Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that it obtained documents from the United States Air Force and the United States Secret Service detailing costs associated with Michelle Obama’s controversial August 2010 vacation to Spain. According to a Judicial Watch analysis, the records indicate a total combined cost of at least $467,585.
Judicial Watch obtained the Secret Service records pursuant to an August 2010 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. (The agency notified Judicial Watch that it withheld 78 pages of responsive records in their entirety.) Judicial Watch obtained the U.S. Air Force records pursuant to a March 5, 2012, FOIA lawsuit.
The following are highlights from the U.S. Air Force records, which indicate a total cost of $213,124.15:
According to U.S. Department of Defense’s 2010 published hourly rates, the total cost of flying Michelle Obama and her guests from Camp Andrews to Malaga and then to Mallorca and back to the United States was $199,323.75. This is based on approximately 17 hours and 15 minutes of total flying time.The 15-member flight crew stayed at Tryp Guadalmar, a nearby motel. Lodging cost was $10,290.60 and car rental cost was $2,633.50. Food cost was $876.30, including $57.68 for four bottles of maple syrup and a package of pancake mix.
The U.S. Air Force concealed the number of civilian passengers who accompanied Mrs. Obama on the five-day trip, citing an exemption to FOIA law. (The New York Times previously reported that Mrs. Obama brought along one of her daughters and “two friends and four of their daughters, as well as a couple of aides and a couple of advance staff members.”)
Secret Service records, meanwhile, show that the costs to the agency for the vacation were $254,461.20. This total includes $26,670.61 for a chauffeur tour of Costa del Sol and $50,078.78 for a travel planning company SET P&V, S.L. (George Soros is 50% owner of the travel company.) Taxpayers also paid the bill for separate lodging for a dog and its handler.
As I noted earlier this week, from Jodi Kantor’s The Obamas, pages 90–91:
Even the president made uncomfortable jokes about why his wife needed so many things. Behind the scenes, aides said, the Obamas were concerned about money: the president’s books could only sell so many copies, and it would be years until he could write more and the first lady could write her own. From vacation rental homes big enough to accommodate the Secret Service to all the personal entertaining they did at the White House, their lifestyle had grown fearsomely expensive.
Publicado: 04-26-2012 04:46 PM
Obama parties, campaigns all the time on taxpayer’s dime
27 April 2012
The President certainly enjoys the perks of his pposition in the White House. From extravagant vacations to approximately 100 rounds of golf, it has been a pretty enjoyable tenure for Mr. Obama. He has been able to meet celebrities, travel the world and play his favorite games.
While our nation’s problems are not his primary concern, the President sure acts interested when giving speeches in battleground states. Most of these speeches are political and not official business, but the President continues to charge the travel expenses to the American people.
The President’s plane, Air Force One, costs an astounding $179,750 per hour to operate, according to the Pentagon. The plane, along with security, lodging, meals and ground transportation are some of the many expenses involved in any presidential trip. With a huge budget deficit and tremendous economic problems, taxpayer funds should not be wasted on presidential fundraising and campaign junkets.
Since the beginning of his re-election campaign in April of 2011, the President has held 124 fundraisers, more than double the number held by George W. Bush during his entire 2004 re-election campaign. Quite often, the President will combine the political trips with some sort of “official” business so the taxpayers will have to pay the costs.
Earlier in the week, President Obama visited with college students, took pictures at a bar with a shocked young woman and appeared on a late night talk show. Obviously, it was all great fun, quite a contrast to the anxiety most Americans feel dealing with this awful Obama economy.
The latest political excursion was not official business, but more campaigning, which is the activity that President Obama enjoys the most. He hates governing and leading and prefers speaking to adoring audiences, shaking hands and kissing babies.
With polls tight and the economy in the doldrums, Obama will be on the campaign trail non-stop through November. The costs for all of these political activities should not be billed to the taxpayers of this country.
In fact, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) believes that the President’s re-election campaign should pay for his recent political trip. He demanded that the President “reimburse the Treasury” for the costs of the questionable visit to the three battleground states of Iowa, North Carolina and Colorado.
Boehner is not the only person who has noticed this obvious taxpayer abuse. This week, the Republican National Committee (RNC) filed an official complaint with the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
In his latest swing, the President was supposedly focusing on the issue of student loans, which gave him an excuse to visit college campuses in three crucial states that the President needs to win in the fall election. This taxpayer abuse is nothing new. Just recently, the President traveled to Florida and gave an “official speech” after a day of campaigning, thus charging it to the taxpayers.
According to Boehner, “For the president to make a campaign issue out of this (student loans) and then to travel to three battleground states and go to three large college campuses on taxpayers’ money to try to make this a political issue is pathetic.”
The real problem is the horrible economy which is preventing college students from landing a job after they graduate. If graduates find work and do not have to live with their parents, they are more likely to reduce or fully retire their student loans.
The best way for President Obama to solve the student loan crisis is to change his disastrous fiscal policies so our economy can rebound. Unfortunately, he is committed to his big government agenda and to campaigning on the taxpayer’s dime, which are more reasons why Americans need to make a change on November 6, 2012.
Publicado: 04-27-2012 08:09 PM
Media Ignoring Michelle Obama’s Expensive Wardrobe
by Andrea Ryan May 2, 2012
By: Andrea Ryan
Last month at the Kids’ Choice Awards, Michelle Obama wore an outfit designed by New York-based, uber-expensive designer, Wes Gordon. His clothing commands prices in the thousands of dollars and can only be found in the elite stores of the super wealthy. If you enjoy spending more than $4,000 on a pair of shorts…yes that is three zeroes after the comma…then you might like this little jacket from one of Michelle Obama’s favorite designers. It’s a steal for only $2,250. Of course, we never heard one peep out of the Liberal mainstream media on Michelle Obama’s high-priced clothing.
But, that all changed now that Mitt Romney has become the presumptive Republican nominee for president.
Suddenly, the media is very interested in Ann Romney’s choice of pricey clothes…
The fashion house that makes the nearly $1,000 blouse worn by Ann Romney on morning television earlier this week tells ABC News that they had nothing to do with the wardrobe choice, remarking that they’d prefer to stay out of politics.
“We had nothing to do with it,” a rep for designer Reed Krakoff said. “She must have bought it from Saks or Bergdorf’s, we definitely didn’t send it to her.”
“It’s 100 percent a Reed Krakoff shirt, but we 100 percent didn’t send it to her,” the rep added. “We don’t get involved politically.”
The shirt, an item in the label’s 2012 Spring/Summer collection, retails for $990, and for those shopping, is called the “The Reed Audubon Silk Shirt.”
The price of the shirt was first reported by Stylite.com.
Mrs. Romney does not have a stylist, according to an aide with the Romney campaign, and is likely to have purchased the shirt on her own.
A spokeswoman for the Romney campaign declined to comment on Mrs. Romney’s fashion choices.
This isn’t the first time that Mrs. Romney has been tweaked on her fashion choices.
In March, a little girl on the ropeline at a campaign event in Illinois asked Mrs. Romney if her watch was “real.”
Since the MSM has developed a new interest in high-end clothing, here’s a glimpse of Michelle Obama’s expensive, designer wardrobe worn during her $4M tax payer-funded jaunt to Hawaii last December.
So what's the special occasion this time and why is she overdressed for it?
Publicado: 05-02-2012 06:09 PM