Your AUMF Cheat Sheet

By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )


  • PRESIDENT OBAMA PREDICTS: 'ISIL IS GOING TO LOSE': President Obama formally unveiled his request for legal authorization to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria yesterday, declaring that the ongoing military campaign will succeed in destroying the extremist group. "Make no mistake this is a difficult mission, and it will remain difficult for some time," Obama said in a televised statement from the White House, ABC's DEVIN DWYER reports. "ISIL is going to lose," he said, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Obama said the draft war-powers request would give him "flexibility" to defeat the militants. But he sought to reassure Americans "it is not the authorization of another ground war like Afghanistan or Iraq."
  • WHY THE WAR RESOLUTION IS 'INTENTIONALLY FUZZY': The war resolution the White House sent to Congress yesterday authorizes a range of offensive military actions against ISIS but it also includes a limitation: No "enduring offensive ground combat operations." What the heck does that mean? Asked Wednesday if he agreed that language was "fuzzy," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest replied with a firm yes, saying it is "intentionally" fuzzy "because we believe it's important that there aren't overly burdensome constraints that are placed on the commander-in-chief." According to ABC's JONATHAN KARL, while President Obama may not be planning a big military escalation (and there's absolutely no evidence he is), this resolution leaves plenty of room for dramatically expanding the war against ISIS - both for this president and the next one (it's a 3-year resolution that will extend well into the first term of the next president).
  • FAQ ABOUT THE AUMF: Over the next couple of months, Congress will be debating a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force against ISIS. But unless you are a national security wonk, the odds are that you will not be familiar with the term or its acronym. ABC's LUIS MARTINEZ explains why you need to know.


ABC's RICK KLEIN: Cheese talk is in. Evolution talk is out. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was the latest Republican presidential hopeful to get the rougher variety of headlines in a foreign trip, when he chose to - in his words - "punt" or not "pontificate" on a series of foreign-policy questions and one particular question about whether he believes in evolution. Walker will have to establish foreign-policy credentials over the next year, as any governor would. But his calculation seems to be that he has the whole next year to do so. One early trend worth noting in the emerging Republican 2016 field - and the Democratic one, too, when you factor in Hillary Clinton's relative silence on just about everything: Possible candidates are taking great care on when and how to chime in. They seem unafraid to offer no-comments, or just ignore questions, when the setting or the timing isn't right.

ABC's STEPHANIE EBBS: The New Hampshire primary is the "cultural epicenter" of politics. The centennial celebration of the New Hampshire primary centered on this theme last night, as a panel gathered at the Newseum in Washington, DC to discuss the primary's political and historical value. Bloomberg Columnist Albert Hunt moderated the discussion with Sens. John McCain and Jeanne Shaheen, political consultant James Carville, former New Hampshire Attorney General Tom Rath and New Hampshire Union Leader Publisher Joe McQuaid. Members of the panel said the benefits of the open primary in New Hampshire force the candidates to interact with voters on the ground and be authentic, especially when it comes to networking with independent and influential voters. In contrast with the closed Iowa caucuses New Hampshire can feel more like an election, they said, though the momentum from success in Iowa doesn't hurt a candidate in New Hampshire. The panelists reminisced about the days when candidates, consultants and journalists would socialize at the Mayfair Hotel bar but said that time ended with the age of Twitter, trackers, and "gotcha politics," making the future of the primary less clear. Shaheen ended with the note that New Hampshire will always be important as one of the few stops on the modern campaign trail where candidates really have to engage with voters. On the potential 2016 field? Most were reluctant to comment, though Jeb Bush was one of the first names thrown out. Carville said he doubted Bush could win in Iowa and that if he didn't win New Hampshire, there was a threat that Mitt Romney could get back in the race.



BOEHNER IMPLORES SENATE DEMS TO PASS HOMELAND SECURITY BILL. House Speaker John Boehner implored Senate Democrats Wednesday to "get off their ass" and approve a measure to fund the Department of Homeland Security. He said he had no intention of throwing Senate Republicans a lifeline by passing a substitute bill that did not include provisions to block President Obama's executive action on immigration. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday admitted the House bill is "clearly stuck in the Senate," a stark admission that the Republican-controlled Congress was locked in a major impasse. But Boehner insisted the House will not budge and sought to pressure a small group of Senate Democrats who have signaled their discomfort with the president's immigration moves. "The House did its job.We won the fight to fund the Department of Homeland Security and to stop the president's unconstitutional actions. Now it's time for the Senate to do their work," Boehner, R-Ohio, repeated four times during a news conference at the Capitol, ABC's JOHN PARKINSON and JEFF ZELENY report.

SCOTT WALKER 'PUNTS' ON FOREIGN POLICY, EVOLUTION QUESTIONS IN LONDON. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has kept a much lower profile in the United Kingdom this week than his potential 2016 rival New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did last week on his turbulent trip, but he was much more cautious, repeatedly dodging foreign policy and other possibly controversial questions. Walker was asked several times different foreign policy questions at a policy institute, avoiding all of them, repeatedly saying he didn't want to weigh in while on a trade mission on foreign soil, ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE reports. When asked whether the United States and Great Britain should do more to combat ISIS, Walker said, "That's certainly something I will answer in the United States in the future."

MARYLAND REP. ANDY HARRIS STEALS SHOW DURING LATE-NIGHT DEBATE. It might be the congressional photobomb of the year. As Rep. Buddy Carter delivered a statement on a TSA Worker Training program late Tuesday evening, Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., slid into a seat directly behind the lawmaker - only Harris' attention wasn't on his freshman colleague, according to ABC's JOHN PARKINSON. As soon as Harris took his position, the three-term lawmaker gazed from his smartphone to look directly into the camera. A few seconds pass before Harris suddenly winks, apparently teasing an admirer watching the congressman's every move on C-SPAN. Harris, a physician, cracks a wide smile before winking again, just to make sure whoever was watching didn't miss it the first time. WATCH:

JEB BUSH REDACTING SENSITIVE INFORMATION IN EMAIL DUMP. Jeb Bush's political action committee are redacting constituent Social Security numbers (SSNs) that were in his massive e-mail release Tuesday and they are laying the blame for the blunder squarely on the state of Florida, noting they tried to stop this from even happening last year. The potential 2016 presidential candidate released over 275,000 e mails online Tuesday in the name of "transparency," but personal information including SSNs were left on some of the emails. Bush's "Right to Rise" political action committee received the emails from the state in a similar way reporters received them last year thanks to Florida's open records laws. The Bush team says they have now redacted all SSNs they have found including what was flagged in the press, as well as what they found themselves searching for the digits and have redacted those. They believe the burden was on the state-not Bush-to originally redact the information, ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE writes. Florida's Department of State issued a statement saying they are "currently reviewing our process for redacting confidential information from documents given to the State Archives."


JON STEWART'S JOKES ON POLITICS' BIGGEST SCANDALS AND MOMENTS THEN AND NOW. Late night TV will miss its greatest and most trusted phony newsman. Jon Stewart became a must-see for political interviews over his 16-year career as host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." Every night, he poked fun at politicians and media pundits and the latest headlines, offering his comical spin on sometimes very serious issues. But after hosting the satirical show through three presidencies, Jon Stewart announced on Tuesday that later this year he would be stepping down from the job he called "the honor of my professional life." ABC's STEPHANIE EBBS, STACY CHEN and VERONICA STRACQUALURSI highlight Stewart's takes on political scandals, gaffes and biggest political moments from 1999, when he first took over as host, up until now.


POWER PLAYERS: THE SITUATION ROOM: AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE PRESIDENT'S NERVE CENTER. The White House Situation Room may be the most famous conference room in the world. It is the place where the commander-in-chief wrestles through the presidency's toughest decisions on matters of war and peace, ABC's JONATHAN KARL, RICHARD COOLIDGE and JORDYN PHELPS report. Michael Bohn, who managed the Situation Room during President Ronald Reagan's second term and has since dedicated much of his life to studying presidential crisis management, sat down with "Politics Confidential" to give an insider's perspective of what really happens in the government's most important meeting room. WATCH:


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