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POLITICS: White House

Morning Examiner: Unpopular at home, abandoned abroad, Obama scales down bombing campaign

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If you want to know why President Obama will not ask Congress for permission to bomb Syria, you only need to look across the Atlantic, where British Prime Minister David Cameron suffered a humiliating defeat Thursday, when the British Parliament defeated his motion for British backing of the use of force against Syria.

Unilateral is as unilateral does
Since both Russia and China would block any United Nations Security Council resolution approving an attack on Syria, and now that the British people have told their government they don’t want to participate, Obama has no one else to act with him, should he choose to go ahead with his bombing.

Faced with a total lack of international help, Obama is scaling back his bombing plans. “Here, what’s being contemplated is of such a limited and narrow nature that it’s not as if there’s a similar imperative for bringing in different capabilities from different countries,” a senior administration official told The Wall Street Journal.

A skeptical Congress
More than 100 House Republicans have signed a letter, written by Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., demanding that Obama seek approval from Congress before he bombs Syria. And they are not alone.

And more than 50 House Democrats have signed a separate letter, written by Rep. Barbara Lee, R-Calif., demanding a similar vote. “While we understand that as commander-in-chief you have a constitutional obligation to protect our national interests from direct attack, Congress has the constitutional obligation and power to approve military force, even if the United States or its direct interests (such as its embassies) have not been attacked or threatened with an attack,” Lee’s letter reads.

A skeptical public
NBC News has new polling out today showing that a majority of Americans also disapprove of Obama’s imminent bombing campaign. Fifty percent of Americans say they oppose “military action” against Syria, and 79 percent say Obama should get approval from Congress before he begins bombing.

What are we fighting for?
Only 21 percent of Americans believe bombing Syria is in America’s national interest and just 27 percent believe it will improve the situation in Syria. Obama has even admitted that his bombing campaign is not meant to bring down the Assad regime. So why are we even bothering?

From The Washington Examiner
Editorial: Obama talks tough, carries matchstick
Susan Crabtree: Obama’s two-year attempt to avoid military action in Syria
Susan Ferrechio: Following Thursday call with Obama, Boehner requests more answers on Syria
David Drucker: Petition against Obamacare helps conservatives expand grassroots network
Sean Lengell: Justice Department won’t sue states over pro-pot laws
Joseph Lawler: Obama extends tax benefits to legal same-sex marriages regardless of state
Ashe Schow: Beer baron calls for right-to-work law, tax reform in Pennsylvania
Joel Gehrke: Kathleen Sebelius extends Medicare Advantage to same-sex couples
Conn Carroll: Obama’s war on higher education innovation
Shikha Dalmia: Uncle Sam is a bumbler, not an imperialist
Ron Arnold: Is stopping Keystone a San Francisco hedge-fund billionaire’s shrewd investment?
Mark Flatten: House site to track VA bonuses for botched performance

In Other News
The Washington Post, Inside the 2013 U.S. intelligence ‘black budget’: The pages in this document appear in the summary of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s multivolume FY 2013 Congressional Budget Justification — the U.S. intelligence community’s top-secret “black budget.”
The Wall Street Journal, Subsidies for Older Buyers Give Insurers a Headache: A WSJ analysis shows that, under the new health law, subsidies can be far more generous to older people than younger ones.

The New York Times, Fears Growing as Syrians Wait for U.S. Attack: Many Syrians are bracing for the worst, some with a deep sense of fatalism, and the expectation of imminent strikes has halted normal life.
Reuters, U.S. fast-food workers protest: Fast-food workers went on strike and protested outside McDonald’s, Burger King and other restaurants in 60 U.S. cities on Thursday, in the largest protest of an almost year-long campaign to raise service sector wages.

Lefty Playbook
Andy Borowitz says Obama’s Syria strike will have no purpose.
Allison Benedikt says parents who send their kids to private school are evil.
Brad Plumer explains how Obama demobilized the antiwar movement.

Righty Playbook
Ilya Somin notes that a small attack on Syria, while pointless, would be on safer legal ground than a large scal intervention.
Eliana Johnson accuses Cory Booker of inventing an imaginary friend he uses in stump speeches.
Bill Kristol on Obama’s bungling of Syria.
John Taylor on educational performance in California and Texas.

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