Mudcat Café message #1381362 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1381362
Posted By: Amos
18-Jan-05 - 11:51 AM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From Reuters UK:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush is drawing heat over a $40 million (21.5 million pound) splurge on inaugural balls, concerts and candlelight dinners while the country is in a sombre mood because of the Iraq war and Asian tsunami.

As Bush prepares for his second-term inauguration on Thursday, his supporters plan to celebrate with fireworks and three days of parties, including a "Black Tie and Boots" ball and nine other balls.

Critics say the lavish celebrations are unseemly when U.S. troops face daily violence in Iraq and Americans are being urged to donate money to alleviate the suffering in Asia, where the December 26 tsunami killed 163,000 people.

"I just think that the sobriety of the times dictate that we be mindful of the imagery of these things," said Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York. In a letter, Weiner urged Bush to ask donors to redirect their inaugural contributions to equipment for troops in Iraq, some of whom have complained of having to scrounge for scrap metal to protect their vehicles.

"Precedent suggests that inaugural festivities should be muted -- if not cancelled -- in wartime," Weiner wrote to Bush, saying that the money could pay for 690 Humvees and a $290 bonus for each soldier serving in Iraq.

Weiner cited the example of President Franklin Roosevelt, who celebrated his trimmed-down 1945 inaugural with cold chicken salad and pound cake.

Bush said he rejected such criticism.

"It's important that we celebrate a peaceful transfer of power .... You can be equally concerned about our troops in Iraq and those who suffered at the tsunamis (and) with celebrating democracy," Bush said in a CBS News interview released on Monday.