Solyandra is a scandal. A Department of Energy program showering favored, politically-connected companies with hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars is the epitome of crony capitalism and the inherent corruption of big government.
The story on Drudge noting that the First Lady and Obama family members' recent African safari cost taxpayers a half million dollars (that's not including security costs) is probably not a scandal. Listing the first daughters as "senior staff" seems absurd, but I would imagine that Chelsea Clinton and the Bush girls also went on their share of taxpayer-financed getaways that blurred the lines between personal vacation and actual business for the First Family.
It's not a scandal, but it is another reminder of how out-of-touch the Administration is with the mood of the moment. Americans are fed up with the entitled elites in Washington who think that it's "fair" for everyone else to pay more so that business-as-usual, including above average pay for our so-called government "public servants" and all the political perks and junkets, can continue.
Both Charlotte and I wrote about the left's attempts to defend the $16 muffin. I think that's an argument we will win with the American people. Yes, like the Obama family's aggressive vacation schedule, it's a small drip in the yawning ocean that is the government's budget. Getting rid of the over-priced breakfasts and personal travel won't make a dent in our deficit. Reforming our entitlement programs is the only path to true financial health for this country.
Yet the muffins and the trips are a symbol of something bigger. Millions of Americans are out of work, or feeling financially insecure. They want the so-called leaders in Washington to get this. They don't want government wasting their money, regardless of whether the bureaucrat also got a comfy chair and a cup of coffee for the $16 breakfast. They want Washington to get serious.
All these little stories of waste and privilege confirm that Washington remains profoundly un-serious about fixing our nation's significant problems.