May 26, 2010
Well, We Do Recognize A House Or Two...
While we passed on publishing an early tip as to the neighborhood preparations for the President’s dinner at the Getty’s last night (there’s no need to be atop the Secret Service’s watch list), our tipster later passed along a shot of the President’s limo making its way through Pacific Heights.
Plugged-in people should at least recognize a house or two in the background, but we’ll have to take our tipster’s word for it that the President was in the ride.
And the real point of this post, bonus points for including a photo with the tip (hint, hint).
∙ The One With The Twelve On It: 2849 Pacific Price-ish Scoop [SocketSite]
First Published: May 26, 2010 9:45 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I got stopped by the president's visit three times last night. There were two limos, his and a decoy, so it's only a 50% chance this one was his.
He stayed at the Mariott, of all places. Apparently, the Boxer campaign is running short of funds. Either that or he had some frequent flyer miles that were about to expire...
Posted by: tipster at May 26, 2010 10:03 AM
I kind of like that he stayed at the Marriott rather than say the Ritz Carlton or the Fairmount. One with the rest of us peeps.
Posted by: Oceangoer at May 26, 2010 11:58 AM
"I kind of like that he stayed at the Marriott rather than say the Ritz Carlton or the Fairmount. One with the rest of us peeps."
Questionable whether he should even be in SF given what's going on elsewhere in the country.
Posted by: Willow at May 26, 2010 2:14 PM
As our president, his job is, in fact, to be doing LOTS of things all over the country. Doesn't mean he's neglecting other important issues while attending this dinner for just one nite in SF.
Posted by: noearch at May 26, 2010 2:21 PM
I doubt he has the frequent flier miles since he has Air Force One. He may have Marriott points though...
Posted by: Can't think of cool name at May 26, 2010 3:25 PM
It's amazing the resources and coordination required to keep the president safe and efficient. There were 6 SFPD motorcycle cops on every single block of his entire travel route. Pretty awesome.
Posted by: eddy at May 26, 2010 3:30 PM
it is a sad commentary on the state of the United States' culture and political environment that a politician(even if w/all due respect it is the President of the United States) can cause the disruption and expense that a simple speech at the Fairmont and cocktail/dinner party at a private residence.
There is not a single private citizen on the planet, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison, Tiger Woods, you name it, that would cause this kind of expense and disruption.
American citizens everywhere should be asking themselves, Why am I subjecting my hard earned capital and freedom to be consumed by the simple presense of a politician??? Whose dollars paid for all of the police protection, DPT personnel, secret service, Coast Guard, etc??? Answer, yours. Is it worth it??? I don't think so.
Posted by: awakeandalert at May 26, 2010 5:16 PM
awakeandalert - I'm sure you are aware that unlike those wealthy individuals you list, the president is a high profile assignation target. The "cost" of a successful assignation is far higher that the total cost of these protective measures. I wasn't there for this particular motorcade but those I've experienced are less disruptive than a typical Critical Mass which itself is a transient minor nuisance.
Be glad we're not like some countries which grant scores of mid level bureaucrats similar "protection" which really isn't for protection but rather a way to quickly cut through clogged city traffic.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 26, 2010 5:51 PM
12 of the 44 presidents have had known assassination attempts. Ford in SF. The protection is warranted.
Posted by: sparky-b at May 26, 2010 6:07 PM
I think awakeandalert is way off base, although certainly entitled to an opinion. What a bunch of whining and complaining.
He was in and out of our city in a few hours. I doubt if he actually disrupted your personal routine.
Like Milkshake said: Critical Mass is far more disruptive and rather useless, compared the President's travel here..anytime.
Posted by: noearch at May 26, 2010 6:16 PM
@The Milkshake of Despair
Answer the following questions.
One, do you think if the US Government's budget was just 10% of its current size that the President or any politician would warrant the protection And expense it receives?
Two, instead of your dollars being allocated to pay for the police, DPT, etc expense, would you rather keep those dollars and take your boyfriend or hottie out for dinner?
in the final analysis, you need to ask yourself why are President's assassination targets??? it's because the govt is simply too big and encroaches itself on the trying to manipulate the behavior of other nations.
Everytime you write a check to SF County Tax Collectors, the IRS or the FTB, ask yourself, how are these dollars going to be any better allocated than if I do it myself???
It's pure economics. The government is too big, it consumes too much of our national GDP and the consequence is that politicians versus private citizens consume too much power over the lives of people thus creating the need for this type of over the top protection.
Just think about the current thread on this site discussing Prop 13 and property taxes and the $100,000 in property tax that the recent sale on Pacific will have to pay. Imagine how the person paying that $100,000 to SF County could do a better job of allocating that $100,000 than the politicians.
I just think America oftentimes underestimates the goodness of human nature and that people are basically good and will treat others with respect without the hammer of the government on their back.
Posted by: awakeandalert at May 26, 2010 6:39 PM
I think you're stretching a little bit here. If your problem is government bloat, then complain about that instead of arguing that government bloat causes the 10th-order effect of requiring presidential protection by the Department of Treasury.
But it would be easy enough to defeat your argument by saying that the reason the Secret Service is necessary is because the US is the most important economic power in the world. That is a far simpler explanation that has nothing to do with government bloat. And note that the U.S. economy is largely run by private citizens who make decisions on the allocation of capital, faux cries of "socialism" notwithstanding.
Posted by: Anon E. Mouse at May 26, 2010 6:58 PM
Does the Head of State of China travel around with such security? Surely the President of China has as much importance on the world stage as the U.S. President. As a former resident of the U.K., the Prime Minister travels with perhaps one or two motorcycle officers and a decoy car. The Queen travels like, well, er, like "royalty". I am not a monarchist and do not like to see any leader travel with such excessive security, and do not like to see elected officials travel like a Royal.
Posted by: anon2 at May 26, 2010 7:03 PM
"One, do you think if the US Government's budget was just 10% of its current size that the President or any politician would warrant the protection And expense it receives?"
Was it too big in assassination and attempt years as well:
"Two, instead of your dollars being allocated to pay for the police, DPT, etc expense, would you rather keep those dollars and take your boyfriend or hottie out for dinner?"
Not sure if I would go out to dinner if there were no cops and not parking rules.
Posted by: sparky-b at May 26, 2010 7:34 PM
The countries with the highest standards of living, the healthiest people, the longest life spans and the lowest crime rates all have much larger governments as a percentage of GDP than we do. Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are good examples.
The very few countries that have smaller governments are places like Mexico, which are barely functioning. And admittedly a few outliers like Switzerland and Singapore.
Of course government spending in and of itself is not enough, it has to be directed by a good and non-corrupt government, with a citizenry that is willing to do the hard work of informing themselves and overseeing its work. I sometimes wonder if we are up to the challenge.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at May 26, 2010 10:55 PM
High standards of living are ineffecient and the free market is a tool for maximizing effeciency.
The free market will attempt to minimize inputs for a particular output. In english, this translates as providing workers with just enough resources to keep them fed and housed so that the owners of capital can reap the maximum rewards.
Humans need resources every day to stay alive. In a perfect free market, as soon as there is one person unemployed they will undercut the current wage in order to get someone else job so that they can survive. That person will then undercut someone else and so on and so on and so on until everyone is working for just enough to keep them alive.
Universal poverty for workers in order to maximize wealth for owners of resources and capital is what the free market is designed to do. It is no accident that high standards of living for the masses is correllated with socialist redistributive policies.
Posted by: diemos at May 26, 2010 11:43 PM
Does Michelle know about the assignation attempts?
Posted by: OneEyedMan at May 27, 2010 8:50 AM
I think diemos should write a book compiling his succinct explanations which illuminate how complex systems interact.
Or at least start with a blog : "The Future Revealed : Diemos Peels the Cover off of the Boxes that the Oligarchy Prefers Remain Sealed"
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 27, 2010 9:37 AM
I think awakeandalert has some anger issues.
I think diemos likes to watch himself type.
Posted by: noearch at May 27, 2010 2:08 PM
Why was the sky edited out of this photo?
Posted by: John at May 27, 2010 3:07 PM
yeah, you're right. I am angered when I have to write checks to bureaucrats who have the audacity to believe they know how to allocate my capital better than me for the betterment of society.
Posted by: awakeandalert at May 27, 2010 3:21 PM
As a former resident of the U.K., the Prime Minister travels with perhaps one or two motorcycle officers and a decoy car.
That's because he no longer had to deal with unruly tea party types in the Colonies.
Posted by: EBGuy at May 27, 2010 4:38 PM
Don't kid yourself. The British Prime Minister's motorcade when traveling locally (within a mile or so of Downing Street) is two cars and six or so motorcycles, but the streets are still closed ahead of the PM's travel. When traveling further afield (ie every Friday evening, when going 30 miles west to Chequers) it consists of *17* vehicles clearing roads the entire way. If one is lucky enough to commute on the M4 west of London in the evenings, as I did for seven years, one is treated to the Queen's motorcade on Thursday nights, and the PM on Friday nights. Every. Freaking. Weekend.
We had both the Queen and the PM visit our office building in central London last year, and in both cases the street outside was closed for a couple of hours. We are far from alone in how we protect our head of State (the British PM is not even this).
Posted by: Scooter at May 27, 2010 6:05 PM
Wow, assassination attempts correlate to an arbitrary government size? What the hell? And yes, Britain, where the police don't carry guns, is a perfect correlation to a country where citizens open carry to buy Starbucks...oh wait, no, it's not. What's next, stalkers correlate to cup size? 10% less breast, no stalkers! Such genius! Alert the media! If you're that mad, then you have a lot in common with the anarchist who killed McKinley in Buffalo. Wasn't government size his issue, too?
Posted by: bahahaha at May 27, 2010 7:40 PM