Tag Archives: vacation

Michelle Obama Likes To Party All The Time

Michelle’s Last Four Years – Lest We Forget

There is a reason the current First Lady is often called Michelle “Antoinette” Obama.

From the YouTube description:

The last Aspen vacation info is interesting. To give you an Idea how hard people had to work to get all this information here is just one example:

“Judicial Watch elaborates:

-The total cost for the Aspen ski vacation was at least $83,182.99.
-The bill for the U.S. Secret Service, including accommodations at the Fasching Haus deluxe condominium and the Inn at Aspen, was $48,950.38.
-The cost for the flight, per official DOD published hourly rates, was $22,583.70. Food and miscellaneous on-flight items cost $235.44. The cost for rental cars totaled $6,442.23.
Key details, including flight records for the Secret Service detail and the names of individuals who accompanied Mrs. Obama on the vacation, were redacted from the documents with the exception of two staffers. One was Meredith Koop, her personal assistant and style advisor, the other was her scheduler Kristen Jarvis.
“No wonder we had to file a lawsuit in federal court and wait six months to get basic information on Michelle Obama’s luxury Aspen vacation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

“The costs of the Obama family ski weekend are staggering. These high-priced luxury vacations, and the lack of transparency about them, are beginning to seem like an abuse of office.””

GIRLS’ TRIP TO SPAIN: AUGUST 2010
The exact cost is unclear as Mrs Obama and her 40 friends footed many personal expenses, such as hotels and meals themselves.
But the U.S. taxpayer would have paid for the First Lady’s 68-strong security detail, personal staff, and use of presidential jet Air Force Two.
Per diems for the secret service team runs at around $281 each – nearly $98,000 for the length of the summer break.
Use of Air Force Two, the Air Force version of a 757, comes in at $149,900 for the round trip. This does not include time on the ground.
Mrs Obama’s personal staff, of which there are an unknown amount and might cost considerably more per day, should also be taken into account.

CHRISTMAS BREAK IN HAWAII: DECEMBER 2010
According to the Hawaii Reporter, the bill for the $1.5m trip included:
$63,000 on an early flight bringing Mrs Obama and the children to Hawaii ahead of the President.
$1,000,000 on Mr Obama’s return trip from Washington on Air Force One.
$38,000 for the ‘Winter White House’ beach property rental.
$16,000 to rent nearby homes for Secret Service and Navy Seals.
$134,000 for 24 White House staff to stay at the Moana Hotel.
$251,000 in police overtime.
$10,000 for an ambulance to be on hand at all times

SKI TRIP TO VAIL: FEBRUARY 2011
Mrs Obama and her daughters stayed at the Sebastian hotel on Vail Mountain, where rooms cost more than $2,400 for multi-bedroom suites.
The family appear to have flown there on Air Force Two.
They were escorted to the resort by a motorcade of about a dozen vehicles, including 15 state and local law enforcement officers

SUMMER HOLIDAY ON MARTHA’S VINEYARD: AUGUST 2011
The Blue Heron Farm estate, where the Obama family are currently staying, rents for about $50,000 a week.
According to U.S. News and World Report, the Coast Guard is required to keep ships floating near the property, the presidential helicopter and jet remain at the ready and security agents will be on 24-hour duty.

WaPo Columnist Works Gratuitous Swipe at Romney Into Story About National Park Service

Lake vacations are now controversial

“Summer’s in full swing, and unless your family is rather Romney-esque, there’s a chance you’ll be spending some time in one of the country’s hundreds of national parks. “

That’s how Washington Post “In the Loop” columnist worked in a gratuitous swipe at the presumptive GOP presidential nominee in today’s “In the Loop” column in which he interviewed Jonathan Jarvis, the head of the National Park Service.

It’s tempting to think this was an out-of-the-blue snark by Kamen, but you will recall that on June 25 he asked his readers for their input on where the Obamas should vacation, cheekily noting that it was “our civic duty” to help pick the next vacation spot for the first family — although it appears Kamen never had such a contest when President Bush was in office.

In that same column Kamen wrote the family might have to settle for an abbreviated trek to somewhere far less posh — perhaps a national park. You might recall that during the 1996 presidential reelection campaign, the Clintons (who also favored holidaying at Martha’s Vineyard) hunkered down during the GOP convention in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and toured Yellowstone, a poll-tested acceptable vacation spot in a crucial reelection year. 

George W. Bush waited out the Dems’ 2004 summer confab at his Crawford, Tex., ranch.”  However, heaven forbid Mitt Romney take some time off without the help of an opinion poll from voters and on his own dime.

Kamen is not alone, of course, among journalists attacking Romney’s vacation venue.  Kristin A. Lee of New York Daily News wrote that “as Mitt Romney continued a family getaway at his multi-million dollar New Hampshire compound on Friday, President Obama recalled riding on Greyhound buses and staying at Howard Johnson hotels on his own childhood vacations.”

“During a campaign rally in Ohio, Obama said that as a child he was excited just to play with the ice machine and swim in the hotel pool. It didn’t matter how big it was, Obama said.”  Does the media forget that Mr. Obama is also in the 1%?”

If the media is trying comment on families having to scale back on vacation and rely on national parks, isn’t that partly Obama’s fault, given his handling of the economy?  You don’t have to be Romney rich to spend a week on a lake.

Nevertheless, ABC News’s Emily Friedman noted in a blog post that “just a few hours after telling reporters the jobs report today was a ‘kick in the gut’ for Americans, Mitt Romney returned to his vacation, driving his high-power speedboat, filled to the brim with his kids and grandkids, to a nearby home for a dip in Lake Winnipesaukee.”

Norah O’Donnell took a shot at Romney on CBS This Morning stating  “while the president’s on a bus, Romney’s been on a boat, photographed while on vacation with his family in New Hampshire, and facing criticism from his own party.”

I never knew a family vacation will reap so much coverage from the dead tree media.

In The Hypocrite Department…Nancy Pelosi

 While the Obamas were vacationing in Hawaii over Christmas, there was another prominent Democrat also vacationing in Hawaii – Nancy Pelosi! She stayed on the “big island,” the island of Hawaii, at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu in Kona. The cost to stay there: $10,000 per day. And that’s not all. This was not her first vacation at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. While in Hawaii, Pelosi has been escorted by local police during her last two holiday visits to Hawaii Island at a cost of $34,000 to local taxpayers.

What Nancy Pelosi does with her own money is her business. But when the champion of the poor and the disenfranchised is preaching to us that we must pass ObamaCare to see what’s in it, to get nearly 20% of ObamaCare waivers in her district, to embrace the Occupy Wall Street gang, to make her fortune through insider trading, to demand aircraft that could fly non-stop from Washington DC to California (not to mention her alcohol bill), the Catholic who favors abortion, her words ring hollow and get more than a little tiring. Besides, all that money she spent could have gone a long way to help the poor and unemployed, could be invested in new business ventures, job training, home repairs for some unemployed family, or helping to pay someone’s mortgage. But nooooooooooooooooooo, she wants to do these things with other people’s money – that is us taxpayers.

Do as I say, not as I do. Can anyone say “hypocrite?”

But that’s just my opinion.

Access to other articles like this one can be found at RWNO, my personal web site.

Obama: Congress should work through Christmas to extend Social Security revenue cuts

President Obama announced a 17-day long vacation to Hawaii for the holidays while almost simultaneously telling Congress to keep working through the break to pass an extension of the current Social Security revenue cut.

Obama has been pushing for Congress to extend the Social Security revenue cut and increase the length of time Americans can be given unemployment insurance – which is currently at almost 2 years. Republicans have counter-offered to do so if the increased spending and reduced revenue can be offset by spending cuts.

The president said, “Both parties came together to cut payroll taxes for the typical middle-class family by about $1,000, but that tax cut is set to expire at the end of this month.” To keep that from happening Congress will need to pass legislation to extend the cut. “We’re going to keep pushing Congress to make this happen,” Obama said. “They shouldn’t go home for the holidays until they get this done.”

Congressional Republicans are concerned that the cuts, if not offset, will continue to drain Social Security of the revenue needed to keep the program going. House Republicans have rebuffed the 2% revenue hit to Social Security saying that it could cost as much as $120 billion to the programs balance sheets[1].

The payroll tax that has been cut directly affects Social Security. The tax cut that Obama wants extended is a direct 2% cut to the  Social Security portion of payroll taxes.

Friday morning, House Speaker John Boehner and GOP leaders proposed a legislative package to their members. The bill contained an extension of unemployment benefits, a one year extension of the Social Security revenue cut, a 2-3 year pay freeze for all federal employees – including Congress, language to make it easier for the Keystone XL pipeline to get approved and a directive to the EPA to hold off on boiler/incinerator regulations.

The federal pay freeze is expected to save almost $100 billion but those savings would be to the overall deficit. It would not replace the missing revenue that Social Security would receive had Obama not demanded the payroll tax cuts be extended.

The current Social Security revenue cut has had little effect on the economy and jobs. As the cut is only to the employee’s share of the Social Security tax, employers have seen no reduction in tax liability. There is also historical proof that such short-term, temporary cuts don’t stimulate the economy – at all

..economic theory and the experience with tax rebates in 2001 and 2008 tell us that people are strongly inclined to save temporary increases in income. People only increase their spending when they perceive an increase in their permanent income.[2]

While the President has demanded the extension of the Social Security revenue cut, his leadership on the issue is questionable. While telling Congress to work through the holidays if necessary – Obama is planning a lavish, 17-day holiday vacation to Hawaii – after having been there just two weeks ago.

Sources:
[1] Businessweek – http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9RCGFU81.htm
[2] NYT Economix Blog – http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/the-case-against-a-payroll-tax-cut/

When A Soldier Comes Home

I cannot take credit for this post, as it came to me in an email, and I felt it was too good not to pass on to as many people as possible. It most certainly puts things in perspective.

May God bless, protect and keep our soldiers and their families. Without their sacrifices, we would not know the freedoms we know today. May we never forget that they hold the freedom we take for granted every day in their very hands!

When A Soldier Comes Home

When a soldier comes home, he finds it hard…

 

 

 

 

 

…to listen to his son whine about being bored.

 

 

 

 

 

… to keep a straight face when people complain about potholes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

… to be tolerant of people who complain about the hassles of getting ready for work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

… to be understanding when a co-worker complains about a bad night’s sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

… to be silent when people pray to God for a new car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

… to control his panic when his wife tells him he needs to drive slower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

… to be compassionate when a businessman expresses a fear of flying.

 

 

 

 

 

… to keep from laughing when anxious parents say they’re afraid to send their kids off to summer camp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… to keep from ridiculing someone who complains about hot weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

… to control his frustration when a colleague gripes about his coffee being cold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

… to remain calm when his daughter complains about having to walk the dog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

… to be civil to people who complain about their jobs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… to just walk away when someone says they only get two weeks of vacation a year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

… to be forgiving when someone says how hard it is to have a new baby in the house.

 

The only thing harder than being a Soldier…

 

 

 

 

 

Is loving one.

 

 

 

Let Them Eat Carrots: Class Warfare for the Health Conscious

It was Mark Twain who said, “History may not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” And it is Marie Antoinette who is famously misquoted as saying, “Let them eat cake.” Now if it wasn’t for First Lady Michelle Obama’s movement to stop American citizens from eating things that could potentially be “bad” for their health, these days one could imagine her saying something along these lines. This is because there is an increasingly evident, and equally alarming parallel between the behavior of the first couple and the aristocracy right before the French Revolution.

Take for instance the health crusade of Michelle Obama. With the obesity epidemic that this country faces, her push towards a healthy life style could be a very admirable thing, that is if she weren’t quite literally trying to force what she deems best down our throats. She has gone so far as to suggest the passing of laws aimed at curbing fast food meals to children and suggest limiting the amount of salt and fat that can be put in restaurant meals. Yet, how many times has she been caught chowing down on a high fat, high calorie cheeseburger and fries? In fact, she has admitted that she has a weakness for French Fries. But Michelle, I thought French Fries were bad for us? Why is it that she can eat them and we can’t? Excepting herself from the rule seems to imply that she thinks she is better than the American people. Besides, who is she to tell us what we can and can’t eat? After all, this is a country built on the idea of equality.

Then there is the ten million dollars of taxpayer money that she has reportedly spent on vacations. It’s nice that, in a time when families are struggling to get by and can’t afford to go on vacation, she and her husband can take their hard earned money and enjoy it for them. But then again, perhaps we should thank them for putting that money to work by stimulating the local economies of the places they vacation.

Then there is our commander in chief, whose job related stress is so great he has had to play over seventy rounds of golf since taking office, including the one interrupted by the recent East Coast earthquake. Poor man, how is he ever supposed to relax?? Even Hurricane Irene, despite the absolute disaster it appeared could occur to many areas of the country, could not pull him away from Martha’s Vineyard. And yet, he receives no criticism from the press. Obama has even refused giving a federal state of emergency to Texas, apparently for no other reason than their Republican leadership. This harkens back to medieval monarchies where advisors to the king were punished for speaking against him. This is clearly an example of Obama flaunting his authority and taking the opportunity to make evident that those who don’t follow him will be punished.

But this is not the only way he has abused his presidency. More and more, he has been legislating by executive order, completely bypassing Congress because he knows his policies wouldn’t be passed. He has a history of not listening to the voice of the people. Prime example- the federal health care bill, which, according to a USA Today poll, two thirds of Americans did not want. For the most part, no one even knew what was in the bill. We were told we had to pass the bill to find out what was in it. This should be a shocking condemnation of our leadership. It once again indicates that those who have power do not care about the people because they do not care what is in legislation and how it affects those they supposedly represent.

These are not the actions of a country’s leaders who are clearly invested in the well being of the people. In fact, the Obamas seem to have forgotten one idea that is extremely important in America. They were elected by the people to represent and serve them, not the other way around. These are the actions of leaders who clearly care nothing about the consequences of their actions, who don’t care about the consequences of their actions and who are so emboldened by a lack of outrage that they flaunt this abuse of powers in the faces of citizens, much like the behavior of the French aristocracy before the revolution.

Zero JOBS! Obama Off to Camp David

14 million Americans remain unemployed in the U.S., a number that is unchanged from July. As a Bureau of Labor Statistics report stated today, the economy created exactly zero jobs for the entire month of August signalling the failure of the current administration’s economic policies.

In reponse to the zero job growth, White House economic advisor Gene Sperling said, “This president doesn’t think this is anywhere near enough”. A survey of economists agreed – they had expected more than 70,000 new jobs.

The report also held that the numbers that had been reported in June and July had been incorrect. BLS reduced the number of jobs created in those summer months by 58,000.

The President did not immediately comment and is headed to Camp David for the holiday weekend.

Several of the GOP Presidential candidates have made comments in response to the dismal jobs report.

Herman Cain released this:

We learned today that not a single job was created during the month of August in the United States of America. In the land of endless opportunity and abundant freedom, the very promise that has inspired generations of industrious and innovative people seems to be dwindling away.

After trillions in government spending and empty promises, 14 million American workers are unemployed, with millions more underemployed. These are people, not statistics. They are families struggling to put food on the table, send their kids to school and keep the lights on. They are our family members, friends and neighbors.

Sadly, the fact that zero jobs were created last month is only fitting for this administration, which is led by a President with zero leadership, zero plans, zero results and zero understanding of basic economics. And the American people are worse off because of it.

Michele Bachmann:

Mr. President – we gave you $2.4 trillion in new spending and the American people got nothing in return. Today’s jobs report showing that the economy created no jobs in the last month and unemployment at 9.1 percent is further evidence that President Obama’s failed economic policies are not working and have completely stalled job growth. After spending three days last month on a bus tour focusing on jobs – today’s economic report shows that the nation’s economy is sitting at a huge stop sign. Before his vacation, the President gave us a speech about a jobs speech; the American people don’t need speeches, they need jobs.

It’s time for a comprehensive restructuring of how Washington spends taxpayers’ dollars by controlling spending and encouraging pro-growth economic policies. Mr. President – it’s time to stop digging our country further into debt – it’s time to build a solid foundation for sustainable economic growth to restore certainty for the American people and the markets.

Obama put the BS in joBS

Okay, so you’ve all heard Irene is heading straight at Mister O’Wonderful’s vacation hideout on Martha’s Vineyard. Now, assuming he doesn’t cut-n-run (doubtful) we will see the spectacle of Irene transforming Mister O’Wonderful into Ilean out on the fifth hole. This tasty sight would dispel the notion that Mister O’Wonderful is a centrist. It would be blatantly clear to even the socialist Captain Obvious Bernie Sanders that O’Wonderful leans to the left. Oh, pardon me. He doesn’t lean. Ilean.

But Irene is nothing more than a minor bother to the Lobster Twins despite the predicted giant sucking sounds for Massachusetts this weekend. The real hurricane is gaining strength out in flyover country and the computer models are predicting a direct hit on November 2, 2012. Hurricane forecasters are pointing out that those hurricanes in the Northern Hemisphere spin counterclockwise. For those of you in Queens that means to the right! Don’t get confused, folks— its circular reasoning. We don’t need a weatherman to tell us which way the wind blows… but enough about Bill Ayers.

For all you liberals still in denial, I suggest you forget your troubles for a while and go see a movie. Uh, never mind, chances are that you would just see Patton slap Obama this time around. Hey, isn’t revisionist history wonderful! Anyway, back to November 2nd next year. Obama better hope that he doesn’t have an election lasting more than four hours. Why, you ask? This is why, America …

(__!__) <—– Before Obama, (__O__) <—– After Obama.

Obama has things so fouled up now the Kenyans are saying he was born in the United States. Seriously, my commie friends—I’m just trying to cheer you up. Like you, I’m waiting with baited breath (I am a penguin, after all) to hear that O’Lobster has his claws completely around this jobs thing. But no matter what spews forth from O’Lobster’s pie-hole next month… Never fear! Barry’s got a plan to run the whole economy on rainbow-colored unicorn farts.

Mister O'Wonderful

Mister O’Wonderful

Don’t laugh, I’m serious. Barry and the Banking Queen, Barney Frank, have been squirreled away for weeks now with a laser-like focus on jobs. They’re being proactive. They’re thinking strategically. They’re thinking outside the bun! The danger, of course, is that given his track record, Barney Frank will be tempted to lead from behind. Poor Barney Frank, he’s in over his head. Oh, in the interest of full disclosure I must reveal that this opinion piece has been paid for by the Committee to Erect Anthony Weiner. Sheesh, I heard it through the grapevine that Barney Frank has a staff infection. (I really kill me sometimes!) Sorry, I got off topic there for a bit. Back to more serious news. Anthony Weiner: Wasn’t he the subject of what we were talking about somewhere in the middle of this run-on paragraph? Yes, he was! And the latest news about Weiner is that he is made from one-hundred percent pulled pork! What’s the point? Oh yeah, paragraphs are supposed to have a topic sentence and everything else in the paragraph is supposed to support that topic sentence, right? Well, there’s not much I can do about the sentences I’ve already penned but I’ll get back on topic with the concluding sentence in this grammatical nightmare (Sorry about the dangling participle there, Weiner). Here goes nothing. Barack Obama has the brain of a turkey and I’ll bet the turkey was glad to be rid of it.

The Democrats 2012 campaign strategy: If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with Barack. It has been quite enlightening for those of us who are conservatives to learn about ATM economics. What an education! Oh, the soaring rhetoric that spills from the lips of the Chicago Messiah whenever he speaks about those evil ATMs. But let us cut to the chase about Automatic Teller Machines. Obama’s real problem is that the ATM does not give out money based on a worker’s need and thus is an instrument of oppression. It isn’t like Obama can’t solve this ATM tragedy if he really wants to. Laws that liberals don’t like aren’t really laws, they’re just worded wrong. So Obama can just ignore banking laws in the same manner he ignores court decisions about the unconstitutionality of ObamaCare. He can simply do whatever he wants while we, the great masses of the unwashed, just keep wasting away again down in Obamaville. With fiends like Obama who needs an enema?

Sorry for this disjointed piece of prose. But, you know, you have to be real and these thoughts just keep tumbling out of my brain. It’s a matter of medical health for me. You see, if I don’t write these things down as they spill out of my cranium I end up feeling repressed. And you don’t want a repressed penguin on the loose, do you? So, here is the disjointed thought for this paragraph. The thought I am about to express had its origin in the second paragraph when I brought up the subject of Massachusetts. It sort of wiggled its way out of my frontal lobe and morphed into what you are about to read. Okay, here it is, brain dump time… Gee, someone cheated on a Kennedy…isn’t it usually the other way around? (Sorry, Arnold)

That last paragraph really moved me. Speaking of earthquakes, I hope future quakes create more land. Maybe, just maybe, a new “America” will form and we can have New New York!

Let us conclude with Obama’s job performance, or lack thereof, which is the underlying cause of the hurricane heading straight for a polling booth near you. You need a job and Barry’s just been busy winning the ‘Arab Spring’, one lobster at a time. You want secure borders but are left wondering if man evolved from apes then how do you explain Janet Napolitano? China has a one child policy and we have a one Biden policy. We’re told to watch what we eat while The First Lardass of the United States is swigging premium vodka, devouring lobster, and getting luxurious massages all on our dime. And don’t even get me started on her personal jet for the trip to Martha’s Vineyard. But (butt?) I will excuse that indiscretion this one time because I’m sure the Air Force has weight load limitations on those puny 747s they call Air Force One.

Between campaign appearances, there is no Barack Obama. Barack Obama, the man of a thousand excuses. So, Mister O’Wonderful, is it true that the people who live there on the island can get jobs as instructors at the Kennedy Community Diving and Swim Center in Chappaquiddick?

Hey, Barry! Copernicus called. He said you’re not the center of the universe!

Everybody, get your Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle loaded and hunker down.

And lest you think it is just conservatives that are sick of Barry, today’s news is that Richard Trumpka of AFL-CIO fame is threatening to withdraw union funding from the Democrats. See what happens when you do not vet your candidate, Kool-Aid drinker? Obama is going to plead with Trumpka, arguing that he inherited a mess. But the fact is that he begged for the job knowing that fact. Is he insane? Yes.

But, enough about Barry; next time we will discuss the other half of the Lobster Twins. We’ll all learn why Michelle is a perfect example of taxidermy gone wrong. Stuff it, Barry. Stuff it, Michelle. Stuff it, Joe Biden. Stuff it, Debbie Downer. And, “You first,” Maxine Waters.

Perhaps, now that the Libya conflict is winding down Barry will decide to attack Norway. Forget it, Barry. We can’t afjoird it!

Remember, America, you can’t fix stupid, but you can vote it out.

Obama Blames “Bad Luck” For Slow Economy, Then Goes On Vacation

Obama Blames Bad Luck For Economic Woes

In what must be a first, rather than blaming George W. Bush for the economy, Obama blamed “bad luck.” In Decorah, Iowa, Obama claimed that his economic program “reversed the recession” until recovery was frustrated by events overseas. Then, with the economy in a precarious position, the recovery suffered another setback when Republicans insisted on federal spending cuts in exchange for an increase in the national debt limit, resulting in what Obama called a “debacle.”

Said Obama on Monday [15 August, 2011], “We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again But over the last six months we’ve had a run of bad luck.” Obama cited three events – the Arab Spring uprisings, the tsunami in Japan, and the European debt crises – which set the economy back. “All those things have been headwinds for our economy. Now, those are things that we can’t completely control. The question is, how do we manage these challenging times and do the right things when it comes to those things that we can control?” Obama continued, “The problem is that we’ve got the kind of partisan brinksmanship that is willing to put party ahead of country, that is more interested in seeing their political opponents lose than seeing the country win. Nowhere was that more evident than in this recent debt ceiling debacle.”

Wow! And we know that NOTHING is ever Obama’s fault – like his continued, failed policies. I think it was Albert Einstein who once said that doing the same thing over and over again when it produces the same end result is a sign of insanity. But don’t think for a moment that Obama is insane. The economy is doing as he plans. As a disciple of Saul Alinsky and a believer in the Cloward-Piven Strategy, he knows EXACTLY what he is doing. And this post at CDN from Polar Coug explains Obama’s philosophy. And here is a great post by Kira Davis at CDN about Obama and what he MUST be seeing whenever he chooses to look at the country instead of his navel.

Meanwhile, On Vacation On TWO Jets

Michelle Obama and President Obama traveled to Martha’s Vineyard on separate aircraft, just hours apart, costing taxpayers thousands in additional expenses so she could have just a bit of extra vacation time. Mrs. Obama and her daughters arrived just before 2 pm Thursday on a U.S. government jet. President Obama arrived in the evening aboard Air Force One, along with the family dog Bo.

The extra costs related to Mrs. Obama’s trip include the flight on a specially designed military aircraft she took instead of Air Force One, as well as any extra staff and Secret Service that had to be enlisted to go with her. She would also have had her own motorcade from the airport to her vacation residence. Mrs. Obama’s separate jet travel sends the wrong message on a host of issues, from global warming to the budget deficit to the economy. In Obama’s economy, many people can’t afford to take a vacation at all. Thus far it appears the MSM has not criticized the extra costs of flying two jets or running two motorcades.

This is not the first time Michelle has gone on vacation ahead of the president on the taxpayers’ expense. Last December, she racked up what was likely more than $100,000 in expenses leaving early for their Hawaii vacation.

Footing The Bill

President Obama will lead an entourage of several dozens of his staff to exclusive Martha’s Vineyard island at a cost of millions to taxpayers. While technically Obama is paying for his estimated $50,000 a week rental of the 28-acre beachfront, Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark, dozens of U.S. Secret Service agents, communications officials, top aides, drivers, and U.S. Coast Guard personnel with him will be covered by taxpayers. His 11-day stay will require the Coast Guard to keep ships floating near Obama’s vacation home, a presidential helicopter, and a jet at the ready, and security agents on 24-hour duty. Armored SUVs dubbed “war wagons” have been flown in to carry the presidential family around the island.

Obama’s vacation comes at an awkward time because of the bad economy, and surveys show that a growing number of Americans can’t afford even small vacations.

But that’s just my opinion.

Money, Money, Money

Budgets, spending, cuts, and shutdowns are common words that we read and hear in the news as of late. In these lean economic times, those of us here in the real world have been maintaining a budget for most of our lives. Most of us have faced the hard decisions at least once about which bill will get paid on time and which one will have to wait until our next check.

The thing that has puzzled me since I was young teen and started studying how the government works (or doesn’t work), is how WE THE PEOPLE must live by one set of rules and the government and politicians live and operate by a totally different set of rules. We make cuts to our family budgets while the federal (and state) government continues to spend money even after the account is overdrawn. We sacrifice where we take our family on vacation, if we can take a vacation at all, and the politicians will spend tax money on such things as the study of the flatulence of cows and other livestock.

The Obama family cost us taxpayers over $14 million on their Christmas vacation alone. While most of the nation cut the amount presents they purchased for family members, the Obamas lived it up in beach front houses that WE paid the rent on. The Secret Service had to have the adjacent house of course to protect the first family, again, costing US, THE TAXPAYER the cost involved for them to perform their duty. In this $14 million was also room and board for 24 staff members to stay at the Moana Hotel plus an rental office, rental cars, fuel and other things that are required for the secret service to do their job.

A portrait of Marie Antoinette, painted around 1791, by Alexandre Kucharsky.

My colleague recently wrote about Michelle Obama’s trip to Africa. The estimated cost of the trip was $700,000 to $800,000, of taxpayer money. U.S. Embassy Spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau made it clear that the trip was partially a personal pilgrimage for the first lady. If any of us want to take a personal pilgrimage, finding our roots, or any other reason for such a getaway, we have to pay for it out of our own pocket. We do not get the luxury of raiding the coffers of the taxpayers under the guise of “official business”. What about Michelle’s trip to Spain with her daughter and 40 of her closest friends? The vacation to Martha’s Vineyard that cost taxpayers between $35,000 and $50,000? I personally like the way Andrea Tantaros wrote in The New York Daily News deeming Michelle Obama as the “modern-day Marie Antoinette“. It most certainly seems a fitting title considering the expensive habits of Michelle while the taxpayers struggle to make ends meet.

When the money isn’t coming out of your pocket it is easy to go on vacation. For the rest of us we will just have to decide. Vacation? Or, pay the mortgage.

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For those of you that own firearms, train hard and well and teach those that do not know how.
Be good stewards of the right to bear arms, for we are the last line of defense against tyranny.

-Benjamin Wallace

 

 

 

One-in-Four Workers Can’t Afford to Take a Vacation

CHICAGO, May 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — As we approach the official kick-off to summer getaways with Memorial Day weekend, a recent study from CareerBuilder shows financial constraints and demanding work schedules have some workers foregoing vacation plans this year. Twenty-four percent of full-time workers reported they can’t afford to take a vacation in 2011, up from 21 percent last year.  Another 12 percent reported they can afford a vacation, but don’t have plans to take one this year. More than 5,600 workers participated in the nationwide study, which was conducted from February 21 to March 10, 2011.

While the majority of workers are planning some time away from work, three-in-ten plan to take the office with them on vacation.  Thirty percent reported they will contact work while on vacation, up from 25 percent last year.

“Taking advantage of vacation or paid-time-off benefits is critical not only to your well-being, but to your overall job performance,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.  “Workers who set aside time for R&R tend to have less burnout, more creative energy and higher quality output.  While financial challenges and heavy workloads may make vacation planning difficult, it’s important to find time to recharge away or at home.  It can ultimately translate into a more gratifying work experience that benefits you, your family and your employer.”

As the economy heals, more than one-third (36 percent) of workers reported that they feel more comfortable taking a vacation than they did in 2010.  One-in-four (26 percent) are planning a vacation of 7 to 10 days while 11 percent expect to be gone 2 weeks or longer.  Twenty-four percent are planning for 3 to 5 days or a weekend getaway.

Haefner recommends the following tips to make the most of your time off:

  1. Give plenty of notice – 24 percent of workers reported they have had to work while their family went on vacation without them.  Coordinate schedules with family and friends and co-workers as early in advance as possible, so you can plan vacations before/after big projects and events.
  2. Don’t take a guilt trip – 12 percent of workers reported they feel guilty that they’re not at work while they’re on vacation.  Your vacation benefits are there for a reason.  Enjoy yourself.  The work will still be there when you return.
  3. Ask about discounts – Many employers offer discounts on personal entertainment and travel for employees that may make vacation plans more affordable.  Check out the company intranet or contact HR for more information.
  4. Make sure you’re covered – Buddy up with other co-workers to cross-train one another on responsibilities, upcoming deadlines, key contacts, where information is stored, etc.  If your company may need to contact you for something while on vacation, make sure to set parameters on when you’ll be available and stick to them.
  5. Use ’em or lose ’em– 16 percent of workers reported they gave up vacation days in 2010 because they didn’t have time to use them.  If you can’t take a number of days at once, consider taking a day here and there for extended weekends or mid-week breaks.