Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Last Call For Arming Up

Looks like Republicans in the House at least are backing President Obama's plan to arm and train Syrian rebel moderates, whoever they are.  But it means the GOP can't duck things if and when they go wrong.

The House on Wednesday approved President Obama’s plan to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels to counter the growing threat of the Islamic State terrorist organization even though lawmakers in both parties remain deeply skeptical about its chances for success.

The vote put Congress one step closer to authorizing the third prolonged U.S. military operation in Iraq in the last quarter century and delivered Obama much-needed domestic political support as he seeks an international coalition to combat the growing threat of Islamist terrorism in the Middle East. It also put lawmakers on the record for the first time approving U.S. engagement in the years-long Syrian civil war.

But the tally — 273 to 156 — also revealed widespread misgivings about the chances of success for the plan, even among many lawmakers who voted in favor of it.

Obama’s proposal was opposed by more than 40 percent of Democrats, many of whom are concerned that new U.S. military operations in the Middle East could fester for several years with no clear strategy or definition of success.

Republicans provided the lion’s share of support, but many are worried about the limits of Obama's early plans. One top GOP leader suggested Congress could go as far as giving the president blanket military authority, even if Obama doesn’t want it, when the lawmakers hold a much broader debate after the November elections about the fight against Islamic terrorists.

So there are skeptics on both sides at least.   But it means that the President's plan is moving forward, even there's a healthy chunk of Dems that oppose it.  GOP owns this as much as the President does, so it's time to stop sabotaging it.

Oh who am I kidding, they'll sabotage him regardless.

Matt Bevin Is Back, Baby

Last time we heard from GOP Tea Party Senate hopeful Matt Bevin, he was getting his ass handed to him by Mitch McConnell and his 32% approval rating.  Bevin was a candidate so bad he couldn't even find a way to run to Mitch McConnell's right without screwing up and losing by 20 points.

So it seems he's shifted gears and appears to be considering running for Governor in 2015 instead.

Former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin is looking past his race against Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and says he is considering the encouragement of those around him to run for another office. 
Bevin told Pure Politics at the annual Fancy Farm picnic that he has been encouraged to run for another office. And in a poll about the 2015 governors race, Bevin topped the list of potential Republican candidates with 25 percent. 
On Wednesday, Bevin told Pure Politics he has continued to receive encouragement to run for another office and is thinking about it because he cares about the future of the state. 
“I am absolutely considering not only the gubernatorial but frankly any other way to serve going into the future. What I have no desire to do is make this a new rest of my life kind of venture,” Bevin said (at 1:15). “I am 47 years old, I am not a kid anymore. But I hopefully have a little gas left in the tank too and to that end, I know there are things that need to be done, I know what my abilities are and are not and if I think I can apply those in a way I think will help my children and other people’s children have a better possibility in the future then I’ll consider that.” 
In terms of a timeline, Bevin said he will know if he is going to run or not by the end of September but will not make any kind of announcement any time soon because he does not want to distract from the important issues at play in the 2014 races.

Will Matt Bevin push already declared GOP candidate and current Ag Secretary James Comer further to the right should he enter the race?  Sure hope so.  Bevin's not going to have Mitch McConnell, Dinosaur Steve, or even Barack Obama to run against, and the means he's going to have to make the case for why he should win as opposed to why everyone else should lose.

I hope Bevin does as much damage as possible to Comer so that Jack Conway can sweep in for the win.

Point Of View In Ferguson

A new survey out by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch shows a pretty stark divide in the way people in the community view last month's deadly shooting of Michael Brown by police office Darren Wilson.

The survey, released Monday morning by the Kansas City-based Remington Research Group, found that 65 percent of African-American county residents believe that Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson acted unjustly when he ended Brown's life Aug. 9 on a Ferguson street. 
Conversely, 62 percent of the white residents surveyed by Remington believe the shooting death of Brown was justified.

The fissure broke even wider when surveyors asked if Wilson should be "arrested and charged with a crime" with 71 percent of African American residents responding "yes" opposed to the 71 percent of white survey-takers who believe the police officer should not be held liable. 
An equally stark divide emerged on the question of whether Brown was "targeted because of his race." 
Over three-quarters of the white respondents - 77 percent - responded "no" while 64 percent of the African-Americans answered in the affirmative.

I can't say that I'm surprised.  Black respondents overwhelmingly believed Wilson took Brown's life without justification, that as a result he should be arrested and charged, and that Brown was a victim because of his race.  White respondents overwhelmingly saw the opposite.  Whether or not you believe race had anything to do with Michael Brown's death, there's no question race is driving St Louis County's response to that death.

Seven in 10 whites think Wilson should walk.  Seven in ten blacks think he should be arrested.  If there's any silver lining, it's that the Justice Department and Eric Holder are all over this one, because I seriously doubt anyone who lives in Ferguson believes Wilson will ever spend a single minute in jail if it were up to the county prosecutor.

Frankly, I only have any hope at all for a federal case, but that will take years and if a Republican president gets in power in 2016, well, remember the DoJ's civil rights division under Dubya?

It's going to take a very long time to see justice for this, regardless.


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