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The Seatbelts -- Tank!

Welcome to the weekly Tuesday open thread for policy discussions by DK Elections regulars. While the main Daily Kos Elections blog, an official subsite of Daily Kos, is strictly a policy free zone for discussions of politics and elections only, it can sometimes be hard not to bring up policy issues when talking about particular candidates or topics. In addition, some of us might like to have a thoughtful discussion with other regular commenters at DKE on issues of policy when most of what we usually talk about pertains to elections. Thus, this open thread and the new group blog Daily Kos Elections: Policy will provide a forum to talk about issues without derailing DKE Live Digests for those who just want election coverage and debate. Feel free to follow this group and if you would like to publish a diary to the group blog page, just PM me about becoming a contributor.

So what issues are you interested in talking about? A big topic in recent days has been the possibility of escalating US involvement in the Syrian conflict.

Poll

What should the US do with regard to Syria?

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| 29 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Seeing as I (0+ / 0-)

    just returned to college, I'm interested in education-related issues. Particularly, how to make college more accessible to the less privileged.

    It seems to me that the biggest problem here is the financial one. There are lots of extremely intelligent people who graduate from high school, could (or even do) get into a great college, but can't afford to attend. It seems that colleges need better financial aid policies. What do other people think should be done about this?

    Also, to Stephen Wolf: You forgot to add the normal 'DK Elections' tag to this diary. Was this on purpose, or not?

    (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

    by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:36:17 AM PDT

    •  Purposeful so I don't crowd out the DK elections (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jncca, Gygaxian

      list. As for college and all education I would make it free. It's ridiculous that people graduate with over $100,000 in debt or can't afford to go to school because their parents make just $50k a year. Cost has made me not give a second thought to avoiding law school.

    •  When is "good" enough (0+ / 0-)

      I'm on the other side.  Why does everyone need to go to a great college?  I wonder if people addressed college more practically if that might solve the problem in a larger sense.  Can one go to a good college and do well in life, I think so.

      Since most states have state schools that are affordable, isn't a lot of the problem self-inflicted?  I mean throw in communicty colleges and a state school and college isn't cheap but certainly it's reasonable.  

      I also note that people tend to include ridiculous over-priced expenses for college like food/rent/entertainment/etc. in the cost of college which don't belong there since they're actually basic living expenses not college expenses...but that's a separate conversation.

      "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

      by rdw72777 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 11:57:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Going to college (0+ / 0-)

        is strongly correlated with success in life - more likely to be wealthy, certainly, but also more likely to be happy and healthy. Not to mention that education allows people to make better decisions, not the least about politics.

        It seems to me that the sole best way to eliminate (or substantially reduce) poverty is with better education.

        (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

        by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 12:48:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you mean to reply to me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sacman701

          Becuase you didn't address anything I said.  I certainly think college can help in life (everyone does), but there seems to be this idea that everyone needs to get their first choice college, that it has to have a reputation and all that jazz.  College is for education, and it can be done in relatively cost effective manner.

          I think you can do community college, transfer to state school and have a pretty good life.  The whole idea that students need to:

          1.  go to school far away (and definitely not live at home)
          2.  go to an expensive school
          3.  study abroad
          4.  not work through college (no, unpaid internships don't count)

          is just foreign to me.  I get the excuses (I want to see the world, have new experiences away from parents, school X doesn't have my really specific major, state schools aren't as good, etc.) but most of it is made up gibberish.  

          If you focus on college for the education and not the "experience" it's not nearly as cost prohibitive as some make it seem.  It's beyond ridiculous that someone thinks they have to take out $100K to get a degree.  There are way too many "foregone" conclusions at that point that I disagree with, especially when 2 years of community college + 2 years of state school tuition rarely would equate to even half that amount.

          I also tend to dismiss the idea that if everyone gets a college education the benefit will remain, as Judge Smales in Caddyshack says, "the world needs ditch diggers too."  

          "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

          by rdw72777 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 03:24:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I did mean to reply to you (0+ / 0-)

            And I strongly disagree with pretty much everything you said.

            Pardon me if I misunderstood, but it seems to me that you are saying:
            1) All college experiences, regardless of where you go to college or what your major is, equally prepare you for a rewarding life.
            2) The college "experience" (as opposed to the education) is worthless.

            I completely disagree with both of these. Many people have legitimate needs that only some colleges can provide (for example, I learn best in small classes, so I couldn't go to anyplace with class sizes of more than 60 people). And as a current college student, I can say with absolute certainty that I have learned a huge amount outside the classroom, and have had a very positive college experience so far. Why would you want to deny this learning to people who are not well off?

            As for your other comments, why should people have to live at home during college? One of the main purposes of college is to become more independent, and it is difficult to do that when you are living with your parents.

            The "excuses" you list are not "made up gibberish" at all, they are real reasons that make sense. State schools often aren't as good (in addition to their being huge and often located in urban areas, two reasons why I didn't really consider going to any state school).

            Also, the fact that you're even mentioning community colleges as an actual alternative to real colleges shows how out of touch you are with American education these days.

            Don't take this the wrong way, but your comment sounded very much like what a conservative would say. Usually the ones who pooh-pooh the benefits of a well-rounded liberal arts education are also the ones who want to lessen state support of public universities, and who generally don't see the benefits of higher education to begin with. It seems to me that you are blaming the victim (the debt-laden liberal arts student) rather than trying to fix the problem.

            Of course, if you have conservative views on education, that's fine; you should just say so. I value political diversity here.

            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

            by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:08:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not a conservative (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sacman701, James Allen, okiedem

              I actually said the opposite of what you translated into your first point.  All college experiences aren't the same, but what's being valued today has little if anything to do with reality.  I think there's a preconceived notion of what will work versus what won't, and it's not even remotely based in the real world.

              As for the suggestion that I want to deny people something, well that's just wrong, and I think you know you made that up.  Going to community college and then transferring to a 4-year school doesn't deny you the college experience, it's ridiculous to think that.  Sure it's not exactly the same, but the differences just aren't that earth-shattering.  And living with people happens in junior year just like it does in freshman year, you still get the experience.  

              I've really never understood the independence argument.  In what way are you being independent in college.  Either the govt or parents or a bank pay for it, how is that independent?  You're eating at a dining hall so you're certainly not cooking for yourself.  I mean what exactly is independent in college in the true sense of the word independent?  You're pretty much reliant on numerous external entities for basic survival, the only independence is whether you go to class or not.  An even if I agreed with the premise, I still don't see how going to a lower priced school that is more of a value than prestige or name school for 2 years (instead of 4) would hinder that.

              Community colleges are actually the solution to so much of the education problem.  I really don't know why people choose to pay $700 per credit hour for English 101 at Expensive University when it's basically the same as English 101 at community college.  It just is.  The same books I read at community college English class were the same they ready at 4-year schools (Beloved, Ceremnoy, etc.).  No one looks at a transcript and sees that you take your basic freshman courses at a community college and throws a resume away...it doesn't happen.

              I have no idea where you are that most most state schools are in urban areas, that simply isn't true.  In fact most state schools aren't in urban areas (see SUNY system in New York for one).  And as to not being as good, that's my total point, they are good enough.  No one is comparing the University of Delaware to Harvard, but then again why would we.  The best public schools rank very highly and are pretty affordable.

              Don't you take this the wrong way, but you are out of touch.  I lived the life I'm preaching and it worked out very well, and continues to for people I know who go through the same path.  You've yet to get out into the real world, so you might want to wait a bit before crapping on the community college system.  Your last comment about me wanting to do away with liberal arts or cut funding for education (ironically while I'm extolling the virtues of state-funded schools in keeping costs down) is complete and utter bullshit, and you know it.

              Enjoy your student loans and feel free to make up some t-shirts that say "At least I didn't go to community college" and give them to your dorm-mates.

              "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

              by rdw72777 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:56:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  signed (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                okiedem, Audrid

                Disclosure: my wife works at a community college. Community colleges are in most cases a very cost-effective way to get through your general-education requirements. In many cases the class sizes are also smaller than you would get at a 4-year school. In California hundreds of people who took their first 2 years at a community college graduate from the most elite UCs every year, not to mention the other UCs and the Cal States.

                To the previous poster, just because something isn't worthless doesn't mean that it should be subsidized by the state.

                SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

                by sacman701 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:00:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Definitely agree with a lot of this (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                James Allen, Skaje

                Community colleges are one of the most cost effective ways of promoting marketable education. It's a pretty huge failure of social policy that the underfunding of community college education reduces availability and channels many students to much more expensive (often much less reputable) for-profit universities.

                I'd also echo the comment that the difference between state universities and so-called "elite" universities are pretty much nil in the real world. Although the opportunities at a few ultra-elite universities like Harvard, Yale and Princeton probably are different, the differences between any given state university and any of the other so-called "elite" universities are pretty minimal in terms of career placement and training.

                I do think there are two issues you're glossing over however. Most notably, state universities are becoming increasingly unaffordable. Although it was possible to work your way through college without student loans in a previous era, this is less of an option in the era of rising tuition and decreasing state support. This is especially true for those, (likely a pretty strong majority of the country) that don't live sufficiently close to a flagship state university to be able to living at home while at school. Although the expansion of regional universities has remedied this to some extent, most people still have to move from home in order to attend any of their state's flagship four-year universities.

                In addition, state support for graduate education is very minimal and almost anyone who attends law school, medical school, business school etc. has to take on a very significant amount of debt. Although grad school students are adults who probably deserve a lower degree of support from the state, the skyrocketing cost of education increasingly means that grad school students have to take on debt loads that are far greater than what can be justified by their future earnings. Although the issue of graduate education affordability is different from that of undergraduate affordability, it should also be considered.

                27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

                by okiedem on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:33:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Agree on graduate school (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  okiedem

                  But also let's agree to keep the 2 discussions completely separate.  Graduate school is an entirely different issue, and even with grad school majors (particularly the 3 you listed its all over the map).  I'm going to stick with the undergraduate argument since if we're discussing a widespread concern, certainly undergrad relates to a larger population.

                  I guess my main point is that if you do community college, I don't really care where you go for your 4-year degree because you've already saved a fortune off the cost and in 2 (or likely 3) years at this school you won't rack up near the debt.  

                  I actually do factor in the cost of moving away after community college (and agree that it is beneficial for lots of reasons) however I don't factor in the listed costs because, to be fair, they are stupid.

                  Case in point, my alma mater, SUNY Binghamton (Binghamton University these days) the residential meal plan looks like this:
                  Meal Plan A (primo) $2,467 per semester
                  Meal Plan F (minimal) $1,763 per semester

                  If You presume a semester is the equivalent of 4 months, even on the minimalist pal you are paying ~$450 for food.  Think about that, in Binghamton New York you are payign $450 per month for food.  What would you pay off campus per month for food, even including the cost of gas and electric to refrigerate and heat food?  $250 per month max?

                  This is why you have to avoid doing your first 2 years at a residential school because you will be required to live on campus at a gouged rate and buy a meal plan at a gouged rate.  Then there are mandatory fees, admittedly you pay less at comm. colleges AND get less, but still the value is there.

                  I really think tuition isn't the problem, and it's the only rate set by the govt in most cases.  I'm a capitalist though, and see rather economical ways of avoiding lots of college costs with planning and udnerstanding.  

                  What I don't understand is why people look down on community colleges.  I mean certainly no one dreams of attending community college per se, but who is telling kids today that its borderline shameful.  It's an attitude that is very pervasive seemingly in the last 10 years and I have no idea where it came from (and no I don't blame university marketers because I haven't met one yet that said "community colleges are crap").  It boggles my mind to no end.

                  "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                  by rdw72777 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:50:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You basically just restated (0+ / 0-)

                what you said in your earlier comment, and your saying it twice does not make it any less false. I'm not comparing community colleges to state universities, I'm comparing them to small liberal-arts colleges, and there's really no comparison. Community colleges are most certainly not the same, or even similar in any way, to my college or colleges like it, and I'm actually kind of offended that you are trying to compare them.

                My parents, and many friends that I have, graduated from small (or at least relatively small) liberal-arts colleges, and they are all living happy lives and have no regrets about their college experience. In my high school graduating class, the students who went to community colleges were not the least well-off ones. No, it was the 'C'-students who generally attended community colleges. This should tell you something about the quality of most community colleges...

                The fact is, most community colleges are, simply, bad.

                Also, who are you to say that a state school is good enough? If someone is smart enough to get into an elite liberal arts college, why should they have to go to state school just because they happen to be poor? This seems extremely unfair, and it seems to me that Democrats should be trying to solve this problem.

                Did you attend a small liberal-arts college? Because by your comments, it seems like you didn't. Did you go to guest lectures at your college? Did you join your college's outing club, or newspaper, or student government, or any other clubs for that matter? Did you have insighful discussions with other students about important political issues? Because I've done all that, and those things I listed are just as much of the college experience as academics. People who attend community colleges cannot have these experiences. People who go to community colleges are not getting the whole college experience.

                (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:38:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Don't want to wade in too much but... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  James Allen

                  there are a few statements here that you should rethink.

                  Community colleges are most certainly not the same, or even similar in any way, to my college or colleges like it, and I'm actually kind of offended that you are trying to compare them.
                  In my high school graduating class, the students who went to community colleges were not the least well-off ones. No, it was the 'C'-students who generally attended community colleges. This should tell you something about the quality of most community colleges...
                  Community college students are much more likely to be older, non-white and working full-time. Although there is certainly value to the traditional four-year college experience there is also value to the flexibility, availability and affordability that is attached with community colleges. Everyone's life experiences are different and we should respect the fact that different people demand different qualities in their educational experience.

                  http://thesocietypages.org/...

                  27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

                  by okiedem on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:54:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I think you've proven your point (0+ / 0-)

                  Your views on community colleges are literally wrong, proven wrong.  Why exactly can't community college students have political discussions, are they all too stupid...really?  Why do you believe community college doesn't have student government, or newspapers, or clubs, or sports or lectures or anything else.  It's borderline ridiculous, of course they have all of those.  You should really do some research.  

                  I find it odd you argue that poor people with good grades can't get into your "elite" liberal arts college but mostly the C students who attend community college.  Where are the poor smart kids going?

                  I'm glad you're offeded, but the fact that you refer to your own college as elite and then have these bizarre views on community colleges tells me I shouldn't be surprised.  Of course by paying to go there you're fueling the very system of educational-financial exclusion you deride, but maybe they'll teach irony next semester.

                  "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                  by rdw72777 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 02:12:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My point about the poor smart kids (0+ / 0-)

                    is that they can (and many do) get into elite liberal arts colleges, but they can't actually attend because they can't afford it. The way I see it, that's the problem. Colleges need better financial aid programs so that poor smart people who are accepted to elite liberal arts colleges can actually attend there.

                    My bigger point, putting aside our whole debate about community colleges, is that all students, regardless of wealth, should be able to attend the college that they feel is right for them (assuming the college accepts them, of course). Even if community colleges are just as good as regular colleges, we shouldn't be forcing poor students into them just because they are poor and so can't afford regular college. They should be able to choose where to go to college just like the rest of us.

                    (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                    by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 02:38:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  more on community colleges (0+ / 0-)

                    From my experience teaching at a community college (one summer class) there is a bigger range between the best and worst students than you get at 4-year schools. The best students can hold their own anywhere. In fact, some of my better students were full-time students at Michigan or Western Michigan saving a few bucks by taking a required course at Washtenaw CC over the summer instead of at UM or WMU. The worst students had no idea what they were doing, but that is probably inevitable when the school is set up (probably appropriately) to give pretty much anyone with a HS diploma or GED a shot. (Unrelated: I also ran into former rep Lynn Rivers at the copy machine one evening. She was teaching a class there too.)

                    SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

                    by sacman701 on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 11:05:26 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  your first point is a good one (0+ / 0-)

        but people do still need a place to live, and food to eat, while in college. Some people get part-time jobs but that usually doesn't pay the bills. It wouldn't be helpful to act like those costs don't exist.

        They also are not increasing much faster than inflation, like tuition costs are, so I don't think that's a good point at all.

        ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

        by James Allen on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 04:19:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well I think it depends (0+ / 0-)

          In quite a few state-run university systems, tuition costs are only growing at about 3-4% over the last decade or 2.

          The on-campus room and board costs are probably the fastest growing expense, then fees, then textbooks.

          "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

          by rdw72777 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:22:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  can you find anything to back that up? (0+ / 0-)

            For Oregon that is certainly not the case that tuition is rising so slowly.

            Average undergraduate tuition rose at least 6 percent and as much as 11 percent in each of the past six years.
            I don't know why general cost of living things like rent and food would rise much faster than inflation, absent weird circumstances.

            This argues against your point more broadly, as at public schools tuition was increasing faster than some other costs such as housing.

            Also, for community colleges tuition had risen 24% beyond inflation, four 4 year public schools 27%, and for private schools 13%.

            ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

            by James Allen on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:04:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think maybe it's weighted or localized (0+ / 0-)

              For instance since 2005 I know Pennsylvania's state school average tuition increase is less than 4% and for SUNY in NY I think over the last 10-15 years it's been around 3-4%.

              For PA, 2 articles, one referencing tuition in 2005-06 and another referencing 2013-14, I backed into about 3.9% compound average:
              $6,622 in 2013-14
              $5,038 in 2006-07
              $4,906 in 2005-06

              http://www.passhe.edu/...

              http://www.passhe.edu/...

              For New York, several sources are available for SUNY today and most SUNY schools are at around $5,500-$6000 from various SUNY websites in 2013-14 (Note most schools have the same rate but the University centers I think are priced differently for select majors).  In the mid-1990's when I went it was around $3,400 (in 1995-1996).  I can site articles but none directly from SUNY, but trust me, I remember my tuition bill :-)

              From $3,400 in 1995 to $6,000 in 2013 is about 3.2% compound average.  The problem with SUNY is that they go for years doing increase of like 1% and then every decade or so do a 10-20% increase (included in my numbers above) but still the long-term average of 3.2% is amazingly good.

              I'm not surprised Oregon or any west coast state is increasing more.  For a place like California, there rates 10-15 years ago were just too damn low.  Sure there were other reasons (decreased funding from the state, I get it) the increases have happened were needed as it was just under-priced.  In places like were the populations have grown and standard of living have grown I'm not surprised the increases have been more substantial.  Supply and demand plays a large part.  

              But even then, the 10% figure some people throw out is too high.  Sure Oregon averages 6% over the last 6 years, but it was only 3.7% this year, and I'd still argue $7K per year for college isn't exactly prohibitive.  I'd also wondered was it under-priced to begin with.  10 years ago you could attend University of Oregon for tuition of $4K per year...that's a bargain

              "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

              by rdw72777 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:34:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  ... and what about non-tuition costs? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ProudNewEnglander

                It's nice that some schools over there haven't seen such increases in tuition, but lets not act like its not happening in many places, and regardless of what the value is, it is making college increasingly unaffordable.

                ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

                by James Allen on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:14:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well again there isn't a perfect solution (0+ / 0-)

                  But cost avoision is pretty much step 1 in all financial decisions in life.  We comparison shop cars, houses, even cell phone plans, but we really don't with college.  At least a lot of people don't seem to  (or don't know how to use Excel).

                  Like I said, you can get around the meal plan and the dorm fees are pretty ridiculous too.  But those are certainly rising faster than tuition "over here " (sorry, I had to).  With meal plans the cost increase is often hidden behind the fact that costs are going up while what you get goes down, so the actual cost is going up faster than it looks.  

                  I can support tuition increases as there should be a relatively solid belief that education has improved in the last 10 years; I don't support the belief that the same college dorm costs more now than it did 10 years ago because it didn't.  I find the increases in room and board to be quite egregious and think the schools should be ashamed of those, far more than tuition increases.

                  One of my points is that college for ducation is more affordable than people think.  If we get everyone down to seeing college as an educational process rather than a 4-year (or increasingly 5-year) trial run at life while choosing the most unrealistic "life experience" ($450/month for dining hall food, $600 per month to share room and then a bathroom with 30 people) it becomes a more practical concern.

                  I don't deny the cost is going up, but in most cases the costs aren't going up double-digits annually for tuition.  I'm not sure how you get around the secondary costs, but I don't think people address avoiding the costs because of the fact they aren't doing the proper research.

                  I don't have any better solution than anyone else.  But what % of the problem becomes more manageable by following some of what I've recommended.  I personally think it's quite a bit, and the days of reading CNN stories about people borrowing $150K for an undergrad degree goes away.  

                  Personally I'd like to see people required to pass financial literacy tests as part of college admission, or at least some sort of seminar NOT conducted by the schools or banks.  I think students could also get public service jobs (paid) during summers and fund it by doing away with work study during the school year (did anyone ever do anything impactful during work study).   But these are mere haircuts for sure.  And I think the 4-year degree in a lot of instance becomes a 5-year degree (due to change of majors, only taking minimum course loads, classes not offered frequently enough, etc) and that needs to be addressed as it's usually a wasted expense for the extra year.

                  As you can tell I was always taught to "question the question" before answering it.  I'm not avoiding the issue, I'm merely trying to point out my belief that there are a lot of people who are voluntarily making some questionable choices that are greatly exaggerating the impact of the situation.

                  "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                  by rdw72777 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 08:57:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  I'll support the president on Syria (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, James Allen, ehstronghold

    But I'm not happy about it. Seems Boehner is also supportive so I imagine it will probably pass the House with a scattershot coalition.

    "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

    by conspiracy on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:15:28 AM PDT

  •  Right now I'm concerned about minimum wage (0+ / 0-)

    I've been reading a lot of articles on it (admittedly from ThinkProgress, which might not be unbiased), and it seems ridiculous that the minimum wage is so low.

    In fact, it should worry "small-government" Republicans, since the wages are so low that min wage earners (who frequently provide for their families, and are not college kids anymore) are forced to rely on government programs like food stamps and Medicare. If we want to get people off those programs, shouldn't we raise the minimum wage?

    Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

    by Gygaxian on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 11:27:52 AM PDT

    •  I mentioned this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gygaxian, psychicpanda, gabjoh

      In last week's edition, but why don't municipalities tackle this more.  Urban areas would tend to have the biggest need for higher min wage and yet numerous urban areas on the east coast don't do it.  Why?

      Getting a statewide min wage that works in New York isn't going to be possible.  The person who works full time at Cumberland farms (convenience store) in upstate New York and makes $15/hour is going to lead a decent life.  The same isn't true of someone working in NYC.  

      The NY City Council is mostly Dem isn't it?  Why not make minimum wage higher in NYC.  So much of tax policy is locally-decided (school taxes and such) why can't the wage issue be addressed similarly?

      I find this issue very baffling.  I read about places like SanFran, San Jose, Albuquerque, DC et al having municipal minimum wages and wonder, why not NYC, Boston, Baltimore, Chicago...etc.

      "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

      by rdw72777 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 11:50:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I talked to all the mayoral candidates in my city (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rdw72777

        of West Jordan, and I was very disappointed that all of them either said the minimum wage was fine where it is, or that there should be no minimum wage. I guess it's to be expected since it's Utah, but that's monstrous. None of them were sure whether cities or the state government dealt with minimum wage anyway.

        I hope Salt Lake City at least pressures the state government to be allowed to enact a higher minimum wage themselves. The SLC city council got away with enacting non-discrimination policies (and even got the LDS Church on their side), so hopefully they can do this as well.

        Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

        by Gygaxian on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 12:48:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd actually be OK with this, (0+ / 0-)

          however I doubt any of the candidates in your city would support my replacement, a real working welfare state. If unemployment support was sufficient to keep food, rent and other necessities paid, I'd happily eliminate OSHA too (if people could afford to quit a bad job, workers wouldn't stand for the mistreatment they now tolerate).

          social democrat (with a small d) the point of politics is policy not power

          by octaviuz on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 12:57:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'd expect that (0+ / 0-)

          In smaller cities that wouldn't normally be involved in such policy, its definitely an area of weakness even in major cities (obviously).

          But I think the more effort put into localizing this issue, the better.  The federal minimum wage isn't going up any time soon, and most states won't be increasing it either.  Lot's of municipalities in this country have solid Dem control and seem to be twiddling their thumbs.

          "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

          by rdw72777 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 03:36:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe go for inncreased enforcement of labor laws (0+ / 0-)

          already there? Frame it as "being fair to small buisness owners who play by the rules." Maybe this is more of a state level thing, but that's the kind of thing that might have a shot at getting traction in Utah - the Republicans there seem quite conservative but overall not, for lack of a better adjective, frothing (unlike, say, Missouri's state legislature...)

          "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 - ! | Yard signs don't vote.

          by gabjoh on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 08:32:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think there are fair points on both sides (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rdw72777

        of the debate.  Certainly companies like Wal-Mart, McDonald's, and other huge corporations can afford to pay their workers higher wages.  But raising the minimum wage to $15/hour (which some are suggesting) could really hurt small businesses.    IMO doubling the minimum wage is drastic even if it is the "livable" threshold.  I wouldn't go higher than $10 right now for a national minimum wage.

        And I think you make a good point about local minimum wages.  In places like DC and NYC where cost of living is insane, minimum wage should be higher than rural Tennessee where there is no income tax and cost of living is dirt cheap.

        •  I'd argue the opposite (0+ / 0-)

          Of your second point.

          Raise the minimum wage in a large city and no business is going to leave, I mean let's be serious.  Starbucks and McDonald's aren't leaving NYC.  And once the minimum wage goes up in NYC, then it spreads to western LI and upstate, so I think the effects on companies moving just can't really be that big.

          I think in smaller cities and more rural areas that the opposite is true and like tax breaks happens all the time.  But it's a competitive tactic that rarely has long term gains as inevitably the same 10 companies in a small city just move from one inner suburb to the other every 10 years for tax breaks.  Heck even large cities like Philly that offer 10-year tax abatements for new construction see the same companies move from 1 building to another every 10 years.  It's idiocy really.

          "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

          by rdw72777 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:27:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Municipal Minimum Wage (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psychicpanda, gabjoh, Skaje, Stephen Wolf

        Its very hard for local electeds to overcome the 'business will just move out of town' argument when it comes to a local minimum wage. While this is often a BS argument anyway, it is especially BS in world class cities such as NYC where the obvious reply is "fine, move your business to Newark."

        In reality the opposite is more common. The race to the bottom between City A and B both providing tax breaks to bring the Wal Mart and its 50 minimum wage jobs into town.

        CA-12, (-5.50, -6.77), originally CA-46

        by Jacques Kallis on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:29:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Singapore's low-income workers. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh, Skaje

      Instead of legislating a minimum wage, the government gives a subsidy directly to low income workers.

      •  Which if we could get that guaranteed (0+ / 0-)

        minimum income system up and running here, I'd be okay with lowering the minimum wage. But that has even more of a snowball's chance in heck of happening.

        "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 - ! | Yard signs don't vote.

        by gabjoh on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:58:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for doing this - I think we should tag (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ProudNewEnglander, Stephen Wolf, R30A

    these since it will be hard to find these otherwise. I understand the concern about not wanting to clog up the blogroll but since there is only one per week it doesn't seem like it would be too much or an issue.

    27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

    by okiedem on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 01:00:13 PM PDT

  •  NYC-Mayor: This seemed appropriate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    okiedem

    for the policy section. Is it true DeBlasio needs NY state legislature approval for his tax hike to fund universal pre-k.

    And if so, would he get it, given conservdems and Republicans basically controlling the Senate?

    I think there is a risk in him taking that position, when you need a legislative body you dont work with directly to take action.

    •  He would need it and it's unclear whether (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32

      he would get it. The Senate would definitely be disinclined to raise taxes (as would Cuomo) but there is a general degree of deference given to localities in such matters. It's probably something like a 50-50 proposition as to whether it would be granted.

      27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

      by okiedem on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:15:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's worth it to fight for (0+ / 0-)

      and even then, if it doesn't work he has someone he can point to and say, "Them. Vote them out," and then aggressively campaign against or whatever. But the bully pulpit has an effect.

      "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 - ! | Yard signs don't vote.

      by gabjoh on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 08:30:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My first (possibly only) comments on Syria (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psychicpanda

    In the office kitchen this afternoon, I saw Tom Udall make a statement before addressing questions to Sec. Kerry (I didn't manage to catch anything else). From my imperfect memory, he essentially said the following: "I am going to hear the President out, but I am troubled by the fact that, so far, (a) success has not been sufficiently defined, and (b) to the extent it has, the President has not explained how the proposed action (i.e., missile strikes) are likely to lead there."

    I will await a transcript, because it was both brief and eloquent. Something you don't often find in the Senate. I doubt I've done it justice.

    I agree with Udall.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 04:20:48 PM PDT

  •  Im conflicted on Syria (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psychicpanda

    but I don't think we should not do absolutely nothing. I think Assad is a down right evil vile man, and time is running out on him. But you always have that thinking in the back of your mind, is the alternative better? The devil you know vs. the one you don't.

    NY-9/NJ-10; Russians can give you arms but only the United States can give you a solution. -- Anwar Sadat

    by BKGyptian89 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:50:30 PM PDT

  •  This time, Congress is being selective (0+ / 0-)

    While we are just talking airstrikes, Congress seems determined to debate this thoroughly and with caution, unlike with Iraq, which a complete military operation with ground troops. It's true that there were hearings regarding Iraq, where all that fake evidence was presented, but I don't recall Republicans in Congress being quite as cautious about Iraq as they are about Syria, even a lot Democrats didn't proceed with caution.

    27, Male, CA-26, DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

    by DrPhillips on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:31:38 PM PDT

    •  If McCain was president (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DrPhillips, ehstronghold

      We'd be debating whether to appropriate more funds to a "surge" of American troops in Syria.  Republicans are expected to largely oppose attacking Syria, simply because Obama is president.

      •  Yep, it's all partisanship (0+ / 0-)

        This is why elections matter so much, had McCain or Romney been elected, we would have been headed to another debacle right now.

        27, Male, CA-26, DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

        by DrPhillips on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:58:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I try to ask myself (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jj32

          If George Bush was proposing this what would I think? My honest response to that is I don't know. Since I'm so conflicted I think giving this president the benefit of the doubt is appropriate.

          "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

          by conspiracy on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:05:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would have supported the first Gulf war (0+ / 0-)

            I think there, we had an international coalition and a clearly defined goal; getting Saddam out of Kuwait.

            I wouldnt have supported the second Iraq war, because I think even then the claims of WMD were shaky and it was an open ended, mostly US effort to nation build.

            Like you, I'm conflicted, because I see this as something in between, maybe more closer to the 1990 Gulf War. The goal here isnt nation building, it's about responding to use of CW, which I do think is a crossing of a genuine red line. But we dont know what the consequences of a strike are.

            Definitely one of those, "I'm glad I dont have to make the decision" moments.  

            •  It seems to me the goal is punishment (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jj32

              For use of chemical weapons. Simple as that. But it isn't that simple obviously. I too could see myself being supportive in 1990 if I had been old enough to understand. I certainly did not support the 2003 invasion. This is much more like Kosovo in 1999.

              "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

              by conspiracy on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:12:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  That is exactly right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jj32, jncca

        And many Democrats who would normally give him the benefit of the doubt won't do so because of Iraq. I've just been looking at the roll for the Kosovo vote in 1999. 25 House Democrats opposed Clinton then along with 3 senators. This will be far higher.

        "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

        by conspiracy on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:57:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jj32

          Are we getting smarter, more cautious, more practical, weaker, etc.?

          History is going to judge the early 2000's oddly I think.  The things we've been through the first 13 years of this century certainly are unique.

          "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

          by rdw72777 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 08:19:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think we'd definitely be in Iran (0+ / 0-)

        I think President McCain would have looked at the  2009 Green movement in Iran as an excuse to invade and nation build.

        And I dont say that lightly, I think he genuinely would have done that.

        We'd also have probably have 20k troops in Iraq still and would not be withdrawing from Afghanistan.

        •  I'm intentionally staying put (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jj32, James Allen

          Rather than taking in opinions on the left. I can't stomach the "Obama warmonger" stuff. He isn't proposing "war" and he isn't Bush. But though I wouldn't call myself "progressive" I am very partisan so human nature will point me toward giving this president the benefit of the doubt when I otherwise might not if a Republican were in office.

          "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

          by conspiracy on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:21:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It will be interesting to see what if any (0+ / 0-)

    effect the Syria resolution debate has on all the other important votes that are supposed to happen this fall.

    Saw someone suggest that it might help Janet Yellen's chance of being Fed chair, because it will be harder for WH to ask for a tough vote from liberals on Fed chair after asking for it on Syria.

    I dont know that it really affects the debt ceiling/CR votes, except that any momentum that might have materialized for Obamacare defunding in Sept is probably gone now.

    •  I feel like (0+ / 0-)

      Whenever we try to apply logic to fiscal debates in DC these days (as you did), we always end up surprised.  

      Somehow I feel the GOP will pull another rabbit out of their hat when those votes come.

      "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

      by rdw72777 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:52:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  New Group - Firearms Law and Policy (0+ / 0-)

    Gun laws are going to be a factor in some races in 2014.

    Do you know your state's firearms laws?

    Firearms Law and Policy published our first diary last week.

    Introducing a new Group: Firearms Law and Policy - Glossary of Resources

    We are planning to walk all across the country, state-by-state, and will dedicate a diary to a survey of each state's gun laws. Sound interesting? If you would like to write about gun laws in your state please send a Kosmail to LilithGardener.

    Please drop by, say hello, and check out our Glossary of great links to law and policy resources.

    To join and write for us Kosmail LilithGardener.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    To advocate effectively for repeal or passage of firearms legislation we must first know and understand current law and policy, and how both are implemented, where we live. There is enormous variability across the country; the relative utility/relative risk of firearms is different on a 500 acre ranch in Montana than for a 1000 square foot apartment in New York. State and local laws reflect that diversity. We will discuss firearms law and policy with an emphasis on the many historical ethics and ideals of Western Civilization, as opposed to what are currently known as "Libertarian" ideals.

    This group is also a study group; a place to learn and discuss which gun regulations are constitutional restrictions in this post-Heller environment. (A law degree is not required). With Congressional gridlock likely to impede any useful national legislation, progress will have to be made at the state and local level.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please note: We are not a subgroup of the Daily Kos RKBA group and do not agree with their foundation premise, but hope they will share their insights into state and local laws that work.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    To join us send a message to the Firearms Law and Policy Group.

    SUMMARY of GUN LAWS - The Law Center for the Prevention of Gun Violence


    ALABAMA KENTUCKY NORTH CAROLINA
    ALASKA LOUISIANA OHIO
    ARIZONA MAINE OKLAHOMA
    ARKANSAS MARYLAND OREGON
    CALIFORNIA MASSACHUSETTS PENNSYLVANIA
    COLORADO MICHIGAN RHODE ISLAND
    CONNECTICUT MINNESOTA SOUTH CAROLINA
    DELAWARE MISSISSIPPI SOUTH DAKOTA
    DST OF COLUMBIA MISSOURI TENNESSEE
    FLORIDA MONTANA TEXAS
    GEORGIA NEBRASKA UTAH
    HAWAII NEVADA VERMONT
    IDAHO NEW HAMPSHIRE VIRGINIA
    ILLINOIS NEW JERSEY WASHINGTON
    INDIANA NEW MEXICO WEST VIRGINIA
    IOWA NEW YORK WISCONSIN
    KANSAS NORTH DAKOTA WYOMING
    Go to Handgun Law to look up the handgun licensing and concealed carry laws for each state.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:03:29 PM PDT

  •  Nature Vs. Nurture - Are Guns in the Blood? (0+ / 0-)

    Firearms Law and Policy published our second diary, Nature vs Nurture: Are Guns in the Blood? by BadKitties

    We are planning to walk all across the country, state-by-state, and will dedicate a diary to a survey of each state's gun laws. If you would like to write about gun laws in your state please send a Kosmail to LilithGardener.

    Please drop by, say hello, and check out our Glossary of great links to law and policy resources, Introducing a new Group: Firearms Law and Policy - Glossary of Resources

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 05:21:32 PM PDT

  •  The Human Rights Question (0+ / 0-)

    As someone whose ancestors fled the gas chambers of Europe, I am adamantly in support of the President's plan of a limited assault to degrade the capability of Assad to use chemical weapons and aircraft to slaughter his own people.

    I realize we as a country are wary of war, but we cannot let isolationism, wariness and selfishness cloud are judgment from doing what is right.

    Chemical weapons are a red line. I don't care if they were used against al-Qaeda (they weren't, rebels in suburban Damascus are mostly moderate), we cannot allow  dictator to slaughter innocents with WMDs.

    23, Male, LA-02, TX-08 (originally), SSP: sschmi4

    by Stephen Schmitz on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 09:16:51 PM PDT

    •  My main issue (0+ / 0-)

      I sympathize with your views.  But if this really is a moral, humanitarian issue, and Assad needs to be sent a "message", we should have some of our allies helping us out.

      •  Just curious: Why (0+ / 0-)

        does it matter whether our allies are helping us out or not?

        I haven't made up my mind with regard to whether airstrikes in Syria are a good idea or not, but if we're going in, why does it matter whether anyone else is there? It's not like we need any help militarily, and if Obama strongly believes that he's doing the right thing, then I see no reason why we shouldn't do it alone (if it comes to that).

        (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

        by ProudNewEnglander on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 05:47:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  what keeps me conflicted is (0+ / 0-)

      what Assad does in response? Obviously, the ideal would be if this pushed into the Geneva conference and a negotiated settlement where he steps down.

      But it's arguably more likely he just doubles down. And then I dont know what happens.

      Otherwise, I completely agree with you. CW use deserves a response, even if Obama hadnt made the red line comment.

      •  What does he do if there is no response? (0+ / 0-)

        What do Iran and North Korea take away from inaction? I know you've struggled with these questions but I think many are ignoring them.

        "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

        by conspiracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:41:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I just dont see how a Syria AUMF passes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, GloFish, jncca

    the House.

    I think many reps, D and R, see no upside whatsoever to this. Assuming things go well, however you want to define that, it's not like they will get credit. And if things go badly, then they get a primary challenge. Heck, even if things go well, they might get a primary challenge. I dont know what Obama does in that situation, but I'm guessing he doesnt launch any action.

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      Some whip counts have 200-217 opposed to the resolution with only 30-40 representatives actually declaring support. It may pass the Senate (narrowly), but it seems bound to fail in the house.

      If this was President Romney I think it would have a much better shot at passing, especially in the House, but because Republicans are so reflexively anti-President Obama, this resolution seems like its going nowhere.

      •  POTUS to address the nation Tuesday night (0+ / 0-)

        But I wonder if that might be too late. Suggests he might go ahead anyway...

        "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

        by conspiracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:13:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it might be too late (0+ / 0-)

          but I dont think it suggests he is going to go ahead anyway. You posted Bliken's quote below, and another adviser apparently said it would be unthinkable to go ahead with such a move after Congressional rejection.  

          And I think part of the reason he went to Congress was because he wasnt comfortable doing this on his own.

          But Cantor said that the House wouldnt vote for two weeks, and so while it might be too late and  an address might not change anything, I think the WH feels like it's worth it to do it when the votes havent been cast yet.

      •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jj32

        I'm certain Republicans will overwhelmingly reject the resolution.  I'd be surprised if more than 50 go for it.  That means the overwhelming majority of Democrats would have to pass it, and I just don't see it getting like 165 Democrats on board, when so many are indicating opposition.

  •  Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken (0+ / 0-)

    Says strikes not likely if Congress rejects Syria authorization.

    "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

    by conspiracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:27:53 AM PDT

  •  A way out of the Syria AUMF mess (0+ / 0-)

    Obama says he talked with Putin at the G20 about this proposal to have international control over Syria's CW stock. Obama also notes that this movement wouldnt have happened without the threat of military action.

    If I were WH, I would wait on the Syria AUMF, which likely doesnt have enough votes, and pursue trying to get the CW under international control, all the while of course leaving the option of a military strike open. In a messy situation, that might be the best of the worst options.  

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