Champagne Toast to the Little People

 

Question: What cost $315,000 in 2005, increased to $900,000 by 2012, and rocketed up $1.3 million in 2013?

Answer: Uncle Sam’s liquor bill.

Wait, I’ve got a better one: What produces, “…a sharp high-pitched resonant sound when tapped with a metal object, such as a fork or spoon,” and costs a whopping $5 million? If you said Michelle Obama’s vacation menu, while she counsels the rest of us to subsist on arugula, tree bark and granola, well, you’re actually pretty close.

Answer: The State Department’s exquisite crystal champagne flutes, brandy snifters, red and white wine glasses, sherbet glasses, and finger bowls. And what do we get for $5 million worth of crystal to transport some of that $1.3 million booze down foreign gullets? Well, according to the State Department:

…The United States wishes to make the best impression in its dealings with foreign governments and other groups and carries out lawfully its representational activities, including its diplomatic receptions, in as effective and as culturally appropriate a manner as possible. …The United States international relations, national interest and success are, in part, built upon the ability of our ambassadors to entertain host country nationals in our embassies and residences abroad.

You will recall that we hosted one hell of a shindig for the host country nationals in Benghazi, complete with a defenseless and dead U.S. Ambassador along with three other Americans, but as former Secretary of State (and future presidential candidate) Hillary Clinton would say, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

What does make a difference, however, is the State Department’s inviolable principle, which is the statement that our “representational activities,” must be, “culturally appropriate.” Our heightened propriety requires that we disabuse the world’s despots of the idea that we will take any meaningful action while they invade neighboring countries, arm themselves to the teeth with nuclear and conventional weaponry, slaughter Christians, and generally terrorize the planet. And if crystal flutes and brandy snifters don’t do the trick, then I’m sure it has escaped no one’s attention that while Vladimir Putin invades the Crimea, the Obama Administration is preparing for the First Family’s annual invasion of Martha’s Vineyard.

Currently, the First Lady, First Daughters, and First Mother-In-Law are sojourning in China on a mission which the White House described as, “light on politics but heavy on personal diplomacy.” Thus far, the personal diplomacy part has been a dazzling success, with hotel employees counting down the minutes until Michelle and the girls pack the First Mother-In-Law, who’s been “barking orders” at the hotel staff, back into the airplane.

But who can blame her? It’s tough to find a good 3,400 sq. ft. presidential suite these days, especially one appointed with dining for six, a jacuzzi, bar, treadmill, and 24-hour butler at the bargain basement price of $8,400 a night. What better way to represent the working people of America (an increasingly rare breed by the way), who are picking up the tab for this junket, than by berating the staff? It’s as American as anyone else who lives on the public dole expressing their gratitude by demanding still more.

The good news, of course, is that all of this…this..stuff, is being done on our behalf. The $20 million in combined costs of the Obama’s Hawaiian Christmas vacations, the costs associated with separately transporting the First Lady and her staff and security detail back to the mainland after the President graciously agreed to grant her a few extra days in Hawaii at our expense, the separate Valentine’s Day vacations, the First Lady’s $467,585 excellent adventure to Spain in 2010, the 16 vacations the First Family enjoyed in only their first three years in office, these are the trappings, er, … I mean the sacrifices of public service on our behalf.

Actually though, I suspect the real trouble starts when the vacations end. That’s when most Americans would happily fund even more lavish distractions if they would but turn the President’s benevolent attentions somewhere, anywhere, other than on those whom Bill O’Reilly calls, “the folks.” Since Barack Obama took office, gas prices have risen 111 percent, the national debt has risen 51 percent, 6.9 million more Americans live in poverty, and the average family income has dropped almost $5,000.

Meanwhile, food prices soar; millions have lost the health care plans they were told they could keep, as well as their doctors and their cancer treatments; and the costs of destroying, er … reforming the health care industry keep rising.The boot of the state is pressing down on the throat of the private sector, and “the folks” are being suffocated. This isn’t “fundamental transformation.” This is taking a wrecking ball to the last and greatest bastion of freedom and individual sovereignty in the world.

Last year, I had the privilege of sitting down to chat with the then-CEO of Ricochet, who asked whether I thought Barack Obama was engaged in a willful act of destruction, or whether he really is irredeemably and invincibly ignorant of such truths as were apparent to “Alex de Tocqueville”? To which prompted I registered my belief that he is engaged in what he sees as an act of transcendental comeuppance.

While taking the fawning and messianic coverage of his hagiographers in the press corps to heart, he views his calling as that of taking the United States down a few notches. It isn’t right, you see, that the average Joe in America, through his industry and work, achieves a standard of living unthinkable in many parts of the world. No, Joe must be made to surrender whatever part of his property Barack Obama thinks ought to belong to someone else. You call it theft, he calls it equality. Tomato, tomahto, that sort of thing.

It’s the same with national sovereignty and security, of course. So what if the United States liberated a continent in the Second World War? What right does it have to secure its survival and interests if doing so offends the sensibilities of a third world despot or Islamic fanatic, assuming there is any meaningful difference between the two? “Why did we deny Ukraine weapons?” asked Charles Krauthammer recently. “Because,” he continued, “in the Barack Obama-John Kerry worldview, arming the victim might be taken as a provocation.”

Those are the sort of mental gymnastics that result in the belief that disarming law-abiding citizens will produce safer streets, that moving a man from productivity to dependency will enhance society’s wellbeing, and that government masterminds can manage the lives of millions of people better than the people themselves. It makes counter-intuition into a virtue, and virtue into a liability. And it does it all at taxpayer expense, at cruising altitude, to the “sharp, high-pitched, resonant” clink of $5 million crystal.

There are 45 comments.

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  1. Inactive

    Wow Dave. Just WOW!

    • #1
    • March 23, 2014 at 10:51 am
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  2. Member

    C’mon, Dave. Everyone knows silverware is a cornerstone of civilization. If we could just convince the Chinese to use forks, we would be friends!

    • #2
    • March 23, 2014 at 11:05 am
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  3. Inactive

    Since Barack Obama took office, gas prices have risen 111 percent, the national debt has risen 51 percent, 6.9 million more Americans live in poverty, and the average family income has dropped almost $5,000.

    True, but at least our Queen is living well. 

    • #3
    • March 23, 2014 at 11:38 am
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  4. Thatcher

    Dave,

    The historical hypothesis that “conspicuous consumption leads to resentment and then revolution” has been subverted by the modern left. The left has distorted the optics so intensely that the BHO gang gets away with grotesquely opulent nonsense.

    I think the force field that has been bending the light rays is losing power. This obscene behavior by the hysterical defamers of the 1% has run its course. I think Michelle and the State department are about to meet “an errand boy sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill”.

    The left always figured that this little guy was just for that big nasty right winger “Kurtz”. They never figured that they would finally be getting a visit. 

    What goes round comes round.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #4
    • March 23, 2014 at 11:41 am
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  5. Inactive

    Because of you I joined Ricochet. Looks like a good investment so far.

    • #5
    • March 23, 2014 at 11:42 am
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  6. Member

    Another great essay by Dave Carter. If Ricochet is nothing else at least it is the outlet for the most eloquent truck driving commentator there is today.

    • #6
    • March 23, 2014 at 11:52 am
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  7. Member

    Tiger4Truth:
    Because of you I joined Ricochet. Looks like a good investment so far.

     Ditto.

    I’m playing your post forward Dave.

    • #7
    • March 23, 2014 at 12:33 pm
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  8. Thatcher

    We love you, Dave. I, too, will be linking to your excellent post on my blog. Thank you, Cubed!

    • #8
    • March 23, 2014 at 1:37 pm
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  9. Contributor
    Dave Carter Post author

    Tiger4Truth: Because of you I joined Ricochet. Looks like a good investment so far. You’re very kind, Tiger4Truth. Thanks so very much!

    • #9
    • March 23, 2014 at 2:19 pm
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  10. Contributor
    Dave Carter Post author

    RushBabe49:
    We love you, Dave. I, too, will be linking to your excellent post on my blog. Thank you, Cubed!

     Awwww shucks…. Thanks very much RushBabe.

    • #10
    • March 23, 2014 at 2:23 pm
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  11. Coolidge

    &blockquote cite=”post-118844″> (deleted – Ricochet ate my attempt at editing. see new comment below)

    • #11
    • March 23, 2014 at 2:54 pm
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  12. Coolidge

    Dave Carter:
    Last year, I had the privilege of sitting down to chat with the then-CEO of Ricochet, who asked whether I thought Barack Obama was engaged in a willful act of destruction, or whether he really is irredeemably and invincibly ignorant of such truths as were apparent to “Alex de Tocqueville”? To which prompted I registered my belief that he is engaged in what he sees as an act of transcendental comeuppance.

     
    Comeuppance for America and the folks, yes, but he also seems to be living the fiction of how leaders are expected to live, one that sees the world through the rose-colored lenses of a European mindset. Americans are more down to earth than that, even our leaders. It doesn’t mean we have to embarass the countries we entertain in our humility, but maybe we should be more sensitive to the theirs, or at least have a proper proportion of things.

    • #12
    • March 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm
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  13. Member

    Uncle Sam’s liquor bill has gone up by a factor of four in 8 years? I had an uncle like that once. Sounds like an intervention is needed.

    • #13
    • March 23, 2014 at 3:10 pm
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  14. Contributor
    Dave Carter Post author

    While I’m all for proper decorum and adherence to diplomatic protocols, I endorse these things as a means to an end, not as an end unto itself. Though I may be a bit far out as far as others are concerned, accepting our practice of basic courtesy as a given, I’d much rather other countries worry about embarrassing us than about us embarrassing other countries.

    • #14
    • March 23, 2014 at 3:12 pm
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  15. Contributor

    Excellent as always, Dave!

    6a00d83451bc4a69e20168e53440d0970c

    • #15
    • March 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm
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  16. Contributor

    Doug Saunders:
    Uncle Sam’s liquor bill has gone up by a factor of four in 8 years? I had an uncle like that once. Sounds like an intervention is needed.

     Classic!

    • #16
    • March 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm
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  17. Member

    Hypocrisy among people of the Left is like the proverbial bear in the woods. If the bear is big enough, he can go anywhere, anytime he wants, but unless someone reports the act, did he really? Even if the hypocrisy sits there steaming and stinking up the forest, no one notices. Hubris, arrogance, hypocrisy – the press is oblivious. It reminds me of the feminists who supported Clinton when they knew he was a serial sexual predator. Obama and Michelle have indefatigable arrogance. Their sense of entitlement, of retribution, knows no bounds. And the Left proves once again that they are a bunch of toadies who seek the a chance to linger in their odor of unbounded leftism. In the meantime, Rome smolders. How short sighted and economically ignorant are these people? Their ignorance is only eclipsed by their arrogance. Watch this and this.

    • #17
    • March 23, 2014 at 4:18 pm
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  18. Inactive

    Dave Carter:
    Tiger4Truth: Because of you I joined Ricochet. Looks like a good investment so far. You’re very kind, Tiger4Truth. Thanks so very much!

     Great essay as usual, Dave, and I’m glad but not surprised to see you attracting more Ricochetti.

    My favorite point about this China trip is something I heard on the radio but have not heard repeated, so I’m not sure if it really is true. But it wasn’t being reported sarcastically. The story was that Michelle Obama had said that her mission on this trip was to promote education.

    Because the Chinese can learn so much from the US about education.

    • #18
    • March 23, 2014 at 4:20 pm
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  19. Member

    @Dave Carter: “…that moving a man from productivity to dependency will enhance government’s wellbeing,…”

    There, fixed that for you.

    @Doug Kimball: “Their ignorance is only eclipsed by their arrogance.”

    Accurately and succinctly put.

    • #19
    • March 23, 2014 at 5:31 pm
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  20. Member

    Tumbrels, anyone?

    • #20
    • March 23, 2014 at 6:17 pm
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  21. Inactive

    re-wow!

    • #21
    • March 23, 2014 at 7:03 pm
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  22. Thatcher

    Great Post.

    I would be willing to send Obama and his wife Michelle on a permanent vacation tomorrow, if we could just get them to resign (And Joe B as well) and ride off to a life of luxury at some resort of their choosing. Cheap at any price!

    • #22
    • March 23, 2014 at 7:50 pm
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  23. Inactive

    Once again and once again and once again, thank you, Dave!

    • #23
    • March 23, 2014 at 7:56 pm
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  24. Member

    Mark Steyn wrote a column a while back in which he reported that the United States is spending four times as much to support the Obama family as the United Kingdom is spending supporting its royal family.

    • #24
    • March 23, 2014 at 8:19 pm
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  25. Member

    Dave:
    Are your accountant and lawyer prepping for your audiT?

    • #25
    • March 23, 2014 at 9:10 pm
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  26. Inactive

    I’d say burn it down and piss on the ashes, but it looks like Obama’s beaten me to it.

    • #26
    • March 23, 2014 at 9:36 pm
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  27. Member

    And Barry has even suggested that Michelle should be paid for all that hard work she does as First Lady…..

    • #27
    • March 23, 2014 at 9:44 pm
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  28. Member

    Last year, I had the privilege of sitting down to chat with the then-CEO of Ricochet, who asked whether I thought Barack Obama was engaged in a willful act of destruction, or whether he really is irredeemably and invincibly ignorant of such truths as were apparent to “Alex de Tocqueville”? To which prompted I registered my belief that he is engaged in what he sees as an act of transcendental comeuppance. 

    Did said CEO ask this in jest, ignorance or curiosity?

    • #28
    • March 23, 2014 at 10:25 pm
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  29. Member

    I dunno, Dave. Seems like you are “speaking truth to power” here. I need to check the Rulebook to be sure, but I don’t think conservatives are allowed to do that.

    • #29
    • March 24, 2014 at 6:26 am
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  30. Member

    I hope we have somebody that inventories the Crystal and silverware when these grifters finally vacate our house.

    • #30
    • March 24, 2014 at 12:35 pm
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