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It’s become pretty predictable.  With no concern for the cost to taxpayers, if it’s Christmas, the Obama family make their way toward Hawaii for an extended vacation – sometimes even on separate flights.

In June, July or early August, or maybe all three, Mrs. Obama indulges in annual vacations and pre-vacations, visiting places like Marbella, Spain or “fried fat cakes” South Africa.  If it’s not an election year, despite the occasional presence of fecal coliform bacteria in Tisbury Pond, the Obamas traditionally spend the end of August in Martha’s Vineyard, splashing around in the  (ahem) saltwater lagoon.

Then there’s a few trips to Chicago, long weekends in Maine, or BBQ in Asheville, North Carolina, and for Michelle there’s even an occasional New York City food and theater tour.

With Michelle Obama, if it’s Tuesday it could be Belgium; but if it’s February, it’s always Colorado.

Like clockwork, right around Valentine’s Day, Michelle Obama waxes up her skis and heads toward Vail or Aspen for an extended weekend ski vacation to celebrate President’s Day – without the president, of all things.

This year Michelle chose Aspen again.  After all, spending 17 grueling days in Oahu should at least earn a person a relaxing ski vacation three weeks later.

Ah, Hawaii.  Michelle has been known to fly to Hawaii at $180,000 per hour in a separate plane from her husband and at nine hours each way, for Michelle alone the air travel, i.e. taxpayer cost, can add up to $3,271,622.   Add Obama’s fiscal-cliff back-and-forth trips, and all totaled the cost of air travel for flying the Obamas to and from Hawaii over the past four years tops out at a conservative $20 million.  Add to that the costly cortege that accompanies Barry and Shelley wherever their traveling feet may take them, and we’re talking millions upon millions in free vacation cash, compliments of John Q. Public.

Oh, but the year is young, and what lies ahead for the perpetually-vacationing lame duck Obamas is 10 more months rife with vacationing possibilities yet to be enjoyed.  As for his wife, of late the only “Let’s Moving” she’s been doing is toward a chaise lounge, a masseuse table, and more free trips.

Last year, Michelle’s Aspen vacation cost the American taxpayers $83,000. As the March 1st sequester approaches, the government does plan to slash spending.  So, maybe this year  the first lady will do her part after a cold, exhausting day tearing up the Bunny slope by sacrificing the 1,500-calorie ancho-chili short ribs that warmed her innards two Februarys ago.

Then again, Michelle Obama making a sacrifice is highly unlikely. Despite the hard times that have befallen many Americans, Mrs. Obama simply refuses to spare any expense on herself.  After unpacking from her Christmas respite, Michelle started the year at the State of the Union address, comforting for a second time, the bereaved parents of Hadiya Pendleton, the slain Chicago band majorette who performed at Barack’s inauguration.  For that solemn event, the first lady appeared in the overhead balcony bedecked in a $3,500 glittering Valentine’s Day ensemble, compliments of Jason Wu.

That was early in the week.  At the end of the week, Mrs. Obama packed up the girls, gathered unto herself close family and friends, and headed westward to luxuriate at some tony Aspen resort while Daddy headed to Palm City, Florida to putz around with Tiger Woods and the boys for an informal duffer tournament.

Those are vacation plans worth repeating.  Again, Michelle has taken to swishing around on the champagne powder slopes of Aspen and ole’ Double-Bogey Barack is playing putt-putt on a Treasure Coast green and laying his weary bones down at the “ultra-exclusive Floridian” resort.

And so, for President’s Day, while the rest of America celebrates by eating cold beans purchased from the $1 dented can bin, Mr. and Mrs. O are spending yet another vacation weekend their way – which is high-priced and paid for with our money.

 
 
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  • http://www.facebook.com/dorisj.lott Doris Lott

    “And so, for President’s Day, while the rest of America celebrates by eating cold beans purchased from the $1 dented can bin…………..” Well, Kevin I don’t know exactly why I am laughing so hard at this wrap up article sentence. Perhaps because it is so painfully truthful. Thank you for your humor and wit in writing such serious subject material. The Obama’s attitude seems to be one of ‘entitlement’ as our Presidential family. Humility and sacrifice do not fit in with ‘entitlement’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lara.fredericksen Lara Fredericksen

    I have nothing to add….you explained it brilliantly!

    • http://jeannie-ology.com/ Jeannieology

      Why thank you Miss Lara.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1314786038 Malcolm Rawlinson

    Thank You Kevin, sad part is a lot of low information idiots do not see this.

  • http://twitter.com/artistinaspen Lee Mulcahy PhD

    I’m a loud mouthed Texan artist; I went to a Tea Party meeting at the Aspen Institute last year run by some politician only in it for 1 thing: himself. Typical.

    I believe in liberty as a guiding principle. When I told my fellow Texan Dick Armey that there were many of us tea partyers involved in occupy aspen, he ridiculed me. Not so fast—-We’re all little people fighting the elites. In Colorado, a third party could be formed to UNITE the tea party, the libertarians/occupiers and the Mexicans but that’s just my dreaming???

    Today, my friend Juan showed me his new Audi at church. Juan works 70+ hours a week. which to me is more American than Michelle Obama wearing $540 sneakers to a Food Bank. Here’s what’s happening this weekend in Aspen as the President golfs in Florida while his wife skis in Aspen… all at a time with millions of unemployed:

    Queen Michelle “Let them eat cake” Obama and VP Joe “Big Jim” Biden are skiing in Aspen this weekend while millions suffer under their Rule. Is it #tyranny yet? One letter to the Aspen Times suggested the situation here in the “Glitter Gulch” is Rome in the 4th quarter. Aspen is Versailles—-it’s Crony Capitalism on steroids. Aspen’s former mayor was at breakfast today at the Hickory House, she said she was not invited to the big fiesta last night for Michelle. We’re a town of 6700–news travels fast. Me neither.

    Last year, the FLOTUS and her family crashed at the winter palace of my billionaire neighbors—-> the powerful Crown family, the owners of the company that owns the company town, Aspen Skiing. [Where the fiesta was last night]. Not only do the Crowns think their doodoo is Chanel #5, they’re also petty tyrants. Google Ski instructor James Cohen Aspen or better, Lester Crown bribery Chicago Tribune.

    Michelle’s host last night is most famous for being on the President’s arts council, as well as for firing singer Dan Sheridan, banning his song “Big $” from ski areas in national forest under lease, and censoring our local paper, the Aspen Daily News [all covered online.]

    Last night, it was black SUV city at the Crowns at what locally is referred to as the “Petit Trianon, their palatial residence. There ain’t nothin’ “petite” about it.

    The gossip at the hardware store is where did all the fleet of black SUV’s arrive from? Straight from the horse’s mouth, the SS [Secret Service]: 25 SUV’s had to be driven up from Peterson Air Force Base near Denver [only 8 are stored in Denver]. The SS is real friendly with locals, and I ain’t talkin’ Cartagena friendly.

    Wait, it get’s better: the SS says only 3 “special” SUV’s can be loaded per cargo plane. SAT question: how many cargo planes for the VP and Royal Family?

    In addition, how come the Pitkin County airport opened the airport [closed normally until 7am] at 5am on Friday? Thanks. What was the REAL total cost to taxpayers? Sometimes I’m lucky enough to get upgraded on United Airlines, trust me, it’s REAL nice. The Queen of Denmark flys commercial but VP Joe and Michelle need to take separate government airplanes?

    The govt. says Ms. Obama’s trip cost $83K. Really? Don’t call us little people stupid. LOL. These Do AS I SAY liberals keep us chuckling 24/7 in A-town…..

    • Lee Mulcahy

      Crown family brought into feud between Aspen Skiing Co., Lee Mulcahy

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      Lee Mulcahy

      A former Aspen Skiing Co. instructor who is engaged in a running feud with his ex-employer made progress last week getting Skico Managing Partner Jim Crown and his wife, Paula, added to a civil lawsuit.

      Lee Mulcahy sued the Crowns and Aspen Skiing Co. on April 16, 2012, but he was never able to serve the Crowns with the lawsuit. Mulcahy, who is representing himself in the legal matter, filed a motion on July 29, asking a judge to allow him to serve the Crowns in alternative ways rather than having someone hand them the lawsuit directly.

      Pitkin County District Judge Daniel Petre last week approved Mulcahy’s motion for substituted service of process upon the Crowns.

      “Submissions by Mr. Mulcahy, including an affidavit, demonstrate that he has made substantial efforts to personally serve process and subpoenas upon the Crowns in this matter,” Petre wrote in his Dec. 2 order. “Service has been attempted at personal and business addresses in both Aspen, Colorado, and Chicago, Illinois, but those efforts have been futile.”

      Petre said Mulcahy had achieved due diligence in trying to serve the notice of litigation. He also found it was legitimate to serve Jim and Paula Crown as representatives of the family that owns Skico. “On the record before it, it appears that one or both of them own all, or a substantial interest in, ASC,” the order said. “As a result, the Chief Executive Officer of ASC, Mike Kaplan, is an appropriate person to receive personal service on behalf of the Crowns.”

      The judge gave Mulcahy until Dec. 5 to try to serve the Crowns by sending them his legal complaint by regular mail to their last-known residential address, to their last-known business address, to any current residential address provided by the Skico attorney and by personal service on Kaplan.

      Mulcahy didn’t return a telephone message from The Aspen Times on Tuesday for comment on whether he achieved those methods of service.

      Earlier in the process, Mulcahy served Kaplan with the lawsuit by having his father, Bud Mulcahy, hand the document to Kaplan at the end of a Pitkin County commissioners meeting. Kaplan attended the Skico’s annual fall briefing of the county commissioners on issues of interest. Bud Mulcahy sat through the presentation, then approached Kaplan after it was finished and handed him the lawsuit. Kaplan was served as CEO of Skico.

      Petre gave the Crowns 35 days from the filing of a certificate of service to respond to Mulcahy’s lawsuit.

      Skico attorney Edward Ramey argued against the substituted service. His motion said Mulcahy didn’t demonstrate that he made a bona fide effort to serve the Crowns.

      Ramey also argued that Skico was the only entity that should be involved in the case because any potential remedial action would have to be taken by the company, not the Crowns.

      “James and Paula Crown have simply been alleged to be ‘owners’ — in fact incorrect — or (with regard to James Crown) a managing director of Ski Co,” Skico’s attorney wrote. “This is little different from naming and attempting to serve the individual officers, members of the Board of Directors, or shareholders of Microsoft to address an action taken by Microsoft.”

      Ramey said Tuesday that the Crowns wouldn’t necessarily be parties to the lawsuit even if they are served. Their attorney could file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against them on grounds that there are no claims against them.

      Mulcahy filed the lawsuit to seek declaratory and injunctive relief from Skico and the Crowns over Skico’s alleged violation of his right to free speech. Mulcahy was a top-rated ski instructor who got into a fight with Skico brass. He claimed Skico retaliated against him after he explored creating a union for ski instructors and complained about the wages of entry-level workers. Skico said Mulcahy’s performance was the issue.

      He was suspended on Dec. 30, 2010, and banned from Skico property after he handed out leaflets promoting unionization for Skico employees. Skico told him the firm would pursue criminal trespass charges if he entered its property, including the land it leases in national forest area.

      Mulcahy responded that the ban for handing out leaflets violated his right to free speech and violated the National Labor Relations Act. Skico denies it violated his rights.

      Mulcahy was fired Jan. 27, 2011.

      He is asking a judge to rule that Skico cannot ban him from its property and award him one dollar in punitive damages plus legal fees and costs.

      While serving as his own attorney, some of Mulcahy’s motions are sprinkled with colorful wording rarely seen in legal documents.

      “Few, if any, private entities in modern times have established a fiefdom such as is overseen by Skico,” Mulcahy wrote in one motion.

      He later added, “Nor has any modern private entity evidenced the hubris of Skico in trying to make an example of Plaintiff, a bible-studying Eagle Scout who actively manages charitable missions to dig water wells in Africa, by publicly threatening criminal prosecution should he inadvertently cross unmarked lines running throughout Aspen and thousands of acres of surrounding forest land, the location of which are known only to Skico, as retaliation for Plaintiff’s turning to State and Federal agencies to force Defendant to comply with federal and state labor laws, and/or promoting unionization of Skico employees.”

      Ramey said no trial date has been set yet. “Everything is on hold until we determine if the Crowns are in or out of the case,” he said.

      scondon@aspentimes.com