-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

umbrella boForget about the IRS, AP, and Benghazi. They all pale in significance to umbrella spUmbrella-Gate. President Obama asked White House Marine guards to hold umbrellas for the President and the Turkish Prime Minister during an outdoor press conference. Male Marines are not allowed to use umbrellas while in uniform, except when they are “perform[ing] such other duties as the President may direct“. Female Marines are allowed to use umbrellas. Sarah Palin tweeted: “Mr. President, when it rains it pours, but most Americans hold their own umbrellas.”

73 thoughts on “Umbrella-Gate

  1. It’s chivalry Sarah….. When it happens to you…. I wouldn’t suspect it’s because he is the president and at least deserves some respect….. This partisianshit needs to stop….. Who will be the first to do so….

  2. I smell desperation. Those poor dumb busterds have tried to jin up a scandal for 4 years now & every one of them has fallen apart.

  3. Why doesn’t the Rose Garden have a canopy to protect speakers? Seems this was a case of poor planning by the White House staff. And if a canopy wasn’t feasible, someone on staff could easily have readied staff members to hold umbrellas rather than rely on Marines. Didn’t the weather forecast in D.C. call for the possibility of rain?

    What was Valerie Jarrett doing? Surely she should have been on top of this.

    That’s a really strange look on Obama’s face in the photo. May showers bring glowers.

    Palin is not even under that umbrella in the photo here. Who’s to say she even asked for the umbrella?

  4. Joseph Kennedy held an umbrella over Prime Minister Chamberlain’s head prior to WWII when Kennedy was a keen appeaser to Adolph Hitler as was Chamberlain. The Kennedy Family and its Foundations have done everything possible to have us forget the first Kennedy of The First Family. John, Bobby and Teddy boy were “scions” of the bootlegger and appeaser.
    If Joseph Kennedy had his way the offspring of Hitler would be running Germany and Europe if not the World. So, the image of holding an umbrella over the head of some Head of State has its history. Joe Kennedy was often referred to as the guy who held Chamberlain’s umbrella.

    I have never heard that a Marine could not hold an umbrella. But how can one get to the rifle when one is encumbered with umbrella duties?

  5. Having a marine hold an umbrella is less of an issue than Bush sending marines to their death over WMDs. These things really need some perspective…..

  6. Frankly, It is still early, but by any objective standard the IRS is a scandal. Spinning will not make that one vanish.

  7. When I saw the Marines holding the umbrellas I just said to myself, “That’s a very bad visual,” dripping w/ irony.

  8. Michael Blott,D.C.

    “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” -Martin Luther King Jr.


  9. The Marine is part of the honor guard. It’s his job to hold the President’s umbrella. The umbrella belongs to the President. It is part of at Marine’s duty assignment, not his uniform. This is a manufactured outrage, by people who don’t know what the f** they’re talking about.

    Seriously, he’s the Commander-in-Chief. STFU.

  10. And in the picture it appears the marine is also benefitting from holding the umbrella. Look at it another way: the president made the request so the marine could have an umbrella over him

  11. Gives new meaning to “straining out a gnat, but swallowing a camel” it would seem:

    Jesus said this to the Pharisees. The Pharisees had a practice of straining their wine through a cloth sieve so as to avoid swallowing a gnat and becoming ceremonially unclean. (Lev. 11:21-24) So they complied meticulously with the tiniest of the Law’s requirements, but completely ignored the drastically more important requirements of exercising “justice and mercy and faithfulness.” (Matt. 23:23) By their doing so, they essentially gulped down the camel (the weight of about 70 million gnats). [As a sidepoint, camels were also unclean under the Mosaic Law covenant. (Lev. 11:4)] Jesus thus used hyperbole to point out their hypocrisy.

    (Yahoo Answers).

    So, where’s the beef camel?

  12. Juliet, Chill out, woman. In no way did I say I was outraged about the umbrella, because I am not. I merely said it was a bad visual. I get the sense there is no “bad visual” involving our president for you. I accept that. My outrage is for the substantive issue of the IRS. However, I would never tell people to STFU if they disagree. But, that’s entirely your call. To each their own.

  13. leej, I, like Dredd, find this umbrella a “gnat” issue. However, I am always aware of the total picture. When I first started doing surveillance, it was still photos. They were not nearly as fair as video. If you watch the video of the news conference, which I did, the vast majority of the time the 2 politicians were under the umbrella w/ the Marines having their arms outstretched perpindicular to their torso, and not covered.

  14. Um Juliet, they are clearly not in Turkey, but the Rose Garden.

    Why not just hold an event like this in the East Room or something formal and large enough to accommodate the crowd?

    Why would you bring up Valerie Jarrett? She is a senior adviser to the President of the United States, not a meteorologist.

    The President should be taking umbrella decorum from this guy:

  15. “The relevant portion of the regulation reads, “3035. UMBRELLAS (Female Marines). Female Marines may carry an all-black, plain standard or collapsible umbrella at their option during inclement weather with the service and dress uniforms. It will be carried in the left hand so that the hand salute can be properly rendered. Umbrellas may not be used/carried in formation nor will they be carried with the utility uniform.”

    Items not expressly delineated as authorized components of the Marine Corps uniform are prohibited. Male Marines are informed never to carry an umbrella from the earliest phases of training.

    Not even the President of the United States can request a Marine to carry an umbrella without the express consent of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, according to the Marine Corps Manual.

    The Marine Corps Manual, the guidebook that defines protocol for officers and enlisted Marines, in section 2806 paragraph 2, specifically states: “The Marine Corps Uniform Regulations, published by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, shall be binding on all Marines. No officer or official shall issue instructions which conflict with, alter, or amend any provision without the approval of the Commandant of the Marine Corps.”

    Did the President have the consent of the Commandant? If not, he is in violation. He should have had one of the Whitehouse staff hold that umbrella. Although maybe that Marine was a democrat but based on a recent study men with physical strength tend to be conservative and men without physical strength tend to be liberal. So chances are a Marine is probably conservative.

  16. Bron,
    The President of the US outranks the Commandant of the USMC. He is the Commander in Chief. This is a non-story. The purpose of the Marine guards are to both protect and render assistance to the CiC as needed. Having said that, it would have been better if one of the President’s aides held the umbrella because it would have looked better for the press. On the whole, however, this story is another made up flap.

    You know it is a slow news day when a story like this makes headlines.

  17. Oooo. A tempest in a teapot. At least everyone’s got umbrellas.

    Considering the AP story, the Gitmo issue, the kill list issue, the aiding and abetting treason after the fact issue, this is a non-story.

  18. Ehhhh, it’s a story, but it really pales in comparison to the rights threat presented by the AP story. Pols using the IRS as a weapon is nothing new, but in this instance the most damning part of the story is the sheer incompetence shown by the IRS management. It makes a good argument for simplifying the tax code (which is a mess and designed to allow tax avoidance for the wealthy and corporations) and reducing the size and scope of power of the IRS. The AP story though shows the DOJ directly attacking the 1st Amendment.

  19. Re making mountains out of moleholes or gnats out of can’t think of an opposite)

    “In a letter to members of Congress, which was obtained by NBC News, Heritage Action for America, the lobbying arm of the Heritage Foundation (which recently found itself in hot water over the racial IQ theories of the co-author of their widely panned immigration reform study, Jason Richwine, who resigned from the think tank last Friday), urged Republicans on Capitol Hill not to govern, and instead, to focus on the would-be “scandals” plaguing the Obama administration.”

  20. And, actually, I’m a Progressive. This President doesn’t appeal to me, at all. I’m simply tired of the vitriol directed at him because of stupid sh*t, you know, like his skin color. Republicans ought be licking his shoes, since he’s really one of them in ideology.

  21. You’re wrong, like you are on most everything you post. The Honor Guard as an entirely separate code. And, again, it’s not part of the Marine’s uniform. Educate yourself. Or, like me, you can be a veteran and actually know something about the topic.

  22. So Marines aren’t allowed to use umbrellas to stay out of the rain unless they are women. I think that says it all. (not smart enough to stay out of the….)

  23. Incompetence is the spin so far. It may be correct, but I’m a patient man. It just smells like Chicago Machine politics to me. And, being aware of how counterintelligence works, I think the prez spinners may be spotlighting this “gnat” issue to distract from the real ones. Just my opinion, I could be wrong. I’m not a conspiracy nut or a partisan. But, I feel tremors of a shitquake coming. They may not be for the reasons you think, or I think..maybe a combo? But I think it’s coming. Sort of like being constipated for 5 years like the media has been. The AP was the enema the press needed. I’m feeling quite scatalogical this morning.

  24. JH,

    A quote from “Big Trouble In Little China” just for you . . .

    [walking outside in the rain, Jack and Egg fight for control of the umbrella]

    Wang Chi: A brave man likes the feel of nature on his face, Jack.

    Egg Shen: Yeah, and a wise man has enough sense to get in out of the rain!

  25. nick,

    In re IRS, it’s a little of both certainly. Whether the WH had direct input into the action or it was just an overzealous idiot in management is the question. There is also the matter that this kind of conflict was an inherent and probably unavoidable byproduct of Citizens United in some ways. It a big “CF” fed from multiple angles.

  26. What is also a related issue on this IRS scandal is they are about to get MUCH bigger, hiring 16k investigators to handle the ACA. Flat tax, no deductions. Good bye tax attorney, bean counters and ~80% of the IRS.

  27. The marine is thinking: “Better to be holding an umbrella in the most secure place on earth, than to be anywhere near the middle east or Mali in Africa. Who knows, maybe I might get a better gig (job) after I leave the armed forces, by holding this umbrella for the President of the United States. Maybe, the President will give me a recommendation for one of those desk jobs at the Pentagon, making 100k a year.”

    Marine still thinking: ‘Mr. President, Would you like a cup of coffee or see if lunch is ready?’

  28. OS:

    I agree, if the CIC tells me to hold the umbrella, I hold it. End of story.

    But it is interesting to read that reg. I read the British carried umbrellas at Waterloo.

  29. “The scandals roiling Washington over the past two weeks involve troubling government behavior that had been hidden—the IRS targeting of conservative groups and the Justice Department’s surveillance of the Associated Press, among others. Largely overlooked amid the histrionics has been a shocker hiding in plain sight. Last week, the Obama administration moved to dramatically undermine students’ and faculty rights at colleges across the country.

  30. Bron, My hometown school in Madison, UW, is a pioneer in pc speech codes. And they’re damn proud of it. Liberalism has done a 180, in many respects, since I was in college.

  31. LOL, Gene, we are both in a movie quote frame of mind today, I was thinking that the Republicans need more fruit as in that great quote from “Signs”:

    “Everybody in this family needs to just calm down and eat some fruit or something.”

    More fruit might also help with that chronic constipation on every front they seem to have.

    Of course, if the Republicans give up their scandal mongering people might start asking again why (still) nothing is getting done in Washington.

  32. nick:

    it aint liberalism its totalitarianism. I doubt many of the liberals here approve of the IRS targeting groups based on political ideology.

    As much as I disagree with Mespo, Mike S, OS and Gene H, I am certain they would cut their own wrists before they used the IRS as a political tool against ideological opponents.

  33. ” I’m feeling quite scatalogical this morning.”

    Actually Nick almost all of what you say when you delve into most realms requiring logic and/or honesty is scatological. You should stick to sports and movies where you do know something.

    “As much as I disagree with Mespo, Mike S, OS and Gene H, I am certain they would cut their own wrists before they used the IRS as a political tool against ideological opponents.”


    You’re correct on that point, however, this is not to say that some of the groups investigated weren’t in violation of IRS regulations. My problem with this whole thing is portrayed in the following: . The IRS consistently goes after the “low hanging fruit” and leaves the “Big Boys” alone.

    I have become more and more disaffected with President Obama because it appears that he is pretty much a Corporatist and sides with the Bush/Cheney
    Crime Family on “national security” issues and foreign policy. The most legitimate criticism of him is that he has been weak and ineffective. I would further add that he has not managed the government bureaucracy well in that much of what has been badly done in the bureaucracy has been by Bush appointees to supposedly “non-political” positions and his Cabinet Secretaries have not been vigilant. Eric Holder is a good example of a lousy manager who is unaware of the pursuits of his underlings which often run counter to the professed aims of the administration.

    The truth is that it is far too late in the game to assume that this or any President is allowed to be in charge by the oligarchy that runs this country.

  34. To me this is arrogant. From my upbringing this would be considered demeaning to the man holding the umbrella, in a sort of master vs lackey sort of situation. The way I was socialized was men are expected to hold umbrellas for themselves or for women as a courtesy, such as opening doors. Not that my way is right, it is just how men were expected to behave in my time / neck of the woods.

  35. Pete:

    Gunnery Sergeant Hartman:

    “Tonight, you pukes will sleep with your umbrellas. You will give your umbrella a girl’s name because this is the only bumbershoot you people are going to get. Your days of finger-wagging ol’ Mary-Jane Poppins and her pretty pink parasol are over! You’re married to this piece. This weapon of iron and canvas. And you will be faithful.”

  36. Why the nastiness? And, you seem to getting bolder. You’ve graduated from “possible falsehoods” to “dishonesty. ” What have I said that’s dishonest? Name it. This has been a civil discussion and you come out w/ both guns blazin’.

  37. The weather should always be checked before doing an outdoor activity. It would have avoided the no-so-good image.

  38. OS –

    “Kenyan impostor”? You link to a wingnut who says that, and both you and he expect to be taken seriously?

    If that’s what a “real marine” thinks, then the opinion of marines are irrelevant. They should shut up and do as they’re instructed to do by the President, which is what the marine in question was doing (re: Drumm’s quoting of their duties). Yes, my use of capitals and lower case is deliberate.

    Before, I was ambivalent about this non-issue. Now I’m laughing at those who are getting tetchy about it. Getting knickers in a twist over this is inane as getting upset over Obama’s “bowing” non-scandal, it’s the desperate looking for any excuse to display crocodile tears. No doubt those holding their breath and stomping their feet didn’t mind when Bush held hands and walked with a Saudi prince before kissing him on the cheek.

  39. P Smith, The link you followed was written with extreme sarcasm and hyperbole and the long passage in capitals quoted therein and the followup was actually a defense of the President’s request. It was an endorsement of a defense. The writing style was such that it was difficult to discern just what it was initially. At the end of the first sentence I thought- oh no, is this going to be one of those articles? Do I want to continue?

    Well, OS is a pretty straight guy (IMO), and occasionally stands on protocol to the point of being downright courtly (IMO) so I figured that it would be worth a read. LOL, it WAS! And I must say, the language was creatively blue enough to make me chuckle in more than one place. I knew guys, WW2 vets and career military, that would do off into stylized rants using that same stilted, formalized cadence and syntax.

    So I think you may have misunderstood the linked comment as I did initially. Try it again. I love The Rude Pundit but he can only come close to the brazen and entertaining flights of blue rhetoric achieved by Eric Steinberg. As disdain and a death threat goes it is a burlesque of great skill. I’m not into the ‘us’ veterans v ‘them’ civilians but the the entertainment value- since all this folderall is worth is momentary entertainment- is major.

    Thanks for the link OS.

  40. “Why the nastiness? And, you seem to getting bolder. You’ve graduated from “possible falsehoods” to “dishonesty. ” What have I said that’s dishonest? Name it. This has been a civil discussion and you come out w/ both guns blazin’.”

    Nothing bold about my statement regarding your honesty since I’ve been writing that for a long time and that is my perception of you. As for examples I’ve given them in the past with no response from you except for
    playing “poor me…..I’m a victim of vitriol”. You lack the self awareness to understand that you have primarily been the attacker since you came here.

    Now in this instance you basically used it as an opportunity to change the subject from “umbrella gate” to “IRS gate”. Your dishonesty is in your pretense to be anything more than a partisan of the Right, which you so clumsily hide.

    “My hometown school in Madison, UW, is a pioneer in pc speech codes. And they’re damn proud of it. Liberalism has done a 180, in many respects, since I was in college.”

    Poor Nick, he’s just a man whose intentions are good, but those bad meanies have misunderstood all his winning qualities.

  41. Wow. I’ve said it before. Your nastiness and unfounded and vague accusations diminish you. I’ve read your opinion. I vehemently disagree. To accuse someone of dishonesty requires more than a “perception.” At least in my world. But, absent any specifics or substance I see no reason to continue. You obviously see me as “an attacker.” Maybe 2-3 others also do. The vast majority have gotten to know me think otherwise. Who is the attacker in this thread? Maybe we should only exchange comments on “sports and religion.” Let this grudge go, it’s not healthy.

  42. Frankly bleated: “I smell desperation. Those poor dumb busterds have tried to jin up a scandal for 4 years now & every one of them has fallen apart.”

    Oh there’s been plenty of “scandals”. The media has just been really good at keeping things silent. Mr. obama may be desperate by appreciating the coverage about his inability to hold an umbrella because it pulls attention away from Benghazi.

  43. Mike S:

    I am thinking it is time for the IRS to go and to either have a flat tax or a national sales tax. That would make things a lot easier and it would capture money we dont now get because everyone buys something. I would even be for taxing all internet transactions if we could do away with the IRS. It has ceased being a servant of the people and is used by politicians [of all parties] as a tool of terror for citizens and corporations.

  44. Bron:

    I would be fine with a replacement of income tax with a national sales tax if it was equally applied upon all segments and exempted wholesale transactions, food, rent or mortgage payments, medical supplies and services, utilities to residences, securities, and residential real estate for primary residences only. Some here have expressed concern this would disproportionately affect the lower income brackets as a large proportion against their total income. I believe this could be mitigated by the food and basic living exemptions.

  45. Darren:

    across the board, just make it low enough to be fair. You start putting exemptions in there and you end up with what you have now; lobbyists trying to get favored tax status. So you would solve nothing.

    You get rid of the IRS and free up the money spent on compliance and regulations generated by lobbyists for their industries benefit and you put all that money into the economy. An injection of capital into the people’s pocket.

    I think Madison was in favor of a national sales tax.

    Patriot Act, DHS, IRS, get rid of them all. Free the people now!:)

  46. The truth can sometimes be painful, but playing victim to the crowd is a
    good way to avoid the pain of self awareness. I have better things to do with my time than researching your history here, especially since I’ve called you out on your MO on many occasions. Usually I’ve done so in response to gratuitous insults you’ve launched on me and others. However, on this occasion it was on your hijacking the thread into an IRS discussion following your conservative “line”. Now go into your usual act of pretending victimhood, but be aware that your response is typical of the bully who cries when his own tactics are used against him.

  47. Bron,

    Across the board is never fair when you take 10% from someone making $30,000 and someone making $50 million. To that someone making $30,000 that $3,000 is a very big deal, but to the other guy that $5 million still leaves $45 million in disposable income.

  48. However, a progressive flat tax with limited (such as mortgage, health care, education expenses) or no deductions is fair. The current tax code is a scam for the wealthy and corporations and you’d have to be blind not to see it. I think it is the basic inequity that bothers most Americans about taxes.

  49. Mike S:

    the guy making 50 million isnt spending 45 million dollars to live. That money gets invested so that people can have jobs [not a rich person’s focus but jobs are created through investments].

    With property tax, local sales tax, federal income tax, various use fees, state tax, etc., how much do you think the guy making $30k is spending on taxes? Probably more than $3,000. And the guy making $50 million? He probably has a good many exemptions/deductions/tax havens so he is probably now only paying 10-15%.

    So basically it is a wash for the millionaire and a gain for the guy making $30k.

    But with all that money freed up from getting rid of the IRS and compliance fees for tax preparation, it is a net shot in the arm to the economy.

    The more money you keep in the people’s pockets and the less you give to government, the better it is for everyone.

  50. Gene H:

    what is a “progressive flat tax”?

    I think what bothers people is that they have to pay taxes at all. Oh, I imagine there are some people who want to keep the other crabs from crawling out of the basket but I think most are just upset they have to pay so much in taxes for very little in return.

    People need to start looking at government as they would a high end purchase like a car or a house. It should work and provide value, if it doesnt give me a new one or make it right.

    The Amendment process is the way to make it right, end the IRS, we only need 38 states to vote yes. Washington, California, Oregon, Wisconsin, New York, Mass., New Jersey, Maryland, Vermont, Rhode Island, Ill. These would be a definite no but that is only 11.

    It just might be possible. Especially if you add a provision for either a national sales tax or a flat tax to be determined by the people.

    Another good amendment would be going to war can only be done by a 3/4’s majority in congress and the president does not have the power to send troops anywhere for any reason without that same 75% majority.

    End the IRS, dont mend it.

  51. Bron,

    “what is a “progressive flat tax”?”

    It’s one with brackets where the rate progressively goes up, sometimes called a graduated flat tax.

  52. “That money gets invested so that people can have jobs”


    You’re wrong and the facts show it. That money gets put into overseas bank accounts and for the most part gets taken out of the market place. Numerous studies show that. What you’re positing is a version of the “trickle down economics” theory, whose creator David Stockman even acknowledges is wrong.

  53. Mike S:

    What do overseas banks do with the money? I may be wrong but they make loans. So the money is working to produce jobs. Because this is a global economy it does help in this country and others. Which is an argument for free trade among nations.

    The reason the rich are sending money overseas is to avoid taxes, put money to work here by reducing taxes.

    I disagree with David Stockman, if I make $10 million per year [I wish] I only need $3 million to live [arbitrary for example and which creates/sustains jobs], I have $7 million left. If I am smart, I will invest that $7 million in real-estate, precious metals, stocks, bonds and I might even put 2 or 3 million aside for venture capital.

    Every one of those investments creates or sustains jobs, although I guess it depends on the bond type. So I am not sure how David Stockman is able to argue against lower taxes. If the government takes $4 million of my money that means I only have $3 million to invest or I reduce my level of personal spending which reduces the amount of money to spend on restaurants, travel, a new car, a second or third home, adding an addition to the house, redecorating, hiring a cook, buying a new entertainment system or any of 1,000’s of choices I can make.

    Government spending is only about consumption, it is not about production. Production creates wealth, consumption does not.

    I have not read Stockman’s book but if he is arguing against production, he is fundamentally wrong.

  54. Side note … Republicans have a problem:

    Obama’s approval rating rose 5 percent in Gallup’s Daily and 2 in CNN/ORC rating thanks to the umbrella scandals.

  55. “The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Obama’s job performance. Fifty percent (50%) now disapprove.

    Today’s figures include 26% who Strongly Approve of the way Obama is performing as president and 39% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -13.”

    He was at -4 on Jan 20/2013. Approval rating was 55%. Approval rating has fallen 7% points and approval index has fallen 9 points.

    Did I mention Rasmussen and Gallup had Romney ahead by 4-5% points toward the end of October?

  56. ap,

    Since none of them seemed interested in the real scandals, I lumped all the baby scandals under one umbrella 😉

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