So You Thought President Obama Would Be A Lame Duck, Did You?

Six weeks ago an election concluded that brought what every Republican, and many Democrats, thought was the deathblow for the Obama administration. There was no phrase that was uttered more often than “Lame Duck” as pundits rushed to write the epitaph of Obama’s presidency and agenda. They were convinced that the Obama era was dead and, with apologies to Monty Python, it had…

“…passed on. It is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet it’s maker. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life. It rests in peace. It’s pushing up the daisies. It’s metabolic processes are now history. It’s off the twig. It’s kicked the bucket. It’s shuffled off it’s mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible. This is an ex-presidency.”

Obama Lame Duck

Well, in the subsequent forty-two days the President has demonstrated a stubborn resistance to complying with the conventional wisdom. He has defied his critics’ forecasts of an untimely demise, as well as their conviction that he is incapable of leadership. Here is a brief summary of some of the achievements that have come to pass since November 5, 2014, beginning with an historic announcement today:

  • Normalizing relations with Cuba.
  • Deferring deportation for certain undocumented immigrants.
  • Passage of a spending bill that averts another government shutdown.
  • Confirmation of his Surgeon General nominee.
  • Confirmation of twenty-seven federal judges.
  • Climate agreement with China.
  • Protection for Bristol Bay, Alaska from future oil and gas drilling.

In addition to the above, Obama has also presided over record enrollments in the second year of ObamaCare, and the deflating of Russia’s economy. And all the while the U.S. economy is performing better than any other major nation, and most indicators are firmly in positive territory.

Of course, there is still much room for improvement, but that cannot be achieved without the cooperation of Congress. There is not likely to be much of that in the next couple of years, but Obama has proven that he is able to attend to the interests of the American people even when Congress refuses to do so. And the 2016 cycle is shaping up to heavily favor Democrats.

In fact, 2016 holds decidedly bad news for Republicans and their new senate majority. The GOP will be defending 24 seats, as compared to only 10 for the Democrats. Nine of the those GOP seats are in states won by Obama in 2012. So are all of the Democratic seats. With a larger and more representative electorate it is almost a certainty that the senate will flip back to the Democrats.

It will be interesting to see where we go from here as the new congressional session begins next month. What we already know is that with Republicans in charge the Congress has set a new record for laziness. It has spent more time on vacation than working (239 total vacation days in 2014). Plus, it was the least productive session in history. It took that trophy from the session just prior.

Much of the blame has to be laid at the feet of John Boehner, the Tea Party, and the GOP’s inability and genetic aversion to governing. But if anyone is still holding onto the belief that Obama has become an irredeemable lame duck, the evidence of the past six weeks ought to shake that conviction. It is clear that Obama has no intention of being hobbled by an antagonistic Congress that cares more about their own grasp on power than they do the welfare of the people they are supposed to representing.

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Jeb Bush Plans To Run For President As Drug Dealing Charges Emerge

The big news today that surprises no one is that Jeb Bush is seriously considering a run at the presidency in 2016. He says that he will launch an exploratory effort to test the waters, but that is a well known artifice that politicians commonly use to disguise or delay their true intentions. Bush has been hinting at running for some time and he is keenly aware that there will not be too many other opportunities. If he passes on 2016, and the next president serves two terms, Bush will be 70 before he could run again.

One of the reasons politicians seek to put off official announcements of candidacy is that they will begin take fire from all sides. Already the conservative wing of the GOP is lashing out against Bush. Another reason they delay announcing is that doing so brings on a whole new level of scrutiny. And Bush’s announcement has produced a perfect example of that risk. A report now circulating in conservative circles is questioning whether Bush was a drug user and dealer while attending prep school at Andover.

Jeb Bush

The allegations stem from an article written by John LeBoutillier, a former Republican congressman and currently a co-host of Fox News Channel’s Political Insiders. Under the title “The Jeb Bush Illegal Drug and Liquor Distributorship at Andover,” LeBoutillier wrote that…

“Jeb Bush and one other fellow student back then ran an illegal drug and liquor distributorship on the Andover campus. When the heat started coming down, Bush ratted out the partner to the school authorities and saved his own skin. Jeb got away with it, was never caught, never punished, graduated unscathed and went on to the University of Texas at Austin.”

If this account is true then Bush was not only engaged in unlawful activities, he was also an untrustworthy associate who will steamroll over others to avoid personal responsibility for his own conduct.

Some will say that these allegations are dredging up a distant past that holds no relevance to the present. After all, Bush went on to complete two terms as governor of Florida without any suspicion of substance consumption or commerce. But we must not forget the manner in which President Obama was harassed by wingnut critics who mined his past back to even his birth.

Conservative conspiracy theorists hatched plots that involved Obama’s parents fabricating a birth certificate to secure his U.S. citizenship. They accused him of being indoctrinated by early childhood influences from Muslim Madrassas to alleged communist subversives like Frank Marshall. They went into his college days at Columbia and Harvard to make tenuous connections between him and his lefty professors. They went totally bonkers over his attendance at the church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And, of course, they veritably salivated over reports of his youthful indulgence in marijuana.

If Obama’s drug use was considered an election issue by Republicans in 2008, then certainly Bush should be subjected to the same inquiries today. And as LeBoutillier noted in his article, even if the use of drugs were to be excused, Bush has been accused of trafficking, a far more serious offense. These kinds of tabloid assertions were a staple of the campaigns against Obama. But will the so-called liberal media apply the same standards to Bush?

Don’t count on it. The media is already demonstrating its hypocrisy by making a controversy out of Hillary Clinton’s wealth. They assert that due to her financial status she cannot relate to average Americans even though she was never wealthy until after leaving the White House. But they have yet to question Bush’s riches or their effect on his ability to relate, despite the fact that he was born to great wealth.

Similarly, the media is obsessed with the matter of dynasty. However, the Clinton’s hardly qualify as a dynasty since there is no multi-generational component to their public service. It is simply Bill and Hillary. But Bush is the brother and son of a president, and the grandson of a senator, and the father of an officeholder in Texas. That’s four generations of Bushes in politics. Which is more than the Kennedys. Nevertheless, the media treats the two families the same. Not even Jeb’s mother does that. She was famously quoted saying that “We’ve had enough Bushes,” when asked to comment on a prospective Jeb candidacy.

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Personally, I don’t put much stock in the charges against Bush. Even though the source is more reliable than the fruitcakes that were cooking up plots about Obama, there should be more evidence and corroboration before anyone makes decisions based on them. I am also not a fan of ancient history being exploited as a weapon against people whose current lifestyles do not exhibit any misbehavior. However, I do believe that the press should be, as they say, fair and balanced, and if they go after Democrats like Obama and Clinton, then they need to do the same to Bush and any other Republican candidate. That does not seem to be the case so far.

Bachmann’s Last Stand: Tea Party Queen Laments Imaginary Snub By Obama

In many ways I’m going to miss Michele Bachmann. She has provided an unending stream of hilarity during her brief tenure in Congress, and especially her epic run for the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

Michele Bachmann Tea Party

As a parting gift to comedians everywhere, Bachmann visited her pal Bill O’Reilly on Fox News (video below) to regale him with an account of her adventures at the White House Christmas party (which O’Reilly belittled as a “holiday” party). While bragging that attendance at the event was a high honor, she also complained about the less than respectful treatment she received from President Obama. The sad tale went something like this:

“I knew that this would be the last time that I would speak to the President as a member of Congress and I thought, I want to say something substant (sic) to him about what I think is the most consequential issue of the day. […]

“‘Mr. President, with all due respect, I’m concerned about the Iranian nuclear program and I think it would be wise to bomb the program before they obtain a nuclear weapon because once they obtain a nuclear weapon the world changes.’

“The president smiled, and he was fairly condescending and patronizing and said, ‘Well, it’s not quite that easy, Michele. But that’s okay,’ like I’m just, you know, an idiot and I don’t know anything.”

Had Obama intended to imply that Bachmann is an idiot it would have been entirely appropriate. She has proven it herself innumerable times. However, the President’s response was in no way disrespectful. It was pretty much all he could say under the circumstances. Bachmann confronted him with her comment in a photo line where many guests were waiting to greet the First Family. What did she expect him to do? Was he supposed to interrupt this photo-op to engage her in a protracted debate on a complex matter of national security standing there in the foyer? Perhaps she thought his eyes would light up with surprise and he would thank her for contributing such a brilliant idea that had never occurred to him. All things considered, Obama was rather polite after having been lobbied at a Christmas party to bomb another country.

It is that sort of laughably arrogant nonsense that we will miss in the coming years. Unless of course Bachmann signs up with Fox News and joins her comrade Sarah Palin in delivering comic relief (in the form of pseudo-political analysis) whenever she can score some airtime. But we will always have her past record of lunacy to cheer us up. Here’s a short summary of some of her classic moments:

  • Bachmann believed that the government had been infiltrated by enemy Muslims and she joined a group of congressional colleagues to insist on an investigation to uncover them.
  • Bachmann proclaimed her intention to be subservient to her husband were she to be elected president: “…the Lord said, ‘Be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.’”
  • Bachmann signed a pledge circulated by a radical evangelical asserting that life for African-Americans was better during the era of slavery.
  • Bachmann gushed her admiration for a serial killer: “Just like John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa, that’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.” Actually, it was serial murderer and clown painter John Wayne Gacy who was from Waterloo.

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Racists Swarm Fox Nation’s Post About A Michele/Barack Obama Romance Movie

It doesn’t take much for the vile bigots who inhabit the Fox News community of Fox Nation to let their true feelings show. News Corpse has been compiling documentation of their nauseating prejudices on this page for quite a while: The Collected Hate Speech Of The Fox Nation Community.

The latest item to join the collection is this repulsive display triggered by the announcement that a movie is being produced that will dramatize the early romance of Barack and Michele Obama. The Fox Nationalists posted an excerpt from Deadline Hollywood’s article that said…

“The White House legend that is Barack and Michelle Obama’s romance is heading to the screen. Southside With You, a drama in the vein of Before Sunrise, chronicles the summer 1989 afternoon when the future President of the United States of America wooed his future First Lady on an epic first date across Chicago’s South Side.”

Does this have the potential of being a sappy cinematic escapade of star-crossed young lovers? Sure it does. But that’s pretty much a staple in Hollywood and generally doesn’t result in outbursts of hatred and racial bias. The total absence of shame exhibited by these cretins makes it all the more disgusting. But, sadly, it is not surprising coming from a community that has proven repeatedly that they are proud of their inbred racial animus.

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Fox Nation Racist Comments

So How Nuts Are The Anti-Immigration Tea Party Republicans?

One month ago a distinct minority of the nation’s voters trudged to the polls to elect just enough Tea Party Republicans to gain control of the Senate and join their GOP colleagues in the House in a ritual of Obama bashing and avoiding doing any actual work. Since then the party of “NO” has already demonstrated their determination to hogtie this president and throw a monkey wrench into the administration of government.

GOP Disciplines Obama

To illustrate just how absurd the right-wing has become, take a look at these actual proposals, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, for responding to Obama’s executive action to reform immigration policy:

    Shut down the government. A tactic that failed miserably last year and made a laughing stock of Ted Cruz and other Republicans.
    Block ambassador nominations. Because degrading international diplomacy would secure America’s borders.
    Block executive branch nominees — just about all of them. Another attempt by the party that hates government to prove that it doesn’t work by sabotaging it.
    Ground the president. Seriously? They want to cut funding for Air Force One to keep Obama stuck in Washington.
    Start the immigration fight earlier. As opposed to starting to resolve the immigration problem.
    File a lawsuit. Which they have already done and will solve nothing. It probably won’t even get to trial before becoming moot.
    Cancel the State of the Union. This idiotic and bigoted idea was covered previously by News Corpse here: Hate of the Union.

These inane, retaliatory responses to a serious problem facing the nation reveal the deliberately injurious motives of the GOP. They obviously couldn’t care less about advancing the interests of the American people. The only thing on their agenda is beating on the current resident of the White House whom they never believed was legitimate.

And it makes it all the more ludicrous considering they have a quick and simple way to do away with the executive order they profess to oppose. As reported here before, all they have to do is pass a law. They don’t even have to write one. It already exists and was passed by a bipartisan majority in the Senate. If John Boehner would allow it to be voted on in the House it would pass tomorrow, be signed by the President and – poof – no executive action.

Instead these cretins maneuver to lock Obama out of the Capital and take away his keys to Air Force One. Next thing you know they will be passing legislation to make him sit in the corner for the remainder of his term. And they want people to take them seriously?

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The Hate Of The Union Address: Right-Wing Nutjobs Want To Ban Obama From Congress

You may have thought that you’ve seen it all, but when it comes to overt expressions of rancid hatred today’s Republican politicians and pundits are just getting started. It’s apparently not enough that they have spent the last six years breaking all records for partisan obstructionism and openly displayed racist attitudes toward President Obama. Now there is talk of implementing a Jim Crow style admittance policy on Capitol Hill.

Obama Refused

President Obama has recently taken legal measures to make some progress on the immigration reforms that Congress is too inept to address. His executive actions are both constitutionally sound and overwhelmingly popular. Those facts must have driven the Republican Party into an acute psychosis that has them panting feverishly as they struggle to respond. To date they have proposed such over-the-top remedies as rejecting every administration nominee for cabinet or judgeship posts, shutting down the federal government, suing the President, and even launching impeachment proceedings.

Now, however, they have lit on a new tactic that is stretching the limits of sanity. There is boomlet of commentary on the right that thinks it would be a good idea to prohibit President Obama from delivering the annual State of the Union address to members of Congress. This is a proposal that reeks of personal animosity and is wholly inconsistent with the mission of Congress. What’s more, it certainly doesn’t advance the spirit of cooperation that the GOP pretended to embrace following the midterm election. The very words used by the advocates of this plan illustrate their divisive intent. For instance…

Joel Pollak, Breitbart News: Congress should indicate to President Obama that his presence is not welcome on Capitol Hill as long as his “executive amnesty” remains in place. The gesture would, no doubt, be perceived as rude, but it is appropriate.

Rich Lowry, National Review: If I were John Boehner I’d say to the president: “Send us your State of the Union in writing. You’re not welcome in our chamber.”

“Our chamber?” Are these miscreants suffering from the delusion that the houses of Congress belong to them and they have the tyrannical authority to deny admittance to anyone they choose, including the Commander in Chief? This would be an unprecedented rebuke aimed at the nation’s first African-American president. There is a stink of bigotry that is reminiscent of the segregationist South where blacks were not permitted into establishments reserved for whites only. These suggestions are shameless in their open disrespect for both the President and the presidency. No other White House occupant has suffered this sort of indignity. Even President Clinton’s State of the Union speeches went on as scheduled while Congress was trying at the time to impeach him.

Obama’s crime is that he is actually trying to get things done despite a congressional body that holds the title for being the least productive congress in history. They have demonstrated their obsession with opposing anything this President advocates, even legislation that their own GOP colleagues drafted. Once Obama signs on they turn and run, pretending not to have ever had anything to do with it. The most important thing to this Republican caucus is to do as much harm to the President as possible without consideration to the harm they are doing to the country.

But with all of the flagrantly hostile behavior directed at Obama from the right, there is something far more repugnant in this exclusionary gimmick that treats the President as if he were untouchable and unclean and unfit for keeping company with the oh-so-distinguished members of Congress.

Calmer heads may ultimately prevail in the weeks before the State of the Union. But if the GOP wants to proceed with this lunatic plan they do so at their own peril. It would surely be seen by the American people as vindictive and childish. It would be repudiated by a broad majority of clear thinking citizens. The Republican Party would bear the brunt of the backlash that would almost certainly ensue.

Consequently, I say “Go for it, Republicans.” Hang a big, bright “Whites Only” sign over the front door of the Congress. It will serve as a truth-in-advertising notice for the GOP. Then the President can move the speech to an auditorium where he invites all Americans (with the exception of Republican members of Congress) to hear his address. Let the media cover the speech without the predictable and orchestrated jeers and cheers that come from a legislative body that is bitterly divided by partisanship.

Come to think of it, having the State of the Union delivered outside of Congress may be such a good idea that Obama should consider taking the lead. He could preempt the GOP’s rebuke by rebuking them first with a notice that he will not be attending their soiree. There is nothing preventing a president from delivering the speech at a venue of his choosing. And if it results in a more respectful environment where he doesn’t have to deal with petulant hecklers shouting “You lie,” in the middle of his remarks, it may be worth it.

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On Immigration: Republicans Have No Clue What The American People Want

Last week President Obama defied the wild-eyed yammering of Republicans who claimed that any executive action addressing immigration reform would be be unconstitutional and mark him as a lawless tyrant who is thwarting the will of the American people. The President ignored their rancorous grumbling and announced a reasonable plan of prosecutorial discretion that has been invoked by every president for the past fifty years, and which 135 experts agree is legal. Not to mention, it is in keeping with our nation’s longstanding values of inclusion and opportunity.

Obama: We Were Once Strangers Too

Notwithstanding these facts, the GOP is so fixated on opposing anything that this president does, they took their positions to the media and brazenly lied. With characteristic lock-step unity, they insisted that they knew what Americans want and that Obama was flouting their clearly expressed wishes. Here is a sampling of their interpretation of the public mood:

  • Sen. Ted Cruz: This last election was a referendum on amnesty. And the American people overwhelmingly rose up and said, no, we don’t want lawless amnesty.
  • John Boehner: By ignoring the will of the American people, President Obama has cemented his legacy of lawlessness and squandered what little credibility he had left.
  • Mitch McConnell: If President Obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, Congress will act.
  • Sarah Palin: [Obama is] betraying our trust [by going] against the wishes of the American people.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions: The American people rebelled against the President’s executive amnesty.
  • Rick Santorum: This unilateral action sends a message that the President believes his opinion should supersede the will of the American people and democratic process.

These statements could not be more definitive in their estimation of what the American people think about Obama’s executive action on immigration. They could also not be more wrong. Where these wingnuts got these ideas is a complete mystery. It certainly doesn’t reflect either the exit polling following the election earlier this month. Nor does it reflect the more recent polling that spelled out the precise conditions of the policy. Hart Research found that…

“…voters overwhelmingly backed President Obama’s move: 67 percent viewed it favorably, while just 28 percent viewed it unfavorably. The support was fairly bipartisan, with 91 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Independents, and 41 percent of Republicans viewing the executive action favorably. Among Tea Party Republicans, however, 64 percent opposed the policy while just 30 percent viewed it favorably.”

Setting aside the Tea Party (always a good idea), it is clear that Obama’s views are more aligned to those of the American people than with the bombastic and presumptive Republicans. And not only do people support the President’s action, they agree that he is acting within law by 51% to 41%.

What is most curious about this whole debate is that the GOP has such hatred for the executive action Obama took, but they refuse to do the simplest, quickest thing to nullify it. All they have to do is pass a law. They don’t even have to write one. It already exists and was passed by a bipartisan majority in the Senate. If John Boehner would allow it to be voted on in the House it would pass tomorrow, be signed by the President and – poof – no executive action.

Instead the GOP talk of blocking every bill and presidential nominee that comes before them. They threaten to file lawsuits that would take years to wind their way through the courts and would be moot by the time they were heard. And they even raise the specter of impeachment, another ultra-drastic response that would take months and accomplish nothing but making Joe Biden the next president.

In conclusion, Obama is not acting like a tyrant and Americans don’t buy the criticism of him as one. However, Americans do favor his approach to immigration reform by wide margins despite the protestations from the GOP. The only thing that Republicans have to gain from their current strategy is a generous pension after they are retired from public service in 2016. We wish them luck.

Scandal Roulette On Fox News: This Week’s Winner: IRS Emails

With the midterm election now relegated to a past too distant for Teabaggers to recall, Fox News is struggling to advance their scandal mongering. They have dropped Ebola entirely. Benghazi was just debunked by the Republican-run House Intelligence Committee. There haven’t been any terrorist attacks or gun confiscations or Christmas tree burnings that they could blame on President Obama. So that pretty much leaves his birth certificate or IRS emails.

Fox News Scandal Roulette

On Yesterday’s episode of the ong-running soap opera “America’s News Headquarters,” co-host Julie Banderas launched into a frightening alert that some secret documents that were being cloistered in the dark crevices of the White House basement were miraculously discovered.

“Topping the news this hour: First they were lost, seemingly forever, 30,000 of Lois Lerner’s emails at the center of a massive IRS scandal. But today…get this. They have been found. We begin today with the government’s version of lost and found. Federal investigators have recovered as many as 30,000 emails of Lois Lerner. Remember, they had gone missing?”

Get this, people! There were 30,000 of these suckers that were scattered to depths of Hades, but now they have been captured and returned the land of the living conspiracy nuts.

What needs to be known about this revelation is that it is not really much of a revelation at all. The data that is being reported as “recovered” comes from Treasury Department computer back ups that had previously been identified as part of an ongoing investigation. Nobody at Fox News has seen the contents of these allegedly scandalous documents, but that doesn’t stop them from describing the scale of the scandal as “massive.”

Furthermore, there is a possibility that the recovered documents are duplicates of data already delivered to the committees in Congress investigating the matter. Since they have already received over 67,000 such documents, it may be more a probability than a possibility.

There has been no evidence of any effort to conceal information. Indeed, this new crop of data was found by analysts with the Treasury Department, demonstrating their good intentions and thoroughness. And after two years there has been no evidence of any wrongdoing by the administration. It is very likely that any information culled from this data dump will be just as benign as everything else that has been revealed so far.

In the meantime, however, Fox News can squeal with glee as they falsely characterize data that they have never seen and have no idea whether it reveals any misbehavior. Just planting the notion in the minds of their dimwitted viewers is enough, because they will retain it even after it has been debunked. After all, Fox has already labeled this a massive scandal despite not having any proof.

Stay tuned for the next episode of Scandal Roulette. Will Fox find Obama’s Muslim prayer rug? Will they uncover secret videos with his gay lover? Will they find the ashes of the Constitution baked into a gluten-free muffin in Michele’s Che Guevara gym bag? Only time will tell.

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Obama Quoting Scripture Is Repugnant To Fox News

During President Obama’s speech on immigration Thursday, he made the case for delaying the deportation of family members of U.S. citizens with a moral argument against separating families and demonizing those who came to America seeking a better life. Part of the justification he used were references from the Bible. The President said that “Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger –- we were strangers once, too.” Indeed, the Bible makes numerous references to the treatment of others, including foreigners. Leviticus 19:33-34 says

“33. And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not do him wrong. 34. The stranger that sojourneth with you shall be unto you as the home-born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”

The morning following the President’s speech, the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes of Fox & Friends discussed his remarks and were, not surprisingly, appalled (video below). However, their outrage was not limited to the standard kneejerk Fox objections to anything Obama does and says. Extending the wingnut talking points beyond the crackpot allegations of tyranny and lawlessness, they ventured into decidedly more hostile and racist territory.

Fox News Bigots

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What rankled the tender sensitivities of the co-hosts Steve Doocy, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and Tucker Carlson was that Obama had the temerity to express himself through his faith. The exchange that took place was a nauseating display of intolerance and undisguised hatred. It began with Carlson condemning Obama for “lecturing” on faith.

Carlson: For this guy specifically, the President, who spent his career defending late-term abortions, among other things, lecturing us on Christian faith? That’s too much. This is the Christian Left at work, and it’s repugnant. […]
Carlson: To quote scripture? That is just totally out of bounds.
Hasselbeck: Do you think it’s out of bounds that I just quoted scripture?
Carlson: No.
Doocy: It’s just different for him.

It’s just different for him? In what way? They never bother to get into it any deeper than that. but just the suggestion that a different standard exists for “specifically” this president reeks of bigotry. Whether it is rooted in race or politics it is disgusting and completely outside of the expertise of these hate mongers to pass judgment.

The statements by the Fox & Unfriendly crew would be bad enough without any other factors to consider. They are not remotely qualified to interpret either the Bible or any person’s intentions in citing it. However, as Media Matters noted, their commentary exhibited a rather astonishing measure of hypocrisy.

“It was only 48 hours prior to their November 21 broadcast that Fox & Friends criticized Obama for not espousing Christian values often enough. […they asked viewers to…] remember the time when American presidents weren’t afraid to talk about traditional values, as Ronald Reagan did back in 1981.”

So Obama is immoral when he doesn’t mention God, and repugnant when he does? And it’s OK for Reagan to wrap himself in biblical justifications for his agenda that included demonizing the poor as “welfare queens,” throwing the mentally ill out of institutions and unto the street, labeling Nelson Mandela a terrorist, selling arms to hostage takers in Iran, and using the proceeds to bankroll murderous rebels in Nicaragua. But for Obama to advocate for the unity of families is “totally out of bounds.”

The flagrantly biased, hateful, and hypocritical hosts of Fox & Friends might want to look to a recognized authority on Christian faith for guidance on how to deal with immigrants.

Pope Francis: Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more.

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[Update:] Fox News host and prospective candidate for the GOP nomination for president (and sanctimonious jerkwad), Mike Huckabee, has joined the chorus bashing Obama for quoting scripture.

Fox News Responds To Obama’s Immigration Speech: Bitch, Bitch, Bitch

President Obama delivered his address this evening that laid out his proposals for immigration reform. His plan was a balanced collection of enhanced security measures along with the more controversial initiative to delay deportations for family members of citizens.

Obama: We Were Once Strangers Too

The President made an impassioned plea to preserve families and the values that define American character. He supported his authority to take these steps by noting that every president – Republican and Democrat – for the past half century have taken similar actions. And he prevailed upon the Congress to produce legislation that would make permanent reforms and negate entirely the need for this executive action.

And the response from the conservatives who inhabit the Fox News asylum of kneejerk negativity? Well, you can probably guess. There were four main arguments that the right-wing politicians and pundits threw back at the President, and none of them addressed the substance of the issue.

  • One: Obama is overstepping his legal authority and venturing into the realm of an unconstitutional breach of separation of powers. However, most actual legal experts (including Bush’s former Attorney General Michael Mukasey earlier today on Fox News) agree that the specific measures being implemented by Obama are within his authority to take.
  • Two: The president should have waited for Congress to act rather than “going it alone.” But by any objective analysis that would have taken longer than the President has left in office. Congress has shown a distinct disinterest in advancing this issue. There is already a bill that was passed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis that would pass tomorrow in the House if Speaker John Boehner would allow a vote. Don’t hold your breath.
  • Three: They wonder why Obama didn’t get a bill through Congress during the first two years of his first term when Democrats controlled the House and Senate. For the record, Democrats did not have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate for six months after the election while votes were still being counted and contested for Al Franken’s seat in Minnesota. After that there was a full agenda that included health care, recovery from a severe economic collapse, and matters involving the two wars that were still raging in Afghanistan and Iraq. And in the final analysis, it is congress that sets the agenda for what legislation will be taken up, not the President. That’s the same congress that has distinguished itself in the last six years as the least productive in history. More to the point, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the debate today. The only reason it is brought up is to distract from the issue at hand.
  • Four: The Fox contingent accused Obama of hypocrisy for saying in the past that he didn’t have the legal authority to do this, but now he is doing it anyway. However, they are badly conflating two different positions. Obama’s prior remarks correctly stated that he could not assume the authority of congress to make laws such as granting citizenship. But that isn’t what he did today. It is entirely within the President’s purview to instruct his Department of Justice on matters of prosecutorial discretion. Furthermore, it is within his authority direct the law enforcement resources of the Border Patrol and Immigration services.

The problem with Fox News and the GOP is that they complain about the President trying to move forward, but offer no solutions themselves. They allege that he is doing it solely for political purposes. So why don’t they stifle his scheme by passing a bill of their own? Not only would that deny Obama the political high ground they think he is trying to grab, it would nullify the executive action announced today that they so bitterly oppose and believe is unconstitutional. Why do they engage in evasive arguments by reaching back to the President’s earliest days in office, and even before that, to raise irrelevancies that ignore the real issue?

By refusing to act, Congress is demonstrating that all of their whining is no more than a disingenuous and partisan temper tantrum. They prove that they are more interested in having an argument than a solution. Congress has the power to set the course going forward and cast aside what they regard as a presidential power grab, but they won’t exercise it. And until they can explain why, their bitching has to be dismissed as cynical political carping and distraction.

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