Under gray skies and intermittent drizzle, President Obama boarded Marine One at 9:30 a.m. EDT in an open press event.
A few White House regulars were atwitter (and on Twitter) when the President walked directly up the steps of Marine One without saluting the Marine on duty. He soon came out of the helicopter, walked down the steps, shook hands with the Marine and engaged in a brief conversation.
Forget the sequester. If you're Chuck Schumer, there are ways around it. Consider the recent example of a U.S. Marine Corps band cancelling its scheduled performance at a St. Patrick's Day parade due to the "sequester"--and Chuck Schumer's successful "push" for the band to come anyway.
President Obama, who is vacationing with his family in Hawaii, visited the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay to wish everyone there a merry Christmas.
"First of all, we want to say Merry Christmas to everybody," Obama said, with his wife Michelle at his side. "This looks like it was a nice rather than naughty crowd so I’m sure Santa treated you well."
Obama administration bigwigs are falling all over themselves to denounce, condemn, lament, and apologize for the unfortunate behavior of a few Marines in Afghanistan last year. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta condemned the action as not just deplorable but “utterly deplorable.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed not just dismay but “total dismay.”
When Jews begin their Hanukkah celebrations this week, they will commemorate a 2,200-year old revolt led by Judah Maccabee against a Greek empire attempting to crush the Jewish faith. For some, the holiday holds an added resonance, linking their military service to one of the greatest Jewish warriors of all time.
These are the Jews of the United States Marine Corps.