“The reliance on air power has all of the attraction of casual sex: It seems to offer gratification but with very little commitment.” — Former CIA Director Michael Hayden on airstrikes against the Islamic State. 9/11/14

“In 2008, that hope and change message really resonated, and we really believed that people could compromise. Then, eight years later, you get far more pragmatic. For me, at least, it’s much less about hope and change and more about, ‘who’s going to get in there and fight the good fight?’” —Chris Diebel, a key Obama supporter in Iowa in 2008. 9/14/14.

“This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who called the commander-in-chief “disingenuous and delusional. 9/14/14.

“They’re trying to get you to check your brain at the door, start foaming at the mouth. The last thing they want you to do is think.” — Bill Clinton on the Republican party. 9/14/14

“If Wang’s prediction of this year’s Senate race turns out to be more accurate than Silver’s, I almost hate to think what might happen. Silver’s head is going to explode or something. In any case, this is far more fun than you normally get from a couple of geeky poll aggregators.” — Kevin Drum 9/17/14

“On any given day, 16 of my members decide they’re going to go this way, and all the sudden I have nothing. You might notice I have a few knuckleheads in my conference.” — Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). 9/16/14

“I think it is shocking and a sad state of affairs that we heard just such angry comments aimed at you, Mr. Secretary, and through you at our president instead of at ISIS. The U.S. is up against “a savage group who decapitated two Americans and have warned that the thirst for more American blood is out there.” — Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) eviscerating Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, for attacking the Obama administration instead of ISIS. 9/17/14



1. Senate Republicans defend billionaires by keeping Citizens United alive
2. Jon Stewart: A Nightmare On Graham Street
3. Big Gender Gap Keeps Democrats in the Game
5. GOP’s War Against Women (Cont.}:Missouri Passes 3-Day Abortion Wait
6. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don’t have to)
7. Late Night Jokes for Dems
8. Andy Borowitz: White House Vows to Use Every Synonym for War Against ISIS
9. Senate Polling Update
10. Democrats’ Senate strategist: don’t let Republicans restrict voting rights
11. Study: Fox News Has Aired Nearly 1,100 Benghazi Segment


1. Dean Obeidallah: 13 Years After 9/11, Anti-Muslim Bigotry Is Worse Than Ever
2. Juan Williams: GOP right content to attack the president
3. Baltimore Sun Editorial: Too much carbon, too little time
4. David Ignatius: The Advantage of the Reluctant Warrior
5. Lisa Wirthman: GOP’s underhanded push for over-the-counter birth control
6. Nate Cohn: Democrats Are Seeing More Daylight in Path to Senate Control
7. Colbert I. King: Get ready for Congress’s hypocrisy on the Islamic State, Mr. Obama


1. Senate Republicans defend billionaires by keeping Citizens United alive

By a straight party-line vote of 54-42, the U.S. Senate defeated a constitutional amendment today that would have overruled the Citizens United decision.

Mitch McConnell led the fight to defeat this amendment, and now he’ll have to answer the Kentucky voters, while he gets a little help from his billionaire friends. 9/11/14 Read more at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/09/11/1329053/-Senate-Republicans-defend-billionaires-by-keeping-Citizens-United-alive

2. Jon Stewart: A Nightmare On Graham Street


3. Big Gender Gap Keeps Democrats in the Game

In the latest NBC/WSJ poll, women preferred a Democratic-controlled Congress by seven points, 47%-40%. Although that’s down from NBC/WSJ’s previous polls and although Republicans have an ever bigger lead among men (12 points), do note that our Sept. 2010 NBC/WSJ poll showed Democrats with just a three-point edge among female voters, 46%-43%. Bottom line: Democrats holding on to the Senate will largely come down to whether they win women by double digits in November. 9/10/14 Read more athttp://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/more-war-iraq-not-legacy-obama-wanted-n200901


“We had a hearing, and there was testimony from the counterterrorism people and the Department of Homeland Security. There is Twitter traffic right now and Facebook traffic, where they are urging attacks on the United States of America. And there is a great concern that our southern border and our northern border is porous and that they will be coming across.” — Senator McCain on why we should have left a residual force in Iraq. 9/10/14


“So because some militant fanatics are using Twitter and Facebook to encourage attacks against America, and because McCain believes our border is porous, we should essentially fight the Iraq War all over again? Yeesh. That makes about as much sense as … saying that Sarah Palin is the most-qualified person in America to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.” — Jed Lewison in the Daily Kos 9/11/14


“It is true that Islam is not ISIS, but it is also true that ISIS is Islamic, is it not?” — Fox News’ host Megyn Kelly9/12/14


“ISIS is considered Islamic in the same way that the Westboro Baptist Church or xenophobic extremists like Anders Breivik, who massacred 77 people in Norway in 2011, are considered Christian. “The reality is that moderate Christians, Muslims and Jews have a lot more in common with each other than they do with extremists from within their own faith. And actually, extremist Muslims and extremist anti-Muslims have a lot in common. And that is that they both distort the Islamic faith to promote their twisted agenda, which is rejected by the 1.7 billion Muslims of the world.” — Hassan Shibly, the chief executive director of CAIR’s Florida branch. 9/12/14


“GOP senators insist they are not “measuring the drapes” after six years in the minority.” —The Hill 9/12/14


Republicans are putting together an agenda for the first 100 days of 2015 in case they win control of the Senate. Authorizing the Keystone XL oil pipeline, approving “fast-track” trade authority, wiping out proposed environmental regulations and repealing the medical device tax top their list.” — Daily Kos 9/12/14


“I was also a Holocaust refugee and I’m extremely concerned that Jews don’t do to another people what was done to them.” — Eva Moseley expressing concern about the Israeli offensive in Gaza.
“I think that’s fair.” — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) 9/15/14


“At an event today at Tufts University in Massachusetts, Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren said it was ‘fair’ when an activist compared Israel’s actions in Gaza to the Holocaust.” — Daniel Halper in The Weekly Standard 9/15/14


“Here’s the problem. He [McCain] did meet with ISIS, and had his picture taken, and didn’t know it was happening at the time. That really shows you the quandary of determining who are the moderates and who aren’t. If you don’t speak Arabic, and you don’t understand that some people will lie to you—I really think that we don’t have a good handle on who are the moderates and who aren’t, and I think the objective evidence is that the ones doing most of the fighting and most of the battles among the rebels in Syria are the radical Islamists.” — Sen. Rand Paul repeating a thoroughly debunked rumor about John McCain palling around with the Islamic extremist group. 9/17/14


“I can’t believe Rand is still repeating this stuff, which came from a Hezbollah newspaper in Lebanon! He’s getting his information from Hezbollah. It’s outrageous…I don’t know if Rand is dishonest or misinformed…I met with the Northern Storm and Gen. Idriss, who was the head of the Free Syrian Army. Most of the guys in that picture are dead now, killed by ISIS. It’s just ridiculous.” — Senator John McCain’s responce. 9/17/14

5. GOP’s War Against Women (Cont.}:Missouri Passes 3-Day Abortion Wait

Conservative lawmakers in Missouri have increased the state’s required waiting period for getting an abortion to three days. The Republican-controlled legislature overrode a veto from Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2014/09/11/missouri-passes-3-day-abortion-wait.html

6. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don’t have to)

“How Convenient”: Fox Host Dismisses Democrats’ Concern Over Ray Rice Tape As “War On Women” Ployhttp://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/09/11/how-convenient-fox-host-dismisses-democrats-con/200733

Right-Wing Media Scandalize Obama For Distinguishing Islam From Terrorismhttp://mediamatters.org/research/2014/09/11/right-wing-media-scandalize-obama-for-distingui/200731

Fox’s Krauthammer: “I Worry That We Should Entrust Something So Serious” As Fighting Islamic State With Obama http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/09/10/foxs-krauthammer-i-worry-that-we-should-entrust/200726

Watch Obamacare Misinformer Betsy McCaughey Walk Off Of An Interview With The Daily Showhttp://mediamatters.org/video/2014/09/12/watch-obamacare-misinformer-betsy-mccaughey-wal/200741

Rush Responds To NFL’s Domestic Violence Controversy: “If We Keep Chickifying This Game We’re Going To Ruin It” http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/09/12/rush-responds-to-nfls-domestic-violence-controv/200742

On Second Anniversary Of Benghazi Attack, Fox’s Kelly Pushes Falsehood That Obama Didn’t Call It Terrorismhttp://mediamatters.org/video/2014/09/11/on-second-anniversary-of-benghazi-attack-foxs-k/200739

Karl Rove: Obama “Squandered The Peace” That Bush Left Behind http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/09/14/karl-rove-obama-squandered-the-peace-that-bush/200748

Fox News Acknowledges 160 Airstrikes Against Islamic State, Still Claims Obama Hasn’t Taken Actionhttp://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/09/15/fox-news-acknowledges-160-airstrikes-against-is/200753

Fox Host Baselessly Escalates Latest Benghazi Conspiracy Theory: Iran-Contra Editionhttp://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/09/17/fox-host-baselessly-escalates-latest-benghazi-c/200783

7. Late Night Jokes for Dems

“Tonight President Obama will make a prime-time speech about how we’re going to deal with violent extremists and their sickening behavior. And when he’s done talking about the NFL, he’ll talk about ISIS.” –Conan O’Brien

“The NFL is, of course, coming under a lot of fire. Today it came out that law enforcement sent a copy of the Ray Rice video to NFL headquarters back in April. Then the NFL commissioner apologized, saying the video got buried in the stack of other illegal things NFL players are doing.” –Conan O’Brien

“The New York Times had to issue a correction after an article referred to Dick Cheney as president of the United States. The Times apologized to Dick Cheney and changed his title to ‘former president of the United States.'” –Conan O’Brien

“Today The New York Times had to issue a correction after it mistakenly referred to Dick Cheney as a former president. Of course, George W. Bush made that same mistake all the time.” –Seth Meyers

“A federal investigation has found the Department of Homeland Security is ‘ill-prepared’ for a potential disease pandemic. I’m not sure I agree. They did a great job of wiping out Bieber Fever.” –Seth Meyers

“Yesterday Mike Tyson traveled to Toronto and met with Mayor Rob Ford. It was a meeting between one of the most dangerous heavyweights ever and Mike Tyson.” –Seth Meyers

“The president reassured Americans that while we face no immediate threat from ISIS, we’ve got a ton of bombs sitting around so we’re going to use them.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Apple announced the iPhone 6 today, which they say has a more durable screen that won’t crack or scratch as easily. Or as your kids put it, ‘Challenge accepted!’ Apple promised less cracking. Then Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said, ‘Hey, that’s my campaign slogan.'” –Jimmy Fallon

“The Department of Transportation is considering building a new high-speed train that could get people from D.C. to Baltimore in 15 minutes. It gets you out of Washington in 15 minutes — or as President Obama calls that, ‘Still not fast enough.'” –Jimmy Fallon

“AMC is coming out with a spin-off of ‘The Walking Dead’ that will show the apocalypse in other parts of the world. It’s called ‘The News.'” –Jimmy Fallon

“Reportedly the identity of Jack the Ripper, who killed five people in London, finally has been revealed. After hearing about it, the commissioner of the NFL suspended him for two games.” –Conan O’Brien

“Also from England, it turns out they have now identified Jack the Ripper. They found the DNA off an old white Ford Bronco. Not only that, but they now know the guy was married to Kelly Ripper.” –David Letterman

“On this date in 1974, Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon. A lot of people think Nixon’s trouble was for Watergate, but it was not. It was for wearing a tan suit.” –David Letterman

“Happy Birthday to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who turns 52 years old tomorrow. The star of TLC’s show ‘Cake Boss’ is actually making the cake for Chris Christie’s birthday party. In fact, I hear he’s even making the cake in the shape of Christie’s favorite thing: cake.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Of course, it’ll get weird when Chris Christie’s family says, ‘No, no, no, you’re supposed to blow the candles out BEFORE you eat it!'” –Jimmy Fallon

“President Obama is getting tough with that Vladimir Putin. Boy, what a bad guy that guy is, that Vladimir Putin. Obama is really getting tough with him. Now he’s wearing a much more aggressive shade of beige.” –David Letterman

“Chris Christie has to brush up on foreign policy, so he went to Mexico. Remember when he was in Africa? He was followed by ivory poachers. Now he’s in Mexico, and he was taunted by a matador.” –David Letterman

8. Andy Borowitz: Obama Unable to Sleep After Learning Limbaugh Liked His Speech

President Obama has had two sleepless nights since learning that Rush Limbaugh praised his speech about Iraq and Syria this week, a White House source confirmed on Saturday.

According to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the President has been unable to sleep since Limbaugh complimented him on the air and has been seen pacing back and forth in the Oval Office in a way that aides described as “worrisome.”

“When he heard that [House Speaker John] Boehner and [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell liked his speech, he seemed to take that in stride,” the source said. “But this Limbaugh thing has pushed him over the edge.”

IN OTHER NEWS: Two days after voting against the Paycheck Fairness Act, a law that would help women to obtain equal pay, the four female Republicans in the United States Senate co-sponsored a bill that would slash their salaries to seventy-one per cent of what their male colleagues earn.

“All we are asking for is the same freedom from equal pay that other American women enjoy,” Senator Ayotte said.

Though the bill was just proposed on Wednesday morning, Murkowski said that it already has the unanimous support of male Republicans in the Senate.

Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/

9. Senate Polling Update

Princeton Professor Sees Democrats Holding Senate: Sam Wang of Princeton finds Democrats have a 78% chance of holding control of the Senate. 9/15/14 Read more at http://election.princeton.edu/todays-senate-seat-count-histogram/

Nate Silver: Democrats Draw Almost Even. Is It The Money? When we officially launched our forecast model two weeks ago, it had Republicans with a 64 percent chance of taking over the Senate after this fall’s elections. Now Republican chances are about 55 percent instead. We’ve never quite settled on the semantics of when to call an election a “tossup.” A sports bettor or poker player would grimace and probably take a 55-45 edge. But this Senate race is pretty darned close. NATE SILVER 9/15/14 Read more at http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/senate-update-democrats-draw-almost-even-is-it-the-money/

Average of the Forecasts Shows a 50-50 Senate: With so many new election forecasts this year, Vox just averages them and finds they predict an evenly divided U.S. Senate. 9/16/14 Read more athttp://www.vox.com/a/election-2014-forecast

10. Democrats’ Senate strategist: don’t let Republicans restrict voting rights

“There is a clear pattern in this country. Where there are Democratic governors and Democratic legislatures, states are working very hard to think about how they can expand access to voting: vote by mail, online voting, early voting, Sunday voting.

“In places where there are Republican governors and legislatures there are moves to restrict access to the voting booth; require only a certain form of identification, limit the number of early vote locations, eliminate Sunday voting.” — Guy Cecil 9/15/14http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/15/democrats-senate-strategist-voting-rights

11. Study: Fox News Has Aired Nearly 1,100 Benghazi Segments

Fox News’ evening lineup ran nearly 1,100 segments on the Benghazi attacks and their aftermath in the first 20 months following the attacks. Nearly 500 segments focused on a set of Obama administration talking points used in September 2012 interviews; more than 100 linked the attacks to a potential Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential run; and dozens of segments compared the attacks and the administration response to the Watergate or Iran-Contra scandals. The network hosted Republican members of Congress to discuss Benghazi nearly 30 times more frequently than Democrats. 9/16/14 http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/09/16/report-foxs-benghazi-obsession-by-the-numbers/200694


1. Dean Obeidallah: 13 Years After 9/11, Anti-Muslim Bigotry Is Worse Than Ever

What’s the future for Muslim Americans? Will we see even more hate crimes against Muslims? And Sikhs, whom many misidentify as Muslims? These numbers have spiked in recent years. And just last week my friend Linda Sarsour, a hijab-wearing civil rights activist, was attacked on the streets of New York City by a man who shouted that he wanted to behead her and then chased her into traffic. Thankfully, Linda was not injured and the assailant, a white male, was arrested.

Will we see an even higher number of employment discrimination claims filed by Muslim Americans? Currently over 20 percent of the claims filed with the EEOC are from Muslims, even though we comprise just 2 percent of the country.

I want to be optimistic. I want to be able to say in a few years it will be better. But I don’t know if that’s true.

What I can say with confidence is that American Muslims are not going anywhere. Yes, we will denounce those who commit horrible acts in the name of our faith to make it clear their actions don’t represent us. However, our focus is pursuing our American dream just like every other American. We will become doctors, deli owners, teachers, parents, and maybe even one day, President of the United States.

And what I can also say to the bigots is that we will continue, together with the good people who stand with us, to fight your efforts to demonize and marginalize us simply because of our faith. We won’t do that because it’s demanded of us as Muslims, we will do that because it’s demanded of us as Americans. . 9/11/14 Read more at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/11/13-years-after-9-11-anti-muslim-bigotry-is-worse-than-ever.html

2. Juan Williams: GOP right content to attack the president

One of the most often repeated Republican complaints about President Obama is that he has only made political polarization in Washington worse, despite having promised to end it.

The nation “has been bitterly divided by our president,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in May at a GOP fundraiser in New Hampshire. Two years earlier, in South Carolina, he called Obama “the most divisive figure in modern American history.”
But in the last month the Republican hypocrisy in making that charge has revealed itself, even as the refrain has become deafening.

Last week, as the president announced military action against terrorists in the Middle East, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) said Republicans have no interest in holding a vote to authorize fighting the people beheading Americans. The reason the GOP favors inaction, Kingston explained, is that it leaves the way clear to pursue the party’s primary political strategy of constantly attacking the president.

Maybe the reason President Obama has been unable to deliver on his promise to end political polarization is that extremists have taken over the GOP. He never had a partner to work with him. 9/15/14 Read more at http://thehill.com/opinion/juan-williams/217672-juan-williams-gop-right-content-to-attack-the-president

3. Baltimore Sun Editorial: Too much carbon, too little time

If increasingly extreme weather events around the world weren’t alarming enough, the latest monitoring by the World Meteorological Organization shows last year was the worst ever for rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Their report released Tuesday demonstrates why efforts to curb climate change deserve to be a top priority for U.S. foreign policy.

Climate change deniers tend to scoff at talk of climate disaster, but each week it seems there are new studies revealing just how devastating the rising temperatures can be — often in unexpected ways. Recently, the National Audubon Society found that more than half of all species of North American birds would be threatened by warming temperatures.

A UN panel has already speculated that global temperatures could rise markedly within the next century. The oceans have become more acidic, and some scientists worry that the chance to lessen these impacts is slipping away as major greenhouse gas producing nations fail to make the needed reductions.

The latest numbers are a reminder that it’s time to stop listening to the climate change deniers and accept that rising levels of greenhouse gases are a serious, man-made threat that must be addressed for the sake of humanity. The cost of delaying action to stem climate change is high — potentially four percentage points in gross domestic product worldwide by 2030, according to a UN report issued earlier this year.

That’s not alarmist, it’s a matter of being prudent. Considering the other positive effects of embracing renewable energy, conservation and other remedies from cleaner air and water to new jobs in the “green energy” economy, the U.S. should be moving farther and faster. According to the WMO, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are now 142 percent higher than they were before the Industrial Revolution while methane is up more than 250 percent. There’s just so much abuse a planet can take before the consequences are disastrous and potentially irreversible. 9/11/14 Read more athttp://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-climate-20140911,0,1540733.story

4. David Ignatius: The Advantage of the Reluctant Warrior

President Obama certainly didn’t go looking for another war in the Middle East. Indeed, he contorted himself almost to the breaking point to avoid one. But as he explained to the country Wednesday night, he had no choice but to respond with “strength and resolve” to the barbarous Islamic State that is ravaging Iraq and Syria.

Obama’s decision to combat the Islamic State offers him a chance to reset American leadership and his own presidency after growing doubt at home and abroad about what, if anything, he was willing to fight for. His innate cautiousness is now actually a reassurance that he’ll fight this war sensibly, partnering with allies in the region, in a way that doesn’t needlessly exacerbate America’s problems with the Muslim world.

Stephen Hadley, who was national security adviser for President George W. Bush, is hardly a cheerleader for Obama. But he gave the president high marks for “a good speech” that explained the threat and what he was going to do about it. Hadley noted that Obama’s stance as a reluctant warrior will help him reassure foreigners and Americans alike that this isn’t a reckless, unilateral U.S. crusade.

For a White House that has often struggled to execute foreign policy cleanly, this week has been a notable exception. The rollout was smooth: An Iraqi unity government was formed last weekend; the president dined Monday night with foreign policy experts; he briefed congressional leaders Tuesday; then he addressed the country. Obama’s team must maintain that momentum. 9/12/14 Read more at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/09/12/the_advantage_of_the_reluctant_warrior_123948.html

5. Lisa Wirthman: GOP’s underhanded push for over-the-counter birth control

If Republicans’ newfound enthusiasm for birth control seems suspicious, it’s with good reason. Following the lead of Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner, a handful of Republicans in midterm races across the country are now embracing over-the-counter sales of birth control pills without a prescription.

What happens, however, if birth control pills are sold over the counter? Insurance companies will likely stop covering them. That means women will keep paying health insurance premiums, plus an additional out-of-pocket fee for pills that could cost up to $600 a year.

And free doctor visits to discuss birth-control risks could also be replaced with fee-based pharmacy consults to determine whether women have risk factors like smoking, hypertension or migraines that prevent safe use of the pill, reports the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

That’s hardly a “cheaper and easier” alternative — which is why Politifact rates Gardner’s claim as “mostly false.”

Unfortunately, the new Republican support for contraception is really just an old game — yet another political attempt to weaken contraceptive coverage under the ACA. And they’re counting on women’s low participation in mid-term elections to help it succeed. Colorado women deserve better. 9/11/14 Read more at http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_26515886/gops-underhanded-push-over-counter-birth-control

6. Nate Cohn: Democrats Are Seeing More Daylight in Path to Senate Control

A few months ago, the Democratic path to a Senate majority looked long and arduous. It has started to look easier.

The Democrats started the campaign with a clear advantage in enough races to end up with 45 seats, well short of the 50 needed to retain control of the chamber. To get to 50, the party was going to have to run the table in five battleground states where polls were already showing Republicans with an occasional lead — or replace one of them by holding either Arkansas or Louisiana, two deep-red states with Democratic incumbents in jeopardy. Doing so would have been challenging under any circumstances. It seemed especially daunting this year, given the president’s low approval ratings and the long history of the president’s party suffering a “midterm penalty.”

But today the Democratic path to victory looks as clear as it has at any point this year. That path remains narrow, to be sure. The Democrats will probably still need to sweep those five fairly close races. Yet with just two months to go, the party appears to have an advantage in four of them. And the Democrats have other opportunities that might give them more breathing room.

Over all, the Republicans are still the slightest favorites to retake the chamber. For Democrats to retain their majority, they will have to win at least two states that voted against President Obama in 2008 and 2012. It is possible that this will prove untenable over the final few months of the race, and that Republicans will gradually gain as undecided voters who disapprove of the president’s performance and voted for Mitt Romney make up their minds. But the Democrats now have a lead in enough races to get to 49 seats — and have a few options to reach 50. 9/13/14 Read more at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/13/upshot/democrats-are-seeing-more-daylight-in-path-to-senate-control.html?abt=0002&abg=0&_r=0

7. Colbert I. King: Get ready for Congress’s hypocrisy on the Islamic State, Mr. Obama

Waiting for Congress to put up or shut up on proposed military involvement against the Islamic State is tantamount to waiting for darkness to go away. The best Obama will get out of the House and Senate may be a green light to train and equip moderate Syrian forces and conduct airstrikes on Islamic State targets. The administration will still be criticized for not going far enough or acting soon enough, though the critics won’t spell out what that means.

Congress at all times reserves the right to point with pride when things go well and to cast blame and flee at the first sign of trouble.

Now, in fairness, there is a firm basis for some of the congressional wariness about war authorizations. The Iraq war resolutions allowed the Bush administration to take the country to a degree of involvement many Americans never expected or wanted.

In addition to the Iraq experience, there is a more searing reason to approach war resolutions with care: the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin resolution. Most members of Congress thought they were granting authority for limited, short-term military strikes in response to alleged actions by North Vietnam against U.S. forces . The Johnson administration, however, regarded the resolution as giving the president a free hand to launch a full-scale war that ended up costing thousands of lives and an American fortune. But that history doesn’t excuse Congress from doing its constitutional duty.

All this is to say, President Obama needs to continue his strong resolve to deal with the Islamic State. Hear all the facts, listen to the opinions, consult and collaborate with Congress. But ultimately, Obama, keeping the country’s best interest foremost, must follow his own mind.

Because if he follows Congress, he’ll just end up eating its dust. 9/12/14 Read more athttp://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/colbert-king-get-ready-for-congresss-hypocrisy-on-the-islamic-state-mr-obama/2014/09/12/8cd59e40-39d6-11e4-9c9f-ebb47272e40e_story.html


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