What’s interesting in the news today?
Open Thread, as always.
First up, the Syria debacle. The President made his pitch to the country last night. I doubt many will be swayed by his speech. The official storyline changes daily. A little consistency might help his cause.
From WeaselZippers “Yesterday: Obama Says Assad Not A “Credible” Threat To America – Today: Assad Is A Threat To Our National Security…“
“Assad has capability “relative to children,” the president told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, but “he doesn’t have a credible means to threaten the United States.”
“The question now is what the United States of America and the international community is prepared to do about it, because what happened to those people — to those children — is not only a violation of international law, it’s also a danger to our security. Let me explain why.”
“Our ideals and principles, as well as our national security, are at stake in Syria, along with our leadership of a world where we seek to ensure that the worst weapons will never be used.”
Zip asks the appropriate question “Which is it?”
The spin machine is working overtime.
From BuzzFeed “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. Petersburg. President Obama directed us to try to continue to talk and see if it is possible. So it is not something that — you know, suddenly emerged, though it did publicly. But it cannot be allowed to be a delay.”
Later, under questioning by Rep. Hank Johnson, Kerry said he had not made a mistake when he suggested the proposal in a press conference in London on Monday.”
“The administration has quickly changed its line on an idea that it scrambled to play down yesterday in the White House and State Department briefings even as the Russians immediately followed up by making the proposal to the Syrians, who “welcomed” it.”
Again, which is it?
Rebels are demanding strikes.
From YahooNews “The chaos in Syria will only get worse and destabilize the entire region if the global community fails to act, key figures of the war-torn country’s opposition said Tuesday.
Only Washington can deter Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons and so the US Congress should give the White House the go-ahead to target the strongman, they added.
Ahmad al-Jarba, president of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, and Salim Idriss, chief of the rebel Free Syrian Army, wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post.”
In other news……..
The cover-up continues.
From WeaselZippers “Report: Kerry Refuses To Allow Congress To Question Benghazi Survivors, Republicans Threaten To Issue Subpoenas…“
This has to sting the “Smart Diplomacy” crowd’s egos.
From Reason.com “Poll: 64 Percent of Americans Say President Obama’s Handling of Foreign Policy Is Worse or the Same as President George W. Bush’s
74 percent of Americans say strikes on Syria would be “unwise” and half of Americans believe the D.C. establishment wants war more than the public
As the country debates launching airstrikes on Syria, President Barack Obama’s standing on foreign policy has taken such a hit that the latest Reason-Rupe poll finds 64 percent of Americans, including 68 percent of independents and 41 percent of Democrats, believe President Obama’s handling of foreign policy is worse than, or the same as, former President George W. Bush’s handling of foreign policy.”
Looks like an October House vote on the Immigration/Amnesty bill.
From MSNBC “Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte, chair of the House Judiciary Committee overseeing immigration, said he expected Congress to pursue reform legislation despite a tight schedule featuring debates over Syria, health care, and the debt limit.
Those and other issues “should not deter us from getting to [immigration] as soon as possible,” Goodlatte said in an appearance on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show on Tuesday.
Goodlatte said he expected votes soon, perhaps in October, on a series of smaller House bills on border security, internal enforcement, guest workers, and high-tech visas.”
Unions that supported ObamaCare are asking for a “fix” for them, which would cost taxpayers 187 billion over a decade. Funny how all the supporters of this bad law want to be excluded from its effects. Congress, govt workers, and now Unions.
From TheWashingtonExaminer “Big Labor officials are negotiating with Obama administration officials on a “fix” to spare multi-employer pension plans, which are provided by many unions to their members, from the higher costs they would face under the president’s health care law.
Multi-employer plans — also known as “Taft-Hartley” plans — are ineligible for federal subsidies under Obamacare. This has many unions worried, since it will raise the cost of the plans, pushing employers to either limit coverage or pull out altogether. Some are already moving in that direction.”
Some union members are finally figuring out that national union leadership is not working in their best interest. They’re more interested in helping Democrats push progressive causes. Including some that work against union members. ObamaCare is a perfect example. Immigration/Amnesty is another.
From TheWashingtonTimes “The AFL-CIO needs to stick with representing workers and stop trying to take on social causes for the far left, said the union head for the International Association of Fire Fighters.
Harold Schaitberger, who presides over the IAFF, said there is “great value” in aligning with political groups — but only as a secondary mission, he told The Hill. And the AFL-CIO’s recent push to bring in environmental groups and progressive-minded organizations to the union cause is leading the IAFF to express concerns about politics becoming the priority, over the representation of members.
“To say that we are going to grow this labor movement by some kind of formal partnership, membership, status, place in this federation, I am against. This is the American Federation of Labor. We are supposed to be representing workers and workers’ interests,” Mr. Schaitberger said in The Hill. “We are not going to be the American Federation of Progressive and Liberal Organizations.”
He’s not alone in that view. Union members from the construction sector have been especially vocal against bringing environmental groups into the AFL-CIO family, viewing them as the enemy in the Keystone XL pipeline fight.”
Meanwhile ObamaCare continues to be a job and hours killer.
From TheWeeklyStandard ”A Grand Rapids, Michigan report on a company that had to lay off over 1,000 people due to the Obamacare medical device tax:
“There are also new taxes affecting West Michigan industry, in particular, that took effect this year,” says a local reporter. “There’s a new 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers. According to some reports, Kalamazoo based Stryker has laid off more than a thousand people because of it–and owes the federal government upwards of $100 million dollars this year alone. Late last week a Stryker spokesperson told me that Obamacare will cost the company fully 20 percent of its total research and development investments.”
And it appears that the first reports on the altercation between George Zimmerman, his estranged wife, and his father-in-law may have been seriously exaggerated. Police are calling into question many of his estranged wife’s statements.
From ABC/ActionNews ”Lake Mary Police are now questioning the validity of several statements Shellie Zimmerman made when she told 911 dispatchers her estranged husband, George Zimmerman, threatened her and her father at gunpoint Monday afternoon.
“We did not find a gun, did not locate a weapon,” said Zach Hudson, public information officer with the Lake Mary Police Department. “Nobody ever saw a gun. A gun is not part of this story.”
“”He continually has his hand on his gun and he keeps saying, ‘Step closer.’ He is just threatening all of us,” Shellie can be heard telling dispatchers.”
“Hudson told ABC Action News Shellie provided a written statement Monday night saying she never saw a gun and only assumed her estranged husband was carrying a weapon because he touched his stomach.”
As I’m sure you’re all aware, this isn’t the first time she’s been accused of being untruthful with authorities. In fact she was already convicted for it. What a mess.