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On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the President’s tentative plan to attack Syria in retaliation for the Assad government’s alleged use of chemical weapons. They also discuss the debt ceiling, immigration, and other challenges that confront Congress when it returns to Washington. Finally, they reflect on lessons learned during their summer vacations.
Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:
- “It seems likely that President Obama will bomb Syria sometime in the coming weeks,” writes Fred Kaplan.
- John says that Obama backed himself into a corner with his “red line” rhetoric.
- In The New Yorker, Dexter Filkins cited Syrian opposition groups who say Assad has used chemical weapons as many as thirty-five times.
- Nearly 80 percent of Americans want Obama to receive congressional approval for a strike in Syria, according to an NBC poll.
- The U.S. has no legal basis to intervene, writes Eric Posner.
- Ezra Klein is scared of the latest round of debt ceiling fights and he thinks you should be, too.
- David talks about what he learned from Stanford University’s ‘Colonial and Revolutionary America’ course, which is available on iTunes U.
- John talks about what he learned while reading William Manchester’s The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965.
John chatters about Gavin Aung Than’s comic strip rendering of a 1990 Kenyon College commencement speech by Calvin and Hobbes cartoonist Bill Watterson.
Emily chatters about Mission in a Bottle: The Story of Honest Tea.
Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. The email address for the Political Gabfest is email@example.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)
Podcast production by Andy Bowers. Links compiled by Jeff Friedrich.