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The stuff you won't see in the liberal media (click "Replies" for top stories)
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Beckwith

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Obama to host a goodbye party at the White House on Friday

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Helena Andrews-Dyer (WashingtonPost) is reporting that January 2017 will definitely see an onslaught of A-list tourists at the White House, but they're not coming for the inauguration.

Barack and Michelle Obama will host a goodbye party for close friends and major donors Friday, according to a person with knowledge of the marquee affair. The Obamas themselves confirmed during an interview with People Magazine last month that they'd have one final bash at the White House. The president told a young fan that they'd have a "grown up" party before packing their bags.

Of course, there's no official word from the White House yet. Typically the Obama administration keeps a tight lid on celebration details until the 11th hour. But the big names thought to be on the guest list have been slowly trickling out this week.

Old standbys such as singer Usher and actor Samuel L. Jackson will most likely be there, according to another person with knowledge of the invitees. Also currently practicing their sweet moves are media titan Oprah Winfrey, who snagged an exit interview with the first lady last month on her fellow invitee and bestie Gayle King's network CBS; actor Bradley Cooper, who showed up to the French state dinner sans underpants; Beyoncé, who sang at both of Obama's inaugurations, and her husband, rapper Jay Z. We're also hearing that Stevie Wonder, who has performed at the White House, director J.J. Abrams and director George Lucas make the list.

If this star-studded shindig follows the traditional Obama script, cellphones will be confiscated at the White House security gate and social media crumbs will be few. But afterward, tales of the president's dance moves and sore feet will make the late-night talk show rounds.

The White House party will act as the kickoff of a goodbye tour of sorts for Obama, who will head to Chicago to deliver a farewell address Jan. 10.

Related:  Obama’s vacations cost taxpayers more than $96 million



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Beckwith

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Outrageous amount Obamas spent on travel considered "abuse" by Watchdog group. What say you?

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Warner Todd Huston (BizPacReview) is reporting that as much of America continues to wallow in either unemployment or under employment, the Obamas jetted off for yet another luxurious vacation, this time being Obama's last trip to Hawaii while in office. And the several million this trip costs is just part of the whopping $96 million Obama has spent on his lavish leisure time as president.

This last opulent jaunt to Hawaii cost America an incredible $3.5 million or more tax dollars, that includes airfare for Obama, his family, and all their hangers-on, but also the high cost of flying Air Force One, the various other helicopters and vehicles needed to ferry the first family around the isles, as well as the communications equipment, Secret Service advance teams, medical personnel, and other amenities a president is afforded, according to a report by Washington watchdog group Judicial Watch as reported by McClatchy.

"The Secret Service and the Air Force are being abused by unnecessary travel," Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton said. "Unnecessary presidential travel for fundraising and luxury vacations on the taxpayers' dime would be a good target for reform for the incoming Trump administration."

According to CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller, Obama has taken 28 vacations during his 8-year presidency encompassing 217 days (a number that will grow at the end of Obama's ongoing Hawaii trip).

While Obama's days off are fewer than the 490 days George W. Bush took off, most of Bush's time away from the White House were spent at his easily secured Texas ranch or his family home in Kennebunkport, Maine and not so often jetting off to Hawaii, Germany, Spain, and all the other expensive trips Obama took.

For instance, when in Hawaii the first family often stays at a hotel that charges between $5,000 and $10,000 a night! These are the sort of costs Bush did not incur when going to his own, personally owned properties.

Also during these far-flung trips Obama has taken, it isn't uncommon for the costs of just the Secret Service alone to reach upwards of $2 million per trip. And airfare and hotels have commonly been an additional $2 million or more during the Obama presidency.

Using government records Judicial Watch also calculated that the use of Air Force One costs the taxpayers $180,118 per hour to fly.



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Beckwith

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Obama lands in Hawaii -- heads straight to the golf course

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Keith Koffler (WhiteHouseDossier) is reporting that Barack Obama wasted little time on his final holiday vacation in Hawaii before hitting the golf course Saturday morning.

Obama and the first family arrived in Oahu late Friday night. By 10 a.m. local time, Obama had left his family’s rental in Kailua for the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, which houses the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course.

And that’s where you’ll find him for the next 20 years. Please read the rest of this piece at the Washington Examiner.

The Obamas will spend 17 days in Hawaii and the trip is likely to cost taxpayers about $5 million.


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Obama family will travel to Hawaii for holiday vacation

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Daniel Halper (NYPost) is reporting that Barack Obama and his family will be taking Air Force One to Honolulu on Friday to embark on their annual Christmas vacation.

Obama does have one work-related event planned for his vacation, which usually consists of golf, parties with friends and dinners out. Obama later this month will greet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Pearl Harbor for his planned historic visit.

Obama and family won't return to Washington until after the new year.

Before departing Friday evening, Obama will host reporters for his annual end-of-year news conference, scheduled for 2:15 p.m.

There's just over a month remaining before Obama turns the White House keys over to Donald Trump.



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Standing ovation for Obama at his last Kennedy Center honors

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Ben Nuckols (AP) is reporting that The longest, loudest standing ovation of the Kennedy Center Honorsgala wasn't reserved for Al Pacino, Mavis Staples or the Eagles. Instead, it went to the man attending his eighth and most likely his last honors presentation: Barack Obama.

While politics were absent from the tributes to the performers who were recognized for influencing American culture Sunday night, the arts community's affection for Obama -- and its nervousness about President-elect Donald Trump -- was palpable in the Kennedy Center Opera House.

Obama and Michelle were introduced last, after Pacino and his fellow honorees: gospel singer Staples; pianist Martha Argerich; singer-songwriter James Taylor; and Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmidt and Joe Walsh, the surviving members of the Eagles.

After a sustained ovation, host Stephen Colbert greeted the crowd of Washington insiders as "endangered swamp-dwellers," referencing Trump's "drain the swamp" campaign pledge. He joked that Obama would need to receive the honor to attend again and that "unlike the Nobel Peace Prize, they don't just give these away."

The Kennedy Center Honors are in their 39th year, a period that has included six presidents — three Republicans, three Democrats -- and all have taken time to welcome the recipients. But the 2016 election was noteworthy for the way A-list performers lined up behind Obama and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, while Trump had relatively few celebrity endorsements.

Although the president has no say in who receives the awards, Colbert joked that next year's honorees would include Scott Baio, Gary Busey and Meat Loaf.

"For the past eight years, the White House has given us a leader who's passionate, intelligent and dignified," Colbert said, and the crowd rose for another prolonged ovation, prompting Obama to stand and wave.

"Sir, I don't even know why you stood up. I was talking about Michelle," Colbert said.

Earlier, at the White House, Obama welcomed the honorees at a reception and said participating in the gala was "one of the perks of the job."

"The arts have always been part of life at the White House because the arts are always central to American life," Obama said. "That's why over the past eight years Michelle and I have invited some of the best writers, musicians, actors and dancers to share their gifts with the American people and to help tell the story of who we are."

Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein also thanked the Obamas, noting that Obama isn't required to attend the honors or host a reception. He offered them a "golden ticket" good for free admission to any event at the center.

"Parking is extra," Rubenstein said.

Another standing ovation went to Bill Clinton, who made a surprise appearance on stage to talk about how Taylor's music resonated with him and the American public in times that tested the nation's resolve.

"Our nation was reeling from the pain of Vietnam," Clinton said. "James was there to satisfy our hunger for both intimacy and authenticity."

Politics aside, the honors proceeded as usual, with musicians and actors taking the stage to pay tribute to the honorees, who stood on a balcony, waving and applauding as they wore the event's signature rainbow-colored garlands. The ceremony will be broadcast Dec. 27 on CBS.

The tribute to Pacino included remarks by Sean Penn and recitations of Shakespeare by Laurence Fishburne and Lily Rabe. Chris O'Donnell and Gabrielle Anwar re-enacted the tango that Pacino danced with Anwar in "Scent of a Woman," the 1992 movie that won Pacino his long-overdue Oscar.

Kevin Spacey gave a virtuoso tutorial on how to impersonate the actor whose passionate delivery has helped create some of the most memorable lines in American cinema. The keys are to look surprised and exhale loudly, Spacey said.

"Al seems to have a lot of air," he said.

Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow and Darius Rucker performed medleys of Taylor's music. Yitzhak Perlman played violin and Yuja Wang played piano to honor the Argentine-born Argerich.

Staples' songs were performed by Elle King, Bonnie Raitt and Andra Day, and actor Don Cheadle spoke about the civil rights legacy of Staples and her family, who were close to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and performed at John F. Kennedy's inauguration.

"She's still fighting. She's still singing freedom songs," Cheadle said.

The Eagles were originally selected to be honored last year, but the band opted to delay participation because of founding member Glenn Frey's poor health. Frey died in January at age 67, making the event a bittersweet one for the surviving Eagles, who were joined by Frey's widow, Cindy Frey. Henley has said the band will never perform again. Bob Seger, Vince Gill and Kings of Leon performed the Eagles' music Sunday.

"I want to dedicate this evening to our brother Glenn," Henley said as the band accepted its honors Saturday night at the State Department. "He was so much a part of our success. He was the driving force in this band. He believed in the American dream."

The band's longtime manager, Irving Azoff, sobbed as he raised a glass to Frey.

"For our Eagles family," he said, "2016 couldn't have had a harder beginning or a more appropriate ending."



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Beckwith

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Obama presents Medals of Freedom to his celebrity friends

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Keith Koffler (WhiteHouseDossier) is reporting that Barack Obama has decided to hollow out and degrade the Presidential Medal of Freedom by giving a bunch of them to famous people he digs.

Of course, none of them are Republicans.

Obama handed out a total of 20 Medals of Freedom, which makes getting them nearly as easy as getting into the phone book. Okay, not exactly, but you get my drift -- the award is pretty diluted.

Here are the winners, who are also coming soon to a gossip column near you. .

Cicely Tyson, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Robert Redford, Tom Hanks, Lorne Michaels, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Robert De Niro, and Ellen DeGeneres. Vin Scully got one too, for calling a lot of baseball games.

There are ten of them. It's like he divided the awards up -- half of them fatuous -- half maybe not.

What, exactly, has Michael Jordan done for humanity, other than entertain it and make hundreds of millions doing so? How may poor black kids spent too much money on his overpriced sneakers?

DeGeneres I can understand -- maybe? Since she at least promotes a cause -- gay rights -- whether you agree with her or not.

The other ten seem to have a few more qualifications, though most sound like basically lefties. Bill and Melinda Gates got one. Maybe it's a birthday gift for them or something. I mean, what do you get for the guy and gal who have everything? A Presidential Medal of Freedom, I suppose.

You can find the full list here.

Just for contrast, George W. Bush in his final year in office, 2008, gave out six medals, all to highly distinguished individuals of proven achievement and service. At least two, Donna Shalala and the late Rep. Tom Lantos, were Democrats. That is, a third of them. The other recipients were Retired Marine Corps. Gen. Peter Pace, Judge Laurence Silberman, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and another doctor who at the time was far less well known: Benjamin Carson.

None had a hit record, an academy award, or had dunked a basketball into a legitimate ten-foot high hoop. Imagine that.

Recipients will receive their honors at a White House ceremony November 22.



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Beckwith

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Obama's final foreign trip to be a "group therapy" session

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Daniel Halper (NYPost) is reporting that Obama will depart Monday on his final foreign trip of his presidency -- and the main topic of the three-country tour is expected to be President-elect Donald Trump.

"We certainly expect that the election will be the primary topic on people's minds everywhere we go," deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The president will travel to Athens on Monday, then to Berlin on Wednesday and finally Lima, Peru, on Friday. He's expected to return to Washington, DC, on Sunday.

In addition to meeting Greek and German leaders, Obama will meet with President Francois Hollande of France, President Mariano Rajoy of Spain, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy and Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom.

"In a moment of deep shock and depression in Europe -- the US was not supposed to elect Donald Trump -- this visit has become a kind of group therapy by which European leaders will try to reassure themselves that the America we know won't disappear," Josef Joffe, a Stanford University scholar, told the Journal.

In Greece, Obama is scheduled to give a speech about globalization and the rise of populism.

"And that will include, frankly, acknowledgment of our election results, the Brexit election results," Rhodes said.

The trip, scheduled before this month's presidential election, was supposed to be a celebratory world tour for Obama, but has now transformed into something quite different.

"President Obama will be speaking for himself and for the office of the presidency," Rhodes told reporters.

"He can convey, obviously, that the United States of America fulfills its commitments through democratic transitions and through different administrations," he added.


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Beckwith

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Obama says, "we saved the best for last" at final state dinner

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The primary reason I posted this report is that it repeatedly uses the words "last" and "final" in relationship to Obama.

The "end of an error" is almost upon us.

Darlene Superville (AP) is reporting that "bittersweet" was the word of the night, the one often used to describe President Barack Obama's final State Dinner.

"We saved the best for last," he said Tuesday as he welcomed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini, to the White House.

He wasn't joking.

The final gala meant everything was big or bigger, from the personality of the guest chef (Mario Batali) who collaborated on the menu to the size of the white tent (huge) on the South Lawn where the soiree was held, to the guest list (nearly 400 people).

Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., said it's "a little sad" that it's Obama's last State Dinner. But to make the occasion even more memorable, he said: "For tonight only, I pronounce my name 'Canoli,' not 'Connolly."

Michelle Obama's hairstylist, Johnny Wright, also described the moment as "bittersweet," but he was still excited to have been invited. The first lady also invited her makeup artist, Carl Ray; her trainer, Cornell McClellan; and Meredith Koop, who helps Mrs. Obama with her wardrobe.

"I'm excited that it's the last State Dinner, so it's a bittersweet thing," said actress-comedian Alexandra Wentworth. "I love the Obamas."

Others, meanwhile, sought to inject some levity into the evening.

"We're Jews, but we identify as Italian," joked Jerry Seinfeld. By way of explaining why the Obamas may have invited the comedian and his wife, Jessica, Seinfeld said the couple spends a lot of time traveling in Italy "and we almost exclusively go out for Italian food, but that's as far as I can figure."

After tripping while climbing stairs and then cutting out the lining of her dress, celebrity chef Rachael Ray joked that "I should only come here in sneakers." Ray has done numerous events with Mrs. Obama to support the first lady's "Let's Move" anti-childhood obesity initiative.

Obama has had one dinner bigger than Tuesday's -- a 2014 event for African heads of state to which more than 400 people were invited.

Tuesday's guest list included a touch of everything: celebrities, lawmakers, senior administration officials, White House staff, a larger-than-usual contingent of journalists and others, and it had the feeling of having been designed as one big final "thank you" to all.

In fact, Mrs. Obama was overheard thanking her guests "for eight magnificent years."

"This has truly been a successful final State Dinner," she said between dinner and the entertainment.

Guests of Italian descent included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the highest-ranking Italian-American in U.S. politics; former race car driver Mario Andretti, who sported socks designed like a checkered racing flag; fashion designer Giorgio Armani; actor John Turturro; New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo; and actor-director Roberto Benigni.

Once again, the first lady dazzled -- literally -- in her evening gown, a rose gold chainmail number by Italian designer Versace, the White House said. Other female guests also went Italian in their choice of attire, clothing themselves in Valentino, Roberto Cavalli and others.

Batali helped the White House kitchen crew prepare the meal, and Grammy-winning pop singer Gwen Stefani opened the after-dinner segment with her hit, "The Sweet Escape," as her boyfriend, country superstar Blake Shelton, looked on from the audience. After that song, she talked about her dad being Italian American and said "I'm trying to, like, figure this out, how I got here," referring to the dinner.

A few guests, including fellow cook Sandra Lee, Cuomo's partner, said they were mostly looking forward to eating Batali's food.

In his pre-dinner toast, Obama said American democracy had been graced by a touch of Italy. He noted that the Lincoln Memorial and the interior of the U.S. Capitol dome were done by Italians, and raised a glass to the "enduring alliance" between the U.S. and Italy.

Renzi alluded during his toast to a speech the first lady gave last week in New Hampshire in which she criticized Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for boasting on a 2005 video about being sexually aggressive toward women.

"Michelle, your tomatoes are great. But after the last weeks, let me be very frank, your speeches are better than your tomatoes," Renzi said, thanking her as the father of a young daughter.

Batali, executive chef Cristeta Comerford and pastry chef Susie Morrison settled on a menu of sweet potato ravioli with browned butter and sage, warm butternut squash salad and an entree of beef pinwheels, an Italian classic, served with broccoli rabe. Dessert was a green apple crostata, or Italian tart, served with buttermilk gelato, or Italian ice cream.

The menu was designed to showcase traditional Italian dishes that are familiar to Americans and were made using ingredients pulled from Mrs. Obama's garden during this month's final harvest, such as the sweet potatoes and herbs.

Obama has held 13 state dinners during nearly eight years in office, two more than President George W. Bush, but fewer than other recent predecessors, according to the White House Historical Association. President Bill Clinton far exceeded both of his successors with 28 dinners during two terms in office.



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Beckwith

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Newly discovered parasite is named after Obama

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Popular Science is reporting that a new species of blood fluke was found infecting the lungs of turtles in Malaysia. This parasitic flatworm has been dubbed Baracktrema obamai, in honor of the President of the United States (who is the fifth cousin twice removed of one of the discovering scientists).

B. obamai is described in the August issue of the Journal of Parasitology as having a long, thread-like body. So far, it’s shown up in two freshwater turtles, the black marsh turtle (Siebenrockiella crassicollis) and southeast Asian box turtle (Cuora amboinensis).

The scientists found clusters of tens to hundreds of fluke eggs in the turtles’ lung alveoli, the tiny sacs where blood receives oxygen and gets rid of carbon dioxide. How these eggs get outside to hatch and infect new hosts isn’t clear, although making the turtles cough is probably involved.

A parasite named after a parasite, how appropriate.



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Obama hosts "South By South Lawn Music Festival" and you're probably not invited

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Thomas Phippen (DCNF) is reporting that Barack Obama will host the first ever South by South Lawn music, art and ideas festival this fall, which was inspired by Austin's famous South by Southwest festival.

South by South Lawn (SXSL) "will bring together creators, innovators, and organizers who work day in and day out to improve the lives of their fellow Americans and people around the world," the White House announced Thursday.

"October 3, the White House will convene creators, innovators, and organizers from across the country for an evening of music, film, and great ideas," the announcement says of the festival, which will be co-hosted by South by Southwest.

For those interested in attending the event, the White House invites nominations for people "creating change -- big or small" in their community. The nomination form (here -- cursor down) includes a field for an Instagram handle.

The event is "a call to arms for every American to roll up their sleeves and make a positive mark on our country -- and a celebration of the great work so many of us have already accomplished."

Like SXSW, South by South Lawn will feature musical acts by "emerging artists" as well as better known performers. The White House's festival also combines the 3rd annual White House Student Film Festival, co-sponsored by the American Film Institute.

And it wouldn't be south-by without panel discussions with "influencers who are using their platforms to bring about positive change" that "will explore topics like how to make change stick."

Obama will have no problem finding amazing celebrities and influencers to join his "festival of ideas, art, and action." Kendrick Lamar and Usher both performed at the president's 50th birthday party in August, and First Lady Michelle Obama is good friends with Beyoncé.



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Obama snorkels

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Breitbart is reporting that Barack Obama visited his massively expanded National Marine Reserve off the coast of Hawaii, using the opportunity to do some snorkeling with friends away from the eyes of the press corp.

The Papahānaumokuākea Marine Reserve was first created by President George W. Bush, but Obama has decided to expand it by over half a million square miles.

The new boundaries of Papahānaumokuākea Marine Reserve are larger than all national parks combined and over twice the size of Texas, according to Forbes' Trevor Nace.

Obama flew aboard Air Force One to Midway Atoll, before leading a golf cart sightseeing tour with the press.

"I can't wait to get in," he said, as he stood near the beach, pointing out area sea turtles.



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What Obama did on his summer vacation

The Vineyard Gazette's Sara Brown compiled this summary:

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See note at bottom

Afternoon at the Beach and Dinner Date in Edgartown
8 hours 47 min ago

The Obamas headed to the beach on Saturday, their final full day of their Vineyard vacation.

The family arrived at a beach off Pohogonot Road in Edgartown around 1:30 p.m. After spending the afternoon at the south shore beach with friends, the First Family departed at about 5:30 p.m.

Later in the evening Obama and Michelle went back to Edgartown for dinner at Chesca's on North Water street. The sidewalk outside Chesca's was blocked off with yellow tape, and the summer crowd lined the street.

Chesca's, a restaurant "marrying gourmet and comfort food on Martha's Vineyard," is owned by chefs Jo Maxwell and David Joyce. According to a meal ticket the restaurant posted on Facebook, Obama's party ordered spinach salad, braised beef shortribs, and pappardelle bolognese, and creme caramel for dessert.

The couple arrived at 7:45 p.m and departed at 9:28 p.m. to head home for one last night in Chilmark.

Family Tradition: Fireworks
1 day 1 hour ago

As evening descended Friday, Obamaial motorcade whisked from Chilmark to Oak Bluffs again, this time for the annual fireworks display over Ocean Park. By tradition, the Obamas watch the fireworks from Valerie Jarrett's rented home. The fireworks mark the turn toward the end of summer on the Vineyard, and the Obama vacation is also nearly at an end. They are scheduled to leave Sunday.

Beach Road for Dinner
2 days 9 hours ago

After a day on the golf course, Obama headed to Beach Road for dinner Thursday. Obama and Michelle arrived at the restaurant in Vineyard Haven just before 8 p.m. When the Obamas left at 11:20 p.m. a small crowd lined the street for about a block around the restaurant, hoping for glimpse.

This is the second time Obama has visited the restaurant, which opened last year. Beach Road is owned by Jackson and Mary Kenworth, who also own State Road Restaurant, another Obama favorite.

Thursday at Farm Neck
2 days 20 hours ago

Obama returned to Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs late Thursday morning for another round of golf.

The motorcade arrived at the golf club at 11:40 a.m. His golf partners Thursday were comedian and actor Larry David, former UBS president Robert Wolf, and Jonathan Lavine.

Dinner at Jimmy Seas
3 days 11 hours ago

Downtown Oak Bluffs was hopping Wednesday night as Obama and Michelle headed out for dinner at Jimmy Seas Pan Pasta in the heart of downtown -- where thousands of people were gathering at the Camp Ground for the annual Grand Illumination Night.

Obamaial motorcade rolled into Oak Bluffs just before 8 p.m., when the community sing was scheduled to start at The Tabernacle. Obama and Mrs. Obama were greeted with sizable crowds as they headed to Jimmy Seas, which is located on Kennebec avenue.

Former owner James J. Cipolla opened Jimmy Seas in 1994, and the restaurant became well-known for serving pasta served out of the pan in which it was cooked. The restaurant's clientele included Keith Richards, Beyonce, and the Clintons.

The restaurant was sold at a foreclosure auction in 2014 to William Craffey, and he and his business partner Lisa Huff renovated and reopened the restaurant under the same name. The menu still features big helpings of pan-cooked pasta, lobster fra diablo, frutti di mare and zuppa di pesce.

Obamaial motorcade left Oak Bluffs at about 9:40 p.m., driving through streets lined with Illumination Night summer revelers with their phones raised, hoping to get a glimpse of the famous visitors.

Back to Vineyard Golf Club, and Louisiana Update
3 days 18 hours ago

After a break from golf Tuesday, Obama headed back to Vineyard Golf Course on Wednesday for an afternoon of golf.

The motorcade arrived at the Edgartown course at around 12:45 p.m and departed at 6:04 p.m.. Obama's golf partners included Marty Nesbitt, Alonzo Mourning, and Cy Walker.

Wednesday's golf game was a rematch; the same foursome hit the links at Vineyard Golf Club on Monday.

According to White House deputy press secretary Jen Friedman, Obama spoke earlier Wednesday with Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate about flooding in Louisiana.

FEMA has been on the ground to respond to the flooding crisis that began over the weekend in the southern part of the state. According to The New York Times, the flooding took place after rainfall that is likely seen only once every thousand years. Eleven people have been killed and tens of thousands rescued.

According to the statement, Obama was briefed about resources that have been provided for response and recovery. He directed Mr. Fugate to use all resources available to assist in the response, and to keep him updated about the ongoing situation.

Earlier this week, Obama spoke with Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards and approved a major disaster declaration for the affected parishes in Louisiana. More than 70,000 people have registered for individual assistance under the disaster declaration and more than 9,000 people have filed flood insurance claims.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will visit the impacted regionon Thursday.

Time at the Beach and Evening In
4 days 9 hours ago

After a busy few days filled with evenings out, golf games, and a fundraiser, the First Family headed to a south shore beach Tuesday afternoon.

Obamaial motorcade departed headed out at 1:18 p.m. and arrived shortly after at a private beach off Pohogonot Road in Edgartown. The White House said the First Family was spending time with friends on a warm, mostly sunny day with a high in the low 80s.

The motorcade left the beach at 5:23 p.m. Obama was wearing a black baseball hat as the motorcade sped down Edgartown-West Tisbury Road.

Obama arrived back home in Chilmark at about 5:45 p.m., where he would spend the rest of the night at the residence off North Road.

Monday Morning at Vineyard Golf Club
5 days 20 hours ago

After a late evening out, Obama headed out Monday morning to Vineyard Golf Club, arriving at the Edgartown course at 11:15 a.m.

Obama was joined on the course by Cy Walker, Alonzo Mourning, and Marty Nesbitt. The weather remained warm on the Vineyard with temperatures in the low 80s.

The golf game was over about five hours later, and the motorcade headed back to Chilmark at 4:17 p.m. A few hours later, Obama headed back out to speak at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton at the Chilmark home of Hank and Carol Goldberg.

After Midnight
6 days 2 hours ago

Sunday was no day of rest for Obamaial entourage. After a morning at home in Chilmark that included a nature walk with his daughter, Mr. Obama ventured out to Farm Neck Golf Club for an afternoon on the links in stilfing heat and humidity. It was one of the hottest days of the summer on the Vineyard, with temperatures in the low 90s.

Obama's golf foursome included Cy Walker, Alonzo Mourning, and Mercer Cook.

Golf over, Obama headed back home for dinner.

Hours later, as a nearly full moon cast a silvery glow across an empty North Road, the motorcade was on the move again. The Obamas were headed down Island again, this time to a private party at Lola's in Oak Bluffs. Obama and Michelle arrived at the Southern seafood restaurant on Beach Road well after 11 p.m. and they returned home at about 12:40 a.m., well after midnight.

Dinner at Red Cat
6 days 23 hours ago

The First Family spent Saturday night out in Oak Bluffs, where they dined at the Red Cat Kitchen on Kennebec avenue. Obamaial motorcade arrived in the downtown area at 8:39 p.m.

The restaurant is described as "soulful cuisine with a relaxed atmosphere." Chef and owner Ben deForest's menu Saturday included grilled ginger locally-caught wahoo with summer farms vegetable succotash, backyard grass-fed New York, strip, and locally-caught striped bass.

Baker Erica McCarron's dessert menu for the Obamas, which she posted on Instagram, included chocolate cupcakes with balsamic caviar filled strawberries, berry cobbler a la mode with cinnamon and sugar puff pastry stars, Mocha Hennessy cake with ice cream and Mocha Motts espresso, and butterscotch banana split waffles with Nutella sauce and cherry vanilla whip.

The Obamas headed back to Chilmark at about 10 p.m.

Beach Afternoon and a Visit with Friends
1 week 13 hours ago

The First Family, like many on the Island, headed to the beach on Saturday, a hot and humid day on Martha's Vineyard.

The Obamas arrived at a private beach off Pohogonot Road in Edgartown just before 1 p.m, and departed about four hours later.

Later Saturday evening Obama and Mrs. Obama traveled to Edgartown for the third night in a row. At 7:17 p.m. the Obamas arrived at the home of Glenn Hutchins off Katama Road.

Mr. Hutchins is an investor and often joins Obama for golf on the Vineyard. He also donated $15 million to endow the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research at Harvard. The center's annual forum on the Vineyard, led by Professor Henry Louis (Skip) Gates Jr.,  takes place this Thursday at the Whaling Church in Edgartown; the topic is Race and the Race to the White House.

Another Evening in Edgartown
1 week 1 day ago

Obama and Michelle headed back to Edgartown Friday night, paying a visit to friends in Katama and then having dinner at L'etoile in downtown Edgartown.

The Obamas arrived at L'etoile just before 8:30 p.m and departed at about 10:09 p.m. The contemporary French restaurant is on the corner of North Water and Winter streets, a stone's throw from Detente, where the couple ate the previous night.

Chef and owner Michael Brisson has been cooking on the Vineyard for more than 30 years, and has experience cooking for Presidents; he baked President Bill Clinton's 51st birthday cake in the shape of the Edgartown Lighthouse.

Earlier in the evening the first couple visited the home of businessman Robert Wolf and his wife Carol on Slough Cove Road in Katama.

Mr. Wolf and Obama played a round of golf at Farm Neck Golf Club Friday afteernoon with basketball player Chris Paul and his brother C.J.

Mr. Wolf is the former president of UBS Investment Bank. He is now the CEO of 32 Advisors, and a member of the board for the Obama Foundation.

Back to Farm Neck and Summer Reading List
1 week 1 day ago

Third time's a charm Friday as Obama arrived to play golf at Farm Neck Golf Club, his third visit to the Oak Bluffs course since he arrived Saturday.

Obama's golf partners on Friday are Los Angeles Clippers player Chris Paul and his brother C.J. Paul and former UBS president Robert Wolf. It is a muggy day with sun and blue sky occassionally visible behind cloud cover.

Yesterday Obama shared what he's listening to this summer, and today the White House released what Obama is reading. The titles are Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, and Seveneves by Neal Stephenson.

Dinner Out in Edgartown
1 week 2 days ago

Obama and Michelle headed to Edgartown Thursday night for dinner with friends at Detente in downtown Edgartown. Detente is billed as a modern seasonal kitchen. It is owned by Suzanna and Kevin Crowell, who also own The Sweet Life Cafe in Oak Bluffs, another frequent dinner destination for the Obamas.

Crowds gathered along Winter street and down to North Water street, which was lined with police and government cars and Secret Service and police officers.

Earlier in the day, Obama spent about five hours playing 18 holes of golf at Mink Meadows Golf Course in Vineyard Haven.

Thursday Golf at Mink Meadows
1 week 2 days ago

Obama switched up his golf routine a bit Thursday and headed to Mink Meadows, a semi-private nine-hole golf course on West Chop. The motorcade arrived just before 1 p.m.

Obama's foursome for the day includes retired basketball player Alonzo Mourning, former Celtics shooting guard Ray Allen, and Cy Walker, a friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett's cousin. The two basketball players also joined Obama on the course at Vineyard Golf Club on Wednesday; Mr. Walker frequently joins Obama for golf rounds on the Vineyard.

Earlier in the day, Obama and daughter Malia took a walk near the Chilmark home where they are staying. Obama also released his summer playlists on Twitter. A 19-song daytime playlist includes songs by Wale, Jay Z feat. Pharrell, Aloe Blacc, the Beach Boys, and Janelle Monae. A 20-song playlist of songs for the nighttime includes selections from Esperanza Spalding, Chance the Rapper, Fiona Apple, Floetry, and D'Angelo.

Rainy Day at the Golf Course; Evening at Home
1 week 3 days ago

A rainy forecast did not deter Obama from heading to the golf course Wednesday morning. Obama arrived at Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown around 10:30 a.m.; shortly afterward a light rain shower began.

Obama's golf partners Wednesday were retired basketball player Alonzo Mourning, former Celtics star Ray Allen, and investor and seasonal resident Glenn Hutchins.

About five hours later the motorcade headed back to Chilmark, where Obama will remain for the rest of the gray day.

The White House announced earlier Wednesday that Obama will squeeze in some political business during his two weeks on the Vineyard; Mr. Obama is scheduled to attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser next Monday at a private home in Chilmark.

Dinner Out
1 week 4 days ago

After a long afternoon at the beach the Obamas headed home, then out again, this time a few miles down North Road to State Road restaurant for dinner with friends. The West Tisbury restaurant owned by Jackson and Mary Kenworth is a favorite presidential stop. The Obamas were back at home in Chilmark by just after 10:30 p.m.

Surf's Up
1 week 4 days ago

The Obamas headed to the south shore of the Vineyard Tuesday afternoon for an afternoon at the beach with family and friends. The outing took place at an unidentified, private Atlantic-facing beach off the Edgartown Great Pond on a sparkling August day with temperatures in the 80s and light sea breezes.

Quiet Day, In for the Night
1 week 5 days ago

Out for golf, home for dinner. That wrapped up the day for Obama, who was home at his rented house on North Road in Chilmark by suppertime Monday following an afternoon at Farm Neck Golf Club. Streaky white clouds over the Elizabeth islands carried the promise of a pretty sunset.

Another Round of Golf
1 week 5 days ago

Obama headed to the links again at Farm Neck on Monday, the second full day of his Vineyard vacation. His partners on this sunny day, with heat and humidity building in, are Steph Curry, Dell Curry and Cy Walker.

The Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs, a public-private 18-hole course that hugs one end of Sengekontacket Pond, is a favorite presidential haunt.

Dinner Down Island
1 week 6 days ago

Obama and Michelle headed to Oak Bluffs Sunday night for dinner out at Down Island, a new restaurant on Kennebec avenue.

Mr. and Mrs. Obama arrived in Oak Bluffs at 7:44 p.m., greeted by onlookers on Circuit avenue, and left at about 11 p.m. The couple dined with family and friends, according to the White House.

Down Island opened earlier this summer; it is an upscale communal dining restaurant with a fixed $59 menu that changes weekly and is based on what is available locally. This week's menu features octopus with marble potato, ice lettuce, and bouillabaisse, Island-caught sea bass, roasted carrots, and chocolate pate.

Earlier in the day Obama spent about five hours at Farm Neck Golf Club, also in Oak Bluffs, where he hit the links with Chris Paul, Cyrus Walker, and Joe Paulsen. Obama wore a gray polo shirt and dark shorts.

Sunday Tee Time at Farm Neck
1 week 6 days ago

Back on the Vineyard, back on the golf course. Obama headed to Farm Neck Golf Course in Oak Bluffs on the first full day of the Obamas's summer vacation.

The motorcade left the Obamas' Chilmark rental home at 12:38 p.m. on a sunny day with temperatures in the low 80s. The motorcade passed by a "Welcome back, first family" sign and some onlookers during the trip to the golf course.

Obama's golf partners Sunday are NBA player Chris Paul, Cyrus Walker, and White House aide Joe Paulsen.

Obamas Arrives on the Vineyard
2 weeks 17 hours ago

Obama, Michelle, and the daughters Sasha and Malia arrived at Martha's Vineyard Airport aboard Marine One at about 2:37 p.m. Saturday, a muggy, breezy, overcast day. Obama and Michelle greeted some well-wishers gathered at the airport before the Obama motorcade, some 25 vehicles long, departed from the airport towards the family's rental house off North Road in Chilmark. The motorcade arrived around 3:09 p.m., and the White House said Obama will remain in Chilmark for the rest of the day.

The picture at the top shows the Obama retinue heading to the rented summer residence from the airport.

For those of you that have never been to "The Vineyard," that's one of the "bigger" roads. Many of the roads on the island are really sand paths. As you can see, there isn't even a "soft shoulder," as the larger vehicles occupy parts of the other lane.

You will also not there is no oncoming traffic -- that's because the Secret Service and local cops shut the road down to all other traffic.

When the Obama's "go out" to dinner (despite the fact that they dragged their world-class chef along for the two weeks) they effectively shut down the island.

When Obama goes to play golf, he effectively shuts down the island.

The local libs never complain, but what you will never see in the liberal press is the absolute disgust of the Republicans and conservatives who own property and businesses on the island. Many rent out their homes (at killer rates) for the two weeks that the Obamas occupy the place.


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Not even the worst disaster since Hurricane Sandy could keep Obama from the golf course

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Obama golfs while caskets float down highway

The Washington Times is reporting that not even the worst natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy could pry Barack Obama away from the golf course yesterday.

With 11 people dead and 40,000 homes damaged by floods in Louisiana, Obama did speak with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate Wednesday from his vacation spot in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

The White House said Mr. Fugate "briefed the president on the resources that have been provided to support the response and recovery." Obama directed FEMA to use "all resources available" to help in the recovery.

But there were no changes in travel plans announced for Obama, who is scheduled to stay on the island until Sunday.

Instead, Obama headed out late Wednesday to play more golf, his eighth round on the links since arriving on the island on Aug. 6.

Obama couldn't care less. He's not running for anything.



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Obama golfs while Milwaukee burns

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Keith Koffler (Lifezette) says neither epic floods nor riots will part Barack Obama from his golf, seafood, or vacation.

Saturday was a day at the beach for Barack Obama. Literally. Obama spent hours seaside at his vacation paradise on Martha's Vineyard with friends, absorbing the soothing ocean breeze and floating around in the salt water.

Obama may literally have been soaking up some "Good Vibrations," the Beach Boys tune on his recently released Spotify list, or perusing "Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life" by William Finnegan, one of the books the White House says he brought with him to the island.

Meanwhile in Milwaukee, the vibes were not good at all. After a police officer killed a black man, anger began to brew and by nighttime rioters were out in force and torching businesses, no matter that the deceased was armed when shot. As the rioters gathered, Obama was dining at the Red Cat Kitchen, "a place where you're just as likely to connect with old friends as meet new and fascinating people from all over the world" and where "you can feel completely spoiled," according to the restaurant's website. And where entrées average about $35.

After piecing through the devastation in Milwaukee, city and state officials began to brace for whatever might come next.

For Obama, what came next was golf. After supposedly being "updated on the situation" Sunday morning, chatting with Milwaukee's mayor, and requesting to be "kept updated," Obama spent 5.5 hours updating his golf scorecard. Along with basketball great Alonzo Mourning, Obama played the links at the exquisite Farm Neck Golf Club.

No presidential statement. No call for calm. No anything that might have mattered.

After resting up a bit, Obama and his family roared out of his vacation home and headed to "Lola's," a Southern-style seafood restaurant, where he partied with friends until after midnight.

As Obama nibbled on crawfish and shrimp and grits, or whatever they were serving at Lola's, the violence continued in Milwaukee for a second night, with an officer injured and a man shot. Things were calmer the second night -- but only thanks to local authorities. No thanks to our president.

Now imagine if George W. Bush had done that.

The mainstream media isn't taking note of Obama's ruthless determination to continue with his vacation at all costs. Not so, of course, when George W. Bush was supposedly AWOL as Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast and put New Orleans underwater in 2005. Then, the press took lots of notes, savaging Bush for being on vacation while the hurricane struck -- even though the devastation would not be clear until afterward -- and for flying over the city a couple of days later to have a look instead of plunging into the chaos himself.

Bush, in fact, was on top of the situation before it got out of hand, pleading unsuccessfully with New Orleans' incompetent Mayor Ray Nagin to evacuate the city in case of the worst. He later said that his decision not to arrive on the scene immediately was an attempt to avoid creating a distraction while desperate measures were being taken to save lives. What, exactly, was he supposed to do -- don a bathing suit and try to swim to the rescue himself?

Bush cut short his vacation, though it took a couple of days, and flew back to Washington to oversee the federal response. Prudently, he arrived in Louisiana a few days after the storm had hit -- instead of during the immediate aftermath -- to offer encouragement and take stock of the recovery effort.
 
Bush was never allowed by the press to shed the image of detachment fostered by his flyover of the scene -- even though it was the right thing to do -- and was portrayed as an uncaring president.

But Obama is a Democrat, and for the press, Democrats, unlike Republicans, care about people. So despite his long record of callousness in the face of tragedy, Obama is never portrayed as having ice in his veins.

Incredibly enough, Obama has done and said little during his current Martha's Vineyard vacation as another flood seizes Louisiana -- though of course the media aren't providing criticism.

Over the weekend, while Obama vacationed relentlessly, Louisiana officials rescued 20,000 people. More than 10,000 are sitting in shelters and a similar number have been left homeless. Caskets were seen floating in the streets as cemeteries were uprooted. At least five people were dead.

Obama spoke to the state's governor, issued an emergency declaration, and of course, got an update. But again, no public statement on the tragedy.

Monday morning, though, he sent an email out with the subject line "important."

It was a fundraising solicitation on behalf of House Democrats. Perhaps he clicked "send" from a fairway, since he was once again playing golf.

This is the same Obama who just two years ago made a public statement on the beheading by ISIS of journalist James Foley and then minutes later headed out for a round of golf. And the one who jetted out to Las Vegas to raise money the morning after the Benghazi attacks.

Obama likely failed to read one of the books on last year's Martha's Vineyard reading list that might have given him a lesson or two in leadership: "Washington, A Life," by Ron Chernow. He probably just brought it along for show.


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Dangerous situation in Milwaukee not enough to keep Obama from the fairway

Twitchy reports the situation is dangerous and volatile in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It’s to the point that Gov. Scott Walker has had to activate the National Guard.

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Meanwhile, Barack Obama is diligently working on hitting the fairway with his tee shots as he continues to vacation.

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Oh yeah, he was “updated” on the situation Sunday morning before he began his round of golf.

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After all these years, Obama is still voting "present."



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Golf and greetings as Obama begins low-key Martha's Vineyard vacation

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Sara Brown (VineyardGazette) is reporting that the first week of the Obamas final Vineyard summer vacation followed in the vein of past visits: low-key and quiet, filled with familiar patterns. There was golf and an afternoon at the beach, a few evenings out to dinner, and down time with family and friends at the family's rental home in Chilmark.

This marks the First Family's seventh summer trip to the Island. And while onlookers still gathered at the Martha's Vineyard Airport to greet their arrival and small crowds holding camera phones are often present when the motorcade passes by, the summer White House has largely passed under the radar. As Obama's time in the White House winds down, most of the political news is dominated by the race to elect his successor.

Obama made four trips to Island golf courses in his first five full days on the Vineyard, hitting the links at Farm Neck on Sunday and Monday, Vineyard Golf Course on Wednesday and Mink Meadows on Thursday. His golf foursomes have included NBA players, past and present: Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul, Golden State Warriors point guard and 2016 league MVP Steph Curry and his father, retired shooting guard Dell Curry, retired star Alonzo Mourning, and former Celtics star Ray Allen. He was also joined by investor and seasonal Vineyard resident Glenn Hutchins, aide Joe Paulsen, and friend Cyrus Walker, who is advisor Valerie Jarrett's cousin.

CBS News reported that Sunday's golf game was Obama's 300th while in office.

Obama and Michelle had dinner with friends on Sunday night at Down Island, a new restaurant on Kennebec avenue. The motorcade was met by cheering onlookers lining Circuit avenue upon arrival in downtown Oak Bluffs.

The restaurant is an upscale communal dining restaurant with a fixed $59 menu that changes weekly and is based on what is available locally. This menu for the week included octopus with marble potato, lettuce, and bouillabaisse, as well as Island-caught sea bass, roasted carrots and chocolate pate.

A few nights later the Obamas dined with friends at a perennial favorite, State Road restaurant in West Tisbury. The chalk sign outside the restaurant Tuesday read "Make it Last."

Beyond golf and evenings out, the family also spent a warm afternoon with friends at a private beach in Edgartown on the Island's south shore. On another day, President and daughter Malia took a morning walk near where they are staying.

The Obamas are staying for the third year at a family home owned by Joanne Hubschman off North Road in Chilmark.

On Thursday morning, Obama released his summer music playlists on Twitter. A 19-song daytime playlist includes tracks by Wale, Jay Z feat. Pharrell, Aloe Blacc, the Beach Boys and Janelle Monae. A 20-song playlist of songs for the nighttime includes selections from Esperanza Spalding, Chance the Rapper, Fiona Apple, Floetry and D'Angelo.

Beyond Obamaial motorcade there are, as usual, few signs of the Summer White House beyond an influx of White House staffers, Secret Service and members of the press at Island hotels. A "Welcome Back, First Family" sign and an American flag adorn North Road near where the family is staying.

As Obama traveled to Mink Meadows golf course Thursday, two men held up a handmade Donald Trump sign outside the Tisbury School.

The First Family's time away started at 2:37 p.m. Saturday as they arrived at Martha's Vineyard Airport on a breezy, muggy day. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama stopped to greet people gathered in a viewing area on the airport tarmac where daughters Malia and Sasha headed to the motorcade, which whisked down Edgartown-West Tisbury Road about 10 minutes later.

About 60 people were gathered by the short-term parking lot outside the airport, taking pictures and hoping for a glimpse of the visitors from the White House. Children were perched on parents' shoulders, and the crowd perked up with each approaching plane.

Secret Service officers were seen driving by in a golf cart, and a state police car and several black cars could be seen lining up near a large gray cargo plane on the tarmac.

West Tisbury summer residents Linda Thompson and Laurent Hubert said they came to see Mr. Obama's arrival for what could be his last visit as President. They said it was their first time watching the First Family's arrival.

Soon a flurry of helicopters and Osprey aircraft landed at the airport, and the crowd dispersed.

Earlier the First Family left the White House for the quick trip to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. There they boarded Air Force One for the flight to Cape Cod and then the Vineyard. Obama wore slacks and a button-down shirt, and the First Lady wore a dark blue dress with orange-red piping.

Upon arrival at Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Air Force One was met by greeters including Tobias Vanderhoop, chairman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and U.S. Rep. Bill Keating.

Mr. Keating, a Democrat who represents the 9th congressional district, gave Obama a Titleist Pro V golf ball made in New Bedford. "He said he's use it for his best shot," Mr. Keating said. By Thursday afternoon Obama had four rounds of golf under his belt, but there was no word whether he had used the Pro V ball yet.

In the second half of his vacation Obama will attend to some political business. The White House announced Wednesday that he will attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser on Monday at a private residence in Chilmark.

The First Family is scheduled to depart for Washington D.C. on Sunday, August 21.


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Obamas spend vacation day by a brackish pond "fouled by human urine"

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David Usborne (Independent) is reporting that Barack and Michelle Obama, spent Tuesday on a Martha's Vineyard beach backing onto a huge and well-loved pond that is being killed slowly by human urine.

The visit with friends to a glistening beach under perfect skies on a thin sand bar that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Edgartown Great Pond, a brackish body of water with precious wildlife, was the highlight for the Obama's on the fourth day of their two-week holiday.

It was a change of pace for Obama, in particular, who, true to form, spent most of his first days on the island hitting the golf links. For his traditional summer break, he has also been joined by his daughter, Sasha and Malia.

The plight of the pond, which has been officially designated compromised because of unacceptably high levels of nitrogen, stood in stark contrast to the beauty of the clear-blue day and the southern vista out towards the ocean. 

It was the object of scholarly research by reporters who found themselves stuck for the afternoon in a bus in the beach parking lot while the first family frolicked. While they could boast being entirely aware of the compromised nature of the pond them before them, it isn't clear that the Obama's had any idea.

While excessive nitrogen is a common ecological problem that has caused widespread harm in sensitive watersheds in America, including in Chesapeake Bay and southern Florida, in most cases it is traced back to run-off from agricultural land and the fertilisers used to enrich them.

But for Edgartown Great Pond, human urine is the most important culprit. Indeed, according to the website of Great Pond Foundation, which was formed to help address the crisis, "by far the greatest source of ‘manageable' (i.e. non-atmospheric) source of nitrogen pollution in our ponds comes from the urine in wastewater.”

And that arises, of course, because Martha's Vineyard, an island off Cape Cod in Massachusetts and eight miles from its sister island of Nantuckett, in the summer attracts hordes of beach-loving tourists, the first family included who have visited it each of the last seven summers -- every August since Obama was elected.

The island has just 15,000 year-round residents but sees its population soar to 100,000 in the peak summer months.

Added to that is the problem that almost none of its homes are on mainline sewage. Nine out of ten dwellings depend on septic systems to deal with human waste.  And those systems, the foundation's site says, "deal well with pathogens but have little impact on nitrogen” in urine.

According to the US Geographical Survey, excessive nitrogen levels "can cause excessive growth of algae and other plants, leading to accelerated eutrophication or 'aging' of lakes, and occasional loss of dissolved oxygen".

Overwhelming tourist numbers as well as commercial development is also causing strains to the water supply on Cape Cod itself, which is dependent on a single underground aquifer for nearly all of its fresh water supply.  On Cape Cod, four fifths of all homes also depend on in-ground septic tanks to treat their human waste.

In their small bus, the White House reporters, who offer a ‘pooled report' of the day's events to media outlets that our interested, determined they were not about to add to the problem. "Your pool is holding in a bus nearby with plenty of bottled water,” wrote New York Times reporter Gardiner Harris.

"Horrified at playing even a small role in this unfortunate cycle, your pooler promises to drink abstemiously."



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Malia Obama busted -- what say you, choom-daddy?

Started at #360 today . . .

Radar is reporting that "twerking" was just the beginning! In a new low, wild child Malia Obama was caught on camera smoking pot at a recent concert, according to an eyewitness.

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Here is the video:



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Reply with quote  #44 
We hope, but there is a lot of time in the interim and he will be living in DC. There is also a lot of things that can happen between now and then.
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The King of Swing

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Stilton Jarlsberg (HopeNChange) says that in the meanwhile, Barack Obama has made political history yet again by having just played his 300th game of golf while in office (and doing so in Martha's Vineyard, just so it would cost us more).

This is a remarkable accomplishment for a man who doesn't have time for security briefings (including the day after the bloodbath in Benghazi), who repeatedly failed to meet with his jobs council, a man who has presided in absentia over the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression, a Chicago pol who presides over more Americans who are out of the work force than at any previous time in our history, a man who has created a boom (literally) in domestic and international terror, and who has opened our borders to a genuinely impressive array of vagrants, career criminals, jihadis, and exotic diseases.

Happily, his final "fore" year term is nearly over. And frankly, we can't wait until he grabs his clubs and hauls his dimpled balls out of our White House.

Obama has less than six months left. It's 162 day to Inauguration Day 2017 and 163 days until Obama is out of government and gone.



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The party has never stopped

Keith Koffler says for the Obamas, the party has never stopped.

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All-night parties! Three hundred rounds of golf! Hawaii vacations! African safaris! And always, summer on the Vineyard! Truly the 1 Percent life. Sure, President Barack and Michelle Obama are the champions of the 99 percent. But that doesn’t mean they are bother living like the 99 percent. No, nothing like it. As Donald Trump would say, that’s for losers! If Americans are having trouble affording bread in the Obama economy, let them eat cake! Michelle Obama advises gluten-free.

The Obamas have spent the past eight years in the White House helping themselves to one type of self-indulgence after another. Were they Republicans, the press would be carrying on about the entitlements assumed by wealthy GOP elitists. And much of the cost was paid for by taxes confiscated from the 99 percent -- at least to the extent the 99 percent are still paying taxes, as Obama signs up as many as possible for welfare and disability.


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Obama logs his 300th round of golf on the taxpayer's dime

Keith Koffler (WhiteHouseDossier) is reporting that Barack Obama is playing golf Sunday at Farm's Neck Golf Club on Martha's Vineyard where he and his family are staying.

According to CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller, who tracks Obama's golf outings, it is the 300th time he has played sice the 2009 inauguration.

Obama, who was on his first full day of vacation, was playing with NBA star Chris Paul, Cy Walker -- a cousin of Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett -- and White House aide Joe Paulsen.

Here he is playing his 300th round. They let the press in for a rare look, and Obama rose to the challenge with a long putt that apparently just missed.


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Up, up and away! The Obamas head to Martha's Vineyard for a 2-week family vacation

Blake Bakkila (People) is reporting that the Obamas are ready for their summer vacation!

The First Family boarded Air Force One on Saturday as they set out for a two-week family vacation on Martha's Vineyard, an island located just south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

The Obamas looked easy, breezy and vacation ready as they hopped on the plane. First Lady Michelle Obama wore a midi navy dress and President Barack Obama donned a light blue button-down.

Malia Obama opted for a white sundress and sandals, and Sasha Obama sported a striped top and white skirt with tennis shoes.

The family was all smiles as they joined dogs Sunny and Bo on Air Force One. They were later seen greeting an excited crowd when they touched down in West Tisbury, Massachusetts.

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This trip comes just two days after Barack Obama celebrated his 55th birthday with a star-studded private party, hosted by Michelle.

"The First Lady is hosting a 55th birthday celebration for the President at the White House," a rep for the White House told PEOPLE in a statement last Friday. "The guest list includes a large number of family members and friends to mark the occasion."

And here's a little side note -- Obama will be playing his 300th round of golf while he's in Martha’s Vineyard:

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Ellen DeGeneres and Magic Johnson were among the celebs at Obama's 55th birthday party

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David Caplan (ABCNews) is reporting that Barack Obama celebrated his 55th birthday Friday night with a star-studded, blowout birthday bash at the White House.

Although the hand-picked guest list was not released in advance, and the majority of guests did not confirm they were attending, nor post anything on social media about the soiree immediately after it ended, the identities of some of the bold-faced attendees have begun to trickle out. Obama turned 55 on Thursday.

At 8:44 p.m., Magic Johnson tweeted a photo of himself with wife Cookie, writing, "Cookie and I getting ready to go to President Obama's birthday party!" Cookie tweeted the same photo, writing "Happy birthday President @BarackObama, can't wait to get down, I have on my dancing shoes."

George Lucas, creator of the "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" franchises, was spotted entering the White House, as was NBA star Grant Hill.

Ellen DeGeneres attended, as did author and former Sean "Diddy" Combs personal assistant Fonzworth Bentley, per social media users.

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On the political front, Interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile was seen heading into the White House, as was former Obama senior advisor David Axelrod and Reverend Al Sharpton. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, and former Obama chief of staff, was also spotted leaving the party.

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The "rev" still owes over $5 million in back taxes

Many pictures here . . .


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Beckwith

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When the going gets tough

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Stilton Jarlsberg (HopeNChange) says in this tumultuous and wildly volatile political season, it's almost refreshing to see that some things never change. In this case, the fact that the Obama family is winging their way to yet another taxpayer funded multi-million dollar 5-star vacation in Martha's Vineyard and coincidentally getting the hell out of Dodge just as fresh feces is hitting the fan.

In this case, the word "coincidental" is central to at least one bit of that fan-flung poop. Specifically, the claim by the White House that it was only coincidental that the Obama administration flew $400 million in untraceable cash to Iran, after which the regime released a handful of hostages for no particular reason whatsoever outside of being, in Obama's words, "really swell guys."

Even Obama's Justice Department was against the transfer, saying that it would look exactly (and perhaps accurately) like a ransom payment -- a feeling shared by Iran's mullahs who declared to their ululating masses in the streets that this was absolutely ransom money. And for that matter, the American hostages were given the same impression.

All of this is being flatly denied by Secretary of State John Kerry, who asserts "the United States does not pay ransom and does not negotiate ransoms," whether it be to cash-hungry state sponsors of international terror or our other mortal enemies, radicalized air conditioners and refrigerators.

Also in the news as Barry heads out to the golf courses is his unprecedented commutation of hundreds of federal sentences for prisoners who were in the pokey for (ahem) mostly low level drug offenses.  Granted, many violent criminals plead guilty to lower level drug offenses in exchange for not being tried for their bigger crimes...but that's hardly Obama' concern.

In fact, Barack Obama seems concerned with very little other than making sure his freeloading family takes full advantage of their last opportunity to hobnob with the rich and famous while sending the very considerable bill to the working schlubs of America.

All of whom are, in Obama's eyes, low level offenders.

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Related:  Sasha Obama lands summer job at Vineyard seafood joint -- really!

But before the vacation, the party . . .

Obama, who turned 55 yesterday, plans a massive White House bacchnal that will see him partying into the night Friday with celebreties and sports stars.

Michelle is said to be "throwing" the party for him.

According to the New York Post:

Barack Obama will celebrate his 55th birthday with a huge all-night party Friday at the White House with stars including Beyoncé and Jay Z.

We’re told that a host of stars will attend -- including Usher, who’s expected to perform, as well as Obama's favorite rapper Kendrick Lamar, and Jason Wu, who designed the first lady's inaugural ball gowns in both 2009 and 2013.

Others who have made the guest list include Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, Sarah Jessica Parker, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Magic Johnson and Alonzo Mourning.

Politicos expected at the celebration include Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

How much of this grand self-indulgence is at taxpayers' expense?

Who knows?



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