Monday, January 19, 2009

As I sit here looking out the window of my office watching helicopters fly low to the ground and policemen set up traffic cones in preparation for tomorrow's inauguration. I can't help but long for it all to be over. Not really because I didn't vote for The 'bama, but because this town is just insane and it does not need 4 million more people to come here and help make it more insane.

In fact I think it is very sad that one of Dubya's last acts in office was to declare this area a disaster zone. Of course it was really just so that FEMA money could be used to help cover the expenses; however I do not disagree with the label. The government is poised to spend over 150 million american dollars on this event. And I find the lack of critics of the extravagance to be very hypocritical.

AP Slammed Bush’s ‘Extravagant’ Inaugural in ’05, But Now It’s Spend, Baby, Spend |
Four years ago, the Associated Press and others in the press suggested it was in poor taste for Republicans to spend $40 million on President Bush’s inauguration. AP writer Will Lester calculated the impact that kind of money would have on armoring Humvees in Iraq, helping victims of the tsunami, or paying down the deficit. Lester thought the party should be cancelled: “The questions have come from Bush supporters and opponents: Do we need to spend this money on what seems so extravagant?”

Fast forward to 2009. The nation is still at war (two wars, in fact), and now also faces the prospect of a severe recession and federal budget deficits topping $1 trillion as far as the eye can see. With Barack Obama’s inauguration estimated to cost $45 million (not counting the millions more that government will have to pay for security), is the Associated Press once again tsk-tsking the high dollar cost?

Nope. “For inaugural balls, go for glitz, forget economy,” a Tuesday AP headline advised. The article by reporter Laurie Kellman argued for extravagance, starting with the lede: