Monthly Archives: December 2010

‘Sacrifice’: Obama Vacation Costs Taxpayers Around $2 Million

January 2009:

Mr. Obama agreed when Mr. Stephanopoulos asked if he wanted Americans to know that “everybody in the country is going to have to sacrifice something, accept change for the greater good.”

“Everybody is going to have to give. Everybody is going to have to have some skin in the game,” Mr. Obama said during the interview, taped Saturday in Washington.

As usual, the “sacrifice for the greater good” involves the rest of us doing with less so we can pay millions for another extravagant Obama family vacation:

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.

Just consider these estimates on part of the costs of the latest Obama Hawaii trip:

* Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii: $63,000 (White House Dossier)

* Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii: $1 million (GAO estimates)

* Housing in beachfront homes for Secret Service and Seals in Kailua ($1,200 a day for 14 days): $16,800

* Costs for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel: $134,400 ($400 per day for 24 staff) – excluding meals and other room costs

* Police overtime: $250,000 (2009 costs reported by Honolulu Police Department)

* Ambulance: $10,000 (City Spokesperson)

TOTAL COST: $1,474,200

But that $1.47 million figure leaves out a number of signficant costs that simply could not be calculated by Hawaii Reporter:

* Rental of office building in Kailua on canal

* Security upgrades and additional phone lines.

* Costs for car rentals and fuel for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel (Secret Service imports most of the cars used here to escort the president).

* Surveillance before the president arrives.

* Travel costs for Secret Service and White House staff traveling ahead of the President.

The trip could have been done for less, and just as securely. But doing with less is for us little people.

And I don’t know if the cost includes some documents that the president signed while on vacation — documents that were flown in separately. I’m guessing those papers didn’t sit in coach on a regularly scheduled passenger flight, either.

I wouldn’t mind this much at all if we hadn’t recently gotten a finger-pointing lecture about “sacrifice” and how we’re all going to have to give up a little until the economy rebounds.

In other vacation news, as you can see, Michelle is interested in hearing Barack’s every word as usual:

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Update: Dandapani in comments inspires this challenge: Guess what Michelle is listening to.

I’m going to guess that she’s listening to this because the SEIU is going to be paid $100 million to distribute it to every kid who goes to a public school as part of the “Let’s Move” campaign.

Full Metal Teleprompter: R. Lee Ermey Unloads on Obama

Former US Marine drill instructor turned actor R. Lee Ermey recently appeared at a Toys for Tots/USO benefit, and he quickly emptied the clip on the socialist Hope & Change experiment.

I changed the start code to skip some of the intro so as to get right to the good stuff, but you can hit “replay” to see the whole thing:

Brace for possible lefty outrage, because Ermey does commercials for Geico, and Geico a while back crap-canned their libnut voiceover guy, apparently because of Tea Party backlash. I can see the emails to Geico already: “Why is it a firing offense to badmouth the right but not the left?”

If that happens, here’s a suggested reply from Geico: “Because the right spends more on insurance and Ermey knows a dozen ways to kill us with a pencil eraser, that’s why — ya jackwagon!”

‘Most Beautiful Goat’ Competition Underway in Saudi Arabia

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I bet these are some seriously jumpy animals:

Riyadh, Dec 29 (DPA) A beauty competition for goats began Wednesday in Saudi Arabia, as part of an auction bringing together traders and herders in the holy Muslim city of Mecca.

Auction supervisor Fawzi al-Subhi said that over 170 animals are competing for the coveted title ‘most beautiful goat’. He expects the winner to be sold for at least $18,000.

Only in the Middle East do they put bikinis on goats and camels but cover their women in boat tarps.

Who’s the goat to bleat in this year’s competition? We’ll find out soon. Probably the most pressure is when the judges ask the goats their opinion on gay marriage, because the wrong answer can earn said goat an “Abu Dhabi necktie.”

Chicago’s Black Mayoral Candidates Critical of Nation’s First Black President

No, not that one — I’m talking about the real “first black president” — although he may soon be stripped of that title.

This Chicago mayoral race should be fun. It’s barely gotten underway and already Bill Clinton is kinda-sorta being called a racist:

Two candidates for mayor told former President Bill Clinton to cancel plans to campaign for their front-running rival, Rahm Emanuel. Congressman Danny Davis accused Mr. Clinton of trying “to thwart the legitimate political aspirations of Chicago’s black community.”

Former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun said it would be a “gaffe” by the former president on a par with comments Mr. Clinton made during the 2008 Presidential primary season. Some supporters of Barack Obama claimed Clinton had belittled the then-Illinois State Senator by comparing Obama’s campaign for President to Rev. Jesse Jackson’s quest for the White House.

Somehow Slick will manage to successfully endorse all three and blame the racial strife on Rush Limbaugh.

Heartache for Chris Matthews: White House Preventing Media from Taking Photos of Obama Shirtless in Hawaii

Tingles certainly didn’t want to close out his year with this kind of a letdown:

The White House is taking extra steps to prevent photos of a shirtless President Obama on vacation in Hawaii.

The president and his family are on a snorkeling trip in Hamauma Bay Nature Reserve, and traveling press are under “explicit instructions that there will be no long lenses or other sneaky attempts to take pictures,” according to a pool report.

Don’t get too down, Chris — you’ve still got your dog-eared 2008 copy of The Washingtonian to keep you company.

I Wasn’t Going to Watch Oprah’s New Network, But This Ensures That I’m Not Going to Watch it Twice as Much

Oprah’s new network debuts on New Years Day. Are you excited? Me neither.

And Oprah’s gone out of her way to make sure I never even peek at the channel out of curiosity:

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“Today’s topics: Fire still can’t melt steel, how I haven’t stopped hating Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and why I only got married because Bush pissed me off.”

And here’s something else I really need: Financial advice from Sarah Ferguson:

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Because if it’s delivered in a British accent, it must be worthy of your attention.

I’ll be watching bowl games all day on New Years, but if anybody wants to take one for the team and watch the Oprah Channel and report back, feel free!

Chris Matthews to Obama: ‘If it Exists, Why Not Put it Out?’

When Tingles asks of Obama, “if it exists, why not put it out,” I think he’s referring to Obama’s long-form birth certificate — you never can be too sure when it comes to Captain Legthrill.

The underlying current that Matthews puts in motion here is kind of funny: “I’m not a birther. I’m the anti-birther. I can’t stand birthers. I think birthers are crazy. It’s a settled issue and there’s nothing more anybody could do to convince them. But really, Hawaii or somebody from Team Obama should release the long-form birth certificate just to shut these crazies up.”

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

(h/t Weasel Zippers)

Russian Immigrants Saying Do Svidaniya to the Dems

Why are Russian immigrants moving toward the GOP and away from the left/libs? Because they’ve seen this movie before and didn’t like the ending:

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Many Russian immigrants to the “red borough” of Staten Island are flocking to the Republican Party, saying that the national Democrats’ “socialistic” policies remind them too much of the top-down oligarchy they fled in their native land.
[…]
The Big Brother approach reminds Fridman too much of what he left behind in the former Soviet Union.

“It’s the same rule like it was there,” said Fridman, who estimates there are around 55,000 Russian immigrants here.

Michael Petrov of the Digital Edge data management firm in Bloomfield, said that he objects to the “micro-managing of the economy” he’s seen from city as well as federal officials.

“Government is affecting small business more and more,” said Petrov, who came to the United States in 1994. “It’s the same as what’s happening in Russia.”

How do you say “Tea Party” in Russian?

(h/t The Blaze)