Barack Obama

In Tough Economy, Obama White House Scales Up to 54 Christmas Trees

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While you may be spending December figuring out what sort of Christmas you'll be able to afford, what tax payments you need to make before year's end, and just how the fiscal cliff is going to affect your 2013, the Obama's have taken a different approach: They're going big and going home (to Hawaii, for a long vacation).

Earlier this month, Andrew Malcolm of Investor's Business Daily reported on Michelle Obama's announcement about holiday decorations at the White House:

"We have 54 trees in the White House," an excited Michelle Obama proudly told visitors the other day. "54!  That's a lot of trees."…

In fact, it's more than double the usual number. The trees are donated, so it's not a direct picking of the taxpayers' pockets, though one assumes that the donors of said trees are probably expecting some stocking stuffers that will likely screw us somewhere down the line.

In addition to 54 Christmas trees, Michelle Obama has overseen the placement of thousands of ornaments in public rooms. Many of the ornaments celebrate the Obama family dog, Bo, who seems to have become the First Family's favorite symbol of Christmas. Other decorations, including on the more prominent trees, were made by children in schools on U.S. military bases.

The Obamas are planning an extended vacation in Hawaii as well:

According to notices distributed to residents of an exclusive waterfront neighborhood in Hawaii, they can expect to enjoy restricted access and other inconveniences to their homes and normal lives from Dec. 17 through Jan. 6. That's about a 50% longer holiday vacation than last year.

The inconveniences stem from security requirements for the vacationing Obamas and a large number of their accompanying friends. Obama's staff will have to put up with rooms in a nearby luxury hotel.

Read the whole story.

The White House has also taken time away from solving all the world's problems to put together this video of First Dog Bo "inspecting" the White House decorations:

The video has over 2 million views, which means that at least 10 million unemployed Americans have either had their internet cut or just haven't gotten around to watching this.

The Bo Christmas video extends a nauseating tradition that dates back to at least the George W. Bush White House years (gosh, that seems like years ago!). Most disturbingly, in 2006, First Dog Barnie petitioned a broke government for money to put on a "holiday extravaganza" but was told by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson that "we're broke" (thus marking the last time Paulson denied a friend a bailout).

I'm a longtime critic of public specatacle as it relates to a properly understood republican form of government. Our leaders should be equal to us, not lordly in their pomp and circumstance. Obama family vacations in the past have rightly riled anger among us serfs and vassals precisely because ostentatious displays of wealth and leisure by our rulers is anathema to our form of government. It's bad enough when the ruler is a French king or an English regicide, but an American president celebrating his re-election should really work to avoid displays of conspicuous consumption. 

I'm not saying that the Obamas should spend the holidays washing the feet of Washington's homeless, though that would be nice (and possibly a mini-scandal waiting to happen: In 2009, Mrs. Obama botched feeding the hungry by showing up to a food-bank giveaway wearing $540 sneakers).

But I am saying: Enough with goddamn dog videos already!

There's a crap economy, a looming fiscal disaster (a.k.a. as the new normal), new and old wars raging, and more going on. In fact, even if the national debt was zero and the Smurfs had reconciled with Gargamel, and chocolate milk was suddenly discovered to be calorie-free, I can't imagine a world in which First Dog videos and a presidential residence overstuffed with Christmas trees should be a regular or acceptable feature of political discourse.

In 2010, Reason TV Celebrated Joe Biden's Personal War on Christmas:

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  1. No more White House dog videos?

    ZOMG WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!!!

  2. Enough with goddamn dog videos already!

    THIS IS WHY NOBODY TAKES LIBERTARIANISM SERIOUSLY

  3. they can expect to enjoy restricted access and other inconveniences to their homes and normal lives from Dec. 17 through Jan. 6. That’s about a 50% longer holiday vacation than last year.

    I’ll believe the fiscal cliff on January 1 is a disaster waiting to happen when the people telling me it is a disaster waiting to happen start acting like it is a disaster waiting to happen.

    Basically, the President will largely?, completely? disengage from negotiations on this issue in a week, leaving town for the last two weeks before the cliff hits. Nice. And if we go over the cliff, well, that’s naturally not his fault.

    Hell, he wasn’t even in town! How can you blame him?

    1. I have to say that I regard our masters going on vacation as a positive thing. They cause far less damage that way.

      They can slink off to as many $650/night resorts as they want, as long as they don’t come slithering back too soon.

      1. You say that since you don’t live in Hawaii, where the messiahs stay will be a major pain in the ass (for me).

        I will vote for any candidate who promises:

        1. Will only vacation at Camp David.
        2. Will abstain from golfing while on duty (symbolic but important)
        3. Will never travel outside the country. All foreign leaders/diplomats must come to DC. For the poor ones, we’ll video chat.
        4. No inaugural “party”. What a grotesque waste of money. 2009’s inauguration cost (for all activities): $170million (“Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland have requested another $75 million from the federal government to help pay for their share of police, fire and medical services. “

    2. Obama has been focusing on the economy “like a laser” for 3-4 years. From Hawaii he can simply bounce his laser gaze off the appropriate satellite and continue his superlative management.

    1. Racists think alike.

      1. Dog whistles for dogs that don’t hunt.

  4. The fiscal cliff isn’t a disaster waiting to happen. It’s the first reasonable thing Congress has done in a decade.

    1. If you consider something like 4% spending cuts reasonable.

      1. Better than zero.

        Obama says he wants a balance of tax cuts and spending cuts. The fiscal cliff has both.

        Now, it’s small potatoes on spending cuts, but at least it is something.

      2. I agree with spoonman on this.

      3. When they actually “cut” spending, and not simply the rate of growth, then I’ll bother to look up from my soup.

        1. I believe the sequester that is part of the “cliff” actually cuts spending, in the sense that it means less money will be spent on some agencies/programs in 2013 than 2012.

    2. And can we please give up on this “it’ll send the economy into recession!” crap? Any decrease in G will send the economy into recession, but decrease in G spending is imperative.

      So a recession is imperative. Recession isn’t a good reason to complain about spending cuts.

      1. But “Recession” is a big scary word, which is why it is thrown around to goad idiots into supporting ever more spending that won’t actually benefit them.

  5. “Obama family vacations in the past have rightly riled anger among us serfs and vassals precisely because ostentatious displays of wealth and leisure by our rulers is anathema to our form of government”

    Since when? Most American presidents have been wealthy, many ostentatiously so.

    More Obama Derangement Syndrome on display.

    1. Is he paying for this vacation? Then rock on. But since I’m paying for this vacation, I have a problem with him blowing this much money when the organization he heads is 16 trillion in the hole.

    2. Hey, joe! Still embarrassingly short? Still astonishingly stupid? Keep up the good work, you retarded midget.

      1. Hey, remember that time when joe was so obviously wrong that it hurt, admitted as much and apologized?

        Yeah, me neither.

      2. Hey y’all go easy on joe. Cut him some slack. You have to understand where his bitterness comes from.

        Women dont like short. They will take a tall guy with an average bank account over a millionaire midget. Guys like Joe have zero chance to ever get the primo pussy. Ever. It just will not EVER happen for joe. He is forever denied by a cruel mother nature.

        Every time he sees a woman he is thinking ” she would rather fuck a dog than me”. Its gotta hurt.
        So he tries to take it out on us, even though he knows it wont change anything.

        I for one pity him.

        1. Ugly women can get plastic surgery, flat women can get fake boobs, fat women can lose weight, tall women can find tall men, skinny men can lift weights, ugly men can make a bunch of money…but short men are fucked. I’d feel sorry for joe if he was anyone else.

    3. You really brought the derp there.

    4. And those Presidents were routinely excoriated as such. Nancy Reagan was destroyed for White House china that the government didn’t even pay for. George HW Bush was portrayed as an out of touch plutocrat because he vacationed in Maine. George W. was forced to stop playing golf because the media was so vicious about the optics of him playing golf during a war.

      Meanwhile. Obama plays more golf than any President in history and takes vacations that would make the worst nouvou riche blush in the middle of a war and the worst economy since Hoover. And anyone who points this has Obama derangement syndrome?

      When you were a child Joe did you tell your teachers you wanted to grow up to by a lying piece of shit hack? Was that your goal? If you could have seen your future self, would you have been proud?

      How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

      1. How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

        He doesn’t; mirror was broken to stimulate his household’s economy.

      2. How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

        You presume that joe has a reflection.

      3. How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

        I presume with a step ladder.

      4. I get the feeling that Mr. and Mrs. Obama are unfamiliar with that optics thingy. They gleefully promote class warfare without one hint of irony. Is it possible that this whole thing, the last four years, has just been one giant, cosmic parody?

      5. How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

        john & joe and a discussion of mirror images. this made me chuckle.

  6. Recession isn’t a good reason to complain about spending cuts.

    But friends of people like David Brooks might lose their jobs! Too close for comfort.

  7. Most American presidents have been wealthy, many ostentatiously so.

    And they did they loot the Treasury for their own amusement at anything near the scale of the current occupant?

  8. Our leaders should be equal to us, not lordly in their pomp and circumstance.

    One that’s always pissed me off? Referring to former government officials by their job titles after they leave government. Fuck you, it’s not a title of nobility. Once you leave the job, you go back to being Mr./Mrs./Ms. whatever. You ain’t special, you just another chump now that you’re out of office.

    1. I share your peeve, T.

      Just today, I heard Bill Clinton referred to by some Dem Op Media bootlicker as “President” Clinton.

      If you can’t veto a bill or fire a cabinet member, you aren’t the President. Sorry, Bill.

  9. “We have 54 trees in the White House,” an excited Michelle Obama proudly told visitors the other day. “54! That’s a lot of trees.”…

    Funny. My DVR did’t record that episode of Hoarders.

    1. It’s “shit per unit volume” that defines a hoarder, not “total quantity of shit”.

      It’s kind of like how rich people are “eccentric”, rather than “crazy”.

  10. There is no reason to believe the President won’t hop in Air Force One and shuttle back to DC for fifteen minutes of face time with the Supreme Smurf. Just to show how committed he is to getting a deal done.

    1. The idea that anyone in washington is standing on any principle but getting re-elected is laughable.

      And apparently getting elected today is all about how much OPM you can bring home.

      1. I’ve been in DC too long. It took me forever to realize “OPM” doesn’t stand for “Office of Personnel Management”.

        1. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about that.

        2. I’ve been in DC too long.

          The last two words of that sentence are implied by the first four.

    2. Don’t be racist. Boehner is a oompa loompa, not a smurf, only the ignorant would call a oompa loompa a smurf.

  11. “We have 54 trees in the White House,” an excited Michelle Obama proudly told visitors the other day. “54! That’s a lot of trees.”…

    “And, as my BO said, three more and we could decorate one for each state!”

  12. Missing from this article is a mention of the nearly 4M bucks captain zero’s vacation will cost. Also, I assume that number is lowballed. It will probably be more in the ballpark of 10M.

    Does anyone know how much that commie shitstain is worth personally now vs before he took office? I am too lazy to google it.

    1. I googled it. The best estimates are that he is worth around 7.5M.

      So this multi-millionaire dingleberry is going on one vacation on our dime to the tune of more than half his total personal wealth.

      Pay your fair share folks.

  13. According to notices distributed to residents of an exclusive waterfront neighborhood in Hawaii, they can expect to enjoy restricted access and other inconveniences to their homes and normal lives from Dec. 17 through Jan. 6.

    Seeing as how that place is about a half-mile from my residence in Kailua, I can look forward to being stuck in a traffic jam or two as the Secret Service completely blocks off some road for a half hour so the president can shave a few seconds off the time it takes to go golfing or whatnot.

    Again.

  14. Thanks for showing me the She Wookie’s fat, fugly ass. Again.

    *barf*

  15. Fifty-four sounds about right for a home that size. I was just at a much smaller house for a Christmas party and it had a proportional 10 trees.

    But I’m so glad we have Nick Gillespie to dump his pissypants rants about totally insubstantial things on the Internet. One Matt Drudge just isn’t enough.

    1. “proportional 10 trees.”
      The correct proportion is 1tree/house.
      Says who? says me.

      Shouldn’t he have to pay a carbon tax for helping destroy so many trees?

      I know it is a broken record, but if a Bushie were to double the tree count to an astounding 54 trees, there would be eco-protests as we speak.

      However, it is refreshing to see Tony endorse excessive de-forestation.

  16. Thanks for posting – sometimes I start to believe the media hype that the only reason to dislike Obama is racism, and that I must therefor be a racist.

    I own my own company. Do you know what I’ll be doing over my Christmas
    “vacation”? I’ll be making sure my employees still have jobs in 2013. I’ll be making sure we can pay our bills so the companies with whom we do business can keep operating. I’ll be balancing payroll, benefits, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. I’ll take a little break, maybe even work only a few hours on Christmas and one or two days that week, but I’m not going on a big vacation to Hawaii. Even if I did, it would be MY money I’d spend, not taxpayers. Someone decorated those trees, someone made this video, and I’m guessing those “someones” were paid by us, the taxpayers. With a near-dead economy, sky-high unemployment, and no budget passed in years, the nerve this man has to take a vacation is beyond me. If he worked for me, I’d fire him. The sad thing is, as he is a “public servant” and I am a taxpayer, he does work for me, and I still can’t.

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