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Writer Says KIWA Poll Ignored the Facts

Date posted - July 4, 2013

From Jon:
President Obama took a trip to sub-Saharan Africa last week, the first trip to the continent since becoming president in 2008. Over the course of the trip, Obama met with political leaders in South Africa, Tanzania, and Senegal. Discussions occurred concerning the need for African nations to become economically viable as foreign aid to these nations has been and will continue to diminish, and it is imperative that these nations work to become a part of the global marketplace for the good of the countries and the people that reside there. Although it was, in part, a vacation for the Obama family, the recent KIWA poll dismisses the trip as though the family had spent $100,000 going to Disneyland rather than what it was, a working vacation during which the President of the United States reached out to these nations in Africa and their leaders. At the end of the trip, the Obamas were joined by former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura for a wreath laying ceremony commemorating the 1998 bombing of the US Embassy in Tanzania. Looking to forge partnerships between the US and these African nations that help bring reliable electricity to African nations, that encourage trade with these countries, and that demonstrate that the US will not and should not ignore the people of Africa and their efforts to improve their infrastructure, stability, and modernization so that they can emerge as powers, is hardly playing golf for a week. The KIWA poll was misleading and disappointing, particularly since it completely ignores the facts regarding this “vacation,” facts clearly available in a number of news sites around the world.
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34 Responses to “Writer Says KIWA Poll Ignored the Facts”

  1. Lee Ann says:

    I agree, Jon. Also China has been dealing with a lot of African countries for their natural resoures, and giving them very little in return. China is just taking what they want, using African workers and paying them unfairly, etc. So I have thought about the fact that President Obama is working on treaties with these countries, so they don’t have just one choice–China. I bet Kerry will be visiting these countries in the next few weeks and setting up treaties. Africa is one of the last large amounts of natural resources left. And China is wanting it all. So I have thought all along that this was a necessary trip, not a vacation.

    GW Bush went to Africa many times, going on safari, etc. He truly vacationed in Africa. And nobody said a word about his vacations to Africa, even tho they cost as much or more than this one trip Obama has taken.

    • Harriet Oleson says:

      Only difference between the trips to Africa – as far as I can tell (according to Charles Ingalls) – President Obama saw wild game out the Air Force One window – George Jr. was identifying it in his coloring book.

  2. Robert Keller says:

    Where do you come up with this $100,000 figure on the vacation when they spent 1,000 times as much? There isn’t $100,000,000 that we are going to get out of this deal.

    • Jon says:

      When I sent this, I inadvertently left out three zeros, which I corrected in a subsequent e-mail which didn’t get published or corrected. The cost of this trip is comparable to one taken by President Clinton. Even though the cost of Clinton’s trip was reported at $42 million, that cost didn’t include the cost of security, which was included in the estimate given to the original source for the cost of Obama’s trip. Since the cost of security remains classified, all estimates of the total cost are simply that. Now, I don’t know about you, but not everything I do is economically driven. I often do things because they are right but perhaps not economically beneficial. Maybe we won’t get $100,000,000 out of this trip, but I think that maintaining good diplomatic and economic relationships even with countries that are poor is worth something, yes even African nations.

    • Jon says:

      I would also suggest to you that perhaps you ought to give someone the benefit of the doubt before jumping down someone’s throat for an oversight. Clearly, given the size of the entourage accompanying the president, even a private citizen group of that size wouldn’t have been able to travel to those places for a week for $100,000. As an example, an Expedia search for flights from Washington, DC to Senegal, Senegal to South Africa, South Africa to Tanzania, and Tanzania back to Washington reveals a cost of at least $2,600 a person leaving on August 5th and returning on August 12. Assuming conservatively that at least 50 people were a part of this trip, just the flights for these people would cost $130,000. Thank you for pointing out the error, but of course it cost more than $100,000, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure that out.

  3. Doug says:

    ‘misleading and disappointing”? You nailed it, the two words that best describe his presidency.

    It was a hundred million dollar distraction from the series of scandals that this administration is rife with.

    And a nine billion dollar energy promise to another foreign country, while this administration is under a spending sequester.

    • Fox News says:

      Thanks for only watching me.

      • Tim says:

        Interesting how when someone disagrees with comments about the president, it is only b/c the writer watches FOX news. Believe it or not, most of us are not that stupid that we rely on one news gathering organization.

        • LazloTu says:

          Well, maybe then it’s because you simply lack knowledge of the complete picture.

          Reality; although the Sheldon community is anti-Obama, the rest of Iowa (and the US) holds him in rather high esteem.

          You may do well to examine your rethuglican congress….

          • Robert Keller says:

            “If I had a son, he would look just like Trayton.”
            Why didn’t President Clinton say “If I had another daughter, she would look like Nicole Brown Simpson.” Do you know why he did not say it? Because he was a real president, not a real race-baiting jerk like the one we have in office now.

    • Jon says:

      Well, I would say that many of these scandals are manufactured by a GOP Congress more interested in smearing the administration at every turn than it is in doing the work it is supposed to be doing. Now, I will say that I am not thrilled with some of what has been going on, but in the efforts to smear the administration, the GOP and the Tea Party isn’t exactly coming out smelling like roses of purity in this. What it proves is something we knew all along, that politics is a messy business, and as much as we’d like to see people rise above it, there are few who can.

      • Doug says:

        These scandals are m a n u f a c t u r e d by the GOP? Wow! Could you not find a more bizarre explanation as to why Obama aides and appointees are “taking the fifth” on Capitol Hill? Did you fall at home and suffer a concussion? You’d better come up for some air.

        As to the Fox News response, I would like to personally thank you and your news organization colleagues for bringing us presidential level news. Thanks to all of you, much of the news we hear is reaching us at the same time it gets to the president. Even when aides, working in that same white house that he lives, have known details for months.

        I hope if we’re ever attacked, someone tells him before the New York Times hits the front step. Oops never mind, that’s already happened with Benghazi, and were still waiting “to find out exactly what happened”.

        And you’d think, our President, (yes, I’ve intentionally reserved one capitalization for him in this post in hopes he would do something presidential), would unseal the details of the Failed Fast & Furious program now that a Mexican police official has been killed with one of our tainted weapons.

        I apologize. I’ve gotten off topic with messy little details from FAKED news events. Instead we could talk about the Europeans being more knowledgeable about current events in this country, than the people actually living here. Maybe they are operating on faked info also.

        • Jon says:

          “Manufactured” is a poor choice of words. Blown out of proportion is a more apt description of what is going on here with nearly every scandal. Allowing scandals, many of which began even before the Obama and in some cases before the Bush administration to simmer until now is a bit suspicious. The attempt to place the blame solely on the administration when in most cases, members of congress have been privy to much of this information or have given approval to the policies adopted by agencies either directly through law-making or indirectly by failing to act, is disingenuous at best, but I suppose I couldn’t expect anyone to take responsibility for their own actions. Republican representative Darrell Issa has completely botched his handling of the IRS scandal by revealing his bias at every turn, even to the point of only selectively presenting the contents of the hearings to the press and the public that match his own interests in creating a witch hunt. When a member of Congress challenged him to release the entire transcript, Issa became indignant, claiming that it would hamper the investigation, which I suppose is true, if the release of the transcripts would hurt Issa’s agenda. The fact is that we have a disappointing political climate in this nation, one that doesn’t seek out truth, but looks to only support one agenda in order to demonize another. Our officials, more concerned with election than right actions, look to cover up mistakes rather than take responsibility for them. Now, I’m glad that some abuses of government agencies are coming to light, some more insidious than others. The fact is that any attempts to smear only the administration or only one party in the messes we have, is ultimately not productive, for everyone has dirt on their hands, and there is no evidence that would convince me otherwise, given the conduct of elected officials from both parties.

          • Doug says:

            His administration is at the heart of the Benghazi failure and coverup …protecting ……………… Hillary Clinton who utterly failed to protect or rescue our people when they were knowingly in peril. And by invoking executive privilege over the emails and documents he supposedly knows nothing about, he is responsible for hiding the details of Fast & Furious . Maybe Issa has his bias, but when you’re shoveling crap, you are gonna get dirty.

          • Lee Ann says:

            Doesn’t anyone recall that the State Department asked for more money for security twice, in 2009 and 2010, both times turned down by the majority Republicans in the House. So then when Bengazi happened, they didn’t have the security they needed. I fail to see how that can be attributed to Hillary Clinton. In fact, its been found to be ridiculous, and that’s why nobody’s bringing it up anymore, they are just letting it slide away. The IRS scandal was the same thing. They found out, after all the publicity and open meetings that the IRS was checking out social groups on the left as much, or more than they were the ones on the right, such as Tea Party groups. These are all big to dos designed to make as much bad press as possible for Hillary Clinton for 2016. Because they know that if they don’t bad mouth Hillary, she will win in 2016.

          • Doug says:

            Not true LeAnn….

            “Issa was asked by host Bob Schieffer about Republicans in Congress voting to cut $300 million from embassy security. He said that although it was a reduction from what President Obama requested, it was an actual “increase” in funds and was a “sufficient” amount.”

            “You can’t always look to money when there’s money [already] sitting there,” Issa said, pointing to a $2.2 billion discretionary fund able to be used for spending.

      • HappyTimes says:

        Well Jon, Just keep having breakfast with Harry and Nancy.

  4. Robert Keller says:

    I have not had a t.v. on since January 2005, so where am I getting the truth from?

    • says:


    • LazloTu says:


      Perhaps you are not getting the truth, but only getting what you choose to believe…..

      • Robert Keller says:

        LazloTu, I chose to believe in McGovern, Carter, and Clinton in his first term and voted for all 3. I also voted Libertarian twice. I believe that the gun running in Benghazi was a coverup, the guns to the Mexican gangs was a coverup, and both were orchestrated by Obama. I choose to believe by what I read and am not a cradle to grave democrat like my 7 siblings. When you grow up, maybe you will understand that?

        • LazloTu says:

          Robert, Robert, Robert…….. I’m afraid I must take at least eleven points away from your total; you just could not resist tossing out the same old talking points of your repub congress…. sorry, but lack of originality must cost you.
          And, three of those points are for your smarmy comment about when I ‘grow up’. :(
          Btw, you apparently didn’t vote for Clinton’s 2nd term, although he left the bush/cheney mob with a dandy surplus, squandered by your boys on the middle-east debacle and corporate greed.
          Instead of growing up, how ’bout you take a shot at ‘waking up’???

        • Mom of 3 says:

          Remember, they can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true! Bon Jour!

  5. Jon says:

    I think that the point of my complaint is that characterizing Obama’s trip as a vacation is misleading. I guess we can’t even agree on that.

    • Rick says:

      Jon .. You mislead as well. President Bush was doing more in Africa than laying a wreath! He has done more for them than this President has or thinks about doing! Did see this pres. neither pick up a paint brush nor open his own wallet up for AIDS research or victims!

      • D says:

        But that wasn’t the purpose of the President’s trip. Bush has largely focused on philanthropist efforts since his presidency ended and he was very influential in Africa during his time in office, providing AIDS relief for many.
        But President Obama’s trip was more focused on building diplomacy and economic efforts. The landscape of many African countries is changing. They are becoming more economically viable and exports from the US to Africa have increased exponentially in recent years. Although $100 million is a ridiculously high number, the pay off from this trip and those that will likely follow could be even greater.

      • LazloTu says:

        Seriously…??? “pick up a paint brush…..’, etc.

        Dubya is responsible for global hate of the USA. And you are so bold to cal him a philanthropist?

      • Jon says:

        No, I did not provide the details of former President George W. Bush’s itinerary, but neither did I make the insinuation that he was only there to lay a wreath, I simply stated that they were both present at the wreath laying ceremony. I thought it was a great moment for these two leaders of our great nation to come together to memorialize a tragic incident. I’m sorry you felt misled by the mention of Bush, although I understand that you’d never expect a compliment about Bush coming from a more liberal person than you might expect a compliment about Obama coming from a conservative. That is a particularly sad commentary on our society today when you look at everything with suspicion and cynicism, and you can’t accept simple facts and simple statements. The Africa trip was not a “vacation,” and Bush has done good things for people in several African nations. Those are facts. Incidentally, Michelle Obama participated with Laura Bush at a First ladies summit with a number of first ladies from African nations, sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute. Bush has done wonderful things in his efforts to curb AIDS infection in African nations. The work regarding trade and economic partnerships in Africa sponsored and promoted by Obama will help to bring more reliable power to African nations, something needed if they are to continue progress and modernization. These are both admirable aspirations that should be celebrated. The time for giving your neighbor the benefit of the doubt I hope is not dead.

  6. Rick says:

    and don’t start with me on the “R” word .. his father is from Kenya and he stated that
    Africa is the reason he got into Politics … REALLY!

  7. Rick says:

    Barry could have used GO TO MEETING .. Would have saved us a ton!

  8. Tim says:

    Here we go again!! How dare anyone expect that the current administration take ownership of ANYTHING that is wrong, dishonest, crooked, or even scandalous. My goodness, EVERYTHING goes back to the previous administration or is the republicans fault or the general public gets all their news only from FOX, now we hear it is all made up just to make Hillary look bad. Come-on!! Cannot this “savior’ of the country ever take any ownership of wrong doing??? No I am not saying this because he is black, that makes no difference, even tho some now say that is why he is being criticized. I am tired of people making excuses for him. It is my opinion he is draining this country every way he knows how!!

    • Jon says:

      I don’t know, I don’t think we have a very good history of politicians from any side actually taking ownership of things which are seen as scandalous or problematic. George W. Bush didn’t take ownership of the fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq, or the fact that he declared “mission accomplished” in the war in Iraq even though the war raged for many years after his ridiculous declaration. Bill Clinton insisted that he did “not have sexual relations with that woman” until it became painfully obvious that he had. Reagan took no ownership of the Farm Crisis, Nixon, JFK, and Johnson all punted on Vietnam’s horrors. I’m waiting for ANY senator or representative to apologize or take ownership for their actions. They all deflect,they all continue to claim that their path is the right one, and they rarely apologize or take ownership of their positions, or if they do, they make excuses for the way they are acting or voting, even when they are questionable at best. Steve King had all kinds of excuses for being the ONLY Representative voting against including an exhibit in the Capitol visitor’s center in DC that acknowledged the slaves and their labor that contributed to the construction of the building. There have been no apologies from the Bush administration or the members of Congress during his terms in office for their utter failure to keep the budget in control as we saw a budget surplus turn in dramatic fashion to record deficits. I would like to see some accountability from this administration, from Senate Republicans for their abuse of the filibuster, from our government agencies for abusing their power, from a state governor willing to throw cash at corporations and claiming huge tax reductions, most of which will not reach the average state resident. There is plenty of wrongdoing to go around, but I’m not holding my breath for any apologies.

  9. ranger says:

    I wish to know if he and collegues will lay wreaths at Benghazi as well?????? I would highly doubt it!!

    • Harriet Oleson says:

      Since the Mpls Star Tribune did not arrive by stagecoach this morning – let me make a point to tell all of you that read, listen and watch the “news” that you have become victims of “fearmongering” – we in Walnut Grove always took pride in our ability to sort truth from fiction and stand on our own two feet at the local coffee shop. Since we didn’t pay much attention to political parties or who voted how – it was much easier to stand on our own two feet – without worrying what or who our neighbors or fellow congregation members stood for.

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