If bad news travels in threes, Barack Obama ought to be issuing a heartfelt sigh of relief today. He's met his quota, one-two-three, just like that.
Benghazi, a subpoena-happy Justice Department, a politicized IRS -- the second-term president was suddenly enduring the most scandal-scarred week of his time in the White House, and Congress was back in televised-hearing mode.
On Friday, the outgoing IRS chief was trying to explain to Congress why the federal tax agency applied extra scrutiny to conservative tea party groups. And the grilling will surely continue -- on all three topics -- as long as chairman Darrell Issa's fellow Republicans aren't too exhausted from voting every 15 minutes to repeal Obamacare.
The president's opponents, so steeped in unrequited loathing, do risk overplaying their political advantage at moments like these. Charles Krauthammer, the conservative moralist, has already warned his peeps: "Stop calling it a huge scandal. Stop saying it's a Watergate. Stop saying it's Iran-Contra. Let the facts speak for themselves."
But 4 1/2 years into this maddening presidency, it's hard for the anti-Obama crowd to moderate their ire or their fire, no matter how large or small his transgression might be.
Some shout, "Watergate!" Michele Bachmann is already whispering, "Impeachment!" Even on his worst week in office, Obama is one lucky guy to have opponents like these.
1. "Barbarian behavior"
2. "Fascist police"
3. "Nazi politicians"
4. "Worse than slavery"
5. "Just like Watergate"
ASKED AND UNANSWERED: Are you feeling it yet? Me neither. But Albany insists Nassau and Suffolk have the state's swiftest job growth, up 2.9 percent April to April . . . So which would you prefer -- a vibrant defense industry or a slick new Museum of Armor? Well, at least we have the memories . . . Will other young skateboarders learn from Arielle Budnick's Memorial Day spill? A skull fracture, brain surgery, memory loss, a year of rehab and a plea from the not-so-hard-headed wheel demon to other boarding kids: "Helmets aren't only for dorks anymore." . . . What is it about OTB's previous business acumen that could possibly convince anyone: These are folks who'd do a bang-up job running a 2,000-slot video casino near the Nassau-Suffolk line? . . . Nice to see state ag chiefs taking bows for chasing the Asian longhorned beetle out of Manhattan and Staten Island. So when will the pesky tree-killers be chased from Queens and Long Island, too? . . . So late in the year, you kids have trouble focusing on school? "What's school?" you say? . . . A flurry of North Shore Gatsby weddings? What did you expect this Summer of Leo and Jay? . . . Medical aides accused of snapping secret photos of befuddled nursing-home residents? David Rover and Tom Mocera, what's the GOOD explanation for this? . . . Is the North Hempstead town board really going to euthanize 600 Canada geese? And then donate the processed goose meat to local food pantries? Feeling hungry yet?
THE NEWS IN SONG:A spider web, and I'm caught in the middle: Coldplay's "Trouble": tinyurl.com/bigtroub
LONG ISLANDER OF THE WEEK: JONATHAN KALOUST
Being a lethal commando is a high-risk calling, even thousands of miles from the nearest battlefield. The danger faced by Navy SEALs begins the day that training does. Special Warfare Operator Third Class (SEAL) Jon Kaloust, a son of Massapequa stationed at Little Creek, Va., was killed on Wednesday at Fort Knox, Ky., when his Humvee flipped over during a convoy training exercise. The wiry ex-wrestling captain at Massapequa High was obviously an extraordinary young man. His service was just as valuable -- his death just as tragic -- as any in Afghanistan or Iraq.
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