There are some people out there who love President Obama so much that they will defend him to their last, dying breath. Everything he does is perfect. He is the greatest president in American history. No one can top him.
There are some people out there who hate President Obama so much that they will attack anything and everything that he does. Everything thing he does is wrong or a failure. Everything bad that goes on in the world is his fault. He is the worst president ever.
This next case is one of those latter scenarios.
Welcome to “Umbrella-gate!”
On Thursday, President Obama was holding a press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During the conference, it started to rain, so President Obama called on two Marines standing nearby to hold some umbrellas for the two of them.
And conservatives are freaking out!
The Daily Caller, a conservative blog, had the headline, “Obama breaches Marine umbrella protocol.”
According to the Washington Post:
“Obama expects our troops to hold damn umbrellas rather than go inside: It’s disrespectful, inconsiderate, classless,” tweeted Lou Dobbs.
“Mr. President, when it rains it pours, but most Americans hold their own umbrellas,” former Alaska governor Sarah Palin added on Facebook.
The conservative Move America Forward PAC likened the umbrella-holding to what conservatives view as Obama’s weak response to September’s attack in Benghazi, Libya. A fundraising e-mail from the group read, “Rain: ‘Hold My Umbrella.’ Benghazi: ‘Stand Down.’ ”
Seriously. Who gives a flying fuck?
I’m not trying to defend President Obama. There are things he does that I like and things I don’t like (drone strikes, crackdowns on medical marijuana, etc.).
But seriously, people. If you’re not going to like the President, do it for legitimate reasons. Hating and attacking him for having a Marine hold an umbrella, which he can do as Commander-in-Chief, is not a legitimate reason.
With the ouster of Steven Miller, the now former commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), by President Obama due to the recently uncovered scandal where the IRS was specifically targeting and applying extra scrutiny to conservative and ultra-nationalist groups, such as the Tea Party, when they applied for a tax-exempt status, it’s important to focus on who this “new leadership” that President Obama called for in a statement delivered from the White House’s East Room.
Being the optimist and idealist that I am, I would hope that President Obama would find someone to lead the IRS that will finally go after churches that purposely break their tax-exempt status by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. Just in case people didn’t know, that’s illegal.
Knowing Washington politics the way I do though, the new commissioner will probably be someone within the Democratic Party or average bureaucrat already within the IRS that no one knows about – I didn’t know the name Steven Miller before this whole thing happened – or has never ever paid any attention to who will continue to do nothing about this clear violation of the law, because appeasing the religious is more important to this administration and every administration before it than the law.
If churches want to play the game of politics, then they have to pay like everyone else. If the Secular Student Alliance, Center for Inquiry, American Atheists, or other secular and atheist organisations wanted to endorse a candidate, I’m sure the IRS would have no problem in taking away their tax-exempt status.
That’s the thing. Christianity is given greater status under the law, not equal status, as the laws says it should have. Christianity is given a pass or excuses are made when it breaks the law or when a Christian does something wrong, but when atheists commit the same crimes or it is said that atrocities were committed “in the name of atheism,” then that’s proof that atheism is a terrible “ideology” and atheists are terrible people.
President Obama: make sure the “new leadership” is someone who will follow the law and not allow for the inequality that has been rampant throughout the American tax code by allowing certain organisations to break the law. I don’t think I need to mention it, but churches should also be taxed.
With the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), saying that the individual mandate is constitutional because of the federal government’s taxing ability, Republicans are saying that the President Obama and Democrats have broken their promise to not raise taxes on the middle class. Democrats have responded with, basically, “We’re doing the same thing Mitt Romney did.”
The Congressional Budget Office says that the individual mandate, which again was proposed by Republicans as an alternative to the much preferred public option, is estimated as affecting a little more than one percent of the entire US population, which is those who can buy healthcare but refuse to, in which case they will be fined for it. According to the Washington Post, “When the individual mandate is fully phased-in, those who can afford coverage — which is defined as insurance costing less than 8 percent of their annual income — but choose to forgo it will have to pay either $695 or 2.5 percent of the annual income, whichever is greater.”
In a 2009 op-ed for the for USA Today, Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney wrote, “Our experience also demonstrates that getting every citizen insured doesn’t have to break the bank. First, we established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages ‘free riders’ to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others. This doesn’t cost the government a single dollar.” Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential Candidate, was at the forefront of the idea for an individual mandate.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said during an interview on Meet The Press, “The penalty is on people who have the wherewithal but refuse to buy health insurance, figuring they won’t be sick and if they do, other people will have to cover it. So these free riders — as they were identified by Governor Romney himself, he said that people who have the ability to pay and don’t can’t expect to be free riders. And I think he had it exactly right.”
However, we would not even be fighting over the individual mandate the Republicans hate so much if Republicans had not proposed it and done away with the public option supported by President Obama, and we would not be fighting over people having to pay penalties for not having health insurance if we had a single-payer system where everyone was guaranteed healthcare. That would be socialism though, and we can’t have that. I don’t even know what that is, but Sean Hannity tells me that it’s bad.
Republicans keep spreading lies and misinformation about the Affordable Care Act, because they know that is the only way to get rid of it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told Fox News that the Supreme Court has “unearthed the massive deception that was practiced by the president and the Democrats, constantly denying that it was a tax.” They denied it being a tax, because it is not a tax. It is a penalty. Even their own presidential candidate once said that, but of course Mitt Romney will flip-flop and say something else in order to beat President Obama come the Fall.
President Obama is being heavily criticised for the Fast and Furious “gunwalking” scandal that came to light following the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry by gun traffickers who were being sold guns by the ATF. The operation began when the Tuscon, Arizona branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) planned on selling guns to Mexican gun traffickers. These guns would then be tracked back to the Mexican drug cartels as part of a sting operation in hopes of finally breaking the drug cartels that have been wreaking havoc on the Mexican-American border.
The president is being criticised for asserting his executive privilege to withhold certain documents concerning the operation. Congressional Republicans, the Republican National Committee, and the Romney campaign all jumped on President Obama for this action, saying that he is going back on his promise for having a transparent government and that him and Attorney General Eric Holder, who recommended the president use his executive privilege, are trying to coverup a flubbed operation that resulted in the murder of a federal agent. They either fail to remember or simply ignore the fact that President Bush invoked his executive privilege six times. This is President Obama’s first.
The Republican controlled House of Representatives voted along party lines to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress and linking him to the failed operation and its supposed coverup. This could land Holder in prison or at least with a hefty fine, but more than likely not.
The other criticism of trying to coverup the operation, Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote in a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who is chairing the Congressional probe into the matter, that the Justice Department releasing 7600 documents concerning Operation Fast and Furious should have been ample evidence that no coverup is trying to be made. The Californian Representative seemed to ignore that bit of information, and the attorney general was still voted in contempt.
President Obama and his administration are claiming that Republicans and the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are doing nothing more than politically motivated attacks to make him look bad in an election year instead of doing what they promised when they won the House in the 2010 midterms, which was creating jobs and helping the economy, seeing as they have killed almost any bill put forth by the Democrats of the Democratic president that would do such a thing.
Politicians and pundits alike on the right appear to be unaware of the fact that Operation Fast and Furious began during the Bush Administration in 2006 when it was known as Operation Wide Receiver. When Fox News had something to say about it, they conveniently left out these important details, or would simply ignore them when they were shown right to their faces. Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly either do not care about the facts or will outright ignore them if they do not fit into their notions of President Obama being the Black Hitler and will do and saying almost anything in order to criticise him.
So why is it that President Obama is being blamed (again) for something that began during his predecessor’s administration?