Do the Right Thing – Cancel Inauguration Parties

First, let me get my politics on the table. I’m an independent. I try to look at every issue with an open mind.I don’t have a favorite politician. I don’t donate money to politicians. I think any cause is better than getting a politician re-elected. I try to stay abovepolitics and look only at the issues.

And there are plenty of issues.

As a country we face huge budget deficits. We face a declining currency. We haveservice peopledying. We face responsibilities to help those suffering from the ongoing consequences and devastation from the Tsunamis. Then of course there are our obligations to our own citizens.

Responsibility. As a country we have taken on the responsibility of helping our own, and others around the world. That’s not a bad role. It’s a good role. They are among themany reasons I am proud to be an American.

What concerns me is that our politicians don’t understand that with accepting responsibility for providing financial support for ourselves and others comes the responsibility to pay the bills. As someone who has had more than onecredit card confiscasted and scissored, I understand that its a lot more fun to look like a big shot charging up debt to pay for good deeds, then it is to write the check when the bills are due.

I am all for helping in every single opportunity where it is required. I just want to knowthat our polticians understand that it has to be paid for, andknow how we are going to pay for it.

It would make perfect sense if we, as Americans, would contact our politicians and let them know how we want to pay for obligations. How nice would it be for a community to stand up and say… We don’t need the 100k for a Punxsutawney Phil Museum. We don’t need 25k for the study of Mariachi Music. We don’t need 3mm dollars to help fisherman sell seafood in Alaska.Or any of thousands of otherlow on the priority list items that have been funded with taxpayer dollars. Instead, lets use that money to help the Tsunami victims. Or put that in a fund for the next disaster that is sure to occur.

Of course that’s not going to happen. It’s the culture that we have. We are giving it out, so get yours while you can. Let everyone else figure out how its going to be paid for.

It’s a tradition that can only be changed from the top.

It’s up toPresident Bush to set an example.

How about it Mr. President? Can you take the first step?I can help you figure out where to start.

Start by cancelling your inauguration parties and festivities.

Could there be anything more confusing and shocking than to read that our country was offering $35mm in aid to the areas affected by the Tsunamis, but that the cost of inauguration parties would be about $40mm?

Does anyone else think that this is wrong?

I realize that the cost for the inauguration is being picked up by corporate sponsors and people purchasing outrageously priced tickets. The question is why.

Why are all these corporations and people spending all that money? Hey I love a good party, but there ain’t no party like a $10,000 per ticketparty.It’s a 10k dollar ass kissing.As an accountant, fund raiser when asked about the high prices to attend the Inaugural events told theNYTimes, “its the cost of playing the game”.

Mr President, its time to change the game.

In your re-election campaign, youtalked a lot about leadership.Your ability to lead in times like these. Your ability to set an example.Mr President, it’s time to show that leadership. It’s time to set an example.

Cancel all but the most basicinauguration requirements.

Itshould be the easiest decision of your 2nd term.

You, Laura and the girls can still have family over and appreciate your blessings. I’m sure people who want to get out and have a good time, will still find a way to have fun. But that 40mm dollars can go a long way. Instead of shaking hands all night and being driven from party to party, send them a thank you card letting them know that the corporate and individual donations that had been earmarked for fun, was now going tohelp more people than they could ever imagine. Without the hangovers.

The impact of cancelling thefrills would be staggering. You would immediately send the message that you as President and we as a country, really do know how to prioritize. That we will start accepting financial responsibility.

It would be hard for other politicians to not follow your lead.You could ask them todo the right thing and give up something they can do without, so that there are dollars available for those who really need them.

Leadership starts at the top. Culture change can start with some things that really are easy to do.

And 40mm dollars going to help those really in need can have a huge impact.

Do the right thing. Send the right message. Lead by example Mr President.

254 thoughts on “Do the Right Thing – Cancel Inauguration Parties

  1. Pingback: Public Works, The Inauguration and the Next BailOut Scandal

  2. Why do bushbots take the slightest criticism of the boy king like it was a personal insult aimed at their mommas? There’s something not quite right with these bushbots. Some might call them insane.

    Comment by robert -

  3. The inauguration should be cancelled for a different reason. Bush once again rigged an election. Evidence is mounting, investigation underway, and lawsuits being filed. Our votes no longer count. The election was a waste of time. Here’s a link that tells all about the fraud.
    http://www.jqjacobs.net/bush/

    Comment by Lex Hartman -

  4. I whole-heartedly agree Mark. At one time I actually considered voting for Bush. However, as I began to look at those who support him I realized that I didn’t want any part of that fucking karma. His supporters seem to be nothing but knee-jerkin’ mouth breathin’ nasty ass fascists. What are these bushbots so damn afraid of? They can’t handle the slightest criticism. Their always beating their fascist chests about how ‘powerful’ they are, etc…but it all seems like a cheap facade to me – they are as insecure as hell. They know the boy monster only won because of his fucked up war. They know it’s going start falling apart like a cheap suit anytime now. They know it in their black little hearts and drives them insane. I can’t wait to hear them squealing like stuck pigs. Bring it on!

    Comment by robert -

  5. apoplectic… lol…

    Maybe the US prez should ask the financiers of his ball to donate the money to expedite the task of properly outfitting military trucks for his war… ummmm…. maybe BEFORE he ships them overseas? Hey, maybe he could train and employ some folks to do the work? HEY, maybe he could train and employ folks to help with humanitarian aid and build houses and help people rebuild their lives… and duh you guys …one night of catering and securing a shindig does not boost the economy but increasing or creating military equipment may boost the economy… I mean, hell you guys like war… the proper equipment may save some lives and a lot of grief at home for a lifetime… it ain’t just the money, it’s people’s lives, international diplomacy, LEADERSHIP in more than just a monetary sense… afterall it’s a dollar amount as a share of US total income that’s the lowest of all major countries… anyway… cancelling the Mavs season would hurt pocketbooks you silly kids… ask someone who works the NHL games or someone who has to supplement their income seasonally.

    Comment by Carrie -

  6. Right on Mr. Cuban. Thank you for using your position to display some real common sense and apparantly a necessary lesson on leadership for an administration and a president who should know better.

    Makes me wonder if we shouldn’t consider manditory empathy and etiquette “charm” classes for the uncharming who happen to fall into the presidency.

    The money is one thing — albeit mostly obscene and distasteful displays of over consumption for sure — but in addition to donating it instead to the tsunami victims, how about getting the soldiers outfitted with needed equipment to keep them safer???

    In the end, though, I agree with one blogger above: this is no time for a party. I wish (sigh) our fearless leader would get his priorities in order. Maybe if he lifted the ban on “no bad news” some truth would filter into his lalaland???

    Comment by Cynthia Wicks -

  7. Right on Mr. Cuban. Thank you for using your position to display some real common sense and apparantly a necessary lesson on leadership for an administration and a president who should know better.

    Makes me wonder if we shouldn’t consider manditory empathy and etiquette “charm” classes for the uncharming who happen to fall into the presidency.

    The money is one thing — albeit mostly obscene and distasteful displays of over consumption for sure — but in addition to donating it instead to the tsunami victims, how about getting the soldiers outfitted with needed equipment to keep them safer???

    In the end, though, I agree with one blogger above: this is no time for a party. I wish (sigh) our fearless leader would get his priorities in order. Maybe if he lifted the ban on “no bad news” some truth would filter into his lalaland???

    Comment by Cynthia Wicks -

  8. Possibly 2-3,000 Americans died in the tsunami. Was not one a Republican? Or is the loss of American lives, as usual, no biggie to Bush.

    P.S. Was heartened to read that the inauguration is the Bush Jobs Program. I didn’t think he had any.

    Comment by aquart -

  9. Oh and by the way, every one of the bush supporters in this thread would be high-fiving you if it were Kerry’s inauguration and you were asking the same thing. In fact, they’d be screaming and yelling all over the place for him to cancel the big parties and balls. But someone suggests it for bush and they go all apoplectic. Funny.

    Comment by Kathy in Texas -

  10. George missed his moment. He missed it for himself and for the nation. THEN, to pull a piddling $10,000 out of the pocket of his $5,000 suit? The first impulse makes the impression. George’s first impulse is ALWAYS cheesy and always wrong.

    We used to be the superpower. Then along came George.

    Comment by aquart -

  11. Mr. Cuban,
    First, I want to urge you (though I am sure you are already) to ignore the rantings of the more rabid bush supporters. They are experiencing a lot of cognitive dissonance nowdays, and that’s quite painful. Notice how incredibly upset they are about some catering jobs but don’t give a crap about all the jobs we have LOST in the last four years under bush? Interesting, isn’t it?

    That being said, if bush were REALLY smart, he would do EXACTLY as you said. He would make a huge public statement about it, he’d make a great big deal out of it, lots of press, emphasize that he knows the people who were coming are going to be disappointed but that he hopes they understand. He could even look like he actually thinks about the little guy by mentioning that all the caterers and temp people will be paid in full BY HIM (maybe that MIGHT make up for the $240,000 he paid that journalist in taxpayer money to forward propaganda about No Child Left Behind).

    He comes off looking like a complete good guy, America shocks the world by forgoing the extravagant parties he had planned, and the tsunami relief effort gets THAT much more of a boost.

    And while he’s at it, he can mention that he’s decided the $350 million shouldn’t be a LOAN after all, but a gift, as other countries are doing.

    His approval rating might even get up out of 40s.

    But he’ll never do it. Not in a million years. His kind of supporters, his kind of crowd DEMAND this kind of showy extravagance. And heck, he demands it.

    So a chance at garnering some MAJOR political goodwill AND truly helping others down the tubes.

    Par for the course, I’d say.

    Good for you, Mr. Cuban, for saying what needed to be said. I’d be embarrassed to put on a $2000 gown, $500 shoes, and pay $2K for tickets to a dinner and dance when that kind of large-scale horror and misery is going on in Asia.

    Comment by Kathy in Texas -

  12. I think as an Independent you should stay out of politics. You say you do not support them with any monies, then by the same token you should not try to dictate to those that do, what to do with their money. Those that gave for the ceremony may not want you telling them that they should redirect it for the tsunami funds. That would be like telling you to send the money you have earmarked for the disaster to the political campaign next election cycle. I really thought you were smarter than this. Good luck in this endeavor. I will now have to question most of what you say in the future.

    Comment by Kim -

  13. Yes, Mr. Bush, Please show the world that you have some decency by chosing a less expensive way to celebrate how much money you are able to raise. Please give the money to a much needed cause. Why do you take injured military personnel off active duty payroll?

    Comment by Paula in Texas -

  14. Mark, I agree 100%. The “Leader of the Free World” should set an example. Scaling back would be the appropriate thing at this time. Pomp and Circumstance and waste of money would not. Yes, people can do with their money as they please. The “Leader of the Free World” is not just a person.

    There are a lot of soldiers who will NOT be dancing at the ball, as touching as that statement is. I wonder where they’re getting those soldiers from, as a high percentage are risking their lives right now in foreign countries, in wars begun by this president. A lot more will be unable to attend because they have lost their lives in the same wars. It is an insult to those soldiers in my opinion, first, to use soldiers as a reason for an outrageously expensive party, secondly, to not scale it down, as there are far better things to spend that money on. If not helping other countries, let’s equip our soldiers with that money.

    Comment by Laura -

  15. There is a huge different between the NBA season and the inaugural celebrations. We’re talking about asking our President, the leader of our nation, to make a sacrifice in a time when others are in need. That’s not the same as asking everyone in American to do without every frivolous expense; he is our President, and should set an example. I for one think it’s obscene to have an inaugural theme that highlights the military in the midst of the war in Iraq, and I think donating the mnoney to a good cause like Tsunami relief is the way to go.

    Comment by Alexander Wolfe -

  16. One of the reasons that we put our trust in and vote for a President in America is so that during times when there are important decisions to be made, such as determining the best ways to help disaster victims, he can represent us in a proud manner. I suggest that we let the President do his job. He doesn’t need everyone’s 2 cents.

    Comment by Julie -

  17. #76 by Thought is perfect.

    Why is it your business, Cuban, what the president does for his inauguration? That has nothing to do with the relief effort for those victims. Our president is an outstanding and caring individual who gave some of his own money for the victims and was proud enough to let us know that…leading by example. You want to keep a secret what you give, so it must not be much by comparison. Sore loser! How much did Mr. Teresa Heinz/Kerry give? I haven’t heard. Sounds like you need to keep your nose wherever it was before I heard about you for the first time today. By the way, do you think you are SOMEBODY?

    Comment by debbie -

  18. What are you talking about?? How much money have you spent for an airplane to fly your spoiled children (NBA Players) around the country??? I don’t care what your political affiliation is- why would anyone? You have a boatload of nerve to make such a ridiculous comment? It is a terrible event for sure- people say the US has given only 35 mill. multiply that by 10 and THEN you can consider the 6-8 million A DAY we are spending getting the relief to the people that need. That is not counting in the 350 mil. how much has bin laden given to the relief- who knows, he may have given more than you. you remind me too much of Bono- get a real job and then you can tell yourself how to spend your money.

    Comment by Ken -

  19. Independent? Who are you fooling, Mark? You’re a demoncrat in sheep’s clothing. Just like the nuts in Hollyweird who are ranting about the injustices served out by Bush, you too have an agenda.

    Comment by Erin -

  20. I hope you don’t succeed in this effort to hinder the inauguration activities. Our son returned from a year in Iraq and has just learned he is one of the soldiers picked to meet President Bush and attend the ceremony. Of course, his family is hoping a wealthy, basketball team owner (who talks just like a liberal) doesn’t rob him of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “You people” never miss a chance to get even. Why can’t you just accept defeat, and stop politicizing every single thing that happens? Your antics are really becoming ridiculous. I agree with Pat Justice–well put, Pat. Vicki

    Comment by Vicki Tidwell -

  21. You do a lot good for deserving folks but this idea is WACKY!

    Comment by Jim Tays -

  22. How much did you donate Mark? If you are so worried about that $40 million being wasted, why don’t you make up the difference?

    What about all the hotels with bookings, catering companies that have already spent money on getting ready for this? What about all the small businesses who will benefit from this?
    Where do you think the $40 million is going? It’s going to AMERICAN business.

    Our Government doesn’t need to be sending so much out to this disaster. The wealth and goodness of the American people seem to take care of that, and they have. We have be FAR donated the most money, with private donations at over a BILLION dollars.

    I also think our Government have given enough money to the UN to waste already. The charities that have collected the private donations will make much better use than the $350 million that the UN has got from us.

    Comment by Irish John -

  23. Hey Mark,
    Why not show some leadership in the sports world and cancel all the remaining Mavericks games for the season? After all, it’s only a ‘game’….much like a party….and should we really be playing games right now when so many people in the world are suffering? Perhaps your lead would spread to football and the SuperBowl would get cancelled as well. How can you or anyone else consider “playing games” and having fun at this point in time?
    Also Mark….sorry, but I’m not buying the “independent” crapola. Unless you tell me that you also called on former Pres. Clinton to cancel his 2nd Inauguration parties because people were dying in acts of genocide in Rwanda and other places at the time. I’d sure like to know if you did that or not.

    Comment by Pat Justice -

  24. Bottom Line: It’s Bush’s second term. We already know he’s the President. Do people have to celebrate this fact with such extravagance?

    Stop the self-righteous rantings about contributions, corporations, millionaires, billionaires, pro sports, etc. and hold the President accountable for setting an example of restraint – and decorum – to the nation.

    I don’t care who organizes these things or who attends. All should be ashamed, from the party planner who offers a $1000/plate dinner to the cheapskate who buys a $125 ticket to some lame sideshow so he can feel important.

    Do you think we’ll hold such excessive parties for the inauguration of the future leader of Iraq? Someone who would really deserve to be congratulated?

    No matter what your political affiliation it just makes sense to tone down the celebration of swearing Bush into his second term in public office. Thanks for the idea, Mark!

    Comment by Indie -

  25. Mark –

    Take all your profit from one game, not including players amortized contracts, and donate it to the relief effort.

    I thought is was cool to see that come players were donating $1,000 a point to the relief effort. Most were the highest paid players including Kobe. Frankly, I can stand Kobe, but why were no Mavs on the list?

    Comment by Kato -

  26. I agree with Mark Cuban as a country we should be ashamed for our president to spend that kind of money with people sleeping on the streets right outside the White House. We have so many bigger issues and problems in this country. I mean forget about sending it overseas, I feel sorry for those people, but they are getting help from everywhere. Why not do something constructive with that money like feed and clothe the orphaned and abandoned children right here. It is completely frivolous and stupid for anybody in a public office to spend taxpayers money in that manner or even the corporations that support it. Our president should decline the support and ask them to give to the charity of their choice. Bush only received half the votes in order to be president what is he celebrating for? Doesn’t Bush get it only half of the USA wants him there. WHAT A WASTE….

    Comment by Lisa -

  27. Excuse me, but I’m sure you know by now that the United States leads in tsunami relief by a “country mile’. Our aircraft carriers and other ships are over there distilling drinking water, helicoptering tons of supplies, tending to the sick & wounded and performing other missions; our Marines, Airmen, Soldiers and Sailors are on the ground, providing assistance and security; the United Nations, International Red Cross, CARE, World Bank & International Monetary Fund (all substantially funded by the U.S.)are contributing billions of dollars to disaster relief. The United States government, as Mr. Cuban surely knows, but chose to gloss over, can only earmark a certain amount without congressional approval, that is why the $35 million figure was announced early-on, it was the limit that President Bush could legally obligate without Congress’ say-so. Now, billions will be forthcoming, as well as many more billions from private Americans and U.S. corporations. Apples and oranges, Mark! You say you are Independent, but you sound like a disgruntled Democrat to me. Kerry lost! Get over it, or move to Canada!

    Comment by Bill -

  28. Hey Mark, why arn’t you asking the NBA to cancel the basketball season son all othe money that would be saved could be sent to help these people. The inaugural parties last only a week, that baskeball season lasts for months. How can we play games while so many people are hurting?

    Comment by Lary Street -

  29. Mark, I’m amazed at how many people missed your point completely.

    First off, you clearly demonstrated that you understood where the money for the party was coming from, so all of the knee-jerk reactionists screaming about this point simply didn’t read the entire messsage.

    Moreover, the source of funds for the inaugural party is irrelevant to the issue. What is relevant is that 40M is being spent on a completely unnecessary PARTY at a time when there are more important things on which the money could be spent. Even if the president can’t get the corporations to redirect the funds, he doesn’t have to flaunt the country’s wealth at a time like this. The president should be setting an example. If he were a thoughtful or honorable person, he would not have to be asked to do this, he would have thought of it on his own. I know that’s expecting a lot.

    The fact that corporations are allowed to influence (buy into) our political system by picking up the check for events like this should raise about 290 million eybrows to begin with. I know…this is nothing new…

    Furthermore, spending big bucks on a frivilous event like this is just one more slap in the face to poverty stricken and needy people inside and outside the U.S. Our country is demonstrating that it’s priorities are way off. It’s just one more way we continue to flip the bird at rest of the world.

    Karma’s a bitch baby. If you don’t think this kind of crap will come back to haunt us, you don’t pay much attention to history.

    Nice point Mark. I completely agree.

    Comment by Jeff -

  30. Professinal sports may not be so important but the point is that Mark Cuban isnt the President of the United States. The so called leader of our country. Shouldnt President Bush and the government be the ones more obligated to help the relief efforts more than Mark Cuban? and how does 4 countries donate more than the United States. We call ourselves the greatest nation yet look at us now. If this happened on our soil I guarantee you things would be much different. Practice what you preach people!

    Comment by Andy -

  31. Agree. Scale back the Inaug. to what Franklin Roosevelt did in 1945 and human suffering was with us in an extreme proportion from many sources, especially war.

    Comment by Doug and Jane Anthony -

  32. Right on! Inauguration is suppossed to be about formally swearing the oath of office not perpetrating the imperial presidency the office has been. Are the costs really “private” contributions? How many of these contributors are on the receiving end of over priced gvt contracts, federal grants, subidized loans, etc. So sorry but the public really is paying for it, one way or another. Personally, I’d rather donate a couple bucks to help out the unfortunate.

    Comment by Vince Iori -

  33. Are you kidding me! There is nothing under the sun so useless as professional sports. Has anyone really missed hockey? Would anyone really miss the Cowboys, Mavericks, or Rangers? If so, not for long. And now we have the Mavericks owner who pays these “athletes” outrageous salaries when they would perform for $ 50.00 per game AND would be overpaid at that. Mark, count your financial blessings and shut up. This just proves that you do not have to be smart to be rich!

    Comment by Jon Moore -

  34. The problem is that no matter what you do you can’t please everybody.With that being said your wrong Mark. We give out money to everbody but our own people, everybody hates except when they want money. Who helps us? These people will end up hating us saying we didn’t do enough to help no matter what. Let the U.N. along with the French pay with the 4 billion they stoled from Iraq.

    Comment by RYan -

  35. Please God, please tell me that Mark Cuban knows that almost ALL of the Inagural celebrations (except for the Inauguration and following speech itself) are funded with private donations. Therefore the plea, “Please Mr. President”, is misguided and un-neccessary, since you are asking the President to CANCEL parties that he did not plan or fund. That PLEA should be directed to the party organizers. But of course, you knew that already, didn’t you?

    Comment by David Cowling -

  36. Is anyone remembering that the inaguration party is funded by corporate donations? Do we all honestly think that those corporations are going to donate that money when they find out it is going to tsunami relief? Great idea in principle, but it would never work in practice.

    Comment by Todd -

  37. Mark, I could not agree more with your personal invitation to the president to be a leader about taking a stand on spending money for the sake of spending money. Watching the movie DAVE should be a requirement for any politician. They have a part that goes over stupid budget line items that offer no value what so ever and prove that an average person can recognize this and save the country money or reallocate funds. The president should be f’n grateful that he was lucky enough to have the mayor of Flipperville on the other side of the court cuz that is the only reason he got re-elected.. on his sheer confidence alone.. regardless if he is right or wrong.. at least he takes a stand and sticks to it. Maybe he should take a stand now and be what a true leader is all about.

    Comment by j! -

  38. While I agree with some of the people who have posted that it’s an individual’s money, and if they want to spend the money for a ticket, so be it. But I think what’s at issue, here, is leadership and image.

    There’s no doubt that Bush has made it on image. The images of “compassion” and “faith”.

    Just imagine how much that image would have been bolstered if he stood up and said, “You know, as much fun as this shindig’s gonna be, over 120,000 people are dead. We’re going for a much more subdued inauguration party, and I encourage my backers and even those who don’t have my back to band together and do what we can to assist those in need in South Asia.” Imagine if he took a few moments to hop on TV and encourage every American to pitch in and help–to show the world how compassionate we are.

    Instead, he initially offered 15 million, then 35 million when called out. That 35 million was coming from a fund already allocated for this kind of relief; it’s not like we dug deep into our pockets to help. The inauguration bash is estimated to cost 40 million, and we spend 35 million in under 10 hours in Iraq.

    This doesn’t send a very positive message about the compassion and faith of our leadership…

    Comment by Christopher Gronlund -

  39. The American Red Cross yesterday received $10 million in cash and pledges — raising its total tsunami relief aid to $28 million.

    Money for the emergency relief effort in South Asia is coming in as quickly as generous donors can write checks — with some estimating the amount has topped $1 billion.

    The Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services had to shut down its Web site for 36 hours because it couldn’t cope with the overwhelming volume of online donor hits. Its site is up and running again, with an outsider vendor handling the overflow calls.

    Amazon.com has even amazed itself. It’s collected $4.8 million since Monday, and it looks like it will soon surpass the $6.8 million raised after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    Save the Children reports that it’s getting 1,000 calls a day from donors — five times the usual volume. And its Web site has pulled in $2.5 million — half the $5 million it’s raised so far.

    Of that $5 million, $713.50 came from the piggy banks of a couple of generous siblings who donated their savings and Christmas cash gifts to the relief effort.

    Another $750,000 came from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which yesterday pledged a total of $3 million to South Asia disaster aid.

    http://www.nypost.com/news/worldnews/37441.htm

    The money is being sent. By the government and by the private sector. The inauguration has nothing to do with it and if it were cancelled would mean nothing to these people. I’ll agree with the part of your post where you say government spending should be cleaned up, but you kind of blow your own argument out of the water by saying that the party is being paid for completly by private entities.

    Comment by Drew -

  40. That “candlelight crap” has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with respect and thoughts of those who are hurting… a gesture from those who can AND can’t afford to give bucks. That you choose to call me an idiot speaks volumes… roflmao.

    Comment by Carrie -

  41. I agree, Mark. Let’s cancel the inauguration festivities and send the $$$ to South Asia instead. GW’s re-election is NO reason to celebrate, anyway!

    -Queen of Sky

    P.S. I made my own humble donation to the Red Cross, even though I am a poor unemployed blogging flight attendant (http://queenofsky.journalspace.com/).

    Comment by Queen of Sky -

  42. Mark,
    I totally agree that would send a big message!! Now on that note, can you talk the talk and walk the walk? I only make $50,000. a year and donated $1000. Can you match that in %? If your the person I think you are,you can!!
    P.S. Remember where you came from.

    Comment by Mike Peterson -

  43. I’ll just respond to a few posts that seem like they were written by idiots. First, people that say the money is private and can be done with what the spender pleases: you’re missing the point–the suggestion is that rich poeple give a g apiece which is nothing to them and there ya go. whoever said we need a massive candlelight ceremony or whatever–are you f-ing kidding me? it was that kind of sentiment that did so very little after 9/11… leave candlelight crap to countries that can’t afford to help financially. whoever said anything about mark’s spending on the mavs eat a d***–mark gives money to charity and aid–and the money he pays his players gets given out by them (the players) by the millions and the big-time taxes they pay on their money goes to foreign aid as well. We’re talking about basketball, something that is damned close to being the nation’s pastime, not frigging worthless inauguration parties that benefit no one. It’s a P-A-R-T-Y. 35 million could change a lot of peoples’ lives forever rather than pumping booze into poli’s stomachs for one night. He’s just pointing out how g**damned rediculous it is to spend millions upon millions of dollars for a PARTY! about the only person that said anything true was the guy that said the U.S. in bankrupt. We are. Ther are third world countries that are technically in better financial shape than we are because they don’t have debt coming out of there ears. I’m tired of writing about this–over one hundred thousand people are dead. America expected the whole world to weep for us when we lost a very small fraction of that. Boo Hoo

    Comment by Eric M. -

  44. Mark,

    If the Mavs win the NBA championship this year, will forgoe the victory parades and rally’s and donate all the funds that would have gone to such celebrations to the tsunami victims, or other disaster relief efforts.

    I should watch what I type, knowing you, you would.

    Comment by Jeff Geiger -

  45. Sign the petition to demand a revote in Ohio and Florida

    http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/Revote

    Sign the petition to stop social security privatization, increase the minimum wage,and repeal the faulty Republican prescription drug benefit and replace it with a simple 80 percent coverage of medication under Medicare Part B.

    http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/progressive

    Comment by maximus -

  46. Mark,
    I enjoyed hearing your perspective on this. There is tremendous room for improvement in our government starting with the top.
    thanks,
    Mary

    Comment by Mary Winser -

  47. When you’re not yelling at referees, you make alot of sense. Nice Job, and Happy New Year.

    Comment by Michael Zambotti -

  48. I read most of the comments above and agreed with some of their sentiments. I agree that countries shouldn’t go in debt to provide funds rather provide relief efforts. The amount of the contribution shouldn’t be a factor, it’s more the thought that counts. Though, cancelling the inauguration party might be extreme. I think a better way to reduce debt is to reduce the extraneous items (ie arts & entertainment) and minutely reduce the relevant items for the long run.

    And I disagree with Karl, natural disasters happee and are inevitable but no one earns tragedy in that sense despite how karma works. Saying so is very insensitive to the victims that were already in dire situations prior to the event.

    Comment by Parscel -

  49. “From each according to ability, to each according to need.”

    I couldn’t disagree more with your collectivist mentality. I don’t think our government should give a single penny of aid. The aid should come from private individuals like yourself that have a conscious. Not because it’s the right thing to do, to help the needy, but because of the individual’s character.

    However, using your own logic will show that you are a hypocrite. You approached this from a collectivist mentality, but your actions assume that you approach life from an individualist mentality. For example, take your reality tv show. You gave the winner 1 million dollars simply because she could pass your tests for success. No one gives gives someone else one million dollars for the hell of it. You gave her the money for one reason, to promote yourself (which, I agree with, but this is using your logic). Using your own logic, spending money that way is worthless. If you rank the museum, the fishermen, the music, and giving someone 1 million dollars for the hell of it, would rank last. Using your own logic, wouldn’t it be better to save that money for a disaster that might happen some day, rather than paying for someone to impress you, and then giving them 1 million dollars?

    There is no better example of a hypocrite than a liberal millionaire, let alone a billionaire.

    If you haven’t already I suggest you pick up a copy of Atlas Shrugged.

    Comment by John -

  50. BEST BLOG EVER! THANK YOU MARK! What a waste of valuable money that could go elsewhere and have an impact on the unfortunate Tsunami victims. I AM IN AGREEMENT WITH CUBES ON THIS 1000000000%. BEST BLOG EVERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!! AND I URGE ALL OF US TO DONATE to any organzition possible. It’s not how much you give, it’s if you give. If we all give what we can we will make a difference! And we need to! Between wars and natural disasters there has been enough loss of innocent life this year around the world.

    Comment by Omar S. -

  51. When you look at it this hole story its funny , first of all The US is bankrupt , this means you owe other country and money lender more money then what your country can pay. This is going to byte you real hard eventually.

    when the Florida tornado happened there whas no money to be sent to the people of Florida.

    Suddenly out of nowhere you suddenly discover 350 + million you forgot you add ? I guess the stealing of Irakis oil and the kickback bonus from haliburton just came in right ?

    Or , whats worst the current Leader of the US ( I am not going to call him president , too much respect for its predecesor even do he is not even the leader of my country ) diverted Fund from another account to pay for this 350 million , wich one , you will eventually find out, and its gonna hurt.

    But really do you really care that your country is sending your money for other will asking you to footh the bill ? absolutely not you have been paying 5 billion to Israël every year since there creation , its a gift and you pay 3 billion to there neighbors so that they dont attack them. That money would come handy to help Etats-Unians … So dont go ranting about a 40 million party it kind of an hypocrisy.

    Thats you governement part , the other part is your chief of enterprise attending those celebration.

    Do you really think that they are paying those ticket with there own money ? No they are taking this money right out of the profit of there company , wich mean that some shareholder are beeing screwed out of there owed income.

    You whant to do something about it ? well get the list of people who are going and get a thousand share in all the company they run and sue them for diverting fund. Send the clear message that its the shareholder that own the company not the CEO and CFO they are just employee.

    Frankly this smell big time fraud like the marshall plan , where going to give you 35 billion ! oh yes on second tought where going to give you 30 billion ! , no really whe mean to send you money where going to send you 25 billion its been aproved by congress ! at last count only 13 billion where accounted for ! you lost 12 in the titanic ? and out of those 13 billion only 5 where actually paid for real help.

    and think about this : when you have no electricity , no food , no house , and your getting sick , do you realy think that 350 million pledge by some guy who is known to make bad check is going to make you feel warm safe and secure ?

    You whant to help send some of your army to secure the area and to help with burying corpse before it become an epidimy and help with the clean up of the area. Thats how you help a friend in need not by sending money ,when the bank is floating in the ocean on its way to china.

    Comment by Moulinneuf -

  52. Mark –

    Instead of ranting on this topic and those who posted about it (in the name of Ayn Rand? How can anyone speak for someone who is dead?), let me just say that I would be tickled to read about a bunch of NBA players getting together with owners and come up a contribution plan.

    I’ll spend the rest of this post wishing you, your family, your co-workers and everyone who reads this blog a “happy Gregorian New Year”. BTW, as an astronomer and physicist, I personally think the Persian new year makes the most sense. You can wish me a Happy New Year on Naw Ruz, the first day of Spring, when the Mavs will have the best record in the league.

    Mark, have a fantastic 2005 in all of your ventures and thanks for being so generous with your time.

    Comment by greg -

  53. Mark,
    That was a bold statement. I really wish that this would happen. Let’s have a little get together in the White House, feed the TV coverage to all the media, and get back to work. The tsunami in Asia is a terrible tragedy. I wish there was more that I can do to help, however funds at our house are short. We’re not poor, but we’re paycheck to paycheck, which is mainly due to my diabetes, and the cost of my healthcare. But I’m going to do the right thing. I’m taking care of my family by getting a full time job in radio (my career for the past five years), hopefully with benefits. I’m also going to start taking better care of myself then at the same time I can take better care of my family. We just need a little financial shot in the arm to get things going, and we’ll be on our way.
    Thanks again for your incredible statement and here’s to hoping.
    -Dave Johnson
    p.s. Thanks for HDnet and HDnet movies too. I really enjoy the programming.

    Comment by David Johnson -

  54. Well said.

    Comment by Tony -

  55. from the Chicago Tribune
    http://www.columbiatribune.com/2004/Dec/20041231News029.asp
    WASHINGTON – Soldiers will dance free of charge at President George W. Bush’s second inauguration, a record $40 million-plus celebration for “a nation at war,” financed by some of the same big donors who bankrolled Bush’s re-election campaign.
    The fund-raisers are asking corporate donors to purchase a $250,000 “underwriter package” that includes tickets to all inaugural events, 20 tickets for one of three candlelight dinners that the president will attend on the eve of the inauguration and two tickets for a more intimate lunch with Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

    They are courting individual donors with a $100,000 “sponsor package” that includes fewer tickets to one of the candlelight dinners.

    Comment by d.b -

  56. You’re going all Jimmy Carter on us. Jimmy counseled austerity and modesty for America, then Reagan took office and showed how silly Jimmy had been. Stagflation and Misery Index out; Celebration of American Values and Democracy in!

    There are peripheral benefits to a big bash– which some will scoff at– but I think they are important:

    1) The nation needs some regularly scheduled pomp and ceremony. It binds us together. It builds our confidence. America, democracy, and free markets are all ideas which depend on the confidence of the people. The minute we lose confidence in those ideas, we are toast. Lavish ceremony and celebration have their place in tangibly demonstrating America’s economic power to her people, and thus keeping the people’s confidence high. Ceremony is important for societies. You want the Dow to take a big hit? Cancel the lavish inaugural parties and see what happens.

    2) We benefit from sending extra reminders to the world that someone is firmly in charge in D.C., and that the American people stand firmly behind President Bush’s foreign policies, and that President Bush has a lot of political power. The more political power Bush is seen as having, the easier it is for us to get what we need out of international diplomacy. In this sense, $40 Million is a drop in the bucket for the advertising and the propaganda value alone. We will reap more benefit than that in foreign policy negotiation. IMO, the closer the election is, the more the nation should spend on the Inaugural festivities.

    3) The peaceful transition of power is a tenuous and miraculous thing– one which should NEVER taken for granted. In a sense, the nation is celebrating a peaceful transition of power. Emerging democracies benefit from seeing a celebration of the success of the American democratic process.

    4) The inauguration is economically analogous to the Super Bowl. It will undoubtably have a positive economic impact on D.C. We don’t need Jimmy Carter austerity– we need economic synergy! SOMEONE is taking that $40 Million home! They will pump it back into the economy in thousands of ways. The $40 Million is not wasted.

    Also, amounts really are not integral to my argument, but I’m compelled to point out that the government is paying for around $15 Million of the Inauguration’s cost, while currently designating $350 Million for Tsunami relief, not including the tens and tens of millions we will spend to support the military assets we are sending, including an Aircraft Carrier, and AWACS Air Traffic Control planes.

    Comment by Greg Cotharn -

  57. Karl… you make me glad I’m a Canadian. Your ignorance, arrogance and textual diarrhea is repulsive and an insult to all decent Americans. I’m truly sorry you drank that piss in your cornflakes that day because it seems to have stayed in your system since you discovered objectivism. How unfortunate it is that you are related to HDTV… fat chance in hell I’ll ever encourage anyone I know to buy or invest.

    Comment by Carrie -

  58. Mark you made some good points about cutting down on the pet projects. One project after another the money starts to add up fast. I do not know what all of you are saying now….we have pledged another $350m so we are at 385 in tsunami relief efforts, not to mention the helicopters and all of the other equipment we are using to help. Save this post so you can refer to it because by the time this is all said and done the U.S. will give over $1 billion. The United States funds 22 percent of the UN regular budget, as well as more than 27 percent of the peacekeeping budget. No matter if you agree or disagree with the foreign policy of President Bush you cannot deny we are the most giving country in the world. Not just abroad but here at home, with the millions of dollars worth of personal contributions to charities each and every year.
    President Bush had to play the hand that he was dealt….9/11, Afghanistan & Iraq….and the mini recession because of all of the dot com busts. Afghan elections took place, the country is fairly stable, and we are now moving towards the January 31st elections in Iraq. Most wars take 10 years+, but we are transforming Iraq so that they will able to experience freedom and democracy for the first time. We removed a brutal dictator who killed over 300,000 Iraq’s in one way or another. That is a large number….now step back for a second and realize that these were real people.
    Mark you also mentioned about the declining dollar, which is good for large international companies, for the stock market, and is bringing a lot more tourists to the country. Although, the one thing that could be devastating is if the international currency (everyone pays for things in relation to the dollar) if this changes to the Euro or something else then we will have a problem. I predict that sometime early in 05 the dollar will hit its bottom; Wall Street will realize a bargain and start investing in the dollar again and driving it back up.
    I do think that President Bush and the politicians in Washington do need to show better fiscal responsibility now and in the future. A good start as Mark mentioned is cutting all of these BS projects that cost us hundreds of millions each year. President Bush has both the Senate and House of Representatives on his side….so in his 2nd administration I think it is important that he focuses more on the problems we face here at home. The inauguration party is expensive, but I agree with a previous poster, in that people can spend the money how ever they choose.

    Also, for the post that said “The President should not spend a single dime corporate or the people’s until every American has descent health care, until social security is fixed.” “The President should not accept a single dime on until every soldier who died in Iraq families is compensated fairly for their lost.”
    Sorry….it is going to take more than 4 years to fix the healthcare problem…it was a problem under Clinton also. SS is also a problem but President Bush has it on his agenda, and these are two very difficult problems that there is not a perfect solution for. These are both decade old problems…. so you must give the President props for dealing with it because previous administrations have not even touched the surface. Also, are men and women in Iraq are serving so that we can be free here at home. They are courageous people and I am glad Mark that you have set up a fund to help assist them. They serve knowing that there is a possibility of injury or death, but they do it because they want to help the country, so paying the families because they died… is a misguided statement. The person who said he is ashamed to be an American….MOVE IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT HERE! I realize this was a very long post, but I think that it was important to put all of this in context and realize all the country has been through in the past 4 years. Happy New Year to everyone.

    Comment by Aaron T -

  59. no need to cancel any celebration of our way of life (constitutional republic, capitalism, individual freedoms, etc..)

    and does anybody see the hypocrisy of canceling/minimizing new years celebrations around the world so we can ‘pray’ for the victims? pray to who? the all powerful god who put us on a planet with natural disasters?

    did god know about the tsunami and not prevent it? or did he not know about it? (theologians dilemma)

    it is hypocritic to all that man has accomplished on this earth to ‘pray’ to a holy ghost.

    and do you see the hypocrisy in ‘karma’? if you ‘believe’ in karma, then you have to say the victims ‘earned’ their horrible fate.

    the U.S. , and other capitalist nations are able to give because we are ‘producers’ , we produce the wealth which provides for the life we are able to live, and if we choose, to provide for others.

    U.S. Should Not Help Tsunami Victims

    By David Holcberg

    As the death toll mounts in the areas hit by Sunday’s tsunami in southern Asia, private organizations and individuals are scrambling to send out money and goods to help the victims. Such help may be entirely proper, especially considering that most of those affected by this tragedy are suffering through no fault of their own.

    The United States government, however, should not give any money to help the tsunami victims. Why? Because the money is not the government’s to give.

    Every cent the government spends comes from taxation. Every dollar the government hands out as foreign aid has to be extorted from an American taxpayer first. Year after year, for decades, the government has forced American taxpayers to provide foreign aid to every type of natural or man-made disaster on the face of the earth: from the Marshall Plan to reconstruct a war-ravaged Europe to the $15 billion recently promised to fight AIDS in Africa to the countless amounts spent to help the victims of earthquakes, fires and floods–from South America to Asia. Even the enemies of the United States were given money extorted from American taxpayers: from the billions given away by Clinton to help the starving North Koreans to the billions given away by Bush to help the blood-thirsty Palestinians under Arafat’s murderous regime.

    The question no one asks about our politicians’ “generosity” towards the world’s needy is: By what right? By what right do they take our hard-earned money and give it away?

    The reason politicians can get away with doling out money that they have no right to and that does not belong to them is that they have the morality of altruism on their side. According to altruism–the morality that most Americans accept and that politicians exploit for all it’s worth–those who have more have the moral obligation to help those who have less. This is why Americans–the wealthiest people on earth–are expected to sacrifice (voluntarily or by force) the wealth they have earned to provide for the needs of those who did not earn it. It is Americans’ acceptance of altruism that renders them morally impotent to protest against the confiscation and distribution of their wealth. It is past time to question–and to reject–such a vicious morality that demands that we sacrifice our values instead of holding on to them.

    Next time a politician gives away money taken from you to show what a good, compassionate altruist he is, ask yourself: By what right?

    David Holcberg is a research associate at the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, Calif. The Institute promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.

    Comment by karl meisenbach -

  60. Yup. $125 I know because I am going to one of them, although my ticket was partially subsidized.

    Here is a list of balls and the ticket prices, not one of them is even close to 10k.

    http://www.affiliatetip.com/inaugural-event-blog/archives/2005_presidential_inauguration_balls.html

    Comment by Chad Hamm III -

  61. Is it possible that the most relevant and needed blog post of 2004 come in it’s waning hours? Excellent idea Mark. Steve also made a good point, but from reading your plea to President Bush I get the feeling you (or your organizations and businesses) have already made sizable contributions, and that you passed up the opportunity to toot your own horn during this post in a “Look at how nice a guy I am” sort of way.

    Good Show.

    Comment by Charles Starrett -

  62. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,143002,00.html

    Only $35 million? Really? Oh, you’re still talking about that first number that solely gave the uninformed something to complain about. However, you’ve now effectively slowed the aid process with your complaints. Now that this country’s political opponents have shown that they’re willing to use a global disaster to make hay in the papers, there won’t be a first $35 million next time. That money will sit right there until the “right” number is determined. What a proud day for the country.

    Cancel the Mavs’ season. Another few million. What if the Democrats hadn’t run a candidate at all? What if we liquidated IBM?

    If you want to do something useful, go to http://www.amazon.com, make two mouse clicks, and donate the money yourself. Quit whining about meaningless crap.

    Comment by Darin K -

  63. Mark, those idiots at the New York Times will bitch and whine about anything the president does…don’t take your cues from them. As you’ve probably noticed by now, our government is pledging $350 million to the Tsunami victims with promises of more. Really that $40 mil on a party is such a small drop in the bucket its rediculous. That equals something like .000001% of government spending for next year. Meanwhile those fat cats at the party probably own corporations that pay many times what this party costs in taxes. Why the sudden call for Bush to stop his party? Do you think the NYT would really be saying this if John Kerry was elected? Hell no, it would be the biggest hollywood shindig in the world. The NYT would probably throw in one of those fancy million dollar full page ads just to announce it. I would agree that government spending needs to be slowed, but this one event is not the place to do that. The same media that is critizing this party would never stop critizing the president if he tried to cut funding to education, the arts, gang programs, etc or the many other porkbarrel initiatives that suck so much of our government money away. Pay attention if Bush DOES decide to start saving our government money, because the only reason half of these stupid programs get passed are because bleeding hearts like the NYT complains when they are not. There are many places to cut out excess besides this party. Maybe we should look first at NASA, where single missions cost multi billions of dollars. This event happens once every four years, and I think republican or democrat they deserve the event after all the stress they are put through, especially in an election year.

    Comment by Phil -

  64. Tickets only $125 when playing billiards with Bob Goddlatte (House Agriculture Chairman) in September was $1k? Also $1k to attend a reception with Nick Clooney and his son, George? Golf with Senator Saxby Chambliss was $1500 in October. Twice that, $3k, to golf with Senator Judd Gregg in Oct as well. What about dinner with Rob Portman back on 9/21? That was $2500 (only $1000 for the reception).

    $125 would be a bargain and it might even include a Bush impersonator.

    There are 10 price levels over $125 (maxxed out at $2200) of Mavs tickets (btw Mark, why are you using Ticketmaster?). At least $125 can get you the highest priced ticket ($90) for the new baseball team in Washington.

    Comment by Bmac -

  65. This is a great post if for no other reason than it may help generate a buzz of change. There finally seems to be a bilateral ground swell of American’s looking to change the political landscape. We can only hope initiatives like this can help expedite that process. While I see both sides (cancel the parties v. private spending) of the argument, perhaps there is a middle ground. What if a 100% surcharge were assessed on every ticket and the proceeds of the surcharge were donated/saved/applied to the debt, etc?

    Comment by gp -

  66. Many good ideas to consider in the article! I think that we need to think much more globally than we do. This constant”them against us” mentallity sells arms and bombs but is such a destroyer of human lives and the environment – “out of sight, I cannot feel”. How many people say “God bless all of God’s children” (if they are a believer in Christianity). What we hear is “God bless America”… Our policies are very often at odds with sane economic responsibility, environmental responsibility, and responsibility to our own people and future generations, as well as to all of humanity to which we are linked as inhabitants of this earth.
    We present an image of opulance and excess to the world of hungry and dying; didn’t we ridicule Sadams’ excesses in Iraq – and a 40 million dollar one-time-event inauguration for us.
    Doris

    Comment by Doris Knapp -

  67. Good on yeah, Mark.

    I think it’d be great if the western world got together tonight and had a few moments of silence or had a mass candle lighting during our celebrations tonight as a sign of respect and thoughts towards those who are grieving a loss.

    It’s also unfortunate and saddens me that this exhorbitant amount spent on the US inaguration only feeds the perception that excess is the American way. On that same line, as your entry was written before the US announced a 10 fold increase on the dollar amount pledged, I cringe when I think that newsgroups are going to start nickel & diming just which country pledged what…. I’ve heard it a few times already on TV. Who cares how much who pledged, it’s the fact that people are helping as they are able.

    Btw Mark, did you ever read the personal email I sent you asking for your help? I been waitin’ fer a response or a cheque or an eff off… lol🙂

    Comment by Carrie -

  68. Waste in government needs to be fixed. It is embarassing for our country, that our leader can not exercise any self-control. It is perhaps not surprising though. How hard is it for an everyday person to maintain a budget? Now imagine you weren’t even spending your own money, but everyone else’s? Then add on that you can just quit and retire whenever the bills come due?

    It would take special people to resist the temptation. From our current deficit, it doesn’t seem we have enough of those in government right now.

    Comment by John P -

  69. Well, it’s getting better…

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,143002,00.html

    Comment by clover -

  70. The high cost of the inauguration has been documented in many places, including the mainstream media (example 12/31 NYTimes). It would have been excessive under any circumstances, but to continue to spend this kind of money in light of the tragedy in Asia is truly wretched excess.
    You can’t compare this to other things like pro sports or movie premieres or any other activity that may seem excessive. Mr. Bush is the leader of the free world and he should be held to a higher standard than the rest of us. It goes with the territory. Personally, I don’t think he has risen to the occasion.
    He doesn’t HAVE to cut his parties back, but what a positive message to the rest of the world it would be if he did. But I agree with a previous poster –highly unlikely.

    Comment by Susan Getgood -

  71. Mark –

    As someone who has traditionally supported Pres. Bush I completely agree with your post. The time for the political landscape to change is now. No matter who was elected the need is greater now than ever for that person (Bush) to step and change the game.

    Your proposed idea is a good start, but the Tsunami is far from where our world finds its greatest need. There are an estimated 6000-6500 people a day dying in Africa from AIDS alone, in addition to thousands more from famine and war. The tsunami was a terrible tragedy and we need to be helping there, however, at today’s current estimated deaths from the Tsunami it’s around three weeks worth of AIDS victims in Africa.

    The time for a change in the way money is shared is now. I am an out and out republican, I am all for people (including computer gurus and basketball players) making more money than they can count and keeping taxes low. My only request is that while it was your ability, skill, hard work and occasional stroke of luck that lead you to the bank account you now find please be willing to share that with those who are born without 1/100th of the opportunity. My desire for a lower tax rate is based solely on the idea that hopefully the wealthiest of Americans would then be willing to donate to causes more than the massive amounts they already give.

    I’m sure making a statement like you have in your blog you surely have contributed to the Tsunami cause, and other causes, at an amount you feel appropriate, I just wish more people could decide that 5 Lexus’ are enough and 10,000 square feet is plenty and donate the amount that 6th Lexus would’ve been, or that extra 10,000 SF of house to people who’s lives could literally be saved because of the money.

    All the best in the New Year – Go Nuggets!

    Comment by Alex -

  72. I wrote the same idea as a letter to the editor at the NY Times yesterday but apparently not well enough to warrant publication. So I put it in my blog:

    http://www.billsaysthis.com/blog/blogarch.phtml?archdate=2004_12_26_blog_archive.phtml#110443071933041648

    Comment by BillSaysThis -

  73. It was very disheartening for me as an American citizen to learn that our President waited almost a week to even talk about tragic events in Asia and Africa. Our country needs to start to be concerned with human problems rather than religious questions.

    When 9/11 occurred we demanded immediate homage for the more than 3,000 lives that were lost. The tsunami has claimed more than 117,000 lives and counting. Those who lost love ones will not be thinking of the total number of lives lost. Instead, they will remember a brother, sister, mother, father, friends, and other relatives that perished.

    We must move towards being country of that cares for each victim. I think there is something deeply wrong when men and women to Iraq and hide their coffins from public display when they return.

    We saw the President attend more memorial services in New York and 9/11 events around the nation. But, we have not seem him attend an equal number of events of those who made the highest sacrifice for their nation. Will Mr. Bush attend a single memorial for the lives lost in tsunami? I don’t know.

    It is easy to be negative and point out the President’s flaws. However, canceling the Inauguration is not out of question. The President should not spend a single dime corporate or the people’s until every American has descent health care, until social security is fixed. The President should not accept a single dime on until every soldier who died in Iraq families is compensated fairly for their lost. I also find it disturbing that we offer Iraqis a few hundred dollars for the lost of their love ones who were accidentally killed in the campaign to take Iraq.

    Accordingly, it is no surprise to be that this Administration has put forth little effort to help the victims of the tsunami crisis. Therefore, I am not proud to be an American. I am ashamed to be American. Whenever I travel outside the U.S.,I don’t say I am an American. Would rather be recognized as a Canadian.

    Comment by sterling -

  74. Right on, Mark! Where’s the online petition to sign?

    Comment by Jackie Huba -

  75. THAT’S a blog! Indepenedent journalism at its finest. I agree 1000%

    Comment by James King -

  76. $35mm is that all that the US sent towards the efforts? Wow, not being an American I hadn’t seen any figures. It surprised me that it would be less than the tiny country up north.

    Perhaps it is a sign that the government is at least aware of how bad their economy has gotten and that they can’t put up as much money as they could have at one point.

    Comment by Chris Roy -

  77. THAT’S a blog! Indepenedent journalism at its finest. I agree 1000%

    Comment by James King -

  78. Not gonna happen. No way. No how. Parties are fun. Exclusive parties are even more fun because you have to “be someone” to get in. Exclusive parties with big ticket prices are even more fun because you have to “be someone with money” to get in. No way do I believe that most people with power and money would rather HELP than party. Just look at the accessories most people attending hold claim to. Thousands for a dress you’ll wear once? Thousands would help a lot. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands jewelry? Thousands upon thousands upon thousands for cars? Millions for a house? All that would help a lot. Stop an exclusive party? Yeah right.

    Comment by clover -

  79. I like your take on this. Wouldn’t it be great if this were that easy? Or… would it create a silent corporate backlash for support of future “fundraising” events, when funds collected by corporations are not used for the purpose that they were “donated” for? I have a hard time believing that the cost of those parties top out at 40 mil. Where does the rest of it go?

    Comment by Scott Shoemaker -

  80. Mark,

    While you have some great posts this one is just silly. You do make some good points on wasted spending but your way off for the most part. Cancel the inauguration party because the money would be better spent on disaster aid? Come on Mark look in the mirror! You spend $90.18 million to pay guys to PLAY BASKETBALL! How about you cancel the Mavs season and send that $90mil to disaster aid? How about the $1mil+ you take in per game from ticket sales you send off for aid?

    Mark, look in the mirror before you make a post like this again.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve -

  81. Mark,

    Forget the politics, the federal deficit, whether we are perceived as being stingy by the rest of the world. A few days ago, more than 200,000 fellow human beings perished. This is not a time for any sort of celebration. This is a time to pull together with the rest of the world for the betterment of mankind.

    Comment by Peter Newton -

  82. I hate to break this to you but the parties are not 10k per ticket parties, more like $125. I may be splitting hairs here but you try to make it look like only the rich go to the parties but that is not true. Also, all the parties are paid for with private money.

    Finally, I do agree about getting rid of all the political pet projects that that we pay for, but that is our fault because we continue to elect politicians based on what pet projects they throw our way.

    Comment by Chad Hamm III -

  83. Sometimes you have to give to receive in this world. I personally am not a big fan of president Bush, but I do support him as the president of our country. It would greatly increase my support for him if he were to make a personal sacrifice such as giving up his inauguration parties to help those affected by the tsunami.

    Comment by Tim -

  84. I find this article troubling. You yourself say that the cost of the parties is paid by the corporations sponsoring the events and the ticket holders paying up to $10,000 per ticket. The thing you are missing is that it is their money, they can do what they please with it. You have a lot of money, am I not to believe that you have never done anything frivoulous with it? Who am I to tell you how to spend your money.

    I would find it outrageous if anyone told me how to spend my money, why would this change if this came from the President. If the corporations and individual donors want to spend this money they can and will. Many of these same corporations are shelling out millions of dollars of aid to the tsunami victims. That is also their choice.

    Comment by Jeffrey Geiger -

  85. Damn right. This has to be one of the most manifest signs of how sick we are as a society and how far out of whack our priorities have gotten. We have a clear opportunity to show the world what America is really about.

    Comment by Andrew Lark -

  86. awesome

    Comment by Short Funny Jokes -

  87. Nice

    Comment by Sodhi -

  88. Perhaps you could have a discussion about why the government is spending more and where it is going. For example, you may look into what programs are receiving the increased spending. The majority is going to defense and homeland security, not to the inauguration. Since you already admit that the inaugural festivities are paid for by private dollars, why start out blasting pork barrel spending?

    Comment by runescape money -

  89. Of course I think that there is a certain amount of hypocrisy in pro-sports owner criticizing Presidential giving. Right here in D.C., pro-baseball is getting citizens of the city to pay for a stadium to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars (raised from taxes on small businesses) to subsidize the salaries of billionaire owner and multi-millionaire players who are receiving government handouts in the form of half-billion dollar stadium subsidies.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  90. Which activity is more important? Politics or Basketball??

    Apparently, in Mr. Cuban’s alternative universe, when millions of Americans spend billions of dollars each year, purely for entertainment, for a non-essential social activity like Basketball, that’s just fine?!

    It’s “OK”, as long as Mr. Cuban can continue to enrich himself and make millions more dollars each year, by taking his hefty cut out of the “Fans” pockets and their hard earned dollars?!

    In the real world, the mostly honest and hard working “politicians” living among us, spend their entire lives working day and night, learning and working hard, trying to make a real difference in the world. For the betterment of all our lives.

    Someone should inform Mr. Cuban, that not unlike basketball, politicians also have their own “Fans” as well.

    And they should also tell Mr. Cuban that each and every politician has many “Fans“ dedicated to the success of that politician, because the “Fans“ agree with the politician on a wide range of complex public policy issues. With that, each politician is sponsored completely, by his or her own “Fan Base”.

    Basketball Teams and Players are supported by their “Fan Base” largely due to the team’s proximity to where the “Fan” lives And due to the physical prowess and ability of the Team and of the individual Players.

    Politicians are also supported partially by their “Fan Base” due to the physical proximity to where the “Fan” lives. But the politician’s support is much more due to the ideas, ideals and cognitive abilities of the politician themselves, than anything else.

    Together, politicians and their supporting “Fans” do whatever they can and try their best, trying to make a real difference in the world. For the betterment of all our lives.

    Inaugural and other post election parties, are simply a way of saying “Thank You” to the candidate, the supporters, and all participants in the campaign. Thanks for all their donations, ideas, moral support and most importantly, for doing all the often times dreary hard work, that goes into every campaign.

    Also, it’s important to note that inaugurations and post campaign parties are as much as anything else, a valuable means to get to know the thinking and personalities of potential future political leaders. And for “networking” among the politically active. And, for pure and fun entertainment, for everyone involved. After a long and hard fought fight of ideas and personalities. All the way to the finish line.

    I’m surprised that someone nearly at the top of the mega-wealthy business class like Mr. Cuban, especially someone that makes many many millions of dollars for himself each year through the frivolous activity of high dollar sports entertainment, would bash politicians and their supporters for spending money on “entertainment” for themselves. For a truly important activity, like politics.

    Mr. Cuban, you should be made aware that in all total, the good American taxpayers, and the good American citizens all by themselves, have voluntarily contributed scores of billions of dollars each year, in every type of foreign aid, social aid, and every type of disaster relief.

    All things considered, even though the Tsunami may have caught your eye quite dramatically Mr. Cuban it’s important that you know, there are millions and millions of people that suffer, go hungry and die each year, even though millions of good hearted Americans and the politicians they elect, do their best each day, to help out.

    As you know mr. Cuban, unlike others, Americans are blessed with a wide range freedoms. And those freedoms allow Aericans to be the most productive and wealthy people of the planet.

    With that, due to our deep sense of fair play, Americans willingly give massive amounts for and to others. All around the planet. Mostly to those that have heavy handed governments, that steal the riches of their people.

    Though it’s true that some Americans do very little else than entertain themselves. Sometimes by spending billions of dollars each year. Often on frivolous entertainment. And sports activities, like Basketball.

    Btw Mr. Cuban, I’m curious how much of your fortune did you give for Tsunami Aid? How much of your fortune do you give to other worthy causes? How much do your wealthy players give to worthy causes? How much does the NBA give and where??

    I’ve included several important URLs. None to my website. But to websites where you and everyone elese can learn a lot.

    I encourage everyone to have a look. Read some of the contents. Learn a little about how honest politics and politicians work hard every day, for everyone’s benifit. And the importance of keeping up on the smaller day to day issues, as they relate to the larger issues that involve all our lives.

    Tsunami and US AID facts can be found here:

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/02/09/tsunami.aid/

    And here:

    http://www.rense.com/general62/ssta.htm

    How you can best help out is here:

    http://www.texasgop.org

    Comment by Just Ole Tex -

  91. hi

    oh and before anyone says it AGAIN, i agree that Mavs tickets are outrageous, and major league teams/players are not worth the money, and should be used to pay for better things. If you really “love” the sport play for free, and when yor hurt. So that’ll answer thoes responses.

    Comment by buy tadalafil -

  92. I was just wanting to know do you know about aproximately how much of the debt would each and every American Induvidual would have to pay due to the President asking for money from the government so he can spend money for war related Items. Dosen’t this effect our economy?

    Comment by Reggie Jones -

  93. I didn’t read your blog for a month or so and missed this one when it came out, but it definitely struck a cord with me.
    To say it bluntly…the leaders of our political system are “out of control”(both Democrat & Republican). If Bush wants a party, let him pay for it himself, after all, that’s what the rest of us do.
    I recently had dealings with politics in my rapidly growing suburban small town, and those with money got preferential treatment and came out on top. They are the ones that pay 10K to attend political dinners. They look at it as an investment for favors they will need later.
    I too am an independent and critically look at the issues as a basis for my voting choice. Unfortunately I live in a very, very republican area, so my vote does little to spur change. I do believe individuals can make a difference, but I have seen that individuals with substantial money can make a bigger difference(a real dent).
    I wish that I had your kind of money to back those causes and injustices that need a voice. I think your blog helps raise conciousness, but I also hope people like you($$$)put money behind them to help them have a voice.
    We met in Dallas more than 15 years ago when Microsolutions was just getting going. Congratulations on all your success. “To those that much is given, much is required.”

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    Comment by dave -

  95. You say you are an independent but you are more concerned about a disaster oversees than the issues we face as Americans. My hunch is that there is no amount of money large enough we could give to the Tsunami victims. And you want Americans to feel ashamed, to cancel celebrations of another presidential election. Had Kerry won, you would seen no problem with spending billions to front his agenda, starting with a “star’studded” event with the likes of Babs and Ben Afflac. Grow up, or move to Canada. Or, why not move to Mexico?

    Comment by Kyle -

  96. Mr Cuban,

    I agree with you that spending 40mm on the innaguration party is more than outrageous, it is absurd.

    I have read more than several of the responses to this blog, and I am left to ponder the actual state of the union that is the political landscape of America today. Every four years we witness a presedintial election in which each candidate spends more money in campaign finance than they will make being the president. If they do not have an issue spending outrageous amounts of cash on the campaign trail, then why would you think that they would take innaguration money and use it wisely?

    The innaguration is their opportunity to pay their dues to the corporations and the political party that got them there. In this regard, Republicans and Democrats are no different.

    Republicans are pretty open about their spending habbits and seem somewhat unapologetic about it all. Democrats will stand up and say “shame on them” as they take money from the same companies and the H.S. dropouts in Hollywood.

    If you want fiscal responsibility then you have to ask our society to take a harsh stance on social issues. Programs that politicians (mostly Democrats)love to take our money for, must be examined and changed, or simply eliminated. It is an overhaul of the system that you want, and if you take the time to really analyze it, nothing less than a small unified revolt will accomplish this (I do not mean a violent one).

    I do not believe that our current politicians could stand up and lead by example. Those who speak their mind are often punished by thier own parties for doing so as their stance strays from the status quo (take Liberman for example, clearly a more level headed proven leader than Kerry, but where was his party when it came time to put thier yes man in play?)

    If you want the system to change, I do not believe that simply writing your congress person will produce meaningful results. Voting is promoted to us as the answer, but when the choices are the same, your vote does little more than support the same system that spends our money with wreckless abandon regardless of who you vote for.

    Comment by KC Chris -

  97. prioritize, yes, but give away, no. sure the tsunami event was very devistating but we as a notion have tradjeties every minute of every day. there are communities that looks like tsunami come through there. ive us doing everthing for everyone else and fighting every one elses wars but we are still in debt and have always been. sorry to see bill clintons hard work flushed back down the toelet by bush and then he gets re elected but thats life. but when donations made toward our nation bush turns it away, thanks to cynthia mckiney for attempting to retrieve that donation and put it toward the rundown communities in atlanta. resolution, we need better leadership rather than leadership that spends their workdays playing golf and throwing 40mm dollar parties.

    Comment by marcus -

  98. No, not all of this IS privately funded. This is considered to be a “Special Security Event” which means the taxpayers (you and I) are paying for the extra security, construction, etc. God only knows how much that costs! I am sickened by this mess. I know this has been gone over and over, but…

    I know that the men and women in our armed forces are having to purchase their own body armor before going to Iraq. They are not given the proper equipment to keep themselves at least partially protected. Why, you ask? Because our government is too busy trying to show off for the world with the tsunami relief efforts. I am truly sorry for the victims and countries that this affected, BUT we are not here to save the world. And btw, when did we get a vote on how much money our government should send or if we should even send at all?

    We have started Iraq and now we need to finish it. There needs to be a publicly announced plan to exit Iraq. I just feel like we could finish with many more soldiers protected and many more lives saved by spending money to better protect them.
    Why the frivolous spending? Because Mr. Bush is flaunty and arrogant. He needs to come off of that high horse down here to reality!

    Comment by Erin -

  99. Regardless of what has been said “for” and “against” above…it still seems that it would be a smart gesture to have held a very modest inauguration. An easy and effective way to show the U.S. (and the world) that we have a semblance of virtue.

    Comment by Laurence Smith -

  100. Yes, the money the corps donate is their own, however, they are not giving just to be nice. They are expecting something in return, such as access to those in power, legislation that is favorable to them–in effect, condoned bribery. Why don’t they donate some of their money to provide the security needed for the event instead of asking little Wash DC to bear the cost of 17 million dollars for all the added security.

    Comment by chully matia -

  101. Looks to me like most of the nay-sayers in this blog are just uninformed or lack common sense.

    THIS IS MONEY FROM CORPORATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS! They may and will spend their money how they please. Thank God, it is their priviledge and right.

    Corporations and/or individuals who contribute to the inauguration expense are not going to give more to tsusami relief or any other relief effort if the inauguration ceremonies were cancelled.

    Get a life, folks!!!

    Jim Nichols
    Westland, MI

    Comment by Jim Nichols -

  102. Dead Horse here, cease the beating.

    New topic please Mark.

    Thank you

    Comment by Daryl -

  103. I am proud President George Bush won re-election; however, I am NOT proud our sons and daughters are in harm’s way every day. To celebrate elaborately seems somewhat insensitive…rather similar to mailing photo greetings of our honorable President and most gracious First Lady, Mrs. Laura Bush, asking for campaign contributions. When the less financially fortunate of us do contribute, we are allowed to observe the parties from a distance. Much like the widow’s mite…or Oliver Twist? I wish I had more money to pay for our soldiers’ needs as well as enormous bouquets of yellow roses for the Inaugural events and parties and celebrations.

    Poor but proud to be an American–
    native Houstonian(TEXAN),
    Congratulations President and Mrs. Bush

    Sincerely,
    Katherine

    Comment by Katy -

  104. This is in response to Michelle, post number 227. Michelle says that this country is cold and superficial. Here is a site for you Michelle showing the PRIVATE companys that have donated money to the Tsunami relief effort, over 654 Million (These would be your rich corporate brown nosers), and I do not believe this includes individual private donations by great US Citizens. Oh, and these people who spend money on Bush-Bush-Bush. I am curious how you know that they did not donate to the Tsunami relief effort, The war effort, etc. Also, I am curious how you know they dont have anyone serving in the war overseas? Because your post implies that all these people spend thier money on is Bush. I am curious how you know this? Here is your site.

    http://blog.simmins.org

    Comment by EP -

  105. What do you guys have against the working man?

    All the feel good – lets save the world – schemes always hurt the people that can least afford the hit. Why should the cleaning ladies, the bus drivers, the cooks, dishwashers, floor sweepers, police officers, carpenters, electricians, musicians, taxi drivers, etc. give up their income because some bleeding heart wants to make a symbolic jesture that won’t make any real difference?

    The liberal war against the working man needs to stop.

    Comment by Jim -

  106. oh and before anyone says it AGAIN, i agree that Mavs tickets are outrageous, and major league teams/players are not worth the money, and should be used to pay for better things. If you really “love” the sport play for free, and when yor hurt. So that’ll answer thoes responses.

    Comment by michelle -

  107. This is in response to Jeffrey Geiger, AND the article. First of all I totaly agree with the article cuban! Secondly, to jeff- yes it’s all privatly funded money and they can do what they want with it, this isn’t about that it’s about morals, and having a friggin heart! This country makes me sick when people would rather spend that much money on Bush- BUSH!! he would of been happy with a 10 bag of someone’s finest. But seriously, these rich corportate brown nosers donate all that money, yet don’t worry about our national debt? Helping something called the WAR! im sure if it were there kids and relatives fighting overseas they would. And the tsunami’s relief isn’t important either? This country is cold, superficial, and down right f!cked up.

    Comment by Michelle -

  108. I agree whole heartedly with your article..and yes as someone said..it is quite embarrasing to have our leader spending all this money on one of celebration..do you know how many armoured tanks that money could buy? And they talk about liberals spending? It’s a disgrace.

    Comment by Kate -

  109. Inaugeration: Shamefull waist of money, putting it Mildly.

    Seeing news stories of the adverage working person not affording health insurance, Elderly that worked their entire live’s not affording the cost of heating their home’s, and other’s living in the street, yet this country whether it be paid by private funding or God Forbidd even $1.00 of tax money: is waisfull, and Shamefull, the money needs to put place’s it does something more than Pomp and Circumstance.

    Comment by Steve D -

  110. I so AGREE with the post#6 from Steve. Mark put your money where your mouth is! Your being nothing but IGNORANT!

    Comment by JJ -

  111. ===================
    Good thing we live in the USA where we still have the freedom to do as we please. Bush can celebrate if he chooses. It is his money and his friends. Kerry would have done the same…
    In fact with the tax laws, Kerry paid less then Bush… But in truth, why must we give more to the victims who hate America? We pledged 350 Million while FRANCE gave how little? Russia gave how little too? Come on guys. You complain that the $40 million price tag is too much but I bet you have not given $1 to the victims yet and BUSH gave $10K…
    “LET FREEDOM RING” but if they canceled the party only to use the money to defeat the “ACLU” then you would have a good argument!!!
    ======================================

    Comment by Corbin Lindsey -

  112. ===================
    Good thing we live in the USA where we still have the freedom to do as we please. Bush can celebrate if he chooses. It is his money and his friends. Kerry would have done the same…
    In fact with the tax laws, Kerry paid less then Bush… But in truth, why must we give more to the victims who hate America? We pledged 350 Million while FRANCE gave how little? Russia gave how little too? Come on guys. You complain that the $40 million price tag is too much but I bet you have not given $1 to the victims yet and BUSH gave $10K…
    “LET FREEDOM RING” but if they canceled the party only to use the money to defeat the “ACLU” then you would have a good argument!!!
    ======================================

    Comment by Corbin Lindsey -

  113. Cuban in 2008!😛

    Comment by st3v3n -

  114. I totally agree with you – thank goodness you are speaking up! If this were a first term, and we weren’t at war, I might approve. I have dear friends (the husband was paralyzed last year from a fall) that can’t get one penny from our government to renovate their home so he can move home and get out of nursing homes. They have lost practically everything due to the financial horrors of such an injury. Children are sick and starving in Houston (where we live) every day. Yet we can spend 40 million on a PARTY?? I sure wish W would concentrate more on winning over Americans than the rest of the world – and dropping the Party would sure be a great start!!

    Comment by Theresa Attwell -

  115. Hey Mark–how about a deal: Pres. Bush cancels the inauguration parties and festivities and donates that money to the tsunami victims if you cancel the rest of the Mavs games and donate those inflated, outrageous salaries you pay your players to the tsunami victims!! Deal??

    Comment by Dan Gauw -

  116. Hey Mark,

    I think you must be suffering from Post-Election Select Trauma and you need to get on with your life.

    Look, the US government has already pledged US$350 million and private donations is approaching that amount, too. Not to mention the cost of having the US military there providing in effect the ONLY means of transporting relief supplies in and transporting injured survivors out for quite a while given the enormous destruction to the transportation infrastructure in northwestern Sumatra.

    Why don’t you, Mr. Cuban, chip in US$40 million yourself? You’re rich enough to do that easily.

    Comment by Ray Chuang -

  117. Nobody should be cancelling anything unless they choose to do so. The President needs his time in the spotlight and if others are willing to pay for it so be it. This is what freedom is all about. So much talk about spending $40 million but what about the people who will be getting that money for the services rendered, police officer working overtime and so on. Why would you want to take money that could benefit Americans and send it somewhere else. The money spent will go right back into our economy as opposed to sending it to Asia. The US is already contributing $350 million from our taxes to the Tsunami cause and not $35M as you wrongly state this is not even counting all the man power that we are sending over there. And what about all the non-profits raising millions and millions from private donations in top of that. Do you really think more money is needed? They don’t even know what to do with all the money they have now. Cancelling the inaugural celebrations will only bring gloom to our country. In spite of everything, people need to move on and LIVE. It will do us no good to bring down our spirits. There is a time for everything and we need this time to celebrate and look beyond to the future. The $40M spent will go back right into our economy. And if you think more money is needed for the Tsunami victims then please just give them some more of your milliions!

    Comment by Jackie Salvatierra -

  118. The latter half of following article by Robert Cringley outlines an effort by some to develop a open source worldwide tsunami warning system (see links). I suggest Mark kick in a few dollars to support the effort, maybe give the guy running it a job (he is out of work) and then hit some of the cable news networks to promote the effort. The big secret out there is that all the information required to build such a system is already available and only needs to be aggregated and interpreted into meaningful data that can predict a tsunami.

    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20050114.html

    http://otas.sourceforge.net/mediawiki/index.php/Main_Page

    Comment by Ethan Post -

  119. The people and corporations spending the large amounts to be represented or attend the inauguration are the very ones that pay most of the taxes. Who are YOU to be telling THEM how to spent their money. Besides that, how about the large number of hotel, restaurant workers, caterers, cabbies, and a whole host of other private citizens that make money when the inuguration is held. Sorry, but your argument is
    rather short on convincing me that it shouldn’t be taking place.
    Larry Clark

    Comment by Larry Clark -

  120. You guys need to back off. I didn’t hear any of this when Clinton built his library or when the Democrats spend millions. You also invest millions in Hollywood to support their lifestyles but scream when our Republican President gets donations for the inauguration. Hey, ask Hollywood to scale back their lifestyles and give some of their money to help schools and families. Their is enough money wasted on their selfish lifestyles to wipe out the deficit and feed the children of America.

    Comment by Shelly Sharbono -

  121. Bush should cancel his parties maybe after all the NFL, MBL, & NBA players donate their overpaid salaries to the national budget, Iraq, and the tsunami repair. Oh and while we’re at it let’s cancel the Super Bowl too and send that money to the UN so Kofi can steal more money!

    Comment by Zach -

  122. This is a perfectly reasonable suggestion and would go a long way towards helping to convince the world that Americans care about people other than themselves. There is no reason for any president to have a $40M inaugural celebration when millions of people’s lives are hanging on a thread. It’s a matter of simple compassion and common sense.

    To those who’ve criticized this suggestion:

    Please have a good look around. You seem to have misplaced your SOULS.

    Comment by M -

  123. Mark,

    I can’t even believe that someone in the entertainment business said what you said on this subject. And yes, that is what the Mavericks are, entertainment, not life or death. I bet you can’t even imagine cancelling just one Maverick’s game and giving the money to the the victims. Why is that different than the parties? It is just your point of view and what you are interested in. Some people like parties, some basketball.

    And on the point of government exepnditures. Pork barrel politics makes me sick too but I didn’t read about you turning down the government assitance that helped build the AAC. The Mavericks make a whole lot more money in the AAC than in the old Reunion arena.

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Or, maybe a better way to put it is: You got yours, not close the door!

    Comment by Richard -

  124. How can a dress cost over 20.000 dollars? and this is for the first lady? I feel sick

    Comment by Jo Dantuon -

  125. I am bothered by this whole entitlement mentality. Even though no nation is obligated to help, it seems more like it’s expected from the US than appreciated. I hear so much about how other nations of the world hate the US, but they sure are anxious to take our money.

    Comment by D -

  126. I totally agree 100% with your view on this. It was my initial reaction when I heard $40 million. Not so much for the sad event in Asia, but relief and aid right here or even better for our troops.

    Jennifer

    Comment by Jennifer Hodges -

  127. Well put Mr. Cuban. This is but another example of this administration’s irresponsibility. Is this “compassionate conservatism” at work?

    Comment by wboggs -

  128. What a perfect solution, Mr. Cuban! I agree whole-heartedly! My question is, ‘Why can’t our elected officials come up with this stuff on there own? Why does it take us as citizens making some (logical, common sense) noise to get it through to our politicians? Isn’t THAT what WE pay them for? Where is the COMMON SENSE here?

    As for the person who said, “What about all little people?” The caterers, waiters and staff that work the events. Well, those people would be doing other events anyway if the inauguration was scaled back. They can find something else this year, as well. They just probably won’t get overpaid, which is typical in things like this. The organizers and participants just want it as over-the-top and glamourous as possible.

    Mr. President, I concur! Take the money that would be used for the inauguration ceremonies and festivities that comes from corporate sponsors, donations, rediculously priced plates, etc. and allocate that to appropriate charities. If there is some legal loop hole that prevents you from reassigning the money, then request the sponsors and donors to put that money in a fund that will be used for relief efforts, current and future. Forgo your fun and glamour. Go ahead. Celebrate! But celebrate in a much, much smaller way. Help those who are in need. Tsunami, California, all the way to those who live in OUR remote areas in poverty. Especially starving children who never asked for that life and don’t deserve it. There are too many things here at home to list that that $40 million could help.

    Do this Mr. President! It’s a good idea and a great start, sir! We as citizens want to help! But we can’t do it on our own! Help us! You have the resources much more-so than we do. Those that are better off, do a little more. Let us all compromise and cut back one or a few things and I think we all would be surprised at how fast it adds up.

    Comment by Joe -

  129. I find people like Jeffrey Geiger troubling. I realize that your GOP mentality can wrap itself around the notion of a “greater good”, but please try. As an idea, Cuban is not trying to remove your civil liberties and tell you how to spend your money, but simply put forth his theory on what makes sense. If you cannot distinguish the two, then perhaps you need to give your money to Mr. Cuban, at least he can do something noble with it.

    Comment by Cory Lowe -

  130. Judgiing by all alot of the comments posted on this blog, this might raise a few eyebrows. For those inquiring about petitions, sign away but be sure to participate in this national boycott although it was clearly generated before the tsunamis- now there is even more incentive.

    Not One Damn Dime Day – Jan 20, 2005

    Since our religious leaders will not speak out against the war in Iraq,
    since our political leaders don’t have the moral courage to oppose it,
    Inauguration Day, Thursday, January 20th, 2005 is “Not One Damn Dime Day” in America.

    On “Not One Damn Dime Day” those who oppose what is happening in our name in Iraq can speak up with a 24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending.
    During “Not One! Damn Dime Day” please don’t spend money. Not one
    damn dime for gasoline. Not one damn dime for necessities or for impulse purchases. Not one damn dime for nothing for 24 hours.
    On “Not One Damn Dime Day,” please boycott Wal-Mart, Kmart, Wendy’s (and always Howard Johnson’s!),Target etc… Please don’t go to the mall or the local convenience store. Please don’t buy any fast food (or any groceries at all for that matter). For 24 hours, please do what you can to shut the retail economy down.
    The object is simple. Remind the people in power that the war in Iraq
    is immoral and illegal; that they are responsible for starting it and that it is their responsibility to stop it.

    “Not One Damn Dime Day” is to remind them, too, that they work for
    the people of the United States of America, not for the international corporations and K Street lobbyists who represent the corporations and funnel cash into American politics.

    “Not One Damn Dime Day” is about supporting the troops. The politicians put the troops in harm’s way. Now 1,200 brave young Americans and (some estimate)100,000 Iraqis have died. The politicians owe our troops a plan – a way to come home.
    There’s no rally to attend. No marching to do. No left or right wing
    agenda to rant about. On “Not One Damn Dime Day” you take action by doing nothing.
    You open your mouth by keeping your wallet closed. For 24 hours, nothing gets spent, not one damn dime, to remind our religious leaders and our politicians of their moral responsibility to end the war in Iraq and give America back to the people.

    Please share this email with as many people as possible.

    Comment by Eliza -

  131. After reading many comments on this blog, I am deeply saddened by the greed and rapacity of so many people. So little compassion for others….shameful….and then attacking others for trying to point out that Bush did not give so generously until shamed into it. Who would Jesus fvck over so nastily as Bush has? Are you proud? Wait, scratch that, you undoubtedly are.

    Comment by Mike Finney -

  132. Mark, I respect your view but on this issue I’m with Poster #6. As you yourself observed, these parties are funded by private money, not taxpayer dollars. Cancel those parties and how many relatively low-wage workers will suffer for it? No parties means no payment to caterers, waiters, clean-up crews, cabbies/limo drivers, hotel staff, and on and on and on. By logical extension all NBA season ticket holders (like me) ought to take the money otherwise spent on ridiculously-priced beers and hamburgers at NBA games and send it to Sumatra or (fill in the blank for any charity). Better yet, we should all auction the rest of our tickets and send the proceeds to Sumatra or (fill in the blank for any charity)…but wait, that means some selfish so-and-so is buying those tickets instead of donating HIS or HER money to Sumatra or (fill in the blank for any charity)…I chose instead to make contributions through the church to those rescue efforts, while, yes, still attending Mavs games (btw, nice job against the Pacers).

    Comment by Mike Wurst -

  133. The pledge of $350million towards the victims of tsunamis is what two days of war in Iraq costs. It is far from enough but canceling the inauguration and refunneling the money there would be a far too gracious gesture for the likes of Bush. Sadly but not surprisingly. I’m glad though for the protest and for the Cubans of this country.

    Comment by Eliza -

  134. Mark,
    you make a good point that it has been easy for Bush to spend money that he doesn’t have. What we need from the president is liberal spending on aid, as he has done, and conservative spending on military. The sum total of aid for tsunami relief equals the cost of one new F-22, or one new nuclear sub. Can’t we spare that for the sake of saving/ rebuilding lives?
    Bush cannot cannot donate the 40 million, it is not his money to donate. But he could raise another 40 million while attending the parties for present/ future disaster relief. This would show that our President is indeed committed to empowering the oppressed

    Comment by Evan -

  135. I have a couple of ideas for you Mark since you are so concerned with frivolous spending. #1 you need to encourage all basketball fans who pay for a tickets to stop going to the Maverick games and divert that money to the tsunami victims. What you could do is refund all the money to the season ticket holders for the rest of the games and have them send that money to the tsunami relief. Encourage anyone who planned on attending a Maverick game this year to instead send that money to the tsunami relief. After all, we dont really need to be watching something as frivolous as a basketball game when there are so many suffering. Secondly, for those games that the Mavericks play out of town lets put them up at the Econo Lodge or Motel 6 because rooms at the Hyatt, Hilton, or like is just frivolous spending. The players really dont need this luxury when so many are without a home. As far as traveling. Any use of the corporate jet or private charters should be discontinued because the cost of fuel alone is enough to help out hundreds, if not thousands of victims. These are just a few of my ideas. Initiate these items and it would be a wonderful lead by example. I know that its the ticket holders money, and your money but who are you all to say how you should spend your own money.

    Comment by EP -

  136. You forgot to add the 2 million to buy back the presidential yacht.

    Comment by patty -

  137. So you start by saying the US Government should be “giving” more to the relief effort. It is not in the US constitution that the US Goverment must pay to support the citizens of another country and it’s goverment. We, the citizens of the USA, do not pay taxes to support services and goods for persons in another nation who do not pay into our taxes. The US Government has no money but that which we pay to it. It is not entitled to hand out 1$ of aid money since aid money is not part of the US Constitution. The Goverment might offer a loan or an exhange of goods for services but to give away money earned by you and I without our express consent when we only gave money to the goverment with the idea that it was in our intrests to do so is a form of robbery and fraud.

    Imagine if you were buying a room service meal at an expensive hotel and it was decided by the hotel staff that even though you were hungry a person in another hotel room in another hotel was in more need of your burger and fries. They take the burger to this family and ask for no money since it will be charged to your room. You call down again and ask what happened to your order.

    You find out that:
    1-They made your burger as you asked.
    2-They charged you for that service.
    3-They gave it to someone you have no connection to based on their need and that they could’ve used a large pepsi and maybe desert so you clearly could’ve given more.
    4- If you want a burger you will have to pay again and risk not getting it again.
    5- You will also have to pay for the 5 burgers other people ate because they had been giving them away last week knowing that someone could pay for it eventually.

    This hotel has robbed you.

    The people that ate the food you paid for recieved stolen goods knowingly.

    The money the people and companies gave was for inauguration parties and festivities. They are entitled to get what they have paid for.

    You don’t have a right to my money, property, or person any more then I have a right to yours. You shouldn’t be asking the Goverment to steal from me to give to a third unrelated party.

    I pay taxes to have a police agency to stop anyone from laying claim to my property. I don’t pay them to take property from me.

    Charity is not the function of the US Goverment it is the function of a charity, When you give money to a charity you know what you are doing and how and who it will help.

    Comment by John Tooker -

  138. RIGHT ON!

    Comment by Daniel -

  139. To quote you:

    “I realize that the cost for the inauguration is being picked up by corporate sponsors and people purchasing outrageously priced tickets. The question is why.”

    Because it is their money!

    No way would I want you or anyone else, for whatever reason, telling me how or what I do with my money.

    I agree with your premise. “Pay the bills”, how about let’s starting with cutting out all international aid? How’s that sound? Take care of our own and let the others fend for themselves?

    You like most of the liberal media jumped all over the 35 million initially offered by the US for tsunami aid.

    Well Mr. Cuban, the US contributes more money for international aid THAN ALL OTHER COUNTRIES COMBINED!!!! Read that ALL OTHERS!!!!

    Ok, now I feel better….

    Comment by Randy -

  140. To quote you:

    “I realize that the cost for the inauguration is being picked up by corporate sponsors and people purchasing outrageously priced tickets. The question is why.”

    Because it is their money!

    No way would I want you or anyone else, for whatever reason, telling me how or what I do with my money.

    I agree with your premise. “Pay the bills”, how about let’s starting with cutting out all international aid? How’s that sound? Take care of our own and let the others fend for themselves?

    You like most of the liberal media jumped all over the 35 million initially offered by the US for tsunami aid.

    Well Mr. Cuban, the US contributes more money for international aid THAN ALL OTHER COUNTRIES COMBINED!!!! Read that ALL OTHERS!!!!

    Ok, now I feel better….

    Comment by Randy -

  141. Mark you forgot that Bush already gave a huge $10,000 donation and I’m sure his oil buddies did about the same and don’t forget his pill-making friends gave millions of soon to expire drugs. Forget these non-christian survivors and open another bottle of bubblie..let’s party.

    Carl

    Comment by Carl -

  142. I completely agree that some or all of the inaugural affairs PAID FOR BY PUBLIC FUNDS should be cancelled. Not all of the $40 million is donated. A greater portion of that figure is paid out of the public coffers. And Wasahington DC city is responsible for contributing much, free of charge. That is very wrong. Let the big oil companies that bought the election for Mr. Bush fete Mr. Bush all they want. It’s their money and reputation and they need to “spend the political capital” gained by placing him there. That’s their karma. But to spend one thin dime of public monies to support this huge and hugely unneccessary show for George Bush is an affront to the American lives being lost or injured in his false war. Does anybody remember that Bush refused to walk to the Capitol last time. If he doesn’t walk again, it’s going to be really difficult to believe his rhetoric that we are “so much more safer now than 4 years ago.” If he does walk it, I hope he trips.

    Comment by Kari -

  143. Mark, you’re an idiot.

    Comment by Jim Evans -

  144. Oops – a correction. I said 40 billion being spent on inaugural parties, and I should have said 40 million.

    Comment by Mary Jane -

  145. Mark,
    I applaud your suggestion that the extravagant parties and costly celebrations planned around Mr. Bush’s inauguration be foregone, and the money instead donated to help the victims of the tsunami (or perhaps that money could also go to outfitting the troops in Iraq as should have been done already). When I read about the vast amounts of money being spent on these parties, it reminds me of stories of fiddlers playing while Rome was burning. Our country has the largest deficit ever, our economy is teetering on the brink of complete disaster, our military men and women deployed in Iraq are suffering from horrendous injuries and death every day, and yet our President sees nothing wrong with having $40 billion dollars spent on inaugural activities? It is shocking, to say the least. Mr. Bush, sadly, hasn’t one ounce of true class in his entire body.

    Comment by Mary Jane -

  146. I guess everyone commenting who is so up in arms about Cuban wanting to cancel the inauguration (coronation?) missed the part where he said the official swearing-in ceremony go on. THAT is the inauguration.

    The over the top parties for days on end are NOT the inauguration. Cuban isn’t trying to take anything away from the American people, LOL! Even IF bush were to be smart enough and compassionate enough to actually cancel the parties, the inauguration would still happen. So all the silly, melodramatic invective about taking something away from the American people can stop.

    But hey bushbots, don’t worry your heads about it. Your president would NEVER be so selfless, giving, and compassionate enough to ask his fat cat donors and sponsoring corporations to give the money to the tsunami relief efforts instead.

    He would never be so humble as to recognize that we are involved in a WAR in Iraq and maybe it would be highly unseemly, vulgar even, to be partying away eating caviar until the wee hours for a week or so when US troops and Iraqi civilians are still being killed in Iraq. When the vehicles the troops drive still aren’t armored. When our budget deficit is at an all-time record.

    In January 1945, FDR recognized that since we were at war, it would be inappropriate to have such extravagancies and cancelled all but the swearing-in ceremony and a simple gathering of his family, friends and cabinet. After all, people all over the country were sacrificing. Servicemembers were making the ultimate sacrifice. That attitude is dead and gone, obviously, gauging from the responses here from people absolutely frothing at the mouth at the very SUGGESTION that their boy king give up his precious $40 million party season.

    Comment by Kathy in Texas -

  147. Hey, Mark, since you’re wanting to do away with 200+ years of American tradition, history, and Constitutional requirements by doing away with the inauguration, why don’t we go ahead and e-bay the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution, and throw in the Statue of Liberty as well and donate those proceeds to the tsunami victims? As ridiculous as that suggestion implies, so does your suggestion to do away with our inauguration. Instead, why don’t you stop being fined by the NBA and donate that money to the relief efforts? It would certainly cut down on your antics on the sidelines and would let viewers watch the game and not you. How about petitioning the NBA to cut player’s salaries from their multi-million dollar contracts and donate that money to the relief efforts? Also, how about a billion or two from your fortune to cover the pledges that nations who pledged exorbitant pledges and will never be able to deliver to the tsunami victims? You wouldn’t be saying this if it were a Kerry inauguration.

    Comment by Carol -

  148. I’ll be honest. I have never been a big fan of Mark Cuban. Sure he gets to live everyone of us sports guys dreams but the outrageousness of his actions have seemed to sour me. To top it all off I am a die hard T-Wolves fan. In this case though, I think he is a genious. This is the best idea I have heard anyone come up with on raising money for the Tsunami vicims. Unfortunately we all know that GW is much more caught up in himself (and his rich colleages) than helping the less fortunate, so it will never happen. Thanks for the idea Mark, you truly have changed my opinion of you.

    Comment by Ryan Crum -

  149. i could not have said it better myself. bush is such a selfish prick. Why can’t just he stay home, order a keg for the twins and choke on a pretzel??

    Comment by stefanie -

  150. i could not have said it better myself. bush is such a selfish prick. Why can’t just he stay home, order a keg for the twins and choke on a pretzel??

    Comment by stefanie -

  151. Mark, Give me a break. If you are so self-righteous, why not donate all the proceeds from every Mavericks game to the relief effort. Hey, you’re a billionaire, you can handle it. And while your at it, sell every high priced item you have because, after all, how you can you own such expensive things when people are dying every day? Furthermore, have your players donate their entire salary because how can they make millions of dollars and still sleep at night knowing how many people are suffering in Asia? Go ahead and do all that before you get all over W for having inauguration parties. He is making his own private contributions to the relief effort so why don’t you let God judge him for his actions instead of you acting like the Almighty. There you have it Mark, don’t spend anymore money on anything expensive because you are basically asking the gov’t to do the same thing. But you would never do that. The Mavericks organization would never do that. So why do you expect W to do something you won’t do. When I open the paper and see that you’re not a billionaire anymore and that you donated all your money to the relief effort, then I’ll consider calling Washington and have them cancel any God-forbid…inauguration celebrations! You got a problem with that Mark, e-mail me at jimdees10@hotmail.com and tell me why…

    Comment by Jim Dees -

  152. Mark, Give me a break. If you are so self-righteous, why not donate all the proceeds from every Mavericks game to the relief effort. Hey, you’re a billionaire, you can handle it. And while your at it, sell every high priced item you have because, after all, how you can you own such expensive things when people are dying every day? Furthermore, have your players donate their entire salary because how can they make millions of dollars and still sleep at night knowing how many people are suffering in Asia? Go ahead and do all that before you get all over W for having inauguration parties. He is making his own private contributions to the relief effort so why don’t you let God judge him for his actions instead of you acting like the Almighty. There you have it Mark, don’t spend anymore money on anything expensive because you are basically asking the gov’t to do the same thing. But you would never do that. The Mavericks organization would never do that. So why do you expect W to do something you won’t do. When I open the paper and see that you’re not a billionaire anymore and that you donated all your money to the relief effort, then I’ll consider calling Washington and have them cancel any God-forbid…inauguration celebrations! You got a problem with that Mark, e-mail me at jimdees10@hotmail.com and tell me why…

    Comment by Jim Dees -

  153. Mark, it is obvious you did not vote for President Bush.I did and and so did a majority of Americans. To suggest that the inauguration be canceled is ludicrous. It is mandated by the Constitution that the president take an oath of office publically.This is America and life goes on. The tsunami is very bad but millions of Americans have opportunities to donate to the relief fund through many organizations if they wish to. So why deprive us of this event that happens every four years regardless of the political party in office? I have an even more ludicrous suggestion. Cancel the Mavericks remaining games, deprive the fans and give the gate receipts to the tsunami fund.I think the Inaguration is much more important than an NBA basketball game that many times end up in fights and you, Mark, getting fined for your antics.GET OVER IT, YOU LOST THE ELECTION.

    Comment by Bob -

  154. Mark, as usual, you opened your mouth before you put your brain in gear. Your comments don’t show me that you’re a Democrat, they just re-enforce my opinion that you are an idiot. And, since everyone else has already read you the riot act on your inane idea, there’s no sense in my adding to their comments.
    I would, however, like to comment on something I noticed while reading all the comments on the blog. I noticed that many of the over-the-edge rants from people that agreed with you were filled with poor grammar and hilarious mis-spelling. They must have been written by unknowing second graders, or NBA players. db’s missives were the best, but he must not be an NBA player, since he never once used the professional athlete’s famous cliche ” YOU KNOW ” ( used when the speaker’s communication skills are on the level of a pre-schooler ).

    Comment by Bobby Morrisson -

  155. Mark Cuban thinks taxpayers should be more vigilant about what government does with tax revenues. How ironic. I know the City of Dallas spent a few hundred million dollars building Mark Cuban an arena. I didn’t hear Mark bitching then.

    I know Mark didn’t own the Mavs when the AAC deal was struck, but I still don’t think he was bitching as a citizen. He is sure profiting from our taxes.

    Comment by Wilson -

  156. I just read an article from http://www.commondreams.org about your suggestion to pResident Bush to cancel the innaugural balls. You are awesome. We need more billionaires like yourself, who are still in touch with humanity. The parties are unnecessary, and your comment regarding celebration equating with money spent was right on. Even though I’m a Laker fan and would never cheer for your team, I still think you rule. And HDNet is awesome too (but more bikini shows please).
    Anyway, just wanted to show my support to you, and I can not imagine how anyone would disagree with that. How can we drop $40 million on something extravagant and unnecessary when thousands of lives are ruined?

    Comment by paul fuertes -

  157. I can’t understand the people who have a bone to pick with you for raising this idea. I guess some people will find something wrong with anything — they look for reasons to criticize others, and use their cynicism to turn good intentions into bad ones. Furthermore, this idea that some people have that you can’t express political beliefs if you’re a celebrity, sports figure, etc. is poisonous and ridiculous. It shows the level of ignorance and narrow-mindedness in our society.

    As for me, I applaud you for showing some leadership and addressing a political issue. Handclaps for you.

    Comment by LA -

  158. Oh…BTW…
    I am going to DC for the festivities. My total cost for 5 nights hotel and airfare? 334.00. Hmm, many folks spend more in one night at the AAC!

    Comment by John -

  159. Here are some ideas since Mark is trying to send some much needed aid to SE Asia.
    1. Sell your wifes engagement/wedding rings.
    2. Get rid of all of the luxury items in the locker rooms. All the players need is a locker with some hooks.
    3. Refund all ticket proceeds to the public with the caveat the $ would go to the aid efforts.
    4. sell your “over the top” home and buy a house for 250,000 donating the rest to charity.

    hope these ideas help!
    ____

    To those that think it would be easy to cancel the event. Perhaps it could be. However, there are things out there called CONTRACTS. The companies would still get the dough. In addition, cancelling the event would be horrible for many lower/middle class folks that depend on the inaugural events every four years to have some extra income come in. Waiters, window washers, shoe shiners, etc. all benefit from it. According to the demographics of DC, minorities would be impacted the most.

    Comment by John -

  160. Cuban,

    You obviously did not vote for George Bush. You are not a high school trombone player who’s been selected to play in the inaugural parade. You are not a Sacramento dressmaker, busily sewing inaugural ball gowns. You don’t own a DC hotel that is anticipating a highly profitable week.

    If the inauguration was cancelled or scaled back, it would cost you nothing and gain you pleasure in knowing you had taken some fun away from evil, bad republicans.

    I don’t own a basketball team. I think the NBA is actively promoting bad behavior. I don’t own a sports bar. I don’t purchase NBA merchandise. I don’t watch the games.

    If I could convince you to cancel the NBA season and donate the salaries to the tsunami victims, it would cost me nothing and gain me pleasure in knowing I had taken away your soapbox.

    Comment by irishlass -

  161. With over 400 billion already pledged to the tsuami victims why give it too them. Why not the soldiers in iraq and their families because with Bushes second term it means longer deployments. (my husband has been extended twice which with the other assignments he has been on we have now spent almost 3 yrs apart) More soldiers being injured and killed and more and more families hurting. So instead of sending that money to the victims of the tsuami who already have 400 billion in aide, send it to other people who could really use it.

    Comment by evelyn -

  162. Mark, I was pleased with your suggestion; they may be “private parties” but I’m sure the President’s supporters would agree to donate the money if asked to do so.

    Also, we have a president who talks a lot about his relationship with God. In this one situation I am certain that Jesus would want him to donate the money to the poor and suffering.

    I was already telling people that the President should cancel the parties and donate the money; I’m glad to see other people had the same idea!

    Comment by Brenda -

  163. Can I get a hell ya? I never would have thought I would have read these words from someone so wealthy. I heard that you were against the Inauguration on the news and I had to come find it on the web for proof. I have sent this link to everyone I know. I don’t know you, but am damn proud of you for making a super brave stand on this issue. In Dallas there will be a counter-Inauguration Ball on Jan 20th at the Magnolia. It is a charity event that is supporting the IRC (International Rescue Committee) http://www.theirc.org/Iraq/index.cfm. We also thought the Inauguration was a waste. I hope some of you Dallisites can make it out. Oh ya, it was free for us to set up. We had a slightly smaller budget to work with that Mr. Bush. ;-)http://keepdallas.editme.com/codepink1

    Comment by CODEPINK Dallas -

  164. Your comments are spot on!! How can Bush himself not be outraged by this waste of valuable resources — especially during such a difficult time for people in the US and around the world? Bush’s inaugural party plans are wasteful, unethical, and obscene –and appear to reflect the nature of the Bush administration.

    Jim Waer

    Comment by Jim Waer -

  165. Bravo Mr. Cuban. There are so many more things to spend $40mm dollars on than a bunch of parties for ‘W’. Send the money to the Tsunami victims. Use the money for better flu shot research. Use the money for better AIDS research. Or how about using it to reduce the 3 trillion dollar debt, which, before ‘W’ was elected the first time, was a 2 trillion dollar surplus. Where did 5 trillion dollars go ? I know I didn’t see any of it !

    Comment by Curt Bigelow -

  166. By the time it’s all over, assuming the U.N. doesn’t steal too much, the survivors of the Tsunami will be better off than they were before. Financially of course. I believe that Bush should have his inauguration. Why not encourage all the Mavericks and the owner to instead donate their entire year’s salary to the victims. Charity starts at home my friend.

    Comment by Lucio -

  167. By the time it’s all over, assuming the U.N. doesn’t steal too much, the survivors of the Tsunami will be better off than they were before. Financially of course. I believe that Bush should have his inauguration. Why not encourage all the Mavericks and the owner to instead donate their entire year’s salary to the victims. Charity starts at home my friend.

    Comment by Lucio -

  168. Mark is right. When you are in a leadership position you are supposed to do just that, lead. By donating money out of his own pocket he will set an example for the rest oh “his” country to follw. Isn’t that what he’s paid to do anyways?

    Lead by example Mr. President and show us why you won.

    It wasn’t because I voted for you.

    Comment by Jason N. -

  169. What a joke…as if spending money on a Mavs game is a better use of a dollar than an inauguration party…in my opinion, they both allow people to consume entertainment and to say one entertainment form is better than other reeks of arrogance…and as you wrote, all the $40 mm is from private parties so there is no government corruption here…I love the Mavs and am an independent voter…but I still see the error in your ways…Mark, why don’t you donate all proceeds from a Mavs game to the effort…that would be cool…and involve much less finger pointing by you…why don’t you call out all the casinos in Vegas to donate one day of theie earnings…or all the strip clubs to donate one of theirs…in my opinion, they are bigger wastes of time than inauguration parties…get some perspective man…

    Comment by Texas Wisdom -

  170. Mark,
    First off great post! We should sometime next week, take all the money made one night @ a home game and donate 100% of it to the relief fund. Now we both know that it’s a sold out night every night, but If we put a little advertising behind it, pushing for donations from the fans, we could easily raise a substantial amount for the relief efforts. As for Bush, he should give all that proceeds to the relief fund instead of making republicans feel more @ home. People are dying, missing, and dead and are president wants to celebrate. Where is the humanity? Do onto others as you would want them to do to you.
    David

    Comment by David -

  171. Mark,
    First off great post! We should sometime next week, take all the money made one night @ a home game and donate 100% of it to the relief fund. Now we both know that it’s a sold out night every night, but If we put a little advertising behind it, pushing for donations from the fans, we could easily raise a substantial amount for the relief efforts. As for Bush, he should give all that proceeds to the relief fund instead of making republicans feel more @ home. People are dying, missing, and dead and are president wants to celebrate. Where is the humanity? Do onto others as you would want them to do to you.
    David

    Comment by David -

  172. You are right. It is about leadership. It would also provide greater focus to look outside ourselves.

    Plus, could you imagine the publicity the sponsoring companies could get for this? They would love to have their names plastered with the President’s benevolence. They’d probably raise another $10 million.

    It doesn’t have to go to the Tsunami efforts even. There are a lot of needs it could be used for. But the message would be powerful. And sustanable. The next President wouldn’t dare to throw a lavish shindig with this president set.

    It would be a quatrannual charity raising event with the funds going to the First Family’s favorite benefactor.

    Comment by Scott Klossner -

  173. Sir; you need to get your priorities stright, here is an idea, donate all your $$$, the inauguration is all private donations, or don’t you get it

    Comment by mark foster -

  174. I like the idea that Mark should give up a Mavs season and give all his players a pay cut to help pay for the Tsunami disaster. Imagine the message we must sent to the rest of the world when we carry on bouncing around a basketball on hardwood while people in the Tsunami affected areas are starvign and thirsting for fresh water. Where is your leadership Mr $9 BILLION???

    Comment by Euan -

  175. Mark,

    Are you for real? The Inauagaral is funded with private money. That private money ends up circulating in the economy of Washington DC which in turn ends up supporting American families.

    I’m going to the inaugaral. In fact, I’m taking my grandkids with me. It’s a celebration of our Constitional Republics penchant for fighting our internecine wars on the political battlefield. You lost, suck it up.

    I’m not a wealthy guy Mark but I can afford to buy my tickets to the Free Republic Inaugaral Ball for 175 a crack and to make a donation to the victims of the disaster. And I can do that without the help of you, the government or Bill O’Reilly looking out for me.

    Regards,
    John

    Comment by John Walsh -

  176. Mr. Cuban, you could sell the Mavericks for a lot more than $40 million and give all that money to tsunami relief.

    In addition to helping, it would have more meaning in that you would be giving them money that was actually yours, rather than telling everybody else what to do with theirs.

    Comment by Chester McMillian -

  177. $350 Million from the US alone? Seems like plenty to help them rebuild their straw and mud huts.

    Comment by Rick -

  178. Mr. Cuban I totally agree with you. Mr. President should lead by example. Its all about saving lives. He would feel a whole lot better the morning after he’s give to the Tsunami Relief verses the way he will feel the morning after a party.

    Comment by D M Kennard -

  179. YOU ARE AN IDIOT. If you are concerned about making a meaningful statement and impact on the tsunami tradegy, then I suggest you cancel the NBA season and give all that money paid to players for playing a game to the victims of the tsunami. Stick to sports. Cancelling the inauguration festivities would be accomplish little if anything for the situation.

    Comment by jay oman -

  180. I think that would be a great idea if we canceled all our frivilous spending. But that would include the emmies, the music awards, and the many sports games we attend. That would kind of put you out of business though. Maybe you should just lead by example and send all the money you make at the next 6 games to the releif fund. If you really want to make a difference lead by example so that others can follow, don’t just tell other people what to do with their own money.

    Comment by Candie -

  181. Please call a Wendy’s restaurant LOCAL to you and tell them that you will not go to their restaurant ever again UNLESS they can get their CEO to get a revote in Ohio by speaking to Kenneth Blackwell the secretary of State of Ohio.

    Similarly call an Outback Steakhouse local to you and tell them you will not go to their restaurant ever again unless they get their CEO to get a revote in Florida by speaking to Glenda Hood, the secretary of State of Florida.

    http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/Revote

    http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/progressive

    Thank you.

    Comment by maximus -

  182. Hey Mark, why don’t you start walking the walk instead of just talking the talk. Pay up. YOU lead by example. YOU make it right. Get off your butt and do something about it instead of spending your time going to Mavs games and hugging everybody, Mr. Bigshot. You sound like a consultant telling everybody what to do. It’s time you did something…I did, and I’m only a millionaire.

    Comment by David Karr -

  183. I absolutely agree with you! I have pasted in the email I sent to Channel 4 the other day (their Viewer’s Voice address). I don’t usually read this website but this morning they mentioned your comments and I had to come and read them. I am a portrait photographer trying to get my business off the ground (former federal employee) and also the mother of 3, including twin 8 year old boys who both have forms of Autism. It’s amazing the things that the gov’t is spending money on and the other things they are ignoring – like Autism research. I would much rather see the money sent to the Tsunami victims than used for a big party. The following is my email to Channel 4:

    Tsunami Aid – A New Idea For Funds Jan 4, 2005
    I know this idea will never fly but I thought I would throw it out there. Why
    not cancel the Presidential Inauguration or even just the Inaugural Ball(he’s
    been inaugurated once already) and use all of the funds to send as a
    contribution for the relief effort. We all as Americans (including myself) are
    sending what we are able to send and just imagine the funds that could come from
    what is going to be spent on the big party that the inauguration really is.
    Just a thought!

    Thanks for listening.

    P.S. Mark, enjoy and treasure all the moments you have with your precious daughter. I am preparing to go to the funeral of a 16 year old girl who died earlier this week. She was talked into trying “ICE” for the first time by some of her “friends” and it killed her. We don’t know much more than that at this time – still trying to put it all together. She was brought into Doctor’s Hospital ER by a young man who refused to stay and now it will be up to our Dallas Police Dept to be able to find out all that really happened and hopefully stop it before it happens to another young life. By the way, it happened within the studentbody of Bryan Adams High School.

    Take care,

    Kim Havanis Campbell
    Angel Faces Photography

    Comment by Kim Havanis Campbell -

  184. A few of us have signed an on-line petition to cancel the inaugural festivities. Please join us and pass the word. Here is the link:

    http://www.petitiononline.com/Cancel/petition.html

    Thanks.

    Comment by Steve Trumbull -

  185. Cuban,

    An interesting article. Here’s my idea- donate all of your revenue from the Mavericks this fiscal year. Oh-here’s a better one…let’s just cancel the NBA season. Maybe some of your players will donate their H2s, their bling and mansions to the fund.

    No doubt this was an Earth-shattering trajedy, but get serious. You are ridiculous to politicize the tsunami to further your leftist/ Hollywood ideals. Last idea- see if Michael Moore will donate all proceeds from Farenheit 911 to the tsunami relief.

    Comment by Aaron Walker -

  186. For those who missed the NYT interview with Jeanne l. Phillips, here it is – keeping in mind that actions speak louder than words:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/02/magazine/02QUESTIONS.html?oref=login
    I hear one of the balls will be reserved for troops who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    Yes, the Commander-in-Chief Ball. That is new. It will be about 2,000 servicemen and their guests. And that should be a really fun event for them.

    As an alternative way of honoring them, did you or the president ever discuss canceling the nine balls and using the $40 million inaugural budget to purchase better equipment for the troops?

    I think we felt like we would have a traditional set of events and we would focus on honoring the people who are serving our country right now — not just the people in the armed forces, but also the community volunteers, the firemen, the policemen, the teachers, the people who serve at, you know, the — well, it’s called the StewPot in Dallas, people who work with the homeless.

    How do any of them benefit from the inaugural balls?

    I’m not sure that they do benefit from them.

    Then how, exactly, are you honoring them?

    Honoring service is what our theme is about.

    Comment by Tom Jenkins -

  187. Hey Mark, out of curiousity, how much ad money is brought in from each Mavs game? I’m guessing a bit more than $40 million. Why not donate that?

    I don’t necessarily disagree with your point, but you preside over a GAME that players are paid MILLIONS to PLAY. Hard to take your argument silly when (at least from what is public) you’re not doing much about what you can actually control yourself.

    Comment by Jake -

  188. Do the right thing, lead by example, who are you kidding? Step up Mark! Why is it that a sports figure like a Michael Schumacher (of Formula 1 fame) can donate his own money ($10 Million to be exact) to the Tsunamis relief efforts but it takes a combination of owners, teams and players shooting for relief dollars? What kind of freak’n marketing spin is that? I would expect more out of an independent leader, such as you, to possibly lead a coalition of business leaders to match the government funds.

    You and I may not like the fact that Bush won the election but the simple fact is that it’s a party for winning the election. It’s a reality of the process. What have you done personally to STEP UP!

    The sports world needs more people like Schumacher. F1 has more spin, is a bigger circus, and has more spectators than the NBA but for whatever reason you choose to point fingers during this tragedy. Step up Mark, the world is watching.

    Comment by Raceboy21 -

  189. You’re an idiot.

    Comment by Matt -

  190. Why don’t you donate money from advertisers to the tsunami relief? For that matter, why not call of this season and donate all that money to the relief efforts?

    The president has already pledged 350 million dollars, a figure that is sure to go up even more. Not to mention the fact that our military has been there assisting in relief efforts from very early on. It’s time to stop complaining about how the US is responding to the tsunami, because as of right now, the only one who’s pledged more money than us is Japan.

    The innaguration events are a tradition dating back to the time of George Washington, and like you said, the tab is being picked up by sponsors. Why in the world should the president have to tell them they shouldn’t spend their money on the inaguration?

    We’re more than doing our part to help with the relief, and I don’t see how cancelling or scaling down an American tradition is really going to help matters.

    Like I said, if you care so much, then take the money you get from sponsors and advertisers and donate that. The US is already in for 350 millioin. How much have you and your organization donated? For that matter how much has the UN donated or any of the countries that like to degrade us? Maybe they are the ones that you should be directing your complaints at, rather than our own president who has already made sure we’re doing our part and will continue to do more.

    Comment by Joshua Kennedy -

  191. Why would someone who has no interest in politics try to influence them in spending their money. (oh, yeah the grass is alway greener…) Why would you not look at the arena that you have some influence over? Maybe because it’s easy to fly off the handle and complain so we feel better about ourselves? Well, Mr Cuban, the inauguration monies will be donated about the same time you donate the money your organization receives from corporate sponsors. As we both know you probably have more pull to do that than the president. Which is very unfortunate. But that’s just my opinion.

    Comment by Rebecca -

  192. January 1993. War rages through Bosnia. Massacres and mass rapes – “ethnic cleansing” has forced Muslim Bosnians to flee their native towns. Sarajevo is a city under siege with electricity, water, and other necessities of life sporadic at best. Bill Clinton spends $33 million on his first inaugural.

    did anyone ask for Clinton to cancel his festivities?

    January 1997. In the aftermath of the 1996 Rwandan massacres, an estimated 3 million refugees are living crowded into camps in desperate need of external humanitarian assistance. Following the Rwandan war, Zaire is now spinning into civil war and brutal violence. Bill Clinton spends $29.6 million on his second inaugural.

    so once again did anyone ask BillC to cancel his festivities?

    I thought not.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/frum/frum-diary.asp

    i agree

    Comment by Peter -

  193. d.b, stop writing!! It is painful to read through your garbled thoughts and grammatical errors.

    Who are you to tell others what to do with their money and more importantly, who is Mark Cuban to tell others the same thing? You make negative judgements about companies/people contributing to the ignauration without knowing what they are doing to help the victims of the tsunami, you just assume they aren’t doing anything.

    You then say no one should personally attack Cuban and the NBA for what they are not doing to aid this disaster relief because we don’t know what they are doing! But wait, isn’t that exactly what you are doing to those contributing to the ignauration??

    And lastly you state that he has a right to comment about anything he wants to just like anyone else here in America. No sh*t. That’s correct, and that right applies to everyone else here on this comment thread.

    You’re not free from criticism in this country though. Bottom line, Cuban wrote this post and used this tragedy to try and score some cheap political points. He obviously didn’t realize that his symbolism logic fails because you can apply it to everything we do, no matter who we are. And symbolism doesn’t save lives, it only makes people feel good about themselves. I’d rather have a President who does something than just says something. Cuban was wrong and his follow-up post was even worse.

    Comment by Mike Rich -

  194. More facts for the ankle biters, courtesy of NR. How did the fat boy handle his inaugurations? See below.

    Have you also heard these media complaints that it is unseemly for George W. Bush to spend $30 to $40 million on his inaugural festivities in the aftermath of the terrible natural disasater in South Asia?

    Some points of reference.

    January 1993. War rages through Bosnia. Massacres and mass rapes – “ethnic cleansing” has forced Muslim Bosnians to flee their native towns. Sarajevo is a city under siege with electricity, water, and other necessities of life sporadic at best. Bill Clinton spends $33 million on his first inaugural.

    January 1997. In the aftermath of the 1996 Rwandan massacres, an estimated 3 million refugees are living crowded into camps in desperate need of external humanitarian assistance. Following the Rwandan war, Zaire is now spinning into civil war and brutal violence. Bill Clinton spends $29.6 million on his second inaugural.

    Comment by Jim -

  195. d.b. (stands for dingbat?) asks the question: How many Iraqi civilians dies at the hands of the American invasion of Iraq?

    Answer: A whole lot less than the 1 million civilian bodies in the mass graves we’re finding courtesy of Saddam.

    But always with dipshits like you, the moral equivalence card gets played. Please, let this jackass leave the country and set up a nice straw hut in Falluja. Please…..

    Comment by Jim -

  196. First I personally believe that the U.S is doing an incredible job with the tsuname anyone who does not belive that are crazy, I also belive they have done a horrible job with Iraq and other countries.
    Second They can at least tone the inauguration party down a bit. Its absoulty crazy for people to help fund a 40 million dollar party, were some of them could have helped funded more important things like feeding children in other countries etc helping homeless in your own country etc etc. List goes on and on.
    Its not just about the American goverment its about these company that help fund the party. How much have those people donated to the tsunami or any other charity? Does anyone have a list of all the companies that fund it and how much they donate to charity’s? I’m very interested in knowing.
    I might be completly wrong but maybe thats all he was trying to say, and also the first comment was mayed before Bush uped it to 300mill, so at that time was appropriat. For the President to lead the way on that would be great. More people would have a little more respect for him.
    Third For people to critizes Mark Cuban or the Nba for not giving enough money is absoulty wrong nobody knows how much they donate. My comment’s arn’t towards the people that have done a thorogh job in telling there side and that have been resonable. Its to the people to personally attack him because he has money, and to assume he doesn’t give enough is absoulutly wrong to do. Nobody but he knows were his money goes. Maybe he is a really greedy person maybe not.
    fourth he has a right to comment on any supject he likes just like anyone else here in America.
    Sorry about my previous post was a little angry.

    Comment by d.b -

  197. I disagree with your premise and your suggestion for the President. Canceling a 200+ year old tradition does nothing to benefit victims of any tragedy. We’ve inaugurated presidents in times of famine, war, disease, and global strife; it’s a tradition that binds us all, part of our national heritage.

    The United States has been far more generous than any nation on earth in terms of direct dollar assistance, military intervention to actually help those affected, and in terms of leadership (where is the UN in Asia… talking in charming foreign accents and holding meetings while never setting foot outside of the finest hotels). It’s disingenuous and insulting to suggest that the US is not doing enough. Let’s not forget that the United States also funds 40% of the UN’s budget, surely that is not a “proportional” contribution.

    Comment by Jeff -

  198. I disagree with your premise and your suggestion for the President. Canceling a 200+ year old tradition does nothing to benefit victims of any tragedy. We’ve inaugurated presidents in times of famine, war, disease, and global strife; it’s a tradition that binds us all, part of our national heritage.

    The United States has been far more generous than any nation on earth in terms of direct dollar assistance, military intervention to actually help those affected, and in terms of leadership (where is the UN in Asia… talking in charming foreign accents and holding meetings while never setting foot outside of the finest hotels). It’s disingenuous and insulting to suggest that the US is not doing enough. Let’s not forget that the United States also funds 40% of the UN’s budget, surely that is not a “proportional” contribution.

    Comment by Jeff -

  199. Really arrogant telling someone else how to spend their bucks. Can I tell you how to spend my season ticket dollars?

    I understand you do charity work, so do I. If you want to talk about budget deficits fine, but taking aim at an inaguration is plain silly. Of course the main people who will be hurt ARE the caterers, cooks, builders etc.

    Comment by Danny -

  200. “And all you Assholes are justifing an inaguration that I belive mostly rich corporate America has funded in for their own gain. who is benifiting from that”

    Who is benefiting? All the employees involved in putting it on. Caterers, contractors, construction crews, security, etc etc etc.

    At least your post makes Mark’s post look intelligent.

    Comment by Dave -

  201. oh by the way I’m throwing a huge party and can’t aford it so I’m going to start a fundraser Please send money:)

    Comment by d.b -

  202. 148 BILLION The United States of America is spending on the War in Iraq, interesting, any comments on Justifing that one?? Anybody answer me this one how many Iraq people (CIVILIANS) that have died in the hands of the Americans? The hypocrisy of the American people. And all you Assholes are justifing an inaguration that I belive mostly rich corporate America has funded in for their own gain. who is benifiting from that, other than Bushes big ego, and corporate America they must be getting something out of that, I wonder what? can anyone with some knowledge tell me. Cause so far the only one who has made a valued point is john Coleman. AND AT LEAST MARK CUBAN IS SOMEONE THAT GIVES A SHIT AND MOST LIKLY HAS DONATED TO SEVERAL CHARITYS, and has some modesty. sorry about the spelling and grammer. just a little pissed at some of the comments.

    Comment by d.b -

  203. BTW Setting an example means…you know…actually SETTING AN EXAMPLE…not masturbatory symbolizing. The US IS setting an example. You are setting an example too.

    Comment by Barry Dauphin -

  204. Or how about…..
    or http://diplomadic.blogspot.com/
    UN Death Watch . . .
    Well, we’re heading into Day 7 of the Asian quake/tsunami crisis. And the UN relief effort? Nowhere to be seen except at some meetings and on CNN and BBC as talking heads. In this corner of the Far Abroad, it’s Yanks and Aussies doing the hard, sweaty work of saving lives.

    Check out this interview (on the UN’s official website) with SecGen Annan and Under SecGen Egeland shows,

    Mr. Egeland: Our main problems now are in northern Sumatra and Aceh. In Aceh, today 50 trucks of relief supplies are arriving. Tomorrow, we will have eight full airplanes arriving. I discussed today with Washington whether we can draw on some assets on their side, after consultations with the Indonesian Government, to set up what we call an “air-freight handling centre” in Aceh.

    Tomorrow, we will have to set up a camp for relief workers – 90 of them – which is fully self-contained, with kitchen, food, lodging, everything, because they have nowhere to stay and we don’t want them to be an additional burden on the people there.

    I provided this to some USAID colleagues working in Indonesia and their heads nearly exploded. The first paragraph is quite simply a lie. The UN is taking credit for things that hard-working, street savvy USAID folks have done. It was USAID working with their amazing network of local contacts who scrounged up trucks, drivers, and fuel; organized the convoy and sent it off to deliver critical supplies. A UN “air-freight handling centre” in Aceh? Bull! It’s the Aussies and the Yanks who are running the air ops into Aceh. We have people working and sleeping on the tarmac in Aceh, surrounded by bugs, mud, stench and death, who every day bring in the US and Aussie C-130s and the US choppers; unload, load, send them off. We have no fancy aid workers’ retreat — notice the priorities of the UN? People are dying and what’s the first thing the UN wants to do? Set up “a camp for relief workers” one that would be “fully self-contained, with kitchen, food, lodging, everything.”
    The UN is a sham.

    American stinginess is saving lives
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml;sessionid=2GW2HQ2B1ZPDNQFIQMGSM5OAVCBQWJVC?xml=/opinion/2005/01/04/do0402.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/01/04/ixportal.html
    If America were to emulate Ireland and Norway, there’d be a lot more dead Indonesians and Sri Lankans. Mr Eddison may not have noticed, but the actual relief effort going on right now is being done by the Yanks: it’s the USAF and a couple of diverted naval groups shuttling in food and medicine, with solid help from the Aussies, Singapore and a couple of others. The Irish can’t fly in relief supplies, because they don’t have any C-130s. All they can do is wait for the UN to swing by and pick up their cheque.

    The Americans send the UN the occasional postal order, too. In fact, 40 per cent of Egeland’s budget comes from Washington, which suggests the Europeans aren’t being quite as “proportionate” as Mr Eddison thinks. But, when disaster strikes, what matters is not whether your cheque is “prompt”, but whether you are. For all the money lavished on them, the UN is hard to rouse to action. Egeland’s full-time round-the-clock 24/7 Big Humanitarians are conspicuous by their all but total absence on the ground. In fact, they’re doing exactly what our reader accused Washington of doing – Colin Powell, wrote Mr Eddison, “is like a surgeon saying he must do a bandage count before he will be in a position to staunch the blood flow of a haemorrhaging patient”. That’s the sclerotic UN bureaucracy. They’ve flown in (or nearby, or overhead) a couple of experts to assess the situation and they’ve issued press releases boasting about the assessments. In Sri Lanka, Egeland’s staff informs us, “UNFPA is carrying out reproductive health assessments”.
    Which, translated out of UN-speak, means the Sri Lankans can go screw themselves.

    Or perhaps you could think about US private donations compared to others: http://www.techcentralstation.com/010405G.html
    Please, please check the comparison to France. Bon Appetit!

    Comment by Barry Dauphin -

  205. Well, well Mr. Cuban. Come on, you’ve got billions, you can take a little criticism. I was one of the commenters of the “stupid, stupid” remarks. Not only is your attempt to play with the big boys lame (well, his show couldn’t even beat Trump’s-ed), but you also appear clueless, not an endearing quality for someone with your political ambitions.

    The US relief aid is nothing short of inspiring. You need to spend more time doing things besides basketball…like reading, for example. You’re in favor of the “symbolism”? You don’t care about what is literally being done to help people there; you only care about lip biting and appearances. Your response to my comment and others only served to prove my comment about moral vanity. Hey that might be a good idea for a reality TV show-Get a bunch of celebrity billionaires together and see which one cares about appearances the most-the show would never end.

    http://powerlineblog.com/archives/009115.php
    Most interesting to me was this memo written by Dutch diplomats and circulated at an EU meeting in Indonesia:

    The US military has arrived and is clearly establishing its presence everywhere in Banda Aceh. They completely have taken over the military hospital, which was a mess until yesterday but is now completely up and running. They brought big stocks of medicines, materials for the operation room, teams of doctors, water and food. Most of the patients who were lying in the hospital untreated for a week have undergone medical treatment by the US teams by this afternoon. US military have unloaded lots of heavy vehicles and organize the logistics with Indonesian military near the airport. A big camp is being set up at a major square in the town. Huge generators are ready to provide electricity. US helicopters fly to places which haven’t been reached for the whole week and drop food. The impression it makes on the people is also highly positive; finally something happens in the city of Banda Aceh and finally it seems some people are in control and are doing something. No talking but action. European countries are until now invisible on the ground. IOM staff (note: this is a USAID-funded organization) is very busy briefing the incoming Americans and Australians about the situation.

    Comment by Barry Dauphin -

  206. Up front, I would like to note that around lunch today I wrote a perfectly searing criticism of Mr. Cuban’s post and after a little more thought, canned it before I clicked the email approval link.

    Of course I think that there is a certain amount of hypocrisy in pro-sports owner criticizing Presidential giving. Right here in D.C., pro-baseball is getting citizens of the city to pay for a stadium to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars (raised from taxes on small businesses) to subsidize the salaries of billionaire owner and multi-millionaire players who are receiving government handouts in the form of half-billion dollar stadium subsidies. The hypocrisy is obvious. Forget charity, these people won’t even pay the price of their own business.

    Also, in a world in which basketball players and owners engage in more criminal behavior than ex-cons, drive $200,000 vehicles (and own dozens more), and assault fans—it is fun and easy to bite into an owner when he states an opinion on matters of charity and goodwill. Most of the guys in pro ball are jerks. That’s a given. But here Mark Cuban is a blogger. It seems we should judge his arguments.

    It is clear that he should not legislate the expenditures of private inauguration donors. But Cuban does not advocate that. He says the president should set an example by demonstrating frugality in fiscally trying times (at home and abroad). Is he wrong? Several commenters have noted that the catering etc. will benefit workers but this is the equivalent of saying that hurricanes benefit builders. They do, but there is still a net loss to society. Lobbying and partying transfer wealth from corporate donors to event planners and restaurants, but they are just that—wealth transfers not wealth creation. Money spent butt-kissing is not money well spent. It could be better spent rebuilding homes and covering medical expenses in Asia.

    Look, Mark is a billionaire and I have no doubt he wastes money on fancy parties, too. But HE IS NOT THE PRESIDENT. The President of the free world has a higher level of moral responsibility than a billionaire basketball owner. That is why Clinton got impeached for his sexual flippancy and Colin Farrel gets publicity for his. Whether or not the money spent on the ball would go to tsunami victims or corporate dividends is, on one level, mute. Mr. Correctly states that Bush’s extravagance sends the wrong rhetorical message: while others are unemployed, homeless, and dying, the ceremonial head of state in the U.S. is throwing a party. It may not be wrong, but it looks that way.

    And to those who say “How dare Cuban tell others what to do with their money!” Give up the moral nihilism. As long as Cuban isn’t using the power of government to force people to give up their money he is perfectly right to tell people what he thinks they should do. That is why he blogs. To give his opinions. If you don’t like his opinions, disagree. But ad hominem attacks do little to deflate his thesis.

    Sure, NBA owners and players could do more. But that doesn’t cut the President any moral slack. Sure Cuban is a bit hypocritical for pushing a political agenda in a time of crisis and asking for something he, perhaps, would not do. But hypocrisy doesn’t make someone wrong.

    Comment by John Coleman -

  207. #91 John has a great point:
    It is interesting how the money the NBA has collected so far has come from the fans…I wonder when the multimillionaire players and the multimillionaire or even billionaire owners will pony up?

    Comment by Thought -

  208. This is not a sign of manifest sickness, or any other sort of sickness. We are offering, as of now, $350 million in aid. The inauguration is not simply pissing $35 million in the wind – it is a demonstration of the orderly transition (in this case, continuation) of power in the greatest democracy in the world. As far as wild pork barrel spending on ridiculous projects, it is absurd, but it is not the root of the nation’s financial difficulties. We are the most generous nation in the history of the world, and we will continue this noble tradition in the midst of this tragedy.

    Comment by Joe Magliolo -

  209. http://edition.cnn.com/2005/SPORT/01/04/tsunami.relief/index.html

    This link provides even a better reason for Mark Cuban to become the focal point for giving among US professional players/teams. Notice the reference to the NBA was having a collection bucket out for the fans to give.

    Comment by John in Az -

  210. Amen, the hard part would be getting the rest of the politicians to follow the president’s lead. They are mostly in the business of helping themselves and not looking out for the little guy. I think the president would start the ball rolling but congress would end up kicking it right back in his face.

    Comment by Bradley Varcoe -

  211. Mark,

    While your heart is in the right place, your mind is somewhere else. Why ask for others to do what you can do yourself? Stop paying ridiculous sums of money to people that have the incredible skill of putting a small round object into a hole slightly larger than that round object. Stop the All-Star game and everything else associated with the NBA for that matter. Send all monies to the relief effort. Go back to Dairy Queen as a second job and donate all proceeds to the pople of Thailand. At least the inauguration is based around a necessity (argueably) in the form of government. Basketball is a children’s game being played by grown men for astronomical sums of money. Give all proceeds from “The Benefactor” and give it to people that truly need one.

    Besides Mark, it’s not the money that’s the issue at this point over there. There’s plenty there. It’s the coordination or lack thereof to get the supplies and treatment to those that so desperately need it. There was not proper preparation by the gov’ts involved. They should have had at least a basic plan in case of an emergency. Anyone on this planet post 9-11 should realize that ANYTHING can happen. Especially when the majority of the places effected by this are ISLAND nations. Just seems foolish to me.

    Instead of blindly taking shots that could just as easily be taken at you, why not analyze the problem and see where the real solutions to the problems lie. You’re a smart guy so you probably already knew this, right? You were just trying to stir some friendly debate, I know.

    Or if you truly believe that it is our duty to sacrifice our menial things for others put your money where your mouth is. I challenge you to put up $100 million of your own money and not take any of it off your taxes next year. You got the cash, sell off a second string center or something. You know, some useless thing you have sitting around.

    Don’t get me wrong, while I think you are just shy of morally bankrupt on this issue I am a fan of what you do in terms of questioning the status quo in the NBA, specifically the officiating.

    Comment by Manlita -

  212. Mark,

    As much as I admire you and your accomplishments, your latest clarification post is the most disturbing. You are a democrat, I am a repulican that voted for Bush. You are using a tragedy that claimed the lives of over 150,000 people to make a political point.

    I know you are a very smart person, but as much as I am sure you hate President Bush, this is the wrong time to chastize him.

    Mark, one suggestion, if you keep your monetary donations private, may I suggest you keep your political agenda private too. There is quit a large fan base of Republicans in Texas.

    Comment by Jeffrey Geiger -

  213. Someone check my math on this

    Guesstimate of average NBA Salary = $2.5MM (from star to 12th man could be a lot more)
    Number of players on a roster = 12
    Number of NBA teams = 30
    10% pretax contribution

    2,500,000 x 12 x 30 x 10.0% = $90,000,000

    And that’s just the NBA players!!!

    Comment by John in Az -

  214. Mark,

    I agree with the idea of toning down the Inaugural parties and balls, but not purely from a financial standpoint. Seeing as those parties are sponsored by Bush’s “base”, the money couldn’t be diverted. My reasoning is that we are in the midst of a war, the country is going broke and the administration is completely out of touch with fiscal reality. Other wartime presidents did without the balls and parties, citing respect for the soldiers. Sure, some soldiers are going to get to dance at the ball, but there are far more who will still be in Iraq.

    I’m sorry to all you people who do support this grand expression of conspicuous consumption, but I’d love to hear a good, solid reason for spending $40 mil on a party when the country has little to celebrate.

    Comment by SnowyBiscuit -

  215. Wait, what about these ideas?
    1. Cancel the Mavs’ season and donate the salaries.
    2. Continue the season and donate any of your profits (oh, wait a minute, I forgot; you don’t make a dime on the Mavs, do you?).
    3. Better yet, why don’t you call up the Billionaire Asshat Club (there’s at least you, Soros and the Waltons; Gates has already donated), and shake loose some change, eh?

    How typical: full of pontification about other people’s money. Asshole.

    Comment by Jumbo -

  216. Mark,

    While your heart is in the right place, your mind is somewhere else. Why ask for others to do what you can do yourself? Stop paying ridiculous sums of money to people that have the incredible skill of putting a small round object into a hole slightly larger than that round object. Stop the All-Star game and everything else associated with the NBA for that matter. Send all monies to the relief effort. Go back to Dairy Queen as a second job and donate all proceeds to the pople of Thailand. At least the inauguration is based around a necessity (argueably) in the form of government. Basketball is a children’s game being played by grown men for astronomical sums of money. Give all proceeds from “The Benefactor” and give it to people that truly need one.

    Besides Mark, it’s not the money that’s the issue at this point over there. There’s plenty there. It’s the coordination or lack thereof to get the supplies and treatment to those that so desperately need it. There was not proper preparation by the gov’ts involved. They should have had at least a basic plan in case of an emergency. Anyone on this planet post 9-11 should realize that ANYTHING can happen. Especially when the majority of the places effected by this are ISLAND nations. Just seems foolish to me.

    Instead of blindly taking shots that could just as easily be taken at you, why not analyze the problem and see where the real solutions to the problems lie. You’re a smart guy so you probably already knew this, right? You were just trying to stir some friendly debate, I know.

    Or if you truly believe that it is our duty to sacrifice our menial things for others put your money where your mouth is. I challenge you to put up $100 million of your own money and not take any of it off your taxes next year. You got the cash, sell off a second string center or something. You know, some useless thing you have sitting around.

    Don’t get me wrong, while I think you are just shy of morally bankrupt on this issue I am a fan of what you do in terms of questioning the status quo in the NBA, specifically the officiating.

    Comment by Manlita -

  217. Let me get this straight:

    “Deficits are too large so as a symbolic gesture to show that we will crack down on spending, we should cancel the inauguration and send the money to Asia.”

    Pure genius. Mark doesn’t know if the point is to be generous or to cut spending, but he figures there must be some way to exploit the disaster to make a political comment.

    Comment by Dave -

  218. The backtracking begins. Tell me what’s more “stupid”:

    1. Spending $40 million on a Presidential Inaugural Party

    2. A guy who made billions on a fluff company who purchased a team in a fading, thug sport wringing his hands over the $40 million party?

    Cuban, you’re a real piece of work. Hell, even Sandra Bullock gave $1 million, I’m sure you have a billion to spare, no? I mean, you have the gall to give $1 million on a fluff reality show, why not give $1 billion to people in a real crisis? Is it perhaps the thought of the money getting into the hands of the U.N. to be spent appropriately (ala oil-for-food)? Maybe that’s it, since you such the go-getter on the national debt. Yeah, that’s gotta be it.

    Don’t get me wrong though. I applaud your ability to forsee the dot.bomb era and dump the soon to be worthless broadcast.com at the height of the mania. I also believe that in America, you should have the right to spend your money, no matter the amount, on what you want. Hell, you should also be able to make moronic criticisms of the current Administration as much as you want (see Cuban’s comments above).

    The question is, when you’re shown to be fool that you are, will you handle the heat, or will you revert to even more moronic statements of the “symbolism” of it all?

    Yeah Mark, with people like you, it’s always the symbolism, always the thought and never the action. You’re the type that criticizes President Bush for “acting to slow” on the tsunami (Translation: Bush needed to do a photo op).

    Instead, while the ankle biters were clamoring about symbolism, a carrier and aid was on its way to the region. Action, instead of words. Still, not good enough for the Bruckenheimer Club….

    Comment by Jim -

  219. The backtracking begins. Tell me what’s more “stupid”:

    1. Spending $40 million on a Presidential Inaugural Party

    2. A guy who made billions on a fluff company who purchased a team in a fading, thug sport wringing his hands over the $40 million party?

    Cuban, you’re a real piece of work. Hell, even Sandra Bullock gave $1 million, I’m sure you have a billion to spare, no? I mean, you have the gall to give $1 million on a fluff reality show, why not give $1 billion to people in a real crisis? Is it perhaps the thought of the money getting into the hands of the U.N. to be spent appropriately (ala oil-for-food)? Maybe that’s it, since you such the go-getter on the national debt. Yeah, that’s gotta be it.

    Don’t get me wrong though. I applaud your ability to forsee the dot.bomb era and dump the soon to be worthless broadcast.com at the height of the mania. I also believe that in America, you should have the right to spend your money, no matter the amount, on what you want. Hell, you should also be able to make moronic criticisms of the current Administration as much as you want (see Cuban’s comments above).

    The question is, when you’re shown to be fool that you are, will you handle the heat, or will you revert to even more moronic statements of the “symbolism” of it all?

    Yeah Mark, with people like you, it’s always the symbolism, always the thought and never the action. You’re the type that criticizes President Bush for “acting to slow” on the tsunami (Translation: Bush needed to do a photo op).

    Instead, while the ankle biters were clamoring about symbolism, a carrier and aid was on its way to the region. Action, instead of words. Still, not good enough for the Bruckenheimer Club….

    Comment by Jim -

  220. First, I want to take up for Mark Cuban vis a vis his own charitable works: From my perch in Ft. Worth, I can see that Mark Cuban is a wonderful citizen who makes huge and significant charitable contributions in many areas. I appreciate this greatly. I am proud to be an American with Mark.

    Second, if Mark had said: “I think it would be a great thing for Bush to show leadership and sensitivity by scaling back the inaugural festivities,” then few of us would’ve had a quarrel with him.

    However, Mark basically said: “Bush SHOULD scale back the inaugural festivities.” This SHOULD was only reinforced by Mark’s recent follow up comment, and this is where most people, including me, have a big disagreement. Its ok to have ideas or suggestions for where and how people should spend THEIR money, but its not ok to assign yourself expert status as to where and how they should do so. Probably no one can understand this better, if he thinks about it, than Mark himself, as– even in this comment thread– many people are telling him how he SHOULD spend his money.

    3) I was the first to mention this(in comment #30): the $40 Million for the inauguration is not wasted!
    1– Pomp and ceremony binds a nation together and builds its confidence. And, frankly, what’s good for America is good for flooded Indonesians.
    2– Inaugural pomp and ceremony is free worldwide advertising of America’s economic power, and of Bush’s political power. This will help us achieve diplomatic goals.
    3– Its good for emerging democracies to see a celebration of the peaceful transition of democratic power. Taken in this light, the pomp and ceremony has an actual(if small) impact on our national defense.
    4– As stated many times here– the $40 million makes an economic impact for the area, the big guy, and the little guys! That money is a little economic engine. It is not being wasted!

    I’ll add something else: Americans being the generous nation that we are– some of the $40 million that goes home with the little guys will end up being donated to the Tsunami victims.

    All in all, it might be a neat idea for Bush to lead by scaling back the inaugural festivities– but I don’t think it would be the best idea. Anyone who is cocksure that it would be the best idea needs to think long and hard about what he/she is proposing.

    PS: I agree that switching the subject onto government overspending is inappropriate and crass.

    Comment by greg cotharn -

  221. I agree with John in #79: Mr. Cuban should lead an effort to get each player in the NBA to donate 10% of his pretax 2005 income to the relief efforts…now that’s a powerful symbol.

    Then, of course, each team can kick in 10% of their earnings, and of course, each owner, GM, coach, etc can kick in 10% of their earnings.

    So if symbolism is important, that would be a very nice symbol to the world of what the NBA can represent.

    And you’d also be talkinga about a huge sum of money…10% of billions…

    Comment by Thought -

  222. Canceling or scaling back the inaugural festivities would be symbolic and that is the problem. The move would no provide no lasting benefit. If you want to affect government spending, maybe you should focus on the way government spends the tax payer money and then advocate alternatives. Perhaps you could have a discussion about why the government is spending more and where it is going. For example, you may look into what programs are receiving the increased spending. The majority is going to defense and homeland security, not to the inauguration. Since you already admit that the inaugural festivities are paid for by private dollars, why start out blasting pork barrel spending?

    If your problem is spending money on a party when there are so many people in need of aid, maybe you could contribute to the many different organizations providing relief and encourage your readers to do the same. I do not doubt your level of generosity. While canceling the inaugural may look good symbolically, it probably would not do anything the change what you seem to want changed.

    Comment by Kimberly -

  223. Excellent response in Post # 73. Cuban is certainly not as influential as the POTUS, but within in the NBA, now a hugely global organization, he is one of the most visible non players around. Could we imagine him, through the influence of former Presidents Bush and Clinton being the focal point of not just the NBA, but all of this countrys professional sports teams response to this disaster. I recommend that he work to get each professional sports player in the US to contribute 10% of their 2005 pre-tax salary to disaster relief and that all professional teams contribute 10% as well. I would anticipate owners, team GM’s and presidents, etc contributing 10% as well

    Can you imagine the goodwill engendered by this action after such actions as the Danny Fortson viscious attack on Zarko Carbocaja and the Pistons/Cavaliers incident.

    Can you imagine the status of Cuban if he pulls this off…. instead of the whine ass his original post makes him out to be

    Comment by John in Az -

  224. I wish Mr. Cuban would lead an effort to reform the thinking of the selfish, overpaid players in the NBA. Talk about a sport with a lack of roll models…there are some, but they are few and far between.

    Most NBA players blow money on needless luxuries left and right, and maybe make token appearances for the sake of charity. I am sick of seeing an NBA player give away a few thousand dollars to a charity at holiday time, or giving maybe an hour or two for a PR charity event, and expecting me to be impressed by that, when I know they hoard the vast majority of their money for themselves.

    Mr. Cuban get your own house in order before preaching to others.

    Comment by Thought -

  225. My last post was messed up. I was quoting Mark:

    “Last time I looked, I wasn’t considered the leader of the free world. I am not the person much, if not most of the world looks to for an example. …The importance of cancelling the Inaugural parties isnt the money, its what it symbolizes. “

    Comment by Dave -

  226. Here’s a good rule:
    Never listen to a billionaire call for sacrifice from others, until that billionaire has given at least 99% of his wealth to the cause for which he demands the sacrifice of others (that would still leave the billionaire with at least 10 million dollars).

    As long as I see the billinaire live in posh mansions, ride around in luxury vehicles, etc…(not to mention the enjoy the luxury of owning a professional sports team), that billionaire has very little credibility to call for sacrifice. Change begins with the individual calling for change.

    Comment by Thought -

  227. >

    I’m sorry, but how exactly does this set an example of spending restraint? The money is still being given away.

    And why is the President the only one who can “set an example” in this regard? Would it not set an example in the sports and entertainment world if you made an enormous sacrifice such as that which you call “stupid”? There is quite a bit of money floating around the sports and entertainment world.

    Oh, but I guess the idea wasn’t to set an example of generosity towards the tsunami victims, it was to set an example of cutting out some government frills.

    So ultimately, this is purely a political post about government spending, not about making sacrifices to help other people.

    Nice job Mark.

    Comment by Dave -

  228. Mr. Cuban writes, in response to suggestions to cancel the NBA season and such as a similar way to redirect wealth to the relief effort:
    ” I am not the person much, if not most of the world looks to for an example. ”

    No, but that is a cop out. We all set a small personal example at the very least for those around us. And your position as a highly visible billionaire, entrepreneur, and sports owner do make you a personal example for many people. In fact, you have far greater influence than the average citizen owing to your stature.

    So why can’t change begin with you? When we see you living like Ghandi or Mother Theresa, then we can take your call for sacrifice seriously.

    Comment by Thought -

  229. What a stupid idea, cancel the presidential inauguration? Why not divert 10% of all the overpaid, over-priveleged NBA players salaries to disaster relief. Cuban, you are a fool. Is it wrong to be paying people 10’s of millions of dollars a year to run around throwing a ball through a hoop when people died in a tsunami? Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and donate $35 of your own money. God knows you have enough. Cuban you are truly an ass! Not only has this country already pledged $350 million we have countless military personal, cargo plains, and helicopters lifting supplies donated by other countries. We are the only country in the work with the people and ability to carry out any meaningful airlift of supplies. I just can’t stomach people (Cuban) mouthing off about a subject they know nothing about.
    If you want to piss about the government spending to much money, you have a point, but you do not understand how the federal budget works if you think that canceling the inauguration would have any effect on the defecit. What hurts our budget is not one time charges, but huge increases in government intitaliments that occur every year. Cuban, you’ve got to read a little before you mouth off. Anyone with any clue of how this counrty works can only laugth at comments because they show a complete lack of understanding of how our budgets works in this country.

    Comment by Tony -

  230. This is a ridiculous suggestion.

    As others have pointed out, why not cancel the rest of the NBA season and have all the money spent on the games donated to the tsunami relief? Why not have all the networks and advertisers give their money instead to the relief effort? Why not have all of the overpaid NBA players give 90% of their salaries away to the relief effort?

    For that matter, Mr. Cuban, why don’t you give away 90 or 95% of your fortune to the relief effort? You could live without it? Why not sell your nice properties and vehicles and all of the trappings of wealth you possess, and give those proceeds away?

    One can always cherry pick any expense that is not an absolute necessity and complain that the money should be given to worthy charity efforts. This is a shameful attempt to politicize the tsunami disaster.

    Comment by Thought -

  231. I agree with Mike Rich. You’re attempt at self-aggrandizement is disgusting. I guess the lesson to your children is that when tens of thousands die in a natural disaster they should run out and try to capitalize on it…

    How do you sleep at night?

    Comment by ajf -

  232. Mark,

    While your heart is in the right place, your mind is somewhere else. Why ask for others to do what you can do yourself? Stop paying ridiculous sums of money to people that have the incredible skill of putting a small round object into a hole slightly larger than that round object. Stop the All-Star game and everything else associated with the NBA for that matter. Send all monies to the relief effort. Go back to Dairy Queen as a second job and donate all proceeds to the pople of Thailand. At least the inauguration is based around a necessity (argueably) in the form of government. Basketball is a children’s game being played by grown men for astronomical sums of money. Give all proceeds from “The Benefactor” and give it to people that truly need one.

    Besides Mark, it’s not the money that’s the issue at this point over there. There’s plenty there. It’s the coordination or lack thereof to get the supplies and treatment to those that so desperately need it. There was not proper preparation by the gov’ts involved. They should have had at least a basic plan in case of an emergency. Anyone on this planet post 9-11 should realize that ANYTHING can happen. Especially when the majority of the places effected by this are ISLAND nations. Just seems foolish to me.

    Instead of blindly taking shots that could just as easily be taken at you, why not analyze the problem and see where the real solutions to the problems lie. You’re a smart guy so you probably already knew this, right? You were just trying to stir some friendly debate, I know.

    Or if you truly believe that it is our duty to sacrifice our menial things for others put your money where your mouth is. I challenge you to put up $100 million of your own money and not take any of it off your taxes next year. You got the cash, sell off a second string center or something. You know, some useless thing you have sitting around.

    Don’t get me wrong, while I think you are just shy of morally bankrupt on this issue I am a fan of what you do in terms of questioning the status quo in the NBA, specifically the officiating.

    Comment by Manlita -

  233. I disagree. You aren’t taking the money from the President. You are taking the money from the workers and vendors and other employees who are paid to set up and put on the inauguration. You are hurting the little guy by doing this. If this made sense, it would make sense to cancel any number of events going on all the time. Why not do this? Because people are paid to put on these events, and it takes the money away from them. Better to let us continue with our economic activity and let individuals decide how much of their own money to donate.

    Comment by Dave -

  234. Wow, Cuban’s 2:06pm remarks are almost incomprehensible. Thank God enough people have come on board to challenge his silliness. Like the Mainstream Media, the UN, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the French, Cuban has been caught flatfooted by the speed of this countrys response (both financially and militarily)to this disaster.

    Comment by John in Az -

  235. Mark, so why use the tragedy in the Indian Ocean to call on President Bush to cancel his ignauration parties and then use that same tragedy to score some political points about spending limits? How crass are you? You’re now using this tragedy to highlight your views on government spending restraint. However much I agree with you on that, and I do, it is utterly disgusting that you would use such an occurence as the deaths of more than 120,000 people to advance your call for more fiscal restraint.

    I can’t believe that was your intention, but it damn sure reads like that in your post above and it’s disgusting. Please stick to matters you know, like insulting refs and paying off fines.

    Comment by Mike Rich -

  236. Just an update in response to some of the stupid, stupid claims of “why dont you just cancel the NBA season, or have all the advertisers or ticket holders give their money…etc, etc.

    Last time I looked, I wasnt considered the leader of the free world. I am not the person much, if not most of the world looks to for an example.

    The importance of cancelling the Inaugural parties isnt the money, its what it symbolizes.

    I do what I can to set an example with the Fallen Patriot Fund (www.fallenpatriotfund.org). Any other charitable contributions I make, I require that my name not be released. I feel obligated to do what I feel is the right thing, and I try to do it for that reason.

    I am proud of how our country has supported those who need help.

    I am glad that we have increased the support we are providing at all levels.

    Im not happy that our President still has not dealt with the other side of the ledger.
    All the bills come due at some point. He could be a real leader and explain to the country that to provide the level of support we are committing to, there will have to be cuts in spending.

    Leaders are supposed to set examples that reflect reality. Instead we get an example of “charge more on the credit card and rather than save money to pay off the bills, get a bigger limit on the card and charge more” Not just with this, but with everything he touches.

    When does this country start trying to limit spending ? I used to lean republican on financial issues because they tried to be a little hawkish on spending. THose days are long gone. Instead we have politicians with the country’s credit cards on a constant spending binge

    That has to change.

    Changing bad habits can start with the smallest of steps. THe President should be setting that example and he isnt.

    We try to teach financial responsibility to our kids. Its a shame we cant teach it to our politicians and our President

    Comment by Mark Cuban -

  237. “I’m an independent”…
    cancel the parties, etc….

    Sorry doesen’t wash. You’re a Dem and I’d bet if it was President Kerrys inaguration you wouldn’t say squat.
    Better you come out and say something useful, like “Cancel the contributions to the UN and use THAT money.”

    Comment by mike -

  238. didn’t have enough time to check everyon’s response, but this comment from http://www.buzzmachine.com is enough for me

    “Mark Cuban, my favorite billionaire blogger, has called for the cancellation of the presidential inauguration festivities so that funds can be diverted to tsunami relief. Huh? Why not call for the cancellation of the NBA season and take all the dollars advertisers have committed for broadcasting it and send those funds to tsunami relief? What, the advertisers won’t do that? Have you asked?”

    Sounds like a good idea to me. Is Cuban’s silly reality show still on tv? How about getting those advertisers to pony up their advertising $$$ spent on the show for tsunami relief instead?

    Comment by John in AZ -

  239. What silliness, Mr. Cuban, and what moral vanity for someone who won’t have the guts to call for cancelling the rest of the NBA season and ask advertisers to donate their money to the relief effort and have the NBA donate all of Ron Artest’s salary to the relief fund, etc., etc. Why pick that event (Innauguration) among the millions of events (just in the NBA alone) that are lavish. This is your idea of entering the political fray? In trying to score big, you have succeeded in making yourself look puny. Nice job.

    Comment by Barry Dauphin -

  240. While we are at it, is there anything worse than having a bunch of overpaid athletes who do nothing else than take a ball and throw it through a round hole continue to play through the tsunami disaster? I didn’t see the NBA canceling any games…I guess that’s cause they would have lost a ton of advertising money that they were planing to send to the disaster victims.

    Come on, Mark, I expect something smarter from you…

    Comment by Alex -

  241. By cancelling the inauguration party, who are you hurting? Hard-working Americans who are counting on catering the event, setting up the event, serving, etc. And what are they supposed to do about their lost revenue?

    Comment by Susan -

  242. Wow, that’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. Please stick to making money and kissing NBA player butt.

    Comment by Steve -

  243. Yes, FIRE ALL THOSE PEOPLE working at the convention. Two weeks notice is good enough.

    Ridiculous? Absolutely.

    Comment by ion -

  244. I’ve lost all respect for Cuban now. He has shown that he really is an idiot, and doesn’t have any credibility whatsoever. What, his billions? The billions he got from selling a worthless site during the hay-day of dot-com euphoria? Who gives a crap. He hasn’t had a successful business since… and the intellect of Mark Cuban we’ve seen on this hopeless blog shows why.

    Comment by Slavinko -

  245. I say we should ask Michael Moore to cancel his next movie and use the proceeds of that to fund the tsunami relief efforts. Or how about cancelling the next 100 reality TV episodes to fund a tent city in Sumatra. Or cancel the NBA and send the players salaries to Sri Lanka. The possibilities are endless, and the logic similar.

    Comment by Charlie Quidnunc -

  246. This idea is so stupid and short-sighted that I can’t believe people are actually saying it. With this logic, no one should be able to spend their money as they see fit ever. It should all be going towards some needy cause, because if you think about it, there is always someone out there more needy than yourself, so how can you justify having a good time by spending your own money?

    Obviously, Bush can not take this private money and just do whatever he wants with it. And besides, how do you know that the same individuals/corporations aren’t contributing more money than they sent for the ignauration to the relief efforts?

    How can you sit there from your perch of billions and tell other people how to spend their money? Why not give half your fortune to the relief efforts then? So you already give to charity, so what, I guarantee those attending the ignauration give to charity as well. What a hypocrite you are.

    Comment by Mike -

  247. Questions that immediately come to mind after reading that whacked out diatribe, er, blog, and the subsequent dumb fvck rants, er, replies:

    1) How the fvck did you make over 1 billion dollars? Seriously, I would have thought, with that intellect, you’d be more suited to drying cars at Randy’s.

    2) Looks like the “Anyone But Bush” crowd is still firmly entrenched in their apoplectic jihad. Still, it’s hilarious watching these dopes play “6 degrees of George W Bush” when it comes to bad news. Get a life, then get a job you friggin’ chimps…

    Comment by Jim -

  248. In 2000, they told Bush to tone down his inaugural because of the election scandal. In 2004, they’ve conveniently found another excuse to put a damper on his inaugural. I find it odd that no one suggested Democrat Bill Clinton should not enjoy either of his inaugurals in full. And I doubt any Democrats would’ve missed the opportunity to celebrate a Kerry win.

    To bring it around to the main topic, everyone does things with their money that others would consider a “waste”. Basketball is one of my least favorite sports, but telling all those season ticket holders and corporate sponsors to give their money to charity instead of “wasting” it on basketball would be rightly dismissed as silly.

    Comment by J3 -

  249. One of the problems with this logic is that most of the Presidential Inauguration is funded via donations and ticket sales. Congress only allocates $1 million for the event. Since no Goverment money is involved, the President can’t re-allocate it to fund disaster relief. He sent the Navy to do that task. It’s not getting a lot of press coverage because actually doing something benefitial is not as newsworthy as sending cash to the UN.

    Did you also protested Clinton spending $30 million for his second inauguration?

    Comment by Doug Halsted -

  250. Cancelling the festivities would be a big step in the right direction.

    Comment by Paul Goode -

  251. in a perfect world there wouldn’t be any $40mm parties, actually the only parties that would exist are free parties that come from the generosity of the host. but, unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world, instead we live in a world full of greed with the mentality of me first you second. it’s really sad when you read that “our country was offering $35mm in aid to the areas affected by the Tsunamis, but that the cost of inauguration parties would be about $40mm”

    Comment by Sang -

  252. Mark,
    Bottomline is everyone in this country has the right to spend their money anyway they choose. All the talk in the world will not change that, and we should all support this relief effort as we see fit. I hardly think that WHEN the Mavs win their first championship that you would/will cancel the celebration and send the money to charity??? No, it is earned and deserved to celebrate your hard work and dedication. GW worked extremely hard for this election and should be allowed to celebrate his victory!
    GO MAVS!

    Comment by Randy -

  253. Cuban, you are a simple mind, and just because you’ve got a few billion dollars due to a dotcom sale doesn’t mean you know shit about what you’re talking about.

    Comment by Slavinko -

  254. $35 million is or isn’t a lot of money, depending on how much you need. I think the *gesture* is as important as anything else. We don’t even need to cut out the parties entirely; just a tasteful scaling back would show the rest of the world that we’re not insensitive to the pain of those who lie outside of our borders.

    I, too, blogged about this (and sent out emails to my list):

    http://www.communicatrix.com/blog/2004/12/citizens_of_the.html

    If you feel strongly about the message we’re sending the world, might I suggest a POLITELY worded, non-partisan note to the President and your representatives in Congress. You can find their email addys here:

    http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/

    Thanks for the post and the lively discussion. Peace and good wishes to all in 2005.

    Comment by Colleen Wainwright -

Comments are closed.