Obama’s flying limousine yet again visits California for more (taxpayer-funded) money-grubbing

The President has just wrapped up yet another (for taxpayers) expensive money-grubbing excursion to the West Coast.

Here’s a really fun fact : the imperial US presidential entourage is so vast and important that the presidential limousine travels in its own airplane on these trips. The President takes the presidential limousine on these cross-country jaunts and Limo One gets to travel cross-country in its very own airplane. And the huge Presidential motorcade, much in the manner of an ostentatious tin-pot dictator, consists of about 45 vehicles. “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” as Obamandias might declare.

The tragic absurdity of American politics is that taxpayers pick up the tab for all this. Overseas diplomatic trips may be ostensibly more worthy – although we can all raise eyebrows at, say, $100 million for a trip to Africa (the sort of spending that never ever gets mentioned when furloughs and sequestrations are in the news). As columnist Mark Steyn notes, this culture of unlimited spending and a huge entourage coupled with a complete lack of accountability leads to such farcical scenes as the Colombian hooker Secret Service fiasco.

To be fair, this is clearly a bipartisan issue that needs addressing. US politicians, theoretically employed by taxpayers, use taxpayer money to spend the majority of their time in office campaigning and/or raising funds for re-election, and both Republicans and Democrats take full advantage. But adding to government debt, whilst you are supposed to be actually doing the job the electorate pays you for, seems particularly perverse. And in addition to the Air Force One / Secret Service travel costs, there are large ancillary costs borne entirely by the local governments in terms of extra policing and security.

Somehow on his many visits to the Bay Area, Obama never seems to have time to check in with the Democrat-voter battery-farm housing projects in the Bayview, or to visit the equally loyal residents of the killing fields of the East Oakland flatlands. The reason is simple : they cannot afford to spend $38,500 for the unbridled joy of having lunch with the glorious Dear Leader. Just keep quiet, go back to your public housing, and vote for Democrats next election.

But even though his chosen California fundraising destinations are almost exclusively 1% oligarch neighborhoods, there is still an outcry from even these uber-wealthy residents about increased costs. In California alone, both Atherton and Newport Beach have tried to recoup money from the Democratic National Committee for increased policing costs. To reiterate – this is a bipartisan issue : the downtrodden 0.1% masses of tony Atherton were also victims of a Romney fundraiser in 2011 – which raises the intriguing possibility of, given a different 2012 election outcome, the presidential limousine getting to ride across the country in its own private jet to California and then go for a ride in Romney’s infamous car elevator in his San Diego house. With or without the equally infamous dancing horse.

But I digress. There is an extra level of distilled irony when an “environmental” Democrat President who loudly promised to “heal the planet” adds measurably to both the US budget deficit and the US carbon footprint by flying his imperial entourage across the country, just to meet an uber-wealthy environmental” campaigner to receive his next paycheck and marching orders. I fear that this is the logical end-point of some sort of crazy extrapolative thought experiment : What happens when you give a “limousine liberal” an infinite amount of government money (courtesy of the Bernanke the Money Printer)? Well, he actually ends up flying his very expensive limousine around the country in its own private jet. Which entails a significant amount of carbon emissions – as, to the best of my knowledge, Air Force One and Limousine Force One (and the rest of the Imperial Air Fleet) are not yet powered by some revolutionary new biofuel which is refined organically after harvesting Al Gore’s back fat.

But the sociopath politicians who control the country, and the rich sociopaths who buy and manage them, have a unique lack of self-awareness. As Bloomberg reveals, plutocrats comprising 0.01% of the US population (31,385 individuals) contributed 28% of the $6 billion spent on the 2012 election. These people are our masters. The likes of Google management fly around in their private jets, the fuel costs of which are, incredibly, subsidized by taxpayers. All this from a corporation that avoids tax in such a manner that the average taxpayer might think looks exactly like money laundering.

After his SF visit, the President moved down to LA to visit his other big money spigot in Hollywood – to collect money from more billionaires such as Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen who all own a piece of him. As blogger Glenn Harlan Reynolds, aka Instapundit has pointed out, Hollywood is one of the biggest hypocrites as far as “Corporate Welfare” goes. Leftist media, actors and politicians decry the process but pocket the rewards quietly. As recent stories indicate, Hollywood makes money by killing animals. They just don’t like to talk about it. So I guess we can consider the humble California taxpayer as just another horse that died in a Spielberg movie? Well, at least some money went to Obama.

The worst part of the process is this – the token immigration speech by Obama in SF is just an accounting gimmick : more of the costs of an avaricious fund-raising trip to the West coast would have fallen on the DNC if not for the fact some of trip is “official business”. Adding some sort of random speech event means the administration can pass off more of the cost onto taxpayers. In 2010, Obama raised money for Barbara Boxer at the Getty mansion (gasp! Big Oil!) before taking a helicopter ride on Marine One to give a speech at doomed Solyndra. In fact, Solyndra, sadly, is the blueprint for modern US crony capitalism and campaign finance corruption – they managed to turn their Obama campaign contribution into $528 million in federal loans, incinerated ALL of the taxpayer money, and left nothing but toxic waste. “Clean Energy” indeed.

Drone-happy politician who boasts “I’m really good at killing people” gets entire national healthcare system to play with

Unfortunate timing?

There is a certain disconcerting cognitive impact when juxtaposing two of the recent big news stories si Continue reading

Droneanne Feinstein : Warmonger Senator is the top recipient of Predator drone manufacturer’s campaign money.

It looks like Mommy Warbucks needs another war. MORE WAR for the Feinstein bank account!

The Chair of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence argued in an “impassioned floor speech” for an eventual military strike. She was even fairly swift on the whole Godwin’s Law invocation of Hitler. Noticeably absent from her horror at the use of chemical weapons was the fact the US government has historically been totally fine with nerve gas, as long as it deems the use of chemical weapons strategically useful.

By happy coincidence, recently declassified CIA documents reveal how the US government was actively involved in helping Saddam Hussein use the very same sarin nerve gas to kill thousands of Iranians during the Iran-Iraq war. US politicians need to can the faux moral outrage they are exploiting in order to drum up the Next Big Profitable War.

As for Feinstein, it should come as no surprise to anyone that she is the Number One recipient of campaign donations from General Atomics, who happen to manufacture the Predator drone. “Targeted” strikes on Syria, anyone? 

 

 

 

California’s corporate war-whore : 4 of Dianne Feinstein’s top 7 campaign donors make … drones and bombs.

As the Syria war drums are being beaten louder and louder by Obama and US politicians (Democrats finally now having a chance for their own long drum solo after all those interminable Bush years), it’s always worth looking at who stands to benefit financially from The Next “Unavoidable” Conflict.

From OpenSecrets.org (2012 election cycle) :

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?type=C&cid=N00007364&newMem=N&cycle=2012

Military contractors General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, General Atomics (manufacturer of your friendly neighborhood Predator drone), and BAE Systems all make the top 7 of Feinstein campaign donors. What do they expect in return?

As one half of a public sector/private sector “power couple” who are responsible for possibly the most blatant, dishonest and greedy crony capitalism in the entire country, Feinstein certainly has a bit of history in terms of voting for wars that benefit her bank account and political career (or the bank account of her “firewalled” private equity husband) – to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money. Think of her like Dick Cheney in drag, only even uglier and less trustworthy, but with much better PR – courtesy of a lot less criticism from the mainstream media.

So it might seem odd to the small number of voters still capable of critical thought that the Chair of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has the inside line on all the super-secret intelligence … that allows her to decide whether or not the situation warrants the USA launching a butt-load of missiles that THE MILITARY CORPORATIONS THAT PAY FOR HER CAREER manufacture.

That chick from Star Wars *and* Star Trek’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard BOTH endorse attacking Syria ? Crossover !!!

Sooner or later, all American diplomacy is inevitably distilled into a concentrated essence of retarded celebrity opinion. And so, in the relentless march of “progress”, ignorant voters will soon be swayed via their social media / whatever screens they stare at by the intellectually invincible [sic] arguments of a few random actors who have been on TV and/or some movies. This is the way we, as a nation, learn – and grow. Ambrose Bierce is widely credited with the expression “War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography”.

The Daily Beast has a great piece (referencing the Spanish Civil War) on how the “celebritization” of the conflict has obscured a lot of fundamental ignorance regarding its origins. And I would suspect that more than a few Americans – war-weary and beaten down by a long domestic financial repression – would heartily agree with the sentiments of Evelyn Waugh : “As an Englishman, I am not in the predicament of choosing between two evils.”

So as we face another war (bizarrely promoted by MSNBC and everyone else who was against That Last One) we must listen to the wise words of That Actress Who Was Also in Black Swan, plus Awesome Fully-Bald Shatner, not to mention That Bug-Eyed Actress who is, I hear, Tim Robbins’ Mom. And others. Always listen to celebrities.

Oakland mob finds Foot Locker guilty in Trayvon Martin murder case

After another senseless and tragic murder, Foot Locker was again held responsible in Oakland for a needless death.

Citing the legal precedent of Angry Mob vs. Oakland Foot Locker (from July 2010 in the trial of Foot Locker for the murder of Oscar Grant), the angry mob of protesters swiftly reached a unanimous verdict and proceeded to smash in the windows of the hapless defendant. In 2010, the prosecutors awarded themselves civil damages of Lots of Free Sneakers, but it remains unclear as of this time if a similar settlement has yet been reached, as the windows have now been boarded up.

These are worrying times for Oakland Foot Locker. According to California law, any further violent felony offence and it will fall afoul of the three-strikes law – meaning a life sentence the next time the omniscient media decrees that a particular murder is racially charged or in some other way politically significant (perhaps to increase voter turnout). Thankfully for Oakland Foot Locker, the Ministry of Truth completely ignores the vast majority of all murders. Especially in crime-ridden areas of Oakland, San Francisco, Chicago or any other major city.

Janet Napolitano wins California lottery ! Total payout $847,149 , to be paid annually

The swiftly diminishing number of discerning Americans – the small minority who haven’t yet been slowly bludgeoned into brain death by the relentless incompetence of US media – have unfortunately become accustomed to the gut-churning sight of incompetent members of the political oligarchy (who are slowly destroying this great nation) migrating freely from elected office to politically-appointed state boards or university management. Or between Wall Street and the White House (there actually seems to be some sort of magical revolving door between Goldman Sachs and the West Wing). But we may have hit a new low in California with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano resigning in order to become the president of the University of California system.

It has long been apparent that the easiest way to get rich now is to become a politician – whether through Nancy Pelosi’s “Blue Horseshoe loves Visa IPO” insider trading stock market tips, to the more brutal Dianne Feinstein “Pay my husband to build the most expensive railway in the world” overt violation of taxpayers.

The Napolitano appointment just underlines the corrupt nature of our government.

The most pertinent reason for this appointment is that the UC system was the top contributor to Obama’s 2012 campaign. In light of recent NSA revelations, the next three slots are disconcertingly occupied by Microsoft, Google, and U.S. Government.

This is what used to be called a Nomenklatura appointment in the old Eastern Bloc, but personally I think academic and author Joel Kotkin nails it on the head quite brilliantly with the term New Clerisy. This encompasses the Silicon Valley donors, Wall Street, and, significantly, almost all university administration.

To further underline the nature of these appointments, it merely requires a quick glance at the other Regents. Like a pernicious rash, there you will find California’s greatest crony capitalist, Richard Blum (aka Mr. Dianne Feinstein, aka one of the men behind Solyndra, aka Mr. California High-Speed Rail) availing himself of some more taxpayer dollars. So whilst Elizabeth Warren campaigns fearlessly for the reduction in student loan rates, she fails to mention the absurd salaries being paid to Democrat Nomenklatura university management. Perhaps Dances-with-Facts is distracted, and still smarting from losing out on the role of Tonto in the Lone Ranger movie to Johnny Depp?

Comrade Napolitano is being richly rewarded by the Inner Party for her fantastic work record – she prevented not only the Fort Hood massacre, but also the Nigerian Detroit flight underpants bomber, and not to mention the Boston Marathon bombing. Plus, she made the entire process of flying horrible, and slightly rapey for everybody. It is only appropriate that such competence and devotion to the Party be munificently rewarded.

Well, California – never mind the competence, just feel the salary and benefits. In ancient times, Emperor Obama would have awarded such a feudal barony in a distant land (in this case on the opposite coast from the Imperial Throne in D.C.), but now it’s much more straightforward. Janet, you have no experience in academia, you are incompetent, but you have shown an admirable dedication to The Party. Here is $850k per annum.

So as the University of California system slowly degrades itself from being a world-beating academic organization into being nothing more than an opulent satrapy for political appointees and donors – who can happily plunge their greedy snouts into the bottomless trough of taxpayer (and student tuition) money – we can only shudder and think of the quality of graduates such an organization will start churning out in the future.