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Posts Tagged ‘Inauguration’

I didn’t pay for that!

January 28, 2009 Leave a comment

From PilotOnline comes word that Virginia is owed about $3 to $5 million in costs related to the Inaugural. The exact number doesn’t really matter because, come on, what’s $2 million between friends?

Seriously, though, be sure to remind your Delegate and State Senators that Virginia should get its due. The citizens also deserve an exact accounting of the costs.

And while you’re at it, you may want to remind Governor Kaine that the PIC is a private entity that accepts donations. His leadership PAC has about $319,000 in it, and Virginia’s citizens sure could use the relief right now…..

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Day of Service or Day of Activism?

January 28, 2009 Leave a comment

The Obama Transition Team latched upon the traditional National Day of Service that is Martin Luther King’s birthday and the fact that it fell on the day before the inaugural to call people to service. In their view:

This national day of service will fall on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 19, 2009 and, unlike past calls to service, President-elect Obama is calling on all Americans to do more than just offer a single day of service to their cities, towns and neighborhoods.  He is asking all of us to make an ongoing commitment to our communities. Never has it been more important to come together in shared purpose to tackle the common challenges we face.

Certainly a noble gesture, and the use of technology to engage people in service was certainly an interesting effort. However, Riley at Virginia Virtucon reveals that, in at least one instance, the system was used for means that were perhaps a bit more politically charged than originally conceived:

It seems that the Three Virginia Dem Stooges who are running for governor — Creigh “Dirty” DeedsTerry “Global Crossing” McAuliffe, and Brian “Don’t Call Me Jim” Moran — as well as Jody “Financial Fantasyland” Wagner are helping PresidentBarack Obama to redefine what constitutes “volunteer service.” 

From the People’s Weekly World:

In response to Barack Obama’s appeal for volunteer service on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Jan. 19, hundreds of union members and their allies marched on the picket line at the National Airport Hilton Hotel here.

“Check out, not in,” chanted the picketers as they marched in a circle in the chill evening darkness outside the hotel.

Obama’s inaugural web site had listed the picket line as one of the King birthday public service events and many union members in Washington for Obama’s swearing in the next day crossed the Potomac to join the embattled hotel workers.

For proof, here is the original listing on USAservice.org. While the Presidential Inaugural Committee is not an official government entity and they are funded by private donations, unionization would seem to be the sort of issue one would not want to touch during a day designed to inspire the whole of America to public service, regardless of red or blue.

History is everywhere–even in the trash

January 23, 2009 Leave a comment

There are countless personal recollections and photos circulating around that capture the massive nature of Tuesday’s historic events. However, those responsible with cleaning things up are finding history in the most unlikely of places. From the WaPo:

Washington trash trucks hauled away at least 130 tons of garbage after the inauguration ofPresident Obama, with more to go. National Park Serviceworkers picked up almost 100 tons on the Mall and near the White House.

Because most trash cans had been removed for security reasons and a record-breaking crowd gathered downtown, the mountain of rubbish left behind was of historic proportions.

“More than any Fourth of July, more than any event we’ve seen,” Park Service spokesman William Line said.

The detritus included handwarmer packets, bottles, food, newspapers, blankets, gloves, coolers and a table or two, in addition to items bought from street vendors.

“They left behind Obama hats, Obama bags, Obama socks,” said Mafara Hobson, spokeswoman forMayor Adrian M. Fenty (D). “People left behind a lot of trash. A lot of it was the vendors along the parade route, too.”

Episode #2 of The Big O Show

January 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Episode 2 is live! Synopsis coming in a bit.

Two days in…..

January 22, 2009 Leave a comment

And Vice-President Biden has already managed to produce one of his patented faux pas. From Fox News:

Biden was to swear in senior executive staff at a White House ceremony after having already given the oath to newly confirmed Cabinet secretaries. When Obama reminded him that he had only done the one group and hadn’t done the second yet, Biden quipped, “My memory is not as good as Chief Justice Roberts.”

It was a relatively good natured jab, and I will grant that Biden is (for the most part) one of the more joival figures in Washington. However, his good nature can also lead to him being a bit loose lipped at times. I think the remark was uncalled for, particularly since the Chief Justice was good enough to come over to the White House to re-administer the oath to avoid any legal confusion. I stated from the very beginning that the Obama camp was taking a calculated risk by bringing Biden is as their consummate insider to balance out Obama’s inexperience, given his long history of gaffes. Time will tell if his actions lead to embarrassment such as was Spiro Agnew in the Nixon administration.

Shameful Antics on Inauguration Day

January 21, 2009 2 comments

As I mentioned in my post yesterday on Obama’s inauguration, even though I am firmly on the other side of the aisle, I cannot deny the historic significance of the day and the solemnity of the occasion. That’s why it pained me to hear of the behavior of some of the attendees when President Bush took the dais for the final time. From Hank Bostwick at the Star City Harbringer:

 

Likewise, when the entire crowd in the Silver Ticket section in front of the Reflecting Pool and within earshot of the Capitol platform erupted into boos and heckling of former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, I knew I would be cringing the moment President George W. Bush stepped out of the halls of Congress into the frigid morning air.

“Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, hey, hey, hey . . . goodbye,” the crowd began to sing after a series of boos that nearly shattered the frozen glaze on the Reflecting Pool behind us.

One African American lady from Ohio to my left in the crowd said, “That ain’t right . . . I don’t like the man, either, but that ain’t right.  His children are up there.”

Another onlooker, a woman in overalls from California,  who joined in the chant told the lady to my left that President Bush “deserved to know how we feel one last time.”

 

Equally shameful, though, are the (unfortunately) typical antics of the Westboro Baptist Church. These are the very same people who shamefully interrupt the funerals of our fallen soldiers, and they were up to the very same yesterday: 

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Shameful behavior from both sides. It is, however, their right to act in such a boorish and disrespectful manner. Such is the delicate balance between freedom and decency. To ban one form of speech because it is judged disrespectful by the community at large is to say that any other form of speech can be judged the same way when tastes and values change. Thus, they are free to conduct their protests without interference, and I am equally free to be disgusted.

And I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

Fare thee Well, Mr. President; Welcome, Mr. President

January 21, 2009 1 comment

Regardless of your political affiliation, you cannot deny the historical gravity of today’s events. Very few places on earth have seen a non-violent transfer of power throughout its entire history (whether the secession of the southern states was a direct repudiation of Abraham Lincoln’s election or the formation of a new nation formed upon opposition to it), and inauguration day, regardless of the winner of the election, should be viewed with awe and respect. But let us remember that this is indeed a transfer of power, not a taking of it, so respect is due to both players.

Thank you, Former President Bush, for your eight years of service. I voted for you in 2004, and while I certainly have some major qualms about your presidency and fear that it will forever be tainted by some of your decisions, I thank you for your service and amazing sacrifice and for keeping our nation free of domestic threats. 

Congratulations to you, President Obama. Although I did not support you during the election and continue to have major disagreements with your proposed policies, this is your day. You are my commander-in-chief, and I pledge to discuss and oppose, and when warranted, support, your policies with respect for you and the high office which you hold.