The Best Of The Dish Today

New York Commemorates 13th Anniversary Of September 11th Attacks

So we now discover that Turkey will not participate in the coalition against ISIS. Turkey will not go to war against an Islamist insurgent group that controls territory on Turkey’s own border. They are scared of what ISIS will do to 49 hostages seized in Mosul:

Ankara is therefore reluctant to take a stronger role in the coalition against ISIS militants in apparent fear of aggravating the hostage situation. “Our hands and arms are tied because of the hostages,” the official told AFP. Turkey can open Incirlik Air Base in the south for logistical and humanitarian operations in any US-led operation, according to the official who stressed that the base would not be used for lethal air strikes. “Turkey will not take part in any combat mission, nor supply weapons,” he said.

So the only Muslim country in the coalition assembled in Wales is just doing humanitarian stuff. That’s how dire they believe the threat from ISIS is – and they live next door! Without Turkey, we are left with the Saudis on one side and the Iranians on the other. In other words, a Shiite-Sunni alliance against extremist Sunnis. That sounds like a strategy that won’t end in tears, doesn’t it? And notice who’s really on the hook now: the US, as always. The Brits too – for all their harrumphing – also won’t conduct air-strikes.

The Congress, under these circumstances, should demand a vote and tell the president no. If you agree, call your representative.

On another note – and because you are Dishheads and because the great Joe McGinniss is dead, I feel obliged to link to this story on the latest reality show brawl involving the entire Palin clan (except for Trig who, you might have noticed, has disappeared from the public eye the moment he wasn’t politically useful to bolster Palin’s pro-life credentials). This blog-post about the ill-fated party is priceless:

Just about the time when some people might have had one too many, a Track Palin stumbles out of a stretch Hummer, and immediately spots an ex-boyfriend of Willow’s. Track isn’t happy with this guy, the story goes. There’s words, and more. The owner of the house gets involved, and he probably wished he hadn’t. At this point, he’s up against nearly the whole Palin tribe: Palin women screaming. Palin men thumping their chests. Word is that Bristol has a particularly strong right hook, which she employed repeatedly, and it’s something to hear when Sarah screams, “Don’t you know who I am!” …

As people were leaving in a cab, Track was seen on the street, shirtless, flipping people off, with Sarah right behind him, and Todd somewhere in the foreground, tending to his bloody nose.

And, for some reason, we’re still listening to that crackpot John McCain on foreign policy. Seriously, after Palin and Iraq, does he have no shame left? Do TV’s bookers?

Today, I broke ranks with a president I still want to support and I still admire – because I sincerely believe this latest pragmatic pirouette is dangerous to our national security, and terribly damaging for the process to slowly move away from anti-terror over-reach. We aired the bullshit legal rationale for the war; and demanded a simple answer to why we are doing this again – and expanding its scope to Syria. Readers had their say about last night’s speech here.

Plus: a classic beard of the week; a defense of Britishness as an inclusive nationality; and continued our thread on domestic violence and #whyistayed. The most popular post of the day were my live-blog of the speech last night and A Pragmatism Too Far? Many of today’s posts were updated with your emails – read them all here.  You can always leave your unfiltered comments at our Facebook page and @sullydish. 20 more readers became subscribers today. You can join them here – and get access to all the readons and Deep Dish – for a little as $1.99 month. Gift subscriptions are available here. Dish t-shirts and polos are for sale here. A reader writes:

After six months of reading your site, the frustration of not being able to read below the fold got to me and I finally subscribed. I read The Economist for the hard news and you for the unique insights you bring to current news. I consider myself a Terry Pratchett humanist and I often find myself in both agreement and vehement disagreement with you, often within the same story. Please keep up the good work.

The Dish team will as well. I’m on my way to Portland, Oregon, to speak at the International Cannabis Business Association at the Oregon Convention Center. I’ll be speaking at 9.30 am PST on Saturday, if you want to say hi.

I gotta rush for the plane now … so see you in the morning.

(Photo: A woman places flowers in the inscribed names along the edge of the North Pool Memorial site during observances at the site of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2014 in New York City. By Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images)

Sarah Palin, Democratic Fundraiser


All that impeachment chatter in the fever swamps is a gift to Democrats, Cillizza argues:

You can be sure that Boehner is making it abundantly clear to members of his conference not to mention the word “impeachment” in public and, if asked about it, to insist that it is absolutely not an option.  But, whether they listen is another thing entirely. Some may genuinely believe that Obama has committed acts that warrant impeachment, others may see the possibility of personal political gain out of being on Team Impeachment.

Meanwhile, any and all talk of impeachment may well be the secret ingredient Democrats have been desperately searching for to energize their base in advance of the midterms. (Eighty six percent of Democrats oppose impeaching President Obama.) If Democrats can make their base voters believe that the results of this election could mean the difference between impeaching Obama and not, that’s a major win for them. And, yes, impeachment talk will further stoke passion among some within the conservative base. But, between the IRS, Benghazi and Obamacare do those voters really need a whole lot more motivation to turn out and vote against Obama?

But also more literally, a gift, as in cash money:

It’s a great rallying point for the party’s voter and fundraising base. The Democrats’ House Campaign Committee says that in a single day, in response to the supposed threat of impeachment and reality of a lawsuit against the president, it hauled in 50,000 contributions, 60 percent from women, totaling $1 million.

Perhaps that’s why left-leaning media outlets are talking it up, by Nate Silver’s count, far more than their counterparts on the right:

[F]or every mention of impeachment on Fox News in July, there have been five on liberal-leaning MSNBC. This data comes from a Lexis-Nexis search of transcripts on each network. It counts each mention of the words “impeach” or “impeachment.” The terms were used 32 times in a single episode of MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” on Monday. (Ordinarily, I’d adjust for the overall volume of words spoken on each network, but I know from my previous research that MSNBC and Fox News have about the same number of words recorded in Lexis-Nexis.) The scoreboard so far in July: Fox News has 95 mentions of impeachment, and MSNBC 448. That works out to about 2.7 mentions per hour of original programming on MSNBC, or once every 22 minutes.

And perhaps that’s why Paul Ryan has come out against it:

“This does not rise to the high crimes and misdemeanor level,” Ryan told reporters Wednesday morning at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. The impeachment talk has been a steady theme among the GOP’s Tea Party wing and has been embraced in recent days by Democrats as a potent fundraising tool. “I see this as sort of a ridiculous gambit by the President and his political team to try and change the narrative, raise money and turn out their base for an upcoming election that they feel is not going to go their way,” Ryan said Wednesday, echoing House Speaker John Boehner’s comments Tuesday that the White House’s impeachment talk is a “scam.”

Ryan’s reasonability on this issue makes Aaron Blake so happy:

Ignore the first part; that’s just him echoing the talking point that other top Republicans have used. The second part is the operative part. It’s where he offers a pretty novel thought: that Obama has not committed an impeachable offense. … [I]t’s getting to the point where Republican leaders need to do a little more to nip this thing in the bud before it becomes bigger than they can handle. And what better way than to make an argument using the very thing that the tea party loves to cite: the Constitution. These leaders could, as Ryan does, acknowledge concerns about what Obama is doing while also noting that “high crimes and misdemeanors” is generally thought to be a very high threshold.