Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Simply Tasteless

The Moose is deeply concerned about the oral hygiene of the Inaugural celebrants.

The Moose has ranted over the past few weeks that lavish inaugural festivities are entirely inappropriate while the nation is at war. Another reason for canceling the partying has come to the Moose's attention - tooth decay.

You see, the four-star hotels in Washington are plotting to undermine the dental health of some of America's most prominent citizens. From the Washington Post's Metro Section,

"Ten high-level company executives hunkered in a subterranean meeting room one recent afternoon, a flip chart at hand and objects of the discussion laid out on the glossy finish of the oval conference table. Their focus on details in this critical campaign session evoked the celebrated attention of Karl Rove.

"Key agenda items: white chocolate cowboy boots, yellow roses, and red, white and blue cocktails with a special "handmade" Texas vodka. The hats the staff would wear. In every room, a half-filled vase of water so guests would have somewhere to place their yellow roses without having to think about it.

"While most people were focusing on the holidays, planners like those for the Ritz-Carlton were preparing for something that comes only once every four years. The presidential inauguration is a massive challenge -- and opportunity. With top Republican donors coming to town and the Republican National Committee reserving a block of rooms, the Ritz-Carlton tastemakers were charting their campaign to make the most of it at both of their hotels in the city."

Note the focus of these four-star planners on the chocolate delicacies,

"Was Joseph Mattioli, director of food and beverage, sure his staff could slip into each room on successive nights to place the 300 white chocolate cowboy boots, then the 300 chocolate elephants, then the 300 boxes of chocolate-covered almonds and finally the 300 chocolate deluxe presidential seals each night while guests were out to dinner, Westbrook asked. "

At this point, Mooseketeers may be asking themselves why the Moose has this fixation on the potential threat to the dental hygiene of Inaugural party-goers? Here is another story in today's business section of the New York Times that may explain,

"Among the nation's reservists, a common reason for not being sent to Iraq has been poor teeth. The military offers dental insurance to reservists and members of the National Guard, but for those who opt for it, the benefit of $1,200 a year does not cover many procedures and still requires reservists to pay as much as half the cost of the care.

"Roughly a quarter of reservists in seven early-deploying Army units had dental problems that could require emergency attention within the next year, according to an analysis done last year by the Government Accountability Office. Similar problems surfaced in the first gulf war.

"During the current Iraq war, some reservists and Guard members chose to have their teeth pulled so that they could be deployed, said Maj. Gen. Robert A. McIntosh, retired, the executive director for the Reserve Officers Association of the United States, in testimony before Congress in February.

"Although promised restorative dental work, their reward for their loyalty and patriotism will be dentures," he said."

The Moose can only conclude from these two stories that we are a nation with skewed priorities. We are about to spend millions on a garish public celebration while our soldiers can't afford basic health care. So they can go into harms way, our troops are having their teeth pulled because they can't pay for more costly procedures, while patriots waste thousands on sinful treats as they proclaim their fealty to our dear leader.


-- Posted at 10:16 AM | Link to this post | Email this post