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The Syllabus: What you need to know for the September 1 'MHP'

There was a surprise announcement from President Obama in the Rose Garden this afternoon, when he stated that he will be seeking Congressional approval for mil
Obama Syria
Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

There was a surprise announcement from President Obama in the Rose Garden this afternoon, when he stated that he will be seeking Congressional approval for military action in Syria. Speaker John Boehner said that the House will consider the matter on Septem

ber 9 when they reconvene. In explaining his reasons for going to Congress, the president said:

“...having made my decision as Commander-in-Chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interests, I'm also mindful that I'm the President of the world's oldest constitutional democracy.  I've long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  And that’s why I've made a second decision:  I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people's representatives in Congress.”

In addition, President Obama demanded that the United Nations uphold the 1925 Geneva Protocol which bans countries from using chemical warfare. On Sunday’s Melissa Harris-Perry, our host will examine the political implications of President Obama’s Saturday remarks, and anticipate the political consequences.

The New York Police Department is facing another profiling lawsuit, this time from New York’s Muslim community, claiming that mosques, sports fields, restaurants, social clubs, and even certain homes were surveilled by the NYPD in a manner that harkens back to the Nixon administration. While NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly denied the accusations, the AP has reported that some mosques have been labeled as terrorist organizations without exhibiting any criminal behavior. Join us on Sunday as Harris-Perry and her panel discuss the questionable tactics employed by the NYPD in the name of security.

President Obama addressed the nation Wednesday on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, standing where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. But he delivered his speech as a president and not an activist. Harris-Perry and her panel will address the expectations and responsibilities of this president in the context of the modern civil rights movement, and assess whether he delivered in a speech that angered some African American listeners.

Will the Republicans be able to turn the White House red in 2016? The question racking pundit’s minds was answered, to a degree; this week by Thomas Edsall in a New York Times article where he cautioned against the consensus that the GOP is essentially kaput. Edsall offered a list of ways in which the Republican Party can be successful the next time around without having to address the problem of demographics. Tomorrow, MHP will discuss race, the White House, and 2016.

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday at 10 a.m. EST on MSNBC! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.