Friday, August 6, 2010

Must Be Nice To Jet Around On Someone Else's Dime **Updated**

That would be Michelle Obama, of course. She and her daughter, Sasha, are currently in Spain. With plenty of their closest friends, enough to fill 60+ rooms at a swanky resort on the Mediterranean Coast.

If only this was her first vacation of the summer, and we weren't footing the damn airfare for Michelle, her daughter, staff, and security. But that is exactly what we are doing as Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times wrote in her recent article, "Michelle Obama Could Face 'Appearance' Issue Over Luxury Vacation." Uh, yeah, you could say that:
First lady Michelle Obama may catch some flak for vacationing at an expensive luxury hotel on Spain's Mediterranean coast. By the end of the summer, Mrs. Obama will have taken eight vacation trips -- including her visit to Marbella, staying at the five-star Hotel Villa Padierna with daughter Sasha and some pals. {snip}

Mrs. Obama's U.S. Air Force jet landed at Malaga on Wednesday; she skipped celebrating her husband's 49th birthday with him. (Daughter Malia, 12, is at overnight camp.) Mrs. Obama pays for personal expenses -- as do her friends who arrived on their own -- but that only covers a small part of the expense. Taxpayers pick up the tab for staff and security at the exclusive hotel and most of the expenses for the plane.

First ladies often go on vacations, with and without the president. An issue for Mrs. Obama may be how many: New York in March; Chicago, over Memorial Day; Los Angeles in June; Camp David -- sort of an extension of the White House -- in July; Maine in July, to highlight Acadia National Park, and now Spain. Mrs. Obama is glamorizing Spain's coastal resorts before her Aug. 14 first family weekend visit to Florida's Gulf Coast, to encourage tourists scared away by the oil spill. Starting Aug. 19, the Obamas will spend 10 days in Martha's Vineyard. Click here to read the rest.

Gee, you think she might take just a LITTLE flak for her vacations? Eight this summer (okay, seven if you want to take out Camp David, but still - it's a vacation!)?

Meanwhile, Obama himself jaunted off to Chicago to celebrate his birthday with "friends." Hmm, do you think they let Tony Rezko out to come wish his good buddy Barack a Happy 49th? Who knows, but at least Oprah and Gayle made it for dinner with The One. Isn't that special? Uh huh. And by that, I mean, blech.

So, two of the Obamas are playing in Spain, the other daughter is at Camp, and Barack is hanging out in his old haunts.

Meanwhile, not that it seems to matter to these people, but new Unemployment Claims made a major jump at the end of July, a bit unexpectedly. Yep, they hit a 3 month high of 479,000. And that's not the end of it as Hibah Yousuf reported for CNN Money, "Jobless Claims up 19,000 to 3-Month High":
"The job market is pretty muted," said Doug Roberts, chief investment strategist at Channel Capital Research. "It's not getting much worse, but it's not getting any better either."

Roberts said the monthly employment report will provide a clearer picture of trends in the labor market, but it's clear that a long road still lies ahead of a jobs recovery.

"The government has been driving the improvements we've seen in unemployment so far, so as soon as it stops spending, we'll be back to where we were before," Roberts said.

Well, that doesn't sound promising, does it? Not to me, anyway. And not to those who are being impacted by this economy.

So, by all means, Obamas - keep playing and partying. I am sure all of the people who are losing their jobs and their homes, too, understand the need for 8 - EIGHT - summer vacations and hobnobbing with the rich and famous. And the people on the Gulf who have lost their livelihoods surely understand the need for a break. So have your fun now. Hopefully, you'll only have a couple more years to play on our dime.

UPDATE: Two of them, actually. Since I am in my hometown after having seen my orthopaedist, and have to get something from my mom's house (now my brother's house), I have this on the jobs front. This came in on Friday, to add to the high Unemployment filings for the last week of July. There was a decline of jobs by 131,000 to add to this already disappointing (to put it mildly) news. I don't quite understand how this keeps Unemployment steady at 9.5% since the numbers keep hovering close to half a million, but that's just me.

And then, there is this headline regarding Michelle's European vacation: Spanish Police Close Public Beach For Michelle Obama's (Almost $400,000) Spanish Holiday (sorry - couldn't find the pound sign while my 6 yr old grandnephew is jumping around). Oh, this is some story, with LOTS of photos and details, except how many aides Michelle actually has. Why can no one get that number? There's a ton of security with her, too, as you might imagine, which costs each and everyone of us our taxpaying dollars. Gee - and you wonder why Andrea Tantaros refers to her as a "modern day Marie Antoinette..."


Have a good day, friends!


SFIndie said...

Gosh, I wonder if GimMememechelle got some of that stimulus money? There's 400 billion just sitting around doing nothing, after all; maybe she borrowed a wee bit. Too bad she's stimulating Spain's economy instead of ours. (I wonder if I can apply for a few of those dollars to help stimulate Montserrat's economy in December???)

I'll give her Camp David. But the other 7? Is her job really so exhausting that she needs 7 vacations in 6 months? (I guess being married to The Pretender is just so so draining.)

And poor Pretender, having to continue to tell people how GREAT everything is must simply take it OUT of him! Gotta spend time with Oprah...rub elbows with all her the lifestyle of the privileged...'cause after all, he and the Mrs. are just like us, you know. He even SAID so! On TV!

So, with those unemployment claims of 479,000, does ANYONE in the non-media bother to mention that it does NOT include those who are self-employed and don't qualify for unemployment benefits??? Nah, didn't think so.

I just don't know how we can hold on for another 30 months.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Well, yeah - if you were married to The One, wouldn't YOU need a ton of vacations? And Prozac? Just saying...

Oh, yes - the other thing they aren't mentioning are the declining jobs being CREATED - those numbers were in the minus column today, too. Wow, that Obama is doing SO much for our country, isn't it? All bad, but whatever - it's SOMETHING, right??


Apparently, Mechelle is going to think abt maybe going to FL on the Gulf Side to show people it's okay. So, she may have another vacation under her belt before it is all said and done...

60+ rooms in the resort where they are staying, and the minimum price (they have hotel rooms up) are around $400 a NIGHT. Uh, yeah...

See what a deal we're getting in Montserrat???

What a mess this all is...

Connie said...

I wish Blogger had a "like" button.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Oops - I didn't mean to add another vacation - the Gulf one is in there.

And thanks, Connie! :-) Blogger could learn from Facebook!