Can we flush $150M down the toilet in 5 days? YES WE CAN!

What happens when you give ultimate power and unlimited wealth to a black man? He invites all his homies to his crib and pops open the Cristal and throws a huge party, that’s what:

Obama’s inauguration set to be the most expensive in US history

President Barack Obama’s inauguration next week is set to be the most expensive ever, predicted to reach over $150m (


  1. Wow. I can understand your problem with the expenditure. I didn’t know you were such a racist. That is disappointing.

  2. I’m just as racist as the next guy, the only difference is I don’t lie about it and pretend I’m not.

    However, don’t mistake my use of the word “racist” to mean “hates blacks” or “hates [insert ethnic group here]”. I’m more misanthropic than racist, really. However, stereotypes necessarily exist because a non-trivial number of individuals share a set of traits — otherwise, how could there be stereotypes in the first place?

    I’ve been called an anti-Semite, a racist, a “white, liberal bigot” which is funny given my skin color, a chauvanist, a feminazi … damn, I even grew up listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio for years.

    The irony is that I’m married to a white South African, my parents were both born within years of 1945 and World War 2 and are Japanese and Korean — try to figure that one out — and one of my daughter’s godparents is black.

    I’m just as racist as the next guy, the only difference is I don’t lie about it and pretend I’m not.

  3. You’re a WYSIWYG moron.

  4. My reaction to reading this was the same as Alan’s…yeah, complain about the cost, but blaming it on the fact that Obama’s black? Wow.

    Anyway, isn’t most of that money coming from donations? And isn’t it the donors’ prerogative to choose to contribute to what is arguably a historic event? And won’t it be stimulating the economy a bit by throwing some much-needed income at local businesses? Isn’t NOT spending money making the economy even worse because those businesses who depend on people spending (i.e., all of them) suffer?

    Now, I happen to subscribe to the “Avenue Q” opinion that everyone’s a little bit racist, and yes, I do include myself in that. It’s just that most civilized people recognize those kinds of thoughts for what they are — narrow-minded and bigoted — and do not express them out loud. Which is not to say I think you shouldn’t say such things in your own blog; if you’re okay with your readers thinking you’re an asshole, have at it.

  5. Maybe pop-culture just has me numb to it, but when I first glanced at this I barely noticed the “black homies crib Cristal” part of the post, and was a little angered by the part about the spending. What Dossy said was intended as humor, and I can picture just about any comedian we see on TV pulling it off, except maybe the CMT “redneck schtick” comedians. I’m sure Chris Rock already has a 30 minute self-effacing rant worked up about the party.

    I know. “Chris Rock could get away with saying that” is hardly an excuse. But, is this what we have to look forward to for the next eight years? Every single political commentary, criticism or joke having to pass the scrutiny of the over-sensitive and humorless? It’ll be just like my childhood all over again, when that cracker peanut farmer ran the country. Lighten up a little people! Give Dossy a break. He’s allowed to be more sensitive about the numbers because he’s better at math than the rest of us.

    I for one, still love Doss — asshole or not.

  6. To the WYSIWYG commenter: Let history prove me wrong. This is simply Obama’s first explicit act of cronyism and I guarantee it will NOT be the last throughout the next four years. That money isn’t going into the pockets of those who need it, but instead will form the bonus payouts for executives in the D.C. transit authority, the police commissioner, etc. It’s despicable, at best.

    Tina: If you’re suggesting that Washington, D.C., doesn’t already have sufficient monetary flow … I’d like to understand what you base that opinion on. An infusion of $150M into the D.C. area isn’t what this country really needs. Or is it?

    Regarding me “blaming” this gross display of exhuberant spending on Obama being black: do we have any non-black President in history that’s done similar? Everyone cheers because we’ve “finally elected a black President” — did people not think there were going to be consequences from that choice? I mean, seriously?

    Fine, I’m “an asshole” — but at least give me credit for being an asshole independent of whether you think I’m a bigoted racist shmuck. I deserve that, at least. If I’m an asshole because I’m reiterating facts and they’re disturbing and difficult to hear, I can live with that. I don’t like what’s going on either and if that makes me an asshole, then great. That makes you an asshole, too, unless you like the butt-reaming that we’re now only getting to see the surface of.

  7. I don’t see cronyism as a particularly black thing. It’s certainly a Presidential thing.

    However, if you actually read the article you’ll see that almost 1/3 of that budget is due to Washington, D.C. having to deal with the massive influx of people that are attending the inauguration.

    Which, technically speaking, is Obama’s fault, and could be argued is *because* he’s black….but … seriously? How is that cronyism? Unless Bruce Springsteen is his crony?

    Also, how is the money “pissed away”? That money isn’t going into a black hole (no pun intended!!) — it’s going to pay for extra police officers and other civil servants (firefighers are paramedics, extra garbage pickup duties), personnel (extra tour guides, ) and material items that will be contributing back to the economy, most of it local (you’re not going to buy, say, ticker tape in bulk from France).

    I’d rather have that than *actually* piss it away by giving it to the auto industry.

    Honestly, if you see him ordering spinning rims on the White House Limo, or a bulk order or Red Bull and Hennessey, or commemorative pimp cups, then yes, it’s humorous to ask “what happens when a black guy enters the White House?”

    …otherwise, it’s irrelevant, and you might have well said “What happens when a skinny young guy enters the White House?” The descriptor has nothing to do with the actions.

    Besides, in reality it’s probably more like a wedding — maybe his mother-in-law is planning it and thus it got out of hand. Since she lives with them and all.

  8. BTW, I would be totally OK with you admitting that you’re pointing out Obama’s faults that also happen to be stereotypical of people who also happen to be black (and he’s half black, was raised in white culture until his teens), but I just don’t see anything factual about your accusations.

  9. It’s political correctness that’s ruined this country. Heck, Political Correctness during the Clinton administration is what made lenders lend to people who couldn’t repay. When political correctness overtakes prudence in lending, there’s no surprise that we ended up in our current mess.

    I agree with Dossy – Is it really necessary for the Obama camp to hold a $150M event when we’re rapidly approaching double digit unemployment percentages? As a taxpayer, I’m asking the same question here – “What’s in it for me?”

    Don’t get me wrong, I voted for the guy. The last thing I wanted was McCain (Dubya II) in office. But to blow $150M right now is absurd and shows that *POLITICS* is really what’s just “more of the same”.

  10. I don’t know enough about the economy of the DC area to give an informed opinion on that, but I was under the impression that there wasn’t anyplace in the country that isn’t being hit to some extent by the recession.

    Anyway, are you really judging Obama’s entire presidency — which hasn’t even started yet — by his inauguration? And again, at least some — though admittedly not all — of the costs of the festivities are being covered by donations. If people want to donate their money for a party, that’s their right.

    Yes, I think all the hoopla is excessive. No arguments there. What I took issue with was really the racism inherent in your post, and yes, when I see something like that, my first reaction is “bigoted jerk” or similar; if you’d mentioned the spending without the “homies”, I wouldn’t have bothered to reply. And plus, I suspect that the fact that Obama is black is only part of why people are so excited — after the last 8 years, people are ecstatic that things may finally change..that the government may stop illegally imprisoning and torturing people abroad while ignoring major disasters at home, for example. I don’t care if Obama is black or green, as long as he doesn’t fuck up the country even more than it already is. And a lot of people I’ve talked to share that attitude.

  11. Sheeri: OK, you got me — it’s got nothing to do with race. That was all just a setup for my “hold your own balls” joke, which clearly got lost in the “OMG RACIST RACIST!@#!” noise.

    Black or not, it’s difficult to watch a guy throw a party for the elite and privileged (wait, who did he say he represents, again). Is now the time to be partying on the tax-payer’s dollar? Sure, donors are contributing to the inauguration, but those donations won’t cover the entire cost. What do I get for my tax dollar being spent on this party? I get the privilege of “holding my own balls.” Thanks, Obama.

    Tina: I understand that people are excited — and that scares the bejeezus out of me. People are excited because he’s different, not because he’s qualified, demonstrated any capability or any other rational reason to be excited. Hell, some people are even excited because they think he’s black!

    I share your sentiment, that the color of his skin is really irrelevant. I only care if he’s going to outperform the Bush legacy of the recent past — but, if the details leading up to this inauguration is any omen of the next four years … then we, the people, are in some seriously deep shit. And, we put ourselves here. And for that, we’re all assholes.

  12. I agree with the people who say that you can criticize the lavish spending on the inauguration without making it a race issue.

  13. It’s been amusing to watch you back-track and attempt to justify the idiocy that you so clearly displayed on your blog entry. Your “logic” is so pathetically flawed.

    “The irony is that I’m married to a white South African, my parents were both born within years of 1945 and World War 2 and are Japanese and Korean — try to figure that one out — and one of my daughter’s godparents is black.”

    I’m not sure in what world this excuse you from being prejudiced. Or maybe you think because of the above, you can suddenly not be considered bigoted. Being married to a white woman and being non-white (i.e – Asian) does not mean you’re unable to be prejudiced against people of African descent. Nice try though.

    Criticisng Obama’s spending is something I can understand. However, intelligent and logical adults need not bring race into play as it is something that is clearly not related to race in this instance. However, in your warped mind his spending supporting some pre-existing negative thoughts that you so obviously already harboured against him.

  14. Had to find out what you said that pissed so many people off.

    For whatever it’s worth… I agree with the general point you’re making. I find the self-congratulatory nature of this inauguration — and most of the coverage of it — deeply disturbing.

    If I hear one more news outlet making a point along the lines of “just eight years after 9-11, this country elected a man named Barack Hussein Obama” I may vomit. The economy is in the crapper, we’re at war, Bush is the most unpopular president since Carter… the Democrats could have run a ham sandwich in the general election, and they’d still come out on top.

    I voted for him. And I don’t discount the fact that his election is significant. But I’d like to see him actually… y’know… accomplish something before we carve his mug on Mount Rushmore.

  15. T.A.: I’m not prejudiced. I’m racist. One does not imply the other. I also don’t discriminate unfairly — all politicians share very similar character traits. I’m not saying that Obama is any worse than any other President, but that as President, he’s starting his first days setting a really bad precedent.

    If Obama’s skin color isn’t a significant characteristic, why did everyone make such a big deal about it leading up to his election? Why was his winning the election so “historically significant”? It wasn’t that he won by a landslide — Bill Clinton collected more electoral votes than Obama did, as recently as 1992. Could it be that Obama’s the first President with such little political experience? (Is that something we should really be proud of?)

    Or, maybe it really is just because he’s black. And, sadly, that should not be a good reason to consider his winning a historically significant event. Unless, of course, race really does matter …

  16. So anyway, I don’t actually care whether Barack is black or not. I voted for him (McPain and Bible Spice were just unbearable) and I think that he understands the presidency’s real power – which is the first pulpit for preaching to America. I imagine I will get a bit tired of it, but the facts are that the Pres is not particularly able to cause significant change in the way government works (outside of the enforcement bureaucracy) – so he *must* set an agenda and motivate the nation to follow through.

    Carter sucked at it. Reagan was great at it. Bush 1 was as bad as Carter. Clinton was mildly successful, but Hilary was a problem and then he shot off his own dick. Bush 2 got a massive wind at his back on 9/11 and then proceeded to screw the Iraqi poodle. Obama shows signs of being good at it, but only time will tell.

    I’m just turned off at the notion of a rock-star president (with all the trappings thereof) and all the baby boomers congratulating themselves that their mis-spent youth might not actually have been mis-spent. Obama is *our* generation and now he (along with the rest of us) are going to have to clean the toilets once again.

    The party is stupid. But WTF, there’s bad times-a-comin. $150M is peanuts compared to the obscene amounts being advocated in expense for arguably dubious economic reasons.

  17. Racism aside, you quote a poorly researched article on which to base your post. That number was basically pulled from a hat, and then Obama’s cost included estimated security costs, while leaving that number off Bush’s expense.

    For a much better researched article read: “The media myth about the cost of Obama’s inauguration”

    “The federal government spent $115 million dollars for the 2005 inauguration. Keep in mind, that $115 million price tag was separate from the money Bush backers bundled to put on the inauguration festivities. For that, they raised $42 million. So the bottom line for Bush’s 2005 inauguration, including the cost of security? That’s right, $157 million.”

    I missed your 2001 and 2005 columns that opened with: “What happens when you give ultimate power and unlimited wealth to a frat boy? He skips out on military service, uses Daddy’s friends for jobs, steals a presidency, invites all frat brothers to someone else’s house and pops open the Dom Perignon and throws a huge party, that’s what:”

  18. Chuck: The exact numbers aren’t really relevant here — we know Bush was a disaster and it doesn’t surprise me at all that he’d piss that kind of money away. What’s disappointing to me is that Obama would do the same thing … I mean, what ever happened to “change” and “hope” and “yes we can”? It’s more like this:

    “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.” — The Who

    Sure, it’s only the inauguration and we should wait and see what happens, but if this is any indication of things to come, then things look pretty grim.

  19. Oh come on. I’m one of Dossy’s best friends, the godmother of his eldest, the maid of honor in his wedding and black, and he is not racist. He may be a dumb-ass and forget that he can’t say certain things because he’s not a member of the race, but he is definitely not a racist. People need to get over this. If you don’t know him I can see how it comes off, but I know him and all I can say is get a sense of humor it was funny and definitely not meant in a derogatory way. Made me laugh.

  20. Christina: Hey, thanks for stopping by! See, now you’ve completely defeated my racist image. C’mon, you’re crampin’ my style, here. :-P

  21. Sorry hon. I’ll let people call you a dumb-ass or something, but not a racist. I know you too well and love ya too much.

  22. Christina: Ha, well – I can so be a racist! I can be anything I wanna be, so there! :-P

  23. this post was ignorant on many levels, and much of the comments are the same.

  24. After the parties are over and seeing what Obama’s done the first few days of actually governing – closing Gitmo, stopping the use of torture by our intelligence agencies, opening up federal agencies to oversight by the public (ok maybe they haven’t all happened yet but he’s ordered it done – in 3 days doing more positive for our national image and moral standing than Bush did in 8 years – just think, you don’t have to be embarassed to admit you’re an American – or lie and say you’re Canadian – when travelling anymore!), I’m willing to give him a few more days to see how things’ll turn out.

  25. If racism is a form of ignorance then the original blog post is fitting.

    If you really care about how the Inaugurations are organized the government has a website which explain it all here:

    You could have put this issue to bed after the first comment by just explaining you didn’t want to come across the way it did. Instead you made it worse.

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