20 January: In the midst of the worst economic crisis for 80 years, Obama's elongated and epic inauguration festivities cost $160m, just about four times more than George W Bush spent four years earlier.
23 January: Two days after introducing strict new ethical rules for his administration, specifically to "close the revolving door that lets lobbyists come into government freely", Obama waives the new regulations, and appoints lobbyist William Lynn as deputy secretary of defence.
17 february: He formally signs the $787bn stimulus bill that he'd rushed through the Houses of Congress so fast nobody could read the entire thing first. Critics immediately dub it the spendulus or porkulus bill.
1 march: Gifts British prime minister Gordon Brown a set of DVDs but the supposedly cosmopolitan Obama somehow doesn't know they're formatted only for the American market. Brown was lucky. The president later gives Queen Elizabeth II an iPod containing, amongst other things, recordings of his own speeches.
11 march: The president who famously pledged to end pork-barrel spending, signs off on an omnibus spending bill with an estimated $8bn devoted to just those kind of pet projects, including, amongst other beauties, money for a tattoo-removal scheme in California.
21 april: Having spent three months lecturing the country about belt-tightening, he asks his cabinet to make departmental budget cuts to the tune of $100m to show that the administration was money-conscious too. Since he'd already spent $1.6trn in his first three months, the cuts amounted to 0.0027 of 1%.
30 may: Having repeatedly condemned corporate excess and high living, Obama flies wife Michelle to New York for dinner and a Broadway show, a date night that costs the taxpayer a mere $81,000.
9 july: USA Today investigation reveals that counties which voted for Obama last November have so far received approximately twice as much stimulus funding as those which endorsed John McCain.
13 july: Steven Rattner, Obama's appointment as the 'Car Czar', steps down from his position overseeing the automobile industry amid a scandal involving his Wall Street investment firm and public pension funds. Change we can believe in?
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