President Obama spends our money on himself

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On this page:

Obama spends our money on himself

Last-minute pork barrel spending in an attempt to buy votes

Malia Obama goes to Mexico on Spring Break

Obama's multi-million-dollar Indian junket

The New York City Flyover


Related topics:

Obama the gas-guzzling limousine liberal

Obama's bad ideas, bad decisions and poor judgment





Obama spends our money on himself

Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama have the wildly inappropriate habit of spending our money on themselves.  In particular, they seem to enjoy 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.  (And of course, when the Obamas go on a family vacation, they don't have to get groped at the airport before boarding a plane.)  The rest of the country is suffering through a recession which will continue until Obama leaves the White House.  (Is that Barack Obama's fault?  Yes.)  Mr. Obama also spends a lot of time on the golf course when he should be working, and more recently has traveled aboard Air Force One to events that are obviously campaign appearances leading up to the 2012 elections.  The Democrats pretend to "watch out for the little guy", 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?

Note:  In general, this page is in chronological order, so the most recent material is at the bottom of this subsection, just above this line.


First Family Vacations.  Judicial Watch has been at the forefront of exposing the trips and the waste of taxpayer dollars through Freedom of Information Act requests and lawsuits, to obtain the details, when necessary.

The Obamas Have Spent Over $44,351,777.12 In Taxpayer Cash On Travel.  Our president vacations a lot — we're talking $44,351,777.12 worth of "a lot," with most expenses charged to the American taxpayer.  As of March 2014, Obama has spent more time traveling internationally than any other president, taking 31 trips since assuming office in 2009.  The 119 days spent overseas have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.  At the same point in their respective presidencies, George W. Bush had spent 116 days on 28 trips, Bill Clinton had spent 113 days on 27 trips and Ronald Reagan had spent 73 days on just 14 trips. [...] The actual total cost may be higher, as the White House is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

Obama campaign rolls out its biggest prop: Air Force One.  There are a lot of benefits of incumbency, and one of them, the Obama camp knows well, is the plane.  That big, blue, beautiful plane.  Air Force One made for an awesome prop Thursday night [10/25/2012] at a tarmac rally in Cleveland.

Obama's New York visits cost millions.  President Obama's frequent trips to New York City — for everything from official appearances to champagne-soaked fund-raisers — have already cost New Yorkers well in excess of $2 million in additional security at Kennedy Airport, The [New York] Post has learned.  Michelle Obama's trips to the Big Apple have cost hundreds of thousands more.

Obama family 'costs taxpayers $1.4 Billion per year'.  Politicians looking for savings to deal with the national debt crisis should perhaps start by abolishing the President.  Barack Obama and his family cost the taxpayer $1.4 billion per year, according to a recently published book.  By contrast, the British Royal Family costs less than $60 million each year.

Alex Pappas on the $1.4 billion Obama family budget.  The Daily Caller's report about taxpayers spending $1.4 billion on the Obama family last year has been burning up the Internet, and reporter Alex Pappas talked on Thursday [9/27/2012] about how the piece came about.  "It's kind of a big number and that's what interesting about it," said Pappas.  The complete tally came from "Presidential Perks Gone Royal," by Robert Keith Gray.

Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion on Obama family last year, perks questioned in new book.  Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on everything from staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks.  In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family.

Fact Check: First Lady's False Fairy Tale of Struggle.  As First Lady, Michelle Obama has lived high on the hog while the rest of the country has suffered through an extraordinary recession.  In 2010, she and her entourage decamped to Spain for a lavish vacation.  That summer, the Obamas encouraged Americans to visit the Gulf coast after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which threatened tourism in the region.  They promptly jetted off to Maine for their own summer holiday.  This summer, the Obamas skipped their usual summer trip to the wealthy playground of Martha's Vineyard — months after Michelle and her daughters had enjoyed an expensive winter skiing trip in Aspen.  And, of course, there are the frequent pilgrimages to Hawaii.

The Audacity of Cronyism.  [Valerie] Jarrett gets a security detail from the US Secret Service (USSS).  That means 24/7 protection, at a cost of millions of dollars a year.  Of course, it also means an air of importance for Jarrett — her own taxpayer-funded entourage.  The idea that someone such as Jarrett — who officially plays no role in national security or counter-terrorism — would receive USSS protection would be laughable if it weren't, in fact, real.  It's like a tale out of the Versailles Court of the Sun King — the sort of anecdote that provokes the peasants, eventually, to revolution.

This is an excellent overview of the subject:
President Looter.  Obama has been on a depraved personal spending spree throughout the presidency, but never a critical word is uttered by his big media propaganda arm.  The worse the economy has gotten, the more obscene Obama and Michelle's spending has gotten.  Where is the outcry?  I, for one, as an overtaxed American, am sick of it.  It kicked off as early as his inauguration.  Obama spent an obscene 150 million dollars on his inauguration.  The media rejoiced in his decadence.  Bush, OTOH, was raked over the coals for spending a fraction of what Obama spent on his inauguration.

Obama's pathetic political optics: Tone-deaf and arrogant.  The Obamas entertained Hollywood celebrities at lavish White House parties while millions of Americans lost jobs, homes and hope during recovery-less Recovery Summers.  While her husband urged Americans to vacation on the recovering Gulf Coast, Michelle Obama flew off to a luxury resort in Spain with numerous friends.  Like many in the 1%, Obama plays golf, 104 presidential rounds to be exact.

Who is this guy pretending to be president?  This 2012 Obama is strident and mean, even deceitful, divisive, telling half-truths after half-truths.  He's using Air Force One as his personal Brinks truck with wings to collect cash all over the country, disguising the trips as official.

Phony photo op
The President flies out to New Mexico for a poorly-staged photo op.
Obama's Wasteful, Phony Photo Ops Busted.  [Scroll down]  So let's do some cost calculations:  in 2010, the Air force said it cost about $180,000 per hour to operate Air Force 1.  Considering the Obama Petro Premiums we're all now paying, that's easily over $200,000 today.  AF1, the military equivalent of a Boeing 747, cruises at 575 mph, making the 1600 miles from Andrews AFB to Roswell, NM about a three hour trip. [...] Let's assume that second plane is a bit less costly to fly, say $500,000 for that leg.  We're now talking $1,100,000 each way for a campaign photo op, and a laughably ineffective one at that.

Senator: 'Clearly, This Trip Is Campaign Related;' Obama's 'Spent Past Three Years Gutting Our Military'.  Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee says Pres. Obama's surprise trip to Afghanistan on the one-year anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden must be campaign related, since Obama's spent the last three years gutting the military: [...] "Clearly this trip is campaign related.  We've seen recently that President Obama has visited college campuses in an attempt to win back the support of that age group since he has lost it over the last three years.  "Similarly, this trip to Afghanistan is an attempt to shore up his national security credentials, because he has spent the past three years gutting our military.

Is the taxpayer funding Obama's re-election campaign?  According to Mark Knoller of CBS News, unofficial keeper of presidential statistics, Obama has held 124 fundraisers — about one every three days — since he launched his re-election bid last April compared to the 57 Bush held to raise cash for his re-election bid eight years ago.  Obama's frenetic fundraising schedule had prompted the Republican National Committee (RNC) to lodge a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) about misuse of taxpayer money.

Heartache: Obama's Hawaiian Vacation Is Over.  And thanks to Congress' delay in passing the payroll tax deal, he only got to hit the links four times, but it was still enough for him to break a new one-year golfing record with a total of 34 rounds.

Obama's Top Boners of 2011.  [#4] Vacations 1, 2 & 3:  I don't begrudge the president taking his family someplace, you know, once.  But $4 million dollars for a Christmas vacation?  And despite what some progressives are claiming, yes that amount is the tab picked up by the US taxpayers for Obama's 17-day Hawaiian vacation with Mary Todd Lincoln Jr.

Judicial Watch sues for Michelle travel documents.  Judicial Watch is filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against the United States Air Force to obtain records related to the June 21-27, 2011, trip taken by First Lady Michelle Obama, her family, and her staff to South Africa and Botswana.  Earlier reports suggested that the cost for air travel cost taxpayers $430,000, but Judicial Watch believes that additional Secret Service officers and White House staff security tallied further expenses.

U.S. sued over Michelle's secretive 'family outing'.  Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit over the federal government's refusal to disclose how much taxpayers spent to send Michelle Obama on a "family outing" that included a safari in Africa.

Michelle Obama Spent 42 Days on Vacation this Past Year.  First Lady Michelle Obama over the last year has spent a total of 42 days on vacation, or a little more than one out of every nine days, according to a White House Dossier analysis of her travel.  Her vacations, the cost of which are mostly borne by taxpayers, include trips to Panama City, Fla., Martha's Vineyard, Hawaii, South Africa, Latin America, Vail, Colo., and her visit this week to her brother in Corvallis, Ore.

The Most Expensive Date Night in History.  I lived in Washington, D.C. for 7 years and can tell you that there is lots to do in that city; great restaurants, live theater at the Kennedy Center, great clubs, and more museums than you can shake a stick at.  Why then did our president and his wife feel it necessary to jet off to New York City at taxpayer expense, forcing the NY city cops to throw the usual presidential security cordon around his motorcade, eat at a tony restaurant in the Village, catch a Broadway play, and then jet back so that the Secret Service could tuck them in for the night in their own beds?

Obama unhappy with criticism of his NYC date night.  President Barack Obama says only once since Jan. 20 has White House life annoyed him.

White House declines to say what NY trip cost.  White House spokesman Robert Gibbs is declining to say what it cost for President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, to eat dinner and take in a play in New York over the weekend.

Michelle Obama's $1m date in New York.  Barack Obama escorts First Lady Michelle across the White House lawn to his private helicopter for a night at the theatre.  During his victorious election campaign, the President had promised to take his wife on a date as soon as he could get an evening off.

Taxpayers foot bill for Barack and Michelle Obama's cosy date.  The White House declined to say how much the trip cost but the Republican National Committee fired off a press release faster than the Gulfstream 500 jet that flew the Obamas from Washington to Kennedy International airport, New York.  Entitled "Putting on a Show" it said that the outing was inappropriate given the recession and General Motors' impending bankruptcy.

Republicans Grumble as Obamas Jet to New York and Taxpayers Pick Up Tab.  It seemed like a harmless moment in Barack Obama's presidency — a night on the town for the first couple in New York.  But the episode Saturday night is taking on a life of its own in the media, and much of the reaction is turning critical.

White House Won't Reveal How Much Michelle Obama's European Vacation Cost Taxpayers.  America may be in the midst of a deep recession, and the nation may be facing unprecedented deficit spending and debt, but the White House will not reveal the cost to taxpayers of the European vacation that first lady Michelle Obama and the president's two daughters, Malia and Sasha, took last month.

Obama Takes Michelle Out For a Date and Us For a Ride.  The White House is trying to convince us that the recent date night that took him and the missus to New York, along with his usual entourage, cost the taxpayers a mere $24,000.  That's supposed to be the total amount of the roundtrip flight, the two helicopter rides, the limo, dinner and the show.  Fat chance.  My brother-in-law in Michigan had a heart attack last year.  His heart must be working just fine now because it didn't stop when he got the bill for the 50-mile helicopter ride to the hospital.  It was $12,000, and that was one-way, and without a squad of Secret Service agents riding shotgun.

Obama appears to be paying off voters with stimulus dollars.
Billions in aid go to areas that backed Obama in '08.  Counties that supported Obama last year have reaped twice as much money per person from the administration's $787 billion economic stimulus package as those that voted for his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, a USA TODAY analysis of government disclosure and accounting records shows.  That money includes aid to repair military bases, improve public housing and help students pay for college.  The reports show the 872 counties that supported Obama received about $69 per person, on average.  The 2,234 that supported McCain received about $34.

Obama Mixes Business With Family Pleasure During Trip Out West.  While President Obama is pressing hard to rally support for his health care reform plan at different stops across the country, he hasn't allowed that to interfere with a weekend family trip to the rustic West and its national parks.  The Obama family — the president, the first lady and daughters Malia and Sasha, and other relatives — had a busy sightseeing weekend planned:  visiting Yellowstone National Park on Saturday and touring Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona on Sunday [8/16/2009].

The Obamas:  Stopping Traffic in Yellowstone.  For a brief, clattering moment on Saturday morning, Bald Eagles nesting along Yellowstone National Park's Firehole River Saturday [8/15/2009] had to share their sky with three Marine helicopters ferrying the First Family down to Old Faithful.

What Went Wrong:  [Scroll down]  Democratic populism turned out to be largely aristocratic elitism.  Obama spends more money on himself than did Bush.  The liberal Congress has a strange fondness for pricy private jets. ... Offering left-wing populist sermonizing for others while enjoying the high life oneself is never a winning combination.

Our imperial presidency.  [Do you recall] the minor criticism that surfaced when, shortly after he moved into the White House, the president used public funds to take his wife to the Big Apple for dinner and a Broadway show?  It then appeared to me the man, who had filled a naïve, emotion-driven nation with hope, was off to a start that suggested he was going to milk the highest office in the land for as much as much as it could produce.  It seemed that lavish lifestyles were going to be the order of the day, with growing personal use of burgeoning staffs, along with frequent and unnecessary use of expensive assets, such as military aircraft and personnel.

The Cost of Obama's Copenhagen Trip.  A reader adds a few points to my back-of-the-envelope math on the cost of President Obama's trip to Copenhagen to lobby the International Olympic Committee and (probably?) witness the announcement that Chicago will host the 2016 games.  "The cost of Obama's trip will not be close to $1 mil.  It is well over $10 mil if it is a dime.  The figures you quoted (accurately) are for flying a VC-25 (Presidential 747).  Presidential trips require both 747s, as one is a backup."

Update:
Watchdog Sues Pentagon for Records on Obama Entourage's 2009 Copenhagen Trip.  A conservative watchdog group has filed a lawsuit against the Pentagon seeking travel details for the Obama administration officials and U.S. lawmakers who flew to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2009. ... Roughly 16,500 delegates, activists and reporters gathered at Copenhagen for the 12-day conference, which the U.N. estimated created 40,584 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, roughly the same amount as the carbon emissions of Morocco in 2006.

The cost of the Obamalympic$ folly.  A 2006 congressional study pegged the cost of flying Air Force One at $56,518 an hour.  The Pentagon recently said it cost $100,219 an hour to fly the huge, reconfigured Boeing 747 without Obama aboard.  The Pentagon estimate included more costs for support needs, such as maintenance.  At those rates, the president's 14-hour trip to Copenhagen and back cost about $790,000 to $1.4 million.

Hi-Ho, the Derry-O.  Let's say you're preparing dinner and you realize with dismay that you don't have any certified organic Tuscan kale.  What to do?  Here's how Michelle Obama handled this very predicament Thursday afternoon [9/17/2009]:  The Secret Service and the D.C. police brought in three dozen vehicles and shut down H Street, Vermont Avenue, two lanes of I Street and an entrance to the McPherson Square Metro station. ... Though the produce stand was only a block or so from the White House, the first lady hopped into her armored limousine and pulled into the market amid the wail of sirens.

ABC Details Obama's $4,000/day Christmas Vacation.  Imagine the outrage if any Republican President went on vacation during a recession and spent $4,000 a night on accommodations.  On ABC's Good Morning America Wednesday [12/23/2009], correspondent Yunji de Nies seemed to suggest that President Obama's family will be spending such an amount renting expensive living space at an estate house in Hawaii for Christmas vacation.

The Obamas go on vacation a lot.
Poor Obama.  Yesterday [12/29/2009], the Associated Press reported that Barack Obama admitted he was tired during his trip to Oslo earlier this month to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, but this isn't the first time we've heard about how tired the president is.  In February, barely two weeks following his inauguration, Obama was already tired of being cooped up in the White House.

Health Care Reform Vaporizes Obama Presidency.  Obama's ego and self-absorption apparently required him to be on stage all the time.  According to CBS News, there were only 21 days in his first year where Obama did not make at least one public appearance.  The statistics from CBS were amazing: 411 speeches, comments, and remarks — of which 52 were on VaporCare.  Obama gave 158 interviews, visited 58 U.S. cities and 21 foreign nations, took 160 flights on Air Force One, 193 flights on Marine One, etc., etc.  In short, it was all Obama, all the time.

Obama Wastes Millions of Taxpayer Dollars on Personal Entertainment.  The same hypocrite who says our energy costs must "necessarily skyrocket" to fund his political ambition, is giving Marie Antoinette a run for her money when it comes to spending national treasure on personal luxuries.  While much of the country is struggling to pay their bills, the President and First Lady are partying like rock royalty.

Barack Obama:  Let Them Eat Tar Balls.  Your bureaucrats have been saying "No we can't" to request after request for assistance along the Gulf Coast, but for you it has been "Yes we can" as you spend taxpayer dollars on entertainment at a greater rate than any U.S. president.  Your parties have averaged one every three days and your vacations seem endless as you've satisfied the vow of your former social secretary to bring "the same kind of [party] environment" you had in Chicago to the White House.

Barack Obama, Frat-Boy-in-Chief?  Does Barack Obama realize he's the President of the United States?  I know that seems a silly question to ask, but he sure doesn't act like it.  A more apt description of his actions so far:  the Frat-Boy-in-Chief.  This White House has had a remarkably fun time in office.  There always seems to be a party, concert, vacation or round of golf to play.  It seems that the Obamas are more concerned with ending up in the society pages, with impressing Americans with his hipness and cool factor, than actually running the country.

President party boy.  Last week's jobs report tanked the stock market; the president took weeks to assert control of the oil spill that threatens doom on the Gulf Coast — but at the White House the Gatsby-like parties roll on as if happy days were here again.  Just yesterday, President Obama held another fun-filled White House event, a picnic for Congress members, complete with hot dogs, cold beverages and a fire pit.  All told, during the last seven weeks of spewing oil and rampant unemployment, he has frolicked and danced through three major White House music parties.

The Gulf coast is a wreck — let's go to Maine!
Obamas to vacation in Maine next weekend.  The first family will spend next weekend vacationing on Mount Desert Island, according to U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree.  President Barack Obama and his family are scheduled to arrive Friday, July 16, and stay through Sunday, July 18.

Obama's Maine 'pre-vacation' vacation.  The First Family plans to spend a weekend vacationing on Mount Desert Island, Maine.  This two-day vacation is likely a pre-vacation to the summer vacation, which traditionally takes place in August.  Last year the First Family visited Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.  This year, instead of visiting for a pre-vacation-vacation, the administration decided to sue the state.

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.

Obama's Maine event.  President Barack Obama and his family will travel to Maine on Friday, carving out two days of R & R and exploring Mount Desert Island, the home of Acadia National Park.  Why Maine?  Press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters this week that the trip to the Pine Tree State builds upon the first family's sojourn out West last summer, when they toured Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon.

The Editor says...
It must be nice to fly all over the country on multiple vacations every year, in somebody else's jet, and at their expense.

Obama's vacations.  Personally, I am inclined to give him a bit of a break on the vacation issue — if only family vacations were at issue.  However, the vacations are only part of the problem with Obama's laxity and aversion to work.  His obsession with gold, the musical soirees at the White House (that are a constant fact and have been from the inception of his Presidency) should give taxpayers pause.  But two aspects of this particular trip stand out.  First, the sheer hypocrisy of Michelle Obama flying down to the tar stained beaches of the Gulf and promoting them as a vacation spot for Americans.

Blame it on Maine.  It's because of states like Maine full of hammered silver jewelry wearing, Greenpeace loving liberals that this imposter is president at all.  Now, after the entire nation is subjected daily to Obama disrupting lives and making it impossible for Americans to scrape together two nickels to go on vacation themselves, Maine is inconvenienced.  Tough! ... Tourists couldn't cross the sand bar over on foot during low tide to Bar Island.  Why did they have to wait for hours?  Michelle was doing backstrokes in the Bar Harbor Club pool.

Reluctantly, no doubt...
Obamas will vacation on Gulf Coast.  President Barack Obama is taking his own advice and taking his family to the Gulf Coast on vacation next month, something he and first lady Michelle Obama have been urging others to do to help the area's suffering economy.

Obamas plan weekend vacation to Gulf Coast.  President Obama, who, along with his wife, has encouraged tourism in the Gulf Coast area since the massive oil spill, will take his family to the region for a weekend vacation next month.  The Obamas will travel to Florida on Aug. 14 for what is likely to be a hot, sticky visit.

The Editor says...
A token overnight trip to Florida won't atone for the Obamas' earlier hypocrisy.

Obama, family going to Martha's Vineyard in August.  President Barack Obama is taking his family back to Martha's Vineyard, Mass., for summer vacation next month.

Obama:  It's All About the Perks.  As the rest of the country suffers through a real unemployment rate of about 20 percent according to certain estimates, President Obama takes jaunts to Maine with his family — and he makes sure to fly his dog, Bo, into town on a separate jet. ... According to press reports, President Obama has played 41 rounds of golf since his accession to office.  He's played seven of those rounds since April 20, when the Gulf oil spill occurred.  How many rounds of golf have you played since the beginning of the recession in July 2008?

From the White House to the Big House.  The hardest to prosecute in court, but worst crime of all that Obama has perpetrated against the American people is the economic tyranny that his socialist policies have wrecked [sic] upon our nation.  While Obama has been living the life of a king, including frequent 5 star vacations, dozens of concerts at the White House and endless rounds of golf, all paid for by taxpayer money — the increased transportation and security costs alone are in the millions of dollars — he has called for the rest of us to endure economic sacrifice.

Michelle Obama's luxury Spanish vacation.  Pampered on the our tax dollars with a staff whose salaries exceed $1.6 million annually, Michelle Obama has not been unwilling to take maximum advantage of the perks of an unlimited expense account as first lady. ... Whether its $250,000 spent on a date night in New York, ordering carry-out pizza for 120 people from 850 miles away, or flying the family dog on a separate jet to join the Obamas on their 8th vacation since taking office, this time in Maine, it's clear that Barack and Michelle are living very large at the taxpayer's expense without so much as a second thought.

Michelle's life is a holiday.  Not cognizant that the masses have already blacked her out of mind, Mrs. Barack Obama has put a media blackout on her latest holiday including an about 30-room reservation for herself, daughter, friends and bodyguards at a five-star hotel in Benahavis, Spain.  Fellow Americans have had to black out any thought of the imperious Michelle being too busy trying to hang on to their jobs and mortgages.

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.

White House calling: Please will you make a coat for Michelle Obama.  A young London fashion designer has been commissioned by US First Lady Michelle Obama.  Bunmi Olaye, 27, who runs Bunmi Koko with her partner Francis Udom, was given the honour after sending a prospectus of her designs to the White House.  Soon after a call came to the couple from Washington asking if a coat could be made for Mrs Obama.

From Cordoba to Marbella.  Michelle Obama headed off for a $375,000 tax payer paid vacation in Marbella, Spain with Sasha in tow, apparently in the misguided belief that this place has the kind of cachet suitable to prance around in her unbecoming but expensive fashions.  (This is her sixth vacation since March and two more are scheduled before the kids return to school.)

Barack, Michelle, Champagne Wishes And Caviar Dreams.  What else can you say about a First Couple who takes 8 vacations during their first 18 months in the White House?  This, of course, is the President who spent his first year in office repeatedly reminding us that the economic conditions he "inherited" were the "worst since the Great Depression," all the while logging over 200 hours playing golf.  And last month the Obama's spent our scarce tax dollars providing a "separate flight" on a Gulfstream jet to transport their dog "Bo" to the family vacation destination in Maine — apparently Air Force One could not comfortably transport both Bo, AND the Obama family, all at the same time.  And now, America and the world have been treated to Michelle's "vacation" in Spain (this is not a "state visit," but indeed a personal trip) with forty of her best friends along for the ride, and her husband left at home.

Obama Choppers Six Miles For Economy Comments.  President Obama Friday [8/6/2010] flew Marine One from the White House less than six miles to Northwest D.C.  He choppered to Gelberg Signs, the Washington, D.C.-based company where he'll deliver remarks on the economy and July employment numbers.  According to Google maps, the drive would have taken about 20 minutes from the White House.  By CBS News' Mark Knoller's count, this is the president's 300th flight on Marine One.

Obama takes chopper for 6-mile trip.  President Barack Obama left the White House this morning for a six-mile trip to a sign factory on the Maryland-D.C. border.  But instead of taking the presidential motorcade, he took Marine One — the presidential helicopter.  A quick map search shows the drive would have taken at least 20 minutes, but the helicopter trip took just eight.  And, according to one unofficial estimate, it was the 300th trip Obama has taken in Marine One since taking office 20 months ago.

I've lost count.  It's vacation number N+1.
Obama plans short vacation on Florida's Gulf Coast — too short?  First lady Michelle Obama took criticism for her recent five-day trip to Spain.  Now she and President Obama might take heat for only a two-day, one-night trip this weekend to Florida's Gulf Coast.

"Cake" in Spain, Hypocrisy at Home.  Mrs. Obama, who has earned a reputation as global stylista for her model height and youthfully appropriate wardrobe sense, won no plaudits for restraint, touring the sites in Spain clad in Jean Paul Gautier and other expensive designer fashions.  She and her group stayed in a Ritz Carlton resort near Marbella where junior rooms start at about $400 per day.  Add in Secret Service, a government jet and an entourage of assistants and press types, and voters are left to wonder why a jet-set trip was a good idea -- particularly now.

King and Queen Obama:  America's royal couple.  During his tenure as president, the First Couple has enjoyed lavish parties, state dinners, luxurious vacations, concerts, golfing trips and expensive Broadway dates.  It has been one non-stop party at our expense.  Over the last 19 months, the First Couple has been living as monarchs instead of public servants.  This opulent lifestyle has not been earned, but is being financed by suffering American taxpayers.

Obamas Plan Fifth Vacation Since July.  There they go again.  For the fifth time since July, the first family has set plans to board Air Force One for a frilly vacation, a 10-day return trip to exclusive Martha's Vineyard where they are expected to stay at the 28-acre oceanfront Blue Heron Farm that rents for up to $50,000 a week.

First Lady claims working class roots, but her lifestyle is luxury.  When images of Jean Paul Gaultier-clad First Lady Michelle Obama on a $75,000-a-day Spanish holiday hit the wires, controversy was bound to erupt back home.  Her carefully crafted image as "everywoman" was blown.  In addition to the high cost, the evolving justifications for the trip offered by the White House's flack were just as dizzying.

Obamas announce fifth vacation since July.  Here's a report from U.S. News, discussing the announcement of a new 10 day trip to Martha's Vineyard starting August 19.  For those of you keeping track, that's the fifth vacation since the start of last month.

Barack Obama and family are ready to Rock.  President Obama, wife Michelle and the girls, Sasha and Malia, will land on Martha's Vineyard this afternoon to kick off 10 days of fun in the sun, returning to the posh Chilmark farm where they vacationed last year.  Air Force One is set to touch down at the Coast Guard Air Station on Cape Cod.  The first family will then board a helicopter and fly over to the island.

Criticism likely to follow Obama on upcoming vacation.  President Obama and his family are spending time away from Washington but their weeklong vacation on Martha's Vineyard is unlikely to be free of controversy.  It's the president's second time on the island off the coast of Massachusetts.

Obama doesn't travel light.  President Barack Obama had a simple task for his first morning on vacation:  shoot over to a Martha's Vineyard book store to fill out his daughters' summer reading list and grab himself a novel.  Easier said than done.  His sports utility vehicle, part of a 20-vehicle motorcade, passed through a cordon of Massachusetts State Police motorcycle officers, in a protective cocoon of Secret Service agents.  Tagging along for the quick trip on Friday were White House communications trucks, an ambulance and two vans full of reporters and photographers.

At NATO summit, Obama's ride is talk of the town.   While the Portuguese prime minister and the Portuguese president of the European Union's executive commission are tooling around the NATO summit here in no-emission electric vehicles, Mr. Obama is fouling the Lisbon skies with his no-efficiency "Beast," the eight-ton, diesel-fueled behemoth of a limousine the president carts around the world with him.

Obama's 'Beast' of a limo stands out at green NATO summit.  The Portuguese hosts of Friday's NATO summit hoped to use the event to promote clean-energy and electric cars, but all eyes were on US President Barack Obama's diesel-guzzling "Beast" instead.

Military Pegs Hourly Air Force One Cost at $181G, as Obama Sets Travel Record.  The average American could buy a house for the amount of money it takes to run Air Force One every hour.  The U.S. military has provided an updated estimate on that cost, first published by a taxpayer watchdog group and confirmed by FoxNews.com, and the number is staggering — $181,757 per hour.  That's the price tag for shuttling around President Obama, who, as it turns out, has spent more days abroad in his first two years than any other president.

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.

Obama Earth Day Flights Burned More Than 9,000 Gallons Of Fuel.  It happens every time a president leaves town to make an Earth Day speech.  Reporters scramble to point out how much fuel was expended so the President could talk about conserving energy and using alternative fuels.  In flying to and from Iowa today [4/22/2009], President Obama took two flights on Air Force One and four on Marine One.

Obama's predictable surprise troop visit to Afghanistan.   The commander in chief wished everyone a happy new year and worked the rope line several times shaking hands with waves of eager servicemen and women.  Then, he jumped back on one of his planes.  And after a 205-minute visit to a war zone, Obama began the 15-hour voyage home with a refueling stop planned in Germany.  He'll land right after breakfast Saturday.  On Monday, Obama is off to North Carolina.  At the official Air Force estimated operating costs of $181,000 an hour for Air Force One, the trip cost $4.7 million just for flight time, or about $22,900 for each minute on the ground.

Hawaiian vacation number two:
President Obama To Stay in Town; Rest of Family Begins Vacation.  The White House has announced that President Obama will not be departing this weekend for Hawaii, as originally planned, and will be staying in town through at least part of next week as lawmakers on Capitol Hill try to cram in votes before Christmas.  However, the president will be all alone at the White House, since the first lady and the Obama daughters, Malia and Sasha, will depart this weekend for Hawaii."

Michelle Obama, Sasha, Malia, Bo to Hawaii; Not Taking the Jumbo Jet.  In a pre-emptive move — remembering the stinging criticism of her lavish vacation to Spain last summer — the East Wing volunteered that Mrs. Obama will be flying to Hawaii in a military version of a business airplane — not the jumbo jet that flew her to the Mediterranean coast in August.

The Editor says...
Yes, but it's still another trip to Hawaii at our expense, and the President most likely will join them later — in Air Force One.

Mrs. Obama's Separate Hawaii Travel Likely Costs at Least $63,000.  Mrs. Obama jetted out to Hawaii on an Air Force C-40B Special Mission Aircraft.  The Defense Department bills other agencies $6,330 per flight hour for use the plane.  Assuming a flight time from Washington DC to Hawaii of about ten hours, the cost to taxpayers for the flight alone would be about $63,000.  But Mrs. Obama's determination to get her full two weeks of Hawaiian rest and relaxation probably cost a good deal more.

No matter where he goes, Obama lives in 'the bubble'.  When he steps off of Air Force One in sunny Hawaii to begin his annual Christmas vacation, President Barack Obama will have managed to escape Washington, but not "the bubble."  At home or on the road, the president lives in an isolating world — White House world staffed by thousands of people who protect, advise and serve him at an annual cost to taxpayers of about $1.5 billion.

Resurgent Obama in Hawaii after Lame-Duck Wins.  A politically rejuvenated President Barack Obama arrived here late Wednesday for an 11-day family vacation in his home state.  Air Force One touched down shortly before midnight local time.

Impatient Michelle's $63,000 Flight.  At $6,330 per flight hour for a 10-hour flight, the first lady gave nary a thought to $63,000 in additional expenses billed directly to taxpayers, such as the parents of the children Barack was reminding to be cognizant of the less fortunate.

Obama extends Hawaii vacation.  After delaying the start of his Hawaiian vacation because of the lame duck session of Congress, President Obama has decided to extend his trip by a day and will now head back to Washington on January 2, according to sources familiar with the schedule.

The East Coast is under two feet of snow and the president is golfing.  President Obama enjoyed another round of golf in the Hawaiian sunshine on Tuesday [11/28/2010] as he remains on holiday, while the East Coast stayed buried under two feet of snow.  He also played last Thursday at the start of his island vacation.

President and family on multi-million dollar Christmas vacation in Hawaii.  President Obama and his family are enjoying a delightful Christmas vacation with friends and family in the chief executive's home state of Hawaii.  Nobody questions a president's right or need to take take away from the White House, but an investigation by Hawaii Reporter has turned up some eye-opening information about the costs and other aspects of the Obama get-away.

Obama's 20-man motorcade to visit childhood friend in Hawaii.  President Obama provoked fresh outrage today after taking a 20-man motorcade to visit a childhood friend during his lavish Christmas holiday in Hawaii.  The 10-vehicle convoy drove the president and wife Michelle from his rental property in Kailua, across highways cleared of traffic and through a military community to reach Bobby Titcomb's beachfront house.  Mr Obama, who spent eight years at Punahou School in Hawaii before graduating in 1979, has splashed out $1.5m on his trip — a decision that will not endear him to the millions of Americans facing economic hardship in the New Year.

President spends $1.5m on his holiday in Hawaii.  President Obama has splashed out more than $1.5 million on a sunshine break in Hawaii while many Americans are still struggling in the aftermath of the economic meltdown.  With Washington in a deep freeze, Mr Obama yesterday extended his stay on Oahu until next Monday [1/3/2011].

Obama and Air Force One:  It's good to have a 747.  At an Air Force-estimated cost of $181,757 per flight hour (not to mention the additional travel costs of Marine One, Secret Service, logistics and local police overtime), that's a lot of frequent flier dollars going into the president's carbon footprint.  We are privy to some of these numbers thanks to CBS' Mark Knoller, a bearded national treasure trove of presidential stats. According to Knoller's copious notes, during the last year Obama made 65 domestic trips over 104 days and six trips to eight countries over 22 days. Not counting six vacation trips over 32 days. He took 196 helicopter trips, signed 203 pieces of legislation and squeezed in 29 rounds of left-handed golf.

Obama's 2010: By the Numbers.  Domestic trips: 65 spanning 104 days
  -Since taking office: 111 spanning 176 days
States visited for the first time: 9
  -Since taking office: 38
Vacation trips: 6 (all or part of 32 days)
  -Since taking office: 10 spanning 58 days
Foreign trips: 6 trips to 8 countries spanning 22 days.
  -Since taking office: 16 trips to 25 countries spanning 70 days. Flights on Air Force One: 172
  -Since taking office: 328
Flights on Marine One: 196

Pelosi, Obama Hawaiian Vacations Come to an End; Taxpayers Left with the Bill.  Nancy Pelosi's final days as Speaker of the House were spent at the exotic Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu in Kona on the island of Hawaii.  Escorted throughout her trip by a mini security motorcade that included Secret Service and Hawaii County Police officers, Pelosi was seen at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Kailua-Kona, where she received Communion.  Parishioners greeted her warmly, Hawaii Reporter was told.  Two police SUVs were on guard outside the hotel during her week long stay.

Ice cleared from outside Obama daughters' school, but not from public school across the street.  Sidwell Friends School, the education home to President Obama's daughters Sasha and Malia, made an exceptional effort to salt the icy sidewalks on campus Tuesday morning [1/18/2011].  Exceptional, because some D.C. public schools failed to receive the same treatment, leaving treacherous pathways glazed over with hazardous ice.

The juvenile president.  Obama said he wanted to "fundamentally transform America".  That is exciting-for him.  The one bit of praise Obama had for Ronald Reagan regarded the transformational policies Reagan was able to put in place.  He is excited by adoring crowds (see any number of events, from the Denver stadium, to Europe).  He is excited playing basketball games with superstars.  He is excited giving sports commentary on national TV.  He is excited by cool-looking boondoggles like the wasteful green energy projects he touts, or high speed rail, electric cars, solar projects, and windmills.  He is like a young boy with shiny new toys he wants to show off.  Why do taxpayers have to fund his need for excitement?  He is like a kid with a credit card who gets thrilled with the mere spending of money-especially other people's money.

Michelle Obama, with Malia and Sasha, skiing in Colorado this weekend.  First lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, Malia and Sasha, left the White House on Friday evening [2/18/2011] for a weekend ski trip to Vail, Colo., the White House said Saturday.  President Obama, who spent Thursday and Friday meeting with technology executives on the West Coast, is not on the trip, according to aides.

First Lady and Daughters Go Skiing.  Reports out of Colorado that First Lady Michelle Obama and the First Tweens are skiing this weekend at the Vail Ski resort in Colorado.  The White House tells ABC News that the first lady and close friends are chaperoning their children on a ski trip.

Obamas go skiing just days after telling Americans to sacrifice their own holidays.  President Obama has been accused of having double standards after appealing for Americans to sacrifice their holidays just days before his wife and children went on a costly skiing trip.  First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha are on a 'private family trip' to Colorado for Presidents' Day Weekend.

Michelle Obama's big 'sacrifices' on her Vail vacation.  It has been almost a month and a half since the Obama family returned from 10 days in Oahu. ... Relinquishing her role as tireless workaholic, Michelle decided to revisit last year's mother/daughter ski trip to the Ski Liberty Resort in Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania.  Only this year, the Obama women have taken to the slopes in Vail, Colorado on a "private family trip" accompanied by "several close friends."  When unveiling his budget, Michelle's husband reminded Americans, "Everybody's going to have to give a little bit."  The President even suggested:  "If you're a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, you might put off a vacation."

From Obama To Khaddafi, A Tale Of Two Tyrants.  While Americans are going hungry and cutting back, not because Michelle Obama told them to, but because they can't afford it — the White House is throwing yet another party.  This time to celebrate the cultural accomplishments of Motown complete with performances by trendy musicians.  It's funny how the media breathlessly reports that Khaddafi spent 1 million dollars to fly in one singer or another for a performance, and yet the White House has flown in far more singers, at doubtlessly far greater expense to throw themselves a party.  If Khaddafi was a wastrel madmen for throwing himself parties like this, what of the Obamas who are doing far worse, under the pretext that this is a celebration of the form.

Getting Down While the World Burns.  As the Associated Press reports, "The White House reverberated like a long-ago basement sound studio in Detroit on Thursday [2/24/2011] as the likes of John Legend, Seal, Jamie Foxx, Nick Jonas and Sheryl Crow channeled their inner Motown before Michelle and Barack Obama."  Other performers at this grand affair included Natasha Bedingfield, Smokey Robinson, Jordin Sparks, and Stevie Wonder.  If you were not in attendance, don't worry — you can watch the whole thing next Tuesday, on taxpayer-subsidized PBS. ... First Lady Michelle Obama got back from her lavish President's Day ski retreat in Vail just in time to enjoy the concert.

Obama's jetset fitness trainer.  With a schedule as hectic as President Obama's it must be hard to stick to a training regimen without help — but why does he insist on having his old trainer fly out from Chicago to D.C. regularly when Obama and his wife exhort the rest of us to drive less?  And in a recession?

Obama's Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Obama had a busy week — at least in terms of pop culture.  Thursday evening [3/3/2011], Obama held yet another party at the White House, this time in honor of Motown music.  Celebrity attendees included Stevie Wonder, Jamie Foxx, Smoky Robinson, John Legend, Seal, Sheryl Crow, Nick Jonas and Jordin Sparks.  Jamie Foxx summed up the Obamas' view of what it means to inhabit the "people's house" in his rendition of Robinson's "Get Ready":  "We won the election.  White House, baby, so much fun!"  Meanwhile, Muammar Qadafi shot people at will in the streets of Tripoli, and Americans struggled to pay their rent.

Obama kicks up White House entertaining.  The White House is the place to be on Wednesdays.

Obama hits golf course for first time this year.  The president left the White House at 1 p.m. [3/5/2011] for his first golf outing stateside this year.  A 10-vehicle motocade took Obama to the Andrews Air Force Base golf course.

Shouldn't he be working?  No, in his case, maybe not.
Obama heads out for his 60th game of golf since reaching the White House.  The President — who admits to more than a passing fondness for the game — has managed to rack up 60 games since he was elected president in 2008.  With spring in the air he was spotted back on the course this weekend, at the same time it was revealed he has become the first president to produce White House beer.

Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing.  One of the big problems I've always had with the American left is the fact that it values style over substance. ... Perhaps, while Libyans are being slaughtered, oils price spikes are threatening our economy, public service unions are running wild, and Democrat state legislators are abandoning their posts, having not one, but two Motown parties at the White House in the same week is a bad idea.

Top 10 Obama Leisure Activities.  Amid America's economic doldrums and as world events careen out of control, President Obama will not let a crisis deter him from unwinding. This same President, advising the American people how to deal with the financial crisis, once said, "If you're a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, you might put off a vacation." ... The Obama clan likes to spend time on tony Martha's Vineyard in August and go to Hawaii for a lengthy family visit around the Christmas holiday.  They've taken a long weekend in Chicago.  And a trip out West to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.  And time at a beach in Florida.  Plus several jaunts to New York for high-society events.  In fact, he has taken nearly a dozen vacations since becoming President.

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.

Obama's decision to play golf on Memorial Day was disrespectful.  Can you imagine David Cameron enjoying a round of golf on Remembrance Sunday?  It would be inconceivable for the British Prime Minister to do so, and not just because of the usually dire weather at that time of the year.  Above all, it would be viewed as an act of extremely bad taste on a day when the nation remembers and mourns her war dead.  I can't imagine the PM even considering it, and I'm sure his advisers would be horrified at the idea.  And if the prime minister ever did play golf on such a sacrosanct day he would be given a massive drubbing by the British press, and it would never be repeated.

Obama closes out the holiday weekend with a round of golf.  After announcing new leaders for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery, President Obama played a round of golf at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.  Obama spent more than four hours on the course in the 90-plus-degree heat that beat down on the Washington area this Memorial Day.

Barack Obama's private golf club.  House Speaker John Boehner has broken into one of the most exclusive groups in Washington — the small circle of old friends and administration officials President Barack Obama has invited for a round of golf.  Boehner, who sports a fairway tan and an 8 handicap, will tee off with Obama June 18 — marking one of the only times [Obama] will have played with a Republican or a fellow elected official and the first time he will have played with a sitting member of Congress.

Air Force Campaign One.  Air Force One is quickly becoming President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign-bus.  Next week, one of the two presidential Boeing 747s is scheduled to carry the president down to North Carolina and then to Florida, both of which are must-wins for his campaign.  The Florida visit was announced today, and followed yesterday's announcement by the White House that the President will fly to Durham, N.C., on June 13 to meet with his Jobs and Competitiveness Council at Cree Inc., a company that is developing new-generation lights.  Today's announcement revealed the aircraft will next fly to Miami International Airport and depart the next morning.

GOP: First lady fundraising on taxpayers' dime.  First lady Michelle Obama lands in the Bay Area today for fundraising events related to President Obama's re-election campaign that include an East Bay breakfast produced by star chef Alice Waters and a pricey San Francisco luncheon.  But critics said Monday [6/13/2011] that she is spending taxpayer money to foot much of the bill for her fundraiser-heavy trip to California this week.

In plain English, it's a junket.  Just another taxpayer-funded summer vacation.
Michelle Obama Travels to Africa Next Week.  The White House offered a preview Wednesday [6/15/2011] of first lady Michelle Obama's trip to Africa from June 21-26.  During her second official solo trip, Obama will visit Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa, and Gaborone, Botswana.  Her mother, Marian Robinson, daughters Malia and Sasha, and her brother's two children will accompany her.

Michelle Obama arrives in Africa on second solo trip.  The first lady arrived at a military airport in South Africa's capital Pretoria, shortly before 1930 GMT [6/20/2011].  She was welcomed by U.S. ambassador Donald Gips and his family.  She will make stops in Johannesburg and Cape Town and later in the week visit Botswana.

Michelle Obama embarks on solo trip to Africa.  The first lady will first visit in South Africa, where she will make stops in Johannesburg and Cape Town.  Later in the week she will visit Botswana.  In South Africa she will meet Graca Machel, the wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela.  She will also visit the island where Mr Mandela was imprisoned under apartheid.

Another fundraising trip on Air Force One.
Obama's Puerto Rico visit spurs anger, discontent.  President Barack Obama may have been in Puerto Rico for only four hours, but his brief fundraising visit has unleashed a growing political furor in this U.S. Caribbean territory.  Legislators of Puerto Rico's pro-statehood ruling party say they are resentful that he swooped in to raise about $1 million and did not offer any help or solutions as the island battles a soaring crime rate and higher unemployment compared with any U.S. state.

Obama says everything — and nothing.  Day after day, President Obama is AWOL, busy with disconnected events that have almost no relation to what's going on in the nation, much less the world.  He has so little impact on what's going on anywhere that he's hardly missed when he heads to the golf course (which he has done 75 times since taking office — and if you're keeping track, that's like playing golf 24 hours a day for nearly two weeks).

Obama Plays Second Round of Golf This Weekend.  Obama's 75 times golfing since Inauguration Day includes 17 outings just this year.  He made it thirteen weekends in a row Saturday [6/25/2011] with a trip out to the Andrews Air Force Base course.

Michelle Obama's 'goodwill tour' of Africa cost U.S. taxpayers up to $800,000.  According to Whitehousedossier.com the First Lady's trip to South Africa and Botswana last week will certainly cost well over half a million dollars and could be as much as $800,000.  The cost of local transportation, Secret Service protection, food for her family and staff members, the cost of firing up 'Air Force 2' not to mention the pre-trip preparations would all have contributed to the final amount.

The First Lady's Trips Abroad.  Michelle Obama is on an official trip to Africa this week, visiting South Africa and Botswana in an effort to encourage youth leadership, education, and health and wellness — particularly among girls and young women.  The first lady has made official visits to Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, India, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, where she's made headlines for her colorful fashion choices and, on occasion, for busting a move.

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.

President Obama appears more focused on golf than on America's problems.  While the rest of America is pinching its pennies, Obama is poised to jet off to a lavish 50th-birthday celebration in Chicago that will double as a fund-raiser for his reelection.  This party will take place the day after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's arbitrary Aug. 2 debt ceiling deadline.  The cost to attend the bash?  As much as $35,800 a couple.

Obama's Vacation: An Unwise Break or a Healthy One?  President Obama looks forward to a 10-day summer vacation on Martha's Vineyard with his family beginning Aug. 18.  Period.  And why is the White House so resolute on this topic?  Because "there's no such thing as a presidential vacation," Obama spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday [8/10/2011].

Carney Derided Bush's Vacation, Defends Obama's Vacation Plans.  In a 2001 column for Time magazine, journalist Jay Carney ridiculed President George W. Bush about his vacation plans during his first summer in office.  Fast forward 10 years and Jay Carney, now White House Press Secretary, was this week strongly defending President Obama's upcoming vacation at Martha's Vineyard.

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.

Canucklehead Obama bus-ted!  President Obama is barnstorming the heartland to boost US jobs in a taxpayer-financed luxury bus the government had custom built — in Canada, The [New York] Post has learned.  The $1.1 million vehicle, one of two that Quebec-based Prevost sold the government, has been tricked out by the Secret Service with state-of-the-art security features and creature comforts.

Obama's Bus Force One.  President Obama wants us to believe that his bus tour of three battleground states is an attempt to get to know Americans better.  No one is falling for it. ... Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus fired back at what he called "Obama's Debt-End Tour."  He told reporters at Mr. Obama's first stop in Cannon Falls on Monday [8/15/2011] that, "We are not going to stand idly by while this president perpetrates this fraud of a bus tour while using taxpayer dollars to spin his failure to put America back to work."

Obamas bring custom cellphone tower to vacation.  While cell service can be iffy across Martha's Vineyard, the most consistent problems are in Chilmark and Aquinnah, the island's two outermost towns.  Many residents and visitors said they considered the few weeks of better connections a kind of gift from the White House.  Some described jumping when their phones went off in the library or post office, unaccustomed as they are to hearing them ring at all.

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.

Why so glum, Michelle?  On Aug. 9, the first lady sneaked out of Washington and flew aboard a government plane to Corvallis, Ore.  On board, dozens of staffers, Secret Service agents, Mrs. Obama's mother and one of the Obamas' daughters (we never did find out who).  No husband.  Her office never announced the trip; the news was broken by Oregon's Register-Guard newspaper. ... No, there's something going on there.  How else to explain all those vacations away from President Obama — to Florida, California, South Africa, Latin America, Colorado, Spain?

The Obama Bus Fraud.  Almost eclipsed by the PR disaster of his lavish vacation at Martha's Vineyard was the PR debacle of President Obama's "listening tour," in which he blasted through small towns in a gigantic motorcade dominated by two million-dollar Canadian buses, pausing to give political speeches before hand-picked audiences.  Although clearly a part of Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, this was all funded by the U.S. taxpayer, and the expense was enormous.  It turns out it might have been even more enormous than we thought, because the whole "bus tour" was a gigantic fraud.

Barack Obama, Man of the People.  The portrait of Barack Obama's presidency is that of an egocentric — not only incapable of leadership, but someone who views the office as a vehicle for the satisfaction of his delusion that the world not only owes him a living, but a sumptuous one. ... Regardless of the public image they may convey, Barack Obama and his wife never fail to take full advantage of a lifestyle that would be the envy of any modern-day monarch while the bulk of the American populace struggles to afford life's necessities.

Obama non grata.  The president of the United States is persona non grata at Marlboro Airport until he ponies up $676,000 for the damage the airport's owners claim his armored limo-led convoy caused when his Marine One helicopter touched down on April Fool's Day 2010.  "As of right now, the commander-in-chief is not welcome at this airport unless we have a written agreement before the fact," said airport manager and owner Robert Stetson.

How much did THIS cost?
Michelle Obama's Target trip.  Never has a Target dash caused such a ruckus.  Jennifer Lopez could probably shop at Target without creating a stir equal to that caused by the first lady after she made an unannounced, midafternoon trip Thursday to the mega-retailer in Alexandria, Va.

Nearly $500K to send Michelle, family to Africa.  How much does it cost taxpayers to fly First Lady Michelle Obama, her two daughters and her mother, a niece and a nephew, a hairstylist and makeup artists to South Africa and Botswana to give a few speeches, meet Nelson Mandela, and enjoy a safari on a private game preserve?  Nearly half a million dollars, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) concerning Obama's June 21-27 journey.

Michelle Obama's Africa Vacation Cost More Than $432,142.  First lady Michelle Obama's family trip to South Africa and Botswana in June cost taxpayers well over $424,000, according to new accounting based on Air Force manifests obtained by Judicial Watch, a taxpayer watchdog group.  The use of Air Force aircraft alone for the June 21-27 trip cost $424,142, said the group, and that doesn't include the food, lodging, and ground transportation for the 21 family and staff members.

Michelle Obama's taxpayer-funded spending is an embarrassment for the White House.  Although ignored by most of America's liberal-dominated media, several online US news sites are reporting that Michelle Obama's grand tour of southern Africa earlier this year cost American taxpayers nearly half a million dollars — and that's just for the flights.  This follows in the wake of claims this August from sources inside the White House itself that the First Lady may have spent "$10 million of taxpayers' money on vacations alone in the past year."

Fight Erupts Over First Lady's Travel Costs.  A fight has broken out between the White House, its defenders and a conservative public watchdog group over first lady Michelle Obama's travel costs and how they are calculated.  The dispute stems from a Judicial Watch release yesterday, reported by Whispers, that said the first lady's June goodwill mission to Africa cost $424,142 just for her Air Force C32A.  Judicial Watch said it used Pentagon calculations to come up with the price to taxpayers, multiplying the hourly cost of $12,188 by the number of flight hours, 34.8.

Obama: Taxpayer-Funded Bus 'Decked Out Pretty Good'.  Republicans, including Obama's 2008 opponent Arizona Sen. John McCain, criticized the use of the campaign-style bus reportedly manufactured in Canada.  McCain told USA Today the president was "clearly campaigning" on the "taxpayer's dime."  McCain further said, "I've never seen an uglier bus than the Canadian one he's traveling around on, a Canadian bus touting American jobs."

Obama's bus tour costing taxpayers thousands.  The White House declared that Mr. Obama's three-day trip through North Carolina and Virginia are official events and not campaign appearances, even though the two states are known to be political objectives of his re-election bid.  So Mr. Obama's expenses are borne by taxpayers, including...

E-Day Minus One Year: Golf.  Exactly one year before Election Day, President Obama decided to go golfing. ... Today was the 28th golf outing of the year for Obama and the 86th of his presidency.

6 Million Dollar Man: Obama Family Plans to Spend Holidays in Hawaii.  To fly the President in on Air Force One from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about $1 million, according to the Government Accountability Office.  The President also reportedly rented an entire tower of the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki for a portion of his four night stay here.  His presidential suite in the Alii tower typically costs $4,000 a night.

Obama jets from Bali to New Hampshire for stimulus speech.  President Barack Obama is flying back from the Pacific leg of his 2012 campaign, and will quickly jet out again for New Hampshire to tout his proposed stimulus on Tuesday [11/22/2011].  The Granite State fly-in, presumably aboard the 225-ton Air Force One, will put Obama in the small but important swing state two days after former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney holds a Sunday rally at Nashua's city hall.

Tapper To Carney: Looks Like Obama "Campaigning On Taxpayer Dime".  ABC News' Jake Tapper confronts White House press secretary Jay Carney over President Obama's schedule which has included a lot of traveling.  Citing a Wall Street Journal article about the number of times President Obama has traveled to swing-states, Tapper bluntly asks Carney if Obama is "campaigning on taxpayer dime."

White House Denies Targeting Swing States in Obama Travel Schedule.  The White House on Monday [11/28/2011] rejected charges that President Obama is traveling on the taxpayer dime to campaign in swing states more frequently than any of his predecessors, saying a new study doesn't take into account that Obama "expanded the political map dramatically" in 2008 so that states not previously considered battlegrounds now are.

Obama Campaigns For Re-Election On Public Dime.  President Obama jammed traffic in Manhattan on Wednesday [11/30/2011].  State business?  No, he was raising campaign funds.  It's just the latest example of his questionable strategy of running for re-election by taking from the public.

Obama to jet off to Hawaii for 17-day Christmas vacation.  While most Americans are lucky to get a few weeks of holiday every year, it seems the country's leader gets a little more freedom in the matter.  President Barack Obama has announced his Christmas vacation to Hawaii — for a staggering 17-day trip.  Obama, who visited the island just two weeks ago for an economic summit, will head to Honolulu on Saturday December 17 until Monday January 2.

Obama abusing Air Force One privilege.  Taxpayer-funded presidential flights would arguably be legitimate for overseas diplomatic events where flying in the aircraft has a reasonable chance of achieving a desirable outcome.  But it is unlikely that the $9 million price tag of Mr. Obama's mid-November trip to Hawaii, Australia and Indonesia is worth the cost in the age of telephones and the Internet.  Mr. Obama has indisputably abused the privilege.

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.

Michelle jets off to Hawaii with the kids for 17 day vacation.  With thousands of families struggling to raise funds for Christmas, you would think the Obamas might manage a little thriftiness.  But today, Michelle Obama and her two daughters fly to Hawaii for a 17-day holiday — days before the president joins them.  The separate flights will incur costs of more than $100,000 to the taxpayer.

Michelle Antoinette's Hawaii hat trick.  Obviously unwilling to submit to hubby Barack's executive order for "federal agencies to curtail travel expenses and save," this year First Lady Michelle Obama decided to leave early again for Christmas vacation, and commence with the holiday festivities in Oahu.  Last year Michelle went on ahead of her husband, who was delayed by Congress, which is the excuse that has become a Christmas tradition every year since Obama took office.

Is Michelle Obama a vacation junkie?  In a story published late last week in The Daily Mail which followed another by the National Enquirer, First Lady Michelle Obama's vacation habbits including expensive massages, top shelf vodka and five-star hotels are under attack.  Critics have discovered over $10 million tax dollars has been spent on her personal recreation — in the last year.

Obama Plays His 90th Golf Game as President in Hawaii.  That the President of the United States feels confident in taking so much highly visible relaxation time seems, in my eyes, almost ostentatiously haughty and aloof — but perhaps that's the idea?

Obama Golfs for the 90th Time as President.  With this one, Obama reaches a new milestone, having gone golfing 90 times in less than three years as president.  That's about three months of golf, given that the excursions generally take about five hours — much of the useful portion of the day.

The Cry-Baby in Chief.  This week, Matt Drudge turned The Obamas, by New York Times columnist Jodi Kantor, into an instant bestseller by linking to a story that cited an anecdote from the book.  It claimed that the Obamas held a spare-no-expense Halloween party at the White House. ... The White House hid the party from public view.  They didn't want the rest of the nation to know how they were spending our hard-earned tax dollars on an episode of MTV's My Sweet Sixteen.

Michelle Obama in Aspen for ski vacation.  First Lady Michelle Obama arrived in Aspen on Friday afternoon [2/17/2012] and is here with her daughters for a ski vacation.  Few details about her trip were available.  Sources said she is staying at the home of Jim and Paula Crown, owners of the Aspen Skiing Co.  She is reportedly skiing at Buttermilk today, where the Crowns, of Chicago, own a home on the Tiehack side.

Michelle Obama, children on Aspen ski trip.  First lady Michelle Obama and her two daughters are spending the Presidents Day weekend on the ski slopes in Aspen, Colo., a newspaper reports.

Weeks after 17-day Hawaii vacation, Michelle hits the slopes on Aspen ski trip.  With the economy on its knees, many American families have had to forgo their annual holiday just to make ends meet.  But barely a month after returning from a luxury Christmas break in Hawaii Michelle Obama is on holiday again — this time at the exclusive Colorado ski resort of Aspen.

Michelle Obama jets off to Aspen for ski weekend.  Taking a break from her strenuous official duties, Michelle Obama jetted to Aspen, Colorado for a President's Day Skiiing weekend with her daughters. ... Nancy Reagan was pilloried in the press for buying new White House china during a recession — even though all the money for the dishware was donated.  Mrs. Obama can jet out to Aspen with the only word in the press coming from a bare bones report in the local paper.

Michelle's ski trip marks 16 Obama vacations.  First lady Michelle Obama's weekend jaunt to Aspen, Colorado for a President's Day ski holiday with her daughters Sasha and Malia makes the 16th time members of the first family have gone on extended vacations during their three years in office.

Michelle Obama and kids spend Presidents Day at Aspen.  In the midst of a recession, Michelle Obama and her two daughters are spending Presidents Day on the slopes at the star-studded resort of Aspen, a source who is a longtime ski instructor at the mountain confirmed to the Daily Caller.

'This Was The Moment When Gas Prices Began To Rise, And Michelle Would Begin Her 20+ Vacations'.  The Obama Vacation List:
  •   President's Day 2012, Michelle and the first daughters in Aspen, Colorado to ski.
  •   Christmas 2011, the first family in Hawaii for an extended vacation.
  •   Summer 2011, in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., for the annual beach break.
  •   June 2011, the first lady, her mother and daughters traveled to South Africa and Botswana.
  •   President's Day 2011, the first lady and first daughters travel to Vail to ski.
  •   Christmas 2010, in Hawaii.
  •   August 2010, the first family traveled to Panama City Beach, Fla., for some sun and fun at the beach.
  •   August 2010, Obama spent the weekend alone in Chicago for his 49th birthday bash.
  •   August 2010, the first lady and daughter Sasha traveled to Spain for a mother-daughter vacation.
  •   August 2010, summer vacation again at Martha's Vineyard.
... and that's just in the last six months!  (Click the link for a longer list.)

The gasoline trap.  Expensive gas begins changing public expectations about the ability to travel, and the ability of average people to afford automobiles.  For an example of the former, look at the blossoming trend of stories about "staycations" as summer approaches.  That's a vacation where you don't actually go anyplace. ... Meanwhile, two months after her previous luxury vacation, Michelle Obama whisks the kids off to go skiing in Aspen.

Fresh from her Aspen ski trip, Michelle Obama reminds you to feel guilty for earning a living.  It's about time somebody took on all these rich fatcats, with their private jets and fancy vacations.

Obama's 'do as I say, not as I do' attitude.  The President lives a lavish lifestyle and loves his expensive luxury vacations, at a time while Americans are hurting.  He is frequently seen eating burgers and fatty foods while in public at a time that the First Lady is promoting healthy eating by others. ... The Obama family just finished a luxury ski vacation in Aspen, Colorado.  This comes on the heels of a Hawaiian Christmas vacation for the family that lasted a few weeks.

President Obama Kept Air Force One In The Air An Extra 30 Minutes To Watch A Knicks Game?  Reporters were perplexed, recently, when President Obama's airplane took an extra 30 minutes to fly from Washington DC to Florida, where the President bashed Republicans over oil prices.  What explained the delay?  There's apparently no official explanation, but that the plane finally landed just at half time in the Knicks game is, I'm sure, just a coincidence.

Obama's numbers: Vacations 16, golf 90, fundraisers 100.  When President Obama completes his second of four New York fundraisers today [3/1/2012], he will pass the total number of fundraisers former President George W. Bush conducted through his whole 18-month reelection campaign.  To put the 100 milestone in perspective, he hasn't played golf that many times, hitting 90 while he was in Hawaii last December for the first family's Christmas vacation, one of 16 the Obama's have taken while in office.

Group sues for Michelle Obama vacation records.  Judicial Watch filed suit Tuesday [3/6/2012] in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for access to all records pertaining to an August 2010 vacation taken by the first lady and her daughters — including cost estimates and passenger manifests.

Obama's campaign gets more USAF aircraft.  The U.S. Air Force is pulling nine cargo aircraft from military operations to support President Barack Obama's stepped-up visits to campaign events.  The five medium-capacity C-130s and four heavyweight C-17s will be used to ferry security vehicles, armored limousines and communications gear into cities ahead of Obama's campaign appearances.  In the months before November, the president is expected to fly into multiple cities per week, and speak at multiple sites per day.

Barack Obama — the Traveling Salesman.  During the past year, Barack Obama has attended over 100 fundraisers.  Even in a cynical, political town, such as Washington, DC Obama is racking up some staggering numbers, with time spent out of the office leading the list.

Air Force Sued for Michelle Obama's 2010 'Whirlwind' Vacation to Spain Records.  During her time in the White House, Michelle Obama has most definitely demonstrated a penchant for taking expensive vacations with her family and friends — at taxpayers' expense.  Judicial Watch previously obtained documents regarding a June 21-27, 2011, trip taken by Mrs. Obama, her family and her staff to South Africa and Botswana.  Through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) we obtained the mission expense records and passenger manifests for the Africa trip, which yielded a cost of $424,142 for the flight and crew alone.  Other expenses, such as off-flight food, transportation, security, etc. were not included.

Lawsuit Filed For Michelle Obama's Costs on Vacation to Spain.  About the best you can say regarding the Africa trip is that it at least had the pretense of official business.  The First Lady scheduled a few speeches on health and wellness in between tourist trips to historic landmarks, museums, shops and a non-working visit with Nelson Mandela.  Not so with the First Lady's jaunt to Spain the previous year.  Judicial Watch has been investigating this vacation as well...

Obama hits the links, plays first round of golf in Election Year 2012.  President Obama hit the links Sunday for the first time in 2012.  Obama was joined by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and White House staffers Eugene Kang and Marvin Nicholson, according to pool reports.  GOP presidential contenders have criticized Obama for playing golf during an economic crisis, suggesting that the president is out of touch with the concerns of voters.

Obama heads to the golf course.  President Obama hit the links on Saturday [4/7/2012], visiting what has become his home course at Andrews Air Force Base. [...] It's the second round of golf for Obama this Spring, and also the second time this week the White House has put golf on the agenda.

Add Another Round of Golf to Obama's List ... Second Time This Spring.  Add another round of golf to President Barack Obama's ever growing tally.  It was the second round of golf for Obama this Spring.  Looks like Obama has been taking advantage of the above average temperatures.  That was the 93rd round of golf of his Presidency.  Oh, but he is so busy handling the economy and jobs.  Nothing says Good Friday or Easter Sunday like golf.

Who foots bill when Obama travels?  When President Obama traveled to Florida this week, he sandwiched a partisan speech at Florida Atlantic University between two multimillion-dollar fundraisers for his 2012 campaign, allowing him to label at least part of the trip to a critical battleground state as official business.  While Mr. Obama can rely on Air Force One and other military aircraft at his disposal for official business, federal election laws require his campaign to pay for these presidential perquisites at just a fraction of the cost — the equivalent of a commercial airline ticket — whenever he or other administration officials are using federal government resources for political activity.

Obama Hammered for 'Jetting Around,'Taking Vacations While Americans Suffer.  President Obama, during an interview with St. Louis's KMOV, was hammered for "jetting around, [taking] different vacations and so forth, sometimes ... under the color of state business."  The interviewer, Larry Conners, suggested even that folks "get frustrated, even angered" seeing the president take these trips, and told Obama that these Americans think he's "out of touch, that [Obama doesn't] really know what they're experiencing right now."

Obama in Colombia: 'Part of My Job Is to Scout Out Where I May Want to Bring Michelle Back Later for Vacation.  Just two days after President Barack Obama gave a sharply edged response to news anchor Larry Conners of KMOV in St. Louis after Conners had asked the president about Americans who "get frustrated and even angered when they see the first family jetting around [to] different vacations and so forth," Obama told a panel at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia that part of his job there was to scout out locations for a future vacation with First Lady Michelle Obama.

President Obama's Lavish Vacations Are Under Scrutiny Again.  When American families are cutting back on travel due to rising gas and food prices, President Obama should be considerate of the sacrifices millions of citizens are forced to make and adjust his travel plans accordingly.  Statistics published by The Blaze note the Obama vacation to Hawaii last year cost approximately $4 million.  Before the family trip to Hawaii, the Obama's had already spent $10 million dollars of taxpayer money traveling to Vail, Colo.; Martha's Vineyard, Mass.; and Spain.

President Obama's Lavish Vacations Are Under Scrutiny Again.  President Barack Obama is very adept at side-stepping questions and diverting the conversation from real issues to partisan rhetoric.  Earlier this week Obama sat down with ABC News St. Louis anchorman Larry Conners to discuss the "Buffett Rule" and again proved how out of touch he is with the American people.  Once the interview turned to the topic excessive and expensive vacations taken by the first family, Obama's entire demeanor changed as he evaded the question, according to videos clips on The Blaze.

Lavish spending double standard.  The several hundred thousand dollars wasted by the GSA is a small fraction of the bill Michelle Obama has slapped on the American taxpayer for her endless vacations and regal lifestyle.  It seems as if every other week, Mrs. Obama is firing up Air Force One, Two or Three, loading up the kids and heading off to Spain, Africa, New England, Hawaii or, yes, Las Vegas, for yet another party (er, sorry, I mean "educational exchange," "fact-finding trip," "goodwill tour" or other lame cover story).  Mrs. Obama's publicly funded personal travel would appear to be running into the tens of millions of dollars...

Under sunny skies, Obama hits the links.  President Obama took advantage of gorgeous weather around Washington on Saturday morning [4/21/2012] to hit the golf course, his third round this year.

Cost of Michelle Obama's Nashville visit may never be fully known.  Metro taxpayers spent more than $7,000 on first lady Michelle Obama's campaign fundraising trip to Nashville this week.  What federal taxpayers spent might never be publicly known.  A White House spokesman said President Barack Obama's re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee will pay their share of the cost of the first lady's visit Tuesday [4/17/2012] for a $500-a-head fundraiser that was expected to raise at least $225,000.  A full accounting of the trip isn't likely to be made available, however, even though Obama himself pledged on his first full day in office to establish "an unprecedented level of openness in government."

A more aggressive press corps might have motivated him to preserve his dignity.
Obama the Unseemly.  There's been a lot of talk of late about how "cool" Barack Obama supposedly is.  But people are starting to notice the man has no class.  "Blue collar Democratic voters, stuck taking depressing 'staycations' because they can't afford gas and hotels, are resentful of the first family's 17 lavish vacations around the world and don't want their tax dollars paying for the Obamas' holidays, according to a new analysis of swing voters," reports the Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard.

RNC: Taxpayers Shouldn't Have to Fund Obama's Campaign.  President Obama's trio of speeches — which just happened to be given at colleges in battleground states — this week was the final straw for the Republican National Committee, which filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Office today [4/25/2012].

RNC letter to GAO Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro.  Throughout his administration, but particularly in recent weeks, President Obama has been passing off campaign travel as "official events," thereby allowing taxpayers, rather than his campaign, to pay for his reelection efforts.  Given the recent excesses, waste, and abuse uncovered in the General Services Administration, the GAO should be particularly sensitive to misuse of taxpayer dollars.

RNC Files Formal Complaint Over Obama Campaigning On Taxpayer-Funded Excursions.  On Wednesday [4/25/2012], the Republican National Committee filed a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Office over President Barack Obama's use of official taxpayer-funded presidential resources for what appears to be campaign-related trips to swing states.

RNC calls for investigation into Obama's travel costs for ambiguously political trips.  Now comes complainant Republican National Committee, snark firing on all cylinders, formally requesting that a government auditor look into whether President Barack Obama has been bilking taxpayers by billing them for what amount to campaign trips to battleground states.  The White House immediately dismissed the suggestion of any impropriety.

White House Responds to RNC Complaint that President Is Campaigning on Taxpayer Dime.  In response to the Republican National Committee earlier today filing a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Office and the comptroller general alleging that the Obama campaign "has been cheating the American taxpayer by using taxpayer dollars to fund their general election efforts," White House spokesman Eric Schultz asserted that the president's travel "has been part of the president's official responsibility."

Liberal Media Mock Obama for Faux Campaign.  Members of the media are questioning the Obama administration's numerous "official business" trips to swing states, during which he has been giving stump speeches and raising campaign funds.  High-profile Washington reporters engaged in a line of questioning on Twitter today that seems to indicate that even staunch supporters of the president think that the use of taxpayer funds for campaign trips is getting out of hand.

Dumb and Dumber.  The lack of complexity in President Obama's recent speeches to college students suggests that they were stump speeches more suited for the presidential campaign than official government business, experts say.  Obama addressed the coeds at the Universities of North Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa at a sixth grade reading level, according to Flesch-Kincaid reading comprehension difficulty tests conducted by the Washington Free Beacon.

Live Not By Obama's Lies.  [Scroll down]  The distinction is technical but important:  If these speeches are designated campaign events, the Obama campaign must reimburse the government for the massive expense of flying the President around the country and staging elaborate such productions.  If they are official government business, however, everything can be done on the taxpayer's dime.  That is why the White House website classifies these speeches as official business.

Obama Losing Rock-star Status Among Young Voters.  Last week, Barack Obama delivered speeches at universities in Chapel Hill, N.C., Iowa City, Iowa, and Boulder, Colo.  The trip was, press secretary Jay Carney assured us, official government business, not political campaigning.  It's part of a pattern.  Neil Munro of the Daily Caller has counted 130 appearances by the president, vice president, their spouses, White House officials, and Cabinet secretaries at colleges and universities since spring 2011.

Obama will begin to campaign next week, aide says with straight face.  You know that guy who so remarkably resembles Barack Obama, the one who's been flying all over the country for months talking about what Congress needs to do about the problems he got stuck with?  The fellow who started raising campaign money more than one year, 100+ fundraisers and $127 million ago.  Had another one last night, $35K a pop.  Well, apparently, the Chicago crowd expects Americans to believe that these Obama trips have been "official" forays.  And that the Windy City Democrat ever stopped campaigning after 2008.

Gov't Records: Michelle Obama's Vacation in Spain Cost Taxpayers at Least $467,585.  First Lady Michelle Obama's vacation in Spain with her daughter Sasha, several friends, their children, and some White House staffers cost U.S. taxpayers at least $467,585, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest group that fights government corruption.  Mrs. Obama took the trip from Aug. 4-8, 2010.  That same month, Judicial Watch filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Secret Service and the Air Force to obtain information on the cost of the trip.  On March 5, 2012, Judicial Watch followed up on its FOIA request with a lawsuit seeking the relevant information.

Michelle Obama's Spain vacation cost taxpayers nearly $470G, watchdog group claims.  First lady Michelle Obama's 2010 trip to Spain cost taxpayers nearly $470,000, according to a conservative watchdog group that obtained Secret Service records from the overseas excursion.  That trip, which the first lady took with her younger daughter Sasha, drew widespread criticism at the time — as the visuals of the first lady in an elegant Mediterranean setting clashed with the still-struggling U.S. economy.  Judicial Watch, which filed a Freedom of Information Act request, claimed Thursday [4/26/2012] that documents show the trip cost at least $467,585.

Sununu: Obama Should Return About 70 Percent of His Salary.  On the Obama campaign's "official" kickoff this weekend: "If you look at what [President Obama] has done since last September, he really ought to return about 70 percent of his salary to the American taxpayers, since about 70 percent of his time has been spent campaigning.  I assume with the official start of his campaign, it will move to 100 percent.  He clearly has a strategy of talking about everything but what people want to hear, which is how he's going to create jobs and how he's going to get the economy moving.  Instead he's on a mission to hype himself, and blame everybody else."

'Golfer-in-chief' Obama nears 100th round of his presidency.  For a century it's been the game of presidents, a sunny escape from the office for 15 of the 18 chief executives since the first Roosevelt.  It's also a game that appears elite to many people, enough so that golfing presidents play at their political peril.  Now comes Barack Obama.  He tries to keep his golfing out of view, banning news cameras when he can.  But his love of the game has taken him to the course nearly 100 times already in his presidency, and election rival Mitt Romney says that's simply too much in a time of economic anxiety.

Superfan Michelle Obama jets to Atlantic City for Beyonce's sell-out concert.  Michelle Obama jetted in to Atlantic City last night [5/25/2012] to join 5,500 fans at a Beyonce concert.  The first lady was with daughters Sasha and Malia — but without her husband — at Revel Resorts, where Beyonce performed two dozen songs Saturday night.

NYT White House Correspondent: Obama 'Hates' Camp David Because There's No Golf.  Camp David has been an historic presidential retreat since World War II, but according to New York Times White House correspondent Helene Cooper, Barack Obama "hates it" because there isn't any golf.  [Actually, there is a four-hole golf course at Camp David.]

Obama Makes His Way to the Golf Course.  There was no question he was going golfing this weekend.  The only unknown is whether he'll golf again tomorrow [5/27/2012]. [...] This is the 98th time Obama has been golfing as president and the sixth time this year.

Obama To Spend Night at His Chicago House.  The comforts the White House not to be outdone, sometimes you just need a good night of sleep in your own bed.  President Obama will overnight in Chicago Friday night [6/1/2012], and the commander-in-chief is staying at his primary residence.

The Editor says...
Overnight is not a verb, but I'll let it go this time.

The Big-Spending Obamas.  [Scroll down]  When Michelle Obama and their daughters travel abroad without the president, they reimburse the government the cost of their first-class tickets to the destination.  Of course, that reimbursement is a much smaller sum than the actual cost of transporting the first lady; a much-derided trip to Spain by the first lady cost taxpayers $467,000 in transportation and security expenses.

Judicial Watch Files FOIA for FLOTUS Aspen Vacation Expense Records.  As it has successfully done in the past, Judicial Watch is filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the US Air Force and the Secret Service to find out what taxpayers had to pay to send First Lady Michelle Obama and the first daughters to their ski vacation in Aspen back in February.

Watchdog group sues for transparency on Michelle Obama vacation expenses.  A government watchdog group has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Secret Service in an effort to obtain records detailing Michelle Obama and the Obama daughters' February 2012 President's Day weekend ski vacation to Aspen, Colorado.

Obama fund-raises $4.5 million from celebs in just 8 hours in NY ... but taxpayers pick up the check.  President Barack Obama brought Manhattan to a standstill last night as he held two star-studded fundraising events at exclusive addresses in the city — raising a total of $4.5 million.  However, the President's re-election campaign will not have to pay the full cost of his jaunt to the Big Apple, because he combined the trip with an official event which will be charged to the taxpayer.

Obama's 100th golf round.  The next time President Obama hits the links, it will be his 100th round of golf since coming to the White House.  That's quite a milestone in just 3½ years.  As it takes him about six hours to drive to the greens and complete 18 holes, Mr. Obama has spent the equivalent of four months' worth of work time golfing.

Obama Hits 100th Time on the Links.  President Barack Obama's love of golf hit a milestone today [6/17/2012] as he marked his 100th time on the links.  His Father's Day achievement was reached at the Beverly Country Club in his hometown, the windy city.

Obama is bowing out.  The world is falling apart, but one wouldn't know it by the president's leisure-filled life.  Mr. Obama played his 100th golf game as president over the weekend, which he somehow squeezed in between taxpayer-funded trips on Air Force One to raise campaign cash.  All the while, millions of Americans are persistently unemployed, with the looming financial collapse of Europe threatening to throw the U.S. economy into a wild and dangerous tailspin.

Obama Diverts River of US Taxpayer Money Into Kenyan Pockets.  Obama's ancestral homeland Kenya — which he clearly indentifies with more strongly than the USA — is being inundated with money expropriated from American taxpayers.

Neuter Obama.  [Scroll down]  Maybe that's why his wife refuses to even share a plane with him, always choosing to travel solo on Air Force 2, while he takes Air Force 1 to the same destination, only hours later, as they did on their summer sojourn to Martha's Vineyard.  With respect to their annual winter vacation to Hawaii, Michelle's already there.  He stayed behind to lecture America on the need to give him more money.  No matter, each has their own plane, and no expense is ever spared to ensure they are never inconvenienced by the needs of the nation.

The $4 Million vacation: Separate flights, luxury accommodation and plenty of golf.  President's Obama annual vacation in Hawaii this year is likely to be his most expensive ever — or rather the taxpayer's most expensive.  Mr Obama and his family travelled separately this time because he wanted resolve the payroll tax cut issue before leaving Washington — and first lady Michelle didn't not want to hang around waiting.

First Lady 'insisted on $4m trip to Hawaii.  Michelle Obama insisted on a pricey holiday to Hawaii when her husband would have rather gone to a presidential retreat, according to reports.  She allegedly wanted the taxpayer-funded $4 million trip when Barack Obama sought instead to make the short trip to Camp David in Maryland.

Obama's Hawaii Christmas dilemma.  The toughest call for the president this holiday season could be whether to join his family for Christmas in Hawaii or stay in lonely Washington.  The White House won't say whether the president is heading west for the holidays — or even if he's making an abbreviated appearance.

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.

Obama Family's Hawaii Vacation Estimated to Cost More Than $4 Million.  The cost of the Obama family's annual Hawaiian getaway swells as First Lady Michelle Obama's separate trip stands to cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars more.  While President Obama remained in Washington wrapping up this year's contentious congressional session, Michelle and her two daughters, Malia and Sasha, jetted off on the 17-day vacation a little early, days before the President will join them.

Obama Spends Christmas Eve Golfing in Hawaii.  It may have been a week later than he had hoped, but US President Barack Obama finally hit the links in Hawaii Saturday [12/24/2011] on his first full day of vacation.

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.

Top 5 'let them eat cake' moments of the Obama White House.  Incident:  The first lady and daughter Sasha took a five-day trip to southern Spain, shopping, visiting coastal towns and lunching with the nation's king and queen.  Criticism:  Mrs. Obama and her daughter stayed at a five-star coastal resort where rooms run from $400 to almost $7,000 per night and the first lady was photographed wearing an off-the-shoulder top from pricey designer Jean Paul Gaultier, causing critics to blast the seeming show of extravagance during a period of 9.5 percent unemployment.

"The trip was the 16th vacation taken by the Obamas."
Michelle's Aspen ski trip cost $83,182.  The spring break Aspen, Colorado ski trip first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters took over President's Day February weekend cost $83,182.99, more than half of which was for Secret Service protection, according to documents from Judicial Watch.  The public interest group told Secrets that they just received documents obtained in a Freedom of Information suit that details the costs and others included on the trip such as the first lady's assistant and scheduler.

Michelle Obama's Family Ski Trip to Aspen Cost Taxpayers at Least $83,000.  Judicial Watch obtained the records pursuant to a May 31, 2012, lawsuit against both government agencies.  Among the highlights from the records are:
  •   The total cost for the Aspen ski vacation was at least $83,182.99.
  •   The bill for the U.S. Secret Service, including accommodations at the Fasching Haus deluxe condominium and the Inn at Aspen, was $48,950.38.
  •   The cost for the flight, per official DOD published hourly rates, was $22,583.70.  Food and miscellaneous on-flight items cost $235.44.  The cost for rental cars totaled $6,442.23.

Michelle Obama's 'luxury' weekend ski trip cost taxpayers at least $83,000.  A February 2012 ski trip enjoyed by first lady Michelle Obama and her two daughters cost taxpayers at least $83,000, according to records obtained by Judicial Watch.  The total cost of the President's Day weekend getaway was at least $83,182.99.  The largest expense was $48,950.38 for Secret Service protection, which included accommodations at the Fasching Haus deluxe condominium and the Inn at Aspen.  The cost of transportation was also hefty.

Obama Spends More Time Golfing Than In Economic Meetings.  In July 2010 President Barack Obama promised suffering Americans:  "I will not rest until everyone American who is able, and ready and willing to work can find a job.  And a job that pays a decent wage and has decent benefits to support a family."  It was just words.  In fact, despite serving as president during the "Greatest Recession since the Great Depression" Barack Obama has spent more time on the golf course than in economic meetings.
[Emphasis in original.]

$450G in OT for President Obama Boston jaunts.  President Obama's frequent jaunts to the Hub — including several solely for campaigning and fundraising — have cost the city [of Boston] nearly a half-million dollars in police overtime since Obama took office, a Herald review found.

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.

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.  It is unclear how the trip, which saw Mr Obama fly to New York on Air Force One and official helicopter Marine One, is being paid for.

Secret Service won't pay Newport Beach for police at Obama event.  A Secret Service official said Newport Beach city administrators are asking the wrong people to pay for police protection at presidential campaign events.  It's the service that is responsible for the candidates' security, not the campaigns, said Max Milien, an agency spokesman.  Any cost concerns should be directed to the agency.

Happy Birthday King Putt!  It's the weekend, so of course that means another vacation to Camp David, and more golf.  Marxist Obama also turned 51 years old today.  So he decided to celebrate with yet another round of golf.  This adds to his record of 104 rounds of golf since his reign of terror began.  This is also Obama's 12[th] round of golf since last meeting with his jobs council.

Taxpayer-funded youth outreach:  435 visits by Obama admin to campuses since 2011.  President Obama and his administration officials have made 435 taxpayer-funded visits to college campuses or other events targeting students since March 2011, including 166 trips to battleground states, a new study shows.  "The travel is not tied to trying to pass a specific piece of legislation," Paul Conway, president of the influential youth group, Generation Opportunity, told The Washington Examiner.  "It's all travel specifically targeted to a demographic.  And when you think about how important a role young voters play in [Obama's] coalition, then it's not just by happenstance."

How much did Obama's visit cost Mansfield?  Mayor Tim Theaker says he'll try to seek at least partial reimbursement for costs the city incurred while providing beefed-up security for a presidential visit.  But so far, no entity — White House, Secret Service or the Obama for America campaign — has stepped up to accept an invoice.

The Editor says...
Here's a simple solution to that problem:  Don't provide any fire or police services to the Presidential entourage when they come to town, and pass the word to other cities.  Better yet:  Publicly accuse the President of being a known freeloader and a burden on the municipal budget, and tell him he's no longer welcome.

Obama Iowa State Fair Visit Costs Businessman $25k.  It's an honor to be visited by a sitting president, but these days security concerns are so overwhelming that it is often very uncomfortable for those residents and businessmen that live nearby.  And with Obama's visit to the Iowa state Fair one small businessman ended up losing $25,000 in income due to the President's visit.

The Editor says...
It is an honor to be visited by a sitting president only if he is an honorable man.

The Differences between Michelle Obama's Husband and America's President.  Despite Michelle's strong and eloquent delivery on how she and President Obama empathize and desire to work harder for the American people, it is hard to see where they have found the time betwixt their extravagant vacations and frequent tee times.  It is difficult to picture them reading letters from struggling Americans who are having trouble paying their bills in one hand and confirming a reservation for the Obamas to take two separate planes to Hawaii for vacation (where they will arrive within hours of each other) in the other.  But Michelle insists that America has a president who says to her, "You won't believe what these folks are going through... it's not right.  We've got to keep working to fix this.  We've got so much more to do."  Many of us would certainly argue that President Obama has done enough already.  Moreover, he is the cause and catalyst to the misery in the letters he is reading.

How it costs taxpayers $1.4 billion a year to fund the White House.  A book about presidential perks recently revealed that taxpayers spend about $1.4 billion paying for the staffing, housing, transportation and entertaining of President Barack Obama's White House.  Now another author, John F. Groom, explains in "The 1.4 Billion Dollar Man: Costs of the Obama White House" exactly how researchers came up with that $1.4 billion estimate.  "One of the most important things to note about the $1.4 billion figure is that it specifically does NOT include the cost of running the White House's policy operations — the $1.4 billion is money that is directly related to the president and his family," Groom writes in the book.

US Weekly Ignores Michelle Obama's Expensive Tastes.  In a piece published Wednesday [10/17/2012], Us Weekly ran the headline "Ann Romney Wears $1,690 Oscar de la Renta Dress to Presidential Debate."  Fox News points out the magazine chose this headline despite the fact that First Lady Michelle Obama's outfit cost double that price.

Us Mag Headlines Cost of Ann Romney's Dress, Buries Higher Cost of Michelle'sUs Magazine had a little tidbit of gossip when it discovered who made Ann Romney's and Michelle Obama's hot pink dresses worn to the recent presidential debate.  In its headline Us blares that Ann Romney's dress cost "$1,690."  But Michelle Obama's ensemble was priced at $3,290 despite the silence of the headline.

Spending on White House dinners soars under Obama.  President Obama has spent far more lavishly on White House state dinners than previous chief executives, including nearly $1 million on a 2010 dinner for Mexico's president, according to documents obtained by The Washington Examiner.  Presidents have long used formal dinners to court foreign heads of state and to dish out fine food and wine to reward political, financial and show business celebrities and supporters.

Will Charlotte Taxpayers Be on the Hook For Democrats' Party?  It's embarrassing enough that Democrats held their 2012 convention in North Carolina, a state that Mitt Romney will probably carry.  Adding to the "uh oh" factor:  the Charlotte host committee raising money for the Democrats' convention has come up $12.5 million short of its original fundraising goal, according to election filings from the FEC made public Oct. 15.

Obama Plays Golf.  President Barack Obama is spending his first Saturday after winning reelection on the golf course.  Today's [11/10/2012] outing is to the course on Andrews Air Force Base. [...] Toward the end of the campaign, Obama seemed to have eased off his golf game.  He did, however, play on August 4, his 51 [sic] birthday, which was his 104 [sic] round of golf as president of the United States.

New Yorkers Still in the Dark as Obama Hits the Links.  A good chunk of Long Island is still in the dark after 12 days now and nobody seems to care.  It's not like the president needs to show up for a photo op since these poor [people] overwhelmingly vote for him anyway.  He'll come visit eventually, so hold tight to your candles. [...] Imagine the howls if Bush played golf during the post-Katrina cleanup.

Michelle Obama: Living in a Tax Loophole?  [Scroll down]  In the real world, business leaders who use their company's jets are obliged to pay for them.  Otherwise, the IRS can disallow the deductions the company takes for their crews, maintenance, repair, etc.  Not only that, but the executive who doesn't reimburse must declare the value of those flights as compensation, and pay tax on them.  What makes any First Lady exempt from the law?  Now, remember:  Even if she's campaigning (and she's always campaigning), the taxpayers aren't in any way obligated to pay for her trips.

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.

The captain of the Food Police has a 300-pound gingerbread house in her home.
54 Christmas trees a part of the White House's "Joy to All" holiday theme.  First lady Michelle Obama debuted the White House Christmas decorations, which this year honor members of the military.  The "Joy to All" holiday theme also includes 54 Christmas trees and an elaborate, 300-pound gingerbread house resembling the White House.

First Lady Michelle Obama Unveils White House Christmas Decorations.  The Christmas season arrived at the White House in the form of 54 Christmas trees, some 300 pounds of ginger bread and a life-size replica of Bo, the First Dog. [...] Other highlights include the annual White House gingerbread house, which weighs in at an impressive 300 pounds.

Michelle Obama unveils White House holiday decorations.  It now has 54 Christmas trees, more than 80 seasonal volunteers representing all 50 states, and a gingerbread house that weighs nearly 300 pounds.  It's the White House during the holiday season. [...] A series of decorations throughout the house pay tribute to the family dog, Bo.  The first lady also highlighted the pride of the White House pastry kitchen, the gingerbread house that includes more than 175 pounds of gingerbread (and modified gingerbread) and more than 50 pounds of chocolate.

The Editor says...
If any other family in America boasted about putting up 54 Christmas trees in their sprawling mansion, they would be called out of touch, wasteful, extravagant, or just plain nuts.

White House Decorated for Christmas.  The presidential mansion was decorated with 54 Christmas trees dressed in elegant ornaments and a gingerbread White House with an "out-of-scale" figure of Bo, the first dog.

Zippers and "Bo-flakes" deck the White House.  [Scroll down]  The massive decorating job — there are 54 live Christmas trees in the White House — comes together in just five days, with the help of 85 volunteers from around the country.

As Americans face a fiscal cliff, the Obamas make do with 54 Christmas trees.  Amazing how a reelection can reshape an incumbent's thinking about many things.  Now safely ensconced in the White House for 49 more months, the Obamas have decorated the place with 54 Christmas trees this year.  Even allowing for the usual Washington excesses with taxpayer money, that's a whole grove of Christmas trees.

It takes 54 trees to make a Merry Marxist Christmas.  In this, the 'Year of the Big Gloat' it's a $4-million Hawaiian taxpayer-paid, 20-day vacation and 54 'Christmas' trees, one-upmanship on George W's last 27 Christmas trees in 2008. [...] The 54 trees decked out for this year's celebration can't be Christmas trees.  The Obamas, who claim they do not give their daughters gifts, do not believe in Christmas.

Another Hawaiian vacation:  All expenses paid — by you!

Report: Obama in Hawaii as Nation Goes Over the Cliff.  According to the Hawaii Reporter, residents who live in the area of Oahu where Obama and his family vacation have been told that the usual restrictions on their movements during an Obama stay will be in place for 21 days, from December 17 through January 6. [...] Obama's vacations are more expensive than those of previous presidents because of the huge costs to fly Air Foce One and an accompanying cargo plane for nine hours or so to Hawaii.

Obama's $4M Taxpayer-Funded Hawaii Vacation.  The Hawaii Reporter estimates that the total cost of the vacation to Hawaii and federal taxpayers, including funding for travel, staff and protection, is at least $4 million.

If the nation goes over a fiscal cliff, Obama will be sunning himself in sunny Hawaii.  The Hawaii Reporter says the 20 day trip will cost taxpayers $4 million.  But that's a small price to pay for our Dear Leader's comfort.

Report: Obamas to spend holidays in Hawaii at $4 million cost to taxpayers.  The first family will be vacationing in Hawaii for the Christmas holidays at a cost of at least $4 million to taxpayers, according to a report from the Hawaii Reporter.  The Hawaiian paper reports that residents living near the beachfront homes at Kailuana Place, where the President Obama and first family have visited annually since 2008, were notified Monday that there will be restrictions on their movements in place for 20 days, from Dec. 17 through Jan. 6.

Residents Alerted to Obamas' Hawaiian Holiday Plans.  [Scroll down]  Adding to the controversy surrounding the President's visit is the cost of the trip.  With the staff, special forces, local police presence and equipment, the President's visit adds up annually to at least a $4 million vacation courtesy of the Hawaii and federal taxpayers.  While the President and his friends pay for their own rental homes, taxpayers pick up the cost of security and waterfront housing for the Secret Service, Navy Seals and Coast Guard as well as staff accommodations at a plush beachfront Waikiki hotel.

Despite 'cliff,' preparations on for Obama Hawaii vacation.  The prospect of pitching over the federal "fiscal cliff" isn't stopping the White House from moving forward with President Obama's year-end Hawaii vacation plans.  Even as Republicans and Democrats report minimal progress so far in talks to meet a deadline to avoid sharp tax hikes and spending cuts, the White House was moving forward with the first family's and friends' $4 million vacation to Mr. Obama's native state.

Obama Goes Powergolfing with Bill Clinton.  This is the 107th time Obama has been golfing as president and the 15th time this year.  After avoiding the fairways during a reelection campaign that portrayed him as a warrior for the middle class, Obama has returned to golf with a vengeance, heading out to play three times since being reelected last month.

As fiscal cliff looms, President Obama returns to the golf course with Bill Clinton.  Obama and Clinton last golfed together in September 2011 before the election.

Obama Travels to Pennsylvania to Speak for 18 Minutes.  President Obama flew Air Force One to Philadelphia and then hopped aboard Marine One for another 15-minute flight north to Hatfield, Pa., just to spend 18 minutes haranguing Republicans about the fiscal cliff.

Talking Like Mme Defarge, Living like Marie Antoinette.  [Scroll down]  The extravagance would be noteworthy in any event.  In a struggling economy where many are suffering, it is unbecoming.  But as part of an administration dedicated to class warfare and demonizing the rich, it is entirely inappropriate.  The Obamas show a decided taste for living like those they regularly denounce — without ever themselves having earned the money that enables the rich to enjoy a lifestyle of which most of us can only dream.

White House invoices show excessive state dinner costs.  President Obama spent more than $1.45 million on his first two official state dinners, according to White House financial documents obtained by The Washington Examiner.  The White House Executive Residence sent two invoices to the State Department's Office of Protocol, seeking reimbursement for the White House dinners honoring visiting Indian and Mexican heads of state. [...] The October 2009 Indian dinner cost $487,168.86 or $1,485 per person, according to the invoices.  The May 2010 Mexican dinner price tag was $969,793.92 and was attended by 200 people at a cost of $4,770 each.

Public 'Inauguration' Just for Show, Likely to Cost Taxpayers Over $100 Million.  Stephen Dinan reports that "Because next year's inauguration falls on a Sunday, President Obama will hold only a small, private swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20, and will hold a big public redo the next day.  The Inaugural Committee announced Thursday [12/6/2012] that activities will last three days:  a day of service on Saturday, the small private ceremony on Sunday, and the public swearing-in, parade and balls on Monday."  That means, the public "inauguration" is just a show, while the actual inauguration will again be behind closed doors (just as it was last go around).

What kind of Christmas?  [Scroll down]  They've taken more than 16 vacations since taking office!  Don't know about you but I'm lucky if I take one vacation a year, and I haven't been able to get to my favorite Hawaii in 10 years!  But then, I can't charge the taxpayers for the cost.  Remember Michelle's African safari — six days — 21 family and staff, not counting security, crews and others to a minimum cost of more than $500,000 and that doesn't include ground expenses and the costs for security and housing.

Obama relaxes with dinner and golf on first day of vacation.  President Barack Obama began the holiday weekend as far removed as one could be from the stalled fiscal cliff talks in Washington:  on a golf course in his native Hawaii, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.

Obama begins Hawaiian Christmas vacation by playing golf with friend arrested for soliciting prostitute.  As the nation peers over the edge of the fiscal cliff, President Obama kicked off his Christmas vacation in Hawaii today by playing a round of golf with friends — including his longtime pal Bobby Titcomb, who was arrested last year on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute.

Michelle to Remain in Hawaii, Costing Taxpayers Over $100K.  President Obama will return to Washington from Hawaii Thursday while First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters plan to continue their vacation, adding at least $100,000 and probably more than $200,000 to taxpayer costs for the excursion.  Instead of accompanying her husband home on Air Force One, Mrs. Obama will fly on her own Air Force jet at a later date and require security and staff to remain in place in Hawaii for the length of her stay, which reportedly could extend until January 6.

How Obama Vacationed:  So what did Obama do during his vacation?  Mainly, he golfed.  Obama spent about 17 and a half hours golfing this Christmas vacation.

Obama's Family Vacation for Dudes.  Obama played golf three out of the five days he was on Oahu, engaging in marathon sessions of up to six hours for a total of about 17 hours on the links.  He spent another three or four hours toning up in the gym.

Round-trip cost of president's return trip: $3.6 million.
Back to Vacation: Obama Takes Midnight Flight to Hawaii.  But the American tax payer paid a price for Obama's return.  The cost of flying Air Force One from Andrews Air Force Base to Hawaii, MSNBC reports this morning is, $1.8 million.  That means the total round-trip cost of President Obama's return trip to Washington from his Hawaii vacation was at least $3.6 million.

Obama jets back to Hawaii after Congress passes deal to avert the fiscal cliff.  The vacation extension is costing taxpayers an estimated $3.2 million — bringing the total cost of the First Family's transportation to and from Hawaii to more than $7 million, according to some tallies.

President Obama Returns to Hawaii Vacation Post-Cliff Deal.  Less than an hour after Congress and the White House resolved the fiscal cliff, President Obama boarded Air Force One to return to his planned Hawaiian holiday vacation.

Obama Returns to Hawaii at an Added Cost of Over $3 Million.  In a move that is rich in irony, President Obama agreed Tuesday night [1/1/2013] to sign an emergency deficit reduction bill that does almost nothing to rein in spending and then jetted out to Hawaii to resume his vacation at an extra cost of more than $3 million to taxpayers.  The price tag is in addition to more than $4 million that is already being spent on the Obamas' Hawaii idyll, bringing the total cost of the excursion to well over $7 million.

Barack Obama's $7 million Hawaii vacation is an insult to America's struggling middle class.  The president is elected to serve his country, rather than lord over it, a message which appears to be completely lost on the present White House. [...] Barack Obama's Hawaii vacation is merely a symbol of his wider presidency — a culture of impunity and extraordinary arrogance, reckless spending, a striking lack of accountability, and a shameless let them eat cake mentality.

Obamas dine at Buzz's.  Obama and his family wrapped up their winter getaway Saturday night by dining with unidentified family friends at the local steakhouse Buzz's near Kailua Beach Park.

The Editor says...
Buzz's sounds like a really nice place.  It's more expensive than any place I've ever eaten.  But then again, when I go out to eat, I have to spend my own money.

The New Liberal Aristocracy.  [Scroll down]  Class warrior Barack Obama spent his winter break in a ritzy rental on a Hawaiian beach.  It cost the taxpayers $7 (or is it $20?) million to jet him and his entourage 6,000 miles for their tropical vacation.  But whether the first family escapes to Hawaii or Martha's Vineyard or Costa del Sol, the image of a 1 percent lifestyle seems a bit at odds with the president's professed disdain for "millionaires and billionaires," "fat cats," and "corporate-jet owners" who supposedly can afford such tony retreats only because they have done something suspect.

Obama signs protection bill for former presidents.  President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill granting lifetime Secret Service protection to former presidents and their wives.

Valerie Jarrett: 'You're Going to See the President Traveling Around the Country More'.  CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller, who frequently travels with the president, has compiled the following numbers from Obama's first four years in office:  He says Obama took 245 domestic trips spanning 417 days to 44 states, not including local trips in the D.C. area.  As CNSNews.com has reported, many of Obama's campaign trips were taken under the guise of official business, which means that taxpayers picked up the travel tab.

How Did You Enjoy Your African Vacation, America?  Ohhhh, you didn't get to go to Africa!  Well, you most certainly paid well over half a million dollars for an exquisite African vacation for an entire family as well as a whole slew of other people!  My dear America, you have provided air fare, luxury lodging accommodations, travel expenses within the country, the most lavish of meals and other miscellaneous expenses not only for the first lady, but also for her two daughters, the first mother-in-law (Michelle Obama's mother), and two of the first cousins (the children of Michelle Obama's brother Craig Robinson).  Then you must also figure in provisions for Secret Service protection and the miscellaneous staffers (we know there are at least 24 on staff, which is more than any of our previous First Ladies.  How many of these assistants went on your vacation we do not know).

Obama to Fly Over 9 Hours Just for Speech on Immigration.  President Barack Obama will fly over 9 hours tomorrow [1/29/2013], round-trip from Washington, D.C. to Las Vegas, Nevada, just to deliver a speech on immigration, according to the president's White House schedule.  With Air Force One estimated to cost $182,000 per hour in flight, Obama's trip — that is, only his travel to and from Vegas — will cost taxpayers over $1.6 million.

Fundamental Transformation of America Equals turning legal civil society into illegal one.  Obama took a 9-hour plane ride to Las Vegas yesterday [1/30/2013] at a cost of $1.6 million to unemployed Americans, all to make a speech about the new world order that now describes immigration reform:  wholesale amnesty with no borders in between.

Obama Defiles Reagan Stagecraft.  Despite the potential for a public relations disaster, Barack Obama even golfed during an oil disaster and vacationed with the "family at exactly the same time that Japan was suffering through a nuclear disaster, Libya had been bombed, and there was a threat of a government shutdown."  Also seared into America's mind's eye are images of Barack Obama body surfing in Hawaii as the nation teetered dangerously close to the edge of the fiscal cliff. Then, after very public, very heated negotiations concerning the ominous economic future of the country, Obama brazenly spent $7 million just flying back and forth to Hawaii for vacation.

The poor guy hasn't had a vacation in almost six weeks!
Obama heading to West Palm Beach for weekend vacation.  President Obama will leave Friday [2/15/2013] to vacation in West Palm Beach, Fla., squeezing in some rest and relaxation a few days after giving his State of the Union address.  The White House announced the trip Wednesday and said that no public events were scheduled during the Presidents' Day holiday weekend.

Michelle Obama, daughters going skiing.  First lady Michelle Obama and her daughters are headed out West this weekend for their annual ski trip with family friends, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday.  The White House wasn't specific on their skiing destination.  Last year, they went to Aspen, Colorado. In 2011 and 2010, the first lady and her daughters, Malia and Sasha, stayed in Vail.

The Editor says...
Shouldn't those kids be in school?  Would your local truant officer look the other way if you did the same thing?

Obama to spend long holiday weekend in Florida.  President Barack Obama will spend the long holiday weekend in Florida, relaxing with friends.

Exhausted, Overworked Obama Heading on Vacation.  Our Dear Leader has not had a vacation in over a month and presiding over the destruction of our economy and flying around on his endless campaign has apparently left him in dire need of some time on the golf course.

Sunning and skiing for the Obamas on separate vacations.  Mr. Obama arrived in Florida Friday night [2/15/2013] for a four-day, President's Day weekend of golf lessons and relaxation with a wealthy campaign donor who was once the target of anti-minority bias complaints, while first lady Michelle Obama is vacationing separately in the ski mecca of Aspen, Colo., with their daughters.

Obama Heads to Florida for Weekend With the Boys.  Faced with a long weekend in an empty White House, President Barack Obama figured he needed a getaway, too, so he put together a golf outing with some buddies.

Urgent, impassioned campaign against gun violence interrupted for vacation and some golf lessons.  If he took a break from insinuating that gun-rights supporters don't care about children getting shot for nothing more than a few lessons with the local club pro, that would be callous.  But he's not.  He's taking a break from those insinuations for lessons with thousand-bucks-an-hour top pro instructor Butch Harmon.

$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.

Michelle Vacationing Separately From President Obama.  First Lady Michelle Obama plans to vacation in Aspen, Colorado this Presidents' Day weekend, separately from her husband, who will land this evening in West Palm Beach for his own down time with the boys.  According to Aspen newspapers, both Michelle and Vice President Biden are expected on the slopes.  The White House has not yet announced the trip, and it's not clear when she will be leaving, though she will presumably go today [2/15/2013].

Playing golf with Tiger Woods doesn't look good with 12 million Americans out of work and a $16 trillion debt.
Why President Obama keeps the press away.  President Obama's latest mini-vacation follows in the wake of his lavish Christmas/ New Year holiday on Kailua Beach in Oahu, Hawaii, which cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $7 million. [...] It is not hard to see why Barack Obama is rather camera shy over his latest golfing outing, this time with sports superstar Tiger Woods.  The optics certainly don't look good for a president who has in the past called on Americans to make sacrifices, while blatantly refusing to do so himself.

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.

When life imitates Golf Digest.  Now that every American who wants a job has one, it's time for some rest.  The White House confirmed that today President Obama played a round of golf with Tiger Woods — presumably after a spirited session of skeet shooting.

Obama is [photographed] leaving $1m golfing weekend with Tiger Woods.  Pictures finally appeared of President Obama on Monday evening [2/18/2013] as he headed home to Washington after a relaxing golf weekend which was kept heavily under wraps.

The Editor asks...
Why would Mr. Obama keep an extravagant weekend "under wraps" unless he was doing something shameful?

Michelle Obama and the girls spend Presidents Day weekend at a top ski resort.  Michelle Obama and her daughters spent Presidents Day weekend enjoying private lessons with numerous instructors at a top skiing resort in Aspen, Colorado, it has emerged.  The Obama girls, shadowed by security, enjoyed the hospitality of wealthy Democratic donors Jim and Paula Crown — and angered other visitors by shutting airspace so they could land their plane.  Their trip came as President Obama golfed with Tiger Woods in Florida — a day out that was kept under wraps from the public and the media despite the taxpayer footing much of the massive bill.

Obama's super-secret golf trip.  President Obama has a very carefully crafted public image, and he's willing to shut out his friends in the press to maintain it.  Over a long Presidents Day weekend, Mr. Obama hit the links for the 114th, 115th and 116th time in a little more than four years.  He bunked at the Floridian National Golf Club in Palm Beach, an exclusive gated golf community, and the traveling White House reporters were not allowed to get any closer than a seat in a bus parked just inside the gate, with an unobstructed view of a humble maintenance shed. [...] The president often hides get-togethers that he thinks wouldn't please the public.

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.

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.

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.

With cuts looming, what has Obama done to reduce cost of presidential travel?  Few people know the precise cost of presidential travel — many of the details are secret — but there's no doubt it's very expensive.  Of course there is the cost of operating Air Force One, estimated at about $180,000 an hour, but that is just the beginning.  The president travels with lots of staff, guests, and security.  He has to have extensive, and complex, communications capabilities.  Military transports have to fly his heavily armored car, and a backup, to his destination.  There are costs to local police, fire, and other public safety departments.  All in all, it's a very expensive undertaking.

Senator: Obama's Golf Weekend With Tiger Cost As Much As 341 Federal Workers Furloughed.  In a sharply written statement, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama blasts President Obama for campaigning and not governing.  He calls Obama's response to the sequestration "the most cynical behavior I have seen during my time in Washington." [...] ["]This has been the strategy now for years:  block any attempt to reform the government and then relentlessly attack the reformers.  Does any lawmaker, reporter, or citizen believe that the only way to save taxpayer dollars is to hurt children, that every government program is effective and helpful and not one penny is wasted?"

Where Does the Money Go?  We are saddling our children with $17 trillion in debt to do what, exactly?  Well, we are keeping Barack Obama in the style to which he has become accustomed, for one thing.  Like golfing with Tiger Woods, at a cost sufficient to preserve 341 federal employees from being furloughed, if we think that is a desirable goal.

Living Large in the Obama White House.  The current annual cost of the White House — just in household expenses, not the policy operations for which it exists — is $1.4 billion:  Annually, presidential vacations cost $20 million (the low estimate for one presidential vacation to Hawaii is $4 million, but the true cost is probably five times that); the first family's yearly health-care costs are $7 million; more than $6 million is spent on the White House grounds each year.  Transporting the president cost $346 million last year.

Krauthammer: Obama's Golf With Tiger Travel Expenses Would Pay for a Year of White House Tours.  President Obama actually had the nerve this week to close down the White House to tours as part of budget sequestration.  Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Fox News's Special Report Thursday [3/7/2013] observed, "The President's travel expenses alone for the golfing outing with Tiger Woods would pay for a year of White House visits."

Obama's GOP Dinner Companions Defend Sit-Down with President.  Republicans who enjoyed a three-hour private dinner with President Obama at the Jefferson Hotel last night — with POTUS picking up the tab — defended the meeting, even with the optics of leaving their colleague Sen. Ran Paul (R-Ky.) to filibuster while acquiescing to the president.

Source: Preparations underway for Obama vacation on Martha's Vineyard.  A source tells POLITICO that the Secret Service has started booking accommodations on the toney island off the Massachusetts coast.  So far, the White House isn't saying anything, but the Vineyard is abuzz with the news.  The first family is expected toward the end of August, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Obama Should Cut His Million-Dollar Golf Games, Not White House Tours.  Taking a separate vacation and pretending to be on the PGA tour to train with Tiger Woods' coach and then play a round with Tiger himself cost U.S. taxpayers over $1 million.  As Sen. Jeff Sessions estimated, that was "enough money to save 341 federal workers from furlough."  Incidentally, it happens to be enough to finance the White House tours of the "People's House" for half of the remaining fiscal year.

Carney Rejects Questions on Cost of Presidential Travel, Golf Outings.  The White House would not answer a question about the cost of security for President Barack Obama's golf outings or the president's trip to Illinois this week when compared to the cost of the recently cancelled White House tours.

Obama flies a 747 to Chicago to tout his fuel-saving plan.  [Text of Obama's weekly remarks.]

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.

More than a Vacation a Month for Obamas in 2013.  In the first three months of the year, members of the first family have been on three vacations, averaging a vacation a month.  And now it's being reported that the first daughters are on a spring break vacation in the Bahamas.

Obama Pursues Royal Prerogative as MSM Remains Silent.  Throughout the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, President Obama promised to transform America into something better, a land filled with hope and change.  It appears, however, that the man who vacations in Martha's Vineyard, golfs with Tiger Woods, and sends the Secret Service to accompany his wife and daughters on international vacations to Spain, Mexico, and now the Bahamas has another agenda in mind.  He seeks to transform constitutional presidential authority into royal prerogative.

Exclusive: Sasha, Malia Obama Vacation at Bahamas' 'Atlantis' Resort.  Sasha and Malia Obama are quietly vacationing at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, Breitbart News has learned.  A source tipped Breitbart News off to the First Daughters' spring vacation, which was not publicly announced or reported.  Breitbart subsequently confirmed President Barack Obama's daughters' trip with other sources.

Obama Prioritizes Family Spring Break Over White House Tours.  A few weeks ago, the Obama Administration announced it was suspending public, self-guided tours of the White House as a result of the automatic sequester cuts that the administration proposed in 2011.  While America's students stand outside the White House fence, the First Daughters, Sasha and Malia, are enjoying spring break with friends at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

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.["]

The Perfect Photo that Tells the Real Obama Story.  Barack "I-am-not-a-dictator" Obama is living out the life of Marxism's top enemy:  the capitalist, and he's doing it in the most flagrant of fashions.  With more holidays to boast than any other elected official in world history, the hedonistic lavish vacations that are his trademark became generational this week with his two teenaged daughters in the Bahamas.

Judicial Watch Investigating Cost of Sasha, Malia Bahamas Trip.  Watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of President Barack Obama's administration for expense details on first daughters Sasha's and Malia's spring break vacation, the organization's president Tom Fitton told Breitbart News.

Salon's Joan Walsh Shrieks Media Must Respect POTUS's Daughters, Yet Attacked Jenna Bush In 2001.  The very same Joan Walsh, who today rails about the need to show POTUS's daughters "respect" and "decency", in 2001 penned an article for Salon implying that Jenna Bush, a teenager at the time, may have a drinking problem.

Having tired of the Bahamas...
Report: Obama Daughters Skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho.  A local news affiliate in Idaho reports that the Obama daughters are spending Spring Break skiing at Sun Valley:  "Sun Valley is known to be a getaway for celebrities and the First Family is no different," reports KMVT.

First Daughters' Spring Break Part II: Sun Valley.  Nothing anyone does or says is going to change who these people are.  It is now crystal clear that no amount of public disapproval or disparagement will deter them from spending our money to wantonly indulge themselves as often as they please.  After all, in their minds, they're worth it.  What is also clearly obvious is that if by chance there's an uptick in criticism of the first family's endless excesses, their response will be an even more defiant display of conspicuous consumption while the liberal media does their part by accusing critics of racism.

White House Scrubs First Daughters Ski Trip Report.  A local news affiliate in Idaho reported that the First Daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama, are on a Spring Break ski trip in Sun Valley, Idaho.  The story quickly spread across the Internet when picked up by the highly trafficked Drudge Report website.  But hours later, the story disappeared from the KMVT website without an update or correction.  Breitbart News confirmed that the White House requested that the post be removed.

Media compliant with White House censorship.  While spring break students visiting Washington DC are locked out of the sequestered White House, the resident students of the White House, Malia and Sasha Obama, are enjoying their spring break.  First they jetted off to the Bahamas for sun and fun and then, for a change in weather, jetted off to Sun Valley, Idaho for some skiing. [...] But, unless you got an early glimpse of the Drudge Report or a local Idaho television news report, the Obama sisters' double spring break vacation disappeared from the news.

The Obamas live the 1 percent life.  The Obamas ended 2012 and kicked off 2013 in an $8 million, 6,000-square-foot house in Hawaii (they left well before Dec. 25, by the way).  There, the president played five rounds of golf (breaking the 100-rounds-as-president threshold).  Scarcely a month into Term 2, Mrs. Obama headed off for Aspen, taking along the couple's daughters. [...] Then, last week, reports emerged that the Obama girls were kicking it in the Bahamas for spring break.  Days later, a Colorado news station, KMTV, reported that the girls were now skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho.  The White House flacks didn't like that one bit.

Obama Daughters Vacationing In Sun Valley.  [Scrubbed]

Left Media Selectively Edit Steve King on Sasha, Malia Bahamas Vacation.  Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King questioned President Barack Obama's decision to allow his daughters Sasha and Malia to vacation in the Bahamas for spring break this week during a Wednesday radio appearance.  King said that the president allowing Sasha and Malia to vacation in a luxurious Bahamian resort, Atlantis, is "the wrong image to be coming out of the White House," especially when the administration is trying to make sequestration painful for ordinary Americans.

Obama Golfs For First Time Since Sequester Cuts.  With the sun shining at the nation's capital, President Obama went golfing Saturday afternoon [3/30/2013] — his first golf outing since the sequester cuts went into effect on March 1.  The president hit the links with friend and Chicago businessman Marty Nesbitt and White House staffers Michael Brush and Marvin Nicholson, the White House said.

Obama plays first round of golf since sequester budget cuts took effect.  President Obama took advantage of mild Washington weather on Saturday [3/30/2013] by heading out to the golf course, his first visit to the links since across-the-board sequester cuts took effect on March 1.

Media Ignores Lavish Obama Vacations, Slammed Bush for Mountain Biking.  Eight months into President George W. Bush's second term, the Washington Post wrote that Bush's frequent trips to his Texas ranch symbolized "a lackadaisical approach to the world's most important day job" and gleefully noted that Bush was intent on setting the record for being on "vacation" — or away from Washington, D.C. — for the most number of days of any president.

Sasha and Malia Obama 'Learn What They Live'.  If it's really true that "children learn what they live," then the First Daughters are learning how to be highbrow aristocrats whose extravagances are enjoyed without embarrassment, in full view and at the expense of the suffering.  That's right, "the suffering," because notwithstanding the onslaught of Obamaganda, most people in America today, thanks to Sasha and Malia's Dad, are suffering in one way or another.  Meanwhile, when it comes to showering themselves with the perks of the good life, the Obamas exercise zero restraint.

With White House Closed, Biden Takes 3rd Vacation of 2013.  On Thursday [3/28/2013], VP Joe Biden jetted off to the luxurious Kawaih Island in South Carolina for a relaxing weekend of sun and golf.  It's his third vacation of the year.  Biden began the year relaxing in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Over Presidents' Day, he took to the slopes in Colorado.  His day job isn't too shabby either.  In the past couple of weeks, he has spent time in London, Paris and Rome.

The Obamas' Unending Summer Vacation.  A record-breaking 47.8 million Americans are on food stamps, an increase of about 1.3 million from a year earlier.  The official unemployment rate is 7.7 percent, a number that obscures the reality that millions of Americans who have given up looking for work aren't counted, and that the labor force participation rate of 63.6 percent measured in December 2012, is the lowest in 32 years.  The national debt is $16.7 trillion and growing.  White House tours have been cancelled due to sequestration.  And amidst it all, Barack Obama and his family have taken four lavish vacations in three months.

Barack Obama believes all Americans should make sacrifices — except himself .  The use of Air Force One costs around $180,000 an hour.  The First Family has already taken three vacations this year, including the president's February golfing getaway with Tiger Woods in Florida, and Michelle Obama's ski trip to Aspen, Colorado.  Vice President Joe Biden is also currently enjoying his third holiday of 2013, a five day stay at the luxurious Kiawah Island resort in South Carolina, famed for its golfing facilities, where a round alone can set you back $353.  Just a few months ago, the Obamas' Christmas/New Year trip to Hawaii cost US taxpayers an estimated $7 million.

First Couple hosts celeb-filled concert amid sequestration.  President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle will host a star-studded roster of music legends April 9 for another glitzy installment in the "In Performance at the White House" concert series, according to a White House press released issued Tuesday. [...] Though the White House notably canceled all visitor tours in March, ostensibly due to sequestration, the First Couple's series of White House concerts — billed as "the nation's highest honor for popular song" — manages to survive.

The Editor says...
This event will be televised on PBS, largely at the taxpayers' expense.

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].

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.

Barack XVI and Michelle Antoinette.  From lavish White House dinners to the non-stop celebrity bashes that run the gamut from the secret 2009 Halloween Bash to the 2013 "private" victory Conga Line bash, Versailles on the Potomac rocks year around.  Vacations?  How about June 21-27, 2011, trip taken by First Lady Michelle Obama, her family and her staff to South Africa and Botswana.  or Michelle Obama's August 2010 vacation in Spain that cost American Taxpayers $467,585.

First Family Vacations.  Judicial Watch has been at the forefront of exposing the trips and the waste of taxpayer dollars through Freedom of Information Act requests and lawsuits, to obtain the details, when necessary.

2010 Marred By Debt, Waste, Costly Hawaiian Vacation.  As if taxpayers haven't been exploited enough, the commander-in-chief racks up a hefty tab at a luxury beachfront retreat in Kailua Bay.  A local newspaper published some of the daunting numbers, which include $63,000 for the First Lady to take an early flight to the island, $1 million for the president's round-trip flight and hundreds of thousands for beachfront homes for secret service and military personnel as well as a White House entourage.  That doesn't even include a quarter of a million dollars for local police overtime and $10,000 for an ambulance.

Obama flying in Newtown human props for anti-gun speech.  Barack Obama knows full well that when it comes to using facts to argue for gun-grabbing laws, he doesn't have a leg to stand on.  Cue the human props!  After delivering an anti-gun speech in Hartford, Conn., later today [4/8/2013], Obama will fly 11 families of slain Sandy Hook children to D.C.

Obama flying 11 relatives of Sandy Hook victims to D.C. on Air Force One.  President Barack Obama is bringing 11 relatives of those killed in the shooting at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School to Washington on Air Force One on Monday so they can personally encourage senators to back gun legislation that faces tough opposition.

Back from fundraisers, President Obama hits the links.  To demonstrate that he feels the nation's economic pain over sequestration cuts, President Obama earlier this week announced that he would return 5 percent of his salary in a stand with federal workers.  With that announcement, some hoops at the Easter egg roll and two grueling California fundraisers out of the way, the president today took to the golf course to stand with his caddy.

Obama's 1 percent lifestyle hits a nerve.  But what seems stuck in the craw of a lot of you readers out there was last week's column on the Obamas' 1 percent lifestyle — the endless ski and beach vacations for the couple and their daughters, Vice President Joseph R. Biden's nights in London and Paris that cost you more than $1 million, even the president's 118th round of golf while in office.

Air Force One Becomes Politicized Gun Control Tool.  Flying Newtown victims' families on Air Force One to lobby Congress is an obvious abuse of presidential power.

Obama's life is one big party.
Obama enjoys 'sequester soul concert' at White House amid massive budget cuts.  President Obama showed off his grooviest 'dad dancing' on Tuesday night as he got down to the best of Memphis Soul at a White House show.  The President enjoyed a star-studded concert celebrating the sound of Soulsville as he and wife Michelle belted out the classics performed by artists including Queen Latifah, Booker T. Jones, Cyndi Lauper and Justin Timberlake.  He was also joined on the front row by daughters Malia and Sasha who giggled and shook their heads at their dad's dance moves.

Let's Stay Sequestered: Obama Hosts Soul Show.  This evening, just hours after Obama's chef Sam Kass told reporters he would be furloughed because of sequestration cuts, the White House rolled out the red carpet for a celebration of Memphis soul.  The White House that's still closed to public tours because of sequestration cuts.

Obama piggybacks Texas fundraiser onto Bush library dedication.  President Obama has tacked a fundraising event onto his trip to Texas later this month to help dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, significantly cutting the cost of the trip for the Democratic Party as it hunts for campaign cash. [...] If Mr. Obama were heading to Texas solely to raise funds for his party, it would be deemed a "political" trip and the DNC would be forced to pick up the tab for his Air Force One travel.

Apparently the same loophole is in use here:
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.

Obama Golfs Ahead of WH Correspondents' Dinner.  President Obama spent Saturday afternoon at the golf course, just a few hours before he is set to attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner later this evening [4/27/2013].

The Editor says...
A day on the golf course, followed by a night of partying with the press, should count as a do-nothing vacation day.  And it would, if the news media were honest, or if the president were a Republican.

Report: Obama Spent Twice as Much Time on Vacation/Golf as Economy.  According to a new report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Institute (GAI), President Barack Obama has spent over twice as many hours on vacation and golf (976 hours) as he has in economic meetings of any kind (474.4 hours).

President Obama: Working Hard or Hardly Working?  President Obama spends a lot of time golfing; he even famously went golfing with Tiger Woods in Florida, while his family took a ski vacation (thus doubling the financial costs to taxpayers of their vacation).

Misplaced Priorities.  President Barack Obama has spent more time on vacations and golf outings during his presidency than he has spent in meetings on the economy, according to a report released Sunday [4/28/2013].  The Government Accountability Institute (GAI) combed official records to produce a report on how the president has allocated his time.  It found Obama has spent only six hours in meetings on the economy so far this year.

Economy Less Important To Obama Than Vacations, Golf.  The Government Accountability Institute, which has mined the records of the White House calendar, says President Obama "has spent a total of 474.4 hours (or 47.4 10-hour workdays) in economic meetings or briefings of any kind throughout his presidency" while he "has played 115 total rounds of golf and spent 86 days on vacation, for an estimated combined total of 976 hours."  Don't forget that this is the president who has refocused his attention on, or pivoted toward, jobs and the economy on multiple occasions.

Barack Obama doesn't look like a serious, well-informed president.  In 2013, President Obama has spent 6 total hours in economic meetings of any kind [...] Throughout his time in office, President Obama has played 115 total rounds of golf and spent 86 days on vacation, for an estimated combined total of 976 hours.

Obama had secret inauguration party at White House: report.  A mix of A-listers from politics and entertainment mingled during the on-the-down-low party, according to The Hill.

Barack Obama's America.  Barack Obama's America is a place where the president's daughters can vacation on the taxpayers' dime in the Caribbean and twice at ski resorts, all within three months, plus attend ritzy private schools, while poor black children at horribly failing schools in the District of Columbia have their "opportunity scholarships" taken away.

First Family Vacations.  The Obamas' opulent vacation lifestyle is particularly objectionable during a time when government debt is out of control.  President Obama is not king and his administration should stop ignoring the FOIA open records law and account to the American people for the spending on his luxury vacations.

Taxpayer Bill for Obama's Hawaii Vacations: $20 Million.  The total cost to taxpayers of Obama's vacations to Hawaii since becoming president is likely in excess of $20 million, and possibly much, much more.  During a time of budget deficits that threaten the nation's security and its future, the Obamas have chosen to maintain a "family tradition" and vacation halfway around the world instead of finding far cheaper alternatives closer to home.

Judicial Watch Sues U.S. Secret Service for Obama's Hawaiian Vacation Document.  On January 2, 2013, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request about taxpayer funds used to pay for President Obama and his entourage to travel to Hawaii.  The Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit seeks access to:  ["]All records concerning use of U.S. Government funds to provide security and/or other services to President Obama and any companions on their January 1 and 2, 2013 trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.["]  By a letter dated January 31, 2013, the Secret Service acknowledged that they received the request.  By law the agency was required to determine whether to comply with the FOIA request within 20 days and provide Judicial Watch with the requisite notifications by February 11, 2013 at the latest.  But as of May 6, the Secret Service had yet to produce any record.

Another African junket, to be follwed closely by another vacation:
Obama to Travel to Africa.  The White House press office announces that President Obama and his wife, Michelle, will travel to Africa next month.

Secret Service Sued for Obama's Hawaiian Vacation Documents.  With approximately one-third of congressional committees preoccupied with investigating Obama corruption — from Benghazi-gate, to the IRS scandal, to Obamacare propaganda — the First Family might be tempted to escape to some far away location for vacation.  As Judicial Watch knows all too well, this is something the Obamas have done with some frequency since taking office in 2009, and largely on the taxpayers' dime.

'Let Me Be Clear'.  While Obama hit the links for his 123rd round of golf since entering office (Sunday's foursome included Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary and the subject of one of the week's non-scandal scandals), White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer hit the Sunday talk-show circuit.

Obamas looking at Farm Neck vacation?  There's been no official word from the White House, but we're hearing the Obamas have their eyes on a house in Farm Neck on Martha's Vineyard.

Michelle Obama may take extended summer getaway with daughters: report.  In between all the political brush fires that have engulfed the White House in recent days, President Obama and wife Michelle Obama have still managed time for vacation planning.  The nation's first family is looking to cool their jets this summer at a house in Farm Neck on Martha's Vineyard, according to the Boston Globe.  Obama and his family are no stranger to Martha's Vineyard, having made three previous summer visits to Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark.

The audacity of his audacity.  [Scroll down]  In the meantime, unemployment remains excessively high and due to ObamaCare, excessive regulations, and high taxes thanks to this president and economically ignorant members of Congress who voted for his policies, the jobless "recovery" continues and there is no sign of any significant economic growth on the horizon.  The administration continues to stonewall investigations of Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and a number of other scandals.  And the president continues to act like he's on vacation just about all the time, and plays more golf that the three presidents before him did in five terms in office.  President Obama doesn't fiddle while Rome burns, President Obama parties while Rome burns.

Obama's travel gets more scrutiny as sequester affects summer plans.  As federal workers brace for unpaid furlough days because of the sequester, U.S. President Obama's travel and its costs has drawn more scrutiny, observers said. [...] "The president is asking the people to sacrifice but never himself," U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, said this month when he introduced a resolution asking Obama to skip vacations so White House tours could resume.

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.

The Obama Family Trip to Africa to Cost $60 to $100 Million.  President Obama and his family will be going to Africa later this month.  But the trip won't be cheap; it's expected to cost American taxpayers $60 to $100 million, according to the Washington Post.

Document: Major resources needed for Obama Africa trip.  Hundreds of U.S. Secret Service agents will be dispatched to secure facilities in Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.  A Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship, with a fully staffed medical trauma center, will be stationed offshore in case of an emergency.  Military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay.  Fighter jets will fly in shifts, giving 24-hour coverage over the president's airspace, so they can intervene quickly if an errant plane gets too close.

Report: Obama family's Africa trip will cost $60 to $100 million .  President Barack Obama will hold bilateral meetings with leaders in Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania between June 26 and July 3, and the wife and kids are going along for the ride.  The Obama family vacation will include air transportation for 56 vehicles, among them 14 parade limousines, trucks carrying bulletproof glass to install at hotels, and two ambulances:  one for dealing with biological and chemical contaminants, one with x-ray equipment.  Adding to the costs are 100 Secret Service Agents for the first three cities on the itinerary, 65 agents at the fourth, and 80 to 100 more to guard the Obama family 24/7.

White House defends high bills for Africa trip.  The Obamas' trip, at a time of "sequestration" budget cuts, will take them to Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa from June 26 to July 3.  Citing a confidential planning document, the Washington Post reported that the trip will cost between $60 million to $100 million.

White House: Obama's $100 Million Africa Trip 'Great Bang for Our Buck'.  After questions over the $100 million price tag of the President's trip to Africa arose, the White House defended the costs claiming that the expenditure offers the nation "great bang for our buck."  After saying that the White House doesn't determine the costs of travel and security, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said that the visits to these little-noticed parts of the world would be good exposure for the United States.

The Editor says...
Good exposure for the United States?  Isn't that what television is for?

Obamas to flout their wealth in the poorest regions of Africa.  Not since the heydays of Russia's dachas has the world seen a regime as flagrantly lavish as the Barack one:  "A Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship, with a fully staffed medical trauma center, will be stationed offshore in case of emergency." (CBS News)  Look at us, folks, we're America's first family and there's no end to the money we spend or the mainstream media-delivered braggadocio of the Obamas!

Pot o' Gold: First Family Plans Dublin Trip to See Exhibit on President's Irish Ancestry.  On Monday [6/16/2013], President Obama will head to Ireland for the G8 summit.  While Obama participates in those talks, Michelle Obama and the kids are slated to head to Dublin's Trinity College to take a look at an exhibition on Obama's Irish ancestry.

Michelle Obama's Irish/German/African Pre-Summer Vacation.  Here is how it's done:  The president announces his plan to attend the G8 summit at the Lough Erne resort in Northern Ireland.  Michelle convinces Barack to schedule some sort of secondary sideshow so the family can use it as an excuse to travel in the highest possible style, cost-free, compliments of the American taxpayer.  On this trip, the ancillary appearance will be in Belfast where President Obama will subject Irish students to a sizeable dose of his customary blarney.

Why not Zimbabwe?  When I heard about President Barack Obama's plans for a $100 million trip to Africa with his family and entourage, I was surprised that Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) is not on the itinerary.  I would think that Zimbabwe would be a place that President Obama would especially like to visit, because Zimbabwe is a country where almost all of Obama's redistributionist dreams have come true.

Costly Obama family trip to Africa under fire amid sequester cuts.  President Obama's trip this month to Africa, with the first family tagging along, is projected to cost taxpayers as much as $100 million, sparking criticism as the federal government scrimps along during sequester-related budget cuts.

Obama under fire as he turns the G8 Summit in Ireland into a family trip.  President Obama may be earning the favor of his Irish ancestors by attending the G8 conference with his family but it is stirring the ire of American taxpayers outraged by the cost of the trip.  The two-day trip around the Republic is expected to cost U.S. taxpayers more than $5.2 million.  The President, his wife and daughters touched down in Belfast amid the biggest security operation ever mounted in Northern Ireland.

Barack Bamboozles Berlin.  [Scroll down]  Speaking of contradictions, Mr. Obama shared that [John F.] Kennedy's words are "timeless because they call upon us to care more about things than just our own self-comfort."  This from a president who's about to embark on a $100 million African vacation, toting along a wife whose "self-comfort" demands recently included bunking in a $4,000-a-night Princess Grace suite in Ireland.

Costs overshadowing agenda as Obama heads for Africa.  As President Obama prepares for a week-long stay in Africa, the goals of his trip — boosting economic partnerships and engagement with the U.S. and promoting democratic development in African nations — are in danger of being overshadowed.  In the days before his Wednesday departure, attention in Washington has focused instead on the costs of the three-nation trip, estimated to be as high as $100 million.

Puttin' On the Ritz.  Things are heating up in D.C. with scandals being exposed so rapidly it's hard to keep track of them. [...] Naturally, the way for someone like Obama who evades all responsibility to handle this is to travel abroad in grand style, hoping once again to attain that level of celebrity that has carried him this far above his abilities to govern.  On a trip estimated to cost at least $100 million, he got off on the wrong foot immediately [...]

Keyword: junket
What are the Obamas Doing in Africa?  President Barack Obama's trip to Africa has largely been ignored by the U.S. media, and for good reason:  it seems to have no real purpose. [...] Much of his trip to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania consists of sightseeing with his family — and an entourage of 1,000, at a cost to taxpayers of $60 to $100 million.

High Cost of VIP Travel: Biden's $665,545 Hotel Bill in Moscow, Obama's $450,000 Warsaw Tab.  The Washington Times reports that the cost of Obama's Africa trip, estimated as high as $100 million, is overshadowing President Obama's agenda.  If past VIP trips are any indication, lodging and local transportation would represent only a fraction of the $100 million, yet those costs would likely still dwarf those of the average citizen traveling abroad.

Americans reward the Obamas' endless African safari with a new poll plummet.  American presidents have often traveled abroad to change the topic of conversation in troubled times and boost their support at home.  This week-long African safari with his family costing American taxpayers an estimated $100 million was designed to do just that for Barack Obama.

Obama's 2013 Air Force One bill $24 million — $6.5 million for Africa alone.  President Obama, already the most traveled chief executive in the modern era after internationalist former President George H.W. Bush, is expected to run up an Air Force One tab of at least $24 million this year alone, according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.  Already Obama, just back from a trip with his family and a huge entourage of staff to several African nations, has run up a $15.2 million bill just for Air Force One in the first six months of 2013.

Time to Sequester Air Force One Vacation Flights.  Air Force One costs taxpayers $179,750 per hour.  It's time to sequester President Obama's use of Air Force One and limit it to official business rather than vacations and sight seeing tours.

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.

Obama on Track to Break His Annual Golf Record.  According to White House Dossier, with 18 rounds of golf played by June 30, President Obama is on track to surpass his 2011 record of 34 rounds completed.

Obama returning to Martha's Vineyard for August vacation.  President Obama is returning to Martha's Vineyard next month, making his fourth trip to the Massachusetts island since he became president.  Obama will arrive on the Vineyard on Aug. 10, and plans to remain on the island until Aug. 18, according to the White House. [...] The Obama family also vacationed on the Vineyard in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Obama Golfing with Sports Journalists.  President Obama today [7/13/2013] is playing golf with two longtime Washington-area sports journalists, Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser. [...] It's Obama's 20th time playing in what is shaping up to be a record year for presidential golf, and the 131st time he has played since becoming president.

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.

GOP lawmaker: The Obamas use Air Force One as 'personal toy'.  Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) said Thursday morning that President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are using Air Force One and other official aircraft as their "personal toys."  "I'm not suggesting ... that we compromise safety or security," Coble said on the House floor.  "But the first family, it seems to me, treats Air Force One and related aircraft as their personal toys — a very expensive toy, I might add."

First family returns to Martha's Vineyard for summer vacation, while furloughs kick in.  The first family is returning this summer to Martha's Vineyard, the third time the Obamas have vacationed on the exclusive Massachusetts island in the past four years. [...] The vacation is drawing some criticism about the president relaxing among the rich and famous while drastic cuts to the federal budget known as sequester kick in with full force, including the start this month of furloughs for 85 percent of the Defense Department's civilian workforce.

Obamas to stay at $7.6 million Martha's Vineyard mansion with 75 rooms booked for staff.  Amid a slow-growth recession rebound and mounting unemployment concerns, President Obama and his family are tightening their belts, just like the rest of America.  With their usual $21 million vacation home on Martha's VIneyard unavailable for the first family's August 10-18 holiday, they have rented a nearby $7.6 million palace instead.

Obama Vineyard vacation at $7.6m private resort.  The Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, the exclusive playground for presidents and their families, is about to get its annual summer infusion of cash and attention as President Obama and his family prepare to arrive August 10 for an eight-day vacation.

Obama Vineyard vacation at $7.6m private resort; more than 75 rooms booked for staff.  The Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, the exclusive playground for presidents and their families, is about to get its annual summer infusion of cash and attention as President Obama and his family prepare to arrive August 10 for an eight-day vacation.  Local reports indicate that the first family will likely be staying at a $7.6 million resort home on southern edge of the island in the town of Chilmark where homes feature water access to Chilmark Pond, tennis courts and swimming pools.

Does the Obama family really need to take this expensive vacation?  Does anyone at the Obama White House understand how bad this looks?  I guess not because Valerie Jarrett is going for the ride!  Does anyone in the White House Press Corps dare ask that simple question:  Why such an extravagant vacation when so many middle class Americans are downsizing their own vacation plans?  At some point, we have to conclude that the Obama team is "out of touch," "tone deaf," not very "savvy" or just plain arrogant.  Maybe all four!

Obama Tees Off into Birthday Weekend with Golf.  The president left the White House unusually early on Saturday [8/3/2013] for the trip to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to squeeze in some golfing time before heading to Camp David in the afternoon.

Obama: Do as I say, not as I do.  While his premise — work hard, succeed; loaf, fail — is spot on, he moves on in his Harvard mind to conclude, nonsensically, that succeeding while others fail is inherently unjust.  "This growing inequality is ... morally wrong," he said in Galesburg. [...] Said by the man who runs Washington — the biggest insider in the nation's capital.  And said by the man who flies in his barber from Chicago for a new fade, who has suits hand made by a private tailor, whose daughters vacation in Cancun, whose wife suns it up in Florida one day, then hits the slopes in Aspen the next — all on the taxpayers' dime.

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."

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.

Critics bash Obama's plans for vacay.  Obama is scheduled to arrive on Saturday after he and first lady Michelle Obama travel to Orlando, where he will address the Disabled American Veterans National Convention.  While on the Vineyard this year, the Obamas will be staying at the $7.6 million vacation home of David Schulte, a Democratic campaign donor and corporate finance manager.

America's Nero.  This week, as his country is in the midst of a poor economy and his citizens are not allowed to visit the White House because of budget cuts, the President and his family will be taking another extravagant vacation at Martha's Vineyard, the playground of the rich.  The Obama family enjoys the lifestyles of the rich and famous and has vacationed in exotic locales like Mexico, Bahamas, Aspen, Palm Beach, New York, Hawaii, Spain, and Africa to name only a few.  President Obama has just returned from a $100 million trip to Africa.  While there was "official business" to conduct on this visit, there was also plenty of time for sightseeing.  No need to worry about any "official business" at Martha's Vineyard.  The First Family will be enjoying the sights, while the President will be enjoying the golf course.  They will be staying in an $8 million mansion, owned by a Democratic activist and donor.

Another week, another holiday.  President Obama leaves for Martha's Vineyard on Saturday [8/10/2013] for still another vacation.  The Government Accountability Institute calculates that Mr. Obama spends twice as much time at leisure than on policy briefings.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, considering the policies.  Nevertheless, we're paying a lot for a debt to pleasure.  Nobody begrudges a president a little time off, but we're paying $2 million for a comfortable holiday on Cape Cod, the Massachusetts summer retreat of the wealthy elites. [...] Mr. Obama, who constantly warns of the widening gap between rich and poor, is staying in the $7 million mansion of a rich Chicago campaign contributor.

Inside the Obamas' $7.6 million Martha's Vineyard vacation home.  The Obamas are in vacation-mode today, starting their annual eight-day vacation on Martha's Vineyard, where they are staying at a $7.6 million vacation home with views of the Atlantic.  The First Family have been vacationing on the Vineyard for years, but this is the first time they will stay at the luxury four-bedroom Chilmark House designed by architect Rick Sundberg.  With wall-to-ceiling windows, the 5,000 sq ft home has stunning views over the ocean, as well as an infinity pool, tennis courts and a half basketball court.

Cheers, sighs over Obamas' visit.  The Obamas — who skipped their annual tradition of coming to the Vineyard during last year's re-election campaign — are staying for nine days in a six-bedroom estate owned by David Schulte, a Chicago-based corporate restructuring specialist and friend of the president.

Obama Arrives on Martha's Vineyard.  FWIW, the Obama daughters are not yet with their parents, and this pool[ report]er is told they are not here yet.  But we have no further information.

Obama Arrives in Martha's Vineyard For Eight-Day Vacation.  Obama and his wife, Michelle, arrived in the Massachusetts vacation destination after first making a stop in Florida to speak to a veterans group.  Their dog, Bo, also traveled on Air Force One.  The couple's children were not on the plane but would be joining their parents on the island.

The Editor says...
The report immediately above states that the dog was aboard Air Force One.  Later reports revealed that the dog was flown in on a V-22 Osprey.  So the President and his wife arrived on Air Force One, the dog came later on a V-22, and the kids will be flown in on a third aircraft when they get good and ready.

Marine Corps deploys Ospreys for first time in support of presidential flight.  The Marine Corps on Saturday said MV-22 Ospreys were deployed for the first time in support of a presidential flight aboard Marine One.  Marine Helicopter Squadron One, the military unit responsible for transporting President Obama and top administration officials, said in a statement that the premiere combat aircraft carried White House staff members, reporters and Secret Service agents during a flight to Martha's Vineyard.

Day 2 of Obama vacation brings 2nd golf game.  Obama spent nearly five hours at Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown with Washington power broker Vernon Jordan, former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Allison Davis, an Obama friend from Chicago.

Dog Days of Summer: Bo Obama flies on Osprey to Martha's Vineyard vacation.  The first family's dog, Bo, reportedly joined the Obamas in style over the weekend for their weeklong vacation in Martha's Vineyard, Mass.  Bo, a Portuguese water dog, hitched a ride on one of two Osprey MV-22 helicopters that landed with various personnel ahead of President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, The Telegraph newspaper in Britain reported.  It was the first time the Ospreys — which take off like helicopters but fly like planes — were used in support of a presidential flight aboard Marine One.

First dog Bo is airlifted to Obama holiday home.  When President Barack Obama goes on holiday to the seaside things can get complicated.  Rooms have to be found for dozens of Secret Service agents, someone has to carry a selection of presidential basketballs, and of course the family dog needs his own state-of-the-art aircraft.

Obama tees off his luxury Martha's Vineyard vacation with a round of golf.  It is estimated the cost of the entire vacation, including the 75 rooms booked at a nearby hotel for staff and security, could reach $2 million.

Barack Obama decamps to Martha's Vineyard and thumbs his nose again at America's middle class.  Yet again it is the British press doing the job the American mainstream media chooses not to.  The Telegraph has a story (prominently headlined on the highly influential Drudge Report) about the US president's dog Bo, being specially airlifted to the exclusive Massachusetts resort of Martha's Vineyard to join the First Family for their summer vacation.

How nice! A vacation on taxpayer dime.  The Vineyard trip for $2 million is cheap compared to the Africa visit for $100 million.  Other recent holidays include the golf weekend in West Palm Beach, the daughters' trip to Atlantis, and Michelle taking the daughters to Aspen less than two months after the Hawaiian Christmas break.

The First Couple's Chance to Put Themselves First.  While their daughters, Malia and Sasha, are away at summer camp and not scheduled to join them until later in the week, [...]

The Editor says...
The Obamas have been putting themselves first for the last 4½ years.

Obamas Attend Cocktail Party at NPR Host's Home.  President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attended a cocktail party this evening at the Martha's Vineyard home of National Public Radio host and special correspondent Michele Norris, according to the White House pool report.  Norris's husband, Broderick Johnson, is a lobbyist who worked on Obama's 2012 reelection campaign.

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.

O's family (de)values.  How's the vacation going Mr. President?  You seem to have everything you could possibly need — an island full of trust-funded moonbats, a $7.6-million rented mansion, 70-or-so coatholders, plenty of billionaire Wall Street hedge fund managers to play golf with, a cocktail party in West Tisbury the other night hosted by an ex-NPR host — oh, how simply precious, NPR!

President Obama enjoys 'date night' with Michelle as first couple holiday without daughters in Martha's Vineyard.  President Obama has been splitting his time between rounds of golf and date night dinners with Michelle as they spend their annual summer vacation in Martha's Vineyard while their daughters are away at summer camp.  This is the fourth time the Obamas have spent a week on the Massachusetts island during his presidency, but instead of making trips to the bookstore with the girls, he has been taking Michelle out to an array of the island's nicest restaurants.

The Editor says...
No word on how much the girls' summer camp cost the taxpayers.  We're not supposed to ask.

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.

Imagine the reaction from the press if George W. Bush had done this.
Obama finds time for Egyptian condemnation — and then right back to golf.  On Thursday, Mr. Obama delivered a six-minute statement to reporters about the violence that has left hundreds dead in Cairo this week, then immediately headed off for another round of golf in Martha's Vineyard, his usual summer vacation spot where he and his family are spending the week.

Obama golfs, Kerry lectures, Egyptians die in droves.  Put it this way: President Obama's Egypt policy is about as effective as his Syria policy.  And for the first time Wednesday, with the number of dead and injured mounting, one could almost envision Egypt's descent into out-and-out civil war.  Obama was briefed, said nothing and went back to golf.

Sasha and Malia join the Obamas on Martha's Vineyard.  This afternoon, The White House issued a short statement saying President and Michelle Obama's two children, Sasha and Malia, arrived on Martha's Vineyard today to spend the rest of the week with their parents vacationing on the Island.  The White House closely guards the privacy of the two children, and did not release any information about where they spent the first part of the week.

Why Barack Obama Chooses To Vacation In Martha's Vineyard — Its Name Is Valerie Jarrett.  Given all of the work investigating the murky life and influence that is de-facto President Valerie Jarrett, I must admit to a bit of surprise at mention that Jarrett is a longtime summer resident of Martha's Vineyard, and it was that very location that some believe was the true birthplace of Barack Obama's bid to become President of the United States.  Lends more than a bit of troubled waters to that otherwise beautiful playground of the rich and famous.

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."

President Obama Spends Night Out on Town as Vineyard Vacation Winds Down.  As their Vineyard vacation draws to a close, the Obamas finally hit the beach Saturday before heading out to dinner in Edgartown.  The president also squeezed in another round of golf.  The president, first lady and daughters Malia and Sasha arrived at a private beach off Pohogonot Road at around 10 a.m. Saturday morning. [...] After spending a few hours on the beach, President Obama went back to the golf course for the fifth time this trip.

Obama Golf Counter:  Well worth a visit.

Obama Played Over 27 Hours of Golf During His Vacation.  Sadly, America is at its safest when he's on the golf course.

Obama played over 27 hours of golf during his vacation.  President Obama played six rounds of golf with twelve different partners, spending twenty-seven and a half hours on three different courses.  He made five outings to local restaurants, including two dinners with friends, one intimate night out with the first lady, one family dinner and one run for fried-food pick up.

Obama hits the links for sixth round of golf during vacation.  President Obama spent his last day of vacation on the golf course, the sixth round of his eight-day Martha's Vineyard trip.  For the 139th round of his presidency, he returned to the Vineyard Club in Edgartown for the third time during his vacation.

Obama's Vacation by the Numbers.  Obama played six rounds of golf with 12 different partners, spending 27.5 hours on three different courses.

President Obama and his family return to Washington from their Martha's Vineyard vacation.  Before returning, the president squeezed in one final round of golf, his sixth of the vacation, before boarding Air Force One on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, for the trip home with his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha.

Presidential Pets Get The Air Support Benghazi Didn't.  If Sunny does follow in Bo's footsteps, he'll soon be privately airlifted, as was Bo, to Martha's Vineyard aboard a Marine MV-22 Osprey, a helicopter that operates at a cost of $11,000 per hour.  Bo was given a ride on one of two MV-22s that took various personnel on the trip with the Obamas and arrived ahead of them.  When the administration guts the defense budget to the point where training and military readiness are suffering, why are scarce military aircraft being used at all on a presidential vacation and why is the presidential dog being ferried on one?

Obama's New Dog Cost $2,300.  Adoption or rescue?  The Obamas don't even consider that for unborn children, let alone a dog.

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

Obama Goes Golfing.  After delivering a statement on Syria this afternoon, Barack Obama jumped in the presidential limo and hit the links.

Obama, one of the most-traveled presidents in history, to hit the road again.  Already one of the most-traveled presidents in history, President Obama will travel next month to Indonesia, where he grew up as a boy.  The White House announced Friday [9/13/2013] that Mr. Obama will visit the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei in addition to Indonesia from Oct. 6 to Oct. 12 "as part of his ongoing commitment to increase U.S. political, economic and security engagement with the Asia Pacific."  Mr. Obama lived for several years in Indonesia with his mother and stepfather after moving there from Hawaii as a child.

The Editor says...
While in Indonesia, he attended a government school, which was a privilege extended only to those with Indonesian citizenship.  His legal name at that time was (and may still be) Barry Soetoro.  Either of those two things would disqualify him for the office he now holds.

Obama golfing with ESPN sportscasters.  The president is golfing [9/15/2013] at Maryland's Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington, with Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon, co-hosts of ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" program.

Yes, people were dying in a gunfight across town, but Obama had a speech to give.  Barack Obama has never been accused of possessing the most refined sense of appropriate, especially when it comes to what normal people regard as tragedies. [...] When a 133-foot-tall wall of tsunami water rolled 10 miles inland to kill 16,000 in Japan two years ago, Obama expressed his sorrow, then went golfing.  When bad weather canceled his trip to the funeral of Poland's president, Obama paid his respects by golfing.  As the Gulf coast economy struggled back from the nation's worst environmental disaster ever, Obama urged all Americans to vacation there.  Then, he took his family to the New England coast.

If 900,000 federal workers can be furloughed as 'non-essential,' why employ them?  Obama is off on another expensive Asian trip in a few days.  That's how much of a "crisis" this fiscal year showdown is.

The Two Million Dollar Man.  President Barack Obama's two day trip to South Africa in June cost taxpayers more than $2.2 million on hotel room and rental car costs alone, according to documents released by the State Department on Sunday. [...] The president's "VIP visit" to Pretoria, Johannesburg, and Cape Town on June 29 and 30 cost $2,210,840.46 in hotel and transportation expenses alone, according to four contracts released by the State Department.

Obama Leaving the Country on Friday.  With a government shutdown just hours away on Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Obama still plans to go to Asia this weekend.  "We don't have any changes to announce.  We plan to make this trip," Carney told reporters at the White House Monday.  "The president, as president, looks forward to and believes it is important to travel to Asia in order to promote our economic interests in Asia and our strategic interests in Asia."

US shutdown halts Barack Obama's Malaysia trip.  President Barack Obama has postponed two stops on his four-nation Asian tour because of the government shutdown.  The White House said it was "logistically... not possible" to go ahead with the trips to Malaysia and the Philippines at the end of his tour.  But he would still be attending regional summits in Indonesia and Brunei, the White House added.

Update:
Obama cancels Asia trip to stay in D.C. and not negotiate on shutdown.  The good news is President Obama finally canceled his entire extraneous trip to Asia, which was set to start tomorrow.  Not because he's going to conscientiously immerse himself in solving the ongoing partial government shutdown like a real president.  But, naturally, because of how it would look otherwise.

Obama cancels visits to Indonesia, Brunei due to U.S. government shutdown.  President Barack Obama called off plans to visit Asia and attend two summits because of the U.S. government shutdown, raising questions about the strategic "pivot" to the region that he announced just two years ago.

Evict Obama's Mother-in-Law from White House.  The news is full of stories of private residences on public land being shut down because of the government shutdown.  [There is], for example, is a story regarding an elderly couple temporarily evicted from a cabin they own on federal land.  And it is also turning people away from privately-run inns on federal land.  And yet, at the height of hypocrisy, Marian Robinson, President Obama's mother-in-law, apparently continues to reside in the White House, a federally-owned business on federal land.

Shutdown over, Obama hits the links.  President Obama returned to the golf course on Sunday [10/20/2013] for his first round since before the government shutdown began.  The golf outing at Virginia's Fort Belvoir is the first since a Sept. 28 outing on the same course.  That round was his 35th of the year — a new annual record according to White House Dossier.

Obama family attends church service.  After church [10/27/2013], in the afternoon, Obama took a motorcade to Fort Belvoir, Va., for a round of golf.

The Editor says...
This excursion resulted in no benefit to the public; therefore, Barack H. Obama owes us for the cose of the motorcade to Virginia.

Obama makes room for fundraisers, golf in his schedule despite Obamacare troubles.  Since the launch of the HealthCare.gov on October 1, Obama has gone golfing five times and attended ten fundraisers — with five more scheduled for the beginning of this week — while Obamacare's favorability has hit all time lows.  And while President Obama's schedule has been open for golf and fundraisers, he was unable to attend the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address Tuesday due to — as White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer put it — "this whole website thing that someone suggested might destroy the Dem Party."

Black president admits profiling immigrants by their appearance.  On this latest West Coast fundraising jaunt, the Democrat also paid back one of his biggest campaign bundlers and party donors, Jeffrey Katzenberg. In LA,, Obama helicoptered to the' Glendale facility of DreamWorks Animation to "discuss" the economy with real Americans.  This way, you see, Obama got an official presidential function on the trip schedule, which reduces his political party's share of the tab for flying him cross-country twice in Air Force One at $182,000 an hour in taxpayer funds.

Obama expected to arrive in Hawaii for holidays in two weeks.  President Barack Obama and his family will spend Christmas in Hawaii again this year, and are expected to stay in the same beachfront Kailua neighborhood where they've spent the past five year-end holidays.  Hawaii News Now reports the Obamas are expected to arrive around Dec. 20 and stay until Jan. 5.  While Obama typically spends a lot of time at the nearby Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay, working out in the gym and playing golf, he does tend to venture out to the same local businesses each trip.

Obama Hardly Meeting With Sebelius Explains A Lot.  This president campaigns and fund-raises — and plays golf — endlessly.  The Washington Times reported last month that he's played more than 150 rounds of golf while in office, often at havens of the 1% from Grande Oaks in Fort Lauderdale to Martha's Vineyard.  He even played 27 holes in one day in September.  Sebelius joined Obama for one of his rounds in May.  We hope they're both improving their games, but it's time to put the clubs down and do some work together.

Thrifty Obamas make do with 24 Christmas trees.  Every president decorates the White House for these holidays.  But many presidents tend to stay put during this month to allow Secret Service and other staff to spend time with their families.  The Obamas choose instead to make the nine-hour flights to Hawaii with family and staff.  And the nine-hour return trip.  Air Force One costs about $182,000 to operate for every flight hour, or just under $1.64 million each way, a bargain after the family's $100 million trip around Africa this past summer.

Obama's speech at Mandela memorial will cost taxpayers $500,000 per minute.  President Barack Obama's 19 minute speech at Nelson Mandela's memorial cost taxpayers at least $5 million.

Our American royalty travels in style, and without being groped.  President Obama lives an extravagant life of which the kings of old could only dream — and all at the taxpayers' expense.  According to the Congressional Research Service, it costs $180,000 an hour to operate Air Force One.  This means that President Obama's recent trip to South Africa to attend Nelson Mandela's funeral cost the American taxpayer $5 million in airfare alone.

Beach bum: Obama to holiday in Hawaii.  The White House announced Friday [12/13/2013] that the Obamas will depart next week after what is expected to be a light work schedule for the president in Washington.  The president and his family traditionally spend their Christmas break in a rented home on Oahu with spectacular ocean views.

President Obama to jet off this week for 17-day vacation in Hawaii over Christmas and New Year.  President Obama and his family are expected to leave Washington later this week for a 17-day vacation in Hawaii.  This will be the First Family's sixth Christmas in Hawaii since he was elected president, and in keeping with tradition they are expected to spend it on the island of Kailua.  The White House announced on Friday that the Obamas will depart next week after what is expected to be a light work schedule for the president in Washington.

Obama and the Redneck Tenors.  President Obama is packing his bags for a 17-day, taxpayer-funded Christmas vacation to Hawaii, The Washington Times reported.  The vacation begins on Friday, December 20.  The first family will reportedly be shacking up at a palatial ocean-front home that rents for $24,500 a week.  When you toss in the shaved ice, greens fees, and gas for Air Force One, the American taxpayers could be on the hook for one mighty expensive Hawaiian holiday.  The Hawaii Reporter ran the numbers on last year's trip and found that it cost taxpayers more than $4 million.

Obama's 17-day trip to Hawaii costs taxpayers $4M.  After a rough fall spent trying to recover from the botched rollout of healthcare.gov, President Obama is no doubt looking forward to his annual year-end holiday escape to Hawaii. [...] The vacation will cost taxpayers an estimated $4 million and fill the sleepy town of Kailua and its miles of beautiful beaches with street barricades and security personnel protecting the Obamas' rented vacation home.

The world's most expensive selfie.  The State Department set aside a staggering $11,519,617 on hotels and ground transportation costs for President Obama and his entourage to attend Nelson Mandela's memorial service last week, it was revealed today.  One contract letter budgeted more than $8.2 million for 'passenger vehicles, SUVs, vans, and buses, as well as supplies and goods vehicles such as pickup trucks, box trucks, and larger capacity vehicles,' according to documents first posted online by the Weekly Standard.  Two more authorized State to spend in excess of $3.2 million on hotels from December 6 to January 20, including costs for a whopping 5,730 'hotel room nights' overall -- a number that works out to represent more than 127 separate rooms.

VIP Hotel and Vehicles for Mandela Funeral Trip More Than $11M.  State Department contract awards were posted this week for "Transportation services in support of Mandela Funeral" and "Accommodation in support of the Nelson Mandela funeral in South Africa."  The accompanying Justification and Approval documents estimated the cost of transportation at a maximum of $8,286,194.74.  The transportation contract covers only ground transportation in South Africa.  Costs for Air Force One and other air travel are not included.

Obama's $4 Million Hawaiian Vacation.  The Obama's are planning on visiting Hawaii again this year for Christmas and New Years. As usual they will block off beaches and roads for two weeks all while billing the taxpayers.

First Family and Dog Bo to Leave Cold DC for $4 Million Hawaiian Vacation.  [Scroll down]  The President and his friends pay for the private home accommodations that rent for $25,000 per week, however taxpayers — both federal and county — pick up the majority of the bill for the rest of the trip.  Michael Tasselmyer of the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, estimates the 18-hour roundtrip aboard Air Force One, which he said costs $179,750 per hour for flight and operation, will total $3,235,500 for the roundtrip.  A Congressional Research Service report released in May 2012 matches that figure.  There are reports the President might also stop on the island of Maui, a 30-minute flight from Oahu, which would add additional expense.

Obama's Annual Hawaii Boondoggle.  Another year, another waste of taxpayer money so that the Obamas can spend Christmas in paradise.  I've reported in the past that the annual trip to Hawaii costs taxpayers at least $4 million.  It's probably much more.  Air Force One alone burns up about $180,000 of taxpayer money per hour, putting the roundtrip flight alone at $3.24 million for an estimated 18 hours roundtrip flying time.

12 questions the White House press corps could have asked Obama about Obamacare.  [#12]  You are about to embark on a two-week Hawaiian vacation.  While no one begrudges the president Christmas with his family, are you aware that two state-level Obamacare exchange directors have resigned over taking ill-timed tropical vacations within the last two weeks?  Are you sending the wrong message by leaving for so long while your legacy law is in pretty great peril, while Americans are still reeling from cancellations and the prospect of being uninsured?

Obama Took More Vacation on Average Than Private-Sector Workers 20 Yrs on Job.  President Barack Obama, who is departing Friday for a vacation in Hawaii that will reportedly last until Jan. 5, took more annual vacation days on average in his first term than the average private-sector worker gets after 20 years on the job.  Obama took an average of 21.5 vacations days per year in his first four years as president.  By comparison, private-industry workers in the United States who have at least 20 years on the job get an average of 19 days of paid vacation per year.

Obamas hit Hawaii for year-end vacation.  Barack Obama and family landed in Honolulu late Friday [12/20/2013] to kick off a two-week Hawaiian vacation, what the U.S. president earlier described as a chance for "sleep and sun" after a bruising year in Washington.

Obama on friendly confines of golf course as vacation starts.  Obama is an avid golfer who plays off a respectable handicap of 16 or 17, and is estimated to have logged more than 150 rounds since being elected president.

In Hawaii, Obama tries for uninterrupted vacation.  The president has no public events scheduled during his vacation, which is expected to last through Jan. 5.

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.

Reagan and Obama: The difference between a hero and a zero.  Reagan spent his Christmas holidays in Washington so his staff could have Christmas with their families. [...] Contrast that with Obama, who punctuates his vacations with occasional days in the office.  Every year since he was elected, he has spent his Christmas vacation in Hawaii.  Granted, he was raised in Hawaii, but when was the last time he lived there?  He was 18 when he moved away.  But every year, he has to go back.

Israel to S. Africa: Obama's year in travel.
March 20-23:  Israel, Palestine and Jordan
May 2-4:  Mexico, Costa Rica
June 17-19:  Ireland, The United Kingdom and Germany
June 26 - July 2:  Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania
September 4 - 6:  Sweden, Russia
October 6-12:  Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines (canceled)
December 9-11:  South Africa

The Editor says...
Omitted from the article above:  Hawaii:  December 20 - present.

President Obama's Hawaii Vacation: Day 6.  Obama signed several bills in private, without reporters present, including a bipartisan budget deal easing spending cuts and a defense bill cracking down on sexual assault in the military.

President Obama Didn't Go To Church For Christmas.  President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their two daughters did not go to church on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, according to press pool reports.  The Obamas are in Kailua, Hawaii for a 17-day Christmas vacation.  Although the Obamas did not go to church for Christmas, President Obama did play golf during the afternoon of Dec. 24 [...]

The Editor asks...
Mr. Obama has spent his adult lifetime manufacturing and spreading outrage about "income inequality."  Of all the people you know, how many have ever taken a 17-day trip to Hawaii?  Mr. Obama goes to Hawaii every year.

Obama parties hearty in Hawaii.  Saturday was a financial ordeal for Skydive Hawaii owner Frank Hinshaw.  President Obama and his family attended a barbecue at the oceanfront house of his Punahou School pal Bobby Titcomb on the North Shore of Oahu.  That meant that Skydive Hawaii, based at Dillingham Airfield just across Farrington Highway from the shoreline villa, had to close down for the entire day.

Obama's Hawaiian vacation tells a story in reverse.  [Scroll down]  Within days of their Monday return from Hawaii, the White House will be planning the big bash for Michelle's 50th birthday on January 17.

Obama tees off for seventh round of golf on vacation.  The Leader of the Free World skipped the gym on Wednesday [1/1/2014] to hit the links at Mid Pacific Country Club golf course in Kailua's Lanikai neighborhood with scenic views of the water and lush green mountains. [...] On Sunday [12/29/2013], after playing nearly five hours of golf Sunday at Marine Corps Base, veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler from White House Dossier said his latest game was the 156th game since the inauguration and the 45th outing this year.

Obama plays 160th round of golf.  His latest round means that Obama has played golf an average of once every 11 days in office. [...] The president doesn't just "play" golf.  He agonizes over it, taking up to six hours per round of 18 holes, more than three times as long as former President George H.W. Bush would take on his vacations to Kennebunkport, Maine.  Saturday's [1/4/2014] round, however lasted three hours.  According to the press pool following him, "at just over three hours, clocks in as the fastest round of golf of the vacation (by far)."

The Editor says...
The hours he spends on the golf course are hours when any previous president would have been expected to work.  But the standards for Affirmative Action employees are notoriously low, and the standards for sacred cows are even lower.

Obama golfs in Hawaii with New Zealand prime minister.  President Obama was joined on the golf course in Hawaii on Thursday [1/2/2014] by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.  The golf outing with the premier at Kaneohe Bay on Oahu marked a bit of departure for Obama who has spent plenty of time during his annual winter vacation playing golf with a tight circle of old pals and aides.

Obama plays eight rounds of golf but spares only four minutes to visit grandfather's grave on Hawaii vacation.  President Obama took a break from the golf course during his Hawaii vacation yesterday to make a brief visit to his grandfather's grave.  The president, who has played eight rounds of golf since arriving on December 20, spent just four minutes at the grave of Stanley Dunham.  His motorcade then left the National Memorial Cemetery and took Mr Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha to the zoo for a private tour.

Regal R&R: Obamas live like royalty on lavish Hawaiian holiday.  History will record that on the 12th day of his latest Hawaiian vacation, President Obama tweeted about Obamacare.  That was one of the president's few visible acts of official business during his 16-day holiday retreat before he and his family return to Washington on Sunday [1/5/2014].  The president's winter recess has rivaled just about anyone's dream getaway, filled with endless golf, dinners at high-end restaurants, snorkeling at a closed nature preserve and a private, after-hours visit to a spectacular zoo.

For a Pressured President, a Real and Rare Vacation in Hawaii.  Mr. Obama's vacation schedule was nothing if not routine.  He went to the gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii for a sunrise workout.  He played golf nine out of 15 days.  And he and the first lady, Michelle Obama, stepped out for dinner at a few of their favorite restaurants:  Alan Wong's, Morimoto Waikiki (twice!) and Nobu Waikiki.

Bias alert!
There is nothing rare about Obama's annual Hawaiian vacations, or his annual summer vacation at Martha's Vineyard.  In fact, every cross-country flight on Air Force One and every international junket would be considered a remarkable vacation by most people.  (I like to fly as much as anybody, but I haven't been on an airliner since the early 1990's.)  The writer of the New York Times article above goes to great lengths to portray Mr. Obama as overworked and under-rewarded, when exactly the opposite is true.

Obama's birthday gift to his wife? Time off, alone.  The White House said on Saturday first lady Michelle Obama would stay in Hawaii, where the family has been on vacation for the last two weeks, rather than return home with her husband and their two girls.

Obama, daughters depart Hawaii after vacation.  President Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia have departed Hawaii after a 15-day family vacation for the holidays.

Obama returns home to Washington, but first lady stays behind in Hawaii.  President Obama departed his native Hawaii Saturday to return to Washington, but his wife, Michelle, is staying behind for a few extra days to celebrate her 50th birthday with friends.

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.

The Editor says...
Mrs. Obama can crash at Oprah's house, presumably at Oprah's expense, but she is incurring unnecessary expense by taking a separate airplane back to Washington when she's ready to go home.

Obama Flies Back to Washington, But Michelle Stays in Hawaii.  President Obama flew back from his holiday Hawaii break yesterday with daughters Sasha and Malia in tow, but without the first lady. [...] According to the White House pool reports filed over the holiday break, President Obama would meet up with his wife for dinner but spent much of the vacation alone at the gym or with friends for many, many marathon hours of golf.

Your Birthday Gift to Michelle.  First Lady Michelle Obama failed to accompany President Obama and their daughters home from Hawaii today [1/5/2014], a decision that will likely incur taxpayers at least a couple of hundred thousand dollars in costs.

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.

Oprah's neighbors inconvenienced by Michelle Obama's visit, report says.  Michelle Obama may be enjoying a relaxing vacation in Hawaii at Oprah Winfrey's Maui mansion, but the talk show host's neighbors are reportedly much less Zen ever since the first lady came to town.  TMZ reports that the increased security around Oprah's home has become a nuisance for her neighbors, as road closures and security checkpoints have been created to protect the first lady.

Michelle Obama's extended Hawaii stay annoys locals: report.  Michelle Obama's birthday visit at Oprah Winfrey's Maui estate has neighbors a little miffed at the additional security and its impact on business.  The owner of nearby Goble's Flower Farm told TMZ that security checkpoints have been dissuading customers from shopping there.  Other business owners complained of dwindling inventories due to road closures blocking their deliveries.

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.

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.

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: [...]

U.S. Delegation to Mandela Funeral: Five Hotels, Transportation Cost $19M.  Documents recently released by the government show that the value of hotels and local transportation contracts for the U.S. delegation to Nelson Mandela's funeral in December were considerably higher than previous estimates. [...] The transportation contracts include passenger vehicles, SUVs, vans, buses, pickup trucks, box trucks, and "larger capacity vehicles," but do not include the cost of travelling from the U.S. to South Africa and back.  The combined total estimated cost of the two contracts is $12,521,851.

The Editor says...
Note that the dollar amounts are "considerably higher than previous estimates."  It is to the administration's advantage to lowball the dollar amounts initially and then quietly revised them upward some number of weeks later — in a manner similar to the way they handle unemployment numbers.

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!

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.

Obama's Valentine's Day bachelor golf holiday marks 23rd vacation.  America, you know how to treat a president and his family.  With another Presidents' Day bachelor holiday planned by President Obama, this time golfing in California, and Aspen, Colo., resort reporters on the lookout for the annual first lady ski trip this weekend, the taxpayer's tab for the first family's vacations has topped $2.4 million.  But that's just the start.  That total is just from the skimpy documents detailing travel and security expenses obtained by the public watchdog group Judicial Watch from a handful of first family vacations.

Fore! Another golf holiday brings Obama vacations to 22, $18 million.  With another Presidents' Day bachelor holiday planned by President Obama, this time golfing in California, and Aspen, Colo., resort reporters on the lookout for the annual first lady ski trip this weekend, the taxpayer's tab for the first family's vacations has topped $2.4 million.  But that's just the start.  That total is just from the skimpy documents detailing travel and security expenses obtained by the public watchdog group Judicial Watch from a handful of first family vacations.

Is Barack Obama Our First American King?  President Obama will be spending Valentine's Day with the one he loves the most.  Michelle and the kids will be vacationing separately.  Sound familiar?  The president and first lady spent Presidents Day weekend in separate vacations last year as well.

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.

Obama Tees Off on Billionaire's Private Golf Course.  Obama was spending the weekend in California after meeting Friday [2/14/2014] at a resort with Jordan's king.  His wife and daughters are skiing in Colorado.

The Editor says...
They just got back from a two-week vacation in Hawaii, and now they are on separate vacations.  And again I ask: Vacation from what?

A peek into Obama's weekend at Sunnylands.  President Obama is kicking back this weekend at Sunnylands, the Camp David of the West.  It's a place for high-minded problem-solving — then golf and TV.

Michelle Obama in Aspen for ski vacation.  First lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, Sasha and Malia, arrived in Aspen on Friday for a holiday weekend ski vacation.  "It's her third time here," said Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo of the first lady's third consecutive trip to Aspen over the President's Weekend holiday.  "She likes it here."

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.

Remembering the Top 12 Moments From the Era of Austerity.  [#12] Cut them some slack.  All family vacations cost around $100 million.

Obama vacations have cost you $18 million — so far.  Lately, President Obama has been talking about "austerity" and cutting spending.  What a crock.  According to a report by Paul Bedard in the Washington Examiner, when you total all the reported expenses of the first family's 22 vacations so far to Hawaii, Martha's Vineyard, Spain, Colorado, Florida, Africa, etc are combined, the estimate of Obama vacations reaches over $18 million when hotel and resort rent, security hotel and car rentals and airfare are included.  Austerity?  As you may be aware, Mr. and Mrs. had separate Valentine's Day vacations — y'all can do your own analysis on that.

Under Obama, Air Force One cost per hour jumps 27% to $228,288.  The president spent over $7.3 million on just three trips in 2013, including $2.1 million to appear on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in August, according to new flight documents provided by the Air Force to a public watchdog group.  Judicial Watch told Secrets that the sky-high jet travel costs for the first family's 2012-2013 Christmas vacation in Hawaii, their beach vacation on Martha's Vineyard last summer and President Obama's brief trip to California in August totalled $7,396,531.20.  The Air Force said it costs $228,288 an hour to fly Air Force One, a massive $48,535 jump from the last estimate of $179,750, or 27 percent.

Michelle Obama plans pricey trip to China.  Michelle Obama, her daughters and her mother plan a week-long solo visit to China this month that includes meetings with China's first lady and high school and university students — and that will likely cost U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars.

Spring Break: Mrs. Obama Visiting China With Daughters and Mother.  Michelle Obama plans a weeklong solo visit to China this month that includes meetings with China's first lady and high school and university students.

Obama: the Pen, Phone, and Failure.  By the end of his second term, [President Obama] will have added more to the national debt than every president before him, combined.  Now, Barack Obama, with the release of his new budget, has proclaimed an end to this era of austerity.  Let me explain Barry's understanding of austerity.  During his entire first term, the White House has maintained an official dog walker, making in excess of $100K a year.  In all fairness, the position required 24-hour coverage.  Bo needed to be walked. [...] Barry, who moves through life in much the same way a Roman emperor did ages ago, is making do with only 1 dog walker for his 2 dogs — and it is all paid for by the same taxpayers who couldn't keep their healthcare or there [sic] 29+ hours a week employment.

It's winter in Ukraine, but it's spring break for Obama.  While more Russian forces were pouring into Crimea this past weekend, and Russian legislators announced their readiness to annex the Ukrainian province, where was our commander in chief?  Monitoring events in the Situation Room?  Meeting with the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon?  Holding an emergency meeting of NATO leaders?  Nope.  He was enjoying the Florida sunshine with his family at an oceanfront resort in Key Largo.

Obama, Biden stick to vacation schedules despite Ukraine crisis.  The White House brushed off concerns Friday that, with the crisis in Crimea intensifying, now might not be the best time for President Obama — and his vice president — to go on vacation.  The travel schedules of both the president and Vice President Biden have come under scrutiny, given the rapidly changing situation in Ukraine.  Obama, already in Florida to talk about education, was planning to spend some family time this weekend in Key Largo, Fla., where he arrived late in the day. Biden, meanwhile, will be in the Virgin Islands.

Obama links up with celebrities for golf game.  The commander-in-chief skipped out of Washington this weekend to vacation with his family in Key Largo, Fla. [...] Obama and the sports figures were joined by Cyrus Walker, who is the cousin of White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Obama's staff forced to defend President and Michelle's weekend vacation to $2,500-a-night Florida resort amid Ukraine turmoil.  The crisis in Crimea won't keep President Barack Obama from forging ahead with a weekend getaway with his wife and daughters in the Florida Keys.

WH defends Obama's Key Largo vacation.  White House spokesman Josh Earnest defended President Obama's weekend vacation in Key Largo, despite the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, arguing Obama would be able to monitor events from Florida.  "What the president will be doing this weekend in Florida is essentially what the president would be doing back at the White House.  It's just that the weather will be a little warmer," Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.  "The president is looking forward to spending some time with his wife and daughters, who are traveling down to Florida as well," he continued.

The Editor says...
The press never believed that story when it was told by GW Bush's staff in Crawford.

Obama may have to cut third vacation this year short because of Ukraine.  President Barack Obama, his wife and the first daughters may have to cut their latest vacation short because of Russia's meddling in Ukraine.  The Obama family's current plan for the weekend is to escape the cold, snowy doldrums of Washington, D.C. for some rest and relaxation in sunny Key Largo, Fla., reports the Daily Mail.  However, despite Obama's earnest invocations of international law, pro-Russian forces and the Russian government are making swift military and political moves in Ukraine's Crimea region.  Consequently, the Key Largo holiday could be in peril.

Obama plays final round before Fla. vacation ends.  The White House says Obama squeezed in another round of golf Sunday [3/9/2014] on one of the courses at the exclusive Ocean Reef Club on Key Largo, where the family was staying.

President and Michelle return from their weekend getaway at $2,500-a-night Florida resort.  Appearing relaxed after his third vacation of the year, the president has been heavily criticized for his taxpayer-funded trip as the crisis in Ukraine rumbles on. [...] The Obama family vacation comes just a few weeks after the president's long weekend at the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage, California.

King of Blah, Blah, Blah Blabbing Away in Margaritaville.  Don't know whether Malia and Sasha Obama are learning at their private school, but through their parents, are they learning that life is one never-ending holiday with the bill footed by the public purse? [...] But when it comes to outright hedonism, where else in modern world history has any 'First Family' displayed such self-centered behaviour while surrounded by the human misery of so many others?  Satellite pictures sent world wide show the Obamas gobbling up shaved ice and hamburgers as greedily as they gobble up taxpayer money for their lavish, never-ending, globe-trotting holidays.

WH: 'Real Treat' for Michelle Obama to Take Her Mom and Daughters to China.  First lady Michelle Obama "has been looking for an opportunity to go to China," a White House official said on Monday.  And she considers it a "real treat" to take her daughters and her mother with her — a trip she's making at considerable expense to taxpayers, although the White House refused to give a dollar figure. [...] Asked how much the trip will cost, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes replied, "As a general matter, we don't disclose the details associated with the security of either the president or the first lady.  This question comes up on many trips. [...]"

The Editor says...
When questions arose about the cost of the trip, the White House immediately changed the subject to security, about which nobody asked.

Michelle Obama and family take another taxpayer-funded trip.  The first lady, her mother, her two kids, plus numerous White House aides and security personnel are going to tour China this month, but White House officials are refusing to say how much the taxpayers will pay for the trip.

Keywords:  Junket, shopping trip, splurge, squander, carbon footprint, luxury, tone deaf
First lady Michelle Obama faces scrutiny for China trip with daughters, mom.  First lady Michelle Obama is getting ready for her third overseas trip without her husband since arriving in the White House, but her journey to China may be watched more closely.  Mrs. Obama will be traveling with three generations.  She'll be joined by Sasha, Malia and her mother, Marian Shields Robinson, a subtle gesture to traditional Chinese values.  White House officials are calling this visit a "people to people" trip.

Planning begins for another Obama vacation.  Like the annual return of pinkletinks and crocuses, inns and hotels around the Island are getting familiar calls this week from White House officials planning a vacation on Martha's Vineyard for President Obama and his family.  Three reliable sources, who asked not to be named because they are not authorized to release information, told The Times that Mr. Obama will return to the Island in August.  Two sources said the vacation is scheduled on or about August 9, a week earlier than the first family visited in previous years.

No Reporters on Michelle Obama's Trip to China.  First Lady Michelle Obama will be accompanied by her children and her mother on her trip to China, which begins today.  But she won't be accompanied by the press.  "Michelle Obama's trip to China starting on Wednesday will be nonpolitical, the White House says, a 'people-to-people exchange' emphasizing the importance that both nations place on education.  As if to underscore the point, no reporters are traveling with the first lady, and she does not plan to give interviews while there," reports the New York Times.

Obama ladies touch down in China amid taxpayer uproar.  First lady Michelle Obama, her two daughters, Malia and Sasha, and her mother touched down Thursday in China for what's being touted as a weeklong feel-good tourist event, amid increasing murmurs back home about U.S. taxpayers having to foot the bill. [...] No reporters accompanied the family on the trip.

Michelle lands in China for week-long trip with her daughters and mother.  Michelle Obama arrived in China on Thursday for a weeklong visit that will steer clear of politics and instead focusing on education and community.  The First Lady arrived in Beijing today, accompanied by daughters Sasha and Malia as well as her mother Marian Robinson.

Michelle Obama: It's very rare that I have the chance to travel outside of the United States.  During her visit to China, first lady Michelle Obama pointed out that the ability to travel outside of the United States was "rare" but that she chose China for a reason.  "It's very rare that I have the opportunity to travel outside of the United States, and it's even more rare to have the opportunity to travel with three generations — with my daughters, and with my mother," she said.  "And it is no accident that one of our first trips as a family is here to China."

The Editor says...
Does Mrs. Obama expect anyone to believe that this is one of her first trips, or that a junket that excludes her husband is undertaken "as a family?"

Obama family schedules another Vineyard retreat.  President Barack Obama will return for another Martha's Vineyard vacation, sources said Wednesday [3/20/2014].  The first family is expected to vacation Aug. 9-23, according to a source who asked to be anonymous because he doesn't want to anger the White House security staff, which does not like to release vacation information for the president.  President Obama; his wife, Michelle; and daughters Sasha and Malia spent nine days last summer on the Vineyard, his fourth presidential holiday there since he was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012.  The Obamas skipped the Vineyard in 2012 because of the election.

Beijing hotel workers already 'fed up' with Obama entourage in 3400-square-foot, $8,350-per-night suite.  Michelle Obama and three of her family members are staying in a $8,350-per-night Beijing presidential suite, but despite a 24-hour butler and other perks that come with the lodging, her entourage has inconvenienced 'pretty much everyone' and made the hotel staff 'fed up,' a well-placed hotel staffer has told MailOnline.  The sumptuous pad at the Westin Beijing Chaoyang hotel — its website calls the room 'an oasis of comfort — is a 3,400-square-foot masterpiece including a private steam room, 'corner sofas with silk pillows,' and in-room dining for six.  But the Obamas' stay has already affected staff and guests at the hotel, with the Westin front-desk veteran alleging that Mrs. Obama's mother Marian Robinson has been 'barking at the staff since she arrived.'

Cost of First Lady's Beijing Hotel Was Deemed 'Prohibitive' for Biden.  The White House has been tight-lipped about the cost of First Lady Michelle Obama's trip to China, but based on the choice for lodging, it could be considerable.  Mrs. Obama and her entourage, which numbers seventy according to the Washington Times (including her two daughters and her mother), booked the Westin Chaoyang Hotel close to the U.S. embassy in Beijing for their first stop.  According to USA Today, the presidential suite at the hotel is listed as $8,400 per night.

Inside Michelle Obama's hotel's luxurious $8,400-a-night presidential suite in China.  It’s billed as an ‘oasis of comfort’, with a Jacuzzi, rainforest shower, and silk pillows — step inside the $8,400-a-night (£5,000) suite Michelle Obama currently calls home.  The first lady is staying at the five-star Westin Hotel in Chaoyang, just outside Beijing, during her week-long trip to China with her two daughters Malia and Sasha, and her mother Marian Robinson.  During her trip, described as a 'person-to-person' soft diplomatic tour, the family will be staying in the Jinmao Presidential Suite at the hotel, near the US Embassy.

Documents: Obama's Honolulu, Africa Flights Cost Taxpayers Nearly $16 Million.  The documents obtained by activist group Judicial Watch show the Africa trip required 35.5 flight hours.  At a cost of $228,288 per flight hour, the total cost was a staggering $8,104,224.  For the Obamas' Christmas vacation in Honolulu, starting in December 2013 and ending in January 2014, the documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show the first family accumulated 36.9 total flight hours.  At a cost of $210,877 per flight hour, the flight costs alone for that trip totaled $7,781,361.30, according to the Air Force documents.

Obama trips to Hawaii, Africa reportedly cost taxpayers nearly $16 million.  U.S. taxpayers spent nearly $16 million to fly the Obamas to, from and around Hawaii and Africa, Air Force records obtained by Judicial Watch show.  "The Obama family 2013-2014 vacation to Honolulu cost $210,877 per hour for travel alone; at 36.9 total hours, the cost to taxpayers for the vacation's flight expense was $7,781,361.30," Judicial Watch said in a statement, noting an increase of $3,695,006.10 from flight expenses for the Obamas' 2012-13 Hawaii Christmas vacation.  Michelle Obama extended her Hawaiian vacation, traveling separately back to Washington after spending time with family friend Oprah Winfrey on Maui.  President Obama said the trip to Maui was a gift for his wife in advance of her 50th birthday.

The Editor says...
Awwwww... the trip was a gift to his wife.  How very touching, except that it wasn't Mr. Obama's to give. We paid for it.

$1.5M Hotel Bill for President Obama's One-Day Visit to Brussels.  In late March, President Obama took a week-long trip through Europe which included a stop of less than 24 hours in Brussels, Belgium for meetings with the European Union and NATO.  The president stayed at The Hotel, a twenty-seven story hotel in the center of the city.  The estimated cost for the president's stay, including about two weeks for an advance team, was $1,522,646.36.

The Obamas' three-day trip to Ireland in 2013 cost taxpayers $7.9 million, and Michelle's gigantic suite cost $3,300 per night.  The Obamas' three day trip to Ireland last June cost the taxpayer more than $7.6 million, it was revealed today [4/9/2014].  Michelle Obama spent more than $251,000 of taxpayers' money on a sightseeing jaunt to Dublin, Ireland while the first family was the official trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland.  She stayed in the $3,300-per-night 'Princess Grace' presidential suite at Dublin's tony Shelbourne Hotel, a sumptuous two-bedroom, two-bathroom lodging that measures 1,530 square feet and includes butler service and its own dining room.

Lavish travel expenses revealed as the Obamas hit the road again.  President Obama and wife Michelle are back on the road again, this time in Texas to harvest more Democrat dollars for the looming November midterm election.  The previously-scheduled fundraising foray was tacked onto Obama's memorial speech Wednesday at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.  Why let a nationally-televised shooting memorial go to waste when you can use such an official activity to cut the Democratic Party's cost of political transportation on Air Force One for two fundraisers in Houston and another one today in Austin?

Vice-President Biden does it, too.
Biden: Taking Grandkids on Trips 'One of the Great Advantages of Being Vice President'.  The Obama daughters aren't the only ones with travel privileges.  Vice President Joe Biden told a gathering on Monday that he likes to bring his grandchildren with him when he travels.  "I literally — at Christmastime, Mr. Ambassador, I always sit with the kids the last five or — and say, well, where do you want to go this year?  Because one of the great advantages of being vice president, I'm able to take, if I'm not going into a war zone, one of my grandchildren with me.  And I do take them all.  They're good kids.  They don't get in the way.  And it's a great experience."

Michelle Obama Riverdances Through Dublin to the Tune of $7,921,638.  When it comes to tracking the cost of Obama family vacations, there are two primary challenges.  First, the Obamas are prolific jet-setters, so there are many details to track.  Second, the Obama administration, clearly embarrassed by these lavish and frequent family vacations, stonewalls the release of records at every turn.  But we have been relentless in pursuit of this information. [...] And the information we've uncovered — information that would otherwise remain under lock and key — shows that the Obamas have a disturbing lack of regard for taxpayer resources.

Illinois Dems to offer $100 million in taxpayer money to lure Obama library site.  The last two presidents — Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — built their legacy edifices totally with private money.  As seems appropriate, since taxpayers already chip in to fund retirement office space, staffing and Secret Service protection for ex-presidents for life.  Last year that cost $75 million.  It may not surprise you, however, that Obama's supporters have a different take on this library money business.  They think taxpayers should put up $100 million in public money for Obama's library.  With more likely needed later.  So far, this idea is confined to Illinois.

Illinois GOP leaders say state can't afford $100M for Obama library.  The top Republicans in the Illinois Legislature are pushing back against Democrats' plan to offer $100 million in taxpayer money to lure President Obama's presidential library to Chicago, arguing the cash-strapped state can't afford the investment.  Minority Leader Jim Durkin said in a prepared statement released Monday that the state cannot afford the proposal when Illinois owes $7 billion in overdue bills and has a $100 billion deficit in its employee pension programs.

Update:
Illinois Dems back off $100 million push for Obama library following outrage.  Illinois Democrats are backing off an effort to give $100 million in a push to land President Obama's presidential library and museum — following accusations of voting "shenanigans" and nasty Chicago-style politics, not to mention the state's dire financial situation.  A Democrat-led House committee approved the money last week at an out-of-town hearing in Chicago with no Republicans in attendance.  They instead relied on a procedural move that allowed them to use votes from a previous meeting.  "What they did last week was under-handed and sneaky and offers further proof that they no longer can be trusted with taxpayer money," said House Republican Leader Jim Durkin.

Obama Library: 67 Percent of Illinois Voters Oppose State-Financing Plan.  A new poll from Capitol Fax's Rich Miller reveals that a whopping 67 percent of prospective voters here in Illinois oppose the Michael Madigan-sponsored plan to earmark $100 million for Barack Obama's presidential library and museum.

Amid Politics, Obama Drifted Away From Kin.  After Zeituni Onyango, the woman President Obama once called Auntie, died in a South Boston nursing home this month, her closest relatives gathered her belongings at her nearby apartment.  There, framed photographs of her with the president covered the wall.  Weeping before a polished wood coffin at her wake this past Saturday [4/18/2014], they described Ms. Onyango, the half sister of the president's father, as "the spirit of the Obama family" and talked about raising money to send her body back to Kenya.  Mr. Obama helped pay funeral expenses and sent a condolence note, Ms. Onyango's family members said, but the president did not attend, as he was golfing.
[Emphasis added.]

President Obama chipped in money for his aunt's burial costs but skipped funeral to go golfing.  After [Zeituni] Onyango, 61, died at a Boston, Massachusetts nursing home after battling breast cancer and respiratory issues earlier this month, President Barack Obama returned the favor by helping to pay for her funeral expenses.  But the President did not attend the funeral. [...] The Weekly Standard first drew attention to the fact Obama was golfing at the time of his aunt's funeral.  On that day, Obama was at his regular golf course at Joint Base Andrews with frequent golfing buddies Marvin and Walter Nicholson and Joe Paulson.

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.

A total waste of the taxpayers' money.
Lots of pomp but no trade deal in Obama's visit to Japan.  "The United States is and always will be a Pacific nation," said Obama, who was born in Hawaii and spent part of his childhood in Indonesia.

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.

Michelle Obama 2-Day Hotel Stay in China Costs $222K.  Michelle Obama wrapped up her March visit to China with a stop in Chengdu, arriving on March 25 and departing for the United States on the following day. But that one leg of the trip alone required about 900 room nights, ranging from 21 rooms beginning on March 13 for the advance team to a peak of 144 rooms when the first lady herself was at the hotel.

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.

Obama-Biden vacation tab reaches $40 million — $2.9 million alone for two Obama 2014 golf outings.  The travel costs for vacations taken by the first family and the Bidens have reached over $40 million with the Air Force's revelation that two golf outings by President Obama this year cost $2.9 million, according to the taxpayer watchdog group Judicial Watch.  The group said that the Air Force provided documents and records that put the price of the first family's trip to Key Largo, Fla., in March at $885,683 just for flying Air Force One.  The travel costs to golf in Palm Springs, Calif., in February, where the president also met with King Abdullah II of Jordan, was $2,066,594, said the Air Force documents, according to Judicial Watch.

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.  And that only counts those that actually are financially able to vacation.  To put it another way, it takes the annual income taxes of 926 typical households to cover these costs.  Or another way, that's 70 times what the president is allotted in compensation on a yearly basis.  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.

President Obama spent close to $3 million in flight costs this year [...] playing golf.  The White House spent $2,952,278 in flight expenses this year for two trips President Barack Obama took on which he spent a large chunk of his time playing golf.  Obama billed both trips as official business, but he spent more time golfing than he did participating in government meetings, government oversight organization Judicial Watch reports.

Michelle's Motto: 'Sometimes the best time is to do nothing at all'.  Much to my astonishment, after chronicling all the travels and the affluent way of life enjoyed by the spoilt first lady, it turns out that while her husband was in Asia screwing up and eating $300 endangered blue fin tuna sushi, Michelle actually indulged in a secret spa weekend in Middleburg, Virginia.  If the second leg of her Hawaii vacation is counted as a separate trip, there would be Hawaii I and Hawaii II, Aspen, Key Largo, and China, with the Middleburg spa weekend being Michelle's sixth getaway since the first of the year.

First Lady's China Trip Latest Proof Michelle Lives Like Millionaire, Except at Taxpayers' Expense.  A one-night stay for Michelle Obama and her absurdly gigantic entourage support staff in Chengdu, China cost $222,000 according to just-released documents.  Although she spent only the night of March 25th at the Shangri-La hotel, some rooms were booked for 12 days earlier.  Starting with 21 rooms on the 13th, the stay ballooned to 144 rooms (the top two floors) on the night of her visit, representing a total of 900 room nights over the period.

Obama Throws Obamacare Party at White House for Athletes, Celebs.  On Thursday [5/1/2014], President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama threw an Obamacare party at the White House for athletes and celebrities who helped the administration push the law.  According to Time, the "Obamas cracked open the champagne" for about 300 people and some of the attendees included:  ["]labor leaders, Democratic operatives and health care activists, as well as celebrities who helped the Administration promote the law, [..."]

Obama administration to spend $20 billion on helicopter program to replace his private fleet.  The Department of Defense awarded a contract on Wednesday to a Connecticut company that will build a fleet of helicopters to replace the Marine One fleet that ferries U.S. presidents short distances.  The contract, given to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, will cost an initial $1,244,677,064 'for the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the Presidential Helicopter Replacement program.'  For that price the U.S. Navy will get six test aircraft and all the necessary research & development.  The Pentagon made a similar attempt to replace the aging fleet of Sikorsky choppers, spending $3.2 billion on a landing pad to nowhere.  Adding in the likely $17 billion price tag for the new project — a number estimated by the Congressional Budget Office — the $20 billion total makes the fleet the most expensive helicopters ever built.

Obama takes 1,000th flight aboard Air Force One.  Another day, another milestone:  President Obama's 1,000th trip aboard Air Force One.  The president hit the millennial mark with Wednesday's trip to New York, according to Mark Knoller of CBS News, who keeps meticulous White House records.  Obama's airplane pace is behind that of predecessor George W. Bush, who took 1,675 flights on Air Force One during his eight years in office, Knoller reports.

Every time a football stadium is built, the proponents say the same thing.
U of C study says Obama library would be boon to city economy.  A study released Monday by the University of Chicago shows that an Obama presidential library located on the South Side of Chicago would pour $220 million into the city's economy each year.  According to the study, commissioned by the university, the library would create 1,900 permanent new jobs.  In addition, the report said, construction of the library would have a $600 million economic impact on the city and create 3,280 local jobs over the course of the construction period.

The Editor says...
Will the Obama Library really generate 1,900 permanent jobs?  Will they be full-time jobs, or part-time broom-pushing, hedge-trimming jobs?  The people at the LBJ Library are quite friendly, so I placed a quick phone call [5/19/2014] to ask, "How many people permanent jobs are there at the LBJ library?"  The answer is roughly sixty, including about 25 federal jobs.  Knowing this, the estimate of 1,900 jobs at the Obama library is especially hard to believe.

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.

Sen. Durbin Wants Illinois Taxpayers to Help Fund Obama's Presidential Library.  Sen. Dick Durbin (D- Ill.) is urging the State of Illinois to put in seed money for the creation of a Obama Presidential library in Chicago.  "It's going to have a long-term positive economic impact and this is where it ought to be," Durbin told reporters last week.  "I believe an investment in this library by the State of Illinois will pay back in terms of visitors to our state, more business, more jobs and people paying taxes."  Durbin did not go as far a endorsing a bill in the Illinois legislature that calls for up to $100 million in state seed money to create the Obama Presidential library.

Freeloader-in-Chief: 'I Don't Take Free Food'.  In this case he can start paying America back for living the lavish lifestyle on our dime.  Really, who does this clown think he's kidding?

The Editor says...
Mr. Obama does not pay for meals in the White House, aboard Air Force One, or presumably at the high-dollar fundraisers he so frequently attends.  His claim that he doesn't "take free food" is one of his most transparent lies to date.

6 Times Obama Used the Troops for Photo Ops.  On Sunday [5/25/2014], President Obama made a surprise appearance in Afghanistan after sneaking out of the White House on Saturday night.  There, he spoke with Afghan president Hamid Karzai via phone, because Karzai refused to speak with Obama in person. [...] He was in the country for under four hours.  The conspicuous timing of Obama's visit, directly during the fallout over his administration's mishandling of the Veterans Administration, has raised some hackles.  But this is not the first time that President Obama has utilized the troops as a photo op.

Obama's Africa Vacation Hit Taxpayers For $2 Million On Lodging, Entertainment, Security Alone.  The Obamas' 2013 trip to Africa cost taxpayers over $2,000,000 in lodging, entertainment, and security expenses alone, government watchdog Judicial Watch announced Thursday — a part of the total cost of approximately $100,000,000 taxpayers spent on the president's vacation, as estimated by The Washington Post.  Records obtained in response to a FOIA request filed last summer detail that nearly one million dollars were spent on hotel accommodations for the Secret Service — for one week.  Preparations for a canceled Tanzania safari — yes, a safari they didn't even go on — cost over ten thousand dollars.

Taxpayers picked up $2.1 million tab for Secret Service protection during Obamas' 2013 Africa vacation.  When President Barack Obama and his family took a six-day African vacation in 2013, the United States Secret Service spent more than $2.1 million to protect them, according to documents from inside the Department of Homeland Security.  The costs included $953,788 for the security details' hotel accommodations, with the rest chalked up to actual security costs — and 'entertainment.'  The total of $2,189,727 — separate from the whopping $8,104,224 in flight expenses — also included $11,525 spent on preparations for a safari side-trip in Tanzania that the White House later canceled.

Q-and-A on Michelle Obama's visit to Rhode Island.  First lady Michelle Obama is traveling to Rhode Island on Monday to participate in a keel-laying ceremony for a new submarine, the future USS Illinois.

The Editor says...
One obvious Q without an A in this article was, "How much will this trip cost the taxpayers?"

Illinois puts hold on $100 million public funding of Obama Library.  You would think a state with such dire financial problems couldn't even consider spending such a large sum of tax dollars on something that's usually built with private money.  Luckily, the Illinois House has backed off the idea for the moment.

Obama Golfs with Money Buddy.  President Obama today is playing golf with Wall Street banker Robert Wolf, a megadonor to Obama and other Democrats who is also reportedly a personal friend of the president's. [...] It's Obama 17th time playing this year and the 174th trip to the greens since his presidency began.

The Obama Paradox.  In a departure from a long practice of keeping his personal circle strikingly tight and rarely lingering at official events, Obama has been hosting star-studded dinners that sometimes go on well past midnight and inviting a few newcomers such as former NBA star Alonzo Mourning into his social sphere.  He's playing golf more than any other year, replacing basketball as his go-to sport, partly because of concerns about getting injured.

Obama in Winter: Scaled-down ambitions and ramped-up partying.  Barack Obama's presidency seems to be drifting in its sixth year, as he is all too aware. [...] He spent 46 days playing golf last year, compared to 19 in 2012, having largely given up basketball for fear of injury.  All well and good — presidents have to relax — but imagine a more critical approach:  Obama has basically checked out.  He knows he can't get much more done.  Instead he's hanging out with the glitterati and hitting the links.

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.

4 Days, 3 Countries: 5 Things to Watch for on Obama's Europe Trip.  President Obama embarks Monday night on his second whirlwind trip to Europe this year, visiting three countries in four days.  The president will land in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday morning [6/4/2014] where he will help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the solidarity movement.  He then heads to Brussels for a G7 summit on Wednesday [6/4/2014].

The Editor says...
I don't know how hastily this junket was planned, but it was Obama's chance to escape some of the fallout from two very recent and very embarrassing scandals.

Palm Springs: President to arrive Friday evening.  President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama should land at Palm Springs International Airport at about 6 p.m. Friday [6/13/2014], straight from a visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. [...] What is Obama's plan here in the Coachella Valley?  Presumably a short vacation, and likely a round of golf or two — though the details remain fuzzy.

The Editor says...
Obama's entire life is "fuzzy."

While Iraq Falls To Al Queda, Obama Is Off To Fundraise & Play Golf In Palm Springs.  While the al-Queda-linked ISIS is closing in on Baghdad and the Middle East falls into chaos and flames, it appears this crisis won't stop Richard Milhous Obama from two of his favorite pastimes... fundraising for the Party of Treason (Democrats) and a few rounds of golf in Palm Springs, CA.

None dare call it vacation.
Obamas kick off long weekend in California.  Obama plans to take a short flight to Orange County on Saturday [6/14/2014] to raise money for the Democratic National Committee at a closed-door event at a private home.

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 goes golfing during Palm Springs vacation as Iraq descends into chaos.  President Barack Obama spent last weekend on the golf course and on vacation in Palm Springs, California while his National Security team took charge of monitoring the increasing unrest in Iraq, it was revealed on Monday [6/16/2014].  According to reports filed by journalists on the trip of the president's comings and goings, President Barack Obama spent Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday at exclusive resorts playing golf with White House aides.

Obama golfs at Sunnylands, returns to Rancho Mirage.  President Obama spent three hours and 40 minutes at Sunnylands to play golf.  The president is now headed back to his house at Thunderbird Heights, according to the White House press pool report.

Obama Vacations Despite Iraq, Ukraine, Immigration Crisis.  As the Los Angeles local CBS affiliate noted, Obama's staff has helpfully "scoped out some golf courses and gave a list to Obama just in case he wants to spend Father's Day on the links."  If the president breaks out the clubs once again, it will be the sixth time he's golfed in Rancho Mirage since entering the White House.  As of May 24th, 2014, President Obama has hit the links 173 times since becoming president.

Obama tightens his travel belt with one-night stay in Brussels costing 'only' $2.5 Million.  Recors [sic] revealed on Monday [6/16/2014] show that President Obama racked up another $2.5 million in hotel and rental car costs when he visited Brussels, Belgium for this month's G7 summit — and spent just one night in Belgium's capital.  Two government contract award documents show that the money was allocated to cover 141 rental vehicles and a total of 399 lodging, meeting and conference rooms.

Obama now in all-out free fall.  [Scroll down]  The Washington Post lambasted Mr. Obama for his weekly rounds of golf, 177 so far.  (To put that into perspective, Tiger Woods plays about 18 tournaments, 72 rounds, a year.)  Of course, The Post harangued President George W. Bush for playing golf, but he quit playing after America went to war with Iraq.  ("I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal," he said.)

Obama tees off with ESPN commentator.  President Obama is golfing Saturday with ESPN sports commentator Tony Kornheiser, for the third time in less than a year.

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.

Liberal Spin: 'Waste' of Taxpayers' Money for Obama to Visit Texas Border.  "How much does it cost for the president to actually go to the border?" asked Stephanie Cutter, co-host of CNN's "Crossfire" on Tuesday night [7/8/2014].  "And you're willing to waste that taxpayer money?  It's taking Border Patrol agents off the job, so they're not projecting the border.  Hundreds of local policemen... to protect him — and negotiation with the Mexican government to secure the other side of the border."  She spoke on the same day that President Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion in taxpayer money to mitigate the crisis that many Republicans have blamed on Obama's lax enforcement of immigration law.

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.

Barack Obama plays golf with ESPN's Michael Wilbon.  Obama's venue today [7/12/2014] was TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Potomac, Maryland.

Golfer-in-Chief Hits the Links With ESPN Host Who Said 'I Use the N-Word All Day Every Day'.  There's nothing unusual about the president hitting the golf course — he's done it at least a record-setting 177 times over his term.  But it's with whom he's golfing that's interesting.

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).

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.

If I spent the weekend at Camp David, I would consider it a vacation.
Obamas to spend rare weekend at Camp David retreat.  The family was leaving Friday [7/18/2014] for the isolated and heavily guarded hideaway in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains.

Obama golfing with staffers in Virginia.  President Obama is golfing on Sunday at Fort Belvoir, Va., according to a White House pool report.  The president flew to the base on Sunday afternoon [7/20/2014] from Camp David, where he spent Friday evening and Saturday.

5 months off: Martha's Vineyard break will put Obama over 140 days on vacation.  When President Obama wraps up his 16-day summer break next month on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., he will have taken all or part of 141 days of vacation, time split between summers on the island, winters in his native Hawaii and birthday weekends at his Chicago home.  Obama has been criticized for taking costly and lengthy vacations, especially compared to the short trips most Americans take.

Also posted under Obama is lazy.

How Obama cuts down on the campaign costs of his fundraising trips.  During President Obama's West Coast fundraising swing this week, he'll squeeze in an official speech about job training at a community college between multimillion-dollar fundraisers in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles to benefit House and Senate Democrats' re-elections this fall.  But that's not just because he's a multi-tasker.  It will also cut down the cost of the trip.  Over the last few weeks Obama has made a practice of sprinkling in a few public-policy speeches on trips devoted mostly to fundraising, even as he's faced new foreign policy crises in Ukraine and Gaza.

Obama Family Vacation Prompts Two-Week Long Flight Restriction For Martha's Vineyard.  The Obama family's annual August trip to Martha's Vineyard is putting a draconian damper on the ritzy Massachusetts island's jet-setting residents' summer travel plans.

Another 16-day vacation in Martha's Vineyard, rumors of lavish house shopping.  From the Middle East to Ukraine, the world appears to be on fire, but Obama will watch it burn from a $12 million, 10-acre forested estate on Martha's Vineyard, according to Forbes, who noted that the first family has summered at the tony island every year Obama has been in office, except for 2012 when he was running for reelection.  And rumors that the Obama family is purchasing a home in a gated California community where some of Hollywood's top stars have maintained estates might suggest that they've grown fond of the affluent lifestyle.


This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2014 by Andrew K. Dart





Last-minute pork barrel spending in an attempt to buy votes:

Free healthcare clinic at L.A. Sports Arena draws 4,800.  In addition to receiving medical treatment, patients were enrolled in a free coverage program to prepare for the federal healthcare overhaul that takes effect in 2014.

Obama Is Trying To Buy The Hispanic And Female Vote With Another Government Giveaway.  Now that the polls say that President Barack Obama's poll numbers with women and the Hispanics in the United States aren't as exceedingly high as they were previously, there is suddenly a new benefit to the farming — and rancher — community who are either female or Hispanic, who feel they were discriminated against in the not-so-distant past.  How ironic that this benefit to females and Hispanics is being offered right before President Obama's reelection date.  One might logically think that the timing of this benefit to these groups — who vote — is planned to sway their presidential election vote on November 6.  It's just one of the many, many methods in which an incumbent president can grab some extra votes in the eleventh hour.

Buchanan: Obama 'drug dealer of welfare'.  President Barack Obama is a "drug dealer of welfare," conservative commentator Pat Buchanan charged in an interview with Fox News's Greta Van Susteren Tuesday night [9/18/2012].  "Barack Obama is a drug dealer of welfare," he said, speaking on "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."  "He wants permanent dependency, in my judgment, of all these folks... somehow getting benefits, benefits, benefits and paying no taxes."

Sugar Daddy in Chief.  [Scroll down]  And Obama has repeatedly over the past several months used his executive authority to reward certain key constituencies, a process sometimes referred to as "vote buying."  Here are five prominent examples:  [#1]  $12 million in transportation funding for Ohio.  Several days before a scheduled campaign event in Ohio last week, the Obama administration announced the release of more than $450 million in unspent high funds to various states as part of the widely mocked "We Can't Wait" campaign.  Ohio is set to receive more than $12 million for transportation and infrastructure projects.

Obama's Kind of Immigrants.  Of course Obama wants illegal immigration.  Illegal immigrants will depend on the federal government for subsistence, if the federal government offers it.  That's the whole purpose of the Democratic Party in the first place:  To create dependents and enhance their own power.  But think about what this means.  The Democratic Party, and its standard bearer Obama, can only survive politically if millions of people depend on them for their livelihood:  Their food, their shelter, and what passes for medical care and education when run by the government.

Obama uses green pork to push the swing states:
Nuclear's Dilemma: Few Jobs, Just Energy.  Last week, Environmental Entrepreneurs, a trade group, announced that wind and solar projects around the country had created 34,409 new jobs around the country in the second quarter of 2012, with high concentrations in California, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, and Colorado.

A carefully timed pork barrel project:
White House holds 'We Can't Wait' funds for almost four years.  The administration has waited three years and seven months to implement a new "We Can't Wait" project that redirects unspent appropriations to fund new construction projects.  The wait delayed the spending announcement until 11 weeks prior to the November election.  The announcement is part of the administration's "We Can't Wait" effort, which highlights the president's authority to change spending, law enforcement priorities and regulations, independent of Congress and the courts.

Obama OKs old earmark for highway projects.  The Obama administration will free up $473 million in unspent "idle earmarks" to allow states to spend the money on highway projects immediately, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Friday [8/17/2012].  The unspent money comes from congressional pet projects that were written into four spending bills from 2003 to 2006.  But the money was never spent — either because of an error in writing the bill, because the project could be completed without it, or because the earmark wasn't big enough.

Obama redirects $470M in 'idle' earmark funds to highway projects.  The Obama administration said Friday that it would use $470 million in unused money earmarked by members of previous Congresses to pay for new transportation projects.  The White House said the money comes from appropriations bills that were passed by lawmakers from 2003 to 2006.  Since taking over the House in 2010, Republicans have banned earmarks, and have touted the fact that the recently approved $105 billion transportation bill did not include any.





Malia Obama goes to Mexico on Spring Break

Would you send your 13-year-old daughter to Mexico for her own little spring break romp?  The State Department has warned American citizens not to travel to Mexico.  But if you bring 25 federal agents with you, apparently it's okay.

Malia Obama guarded by 25 Secret Service agents on spring break in Mexico.  Barack Obama's eldest daughter is spending her springbreak [sic] in the historic Mexican city of Oaxaca in the company of 12 friends — and 25 Secret Service agents.  The US President's 13-year-old daughter Malia is staying at a downtown hotel in the city famous for its colonial architecture and well-preserved native American traditions, an official said.

Obama's daughter spends spring break in Mexico.  The elder daughter of U.S. President Barack Obama is spending her spring break in the historic Mexican city of Oaxaca in the company of 12 friends, a state police official said.  The young tourists, including 13-year-old Malia Ann Obama, are staying at a downtown hotel in this city famous for its colonial architecture and well-preserved native American traditions, the official said.

The First Family Attend Sunday Service Sans Malia .  The Obamas attended Church one member short on Sunday as Malia, 13, is on Spring Break in Oxaca, Mexico.

Other sources for this story:  [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]   (Why is that important?  Keep reading.)

The Editor asks...
The federal government will provide security, transportation and food for this trip, at taxpayer expense, but who are the chaperones?  If Malia comes back pregnant, will she be "punished with a baby"?  [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

A day later...
AFP story on Obama daughter's Mexico trip scrubbed from Internet.  An AFP report that President Barack Obama's 13-year-old daughter, Malia, is spending spring break in Oaxaca, Mexico appears to have been completely scrubbed from the Internet news sites that first reported it.  Pictures have appeared in Mexican magazine Quién.com allegedly showing Malia visiting Oaxaca.  AFP, the French news agency, first reported around mid-day Monday [3/19/2012] that Malia Obama was vacationing in Mexico with 12 friends under the protection of 25 Secret Service agents and a number of local police officers.  The International Business Times reported that "the group arrived in Oaxaca on Saturday and reportedly visited the architectural site of Mitla."

Malia Obama's Redacted Spring Break.  The AFP ran with a story Monday [3/19/2012] mentioning that Malia Obama was "vacationing in Oaxaca, Mexico, along with a number of friends and 25 Secret Service agents."  Completely inoffensive, but also kind of tacit violation of the media- politician "My kids have the right to a private life when they're doing things out in the public eye" bargain.  The story of Malia's spring break was promptly "picked up by Yahoo, the Huffington Post, and the International Business Times, as well as UK publications like the Daily Mail and the Telegraph."  By Monday evening, the majority of those stories were down.

Why Is the Story About Malia Obama Vacationing in Mexico Disappearing from the Web?  Have you heard that Malia Obama, the president's daughter, is reportedly spending her spring break in Oaxaca, Mexico?  Allegedly, she's jetting off with some of her classmates and 25 Secret Service agents to a country that the State Department has said all Americans should avoid.  But something is different about the latest "Obama vacation controversy:"  references to it are disappearing from the Internet — and fast.

The Editor says...
The Obamas have a history of making bad decisions, and spending taxpayer money on themselves, especially on their globe-trotting vacations, which is the subject of this page.  (Vacations from what?  That's another story.)  The news media have a history of covering up the Obamas' gaffes, and the tradition continues in this case.  The White House wants this scandal swept down the media memory hole, and the Democrat-controlled news media are happy to comply.

Media scrubs Malia Obama vacation story.  The AFP, the Huffington Post and other websites have scrubbed a report about first daughter Malia Obama's Spring Break vacation.  On Monday, the AFP reported that Obama's daughter was vacationing abroad, along with a number of friends and 25 Secret Service agents.  The story was picked up by Yahoo, the Huffington Post, and the International Business Times, as well as UK publications like the Daily Mail and the Telegraph and other overseas publications like The Australian.  But on Monday night, the story had been removed from those sites.

White House Admits Asking Media to Scrub Reports of Malia Obama's Mexican Vacation.  After it was reported Monday that Malia Obama was going to Mexico for spring break with 25 Secret Service agents, people began to notice that such reports were being scrubbed from the Internet.  Politico's Dylan Byers reported Tuesday this was done at the request of the White House.

White House Admits to Asking News Agencies to Pull Malia Obama Vacation Story.  The White House has admitted to telling news agencies to pull stories on Malia Obama visiting the Mexico for spring break, Politico reports.

The Editor says...
The press has a tradition of leaving all the U.S. Presidents' children alone, unless they're Jenna Bush, since the children are — by decree — not newsworthy.  But the story here is one of government waste, extraordinarily poor judgment, and now gross manipulation of the news media.  As usual, the coverup is worse than the crime.  This is a scandal.

White House: Malia Obama Safe From Earthquake in Mexico.  Malia Obama is safe and out of harm's way following an earthquake in Mexico today [3/20/2012], where the president's eldest daughter is on vacation.  "In light of today's earthquake, we can confirm that Malia Obama is safe and was never in danger," the first lady's communications director Kristina Schake said in a written statement.

The Editor says...
At first the press was forbidden to report that Malia was in Mexico without her parents.  But the press was later encouraged to happily report that Malia is safe in Mexico.  The White House wants to be able to turn the news media on and off as needed.

Troubling Things Obama's Spring Break Story Reveal.  First you have to wonder about sending a 13-year-old to drug-war-torn Mexico to frolic with her friends.  It doesn't strike us as the wisest move, given the potential risk to her and those around her.  Then there's President Obama's indifference to the country's perilous financial situation.  With deficits topping $1 trillion, you'd think he'd set an example by scotching a trip that required 25 very expensive Secret Service baby sitters.  Surely there were less costly places for her to go.  If Obama had been a Republican, you can bet such profligacy would be the talk of the town. ... In the end, this was more about an Obama power play over the media than it was about his daughter's safety.

The Media's Double Standard On Obama's Daughters.  [Scroll down]  Predictably, the major media news outlets bowed to White House wishes and scrubbed references to Malia's Mexico trip, presumably because it had no "vital news interest".  So, it's officially off-limits to question or discuss Obama's bizarre decision to send underage Malia on a solo Spring Break trip to Mexico in defiance, by the way, of his own State Department's stern Travel Warning.  Yet one day earlier, on Monday, Michelle Obama went on the David Letterman show and publicly discussed their child-rearing philosophy of instilling "South Side Chicago" values in the girls.  So what IS the media standard, then, on stories relating to the Obamas' child-rearing decisions?  They're public matters on Mondays but off limits on Tuesdays?

White House in fury over Rick Santorum for attacking Malia Obama's trip to Mexico.  Barack Obama responded Wednesday [3/21/2012] with shock to Rick Santorum's recent criticisms that the President was an irresponsible parent for sending his daughter to Mexico.  President Obama's deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, ripped the Republican presidential candidate for raising an issue about Malia Obama's recent school trip.

President Obama's daughters' privacy is difficult to protect in Internet age.  A news story that the White House sought to suppress became a news story anyway on Tuesday in an episode that underscores the difficulties of maintaining the privacy and security of President Obama's underage daughters in a digital world.

The Editor says...
No it doesn't.  If anything it shows that "mainstream" press is controlled by the White House, and the internet is an effective way to bypass Obama's throttle.

Malia Obama Stories Disappear From the Web ... Again.  Remember back in March when news stories about Malia Obama vacationing in Mexico started disappearing from the web? [...] It seems the same thing has happened again, this time after Malia attended a concert last week by U.K. boy band One Direction.  The Daily Caller pointed out that two of the main outlets that covered Malia's attendance have since scrubbed their stories or heavily altered them.

Months later, Obama is now using his children for political gain.
Obama daughters showing up in public comments, campaign ads.  The bump in visibility comes as President Obama uses the girls to personalize his image and his thinking on a range of public policy issues, from explaining why he placed a phone call to a college student assailed by radio talker Rush Limbaugh to his decision to support gay marriage.
[Emphasis added.]

Update:
Group sues Secret Service for cost of Malia Obama's spring break trip to Mexico.  A watchdog group with a history of exposing the taxpayer costs of President Obama's vacations is now suing the Secret Service for records detailing how much it cost the agency to protect first daughter Malia Obama when she traveled to Mexico for spring break earlier this year.  It's a trip that the White House has famously tried to keep out of the news.

JW Sues for Cost of Obama Daughter's Spring Break Trip.  Judicial Watch is investigating yet another Obama personal vacation, trying to get a sense of costs passed on to American taxpayers.  This time, our investigation focuses on the security costs associated with First Daughter Malia Obama's trip to Mexico during Spring Break 2012.

Another update:
Judicial Watch Uncovers Taxpayer Cost for Malia Obama's Spring Break Trip to Mexico.  JW has kept close watch on the First Family's extravagant personal trips for the American people, since we're the ones footing the bill.  And last week we released records detailing the government funds expended on Malia's March 2012 Spring Break vacation to Mexico.  According to the records, obtained from the U.S. Secret Service as a result of a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on September 20, 2012, the total cost of the trip amounted to $115,500.87.

Malia Obama's Trip to Mexico: $115,500.87.  Malia Obama's spring break trip evoked controversy after the Obama White House reportedly ordered the removal of press reports detailing the trip.  On March 19,2012, numerous online press outlets reported that the president's 13-year-old daughter, Malia Obama, was on a Spring Break trip to Mexico accompanied by 25 U.S. Secret Service Agents and as many as 12 of her friends.  However, shortly after the press reports surfaced they were quickly removed from the Internet.  The trip took place shortly after the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a statement advising students on Spring Break "to avoid Mexico."

The Editor says...
Mr. and Mrs. Obama owe the rest of us $115,500.87 for that excursion.  But that was only one of four vacations detailed in the article immediately above, with a total price tag of almost a million dollars.

The Obamas use their kids as political pawns when it works to their advantage:
'Every kid needs a taste of real hard work': Why President Obama wants Malia and Sasha to work minimum-wage jobs.  President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are on the lookout for minimum-wage jobs for their teenage daughters so they can give them a feeling of what 'most folks go through every single day.'  'We are looking for opportunities for them to feel as if going to work and getting a paycheck is not always fun, not always stimulating, not always fair,' the president said in an interview with Parade magazine, slated to run on Sunday.  'I think every kid needs to get a taste of what it's like to do that real hard work,' Michelle echoed.

Years after the Mexican vacation, the Obamas meddle with the media again.
White House Strong-Arms Photo Agency to Quash Malia Photos.  Malia Obama went to a famous L.A. restaurant Monday night [7/7/2014] — a restaurant regularly frequented by celebs and paparazzi — and when the White House found out a photog took her pic, they went into DEFCON 1 to KILL the photo





Obama's multi-million-dollar Indian junket

Entire Taj Mahal Hotel Reportedly Booked for Obama Mumbai Visit.  President Obama's aides have booked the entire Taj Mahal hotel ahead of the president's high-profile visit to the Indian city rocked by a terrorist attack two years ago, The Economic Times reports.  The newspaper reported that the Obama administration has reserved all 570 rooms, as well as the hotel's restaurants, to ensure airtight security when the president and first lady Michelle Obama visit Mumbai early next month.  Dozens of other rooms have been booked elsewhere in the city.

Marie Antoinette has nothing on the Obamas.  Clearly this administration learned nothing from the public outcry over Michelle Obama's turn as Marie Antoinette re-incarnate on her last little junket to Spain.  If you thought the flaunting FLOTUS dropping a cool half million on a vacation trip for 40 of her pals and 70 secret service agents was over-the-top, wait to you get a load of the Obama itinerary for the Mumbai junket.

Obama's 855-Room Junket to India:  What About the Deficit?  Having created another trillion-dollar deficit for the current fiscal year, President Obama is working on yet another deficit buster with his extravagant two-day visit to India in November. ... To ensure fool-proof security, the President's team has booked the entire the Taj Mahal Hotel, including 570 rooms, all banquets and restaurants.  Since his security contingent and staff will comprise a huge number, 125 rooms at Taj President have also been booked, apart from 80 to 90 rooms each in Grand Hyatt and The Oberoi hotels.  The NCPA, where the President is expected to meet representatives from the business community, has also been entirely booked.

White House staff to man Taj.  The iconic Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai will be off limits not only for outsiders, but also for most of the hotel's employees during US President Barack Obama's visit.  Operations at the hotel will virtually be taken over by White House staff for two days beginning November 6.  Just 10 per cent of Taj's 1,400 permanent staff will be at hand for the guests, comprising the US first family and the rest of the delegation.  The hotel will not accept any other guests.

Taj hotel staff to be under 'house arrest' for Barack Obama.  The Taj is shutting its doors to other guests as it readies itself for its most important one.  But the arrival of Barack Obama doesn't have the hotel's staff excited.  Reason?  For the two days the US president and his entourage will be at the Taj, the staff will be under virtual house arrest.  Worse, they can't keep their mobile phones with them.

Obama's trip to be biggest ever.  US President Barack Obama's trip to India next month is set to be the biggest ever by any US president in terms of the protocol and logistics.

Obama's $200 million-a-day trip to India.  President Obama's trip to India will cost the U.S. $200m-a-day, it was reported today.  The visit — part of a 10-trip to Asia — will take place amid unprecedented levels of security in the city of Mumbai, where terrorists killed at least 173 people two years ago.

US to spend $200 million a day on Obama's Mumbai visit.  The US would be spending a whopping $200 million per day on President Barack Obama's visit to the city. ... About 3,000 people including Secret Service agents, US government officials and journalists would accompany the President.  Several officials from the White House and US security agencies are already here for the past one week with helicopters, a ship and high-end security instruments.

Obamas wanted to celebrate Diwali in India.  Barack Obama, who became the first US president to personally celebrate Diwali in the historic East Room in 2009, wanted to "specifically" celebrate the festival of lights with Indians, the White House has said.  "He (Obama) specifically wanted to have an opportunity to celebrate Diwali and to do so with the Indian people, getting beyond simply his official business," Jeff Bader, Senior Director for Asia Affairs at the National Security Council, White House, said.

The Editor says...
Call me a hayseed, but I had never heard of Diwali.  Apparently it is a five-day festival that is important to Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism.  And evidently it is important to Mr. and Mrs. Obama as well.

34 warships sent from US for Obama visit.  The White House will, of course, stay in Washington but the heart of the famous building will move to India when President Barack Obama lands in Mumbai on Saturday.  Communications set-up, nuclear button, a fleet of limousines and majority of the White House staff will be in India accompanying the President on this three-day visit that will cover Mumbai and Delhi.

US security may jam walkie-talkies.  [Scroll down]  Meanwhile, even as Delhi Police is preparing to use its newly-acquired sophisticated weapons to ensure fool-proof security for the US president, the cops might still have to rely on their mobile phones to communicate with one another when the President is on the move.  Security agencies said that there was a possibility that the entire walkie-talkie network might be "jammed" as the US security agencies will be blocking all possible frequencies through which communication is possible.

The Editor says...
First of all, blocking "all possible frequencies through which communication is possible" means blocking every known radio frequency. Secondly, imagine the uproar that would ensue if the Indian Prime Minister came to Washington and jammed every radio (and television and cell phone) frequency.  Transmitting radio signals without a license is illegal in every country in the world.  For the U.S. to send civilians into another country to take over the radio spectrum is an act of unmitigated imperialism.

India: The Pasha Tour.  Yes, a traveling president deserves security.  But the 3,000-person entourage accompanying Barack Obama to Mumbai, India, this week reeks of pashalike decadence.

Coconuts, monkeys, warships: India's security plan for President Obama's visit.  Just days ahead of his trip to India, local authorities were going to extraordinary lengths Thursday [11/4/2010] to protect US President Barack Obama, even removing coconuts from trees to prevent them falling on the president's head.

A coconut-free respite for President Obama.  President Obama can't wait to get out of Dodge, and who can blame him?  He's off Friday for a long trip through Asia, landing first in India, and if he puts everything on his credit card, he'll have enough frequent-flier miles to go anywhere for years after he leaves the White House.  He'll feel right at home in India.  He hasn't had an opportunity to blow other people's money with abandon like this since he sent billions to General Motors and Chrysler.

How much do Obama's foreign trips cost?  An thinly sourced report that President Barack Obama's upcoming trip to India is going to cost $200 million a day looks to be grossly inflated, but how much do presidential trips abroad actually cost?  That answer isn't quite as secret as the White House and some press reports would have you believe.

Cost of Obama's Trip to India Angers Right.  Back in 1999, the General Accounting Office did a study of a 10-day trip to Africa by President Bill Clinton.  The report found that the total cost for the trip was $42 million.  That figure did not take into account the airplanes, helicopters and support personnel who accompany the president, however.  (The personnel would presumably be paid whether or not a trip took place.)  The operating cost of Air Force One is over $100,000 per hour, and a ten-hour flight from DC to Mumbai would thus tack on a million dollars to a trip's cost.

Fuzzy Math Dogs Obama's Asia Trip.  As if Tuesday's shellacking wasn't enough, President Barack Obama is getting pilloried by the right on the cost of his 10-day trip to Asia, with outlandish hyperventilation going directly from suspect Indian media reports to conservative U.S. media outlets and commentators without a pause for fact-checking. ... [T]he report is demonstrably incorrect.  It says the White House had blocked off the entire Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai — it hasn't — and that the press traveling with Mr. Obama will be staying there.  We won't.  Besides, the press pays its own way at considerable cost to the media outlets, not the U.S. taxpayer.

Obama's India extravaganza angers Americans.  The US is still crawling through a recession and its citizens are unhappy that their president is squandering huge resources on a vacation. ... Take the bomb-proof surface tunnel that is to be installed by US military engineers on the approach to Mani Bhavan, the Gandhi museum that the president will visit soon after he comes to Mumbai on Saturday.  US security officials came up with the plan after inspecting the route to the museum and they felt that the area was too congested to monitor.  The kilometer-long tunnel that will be large enough to let Obama's cavalcade drive through, will be put up in an hour.

President Obama's excellent asian adventure.  President Obama is being ridiculed for the extravagance of his trip to Asia.  A report from India that Obama's trip will cost $200 million a day for two days in India is implausible and baseless.  However, the White House will not say what the actual price tag nor, to my knowledge, has it denied that he be will accompanied by an enormous entourage the accommodation of which will be hugely expensive.  Instead, the administration's talking point is that presidential trips abroad are always expensive.  That's true.  But Obama seems to be taking things to a new level.

Obama moving White House to India?  Despite yesterday's election, it is now blatantly obvious that Obama & Co neither cares about the United States of America nor its people.  Today, the US tyrant — along with an estimated 50 jumbo jets full of his 3,000 person entourage — will fly Air Force One (followed by the second AF One and Marine One copters) to Mumbai, India where he and his merry minions will take over the entire Taj Mahal and other hotels.  The now fully visible to the entire world hedonist and "Neroistc" monarch Obama will spend at least $200 Million PER DAY of OUR money to indulge his every whim and fantasy.

Obama to use teleprompter for Hindi speechNamaste India!  In all likelihood that will be silver-tongued Barack Obama's opening line when he addresses the Indian parliament next week. ... But few in India know that the US president always carries the teleprompter with him wherever he speaks.

Glib Pasha Gets His Just Deserts.  [Scroll down]  While the White House is denying reports from the Indian press that the President's mambo to Mumbai will cost US taxpayers $200 million a day and that 34 U.S. warships will be on hand there for his visit, it is not providing any accounting of what promises to be a very ostentatious pageant.  Coconuts are being plucked from the trees lest any on fall on his crown and 40 airplanes, 13 heavy-lift aircraft and three helicopters, chefs, huge security details (which are already offending local dignitaries) luxury jets will accompany him and expensive hotels for the operation and invited guests have been fully booked for the excursion.

Bomb-proof tunnel with air conditioning.  President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle arrived in India's commercial hub of Mumbai on Saturday [11/6/2010], days after voters punished his Democrats in mid-term elections.  Probably not since the days of the Pharaohs or the more ludicrous Roman Emperors has a head of state travelled in such pomp and expensive grandeur as the President of the United States of America.

Well, as long as the White House denies it ...  It really doesn't matter what it's costing for Obama's trip — it's too much.  When the President decides it would be a good idea to drop into Philadelphia and back a candidate at 5 on a workday afternoon, the politicos love it, but it costs us a bunch of money and ties up all the working stiffs who are trying to get home with traffic gridlock — caused by the President's party.  That's a shame and it's a slap in the face to the people it inconveniences.  And, frankly, I've lived through too many White House denials to accept them as gospel.

Obama's Disastrous Visit to India.  As his political party was delivered a severe blow and his agenda was cut off at the knees on election day he was seen dancing happily all across the [Indian] continent with a lavish visit paid for at the taxpayer's expense even as those same taxpayers were enraged at wild government spending sprees.





The New York City Flyover

Buzzing New York City in Air Force One is not only a waste of fuel, it's completely unnecessary.  The ostensible purpose of this flight was to take pictures of Air Force One with the city in the background.  The same end product could have been produced through the use of Adobe Photoshop.  There must have been more to it than mere picture taking.  I suspect this flight was just a joy ride for a large group of influential Democrats.

Will anyone lose their job over this incident?  Don't count on it.

They Knew!  The FAA knew letting a presidential jumbo jet and an F-16 fighter fly ominously near Ground Zero Monday might cause panic in the streets — but the White House still insisted the photo-op be kept classified, sources said yesterday.  A cryptic, classified alert — obtained by The [New York] Post yesterday [4/28/2009] — written by James Johnston, a high-ranking Federal Aviation Administration official in Washington, predicted the fear and confusion.

White House will probe presidential plane PR stunt.  The taxpayer bill for Monday's presidential plane flight over Manhattan was $328,835.

Create-your-own NYC Air Force One flyover photo ... we did.  Memo to the White House:  Not only was flying a Presidential jet for a photo-op Monday over downtown Manhattan in bad taste — it was unnecessary.  Anyone in the White House ever hear of Photoshop?

White House Calls New York City Flyover 'Stupid'.  White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday a photo-op featuring the presidential jet flying over the Manhattan skyline was as "stupid a thing to do as one could dream up."  During an interview on Air Force One, Gibbs said if President Obama had had "any knowledge of the stupid idea to go take pictures of the plane in New York, I can assure you that wouldn't have happened."

FAA Memo: Feds Knew NYC Flyover Would Cause Panic.  A furious President Barack Obama ordered an internal review of Monday's low-flying photo op over the Statue of Liberty.  [WCBS-TV] has discovered the feds will have plenty to question.  Federal officials knew that sending two fighter jets and a 747 from the presidential fleet to buzz ground zero and Lady Liberty might set off nightmarish fears of a 9/11 replay, but they still ordered the photo-op kept secret from the public.

The Editor says...
Whoever ordered this flight was at a high enough level in the government that neither the Air Force nor the FAA could veto the idea.  That's pretty high up.  There aren't many people at that level in the White House, and they all talk to each other, and yet the President claims that he knew nothing about it.

Plane stupid.
Mayor Bloomberg outraged over military photo-op involving low-flying presidential jet.  The White House apologized late Monday after the U.S. military — without public warning — buzzed New York City with one of the presidential planes trailed by an F-16 fighter jet.  Not even Mayor Bloomberg knew they were coming.

Real Cost of 'Stupid' New York Flyover Far More Than Air Force's Total.  Flying the presidential jet over lower Manhattan for a photo op, sending panicked New Yorkers running into the streets, was as "stupid a thing to do as one could dream up," the White House said Wednesday [4/29/2009].  And it cost far more than the $328,835 the Air Force says it spent.  New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's office said it doesn't have hard numbers yet on how much the city had to spend to deal with the panic caused when a backup jet to Air Force One, accompanied by two F-16 fighter jets, flew around for approximately 30 minutes for a photo shoot commissioned by the White House Military Office.

Flyover Launcher.  This morning, at least one news organization and one citizen advocacy group was mulling filing a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the release of the manifest for the Air Force One New York flyover to determine if any Obama donors or other interested parties were on board the flight.  The suspicion that civilians — or a high-ranking White House official — may have been on the flight is the result, in part, of the involvement of Louis Caldera, the Obama Administration's director of the White House Military Office, who authorized the New York City flyover, and who was brought into the administration, say Obama donors and transition team members, for his understanding of the Pentagon's inner-workings, his relationship with high-powered donors with backgrounds in the defense industry, and his ties to both Bill and Hillary Clinton and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson.

So Why Does Air Force One Need Publicity, Anyway?  Sometimes, even the most straightforward question can create a havoc of evasion and denial in Washington's corridors of power — a question such as "Why does Air Force One need publicity photos?"  It's a legitimate question, following the official explanation that Monday's flight over lower Manhattan by one of the President's fleet of 747s (shadowed by a fighter plane) that evoked ghosts of 9/11 and spread panic, was simply an ill-conceived photo opportunity.

100 Days of Reckless Photo-Op Hubris.  Come on, who's surprised? The White House-engineered photo-op of low-flying Air Force aircraft that caused terror in New York City this week epitomizes the Age of Obama.  What better way to mark 100 days in office than with an appalling exercise in pointless taxpayer-funded stagecraft?  The superficiality, the unseriousness, the hubris, the obliviousness to post-9/11 realities:  They were trademarks of the Obama campaign, and they are the tattoos on his governance.  He never leaves home without his teleprompter.  All the Obama world's a stage.

Fly By Farce Theory.  [Scroll down]  "Apparently there was also a similar strafing scheduled for Washington DC which has been scrapped."

Feds "demanded total secrecy" in NYC flyover — We demand answers.  Having personally experienced the loss of law enforcement officers I knew rather well and knowing others in law enforcement who were forever affected on the morning of 9/11, I am mad as [heck] over the ill-conceived low-altitude flyover of the skies of lower Manhattan by an Air Force One lookalike and its F-16 military escorts that took place early Monday morning.  Not only am I outraged, I want answers, if not for me, for every American and especially those who were forced to relive the fear felt on 9/11.

Yeah, right.
President Obama "Furious" to Hear of Plane Incident.  A White House official tells ABC News that President Obama was "furious" to hear about the incident this morning when Air Force One and Air Force fighter jets appeared to be flying into the Manhattan skyline, scaring many New Yorkers into thinking they were about to face another terrorist attack.  Many buildings in lower Manhattan evacuated.  Angry New York politicians lashed out at whoever was responsible for the incident — which turned out to have been for a photo op.

A 'Classified' Photo Op Turns Into a Soaring Blunder for the White House.  As secret missions go, this one was a flop.  On Monday morning, one of the 747s used to ferry around the U.S. president was dispatched to the Statue of Liberty, escorted by a fighter jet.  Assignment:  Get some fresh glamour shots of the plane.  The Air Force said the flight needed to remain confidential. So while New York police knew about it, as did at least one person in the mayor's office, regular New Yorkers remained in the dark.

President Obama calls Air Force One flyover a 'mistake'.  President Barack Obama admitted Tuesday it was "a mistake" to send a Boeing 747 and an F-16 fighter jet buzzing over lower Manhattan.  Speaking before a meeting at FBI headquarters in Washington, Obama said he was as in the dark as everyone else about the photo op fly-by, but made no secret of his disapproval.  "It was a mistake, as was stated," Obama said.  "And it will not happen again."

To Seem, Rather Than To Be.  New Yorkers, from the mayor on down, are livid — and justifiably so.  Certain officials were notified about the stunt, but they were told to keep it secret.  So people like the mayor and the general public had no idea what was going on when the jumbo jet roared overhead, low enough to rattle windows, with the F-16 right on its tail. ... And in a week or two, they'll do something else even more thoughtless and tone-deaf.

Air Heads in DC Terrorize City.  It turned out that the backup Air Force One jet and the fighter that appeared to be pursuing it only 1,000 feet above Ground Zero were staging the spectacle to get publicity shots of the presidential plane with a New York backdrop.  President Obama called the incident a "mistake" today and said it would not happen again.

The Editor says...
That probably means that it won't happen again in New York City.  On a weekday.  During daylight hours.

Obama orders review of NYC plane scare.  President Barack Obama has ordered an internal review to determine how the decision was made to send of one of his official airplanes on a low-flying photo op past the New York City skyline.  White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday [4/26/2009] that deputy chief of staff Jim Messina will lead the review.

Air Force One, Flaps Up!  The White House announced that it was unaware of the plan to scare the pants off of half of one of America's busiest cities and had "just found out about it."  Really, is someone out joyriding in the president's plane around New York without permission?  What if there had been a national emergency and he had to rush out to Edwards AFB.  "Hey, where is my ride?"  "We're not sure, Mr. President" but we are looking into it and should have a reasonable idea within three weeks."

Bloomberg Questions Air Force Dumb & Dumber.  Scaring the holy heck out of the city by allowing a low-flying Air Force One clone and an F-16 to buzz lower Manhattan for photo op.  Dumb.  Deeming those photos classified.  Even dumber.  Mayor Bloomberg took a little shot at Team Obama today, questioning the public relations-savvy of the administration's decision to keep the publicity photos of low-flying plane under wraps.

The Selective Transparency of Barack Obama.  Sunlight is for suckers.  The New York Post reported on Tuesday that the White House will not release the $328,835 snapshots taken of the president's Boeing VC-25A that buzzed lower Manhattan.  The entire world has seen news and amateur photos and videos of the incident, but if President Obama has his way, taxpayers won't be able to see the flyover photos they paid for with their own money.

White House Declines to Release Photos of New York City Flyover.  The White House is refusing to release the controversial photos of Air Force One flying over the Manhattan skyline last week that triggered panic among New Yorkers and an internal review in the Obama administration.  White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that there was no need to release them.

White House won't release Air Force One photos.  Here it is, more than a week after the $328,000 photo op, and still it's hard to understand how someone could think it was a good idea.  White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was wearing his tap dance shoes today when asked about a report in the New York Post that the White House wasn't going to release photos from the much-maligned mission.

Phantom Air Farce Pictures.  The $328,835 snapshots of an Air Force One backup plane buzzing lower Manhattan last week will not be shown to the public, the White House said yesterday [5/4/2009].  "We have no plans to release them," an aide to President Obama told The Post, refusing to comment further.

The Editor says...
What if there were no pictures?  That would explain the administration's reluctance to release them.  I suspect it was all just an expensive joyride for the Democrat elite.

Update:
Wait — The White House, at long last, has released the picture that was taken on the Air Force One barnstorming flight over New York.  And it looks like my earlier assumption was incorrect — one person lost his White House job over this incident.

ONE picture?  That's all they took?
$328,000 Photo:  WH Will Release Pic from Air Force One NYC Fiasco.  The White House has apparently had a change of heart, and will release "a photo" from the pricey, fright-inducing Manhattan flyover photo-op involving an Air Force fighter jet and a Boeing 747 which is sometimes used as the president's plane.

White House aide Louis Caldera loses job over Manhattan flyover fiasco involving Air Force One.  The White House aide who authorized the controversial Air Force One photo-op flight last week around the Statue of Liberty is out of a job.  President Obama has accepted the resignation of Louis Caldera, the director of the White House Military Office, the [New York] Daily News learned Friday [5/8/2009].

After Flyover of Air Force One Backup, Military Office Director Resigns.  The director of the White House Military Office submitted his resignation on Friday, less than two weeks after he authorized a flyover by an Air Force One backup of the Statue of Liberty that terrified thousands of people in New York City.

'Air Force One' photo-flop costly: One job.  The White House hasn't only released a photo from the $357,000 "photo op" of the Air Force jumbo jet that serves as Air Force One flying over New York and scaring half the city still traumatized by the airliner attacks on the World Trade Center's twin towers.  The White House also has released the White House military affairs director who authorized the flyover.

Secretary Gates Concerned About Violation of Protocols for Air Force One Flyover.  On the same day the White House is scheduled to issue a report as to what went wrong when White House military office director Louis Caldera signed off on an Air Force One flyover that frightened so many New Yorkers on April 27, a letter was made public indicating that Defense Secretary Robert Gates is concerned about the lack of military supervision of the plan.

Series of gaffes led to Air Force One flyover.  The Air Force One photo shoot over New York City last month, with the presidential aircraft buzzing lower Manhattan at 1,000 feet as terrified workers were fleeing office buildings, was a convergence of gaffes missed e-mails and phone calls, doses of pain pills, early departures from the office, and hallway "asides" that went nowhere.

Air Farce Ejector Seat.  The bumbling head of President Obama's military office resigned yesterday after an embarrassing internal report revealed his failure to give a heads-up to the White House and the public or to anticipate the panic triggered by a photo op of Air Force One cruising low over New York City.

The Visual Subtext of the Statue of Liberty Fly-by Photo.  One image alone was released from the expensive photo op that terrified New Yorkers last month.  Out of [untold] images taken during the mission, only one was chosen.  It speaks powerfully to the American public — in symbolic language.  The ominous and imposing aircraft dominates the scene in such a way that, in gestalt parlance, no one could mistake the figure for the ground.  The figure is an aircraft that serves as Air Force One, representing the Messianic omnipotence of the Obama presidency.

Bam's Scare Force One Scapegoat.  On Friday [5/8/2009], the White House released the results of a bizarre "inquiry" into Scare Force One that strangely looked only at the military office.  Little surprise, then, that the designated fall guy was the military office director, Louis Caldera.

Aide Responsible For AF1 Flight Over NYC Lands Safely.  Louis Caldera, the head of the White House military office forced out over the controversial Air Force One photo-op over the Statue of Liberty, has become a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, The Mouth learned Wednesday [6/10/2009].  CAP, a center-left think thank founded by the well-connected John Podesta, is a repository of well-known Democratic operatives and policy wonks.

The latest:  The old Friday night media dump.
Defense Department Releases Flurry of Photos of Botched Plane Flyover.  The Department of Defense released a flurry of additional photos Friday [7/31/2009] of Air Force One's controversial Manhattan flyover in April.  A total of 146 photos were released of the April 27 incident, which panicked many local citizens and prompted officials in the New York metropolitan area to question why the White House Military Office did not make the mission more broadly known.

Doc dump details Air Force Ones' New York City mishap.  The documents show that the Air Force carefully tracked the explosion of negative press that ensued after panicked New Yorkers feared the low-flying, circling planes were part of a 9/11-like attack.  The e-mails also show various components of the bureaucracy trying to steer clear of the fallout.  Of those who knew about the planned flight, only an Air Force reserve Major General, Brian Keenan, seems to have foresight into the response the photo op inspired.

Official e-mails reveal boondoggle over Air Force One's Manhattan flyover.  Government officials knew the Air Force One flyover of the Statue of Liberty would scare the bejabbers out of New Yorkers, but went ahead with it anyway and quickly realized their bigtime blunder.  A barrage of e-mails between officials right after the flight made public Friday showed a flurry of second guessing, finger-pointing, attempts at damage control...

Three million New Yorkers did not have a need to know.  On page 11 of the 533 page Friday afternoon document drop from the White House, a quote from an e-mail referring to the disastrous Air Force One flyby of lower Manhattan:  "3 million New Yorkers did not have a need to know."  Page 22:  "Will probably receive some local press, but WH (White House) shouldn't catch any questions about it."

Air Force used Twitter to track NY flyover fallout.  As the Pentagon warns of the security risks posed by social networking sites, newly released government documents show the military also uses these Internet tools to monitor and react to coverage of high-profile events.

No Explanation For This Insanity.  [Scroll down]  This administration demonstrated its lack of compassion for [the people of New York] when it ordered jets to fly near Ground Zero for a ridiculous photo op of Air Force One.  Who shot the photos?  The jet pilots?  How good could the photo be when the cameraman is flying an air force jet at the same time?  Why was a photo even necessary?  Did they never hear of Photoshop?  This story smells to high heaven and we never did learn who was in Air Force One nor did we get any rational explanation for the ridiculous decision.

Why Obama Sticks in my Craw.  "Special Pictures" was the reason given back in 2009 when Air Force One buzzed New York City on a Sunday morning.  New Yorkers were alarmed.  It seemed an indelicate aeronautic act to pull on the city still smarting from the effects of previous low-flying large jets.  Not to worry... and please disregard.  We were told that these pictures were for a special documentary or something, therefore the flight was necessary.  Forget that any off-the-shelf photo-editing program could put Air Force One into a New York City skyline without the fuel, escort, or citizen alarm.  I must have missed the documentary or any other use of Air Force One pictures with New York City as a background.  Certainly it was not as some suggest.  There is no way a power-hungry narcissist would be so egocentric as to order Air Force One into the air for a joyride with the family.  Nor could we imagine a first lady so power-crazy, or even a Napoleonic chief of staff.

An Uncontrollable Ego.  The week after Obama's first inauguration, commuters in New York City were shocked when Air Force One buzzed the Statue of Liberty.  When the White House was queried nobody took responsibility.  But only the President of the United States can override standing orders and FAA safety rules in that symbolic act of giving the middle finger to the whole country, within sight of the ruined Twin Towers.  Buzzing Lady Liberty was only one of dozens of acts of symbolic defiance that Obama has indulged in over the years.  Psychiatrically these gestures have two features:  first, they are unnecessary to achieve any rational goal; and second, they always reveal rage and hatred against "middleclassness," as Jeremiah Wright calls it, the values that normal Americans hold dear.




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