What made John McCain Senator John McCain? Republican presidential nominee John McCain? Long before that, Congressman John McCain? And what exactly does Barack Obama have in common with Woodrow Wilson? First, let’s deal with Senator McCain and his fellow Vietnam vets Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Everyone in America knows the answer to the first three questions about McCain, and everyone in America still admires and respects him for it. Doubtless millions are also familiar with some version of Kerry’s more controversial Vietnam story, and many may well know that Hagel too is a Vietnam Vet. McCain’s entire political career,
Fast-moving events have altered the script for President Obama’s nationally televised speech about Syria. Obama is now in a position of having to argue for both war and diplomacy in the same address. Tuesday night’s speech now becomes one more event in a haphazard and unpredictable process that has shifted repeatedly over the past two weeks. No one appears in control, as the past two days have underscored. Two weeks of administration efforts — public statements, private meetings with members of Congress, talks with international leaders and nonstop commentary on television — have done little to change public attitudes or, it would
Max Boot does an excellent job explaining why the new Russian proposal on removing chemical weapons from Syria is almost certainly a mirage. Not surprisingly, however, President Obama is eager to embrace it. After all, doing so will avoid Congress rejecting his request to use military strikes against Syria–and the de facto collapse of his presidency. But this will come at quite a high cost. Russia is now establishing itself as the preeminent power in the region, having displaced the United States. American prestige and credibility lie in ruins. President Obama has succeeded in undermining the moderate rebels he promised to
RUSH: It´s surreal. We are a worldwide joke and everybody knows it but us. You know, what´s happened on this Syria thing? Have you kept up with this? This is a Saturday Night Live skit! I will try to make this understandable. It´s what we do here, my friends: Make the complex understandable. This is not easy to say, but I´m telling you: In the eyes of the world, this country has to be a laughingstock. It has to be a joke, and most of the people of this country don´t even know it. They´re absorbed with Miley Cyrus or
"Secretary of State John Kerry may not have expected his casual suggestion that Syria avert American military action by giving up its chemical weapons to be taken seriously," the New York Times editorializes. "But it may have created a diplomatic way out for President Obama." In a New York Post column, Rich Lowry puts it a million times more pointedly: "Now that John Kerry is the secretary of state, his gaffes can launch major diplomatic initiatives." In case you´re not up to date on yesterday´s fast-moving events, here´s what happened, as per London´s Daily Mail. First, Kerry mused out loud that "if
Central European powerhouse Poland will anchor its energy strategy in coal and shale gas, with only limited investment in renewables, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Tuesday. An EU nation of 38 million people, Poland currently relies on its vast coal reserves to produce about 90 percent of the electricity it consumes. While experts agree it has nearly 150-years worth of domestic coal deposits, Warsaw has nevertheless been scrambling to find alternatives to meet EU targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. "We want to have renewable energy sources, but hard coal and lignite, and soon shale gas, will remain our principal
David Cameron last night called for a “cautious” response to a surprise Russian plan for Syria’s chemical weapons to be put under international control. Kremlin chiefs yesterday put forward the initiative in a bid to avert a US attack on Syria. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov signalled that his country was ready to work “immediately” to persuade dictator Bashar Assad to surrender his arsenal. The move came as John Kerry insisted that the “special relationship” between Britain and the US would survive Parliament’s vote against the UK joining any US-led military strikes on Syria.[Snip] Last night Mr Cameron expressed concern
On The Young Turks last night, Cenk Uygur had a pretty clear message for Fox News host and former Bush White House spokesperson Dana Perino: GTFO. Why? Well, last week Perino said on The Five that she is “tired” of atheist activists demanding that emblems of Christian ideology be removed from public policy — i.e., the separation of church and state. “They don’t have to live here,” Perino said. “If you don’t believe then why do you care? It’s just, like, some guy’s name.” “That’s classy,” Uygur said in response, “Well, I’m tired of you. You guys are, like, constantly, ‘Believe in
At last, leaders of the world’s major powers have found some common ground about how to deal with Syria’s bloody civil war. After two years of fruitless and often acrimonious exchanges at the United Nations, the five permanent Security Council members now appear to be in agreement that the best course of action is to place Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons under international supervision. It says something about the dramatic shift taking place in the global balance of power that this groundbreaking proposal should have emanated from Moscow, rather than Washington, London or Paris. Since the end of the Cold
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Tuesday that Damascus was committed to a Russian initiative under which Syria would hand over its chemical weapons and join a convention that prohibits their use. "We want to join the convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons. We are ready to observe our obligations in accordance with that convention, including providing all information about these weapons," Moualem said in a statement shown on Russian state television. "We are ready to declare the location of the chemical weapons, stop production of the chemical weapons, and show these (production) facilities to representatives of
On the face of it, an off-the-cuff remark by John Kerry in London on Monday appears to have opened the door to a diplomatic resolution of the stand-off over Syria’s deployment of chemical weapons. However, the response to the US Secretary of State’s half-hearted suggestion that Bashar al-Assad’s stockpile could be placed under international control and destroyed was so swift that it is hard not to see some choreography--or else just sheer relief--at work. The Russians picked up on the idea immediately, and pressed the Assad regime to agree. President Obama said that if Syria did comply (about which he
American officials are seeking to seize $23.7 million in high-end Manhattan real estate they say were purchased with money from a huge fraud exposed by a lawyer who later died in prison.U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara filed a civil forfeiture complaint Monday against properties held by nine offshore companies and the assets of two other companies they say laundered part of the proceeds of a huge Russian tax fraud that caused a rift in U.S.-Russian relations. “Today’s forfeiture action is a significant step towards uncovering and unwinding a complex money laundering scheme arising from a notorious foreign fraud,” Bharara said in a
This, apparently, is how diplomacy happens these days: Someone makes an off-hand remark at a press conference and triggers an international chain reaction that turns an already chaotic and complex situation completely on its head, and gives everyone a sense that, perhaps, this is the light at the end of the indecision tunnel. Speaking in London next to British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that perhaps the military strike around which the administration has been painfully circling for weeks could be avoided if Bashar al-Assad can "turn over every single bit of his
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — To understand just how complex and sometimes chaotic the organizational structure of a big-time college football program can be, one would only need to have followed the developments surrounding Texas A&M this summer. [Snip] The one exception, of course, to Saban´s single-minded, almost robotic approach occurred last season when Manziel became legend at the Crimson Tide´s expense. For 60 minutes, he drew Alabama into the chaotic, seat-of-your-pants world of Johnny Football and came out the other side as a national phenomenon, winning the game, 29-24, and ultimately the Heisman Trophy. For Alabama, though, redemption this week in College Station, Texas,
How…unexpected. (Not.) John Kerry said it couldn’t be done. Russia is making sure that it won’t, even if it could be. Russia is not keen at this stage for a binding U.N. Security Council resolution that would provide a framework to control Syria’s chemical weapons’ stocks, France’s foreign minister said after talks with his Russian counterpart on Tuesday. (Snip) Obama is being played. The Russian deal forced him to change course and re-write tonight’s speech at the last minute. Now he has to re-write it again, or pretend that the Russians didn’t just drop a flaming bag of something on the
In one of the most deft diplomatic maneuvers of all time, Russia’s President Putin has saved the world from near-certain disaster. He did so without the egoistical but incompetent American president, or his earnest but clueless Secretary of State, even realizing they had been offered a way out of the mess they’d created. The eventful day started out Monday morning with the Obama administration making a full court press for an American attack on Syria: lobbying members of Congress, scheduling an historic series of presidential interviews with top news anchors, and sending Secretary Kerry to London to persuade our reluctant
Washington - President Barack Obama on Tuesday asked Congress to delay votes on authorizing military strikes against Syria in order to give Russia time to get Syria to surrender any chemical weapons it possesses, according to U.S. senators. "What he (Obama) wants is to check out the seriousness of the Syrian and the Russian willingness to get rid of those chemical weapons in Syria. He wants time to check it out," Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin told reporters. Levin made his remarks after a lunch meeting on Capitol Hill that Obama attended. On Monday, the Senate began debating
The Obama administration has been forced into working with the United Nations, after Russia outwitted the White House to strike a deal with Syria over handing over its chemical weapons--just hours before the president makes a landmark national address. The Syrian government said Tuesday that it had accepted Russia´s proposal to turn its chemical weapons over to international monitors for destruction at a later date. [Snip] As a result, Vladimir Putin--not Barack Obama--has emerged as the power broker in Syria. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem met with Russia´s parliament speaker on Tuesday, saying afterward that his government had ´agreed to
President Barack Obama said Tuesday he wants Congress to delay its efforts to vote on authorizing the use of force in response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons until the round of diplomatic efforts that began Tuesday has a chance to play out. Obama’s comments came at lunch meetings with senators, which followed the administration’s commitment to engage in talks at the United Nations, and as Syria and Russia quickly responded to the action at the UN with their own statements and requests. (Snip) Efforts to reach an agreement at the UN began Tuesday, as France proposed a Security Council resolution
Serious allegations are being raised in the legal community that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has recruited the U.S. Trustee Program to collect bankruptcy data on its behalf to aid a controversial data-mining program. Documents obtained by the Washington Examiner describe efforts by the CFPB to collect a decade´s worth of private financial data on the consumer behavior of five million American citizens without their knowledge or consent. The CFPB data-mining campaign has alarmed privacy watchdogs.
When some members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church confronted country music superstar Vince Gill before a show in Kansas City recently, the artist took the opportunity to give them a piece of his mind. The encounter was caught on camera. "What are you doing out here, Vince Gill?" one of the protesters demanded. "Oh, I just came out to see what hate looks like," he fired back. The protester continued prodding Gill, asking him what he was doing "with another man´s wife," referring to fellow singer Amy Grant, his second wife to whom he´s been married for 13 years.
London - Britain, France and the United States will table a resolution on Syrian chemical weapons in the United Nations Security Council later on Tuesday, said British Prime Minister David Cameron, reacting to a Russian proposal for Syria to surrender such arms. Cameron was speaking after Syria accepted the proposal in order to win a possible reprieve from punitive US military strikes which US President Barack Obama has floated as a way of preventing a repeat of a suspected chemical attack on Aug. 21. (Snip) Russia is not keen at this stage for a binding UN Security Council resolution
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that his government’s plan to have Syria turn over chemical weapons will only work if President Obama calls off his plans for military strikes — something the White House has rejected. Instead, the Obama administration was still pushing Congress on Tuesday to pass a resolution authorizing the strikes, saying that the threat of military action is the only reason Russia and Syria were willing to deal in the first place. In a statement to Russia Today, a Kremlin-financed television station, Mr. Putin said Syria can’t be expected to disarm under threats of violence.
Our nation and all of humanity stands at a critical crossroads in history, with Syria as the epicenter of a looming global conflict that will leave no one untouched. Despite a nearly unanimous consensus of the American people against military action in Syria, elements of our government are determined to override the will of the people and push us headlong into war in Syria, which will lead to a much greater conflagration than most are willing to believe or imagine. As I have extensively written over the last 12 months, we are being pushed into World War III. This war, like