Andrew Malcolm, in the Investors Business Daily, has posted an opinion piece titled, “As Americans face a fiscal cliff, the Obamas make do with 54 Christmas trees.” OH-EM-GEE!
The first two sentences of his opinion piece are: “Amazing how a reelection can reshape an incumbent’s thinking about many things. Now safely ensconced in the White House for 49 more months, the Obamas have decorated the place with 54 Christmas trees this year.
“Even allowing for the usual Washington excesses with taxpayer money, that’s a whole grove of Christmas trees.”
Well no, that’s not a whole grove. Having spent time on a farm as a kid and then a lot of time in Northern Wisconsin where people actually grow Christmas trees for a living, I can tell you 54 trees isn’t even 10 percent of a grove. That’s probably not even 10 percent that are ready for sale by the average growers, let alone the total number of Christmas trees on a Christmas tree farm.
As for excesses with taxpayer money … eh, no. The trees, with all their decorations, as well as all the decorations adorning the White House and surrounding grounds, that is all donated by various groups and individuals, through various Friends of the White House organizations.
You may not know this, but the White House is part of the National Park Service and the first floor of the building is a designated museum. So yes, some tax dollars go into the decoratin’ of the old White House, as it has every year for at least 90 years. It’s a budget set by Congress and the park service and the First Lady get as much mileage out of that budget as possible...
...About half of Malcolm’s article is about the Obama’s Christmas being spent in Hawaii, where the president and his family have gone several times since his inauguration in 2009. According to Malcolm, the trip to and from the president’s home in Hawaii will cost 4 million dollars...
President Obama, as you may have guessed, is the first president to spend a Christmas away from the White House and by golly, the first to charge the taxpayers for the trip … that’s not true. But if we pay attention to the extremist right wing nuts you’d think that was the case.
Presidents have been visiting their homes away from the White House, or favorite vacation spots, for years. The Clintons loved going to Martha’s Vineyard. George H.W. Bush and his wife went to their seaside estate in Kennebunkport, Maine. The Reagans had their palatial ranch in Santa Barbara, CA. And who can forget George W Bush clearing away the brush on his Texas ranch?
Ford would vacation in Palm Springs, CA with (I’m speculating) Frank Sinatra, Nixon had two places: one in Key Biscayne, FL and his home in San Clemente, CA. ...Every President (and family) has gotten away from the White House for the holidays at least a couple times while president.
The true genius of Malcolm’s post, or maybe the true fallacy of it, is that by combining the two topics, i.e. decorating the White House and going to Hawaii, Malcolm would have you believe decorating the White House is costing the tax payers millions of dollars. Well, the upkeep of the White House costs millions of dollars every year, regardless of who occupies it. It’s part of that budget thing set by Congress.
The thing is, the Obama haters will make up anything to attack the president, including some nonsense about the number of Christmas trees in the White House. These people didn’t go after President Bush in 2008, but maybe 27 Christmas trees was just the right number. They will get outraged on Facebook, which is where I first saw this and then whip up a frenzy of “I told you so” and “The end is coming sooner than you think” doomsday predictions. All because there are 54 Christmas trees at the White House.
And it’s one ridiculous outrage after another. Every day there’s a new crisis. Maybe someone is putting the toilet paper on the rollers backwards in the White House. Obviously a Socialist message there.
Funnier still, if you try and point out the absurdity of the outrage to the Facebook posters, the usual answer is, “You’re missing the point.” No, the point is very clear: you Obama haters hate the man and his family so much you’ll make up any kind of nonsense, or endorse the crazy talk of others in order to vent your hatred of President Obama and his family.
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