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Home for the Holidays? Check Out How Obama Just Pimped Americans

Originally published at CLASH DailyPresident_Barack_Obama_exits_Air_Force_One_at_RAF_Fairford_England_Sept_140903-F-UE958-169-500x280

In the year ahead, President Obama has a lot on his plate. There’re gun and climate control; resettling ISIS-infiltrated Syrian refugees in American neighborhoods, protecting Iran from Israel, plans to continue spying on Congress, and above all, maintaining dictatorial jurisdiction over the few remaining freedoms Americans have left.

The thought of it all is absolutely exhausting.

Speaking of plates!

Recently, while rebooting on a $4 million Hawaiian Christmas vacation, Obama, his entourage, large carbon-footprint motorcade, and Secret Service agents, had to get to one of the island’s most elite restaurants, so they “cut … through the Ko’olau mountain range and several micro-climates — sun, fog, rain.”

In other words, the climate/gun control, “share the wealth” president, rounded up his heavily armed security detail, loaded them into The Beast, and proceeded to puff-exhaust fumes through a pristine tropical rain forest to get to a restaurant most of America, especially the 94 million currently out of the workforce, could never afford.

The destination was Hoku’s at Kahala Hotel and Resort, which, according to pool reports, is located in “one of the most expensive neighborhoods in several time zones.”

If it was an “expensive neighborhood” that must mean that there were no women with K-1 fiancée visas, no unaccompanied minors with Enterovirus, and no #BlackLivesMatter types joining in on the Obama family festivities.

Then again, Obama is into income equity and “leveling the playing field” so maybe a few of those plush booths had a smattering of Obama IPhone receivers, a couple of Mara Salvatrucha gang members, and one or two Obamacare recipients?

And if not, then surely the family of Kate Steinle, the woman shot in the back by an illegal felon in the sanctuary city of San Francisco, and the families of the four Marines, and one sailor, shot to death in a gun free military installation in Chattanooga were all there having a bite to eat.

Obviously, they were not.

Instead, Obama, who has already burned through $70 million in vacation funds, and his huge convoy of cling-ons arrived on Sunday, shortly after 6:00 pm. Naturally, the party included first lady Michelle, who, when not dining in tony restaurants recommends Americans surrender a bigger piece of their pie “so that someone else can have more.”

Pie, or no pie, the group hung around until 10:30 pm.

What exactly took 4.5 hours you ask?

According to pool reporters, the group stuffed their maws with “delicacies from around the mainland U.S.”

New York Times White House correspondent Gardiner Harris reported:

Hoku’s Restaurant bills itself as one of the finest restaurants on the island, and “is heralded for its innovative fusion fare which melds Hawaiian, Asian, Mediterranean and European flavors,” which covers about three-quarters of the globe. The dinner menu included local fish, Maine lobster, Denver bison and Texas wild boar.
For those who care, that Ragout Texas Wild Boar Shank entrée, which honors the state currently housing 700 “unaccompanied minors,” also at taxpayers expense, comes “Osso Bucco Style,” which the menu suggests pairs well with a “glass of Grenache, Shatter, Rouillison,” which, when it comes to wine is always nice.

Let’s face it; Hoku’s is certainly a far cry from salmon gnawed on by a bear, cooked on a piece of slate, that Obama humbly snacked on, sans a cracker, with Bear Grylls in Alaska a couple of weeks ago.

Even still, the president motoring through a rain forest to spend 4.5 hours eating in a restaurant that screams highbrow elitism, accompanied by heavily armed security, while on a $4-million dollar vacation, is a tad hypocritical. Especially because, when America’s 41,000-tons-of-greenhouse-gas-president gets on Air Force 1 he plans to fly East to push gun control, advance climate change, and impose income guilt upon everyone but himself.

Obama’s $40 Million Travel Tab

obama_laughingOriginally posted at American Thinker blog

While the American people continue to struggle to survive in any way they can, the Obamas live like leeches on the blood, sweat, and tears of every hardworking person.

Days after taxpayers found out that the hotel tab for just two days of Michelle Obama’s eight-day China jaunt cost $222K for 144 rooms at the Shangri-La Hotel in Chengdu, educational foundation Judicial Watch released a report revealing that vacation travel costs to transport the first family around the globe have topped $40 million.  According to the U.S. Air Force, just two of Barry-the-Duffer’s recent golf outings have cost “north of $3 million dollars.”

As usual, Barack used official business as an excuse to spend $2 million on flying Air Force One to California, and decided the best time to do it was while Michelle was busy skiing in Colorado. 

In California there was a perfunctory meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan and a few speeches on drought conditions and water conservation.  Then, in a typical Obama move, it was off to golf at a Palm Springs oasis that is one of 124 desert courses that require one million gallons of water a day to remain green.

The cost to shuttle Barack, his golf clubs, and his saddle shoes to Palm Springs while Michelle swooshed down the slopes in Aspen: $2,066,594.

Then there was Key Largo. 

Right after Michelle Obama came home from her extended Hawaiian birthday-treat vacation, and the President’s Day girls-only ski trip to Aspen and boys-only Palm Springs golf getaway, all of which took place just prior to  Mrs. Obama’s multi-million dollar excursion to China, the first family spent the weekend savoring a luxurious respite at the classy Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo.

According to Judicial Watch, to join the Ocean Reef Club “members must have a minimum net worth of $35 million.”  Income inequality, anyone?

Not counting the five government helicopters and a contingent of 50 Secret Service agents who accompanied the Obamas, the cost for the first family to fly Air Force One to Key Largo for the weekend came to $885,683. 

The overall $40 million figure consists only of Air Force jet time.  The travel expense total does not include cargo planes loaded up with limousines and helicopters, communications, staff, security and everything else that protecting a president entails. Hotel rooms such as the $8,400-a-night, 3,445 square-foot Jinmao Presidential Suite, which is where Michelle, Grandma Marian, and the Obama daughters kicked back while touring China, weren’t factored in either.

And so, in yet another example of their gross abuse of power, the Obamas continue their in-your-face, highbrow entitlement antics at the expense of a hurting nation.  But what’s even more disturbing than the president frittering away millions of tax dollars on vacations and golf trips is the reality that neither Michelle nor Barack will ever be held accountable for taking advantage of the generous nature of those whose pain they ignore.

The Income Equitists’ Annual February Getaway

Originally posted at American Thinker blog Let’s face it — it’s exhausting leaving Washington DC early to stay in Hawaii for 17 days and then remaining behind for 10 more days to unwind at Oprah Winfrey’s multi-million-dollar Maui ranch. That’s why, when mid-February rolls around, the first lady starts to burn up with a cabin fever that can only be quenched with braised ancho-chile short ribs with hominy wild mushrooms and sautéed kale.

And it’s understandable!

After all, the poor woman hasn’t had a vacation in nearly four whole weeks. The good news is that for Valentine’s Day and President’s Day, right on schedule, Michelle and Barry part ways and spend three days as far away from each other as humanly possible. Michelle grabs her snow goggles and her two daughters and heads for Vail or Aspen and Barry grabs his nine iron and heads for the links.

This year was a little different though, because the first couple had just hosted an expensive State Dinner at the White House where Michelle Obama showed up in a $12K Carolina Herrera gown. That’s why the general consensus was that there’s no way, after eating chocolate-misted ganache and emerging from those heated Monet-inspired tents, that the Income Equitists would dare gas up Air Force One at $181K per hour and jet westward for a post-party breather.

Yet here we are, just days after François Gérard Hollande, the socialist leader of France, headed home and wouldn’t you know it, vacation getaway history is repeating itself.

To rest up after that grueling trolley ride to and from the French-inspired Blue Room to the massive tents on the South Lawn, both Michelle and Barack have taken off — separately — for an extended weekend, with travel expenses and security compliments of the beaten down, worn out, discouraged proletariat.

Before heading to dinner with King Abdullah II of Jordan at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California, Barack attended the House Democratic Issues Conference in Maryland. Between those and other official duties, the president, along with his spiked saddle shoes and nerdy shorts, plan to squeeze in an extended golf weekend. As for Michelle, minus a token poor person onboard, she, Sasha, Malia and company landed in Aspen under tight security, which delayed the arrival of other affluent vacationers trying in vain to get to Aspen for their own ski weekends.

With hubby in California, the first lady has three days to make like a Sochi skier and schuss her way down the Buttermilk Mountain bunny slope. Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said he was informed of the trip three weeks ago, which means one week after her arrival home from Oprah’s place, Michelle scheduled her next getaway.

Economic malaise or not, by most standards, this Obama vacation thing has gotten way out of hand. Who gets to go to Hawaii at Christmas, Martha’s Vineyard in the summer and Colorado in February, and then round out the tri-annual excursion schedule with trips to various locales around the globe? Sometimes, in June and October, Michelle uses private time with Sasha and Malia as an excuse to drag along ‘close friends’ to Spain or to visit Africa to fill up on oodles of fried fat cakes.

If an old Hollywood movie were to depict the Obama lifestyle, Barry and Shelley would be Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Shall We Dance. Meanwhile, like Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, a huge swathe of Americans shuffle around in a dustbowl of despair.

Adding to the outrageous nature of the president and first lady taking luxury vacations while the rest of the nation languishes in a state of unrelenting financial, social, and emotional misery is the fact that the real costs of the Obama jaunts are virtually impossible to document.

Tom Fitton, President of watchdog group Judicial Watch, claims “The Obama administration has simply stopped voluntarily producing information about the costs of the travel… They are in cover up mode.” And well they should be! Although Mr. and Mrs. Obama do pick up the tab for some personal expenses, when hotel, security, car rentals, and airfare expenditures associated with the 20+ vacations are factored in, the estimated cost to taxpayers totals more than $18 million.

What’s unclear is whether those calculations include the alleged $10 million in public monies Michelle Obama was said to have spent on personal vacations between 2009 and 2011.

Either way, Fitton is convinced “The Obamas are abusing the perks of public office,” and that “Taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for their luxury travel.”

With all due respect,Mr. Judicial Watch sounds rather judgmental. Isn’t Tom aware that as far as Michelle and Barry are concerned, every vacation is a “working vacation?”

That’s right, despite every second of everyday that they spend frittering away taxpayer money; no one is more concerned about income inequality in America than Barack and Michelle Obama.  

Sasha and Malia Obama ‘Learn What They Live’


Originally posted at American Thinker

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. In fact, three months into the second term, they’re actually outdoing themselves.  Not only that, but the elitist lifestyle the first family lives has a vindictive in-your-face, so-what-if-you-don’t-like-it edge to it that smacks of spiteful arrogance.  Therefore, Sasha and Malia are learning what their liberal parents teach them, and that is to convey the following message to the unwashed masses: “Do as I say and I’ll do what I want, and I’ll do it with your money.”

And for all of Barack’s $900K Florida golf weekends, and more importantly, Michelle’s alleged $10 million vacations, haute couture, and overpaid personal staff, the tragic victims of their selfishness and insensitive lack of fiscal restraint are Sasha and Malia.

It’s common knowledge that in the Obama household, babies are sometimes considered punishment while abortion is a treasured right.  Attending church is a twice-a-year photo op and vacations, since the first of the year, average out to be a once-a-month priority.  While Dad and Mom talk the talk about sharing, fairness, and self-sacrifice, in their own lives they exhibit none of these qualities. Consequently, the Obama youngsters are learning through observation that concern over appearing selfish, godless, and hypocritical should be dismissed.

Meanwhile, the girls’ mother Michelle spends more time than she should proselytizing parents about their children’s BMIs, diet, and exercise.  Sadly, what Mrs. Obama doesn’t seem to recognize is that plump children who possess the character traits she lacks will fare better in life than slender, vegetable-eating youngsters who are indifferent, self-absorbed, and snotty- the very qualities she exhibits, and are at the core of the example she sets for her daughters.

Although they live in a pampered, fairytale environment, the First Daughters are neither too young nor too insulated to be unaware that 48,000,000 Americans are on food stamps and that 12 million are unemployed, 23% of whom are either black or Hispanic.  That’s why, rather than flaunt the next 17-day, $4-million family jaunt to Hawaii, Obama should request that Air Force One head out to California – not to visit George Clooney and Eva Longoria, but to school his daughters about the harsh effect 9.8% unemployment is having on the Golden State.

Nonetheless, as a casual observer of a seemingly insatiable appetite for all things swanky and sumptuous, one can’t help but wonder, do Mr. and Mrs. Obama ever reflect upon what they are teaching their impressionable children about life?  In three months they’ve gone from the balmy isle of Oahu, Hawaii to the bunny slopes of Aspen, Colorado.  Sasha and Malia even watched from afar as Dad the Duffer golfed in Florida for a cool million with the philandering Tiger Woods.

Now, in the middle of a fiscal cliff/sequester crisis, without a care in the world the Obama girls have been led to believe that having staffers drag luggage stuffed with designer duds onto Marine One and helicoptering off to Paradise Island for five days is an acceptable choice to make.  Moreover, despite an economy on the edge of collapse, the Obama princesses probably can’t help but believe that airplanes costing hundreds of thousands of dollars an hour to fly are there mainly to transport them to fun locales.

Last spring, Malia Obama’s trip to Mexico allegedly cost taxpayers $115,500.87. This year, the two sisters are at a Caribbean resort being chauffeured around in a motorcade and “escorted to the held elevator,” accompanied by “a gaggle of friends.”  Sans parents, Sasha and Malia are vacationing at the Atlantis, home to the Royal Tower Bridge Suite that goes for $25,000 per night. These tender-aged adolescents are accompanied by Secret Service agents who stand on the sidelines as they dance, giggle, and hang out at Club Crush, which for “teens ages 13 to 17 and tweens ages 9 to 13 vacationing on Paradise Island…[is the] ultimate nightclub.”

Meanwhile, the rest of America’s children, some of whom had humble spring break plans to ride in the family van to Washington DC, watch with their faces pressed against the wrought iron railing surrounding a closed White House.  These schoolchildren are the disappointed victims of a sequester decision Barack Obama made while Sasha and Malia were preparing to party their little hearts out on a trip financed mostly with taxpayer money.

If anything, the life Sasha and Malia are living proves a few things – not about them, but about their parents – none of which are good.  Most specifically, the First Couple are either profoundly arrogant, profoundly stupid or, most probably, profoundly indifferent to the effect their behavior may have on their daughters.  Unfortunately, if Sasha and Malia Obama are truly learning what they live, then while their lives may be good in the material sense, the life lessons they’re learning are not.

Michelle Blames it on the Kids

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Originally posted at American Thinker

Michelle Obama must think most people are easily duped. To quell the disapproval of Americans who struggle to come up with the extra money to fill their gas tanks, Michelle has to spend lots of time – between booking vacations and deciding how big a wardrobe chest to load into the cargo plane – coming up with justifications to subdue the public’s disapproval of her obvious addiction to pricey vacations.

Last year, prior to heading off to Martha’s Vineyard, Michelle took Sasha on an exotic summer visit to Spain.  The I-dare-you-to-say-something excuse for that excursion was that it was a “private mother-daughter trip with longtime family friends,” which in itself is a contradiction in terms.

A “private mother-daughter” trip with 40 “close” friends and a taxpayer-funded security detail of 68 is hardly an intimate family outing.  The entourage was so large that the group required 30 rooms in “Spain’s most exclusive hotel the Villa Padierna, a golf and spa resort located along the coast from Marbella.”

Sorry, but throwing around mother-daughter language, as if Sasha and Shelley were going to Spain to spend one-on-one “Mommy and Me” time, was nothing more than a manipulative shield used to suppress well-deserved criticism for a four-day trip rumored to cost $375,000.

Every Christmas the Obamas kick back for a low-key holiday in Hawaii on a “family” break that runs about $1.5 million for transport planes; exorbitant rent on a mansion called the “Winter White House;” and lodging for security, staff, and medical backup.  Before anyone dares criticize, it’s important to remember that the break is a longtime family tradition where two darling little girls get to make an annual visit to walk the hallowed ground that is their father’s alleged birthplace.

Every couple of months Michelle has to pray that America is either consumed by the economic pain inflicted by her husband or afflicted with short-term memory loss, because between tag-along official trips barely a couple of months pass before the first lady partakes of on-site international cuisine and global sightseeing, compliments of the nation’s taxpayers.

If White House sources are correct, Michelle is doing one of the following:  either floating another lame excuse to bunk in some exclusive $2,500 a night hotel somewhere, exploiting lunch with her daughters as an excuse to shop in Paris, or treating her liberal body to an expensive massage accompanied by a martini made with “top-shelf vodka.”

Take for instance how, after Obama encouraged America to save money by skipping vacation, less than 50 days after returning home from Oahu Michelle commissioned AF1 to ferry her as chaperone to a 2010 giggling-girls ski trip in Vail, Colorado

Besides not heeding her husband’s austerity advice, the first lady of healthy eating dined on ancho-chili short ribs at “141 grams of fat per serving.” Then, after dessert, chose to camp out like a girl scout in the “upscale Sebastian Hotel on Vail Mountain, where rooms start at $650 a night and range up to more than $2,400 for multi-bedroom suites.”

Lest we forget, Michelle and her daughters spent time tasting and touring their way through New York City, sightseeing in Los Angeles, barbequing and memorializing on Memorial Day in Chicago, hiking in Maine, bobbing for tar balls on the Florida Gulf Coast, and recovering from a whirlwind of activity on an annual vacation in Chilmark.

Ever family-minded Michelle also accompanied her husband to Indonesia, South America, Ireland, the UK and Paris, trips that incorporated retail therapy, seeing the sights, fine dining, and recreating in between official duties that included breaking English protocol and forcing conservative Muslim men to shake her hand.

This year, just prior to heading to Martha’s Vineyard, Mrs. Obama managed to squeeze in a pre-vacation/ official business/vacation to South Africa, accompanied as usual by an entourage of tag-along family and friends. If cost estimates for travel and security are correct, the jaunt cost American taxpayers anywhere from $500,000 to a reported $800,000.

Before Americans jump to conclusions and protest unfairly, “U.S. Embassy Spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau made clear that the trip was partially a personal pilgrimage for the first lady” – another sentimental crusade with a huge price tag partially financed with tax dollars deducted from the unemployment checks of 3.5 million people, a fraction of the 13.9 million unemployed individuals presently collecting benefits.

Thus, justification for spending a half a million dollars obviously demanded playing the trusty old “family card,” which may be why Mrs. Obama brought along Sasha and Malia, Grandma Robinson, and her brother’s two kids. Prior to the trip, and in hopes of evoking the “awww” factor, a spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in South Africa said “A visit to South Africa is important for them as a family.”

The African “excursion included tourist stops to historical landmarks and museums” and a “chance for Mrs. Obama to meet privately with Nelson Mandela – an experience she described as ‘surreal’” – an opinion one can only hope had nothing to do with Mr. Mandela’s shirt.

Nevertheless, the rationalization for spending an exorbitant amount of money on a private family safari included the standard Obama-family-Hallmark-moment excuse, as well as Michelle addressing “youth leadership, education,” and sharing with Africa her views on “health and wellness” between scarfing down French fries, huge sausages, and fried fat cakes in Muchudu village in Botswana.

So, after three years and the reported millions in taxpayer dollars spent this year alone on Michelle Obama’s vacation expenses, family time, “private” family vacations, and the “long-planned family trip” excuses are starting to get old.

Especially for Americans whose chances of ever taking a family vacation again are almost as likely as Mrs. Obama wearing a designer outfit twice, staying at a Motel 6™, or going 60 days without taking off on a costly excursion financed with other people’s money, justified with the excuse that visiting Costa del Sol is “quality time” with the kids.

Impatient Michelle’s $63,000 Flight

Originally posted at American Thinker blog

Recently, children at Long Branch Elementary School in Virginia gathered around President Obama’s feet at a book reading and heard there is no Santa Claus when he said: “Not everybody is as lucky as we are. There are a lot of kids out there who may not be able to get a lot of presents for Christmas because their parents don’t have a lot of money.”

Granted, it is good to remind children to be grateful for blessings and to be mindful of reality and those less fortunate.  However, one can’t help but wonder how Barack reconciles his own family’s in-your-face extravagance while burdening middle class seven year-olds with guilt at Christmas.

While Barry urged wide-eyed tots, looking forward to Christmas presents under the tree, to “have fun” – but not so much fun that they forget the “Tiny Tims” of the world – Michelle was loading up an Air Force C-40B because she couldn’t wait a couple of days to start an extravagant Hawaiian vacation.

Barack decided to postpone the trip so he could deliver coal in the stocking of the military just in time for Christmas and oversee Congress ramming through the ultimate Christmas special: “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”

Lord knows, Michelle won’t tolerate being kept waiting, as evidenced the night of the White House Christmas party when Obama handed over the press conference reins to Jolly Ole Bill Clinton to rush off to meet Michelle under the mistletoe, dressed in an economical $2,500 secondhand frock.

Barack knows if he’s late Michelle will leave without him, which is exactly what she did.  Michelle intended to get every second of well-deserved vacation time – two weeks is two weeks and not a second less.  So Shelley packed up the girls and the dog and departed as scheduled, leaving the President behind to do as much damage as possible before the end of the year.

“Mrs. Obama’s decision to go without the president forced her to take a separate plane, meaning two flights instead of one are needed to ferry the First Family to their vacation destination.” 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.

The whole operation will be repeated when Barry flies into Hawaii via AF1 to meet the wife and kids. “Since the cost of moving the entire family together on Air Force One would not likely have been much different than that of taking just the president, the first lady’s trip is a $63,000 add-on.”

By leaving early on her own aircraft, Michelle, who epitomizes someone who “spend[s] time thinking about the less fortunate,” incurred even more than a $63,000 get-the-First-Lady-to-the-luau-on-time/Christmas-in-Hawaii expense, especially if “logistical support operation[s] – including a retinue of Secret Service agents” are added to the tab. Not to mention the “Sasquatch-sized carbon footprint … commandeering her own jet to take her to Hawaii” imposed on the environment.

Nonetheless, to appear less extravagant, Mrs. Obama sacrificed by taking a modestly sized high priority transport instead of sending AF1 back and forth like a shuttle bus to pick up presidential vacationers.  In other words, Michelle roughed it for the cause!

Meanwhile, while the kiddies in Virginia see visions of impoverished children instead of sugar plums dancing in their heads, in a “trio of multimillion dollar beachfront homes” the “Obama family and friends will be [spending] Christmas and New Year’s” in the lap of luxury, spending lots of time “thinking” about the less fortunate.

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