8:07 AM, Aug 7, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Vice President Biden's trip to Brazil in mid-June for the USA versus Ghana World Cup game and meetings the following day with the president and vice president of Brazil required rental of vehicles for Biden and his entourage costing over $900,000. Added to the $2.2 million cost of hotels we reported a few weeks ago, the total costs of local lodging and transportation for the trip topped $3.1 million.
The documents indicate two companies were used for vehicles and drivers:
The $908,147 estimate far outstrips the $321,665 spent in February 2013 for a vice presidential trip to Paris. The documents for the World Cup trip do not contain enough details to explain why the cost for this trip is comparatively high, but asserts that the "anticipated cost to the Government will be fair and reasonable" and that the rates are comparable to "the rates charged for similar services during this season." The documents that accompanied the Brazil hotel contract posting noted that due to the World Cup, hotel rates were up anywhere from 75 to 365 percent, but a similar statement is not included in the vehicle documents.
The State Department, the agency that handles arrangements for VIP trips, explained the reasons for the short notice and lack of full competition in awarding the contracts:
Security and logistics are the Department of State’s primary considerations when procuring vehicles rental. The Department of State must be able to provide a safe and secure vendor for VIP visitors. Frequently VIP visits are not announced or confirmed in sufficient time to conduct a competition, creating an urgent and compelling need.
The two companies chosen were able to handle communications requirements and were accommodating to the security needs of the vice president's entourage.
Jul 14, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 41 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
After U.S. goalie Tim Howard had a record-setting 16 saves in the American team’s 2-1 World Cup knockout loss to Belgium, a wag edited Chuck Hagel’s Wikipedia entry to show Tim Howard as the true U.S. secretary of defense. The meme took off on the Internet, and by Wednesday afternoon Hagel was placing a phone call to Howard to get in on the joke.
Jul 14, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 41 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, every four years America witnesses the reemergence of a rare and annoying creature, the soccer scold. With the onset of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, there have been numerous sightings of soccer scolds in their native habitat—that is, in the media.
"We're not Germany yet. Or Italy or France, but -- or Argentina or Brazil -- but we're now in the mix."11:08 AM, Jun 27, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama said the United States soccer team isn't the worst, but it isn't the best either. "We're a middle of the pack team," the commander in chief said in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
"We really only had a couple of shots at the goal," Obama said in observation of the World Cup game yesterday.
"This has been a tough game," Stephanopoulos replied. "And now everyone knows not to bite."
David Skinner, cheering section.Dec 16, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 14 • By DAVID SKINNER
I was on the sidelines at my daughter’s 11-and-under travel soccer game. It had been a successful season, but today they were being outmuscled by a very physical team from Warrenton. With a strong wind blowing against them and only one substitute on the bench, the Alexandria Heat were on the wrong side of a 5-0 rout.
8:05 AM, Jul 1, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Yesterday in Cape Town, South Africa, President Obama talked about bringing energy and power to the continent of Africa. Today, President Obama is expected to reveal that part of his Africa energy plan involves a soccer ball that carries an electric generator inside.
From the White House transcript of Obama's speech from yesterday:
10:23 AM, Nov 23, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The World Jewish Congress is expressing concern about an anti-Semitic and racist outburst at a recent soccer game. The concern relates to a Europa League game between Italian team S.S. Lazio and the English the Tottenham Hotspur. The match took place Thursday night in Rome.
8:01 AM, Jun 9, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
In trying to make the case that the Spanish national soccer team (“La Roja”) is having the greatest 5-year run of any team — in any sport — in history, the Wall Street Journal dismisses Casey Stengel’s 1949-53 Yankees because those squads, which won five straight World Series, “won only 71% of their World Series games.” Put otherwise, of course, the National League champions of 1949-53 combined to win just 29 percent of their World Series games.
1:28 PM, Dec 2, 2010 • By THOMAS O'BAN
America’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup has fallen short. But it wasn’t for lack of trying: Eric Holder has been in Zurich, advocating for the competition to be hosted by the U.S., and the attorney general was joined by Bill Clinton and actor Morgan Freeman.
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