Inaugural balls -- 01/21/13

So today is the day for celebration in Washington DC, the one part of the country where the economy is booming, the center of concentration of wealth for lobbyists and politicians and the government elite. And today's event will still attract the 1% -- Bush's second inauguration attracted around 300 private jets, setting a record. In 2009 the first Obama inauguration more than doubled that number of private jets as the wealthy who had supported him came to party. This year apparently is back to only bit over 300 private jets.

Of course, there is a wisecrack going around in libertarian circles questioning whether this should be considered Obama's second term or Bush's fourth term. (Reason Magazine recently published an article titled " Obama Begins His Second Term -- and Bush's Fourth" -- If you don't get the point, you obviously need to read that article.)

Meanwhile, Retropundit (his slogan "Like Instapundit, only slower") has posted a couple of interesting inauguration- related blasts from the past. (He specializes in one hundred year old news stories.)

President Wilson apparently ordered the cancellation of one inaugural ball for his first term as president. He was horrified when he learned that the planned ball would cost taxpayers $95,000! Please note that the US government had actually finished the year in the black, having taken in more in taxes than the budget called for spending. (I think of Wilson as being one of the most racist and sexist presidents in our history -- certainly in the 20th century -- but I guess even a total creep could be fiscally responsible sometimes.)

Eleanor Wilson (daughter of President Wilson) had managed to get risque dancing banned at her school, so that only "sedate" dancing was allowed. As Retropundit noted "The 'Progressive' Movement is composed of morally superior humans who are eager to instruct the rest of us regarding how to live." Some members of Congress apparently shared Ms Wilson's abhorance of the Turkey Trot and other "modern" dances and banned such risque activity if there were to be an innaugral ball at the Pension Building. That location rang a bell with me and I suddenly realized that Nancy and I had been there on a trip to DC almost four years ago, late February of 2009. (It's now the National Building Museum.)

A postscript to yesterday's entry: UMelt now has a webpage with photographs of their menu items -- hover your mouse over each photo to see what it is.

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