“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, September 27, 2012

“Presidential Perks Gone Royal”

Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on everything from staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks.… 

 Author Robert Keith Gray writes in “Presidential Perks Gone Royal” that Obama isn’t the only president to have taken advantage of the expensive trappings of his office. But the amount of money spent on the first family, he argues, has risen tremendously under the Obama administration and needs to be reined in. Gray told The Daily Caller that the $1.4 billion spent on the Obama family last year is the “total cost of the presidency,” factoring the cost of the “biggest staff in history at the highest wages ever,” a 50 percent increase in the numbers of appointed czars and an Air Force One “running with the frequency of a scheduled air line.”

Washington Times


  1. Living like the Saudi Prince that he OWED a bow:

    Mansourian Candidate:

    The wrong man, sir The wrong man, sir

    Townhall links to a video in which civil rights activist Percy Sutton claimed he was asked by a certain “Dr. Khalid al Mansour”, supposed adviser to ‘one of the richest men in the world’, to write a letter of reccomendation on behalf of Barack Obama to help him gain acceptance to the Harvard Law Review many years ago. Mansour was raising money for Obama at the time,according to Sutton, a circumstance strange enough in itself. Townhall identifies the Mansour in question as a preacher from Islam Studios. A video purporting to show Dr. Mansour exemplifies his somewhat comical style of preaching. However, it seems at first glance that Townhall may have erred in its identification of the right Mansour for the Islamic preacher featured in the video seems unlikely to have been any kind of adviser to billionaries. A search on the Internet showed another Dr. Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al-Mansour‘s whose biographical details fit the Sutton profile much better.

    Dr. Khalid Abdullah Tario Al-Mansour is an internationally acknowledged advisor to Heads of State and business leaders in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North America. He has been actively involved in structuring investments and joint ventures worldwide for over 35 years. Dr. Al-Mansour was also responsible for the Africa investment activities of Kingdom Holdings, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal’s investment company. During his distinguished career, Dr. Al-Mansour has been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Bombay University, Columbia University, UCLA, University of Kenya, London School of Economics and the University of Ghana...

  2. If Rufus reads this remarkable post and comments by Wretchard so far in the first 30, plus your previous post and still backs BHO, I'll know him to be the Socialist Traitor to this Country that he has become.

  3. Michael Yon:

    America’s Dumbest War, Ever

    Yesterday a concerned father forwarded to me a letter from his son in Afghanistan. I confirmed authenticity, and republish with permission:


    I am fed up. I cannot believe the lack of attention the recent changes in this war is receiving by the media or the country.

    I think I saw one thing on CNN about the following subject, but I had to dig extensively to find it.

    The purpose of this letter is to let you know of the garbage that our soldiers are going through right now. With this knowledge, I hope that you take action by writing your congressmen...

  4. "Air Force One “running with the frequency of a scheduled air line."

    Now used almost full time to support his job as Candidate in Chief for four more years to finish off this country as we know it.

    Don't no if his plans to shut down Fracking in December has been addressed here yet, but that'll do wonders to prevent much of the Midwest to climb out of poverty to the prosperity of North Dakota.

    ...and increase our security with a large domestic source of oil and gas.

  5. 6. RWE

    At one time, a US President who was aided by the intervention of the Saudis and who bows deeply to them while blocking an oil pipeline from Canada and stopping drilling in the Gulf of Mexico would have elecited a certain amount of concern.

    Now all it elicits is the purchase by private individuals of huge quantities of guns and ammmo.

    Perhaps people are not giving up on the USA but rather giving up on using a stacked deck. A Smith and Wesson beats a full house.


    Our son's stockpile of lethal weapons and ammo must be worth considerably more now than when he acquired them.

    ...having not honed my skills in years, I'll take the gas operated semi-automatic 12 gauge shotgun based on the AK-47.

  6. "A single skein runs through a number of recent articles. It starts with an extraordinary piece by Frank Miele, who rummaging through the newspaper morgue, came across an piece that shed light on who put Barack Obama on the fast track back in 1979. The old article described a $20 million dollar fund from OPEC and Saudi Prince Alwaleed to place promising ‘blacks, Arabs, Hispanics, Asians and native Americans’ into elite colleges. The conduit was a lawyer named Khalid al-Mansour. The article’s author was Vernon Jarrett.

    For some reason, al-Mansour had used Jarrett as the messenger to get out the word about his efforts to funnel Arab oil money to black students and minority colleges at about the same time that Barack Obama began his college career. That doesn’t mean either Jarrett or al-Mansour knew Obama at that time, but eight years later when Obama was a rising star in Chicago, a friend of Bill Ayers and Valerie Jarrett, it is much more likely that he did indeed have the assistance of very important people in his meteoric rise. The words of Percy Sutton about what al-Mansour told him regarding Obama certainly have the ring of truth:

    “His introduction was there is a young man that has applied to Harvard. I know that you have a few friends back there… Would you please write a letter in support of him? (That’s before Obama decided to run.) … and he interjected the advice that Obama had passed the requirements, had taken and passed the requirements necessary to get into Harvard and become president of the Law Review. That’s before he ever ran for anything. And I wrote a letter in support of him to my friends at Harvard, saying to them that I thought there was a genius that was going to be available and I certainly hoped they would treat him kindly…"

  7. And, as Bob and I know, he was known as the Kenyan that he was still claiming to be.

    ...still documented 2 years ago in a book ad for him.

    His life has been one lie after another for decades.

  8. Likely accepted by Harvard as a Kenyan:

    The Vetting - Exclusive - Obama's Literary Agent in 1991 Booklet...

    Breitbart News has obtained a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by Barack Obama's then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which touts Obama as "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii."

    The booklet, which was distributed to "business colleagues" in the publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama among the biographies of eighty-nine other authors represented by Acton & Dystel.

    It also promotes Obama's anticipated first book, Journeys in Black and White--which Obama abandoned, later publishing Dreams from My Father instead.

    Obama’s biography in the booklet is as follows:

  9. WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The government cut its calculation of U.S. growth in the second quarter to 1.3% from 1.7% in its third and final review, citing less consumer spending and business investment than previously estimated. Consumer spending rose 1.5% in the previous quarter instead of 1.7% as initially forecast. And business investment, excluding residential housing, was revised down to a 3.6% increase from 4.2%. The government also said corporate profits climbed $21.8 billion in the second quarter, compared to a $53.0 billion decline in the first quarter. The economy grew at a 2.0% pace in the first three months of the year.

  10. I have no idea why the polls show support for Obama in PA. The Obama bumper stickers are noticeably absent compared to 2008. The only growth industries are energy. The only thing different is almost all PA small towns are flooded with illegal Mexicans.

  11. However, you hear almost nothing from Romney.

    1. Just heard a caller to Bennett Show saying the same thing, thinks Romney/Ryan should spend a week there.

      ...and that Coal Mines there are closing just as BHO announced he wanted years ago.

      Had no idea PA has been Californicated wrt illegals.
      Very sad for America and Americans forced out of a job.

    2. "The only growth industries are energy."

      ...and like I said, BHO plans to shut down Fracking in December, the new rules have already been written.

    3. Rules are written by Congress. President only signs em.

    4. Wrong:
      I'm talkin EPA and other agencies.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. The Congress controls the budget of the EPA, etc, Doug.

      If the Congress, Mr Ryan in particular, did not want to fund those Executive activities, they would not appropriate the funds.

    7. .

      Doug is right.

      Congress may pass laws, many of which they don't read, but it is staff that lays out what the law actually means. They are the ones that really give us our laws, them and the lobbyists that give them the format and pertinant detail. As for the agencies, they write the rules and define how the laws will be enforced or, in some cases, not enforced.

      Most laws are written with rather big picture language (except for those written as sops for a specific person or company). I would expect the 2300 pages in Obamacare will quickly turn into 10,000 pages minimum as staff fills in the blanks.

      Congress can elect not to fund an agency entirely if they want though the chances of that happening are pretty much zero. Trying to effect the rules put out by that agency would be difficult for Congress since those agencies report to the Executive. In those cases, Congress' biggest hammers are hearings to raise public awareness and the courts on issues of constitutionality.


  12. Rufus, you might recall the quote I put up from the poet Heinrich Heine about his prediction that if the Christian overlay in Germany ever eroded you would see the old pagan Germanic love of war erupt with a vengeance to make the French Revolution look like 'a picnic in the the park'.

    The Christian overlay eroded and the prediction came o so true with the Nazis.

    This quoting of Hitler about faith is so damned lame I can't believe it.

    This area of Ohio is remarkably free of any Presidential sign advertising of any kind. People seem interested in a guy named Lawless running for Sheriff though.

    We have seen exactly two Romney signs and one Obama sign.

    Lexington seemed almost apolitical too.

  13. Four illegal immigrants from Ecuador were arrested and taken into federal custody for deportation Wednesday morning on the 200 block of Stanton Street in Wilkes-Barre, according to city officials.

    The four males were "living in the area for a period of time" and were determined to be illegal immigrants following a police response to their residence for an assault in October, a press release from the city said.

    The arrests were made Wednesday around 6 a.m. as part of an ongoing investigation by city police, state police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Leonard Sampson.

    According to a report in the Citizens’ of Voice, Sampson of Guyana has thumbed his nose at our nation’s immigration law on five occasions. The previous four times have resulted in deportation, only for him to show up on our soil illegally again. This time, in addition to illegal re-entry charges, Sampson also faces charges of aggravated identity theft, falsely claiming U.S. citizenship, false statements made to acquire a U.S. passport, and food stamp fraud. In other words, he knowingly assumed (stole) the identity of someone else not only to enter the United States but to live off the taxpayer once here. For his troubles, he faces $1 million dollars in fines and 70 years in prison, if convicted.

    This is not the first notable arrest in our area involving an illegal alien and fraud. I.C.E. announced the cracking of an identity theft ring in January of this year and three of those charged were apprehended in Hazleton. On multiple occasions, police have identified aliens during traffic stops. In one instance, the alien had a valid driver's license and social security card under a name other than his own, and was also in possession of a receipt showing a recent income tax return in excess of $7,000. In another case, the alien was found to be in possession of two public assistance cards under two different names, as well as having cash on hand of over $3,000.

    Wilkes-Barre/Scranton region has seen a significant Hispanic population, other groups include islanders (Haiti, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad/Tobago, St. Lucia and more) have settled here in noticeable numbers as have those of Romanian and various Asian descent.

    Illegal immigration is not quite a victimless crime. Many aliens come here illegally, often stealing identities to do so, while others simply overstay their visas. Once here, they work illegally, not only snatching a much needed job from a citizen but devaluing the pay scale in the process. Additionally, much of the money they earn is pumped into another country's economy via remittances, effectively robbing our economy of the boost. They apply for and receive benefits which you and I pay for, such as food stamps, housing assistance and more. Their children receive specialized education in the form of Head Start and English as Second Language programs, which we also pay for. Many file income tax returns, some using ITN numbers provided by the IRS, others using the identities they've stolen. Emergency rooms are clogged with a flow of aliens who treat them as clinics, and the resulting increase in cost of services also gets passed along to you and me. Millions claim the Child Tax Credit (to the tune of $4.2 billion, annually), perhaps two million bold enough as to claim the credit for children (theirs and others') who don't even live in our country. They may even be collecting unemployment benefits, as their immigration status will only be checked if they answer no when asked if they're a citizen of the United States, even though they may not speak a word of English. In fact, whether you know it or not, you are more than happy to pay for a translation service for them, Spanish more frequently than any other language, also paid for by the taxpayer.

  14. Doug, you don't think Big Oil would come down on the Administration with a lawsuit if they just shut off fracking like that? At the least, a judge will stay the order until it could be vetted for constitutionality.

    Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  15. Going to shut down fracking in Dec. Isn't that interesting. Well, we'll just have to keep an eye on that, won't we?


  16. Right now, Fracking is shutting itself down. The number of rigs operating in N. Dakota is down about 15% from a couple of months ago.

    A large reason for this is probably this graph that shows that wells drilled in July of 2011 produced 26% Less oil over a 12 month period than wells drilled in July of 2010. In short, the bloom is Off the rose.


  17. I can’ t get past the $1.4 billion to run the White House. That tells you all that you need to know.

    1. Ahh, I think I'll take that with a bit o' salt. He appoints an "auto czar," and that is included in the cost of "running the white house." It's looking like a pretty broad definition.

    2. .

      The explosion of czars started under Bush. Obama has merely expanded it, as is his wont with most things, from 33 to 38. The interesting thing is a report by Judicial Watch that states there are a number of Czars planned but the positions are either unfilled or back-burnered by the administration right now. The list includes

      Voting list czar
      Autism czar
      Behavioral czar
      Asian carp czar

      and an interesting one given the recent GOP campaign ads

      Redistribution czar

      It will be interesting to see how many of these stay back-burnered after the election.


  18. Total Cost of the Whole White House for Fiscal Year 2008

    Compensation of the president (including an expense allowance of $50,000): $ 450,000
    The Executive Residence operating expenses: $12,814,000
    The Executive Residence—repair and restoration: $1,600,000
    The vice president’s downtown office: $15,511,9603
    Residence of the vice president—operating expenses: $320,000
    The White House Office (including the Homeland Security Council): $53,656,000
    Office of Policy Development (the Domestic Policy Council and the National Economic Council): $3,482,000
    National Security Council: $30,300,820
    One-eighth of the Office of Administration, for direct services to the president pursuant to Section 3(a) of Executive Order 12028: $11,468,125
    The president’s unanticipated needs: $1,000,000
    White House Center Service Delivery Team (in the GSA budget): $26,000,000
    U.S. Postal Service, White House branch: $726,000
    National Archives professional archival support of the White House: $1,000,000
    Value of gifts supplied by the Department of State for presentation to foreign leaders at White House official entertainment functions: $50,000
    White House Communications Agency (in the budget of the Defense Information Systems Agency): $173,900,000
    Air Force One (in U.S. Air Force budget) (classified) (Estimated cost: $200,000,000)
    Helicopter squadron HMX-One (in the Marine Corps budget; this is the fiscal year 2008 appropriation segment of a fifteen year-long procurement of twenty-eight new helicopters): $271,000,000
    Camp David (in the Navy/Seabees budget): $7,900,0005
    Salary costs for 2,300 employees in above units 15, 16, 17, and 18 (all in the budget of the Department of Defense): $151,800,000
    U.S. Secret Service (in the budget of the Department of Homeland Security) (21-26)
    Protection of persons and facilities: $689,535,000
    For protective intelligence activities: $57,704,000
    For handling “special security events,” such as the 2009 Inaugural: $1,000,000
    For screening of White House mail: $16,201,000
    Operations of the James J. Rowley Training Center: $51,954,000
    Improvements at the James J. Rowley Training Center: $3,725,000
    Commission on White House Fellowships (in the budget of the Office of Personnel Management): $850,000
    National Park Service White House Liaison Office, including the White House Visitor Center (in the budget of the National Park Service): $8,700,000
    Cost of detailees who work more than six months in a calendar year: $227,349
    Total Cost of All White House Elements, for fiscal year 2008: $1,592,875,254

    1. 2008, The Bush Adminstration was not frugal, after eight years at the helm.

      Doubt the Obama Team operates any cheaper than the Bush's.

      Peas in a pod, when it comes to money.
      Their compassion requires it.

  19. I think that could be cut in half.

    1. The entire Federal budget needs to be trimmed by third.

      White House operations, Congressional perks, Social Security payments of all stripes, the military budget, you name it, a third must be cut, to balance the cash flow sheet.

      Medicare is full of over payments to insurance companies, Mr Romney promises to continue them.

      Larry Johnson, 2012 and beyond!

    2. White House Communications Agency (in the budget of the Defense Information Systems Agency): $173,900,000
      Air Force One (in U.S. Air Force budget) (classified) (Estimated cost: $200,000,000)
      Helicopter squadron HMX-One (in the Marine Corps budget; this is the fiscal year 2008 appropriation segment of a fifteen year-long procurement of twenty-eight new helicopters): $271,000,000
      Camp David (in the Navy/Seabees budget): $7,900,0005
      Salary costs for 2,300 employees in above units 15, 16, 17, and 18 (all in the budget of the Department of Defense): $151,800,000
      U.S. Secret Service (in the budget of the Department of Homeland Security) (21-26)
      Protection of persons and facilities: $689,535,000

      Here lieth about $1.5 Billion. I think it would be hard to cut those items in half.

    3. If a balanced Federal cash flow is an importyant economic policy point, they all have to be cut by a third.

      Or tax revenues must increase by half.

      Or a combination of the two must be applied.

    4. Or an admission that balancing the cash flow of the Federals is not that important, when measured against their other priorities.

  20. I still see nothing on that list that cannot be cut in half. $689,535,000 for the Secret Service?

    1. Peanut dough.

      Takes a lot of "walkin around money" to hire hookers in Colombia.

  21. Obama is going to get his tax increase on the rich (also called "the end of the Bush Tax Cuts for the rich,) and his decrease in Military Spending (mainly from winding down the foreign wars.)

    All we need, now, is a significant uptick in employment (more tax revenues,) and some way to put the brakes on transportation costs.

    Ethanol, btw, is selling, today, for $0.94 Less than Gasoline.

    An ethanol refinery in Every County.

    One Million Construction Workers employed (plus all the manufacturing workers making the pipes, boilers, etc,) and Home-Grown, and manufactured, Fuel with the money being spent in all the Local Economies.

    1. Makes to much sense, rufus, to "Buy American".

      The boys in DC want to continue to fund the Wahhabi.
      Wall Street, the Banks that are "To Big to Fail" and the Media compaies, as well.

    2. None of them give a hoot in hell about Main Street.

      Proven by performance.

  22. Ethanol, btw, is selling, today, for $0.94 Less than Gasoline.


    "Corn yields are coming in better than people expected and that's putting pressure on prices," said analyst Chris Nagel at Northstar Investment Co. in Minneapolis."

  23. Cellulosic ethanol is the next generation of ethanol, Ms T. Switchgrass, sweet sorghum and bio-degradable waste are the feedstocks which the distilleries rufus mentions would use.

    Not corn.

    You've been away.

    1. and we can put used french fry oil in our diesel vehicles...

      ...we shall see if they build these fantastic distilleries of which you speak.

    2. They're building some already, numbnuts.

    3. Great! I am a big fan of viable business plans. The proof is in the pudding as they say.

    4. Actually they say: the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    5. even better - we shall see how well these new plants feed the owners.

    6. This man, and his father, has turned one small ethanol plant into the largest ethanol producer in the world (26 highly efficient refineries.) The landscape of the upper midwest is littered with broke-asses that bet against the Broin family.

      Educate Yourself

    7. Actually, his father was a farmer who bought some equipment at a bankruptcy sale, and built his own small ethanol refinery (still?) :)

      Knowing how farmers think, and understanding "harvesting" will be very important in the cellulosic business.

    8. He's using switchgrass is he? Cool!

    9. No, his plants will operate on switchgrass, but since all of his plants are situated in the middle of the corn belt he is initially using corn stover (stalks, cobs, leaves, etc.)

      Watch the video, and then click on "how it works," or whatever the exact wording is.

  24. BLS Revisions are out. The economy created 386,000 More jobs than reported between April, 2011, and March 2012 than was originally reported - about 32,000 more per month. That's a pretty big revision.

    If you just look at "Private Sector" jobs, the increase is 453,000 Jobs.

    That's an increase of 37,750 Private Sector Jobs/Month over what was reported.

    A pretty big deal.

    1. .

      Speaking of revisions,

      US gross domestic product (GDP) – the broadest measure of the economy – grew at an annual rate of 1.3% between April and June, the commerce department said Thursday. The figure was revised down from a previously reported 1.7% gain.


  25. And how do you suppose they missed all those jobs the first time? Probably as creatively as they will find uncounted votes. : )

    1. This article explains it. The BLS goes back and does a much more exhaustive analysis after the first of every month estimate is released.


    2. These revisions can run as high as 900,000 (2009.)

      Calculated Risk lists the revisions since 1979:

      Calculated Risk

  26. .

    Obama says that "It's time for a new economic patriotism..."

    Yeh, he actually said that.



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