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Chad’s Morning Brief: Cruz Upsets White House, Tax Increase Terrible Idea for Lubbock, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of September 9, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

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1. Outraged (link)

Is it just me or is it a good thing when Senator John McCain or the White House is upset with Senator Ted Cruz? On Sunday, the White House Chief of Staff said he was outraged by one comment from Senator Ted Cruz.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough says he’s outraged by comments from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that members of the U.S. military would be essentially helping Al Qaeda in Syria.

“I am outraged for somebody to suggest that our people would be serving as allies to Al Qaeda,” McDonough said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

“Targeted, consequential, limited attack against Assad forces and Assad capabilities so that he is deterred from carrying out these actions again. Here is what it is not. It is not boots on the ground. It is not an extended air campaign. It is not Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya. This is a very concerned, concentrated, limited effort that we can carry out and that can underscore and secure our interests,” McDonough said.

Cruz said last week that the United States had no national security interest in intervening in the Syrian civil war – where elements of Al Qaeda and other Islamist groups are fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“We certainly don’t have a dog in the fight … We should be focused on defending the United States of America. That’s why young men and women sign up to join the military, not to, as you know, serve as Al Qaeda’s air force,” Cruz told the conservative website The Blaze.

Faux outrage. You gotta love it.

2. Is Obama’s Syria War Really About Iran? (link)

No one would be surprised to hear that Iran wants the Assad regime to stay in power. Bob Dreyfuss writes that the conflict in Syria has everything to do Iran.

The dirty little not-so-secret behind President Obama’s much-lobbied-for, illegal and strategically incompetent war against Syria is that it’s not about Syria at all. It’s about Iran—and Israel. And it has been from the start.

By “the start,” I mean 2011, when the Obama administration gradually became convinced that it could deal Iran a mortal blow by toppling President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, a secular, Baathist strongman who is, despite all, an ally of Iran’s. Since then, taking Iran down a peg has been the driving force behind Obama’s Syria policy.

Not coincidentally, the White House plans to scare members of Congress into supporting the ill-conceived war plan by waving the Iranian flag in their faces. Even liberal Democrats, some of whom are opposing or questioning war with Syria, blanch at the prospect of opposing Obama and the Israel lobby over Iran.

Item for consideration: a new column by the Syria analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the chief think tank of the Israel lobby. Andrew Tabler headlines his piece: “Attacking Syria Is the Best Way to Deal with Iran.” In it, he says:

At first glance, the festering Syria crisis seems bad news for diplomatic efforts to keep Iran from developing nuclear capabilities. In actuality, however, achieving U.S. objectives in the Syria crisis is an opportunity to pressure Iran into making hard choices not only in Syria, but regarding its nuclear program as well. More U.S. involvement to achieve its objectives in Syria will inevitably run counter to Tehran’s interests, be it to punish the Assad regime for chemical weapons use or to show support for the Syrian opposition in changing Assad’s calculus and forcing him to “step aside” at the negotiating table or on the battlefield.

Many in U.S. policymaking circles have viewed containing swelling Iranian influence in Syria and preventing Iran from going nuclear as two distinct policy discussions, as the Obama Administration only has so much “bandwidth” to deal with Middle East threats. But the recent deepening of cooperation between Tehran, Hezbollah and the Assad regime, combined with their public acknowledgement of these activities, indicates that they themselves see these activities as furthering the efficacy of the “resistance axis.”

Like every alliance, its members will only make hard policy choices if the costs of its current policies far outweigh the benefits. U.S. strikes on the Assad regime, if properly calibrated as part of an overall plan to degrade the regime, would force Tehran to become more involved in Syria in order to rescue its stalwart ally. This would be costly for Iran financially, militarily and politically. Those costs would make the Iranian regime and its people reassess aspirations to go nuclear.

Needless to say, such a strategy is bound to be counterproductive, since—by slamming Syria, never mind toppling Assad—Washington is likely to undermine doves and bolster hawks in Tehran and undermine the chances for successful negotiations with Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, who’ll be speaking at the UN General Assembly later this month.

Thoughts?

3. Lubbock Tax Increase (link)

Over the weekend the Lubbock AJ came out with an editorial calling the tax increase that the Lubbock City Council has planned, a bad idea.

We were disappointed the City Council voted to include a 2.8 percent tax increase on the first reading of its 2013-14 budget.

We also were surprised by the 5-2 margin of the vote. Mayor Glen Robertson and Councilman Todd Klein voted no, saying they would not approve a budget with a tax increase.

But the rest of the five council members gave the tax hike a thumbs up.

Less than a week before the first-reading vote, Robertson and Klein had already committed against the tax increase and Councilman Victor Hernandez appeared to be in favor of it. The other four council members were saying they hadn’t made up their minds.

Council members, I believe, were being less than honest when they told the AJ that they had not made up their minds. I’ve been telling you for 2 months where this City Council stood. The tax increase that they have planned is proof that they are leftists who want to spend spend spend.

I hope that you, the voters, remember this vote when city elections come around.

Other Top Stories:

Council Members Have Quorum in Chancellor’s Suite

Council Claims Pay Raise the Right Thing To Do

Budget Votes

LPD Body Cameras

TX Military Forces Ask for AG Opinion on Benefits

Turnout Strong in Co. Recall Effort

NSA Can Access Most Smartphone Data

Where Congress Stands on Syria

Drawing an Al-Qaeda Red Line

WH Narrows Syria Pitch

Cruz on Role of Military

Paul on Chemical Weapons

Arctic Ice Cap Grows

Postal Service Wants Stamp Price Increase

America the Ignorant

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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