Slapped Around By Putin, Humiliated Over Snowden, Obama Pivots Back to the Economy While He Escalates the War in Syria

Pivot number 20, I believe. But I might have missed one or two.

The White House is signaling it wants to shift back to the economy after two weeks in which the Syrian crisis has dominated President Obama’s schedule and workload.

Obama will be “focusing” on issues related to the economy in the coming weeks, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday at his daily briefing.

He said the president wants to push forward with economic policies that the White House believes will grow the middle class.

Like destroying our health care? Swell.

For the first time ever, it might be beneficial for the U.S. to adopt a parliamentary system. After this disastrous summer, which included a pivot to jobs followed by a pivot to bombs, during which Putin used Edward Snowden to jerk Obama around while Obama managed to impose some gun control on Americans with the stroke of a pen, we could hold a vote of no confidence and elect ourselves a new leader. Just end this madness now. Almost anyone would be better than Obama. Just pick a random person out of the phone book.

Not going to happen, obviously.

As things stand, Obamacare is on course to wreck the health insurance system and we have a debt ceiling fight looming, which promises to be about as unifying as the Battle of Bull Run. We've started arming the "moderate" rebels in Syria, but Mother Jones took a look a just what constitutes a moderate in that part of the world. Remember the rebel who was caught on tape eating a Syrian soldier's heart?


This spring, one militia leader affiliated with the FSA—his brigade has since been kicked out—was filmed eating a dead soldier's heart. "This stuff happens rarely, but it's unfortunate," Layman says. "With the guy who was eating a heart, he was part of a moderate faction…We work with Idriss and let him know that he needs to prevent these things."

Well, that's good to know.

MJ also found a situation not unlike the pre-Katrina New Orleans Police Department going on.

Charles Tiefer, a law professor at the University of Baltimore and a former commissioner for the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, says that in war zones, "it's in a commander's interest to give exaggerated numbers. We often see situations where a commander starts out with, say, three brigades, and then drops to one brigade, and continues to faithfully give receipts for the other two missing units. We call them 'ghost employees.'" He adds, "I think Syria is the Wild, Wild West as far as knowing who is doing what."

By all means, let's keep pumping weapons into those paranormal brigades.

Today's young "moderate" Syrian rebel is tomorrow's hardened veteran jihadist whose very survival makes him an almost mythical leader. He might even get designs on taking down a few American buildings.