1600 Potemkin Avenue, The White HouseBiggest deficits in history. Most unstable foreign polocy situation since the Cuban Missile Crisis? And the Bush administration is going to spend millions, if not billions, to beautify Pennsylvania Avenue. Sounds like they already spent 100s of thousands of dollars, if not more, planning on it. The Potemkin Village was an invention of Russian government officials, I believe. If the Czar wanted to know how the peasants were doing, they'd put up a shiny new town-front, and walk the Czar through. Some suggest the recent expenditure of 1billionUSD+ on the beautification of St Petersburg for its 300th anniversary was a modern Potemkin Village. Sounds about right. A modern definition, for example, from InfoPlease
a pretentiously showy or imposing façade intended to mask or divert attention from an embarrassing or shabby fact or condition.