The United States Of Weakness

A Syrian flag and protesters are shown outside of the White House. | AP Photo

Indeed, party leaders have almost emphasized their lack of leverage in pressing for passage of the White House-backed resolution. Its not a question of whipping. Its a question of discussing, Pelosi said last week. After Boehner endorsed the Syria resolution, his spokesman blasted out a statement declaring flatly: The Speaker expects the White House to provide answers on members questions and take the lead on any whipping effort. In other words: good luck with all that, Mr. President. *The mass media Many millions of Americans will tune into Obamas speech Tuesday night. Millions more will see it covered in news reports the following day. Countless others will spend Tuesday evening catching up with the Kardashians or watching the news they really care about, on ESPN or E! News. ( PHOTOS: International response to Syria ) The reality for Obama and his future successors is that Americans no longer congregate around a small number of outlets for their news and entertainment. A presidential speech that cuts into all the broadcast networks and cable news will reach a big slice of the public, but it wont command universal interest or attention from the American people. Historically, presidents have relied heavily on their power to make everyone stop and pay attention. That power has waned and Obama plainly knows it: he has only addressed the nation twice so far from the Oval Office. By comparison, Ronald Reagan gave 34 Oval Office addresses in his presidency and George H. W. Bush gave 12 in his single term, according to presidential historian Martha Kumar. In his political campaigns, Obama has tried to counteract the fracturing of the media landscape by speaking in unconventional venues for a president The Tonight Show or Mens Health magazine.

Dos a Cero again! … United States qualifies for World Cup 2014 after another 2-0 win over Mexico

side at Italia 90. Lets take this discussion back to the World Cup in Italy in 1990, then head to the USAs 2002 World Cup campaign which saw them knocked out by Germany in the quarterfinals and finally compare it to todays squad. United States national team 1990 World Cup With the likes of Tony Meola in goal, John Harkes and Eric Wynalda up front, the U.S. had a strong core of talented players who were playing across Europe. These guys werent necessarily playing on the biggest teams but they had experience that helped the USA qualify for their first World Cup since 1950. Paul Caligiuris shot heard round the world made that possible and his play was a hallmark of how the U.S. set up. A tough defensive team with the likes of Marcelo Balboa, Tab Ramos and Peter Vermes, the USA were hard to beat in qualifying. But when they got to Italia 90 everything went pear-shaped. A 1-0 defeat to hosts Italy wasnt disastrous but a 5-1 loss to Czechoslovakia and a 2-1 reverse to Austria ensured the U.S. left Italy with zero points, two goals scored and their tails between their legs. An experienced squad full of fight and determination, I think todays U.S. squad are head and shoulders above the revolutionary 1990 squad. United States national team 2002 World Cup Clint Mathis was part of the exciting United States side that made the 2002 quarterfinals. This side would take some beating, even by todays standards. With a young Landon Donovan causing all kinds of problems for opposition defenses and with John OBrien and Claudio Reyna breaking things up in midfield the U.S. had a solid defensive core to build from.

Big question: Is this United States squad the best in history?

Fabian Johnson became the latest stop-gap at right back, replacing Michael Orozco, who had struggled to make the adjustment from his usual center back position against Costa Rica. Fabian Johnson, who has mostly been a left back and a left-sided attacker for the national team, had not played at right back for Klinsmann since the 1-0 win over Mexico last August at Azteca Stadium back when seeing El Tri struggle at Azteca was a bigger deal. Also out of favor was Graham Zusi, whose impact Friday was minimal. Alejandro Bedoya replaced Zusi along the right. And as expected, the veteran Goodson, among the foursome of reinforcements summoned over the weekend to replace the injured and suspended U.S. men, was the choice to partner Gonzalez at center back. Finally, to fill the midfield gap Klinsmann rewarded Beckerman for all that steady Gold Cup work with his biggest start in any match since the 2009 MLS Cup final. While Mexico managed to find some gaps and make things uncomfortable for the hosts right away, the United States needed about 15 minutes for its first real scoring opportunity. After Clint Dempsey was fouled, Donovan found Gonzalez at the far post on a free kick. The big center back arranged a dandy shot for Jones, who swung big but went high with his left foot. (MORE: What we learned from Tuesdays World Cup clincher) Mostly, though, without Michael Bradleys abilities as a midfield conduit, early versions of the United States attack were all about long balls over the midfield, which was having trouble putting any passes together. There was way too much room, meanwhile, for Mexican midfielders, who had time to pick out passes. Given the Mexicans possession and ability to look dangerous in spots, Beckerman and Johnson were lucky to escape early bookings after late fouls.