What Obama Wants From The UN
By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )
- FIVE YEARS AFTER HE LAID OUT A SWEEPING VISION FOR "PEACE AND PROSPERITY" in his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama takes the dais today amid tremendous upheaval from a trifecta of global threats - from ISIS to ebola and climate change. According to ABC's DEVIN DWYER, aides say Obama will frame the big picture: A status report on his overarching foreign policy, portraying the U.S. as leading an international fight on all fronts. He will make the case that only America is uniquely positioned to deal with the threats, and that despite the scary headlines, the world is much freer and safer because of what America has done.
- TODAY'S MARQUEE EVENT is the afternoon UN Security Council session on foreign terrorist fighters, chaired by President Obama and attended by 12 heads of state, DWYER notes. White House officials are calling it a "rare and significant" moment that underscores the seriousness of the threat. The president will call for a vote on a proposed "binding" resolution that would require countries to "prosecute and penalize" people who travel or attempt to travel abroad for terrorism training, or who help finance those efforts. It would also compel countries to share airline passenger information records and other data to help track and prevent entry of suspected foreign fighters.
- OVERNIGHT - U.S. CONDUCTS NEW AIRSTRIKES ON ISIS TARGETS IN SYRIA: New airstrikes targeting ISIS militants in Syria were conducted overnight, a U.S. official said. There were a total of two airstrikes in Syria overnight along the border with Iraq, according to ABC's LUIS MARTINEZ. Four other airstrikes were conducted in Iraq, the official said. These fresh airstrikes followed the U.S.-led coalition hitting ISIS targets in Syria on Monday. http://abcn.ws/ZcVkuS
ABC's RICK KLEIN: This must be the reluctant warrior portion of the non-campaign for president. Dr. Ben Carson told FUSION's JORGE RAMOS this week that he's thinking of running in 2016, but: "No, I don't want to be president. Why would any sane person want to do it?" He joins former Democratic Sen. Jim Webb in using late September 2014 to express interest in a campaign. Webb said yesterday that he's seriously considering a bid, but "we want to see if there is a support base for people who would support the programs that we're interested in pursuing." That's a worthy goal, surely. But it's worth recalling how much Webb developed a reputation for hating, well, politics, during his single term in the Senate. As Carson and Webb surely know, this is the easy stage of a presidential campaign, where just saying you might want the job qualifies as news. Once you're in it, you have to really want to be doing it.
ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: It's a dead heat in Florida, with the governor's race is too close to call according to a new Quinnipiac University poll out this morning. GOP incumbent Gov. Rick Scott has 44 percent of the vote while Democratic challenger and former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist has 42 percent of the vote, within the margin of error. 8 percent of Sunshine State voters are supporting Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie. If Wyllie is not counted, Scott gets 46 percent, while Crist has 44 percent. In a sharp critique to both candidates and the race, fewer than four in 10 voters think both the Democratic and Republican candidates are honest. Scott leads with independent voters 44 to 37 percent, with 11 percent for the third candidate. The gender break down shows women supporting Crist 43 percent to Scott's 41 percent, while men support Scott 48 percent to 40 percent. And when it comes to that all important "mind is made up" question, 81 percent of Florida voters say their decision is final, while 17 percent could change their mind. As for favorability, Crist gets a negative 41 to 49 percent rating and Scott gets a negative 42 to 48 percent favorability rating. Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the poll called the race "one of the nastiest…in state history. They have been throwing so much mud that they both are covered in it." And those numbers sure show it. http://bit.ly/Y5B7Gm
ABC's MICHAEL FALCONE: Just yesterday, New Hampshire Senate hopeful Scott Brown released a new television ad in which he asserted that President Obama (and his Democratic opponent, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen) "seem confused about the nature of the threat" from "radical Islamic terrorists." Shaheen's campaign immediately swatted back, accusing the Republican of "peddling the politics of fear." Today Brown plans to double down on his line of attack in a foreign-policy focused speech at St. Anselm College. His goal is clear: Draw a straight line between Shaheen and the president. "It's as if the Obama administration is maxed out, worn down, devoid of ideas, and now all the bills are coming due. This is what foreign policy looks like without clarity and conviction. This is what the world looks like without American leadership," Brown will say according to excerpts of his remarks as prepared for delivery. "Senator Shaheen is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. … And she has a record that is readily summed up in a single number: 99 percent. That is how often Senator Shaheen votes in support of any policy of the Obama administration, whatever it is."
THE BILL CLINTON INTERVIEW
ABC's GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS sat down with FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON yesterday during the 10th annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York City. Clinton weighed in on everything from foreign policy to White House security to his hopes for his soon-to-arrive grandchild. ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ rounded up the best of George's conversation with Clinton:
-CLINTON: OBAMA WILL BE JUDGED ON WHETHER U.S. IS 'MORE SECURE' AFTER ISIS STRIKES. Former President Bill Clinton thinks the American people will support President Obama's ISIS strategy because they want the president to project strength and make the country more secure following the brutality witnessed in the executions of two American journalists by their ISIS captors, he told Stephanopoulos. "People were really shaken by those beheadings," Clinton said. "I think that the American people generally tend to judge the president by whether we are more secure and look strong, so I think they do support what he's decided to do." "I think they don't support and shouldn't right now…us getting involved in a ground conflict. That's probably what they - ISIS - would like. They'd probably like that because then they could blame us," he said "He hasn't been suckered into that, and he rightly points out that we can help someone else…but we're not prepared to go back in." http://abcn.ws/1rjR7yu
-CLINTON ON WHITE HOUSE SECURITY BREACH: 'I STILL DON'T KNOW HOW THAT HAPPENED' Bill Clinton, who lived in the White House for eight years, said he was "surprised" an intruder was able to make it through the doors of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue without being stopped by Secret Service. "I'm surprised he got to walk into the White House. I wasn't surprised he jumped the fence. We had a guy jump the fence when I was there," Clinton told Stephanopoulos "Those things are gonna happen. But I was quite surprised that he got in. I still don't know how that happened." http://abcn.ws/1tXPRDA
-WHAT'S ON BILL'S BUCKET LIST? At the age of 68, Bill Clinton still has a few items to check off his bucket list including horseback rides in Mongolia and climbing excursions in Mount Kilimanjaro. "I still haven't been to Mongolia. I do want to ride a horse across the Mongolian steppes, try to imagine what it was like to be in Genghis Khan's horde. I'd still like to climb Kilimanjaro before the snow goes. And there are a few other places I haven't been that I'd like to go," he said. "I'd like to travel and I hope that I'll still be strong enough and well enough to travel when I have a grandchild old enough to take with us. Meanwhile, I'll try to get Hillary to go with me and Chelsea and Marc when they're ready again." -A LESSON FOR THE NEXT GENERATION: As he works toward finishing off his bucket list, the former president is also poised to add "grandfather" to his resume as his daughter Chelsea Clinton nears the end of her pregnancy, and the former president is ready to share his life expertise with the first Clinton grandchild. "I want them to get up every day and look at the world with wonder and reverence. I want them to respect everyone they meet, whatever their background. I want them to be aware of all the people that make their world and not just the people that they are introduced to," Clinton said.
WHAT WE'RE WATCHING
HOW THE NFL AVOIDS PAYING BILLIONS IN TAXES. While the NFL is trying to stay out of the headlines following its handling of domestic abuse charges among some of its star players, Sen. Tom Coburn is pushing to keep the National Football League in the spotlight for a different reason. Along with the PGA, NHL and a number of other professional sports leagues, the NFL doesn't pay taxes on its billions in yearly profits. Individual teams and owners do pay taxes, but not the league. "The question Americans ought to ask is why? Who cut that deal?" Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, told "The Fine Print's" JEFF ZELENY "And why should the very wealthy team owners through their league office not pay taxes, which means all the rest of us pay more taxes." It's all thanks to a 1966 tax law amendment that allows sports leagues to identify as tax-exempt nonprofit organizations. Coburn introduced a bill last year that would take away the tax-exempt status for any sports league making over $10 million in annual revenues. The bottom line, he argues, is that "real charities ought to get a tax-exempt [status], non-charities shouldn't." http://yhoo.it/ZKQ0ii
with ABC's KIRSTEN APPLETON
PRESIDENT OBAMA DECLARES CLIMATE CHANGE DEFINING THREAT OF THE CENTURY. Even as he battles ISIS and Ebola, President Obama declared climate change the threat that will "define the contours of this century more than any other," ABC's DEVIN DWYER reports. "Climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it. The alarm bells keep ringing. Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we don't hear them," Obama told delegates at the U.N. Climate Summit in New York, referencing the massive demonstrations over the past few days. "We have to tackle this global threat before it's too late." Obama cast himself as a global champion of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, highlighting the administration's efforts to boost fuel efficiency of American cars and trucks, curb carbon pollution from coal-fired US power plants and planned phase-out the use of HFC coolant used in refrigerators and air conditioners. http://abcn.ws/1uF1v46
YESTERDAY WAS THE FIRST TIME OBAMA HAS SAID THE WORD 'KHORASAN' IN PUBLIC. Tuesday was the first time President Obama has uttered the word "Khorasan" in public, ABC's JON KARL reports. Indeed, we can find no example of any White House official ever mentioning this al Qaeda cell by name in public. The group has never been mentioned in any of the White House background briefings on the terrorist threat emanating from Syria (and there have been several such briefings). It's quite extraordinary to see military action against a group the White House has never talked about. There is one official outside the White House who did talk about Khorasan, briefly, last week. James Clapper had this to say at an intelligence conference in Washington: "In terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State." Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, may have revealed more than the administration wanted to reveal. The White House was trying to keep this quiet to avoid tipping the group off that it might be targeted. http://abcn.ws/1rmquu4
ARREST OF 'PRINCE OF PEACE' AT WHITE HOUSE UNDERSCORES PERSISTENT PROBLEM OF GATE CRASHERS. Kevin Carr came to the White House on foot Saturday afternoon saying he had an appointment with the president, ABC's JACK DATE and PIERRE THOMAS report. He told Secret Service agents that he was "the Prince of Peace" who often communicated with President Obama and Vladimir Putin telepathically. Aside from his self-described telepathic powers, his story had other problems. He told officers that his appointment was at noon, but the first family had departed for Camp David the previous evening. After checking his car at a nearby parking garage and finding "nothing of interest," Carr was told to go back to New Jersey. Minutes later, Carr appeared at a different White House entrance, driving his Chevy Cruze. Again, he told an officer he had an appointment to meet with the president. This time he was directed to a restricted parking lot for "authorized vehicles only" inside the White House complex. Instead of parking, Carr allegedly drove his vehicle "25 feet in the general direction of the White House, even further into the White House Complex," according to court papers. Carr was arrested and charged with unlawful entry. His arrest came less than 24 hours after a fence jumper with a knife was arrested after he gained entry into the White House on Friday. http://abcn.ws/1oh1Oi1
NOTED: LOOK AT THE WHITE HOUSE SECURITY FENCE BEFORE AND AFTER. In the wake of Friday's fence-jumping incident, the White House is stepping up security with one of the most basic defenses in its toolkit: a second, shorter fence in front of the existing one, ABC's ERIN DOOLEY reports. The new portable fence is about waist high and appears to be linked together with plastic ties. Meanwhile, the permanent fence, which was the only physical barrier in place until Tuesday, stands about eight-feet tall. http://abcn.ws/ZchJbK
PRESIDENT OBAMA GESTURE TO MARINES DUBBED 'LATTE SALUTE.' Some are calling it the "latte salute." According to ABC's DEVIN DWYER, when President Obama stepped off Marine One at the Wall Street landing zone in New York City yesterday, en route the United Nations, he saluted two Marines at the bottom of the stairs as he held a coffee cup in the same hand. The unusual gesture appeared in an Instagram video posted by the White House on social media. Obama is also wearing sunglasses as he arrived, with the first lady not far behind. The video drew ridicule from some Instagram users, who saw the unorthodox salute as "un-presidential." While it is protocol for U.S. service members in uniform to salute the commander in chief, it's not required for a civilian president to salute back, military experts say. However one feels about today's salute, it's unlikely any coffee was at play. President Obama prefers hot tea. http://abcn.ws/1rmslz6
ADD ANOTHER DEMOCRAT TO THE I-MIGHT-CHALLENGE-HILLARY CAMP. ABC's BEN SIEGEL reports former Virginia senator Jim Webb said he is "seriously looking at the possibility of running for president," at an appearance at the National Press Club on Tuesday. "We've had a lot of discussions among people I respect and trust about the future of this country, and we're going to continue to have these discussions over the next two to five months," he said. Webb, a Democrat, said he is looking for a "support base" for a potential campaign. The decorated Marine Corps veteran, who served in the Senate from 2006-2012 and as Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration, recently conducted a three-day, 800-mile tour of Iowa, and has plans to visit New Hampshire in October. Webb, who largely focused on foreign policy and the economy in his speech Tuesday, is seen as an intriguing challenger to presumptive Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. http://abcn.ws/1v6NptJ
WAVE OF TOP REPUBLICANS RALLY AROUND SEN. PAT ROBERTS. Kansas has become the destination for the Republican Party's biggest names as they swarm to the state to bolster the reelection bid of Sen. Pat Roberts, whose seat could make the difference in the GOP's hope to win control of the Senate, ABC's ALEX MALLIN reports former Gov. Jeb Bush is heading to the state to campaign next Monday, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., are coming next month to try and rescue Roberts. These newest additions accompany a list of three former presidential candidates - who all lost - already giving a hand to the campaign. Former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney recorded a robocall that ran throughout the state two weeks ago. Former Kansas senator and another GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole is back in the state this week attending town halls with Roberts. Roberts will be joined by Sen. John McCain, who also lost a presidential run, at campaign events today and tomorrow. McCain's running mate and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin was also rumored to be a "special guest" at a pancake breakfast in Independence, Kan., according to the Wichita Eagle. http://abcn.ws/1vdKA9q
THE MIDTERM MINUTE
SCOTT BROWN SAYS PRESIDENT OBAMA IS 'CONFUSED' ABOUT ISIS. As Americans woke up to news of airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria, expect this development as well as the threat of terror to the homeland to continue to have a deep impact on the November midterm elections. In the New Hampshire Senate race, Scott Brown is out with a new television ad positioning himself as the safer choice when it comes to dealing with the threat of ISIS, reports ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE. He's not the first candidate tying an ad to terrorism and the nation's military has already been a popular topic, but expect that to continue in the few weeks before November 4. "Anyone who turns on the TV these days knows we face challenges to our way of life, radical Islamic terrorists are threatening to cause the collapse of our country. President Obama and Senator [Jeanne] Shaheen seem confused about the nature of the threat, not me," Brown says into the camera. http://abcn.ws/1sWqsWD
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
-OBAMA OFFERS MOTORCADE FOR CHELSEA CLINTON'S DELIVERY. If Chelsea Clinton goes into labor, her dad has nothing to worry about: President Obama has got her covered. According to ABC's ERIN DOOLEY and LIZ KREUTZ, Obama jokingly offered up his motorcade to the pregnant former first daughter at a Clinton Global Initiative event in New York City yesterday. "I was just discussing with President Clinton that if Chelsea begins delivery while I'm speaking, she has my motorcade and will be able to navigate traffic," he said with a smirk. "I don't know what the problem is. Everybody hypes the traffic, but I haven't noticed." Chelsea Clinton, who announced her pregnancy in April, is apparently due any day now. http://abcn.ws/1DwXlkZ
-WATCH MATT DAMON DO HIS BEST BILL CLINTON IMPRESSION. ABC's ERIN DOOLEY reports Matt Damon dusted off his southern accent on Tuesday, briefly aping President Clinton's signature drawl at a Clinton Global Initiative event in New York. "The president has been great, and when we talked to him, to President Clinton a few years ago, he said, 'just keep running those numbers up. Just run 'em up,'" said the Good Will Hunting star, who attended CGI to plug clean water initiatives. President Obama, who's speech about civil activism followed Damon's water talk, laughed about being the runner-up attraction. "Always wonderful to follow Matt Damon. I saw people trickling out after he was done," the former president quipped. "These are the hard core policy people who decided to stay for me." http://abcn.ws/1qrjE1d
@TheFix: Politicians and possums? It's complicated. http://wapo.st/1ohG1Xo
@fxnopinion: Badar Khan: How would you like your electrons? The future of energy service is all about you http://ow.ly/BRcjQ
@OKnox: Eric Holder, in interview w/ @katiecouric, links Khorasan Group to aviation warning in July http://news.yahoo.com/holder-al-qaeda-offshoot-struck-by-airstrikes-was-close-to-attac-on-u-s-allies-200859317.html …