NYPD

Plainclothes officers in trouble – didn’t recognize off-duty chief

Sounds like a nightmare scenario for the two officers involved…

The New York Daily News

At least one cop has been disciplined for ordering the NYPD‘s highest-ranking uniformed black officer out of his auto while the three-star chief was off-duty and parked in Queens, the Daily News has learned.

“How you can not know or recognize a chief in a department SUV with ID around his neck, I don’t know,” a police source said.

Chief Douglas Zeigler, 60, head of the Community Affairs Bureau, was in his NYPD-issued vehicle near a fire hydrant when two plainclothes cops approached on May 2, sources said.

One officer walked up on each side of the SUV at 57th Ave. and Xenia St. in Corona about 7 p.m. and told the driver to roll down the heavily tinted windows, sources said.

What happened next is in dispute.

In his briefing to Police Commissioner Raymond KellyZeigler said the two cops, who are white, had no legitimate reason to approach his SUV, ranking sources said.

After they ordered him to get out, one officer did not believe the NYPD identification Zeigler gave him.

The cops gave a different account:

When one officer spotted Zeigler’s service weapon through the rolled-down window, he yelled “Gun!” according to sources who have spoken with the officers.

Both cops raised their weapons and ordered the driver out of the car, sources said.

Instead of saying he was an armed member of the NYPD, Zeigler shouted, “Don’t you know who I am?” the sources said.

When one cop reached over to check the identification badge around Zeigler’s neck, the chief pushed him away, sources said.

Only then did Zeigler tell the two officers his name and rank, those sources said.

Zeigler, in his discussions with Kelly, said the officers never yelled “Gun!” sources said.

One cop got into a heated argument with the chief even after seeing the ID, sources said.

That cop was stripped of his gun and badge and placed on modified duty last night, sources said. The status of the second officer was unclear.

The incident occurred as the NYPD is under fire for record numbers of pedestrians being stopped and frisked, the majority of them black or Hispanic. Some 145,098 people were stopped by the NYPD in the first quarter of this year.

Zeigler has headed the Community Affairs Bureau since January 2006. His wife, Neldra Zeigler, is NYPD deputy commissioner for equal employment opportunity.

Bradley Manning

As Manning Faces Life in Jail, Architects of Torture & Extrajudicial Murders Face Talk Show Circuit

Regardless of what side you come down on the Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden cases, the author of this article makes a valid point…

Daily Kos

While Bradley Manning has been found not guilty of the most serious charge he faced – aiding the enemy – he has been ‘convicted’ by a military court on 19 counts, several of which fall under the Espionage Act.

To be clear: a soldier who served the public interest by exposing war crimes and revealing gross legal violations by our government, will face a maximum of 136 years behind bars, likely in solitary confinement.

This was my reaction upon hearing the verdict:

Seriously, I don’t want to hear any lectures about how Manning deserves this time because he “broke the law.”

If he had illegally tortured Guantanamo detainees for the CIA, or even orchestrated such torture programs – illegal per U.S. and international law – he could very well have been promoted, if not left alone.

The Manning verdict’s central message, aside from this obvious hypocrisy and the injustices underlying it, is this: if you are a whistleblower in this country, do what Edward Snowden did (and what Daniel Ellsberg suggests): flee America, and fast.

However, if you commit crimes in the name of the state? Bulk up your profile.

There’s a microphone waiting.

President Ronald Reagan · Rep. Darrell Issa

For every question, there is a Reagan

Rep. Darrell Issa (R – Calif.)

The Maddow Blog

When Ronald Reagan left office in early 1989, several conservative activists feared history may not be especially kind to the two-term Republican, who spent most of his second term under a cloud of scandal, corruption, and mismanagement. The “Reagan Legacy Project” intended to give the former president a public-relations boost, urging state and local governments to start naming things — schools, bridges, courthouses, highways, etc. — after Reagan.

And for the most part, the p.r. scheme has been a great success. Reagan’s name is everywhere, and the Republican icon is far more popular with Americans now than when he was actually president. Missteps like selling weapons to Iran to finance an illegal war in central America have been largely swept under the rug.

But those preoccupied with the Reagan “legacy” never seem satisfied. Congressional Republicans, for example, have already built a Reagan building downtown and forced National Airport to change its name, but it’s now time to start renaming bodies of water, too.

The House Natural Resources Committee will likely approve legislation Wednesday that would name 3.4 million square nautical miles of ocean and thousands of miles of coastline after the late President Ronald Reagan.

Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) legislation would rename the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which generally extends from three miles to 200 miles offshore, as the Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone…. The late Reagan, a Californian like Issa, established the EEZ with a 1983 presidential proclamation that declared the nation’s sovereign rights for exploring, exploiting and conserving offshore resources, including energy.

Yes, the man the RNC once literally referred to as “Ronaldus Magnus” apparently doesn’t have quite enough stuff named after him — a problem Issa is eager to address by changing the name of nearly all of the water surrounding the United States. Our coastal waters would necessarily be known, forevermore, as Reagan waters.

Why? Because congressional Republicans say so.

It comes a year after Mitt Romney proposed the creation of a Reagan Zone Of Economic Freedom — no, seriously — that would include all of the countries around China, which would be bolstered by their new powers bestowed upon them by magical Reaganism.

What I find especially curious about all of this is that today’s Republican Party, radicalized to an extent unseen in the United States in recent history, has absolutely no use for the Reagan legacy. None.

Bob Dole, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, and others have all said in recent years that Reagan couldn’t even win a GOP primary by today’s standards, at least with his policy record, and I’m fairly certain they’re correct.

As we talked about last year, Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times, and he supportedthe precursor to the Buffett Rule. In his first term, Reagan raised taxes when unemployment was nearing 11% — imagine trying this today — and proceeded to raise taxes seven out of the eight years he was in office. It’s a fact the right finds terribly inconvenient, but “no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people” as Reagan.

Reagan gave amnesty to undocumented immigrants, expanded the size of the federal government, tripled the debt, backed bailouts of domestic industries, and called for a world without nuclear weapons. Reagan also routinely compromised with Democrats, met with our most hated enemy without preconditions, and was willing to criticize Israel.

And then there’s his gubernatorial record: in California, Reagan increased spending, raised taxes, helped create the nation’s first state-based emissions standards, signed an abortion-rights bill, and expanded the nation’s largest state-based Medicaid program (socialized health insurance).

Maybe today’s GOP policymakers should focus less on naming stuff after Reagan and focus more on governing like him?

Gov. Chris Christie · Sen. Rand Paul

Governor Christie Responds to Rand Paul’s Ignorance, Exposes Huge Republican Lie About Spending

christie1

It’s clear to me that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has morphed from a cookie cutter fiscal conservative to a more pragmatic leader for the state of New Jersey.  Does Rand Paul really want to go toe to toe with this guy?

Forward Progressives

Normally I don’t give much attention to squabbles within the Republican party, but the war of words between New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has been fantastic.

And while I’m not a huge fan of Chris Christie (after all, he’s still a Republican who supports many of their ridiculous ideological beliefs) his calling out of Paul for blatant right-wing rhetoric has been great.

This all stems from Governor Christie calling Rand Paul’s style of libertarianism “dangerous,” and Senator Paul mocking the events following Hurricane Sandy by saying those who sought government aid following the storm had a “gimme, gimme, gimme–give me all my Sandy money now” mentality.  Paul’s comments basically targeted those who asked for money after their lives had been destroyed, and blamed them for excess spending.

Apparently to Paul, they are the type of people who have “bankrupted” this nation.  Real classy.

Well, Christie shot back at Paul’s despicable comments , and in doing so exposed a huge Republican myth about spending and taxes.

Christie said, “I find it interesting that Senator Paul is accusing us of having a “Gimme, gimme, gimme” attitude toward federal spending when in fact New Jersey is a donor state and we get 61 cents back on every dollar we send to Washington.  Interestingly, Kentucky gets $1.51 on every dollar they send to Washington.  So if Senator Paul wants to start looking at where he’s going to cut spending to afford defense, maybe he should start looking at the pork barrel spending he brings home to Kentucky.”

With that one comment, Christie has shown he supports a common liberal talking point often used against conservatives.

See, Republicans often talk about how great their economic ideologies are and how successful their tax system can be for our country—yet “red states” often take in much more money from the federal government than “blue states.”  That’s what Christie means when he refers to New Jersey as a “donor state.”  They give more than they take in, while Kentucky is essentially a “taker” state as it takes more from the federal government than it gives back.

Which is ironic considering many “red states” are often controlled by the politicians who claim that lower taxes, fewer regulations and conservative values will lead to economic prosperity.  Except—many red states are so poor they rely much more heavily on federal spending than “blue states,” which are controlled by what Republicans often refer to as the “out of control tax and spend liberal agenda.”

Governor Christie’s comments exposed this lie, and the kicker is—Rand Paul can’t dispute these numbers. In fact, all he could do in response was take a thinly veiled jab at Christie’s weightand whine about Christie picking a fight with him.

So in a war of words between two probable 2016 Republican Presidential candidates—Governor Chris Christie has clearly shown he can handle the likes of Rand Paul.

While Rand Paul has clearly shown, as he has in the past, that he’s more interested in making headlines than actually knowing facts.

 

113th Congress · Obamacare

No, a government shutdown won’t kill ObamaCare

The president’s signature domestic policy achievement is sticking around — so far, anyway.

The Week

Even if the government were to temporarily close down later this year, ObamaCare would still live on, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

The nonpartisan government agency said this week that even if lawmakers fail to pass legislation to fund the government, it would not prevent the bulk of the Affordable Care Act from taking effect. Some conservative Republican lawmakers have floated the idea of agovernment shutdown as a way to block the law and force President Obama to ultimately scrap it.

“It appears that substantial ACA implementation might continue during a lapse in annual appropriations that resulted in a temporary government shutdown,” the report said.

That’s primarily due to two factors. First, the government can keep spending during a shutdown using “no-year discretionary funds” and reserves set aside for mandatory expenditures. The ACA specifically set aside billions of dollars for its own implementation that won’t be touched by a shutdown.

Second, the report said ObamaCare could fall under one of the limited exceptions in which the government is allowed to allocate funds in lieu of a spending bill from Congress.

In short, the White House would have the money and the power to keep the ACA up and running even if the lights go dark in Washington.

Plus, the centerpiece of the law, the individual mandate, would be completely unaffected by a government shutdown because it’s a tax, not a line item expenditure. Though it’s tempting to wish that taxes would cease to exist while lawmakers squabble over a budget, that’s just not how the government works, the report said.

“If a government shutdown were to occur during calendar year 2014, the lapse in funding would not automatically suspend the requirement of the individual mandate,” the report explained. “In other words, during the time period that the government is shut down, taxpayers who fall within the coverage of the individual mandate would still be accruing penalties for any months in which they lacked minimum essential coverage.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is trying to rally others in his party to refuse to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government unless that bill cuts off funding for ObamaCare. Even if such a bill made it to Obama’s desk, the president, barring a stunning change of heart over his signature domestic policy achievement, would certainly veto it.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who has been critical of such a gambit, requested the CRS report and then made it publicly available Tuesday.

“I’d be leading the charge if I thought this would work,” Coburn told the Washington Examinerlast week of the defunding drive. “But it will not work.”

Still, the very fact that Republicans needed to be convinced not to purposefully shut down the government, once considered an extreme measure, was seen as further evidence of systemic dysfunction in the ruling class.

And the report is unlikely to end the GOP’s internal debate over shutting down the government. On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who like Lee is a Tea Party stalwart, insisted a shutdown wouldn’t be bad for the party, adding, “If there is ever a time to defeat ObamaCare, it is now.”

GOP Malfeasance

Leaked Audio Tape Proves that Republicans Are Conspiring to Manufacture Obama Scandals

Courtesy: Mother Jones

If this pans out, it’s going to be huge

PoliticusUSA

A secret audio tape of a May 8th meeting of the conservative group “Groundswell” (a total nightmare amalgamation of creatures mostly bearing Southern drawls, birther conspiracy beliefs and a reliable paranoia of being persecuted) shows the group using their collective power (media, sleeping with SCOTUS, money, evangelical base/money, GOP Congressional aides) to pressure elected Republicans into making something out of the now debunked Benghazi scandal.

They want a special committee or else.

If they don’t get it, they warned Speaker Boehner (R-OH) and Obama fake scandal manufacturer Darrell Issa (R-CA), the two could face a loss of support and financial backing.

Birther Frank Gaffney made it clear on the tape that he told the puppets to play ball or else! He told the group that he had reminded Boehner and Issa that their donors are getting restless (aka, deliver us an Obama scandal or your PAC gets it), “I’m somewhat encouraged that they’re taking this thing very much to heart and we really impressed upon them that there’s a lot of restiveness on the part of folks like us, and some of their donors as a matter of fact, about what — what’s happening here.”

Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council told the group of conspirators that in their secret meeting the night before, Speaker Boehner warned them that the media would see this as an attempt to bring down the Obama administration (gee, ya think?). But, have no fear, patriots, “We got an ugly baby here and it’s going to get ugly today. We are not backing away from our call for a special committee with subpoena power… We’re not backing away from a special committee, but we kinda have a pledge from Issa and the Speaker.”

The tape of the meeting was published on Crooks and Liars by Karoli, who writes that the source wished to remain anonymous. The meeting was led by Catherine Engelbrecht, a founder of True the Vote. True the Vote is the organization found guilty of illegally aiding Republicans by operating like a PAC instead of a non-profit, and the very same organization trotted out by Darrell Issa and the media as just one example of Obama’s IRS picking on conservatives. Naturally, that wasn’t true, but it didn’t stop the media or the Republicans from running wild with their fictional accusations.

Among those present at this meeting were Ginni Thomas (wife of sitting Supreme Court Justice Thomas Clarence), former Republican Representative Allen West and of course, Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News, who was on hand to instruct everyone how to handle the talking points (keep repeating that you are just interested in the “TRUTH”).

Continue reading here…

See also:

Mother Jones

Crooks & Liars

Bradley Manning · Wikileaks

What You Need To Know About The Bradley Manning Verdict

Think Progress

At 1 PM EST, a military court handed down the long-awaited verdict in the case of United States v. Bradley Manning, finding him not guilty of the most serious charge against him, that of “aiding the enemy,” in leaking thousands of government and military documents. Manning has, however, been found guilty of another 19 charges, including 5 counts of espionage.

Manning has been both vilified and lionized during his time in the spotlight and today’s conclusion of his trial will likely bring those two sides back into debate over what Manning’s saga means for the ongoing debate between secrecy and security in the United States. While the sentences for the other charges he was found guilty of remain to be decided, here’s what you need to know about the case:

The Private 

Private First Class Bradley Manning joined the U.S. Army in 2008, training as an intelligence analyst after his graduation from basic training. Reports indicate that before and during his service, Manning was dealing with various issues, including a history of depression and possible bullying for being openly gay in a time of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. In 2009, Manning was deployed to Iraq’s Forward Operation Base Hammer, from which he had access to the various classified networks that at the time were available to any and all analysts with very few restrictions. It was while in Iraq that Manning was arrested in May 2010 on allegations of passing on documents and videos to Wikileaks. After three years in detention, Manning’s trial finally began in June of this year.

The Leaks 

The first leak included videos passed along to Wikileaks showing the U.S. military opening fire on a crowd of mostly unarmed Iraqi civilians. The next, much larger, drop of information showcased a failing war effort in Afghanistan and a flailing U.S. attempt to keep the country together during a time when the U.S. focus was on Iraq. That was soon followed up with a similar drop of documents related to the war in Iraq. Both of the troves were released through a series of agreements among the New York Times, Guardian, and Der Spiegel newspapers to redact the names of sources and anything they believed would harm personnel serving in the field.

The final set of documents published from the cache Manning passed to Wikileaks was the massive repository of U.S. diplomatic cables that became known as Cablegate. Ranging from 1966 to 2010, the documents — all of which were classified as Secret or below — painted a clearer picture of the inner workings of international diplomacy than had ever been made public. Several deals between the U.S. and other countries related to counterterrorism — including with Yemen and Pakistan — were brought to light through this document dump, and some observers say they helped spark the protests that would become the Arab Spring.

Critics, however, allege that the release of the diplomatic documents made the conducting of international relations all the more difficult — particularly after the accidental release of all of the cables in full — and that several informants listed in the unredacted Afghan cables have since faced harsh retribution and possibly death at the hands of the Taliban.

The Charges 

A large part of the confusion surrounding both the charges and the proceedings of Manning’s trial has been the venue in which it has taken place. Due to the fact that Manning was still in the Army at the time of the leaks, his case wasn’t ready-made for a civilian court. Instead, the U.S. military opted to place Manning through a court-martial, with military appointed prosecutors, defense, and judges.

Manning stands accused of 21 charges under the Uniform Military Code of Justice, including several that have been incorporated from the civilian code. Manning has already plead guilty to several of the lesser charges, including many of those involving computer fraud or abuse. What remains include charges of failures to obey a lawful order, in this case ignoring the protection of classified material and circumventing security software, and several counts charged under the Espionage Act — including delivering national defense information to “persons not entitled to receive it.”

Most serious of the charges Manning faced was one count of UCMJ 104, “Aiding the Enemy,” which has the distinction of also being the most controversial of the charges against him. According to the statute, the military had to prove that Manning aided “the enemy with arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things” or “knowingly harbors or [protects or gives intelligence to or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly.”

If Manning had been found guilty, the sentence would have come with a likely life sentence in prison and the possibility of being awarded the death penalty. A conviction from Army Col. Denise Lind would possibly have hadwide-ranging ramifications, as it would be the first time that such a verdict would be handed down to someone who did not directly pass along information, having more often been used against prisoners of war who provided information while in captivity.

Treatment In Detention 

Supporters of Manning allege that during the time before he was officially charged, Manning was subject to mistreatment from the U.S. military. This includes being forced to stand for hours on end, being granted little in the way of bedding during his time in solitary confinement, and being stripped of his clothing. P.J. Crowley, at the time spokesman for the State Department under Secretary Hillary Clinton, spoke out against Manning’s treatment and later resigned, saying he had lost the White House’s “trust and confidence.” (Crowley has also said he opposes the charge against Manning of aiding the enemy.)

Then-senator, now Secretary of State, John Kerry at the time defended Manning’s treatment as a protective measure. “There are concerns about what is happening, but a strong argument is being made that they’re trying to preserve his safety, they don’t want him harming himself, and using his own clothing to hang himself, or do something like that,” Kerry said. Kerry’s statement conforms to what military prosecutors said of Manning early in his detention, deeming him a suicide risk due to his history of depression.

GOP

The GOP primary is a lot like the NCAA tournament

Chris Christie vs. Rand Paul: This will be a later-round fight.
Chris Christie vs. Rand Paul: This will be a later-round fight.

The GOP primary season is at least three years away, yet apparently the media wants to perpetuate a fierce battle among potential GOP candidates now

The Week

This much is clear: The Republican nomination fight will look more like the rigid, bracketed NCAA men’s basketball tournament than a free-for-all scrum.

People can talk all they want about the dramatically different foreign policy philosophies of Chris Christie and Rand Paul, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves. Before that fight will happen in earnest, each man must win his “bracket.” For Christie, that means defeating Marco Rubio. And for Paul, this means dispatching Ted Cruz.

Someone will have to “own” the establishment vote, otherwise, establishment candidates will all split their vote and lose. This is Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush if he runs (which I don’t think he will). Meanwhile, someone will become the “libertarian populist” candidate, otherwise they split their vote and lose. But will it be Rand Paul or Ted Cruz?

These will be the first (and ugliest) tests of the 2016 race — scrapes amongst “friends” competing to dominate the same niche of voters (and donors).

Our assumption is almost always that our real enemy is our opposite. But this is rarely true (see Chuck Klosterman on the difference between a “nemesis” and an “archenemy“). During the 2012 primary battle, populist Rep. Michele Bachmann was much more friendly toward moderate establishment candidate Mitt Romney (her nemesis) than she was to conservative Rick Perry (her archenemy).

This shouldn’t make sense, but it does. Bachmann was marking her territory. As Anthony Trollope wrote, “The apostle of Christianity and the infidel can meet without a chance of a quarrel; but it is never safe to bring together two men who differ about a saint or a surplice.”

Likewise, on the surface, Cruz and Paul are friendly toward one another — which is exactly why (at some point) they will try to destroy each other. In reality, Christie is merely Paul’s nemesis. But Cruz is likely to become Paul’s archenemy.

Here is one predictable example of how things might play out on the ground in places like Iowa: If you’re Team Cruz, you basically put this message out there via a whisper campaign: “Sen. Cruz loves Rand, but let’s be honest. Rand just can’t win with that Southern Avenger thing hanging over his head. And have you read his dad’s newsletters?

View the initial stage of this primary contest as a sort of tournament. The early rounds are often the most heated battles because this is a fight over turf dominance — not some “esoteric” (to use Christie’s line) struggle over ideas and such.

Of course, this is not a new idea. In fact, I stole it. Back in 2010, National Journal’s Ron Brownstein made a similar point, arguing that the nomination fight would be between “populists versus managers.” Today, a similar dynamic is at play. But there are differences. In 2012, the “populists” consisted of candidates like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Sarah Palin (if she had run). In terms of experience and gravitas, I think it’s safe to say that we have upgraded this category with the inclusion of two U.S. senators (Paul and Cruz).

Meanwhile, the “manager” rubric probably isn’t as accurate these days. Mitt Romney was known as a manager, and other potential contenders (like former RNC chair and Gov. Haley Barbour) were thought of as excellent managers. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would certainly qualify here in 2016 (though I haven’t included him in the top tier because of his charisma deficit), but the label isn’t perfect for Christie and Rubio. As such, I’m going with “establishment.” (Note: This is also a debatable label — and is not meant to be a pejorative.)

I would throw in a third tier, too. Aside from the establishment bracket and the populist bracket, we need a wild card bracket. There is usually someone surprising who emerges to make it into a later round. In recent years, this has been a populist-leaning social conservative (think Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.) Were I betting on a longshot to fill this space in 2016, my money would be on Mike Pence, or perhaps Scott Walker.

In any event, the purpose of this column is to help focus in on what the pros will be watching early on. Yes, we may eventually see the huge Christie-Paul fight as an epic battle of ideologies. And yes, there will be trash talk and columns written about this struggle of ideologies. But don’t be fooled. The first real tests — the nastier fights — are almost always the turf battles that precede the epic ideological struggles.

There are essentially three games to watch: 1. Rubio vs. Christie, 2. Paul vs. Cruz, and 3. Wild card (someone who surprises us). If you want to sound smart at a party, you’ll bring this up when all the hoi polloi start taking about Christie’s swipe at Paul.

Barack Obama

Obama’s time away from the office

The Obamas’ vacation home in Hawaii. (http://www.washingtonpost.com)

The more I interact via social networking, with people on “the right”, I hear them say that President Obama has taken more vacations than G.W. Bush and spent more money on those vacations than Bush.   I’m certainly going to pass this article on, but I also know that they won’t read it.  They’d rather remain in their little bubble and get their facts from the right-wing media…who seem to have a huge problem with facts.

The Maddow Blog

As August approaches, and President Obama schedules a little r-and-r at Martha’s Vineyard, there are apparently some predictable gripes on the right about his time off. The AP provides some context: “Obama has taken far less time away from the White House than his predecessor, George W. Bush, who spent weeks at a time at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Obama has taken 87 days off, compared with 399 days for Bush at a similar period in his presidency, according to CBS News’s Mark Knoller, who keeps detailed records of presidential travel.”

Let’s put that in chart form to help drive the point home.

A lot of folks forget this, but Ronald Reagan set the record for most vacation days for a sitting president — a record that stood until George W. Bush passed Reagan’s seemingly unbreakable benchmark.

As for the current president, conservative gripes not withstanding, it’s just not realistic to think Obama has a credible chance of even coming close to GWB’s record. At comparable points in their presidencies, for every day Obama has taken off, Bush had already taken 4.5 days off. Obama could stay on vacation for the rest of 2013 and still not be within striking distance of Bush’s hyper-lazy pace. The former two-term Republican just didn’t care for working particularly hard.

I don’t imagine this will curtail criticisms of the president from the right, but unless these same folks complained about his predecessor, their objections are better left ignored.