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« A Closer Look at the Greensboro News Experiment | Main | Ending One Fruitless Debate »

January 18, 2005


Tom Bridge

Hi Dan, just wanted to point out that the balls this year are privately funded, not government funded.


The balls are privately funded... but what about the millions of dollars that are spent on overtime for Police, Fire, Secret Service, FBI, etc... to monitor and guard parade routes, and gala balls where the president makes a 15 minute appearance. There are more costs than just the parties. And really let's not forget that the parade is taking place on a Thursday afternoon through the heart of Washington DC. That's going to cause a bit of a traffic nightmare. At a minimum the innauguration should be moved to a weekend to provide as little disruption as possible to those who still have business to do... or just be done with it and declare a national holiday.

Robby Russell

Tom, in regards to your comment... what about the $17+ million that the city of D.C. is going to have to shell out because of it?

Fine James


Thank you for providing us this chuckle. Malformed logic borne of simple hatred of another usually reflects the weakness of one's own postulates.


You can find a list of the Corporate Whores over at
Bart Cop.


whats even more important, is the hersh report from the newyorker which outlines the bigger american problems.. forget the $40M being used for the event.. wait till the americans get caught between 2 fronts, Iraq and Iran..!! The waste factor will reach ...lets say at least $480B !!!!~

Joe I.

Well I will be at one of the parties for my State. Both Senators are Democrats and I am as well. It is tradition and has been every year including all the Vietnam era years, the Civil War era years and the World War years. Only once when FDR was very ill did the party not go off. I was there for Clinton's, Bush's first, and this one, and I will be there for the next President as well. It is a great networking opportunity in which I usually gain a new client. Of course lots of drink and great food and lovely women.


Actually, if the $40 million figure is accurate, it's hardly a "staggeringly high number." Clinton spent $33 million in 1993, which is about $42 million in 2004 dollars. Bush also spent about $40 million in 2001. You can argue that it's unseemly for presidents-elect to spend that kind of money on parties, but Bush isn't beyond the pale here.

Rob R

I think Fred's comments comparing numbers to Clinton's misses the point, we were not "at war" then, AFAIR.

(A war where soldiers are going without armor or having to buy their own.)


Fine James, ahem: not to implicate the surety of my postulates is that for which I shall grant you my considered approbations. Else must we decamp for more rustic environs for a settlement of said issue, or, to put it bluntly, for a grappling, shall we say, of mains.


Hiawatha Bray

I deeply don't get this, Dan. This is the United States of America. Every four years we inaugurate a president. It's a tradition of pomp and parties that's been going on for over two centuries. What on earth has a war to do with it? Shall we cancel the Super Bowl? Why didn't we take a pass on Christmas?

Come to think of it, millions were dying of AIDS during the last inauguration. Millions were being murdered in the Congolese civil war. There's a massive disaster of one kind or another happening every day of the year. Shall we cancel all celebration till they're all repaired?

Sorry--that's just silly.

Joe Zekas


I really wish you well, but if you think America's middle class is shrinking into insignificance, you need to get out more.


You guys can't come up with anything else to whine about? If Kerry won, the buildup to the event would be unbearable for almost everyone. The funny thing is Kerry would probably say he would have spent $50 million, but say he's spending only $40 million in respect to (pick three) a) the War, b) the Troops, c) The tsunami, d) the poor, e) those without healthcare, f) the World, which has suffered enough from Bush's tyranny, g) asthma suffers, etc., etc.

Fortunately, we don't have to suffer through such bs.

Sorry Dan, it's not a mockery.

See the article by John O'Sullivan called "Democrats blocking their path to success"

This inuagural whining is a good example.


Funny that republicans are all about cutting budgets so that poor people can't get adequate healthcare, and cutting funding to protect the environment, but when it comes to "celebrating freedom" they don't lift a finger to at least acknowledge that it's a bit of a waste to eat, drink and be merry when there are better things to be doing.

I'm all for private funding for such events. But Dan is right. In context with the current world state, it's silly to be so extravagent.

How about this? Make people buy their own booze and send $20,000,000 to the troops for hazard pay? At least they'll be able to afford kevlar vests and still feed their kids.


Why don't we start with canceling the Oscars? We already missed our chance with the Golden Globes and the People's Choice Awards. Gotta be more than $40 mil to tap there....

Patrick Daly


You're right on, as usual - just plain vulgar, and a mockery.


It seems that Bush is no different that his predecessors in the excesses of self-congratulation and crony rewards, but wouldn't it be a nice symbolic gesture if he said he'd keep it simple and is, after all, a continuation, not a beginning. As to the private funding, why isn't it an issue that private companies give the President and his henchmen a $40+ million party out of the goodness of their hearts?

If he wants to transform government, to change paradigms of power, he should lead by example.

Not a Yank

You all remind me of the puritans who forbad bear baiting, not because of cruelty to the bear but because it gave pleasure to the crowd.

Fine James


ahh...bring it on, baby!

David J. Miller

Dan your entry and the subsequent comments highlight the power of blogs and other interactive media -- I was annoyed by your posting b/c it left out facts and gave little by way of framing. Your readers/commentors quickly filled the void and filled a few other things along the way.

What the news might say to blogs if they were ever in a romantic comedy together: "You... complete me."

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