1.09.2005

When you lose your job and your benefits just remember this:
Bush 'the king' blows $50m on coronation
The Guardian/Observer International (01.09)

It will be one of the biggest parties in American history, but half of the country will be left out. With a price tag of up to $50 million, President George W Bush's inauguration in 11 days' time will be an unashamed celebration of Red America's victory over Blue America in last November's election.

It is going to be the most expensive, most security-obsessed event in the history of Washington DC. An army of 10,000 police, secret service officers and FBI agents will patrol the capital for four days of massive celebrations that some critics have derided as reminiscent of the lavish shindigs thrown by Louis XIV, France's extravagant Sun King.

Remember our initial aid package for the tsunami was first $15 million, then $35, and now it is somewhere around $350 and they're spending $50 million on a sitting president's second inaugural? This is obscene.

But wait, it get's better:
Certainly, Bush's inauguration will be an orgy of gladhanding and partying by the Republican faithful from all over the country. One Washington hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, is offering visitors four nights in its Presidential Suite for $200,000. The price tag includes a 24-hour butler, a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce or Humvee, daily champagne and caviar and a flight to the hotel in a private jet.

One highlight of the bonanza is the Black Tie and Boots Ball organised by Bush's home state of Texas, with the President as star guest. Ten thousand tickets sold out in less than 50 minutes, and are now trading privately at $1,300 each. Another is the Commander–in–Chief's Ball where Bush will honour American soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is billed as the centrepiece of the inauguration, which itself has a theme tinged with the idea of military service

Let's conveniently forget the fact that not only did Bush NOT serve in the military when he could have (and has presided over multiple personal attacks on those that have), or that he was reprimanded and technically AWOL, but also that, currently, families have to supply their loved ones in the military with proper body armor! Can this get any worse?
ll the partying is being condemned by many commentators as in poor taste for a nation fighting a bloody war.

Carroll Wilson, editor of the Texas newspaper the Times Record, has called the cost obscene and 'a horrendous waste'. 'There's something inherently embarrassing about spending $50m on a party that will start and end in the blink of a very red eye,' he added.

The fighting in Iraq has provoked calls for the celebrations to be toned down, as they were during the two world wars when some were even cancelled. Bush's second inauguration will be the first in wartime since President Richard Nixon took office in 1969 during the Vietnam conflict.

Yet the partying is being intensified. The Commander–in–Chief's Ball is being hailed by organisers as a fitting tribute to American soldiers on active service. More than 2,000 troops and their partners, selected by the Pentagon, will take part. Most have served in Iraq or Afghanistan or are about to go there. The parades will have a stronger than normal military theme.

WOW. It just got that much worse. These people have no shame whatsoever. We're pretty sure that this is the kind of stuff that makes the Sweet Baby Jesus cry (along with torture).


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