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Obamas Won't Celebrate Christmas
A survey of adult Americans finds that an overwhelming majority prefer the seasonal expression "Merry Christmas."  More than seven out of ten, in fact.  Twenty-two percent, according to Rasmussen Reports, go for "Happy Holidays."

However, the Obamas, who won't spend their first December holidays in the White House, apparently don't like either one.

The Obamas have just mailed thousands of greeting cards that say simply, "Season's Greetings." They're cream-colored, maroon-bordered cards showing a gold wreath wrapped around the presidential coat of arms.

The Obamas' card, paid for by the Democratic National Committee, makes no religious reference whatsoever.  "May your family have a joyous holiday season," says the Obamas' greeting, "and a new year blessed with hope and happiness."  This comes after reports that, initially anyway, the Obama White House planned its first Christmas to be a "non-religious" one, kind of like a non-sports Super Bowl Sunday.
Obama's Christmas Tree
Why let a holiday season come between the White House and making some political statements?  The White House pegged controversial designer Simon Doonan to oversee the Christmas decorations for the White House.  Mr. Doonan, who is creative director of Barney’s New York has often caused a stir with his design choices.  Like his naughty yuletide window display of Margaret Thatcher as a dowdy dominatrix and Dan Quayle as a ventriloquist’s dummy.  For this year’s White House, he didn’t disappoint.
    
    
These photos of ornaments on the White House Christmas tree in the Blue Room were taken just days ago.  Of course, Mao has his place in the White House.  And, it wouldn’t be Christmas without an ornament of legendary transvestite Hedda Lettuce -- he/she even signed it -- and, so soon after collecting the Nobel Peace Prize, why wouldn’t the White House have an ornament super-imposing Obama onto Mt. Rushmore.  All around, a very Barry Christmas!

Related:  The White House doesn’t know if Obama will attend Church on Christmas.

As of Tuesday, three days before Christmas, the White House did not know if Barack Obama would be attending church to celebrate Jesus' birth.

During his first year in office, Obama has not regularly attended a Washington-area church.  He left his Chicago church in 2008 when its outspoken pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, became a liability to his presidential campaign.
Livin' Large On Your Dime
Kristinn at FreeRepublic.com reports that Barack Obama will be spending ten days over Christmas and New Year's at a $8.9 million estate in Hawaii at a rate of at least $4000 per night, according to ABC News.  Obama spent last Christmas there as well when he was president-elect.

As the American people are still caught in the grips of the recession with unemployment running from 10% to 16% and the federal budget blown out with Obama's massive deficit spending, Obama is living like a king with no criticism from the mainstream media.

ABC describes the estate with no mention of the incongruence of Obama's extravagance with the wrecked Christmases of tens of millions of Americans one year in to his failing presidency:
    

The Obamas' rental property is 7,000 square feet of paradise on the southeastern coast of the island, complete with large open spaces built around a lagoon pool.

...It's also not cheap. Staying in this $8.9 million house, which Zimel has dubbed the "Obama Winter White House," will cost around $4,000 a night. The two houses next door will be occupied by Obama family members and friends.

   
While ABC News ignores Obama's "Let them eat cake" attitude, the New York Daily News flat out lies for Obama on his self-indulgent Christmas:
   

With so many Americans hurting, the White House is smart enough to know that they don’t want to flaunt their good fortunes on those who are without...The First Family heads to Hawaii tomorrow for a well-deserved tropical Christmas.

   
It's good to be the king!
The Obamas' Ritzy Vacation
Brad Wilmouth imagines the outrage if any Republican president went on vacation during a recession and spent $4,000 a night on accommodations --- plus!  On ABC’s Good Morning America Wednesday, correspondent Yunji de Nies seemed to suggest that Obama’s family will be spending such an amount renting expensive living space at an estate house in Hawaii for a two-week Christmas vacation.  De Nies: "Christmas trees here aren't cheap -- neither is staying in this $8.9 million house, which runs $4,000 a night.  The Obamas rented this one and the two next door (another $2,000 or $3,000 for family and friends -- plus security).  When you spend that kind of money, people pay attention to detail."

De Nies did not specify exactly how much is being spent or where the money is coming from, though the amount may even be significantly more than $4,000 a day as she related that "the two next door" were also being rented for family and friends of the Obamas.  The ABC correspondent also recounted that the estate house overlooks a beach popular with royalty: "But it's the master bedroom and its breathtaking view that is the crown jewel.  Kailua Beach has been ranked the island's best, a favorite of Hawaiian royalty."

Anchor George Stephanopoulos gushed over Obama's plans for a two-week getaway to Hawaii as he introduced the report:
    

When I last interviewed Obama in September, he was already pining for his Christmas vacation -- two weeks of sun, shaved ice and surf in Hawaii.  Well, it's finally here.  Delayed just a little bit by that health care vote, but it's gonna come tomorrow morning.  Then Obama is taking off.  One other big perk of the trip, a magnificent beach house his family is staying in for the second year in a row.

    
Here is a complete transcript of the piece from the Wednesday, December 23, Good Morning America on ABC:
   
Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann believes the Obamas’ ten day vacation on Oahu will do wonders for the state’s tourism industry, which has been deeply battered by the U.S. recession.

"I think it's going to create all kinds of demand," the mayor told Khon2.  "People are gonna want to come here when they see the president sunning and funning in Hawaii having great time."

Despite spending $100,000 or more on Obama's security, Hannemann believes the expenditure is an investment that will pay tremendous dividends for the cash strapped city, which faces a $140 million deficit during the next fiscal year.
What Did The Obamas Do In Hawaii?
KHON2 is reporting that Obama and his family spent 11 days, 10 nights on Oahu, and now they're packing up for their return flight home to the winter weather of Washington, D.C.

Obama is spending his final hours on Oahu soaking up the sun outdoors, freeing his mind of ugly thoughts of jihadists, and taking motorcades to the beach, and racketeering at the Racquet Club.

Scott Miscovich has seen it all, living on the same street as what has been coined the First Family's Winter White House.  Misovich said, "Been interesting, we've had protestors, a lot of people coming just to observe" -- not to mention the number of U.S. Secret Service, police and Coast Guard crews that have staked claim to his neighborhood.

And it's been hard for him not to notice each time Obama passes by.  "He left a lot, sometimes three times a day or more," said Miscovich.

On his final day in Hawaii, Obama didn't deviate from his morning routine, hitting the gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii for a quick workout.  After that it was off to the greens for a round of golf at Kaneohe's Klipper Course.

"He's doing things I think my kids or if I went away would come back I'd want to do also," said Miscovich, like exploring Sea Life Park, watching the movie "Avatar," a date night dinner and of course, shaved ice.

"He did yeah they were out and about a lot, I heard Island Snow and so they were out quite a bit," said Kailua resident Kyla Murray.
    

Obama, out and about -- three times a day -- that's a lot of CO
2
      
Still, day after day, many folks flocked to Kailua beach, hoping they'd see the Obama's up close.  "Yeah we even came down here a few times with the camera trying to see if we could catch a glimpse," said Murray.

$4,000 a day for the rental, and $4,000,000 a day for the ancillaries.  It's good to be the Obamamessiah.
The White House Has Become A Shrine To Obama
Newsbusters.com is reporting that Ed Schultz, on his radio show, talked about meeting with Obama advisor David Axelrod at the White House last week, along with fellow liberal radio host Bill Press and several other left-wing media types Schultz did not identify.
    

Schultz:  First of all you walk into the White House, in the West Wing, and there are picture all over, I mean everywhere! Of President Obama!  I mean, of his life in the first year as president of the United States.  Now I don't know if that's the way it is with every president, but it was almost a shrine.  I mean, well, here's a picture of Obama the president with his kids over here.  There he is getting on Air Force One.  Here he is with some military people.  Here he is on the line working the line at one of his campaign stops.  I mean, just, it was just one picture after another! (laughs)

      
       
Schultz is a far-left opinion-meister on MSNBC.  He considers himself a "progressive liberal."  His talk show is generally considered to be a very liberal-leaning program.  He is pro-union and centers a large portion of his radio show on the "plight of working class Americans."

This display of Obama's narcissism in the White House must really be something when an Obot like Schultz is surprised.

    
Update:  Just received this Hillbuz report from Stacy -- Today, ...took a much-needed break from the Internet and went down to the Museum of Science & Industry here in Chicago to see the White House model they have on display through February:  it’s a to-scale miniature, with cutaways into most of the rooms.  Apparently, the Zeif Family, who made and maintains this model, travels to the White House in each administration, measures any changes that were made, and recreates the interior of the White House to exacting detail.  They’ve been doing this since the Kennedy Administration.

What disturbs us is that, if the model is really exact in all details, the actual White House is chock full of crazy currently.
     
    
In the Zeif model, the East and West wings of the White House are plastered with propaganda. Inside all the offices, there are GIANT photos of the current First Family, the likes of which we’d expect to see in Pyongyang or the old presidential palaces in Baghdad, before the Husseins were ousted.  They aren’t even particularly good pictures -- like things cut out of People magazine or some other propaganda piece run on the Obamas.

It’s just strange that the Zeifs took the time to recreate everything else in such painstaking detail, but then plaster the interior of the East and West wings (but not the original White House itself), with giant images of Dr. Utopia and his "fashion icon" wife.  Unless the REAL East and West wings really are covered in this garbage.

The miniature computer screens in the offices are all functional, and play tiny propaganda reels praising the Obamas.   The White House cinema, located in the Collonade between the White House and the East Wing, also plays a DVD promoting the glory of all things Obama.

It’s really very strange.  And, there's more here . . .
    
Sounds like Schultz's description of the place might be understated.
Obamas Throw A Party Every 3 Days
Gateway Pundit reminds us that Back in January 2009, before he signed his failed $787 billion stimulus bill into law, Barack Obama told America that everyone must sacrifice for the greater good.  Everyone must have "some skin in the game."

What he meant, of course, was that everyone would have to sacrifice to lift American out of the worst recession since the Great Depression -- except for Barack and Michelle Obama.

Now we learn that the the Obama White House has held one party every three days in first year of Obama reign.

Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) reported:
    

"Let the good times roll" -- and roll they have at the Obama White House, while nearly 11% of the workforce remains unemployed, nearly four million Americans are losing their homes, and terrorists ride the open skies.

In fact, according to the Chicago Tribune, the stylish Ms. Rogers and the party-hearty First Couple hosted no less than 170 parties and social events through December 3 of 2009.  And that does not even include the 17 parties and 11 open houses -- feting more than 50,000 guests -- ABC News reported the Obamas hosted throughout the Holiday Season.

For those not counting, that means by January, 2010, Ms. Rogers had
staged one gala White House event every three days throughout the first year of the Obama Administration, making the once austere Executive Mansion look more like party central.

Obamas Earned $5.5 Million In 2009
Breitbart reports Barack Obama and his wife have doubled their income since he took office, declaring a joint gross income of 5.5 million dollars for the 2009 fiscal year, the White House said Thursday.

Obama earned an annual salary of 374,460 dollars since his inauguration in January 2009, according to his tax filings released Thursday, but most of his income came from his books, which have leaped to the top of the bestseller lists since he first started running for the White House.

In 2008, Obama and his wife, Michelle, declared a joint gross income of 2.65 million dollars, most of which also came from royalties on his mythology, "Dreams of My Father" and, the Rev. Wright-inspired, "The Audacity of Hope."

According to his 2009 documents, the Obamas paid 1.79 million dollars in federal taxes and 163,303 dollars in state taxes to Illinois where the couple owns a home in Chicago.

Obama also received 1.4 million dollars last year when he won the Nobel Peace Prize, but he has donated his prize money among 10 charities, the White House said, and the sum is not part of the 5.5 million dollars declared income.

The couple also donated 329,100 dollars to 40 different charities in 2009, with the largest reported gifts being 50,000 dollars to CARE and the United Negro College Fund.

In 2007, the Obamas said they had earned 4.2 million dollars. That was still an increase from 2008 when their joint income was 269,256 dollars.  They also gave some 4,820 dollars to charity, or some 1.4 percent of their incomes, the White House said.

Obama also sold two inheritances from his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who died in the final days of his campaign.  He made less than $1,000 from the sale of a tax-free trust.  A second inheritance -- shares in the Bank of Hawaii where his grandmother rose from a secretary to a vice president -- sold for between $250,000 and $500,000.  Obama's tax returns, made public earlier in the year, show he took a loss on that investment.
Party!  Party!  Party!
The AP is reporting that another gazllion-dollar White House state dinner is in the works.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (hoo jin-tow) has accepted Barack Obama’s invitation to visit the U.S. on a formal state visit.  Obama officials said Saturday after the two leaders met in Toronto that the countries will work out a mutually acceptable date for the visit.

Obama extended the invitation during his meeting with Hu.  The two were in Canada to participate in an international economic summit among the world’s largest and emerging economies.

It will be Obama's third state dinner, following the extravagant galas for India and Mexico.

No sweat!  It's only your money.
Obamas' Dog Gets Its Own Plane
Warner Todd Huston says the Morning Sentinel, a small paper from the state of Maine, has a travelogue story of the Obama’s seventh vacation in and about Maine today.  It has a very interesting little tidbit in it that should enrage every American.  It is something that really shows Barack Obama’s arrogance and his sense of entitlement.

Among the exciting details of the Obama’s visit to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor is this tidbit:
    

Arriving in a small jet before the Obamas was the first dog, Bo, a Portuguese water dog given as a present by the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.…

    
As the rest of us toil on the unemployment line, as millions of Americans find their retirement accounts dwindling, their hours at work cut, and their pay scale trimmed, King Barack and Queen Michelle are flying their little doggie, Bo, on his own special jet airplane for his own little vacation adventure.

Well, it must be nice to be able to afford to fly your doggie about the country whenever you feel like it.  It must be nice to pay Reggie Love $102,000 per to act as your dog’s escort (of course, with Obama's ability to handle the animal, he does need help).  It must be comforting to know that you have the power to arrange such luxury for a dog.

As America lurches toward depression our leader is wasting millions on constant vacationing -- 16 vehicles were used to drive the Obama’s around -- and affording his dog …his dog… his owns special jet airplane.
    

Air traffic at the small Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport in Trenton was shut down for Obama's arrival.  A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter patrolled the air in anticipation of the first family’s touchdown, and a pair of local fire and rescue trucks stood ready on an otherwise empty tarmac at the private air hangar.

    
The Obamas then traveled in "the Beast" onto Mount Desert Island in a motorcade of at least 16 vehicles to visit the "black power" ice cream shop.  It was led by two Maine State Police cruisers and included five black Chevrolet Suburbans with mini-guns (cool video).

And all of this is on OUR dime, folks.  We are paying for our monarch to fly his dog around the country on its own special jet.

Perhaps Barack Obama isn’t like a king.  Perhaps he’s more like an emperor?  An emperor like the fiddling Nero.

"Water dog" -- "Ted Kennedy"  -- dontcha just love the irony?
Obamas' Vacations
Ed Lasky says he's inclined to give him a bit of a break on the vacation issue -- if only family vacations were at issue.  However, the vacations are only part of the problem with Obama's laxity and aversion to work.  His obsession with gold, the musical soirees at the White House (that are a constant fact and have been from the inception of his Presidency) should give taxpayers pause.  But two aspects of this particular trip stand out.  First, the sheer hypocrisy of Michelle Obama flying down to the tar stained beaches of the Gulf and promoting them as a vacation spot for Americans.
    

Michelle Obama highlighted the political pitfalls of presidential vacations when, during a trip last week to the gulf, she said Americans should consider staying at one of the gulf's "beautiful beaches'' to boost that region's economy.  The comment could heighten criticism if the Obama's vacation on the Vineyard.

    
The hypocrisy is glaring and plays into the perception of the "Do As I Say, Not as I Do" problems that many liberals have (the Gore/Edwards addiction to big , energy absorbing and carbon spewing lifestyles; Nancy Pelosi's penchant for private planes, paid for by us, etc.).

But the other aspect is the timing-given Obama's radio address over the weekend.  He castigated Republicans over resistance to extending unemployment insurance and tarred them with the brush of being proxies for the rich.  Meanwhile, he flies off to a vacation in Maine and apparently is making plans to vacation (again) in Martha's Vineyard -- playground of the wealthy and well-connected.  Even Bill Clinton, who liked the Vineyard, realized that the optics were bad since many people consider the Vineyard a private reserve of the elitists (hence, Clinton's switch to Jackson Hole, Wyoming).

Also, former presidents vacations did not occur during a severe recession and monumental government deficits that Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats have brought forth.  Presidential trips are expensive ordeals (and taxpayers pay for them).  We can all remember the Obama's trip to Broadway to catch a show; his trip to Europe to pitch Chicago for the Olympics, but his refusal to take trips overseas to repair relations with allies.  The man -- for all the caricatures regarding his ears -- has two tin ones.

Obama has his priorities, after all.

RelatedYou gotta check this out -- "Play Golf or Save the Gulf?" -- create your own webpage.
Another Party Night At The White House
Mike's America says millions of Americans are out of work, an oil spill is destroying the Gulf, and Obama parties, golfs and vacations.

What’s the first thing most Americans do after getting back from vacation?  Catch up on important work at the office and make sure that any crisis is under control?  What Obama did after coming back from his mini-vacation to Maine is turn the White House into a Broadway stage for yet ANOTHER party!

In June, Barack and Michelle invited Beatles founder Paul McCartney in for a sing along.  Monday was Broadway night…
    
    
With the portraits of George and Martha Washington looking on, Obama kicks off yet another party in the White House East Room.

This video reminds us that Obama averaged one party every three days his first year in office -- a total of 170 parties and socials.  It seems the average for his second year won’t be far behind.

I wonder what the folks who are out of work because of the economy or the oil spill think of Obama putting party time before the responsibilities of office?
Being President Is Hard
The Obamas just got back from their Desert Island, Maine vacation, and their civil servants are packing again.

Now, The New York Times is reporting that the first report of an Obama Martha's Vineyard vacation reached The Times news desk on July 15th.

Under the headline, "President Obama to summer like it's 2009," Boston Herald gossip columnists Gayle Fee relied on Island sources:
    

"Our spies on The Rock report that the first family will return to Chilmark's Blue Heron Farm for about 10 days in August ... the big buzz on the Rock is that the commander-in-chief, Michelle and the girls, Sasha and Malia, will return to The Rock about Aug. 19.  And why wouldn't they?

"The fab farm where the first family beaches themselves has a basketball court for Barry, and the prez was greeted like a rock star everywhere he went.  And with his approval ratings at an all-time low, a little love from the locals can't hurt."

    
Islanders may be feeling the love, according to The Inside Track, but few of the 162 comments the report generated included kind words.

But, before the 10 days in "The Vineyard," Obama and his family will spend a vacation weekend on the Gulf Coast in Florida next month, "showing solidarity with a tourism industry hurt by the BP oil spill."

So, how's your summer.  Don't you wish you were royalty?

Related:  Obama's only working for an hour today.  Politico has his schedule for Friday here, and he's only booked from 11:00 AM until noon.

Obama must be resting up for another couple of rounds of golf this weekend.
Is There Trouble On The Second Floor?
On the 22nd of this month, The Martha's Vineyard Times released the first report of an Obama family Martha's Vineyard vacation.

Under the headline, "President Obama to summer like it's 2009," Boston Herald gossip columnists Gayle Fee relied on Island sources:
    

"Our spies on The Rock report that the first family will return to Chilmark's Blue Heron Farm for about 10 days in August ... the big buzz on the Rock is that the commander-in-chief, Michelle and the girls, Sasha and Malia, will return to The Rock about Aug. 19.  And why wouldn't they?

"The fab farm where the first family beaches themselves has a basketball court for Barry, and the prez was greeted like a rock star everywhere he went.  And with his approval ratings at an all-time low, a little love from the locals can't hurt."


Early this morning, reports started surfacing that the Obama's were going to Spain.

Now, out of the blue, there's confirmation that Michelle is off to España.  Olé!  And she's taking her daughter.

Yahoo News is reporting the The White House says that Michelle Obama will travel to Spain next week for a private trip with longtime family friends.

Mrs. Obama will be traveling with her youngest daughter, Sasha.  Barack Obama and daughter Malia will not be on the trip.

The White House says Mrs. Obama will pay an official visit to Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia.  That meeting, as well as Mrs. Obama's other activities, will be closed to the press.

Whoooaaaa!!  What happened?  Obama is a well-known flip-flopper, but this?

So, Michelle and Sasha are off to Europe to visit "friends."  I didn't know she had any friends -- just political allies contributors, and hangers-on.

It's unsaid, but I guess Obama and Malia will be heading to "The Vineyard?"

So, what is this? 

Last minute -- separate vacations?


Is there trouble, with a capital "T," on the second floor of the White House?


Googled Olé! to get the spanish thingy over letter "e."

Look what answers.yahoo.com says Olé means:

"Olé!" : An expression of excitement. From the Spanish "olé", derived from the Arabic oath والله (w-állah), "by Allah!"
White House Denies Obama To Holiday In Spain
Yahoo News is reporting that the White House denied reports from Spanish media that Barack Obama and his family would take a holiday early August in the posh southern Spanish resort city of Marbella.

A White House official told AFP the report by the Spanish newspapers El Pais and El Mundo was incorrect.

In a concurrent report, the AFP reported that the White House said that US First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to Spain next week on a "private mother-daughter" trip, but Barack Obama will not go along.

According to the Obamas' official schedule, the First Family has August getaway plans for the disaster hit US-Gulf Coast as well as the northeastern vacation spot off Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard.

There's three different stories, right there.
        
             
Another version:  US First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to Spain next week on a "private mother-daughter" trip, but the First Husband will not go along, the White House said on Monday.

Michelle Obama will also take up an invitation to make an official call on King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia, the White House said.

The announcement came a day after Spanish media reports erroneously said Obama, himself, would take his family for a holiday at the upscale southern Spanish resort city of Marbella

Related:  Ritz-Carlton in Spain may host Michelle Obama.

It's my understanding that this this came out of the blue late yesterday.

And these are the people who are running the war, the economy, and the oil spill . . .
Obama's 27-Hour Gulf Vacation
Mike Memoli says that last month the White House announced that the first family would visit the Gulf of Mexico for a vacation.  It's a trip, as Christi Parsons reported at the time, intended in part to "help ward off criticism that, while Obama encourages others to go to the Gulf, he will spend his vacation among the elite set on the island of Martha's Vineyard."

The White House has just sent new details of that trip, revealing that the Obama family will have spent barely more than one day in the area when all is said and done.  That trip will include a roundtable discussion between Obama and first lady with small business owners about the pace of recovery.  Obama will also make a public statement.

"They both believed that it was important to highlight that, indeed, the Gulf Coast is, during a busy summer, open for business and the families that are there are enjoying their time there," press secretary Robert Gibbels told reporters in response to questions about the short nature of the trip.  "You'll see he and the family out there.  You'll see all of them out there."

From scheduled arrival of Air Force One Saturday to the time it departs on Sunday, the Obamas will have spent 26 hours and 50 minutes on the ground in the Panama City area.
Obamas Depleting U.S. Lobster Supply
Veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler asks, how much lobster are you having during these precarious economic times?  What?  You've had to cut back?  No longer ordering it stuffed with crab meat, at least?

Well, if you happen to be Barack Obama, or his bride, your lobster consumption is continuing at a robust pace.  Yes, the economy is still getting battered, and last night, so was Obama's lobster.
    
    
According to ABC's Jake Tapper, Obama savored some lobster tempura at the trendy State Road Restaurant in West Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard -- oh, just the thought of it -- if he brings some back to the White House for me, I'll write whatever he wants.

Monday night at The Sweet Life Cafe in Oak Bluffs on the Vineyard it was the lobster pasta appetizer for Obama and a surf and turf entrée -- the "surf" being a lobster tail -- for Michelle.

And what would the vacation to Maine in July have been without a taste of everyone's favorite crustacean.  Obama did it in a little less genteel fashion that time, heading over to something called Stewman's Downtown restaurant where he was served the "Lobster Experience" dinner -- just regular lobster, corn and slaw.

But the Obamas' lobster experience is not confined to these shores.  Michelle Obama was barely off the plane during her voyage early this month to the Spanish Riviera when, according to the Spanish press, she dived into a feast of sea bass tartare, strawberry gazpacho and sardines, and a main course of lobster with seaweed risotto.

Michelle enjoyed the repast so much that she was right back at it on August 14th, during the Obamas' two-day Panama City, Florida, photo-op vacation.  There, at the Firefly restaurant, it was more lobster for Michelle.

The Obamas were supposed to be showing support for the good people of the oil spill-stricken Gulf, eating their seafood and so forth.  So the big question is, was it a Caribbean lobster or one shipped down from Maine?

And who knows what lobster delicacies the White House chef is whipping up for them in between vacations?

No wonder the Russians just started fueling the Iranian nuclear reactor at Bushehr.  When President Medvedev was here, Obama took him for burgers.

Related:  Vacationing Obama to Press: "We're Buying Shrimp, Guys.  Come On."
Big Party Week For The Obamas
Christina Wilkie says Barack and Michelle Obama have a packed social schedule this week, with two major galas and a reception for college athletes.

On Monday evening, Obama will welcome collegiate star athletes to the White House for a reception at 5:45 p.m.  The event recognizes outstanding student athletes in more than a dozen sports, including field-hockey, lacrosse, and volleyball.  Neither of Obama's alma maters, Columbia University and Harvard University, made the grade.

On Wednesday the First Couple will don black tie for the annual Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute gala, one of the more entertaining political galas of the Washington fall season.  A number of entertainers are being honored with awards, including Eva Longoria Parker, five-time Grammy winner Arturo Sandoval, and musician Sheila E.  Also participating in the festivities will be Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Hopefully the Obamas get some rest Thursday or Friday, because they will be back in formalwear on Saturday night for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's (CBCF) annual Phoenix Awards dinner. The dinner will mark the culmiantion of the foundation's 40th Annual Legislative Conference.

Honorees at the dinner will include New Jersey State Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver, actor, humanitarian, and America-hater, Harry Belafonte, journalist Simeon Booker, and renowned choreographer Judith Jamison.

Washingtonians will recall that White House party-crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi allegedly snuck into the CBCF dinner in 2009. Expect security to be extra tight this time around.

The Washington social season unofficially began Saturday night with the Washington National Opera's season opening gala, and ends in early December with the Kennedy Center Honors.

Now there is a trifecta -- Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Michael Bloomberg, who undoubtedly will be the only RINO in the room.
 "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters"
Obama booster, Lynn Sweet, writes that, in 2008, while holding down two full-time jobs -- freshman senator from Illinois and Democratic presidential candidate -- Barack Obama found time to whip out a children's book titled "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters," to be published next month, Politics Daily has learned.

On Tuesday, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, will make an announcement about the book, which is a tribute to 13 Americans, including artist Georgia O'Keeffe, baseball legend Jackie Robinson, and George Washington.

Obama's daughters, Malia and Sasha, will be represented on the cover in an impressionistic image by children's illustrator Loren Long, who produced the portraits in the 40-page book.  Light on text, the thin volume is intended to appeal to kids age 3 and up and will sell for $17.99.  It's certainly expected by the publishing house to be a bestseller, with an initial printing of 500,000 copies.

"Of Thee I Sing" is part of a three-volume deal Obama signed in December 2004, just after he was elected senator, but before he took office.  When the deal was originally announced in 2004, the kids' book was due in 2006, the profits were to go to charity and the original concept was for an illustrated volume about Obama's childhood as a "skinny young kid with big ears and funny name."

While the concept changed, proceeds will still go to charity -- a scholarship fund for military children with a parent who was killed or disabled -- but this publication fulfills Obama's obligation to turn in a children's book to his publisher.  Obama got a $1.9 million advance in 2004 for the package, though the children's book was not part of the revenue stream.  The advance enabled the Obamas to buy a mansion on the South Side of Chicago.

The original deal, negotiated by attorney Robert Barnett, came in the wake of the success of Obama's best-selling memoir, "Dreams From My Father."  Obama finished "Audacity of Hope," his policy book (also a best seller) in 2006; his children's book in 2008 and the last book he owes his publisher will come out after Obama leaves the Oval Office.  According to his 2010 financial disclosure report, the deal was revised on Jan. 9, 2009, so the last book did not have to be delivered until he was out of office.  On Jan. 15, 2009, days before he was inaugurated, Obama got a $500,000 advance for a young-adult version of "Dreams From My Father."
Leave The Prose To The Pros, Mr. Obama
Outsiders like Barack Obama rarely master the art of writing Children's books, says Philip Womack.

Do you hear a loud thumping noise emanating from all over the country?  It's the sound of thousands of children's authors -- myself included -- banging their heads on their desks in despair.  Yes, another celebrity has "written" a children's book.

Who is it this time?  Has Wayne Rooney penned a morality tale for the under-eights?  Maybe Kerry Katona has chipped in with a multi-million-pound, nine-book series about a little girl whose nose falls off?  No, it's the biggest celebrity of all, Barack Obama.  Following in the footsteps of Theodore Roosevelt's Hero Tales from American History, and Jimmy Carter's The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer, Obama has come up with Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, a set of 13 "inspirational tales" of American pioneers.

Frankly, just the title makes me want to stick my fingers in my ears and scream.  Even though it is taken from My Country, 'Tis of Thee, it reeks of patronizing, pseudo-didactic, blood-freezing smarm.  And that's not mentioning the subtitle -- honestly, what children's book has a subtitle?

The book -- whose nauseating cover shows Obama's two daughters running after their dog -- was apparently written before he took office, so at least he can't be accused of wasting the nation's time on it.  But I can't help feeling that it's woefully misconceived.  Obama may be one of the most brilliant politicians of our age, but you can't wake up one morning and think, after your basketball practice, "OK, what the children of the world need is an inspirational tale, and I'm the man to do it!"

The key mistake here is the assumption -- made by many would-be children's authors -- that what interests your children will interest everyone's.  I hate to break it to you, Mr. Obama, but that's not the case at all.  When it comes to literature, any three-year-old child will run yelling from any suggestion of pomposity, until he (or she) finds something a bit more conducive to his mindset: snot, aliens, gung-ho princesses or maybe, if you're lucky, pants.

Continue reading here . . .
Another Social
USAToday is reporting the Obamas made a splash at last night's Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's gala in Washington, with guests that included Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria and her husband Tony Parker.

Obama appealed to Hispanics to support Democrats in the November elections despite his failed promise to pass an immigration overhaul, reports AP.  "You have every right to keep the heat on me and the Democrats, and I hope you do," Obama told the dinner crowd.  "But don't forget who is standing with you, and who is standing against you," Obama said as he blamed Republicans for standing in the way.

Thank God for all those in Congress that stand in the way of "illegal immigration" and "amnesty" -- and remember what the real numbers are!
Michelle Obama Blowout
Ulsterman says this email came to them yesterday afternoon.  As of publication, our White House Insider has been unable to confirm the specific details of this report.  This account is based solely upon information they received from one or more staff currently within the White House.  Here is that email in its entirety with the exception of personal information regarding the Insider that was withheld.
    

Sorry for delay in getting back to you. -- personal information not included -- Situation very fluid RE elections, WH, Obama, etc.  Received something you may find interesting RE First Lady. M.O. has become increasingly aggressive w/staff at WH. Recent blowout took place involving First Lady screaming (exact word used) at staff member.  Said something to effect -- "You are either with us or against us. One or the other."  Also heard to say that "the country doesn’t deserve us" to more than one member of WH.  Apparently M.O. convinced Emmanuel has staff leaking information to him or fears that.  Not sure what she fears from R.E. specifically but working to find out.  Believes he may be dealing directly with Clintons?  VJs role has increased dramatically in recent weeks even more than it already was.  Axelrod diminished.  Also told Gibbs very much out of favor with M.O. may be gone soon.  Developing.

West Wing is increasingly in bunker mentality these days.  President remains unresponsive/agitated while at W.H., repeats that he "wants to be out speaking to the people."  Staff paranoia at all time high.  Fear of H.C. described as "palpable."  President DID offer VP spot to her.  CONFIRMED AGAIN.  Have more specifics on that developing but not ready to share yet.  Will say it appears H.C. considering VP offer.  B.C. wants her to run for Pres. in 2012 though.  Developing.

Will have more in coming days. -- personal information not included -- Talk in person then.

    
Related:  Michelle Obama says, "...there are prayer circles out there and people who are keeping the spirits clean around us."
They're Both In Love With The Same Guy

    
Rush Limbaugh says, "I wouldn't be surprised" if the Obamas had marital problems, because "they're both in love with the same guy"
PGA Producer Says Obama Golfs A Lot
Patrick Gavin says that few seem to begrudge Obama the occasional golf outing (executives need to unwind, right?).  But John Kim, a producer for PGA.com (the PGA Tour runs the primary men's professional golf tours in North America), took to Twitter on Tuesday night to ding POTUS for excessive golfing.

In response to learning of Obama's 50-plus rounds of golf since taking office, Kim wrote, "that's more than me!  But then again, my job is ... golf.  Wait, that doesn't seem right."

And later: "the old adage is: those who work in golf never get to play.  Guess I need to run for president to hit the links!"
    
    
Related:  Obama extends Hawaii vacation

Obama should stay on vacation.  He's good at that.
Obama's Multi-Million Dollar Vacation
Mark Tapscott says Obama and his family are enjoying a delightful Christmas vacation with friends and family in Hawaii.

Nobody questions Obama's right or need to take take away from the White House, but an investigation by Hawaii Reporter has turned up some eye-opening information about the costs and other aspects of the Obama get-away.  Just consider these estimates on part of the costs of the latest Obama Hawaii trip:
    

 Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii: $63,000 (White House Dossier)
•  Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii: $1 million (GAO estimates)
•  Housing in beachfront homes for Secret Service and Seals in Kailua ($1,200 a day for 14 days): $16,800
•  Costs for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel, excluding meals ($400 per day for 24 staff) $134,400
•  Police overtime: $250,000 (2009 costs reported by Honolulu Police Department)
•  Ambulance: $10,000 (City Spokesperson)

    
However, the total cost of $1,474,200 leaves out a number of significant costs that simply could not be calculated by the Hawaii Reporter:
    

•  Rental of office building in Kailua on canal
•  Security upgrades and additional phone lines.
•  Costs for car rentals and fuel for White House staff and Secret Service
•  Surveillance before Obama arrives.
•  Travel costs for advance Secret Service and White House staff travel.

•  Costs for military support and security

    
White House spokesmen insist Obama's vacation expenses are in line with those of previous presidents, which may well be true, but, since the government refuses to disclose many important details about any presidential journey, nobody can know for sure.

According to Hawaii Reporter, "They could have chosen a less expensive and more secure place to stay such as a beachfront home on the Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station -- just a two-minute drive away from the Kailuana Place property where they are now," according to Hawaii Reporter.

"The president visits the military base daily to workout, bowl with his kids or enjoy the more private beach there.  He also could have stayed at a home 15 minutes away on the beach fronting Bellows Air Force Base as President Bill Clinton did."

But Obama and friends opted instead to secure use of three luxury beachfront places, including the "Winter White House" -- or Kailua home that Obama rents two weeks a year, for an estimated $3,500 a day or $75,000 a month.

The place is a "7,000 square foot home [that] features 5 bedrooms, 5 ½ bathrooms, a media room with surround sound, a kitchen suited for a master chef, a dining room and great room, a secluded lagoon-style pool with tropical waterfalls and a lavish island spa.  The ocean lanai and garden lanai showcase ornate landscaping and stunning views of Kailua Bay and Mount Olomana."
Oops!  Obama Rented An Illegal Vacation House
Zip says Barack Obama’s two-week stay at his Hawaii Winter White House was illegal under a long-standing Honolulu ban on short-term rentals.

Obama did not break the law by staying at the house, but the property owner who rented his house to the Obamas does not have the permit that would allow a stay of fewer than 30 days.

Glenn Weinberg, the owner of the Kailua estate, told Civil Beat that it was legal for him to rent to the Obamas for a short stay because he kept the home empty for the rest of the 30-day period.  However his is a common misconception about Honolulu law.

"I don’t see any non-homeowner certificate that allows them to do short-term rentals," Mike Friedel of the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting’s Code Compliance branch told Civil Beat.  "If they’re doing short-term rentals, it’s illegal."

The so-called Winter White House is not listed in the most recent database of properties allowed for short-term rental use.

Small beans!  Occupying an illegal rental property doesn't compare to illegally occupying the White House.
Obama Has Spent Nearly Two Months Golfing
Keith Koffler is reporting that Obama has gone golfing a total of 59 times in just under two years, a blistering pace that puts him on the golf course an average of about once every two weeks, including winters.

According to statistics compiled by CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller, who keeps close tabs on Obama’s activities, Obama played 30 rounds in 2010, 28 rounds in 2009, and one this year.  The 2011 outing is among the five times he went out on the course during his just concluded 12 day vacation to Hawaii.

While golf is played by millions of Americans and extends its reach well into the middle class, it is also perceived as a game of the idle rich and is generally unavailable to the poor, putting Obama’s frequent outings at odds with his image as a man of "hope" for the dispossessed.

The White House carefully downplays Obama’s golfing, rarely talking about it and releasing few pictures of Obama swinging away.  A search of the White House uploads on the Flickr photo-sharing website finds only three shots of Obama on the golf course, compared to nearly two dozen of him on the basketball court.

Obama’s excursions usually involve a full 18 holes of play and take around five hours out of his day, including time motorcading to and from the course.

Many argue that golf provides a badly needed source of relaxation for Obama, a refuge and a respite from extraordinary demands of the presidency.  And most or all of Obama’s golf days have been on weekends or during scheduled vacations, but others say Obama could find another way to relax, and that golfing sends the wrong message to the poor and to the troops during a time of economic struggle and war.

George W. Bush gave up golfing in 2003, explaining his rationale five years later in an interview with POLITICO.

"I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf," he said.  "I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them.  And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."

And don't forget all of the vacations, the basketball games and the parties.  With Obama it's fun first, function later.
Obama Weight Loss Drama
 
  
    
Globe magazine continues its assault on Obama by focusing on "Obama's shocking weight loss."

Saying that a stressed-out Barack Obama has lost a whopping 30 pounds amid fears that shocking new investigations into his REAL birth story will bring him down, say sources. 
Does Obama Dye His Hair?
The Daily Mail (UK) says it's being seen as the most important visit by a Chinese leader in 30 years and, with all the world's eyes on him, who can blame Barack Obama for wanting to look his best.

For it appears that he has dyed his graying hair jet-black -- giving him a new more youthful look.

Observers have said the 49-year-old's hair has changed color dramatically because of the pressures of the job since he assumed office two years ago.

On top of that, the four-day visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao is of particular importance for Obama as the world's superpower comes to terms with the Far Eastern country's growing influence on the world stage.  By 2020 it is expected to overtake the U.S. as the world's largest economy.
    
    
    
The photo on the left  was taken outside Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington DC, as Obama prepared to board Air Force One a week ago.

Seven days later as he spoke at a state dinner for Hu Jintao in the White House, his hair was apparently significantly darker.
File Under:  Do What I Say, Not What I Do
The National Journal says so much for Michelle Obama’s drinking water and eating vegetables crusade.  Sunday's Super Bowl menu at the White House included bratwurst, kielbasa, cheeseburgers, deep-dish pizza, and buffalo wings.

There was also twice-baked potatoes, chips and dip, and ice cream.  Green salad is available, but why bother when German potato salad is on the buffet?

Obama voted present and didn’t take sides in the big game featuring teams from states crucial to his reelection.  He’s neutral all the way down to the beer, with the White House offering Hinterland Pale Ale and Amber Ale from the Green Bay Packers’ home in Wisconsin, and Yuengling Lager and Light from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ turf in Pennsylvania.  White House Honey Ale was also served.
Obama "Deserves Respect" Says Oprah
The Daily Mail (UK) is reporting the first lady of television has called on critics of Obama to show "some level of respect" -- even if they weren't in support of his policies.

Speaking on a special edition of Morning Joe today, Oprah Winfrey said the presidency is a position that "holds a sense of authority and governance over us all."

The chat show host, who also talked about her new network OWN and the end of her long-running show, has been extremely vocal about her support for Obama and made many campaign appearances during his race to the White House.
  

"I feel that everybody has a learning curve, and I feel that the reason why I was willing to step out for him is because I believed in his integrity and I believed in his heart."

"I believe that what he really wants is for this country to be greater, stronger more innovative. Those principles are what really enforces his beliefs."

   
Speaking about the current negative mood of the country Oprah quipped:
    

"Everybody complaining ought to try it (the presidency) for a week."


Somebody ought to inform Ms. Winfrey that respect is earned, not "deserved," and Obama could go a long way to being respected if he stops his destruction of America, and tells the American people who he is, where he came from and who sent him.

Until that time, the only thing Obama deserves is the bottom of our shoes.
Now, This Is Just Strange
While the rest of the family was mingling with the mighty in Vail, Obama spent Saturday coaching his daughter’s basketball team.  Weasel Meister says, let me guess -- he was celebrating "Black Thanksgiving."  Afterwards he took the girls behind the gym to teach them how to smoke.

Fox News is reporting Obama stepped in to help coach his younger daughter’s basketball team even when she wasn’t there.

White House officials said Obama helped coach 9-year-old Sasha’s team Saturday in suburban Maryland because a regular parent-coach was unable to attend.

But Sasha and her older sister, Malia, are skiing in Colorado this weekend with their mother and some friends.

Obama often attends Sasha’s Saturday morning basketball games at a community center in Maryland.  Aides said they did not know if Obama had helped coach before.  They did not provide results of Saturday’s game.

Journalists accompanying Obama’s motorcade to the games are not allowed inside the gym.

I'd want to know who Obama is seeing at Sasha's B-Ball games???  Why would he absent himself from running the world to go to a kid's basketball game? -- when his kid wasn't there -- hmmmm?
Obama Says "Everyone Must Sacrifice"
Barack Obama says, "Everyone must sacrifice for the greater good… Everyone must have some skin in the game."

That's everyone but Barack and Michelle Obama.

The Vail Daily is reporting that Michelle Obama is enjoying a quick trip to Vail for Presidents Day for a weekend of skiing in Vail and Beaver Creek, according to local sources.

A motorcade of about a dozen vehicles, including 15 state and local law enforcement officers, traveled from the Eagle County Regional Airport to Vail on Friday night, according to the Colorado State Patrol. Roads were temporarily blocked to make way for the motorcade in Eagle.  The motorcade entered an underground garage beneath the Sebastian hotel in Vail Village shortly after 9:30.

It won't be Michelle's first time on skis.  She took daughters Sasha and Malia for a quick trip to Liberty Mountain Resort, in Carroll Valley, Pa., in February 2010.  It was the first time on skis for the first daughters, according to Anne Weimer, marketing director at Ski Liberty.

During an interview posted by Liberty Mountain, the first lady was asked about some her favorite hot spots. Instead, she talked about a cool spot.

"We discovered skiing.  My girls had never been skiing," she said.  "With a couple hours, you're skiing."

Michelle Obama in ski-pants??  I really didn't need that mental image.
As the World Burns Obama Dances The Night Away
 
    
Michelle barely had time to get out of her ski outfit from last weekends "ski-trip" to Vail, where she dined on ribs -- 1500 calories per serving -- at a Vail restaurant.  (I keep trying to get the vision of Michelle in ski pants out of my mind).

And a good time was had by all, especially Marie Antionette and Nero Obama.

The worst president in the history of the United States is dancing and parting while America and the world is burning.  Many find this behavior extremely offensive, and ask, "What type of people do this kind of stuff?"

Forget what Obama says -- "Everyone must sacrifice for the greater good… Everyone must have some skin in the game." -- He's a liar.  With these two, it's party all the time, party all the time.  The Obamas have theirs.  Piss on you!

What about the Americans in Libya?

In the middle of all this partying and vacationing, Obama didn’t send the Navy in to save thousands of Americans.  When he finally did something, he sent a "ferry" that was too small, and couldn't handle the seas in the Mediterranean.  Hell!  Russia, China, France and even Ireland got their people out, but America, the greatest Military in the world sat on their asses while the Obamas partied to celebrate Black History Month and MoTown Records with Stevie Wonder.

But, just in case you're worried about Barry's work load, don't -- he's having another party Monday night featuring Gladys Night.

Maybe Gladys will perform a duet with Barry O -- he certainly is a "Pip."
Obama’s Afternoon:  A Round Of Golf
Jamie Klatell says Obama spent a cool and cloudy Saturday afternoon playing a round of golf at Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility in Maryland, the second week in a row, the most powerful man in the world stepped away from the White House to hit the golf course.

Obama’s playing partners for the day are Ben Finkenbinder, a White House press office staffer, Marvin Nicholson, Obama's trip director, and David Katz, a Department of Energy staffer.

Even as his administration and the U.S. military help Japan recover from a devastating earthquake, and as the world worries about Fukushima's nuclear reactor, Obama could not resist taking advantage of the 48-degree weather in the Washington, D.C. area.

Obama left the White House Saturday afternoon for the short trip to Joint Andrews Base in Camp Springs, Md.
    
    
With cloudy skies, it's not the best weather for golf, but Obama loves to spend his Saturdays on the greens.  Last fall, Obama went golfing darn near every weekend.

These are never quick "work on your swing" trips; usually Obama plays 18 holes, as he did last week.

Not too newsworthy.  It's what Obama does best.

But read the comments . . .
Flyin' Down To Rio
  
    
Forbes is reporting that Barack Obama will take his first official trip to Brazil this weekend where he will speak in the popular Cinelandia Square in downtown Rio de Janeiro.  Access, of course, will be tightly restricted and security measures so secretive that not even the Embassy or US Consulate in Rio know exactly who it’s all going to go down.  Obama’s speech will be free and open to the public and take place around 15:00 local time (14:00 EST).  Access to the square will begin at 11:30, and is sure to draw a crowd.  Obama is popular in Brazil.  One politician seeking office in Rio actually changed his name to Barack Obama in 2008 to solicit votes.  He didn’t win.

The Obama family will also take in the sights in Rio.  A trip to Corcovado mountain, where the Christ the Redeemer statue stands (France gave us Lady Liberty, gave Brazil Jesus) is supposedly on the itinerary.  What trip to Rio would be complete without it?  If they do make it to the top of the mountain, they will do so with an entourage of secret service and Brazil’s Elite Squad, known as BOPE.
Detached, Incompetent, And Easily Amused
Amie Parnes says that when the Obamas moved to the White House in 2009, the first couple's Wednesday evenings quickly booked up as they hosted more than a half dozen cocktail parties in an effort to get to know members of Congress.

But as health care and other policy issues began to heat up, the cocktail receptions went away, without much explanation.  The last one was held in the spring of 2009.

Lately, though, in the wake of renewed calls for bipartisanship, the schmoozy receptions have re-emerged, but in a new form: in front of the big screen.
    
    
The Obamas have opened up the White House theater and the elegant State Floor rooms to host a string of viewing parties in recent months.  They have invited guests over to take in the Super Bowl last month, new movies (FLOTUS screened Tyler Perry’s "For Colored Girls" for about 50 guests in November) and random sporting events such as last week’s Chicago Bulls-Charlotte Bobcats game.

For the basketball party, Obama, the so-called "first sports fan" and ESPN junkie, invited members of the Illinois and North Carolina delegations and officials from the Charlotte area, where the 2012 Democratic National Convention will be held.  More than 50 people attended, at least one of whom -- North Carolina Republican Rep. Sue Myrick -- wore the jersey of her home-state team.

Last month, Obama hosted a screening of "Thurgood," the HBO film about Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court justice.  Over popcorn and soda, Obama’s guests -- including activist Al Sharpton, Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree and actor Don Cheadle -- got some face time with Obama.

The White House would not comment on the viewing parties or say if more are scheduled, although the onset of March Madness offers a golden opportunity for some more executive-legislative branch co-mingling while watching college hoops

Overall, lawmakers seem pleased with the informal gatherings. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) called the Bulls-Bobcats event he attended "very relaxed" and encouraged the White House to keep it up.

"We live in times when politics are strained, so when you can get people together in a social setting, it’s always a good idea," said Andrew Wilson, a spokesman for Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), who also attended the basketball party.  Socializing outside the office "does carry into the day-to-day politics of legislating and governing," Wilson said.

There's more -- continue reading here . . .
But The Guy Does Have His Priorities
Obama may not know what to do about Libya, or the nuclear crisis in Japan, but Barack Obama is staying with defending champion Connecticut in the women's basketball bracket.

For the second straight year, Obama has filled out an NCAA women's tournament bracket for ESPN.  He says top seeds Connecticut, Baylor, Stanford, and Tennessee will make the women's Final Four.
    
    
Obama has the Huskies beating the Lady Bears in the national championship game.  The Huskies have won the last two national championships and lost only one game since Obama took office.  That loss was to Stanford in December and snapped UConn's 90-game winning streak.

Obama correctly chose Connecticut to beat Stanford for the championship last season.  He picked Kansas to win the men's title this year.  His pick to win it all was revealed Friday on SportsCenter.

Definition of irony -- winners being selected by a loser.
And Knows How To Relax
Noting that with the world in turmoil, Obama took time to hold court for his college-basketball tournament predictions, talk-radio host Michael Savage tried to look at the bright side.

"You've got to admit, the man knows how to relax," Savage said on his nationally syndicated show yesterday. "It's good to know that we have such a calm and collected leader in the White House," he said.  "A man who despite all that's going on around the world refuses to show any sign of stress, anxiety, panic.  A man who can focus instead on relaxing."

With a full dose of irony, Savage said it's not Obama's problem "that Egypt is a total anarchistic wreck."

"In fact, he sent Hillary Clinton over there."
And It's Off To Rio
David Gardner says Obama has refused to scrap a five-day trip to Latin America that will take him to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador.

Resisting demands that he should remain at home in the White House to deal with the international response to Japan's nuclear crisis and Colonel Gaddafi's crackdown on anti-government rebels, Obama insists he can stay on top of the fast-moving developments while on the road.

Some Republican critics have complained the sunshine trip symbolizes Obama's lack of leadership at a time of international chaos.

There will be no new treaties signed, no dramatic summit meetings, no big diplomatic breakthroughs -- the kinds of achievements that typically punctuate presidential trips abroad.
The Real March Madness
    
    
Obama is a LOSER!

While the world blows up, all Obama wants to talk about is basketball, basketball, basketball.  He's supposed to know something about the game, but he knows as little about basketball as he does governing.

He lost one of his Final Four picks on Saturday, when Pittsburgh, the No. 1 seed in the Southeast Regional, lost to eighth-seeded Butler.

The Wisconsin Badgers beat Obama's pick, Kansas State, 70-65, in Tucson.

Including the loss of Louisville on Thursday, Obama has seen three of his Sweet 16 picks go down.

That's what he gets for
picking the "safe" bet, just like leaving the French to lead in Libya.  Always the "safe" bet.

Obama doesn't have the wisdom, skills, inclination or temperament to be a leader, and he's too arrogant to be a follower.
Obama's NCAA Picks Falter
Gautham Nagesh says that after crushing the competition for the first week of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, Obama's bracket is starting to resemble those of fans across the nation: busted.

In what can be called the greatest political risk of his brief career, Obama went way out on a limb of a very weak tree and picked all Number 1 seeds to reach the Final 4.  Well, a very tenacious VCU Rams team, representing the hopes and dreams of Middle America, knocked off Obama's last hope, the Kansas Jayhawks, to reach the Final 4, rendering Obama's bracket as worthless as Hope and Change itself.

Obama was comfortably among the 99th percentile on ESPN.com after the first three rounds of the tournament (including the first round of two play-in games), but his picks began to falter this week as the Sweet Sixteen got underway.

Three out of Obama's picks for the Final Four (Ohio State, Duke, and Pittsburgh) lost this week, and his choice for national champion Kansas lost to Virginia Commonwealth Sunday afternoon in the Elite Eight.

Obama's run of good luck began to fade on Thursday when top-seeded Duke and Pittsburgh were upset by Kentucky and Butler, respectively.  The Buckeyes fell Friday night to Kentucky.

I've noticed the phrase, "the Obama Curse," popping up in relationship to the tourney, so I Googled it.  There's more than 1,700 results . . .
Don't Mess With Obama's Golf
Keith Koffler is reporting the 2011 Obama golf season is off to a a roaring start, with Obama headed out yesterday for the fifth time in as many weeks.  It's Obama’s 66th time golfing since the inauguration and his eighth time this year.  After a Hawaii vacation session at the beginning of January, this year’s Obama golf season officially got underway with two chilly outings in March.  Obama resumed play on April 3, and has hit the links every week since.

While there are no official statistics being kept, it’s probably safe to say that no president has ever golfed five weeks in a row.  It’s not even clear that Dwight Eisenhower, who also loved to hit the greens, ever pulled this off.

The weather at Andrews Air Force Base, where Obama was playing, was a pleasant 60 degrees, with a chance of rain by mid afternoon, though he should be done by then.

Along with him is his usual posse -- junior White House officials Ben Finkenbinder and Marvin Nicholson, and the Energy Department’s David Katz.

UPDATE:  The raid to kill Osama Bin Laden may have cut short Obama’s Sunday golf.

Obama left the White House to play golf at 9:42 am, arriving at the Andrews Air Force Base course about 25 minutes later, according to the press pool report.  He then ended his game after nine holes at 1:39 pm and made it back to the White House at 2:04 pm, about two hours before the attack on Bin Laden appears to have occurred.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the attack on Bin Laden’s compound north of Islamabad seems to have happened at about 1:10 am local time, which would be 4:10 pm Washington time.

The pool reporter noted that it was a little chilly and rainy, but this would not normally have prevented Obama from playing through.  Obama would certainly have been alerted, however, that the attack was about to get underway.

That explains why Obama was so willing to give the "Go" order.  Bin-Laden interfered with Obama's back 9.
Two Chili Dogs And Fries
Fiona Roberts says when wife Michelle 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. (video)
    
    
Obama 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.

According to USA Today, he told representative Marcy Kaptur: "Marcy just wants ketchup.  By the way, as an aficionado of hot dogs, you shouldn't put ketchup on hot dogs...  I'm trying to teach my girls."

Those culinary lessons would hardly go down well with his wife, Michelle, who has spent this year touring the country on a crusade against childhood obesity.

And speaking of Michelle' new, politically correct, dietary chart:
    

If meats are "Protein," shouldn't Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains be "carbohydrates?"  And shouldn't Dairy be "fats and proteins?"

I guess that's what makes it OK for Obama to pig out on those dogs.  He's not eating meat.  He's eating Protein.
Three Money Tips From Obama (Not Satire)
Jeff Reeves says he had the honor and privilege of attending the White House's first Personal Finance Online Summit on Wednesday afternoon.  The event gave him and two dozen other financial journalists access to top administration officials, including a brief Q&A with Barack Obama.  Much of the talk focused on the debt ceiling, the housing crisis and the job market.  But during the give-and-take, there were a few nuggets of wisdom from Obama that apply to everyday household budgets and regular folks planning their retirement.  Here are three tips from Obama:

Tip #1 -- Don't spend all your money

When asked for his No. 1 personal finance tip, Obama said, "Don't spend all your money."  He stressed that this is something he learned from his grandmother in Kansas and something he practices to this day.

Everyone knows Obama's philosophy is to spend other people's money, and is currently doing his best to spend every dime belonging to every American before he gets thrown out of the White House.

Obama was reported to have had his credit cards cancelled back in the 90s and somebody should cancel his federal credit card, as well.

Tip #2 -- Investing is different from spending

Obama went on to explain that watching spending doesn't mean you pinch pennies.  He cited how he and First Lady Michelle Obama plunked down $125,000 for their educations, including Harvard law school, but that was money well spent.  He also mentioned a responsible mortgage for his family's home in Chicago.

"Some folks say that investment is just another term for spending," Obama said.  "There's an important distinction."  Some debt is unavoidable for those of us who aren't millionaires.  Using that debt wisely can be very beneficial.

Yo!  Barack!  Care to comment on where that $125,000 for education came from?  You never had any education loans.  And what about that real estate scheme that got you the house you really couldn't afford?

Tip #3 -- Get all the facts before making big decisions

In dealing with the nation's current debt crisis, Obama admitted it is challenging dealing with two sides who think supporting programs like Medicaid and cutting spending to reduce the deficit are mutually exclusive goals.

"Get all the facts before making big decisions" doesn't square with "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it."
    
The notion of Obama giving financial tips is absurd.
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