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June 12, 2014

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Visits costs as much as it gives

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Cooperstown should receive more attention and more visitors as a result of the president’s very short visit here. I hope so.

I also have a few reflections the visit. People certainly noticed our very fine Secret Service agents everywhere driving the week preceding the President’s visit. They were sharp and impressive driving around in their black SUV’s; and there were many more we didn’t see dressed like us. I was amused that my locker was searched at The Clark Sports Center, but I apologize for my dirty socks they had to handle in my locker.

I was less amused when two agents stopped by my house with their bomb-sniffing dogs to check out my 1870’s carriage steps and search the hedge in front of my house. Perhaps I was on their list because I served as a private consultant at International College in Beirut a few years ago. I am sure the NSA had me on their watch list and had tracked my travel and phone calls when I was there in Beirut Bahrain, Cyprus and other places in the Middle East. Oh well.

In hindsight, I guess I gave the Secret Service another reason to search around my house. They probably didn’t like the sign I put on top of my hedge saying “WE THE PEOPLE ARE SEEING OUR GREAT COUNTRY GO BANKRUPT RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES”

I was especially interested in the cost of the president’s trip to Cooperstown. A friend of mine actually talked with a federal agent on the street and asked the question about the cost. The answer was “over five million dollars.” Ouch! You know the president was going on to another meeting after stopping briefly in Cooperstown. He was speaking at a Democratic fund-raising event. Obvioyusly, our taxes pay for the President’s travel on official business, but when a political fund-raising party is part of the trip, we foot the bill for that, too. That’s the way it works and I am not amused about that practice. And I would not take bests on what event was scheduled first.

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