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March 3, 2009
Spending hypocrisy by the Obamas
The tale of private investment bank Northern Trust Corporation of Chicago, criticized because it sponsored a golf tournament, with proceeds to charity, followed by a private performance starring such popular acts as Earth, Wind and Fire and Sheryl Crow for its top clients and employees, should serve as a warning to other companies--and even private individuals--on the dangers of accepting government money.
Learning its lesson, Northern, which received $1.5 billion in government bailout funds, plans to repay the government "as quickly as prudently possible" while promising future standard practice corporate entertainment will be "appropriate, given the current environment."
Leading the sanctimonious criticism of Northern's annual golf gathering, which also rewarded top employees and customers, was none other than Rep Barney Frank (D-MA), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These government entities are the epicenter of the housing meltdown which has lead the way to the current financial disaster. Not only did Frank's negligent policies encourages Fannie and Freddie to behave irresponsibly, individuals from his own personal life received some extravagant--and questionable--benefits from them. But hey, apparently government poo bah Frank is exempt from scrutiny, entitled to dispense government largesse as he sees fit.
Meanwhile, back in Washington DC, a government sponsored, government financed (read taxpayer) hosting and entertaining goes merrily on, serenely unperturbed by the financial mess and cost cutting. And no criticism. Less than two weeks ago, President Barack Hussein and Michelle Obama (D) hosted their first state dinner. The dinner, for the nation's governors was a lavish affair. The entertainment? Oh come on, you know, no surprise--why Earth, Wind and Fire!
You expected maybe the children's chorus from the exclusive, expensive private school attended by the Obama daughters?
State dinner pool reporter Mike Madden of Salon.com reports: The band opened its set with "Boogie Wonderland," which had various elected officials nodding their heads. The band was lively; a percussionist waved his drumsticks at the crowd, trying to get them dancing. POTUS (president of the US) and FLOTUS (first lady) were at the front of the crowd on the dance floor, smiling and talking with guests. Your pool was ushered out of the room after about three minutes, and with the TV cameras gone, the lights were lowered. As we walked through the crowd and out the front door, Earth, Wind & Fire was starting to play "September."
The president offered a toast
aimed at getting the governors to swallow his economic stimulus plan: "To the nation's governors, to the United States of America, and to the certain hope that despite our current travails, that we will all emerge more prosperous and more unified than we were before. And with that, I believe that dinner is served."
The First Couple and guests ate their government subsidized dinner of
scallops were served with Wagyu beef, glazed red carrots, portobello mushrooms and creamed (but not with real cream) spinach.
President Obama wore a black tuxedo with a black bow tie and gold shirt studs, while FLOTUS wore a silver dress, "with a necklace that looked to be made up of diamonds and pearls."
Way to go Michelle! Silver, diamonds and pearls in the White House go so well with Earth, Wind and Fire and are so much better for the spirit--if not the budget--during these financially dangerous times. Perhaps you can teach Lori Otter, wife of Governor Butch Otter (R-Idaho), who lacks your good taste--and lavish expense account. According to the Idaho Statesman which even asked
Idaho's first lady wears same dress twice. Is it frugality or fashion faux pas?
Yes, at the very same glittery dinner
Idaho's first lady wore the same dress twice - to the gala at Saint Al's Festival of Trees in November, below, and then again Sunday to the White House for a dinner with the nation's governors, the Obamas' first formal soiree
And piling faux pas upon faux pas--she even purchased the dress on sale. Doesn't she realize such frugality will wreck the nation's economy? Maybe now she'll learn her lesson and will hire Earth, Wind and Fire to entertain at an Idaho state function.