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Must-read Obama speech: 10 minutes of talk with each golden word costing you $502


Obviously, as part of his administration's plan to reduce spending to address the ginormous deficit, President Obama flew on Air Force One the other day from Washington all the way out to Columbus, Ohio, and back. About a four-hour round-trip flight.

He was on the ground in the Buckeye State for a total of 70 minutes. By another count, he was on Ohio soil barely 58 minutes, touting more what he sees as an economic recovery. (Obama had tickets to an evening White Sox baseball game back in Washington.)

In the interests of humor, the president of the United States also managed to slip in a reference to Vice President Joe "Big Effing Deal" Biden's notorious March expletive that they're selling T-shirts of.

Of those, say, 70 minutes in Ohio, a grand total of 10 were spent speaking in the middle of a closed street, a presidential photo opportunity designed to highlight construction jobs allegedly created by the $787- billion stimulus spending bill he signed in early 2009. Workers on the next-door construction site were unhappy because they were told to stay away from work for the president's visit -- and get an involuntary unpaid day off because of the president's 600-second appearance.

Ohio's unemployment rate stands at 10.7%.

With the cost of Air Force One put at around $100,000 per hour, plus the other planes carrying Secret Service, vehicles, Marine One etc., CBS' amazing Mark Knoller estimates that the trip cost American taxpayers between $500,000 and $1 million.

That's as much as $100,000 per minute of speaking time.

In his brief appearance, the president uttered 1,990 words at the microphone (he had tickets for a Washington Nationals baseball game to make that night).

That works out to $502 per word and $32,258 per paragraph.

That's a lot of money even for a liberal Democrat who's the Real Good Talker. At the lower trip estimate the...

...government laid out $251.25 per word for the Democrat's appearance in the crucial battleground state.

We have the entire text below, as provided by the White House, minus the notations for (Applause) and (Laughter). There weren't that many.

Let us know below how much you think the speech was worth. No charge for that.

-- Andrew Malcolm

For $1 million less than Obama's speech, you can receive Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Follow us @latimestot  or Like our Facebook page. We're also available on Kindle. (With an oil-free two-week trial.)

President Obama's remarks in Columbus, Ohio

Good afternoon, everybody. Well, it is great to be back in Ohio. Strickland said I’ve been in Ohio so much he might start charging me for it.

It is wonderful to be back in Ohio, and it is wonderful to be back in the beautiful city of Columbus. I just want to say thank you right off the top to Mayor Coleman for his outstanding leadership of this city. You’ve got one of the best mayors in the country.  You also got one of the best governors in the country in Ted Strickland. 

And I also want to just acknowledge that you’re going to have one of the best -- you already have one of the best senators in Sherrod Brown, and you’re going to have another one in Lee Fisher. So we appreciate the great work that they’re doing. I’m going to mention some of the congressional delegations here, because they’ve got a lot to do with what’s going on at this site.

My last visit here was a little over a year ago, when I came to take part in a graduation ceremony for 114 -- the 114th class of the Columbus police recruits.  Some of you may remember that.  I know the mayor does.  I don’t have to tell anybody here that these have been difficult times for Ohio and difficult times for the country.  And when I was here last, America was losing 700,000 jobs per month.  Our economy was shrinking.  Plants and businesses right here in Ohio were closing.  And we knew that if we failed to act, then things were only going to get much worse. Democrat president Barack Obama speaking in Columbus Ohio 6-18-10c

That’s why, with the support of Sherrod Brown, but also members of the House of Representatives Mary Jo Kilroy, Steve Driehaus and Charlie Wilson, who are all here -- wave, guys -- that’s why these folks worked so hard to pass the Recovery Act, which cut taxes for middle-class families, that way boosting demand; cutting taxes for small businesses so that they could make payroll and keep their doors open; extending unemployment insurance and COBRA to help folks make it through some really tough times; to rebuild our infrastructure and make investments that would spur additional investments from the private sector and strengthen our country in the long run.  That’s what the Recovery Act was all about.

And since then, here in Ohio, nearly 2,400 small businesses have gotten loans to keep their doors open and their workers on payroll, 4.5 million families have gotten tax cuts to help pay their bills and put food on the table, some 450 transportation projects are underway or have been completed, and more than 100,000 Ohioans are at work today as a result of these steps.  And today, I return to Columbus to mark a milestone on the road to recovery:  the 10,000th project launched under the Recovery Act.  That’s worth a big round of applause.

And I want to thank Secretary Ray LaHood, who has been instrumental in so many of the projects that have taken place.  He has done an outstanding job, as have our other agencies in administering these programs.

Now, these projects haven’t just improved communities.  They’ve put thousands of construction crews -- just like this one -- to work.  They’ve spurred countless small businesses to hire because -- these are some big guys here, so they got to eat -- which means that you got to get some food brought in -- or the local restaurants here benefit from the crews being here at work.  It means that instead of worrying about where their next paycheck is going to come from, Americans across the country are helping to build our future -- and their own futures.

Now, as my friend Joe Biden -– who has done a great job overseeing the Recovery Act -- would say, this is a big deal. And I think it’s fitting that we’ve reached this milestone here in this community, because what you’re doing here is a perfect example of the kind of innovation and coordination and renewal that the Recovery Act is driving all across this country. 

A lot of people came together to make this day possible -- business and government, grass-roots organizations, ordinary citizens who are committed to this city’s future.  And what you’re starting here is more than just a project to repair a road –- it’s a partnership to transform a community. 

Mayor Coleman was describing for me how all these pieces fit together on the way over here.  So the city is using recovery dollars to rebuild the infrastructure.   And because of that, in part, the hospital is expanding its operations to take even better care of more people, more children, here in Columbus and throughout Ohio, which means they’re hiring more people.

So together, you’re creating more than 2,300 new jobs and sending a powerful message that this neighborhood will soon be a place where more families can thrive, more businesses can prosper, economic development that’s being sparked today is going to continue into the future.  And my understanding is, because the hospital is now growing, that means they’re putting money back into the neighborhood for housing and other facilities so that the entire community starts rebuilding.

Ultimately, that’s the purpose of the Recovery Act –-not just to jump-start the economy and get us out of the hole that we’re in right now, but to make the investments that will spur growth and spread prosperity and pay dividends to our communities for generations to come. 

Since I was here last year, we’ve begun to see progress all across the country.  Businesses are beginning to hire again.  Our economy, which was shrinking by 6% when I was sworn in, is now growing at a good clip, and we’ve added jobs for six out of the past seven months in this country.  We were losing 700,000 jobs a month; for the last six out of the last seven months, we’ve increased jobs here in the United States of America, in part because of the policies that these members of Congress were willing to step up and implement.

Now, I’m under no illusion that we’re where we need to be yet.  I know that a lot of families and communities have yet to feel the effects of the Democrat president Barack Obama boards Air Force Onerecovery in their own lives.  There are still too many people here in Ohio and across the country who can’t find work; many more can’t make ends meet.  And for these folks, the only jobs we create that matter are the ones that provide for their families. 

So while the recovery may start with projects like this, it can’t end here.  The truth is if we want to keep on adding jobs, if we want to keep on raising incomes, if we want to keep growing both our economy and our middle class, if we want to ensure that Americans can compete with any nation in the world, we’re going to have to get serious about our long-term vision for this country and we’re going to have to get serious about our infrastructure. 

And I want to say a few words about infrastructure generally.  Along with investments in healthcare education, clean energy and a 21st century financial system that protects consumers and our economy, rebuilding our infrastructure is one of the keys to our future prosperity.
If we’re going to rebuild America’s economy, then we’ve got to rebuild America, period -- from the ports and the airways that ship our goods, to the roads and the transit systems that move our workers and connect cities and businesses. 

Now, some of this work involves fixing infrastructure that’s already in place -- patching up roads, repairing bridges, replacing old sewer lines.  And the Recovery Act has made important investments in all these things.  I mean we’ve got a huge backlog of work just with the infrastructure that we’ve got that could put hundreds of thousands of people to work all across the country -- just repairing roads that we already have and fixing sewer lines that are badly in need of repair.

But here’s the thing, Columbus. Repairing our existing infrastructure is not enough.  We can’t build an economy that sustains our kids and our grandkids just by relying on the infrastructure that we inherited from our parents and our grandparents. 

We can’t let other countries get the jump on us when it comes to broadband access.  There’s no reason why Europe or China should have the fastest trains instead of the United States.  There’s no reason that Germany or other countries in Europe should have the newest factories that manufacture clean energy products instead of us right here in the United States. 

That’s why the Recovery Act has been making unprecedented investments in clean energy, spurring America’s businesses to build some of the world’s largest wind and solar projects right here in the United States of America.  I said this once at a State of the Union address:  America does not settle for second place.  And we’re going to make the investments to make sure we are first in the future -- not just in the past.  That’s got to be our priority.  That’s why we’re bringing high-speed Internet to 10 thousands of homes -- tens of thousands of homes, and businesses and hospitals and schools.  It’s why Ray LaHood is helping to lead a surge in new investment in high-speed rail.  That’s why we’re investing in electronic medical records. 

A year ago, American businesses had just 2% of the market in the production of electric car batteries that power the vehicles of the future.  All these hybrid cars that have electric batteries?  Those batteries were made someplace else; we only had 2% of them.  We made investments in the Recovery Act, and by 2015, U.S. companies are going to have 40% of the global market.  We have created an advanced battery manufacturing facility -- facilities right here in the United States that are going to allow us to maintain that cutting edge.

From the very first railroads to the interstate highway system, our nation has always been built to compete.  And you know, the history of Ohio is a testament to that.  Nearly two centuries ago, our nation’s first federally funded highway -- the National Road -- was extended across Ohio, bringing a generation of settlers west to this new frontier, and paving the way for the automobile that would transform our landscape. 

And for our economy to thrive in this new century, we’ve got to act with that same sense of purpose and that same spirit of innovation.  That’s why the recovery is just beginning -- just the beginning of the investments we’re going to have to make for years on our infrastructure.  It’s just the beginning of the work of increasing our mobility and our productivity, reducing congestion, reducing pollution, creating good jobs that can’t be shipped overseas. 

Because we know what we can achieve when we act boldly and invest wisely. We’re seeing it right here in this community.  We see it in this hospital and the depths of its commitment to this city. We see it in the city leaders who saw a need and an opportunity in this neighborhood and decided to act. We see it in the folks right here who are ready to get to work building this road and providing for their families. And I’m confident that we’ll soon see it in new families and businesses that are calling this area home.

It is with that vision of a brighter future -- for this city and for the country -- that we begin this project, and I am looking forward to seeing all that you achieve in the years and months to come.

So thank you. Congratulations for the great work you guys are doing. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.    ####

Photos: Amy Sancetta / Associated Press; Charles Dharapak / Associated Press; Associated Press (file).

Comments () | Archives (64)

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uncritical wingnut propaganda. i suppose we would rather our "liberal democrat" (ha) President sit at home staring out the window dreaming about a strong economic recovery? i wonder how the cost of President Obama's speech compares to President George W. Bush's "mission accomplished stunt." has anyone bothered to do that analysis?

I think Joe Biden summed up the value of the speech - "big f'ing deal."

It's all the President's fault, isn't it? The BP oil spill...inflation...recession...and a speech that cost between $251.52 and $502 per word. Oh, my! Reminiscent of the hair styling flap with Air Force One and Pres. Clinton, huh? More trumped up charges against someone who's actually trying to make a difference. My question is, were these workers who were told to stay home unionized? I suspect not, otherwise, they would have had plenty to say, supported by their local's leadership. And even if they weren't, they should have said or done something, even send the President an e-mail expressing their disgust at being told to stay home.

Obama, and previous presidents, have used Air Force One to engage in campaigning for themselves, and for loyal Senators and Congressmen/women in the states he visits. No one questions whether this is ethical. Obama has access to millions of dollars in our taxes to sway elections. Neither party, Republican or Democrat wants to end this freebie. In England, the Queen has to post how much money is spent on travel. This cut way back on the Royals flying and helicoptering all over England. Exposure to the money figures would go a long way towards reigning in the Air Force One budget. And it would have the added bonus of not shutting down entire cities while his motorcade proceeds through city streets. Not to mention the Secret Service advance teams that come weeks ahead of time to arrange the trip. I don't hold out much hope that our media will do the necessary muckraking to expose the money spent. Maybe Rolling Stone Magazine could go for it? Matt Taibbi? Bill Maher? Is it covered under the Freedom of Information Act?

How much did this speech cost per guest?

And why don't we report this data element for all future speeches....

That speech was worth the paper it was printed on. I think Obozo has a future ahead as a UN diplomat after he is thrown out of office by the electorate in 2012.

My question is how many words did you get paid to write this article? I would venture too many.

(AM responds: We don't get paid in words. Thanks for reading.)

I thought it was a really good speech. He keeps us encouraged through these touch times, his heart is in the right place, and he's working hard at doing his part to make America a thriving economy again, we should be doing the same, instead we're sitting back making fun of the guy and worrying way too much about how much a word cost.

Between 500K and 1 Million. C'mon now, so plus or minus 500K, so by that analysis it could also have been free. Get a real job MR. reporter.

(AM responds: Uh, no, Math Wiz. At $100k per hour just for the president's plane, not the rest of the accompanying fleet, alas, there's no chance that such travel is free.)

Wow, this is an incredibly misleading article. Go back to Fox News, Sullivan.

This is one of the dumbest posts I have read in many years of reading political commentary. Of course it costs a lot of money to move the President around. And, of course, he gave a speech. And of course people are unhappy because security concerns mean they aren't going to work that day.

So, the alternative would be.....What? A president in a bunker who doesn't talk to anyone? Ridiculous post.

Obama will be known as/for:
1-Longest Recession Ever in USA History!
2-Depression Levels-Longest in History!
3-Biggest Federal F-ck Up Ever ($2 trillion Deficit Spending/1year)
4-Dumbest President Ever! (Harvard Law Professor with zero business brains).

I sent him 100+ business books with 5 solutions to Foreclosure, SS, Medicaid & Debt removal March 4, 2009 with a letter.

I sent him 30+business books+ 8 solutions to the National Crisis 4March2010!

I want him to do well for the Country, not bad! I'm a Landlord and the economy needs to be fixed and operating right! Now, I'm making a killing in this California Recession, the best ever! Heck, I may get to the BBC aka Billionaires Boys Club. But to CRUSH the American Economy like a dumb liberal Professor would do, is just not right!

I appreciate a President who is capable of stringing together a whole sentence and pronounce every word correctly. How soon some people forget the embarrassment we previously had for President.

And this President, the one who can pronounce words correctly, inherited a daunting set of "time bombs" from the previous administration. The previous administration used billions of dollars to bail out a few jobs for bankers instead of letting more of them fail. The claim at the time was they "were too big to fail." I am not so sure of the wisdom of that claim today.

The structural changes being made to our country are strong medicine. This President understands that some of the things he is working on will not bear fruit until later -- after the next election. Yet he presses forward to make important structural and regulatory changes because he makes cogent arguments why those changes are necessary.

During the Depression, over 30% of the population were unemployed. By comparison, the stubborn 10% unemployment rate of this Great Recession, while painful, is far better than if the government had done nothing. But some people like this "commentator" seem to forget these realities. The tone of the piece is simply snotty and ignores similar milestones marked by previous administrations. Mr. Obama is the President and he may legitimately use the resources of the government to mark occasions and encourage the morale of those still looking for work in this most dire of economic situations since the Great Depression.

It's not enough that many of us canceled our subscriptions to this paper, at least in part because it continues to feature tripe like this by a partisan flak under the banner of "journalism." Now I guess we need to boycott the online edition as well.

However little you are being paid per word, Mr. Malcolm, it's too much.

Even if it was free, we'd be paying too much to listen to this guy....

And how much did Prez W Bush Cost us so he could ride his mountain bike and BBQ on his many vacations to Crawford?

It is a shame we can not use hot air to generate electric power.

He talks a lot about America being number one, but he is so ashamed of the American flag he will not allow it around him unless it is politically essential, he will not even salute it.

Hot air is not what has made this country great--it is the hard work and creativity of its people. Given half a chance, that is what will put this country back on its feet again.

This is a totally ridiculous argument. How is Obama any different from any other president fulfilling his duties to his party and the country by attending speaking engagements across the US? We weren't tracking the cost of Bush's countless trips to Texas on the American People's dime, why are we starting now?

Presidents have been doing this for as long as I can remember. Why is it news now?

Presidents have been doing this for as long as I can remember. Why is it news now?

When there is a recession, whoever is President at the time has to act as cheerleader for the economy. President Bush also did a number of these speeches. It's just normal operating procedure to encourage the economy to improve.

What sort of non-story is this?!? Are you kidding me?!? So we are going to waste space and do even MORE to generate ill-will toward a President who is simply doing what every other presdient in the history of this nation has done, that is, move about the country speaking, observing, meeting, sharing, listening, etc. Sanford spending taxpayer dollars to secretly leave the state while he goes to South America for a sexual tryst, THAT's newsworthy. This is nothign more than pandering.

And considering that you have people bringing guns to places where Obama is speaking, where you have the Right Wing stoking idiotic fears about this Prez, than more than ever, our President needs to mix with the American People and allay their fears. And it requires high security. Yes, it's costly, but this is the way it is for now. And at least this president doesn't fly off to his ranch at the first sign of a national crisis.

The media is indeed becoming a problem when it publishes stories like this as a means to whip up public anger.

Everything that comes out of this evil man's mouth is a lie and is not worth a piece of dog poop!!!

Quick, let's calculate all the costs of presidential travel for the last 100 years.

Are you suggesting the president not leave the White House? Maybe he should fly United?

Or maybe he's not allowed to go to baseball games.

Just existing as POTUS, costs a lot of money. That's just a fact.

Still see a lot of people that do not realize Water Walker has been in office now for 1.5 years and has done NOTHING except really mess up this coutnry!
Though this is the yellow brick road to Socialism and there are so many freeloaders rooting for him

Fascinating expose! I can't believe that lib, smooth talkin' hypocritical Obama.
What an outrage. I'm with you, I can't believe that we have a President that's actually good at giving speeches. What a completely useless skill for a President. I read with amusement Mr. Malcom's other piece, at once criticizing Obama for confidently giving his oval office address, then chiding him for appearing nervous. Which is it, should he be confident and skillful, or uncomfortable? Conservative hacks like Mr. Malcom want Obama to be whatever he's not at that moment. Malcom the contrarian. Bravo.
I liked the one where you criticized Senator Boxer's bad hair day because, you supposed, she'd used the hair dryer too much. That was some hard-hitting political commentary, right there.

True, it would be great if he hadn't had to fly to make that speech to discuss his stimulus programs, because we wouldn't have needed stimulus programs, because our economy hadn't been destroyed by Bush and the Republican congress, because people hadn't foolishly voted for Bush and his congressional enablers, thus causing disaster after disaster.
Unfortunately that chain of events did happen, and Obama inherited a destroyed economy that he how has to fix. A huge mess to clean up.

Rather than calculating the cost of a single word from an Obama speech as you did here, a better, more illustrative expose, would be the cost of an individual vote for Bush. He received approximately 60 million votes each time, in 2000 and 2004, so call it 120,000,000 votes.
Now add up all of the financial disaster caused by those votes. All the innocent people killed and maimed and personal property and wealth destroyed in Iraq because of his capricious war of choice. All of the people out of work because of the Bush recession. All the houses foreclosed on and families thrown out into the street because SEC and banking regulators were told to look the other way. The massive shift of wealth to a tiny minority of bankers and captains of industry, from everyone else. The oil gushing into the Gulf because of Cheney's energy policies and lack of regulation. The dead at the Massey mine for the same reason. The cost in climate destruction because we're 10 years behind the rest of the world in policy and action because of voodoo, religulous nonsense policies and right-wing truthiness.

Honestly, conservatives like Mr. Malcom should show some remorse and humility by sitting down and being quiet while the smart people are fixing the problems that they created with their Bush vote. Constantly criticizing the guy that's cleaning up your mess is in very bad taste.
Either that, or take responsibility for your actions and publicly apologize. That's a column I'd read.

This was nothing more than a photo-op - you liberals need to wake up and quite blaming the prior administration. Your saviour said he knew how to fix the problem. Really, the deficit is growing, the debt is growing, unemployment is growing - please explain to me just how he is fixing anything.

That depends, can we run it through the t-pain auto-tuner app first? If not, it's worthless. If so, it's probably worth a laugh.

How much did it cost for the required rhinoplasty after the speech?

Is that $502 dollars for each um, and uh, too? What an overpriced buffoon. The left's liberal heroes never cease to amaze, as well as disgust, me. Hey, willshine, 0bama is not dreaming about a strong economic recovery, he's hoping clowns like you will just keep drinking the kool-aid.

The LA Times commenting "negatively" on the One? My goodness! If you keep this up, I might have to renew my subscription I once had.

Its hilarious. Obamabots are now having to defend Obama against the very same criticism they levied at Bush.

Obama has gone golfing more often in the last year and a half than Bush did in his 8 year term.

Bush had his Gulf disaster and Obama has his. Apparently Bush was responsible for Katrina but Obama is not responsible for BP. I'd love to see Liberal Logic explain that.

Its called a Fair Fight.

Obama Supporters: Just like zombies, but with no interest in brains.

JA, your boy the peanut farmer started the CRA. Your other boy, BJ Clinton, the impeached serial adulterer, gave the CRA more teeth with Reno's justice department, and the ACORN shake down artists did the rest. This country is in a dire state due to liberal clowns like yourself and your liberal clown heroes and policies. Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, and Chris Dodd are the most prominent of the thieves, but there is Jaime Goerelich, and Franklin Raines with their hands in all of "Bush's" mess - all hold-overs from BJ's corrupt and feckless years. Just like a typical Liberal, always blaming someone else for your own corrupt and failed policies.

Obama is in over his head. His inability to lead is clear and speaks volumes. I'm sickened by this president, who spends so much time playing golf, basketball, partying and entertaining people, while this country is filled with enormous problems, Too many people have lost their jobs and homes, still, Obama mismanage everything but he continues to live a carefree life.

how much does it cost for Obama to go golfing?
how much does it cost for him to fly to NY for dinner with his wife?
how much does it cost for him to go to a ball game?
including the cost of the secret service agents, transportation, and all other ancillary costs?
And he wants me to take a bus to work to save on gas and reduce my carbon footprint?
perhaps he should stay at home and work.
On the other hand, given the quality of his decisions, maybe we are better off if he concentrates on amusing himself.

We elect a man with no executive experience who had been a Marxist ideologue his entire life and had voted "present" more than any prior member of Congress and he governs like a man with no executive experience who had been a Marxist ideologue his entire life and had voted "present" more than any prior member of Congress.

Color me unsurprised.

Liberals, you thought Obama was your Messiah but he become The Beast for you and your movement instead. Um, thanks.

Good people of California. Those of you who think we are going to bail you out must come to the understanding it is our sincere hope the big one hits and those of you left (since most of the jobs-producing sane residents have long gone) simply slide into the Pacific. Perhaps Mexico can come to your aid since you inexplicably provide their illigal immigrants free health care and free education. Continue to live in your dreamworld and hire more state workers who get pensions better than 99% of the planet. Best of luck...


"I" this and "I" that...
It's all about the "O".

Re: I appreciate a President who is capable of stringing together a whole sentence and pronounce every word correctly.

Really? Obama isn't capable of stringing together a whole sentence without his speech writer and teleprompter. Go to youtube and watch his "uh" count clips. Please wake up from your dream. This man isn't what you fancy him to be and his peers from Harvard (as well as the media) are book smart (maybe) but reality dumb.

What was Obama's propaganda talk worth? Nothing, absolutely nothing if you are of average intelligence with the ability to parse his specious words. I would say this failed president was an empty suit but then that would be an insult to clothes hangers.

I'm not surprised by the number of people who don't care about this, or equate it to what Bush did.

For those of you who voted for obama, is this what you expect from your leader? don't you despise the upper class that has the easy life on your back? wasting money for no purpose! how many of you waste money like this?

at what point does obama become part of the upper class that you so despise? flies around to give a speech and heads back to catch a baseball game, followed by a weekend of golf...

Why do you accept this? because he's working so hard to solve problems?? how's that going so far?? Gitmo, Afghanistan, terrorism, unemployment, the oilspill cleanup, the economy??? which of these is he succeeding at that gives him the free pass?

Don't you want better from your leaders?

...and the White House criticizes Tony Hayward of BP for going yachting, meanwhile Obama was golfing the same weekend. I don't even have time to golf. How can the president of the US have time to golf with 2 wars, crappy economy & one of the worst environmental disasters in history going on?

Golf golf golf golf. Who have time for all these d--- problems in this country? My czars will handle this mess. I'm only here to give speeches and blame Bush. Hey Arizona Gov, I don't have time to waste with you and illegals, let them alone, let them come in. I know I promised you, but ain't I a great liar.

Those who think the president has only the choice to stay silent or blow millions of dollars (and carbon) gallivanting around, inconveniencing ordinary citizens just trying to earn their pay - hello! Ever heard of TV? Why is that not sufficient for him? You Obama always fans excuse him for acting like Bourbon royalty, sucking up your money for his own expensive tastes, but I'm sure you all think of yourselves as advocates for the poor and downtrodden. More liberal hypocrisy.

I just love how the Obamabots act JUST like than Bush fans who couldn't see much wrong with their president. What's the matter, you don't like the left leaning LAT suggesting hurtful things in a while?

Obama inherited a recession partially created Bush (don't tell me he was solely responsible), and then promptly made the problem worse by acting just like a big spending republican before him. He has George Bush's penchant for playing golf during crisis moments too.

Good point. Maybe he should have just gone on a vacation like the previous administration did (more than any other administration in history). Why not calculate the cost to taxpayers for the 25 trips W made to Camp David in 2001 (for a total of 78 days vacation JUST IN 2001). Oh and then there were 69 days he spent in Crawford JUST IN 2001. Maybe we could do that math. Personally, I'd prefer to have president who is out working to one that sits on a ranch (clearing brush!) on the taxpayers dime.

Amazing what you can learn on factcheck.

If you liberal nutjobs can't see the wasteful spending this administration is costing this entire nation, than you are truly insane and deserve a one way ticket to Greece. If fiscal sanity is too hard for you to comprehend,than why should the rest of us throw you a life preserver? Erkle and his administration are worse than a swarm of locusts--perhaps this is a sign of the apocalypse.

Dear Lord we need another Civil War. This time, we need to kick all those liberal states out of the union. Let them preen and prance about Bush's fault under a Mexican government, or if there was any justice at all, a Venezuelan one. I am sure your new dictators would appreciate you more.

Americans who continue to vote for politicians who feel entitled to our hard-earned income are like battered wives. At what point will they say "Enough!" and vote in representatives who want to keep government limited and off our backs?!

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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