Russia´s proposal for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to place his chemical weapons under international supervision and then destroy them is quickly gaining steam. Assad´s government accepted the plan this morning. A few hours later, President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande announced that they´d seriously explore the proposal. It already has the backing of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and a growing number of influential lawmakers from both parties. There´s just one problem: the plan would be nearly impossible to actually carry out. Experts in chemical weapons disposal point to a host of challenges.
A Pennsylvania school board has agreed to review a request by a biologically female student who was denied the opportunity to appear on the ballot for homecoming king. Kasey Caron, 17, was assigned as female at birth, but identifies and presents as male. He was born with polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that leads to a hormone imbalance where the ovaries make more androgens – sometimes called male hormones – than normal and has had to field the question ‘Are you a boy or a girl?’ throughout his childhood. For the bulk of his four years at Richland High School in Johnstown,
Here is the take from Fox News: “The possible breakthrough pertains to a proposal, floated by Secretary of State John Kerry and then formally put forward by the Russians, to have the Assad regime turn over its chemical weapons to international control.” “We will pursue this diplomatic track,” Obama told Fox News. “I fervently hope that this can be resolved in a non-military way.” If that’s from Fox, wait until NBC and the NYT embellish along these lines: “In a brilliant diplomatic move, Kerry persuaded the Russians into pressuring Syria, under Obama’s looming threat of a devastating strike, to relinquish
The President of the United States is facing a grave crisis of trust at home and abroad. Whatever the fate of the draft resolution on chemical weapons that France has put before the UN Security Council, the Syrian crisis has damaged respect for Barack Obama, probably irretrievably. [Snip] Russia’s brutish president has launched a diplomatic initiative which leaves the U.S. wrong-footed and potentially isolated. Fareed Zakaria, one of the country’s most influential commentators, calls the Washington administration’s handling of Syria ‘a case study in how not to do foreign policy’. Weakness. This presidency has touched a low point.
Vladimir Putin said last night Barack Obama must withdraw the threat of US air strikes against Syria before Russia would back plans to make Bashar Assad hand over Syria’s vast chemical weapons arsenal. The Russian president delivered his ultimatum as the US, Britain and France prepared to table a UN Security Council resolution to force Syria to surrender an estimated 1,000 tonnes of poison gas. The Western allies are also expected to insist that Assad faces trial for war crimes in the International Criminal Court. President Putin’s intervention stepped up diplomatic pressure on Washington as a vote in Congress on missile strikes against
Every politician claims to hate fraud in government, and the House of Representatives will have a chance to prove it Wednesday when it votes to close a gigantic hole for potential abuse in the Affordable Care Act. The Health and Human Services Department announced in July that it won´t verify individual eligibility for the tens of billions in insurance subsidies the law will dole out. Americans are supposed to receive those subsidies based on income and only if their employer doesn´t provide federally approved health benefits. But until 2015 the rule will be: Come on in, the subsidy is fine. HHS will
What could be worse for America´s standing in the world than a Congress refusing to support a President´s proposal for military action against a rogue regime that used WMD? Here´s one idea: A U.S. President letting that rogue be rescued from military punishment by the country that has protected the rogue all along. That´s where President Obama now finds himself on Syria after he embraced Russian President Vladimir Putin´s offer to take custody of Bashar Assad´s chemical weapons. The move may rescue Mr. Obama and Congress from the political agony of a vote on a resolution to authorize a military strike
Foreign Policy: Hillary "What Does It Matter?" Clinton was bad enough as secretary of state. But her successor may have imperiled his boss´ presidency after just six short months at Foggy Bottom. John Kerry is a man of many blunders. But his biggest gaffe may have come Monday during a joint news conference over the Syrian crisis with Britain´s foreign secretary. Responding to a reporter´s question, Kerry made the off-the-cuff suggestion that Syrian despot Bashar Assad could avoid a U.S. attack by turning over his chemical weapons within a week. Kerry wasn´t authorized to offer Syria that, and the administration had to
Scandal: As cruise missiles are readied to aid Syria´s al-Qaida-linked rebels, the president has yet to keep a promise to avenge the Benghazi dead and bring the killers to justice. A year has passed since Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Ty Woods were murdered in a Sept. 11 terrorist attack on our diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. A month later, Obama said of the attack that "my biggest priority now is bringing those folks to justice, and I think the American people have seen that´s a commitment I´ll always keep." That depends on what he means by "bringing them to
I suspect that, at least privately, many of the most partisan supporters of President Obama would admit his actions and inactions as well as his statements and misstatements with regard to Syria have been an embarrassment at best. In a column in the Wall Street Journal, Norman Podhoretz argues that this seeming incompetence of the president regarding Syria and other pressing issues of the day is really a cover and part of a greater plan because: "As a left-wing radical, Mr. Obama believed that the United States had almost always been a retrograde and destructive force in world affairs. Accordingly, the fundamental
Syria: President Obama can take all the credit he likes for Moscow´s deal on Bashar Assad surrendering chemical weapons. In fact, Russia is filling the U.S. power vacuum on its way back to superpower status. According to the surprise new peacemaker on the global stage, ex-KGB officer and Russian ruler Vladimir Putin, Syria will only follow through on his agreement with the terror state to get rid of chemical weapons "if the United States and other nations supporting it tell us that they´re giving up their plan to use force against Syria." That is the opposite of the Obama White House´s claim
President Obama will address the country over the situation in Syria tonight, an address that comes amid continued erosion of Congressional support for a use of force resolution against the country and the emergence of a possible diplomatic solution involving Russia and the United Nations. So, what will Obama say? And, perhaps more importantly, how will he say it? Here’s our viewer’s guide for the speech. The target audience: When President Obama initially announced he would give this speech last Friday in Russia, the expectation was that it would be aimed at convincing the American public and,
The National Security Agency for almost three years searched a massive database of Americans’ phone call records in violation of court-approved privacy rules, and the problem went unfixed because no one at the agency had a full technical understanding of how the system worked, according to new documents and senior government officials. The improper activity went on from May 2006 to January 2009, according to a scathing March 2009 opinion by Judge Reggie B. Walton, a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
CROSSVILLE — Obama’s May 5 Ohio State commencement speech was, for the most part, cliché’-ridden and predictable, a long Civics 101 lecture about “citizenship” with tired laugh lines about students sleeping late. The paragraph that, to me, required attention and was a real jaw-dropper was this: “Unfortunately, you have grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that is the source of all of our problems; some of these voices are doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner.
So there I was, minding my own business at the coffee shop, when a trim and tailored blonde took one look at the book I was reading, “Sarah From Alaska,” and sneered (as only a trim and tailored blonde can do): “If she wasn’t a woman, McCain wouldn’t have picked her, and we never would have heard of her.” As I later explained on my Facebook page, I came back with: “And if Barack Obama were not the ‘first serious black candidate,’ those outside of Chicago might never have heard of him, either.” That posting garnered 120 comments at last count, a
The saga of Anthony Weiner´s mayoral campaign has come to a close as his wife was able to add in one final insult to her politician husband by refusing to accompany him to the primary polls this morning. Weiner said that his wife, Huma Abedin, had to take a call for work and was unable to accompany him to the polling station. In addition to this being a busy time in her personal life, this is busy for Abedin who has been Hillary Clinton´s aide for decades and she spent the night before the election in D.C. attending a fundraiser
TEPALCATEPEC, Mexico — An audacious band of citizen militias battling a brutal drug cartel in the hills of central Mexico is becoming increasingly well-armed and coordinated in an attempt to end years of violence, extortion and humiliation. What began as a few scattered self-defense groups has spread in recent months to dozens of towns across Michoacan, a volatile state gripped by the cultlike Knights Templar, a drug gang known for taxing locals on everything from cows to tortillas and executing those who do not comply. The army deployed to the area in May, but the soldiers are mostly manning checkpoints. Instead,
The human mind naturally protects itself from considerations that would interrupt the appealing flow of everyday life. This fact alone explains the continued unwillingness of many thinking people to wonder aloud whether there is still hope for the survival of the United States of America as founded. Too early to voice such a dire concern, you say? On the contrary, it is far too late. Through most of her history, America has stood as a unique object of admiration and envy to allies and enemies alike, and the most powerful attractive force of the modern era for men seeking prosperity and
RUSH: Let´s go to the phones. Let´s go to Lissa in St. Louis. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello. CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks so much. You´ve said it before: Obama is our first true pop culture president. He is nourished, supported, fed by the pop culture of this country. It really is gonna have to be the pop culture that takes him down. So the question -- RUSH: I agree with that, by the way. I agree with that and have tried to make that point. It isn´t gonna be a massive political event like this that does it. CALLER:
WASHINGTON — The Obama Administration’s explanation of how a Russian proposal to get rid of Syrian chemical weapons came to be has morphed rapidly in the past 24 hours from being portrayed as an unexpected slip-up to — in its new incarnation — a plan that U.S. officials were involved in as early as last week. “I had some conversations about this with my counterpart from Russia last week,” Secretary of State John Kerry said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, referring to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “President Putin raised the issue with President Obama at St.
RUSH: Listen to this from the New York Times today: "President Obama woke up Monday facing a Congressional defeat that many in both parties believed could hobble his presidency. And, by the end of the day, he found himself in the odd position of relying on his Russian counterpart, Vladimir V. Putin, of all people, to bail him out. The surprise Russian proposal to defuse the American confrontation with Syria made a tenuous situation even more volatile for a president struggling to convince a deeply skeptical public of the need for the United States to respond militarily in yet another
George Zimmerman´s attorney today revealed he will no longer represent him even though he could still face charges for a domestic dispute with his estranged wife on Monday. Mark O´Mara, who represented Zimmerman when he was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, made his shock announcement as police continued their investigation into the warring couple. Police said they are now looking at an iPad belonging to Shellie Zimmerman to see if footage on the device sheds any light on the cause of their altercation in Lake Mary, Florida on Monday. It could be used to bring charges
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