4 February 2010

POTUS circus coming - prepare for shenanigans

| Gungahlin Al
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It’s hard to imagine what our nation’s capital will be like when US President Obama and his 500-person entourage comes to town next month.

AF1 at the airport, and a decoy nearby – could that possibly be Sydney, or more likely Avalon to avoid the problems it would cause at Mascot?

6 hornets at Nowra on rotation, with two on station over Canberra the entire time (great news for lovers of fast movers).

Transport planes for the 30-vehicle motorcade, including two of the 5-tonne Cadillac Ones.

Advance and pre-advance teams.

Parliament House and all surrounding roads closed down to the public. All APH staff scanned and bussed in to work.

Snipers, spooks and lots of conversations with cufflinks everywhere, various other locations closed off (Mt Majura and My Ainslie?).

And if Queanbeyan commuters think the airport area has its moments now, nothing will compare to the arrival and departure impacts of the visit. The airport has their nice new blast shield so they don’t have to close off the road now, but sure as it will be closed anyway.

And in APH, of course everyone will be squeezed into the House again, instead of into the Senate, which is designed to take both houses when needed. The squeeze along the benches last time looked stupid.

So good RA folk. Will you be looking for good spook-less vantage points to observe the fun? Or will it be a case of avoid at all costs, like Sydney folk being urged to leave town when APEC was on?

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rosebud said :

I am no flage waver.

I am. I wave my flage as often as I can. I think I’ll wave it at Obama when he visits.

johnboy said :

Canberra not yet confirmed.

Very bad diplomatic form if he doesn’t.

Protocol is that a Head of State will always visit the Capitol of the country they are visiting and their own embassy when on a ‘state’ visit.

Different rules for Head of Government and ‘non-state’ visits.

Big O is Head of State and Head of Government.

johnboy said :

Canberra not yet confirmed.

It’s likely though, given the Australian-American Memorial is here?

Canberra not yet confirmed.

Here we go again.

Gungahlin Al3:13 pm 11 Mar 10

p1 said :

I’d imagine that Mt Ainslie would be shut off as a possible launch site…

I had been thinking about walking up for a view. I wonder if it is possible to find out in advance? Or do I just go through the bush?

Probability of getting pounced on by people talking into wrists? 90%

“Is that a rocket launcher in your pocket?”
🙂

I’d imagine that Mt Ainslie would be shut off as a possible launch site…

I had been thinking about walking up for a view. I wonder if it is possible to find out in advance? Or do I just go through the bush?

Gungahlin Al9:55 am 11 Mar 10

According to CT that’s a definite no. So I wonder where the best place would be to watch AF1 come in? I’d imagine that Mt Ainslie would be shut off as a possible launch site…
Perhaps Brand Depot will be the go. Could be the most people that place has seen since its opening!

Hope the RAAF can roll-out some of the F 18F Super Hornets. Even if they are still being in pre-delivery in the States. what an event that would be!

They like having us all stuck on motionless roads- it stops the terrorists getting through.

quote]

Just get the AFP to set up a rapid check, that’d do it.

I remember taking the kids to see the Olympic flame arrive. A couple of AFP dudes came over and asked for ID, although not quite sure why, do Free Tibet supporters have it marked on their drivers license?.

But the guy standing next to me must have been a serious planespotter. By the time I left, he was still engaging the feds in conversation over the differences between the A330 and A330 mkII or something. (In fact, they could still be there because he showed no sign of letting up)

*sigh* more celebrity worship…

However I agree with cobrico. WHy not a new public holiday? Let’s call it presidents day.

They like having us all stuck on motionless roads- it stops the terrorists getting through.

I wonder how long I can sleep in for, before blaming ‘traffic’ for getting to work really late.

More gridlock. What about a public holiday to keep the streets clear for the motorcade. I know it’s a sacrifice but we all have to pitch in.

GottaLoveCanberra6:15 pm 05 Feb 10

Oh yay, here comes the Chocolate Messiah! -_-

Best thing about it all will be
A: the hornets
B: watching our fearless leader kiss ass like he’s never kissed ass before

I visited Washington DC a few months ago, and they didn’t have any of the nonsense which we had to put up with when Bush visited, so I’m hoping that it won’t be as bad as last time.

Muttsybignuts3:16 pm 05 Feb 10

I remember an article in the CT years a go about the Clinton visit. It said, while hundreds crammed to get a look at Clinton at Parliment House, one bloke and his kids waited patiently at the gates of the Governor Generals waving some yank flags. Clinton even got out to say hello ( Pre 11/09/01 ). Cant see Barack doing that somehow.

I remember watching Air Force One land in 2003 with a few plane fans, when George W. Bush came to Canberra. Very nice to see the big 747 in Canberra.

Do you think they will let the public know which routes to line? I have NEVER either greeted or protested a US President – I am no flage waver. But I am just totally and utterly in celeb-love with the Obamas. I’ve even got the t-shirt (and a framed print). I gave the badge away to a friend as a housewarming gift (and I kinda want it back ;)). I want my kids to see this man too. So does anyone know if there will be some kind of reception or street by-pass or something that they will let us hoi poloi into?

AussieRodney11:00 pm 04 Feb 10

Hazza said :

can you tell me without ‘having to kill me’?

No, but we can arrange for it to happen.

Gungahlin Al – you might not be so keen on the Obama visit after the night before he arrives when the bloody loud FA/18s circle the airport and surrounding area All Night Long.

Hazza said :

do you know what day & Time AF1 is touching down?

can you tell me without ‘having to kill me’?

we don’t *have* to kill you. sometimes we just do it for fun.

I am sure AF2 and AF1 will fly in roughly 20 minutes apart and who knows which one POTUS will be on? I don’t but you can always ask these guys: http://tinyurl.com/4gx28

What I hated when Bushy was here last time, was that the post office boxes in Yarralumla were welded shut in case a bomb (there I have said it: “bomb” and “President of the United States” in one sentence. Hello Echelon!!! ) was placed in it and disturbed Bushs’ sleep at the American Embassy some 2 klicks away. Ridiculous I know. I wonder if the regular Bogans from Tuggers are going to light a cracker or two?

Best thing about the 2003 trip was seeing how thick the car doors are on his limo. Oh and he laid a wreath.

Who could forget the Bush visit – the security shortstaffing, with rumply dumply clerks from the desks at AFP Headquarters kitted out in borrowed uniforms and pretending to be hofficers, and stationed all the way along Commonwealth Avenue. It was h i l a r i o u s.

The buffoonery continued at the War Memorial – massive security fences, the dangerous unwashed kept back down on Anzac Parade. Meanwhile, goodly citizens of Reid descended from Mt Ainslie unhindered with their dogs after their daily constitutional, cut across the grass pretty much within waterpistol shot of the Prez, and calmly hopped over the barriers. I’ll never forget the “i d o n t b e l i e v e t h i s” expression I caught on the face of one of the US security spooks as he witnessed the “security breach” – and nothing he could do about it.

And there was the large potplant stationed at the entrance to Parliament House to screen the president from potential assassins aimed up Anzac Parade.

Woody Mann-Caruso6:50 pm 04 Feb 10

It’s hard to imagine what our nation’s capital will be like

You find it hard to imagine what already happened in 2003? You find it hard to imagine arrangements that have already been spelled out? You find it hard to imagine what you went on to describe in your post?

do you know what day & Time AF1 is touching down?

can you tell me without ‘having to kill me’?

I wonder if the AFP will put all their civi office staff in police uniforms like they did for Dubbya’s visit?

Now I am trying to think up a humorous chaser style prank that I can pull without getting arrested.

The secret squirrels are fun to tease though, they are so serious and over protective and they certainly don’t get our sense of humour

the secret squirrels have their sense of humour surgically removed before being assigned duties – though the ones that get the plum jobs like guarding obama never had one to start with, so got top marks at secret squirrel school…

DarkLadyWolfMother1:15 pm 04 Feb 10

astrojax said :

must admit, i got all excited when i read the title of this post and saw ‘circus’ – bugger, i want elephants and clowns…

Well you’ll get the clowns…

We had Bush a few years back, it can’t be any worse than that was. Most people didn’t even notice he was hear, it only really affected people around the airport and Parliamentary triangle.

The secret squirrels are fun to tease though, they are so serious and over protective and they certainly don’t get our sense of humour

SmileOnTrial12:28 pm 04 Feb 10

Canberra airport couldnt get much messier than it allready is. Maybe Obama’s visit will entice Mr Snow to pull his finger out and clean it up abit.

I was caught in traffic when Billie boy was in town. We hid out when George W was in town, and I expect we’ll do the same again.

The hornet or whatever it was, just got annoying, flying over all day.

The best part was when AF1 and AF2 flew over our place as Georgie boy left, and we could wave good riddance (we were under the flight path).

Will Terry Snow get another $23Mill to upgrade his runway again?

UrbanAdventure.org said :

You forgot the aircraft carrier and submarine they’ll put in Lake Burley Griffin.
I personally would not mind seeing AF1, but that’s about it. I suspect gawkers wil be shhoed away from the vantage point at the end of the southern runway. 🙁

Ditto, was car park closed when Bush visited? What better way to celebrate freedom and liberty than preventing us from seeing it

Harriet Vane10:28 am 04 Feb 10

Gungahlin Al said :

Difference perhaps being that most of Canberra loathed Bush, whereas many more locals would be interested in catching a glimpse of Obama?

I would think it ends up much the same. Someone who is loathed is going to need just as much–if not more–security as someone who is popular and drawing crowds.

grunge_hippy10:14 am 04 Feb 10

i remember when bush came, and the jets were hovering around, with a very faint but constant hum. the kids at school for those few days were off their tree. i reckon it has to do with the constant noise of the jets.

but i did enjoy seeing AF1. i always like it when the big jets come to canberra. they always look so huge compared to our piddly little airport.

must admit, i got all excited when i read the title of this post and saw ‘circus’ – bugger, i want elephants and clowns…

Gungahlin Al9:53 am 04 Feb 10

dvaey said :

“It’s hard to imagine what our nation’s capital will be like when US President Obama and his 500-person entourage comes to town next month.”

I imagine quite similar to what happened to our city when Bush visited a couple of years ago

Difference perhaps being that most of Canberra loathed Bush, whereas many more locals would be interested in catching a glimpse of Obama?

neanderthalsis9:29 am 04 Feb 10

I have a substantial amount of business travel to do next month. So the escape will be good, but airport disruptions not so good.

I can’t see why one man needs a battalion of spooks, media bods, minders and arsewipers to fly into town just wso he can have a yarn with a bloke named Kev.

Bugger. I thought the circus last time was because Bush was a megalomaniac who enjoyed rubbing it in because he could, but it looks like it is now SOP.

“It’s hard to imagine what our nation’s capital will be like when US President Obama and his 500-person entourage comes to town next month.”

I imagine quite similar to what happened to our city when Bush visited a couple of years ago, a bit of attention for a couple of days, then they disappear as quickly as they arrived. Then again, I dont work in the city, parliament or airport areas, so for some it could be a major inconvenience but for others it just seems like theres a few more low flying jets than usual.

Pommy bastard9:00 am 04 Feb 10

I wonder if he’ll make a speech.One with all those deep and meaningless pauses he uses…..

Apparently, after visiting APH he will be walking across the Lake to Black Mountain, where he will distribute loaves and fishes.

will he put in a plug for an a-league team while he’s here? hope so; after all, the great american burley-griffin designed the place. i just hope he takes the dog to an authorised off-leash facility and doesn’t run the lights when he lycras-up for his commute up to the house (we can’t expect him to navigate round-a-bouts with indicators, but i am sure he’ll suitably slow for the speed cameras, then speed up again…)

be nice to see the hornets buzzing about, but.

“I, for one, welcome our new President Obama overlord”

Phffft

Hi Echelon!!!

UrbanAdventure.org7:38 am 04 Feb 10

You forgot the aircraft carrier and submarine they’ll put in Lake Burley Griffin.
I personally would not mind seeing AF1, but that’s about it. I suspect gawkers wil be shhoed away from the vantage point at the end of the southern runway. 🙁

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