Open Chat... All Day, Every Day! Express Your Views, Debate, and Challenge the Views of Others!

In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Is This Really Anybody's Business?

I saw the following article on this morning:

If you do a Google search of "Nancy Pelosi Hawai'i Winter Break," numerous articles are returned.

My question: Is this really anybody's business?

In my opinion, how someone spends their private money on their private time is nobody's business. Period. Just because she is a public servant (granted, in my opinion, not a very good one) doesn't mean her private life isn't private. We strive to live and promote a free society. Peoples' private lives are to be respected (or so I thought), right? Are we truly free when our private spending and private vacationing habits are subject to media and public scrutiny? The best part of America is this: there is no law, no rule, no regulation that prevents me from having that kind of vacation myself. I am free to venture down whatever path I choose whether it's prosperity or poverty. News outlets shouldn't be scrutinizing wealthy politicians for how they take their vacations; they should be promoting the idea that every American is free to choose how to spend their own time.

Back to the article: for what true purpose did Fox write this article? Now, let's get one thing straight. A private security detail funded by the taxpayer is obviously the taxpayers' business. But the cost of the hotel and all the private places she might stay are not. With it comes to that information being spread, I don't agree with it, and I think this kind of overall headlining (of course, on both sides) should stop. Swaying the electorates' minds with articles about peoples' private spending happens is, to me, sleazy. We at our blog this this kind of reporting is counterproductive and only expands the divide between people of differing political opinions. What do you think?

On the side... tongue-in-cheek of course: Where is OWS on this? :-P


  1. Good point. Your best point is: "The best part of America is this: there is no law, no rule, no regulation that prevents me from having that kind of vacation myself. I am free to venture down whatever path I choose whether it's prosperity or poverty. News outlets shouldn't be scrutinizing wealthy politicians for how they take their vacations; they should be promoting the idea that every American is free to choose how to spend their own time."

    Thank you

  2. I'm ure that she will find a way to have this paid fr by us. We have already had to foot the bill for the security.
    Interresting that she choose this location- either she is surgically attached to bambam's butt, Hiding out for her own state's lynch mob- or she goes for yearly mummification.

  3. To both anonymous posters: Thank you for kicking off this forum.

    Anonymous #2: Um... not really sure what to take of this. We don't really live in the world of "I'm sure." We love proof here. Do you have any evidence that the American taxpayer will be charged with her vacation. Also, what do you mean by the rest of what you said? Thank you.

  4. I know the American taxpayers will pay for this. We pay her freaking salary and give her a jet to fly around in. Who are you kidding?

  5. Anonymous - Thank you for the comment. I am curious... You claim "I know the American taxpayers will pay for this."

    My question (well, they are two):

    1. Are you implying that, yes, since we pay her salary, and she uses her salary to buy goods, trips, vacations, etc. that we are technically paying for this?... -or-

    2. Somehow, this is done on gov't taxpayer money? Of course, if this is the claim you're making, conservative or not, we at our blog will always want proof behind any statement. We pride ourselves on proof and believe that the conservative message furthers its cause when its claims are backed by cited proof. We simply cannot live in the world of "it is because I think it is." This isn't a personal insult, it's just a request for proof. We hope to hear back from you. Thank you.

  6. I agree with you to a point, it is America and one can do whatever they want with their private money, as long as it is legally obtained and legally spent. I believe the reason Pelosi is under scrutiny is because she herself and some of her colleagues like to play the class warfare card. They tend to portray and villainize the rich. This merely demonstrates the fact that at least she, and perhaps others, are part of that particular class, themselves. It also begs the question of whether or not this representative understands the plight of millions of people who are currently out of work due to policies that the congress and the president have been instituting for years (beyond the past 3 years but especially in the past 3 years, since the Democrats campaigned on the platform of "change". They after all took ownership of the problems and committed to creating solutions when they campaigned and were elected. This should negate the blame game--and please don't try to convince me that it is because the House has had a Republican majority for 1 year now. The Democrats had 2 years of free reign and did little to solve the problem, except get us deeper into national debt and create more economic uncertainty, during which time Pelosi was Speaker of the House).

    Reporting this helps keep THE PEOPLE informed about their so-called public servants and who they are. Furthermore, it is important that the voters of a district understand exactly who and how their representatives live in comparison to themselves so that they can best be represented by someone who shares their values, understands their situation, etc. Since Pelosi has such a high ranking position in Congress, it is understandable that the news would find this story of national interest, especially due to the high unemployment rate and the very poor economy across our nation.

    Additionally, and probably a totally different discussion, but worth noting: recent news reports, I think one was 60 Minutes,have said that she is one who has made a tremendous amount of money off of trading due to information gained as a congress woman. Insider trading, something that is illegal for the rest of us, perhaps not illegal for congress but is it ethical and should it be illegal? Rule of Law means that our government officials are not above the laws that we the people have to uphold--something to think about.

    Having given you my understand of why it was reported, I will give you my personal opinion on the reporting of Pelosi's $10,000 a day vacation. She is a public servant (by her own choice) and lives in a fish bowl. Surely she understands that the fish bowl is part of being a public servant, she has, after all, been a representative since 1987. Apparently she does not really care whether the country knows where she vacations or not. Otherwise she would have chosen a more modest vacation spot, especially in our current political and economical climate. Does it add to solving problems? Perhaps, if she is not a true representative of the people she serves and they choose to find someone who will better represent them. Nationally, it helps inform the people of the dynamics of our representatives in Congress and lends to the understanding of why we are in the situation we are in on a national level. Information and education are the key to THE PEOPLE staying in control and not being controlled by the government, which is the intent of our Constitution. Like it or not, this was a story that was news worthy if the people are to remain informed, the people have a right to know the characteristics of their representatives and this was definitely a portrayal of characteristics if not character. What the poeple do with the information is their choice, just as her choice of vacation spots was hers to make, as it should be.

  7. Anonymous - Thank you for this well-thought post.

    I understand your side as well. Yes, she lives in a fish bowl because she chose the life of being a public servant. To me, however, this doesn't mean she ceases to have a private life.

    Also, I have heard about the infamous CBS 60-minutes insider trading report but have not seen much follow up with it. I will have to look more in to it.

    What I truly appreciate is how you gave the facts and opinions from society's view and then in your final paragraph you gave your own. This is exactly the kind of post we want to see more of here. If you read through our blog, we like when people take a position, back it, and make distinctions between their views and the views of society as a whole.

    Thank you again. We hope to hear more from you. If not, good luck in everything you do. Also, if you like our blog, please tell a friend. We want more thoughtful debate, and word of mouth really helps.

  8. Non of our busy body business, but, Nancy just took if from the funds that her hubby got from the PAC (political action committee)so the money is really donated, kinda!! See the links. You have to laugh at this stuff or it drive you nuts! Have a wonderful new year, hope it is better than the last three.,2933,431204,00.html

  9. OWS does not care what the puppets do. They protest the puppet masters. Hope that helps.

  10. Anonymous poster that gave the links: Thank you. These are the kind of comments we seek; statements backed with a cite or why the poster/commentor believes what he/she believes.

    My comments: The first link didn't do as well as the second. But the second did back your point somewhat. The part I did take from the second was "Last week, Pelosi's office defended the payments, saying they were legal because she is compensating her husband at fair market value for the work his firm has performed for the PAC." If that's the case, what is the problem? Also what if the $10,000 per night room is actually paid for with her own money? I'm not challenging you, I'm merely playing devils advocate. I still go to the side of I don't like any news agency reporting on the private spending activities of politicians. But thank you. I hope to hear more from you.

    Second anonymous poster... okay, so Pelosi is a puppet, not a puppet master? Care to elaborate? Which is which? And who are the puppet masters? Thank you for your post.

  11. 2nd anonymous poster here: You're not that dumb. It's in the name of the movement.

  12. Mike Crews - Thank you for your post. So you're saying that "Wall Street" are the puppet masters?

    Okay, we've heard this. We have even challenged this position (see:

    How, PLEASE... we are dying for some SOLID evidence that this is the case... help us out, help your cause... Thank you.

  13. Weeks of debate and a showdown over whether to extend unemployment benefits and the payroll tax holiday, and the outcome was uncertain until the last moment.

    In hours a plan was assembled to bail out the banks bad bets to the tune of trillions. TARP was passed in record time with hardly any debate or controversy. Isn't it obvious who calls the shots in Washington?

  14. They say "Jump!" and Washington says "How high?"

  15. Mike Crews - I'm sure you've read our blog, right? You know that making a statement such as "Isn't it obvious who calls the shots in Washington?" isn't going to fly here. We want solid proof. Inferring and deducing certain things doesn't make them true. What kind of dangerous society would we live in if suspect A was found guilty of murdering victim B simply because "well, isn't it obvious?" We aren't entirely against OWS' positions... we are merely saying that they don't really give the solid backing behind the claims they make. We have challenged continuously (see our: and have received very little substantial proof above the lowest level of proof which is "isn't it clear this is happening." Please help by giving cited, actual proof. This isn't anything personal against you (we always maintain personal respect in our open forum-style blog), we just want people to back what they say. Thank you.

  16. Proof is for mathematicians. If you are so insulated from what is happening, that you can't see what I am talking about, then good for you. Enjoy your happy life.

  17. Keep writing your blog if it helps reassure you. Everybody needs a blankie.

  18. Mike Crews - Proof is for those making a claim. The onus falls on those that have a position to back that position. Having a view or opinion that one cannot back... isn't that the definition of ignorant?

    If I claimed "in the center of the moon there is a 100 year supply of nacho cheese..." and you said "okay... how do you know? Give me some proof" and I didn't... wouldn't you say I was a fool? Wouldn't you say I was ignorant.

    I'm sorry, I cannot live in the world of "if you can't see what I SAY is happening, you're blind." I would be happy to see what you see, when you actually show it to me. Thank you.

  19. Mike - Well, you can surely say whatever you like... there is a difference, it appears, between me and my (our) blog and you... when we take a position, we actually back it.

    Again, I cannot live in a world that blindly follow things and makes a claim while ridiculing others for not "seeing" what you see, though you provide no proof of what you actually see. Myths are fun... but not a safe way to live. When you can actually back what you say, I would certainly love to hear it. Thank!

  20. Everything is fine. God Bless America.

  21. I love how you keep saying "We" when LME is the only one that ever answers any comments.

  22. Again, like I said on your other post...

    1. You should read our blog more... Yes I'm the PRIMARY contributor, but there are others.

    2. What is your point?

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. The point is this blog is your way of reassuring yourself that you know what is going on. It is an expression of anxiety. OWS and other events have made you anxious. But judging from how your answers are received by the other commenters, and by myself, it's not convincing anyone but LME. But that's all it needs to do to keep you going at it.

    Maybe one day O'Reilly will mention LME. I know you're hoping for it. That's why you pimp the blog so hard on news sites.

  25. Mike Crews - Haha, now you're just getting funny.

    Reassuring? Really? Ok, try again? Our blog exists:

    1. So we can challenge views. We take positions, and when those positions challenge views we see out there, we write about it.
    2. For people have a place to express their political views.

    As far as how other commenters see us... some agree, some disagree. That's totally fine. We are glad to have civil debates.

    And HA! I think I've watched a total of 3 episodes of Bill O'Reilly. I'm not big on individual journalists' opinions. This blog is "pimped" on news sites because we want people to get away from the constant drivel and insults slung there (kind of like you're doing here). We like respectful, insightful, fact-backed debate. You're free to express yourself, but you're really not making any relevant points.

    Again, what is your ultimate goal here? Is it to merely tell us our blog stinks? That's okay, and you're welcome to your opinion. We will still have ours'. The neat thing is... you're still contributing to it. Thank you!

  26. "So we can challenge views"

    You've just confirmed what I said. You don't want to change anyone's views, you want to cement your own.

    I don't have a goal here. The BBoard I usually post on is down due to a database problem. I simply jonesing for some rhetorical swordplay.

  27. Mike Crews - We do challenge any view we think we should. We absolutely don't want to forcibly change someone else's views. Yes, we make a point and we stand by it. If someone opens our eyes to something (usually by giving facts and/or associated analysis we are missing) we will happily believe what they believe. That's the point of civil debate. But yes, we stand by our views, and we back them with cited facts. Thank you.

  28. And NOW - back to our previously scheduled programming - lol

    Personally, I don't care to hear where Mrs. Pelosi spends her unearned (my opinion : ) vacation. It IS kind of 'odd' that she chose Hawaii - BUT the state consists of several islands, so I'm not even sure that she and our 'fearless leader' are on the same one.

    The original article stated that she'd vacationed in the same $10,000 per night suite for years, so maybe O followed her?

    My feeling is that the Fox people, like many of the rest of us, are sick and tired of the 'fair share' and 'spread the wealth around' mantras.

    (p.s.the article showed up on The Blaze as well.)

    Obama and Pelosi - along with my all time favorite Dirty Harry Reid (not!) - stand guilty as charged for the class warfare we're currently engaged in. Due to their constant yammering re: 'millionaires and billionares' - we now have the OWS people with calls out on twitter for recipes - to EAT them.

    And for clarity: A millionaire earns 5 X $50,000 - a billionaire earns 1,000 X a million... they're NOT even close, but lumped together as if they were.

    This article also comes on the heels of Pelosi's dismissive response when questioned about the insider trading that she and other members of Congress were/are engaged in.

    That, to me, was a much bigger story - due to the fact that us 'peons' would go directly to JAIL for the same behavior! (see: Martha Stewart)Congress slapped together a bill to stop the practice... it FAILED... go figure!

    On another note - young Russians are now comparing the Democrats in America - to Communists!(sorry, I didn't copy the link - I'll try to find it.)

    Oops! I digressed, sorry.

    As I said, I don't care - but, I have a fun question for Mrs. Pelosi... Why didn't you take any of your favorite 'Great Americans' - the OWSers - with you?

    Happy New Year All : )

  29. Dara - Welcome back and thanks for the comment! I tell ya, you tend to have very similar views. I don't know what will happen when something comes about you and I fundamentally disagree on. Your statement of "Personally, I don't care to hear where Mrs. Pelosi spends her unearned (my opinion : ) vacation." is pretty close to mine. I tend to disagree (slightly) because I don't have enough knowledge of if her incomes is "unearned" or not :-P

    Thanks again, and if I don't hear back from you, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  30. @LME - Oops! I meant, in my opinion, NO Congress member has done the work required to 'earn' a vacation.

    As far as disagreements - if/when they should come up, please forgive me in advance, as I'm pretty opinionated and tend to come across as very much un-PC...

    I look forward to the New Year... I'll hang on tight and brace for a wild ride!


  31. LME, I read the article you are refering to and even commented on the article. I wasnt sure because it was never made clear in the article but I assumed it was her personal money paying for the room, thanks for clearing that up.
    I did happen to read an article elsewhere that stated Obama's Hawaiian was costing taxpayer 3 million.

  32. Dara - I think I got that ;-) There is never a reason to apologize for a viewpoint. As far as un-pc... eh, I don't really mind. Have a great holiday!

  33. Sam King - thank you for writing! Which post was yours?

    Also, do you have any link that shows the taxpayer's cost for Obama's vacation? That would be great news to share.

    Thank you for your input! I hope to hear back from you.

  34. LME

    Are you so stupid that you think posting links constitute "Proof"

    Do you think everything you read is true?

    You are an idiot. Watch me link people to this comment to prove that it is true.

    As far as public servants abusing the money WE PAY for ....Well Duh dipshit. We need to pay attention. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you? You listen to to much talk radio or something

  35. To the very civil, respectful anonymous poster - good morning to you, sir!

    First, please keep your language clean. For what purpose do you curse? What does that accomplish? Your point does not see its value increase with every curse word. We want to maintain a civil and respectful blog, and you're not really keeping up with that. You're entitled to your opinions, but there is no reason to curse.

    Okay, on to your post. Am I stupid? Nope. But perhaps you either:

    1. Haven't read through the blog -or-
    2. Do not know the distinction between many things.

    For proof, as you have seen throughout the blog if you read it, is the backing behind what people say. We at The Elephant in the Room are tired of people making unbacked claims. We ask that people that come here with an opinion cite the reasoning (data, articles, studies, etc.) why they feel the way they do. It is NOT bona fide proof. It is a check to make sure people do not live in ignorance.

    You seem to not know the distinction between things. For this blog post we cited a Fox News article. We are NOT claiming this is proof of anything. We cite it so that people know what we are referring to. If you look at many of our numerous blog posts, you will see that we cite various government reports, news articles, etc. Some are used as sources of data; some are used, as with this one as "hey, this is what we're talking about," and here is our opinion on it.

    No, I do not think everything I read is true. I do, however, give the source of what I read. If I or anyone on this blog is going to write, rant, rave, give an opinion on something, don't you think it's good for them to show what they're talking about? If I wrote this blog post about Pelosi's vacation and how I don't like the media reporting on it, wouldn't you be scratching your head thinking "what is he talking about" if I didn't provide the article with which I disagree? As far as everything else being true,.. well, like I said, some of what we use for data are government reports (CRS report in the article titled "The Media and Half Truths," OMB data tables for "Revenue vs Spending," etc.) so are you going to say those are a lie, too? If they are, how can you prove it. We cite those, we stand by them. If you want to debate them, you're welcome to do so.

    You're going to prove I'm an idiot? Okay, go ahead. I tend to think I know what I'm talking about, but I'm not the gold standard. All I do is have an opinion and back it with cites. All I do is write a blog post and give the data I used for my analysis. All I did was go to college and get an education in what I tend to write about. So this one might be tough for you. But then again... why? What does that serve? If you are so offended by our blog, why stop by? All it is is an open forum for people to see something outside the mainstream media. It's a place where people can freely express their political views.

  36. To the very civil, respectful anonymous poster (continued):

    Now, you finally got to a point, but I'm not really sure what you're saying. My blog post was that I don't like when the MSM writes about politicians' private lives like the Fox News article did. You say "WE PAY for," are you referring to the taxpayer-funded security detail, or are you trying to infer that the taxpayer paid for her private hotel room? As far as the assumption about me listening to talk radio, I've said this phrase a million times already "I can't live in a world of 'maybe you do' and 'you probably do this.'" You're wrong. I'd like to see you prove this. Assumptions are dangerous... I'm sure you've heard how they make you look bad. You kind of do here. If you would like to debate this issue in a CIVIL and RESPECTFUL (not to me, I don't demand respect, but I ask that it be maintained for all the other visitors of this blog) manner, you're welcome to do so. Otherwise, you, in my opinion, sound immature and uneducated. Just my view though... take care, and I hope you're able to relax a little bit.

  37. @ LME, I post as samking73 over on FN. Thats actually where I found the link to this site.I read about the Hawaiian vacation's pricetag over on Newsmax.
    Contrary to anonymous' opinion, I would like to commend you on the fact that you do post your sources, unlike a lot of bloggers.

  38. Sam King - Welcome back! Thank you for your kind words.

    Yes, we are tired of uncited, non-backed info out there on both sides. If we make a point, an argument, or anything, we do our best to give a source.

    Also, have you seen this:

    The reason I ask is because if you like to write and express your views (regardless of being left or right, we are respectful to both), this might be a cool thing for you. If not, no biggie, no hard feelings at all. Take a look at that and some of the RPs that have been posted and let me know what you think. Thanks again!