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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

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 Tsunami an inaugural downer

Greg Palast writes about compassionate conservative in action:
In response to news of the death of over one hundred thousand Asians drowned by the December tsunami, Americans swiftly raised $18 million towards the ultimate goal of $40 million ... to pay for the several lavish parties that will follow George Bush's inauguration on January 20....

The privately-funded inaugural celebration organization had considered inviting a family of survivors of the tsunami as a gesture of sympathy, but the idea was rejected, said Weinot, as "kind of a downer." She noted, however, that leftover food will be donated to Washington area soup kitchens.

Meanwhile, Dan Thomasson asks some important ethical questions about the whole affair:

Wouldn't it have been appropriate for the president to declare a moratorium on the usual outpouring of merriment surrounding his swearing-in? Wouldn't it have been far more seemly to ask that money raised for that purpose be added to the huge amount already donated to tsunami relief efforts? What would have been wrong with just a simple inauguration in the Capitol Rotunda followed by a compassionate speech and a few fireworks?

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