Friday, August 30, 2013

Mitch Perry Report 8.30.13 - On Syria vote, British MP's embarrass David Cameron and our own members of Congress

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 4:00 AM

The biggest decision in the world this Labor Day weekend is whether or not Barack Obama will choose to go ahead a with a military strike on Syria after their government allegedly used chemical weapons against their own people last week.

No doubt at some point this weekend on the network or cable news you'll see some member of Congress demanding that before the president do anything he get a vote from the House and Senate before doing so.

And maybe that's how it should be. But how about this? How about the interviewer ask that member of Congress if he or she would be up from interrupting their five week summer vacation and actually come into D.C. to take the vote?

Now to be fair, that's not the decision of 533 Senators and Representatives in Washington, but the decision of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

But look what the British Parliament did last night. They left their summer break because of the importance of the moment, and dealt a stunning defeat to Prime Minister David Cameron, rejecting a motion (by 13 votes) designed to pave the way for UK forces to attack Syria. That means the U.S. will possibly go it alone - if they are to attack Syria at all.

But while lawmakers were compelled to make their voice heard in London, our lawmakers apparently aren't in any hurry to actually go on the record with what they would do. In fact, the White House held a conference call last night to brief Congress on Syria. 26 out of the 535 members apparently called in.

The British MP's showed up their own leader last night. But is it up to President Obama to call Congress in for a vote? Past history on Libya for example, shows that he doesn't care about that. So why don't the House and Senate take up the vote on their own?

Moving on...Approximately 50 people protested in North Tampa yesterday on behalf of fast-food workers.

As someone who loves covering competitive political races, Hillsborough County can be a frustrating place at times, as the Democrats often fail to find a live, human being to challenge an incumbent Republican. So it's with great interest that former investigative television news reporter Alan Cohn yesterday announced his candidacy for Congress against Dennis Ross in District 15, a Polk County centered seat that actually has more of Hillsborough County in its sphere after redistricting last year.

Speaking of Ross, CL hung out with him for a bit earlier this week, where he gave us his thoughts about NSA surveillance. He's hoping his Relevancy Act gains traction when Congress finally does come back to work next month.

It was a year ago that Mitt Romney gave his acceptance speech at the climax of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, though no one remembers it after some genius allowed Clint Eastwood to address a chair before that big moment. Our Chip Weiner looks back at all the things the city did to beautify the area for all of the big shots who came to town for a week last year in a pictorial essay.

And if you haven't seen it yet, here's our take in this week's CL on the results of the St. Pete primary election. Though we wrote a piece on the site that night, this is a different version.

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