7:40 AM, Apr 23, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama did not attend the funeral of his late aunt Zeituni Onyango. Instead, he went golfing.
The New York Times reports:
After Zeituni Onyango, the woman President Obama once called Auntie, died in a South Boston nursing home this month, her closest relatives gathered her belongings at her nearby apartment. There, framed photographs of her with the president covered the wall.
Weeping before a polished wood coffin at her wake this past Saturday, they described Ms. Onyango, the half sister of the president’s father, as “the spirit of the Obama family” and talked about raising money to send her body back to Kenya. Mr. Obama helped pay funeral expenses and sent a condolence note, Ms. Onyango’s family members said, but the president did not attend, as he was golfing.
The paper notes that the president has kept his distance from his family:
As president, Mr. Obama has kept his distance from, and even failed to acknowledge, members of this eclectic clan. In the time-honored tradition of eccentric presidential relatives, the assorted Obamas have faced deportation and drunken-driving charges, started Obama-branded foundations and written memoirs.
6:47 AM, Feb 7, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Documents recently released by the government show that the value of hotels and local transportation contracts for the U.S. delegation to Nelson Mandela's funeral in December were considerably higher than previous estimates. On December 19, we first reported the cost at about $11 million. However, rather than two hotels and one vehicle contractor, additional contracts have been disclosed bringing the total to five hotels and two vehicle contractors.
7:16 AM, Dec 19, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
State Department contract awards were posted this week for "Transportation services in support of Mandela Funeral" and "Accommodation in support of the Nelson Mandela funeral in South Africa." The accompanying Justification and Approval documents estimated the cost of transportation at a maximum of $8,286,194.74. The transportation contract covers only ground transportation in South Africa. Costs for Air Force One and other air travel are not included. Two contracts were listed for the cost of lodging: one for $2,042,850 for an estimated "3,240 lodging room nights" and another for $1,190,573 for an estimated "2,490 lodging room nights" stretching from December 6, 2013 to January 20, 2014.
Dec 23, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 15 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Neson Mandela, a man of some considerable personal dignity, might have been distressed by the series of mishaps at his public memorial service: the disorganization which left thousands unable to get to the event, rendering the stadium half-empty; the embarrassing “selfie” taken by Barack Obama during the proceedings (see left); the cheering of Robert Mugabe and booing of George W. Bush; the burglary at the home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town while he prayed in Johannesburg.
4:09 PM, Apr 16, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Barack Obama's administration will not be sending any sitting American politicians to attend funeral services for the former U.K. prime minister Margaret Thatcher. The Guardian reports:
10:34 AM, Dec 22, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Barack Obama used the funeral for Hawaii senator Daniel Inouye to talk about himself. In the short 1,600 word speech, Obama used the word "my" 21 times, "me" 12 times, and "I" 30 times.
Attends birthday party and funeral.10:17 AM, Dec 14, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
A day after complaining that the "fiscal cliff" negotiations are "getting boring," Nancy Pelosi was spotted yesterday afternoon skipping town.
She was comfortably situated in first class on United Airlines flight 1460, which was scheduled to leave Dulles Airport at 2:53 p.m. and arrive in San Francisco 5:57 p.m. A list on United's website of those who were on the upgrade standby list reveals that PEL, N. (presumably, Nancy Pelosi) was upgraded to seat 4F, a window seat in first class.
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