regarding the proposed Syrian intervention and its fate in Congress, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace invoked the approaching one year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, and asked White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough why the perpetrators had not been brought to justice. Wallace was especially interested in why the U.S. had not arrested Ahmed Abu Khattala, who has been charged with the crime but not arrested, despite having given interviews to several news outlets. “Why is it that reporters seems to be able to find this guy, who the government
Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya who testified before Congress about the 9/11 attacks on an American diplomatic facility earlier this year, believes he has been “punished” for speaking out about the Obama administration’s response the night of the attack. He said he believes at least two of the Americans lost that night could have been saved if the United States had responded in time. “I don’t know why I was punished,” Hicks said in an interview with ABC’s This Week. “I don’t know why I was shunted aside, put in a closet if you will.” Hick said
PARIS — Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Sunday that Saudi Arabia has agreed to support a U.S.-led military “strike” in Syria, and that other Arab governments are prepared to sign a statement denouncing the use of chemical weapons in Syria and blaming it on President Bashar al-Assad. After a three-hour session here with nine Arab foreign ministers and Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby, Kerry said that “a number of countries” had agreed to the denunciation approved last week by more than half of the Group of 20 leading industrial nations on the sidelines of last week’s summit in
The Marine Corps has suddenly dropped criminal charges against an officer in the infamous Taliban urination video case, heading off what promised to be an embarrassing pre-trial hearing for the commandant on Wednesday. Defense attorneys for Capt. James V. Clement had won a judge’s order, over objections from Marine prosecutors, for two staff attorneys to testify in open court about how senior commanders had interfered in the case to get a guilty verdict. The lawyers also were seeking to question Gen. James Amos, the commandant, and wanted access to his private emails. But the criminal case ended Friday when Lt. Gen. Kenneth J.
President Obama has asked Congress not to throw him in the brier patch. Destructive as the Syria charade is to America’s global standing, it is a shrewd political maneuver with an asymmetrical risk-return for the president. If Congress backs him, it shares the blame for nasty consequences and takes Obama off the hook. If Congress vetoes the strike, Obama can shrug his shoulders and bow to the will of the people — which appears to be set against another foreign military adventure. Obama then has an ironclad pretext to sit on his hands while Iran finishes building nuclear weapons.
Ten months out from his primary election against three different Tea Party candidates, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has dropped to below 50 percent in the polls, meaning he is particularly vulnerable to a runoff strategy conservatives have employed against him. Graham received just 42 percent of support from likely South Carolina GOP voters in an Aug. 25 poll of 500 likely GOP voters conducted by Landmark Communications and Rosetta Stone Communications, UnitedLiberty.org reports. “These numbers should be of concern to the Graham campaign. The senator fails to reach 50% of the vote against any of his opponents,” Rosetta Stone Communications
Time Warner Inc is planning to transfer its U.S. retirees from company-sponsored health plans and move them to private insurance exchanges. According to an August memo obtained by Reuters, the media company will make allocations to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement account for retirees to use towards the purchase of coverage on an exchange. Previously, Time Warner provided an indirect subsidy through a supplementary Medicare program.
On the day Bennie Coleman lost his house, the day armed U.S. marshals came to his door and ordered him off the property, he slumped in a folding chair across the street and watched the vestiges of his 76 years hauled to the curb. Movers carted out his easy chair, his clothes, his television. Next came the things that were closest to his heart: his Marine Corps medals and photographs of his dead wife, Martha. The duplex in Northeast Washington that Coleman bought with cash two decades earlier was emptied and shuttered. By sundown, he had nowhere to go. All because he
There is plenty to read about the National Security Agency’s success in co-opting most commercial encryption technology (see these summaries by Ryan Cooper and Matt Buchanan). I have just one thing to add. President Obama has said that he welcomes a debate over the proper place of surveillance in a digital society. Perhaps such a debate would be fruitful and informative, and both sides would contribute toward some kind of mutually acceptable compromise. The president has also claimed, essentially, that the government should be able to decide unilaterally what information is available to facilitate that debate. When someone like Edward
Miley Cyrus twerked her way off the cover of Vogue! The former Disney star-turned-dirty dancer had been photographed for an upcoming cover of the famed glossy magazine, before her infamous Aug. 25 performance on the MTV Video Music Awards. Cyrus’ bend-over, hip-shaking routine didn’t sit well Vogue chief Anna Wintour, who personally ordered the Disney star’s removal from Vogue’s frontpage, according to The Daily Mail. She was going to be the December cover girl. Cyrus has been receiving non-stop grief for her twerking dance moves with Robin Thicke. She’s made no apology for her provocative dancing and has even compared her twerking to Madonna
At an hour that US President Barack Obama is struggling to achieve a majority in Congress to support an attack on Syria, he is aided by pro-Israeli groups, at the front of which is AIPAC. Additional surprising assistance in light of the tense relations between the two, is coming from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ynet learned Sunday. Israeli officials close to the prime minister told Ynet he recently held talks with members of Congress, government officials and AIPAC officials, to explain the importance of American military action against the Assad regime. Incoming Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer
A powerful Middle Eastern axis of Sunni states has taken form in the region, which "does not view Israel as a sworn enemy," and has successfully kept extremist jihadi terrorism at bay, Maj.-Gen. Amos Gilad, Director of the Political-Military Affairs Bureau at the Ministry of Defense, stated on Sunday. Speaking before the Institute for Counter-Terrorism´s international summit at Herzliya, Gilad said that Israel "won´t ever be accepted as a formal member" of the Sunni axis, but that the states that make it up all view the US as the sole super power and that their regional policies are indirectly beneficial
The White House pressed its case on Sunday for military action in Syria but faced an uphill fight in Congress, where several prominent lawmakers said they have not been persuaded to approve strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad´s forces. With a crucial test vote planned in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough made the rounds of five Sunday talk shows to argue that a limited strike in response to the Syrian government´s alleged use of chemical weapons would send a message of deterrence. But Mike Rogers, Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence
With the whir of a giant digital camera, the biggest mystery in the universe is about to become a bit less mysterious. Fifteen years ago, the world of science was rocked by the discovery that, contrary to our notions of gravity, distant galaxies appeared to be flying apart at an ever-accelerating rate. The observation implied that space itself was stretching apart faster and faster. It was akin to watching a dropped ball reverse course, speed upward and disappear into the sky. Members of the Dark Energy Survey collaboration explain what they hope to learn by studying the southern sky with