Powered by his widely-acclaimed debate performance last week, Mitt Romney has closed a 9 percentage-point gap and is once again tied with President Obama in the latest The Washington Times/Zogby Poll conducted by Zogby Analytics, released Monday. Likely voters who watched Wednesday’s debate overwhelmingly scored it a win for Mr. Romney, 65 percent to 14 percent for Mr. Obama, and among independents it was even worse for the president — only 8 percent said he triumphed. The poll showed Mr. Romney turning the gender gap
Washington -- As President Barack Obama presses his case for a strike on Syria, a new national survey shows him swimming against a strong tide of public opinion that doesn´t want the U.S. to get involved. The CNN/ORC International poll released Monday shows that even though eight in 10 Americans believe that the Bashar al-Assad regime gassed its own people, a strong majority doesn´t want Congress to pass a resolution authorizing a military strike against the regime. More than seven in 10 say such a strike would not achieve significant goals for the U.S. and a similar amount say it´s
WASHINGTON — The White House asserted Sunday that a "common-sense test" dictates the Syrian government is responsible for a chemical weapons attack that President Barack Obama says demands a U.S. military response. But Obama´s top aide says the administration lacks "irrefutable, beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence" that skeptical Americans, including lawmakers who will start voting on military action this week, are seeking. "This is not a court of law. And intelligence does not work that way," White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said during his five-network public relations blitz Sunday to build support for limited strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad. "The
President Obama’s stated willingness to go it alone on Syria surprises those who followed him during the previous administration, when, as a senator, he derided George W. Bush’s commitment to multilateralism and questioned his “coalition of the willing” in Iraq. Now it is Mr. Obama who is chiding the United Nations for inaction and scrambling to put together a coalition of the willing, touting support from France and a few other nations as he works to convince Americans of the need for military strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons capabilities. Conservative foreign policy analysts were bewildered recently when
A top House Democrat said Sunday that President Obama may still legally conduct military strikes in Syria even if Congress denies him the authority, but that the White House will have “morally” lost the ability to do so. “I think while he has the constitutional authority, I think morally he will have lost the authority to move forward,” Rep. Xavier Becerra of California, the House Democratic Caucus chairman, said on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program. Mr. Becerra said, though, that he believes Mr. Obama will win enough support from Congress to pass a resolution authorizing some limited strikes. A number of newspapers
As the vote to authorize a U.S. attack on Syria nears this week, President Barack Obama is preparing to grant six interviews on Monday, and to address the nation on Tuesday. But the opposition is growing in strength and has the upper hand. The debate itself, brought about by Obama´s decision first to ignore Congress, then to reverse himself, has already damaged his stature. A "no" vote will have even more far-reaching effects. One effect will be to punish Obama for once leading the anti-war movement as U.S. troops were fighting difficult battles in Iraq. After all, Congress will merely
“I don’t even know who my White House liaison is,” a frustrated Representative Adam Kinzinger, who supports military action in Syria, said on This Week this morning. The Illinois Republican told George Stephanopoulos that his office reached out to the White House to help “round up support” for authorization last week. “I haven’t heard back from the White House yet — I haven’t heard back from anyone,” he said. Kinzinger praised President Obama’s assessment of this situation in Syria, but the “trust deficit” with Congress will prevent it from passing. “You can’t begin to build a relationship with Congress for
Catholic News Agency is ahead of the curve on a likely major development affecting a U.S. household name. The Coca-Cola Company´s sponsorship of a "controversial Spanish reality (TV) show" ("disgusting" would appear to be a better word) in Spain is blowing up in its face, and not only because of the content of the program itself. The caustic reaction of a Coke executive to those who have criticized his company´s support of the program has sparked calls for a boycott of the company´s products which seems to have the potential to cut into the company´s sales volume. Excerpts from CNA´s
International Business Machines Corp. plans to move about 110,000 retirees off its company-sponsored health plan and instead give them a payment to buy coverage on a health-insurance exchange, in a sign that even big, well-capitalized employers aren´t likely to keep providing the once-common benefits as medical costs continue to rise. The move, which will affect all IBM retirees once they become eligible for Medicare, will relieve the technology company of the responsibility of managing retirement health-care benefits. IBM said the growing cost of care makes its current plan unsustainable without big premium increases. IBM´s shift is an indication that health-insurance
Prominent comprehensive immigration reform advocate Prerna Lal, who is originally from Fiji, tweeted in July that people should not "mess with Fijians" since she claimed that Fijians had killed, roasted, and eaten "white invaders" in the past. Her tweet, which has since been deleted along with the rest of her @AQueerDesi account, read: It´s not the first time Ms. Lal has tweeted out violent racialist rhetoric. In June, following the George Zimmerman verdict, she tweeted: Ms. Lal is a respected, published immigration reform activist. She´s a "Dreamer"–one of the young illegal aliens brought to the United States by their parents
Compare and contrast the leadership styles of George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama. Bush was derided as a “unilateralist” and a “cowboy” but he built a coalition of 37 nations to take out Saddam Hussein. That coalition included Japan, deploying troops on foreign soil for the first time since World War II, this time not to colonize, but to stop a madman. Dozens of nations supplied troops or paid for the war as part of the maligned Coalition of the Willing. The objectives in Iraq were clear: regime change, followed by a transition to better government and a better
Regarding the Syria briefing by former top George W. Bush aides, a House staffer says that the briefing was noted as much for who wasn’t there as who was. Why, some asked, weren’t aides from the current White House present to make the case? Obama’s campaign-turned-lobbying arm, Organizing for America, has sat out the fight. White House aides have told reporters they’ve reached out to 125 House offices for both parties, but it’s unknown how many of those have been Republicans. Obama’s team certainly does not have a reputation for steller outreach to the Hill. “If the president isn’t going
I was just talking to a Capitol Hill source who thinks there are maybe two dozen Republican votes for the authorization, no more — and there probably won’t be more. It’s hard to know because the situation is fluid, and the vote is so sensitive that Republicans members don’t even want the leadership keeping a tally of votes, for fear that it will lead to an effort to influence them. He cites a couple of incidental factors at play here: 1) The debate started while members were scattered to the winds on recess, making it impossible for the White House
Between phone calls urging lawmakers to authorize a military attack against Syria, President Obama went golfing Saturday. Mr. Obama played a round of golf with three White House aides at Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland. As his motorcade left the White House grounds near the South Lawn en route to the golf course shortly before 1 p.m., anti-war protesters demonstrated outside the fence on the north side of the White House. The president also received an update Saturday from Chief of Staff Denis McDonough about the administration’s efforts to persuade Congress to support a limited missile strike against
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) is running for president. In a radio interview this week, the Republican lawmaker told a New Hampshire station that he was in the state “because right now I’m running for president,” according to The New York Daily News. The visit was King’s second of four trips to the traditional home of the nation’s first presidential primary. The announcement makes King the first Republican to officially declare their intentions to run for president in 2016. King has previously expressed an interest in running for president, though Democrats including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have had their doubts
President Obama will sit for interviews Monday with six TV networks as he makes his case to the nation for military intervention in Syria. Obama will tape interviews Monday afternoon with anchors from ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as with PBS, CNN and Fox News, the White House said. The interviews will be conducted by ABC´s Diane Sawyer, CBS´s Scott Pelley, CNN´s Wolf Blitzer, Fox´s Chris Wallace, NBC´s Brian Williams and PBS´s Gwen Ifill. The interviews will air that night, ahead of Obama´s Tuesday speech on Syria.
A key part of President Obama’s press conference in St. Petersburg last Friday went largely under the radar in the US media--his bizarre analogy between the crisis in Syria, and the London Blitz. [Snip] Those kinds of interventions, these kinds of actions are always unpopular, because they seem distant and removed. And I want to make sure I’m being clear. I’m not--I’m not drawing an analogy to World War II, other than to say when London was getting bombed, it was profoundly unpopular, both in Congress and around the country, to help the British.
The sheer ineptitude of President Obama´s handling of his Syria red line has made jaws drop all across the political spectrum. The man who garnered so much admiration for his oratorical brilliance, personal charm, and political genius has managed to make matters worse with every step he has taken. This dramatic and historic collapse demands explanation.It must be acknowledged from the start that Obama might now be the victim of unrealistic expectations stoked by his media allies, who once called him a "lightworker" and "almost a god." But then again, when you promise to stem the rise of the oceans,
Drug war hawk John McCain is turning pot dove. McCain appears open to making a dramatic shift on marijuana policy, saying during a town-hall meeting in Arizona that he´s open to potentially legalizing weed. “Maybe we should legalize. We´re certainly moving that way as far as marijuana is concerned,” McCain said in comments first reported by Arizona Daily Star columnist Tim Steller. “I respect the will of the people." In the past, McCain has been a hard-liner on federal drug policy. During his 2000 presidential primary campaign, the Arizona Republican suggested increasing penalties and sentence guidelines for those convicted
A 31-year-old African American who allegedly said he wanted to attack the next white person who walked by could be charged with hate crimes after punching three people in an apparent racially motivated attack. One of his victims, 62-year-old Jeffrey Babbitt, has been left brain damaged after being punched to the ground in New York´s Union Square on Wednesday afternoon, in a senseless attack that shocked onlookers. Witnesses were shocked at the unexpected violence in Union Square on Wednesday afternoon, as Lashawn Marten punched Mr Babbitt and two other men after allegedly making racist comments. He said "the next white person who
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
President Barack Obama has been showing an officially-verified collection of 13 graphic videos to lawmakers that depict the horrors of the chemical gas attacks in Syria in behind-closed-door briefings - as he lobbies to win approval for his plan to use military force against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. So far, support for the president´s plan has been sparse, with even fellow Democrats opposing the use of military force in Syria. He is preparing a media blitz for Monday and promised Americans in his weekly address on Saturday that ´This would not be another Iraq or Afghanistan.´ CNN first
Retired Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, former CIA director under President Barack Obama, called strongly Saturday for Congress to back the White House on Syria, declaring that military action against the regime is “necessary” to deter “Iran, North Korea and other would-be aggressors.” “Failure of Congress to approve the president’s request would have serious ramifications not just in the Mideast but around the world,” Petraeus said in a four-sentence statement provided to Politico. (Snip) In his years as U.S. commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, Petraeus was regarded by many Republican lawmakers as a god on military matters.
US secretary of state John Kerry has given an ultimatum to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to avoid a military strike by turning over his entire chemical weapons arsenal to the international community within the next week. At a joint press conference with UK foreign secretary William Hague, Kerry said that America was not going to war but would launch an "unbelievably small and limited effort" to punish the Assad regime for the 21 August chemical weapons attack in Ghouta and to deter it from doing it again. "If you want to send Assad a congratulatory message, you would support non-intervention,"
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States is considering only an “unbelievably, small, limited” strike on Syria as punishment for allegedly using chemical weapons and he insisted military action will not end that country’s civil war. “We’re not going to war,” Mr. Kerry told reporters Monday after meeting with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in London. “We will be able to hold [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad accountable without engaging troops on the ground or any other prolonged kind of effort, in a very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort that degrades his capacity to deliver chemical weapons