We have a new President, and we have two new Hot Chicks of Washington. Dubya’s twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, have replaced The Gore Girls at the top of the Capital Cuties list.

One of them, Jenna, was dancing with Dad Dubya at an inaugural ball Saturday night when we almost had our first Bush Administration Scandalous Moment. You see, Jenna was wearing a strapless dress, and when The New Prez lifted his daughter’s arm to spin her around, she had to reach up and quickly grab the dress before her breast popped out!

Somewhere in Chappaqua, Bill Clinton’s radar took notice.

Why do we make such a fuss over the inauguration of our President? In effect, we’re celebrating that a man got a new job. Dubya’s inaugural cost $33,000,000, of which twelve million were public dollars — that’s your tax money and mine. Just so you know this is not a partisan complaint, the inaugural for new Missouri Governor Bob Holden cost over ten million dollars, of which a mil came out of the people’s wallets. What was the last time you got a new job and everyone threw a party for you –at public expense, no less?

The rest of the money, of course, comes from corporate contributions. You don’t suppose they might want something in return for their donations, do you?

Speaking of the corporate connection, there was a full-page ad in Friday’s USA Today that read (and this is verbatim — I haven’t made up a word): “Turn on light. Make America feel safe and secure. If only Presidents had it so easy. Mag-Lite is proud to contribute 40,000 commemorative flashlights to those attending the Inaugural celebration. Mag-Lite. The designated flashlight of the 2001 Presidential Inauguration.”

If they had to give away 40,000 flashlights, perhaps a better idea would have been to send them to California, where residents are dealing with rolling blackouts. They would put the Mag-Lites to a practical use.

“Mag-Lite, the designated flashlight of deregulated electric utilities on the brink of bankruptcy everywhere!”

That’s what we have come to. Commercial sponsorships of the Presidential inauguration, as if it’s the Olympics. Why not go all the way, and follow the lead of every stadium and sports arena in the country? Welcome to The ExxonMobil White House.

On the other hand, that would allow our elected officials to drop the pretense of calling it “The People’s House.” Yeah, sure it is. Try dropping by The White House sometime unannounced and walking right in. You’ll be about as welcome as John Ashcroft at a NARAL meeting.

And while we’re at it, let’s really sell out…
“Lincoln-Continental, the official bulletproof motorcade car of the Secret Service!”
“Waterproof gear for the dignitaries in the stands provided by the rainwear store, Pancho Villa!”
“The oath of office is brought to you by MegaMemory tapes, because you should be able to remember 35 simple words!”
“Strom Thurmond’s erection brought to you by Extra Strength Viagra!”
“Jesse Jackson’s out-of-wedlock child support checks provided by CitiBank!”

Now that I’ve dropped Jesse’s name, I see that some of his supporters are claiming that the release of the news of his love child is nothing more than dirty politics. They question the timing because Jesse was planning protests this weekend to coincide with Dubya’s inauguration. That implies that there would have been a better time for this embarrassing news to come out. It also assumes that there has ever been a time when Jesse wasn’t about to hold a protest about something.

I’m surprised he didn’t have a picket line going outside the headquarters of Trojan, blaming their failure for making her pregnant. But you do have to give him credit. When confronted with the story, he didn’t deny it and he didn’t cover it up. Instead, he changed the mission statement of Operation Push, so it’s no longer about civil rights. It’s now about La Maze classes.

Breathe, Jesse, breathe. And for goodness sake, stay out the Bushes.