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 Thats a lot of balloons!

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Dave
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PostSubject: Thats a lot of balloons!   Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:39 pm

Quote :
AP – President-elect Barack Obama speaks during 'We Are One: Opening Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln …
As the recession continues to wreak havoc on the U.S. economy and inauguration celebrations ramp up, a lot of people are asking: "How much will this shindig cost?"

The short answer? Likely more than $150 million — and yep, that could be the most expensive ever. (George W. Bush was given a hard time for the $42.3 million cost of his inauguration celebrations ... but that number, as Media Matters points out, did not include any security.)

And the long answer includes few balloons and a lot of beefed-up security. For the first time, President Bush has declared an emergency in Washington, D.C. to supplement the $15 million Congress has already allotted for security measures. It's no surprise that security costs are sky-high — Barack Obama received Secret Service protection very early in his presidential run and record crowds (likely anywhere from 1.5 to 3 million people) are expected for the events. In fact, the Secret Service will be in charge of security not just for inauguration day, but for four days, starting Saturday with Obama's train ride from Philadelphia.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the AP: "It will be the most security, as far as I'm aware, that any inauguration's had."
Obama's much-discussed (and very cool-looking) custom Cadillac limo certainly couldn't come cheap, though we'll never really know how much it cost. Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell said the car's exact specifications are a big secret, including the safety features and production cost.

But Forbes reports it's not all flak jackets and armored cars: To manage an event of this scale, the District of Columbia will spend a mammoth $47 million. It is not enough.... Much of the $45 million will go toward creating a dynamic Inauguration experience for the everyday visitor, not just funding exclusive events. "We don't even consider these events to be extravagant," says Linda Douglas, a spokeswoman from the Presidential Inauguration Committee. "With crowds of this size, most of our attention is being devoted to opening up as many events to the public."

The good news for taxpayers: Inaugural celebrations are paid for by the inaugural committee — and Obama has, once again, been a very successful fundraiser — at least $41 million by recent counts. Carole Florman, spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, told the New York Daily News:
"We're always very budget conscious. But we're sending a message to the entire world about our peaceful transition of power, and you don't want it to look like a schlock affair. It needs to be appropriate to the magnitude of events that it is."

And if you're eager to whoop it up in the same crap fashion as our government, Washington hotels have come up with tons of ways for you to spend your money. The Washingtonian has made a list of some of the best ... and worst.

"Most unusual item in a hotel package: Round-trip airfare and hotel for four in St. Petersburg, Russia, part of the Omni Shoreham’s Live Like a President package—the trip is aimed at gaining “foreign-policy experience.” The $440,000 package also includes an in-suite dinner with entertainer Mark Russell.

Most controversial item: A puppy—in honor of Obama’s promise to get his daughters a dog — was originally part of the package deal at the Omni Shoreham but was dropped when the hotel caught heat from animal lovers. Instead, the hotel will make a donation to the Washington Humane Society."
So don't feel bad if you're sitting on the couch watching the historic festivities from home — at least you'll be saving some pennies.

This is best read after downloading a copy of the Stimulus Bill over in the US section Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Thats a lot of balloons!   Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:09 pm

I heard that he was going to walk on water Shocked ...right across the Mall before his speech Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Thats a lot of balloons!   Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:38 pm

Well...I was a bit upset that he did not walk across the water on the Mall. I thought the speech was very good and really liked this part;

Quote :
To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

Now we all hold our collective breaths and see what kind of follow through there is after the speech Neutral
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