Tonight, two of the grands – specifically these two very lucky six year olds – got to watch the Capitol Fireworks from the White House.
They’re ‘connected’ apparently.
Every now and again, a tired and predictable outrage erupts over the cost of Bush’s! Obama’s! or (fill in the blank) _____’s travel. We heard one a few weeks ago when the President went! to! Africa!
The rants are usually accompanied by charges that the President is getting all tyrannical and acting like a king plus no other President has been so respectful of hard-working tax-paying Americans, so extravagant (especially if the President being so characterized is of anther political party).
And they’re right. President protection has reached preposterous levels. As for the effectiveness of the web of security we’ve constructed, look no further than Reagan – shot from just a few yards away while surrounded by Secret Service.
From the time of the Kennedy assassination, the retinue – from the epic productions that are foreign travel, to the limo known as “The Beast” and the ambulances that accompany every POTUS motorcade – has grown like a cancer.
In a post called When Presidents Travel, james at PoliticalDog101 tells us in detail how costs reach absurd levels when a POTUS and/or a FLOTUS go a’callin’ – pretty much anywhere.
Here’s The Dog (he does not even try to list the number of people who travel with the President – staff aides, cooks, stewards, pilots, government functionaries):
Aircraft for the President:
- Air Force One of course
- a second B-747-200 back up plane in case the one the President is traveling on has trouble.
Helicopters when needed:
- Marine One Helicopter – for POTUS
- For security details and press, another 4-5 choppers
The helicopters are airlifted by Air Force C-17 Cargo planes to EACH stop on the trip
- Presidential Limo’s – two limos for EACH stop
- Secret Service ‘Back-Up’ Vehicles to transport the President’s Security Detail
- White House Communications Vehicle – This SUV will be in the motorcade to help keep up contact with the US from anywhere on the planet
- Secret Service Counter Assault Team SUV – Heavily armed firepower to protect POTUS (in addition to the Security Detail)
- Hazmat Vehicle – A Marine detail in case of a chemical assault on the POTUS group
- White House Medical Team Vehicle – Usually a US Doctor from the WH Staff plus a paramedic or military medic with their equipment
All of the vehicles (about 8 to 10 ) are airlifted by Air Force C-17 Cargo planes to EACH stop
Posted in broken government, Civics, Government, Politics
Tagged Bush, FLOTUS travel, Obama, POTUS travel, Presidential security detail, Presidential travel, Secret Service, White House
The latest meme in Perpetual Outrage Land has former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman practically living in the Oval Office. It’s a scandal ya’ see – and a perfect example of how to gin up outrage over the thinnest bit of information.
Bill O’Reilly: “You must explain under oath what you were doing at the White House on 157 separate occasions.”
The Daily Caller: “IRS’s Shulman had more public White House visits than any Cabinet member.”
Brit Hume tweeeted: “Sooner or later this will have to be answered. What was the ex-IRS chief doing at the White House all those times?” (Ahem, answered by whom Brit? Does FOX News not have any reporters?)
Did. Not. Happen. An actual reporter went and actually reported the charge and it turned out that it Did. Not. Happen.
First, she explains how visitors logs work, what they mean and how they very often only mean that a name is ‘precleared’ for a meeting or event, even if the person never attended. And, she informs us, ‘White House’ usually means either the Eisenhower Executive Office Building or the New Executive Office Building (17 blocks away). And then, doing the ‘reporting’ thing, she look things up and gets into the weeds.
Here’s a taste. This is just 2010 (the other years are at the link); this is the year of the bi-weekly health reform deputies meetings, i.e. regularly scheduled working meetings.
Eisenhower Executive Office Building, recorded as Old Executive Office Building
- Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the Office for Health Reform
- Sarah Fenn, staff assistant, working with DeParle
- Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget
- Robert Nabors, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget
- Jeffrey Zients, deputy director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget
- Margaret Weiss, again
- Ezekiel Emanuel, special adviser to the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget for health policy, detailed from his post at the National Institutes of Health
- Michael Hash, again
- Ariel Levin, special assistant at the Office of Management and Budget. One of her recurring meetings gets the description “THIS IS FOR THE BI-WEEKLY HEALTH REFORM DEPUTIES MEETING.”
- Alex Hornbrook
New Executive Office Building
- Terri Payne, Office of Management and Budget
(actual) White House (but not Oval Office)
- Jason Furman, again
- Chelsea Kammerer, White House special assistant to the director of intergovernmental affairs. Shulman signed in to attend a July 22 West Wing bill signing for the “Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act” in the State Room of the White House along with White House staff and at least 81 people from outside the building. You can watch Obama deliver remarks on it in this video; the law created “measures that hold government accountable for responsible use of taxpayer dollars and cut down on waste, fraud and abuse.”
- Nancy-Ann DeParle, again
I’m not seeing much this morning – perhaps someone inside the right-wing noise machine (so named by Eric Alterman?) read her story and send out a memo to find a new narrative for this week.
Posted in Government, Media, Obama, Politics, Right wing talk machine, taxes
Tagged Douglas Shulman, IRS, Media, outrage of the day, psuedo scandals, right wing noise machine, White House
Will the Rev. Sun Young Moon pull the plug on his hobby, or will the ‘venerable‘ Washington Times continue its vigorous reporting for another day? (NOTE: Washington Times daily circulation about 83,000; Washington Post daily circulation about one million.)
This story from that paper yesterday leaped into the conservative blogsphere, where vigorous re-blogging was soon underway.
The pro-choice Obama White House requires pregnant visitors to count their unborn child as a person for tours of the executive mansion.
Okay. Family of three wants to tour the WH when they make their future planned visit to DC. Now if they reasonably expect that they will be a family of four by the time they arrive, and since everyone is required to be ticketed, they are advised to apply for four tickets now and save any hassle when they get there. Let them know how many you will be.
Got it? White House policy is that everyone, no matter the age, is required to have a ticket. Four of you want to enter? That’ll be four tickets. Expecting twins before the date of the tour? Better order five tickets now. Like if you were going to Disney.
Posted in Blogsphere, Idiot sighting, Media, Right wing talk machine
Tagged Media, Politics, pro choice, pro-life, right wing noise machine, teh stupid, Washington Post, Washington Times, White House