News of the Day



Michael Kelley: Actually, The U.S. Has A Strategy In Syria – And It’s Starting To Work

One of the primary criticisms of U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan for a limited attack on Syria is that there is no long-term strategy in place for what happens after bombs fall on Damascus. But that’s not true. There is a U.S. Syria strategy, and it is showing signs of increasing success. Former U.S. Army vice chief of staff General Jack Keane said he spoke with Republican senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who were briefed by the president on Monday. “What [Obama] has told the two senators is that he also intends to assist the opposition forces, so he is going to degrade Assad’s military capacity and he is going to assist and upgrade the opposition forces with training assistance,” Gen. Keane told BBC Radio.

Last week Pentagon officials told The Wall Street Journal that the planned attack would “deter and degrade” President Bashar al-Assad’s security forces. The key would be hitting various Damascus headquarters as well as some of the regime’s six operable airports. These airports are the “regime’s nervous system,” defected Air Force Colonel Hassan Hamada told Der Spiegel. The less obvious, and more long-term, part of the plan involves providing vetted parts of the opposition with advanced weaponry, training them with Western advisors, and curbing the funding for jihadist groups.

More here



Igor Bobic: Kerry: ‘Beyond A Reasonable Doubt’ Assad Conducted Gas Attack

Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that the United States believed “beyond a resonable doubt” the Assad regime conducted a devastating chemical weapons attack against the Syrian people last month.

“It did happen and the Assad regime did it,” Kerry said at a Senate hearing on whether to approve President Barack Obama’s request to intervene militarily in the country.

“Our intelligence community has scrubbed and descrubbed the evidence,” Kerry said, citing in part hair and blood samples collected by first responders.

More here





Andrea Peterson: The U.S. Isn’t Bombing Syria Yet. But It Is Providing Tech Support To The Rebels

The United States hasn’t decided whether to launch airstrikes against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. But the Obama administration long ago decided to provide the rebels with another form of assistance: hardware and software to help the rebels communicate more effectively and evade government censorship.

In fact, while the White House authorized the CIA to help arm some moderate rebels battling the Assad regime, it hasn’t done so yet. So the most significant aid given to the rebels by the United States so far may actually be the influx of communications equipment, censorship and monitoring circumvention software, and technical training sent their way by the State Department.

More here



TPM: Kerry: ‘Obama Is Not Asking America To Go To War’

Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that President Barack Obama wasn’t seeking all out war against Syria, but rather the more specific goal of taking out the Assad regime’s capaibility to employ chemical weapons.

“President Obama is not asking America to go to war,” Kerry told a Senate hearing on whether to strike Syria with missiles in response to a reported chemical weapons attack last month.

More here



Brian Beutler: How Katy Perry Can Thwart GOP Obstruction

Republicans in Congress aren’t about to give the White House any money to get the word out about Obamacare. But it’s forced Obamacare implementers to think creatively about how to get the word out. Farah, and Funny or Die, are among a small network of what you could call Obamacare’s celebrity volunteer army. Just as the White House understands that reaching the young and uninsured via more traditional marketing campaigns means partnering with less-mainstream media outlets, they’ve also identified a number of celebrities with huge social media followings who want to make sure the uninsured have the date Oct. 1 seared into their minds.

Katy Perry has about 42 million followers. Obama has about 36 million. Perry is one of a number of celebrities the White House has enlisted. Last week, reporters spotted Magic Johnson entering the White House. When he left, he made it pretty clear he’s on board. Obama and White House officials also took advantage of a large, captive, mostly African-American audience during the March on Washington anniversary last week, including interviews with popular DJs, meetings, and news interviews in markets with large African-American populations. “Starting on Oct. 1, because of the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — anybody who doesn’t have health insurance in this country is going to be able to get it at an affordable rate,” Obama explained to Tom Joyner, host of an eponymous, nationally syndicated morning drive show

More here



Chris Geidner: Husband Of Gay Service Member Booed At GOP Debate Now Has His Military ID Spouse Card

Major Stephen Snyder-Hill found himself at the center of the national debate over the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” when he was booed by audience members at a a September 2011 Republican presidential debate when he asked about the change that allows him now to serve his country and talk openly about his husband, Joshua. Two years later, in a sign of the changed landscape for same-sex couples, Stephen and Joshua Snyder-Hill went to the Defense Supply Center, Columbus, or DSCC, in Ohio on Tuesday — where Joshua became “official,” as Stephen put it, and received his spousal military ID card on the first day the cards were available to same-sex spouses.

“I’ve been in the military for 24 years. I was pre-‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ during and after. It’s just been a really long fight, I think, for [same-sex couples’] military families to be able to get the same protection that other soldiers’ families get,” Stephen Snyder-Hill told BuzzFeed Tuesday afternoon. “I mean, we’ve had times when we’ve had family days, things that just beat down your morale because you just feel like you’re not the same or you’re not equal or you’re not protected as well. And I think that now, we’re pretty much equal.”

The U.S. military began recognizing married same-sex couples Tuesday, and one of the key changes allows service members’ same-sex spouses to obtain a spousal military ID card. The card provides access to bases and services provided by the military to military families, and, before Tuesday, it was available only to opposite-sex spouses.

More here



Morgan Whitaker: Conservative Speaker Claims Obama Not Criticized Because He’s Black

Is President Obama criticized too much or too little? The answer you get may depend on who you ask. And if you’re asking at least one conservative writer, the answer is too little and the reason why might surprise you. Conservative writer and occasional conspiracy theorist David Horowitz joined high-profile Republicans like Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sen. Marco Rubio at the Koch Brother-sponsored “Defending the American Dream Summit,” in Florida last Friday. While his fellow speakers were busy blasting the president, Horowitz claimed that Obama doesn’t get attacked enough as The Washington Post first reported.

“The reason we don’t attack him is obvious, but no one will say it out loud. I will: It’s because the color of his skin is black–actually he’s half black,” Horowitz told the crowd. “It is because Obama is a minority that nobody will hold him to a standard or confront him with what he has done.” In reality, the president receives criticism on a nearly daily basis, from everything from his policies to his demeanor.

More here



Steve Benen: ‘We Agree With The Same Red Line, Actually’

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) issued a statement this afternoon that left his position on Syria unclear, though he complained that President Obama “has some work to do to recover from his grave missteps in Syria.” Curiously, the Wisconsin Republican didn’t say what “grave missteps” he disapproves of. When GOP lawmakers generally make this complaint, they’re referring to Obama last year declaring Syria’s use of chemical weapons a “red line” that the Assad government must not cross. But Ryan really isn’t in a position to make this complaint. As CNBC’s Eamon Javers noted today, this was the exchange from last year’s vice presidential candidates’ debate:

RADDATZ: What happens if Assad does not fall? Congressman Ryan, what happens to the region? What happens if he hangs on? What happens if he does?

RYAN: Then Iran keeps their greatest ally in the region. He’s a sponsor of terrorism. He’ll probably continue slaughtering his people. We and the world community will lose our credibility on this….

RADDATZ: So what would Romney-Ryan do about that credibility?

RYAN: Well, we agree with the same red line, actually, they do on chemical weapons, but not putting American troops in, other than to secure those chemical weapons. They’re right about that.

More here




87 Responses to “News of the Day”

  1. September 3, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    POTUS is scheduled to leave DC for Sweden tonight at 8:45pm. Looks like they’ll carry it here:


  2. 11 rikyrah
    September 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Good evening, everyone

    • 12 HZ
      September 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      Good Evening Chips and my TOD family. I am here. Phoned in for my Maestro Conference and said it was not on. Anyone know what happened?

      Well, put on candles, prayed for the departure of our brilliant President, and put in a load of clothes in the washer. I have a peace over me; so I am expecting wonderful things to come forth.

      Our President is traveling, so we must always remember to lift him up in our quiet times of prayer and meditation. He will be fine, but our cord of goodness is stronger when we all have our loving hands on it. HZ

  3. 15 Claire
    September 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    GO RAVENS!!! Support affordable healthcare for all!!!

  4. 16 vcprezofan2
    September 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Stumbled across this article on Texan, Wendy Davis.



    Last week, a different side of the Democratic state senator emerged: the devoted daughter of an ailing father, Jerry Russell, who is well known in Fort Worth theater circles but isn’t mentioned in her compelling campaign biography. Her mother, a sixth grade dropout who made do without child support, is the one who figures prominently in the back story that inspires Davis’ followers.

    As it turns out, Davis’ story is more complicated and nuanced than legend would have it. That is not altogether surprising. Getting to know people, even famous ones, takes time. But Davis — whose moribund party badly needs a superstar — rode a filibuster into the political stratosphere, and now her supporters are all but forcing her to run for Texas governor.

    If she does, her biography will fall under a more powerful microscope, and what voters are likely to find is the story of an exceptionally ambitious woman who has experienced both poverty and wealth, isn’t nearly as partisan as her detractors might think and was shaped as much by her single electoral defeat as the unbroken string of victories ever since.


  5. September 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Here’s a photo gallery of locations on the President’s itinerary in Sweden tomorrow. (The photo of a hotel room is pure speculation, though.)

    There’s an article about the President’s visit on the front page of this site, but I was shocked by the negative comments (no doubt American RWNJs) that I refuse to post a link to that article.

  6. 18 vcprezofan2
    September 3, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Oops, Utal! The title on the Michael Kelley article seems to have some words transposed.

  7. 21 dotster3
    September 3, 2013 at 8:23 pm

  8. 23 desertflower
    September 3, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes for my son:) He’s at work now, so no celebration for the family tonight…he DID get his new IPhone though, so he’s happy….I got thrown into the 21st century as well…hubby surprised me and got one for me, too…early birthday gift:) OMG. What fun!

    So, you know what I’m looking forward to? Putin Pouting! Man thinks he’s all that and a bag ‘o chips…. should be some GREAT pics that come out of the G20….Smart is SO sexy!

  9. 30 JER
    September 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm

  10. 32 dotster3
    September 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Sweden (my heritage) is nice and decent and humane—–will grant blanket asylum to Syrian refugees…


    • 33 desertflower
      September 3, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      Great news! It’s the right thing to do….I’m Swedish/ Italian. My grandfather used to speak Swedish with his family when he didn’t want the rest of us to know what he was saying. Would have been better served if he’s have taught all of us:)

    • September 3, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      Many, many kudos to Sweden. This is what all countries should do in the face of the suffering these refugees are enduring. I hope the US rises to this occasion and opens our doors.

  11. 35 99ts
    September 3, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Mrs Greenspan seems to be excelling on the “one rule for him, one rule for the rest”

    She thinks is quite acceptable that Sen McCain can play a mind numbing game while supposedly participating in a discussion on whether the US takes military action in Syria – but for President Obama to have a game of golf – physically and mentally challenging – as a respite from the continual analysis of the situation – that is just a bad thing to do.

    Andrea Mitchell ‏@mitchellreports 1h
    .@SenJohnMcCain acknowledges getting caught on cam playing iphone poker at senate hearing on #Syria -can you blame him?

    • 36 theo67
      September 3, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      I long since abandoned the notion that Andrea Mitchell has one iota of credibility. She’s a buffoon, and is only good for laughing at as entertainment.

      • 37 99ts
        September 3, 2013 at 9:16 pm

        Her current twitter feed duplicates your thoughts – why do such people hold down media jobs? or is that a stupid question related to who you know – not what you know?

  12. 39 utaustinliberal
    September 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    • September 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Excellent tweets earlier today, UT.

      And, as SoS Kerry stated to Senator Coons, he had no problem with such a parameter and did not think the WH would object, as well.

      But, as we know, the implications of President Obama enabling Congress to place such restrictions on the Executive Branch – that’s gonna really, really freak out the NEOCONSTERS & their MIC overlords.

      • September 3, 2013 at 8:40 pm

        The long-term precedence that this sets is astonishing and VERY good.


        • September 3, 2013 at 9:30 pm

          And this is exactly what the president wanted–an end to the imperial presidency, an active involvement by Congress and an engaged citizenry. Whether we agree with people’s opinions or not, they are actively thinking, debating and involving themselves in an issue that would have seemed remote to them just a week ago. Nobody blinked when Assad gassed his own people. Now we are forced to see and acknowledge what happened. This is an absolutely brilliant strategy on the part of the president. And as all these amendments to the resolution come out of the Senate, he’s probably very likely saying , YES!!! Now if the House starts demanding cut backs in social programs to fund these attacks, things will get ugly. And the House Republicans will once again be revealed for the petty, small-minded, incompetent little nitwits they are.

    • 44 vcprezofan2
      September 3, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      Me, I find it ‘interesting’ that Congress felt the need to bar ground forces when the President had already made it clear that was not under consideration. IMO this is just show, a means to pretend they have more control than they actually do – as in, why not write in something that wasn’t even intended, then ban it. 🙄 They couldn’t simply consider his request, discuss it on its merits and approve or disapprove same.

      • September 3, 2013 at 9:31 pm

        If it makes them feel they had a real voice and it leads them to pass the resolution, I don’t think the president cares. He wanted joint ownership of this action and he will get it from the Senate, at least.

        • 46 vcprezofan2
          September 3, 2013 at 9:34 pm

          Oh, I’m sure PBO doesn’t care, and I love the way he co-opted their participation! {Overpaid, lazy moochers!}

  13. 47 Vicki
    September 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    NYC Mayoral debate is over. Short version: no change. Bill deBlasio fielded intense fire from his desperate opponents with grace and composure.
    He started the evening with the latest poll showing Bill db at 43%, Bill Thompson at 20% and chris Quinn at 18%.
    As I said, no change indicated.
    One week from tonight the Primary election will be in the books. Pretty sure that my guy will be the Democratic candidate for Mayor of NYC. Woo-oooo.

  14. 61 utaustinliberal
    September 3, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    We have the details.

  15. September 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    PBO is off. Wishing a safe, productive and happy trip for him.

    • 65 anniebella
      September 3, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      I hate that POTUS have to even see that Putin. Wishing a successful trip for POTUS and a safe trip back home to his family.

  16. September 3, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Certainly this is old news by now, but OMG would you look at what this jerk had to say about gettin’ busted playing poker on his iPhone during the hearing on Syria?!! He should be SO FUCKING FIRED!!

    • 73 99ts
      September 3, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Reading lots of posts/tweets from ex republicans who gave up on McCain when he choose Palin as VP candidate. He was probably contemplating an inside straight possibility when he decided she was a great idea.

      Playing cards can be a mindless escape from the hard reality – during a serious discussion on that hard reality is NOT the time for escaping. He never listens – he decides and talks without ever considering facts and reality.

  17. September 3, 2013 at 9:18 pm

  18. 77 vitaminlover
    September 3, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Can’t help but notice that all of our leaders have great smiles. From President Obama to VP Biden to SOS Kerry. I could go on. Also their wives have great smiles. Now on the OTHER side well, Mr. Romney…ummmm….no. McCain….no Bonehead…..double no! Cantor….heck no! So what does this tell us?

  19. September 3, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Hey dudette, new season of Luther tonight on BBC America…YAY!! But only 4 episodes…BOO!

    Ok, seriously, am I the only one who’s gonna be watching Luther on BBC Americ tonight???


  20. 84 desertflower
    September 3, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you, President Obama!!!


    CDC Predicts Obamacare May Help Reduce The Number Of Americans Dying From Heart Disease

    According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control, about one in four deaths that result from heart attacks and strokes could be avoided with better prevention methods. That means about 200,000 deaths a year could be prevented if those people made a few changes in their health habits — like quitting smoking, better managing their blood pressure, getting more physical activity, and consuming less sodium.
    CDC researchers say that getting heart disease under control, and ultimately preventing these unnecessary deaths, needs to be a top priority. And they think Obamacare could be a big part of the solution.

  21. 87 forus50
    September 3, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Interesting to see the Senate votes in 2003 for the H.R. 1828 Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003. Notice Kerry & Hagel did not vote.

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