That train pulled out of Philly today, carrying The One in a symbolic gesture of recreating Lincoln’s inaugural. The final 4 days of festivities are upon us. Whew!!!!

With such tough economic times for everyone, I really am failing to understand the extravagances put forth. Not that I begrudge anyone a party or two or three, a nice Ball, a new gown for Mrs. Barry O. Those are things they worked for and earned during this excruciatingly long battle for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. It’s the overkill I have a problem with.

How do so many mark such a joyous occasion with the harsh realities of people freezing and starving to death throughout the US? How does one justify the hotel stays, rented rooms, and essentially tossing money in the wind for something that can be better viewed on television? The inconvenience of standing in the cold, especially if your are elderly or not in the best of health, the rules stating no strollers for children … isn’t this inauguration supposed to be for all of us? Or is this new 150+ million dollar party what the One’s change is really all about? The money spent on security alone could feed this country more than a few good meals.

The sheer rudeness and arrogance that Mr. & Mrs. Barry O showed by refusing to watch President Bush give his very short farewell address did not sit well with me.

You dare compare these crass people to the Kennedys? Wake up call, folks. Like them or not, the Kennedys had manners and were never afraid to use them. Camelot for the Obamas? Nope. They are both show folks. It’s going to be Ham-a-lot Central at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I am dreading the gown Mrs. Barry O will wear after her awful choices in attire this past year. I dread seeing their two very young daughters dressed as almost teens, or beauty queens, ala JonBenet, since that should not be our focus. There is always the chance a reputable designer has looked at Mrs. O and convinced her that some clothing looks better on her than others. For instance, tall women do not “wear” prissy/frilly, well. Women with bowed legs do not need to show them off. An elegant draped gown, in a deep jewel tone to minimize large hips, along with a flowing cape in a mildly contrasting color would be my choice. And gloves …. perhaps Mrs. O can bring back the wonder of the elegant gloved hand. The woman does have some good attributes, if used wisely. I don’t want folks picking on the First Lady’s choices when we have so many other real problems that need our immediate attention.

I hate the fact that liberals just can’t bring themselves to admit that Abe Lincoln was a Republican.

Now, back to this train trip, from the Washington Post.

“It is a celebration, so it should be a joyous and festive moment. But this is also a serious moment for the country, so we’re constantly going to be trying to communicate both those elements,” said Jim Margolis, a consultant who produced Obama’s campaign ads and is helping to oversee the inaugural planning.

The whole thing just bothers me … it’s not much ado about nothing, this is something, and something big … but couldn’t we have found a better use for some of this party money, i.e , donating to homeless shelters, home heating funds, food banks?