IF OBAMA IS REELECTED DO YOU THINK THAT HE WILL DOUBLE HIS VACATION EFFORTS ON YOUR TAX DOLLAR?
BY THE WAY... Can you afford to go on Vacation? Well Obama can, and on your Tax Dollars too: HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES FOR YOU:
Obama spends our money on himself
Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama have the wildly inappropriate habit of spending our money on themselves. In particular, they seem to enjoy expensive vacations — at Martha's Vineyard in the summer and Hawaii in the winter — as well as junkets to other parts of the world, aboard Air Force One. (And of course, when the Obamas go on a family vacation, they don't have to get groped at the airport before boarding a plane.) The rest of the country is suffering through a recession which will continue until Obama leaves the White House. (Is that Barack Obama's fault? Yes.) Mr. Obama also spends a lot of time on the golf course when he should be working, and more recently has traveled aboard Air Force One to events that are obviously campaign appearances leading up to the 2012 elections. The Democrats pretend to "watch out for the little guy", constantly wailing about the gap between the "haves" and "have-nots", and they want you to believe they fight for the poor and downtrodden. In a recent speech, President Obama said he believesthe greatest threat facing our country today is income inequality.* If he truly believes that, why does he flaunt his wealth and soak the taxpayers for his semi-annual vacations?
Note: In general, the most recent material is at the bottom of this subsection.
This is an excellent overview of the subject:
President Looter. Obama has been on a depraved personal spending spree throughout the presidency, but never a critical word is uttered by his big media propaganda arm. The worse the economy has gotten, the more obscene Obama and Michelle's spending has gotten. Where is the outcry? I, for one, as an overtaxed American, am sick of it. It kicked off as early as his inauguration. Obama spent an obscene 150 million dollars on his inauguration. The media rejoiced in his decadence. Bush, OTOH, was raked over the coals for spending a fraction of what Obama spent on his inauguration.
Who is this guy pretending to be president? This 2012 Obama is strident and mean, even deceitful, divisive, telling half-truths after half-truths. He's using Air Force One as his personal Brinks truck with wings to collect cash all over the country, disguising the trips as official.
Heartache: Obama's Hawaiian Vacation Is Over. And thanks to Congress' delay in passing the payroll tax deal, he only got to hit the links four times, but it was still enough for him to break a new one-year golfing record with a total of 34 rounds.
Obama's Top Boners of 2011. [#4] Vacations 1, 2 & 3: I don't begrudge the president taking his family someplace, you know, once. But $4 million dollars for a Christmas vacation? And despite what some progressives are claiming, yes that amount is the tab picked up by the US taxpayers for Obama's 17-day Hawaiian vacation with Mary Todd Lincoln Jr.
Judicial Watch sues for Michelle travel documents. Judicial Watch is filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against the United States Air Force to obtain records related to the June 21-27, 2011, trip taken by First Lady Michelle Obama, her family, and her staff to South Africa and Botswana. Earlier reports suggested that the cost for air travel cost taxpayers $430,000, but Judicial Watch believes that additional Secret Service officers and White House staff security tallied further expenses.
U.S. sued over Michelle's secretive 'family outing'. Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit over the federal government's refusal to disclose how much taxpayers spent to send Michelle Obama on a "family outing" that included a safari in Africa.
Michelle Obama Spent 42 Days on Vacation this Past Year. First Lady Michelle Obama over the last year has spent a total of 42 days on vacation, or a little more than one out of every nine days, according to a White House Dossier analysis of her travel. Her vacations, the cost of which are mostly borne by taxpayers, include trips to Panama City, Fla., Martha's Vineyard, Hawaii, South Africa, Latin America, Vail, Colo., and her visit this week to her brother in Corvallis, Ore.
The Most Expensive Date Night in History. I lived in Washington, D.C. for 7 years and can tell you that there is lots to do in that city; great restaurants, live theater at the Kennedy Center, great clubs, and more museums than you can shake a stick at. Why then did our president and his wife feel it necessary to jet off to New York City at taxpayer expense, forcing the NY city cops to throw the usual presidential security cordon around his motorcade, eat at a tony restaurant in the Village, catch a Broadway play, and then jet back so that the Secret Service could tuck them in for the night in their own beds?
Obama unhappy with criticism of his NYC date night. President Barack Obama says only once since Jan. 20 has White House life annoyed him.
White House declines to say what NY trip cost. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs is declining to say what it cost for President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, to eat dinner and take in a play in New York over the weekend.
Michelle Obama's $1m date in New York. Barack Obama escorts First Lady Michelle across the White House lawn to his private helicopter for a night at the theatre. During his victorious election campaign, the President had promised to take his wife on a date as soon as he could get an evening off.
Taxpayers foot bill for Barack and Michelle Obama's cosy date. The White House declined to say how much the trip cost but the Republican National Committee fired off a press release faster than the Gulfstream 500 jet that flew the Obamas from Washington to Kennedy International airport, New York. Entitled "Putting on a Show" it said that the outing was inappropriate given the recession and General Motors' impending bankruptcy.
Republicans Grumble as Obamas Jet to New York and Taxpayers Pick Up Tab. It seemed like a harmless moment in Barack Obama's presidency — a night on the town for the first couple in New York. But the episode Saturday night is taking on a life of its own in the media, and much of the reaction is turning critical.
White House Won't Reveal How Much Michelle Obama's European Vacation Cost Taxpayers. America may be in the midst of a deep recession, and the nation may be facing unprecedented deficit spending and debt, but the White House will not reveal the cost to taxpayers of the European vacation that first lady Michelle Obama and the president's two daughters, Malia and Sasha, took last month.
Obama Takes Michelle Out For a Date and Us For a Ride. The White House is trying to convince us that the recent date night that took him and the missus to New York, along with his usual entourage, cost the taxpayers a mere $24,000. That's supposed to be the total amount of the roundtrip flight, the two helicopter rides, the limo, dinner and the show. Fat chance. My brother-in-law in Michigan had a heart attack last year. His heart must be working just fine now because it didn't stop when he got the bill for the 50-mile helicopter ride to the hospital. It was $12,000, and that was one-way, and without a squad of Secret Service agents riding shotgun.
Obama appears to be paying off voters with stimulus dollars.
Billions in aid go to areas that backed Obama in '08. Counties that supported Obama last year have reaped twice as much money per person from the administration's $787 billion economic stimulus package as those that voted for his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, a USA TODAY analysis of government disclosure and accounting records shows. That money includes aid to repair military bases, improve public housing and help students pay for college. The reports show the 872 counties that supported Obama received about $69 per person, on average. The 2,234 that supported McCain received about $34.
Obama Mixes Business With Family Pleasure During Trip Out West. While President Obama is pressing hard to rally support for his health care reform plan at different stops across the country, he hasn't allowed that to interfere with a weekend family trip to the rustic West and its national parks. The Obama family — the president, the first lady and daughters Malia and Sasha, and other relatives — had a busy sightseeing weekend planned: visiting Yellowstone National Park on Saturday and touring Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona on Sunday [8/16/2009].
The Obamas: Stopping Traffic in Yellowstone. For a brief, clattering moment on Saturday morning, Bald Eagles nesting along Yellowstone National Park's Firehole River Saturday [8/15/2009] had to share their sky with three Marine helicopters ferrying the First Family down to Old Faithful.
What Went Wrong: [Scroll down] Democratic populism turned out to be largely aristocratic elitism. Obama spends more money on himself than did Bush. The liberal Congress has a strange fondness for pricy private jets. ... Offering left-wing populist sermonizing for others while enjoying the high life oneself is never a winning combination.
Our imperial presidency. [Do you recall] the minor criticism that surfaced when, shortly after he moved into the White House, the president used public funds to take his wife to the Big Apple for dinner and a Broadway show? It then appeared to me the man, who had filled a naïve, emotion-driven nation with hope, was off to a start that suggested he was going to milk the highest office in the land for as much as much as it could produce. It seemed that lavish lifestyles were going to be the order of the day, with growing personal use of burgeoning staffs, along with frequent and unnecessary use of expensive assets, such as military aircraft and personnel.
The Cost of Obama's Copenhagen Trip. A reader adds a few points to my back-of-the-envelope math on the cost of President Obama's trip to Copenhagen to lobby the International Olympic Committee and (probably?) witness the announcement that Chicago will host the 2016 games. "The cost of Obama's trip will not be close to $1 mil. It is well over $10 mil if it is a dime. The figures you quoted (accurately) are for flying a VC-25 (Presidential 747). Presidential trips require both 747s, as one is a backup."
Watchdog Sues Pentagon for Records on Obama Entourage's 2009 Copenhagen Trip. A conservative watchdog group has filed a lawsuit against the Pentagon seeking travel details for the Obama administration officials and U.S. lawmakers who flew to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2009. ... Roughly 16,500 delegates, activists and reporters gathered at Copenhagen for the 12-day conference, which the U.N. estimated created 40,584 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, roughly the same amount as the carbon emissions of Morocco in 2006.
The cost of the Obamalympic$ folly. A 2006 congressional study pegged the cost of flying Air Force One at $56,518 an hour. The Pentagon recently said it cost $100,219 an hour to fly the huge, reconfigured Boeing 747 without Obama aboard. The Pentagon estimate included more costs for support needs, such as maintenance. At those rates, the president's 14-hour trip to Copenhagen and back cost about $790,000 to $1.4 million.
Hi-Ho, the Derry-O. Let's say you're preparing dinner and you realize with dismay that you don't have any certified organic Tuscan kale. What to do? Here's how Michelle Obama handled this very predicament Thursday afternoon [9/17/2009]: The Secret Service and the D.C. police brought in three dozen vehicles and shut down H Street, Vermont Avenue, two lanes of I Street and an entrance to the McPherson Square Metro station. ... Though the produce stand was only a block or so from the White House, the first lady hopped into her armored limousine and pulled into the market amid the wail of sirens.
ABC Details Obama's $4,000/day Christmas Vacation. Imagine the outrage if any Republican President went on vacation during a recession and spent $4,000 a night on accommodations. On ABC's Good Morning America Wednesday [12/23/2009], correspondent Yunji de Nies seemed to suggest that President Obama's family will be spending such an amount renting expensive living space at an estate house in Hawaii for Christmas vacation.
The Obamas go on vacation a lot.
Poor Obama. Yesterday [12/29/2009], the Associated Press reported that Barack Obama admitted he was tired during his trip to Oslo earlier this month to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, but this isn't the first time we've heard about how tired the president is. In February, barely two weeks following his inauguration, Obama was already tired of being cooped up in the White House.
Health Care Reform Vaporizes Obama Presidency. Obama's ego and self-absorption apparently required him to be on stage all the time. According to CBS News, there were only 21 days in his first year where Obama did not make at least one public appearance. The statistics from CBS were amazing: 411 speeches, comments, and remarks — of which 52 were on VaporCare. Obama gave 158 interviews, visited 58 U.S. cities and 21 foreign nations, took 160 flights on Air Force One, 193 flights on Marine One, etc., etc. In short, it was all Obama, all the time.
Obama Wastes Millions of Taxpayer Dollars on Personal Entertainment. The same hypocrite who says our energy costs must "necessarily skyrocket" to fund his political ambition, is giving Marie Antoinette a run for her money when it comes to spending national treasure on personal luxuries. While much of the country is struggling to pay their bills, the President and First Lady are partying like rock royalty.
Barack Obama: Let Them Eat Tar Balls. Your bureaucrats have been saying "No we can't" to request after request for assistance along the Gulf Coast, but for you it has been "Yes we can" as you spend taxpayer dollars on entertainment at a greater rate than any U.S. president. Your parties have averaged one every three days and your vacations seem endless as you've satisfied the vow of your former social secretary to bring "the same kind of [party] environment" you had in Chicago to the White House.
Barack Obama, Frat-Boy-in-Chief? Does Barack Obama realize he's the President of the United States? I know that seems a silly question to ask, but he sure doesn't act like it. A more apt description of his actions so far: the Frat-Boy-in-Chief. This White House has had a remarkably fun time in office. There always seems to be a party, concert, vacation or round of golf to play. It seems that the Obamas are more concerned with ending up in the society pages, with impressing Americans with his hipness and cool factor, than actually running the country.
President party boy. Last week's jobs report tanked the stock market; the president took weeks to assert control of the oil spill that threatens doom on the Gulf Coast — but at the White House the Gatsby-like parties roll on as if happy days were here again. Just yesterday, President Obama held another fun-filled White House event, a picnic for Congress members, complete with hot dogs, cold beverages and a fire pit. All told, during the last seven weeks of spewing oil and rampant unemployment, he has frolicked and danced through three major White House music parties.
The Gulf coast is a wreck — let's go to Maine!
Obamas to vacation in Maine next weekend. The first family will spend next weekend vacationing on Mount Desert Island, according to U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree. President Barack Obama and his family are scheduled to arrive Friday, July 16, and stay through Sunday, July 18.
Obama's Maine 'pre-vacation' vacation. The First Family plans to spend a weekend vacationing on Mount Desert Island, Maine. This two-day vacation is likely a pre-vacation to the summer vacation, which traditionally takes place in August. Last year the First Family visited Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. This year, instead of visiting for a pre-vacation-vacation, the administration decided to sue the state.
President Obama to summer like it's 2009. President Obama, his poll numbers tanking, will return to Martha's Vineyard — the most Democratic spot in the bluest of blue states — for his summer vacation next month, island sources said. Our spies on The Rock report that the first family will return to Chilmark's Blue Heron Farm for about 10 days in August.
Obama's Maine event. President Barack Obama and his family will travel to Maine on Friday, carving out two days of R & R and exploring Mount Desert Island, the home of Acadia National Park. Why Maine? Press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters this week that the trip to the Pine Tree State builds upon the first family's sojourn out West last summer, when they toured Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon.
The Editor says...
It must be nice to fly all over the country on multiple vacations every year, in somebody else's jet, and at their expense.
Obama's vacations. Personally, I am inclined to give him a bit of a break on the vacation issue — if only family vacations were at issue. However, the vacations are only part of the problem with Obama's laxity and aversion to work. His obsession with gold, the musical soirees at the White House (that are a constant fact and have been from the inception of his Presidency) should give taxpayers pause. But two aspects of this particular trip stand out. First, the sheer hypocrisy of Michelle Obama flying down to the tar stained beaches of the Gulf and promoting them as a vacation spot for Americans.
Blame it on Maine. It's because of states like Maine full of hammered silver jewelry wearing, Greenpeace loving liberals that this imposter is president at all. Now, after the entire nation is subjected daily to Obama disrupting lives and making it impossible for Americans to scrape together two nickels to go on vacation themselves, Maine is inconvenienced. Tough! ... Tourists couldn't cross the sand bar over on foot during low tide to Bar Island. Why did they have to wait for hours? Michelle was doing backstrokes in the Bar Harbor Club pool.
Reluctantly, no doubt...
Obamas will vacation on Gulf Coast. President Barack Obama is taking his own advice and taking his family to the Gulf Coast on vacation next month, something he and first lady Michelle Obama have been urging others to do to help the area's suffering economy.
Obamas plan weekend vacation to Gulf Coast. President Obama, who, along with his wife, has encouraged tourism in the Gulf Coast area since the massive oil spill, will take his family to the region for a weekend vacation next month. The Obamas will travel to Florida on Aug. 14 for what is likely to be a hot, sticky visit.
The Editor says...
A token overnight trip to Florida won't atone for the Obamas' earlier hypocrisy.
Obama, family going to Martha's Vineyard in August. President Barack Obama is taking his family back to Martha's Vineyard, Mass., for summer vacation next month.
Obama: It's All About the Perks. As the rest of the country suffers through a real unemployment rate of about 20 percent according to certain estimates, President Obama takes jaunts to Maine with his family — and he makes sure to fly his dog, Bo, into town on a separate jet. ... According to press reports, President Obama has played 41 rounds of golf since his accession to office. He's played seven of those rounds since April 20, when the Gulf oil spill occurred. How many rounds of golf have you played since the beginning of the recession in July 2008?
From the White House to the Big House. The hardest to prosecute in court, but worst crime of all that Obama has perpetrated against the American people is the economic tyranny that his socialist policies have wrecked [sic] upon our nation. While Obama has been living the life of a king, including frequent 5 star vacations, dozens of concerts at the White House and endless rounds of golf, all paid for by taxpayer money — the increased transportation and security costs alone are in the millions of dollars — he has called for the rest of us to endure economic sacrifice.
Michelle Obama's luxury Spanish vacation. Pampered on the our tax dollars with a staff whose salaries exceed $1.6 million annually, Michelle Obama has not been unwilling to take maximum advantage of the perks of an unlimited expense account as first lady. ... Whether its $250,000 spent on a date night in New York, ordering carry-out pizza for 120 people from 850 miles away, or flying the family dog on a separate jet to join the Obamas on their 8th vacation since taking office, this time in Maine, it's clear that Barack and Michelle are living very large at the taxpayer's expense without so much as a second thought.
Michelle's life is a holiday. Not cognizant that the masses have already blacked her out of mind, Mrs. Barack Obama has put a media blackout on her latest holiday including an about 30-room reservation for herself, daughter, friends and bodyguards at a five-star hotel in Benahavis, Spain. Fellow Americans have had to black out any thought of the imperious Michelle being too busy trying to hang on to their jobs and mortgages.
Another getaway for Mrs. Obama. First lady Michelle Obama may catch some flak for vacationing at an expensive luxury hotel on Spain's Mediterranean coast. By the end of the summer, Mrs. Obama will have taken eight vacation trips — including her visit to Marbella, staying at the five-star Hotel Villa Padierna with daughter Sasha and some pals.
Material girl Michelle Obama is a modern-day Marie Antoinette on a glitzy Spanish vacation. While most of the country is pinching pennies and downsizing summer sojourns — or forgoing them altogether — the Obamas don't seem to be heeding their own advice. While many of us are struggling, the First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her "closest friends." According to CNN, the group is expected to occupy 60 to 70 rooms, more than a third of the lodgings at the 160-room resort. Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times.
Let them eat tapas. The Obama family has been working hard to show their indifference to the plight of middle America. Whether it's the president's golfing fetish, private air transportation for family dog Bo to a Maine vacation, or Michelle Obama's taxpayer subsidized trip to the Spanish Riviera, the gulf between the White House leisure class and the American middle class has grown to unprecedented proportions. Everyone is entitled to some R & R, though Mrs. Obama's jaunt is her eighth holiday this summer.
Spanish police close public beach for Michelle Obama's £250,000 Spanish holiday. Michelle Obama today faced a fresh wave of attacks over her lavish break in Spain with 40 friends, which could easily cost U.S. taxpayers a staggering £50,000 a day. The First Lady has been lambasted for her extravagance at a time when the economy is still struggling. One blogger went so far as to brand her a modern-day Marie Antoinette.
White House calling: Please will you make a coat for Michelle Obama. A young London fashion designer has been commissioned by US First Lady Michelle Obama. Bunmi Olaye, 27, who runs Bunmi Koko with her partner Francis Udom, was given the honour after sending a prospectus of her designs to the White House. Soon after a call came to the couple from Washington asking if a coat could be made for Mrs Obama.
From Cordoba to Marbella. Michelle Obama headed off for a $375,000 tax payer paid vacation in Marbella, Spain with Sasha in tow, apparently in the misguided belief that this place has the kind of cachet suitable to prance around in her unbecoming but expensive fashions. (This is her sixth vacation since March and two more are scheduled before the kids return to school.)
Barack, Michelle, Champagne Wishes And Caviar Dreams. What else can you say about a First Couple who takes 8 vacations during their first 18 months in the White House? This, of course, is the President who spent his first year in office repeatedly reminding us that the economic conditions he "inherited" were the "worst since the Great Depression," all the while logging over 200 hours playing golf. And last month the Obama's spent our scarce tax dollars providing a "separate flight" on a Gulfstream jet to transport their dog "Bo" to the family vacation destination in Maine — apparently Air Force One could not comfortably transport both Bo, AND the Obama family, all at the same time. And now, America and the world have been treated to Michelle's "vacation" in Spain (this is not a "state visit," but indeed a personal trip) with forty of her best friends along for the ride, and her husband left at home.
Obama Choppers Six Miles For Economy Comments. President Obama Friday [8/6/2010] flew Marine One from the White House less than six miles to Northwest D.C. He choppered to Gelberg Signs, the Washington, D.C.-based company where he'll deliver remarks on the economy and July employment numbers. According to Google maps, the drive would have taken about 20 minutes from the White House. By CBS News' Mark Knoller's count, this is the president's 300th flight on Marine One.
Obama takes chopper for 6-mile trip. President Barack Obama left the White House this morning for a six-mile trip to a sign factory on the Maryland-D.C. border. But instead of taking the presidential motorcade, he took Marine One — the presidential helicopter. A quick map search shows the drive would have taken at least 20 minutes, but the helicopter trip took just eight. And, according to one unofficial estimate, it was the 300th trip Obama has taken in Marine One since taking office 20 months ago.
I've lost count. It's vacation number N+1.
Obama plans short vacation on Florida's Gulf Coast — too short? First lady Michelle Obama took criticism for her recent five-day trip to Spain. Now she and President Obama might take heat for only a two-day, one-night trip this weekend to Florida's Gulf Coast.
"Cake" in Spain, Hypocrisy at Home. Mrs. Obama, who has earned a reputation as global stylista for her model height and youthfully appropriate wardrobe sense, won no plaudits for restraint, touring the sites in Spain clad in Jean Paul Gautier and other expensive designer fashions. She and her group stayed in a Ritz Carlton resort near Marbella where junior rooms start at about $400 per day. Add in Secret Service, a government jet and an entourage of assistants and press types, and voters are left to wonder why a jet-set trip was a good ideaÑparticularly now.
King and Queen Obama: America's royal couple. During his tenure as president, the First Couple has enjoyed lavish parties, state dinners, luxurious vacations, concerts, golfing trips and expensive Broadway dates. It has been one non-stop party at our expense. Over the last 19 months, the First Couple has been living as monarchs instead of public servants. This opulent lifestyle has not been earned, but is being financed by suffering American taxpayers.
Obamas Plan Fifth Vacation Since July. There they go again. For the fifth time since July, the first family has set plans to board Air Force One for a frilly vacation, a 10-day return trip to exclusive Martha's Vineyard where they are expected to stay at the 28-acre oceanfront Blue Heron Farm that rents for up to $50,000 a week.
First Lady claims working class roots, but her lifestyle is luxury. When images of Jean Paul Gaultier-clad First Lady Michelle Obama on a $75,000-a-day Spanish holiday hit the wires, controversy was bound to erupt back home. Her carefully crafted image as "everywoman" was blown. In addition to the high cost, the evolving justifications for the trip offered by the White House's flack were just as dizzying.
Obamas announce fifth vacation since July. Here's a report from U.S. News, discussing the announcement of a new 10 day trip to Martha's Vineyard starting August 19. For those of you keeping track, that's the fifth vacation since the start of last month.
Barack Obama and family are ready to Rock. President Obama, wife Michelle and the girls, Sasha and Malia, will land on Martha's Vineyard this afternoon to kick off 10 days of fun in the sun, returning to the posh Chilmark farm where they vacationed last year. Air Force One is set to touch down at the Coast Guard Air Station on Cape Cod. The first family will then board a helicopter and fly over to the island.
Criticism likely to follow Obama on upcoming vacation. President Obama and his family are spending time away from Washington but their weeklong vacation on Martha's Vineyard is unlikely to be free of controversy. It's the president's second time on the island off the coast of Massachusetts.
Obama doesn't travel light. President Barack Obama had a simple task for his first morning on vacation: shoot over to a Martha's Vineyard book store to fill out his daughters' summer reading list and grab himself a novel. Easier said than done. His sports utility vehicle, part of a 20-vehicle motorcade, passed through a cordon of Massachusetts State Police motorcycle officers, in a protective cocoon of Secret Service agents. Tagging along for the quick trip on Friday were White House communications trucks, an ambulance and two vans full of reporters and photographers.
At NATO summit, Obama's ride is talk of the town. While the Portuguese prime minister and the Portuguese president of the European Union's executive commission are tooling around the NATO summit here in no-emission electric vehicles, Mr. Obama is fouling the Lisbon skies with his no-efficiency "Beast," the eight-ton, diesel-fueled behemoth of a limousine the president carts around the world with him.
Obama's 'Beast' of a limo stands out at green NATO summit. The Portuguese hosts of Friday's NATO summit hoped to use the event to promote clean-energy and electric cars, but all eyes were on US President Barack Obama's diesel-guzzling "Beast" instead.
Military Pegs Hourly Air Force One Cost at $181G, as Obama Sets Travel Record. The average American could buy a house for the amount of money it takes to run Air Force One every hour. The U.S. military has provided an updated estimate on that cost, first published by a taxpayer watchdog group and confirmed by FoxNews.com, and the number is staggering — $181,757 per hour. That's the price tag for shuttling around President Obama, who, as it turns out, has spent more days abroad in his first two years than any other president.
Obama's predictable surprise troop visit to Afghanistan. The commander in chief wished everyone a happy new year and worked the rope line several times shaking hands with waves of eager servicemen and women. Then, he jumped back on one of his planes. And after a 205-minute visit to a war zone, Obama began the 15-hour voyage home with a refueling stop planned in Germany. He'll land right after breakfast Saturday. On Monday, Obama is off to North Carolina. At the official Air Force estimated operating costs of $181,000 an hour for Air Force One, the trip cost $4.7 million just for flight time, or about $22,900 for each minute on the ground.
Hawaiian vacation number two:
President Obama To Stay in Town; Rest of Family Begins Vacation. The White House has announced that President Obama will not be departing this weekend for Hawaii, as originally planned, and will be staying in town through at least part of next week as lawmakers on Capitol Hill try to cram in votes before Christmas. However, the president will be all alone at the White House, since the first lady and the Obama daughters, Malia and Sasha, will depart this weekend for Hawaii."
Michelle Obama, Sasha, Malia, Bo to Hawaii; Not Taking the Jumbo Jet. In a pre-emptive move — remembering the stinging criticism of her lavish vacation to Spain last summer — the East Wing volunteered that Mrs. Obama will be flying to Hawaii in a military version of a business airplane — not the jumbo jet that flew her to the Mediterranean coast in August.
The Editor says...
Yes, but it's still another trip to Hawaii at our expense, and the President most likely will join them later — in Air Force One.
Mrs. Obama's Separate Hawaii Travel Likely Costs at Least $63,000. Mrs. Obama jetted out to Hawaii on an Air Force C-40B Special Mission Aircraft. The Defense Department bills other agencies $6,330 per flight hour for use the plane. Assuming a flight time from Washington DC to Hawaii of about ten hours, the cost to taxpayers for the flight alone would be about $63,000. But Mrs. Obama's determination to get her full two weeks of Hawaiian rest and relaxation probably cost a good deal more.
No matter where he goes, Obama lives in 'the bubble'. When he steps off of Air Force One in sunny Hawaii to begin his annual Christmas vacation, President Barack Obama will have managed to escape Washington, but not "the bubble." At home or on the road, the president lives in an isolating world — White House world staffed by thousands of people who protect, advise and serve him at an annual cost to taxpayers of about $1.5 billion.
Resurgent Obama in Hawaii after Lame-Duck Wins. A politically rejuvenated President Barack Obama arrived here late Wednesday for an 11-day family vacation in his home state. Air Force One touched down shortly before midnight local time.
Impatient Michelle's $63,000 Flight. At $6,330 per flight hour for a 10-hour flight, the first lady gave nary a thought to $63,000 in additional expenses billed directly to taxpayers, such as the parents of the children Barack was reminding to be cognizant of the less fortunate.
Obama extends Hawaii vacation. After delaying the start of his Hawaiian vacation because of the lame duck session of Congress, President Obama has decided to extend his trip by a day and will now head back to Washington on January 2, according to sources familiar with the schedule.
The East Coast is under two feet of snow and the president is golfing. President Obama enjoyed another round of golf in the Hawaiian sunshine on Tuesday [11/28/2010] as he remains on holiday, while the East Coast stayed buried under two feet of snow. He also played last Thursday at the start of his island vacation.
President and family on multi-million dollar Christmas vacation in Hawaii. President Obama and his family are enjoying a delightful Christmas vacation with friends and family in the chief executive's home state of Hawaii. Nobody questions a president's right or need to take take away from the White House, but an investigation by Hawaii Reporter has turned up some eye-opening information about the costs and other aspects of the Obama get-away.
Obama's 20-man motorcade to visit childhood friend in Hawaii. President Obama provoked fresh outrage today after taking a 20-man motorcade to visit a childhood friend during his lavish Christmas holiday in Hawaii. The 10-vehicle convoy drove the president and wife Michelle from his rental property in Kailua, across highways cleared of traffic and through a military community to reach Bobby Titcomb's beachfront house. Mr Obama, who spent eight years at Punahou School in Hawaii before graduating in 1979, has splashed out $1.5m on his trip — a decision that will not endear him to the millions of Americans facing economic hardship in the New Year.
President spends $1.5m on his holiday in Hawaii. President Obama has splashed out more than $1.5 million on a sunshine break in Hawaii while many Americans are still struggling in the aftermath of the economic meltdown. With Washington in a deep freeze, Mr Obama yesterday extended his stay on Oahu until next Monday [1/3/2011].
Obama and Air Force One: It's good to have a 747. At an Air Force-estimated cost of $181,757 per flight hour (not to mention the additional travel costs of Marine One, Secret Service, logistics and local police overtime), that's a lot of frequent flier dollars going into the president's carbon footprint. We are privy to some of these numbers thanks to CBS' Mark Knoller, a bearded national treasure trove of presidential stats. According to Knoller's copious notes, during the last year Obama made 65 domestic trips over 104 days and six trips to eight countries over 22 days. Not counting six vacation trips over 32 days. He took 196 helicopter trips, signed 203 pieces of legislation and squeezed in 29 rounds of left-handed golf.
Obama's 2010: By the Numbers. Domestic trips: 65 spanning 104 days
-Since taking office: 111 spanning 176 days
States visited for the first time: 9
-Since taking office: 38
Vacation trips: 6 (all or part of 32 days)
-Since taking office: 10 spanning 58 days
Foreign trips: 6 trips to 8 countries spanning 22 days.
-Since taking office: 16 trips to 25 countries spanning 70 days. Flights on Air Force One: 172
-Since taking office: 328
Flights on Marine One: 196
Pelosi, Obama Hawaiian Vacations Come to an End; Taxpayers Left with the Bill. Nancy Pelosi's final days as Speaker of the House were spent at the exotic Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu in Kona on the island of Hawaii. Escorted throughout her trip by a mini security motorcade that included Secret Service and Hawaii County Police officers, Pelosi was seen at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Kailua-Kona, where she received Communion. Parishioners greeted her warmly, Hawaii Reporter was told. Two police SUVs were on guard outside the hotel during her week long stay.
Ice cleared from outside Obama daughters' school, but not from public school across the street. Sidwell Friends School, the education home to President Obama's daughters Sasha and Malia, made an exceptional effort to salt the icy sidewalks on campus Tuesday morning [1/18/2011]. Exceptional, because some D.C. public schools failed to receive the same treatment, leaving treacherous pathways glazed over with hazardous ice.
The juvenile president. Obama said he wanted to "fundamentally transform America". That is exciting-for him. The one bit of praise Obama had for Ronald Reagan regarded the transformational policies Reagan was able to put in place. He is excited by adoring crowds (see any number of events, from the Denver stadium, to Europe). He is excited playing basketball games with superstars. He is excited giving sports commentary on national TV. He is excited by cool-looking boondoggles like the wasteful green energy projects he touts, or high speed rail, electric cars, solar projects, and windmills. He is like a young boy with shiny new toys he wants to show off. Why do taxpayers have to fund his need for excitement? He is like a kid with a credit card who gets thrilled with the mere spending of money-especially other people's money.
Michelle Obama, with Malia and Sasha, skiing in Colorado this weekend. First lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, Malia and Sasha, left the White House on Friday evening [2/18/2011] for a weekend ski trip to Vail, Colo., the White House said Saturday. President Obama, who spent Thursday and Friday meeting with technology executives on the West Coast, is not on the trip, according to aides.
First Lady and Daughters Go Skiing. Reports out of Colorado that First Lady Michelle Obama and the First Tweens are skiing this weekend at the Vail Ski resort in Colorado. The White House tells ABC News that the first lady and close friends are chaperoning their children on a ski trip.
Obamas go skiing just days after telling Americans to sacrifice their own holidays. President Obama has been accused of having double standards after appealing for Americans to sacrifice their holidays just days before his wife and children went on a costly skiing trip. First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha are on a 'private family trip' to Colorado for Presidents' Day Weekend.
Michelle Obama's big 'sacrifices' on her Vail vacation. It has been almost a month and a half since the Obama family returned from 10 days in Oahu. ... Relinquishing her role as tireless workaholic, Michelle decided to revisit last year's mother/daughter ski trip to the Ski Liberty Resort in Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania. Only this year, the Obama women have taken to the slopes in Vail, Colorado on a "private family trip" accompanied by "several close friends." When unveiling his budget, Michelle's husband reminded Americans, "Everybody's going to have to give a little bit." The President even suggested: "If you're a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, you might put off a vacation."
From Obama To Khaddafi, A Tale Of Two Tyrants. While Americans are going hungry and cutting back, not because Michelle Obama told them to, but because they can't afford it — the White House is throwing yet another party. This time to celebrate the cultural accomplishments of Motown complete with performances by trendy musicians. It's funny how the media breathlessly reports that Khaddafi spent 1 million dollars to fly in one singer or another for a performance, and yet the White House has flown in far more singers, at doubtlessly far greater expense to throw themselves a party. If Khaddafi was a wastrel madmen for throwing himself parties like this, what of the Obamas who are doing far worse, under the pretext that this is a celebration of the form.
Getting Down While the World Burns. As the Associated Press reports, "The White House reverberated like a long-ago basement sound studio in Detroit on Thursday [2/24/2011] as the likes of John Legend, Seal, Jamie Foxx, Nick Jonas and Sheryl Crow channeled their inner Motown before Michelle and Barack Obama." Other performers at this grand affair included Natasha Bedingfield, Smokey Robinson, Jordin Sparks, and Stevie Wonder. If you were not in attendance, don't worry — you can watch the whole thing next Tuesday, on taxpayer-subsidized PBS. ... First Lady Michelle Obama got back from her lavish President's Day ski retreat in Vail just in time to enjoy the concert.
Obama's jetset fitness trainer. With a schedule as hectic as President Obama's it must be hard to stick to a training regimen without help — but why does he insist on having his old trainer fly out from Chicago to D.C. regularly when Obama and his wife exhort the rest of us to drive less? And in a recession?
Obama's Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Obama had a busy week — at least in terms of pop culture. Thursday evening [3/3/2011], Obama held yet another party at the White House, this time in honor of Motown music. Celebrity attendees included Stevie Wonder, Jamie Foxx, Smoky Robinson, John Legend, Seal, Sheryl Crow, Nick Jonas and Jordin Sparks. Jamie Foxx summed up the Obamas' view of what it means to inhabit the "people's house" in his rendition of Robinson's "Get Ready": "We won the election. White House, baby, so much fun!" Meanwhile, Muammar Qadafi shot people at will in the streets of Tripoli, and Americans struggled to pay their rent.
Obama kicks up White House entertaining. The White House is the place to be on Wednesdays.
Obama hits golf course for first time this year. The president left the White House at 1 p.m. [3/5/2011] for his first golf outing stateside this year. A 10-vehicle motocade took Obama to the Andrews Air Force Base golf course.
Shouldn't he be working? No, in his case, maybe not.
Obama heads out for his 60th game of golf since reaching the White House. The President — who admits to more than a passing fondness for the game — has managed to rack up 60 games since he was elected president in 2008. With spring in the air he was spotted back on the course this weekend, at the same time it was revealed he has become the first president to produce White House beer.
Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing. One of the big problems I've always had with the American left is the fact that it values style over substance. ... Perhaps, while Libyans are being slaughtered, oils price spikes are threatening our economy, public service unions are running wild, and Democrat state legislators are abandoning their posts, having not one, but two Motown parties at the White House in the same week is a bad idea.
Top 10 Obama Leisure Activities. Amid America's economic doldrums and as world events careen out of control, President Obama will not let a crisis deter him from unwinding. This same President, advising the American people how to deal with the financial crisis, once said, "If you're a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, you might put off a vacation." ... The Obama clan likes to spend time on tony Martha's Vineyard in August and go to Hawaii for a lengthy family visit around the Christmas holiday. They've taken a long weekend in Chicago. And a trip out West to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. And time at a beach in Florida. Plus several jaunts to New York for high-society events. In fact, he has taken nearly a dozen vacations since becoming President.
The US President's $30,800 dinner menu. Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson hosted a dinner for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama this week at his newest restaurant Red Rooster in Harlem. The small dinner party of 50 shelled out $30,800 (€27,710) per plate for the party fundraiser. Samuelsson is one of the president's favorite chefs and has been called upon to cook a handful of state dinners for him in the past.
Obama's decision to play golf on Memorial Day was disrespectful. Can you imagine David Cameron enjoying a round of golf on Remembrance Sunday? It would be inconceivable for the British Prime Minister to do so, and not just because of the usually dire weather at that time of the year. Above all, it would be viewed as an act of extremely bad taste on a day when the nation remembers and mourns her war dead. I can't imagine the PM even considering it, and I'm sure his advisers would be horrified at the idea. And if the prime minister ever did play golf on such a sacrosanct day he would be given a massive drubbing by the British press, and it would never be repeated.
Obama closes out the holiday weekend with a round of golf. After announcing new leaders for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery, President Obama played a round of golf at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. Obama spent more than four hours on the course in the 90-plus-degree heat that beat down on the Washington area this Memorial Day.
Barack Obama's private golf club. House Speaker John Boehner has broken into one of the most exclusive groups in Washington — the small circle of old friends and administration officials President Barack Obama has invited for a round of golf. Boehner, who sports a fairway tan and an 8 handicap, will tee off with Obama June 18 — marking one of the only times [Obama] will have played with a Republican or a fellow elected official and the first time he will have played with a sitting member of Congress.
Air Force Campaign One. Air Force One is quickly becoming President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign-bus. Next week, one of the two presidential Boeing 747s is scheduled to carry the president down to North Carolina and then to Florida, both of which are must-wins for his campaign. The Florida visit was announced today, and followed yesterday's announcement by the White House that the President will fly to Durham, N.C., on June 13 to meet with his Jobs and Competitiveness Council at Cree Inc., a company that is developing new-generation lights. Today's announcement revealed the aircraft will next fly to Miami International Airport and depart the next morning.
GOP: First lady fundraising on taxpayers' dime. First lady Michelle Obama lands in the Bay Area today for fundraising events related to President Obama's re-election campaign that include an East Bay breakfast produced by star chef Alice Waters and a pricey San Francisco luncheon. But critics said Monday [6/13/2011] that she is spending taxpayer money to foot much of the bill for her fundraiser-heavy trip to California this week.
In plain English, it's a junket. Just another taxpayer-funded summer vacation.
Michelle Obama Travels to Africa Next Week. The White House offered a preview Wednesday [6/15/2011] of first lady Michelle Obama's trip to Africa from June 21-26. During her second official solo trip, Obama will visit Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa, and Gaborone, Botswana. Her mother, Marian Robinson, daughters Malia and Sasha, and her brother's two children will accompany her.
Michelle Obama arrives in Africa on second solo trip. The first lady arrived at a military airport in South Africa's capital Pretoria, shortly before 1930 GMT [6/20/2011]. She was welcomed by U.S. ambassador Donald Gips and his family. She will make stops in Johannesburg and Cape Town and later in the week visit Botswana.
Michelle Obama embarks on solo trip to Africa. The first lady will first visit in South Africa, where she will make stops in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Later in the week she will visit Botswana. In South Africa she will meet Graca Machel, the wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela. She will also visit the island where Mr Mandela was imprisoned under apartheid.
Another fundraising trip on Air Force One.
Obama's Puerto Rico visit spurs anger, discontent. President Barack Obama may have been in Puerto Rico for only four hours, but his brief fundraising visit has unleashed a growing political furor in this U.S. Caribbean territory. Legislators of Puerto Rico's pro-statehood ruling party say they are resentful that he swooped in to raise about $1 million and did not offer any help or solutions as the island battles a soaring crime rate and higher unemployment compared with any U.S. state.
Obama says everything — and nothing. Day after day, President Obama is AWOL, busy with disconnected events that have almost no relation to what's going on in the nation, much less the world. He has so little impact on what's going on anywhere that he's hardly missed when he heads to the golf course (which he has done 75 times since taking office — and if you're keeping track, that's like playing golf 24 hours a day for nearly two weeks).
Obama Plays Second Round of Golf This Weekend. Obama's 75 times golfing since Inauguration Day includes 17 outings just this year. He made it thirteen weekends in a row Saturday [6/25/2011] with a trip out to the Andrews Air Force Base course.
Michelle Obama's 'goodwill tour' of Africa cost U.S. taxpayers up to $800,000. According to Whitehousedossier.com the First Lady's trip to South Africa and Botswana last week will certainly cost well over half a million dollars and could be as much as $800,000. The cost of local transportation, Secret Service protection, food for her family and staff members, the cost of firing up 'Air Force 2' not to mention the pre-trip preparations would all have contributed to the final amount.
The First Lady's Trips Abroad. Michelle Obama is on an official trip to Africa this week, visiting South Africa and Botswana in an effort to encourage youth leadership, education, and health and wellness — particularly among girls and young women. The first lady has made official visits to Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, India, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, where she's made headlines for her colorful fashion choices and, on occasion, for busting a move.
Prez's vacation makes little $ense right now. Obama, who's got us panicked over this debt-ceiling stalemate, will soon be off — again — to Blue Heron Farm, Martha's Vineyard. Check out the pictures of this "farm" online. You practically drool. It looks like the centerfold of "Town & Country," the magazine for aspiring zillionaires.
President Obama appears more focused on golf than on America's problems. While the rest of America is pinching its pennies, Obama is poised to jet off to a lavish 50th-birthday celebration in Chicago that will double as a fund-raiser for his reelection. This party will take place the day after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's arbitrary Aug. 2 debt ceiling deadline. The cost to attend the bash? As much as $35,800 a couple.
Obama's Vacation: An Unwise Break or a Healthy One?. President Obama looks forward to a 10-day summer vacation on Martha's Vineyard with his family beginning Aug. 18. Period. And why is the White House so resolute on this topic? Because "there's no such thing as a presidential vacation," Obama spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday [8/10/2011].
Carney Derided Bush's Vacation, Defends Obama's Vacation Plans. In a 2001 column for Time magazine, journalist Jay Carney ridiculed President George W. Bush about his vacation plans during his first summer in office. Fast forward 10 years and Jay Carney, now White House Press Secretary, was this week strongly defending President Obama's upcoming vacation at Martha's Vineyard.
It's official, President to vacation on Martha's Vineyard. The White House confirmed Wednesday [8/10/2011] what many people on Martha's Vineyard have known for weeks. The Obama family will vacation on the Island for the third summer in a row.
Canucklehead Obama bus-ted! President Obama is barnstorming the heartland to boost US jobs in a taxpayer-financed luxury bus the government had custom built — in Canada, The [New York] Post has learned. The $1.1 million vehicle, one of two that Quebec-based Prevost sold the government, has been tricked out by the Secret Service with state-of-the-art security features and creature comforts.
Obama's Bus Force One. President Obama wants us to believe that his bus tour of three battleground states is an attempt to get to know Americans better. No one is falling for it. ... Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus fired back at what he called "Obama's Debt-End Tour." He told reporters at Mr. Obama's first stop in Cannon Falls on Monday [8/15/2011] that, "We are not going to stand idly by while this president perpetrates this fraud of a bus tour while using taxpayer dollars to spin his failure to put America back to work."
Obamas bring custom cellphone tower to vacation. While cell service can be iffy across Martha's Vineyard, the most consistent problems are in Chilmark and Aquinnah, the island's two outermost towns. Many residents and visitors said they considered the few weeks of better connections a kind of gift from the White House. Some described jumping when their phones went off in the library or post office, unaccustomed as they are to hearing them ring at all.
Mark Levin: Michelle and Barack Obama "power hungry," "arrogant". During the 2008 election cycle, political talking heads kept a sharp eye on the alleged extravagance of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. And decades ago they had a lot to say about First Lady Nancy Reagan and her lifestyle in the White House. Why are there no stories about First Lady Michelle Obama? London's Daily Mail newspaper claims Michelle Obama has spent $10 million in taxpayer money on vacations.
Expensive massages, top shelf vodka and five-star hotels. The Obamas' summer break on Martha's Vineyard has already been branded a PR disaster after the couple arrived four hours apart on separate government jets. But according to new reports, this is the least of their extravagances. White House sources today claimed that the First Lady has spent $10 million of U.S. taxpayers' money on vacations alone in the past year.
Why so glum, Michelle? On Aug. 9, the first lady sneaked out of Washington and flew aboard a government plane to Corvallis, Ore. On board, dozens of staffers, Secret Service agents, Mrs. Obama's mother and one of the Obamas' daughters (we never did find out who). No husband. Her office never announced the trip; the news was broken by Oregon's Register-Guard newspaper. ... No, there's something going on there. How else to explain all those vacations away from President Obama — to Florida, California, South Africa, Latin America, Colorado, Spain?
The Obama Bus Fraud. Almost eclipsed by the PR disaster of his lavish vacation at Martha's Vineyard was the PR debacle of President Obama's "listening tour," in which he blasted through small towns in a gigantic motorcade dominated by two million-dollar Canadian buses, pausing to give political speeches before hand-picked audiences. Although clearly a part of Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, this was all funded by the U.S. taxpayer, and the expense was enormous. It turns out it might have been even more enormous than we thought, because the whole "bus tour" was a gigantic fraud.
Barack Obama, Man of the People. The portrait of Barack Obama's presidency is that of an egocentric — not only incapable of leadership, but someone who views the office as a vehicle for the satisfaction of his delusion that the world not only owes him a living, but a sumptuous one. ... Regardless of the public image they may convey, Barack Obama and his wife never fail to take full advantage of a lifestyle that would be the envy of any modern-day monarch while the bulk of the American populace struggles to afford life's necessities.
Obama non grata. The president of the United States is persona non grata at Marlboro Airport until he ponies up $676,000 for the damage the airport's owners claim his armored limo-led convoy caused when his Marine One helicopter touched down on April Fool's Day 2010. "As of right now, the commander-in-chief is not welcome at this airport unless we have a written agreement before the fact," said airport manager and owner Robert Stetson.
How much did THIS cost?
Michelle Obama's Target trip. Never has a Target dash caused such a ruckus. Jennifer Lopez could probably shop at Target without creating a stir equal to that caused by the first lady after she made an unannounced, midafternoon trip Thursday to the mega-retailer in Alexandria, Va.
Nearly $500K to send Michelle, family to Africa. How much does it cost taxpayers to fly First Lady Michelle Obama, her two daughters and her mother, a niece and a nephew, a hairstylist and makeup artists to South Africa and Botswana to give a few speeches, meet Nelson Mandela, and enjoy a safari on a private game preserve? Nearly half a million dollars, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) concerning Obama's June 21-27 journey.
Michelle Obama's Africa Vacation Cost More Than $432,142. First lady Michelle Obama's family trip to South Africa and Botswana in June cost taxpayers well over $424,000, according to new accounting based on Air Force manifests obtained by Judicial Watch, a taxpayer watchdog group. The use of Air Force aircraft alone for the June 21-27 trip cost $424,142, said the group, and that doesn't include the food, lodging, and ground transportation for the 21 family and staff members.
Michelle Obama's taxpayer-funded spending is an embarrassment for the White House. Although ignored by most of America's liberal-dominated media, several online US news sites are reporting that Michelle Obama's grand tour of southern Africa earlier this year cost American taxpayers nearly half a million dollars — and that's just for the flights. This follows in the wake of claims this August from sources inside the White House itself that the First Lady may have spent "$10 million of taxpayers' money on vacations alone in the past year."
Fight Erupts Over First Lady's Travel Costs. A fight has broken out between the White House, its defenders and a conservative public watchdog group over first lady Michelle Obama's travel costs and how they are calculated. The dispute stems from a Judicial Watch release yesterday, reported by Whispers, that said the first lady's June goodwill mission to Africa cost $424,142 just for her Air Force C32A. Judicial Watch said it used Pentagon calculations to come up with the price to taxpayers, multiplying the hourly cost of $12,188 by the number of flight hours, 34.8.
Obama: Taxpayer-Funded Bus 'Decked Out Pretty Good'. Republicans, including Obama's 2008 opponent Arizona Sen. John McCain, criticized the use of the campaign-style bus reportedly manufactured in Canada. McCain told USA Today the president was "clearly campaigning" on the "taxpayer's dime." McCain further said, "I've never seen an uglier bus than the Canadian one he's traveling around on, a Canadian bus touting American jobs."
Obama's bus tour costing taxpayers thousands. The White House declared that Mr. Obama's three-day trip through North Carolina and Virginia are official events and not campaign appearances, even though the two states are known to be political objectives of his re-election bid. So Mr. Obama's expenses are borne by taxpayers, including...
E-Day Minus One Year: Golf. Exactly one year before Election Day, President Obama decided to go golfing. ... Today was the 28th golf outing of the year for Obama and the 86th of his presidency.
6 Million Dollar Man: Obama Family Plans to Spend Holidays in Hawaii. To fly the President in on Air Force One from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about $1 million, according to the Government Accountability Office. The President also reportedly rented an entire tower of the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki for a portion of his four night stay here. His presidential suite in the Alii tower typically costs $4,000 a night.
Obama jets from Bali to New Hampshire for stimulus speech. President Barack Obama is flying back from the Pacific leg of his 2012 campaign, and will quickly jet out again for New Hampshire to tout his proposed stimulus on Tuesday [11/22/2011]. The Granite State fly-in, presumably aboard the 225-ton Air Force One, will put Obama in the small but important swing state two days after former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney holds a Sunday rally at Nashua's city hall.
Tapper To Carney: Looks Like Obama "Campaigning On Taxpayer Dime". ABC News' Jake Tapper confronts White House press secretary Jay Carney over President Obama's schedule which has included a lot of traveling. Citing a Wall Street Journal article about the number of times President Obama has traveled to swing-states, Tapper bluntly asks Carney if Obama is "campaigning on taxpayer dime."
White House Denies Targeting Swing States in Obama Travel Schedule. The White House on Monday [11/28/2011] rejected charges that President Obama is traveling on the taxpayer dime to campaign in swing states more frequently than any of his predecessors, saying a new study doesn't take into account that Obama "expanded the political map dramatically" in 2008 so that states not previously considered battlegrounds now are.
Obama Campaigns For Re-Election On Public Dime. President Obama jammed traffic in Manhattan on Wednesday [11/30/2011]. State business? No, he was raising campaign funds. It's just the latest example of his questionable strategy of running for re-election by taking from the public.
Obama to jet off to Hawaii for 17-day Christmas vacation. While most Americans are lucky to get a few weeks of holiday every year, it seems the country's leader gets a little more freedom in the matter. President Barack Obama has announced his Christmas vacation to Hawaii — for a staggering 17-day trip. Obama, who visited the island just two weeks ago for an economic summit, will head to Honolulu on Saturday December 17 until Monday January 2.
Obama abusing Air Force One privilege. Taxpayer-funded presidential flights would arguably be legitimate for overseas diplomatic events where flying in the aircraft has a reasonable chance of achieving a desirable outcome. But it is unlikely that the $9 million price tag of Mr. Obama's mid-November trip to Hawaii, Australia and Indonesia is worth the cost in the age of telephones and the Internet. Mr. Obama has indisputably abused the privilege.
As Americans struggle, the Obamas make do with 37 Christmas trees. The economy may be weak, unemployment strong and the first family soon to vacate the White House for another half-month of vacation in Hawaii. But the Obamas have gone all out in decorating their house this year, including a nearly quarter-ton gingerbread White House. They have also installed 37 different Christmas trees. Thirty of the trees are live, or were, including one nearly 19-feet tall from Wisconsin.
Michelle jets off to Hawaii with the kids for 17 day vacation. With thousands of families struggling to raise funds for Christmas, you would think the Obamas might manage a little thriftiness. But today, Michelle Obama and her two daughters fly to Hawaii for a 17-day holiday — days before the president joins them. The separate flights will incur costs of more than $100,000 to the taxpayer.
Michelle Antoinette's Hawaii hat trick. Obviously unwilling to submit to hubby Barack's executive order for "federal agencies to curtail travel expenses and save," this year First Lady Michelle Obama decided to leave early again for Christmas vacation, and commence with the holiday festivities in Oahu. Last year Michelle went on ahead of her husband, who was delayed by Congress, which is the excuse that has become a Christmas tradition every year since Obama took office.
Is Michelle Obama a vacation junkie? In a story published late last week in The Daily Mail which followed another by the National Enquirer, First Lady Michelle Obama's vacation habbits including expensive massages, top shelf vodka and five-star hotels are under attack. Critics have discovered over $10 million tax dollars has been spent on her personal recreation — in the last year.
Obama Plays His 90th Golf Game as President in Hawaii. That the President of the United States feels confident in taking so much highly visible relaxation time seems, in my eyes, almost ostentatiously haughty and aloof — but perhaps that's the idea?
Obama Golfs for the 90th Time as President. With this one, Obama reaches a new milestone, having gone golfing 90 times in less than three years as president. That's about three months of golf, given that the excursions generally take about five hours — much of the useful portion of the day.
The Cry-Baby in Chief. This week, Matt Drudge turned The Obamas, by New York Times columnist Jodi Kantor, into an instant bestseller by linking to a story that cited an anecdote from the book. It claimed that the Obamas held a spare-no-expense Halloween party at the White House. ... The White House hid the party from public view. They didn't want the rest of the nation to know how they were spending our hard-earned tax dollars on an episode of MTV's My Sweet Sixteen.
Michelle Obama in Aspen for ski vacation. First Lady Michelle Obama arrived in Aspen on Friday afternoon [2/17/2012] and is here with her daughters for a ski vacation. Few details about her trip were available. Sources said she is staying at the home of Jim and Paula Crown, owners of the Aspen Skiing Co. She is reportedly skiing at Buttermilk today, where the Crowns, of Chicago, own a home on the Tiehack side.
Michelle Obama, children on Aspen ski trip. First lady Michelle Obama and her two daughters are spending the Presidents Day weekend on the ski slopes in Aspen, Colo., a newspaper reports.
Weeks after 17-day Hawaii vacation, Michelle hits the slopes on Aspen ski trip. With the economy on its knees, many American families have had to forgo their annual holiday just to make ends meet. But barely a month after returning from a luxury Christmas break in Hawaii Michelle Obama is on holiday again — this time at the exclusive Colorado ski resort of Aspen.
Michelle Obama jets off to Aspen for ski weekend. Taking a break from her strenuous official duties, Michelle Obama jetted to Aspen, Colorado for a President's Day Skiiing weekend with her daughters. ... Nancy Reagan was pilloried in the press for buying new White House china during a recession — even though all the money for the dishware was donated. Mrs. Obama can jet out to Aspen with the only word in the press coming from a bare bones report in the local paper.
Michelle's ski trip marks 16 Obama vacations. First lady Michelle Obama's weekend jaunt to Aspen, Colorado for a President's Day ski holiday with her daughters Sasha and Malia makes the 16th time members of the first family have gone on extended vacations during their three years in office.
Michelle Obama and kids spend Presidents Day at Aspen. In the midst of a recession, Michelle Obama and her two daughters are spending Presidents Day on the slopes at the star-studded resort of Aspen, a source who is a longtime ski instructor at the mountain confirmed to the Daily Caller.
'This Was The Moment When Gas Prices Began To Rise, And Michelle Would Begin Her 20+ Vacations'. The Obama Vacation List:
• President's Day 2012, Michelle and the first daughters in Aspen, Colorado to ski.
• Christmas 2011, the first family in Hawaii for an extended vacation.
• Summer 2011, in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., for the annual beach break.
• June 2011, the first lady, her mother and daughters traveled to South Africa and Botswana.
• President's Day 2011, the first lady and first daughters travel to Vail to ski.
• Christmas 2010, in Hawaii.
• August 2010, the first family traveled to Panama City Beach, Fla., for some sun and fun at the beach.
• August 2010, Obama spent the weekend alone in Chicago for his 49th birthday bash.
• August 2010, the first lady and daughter Sasha traveled to Spain for a mother-daughter vacation.
• August 2010, summer vacation again at Martha's Vineyard.
... and that's just in the last six months! (Click the link for a longer list.)
The gasoline trap. Expensive gas begins changing public expectations about the ability to travel, and the ability of average people to afford automobiles. For an example of the former, look at the blossoming trend of stories about "staycations" as summer approaches. That's a vacation where you don't actually go anyplace. ... Meanwhile, two months after her previous luxury vacation, Michelle Obama whisks the kids off to go skiing in Aspen.
Fresh from her Aspen ski trip, Michelle Obama reminds you to feel guilty for earning a living. It's about time somebody took on all these rich fatcats, with their private jets and fancy vacations.
Obama's 'do as I say, not as I do' attitude. The President lives a lavish lifestyle and loves his expensive luxury vacations, at a time while Americans are hurting. He is frequently seen eating burgers and fatty foods while in public at a time that the First Lady is promoting healthy eating by others. ... The Obama family just finished a luxury ski vacation in Aspen, Colorado. This comes on the heels of a Hawaiian Christmas vacation for the family that lasted a few weeks.
President Obama Kept Air Force One In The Air An Extra 30 Minutes To Watch A Knicks Game? Reporters were perplexed, recently, when President Obama's airplane took an extra 30 minutes to fly from Washington DC to Florida, where the President bashed Republicans over oil prices. What explained the delay? There's apparently no official explanation, but that the plane finally landed just at half time in the Knicks game is, I'm sure, just a coincidence.
Obama's numbers: Vacations 16, golf 90, fundraisers 100. When President Obama completes his second of four New York fundraisers today [3/1/2012], he will pass the total number of fundraisers former President George W. Bush conducted through his whole 18-month reelection campaign. To put the 100 milestone in perspective, he hasn't played golf that many times, hitting 90 while he was in Hawaii last December for the first family's Christmas vacation, one of 16 the Obama's have taken while in office.
Group sues for Michelle Obama vacation records. Judicial Watch filed suit Tuesday [3/6/2012] in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for access to all records pertaining to an August 2010 vacation taken by the first lady and her daughters — including cost estimates and passenger manifests.
Obama's campaign gets more USAF aircraft. The U.S. Air Force is pulling nine cargo aircraft from military operations to support President Barack Obama's stepped-up visits to campaign events. The five medium-capacity C-130s and four heavyweight C-17s will be used to ferry security vehicles, armored limousines and communications gear into cities ahead of Obama's campaign appearances. In the months before November, the president is expected to fly into multiple cities per week, and speak at multiple sites per day.
Barack Obama — the Traveling Salesman. During the past year, Barack Obama has attended over 100 fundraisers. Even in a cynical, political town, such as Washington, DC Obama is racking up some staggering numbers, with time spent out of the office leading the list.
Air Force Sued for Michelle Obama's 2010 'Whirlwind' Vacation to Spain Records. During her time in the White House, Michelle Obama has most definitely demonstrated a penchant for taking expensive vacations with her family and friends — at taxpayers' expense. Judicial Watch previously obtained documents regarding a June 21-27, 2011, trip taken by Mrs. Obama, her family and her staff to South Africa and Botswana. Through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) we obtained the mission expense records and passenger manifests for the Africa trip, which yielded a cost of $424,142 for the flight and crew alone. Other expenses, such as off-flight food, transportation, security, etc. were not included.
Lawsuit Filed For Michelle Obama's Costs on Vacation to Spain. About the best you can say regarding the Africa trip is that it at least had the pretense of official business. The First Lady scheduled a few speeches on health and wellness in between tourist trips to historic landmarks, museums, shops and a non-working visit with Nelson Mandela. Not so with the First Lady's jaunt to Spain the previous year. Judicial Watch has been investigating this vacation as well...
Obama hits the links, plays first round of golf in Election Year 2012. President Obama hit the links Sunday for the first time in 2012. Obama was joined by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and White House staffers Eugene Kang and Marvin Nicholson, according to pool reports. GOP presidential contenders have criticized Obama for playing golf during an economic crisis, suggesting that the president is out of touch with the concerns of voters.
Obama heads to the golf course. President Obama hit the links on Saturday [4/7/2012], visiting what has become his home course at Andrews Air Force Base. [...] It's the second round of golf for Obama this Spring, and also the second time this week the White House has put golf on the agenda.
Add Another Round of Golf to Obama's List ... Second Time This Spring. Add another round of golf to President Barack Obama's ever growing tally. It was the second round of golf for Obama this Spring. Looks like Obama has been taking advantage of the above average temperatures. That was the 93rd round of golf of his Presidency. Oh, but he is so busy handling the economy and jobs. Nothing says Good Friday or Easter Sunday like golf.
Who foots bill when Obama travels? When President Obama traveled to Florida this week, he sandwiched a partisan speech at Florida Atlantic University between two multimillion-dollar fundraisers for his 2012 campaign, allowing him to label at least part of the trip to a critical battleground state as official business. While Mr. Obama can rely on Air Force One and other military aircraft at his disposal for official business, federal election laws require his campaign to pay for these presidential perquisites at just a fraction of the cost — the equivalent of a commercial airline ticket — whenever he or other administration officials are using federal government resources for political activity.
Obama Hammered for 'Jetting Around,'Taking Vacations While Americans Suffer. President Obama, during an interview with St. Louis's KMOV, was hammered for "jetting around, [taking] different vacations and so forth, sometimes ... under the color of state business." The interviewer, Larry Conners, suggested even that folks "get frustrated, even angered" seeing the president take these trips, and told Obama that these Americans think he's "out of touch, that [Obama doesn't] really know what they're experiencing right now."
Obama in Colombia: 'Part of My Job Is to Scout Out Where I May Want to Bring Michelle Back Later for Vacation. Just two days after President Barack Obama gave a sharply edged response to news anchor Larry Conners of KMOV in St. Louis after Conners had asked the president about Americans who "get frustrated and even angered when they see the first family jetting around [to] different vacations and so forth," Obama told a panel at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia that part of his job there was to scout out locations for a future vacation with First Lady Michelle Obama.
President Obama's Lavish Vacations Are Under Scrutiny Again. When American families are cutting back on travel due to rising gas and food prices, President Obama should be considerate of the sacrifices millions of citizens are forced to make and adjust his travel plans accordingly. Statistics published by The Blaze note the Obama vacation to Hawaii last year cost approximately $4 million. Before the family trip to Hawaii, the Obama's had already spent $10 million dollars of taxpayer money traveling to Vail, Colo.; Martha's Vineyard, Mass.; and Spain.
President Obama's Lavish Vacations Are Under Scrutiny Again. President Barack Obama is very adept at side-stepping questions and diverting the conversation from real issues to partisan rhetoric. Earlier this week Obama sat down with ABC News St. Louis anchorman Larry Conners to discuss the "Buffett Rule" and again proved how out of touch he is with the American people. Once the interview turned to the topic excessive and expensive vacations taken by the first family, Obama's entire demeanor changed as he evaded the question, according to videos clips on The Blaze.
Lavish spending double standard. The several hundred thousand dollars wasted by the GSA is a small fraction of the bill Michelle Obama has slapped on the American taxpayer for her endless vacations and regal lifestyle. It seems as if every other week, Mrs. Obama is firing up Air Force One, Two or Three, loading up the kids and heading off to Spain, Africa, New England, Hawaii or, yes, Las Vegas, for yet another party (er, sorry, I mean "educational exchange," "fact-finding trip," "goodwill tour" or other lame cover story). Mrs. Obama's publicly funded personal travel would appear to be running into the tens of millions of dollars...
Under sunny skies, Obama hits the links. President Obama took advantage of gorgeous weather around Washington on Saturday morning [4/21/2012] to hit the golf course, his third round this year.
Cost of Michelle Obama's Nashville visit may never be fully known. Metro taxpayers spent more than $7,000 on first lady Michelle Obama's campaign fundraising trip to Nashville this week. What federal taxpayers spent might never be publicly known. A White House spokesman said President Barack Obama's re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee will pay their share of the cost of the first lady's visit Tuesday [4/17/2012] for a $500-a-head fundraiser that was expected to raise at least $225,000. A full accounting of the trip isn't likely to be made available, however, even though Obama himself pledged on his first full day in office to establish "an unprecedented level of openness in government."
A more aggressive press corps might have motivated him to preserve his dignity.
Obama the Unseemly. There's been a lot of talk of late about how "cool" Barack Obama supposedly is. But people are starting to notice the man has no class. "Blue collar Democratic voters, stuck taking depressing 'staycations' because they can't afford gas and hotels, are resentful of the first family's 17 lavish vacations around the world and don't want their tax dollars paying for the Obamas' holidays, according to a new analysis of swing voters," reports the Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard.
RNC: Taxpayers Shouldn't Have to Fund Obama's Campaign. President Obama's trio of speeches — which just happened to be given at colleges in battleground states — this week was the final straw for the Republican National Committee, which filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Office today [4/25/2012].
RNC letter to GAO Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro. Throughout his administration, but particularly in recent weeks, President Obama has been passing off campaign travel as "official events," thereby allowing taxpayers, rather than his campaign, to pay for his reelection efforts. Given the recent excesses, waste, and abuse uncovered in the General Services Administration, the GAO should be particularly sensitive to misuse of taxpayer dollars.
RNC Files Formal Complaint Over Obama Campaigning On Taxpayer-Funded Excursions. On Wednesday [4/25/2012], the Republican National Committee filed a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Office over President Barack Obama's use of official taxpayer-funded presidential resources for what appears to be campaign-related trips to swing states.
RNC calls for investigation into Obama's travel costs for ambiguously political trips. Now comes complainant Republican National Committee, snark firing on all cylinders, formally requesting that a government auditor look into whether President Barack Obama has been bilking taxpayers by billing them for what amount to campaign trips to battleground states. The White House immediately dismissed the suggestion of any impropriety.
White House Responds to RNC Complaint that President Is Campaigning on Taxpayer Dime. In response to the Republican National Committee earlier today filing a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Office and the comptroller general alleging that the Obama campaign "has been cheating the American taxpayer by using taxpayer dollars to fund their general election efforts," White House spokesman Eric Schultz asserted that the president's travel "has been part of the president's official responsibility."
Liberal Media Mock Obama for Faux Campaign. Members of the media are questioning the Obama administration's numerous "official business" trips to swing states, during which he has been giving stump speeches and raising campaign funds. High-profile Washington reporters engaged in a line of questioning on Twitter today that seems to indicate that even staunch supporters of the president think that the use of taxpayer funds for campaign trips is getting out of hand.
Dumb and Dumber. The lack of complexity in President Obama's recent speeches to college students suggests that they were stump speeches more suited for the presidential campaign than official government business, experts say. Obama addressed the coeds at the Universities of North Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa at a sixth grade reading level, according to Flesch-Kincaid reading comprehension difficulty tests conducted by the Washington Free Beacon.
Live Not By Obama's Lies. [Scroll down] The distinction is technical but important: If these speeches are designated campaign events, the Obama campaign must reimburse the government for the massive expense of flying the President around the country and staging elaborate such productions. If they are official government business, however, everything can be done on the taxpayer's dime. That is why the White House website classifies these speeches as official business.
Obama Losing Rock-star Status Among Young Voters. Last week, Barack Obama delivered speeches at universities in Chapel Hill, N.C., Iowa City, Iowa, and Boulder, Colo. The trip was, press secretary Jay Carney assured us, official government business, not political campaigning. It's part of a pattern. Neil Munro of the Daily Caller has counted 130 appearances by the president, vice president, their spouses, White House officials, and Cabinet secretaries at colleges and universities since spring 2011.
Malia Obama goes to Mexico on Spring Break
Would you send your 13-year-old daughter to Mexico for her own little spring break romp? The State Department has warned American citizens not to travel to Mexico. But if you bring 25 federal agents with you, apparently it's okay.
Malia Obama guarded by 25 Secret Service agents on spring break in Mexico. Barack Obama's eldest daughter is spending her springbreak [sic] in the historic Mexican city of Oaxaca in the company of 12 friends — and 25 Secret Service agents. The US President's 13-year-old daughter Malia is staying at a downtown hotel in the city famous for its colonial architecture and well-preserved native American traditions, an official said.
Obama's daughter spends spring break in Mexico. The elder daughter of U.S. President Barack Obama is spending her spring break in the historic Mexican city of Oaxaca in the company of 12 friends, a state police official said. The young tourists, including 13-year-old Malia Ann Obama, are staying at a downtown hotel in this city famous for its colonial architecture and well-preserved native American traditions, the official said.
The First Family Attend Sunday Service Sans Malia . The Obamas attended Church one member short on Sunday as Malia, 13, is on Spring Break in Oxaca, Mexico.
Other sources for this story:       (Why is that important? Keep reading.)
The Editor asks...
The federal government will provide security, transportation and food for this trip, at taxpayer expense, but who are the chaperones? If Malia comes back pregnant, will she be "punished with a baby"?      
A day later...
AFP story on Obama daughter's Mexico trip scrubbed from Internet. An AFP report that President Barack Obama's 13-year-old daughter, Malia, is spending spring break in Oaxaca, Mexico appears to have been completely scrubbed from the Internet news sites that first reported it. Pictures have appeared in Mexican magazine Quién.com allegedly showing Malia visiting Oaxaca. AFP, the French news agency, first reported around mid-day Monday [3/19/2012] that Malia Obama was vacationing in Mexico with 12 friends under the protection of 25 Secret Service agents and a number of local police officers. The International Business Times reported that "the group arrived in Oaxaca on Saturday and reportedly visited the architectural site of Mitla."
Malia Obama's Redacted Spring Break. The AFP ran with a story Monday [3/19/2012] mentioning that Malia Obama was "vacationing in Oaxaca, Mexico, along with a number of friends and 25 Secret Service agents." Completely inoffensive, but also kind of tacit violation of the media- politician "My kids have the right to a private life when they're doing things out in the public eye" bargain. The story of Malia's spring break was promptly "picked up by Yahoo, the Huffington Post, and the International Business Times, as well as UK publications like the Daily Mail and the Telegraph." By Monday evening, the majority of those stories were down.
Why Is the Story About Malia Obama Vacationing in Mexico Disappearing from the Web? Have you heard that Malia Obama, the president's daughter, is reportedly spending her spring break in Oaxaca, Mexico? Allegedly, she's jetting off with some of her classmates and 25 Secret Service agents to a country that the State Department has said all Americans should avoid. But something is different about the latest "Obama vacation controversy:" references to it are disappearing from the Internet — and fast.
The Editor says...
The Obamas have a history of making bad decisions, and spending taxpayer money on themselves, especially on their globe-trotting vacations, which is the subject of this page. (Vacations from what? That's another story.) The news media have a history of covering up the Obamas' gaffes, and the tradition continues in this case. The White House wants this scandal swept down the media memory hole, and the Democrat-controlled news media are happy to comply.
Media scrubs Malia Obama vacation story. The AFP, the Huffington Post and other websites have scrubbed a report about first daughter Malia Obama's Spring Break vacation. On Monday, the AFP reported that Obama's daughter was vacationing abroad, along with a number of friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The story was picked up by Yahoo, the Huffington Post, and the International Business Times, as well as UK publications like the Daily Mail and the Telegraph and other overseas publications like The Australian. But on Monday night, the story had been removed from those sites.
White House Admits Asking Media to Scrub Reports of Malia Obama's Mexican Vacation. After it was reported Monday that Malia Obama was going to Mexico for spring break with 25 Secret Service agents, people began to notice that such reports were being scrubbed from the Internet. Politico's Dylan Byers reported Tuesday this was done at the request of the White House.
White House Admits to Asking News Agencies to Pull Malia Obama Vacation Story. The White House has admitted to telling news agencies to pull stories on Malia Obama visiting the Mexico for spring break, Politico reports.
The Editor says...
The press has a tradition of leaving all the U.S. Presidents' children alone, unless they're Jenna Bush, since the children are — by decree — not newsworthy. But the story here is one of government waste, extraordinarily poor judgment, and now gross manipulation of the news media. As usual, the coverup is worse than the crime. This is a scandal.
White House: Malia Obama Safe From Earthquake in Mexico. Malia Obama is safe and out of harm's way following an earthquake in Mexico today [3/20/2012], where the president's eldest daughter is on vacation. "In light of today's earthquake, we can confirm that Malia Obama is safe and was never in danger," the first lady's communications director Kristina Schake said in a written statement.
The Editor says...
At first the press was forbidden to report that Malia was in Mexico without her parents. But the press was later encouraged to happily report that Malia is safe in Mexico. The White House wants to be able to turn the news media on and off as needed.
Troubling Things Obama's Spring Break Story Reveal. First you have to wonder about sending a 13-year-old to drug-war-torn Mexico to frolic with her friends. It doesn't strike us as the wisest move, given the potential risk to her and those around her. Then there's President Obama's indifference to the country's perilous financial situation. With deficits topping $1 trillion, you'd think he'd set an example by scotching a trip that required 25 very expensive Secret Service baby sitters. Surely there were less costly places for her to go. If Obama had been a Republican, you can bet such profligacy would be the talk of the town. ... In the end, this was more about an Obama power play over the media than it was about his daughter's safety.
The Media's Double Standard On Obama's Daughters. [Scroll down] Predictably, the major media news outlets bowed to White House wishes and scrubbed references to Malia's Mexico trip, presumably because it had no "vital news interest". So, it's officially off-limits to question or discuss Obama's bizarre decision to send underage Malia on a solo Spring Break trip to Mexico in defiance, by the way, of his own State Department's stern Travel Warning. Yet one day earlier, on Monday, Michelle Obama went on the David Letterman show and publicly discussed their child-rearing philosophy of instilling "South Side Chicago" values in the girls. So what IS the media standard, then, on stories relating to the Obamas' child-rearing decisions? They're public matters on Mondays but off limits on Tuesdays?
White House in fury over Rick Santorum for attacking Malia Obama's trip to Mexico. Barack Obama responded Wednesday [3/21/2012] with shock to Rick Santorum's recent criticisms that the President was an irresponsible parent for sending his daughter to Mexico. President Obama's deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, ripped the Republican presidential candidate for raising an issue about Malia Obama's recent school trip.
President Obama's daughters' privacy is difficult to protect in Internet age. A news story that the White House sought to suppress became a news story anyway on Tuesday in an episode that underscores the difficulties of maintaining the privacy and security of President Obama's underage daughters in a digital world.
The Editor says...
No it doesn't. If anything it shows that "mainstream" press is controlled by the White House, and the internet is an effective bypass of Obama's throttle.
Obama's multi-million-dollar Indian junket
Entire Taj Mahal Hotel Reportedly Booked for Obama Mumbai Visit. President Obama's aides have booked the entire Taj Mahal hotel ahead of the president's high-profile visit to the Indian city rocked by a terrorist attack two years ago, The Economic Times reports. The newspaper reported that the Obama administration has reserved all 570 rooms, as well as the hotel's restaurants, to ensure airtight security when the president and first lady Michelle Obama visit Mumbai early next month. Dozens of other rooms have been booked elsewhere in the city.
Marie Antoinette has nothing on the Obamas. Clearly this administration learned nothing from the public outcry over Michelle Obama's turn as Marie Antoinette re-incarnate on her last little junket to Spain. If you thought the flaunting FLOTUS dropping a cool half million on a vacation trip for 40 of her pals and 70 secret service agents was over-the-top, wait to you get a load of the Obama itinerary for the Mumbai junket.
Obama's 855-Room Junket to India: What About the Deficit? Having created another trillion-dollar deficit for the current fiscal year, President Obama is working on yet another deficit buster with his extravagant two-day visit to India in November. ... To ensure fool-proof security, the President's team has booked the entire the Taj Mahal Hotel, including 570 rooms, all banquets and restaurants. Since his security contingent and staff will comprise a huge number, 125 rooms at Taj President have also been booked, apart from 80 to 90 rooms each in Grand Hyatt and The Oberoi hotels. The NCPA, where the President is expected to meet representatives from the business community, has also been entirely booked.
White House staff to man Taj. The iconic Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai will be off limits not only for outsiders, but also for most of the hotel's employees during US President Barack Obama's visit. Operations at the hotel will virtually be taken over by White House staff for two days beginning November 6. Just 10 per cent of Taj's 1,400 permanent staff will be at hand for the guests, comprising the US first family and the rest of the delegation. The hotel will not accept any other guests.
Taj hotel staff to be under 'house arrest' for Barack Obama. The Taj is shutting its doors to other guests as it readies itself for its most important one. But the arrival of Barack Obama doesn't have the hotel's staff excited. Reason? For the two days the US president and his entourage will be at the Taj, the staff will be under virtual house arrest. Worse, they can't keep their mobile phones with them.
Obama's trip to be biggest ever. US President Barack Obama's trip to India next month is set to be the biggest ever by any US president in terms of the protocol and logistics.
Obama's $200 million-a-day trip to India. President Obama's trip to India will cost the U.S. $200m-a-day, it was reported today. The visit — part of a 10-trip to Asia — will take place amid unprecedented levels of security in the city of Mumbai, where terrorists killed at least 173 people two years ago.
US to spend $200 million a day on Obama's Mumbai visit. The US would be spending a whopping $200 million per day on President Barack Obama's visit to the city. ... About 3,000 people including Secret Service agents, US government officials and journalists would accompany the President. Several officials from the White House and US security agencies are already here for the past one week with helicopters, a ship and high-end security instruments.
Obamas wanted to celebrate Diwali in India. Barack Obama, who became the first US president to personally celebrate Diwali in the historic East Room in 2009, wanted to "specifically" celebrate the festival of lights with Indians, the White House has said. "He (Obama) specifically wanted to have an opportunity to celebrate Diwali and to do so with the Indian people, getting beyond simply his official business," Jeff Bader, Senior Director for Asia Affairs at the National Security Council, White House, said.
The Editor says...
Call me a hayseed, but I had never heard of Diwali. Apparently it is a five-day festival that is important to Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. And evidently it is important to Mr. and Mrs. Obama as well.
34 warships sent from US for Obama visit. The White House will, of course, stay in Washington but the heart of the famous building will move to India when President Barack Obama lands in Mumbai on Saturday. Communications set-up, nuclear button, a fleet of limousines and majority of the White House staff will be in India accompanying the President on this three-day visit that will cover Mumbai and Delhi.
US security may jam walkie-talkies. [Scroll down] Meanwhile, even as Delhi Police is preparing to use its newly-acquired sophisticated weapons to ensure fool-proof security for the US president, the cops might still have to rely on their mobile phones to communicate with one another when the President is on the move. Security agencies said that there was a possibility that the entire walkie-talkie network might be "jammed" as the US security agencies will be blocking all possible frequencies through which communication is possible.
The Editor says...
First of all, blocking "all possible frequencies through which communication is possible" means blocking every known radio frequency. Secondly, imagine the uproar that would ensue if the Indian Prime Minister came to Washington and jammed every radio (and television and cell phone) frequency. Transmitting radio signals without a license is illegal in every country in the world. For the U.S. to send civilians into another country to take over the radio spectrum is an act of unmitigated imperialism.
India: The Pasha Tour. Yes, a traveling president deserves security. But the 3,000-person entourage accompanying Barack Obama to Mumbai, India, this week reeks of pashalike decadence.
Coconuts, monkeys, warships: India's security plan for President Obama's visit. Just days ahead of his trip to India, local authorities were going to extraordinary lengths Thursday [11/4/2010] to protect US President Barack Obama, even removing coconuts from trees to prevent them falling on the president's head.
A coconut-free respite for President Obama. President Obama can't wait to get out of Dodge, and who can blame him? He's off Friday for a long trip through Asia, landing first in India, and if he puts everything on his credit card, he'll have enough frequent-flier miles to go anywhere for years after he leaves the White House. He'll feel right at home in India. He hasn't had an opportunity to blow other people's money with abandon like this since he sent billions to General Motors and Chrysler.
How much do Obama's foreign trips cost? An thinly sourced report that President Barack Obama's upcoming trip to India is going to cost $200 million a day looks to be grossly inflated, but how much do presidential trips abroad actually cost? That answer isn't quite as secret as the White House and some press reports would have you believe.
Cost of Obama's Trip to India Angers Right. Back in 1999, the General Accounting Office did a study of a 10-day trip to Africa by President Bill Clinton. The report found that the total cost for the trip was $42 million. That figure did not take into account the airplanes, helicopters and support personnel who accompany the president, however. (The personnel would presumably be paid whether or not a trip took place.) The operating cost of Air Force One is over $100,000 per hour, and a ten-hour flight from DC to Mumbai would thus tack on a million dollars to a trip's cost.
Fuzzy Math Dogs Obama's Asia Trip. As if Tuesday's shellacking wasn't enough, President Barack Obama is getting pilloried by the right on the cost of his 10-day trip to Asia, with outlandish hyperventilation going directly from suspect Indian media reports to conservative U.S. media outlets and commentators without a pause for fact-checking. ... [T]he report is demonstrably incorrect. It says the White House had blocked off the entire Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai — it hasn't — and that the press traveling with Mr. Obama will be staying there. We won't. Besides, the press pays its own way at considerable cost to the media outlets, not the U.S. taxpayer.
Obama's India extravaganza angers Americans. The US is still crawling through a recession and its citizens are unhappy that their president is squandering huge resources on a vacation. ... Take the bomb-proof surface tunnel that is to be installed by US military engineers on the approach to Mani Bhavan, the Gandhi museum that the president will visit soon after he comes to Mumbai on Saturday. US security officials came up with the plan after inspecting the route to the museum and they felt that the area was too congested to monitor. The kilometer-long tunnel that will be large enough to let Obama's cavalcade drive through, will be put up in an hour.
President Obama's excellent asian adventure. President Obama is being ridiculed for the extravagance of his trip to Asia. A report from India that Obama's trip will cost $200 million a day for two days in India is implausible and baseless. However, the White House will not say what the actual price tag nor, to my knowledge, has it denied that he be will accompanied by an enormous entourage the accommodation of which will be hugely expensive. Instead, the administration's talking point is that presidential trips abroad are always expensive. That's true. But Obama seems to be taking things to a new level.
Obama moving White House to India? Despite yesterday's election, it is now blatantly obvious that Obama & Co neither cares about the United States of America nor its people. Today, the US tyrant — along with an estimated 50 jumbo jets full of his 3,000 person entourage — will fly Air Force One (followed by the second AF One and Marine One copters) to Mumbai, India where he and his merry minions will take over the entire Taj Mahal and other hotels. The now fully visible to the entire world hedonist and "Neroistc" monarch Obama will spend at least $200 Million PER DAY of OUR money to indulge his every whim and fantasy.
Obama to use teleprompter for Hindi speech. Namaste India! In all likelihood that will be silver-tongued Barack Obama's opening line when he addresses the Indian parliament next week. ... But few in India know that the US president always carries the teleprompter with him wherever he speaks.
Glib Pasha Gets His Just Deserts. [Scroll down] While the White House is denying reports from the Indian press that the President's mambo to Mumbai will cost US taxpayers $200 million a day and that 34 U.S. warships will be on hand there for his visit, it is not providing any accounting of what promises to be a very ostentatious pageant. Coconuts are being plucked from the trees lest any on fall on his crown and 40 airplanes, 13 heavy-lift aircraft and three helicopters, chefs, huge security details (which are already offending local dignitaries) luxury jets will accompany him and expensive hotels for the operation and invited guests have been fully booked for the excursion.
Bomb-proof tunnel with air conditioning. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle arrived in India's commercial hub of Mumbai on Saturday [11/6/2010], days after voters punished his Democrats in mid-term elections. Probably not since the days of the Pharaohs or the more ludicrous Roman Emperors has a head of state travelled in such pomp and expensive grandeur as the President of the United States of America.
Well, as long as the White House denies it ... It really doesn't matter what it's costing for Obama's trip — it's too much. When the President decides it would be a good idea to drop into Philadelphia and back a candidate at 5 on a workday afternoon, the politicos love it, but it costs us a bunch of money and ties up all the working stiffs who are trying to get home with traffic gridlock — caused by the President's party. That's a shame and it's a slap in the face to the people it inconveniences. And, frankly, I've lived through too many White House denials to accept them as gospel.
Obama's Disastrous Visit to India. As his political party was delivered a severe blow and his agenda was cut off at the knees on election day he was seen dancing happily all across the [Indian] continent with a lavish visit paid for at the taxpayer's expense even as those same taxpayers were enraged at wild government spending sprees.
The New York City Flyover
Buzzing New York City in Air Force One is not only a waste of fuel, it's completely unnecessary. The ostensible purpose of this flight was to take pictures of Air Force One with the city in the background. The same end product could have been produced through the use of Adobe Photoshop. There must have been more to it than mere picture taking. I suspect this flight was just a joy ride for a large group of influential Democrats.
Will anyone lose their job over this incident? Don't count on it.
They Knew! The FAA knew letting a presidential jumbo jet and an F-16 fighter fly ominously near Ground Zero Monday might cause panic in the streets — but the White House still insisted the photo-op be kept classified, sources said yesterday. A cryptic, classified alert — obtained by The [New York] Post yesterday [4/28/2009] — written by James Johnston, a high-ranking Federal Aviation Administration official in Washington, predicted the fear and confusion.
White House will probe presidential plane PR stunt. The taxpayer bill for Monday's presidential plane flight over Manhattan was $328,835.
Create-your-own NYC Air Force One flyover photo ... we did. Memo to the White House: Not only was flying a Presidential jet for a photo-op Monday over downtown Manhattan in bad taste — it was unnecessary. Anyone in the White House ever hear of Photoshop?
White House Calls New York City Flyover 'Stupid'. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday a photo-op featuring the presidential jet flying over the Manhattan skyline was as "stupid a thing to do as one could dream up." During an interview on Air Force One, Gibbs said if President Obama had had "any knowledge of the stupid idea to go take pictures of the plane in New York, I can assure you that wouldn't have happened."
FAA Memo: Feds Knew NYC Flyover Would Cause Panic. A furious President Barack Obama ordered an internal review of Monday's low-flying photo op over the Statue of Liberty. [WCBS-TV] has discovered the feds will have plenty to question. Federal officials knew that sending two fighter jets and a 747 from the presidential fleet to buzz ground zero and Lady Liberty might set off nightmarish fears of a 9/11 replay, but they still ordered the photo-op kept secret from the public.
The Editor says...
Whoever ordered this flight was at a high enough level in the government that neither the Air Force nor the FAA could veto the idea. That's pretty high up. There aren't many people at that level in the White House, and they all talk to each other, and yet the President claims that he knew nothing about it.
Mayor Bloomberg outraged over military photo-op involving low-flying presidential jet. The White House apologized late Monday after the U.S. military — without public warning — buzzed New York City with one of the presidential planes trailed by an F-16 fighter jet. Not even Mayor Bloomberg knew they were coming.
Real Cost of 'Stupid' New York Flyover Far More Than Air Force's Total. Flying the presidential jet over lower Manhattan for a photo op, sending panicked New Yorkers running into the streets, was as "stupid a thing to do as one could dream up," the White House said Wednesday [4/29/2009]. And it cost far more than the $328,835 the Air Force says it spent. New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's office said it doesn't have hard numbers yet on how much the city had to spend to deal with the panic caused when a backup jet to Air Force One, accompanied by two F-16 fighter jets, flew around for approximately 30 minutes for a photo shoot commissioned by the White House Military Office.
Flyover Launcher. This morning, at least one news organization and one citizen advocacy group was mulling filing a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the release of the manifest for the Air Force One New York flyover to determine if any Obama donors or other interested parties were on board the flight. The suspicion that civilians — or a high-ranking White House official — may have been on the flight is the result, in part, of the involvement of Louis Caldera, the Obama Administration's director of the White House Military Office, who authorized the New York City flyover, and who was brought into the administration, say Obama donors and transition team members, for his understanding of the Pentagon's inner-workings, his relationship with high-powered donors with backgrounds in the defense industry, and his ties to both Bill and Hillary Clinton and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson.
So Why Does Air Force One Need Publicity, Anyway? Sometimes, even the most straightforward question can create a havoc of evasion and denial in Washington's corridors of power — a question such as "Why does Air Force One need publicity photos?" It's a legitimate question, following the official explanation that Monday's flight over lower Manhattan by one of the President's fleet of 747s (shadowed by a fighter plane) that evoked ghosts of 9/11 and spread panic, was simply an ill-conceived photo opportunity.
100 Days of Reckless Photo-Op Hubris. Come on, who's surprised? The White House-engineered photo-op of low-flying Air Force aircraft that caused terror in New York City this week epitomizes the Age of Obama. What better way to mark 100 days in office than with an appalling exercise in pointless taxpayer-funded stagecraft? The superficiality, the unseriousness, the hubris, the obliviousness to post-9/11 realities: They were trademarks of the Obama campaign, and they are the tattoos on his governance. He never leaves home without his teleprompter. All the Obama world's a stage.
Fly By Farce Theory. [Scroll down] "Apparently there was also a similar strafing scheduled for Washington DC which has been scrapped."
Feds "demanded total secrecy" in NYC flyover — We demand answers. Having personally experienced the loss of law enforcement officers I knew rather well and knowing others in law enforcement who were forever affected on the morning of 9/11, I am mad as [heck] over the ill-conceived low-altitude flyover of the skies of lower Manhattan by an Air Force One lookalike and its F-16 military escorts that took place early Monday morning. Not only am I outraged, I want answers, if not for me, for every American and especially those who were forced to relive the fear felt on 9/11.
President Obama "Furious" to Hear of Plane Incident. A White House official tells ABC News that President Obama was "furious" to hear about the incident this morning when Air Force One and Air Force fighter jets appeared to be flying into the Manhattan skyline, scaring many New Yorkers into thinking they were about to face another terrorist attack. Many buildings in lower Manhattan evacuated. Angry New York politicians lashed out at whoever was responsible for the incident — which turned out to have been for a photo op.
A 'Classified' Photo Op Turns Into a Soaring Blunder for the White House. As secret missions go, this one was a flop. On Monday morning, one of the 747s used to ferry around the U.S. president was dispatched to the Statue of Liberty, escorted by a fighter jet. Assignment: Get some fresh glamour shots of the plane. The Air Force said the flight needed to remain confidential. So while New York police knew about it, as did at least one person in the mayor's office, regular New Yorkers remained in the dark.
President Obama calls Air Force One flyover a 'mistake'. President Barack Obama admitted Tuesday it was "a mistake" to send a Boeing 747 and an F-16 fighter jet buzzing over lower Manhattan. Speaking before a meeting at FBI headquarters in Washington, Obama said he was as in the dark as everyone else about the photo op fly-by, but made no secret of his disapproval. "It was a mistake, as was stated," Obama said. "And it will not happen again."
To Seem, Rather Than To Be. New Yorkers, from the mayor on down, are livid — and justifiably so. Certain officials were notified about the stunt, but they were told to keep it secret. So people like the mayor and the general public had no idea what was going on when the jumbo jet roared overhead, low enough to rattle windows, with the F-16 right on its tail. ... And in a week or two, they'll do something else even more thoughtless and tone-deaf.
Air Heads in DC Terrorize City. It turned out that the backup Air Force One jet and the fighter that appeared to be pursuing it only 1,000 feet above Ground Zero were staging the spectacle to get publicity shots of the presidential plane with a New York backdrop. President Obama called the incident a "mistake" today and said it would not happen again.
The Editor says...
That probably means that it won't happen again in New York City. On a weekday. During daylight hours.
Obama orders review of NYC plane scare. President Barack Obama has ordered an internal review to determine how the decision was made to send of one of his official airplanes on a low-flying photo op past the New York City skyline. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday [4/26/2009] that deputy chief of staff Jim Messina will lead the review.
Air Force One, Flaps Up! The White House announced that it was unaware of the plan to scare the pants off of half of one of America's busiest cities and had "just found out about it." Really, is someone out joyriding in the president's plane around New York without permission? What if there had been a national emergency and he had to rush out to Edwards AFB. "Hey, where is my ride?" "We're not sure, Mr. President" but we are looking into it and should have a reasonable idea within three weeks."
Bloomberg Questions Air Force Dumb & Dumber. Scaring the holy heck out of the city by allowing a low-flying Air Force One clone and an F-16 to buzz lower Manhattan for photo op. Dumb. Deeming those photos classified. Even dumber. Mayor Bloomberg took a little shot at Team Obama today, questioning the public relations-savvy of the administration's decision to keep the publicity photos of low-flying plane under wraps.
The Selective Transparency of Barack Obama. Sunlight is for suckers. The New York Post reported on Tuesday that the White House will not release the $328,835 snapshots taken of the president's Boeing VC-25A that buzzed lower Manhattan. The entire world has seen news and amateur photos and videos of the incident, but if President Obama has his way, taxpayers won't be able to see the flyover photos they paid for with their own money.
White House Declines to Release Photos of New York City Flyover. The White House is refusing to release the controversial photos of Air Force One flying over the Manhattan skyline last week that triggered panic among New Yorkers and an internal review in the Obama administration. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that there was no need to release them.
White House won't release Air Force One photos. Here it is, more than a week after the $328,000 photo op, and still it's hard to understand how someone could think it was a good idea. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was wearing his tap dance shoes today when asked about a report in the New York Post that the White House wasn't going to release photos from the much-maligned mission.
Phantom Air Farce Pictures. The $328,835 snapshots of an Air Force One backup plane buzzing lower Manhattan last week will not be shown to the public, the White House said yesterday [5/4/2009]. "We have no plans to release them," an aide to President Obama told The Post, refusing to comment further.
The Editor says...
What if there were no pictures? That would explain the administration's reluctance to release them. I suspect it was all just an expensive joyride for the Democrat elite.
Wait — The White House, at long last, has released the picture that was taken on the Air Force One barnstorming flight over New York. And it looks like my earlier assumption was incorrect — one person lost his White House job over this incident.
ONE picture? That's all they took?
$328,000 Photo: WH Will Release Pic from Air Force One NYC Fiasco. The White House has apparently had a change of heart, and will release "a photo" from the pricey, fright-inducing Manhattan flyover photo-op involving an Air Force fighter jet and a Boeing 747 which is sometimes used as the president's plane.
White House aide Louis Caldera loses job over Manhattan flyover fiasco involving Air Force One. The White House aide who authorized the controversial Air Force One photo-op flight last week around the Statue of Liberty is out of a job. President Obama has accepted the resignation of Louis Caldera, the director of the White House Military Office, the [New York] Daily News learned Friday [5/8/2009].
After Flyover of Air Force One Backup, Military Office Director Resigns. The director of the White House Military Office submitted his resignation on Friday, less than two weeks after he authorized a flyover by an Air Force One backup of the Statue of Liberty that terrified thousands of people in New York City.
'Air Force One' photo-flop costly: One job. The White House hasn't only released a photo from the $357,000 "photo op" of the Air Force jumbo jet that serves as Air Force One flying over New York and scaring half the city still traumatized by the airliner attacks on the World Trade Center's twin towers. The White House also has released the White House military affairs director who authorized the flyover.
Secretary Gates Concerned About Violation of Protocols for Air Force One Flyover. On the same day the White House is scheduled to issue a report as to what went wrong when White House military office director Louis Caldera signed off on an Air Force One flyover that frightened so many New Yorkers on April 27, a letter was made public indicating that Defense Secretary Robert Gates is concerned about the lack of military supervision of the plan.
Series of gaffes led to Air Force One flyover. The Air Force One photo shoot over New York City last month, with the presidential aircraft buzzing lower Manhattan at 1,000 feet as terrified workers were fleeing office buildings, was a convergence of gaffes missed e-mails and phone calls, doses of pain pills, early departures from the office, and hallway "asides" that went nowhere.
Air Farce Ejector Seat. The bumbling head of President Obama's military office resigned yesterday after an embarrassing internal report revealed his failure to give a heads-up to the White House and the public or to anticipate the panic triggered by a photo op of Air Force One cruising low over New York City.
The Visual Subtext of the Statue of Liberty Fly-by Photo. One image alone was released from the expensive photo op that terrified New Yorkers last month. Out of [untold] images taken during the mission, only one was chosen. It speaks powerfully to the American public — in symbolic language. The ominous and imposing aircraft dominates the scene in such a way that, in gestalt parlance, no one could mistake the figure for the ground. The figure is an aircraft that serves as Air Force One, representing the Messianic omnipotence of the Obama presidency.
Bam's Scare Force One Scapegoat. On Friday [5/8/2009], the White House released the results of a bizarre "inquiry" into Scare Force One that strangely looked only at the military office. Little surprise, then, that the designated fall guy was the military office director, Louis Caldera.
Aide Responsible For AF1 Flight Over NYC Lands Safely. Louis Caldera, the head of the White House military office forced out over the controversial Air Force One photo-op over the Statue of Liberty, has become a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, The Mouth learned Wednesday [6/10/2009]. CAP, a center-left think thank founded by the well-connected John Podesta, is a repository of well-known Democratic operatives and policy wonks.
The latest: The old Friday night media dump.
Defense Department Releases Flurry of Photos of Botched Plane Flyover. The Department of Defense released a flurry of additional photos Friday [7/31/2009] of Air Force One's controversial Manhattan flyover in April. A total of 146 photos were released of the April 27 incident, which panicked many local citizens and prompted officials in the New York metropolitan area to question why the White House Military Office did not make the mission more broadly known.
Doc dump details Air Force Ones' New York City mishap. The documents show that the Air Force carefully tracked the explosion of negative press that ensued after panicked New Yorkers feared the low-flying, circling planes were part of a 9/11-like attack. The e-mails also show various components of the bureaucracy trying to steer clear of the fallout. Of those who knew about the planned flight, only an Air Force reserve Major General, Brian Keenan, seems to have foresight into the response the photo op inspired.
Official e-mails reveal boondoggle over Air Force One's Manhattan flyover. Government officials knew the Air Force One flyover of the Statue of Liberty would scare the bejabbers out of New Yorkers, but went ahead with it anyway and quickly realized their bigtime blunder. A barrage of e-mails between officials right after the flight made public Friday showed a flurry of second guessing, finger-pointing, attempts at damage control...
Three million New Yorkers did not have a need to know. On page 11 of the 533 page Friday afternoon document drop from the White House, a quote from an e-mail referring to the disastrous Air Force One flyby of lower Manhattan: "3 million New Yorkers did not have a need to know." Page 22: "Will probably receive some local press, but WH (White House) shouldn't catch any questions about it."
Air Force used Twitter to track NY flyover fallout. As the Pentagon warns of the security risks posed by social networking sites, newly released government documents show the military also uses these Internet tools to monitor and react to coverage of high-profile events.
No Explanation For This Insanity. [Scroll down] This administration demonstrated its lack of compassion for [the people of New York] when it ordered jets to fly near Ground Zero for a ridiculous photo op of Air Force One. Who shot the photos? The jet pilots? How good could the photo be when the cameraman is flying an air force jet at the same time? Why was a photo even necessary? Did they never hear of Photoshop? This story smells to high heaven and we never did learn who was in Air Force One nor did we get any rational explanation for the ridiculous decision.
Neuter Obama. [Scroll down] Maybe that's why his wife refuses to even share a plane with him, always choosing to travel solo on Air Force 2, while he takes Air Force 1 to the same destination, only hours later, as they did on their summer sojourn to Martha's Vineyard. With respect to their annual winter vacation to Hawaii, Michelle's already there. He stayed behind to lecture America on the need to give him more money. No matter, each has their own plane, and no expense is ever spared to ensure they are never inconvenienced by the needs of the nation.
The $4 Million vacation: Separate flights, luxury accommodation and plenty of golf. President's Obama annual vacation in Hawaii this year is likely to be his most expensive ever — or rather the taxpayer's most expensive. Mr Obama and his family travelled separately this time because he wanted resolve the payroll tax cut issue before leaving Washington — and first lady Michelle didn't not want to hang around waiting.
First Lady 'insisted on $4m trip to Hawaii. Michelle Obama insisted on a pricey holiday to Hawaii when her husband would have rather gone to a presidential retreat, according to reports. She allegedly wanted the taxpayer-funded $4 million trip when Barack Obama sought instead to make the short trip to Camp David in Maryland.
Obama's Hawaii Christmas dilemma. The toughest call for the president this holiday season could be whether to join his family for Christmas in Hawaii or stay in lonely Washington. The White House won't say whether the president is heading west for the holidays — or even if he's making an abbreviated appearance.
First Family Arrives in Kailua. First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, Sasha and Malia, spent the night in Kailua, Oahu, on Saturday [12/17/2011]. President Barack Obama has not yet arrived for the family's 17-day holiday vacation in a beachfront home.
Obama Family's Hawaii Vacation Estimated to Cost More Than $4 Million. The cost of the Obama family's annual Hawaiian getaway swells as First Lady Michelle Obama's separate trip stands to cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars more. While President Obama remained in Washington wrapping up this year's contentious congressional session, Michelle and her two daughters, Malia and Sasha, jetted off on the 17-day vacation a little early, days before the President will join them.
Obama Spends Christmas Eve Golfing in Hawaii. It may have been a week later than he had hoped, but US President Barack Obama finally hit the links in Hawaii Saturday [12/24/2011] on his first full day of vacation.
Michelle Obama's lavish Hawaii wardrobe revealed. Michelle Obama successfully managed to rile U.S. taxpayers with her lavish $4m family jaunt to Hawaii this Christmas. But it seems her expensive taste has not stopped there, as her vacation wardrobe has proved to be equally lavish.
Top 5 'let them eat cake' moments of the Obama White House. Incident: The first lady and daughter Sasha took a five-day trip to southern Spain, shopping, visiting coastal towns and lunching with the nation's king and queen. Criticism: Mrs. Obama and her daughter stayed at a five-star coastal resort where rooms run from $400 to almost $7,000 per night and the first lady was photographed wearing an off-the-shoulder top from pricey designer Jean Paul Gaultier, causing critics to blast the seeming show of extravagance during a period of 9.5 percent unemployment.
So, just how much will President Barack Obama’s Hawaiian vacation cost this year? That‘s a question that can’t be definitively answered until the costs are in and the trip has concluded, but an assessment of the numbers shows that it will likely be the 44th president’s most expensive vacation to date.
The Hawaii Reporter has estimated that travel, alone, will cost $3,629,622 — a startlingly large figure considering the length of the trip. And, yes, in case you were wondering: Taxpayers will be footing a chunk of the bill. After all, it‘s not cheap to ensure that the world’s most powerful leader is safe as he travels and enjoys time away from the grind.
To begin, the family is traveling separately, as Obama has had plenty to wrap up in Washington, D.C. before the holidays (i.e. the payroll tax cut drama). So, First Lady Michelle Obama already left for the family’s tropical getaway — a $100,000 expenditure, including personnel, travel and security.
Obama’s round-trip flight to Hawaii on Air Force One is estimated to be the largest expenseassociated with the vacation. According to the Air Force, it apparently costs $181,757 per flight hour to run the nation’s most secure (and probably its most lavish) aircraft. Thus, the total for the nine-hour trip from Washington to Hawaii and then back again will come in at $3,271,611.
And let’s not forget that a USAF C-17 cargo plane is also needed to bring Presidential limos, helicopters and other essentials along. This, too, comes at the tune of thousands of dollars. Plus, there’s security for the president and his family. A team of between four and six Marine Corps will travel along on a separate flight and require per diem and hotel, coming in at $258,000 (estimated).
The Obamas do cover the expense for their own private beach-front home in Kailua, Oahu, which costs up to $3,500 per day ($75,000 per month). However, taxpayers are responsible for housing monies associated with the U.S. Secret Service, Coast Guart and Navy Seals. There are seven houses needed to accommodate these individuals, which amounts to about $21,600 per home.
And these are only some of the costs. There are plenty of other numbers that can be crunched as well — including the local taxpayers‘ burden for services needed during the president’s stay — but the total expense for the vacation, according to the Reporter, will be $4,113,038 (estimated).
You can read more about the associated expenses that taxpayers will foot here.
by KEITH KOFFLER on AUGUST 12, 2011, 11:05 AM
First Lady Michelle Obama over the last year has spent a total of 42 days on vacation, or a little more than one out of every nine days, according to a White House Dossier analysis of her travel.
Her vacations, the cost of which are mostly borne by taxpayers, include trips to Panama City, Fla., Martha’s Vineyard, Hawaii, South Africa, Latin America, Vail, Colo., and her visit this week to her brother in Corvallis, Ore.
The total does not include a nine day sojourn in Martha’s Vineyard that the Obamas will enjoy this month. Nor does it include a trip she made to Ireland and Great Britain in May, which I’m counting as official travel.
The total vacation time would have been slightly higher had the Obamas gone as planned for an April weekend in Williamsburg, Va. The trip was cancelled due to an extended stalemate between President Obama and Congress over the budget.
Mrs. Obama’s extensive vacation travel comes while many America citizens find themselves out of work or having trouble making ends meet as the economic recovery stalls.
Taxpayers pick up most of the cost of transporting the first lady and her extensive entourage – including Secret Service and her staff – to her various destinations. While she may in some cases pay some of the tab for her personal expenses and travel, the amount is dwarfed by the overall cost to the public.
On trips she makes with the president, though, the costs are only somewhat greater that then they would have been had he travelled alone.
Mrs. Obama’s vacations began in August 2010 with a two day weekend trip to Panama City, Fla., where the Obamas stayed overnight at a Gulf of Mexico hotel in a symbolic effort to show that the Gulf area was safe for travel in the wake of the disastrous BP oil spill.
Next up was what has become an annual pilgrimage to ritzy Martha’s Vineyard, where the Obamas stayed 10 days and dined at several exorbitantly priced restaurants.
In December 2010, with President Obama delayed because Congress was still in town, Mrs. Obama decided to leave without him for their annual Hawaiian vacation, racking up at least $63,000 in additional costs because she travelled alone.
Since the president arrived late, he decided to leave Hawaii in January two days later than scheduled – resulting in a 17 day vacation for the first lady.
Mrs. Obama went right back out on vacation the following month, taking a four day skiing trip in February of this year to Vail, Colo.
In March, Mrs. Obama travelled to Latin America for a five day trip. I’m counting two days of this as vacation, though, because she took her children and her mother along, performed some sightseeing, and went to the beach.
The first lady went to southern Africa in June for six days in what was partially an official visit. Since Mrs. Obama took her mother, her children and their cousins along, since the trip was billed in advance as having personal significance for her, and since the travel included several tourist destinations and a safari, I’m counting half of the journey as vacation, or three days.
Finally, Mrs, Obama took her mother and one of her children to visit her brother in Corvallis, Ore. this week. The trip was not announced by the White House and appears to have lasted four days.
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