First though, my wife and I, and her sister, went to the casino this morning for our weekly champagne brunch. Nothing like having excellent rare prime rib and mimosas! Six mimosas to be exact as the women do not imbibe, so I drink theirs also. To say we all ate our fill is to speak the truth! Then it was into the casino to do some slot playing. Okay, today we were losers! But while there, watched just snippets of the Kansas City Chiefs/Green Bay Packers game. Told wife this morning, you wait dear, our Chiefs will prevail and beat the Packers. And damn if they did beat the Packers! Handing Rogers and his team their first loss of the season. 19-14 was the ending score. GO CHIEFS!!! Wife had the game recorded, so she is watching the good parts now.
BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN – KAILUA, OAHU – The U.S. Secret Service has arrived, street barricades are in place, and the U.S. Coast Guard has stationed itself in the waters surrounding Kailua, Oahu. That is a sure sign President Barack Obama’s security team is preparing for the first family to arrive in the small beachside community as early as Friday night for what is expected to be a 17-day vacation.
The President and his family are traveling separately to Hawaii because he wants resolve the payroll tax cut issue before leaving Washington – and his wife does not want to wait.
But the advanced trip and the cost that comes with it – as much as $100,000 (flight and security) – adds to an already expensive vacation for the taxpayers.
Hawaii Reporter research shows the total cost for the President’s visit for taxpayers far exceeded $1.5 million in 2010 – but is even more costly this year because he extended his vacation by three days and the cost for Air Force One travel has jumped since last assessed in 2000. In addition, Hawaii Reporter was able to obtain more specifics about the executive expenditures.
The total cost (based on what is known) for the 17-day vacation roundtrip vacation to Hawaii for the President, his family and staff has climbed to more than $4 million. Here’s why.
The biggest expense is President Barack Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii via Air Force One, a cost the GAO office estimated at $1 million in the year 2000. Contacted today, the GAO confirmed there is no report the independent office affiliated with Congress has prepared since 2000 to operate Air Force One and Air Force Two.
However, the U.S. Air Force provides the most current numbers of $181,757 per flight hour. Travel time for Air Force One direct from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about 9 hours or $1,635,813 each way for a total of $3,271,622 for the round trip to Hawaii and back.
The cost for USAF C-17 cargo aircraft that transports the Presidential limos, helicopters and other support equipment is not available to the public. However, the flight time between Andrews Air Force Base and Hawaii is at about 20 hours roundtrip, with estimated operating cost of $7,000 per hour (GAO report) for a total of $140,000 per roundtrip. The United States Marine Corps provides a presidential helicopter, along with pilots and support crews for the test flights, which travel on another C-17 flight at $140,000 for a total of $280,000.
Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii costs about $63,000 (White House Dossier), but add security and personnel for a total of about $100,000.
The President and his family pay for their own beachfront rental (they are not staying in the Winter White House this year but rather a house on the same street further to the ocean point).
The Kailua rentals are fronted by the ocean and backed by a canal. So, the taxpayers must cover the costs for housing U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Seals in beach front and canal front homes in Kailua.
That costs about $1,200 a day ($200 allocated per bedroom per day). Since security arrives one day early, homes are rented for 18 days.
That is about $21,600 per home for approximately 7 houses rented at a total cost of $151,200 for security to stay nearby.
The President’s staff and White House Press Corps stay at one of Hawaii’s oldest and most elegant hotels, the Moana Surfrider. Hawaii Reporter confirmed they are again staying there this year. Besides its stunningly beautiful view of Waikiki, and its traditional architecture, it is one of the most pricey hotels in the state.
Government rates are $177 per night, but that only is available during certain times a year.
Rooms typically start at $250 but can cost on average as much as $450 a night, and are even higher during the holidays. A hotel spokesperson did not return calls to confirm the rate the White House received.
A conservative estimate with rooms at the government rate of $177 per day (excluding a 9.25 percent Transient Accommodation Tax and a 4.712 percent General Excise Tax on each bill, meals, internet charges and other charges) means the taxpayers are covering more than $72,216 in hotel bills for an estimated 24 staff.
LOCAL TAXPAYER COSTS: $260,000
Local police over time for the president’s visit has historically cost Oahu taxpayers $250,000 but may be more expensive this year with the extended vacation.
The city ambulance the accompanies the president 24 hours a day through his entire visit is $10,000, according to city spokeswoman Louise Kim McCoy.
There are several costs the White House annually refuses to release, citing security.
- For example, the president’s security usually rents an entire floor of an office building in Kailua on the canal during the president’s stay.
- There are security upgrades and additional phone lines to several private homes where Obama and friends are staying. That includes bullet proof glass installed, home security systems disabled, new security measures put into place and additional phone lines added.
- There is the cost for car rentals and fuel for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel.
- And there are additional travel costs Secret Service and White House staff traveling ahead of the President.
The total cost (based on what is known) for a 17-day round trip vacation to Hawaii for the President and his family and staff and security is an estimated $4,135,038.
Hawaii Reporter annually has requested details on the cost of the President’s trip, but the White House will not release any figures, citing security concerns. A spokesperson has maintained the costs are “in line” with other presidential vacations.
Hawaii Reporter has sought to determine the cost of vacations for the current president and last two presidents but the Government Accountability Office was able to provide those costs and referred Hawaii Reporter back to the White House spokesperson.
When Obama talked “hope and change” on the campaign trail in 2008, he was believable enough to get elected, even though a large part of the change he promised would knowingly lead to a burgeoning government. How else could he spread the wealth around and “fundamentally transform America”?
Well do we remember his 2008 campaign rhetoric:
Generations from now we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs for the jobless. This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.
Here we are, three years later, and Obamacare threatens to uproot and destroy our entire healthcare system, unemployment is at 8.6%, and Obama’s job performance has been so poor that he’s admitted “I don’t control the weather.”
Therefore, in the end, Obama’s promise of hope and change was a nonstarter, yet he has succeeded in fundamentally changing America and as a result citizens are unsettled. Obama has given us big government on an unprecedented scale and Gallup has given us a poll showing that everyone—Democrats and Republicans alike—are tired of the big government philosophy, of the big government approach to life’s problems. Throw in Obama’s support of #OccupyWallStreet, his elevation of Union thugs like Richard Trumka and Jimmy Hoffa on the national stage, his non-stop class warfare rhetoric, and the more than 1,000 weapons still loose on the streets following Fast and Furious, and it is little wonder the American people feel as unsafe physically as they do unsure financially.
And throughout this process, hope turned to disarray and people have realized that their safety is in their own hands (literally). In other words, the 2nd Amendment has begun to mean something to people who heretofore never gave it a passing thought. Thus private gun sales are through the roof. For example, on black Friday of this year, the FBI reported a 32% increase in gun sales over the previous one-day record. This means that in a 24 hour period, the FBI was asked to do 129,166 background checks for gun purchases around the country. (Ironically, the previous record was 97,848 on black Friday in 2008: just weeks after Obama had been elected and people were already scared of the disorder his policies might portend.)
At gun stores the country, a large part of the increase in sales is the result of handgun purchases for females. Store owners say they are seeing women coming in with their husbands to buy concealed carry handguns to keep in their purses or on their persons. Guns like the Smith & Wesson BODYGUARD .38 Special and Sig Sauer’s P238 .380 are flying off the shelves.
One thing’s for sure: Obama never intended to do this. Nevertheless, the policies and tactics he’s put in place have pushed the American people right back where the Founding Fathers wanted us to be in the first place.
In government Smith & Wesson we trust.
- Big Government
I love bacon! But this is carrying the bacon theme a bit too far! Tacky, but tasty!
It takes somewhere between two to ten kilos of plants, depending on the type of plants involved, to produce one kilo of animal. Given the limited amount of productive land in the world, it would seem to some to make more sense to focus our culinary attentions on plants, because we would arguably get more energy per hectare for human consumption. Theoretically this should also mean fewer sentient animals would be killed to feed the ravenous appetites of ever more humans.
But before scratching rangelands-produced red meat off the “good to eat” list for ethical or environmental reasons, let’s test these presumptions.
Published figures suggest that, in Australia, producing wheat and other grains results in:
- at least 25 times more sentient animals being killed per kilogram of useable protein
- more environmental damage, and
- a great deal more animal cruelty than does farming red meat.
How is this possible?
Agriculture to produce wheat, rice and pulses requires clear-felling native vegetation. That act alone results in the deaths of thousands of Australian animals and plants per hectare. Since Europeans arrived on this continent we have lost more than half of Australia’s unique native vegetation, mostly to increase production of monocultures of introduced species for human consumption.
Most of Australia’s arable land is already in use. If more Australians want their nutritional needs to be met by plants, our arable land will need to be even more intensely farmed. This will require a net increase in the use of fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides and other threats to biodiversity and environmental health. Or, if existing laws are changed, more native vegetation could be cleared for agriculture (an area the size of Victoria plus Tasmania would be needed to produce the additional amount of plant-based food required).
(keep in mind what it costs the land and the environment to strip native land to turn it into farm land.)
Did I miss another BP oil spill or did President Barack Obama declare his latest moratorium outlawing productive work based upon studies affirming fetal soil pain during impacted red clay abortions?
Yesterday, Congress called Obama’s veto-bluff by requiring him to make a decision on the Keystone Pipeline project within 60 days, rather than after the 2012 election.
Liberal business regulation policies carried out by Obama and the Democrats over the past three years have slaughtered millions of jobs in private. But that’s just a statistic cloaked by deniability and the low volume of Atlases shrugging.
The lethal injections administered to those domestic pursuits of happiness did not require Senate ratifications administered at dawn before press corps witnesses. But now that a foreign agent dares to compensate Americans outside of Food Stamp offices, any assassinations will, of necessity, have to be carried out before town criers.
We presume the presidential calculus behind the Congressional mandate for life or death in less than 60 days will weigh the value of votes that can be bought with Sierra Club donations versus votes lost from those that love humans more than snail darters.
Count millionaire country singer and tax cheat Willie Nelson among the growing list of extremely wealthy entertainers supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Where better to make his feelings known than at the perilously liberal Huffington Post Saturday:
Thanks to the Occupy Wall Street movement, there’s a deeper understanding about the power that corporations wield over the great majority of us. It’s not just in the financial sector, but in all facets of our lives. The disparity between the top 1 percent and everyone else has been laid bare — there’s no more denying that those at the top get their share at the expense of the 99 percent. Lobbyists, loopholes, tax breaks… how can ordinary folks expect a fair shake?
Read more HERE.
This isn’t just bashing OWS now. It is getting serious. The crazies are coming out of the woodpile and being legitimized. This is not the 99%. This is the cancer of American society. People have been waiting patiently for a message to coalesce. This is it.
Norman Finkelstein, one of America’s leading anti-Semites in the academic world, was invited to speak at Occupy Boston for the Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series. Mr. Finkelstein is on the lecture circuit and having gone to many universities. He, apparently, decided he might as well see the drop outs camping out at Occupy Boston. Like them, he, too, has rejected serious study. He has been fired from numerous positions for his substandard scholarship and fondness for conspiracy theories.
Looks like Starbucks got occupied?
Now who in America would really pay attention to this know liberal asshole from South Africa when he tells US what to do?
NEW YORK, Dec. 17 (UPI) — Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa says a New York church should allow Occupy Wall Street to set up a camp on property it owns.
Trinity Church, a landmark at the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway, has allowed the protest movement to use its offices, meeting rooms and community center. But the church has refused to allow protesters to pitch tents on land where it plans to build housing and a school a few blocks north on Canal Street, The Guardian reported.
“Sisters and Brothers, I greet you in the Name of Our Lord and in the bonds of common friendship and struggle from my homeland of South Africa,” he said. I know of your own challenges and of this appeal to Trinity Church for the shelter of a new home and I am with you! May God bless this appeal of yours and may the good people of that noble parish heed your plea, if not for ease of access, then at least for a stay on any violence or arrests.”
On November 29th the Icelandic parliament voted to recognize Palestine as a state. Yesterday, a ceremony was held in Reykjavik in the presence of the Icelandic and PLO foreign ministers. [...]
As Iceland is the first European state that has given Palestine full recognition, the Palestinians are of course celebrating; and one can expect that Icelanders are also celebrating their own enlightenment and progressive thinking. “Iceland didn’t only talk the talk, we walked the walk. We stood by our word, we have supported the Palestinian cause and today will not be the end of that, we will continue to do so,” said the Icelandic foreign minister. He continued: “They have had setbacks in the Security Council and that is why we thought it would be right not to wait, but to go ahead now and I hope it will put some wind in their sails. . . it is very symbolic for them that a western European nation, which is also in NATO, should at this moment step forward and recognise the sovereignty of Palestine.”
In this context it is worth noting precisely what Iceland recognized, and it was Palestine within the “1967 borders.” That means that according to Iceland, Palestinian sovereignty includes 100 percent of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. Palestine, as Icelanders see it, includes the Western Wall of the Second Temple, Judaism’s holiest site. The judenrein policy enforced by Jordan during the years it ruled Jerusalem, would thus be reinstated. And Israel in any recognizable form would anyway disappear, for the Allthingi resolution calls for all Palestinian refugees — of whom according to the U.N. there are five million — to “return” to Israel. Finally, lest there be any of this nonsense about moral distinctions between U.N. member states and terrorist organizations, the resolution treats Israel and Hamas as equals by demanding that the “conflicting parties cease warfare and acts of violence forthwith.”
Eric Holder’s continued obfuscation on Fast & Furious This Obama lookalike and actalike butthole needs to go to jail…
Jon Corzine’s Perjury Problem Why the above person is NOT putting this asshole in jail is a crime!
Democrat Obama says he’s “very pleased” with work of Senate Democrats Oh yes, Obama has 60 days to do things or else!