Slatest PM: Obama's Syria Strike Set for First Senate Test

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 9 2013 4:09 PM

Slatest PM: Obama's Syria Strike Set for First Senate Test

Syrian American protesters gather outside the U.S Capitol urging Congress to support U.S. President Barack Obama in striking Syria for using chemical weapons against its own people September 9, 2013

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

A Potential Game Changer: Washington Post: "The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday said it welcomed a Russian proposal to avert U.S. military strikes by having Damascus turn over control of its chemical weapons to international monitors. The statement by Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem in Moscow offered the first indication that a diplomatic solution may be possible to the international standoff that has evolved since apparent chemical weapons attacks on rebel-held suburbs outside Damascus on Aug. 21. In Washington, deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told reporters Monday that the United States 'would welcome a decision and action by Syria to give up its chemical weapons. But he expressed skepticism that Syria would do so."


A Skeptical Public: Associated Press: "Only 1 in 5 Americans believe that failing to respond to chemical weapons attacks in Syria would embolden other rogue governments, rejecting the heart of a weeks-long White House campaign for U.S. military strikes, an Associated Press poll concluded Monday. The poll of 1,007 adults nationwide found that most Americans oppose even a limited attack on Syria - likely with cruise missiles - despite Obama administration warnings that inaction would risk national security and ignore a gruesome humanitarian crisis. And a slim majority - 53 percent - fear that a strike would lead to a long-term U.S. military commitment in Syria."

The First Vote: NBC News: "Congress is scheduled to cast its first vote on Wednesday on the question of whether to authorize military intervention in Syria. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that senators should plan to vote 'sometime' on Wednesday on a motion to proceed to the Syria resolution, a procedural vote that will offer an early glimpse at whether President Barack Obama has the necessary votes in the upper chamber to support his request for authorization to strike Syria.  The vote will follow Obama's prime-time address to the nation on Tuesday evening, as well as the president's visit to Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon to huddle privately with Senate Democrats."

It's Monday, September 9th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at@JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @Slatest.

Zimmerman In Custody (Again): ABC News: "George Zimmerman is being questioned by police after a domestic incident today with his wife, Shellie, and her father, that involved a gun, according to police. Zimmerman is being held at the home of a relative after the incident, which involved Shellie Zimmerman and her father Colin Morgan, police in Lake Mary, Fla., told ABC News. 'There was some kind of a domestic, we know that with his wife and father-in-law. Apparently there were some weapons involved and threats,' the deputy police chief in Lake Mary told ABC News. Zimmerman has not been charged with any crime. ... Her attorney told ABC News that Zimmerman pulled a knife on her today after she discovered a firearm in the house they shared. He then pulled a gun on her and her father after a verbal altercation went bad, according to attorney Kelly Sims."

"I Killed a Man" Update: USA Today: "An Ohio man whose YouTube confession drew more than 1.2 million views was indicted Monday on a felony charge of aggravated vehicular homicide. Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien said Matthew Cordle's blood-alcohol was 0.19% after the crash — more than twice the level at which a driver is presumed too drunk to drive. Cordle, 22, admitted getting drunk and driving the wrong way on I-670 near Columbus, crashing into a jeep and killing its driver." Watch the video here.

A Long-Lost Van Gogh: New York Times:  "For roughly a century, the painting 'Sunset at Montmajour' was considered a fake, stored in an attic and then held in a private collection, unknown to the public and dismissed by art historians. But on Monday, the Van Gogh Museum declared the work a genuine product of the master, calling it a major discovery."

Ichan Bows Out: Reuters: "Activist investor Carl Icahn said on Monday he was bowing out of an effort to block founder Michael Dell's proposed buyout of Dell Inc, determining 'it would be almost impossible to win.' The move will likely put an end to a battle that has raged since March between Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, who want to overhaul the company Dell created away from the investor spotlight, and stockholders like Icahn and money manager Southeastern Asset Management who want a higher price for their stock."

A Few More Quick Hits From Slate

That's all for today. See you back here tomorrow. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.



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