Ed Driscoll

The Alpha and Omega of CBS's John Dickerson

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

As NewsBusters reported Saturday, CBS News political director John Dickerson advised the current White House resident to destroy the Republican Party.

On Tuesday, Dickerson doubled down in a Slate piece titled “They Hate Me, They Really Hate Me: Conservatives despise my analysis of Obama’s second-term options. But it was analysis—not advice.”

“I was using a very specific definition of transformational presidencies based on my reading of a theory of political science and the president’s own words about transformational presidencies from the 2008 campaign,” Dickerson wrote. “It was also based on these givens: The president is ambitious, has picked politically controversial goals, has little time to operate before he is dubbed a lame-duck president, and has written off working with Republicans.”

He then noted that Jodi Kantor in the New York Times had recently written about Obama becoming “Bloodier-minded when it comes to beating Republicans.”

“Given these facts,” Dickerson observed, “there is only one logical conclusion for a president who wants to transform American politics: He must take on Republicans—aggressively.”

“CBS News Political Director Dickerson Doubles Down On Obama Destroying GOP,” Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters, January 22nd, 2013.

It sounds like the business community was in enough of an uproar over the damaging economic effects of the “Affordable” Care Act to spur the administration’s announcement last night that they’ll be delaying the employer mandate (which requires all employers with 50+ workers to provide health coverage for employees who work 30+ hours/week, or else pay a penalty of $2,000/worker over a 30-worker threshold) until 2015. It simply wouldn’t do for employers to lay off/shift workers to part-time en masse before the 2014 midterms, you see — as CBS’s John Dickerson so eloquently put it this morning, this does not look good for them.

DICKERSON: As a political matter, this is not good. It sort of contributes to the feeling that the Affordable Care Act is a jalopy they’re trying to roll out of the driveway here at barely operational for the president. So that’s not good. The White House made the decision, though, take the pain now before the July 4th weekend rather than have all of these stories over the next year of companies that were laying off workers or having such a hard time implementing this. … The problem for Democrats running is that they’re already weighed down by the feelings people have about this, about this bill and about the opposition from small business and from businesses of all kinds. And though this delay, again, takes this story from being a chronic ailment as it gets implemented, it doesn’t really reduce the fact that in a lot of these states where Democrats are running, red states, this law is unpopular.

— “CBS: ObamaCare a ‘jalopy they are trying to roll out of the driveway here at barely operational,'” Erika Johnsen at Hot Air today.

Of course, while driving an old FDR or Wilson-era jalopy can seem fun at times, the operating and maintenance costs can be rather prohibitive these days:

President Obama, already the most traveled chief executive in the modern era after internationalist former President George H.W. Bush, is expected to run up an Air Force One tab of at least $24 million this year alone, according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.

Already Obama, just back from a trip with his family and a huge entourage of staff to several African nations, has run up a $15.2 million bill just for Air Force One in the first six months of 2013. Security and hotel costs can dwarf the jet’s cost. Some estimates of the president’s Africa trip alone top $100 million.

NTUF’s Douglas Kellogg told Secrets that Obama’s Africa Air Force One bill to taxpayers was $6,654,345.

But unlike those costs which are hard to estimate and often kept secret, Air Force One costs can be calculated based on published hourly figures provided by the Pentagon.

And then there’s the jalopy’s carbon footprint:

First Lady Michelle Obama has returned home from her week-long trip to South Africa and Botswana—a visit focused on “youth leadership, education, health and wellness.”  Mrs. Obama was accompanied on her travels by her two daughters, her mother, a niece and nephew (and a group of support and security staff).

While global warming is a significant concern of her husband, Michelle’s interests lie more towards promoting education, healthiness, and nutrition. And as such, the carbon dioxide released by the approximately 18,000 flight miles logged during her trip probably contributed more to her causes, than to his.

Here is why.

In the table below, I step through the calculations that I use to derive the carbon footprint of Michelle Obama’s trip using the itinerary as posted by the White House, (http://www.whitehouse.gov/youngafrica) and assuming that she flew aboard a military C-32A aircraft (the typical plane that would be used to transport the First Lady on an international flight).

Total miles on military C-32 aircraft:                                                     18,000 miles

Fuel use of a military C-32 aircraft:                                                       0.4 miles/gallon

Total consumption of jet fuel:                                                                45,000 gallons

Carbon dioxide emissions per gallon of jet fuel burned:                       21.1 lbs/gallon

Total CO2 emissions of the trip:                                                            949,500 lbs CO2

Average Annual Per Capita CO2 Emissions in U.S.:                            43,560 lbs CO2

So, just using the carbon emissions from a single C-32A aircraft alone (and not counting the carbon emissions from any other aspects of the trip) Michelle Obama, in just under a week, produced about 22 times more carbon dioxide emissions than the average American produces in a single year.

That’s the “Carbon Footprint of Michelle Obama’s June 2011 Africa Trip.” This year’s trip involved many more aircraft and support vehicles:

“When President Obama makes his first extended trip to sub-Saharan Africa later this month, the federal agencies charged with keeping him safe won’t be taking any chances. Hundreds of U.S. Secret Service agents will be dispatched to secure facilities in Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. A Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship, with a fully staffed medical trauma center, will be stationed offshore in case of emergency,” reports the Post.

“Military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bullet-proof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay. Fighter jets will fly in shifts giving 24-hour coverage over the president’s airspace so they can intervene quickly if an errant plane gets too close.

But sometimes it can be comforting to get away from it all, no matter much the credit cards are maxed out, and the destruction to Gaia. Especially when, as Bobby Jindal tweets today, “You know things are bad when you can’t even successfully implement your own bad ideas.”

Heh, indeed.™