As President Obama makes ready to go on vacation to Martha???s Vineyard, let???s take a look at the happenings of last week that he???s trying to get away from:
The Grand Bargain– Early in the week in Chattanooga, Obama offered Congressional Republicans a ???bargain??? that appears to be a personal BOGO deal for the commander-in-chief. If the GOP agrees to ???reform??? (increase) the U.S. corporate tax code, he???ll take the revenue and spend it on creating new (public-works) jobs. With equality ever in mind, the White House assured us that Obama isn???t unfairly targeting businesses, but would like to raise taxes on individuals as well. Bargain with an emphasis on the ???gain??? part.
The Wiki-Leaker– It turns out one can commit espionage and share classified documents with al-Qaida and not be considered an aid to the enemy. Pfc. Bradley Manning was found guilty this week of 20 out of 21 charges leveled against him, though ???aiding the enemy??? was not one of them. No word yet on why Manning wanted to call the U.S. military???s ???bloodlust??? and ???disregard for human life??? to the attention al-Qaida. (Osama bin Laden had some of the digital files at his compound when he was killed.) How Manning thought giving 700,000 battlefield reports and diplomatic cables to al-Qaida would ???not harm the United States??? is also still a topic of some wonder. Manning will be charged later this month with looking really annoying.
Peace Talks– Some talk, it is reported, has come between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, though whether it was about the authenticity of the Iftar meal served at the State Department or about boundaries in the Gaza Strip, no one knows, because the State Department would not disclose details of the discussions. Secretary of State John Kerry says ???time is running out??? for both parties to come to an agreement. Kerry’s success at uniting them so far has been really impressive compared to others??? past attempts, as it was reported ???the two sides had agreed to meet again.???
Obamacare report– It was revealed this week just how much the Obama Administration’s one-year delay of the employer mandate will cost. Predictions say the delay will increase federal spending by $3 billion in 2014, reduce federal revenues by a net $9 billion, and add $12 billion more in debt than previously estimated, making Obama???s $7.6 million getaway look positively economical.
Snowden– The U.S. and Russia are reportedly trying ???to contain the diplomatic fallout over Russia???s decision to grant him temporary asylum.??? Edward Snowden fled to Russia after his effort “to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them” brought about an international man-hunt. I haven’t made up my mind about this one yet (except that Vladimir Putin is simultaneously completely cool and completely creepy), so insert cutting comment here.
Oh and- OMG you guys, guess what?! Kim Kardashian is back! She has been in hiding for 7 weeks since giving birth, but returned to the spotlight today to deliver a brief, pre-taped message to her adoring, uhm, to people who watch day-time television. Finally we can stop reading stories about how she was in hiding for 7 weeks and actually get some real, hard news on Kim K. and baby North. Also, Simon Cowell impregnated his married lover, who is his friend???s wife. And here we all thought Simon was such a nice guy!
Have a nice trip to the Vineyard, Mr. President; send us a postcard and please never come back.