Archive for 01/29/2010

Speaker’s trips ‘are more about partying than anything else’


Posted: January 29, 2010
12:20 am Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily


Part of the tab for alcoholic drinks on a congressional trip arranged by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

It reads like a dream order for a wild frat party: Maker’s Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey’s Irish Crème, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewars scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey … and Corona beer.

But that single receipt makes up just part of the more than $101,000 taxpayers paid for “in-flight services” – including food and liquor, for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trips on Air Force jets over the last two years. That’s almost $1,000 per week.

Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Judicial Watch, which investigates and prosecutes government corruption, show Pelosi incurred expenses of some $2.1 million for her use of Air Force jets for travel over that time.

“Speaker Pelosi has a history of wasting taxpayer funds with her boorish demands for military travel,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said today. “And these documents suggest the Speaker’s congressional delegations are more about partying than anything else.”

Pelosi, D-Calif., recently joined President Obama on a Judicial Watch list of Top 10 corrupt politicians because of her “sense of entitlement,” the group said.

“Politicians believe laws and rules (even the U.S. Constitution) apply to the rest of us but not to them. Case in point: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her excessive and boorish demands for military travel. Judicial Watch obtained documents from the Pentagon in 2008 that suggest Pelosi has been treating the Air Force like her own personal airline,” the evaluation said.

And WND reported almost a year ago that Pelosi was shown to have been erratically canceling and rescheduling flights, as one would with an on-call taxi service.

Do the tone-deaf lawmakers in D.C. make your blood boil? Read all about Washington and its politics of corruption in “Breach of Trust.”

“We have … folks prepping the jets and crews driving in (not a short drive for some), cooking meals and preflighting the jets etc,” said one Department of Defense e-mail then.

Another official sent an e-mail questioning a series of Pelosi’s requests for aircraft.

“Any chance of politely querying [Pelosi’s team] if they really intend to do all of these or are they just picking every weekend?” it stated. “[T]here’s no need to block every weekend ‘just in case’…”

The e-mail noted that the speaker’s office had “a history of canceling many of their past requests.”

Yet another e-mail exchange at that time revealed Pelosi’s demand that jets pick her up at Travis Air Force Base rather than San Francisco’s airport.

“She lives about 1.5 hours from SFO and much closer to Travis. … Whether it is the best use of assets is not the question. But instead is it worth upsetting the speaker. …”

Said another, “This is a battle that we are bound to lose if we tell the speaker(‘s) office. In the end, this is what will happen. I wish that I could say this is a one-time request, but we know it will probably happen again in the future.”

Yet another indicated a deep level of frustration:

“Here is the laydown: there are five G5s. Two are broke. Two off on CODELS. One slated for priority White House… we should keep on G-III for now for Tuesday afternoon and start sacrificing goats and chickens.”

Judicial Watch said the newly obtained 2,000 pages of documentation show Pelosi’s military travel cost the U.S. Air Force $2,100,744.59 over two years – including $101,429.14 for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol.

Among the newest highlights revealed:

  • Pelosi used Air Force aircraft to travel back to her district at an average cost of $28,210.51 per flight. Of 103 Pelosi-led congressional delegations (CODEL), 31 trips included members of the House speaker’s family.
  • One CODEL traveling from Washington, D.C., through Tel Aviv, Israel, to Baghdad, Iraq, May 15-20, 2008, “to discuss matters of mutual concern with government leaders” included members of Congress and their spouses and cost $17,931 per hour in aircraft alone. This flight included the purchase of the long list of alcoholic drinks.
  • According to a “Memo for Record” from a March 29-April 7, 2007, CODEL that involved a stop in Israel, “CODEL could only bring kosher items into the hotel. Kosher alcohol for mixing beverages in the delegation room was purchased on the local economy i.e. bourbon, whiskey, scotch, vodka, gin, triple sec, tequila, etc.

Pelosi’s office could not be reached for comment. The answering machine said the office would be closed until Monday, and the mailbox was full, so no messages could be left.

Judicial Watch Inc. describes itself as a constitutionally conservative, nonpartisan educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

One News Now

Chad Groening – 1/29/2010 6:00:00 AM//

IllinoisA Republican candidate for the governor of Illinois has received a great deal of support from the Tea Party movement in the Land of Lincoln, and he believes he can defeat any Democrat in the fall election if he can win a tough primary battle next Tuesday.

Illinois Tea Party organizers across the state recently held candidate debates, voter information meetings, and other events in an effort to support conservative candidates. While the Illinois Tea Party does not officially endorse candidates, a straw poll involving Tea Party organizers across the state showed results that strongly favored Adam Andrzejewski for governor. He says he wants to take on the political insiders.

Adam Andrzejewski“I’m running for governor as a private citizen,” Andrzejewski reports. “I’m the one outsider against five insiders. They all have a hundred years of Illinois political experience. It’s the experience of failure; it’s the experience of political baggage. And look, I don’t have that baggage. I can win and I can beat that Chicago patronage Democrat.”

The candidate adds that a high-profile figure is expected to attend some campaign rallies on his behalf.

“I’ve got Lech Walesa from Poland: Nobel Peace Prize winner, founder of the Solidarity Trade Union,” Andrzejewski says. “He last, as far as we know, campaigned for Ronald Reagan when Ronald Reagan was running for re-election as president, and Ronald Reagan called Lech Walesa ‘my precinct committee man.’ It is [a] humbling and heart-warming experience that Lech wants to come to Illinois and pitch in.”

The candidate adds that he is inspired by Republican Scott Brown who won last week’s Senate race in Massachusetts. Like Scott, he has also been driving a truck while campaigning across Illinois.

FACT CHECK: Obama and the ‘hatchet’ job

Posted: 01/29/2010 by Lynn Dartez in Obmamaaaaa File

ONE News Now

Calvin Woodward- Associated Press – 1/27/2010 8:45:00 PM//

Associated Press smallWASHINGTON – President Barack Obama, who once considered government spending freezes a hatchet job, told Americans on Wednesday it’s now part of his solution to the exploding deficit. He didn’t explain what had changed. His State of the Union speech skipped over a variety of complex realities in laying out a “commonsense” call to action. A look at some of his claims and how they compare with the facts:

OBAMA: “Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will. Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don’t.”

THE FACTS: The anticipated savings from this proposal would amount to less than one percent of the deficit — and that’s if the president can persuade Congress to go along. Obama is a convert to the cause of broad spending freezes. In the presidential campaign, he criticized Republican opponent John McCain for suggesting one. “The problem with a spending freeze is you’re using a hatchet where you need a scalpel,” he said a month before the election. Now, Obama wants domestic spending held steady in most areas where the government can control year to year costs. The proposal is similar to McCain’s.

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OBAMA: “I’ve called for a bipartisan fiscal commission, modeled on a proposal by Republican Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad. This can’t be one of those Washington gimmicks that lets us pretend we solved a problem. The commission will have to provide a specific set of solutions by a certain deadline. Yesterday, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created this commission. So I will issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans.”

THE FACTS: Any commission that Obama creates would be a weak substitute for what he really wanted — a commission created by Congress that could force lawmakers to consider unpopular remedies to reduce the debt, including curbing politically sensitive entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. That idea crashed in the Senate this week, defeated by equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. Any commission set up by Obama alone would lack authority to force its recommendations before Congress, and would stand almost no chance of success.

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OBAMA: The president issued a populist broadside against lobbyists, saying they have “outsized influence” over the government. He said his administration has “excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs.” He also said it’s time to “require lobbyists to disclose each contact they make on behalf of a client with my administration or Congress” and “to put strict limits on the contributions that lobbyists give to candidates for federal office.”

THE FACTS: Obama has limited the hiring of lobbyists for administration jobs, but the ban isn’t absolute; seven waivers from the ban have been granted to White House officials alone. Getting lobbyists to report every contact they make with the federal government would be difficult at best; Congress would have to change the law, and that’s unlikely to happen. And lobbyists already are subject to strict limits on political giving. Just like every other American, they’re limited to giving $2,400 per election to federal candidates, with an overall ceiling of $115,500 every two years.

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OBAMA: He called for action by the White House and Congress “to do our work openly, and to give our people the government they deserve.”

THE FACTS: Obama skipped past a broken promise from his campaign — to have the negotiations for healthcare legislation broadcast on C-SPAN “so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.” Instead, Democrats in the White House and Congress have conducted the usual private negotiations, making multibillion-dollar deals with hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and other stakeholders behind closed doors. Nor has Obama lived up consistently to his pledge to ensure that legislation is posted online for five days before it’s acted upon.