Friday, July 29, 2011

The Short List - July 29, 2011

International
  • The U.S. has claimed that Iran is sending money to Al Qaeda in Pakistan through a Syrian intermediary.  The Treasury Department has documents, they believe prove this connection.  Iran denies the reports.

  • The Libyan rebel military leader, Abdul Fattah Younis, has been killed by assailants in Benghazi.  Details remain hard to come by and the situation remains fluid.  At the very least, the Libyan rebels have lost their chief military tactician and NATO has lost a favored partner.

  • There is fresh violence in Syria today as security forces have fired on protesters in the southern city of Deraa and earlier today an oil pipeline was bombed.  Over at Abu Muquwama, Andrew Exum considers how the unrest in Syria damages Hezbollah's legitimacy in Lebanon.
Domestic
  • Speaker Boehner canceled the planned debt ceiling vote last night because he didn't have they votes.  His staff is said to be making revisions to make it more palatable to the tea party caucus (which would make it less palatable for Senate Democrats) and House members have been told to stay in DC this weekend and plan to be in session.  There are reports that the South Carolina delegation is the issue, and that the SC representatives are taking their marching orders from Sen. Jim DeMint (SC).  Ezra Klein considers what's next in this fight, and posits that Boehner, having all but failed in a vote of confidence in his speakership, may move the bill slightly to the left to earn from Democrat votes.  Your editor suggested this path a couple weeks back.

  • And in more bad news the U.S. economy grew by just 1.4% in the second quarter of 2011.  First quarter growth was trimmed down to an anemic 0.4%.

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