The 2 Billion Dollars Trip

>> Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Last Wednesday, The Press Trust of India had reported on NDTV an article about Obama's visit to India. In the report It was estimated that the president will be spending around $200 million a day, with 3,000 people including Secret Service agents, US government officials and journalists accompanying him. US Secret Service had been sent there ahead of time to take care of security measures. Air Force and Navy had intensified the Indian coastlines and the Taj Mahal Hotel had been cordoned off completely during his stay.

Since the cost of the trip is kept secret, there's no way to verify any of this information, so the news provided a great building block for FOX News et al to have a great time and make stuff up. The most important number here being the 300 people entourage. I have a hard time believing it will require 3000 people to take this trip, but I guess if it is true it will require 40 planes to transport that many people abroad and 700 cars to move them from venue to venue. But 34 warships and 30 bomb sniffing dogs?

This is Rachel Maddow's take on the issue:

I have no doubt that a lot of this entourage are local officials and international press that will pay for their own way and I'm sure a President as conservative as Barack Obama knows better than spend $200 million a day on a trip during a recession in our country but this is going to be a reality for him now. A reality that no matter what he does or suggest, the fact is going to be skewed to something horrible as to discredit him. There is no way he could win, even if he said the trip only cost Americans $50,000 for 10 days, people will still whine that half a million dollars are going down the drain for something as trivial as Indian and Asia. And we know that it's going to be a heck lot more than $50,000 a day. My problem is more of the PR and damage control around the President seems to be non-existent, much like how no one knows about his accomplishments or how every Democratic candidate this year seemed to avoid mentioning Obama at all cost like his name is a plague. What is the DNC doing?

I sincerely doubt that there will be any progress in the congress for at least the next two years with the Republicans gaining in numbers and doing anything they can to oppose the President. Unless through some kind of trickery we can get them to think that the nation is progressing towards equality and they will be in the wrong for not supporting it. If one think we know the Republicans, unlike the Democrats, do fervently adopt and adhere to the values of their voters but all that was expected. All we can hope, is that the Democrats will understand the anger of their base and understand that there are consequences from their inaction or settling for less. If anything voters are tired of is promises from politicians that end up not being delivered. We're living in the age of the internet and instant gratification, our attention span is getting shorter and the drawn out process that is politics does not fit our lifestyles anymore.

By the way, there is really a Taj Mahal Hotel and this is how it looks like:

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