A WHITE HOUSE INSIDER -- WHO ASKED THAT WE SAY "NOT JOE BIDEN" -- TOLD THESE REPORTERS THAT SUSAN RICE HAS ALWAYS BEEN NUTS.
FURTHERMORE, SHE WAS NEVER HIRED BY THE ADMINISTRATION.
"THE REASON PREZ NEVER NOMINATED HER FOR SECRETARY OF STATE WAS HE NEVER GAVE HER A JOB TO BEGIN WITH," EXPLAINED THE INSIDER. "HONESTLY, I THINK SHE SNUCK INTO ONE OF THE D.C. 2008 INAUGURAL BALLS AND JUST SET UP SHOP IN THE WHITE HOUSE AFTER. AND SHE'S SO SCARY WHEN SHE SCOWLS, NO ONE WANTS TO BE THE ONE TO ASK HER TO GO HOME."
IT WAS A RARE INSIDE LOOK AT THE WOMAN SOME HAVE CALLED DEMI-GOD AND OTHERS HAVE CALLED A DEMON.
BUT TO THE INSIDER -- WHO ASKED THAT WE SAY IS NOT JOE BIDEN -- DIRTY RICE IS JUST CRAZY, "F-ING NUTS! I USED TO STOP IN MID-WILL & GRACE MARATHON AND TELL MYSELF, 'SUSAN RICE IS F-ING NUTS!' AND THEN I'D HOLLER, 'JILL! HEY, JILL! DON'T YOU THINK -- OH, FINE, YOU'RE ON THE PHONE. BEAU! BEAU! BEAU COME TALK TO YOUR OLD MAN! DON'T YOU THINK SUSAN RICE IS NUTS?' AND BEAU WOULD AGREE WITH ME."
Seems like just yesterday that a puffed chest former general and current envoy John Allen was boasting to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "In addition we're also discussing the coalition's next steps now that we've largely achieved the objectives of the campaign's first phase which was to blunt ISIL's strategic operation and tactical momentum in Iraq."
Oh, wait, that was yesterday.
Yet Al Jazeera reports today at least 20 Iraqi troops were killed when the Islamic States "seized a strategic bridge" in Anbar Province which "connects the cities of Baghdadi and Haditha" and Iraqi forces attempted (but failed) to take it back. In addition, the bridge is near the US-occupied Ayn al-Asad airbase (where the US trains -- among other things) and there was a suicide truck bombing outside the entrance to the base.
So the Islamic State is on the run?
Various US officials keep insisting that but reality rejects it.
That's how it is under Barack, that's how it was under Bully Boy Bush.
They appear to see the Iraq War as a 12-step program and that, if they spin the talk hard enough, reality will eventually bend to their will.
They pulled this in 2003 and it didn't happen.
They pulled this in 2004 and it didn't happen.
They pulled this in 2005 and it didn't happen.
They pulled this in 2006 and it didn't happen.
They pulled this in 2007 and it didn't happen.
. . .
As Vanessa Williams says at the end of "Running Back To You," "Get the message? 'Nuff said."
The Senate's concerned with what Barack's Authorization for the Use of Military Force (in Iraq, Syria, Disneyland and pretty much the entire world) says.
We covered some of Wednesday's Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in yesterday's snapshot. Senator Bob Corker is the Chair, Senator Bob Menendez is the Ranking Member. Appearing before the Committee was retired Gen John Allen whom US President Barack Obama has named the Special Presidential Envoy for The Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Senator Barbara Boxer: Under Article I, Section 8, Congress has the power to declare war. I know that you agree with that, yes?
Ambassador John Allen Yes, ma'am.
Senator Barbara Boxer: Alright. So I hope you could then understand why we would want to be very precise when we do that because we're sent here by a lot of people who have a lot of kids who serve in the military and they're the fabric of our communities so we want to be careful. I just want to say I'm not even going to ask you to expand on this enduring word because you've said it very clearly. Your definition is no enduring presence could mean a 2-week presence of combat boots on the ground -- American combat boots on the ground -- or a two-year presence of American combat boots on the ground. And that answers a question the Democrats on this Committee have been searching for this-this definition and I think what you are proving with your honesty is there is none because its in the eye of the beholder. When you say to me if I vote for this, no enduring combat presence and I'm sending my kids there in my state for two years I would argue to you you've misinterpreted it. Yet the Congressional Research Service says there's really no definition. And if I wanted to take the administration to court as I would say, as a member of Congress, "I said no enduring presence," CRS says I wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on 'cause there's no definition. So I just think it's very important the administration hear this once again. I know poor Senator -- Secretary [of State John] Kerry had to hear it over and over from our side yesterday. But we're very uncomfortable with this language. And when Senator Menendez was Chairman, he cobbled together a really good AUMF that united all of us on our side because he essentially said no combat troops with these exceptions -- and he put in the kind of exceptions that I think you would agree with -- special forces operations, search and rescue, protecting personnel. And we would urge you, please, to go back and take a look at it. I just feel very strongly.
In yesterday's snapshot, we noted some exchanges on this issue. We'll note another from the hearing:
Senator Ed Markey: In the Authorization for the Use of Military Force text that the administration provided to this Committee. It said that it would prohibit "enduring" ground forces. And this was meant to convey that large numbers of [US] troops wouldn't be on the ground for a long time -- whatever that means. I voted for the 2001 resolution and I'm reminded that the US combat operations in Afghanistan were dubbed Operation Enduring Freedom. We are now past 13 years in that enduring fight and that resolution, of course, was also the basis for the justification of our actions in Somalia, in Yemen and the administration is saying quite clearly that they oppose the repeal of that and that the operations that are going on right now, in fact, are consistent with that 2001 authorization. Now causes great problems to me and I think many members of the Committee because even in the absence of the passage of a new AUMF, the administration is maintaining that they have the authority to continue -- as they have for thirteen years -- under Operation Enduring Freedom. And so that obviously is a problem for us because that sits there as an underlying authority for the next president -- Democrat or Republican who is sworn in on January 20, 2017 and most of us are will be sitting here then as you'll successor will be sitting here then and perhaps not with the same interpretation of the word "enduring." So my questions then go to is this going to open up a potential for an open-ended war in the Middle East? Will it allow for unfettered deployment of ground troops? And ultimately, whether or not we are opening up Pandora's Box -- especially in Syria?
The "enduring" aspect has attracted some media attention.
It's not resulted in any real media analysis.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"