Occupy Wall Street
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.
In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family.
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.”
“The most concerning thing, I think, is the use of taxpayer funds to actually abet his re-election,” Gray, who worked in the Eisenhower administration and for other Republican presidents, said in an interview with TheDC on Wednesday.
“The press has been so slow in picking up on this extraordinary increase in the president’s expenses,” Gray told TheDC.
Specifically, Gray said taxpayer dollars are subsidizing Obama’s re-election effort when he uses Air Force One to jet across the country campaigning.
When the trip is deemed political, it’s customary for the president to pay the equivalent of a first class commercial ticket for certain passengers. But Gray says that hardly covers the taxpayer cost of flying the president and his staffers around on Air Force One.
“When the United States’ billion-dollar air armada is being used politically, is it fair to taxpayers that we only be reimbursed by the president’s campaign committee for the value of one first-class commercial ticket for each passenger who is deemed aboard ‘for political purposes?’” Gray asks in the book.
“And is that bargain-price advantage fair to those opposing an incumbent president?”
In the book, Gray admits Americans want their president to be safe and comfortable but argues the system should be reformed to stop the amount of unquestioned perks given to the president.
“There is no mechanism for anyone’s objection if a president were to pay his chief of staff $5,000,000 a year,” he told TheDC. “And nothing but a president’s conscience can dissuade him from buying his own reelection with use of some public money.”
Aside from a salary, the president gets a $50,000 a year expense account, a $100,000 travel account, $19,000 entertainment budget and an additional million for “unanticipated needs,” he notes.
Here is a sample of other pricey taxpayer funded perks exclusively reserved for the president:
The president can to appoint high-paid staffers without Senate confirmation: Obama has 469 senior staffers and 226 are paid more than $100,000 a year, according to the book. Seventy-seven are paid as much as $172,000 per year. He also has appointed 43 “czars.”
The president can vacation for free at Camp David: Gray writes that each round trip made to Camp David costs the taxpayers $25,350. It’s also estimated that the combined transportation and personnel costs for a Camp David visit are $295,000 per night.
The president has a full-time movie projectionist in the White House theater: Projectionists sleep at the White House and are there 24 hours a day in case anyone needs to see a movie. “Compared to the 450 times President Carter used the movie theater in his four years in the White House, the average American citizen, according to industry statistics, goes out to see a movie slightly less than five times a year,” Gray writes.
The president’s family’s gets certain travel and security expenses paid while vacationing: “First Lady Michelle Obama drew flack from the media and irate citizens when it was disclosed that, not counting Saturdays and Sundays, she spent 42 days on vacation — within the span of one year.”
The president’s dog gets its own high-paid staffer: “Bo made the news when he and his handler were flown to join the president on vacation in Maine,” Gray wrote about the Obama family dog. “It has been reported that the first family’s dog handler was paid $102,000, last year.” source – Daily Caller
An NTEB NEWS EXCLUSIVE…
CLICK HERE to read all our Chick-fil-a related stories
This is a developing story…
Now The End Begins has seen a leaked memo from a high-ranking Chick-Fil-A source outlining that the LGBT Chick-Fil-A protesters in some states are planning on “hijacking” the dining rooms and drive-thru lanes of the restaurants and staging a “sit-in” on August 1 instead of their planned “same sex kiss-a-thon” on Friday August 3rd.
It is rumored that the Occupy Movement will be joining the LGBT.
Police departments are now being notified and preparing to deal with the protesters in case it turns violent. So if you are planning on going to Chick-fil-a tomorrow to support them, be ready for anything…
The “Doo Doo Economics Blog” is reporting that shooting suspect James Holmes, of Aurora Colorado, is a former member of the Occupy San Diego group. Holmes was born and San Diego and has family there, and a Florida private investigator cited by the blog links Holes to the Occupy San Diego group. That investigator, Bill Warner, reports Holmes today on his web blog with this title, “Occupy Black Bloc Member James Holmes Shoots Up Aurora Co Movie Theater Killing 12 And Wounding 50.”
Earlier today on ABC News coverage of the tragedy, Brian Ross has speculated that another man named James Holmes listed on a local Tea Party site was possibly the suspected shooter.
The author of the Doo Doo Economics Blog cites Holmes as a member of the “black block” faction of the Occupy movement who left the group allegedly because it was not radical enough for him.
The blog also shows screen shots from a site allegedly connected to Holmes who warned that he would kill everyone at the opening of the Batman movie in Colorado. source – Examiner
Obama’s view on the rioters: “Obama said the most important thing he can do as president is express solidarity with the protesters and redouble his commitment to achieving what he described as a more egalitarian society.” source – ABC News
Peaceful youth movement for change?
A day that is expected to be filled with anti-establishment protests all around the globe began early last night with a roving band of “anarchists” smashing car windows and store fronts in San Francisco’s Mission District. The mini-riot (which was technically on April 30, but still) may have started as a “ruckus street party” organized by Occupy Oakland protesters who invaded their sister city last night, but whoever was responsible appeared to show little regard for the property of either the 1% or the other 99.
Various witness accounts say a group of between 50 and 100 people moved down Valencia St. smashing windows, throwing paint balls, and even attacking an unsuspecting police station.
The cops were apparently not prepared to make mass arrests and were slow to respond to the chaos, though it quickly broke up. The blog, Mission Local, has a good round up of the scene from last night.
Tensions are likely to be pretty high, especially in New York City, were some leading organizers were reportedly visited at home by New York police and FBI agents yesterday who interviewed them about their plans. (The high temperatures and 80% chance of rain won’t help either.)
It remains to be seen if other May Day events will encounter problems like we saw in San Francisco last night, but the NYPD is obviously expecting some trouble and will likely be better prepared for it than most police forces.
Anarchists or no anarchists, we’ve all seen how quickly a peaceful protest can turn violent. source – Yahoo News
The OWS bottom-feeders planning yet another attack against hard working Americans
Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, whose anti-greed message spread worldwide during an eight-week encampment in Lower Manhattan last year, plan marches across the globe tomorrow calling attention to what they say are abuses of power and wealth.
Organizers say they hope the coordinated events will mark a spring resurgence of the movement after a quiet winter. Calls for a general strike with no work, no school, no banking and no shopping have sprung up on websites in Toronto, Barcelona, London, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, among hundreds of cities in North America, Europe and Asia.
In New York, Occupy Wall Street will join scores of labor organizations observing May 1, traditionally recognized as International Workers’ Day. They plan marches from Union Square to Lower Manhattan and a “pop-up occupation” of Bryant Park on Sixth Avenue, across the street from Bank of America’s Corp.’s 55-story tower.
“We call upon people to refrain from shopping, walk out of class, take the day off of work and other creative forms of resistance disrupting the status quo,” organizers said in an April 26 e-mail.
Occupy groups across the U.S. have protested economic disparity, decrying high foreclosure and unemployment rates that hurt average Americans while bankers and financial executives received bonuses and taxpayer-funded bailouts. In the past six months, similar groups, using social media and other tools, have sprung up in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
The Occupy movement in New York has relied on demonstrations and marches around the city since Nov. 15, when police ousted hundreds of protesters from their headquarters in Zuccotti Park near Wall Street, where they had camped since Sept. 17.
Banks have pooled resources and cooperated to gather intelligence after learning of plans to picket 99 institutions and companies, followed by what organizers have described as an 8 p.m. “radical after-party” in an undetermined Financial District location.
“If the banks anticipate outrage from everyday citizens, it’s revealing of their own guilt,” said Shane Patrick, a member of the Occupy Wall Street press team. “If they hadn’t been participating in maneuvers that sent the economy into the ditch, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”
New York police can handle picketers, according to Paul Browne, the department’s chief spokesman. “We’re experienced at accommodating lawful protests and responding appropriately to anyone who engages in unlawful activity, and we’re prepared to do both,” he said in an interview.
About 2,100 Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York have been arrested since the demonstrations began, said Bill Dobbs, a member of the group’s media-relations team.
Organizers describe the May Day events as a coming together of the Occupy movement, with activists also calling for more open immigration laws, expanded labor rights and cheaper financing for higher education. Financial institutions remain a primary target of the protests.
“Four years after the financial crisis, not a single of the too-big-to-fail banks is smaller; in fact, they all continue to grow in size and risk,” the group’s press office said in an April 26 e-mail.
Planning Since January
Five banks — JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America, Citigroup Inc. (C), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) together held $8.5 trillion in assets at the end of 2011, equal to 56 percent of the U.S. economy, compared with 43 percent in 2006, according to central bankers at the Federal Reserve.
Occupy Wall Street began planning for May Day in January, meeting in churches and union halls with a decision-making system that avoids a single leader. Instead, participants rely on group “break-out” sessions in which clusters discuss such tasks as crowd-building, logistics and communications.
About 150 attended an April 25 meeting at the Greenwich Village headquarters of the Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union, making last-minute preparations for how to deploy legal and medical help; site selection for picketing; purchasing, production and distribution of protest signs; and how to talk to reporters.
The meeting convened inside the union hall basement, where attendees arranged chairs in a circle as three facilitators asked each of the assembled to identify themselves by first name and gender — he, she or they. Most appeared under age 30, though gray-haired baby boomers also participated. One of the older attendees pulled a ski mask over his head to protest the presence of a photographer from Tokyo.
Tom Morello of the Grammy Award-winning rock band Rage Against the Machine along with 1,000 other guitar-playing musicians will accompany a march to Union Square at 2 p.m., according to the maydaynyc.org website. That will be followed by a “unity rally” at Union Square at 4 p.m.; a march from there to Wall Street at 5:30 p.m.; and a walk to a staging area for “evening actions,” which organizers at the April 25 meeting said would be the so-called after-party.
Golden Gate Bridge
Occupy-related events are planned in 115 cities throughout the U.S., from college towns such as Amherst, Massachusetts, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Across the bay in Oakland, protesters said they intend morning marches on banks and the Chamber of Commerce, followed by an afternoon rally and a march downtown.
“We’re looking forward to vigorously asserting our constitutional right to protest and giving a loud outcry about Wall Street and greed,” Dobbs said. “We’re hoping this will make a splash. We hope it will bring a lot of more people into the Occupy movement.” source – Bloomberg
Applying the Abrahamic curse
“I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you…” Genesis 12:3
Tehran, Iran – Present among the invited guests at an anti-Zionist Occupy Wall Street conference in Iran was the President of the Christian Research Institute, and star of the Bible Answerman radio show, Hank Hanegraaff.
From John McTernan’s INSIGHTS: Notice how the OWS crowd is now against Israel. All the trouble in the world is caused by the Zionists! Obama endorsed this movement. This is the Hard Left married to the Islamists and in bed with them. It did not take long for them to merge. Please pay close attention, that in the video is Hank Hanegraaff! He is now a full blown apostate.
He hates Israel and is now 100 percent against the prophetic word. The God of Israel has merged him with the Hard Left and Islam. Just listen to his own words. This is happening to all “Christians” who are against God’s prophetic word. They will be merged with the God-haters and Hanegraaff is a warning to what will happen. source – INSIGHTS
“Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.” Psalm 129:5
Occupy Oakland demonstrators plan to hold a major “unwelcoming” of Israeli President Shimon Peres Tuesday during his visit to a San Francisco synagogue.
“Israeli President Shimon Peres will come to Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco to give a talk titled ‘Israel and the Jewish People: A Vision of Tomorrow,’” Occupy Oakland announced in a post on its website Sunday. “In light of this theme, we want to show Peres what our vision of tomorrow would look like by warmly greeting him with a mass protest against apartheid outside of the temple.”
Peres, Occupy Oakland charges, has “signed into law racist and colonialist legislation” and “a series of laws and amendments disenfranchising and ethnically cleansing Palestinians from their land” The group also blasts him for including former President George W. Bush, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Ruport Murdoch and Henry Kissinger in his annual Israeli Presidential Conference, calling them “guilty of collaboration with the apartheid regime”:
Shimon Peres serves the wealthy colonial elite and the settler state of Israel. Peres tours the world speaking on behalf of Jewish people, co-opting the history of the Holocaust. At the same time, he has on his conscience a massive arms trade and racist laws which advance the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinian peoples. His very presence at a synagogue in San Francisco normalizes settler colonialism here and in Israel, connecting two settler states in the name of Judaism and an imperial and colonial “vision of tomorrow.”
To contest the normalization and cultural violence of this event, a number of Bay Area activists, including the proposers, are organizing a protest outside of the synagogue on March 6, 2012 at 6:30 PM. This proposal does not seek to create a formal Occupy Oakland working group, but does not oppose this, and will participate if one is formed.
We ask Occupy Oakland to take a stand against apartheid and settler colonialism by endorsing, participating in, and helping plan this action. We hope Occupy Oakland will help think up and enact creative ways for us to show Peres that he is not welcome to promote apartheid and colonialism in the already colonized Bay Area.
The group’s announcement ended with a note of caution, saying: “organizers of this demonstration are committed to anti-oppression principles and will not be represented by any oppressive language or behavior at the demonstration, which includes anti-Jewish racism.” source – The Blaze