By now, the Internet has thoroughly handled our fair President's National Prayer Breakfast speech, which compared the rise of radical Islam to the Crusades undertaken to recapture the Holy Land, in an argument that exhibits the type of intellectual gravitas normally seen in an inspirational email signature quote. Punch-drunk on his own moral superiority, the President lectured a room full of people who had since adeptly handled the crisis of violent Medieval Christians and, unlike their ISIS "bretheren" are not still wandering about in the desert setting fire to people in cages, on how their respective religions' darkest times, found mostly in history books the President clearly does not read, are just as deplorable. Unless, perhaps, that burning caged man has a carbon footprint.
Even senior Democrats were urging him to pull the plug on his stupid idea… which is why I wish he hadn’t.
As I noted, this was a great issue to beat Obama up with among his own base, though I questioned whether Republicans would have either the smarts or the cojones to actually take advantage of Obama’s policy gaffe.
Approximately one hour into the 114th Congress (not the 118th, as previously - gawd, I'm not that old yet), the Obama Administraiton has already issued its first veto threat, because if there's anything that screams "do-nothing Congress" it's the White House officially condeming Congress's first major vote before it even happens.
Tomorrow at 9am, a Senate committee will convene to discuss the Keystone XL pipeline, which will carry petroleum from Canada's tar sands to American refineries, creating thousands of union jobs along the way, and preventing that same petroleum from boarding an already-waiting boat to China, where it will be used to make cheap American toys and generic foodstuffs for export. The White House is, of course, more concerned with the environmental impact no one thinks is actually a thing, and the optics of approving thousands of homegrown American jobs while Republicans are in power.
Actually, I had a pretty nice New Years. I availed myself of a five-course tasting menu at a really fantastic restaurant, some decent cocktails and Midnight Mass.
But, of course, I didn't do it in Hawaii.
The President, who is wrapping up his 17-day vacation on Oahu, spent New Years with the family, getting shave ice at a neighborhood place with his daughters and snorkeling with the family at Hanauma Bay, a huge inland reef and wildlife sanctuary that is great for beginners, but is usually closed to the public over the holidays. Barack and Michelle then ditched the kids and went for a fifteen-course tasting menu of their own at Hawaii's Vintage Cave, a French-American fine-dining restaurant, "private society" and wine cellar located in a giant shopping mall just down the road from Waikiki beach. The
Happy New Year's Eve!
Okay, so yes, I know a lot of you are still busy writing me hate mail from yesterday. But before we end our year on the wrong note, let's remember who the real problem is here. And I don't mean every journalist who has taken the opportunity presented by Steve Scalise to encourage David Duke to re-enter the cultural gestalt. Tonight, while you're too busy getting wasted on cheap champagne and arguing with your Uber driver over surge pricing to notice, the Obama Administration will be busily printing up and presenting 1200 new regulations for Congressional approval.
The Obama administration is cramming like a college student trying to study for a final exam, publishing more than 1,200 new regulations in the last 15 days alone, according to data from Regulations.gov.
Energy and environment rules are the biggest category, with 139 published by the federal government in the last 15 days, according to Regulations.gov.
The deal brokered to put an end to the US embargo against Cuba and "normalize" diplomatic relations is, at best, controversial. No one can tell for sure who will profit from it, why it was done, why it was done now, and how long it will be before we can aggressively import cigars and classic automobiles.
What remains more important than that, however, is how the deal was brokered, what we got in it, and whether any part of the deal is ultimately fair to the United States, which has spent half a century building up the embargo in order to crush the Communist regime (which responded, mostly, but crushing it's own people). In return for no longer pretending Cuba doesn't exist except when we need to issue Beyonce a travel visa, which is everything Cuba's been asking for, we get a political prisoner whose name Barack Obama probably didn't even know before November. It seems like a dream come true for the Castros (zombie and not-zombie alike) and bit of a rough deal for anyone who spent the last fifty years or so hiding out from them.
Apparently, Barack Obama isn't always as friendly with his White House correspondents as conservative media would have you believe. While they might be clipping his photos out of Tiger Beat magazine and pasting them into dreamy collages on their cubicle walls, Barack Obama spends his time thinking about the press mostly considering which swear words to use the next time he runs into them, at least according to retired ABC News journalist Ann Compton.
In an interview with C-SPAN, Compton noted that, at least recently, the press has had a contentious relationship with President Obama, that has, on more than one occasion, resulted in a good old-fashioned swearing session on the part of the President, who seems to feel that the media he relied on to abrogate their duty as the Fourth Estate in order to pave the way for his Presidency, hasn't been duly compliant in recent years.
These days, the only people who seem remotely satisfied with Barack Obama's job performance are people living in beachfront mansions on the California coast. Even actual Communists and socialists have taken to things like social media to express their deep regret that the guy who promised to even the playing field has, in fact, been more inept on the subject of income inequality than Scrooge McDuck. They may as well have run Paul Krugman, if they could pry him away from his cats.
But, as I noted, Hollywood is still deeply in love with their President. Gwyneth Paltrow probably has an autographed photo of Barack hanging above her bed, so that it's the first thing she sees when she awakens from slumber in her bed that costs more than you'll make in a decade. George Clooney likely considers Barack the third person in his marriage, and while everyone has long forgotten Barack and Michelle's fairytale romance, as loosely-source campaign propaganda, Hollywood is, apparently, greenlighting movie about their Chicago courtship that will begin filming in July.
Is it just me, or has this been the longest week in history? Literally, everything is terrible. I don't even know why.
Anywayyyy, since I have not yet figured out how to click my heels together and dramatically change the entire political landscape, thus rendering me your benevolent dictator, here's a video I found of Barack Obama dancing awkwardly with Santa Claus at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony that took place last night. Pay special attention to the 'thumbs up, overbite move" he does.
Oh, and you're welcome, America.
And if you're wondering, the Obama daughters did look like they enjoyed this cheesy holiday tradition, at least.
Have a happy Friday, everyone!
One of the dangers of using the Executive Action to accomplish your campaign goals six years after the fact and despite having an agreeable Congress right about the time you could have fulfilled your campaign promises, is that, if the EA survives the endless litigation and bellyaching it's headed for, future Presidents who don't share your inclusive attitude on undocumented workers, and for that matter, on basically anything else, may also use the EA to accomplish their goals.
Fortunately, President Obama has considered that eventuality and has issued an expert opinion on the subject. No, President Rick Santorum will not be allowed to use Executive Action to enact his agenda when Congress fails to heed his advice about scantily-clad ladies of the Internet and the overwhelming corporate tax burden. Why? Because Barack Obama says so.