Core Values. Heh.

The Times discovers sophism (as we have) even in the new White House decor. Speaking of the bowl of apples in place of flowers, and noting that no one could possibly eat them (who's going to spray juice in the Oval Office), it notes:
They are there, of course, to underline some core (sorry) Obama brand values: ecology, informality, healthy eating. Indeed, everything added to the room is unduly freighted with meaning; in particular the specially commissioned rug, in First Dog-unfriendly beige, is embroidered around the edge with inspirational sayings...
Surely by the time you are elected president, people will grasp that you subscribe to Lincoln’s “Government of the people, by the people, for the people” without your having it woven into a carpet. ... Honestly, you have a public platform, you no longer need to wear your views on your sleeve like a sixth-former.
As you may have seen from my twitter feed, one of the quotations on the rug is misattributed, which is even more sixth-former than the rug itself!

In the Obamas' defense, the White House isn't supposed to be grand, it's supposed to be republican (more about that here), so if it looks like the cover of a Pottery Barn catalogue, that's not the worst thing in the world (except for that table, which looks like it belongs in a dorm room). Of course the absolute best line comes from Lileks, who finds the colors soothing,
but it does sort of have a 4:00 PM-in-America feel to it.
Update: the audacity of taupe.