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The Syllabus: What you need to know for the September 14 'MHP'

We have been watching something fascinating take place–something we don’t see often. The president of the United States is letting the public see his process.
Obama Address to Nation on Syria
Credit: Evan Vucci / Pool via CNP Photo by: Evan Vucci/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

We have been watching something fascinating take place–something we don’t see often. The president of the United States is letting the public see his process.

The U.S. has seen a deliberate–a deliberating–president as he considers his agenda on Syria. A leader who makes clear that he takes careful consideration of developments and adjusts his thinking accordingly. And he has been more open about the process than the nation is accustomed to. Which of course has led to criticism, claims that the president had made America look weak and unsteady.

What is a true sign of strength within a powerful leader? President Obama ran on the campaign promise that he wouldn’t rush into anymore wars; that he was the pensive, intellectual candidate with judgment the country needed. By calling for action against a regime that has gassed 1,400 of its own people, 400 of them children, and then insisting on employing his constitutional responsibilities, the president is arguably exhibiting his strength.

Join us for Saturday’s Melissa Harris-Perry when host and panel will discuss the question of strength as it relates to American diplomacy.

The national gun debate has slipped from daily headlines but gun violence and gun politics are still very much at issue. A handful of states have been successful in enacting tougher gun laws since Newtown but a troubling development in Colorado might have legislators worried that they have to choose between doing their job and keeping it. This week, a recall vote ousted State Senators John Morse and Angela Giron in response to their support of Colorado’s strict new gun laws and now at least six Republicans are considering a run against Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2014. Saturday’s show will take a deep dive on the danger of gun politics and the increased vulnerability of politicians as recalls become a popular political tool.

Also, our Below the Line segment is back on Saturday as Republicans in the House make plans to push forward legislation to devastate our nation’s social safety net. In July, when the House attempted to pass a new Farm Bill, we broke down the potential cuts that Republicans wanted to make to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program. In the end, the House wound up leaving the program out in order to pass the bill. Now the House is focusing again on SNAP with a vote expected in the coming week. Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor now wants to cut 40 billion dollars from the program over the next 10 years--nearly double what he planned to cut back in June. If passed, the cuts would deny SNAP to 4-6 million low income Americans. This includes destitute adults, low income kids, seniors and families that earn low wages.

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