Friday, November 05, 2010

Who do they want to take the country back from?

'We want to take our country back' is a refrain gaining currency in conservative circles. The refrain is loaded with powerful subtleties: 'our country', 'we want', 'take back.'
Look closely at the people chanting the slogan and you would know what each one of these phrases means.
'We' stands for Anglo-Saxon, Christian, Straight.
'Our Country' asserts an ownership claim: that only the progeny of the founding fathers of US of A and others who share their racial backgrounds really own this country.
Now 'Take Back' is easy to understand. 'Take back' is complimentary to 'was given to', or 'was snatched from us by.' So who snatched the country from its 'true owners'? The answer lies in the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s. 'We the people' narrowly defined by the founding fathers was opened up in all its meaning to include everybody, through the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement had an impact on the US Immigration policy too. The 1965 Immigration Act abolished the discriminatory measures of the earlier act. Then it was just a matter of time that the population of the USA would become a representative of the world population instead of being a reflection of selective European demographics.

Now the Cons may have a red hot burning desire to 'take back the country', but the voter population reality is against such dreams. The USA cannot remain a democracy AND have the conservatives at the helm. Yes, 'they' can take it back, but only if the red states secede from the union.

PS. It is entertaining to hear Nikki Haley using the 'we want to take our country back' refrain. Who will she take the country back from? From her brother, Charan Singh Randhawa?

Photo courtesy of

Obama's India visit costing US taxpayer $3 Million a Day?

Here is a simple math.
If the figure of 2000 people is correct, we can assume 10% of these people on a $5000 per day budget, the rest (90%) on a $500 per day budget.
0.1*2000*5000= $1 Million
0.9*2000*500= $0.9 Million
Total= $1.9 Million/day
We can play around with the high and low budgets and the proportion of high budget and low budget people, to safely guess that the trip is costing between $1.9 Million and $4 Million per day--with an average figure of roughly $3 Million/day.

Why can't Obama talk to Manmohan Singh on Skype? It is free.

Republicans take aim at cost of Obama’s trip to India

By Holly Bailey

Is President Obama's trip to India really going to cost $200 million a day?

That's the number making the rounds among the president's conservative critics, including potential 2012 Obama challenger Mike Huckabee and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), as the president takes off Friday for a 10-day trip to Asia.

Huckabee made the claim to Fox News on Tuesday night (citing "reports") and in the social media sphere. "Reports say that Obama's trip to Mumbai, India tomorrow will cost taxpayers $200 million dollars a day - come to think of it, that's much less than Obama's been spending here," Huckabee wrote in a Facebook message Tuesday night (misstating the day of Obama's departure). "So maybe it's not a bad thing he's leaving."

On Wednesday, Bachmann repeated the claim on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360." "Within a day or so the president of the United States will be taking a trip over to India that is expected to cost the taxpayers $200 million a day," Bachmann told Cooper. "He's taking 2,000 people with him. He'll be renting out over 870 rooms in India. And these are five-star hotel rooms at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel. This is the kind of over-the-top spending. It's a very small example, Anderson."

The only problem: The claims appear to be wrong.

The numbers evidently originate with the Press Trust of India, whose report was linked on the Drudge Report and picked up by Fox News host Glenn Beck. The news agency also wrongly said that the White House had blocked off the entire Taj Mahal Palace hotel for Obama's visit and that the U.S. was stationing 34 warships—roughly 10 percent of the naval fleet--off the coast of Mumbai for security reasons.

The agency attributed the $200 million figure to an anonymous Indian government official. It didn't attribute the warships claim to any source.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell called the warship claim "absolutely absurd." "That's just comical," he said at Thursday's Pentagon news briefing. "Nothing close to that is being done."

The White House, meanwhile, issued a blanket statement that the $200 million figure "had no basis in reality" and was "wildly inflated." The press office declined to disclose the trip's actual cost, citing "security concerns."

In a news briefing Thursday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also refused to release numbers, but he told reporters point-blank, "We are not spending $200 million a day."

The nonpartisan took up the issue, too, saying that even though the administration won't release a price tag, there is "simply no evidence to support" a claim of $200 million a day. One reason to doubt the report, according to the group: The entire war in Afghanistan costs $190 million a day.

That is not to say that some of the precautions for Obama's first presidential visit to India aren't possibly a tad over the top. As the BBC reports, Indian officials have been removing coconuts from any trees that Obama might walk under, to prevent anything from falling on the presidential head. And as London's Daily Telegraph notes, the country has deployed trained monkey catchers to prevent any "simian invasion" (a measure that Indian officials also took when President Bush visited in 2006).

(Photo of President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)