August 9th, 2010
11:35 AM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Michelle Obama

Her mother-daughter jaunt to Spain is turning into a PR tangle for the White House. It began with a New York Daily News column written by a Republican consultant last Thursday. Columnist Andrea Tantaros called the First Lady a ‘Modern-Day Marie Antoinette.’

“While she's spent her time in the White House telling parents they should relieve their chubby kids' dependency on sugar and stressing the importance of an organic veggie garden,” Tantaros wrote, “hopping a jet to Europe to meet with Spanish royalty isn't the visual the White House probably wants to project. Perhaps they've forgotten the damning image of John Kerry, on the eve of the 2004 election, windsurfing off the coast of Nantucket?”

While Tantaros reported a travel entourage of 40 friends and family, the White House is downplaying those numbers. Additionally Mrs. Obama has covered her own expenses on the trip, a spokesman said. The federal government, however, does cover the Secret Service tab - a hefty sum, according to critics.

Right-wing blogs are repurposing the story, and now making video blogs asking Americans what they think of the trip. Possibly making matters worse might be the remainder of the Obama summer schedule: a family weekend in the Gulf, followed by ten days in Martha’s Vineyard, which isn't far from Nantucket.

CNN: Michelle Obama and daughter arrive in southern Spain

NY Daily News: Material girl Michelle Obama is a modern-day Marie Antoinette on a glitzy Spanish vacation

Mark David Chapman

The man who killed John Lennon in 1980 is scheduled to go before a parole board sometime this week. It will be the sixth time since 2000 that Chapman has pursued an early release.

Chapman, now 55, is serving a 20-years-to sentence at the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility for the murder, which took place a close range in front of Lennon’s New York City apartment building.

A former mental patient, Chapman was holding a copy of J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye when he shot Lennon. He had penned “This is my statement” inside the book cover. In 1992 Chapman told ABC’s Barbara Walters that voices in his head told him ‘Do it! Do it! Do it!” “I thought by killing him, I would have his fame,” Chapman said.

According to reports, Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, is asking the parole board to deny release. At least four letters against Chapman's release have been received by the board, while two others have been submitted in favor of releasing him. An Attica spokesman has indicated that Chapman has been a model prisoner since 1994. He even has special conjugal visits with Gloria, his wife of 20 years.

CNN: Man who murdered John Lennon up for parole again

TIME: Yoko Ono: No Parole for Lennon's Killer

Layne Morris and Omar Khadr

Layne Morris, a former U.S. Special Forces officer, will testify this week in the Obama administration’s first full military commission hearing to be held at Guantanamo Bay. The trial will focus on Omar Khadr, accused of committing terrorist acts and killing a U.S. Special Forces soldier while he was a child soldier of Al Qaeda. Khadr has been held in the facility since he was 15 years old.

Morris told the Toronto Star this weekend that he will tell the military commission about the events that happened in a July 2002 attack on him and other Delta officers in Afghanistan. During the attack, Khadr allegedly threw the hand grenade that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer. Shrapnel during the attack hit Morris causing him to lose an eye.

CNN has reported that Khadr is suspected of spying for Al Qaeda, as well as making and planting roadside bombs during the early days of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Now 23, Khadr—through his military attorney—has said his testimony was coerced through torture.

Ironically the trial will bring some sort of resolution for both men, the Star reported. For Khadr, a Canadian citizen, it could mean being any place else after eight years besides Guantanamo. For Morris, who is now retired in Salt Lake City: “I have to finish it, but as far as emotion, or do I have anything invested in it? I can't say that I do. I don't need that to feel like I personally have been avenged or a wrong has been righted or anything like that. I guess it has just been too long.”

The Star: U.S. soldiers will tell their stories at Khadr's trial

CNN: First trial of Gitmo prisoner under Obama administration to begin

Tom Little

The volunteer aide worker and optometrist who had made Afghanistan his second home since as early as 1983 was among ten aide workers shot to death last week by the Taliban.

Little, 62, was leading a team of providing eyecare to Afghan citizens in remote areas of the country when a Taliban convoy stopped them in Badakhshan province. The group's Muslim driver, survived only after pleading for his life and reciting a verse from the Koran, according to an account in the Washington Post.

A British eye surgeon, Karen Woo, who’d given up her practice to treat people, in Afghanistan was killed. So was Cheryl Beckett, a 32-year-old aide worker, who is the daughter of a Knoxville, Tennessee-based minister. Four other Americans, two Afghan citizens, and a German were also executed.

The New York Daily News reported that during the 27 years that Little worked in Afghanistan, he learned the local language, mastered the diplomatic patience required to survive the region, and supervised three 40-bed hospitals in three large cities, and three 10-bed facilities in smaller outposts in the country.

NY Daily News: New York optometrist, Tom Little, 62, one of six American aid workers killed in Afghanistan

Washington Post: Devastated Christian aid group pledges to continue work in Afghanistan

WBIR: Daughter of Knoxville minister among those found dead in Afghanistan

soundoff (181 Responses)
  1. Tom

    How many US families do you think have scaled back or cancelled vacations this year? A true leader leads by example...lets face it, this country is in dire need of a true leader!

    August 9, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • manoutnumbrd

      This is not in response to Tom but to Lilarose. You're kidding, right? This man prints money as he needs it. He refused help hours, not days, after the gulf coast disaster from countries that have dealt with the same issues that this brought up and could have helped months ago. He's left our borders unprotected while he sends our Military to Afganistan. He's a loser Lilarose. He's done NOTHING to try to correct anything that Bush might have been responsible for. He's a talker, a public speaker. Nothing more. I would rather see Hillary in office over him and I'm not a fan of her's either. Someone once said if Hillary gave Obama one of her Cojones then they would both have two...tell you anything? And I'm a WORKING american.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      I agree with you to a point, I personally haven't had a vacation away with my family for 5 years, but I also work for the public and have been told at various times I get paid too much, and should be on call any day of the week for whatever trival thing comes to the public mind. I am a republican so it comes hard for me to defend the president even though the one running against him, was really out of touch with reality. We never question GW when he moved the white house to Texas, I am sure he wasn't; nose at the grindstone working every day. Public life whether a president or a lonely DOT worker for the state of vermont, isn't what its cracked up to be. The blame for our ecomomy rest with us all we allowed it to happen we don't hold those made it happen responsible, to include all the polictiions both democrates or repulblicans.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • elsefina

      thank god Mrs Obama takes a trip outside of this conservative country and see how ell the Europeans live and vacation! this country is so old fashioned! live out there is a lot better than what people in this country think! because Americans are not exposed to anything else than their sorry little continent!....

      August 9, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave Clark

      Tom you are right on. How about the Nobamas set up a mini White House in Chicago and just go there for vacation. Such as the Bush's did. That way we only have to pay for the infastructer once not this spend spend spend and get nothing for it except their enjoyment. Maybe we can live our lives vicarously thru the Nobamas. Just a thought.

      August 9, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debra

      Dear Lilarose in Bandon, OR to inform you, yes i have a job infact i have 2 jobs and at 48 years old trying to go to school...The president has done nothing to help me in anyway infact he has hurt me. And as for his wife running off to Spain, no she should have stayed home like the rest of us AMERICANS. I can't afford to take my daughter anywhere and it sucks it is hard just to pay the bills. I clip coupons to buy groceries. So your comment about "Some of you sourpusses–you probably don't have a job and Obama hasn't personally found you one. Why not get off the blogs, update your resume, and hit the pavement" sounds like you need to get in check with the rest of us!!

      August 9, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gerri

      Can't Republican Americans find anything that are truly political issues or events to complain about? Leave the first family alone. Go after issues and policies and I will listen to you, otherwise bug off. Republicans are becoming the daily complainers of entertainment issues instead of political issues.

      August 9, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donald Cox

      Get a life , nothing wrong with a vacation. I am glad for them

      August 9, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Sayin

      My husband and I have visited 4 different states in 2010, and the amount of people we see does not reflect this country or it's people to be in dire straits. Some are I know. But to critacize constantly about what the first family does is beyond reason to me. EVERY first family have taken their share of vacations – even when they report it is 'OFFICIAL BUSINESS'

      August 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexVet

      This is for "elsefina" not Tom: Why don't you pack up and leave this "sorry" country....people like you running this country down my me completely sick

      August 9, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • objective

      The current leader of the country stayed in to work on his birthday while his wife went to spain.

      Your frustration is misguided
      So what else frustrates you?
      Maybe I can help
      -lol
      😀

      August 9, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • GBYRD

      TOM, HOW MANY VACATIONS DID THE BUSH FAMILY TAKE WHILE OUR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN WERE GETTING SHOT UP IN BOTH IRAN AND AFGHANISTAN. HOW SOON WE FORGET. THIS IS A BS STORY ABOUT THE FIRST LADY WRITTEN ONLY BECAUSE OF PARTISANISM. THAT IS WHAT IS KILLING THIS COUNTRY AND YOU LIKE MANY OTHERS ARE SO FULL OF NOTHING THAT YOU CAN SEE IT. I SERVED IN THE USMC I AM SICK TO MY STOMACHE WITH THIS KIND OF PARTISAN CRAP. JUST THINK IF MY FELLOW MARINES PUT POLITICAL NONSENSE IN FRONT OF DOING THE RIGHT THING WHERE WOULD WE BE AS A COUNTRY. PLEASE GET A GRIP AND COMPLAIN ABOUT SOMETHING THAT REALLY MATTERS.

      August 9, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joanna Miles

    At least the Obamas are welcomed in Europe unlike Bush during his terms. Nothing like building international relations. Plus, it's healthy for her daughter to develop a realistic world view and experience different cultures and countries.

    August 9, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • ifyouseenkat

      it's funny that human nature allows us to hate some people for taking vacations and love other people for taking vacations.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOAN

      DOESN'T TAKE LONG TO GO FROM SHOPPING AT THE GAP TO TOP OF THE LINE CLOTHES AND TRAVEL. YOU'RE WELCOME. GLAD I COULD MAKE YOU LIKE THE OTHERS.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Keep drinking the Koolaid then – continue to make excuses. 40 friends and family on a European vacation at taxpayer expense. If there was ever a hypocrite President, this one is it.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denise

      Well, that's certainly something - I guess he's not admired here, so he might as well be over there - are you kidding me?? How about setting an example for the rest of the country - many who are struggling right now??

      August 9, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Maybe they wanted to show the kids what it will be like when our unemployment reaches 20% like Spain's.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hal

      What about my daughter? I would love for her to go to another country- but I can't afford it!!

      August 9, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • manoutnumbrd

      No one was hating because she went on vacation. It's expected, once a year not every other month. An excuse for going was to meet with their country heads but she took 40 friends and family members (at the tax payers expense) plus the protection. They were hating because once again the Obamas are printing money

      August 9, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • metmo

      Clearly some of you didn't read the article closely enough. SHE paid for the trip. The government pays for her secret service. The same way they paid for the secret service every time Laura Bush went anywhere.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jina

      Hal – well, that's capitalism for you. Like it or not, the Obamas worked hard and have jobs that make it affordable for them to take their kids to other countries. Would you prefer a – dare I say it – socialistic or communistic system instead?

      August 9, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geez

      metmo, I think YOU need to reread... She paid for HER vacation. Taxes payers paid for the rest.

      August 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Indy

      YOU MEAN, HER DAUGHTER GETTING EDUCATED AT OUR COST AND WE SLOG OUR ASS OUT TO MAKE LIVING HERE ...WHAT KIND OF MORONIC COMMENT IS THIS ?

      August 9, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geez

      Jina, what are you talking about?? That made no sense at all. How is wasting someone else money capitalism? I think you need to look up the definitions of capitalism and socialism.

      August 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Esther

    Tom...We have a leader...let him and his administration do their job.

    August 9, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • ifyouseenkat

      i seem to remember a whole lot of folks complaining about job performance a few years back. what's different now?

      August 9, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Moose is Loose

      Is this the same Michelle who wasn't proud of her country?? Oh, wait. That's right - now that all the taxpayers are covering her globe-trotting everything is just fine.

      Meanwhile, her husband is playing basketball with his pals back at the White House while the rest of the country is going down the tubes.

      Here's the best part....how about when he spends TRILLIONS!! of dollars on Obamacare and then has the BALLZ to say we need to reduce the deficit. Just classic. Worst President - bar none.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boon

      ARE YOU F__KING KIDDING ME!!??? You really believe that? Esther, get your head out of your butt.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • manoutnumbrd

      Ok....don't ya think that he should be done by now? He and his administration have done NOTHING to benefit this country. He's had 2 years to make a positive impact. Please tell us that you don't believe that he has made that POSITIVE impact. Please tell us that you've bought into his "This country's ready for change" bull. Please....by all means tell us WHAT HAS HE DONE IN A POSITIVE LIGHT for this country and please....be honest with yourself.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marty

    Yes, we do need a true leader. Hopefully, we'll have one after 2012.

    August 9, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. SugarLanie

    The cost of the trip to Spain for taxpayers has been severly underestimated. In addition to the the secret service details travel costs and per diem pay, the cost of Air Force Two you have to add on the costs of figher jet escorts for the plane flight, costs of shipping the bullet proof vehicles to the vacation site, and the cost of transporting fuel for the trip since fuel is never purchased locally. They also send and advance party weeks in advance to set up all local logistics such as a medical emergency plan, communications plan, etc. The cost of the private trip is even more grotesque than the public knows. How many teacher jobs could have been paid for by the taxpayer dollars used on this trip.
    Also, this is not the only vacation Ms. Obama has taken that has been tacked onto "business trips". In June she took a lavish vacation in Southern California with her other daughter, They dined with celebrities as expensive SoCal restaurants with various celebrities. They even spent time at a billionaires Malibu home to enjoy some time on the beach.
    With almost 10% of American's unemployed and 40 million on foodstamps Ms Obama's continued lavish trips is insulting to the American public to say the least. She can't be that stupid to know these trips are a bad PR move. I think she just doesn't care. It is bordering on tacky the way she appears to be on a money grab.

    August 9, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Lilarose in Bandon, OR

      Seems you had to tell us twice. Let me tell you a story about George W. Bush. I remember well when he arrived at a NASCAR race with his Air Force One PLUS a huge cargo plane filled with helicopters, cars, and his security entourage. We saw the planes on TV thanks to the media. Bush was there to say "Gentlemen, start your engines!" Then he left on Air Force One with his cargo plane. Can you tell us, SugarLanie, how much all of that cost????

      August 9, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Morooni

      Lila...I'm sure it didn't cost as much as this trip to Spain!!! bush is history......let's focus on what THIS president is doing. That tax money could have been MUCH better spent.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boony

      My finances are hurting right now so I choose not to try to get away on a nice relaxing vacation...I see our country as being in the same financial situation....NO ONE in the government should be going on vacation at the taxpayers expense...

      August 9, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      so... she should never go on a vacation...

      August 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • objective

      I'd be more concerned if she took her vacations at the super 8 motel.
      What would that say about the economy?

      August 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ifyouseenkat

    nice to know that the obama's can afford to take 40 people on a mini vacation.

    August 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Moose is Loose

      Love how Obama is using the "corporate jet" to globe-trot, play golf, vacation, etc. - this is EXACTLY what you get when you hire a President-on-Training-Wheels. He had ZERO EXPERIENCE (that's "NONE" for you Obama-Zombies who can't think for yourselves). NOW you can see what a moron like this can do to a country in just 18 months.

      And how HILARIOUS is it that they guy can't tout anything he's done????!!! All he can do is say "Well, well, Bush didn't do a good job". Just too funny.

      Take out the trash on November 2. It will be time to clean the house!

      August 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ME

    Our families last vacation was in 2002. We go no where maybe once a year stay in a hotel 1 night depending on what the situation is and where. We live by our government motto – do as I say not as I do. It is not their money – it is ours. We made them all very very rich by voting them in year after year and they can spend all they want because they are set for life and don't ever have to go through the struggles of everyday people. I know I chose the wrong job.

    August 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • ifyouseenkat

      get a better job! like the one in bell califorina. guy got 5 months vacation per year.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • MICHELLE

      It's circus on people's money. 40 friends can't find a place in USA to visit, they have to do it in Europe instead of Africa to visit their relatives.It might be less expensive in Europe in this tough times. Faraway from the roots the better. What little people know about visiting royalities with friends.

      August 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Matt

    One can only imagine the bad press a Republican would receive for the same vacation.

    August 9, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Indy

      OH MAAN , YOU CAN'T IMAGINE ! THIS VACATION WAS ACTUALLY BECAUSE OF BUSH...YOU SEE HE MADE THIS NOBAMA AS PRESIDENT, COZ OF THAT THIS ROYAL FAMILY IS ON VACATION SPREE TO CREATE MORE ECONOMY, MORE JOBS, 40 FAMILY MEMBERS NEEDED FREE RIDE ON OUR MONEY...ALL COZ OF BUSH !

      August 9, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • objective

      And yet no bad press.......

      August 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gail Jenkins

    Those of us who are struggling to buy groceries are not worried about the Obama's daughter experiencing culture!! Our Presidential family lives in an unrealistic world and have no idea – nor do they care – that most of us can not make ends meet due to lack of work. And, now they want to do away with our tax credits – so maybe they can take a few more vacations and relax while the rest of the nation suffers!!

    August 9, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • ifyouseenkay

      just like any other really rich people!

      August 9, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lilarose in Bandon, OR

      Gail, get off the blogs and go find a job or a second or third one. I did it myself, raised two girls alone, went through college and earned four scholarships and three degrees, and I retired at age 55 and two months. The President doesn't decide all on his own to reinstate Bush's tax cuts. That is Congress' job! The tax cuts expired, do you understand that? They expired when they were supposed to expire. Congress needs time, after considering all factors, whether or not to reinstate some or all the tax cuts. Quit whining and if you are really unhappy with the prez, then run for president yourself!

      August 9, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denise

      Wow Lilarose, you must be living in some type of bubble with your comments on here... do you even pay attention to what is happening in the world right now or are you too busy sticking your tongue up Obama's a**?

      August 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boon

      Obama was raised on welfare so now that he has some real money available.....that is STILL not his,.....he spends it like the "hand out" fool he is. Welfare helps no one. It's equivelent to buying a junkie a bag of dope.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • objective

      Gail ..........Jenkins
      You only lose a tax credit if youre making more money than 95% of the country.
      If you make under $250,000 than you would have recieved a moderate tax break!

      Nice try though
      😀

      August 9, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. alisan

    We the people need to get a life.

    August 9, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • ifyouseenkay

      and who can afford it!?

      August 9, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boony

      Really....I wish a could afford to have a life.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jnkdev

    The Obamas are rubbing it in our faces. They are going to make the most of it while they can. Wake up people – the wrong guy got the job.

    August 9, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dolores

      The right person got the job.....people just like to complain....If you or anyone other American were in their position they would do the same thing.....tell me you would not. I hope they enjoy their vacation and wish them a safe trip.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • objective

      You're right ! They are rubbing it in your face.

      They are successfull blacks and they dont care what you think about where they take a vacation.
      I wouldnt either.

      I'd need a vacation from people like you as well.
      🙂

      August 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Duplicity

    It is summer time and the rich are vacationing all over the world. Unemployment is at record high and CEOs refused to hire people but they are gearing up for their multi-million dollar bonuses. The Repulicans, Democrats, Independents, and media pundits are all taking vacations with their families, and the ignant "fools" are echoing their betters (fox news and supporters) because the FIrst Lady took her daughter on vacation.

    I could understand if you were angry at the corporations who refused to hire people, or the rich who vacation regardless of the economy, but noooo!, go after the black woman and her daughter because she dared to do what white folks has been doing before this country because a country.

    August 9, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • DARLENE

      Why does the race card always have to be brought up? This has nothing to do with race. That was a stupid comment.

      August 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • DYLANSDADDY

      "I could understand if you were angry at the corporations who refused to hire people, or the rich who vacation regardless of the economy"

      Thats what people ARE angry with, the rich Obamas who are vacationing regardless of the state of the economy.

      August 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Agreed, that was a stupid comment but for more reasons than just pulling the race card.

      1.) CEOs, like you and me, are free citizens of a free nation with a free market economy. They are free to hire at will. It's their company!
      2.) CEOs are not refusing to hire people at the expense of gearing up for their bonuses. Businesses exist to make money. They're not good, they're not evil (unless they are in fact doing something that is explicitly against the law), they just are. A business will hire and lay off in the name of what's in the best interest for the company. If hiring more people will bring in more money, trust me, they'll do it.
      3.) There is absolutely nothing wrong with receiving a large multi-million dollar bonus. Again, this is private enterprise and the people vote with their dollars. If the investors of that company do not like the bonuses being paid out they will pull their cash from that company.
      4.) Repulicans, Democrats, Independents, and media pundits are also all free to take vacations at will so long as it's done with their money and not at the expense of tax payers. In America you are free to do what you like with your private property.
      5.) Being mad at the rich for taking vacations is stupid. Honestly, what would you suggest? That the government mandates when and where the rich, or any other citizen, are allowed to vacation? Do most people just not understand capitalism?
      6.) Race absolutley, positively has nothing to do with this. I'm really not even sure where you pulled that from. At best it's a pathetic effort to bolster a weak, flawed, and poorly thought out argument.

      To conclude, the actual aggravation by most people on this board is NOT with Michelle Obama paying her own way for a vacation. She's also a citizen and free to do so. The anger is mostly directed at the 40 person entourage who get to go on the tax payer's dime.

      August 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • objective

      Duplicity
      I agree with you 100%.

      Some of these people dont even know why they are upset, so they find a reason to get upset with the president.
      ie. where his wife takes a vacation.
      Really trivial issues make the front page.

      It would gain alot more respect if some of these people just said that they are uncomfortable with a black family in the white house. ( "So we are super curious about everything even up to vacations")

      Thats reasonable, as a black family never occupied the white house until 2008 but, to hide behind conservative politics hurts the whole country.

      People have a tendency to dislike what they cannot understand.
      Thats what this president and his family have to deal with.

      The race card is even STARTING to have a negative connotation. The fact is that it should not. Less than a century ago schools were segregated (and worse). That has direct consequences on the current generation yet, some want to "act like" all is fair now and the race card only perpetuates racism. Ignoring injustices perpetuated rasicm. Affirmative action was not the best solution but neither is ignoring the injustices.

      Thank you for bringing up what to some is so obvious yet others want to ignore. The "race card" should not be negative. It just makes one group feel bad b/c of something they had no control over. And helps the other group make sense as to why things are relatively more difficult for them.

      August 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tina

    To all who are so worried about the cost of air force jets, etc., do you happen to remember what it cost Bush to land on the aircraft carrier announcing "Mission accomplished!" (which it wasn't.)

    August 9, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      Is that the best rebuttal you can come up with for all the lavish vacations this year and taxpayer transport and security? Bush landing on a carrier to boost troop morale!!!

      August 9, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      Actually, Johnny, it's not. I could speak volumes about Bush's trips to Texas...so many that one wondered which location was the official residence of the President of the United States. Just sayin!

      August 9, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • benson

      so because Bush did something stupid and expensive that means Obama can do something even more stupid and expensive? Really that's the best you can do?

      August 9, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ella01

      GWB pulling "official" duty doesn't even compare to Michelle taking a vacation. Wow. This all goes back to my previous comment....when democrats/liberals/progressives and some independents were shouting "Bad George Bush – we'll do better! We'll do differently! Change you can believe in! Transparency!" All that crap to get BO elected, what makes you think he wouldn't or shouldn't be held to that standard? You cannot have it both ways. If you are going to continually criticize the previous administration's handling of issues, you better be prepared to defend the administration you said would be better. And hold them responsible for their gaffes and mistakes. This is the hypocrisy that enrages so many Americans, sorry – it isn't FoxNews, Glenn Beck or any of the other talking heads you like to blame it on. The only reason you point the finger is because you cannot intelligently discuss anything the administration has done beyond theory that has truly benefited us.

      August 9, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • objective

      Jonny Ella and company
      Bush wasted a ton of money to get us where we where 18 months ago. We've gotten much better right??
      Here is your wake up call go to the federal treasury site and get a detailed report on what the 2 admins spent on vacations first year in office.

      Where the First Lady takes a vacation (as a luxury) is of little concern. The Obamas got knocked the same way for not putting their children in public schools?!?
      The things you guys ask for are uttely reduculous and, just like the public school example you'll figure out how ignorant you sound in time.

      THE FIRST LADY WENT TO SPAIN WITH HER FAMILY
      hey guess what she actualy uses real flatware no plastic forks.
      I bet the armored car that is used should be a chrysler not a cadillac

      The point is the first family should not have to worry about you and your type.... I hope that they never do.

      Thanks Tina

      August 9, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • objective

      ah
      forgot to spell check
      egg on the face 😉
      still you get the point

      August 9, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ella01

      Oh objective, where do I start? Too much material here. The issue is/was/always will be that the Obamas are acting like royalty while preaching about their empathy for the working American. If they had empathy for the working American, they would be much more careful about how they spent our money. Whether or not they are rich is beside the point. I don't care. I don't care they're black. I don't care what the previous administration (or previous 20 administrations did) either. The fact is, it is here, now, TODAY. Practice what you preach. I'm tired of the double-speaking, 'say anything to get elected and then live like kings' off the back of the people who work to fund their activities. I'd venture to say most people feel that way. You cannot preach a populist message and then live like an elite any more without getting called out on it.

      By the way, to continually make an issue out of the fact that the first family is black is kind of silly isn't it? The only people I ever hear discussing their race are the ones who purport to be defending it against the rest of us. It is only an issue to the liberals, that's why they keep talking about it. And while you're at it, you should probably practice what you preach as well. Calling us, those who disagree with the ideology of the left, "your type" is kind of painting with that same, broad, prejudiced brush that you keep accusing us of using, isn't it?

      And Tina...before you go down the "Mission Accomplished" road – you better look at all the times Obama spouted "We've brought the economy back from the brink...." The fed is about to downgrade the outlook for the US for next year. Back from the brink? Mission accomplished indeed. BO spent 1.3 trillion dollars to make that announcement. I guess Bush's little aircraft carrier visit pales in comparison, doesn't it?

      August 10, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. American

    Nice to see that the "Do as i say, Not Do as I Do" mentality of the WH continues. It is nice that POTUS is picking up < 1% of the cost by paying Mchelles way. The cost to the US taxpayer is well over a million dollars possibly as high as 5-10! Considering all the above commentary it seems that most people dont care! The arrogance and egos we're stroking in the WH are at least as large as the icesheet that just broke off Greenland. I mean, whats another 5-10 million added to the 6-8 trillion that was added to the US debt by POTUS and his band of dolts in Congress! Ya wanted CHANGE, ya got it. Dont blame BUSH, this is all OBAMA

    August 9, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TEA

    Here is one alternate idea for the folks who are mad at wealthy folks taking vacations: When someone takes a vacation in this country, aren't they helping keep folks employed at hotels, restaurants, and attractions at their destination? When someone flies to another country, isn't it possible that some of the folks working for the airline they fly are keeping their jobs here in the USA a little longer? I understand it can be frustrating to see others enjoy what we don't have, but I can't begrudge the President or his family a vacation for the rest of their lives because of the costs of security. And let's face it, the former Presidents all have security.

    I wish each of you good health, a loving family, and prosperity. I didn't vote for this President, I don't like his policies, and I still want the man and his family to have some time off. I think we all deserve a break, regardless of whether we get one.

    August 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • American

      Except this one only helps the Europeans. Sure they need help too, but start at home. Theres lots of places to visit where the US Taxpayer will benefit....as well as pay. First Lady doesnt use airlines, neither does the Secret Service. All US Taxpayer

      August 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hal

      Ah yeah....if the vacations are in the US.....

      August 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
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