Mediamatters has a whole page of criticisms from the Sean Hannity and other wing nuts - "It's a waste of tax payer money!" they charge. "It's MADE IN CANADA!" the cartoonist asterixes.
But there are two of them. Did you know that? Probably did.
But did you also know that:
The vehicle was commissioned by the Secret Service, which has always hired buses for election campaigns and retrofitted them to provide suitable protection for presidents and rival party nominees.Because:
But the Service decided to commission its own vehicles, reasoning that the initial total outlay of 2.2 million dollars for two buses would soon pay for itself over a projected 10-year lifespan.
In the past, those tours were a big headache for the service. The process started with a commercial tour bus and a renovation process that put the old TV show Pimp My Ride to shame.Oh! So they're for presidential elections (among other things)! So once the Republican candidate is set, he/she will get one of the buses for the campaign!
"It was extremely expensive to lease one of these buses and then put in proper armoring, proper communications equipment," says former Secret Service Director Ralph Basham, who's now with Command Consulting Group. "And then at the end of the contract you had to restore these buses back to their original state."
You didn't see that in the cartoon, did you?
And where did these two buses come from? Canada, right? Not exactly:
The government bought the two coaches for $2.2 million from retailer Hemphill Brothers Coach, based in Tennessee. It installed custom interior upgrades into the Prevost shell, which accounted for about half the cost.And would it surprise you to learn that the Hemphill Brothers (Joel and Trent) are campaign donors - to Republican candidates?
- Joel Hemphill in 2006 $7,100 to Republican candidates
- Joel Hemphill in 2004 $2,000 to Bush Cheney
- Trent Hemphill in 2010 $3,000 to Republican candidates
- Trent Hemphill in 2006 $3,100 to Republican candidates
- Trent Hemphill in 2004 $4,000 to Bush/Cheney
And pointing out where the buses were made is a criticism of the Obama Administration?
Funny what the Trib (and the rest of the right wing media) leave out, huh?