Criticism of Obama was not universal but emerged on both sides of the political spectrum, with former Vice President Dick Cheney attacking the president and left-leaning blogger Ezra Klein saying in a tweet that it was in bad taste. Presidential aides defended Obama, saying he takes time for golf to clear his mind and ease the stress of his pressure-packed job. “I will say that, generally, I think that, you know, sports and leisure activities are a good way for release and clearing of the mind for a lot of us,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters on Friday. Obama has played eight rounds of golf while the student loan forgiveness act on a two-week vacation on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard. Beyond the Islamic State challenge in Iraq and Syria, he has grappled with racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, the Ukraine crisis, the Gaza crisis and any number of other problems. “It’s important for us to understand, and I think that’s been evident, is that the issues the country is facing, both on the international stage and back here at home, have absolutely captured the president’s attention while we’ve been here,” Schultz said.
Obama offers new birth control fixes to religious nonprofits, some for-profits companies | Star Tribune
“President Obama’s means of coercing compliance–ruinous fines when faith-based organizations refuse to violate their conscience–will impose incalculable harm on millions of children educated in faith-based schools, and the poor, sick, disabled and frail elderly who are served with such compassion and dignity by faith-based entities,” Smith said. “President Obama is arrogantly using the coercive power of the state to force faith-based charities, hospitals, and schools to conform to his will at the expense of conscience,” said Smith. ALSO ANNOUNCED TODAY was a proposal for applying a fake “accommodation” process to family-owned businesses like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood. “The recent landmark Supreme Court decision exempted companies like Hobby Lobby from the mandate, and this overreach by the Obama Administration is intended only to ensnare family businesses back into the web of the mandate,” Smith said. The current so-called “accommodation” has been flatly rejected by over 120 nonprofit plaintiffs, including Wheaton College and the Little Sisters of the Poor, suing over this application of the mandate.
Obama and Holder hone their messages on race issues – CNN.com
In 2012, the shooting of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman roiled the nation, and now there’s the Brown killing. “Any time a situation like this occurs, he becomes more of a more centrist, emotionally,” Granderson said Wednesday. “But in terms of what he is actually saying to the American people, he’s becoming much more thoughtful.” In the aftermath of the Martin killing and soaring gun violence in Chicago and elsewhere, Obama this year launched the My Brother’s Keeper program to provide mentoring and other support for African-American and Hispanic boys in rough neighborhoods. Holder, meanwhile, has launched 20 investigations of police practices and alleged discriminatory enforcement patterns in the past five years, more than twice the number of such inquiries in the previous five years. Calming affect? He said Wednesday that he hoped his visit to Ferguson would have a calming affect by showing the federal government was investigating.
ground troops in Iraq. Obama has said repeatedly he would not do this. Were not the Iraqi military. Were not even the Iraqi air force, Obama said Monday. I am the commander in chief of the United States armed forces, and Iraq is going to have to ultimately provide for its own security. Extending the Iraq air campaign to Islamic State targets in Syria. Stretches of eastern Syria are a sanctuary for the group, also known by the acronyms ISIL or ISIS.
Obama faces options in Iraq and Syria | The Detroit News
Other presidents have vacationed during foreign policy flare-ups. President George H.W. Bush took a three-week break in Maine in 1990 after ordering the U.S. military to turn back Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces in Kuwait. He swatted away questions about Persian Gulf action while on the golf course, later saying “I just don’t like taking questions on serious matters on my vacation .
Obama taking less vacation, but too much for some – Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports
Yet the latest proposals will likely run up against the same objections, because they still enable employees to receive contraception through their health plans one of a range of preventive services required under President Barack Obama’s health care law. “We will be studying the new rule with our clients, but if today’s announcement is just a different way for the government to hijack the health plans of religious ministries, it is unlikely to end the litigation,” said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The fund has represented both Hobby Lobby and Wheaton College, an evangelical school whose case also made its way to the Supreme Court. In June, the high court ruled that the government can’t force companies like Hobby Lobby Inc. to pay for birth control. In another blow to the Obama administration days later, the justices sided with religious nonprofits like Wheaton who said that forcing nonprofits to fill out Form 700 to avoid paying for birth control still constituted a violation of their religious freedom.