Slatest PM: Washington Turns the Page on Syria

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 11 2013 4:35 PM

Slatest PM: Washington Turns the Page on Syria

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View taken on November 20, 2009 shows the US Senate and Capitol Dome where the Senate will be in session tonight and all day tomorrow on Capitol Hill in Washington

Photo by TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

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

Washington Turns the Page: Reuters: "Putting off a decision on military strikes on Syria allows President Barack Obama to shift his attention back to a weighty domestic agenda for the fall that includes budget fights, immigration and selecting a new chairman of the Federal Reserve. ... Among Obama's most immediate challenges are two looming budget fights. By September 30, Congress and the president must agree on legislation to keep federal agencies funded or face a government shutdown. Two weeks later, Congress must raise the limit on the country's ability to borrow or risk a possible debt default that could cause chaos in financial markets."

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The First Battle: Washington Post: "House GOP leaders decided Wednesday to delay until next week a contentious vote on keeping government funding going, senior Republicans said. Rank-and-file Republicans had not fully come aboard their leadership’s complicated plan to keep federal agencies operating at current austerity levels while forcing a Senate vote on whether to defund President Obama’s health-care initiative. Under that plan the Senate—with it’s 55-seat Democratic majority—would surely dismiss the Obamacare rider and keep the government running, a scenario that outside conservative groups have lambasted in the last 24 hours."

In the Upper Chamber: Politico: "The Senate formally moved away from a resolution to authorize a military strike against Syria on Wednesday afternoon, pausing to await diplomatic negotiations on removing chemical weapons from the nation. After speaking to President Barack Obama and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) moved to an energy efficiency bill. ... While the Senate works on the energy bill written by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman, a group of senators including Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will continue to work an alternate resolution to the 90-day limited strike drafted last week by the Senate Foreign Relations bill, in case it’s needed."

Where Things Stand With Syria: Reuters: "Diplomatic efforts toward placing Syria's chemical weapons under international control intensified on Wednesday and U.N. investigators concluded Syrian government forces were almost certainly responsible for two May massacres that killed up to 450 civilians in the bloody civil war. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone one day before they meet in Geneva to try to forge a joint strategy on eliminating Syria's chemical arsenal. In New York, envoys from the five permanent U.N. Security Council member states - the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia - were due to discuss a French draft resolution."

It's Wednesday, September 11th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at@JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @Slatest.

Pausing to Remember: Associated Press: "On the memorial plaza overlooking two reflecting pools in the imprint of the twin towers, relatives recited the names of the nearly 3,000 people who died when hijacked jets crashed into the towers, the Pentagon and in a field near Shanksville, Pa. They also recognized the victims of the 1993 trade center bombing. Bells tolled to mark the planes hitting the towers and the moments when the skyscrapers fell. In Washington, President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden walked out to the White House's South Lawn for a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m.—the time the first plane struck the south tower in New York. Another jetliner struck the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m."

Foreigners: The Other 9/11

Tina Brown Moves On: BuzzFeed: "Tina Brown, who sought to reinvent buzzy magazine journalism on the internet in the form of the The Daily Beast, and IAC have agreed to part ways. ... The Daily Beast parent company IAC, owned by media mogul Barry Diller, does not plan to renew Brown’s contract when it expires in January. ... A second source close to the negotiations said Brown plans to start a new venture called Tina Brown Live Media under which she will have complete editorial and business control. ... As for the future of The Daily Beast website that Brown edits, no decision has been made. Included among the options IAC is considering are a sale, closure, or continuing to operate it under a new editor." The Daily Beast confirms the news about Brown.

Zimmerman Update: USA Today: "George Zimmerman won't face charges anytime soon in connection with a dispute he had with his estranged wife and his father-in-law, police in Lake Mary, Fla., said Wednesday. On Monday, Shellie Zimmerman told a 911 dispatcher that her husband smashed an iPad she was holding, struck her father in the nose and threatened both father and daughter while putting a hand on a gun. After police arrived, she decided not to press charges against her husband, who was acquitted in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in July. Now, police say they can't get to possible video of the fight that might be on the iPad."

The Latest Snowden Reveal: Guardian: "The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens, a top-secret document provided ... by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals. Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart that shows the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis ... the memorandum makes clear that the information shared with the Israelis would be in its pre-minimized state."

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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