The Wealthy Liberal Elite

Most liberal politicians (at the national level) are very wealthy, yet they portray themselves as the champions of the little guy.  Even the politicians who are multi-millionaires talk about rich people in the third person.

Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama have the wildly inappropriate habit of enjoying expensive vacations — at Martha's Vineyard in the summer and Hawaii in the winter — as well as junkets to other parts of the world, aboard Air Force One.  The Democrats are constantly wailing about the gap between the "haves" and "have-nots", and they want you to believe they fight for the poor and downtrodden.  In a recent speech, President Obama said he believes the greatest threat facing our country today is income inequality.*  If he truly believes that, why does he flaunt his wealth and soak the taxpayers for his semi-annual vacations?

Subtopics on this page:

Conservatives are more generous than liberals

Anti-capitalism

"Corporate Social Responsibility"

Michelle Obama's apocryphal lingerie shopping binge

John Edwards

John Edwards gets $50,000 to make a speech about poverty


Related topics:

Barack Obama, the gas-guzzling limousine liberal

President Obama spends our money on himself



5 Liberal Mega-Donors Nearly as Dangerous as George Soros.  As the 2014 midterm elections approached, the media were quick to criticize conservative donors like the Koch brothers for backing issues important to them.  But journalists largely ignored the incredible financial power being used to promote the liberal agenda.  Five top donors — Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Pierre Omidyar, Tom Steyer and George Soros's own son, Jonathan — are major funders of the left.  Together, they have contributed at least $2.7 billion since 2000 to groups pushing abortion, gun control, climate change alarmism and liberal candidates.  That's not how major media depicted them.  Broadcast networks applauded when billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer promised $100 million to influence environmental policy.  CBS News praised Steyer for "giving back" and ABC News called the billionaire an "everyman."

Bill Clinton Now Enjoys $1,000 Cigars.  Bill Clinton enjoys a Gurkha cigar, "the Rolls Royce of the cigar industry."  He "loves the Gurkhas," Gurkha chief executive officer Kaizad Hansotia, maker of the HMR cigar, which stands for His Majesty's Reserve.  It is, according to Hansotia, "the world's most expensive cigar."  One box is $25,000 — and the price will rise next year to $30,000.  "The cigars are close to $1,000 each," says the cigar boss to Bloomberg.

Kansas Democrat Senate candidate Dave Domina got rich — very, very rich — while "looking out for the little guy".  Democratic Senate nominee Dave Domina bills himself as a champion of the little guy, but his financial disclosure shows he is fabulously wealthy.  Domina is one of the most prominent trial lawyers in the state and worth between $20 million and $82 million, according to the financial disclosure forms he submitted to the secretary of the U.S. Senate. [...] He would rank 19th on Roll Call's list of the 50 richest members of Congress.

Fundraising, Or Hate Speech?  What is the point of being in power if you can't help your friends and screw your enemies?  That is the Democratic philosophy.  Thus, the Democrats hand out massive tax breaks, subsidies and mandates to their "green energy" supporters like Tom Steyer, who in turn pledge tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions to help the Democrats maintain control of Congress.  So they can continue to subsidize the businesses that make Steyer a billionaire.  Same thing with Wall Street, which supports the Democratic Party almost monolithically.  And, of course, while both parties use cash to "buy control of Congress" — i.e., try to persuade voters by putting ads on television — the Democrats always have more money to "buy control of Congress" than the Republicans.

For Hillary Clinton, Nothing Less Than A Gulfstream G450 Will Do.  Wherever Hillary Clinton is going, she needs at least a Gulfstream G450 to get there.  The once nearly "dead broke" former First Lady now makes steep demands when she gives speeches to corporations, groups and universities, according to emails between Clinton's agent and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where Clinton will earn $225,000 for a 90-minute speech in October.

Hillary Clinton requires 'presidential suite,' stenographer for speaking engagements, report says.  Hillary Clinton has not yet announced whether she will be running for president in 2016, but a new report suggests that she has a taste for luxury to match any world leader.  The Las Vegas Review-Journal obtained Clinton's contract and related documents related to a scheduled October 13 speech at a University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Foundation fundraiser.  The documents show that Clinton received $225,000 to speak at the fundraiser, a discount from her initial $300,000 asking price.  But the fee was only the first of Clinton's many stipulations.

10 Things You'd Have to Offer Hillary Clinton In Order to Have Her Speak at Your Event.  [#10] A speaking fee of between $225,000 and $300,000, depending upon the situation. [...] [#7] A TelePrompter.  [#6] A stenographer.  [#5] Meals and incidentals for Clinton, her travel aides and advance staff, as well as all phone charges.

Too rich for her own blood.  Numerous reports have revealed that top Democratic 2016 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is living a lavish, over-the-top affluent lifestyle befitting — you guessed it — a mean old One-Percenter.  She and her fellow Democrats pretend they're the party of the poor, the "hammered" middle class — the 99 percent.  Well sorry, Hillary, but average Americans don't vacation in the Hamptons in $18 million homes, fly private jets, get paid more than $200,000 a pop for speeches or stay in presidential suites while traveling.

Landrieu to reimburse taxpayers for private charter flight to fundraiser that may have broken federal law.  When you're in a tight race, it's never good to be billing the good people of Louisiana, many of whom will never see the inside of a chartered plane, $6,000 for your cushy seat and in-flight mimosa in an election year.

Nancy Pelosi Spearheads $1B Project Aiding Left-wing Mega Donor Tom Steyer; Networks Ignore.  A new report suggested that liberal billionaire Tom Steyer's hedge fund profited from a $1 billion San Francisco light rail project pushed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.  Steyer was also a big supporter of Pelosi.  Despite being quick to criticize conservative political donors, the morning and evening news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC have all ignored the allegation since the Washington Free Beacon broke the story Aug. 12.

Is Nancy Pelosi About to Break Campaign Fundraising Law?  According to Politico, Nancy Pelosi is holding a meeting in Napa Valley with a number of distressed Democrats.  Heavyweights like Google's Eric Schmidt are also on hand, along with billionaire leftist Tom Steyer.  If they were Republicans, Democrats would accuse Schmidt and Steyer of trying to buy elections. [...] House Majority PAC's presence is problematic.  As a super PAC, the Democrats are legally forbidden from coordinating with them.

Mission Bay Maps.  Brilliant work by Lachlan Markay at the Washington Free Beacon that highlights the corruption of D.C. and the ruling elites, especially the hypocrites in the Democrat Party.  I decided to excerpt some key graphs and illustrate just how diabolical these mega-wealthy oligarchs are, gorging on borrowed money as the federal government sinks into bankruptcy.

Obama Donor Sells Internship for Five Figures.  [Film studio executive Harvey] Weinstein is a major Democratic donor, giving thousands to Democratic candidates across the country during the 2012 election cycle, including $5,000 to President Barack Obama.  Weinstein also hosted a $35,800 a plate fundraiser for the president.  The fundraiser netted the president $2.3 million.

Obamas and Clintons Will Party Together on Martha's Vineyard.  President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton are apparently in the mood to party.  The foursome is expected to attend an event at the Farm Neck Golf Club on Martha's Vineyard this Wednesday [8/13/2014].  The Obamas are renting a vacation home on the island while the Clintons have landed in the Hamptons for some R&R.

[The] Bidens [are] in [the] Hamptons to Begin [their] Third Vacation in [a] Month.  The Hamptons are in Long Island.  Last week the Bidens were in Wyoming for another vacation.  "It's summer vacation time for the vice president," USA Today reported on August 7.  "Joe Biden and wife Jill began some time off Thursday in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, his office said, and will be there through Monday."  The week before that one, the Bidens vacationed in Rehoboth Beach.

Dems stand for poor, vacation like the wealthy.  The Obamas and Clintons sure know how to summer!  And you have to hand it to them, they aren't letting their position as standard-bearers of the party committed to end income equality get in the way.  While the president and his family enjoy a lavish getaway in tony Martha's Vineyard, the woman who wants his job is also indulging in a glitzy summer vacay.  Hillary and Bill Clinton spared no expense for their digs in the Hamptons — shelling out a cool $100G for a three-week stay in one of America's most exclusive summer destinations.

Obama claims US is 'stronger' than 'when I first came into office' as economy weakens, debt soars.  President Barack Obama claimed Monday night [8/11/2014] during a Democratic Party fundraising dinner that the United States is 'stronger' than it was when he assumed office in January 2009. [...] 'In all sorts of ways,' Obama told Democratic partisans who paid between $15,000 to $32,400 to hear him speak, 'we are not just stronger than when we — where we were when I first came into office.'

No Matter What Happens, Politicians Will Live Very Well.  For readers who perhaps missed it, an African economic summit that included a talk by President Obama was held in Washington, D.C. last week.  As one would expect, leaders of the 54 African nations were in attendance.  And if the Four Seasons lobby was at all indicative, many of the African leaders booked rooms for themselves and their staffs at some of D.C.'s finest hotels.  The scene in the lobby was perhaps more notable mainly because Africa is a tragically poor continent.

The Clintons downsize their summer home to pay $100,000 on $18m Hamptons property after 'dead broke' gaffe.  The Clintons are 'downsizing' their summer home to a simple, $18million house in the pretty Hamptons hamlet of Amagansett. [...] Sources tell MailOnline they are paying $100,000 for their three-week stay — saving $100,000 from last year's luxury rental in Sagaponack.

Fundraiser in chief breaks 400 donor events, while on vacation.  Vacationing President Obama is hosting his 401st fundraiser Monday night [8/11/2014] on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., continuing his record-setting pace that has had him collecting checks from donors at events on average every five days since becoming president.

Press Shunned from Obama's 400th Fundraiser Charged to Taxpayers.  As we celebrate President Barack Obama's 400th fundraiser since taking office five-and-a-half years ago, it should be noted that of all the thousands of people who have attended, one group has been barred from ever entering the events:  The press.  Now, fundraisers can be a dicey place for the media to be.  You (almost) never know what kinds of things are said in what is supposed to be behind closed doors — just ask Mitt Romney.  To that end, our current president — who greatly benefited from that infamous Romney recording — has barred the press from all fundraising events.  No pictures, no recordings, and no questions asked of the richest one-percent in the room paying for exclusive access to the most powerful person in the world.  And of course, no questions for the president, either.

No 'DREAMers' in Dem Disneyland.  The Vineyard is the dream destination of every carbon footprint-obsessed Democrat billionaire with his own private jet — an island, four miles out into the ocean, far, far removed from the foul breath of the plebeians.  Martha's Vineyard — the ultimate gated community.  Every imaginable amenity is at Obama's beck and call, except one.  There are no "DREAMERS" on Martha's Vineyard.  Oh sure, a handful of illegals may be lurking about the local resort spas, but the island has largely avoided, well, integration.  It's astounding, this lack of diversity, because we all know how sincerely Barack and his pals cherish the migrant urchins, who are "fundamentally transforming" America.

Inside Obama's Vineyard vacation rental.  The Obamas will unwind at a nearly $12 million property that features a seven-bedroom house along Vineyard Sound.  The home, on Gosnold's Way, is in a more secluded spot than the South Road house the first family rented last year, a location that caused traffic headaches.  This summer's 8,100-square-foot rental home has sweeping views of the Elizabeth Islands, a combination basketball and tennis court and an infinity pool, but is not located on a swimming beach.

Fair share: Al Sharpton and his organizations owe $4.7 million in unpaid taxes.  Sharpton [...] insists the actual sum he owes is "significantly less" than public records indicate, and that the debts are "being paid down."  The MSNBC host is, naturally, an ardent advocate for raising taxes on "the rich."

Robert Reich Sticks It To Poor People With $242,613 Salary For Teaching One Class This Semester.  Robert Reich, who served as U.S. secretary of labor for four years under Bill Clinton, is currently a public policy professor at the University of California, Berkeley.  The ultra-progressive economist — inasmuch as a mere law school graduate can be an economist — raked in an impressive income of $242,613 from the taxpayer-funded school in 2013, according to EAGnews.org.  For that sweet salary of $20,217 per month, Reich is slated to teach exactly one course this fall.

Senators spent $1 million on charter flights last year.  Last summer, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., embarked on what his office trumpeted as a four-day, 1,000-mile trip across his state, with press releases noting he "woke up early to hit the road," making stops at a minor league ballpark, a craft brewery and a Roanoke rail yard, among others.  But for several hundred of those miles, Warner was not hitting the road — he was flying a chartered plane at a cost to taxpayers of $8,500.  Warner was one of two dozen U.S. senators who flew taxpayer-funded charter airplanes to, from or around their home state last year at a total cost of just under $1 million, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Senate spending records compiled by the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation.

Secretive far left network uncovered.  Mediatracker, a website that tracks media stories and works for transparency in government, has uncovered a heretofore unknowm group made up of some of the most powerful and influential leftists in the country. [...] Like Journolist, the advantage of a group like this is that talking points and political attacks can be highly coordinated.  Most of the biggies on this list are frequent media guests, and being able to closely coordinate responses to news of the days amplifies the message.

$5 million, $50 million or even more — just how rich is Hillary Clinton?  Ever since Hillary Clinton drew attention to her finances by claiming her family was "dead broke" when they left the White House, speculation has focused on a seemingly simple question: Exactly how rich are the Clintons? [...] In 2010, then-Secretary Clinton's financial disclosures revealed a net worth totaling between roughly $10 and $50 million.  In 2012, the last year for which she disclosed finances, Clinton's net worth was estimated to be between $5 million and $25 million.

Senate Report Ties Soros Group to 'Billionaire's Club' Dictating EPA Actions.  An "elite group of left wing millionaires and billionaires" fund "the far-left environmental movement, which in turn controls major policy decisions," according to a U.S. Senate report released on July 30.  The report singled out, among other groups, the secretive Democracy Alliance, a group founded in part by liberal billionaire George Soros.  The report stated that "DA flouts transparency and public participation as the group emphasizes secrecy in all its operations."  It also said that the influence of the DA and groups like it could be traced through other liberal groups to environmental regulations mandated by the EPA.

Obama, Clinton could collide on Vineyard.  President Obama and Hillary Clinton will both be on Martha's Vineyard next month at the same time, The Boston Globe reports. [...] The trip by Clinton overlaps with Obama's Aug. 9-23 vacation at Martha's Vineyard.

Want A Real Anti-Poverty Plan? Stop Amnesty!  While cynical politicians prattle on about protecting the American Dream, they're working together to destroy it.  If these elected officials care so much about reducing poverty, why are they working so hard to import more of it from around the world?  Leaders in both political parties have thrown struggling Americans under the bus to feed the cheap illegal alien labor machine.  The working poor are the biggest losers in D.C.'s amnesty game.

Report: US, Foreign Elites Pay Greens To Push EPA Policies.  Environmental organizations are often portrayed as homegrown groups fighting back against the tide of corporate boogeymen like Big Business or Big Oil.  But this is not the case, according to a new congressional report.  A report by Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee says environmentalists are being backed by "an elite group of left-wing millionaires and billionaires."  This "Billionaire's Club" funnels money to environmental groups who then lobby on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency to help promote its agenda, in return, getting access to generous tax write-offs and federal funding.

What is Obama Hiding at His Wealthy Donor Fundraisers?  A common complaint about George W. Bush's second term is that he was "insulated" and cut off from the outside world, and increasingly so from what he perceived to be a hostile press.  This alleged isolation caused many liberal commentators to begin to derisively refer to President Bush as a "Bubble Boy."  It has taken considerably longer for the press to openly criticize Obama for the same tendencies given their largely shared ideological heritage but finally the Press is starting to carp openly about Obama's refusal to allow them basic access to Presidential events.

Michael Moore's class act.  The marriage was officially ended this week.  But in the process of securing their divorce, Moore and Glynn's filings have again confirmed that the filmmaker who styles himself a champion of the working class has wealth that would be the envy of many a Wall Street banker.  For all his proletarian pretenses, Moore is worth nearly $50 million, and doesn't seem to mind owning all this wealth.

Report: Obama Fundraiser Admission Price Slashed 80%.  A donor who attended one of two events at which the president spoke told the [San Francisco] Chronicle on condition of anonymity that he paid $5,000 instead of the initially-requested $25,000 donation to sit down with POTUS.  The event took place at the Four Seasons Hotel located on Market Street.

Between high end fund raisers, Obama talks middle class issues.  On Wednesday evening [7/23/2014], Obama appeared at a fundraiser at the Hancock Park home of television impresario Shonda Rhimes, creator of the hit ABC show "Scandal."  About 450 supporters there contributed up to $32,400 each to the Democratic National Committee.

Joining fundraising spree, first lady asks for 'biggest, fattest' checks.  First lady Michelle Obama jumped into the White House fundraising spree on Thursday [7/24/2014], prodding supporters in Chicago to hand over the maximum campaign contribution in an attempt to shore up Democrats' chances in upcoming midterm elections.

Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'.  First lady Michelle Obama on Thursday night [7/24/2014] urged Democrats to "dig deep" into their pockets and "write a big fat check" before the midterm elections, but minutes later complained of too much money in politics.

Democrats have no problem with people cutting them the 'biggest, fattest checks,'.  Michelle Obama spoke at the event, which cost between $500 and $10,000 per person and up to $20,000 per couple, for maybe 20 minutes.  The first lady's fundraising plea is especially rich considering it comes at a time when Democratic lawmakers have complained often and loudly about the negative influences of money in politics.

Michael Moore's lavish property empire is revealed in court documents.  The lavish wealth of underdog-defending filmmaker Michael Moore has been laid bare in his divorce battle with now-ex-wife Kathy Glynn, and their breakup is the talk of their small Michigan community. [...] According to Celebritynetworth, Moore and Glynn are worth $50 million, much of his success coming from documentaries protesting capitalism.

Five Things You Need to Know About Chelsea Clinton.  [#3]  Chelsea began her business career making MBA degree salary, despite having no experience[.]  NBC was criticized for Chelsea's $600,000 "special correspondent" salary, but that is not the most absurd offer sheet that Chelsea has agreed to.  After deciding that various career paths weren't right for her, Chelsea settled at the age of 23 for a $120,000 a year salary at premier consulting firm McKinsey & Company.  She was their youngest hire that year and made as much as consultants with MBA degrees, even though her Stanford degree was in history.

The left's dark money.  Philip Gara LaMarche is a secretive political operative who funnels billions of dollars from undisclosed donors to nonprofits and astroturf groups.  But you won't hear unhinged Harry Reid railing Queegishly about him on the Senate floor.  Why?  Here's why:  LaMarche is a militant leftist philanthropist.  He's a protected elite — Columbia University grad, former ACLU leader and Human Rights Watch official — with ready access to the White House.  He and the left's other dark money managers preach transparency and openness, while plotting behind closed doors to secure power at every level of government.

Senators Blast Dem Mega-Donor Over IRS Investigation into Tax Avoidance Scheme.  A major Democratic donor who is funding some of the left's most politically active electioneering groups was subject to bipartisan condemnation this week in the midst of a federal investigation into his hedge fund's tax avoidance schemes.  Senators from both parties blasted efforts by Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund owned by Democratic mega-donor Jim Simons, to shield itself from federal income taxes during a Tuesday [7/22/2014] hearing.

First Lady Michelle Obama in Chicago to raise money for Dems.  Speaking to an estimated 150 people in the fifth-floor ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago in the Gold Coast at a Democratic National Committee event, the First Lady repeatedly urged donors to "dig deep." [...] Donors paid from $500 per person to $20,000 per couple, and the First Lady asked them to give more.

On Multi-Million Dollar Fundraising Trip, Obama Proves He's a Comedic Genius.  The President is in the middle of a three-day fundraising trip to the West Coast, costing us taxpayers millions of dollars.  This practice is not new with him, to be sure, as it's become standard practice over the last 30 years for presidents to sprinkle official events amongst their money-seeking events.

Barack Obama locks out the press — again.  President Barack Obama went to the West Coast to meet donors from two top Democratic super PACs, but the press wasn't invited.  Tuesday [7/22/2014], the reporters and photographers traveling with the president on Air Force One and in his motorcade were left on the gravel path not even within sight of former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal's house in the Seattle suburbs where Obama sat for a Senate Majority PAC fundraiser with a $25,000 entrance fee.

Obama heads off to raise money on the West Coast.  Obama on Tuesday [7/22/2014] was starting a three-day West Coast trip, scheduled to attend at least five fundraising events in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles less than four months ahead of midterm elections that could change Washington's balance of power.

President To Dem Donors: 'You're Chronicling The Slow Deterioration Of Barack Obama'.  The luncheon, sponsored by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, was hosted by real estate mogul George Marcus at his home in California's Los Altos Hills [7/23/2014].  Tickets started at $10,000, with a VIP option available for just $32,400 — the maximum amount an individual can contribute to the DCCC in one year.

Signs of donor fatigue at Obama's Bay Area fundraisers.  There was no listed price for tickets for Obama's morning appearance [7/24/2014] at a roundtable in San Francisco for the House Majority PAC — the type of intimate gathering for which admission is usually $32,400 per person, the legal maximum.  Some donors said tickets had been offered for a deep discount.

Obama set to rake in millions, despite criticism of fundraising during tumult.  Based on descriptions of Obama's fundraisers from Democratic officials, Obama could raise north of $6 million during the trip, which comes at the same time as an Israeli ground invasion into Gaza and international outcry over the downing of a jetliner over Ukraine.  That figure is based on estimates of attendance at Obama's five fundraisers, using the highest in a range of possible ticket prices.  The total sum could be far less.

Clinton Earns $12 Million Speaking, Writing After Service.  Hillary Clinton has earned at least $12 million in 16 months since leaving the State Department, a windfall at odds with her party's call to shrink the gap between the rich and the poor.  Clinton's income since her resignation as secretary of state in February 2013 is derived mostly from her latest memoir, speeches and paid appearances at corporate retreats, according to an analysis of data compiled by Bloomberg.

Obama Donor Fights to Keep Riff-Raff Away From Private Beach.  A wealthy venture capitalist and major Obama donor is fighting tooth-and-nail to prevent others from accessing his private Northern California beach, according to Bloomberg News.  Vinod Khosla's support for Obama has paid off in the form of millions in taxpayer subsidies for green energy companies in which he has invested.

Poor Hillary Clinton.  Is this really what "dead broke" looks like?  Seems like the Clintons should be just fine with their two multi-million dollar houses.  No need to add the "White House" to the list.

Obama Headlines Fundraiser for Democracy Alliance Group at DA Donor's Home.  A major donor to a secretive club of wealthy Democratic financiers hosted President Barack Obama at her home last week for a fundraiser benefitting one of that club's most politically active organizations.  The event came as the president faced withering criticism for raising money as international crises proliferate, and just days ahead of a hearing of Democrat-backed legislation to force "dark money" political donors to disclose more information about their finances.  House Majority PAC is one of the most nakedly political recipients of cash from the Democracy Alliance, a shadowy network of liberal millionaires and billionaires that doles out tens of millions of dollars to top left-wing groups each year.

Mogul shells out $500K for lunch with Bill and Hillary.  A mogul spent six figures to win lunch for two with Bill and Hillary Clinton at a charity auction benefiting the Clinton Foundation — but when the winner asked to bring his two kids along, he was told he'd have to double his bid to $1 million.

Clintons Demand $1 Million to Allow Donor's Kids at Benefit Dinner.  A Chinese businessman paid $500,000 to have dinner with Bill and Hillary Clinton.  But when he asked if his kids could join, the former first couple demanded another half-million, the New York Post reports.

Obama library raises at least $850,000.  The foundation planning Barack Obama's presidential library has raised between $850,000 and $1.75 million, the organization said Tuesday [7/15/2014].  The Barack Obama Foundation has pledged to release the names of donors that contributed more than $200 on its website on a quaterly basis.  Tim Collins, Cari and Michael J. Sacks, and Marilyn and Jim Simons each contributed between $250,001 and $500,000.  Lise Strickler and Mark Gallogly contributed between $100,001 and $250,000.  All of them raised money for Obama during his campaigns or have served on various baords.

Obama plans 16-day Martha's Vineyard vacation on $12m estate.  It's going to be hot tubs, basketball, tennis and golf for the first family this summer, having set plans for a 16-day vacation in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., on a $12 million, 10-acre forested estate on the southwestern corner of the island.  Reports from the Bay State indicate that President Obama and his family will vacation August 9-24 at the 8,100-square foot, beachfront home of a Democratic donor that includes a pool, hot tub, basketball and tennis court.

University at Buffalo paid $275,000 for Hillary Clinton speech.  When Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed to address the University at Buffalo, the largest campus of the State University of New York system, she negotiated a few requirements in addition to her pay of $275,000.  The potential 2016 presidential candidate's agent requested that the university provide "a presidential glass panel teleprompter and a qualified operator," that Clinton's office have "final approval" of her introducer and the moderator of any question-and-answer session, as well as "the sets, backdrops, banners, scenery, logos, settings, etc," and that the topic and length of the former secretary of state's speech would be at her "sole discretion."

Hillary Clinton's $275K Speaking Fee Comes with Diva Demands.  Former Secretary of State and almost-certain 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton not only demanded $275,000 to speak at the University of Buffalo, her nine-page contract is filled with the kinds of demands that Pop Divas like Madonna are regularly mocked for.

Keywords;  imperious, arrogance, control freak
Hillary's $2,777 PER MINUTE speaking contracts demand a 'presidential' teleprompter, let her cancel 'for any reason whatsoever'.  Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state who is preparing to run for president on a populist platform of fighting income inequality, demanded $2,777 per minute for two university speaking engagements and insisted on contracts that cut off reporters' access to her and limited the number of photos she would take with well-wishers. [...] The once-and-maybe-future White House resident is routinely granted iron-grip control over the circumstances surrounding her speeches.

Jay Carney cashes in.  Jay Carney just left the White House podium and he's already joined the ranks of George W. Bush, Tom Brokaw and Mike Ditka in one profitable enterprise:  lecturing on the private speaking circuit.  The former Obama administration flack signed on this month with the Washington Speakers Bureau, a gig that came with a signing bonus and is likely to yield payments as high as $100,000 per speech to share his personal presidential anecdotes and analysis of the next two election cycles.

Here are some of the lobbyists and business PACs trying to drive Justin Amash out of Congress.  Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., is probably the most libertarian member of the U.S. House, which means he's made some enemies on K Street.  They are funding his primary opponent, Brian Ellis.  The latest campaign filing from Ellis's campaign shows some of the business interests that want Amash gone.

NY Times Columnist Slams Chelsea's Buckraking for 'The Rapacious, Gaping Maw of Clinton Inc.'.  Team Hillary is staring daggers at New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, the one journalist who actually won a Pulitzer (for commentary) on a Clinton scandal (Lewinsky).  Dowd had the audacity to knock Chelsea Clinton for giving speeches for $75,000 a pop, even if it went to the Clinton Foundation, which is designed for the further aggrandizement of the Clinton reputation.

The hypocrisy of Obama's 15-day Vineyard vacation.  One-third of people aged 18-29 have moved back in with their parents.  Millions of Americans this summer will enjoy yet another "staycation":  They just can't afford to go to the beach or the mountains, even for a week — again.  Swipe cut to President Obama:  He's eating shave ice in Honolulu; playing golf (some 180 rounds so far); jetting off to Martha's Vineyard for a 15-day vacation in a $12 million house on the beach.  He's playing pool in Colorado (he turned down an offer from a young heckler to smoke some weed); eating barbecue with a college student in Minnesota; hitting fundraiser after fundraiser across the country (at $228,000 an hour for his swank 747 super-jumbo jet).

Report: Obamas will return to Martha's Vineyard to vacation in $12 million home.  While an estimated 400 illegal immigrant children stream across America's southwest border every day in August, President Barack Obama will take a 15-day vacation in a $12 million home nearly as far away as it's possible to travel in the continental United States.  The pricey real estate belongs to a wealthy Connecticut widow whose late husband, then a General Electric executive, made $6,900 in donations to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2007 and 2008 — then the maximum allowed by law.

Obama to Take 15-Day Vacation in August.  President Obama will embark on a 15-day vacation next month, even as the nation and the world are engulfed in crises from the border with Mexico to the Middle East.  The Obamas will depart Washington on Saturday, August 9th and head for Martha's Vineyard, staying in a $12 million vacation home until Sunday, August 24th, reports the Martha's Vineyard Times.

Check Out Obama's Multimillion-Dollar Martha's Vineyard Vacation Pad.  President Obama and the first lady are planning a two-week vacation at a seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom home in Chilmark, the Martha's Vineyard Times reports.  The first family will travel to the island from Aug. 9 to Aug. 24, making the 15-day getaway the longest summer vacation of Obama's presidency.  While the location of their vacation home was supposed to be under wraps, neighbors confirmed to the local newspaper that the Obamas will be staying at a luxurious home owned by Joanne Hubschman, whose late husband, Henry, was a former executive at General Electric.

Hillary's Biggest 2016 Competitor: A Native American Millionaire Who Also Pretends Not to Be Wealthy.  A huge question in Democratic politics — other than "When is Hillary going to announce?" — concerns whether or not Senator Elizabeth Warren (D — Cherokee Nation) will run for president.  If Hillary does not run, it is almost certain that Warren will.  Well-known for her populist and Occupy-esque perspectives on healthcare, taxes, income redistribution and everything in-between, she is one of the rising stars of the Democratic party.  Anticipating that it could happen, we're getting out in front and establish her as a storyteller, to put it nicely, about her wealth.

Billionaires Call For Amnesty As Obama Plans To Legalize Millions of Illegal Aliens With Executive Power.  Billionaires Warren Buffett, Sheldon Adelson and Bill Gates have teamed up to call for amnesty for America's illegal immigrants as a solution to the ongoing crisis at the border as President Barack Obama mulls granting amnesty to millions via executive power.

The BBQ joint where NO ONE cuts the line... except Obama.  The president was seen cutting the line at Austin's Franklin Barbecue Thursday afternoon, while in town to raise money for the Democratic Party.  Lives at the eatery are infamously long, and have been known to stretch as long as three hours wait.  But Mr Obama did no waiting today, as he showed up at the restaurant, shook a few hands and made his way straight to the register to order more than $300 worth of meat.

Chelsea Clinton Follows Parents' Lead as a Paid Speaker.  There is a new Clinton paid to deliver speeches — Chelsea, the former first daughter — and she is commanding as much as $75,000 per appearance.  Aides stressed that while Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton often address trade groups and Wall Street bankers, Ms. Clinton, now 34, focuses on organizations whose goals are in line with the work of the family's philanthropic organization, the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.  Organizers said her star power helped sell tickets and raise money.

Lefty Professor Who Speaks Out Against Income Inequality Gets Paid $205,400 for One Class.  University of North Carolina School of Law's Professor Gene Nichol is a real opponent of income inequality.  That's why he gets paid $205,400 to teach one class, plus more to run the Poverty Center at the school.  Nichol's noble opposition to income inequality puts him in a class with other great academic class warriors like Elizabeth Warren, who was paid $350,000 by Harvard Law to teach a single course and Clinton's former Labor Secretary turned inequality campaigner Robert Reich who pulls in $235,791 a year from a public university at UC-Berkeley to teach a course on "Wealth and Poverty" making him one of the highest paid state employees.

What's behind Chicago's carnage.  Tens of thousands of children are flooding across our border illegally, on the scent of Obama's executive-order amnesties.  Advocates of open borders, such as progressive grandees Mark Zuckerberg and Nancy Pelosi, assume that these impoverished Third World children will not enroll in the private academies attended by their children or grandchildren, or need housing in one of their vacation estates, or crowd their specialists' waiting rooms.  They do not worry about the effects of illegal immigration on the wages of low-income Americans.  Dealing first-hand with the ramifications of open borders is for unenlightened, illiberal little people.

The Golf That Divides Americans.  President Barack Obama is fond of describing the deep inequality afflicting American society. And then he goes off to play golf.  He's getting near the 200-round mark for his entire presidency, a sporting feat perhaps worthy of Teddy Roosevelt for its sheer audacity.  Golf is the most unequal sport in America, demanding expensive fees or country club memberships.

Hillary Clinton donates big speaking fees to a nonprofit foundation — her own.  To give the organization its full name, that's the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation (originally, the William J. Clinton Foundation).  Set up the year after Bill Clinton finished his second term as president, the Clinton Foundation says its mission is "to bring people together to take on the biggest challenges of the 21st century," including economic development, global health, climate change, and empowering women and girls.  The Wall Street Journal reported recently that the foundation has collected between $750 million and $1.7 billion over the years.  That's a lot of clout for influencing the public — i.e., political  — discussion on major issues, something any other politician with presidential stars in his or her eyes could only envy.

With Democrats split on inequality issues, Obama shifts talk away from income gap.  After making fighting income inequality an early focus of his second term, President Obama has largely abandoned talk of the subject this election year in a move that highlights the emerging debate within the Democratic Party over economic populism and its limits. [...] The pivot is striking for a president who identified inequality as one of his top concerns after his reelection, calling it "a fundamental threat to the American Dream, our way of life and what we stand for around the globe."

Michelle Obama returns to NYC to mine Wall Street funds for DNC.  Just when we thought there couldn't be any more Democratic donors on Wall Street with money left to channel to the DNC, Michelle Obama is back in town for another "intimate" fund-raiser.  Evercore Partners' Charles Myers is hosting a "round-table discussion" with the first lady at his Midtown home July 10 with tickets from $10,000 to $32,400.

Hillary Takes Six-Figure Speaking Fees From Universities Raising Student TuitionThe Washington Post reports that likely 2016 presidential contender Hillary Clinton made somewhere around $1.8 million from eight universities in just nine months.  While paying the former Secretary of State anywhere from $200,000 to $300,000 per speech, some of these schools were raising tuition prices on students already burdened by the growing student loan bubble.  Clinton was paid $251,250 from the University of Connecticut not long after the school hit its students with 6.5% tuition increase.

At time of austerity, eight universities spent top dollar on Hillary Clinton speeches.  At least eight universities, including four public institutions, have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for Hillary Rodham Clinton to speak on their campuses over the past year, sparking a backlash from some student groups and teachers at a time of austerity in higher education.  In one previously undisclosed transaction, the University of Connecticut — which just raised tuition by 6.5 percent — paid $251,250 for Clinton to speak on campus in April.  Other examples include $300,000 to address UCLA in March and $225,000 for a speech scheduled to occur in October at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

White House: Staff salaries total $38M.  The White House pays out $37.8 million a year in salaries to 456 staffers, according to a new report to Congress released by the Obama administration.  That averages to an annual salary of $82,844 per year, although staff salaries are top-heavy:  the median salary is $70,700 per year. [...] Some 22 senior administration officials, including chief of staff Denis McDonough and senior advisers Valerie Jarrett and John Podesta bring home the maximum $172,200 salary.

Why Democrats insist on lying about how 'poor' they are.  Hillary Clinton claimed that, at the moment she and her husband were signing up for $18 million in book deals, that they were "dead broke."  Harry Reid (who lives in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel) said liberals are getting bullied by Republican billionaires but the Democratic Party "doesn't have many billionaires" behind it.  Joe Biden (family earnings: $407,000 last year plus a free house, driver, meals, etc.) claims he "I don't own a single stock or bond... I have no savings accounts... I'm the poorest man in Congress."  (Triple fail:  Joe isn't poor, isn't in Congress and wouldn't be the poorest member of it if he were.)

Chelsea Clinton's wealth can't buy her class.  Chelsea Clinton, the former and potential future first daughter, has stiff competition for the title of Most Tactless Human.  Greedy reality-TV creature Kim Kardashian is a contender.  Chelsea's mom, the once-"dead broke" Hillary Rodham Clinton, might rank even higher on the scale of bad taste.  Chelsea, 34, has jabbered like an overeducated trailer-park habitué about her family's No. 1 obsession — money.

How the Clintons went from 'dead broke' to rich: Bill earned $104.9 million for speeches.  Over seven frenetic days, Bill Clinton addressed corporate executives in Switzerland and Denmark, an investors' group in Sweden and a cluster of business and political leaders in Austria.  The former president wrapped up his European trip in the triumphant Spanish Hall at Prague Castle, where he shared his thoughts on energy to a Czech business summit.  His pay:  $1.4 million.  That lucrative week in May 2012 offers a glimpse into the way Clinton has leveraged his global popularity into a personal fortune.

Bill and Hillary Clinton go to the grocery just like us.  Bill Clinton and his wife are just regular folks, you should know.  He says they talk to towns people near both of their mansions.  They go to the grocery store on weekends and perhaps squeeze the fruit, as careful shoppers would watching their dollars in this stagnant Obamaconomy.  Never mind the burly guys in cool shades nearby with curly wires running into their ears and machine guns under the jackets.  Or their specially-trained defensive driver.  Or the friends' private jets that whisk them to another $200K speech.

Here's How Little Chelsea Clinton Cares About Money, In Dollars.  [Chelsea] Clinton is currently pulling down $600,000 per year for the kind of no-show job you probably thought had disappeared with the demise of the American mafia.  She is officially employed as an on-air correspondent for NBC News even though she hasn't appeared on NBC for the past four months.  Clips of Clinton's work for the Peacock Network are hard to find online, and one of the few accessible segments — her interview with the GEICO gecko — reveals that NBC's coaching failed to improve her affectless voice, lazy delivery and absolute lack of charm, charisma or talent.

Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton shouldn't pretend to be poor.  On Monday morning, at a White House summit on policies to help working families, Vice President Joe Biden reflected on his wealth.  He said that while he wore a "mildly expensive suit" and was vice president of the United States of America, he didn't own a stock or a bond, and as a senator, was the poorest member of the club.  This bit is a longstanding part of Biden's shtick, but was interpreted — most loudly by the Republican National Committee — as a dig at possible presidential rival Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton will collect massive speaking fee from Nevada university as students grapple with tuition hikes.  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will collect a $225,000 speaking fee from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in October, it emerged on Tuesday.  The massive expense was confirmed just weeks after the university formalized a 4 percent tuition increase for each of the next four years.  Rate hikes have nearly tripled tuition costs there since 2004.  Clinton will deliver the keynote address at an invitation-only gala for philanthropists and other high-dollar donors who support UNLV.  The university said private funds are being tapped to pay her speaking fee.

Bill Clinton defends family wealth, says Hillary 'not out of touch'.  Former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday defended his wife's modest depiction of the couple's wealth, saying their affluence does not mean Hillary Rodham Clinton is out of touch with the concerns of average Americans.  Speaking in Denver at an annual meeting of his philanthropic organization, Clinton said his wife was correct to state they were "dead broke" when the couple left the White House in 2000.

Biden one-ups 'dead broke' Hillary by boasting he's 'the poorest man in Congress'.  At a White House summit for working families Monday, Vice President Joseph R. Biden tried to relate to the audience by calling himself "the poorest man in Congress."  While acknowledging that he was wearing "a mildly expensive suit," Mr. Biden said he's not as wealthy as most of his peers in Washington. [...] Mr. Biden and wife Jill reported $407,009 in adjusted gross income in 2013, including $230,700 for his salary as vice president.

Bill Clinton Budgeted to Receive Nearly $1 Million in Taxpayer Money in 2014.  An April Congressional Research Service (CRS) report shows that the Government Services Administration (GSA), which is in charge of supporting federal disbursements, budgeted $950,000 for former president Bill Clinton in the 2014 budget.  Clinton will collect a $201,000 pension in 2014, a figure four times larger than the median family income in the United States.  The Clintons have received a total of $15,938,000 in federal money since 2001.

White House officials will meet with billionaire activist during new climate push.  Senior White House officials and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew are set to meet this week with Tom Steyer, an environmental activist pledging to pump up to $100 million into the November midterm elections, as part of a new campaign to promote President Obama's green agenda.  "On Wednesday, senior White House leadership and Secretary Lew will meet with former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, Cargill CEO Greg Page, and Tom Steyer [to] discuss the results of their soon-to-be-released Risky Business report — which assesses the economic risks of climate change," a White House official said, previewing the meeting.  The gathering between the big-money donor and senior White House officials is likely to draw criticism from watchdog groups, which have accused Obama of embracing the pay-to-play politics he once so actively decried.

Democrats criticize White House over meeting with billionaire Tom Steyer.  Senior political officials on Wednesday are scheduled to host a mega-donor with plans of making a nine-figure investment in the 2014 midterm elections.  No, Washington Republicans aren't meeting with Charles and David Koch, the deep-pocketed energy titans — and public enemy No. 1, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and many Democrats.  Instead, the White House, which has repeatedly bemoaned the influence of big money in politics, will open its doors to Tom Steyer, the environmental activist who has pledged to spend up to $100 million on November's elections to promote his climate-change agenda.  Steyer is also a high-profile opponent of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project the Obama administration is still reviewing.

'I don't care about money': Says Chelsea Clinton, who is paid $600,000 by NBC for doing nothing.  Chelsea Clinton lives a charmed life, but don't be fooled: secretly, she's not attached to the oodles of money she and her hedge fund manager husband make each year, the former first daughter said in an interview published over the weekend.

Chelsea Clinton tried to care about money but couldn't.  The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and ex-secretary of state Hillary Clinton explained in a recent interview why she left lucrative professions and opted for working with her family's philanthropic foundation.  'I was curious if I could care about (money) on some fundamental level, and I couldn't,' she said.

White House's Valerie Jarrett dines with Rupert Murdoch to plot immigration strategy.  President Obama's longtime senior adviser Valerie Jarrett confessed to breaking bread this week with conservative media titan Rupert Murdoch, a new White House frenemy of sorts on immigration reform.  The two dined at the posh Blue Duck Tavern on Tuesday night [6/17/2014] in Washington's Foggy Bottom, and Jarrett described the evening as "very enjoyable."  "Good policy sometimes makes strange bedfellows," she told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor Friday, adding that she was impressed by Murdoch's passion for passing comprehensive immigration reform.

Harry Reid: Democrats Do Not 'Have Any Billionaires'.  This is categorically false.  After all, the Democrats have the support of Tom Steyer, George Soros, and many, many others.

Tapper Calls Out Reid for Saying Dems Don't Have 'Many' Billionaires.  CNN's Jake Tapper caught this odd statement and called out Reid for overlooking all the billionaires who actually do support Democrats.  Tapper played the video of Reid and said, "The left doesn't have many billionaire backers?  Oh, really?  Well, you could name George Soros, David Shaw, Irwin Jacobs, to name a few."  He also singled out Tom Steyer, the billionaire philanthropist and environmentalist who has taken on climate change and killing the Keystone XL pipeline as big issues.

Barack Obama golfs while the Middle East burns.  Last weekend Barack Obama played his 175th and 176th rounds of golf as president.  He played first at Sunnylands, the famously private course on the Rancho Mirage, California estate of the late billionaire Walter Annenberg.  Obama next played at Porcupine Creek, the equally private course on the nearby estate of the very-much-alive tech billionaire Larry Ellison.

President Obama on vacation in California.  Despite temperatures above 100 degrees, Obama was able to golf at two nearby courses — Saturday at the Sunnylands estate and Sunday at the Porcupine Creek Estate owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison.

Obama to Visit Southern California, Deliver UCI Commencement Speech.  Obama will attend a private Democratic National Committee fundraising event at a home in Laguna Beach at 9:45 a.m. before heading to Anaheim for his commencement address, according to the White House.

Bill and Hillary Clinton top the list of richest ex-first families.  They may have left the White House "dead broke," as Hillary Clinton claimed, but she and Bill Clinton cashed in so fast and big that they sit atop the list of former first couples who struck gold after the presidency.  Since leaving office, according to financial records and news reports, they have earned at least $155 million from speeches, salaries and book deals, easily outpacing the post-White House incomes of other former presidential families and distancing themselves from the time when Bill Clinton deducted $2 apiece for used underwear donated to an Arkansas charity.

Prez schmoozes and country loses.  Today [6/11/2014], President Obama flies in to do what he does best:  schmooze with one-percenters at a $32,000-a-head fundraiser in Weston.

Clintons 'dead broke' after White House? Actually, they earned over $12M that year.  Technically, Bill and Hillary Clinton were in debt when they left the White House.  Financial forms filed for 2000 show assets between $781,000 and almost $1.8 million — and liabilities between $2.3 million and $10.6 million, mostly for legal bills.  But as the outgoing first couple, they had tremendous earning potential.  And within just one year, their financial troubles were effectively gone.  Hillary Clinton's Senate disclosure forms show that in 2001, they reported earning nearly $12 million.  Most of that came from Bill Clinton's speechmaking, and the rest came from an advance for Hillary Clinton's book.

DEMOCRATS tear into 'imperial' Hillary after major gaffes about her enormous wealth.  Hillary Clinton's fellow Democrats smell blood in the water after her recent gaffes over her considerable wealth and they began pouncing on the presidential hopeful on Monday.  Dick Harpootlian, a former Democratic Party chairman in South Carolina, framed his insult in terms the fictional aristocratic Crawley family and their servants could understand.  'I don't know whether it's just that she's been "Madam Secretary" for so long, but she's generating an imperial image,' Harpootlian told The Washington Post.

Hillary Clinton's impoverished claims.  All this matters for several reasons.  First, how she made her money and to whom she is indebted matters greatly.  Between the two of them, they've taken in a whole lot of speaking fees from industries that do a lot of business with or are regulated by the federal government.  She runs in circles with the richest of the rich, at a time when government cronyism is a pressing public issue.  Second, if it mattered how much Mitt Romney made — in part because it reflects on his ability to relate to average people — then it matters for Hillary Clinton.  And, finally, there is something distasteful about a woman supposedly so dedicated to women and kids and the world's needy who spends her time making millions upon millions of dollars speaking to rich people.

Bill Clinton: Why doesn't anyone believe we were poor?  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has had a rough time of it ever since she asserted that both she and her husband were "dead broke" and "struggled" after leaving the White House in 2001.  "A few weeks before they left the White House, the Clintons were able to muster a cash down payment of $855,000 and secure a $1.995 million mortgage," Politifact observed.  "This hardly fits the common meaning of 'dead broke.'"  Clinton might have taken the public backlash over this minor gaffe in stride, but she didn't.

Hillary Clinton Says She Isn't 'Truly Well Off'.  Clinton responded to criticism of her wealth in an interview with the Guardian newspaper published Saturday night [6/21/2014] by suggesting Americans won't be concerned about the more than $100 million her family has reportedly earned in recent years because they're not "truly well off."  "They don't see me as part of the problem," Clinton said of Americans who are upset about income inequality, adding, "Because we pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off, not to name names; and we've done it through dint of hard work."

The Editor says...
Making speeches is not particularly hard work, especially if one enjoys the services of professional speech writers.  And for people like the Clintons, making $100,000 overnight in cattl futures isn't especially difficult, either.

Hillary Clinton was 'dead broke' leaving White House despite more than $780,000 in assets.  At the end of Bill Clinton's presidency, the couple had big legal bills from investigations of Whitewater and the Monica Lewinsky affair.  Hillary Clinton's first Senate financial disclosure forms, filed for 2000, listed assets of $781,000 to $1.8 million, and legal debts of $2.3 million to $10.6 million.  Still, as the Clinton presidency ended, the couple bought a $2.85 million home in Washington and a $1.7 million spread in Chappaqua.  And Hillary landed an $8 million advance for her book, "Living History."

2001 was Hillary's Year of Great Fortune, not of being "dead broke".  The problem is not that the Clintons made a fortune.  This is America, after all.  People are entitled to make a fortune so long as they do so lawfully, and we've not yet reached the point where the law dictates when people have made enough.  The problem is that Hillary is not being straight with the public. [...] In mid-December 2000, a month before Bill left office, Hillary signed a book deal with a near record $8 million advance.

Hard Knocks Hillary.  Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton thinks everyone should shut up and stop second-guessing her (and her husband's) voracious appetite for money.  Clinton, who charges up to $200,000 to give one-hour speeches to Goldman Sachs executives and others, claims that she and Bill were "dead broke" and in debt following their eight years in the White House, and "struggled" to pay the mortgages on their multiple mansions and finance their daughter Chelsea's education at Stanford, Oxford, Columbia, and Oxford (again).

Political reporters unload on Hillary's gaffetastic day.  Clinton's first gaffe of the day was revealed in a clip of an interview she gave ABC's Diane Sawyer.  In that interview, Clinton attempted to relate to the working man by saying that, in spite of her family's current multimillion dollar annual income, they were "dead broke" and "struggled" after leaving the White House.  They were so broke that they couldn't afford the mortgage on multiple houses, including the house Hillary had to purchase in New York in order to run for U.S. Senate.

Hillary Received $8 Million in Book Advance Before Leaving White House 'Broke' in 2000.  Hillary Clinton may not have been as "dead broke" as she's claimed her family was upon leaving the White House in 2000.  In the final month of her husband's presidency, Clinton reportedly inked a near-record book advance deal worth millions.  In an interview with Diane Sawyer to air on Monday evening [6/9/2014], Clinton explained that she and her husband had to earn millions from speaking engagements because they were so deep in debt.  "We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea's education — it was not easy," she told Sawyer.

Hillary: We 'Struggled' to Buy 'Houses' After White House.  Hillary further explains, "Bill has worked really hard — and it's been amazing to me — he's worked very hard.  First of all, we had to pay off all our debts, which was, you know, he had to make double the money because of obviously taxes and then pay off the debts and get us houses and take care of family members."

The Editor says...
It is amusing to hear Hillary Clinton complain about taxes, which are painfully high because of left-wing tax-and-spend liberals like her.

Poor little rich girl.  If you're a Clinton, it's not easy to play poor mouth.  She has earned $5 million in speaking fees since she left the State Department, and got a further $8 million in advance for her new book.  Together she and Bubba have scooped up $109 million over the past seven years.  They're entitled, but she could show a little perspective.

The Editor says...
Enough with the derisive mockery, already!  Well... maybe just one more:

Ready for Blatant Censorship.  According to Hillary, after her husband was forced to retire from his job as President of the United States, the impoverished couple lacked financial resources with no future job prospects or source of income for Bill.  Hillary, with a husband and one child to support, was forced to find work, any work she could.  And she did.  All by herself.  The financially strapped Clinton family moved to New York State, somehow scraped together money for a down payment and qualified for a mortgage on a $1.7 million home in a town inhabited by the upper 10% in wealth.  Adapting to her new situation, plucky Hillary soon found a job as U.S. senator from her new home state based just on her totally awesome skills.

The Editor says...
I'd let this subject drop if I were Hillary.  But no ...

Hillary Clinton doubles down on poverty claim and says 'relentless persecution' by Republicans made them 'deeply in debt'.  Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton told the German magazine Der Spiegel on Tuesday that she and her husband Bill were indeed 'deeply in debt' when they left the White House and blamed 'relentless persecution' by Republicans for her legal bills after his presidency.  The claim has added fuel to the fire Clinton herself touched off last month when she claimed they were 'dead broke' after their time in the White House.  The former first lady earns $200,000 or more every time she makes a public speech.  The former president has earned a reported $104 million in speaking fees since he left the Oval Office behind him.

Dialing It In.  One evening in March, during a visit to Italy, President Obama asked the U.S. ambassador to round up a bunch of — and I quote — "interesting Italians" for a dinner at the ambassadorial residence. [...] The menu that evening included a variety of pastas, and wines from Tuscany and the regions around Venice.  Dinner lasted four hours.  In this sumptuous and Baroque setting, amid these beautiful artifacts of long-gone civilizations, enjoying the finest foods and most delicate wines, President Obama was at home.

Guess Which Loyal Obama Voter Block Will Be Punished The Most By EPA's Climate Change Regulations.  Black households have the lowest average incomes and highest unemployment among demographic groups.  As reported by The Wall Street Journal, black households income was at $33,321 in 2012 which is the lowest median income among race groups according to a report by the U.S Census Bureau.  As promised by Obama in 2008, his climate change regulations will make electricity prices "skyrocket."  A study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimated that climate change regulations like the EPA's recently announced new rules for existing power plants will result in added electricity expenses of $17 billion a year through 2030.  That $17 billion in added costs are going to hurt black families a lot more than Obama's billionaire donors [...]

Lunch with Clintons auctioned for more than $300K.  The Clinton Foundation has auctioned off a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to sit down for a private lunch with Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton for more than $300,000.  Charitybuzz, the website where the auction was held, would not disclose how much the lunch was actually sold for, but a report by the Daily Caller published less than three hours before the auction's close showed the bidding war had reached at least $305,000 by a bidder named "moatistheke."  The price exceeds the foundation's goal of $250,000.

Who pays for first lady's fabulous fashions?  The financing of the first lady's wardrobe is something that the Obama White House is loath to discuss.

CA Legislators Are Highest Paid in USA.  Stateline's data, which indicated California legislators are averaging a base salary of $90,526 per year, is a few months old, and that base salary will be raised to $95,291 in December as a result of a decision last year by the California Citizens Compensation Commission.  The Commission is also considering a further raise.  In addition, the legislators receive an additional tax-free "per diem" of $141.86 per day every day the Legislature is in session.  The closest average salary to the California legislators is in Pennsylvania, where the average salary is $84,012.

New Education Department rules help elite college students at the expense of poor and minorities.  You have to hand it to President Obama:  He sure does do a good job of socking it to the folks he claims to be helping.  Tuesday marked the end of the comment period on the Education Department's proposed new "gainful employment" regulations.  While the administration says it wants to expand educational opportunities, the proposed rules would target community colleges and for-profit colleges — institutions that educate disproportionately poor, minority, and working-class Americans.

Lord Obama.  [Scroll down]  The very wealthy are with him also because he instructs them how to indulge, to ignore the problems of others, to be narcissistic and self-absorbed with a veneer of hipster cool.  Golf, shoot hoops, wear shades, hang with Jay-Z and Beyonce, talk about your rap menu on your iPhone, fluctuate your cadences, do you Final Four predictions — all that means you can be cool and very rich and very self-absorbed while fooling hoi polloi and feeling great about your privilege at the same time.  If you are a jean- and T-shirt wearing Silicon magnifico, Obama is your guy.

Hillary Clinton's wealth complicates image as populist champion.  When your own minimum wage reportedly is in the neighborhood of $200,000 a speech, it might be difficult to sell yourself as the populist champion of the working class.  In recent weeks, Hillary Rodham Clinton has begun a calculated transition from respected diplomat to fierce advocate for the 99 percent, using a "haves versus have-nots" message to build support among progressives who are desperate for a strong voice to battle Wall Street, protect entitlement programs such as Social Security and promote income equality.  But for Mrs. Clinton, a rich, successful woman and part of one of America's most powerful political families, there are questions about how effectively she can carry that banner if she runs for president in 2016.

Billionaire plans to target Republicans in seven states.  Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer will target Republicans in seven Senate and governors' races this year, as he pushes to make climate change a top issue in November's elections, his political aides announced Wednesday. [...] Steyer also will spend heavily to shape governor's races in Maine, Pennsylvania and Florida, another presidential swing state, where Gov. Rick Scott has said he is not convinced that climate change is caused by human activity.

Obama raises money for Durbin in Chicago.  President Barack Obama used a pair of hometown fundraisers Thursday [5/22/2014] to defend Democratic control of the Senate against potential gains in the fall mid-term elections by what he called "ideologically rigid" Republicans.  Donors paid as much as $35,000 for a ticket to the campaign events for Illinois' senior senator, Dick Durbin, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Obama to raise cash for Dems at Texas BBQ dinner.  Tickets start at $10,000 per person and go up to $32,400 for a couple.

Wendy Davis hosted by Hollywood stars.  Director Steven Spielberg is among the hosts of the "celebration and fundraiser honoring Davis" on the rooftop of the Bad Robot in Santa Monica, California.  Besides Davis, it benefits Battleground Texas, dedicated to making Texas competitive for Democrats.  The tab for hosts is $25,000, while contributions range down to $1,000 at the "friend" level.

Hillary Clinton's Speaking Circuit Payday: $5 Million (and Counting).  Since leaving [the] State [Department], Clinton has made more than 90 speeches and notable appearances.  Her hosts have included private equity firms, investment banks, nonprofit galas, trade association conventions, and a slew of colleges and universities.  At least two-dozen of those were paid speeches.  With her usual fee of $200,000 a speech, Clinton has banked close to $5 million for her speeches and appearances in the last 15 months.

Obama to Fundraiser: We're Debating 'About What, Benghazi? Obamacare? It's Not Serious'.  Ticket prices for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser ranged from $10,000 to $32,400.  The White House pool reporter said the press pool was socked away in a second-floor bedroom of the home while waiting for Obama's remarks.

President Obama golfs with Bain Capital lobbyist.  One of President Barack Obama's golf partners this weekend was a lobbyist for the financial firm Bain Capital.  According to a White House pool report, Obama hit the links on Saturday at the exclusive Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., with Joe O'Neill, president and CEO of the lobbying and public affairs firm Public Strategies Washington.  Rounding out the foursome was U.S. Trade Rep. Ron Kirk and Milton Carroll of CenterPoint Energy.

White House downplays Obama's golf round with lobbyist.  President Obama's weekend round of golf with a veteran lobbyist didn't weaken his pledge to narrow the influence of K Street, the White House insisted on Monday [5/19/2014].  White House press secretary Jay Carney dismissed a question on whether the president's round with Joe O'Neill, the president and CEO of Public Strategies Washington, violated his promise to limit lobbyist access to the White House.  "I think he played a game of golf," Carney said.

Barack Obama's Net Worth Has Risen 438% Since Running for President.  While the average US citizen has a median income of roughly $51,000, Obama rakes in the cash with an annual presidential salary of $400,000.  In addition, he receives money from book royalties and other investments.  Hypocrisy isn't a stranger to the liberal elite.  Michael Moore's fifty million dollar fortune came from creating documentaries that makes free enterprise look like the same as corporatism.  The activist left said Mitt Romney was too rich to be president, but had no problem supporting John "I'm Wealthier Than Romney" Kerry when he ran for the same post in 2004.

Obama speaks at the Upper East Side home of investment banker Blair Effron.  Tickets for the event, which followed a DNC roundtable in NYC with the same pricetag, were $32,400.

Harry Reid speaks with Jon Stewart.  "Billionaire Tom Steyer has rapidly become one of America's most visible environmental advocates, vowing to punish lawmakers who oppose climate change action and pledging to spend up to $100 million to put the issue center stage in the November 4 elections."  (Reuters)  "Fortune built on Asian coal: It turns out that much of Steyer's wealth is the fruit of immensely profitable investments in development of Indonesian and Australian coal."  (Washington Examiner)  "Forbes estimates the former hedge fund manager is worth $1.5 billion.  He has used that fortune to advance his anti-oil, anti-coal, and climate-concerned political agenda."  (Washington Free Beacon)

Nuclear physicist sues Oprah Winfrey over trail access near her new megamansion in Telluride.  A hiking-trail dispute between an 86-year-old nuclear physicist and Oprah Winfrey, one of the world's wealthiest and most famous women, has sparked a lawsuit as she prepares to build a megamansion high above Telluride.  An attorney for retired physicist Charles D. Goodman has filed a lawsuit in San Miguel County District Court claiming that Winfrey's Yellow Brick Road company, the couple who sold the property to Winfrey and Mountain Village made a below-the-radar deal to close off access to trails that Goodman's family and his neighbors have had rights to use for nearly three decades.

Tom Steyer's Dirty Energy Record.  Billionaire Tom Steyer has rapidly become one of America's most visible environmental advocates, vowing to punish lawmakers who don't oppose climate change and pledging to spend up to $100 million to put the issue center stage in the Nov. 4 elections.  His in-your-face tactics have made him fierce enemies on the right who accuse him of hypocrisy and claim that he made much of his fortune through investments in fossil fuel energy at Farallon Capital Management, the San Francisco-based hedge fund he founded in 1986.

Why Are Democrats Afraid of Tom Steyer?  Democrats have made casting conservatives as beholden to the ultra-rich central to their 2014 strategy, and that makes it awkward when a billionaire of their own puts himself front and center. [...] Steyer's persona, the skeptics feel, opens Democrats up to charges of hypocrisy, and leaves too much of the party's profile in the hands of a man who has been popularly elected to exactly nothing.

Warren Buffett has given $1.2 billion to abortion groups.  May 13, 2014, marks one year since Philadelphia abortion Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder "in the deaths of three babies who were delivered alive and then killed with scissors at his grimy, 'house of horrors' clinic," according to the Associated Press.  Gosnell instantly became the face of abortion in the prolife community.  But there's another, more recognizable face pushing abortion in the U.S. — liberal billionaire Warren Buffett.  The so-called "Oracle of Omaha" has donated more than $1.2 billion to abortion organizations from 2001 to 2012.

Law-Flouting David Gregory of NBC Parks Illegally Outside Fancy D.C. Jewelry Shop.  NBC's David Gregory drew special treatment from the District of Columbia for illegally possessing a high-capacity magazine and displaying it on national TV.  There must be an exemption for "educational" media-bias reasons.  So he won't worry about any fine for illegally parking his SUV the other day outside the "upscale bauble shop" Tiny Jewel Box, whose website advertises items for "Above $5000."

Angry heckler at $32,400 a ticket Democrat fundraiser in California.  Obama was the headline speaker at four California fund-raising events, raising his two-day total to five.  His last was a Silicon Valley event in San Jose co-hosted by Y Combinator President Sam Altman and Yahoo Inc CEO Marissa Mayer.  About 250 people paid between $1,000 and $32,400 to attend.

Obama to Headline Fundraiser at Palatial Home of Billionaire Bundler.  President Barack Obama will attend a fundraiser on Thursday [5/8/2014] at the palatial San Diego home of Qualcomm founder and Democratic mega-donor Irwin Jacobs.  The $10,000-per-plate event will benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to local news reports.

Meet The Radical Billionaires Controlling the Democrat Party.  While top liberal organizations blast the right for accepting dark money, the Alliance's entire business model is based on maintaining secrecy akin to the Illuminati. [...] The group requires some hefty financial backing.  It costs $25,000 just to join, yearly dues of $30,000 and an additional $200,000 donation to Alliance causes.

Guess the Party Affiliation of the Investor Who Just Bought a Beach House For a Record $147 Million.  Activist investor and hedge fund owner Barry Rosenstein just set the record for the highest residential sales price for home.  Paying $147,000,000 for a beachfront home in the Hamptons, his new neighbors will include Jerry Seinfeld, along with other, well-known entertainment industry and business tycoons.  The previous record set was $120 million, just a couple of weeks ago, by another hedge fund manager for a home purchased in Greenwich, Conn.

Liberals: Exempt from Scrutiny.  Too many modern liberal fetishes are predicated on the medieval notion of exemption, and should not be taken as anything much other than useful pretensions or smart career moves — something like joining the Masonic lodge in the 1920s in small-town America.  Charter schools are bad, and troubled public schools are noble, but the coastal elites, whether at Sidwell Friends or the Menlo School, assume that they should not sacrifice their children on the altar of their own ideology. [...] Concern for the Sierra toad and frog should stop logging-road and mountain development, but incinerating fauna with solar mirrors or grinding up eagles and hawks in wind turbines is the necessary price of green membership.

Read the Confidential Document Left Behind at the Democracy Alliance Meeting.  The Democracy Alliance takes pains to ensure that its work disbursing millions of dollars to top left-wing organizations remains secretive and free from public scrutiny.  But a document left on the floor of the group's recent gathering reveals for the first time the names of a number of individuals involved in the effort.  It lists new Democracy Alliance "partners," individuals who every year must pay $30,000 in dues and contribute at least $200,000 to the groups that DA supports.

Teachers Union Boss Randi Weingarten: My Salary's Only $360K.  American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten, who was paid $543,150 last year, defended her compensation by claiming her pay is $360,000 and other reported expenses simply prove the union's "transparency." [...] "Justice means that hardworking people must have access to a living wage," Weingarten wrote.  AFT paid Weingarten $556,981 in 2012 and $543,150 in 2013.

If You Criticize the President's Vacation Spending You're Probably Racist or Something.  To put these figures in perspective, the administration spends every 5 hours what the average American family spends each summer on vacations. [...] Is there any conceivable way to justify a monthly average travel and vacation budget of $625,000?  For a President that constantly harps on about income inequality and shared sacrifice, his lavish presidential lifestyle is the epitome of hypocrisy.

One-percenter Liz Warren milks system then slams it in phony soundbites.  While U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren sleeps in her $5 million mansion in Cambridge, and got paid $350,000 to teach just one class at Harvard, she had the audacity to say in an interview with Jon Stewart this week that "the system is rigged to benefit the rich."  Yes, Sen. Warren, that would be you.  Under a free-market, capitalist system, you became a U.S. senator and multimillionaire whose own net worth hovers around $14.5 million, according to personal financial disclosure reports filed in 2011.

Michelle Obama spotted at the Salamander Resort in Middleburg.  First lady Michelle Obama spending a quiet weekend in Middleburg with daughters Malia and Sasha in tow at the tony Salamander Resort.  While the president was being trailed by flashing cameras and notebook-wielding reporters on a four-country tour through Asia, Michelle Obama's itinerary was a tad bit more low-key.  On Friday she was spotted in the lobby of the luxury resort owned by multimillionaire Sheila Johnson.

Greens Are Reds.  The dirty little secret of the modern environmental movement is that it has become a luxury good for the uber-rich.  Its policies — from carbon taxes, to renewable energy standards, to crushing regulations on coal plants — would impose high costs on the people who can least afford to pay the green tab.  A Pew Research Center poll released in March offered further confirmation of this truth.  It found that only two major voting groups oppose the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline:  Democrats who make more than $100,000 annually and Dems with a college or advanced degree.

Oligarchy in the Twenty-First Century.  "To see what is in front of one's nose," George Orwell famously wrote, "needs a constant struggle."  In front of my nose as I write this is a copy of last Sunday's New York Times.  I have opened it to the business section.  Below the fold is one of many Times articles on Thomas Piketty, the French economist and author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which argues that America has entered a second Gilded Age of vast inequality, inherited fortunes, and oligarchic politics, where the shape of public discourse and public policy is determined by a wealthy few.

Obama only ate HALF of the pricey dinner at the 'world's best sushi restaurant'.  President Obama reportedly only ate half of the expensive sushi dinner he was treated to last night in Tokyo.  Instead of savoring every morsel of the made-to-order 20-course meal at Sukiyabashi Jiro — dubbed the world's best sushi restaurant and the subject of the 2011 documentary 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi' — the President reportedly put his chopsticks down after only 10 pieces.

Five Alarmist Celebs and Their Double Standards.  Showtime's new climate change series, "Years of Living Dangerously," premiered April 13, 2014, slightly more than a week before Earth Day 2014.  It relies on several wealthy, Hollywood celebrities to spread fear about climate change.  While these actors and directors talk a lot about reducing carbon footprints and saving the world, they haven't given up their own enormous mansions and private jets.  Director James Cameron, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and actors Harrison Ford, Matt Damon and Ian Somerhalder who are worth a collective $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth, were just some of the Hollywood types involved in Showtime's nine-part series.

America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds.  America is no longer a democracy — never mind the democratic republic envisioned by Founding Fathers.  Rather, it has taken a turn down elitist lane and become a country led by a small dominant class comprised of powerful members who exert total control over the general population — an oligarchy, said a new study jointly conducted by Princeton and Northwestern universities.  One finding in the study:  The U.S. government now represents the rich and powerful, not the average citizen, United Press International reported.

Dems May Regret Steyer's Keystone Payoff.  After a lengthy study of the plans for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, the U.S. State Department issued an 11-volume report back in January confirming what most experts had already concluded long before then:  the vital project would not damage the environment or increase the rate of carbon pollution.  But liberal activists weren't happy and have used the 90-day automatic review process that followed that report to furiously lobby the administration to stop the construction of the 1,700-mile pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf Coast refineries.  The key player in that effort was Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmental extremist who has pledged to give $100 million to Democratic candidates who do his bidding.

Bidens Earned $400,009 in 2013 — 5% Went to Charity.  Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, reported an adjusted gross income of $407,009 in 2013, from which they contributed 5% to charity, or a total of $20,523, according to their 2013 income tax return, which was released by the White House on Friday [4/11/2014].  Among that charity-total — $20,523 — a sum of $15,300 was royalties earned from Jill Biden's 2012 children's book, Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops.  Excluding those book royalties, the Bidens' charitable contributions of $5,223 equaled 1.2% of their income.

NYC Mayor De Blasio Pays 8.3% Effective Tax Rate.  As predictable as the media silence to follow comes the news that New York City's new left-wing mayor, who ran on a platform based in large part on raising taxes, paid an effective 8.3% tax rate in 2013 based on a total income of over $200,000.

Income Inequality Institute Will Pay Paul Krugman $25,000 Per Month.  According to a formal offer letter obtained under New York's Freedom of Information Law, CUNY intends to pay Krugman $225,000, or $25,000 per month (over two semesters), to "play a modest role in our public events" and "contribute to the build-up" of a new "inequality initiative."  It is not clear, and neither CUNY nor Krugman was able to explain, what "contribute to the build-up" entails.

Poor Little Rich Man.  Being a "distinguished professor" of economics at the City University of New York is nice work if you can get it.  "During year-one," the boss explains in a letter to the new hire, "you will not be expected to teach or supervise students."  In subsequent years, "you will teach one seminar per year."  In addition, the boss informs the distinguished professor that he "will play a modest role in our public events" and "will be asked to contribute to the buildup" of one of the university's programs.  The pay is $225,000 a year, plus a $10,000 expense budget — and the distinguished prof gets summers off.

HHS nominee got $1.2M at 'zero' salary job at Wal-Mart.  Her White House biography touts her key private-sector experience as president of the massive foundation, but Internal Revenue Service records show that the job is unpaid and the more than $1.2 million in salary, deferred compensation and bonuses paid to Ms. Burwell came through her lesser-known role as a vice president at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., according to a government ethics filing.  James Joseph, a tax lawyer at Arnold & Porter LLP, said such arrangements are common among corporate foundations.

Lois Lerner sits in her lavish house on $2.4 million property as she awaits possible contempt charge.  Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner is living the life of a private citizen at her more-than $2.4 million property in Bethesda, Md. while Republicans consider holding a House floor vote to hold her in contempt of Congress.  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted 21-12 to hold Lerner in contempt last week after she waived her Fifth Amendment rights but continued to stonewall the committees investigation into the IRS targeting scandal.  The measure was opposed by all 12 of the committee's Democrats, including Ranking Member Rep. Elijah Cummings, whose staff requested information from the IRS about a conservative non-profit applicant group under agency scrutiny.

Rep. Joe Kennedy sees support from NYC's most fashionable.  Our spies say 80 people packed into [Sam] Hamadeh's 4,000-square-foot loft — which has been a filming location for "Gossip Girl" and photo shoots for Cosmo and Elle — for the event, which raised around $40,000 for the 33-year-old Kennedy scion who is kicking off his re-election bid.

Export subsidy fight pits Maxine Waters against Mike Lee.  Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters — "a dynamic liberal Democrat who champions the causes of the poor and downtrodden," as the liberal press calls her — held a rally of sorts at the Capitol on Tuesday.  Waters' cause:  supporting the federal agency called the Export-Import Bank, which subsidizes exporters, banks and foreign companies.  Among the needy on stage with her was the top lobbyist for Boeing, the prime beneficiary of Ex-Im.

2 Obama fundraisers after grieving Fort Hood deaths, one at $17 million home.  From the White House pool report:  ["]Later today, the president will headline two fund-raising events in Houston.  The first, for the DNC, is closed press.  Background from a DNC official:  "The President will attend a roundtable discussion for the DNC at a private residence in Houston with approximately 30 supporters who will contribute up to $32,400."["]

7 fun facts about President Barack Obama's tax return.  [#1] The Obamas paid $98,169 in total federal income tax on adjusted gross income of $481,098.  That's an effective tax rate of 20.4 percent.  [#2] The Obamas are due a tax refund of $19,108.  What should they spend it on?  [#3] Besides his salary, Obama reported $104,809 in business income from book sales.  That's down from $258,772 in 2012.

The Editor asks...
How much of the income from his book sales are due to Bill Ayers?

Obamas pay $98,169 in taxes on income of $481,098.  [Mr. and Mrs. Obama] paid an effective federal income tax rate of 20.4 percent and donated significantly less to charity than they did the year before.

Report: Obama To Attend Dem Fundraiser In Texas.  The Associated Press obtained an invitation to the April 9 event where tickets start at $16,200 a person and go up to $64,800 for a couple.

Democrats: The Real Party Of The Rich.  By almost every measure, in fact, it's the Democrats, not the Republicans, who are the party of the rich.  Start with Congress itself.  Who are the wealthiest members?  Well, there are 269 millionaires among Congress' 535 members.  And most of them are Democrats.  And contrary to the hand-wringing on the left about the Supreme Court's 5-4 McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ruling Wednesday [4/2/2014], Democrats far outspend Republicans on elections.  It isn't even close.  According to OpenSecrets.org, from 1989 to 2014 rich donors gave Democrats $1.15 billion — $416 million more than the $736 million given to the GOP.  Among the top 10 donors to both parties, Democrat supporters outspent Republican supporters 2-to-1.

Dem Rep.: 'Members of Congress Are Underpaid,' Can't Afford to 'Live Decently'.  Do you think members of Congress are overpaid or underpaid?  Most likely you'd go with the former, but Democratic congressman Jim Moran argues it's actually the latter.  In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Moran says, "I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid."  The House recently took up a bill to freeze members' paychecks, placing another halt on the annual cost-of-living pay increases they would normally get and keeping annual salary at $174,000.

Testing and Detesting SGO.  At week's end, retiring Cong. Jim Moran (D-of course, VA-unfortunately) told Roll Call that Congress was underpaid.  Before we could see clearly through our laughter-teared eyes, he added that "I understand that it's widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world."  And he said all that with a straight face.

Which Party Represents the Wealthier U.S. Districts?  In order to appeal to everyday, average Americans, both political parties like to trot out the attack that the other side is the party of the rich (or super-rich, just to make it stick more).  Well, the Associated Press looked at the financial stats for every congressional district and concluded that most of the wealthiest districts in America are represented by Democrats.

Environmentalists to the Peasants: Drop Dead.  California is going through a terrible drought and 2013 was the driest on record in the state.  So who is suffering, financially and otherwise, from its effects?  Hint:  it is not the coastal elite.  The water still flows to the upscale neighborhoods of La Jolla, Malibu, and Marin County.  Their lawns are watered, their BMW's washed and polished, their swimming pools full.  No, it's the farmers in the Central Valley and the agricultural workers who are idled as 500,000 acres of the best farmland on the planet lies fallow.  Where is their water going?  To save the environment.

The Progressive Aristocracy.  If, as I suspect, the currency of progressivism isn't policies or results, but emotions, what does that approach build?  What kind of a country do you get when political leaders are driven by a desire to feel that they are more enlightened, noble, tolerant, wise, sensitive, conscious, and smart than most other people?  The evidence before us suggests progressives' ideal society would be one where they enjoy great power to regulate the lives of others and impose restrictions and limitations they themselves would never accept in their own lives.  Very few people object to an aristocracy with special rights and privileges as long as they're in it.

Why is Obama administration blocking Detroit River bridge?  Why isn't the Obama administration willing to finance the customs plaza for the new international bridge over the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario?  That's a question raised by this article in the Wall Street Journal.  As the Journal notes, the government of Canada has agreed to pay, as part of a public-private partnership, about $3.65 billion for building the bridge, including a $550 million link with Interstate 75 in Detroit.  The new bridge would provide an alternative for the privately owned Ambassador Bridge, which was opened in 1929.  Yet the Obama administration isn't ponying up $250 million to build a customs plaza. [...] Why is the Obama administration withholding the $250 million for the customs plaza?  One possible reason: to propitiate Matty Maroun, the Michigan billionaire who owns the Ambassador Bridge and profits handsomely from tolls and concessions.

Your Political Leaders Are Unsurprisingly Terrible at Empathizing with Your Salary.  Democratic Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia wants you to know that, at $174,000 a year, members of Congress are underpaid.  Because Jim Moran, like others, doesn't understand actual economic hardship and, frankly, isn't that great at politics either.  Moran is not the only public official to make a dubious claim about salary hardship in the past 24 hours.

Fish Instead of People, Ideologies without Consequences.  There is a great sickness in California, home of the greatest number of American billionaires and poor people, land of the highest taxes and about the worst schools and roads in the nation.  The illness is a new secular religion far more zealous and intolerant than the pre-Reformation zealotry of the Church.  Modern elite liberalism is based on the simple creed that one's affluence and education, one's coolness and zip code, should shield him from the consequences of one's bankrupt thoughts that he inflicts on others.

Party of the rich: In Congress, it's the Democrats.  Republicans are the party of the rich, right?  It's a label that has stuck for decades, and you're hearing it again as Democrats complain about GOP opposition to raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits.

The Left's War on Horses.  [Scroll down]  Animal rights activists and their real estate backers have more money than horse carriage drivers.  The modest stable buildings are no match for the liberal real estate developers seeking to put up pricey hotels and progressive animal rights activists easily overwhelm drivers who may get only eight fares a day.  The anti-horse activists of Homo progressivus spent $1.3 million on Bill de Blasio.  The drivers bring their own coffee with them in a thermos because a Starbucks coffee is too pricy for their budgets.  Bill de Blasio refused to visit the stables where the horses are kept.  The money has changed hands, his mind is made up and he doesn't want to be confronted with the anger and suffering of the working men whose jobs he is taking away.

Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital.  Bill Clinton accepted a $225,000 speaking fee from the nonprofit Washington Hospital Center smack in the middle of two big rounds of layoffs in 2012 — one of a number of tax-exempt organizations that have paid big money to hear the former president talk.  The $225,000 payment wasn't made public by the hospital on its annual Internal Revenue Service forms, but rather appeared among dozens of lucrative speeches by Mr. Clinton reported on his wife's final ethics filing as secretary of state.

Spoiled Rotten Kids of DC's Elite.  Connected children of political families catching a break is something we Americans are plenty used to — there would be no Kennedy or Bush dynasties without the public's acceptance that some people just raise their kids up all square-jawed and rolled shirtsleeves, ready to run for office.  But the nexus of private business and politics is always one that's skated over lightly in high school civics classes.

Lucky Jim.  Earlier this week, inside a ballroom at the luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel in D.C., President Obama met with Organizing for America.  OFA, as it's called for short, raised $26 million last year, much of it from an assortment of heirs, heiresses, hedge funders, and Hollywood executives.

Fat Cats and Democrats.  Consider the Center for Responsive Politics' recently released list of "Heavy Hitters," the biggest donors among political organizations from 1989 to 2014.  Number 1 is ActBlue, "the online clearinghouse for Democratic action," as it styles itself, that bundles individual contributions for distribution to Democratic candidates.  ActBlue has already raised $12 million for the 2014 election cycle.  In 2012 it tallied $33 million.  All but 4 of the top 16 "heavy hitters" give the overwhelming majority of their funds to the Democrats.  Only 2 of the top 20 give to Republicans.

'Torquemada' John Dingell.  On Monday the 88-year-old [Representative John] Dingell [(D., Mich.)] announced his retirement.  His media and political allies celebrate him as a populist man of the middle, but the reality of who he is couldn't be more different.  Over his record 57 years in Congress, Dingell has been one of the key architects of centralizing regulatory power in Washington to the benefit of big-business lobbyists — and to the detriment of the little guy.

The Biggest Donors In American Politics Give To Democrats.  Contrary to what the Democrats tell you, the Koch brothers are not the biggest donors in American politics.  In fact, very few of the top donors give to Republican candidates.  By far, they give to Democrats.  [In the accompanying chart], you have to go down to number 17 before finding one with a Republican tilt.  And that one is UPS.  Also notice that most of the biggest donors to Democrats are unions, including public employee unions who survive on our tax dollars.  Remember this the next time you hear liberals whining about money in politics.

Obama Plays Water Guzzling Desert Golf Courses Amid California Drought.  President Barack Obama traveled to California on Friday to highlight the state's drought emergency at two events near Fresno, calling for shared sacrifice to help manage the state's worst water shortage in decades.  He then spent the rest of the weekend enjoying the hospitality of some of the state's top water hogs:  desert golf courses.  Vacationing with DVDs of his favorite television shows and multiple golf outings with his buddies, the duffer in chief played at two of the most exclusive courses in the Palm Springs area.

Obama plans bachelor Valentine's Day golfing weekend in California.  President Obama is traveling to California on Friday to discuss the severe drought that is threatening farmers' livelihood and meet with the king of Jordan. [...] The president will spend the evening of Valentine's Day dining with King Abdullah II of Jordan followed by two days of golf, according to a senior administration official to the New York Times.

President Obama golfs at Larry Ellison's Porcupine Creek.  President Barack Obama, in town since Friday and fresh off a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II, left the Sunnylands estate Sunday morning for a little more golf.  He didn't have far to go.  The destination was Porcupine Creek, the private golf course owned by Oracle co-founder and BNP Paribas owner Larry Ellison.

After decrying inequality, Obama golfs at personal course of mega-billionaire.  Inequality in America is a terrible thing, unless it results in a nice afternoon at a golf course so private that "uncrowded" does not begin to describe the solitude a presidential foursome can enjoy.  Few things in this world are more unequally enjoyed than the luxury of a personal golf course.  But our inequality-hating president found the time to enjoy one yesterday [2/16/2014].

Barack Obama spends holiday weekend playing Oracle billionaire nineteen-hole golf course as Michelle hits the slopes.  First lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, Sasha and Malia, are in Aspen for the President's Day weekend while Barrack has been golfing in sunny Southern California with childhood friends.  'She likes it here,' Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said, noting that this is Mrs Obama's third consecutive trip to Aspen over the holiday weekend.

Media Sidestep Five-Figure Price Estimate on Mrs. Obama's State Dinner Dress.  Michael W. Chapman of our sister site CNSNews.com reports on cost estimates for the hand-sewn gown Michelle Obama wore at Tuesday's state dinner for the prime minister of France.  Think five figures.  If Ann Romney were First Lady now, would that escape the media's politicized scrutiny?

Obama Tees Off on Billionaire's Private Golf Course.  President Barack Obama is teeing off on a private California golf course owned by supporter Larry Ellison, the billionaire co-founder of the Oracle software company.  Ellison ranks third on Forbes' annual list of the 400 richest Americans, with an estimated $41 billion fortune.  His 249-acre desert property in Rancho Mirage came with a 19-hole private golf course.  The extra hole is available for playoffs.

Obama's state dinner for France: Let them eat beef, caviar, fudge and cotton candy.  Tuesday's state dinner was the usual self-indulgent Washington lavishness oblivious to the unemployed, food-stamped lives of millions of back-country Americans.  The 350 strutting attendees playing dress-up were a combination of Obama cronies, B-level Hollywood types, media, campaign bundlers and assorted beltway politicos who can consider themselves D.C. royalty until Jan. 20, 2017.  They were over-fed and entertained in what passes for the Palace of Versailles in Washington, a heated tent on the White House lawn decorated like a Monet spring painting.

Michelle Obama [wears] $12,000' Carolina Herrera gown at the White House state dinner.  Michelle Obama chose Venezuelan-American designer Carolina Herrera for the gown she wore Tuesday [2/11/2014] to the state dinner honoring French President Francois Hollande.

CNN: Michelle Obama's 'Dress Probably Cost Around $12,000'.  The dress first lady Michelle Obama wore at last night's state dinner was the topic of discussion last night on CNN. [...] Another guest on CNN last night thought the cost was about $12,000.  "Well, by the way, I think that dress probably cost around $12,000.  But that's just my guess," said Sally Quinn.

Michelle Obama chooses Carolina Herrera for state dinner dress.  The first lady chose a dramatic Carolina Herrera ball gown with a voluminous skirt and lace-overlay top.  The blue and black gown is the first dress with sleeves Obama has worn to a state dinner.  Previously she donned one-shouldered pieces from Peter Soronen and Doo-Ri Chung, and a strapless gown by Naeem Khan for the administration's first official state dinner in 2009 for India.

Hereditary Democracy?  Bill and Hillary Clinton left office in 2000.  They were all but broke.  Legal bills had been a draining burden.  Flash forward.  Bill Clinton made $17 Million last year in speaking engagements.  Hillary can knock out $400,000 for a monotone vapid speech rife with platitudes and banalities.

Michelle's dogs apparently dine on china and crystal.  Poverty and unemployment are at near-record levels, the economy is stalled, and a record 47 million Americans are on food stamps, yet aides for first lady Michelle Obama's tweeted out a picture of her two dogs apparently dining at a table laid with crystal and china.

Stunning insensitivity from Michelle Obama.  Michelle Obama's lust for luxury has always been a bit of a problem for her husband and Democrats in general.  Jetting off to five star resorts with a large entourage has too much dissonance with the rhetoric denouncing inequality currently in favor with the left.  But the First Lady has now outdone herself, and because a picture is worth a thousand words, the damage may be a bit more serious than the occasional grumble over designer shoes and livin' large.

Obama's Opulent State Dinners Cost The Taxpayer About Half A Million Dollars Each.  Obama is having a grand old time with his socialist buddy President Francois Hollande of France on his visit, and for the first time ever, Americans will get a view of just how much a State dinner costs them.  It took thirteen months for the State Department to respond to the request for the costs of such dinners, but here they are!

Obama, first lady go out on the town.  Three days before they throw a state dinner for the president of France, President Barack Obama and his wife are whetting their appetite for — Mexican food.
[Extraneous punctuation in original.]

Hillary's Billionaires.  Billionaires Alice Walton, George Soros, and Marc Benioff all made major contributions to the Super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton's presidential run in 2016, according to recent Federal Election Commission filings.  The three each contributed $25,000 to Ready for Hillary PAC, the maximum allowed donation, Bloomberg reported on Sunday [2/2/2014].  Walton is the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton. She is the world's 13th richest person and has an estimated worth of $33.9 billion.

First Lady, Barbra Streisand Raise Cash for Dems, Warn of GOP Resurgence.  Barbra Streisand, Tim Robbins and other progressive stars helped First Lady Michelle Obama fill Democrat coffers yesterday [1/29/2014] to keep both the House and Senate out of the GOP's mitts.  The L.A. fundraiser, held at the home of Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal, also included James Brolin, Paul Reiser, Dolores Roberts and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.  The event netted $700,000 for the liberal cause.

Here's what Michael Tusk served Michelle Obama at Cotogna.  But in middle of the day, Ms. Michelle Obama and a number of her guests dined at Cotogna.  It looks like the Obamas are fans of Lindsay and Michael Tusk's Pacific Avenue restaurants; back in 2012, Michael Tusk cooked for President Obama (in a private home), serving him dishes like cheese-filled tortelloni and poularde in various preparations.  On Thursday [1/30/2014], this was the menu presented to the First Lady and company: [...]

Obama's 'Operation Choke Point' Will Only Hurt Working Poor.  The Obama administration thinks driving payday lenders out of business will help the urban poor.  In fact, a Fed study suggests it will only drive them into the jaws of loan sharks.

Report: Obamas, Bidens spent $295,437 on just one vacation weekend.  According to new records obtained by the taxpayer watchdog group Judicial Watch, three separate jaunts taken by President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden during last year's Presidents Day weekend cost at least $295,437.  And that's mostly just for security, not Air Force One or other official costs.  The records were obtained from the U.S. Secret Service and details some of the "security and/or other services" of Obama's mid-February 2013 golf trip to West Palm Beach, Fla., the annual Aspen, Colo. ski trip taken by the first lady and her daughters, and the Biden family trip, also to Aspen.

Millionaire Congresswoman: Income Inequality is 'Existential Threat' to U.S..  Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who is worth millions of dollars according to her congressional financial disclosure statement, says Congress needs to tackle income inequality because it "poses an existential threat to our nation and our way of life."

Obama vs. Obama.  [Scroll down]  So who is responsible for this state of affairs?  Consider the trillion and a half dollars handed over to the banks and other financial institutions shortly after Obama took office.  This money was supposed to be extended as credit to businesses — including small businesses — in a bid to supercharge the economy according to the old Keynesian formula.  Instead it went directly into the markets, where it triggered the growth of the current market bubble, generating plenty in the way of paper profits, bonuses, and so forth along the way.  Also consider the $65 billion a month handed to the banks in the form of "quantitative easing."

Liberalism in Brooklyn.  I am watching them take my country from me — the Obamas, the de Blasios, the Holders, the generic Democrats with their imaginary sincerity and their simplistic complaints about income inequality.  As if excellence and the ability to earn are wicked traits.  In the meantime, Obama and his ilk are living pretty well.  They are not sleeping in boxes on cold urban streets.  Like thieves in the night, they try to steal the votes from the poor so that they can live even richer lifestyles.  They pretend to identify with the middle class, as if their lifestyles and prestige even resemble such a thing as "middle class."

White House imposes secrecy rules on First Lady's lavish, celebrity-filled birthday party.  There was a party in the East Room of the White House Saturday night [1/18/2014], an affair attended by a reported 500 people, a lavish celebration with celebrities galore, appearances by some of the world's most popular performers, lots of dancing and powerful government officials, including, of course, the most powerful official of all, the President of the United States.  And the White House wants to make sure you know as little as possible about it. [...] [M]aybe, since the president has announced he is devoting the rest of his time in office to an "inequality agenda," the White House felt photos of a champagne-soaked, star-studded party would be somewhat off-message.

Maryland is for millionaires!  Of all the states in the nation, Maryland once again reported the highest concentration of millionaires, according to an annual survey conducted by a wealth research firm.  A report released this week by the New York-based Phoenix Marketing International showed that there were just over 6 million millionaire households in the nation — an increase of 53,000 from the year before.

More Democrats than Republicans Sit on 10 Richest Members of Congress List.  While Republicans often get the reputation for being "the party of the rich," seven of the 10 richest members of Congress are Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).  CRP compiled a list of the 10 richest members of Congress using 2012 personal finance disclosure information, the latest available.  These wealthy Democrats are not afraid to use their big bucks and high-powered connections to get ahead.

Obama's ambassador picks, by the numbers.  $436,000 to Democratic causes — that's from former White Sox outfielder Mark Gilbert, the nominee for the U.S. Embassy post in New Zealand. [...] $291,000 in contributions to Democratic campaigns and committees — that's from "The Bold and the Beautiful" executive producer Colleen Bell, who is up for the job of ambassador to Hungary.

Taxpayers foot the bill for First Lady's extended Hawaiian vacation.  The White House conceded on Monday that the federal treasury will foot the bill to fly First Lady Michelle Obama back to Washington, D.C. on a separate government aircraft after she finishes her extended vacation at the palatial 12-bedroom Hawaii home of talk show legend Oprah Winfrey.  Dedicated vehicles, Secret Service costs, and security sweeps of the Winfrey estate on Maui will add considerably to the total tab.

Michelle Obama spending extended vacation at Oprah's Maui home.  Michelle Obama is spending her extended Hawaiian vacation at Oprah's "exquisite" Maui getaway, The Daily Caller has learned.  While White House pool reports indicate the first lady stayed behind this week in Hawaii to chill out with friends before her 50th birthday, there weren't many specifics.

1 percent pay raise latest pinch for troops, veterans struggling to pay bills.  President Obama on Monday [12/23/2013] signed an executive order giving military personnel and civilian federal workers a 1 percent pay raise, the first raise for civilians in four years.  But for military families, it was another hit.  Military members had been receiving an annual pay increase of 1.8 percent, and ther order comes as more benefit cuts loom on the horizon for military families due to tightening budgets.

The Editor says...
The President was on vacation in Hawaii on Monday the 23rd.  Did he sign this executive order on the beach or the golf course?

Obamas Go Out on the Town in Hawaii.  [Scroll down]  Later in the day, the First Family headed out again, this time to dinner at Morimoto Waikiki, an upscale restaurant from Masaharu Morimoto, the star of "Iron Chef" and "Iron Chef America."  No word on what the Obamas ordered, though the restaurant boasts a $140-per-person "omakase" chef's choice tasting menu.

You Call This Tax Fairness?  Imagine lower-income families watching their incomes drop while their tax burden goes up.  Patently unfair, right?  Yet it actually happened under President Obama.

Michelle Obama wears controversial J Mendel jacket again despite backlash over its $6,800 price tag.  Michelle Obama has once again stepped out in her $6,800 J Mendel jacket, despite fielding a backlash last time she wore the pricey garment.  The First Lady looked suitably festive as she joined her family yesterday for the taping of TNT's Christmas in Washington at the National Building Museum.  But the last time she wore the embellished garment, in July 2012 at a Buckingham Palace reception in London, political commentators took issue with the fact that she had spent so much on fashion while so many in the U.S. are suffering financially.

Who the Democrats Really Are.  The richest Americans divide their votes evenly between the two parties, depending on how they earned their wealth.  The Democrats are the party of the super-rich.  Republicans are the party of the great middle.

Who Funds the Far Left? You'll Be Surprised.  The Center for American Progress is a left-wing organization that is closely associated with the Obama administration.  Its principal product is a web site called Think Progress.  Think Progress is part of the internet cesspool that modern liberalism has become.  Written by hack left-wing bloggers, it is bitterly hostile to free enterprise.  It is a low-rent site that traffics in the most absurd smears and conspiracy theories.  Many have wondered for some years who finances far-left web sites like Think Progress.  As of today, we know at least part of the answer, as CAP released its corporate donor list for the first time.

GE, Walmart, AT&T, Google Among Center for American Progress Donors.  On Friday [12/13/2013], the Obama- and Clinton-allied Center for American Progress finally revealed its long-sought corporate donor list after heavy pressure arising from CAP's quasi-lobbying history.  That scrutiny ratcheted up following the announcement that CAP founder John Podesta would be formally joining the Obama administration. Both Politico and The New York Times called for the donor list to meet the public eye.  And so CAP handed over the list to the leftist Huffington Post.

Celebrity Hypocrites.  I'm annoyed that so many Hollywood celebrities hate the system that made them rich.  Actor/comedian Russell Brand told the BBC he wants "a socialist, egalitarian system based on the massive redistribution of wealth."  Director George Lucas got rich not just from movies but also by selling Star Wars merchandise.  Yet he says he believes in democracy but "not capitalist democracy."  Actor Martin Sheen says, "That's where the problem lies ... It's corporate America."  And so on.

Latter-Day Marxist.  A week ago, the White House Marxist declared that income inequality was the "defining challenge" we face.  If Obama really means what he says (which he almost never does) he could begin by giving up the millions he has already pocketed and the fancy houses and the fancy vacations he funds with taxes coming from Americans who are scraping to make ends meet.  Or he could close down Obamacare, the largest redistribution of income from the have nots to the haves in our lifetimes.

'Income Inequality' — The Biggest Lie of All.  In the last few days Barack Obama has attempted to change the subject of public discourse from healthcare to income inequality, which he has dubbed "the defining challenge of our time."  Now he tells us!  Since POTUS hasn't paid much attention to this problem for the first five plus years of his administration, even with African-American unemployment through the roof and the middle class disappearing from American economic life, [...] this should come as some surprise.

America's Royalty On Its Coasts Decides How The Rest Live.  The densely populated coastal corridors from Boston to Washington and from San Diego to Berkeley are where most of America's big decisions are made.  They remind us of two quite different Americas: one country along these coasts and everything else in between.  Those in Boston, New York and Washington determine how our government works; what sort of news, books, art and fashion we should consume, and whether our money and investments are worth anything.  The Pacific corridor is just as influential, but in a hipper, cooler fashion.

President Obama has nine different types of pie for White House Thanksgiving dinner.  President Barack Obama is celebrating Thanksgiving with a quiet family dinner at the White House — where he will be feasting on a choice of nine pies.

New survey: Despite Michelle Obama, Americans are eating less healthy.  According to the Obama White House, the first family consumed a Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, honey-baked ham, cornbread stuffing, oyster stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, greens, green bean casserole, dinner rolls and macaroni and cheese.  Then, the family washed all that down with nine kinds of pies:  huckleberry, pecan, sweet potato, peach, apple, pumpkin, banana cream, coconut cream and chocolate cream.

Obama Hailed as 'the Greatest Leader in the World' at Magic's House.  President Obama partied with the stars in Beverly Hills on Monday night [11/25/2013] to raise cash for the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees. [...] In a tent on the grounds of Magic Johnson's mansion, the former Lakers star hailed Obama as "the greatest leader in the world."  With ticket prices between $2,500 and $15,000 a head, the crowed included Samuel L. Jackson and Diane Keaton along with some L.A. Clippers players and members of Congress.

Obama leaving D.C. for three-day West Coast fundraising blitz.  With his popularity sinking and his faulty health care law endangering Democratic candidates, President Obama headed out of Washington on Sunday [11/24/2013] to show he's still an asset to his party — by raising campaign money.  Mr. Obama embarked on a three-day swing to the West Coast, where he'll raise millions for Democratic congressional candidates at stops in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Along the way, he'll mingle with celebrities such as former NBA star Magic Johnson and DreamWorks studio CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Keyword:  uppity
Obama Donor Complains About No Valet Parking at White House.  One of President Obama's wealthy supporters complained about the lack of valet parking at the White House — during a campaign event in California.  Haim Saban needled the president about parking at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue during a high-dollar fundraiser for Democrats.  The event was held at Saban's sprawling Beverly Hills estate.

Obama to visit DreamWorks facility in boost to major donor.  President Obama will deliver an economic speech at a DreamWorks Animation facility Tuesday [11/26/2013], giving a major presidential favor to Jeffrey Katzenberg, the film studio's CEO and one of Obama's largest donors.

Obama: The Affirmative Action President.  Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat themselves on the back.  Liberals routinely admit minorities to schools for which they are not qualified, yet take no responsibility for the inevitable poor performance and high drop-out rates which follow.  Liberals don't care if these minority students fail; liberals aren't around to witness the emotional devastation and deflated self esteem resulting from the racist policy that is affirmative action.  Yes, racist.  Holding someone to a separate standard merely because of the color of his skin — that's affirmative action in a nutshell, and if that isn't racism, then nothing is.  And that is what America did to Obama.

Obama's Fallout for the Left.  Obama has left other dilemmas for liberals.  He was the largest recipient of Goldman Sachs and BP money in history.  His financial team — notably Peter Orszag, who left the administration for Citigroup, and Jack Lew, who came to the administration from Citigroup — are proverbial revolving-door Wall Street fat cats who, in the parlance of Occupy Wall Street and Elizabeth Warren, did not really build their own wealth.  It will be hard to take seriously any future liberal critique of a Republican cozying up to Wall Street.

Immigration staffers pressured to rush visas for wealthy investors.  Staff at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field office in California were regularly pressured by senior officials to fast-track visa applications from wealthy and well-connected foreign investors, causing security concerns so severe that the program was moved to Washington this year.

D.C. awash in contracts, lobbying wealth.  The winners in the new Washington are not just the former senators, party consiglieri and four-star generals who have always profited from their connections.  Now they are also the former bureaucrats, accountants and staff officers for whom unimagined riches are suddenly possible.  They are the entrepreneurs attracted to the capital by its aura of prosperity and its super-educated workforce.  They are the lawyers, lobbyists and executives who work for companies that barely had a presence in Washington before the boom.  During the past decade, the region added 21,000 households in the nation's top 1 percent.  No other metro area came close.

Richer Than Romney: Jon Stewart Hides Mansions Under Pet's Names.  Jon Stewart, the left-wing star of the low-rated "Daily Show," might not be richer than Romney today, but the pace he's currently on means that someday he may very well be.  Of course that means nothing to Stewart as he continues to carry Obama's water and launch divisive class warfare attacks from the platform of a super PAC known as Comedy Central to attack Mitt Romney's wealth.

President Obama has a meal fit for a king in Miami.  Politics aside, a president's gotta eat.  Just ask Barack Obama, who was feted with a few fundraisers Friday [11/8/2013].  At the Pinecrest home of businesswoman/philanthropist Leslie Miller Saiontz, a 30-person dinner was catered by Chef David Catering, whose menu included Kobe hot dogs and tenderloin filet.  Then there was the one at the Coral Gables home of personal injury attorney Ralph Patino, catered by Caffe Abbracci, where restaurant owner Nino Pernetti witnessed the Commander in Chief munching on pumpkin tartlette with crumbled amarettini cookies and miniature chocolate ganache cake.

Obama's second-term ambassador nominees raised more than $16 million for him.  President Obama's second-term nominees for foreign ambassadorships raised more than $16 million for his presidential campaigns and inaugurations.  Obama has nominated 24 campaign bundlers that have raised at least $16.6 million for his presidential efforts, according to a database created by the Center for Public Integrity.  Eight six-figure Obama bundlers have already been confirmed to key posts including Singapore, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and Italy.

At least one group of Americans loves ObamaCare.  For those on the left who thought that ObamaCare would mean large health insurance companies might get their comeuppance, they might want to look at UnitedHealth.  Wall Street analysts expect the giant to see its stock price rise 40 percent over the next two years, thanks to expanding profit margins.  The company has also won big contracts to help implement the rollout.  Quality Software Services, Inc., a major contractor for Healthcare.gov, is a subsidiary of UnitedHealth.  One of President Obama's most reliable fundraisers in both 2008 and 2012 was Anthony Welters, executive vice president of UnitedHealth.  He raised more than $500,000 for the 2012 election, according to opensecrets.org

Winners and Losers: ObamaCare Exposes the 'Soylent Green Liberals'.  America is learning that under ObamaCare there are losers — millions of them — and almost all among the working and middle class.  Up to 20 million will lose the insurance President Obama reassured them they could keep, and as the cost of premiums and deductibles spike, they will find their health care choices limited.  But the only reaction to this human carnage from America's "Soylent Green Liberals" is that it is all for the greater good.

Obama Decries 'Winner-Take-All' Economy to Rich Folks 'Who Are Doing Very Well'.  President Obama attended a Democratic fund raising event in Weston, Massachusetts Wednesday night [10/30/2013] at the home of Alan and Susan Solomont.  Among the 60 attendees were a number of high-profile Democrats, according to the Boston Globe. [...] The Globe also noted that the fund raiser "ticket prices ranged from $16,200 per person to $64,800 per couple.  The DCCC would not say how much Obama expected to raise in total."

Obama to raise Democratic money at Weston fete tonight.  Tickets range from $16,200 per person to $64,800 per couple. DCCC officials declined to discuss how much money the event is expected to raise.

First lady dines at Bibiana.  Spotted:  Michelle Obama sitting down for a meal at a downtown Washington Italian restaurant on Wednesday [10/16/2013], just hours before Congress passed legislation to fund the government and avert a default.  The first lady was seen dining with two companions at Bibiana, arriving at 7 p.m. and staying for nearly three hours.

First lady cancels Bay Area fundraisers.  Democratic insiders said there was queasiness at the prospect of the first lady raising millions from wealthy donors and campaigning for Democratic causes while thousands of federal employees are furloughed because of the partial government shutdown.

Serving Our Government Masters.  [George] Washington once said that government is "a troublesome servant and a fearful master."  Government has long ceased being a troublesome servant and has become our fearful master.  Today the servants of the people have more servants of their own than many kings and queens.  The government shutdown has forced Obama to make do with only a quarter of his 1,701 person staff.  That would leave 436 "vital" employees.  The 90 people who look after his living quarters would be slashed to 15 to "provide minimum maintenance and support".

Obama: Transforming America.  Plenty of presidents have proved vicious, but few so adept in attributing their own base behavior to others.  Damning fat cats and corporate-jet owners allows a president to hold serial $50,000-a-head fundraisers.  Ridiculing Romney's elevator seems to make vacationing in Aspen, Costa del Sol, Vail, and Martha's Vineyard perfectly natural.

Chelsea Clinton gets $750,000 break on new condo.  Chelsea Clinton and hubby Marc Mezvinksy paid $9,250,000 for a four-bedroom apartment in the celebrity-studded Whitman condominium building on Madison Square Park, city records filed this month show.  That is $1.2 million less than the $10.5 million asking price, and $750,000 below what the building's other two occupants paid for their 5,000-square-foot units.

Ruling class Princess Chelsea Clinton.  I propose Chelsea Clinton as the poster girl for the Ruling Class.  She is a princess of the ruling class, a "tell" of the techno-feudal nature of power in the new order of things.  By virtue of her birth, she has been handed many things unavailable to the serfs by ruling class organs.  Her gig at NBC News is a prime example of how things work when the RC is taking care of its young.

Party of the Rich? That's the Democrats.  Another liberal storyline in shambles.  Could it be that "Reaganomics" and the "Bush tax cuts" actually favor the middle class more, and the rich less, than the corresponding liberal policies enacted under Clinton and Obama?  Nearly three and a half decades of data suggest that this may be the case.

House CR Forks Over $174,000 for Late Senator's Wife.  There are many things House Republicans liked about the government continuing resolution.  It defunds Obamacare, locks in the sequester spending cuts and keeps the government running.  But there's one provision tucked into the CR that may anger constituents back home:  Among the various sections of the House-passed CR are 28 words that would pay $174,000 to the widow of the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J. [...] Before Lautenberg's death, he was No. 8 on Roll Call's 50 Richest Members of Congress with a net worth of at least $56.8 million.

Update:
House eliminates payout to wealthy senator's widow.  After an outcry, the House has dropped a $174,000 payment to the widow of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg from its stopgap spending bill.

Obama's Middle-Class 'Mission Accomplished'.  Just before he delivered his Chattanooga speech, claiming victory on the "durable" jobs front, he had been on Martha's Vineyard vacationing at the exclusive Blue Heron Farm, the $22-million estate owned by Lord Norman and Lady Elena Foster of Great Britain.  There, in the course of his ten-day retreat, Obama got in six rounds of golf with the likes of Jim Kim, President of the World Bank, and Eunu Chun, a wealthy attorney and prominent Democratic fundraiser.  Just kicking around with ordinary middle-class folks, the kind Obama cares so much about.

Life is good for Janet Napolitano.  Higher education is an enormous industry, heavily subsidized, and the people who run it consider themselves entitled to the lifestyle of the mega rich.  Even at taxpayer-owned institutions.  Take the example of Janet Napolitano, newly installed president of the University of California.

UC leases housing at $9,950 a month for president Napolitano.  The University of California has leased an Oakland residence for incoming system president Janet Napolitano for $9,950 a month, officials said Monday [9/16/2013.  Napolitano, the former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Arizona, will be provided the housing plus an annual $570,000 salary, $8,916 a year for car expenses and $142,500 for one-time relocation costs.

Al Qaeda rises, the economy sinks: What progress, President Obama?  You would never know from taking our chief magician at his word, but America is actually sliding backward towards chaos and the economic abyss as we approach autumn.  Discontent is rising across the entire political spectrum even after we hear President Obama's many soothing sentences.  Young adults now rightly fear war without end as they wonder where the decent paying jobs are.

ObamaCare Subsidies: Not For Low-Income Young People.  Young people making as little as $20,394 won't be eligible for any ObamaCare subsidies, thanks to the way that the subsidies are calculated, according to a study released on Monday [9/16/2013].  The study also found that, overall, young people will get far less generous subsidies from ObamaCare than older people.

Obama's Economy Hits His Voters Hardest.  Mr. Obama was re-elected with 51% of the vote.  Five demographic groups were crucial to his victory:  young voters, single women, those with only a high-school diploma or less, blacks and Hispanics.  He cleaned up with 60% of the youth vote, 67% of single women, 93% of blacks, 71% of Hispanics, and 64% of those without a high-school diploma, according to exit polls.  According to the Sentier research, households headed by single women, with and without children present, saw their incomes fall by roughly 7%.  Those under age 25 experienced an income decline of 9.6%.

Obama Postpones $32,000-a-Head Hollywood Fundraiser Amid Syria Crisis.  The Sept. 9 Hancock Park fundraiser with Obama was set to include an exclusive $32,400-per-person "off the cuff" roundtable discussion with the president, as well as a photo line for those who donate $5,000 to the party — and raise an additional $20,000 from others.

PETA: Obama in 'doghouse' for choosing breeder pup over a rescue.  Fans of cute animal photos were overwhelmed Monday [8/19/2013] to find the Obama family had brought home a new buddy for Bo.  But animal-rights activists were not pleased that the First Family once again ignored the millions of dogs waiting to be adopted in shelters in favor of an expensive breeder.

The Editor says...
According to two reports [1] [2] the Obamas paid $2,300 for their new dog.

Ambassador post filings show Caroline Kennedy could be worth up to $500M.  Caroline Kennedy may be worth far more than previously thought, with newly filed documents reportedly pegging her personal wealth as high as a half-billion dollars.  The notoriously private Kennedy refused to release her financial information back in 2008, when she briefly sought an appointment to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton.  But her nomination last month to be ambassador to Japan has forced her to file her financials with a federal government ethics office.

Caroline Kennedy 'is worth up to $500m'.  Caroline Kennedy has been forced to reveal her net worth by submitting financial statements in order to be considered as the next American ambassador to Japan, and it is believed she may be worth up to $500 million.  The former first daughter's wealth has been a closely-guarded secret for decades, but now that President Obama has nominated her to represent the United States abroad, she has to list the sources of her massive income.

Caroline Kennedy discloses financial information for ambassadorship.  Five years after Caroline Kennedy refused to release financial information during her bid to take over Hillary Clinton's US Senate seat, newly filed documents reveal a personal fortune that could be as high as $500 million.

Bubba just 'plane' extravagant.  Bill Clinton's foundation has spent more than $50 million on travel expenses since 2003, an analysis of the non-profit's tax forms reveal.  The web of foundations run by the former president spent an eye-opening $12.1 million on travel in 2011 alone, according to an internal audit conducted by foundation accountants.  That's enough to by 12,000 air tickets costing $1,000 each, or 33 air tickets each day of the year.

Larry David, Carly Simon headline star-studded Obama Vineyard party.  President Obama and other top administration officials rubbed shoulders with stars of screen and stage during an exclusive Martha's Vineyard cocktail party hosted by Comcast CEO Brian Roberts earlier this week, according to a report from the New York Post.  In addition to the president and first lady, top Obama fundraiser and Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was in attendance, as was "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Larry David and singer Carly Simon.

Power-packed Vineyard party for Obama.  Comcast CEO Brian Roberts' cocktail party for President Barack Obama and wife Michelle in Martha's Vineyard last night was attended by a host of notables close to the administration. [...] Roberts has reportedly been close to the president for years and endorsed the Affordable Care Act.

It's good to be king.  Barack Obama is off on yet another vacation — his third this year and fifteenth since taking office.  And while Obama vacations, the American people are forced to cut back as he, his family, and his cronies are living like royalty on the taxpayers' tab.  With unemployment at 7.4 percent and the economy failing to create enough jobs to keep up with population growth, most Americans cannot even afford a night out — let alone a luxurious Obama-type vacation in what Politico calls "the playgrounds of the rich and famous."

How much did it cost U.S. taxpayers to airlift Bo, the First Dog, to Martha's Vineyard?  This is the worst kind of arrogance and hubris ever displayed by a U.S. president when millions are struggling to put food on the table.

The Obamas Taste The Sweet Life.  President Obama proved Sunday night that even as he fights for "the middle class" he prefers to hang out with "the upper class," indulging in an expensive repast at the overpriced "The Sweet Life Cafe" on Martha's Vineyard.  Dinner can easily run above $200 for two, even if the Obamas stick to the Let's Move diet plan and share dessert.

Obamas dine at posh DC restaurant for president's birthday.  President Obama and Michelle Obama had a date night Thursday in honor of the president's birthday.  The couple dined at Rasika West End on New Hampshire Avenue, according to a White House pool report. [...] On Saturday, the Obama family heads to Martha's Vineyard, Mass., for an eight-day vacation.

The Clintons rent a new house in Hamptons this summer.  The Clintons have decided to rent a different house in the Hamptons this summer after they only received a small portion of their security deposit back from the home they rented last year.  The famous Democrats have been frequent visitors to the expensive summer getaway in Long Island, and rented the same beachfront house in 2011 and 2012.  Even though they pencilled in a month-long stay in the Hamptons this year, they won't be making it a hat-trick as they decided to rent a different home due to the expensive utility costs at their prior rental.

The Editor says...
There must be a really good reason that they forfeited a large portion of their security deposit.  I wonder what happened.

Let Them Eat Wind.  [Scroll down]  Democrats are the Government Party, the Washington Party, and not the party of working people.  The whole of their lives, these leftist elites lecture helpless college students, threaten businessmen with litigation and other similar shakedowns, and advance proposals to create wealth by the failed mechanism of taking money from those who engage in useful work and giving that money to those who do not — after, of course, a healthy "piece of the action" for leftist cadres.

Biden Vacationing in the Hamptons.  The Hamptons will play host to not one but two potential 2016 presidential aspirants this month, with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. arriving this week for a vacation in Southampton.  Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has rented a house for August here in East Hampton, the next township over.

Obama vacation: Martha's Vineyard the playground for black elites.  In a few days, President Obama and his family will arrive on Martha's Vineyard for a family vacation.  For centuries, Martha's Vineyard and the town of Oak Bluffs in particular has been the epicenter of black elitism.  It has been said, "it does not matter where America's wealthy black families winter ... they summer in Martha's Vineyard."

The Death of Populism.  Gas has gone up about $2 a gallon since Barack Obama took office.  Given average yearly rates of national consumption, that increase alone translates into an extra $1 trillion that American drivers have collectively paid in higher fuel costs over the last 54 months.  Such a crushing burden on the cash-strapped commuter class is rarely cited in the liberal fixation on cap-and-trade, wind and solar subsidies, and the supposed dangers of fracking.

Obama Says Income Gap Is Fraying U.S. Social Fabric.  "If we don't do anything, then growth will be slower than it should be.  Unemployment will not go down as fast as it should.  Income inequality will continue to rise," he said.  "That's not a future that we should accept."

Carson Refuses To Live On Left's Racist Plantation.  [Dr.] Ben Carson isn't just a brain surgeon, but an inspiring voice of wisdom and liberty who, like Clarence Thomas, is a threat to a leftist establishment that cannot stand, as Thomas put it over 20 years ago, "uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas."

Black America's True Nemesis: Liberals, Not Zimmerman.  In the midst of all the racial hullabaloo stirred up by so-called advocates for black empowerment after the Zimmerman trail, guess who is really being harmed?  Answer:  black America.  All of you black pastors, black politicians, and black celebs who have joined Sharpton and the MSM's lynch mob to "get Zimmerman" should be ashamed of yourselves.  You are doing a huge disservice to the very people you claim to champion by chasing a straw man while ignoring the real issues that are devastating black America.

Hillary Clinton, Queen of Profit (Cattle Futures Aside).  Hillary Clinton is getting $200K per speech.  I think that qualifies as "cashing in."  I also think it qualifies as "trading on one's public office."  I have used some pretty old-fashioned phrases here.  We heard them in 1989, when Ronald Reagan went to Japan for a week and came back with $2 million.  (An old Reagan hand described this as "the Reagans' retirement fund.")  There was a storm of condemnation.  Has there been any storm over Hillary Clinton?  Over Bill Clinton, and Al Gore?  Haven't they made tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars?

Al Sharpton, Posh Populist.  Named by Business Insider as one of the "11 exclusive clubs Wall Streeters are dying to get into," the Grand Havana Room is where power brokers and celebrities hobnob with captains of industry in one of the last places where it's still legal to smoke in the Big Apple. [...] The one question I have is:  Who's paying for Al Sharpton's membership?  "The Rev" is an omnipresent member of the club.  After his MSNBC show, he'll swing by for dinner and cigars amid the other Masters of the Universe.

President Obama and family expected to vacation in Chilmark.  Though not confirmed by the White House, the Obamas are expected to stay in a four-bedroom house valued at $7.6 million with an attached two-bedroom guesthouse on Snail Road, off South Road and surrounded by woodlands.

Another of Obama's fundraisers nominated for top ambassador post.  Campaign finance chairman Matthew Barzun is set to move into the sumptuous residence in London's Court of St James which boasts a sprawling garden second only in size to that of Buckingham Palace.  Obama raised a record-breaking $1.1 billion to defeat Mitt Romney last year, of which his big money donors, or 'bundlers' as they are known in Washington, brought in an estimated $286 million.

Egypt Crisis Finds Washington Largely Ambivalent and Aloof.  In polo shirt, shorts and sandals, President Obama headed to the golf course Friday morning with a couple of old friends, then flew to Camp David for a long weekend.  Secretary of State John Kerry was relaxing at his vacation home in Nantucket.

Michelle Obama in $1,295 dress
Michelle Obama Arrived in Senegal Wearing a $1,295 Designer Dress.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.)

The Editor says...
Just as a sidebar topic, I have noticed that the Obama's two daughters, in every photograph, appear to be put out and disgruntled about having to travel on Air Force One or on the Marine Corps helicopter — which would be a once-in-a-lifetime thrill ride for the rest of us.  Criticism of the surly, ungrateful Obama brats is strictly off-limits in the mainstream press, but not on this site.

Pelosi's wealth falls to $24.4 million.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) substantial personal wealth dropped for the second year in a row after she took on more debt with her husband, according to her latest financial disclosure report.  Pelosi's personal fortune was at least $24.4 million in 2012, according to her financial disclosure statement released on Friday [6/14/2013].  That's an almost 8 percent decline from her minimum net worth of $26.4 million for 2011.

Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are America's great dividers.  This statement appears on the House Minority Leader's web site:  "Democrats are building an economic approach that lifts every American, not just the privileged few.  The average American CEO earns more before lunchtime in one day than a minimum wage worker earns all year.  This is not the kind of America we want our children to grow up in.  Today's economic challenges result from years of Republican inaction and failed policies that have left more and more Americans behind."  In Pelosi's world, Democrats are for "every American," while Republicans favor only "the privileged few."

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor nets over $3 million from memoir.  Being a Supreme Court justice has not only been good for Sonia Sotomayor's legal career, it's also helped her bank account.  The justice on Friday [6/7/2013] reported that she's received more than $3 million in advance payments for her best-selling memoir, "My Beloved World."  Her annual financial disclosure forms show that Knopf Doubleday Group paid Sotomayor $1.925 million in 2012 in anticipation of her book.  This comes in addition to the $1.2 million in advance payments she received from the publisher in 2010.

President woos Hollywood donors for DNC campaign coffers.  The event, at the home of media executive Peter Chernin, featured a mix of celebrities and high-level politicos.  President Obama wooed some of Hollywood's elite at a $10,000-a-plate Santa Monica fundraising luncheon Friday afternoon [6/7/2013] for the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The California Captivity of the Democratic Party.  This is a story about politics and power in the golden land, and it begins with the money.  In early May a luxury resort in Laguna Beach, Calif., hosted a five-day semi-annual meeting of the Democracy Alliance, a secret, invitation-only organization of liberal moneybags that since its formation in 2005 has directed some $500 million in contributions to progressive groups.  Never has a wolves' den been so posh.  The Alliance discloses neither its members nor its beneficiaries, but some of the details of its structure have leaked out over time.

JNF pays Bill Clinton $500,000 for 45-minute talk.  The Peres Academic Center has paid former US president Bill Clinton $500,000 for a headlining appearance in Rehovot on June 17.  Clinton will feature at a reception, and then do a one-hour speech and Q&A session.  Guests were last week sent invitations requiring them to stump up NIS 3,000 (just over $800) apiece to attend the gala dinner, and thus to help cover his fee, but that requirement has now been canceled.

Obama sells access to the highest bidder.  How would the media have reacted if George W. Bush had done the same?
Electric Car Lover Rejected After Liquidating Savings to Meet Obama.  Paul Scott, 60, was willing to do just about anything to get President Obama's ear for a few minutes about his lifelong passion for electric vehicles.  So the car salesman raised $32,000 by taking out money on credit cards and liquidating stock that constituted much of his life savings to attend a June 7 Democratic National Committee fundraiser the president plans to attend in California.

Salesman pays $32,400 to lobby Obama for two minutes.  A Los Angeles car salesman and electric car advocate is shelling $32,400 out of his retirement savings so he can make a pitch directly to President Obama at a "private, off-the-record" Democratic fundraiser next week.

Obama: Fundraiser in Chief.  On Thursday [6/6/2013], he plans to be the main attraction at a $32,400-a-person fundraiser in Portola Valley, Calif., and a reception in nearby Palo Alto, and on Friday he will be featured at a Democratic fundraiser in Los Angeles.  Then he is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping Friday and Saturday at the Southern California estate of publisher Walter Annenberg.  Democratic sources say President Obama will participate in several other fundraisers in the coming weeks, hauling in millions of additional dollars, but those events have not yet been announced.

Obama Advocates for Gay Marriage at Swanky $50,000 Donor Dinner.  While Barack Obama visited his rich donors at a swanky Chicago dinner where tickets cost $50,000, the common rabble were dying in the streets without protection against criminal gun violence because of Chicago's stringent gun laws.

Even the mainstream media has given up on the hopey-changey stuff.  There was a time when Obama couldn't get a bad headline in this town.  Now he's the new Nixon. [...] When Nixon was stuck in Watergate he used to escape to friendly territory to meet with his few remaining admirers and console himself with their loyalty.  On Wednesday the President of the United States took time off work to visit two Chicago Democratic fundraisers — the cost of flying aboard Air Force One to his home town was an astonishing $180,000 an hour.  He met with 70 friends at the home of longtime supporters Bettylu and Paul Saltzman, the kind of fans prepared to spend $32,400 per head to have dinner with the Prez.

Travels of the President Under a Microscope in an Era of Belt Tightening.  On Wednesday [5/29/2013], President Obama left the White House for two Chicago fund-raisers in the hope of helping Democrats retake the House in next year's elections.  The cost of flying aboard Air Force One to his hometown:  $180,000 per hour.  The same day, Michelle Obama traveled to Massachusetts to lunch with rich donors who had paid up to $37,600 per ticket at the Taj Boston Hotel.  The meal included roasted Chilean sea bass with a fricassee of asparagus.

New York Times questions Obama's expensive travel.  The New York Times on Thursday [5/30/2013] reports on President Obama's frequent travel aboard Air Force One at a time when government employees are suffering furloughs and budget cuts.

Emanuel reports gifts from the rich and famous.  A stay at the house of a Hollywood entertainment mogul, transportation on the tabs of millionaire venture capitalists and, for the second straight year, sports tickets, meals and more from his close adviser Michael Sacks.  These perks and others are listed on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's annual economic interest statement, and once again illustrate how Chicago's chief executive moves in some of the country's elite entertainment and financial circles.

Four Things to Know About Penny Pritzker, a Billionaire and Obama's Commerce Secretary Pick.  [#4]  With a net worth of an estimated $1.8 billion, this heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune, which her family founded, has become one of the leading philanthropists in the Windy City.  The Pritzker family name is one of the most prominent in Chicago.

Commerce nominee tangled in massive bank collapse that cost depositors millions.  President Obama's nominee for Commerce secretary was embroiled in a massive bank failure more than a decade ago, in a collapse that cost depositors and federal insurers millions of dollars.  The 2001 collapse of Superior Bank FSB now appears likely to re-emerge, more than a decade later, as Commerce nominee Penny Pritzker prepares for a confirmation hearing and Republicans already draw attention to the bank implosion.

Diane Feinstein's husband's company lands big high-speed rail contract.  The group lead by Tutor Perini bid $985,000,000 to build the initial 29-mile stretch, roughly from Fresno to Madera, which doesn't include the costs for electrification and land purchase.  And, as Laer points out at Crazifornia, they started with this section because it's the cheapest.  (I can't wait to see what the bids are to lay track through the mountain passes...)

Dianne Feinstein's Husband Bags High-Speed Rail Construction Contract.  Sen. Diane Feinstein's husband Richard Blum won a construction contract for California's high-speed rail project, reports the California Political Review.  Author Laer Pearce says Perini-Zachary-Parsons, a construction group partially owned by Blum's investment firm, Blum Capital, and their investors, bagged the nearly billion dollar contract.

Sarkozy and Carla gave Obama and Michelle $40,000 worth of gifts in just one year.  Former French President and pop singer wife Carla Bruni gave America's first couple more than $40,000 worth of gifts in a single year, it emerged today [4/26/2013].  Presents included a designer Hermes golf bag and Baccarat crystal statuettes of players, according to newly released records.

Inaugural group amends report: Pritzker gave $250,000, not $500,000.  Chicago billionaire Penny Pritzker, under consideration to lead the Commerce Department, gave the president's 2013 inauguration a contribution of $250,000, not $500,000, according to an amended report filed Tuesday [4/23/2013].

Obama Schedules Whirlwind Fundraising Week for DNC, Planned Parenthood.  On Wednesday [4/24/2013], President Obama is slated to head to Dallas, Texas, to attend the opening of the Bush Presidential Library, along with Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush.  But he's using the opportunity to fundraise for 2014.  Obama will be headlining a $10,000-per-plate fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at Naomi Aberly's home on the night before the library opens.  That fundraiser will mark Obama's third for the DNC this year.

Former Obama Advisers Cash In.  From the first lady's former communications director now the vice president of Siemens corporate affairs, to individual consulting deals for Obama campaign operatives like Stephanie Cutter and David Plouffe, there is a new generation of "Obama millionaires."  For instance, [Noam] Scheiber notes, former UBS president Robert Wolf has opened shop with a new firm called 32 Advisors, which advises domestic and foreign business clients.

Obama back in NYC for cash.  The president will appear at a cozy reception for fewer than 65 guests with tickets priced at $32,400 per couple at the Manhattan home of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his designer wife Georgina Chapman on May 13, Page Six has exclusively learned.  The invitation explains attendees get "a frank and intimate discussion with the president" where they can ask questions, and afterward Obama will "say thank you to each guest and take a photo with them."

Another Exclusive Party at W.H. — at Taxpayer Expense.  [W]hile the performers are known, the guest list for the private event has not yet been released.  One imagines it's a tough ticket to come by.  To attend any event at the White House, one must be invited.

Protesters greet Obama on S.F.'s Billionaires' Row.  Barack Obama is an addict.  And his drug of choice is the money showered on him by Bay Area billionaires.  The lure of endless cash and boundless adoration is just too much to resist, and so for the umpteenth time since 2008 he once again scheduled a fundraising trip through San Francisco, this time on April 3 to benefit Nancy Pelosi and her quest to reclaim the Speakership of the House:  since Obama himself no longer needs campaign donations, all the money gathered on this trip would go to Democratic congressional candidates.

Versailles on the Potomac.  The American people are enduring 0.4 percent GDP growth and 7.7 percent unemployment.  A record 48 million citizens are on food stamps.  Meanwhile, those in America's royal palace are enduring tropical beaches, country clubs, and ski resorts.  As Joseph Curl recalled in Sunday's Washington Times, the Obamas rang in 2013 in a 6,000-square-foot, $8 million estate in Oahu's Paradise Point.  That's when Obama played his 100th presidential golf round, one of five during the first family's 17-day Hawaiian getaway.

The $32,400 brunch.  President Obama kicked off his DNC fundraising in California Thursday [4/4/2013] with a $32,400-per-head brunch at the Atherton home of investment guru Mark W. Heising and his wife, Liz Simons. [...] The intimate affair included only roughly 30 guests, who for the price of admission got a photo with the president and to listen to his remarks [...]

Obama decries "perpetual campaign" at $2.5 million House Democrat fundraiser.  Hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer hosted Obama's cocktail party at his San Francisco mansion Wednesday night [4/3/2013], before Obama transitioned to an even more exclusive $32,400-per-person dinner at Ann Getty's mansion in Pacific Heights ($32,400 is the maximum amount any one person can give a national party committee in one year.)

White House 'Memphis Soul' Concert to Feature Justin Timberlake, Al Green, Queen Latifah, and Others.  Next week Justin Timberlake, Al Green, Queen Latifah, and many others will perform at the White House in a "Memphis Soul" concert, the White House announced today [4/2/2013].

Obama Fundraiser at Home of Exec Who Sits on Board of Stimulus Recipient.  President Obama is scheduled to headline a Democratic National Committee fundraiser next week at the home of a California private equity executive who also sits on the board of a company that received stimulus funds.  The fundraiser will be held at the Atherton, Calif. home of Mark Heising.  Tickets to the event cost $32,400.

Joe Biden runs up bill of $585,000 for just one night in five-star Paris hotel.  Paris may be known as the City of Light, but that title certainly doesn't mean that visitors are light on spending as Vice President Joe Biden's one day trip cost taxpayers more than half a million dollars.  When Mr Biden and his hefty entourage stayed in Paris for an evening in early February and it cost $585,000.50 for that single night.

Biden's $459,388.65 Hotel Bill.  Vice President Biden and his entourage spent a little time in London in early February during his first foreign trip of the second term of the Obama administration.  A document released today [3/22/2013] revealed that the cost of lodging in London alone was close to half a million dollars.

Sequester Joe Biden.  Vice President Biden's hotel bill in Paris — the Drudge Report headlines it at $585,000.50 for a night at the Intercontinental, not including the ride in from the airport — is prompting the futureofcapitalism.com to wonder why Amtrak's most famous passenger failed to stay at the sprawling palace that serves as the residence of the American ambassador in the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.  A good question, to which we'd add our own:  What was Mr. Biden, whose only constitutional duty is to serve in the Senate as its president, doing in Paris in the first place?

Joe Biden's trip abroad gets even costlier with $322K limo bill ON TOP of $1million hotel stays.  Vice President Joe Biden's costly trip to London and Paris last month just got more expensive.  A newly uncovered receipt from the February trip shows the vice president's office spent $321,665 to a limousine company in Paris, in addition to the previously reported hotel tabs of $585,000 for one night's stay in the city and and $459,338 for a night in London.  State department officials say Biden's staff members, who are not allowed to drive themselves, used the limo company to get around the city.

Biden's $321,665 Limo Bill.  After two items last week on the cost of lodging for Vice President Joe Biden's early February trip to Europe, other news organizations began to investigate further.  Wolf Blitzer's show The Situation Room on CNN uncovered a contract apparently also related to the same visit to Paris:  ["]Also on the receipt was $321,665 for a limousine company.["]

How Obama Turned America into Venezuela.  Seven of the 10 richest counties in America are now in the Washington D.C. area.  Arlington County alone added $6,000 to its average income in one year alone.  D.C. and its bedroom communities got rich at twice the rate of the rest of the country and in the last election; Obama won 8 of the 10 richest counties in the country.  Washington D.C. is richer than Silicon Valley.  Median income in the D.C. area hit $84,523 despite the city itself having horrendous unemployment and poverty statistics.

Will Smith Revealed as Obama 'Superbundler'.  Over the weekend we learned Smith was one of President Barack Obama's superbundlers, a term used for those who cleverly work around current campaign finance laws to raise oodles of cash for a politician. [...] This wouldn't have mattered four years ago, but Obama's recovery-free recovery continues to pound ordinary Americans.

Obama camp identifies more bundlers.  The Obama campaign is identifying high-dollar fundraisers for the fourth quarter of 2012.  The updated list of bundlers on the campaign's web site includes roughly a dozen new names in the $500,000 and above category.  They include actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, as well as clean-energy venture capitalist Steve Westly.  Westly was bumped up from the $200,000 to $500,000 range, while the Smiths are on the list for the first time.

Will Smith among new additions to Obama campaign bundlers.  The Obama-Biden campaign released an updated list of bundlers from the fourth quarter of the 2012 campaign on Saturday [3/2/2013].  Those bundlers — which the campaign refers to as voluntary fundraisers — are able to collect large sums from other donors.  Actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith landed on the list, having hosted a fundraiser at their Los Angeles home, in the $500,000-and-above category.  Filmmaker Tyler Perry is also billed in the top category.

Want to meet Obama? It will cost you $500k.  One of my favorite scenes in Lincoln takes place at the White House.  Petitioners from across the United States wait in the lobby for an audience with the president. [...] Those days are over — needless to say.  Unless, that is, you happen to have a spare $500,000.  In which case you too can meet with the president, on a quarterly basis, provided the $500,000 finds its way to Organizing for Action (OFA), the nonprofit, social welfare organization "established to support President Obama in achieving enactment of the national agenda Americans voted for on Election Day 2012."

Obama Talks Out of Both Sides of His Mouth on Campaign Finance.  Last Friday, a story by Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times revealed that President Obama's political team is trying to raise $50 million to fund the conversion of his reelection campaign into Organizing for Action, a "powerhouse" new national lobbying group.  The story said that at least half of the organization's budget will come from a small number of well-connected donors who each raise or contribute more than $500,000.  In return, those donors get a spot on a national advisory board, the right to attend quarterly meetings with the president and access to other White House meetings.

President Obama doesn't (really) care about campaign finance reform.  Organizing for America, the new grassroots lobbying and advocacy organization being run by top aides to the 2012 campaign, has set a budget of $50 million with at least half of that total coming from large checks written by a handful of very wealthy donors, according to the New York Times' Nick Confessore.  The group has also been set up as a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization, meaning that it can not only accept unlimited donations from individuals but that it is under no requirement to disclose the sources of those contributions.

5 Reasons Barack Obama is a Creep.  [#2]  What he says is completely unrelated to what he does:  Barack Obama is like an alcoholic who pledges to quit drinking and then gets hammered every night. [...] This is how Barack Obama can demand a sequester and then turn around and run against it or yammer on incessantly about transparency while he stonewalls on Fast and Furious.  We're talking about a man who's worth nearly 10 million dollars, who has campaign events with celebrities and millionaires on a regular basis, and who just seems to squeeze in a little bit of work in between lavish vacations and golf outings with Tiger Woods; yet he spent most of last year campaigning against rich people.

S.A. Democratic stalwart eyed.  Seven months after hosting a private $35,800-a-plate fundraiser for President Barack Obama at his home in The Dominion, nationally recognized plaintiff's lawyer and Democratic Party stalwart Mikal C. Watts finds himself under federal investigation over the legitimacy of his client list in a case stemming from the 2010 BP oil spill.

Explaining the Inexplicable.  The president, as is his wont, blasted the "one percent," the "millionaires and billionaires," and the "well-connected" in his recent State of the Union speech — and then he flew off to golf and hang out with the one percent of the one percent in South Florida while his wife and kids jetted to Aspen to ski.

Obama and his 1 percent.  In the State of the Union, Mr. Obama once more went after "the few," and "the wealthiest and the most powerful," whom he blasted as the "well-off and the well-connected" and the "billionaires with high-powered accountants."  Like clockwork, the president then jetted to West Palm Beach, Fla., for yet another golfing vacation at one of the nation's priciest courses, replete with lessons from a $1,000-per-hour golf pro to improve the presidential putting.

Hollywood's Pious Hypocrisy.  Hollywood stars routinely tout the virtues of the little guy battling the rich and powerful.  They are legendary in their support for the income-leveling agenda of Barack Obama-while enjoying a sybaritic lifestyle (multiple houses, servants, nannies to act as proxy parents, chauffeurs) that make them the 1% of the 1%.  They have access to private planes (John Travolta has a veritable air fleet) to avoid long lines and exposure to the hoi polloi at airports.  These are the same planes that Barack Obama condemned while vilifying the rich.  Of course, Barack Obama and his family hypocritically revel in the same luxe lifestyle.

Obama selling White House access to wealthy donors who support Organizing for Action.  The group 'Organizing for Action' is a reorganized version of President Obama's 'Organizing for America' campaign juggernaut — now a tax-exempt "advocacy" group where federal contribution limits don't apply.  According to the Times, wealthy donors who give $500,000 or more get to join the group's "national advisory board" which allows them to attend quarterly meetings with the president "along with other meetings at the White House."

White House denies claims that a $500,000 donation 'buys' face time with the president.  The White House defended itself today after suggestions that high-dollar donors to President Obama's new non-profit advocacy group would 'buy' face time with the Commander-In-Chief. [...] There have been reports that those who contributed more than $500,000 to his cause would be invited to quarterly meetings with the president in a pay-to-play.

Obama's Backers Seek Big Donors to Press Agenda.  President Obama's political team is fanning out across the country in pursuit of an ambitious goal:  raising $50 million to convert his re-election campaign into a powerhouse national advocacy network, a sum that would rank the new group as one of Washington's biggest lobbying operations.  But the rebooted campaign, known as Organizing for Action, has plunged the president and his aides into a campaign finance limbo with few clear rules, ample potential for influence-peddling, and no real precedent in national politics.

Cost of Obama Hawaii Vacation Could Save 160 Teachers' Jobs.  The $7 million price tag for President Obama's most recent Hawaii vacation could pay the salaries of about 160 teachers for a full year.

President Obama's latest uphill battle: Playing golf in Florida with Tiger Woods.  President Obama played golf Sunday with Tiger Woods during the president's long holiday weekend in Florida, amid concerns from the media about a lack of access before, during and after the newsworthy outing.  The foursome at the Floridian National Golf Club, in Palm City, Fla., included U.S. trade representative Ron Kirk and Jim Crane, a Democratic donor who owns the club and the Houston Astros baseball team.

$1000/Hr: Obama Books World's Top Golf Pro for Vacation.  Economic growth is in the negative, unemployment is on the rise, Walmart's forecasting a disastrous February for retail sales, poverty's up, gas prices are up, the cost of health care premiums are up, middle class incomes are falling, consumer confidence is at a two year low, our deficit is unsustainable, and Barack Obama has just signed up for private golf lessons with two of the top teachers in the country.

Long after Election Day, major donors keep giving to Obama.  President Obama's special large-donor campaign vehicle, which can accept donations of more than $100,000 — far more than individuals can give to standard campaign committees — continued to take in money weeks after the election, raising $1.8 million between November 27 and December 31, record show.

Nancy Pelosi Meets with Barbra Streisand, Plots Dem House Comeback.  Hollywood Democrats aren't happy that one half of Congress remains out of their control.  So a gaggle of big name celebrity donors, including Barbra Streisand, convened at the home of liberal activist/producer Norman Lear to plot a comeback strategy and watch a little must-see TV.

Nancy Pelosi Meets with Barbra Streisand, Plots Dem House Comeback.  More than 40 Hollywood politicos — including Barbra Streisand, James Brolin and Haim Saban — gathered Thursday night [1/31/2013] at a closed-door meeting at Norman Lear's Westside mansion, where they heard Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lay out the party's plans for recapturing the House in the 2014 mid-terms.

Twinkie-Killer Donates To Dem Super PAC.  Timothy Collins, the CEO of private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings, was the lone donor to the Super PAC dedicated to helping Democratic Senate candidates disclosed in the year-end filing.  Collins contributed at least $10,000 to Majority PAC, according to the dark money group's most recent FEC filing.

Gun Control Frenzy — Proof Democrats Are The Real Racists.  There is no doubt that the Sandy Hook school massacre was an unspeakable tragedy but I doubt seriously that had the murdered children been killed at an inner-city school, Presidential Obama would be holding a conference using children as a dramatic prop for his dictatorial gun control agenda.  Nor would there be hysterical politicians calling for tighter gun control laws nor column after column from leftwing writers exploiting the tragedy.  The sad truth is that none of these demagogues care one bit about murdered black or Hispanic children unless the perpetrators of these crimes are white.

'All My Babies' Mamas' reveals liberals opinion of blacksAll My Babies' Mamas is characteristic of liberals' typical bigotry of lowered expectations regarding minorities.  Liberals accuse black conservatives who reject liberal racist stereotypes of being traitors to their race, trying to be white, and "selling out."  Long-suffering courageous black conservatives offer blacks real empowerment:  liberation from crippling victimhood and entitlement mindsets.  Due to liberals' resentment/hatred for America and traditional values, they are repulsed when black conservatives encourage blacks to get an education, work hard, revive traditional black community morality, and go for their dreams.

Obama hosts 'benefactors' at White House.  President Obama hasn't been seen in public today, but he hasn't been idle either — he's been entertaining financial backers at the White House.  The president and first lady Michelle Obama hosted donors and other supporters in town for second inauguration weekend.  A "Benefactors' Brunch" took place at the White House from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., says pool reporter Alexis Simendinger of Real Clear Politics.

Elon Musk: Poster Child of Obama Gilded Age.  We live in the gilded age of crony capitalism.  If you have any doubt about that fact look no further than Elon Musk's purchase of a $17 million mansion in Bel Air, California.  Who is Elon Musk?  He struck it rich with the invention of PayPal.  Lately, though, he has cashed in on the Obama "green energy" and government giveaway bonanza.  He plays the game well.

A Conspiracy So Immense.  The brainchild of Michael Brune, Phil Radford, Larry Cohen, and Ben Jealous, the Democracy Initiative, according to Mother Jones's Kroll, is "the first time so many groups teamed up to work on multiple issues not tied to an election."  These guys have pull.  Brune is the executive director of the Sierra Club and former executive director of the more radical Rainforest Action Network.  Radford runs Greenpeace.  Cohen is the president of the 700,000-member Communications Workers of America, "the largest telecommunications union in the world."  Jealous is the president and chief executive officer of the NAACP.

The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy.  Matthew Continetti writes at the Washington Free Beacon about the formation of an incredibly powerful lobbying group, composed of organizations that boast millions of political foot soldiers, with a total income measured in the billions of dollars.  It plans to spend tens of millions of dollars pushing a rigid ideological agenda.  It's a textbook example of everything we are constantly told is "wrong" with Washington, a combination of big money, political self-interest, political influence, and secrecy.

The Democracy Initiative: a Coup in Plain Sight.  Matthew Continetti [...] picks up on a report by Andy Kroll in Mother Jones about a coordinated effort by about 36 different interest groups with reported revenues of no less than $1.69 billion, pledging millions of dollars to work together to attack conservative supporters and organizations, to intervene directly in Democratic politics, to push for filibuster reform to better enable a push through their agenda without any input from the opposition, and expanding "voting rights" and fighting voter registration laws to further grease the skids for their legislative agenda.

Labor union bosses' salaries put 'big' in Big Labor.  There can be riches in standing up for the working class:  The Boilermakers union president earned $506,000, plus hundreds of thousands of dollars more for travel expenses, while the Laborers union president made $441,000.  The Transportation Communications Union leader made $300,000, bumped up to $750,000 with business expenses.  Patrick W. Flynn makes $435,000 a year in his capacity as treasurer of a 13,600-member Teamsters union local, and the $30,000 in business expenses he collects on top of costs associated with carrying out his duties around Mokena, Ill., approach that of a typical worker's entire salary.

Meet The 'Bullies': Breitbat Editor Exposes Obama's Army of Thugs In New Book.  President Obama and his leftist allies like to claim they're anti-bullying.  They stand up for the little guy.  They stand up to the powerful.  They protect victims.  They're liars.

The New Liberal Aristocracy.  [Scroll down]  Senator John Kerry, who will soon become secretary of state, is a tireless advocate of higher taxes while enjoying his multimillionaire wife's multiple estates.  In 2010, Massachusetts resident Kerry docked his new $7 million yacht in nearby Rhode Island in order to avoid paying about $500,000 in taxes to his home state.  Should not Kerry have welcomed the chance to chip in half a million to an insolvent treasury, given his advocacy for higher taxes?

Al Gore is now richer than Mitt Romney — and it's all thanks to big oil.  Al Gore's strategy for saving the Earth seems to be to raise enough money to be able to buy it.  After selling his failing Current TV company to Al Jazeera, Gore is suddenly a super rich man.  Forbes analyst Ryan Mac says, "Taking into account taxes to be paid on the deal, possible earlier debt and the fact that Gore's representatives declined to comment, Forbes conservatively estimates the former vice president's net worth to be at least $300 million."

Al Gore is now 'richer than Romney'.  Someone finally has done all the math on the recent sale of Al Gore's Current TV to the Arabic language channel Al-Jazeera for $500 million.  Jobs were lost, buzz created, employees angered, but the former vice president had little to say about it.  He did walk away with a reported $100 million — a tidy sum for a man who had less that $2 million in assets when he ran for president more than a dozen years ago, says Forbes magazine.

The Democrats' War on Science Aids Our Enemies.  [T]his week Al Gore, anti-carbon fuel drum major, made a cool $100 million selling his 20% share in the failing, unwatched Current TV to Arab Al-Jazeera, owned by major carbon fuel producers.  (His partner, Joel Hyatt, son-in-law of former Ohio Democratic senator Howard Metzenbaum, also benefited mightily.)  It's hard to conclude that this $500 million Al-Jazeera purchase is anything other than a payoff for effectively hampering the exploitation of American carbon fuels and advocating openly for giving a cable entrée to this Arab-broadcasting network. Current TV isn't worth anything like the price paid for it.

Years ago, somebody was the first to sell rifles to the Indians, and more recently, somebody else was the first to sell bandwidth to Al-Jazeera.
Terror TV Pays Al Gore $100 Million for U.S. Media Access.  Al-Jazeera, once considered the voice of Osama bin-Laden and known for anti-American and anti-Semitic rhetoric, has announced the purchase of Al Gore's low-rated cable channel, Current TV, in a transparent attempt to buy access to the U.S. media market for operatives of the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood.  Gore has reportedly made $100 million from the $500 million deal.

The Al Jazeera Deal: How Al Gore Race-Baited His Way to a $100M Pay Day.  One of America's great legal rackets is cable/satellite television, where somewhere around 100 million Americans pay for literally dozens of channels they never watch.  As you well know, to do business with any cable/satellite provider means being forced into expensive tiers and/or packages that include channels we wouldn't watch for free.  Because of this, we're not only forced into subsidizing junk; we're also subsidizing programming that works against our own political and cultural beliefs, like MSNBC, CNN, OWN, MTV, etc.

Who's Worse — Al Gore or Bernie Madoff?  Whatever else he is, Gore is arguably a business genius when it comes to generating massive amounts of income from dubious enterprises and, unlike Bernie Madoff, getting away with it.

Teachers union spends millions from membership dues on parties and conferences.  Included in the United Federation of Teachers' $166.5 million in spending last year was a hefty $33.4 million in salary for union staffers — a slight increase from the year prior.  More than 90 staffers earned six-figure salaries between July 2011 and June 2012, the records show — including President Michael Mulgrew, who took home $275,000.

Kerry Has Investments in Companies Accused of Violating Iran Sanctions.  John Kerry, who will be nominated later today to be the next secretary of state, is the richest member of the U.S. Senate.  His estimated net worth is, at minimum, $198.65 million, according to disclosure forms.  Kerry's disclosure forms also reveal that he has invested in companies accused of doing business with Iran.

Six of country's 10 richest counties in D.C. area.  Six of the 10 richest counties in the nation are in the Washington region, as median household incomes rise and Washingtonians benefit from a government-driven economy.  Loudoun County maintained its crown as the wealthiest county in the nation, with a median household income of $119,525 in 2011, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Democratic super PACs get jump on 2014, 2016.  Winning changes everything.  It took Democrats a while to warm up to super PACs, but their glee over 2012 is — for now — eclipsing any moral qualms about big money eroding democracy, and they're already busy at work courting their wealthiest supporters and planning even more ambitious efforts for future elections.

The Democrats and Big Money.  Like much in the Democratic playbook, Obama's self-righteous complaint about the rising tide of big money in politics told a certain truth, but it did not tell the whole truth, and the story of Democrats' moral posturing about money illuminates the hypocrisy and deception at the heart of the party's most cherished self-image.

Obama will take oath twice this time, just to be safe.  [Scroll down]  Because an inauguration's folderol costs tens of millions of dollars, and even Chicago pols lack the chutzpah to demand federal funds, Obama's money-raisers must assemble the money privately.  Oh, look!  Corporate donors and special interests will foot the bill.

Obama to take corporate cash for inauguration.  President Barack Obama will accept unlimited corporate donations for his Inauguration in January, reversing his position from his first Inauguration, according to two sources close to the planning.  There are no legal limits for inauguration donations, but four years ago, the president capped all contributions at $50,000 and barred companies from kicking in any money.  Obama had also banned corporate money from the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Christmas for Obama Bundlers.  While President Obama's lips champion the middle class, his administration's old hands are preparing to lavish rewards on the creme de la campaign creme:  his wealthiest political donors.  Several media outlets reported this week that the White House is considering fashion doyenne Anna Wintour for a possible appointment as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain or France.  The rumored short list also includes Obama campaign finance chairman Matthew Barzun and investment banker Marc Lasry.  The three share one common, er, "qualification":  Each raked in more than $500,000 for Team Obama 2012.

Will Google's Eric Schmidt join the Obama administration?  Schmidt's big role in the Obama re-election campaign, Google's $1.9 million donation to Democrats during the race, and Washington's efforts to quiet a looming Federal Trade Commission investigation into Google are key signs that the president wants Schmidt in his cabinet, insiders believe.

The Confessions of a Confused Misfit.  I was not surprised when Susan Rice just disclosed that she is worth considerably over $30 million — and has money in Keystone no less.  Are they all part of the "one percent"?  Did they pay "their fair share"?  Do they "spread the wealth"?  At what point in his life did Al Gore know that he had made enough money (before barreling ahead and making more)?

The perks of being a union executive.  Wage amounts are usually public record, but are perilously difficult to pin down.  What a union executive makes can be inflated in the record by sick leave accrual or severance payouts, or can be understated because of tax deferments or allowances in lieu of pay.  Still, with that caveat in place, an examination of 2010-11 tax records reveals wages of the highest paid employees of the National Education Association and its state affiliates — defined here as the money reported in box 1 of a W-2 form — ranged from almost $540,000 down to less than $92,000.

Anna Wintour is a ludicrous pick for US Ambassador to London.  Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, is reportedly in the running to become the next US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, to succeed the outgoing Louis Susman.  According to Bloomberg, Wintour was among "Obama's biggest bundlers of donations in the campaign", raising over $500,000 to re-elect the president.  As Bloomberg notes, the Obama administration (like many previous US administrations) has a penchant for rewarding top donors with plum diplomatic posts.

It's Good to be King: The Extravagance of the Obama Family.  On Thanksgiving, the Obamas had a feast that would have made Marie Antoinette green with envy.  President Obama spends outrageous sums of money for lavish dinners and his family gets multiple vacations per year.

White House Thanksgiving: Six Types of Pie.  As food pantries across the United States are overwhelmed by the newly poor and food stamp use is the highest it's ever been, the Obama first family is enjoying a Thanksgiving meal with six different types of pie.

Wal-Mart heir funding Obama big time.  This is at first surprising for a couple of reasons.  First, the Waltons tend to be Republican.  Second, the conventional wisdom is that megacorps like Wal-Mart are a Republican thing.  But Sam Walton gave the maximum $30,800 to the Obama Victory Fund in 2008, and $40,000 to the OVF this election.

Medical giant Stryker cuts 1,170 jobs, citing ObamaCare.  The company will cut 1,170 jobs, or five percent of its worldwide workforce, despite the fact that the founder's grandson was one of the largest contributors to President Obama's re-election campaign.  Medical tech scion Jon Stryker, whose net worth is currently estimated at $1.2 billion, contributed $2 million to the Priorities USA Action super PAC and has given $66,000 in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party.

Letter: Menendez Must Be Investigated.  New Jersey Republicans are accusing Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) of having violated Senate ethics rules by failing to disclose or seek Senate permission for air travel and lodging provided by a wealthy campaign donor. [...] Records indicate Menendez made at least four trips on a corporate jet owned by Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist who has donated more than $220,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 1993.  Melgen gave at least $12,600 to Menendez during that period.

Fundraiser luncheon for Michelle Obama: tickets cost $2,500-per-head.  TMZ reports that to simply attend, and presumably eat, at the event, each person will have to pay $2,500-per-head.  The tickets go up in those increments depending on how much access each individual wants.

Liberals' green-energy contradictions.  Al Gore is about 50 times richer than he was when he left the vice presidency in 2001.  According to an Oct. 11 report by The [Washington] Post's Carol D. Leonnig, Gore accumulated a Romneyesque $100 million partly through investing in alternative-energy firms subsidized by the Obama administration.

Lies come home to roost.  Granny Warren, the fake Indian, is now portraying herself as the tribune of the middle class, the people Middle Class Joe Biden said have been buried for the last four years, and you can believe him, because he always tells the truth. [...] Granny lives in the People's Republic of Cambridge, and bought her Victorian for $447,000 in 1995, the year she drifted into Massachusetts.  It's now assessed at $1,749,000.  The mansion itself is so incredibly posh that last year, when a magazine writer wanted to interview Warren there, the campaign insisted that the house itself was "off the record."  During the past four years, the Warrens have averaged $845,000 a year in income.

World's Richest Man Gets Richer Supplying 'Obamaphones' to Poor.  Make one wonder how many more rip-off programs that we are paying for.

Mexican billionaire making millions from American government program that gives poor free cell phones.  The richest man in the world, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, is making millions in profits from a government program that supplies poor Americans with free cell phones.  Mr Slim, who is worth an estimated $69 billion, owns the parent company of both the service provider and phone producer which creates the phones used in the Lifeline program.

More about free cell phones.

Who gets rich off 'free' government phones?  One of America's fastest-growing wireless carriers is a company you've probably never heard of:  Tracfone Wireless.  It's the U.S. arm of a telecom empire controlled by the world's richest man, Carlos Slim, and it's the biggest player in an increasingly lucrative market:  subsidized mobile phones for low-income Americans.

Obama Flying to LA to Reassure Hollywood Donors.  Presidential pal [George] Clooney will make a special appearance to introduce [Stevie] Wonder.  Afterward, Obama will head next door for a $25,000-per-plate dinner at Wolfgang Puck's chic WP24.

Obama appoints wife of Univision owner to UN diplomatic post.  President Barack Obama appointed Cheryl Saban, wife of the owner of Univision, as U.S. representative to the United Nations, according to reports from various news blogs.  According to the Politico blog, Haim Saban, owner of the television network, backed Hillary Clinton in 2008, but during the summer donated $1 million to groups supporting the campaigns of Democrats.

First Lady: Cost-Free Contraception Is 'Basic Preventive Care'.  The first lady spoke [10/2/2012] at the Westin Hotel in Seattle where, according to the White House press pool report, about 700 attended, paying between $500 and $10,000.

On the Road to Benghazi.  In retrospect, the Democratic Convention highlighted a liar, Elizabeth Warren.  She was hired by Harvard law school because she lied about her ethnicity to gain affirmative action benefits, exaggerated her scholarship which was shoddy, practiced law for years in Massachusetts out of her law school office without being a member of that state's bar — and possibly at the time a member of no bar at all.  She gummed on before the crowd about working for the middle class hiding from the audience that she had made hundreds of thousands of dollars representing big corporations in disputes against steel workers and asbestos victims among others.

Democrat Senate Hopeful Warren Exposed As Complete Fraud.  On top of fraudulently claiming minority Indian status without any documented ancestry, the Harvard law professor has now been busted practicing law in Massachusetts without a state license.  Worse, her client list includes the type of corporations that Ms. Populist has demonized on the campaign trail as greedy polluters and exploiters of the "little guy."  Turns out working-class champion Warren in 1995 hired herself out as a legal gun for LTV Steel to help the conglomerate fight thousands of retired coal miners who wanted more health and pension benefits, the Boston Herald says.  She pocketed a cool $10,000 in the case.  Records show in 2009 she also defended insurance giant Travelers against asbestos victims.

Elizabeth Warren represented large utility seeking to liquidate rural electric cooperative.  I'm not from Massachusetts, and I'm perfectly willing to let the good people of Massachusetts decide who their Senators should be without my assistance.  But I do think you're entitled to the facts before you vote, and in at least one respect Professor Warren is not being accurate in her description of one of the cases she handled.  Rather than working to save a rural electric cooperative, Warren represented a large utility which sought to liquidate the cooperative and purchase the cooperative's main asset, a large coal burning plant north of Baton Rouge.

More about Elizabeth Warren.

Obama's Class Warfare Rhetoric Is Preparation for Tyranny.  Mitt Romney was entirely correct when he alluded to the efforts by Obama and the Democrats to create a faction of people dependent upon the government, and therefore upon themselves, who therefore would form a reliable voting bloc.  Indeed, this has been the Left's modus operandi since FDR's time — lure Americans into the addiction of government handouts, continually make the income tax code more and more "progressive" so that greater and greater numbers of us in effect do not pay any income taxes while shifting the burden more and more to the capital-providing, jobs-producing rich.  By draining and driving out these victims of redistribution, the government then generates more "need" for hand-outs and assistance as jobs disappear and the economy systematically slows down.  Obama has been working for the last four years to accelerate these trends because he is making a concerted effort to grasp total power.

Obama Oct. 7 LA Fundraiser Locks In Exclusive Dinner Location & Concert Performers.  Jeffrey Katzenberg will be co-hosting the now $25,000 a ticket dinner scheduled after the 30 Days To Victory Concert at the Nokia Theatre.  Harvey Weinstein may also come on board as a co-host for the intimate meal between the incumbent and his wealthier supporters.

The poor people Obama left behind.  Four years after Barack Obama's historic election as president, little seems to have changed for the African-American communities on Chicago's South Side.  The lack of change — or the sense that these neighborhoods are getting worse — is eroding the president's standing among African-Americans in his hometown.  In 2011, Chicago suffered the third-highest black jobless rate among the nation's major metropolitan areas, at 19 percent, according to the liberal Economic Policy Institute.

Obama Books Another Lavish La-La-Land Fundraiser.  What else to expect from the same President who dashed off to a Vegas fundraiser the same day the Middle East blew up and we learned of the assassination of Ambassador Stevens.

Obama pulls in $4M at Jay-Z, Beyoncé fundraiser.  After enduring a little ribbing on "Late Show With David Letterman" in New York on Tuesday [9/18/2012], President Obama collected $4 million at a fundraiser hosted by Jay-Z and Beyoncé at their lounge bar, Manhattan's 40/40 Club.  About 100 donors who paid $40,000 each to attend the event sat on sofas in a large, glass room, according to the pool report.

Beyoncé & Jay-Z host NY Bam ba$h.  When President Obama addresses an elite roster of hipsters and multimillionaires, including hosts Beyoncé and Jay-Z, in New York tonight, he will do so next to a custom-designed tower of $800-per-bottle champagne that dominates the main room at Jay-Z's 40/40 nightclub.

Speaking to the 47%:
The $105,000 champagne tower featured at Obama fundraiser hosted by Jay-Z and Beyonce.  President Barack Obama attended a fundraiser at Jay-Z's 40/40 Club in Manhattan that featured a champagne tower of 350 bottles worth $105,000 — more than twice the median household income of an American family.  The tower of $300-a-bottle Armand de Brignac Brut Gold, known as 'Ace of Spades' because of its label, is a permanent fixture at the club.

Obama has time to meet with Jay-Z and Beyonce at fund-raiser, but can't fit Netanyahu into his schedule.  The fund-raiser hauled in about $4 million for Obama and the Democrats.  Guests, who included Yankee ace pitcher CC Sabathia, sipped $800-per-bottle Armand de Brignac champagne.  "Beyoncé could not be a better role model for my girls," Obama told the crowd.

Rep. Nita Lowey collects an extra $10G pension on top of her salary.  Rep. Nita Lowey is the wealthiest member of New York's congressional delegation and one of the richest members of Congress.  She's also a double dipper.  The Westchester Democrat, who is worth at least $14.3 million, collects a $10,302 annual state pension on top of her $174,000 congressional salary.

Report: Top Obama Bundlers Bag Millions in Taxpayer Money.  An investigation by the Government Accountability Institute found that more than half of the most politically active 50 campaign bundlers for President Obama were either appointed to a presidential council, committee, board, or other White House post.  Many bundlers' businesses or relatives' businesses also received millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded federal contracts, grants, loans, or other crony perks.  In all, the top 50 bundlers received three council appointments, one ambassadorship, two committee appointments, and a whopping 20 State Dinner invitations.

Obama attends fundraiser in nation's capital.  The event Friday night, at a private residence in the nation's capital, attracted 35 donors who each contributed $40,000.

Meet the Bundlers.  Bundlers are fundraisers who gather high-dollar donations and "bundle" them together for their favored candidates.  Recently, we at the Government Accountability Institute decided to look at some bundlers to see whether they, their relatives, or their businesses have received government contracts, loans, or other perks.

Not all Obama bundlers are on his public list.  President Obama's campaign has left off its public list of "bundlers" at least 25 names its own finance team considers to be among their most valuable funders, including seven who live in foreign countries, a review of records by The Washington Times found.  In one case the campaign's own internal documents listed Cynthia Stroum as bundling $400,000 this election cycle, yet she is not on the campaign's official public list.  Mr. Obama tapped Ms. Stroum to be ambassador to Luxembourg after she raised half a million for his 2008 campaign.

Dr. Biden's Mystery Necklace.  Dr. Jill Biden wore an expensive Van Cleef & Arpels Vintage Alhambra necklace in Pink Gold and Pink Sevres Porcelain as she arrived at the Charlotte airport on Tuesday [9/11/2012] with the Vice President for the Democratic National Convention. [...] Because the necklace cannot be bought in the United States, the Washington Free Beacon cannot determine its exact price.  We estimate, based on similar necklaces, that it would cost between $10,000 and $14,000.  The per capita individual annual income in the United States between 2006 and 2010 was $27,334.

Wasserman Schultz's Luxury Cars and Growing Net Worth Raise Questions.  Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has famously stated that she is a "middle class American," and it was this very claim that prompted many of her critics to openly question whether or not it was a realistic assessment of her personal income and assets.  Wasserman Schultz' Republican congressional opponent Karen Harrington has called on her to release her personal tax income tax returns in response to her repeated calls for Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney to do the same.

Democratic Millionaires Spew Hate On The Rich.  The most ridiculously annoying aspect of the Democratic political run for offices in 2012 is the incredibly long line of leftist millionaires who continually spew extreme hate and venom on the wealthy.  Every time a financially successful person gets up before the masses and promotes the leftist's class warfare by denouncing the successful and wealthy persons and businesses among us, it is the most bizarre thing happening in the current elective campaign process.

Fact Check: First Lady's False Fairy Tale of Struggle.  First Lady Michelle Obama's pitch to voters last night relied on the premise that she and her husband understand what it is to struggle to make ends meet.  She spoke movingly about their early years — about how a young Barack Obama drove a car that was "rusted out" and found his furniture "in a dumpster," how they both came from families that had to "scrape by."  Her fairy tale — however well-delivered — was one great, big, colorful lie.

Media Fail to Fact-Check Michelle's Speech.  The basic premise of Mrs. Obama's speech — that she and her husband had struggled economically like so many other Americans — is false.  Not only did they enjoy many advantages that others do not, but CNS News reports that Barack Obama inherited half a million dollars in stock from his grandmother, a bank vice president who Michelle misleadingly cited as a victim of gender discrimination.  These fibs are not new for the Obama camp.

10 Celebrities Who Have Made Big Donations To Obama.  Clint Eastwood, Chuck Norris, Kid Rock, Jeff Foxworthy, Vince Vaughn, and Jon Voight have all endorsed [Mitt] Romney without giving the candidate a dime.  President Obama, on the other hand, has received considerable support from his high-profile supporters, some of whom even spoke at the Democratic National Convention this week.

Yes, that was Clooney's voice on Obama film.  Deadline notes that Clooney hosted a dinner for Obama at his LA home that brought in a record $15 million for the campaign on May 10, and attended a Democrats Abroad fundraiser in Geneva that raised $625,000 last month.

Dem. Keynote Speaker a Beneficiary of Bain Capital, Refuses to Release Tax Returns.  Maryland governor Martin O'Malley, who is giving a keynote address tonight [9/4/2012] at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, is a beneficiary of Bain Capital, the private equity firm Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney helped create.  The irony is that Democrats have tried to argue, throughout this campaign, that Bain is bad — that the company has put other, smaller companies out business, and helped ship American jobs overseas.  But, when O'Malley retires, he'll receive $135,000 annually from the Maryland state retirement and pension system.

Michelle Obama's day and perks reserved for the big donors.  Major donors will experience a very different convention than rank-and-file delegates who will fill the arena on Tuesday and Wednesday night and the Bank of America stadium on Thursday. [...] The best VIP perks go to those who donated at least $75,800 to the joint Obama campaign/Democratic National Committee fund-raising committee with more perks going to donors who have a track record of giving at least $122,400 from Feb., 2009 to June 1 or who raised $350,000 from Jan. 1, 2011 through June 1.

Real Estate Market Recovers for Senior White House Advisor.  Valerie Jarrett currently owns an 11-percent equity interest in Kingsbury Plaza, a 46-story luxury apartment complex developed by Habitat between 2005 and 2007 at a cost of more than $100 million.  She valued the investment at between $1 million and $5 million on her 2011 financial disclosure form, up from $250,001 in 2010.  A Jarrett spokesmantold the Washington Times that the investment was "a direct result of her 13 years working for Habitat."

Not exactly the 99%: Top union leaders' salaries.  Advocating for the working man doesn't pay too poorly, it seems.  Here's a list of the annual salaries and benefits earned by the nation's top labor officials, according to the Labor Department.  This data is based on 2011 filings:
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka — $293,750.
National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel — $460,060.
Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry — $290,334.
American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees President Gerald McEntee — $512,489.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James P. Hoffa , Jr. — $372,489.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten — $493,859.

Obama Hoops-Themed Fundraisers to Net Millions.  A trio of hoops-themed fundraisers, hosted by Michael Jordan and other current and former NBA stars, is expected to net at least $3 million for Obama and the Democrats, according to figures provided by his campaign.  The "Obama Classic" includes a $250 per-person autograph signing event, a $5,000 skills camp and shoot-around, and a $20,000 per-plate dinner co-hosted by Jordan and 120 guests.  The events are slated to take place in various venues at Lincoln Center.

Obama slammed for fundraising with 'pro-drug dealing, anti-police' NBA player.  Obama is in New York City raising campaign cash with 'NBA Heroes' — a selection of former and current basketball stars including Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning.  But the all-star line up also includes New York Knicks player Carmelo Anthony, who is currently seen in a YouTube video and DVD that promotes drug use and threatens people who 'snitch' to police about drug dealers and other criminals.

Secret 'Menu' Details Perks for Big Democratic Donors.  Those seeking invites to the most lavish receptions at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, "gold ticket" access to "dialogues," and private breakfast briefings with party luminaries, can expect a hefty price of admission.  A list of high-end convention packages circulated by the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee, and obtained by ABC News, shows that those and other perks are being offered to donors who raise $1 million or donate $100,000 to the convention's nonprofit planning arm.

The Left-Wing Money Machine.  With the overwhelming financial advantage of the left-wing money machine, it is hard to take seriously a president who castigates Republicans as the party of the rich.

Liberal Bigotry.  Progressives — liberals — are the worst offenders of their own axioms when they talk about the "evils" of those who dispute liberal versions of facts, policy, or, especially, morality.  The bigotry liberals direct toward those with whom they merely disagree is 7staggering.  Liberals believe in free speech, unless it offends someone's tender sensitivities (meaning only that liberals disagree with it).  They protest the "wealthiest 1%," but exempt from their condemnations billionaire liberals and wealthy movie and rock stars, most of whom share the same ideology.

Obama Set For $35,000-Per-Person Dinner At Movie Mogul Weinstein's Connecticut Home.  The events include a $500 per person reception at the Stamford Marriott and a $35,800 per person dinner at the Westport home of movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

Miscellaneous reports of celebrity fundraisers: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

Trio of Hollywood Elite Hosting Obama Fundraiser Tonight.  [Scroll down]  The president will hold two fundraisers in Connecticut today [8/6/2012], a firmly Democratic state.  In Stamford, he will speak at a reception for 500 supporters, who will pay $500 each to attend the event, before heading to the $35,800 per person star-studded dinner.

Connecticut beaches closed so Obama can fund-raise with Hollywood mogul.  Amid the peak summer season, two of Connecticut's popular public beaches — maintained with taxpayer money — were closed Monday [8/6/2012] to accommodate President Obama's fundraising excursion that ends with a $35,800-per-plate event at movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's mansion.

Who's Afraid of Wealthy Politicians?  Among recent prominent American politicians, it's challenging to find a single one who is not a millionaire.  Harry Reid has a net worth estimated at between $2.6 and 5 million.  Nancy Pelosi recently lost $8 million, bringing her net worth down to $26.4 million.  John Boehner is said to have $1.7 million.  Hillary Clinton, one of the most popular political figures in the country, is worth about $85 million.  No one objected to her wealth when she ran in 2008, and no one suggests it would be a handicap in the future.

Jordan, NBA players to hold basketball-themed fundraisers for Obama in New York.  [Michael] Jordan, who played for the Chicago Bulls, Obama's favorite NBA team, and NBA Commissioner David Stern are co-hosting a $20,000-per person fundraising dinner with the president later in the day [on 8/22/2012].

Obama brings Manhattan to a standstill AGAIN for $40,000-a-head fundraiser.  Barack Obama last night returned to New York City for a $40,000-a-head fundraising dinner which was expected to bring rush hour traffic to a standstill.  The trip came just six weeks after a star-studded event at Sarah Jessica Parker's house in Manhattan which raised $4.5 million for the President's re-election campaign.

Michelle Obama Sports $6,800 Jacket to London Soiree.  The jacket cost more than the average American family makes in a month ($4,284).  And, she does this as Americans continue to suffer through a deep recession and record unemployment.

Michelle Obama sparks fury after splashing out on $6,800 designer jacket.  Political commentators have expressed their fury over the fact that Michelle Obama wore a jacket worth $6,800 to the pre-Olympics Opening Ceremony reception at Buckingham Palace on Friday [7/27/2012].  Though the dazzling J Mendel jacket and skirt won critical acclaim from the style set, some pundits are furious that she elected to spend so much money on a garment while so many in the U.S. are suffering financially.

Ann Romney slammed for $990 Shirt, Michelle Obama praised for $6,800 jacket.  Back in May, Ann Romney, wife of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, wore a $990 Reed Krakoff silk shirt for a media appearance.  The item of clothing set off a media firestorm, with the Romneys widely accused of being "out of touch" with average Americans.  In particular, the Washington Post wrote that the $990 blouse "will not help her husband change those perceptions, no matter how many Laundromat photo ops are on the campaign's itinerary."  Fast forward to last Friday...

Mrs. Obama's $6,800 Jacket OK; Mrs. Romney's $990 Blouse Not.  The media's double standard when it examines the wealth and privilege of the two presidential candidates was on display again this week.  The analysts of haute couture and its intersection with politics were silent when First Lady Michelle Obama showed up to meet the Queen of England in an very, very, very, very expensive jacket.  But in May, the media were ready to erect a guillotine after they saw Ann Romney, the wife of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, appear on television in a blouse that cost about one-seventh as much as Mrs. Obama's attire.

More examples of media bias in Obama's favor.

Obama gets personal on Planned Parenthood.  [Scroll down]  About 200 people are expected later Tuesday night [7/24/2012] in the Seattle suburbs at a $5,000-per-plate dinner at the home of Jim Sinegal, the co-founder of Costco.  He'll also attend another fundraising roundtable with 20 people at $35,800 per ticket. [...] Obama's stop in the Rose City Tuesday was for a pair of fundraising events:  a roundtable with about 25 people with $30,000 individual tickets and a $500 admission for his speech.

Obama Crosses Picket Line.  Penny Pritzker, the billionaire heiress whose family owns the Hyatt hotel chain, took a ride on Air Force One this afternoon from San Francisco to Portland, Ore., where President Obama was making a series of fundraising stops.  The ride came hours after the announcement of a global boycott of Hyatt Hotels by Unite Here, the nation's largest hospitality workers union.  That boycott has been joined by the National Organization for Women, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Black Justice Center, and the National Football League Players Association.  Pritzker was the national finance chair of Obama's 2008 campaign.

Lost Obama donor Penny Pritzker surfaces on Air Force One.  Penny Pritzker is a billionaire who raised gobs of money for Barack Obama in 2008, then emerged as a central figure in two recent media stories about rich Democratic donors who are down on the president, in part because they feel unappreciated and stiffed on presidential perks.  But there she was Tuesday [7/24/2012] on Air Force One, hitching a ride from San Francisco to Portland with Obama.  Coincidence?  There are few coincidences in politics.

Obama fund raises at "ruthless" out-sourcer's penthouse at $25,000 a pop event.  Immediately after bashing Mitt Romney for allegedly out-sourcing American jobs overseas at Bain and claiming he wants "to be a pioneer in in-sourcing," yesterday [7/18/2012] Obama's motorcade sped to the luxury penthouse of former Dell exec Tom Meredith, on record as priding himself in being "ruthless" in cutting American jobs in Texas and other states, while preserving them in Asia to cut costs for Dell. [...] One would think the media might be interested in reporting Obama's brazen hypocrisy but I guess not.

Rich Liberal Hypocrites!  In 2011, you couldn't swing a dead cat in Congress without hitting a multi-millionaire, many of them Democrats.  John Kerry who ran against George Bush has a net worth of $193.07 million, much of it the result of marrying rich wives.  Jay Rockefeller whose very name suggests wealth has $81.63 million.  The California ladies, Diane Feinstein comes in at $55.07 million and Nancy Pelosi is worth $35.20 million.  The Daily Caller recently reported that Rep. Pelosi's 2011 financial disclosure statement included between $1 million and $5 million earned from partnership income with Matthews International Capitol Management, a firm that invests exclusively in Asia where much U.S. outsourcing occurs.

Dem. Chair Invested in Swiss Banks, Foreign Drug Companies, and the State Bank of India.  Disclosure forms reveal that Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a member of Congress from Florida, previously held funds with investments in Swiss banks, foreign drug companies, and the state bank of India.  This revelation comes mere days after the Democratic chair attacked presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for holding money in Swiss bank accounts in the past.

Obama's Millionaires.  President Obama's latest proposal to raise taxes on high-income earners would effectively cut taxes for a number of senior White House advisers whose net worth exceeds $1 million.  At least five millionaires currently employed in senior White House positions would receive a tax cut under Obama's plan, an initial Washington Free Beacon review of financial disclosure records has found.

Air Jordan and the 1%.  What does Michael Jordan tell us about income inequality in the United States?  The U.S. has greater income inequality than nearly all other developed nations, and the former basketball star earned far more in most years than the typical American earns in a lifetime.  So is our system unfair and stacked against the middle class?

Joe Biden 'considers $379,000 income middle class'.  Joe Biden considers himself to be part of America's middle class, despite his $379,000 income.  Speaking to the National Council of La Raza in Las Vegas about home ownership, the vice president said that the upper class 'doesn't get it — for middle class folks like me and you, owning a home is the single most consequential element to our existence.'  President Obama has been heavily campaigning his $250,000 threshold that would cause income taxes to rise for the wealthy.

7 Unhappy Truths About Politicians. [Scroll down]  The median net worth of members of Congress is about $913,000.  On top of that, members of Congress have staffers who do everything for them and treat them like god-kings in the process.  These aides schedule their lives, read everything for them and regurgitate back what they think they need, and incessantly tell them how wonderful they are.  Most members of Congress have more in common with celebrities like Madonna or Barbra Streisand than they do with the teachers, factory workers, and small business owners who vote them into office.

Awkward! Obama hosts those congressional laggards for a picnic.  Since everything is running so smoothly across the country, it was a good time for another summer party at the Obama White House.  Last night the current first family had an outdoor picnic with hot dogs and hamburgers and some uniformed Marines providing musical entertainment.  "It is spectacular," Obama admitted at his own party, having just returned from another $40,000-for-a-cup-of-coffee with POTUS fundraiser.

Obama's Tone-Deaf Fundraiser.  After Obama's attempt to reassure the public about the economic recovery fell flat Thursday [6/14/2012], he jetted off to a celebrity fundraiser in Manhattan hosted by Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker — and the contrast could not have been more tone-deaf.  As AP reports, Obama seemed to temporarily abandon his middle class warrior routine, telling the $40,000-a-plate dinner guests that they were the "ultimate arbiter" of the country's future.

Obama attends fundraising events in Maryland.  President Barack Obama swung through Baltimore on Tuesday [6/12/2012] for a trio of fundraisers intended to energize the deep-pocketed donors his campaign will need to compete amid the onslaught of money flowing into this year's presidential election. [...] About 100 people attended the first fundraiser, which cost between $10,000 and $50,000 apiece.

Only in America...
  •   Only in America could the President talk about the greed of the rich at a $35,000 a plate campaign fund-raising event.
  •   Only in America could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when we have a black President, a black Attorney General, and roughly 18% of the federal work force is black while 12% of the population is black.
  •   Only in America could we have had the two people most responsible for our tax code, Timothy Geithner, the head of the Treasury Department and Charles Rangel who once ran the Ways and Means Committee, both turn out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher taxes.

Where is President Obama Today? Fundraising and Partying with Rich and Radicals.  Fridays usually include a video wrap-up of the week just completed.  But so far today [6/1/2012], nada.  If and when the White House gets around to emailing the official schedule out, it will note that on the day that we learned unemployment has ticked back up to 8.2% and previous jobs numbers have been revised negatively, President Obama is not focused on the economy at all.  His schedule would show that Obama is holding six fundraisers for his re-election campaign.  And chances are, you can't get in to see him.

A New Level of Shamelessness.  John McCain actually did believe in "campaign-finance reform," but candidate and President Barack Obama most certainly did not:  He was the first presidential candidate in the general election to renounce public campaign financing in the history of the legislation so that he could go on to out-raise McCain three to one.  He raised the most money in campaign history, and was the largest recorded recipient of Wall Street cash.  In three-and-a-half years, he has held the most fundraisers of any sitting president; he has accepted super PAC money when he said he would not; he has allowed big donors to receive preferential treatment in green-company subsidization.

Mayor Bloomberg shells out $25 million for two new houses.  New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg has added two new multi-million dollar properties to his already extensive real estate portfolio.  America's richest mayor gave a glimpse of his wealth on Friday [5/25/2012], allowing reporters to look at a redacted mock-up of his tax returns and his annual city financial disclosure.  The tax returns show the mayor purchased a 33-acre estate in Westchester County in June last year at a cost of $4.55 million.

Obamateurism of the Day.  If you think life is tough, Chicagoans, just consider the hard life of ... Barack Obama.  Angry that the NATO conference tied up traffic for hours?  That's nothing, says President Obama.  Why, he had it so tough that he had to stay at a five-star hotel.

Biden Calls Himself 'Middle Class Joe,' Owns Mansion.  Joe Biden, speaking in Ohio today [5/17/2012], said that he is "tired of being called a 'Middle Class Joe.'"  While it's not clear who actually calls the vice president that, it is clear that his house and finances tell a different story.

Democrats who cheat on their taxes want us to pay more.  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner did not pay the taxes he owed; Charles Rangel (D-NY) who as chairman of Ways and Means wrote tax laws, has run afoul of tax authorities for years' worth of malfeasance; and the latest:  Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri — a stalwart supporter of Barack Obama and one of the richest members of Congress.  Lest we forget, Tom Daschle, Obama's putative first choice for HHS Secretary had to drop out when it was disclosed that he also failed to pay taxes he owed.  These are all members of the 1% Club.  Meanwhile, the staff of the IRS is being boosted by thousands of new auditors to snoop on our taxes to make sure we pay our "fair share" and Democrats rail against the "rich" who don't pay their fair share of taxes.

President Obama raised most from private equity, hedge funds in 2008.  President Obama raised far more cash from hedge fund and private equity donors than any other candidate in the 2008 election cycle.  According to an analysis by the nonprofit group Open Secrets, Obama took in nearly $3.5 million from large private-equity donors that year — nearly twice what his general-election rival, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), pocketed.

Transparency? Secret, Soros, Left-Wing, 1% Summit Meeting Held Behind Closed Doors.  A luxury resort in Miami, Florida with police-guarded closed doors was the home of a secret George Soros-backed summit attended by deep-pocketed left-wing donors over the weekend of May 12.  They met to plan their strategy for the 2012 elections and beyond.  Yes, it was all hush hush and secret-like — so much for all that "transparency" those lefties are always braying about.  The event hosted by the leftist group Democracy Alliance was reported upon by the Washington Free Beacon from afar.  I say from afar because the Soros-paid group refused the reporters access to the event.

Lovitz's Latest Obama Slam: Clooney Fundraiser Reeked of Hypocrisy.  The "Saturday Night Live" alum took aim at George Clooney's Obama fundraiser this time, calling the president hypocritical for trashing the rich while letting them line his campaign coffers.

Obama Courts Private Equity Cash at New York Fundraiser.  Hamilton "Tony" James — the president of the Blackstone Group, the nation's largest private equity firm — is hosting a $35,800-a-head dinner for Obama, with 60 Democratic allies expected to attend, according to a campaign official.  Many in attendance are expected to have ties to the private equity sector.

Godfather of the Left Gives $550 Million to Liberal Causes.  It's easy to see George Soros's imprint on most major American left-wing organizations.  All you have to do is look at their financial forms.  George Soros aids hundreds of left-wing groups in America each year under the auspices of his Open Society Foundations.  In just 10 years, Soros has given more than $550 million to liberal organizations in the United States.  And that's really just a beginning.  That total represents about 27 percent of the $2 billion given out by the American branches of his Open Society Foundations from 2000 to 2009.

Clooney's Obama party full of 'Hollywood hypocrites'.  They say tonight's soiree for President Obama at George Clooney's house in Studio City is supposed to gross $15 million, and the operative word is "gross."  Yeah, pardon me for being such a party pooper, but isn't it a little offensive that 150 of L.A.'s high rollers would shell out $40,000 to kiss Clooney's ring and get maybe 10 seconds of face time with Obama?

Obama campaigns for cash at George Clooney's house.  Fresh from announcing his support of same-sex marriage, President Obama headed Thursday night for a Hollywood campaign fundraiser that was projected to bring his re-election campaign nearly $15 million — a record for such an event — at the home of actor George Clooney.

Marin County: Garden of Delusion.  The population of Marin is overwhelmingly white, Democrat, and financially well-off.  In 2008, nearly 80% of the vote went to Obama.  The main minority consists of Spanish-speaking immigrants who prosper by providing services such as gardening, house-cleaning, and child care.  The going rate for babysitting is close to $20 an hour.  Although official statistics say that the Hispanics have low incomes, those statistics are based on the assumption that landscapers and babysitters, often in the country illegally, carefully report their earnings to the government.

Rogue Democrats Loot Detroit As Nation Sleeps.  Few readers will be surprised to learn that decades of incompetence and entrenched corruption in Detroit's government have not only helped wreck the city; firms linked to former Democratic mayor Kwame Kilpatrick also looted the pension fund.  The latest scandal, which leaves even hardened observers of the abysmal Democratic machine that has run the city into the ground bemused, involves a real estate firm which gave the felonious mayor massages, golf outings, trips in chartered jets and other perks as this enemy of the people went about his hypocritical business of pretending to care about the poor while robbing them blind.

Hey, Big Spender.  Even as Ann Romney's wardrobe becomes an issue in the 2012 presidential election, critics of her sartorial choices have turned a blind eye on first lady Michelle Obama's frequent appearances in pricey designer outfits.  When the wife of the presumptive Republican nominee appeared on television last week wearing a nearly $1,000 blouse, pundits were quick to point out the price tag.  MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell called the blouse "a really ugly T-shirt" that is "yet another example of how out of touch the Romney family can be with how 99 percent of Americans live."  The first lady's expensive designer clothes, however, rarely warrant mention.

Clooney's Obama Fundraiser Expected to Collect Record $12 Million.  Campaign sources say the May 10 event will be the biggest in presidential election history.

Smartest Guy in the Room.  [Senator John] Kerry's net worth as listed on his 2011 financial disclosure form is at least $193 million and likely much higher, making him the wealthiest member of the Senate.  He is also a prolific investor, maintaining an array of stocks and other holdings through a mix of family trusts, marital trusts, and commingled fund accounts with his wife, Big Ketchup baroness Teresa Heinz.

Michelle O wears $2700 sweater.  In March, the first lady visited her British counterpart Samantha Cameron wearing a L'Wren Scott sweater in a trendy bright yellow hue.  The embellished cardigan costs $2,720.  Obama, widely regarded as a fashion icon, likes the brand so much that she wore a peach cardigan from the same line last week during the Take Your Child to Work Day festivities.  The next day, she wore another sweater from L'Wren Scott, this one white with red trim from the Spring 2011 ready to wear collection, for a visit to Fort Stewart with the president.

Obama wraps another fundraising month with a chilling plea.  Money = Access.  No coincidence that about three dozen guests at that recent state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron were Obama bundlers.  On May 10 [George] Clooney will throw open the doors to his 7,000-square-foot LA home to welcome the president and enough Obama supporters, at $40,000 per head, to give the Chicagoan a one-night haul of about $6 million.  There, this Democrat will talk yet again about how much he needs so much money to fight for America's struggling middle class.

Obama Attends Two $40,000-Per-Person Fundraisers — That Are Closed to Press.  President Barack Obama is mingling with donors at two high-dollar fundraising events, aiming to raise about $2 million toward his re-election effort.

Silver Spoon Obama: Is he Calling the Kettle Black?  Obama has to be delusional.  Just think about it, a poor black man writes a book about the dreams of his father and he makes millions of dollars.  A poor black man is born in Hawaii and he goes to a private school in Hawaii.  A poor black man on his way to Harvard Law School takes a little time (a month) to fly to Kenya to meet his relatives.  I think Obama may be confused by the notion of a silver spoon.

Obama fundraises at BET chair's home.  President Barack Obama attended a fundraiser Friday night at the home of Debra Lee, chairwoman and CEO of BET.  About 40 people attended the $40,000-a-plate dinner in D.C.'s Woodley Park neighborhood.

Obama's tainted bundler.  Jon Corzine left Goldman Sachs with a net worth far exceeding even that of Mitt Romney today.  Many accounts of his tenure at Goldman suggest he "failed up" the corporate ladder.

Obama Charges $1,000 Per Handshake.  President Obama's fan base is willing to pay through the nose to get a glimpse of him.  In fact, supporters in Dearborn, Michigan showed up today to shell out $1,000 just to shake the hand of The One.

Obama Asks Donors for A $75,800 Contribution.  The Obama campaign may constantly paint presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney as the corporate fat cat candidate, but a new fundraising invitation from the president may even break the biggest wallets on Wall Street.  For $75,800, donors can attend the Obama-backed 18th Annual National Women's Issues Conference in Washington.  The price tag earns a donor the title of "chairman," special seating, a photo op and special recognition at the conference.

Cost to Discuss War on Women? $75,800.  As President Obama continues to amp up his class warfare rhetoric and paint Republicans as in the bag for the "rich," he seems to have no problem raking in campaign cash on backs of women by using them as political pawns and treating them (well, liberal women anyway) like victims.

Obama's Hollywood Palace Guards Pour In Big Bucks.  If you're wondering why America's so-called satirists still haven't found the fact that Obama ate a dog funny...  In fact, if you're wondering why no one in Hollywood will satirize Obama in any way whatsoever, this should help to explain a lot.

Jon Corzine Still Bundling for Obama.  Barack Obama's reelection campaign has released the most recent list of names of fundraising bundlers.  On that list is Jon Corzine, the former governor of New Jersey and embattled money man, the former head of MF Global.  Corzine, according to the Obama campaign, has once again helped raise more than $500,000.

Axelrod buys $1.7 million Michigan Ave condo.  Longtime political strategist David Axelrod, who helped advise President Obama's presidential run in 2008 and is serving as communications director for Obama's re-election campaign, has paid $1.7 million for a four-bedroom, 3,320-square-foot condo unit in a high-rise condo along Michigan Avenue.

President Obama's 'Fairness' Vision Would Bankrupt Nation.  It's ironic that President Obama would make two speeches this week in Florida about "fairness," sandwiched as they were between $10,000-a-plate fundraising dinners.  But that's the level of hypocrisy coming from the White House these days.  To be polite, most of the comments Obama makes these days about the economy, taxes and, especially, "fairness" stretch all credibility.  Hearing the large number of outright falsehoods and partial truths he uses to support his argument, it's impossible not to believe it's simply a ploy to get votes from those who envy the rich and the successful.  A full unpacking of Obama's whoppers would require a much larger space than we have here.

Obama Family Tax Shelter.  President Obama and his wife, Michele, gave a total of $48,000 in tax-free gifts to their daughters, according to tax records made public on Friday. [...] There is nothing illegal about the president's taking advantage of this tax shelter, but it does raise eyebrows given that he has lamented the myriad tax exemptions used by the wealthy — "millionaires and billionaires" like himself — to pay less in taxes.

Obama attacks inequality while soliciting big-money donors.  Pausing between $10,000-a-plate fundraisers for his re-election campaign, President Obama called on Congress in a highly partisan speech Tuesday [4/10/2012] to approve a tax increase on the wealthy to pay for programs for the middle class.

Joe Biden, manipulator of the working class.  Hot on the campaign trail, Vice President Joe Biden is once again trying to prove that he is a product and friend of the working class.  The facts say otherwise.

Obama on Why Michelle Was a Working Mom (at $316K Per Year).  Speaking Friday [4/6/2012] at what the administration called "The White House Forum on Women and the Economy," President Barack Obama said that after his two daughters were born, he and his wife — both Harvard Law School graduates — could not afford the "luxury" of having her stay home with the children.  In 2005, when Obama began serving in the U.S. Senate (and his daughters turned 4 and 7), he and his wife were earning a combined annual income of $479,062.

The Editor says...
It must be tough to scrape out a living on such meager wages.

President Obama raises nearly $1.5 million in 3 hours.  President Obama attended a whirlwind pair of exclusive fundraisers with top Democratic donors Thursday night [4/5/2012], further padding his reelection campaign coffers as his defense of the White House pivots into general-election mode.  At the first of the two fundraisers, 20 donors paid $40,000 apiece for an intimate closed-press meeting with the president.  Shortly thereafter, Obama crossed town for a larger fundraiser where some 250 people chipped in $2,500 apiece.

Pelosi held over 400 fundraisers in one year.  NPR reporter Andrea Seabrook recently toured with Nancy Pelosi during a fundraising swing through Texas covering two days, five or six events, three cities.  When asked by Seabrook how often she attends fundraisers a week, she replies, "A lot, you know.  They're either on the phone or attending events.  But I think they've said this year I've attended almost 400 fundraisers in nearly 40 cities."

Obama's Trust Fund Baby.  Although he is not listed as a bundler for the Obama campaign, [Rob] McKay is on the board of the Priorities USA Action super PAC and in January helped organize a $35,800-a-head January fundraiser for Obama.  McKay and his wife Anna have given more than $305,500 to Democratic candidates and groups since the 1990 cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, including $100,000 to the America's Families First Action Fund, the biggest Democratic-aligned super PAC of the 2010 election cycle.

Michelle Obama headlines S.F. fundraiser.  Today's [3/30/2012] fundraiser, which is expected to draw 350 people, will raise at least $175,000 for the Obama Victory Fund.  Since May, Michelle Obama has attended as many fundraisers as Vice President Joe Biden.

Dinner With Obama.  Listening to him speak, one would never guess that a man who often criticizes the wealthy for not sharing enough would then turn around and warmly embrace those he disparages.

Biden at $10,000-a-Couple Dinner Says the GOP Doesn't Get the 'Middle Class'.  Joe Biden, the second most powerful man in the world, who went to a private Catholic college prep school and had his own law firm before getting into politics, while attending a posh and very expensive dinner, says that the GOP doesn't have a sense of average folks?

Biden hails middle class at wealthy fundraiser.  Vice President Joe Biden addressed 87 wealthy Democrats last night [3/12/2012] attending a fundraiser at the home of Sen. John Kerry in Georgetown.  As they dined on grass-fed New York strip steaks and white truffle mashed potatos underneath a outdoor tent, Biden criticized Republicans for being out of touch.

Biden Says GOP Can't Relate to Average Folks at Posh Fundraising Dinner.  "It's a shame that Republicans don't understand the plight of the downtrodden," Sen. John Kerry, the evening's host, told a reporter as he pulled the antique silver spoon out of his mouth to dip it into a bowl of Pâté de Foie Gras prepared by his personal chef.

The Myth of "Middle-Class" Uncle Joe.  The nation's vice campaigner in chief went on the attack against Republicans this week, clad in full populist armor.  "These guys don't have a sense of the average folks out there," said The Everyman.  "They don't know what it means to be middle class."  But who was his audience?  Nope, not blue-collar workers in Allentown, Pa. Biden was speaking to an exclusive club of $10,000-per-couple campaign donors gathered at the home of the Senate's $200 million man, Democratic Mass. Sen. John Kerry, in Georgetown, D.C.

Forget red and blue, Obama coming to Houston for the green.  In Houston Friday evening [3/9/2012], he will be dining with Democratic elected officials and some 60 well-heeled supporters from around the state who will have paid $38,500 for the privilege.  The private event is sold out.  At an afternoon event at Minute Maid Park's Union Station, he will shake hands with folks who paid $500 for the privilege, or $10,000 if they want to pose for pictures with him.

Texans rain a lot of cash on Obama.  Although Texas is a not in play from an electoral standpoint, having last voted for a Democratic presidential nominee in 1976, it does serve as a cash cow for national candidates.  Obama, who reportedly has already obtained $3.4 million from Texas donors, kicked off Friday night's fundraising effort with a meet-and-greet at Union Station, which was open to anyone interested in buying a $500 ticket, and then headed to a more intimate gathering at the River Oaks home of Tony Chase and Dina Alsowayel.

Fat cats pig out for Obama.  Wall Street's top Democrats were out in force Thursday night [3/1/2012] at the $71,000-a-couple, 60-person fund-raising dinner with President Obama at Jean-Georges Vongerichten's ABC Kitchen.

Money to burn:
Moran Makes It Rain.  Congressional staffers working for Rep. Jim Moran (D., Va.) received a 120 percent pay hike in the final three months of 2011, financial disclosure records show.  According to the website Legistorm, which maintains a database of congressional staff salaries, Moran's quarterly payroll averaged $200,802 for the first nine months of 2011, but jumped to $427,999 in quarter four, an increase of 113 percent.

Obama's Beach Bundler.  One of President Obama's major bundlers is a lawyer who helps her wealthy clients exploit the very offshore tax benefits the president has criticized.  Marjorie Rawls Roberts, a Virgin Islands tax lawyer who specializes in offshore funds, has committed to bundling at least $100,000-$200,000 for the Obama Victory Fund 2012.

Michelle Obama wears $2400 outfit, asks rich people to share their wealth.  The punchlines are all written for you when you meet someone who claims to believe so deeply in something, yet they can't even be bothered to fake interest in it in public.  Because Michelle Obama clearly enjoys the spoils of wealth.  I mean, why else would you walk out of that speech just to change into a $2,500+ outfit for an evening event?

Obama Taps NBA Millionaires for Campaign Cash.  President Obama held a fundraiser at Vince Carter's Florida mansion Thursday evening [2/23/2012], raking in more than $2.1 million for his campaign and the Democratic Party, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Michelle Obama Loves the Corporate Cash in Exclusive Colorado Ski Resort.  Michelle Obama and her daughters are spending the long weekend at the "huge private home" of long-time Democratic donors, Paula and Jim Crown.  The Crowns, who hail from Chicago, have given the Democratic Party plenty of money over the years, according to FEC filings.  Indeed, Michelle Obama hosted a fundraiser at the Crown home last year, too, where more than 150 Democratic donors donated between $1,000 and $10,000 to the Obama re-election campaign.

Your picture with Michelle Obama? That'll be $5G.  What would you pay to have your photo taken with first lady Michelle Obama, she of the ripped arms and healthy diet?  If you said 5 grand, well, you're in the ballpark, because the First Spouse is headed to Boston next month to do a parade of grip-and-grins with local Demmies, Obama-ophiles, fitness freaks, Dougie aficionados and anyone else who can pony up the dough.

Michelle Obama's bracelet

Illustration found at Sad Hill News.

The Little Sisters of Limousine Liberalism.  [Scroll down]  So let's get down to brass tacks.  How much is Sister Keehan worth for such political interventions?  The checkered Catholic hospitals Keehan represents as chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association stand to receive gobs and gobs of cash from the federal government if Obamacare holds up past 2012.  Consequently, the members of the association are more than happy to pony up huge salaries to executives skilled at manipulating the Catholic electorate for Obama.  Keehan is worth $962,467 to them in total salary and benefits, according to the Schedule J (Form 990) 2010 document sent to me by CHA.

Stop Picking on President Bully.  Sadly, there's nothing remotely humorous about free citizens who not only welcome, but willingly fund their own subjugation.  Worse, they embrace a campaign which heralds the bottom donor, even as Obama jet sets at enormous taxpayer expense to lavish, star-studded campaign events — more than a dozen in January — some with ticket prices as high as $35,800.  The campaign raised $68 million in the last three months of 2011 alone.

Project Obama: A Puppetmaster or a Puppet?  [Scroll down]  His limp-wristed demeanor, more typical of a world-weary courtier than a king, bespeaks indolence rather than energy.  What we know about his schedule is certainly no evidence of a workaholic.  Endless hours spent on the links, a net of three months over the last three years, so that his caddy has far more face time with the president than any member of his cabinet.  Frequent, prolonged vacations in posh spots.  Regular, come-hell-or-high-water parties at the White House, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous.  Sybaritic habits and expensive tastes in food (Wagyu beef, which sells for upwards of $150 per pound, is said to be a particular favorite) matching his spouse's exorbitant taste in clothes.

First lady's office will not comment 'as of right now' on $2K SOTU dress.  While the president spoke about the economic frustrations of average Americans in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, his wife, Michelle Obama appeared at the event in a sapphire blue dress from designer Barbara Tfank's 2012 Resort collection, estimated to cost over $2k.

Obama's Open Buffet.  While the nation drowns in debt and the economy continues to teeter, Obama devotes himself to the empty symbolism of the "Buffett rule."  He had the Omaha billionaire's secretary placed in a seat of honor near the First Lady.  Barack and Michelle are the quintessential champagne socialists, enjoying the trappings of power — the First Lady donned an ostentatious royal blue designer dress that probably cost more than several months of her prop's secretarial salary — while decrying the excesses of the rich.

The land of Obama make-believe.  Where did President Obama go after killing off thousands of Keystone XL pipeline construction and manufacturing jobs?  Why, Disney World, of course.  Sabotaging work is hard work for Goofy and his pals.  And where'd he head after that?  Why, up to Manhattan for more high-priced campaign fundraisers charging up to $38,500 per partier.

The Bank of (Democratic Party) America.  President Obama, man of the people, will deliver his presidential nomination acceptance speech at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. — so that Democratic Party fundraisers can reward big donors with skyboxes and other lavish perks.  As usual, the White House and its allies are trying to camouflage naked partisan money-grubbing in populist garb.

Environmental activism + Kennedy surname = big bucks.
Gov. Cuomo's ex wife Kerry Kennedy in $40 million anti-oil deal.  Governor Andrew Cuomo's (D-NY) ex-wife Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, stands to make up to $40 million while promoting a ridiculous $18 billion judgment from an Ecuadoran court against Chevron by indigenous peoples.  That case, where the US judge hearing Chevron's countersuit stated that much of the evidence presented in Ecuador was "fraudulent," has been a windfall for western environmental groups who gleefully pounced on the opportuntity to politicize a case that never should have gone to trial.

Cuomo's ex Kennedy stands to make $40M in secret anti-oil deal.  What [Kerry] Kennedy has never mentioned during her campaign is that she is being paid handsomely for her seemingly selfless advocacy.  Kennedy, 52, was secretly hired as a "public-relations consultant" by the lawyer representing the Ecuadoreans in an $18 billion lawsuit against Chevron, according to court documents.  Cashing in on her respected family name and legacy, Kennedy raked in tens of thousands of dollars and was given a 0.25 percent stake — worth as much as $40 million — if the $18 billion judgment handed down by an Ecuadorean judge is ultimately upheld.

Obama's DNC speech could move to BofA stadium.  President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is considering moving the final day of the Democratic National Convention to Bank of America Stadium to sell more skyboxes to wealthy donors, three Democrats involved in the fundraising told Bloomberg News.

Obama raising money in DC for Democrats.  [Scroll down]  At the first event Obama was to join around 25 guests for a closed-press roundtable discussion with tickets $45,000 each and proceeds split between his campaign and the Swing State Victory Fund, which supports Democrats in battleground states.

Middle Class Warriors Dine Out for $260.  I realize the Obamas are wealthy people, and that wealthy people have the right to drop $260 of their disposable income on chow.  But if you're going to invite Associated Press photographers along to capture your trip to Target and stage photo ops at PetSmart and Best Buy, then I'm going to write about your unpublicized excursion to Alan Wong's.  The press pool was not invited in to take photos this time.  In fact, others were discouraged from doing so too.

Uproar over Michelle Obama's $2,000 Sundress.  We're back to Michelle Obama, and as much as I hate to say it yet again — it's all about the double standard.  Here we have a woman who preaches financial abstinence, but whose personal expenditures are promiscuous beyond belief.  Mrs. Obama is a harbinger of 'safe-spending' and then uncontrollably prostitutes herself on the altar of sartorial elegance and sumptuous living.  The latest controversy surrounds a $2,000 designer sundress the first lady wore to church on her $4 million Hawaiian vacation.

Same Politico Obsessed with Palin's Wardrobe Ignores First Lady's Pricey Duds.  Personally, I don't care what Michelle Antoinette wears on her taxpayer-funded lavish Hawaiian vacations with her husband President FailureTeleprompterDuffer.  Thanks to an autobiography that was probably ghost-written by domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, Obama's a millionaire and more power to him.  If the First Lady wants to lord over the peasantry her fashionable dresses and skirts and purses that cost enough to feed about 500 hungry families, that's Our Champions Of The Poor's business.

The Democratic Party's War on the Poor.  The day the American welfare system first made it more desirable to stay on relief than to move up to just the next notch upward — that was the day that the Democrats truly declared war on America's poor.  The right may not look like Santa Claus nearly as often as the left does, but the right is always the one with the best interests of the poor in mind.

Michelle Obama's lavish Hawaii wardrobe revealed.  Michelle Obama successfully managed to rile U.S. taxpayers with her lavish $4m family jaunt to Hawaii this Christmas.  But it seems her expensive taste has not stopped there, as her vacation wardrobe has proved to be equally lavish.

Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein Are Stinking Rich.  According to the Center For Responsive Politics, our San Francisco reps have a total net worth of greater than $310 million.  That includes Pelosi's whopping net worth of $196,299,990; Sen. Dianne Feinstein's $93,707,020; and Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who is the 31st-richest rep, with a net worth of $20,527,999.  Meanwhile, Senator Barbara Boxer is valued at a little more than $5 million.

First Family Arrives in Kailua.  First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, Sasha and Malia, spent the night in Kailua, Oahu, on Saturday [12/17/2011].  President Barack Obama has not yet arrived for the family's 17-day holiday vacation in a beachfront home.

Another Load of Trickle-Up Economics.  It's the return of Trickle-Up Economics, an article of nearly religious faith on the Left these days, despite the rather stunning volume of evidence that it doesn't work.  Cast a flurry of government dollars across the deserving poor, and their rush to spend Big Government's largesse will cause businesses to pop up all over the place and begin hiring.  Obviously liberals are in love with this fantasy, because it means Big Government gets to exercise ever-greater control over the private sector.  Taxpayer money is seized and spent, while liberals get to posture as the selfless champions of the little guy.

The Rich Are Not Conservative.  Where is income highest in America?  It is not where oil company executives live or where computer software executives roost, but rather the environs of our nation's capital:  ten of the top-sixteen highest-income places in America are Virginia or Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.

As Americans struggle, the Obamas make do with 37 Christmas trees.  The economy may be weak, unemployment strong and the first family soon to vacate the White House for another half-month of vacation in Hawaii.  But the Obamas have gone all out in decorating their house this year, including a nearly quarter-ton gingerbread White House.  They have also installed 37 different Christmas trees.  Thirty of the trees are live, or were, including one nearly 19-feet tall from Wisconsin.

FLOTUS dines at Co Co. Sala.  First lady Michelle Obama enjoyed a lovely evening at Co Co. Sala on F Street on Monday night [11/28/2011]. ... We're told Obama's favorite savory was Chef Tiptur's Moroccan Swordfish Sliders with chermoula marinade, fennel salad, aged pecorino and hazelnut coffee dressing.

The very angry first lady Michelle Obama.  Mad Michelle this week popped down to Davis Island, Fla., to hobnob with the very people her husband despises — the 1 percent.  At a massive mansion on the bay, filled with the wealthiest of the wealthy, America's first lady launched into a tirade about "them" — the Republicans.

Report: Democrat spends $9K to attend donor's wedding.  Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., spent more than $9,000 in campaign funds so he and his family could be in Scotland for the wedding of a donor, a New Jersey newspaper reports.  The Star-Ledger of Newark reviewed Andrews' campaign-finance reports and found Andrews spent $7,725 for three nights in a ritzy hotel in Edinburgh, $953 in cab rides, meals, tips and airline baggage fees, and $463 on china as a wedding gift — all paid for out of his campaign account.

Obama's growing disdain for American worker.  The president, jaunting around the world as America's economy crumbles and Congress lumbers along, leaderless, dropped into a high school in Australia.  Talking to the Aussie kids, he said America's public school students have "fallen behind" them in math and science.  And he said in the U.S., many children don't get the "support they need when they're very young" so they're "already behind" when they enter elementary school.  Of course, that doesn't apply to the president's and first lady's daughters.  There was no chance the One Percent Couple were going to send their own children to a public school in the District of Columbia; they're off at a private school that costs $30,000 per child per year.

Joe Biden addresses secretive donor conference.  Vice President Joe Biden spoke at a secretive conference attended by about 150 rich liberals deciding how to divvy up their cash in the run-up to the 2012 election.  A variety of liberal groups pitched the donors throughout the three-day conference, including a network of Democratic outside groups hoping to raise upwards of $120 million to fund a sort-of shadow party effort supporting the reelection campaign of Biden and President Barack Obama.

6 Million Dollar Man: Obama Family Plans to Spend Holidays in Hawaii.  "It is great to be home, great to feel that Aloha spirit.  And Michelle and the girls will be back shortly for Christmas vacation, as we do every year.  We'll see if Washington gets its business done, so I can get here as well.  But that's always a challenge," Obama told a room of at least 300 supporters who paid $1,000, $5,000 or even $18,000 to attend his fundraiser at the Aulani — A Disney Resort & Spa — in Ko Olina.

Michael Moore's Mansion Beyond 99 Percent's Wildest Dreams.  Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore has been touring Occupy Wall Street demonstrations across the country — including some of the most violent, such as Occupy Oakland — urging activists to continue their fight against the wealthy "one percent" of Americans.  Initially, Moore tried to deny that his massive wealth made him a member of that one percent.

Nancy Pelosi's '60 Minutes' Of Fame.  [Scroll down]  A version of the swipe-fee bill made it into an amendment by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to the Dodd-Frank bill in 2010.  As the bill was proceeding, Pelosi's husband, Paul, a wealthy San Francisco investor of the type the Occupy Wall Street mobs have targeted, bought $1 million to $5 million of Visa stock in three separate transactions in a part of the IPO that "60 Minutes" said was offered to a select group of investors.  Interestingly, the wealthy Pelosi has voiced support for the OWS mobs, calling them a genuine and spontaneous movement protesting the very financial wheeling and dealing that the great unwashed feel has victimized them.

The Rich Kids of Occupy Wall Street.  People spending their free time camping out in protest of the wealthiest one percent share more in common with that top one percent than with the bottom one percent with whom they wish more to be shared in common.  One needn't rely on visuals of the protestors' Cabela tents or iPhones.  The Daily Caller has examined the arrest records of hundreds of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators and found that they live in homes with a median value of $305,000 versus the national median of $185,000.  The median rent for apartments listed by OWS arrestees was $1,850.

NYC arrest records: Many Occupy Wall Street protesters live in luxury.  Many "Occupy Wall Street" protesters arrested in New York City reside in more luxurious homes than some of their rhetoric might suggest, a Daily Caller investigation has found.  For each of the 984 Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested in New York City between September 18 and October 15, police collected and filed an information sheet recording the arrestee's name, age, sex, criminal charge, home address and — in most cases — race.  The Daily Caller has obtained all of this information from a source in the New York City government.

Ten richest celebs supporting OWS have collective net worth over a billion dollars.  Celebrity airheads who are supporting the occupiers are feeding Wall Street to the crocodile, forgetting that the beast quickly gets hungry for more.  Celebrity Net Worth has a highly amusing article on the subject.

More about Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

The very angry first lady.  Michelle [Obama] is going to break with a hundred years of tradition and play the role of attack dog, heaping derision on her husband's political opponents like no other first lady before her.  And it's already begun.  Mad Michelle this week popped down to Davis Island, Fla., to hobnob with the very people her husband despises — the 1 percent.  At a massive mansion on the bay, filled with the wealthiest of the wealthy, America's first lady launched into a tirade about "them" — the Republicans.

Obama Rakes In Cash From Lobbyists, Enron Executives.  [Scroll down]  Meanwhile, First Lady Michelle Obama will be hosting a big-bucks fundraiser in Houston next week... at the home of a former Enron executive.  Politico has the details:  ["]An upcoming Houston fundraiser featuring first lady Michelle Obama at the home of a former Enron executive who is part of a movement to convert public pensions to 401(k)-style plans is angering some local Democrats.  John Arnold, a Houston billionaire and former Enron trader, is hosting the Michelle Obama event with his wife, Laura Arnold, at their Houston home on Nov. 1.["]  Arnold, for the record, says he's a libertarian, while his wife is a Democrat.  If you want to reminisce about the Enron glory days with him and Michelle Obama, you'll have to fork over $10,000 for a ticket to the event, or go for the "co-host level" gold with a $35,800 contribution to re-elect Barack Obama.

Middle Class Warrior Obama Hits Hollywood For Millions.  [President Obama joined] Actor Will Smith and basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson for dinner and Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas for post-meal canapes.

Michelle Obama and 'the Few at the Top'.  When Ms. Obama charges, "Will we be a country where opportunity is limited to just the few at the top?  Who are we?" one wonders, why, then, in the past three years of hard times, did she insist on vacationing, in iconic fashion, at Vail, Martha's Vineyard, and Costa del Sol, the tony haunts of "the few at the top"?  In these rough times, surely a smaller staff, less travel, and budgetary economies would have enhanced her populist message of some at the top enjoying perks at the expense of others.

Obama freezes local reporters out of S.F. event.  President Obama is scheduled to appear before hundreds of donors at a $7,500-a-plate noontime fundraiser today at San Francisco's W Hotel — but not a single local reporter will be allowed inside to cover his only stop in the area, the White House said Monday [10/24/2011].

First Lady Asks for $10K Photo Fee.  How much would you pay to have your picture taken with First Lady Michelle Obama?  When she travels to Chicago next week to tour Chicago food deserts with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and later host a fundraiser at Plumber's Hall, she will be asking for a pretty penny.  The going rate for a photograph at the near West Side fundraiser with the First Lady is $10,000 for a family of up to six members.

Protester: fundraisers tie Obama to 'money elite'.  President Obama's high-dollar fundraisers demonstrate that the president is "in touch with the money elite,' says a Washington D.C. protest group representative who supports the Occupy movement against "corporate greed."  Kevin Zeese observed to WMAL.com that "President Obama, with his one billion dollar campaign, is holding fundraisers that cost $38,500 to get into." ... He added that such a fundraiser "puts Obama out of touch with the people and very much in touch with the money elite."

Pelosi's disclosure belated in husband's land deal.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's husband, a real estate developer and investment banker, stands to make millions of dollars in a previously undisclosed residential real estate project in California as a partner with the father of a woman Mrs. Pelosi helped become ambassador to Hungary, records show.  Paul F. Pelosi's investment in Russell Ranch is worth at least $5 million and possibly as much as $25 million in a deal put together by his friend and longtime business associate, Angelo Tsakopoulos, patriarch of a multimillion-dollar real estate development firm, according to Mrs. Pelosi's latest personal-disclosure statement.

Alec Baldwin Fund Tied to Wall Street, Big Oil.  Well now.  Isn't this rich?  Morgan Stanley, the legendary Wall Street investment banking company founded by J.P. Morgan that took $10 billion in federal bailout funds back in 2008 during the financial crisis, is a "Corporate Partner" providing funding to the Carol Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund.

Obamas celebrate wedding anniversary at stylish $150-a-head restaurant.  Restaurant Eve has two 'dining experiences'.  One is the 34-seat 'Chef's Tasting Room' with prix-fixe tasting menus costing up to $150.  Mr Armstrong's signature dishes include the heirloom tomato tart with garden basil and butter poached Maine lobster with Eastern Shore corn.

Donors Get Reception With Michelle Obama.  First lady Michelle Obama will meet supporters who donate at least $250 at an upcoming Washington, D.C., fundraiser for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.

Ten Lessons from Obama.  [#5] Obama cemented the notion that liberal Democrats are the party of really big money and of very little money — and of few in between.  The next populist will have to cut back on golf, stay at Camp David, and avoid the playgrounds of the rich and famous.

Two days, seven fundraisers for Obama.  On Sunday, September 25, Obama began his tour at 12:33 p.m. with a fundraiser at the 27,000-square foot, art-draped home of former Microsoft chief operating officer Jon Shirley in Medina, Washington.  65 attendees paid $35,800 per couple to join Obama at an intimate dinner.

Hollywood won't abandon Barack Obama.  [Scroll down]  In July, the President attended a fundraiser at the house of producer John Wells. Steven Spielberg, Will Farrell, Tom Hanks, and George Clooney paid $30,400 per couple for dinner and a photograph with Obama.  That month's quarterly report said that Obama had just passed the $85 million mark in fundraising for 2012.  Forty percent of his money was "big money bundles" that had come from, amongst others, Hollywood big-shots Steven Spielberg, Jerry Katzenberg, and Andy Spahn.

Obama gets $7 million from Hollywood.  Among the Hollywood VIPs who turned out for Mr. Obama at a $17,900-per-plate dinner late Monday night [9/26/2011] at the chic Fig & Olive restaurant on Melrose Place in Los Angeles was Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, whom the president praised for "helping us consistently move an agenda forward that creates a more just and fair and more competitive America."

Showbiz Heavies Plan More Democratic Party Fundraisers.  House minority leader Nancy Pelosi will be the big draw at a Tuesday night [9/27/2011] fundraiser hosted by director J.J. Abrams and his wife, Katie McGrath.  The event will be held on the rooftop of Abrams' Santa Monica production studio Bad Robot, with all proceeds going to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Why Obama and Warren Buffett are suddenly best pals.  First, President Obama seized upon populist comments by multibillionaire investor Warren Buffett to make his tax-the-rich proposal more palatable.  Now, Buffett says he will attend an Obama fundraiser.  He's becoming the poster boy for Obama's plans.

The Bugaboo of the Left.  Contrary to the Marxist "working class" myth, the left has always been a movement largely of and by intellectuals.  Their strong suit is propaganda, and they owe their undeniable successes in propaganda warfare to acting in a highly disciplined fashion and strictly hewing to their own rules of the game.

The Five Million Dollar Man.  The Chicago Tribune reports that an investigation it conducted with WGN-TV found "23 retired union officials from Chicago stand to collect about $56 million from two ailing city pension funds."  That's an average of $2.4 million each, and some will rake in even more.  Dennis Gannon, a former president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, stands to collect some $5 million.

Michelle Obama dazzles in New York, wearing diamond bangles.  The First Lady wore Katie's Lotus cuff priced at $15,000 with 2.9 carats of diamonds, her Gothic cuff at $15,350 with 2.17 carats in diamonds and the Quatrefoil bracelet at $11,800 with 1.73 carats in diamonds.

A $35,800 Date With the President.  [Scroll down]  The location of the early reception is the Woodside home Symantec CEO John Thompson and his wife Sandi.  The entrance price at the Thompson's is $2,500 without a picture or $7,500 with a photo of yourself and the president.  The evening meal will be far more costly.  A dinner date with Mr. Obama will cost a cool $35,800.

I'm exactly what's wrong with Barack Obama's America.  Barack Obama would prefer we all be wards of the state rather than active producers.  How else can you explain the incentives he champions:  endless jobless benefits, cradle-to-grave welfare handouts, "tax cuts" for non-taxpayers, and on and on.  Thus proclaims the president who himself raked in a cool $7.2 million over the past two years, "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money."  The key word there is "you."

Mark Levin: Michelle and Barack Obama "power hungry," "arrogant".  During the 2008 election cycle, political talking heads kept a sharp eye on the alleged extravagance of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.  And decades ago they had a lot to say about First Lady Nancy Reagan and her lifestyle in the White House.  Why are there no stories about First Lady Michelle Obama?  London's Daily Mail newspaper claims Michelle Obama has spent $10 million in taxpayer money on vacations.

Expensive massages, top shelf vodka and five-star hotels.  The Obamas' summer break on Martha's Vineyard has already been branded a PR disaster after the couple arrived four hours apart on separate government jets.  But according to new reports, this is the least of their extravagances.  White House sources today claimed that the First Lady has spent $10 million of U.S. taxpayers' money on vacations alone in the past year.

Obama goes hobnobbing with friends and donors.  Barack Obama is spending time apart from his wife and daughters during their family holiday on Martha's Vineyard, opting instead to schmooze with friends on the golf course and at their private oceanfront mansions.  The President has been hobnobbing some long-time confidantes, as well as some deep-pocketed donors while on his break.

Obama's Vineyard retreat stirs criticism.  There's never an ideal time for a presidential vacation.  But President Barack Obama's sojourn this week to Martha's Vineyard — known as a playground for the wealthy and well-connected — comes in the wake of the nation's first credit rating downgrade, with the economy sagging, the markets zigzagging and unemployment hovering at 9.1 percent.

It's official, President to vacation on Martha's Vineyard.  The White House confirmed Wednesday [8/10/2011] what many people on Martha's Vineyard have known for weeks.  The Obama family will vacation on the Island for the third summer in a row.

It's no time for a presidential vacation.  Is there anyone in the White House with nerve enough to tell Barack Obama that Martha's Vineyard is the last place on earth that the president of the United States should find himself next week?

The partier in chief.  This is the third year the Obama family has escaped to the liberal, upper-crust enclave of Martha's Vineyard.  They are staying "up-island" in the town of Chilmark, far away from the troubled cities and towns of America's heartland.  The commander in chief will relax at Blue Heron Farm, a $20 million mansion he rented for its sprawling 28 acres of property complete with swimming pool, basketball court and putting green.  The elite island is the kind of place where Mr. Obama feels right at home.

Will ritzy vacation trip Obama up?  [Obama has] mostly played out of the spotlight, and his team has done its best to downplay the recreational aspects of what is undeniably a very rich guy's very expensive vacation in a place regarded as a lobster-roll-and-Chardonnay Shangri-La for the moneyed Democratic elite.

Limousine liberals don't send their kids to government schools.
Emanuel's children going to private school this fall.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his wife have decided to forgo Chicago public schools and send their children to the University of Chicago Lab School in Hyde Park this fall, a source familiar with the decision has told the Tribune.  Leah, Ilana and Zach will be going to the same school once attended by Barack and Michelle Obama's daughters Sasha and Malia, the source said.

Barack's Bankruptcy/Birthday Bash.  The elaborate Chicago event will serve as an all-in-one Obama 2012 campaign fundraiser, concert, and birthday celebration. ... The entry fee to get into the Aragon Ballroom for Barry's big day will cost well-heeled couples a large pile of the type of "additional income" Obama just the other day suggested they should give to the needy.  Without having to win the "Dinner with Barack and Biden" raffle, donors willing to part with $35,800 get to enjoy a private dinner with the President and VIP seating at a birthday concert rumored to be featuring native Chicagoans.

Prez's vacation makes little $ense right now.  Obama, who's got us panicked over this debt-ceiling stalemate, will soon be off — again — to Blue Heron Farm, Martha's Vineyard.  Check out the pictures of this "farm" online.  You practically drool.  It looks like the centerfold of "Town & Country," the magazine for aspiring zillionaires.

DNC White House Event Included Big Money Obama Donors.  A March 7 White House meeting with President Barack Obama hosted by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for several dozen Wall Street executives also included several big-money Obama fundraisers.  The meeting, which White House Spokesman Jay Carney said "was not a fundraiser" included many big-money donors known as bundlers, a moniker derived from the fact that they solicit large contributions on behalf of a campaign.

Bill Clinton made $75 million from speeches.  In the 10 years since leaving the White House, former President Bill Clinton has earned more than $75 million in speaking fees alone, including nearly $11 million last year, a report Tuesday [7/12/2011] found.

141 White House staffers make six figures.  One out of every three White House employees makes at least $100,000 a year, according to data released by the White House on Friday [7/1/2011].  Top earners pull down a salary of $172,200 a year, while three employees have a salary of $0.  Most staffers fall somewhere in the middle.

What Obama donors ate last night.  What did Obama supporters get for $35,800-a-plate at Thursday night's DNC fundraising dinner at Manhattan's swanky Daniel restaurant?  The menu included Maine lobster salad with roasted beets, followed by a duo of Black Angus beef made with braised short ribs, roasted tenderloin, baby spinach, stuffed potato and hen of the woods mushrooms.

Liberal American Jewish suckers.  At a five-star hotel [6/20/2011], eighty Jewish donors shelled out between $25,000 [and $]35,800 to attend a fundraiser with US President Barack Obama.

Pelosi's wealth grows by 62 percent.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saw her net worth rise 62 percent last year, cementing her status as one of the wealthiest members of Congress.  Pelosi was worth at least $35.2 million in the 2010 calendar year, according to a financial disclosure report released Wednesday [6/15/2011].  She reported a minimum of $43.4 million in assets and about $8.2 milion in liabilities.

Obama wants credit for cleaning up 'big mess'.  "My job over these first two years has frankly been to clean up a big mess," Mr. Obama said at a $10,000-per-ticket event at a gated mansion in Miami Beach. ... The president spoke to guests on a tented lawn with a view of the Miami skyline at the $5.9 million home of former Samsonite CEO Steve Green, former ambassador to Singapore in the Clinton administration.

Leave No Limo Behind.  They are buying limousines in Washington.  Lots of them.  The number of government limousines increased by 73 percent during the first two years of the Obama administration.  The official justification for the acquisition (with borrowed Chinese money) of all this rolling stock is "security."  Our bureaucrats, it seems, are not safe riding around in ordinary vehicles or, perish the thought, driving themselves to work.  This, it seems, is especially true of those brave souls who toil at the State Department, which is where most of the limos have been put into service.

Doesn't anyone in Washington own a pickup truck?  Doesn't the Ikea store deliver?

New definition decreases government limo count.  Due to confusion about what a limousine is, the General Services Administration has had a hard time counting its limos in recent years, but now insists a new definition will accurately account for the fleet of government agency-owned luxury vehicles. [...] Two months after the rise was reported in May 2011, the GSA changed the definition of "limousine" to exclude such vehicles as shuttle buses and sedans, previously classified as limos.

And another thing:  Are Washington politicians buying furniture from a Swedish company?


More about President Obama, the gas-guzzling limousine liberal.

Royals, Obamas Sip $1,000 Vino.  Finally, after two straight presidents who didn't appreciate the taste of a fine French burgundy, Buckingham Palace tonight [5/24/2011] had a chance to put on the Ritz for a first family who enjoy a long dinner and luscious wine.  Most notable from the wine cellars of the famous palace:  A Echezeaux Grand Cru 1990, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, that goes for $1,000 — $1,700 per bottle in the United States.

The world's richest dinner party.  It's difficult to imagine a wealthier set of guests than those invited to the home of Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr earlier this year, in the mega-wealthy enclave of Woodside, California.  Together they represent companies worth nearly $1 trillion.  By all accounts, Obama didn't have an easy ride — many of the diners are generous political donors and the President was criticised for slow progress on policy promises.

Obama's $3 million S.F. dinner — the complete guest list.  [Several famous people] happily dropped $35,800 to dine with President Obama at billionaire Marc Benioff's San Francisco home Wednesday evening [4/20/2011].  These are just some of the 85 famous names on the fundraiser's guest list which was plainly visible to rubberneckers as attendees checked in.  Combined, Obama's take for the 90-minute event was a cool $3 million — or $3,043,000 to be exact (85 guests x $35,800 each).

Obama Visits the S(lush) F(und) Bay Area.  [Scroll down]  After satiating the hoi polloi with his Facebook stagecraft, Obama set off for some hardcore fundraisin' — the real point of the visit.  The first, and swankiest, of his three whirlwind back-to-back-to-back fundraisers was a $35,800/plate (not a typo) dinner at the Presidio Heights home of billionaire Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff.

The US President's $30,800 dinner menu.  Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson hosted a dinner for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama this week at his newest restaurant Red Rooster in Harlem.  The small dinner party of 50 shelled out $30,800 (€27,710) per plate for the party fundraiser.  Samuelsson is one of the president's favorite chefs and has been called upon to cook a handful of state dinners for him in the past.

Lead balloon.  Rhode Island federal district court nominee John J. "Jack" McConnell Jr. is due for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee today.  His nomination should be rejected due to ethical questions about his record.  In addition to being accomplished at the dark arts of ambulance chasing, Mr. McConnell is a political high roller.  In the past two decades, he and his wife donated $700,000 to Democratic Party groups and candidates.

Michelle Obama carries $1,000 tote.  Michelle Obama put another label name on the map this week, when she was spotted carrying a bold new handbag to her daughter's parent-teacher conference.  The teal blue leather tote by U.S. designer Reed Krakoff has already sold out around the world — despite the fact that it costs nearly $1,000.

Big Obama donor quits envoy job amid criticism.  As a supporter of presidential candidate Barack Obama, Cynthia Stroum was a superstar whose financial backing of the campaign landed her a plum diplomatic posting in Europe.

Democrats, environmentalists pushing Blacks out of their neighborhoods.  The black population of San Francisco is less than half of what it was in 1970, and it fell another 19 percent in the past decade. ... Blacks are being forced out of San Francisco, and out of other communities on the San Francisco Peninsula, by high housing prices.  At one time, housing prices in San Francisco were much like housing prices elsewhere in the country.  But the building restrictions — and outright bans — resulting from the political crusades of environmentalist zealots sent housing prices skyrocketing in San Francisco, San Jose and most of the communities in between.  Housing prices in these communities soared to about three times the national average.

The Rise of the Adolescent Mind.  Just because one is a former Chicago organizer does not mean he cannot be the largest recipient of Goldman Sachs or BP donations in history.  Railing against Las Vegas jet-setters does not mean that one cannot prefer Martha's Vineyard, Vail, or Costa del Sol to Camp David.  We talk about all these "millionaires," but fail to include a Rahm Emanuel who managed to receive several million for his apparent fiscal and investment "expertise" or the liberal Clintonite insiders who looted Fannie and Freddie in bonuses just before these agencies imploded.  The Koch brother are deemed evil; George Soros and Warren Buffet enlightened billionaires about whose modes of acquisition of riches we must be indifferent.

Progressive Ralliers Call for Lynching of Black Justice.  Among Common Cause's, well, common causes, are campaign finance reform, net neutrality, outlawing the filibuster, promoting cap and trade, and in this particular case, herding a mass of protesters outside a nearby hotel to yell at Charles and David Koch for being conservative and rich.  Unfortunately several "haves" have missed the memo that you're not to be both rich and conservative at the same time, and that bankrolling your pet causes is an extra no-no if you're conservative — thus exempting left-wing billionaire philanthropists George Soros (from whom Common Cause has received $2 million over the past eight years) Peter Lewis, John Doerr, Julian Robertson, Nicolas Berggruen, and many others from being yelled at too.

Pelosi spent $101,000 in two years while travelling with US Air Force.  If the US Airforce did all airline food, it would be strawberries dipped in dark chocolate and grilled chicken salads all round.  Unfortunately this luxury is reserved for top US politicians alone, as new documents detailing Nancy Pelosi's travel expenses reveal.  The former House Speaker was showered with a cornucopia of gourmet food and alcohol as she travelled over 90,000 miles around the world in just nine months last year — all courtesy of the US Airforce (USAF).

More about Pelosi's jet, provided at taxpayer expense.

$$ party for Charlie.  Charles Rangel wants to party away his legal bills.  The embattled Harlem congressman — who has been buried under a mountain of debt from his ethics case — is throwing a fund-raiser next month to raise money for his legal-defense fund.  Tickets to the event — co-hosted by former state Comptroller Carl McCall — start at $250 and go up to $5,000.

Foie Gras and Other Healthy Fare.  Recently, America was shocked to learn the Obamas' 10-day-plus Hawaiian Christmas is costing over $1 million.  The fact that the First Family shows their faces outside the beachfront compound takes guts, especially in a season when some Americans are struggling just to eat.  Don't the Obamas know that throwing rollicking palace parties while the little people starve is the stuff insurrections are made of?  The Obamas' behavior has reduced America to a famished child with its nose pressed against the cold windowpane of a warm bakery where Michelle and Barry, covered in cream from unlimited Charlotte Russes, toss maraschino cherries at one another, laughing and having a wonderful time, oblivious to the waif outside.

Obama party stays in home taxed at $300.  The absentee owner of a multimillion-dollar home being used by President Barack Obama's visiting entourage gets one of the biggest residential property tax breaks on Oahu.  Kevin Comcowich, the Houston investment executive who purchased the nearly 5,000-square-foot home for $9 million in January 2008, was charged $300 in property taxes this year.

Obamas Depleting U.S. Lobster Supply.  So how much lobster are you having during these precarious economic times?  What?  You've had to cut back?  No longer ordering it stuffed with crab meat, at least?  Well, if you happen to be the President of the United States or the First Lady, your lobster consumption is continuing at a robust pace.

Obama Has Shot 41 Rounds of Golf as President.  President Barack Obama has played a remarkable 41 rounds of golf since becoming president, easily outpacing his predecessor and possibly damaging his ability to portray himself in 2012 as a populist advocate of average folks.

Liberal Math.  Why do Democrats always go after the orthodontist, electrical contractor, or insurance agency owner, and never the Buffetts, Kerrys, or Gateses?

Lifestyles of the Rich and Liberal.  In July 2010, as Bill and Hillary Clinton were throwing a $2-3 million-plus wedding for their daughter Chelsea of which $11,000 went for a gluten-free wedding cake) and Michelle Obama was planning a lavish vacation to Spain's Costa del Sol, the Boston Herald revealed that John Kerry was the owner of the Isabel, a 76-foot, $7 million yacht custom-made in New Zealand, which he had kept at a dock in Newport, Rhode Island, to avoid paying an estimated $500,000 in Massachusetts state tax.  The boat, according to the brochure of the company, had two VIP suites (and one for the help), a wet bar, cold wine storage, and seated six around a custom-made table of Edwardian style ornate varnished teak. Add this to the Heinz-Kerrys' five land-based places of residence, and they now have in all six luxury "houses," each estimated at over $4 million, for a total of $36 million.

How Privileged Democrats Pay for Their Houses.  Former senior senator from Delaware and current Vice President Joe Biden has a custom-built house in Delaware's ritziest Chateau Country neighborhood.  It is now worth at least $2.5 million and is the Bidens' most valuable asset.  Biden tapped campaign funds to pay for his compound's lawn needs.  He secured the new estate with the help of a corporate executive who worked for Biden's top campaign donor, credit card giant MBNA.  In 1996, Biden sold his previous mansion to MBNA Vice Chairman John Cochran.  The asking price was $1.2 million.  Cochran forked over the full sum.

The Obama-Soros Connection.  The first shots in the Obama Revolution, the highly unlikely campaign that elevated an inexperienced former Chicago community organizer born in Hawaii and raised in Indonesia into the Oval Office, were fired at the Long Island Southampton beach house of billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros.  Soros is one of the wealthiest men on the planet, with a personal fortune of at least $7 billion and additional investments of another $11 billion or so.  His collaborative group of pro-Left foundations distributes more than $400 million a year to causes ranging from underwriting left-leaning Democrat Party candidates to legalizing marijuana to advocating for euthanasia.

Still Hill's fattest cat.  [Sen. John] Kerry's financial disclosure form revealed that, despite the struggling economy, his minimum net worth at the end of 2009 was $188.6 million — an increase of more than $20 million from 2008. ... Rounding out the top 10 richest members of Congress are:
  2. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., $160 million
  3. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., $152 million
  4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., $83 million
  5. Rep. Michael McCaul, D-Texas, $73 million
  6. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., $70 million
  7. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., $56 million
  8. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., $53 million
  9. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., $49 million
 10. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., $46 million

The Editor says...
Looks like a lot of Democrats in the top ten.

The Party of the Rich.  We live in an era — the worst economically since the Depression — when the daughter of the first couple of the Democratic Party has a multi-million dollar, Marie Antoinette-style wedding with port-a-potties almost as luxurious as a toilette in Baden Baden; its self-proclaimed environmental leader, the first global warming billionaire, sprouts "green" McMansions from Nashville to Montecito; and its already multi-billionaire senator from Massachusetts moors his yacht in another state to escape taxes we hoi polloi could only dream of paying.  But wait, as they say, there's more.

Liberal Billionaires Good, Conservative Billionaires Evil.  Liberals love their billionaires, a very long and sometimes radical list that includes Barack Obama's special favorites Warren Buffet and George Soros. ... [But] For liberals there is a special place in hell for conservative billionaires who support free market economic think tanks and causes.

Fine dining:  [Scroll down]  Obama, apparently, was a big fan of chef Scott Ehrlich's beef tenderloin and short ribs, so the prez ordered it for his entre after his appetizer of pasta with lobster.  The first lady, resplendent in a black and white Narciso Rodriguez dress and a cropped black cardi, chose local greens (because she's a big fan of farmers) and the beef tenderloin with a lobster tail instead of the highly caloric short ribs.  The group shared four desserts including a creme brulee.

Could you just put that $1 million in the mail next time?  If you live in Los Angeles, like I do, you already know that things went [bad] Monday night thanks to President Obama, whose arrival in town for a fundraiser at "West Wing" producer John Wells' Hancock Park house caused utter chaos, snarling traffic all across the city's Westside.  It was ugly.  It was also one of those events that may represent a tipping point when it comes to people's attitudes about an out-of-touch politician and his wealthy supporters.

Obama goes Hollywood at tonight's fundraiser, $30,400 apiece.  Democrats like to characterize themselves as the party of "the guy who showers after work, not before."  The people bankrolling the continuation of Obama's agenda — the ones he'll be mixing it up with tonight in Hollywood for a major Democratic Party fundraiser — don't take showers.  They take baths in tubs of caviar.

Obama:  Fighting the Yuppie Factor.  From the price of arugula to vacations in Marbella, the Obamas are the perfect yuppie couple. ... Barack Obama — the son of a Ph.D. and a Harvard-educated economist, graduate of a Hawaii prep school, replete with Ivy League education, stylish digs in a good Chicago neighborhood, properly tamed and presentable radical social circles, and the requisite power-couple marriage — appreciates the ambience of a vacation spot:  Who goes there and why, and what others will say and think, alone matter.  Otherwise, the sun and surf at Pismo Beach would do just as well.

Michelle Antoinette?  I think the Obamas' tone-deafness, which was on exhibit long before Michelle's Spanish vacation, more likely results from their inexperience and the fact that if you are a significant figure in Democratic Party politics, you spend a great deal of time with rich people.  That can skew one's perspective.

Out-Of-Control Michelle Obama's Spending Spree.  After blowing nearly a half-million dollars on a Spanish shopping spree, Michelle Obama has plans to spend a whopping $2 million in the coming year — while the nation struggles with its worst recession ever.

The Party of the Rich.  At this moment, two of [the Democratic Party's] leaders from a supposedly disadvantaged minority are about to be tried for ethical transgressions (read: thievery) even Congress couldn't sweep under the rug.  Never mind that these transgressions mostly exploit the very minority these people purport to represent.  It's part of the game.  Convince minorities they should act like victims.  Extort guilt payments from the majority and keep the change.  Meanwhile, nothing improves for the minority because it would interrupt the system.

President Obama courts wealthy donors.  Four times in the last week, President Barack Obama has quietly slipped into private, exclusive Democratic Party fundraisers around town, glad-handing well-heeled donors away from the eyes of the press — and contradicting his pledge to run the most transparent administration in history.

Obama lands in Dallas for fundraiser at Highland Park lawyer's home.  President Barack Obama landed at Dallas Love Field this afternoon [8/9/2010], en route to a fundraiser at the Highland Park home of a prominent trial lawyer.

Obama's Dallas host is prolific Democratic donor.  The host for President Barack Obama's Dallas fundraiser is a well-known trial lawyer who has been a prolific donor to the Democratic Party.  Russell Budd served as a "bundler" in Obama's presidential campaign, raising at least $50,000 for the presidential campaign by soliciting money from other donors.  Budd and his wife, Dorothy, will host the president at their Highland Park home, where Vice President Joe Biden also came to raise money in March.

Michelle Obama, Sasha on Lavish Vacation While President Turns 49.  Mrs. Obama and Sasha were invited for an "official" visit with Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia during their stay — expected to last about four days.  Spain's royal couple happen to be vacationing at their summer palace on the island of Majorca, and Mrs. Obama is likely to join them there.

Michelle and Sasha go to Spain.  Greeted by a large red, white and blue banner, Michelle Obama landed safely in España.  The First Lady and an entourage including daughter Sasha and three dozen of Michelle's closest and most intimate friends were warmly welcomed on the Iberian Peninsula for "a private, mother-daughter trip."  Notwithstanding the 5-star rating, the Villa Padierna is a peculiar choice for a mother/daughter moment as it is "often associated with reality TV and gangsters."

Another getaway for Mrs. Obama.  First lady Michelle Obama may catch some flak for vacationing at an expensive luxury hotel on Spain's Mediterranean coast.  By the end of the summer, Mrs. Obama will have taken eight vacation trips — including her visit to Marbella, staying at the five-star Hotel Villa Padierna with daughter Sasha and some pals.

Material girl Michelle Obama is a modern-day Marie Antoinette on a glitzy Spanish vacation.  While most of the country is pinching pennies and downsizing summer sojourns — or forgoing them altogether — the Obamas don't seem to be heeding their own advice.  While many of us are struggling, the First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her "closest friends."  According to CNN, the group is expected to occupy 60 to 70 rooms, more than a third of the lodgings at the 160-room resort.  Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times.

Let them eat tapas.  The Obama family has been working hard to show their indifference to the plight of middle America.  Whether it's the president's golfing fetish, private air transportation for family dog Bo to a Maine vacation, or Michelle Obama's taxpayer subsidized trip to the Spanish Riviera, the gulf between the White House leisure class and the American middle class has grown to unprecedented proportions.  Everyone is entitled to some R & R, though Mrs. Obama's jaunt is her eighth holiday this summer.

Spanish police close public beach for Michelle Obama's £250,000 Spanish holiday.  Michelle Obama today faced a fresh wave of attacks over her lavish break in Spain with 40 friends, which could easily cost U.S. taxpayers a staggering £50,000 a day.  The First Lady has been lambasted for her extravagance at a time when the economy is still struggling. One blogger went so far as to brand her a modern-day Marie Antoinette.

Michelle Obama's Lavish Spain Vacation Sparking Criticism.  While First Lady Michelle Obama continues sightseeing and shopping in southern Spain with daughter Sasha and friends as "private" tourists, questions are being raised about the cost to taxpayers and whether a lavish vacation sends the right message during tough economic times in the U.S.

What Was Michelle Obama Thinking?  When we're in the middle of the worst recession in living memory, it's not a good idea to take a luxury vacation that most of your countrymen could never possibly afford in the best of times, at considerable taxpayer expense for the security, in a foreign country.

The Pain in Spain Falls Mainly on US Taxpayers.  While millions of Americans cut back on what they can spend on their vacation, Michelle Obama is concluding her last vacation with a new vacation trip along with 40 guests to Spain billed at a cost of 300,000 dollars a day.  If Michelle Obama wants to go for a swim, an entire beach in Spain must be closed.  Considering her busy working schedule of appearing on talk shows and then appearing on magazine covers, I think we can all agree that nine vacations is very modest.  And the real tab gets much higher when you consider how many of the other unstated expenses are being picked up by "friends", which is usually a fancy way of saying people who expect favors in return, again, at taxpayer expense.

Even the liberal Seattle Times questioning Obama's 'lavish' vacations.  More than any presidential couple in recent memory, the Obamas are demonstrating that they see themselves not only better than everyone, but more privileged than the rest of us.  They've made it to the penthouse and are determined to enjoy their status to the fullest.

Pampered populists.  It's surreal to see President Obama play the class-warfare card against the Republicans while on his way to vacation on the tony Maine coast, and even more interesting to note that now gone are the days when the media used to caricature Bush I for boating in the summer off the preppie-sounding Kennebunkport.  The truth is that the real big money and the lifestyles that go with it are now firmly liberal Democratic.

Obama raises nearly $1 million for Giannoulias.  The nearly $1 million fundraising event at the Palmer House Hilton highlighted a quick visit by Obama back home to Chicago that also included a tour of a Southeast Side Ford plant and a 49th birthday dinner Wednesday night [8/4/2010] with friends including Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah Winfrey Tops Our List Of The Highest-Paid Celebrities.  Oprah Winfrey may have wrapped up her syndicated talk show last year after a 25-year run, but her empire sails on.

Price to attend Obama's birthday bash:  $30,000.  Happy Birthday, buddy!  Sneed hears real estate mogul Neil Bluhm is tossing a private birthday party here for President Obama, who turns 49 on Aug. 4.  The shocker:  The dinner invite to the Barack bash at Bluhm's home requires a $30,000 donation to the Democratic National Committee!

Obama Meets With Big Donors.  President Obama met with about 50 of the Democratic Party's biggest donors on Tuesday night [7/27/2010] at an upscale Washington hotel, but aides excluded reporters from the event since the president did not give a speech.

Obama ate alone at fund-raiser dinner.  The big spenders who shelled out $30,400 a head for dinner with President Obama at the Four Seasons restaurant and at Anna Wintour's house didn't actually break any bread with him.  After starting Tuesday night [7/27/2010] at a dinner for 60 high-rolling Democratic supporters hosted by hedge-fund billionaire Marc Lasry, Obama headed to a private room at the Four Seasons to wolf down steak, potatoes and broccoli with two aides before heading to Wintour's Greenwich Village home.

John Kerry will pay if 'taxes are owed'.  U.S. Sen. John Kerry, the owner of a new, super-luxe 76-foot yacht, is not dodging a six-figure Massachusetts tax bill by docking the Isabel in Rhode Island and will pony up to the state if "any taxes are owed," a spokesman for the alleged tax-skipping skipper said.  And it appears the senior senator may be on the hook for more than $500,000 in state and local taxes because Kerry tied his toney tub up in Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket waters within six months of buying her.

John Kerry saves $500,000 by docking ultra-luxury yacht in Rhode Island.  Times are tough for everyone. Including gazillionaire John Kerry.  The Massachusetts senator is under fire for docking his brand new $7-million yacht in Rhode Island.  It's not illegal to moor your boat there or anything.  It's just that Rhode Island doesn't have a boat sales and use tax anymore.

Kerry's $lick sailing.  John Kerry, the tax-happy Massachusetts Democrat, is docking his new, multimillion-dollar yacht in Rhode Island — an eyebrow-raising decision that saved him an estimated $437,500 in sales tax from his home state, it was reported yesterday [7/23/2010].

The more Kerry changes, the more he stays the same.  Give John Kerry this.  Some things, he learns.  Republicans swift-boated him in 2004. Yesterday he swift-boated his wife for the second time in three days, when asked about whether he ducked a half million in state taxes by berthing his $7 million, foreign-built yacht in Rhode Island.  "That depends on who owns it," he said when asked whether he's ever docked the oh-so-posh Isabel here.  Translation:  Take it up with Teresa.

Benedict Arnold's Yacht.  If Massachusetts Senator John Kerry had escaped $500,000 in state taxes by docking his yacht in Rhode Island, the offense wouldn't have been as serious as, say, plotting with the British against the Continental Army in 1780.  But then, it was Kerry himself who upped the rhetorical ante against those who use tax loopholes for their own gain.

Update:
John Kerry's bucks stop where?  It's been more than three months since we first told you about Capt. John Kerry's high-seas tax dodge on his new $7 million yacht, Isabel, and the town of Nantucket still doesn't have a check from the senior senator!  You may recall that Kerry lowered the flag and surrendered in July, agreeing to pony up more than $400,000 to cover state taxes on the toney tub.

President Obama to summer like it's 2009.  President Obama, his poll numbers tanking, will return to Martha's Vineyard — the most Democratic spot in the bluest of blue states — for his summer vacation next month, island sources said.  Our spies on The Rock report that the first family will return to Chilmark's Blue Heron Farm for about 10 days in August.

This was apparently not intended to be satire, as far as I know, and yet...
President Obama, to see sights, eat lobster in Bar Harbor, Maine.  Exactly 100 years after the last President visited this coastal haven in Maine for old-money Republicans, President Obama and his family are arriving Friday [7/16/2010] for the weekend.  The summer playground of the Astors, the Rockefellers and the Morgans — as well as newer social titans like Martha Stewart — the island is positively aflutter.

Obama's Maine Island Long Visited by Rich.  Serving as a summer retreat for Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Morgans, this town and the surrounding area have long been known as a place where well-heeled and well-known visitors could beat the heat — and have their privacy respected.

Obama Team rewards Hollywood donors.  Why the rush to help Hollywood?  Well, midterms are approaching, the Democratic Party is held in high disregard by many Americans, and the fundraising is reflecting its bad poll numbers.  So why not go where the money is?  This is Cook County pay-to-play politics writ large.

Clintons dealing for $11M Westchester mansion.  Looks like Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton are moving on up — to a deluxe mansion away from prying eyes.  Sources told The Post the Clintons are planning to trade their almost-modest suburban Chappaqua home for a sprawling $10.9 million estate in the bucolic Westchester town of Bedford Hills, complete with 20 acres of gorgeous land surrounded by New York's elite.

Kerry and his energy companies.  For all you curious as to why Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is so inspired to cut a deal on energy reform, wonder no longer.  Apparently, the senior senator from Massachusetts is positioned to hit the jackpot if a subsidy-laden energy "reform" bill passes.  In some years, Kerry makes more money in dividends and capital gains from these holdings than he does as a senator.

A Surreal Presidency.  Obama enjoys the top job in the country and avails himself lavishly of all its perks, posting as well an annual income in the millions of dollars, over five million in 2009 alone.  His cohorts and backers are doing quite proudly too, not to mention Democratic godfather George Soros, one of the world's richest men.  Home foreclosures and job terminations are not an issue for these people, who are good at theoretical empathy and not much else, apart from making the situation even worse than it already is.

Pelosi's New District Office Costs $18,736 a Month.  San Francisco is a high-rent city.  Just ask Nancy Pelosi.  The House Speaker's district office in the new federal building in San Francisco costs a whopping $18,736 a month — the highest rental paid by any member of the House — or, more precisely, the highest rental paid by taxpayers on behalf of a member of the House.

Obama raises $1.7 million for Boxer, Dems.  President Barack Obama flew into San Francisco Tuesday night [5/25/2010], spoke at two receptions, had dinner with some high-rolling donors and raised $1.7 million for Sen. Barbara Boxer and Senate Democrats.  This was the second fundraiser the president has done for Boxer in just over a month, and raised $600,000 — bringing to $1.1 million the amount Obama has brought in for her.

Barack Obama didn't part the waters — he just made them dirtier.  On the day of the memorial service for the 11 dead on the oil rig last week, Barack flew to San Francisco for a fund-raiser on behalf of the hideous Sen. Barbara "Botox" Boxer.  It was held in a mansion owned by a member of the Getty family, of Big Oil infamy.  And yet nary a word among the usual Ivy League pukes on MSNBC and in The New York Times.

A Bad Case of the Bitters.  With oil from the still-gushing, five-week-old Deepwater Horizon leak lapping unimpeded into the marshes of Louisiana, on Tuesday [5/25/2010] the President of the United States jetted past the oily Gulf to a San Francisco fund-raiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer, held, incredibly, at the home of the 350th richest person in America — Gordon Getty, inheritor of the Getty Oil fortune.

Chuck Schumer and the confluence of policy and campaign cash.  Chuck Schumer has always lived at the intersection of Big Money and Big Government.  He regularly leads the Senate in raising funds from the biggest industries.  His former top staffers are now Wall Street lobbyists and his top fundraisers.

Obama's Wall Street problem.  How much credibility can a person expect to have if demonizing fat cats is the basis for fund raising at $50,000-dollar a couple events? ... Speaking on behalf of the poor, indigent and oppressed Obama reiterated the call for Wall Street reform and in the process raised $1.3 million from 185 donors.

The Obamas Made $5.5 Million in 2009.  President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama released their 2009 federal and state income returns today [4/15/2010], reporting an adjusted gross income of $5,505,409.  Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden released their returns as well, reporting an adjusted gross income of $333,182.

Ka-ching:  Obama is rich!  [Scroll down]  As a side note, the White House still hasn't said where that Nobel Prize money is going.

In case you haven't heard, President Obama won the Nobel Prize and apparently put the prize money in his pocket.

How Obama Himself Made More Than 'Enough Money':  In defending his administration's efforts at putative financial reform, President Obama suggested a ceiling, perhaps government-imposed, for Wall Street executives.  Although he did not begrudge them income that is "fairly earned," he added ominously, "I do think that at a certain point, you've made enough money."  The president may be projecting guilt from his own excellent adventures in greed.

After beating up Wall Street 'fat cats,' President Obama takes their money.  President Obama has been happy to beat up on Wall Street "fat cats," but tonight [5/13/2010] he'll be even happier to take their money.  The President is slated to headline a superswank, $50,000-per-couple fund-raiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at Manhattan's gilded St. Regis hotel on Fifth Ave.  The high-dollar affair will feature fine French food, a bevy of Wall Street titans and 23 Congress members — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

2008 Market Crash Should be Investigated.  [Scroll down slowly]  Over the years, [George] Soros has positioned himself to take control of the Democrat Party through the hundreds of 527 organizations he has helped financed.  These organizations have become a "Shadow Party" unto themselves, and manipulate public opinion for their own end.  Among them: the National Education Association, ACORN, AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, The Media Fund, the Open Society Institute, Planned Parenthood League, the Sierra Club, America Coming Together, the Huffington Post, Moveon.org.  If a left-wing organization is in the news, it has probably received money from George Soros.

Reflections on the Revolution in America:  The present attempt to remake America is the effort of the liberal well-to-do — highly educated at mostly private universities, nursed on three decades of postmodern education, either with inherited wealth or earning top salaries, lifestyles of privilege indistinguishable from those they decry as selfish, and immune from the dictates they impose on others. ... They are all battling on behalf of "them," the poorer half of America, currently in need of some sort of housing, education, food, or legal subsidy, whom the above mentioned elite, in the way they live, send their children to school, socialize, and vacation so studiously avoid.

The real fat cat party.  The U.S. Climate Action Partnership, led by GE, includes many other Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs — the company that has profited mightily from Obama's brand of hope and change.  CAP is an aggressive supporter of the Democrats' climate change scheme.  Why?  Because GE and company stand to make billions from carbon pricing, thanks largely to investments in technologies that cannot survive in a free market without massive subsidies from Uncle Sam.

The Pathology of the Rich Socialist.  People such as George Soros and Michael Moore certainly talk a good game, but the next Mother Teresa they are not.  Mother Teresa never criticized the free-market system; wealth just wasn't for her.  Soros and Moore are quite the opposite.  They will never take a vow of poverty and dedicate themselves to helping the poor.  They just want our civilization to take a vow of poverty and become poor.

Nancy Pelosi spends $2,993 on flowers.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spent $2,993 in taxpayer money on flowers between June and October.  House Majority Whip James Clyburn has a thing for Chantilly Donuts, spending about $265 at the Virginia shop in the past quarter. ... Pelosi, who has come under fire in the past for spending on flowers, also spent roughly $30,610 in food and beverage and about $2,740 on bottled water, contributing to the nearly $120,531 total from all congressional leadership accounts.

It takes this much money to eat with Barack Obama.  [It took $34,000] for a couple to have dinner with Barack Obama on Thursday night [10/15/2009] in San Francisco's Westin Hotel.  And hundreds of Northern Californians lined up to do so.  It better be an abundant shrimp cocktail for that price.

Big money buys seats at lawmakers' dinner tables.  Want to dine with five U.S. senators?  Then just drop by Wednesday night and, oh, by the way, bring $30,400.  That's what it costs to be a "co-chair" of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's Women's Senate Network party, thrown by power lobbyist Heather Podesta.

Four of the top five are Democrats.
Report:  237 millionaires in Congress.  As Washington reels from the news of 10.2 percent unemployment, the Center for Responsive Politics is out with a new report describing the wealth of members of Congress.  Among the highlights:  Two-hundred-and-thirty-seven members of Congress are millionaires.  That's 44 percent of the body — compared to about 1 percent of Americans overall.

Insult and Injury.  The entire intellectual infrastructure behind the stimulus, the bailouts, the auto-industry takeover, and the proposed health-care takeover rests on the assumption that the people who staff the Obama administration are smarter, better, more caring, and more decent than you yahoos out there in the general public, who simply cannot be trusted to make your own decisions about important matters, such as what sort of health insurance to purchase or whether to buy a car that gets 20 miles per gallon or 22 miles per gallon.

The Emerging Liberal Oligarchy:  Right or wrong, the age of liberal idealism is over.  We live today in a different era. ... The liberal aristocracy that once knew itself to be "the best" has become, after half a century of power, merely "the few," just another cabal of ruthless men and women fighting to keep their hands on the levers of political power.  Our liberal friends do not yet understand how their years of political and cultural power have corrupted them; they still imagine themselves as plucky outsiders battling for the people against the powerful.  There is a word for a misunderstanding of reality like that.  The word is "delusion."

Is Democracy the Killer of Liberty?  It is a fact that, without funds, one cannot even run for the city's dogcatcher. ... How about seeking to be the mayor of New York City?  Michael Bloomberg is presently running for election to his third term as the mayor of the city.  This man is reportedly the 17th wealthiest person in the world.  He spent $73 million of his own money on his first term campaign ad and apparently he is spending at least $18.5 million of his own funds again for a third mayoral term in 2009 campaign.  Is Bloomberg, one of the greatest contemporary titans of business, a fool to spend that kind of money for a post that doesn't pay even a fraction of what he is spending?  No.  He is not a fool.

Two years later...
Mayor Bloomberg gives $50 million to fight coal-fired power plants.  New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will donate $50 million to the Sierra Club to support its nationwide campaign to eliminate coal-fired power plants.  Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune described the gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies, which will be spread out over four years, as "a game-changer, from our perspective."

The Soros-Axelrod Axis?  George Soros is one of the big sugar daddies of the Democratic Party.  He also is the ruler of an archipelago of so-called 527 groups that pose as non-partisan activists groups, but in fact are often hyper-partisan (such as MoveOn.Org), and are often employed by Democrats to influence elections.  Soros, for years, has been the top funder of such groups.

Democrats Declare War on the Poor.  The pawn shop business is very easy to understand, and if the interest rate seems exorbitant to middle-class folks and liberal do-gooders, maybe it's because they don't understand how grateful pawn shop customers are for the service.  Who else offers on-the-spot credit to those who might otherwise have no source of quick cash?  It is idiotic that, on the one hand, Democrats demanded that taxpayers bail out the mortgage industry, while on the other hand they are trying to put pawn shops out of business.

Obama vacations where the elite meet.  As the health care debate rages on, President Barack Obama will begin a weeklong vacation Sunday [8/23/2009] in Martha's Vineyard, an enclave of liberal royalty far from middle America, where his approval numbers are starting to stall.  Already, at least one group on the right is taking a jab at Obama over his beach vacation — at a 28-acre farm, said to rent for up to $50,000 a week.

Obama's Martha's Vineyard lair:  28 acres.  The place where the Obama family plans to spend the last week of August will offer some room to roam on the remote island off the coast of Cape Cod.  The Blue Heron Farm, a 28-acre retreat in the town of Chilmark, once deemed one of the most expensive towns in America, is among a stable of resorts that fetch $35,000 to $50,000 a week, according to an island correspondent, Sam Bungey...

A $6,000 purse?
Michelle Obama flashes expensive taste.  Talk about luxury in the woods!  Michelle Obama showed off her more expensive taste in fashion by carrying a $5,950 VBH black alligator manila clutch while strolling the wooded landscape outside of Moscow, Russia this week.

Update:
Bag manufacturer:  Mistaken identity on First Lady's clutch.  Italian luxury goods manufacturer VBH boasted yesterday that First Lady Michelle Obama had toted their $5,950 alligator manila clutch earlier this week while on a trip to Russia.  No way, said the White House, which countered that the First Lady was carrying an $875 VBH patent leather clutch.

The Editor says...
Oh!  It's only an $875 purse.  Everybody has a couple of those, right?

$540 sneakers First Lady Michelle Obama steps out in Lanvin sneakers and they're only $540!  While volunteering Wednesday at a D.C. food bank, the First Lady sported her usual J.Crew cardigan, a pair of utilitarian capri pants and, on her feet, a sneaky splurge:  trainers that go for $540.  That's right:  These sneakers — suede, with grosgrain ribbon laces and metallic pink toe caps — are made by French design house Lanvin, one of fashion's hottest labels.

Fashionable First Lady Michelle Obama helps the poor in $540 sneakers.  First Lady Michelle Obama, who's become quite the fashion role model with her J.Crew wear and buff-arm-spotlighting sleeveless frocks, is under scrutiny for what she wore on her feet the other day.  They're trendy Lanvin sneakers.  Which look really nice and comfy and all.  Trouble is, they cost $540.  If you can find a pair anywhere.

Michelle Obama orders thigh-high boots.  Michelle Obama has kicked aside controversy over her expensive French sports shoes and ordered thigh-high luxury boots from the same country, her new shoemaker said today. ... In April, Mrs Obama attracted a flurry of comment after she wore a fashionable $540 pair of Lanvin sneakers when she handed out food to the poor at a Washington food bank.

Pardon Me, But Did He Just Ask for Grey Poupon?  [Scroll down]  And that burger "joint" — well, it's not exactly a glorified White Castle or Steak and Shake — or even a Five Guys, it's a spot where you can drop up to $17.50 on a burger.  You can get yours with foie gras, bordalaise sauce, and even white truffle oil.  Just like Mickey D's, right?  It turns out that maybe the cool "let's-show-them-we-are-just-like-them" adventure was at least a little flawed, but you'd never know it by the news coverage.

Obamas made $2.7M in 2008, paid $855K federal tax.  President Barack Obama's long tenure on the best-seller list is paying off:  He and his wife, Michelle, made $2.7 million last year, nearly all of it from his books.  While the income was far more than the U.S. median household income of about $50,000, it was far less than the $4.2 million the Obamas made in 2007.

Obamas fly in chef 860 miles... just to make pizza.  When you're the president of the United States, only the best pizza will do — even if that means flying a chef 860 miles.  Chris Sommers, 33, jetted into Washington from St Louis, Missouri, on Thursday [4/9/2009] with a suitcase of dough, cheese and pans to to prepare food for the Obamas and their staff.  He had apparently been handpicked after the President had tasted his pizzas on the campaign trail last autumn.

Rich, Raise-Your-Taxes Populists.  The tragedy is that moralists like Daschle, Geithner, Solis, etc. have far more access to tax lawyers and are far less likely to pay the consequences when caught than the putative "rich" that the liberal left, for the last year, has so cavalierly trashed.  Something larger and really weird is going on here.  Liberal tax raisers are not paying taxes.  The majority of big Wall Street money (cf. AIG, Fannie, Freddie, Goldman-Sachs, etc) is going to the Democratic Party.

Everyman Obama courts socialites.  While publicly identifying with the nation's have-nots, the Obama administration has been quietly cultivating the Beltway social elite behind the scenes.

Obama's Billionaires.  Despite funding the majority of his presidential run with paltry $5 donations from everyday Americans, President-elect Barack Obama has had a slew of billionaire backers with him on his journey to the White House — plutocrats who provide economic and political advice and help to raise money.  Lots of money.

Obama's billionaire buddies:  Ever since he ran for the Senate in 2004, Barack Obama has had a wealth of 10-figure tycoons advising — and funding — him.

Caroline's Crib.  Forget Chappaqua.  This amazing Martha's Vineyard spread will be the next home-away-from-the-Beltway for New York's junior senator if Caroline Kennedy is tapped to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton.  The 366-acre estate — worth at least $50 million — just underwent a major renovation and rezoning that will keep it the exclusive province of Kennedy, 51.

Democrat fat cats.  The Democratic House Caucus retreat was held this weekend at a Williamsburg luxury spa, to the cost of half a million dollars for the American taxpayer, and Mr. Obama flew the 155 miles on Air Force One (after getting to Andrews AFB by Marine One) for a brief appearance.  This is not just blatant hypocrisy by the president, it is downright political folly. ... Mr. Obama, who was all fire and brimstone for two years on the campaign trail, expressing solidarity with the poor and underprivileged in America, should be a bit more circumspect in events such as this.

The Editor says...
How many of you would take an airplane on a 155-mile trip?  It would be twice as fast to drive to your destination, because of all the delays and hassles at the airport.  Mr. Obama is above all that.  This incident also shows Obama's poor judgment:  For a lot less money, he could just as easily have taken the Marine Corps helicopter all the way to his destination.  But you see, your money doesn't matter to him.

Superdelegate system is pure elitism.  In 1903, Wisconsin's "Fighting" Bob La Follette organized the first primaries in the United States.  La Follette hated boss-controlled conventions.  The aim of the primaries, he once said, is to remove the nomination from the hands of professionals.  There were no superdelegates prior to the 1980s, when Walter Mondale, one of the early architects of the superdelegate system, repudiated La Follette's democratic philosophy.  With the explicit aim of preventing voter insurgencies, Mondale helped to create a bloc of unelected kingmakers drawn from the Washington establishment.

Obama campaign flush from wealthy California donors.  Howard Marks, chairman of Oaktree Capital Management in Los Angeles, donated $57,000, as did musician Herb Alpert.  Others include actors Harrison Ford and George Clooney, who gave $30,800 each; Rob Reiner, who gave $33,100; and Jennifer Aniston, Larry David, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Renee Zellweger and several other Hollywood figures, who gave $28,500.

Washington's elite abuzz as Obamas settle on a school.  In a city where social status is conferred by proximity to political power, the Obamas' decision on where to educate their two daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, seven, had assumed outsize importance — in no small part because of the potential social opportunities it offers to Washington's elite and wealthy parents.

Limo Shortage for Denver Dems.  Limousine liberals may be forced to take the bus at the Democratic National Convention this month because Denver simply does not have enough limos and black cars to go around.

Big Money Still Has Prominent Seat at Parties' Conventions.  When Senator Barack Obama gives his acceptance speech before 70,000 people at Invesco Field on Thursday in Denver, most supporters will be sitting under the open night sky.  But a group of lobbyists and corporate executives will watch the event from plush skyboxes, with catered food and a flowing bar, and a price tag of up to $1 million.

The new world devised by Maurice Strong and George Soros.  In spite of the hype coming out of the Office of the President-elect, Obama is merely a fop for the global elite.  He is their, and not the people's true agent of change.  The January 20 inauguration with its promise of 5 million observers in Washington, D.C. will be the extravaganza of a lifetime, deepening recession notwithstanding.  It is Obama's job to demoralize the 58 million people who did not buy into his campaign and for all of those who do not want One World Order.  Starring among all the glitterati at the Inauguration Ball, Barack and Michelle are like the stick figures from a kindergartener's drawing, for this is an emperor who truly has no clothes.

Pelosi's Wealth Greater Than Other Congressional Leaders.  Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is the wealthiest of the top congressional leaders, with total assets valued at somewhere between $30 million and $131 million, according to federal financial disclosure statements.

Where's the wealth gap?  Try Congress.  Together with her husband, Paul, [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi owns a vineyard in St. Helena, Calif., valued at $5 million - $25 million; a town house in Norden, Calif., valued at $1 million - $5 million; rental property in Napa, Calif., valued at $500,000 - $1 million; and a Wells Fargo bank account containing $100,000 - $250,000.… Rent from the Napa property totaled $15,000 - $50,000; rental income from the vineyard totaled $50,001 - $100,000.

House members doing well despite economic slump.  Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., one of the wealthiest members of Congress, and her real estate-magnate husband Paul Pelosi spent between $1 million and $5 million to buy the home they'd been living in on San Francisco's Broadway.  They also own a vineyard in St. Helena, Calif., worth between $5 million and $25 million and a town house in Norden, Calif., valued between $1 million and $5 million, according to annual financial disclosures released Monday [6/16/2008].

Filings provide a glimpse of corporate Clintons.  A close look at the delayed financial disclosure report of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for 2007 should banish any lingering thoughts that she and the former president are distinct entities.  As she entered the 2008 election year, the New York Democrat and Bill Clinton were clearly a corporation and they were rich. … They sold 165 separate securities accounts in April, 2007.  The valuation tables employed in the form indicate they were worth up to $25,440,000.  Significantly all 165 accounts were marked "J," meaning joint.

Lawyer in Edwards saga bankrolls Texas Democrats.  The Dallas lawyer who helped John Edwards' former mistress move across the country has donated $3.5 million since 2005 to help fuel a Democratic resurgence in Texas, a newspaper reported Saturday.  Fred Baron has been by far the largest donor to a group called the Texas Democratic Trust, and Republicans are now taking aim at candidates who take money connected to him.

A perfect match:  Barack Obama and the dogma-lite elite.  Barack Obama's presidential campaign has rested on two very different sources of financial support.  The first has been well documented:  the million or so small donors who gave less than £100 each, largely through Obama's peerless website and social networking efforts.  The second is less well known, but far more significant in terms of his future administration.  These are the financiers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who perceive in him not only a likely winner, from an investment perspective, but also a man whose rise and ideology-lite politics closely mirror their own.

Help!  I'm a Hollywood Republican.  It is, I kid you not, a badge of honor in Hollywood to hate America.  These airheads who have amassed millions through the free market economy constantly spout nonsense about the need for a Scandinavian style socialist government.  They don't even know that the Scandinavian countries are economic basket cases.  I'm not making this up.  They actually cruise Sunset Strip in their Bentleys and accuse Republicans of being greedy.

It Can't Get Any Worse?  Idling behind a Lexus this morning I saw the latest bit of agitprop from the Obama campaign  — a "Got Hope?" bumper sticker.  The first question that popped into my mind was, "How bad can it be if you're driving an ES 350?"

Obama's Little Red Schoolhouse.  [Barack Obama] recently told an interviewer that he opposes school choice because "although it might benefit some kids at the top, what you're going to do is leave a lot of kids at the bottom."  Not being left behind are Obama's daughters, who attend the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.  There, tuition ranges from $15,528 for kindergarten to $20,445 for high school.

Joe Biden and the American nomenklatura.  In large and prosperous non-profit organizations I have gotten to know, I have observed all sorts of compensation to senior executives that doesn't show up as income.  Lavish offices, ample free time (some even offer paid "sabbaticals"), flexible work schedules, expense accounts, first class travel to exotic destinations for conferences, research, and other pleasant activities, superb dining facilities and cuisine, and on and on.  The net effect of wealth is transferred without the appearance of wealth.

Joe Biden's his own worst enemy.  You want more proof that Joe Biden is Joe Six-Pack?  "Walk into Home Depot with me where I spend a lot of time."  To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, if a man will lie to you about hanging out at Home Depot, he'll lie to you about other things as well.  Home Depot?  What was Sen. Biden picking up, chlorine for the pool?  It surely wasn't a hammer, or work gloves.  When did the Home Depot start selling arugula?

Michelle Obama says $600 is the price of a pair of earrings.  Michelle Obama said in Pontiac, Mich., on Wednesday [7/9/2008] that if her husband is elected he will offer more than a "quick fix" on the economy.  "You're getting $600 — what can you do with that?  Not to be ungrateful or anything, but maybe it pays down a bill, but it doesn't pay down every bill every month," she said.  "The short-term quick fix kinda stuff sounds good, and it may even feel good that first month when you get that check, and then you go out and you buy a pair of earrings."

Obama's Fancy Snack:  While he [Barack Obama] was at a meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria at 4 p.m. Wednesday [10/15/2008], Michelle Obama called room service and ordered lobster hors d'oeuvres, two whole steamed lobsters, Iranian caviar and champagne, a tipster told Page Six.

'O' Ring: 30G Bling for Michelle.  The country's economy is in shambles, but President-elect Barack Obama is reportedly sparing no expense when it comes to bling for his first lady.  Obama is giving wife Michelle a $30,000 diamond-encrusted Harmony ring made of "black gold" — rhodium — the world's most expensive metal, London's Daily Mail reported online last night.

Obama aide denies ring story.  The communications for Obama's transition, Dan Pfeiffer, flatly denied a Daily Mail report that Obama is buying an exotic $30,000 ring to thank his wife "for her support during the election."

The Editor says...
Does Obama himself deny it, or just some disposable "aide"?  Is Obama denying the purchase itself, or just the motive given by the Daily Mail?

Reality sets in about Obama.  After abandoning his pledge to abide by public financing, this apostle of cleansing the political culture is now going after the high rollers.  As the July 3 New York Times reported, "Last week, the Obama campaign collected about $5 million at an event featuring celebrities in Los Angeles.  The evening began with a dinner at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for more than 200 people who had contributed $28,500 per couple, or raised $50,000."

Obama's Liberal Shock Troops:  In 2005, billionaire investor George Soros convened a group of 70 super-rich liberal donors in Phoenix to evaluate why their efforts to defeat President Bush had failed.  One conclusion was that they needed to step up their long-term efforts to dominate key battleground states.  The donors formed a group called Democracy Alliance to make grants in four areas:  media, ideas, leadership and civic engagement.  Since then, Democracy Alliance partners have donated over $100 million to key progressive organizations.

Cutting Off Energy:  The super luxury Kingsmill Resort, owned by Anheuser-Busch, sprawls over 2,900 lush, rolling acres along the James River in Virginia.  It's an incongruous place for a meeting of liberal Democrats who never tire of attempting to ingratiate themselves with America's blue-collar workers, folks who could never afford the luxury of traveling to Kingsmill for a round of golf followed by a session in the spa for the "gentlemen's skin renewal" or "revitalizing pedicure" services.

Democracy Alliance:  Billionaires for Big Government.  Corporate America now leans left.  A year ago, six of the ten top-giving industries gave more to the GOP, but the watchdog Center for Responsive Politics finds that all are now giving more to Democrats.  (The Politico, October 15, 2007) Of more than $577 million donated by business, 56% has gone to Democrats, 44% to Republicans.

Flatbed Hillary:  One of the more bizarre developments of this campaign season has been to see Hillary Clinton, of all people, turned into an electoral favorite of blue-collar white voters.  The reality is that very few people in politics have more contempt for white workers than does this product of Park Ridge, Wellesley, the Senate Watergate Committee, and the super powered Rose Law Firm.

The Democrats' recurring nightmare:  The Party of the Little Guy appears to be caught in what Marxists like to call a contradiction.  Their rhetoric is all about compassion and helping, and taking care of the unfortunate.  But their political philosophy is anchored in elitism:  the notion that the government (and the elites running it) know better than Everyman what is good for him. … It turns out that Obama is as much of a snob as Kerry, albeit with a wife who thinks she is poor when they earn a million bucks a year, and feels aggrieved at the cruel way America has treated her.

Media have a knack for hyping up the news.  Journalists still love to claim that the Democrats are the party for the poor and middle-class workers, while the Republicans cater to the rich.  If the truth be told and emphasized, the Republicans gain more of their political contributions in smaller amounts compared to the huge personal and political donations by the fat cats and corporations to the Democrats.

Rangel Rents Apartments at Bargain Rates.  While aggressive evictions are reducing the number of rent-stabilized apartments in New York, Representative Charles B. Rangel is enjoying four of them, including three adjacent units on the 16th floor overlooking Upper Manhattan in a building owned by one of New York's premier real estate developers.

Congressman Charlie Rangel Facing Questions About His Harlem Rental Apartments.  The New York Times reports that Rangel — who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee — has three adjacent apartments at a building called Lennox Terrace. He also has a fourth apartment which he uses as an office despite regulations that require a rent-stabilized apartment to be used only as a primary residence.

Mr. Rangel's Very Good Deal.  Rent-stabilized apartments in New York City are supposed to be a way for the city to retain residents with moderate incomes — teachers and police officers, for example.  These apartments are very hard to get and even harder to keep.  And in recent years, too many senior citizens or struggling families have been evicted from their apartments — and the city itself — as landlords upgrade buildings and raise prices.

Only after getting caught...
Rangel:  I'm Evicting Myself.  Rep. Charles Rangel said today he will give up one of his four rent-stabilized apartments, for which he has paid about half of market rate for more than a decade.  "The decision has been made to relocate as soon as possible," said Rangel spokesman Emile Milne, as the Harlem Democrat faced a storm of controversy.

Rangel's $trangle.  Embattled Rep. Charles Rangel has become an albatross around the necks of congressional candidates across the country.  In at least a dozen contests, Republican challengers are demanding their Democratic rivals return donations from Rangel, who is under fire for having four rent-regulated apartments.

Rangel Calls for Probe into Letterhead of Law.  Embattled Rep. Charles Rangel said yesterday [7/17/2008] that he will seek an ethics ruling on whether it is proper for him to continue using congressional stationery to solicit funds for a controversial Harlem center named for him.  However, Rangel said the House Ethics Committee had no business probing his leases on four rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem, which critics have blasted as improper.

Clintons' wealth skyrockets by 5,600 percent.  Hillary and Bill Clintons' wealth has skyrocketed to more than $20 million last year, a staggering 5,600 percent increase since President Clinton left the White House, according to their newly released tax records.  In Clinton's last full year in office, 2000, he and Mrs. Clinton earned $357,026. Last year, their estimated total income was $20.4 million.  That is an increase of more than 5,600 percent.

The Clinton Cash Register:  Bill Clinton collected $10,085,000 in speeches alone in 2007, a figure that underscores his continued rock-star credentials on the international lecture circuit, according Sen. Hillary Clinton's financial disclosure forms for 2007, which were released Wednesday morning by the Secretary of the Senate.

Rapid rise of Hillary's fortune:  The meteoric rise of the Clintons to the ranks of America's wealthiest families has presented a challenge to Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions at a critical stage in the battle for the Democratic nomination.  The Clintons left the White House burdened by debt but have earned $109 million in the past eight years, putting them among the 14,500 richest families in the country and presenting a stark contrast to the impoverished families championed by her campaign.

Canada a cash cow for Clinton.  Bill Clinton landed at Pearson International Airport one day in the autumn of 2005, and by the time he boarded his plane at the end of the day the former president's excellent Canadian adventure had earned him $475,000.  In that one day in the GTA, he had earned double his annual salary as president of the United States.

Bill Clinton just keeps on getting.  Bill charges as much as half a million dollars to deliver the platitudes, homilies and dramatic pauses that made him bigger than Oprah. … Obviously, the most effective way to save lives and deliver hope to young people the world over is to hobnob with corporate tycoons and give speeches at half a million dollars a pop.  And so that is what Clinton has done.  Tirelessly.  For eight long, wearying years.

Bill Clinton Earned $15.4 Million From Burkle Firm Since 2003.  "Most people who make that much money work for it," said Yale University tax law professor Michael Graetz, a former Treasury Department official in President George H.W. Bush's administration.  "What are they being paid for, and if it's the Sheikh of Dubai paying the husband of somebody who might be the next president of the United States, what do they think they're paying for?"

Boy, That's Rich, Bubba!  Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned a staggering $109 million since leaving the White House — fueled by the former president's lucrative paid speeches, books and business deals at home and abroad, according to tax returns released late yesterday [4/4/2008].  The records give the most detailed glimpse yet of the one-man cottage industry that Bill Clinton has become since 2001.

Clintons Report $109 Million in Income Over 8 Years.  It's good to be the Clintons.  On the same day that she proposed creating a cabinet-level position devoted to ending poverty, Hillary Clinton and her husband reported earning more than $109 million over eight years in newly released tax data.

Are We an 'On Your Own Society'?  America has become a heartless "On Your Own Society," Hillary Clinton argues, where "the fruits of our modern global economy are showing up in the corporate bottom line, not in workers' paychecks."  This is hardly new rhetoric from Democrats. … So if Clinton isn't original, is she at least correct in her assessment?

Liberals and Their False Idols:  Politicians, unlike cops, firemen and members of the military, are not called upon to do anything dangerous, heroic or the least bit self-sacrificial.  Instead, they build up fiefdoms on your tax dollars, go on junkets around the world, receive the sort of health care only millionaires can dream of and the sort of pensions no working stiff can even imagine.

Al Gore's $100 Million Makeover:  Al and Tipper used to fret occasionally about money.  Not anymore.  They have a new multimillion-dollar home in a tony section of Nashville and a family home in Virginia, and have recently bought a multimillion-dollar condo at the St. Regis condo/hotel in San Francisco.  Available data indicate a net worth well in excess of $100 million.

Al Gore's Convenient IPO:  What's an Emmy worth?  If you're former Vice-President Al Gore, it's worth just north of $1 million a year and roughly another $48 million in stock.  That's a hefty sum for a guy who of late has traveled the globe as a goodwill ambassador for mankind, stressing the need for humanity to wake up to the dangers of global warming.  Where's Gore getting the dough?  From a tiny, lightly watched cable TV channel called CurrentTV.

Why the Obamas don't advertise their standard of living:  Campaigning for her husband in Zanesville before the Ohio primary, Michelle Obama described to a group of women how hard it had been for her and Barack to make ends meet:  "We spend between the two kids, on extracurriculars outside the classroom, we're spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements.  And summer programs... Do you know what summer camp costs?"

Obamas Donated Less Than 1% of Their 2000-2004 Income.  Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle gave $10,772 of the $1.2 million they earned from 2000 through 2004 to charities, or less than 1 percent, according to tax returns for those years released today by his campaign. … Bill Burton, a campaign spokesman, said the Obamas gave as much as they could afford.

Obama's Former Pastor Getting $1.6M Home in Retirement.  A two-week FOX News investigation ... has uncovered where Wright will be spending a good deal of his time in retirement, and it is a far cry from the impoverished Chicago streets where the preacher led his ministry for 36 years.  FOX News has uncovered documents that indicate Wright is about to move to a 10,340-square-foot, four-bedroom home in suburban Chicago, currently under construction in a gated community.

Wright Moves On Up.  The concept of practicing what you preach is apparently lost on Wright.  After decades of lecturing blacks to remain loyal to the black ghetto and eschew the white suburbs, he's now building a 10,340-square-foot mansion in the white suburbs.  Among its amenities:  an elevator, a rubberized exercise room and room for a future theater and indoor swimming pool.

McMansion Marxism:  Padding between his reported whirlpool and circular driveway, or maybe while fishing out a snack from the butler's pantry, Wright can develop some thoughts for volume one of his memoirs on the blinding racism of bourgeois living in the USA.  Not that Wright is alone in his McMansion Marxism.  That's the familiar posture of most radicals:  the farther they get from Marxism, the better it looks; the more America protects their celebrity, status, and wealth, the more secure they feel in denouncing it.

A Rich Irony:  Democrats have always insisted their party is the friend of the poor and unfortunate.  But a new analysis suggests their carefully cultivated image is false.  By crunching Internal Revenue Service data, the Heritage Foundation has found that the Democratic Party is the party of the rich.  Democrats now represent a majority of the country's wealthiest congressional districts.

Inconvenient Al Guzzles More Electricity Than 20 Average Right-Wing Climate-Change Deniers.  [Al] Gore's mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).  In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

Gore Travels in Style.  Take for instead, his mode of both, air and ground transportation.  Since Gore only travels in hybrid vehicles, the Lexus that got him from the airport to the Brandt Centre was just that — an $80,000 hybrid.  Turning now to the air, with the fuel Gore's private plane used for this trip, you could probably take your vehicle and travel back and forth between Vancouver and Halifax about four-and-a-half times.

The great environmentalist?
Tennessee mine enriched Gore, scarred land.  Al Gore Jr. received more than $500,000 in royalties from the owners of zinc mines who held mineral leases on his farm near Carthage, Tenn.  Now the mines have a new owner and are scheduled to reopen later this year.  Before the mines closed in 2003, they emitted thousands of pounds of toxic substances and several times, the water discharged from the mines into nearby rivers had levels of toxins above what was legal.

Party of the Rich:  Using data provided by the Internal Revenue Service, [Mike] Franc looked at single-filer taxpayers earning more than $100,000 per year and married joint-filers earning more than $200,000 per year.  Franc discovered that the Democratic Party is the "party of the rich."  Franc said, "Electing Democrats is very closely correlated with how many wealthy households are in a district."

Bill Clinton May Get Payout of $20 Million.  Former President Clinton stands to reap around $20 million — and will sever a politically sensitive partnership tie to Dubai — by ending his high-profile business relationship with the investment firm of billionaire friend Ron Burkle.

Clinton loaned her campaign $5 million.  Senator Hillary Clinton confirmed at a press conference in Virginia this afternoon [2/6/2008] that she'd loaned her campaign $5 million … She's drawing on a pool of personal wealth estimated to be as much as $41 million, as well as a reported payout to Bill Clinton of $20 million from the Los Angeles billionaire manager Ron Burkle.

Clinton gang sets up $1 million heist in the Hamptons.  The Clintons are heading for the beach this summer along with the Hamptons moneyed elite.  Next weekend they will be attending five fundraisers that could collect $1 million for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign war chest.

Clinton Foundation Raised $135 Million.  Former President Clinton's nonprofit foundation raised more than $135 million last year as his wife ramped up her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to tax forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

The Clintons' New Escape:  Bill and Hillary Clinton have their eyes on the ball when it comes to 2008, but in the meantime, has anyone noted that they bought a piece of beach property in the Dominican Republic right next to the beautiful domain of designer Oscar de la Renta and his wife, Annette?

Clinton made $10 million for one year of speaking.  Bill Clinton has taken home more than $10 million for his speaking engagements in the last year.  The former US President is one of the best-paid speakers on the lucrative US circuit, but his biggest single fee was £230,000 paid for a talk in London last September.

To Avoid Conflicts, Clintons Liquidate Holdings.  Concerned that their personal finances might become a political liability once again, Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton in April sold the millions of dollars of stocks held by their blind trust after learning that those investments included oil and pharmaceutical companies, military contractors and Wal-Mart, their aides said Thursday.

Bill Clinton:  $10 Million Haul for Talks.  Former President Clinton, who might someday be the first spouse, traveled the globe last year, making more than $10 million giving speeches at corporate retreats, trade group gatherings and motivational venues.  The speaking engagements and their top-dollar fees were detailed in Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate financial disclosure report, made public Thursday.  The report showed that the former president and his presidency-seeking wife had assets of at least $10 million and might have as much as $50 million with no liabilities.

$10 Million Blabber Bubba.  A globetrotting Bill Clinton raked in a whopping $10 million last year on the speaking circuit — his most successful year since leaving the Oval Office — pushing the former first couple's nest egg to as much as $50 million.  New personal financial records filed in the Senate by Hillary Rodham Clinton showed the ex-president hit the talk tour with gusto, delivering speeches across Europe, and in Australia, Canada, the Bahamas and South Africa.

Hillary Defends Corporate Jet Use.  On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton was challenged by the press about the Clinton family's acceptance of more than $900,000 in free private travel from Infousa, a company linked to scamming the elderly. … And it's not like the Clintons couldn't afford to buy an air ticket — the family income since 2001 has been more than $63 million!  So why do they have to freeload from rich friends?

2008 Candidates Rely on Private Jets.  A flock of small jets took flight from Washington Thursday [4/26/2007], each carrying a Democratic presidential candidate to South Carolina for the first debate of the political season. … No one jet pooled, no one took commercial flights to save money, fuel or emissions.

Corzine earned $6.1 million last year.  Multimillionaire New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine earned about $6.1 million during his first year as governor, nearly $50 million less than what he earned in 2005, according to income tax estimates released Thursday by his office.

Save the Green Movement by Stopping the Insanity.  Laurie David has been labeled a "Gulfstream liberal" by Eric Alterman, himself a proud member of the Left and a regular columnist for the Nation.  He recognizes that Ms. David's brand of environmentalism is nothing more than a facade, a distraction from the financially secure yet intellectually boring life of the fabulously wealthy.  But this hobby has dire consequences for the rest of us.

Call him 'Dollar Bill' Clinton.  No one brings in money for the Democratic Party like Bill Clinton.  Before the former president and party mega-star even took the stage at Newark's Performing Arts Center for New Jersey Democrats' annual fundraiser Friday night, the party has pulled in $1.3 million and counting.  Some of the money was raised because of Clinton's unmatched ability to draw out deep-pocketed donors.

Ex-presidents' big payday.  We learned last week that in the six years since Bill Clinton left office, he has pocketed a staggering $40 million in speaking fees.  Tirelessly working the lecture circuit, he has delivered hundreds of speeches, often at a price of $150,000 and up.  Two-thirds of his speaking money has come from foreign sources, according to the Washington Post, including "Saudi Arabia's Dabbagh investment firm, which paid $600,000 for two speeches, and China's JingJi Real Estate Development Group, run by a local Communist Party official, which paid $200,000 for a speech."

All the ex-President's money.  Former President Bill Clinton is one of a kind, but we knew that already.  No president before him has managed to cash in from his time in office with such shameless abandon.  A Washington Post story by John Solomon and Matthew Mosk is staggering in its revelations of Clinton's greed.  In the six years since he left the presidency, Clinton has taken in nearly $40 million — between nine and 10 million of it last year.  Clinton averaged "almost a speech a day" in 2006.  Twenty percent of his fees reportedly "were for personal income."  The rest of his speeches, says the Post, were for no fee or for donations to Clinton's foundation.

Clinton and the Boardrooms:  Senator Clinton has spent the past few months raising tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions from corporate America.  She splits her time between a $2.8 million mansion in Washington and a $1.7 million, five-bedroom house in Chappaqua.

Hill Hauls In a Cool $10 Million.  Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's weekend trip to California capped off a breathless week of fund-raising that hauled in nearly $10 million, revealing the reach of her network of wealthy supporters.

Deval says state police helicopters are at his service.  Throwing caution to the political wind, Gov. Deval Patrick is hopping state police helicopters for beat-the-traffic trips, and aides say he'll keep using the taxpayer-funded chopper chauffeur despite his predecessor Jane Swift's public slapdown for similar flights.  "The state police helicopter is there for his use when he needs it for official business," said Patrick spokeswoman Cyndi Roy.  "The governor during the campaign pledged to be governor of the entire state," she added.  "He's not going to be a governor who sits in his office on Beacon Hill."

A spendy dinner for Obama backers.  More than 350 generous campaign contributors — some of them donating $28,500 to dine with a presidential candidate — cheered Democrat Barack Obama on Wednesday [8/7/2008] at an exclusive fundraiser for him at the Hilton Minneapolis Hotel.

Hillary and Barack battle it out for Hollywood elite's millions.  Barack Obama's surging campaign for the White House is winning him new friends in Hollywood, where chequebooks speak louder than political opinions and some of the most influential entertainment industry figures are already promising big-money contributions that might otherwise be going to Hillary Clinton.

Hollywood heavyweights set to rake in cash.  One of the first major fund-raisers for the budding Barack Obama presidential campaign will be hosted by entertainment moguls David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg — that's the Hollywood buzz.

Oprah Winfrey is TV's richest celebrity.  Winfrey, whose media empire includes a magazine and stakes in syndicated daytime talk shows by Dr. Phil McGraw and Rachael Ray, earned an estimated $260 million between June 2006 and June 2007.

The Porkbusters Hall of Shame:  If you're a West Virginian, you have to recognize a central truth:  it's Robert Byrd's state — you're just living in it.  In his over forty-eight years (!) in the United States Senate, Senator Byrd has achieved a pork record that is second to none.  From the Robert C. Byrd Expressway to the Robert C. Byrd Freeway; the Robert C. Byrd Institute to the Robert C. Byrd Federal Building (both of them), Senator Byrd has truly left his mark on West Virginia — and the federal budget.  It would be appropriate to erect some kind of monument to his century-spanning resume — except that he already did so himself.

Pelosi's Four-Day 'Coronation' Draws Conservative Criticism.  The swearing-in of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as the first female speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives next week will be the focus of four days of concerts, church services and fund-raising events that conservative analysts called a "coronation" that will emphasize partying over policy.

Billionaires for Big Government.  The Democracy Alliance does not endorse candidates for public office. … This emerging vanguard of the proletariat is hardly open to the common rabble because its members must satisfy one requirement:  They must be rich.  Members, who are called "partners," pay an initial $25,000 fee and $30,000 in yearly dues.  They also must pledge to give at least $200,000 annually to groups that the alliance endorses.  Partners meet two times a year in committees to decide on grants, which focus on four areas:  media, ideas, leadership and civic engagement.  Recommendations are then made to the DA board, which passes them on to all DA partners.  The alliance discourages partners from discussing DA affairs with the media, and it requires its grant recipients to sign nondisclosure agreements.

Why Kerry's crack matters.  Despite their pose as "the party of the little guy," the dominant Democrats are patronizing elitists who were born to privilege — people like Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi and, yes, John Kerry.  As a matter of fact, the very phrase "little guy" or "little people" is obviously condescending.  The people who volunteer for our armed services aren't little in any sense:  they're big and self-reliant and proud and powerful and determined, and rightly annoyed by Kerry's demeaning but revealing attitude.  Predictably, major veterans' organizations (including the American Legion) have demanded his apology.

The elite doesn't understand the South.  The know-it-alls in New York and Washington don't have a clue about the American South.  They don't comprehend its political might and economic muscle, and thus the ultimately crippling impact Katrina is going to have on them, too.  It's that simple.

Kerry Asked About Campaign Donations.  Democrats could win the House and maybe even the Senate next month.  So why isn't John Kerry, the party's 2004 presidential nominee, opening his wallet to help?  That's the question raised on a Web site, heyjohn.org, which points out Americans gave more than $300 million to the Massachusetts senator's bid for the White House two years ago and argues Kerry should be more generous.

Kerry is pressured to share campaign wealth.  As he campaigns extensively on behalf of House and Senate candidates, Senator John F. Kerry is under increasing pressure from Democratic Party leaders and activists to tap his $14 million campaign account and spread the money around to help the party's efforts.  Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, has given less than $15,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee since the beginning of 2005.

Kerry's inconvenient truth.  While running for eco-moralizer-in-chief in 2004, Kerry was asked by The Detroit News editorial board what car he drove.  Without any hint of irony, he said:  "Well, we have a couple of Chrysler minivans.  We have a Jeep. ... and a PT Cruiser up in Boston. ... and we have some SUVs. ... and an old Dodge 600 that I keep in the Senate. ... and I also have a Chevy.  A big Suburban."

Lifestyles of Lear Jet liberals:  Limousine liberals, move over.  You've been out-glammed by Lear Jet liberals who burn beaucoup fossil fuels in the sky as they soar around the planet fighting global warming.  Last week, they flew to their Mecca, the Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York City.  For the left-leaning and loaded, this is the meeting that has it all — the mega-rich paying to be seen caring about poor people and the environment, while posing for photos with former President Bill Clinton.

The Top 1% ... of What?  As many others have done, Virginia's Democratic Senator-elect Jim Webb recently complained in The Wall Street Journal of an "ever-widening divide" in America, claiming "the top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980."  Those same figures have been repeatedly echoed in all major newspapers, including The Journal.  Yet the statement is clearly false.

Former President Rakes in $7.5 Million.  Life after the White House has proven lucrative for former President Clinton, who made nearly $7.5 million in speaking fees last year and sometimes earned as much as $350,000 for a single appearance.

Liberals pledge millions to revive US left.  Scores of the US's richest people have pledged $1,000,000 or more towards a new attempt to reinvigorate the American left and counter the powerful Republican political machine.  The money will be funnelled through an organisation called the Democracy Alliance which, according to a report in the Washington Post, will help fund a network of thinktanks and advocacy groups seeking to halt the shift to the cultural and political right.

Who would have thought Hillary would be perceived as too conservative?
Stars take the shine off Hillary's bid.  From George Clooney to Sharon Stone to Susan Sarandon, the Beverly Hills set has turned on Clinton. … Hollywood liberals are a vital source of election funds.  "Hollywood is like a piggy bank for the Democrats.  No one wants that cut off," said one senior Democrat activist.

Guest-worker plan is un-American.  Sen. Ted Kennedy may do a lot of talking about his love for the little guy, but if two major proposals he has made in this Congress were to become law, it would be a disaster for the poorest American workers and a blow to American freedom.

Kennedy to Cash In.  A bidding war has erupted for the rights to Sen. Ted Kennedy's (D-Mass.) autobiography, which could end up well into the mid-seven figure range.  The floor price to get in the running is believed to be around $2 million.

Liberals and class:  Part II.  Having imagined a world in which each individual has the same probability of success as anyone else, intellectuals have been shocked and outraged that the real world is nowhere close to that ideal.

Liberals and class:  part III.  Sometimes it seems as if liberals have a genius for producing an unending stream of ideas that are counterproductive for the poor, whom they claim to be helping.  Few of these notions are more counterproductive than the idea of "menial work" or "dead-end jobs."

Rich Liberals:  John Kerry and his wife, Teresa, are worth an estimated $500 million.  Along with a $35 million private Gulfstream V jet and an $800,000 boat, they own five homes in the U.S.  (Source:  MSNBC.com)

There is much more information about John Kerry (in case you've forgotten) here.

Social Security reform threatened by elitist liberals.  According to public record, one of every three members of the Senate and one out of every four members of the House are millionaires.  Despite popular stereotypes of Republicans as the party of the rich and Democrats as the party of the working class, the wealthiest member of the Senate (John Kerry of Massachusetts) and the wealthiest member of the House (Jane Harman of California) are both Democrats.  Of the top six wealthiest senators, five are Democrats.

Easy money in California:  Much of this exclusionary agenda is pushed by people who inherited great wealth and are using it to buy a sense of importance as deep thinkers and moral leaders protecting the environment.  The foundations and movements they spearhead are driving working people out of areas dominated by limousine liberals, who are constantly proclaiming their concern for the poor, the children and minorities.

The oldest fraud:  Election frauds are nothing new and neither are political frauds in general.  The oldest fraud is the belief that the political left is the party of the poor and the downtrodden.  The election results in California are only the latest evidence to give the lie to that belief.  The most affluent counties were where Kerry had his strongest support.

Party stereotype update.  Democrats:  the party of the little guy.  Republicans:  the party of the wealthy.  Those images of America's two major political wings have been frozen for decades.  The stereotypes were always incomplete, but for a long time they reflected rough truths.  Over the last generation, however, that has dramatically changed.

John Kerry, Useful Idiot.  While Kerry's handlers might try to cast their candidate as a man of the people, he is anything but.  Remember, this is a man who has twice married multimillionaire heiresses; a man who has multiple mansions on multiple continents; a man who windsurfs (poorly) off tony Nantucket; a man who rides a bicycle that costs more than some new cars; a man who spends, oh, maybe $15,000 to jet his hairdresser cross country for a trim.  Yes, John Kerry is the latest in a line of "inheritance-welfare liberals" — those who were raised dependent on inheritance rather than self-reliance.  Is it any wonder, then, that the character and values of these inheritance-welfare liberals are all but indistinguishable from the character and values of those who depend on state welfare?

Kerry's Class Warfare:  "Working Families" vs. "The Privileged".  In his victory speech at the Iowa caucus, John Kerry uttered a line that exquisitely captured a staple of his Leftist politics — class warfare.  "Count the cost that working families are paying while the privileged ride high and reap the rewards," he said.

Vote your gun.  Gun owners and hunters, don't let Kerry fool you with his "I'm a gun owner and hunter and I respect the Second Amendment" bovine scatology.  Kerry is about as pro-gun and pro-hunting as I am pro-Dixie Chicks, Michael Jackson, Cat Stevens and Hans Blix.  Have you seen any video or stills of Kerry handling a gun?  He looks about as knowledgeable, natural and comfortable with a firearm as Al Gore does trying to French kiss Tipper.

Here's your bill.  There is no bigger name in making a business out of post-presidential life than Mr Clinton.  Reports have him earning well over $130,000 a speech, and this week he is making at least three….




John Edwards

Edwards' haircuts cost a pretty penny.  Looking pretty is costing John Edwards' presidential campaign a lot of pennies.  The Democrat's campaign committee picked up the tab for two haircuts at $400 each by celebrity stylist Joseph Torrenueva of Beverly Hills, Calif., according to a financial report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

John's $400 Trim:  Democratic White House hopeful John Edwards insists on first-class pampering — enjoying $400 haircuts on the road and plunking down nearly $500 for swank spa treatments, according to campaign records.  Edwards, who touts himself as the poor man's champion and even launched his bid from New Orleans' hurricane-devastated Lower Ninth Ward, tucked the vanity treatments into his 5,236-page first-quarter Federal Election Commission filing under "consulting" expenses.

Update:
Cost Of Edwards' Haircut Hits $1,250.  Beverly Hills stylist Joseph Torrenueva tells the Washington Post that one of his haircuts for Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards cost $1,250 because Torrenueva had to fly to Atlanta and missed two days of work as a result. … Torrenueva, a Democrat, said he began cutting Edwards' hair for free but wound up charging him $300 to $500 per haircut, plus the cost of airfare and hotel stays.  That's because Torrenueva was often forced to meet Edwards on the campaign trail to shear his locks.

Hair comes the groomed.  Poor John Edwards.  He follows Barack Obama on the podium at a conference of mostly anti-war Democrats and it's like watching air whistle out of a balloon.  Obama, a charismatic candidate for change in the mould of Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy, has just worked the crowd brilliantly.  Then Edwards walks in….

The Breck girl and (tax-funded?) haircuts.  John Edwards has acknowledged that one haircut (and almost certainly at least two others) he received during the 2004 general-election campaign, when he was the Democrats' vice presidential nominee, cost $1,250.  His staff insists that Mr. Edwards paid for the haircuts himself, but it has declined to provide the evidence in the form of cancelled checks or credit-card statements.

Edwards touts record as trial lawyer.  Democrat John Edwards says his experience as a trial lawyer makes him the presidential contender best able to give voters hope — and to give the establishment grief.

The evolution of John Edwards:  John Edwards tells voters that there are still two Americas.  What Iowa caucusgoers must decide is if there are two John Edwardses.  Four years ago, the fresh-faced then-North Carolina senator defended his support for the Iraq war, prescribed a gradual approach to health care reform and told Iowa caucusgoers not to expect him to criticize his fellow Democrats running for president.  Today, he calls his Iraq vote a mistake, embraces universal health care and regularly attacks party front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.

Two Americas.  When Sen. John Edwards ran for president four years ago, the North Carolina Democrat declared that President Bush had divided the nation into "two Americas ... one America that does the work, another America that reaps the reward."  Turns out that the other America lives right next door to the 28,000-square-foot, $5.3 million mansion Mr. Edwards has built near Chapel Hill, N.C.

Edwards Takes Heat Over Lavish Estate.  With a current building value of $4.3 million, the unfinished Edwards estate is already about $1 million more expensive than any other house in the county, according to tax records.  It sits on land worth about $1.1 million.  Edwards first purchased the land in 2004, during his failed run as vice president.  He recently sold his mansion in Washington's tony Georgetown neighborhood for $5.2 million.

How John Edwards makes his millions grow:  Edwards' sprawling, 48-page campaign-finance disclosure for 2006 reveals substantial investments in limited partnerships, subprime-mortgage lenders and an offshore hedge fund.  The latter two run contrary to stands he has taken as a candidate.

The Party of the Rich.  The GOP has historically been the party of both Main Street and Wall Street.  But over the past decade, the plutocrats have increasingly become Democrats.  Billionaires for Bush are increasingly outnumbered by billionaires who hate Bush.  And Republicans in limousines are being outpaced by Democrats in Lear Jets.

In the Beverly Hills Style:  Candidate's $400 Coiffure.  John Edwards, the North Carolina Democrat, announced on Thursday that he was reimbursing his campaign $800 to cover what his aides said was the cost of two haircuts. … Mr. Edwards has presented himself in the Democratic field as an advocate of working-class Americans, lamenting the nation's growing economic disparity.

$400 haircut could ruin one's image.  Granted, John Edwards is a wealthy man and he can pay whatever he wants for a trim.  But those of us in the cheap seats are likewise entitled to think his pricey coif sends a message jarringly at odds with the populist theme of Edwards' campaign.  After all, this is the guy who likes to style himself the "son of a millworker," standing up for the common man.  The common man, not to put too fine a point on it, doesn't pay $400 for a trim.

Edwards Got Rich Hurting the Poor.  Trailing in the polls, John Edwards spent the past week telling the poor and downtrodden how much he cares about them.  He even insisted that his Kennedy-esque "poverty tour" was not part of his campaign to capture the White House.  Yeah, just like all those years he spent latched to the back bumper of an ambulance were all out of the goodness of his heart.

Don't shut Edwards up.  "They want to shut me up," says John Edwards, who apparently thinks jokes about his $400 haircuts are part of a plot to keep him quiet.  I am on his side.  Leave the man alone.  Let his jaw keep flapping at 100 mph.  With every word the Democratic candidate for president utters, the public learns that much more about his demagogic, hypocritical phoniness.  Even in a recent Creston, Iowa, tantrum about scary forces spouting trivia to drown out his seriousness, he was busily providing evidence that bunkum is his specialty.

Poor Scam:  John Edwards is hawking only himself.  Last week, we learned that Edwards received $55,000 to give a speech, "Poverty, the Great Moral Issue Facing America," at the University of California, Davis.  The poor students who attended were charged more than $17 a ticket.  Earlier this month, it was reported that despite the fact he denounces predatory lending and subprime mortgages for the poor, Edwards made nearly $500,000 as a consultant to a hedge fund involved in that business.

Is Edwards running for king?  He already has a castle.  When it comes to big houses, how big is too big?  The answer apparently is 28,000 square feet, which is the size of John Edwards' North Carolina home.  If Edwards wants to continue being in the top tier of Democratic presidential hopefuls, he may well have to put a "For Sale" sign on his behemoth of a house and move into ordinary rich man's digs, like, say, a 12,000 square foot mansion.

Elizabeth Edwards Favors "Rage".  How in the world did these vile women find positions as the official bloggers in the Edwards campaign?  According to Men's Vogue magazine, they were hired by, you guessed it, St. Elizabeth.  And even after their wretched bigotry triggered a national outcry, John Edwards refused to fire them.  But Elizabeth Edwards wasn't confronted on a single one of these statements during any of her media appearances.

That Was No Lady — That Was My Husband.  The Edwards campaign is apparently still running low on donations, so this week they went back to their top fundraiser: me.

Nonprofit center benefited Edwards.  John Edwards ended 2004 with a problem:  how to keep alive his public profile without the benefit of a presidential campaign that could finance his travels and pay for his political staff.  Edwards, who reported this year that he had assets of nearly $30 million, came up with a novel solution, creating a nonprofit organization with the stated mission of fighting poverty.

Edwards Returns Lobbyist Money.  Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, who reiterated his commitment Tuesday [7/24/2007] to never accept campaign donations from special interest groups, recently returned $3,400 from lobbyists.  Edwards spokeswoman Colleen Murray said the campaign returned some money donated by a registered lobbyist last week, and money from two others was refunded Tuesday after The Associated Press inquired about the donations.

The Man Behind the Haircut.  Last month, Elizabeth Edwards complained:  "We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman.  Those things get you a lot of press, worth a certain amount of fund-raising dollars."  That's right:  All Edwards has is a wife with cancer.  And as fiercely as the couple tries to play that victim card, Edwards remains in third place.

Edwards' finances and populism clash.  Once again, John Edwards' money is getting in the way of his message.  His Democratic presidential campaign spent yesterday responding to a front-page Wall Street Journal report showing that a company Edwards worked for and has invested $16 million in, Fortress Investment Group, owns mortgage companies that have moved to foreclose on homeowners in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans.  The newspaper identified 34 homes in foreclosure suits.

Edwards backs mandatory preventive care.  Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday [9/2/2007] that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care.

It's easy to throw somebody else's money at the country's problems.
Edwards Calls For Universal Preschool.  Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards rolled out a program for reforming primary education in the United States on Friday [9/21/2007], proposing to pay teachers up to $15,000 more in high poverty areas and initiating universal preschool.  Edwards was to detail the proposals, which also include longer school years and reforming No Child Left Behind, later in the day in a speech at a Des Moines middle school.

John Edwards Thinks He's Wiser than Ben Franklin.  Franklin you see, believed in the wisdom of the individual rather than the government, and he spoke often about the need to guard against the growth of government and the inevitable intrusion on individual rights.  Believing he and government know best, Edwards has now announced more details about his plan for government to take over the healthcare decisions for every man, woman, and child in America.

Two Edwardses:  Once a great hope, now unliked in party.  The dynamic performance by John Edwards at last Sunday's Democratic presidential debate, assailing his competitors for the nomination, got high marks from political reporters, Republican politicians and left-wing activists.  But not from the Democratic establishment.  Once their great hope for the future, Edwards now is massively unpopular among party regulars who neither like nor trust him.

Edwards plans big for presidency.  John Edwards says if he's elected president, he'll institute a New Deal-like suite of programs to fight poverty and stem growing wealth disparity. … Edwards, a former Democratic senator from North Carolina, says the federal government should underwrite universal pre-kindergarten, create matching savings accounts for low-income people, mandate a minimum wage of $9.50 and provide a million new Section 8 housing vouchers for the poor.


John Edwards gets $50,000 to make a speech about poverty

An embarrassment of riches for John Edwards.  Democrat John Edwards has eloquently established his credentials as an advocate for the poor with a presidential campaign focused on the devastating effects of poverty in America.  But the former North Carolina senator's populist drive has hit some land mines:  a pair of $400 haircuts, a $500,000 paycheck from a hedge fund, and now a $55,000 payday for a speech on poverty to students at the University of California-Davis.

John Edwards Charged $55,000 to Speak About Poverty, Media Mum.  If a Republican presidential candidate like Rudy Giuliani or John McCain charged a $55,000 fee to speak at a major university about poverty, would the media be all over it like white on rice?

Immigration Inconsistencies.  There is, of course, the hilarious inconsistency and largeness of John Edwards charging $50,000 to give a college speech on poverty; specifically noting that we live in two Americas, one rich (those who get paid $50,000 for a half-hour speech) and one poor (those who have to take out a long-term loan to pay for their college textbooks — and whose college payments paid for Edward's $50,000 speaking fee).

Edwards' bumper sticker:  Last month he was the poster boy for hair bling and offshore fund-dumping.  Last week he was spanked for receiving $55,000 to speak to a group of students at a public college about poverty and getting a cut of the booty from the recovery of $500 million in sunken treasure.



Conservatives are more generous than liberals

Tax Returns: Romneys Gave More than Obamas.  Tax returns for 2011 set to be released today [9/21/2012] by Mitt and Ann Romney reveal that they gave away a higher percentage of their income to others than did Barack and Michelle Obama, when both taxes and charity are taken into account.

Romney the giver.  We learned yesterday [9/20/2012] that last year Mitt Romney paid $1.9 million in taxes on an income of $14 million — and gave $4 million to charity.  The year before, he made $21.6 million, paid $3 million in taxes and gave $3 million to charity.  So, to recap:  Mitt Romney has, in the past two years, paid almost $5 million in taxes while giving away $7 million.

Study: Religious — Not Rich — Americans Give Most to Charity.  The Chronicle of Philanthropy on August 20 issued the findings of a new study of Americans and their patterns of giving, based on the itemized deductions for 2008 tax returns, the most recent year available, with the data broken down by zip code.  Among the findings was that the most religious Americans — not the richest — were the most likely to give to charities.  The five most generous states, in order, were Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina.  The stingiest states, in order, were New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

Conservatives More Charitable than Liberal Scrooges.  During this holiday season, it is worth remembering some classic examples of liberals not putting their money where there mouths are.  For instance, reporters discovered that Vice President Joe Biden donated an average of $369 a year to charity.  In 1997, reporters unearthed that then-Vice President Al Gore only donated $353 to charity the previous year. ... These examples of liberals being miserly perfectly symbolize the class of elite liberals who want to fund every pet cause with everyone else's money but their own.

Money, time, blood.  Arthur C. Brooks spent 12 years as a professional French horn player with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and other ensembles.  Then he entered academia and is now Professor of Public Administration at Syracuse University.  In his well-researched book, "Who Really Cares:  the Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism" (Basic, 2006), Brooks uses statistics to demolish years of propaganda.

Why are conservatives more generous to the poor?  So what are we to make of the fact that conservative Americans donate 30 percent more to charity than liberal Americans?  A new book called Who Really Cares, by Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks, is not going to please the Howard Dean crowd.  The book states flat-out that religious Americans who vote Republican are far more likely to be generous to the downtrodden than secular-progressives.

Professor Stumbles on the obvious:  Conservatives More Generous Than Liberals.  When it comes to the charitable impulse, liberals are only compelled to give away other peoples' money.  Left to their own devices, they'd just as soon pass the plate up and have somebody else fill it.

Who really cares?  People who identify themselves as conservatives donate money to charity more often than people who identify themselves as liberals.  They donate more money and a higher percentage of their incomes.  It is not that conservatives have more money.  Liberal families average 6 percent higher incomes than conservative families.

Charitable Nation.  The further to the left you are — particularly to the secular left — the less likely you are to donate your time or money to charity. … What's interesting to me is that Europeans are uncharitable for the same reason liberal secularists tend to be.  In America, as in Europe, the more you think the state should provide for everything, the less you think anybody else should provide anything.

Why the 'Christian Left' is not.  Who was it that brought relief in record supply to Tsunami and Katrina victims — not the leftist Academics, spoiled Hollywood starlets, or the National Organization for Women.  It was the bible-believing, faith practicing, church going religious right.  For biblical Christians to associate themselves in any way with the progressive leftists in America today is to associate oil with water.  So take your pick, choose to be a faithful, biblically centered Christian, or a godless, amoral leftist — but the two do not go together.

Liberals Give 'Til It Hurts (You).  In 2009, the Obamas gave 5.9 percent of their income to charity, about the same as they gave in 2006 and 2007.  In the eight years before he became president, Obama gave an average of 3.5 percent of his income to charity, upping that to 6.5 percent in 2008.  The Obamas' charitable giving is equally divided between "hope" and "change."  George W. Bush gave away more than 10 percent of his income each year he was president, as he did before becoming president.



Anti-capitalism

Much of the effort to "watch out for the little guy" is the result of the political left's jealousy of other people's wealth, or guilt about their own wealth.  Either way, liberals can't stand it when capitalism succeeds.  But it is a mistake to believe that poor people are built up when rich people are torn down.

More class warfare.  A key element of the John Kerry-John Edwards campaign is an us-versus-them theme, where "us" are the poor and middle class and "them" are the greedy rich.  Edwards famously characterized this dichotomy as "Two Americas" during his run for the Democratic nomination.  The clear implication of the Democrats' message is that the rest of us would somehow be better off if the rich were worse off.

'Depleting' water, 'poisoning' drinks.  For nearly four years a worldwide network of Leftist activists has been trying to blacken the name of The Coca-Cola Company.  The purpose of this corporate campaign is to put a halt to ostensibly unjust business practices, particularly at Coke bottling plants in Third World countries.  Led by Ray Rogers, a renowned New York-based hired gun for organized labor, the campaign shows no signs of slowing down.  Exactly where Rogers' Campaign to Stop Killer Coke is getting its money is a separate, if intriguing issue.

The Few Jerks That Make Everybody Suffer.  Every time [an overpaid executive] in effect pillages a publicly held company, it provides more fodder for Democrats and liberals who perpetually seek to "tax the rich."  In "rich," of course, they usually include families with three kids and parents who are not multimillionaires, but who might make a combined $250,000 yearly.  In fact, the new Democratic Congress may shove into higher tax brackets families earning far less than that.

Dems to tackle "income inequality".  Understanding [Barney] Frank requires understanding the deep recesses of the Democrats' psyche about wealth and its creation.  Recall former House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri, who once said people of wealth in America are "the people who have won the lottery of life."  Obviously, Messrs. Frank and Gephardt consider the old hard-work formula dated and dysfunctional.


"Corporate Social Responsibility"

Environmentalists practice Corporate Social Irresponsibility.  It's trendy to talk about "corporate social responsibility."  The idea is companies have obligations beyond making a profit for their shareholders or creating products and services that their customers want; they have responsibilities to wider society as well.  So, CSR may sound harmless, even noble.  But in practice it can be deeply injurious to some of the world's poorest, least advantaged, and most vulnerable people.

Shame on You!  During the past decade social and environmental activists have been wildly successful convincing thousands of business executives to embrace corporate socialism.  The so-called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement had business executives spending corporate capital on programs and policies that contribute very little to profitability and, in some cases, harmed their companies' bottom lines. ... Guess what all of you corporate appeasers, CSR is about to become real mandatory!

CSR:  Corporate Shakedown Racket.  For those who value private property, unfettered competition and the principle of taxation with representation, wake up and smell the new generation of power-hungry socialists hiding within a Trojan Dragon called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Corporate Social Responsibility:  Picking 91 Million Pockets.  Corporate executives are responsible for obeying laws and regulations.  However, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement is all about business leaders spending company resources (a.k.a. other people's money) on social and environmental programs that are not mandated by law.  It does not take an economics guru to conclude that diverting corporate assets away from activities that improve earnings endangers the financial wellbeing of millions of Americans.

General Electric and Al Gore Scheme to Undermine Domestic Oil Drilling.  It's tragic that key corporate giants are on the wrong side of the energy debate.  Rather than recognize that our current economy is dependent on fossil fuels, too many CEOs have been seduced by the notion that corporate responsibility is defined by Al Gore's view of climate science.

Forty Years of Perverse "Social Responsibility":  Lewis Carroll's "Looking Glass" logic too often seems to be a guiding principle for environmental and corporate social responsibility (CSR) activists.  They claim to be committed to people and planet, not just profits — and to honesty, transparency, accountability and human health.  One would expect that such basic ethical standards would apply equally to for-profit companies and nonprofit advocacy corporations.  However, the activists who defined CSR standards routinely exempt themselves and use the terms primarily to pressure companies, raise money and advance political agendas.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the Rope that will hang Capitalists.  Karl Marx once remarked, "The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope."  However, Marx had no idea the rope would be corporate social responsibility (CSR) and not greed.  In keeping with CSR doctrine, CEOs are opening their doors to activist groups with great fanfare in hopes of maximizing both "the social good" and corporate profits.  Regrettably, these CEO's are maximizing neither.

The responsible corporation.  Does anybody believe that companies should be socially irresponsible?  I don't think so.  The problem is that few people seem to agree on what corporate social responsibility actually means.

Putting Class Warfare in Context:  Even if you took every last dollar of profit and redistributed it into wages and benefits, it would amount to a 21.6% hike across the board.  And then the economy would collapse, because no sane businessman will stay open (and thus provide jobs) if he's forbidden to make money.

GE Irresponsibility:  CSR activists call themselves stakeholders, and demand a controlling voice in all matters corporate.  But they weren't elected.  They have little or no ownership interest in the company.  And their only real "stake" is a desire to advance their ideologies.  Their agendas typically oppose energy development and emphasize distant, minor, conjectural or exaggerated risks like global warming and "endocrine disruption."

Corporate Social Responsibility cuts both ways.  It is tiresome to note that Americans are divided politically.  Despite this fact, companies are becoming ever-more entrenched in political issues.  Not just any issues mind you; contentious issues that have already driven a wedge through our country's political institutions.

Shining the Light on Wal-Mart's Corporate Social Responsibility Blind Spot.  Wal-Mart's emphasis on fluorescent lighting illuminates a much deeper problem.  First, it illustrates the company doesn't understand the nature of its battle or the motivation of its adversaries.  For the Left and its socialism leanings, Wal-Mart is a symbol of capitalism and free enterprise.  This represents a mortal threat to labor unions and aspiring liberal politicians who value economic equality through wealth redistribution.

The economics of CSR:  Economics matters; the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement obscures basic economic principles by redefining the meaning of a private transaction.  Should this redefinition be successful, our economic growth and vitality will suffer.  Right now, the prognosis is not good because the Corporate Social Responsibility movement is steadily gaining prominence in the business community.

CSR and the Democratic takeover.  It?s official.  Nancy Pelosi is going to be the next Speaker of the House and Harry Reid will be the next Majority Leader of the Senate.  Should the Left consolidate its power past 2008, the future of tax cuts and pro-growth legislation would be in doubt and economic growth would suffer as a result.  There is, however, another less obvious implication from the election that may significantly affect the economic well-being of our country:  the Democratic takeover of the Congress hands the political levers of power to people who support the efforts of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activists.

The Economic Recession and the Future of CSR.  It was against CSR's initial rise that Milton Friedman famously wrote: "That is why, in my book Capitalism and Freedom, I have called it [CSR] a "fundamentally subversive doctrine" in a free society, and have said that in such a society, "there is one and only one social responsibility of business?to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud."

"Socially Responsible" Corporations:  Whose Wealth Are They Spreading Around?  Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) departments are much in vogue among Fortune 500 companies, but what do they really do?  In Africa, Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere around the world, large corporations frequently boast about the social welfare CSR projects they fund as a way for them to "give back."  Such comments raise this question:  If these corporations are so flush with cash, why don't they reinvest it to grow their businesses, or "give it back" to their customers in the form of lower prices or their shareholders as dividends?

Corporate social responsibility as corporate welfare.  Walter Olson and blogger Professor Bainbridge make the case that the notion of "Corporate Social Responsibility" can be a smoke screen for efforts to kill smaller competitors.



Michelle Obama's apocryphal lingerie shopping binge:

Editor's note:
This event may or may not have happened.  See recap/commentary at the bottom of this subsection.

Agent Provocateur sales boosted by US First Lady Michelle Obama.  The First Lady is better known for shopping at more modestly priced High Street brands.  But along with the the Queen of Qatar, Sheikha Mozah, she closed off part of Madison Avenue to spend time in the luxury lingerie shop.  Their purchases contributed to a market-spanking 12.5pc lift in sales.  Agent Provocateur, which is styled on vintage Hollywood glamour, sells handmade Calais lace corsets that sell for up to £900, which could ruffle the feathers of more than just President Obama in an election year.

Undie-Gate at the White House.  At a time of budget cutting and belt-tightening in the U.S., the White House found itself in the awkward position of having to deny several stories that ran in British newspapers on Monday that claimed First Lady Michelle Obama loosened her purse strings last year to go on a $50,000 lingerie shopping spree at Agent Provocateur on Madison Avenue in New York.  The Telegraph, one of several British publications that ran the story, claimed the high-end lingerie shop had to close temporarily last year so the First Lady could shop with the Queen of Qatar, Sheikha Mozah.

Michelle Obama 'spends £32,000 on lingerie'.  Like the Duchess of Cambridge, Mrs Obama is known for shopping on the high street.  But she took advantage of a private visit to one of the firm's New York stores alongside the Queen of Qatar, Sheikha Mozah, after part of the city's Madison Avenue was closed off to the public.

Editor's note:
If you're keeping track of the number of news outlets reporting this story as fact, it was also reported in a tabloid called the Mirror, but it was accompanied by too many salacious illustrations for my taste, so I hesitate to even mention it.

Is Michelle Obama America's Agent Provocateur?  [Scroll down]  But what we do know is that Mrs. Obama would have zero problem brazenly shutting down a street in New York City; she did it before for date night, and if in need of shopping therapy in a sexy skivvy shop, she'd likely do it again.  Despite White House denials, it could be that at one point Michelle did shop at the Madison Avenue boutique, and if she did, reports are that she allegedly rang up a $50K tab.

White House "Fury" Over Queen Moochelle's $50K Shopping Spree Story.  Come to think of it, that choreographed trip to Target sure looks like some pre-emptive damage control.

The Editor asks...
You remember Michelle Obama's Target trip, don't you?  At the time, I filed that under Obama manipulates the media.

White House fury at 'false' claims Michelle Obama [spent] $50,000 on lingerie'.  The expensive wardrobe she packed for her $4 million Hawaii Christmas break, including a $2,000 dress and $1,000 skirt, also sparked a reaction. ... The First Lady's striking cobalt blue Barbara Tfank dress, worn for last week's State of the Union address, is believed to be worth approximately $2,000.

Sheer nonsense: Carney busts lingerie story.  The report by a British newspaper that the first lady accompanied the queen of Qatar on a $50,000 lingerie shopping spree is false, White House Spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday.  Carney, however, declined to offer any evidence of his denial, simply insisting that the British press can't be trusted.

Michelle Obama's lingerie spree? No way, says White House.  The White House is slamming claims that Michelle Obama singlehandedly boosted sales at a British lingerie store with an outrageous shopping spree.  The first lady's director of communications shot down rumors that she ran up a $50,000 bill at Agent Provocateur last year. ... Britain's The Daily Mail, The Sun and the Telegraph all reported the story, claiming Obama was the reason the risqué shop saw a 12% sales hike last year.

The Editor says...
Whether the lingerie shopping spree story is true or not, this much is apparent:  (1)  Given Michelle Obama's past behavior, this anecdote is believable, except that I would think that she and the Queen could probably buy every item in a lingerie store for less than $50,000.  (2)  Three British newspapers reported it, but the American press did not, except for WLS radio* and Women's Wear Daily,* which would be exactly the coverage one would expect if the story were true.  (3)  The White House press secretary will say whatever he is told to say, even if it is transparently false.  That is his job.  His vigorous denial doesn't carry much weight, in my opinion.  (4)  On the other hand, the British tabloids tend to specialize in indecent and sexually suggestive stories about public officials and self-appointed celebrities (of which Michelle Obama is the latter only), and some of the stories in the tabloids are dubious at best.


Jump to Liberals - Intro Page
Back to the Home page

Bookmark and Share

Custom counter developed in-house

Document location http://akdart.com/lib6.html
Updated August 27, 2014.

©2014 by Andrew K. Dart