The notion of Syria giving up its chemical weapons, or at least putting them under foreign control, has long been on the table in the consultations between Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and his allies in Moscow. In the course of the civil war that has been raging in Syria for more than two years, “we discussed this possibility many times from many different angles,” says Russian diplomat Andrei Klimov. But it was only in the past week that both Russia and Syria realized that it was in both of their best interests.PPP had a CO poll they didn't release until after the election. The controversy about that is here (they were hit hard by Nate Silver and others for that), but the poll itself is fascinating:
What's interesting about our poll is that it didn't find the gun control measures that drove the recall election to be that unpopular. Expanded background checks for gun buyers had 68/27 support among voters in the district, reflecting the overwhelming popularity for that we've found across the country. And voters were evenly divided on the law limiting high capacity ammunition magazines to 15 bullets, with 47% supporting and 47% opposing it. If voters were really making their recall votes based on those two laws, that doesn't point to recalling Giron by a 12 point margin.More politics and policy below the fold.
“The gun lobby chose their targets well,” Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told me last night. “These are tough districts with a lot of guns.” More generally, he said, “It’s the kind of political tactic the gun lobby specializes in, low-turnout elections where the only people interested at the beginning of the process are people who want to throw people out….”Vladimir Putin, NYT op ed:
Further playing to their advantage, recall supporters succeeded in barring the use of mail-in ballots, the way that a majority of Coloradans now vote in normal elections.
Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.BBC:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a direct personal appeal to the American people over the Syrian crisis.WaPo:
In an opinion article in the New York Times, he warns that a US military strike against Syria could unleash a new wave of terrorism.
He says millions of people see the US not as a model of democracy but as relying on brute force.
Later on Thursday, the US and Russia are due to hold talks in Geneva on Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.
With a government shutdown looming in less than three weeks, Republican House leaders conceded Wednesday that they have yet to muster enough votes to approve a plan to keep federal agencies open.Queue the "Dems in disarray" articles from the same press that obsessed over Sarah Palin.
A vote on the measure, set for Thursday, was postponed until at least next week after conservatives balked, demanding that any deal to fund the government include a provision to cut off funding for President Obama’s signature health-care initiative.