What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 15, 2014

When We Dig A Little Deeper, We Find A Deeper Truth

Take a look at this from the Tribune-Review's Whisper column:
Call it situational austerity.

As the Obama administration announced proposed draconian cuts to the military on Monday, news broke that the president doesn't pinch pennies when it comes to “first family” vacations.

The Washington Examiner reported that the 23 holiday getaways Barack Obama and his family have taken since the president took office in 2009 have cost taxpayers $18 million.
And so on.  So from where does this information come?  This article at The Washington Examiner, where we can read:
With another Presidents' Day bachelor holiday planned by President Obama, this time golfing in California, and Aspen, Colo., resort reporters on the lookout for the annual first lady ski trip this weekend, the taxpayer's tab for the first family's vacations has topped $2.4 million.

But that's just the start. That total is just from the skimpy documents detailing travel and security expenses obtained by the public watchdog group Judicial Watch from a handful of first family vacations.

When all of the reporting of the first family’s 22 vacations so far to Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard, Spain, Colorado, Florida, Africa and elsewhere is added up, the estimate reaches over $18 million when hotel and resort rent, security hotel and car rentals, and airfare are included.

Concerned about the trip expenses and the administration's lack of transparency on the trips, Judicial Watch has sought spending documents.[Emphasis added.]
Oh...so this is something from Judicial Watch, is it?

Interesting, yet again, how the Tribune-Review fails to ever mention the financial entanglements that connect it to one of its "sources."

If you're a frequent reader of this blog you'll know what's gonna happen now.

According to the data found at the Bridge Project, Judicial Watch has received a little over $10 million dollars in foundation support.  And according to the same data, more than 94% of it comes from the three foundations controlled by Richard Mellon Scaife, owner and publisher of the Tribune-Review, the newspaper from which I quoted the above "staycation" snark.

Meanwhile, back in reality, we might easily wonder how the current president compares with, oh I dunno, the previous occupier of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Luckily Mark Knoller of CBS news tracks these things and reported back in August:
—14: Number of vacation trips taken by Obama since he took office in January 2009.

—92: Number of days, all or in part, Obama has spent on vacation.

—57: Number of vacation trips taken by Bush at this same point in his presidency.

—50: Number of visits Bush made to his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

—323: Number of days, all or in part, Bush spent at the ranch.

—7: Number of trips Bush made to his family's compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

—26: Number of days, all or in part, Bush spent in Maine.
I wonder now if there had been a similar snarky complaint on the pages of Scaife's Tribune-Review about George W Bush's vacations.  Remember we were at war with the evil doers back then when, according to Knoller, Bush spent almost a year away from the White House either at his ranch in Crawford, Texas or his family Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Then there's this from Catherine Poe, Senior Editor at Washington Times Communities:
President Obama in his first four years has taken 131 days, dividing his time between Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard and, of course, Camp David, the official get away of U.S. presidents. At this rate, he could hit 262 days by the end of his eighth year, about average for modern presidents.

He certainly is not the king of vacation days. That honor falls to President George W. Bush, who racked up 1,020 vacation days in his eight years in office, including one five-week vacation, the most of any president in 36 years. Not to say he wasn’t on the job when he was at his Crawford, Texas ranch, but he was away from the White House.
 A thousand twenty days?  That's about 35% of the eight years Dubya was in office.

Interesting what you find with a little digging.

1 comment:

Fat Bastardo said...

Bush vacations far more than Obama. Dig a little deeper.

Bigger Fatter Politics.