While you may be spending
December figuring out what sort of Christmas you’ll be able to
afford, what tax payments you need to make before year’s end, and
just how the fiscal cliff is going to affect your 2013, the Obama’s
have taken a different approach: They’re going big and going home
(to Hawaii, for a long vacation).
Earlier this month, Andrew Malcolm of Investor’s Business Daily
reported on Michelle Obama’s announcement about holiday decorations
at the White House:
“We have 54 trees in the White House,” an excited Michelle Obama
proudly told visitors the other day. “54! ; That’s a
lot of trees.”…
In fact, it’s more than double the usual number. The trees
are donated, so it’s not a direct picking of the taxpayers’
pockets, though one assumes that the donors of said trees are
probably expecting some stocking stuffers that will likely screw us
somewhere down the line.
In addition to 54 Christmas trees, Michelle Obama has overseen
the placement of thousands of ornaments in public rooms. Many of
the ornaments celebrate the Obama family dog, Bo, who seems to have
become the First Family’s favorite symbol of Christmas. Other
decorations, including on the more prominent trees, were made by
children in ;schools on U.S. military bases.
The Obamas are planning an extended vacation in Hawaii as
According to ;notices
distributed to residents ;of an exclusive waterfront
neighborhood in Hawaii, they can expect to enjoy restricted access
and other inconveniences to their homes and normal lives from Dec.
17 through Jan. 6. That’s about a 50% longer holiday
vacation ;than last year.
The inconveniences stem from security requirements for the
vacationing Obamas and a large number of their accompanying
friends. Obama’s staff will have to put up with rooms in a nearby
Read the whole story.
The White House has also taken time away from solving all the
world’s problems to put together this video of First Dog Bo
“inspecting” the White House decorations:
The video has over 2 million views, which means that at least 10
million unemployed Americans have either had their internet cut or
just haven’t gotten around to watching this.
The Bo Christmas video extends a nauseating tradition that dates
back to at least the George W. Bush White House years (gosh, that
seems like years ago!). Most disturbingly, in 2006, First
Dog Barnie petitioned a broke government for money to put on a
but was told by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson that “we’re broke”
(thus marking the last time Paulson denied a friend a bailout).
I’m a longtime critic of public
specatacle as it relates to a properly understood republican form
of government. Our leaders should be equal to us, not lordly in
their pomp and circumstance. Obama family vacations in
the past have rightly riled anger among us serfs and vassals
precisely because ostentatious displays of wealth and leisure by
our rulers is anathema to our form of government. It’s bad enough
when ;the ruler is a French king or an English regicide, but an
American president celebrating his re-election should really work
to avoid displays of conspicuous consumption. ;
I’m not saying that the Obamas should spend the holidays washing
the feet of Washington’s homeless, though that would be nice (and
possibly a mini-scandal waiting to happen: In 2009, Mrs. Obama
botched feeding the hungry by showing up to a
food-bank giveaway wearing $540 sneakers).
But I am saying: Enough with goddamn dog videos already!
There’s a crap economy, a looming fiscal disaster (a.k.a. as the
new normal), new and old wars raging, and more going on. In fact,
even if the national debt was zero and the Smurfs had reconciled
with Gargamel, and chocolate milk was suddenly discovered to be
calorie-free, I can’t imagine a world in which First Dog videos and
a presidential residence overstuffed with Christmas trees should be
a regular or acceptable feature of political discourse.
In 2010, Reason TV Celebrated Joe Biden’s Personal War on
See the article here: