** Always wanted Fox’s political must-reads? Now you can have them. Each weekday morning, our DC team, led by Chris Stirewalt, delivers the FOX NEWS FIRST political newsletter. Sign up here **
• Syria strikes stalled
• GOP ObamaCare power play
• On Special Report’s panel: You!
• Washington’s wage war
• Partisan dating divide
SYRIA WAITING GAME- Momentum for strikes slows - While President Obama ponders military action against Syria, the potential for an imminent U.S. strike has hit international roadblocks, some with close allies who have been “standing ready” to punish the Assad regime.
UK delay - British Prime Minister David Cameron continues to face strong opposition for immediate military action. The Telegraph reports, “Cameron, conceded that MPs would be given a second vote to approve military action to defuse a parliamentary revolt, ahead of a Commons debate on Syria on Thursday.” This could potentially back up any U.S. military involvement until Tuesday, when President Obama arrives in Russia for the G20 summit. NYT reports Britain has signaled it will await the results of a U.N. inquiry into their alleged use of chemical weapons before taking any action.
En Français - Reuters: France’s President Francois Hollande says everything must be done to seek a political solution in Syria.
Related: Intel in doubt - AP:“U.S. officials say the intelligence linking the Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to the alleged chemical weapons attack that killed at least 100 people is no ‘slam dunk.’”
Russian UN road block won’t stop US - Fox News:In blunt terms, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said last-ditch efforts to win support for an anti-Assad resolution at the U.N. were unsuccessful. Harf stated, “We see no avenue forward given continued Russian opposition…therefore, the United States…will take appropriate actions to respond in the days ahead.”
SHOT ACROSS THE BOW - Fox News: President Obama on Wednesday advocated a “shot across the bow” for Syria in the interest of U.S. national security. Lawmakers, many calling for congressional authorization of any U.S. action, have blasted the president with concerns ranging from effectiveness of limited action, to the risk of a regional escalation. The administration says it will brief key lawmakers on intelligence and plans for possible strikes today.
“’Consultation’ with Congress is not sufficient. The Constitution requires congressional authorization” – Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., in a statement Wednesday.
Ed Henry wants to know: The president losing Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe on Syria is one thing, but losing Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler (Liberal-Manhattan) on respecting the Constitution is another. How much more drip-drip from the Left before the White House announces they ALWAYS intended to seek congressional authorization?
[Watch FOX: Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va.,member of the House Armed Services Committee discusses Syria in the 10 a.m. ET hour]
Baier Tracks:Reading tea leaves - It doesn't seem like there is much surprise on this attack. We'll see. The administration has talked about it, leaked about it, and essentially laid the whole plan out for many reporters. It could, however, be different. This is one variable that could tell us about timing:
“VIENNA (AP) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the U.N. inspectors investigating the alleged chemical attack in Syria will be leaving the country on Saturday. Speaking in Vienna Thursday, Ban asked for time for the inspection team to complete its investigation. He says all opinions should be heard before anyone makes decisions on how to react to the alleged attacks.”
Doubtful the cruise missiles would be striking when U.N. inspectors are on the ground. But, again you never know. - Bret Baier.
[Trending Today at Fox News Opinion: Cal Thomas asks “What’s our endgame if America Attacks Syria.”: “Have we learned nothing? …What makes anyone think bombing Damascus is going to bring positive change?”]
THE DREAM REMEMBERED - Things have changed -- “Sometimes I hear people saying nothing has changed, but for someone to grow up the way I grew up in the cotton fields of Alabama to now be serving in the U.S. Congress makes me want to tell them come and walk in my shoes”- Rep. John Lewis D-Ga., during his speech at the 50thanniversary of MLK’s march on Washington.
Scott snubbed? - TheWashington Examiner reports Sen. Tim Scott, R.-S.C., was not invited to Wednesday’s commemoration of Martin Luther King’s march on Washington. Scott is the only African American serving in the U.S. Senate. Organizers did invite some Republicans, notably President George W. Bush, who was unable to attend due to recovery from recent surgery.
Civil rights activist compares High Court to Klan- “Today there are no white sheets, but there are judges in black robes in the U.S. Supreme Court who struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act” -- Melanie Campbell, president and chief executive of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation during her remarks at the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s speech.
COTTON: OBAMA ILLEGALLY IMPLEMENTING OBAMACARE -Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wrote two letters to the administration Wednesday contending the president is illegally implementing ObamaCare. Cotton contends a regulation providing subsidies to members of Congress and congressional staff is illegal.
REPUBLICANS’ OBAMACARE RESISTANCE- WaPo reports on some of the restrictions and regulations Republican governors and legislatures have enacted in their attempt to thwart the implementation of ObamaCare. Related: A New Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows 42 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of ObamaCare, while 37 percent view the law favorably.
[Watch FOX: Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., member of the House Committee on Financial services discusses more delays for ObamaCare in the 9 a.m. ET hour]
YOUR PLACE ON THE PANEL: BING PULSE - Fox News now allows you to take your place on the “Special Report with Bret Baier” panel. Last night, our friends at Bing tracked 605,000 viewers, providing real time reaction throughout the program. The results:
Highest intensity - When Charles Krauthammer spoke of reluctance among Republicans to go into Syria. This saw 61,000 votes per minute.
Gender gap - Women were less positive than men when Jonah Goldberg suggested Congress could not pass a Syria vote.
Overwhelming disagreement - Juan Williams saw the most disagreement when he spoke of why President Obama needs to take the Syria issue to Congress. Williams did win women back with his comments on Obama’s remarks during the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech.”
Republicans and independents align – Last night’s Special Report-Bing poll did show on most issues, republican and independent voters were in agreement.
[Be a part of the panel tonight during “Special Report with Bret Baier” live from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. ET at: http://www.bing.com/politics/pulse/specialreport ]
REPUBLICANS TURN ON CONSERVATIVE THINK-TANK- National Journal takes a deep dive on the strains in the relationship between Republican lawmakers and the conservative Heritage Foundation. Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Scalise, R-La., recently told Heritage officials they are no longer welcome at their planning meetings.
WASHINGTON VS. WALMART-Denise Tolliver, chief of staff to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, tells Fox News that a controversial measure that would require major retailers in the District to pay a minimum wage of $12.50 per hour, will head to Mayor Vincent Gray’s desk Friday. Walmart has been highly critical of the measure, charging it would inhibit them from expanding into the nation’s capital and cost jobs.
[Watch Fox Business for Bureau of Labor Statistics weekly jobless claims in the 8a.m. ET hour]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...Former Secretary of Veteran’s affairs under President George W. Bush,Anthony Prinicipi, offers a stinging critique of how the Veterans Administration is currently handling disability claims in a WSJ OpEd: “The enumeration of benefits has evolved far beyond the nation's obligation to those who became ill or injured while in service. It is time to return to original principles.”
Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM
POLL CHECK- Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 44.2 percent//Disapprove – 50.6 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 29.6 percent//Wrong Track – 62.1 percent
OFF TO THE RACES - Will sparks fly? - Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli will appear separately today at George Mason University’s Virginia Energy & Opportunity Forum, to cast their own visions for the future of energy in the commonwealth.
Harvard wants Hill -The Daily Caller reports Harvard may have to get in line as NYU and Yale have expressed interest in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joining their faculty.
Rent-a-crowd -The NY Post reports embattled New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has resorted to paying actors hired through a Hollywood firm $15 an hour to pose as supporters during campaign events.
MAKING TELEMARKETERS PAY… LITERALLY-The Mirror reports a British man has earned over $465 from telemarketers calling him. Lee Beaumont set up a new phone number that acts as a hotline through a service called Phone Pay Plus that charges telemarketers 16 cents per minute when they call.
ONLINE MATCH-MAKING MAKES RIFTS - Pacific Standard: Social scientists are becoming increasingly concerned that online dating sites may be to blame for America’s increasing partisan polarization. Recent studies show, “[p]eople who use Internet dating sites are choosing who to date based on criteria that are highly correlated with political preferences.”
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“When you shoot across the bow of an enemy ship, you say stop or we will sink you with the next round. When Obama says we're doing a shot across the bow, then we're going to go home, this will stop, it will be limited.” - Charles Krauthammer, on “Special Report with Bret Baier”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here. To catch Chris live online daily at 11:30 a.m. ET, click here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.