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Black Thursday

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Tomorrow is the inauguration of President Bush. He is spending upwards of $25.5 million in donations – but is reaching for a donation goal of $40 million. Bleacher seats will run you about $100,000. For those who had more money than God and gave the man $100,000 or $250,000 will have the pleasure of attending a candlelight dinner. Amazingly enough, the Bushies are allowing 2,000 anti-Bush protestors to be “in the vicinity” of the ceremony.

Here is just some of the mind-boggling gluttony and material excess that will take place tomorrow. It makes me sick when this man can gather $20-$40 million in the blink of an eye for chocolates and crème brulee. While he is dancing away at any number of 9 official inauguration balls, there are children and adults that will be cold and hungry in the alleyways:

By the numbers:

  • 55,000, people expected to attend the nine official inaugural balls.
  • 300, number of horses in the inaugural parade.
  • 120 minutes, duration of the parade.
  • 100, gallons of red, white and blue popcorn being supplied for the inauguration.
  • 36, high temperature forecast for inauguration day.
  • 2, miles of the parade route.

Inaugural luncheon menu for President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, dignitaries and members of Congress at the Capitol Thursday:

First course: Scalloped crab and lobster
Second course: Roasted Missouri quail with chestnuts and brined root vegetable
Third course: Steamed lemon pudding and apple wild cherry compote

The china will feature a woodland design set on amber-colored, pressed velvet tablecloths. The table centerpieces will be a unique arrangement of berries, leaves and roses.

The goodies include:

  • 1,000 thousand pounds of chocolate for such confections as chocolate cowboy boots, chocolate elephants, chocolate sculptures and white chocolate medallions bearing the presidential seal;
  • Crème brulee, with a sugar coating heated by hand with a blowtorch;
  • Sugar-crusted yellow rose petals, dipped in chocolate.
  • Jelly candies that actually taste like roses, the Associated Press can confirm.

Source: Associated Press

I realize that every President goes over-board with these things, yet it never fails to sicken me how any leader of a country can think nothing of spending so much money on an entire day of parties when there are such gigantic deficits and funding issues. $20 million could keep a whole slew of schools open when every day more and more schools are forced to close down for lack of funding instead of providing, for example, 100 gallons of popcorn.

Some are planning boisterous protests with signs and banners while others are planning silent protests by way of wearing black armbands on one of their arms. Some are planning on protesting Bush by turning their backs on him – literally. There is a movement to turn around and put their backs towards Bush as his motorcade rolls by.

Most people, the 48% who didn’t vote for Bush, are calling tomorrow Black Thursday because it officially marks the beginning of a new term and another four years of being represented by who many feel to be the worst president ever.

Anyone planning anything by way of protests tomorrow, silent or otherwise?

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About Daniel De Guia

  • NC

    I’m silently protesting tomorrow by refusing to wear underwear. It’s a completely meaningless gesture, of course, but it makes me feel important. Plus, if I get any shitstains on my pants, at least I know I can blame Bush.

    Couple questions. If Kerry had won, was he going to skip the inaugural pageantry? I must have missed that particular campaign promise. Also, whatever happened to that $16 mil of unspent campaign funds he had in November? Did he donate it to help keep a slew of schools open? I bet he did. He’s a real champ.

    Also, “vicinity”. V-I-C-I-N-I-T-Y.

  • Lawg

    i think you might already have shitstains on your pants, maybe from your brain falling out.

  • NC

    I do believe I’ve been zinged!

    You must have something pretty cool planned for tomorrow, eh, Lawg? I see a man in his living room, images of the inauguration ceremony flickering on his television, with his fingers in his ears, saying, “LA LA LA LA, LA LA LA LA.”

    That’ll show you, George Bush!

  • From Opinionjournal.com:

    What’s more, as we were working on today’s column, a Democratic National Committee e-mail came in, “signed” by chairman Terry McAuliffe, which began:

      Last week, James Carville sent you a message asking you to join him this Inauguration Day by renewing your financial support of the Democratic Party. Your response has been incredible. We’ve nearly made it to our goal of 1,000,000 people renewing their support by tomorrow.

    Again, let us remember, these are private donations. People who want to participate do so. Speculating as to where that money might otherwise go or what it could or should do is silly. It’s just the same whiney tone that I’ve heard since the President was so clearly reelected on November 2nd.

    Move on!

    David

  • Dan,

    Sorry for your pain. I would say “I feel your pain”, but the phrase has been devalued. But I imagine that you feel the way I did in ’92 and ’96.

    There’s another election in 2008. Help figure out how to win it for your party and we might ALL be better off, regardless of the outcome.

    Sincerely,

    Harry

  • Not only is this money not coming out of the public trough, but almost entirely from private donations – with the exception of security which is being split by various agencies with the DC cops doing crowd control and about $1 million underwritten by congess- but do you really think the president has anything more to do with it than to attend, smile and wave a lot and of course make his big speech? The chief of protocol is in charge and he delegates all the work for specific functions to committees of private citizens – usually the wives of the guys who gave the big bucks. The fact that they’re spending so much isn’t the president’s decision, it’s just what things add up to after each of these committees tries to out do the other ones and score their little social-climber points. It’s like the superbowl for party-planners.

    Dave

  • Dave,

    For the first time in history, the White House is refusing to fund inauguration security with a direct appropriation. Instead, they are mandating the District of Columbia move money from homeland security to pay for it ($12mm).

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6814669/

    Now this money for homeland security was to be used to equip firefighters and hospitals… but a party is much more important I suppose.

  • >>For the first time in history, the White House is refusing to fund inauguration security with a direct appropriation. Instead, they are mandating the District of Columbia move money from homeland security to pay for it ($12mm).< < Actually, Clinton also did this for his second innauguration and the cost then was $17 million. >>Now this money for homeland security was to be used to equip firefighters and hospitals… but a party is much more important I suppose.<< The innauguration is actually not a party. It's an official ceremony which they're going to have regardless of any parties associated with it. The parties are private or semi-private events held in honor of the innauguration but not actually part of the ceremony and not part of the issue of who pays for security. Dave

  • Clinton forced the District of Columbia to move money from homeland security to help pay for security? Nope. It was a direct appropriation.

  • As you well know there was no specifically earmarked homeland security money at the time Clinton was in office. Perhaps if there had been he could have done something to stop the attacks on the WTC.

    But DC had to pony up the money from somwhere in their budget. Bush was just giving them a break by letting them take it from the otherwise off-limits homeland security funds.

    Dave

  • Just to pile on what is a cheap attempt to smear Bush:

    Taxpayer money spent on the inaugaral will be $2.8 million dollars. If you feel the rest is mis-spent I suggest you start a petition or letter writing campaign. Maybe all those fatcats that are giving of there own free will (that BTW assist in millions $’s flowing to the service industry via caterers and the like) will hear your sheep bleats and direct their money elswhere.

    Can we assume you were also crying about the Clinton “party” in 1997, that included 14 balls and all the rest of the pomp and circumstance. The 1997 gala had a price tag of a cool $29 million, no crying about cost was heard then that I recall. And no mention is made some of those that donated to Clinton’s shindig were later busted in Democratic fundraising controversies. So where is the problem?

  • Joe

    Are you really writing to complain about the size of the President’s balls? Ick.

  • Dan

    Just a couple quick responses (I’m on a break at work):

    NC – No, I do not believe Kerry would have been the shining example of frugal spending. Which was why I wrote “I realize that every President goes over-board with these things, yet it never fails to sicken me…” in my post.

    David – I realize these are mostly private donations: “He is spending upwards of $25.5 million in donations…”

    Harry – Thank you for your comment. I’m not one of those “I’m going to be crying everyday until Nov. 2008” type of people. However, this type of excess, especially from the man whose budgeting isn’t allowing enough for schools and hospitals to stay open, does tend to add to the sense of hopeless, ya know?

    Marc – As I was 16 in 1997 and never even thought about politics, no, I’m not “crying” about Clinton’s spending. In hindsight, I’d have to see where the nation was at that time and take into account inflation, the national defecit, etc to decide if I think it was inappropriate for Clinton to spend what he did.

  • Eric Olsen

    I have mixed feelings about such “regal displays” in a democracy regardless of who is doing the celebrating. I understand the importance of symbolism and o rallying the troops — and I incidentally applaud the emphasis on honoring the military, which certainly deserves it — but I agree with Dan that the magnitude of the whole affair feels like debauchery. Money flows to power, this will never change although it would be nice to see its public display presented a bit less triumphantly.

  • Dan: “However, this type of excess, especially from the man whose budgeting isn’t allowing enough for schools and hospitals to stay open, does tend to add to the sense of hopeless, ya know?”

    So who is it that holds the purse strings of the US? Certainly not the Pres, all he does is layout a suggested budget.

    Lay that blame where is rightfuly belongs, with Congress.

  • Dan

    Marc: I lay the blame on whomever stands up in front of the entire nation (and world for that matter) and claims something as his own.

    “Today, President Bush announced his Fiscal Year 2005 budget…”

    Source: Whitehouse.gov (http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/budget/)

  • David, you are missing the point.

    The funding for inauguration security has always been funded by a direct appropriation from Congress, not out of individual state budgets, funds that have been earmarked for other causes. That is just historical fact.

    Therefore, asking DC to move money away from funding for homeland security (which has far reaching uses — i.e. buying hazmat gear for firefighters and modernizing hospital equipment to deal with a potential attack) is just wrong.

    Remember these comments of yours if there ever is an attack on DC and the firefighters don’t have the equipment they need to deal with it.

    I’m not playing politics here, I am saying that the priorities are totally skewed and there was no need to do so. Bush could have just asked Congress (which is controlled by Republicans so I find it hard to believe they would say no) to fund the security for the inauguration as every other president has done.

  • NC

    Remember these comments of yours if there ever is an attack on DC and the firefighters don’t have the equipment they need to deal with it.

    Ah, see, spider’s thinking two steps ahead. If next week the jihadis fire a couple of Stinger missiles into the Capitol dome, we’ll know whose fault it really is, won’t we? I salute you, spider: truly, my friend, you embody the spirit of today’s Democratic Party.

    Here’s a Washington Post article about the inauguration outlay. DC’s being asked to pony up $12 mil out of almost a quarter of a billion dollars it’s received from DHS over the past three years. In other words, a city that receives enormous amounts of security funding only because it’s home to the federal government is now being asked to pay for security for the, er, federal government. Fucking Bush!

  • Oh please NC. It seems Democrats aren’t allowed to want to protect the frontline workers?

    What would happen if Clinton had done this? Rush and O’Reilly et al would be screaming that he didn’t care about the firefighters and homeland security.

    And yes, they are receiving a lot of money but if the dollars have been earmarked for specific items and now those items will go unfunded then that is a problem.

    And you would think that you guys would get that. Or does your love of Bush overwhelm your judgement?

  • gotta love that…I’m not playing politics here……but the republicans……nope, no politics there!

  • hey andy…

    I suggest you send a letter to the firefighters in DC and tell them exactly what you think about them not getting haz-mat suits because Bush refused to ask for a direct appropriation as every single other president (incl. Reagan and Bush I) did.

    Are you guys this callous or is it all just an act?

  • I have no callouses…I’ve alwasy been told I have exceptionally soft hands for a guy.

  • >>I suggest you send a letter to the firefighters in DC and tell them exactly what you think about them not getting haz-mat suits because Bush refused to ask for a direct appropriation as every single other president (incl. Reagan and Bush I) did.<< Andy, let's see your evidence that this money was allocated to haz-mat suits or anything else they absolutely needed to protect themselves or provide for homeland security. DC is already massively federally subsidized and the government is enormously corrupt. Relative to what gets wasted and stolen there the $12 million is a drop in the bucket, and as I understand this situation it was taken from funds not yet allocated to any specific project, so they could have been slated for buying a bulletproof pleasure yacht for the DC city council for all we know. Dave