The luxurious vacations, endless golf games and shopping trips, etc., etc. We no longer have an office of President, but one increasingly resembling the Court of Louis XIV or some other monarch, complete with buying wealth and favor through close connections with the royal court.
This is summed up, in a nutshell, by the latest revelation that the White House has 54 Christmas Trees. From Investors Business Daily:
Amazing how a reelection can reshape an incumbent's thinking about many things. Now safely ensconced in the White House for 49 more months, the Obamas have decorated the place with 54 Christmas trees this year.
Even allowing for the usual Washington excesses with taxpayer money, that's a whole grove of Christmas trees.
"We have 54 trees in the White House," an excited Michelle Obama proudly told visitors the other day. "54! That’s a lot of trees."
In fact, the Obamas' 54 trees this year are almost 50% more Christmas trees than last year. That was during the campaign before Obama whispered a reminder to the Russians that he had to be careful until Nov. 6, when a victory would give him more "flexibility."