What’s interesting out there today?
First up….. Retreat?
From TheWaPo “Sometimes a president does not have a communications problem. Sometimes a president has a reality problem.
President Obama’s speech to the nation on Syria was premised on the denial of reality. He claimed that the Russian/Syrian initiative resulted from the “credible threat of U.S. military action.” In fact, it filled a vacuum of presidential credibility. Obama had been isolated within the G-20 and abandoned by our closest ally, Britain. Americans overwhelmingly disapproved of a military strike for which the president clearly had no stomach. Obama was on the verge of the most devastating congressional foreign policy repudiation since the Senate voted 49-35 against entering the League of Nations in 1920.
Vladimir Putin offered Obama an escape, which he gratefully took. But there are implicit costs. A U.S. military strike — something Putin thought inevitable just a few weeks ago — is off. Russia’s Syrian client, Bashar al-Assad, stays in power. The Syrian opposition is effectively hung out to dry. Russia gains a position of influence in the Middle East it has not held since Anwar Sadat threw the Soviets out of Egypt. This allows Moscow to supply proxies such as Syria and Iran with weapons while positioning itself as the defender of international law and peace. Iran sees that the United States is a reluctant power, with a timid and polarized legislature, that can easily be deflected from action by transparent maneuvers.
Assad has gotten a little bolder now.
From YahooNews “”When we see the United States really wants stability in our region and stops threatening, striving to attack, and also ceases arms deliveries to terrorists, then we will believe that the necessary processes can be finalized,” he was quoted as saying in an interview with Russian state television.”
I think he means these guys.
From TheDailyCaller “Jonathan Spyer says the moderate rebels in Syria the Obama administration has been touting are really Muslim Brotherhood-types who adhere to an Islamist ideology.
Spyer should know. An academic who lives in Israel and studies the Middle East, he has traveled to and through Syrian rebel-controlled territory, reporting on what he saw for various publications. Asked by The Daily Caller to respond to a much-cited Wall Street Journal article by Elizabeth O’Bagy, which claimed “[m]oderate opposition forces … continue to lead the fight against the Syrian regime,” Spyer said, “I can only speak regarding my own experiences and my own knowledge.”
“Undoubtedly outside of Syria, and in the Syrian opposition structures, there are civilian political activists and leaders who are opposed to al-Qaida and opposed to Islamism,” Spyer explained to TheDC in an email interview. “There are also civilian activists and structures within the country which are opposed to al-Qaida and Islamism. But when one looks at the armed rebel groups, one finds an obvious vast majority there who are adherents of Islamism of one kind or another — stretching from Muslim Brotherhood-type formations all the way across to groups openly aligned with al-Qaida central and with al-Zawahiri.””
And we are arming them.
The Jersey shore is still trying to recover from the devastation of Sandy. A section of Seaside Heights’ boardwalk was just rebuilt after Sandy, but now it has been destroyed by fire.
From ABCNews ”Firefighters dug a trench under a Jersey Shore boardwalk in an effort to prevent a furious, wind-whipped blaze from spreading to a section just rebuilt after being destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.
This evening, the blaze reached 10 alarms, according to ABC News New York station WABC. It had already destroyed a long stretch of boardwalk, according to officials, containing perhaps 30 businesses in Seaside Park, N.J., near the same stretch of sand where a rollercoaster landed upright in the ocean after Sandy hit the coastline in October 2012.”
Storms are responsible for severe flooding and a few deaths in Colorado.
From YahooNews “Flash flooding in northern Colorado has left two people dead, and the widespread high waters are keeping search and rescue teams from reaching stranded residents and motorists in Boulder and nearby mountain communities as heavy rains hammered the area Thursday.
The National Weather Service warned of an “extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation” throughout the region as the flooding forced people from their homes, canceled classes and led to mudslides and rockslides in some areas.
“Move to higher ground now. Act quickly to protect your life,” the Weather Service warned in numerous bulletins that went out throughout the morning.”
Newly released e-mails show that Lois Lerner did in fact specifically target Tea Party and conservative groups. But we already knew that.
From TheWashingtonTimes “Newly released emails show that Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the IRS scandal over special scrutiny of conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status, specifically targeted tea party applications and directed they be held up in 2011 in order to come up with an agency policy.
The email, released by a House committee investigating the IRS, seems to counter Democrats’ arguments that tea party groups weren’t specifically targeted.”
““Tea Party Matter very dangerous,” Ms. Lerner said in the 2011 email, saying that those applications could end up being the “vehicle to go to court” to get more clarity on a 2010 Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance rules.”
One of the Colorado Democrats recalled this week is crying voter suppression. But reality says otherwise. But to admit that would mean to admit defeat of her/Dems anti-gun agenda. No way she does that.
From HotAir “Via the Corner. Tuesday night, expecting a close race, I couldn’t believe that she lost by 12 points. Now, after watching her for the first time, I can’t believe she lost by only 12 points.
She’s got one argument here — “voter suppression,” ripped straight from the DNC’s talking points memo, which is completely destroyed by her own now-famous admission a few weeks ago that if Bloomberg and his anti-gun group couldn’t buy her a victory in this race, “they might as well fold it up.” They did their best for her; as Erika noted earlier, gun-grabbers outspent gun-rights supporters overwhelmingly. If that kind of money can’t get gun-control fans to drive to the polls, in a state where there was a horrendous mass shooting barely more than a year ago, maybe the votes simply aren’t there.
Sean Trende considers, then largely dismisses, the idea that the lack of mail-in ballots doomed the Democrats.”
Chuck Todd says the recalls will make Dems ”gun-shy.”
What? Oh c’mon, it was too easy. I had too.
Also from HotAir “Plenty of Democrats apparently still feel inclined to believe that this week’s successful Colorado recall election was the result of a teeny, tiny but vociferously vocal minority that only managed to pull out a victory because of 1) the egregious gobs of cash funneled their way by the NRA, the Koch Brothers, and other such seedy groups, and 2) the “tactical reasons why Democrats didn’t have a chance here,” i.e. the far-fetched and baseless claims of “voter suppression” à la Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The truth of the matter, of course, tells rather a different story: In fact, a Public Policy Poll that they, ahem, declined to release showed a large margin of support for the pro-recall side; and what’s more, liberal groups outspent the pro-Second Amendment crowd by a 7-to-1 margin. The MSNBC crowd, too, seems happy to gloss over these key pieces of information, but Chuck Todd does point out that this was not, as DWS called determinedly titled it, a “hollow victory.” In a lot of areas, gun control is simply not a winning issue for Democrats, and one of the biggest takeaways here is that Democrats are likely to actively eschew any offering of “help” from the contaminating effects of the well-monied and rabidly anti-gun Bloomberg group — and if he persists in providing it, it’s the Democrats who’ll suffer.”
And that’s a good thing.