By: Patti Bankson

Freshman Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin accused President Obama of sitting on the sidelines Tuesday while Congress debates “wildly different” budget bills which are expected to fail.

Come on, Joe, be fair. He’s busy… either on the golf course, planning his next vacation, or entertaining on a huge scale. On the taxpayers’ dime, of course. And why should we be surprised? Didn’t he give us a clue when he accepted his party’s presidential nomination at an outdoor event for 75,000… complete with a Greek column- adorned stage? Add to that his multimillion $$$ victory celebration in Chicago, and the $170 million cost of his inauguration, and there you go… a man who knows how to spend big, and happily.

In a WorldNetDaily article, Larry Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch, a watchdog organization working for the American taxpayer, said, “Barack and Michelle Obama have been throwing taxpayer funded parties nearly every night with their “friends” and supporters, with Michelle Obama cautioning them not to ‘break’ White House property.” “It was right to criticize corporate execs for using taxpayer bailout money on bonuses and corporate junkets. In the face of this criticism, it is an outrage for Barack and Michelle Obama to party on, as Rome burns. It’s like throwing a party at a funeral,” he said.

Does recognizing that entertainment kind of goes with presidential territory mean that there shouldn’t be some kind of limit to how much, at what cost, and for what purpose? In a report by the news and commentary website Politico, many of the parties have been just that – parties, not political and government meetings. “Using one of the world’s most famous private residences as bait, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are unleashing a bipartisan charm offensive and exploiting every square inch of their new home to make friends and influence rivals. The social calendar suggests a return to the days of Camelot,” the report said. “Most recently … the Obamas opened the White House doors to House caucus leaders from the moderate Blue Dog Democrats and the Congressional Black Caucus. White House aides say the couple hopes to make the Wednesday cocktail parties a tradition.” The report quoted White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers saying the Obamas want to “replicate the same kind of environment they had in Chicago.” “If there was a party or an event [in Chicago], they were there,” the report quoted “a friend” saying.

But is anything of government value accomplished? “You would have felt like a fool talking about politics at this party,” Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said after one major event. “I was surprised how much of a social event it was and how little of a political occasion it was.” Insiders said in the report that the Obama social schedule is busier than any other previous occupants of the White House. “We haven’t seen this kind of entertaining in a really long time,” Dee Dee Myers, Bill Clinton’s former White House press secretary, said in the report. According to an ABC report, many of the parties have been on Wednesdays, and the report confirmed one featured a Stevie Wonder concert. “This is a pretty big house, so we get lonely,” the report said Obama announced. Awww!

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© 2011 Patti Bankson

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