What might this mean? Six days ago, as ISIS marched on Baghdad, Barack Obama insisted that he would weigh the options for response to this crisis — and then promptly took off for some fundraisers and a round of golf. Yesterday, he briefed Capitol Hill honchos on his thinking, complete with a photo spray, and also told them that he didn’t see the need to get authorization for action, to which the top Congressional leadership concurred. Now Obama wants time in front of the cameras at 12:30 ET this afternoon [Update, 12:50 – moved to 1:15].

If he doesn’t come prepared with a plan, it will be … par for the course, no?

When Obama met with Eric Shinseki the first time, he blew the opportunity to look decisive and presidential, and ended up waiting a week to finally do what everyone knew would have to happen anyway. In a sense, that’s what is dogging Obama here, too. He conducted a presser in the shadow of Marine One to say nothing much at all when the crisis had been unfolding for days already. The only action that Obama took by the end of the weekend was to send 275 Marines for embassy protection and transfers of personnel to Basra and Dubai. The lack of urgency in dealing with ISIS has to have captured the attention of the Iraqis, our allies, and especially our enemies.

According to the AP, the only change will be adding another 100 Green Berets as advisers to the Iraqi armed forces:

That wouldn’t really require a presidential press briefing, would it? The Iraqis have publicly requested American intervention by air, and this might end up being an implicit rejection — a pocket veto, in a way, by just ignoring it.

In a spot of good news (if confirmed), the Iraqis have won the battle for their biggest oil refinery:

Iraqi forces regained full control Thursday of the country’s biggest oil refinery after heavy fighting with Sunni militants attempting to seize it, Agence France-Presse reported officials as saying.

“The security forces are in full control of the Baiji refinery,” Lieutenant General Qassem Atta, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s security spokesman, said in televised remarks.

The announcement came after Iraqi government forces battled Sunni militants for control of the country’s biggest refinery on Thursday as Maliki waited for a U.S. response to an appeal for air strikes to beat back the threat to Baghdad.

The sprawling Baiji refinery, 200 km (130 miles) north of the capital near Tikrit, was a battlefield as troops loyal to the Shiite-led government held off insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and its allies who had stormed the perimeter a day earlier, threatening national energy supplies.

Live video of Obama’s statement will be here, but don’t expect it to start exactly on time:

Update: Thank you, Captains Obvious:

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his German counterpart discussed Iraq during a meeting Thursday in which both parties agreed Iraq is “primarily” responsible for dealing with Sunni Islamist insurgents.

“First of all, yes, the movement of [Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] is a real and concrete threat for all of us,” said German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen.

“And we are aware of the fact that of course it’s primarily the Iraq government that is on duty to take care for the security of the country.”

And tsunamis are generally wet, too.

Update: Yep, looks like Iraq’s request for air strikes has either been denied or will wait for a while longer:

Again, not sure why this couldn’t have gone out in a Defense or State briefing.