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  1. Things like this certain raise the question as to whether the Obamas get it at all. Talk about bad judgement, which raises the question about whether there is any judgement in the White House about any of the issues facing America.

    http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2011/08/19/michelles-separate-travel-costs-taxpayers-thousands/

    I'm sure this thread will quickly degenerate into a discussion of how bad the reporter is who wrote the story.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 08:45 AM #
  2. Andrew

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    Yes, the fact that all modern first ladies had a budget for this kind of travel and that Michelle Obama's expenses are not unusual is irrelevant - let's focus only on her and pretend she's being uniquely wasteful, as a Democrat. Because if a Republican first lady has this kind of budget, it wouldn't be a problem.

    You're right, Deane - clearly, the Obamas don't care about America at all - they only care about themselves. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 08:52 AM #
  3. duxrule

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    To answer your question, NO, the Obamas don't care about ANYTHING. Jesus, what a stupid statement.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 08:55 AM #
  4. edselehr

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    No, I don't think the Obamas give a flying fig about anything. They only care about themselves and their campaign contributors. Obama would double the deficit if he could. They are the "elite" and the peons that are average Americans should just shut up and accept they are going to spend the tax money they have collected any way they damn please.

    That sound about right, Deane?

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 08:55 AM #
  5. edselehr

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    Hey, looks like we're all in agreement on this one! This should be a nice thread.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 08:57 AM #
  6. missing_kskd

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    Yes they care. Good grief.

    You know, leaders and their families are expensive. That's just how it is. We cannot expect ordinary consumption, in extraordinary circumstances, particularly given the various issues in play. Anger, hate, etc...

    Those expenses are a non issue. We've bigger fish to fry.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 09:05 AM #
  7. So, it's OK then to waste thousands of taxpayer dollars frivolously at a time the country is in deep economic straits. I knew everyone would leap into the defend the Obamas pool, I was just interested in how it would be justified.

    Care about anything? I'm finding it increasingly difficult to find any indication that they care about anything but themselves and their distorted views.

    Anyone have any evidence to offer to the contrary?

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 09:17 AM #
  8. missing_kskd

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    Yes. It is OK.

    The same thing happens in companies all the time. Let me flip this around for some perspective.

    Company CEO wants family time. Family time is valuable time, and a CEO is busy as all get out, increasing the value of that family time considerably.

    CEO decides to bring his family along, on a slightly different schedule to share time with them, or have his kids experience something, or maybe just so that the logistics consolidate into a free day or something.

    Do you honestly think they won't do it? I would.

    The President is more or less on duty at all times. That's expensive. And the President comes with family, and other things people need, and that's expensive too.

    So we deal. That is just part of the cost of doing business, or in this case, running the government.

    The two are really no different in this respect.

    Now, we had a story a while back about that Governor who spent money to avoid a short walk, and it was considered ugly, and it was framed in different ways depending on whether or not people were identifying with his party agenda or not.

    This is no different either. Edit: I personally found that one offensive because it appeared to be very low value. I think that's the case for a lot of these things. Sometimes we see the value, sometimes we don't.

    And Mrs Obama has her own tasks she is doing. It's highly likely the extra travel was necessary to have all that work out. She is the first lady, and is active as she should be. It's not like she sits around playing with the kids.

    Truth is, leaders are elite people, and we put them there and they cost us, and we pay it, because we need leaders.

    End of story.

    I think the choices we would have made are colored by the fact that we have absolutely no idea of the factors that lead to the decisions. We are not those elite people.

    Finally, when you look at the amounts of money, and the reluctance of the GOP to work to pass material reforms to combat the problem, getting all hot and bothered over this makes no sense at all.

    If we actually are worried about "the taxpayers" and their burdens, let's actually discuss that problem, rather than attempt to project this onto it, as if it's contributory, when it's really not and everybody knows it.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 09:26 AM #
  9. Missing, she made the trip to Hawaii separately, and the trip to Martha's Vineyard separately so she could get in to extra vacation time. It wasn't to accommodate her busy schedule. All of this is at taxpayer's expense, not the Obama's.

    It just plain sends the wrong signal at this time. It tells me there is no judgement in the White House.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 09:34 AM #
  10. Andrew

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    Deane: So, it's OK then to waste thousands of taxpayer dollars frivolously at a time the country is in deep economic straits.

    It's NEVER OK, but there is plenty of money in the government to waste, by both parties. You think John Boehner isn't wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars flying back and forth on his private plane to his district, as just one example?

    Admit it, Deane: you're picking on Michelle Obama because she's a Democrat, and you don't like the Obama's. Nothing more than the dumb, naked partisanship you love to fall into.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 09:37 AM #
  11. edselehr

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    Deane, there's always room for more frugality in any large entity, be that a major corporation or the federal government. Even so, the right always gets the vapors when the Obamas spend money. For perspective, this is from Snopes, published in 2009:

    First Lady Michelle Obama has about 22 staffers working for her, directly or indirectly. (Some other accounts put that figure at 24.) However, it's grossly inaccurate to claim that the current First Lady has hired "an unprecedented number of staffers," or to assert (as stated in the anonymously tacked-on final paragraph) that First Lady Laura Bush had but a single staffer working for her.

    The 2008 White House Office Staff List, issued during the final year of President George W. Bush's tenure in office, includes sixteen different staffers with the words "First Lady" in their position titles — exactly the same number as that listed for Michelle Obama in 2009. If all staffers listed with "Social Secretary" in their titles are included as part of the First Lady's retinue (as was done with the Michelle Obama example cited above), then Mrs. Bush had at least 18 people working for her in 2008 (not including any of the various personnel listed only as "Staff Assistants," some of whom may also have worked for her directly or indirectly).

    In fact, according to Anita McBride, Laura Bush's former Chief of Staff, Mrs. Bush had between 24 and 26 staffers working for her by the end of her husband's second term in office. It's therefore fair to say that the size of Michelle Obama's staff is not "unprecedented," but rather on a par with her immediate predecessor's.

    Moreover, according to the Associated Press, several other First Ladies had larger numbers of personnel working for them than Michelle Obama does:
    A look at some first ladies and their staff sizes:

    Laura Bush: Between 24 and 26 by end of President George W. Bush's term in 2009, according to Anita McBride, Mrs. Bush's chief of staff.

    Lady Bird Johnson, whose signature issue was beautifying roadways, had a staff of 30, said Stacy A. Cordery, a history professor at Montmouth College in Illinois who studies first ladies.

    Betty Ford had almost the same number.

    Jacqueline Kennedy, who made renovating the White House her cause, had about 40 people on staff, Cordery said.

    I sometimes think that the right will only be happy if the Obamas would ride a Greyhound Bus everywhere they go. Preferably, sitting in the back.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 09:45 AM #
  12. "I sometimes think that the right will only be happy if the Obamas would ride a Greyhound Bus everywhere they go. Preferably, sitting in the back."

    WOW!

    Is this a prelude to the campaign of 2012? Those who oppose Obama are racists?

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 10:05 AM #
  13. edselehr, you may be overlooking the fact that we are in much worse financial shape now than during the period of the examples you present.

    The Obamas should be setting some examples.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 10:13 AM #
  14. duxrule

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    "Is this a prelude to the campaign of 2012? Those who oppose Obama are racists?"

    If you listen to Lush, the answer to that is a resounding YES! This is fron his show on Wednesday:

    "Kraft foods is going to launch a new Oreo ... It's a Triple Double Oreo. Do you like Oreos, is that? Well, it, what it's going to be here, it's actually a biracial cookie. You've got three of the chocolate wafers, and then you've got the white vanilla cream, the cream, and then there's a chocolate cream. So you've got, you've got three -- the stuff, the thing that says Oreo on it, the wafer. And then you've got the white cream, then you've got another chocolate wafer, then you've got the chocolate cream, and then you've got the bottom wafer. The Triple Double Oreo. You wait, it isn't going to be long before it's called the Or-Bam-eo, or something like this. Well, it's a biracial cookie, here ... In the midst of all this talk of obesity. And, I mean, every time Michelle Obama goes out there and talks about healthful eating, the food industry responds with, 'Oh, yeah? Take this.' And Kraft comes up with the Or-Bam-eo, the triple double-dipper."
    http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2011/08/rush-limbaugh-triple-double-oreo-will-be-or-bam-eo-a-biracial-cookie.html

    Just a joke, right?

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 10:14 AM #
  15. missing_kskd

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    Do any of honestly believe any example demonstration would have impact? Seriously?

    I would easily entertain that argument if we actually had a functional body politic. We don't. I totally see what Deane is arguing. He been around long enough to remember earlier times when WE Americans discussed policy and there was common ground on thing like this.

    Today it is not functional that way.

    Carter tried that kind of thing and what happened? Pelosi has too, flying coach for example. Impact? Zero.

    Given that and the conflicting demands of the office I cannot see this as material to the problems and that means it just crap positioning for political gain.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 10:46 AM #
  16. Its true , things are much different now than during the Johnson administration etc ...even and unto 3 to 20 years ago during other administrations in the Whitehouse....that said..

    It irks me to some extent.. that we have a President , rightfully in some aspects , complaining about how rich corporate Jet owners get special tax breaks...and the like regarding perhaps taxing the rich some more ..and then turning about taking all these vacations to Martha's vineyard..."rich piggy land" to say the very least...exclusive and relativly inaccessable to most people..you have to take a ferry or go by air to even get there..you take these kinds of vacations to places like this...IT SETS THE WRONG EXAMPLE, IMO..its about perception..And the notion that the first Lady needs her own Jet to get to a vacation ahead of the President for some reason..this has happened several times...Hawaii , Martha's Vineyard also a trip to Oregon recently. It looks bad in lieu of all Obamas bitching about corporate Jet Owners ...

    You might argue that this is " false equivalency "...and this comparison might actually "be" to some extent, but its something that many people will percieve as hypocritical. He is seen hobnobbing with the very people he intends to take to task and seems to be pitting the lower income population against .

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 11:09 AM #
  17. Andy_brown

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    "Those who oppose Obama are racists?"

    No, only the T holes and right wing fascists that appear to speak for all conservatives and all Republicans.

    Deane, on the other hand, revealed his racist tendencies to this forum well before Obama was elected.
    This was a time before You, the ultimate troll, came along to hijack our threads and spew your vomit.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 11:09 AM #
  18. edselehr

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    "Those who oppose Obama are racists?"

    Not all. But I believe the racism motivates many of the most virulent opponents to Obama, especially the birthers. If you don't believe me, Google "Obama nigger" and your jaw will drop at what you see.

    Welcome to America.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 11:19 AM #
  19. Andrew

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    Deane: The Obamas should be setting some examples.

    Perhaps they should - but that's a bit different than asking, "Do you really think the Obamas care about anything?"

    Then again, $100,000 a pop isn't much money to the people in Washington. Eric Cantor said during the debt ceiling negotiations that $2 Billion a year saved from eliminating tax breaks to corporate jet owners isn't much money, so why should we think $100,000 is very much money?

    Why do you suppose Republicans aren't "setting some examples?" Is it OK for them to waste money? Why don't you post messages like, "Do you really think Eric Cantor cares about anything?"

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 11:22 AM #
  20. edselehr

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    Deane: "The Obamas should be setting some examples."

    It's expensive to be president, Deane. I think Obama vacation costs are bright shiny objects for people like you to fixate on. But note that Obama has only spent 7% of his time in office on vacation. (70/940 days)

    I assume you are still fuming that Bush spent one-third of his eight years as president on vacation. Because, you know, presidents taking too much vacation time really bothers you.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 11:31 AM #
  21. Brianl

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    I've no problem with Michelle Obama's travels. The thing is this - as the immediate family of the President of the United States, they are guaranteed secret service detail. For life. I personally think that sucks, but it's obviously a necessary evil given the past history. And I believe that as the current FLOTUS, she is guaranteed to have travel squared away too.

    I get what you're saying Deane, I do. But there is no way for the first family to NOT travel with it costing the taxpayers.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 11:33 AM #
  22. "Not all. But I believe the racism motivates many of the most virulent opponents to Obama, especially the birthers. If you don't believe me, Google "Obama nigger" and your jaw will drop at what you see."

    You said "the right" would like to see the Obamas in the "back of the bus."

    You're implicating a very large group when you say "the right."

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 01:06 PM #
  23. Brianl

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    "You're implicating a very large group when you say "the right.""

    The truth sucks sometimes, doesn't it?

    Fact: There are a LOT of people in this country that have a problem with an African-American (or half-African American, in this case) president.

    Fact: Pretty much ALL of those people are to the right, and associate themselves with the GOP and/or as Tea Partiers.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 01:09 PM #
  24. Yup.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 01:09 PM #
  25. Andy_brown

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    Denial is a common trait amongst the right wing (in addition to racism).

    Right-wingers and Tea Party members who deny that they, or their cohort at large, are racist may be in denial, they may be deliberately lying, or they may have a distorted idea of what racism is, and what constitutes racist behavior and expression. They may also, in fact, have no conscious animus at all toward racial or ethnic minorities, and thus sincerely believe that they are not racists. However, they may very well be racist in a way that no one has ever suggested to them.

    Here's the response I got when I told the right-wing troll that his remark about liberals being a "lesser evolved species" was the kind of thing a racist would say:

    I do, however, believe that "liberalis­m" is a personalit­y disorder with common attributes across virtually anyone who identifies themselves as "liberals"­. ... It's not a race, it's a mental issue. It's a deep-seate­d guilt which manifests itself as a need to control others and take their money to use "for the common good", rather than allowing people to have freedom and the ability to help out of the kindness of their own heart.

    OK, we've all heard and read that before. Michael Savage says it on a daily basis. But this troll has no idea how much he revealed to the world by writing these comments.

    This. Is. Racism.

    This is what racists say, this is how racists think, this is how racists construct and organize their reality, this is how racists understand their own and others' place in the world. The only difference, if it is indeed a difference at all, is that our friendly troll is not explicitly talking about African-Americans or any other ethnic minority; he's talking about "liberals." Whether his assumptions about, and concomitant hatred of, "liberals" is somehow related to any connection he may be making, consciously or unconsciously, between liberals and ethnic minorities, is beside the point. In every other respect this, combined with the other remark I highlighted, is unmistakably racist expression.

    What we're looking at here is the same kind of hate that courses through the veins of every hard-core racist. It's a hate based not only on ignorance, self-absorption and paranoia, but on a deep and unacknowledged desire to characterize people a certain way; to read their minds and "know" what motivates them. Our troll is talking about a caricature, a distortion, a fictional construct, one he has created and imagined to validate his own hate, not any real person, "liberal" or otherwise. And he has taken that distorted and false characteristic and applied it universally to any and every person who is, who thinks of himself as, or who could be identified or labeled (by him) as, a "liberal."

    http://tinyurl.com/3emvu2n

    Their troll appears to be just like our troll.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 01:13 PM #
  26. Andy_brown

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    "I'm sure this thread will quickly degenerate into a discussion of how bad the reporter is who wrote the story."

    More like how widespread right wing ignorance and racism is.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 01:25 PM #
  27. edselehr

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    Being Republican doesn't make you a racist. But if you are a racist, you are very likely a Republican.

    What does that say about the GOP?

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 01:38 PM #
  28. Well, I can see this has now descended into "The Best from the Hate Crowd", so I'll bail out.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 01:53 PM #
  29. Andy_brown

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    Weenie.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 01:54 PM #
  30. Brianl

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    "Well, I can see this has now descended into "The Best from the Hate Crowd", so I'll bail out."

    Deane, I know your points of contention with Obama have nothing to do with race. And I respect that. (Even if, IMHO, this one is a bit of a stretch.)

    But it's like ignoring the five ton elephant in the room to ignore the fact that there are a lot of people who have a problem with our president based on the color of his skin. And these people lean to the right.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 02:06 PM #
  31. Notalent

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    This story sums it up as well

    Out of touch is what I'd say...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14536517

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 02:17 PM #
  32. edselehr

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    What is Obama supposed to do, not use the security that the Secret Service provides for him?

    Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan emphasized that the bus wasn't purchased solely for the president and would be used for other dignitaries in the future. He said the agency has not previously had buses in its fleet and was overdue to get some since it's had to protect politicians traveling by bus for decades.

    In the past, the service has had to lease buses and retrofit them for that purpose.

    Donovan said two buses were purchased and one is being used by Obama as he travels through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. Both will be used by other officeholders and candidates.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08/15/obama-traveling-in-11m-secret-service-bus/

    Seriously, this obsession about taking issue with the President being the President is getting creepy.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 02:43 PM #
  33. outsider

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    ....Seriously, this obsession about taking issue with the President being the President is getting creepy.....

    As opposed to going into hyper-attack mode every time F&B says something? Now THAT'S creepy!

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 02:48 PM #
  34. Vitalogy

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    Nothing more than fake outrage from a veiled racist.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 02:49 PM #
  35. Notalent

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    You know when the race card gets played that they have nothing left to say in defense of the man.

    At least Jimmy Carter turned off the heat and wore a sweater to show his sympathy for those having a hard time during his recession.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 03:26 PM #
  36. "Being Republican doesn't make you a racist. But if you are a racist, you are very likely a Republican.

    What does that say about the GOP?"

    I agree with premise one, but what is your proof of premise two?

    If you believe in the sanctity of life from conception until natural death, you are very likely to be a Republican. What does that say about the GOP? If you don't believe in the sanctity of life from conception until natural death, you are likely to be a Democrat. What does that say about the Democrat party?

    I'm a little appalled that a high school teacher would use this kind of reasoning. All it would take is one more racist who is a Republican than a Democrat to make your case, yet it proves nothing about the party. A subset does not prove the set.

    What you need to establish is that a substantial percetage of the GOP is comprised of racist members, AND that they are drawn to the GOP because of racist policies.

    What does it say about the GOP that there are members who are NOT racist?

    Lastly, I don't believe Democrats are blameless and spotless. There are racists there too. But that would not be a reason to accept or reject Democrat policies. They should be rejected or accepted according to their merit.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 03:51 PM #
  37. "....Seriously, this obsession about taking issue with the President being the President is getting creepy.....

    As opposed to going into hyper-attack mode every time F&B says something? Now THAT'S creepy! "

    It's sad how so many here are more interested in personal attacks, oneupmanship, snarkiness, and repeating talking points than in actual discussion.

    But I do agree with the responses about the costs involved regarding the President and First Lady. That's part of the cost of the presidency. It seems extravagant sometimes, but I don't think it's more so for this president than any other.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 03:54 PM #
  38. "But it's like ignoring the five ton elephant in the room to ignore the fact that there are a lot of people who have a problem with our president based on the color of his skin. And these people lean to the right."

    Your source for this assertion, please. And what is the percentage?

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 04:00 PM #
  39. missing_kskd

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    23 percent

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 04:05 PM #
  40. Andy_brown

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    Missing, you forgot the source: Pythagoras.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 04:07 PM #
  41. missing_kskd

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlBA9_3zj9w

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 04:19 PM #
  42. Andy_brown

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    "batshit lunacy" He must know F&BS!!

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 04:24 PM #
  43. Notalent

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    I recall seeing news pics of W in Crawford, Tx... He was driving a not so new, not black and armored pick up truck and wearing jeans.

    Contrast that to the 40 limo heavy armor motorcade with the "beast" or the big black SWAT team commando bus used by the O.

    I don't think spending time at your own modest ranch style house in Crawford compares at all to Marthas Vinyard or the mansion on the beach in Hawaii.

    In politics everything is a target, someone astute enough to become POTUS should know that and expect it and possibly try not to look to ostentatious during a recession.

    What's disingenuous is that Obama did not see this coming if indeed he is shocked and surprised that he is getting this flack... or is it just you true believers who are outraged?

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 04:30 PM #
  44. Andy_brown

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    "He was driving a not so new, not black and armored pick up truck and wearing jeans."

    If I recall, that was on his own ranch.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 04:31 PM #
  45. Brianl

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    "Your source for this assertion, please. And what is the percentage?"

    I'd say open your fucking eyes and look around, but you're incapable of anything but tunnel vision and seeing what you WANT.

    It's obvious to anyone who pays the slightest bit attention. The birthers, for example. Fundamental Christians who denounce him for his "religion", question his Christianity, often because he's named Barack Hussein Obama.

    If you have issues with what he has done or not done in office, fine. You are certainly entitled to that. But saying he's a shitty president based on skin color, his name, or the question of his birth certificate ... well, that is what many on the right have resorted to.

    And, yes, they are Republicans and Tea Partiers.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 04:35 PM #
  46. Notalent

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    See the third sentence in my post, Andy.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 04:37 PM #
  47. littlesongs

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    "Your source for this assertion, please. And what is the percentage?"

    Polls of Republican Voters:

    "Q22 Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States?
    Yes.................................................................. 35%
    No ................................................................... 42%
    Not sure .......................................................... 23%"

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_NH_0405513.pdf

    Even with proof, 65% flatly denied that he was an American or pretended they weren't sure.

    "Q14 Do you think interracial marriage should be legal or illegal?
    Legal............................................................... 40%
    Illegal .............................................................. 46%
    Not sure .......................................................... 14%"

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_MS_0407915.pdf

    The SCOTUS settled this issue in 1967, but 60% thought it should be illegal or weren't sure it was right.

    "Republicans believe that President Obama:

    Is a Muslim (57%)
    Resents America's heritage (47%)
    Was not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president (45%)
    Is the "domestic enemy that the U.S. Constitution speaks of" (45%)

    Even more remarkable perhaps, fully 24% of Republicans believe that "he may be the Anti-Christ" and 22% believe "he wants the terrorists to win."

    http://www.b2i.us/profiles/investor/ResLibraryView.asp?ResLibraryID=37050&GoTopage=1&Category=1777&BzID=1963

    There is only one reason to be this distrustful, paranoid and in denial of the truth about Obama. Spin it any way you want, but the G.O.P. has a race problem.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 04:37 PM #
  48. Brianl

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    F&B, truly, how does it feel to get your ass handed to you in here, day in and day out?

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 04:39 PM #
  49. Andy_brown

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    "See the third sentence in my post, Andy."

    Oops. My apologies.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 04:46 PM #
  50. missing_kskd

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    Obama knows all about it. Remember, he grew up black.

    Now this shit about "true believers" is low. There are people who think Obama shit doesn't stink. Not many of them here. Fact. I don't think there are ANY here actually.

    Then there are people who simply don't want to enable racism, bigotry and theocracy. Fair number of those here. Fact.

    Linking that matter to this one is just as crappy as what F&B did above. Shall I call out the numbers?

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 05:11 PM #

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