A Night In New York

There’s a long list of reasons why the Republicans are no longer seen as a serious political party by a growing number of people. One of these is that they tend to pick the most inane things to make a big deal of. Now they are upset about Barack Obama taking his wife out for an evening in Manhattan–something which I love to do whenever I get the chance.

The last Republican president lied us into a war, undermined our national security, disgraced our country by resorting to torture, interfered with stem cell research, and wrecked the economy.

Barack Obama had took a night off in New York City and they really think anyone is going to be upset.

It gets even worse. Republicans tried to get people to oppose Obama and back them because, for one evening, Obama did something which was somewhat (but hardly extraordinary) extravagant.  For Republicans to  make such an argument takes about as much chutzpah as for them to attack a Democratic nominee with claims of racism.

Update: One commenter complains about the money spent to travel on Air Force One and wrote, “You give up your personal life once you become the president and he knew it.” My response:

When you complain about Obama spending the money on Air Force One, do you realize that it is by definition impossible for him to do anything different when he flies? The airplane which the president is on is always designated Air Force One.  He did actually save the taxpayers money by going on a smaller plane than the plane usually used as Air Force One since it was such a brief trip.

If you don’t believe a president should have any personal life, what do you think of George Bush, who broke new records for taking vacations while in office?

At least a night in New York will not prevent Obama from performing the necessary duties of office.  In contrast, while George Bush was on vacation he ignored a critical daily intelligence brief which warned that al Queda was planning an attack using airplanes.

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27 Comments

  1. 1
    Christoher Skyi says:

    Well, he and Michelle saw a superbly directed and acted August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.”  It’s been Nominated for 6 Tony Awards. Wlson is the Shakespeare of the 20th century when it comes to the breath and depth of the plays he wrote:

    “The late August Wilson apparently considered Joe Turner’s Come and Gone his “most accomplished play.” Now that Lincoln Center Theater’s revival has opened at Broadway’s Belasco Theater, in a remarkable production directed with boldness by Bartlett Sher and acted by a company unafraid of unleashing outsized emotions, there can be little argument of that statement. Indeed, on the basis of this sympathetically probing treatment, the drama — albeit one packed with abundant comic flourishes — can absolutely be ranked alongside the best pieces of American theater ever written.”
    ~ Reviewed By: David Finkle (www.theatermania.com).

    Also notable is that Bartlett Sher, the director (who won the Tony Award last year for South Pacific)  is the first white director to helm a Wilson play in such a major production — an idea the playwright might not have approved of if he were alive. However, Sher does a masterful job with masterpiece.  The Obama’s, I’m sure, saw and experienced something they will long remember tonight.

  2. 2
    Mike says:

    Obama out on the town- Right again, RNC should not be complaining.  The more hours Obama devotes to his family, the less hours he has to devote to transferring money and power from the private sector to the public sector.  The last Republican president lied us into a war.  I’m sure there was a hundred lies, but please don’t overwhelm me, just give me one to research.  The undermining of our national security was from the left’s  “we want to declare defeat and run away” agenda which I can see now had the effect of emboldening places like N. Korea.   And the wrecking of the economy, yes, I conceed the last president had a hand in that, a hand helping the Democrat controlled congress lead the charge in wrecking the economy.  When does this year’s spending, which dwarfs what already was unprecidented spending of last year, get the credit or blame for the economy?  Answer: anything that happens positive, like a rise in stock prices, it already gets. Anything that gets worse, like higher unemployment, it will never get.  It will just be, oh it would have been even higher had we not spent the money.

  3. 3
    Lucy says:

    The country is trillions of dollars in debt since Obama took office and Obama and wife are flying off to New York with a bevy of photographers, etc. to have a night on the town, along with costing the taxpayers how much?  Why doesn’t  the left wing media add up how much one of these night on the town costs us?  If Obama wants to do this with his own money, fine, but when he’s doing it with taxpayer money, forget it.  You give up your personal life once you become the president and he knew it.  Quit campaigning!!!
     How much is it costing taxpayers to have the Secret Service go into the theater and restaurant and check security?
     How much do these daily trips to sign a bill cost the taxpayers?  I dare any newspaper to add up how much he has spent taking Air Force One on one of these little jaunts!  He can sign bills in the Oval Office like every other president has done.  Isn’t he aware that he finished campaigning six  months ago?
    Wake up America and see how Obama is publicizing himself, while the country is going down the tubes.

  4. 4
    Valerie Lynn says:

    What is wrong with you people? Why are you complaining he went on a date night? Who cares if it was in new york, chicago or washington..it was his date not yours? And the whole night was not paid for with tax payers dollars…every couple needs a date night and when you are the president of the US im sure you need it more than most couples! Give the guy a break he was doing something nice for his wife..maybe if every wife/husband that opens her or his mouth to cry about him having a date night took that same time and effort and went on a date night with there significant other maybe everyone would be a lil happier? I know I took my hubby out to see a movie tonight…and love is in the air here..try spending more time loving life..not hating on others for living there’s!

  5. 5
    Bill Evans says:

    Where were the complaints from the RNC when Bush flew Air Force 1 to his ranch something on the order of 77 times?  Where were the complaints from the RNC when Bush played golf  while ignoring the memos stating that Bin Laden was going to hijack planes and fly them into buildings?  Where were the complaints from the RNC when Bush played hide and seek flying around the country in AF1 while our country was under attack? Where were the complaints from the RNC when Bush played guitar in California while New Orleans was drowing? Where were the complaints from the RNC when Bush admitted to breaking laws via illegal wiretaps and torture tactics? AND Where were the complaints from the RNC when Bush sat by while our economy tanked? The RNC and the Republican Party is nothing more than a joke. 

  6. 6
    Infidel753 says:

    Well, some of them freaked out about him putting mustard on a hamburger.  Their freakout threshold is obviously set so low that I’m surprised the mere thought of a Supreme Court nomination didn’t make their heads explode (or maybe it did).

  7. 7
    jasperjava says:

    Dubya spent about a third of his “presidency” on vacation, but the right-wingnuts are upset that Obama takes part of the weekend off.  At least we know that this President will be back on the job, in the Oval Office, on Monday.

  8. 8
    Pug says:

    The country is trillions of dollars in debt since Obama took office ..

    Our country was in trillions of dollars of debt long before Obama took office.  The trend of huge budget deficits started with the election of Ronald Reagan.  It continued under GHW Bush and GW Bush, with the trend reversed only for a few years under Bill Clinton.  GW Bush left a budget deficit this year of $1.3 trillion, two ongoing wars and economic collapse.

    Republicans never complained about budget deficits until Obama was elected.   Lucy, the country went down the tubes when folks that think like you were in control.  Quit whining about a night at the theatre.  The country told you people to go away.  Get the message.

  9. 9
    Fritz says:

    Pug — some Republicans did.  I dare say a higher percentage than Democrats complaining about the much higher deficit under Obama.  And the wing of the Democratic Party that was interested in fiscal responsibility has been neutered.  I never thought I would see Hillary Clinton so quiet.  And Bill?  Isn’t he supposed to go to Haiti?

    However, yes, you are correct — far too low a percentage of Republicans complained.  Republicans showed themselves, in toto, as incredibly hypocritical about fiscal responsibility while in power.  Shameful.

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    “And the wing of the Democratic Party that was interested in fiscal responsibility has been neutered.”

    Not neutered. They just don’t believe that we have the luxury of cutting the budget at this time. Getting the economy going takes higher priority.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    Lucy,

    When you complain about Obama spending the money on Air Force One, do you realize that it is by definition impossible for him to do anything different when he flies? The airplane which the president is on is always designated Air Force One.  He did actually save the taxpayers money by going on a smaller plane than the plane usually used as Air Force One since it was such a brief trip.

    If you don’t believe a president should have any personal life, what do you think of George Bush, who broke new records for taking vacations while in office?

    At least a night in New York will not prevent Obama from performing the necessary duties of office.  In contrast, while George Bush was on vacation he ignored a critical daily intelligence brief which warned that al Queda was planning an attack using airplanes.

  12. 12
    Lara Group says:

    A Night In New York – Liberal Values – Defending Liberty and … http://bit.ly/zDHOG

  13. 13
    Mike says:

    Pug- Very recently I’ve learned a little digging around on my own isn’t such a bad thing.  From http://www.whitehouse.gov  there is a big easy to find link to the 2010 budget.  On that, you can find something called summary tables.  It shows (in billions) that in 2008 the gov got 2524 and spent 2983. A difference of 459. In short President Bush, in one year (with congress) spent nearly half a trillion dollars more than he got.  In my opinion that is outrageous. That is really what activated me to start calling congress and getting involved politically.  You should see the numbers for Obama this year 2009. I’m not going to spoon feed the answer here, but they are right there side by side the 2008 numbers.

  14. 14
    Fritz says:

    Ron, I’ll stick with “neutered”.   But I do hope the deficit-spending sugar high gives one more spurt to the economy, so I can sell my house and my mother’s condo at some sort of profit and move into much more liquid investments.

  15. 15
    Gene says:

    It’s not that he took a night off.  It is that he went to a city. You see, small towns good, cities bad. Or at least, that’s the way the Republicans spin it. Obama is our first truely urban President, and that takes a lot of getting used to for some folks.

  16. 16
    Calvin says:

    Excuse me?!?

    How did our last Republican president lie us into war?!?

    You mean like these guys that document 953 Bush Administration lies about Iraq. Here is their summary of the tops from the run-up to the invasion:

    On August 26, 2002, in an address to the national convention of the Veteran of Foreign Wars, Cheney flatly declared: “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” In fact, former CIA Director George Tenet later recalled, Cheney’s assertions went well beyond his agency’s assessments at the time. Another CIA official, referring to the same speech, told journalist Ron Suskind, “Our reaction was, ‘Where is he getting this stuff from?’ ”
    In the closing days of September 2002, with a congressional vote fast approaching on authorizing the use of military force in Iraq, Bush told the nation in his weekly radio address: “The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. . . . This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year.” A few days later, similar findings were also included in a much-hurried National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction — an analysis that hadn’t been done in years, as the intelligence community had deemed it unnecessary and the White House hadn’t requested it.
    In July 2002, Rumsfeld had a one-word answer for reporters who asked whether Iraq had relationships with Al Qaeda terrorists: “Sure.” In fact, an assessment issued that same month by the Defense Intelligence Agency (and confirmed weeks later by CIA Director Tenet) found an absence of “compelling evidence demonstrating direct cooperation between the government of Iraq and Al Qaeda.” What’s more, an earlier DIA assessment said that “the nature of the regime’s relationship with  Al Qaeda is unclear.”
    On May 29, 2003, in an interview with Polish TV, President Bush declared: “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories.” But as journalist Bob Woodward reported in State of Denial, days earlier a team of civilian experts dispatched to examine the two mobile labs found in Iraq had concluded in a field report that the labs were not for biological weapons. The team’s final report, completed the following month, concluded that the labs had probably been used to manufacture hydrogen for weather balloons.
    On January 28, 2003, in his annual State of the Union address, Bush asserted: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.” Two weeks earlier, an analyst with the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research sent an email to colleagues in the intelligence community laying out why he believed the uranium-purchase agreement “probably is a hoax.”
    On February 5, 2003, in an address to the United Nations Security Council, Powell said: “What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources.” As it turned out, however, two of the main human sources to which Powell referred had provided false information. One was an Iraqi con artist, code-named “Curveball,” whom American intelligence officials were dubious about and in fact had never even spoken to. The other was an Al Qaeda detainee, Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, who had reportedly been sent to Eqypt by the CIA and tortured and who later recanted the information he had provided. Libi told the CIA in January 2004 that he had “decided he would fabricate any information interrogators wanted in order to gain better treatment and avoid being handed over to [a foreign government].”

    Where to begin?!
    One of my petty annoyances about the Bush administration was the degree to which they over relied on the WMD argument in preparation for removing Saddam from power.  There were so many other arguments to be made for removing Saddam from power that WMD should have been a sidenote.
    That said, on WMD, everyone else in the world thought he had the WMD the United States thought he did.  Furthermore, we did find WMD in Iraq, just not in the quantities we thought we would find them in.  While the United States was ultimately wrong about the quantity of Saddam’s WMD, it’s worth noting that there is a HUGE difference between being mistaken and engaging in deliberate deception.
    Furthermore, although they weren’t involved in 9/11 specifically, the notion that Iraq wasn’t working with Al Qaeda is ridiculous.
    The worst thing these allegations  prove is that dictators have an inherent interest in convincing the world they’re stronger than they really are.
    Then again, the history of Western Liberals sucking up to brutal dictators isn’t flattering….

  17. 17
    Fritz says:

    I thought we weren’t supposed to say “urban”.  It being code or something.

  18. 18
    Ron Chusid says:

    I hadn’t received that memo. I’ll check to see if I misfiled it.

  19. 19
    Calvin says:

    @#5, Bill Evans

    You know just as well as I do that a memo that says: “Bin Laden determined to strike in US; possibly using airplanes” doesn’t reveal which airplanes Bin Laden specifically intends to use.  Furthermore, prior to 9/11 no one would have thought an airplane hijacking would result in said plane being turned into a missile.

  20. 20
    Calvin says:

    With all due respect Mr. President, why didn’t you wait another week when the Greatest Baseball Team of All Time Would be in Town and you could check out the sweetest new stadium in the world?!?

  21. 21
    Ron Chusid says:

    Calvin,

    The claims by Santorum and Hoekstra to have found WMD turned out to be untrue. Even the US government during Bush’s second term that there were was no WMD at the time of the war, as noted in the report of the Iraq Survey Group.

    Not only is it untrue that Iraq was working with al Qaeda, the US played right into al Qaeda’s hands. Overthrowing secular governments such as the one in Iraq was a major goal of al Qaeda. To al Qaeda, both Iraq under Saddam and the US were enemies. The 9/11 commission as well as many Defense Department documents and the report on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence all dispute the claims of a connection.

    If you want to attack western liberals for sucking up to brutal dictators, linking to an article on a British journalist who died in 1957 is hardly a meaningful attack.

  22. 22
    Ron Chusid says:

    Calvin,

    It didn’t matter that the memo didn’t say which airplanes. As Al Gore described in The Assault on Reason, there was plenty which could have been done with the information available. Many of the 9/11 hijackers were already on government watch lists. Others shared frequent flier numbers or the same address as the hijackers. A concentrated response might have uncovered the attack and prevented it–as the Clinton administration responded to intelligence and prevented the planned Millennium attack

    It wasn’t only the daily intelligence brief which Bush ignored. The Clinton administration turned over plans for dealing with al Qaeda to the Bush administration. The Bush administration ignored the plans (and even tried to deny receiving them until evidence that they had received them was confirmed). Bush was basically on vacation for the first eight months of his presidency with respect to defending the nation.

  23. 23
    Fritz says:

    Calvin — an Arab hijacker in 1993 took over a French airliner and threatened to turn it into a missile.  The Israelis responded by armoring the cockpit doors of El Al planes.  Americans did, er, nothing.

    This is why, unlike Ron, I blame both the Clinton and Bush administrations for inattention.

  24. 24
    Ron Chusid says:

    Using an airplane as a missile was hardly an unheard of idea. Just earlier in the year, the pilot episode of The Lone Gunman (a spin off of The X Files) which aired on March 4, 2001 involved using a plan as a missile aimed at the World Trade Center.

    In retrospect it certainly would have been preferable if Clinton had taken even more action, such as armoring cockpit doors. Still the difference is that the Clinton people did take a considerable amount of action against terrorism, despite opposition from Republicans in Congress. Clinton did actually propose increased security for airplanes. The airline industry opposed the plans and the Republicans who controlled Congress went along with them. Similar issues had also come up under George H. W. Bush but Bush had no interest in the issue and it got buried.

    While Clinton did take some actions, even if not enough, to counter terrorism, in contrast Bush ignored the issue before 9/11 and grossly mishandled it after 9/11.

  25. 25
    Lara Group says:

    A Night In New York – Liberal Values – Defending Liberty and … http://bit.ly/zDHOG

  26. 26
    Nannes says:

    Personally I don’t mind that Obama went on a date in New York.  What burns me up the most is the transparent double standard on how the press deals with Obama’s vacations and how they dealt with Bush’s vacations.  Not only was Bush criticized for the number of vacation days he took, he was castigated for taking vacation days while we were at war, while the economy suffered, while anything bad happened whatsoever.  As if Bush manning the White House 24/7 would have made a difference with the stock market!  And, of course, this completely ignores the fact that NO president EVER gets a REAL vacation day, they are always on the job.

    But instead, Obama goes on vacation in New York, on the public dime, while at the same time our economy is doing poorly and when Obama himself chides CEOs for going on Las Vegas retreats on the public dime!  When will we be getting the NY Times editorial criticizing Obama for taking time off, tying up already snarled downtown Manhattan traffic, on a selfish trip while our brave soldiers are dying and our fellow citizens are struggling to make ends meet?  Because that is exactly what they would have written had Bush done the same thing.

    Oh, and let’s not forget that Obama went to play golf on Memorial Day.  If any Republican had done that, it would be viewed as sacrilegious.  But not Obama, he’s above such criticism.

  27. 27
    Ron Chusid says:

    Nannes,

    This is the second time you have responded by distorting what the opposing viewpoint is rather than actually responding to the issue. I will not waste my time on any further comments from you which resort to this.

    Nobody criticized Bush for taking an occasional day off. He was criticized for both taking a record number of days off and for neglecting important work while on vacation. Obama did neither. There is no double standard here. Nor would anyone have attacked a Republican for playing golf on Memorial Day. This is a clear example of right wingers attacking Obama because they desire to attack him for the sake of attacking him, regardless of the validity of the attack.

    Tying up snarled downtown Manhattan traffic? How hypocritical can you get. This sort of thing is almost commonplace in Manhattan, and people seemed excited by having Obama go by.

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