TheDC Morning: Syrian intervention more popular than John Edwards!
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1.) Syrian intervention more popular than John Edwards!— That’s not exactly a high bar — and it may no longer even be accurate. The last poll of Edwards’ popularity was in April 2012. Three percent of Americans had a favorable view of the disgraced former North Carolina senator then. The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Brendan Bordelon reports:
“While Washington is moved to action by the apparent crossing of President Obama’s ‘red line’ by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad last week, many Americans are decidedly unmoved by the alleged chemical attack. Most, in fact, would prefer to stay out of Syria’s bloody civil war altogether. A new Rasmussen poll released Monday shows that only 31 percent of likely voters would support increased military assistance to Syria’s rebels if the government’s use of chemical weapons is confirmed. … A paltry 9 percent believes that President Obama should order military strikes against the Syrian government to protect civilians, while a whopping 60 percent stood opposed to any such operation.”
If the president wanted to, he probably could push that number higher by making the case for intervention in Syria. But if the Libyan intervention is any predictor, we won’t even be getting an Oval Office explanation from the president if we strike Syria.
2.) Striking Syria — Americans may not be thrilled about engaging Syria militarily, but it looks like it’s gonna happen, at least in some form. TheDC’s Neil Munro reports:
“The world needs to respond to Syria’s use of chemical weapons, Secretary of State John Kerry declared today. ‘What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. … [It] is a moral obscenity,’ he said Monday afternoon. ‘By any standard it is inexcusable … [and] it is undeniable,’ he said in the State Department’s press room. … His strong language suggests that the White House is planning to strike Syrian forces, likely the combat units that apparently fired chemical-tipped rockets into a suburb of Damascus packed with sleeping civilians, to deter future use of chemical weapons by other governments.”
The death toll in Syria is horrific. But both sides of the conflict contain bad actors. The prize at the end of the rainbow for helping to remove the monstrous Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is the Syrian rebels, of whom Islamists, including al-Qaida, are its fiercest fighters. More likely than not, if Obama strikes Syria, it will be a very limited action to punish the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons, not a prolonged intervention to topple the regime. But we shall see.
3.) Death by delay? — Remember the Keystone XL pipeline? Well, the Obama administration still hasn’t approved it. The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Michael Bastasch reports:
“President Barack Obama has not officially come out against the Keystone XL pipeline, but the final decision could be pushed back into 2014. For more than 1,800 days, the Obama administration has been analyzing whether the Keystone pipeline is in the national interest. The Department of State’s review of the pipeline found that it would create more than 42,000 jobs and not significantly impact global warming or the environment. But that seems to be an outlier view within the Obama administration. Soon after the State Department released its review, the Environmental Protection Agency attacked it and said it needed to take a deeper look into the pipeline’s environmental and climate impacts.”
4.) L is for loser — Libertarians (big “L”) really have their hand on the pulse of the nation. TheDC’s Alex Pappas report:
“The Virginia gubernatorial race is easily the nastiest of 2013, but Robert Sarvis wants disaffected voters to know they have a libertarian option outside of Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe. The 36-year-old Libertarian Party nominee for governor isn’t polling in double digits yet — he’s not even being included in some polls — but he says his campaign is increasingly getting more attention as voters tire of the super PAC heavy Cuccinelli-McAuliffe slugfest. …On the issues he disagrees with Cuccinelli and McAuliffe on, Sarvis unsurprisingly references drug policy. ‘I think that we should legalize marijuana,’ he said. ‘I think we have ruined a lot of lives and livelihoods by giving people criminal backgrounds for the mere possession of marijuana. It’s an enormous cost on state and local resources. In terms of enforcement and incarceration, it’s led to a lot of erosions of fourth amendment protections.'”
Making drug laws your distinguishing issue is a political loser. Don’t get TheDC Morning wrong. It is a moral winner. But it is not exactly an issue that will win you elections — which is maybe one of the reasons why so few Libertarian candidates win any elections.
6.) Today in North Korean News — BREAKING: “Dancing Parties of Youth, Students Marks Day of Songun”