Barack Obama is luxuriating in spending while Americans are drowning in austerity. This is not news when it comes to Barack Obama. Obama luxuriated in his Rezko mansion when he knew or should have known his constituents, African-Americans, were freezing in a Chicago winter.
Once Democrats denounced lavish and wasteful spending on Inaugurals. Now our best writers make excuses for Obama. Our once great Democratic writers are living in Fantasy Island.
The same lack of judgement, the same callousness of luxury and luxury of callousness Obama exhibits today he exhibited as a state senator. Obama knew, or should have known, that
For more than five weeks during the brutal winter of 1997, tenants shivered without heat in a government-subsidized apartment building on Chicago’s South Side.”
“It was just four years after the landlords — Antoin “Tony” Rezko and his partner Daniel Mahru — had rehabbed the 31-unit building in Englewood with a loan from Chicago taxpayers.”
“Rezko and Mahru couldn’t find money to get the heat back on.”
“Rezmar kept getting city and state funding, even as earlier projects fell into disrepair and financial troubles.
But their company, Rezmar Corp., did come up with $1,000 to give to the political campaign fund of Barack Obama, the newly elected state senator whose district included the unheated building.”
The television show, Fantasy Island, was yesterday’s discussion point. Today the TV reference is the new upcoming series Kings.
Why Kings? Here is the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee David Obey complaining that the $825 Billion “stimulus” waste is “insufficient” and declaring Americans now have a crown prince:
The bill could be voted on in committee next Wednesday. That’s the day after the inauguration of President-elect Obama — or, as Obey put it, “the day after the crown prince is sworn in.”
After Florida and Michigan disenfranchisement – we’re in the disasterous age of Kings with a clown prince, following a boy king, on the throne.
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There was a time when writers who defended Democratic values had a critical eye. Now our best writers write excuses for the clown prince.
Sadly, Eric Boehlert is the latest to scribble excuses. Boehlert is angry because of complaints that Barack Obama’s “inauguration” will cost $160 million at least. In his latest column Boehlert complains that the complaints are unfair. Boehlert writes that the cost of the Obama embarrassment includes security costs whereas the cost comparison to the Bush embarrassment does not include security costs.
That is the sad state Democratic writers have fallen into – excuse outrageous conduct and luxury because “Bush did it too”. Bush?
The Bush embarrassment was the first inauguration to take place after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Security was a major concern. The Obama embarrassment takes place in a near depression atmosphere. Luxurious spending in time of austerity should be the focus for Democrats. Instead our best Democratic writers write “Bush did it too”. Boehlert has embarrassed himself. We hope Boehlert’s critical faculties return soon.
It wasn’t so long ago that Democratic writers had critical faculties with which to analyze lurid behavior by the governing. Boehlert himself, in 2005, criticized John Tierney of the New York Times for not denouncing lavish spending on inaugurals:
In Sunday’s New York Times, John Tierney examined the delicate balancing act administrations face when throwing a lavish inauguration celebration against the backdrop of unsettling world events. Tierney wrote that inaugurations “become even trickier during times of war, particularly when television images of dancers in black tie can be instantly juxtaposed with soldiers in body armor.”
Tierney must be confusing the D.C. press corps as it might be expected to function — posing uncomfortable questions to those in power — with the press corps that exists in Washington today. Because the notion that the television networks or 24-hour news channels would spend their inauguration coverage contrasting the scenes of wealthy corporate donors toasting the president while young soldiers and middle-aged Guardsmen battle in Iraq is wildly naive. During the nearly 24 months of war coverage of Iraq, many American news outlets have remained steadfastly allergic to relaying disturbing images of war, particularly anything that shows Americans being wounded or killed. So the idea that broadcast journalists would use this celebration, of all things, as a time to press President Bush on Iraq simply does not reflect the modus operandi of today’s mainstream media.
This week’s inauguration story came ready with two interesting news angles: the huge cost (in contrast with the dire situation in Iraq) and the unprecedented security. And in both cases, the political press corps, as has been its habit under the Bush administration, showed little interest in prying. In the days and weeks leading up to the event, the press has largely treated inauguration criticism as partisan and silly, making sure to give Bush backers lots of time and room to defend the unmatched pomp and circumstance. [snip]
For the media, simply reporting on the cost of the inauguration proved to be a challenge. Most major outlets stuck to the lower, albeit still unprecedented, figure of $40 million, which the Presidential Inaugural Committee said it hopes to raise from private donors. But a more accurate figure may be $50 million. That’s the amount cited by the Washington Times (which is plugged in to GOP circles). But even that number doesn’t take into account the nearly $20 million that’s being spent for security, putting the real cost at closer to $70 million, instead of the media’s preferred $40 million.
And it might have been helpful in the limited media debate that did take place about the inauguration’s costs to point out that if the $40 million to $50 million raised for the GOP’s parties had been donated to the war effort, as some have suggested, the money would have covered only about six hours of the U.S. military’s operations in Iraq. (Costs are running roughly $110,000 per minute there.) Also interesting but unnoted is that between the 2001 and 2005 inaugurations, Bush and his supporters have spent roughly $115 million total on parties and parades.
The same brand of tentative reporting occurred with regard to the massive, unprecedented and still unexplained security blanket that has turned the nation’s capital into something akin to an armed fortress, with snipers on rooftops, bombers flying overhead, Humvee-mounted anti-aircraft missiles dotting the city, and manholes cemented shut. This despite last week’s assessment compiled by the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice, which declared, “There is no credible information indicating that domestic or international terrorist groups are targeting the inauguration.”
Nonetheless, like butter on a humid summer day in Washington, reporters have simply melted away from asking pointed questions about the costly security overkill (nearly 9,000 police officers and military personnel will be deployed) — a buildup that clearly plays to Bush’s political advantage by keeping terrorist threats at the top of people’s minds. [snip]
The press’s timidity toward the White House has been on constant display since the election. In selecting Bush late last month as its Person of the Year, Time, which devoted eight stories and 17,000 words to toasting Bush in that issue, seemed in awe that a Republican wartime president, who once boasted approval ratings in the 70s, was able to defeat a liberal from Massachusetts in the election. And contrary to dispatches from the campaign trail about how Bush had repeated the same vague stump speech over and over again throughout the fall, Time insisted, “Bush ran big and bold and specific all at the same time, rivaling Reagan in breadth of vision and Clinton in tactical ingenuity” (emphasis added).
Playing catch-up, Newsweek’s Inauguration Eve cover story this week was equally fawning, insisting that contrary to what readers may have read or suspected, Bush is “hands-on, [is] detail-oriented and hates ‘yes’ men.” He’s a commander in chief who “masters details and reads avidly, who chews over his mistakes” and who “digs deep into his briefing books.” According to whom? Bush’s closest “aides” and “friends,” of course. [snip]
Meanwhile, U.S. News and World Report’s cover theme this week — again courtesy of Bush aides — is the president as a big thinker. The Los Angeles Times echoed that premise with the first sentence of a Monday news article, declaring, “As he prepares to launch his second term, President Bush is aiming for nothing less than a legacy that would rank him among America’s great presidents.”
Press coverage doesn’t get much friendlier than that. Perhaps the White House should consider it an inauguration gift.
Contrast the Boehlert of 2008 making excuses for Obama with the Boehlert of 2005 denouncing lavish inaugural spending. As our extended excerpts of the Boehlert of 2005 show, our Democratic writers are increasingly imitating the worse of the Bush fanboys of Big Media.
Boehlert was wrong in 2005 insofar as friendly press coverage. Press coverage does “get much friendlier than that.” Obama too was “Person of the Year” according to Time magazine. Time also has placed Obama on its cover more than 13 times thus far. Poor Bush, he was mistreated and abused by Big Media, when compared to the lavish worship lavished on Obama.
As for Boehlert complaining about security in post September 11 Washington, D.C. – Boehlert remains silent on the security abuses of the Obama embarrassment. It was left to Obama worshipping Time magazine to take note of the “Police State” tactics (their words) in an article titled “Inauguration Day Security: Is a Police State Necessary?” (despite the fact that federal officials say they know of no credible threats to harm Obama or disrupt the Inauguration.)
We hope Boehlert regains his critical faculties and denounces, as he did in 2005, the Obama Police State and the crown prince and the age of Kings.
It was the Daily Mail in England that covered the lavish spending which our Democratic writers wish to excuse now that it is a Democrat looting the economy.
The huge price tag of the Obama embarrassment, the Police State Security of the Obama embarrassment, the collusion with George W. Bush to declare Washington, D.C. in a Police State style “State of Emergency” is ignored by Democrats now.
Based on previous budgets for George W. Bush and Bill Clinton the District of Columbia had budgeted $15 million for the Obama embarrassment. But $15 million was not lavish enough. The George W. Bush and Barack Obama Police State Security “State of Emergency” paved the way for unlimited funding for the Obama embarrassment on Tuesday.
It is ironic to note that, as the Daily Mail phrased it A president mostly uses the power to declare a state of emergency during a crisis, such as a hurricane or other natural disaster. Well said Daily Mail.
Tuesday will not be a natural disaster, it will be a man made disaster aided and abetted by women such as Caroline Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, and Donna Brazile.
The disaster will only begin on Tuesday as more Americans are laid off work or simply jobless and the austerity will replace the audacity.
The clown prince will have a lavish party. The paupers will bask in the glow of Kings.