“Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.” No word on who’s Mr. T in this analogy… “A struggling President Obama is calling for help from members of his first-term A-Team, who have left the White House for other jobs,” The Hill writes. “With his poll numbers falling and his second-term floundering so far, Obama has sought help from the former aides who helped catapult him to the presidency.”
The Washington Post: “President Obama on Tuesday ruled out using his executive authority to freeze deportations for most of the 11 million immigrants in the country illegally, saying such a move would violate federal law. During an interview at the White House with Telemundo, the Spanish-language television network, Obama defended his decision last summer to defer the deportations of hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the country illegally by their parents as children. The legal rationale in that case, he said, was to allow federal agencies to devote more time and resources to high-priority immigration cases such as those involving people with multiple criminal convictions. But he said that expanding that deferment program beyond the young people it now covers ‘would be ignoring the law in a way that would be very difficult to defend legally.’”
Here’s the interview on Telemundo.
“For President Barack Obama, an embarrassing diplomatic rebuke by Brazil has compounded an already troublesome stretch for the White House both at home and abroad,” AP writes, adding, “Rousseff’s decision deepened the global fallout for Obama from revelations about National Security Agency surveillance programs, which have also angered many Americans. The announcement also came amid criticism of Obama’s public shifting over the threat of U.S. military action against Syria. Some foreign policy analysts say such issues raise questions about Obama’s standing around the world.”
The documents revealed by Edward Snowden show the U.S. intercepted communications between Rouseff and that the NSA hacked computer network of Brazil’s largest oil company.
And this: “President Obama's first two defense secretaries on Tuesday night questioned his Syria strategy and said they would have told him not to seek Congress' approval for a strike on President Bashar Assad's forces,” USA Today reports.
Said Leon Panetta: "When the president of the United States draws a red line, the credibility of this country is dependent on him backing up his word.”
Robert Gates disagreed that the U.S. should strike because it would be like "throwing gasoline on an extremely complex fire in the Middle East." He added, “I believe to blow a bunch of stuff up over a couple of days to underscore or validate a point or principle is not a strategy.” Gates added that presidents "have become too quick to reach for a gun to solve an international problem."
Major Garrett: “Taken together, Syria and Summers therefore represent—by history’s decree in the case of military power, and by Obama’s own grandiose vision of the Fed’s role in the economy—the most important second-term presentations of power. And Senate Democrats were Obama’s undoing in both cases.”
Nancy Cook: “Remember that split among congressional Republicans on fiscal strategy? Well, now it seems the Democrats have the makings of a similar problem.”
New York Times: "For four years, President Obama counted on fellow Democrats to rally to his side in a series of epic battles with Republicans over the direction of the country. But now, deep in his fifth year in office, Mr. Obama finds himself frustrated by members of his own party weary of his leadership and increasingly willing to defy him. In recent weeks, disgruntled Democrats, particularly liberals, have bolted from the White House on issues like National Security Agency surveillance policies, a planned military strike on Syria and the potential choice of Lawrence H. Summers to lead the Federal Reserve. In private, they often sound exasperated describing Mr. Obama’s operation; in public, they are sometimes only a little more restrained."
John Harris and Todd Purdum: “The president’s harried, serial about-faces on Syria — coupled with the collapse of Larry Summer’s candidacy for chairmanship of the Federal Reserve — have combined to highlight some enduring limitations of Obama’s approach to decision-making, public persuasion and political management.”
And then they ask “what’s right.” The British have a saying about the twin rules of journalism: first simplify, then exaggerate.
Also, RNC Chair Reince Priebus pens a post hitting Obama’s foreign-policy decisions. The piece is entitled: “Wasn’t Ready Then, Isn’t Ready Now.”
First published September 18 2013, 6:04 AM