Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Michelle Obama’s First Lady Trip To Africa Costing The Taxpayers $500,000

“Everyone must sacrifice for the greater good,” President Obama said back in 2009. “Everyone must sacrifice for the greater good.”

Apparently sacrificing for the “common good” doesn’t preclude the First Lady from making an expense trip to Africa to promote the all-important issue of “youth leadership.”

And forget the expense, think about the carbon footprint.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to South Africa and Botswana last week cost taxpayers well over half a million dollars, possibly in the range of $700,000 or $800,000, according to an analysis by White House Dossier.

Many of the trip’s expenses cannot be obtained with specificity, including the cost of local transportation for the first lady, Secret Service protection, the care and feeding of staffers, and pre-trip advance work done by administration officials in South Africa.

But it is possible to estimate some of these costs and put a price tag on one of the major expenses – her transportation to and from southern Africa and her trips between cities there.

While the goals of her journey – “youth leadership, education, health and wellness” in southern Africa, according to the White House – are laudable, many may question whether such an expensive outreach overseas by the president’s wife is worthwhile given the threat of the ballooning federal debt to the economy.

Sacrifice, I guess, is for the little people.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Obama’s New “Green” Car Mandates Could Add $10,000 To Vehicle Prices, Eliminate 260,000 Jobs

Hundreds of thousands of jobs lost. Millions of dollars in extra expenses. Less economic activity.

Yeah, it sure sounds like Obama policy.

The Detroit News’s dogged David Shepardson has unearthed a study by one of world’s most respected automotive research firms that reveals that President Obama’s radical CAFE mandate that vehicles average — average! — 62 MPG by 2025 “could force vehicle prices up by nearly $10,000, reduce sales by 5.5 million vehicles annually, and eliminate more than 260,000 jobs.”

Shepardson is quoting from the Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research and the 260,000 job loss figure (consistent with past job losses from CAFE rule hikes) is another dent in White House’s propaganda that Green creates jobs.

The CAR study also reveals that Obama’s NHTSA and EPA have been gaming the figures when it comes to the cost of their new rules. The center’s study predicts it will cost between $3,744 and $9,790 per vehicle, while the agencies have low-balled the figure at $770 to $3,500 per vehicle.

The resulting costs would shrink the new-car market, with 5.5 million potential buyers disappearing (and manufacturing jobs with them) by 2025. That assumes that the auto fleet can even be built to meet such an absurd spec. Currently, no car — much less the average — meets 62 mpg. Indeed, only a handful of small vehicles meet the 35-mpg fleet-wide standard mandated in just five years.

I’ve never quite understood why the government feels the need to mandate efficiency. As if society, by nature, didn’t want to be more efficient.

CAFE standards are predicated on the notion that, were it not for the government, fuel efficiency wouldn’t improve. But fuel efficiency does improve, to the extent that’s reasonable. And who decides what is reasonable? The market.

If I could go out tomorrow and buy an SUV that performs the same way my current SUV does but gets 70mpg I’d do it in a heartbeat, and so would everybody else in the market. We don’t like big fuel bills. But the reason why there isn’t an SUV that gets 70mpg is because the technology doesn’t exist hit that threshold without sacrificing a lot of the other things people like in their SUV’s. Like size. Ruggedness. Off-road capability. Towing capacity. Horsepower.

So we, as consumers, accept lower fuel efficiency for these other considerations. But when the government mandates fuel efficiency, we’re forced to sacrifice those considerations to meet some arbitrary goal set by the politicians.

The markets always find the right balance between value, efficiency and price. The only thing government can do is distort that balance and make things worse.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Obama Blames ATM’s for His Record Unemployment Rate

It’s all your fault.

Barack Obama blamed ATM’s today for his record unemployment rate… Because we all know ATM’s were just introduced since he took charge of the economy.
FOX Nation reported:

President Obama explained to NBC News that the reason companies aren’t hiring is not because of his policies, it’s because the economy is so automated. … “There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.”

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Related… 1.9 Million Fewer Americans Have Jobs Today Than When Obama Signed Stimulus.


Michelle Obama Says Her Husband Is Working Too Hard

I have a hard time feeling sympathetic for Obama given how hard he campaigned for the job. Being President isn’t easy. Obama knew this, and raised hundreds of millions of dollars to get himself elected anyway.

But setting the vigors of the job aside for a moment, it’s not like Obama has exactly been shy about taking some “me” time:

I know this will be surprising to everyone, but the president has gone golfing.

This is the last chance for him to practice before next week’s smackdown with House Speaker Boehner. The foursome will also include Vice President Biden and John Kasich, Ohio’s Republican governor. Kasich, a former senior GOP House member who worked closely with Boehner for many years, was chosen personally by the Speaker to be his second in the duel.

Today makes 11 weekends in a row that Obama has gone golfing. It’s his 14th outing this year and the 72nd of his presidency.

Meanwhile, the President tells NBC that if it were up to his family he’d be a one-term President:

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It’s almost like there’s a narrative here. Like they decided to cast the President as a hard-working family man sacrificing for the nation, so they flipped a switch and that was the message.

But hey, if Obama is really feeling a bit overtaxed by the duties of his job, he could always not run for re-election.


Obama Heckled at Miami Fundraiser – Sells Only 900 Tickets to 2400 Capacity Arena

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) greets NBA legend Bill Russell (R) after speaking at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 13, 2011. (REUTERS/Larry Downing)

Barack Obama was heckled by gay activists yesterday at his Miami fundraiser at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets ranged from $44 to as much as $2,500. About 900 supporters were expected to attend. The arena holds at least 2,400 people.

WSVN reported:

The president was speaking to about 80 wealthy supporters Monday who paid $10,000 each to attend an event at the home of former Samsonite CEO Steve Green. Green served as President Bill Clinton’s ambassador to Singapore.

Obama also was attending a fundraiser at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets ranged from $44 to as much as $2,500. About 900 supporters were expected to attend.


Taxpayers to Foot the Bill for Michelle Obama’s Fundraising

First Lady Michelle Obama flew off to California to attend four fundraisers. She threw in two “official” appointments so we the taxpayers will most likely pick up most of her travel tab. Couldn’t she have stayed in Washington, DC to raise awareness about supporting military families? Is her appearance on iCarly really necessary official business?

Keith Koffler has the scoop:

Mrs. Obama will be in California today and tomorrow, visiting Los Angeles, Pasadena, Oakland and San Francisco. She will hold two official “first lady” events and be the star attraction at FOUR fundraisers.

Whether she would have attended the official events if she wasn’t going to troll for money is anyone’s guess. But what seems likely is the cost of flying Michelle out to the West Coast so she can soak the legions of wealthy Californian Democrats for cash is being mitigated by having the official appearances on the schedule.

The first lady’s office did not respond to a request for information about whether and how much of the trip will be paid for by the government. But with official events scheduled, it’s very safe to assume that a chunk – perhaps most – of the first lady’s travel aboard a specially equipped air force plane along with her security detail and entourage will be paid for by taxpayers.

Koffler went on to note that her appearance at the military event and the iCarly taping will be open to the press. The fundraisers will be off limits except for a small pool of print reporters. And they better not try taping her with their iPhones.


Obama Laughing Off Dismal Economy?

Obama Hypes Green Energy Plant That’s Shifting Operations to China

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with employees as he tours a North Carolina manufacturing facility of energy efficient LED lights, Cree Inc., in Raleigh-Durham, June 13, 2011. From L-R are: Obama, Matthew Rose, CEO of GE Jeffrey Immelt and Chairman and CEO of Cree, Inc. Charles M. Swoboda. (REUTERS/Larry Downing)

Obama is traveling to North Carolina today to plug another green energy company. The company received $39 million in tax credits and at least $6 million in grants from the Department of Energy. Cree makes LED lighting products.
And, it’s shifting operations to China.
The Daily Caller reported:

President Barack Obama will visit the North Carolina-based Cree LED Light Company Monday to tour the plant and meet with his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to discuss job creation and policies to spur economic growth. But Cree, a major recipient of Recovery Act funds, may be sending that money straight to China.

At the very least, its CEO, Chuck Swoboda, has a very China-centered strategy that involves building a new plant overseas, two facts that the Republican National Committee plans to highlight Monday morning prior to the president’s visit. Cree received a $39 million as an Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit from the Recovery Act.

The company began developing clean energy technology, hired a few more hundred workers, and the administration touted it as a “true American success story” on the White House Web site. Then in late 2010, the company opened its first plant in Huizhou City,China. That made Cree the first global LED company to locate a manufacturing plant in China…

“This is just another example of an administration that talks about an economy that has turned around while ignoring what is happening to American families who are struggling to find jobs, pay higher food and gas prices and are dealing with the decline of their home value,” one Republican source told The Daily Caller.

Experts say that Obama’s visit today highlights his failed economic policies.

“It’s ironic that Obama’s jobs panel is meeting at the headquarters of a company that received millions of dollars of taxpayer money. Rising unemployment is evidence that Obama’s clean energy plan did not work as he had hoped, yet the president is stubbornly adhering to his fantasy of creating a clean energy economy,” said Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project.

“The failure of Obama’s job’s panel is really not surprising since the group is packed with green energy and cap-and-trade cheerleaders such as GE CEO Jeff Immelt, green energy venture capitalist John Doerr, DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman and NextEra Energy CEO Lewis Hay,” added Tom Borelli.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Figures. Obama Blames Europe & Earthquakes For His Failed Policies

Evidently, George W. Bush was not availalble.

Obama blames the disastrous economy on Europe and earthquakes.

The British press noticed the latest blame game too.

The Daily Mail noticed:

The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index are both headed for a fifth straight week of losses – the longest losing streak for the Dow since July 2004.

The slump follows jobs data published on Friday showing employers added only 54,000 new workers in May, the fewest in eight months and well below what analysts were expecting.

The news comes as President Barack Obama today blamed high gasoline prices, the Japanese earthquake and Europe’s financial crisis for economic ‘headwinds’ at home.

As inspiration for a broader recovery, he’s citing the American auto industry’s resurgence.

‘We’re a people who don’t give up, who do big things, who shape our own destiny,’ the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday.

Like his words to Chrysler workers, Obama’s address did not mention the bleak unemployment numbers announced Friday for the month of May. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy last month created only a net 54,000 jobs and unemployment inched up to 9.1 percent.

‘We’re facing some tough headwinds,’ Obama said.

‘Lately, it’s high gas prices, the earthquake in Japan and unease about the European fiscal situation. That will happen from time to time.’


Do As Obama Says Not As He Does

Michelle Obama’s first lady issue has been declaring a War on Fatties, complete with heavy-handed new regulations of school lunches and replacing the food pyramid with the, uh, food plate.

But just a day after America got its first look at their new eating guidelines from the USDA, the President wolfed down two chili dogs (with extra chili!) and some french fries in Toledo.

I guess telling fibs is hungry work.

When his wife unveiled the USDA’s new nutritional plate yesterday, there definitely wasn’t a space for chili dogs.

But that didn’t stop Barack Obama wolfing down two in Toledo today – with fries and an extra bowl of chili on the side.

The president happily munched on the unhealthy meal before he visited the city’s Chrysler factory, and even teased one of his hosts for ordering ketchup, a faux-pas in his home town of Chicago.

To be clear, I don’t really care what Obama eats. He could subsist on a steady diet of Mellow Yellow, cheeseburgers and Camel cigarettes for all I care. I just wish he and his administration would stop trying to use the power of government to manipulate how the rest of us eat.

Obama’s supporters will probably role their eyes and demand to know why the President’s diet is worthy of criticism. My response would be that I’ll stop caring about what the President eats when he stops caring about what I eat.