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Jamie Stiehm
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25 Jul 2014
Are We Ready for Hillary-Elizabeth?

Let me be the first to give them a shout-out: Regal Hillary and populist Elizabeth, come together right now … Read More.

18 Jul 2014
Between Gaudi and Wright, You Can't Go Wrong

BARCELONA — When you're under the sun here, you make a pilgrimage to the Basilica de La Sagrada Familia.… Read More.

11 Jul 2014
Swinging London Gone Global

LONDON — A summer day here is glorious in gray, lingering late until 9 or 10 o'clock by the stroke of … Read More.

Way to Say, 'Happy Birthday, Mr. President!'


Barack Obama's 53rd birthday comes in the dog days of August.

Dog days: how apt a metaphor for getting nothing done in the second half of his presidency. Totally wish I were exaggerating. The longer his second term lies fallow, the longer it will lie fallow. A political law of nature. Oh-bama, I feel so sorry for you!

The Capitol lantern light dies when Congress recesses for vacay and puts up a "gone fishing" sign. But not before the Republican House voted to sue the president for the first time in history. And I could not bear to watch. This insult may further weaken his foreign policy hand, which is not going well with Bibi Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin. World leaders watch polls. Gaza and Ukraine, in turn, are hurting Obama's domestic street cred, even with the economy going north.

Way to say, "Happy birthday, Mr. President."

Republicans say they hate frivolous lawsuits. But an executive overreach suit makes it even harder for Obama to keep his eye on the basketball, or golf ball, when it comes to governing the United States. (Sorry.) It sucks energy out of the White House, takes up newsprint space on the front page and restricts his latitude on important issues he really cares about, like climate change. Other than that, it's just no fair to try to make a president fail.

Obama will be sporting, a gentleman as always, as he departs for Martha's Vineyard. The man truly is an island. But don't you wish he had more street-fighter traits? Come on, he's a pol from Chicago. Heck, Bill Clinton stared down a political abyss for two reasons: friends who loved him, and enemies who respected his political skills even if they loathed him.

After all this vaudeville, Washington becomes slow as molasses under the August sun. I adore it in August, like a small Southern town with a bit of charm.

Let me paint a picture of Washington as August begins.

Our civil war will stay stuck in silly talk of impeachment, frustration at the immigration impasse and Democratic despair over the Supreme Court balking on birth control as part of Obamacare.

Come on. What is wrong with these people? Don't they know what a nice guy Barack is? He's charming and wonderful at the 1-percenter fundraisers trying to save the Senate from changing the locks in the November midterm elections.

With the rest of us, he can still connect as a man of the people, but the magic is gone. It's like falling out of love but staying together for the children.

Tea party firebrand Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, needs to break bread at the White House and bond with the president over shared experiences at Harvard Law School. That's where Chief Justice John Roberts polished his shiny dome and prose, so why don't all get together? In the old days, there was more chatter over whiskey, cards, late night phone calls.

With no ado about "reaching out," people did it. President Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, relied on Republican leaders to sign the monumental Civil Rights Act into law 50 years ago. That's because the Southern Democratic "bulls" in the Senate stood fixed and firm as they filibustered against desegregation.

People say have never seen a capital so divided into camps, going back to since the Civil War broke out in 1861. What we have here is a civil war, redux. Is it any accident that it's the old Confederacy that is raising Cain for the first black president? Virginia may be the only state south of the Mason-Dixon line that's recently waved blue on the political map. Obama thinking the government was going to love him as much as the people did.

In times that try men's souls, Obama's no Abraham Lincoln. Like the man from Illinois, the president has a lot of book learning. His golden speeches might make the history books. Obama is tall, but two inches shorter.

But Lincoln knew how to fight and win a Civil War. Here and now, none of Obama's foes fear his anger in our civil war.

To find out more about Jamie Stiehm, and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit



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