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NY Times: President Obama is prepared to move ahead with a limited military strike on Syria, administration officials said on Thursday, even with a rejection of such action by Britain’s Parliament, an increasingly restive Congress, and lacking an endorsement from the United Nations Security Council.
Fox News: British lawmakers on Thursday rejected a measure that would have given preliminary approval to military intervention in Syria, in a major setback for both British Prime Minister David Cameron and the Obama administration.
The Hill: A total of 116 lawmakers had signed the letter as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, highlighting bipartisan interest and growing momentum in ensuring a role for Congress in any decision to use force in Syria.
The Hill: President Obama’s frequently rocky relationship with the judicial branch has emerged as a major obstacle to his second term goals.
National Review: “Military intervention by the West against the Assad regime in Syria would be disastrous, according to the head of the country’s Melkite Greek Catholic Church.” Speaking from Lebanon after a pastoral mission to Damascus, Syrian-born Patriarch Gregory III Laham, Melkite Greek Catholic Church Patriarch . . .
The Hill: Nearly two dozen House members have signed onto a letter demanding President Obama consult Congress — and wait for its authorization — before launching military strikes against Syria.
The Tablet: A Syrian Chaldean Catholic bishop yesterday warned that armed intervention in Syria could unleash a “world war”. Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo told Vatican Radio: “If there is an armed intervention, that would mean, I believe, a world war. That risk has returned.”
Moscow Patriarchate: acting as “international executioners,” the US is sacrificing Muslims and Christians in Syria
AsiaNews.it: “Once again,” Hilarion warned, “thousands of lives will be sacrificed on the altar of an imaginary democracy;” among them, according to the Metropolitan, there are, first of all, “Christians, about whose fate no one cares.”
Wall Street Journal: Prince Bandar—for two decades one of the most influential deal makers in Washington as Saudi ambassador but who had largely disappeared from public view—is now reprising his role as a geopolitical operator. This time it is to advance the Saudi kingdom’s top foreign-policy goal, defeating Syrian President Assad and his Iranian and Hezbollah allies . . . The conflict there has become a proxy war for Middle East factions, and Saudi Arabia’s efforts in Syria are just one sign of its broader effort to expand its regional influence. The Saudis also have been outspoken supporters of the Egyptian military in its drive to squelch the Muslim Brotherhood, backing that up with big chunks of cash.
Yahoo News: The Syrian statement published Monday on the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency, which acts as a government mouthpiece, said Kerry’s insistence on “jumping over” the work of U.N. experts in Syria shows that the U.S. has deliberate intentions to exploit events.
CNSNews: Hundreds of Coptic Christian and Egyptian Americans rallied outside the White House today to express their support for the Egyptian army in its effort to protect people in Egypt from Muslim Brotherhood.
AP: Obama says students do most of their classroom learning in the first two years of law school. He says the third year would be better spent clerking for a judge or working in a law firm.
BizPacReview: Over 200 Coptic Christians in Nashville, Tenn. took to the streets Monday in a mass demonstration calling out the Obama administration for its lack of response and begging Americans to “pray for Egypt” while calling for an end to the terrorism inflicted by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Washington Post: The White House will hold a closed-door roundtable discussion on issues facing bisexuals Sept. 23, according to gay rights groups.
Christians, Other Egyptians Protest Perceived Pro-Muslim Brotherhood Bias of White House, Media, CAIR
Patrick Goodenough at CNSNews: Coptic Christians and other Egyptian-Americans plan a rally in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to highlight what they say is a pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias by the Obama administration and “certain American media.”
Terence P. Jeffrey at CNSNews: The Bush-Obama policies were rooted in two great errors. Their job was not to change other nations, but to protect the liberty, security and prosperity of this nation. And the greatness of this nation has ultimately been rooted not merely in the admittedly felicitous form of our government, but in the popular embrace of moral truths — expressly taught by millennia of Judeo-Christian tradition — that make all freedom possible.
Andrew McCarthy at NRO: In my weekend column, I argued that there are only two realistic alternatives at the moment. The first is the self-defeating option popular with the Obama administration and the GOP’s erratic McCain wing: Call for a new round of popular elections
WorldNetDaily: President Obama’s half-brother in Kenya could cause the White House more headaches over new evidence linking him to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and establishing that controversial IRS supervisor Lois Lerner signed his tax-exempt approval letter.
Heritage Foundation (video): Is it even possible to defund Obamacare? And does advocating this mean you want to shut down the government?
FedSoc Blog: The president’s proponents hope that if he succeeds in staffing the court with enough judges of his own choosing, then he may not only preserve his regulatory agenda for the next three years, but perhaps even entrench a progressive regulatory zeitgeist in the court for years to come.
Findlaw (AP): A proposed fix for a problem in the new health care law has created a situation in which lawmakers and staffers could gain access to abortion coverage, something that currently is denied to federal employees.
The Hill: Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called Thursday for the Obama administration to freeze U.S. aid to Egypt.
The Hill: GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold (Texas) said House Republicans have enough votes to impeach President Obama, but warned the effort to remove him from office would be unsuccessful and could damage the country.
Middle East Forum: In the eyes of tens of millions of Egyptians, Senators John McCain’s and Lindsey Graham’s recent words and deeds in Egypt—which have the “blessing” of President Obama—have unequivocally proven that U.S. leadership is aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Townhall: Arizona Senator John McCain is in Egypt with South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham just weeks after the new government, run by the Muslim Brotherhood, was overthrown by the military.
White House: Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to Muslims celebrating Eid al-Fitr here in the United States and around the world. During the past month, Muslims have honored their faith through prayer and service, fasting and time spent with loved ones.
Washington Post: So, where does that leave us with the Affordable Care Act? Michael McConnell, a former judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, has made perhaps the highest-profile argument that the decision was illegal. His case is that the employer mandate delay does more than show flexibility – it dispenses with law altogether.
Religion Clause Blog: As previously reported, in April 2012 the White House issued the Recommendations of the Interagency Working Group on Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Partnerships which provides federal agencies with guidance on carrying out Executive Order 13559 (Nov. 17, 2010)– the executive order that adopted a number of recommendations of the President’s faith-based task force
The Daily Caller: The guidelines, released Wednesday, allow for members and staff to retain their subsidies from the government, an exception in exchange for giving up “premium tax credits” that they would otherwise be eligible for under Obamacare.
Trial Insider: Idaho’s Republican Senator Mike Crapo “was not consulted on the decision and is not happy with the nomination,” said Judd Deere, Crapo’s spokesman. [update] Deere says both he and Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, are “evaluating” how to proceed.
The Hill: Thirty-nine Republican senators demanded answers from the White House on why unrelated federal agencies are spending funds to help implement and promote ObamaCare.
NY Times: Worried about the potential impact on the fragile economies in their states, Republican governors this weekend warned their counterparts in Congress not to shut down the federal government as part of an effort to block financing for President Obama’s health care law.
Blog of the Legal Times: The Senate and the White House used the last day before the month-long summer congressional recess to move on a slate of judicial and U.S. Justice Department positions, including Stuart Delery to lead the DOJ Civil Division.
Daniel Henninger at Wall Street Journal: The U.S. has a system of checks and balances. Mr. Obama is rebalancing the system toward a national-leader model that is alien to the American tradition. To create public support for so much unilateral authority, Mr. Obama needs to lessen support for the other two branches of government—Congress and the judiciary. He is doing that.
CNSNews: “If we pass a budget that pays for everything except for Obamacare, and the President says he’ll veto that, it is he who wants to shut down the government. It is he who is basically saying, ‘I will shut down the government unless it pays for Obamacare.’ And that is an unreasonable position. It’s unreasonable because this law is so bad,” Rubio said as he joined Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) in voicing his opposition to funding Obamacare.
CNSNews: Stepped-up efforts by the U.S. and British governments to promote homosexual rights abroad are risking a backlash in conservative countries, where critics say the West is trying to impose norms that clash with local tradition, religion and culture.
Wall Street Journal: The Obama administration increasingly fears that Egypt’s military, ignoring American appeals, is deepening a crackdown that could spark a sustained period of instability and lead members of the country’s Muslim Brotherhood to take up arms.
National Review (includes video): A group of College Republicans were denied admission to President Obama’s speech at the University of Central Missouri Wednesday, allegedly because of “security concerns.” A. J. Feather, Chairman of the Missouri College Republicans, filled in some more details today in an appearance on Fox News.
The Hill: President Obama late Thursday celebrated Ramadan with a traditional dinner in the State Dining Room, saying that throughout the nation’s history, “Islam has contributed to the character of our country.”
Townhall: One of the nation’s most prominent evangelical leaders wants to know why President Obama has remained silent as Iran tortures an American pastor held captive in one of the Islamic republic’s most notorious prisons.
The Hill: Congressional Republicans and business groups on Tuesday demanded information about who made the decision to delay the healthcare law’s employer mandate.
Obama Judicial Pick Cornelia Pillard: Abortion Needed to “Free Women From Maternity” | Tony Perkins at LifeNews
Tony Perkins at LifeNews: A lot can happen between now and Congress’s August recess — and that’s exactly what conservatives should be concerned about. Senate Democrats seem to be banking on the fact that Americans are on vacation and not paying attention, because liberal leaders are trying to slip in a quiet confirmation hearing for Cornelia “Nina” Pillard.
USA Today: But we might do well to pay more attention where the court rules unanimously, particularly when they go against the White House. When a president pursues policies that require such expansive federal power that he can’t get a single justice to agree, something is probably amiss.
Rasmussen: A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is at least somewhat likely that the president or his top aides were aware that the conservative groups were being targeted. Just 32% consider that unlikely. This includes 38% who say it’s Very Likely the president or his top aides knew . . .
The Hill: Senate Republicans, including two members of the leadership, are coalescing around a proposal to block any government funding resolution that includes money for the implementation of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
National Review: “I know he’s watching this,” the Detroit News quotes Aquilina saying, noting that she predicted that Obama would eventually step in and take action.
WSJ (via Google): Republicans accuse Mr. Obama of trying to tilt the court in a liberal direction to obtain more favorable legal review of his administration’s policies. Democrats scoff at the charge, saying he isn’t adding new positions and instead wants to fill existing vacancies to get the court moving at full speed.
Peggy Noonan at WSJ: The IRS scandal was connected this week not just to the Washington office—that had been established—but to the office of the chief counsel. That is a bombshell—such a big one that it managed to emerge in spite of an unfocused, frequently off-point congressional hearing in which some members seemed to have accidentally woken up in the middle of a committee room, some seemed unaware of the implications of what their investigators had uncovered, one pretended that the investigation should end if IRS workers couldn’t say the president had personally called and told them to harass his foes, and one seemed to be holding a filibuster on Pakistan.
Ken Klukowski at Breitbart: On Thursday, President Barack Obama said of his health care law: “Despite all the evidence that the law is working the way it’s supposed to,” there are critics out there. He says they must be doing it for purely political reasons. That sound you hear is the fire alarm going off in the White House.
The Hill: President Obama said Thursday his administration will “blow through” GOP criticism to implement his signature healthcare law.
AP: A third federal appeals court has declared President Barack Obama’s recess appointments of three members of the National Labor Relations Board unconstitutional. | NLRB v. Enterprise Leasing Company Southeast
The Hill: President Obama has rewarded at least 19 campaign contributors and political allies with ambassadorships this year, according to an analysis by The Hill.
AP: Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is driving his chamber toward rule changes that would help President Barack Obama win confirmation for some of his nominees for posts overseeing workers’ and consumers’ rights.
LifeSiteNews: The outrage of Dominican religious leaders to the Obama administration’s appointment of a homosexual activist as ambassador to the country has sparked a call for a nation-wide protest, dubbed “Black Monday,” to take place July 15.
Blog of the Legal Times: D.C. Superior Court Magistrate Judge William Nooter, who serves as the court’s presiding magistrate judge, is President Barack Obama’s latest nominee for an associate judge position in Superior Court.
Jay Greene at WSJ: It is not clear why private schools have an advantage in producing more tolerant students. It may be that private schools are better at teaching civic values like tolerance, just as they may be more effective at teaching math or reading. It is also possible that, contrary to elite suspicion, religion can teach important lessons about human equality and dignity that inspire tolerance.
The Cable: Opposition to President Obama’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic reached a fever pitch this week as religious organizers stage a “Lunes Negros” or Black Monday protest against James “Wally” Brewster.
Judge Andrew P. Napolitano: What’s going on? What we have is a runaway government, dismissive of the Constitution it has sworn to uphold, contemptuous of the law it is required to enforce and driven by its own values of maximum control and minimum personal freedom. And we have a Congress supine enough to let this happen, as well as a judiciary so tangled in its own arcane procedures that immeasurable human freedom will be destroyed and Obama out of office before any meaningful judicial review can be had. Is this the rule of law? What shall we do about it?
Religion Clause Blog: Yesterday the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a press release calling on U.S. officials to raise with the Chinese the cases of prominent religious prisoners and human rights lawyers in China.
Religion Clause Blog: Yesterday the White House released a statement (full text) extending Ramadan greetings from the President and First Lady to Muslim communities in the U.S. and around the world. Ramadan begins today. The President said in part . . .
Mike McConnell at WSJ: Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution states that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This is a duty, not a discretionary power. While the president does have substantial discretion about how to enforce a law, he has no discretion about whether to do so. This matter—the limits of executive power—has deep historical roots. During the period of royal absolutism, English monarchs asserted a right to dispense with parliamentary statutes they disliked.
AP: The White House had no immediate response to Boehner’s demand.
Albert Mohler, Jr. at Baptist Press: I criticize President Obama not for stating that America is not at war with Islam but for failing to be honest in clarifying that we do face a great civilizational challenge in Islam. Islam is, in effect, the single most vital competitor to Western ideals of civilization on the world scene. The logic of Islam is to bring every square inch of this planet under submission to the rule of the Quran. Classical Islam divides the world into the “World of Islam” and the “World of War.” In this latter world the struggle to bring society under submission to the Quran is still ongoing.
AP: The Obama administration signaled Monday that U.S. national security interests will trump its promotion of Egypt’s budding democracy, stressing the importance of continued aid to the Egyptian military, which overthrew the elected president last week.
Weekly Standard: The president also said that government would store data so that government forms could be automatically filled in “so you don’t have to enter it every time you log in.”
Daily Caller: Section 508 of the decades-old Foreign Assistance Act stipulates that “none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by a military coup or decree.”
David French at NRO: Consider the following three events. First, on May 10, 2013, the Obama Administration elected to waive human rights restrictions placed on American military aid to Egypt, freeing up $1.3 billion for the Muslim Brotherhood regime’s military without the required showing that the “Government of Egypt is supporting the transition to civilian government, including holding free and fair elections and implementing policies to protect freedom of expression, association, and religion and due process of law.”
LifeSite news reports and carries the video: “A second African president has rebuffed President Barack Obama’s promotion of homosexuality in foreign relations during his $100 million tour of the continent.”
Opposing Views: “We are happy Prop. 8 remains the law of California,” Austin Nimocks, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom.
Blog of the Legal Times: President Barack Obama directed Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. on Wednesday to ensure the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act is implemented “swiftly and smoothly.”
AP: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is scheduled to vote Friday on whether Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions by making an opening statement.