From immigration reform to infrastructure repair, the president has run out of patience with Congress. “Middle-class families can’t wait for a Republican Congress to do stuff,” Obama said in a speech on Tuesday, criticizing the legislature for failing to address the United States’ infrastructure problems. “So sue me. As long as they’re doing nothing, I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something.”
The comment follows House Speaker John Boehner’s threat last week to sue Obama over his alleged abuse of executive power in sending sending military advisers to Iraq and pledging to unilaterally act on immigration reform. Republicans have been furious about the president’s reliance on executive actions to bypass Congress, which Obama has countered by saying, “If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours.”
Iraq is scrambling to form a government as the ISIL closes in on Baghdad
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is fighting for his political life as a Sunni insurgency fractures the country, said on Wednesday he hoped Iraq’s parliament could form a new government in its next session after the first collapsed in discord.Reutersnotes that Baghdad cannot afford a long delay: Large swathes of the north and west have fallen under the control of the splinter group that has declared it is setting up a “caliphate” and has vowed to march on the capital.
New York Times correspondent C.J. Chivers reports that morale, not numbers, is responsible for the swift fall of the Iraqi military: “What was sometimes labeled cowardice or treason in the rank and file was often nothing of the sort, members of the border forces said in interviews in recent days. [Soldiers] insisted that they were eager to fight but were undermined by high commanders who failed to provide border forces with water and food, causing the brigade to abandon positions in the searing desert heat.”
Tensions mount between Israelis and Palestinians over alleged revenge killing
The body of an abducted Arab teenager was found in a Jerusalem forest early Wednesday, fanning outrage among Palestinians and threatening to escalate the broader tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The death appeared to be an Israeli revenge killing for the kidnap and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank last month.
The discovery of the body came about an hour after Palestinians said an Arab teenager had been forced into a car in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. Palestinian leaders have held Israel responsible, while Israeli leaders are calling for restraint until the facts became clearer in an effort to calm the charged atmosphere.
+ Linda Sarsour argues that there’s a side of this tragedy that the media is ignoring: the Palestinian children lost in revenge. “According to the Ministry of Information in Ramallah, 1,518 Palestinian children have been killed by the Israeli Defense Forces between 2000 and 2013,” she writes. “Do these children not deserve the same outrage? Did they not have names, personalities, futures and aspirations as well? ” “