Chad’s Morning Brief: Obama to Speak About a Broader Mission Against ISIS, Greg Abbott Responds to Wendy Davis’ Disclosure of Two Abortions, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of September 8, 2014. 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.
The New York Times is reporting that President Obama will address the nation on Wednesday to outline a plan against ISIS. Though that plan appears to not include ground troops.
President Obama will use a speech to the nation on Wednesday to make his case for launching a United States-led offensive against Sunni militants gaining ground in the Middle East, seeking to rally support for a broad military mission while reassuring the public he is not plunging American forces into another Iraq war.
“I’m preparing the country to make sure that we deal with a threat from” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, Mr. Obama said in an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“What I want people to understand,” he said, “is that over the course of months, we are going to be able to not just blunt the momentum” of the militants. “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,” he added.
The planned speech suggests that the president may be moving closer to a decision on whether to expand the month-old air campaign against ISIS in Iraq into Syria, and it is Mr. Obama’s latest attempt to answer critics who charge that he lacks a viable plan or the fortitude to go after the group.
The president was adamant that he had no intention of sending American combat troops to go after ISIS, repeating no fewer than three times during the interview that he would not do so, and calling the idea of putting United States boots on the ground “a profound mistake.”
“This is not going to be an announcement about U.S. ground troops,” Mr. Obama said. “This is not the equivalent of the Iraq war.”
The president’s plans for a major address came just days after he returned from a NATO summit meeting in Wales, where he and top members of his administration worked on the sidelines to rally international support for a coalition to confront ISIS in Iraq and Syria. And the “Meet the Press” interview was broadcast hours after American warplanes carried out a new round of attacks on ISIS targets near a major hydroelectric dam in Iraq.
The speech is set for the day before the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which touched off a broad military campaign to defeat the terrorist group Al Qaeda and, ultimately, to protracted American-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Opposition to those wars and a vow to end them responsibly helped propel Mr. Obama to the White House.
The president said he planned to meet with congressional leaders on Tuesday to outline his strategy, but suggested he did not need a vote to move forward with his campaign against ISIS, saying he was “confident” that he has the authorization he needs. Still, Mr. Obama hinted that he might ask for more money for the mission, saying, “It’s going to require some resources, I suspect, above what we are currently doing in the region.”
Such a request would trigger a congressional debate and vote, and could hinder another of Mr. Obama’s vows: to cut the Pentagon budget.
White House officials have said that Mr. Obama is operating under his constitutional powers as commander in chief in striking ISIS in Iraq, where the central government in Baghdad and Kurdish regional officials based in Erbil have requested United States assistance in battling the group. When the president announced what he described as a limited bombing campaign against ISIS, he said the goal was to protect Iraqi minorities besieged by ISIS and to safeguard American citizens and United States facilities in Iraq.
Abortion Front and Center in the Governors Race
Over the weekend excerpts from Wendy Davis' memoir began to leak and the San Antonio Express-News reported Friday that Davis had two abortions. According to the Houston Chronicle, the Abbott campaign and others responded on Saturday.
Sen. Wendy Davis' disclosure that she terminated a much-wanted pregnancy because her unborn daughter had a severe brain abnormality drew sympathy Saturday from her anti-abortion opponent in the governor's race, Attorney General Greg Abbott.
“The unspeakable pain of losing a child is beyond tragic for any parent. As a father, I grieve for the Davis family and for the loss of life,” Abbott said of the disclosure in her memoir, which also revisited her termination of an ectopic pregnancy, for which there was no other option.
Anti-abortion activist Joe Pojman of the Texas Alliance for Life also was measured, expressing sympathy even while making the point that his organization doesn't back abortions even in cases of devastating disability.
“She definitely experienced a loss of two children, and we are sympathetic to her for that. The position of our organization is that we do not favor, and we don't recommend, aborting a child who has a severe disability, the same as we can't recommend destroying a newborn child who has a severe disability. Both of them are children,” Pojman said.
Davis' memoir, “Forgetting to Be Afraid,” is due out next week, but the San Antonio Express-News obtained a copy and reported Friday about the disclosures in the book.
The abortion issue has threaded through the race for governor, even though Davis mainly has couched it in broader terms of women's health since rising to national prominence last year with her filibuster against tighter abortion restrictions.
But in her 304-page memoir published by the Penguin Group's Blue Rider Press, Davis made the issue starkly personal by revealing the decision she made with her then-husband, Jeff Davis, in 1997 when she was pregnant with the daughter they already had namedTate Elise.
They were told her acute brain abnormality would cause her to suffer and was likely incompatible with life, she wrote.
Her personal twist on the issue requires that abortion opponents, and even her staunchest foes, handle it with care lest they provide an opening for her uphill campaign against the favored Abbott, experts said.
“There are so many families that have some kind of deep, visceral understanding of these events that to have gone overboard, to have really gone strong with an anti-abortion message or a conservative ideological message would, I think, have disturbed a lot of people, so I think that there's a lot of wisdom in caution here,”Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson said.
If Republicans mishandle the issue, it could give women who are targeted by Davis, but who haven't yet given her a look, a reason to consider her as a candidate, he said.
Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak said Abbott's statement was restrained and struck the right emotional chord of respect and sadness for the two lives lost.
“This is obviously a serious and emotional part of her life. It was obviously a tough decision,” Mackowiak said.
As for its political implications, he said: “It cuts both ways. It cuts against them (the Davis campaign) politically in the sense that it recenters the focus back on the abortion issue. That's not something they want. It's not a winning issue for them.”
On the other hand, he said: “It works for her in the sense it's a new wrinkle in her narrative. It gives her a chance to earn media. It gives her a chance to sell more books.”
Mackowiak said he found it “really jarring and kind of amazing” that the Davis campaign was highlighting the book to try to “maximize the benefit of this revelation.”
Thoughts? You can read the entire story by clicking on the link above.
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