While Obama Admonishes Others to Cut Down on Carbon Emissions, He Flies Personal Trainer Back and Forth from Chicago Every Week

February 28, 2011

With a schedule as hectic as President Obama’s it must be hard to stick to a training regimen without help — but why does he insist on having his old trainer fly out from Chicago to D.C. regularly when Obama and his wife exhort the rest of us to drive less in order to cut down on carbon emissions?

 

And in a recession? According to Ashley Parker at the New York Times, Obama’s fitness czar Cornell McClellan comes out to D.C. every week:

 

McClellan, who works out with the first couple, often in the early morning, at the gym in the White House residence. Mr. and Mrs. Obama both try to exercise for at least an hour every day, and Mr. McClellan says he usually sees them two to four times a week, depending on their schedules.

 

…that comes at a steep cost for those as environmentally minded as the Obamas: 50,000 lbs of carbon emissions. That’s how much carbon emissions are involved in McClellan’s flying back and forth every week for a year (according to TerraPass.com).

 

Couldn’t they have just hired someone in D.C. to take over the training? The Yellow Pages provides over 56 entries under “Personal Fitness Trainers” alone, most of whom would have been able to reach the White House by bike.

 

Doing so would have at least been consistent with Obama’s statements about the need to reduce emissions. Last July, Obama announced that he wanted federal workers to cut down on business travel and commuting by car in order to reduce emissions produced by the federal government:

 

The White House was announcing Tuesday that the government will aim to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from indirect sources like employee driving by 13 percent in 2020, compared with 2008 levels.

 

The Nation also notes the importance of lower emissions to the Obamas’ “buy local” campaign:

 

Agriculture’s large greenhouse footprint is due mainly to its heavy reliance on fossil fuels to grow and transport food to market, as well as the increasing popularity of the meat-rich American diet. Meat production accounts for 18 percent of global emissions, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, in part because livestock emit large amounts of methane, an exceptionally potent greenhouse gas.

 

Even if Obama were to put his money where his mouth is and purchase offsets for McClellan’s Chicago-to-D.C. commute, the message is pretty clear: If you’re an average federal employee or your everyday taxpayer, stop driving and be careful of your carbon footprint. If you’re in the White House and you want some toned arms and a firm buttocks, fly your trainer out from Chicago every week.

 

From:  http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/02/obamas-jetset-fitness-trainer-helps-shed-pounds-adds-ozone


Mrs. “Do As I Say, Not As I Do” Obama Serves Governors a 2,200 Calorie Meal

February 28, 2011

First Lady Michelle Obama Sunday night stuffed about 2,200 calories worth of dinner into the nation’s governors, hosting a White House bash that pulled few punches on the fattening front despite her profile as the leader of a national crusade to trim the waistlines of the country’s youth.

 

President Obama is meeting with governors from both Parties at the White House today. Sunday night’s dinner was a kind of welcoming gala. It provided enough calories for an entire day’s worth of eating.

 

What’s worse, several governors clearly are not malnourished and might have done well without dinner altogether.

 

The meal follows a recent State Dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao which probably forced him to put away about 2,900 calories. And a Super Bowl party where guests had access to eats totaling 3,600 calories.

 

Mrs. Obama is leading the “Let’s Move” campaign – which might also be known as the “Do as I say and Not as I Do” campaign – to reduce childhood obesity.

 

The first lady has not been shy about demonstrating her contention that healthy eating needs to balanced by some old fashioned cheating. She was seen just last weekend in Colorado chowing on a buffalo rib and has been photographed savoring cones and sundaes at ice cream ice cream shops from  Panama City, Fla. to Marbella, Spain.

 

Sunday, she served the governors beef instead of chicken, threw in some fattening plaintain chips even though she already had a side of black beans and rice for them, added an unnecessary dollop of honey to the tropical fruit dish, and dropped the coconut sorbet – otherwise not a bad dessert choice – into a “chocolate shell.”

 

Actually, HOW ABOUT NOT SERVING DESSERT AT ALL.

 

Of course these items generally aren’t on the new school lunch menu Mrs. Obama has crafted, which includes delicacies like steamed broccoli, cauliflower, cooked green beans, and oven baked fish nuggets.

 

Here’s a rundown of the governors’ menu and my CONSERVATIVE estimations of the calories consumed.

 

·       Salad of roasted pears with homemade ricotta, walnut crisps, with White House Kitchen Garden greens – 200 calories

 

·       Bread and butter – 150 calories

 

·       Local black angus beef with blue crab – 550 calories – assuming an eight ounce NY Strip steak and crab meat without any kind of fattening sauce.

 

·       Plantain chips – 200 calories

 

·       Black beans and rice – 300 calories

 

·       Two glasses of wine – 200 calories

 

·       Coconut Sorbet in a chocolate shell – 400 calories; served with poached tropical fruits made with White House Honey – 200 calories

 

Total: 2,200 calories

 

by Keith Koffler on February 28, 2011, 11:37 am

 

From: http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2011/02/28/obama-serves-govenors-2200-calorie-meal/



Thanks, Obama! Gallup: U.S. Unemployment Jumps to 10.0% in Mid-February

February 17, 2011

Underemployment surged to 19.6% in mid-February from 18.9% at the end of January

 

PRINCETON, NJ — Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, hit 10.0% in mid-February — up from 9.8% at the end of January.

 

The percentage of part-time workers who want full-time work worsened considerably in mid-February, increasing to 9.6% of the workforce from 9.1% in January.

 

Underemployment Surges in Mid-February

 

Underemployment, in which Gallup combines part-time workers wanting full-time work with the U.S. unemployment rate, surged in mid-February to 19.6% — mostly as a result of the sharp increase in those working part time but wanting full-time work. Underemployment now stands at basically the same place as it did a year ago (19.8%).

 

The Jobs Situation Now Versus a Year Ago

 

The unemployment rate in mid-February is 0.8 percentage points lower than it was at this time a year ago, compared with a 1.1-point improvement at the end of January. This suggests that jobs are less available now than they were in January.

 

More troubling, however, is the surge in underemployment. On this broader basis, current job conditions are barely improved from what they were at this time last year. Essentially, what has happened over the past year is that some people who were unemployed got part-time jobs but are still looking for full-time work. This is not much to show for a year in which many macro-economic indicators showed improvement.

 

This is likely why Gallup’s self-reported spending remains stuck in “new normal” even as consumer optimism continues to hit new highs. Jobs remain the key to getting the U.S. economy moving, and mid-February underemployment results suggest little or no progress is being made in that regard.

 

From:  http://www.gallup.com/poll/146147/Gallup-Finds-Unemployment-Mid-February.aspx

 


Thanks, Obama! U.S. Consumer Prices, Jobless Claims Both Rising…

February 17, 2011

Rising global demand for food and fuel pushed up the U.S. cost of living more than forecast in January. The consumer-price index advanced 0.4 percent for a second month, led by the biggest increase in food costs in more than two years, according to figures today from the Labor Department in Washington.

Americans are paying more for air travel and clothing as growing economies in Asia and Latin America boost demand for commodities like oil and cotton.

Another report today showing more people than projected filed claims for jobless benefits last week indicates workers don’t have the power to seek bigger pay increases, evidence inflation is unlikely to flare.

From: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-17/consumer-prices-in-u-s-rise-more-than-forecast-on-higher-food-fuel-costs.html


Visualizing Obama’s “Budget Cuts”

February 17, 2011

Here’s why Obama’s recent promise to cut $100,000,000 from the budget in 90 days, amounts to doodley-squat. It’s an insult to our intelligence. But then, he’s been insulting us from the day he first took office, hasn’t he?


Obama’s HHS Is Bigger Than LBJ’s Entire Government

February 16, 2011

Anyone who doubts that the trend toward socialism is pushing America toward ruin should examine the historical tables President Obama published Monday along with his $3.7 trillion budget.

 

In fiscal 2011, according to these tables, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will spend $909.7 billion. In fiscal 1965, during the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, the entire federal government spent $118.2 billion.

 

1965 was a key year in the advancement of socialism in the United States.

 

From 1776 until 1965, Americans generally did not rely on the federal government for health care unless they served in the military or worked in some other capacity for the federal government.

 

But in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson and a Democratic Congress enacted two massive federal entitlement programs — Medicare and Medicaid — that fundamentally altered the relationship between Americans and the federal government by making tens of millions dependent on the government for health care.

 

Prior to 1937, the Supreme Court correctly understood the Constitution to deny the federal government any power to create and operate social-welfare programs. The Constitution held no such enumerated power, and the 10th Amendment left powers not enumerated to the states and the people.

 

From George Washington’s administration to Franklin Roosevelt’s, Americans took care of themselves and their own communities without resorting to federal handouts.

 

From:  http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/article/jeffrey-socialisms-trajectory-obamas-hhs

 

 

 


Thanks, Obama! Debt Now Equals Total U.S. Economy

February 15, 2011

President Obama projects that the gross federal debt will top $15 trillion this year, officially equalling the size of the entire U.S. economy, and will jump to nearly $21 trillion in five years’ time.

 

Amid the other staggering numbers in the budget Mr. Obama sent to Congress on Monday, the debt stands out — both because Congress will need to vote to raise the debt limit later this year, and because the numbers are so large.

 

Mr. Obama‘s budget said 2011 will see the biggest one-year jump in debt in history, or nearly $2 trillion in a single year. And the administration says it will reach $15.476 trillion by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, to reach 102.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) — the first time since World War II that dubious figure has been reached.

 

In one often-cited study, two economists have argued that when gross debt passes 90 percent it hinders overall economic growth.

 

The president’s budget said debt as a percentage of GDP will top out at 106 percent in 2013, but only if the economy booms.

 

“I still don’t see a sense of urgency from the president about the massive federal debt,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican. “His budget calls for too much government borrowing – even though the debt is already at a level that makes it harder to create private-sector jobs.”  


Thanks, Obama! New Budget is $1.5 Trillion Tax Hike Over 10 Years!

February 14, 2011

President Obama released his budget this morning.  Rather than focusing on Washington’s over-spending problem, the budget calls for higher taxes on families and small businesses to pay for even more government spending. 

 

Under the Obama budget, tax revenues will grow from 14.4% of GDP in 2011 to 20% of GDP in 2021.  By comparison, the historical average is only 18% of GDP.

 

Tax hike lowlights include:

 

•Raising the top marginal income tax rate (at which a majority of small business profits face taxation) from 35% to 39.6%.  This is a $709 billion/10 year tax hike

 

•Raising the capital gains and dividends rate from 15% to 20%

 

•Raising the death tax rate from 35% to 45% and lowering the death tax exemption amount from $5 million ($10 million for couples) to $3.5 million.  This is a $98 billion/ten year tax hike

 

•Capping the value of itemized deductions at the 28% bracket rate.  This will effectively cut tax deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions, property taxes, state and local income or sales taxes, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and unreimbursed employee business expenses.  A new means-tested phaseout of itemized deductions limits them even more.  This is a $321 billion/ten year tax hike

 

•New bank taxes totaling $33 billion over ten years

 

•New international corporate tax hikes totaling $129 billion over ten years

 

•New life insurance company taxes totaling $14 billion over ten years

 

•Massive new taxes on energy, including LIFO repeal, Superfund, domestic energy manufacturing, and many others totaling $120 billion over ten years

 

•Increasing unemployment payroll taxes by $15 billion over ten years

 

•Taxing management capital gains in an investment partnership (“carried interest”) as ordinary income.  This is a tax hike of $15 billion over ten years

 

•A giveaway to the trial lawyers—not letting companies deduct the cost of punitive damages from a lawsuit settlement.  This is a tax hike of $300 million over ten years

 

•Increasing tax penalties, information reporting, and IRS information sharing.  This is a ten-year tax hike of $20 billion.

 

Add it all together, and this budget is a ten-year, $1.5 trillion tax hike over present law.  That’s $1.5 trillion taken out of the economy and spent on government instead of being used to create jobs.

 

The “tax relief” in the budget is mostly just an extension of present law, and also some refundable credit outlay spending in the tax code.  There is virtually no new tax relief relative to present law in the President’s budget.

 

From:  http://www.atr.org/obamas-fy-budgetbr-taxes-more-a5844#


Thanks, Obama! Deficit to Spike to $1.65 Trillion

February 14, 2011

The White House projected Monday that the federal deficit would spike to $1.65 trillion in the current fiscal year, the largest dollar amount ever, adding pressure on Democrats and Republicans to tackle growing levels of debt.

 

The new estimate is part of Mr. Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2012, which becomes public Monday morning.

 

Mr. Obama is proposing $3.73 trillion in government spending in the next fiscal year.

 

At $1.65 trillion, the administration’s projection for the 2011 deficit is significantly larger than the $1.48 trillion estimated by the non-\partisan Congressional Budget Office a few weeks ago. In fiscal year 2010, the deficit was $1.29 trillion.

 

From:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703361904576143253522341850.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories