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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Bad Day for POTUS

At The Washington Post, Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake write:
A majority of House members are now on the record as either against or leaning against authorizing President Obama to use military force against Syriaaccording to the latest whip count from the Washington Post.
As of Friday afternoon, there were 223 members in the “no” or “leaning no” category, more than the 217 that would be needed to sink the resolution. (The threshold for passage in the House is 217 votes, rather than the usual 218, since there are currently two vacancies.)
US News reports:
Support for U.S. military strikes in Syria is lower than any other intervention in the last 20 years, according to a new poll.

Just 36 percent of Americans support President Barack Obama's call for air strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad, who the U.S. claims used chemical weapons to kill about 1,400 Syrians, including more than 400 children, according to a Gallup survey released Friday. Obama said he would seek congressional approval before moving ahead with the intervention, but faces stiff opposition from members, the public and the international community. 
In 1999 during the Clinton administration, 43 percent of people said they supported the mission in Kosovo and the Balkans. But all three wars started under Bush administrations earned well over 50 percent support: George H.W. Bush's Persian Gulf War had 62 percent support in 1991; George W. Bush's war in Afghanistan, launched in the wake of 9/11, earned 82 percent support; and his Iraq War received 59 percent support.
The New York Times reports on the G-20 summit:
After two days of tense discussions, including a dinner debate that went into the morning hours, Mr. Obama left without forging an international consensus behind military action as other leaders urged him not to attack without United Nations permission. But he won agreement from some allies on blaming Syria’s government for a chemical weapons attack and on endorsing an unspecified response.
The deep divisions on display here at the Group of 20 summit meeting raised the stakes even further for Mr. Obama as he seeks authorization from Congress for a “limited, proportional” attack. While aides said he never expected or sought a more explicit endorsement of military action during the meeting, the president hoped to use the statement from allies condemning Syria to leverage more domestic support, but he acknowledged that he had a “hard sell” and might fail to win over an American public that polls show still opposes a strike.
And the economy is not so great, either. CNN reports:
The official U.S. unemployment rate is falling, but that's not necessarily a good thing.

That's because the slice of Americans involved in the labor force has shrunk to a level not seen in 35 years.

The labor force participation rate -- the percentage of people over 16 who either have a job or are actively searching for one -- fell to 63.2% in August. The last time it was that low was in August of 1978.
In the latter half of the 20th century, the rate rose steadily for decades as more women were entering the workforce, eventually peaking at 67.3% in 2000. But the number has been on the decline ever since -- a trend that was accelerated by the Great Recession.