Fact Check Friday: Obama’s Trip to Africa

Okay, so I haven’t exactly updated this thing recently. I tried to have too many blogs going at once. I have my main blog, which focuses on writing and reading. I had a weight loss/vegan blog that I’ve decided I no longer care about (for reasons I’ll explain on this blog eventually). And then I had this blog. When I started this, I had visions of updating multiple times a week, commenting on various news reports I’ve seen and sharing my political opinions.

Clearly that hasn’t happened. I haven’t been the best citizen in a while (read: a couple of years). I’ve ignored much of the news because it’s too depressing to hear about and makes me want to hurt someone – not that I would ever hurt anyone, of course, but I still don’t like dealing with the anger.

I’m currently working on a novel where the main character slowly starts caring about the world around her again, and it’s gotten me thinking about my own beliefs and my lack of conviction when it comes to defending those beliefs – not to mention my lack of knowledge about politics in general. I used to be really informed. Now I barely watch the news. It’s depressing and embarrassing to admit, but it’s true.

Or at least it was true. It’s not going to be true anymore.

Starting today, I’m going to do my best to be more active on this blog, and I’m going to start with a new feature that my boyfriend hates but that I’m already starting to like, and I just thought of it about ten minutes ago. If you’ve read the title of this post (and I’ll assume you have because, really, it’s the first thing you see), you can probably guess what that feature is.

fact check friday logo


What’s Fact Check Friday you ask? Great question! Fact Check Friday is where I write about all the bullshit that my boyfriend’s conservative parents spew on our Friday night visits to their house. These are common complaints that Republicans have, and I’m sure many people have already written great articles explaining why Republicans are wrong. I’ve decided to compile a bunch of that evidence into one location.

So what’s today’s topic? Again, if you’ve read the title, you know: Obama’s trip to Africa.

So, what are they griping about?

Obama’s trip to Africa was estimated at $60-$100 million.

What does the actual evidence say?
We don’t have the actual numbers on the trip, but the Washington Post did estimate that the trip would probably cost $60-$100 million. What people leave out is that they based that number off previous trips to Africa. When Clinton went to Africa in 1998, his trip cost about $42.8 million. Bush went to Africa twice during his time in office, and his wife went five more times. All of those trips add up, and those numbers were undoubtedly taken into consideration when they were estimating Obama’s trip.

Another factor that no one seems to be mentioning is the fact that Bush was also in Africa for this trip, or at least for the very last day of the trip. In other words, we had a former and current US president in a foreign country. Obviously the cost would increase when you have both of them in the same place. The Secret Service isn’t cheap.

I was going to summarize my feelings on this topic, but the article cited below does such a better job:

The reality is that presidential trips are expensive. It would be fair to be opposed to all of them, but the hypocrisy of only being outraged when certain presidents travel is unacceptable. George W. Bush appears to have had himself quite a little African spending spree, but apparently cost only matters when Barack Obama is the president who is doing the traveling.

~Politicus USA article