Still No Money in the Budget for White House Tours

but there’s apparently plenty of money to send First Dog Bo on a private flight to join the President on Martha’s Vineyard.

UPDATE: Okay, I read too much into the story. It doesn’t say that Bo arrived by himself, just that he arrived “separately” on an Osprey that has never before been used for a presidential trip. So maybe Bo arrived with secret service and/or baggage. So mea culpa on that. But the entire Martha’s Vineyard trip, including the seventy secret service agents staying in hotel rooms costing a total of over $20K a night, Bo, and the two mesh bags filled with the President’s personal basketballs, doesn’t quite seem quite consistent with the message of devastating austerity brought on by the sequester. It makes the White House tour cancellation, in particular, seem like a classic example of the Washington Monument Syndrome.

FURTHER UPDATE: It’s worth noting that canceling the White House tours was supposed to be something of a “twofer” for the White House. Not only was it supposed to spark public outrage over the sequester from disappointed tourists, it was meant to put pressure on Congress. In one of those petty examples of corruption that Congress is infamous for, for no reason other than to make people feel grateful to incumbent Congressmen one can only get tickets to the White House tour from your Representative. No tours, no free political capital from giving tickets to one’s constituents. What surprises me is that even though the strategy failed miserably, the White House not only hasn’t quietly (or otherwise) reopened the tours, it doesn’t even seem to care to pretend that the ostensible rationale for the closure, devastating cuts to the White House budget, was real.

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