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News Roundup – Great Day, Syria

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What a great day in Asheville!  Took a golf lesson from Brian Oliver with my wife at Broadmoor, then played nine holes. Came home, cleaned up and went to Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse. Outstanding. Loved having a day off. Back to work in the morning.

Syria. Secretary of State and former Senator John Kerry was on Capitol Hill today. He was there with former Senator and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, as well as General Martin Dempsey. The administration pulled out all the stops. It appears that their charm offensive is working. More and more people on Capitol Hill are speaking in favor of some type of military action in Syria. In my opinion, once President Obama won over military hawks – John McCain and Lindsey Graham – he basically won this fight on Capitol Hill. Sometime this morning Congressman and Majority Leader John Boehner stated that he supported military action against Syria. Game, set, and match. Obama has won the argument over what to do with Syria. Senator Kerry had this very poignant point, “I remember Iraq, Secretary Hagel remembers Iraq. We were here for that vote. We voted. And so we are especially sensitive — Chuck and I — to never again asking any member of Congress to take a vote on faulty intelligence. And that is why our intelligence community has scrubbed and rescrubbed the evidence.”

I don’t think the American people will ever be sold on the idea of military intervention in Syria. A new poll by the Pew Charitable Trusts reveals what we already know –

Pew Research Center

Americans are simply not in favor of any military intervention, anywhere. Yet, this is a time when, I believe, our elected leaders need to lead. From a practical standpoint, we simply don’t want nations to begin using chemical weapons. There has to be some sort of consequence. I think it was wrong for the first President Bush to allow Saddam Hussein to use chemical weapons against the Kurds. I’m also a little disappointed that President Obama did not call Congress back in the session late last week. I think he needed to show a sense of urgency.

Let me be clear. My own personal feeling is that I don’t think we should be bombing anybody. I really don’t think the bombing is going to help. But, were I president, which I’m not, I would feel obligated to uphold the rule of law. One of the key things that we cannot know is exactly how good our intelligence is. I know Secretary Kerry believes that our intelligence is solid. I hope he is correct.

By |2013-09-03T21:28:51-04:00September 3rd, 2013|Foreign Affairs|Comments Off on News Roundup – Great Day, Syria

John Brennan Confirmed as CIA Chief

John Brennan

Yesterday, John Brennan was confirmed by the Senate to become the director of the CIA. This whole brouhaha over John Brennan, national security, drone attacks, Benghazi and the like should seem very familiar to you. This is almost exactly what we went through just a couple weeks ago with Chuck Hagel. Republicans were mad. They were furious. They demanded answers from the Obama administration. They were gonna block this nominee at all costs. Yet, in the end, nothing changed. Best I can tell, the White House did not fork over any mysterious, all-telling documents. There were no significant policy changes. Nothing. Both John Brennan and Chuck Hagel were confirmed. What we did see was the internal struggle within the Republican Party. They simply don’t know who they are. (more…)

By |2013-03-09T12:49:12-04:00March 8th, 2013|Obama administration, Party Politics|2 Comments

Tuesday Night News Roundup

Tuesday Night News Roundup

Do you remember that song by a group called The Sylvers? Boogie Fever?It was a perfectly forgettable song from the mid-1970s. It also proved that disco was clearly not going to last. 🙂 It seems to me that Washington has developed sequester fever. In every newspaper you pick up there’s a large story on the sequester and what it means to you and me. Every political blog has taken a stance on the sequester. Congress has until Friday to come up with some solution or we will all face the sequester consequences. In my mind, we’ve come to a clash of ideologies. We’ve come to an impasse. We’ve come to the exact same type of deal that we had back in 1994 when the Republicans decided it was a great idea to shut down the government. That didn’t work out very well for the Republicans. As a matter of fact, that didn’t work out so well for the country. Democrats are powerless to stop it. All I know is that we need jobs. We need to put people back to work. Polls show that Americans aren’t really interested in cutting anything.

Former Surgeon General C Everett Koop has died.

So, help me understand, what was all the bluster over Senator Chuck Hagel? As I recall, he was nominated by President Barack Obama to be Secretary of Defense. The Republicans jumped up and down, held their breath, turned blue and then said okay. Chuck Hagel passed a basically party-line vote earlier today.

Speaking of Republicans flailing around for no particularly good reason, what about the Violence Against Women Act? Remember some House Republicans had “serious reservations” and therefore drafted their own Republican version of the Violence Against Women Act. I really don’t understand. It looks like the legislation is slated to pass over the next several days. The Republican form of the bill is predicted to fail, spectacularly.

Today is the first anniversary of the shooting of Trayvon Martin. I wish I could tell you I had some great insight, some nugget of information that is new and exciting. I don’t. It is a year later and I find the whole ordeal to be sad and depressing. I have written extensively about Trayvon – here, here, here and here. This prompted a week-long discussion about race – here, here and here.

In the Republican version of déjà vu all over again, a Michigan State Senator has publicly stated that he’s not sure if President Obama was born in the  United States. He was just wondering why the press didn’t push that issue any further. I have no comment.

A Texas man admits that he shot his girlfriend while they were playing a game of “Quick Draw.” Remember, guns don’t kill people.

A sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill is having a complaint filed against her because she accused another student of rape. He and his friends are stating that they feel intimidated. Every now and then, I feel the world is getting crazier and crazier.

The absolute best story that I’ve read in the last couple of days has to do with the paranoid delusion that some far-right conservatives have. They have this theory that President Barack Obama is developing a Black Army designed to wipe out the White race. Please take off your tin helmet. It isn’t helping.

By |2013-02-27T20:25:37-04:00February 26th, 2013|Party Politics, Race|Comments Off on Tuesday Night News Roundup
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