CONGRESSIONAL MISBEHAVIOR  1:55 pm June 14, 2011

Legislators Spending More On Travel Than Before Recession

by Kirsten Boyd Johnson

so this is how he got so orangeHere is a good use legislators have found for taxpayer money: more congressional travel, millions and millions of dollars of it! It’s not like we weren’t just hearing about how maybe some of those disaster victims in Missouri needed it, or anything. Free vacations for members of Congress and their families are the one thing we have left to offer our national royalty, because we are so poor now. The nice people of America will give up their FEMA funds and their Medicaid and their Pell Grants so our lawmakers can make those crucial goodwill-building trips to Costa Rican beaches. Pelosi actually told legislators to knock this off in 2010, but whoops, she’s not in charge anymore. The orange man is. Quick, to Brazil, before this debt ceiling thing hits!

From the Daily Beast:

On the House side, lawmakers are on track to go on 35 percent more trips this year than they did last year. Senators spent roughly $1.2 million during the first quarter of 2011, ahead of last year’s annualized pace of $4.3 million.

And being a short-timer doesn’t have to crimp anyone’s style. Take former Sen. Chris Dodd, the Democrat from Connecticut. After announcing in January 2010 that he wouldn’t seek reelection, Dodd traveled to Brazil, Argentina, India, Spain, and the United Kingdom on the taxpayers’ dime. As chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, he signed off on close to $27,000 worth of foreign travel for himself, including a $2,000 trip to Cuba just before leaving office.

That is the spirit, Chris Dodd, don’t let that recession belt-tightening get you down. [The Daily Beast]

 

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{ 104 comments }

Barb June 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I say that they can all just go to hell for free.

Giveusabob June 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Could I propose extending this privilege to certain wanna-be legislators, or would that be considered unconstitutional?

DaRooster June 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I think Vegas is hotter.

flamingpdog June 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Please send them somewhere else, Barb. The whole nation is going to Hell, and room in the handbasket is already tight.

GeneralLerong June 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Holy cow, a WIN on the very first post to a thread.

Callyson June 14, 2011 at 5:39 pm

COTD! Actually, comment of the year…

nounverb911 June 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

They better get their free vacations in before the teabaggers take over and do away with all of that.

nounverb911 June 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Just leave the blackberrys home.

Tengu June 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm

The more they're out of Washington, the less damage they can do.

CrunchyKnee June 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm

At least they don't have a $125 web site. That would be SHOCKING!

Captain_Quark June 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Well, natch. It costs a lot of money to travel around the country and see what a gigantic fucking mess you've made of it. With the Teabagger Republicans putting the "ream" in the American Dream, we can expect more of this sort of fun and games. Good times!

Sue4466 June 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Though W proved you can survey the damage you've wrought without actually landing the plane.

nounverb911 June 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm

"he signed off on close to $27,000 worth of foreign travel for himself, including a $2,000 trip to Cuba just before leaving office."
Dodd needed to stock up on Havanas for his retirement.

Lascauxcaveman June 14, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Only spent $2K on his trip to Cuba? He must not have had a very good time.

imissopus June 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

You'd think he'd have stocked up on cheap meds while he was there.

mrblifil June 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Yes but we're shutting down the 5 or so environmental websites in existence. That should be enough to right the ship of state.

DaRooster June 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm

How much for a helicopter ride to a baseball game?

nounverb911 June 14, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Priceless! (Is Mastercard still running those ads?)

James Michael Curley June 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Watch Piers Morgan tonight. (Isn't that a boat dock in DC?) The Christie will tell us all he did only because he is a good father who wanted to make his son's baseball game and he doesn't regret it and will do it again.

The Christie, noun, A large amorphous object of undetermined, gelatinous substance able to project itself into spaces where it is unwanted and subsequently violates. Like the Blob getting into the movie theater.

DaRooster June 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Jaba the Christie…

Doktor Zoom June 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Hey, extravagances by the states are just fine. That's what the 10th amendment is all about.

Callyson June 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Depends on whether they charge by passenger or by pounds…

Gopherit June 14, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Hey, it's only an ethics question when it includes penis pics, or a democrat.

skoalrebel June 14, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Where did Anthony's Weiner travel and who paid? I suppose the vacation photos will be showing up on Twitter soon.

nounverb911 June 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Pakistan to see the in-laws?

Captain_Quark June 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I expect that Congressman Weiner's throbbing tumescent member has been photographed in many exotic locations throughout the world. It's sort of like that annoying Expedia gnome who pops up everywhere. Only the pictures are probably more disturbing.

Mahousu June 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Mecca, of course. He had to do it Richard Francis Burton style, though in this case because he was secretly Muslim, and not because he wasn't.

mourningnmerica June 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Weiner is in a dark place these days.

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Kirsten: You haven't been doing this for long, or you would realize that the Republican Leadership already has a plan to take care of this: Tax Cuts.

Doktor Zoom June 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Don't forget killing Medicare!

KeepFnThatChicken June 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Suddenly, Weiner's tweet seems pretty cheap affordable…

Lucidamente1 June 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Weiner 2016: By tweeting his junk, he saved us a bundle.

weejee June 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Well the Rethugs kinda look at it as stimulus spending. Agent Orange and his cronies are trying their darnedest to help private golf clubs dealing with the recession bogey to get out of the financial rough. Fore!

nounverb911 June 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm

A lot of people in Connecticut would be happy about that.

Mumbletypeg June 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Argentine Firecracker pics or GTFO

jqheywood June 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm

You are old school!

Would Wilbur have tweeted his junk?

Mahousu June 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm

No, he would have hired a secretary for that. Except it would turn out she couldn't tweet.

KeepFnThatChicken June 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I'm still waiting on my copy, too. The way Sanford wrote about her, I think I'm in love with her too!

Doktor Zoom June 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Different Argentine, young 'un. Though I understand that Mark Sanford's soulmate was plenty explosive too.

Serolf_Divad June 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Folks, you're being too hard on them. It's a question of self preservation: the more time they spend on trains, planes and taxt cabs, the less time they spend lounging around the house in their underwear bored to tears with a cell phone in one hand and a hungry twitter feed that needs to be fed.

Monsieur_Grumpe June 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Apparently when congress was told to tighten their belts they only thought of seat belts.

nounverb911 June 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Can we just outsource Congress to China? It would certainly be cheaper. (They have all our money anyway.)

DaRooster June 14, 2011 at 2:14 pm

He would need a Hummer-Round.
(And not one like Newt would want)

baconzgood June 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Isn't going to Cuba against the law? Don't we have a travel embargo?

DaRooster June 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I think travel is OK… we just can't help their poors out with any cashish flow… kinda like here.

OneDollarJuana June 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Isn't it finally time now for that third party? Or am I tilting at windmills?

nounverb911 June 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Yes!

HistoriCat June 14, 2011 at 2:40 pm

and yes.

genxr June 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Windmill Party 2012!

ttommyunger June 14, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Don't ask me, ask Nader.

Ducksworthy June 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm

One word for you, JesseVentura.

widget2011 June 14, 2011 at 3:03 pm

It' time for the GTFO party, platform would be:

1.Create jerbs
2.End foreign adventures
3.Fair and just taxation or GTFO US
4.Representative of the people
5.End all discrimination

Doktor Zoom June 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm
SayItWithWookies June 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm

This is all President Obama's fault — with the new 10% surcharge on tanning booths, it's just too damn expensive not to go to the beach — and Boehner's always hogging the one at the Congressional gym.

iburl June 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm

These are the good times for God's chosen few. The rest of you should have prayed harder.

Radiotherapy June 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Too bad Rep. Giffords didn't take advantage of this little perk a few months ago.

bumfug June 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I don't have time to run for office, I'm buying my own ticket out of this crumbling shithole.

Weenus299 June 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I'm quite all right if this bunch takes an all-expense paid flying leap to somewhere. Unfortunately, the bastards keep returning.

SorosBot June 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Haven't the Republicans in Congress been criticizing Obama and his family for allegedly taking too many vacations? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you to see such blatant hypocrisy for the 2,500th time.

Ruhe June 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Hypocrisy as a concept is dead. Grover Norquist drowned it in a bathtub so that he could hector Democrats about government inefficiency while still arguing that removing certain agricultural subsidies is equivalent to a tax hike.

ifthethunderdontgetya June 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman.

Heckuva job, Connecticut!
~

CZL June 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Where did you find that picture of Megs sunbathing?

Sharkey June 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm

And why is she with Marilyn Monroe and Madonna?

Sue4466 June 14, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Give the legislators a break. It's not like they're living the highlife on the five-digit salaries and partly paid health insurance like the fat cat school teachers and public employees. That's the real financial scandal.

Doktor Zoom June 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Plus, they're helping to sustain jobs in the resort, airline, and travel-services (rentboy) sectors.

Sue4466 June 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm

And who said trickle down economics was bullshit?

Rotundo_ June 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm

In the case of the rentboy sector, wouldn't it be more like ooze-down?

horsedreamer_1 June 14, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Sean Duffy, is that you?

genxr June 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Why do you communists want to punish Congress for their success?

Chillwaver June 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Cambodia is a popular destination among Republicans. Wonder why…

KeepFnThatChicken June 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm

…and yet so few Catholic priests travel there. Weird.

deit: Either that, or because they're Christian, they feel they need to perform missionary service.

DahBoner June 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm

"Cambodia is a popular destination among Republicans."

The Capital city of Phnom Penh got it's first ATM machine just recently.

Makes it easier for the Republican sex tourists to get cash money…

Sue4466 June 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Nixon & Kissinger nostalgia tour? After all, the GOP fucked one generation of Cambodians, why not another.

Radiotherapy June 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm

It's a holiday in …?
Everybody's dressed in black?

Rotundo_ June 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Everyone in the Thai and Phillipine cathouses recognize them; "Oooh, Senatah Goodtime, you want fresh ladyboy, we gots plenty!" Cambodia is relatively new turf for them, so things aren't as awkward on the recognition side of things. In Thailand they probably have whole wings of brothels named for them. The Senator Christian T. Goodtime Ladyboy Pleasure Palace probably has a little bronze bust of them next to the banner across the converted quonset hut/cum whorehouse

horsedreamer_1 June 14, 2011 at 11:03 pm

"That monkey my friend. We do blow all nite, & he jacking me off, in Chardonnay Room, while Stu make fuck with lady-boy".

ttommyunger June 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm

How fucking miserable do you have to be to think that somewhere, anywhere else is better than staying home and doing the job you just HAD to have?

DaRooster June 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Well, to be fair… wouldn't we all like to get away from these fucking morons too?

MrFizzy June 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm

They're retiring the space shuttles pretty soon – what about loading all 600+/- of these folks and sending them to Neptune?

DahBoner June 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Spirit Airlines $9 Weiner sale sure was popular…

Slim_Pickins June 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm

No wonder Congress has 3 day work weeks, anything longer would cut into vacation time!

metamarcisf June 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Just think how much worse things would be if our congressmen stopped traveling altogether. Just as example, David Vitter's tour of that Brazilian diaper factory was directly responsible for the US having a shot at the 2022 World Cup.

horsedreamer_1 June 14, 2011 at 11:03 pm

"One Senator, Two Pampers".

PsycWench June 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm

At first I thought this isn't so bad, spending money in the US generates a revenue stream, right?
Oh, they aren't travelling to any of those states they feel so sorry for. Never mind.

Come here a minute June 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I hope they have a good set of boots for all that time on the "Appalachian Trail".

easybaked June 14, 2011 at 3:11 pm

And you know who else took inappropriate vacations to get away from the tedious task of governing a failing country?

Fare la Volpe June 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Emperor Palpatine took a little trip to Endor.

I hear it didn't go so well.

ifthethunderdontgetya June 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

G.W. Bush went to his so-called ranch a lot, for photo ops in the summer battling weeds.

(Actual working people, as opposed to New England preppies pretending to be cowboys, cut those weeds down in the in the winter.)
~

mumbly_joe June 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

George W Bush?

OneDollarJuana June 14, 2011 at 4:33 pm

According to FactCheck.org, GW spent 69 days at his ranch his first year in office.

flamingpdog June 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Hosni Mubarak?

UpfistFairy June 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm

/snark off…
You know what? Fuck all of these guys on both sides. Mr. Upfist has a great job, I have a decent one (pretty awesome considering I'm Wonketting from my death-cube) and we're scrounging to find a fucking 3rd couple to go in on a condo so we can afford to take a trip to the fucking New Jersey shore with our kid? Life – we're doing it wrong.

BTWBFDIMHO June 14, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Weiner saved tons of taxpayer money by sending pix of himself instead of traveling. Fiscal responsibility!

Fare la Volpe June 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Gloryholes of the world ain't gonna plug themselves.

fuflans June 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

it never occurred to me that i needed michael vartan's dog care tips.

Mort_Sinclair June 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm

There's a reason Dodd didn't run for reelection. BTW, do you think Dodd's pubic hair is white, too? Just wondering.

horsedreamer_1 June 15, 2011 at 10:01 am

Don't know. Shaved.

Don't ask me how I know.

DerrickWildcat June 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Those ladies are tickling that guy.

DemmeFatale June 14, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I can't be the only demoralized Wonketteer.
Biden, was redeemed from "clean and articulate" when he said "a noun, a verb, and 9/11." Today, he's an unforgivable idiot.
Now this.
Kill. Me. Now.

Not even Michael "dog guardian" Vartan can cheer me up.

Madfall June 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Politician type assholes dearly love their tax free cigarettes and booze, obviously.

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Wasn't that in a Woody Allen movie in the 70s?

hagajim June 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I think it might be the baggers driving up the expenditures. After all, with Capt. Orange in charge they have to be fiscally conservative – or at least pretend to be. Fucking fucks.

ChapterUndVerse June 14, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I thought the Rapture was free?

NadePaulKuciGravMcKi June 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm

It's not just a job
it's an adventure

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