Sunday, January 18, 2009

Logic - Security and other facts and figures

I have been getting some ridiculous comments on a comment I left on another blog, to which I refuse to link. None of my readers need to be subjected to that!

She and her like thinking folk are saying that the State of Emergency that was declared by Bush - is Obama's fault. That the cost of the inauguration - Obama's fault. That the security problems that don't seem to be under control - are somehow under the control of the Obama team...

As to Control of security -

Logic states = The Secret Service is in charge of security - and were still under the control of the Bush administration for the entire time prior to noon on January 20 - since they are under the command of Homeland Security. The National Guard - still under the control of the Pentagon - and the Commander in Chief was STILL the CinC. I think even those commentors would agree that if Bush gave a command yesterday or this morning, it would be followed, if Obama gave a command during that time, it wouldn't...

The State of Emergency was declared because:

"Mr. Bush granted the request as 'a precaution,' Mr. Stanzel said; if the District needs the money, it can apply for reimbursement through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The declaration will also allow federal public health workers to join in the public safety effort. The president’s power to declare a state of emergency is typically used after hurricanes, floods or other natural disasters, although Mr. Stanzel said presidents have occasionally declared emergencies in advance of an anticipated event. But never before, he said, has an advance emergency declaration been used for a 'non-disaster.'"

I decided to research some facts about costs - that's what I do - research. Turns out, the figures given for the cost of the Obama inauguration of about 160 million dollars include the costs of security. Various Conservative/neocon websites and news agencies have compared that to the costs of the last Bush inauguration, of 42.3 million dollars. However, and this is a big However comma, these costs do not include the costs of security. When you add in the approximate costs of security (approximate, because the actual costs are not given out, due to - well... security!) the actual cost of the last Bush inauguration are figured to be 157 million. folks, this is a non story.

This money isn't being spent in China, or being ferried in C130s by the Crate Load downrange without any receipts or proof of what it was spent for. This is being spent HERE, in DC, Virginia, Maryland - in the United States. The portalets - local companies. The police departments - local, state, federal. The printers - a small company (I think they are in NJ). The overtime being paid to the local cops - spent by them in the local economy.

The point was also made, that too many people were coming and that this was too popular of an event and that somehow, all those trying to get here, should have somehow been stopped from doing so? The commentor didn't actually say how, or if this must be done, but the inference was there... Now this one made my head ache. I remembered from a US Government class way back when ( yeah, in the dark ages, we used pens!) something about freedom of assembly - sure enough, a little more research - there it is. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There - my research, for what it's worth.



Chuck said...

And the right of the people to peaceably assemble means that the Government has to provide portajohns, security, water, entertainment, etc for them?

The gripe is about the ostentation of spending 150 Million dollars on pomp and circumstance, when, four years ago, GWB was chided as overspending when he spent only 40 million on his SECOND inauguration.

And the fact that the fed gives the district 15 million a year to pay for the costs of the various functions in DC, and that money has been completely spent, and a large deficit now remains, just 21 days into the year.

Not exactly fiscally responsible.

The thousands of security people needed to manage the crowds isn't just for the inauguration ceremony, it's for all the balls, parties, etc that the POTUS and high-ranking members of the government attend. Since this love fest has been going on since last Thursday, it adds up.

Nobody is saying that the right of the people to assemble should be limited, the gripe is with the cost associated with it, the wasted resources, the pageantry for a president who has yet do accomplish anything.

The Army Wife said...

I think he missed the part (or chose not to read) about Bush's first inauguration costing almost as much.

Silly Government -- they should have just cancelled the entire event. Forget tradition. Forget the fact that every other President of the United States has been granted the same right and privilege of an Inauguration ceremony.

It's called responsibility. The Constitution may not say in that amendment that this is a requirement, but had they NOT provided things such as portajohns, water, and security for the two million that were there, you probably would have complained about the LACK of responsibility our government has -- and probably would have blamed it on Obama.

Although, if it was McCain being sworn in, would this have even been an issue? Honestly?

Nomad Librarian said...

I read this right after you posted it and enjoyed a chuckle about how stupid people are.

But then my husband came home today and said people at work were complaining about this. So I was happy to be able to refer back to your post for some facts and figures. I appreciate your research, since that's my job too. :-)