September 6, 2001
7:04 AM   Subscribe

The Bush White House spent up to $250,000 on a fireworks show last night without publicizing it beforehand to keep the public away, according to Matt Drudge. (Check out the fireworks this is generating among a few surprisingly irate members of FreeRepublic.Com.)
posted by rcade (21 comments total)
Also, a weird AP feature on the state dinner party that ended with the fireworks makes it sound like something out of Frasier: "The classy after-dinner performance of opera singer Dawn Upshaw juxtaposed with fireworks, the entertainment of the masses that guests crowded onto the balcony to watch."
posted by rcade at 7:07 AM on September 6, 2001

Fireworks are cool by me, but I couldn't help but giggle at some of the other tidbits in that article:

"Bush was not the only one to pair his tuxedo with cowboy boots...

"The Bushes' bipartisan gesture extended to the cola wars...

"On orders from the president to serve red meat and spicy stuff...

Sometimes I just can't help feeling like Hank Hill is living in the White House.

Er, I mean, the Casa Blanca.
posted by spilon at 7:35 AM on September 6, 2001

Last night, while still at work in our office building a block away from the White House, I heard a series of loud bangs. I didn't know if it was gunfire, exploding manholes, or construction....

Then the pounding began. The vibrations from the explosions caused everything in the office to rattle. The windows were shaking. I called up a friend "in the know" and asked him what the hell was going on at the White House. I had finished work and was ready to go home, but there was no way in hell I was going to leave the building if eruptions were occuring outside. For 15 minutes, I seriously thought I was in danger.


Even if this was a private event, they should have informed the public so as not to cause concern. But because they spent $300,000 of taxpayer money on a firework display, they should have informed the public so they could take part too. On 4th of July, the White House closes of the Elipse to the public (which is where they watched the fireworks last night), and the public watches from the Mall.
posted by jennak at 7:42 AM on September 6, 2001

according to drudge...they were kept from the masses. The press, for a change is starting to look stupid, really, they are cutting alot of shit...the shark thing...On topic. The SS made this call i'd bet, the overtime for security, the extra protection for prezdent and el presidente (who thinks he's tough for issuing a challenge to Bush on immigration, what a coca-cola diplomat:)
posted by clavdivs at 7:42 AM on September 6, 2001

I'm the first one to defend a Dem when he/she wastes a completely meaningless amount of money on something stupid, so I'm actually going to defend Bush here (let the record show!). Just because $250,000 is more money than you or I make in a year (or 5 years) doesn't mean it's a lot. A quarter million might as well be 10 bucks. No big deal.

BTW, it's gotten to the point where I don't even need to read the name. If I'm scratching my head by the end of the first line, I know it's a clavdivs comment. :-)
posted by jpoulos at 8:13 AM on September 6, 2001

Besides, even if he does criticize the Pres, I refuse to ever believe a word Matt Drudge writes.
posted by jpoulos at 8:14 AM on September 6, 2001

But it's so easy, jpoulos -- a political no-brainer!! Let voters see fireworks, win a few political brownie points! The WH could have easily informed the public, and we would have brought blankets and chairs to the Mall (away from the WH) and watched fireworks and been temporarily very happy with our goofy president.
posted by jennak at 8:20 AM on September 6, 2001

jpoulos: Maybe Drudge is wrong, but $250,000 is most definitely a lot of money for fireworks for a state dinner, by White House any other standards. Presidents have been slaughtered in the press, virtually, for much less than this. It's especially tactless when Bush keeps saying that times are harder for people because of the economy, blah blah. Also, this is Mr. Anti-Big Guv'ment himself.
posted by raysmj at 8:39 AM on September 6, 2001

If Washington, DC had voted for Bush in the last election, you can be damned sure we would've been invited to watch his stinking fireworks. This is his way of telling us what he thinks of us DC voters.
posted by ratbastard at 8:45 AM on September 6, 2001

I agree with the angry Freepers who think this is a lousy way to blow through a quarter-million. If you're going to spend tax money on fireworks for a party, invite the taxpayers to watch. Otherwise, show a little political savvy and demonstrate your lack of fiscal restraint in a less obvious way -- like butter sculptures.
posted by rcade at 9:18 AM on September 6, 2001

No word on the price, but the Washington Post has posted a story on the bothering-the-neighbors thing, as Poppy might have put it.
posted by raysmj at 9:18 AM on September 6, 2001

(Note that the thread on has now been pulled.)
posted by holgate at 9:31 AM on September 6, 2001

(Oops. It's still there: my anti-Freeper browser filters kicked in. Omelette-faced I.)
posted by holgate at 9:39 AM on September 6, 2001

People still read Drudge? Interesting.
posted by tsarfan at 9:42 AM on September 6, 2001

I don't understand. There are plenty of events the Prez has that general public isn't invited to. Perhaps I will run out to the mailbox to see if my "Meet that nice Mexican" invite has arrived.
posted by haqspan at 9:47 AM on September 6, 2001

Drudge is Dreck.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:53 AM on September 6, 2001

I just hope the fireworks weren't by way of explaining to his handpicked guests just what he means to achieve with his brand new toybox of nuclear geegaws.
"Now that Catherine wheel ovah deh...just y'all imagine its some russkie missile..."
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:57 AM on September 6, 2001

I don't agree with spending that much, but it could have turned into a mulit-million dollar extravaganza if the public would have known ahead of time. But look at it this way, Duh-bya just saved enough for a screw on his Alan Parsons Project.
posted by themikeb at 11:26 AM on September 6, 2001

Rude neighbors indeed. My coworker who lives nearly ten miles away in Virginia heard the fireworks.

And if I had known there were going to be fireworks on the mall on *my birthday*, damnit, I'd've been there.

But oh well---I won't be Geedubyah's buddy for three hundred bucks and I wouldn't be his buddy for birthday fireworks either.
posted by Sapphireblue at 1:12 PM on September 6, 2001

I wouldn't describe the FreeRepublic as "irate". While a few are criticizing the fireworks, Freepers' brand of tinfoil beanie insanity won't allow much criticism of Bush- or certainly not in the same breath without making twice as many shots, no matter how irrelevent, unfounded, or non sequitor, back at the Dems/Clintons. Some examples:

In DC on a Wednesday night, the little people are the crack users and other junkies, hookers, various other refugees from the criminal justice system, diplomats, interns (those not banging Democratic congressmen and Hillary), and other government hacks. No need to tell them anything since they don't pay taxes, they just suck down tax dollars.

I don't wanna hear it!! After Clinton spent how many millions sightseeing all over the darned world with everybody he was sucking up to in tow. You idiots make me furious. I don't have to remind you of what that Felon and Mrs. Carpetbagger took us all for.....fools and $$$$$$$$$$. State dinners are part of the gig. Shut up!!!

And so it continues from the font of wisdom that is As for the fireworks themselves, I don't much care, using the "pennywise/pound foolish" reasoning; while $250K for fireworks is a waste, it's hardly the biggest priority in Washington these days, which is finding out as much as we can about Gary Condit's kinky sex fetishes.
posted by hincandenza at 1:21 PM on September 6, 2001

the press would have throttled gdub for the cost if forwarned (though gdub could pled "guest-in-the-House" i can see the WH not telling anyone. Besides,all you D.C.ers seemed locked in yer offices (lucky brick-a-brac....)
posted by clavdivs at 7:00 AM on September 7, 2001

« Older Is Nader Right?   |   So that's how cricket is played! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments