Living Like Royalty, Michelle O Waves Goodbye To How Much Of Our Money At Overseas Resort?

Image Credit: Fashion Bomb Daily

Ten days ago, Western Journalism reported on the first lady’s free-flowing use of public money as she lives the incredibly good life during foreign excursions loosely billed as official visits.

In Japan earlier this month to promote a pet educational initiative called “Let Girls Learn,” Mrs. Obama ran up a tab of nearly $80,000 for a fleet of rental cars to carry her and her massive entourage to destinations such as the shrine of a Japanaese rice god.

Now, continuing her Asian tour on behalf of “Let Girls Learn,” the first lady has racked up a huge hotel bill for a brief trip to Cambodia.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that a check of government contracts reveals that Michelle and a delegation of U.S. government officials were booked into luxurious accommodations that cost American taxpayers close to a quarter-million dollars.

“Hotel accommodations for First Lady Michelle Obama’s two-day trip to Cambodia required 85 rooms and cost taxpayers $242,500.”

No run-of-the-mill resort, the Sofitel destination secured by the first lady’s travel planners was an spectacular five-star facility featuring its own golf course and “the largest free form swimming pool in Cambodia.”

In case you’re wondering where Michelle and entourage stayed, here are a few photos to help you picture the surroundings in which the first lady found herself for those two days in Cambodia.

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And how did Mrs. Obama spend her “official” time away from the resort in furtherance of the global campaign to expand educational opportunities for girls?

Mrs. Obama spent 21 minutes talking with a group of 10 female students at Hun Sen Bakorng High School, according to a White House transcript on March 21. She then went back to the hotel to speak at Peace Corps Training Round Table for 12 minutes.

Given Michelle’s reported 33 minutes in meetings on behalf of the education initiative, a little quick math shows that — considering just the $242,500 bill for accommodations — support for the first lady’s presentation in Cambodia cost U.S. taxpayers some $7,350 a minute.

Meanwhile, her husband presides over a federal government budget that has added $7.5 trillion in debt during his presidency.

Photo credit: SOFITEL ANGKOR PHOKEETHRA GOLF AND SPA RESORT HOTEL

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Controversy Budding Over White House Decision To Cut Chief Florist

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Renowned White House Chief Florist Laura Dowling left her position on the eve of Valentine’s Day last month, and the reason for her departure is not clear. The Washington Post reports that there is still no official statement concerning what precipitated her unexpected exodus, but sources say she was escorted from the building on February 13.

When the Post inquired with the first lady’s office, it received a terse reply: “Laura left her position earlier this year.” A short time later, the East Wing sent a slightly longer statement:

As Chief Florist, Laura Dowling and her team treated guests of the White House to their beautiful floral arrangements. Ms. Dowling’s creations were always lively and colorful, reflecting not only the season but the unique and historic rooms which they graced. No two arrangements were ever the same and each one left guests with a lasting impression of the elegance and history of the People’s House. We are grateful for her contribution over the years and wish her well.

Ms. Dowling released a statement through her attorney, published earlier this week:

After almost 6 years as Chief Floral Designer at the White House, I have resigned in order to pursue exciting new opportunities and explore my passion for floral artistry and design. Over the next few weeks and months, I’ll be launching a new platform for my work as an author, speaker, instructor and design consultant that builds on the creative ideas and partnerships I’ve formed during my tenure there. It’s been such an honor to work at the White House and I will always be grateful for this incredible opportunity.

Dowling, a French-trained designer, had won her position as top florist in 2009 in a reality TV-style competition and had served in the White House since that time. She succeeded Nancy Clarke, who had been the chief florist for three decades.

The Post noted the contrast between Dowling’s no-fanfare/secret departure with that of other White House staff, like the “crust master” (the president’s words) pastry chef, Bill Yosses, and the family’s personal chef, Sam Kass, whom the president said ”left an indelible mark on the White House.” Mrs. Obama also wished Kass well in his future endeavors in the official White House statement.

The lack of comment by either of the Obamas regarding Ms. Dowling’s departure has caused rampant speculation as to the reason, with many concluding the first lady made the call.

The Post published a follow-up story Tuesday indicating that the first lady and Dowling clashed over matters of taste, with Mrs. Obama no longer liking the chief florist’s “fussy style.”

BizPac Review noted the similarity of the White House statement concerning Dowling’s departure with the language corporations use when they fire someone and do not want the public to know it. Couple that with Ms. Dowling sending her statement through a K Street attorney and a budding, true life, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue drama is in the offing.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Michelle Obama Now Mandating Daycare Centers Weigh Kids

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Western Journalism has extensively covered the overwhelmingly negative reaction to Michelle Obama’s activism regarding public school nutrition standards. After backing 2010’s Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, she championed the regulations therein that forced schools to offer more expensive – and less palatable – cafeteria choices.

Students panned the new lunches as inedible and inadequate, while school administrators lamented the added costs. Despite the loss of federal funding that accompanies such a decision, numerous districts across the nation have opted out of the guidelines in favor of offering kids healthy food that they might actually eat.

Recent reports indicate a complete overhaul of school nutrition standards is not the only notable mandate included in Obama’s pet legislation. In accordance with the law’s requirement that childcare facilities compile data on those kids under their supervision, a substantial cross-section of these young enrollees will be subjected to weight and height analysis.

A notification distributed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture asserted that children in such facilities “will be asked to cooperate with study staff who will weigh and measure them for the Standing Height and Weight Form.”

Though the initial study will analyze results from about 3,000 of the approximately 30 million kids currently enrolled in daycare, plenty of critics see this as just a first step toward even more invasive data mining.

“Stop the Tyranny!” one Twitter user wrote in response to the story.

Others suggested Obama lead by example.

“Won’t see her on the scale with that big butt,” one comment stated.

Share this article on Facebook if you oppose the nutrition mandates supported by Michelle Obama.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

NO JOKE: Michelle O’s Rental Car Fleet For Her Jaunt To Shrine Of Rice God Is Costing…WHAT?

Image Credit: Yahoo! News

America’s first lady has never been known as a frugal lady. Michelle Obama’s spending habits — lavish spending that relies on U.S. taxpayers’ generous giving — have frequently been the subject of criticism, especially when the tab for Mrs. Obama’s vacations is delivered to…you know who.

While some of the first lady’s trips have been called “official visits,” many critics still consider them rather glorious getaways because of their reported extravagance befitting an international celebrity with a love of the good life.

For instance, as The Daily Caller noted in April of last year, Michelle’s short trip to Ireland with her two daughters and their entourage set the government (taxpayers) back nearly $8 million, including more than $7.5 million in flights.

Plus, “the total cost for ‘security and/or other services’ for a side trip to Dublin by Michelle Obama and her entourage was $251,161.86. That total included $55,004.85 spent at the Shelbourne Hotel and $70,855.44 at the Westbury Hotel.”

Of course, when the president tags along, one can understand the price tag for a really, really good time might plump up a bit, especially for air travel aboard those big, expensive government planes.

Again, as DC watchdogs revealed via The Daily Caller, there were “the $1,164,268.60 in flight expenses for the first family’s vacation to Martha’s Vineyard in 2013, the $8,104,224 in flight expenses for their 2013 official trip to Africa and $7,781,361.30 for their 2013-2014 Christmas vacation to Honolulu.”

So, considering the Obamas’ track record for freely spending public money on private enjoyment — or, generously speaking, semi-public PR appearances — the sticker shock for a just-disclosed expense might not be all that jolting.

The Washington Free Beacon reveals that First Lady Michelle Obama’s current trip to Japan includes a visit to a sacred site called Fushimi Inari Sinto, a shrine dedicated to a god of rice. Rice, of course, is extremely important in the Japanese diet; so Mrs. Obama’s checking out the god of that staple would seem, well, diplomatic.

Also in the Japanese city of Kyoto, Mrs. Obama is stopping by a Buddhist Temple and greeting staff from a U.S. consulate. According to a government contract for ground transportation for the first lady, reports the Free Beacon, taxpayers will be hit for a cool $78,741.00 to see to it that Mrs. Obama and her crew are able to get around for all those appearances.

Yes, Michelle’s official fleet of rental cars for her Kyoto excursion is costing nearly $80,000.00.

So that the American people understand that this is more than a pure pleasure trip for the globe-trotting first lady, the White House is quick to point out that Mrs. Obama is in Japan promoting an educational initiative called “Let Girls Learn.”

Naturally, one is inclined to wonder if that learning includes a course on traveling on a budget…or possibly secrets of enjoying a luxury getaway while somebody else pays for it.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

First Lady Michelle Obama Complains That Living In The White House Is Hard

Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama joined Ellen DeGeneres on her show and opened up about what she missed most about “normal life”–and described the “hard life” she endures living in the White House.

“The one thing people don’t realize is, we can’t do little things like open windows,” she said on Ellen.

Obama explained that she had to learn how to live in the White House because, at first, it was “like drinking from a fire hydrant.”

Social media is in an uproar following her comments:

Facebook/ Larry Larkin

Facebook/ Larry Larkin

Facebook/ Jacqui Isensee

Facebook/ Jacqui Isensee

Facebook/ Barry Levy

Facebook/ Barry Levy

Facebook/ Clara Woodall

Facebook/ Clara Woodall

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Facebook/ Steve Muckler

h/t: Gateway Pundit

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom