Obama’s 2013: A year to forget
January 16 — In the wake of the Newtown shootings, Obama outlines his gun-control proposals. After a backlash, nothing gets passed. In fact, gun sales skyrocket — up 55% in Texas and 46% in Pennsylvania.
January 20 – Obama is sworn into his second term; his inaugural address is “heavy on broad rhetoric and light on policy specifics” according to the Washington Post. More people talk about Beyonce lip-synching the National Anthem.
January 29 – In Las Vegas, Obama addresses the issue of comprehensive immigration reform. Though the Senate passed a bill in June, Obama again couldn’t get anything passed in the House.
February 12 – President Obama delivers the State of the Union address and announces a drawdown in Afghanistan. While “green on blue” insider attacks on US troops continue, President Karzai of Afghanistan holds out on signing any sort of security agreement. Without the deal, all US troops will be gone from Afghanistan in 2014.
March 1 — Despite saying his sequestration plan “will not happen” during the 2012 presidential campaign, Congress fails to reach a deal and sequestration cuts $85 billion across the board.
March 2 — Open-air parks like the WWII memorial are closed by the parks department. Insiders later tell reporters the reason was political. The administration wanted the public to “feel the pain” of sequester cuts.
May 10 — Lois Lerner, a director in the IRS, responds to a planted question at a speaking engagement, admitting the tax agency targeted conservative groups — delaying and denying their tax-exempt status. It’s later alleged that the IRS leaked tax returns of conservative groups and ordered up audits of political enemies.
May 12 — It’s revealed that the administration, angry that the AP broke a story about a terrorism plot, had the private phone records of reporters secretly subpoenaed. Attorney General Eric Holder denies knowing about the seizure, but defends it because of the “very, very serious leak.”
May 22 — Lerner claims before Congress she “didn’t break any laws” then invokes the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination.
May 23 — At the National Defense University, Obama tries to placate the left about his drone attacks by saying, “To say a military tactic is legal, or even effective, is not to say it is wise or moral in every instance. For the same human progress that gives us the technology to strike half a world away also demands the discipline to constrain that power — or risk abusing it.”
Apparently that “discipline” is “whatever Obama thinks is right.” Drone attacks continue unabated — including a strike on a Yemen wedding party earlier this month that killed at least 11.
June 6 — The Washington Post and Guardian newspapers both publish information about spying programs by the NSA, courtesy of Edward Snowden, a former NSA employee who stole the material and fled to Hong Kong.
June 23 — Edward Snowden arrives in Moscow, where Vladimir Putin refuses to give him up, and smirks when asked about him.
June 25 — In a speech on climate change, Obama again waffles on the Keystone pipeline, pleasing neither side. As months go on without it being built, Canada has been making plans to ship oil by sea to China instead.
July 2 — After taking off from Russia, the plane of Bolivian President Evo Morales is re-routed to Austria and searched, on reports he could be carrying Snowden. He isn’t — and the heavy-handed stop increases pressure on the US and angers NATO allies.
July 19 — Obama decides to weigh in on one criminal case out of thousands nationwide, saying, “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago” after George Zimmerman is found not guilty of murdering the teen. Obama calls for “soul searching.”
August 31 — Obama claims Syria has used chemical weapons in the country’s civil war, crossing the “red line” he had laid down. Obama claims he doesn’t need authorization to strike, but will ask Congress anyway. He later says even if Congress even says no, he can still do it.
September 15 — Weeks after his Syria ultimatum, Obama accepts a Russian deal that allows Syria’s Bashar al-Assad to stay in power if he gives up chemical weapons. Putin smirks.
September 23 — Lois Lerner retires suddenly; the investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups is ongoing.
October 1 — Depsite passing in 2010, the actual launch of ObamaCare is a complete failure — the website crashes, few if any people can sign up and millions discover that their insurance is cancelled. Obama is forced to admit that his promise that “if you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance” is a lie.
October 1 — Unable to reach a budget deal, the government shuts down.
October 17 — In a rare Obama victory, the shutdown ends with no concession to Republicans on the budget.
October 23 — Snowden’s leaks reveal the US listened to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone calls. She angrily confronts Obama and latter compares the behavior to the Stasi.
November 1 — Obama signs an executive order saying local governments must prepare for the “impact of global warming” — like making buildings stronger.
December 10 — With the selfie seen round the world, Obama upstages Nelson Mandela’s memorial with a cellphone picture with UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish PM Helle Thorning Schmidt.
December 18 — Congress passes a bipartisan budget agreement. Bob Woodward says deal was reached, “because Obama was not part of the negotiations.”
December 19 — Under pressure, Obama says people who have had their insurance cancelled don’t have to pay the penalty for not having insurance for one year. It’s the 14th change to the law since passage.
December 31 — Estimates indicate more people may find their old health-care policies cancelled than who successfully signed up for new health insurance from ObamaCare.