Saturday, August 08, 2009
The Obama date
A report from an Air Force officer
First, let me say that I've moved three presidents up to now and I've seen incredible waste. But, the "new" guy really takes the cake. I don't have an issue with the President promising his wife dinner and a show or that he even takes his wife out. But, when I saw the news say that the date cost $24,000, here's what you DON'T know.
Three days before "dinner" a C-17 flew Marines and the helicopter maintenance equipment to JFK Airport . The day before "dinner" I flew the USSS and the motorcade to JFK Airport. Our crew of 5 spent two days and nights at the Hilton in Times Square. My hotel bill: $621.66 plus $64 a day in per diem. The USSS guys were at a different Hilton in NYC, so figure that cost another $14,000 (or so) plus per diem. The Marines had to have cost as much and were there four days, so figure another $55,000 plus per diem (for 44 Marines).
We were supposed to fly the motorcade back and go home, but the Air Force was so short C-17's that we were re-tasked to take the motorcade back, return to JFK and take the helicopter back to Quantico. When we got back to JFK, while the pilot was turning the plane around to park, he noticed a rotor blade sticking out of the hangar where the helicopter was parked and informed me that either it wasn't ready to transport or it was flying home.
After shutting down I walked over to the hangar and to my surprise I find FIVE helicopters, not ONE. We're obviously not transporting five big helicopters. I went and talked to the Marines guarding the "fleet" and found that they were flying all five helicopters home and we were only transporting the Marines and the maintenance equipment.
After talking to the Marine(s) in charge, I was told that the White House requested FIVE helicopters. The Marines told me that they spent all morning trying to figure out how much it cost them to come and said they figured it cost them $140,000 to stay there (I don't know where they came up with that)and the trip's total had to be about $1,000,000.
We heard that the President didn't use Air Force One (the 747) so I asked if he came in on one of the 757's. I was told that he came in on THREE Air Force Lear jets.
So, date night consisted of: 2 C-17's flying three missions, 3 Lear jets, 5 Helicopters, Presidential Motorcade, 44 Marines, more than 20 USSS personnel on our plane. Who knows what it cost the NYPD and NY Port Authority (at the airport) in overtime.
These are the same people that chastised the automobile CEO's for using their aircraft. It further proves that the media only use the facts that make the President look good and hide any facts that will detract from his persona. Is this the 'change' we expected?
Received via email
Nothing has been learnt
Obama wants more of what has already failed
The Obama administration is considering an overhaul of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that would strip the mortgage finance giants of hundreds of billions of dollars in troubled loans and create a new structure to support the home-loan market, government officials said.
The bad debts the firms own would be placed in new government-backed financial institutions -- so-called bad banks -- that would take responsibility for collecting as much of the outstanding balance as possible. What would be left would be two healthy financial companies with a clean slate.
The moves would represent one of the most dramatic reorderings of the badly shattered housing finance system since District-based Fannie Mae was created by Congress to support mortgage lending during the Great Depression. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, based in McLean, have government charters to buy home loans from banks, which they then repackage and sell to investors. The banks can then use the proceeds to offer more loans to home buyers.
The leviathans became emblematic of the financial crisis when they were effectively nationalized in September amid a market meltdown that revealed much of their holdings to be troubled. The government has since pledged more than $1.5 trillion, including $85 billion in direct aid, to keep the mortgage market working through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
WHY THE LEFT IS ATTACKING HEALTH SCHEME OPPONENTS
The DNC, liberal blogs, MSNBC and the Obama administration are attacking anyone that challenges them on their government-run health care scheme. Obama is asking his supporters to “flag” comments that don’t comply with his dogma on health care reform. Liberal blog “Think Progress”, which seems to be a misnomer, published an outright lie about FreedomWorks that was picked up by other leftist blogs and even mainstream media sources like Politico and broadcast news stations.
What explains the lockstep, attack-mode liberal campaign against FreedomWorks and Tea Party Patriots? Well, we have them on the ropes. We are using Saul Alinsky against them and out organizing them. They can’t stand the fact that real Americans are showing up at townhall meetings and demanding that elected officials listen to them for once. When you move the country toward socialism at such a rate, and bail out failed companies, raise taxes, explode the deficits and demonize millions of Americans, what do you expect their response to be?
I am not a fan of shouting anyone down or using the tactics that ACORN and the thuggish unions use. But I am a fan of local activists who are organizing their neighbors and friends to get them to meetings so that they can speak up, speak out and put their elected officials on the spot. Its funny that the community organizer in chief is now afraid of the very thing that got him elected: individuals that convince their friends and family to get involved in the political process. David Axelrod, Rahm Emmanuel and Barack Obama are afraid of what they are seeing in the town hall meetings, and inside district offices across the country. They have awakened a sleeping giant made up of hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been pushed too far by the federal government.
The activism out there is real, organic, passionate, inspiring and as American as it gets. While FreedomWorks has played a role in organizing its members to participate in the protests, we have not faked anything, nor tried to control the movement. We offer the protest movement on the right some guidance, some leadership and some lateral coordination, but the heart and soul of the movement is the grassroots. It’s made up of folks like Diana Reimer in Philadelphia, Mark Meckler in Sacramento, Billie Tucker in Jacksonville, Debbie Dooley in Atlanta and Kellen Giuda in New York City. These are the people that are leading this movement from the ground up, and taking on the political elites like no one else has before. The left can criticize, mock, brush off or hate these people all they want, but they will not stop organizing. They will not stop protesting, calling their congressmen, showing up at townhall meetings and coming to DC on their own dime to meet with their legislators. These folks are new to politics, and they are sick and tired of both parties. These are the people that will kill cap and trade, fight government-run healthcare tooth and nail and hold politicians accountable in the 2010 election.
We are under attack by the left because they fear us. We are on offense. We have pushed back and now we are the radicals and they are the establishment. We are taking on big government and big business, both of which are supporting Obamacare. I have watched this movement develop from the beginning, and I can say that it has the potential to be a historic movement that rivals many others in American history. If we stay focused, keep organizing, keep recruiting and keep up the pressure, we can and will defend liberty and prevent this country from walking blindly down the road to serfdom.
SOURCE. Another comment on this on TONGUE-TIED today. See also here and here and here for the sheer impossibility of what Obama is proposing.
House provides $200 million for government VIP jets: “The House is ordering up three Gulfstream jets to fly Pentagon and other top government officials — including members of Congress — around the globe in conditions far cushier than coach class. The almost $200 million appropriation to buy three C-37 jets, the military version of the Gulfstream 550, is buried in a $636 billion Pentagon budget passed by the House last week. It’s not as fancy as the version sold to private customers, but still is a very nice ride.”
Poll: Obama drops to 50 percent: “President Obama’s approval rating has dropped to 50 percent, according to a poll released Thursday, a new low for the president as he tries to shepherd healthcare reform legislation through Congress in the next few months. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows 50 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing compared to 42 percent who don’t. That’s the lowest number since Obama took office, and down from a 57 percent approval rating at the beginning of July. A FOX News poll released July 23 showed his job performance at 54 percent. The new Quinnipiac numbers suggest the public is losing confidence in the president’s ability to guide domestic policy issues, yet retaining confidence in his ability to guide foreign policy.”
Obama backtracks on pledge to whistleblowers: "Despite its pledge to better protect federal employees who expose wrongdoing, the Obama administration privately sought to weaken protections for national security whistleblowers under legislation making its way through Congress, according to correspondence obtained by The Washington Times. E-mails that documented the White House's intervention show the White House counsel's office provided its own drafts of the proposed legislation in late June and mid-July. While strengthening protections for some whistleblowers, the drafts weakened protections for FBI employees and reduced access to jury trials for those national security workers who sue for protection from retaliation after blowing the whistle."
Somalia is Obama’s new “Afghanistan”: "The Horn of Africa is a hotbed of pirates, Islamic radicals, warlords, refugees, and, lately, foreign armies trying to influence this killing field. The epicenter is Somalia, a Muslim land largely in chaos since 1991 and — this is the big worry — a possible nesting ground for Al Qaeda or its allies. President Obama has taken on this trouble spot directly, as he has Afghanistan. He’s beefing up US military aid and training for Somalia’s besieged government, which can barely hold onto the capital, Mogadishu. And on Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton held a high-profile meeting with the country’s elected president, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed.”
Obama and the economy: "Now, I’m not saying that Reagan was laissez-faire or that the economic recovery didn’t owe something to a newly fashioned form of military Keynesianism. Rather, my focus here is on the spin: the press hated him, and exaggerated the failings of the economic structure in order to destroy policies it hated. The contrast with the Obama administration can’t be more stark. No one in these ranks said that malinvestments have to be washed out of the system and bankruptcies and unemployment must be tolerated for a time in order to get back on a growth. Nay, nay, they pulled out the old bag of tricks and claim that they only needed to loot the public of hundreds of billions and spend it on building up government, and then, wow, like magic, the entire economy would come back to life. But it hasn’t.”
There Is a Military Option on Iran: "In a policy address at the Council on Foreign Relations last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of Iran, “We cannot be afraid or unwilling to engage.” But the Iranian government has yet to accept President Obama’s outstretched hand. Even if Tehran suddenly acceded to talks, U.S. policy makers must prepare for the eventuality that diplomacy fails. While there has been much discussion of economic sanctions, we cannot neglect the military’s role in a Plan B. The military can play an important role in solving this complex problem without firing a single shot. Publicly signaling serious preparation for a military strike might obviate the need for one if deployments force Tehran to recognize the costs of its nuclear defiance. Mr. Obama might consider, for example, the deployment of additional carrier battle groups and minesweepers to the waters off Iran, and the conduct of military exercises with allies. If such pressure fails to impress Iranian leadership, the U.S. Navy could move to blockade Iranian ports. A blockade—which is an act of war—would effectively cut off Iran’s gasoline imports, which constitute about one-third of its consumption. Especially in the aftermath of post-election protests, the Iranian leadership must worry about the economic dislocations and political impact of such action. Should these measures not compel Tehran to reverse course on its nuclear program, and only after all other diplomatic avenues and economic pressures have been exhausted, the U.S. military is capable of launching a devastating attack on Iranian nuclear and military facilities."
I have put a fair bit up on my Paralipomena blog recently, for those who take an interest in my assorted postings there.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 12:33 AM