“One must bear in mind that the expansion of federal activity is a form of eating for politicians.” — William F. Buckley, Jr.
It’s nice to take a family vacation. Over the years my family and I have taken many family vacations. We have toured the United States by car and flown to Europe. I have taken my kids to see Big Ben, the Eifel Tower, and Canals of Venice. We kissed the Blarney Stone and saw the Tower of London.
Each time we took a family vacation we had to save our money so we could pay for it. We did not have the luxury of having someone pay for our vacation. My wife and I, like every American family, earned the money to pay our vacations. But not so with our first family.
As I write this blog post Barack, Michelle, Sasha, and Malia are in Ireland enjoying the sights while Michelle and the kids are staying at a $3,300-per-night hotel suite in Dublin’s five-star Shelbourne Hotel. She and her entourage have booked 30 rooms in the hotel.
The first lady will be hunkering down in the Princess Grace Suite, which is named for the late Hollywood film star and princess. The suite is fit for a princess, with two guest bedrooms, a living room and a dining area, four phones, three large televisions, bedding of 100 percent Egyptian cotton, an espresso machine and butler service.
The estimated cost of the two-day trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland is approximately $5 million, with the bill being footed by U.S. taxpayers.
Mrs. Obama, the president and their daughters flew on Air Force One to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where Obama is attending the Group of Eight summit. A few hours after touching down, the first lady and the girls boarded Air Force Two for a flight to Ireland, landing in Dublin.
While the Obama’s are enjoying the Princess Grace Suite the White House is closed to kids from Iowa and Maine who sell soap, candy, and cookies to pay for a trip to Washington, D.C. to see our historic landmarks. Obama claims his residence is closed due the of sequestration budget cuts.
The “journalists” at Good Morning America on Tuesday offered a light-hearted, whimsical look at the Obama family's multi-country vacation. Reporter Linsey Davis played U2's "Beautiful Day" and compared the Ireland part of the trip to National Lampoon's European Vacation. Davis gushed, "You know it's a beautiful day when U2's Bono reportedly invites you to a private lunch at his favorite Irish pub, the famous Finigan's of Dalkey.
She added that "dining with a rock star is one of the perks of being a first family." Nowhere on the morning program was there any mention of the cost of the trip. Ireland's Independent reported, "It is understood a total of 30 rooms in the five-star, 265-bedroom hotel, have been booked for the visit of Mrs. Obama and her entourage."
We know the left-leaning mainstream media loves the Obama family and just can’t wait for an opportunity to trip over themselves to proclaim the beauty of the emperor’s new clothes as Michelle, Sasha, Malia do the light fantastic around the hot spots of Ireland on the taxpayer’s dollar. I do hope Michelle gets to kiss the Blarney Stone as it’s quite a task while you are held upside down by your feet.
But if you think this a bit extravagant just consider where the Obamas are going after they leave the emerald isle. They are going to Africa! And this one is a vacation fit for the royalty they believe they are.
When President Obama makes his first extended trip to sub-Saharan Africa this month, the federal agencies charged with keeping him safe won’t be taking any chances.
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.
The elaborate security provisions — which will cost the government tens of millions of dollars — are outlined in a confidential internal planning document obtained by The Washington Post. While the preparations appear to be in line with similar travels in the past, the document offers an unusual glimpse into the colossal efforts to protect the U.S. commander-in-chief on trips abroad.
The first family is making back-to-back stops from June 26 to July 3 in three countries where U.S. officials are providing nearly all the resources, rather than depending heavily on local police forces, military authorities or hospitals for assistance.
The president and first lady had also planned to take a Tanzanian safari as part of the trip, which would have required the president’s special counterassault team to carry sniper rifles with high-caliber rounds that could neutralize cheetahs, lions or other animals if they became a threat, according to the planning document.
But officials said Thursday that the safari had been canceled in favor of a trip to Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner.
“We do not have a limitless supply of assets to support presidential missions, and we prioritized a visit to Robben Island over a two-hour safari in Tanzania,” said spokesman Josh Earnest. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t do both.”
Internal administration documents circulated in April show that the Obama family was scheduled to go to both Robben Island and the safari park, according to a person familiar with the plans.
Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also made trips to multiple African nations involving similarly laborious preparations. Bush went in 2003 and 2008, bringing his wife on both occasions. Bush’s two daughters went along on the first trip, which included a safari at a game preserve on the Botswana-South Africa border.
“Even in the most developed places of Western Europe, the level of support you need for mass movements by the president is really extraordinary,” said Steve Atkiss, who coordinated travel as special assistant for operations to Bush. “As you go farther afield, to less-developed places, certainly it’s more of a logistical challenge.”
Obama’s overseas travels come as government agencies, including the Secret Service, are wrestling with mandatory, across-the-board spending cuts. The service has had to slice $84 million from its budget this year, and this spring the agency canceled public White House tours to save $74,000 a week in overtime costs.
“For the cost of this trip to Africa, you could have 1,350 weeks of White House tours,” Rep. George Holding, a North Carolina Republican, said last week. “It is no secret that we need to rein in government spending, and the Obama administration has regularly and repeatedly shown a lack of judgment for when and where to make cuts. The American people have had enough of the frivolous and careless spending.”
The White House had defended the trip cost saying the Secret Service plan determines the security cost and that first family’s trip will result in long-term goodwill.
“The infrastructure that accompanies the president’s travels is beyond our control,” said Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications. “When you travel to regions like Africa that don’t get a lot of presidential attention, you tend to have very long-standing and long-running impact from the visit.”
Meanwhile on the home front as the Obamas flit from hither to yon thousands of civilian workers at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center — the country’s top facility for wounded combat soldiers — are facing furloughs this summer, as a result of sequester and other federal budget problems, according to the Defense Department.
According to a report on Fox News.com:
“Roughly 2,400 workers at the suburban Washington facility were recently notified by letter that the department needs them to take off as many as 11 days without pay this summer to help with “extraordinary and serious budgets challenges.”
The furloughs target a wide scope of non-combat facilities and civilian workers to “provide the war-fighters with what they need to protect national security,” states the May 28 letter, first obtained by Federal News Radio.
In a development that worries advocacy groups, the furloughs will impact about 94 percent of the Walter Reed civilian staff including doctors, nurses, lab technicians and physical therapists.
However, officials insisted Monday that the quality of care, particularly for wounded soldiers, will not suffer and that they continue to assess the situation including appeals from workers saying their jobs are too critical for them to be furloughed.
“Wounded warrior care is our top priority and will not be compromised,” Louise Cooper, spokeswoman for National Capital Regional Medical, told FoxNews.com on Tuesday. “Exemptions were targeted to those individuals needed for warrior care and other critical services.”
The massive federal budget cuts known as sequester have caused a number of other spending decisions to be called into question. Among them are plans for President Obama and the first family to take an eight-day trip to Africa that is projected to cost as much as $100 million.
Walter Reed’s Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation is the largest of its type within the Defense Department and is made up of seven specialty-services clinics including one for traumatic brain injuries.
Raezer fears the situation at the flagship facility will unfold like many others.
“It starts as an access issue and goes to a quality of care issue,” she told FoxNews.com.”
Michelle Obama has been capitalizing on her status as a descendant of slaves. Her latest junket to Ireland and the planned African junket show she is definitely enjoying the 21st-century benefits of the transatlantic slave trade her radical friends in Chicago refer to as Linda Chavez writes "genocide" by white Americans.
According to the First Couple's pals, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Rahm Emanuel, and Dr. Conrad W. Worrill of Northeastern University, white Americans should monetarily compensate black Americans for past slavery. The four, along with others, have been pushing reparations legislation since 1987.
Worrill, a lesser-known Obama friend, has been involved with the National Black United Front, a Chicago-based, '60s-style radical group. He's also with the National Coalition of Reparations for Blacks in America (N'COBRA).
The black professor doesn't admit that it was his own hatred, along with that of others like Michelle Obama, that beat this reparations and "slave masters" garbage into the black consciousness over the last four decades, but the meme is finally paying off for jet-setting Michelle.
According to Worrill, who showed up as Obama's special guest this past February when the president spoke at Hyde Park Academy in Chicago, "white folk of all stripes owe reparations. Yes, they owe. They benefited simply because they white."
In 2002, Worrill actually organized a March in D.C. called "They Owe Us." He was also a close friend of Michelle's hero, Stokely Carmichael, and a rabid anti-Semite. He railed against Jewish organizations in 2010, stating, "They do not want to face the truth. The Jewish Zionist forces have consistently not wanted to address the truth of their involvement in the slave trade, controlling Black institutions in the philosophical and educational arenas."
In a 2008 interview, Worrill let us know why Michelle and Barack will continue to spend our money without shame — and why slavish blacks will continue to give him a pass.
“Black people were inspired at the idea of a Black man being in the slave master's house that the slave master built. So we're celebrating in this idea.
What we have is historical discontinuity where one generation does not know what previous generations have contributed so if we do not have the history of the evolution of Black people’s participation in electoral politics, if the young generation doesn’t understand the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments; the period of Reconstruction, the compromises of 1876, the retrenchment of our enfranchisement in voting in the United States. From 1870 to 1901 there were 20 Blacks elected to the Congress of the United States; by 1901 there was not one national Black elected official in office because of the compromise of 1876; the violence that was protracted against our people, the Ku Klux Klan, the lynching, the poll, everything they did to take back the Black vote. So if you don’t have this history underpinning our fight in America around electoral politics, then you don’t understand where we are and how Barack Obama got to be president of the United States in the first place.”
So you see, Michelle is entitled to fly all over the world as the surrogate beneficiary of reparations. Hope the poor black folk living in Obama's and Valarie Jarrett's tenement slums in Chicago are having a wonderful time watching their beloved First Lady enjoy her $5-million Irish holiday and her $80-$100 million dollar African junket.
Barack and Michelle Obama have no doubt taken more trips for vacations, fund raising, and political speeches than any president and his spouse in our history. This fact should cause Travelocity.com to replace its garden gnome with bobble-head dolls of Michelle and Barack Obama traveling hand in hand to various places on the globe.
The next time you pack the family into your 5-year old SUV with the snacks and cooler as you make your way to a national park or Disneyland, dining at MacDonald’s, and making reservations at a Motel 6 or Super-8 think of the Obamas staying at a $3,300 per night luxury hotel and eating at Finigan's of Dalkey on your dollar. I am sure it will warm the cockles of your heart.