Back on vacation: Obama leaves Washington to work on his golf game

As expected, President Barack Obama left Washington yesterday afternoon to return to his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, though the White House won’t say why exactly he came back to the nation’s capital, according to The Hill, except to say that some meetings were involved:

Obama’s two days in Washington were mostly quiet, and concluded with the president receiving his daily national security briefing in the morning, and joining Vice President Biden to huddle with members of his economic team in the afternoon.

Administration officials have insisted for weeks that the president just wanted to return to the White House for a series of meetings, but the explanation was met with a healthy dose of skepticism, since Obama rarely interrupts his vacations.
Speculation for why Obama returned focused around the possibility of a secret foreign leader meeting or the roll out of a new administration initiative on immigration or corporate taxes.

But no such explanation materialized.

Obama interrupts his vacation to return to Washington for meetings on foreign and domestic crises

Barack Obama

President Barack Obama has finally figured out that the optics of a two-week vacation in Martha’s Vineyard while Ferguson, Missouri and parts of the Middle East are on fire may not sit well with the American public. So, he decided to interrupt his vacation to return to Washington:

In a rare move for him, the president planned a break in the middle of his Martha’s Vineyard vacation to return to Washington on Sunday night for unspecified meetings with Vice President Joe Biden and other advisers.

The White House has been cagey about why the president needs to be back in Washington for those discussions.

Part of the decision appears aimed at countering criticism that Obama is spending two weeks on a resort island in the midst of so many foreign and domestic crises.

Yet those crises turned the first week of Obama’s vacation into a working holiday. He made on-camera statements on U.S. military action in Iraq and the clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. He called foreign leaders to discuss the tensions between Ukraine and Russia, as well as between Israel and Hamas.
Obama is scheduled to return to Martha’s Vineyard on Tuesday and stay through next weekend.

AMBER Alert website down over government shutdown

Editor’s note: The Department of Justice restored the Amber Alert website late this morning after fierce criticism.

The obvious randomness of programs picked to be shutdown by the U.S. government can be explained by the dysfunctional way in which government activities are directly funded.

Congress might strike the final vote on what programs proposed by the President will get funded by taxpayer money, but a series of activities funded by fees collected from companies are shielded from getting Congress approval. Thus, functions such as FDA’s inspection of new pharmaceutical hasn’t been affected by the shutdown while the National Institute oh Health is forced to delay any new clinical trials.

User fees maintain the Andrews Air Force Base golf course open, which is where President Obama does a lot of his golfing, but commissaries are closed and the Base Family Child Care is partially closed.

What has also been shutdown is the Amber Alert.

The message displayed when you type in your browser is clear. It says that the lapse in federal funding has affected the Office of Justice Programs, causing the Child Abduction Alert System’s website to be closed down.


The Blaze noted that while First Lady Michelle Obama’s website remains open, the website of the system that consists of a partnership between state or highway police organizations and broadcasters to issue alerts concerning child abductions has been shut down.

White House Ends Tours, Will Throw Birthday Bash for the First Lady

White House

Last week, the White House announced that it would end its tour program due to spending cuts — known as the sequester — that took effect earlier this month. While the White House claims that ending the tours will save some $74,000 per week, ABC News recently noted that the figure is closer to $18,000 per week.

It’s hard for the White House to talk about these draconian cuts that are going to shut down White House tours, which are difficult to get in the first place, when they’re throwing a birthday party extravaganza for First Lady Michelle Obama that will feature Adele and Beyonce:

Preparations are already underway for Michelle Obama’s big 50th birthday next January, and two of music’s biggest acts have reportedly been booked for the occasion.

An unnamed (and potentially questionable) source told the UK’s Daily Mail that the first lady has asked Beyonce and Adele to perform at her party.

Quote of the Day: Jay Leno’s joke Obama’s golf game and his real handicap

Obama golf cartoon

The folks over at the Media Research Center captured this hilarious joke from The Tonight Show. Jay Leno was doing his usual monologue, cracking jokes about recent news stories, when he brought up President Barack Obama’s recent golf game with Tiger Woods.

“Tiger said the President is a very good golfer for a guy who only plays five days a week,” Leno mentioned to an amused crowd. “Actually, you know what the President’s handicap is? Doesn’t understand economics.”

The audience busting out laughing and clapping in an agreement. While it was a funny jokes, Americans are learning about Obamanomics and all of the deficits and slow economic growth it’s bringing them.

Taxes could cause Phil Mickelson to “go Galt”

Phil Mickelson

Since beginning his run for president in 2007, Barack Obama has endlessly complained that higher-income earners aren’t paying their “fair share” of taxes, despite IRS statistics showing that the top 20% of income earners pay nearly 70% of all income taxes.

All signs are than President Obama will push for even more tax revenue increases in his second term. Much like a bank robber, President Obama and his acolytes in Congress feel that they can keep going back to the wealthy because, after all, that’s where the money is.

But what if those being targeted by these tax hikes decide to give up and walk away? Based on comments he made this weekend, that thought seems to have crossed the mind of golfer Phil Mickelson:

On the day President Obama was sworn in for his second term, Mickelson sent shock waves through the Humana Challenge when he said the political landscape in the United States was causing him to seriously contemplate his future in golf. Mickelson, who will turn 43 in June, has 40 PGA Tour victories, including four majors, and was inducted last year into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

War on drugs a problem for pro golfer

Last week, the PGA Tour played the Sony Open in Hawaii.  In the midst of what was an otherwise uneventful week of rich golfers enjoying immaculate surroundings while playing for millions of dollars was Matt Every.  Every played well the first three days which brought him into the media tent and to an on-air interview with The Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman.

Every was arrested in 2010 for possession of marijuana.  The charges were eventually dropped and the case dismissed.  Apparently, this was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with regard to law enforcement.

While the PGA Tour has a drug testing policy in place and Every has not failed that we know of, and while he was undoubtedly found to have not broken any laws by officials of the courts, Every was suspended for 3 months from the PGA Tour for “conduct unbecoming.” Every had not won enough money up to that point in 2010 to secure his “card” (PGA Tour players keep their playing privileges by finishing in the top 125 on an annual money winnings list), so essentially, he was kicked off the PGA Tour.

In 2011, Every played well enough on the Nationwide Tour (a development tour that awards 25 PGA Tour cards every year to the top finishers) to regain playing privileges on the PGA Tour in 2012.  He was in the midst of capitalizing on that opportunity by possibly winning the tournament (a two year exemption and about a million bucks) or at least having a high finish – going a long way towards the money list for 2012 when all of the commotion occurred.

Stephanie Wei from takes us through the interview with Tilghman:

Obama on vacation

Some on the right are writhing in agony at the thought of President Obama taking another golf vacation.  They feel with the economy still in shambles, unemployment still somewhere just on the other side of the stratosphere, and a host of other problems facing the nation, the President has better things to be focusing on.  Personally, I’m totally cool with his trip.  In fact, I want him to spend as much time as possible playing golf.  The more time he spends golfing, the less time he’s spending taking this country down the path to despotism.

Yeah, one can say that he’s taking us on no such journey, and I don’t think he’s doing it intentionally.  It doesn’t really matter if he means to do it.  However, I still maintain that’s the path we’re on and I damn sure don’t like it.

However, the Right’s preoccupation with Obama’s activities fails to miss a key point: They say they want him working on these problems, while saying he can’t fix the problems.  Seriously, make up your mind.  Obama playing golf and shaking hands is actually the one thing I feel comfortable with him doing.  OK, so I’m not crazy about taxpayer dollars paying for it, but if it keeps him busy, I can live with it.

When he gets back, he’ll probably try to do all kinds of socialistic things, but not now.  For the moment, he’s off on another adventure that doesn’t involve politics.  Let’s hope he stays there for a while.

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