Michelle Obama received gift worth $70,000 from a foreign queen.
Here is a story to, uh, treasure from the local CBS station in Washington, DC: “State Department: Queen Of Brunei Gave Michelle Obama More Than $70G Worth Of Jewelry In 2013.”
From furniture and food to fine art, members of the Obama administration received thousands of dollars in gifts from foreign leaders, but first lady Michelle Obama appears to have received the most expensive gift last year.
The State Department reported Tuesday that the queen of Brunei gave Mrs. Obama jewelry worth $71,468 in 2013. The flower-shaped white gold earrings, ring and necklace were studded with yellow sapphires and diamonds, according to the department’s annual accounting of gifts published in the Federal Register. That’s almost seven times more valuable than the most expensive gift received by President Barack Obama, a glass amber-colored sculpture of a falcon on a branch worth $10,400 from Qatar’s ambassador to the U.S.
Under federal ethics rules, the presents must be turned over to the government for storage or official use unless the recipient chooses to purchase the items from the General Services Administration. Few choose to do so.
I suggest instead of wasting time, space, and additional resources storing all this stuff, the White House open an eBay account and put every last bribe… er, gift up for auction. The proceeds can be used to pay down the national debt our leaders have placed around our necks like 17-trillion lumps of coal.
I guess they’re rightly saying “The People” own these trinkets and baubles, so let’s put them to a productive use.
While we’re at it, let’s put all of the White House china and other luxuries up for sale, too. We don’t have a king, and there’s no need for these over-the-top State Dinners with 5-Star fare. Our leaders are supposed to be citizen-servants, not royalty. Let guests eat pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, and other traditional fare. If they don’t like it, there are plenty of restaurants they can patronize on their own dime, and help average Americans and the economy.