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.
Let me see if I got this right. In Iraq, Hussein sent his chemical and biological weapons to Syria while UN inspectors were chasing their own butts. Now, I´m guessing Assad will merely send his chemical and biological weapons to Iran while a new set of UN inspectors engage in more butt chasing. Obama will no doubt claim victory, and Putin will be honored throughout the world as a peace keeper. In my opinion, the status of the USA in the world has taken a huge hit. Huge.
However, anyone thinking that Syria will actually have to give up *anything* in this latest deal is living in a dream world.
U.N. blue helmets couldn´t find their own a$$es with both hands, let alone the now-scattered and buried Syrian chemical stockpiles in the middle of a currently ongoing war zone. Assad knows that, Putin knows that, and Iran knows that. This will instantly prove itself to be a delay-and-deny shell game where Assad and company´s toughest task will be to keep from laughing out loud at the UN and Obama floundering around -- while they play a game of keep-away like seniors torturing a freshman in a locker room.
Obama and Kerry have been completely played and have made the USA look impotent.
Shutting down the government in an effort to use a budget fight to get rid of Obamacare is not the strategy I would have recommended for the GOP. And while Republicans can be blamed for starting the shutdown, it’s increasingly apparent that President Obama and the Democrats deserve the lion’s share of blame for not only prolonging it but also making it as painful as possible. Obama has always had a bit of a vindictive streak when it comes to politics. I think it stems from his Manichaean view of America. There are the reasonable people — who agree with
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday blocked a House bill providing funding to reopen national parks amid the government shutdown, saying he would not allow the GOP to pick and choose from among favored programs and insisting the only way out is to pass all spending at the same time. Republicans tried to get an agreement in the Senate to restore the parks money along with funding for the National Institutes of Health, the military reserves and National Guard, and veterans affairs, but Democrats objected to each of those agreements in turn. “I, we, support veterans and parks and
The Obamacare/shutdown battle has spawned myriad myths. The most egregious concern the substance of the fight, the identity of the perpetrators and the origins of the current eruption. (1) Substance President Obama indignantly insists that GOP attempts to abolish or amend Obamacare are unseemly because it is “settled” law, having passed both houses of Congress, obtained his signature and passed muster with the Supreme Court. Yes, settledness makes for a strong argument — except from a president whose administration has unilaterally changed Obamacare five times after its passage, including, most brazenly, a year-long suspension of the employer mandate. Article I
The Obama administration preached patience Wednesday as it tried to rebound from the wobbly debut of online insurance markets tied to the health care reform law, saying technical flubs on the websites designed to help uninsured Americans find coverage were caused by heavy traffic and not design flaws. Slow Web service continued to plague the exchanges that form the foundation of the Affordable Care Act more than 24 hours after their Tuesday morning launch. It was a problem Republican critics pounced on as a sign that their fears had been well-founded. “The rollout of this thing made a trip to
Confusion persisted Wednesday around the long-awaited opportunity for Americans to sign up for coverage through new health-insurance marketplaces, with the federal Web site for more than half the states remaining balky and health plans uncertain whether they had any new customers. The federal site, Healthcare.gov, was sluggish and flashed error messages much of the day. The Obama administration said the delays were simply the result of an initial rush of people flocking to the site — 4.7 million unique visitors in the first 24 hours — while some in the health-care industry suggested that the problem was more serious. Officials
The federal shutdown this week represents the culmination of a sustained attack by a group of conservative Republicans on the size and scope of government that has been years in the making. A core group of House Republicans elected in the tea party wave of 2010 has largely succeeded in its aim of scaling back federal spending, despite fervent opposition from President Obama and the Democratic controlled Senate. “This moment feels very much like the inevitable outcome of a series of events that dates at least back to the 2010 midterms,” said Jared Bernstein, a former White House economic adviser
The fight over the government shutdown quickly moved on Wednesday to a bigger showdown over raising the nation’s debt ceiling, as the first White House talks to solve the fiscal standoff failed to make any progress toward a deal. President Obama and business leaders warned that the clash has raised the chances of a historic default on the national debt, which would occur if Congress doesn’t agree to raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling later this month and could cause a new recession. Obama said investors should take more seriously the threat of a potential default, which global markets have
America, we are told, is in the grim midst of an unrivaled constitutional crisis that is being perpetrated in anger by “racist,” “bomb-throwing” “anarchists” whose “endgame” and ultimate fantasy is the shutting down of government — not, of course, because the co-equal branches of the American polity cannot come to a budget agreement, but because a vocal “extreme” minority, that has magically managed to transmute itself into a majority of the House and 46 percent of the Senate, does not believe in having a government at all. E. J. Dionne, the Washington Post’s resident worrywart, yesterday assured his concerned readers
New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait spent his government shutdown day mocking WWII veterans who were shut out by the National Park Service (NPS) when they came to visit the National WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. On Tuesday morning, Representative Michelle Bachman (R-MN) and several Republican members of Congress helped tear down the barricades shutting the elderly veterans out of the WWII memorial. After the barricades were removed, dozens of veterans flooded in to conduct their often emotional visits. But, thinking he was being funny, Chait took to Twitter to poke fun at the veterans, joking that the NPS should
The White House said Tuesday that President Obama is blameless for the first government shutdown in 17 years. Asked by a reporter whether Mr. Obama bears any responsibility for the shutdown that began at midnight Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney replied, “I’m not sure what you mean.” “It is his responsibility to try to work with Congress in the spirit of compromise,” Mr. Carney said. “He certainly did not vote to shut the government down.” The president on Tuesday began referring to the crisis as a “Republican shutdown.”Mr. Carney noted that the president called Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio
President Obama said in comments broadcast Tuesday, on the cusp of enrollment in Obamacare’s exchanges, that of course there will be “glitches” in the implementation of the health reform — months of glitches, he added. He made the remarks to NPR, while expressing confidence that his signature law will provide “the prospect that any American out there who does not currently have health insurance can get high-quality health insurance.” But the part that likely resonates the most: “In the first week, first month, first three months, I would suspect that there will be glitches,” he said. “This is 50 states,
On Tuesday evening, left-wing Politico ran a headline story encapsulating the theme of the day: “Government closed, Obamacare falters.” That message marked a massive loss for the Obama administration, which has claimed that Obamacare’s implementation could not be delayed, and used that rationale as an excuse to reject the House’s proposal for a one-year delay in favor of a government shutdown. The narrative began to shift early in the morning on Tuesday, when the Drudge Report ran a lead piece on the Obamacare health exchanges coming up with error messages for users across the country. “OBAMACRASH,” Drudge headlined. He followed
Get ready for Chelsea Clinton Bump Watch 2014 — the only daughter of the former president and former secretary of State is declaring next year the “Year of the Baby.” In an interview for the November issue of Glamour magazine on her work with the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Clinton reveals that she and husband Marc Mezvinsky are planning for a bouncing addition to their household. According to the 33-year-old Oxford grad, the pair, who married in 2010, sat down together a year after tying the knot and made a list focused on their future, saying, “We want,
Tom Hanks is already declaring his presidential pick for 2016, there’s just one, small problem: a little thing called term limits. The star of “Captain Phillips,” told ITK at the soon-to-be-released film’s Wednesday premiere at the Newseum in Washington, “I’m voting for Barack Obama — 2016.” A laughing Hanks, who supported Obama during his 2008 White House bid, added, “Yes, I am! Four more years.” The Academy Award winner, 57, plays Captain Richard Phillips in the flick, based on the seaman’s book on the real-life 2009 hijacking of his cargo ship by Somali pirates. Hanks told ITK it was an
President Obama told CNBC’s John Harwood that while he’s been president, he’s “bent over backwards to work with the Republican party.” Obama boasted: During the course of my presidency, I have bent over backwards to work with the Republican party. I think I’m pretty well known for being a calm guy. Sometimes people think I’m too calm. And am I exasperated? Absolutely, I’m exasperated. Because this is entirely unnecessary. I am exasperated with the idea that, unless I say that, ‘Twenty million people, you can’t have health insurance,’ these folks will not reopen the government. That is irresponsible. The President asserted that he’s
In case there´s any doubt as to who´s to blame for this outrage, a spokesman for National Park Service said the White House Office of Management and Budget ordered up the blockades.Even Bill Clinton didn´t have the audacity to try such a thing during the 1995 government shutdown.As the AP reported at the time, "tourists were free to wander the halls of the Capitol, touch the walls of the Vietnam Memorial and climb the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to read the Gettysburg Address — those and other similar sites don´t require supervision of federal employees." This isn´t the first time
More than a dozen House Republicans who want to drop attempts to undermine the health-care law and reopen the government are meeting among themselves and with House Speaker John Boehner -- and he’s listening. For the past few weeks, Boehner’s hand has been guided by a group of Tea Party-aligned Republican House members who’ve urged little compromise in their three-year drive to undo the 2010 Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Now, the agitation is coming from the other side of the caucus. A bipartisan group of about 40 House lawmakers are holding private talks to find a compromise
Despite an emergency meeting at the White House, congressional leaders reported no progress late Wednesday on trying to reach a budget deal -- while over on Capitol Hill, tempers were flaring and lawmakers were melting down on the floor of the House. The top four congressional leaders took a stab, during an hour-long White House meeting, at negotiating with President Obama over the impasse. There was no breakthrough. House Speaker John Boehner emerged saying he had a "nice, polite conversation" but complaining that Obama would not budge off his demand that Congress pass a straight budget bill -- one that does not
Because Barack Obama was elected on a campaign promise of “fundamentally transforming” the United States, and because our nation then proceeded to lose much of its international influence and domestic economic dynamism, it is easy to say “this is intentional. It’s just what he wants.” Yet while Obama might, in his heart of hearts, not bemoan the loss of jobs and economic growth at home, and American power and prestige abroad, ascribing it to an intentional effort gives Obama credit for qualities and skills he does not possess. Neocon David Horowitz entitled a recent fundraising letter for his Freedom Center “Urgent: Is
DALLAS —In a shopping center parking lot 1,300 miles from Washington’s bureaucracy and bickering, teen mom Karina Luciano loaded a watermelon and baby formula into her car. Luciano didn’t realize the federal assistance program that just purchased the food items for her children, Aimee, 2, and Jaiden, 11 months, is now in jeopardy because of the government shutdown. “Oh my god, I think I’m going to cry,” Luciano said upon learning the news. “This is really bad.” Nearly 9 million low-income mothers and children receive benefits under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Congress’ inability to
The shutdown battle has become, essentially, a high-stakes blame game.(snip)But in a note to clients, Potomac Research Group´s Greg Valliere says that President Obama still has one "trump card" of his own left to play, Social Security: THE HEAVY ARTILLERY: We have thought for weeks that Obama would play the Social Security trump card if there was no deal on the debt ceiling by mid-October. This is one of several reasons why we think a default is unlikely, and it´s one of several reasons why Boehner will capitulate; the only questions are when and under what terms. We think he may
Ted Cruz faced a barrage of hostile questions Wednesday from angry GOP senators, who lashed the Texas tea party freshman for helping prompt a government shutdown crisis without a strategy to end it. At a closed-door lunch meeting in the Senate’s Mansfield Room, Republican after Republican pressed Cruz to explain how he would propose to end the bitter budget impasse with Democrats, according to senators who attended the meeting. A defensive Cruz had no clear plan to force an end to the shutdown — or explain how he would defund Obamacare, as he has demanded all along, sources said. Things
The revisions downward begin. Yesterday, Obamacare exchanges were melting down because of the intense interest in signing up. All the citizens were flooding the gates for all the insurance! Why, in California there were 5 million visitors. No technologist could prepare for such an onslaught. Here’s what really happened: California’s health insurance exchange vastly overstated the number of online hits it received Tuesday during the rollout of Obamacare. State officials said the Covered California website got 645,000 hits during the first day of enrollment, far fewer than the 5 million it reported Tuesday. The state exchange had cited the 5 million figure as a
The bizarre attack at the White House and Capitol today was reportedly perpetrated by a 34-year-old dental hygienist licensed in Connecticut. Miriam Carey, who was killed by law enforcement after ramming White House barricades and fleeing to the Capitol, had a toddler in the car with her, according to New York Post reporting: Sources said Miriam Carey, who formerly lived in Brooklyn, was licensed to practice in New York and Connecticut and had a permit to work as a hygienist in Connecticut prisons. At least a dozen gunshots were fired when she tried to flee cops, who had trapped her two blocks