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Sen. Bob Corker, seen in July, says he is “not obligated” to stick to the Americans for Tax Reform pledge, formulated by Grover Norquist in the mid-1980s. Other influential Republicans say they may be willing to abandon it if Democrats will work with them to achieve entitlement reform and debt reduction. (Associated Press)

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Say hello, Assad: See the Navy warships off the coast of Syria

The Navy has sent four warships — USS Ramage, USS Mahan, USS Gravely and USS Barry — armed with ballistic missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea amid violence in Syria. Navy ships are capable of a variety of military actions, including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles as they did against Libya in 2011.