Tag Archives: Oahu

Money Can’t Buy Obama Happiness

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Originally posted at The Blacksphere

So, while America languishes in Obamacare terror, the Obama family packed up the basketballs, haute couture, the dogs and dog food, Grandma and the girls and climbed aboard Air Force One.

A 9 hour flight later the First Family et al landed at Oahu to enjoy the holidays. The stunning price tag? Somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million dollars, give or take an $181K per hour on Air Force One or two.

One would think that with those kind of dinaros nothing but holly-jolly glee would be splashed across the faces of the Obama family.  However, based on one of the first vacation pictures to emerge, it appears to be quite the contrary.

Straight out of Honolulu, HI, USA, Barack Obama and  Michelle, along with their children Sasha and Malia, attended the NCAA basketball game between Oregon State and Akron at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Michelle Obama’s brother, Craig Robinson, is the head coach of Oregon State and coincidentally must have found himself in Hawaii at the same time as the first family.  As happenstance would have it, Craig will likely be joining the happy clan for Christmas…uh sorry…the holidays.

The problem is that judging from the photograph of the first family taking in the sports event featuring Uncle Craig’s team, things appear to be rather tense.

Little Sasha doesn’t appear to have Christmas joy written all over her pretty little face. Michelle looks downright irritated, and Barry’s usual  Colgate Smile is missing. He looks worn, disgusted, and visibly angry.

Based on that array of sullen mugs, the “trouble-free Hawaiian vacation” Mr. Obama was hoping for got off to a rocky start.

Now either the situation here at home where the historic president’s socialist utopian dream is crumbling before his very eyes has got Barry down and Michelle livid, or the lovebirds are at each other’s throats and cannot hide their hate for each other.

Come on people, a $4 million Oahu vacation for 17 days and that’s the best expression these two spoiled brats can muster up?

They aren’t even pretending to be happy. The President and first lady look more like pallbearers at funeral then spectators at basketball game. In fact, Barack looked much happier at Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Though, we should note, the Missus was sporting the same un-happy face.

The moral of this story: Other people’s money can’t buy  happiness, or obviously love. Socialists  attempting to rob the freedom of others oftentimes become prisoners in their own private hell.

And while Americans struggling to get by celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, two politically-correct control freaks who squander the American people’s money appear to be having a miserable time.

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America’s Vicarious Christmas Vacation

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Originally posted at American Thinker blog

President Barack Obama needs a break.  It’s tiring and takes a tremendous amount of effort to dismantle 250 years of what made America the great nation we once were. So, in anticipation of leaving the drudgery of governing behind, Obama abandoned the wrecking ball he’s been swinging for the last four years, left the 54 holiday trees that lost their lives in the White House, and jetted off with the wife, the kids and the dog for their nine-hour flight to Oahu.

Before Americans get all bent out of shape about the frivolous nature of the time and money involved in the Obama family enjoying an annual Christmas getaway, it’s important to remember that the $4 million estimated cost of the Hawaiian adventure covers things besides souvenirs and grass skirts. Flying in Air Force One at $182,000 an hour for nine hours comes to $3.3 million in round-trip airfare alone. And, in all fairness, the President does pick up the tab for the sumptuous compound on Kailuana Place.

For the other expenses, the Hawaii Reporter estimated that the $4 million price tag covered by the American taxpayer only covers travel, staff housing and protection, and the aforementioned enormous cost to fly Air Force One. Oh, and don’t forget the supplementary cargo plane for various and sundry vacation-related accoutrements.

Moreover, the President, Michelle, Malia, Sasha, and Bo have already made voluntary sacrifices this past year. For instance, last August the first family willingly forfeited their usual multimillion-dollar Martha’s Vineyard summer vacation so the President could toil away on behalf of the middle class without interruption.

Now that the election is over and Obama has securely established the fact that successful, hardworking people are to blame for most of America’s problems, it’s time for him to claim the just reward of a long past-due respite chock full of entertainment and leisure.

During the planned 17-day breather the President will be doing the usual “playing golf, eating at local restaurants with family members and escorting his daughters to island water parks and other activities.”

In other words, while America, on both a micro and macro level, anticipates a future of making do on a painful austerity budget, Barack Obama is resting up in preparation for his splashy, high-priced inauguration party and to resume the hard work he started of fundamentally trashing…sorry, “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.

As for the residents of Oahu or any poor schlub attempting to make his or her way around the island this Christmas, word to the wise: “You better leave early for any scheduled pig roasts, because for the next 2.5 weeks there are expected to be ‘unannounced delays as the presidential motorcade travels around the island.'”

Leis and luaus aside, there is a potential spoiler in the Obama vacation plans. The President may have to discontinue waxing his surfboard, leave the shaved ice behind, and head home before January 6th.  The glitch is that a deal was not reached to avert that fiscal cliff the President and Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner – also known as the Washington version of the notorious cliff-diving duo Thelma and Louise – are about to purposely drive America over.

Therefore, despite Obama’s undying dedication to saving the middle class, as of January 2nd, “a mix of rising taxes and mandatory spending cuts are set to kick in” – thus making Barack ‘Louise’ Obama the proud owner of what John ‘Thelma’ Boehner has coined “the largest tax increase in American history.”

Nonetheless, the President did not seem to be the least bit worried about how it might look luxuriating for two weeks while the nation teeters on the verge of a fiscal nightmare come January 2nd. Nor did he seem concerned one iota that those who bestowed upon him a second term might find it a tad insensitive to take a vacation with such an enormous price tag attached to it at this particular time.

And so, as he bid “aloha” before leaving for the island paradise of Hawaii, the President offered the following holiday advice to the uneasy lawmakers he left behind in Washington DC: “Enjoy some eggnog and Christmas cookies before getting back to business next week.”

A more symbolic gesture would be for Washington lawmakers, in honor of the mess they’ve helped to make, after banging back a couple of shots of cheap whiskey to choke on some stale fruit cake.

Either way, for the rest of America struggling desperately to make ends meet this Christmas, gratefulness should still abound.  Where else but in America could a nation on the brink of economic ruin have the pleasure of living vicariously through the life of the middle class’s biggest champion as he and his family enjoy a $4 million vacation getaway in Hawaii?

Michelle Antoinette’s Hawaii hat trick

Originally posted at American Thinker blog

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.

Based on the public’s negative response twice before to Michelle Obama’s decision to shove off for the Yuletide break before the President on this third occasion, one can’t help but wonder whether she expected a different reaction, or doesn’t care, or is just uncontrollably impatient.

Not counting expenditures relating to staff and security or the cost of the cargo plane that typically trails the first lady’s jet, this year Michelle must have felt entitled to another 10-hour, $6,330-per-flight-hour trip from Washington DC to the $3,500-a-day Winter White House in Hawaii.  Christmas 2010 and 2011’s early arrivals cost approximately $200,000.

Last summer, prior to Obama arriving in Martha’s Vineyard, Michelle did a similar thing.  Unable to control her impatience to hit the beach, Mrs. Obama and her girls grabbed a “little bit of extra vacation”  —  all of four hours’ worth.

Mrs. Obama, accompanied by daughters Sasha and Malia, boarded a US government jet just a few hours ahead of the President, who flew into a local airport later that evening accompanied by Bo, the family dog. The First Lady also had “her own motorcade from the airport to her vacation residence.”  The cost of the four-hours-early arrival for the Martha’s Vineyard summer vacation 2011 was reported to be around $100,000.

While kids are writing Santa Claus this year to ask for warm coats and shoes that fit, it’s likely many Americans still feel that “Mrs. Obama’s separate jet travel sends the wrong message on a host of issues, from global warming to the budget deficit to the economy — in which currently so many people can’t afford to take a vacation at all.”

Which brings us back to the original question of why Michelle, after being criticized for allegedly spending more than $10 million of public money on luxurious vacations, would board yet another plane for the third time in 12 months and, while doing so, audaciously jack up the annual Michelle Obama Early Vacation air travel cost to more than $300K?

Whenever Mrs. Obama ventures forth on another vacation it appears as if she’s flouting public opinion, arrogantly disrespecting the American taxpayer, and disregarding the difficult economic situation most Americans presently find themselves in.

As far as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results,” Tom Morris, PhD, advisor, author and a man who bears the title of the “world’s happiest philosopher,” contends that “Sometimes doing the same thing a second time when it hasn’t worked the first is indeed just foolish. But sometimes it’s shrewd. Wisdom consists, in part, in knowing the difference.”

For Michelle, who has been called a “not-so-secret weapon for the White House and the Obama presidential campaign,” leaving early again for vacation may not be tactless lunacy so much as a subtle but calculated attempt at manipulating public perception; as November 2012 fast approaches, it’s important that the man vying for reelection appear both dedicated and busy.

Every time Michelle leaves Barack home with his nose to the grindstone, she is doing what some would deem supremely foolish. However, the answer as to whether Michelle’s behavior is foolish or not lies “in [America] knowing the difference” between an insensitive elitist, a “vacation junkie,” and a shrewd spouse whose goal is to rehabilitate the floundering image and reputation of the husband she left behind in hopes of grabbing another four years’ worth of taxpayer-funded vacations.

Michelle Obama big ‘sacrifices’ on her Vail vacation

Originally posted at

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/02/michele_obama_big_sacrifces_on.html blog

It has been almost a month and a half since the Obama family returned from 10 days in Oahu.  With all the breastfeeding advice she’s been giving out lately, an exhausted First Lady is long overdue for some R & R.

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.”

According to Obama, “Just like every family in America, the federal government has to … live within its means.”  Which is exactly what Mrs. Obama is doing, spending time with her daughters at a resort that is much more modest than she’s used to.

Actually, the whole excursion to Vail Mountain is one of self-sacrifice.  According to administration officials, the First Lady and friends are merely “chaperoning…children on a ski trip,” otherwise Michelle would likely be home hunkered down, tirelessly working in the “Let’s Move” office of the White House.

On a tight budget, the ski trip is but a few steps above a school-sponsored field trip.  The chaperones are staying at the Sebastian Hotel, where lodging starts at “$605 per night … and head north of $2,000 for multi-bedroom suites.”  Those rates are certainly more modest than the $6,600 a night Mrs. Obama was rumored to have spent at the Hotel Villa Padierna in Costa del Sol.

The Sebastian touts “spas, a Frost Bar, a Market for nibbles, a mountain-view pool, hot tubs and a fire pit.”  A bevy of ski valets assist patrons “into warm boots and out onto the mountain,” which is just the kind of pared-down amenity that penny-pinchers across America can easily relate to.

Michelle arrived with “A motorcade of about a dozen vehicles, including 15 state and local law enforcement officers, traveled from the Eagle County Regional Airport to Vail…Roads were temporarily blocked to make way for the motorcade.”

Despite the extravagant entourage, when it comes to frugality Mrs. Obama is a pro.  A flight from DC to Colorado is 1,700 miles and takes approximately 3 hours.  Although the First Lady usually employs a large Air Force jet to ferry her from vacation spot to vacation spot, this time she answered the call to live within the Obama family means in the following way: To save money, instead of Air Force One, which costs about $100,000 per hour to fly, Michelle chose a less expensive jet.

Not including the weight of ski equipment, a fair guesstimation would be that the Michelle Vail Vacation one-way flight cost much less than what would otherwise have set the American taxpayer back $300,000.

Moreover, Michelle’s savvy decision to travel as often as possible without Barack also eliminates about 180 pounds of excess baggage weight, and in the long run helps in tamping down overall costs.

As an added budgetary bonus, the President joined Michelle in setting an example of prudence.  Barry saved coaching fees for Sasha’s basketball team when another coach failed to show up.  Although Sasha was on the bunny slope with Mom in Vail, our thrifty President paused stirring up union trouble in Wisconsin long enough to serve America as a “parent coach” for a team of nine year-old girls, and selflessly did it for free.

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