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Obama Reviewing Syrian Stance as Stalemate Seems Likely

President Obama wants Congress to fund his request for additional training and weapons in Iraq. What will he have to give up to get it, from those in Congress and at the Pentagon who think his plan isn't hawkish enough? Without Congressional approval, apparently there will be no funding for arming and training since executive authority doesn't cover that. That may not be easy:

Some Democrats have said they’re concerned that U.S. forces will become mired in ground combat in Iraq, despite Obama’s pledge that won’t happen. Some Republicans say Obama should take more aggressive action, such as moving more quickly to arm non-Islamic State rebels in Syria and enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria near the Turkish border.

From news reports, it sounds like Obama is under pressure to modify his "Iraq first" policy, under which helping the rebels fight Assad takes a back seat to defeating ISIS in Iraq. Obama is asking his advisers to review U.S. policy on Syria. But the two cited unnamed sources seem to say different things:
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Obama Speaks at U.N.

President Obama addressed the U.N. today. Here is the full text of his remarks.

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Obama's Speech on ISIS: Live Blog and Reactions

Update: The White House just issued this Fact Statement on its plan to fight ISIS. DOD Secretary Chuck Hagel released this (non-reassuring) statement.

Update: Why Obama's Strategy Has No Chance of Success. See also, Juan Cole.

Update: I think this was a mostly emotional speech. I also think it was risky to be so insulting to ISIS, when they are still holding so many Western hostages, including a female American aid worker.

I disagree with Obama that our years of efforts have been successful in Yemen and Somalia. We took out a few leaders, so what? They just appoint new ones. (It's no different than our ineffective approach to the drug cartels.) AQAP and al-Shabbab have not been diminished. The state of affairs in Yemen and Somalia ranges from unstable to chaotic. Al Qaida central just opened a new branch in the Indian sub-continent.

Obama's strategy has no timeline, he gave no indication of what would be considered a "success" so we would have an end point. I don't even think he referenced the Peshmerga or Turkey as a coalition partner. He said we would work to shut off the point of entry for recruits, but how, if Turkey isn't part of the effort? [More...]

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Obama Will Disclose ISIS Strategy on Wednesday

President Obama will outline the U.S. response to ISIS in a speech on Wednesday. Today on Meet the Press:

“What I want people to understand is that over the course of months, we are going to be able to not just blunt the momentum” of the militants, he said. “We are going to systematically degrade their capabilities. We’re going to shrink the territory that they control. And ultimately, we’re going to defeat them.”

Although Obama said there would be a “military element” to the strategy, he added that “this is not going to be an announcement about U.S. ground troops."

He also said he regrets golfing after the James Foley beheading as it had the "wrong optics." You can watch his interview on the Meet the Press website.

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Obama Speaks on ISIS And Ferguson

Here is the transcript of President Obama's remarks today on the Yazidis, ISIS and Ferguson.

He said air strikes would continue in Iraq, but maintains there will be no boots on the ground.

Wherever we have capabilities and we can carry out effective missions like the one we carried out on Mount Sinjar without committing combat troops on the ground, we obviously feel a great urge to provide some humanitarian relief to the situation.

On Ferguson, he said the FBI will investigate the death of Michael Brown. As to last night's violence, he said while there are differing accounts: [More...]

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Obama's Final CO Visit: Mile Long Line, Hours To Go

Update: 10:45: President Obama has arrived. More at the bottom of the thread.

Update: Live stream here, Dave Matthews is singing. 10:25 p.m: The President's plane has touched down. Turnout: 20,000 supporters

The line to see President Obama tonight at the Community College of Aurora – Lowry Campus began hours ago and quickly grew to over a mile long according to CBS News4 Colorado -- some say 1.5 miles. President Obama is not scheduled to speak until 10:25 pm, and may be a little late since he left Cincinnati late. Dave Matthews will perform a solo acoustic set.

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Obama: Un Presidente Para Todas

President Obama laid out his second-term agenda in an off the record conversation with the Des Moines Register, which his campaign provided to the paper today with permission to publish. He says he will get immigration reform done in 2013. The full transcript is here.

"The second thing I'm confident we'll get done next year is immigration reform," Mr. Obama told the newspaper. "And since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt. Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community. And this is a relatively new phenomenon.

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Post- Final Debate Thread

,P. Update: CBS snap poll: 53% of uncommitted voters say Obama won. 23% Romney.
In a poll of 521 uncommitted voters conducted immediately after the final presidential debate, 53% of these said President Obama was the winner, 23% think Romney won, another 24% feel the debate was a tie.

Mitt's Pinocchio moment: The Apology Tour whopper. Washington Post: "Every fact checker has said the so-called ‘apology tour” did not happen. Here is the Fact Checker’s look at the 4-Pinocchio claim." [More...]

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Final Debate Live Thread

The third and final debate is about to begin. The New York Times says voters don't really care about foreign policy, they are looking for leadership qualities.

In polls this year, voters have practically screamed at the top of their lungs how little they care about foreign policy. In recent polls of three battleground states, Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin, fewer than 10 percent of voters in each state said national security was the most important issue to them, ranking below the economy, deficit and health care.

On NBC just now, in between the Mitt Romney ads tonight, there was a great ad in support of Amendment 64 and the legalization of marijuana.

And here we go, updates below.

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Pre-Debate Open Thread

One hour from now, the second debate begins between President Obama and Mitt Romney. It's a town hall, will someone ask about marijuana? Will it be the only thing they agree on all night, that it must stay illegal, or will one or both pander for the youth vote and pretend they aren't dead set against it?

Which Obama will we see tonight? Hopefully not the professor.

Here's an open thread for your thoughts before it begins.

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Wednesday Night at the DNC

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is speaking now. I didn't find it special.

A very happy, energizer-bunny of a nun is up next. She seemed very nice but a little too cheerful.

The big flap on Jerusalem, brings to mind this fun video from "Working Girl."

I'll be back for Clinton and check the comments to see if I've missed anything. [Post speech thoughts below...]

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Good Morning, Charlotte

The Democratic Convention begins today in Charlotte.

The 2012 Democratic Platform is here.

We have two choices. I'll take this one.

The other choice is below:

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President Obama Live in Boulder

Here's the live stream for President Obama's appearance in Boulder today. He is just beginning. "Hello Colorado."

President Obama stopped for breakfast at The Buff restaurant.

Obama ordered the Ole Skillet, which includes red skinned potatoes, chili verde jalapenos, white onions, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and two eggs a with side of toast

Reminds me of when Blagojevich stopped to eat on his way to FCI Englewood.

Obama stayed at the Westin in Westminister last night. Quips from his speech below:

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Obama Addresses Akin's Remarks on Rape

President Obama today called GOP Senate Candidate Todd Akin's statement about rape and pregnancy offensive. So did Mitt Romney, but he wouldn't join other Republicans in calling for Akin should step down.

What he said (in response to a question about his opposition to abortion, even in the case of rape resulting in pregnancy:)

“From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”

The RNC Chair called his comments "bizzare" and "biologically stupid" and suggested he forego attending the convention. Missouri Republicans can still select a replacement candidate if Akin drops out by tomorrow at 6 p.m.

Here's the reaction of medical experts to his woefully misinformed view of pregnancy and rape. [More....]

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President Obama Arrives in Colorado to Meet with Shooting Victims

President Obama arrived in Colorado this afternoon to meet with the victims of the Aurora shootings.

Air Force One landed at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado, where he is expected to stay for a two-and-a-half-hour visit. He headed straight to the University of Colorado Hospital, one of several area medical centers that received shooting victims.

Obama will not attend a community prayer vigil, which is scheduled in Aurora Sunday night. He will be briefed on the investigation, officials said, and is expected to address the public before he leaves Colorado.

Aurora Police Chief Oates approves:

"These families need that kind of contact by our elected leader," Oates told CBS' "Face the Nation." ''It will be very powerful and it will help them. As awful as what they've been through and what they're going through has been, having the president here is very, very powerful."
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