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January 20, 2009

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Personal significance to me, not in order of importance:

First time my pick for candidate got the nom and won.

First time I voted for the cool candidate, the one people were excited about (I have voted for winners before but some winners won because the other guy lost)

First time I started thinking about who should run four years before the next election.

First time I went through an election cycle with just one bumper sticker.

The most excited I have ever been. I feel like a kid again, like I never voted before, like it is a childhood Christmas morning.

I am proud of America, not just because we elected a black Presidennt but because we elecgted ne named Barack Hussein Obama. Whodathunkit? Who would have thought, in the darkness of thhe jingoism and meanness annd hysteeria of the last eight years that the voters of this country would have that much maturity? Well I did, actually, since I've been an Obama for President person since 2004, but I wasn't sure.

So what do I expect? Well not the Second Coming or the Rapture or the new New Deal or a new Reconstruction. I expect competent administration (which is huge! I'm thrilled! Hallelujah!), nondoctrinaire, practical approaches to real problems (which is huge! I'm thrilled!), the marginalizing of rightwing extremism as Democrats become even more widely perceived as nondoctrinaire and competient(yahoo! Up yours, Faux!). I expect to see some changes institutionalized, changes for which we will be grateful in the future.

I expect also that I will be disapointed sometimes. there will be compromises that I don't ike. harry Reid will continue to wimp pout and Obama might not be able to manipulare the support he needs form the Senate. But I never expected any President to be as clse to my ideal as Obama is so I'm not going to get into a snit overe lack of perfection.

That's how I feel so far. I expected there will be tears of joy later on.

Well said wonkie! Really, beginning to end.

Hey, I see Dick Cheney is doing a Guy Caballero impression for the day; all that's missing is the Panama hat.

That's my s.o.'s take on it; my first inclination was to see it as a Pinochet-like message: "This man's too weak to indict."

The cover story is that he pulled a muscle moving boxes. Huh. Did all his minions desert him over the weekend?

Too small of me. Will lift my eyes to the hills, whence cometh my strength.

This Land is Your Land is back up. Enjoy it while it's still ours.

Oh, and I think I've got a photo to use for my book jacket, should I choose to write one.

You're going to write a book jacket? I didn't think those credited the author.

I'm so happy.

Competence alone, plus the minimal sense of decency required to not torture people, would make me just grin from ear to ear. All the rest -- well, it's just gravy.

But really, really good gravy!

You're going to write a book jacket?

Anything more would be exceeding the bounds of my abilities.

Mmmm. Gravy.

Oh thanks, Eric. If I hadn't develpoed suddenly lst night a bad head cold I expect I'd be singing. Well probably a good thing for my husband that I can't. I'm going to work anyway headcold or not because I need the money but I need to choose just the right CD for the drive. I'm thinking Credence but an awful lot of their songs, while great on thumping momentum actually have downer words. So I'm thinking Bruce Springsteen's folk CD the one with We Shall Overcome and Eyes on the Prize.

Yeah

The one thing we did wrong was staying in the wilderness to long
keep your eyes on the prize and hold on

The one thing we did right was when we began to fight!

or:

One of these nights bout twelve o'clock
this old world is goin to rock
Pharoah's army got drownded!
Oh mary don't you weep no more!

Yeah, that's my soundtrack for today;.

From this point forward for the rest of the day I'm going to be way too busy with work to even watch the inaguration live, much less to post blog comments, so I heartily endorse what wonkie said at 10:36 am. It really does feel like morning again in America. I hope everybody else enjoys the day. Soon it will be time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. There's a lot to do.

not to pick nits, but what the heck are dustin hoffman and steven spielberg doing there?

apparently, they're guests of dianne feinstein, and i'm sure they've raised a lot of money for her campaigns. but she couldn't find two people more deserving of the tickets than an actor and a director?

She's the Senator from California.

I bet Bush didn't like the "we are ready to lead once more."

And O included "and non-believers"! Yay!

Obama's speech is here.

Did anyone notice that Roberts forgot the word "faithfully" in the Oath of Office, and that Obama did not proceed when he reached the point where that word was supposed to be until Roberts corrected himself?

Eric, you don't look like a Beasties fan. Too handsome.

the long nightmare is over.

Did anyone notice that Roberts forgot the word "faithfully" in the Oath of Office...

Lots of people.

That's what happens if you don't rehearse. Of course, it also sometimes happens even if you do rehearse.

Hollywood">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/19/AR2009011902723.html?hpid=topnews">Hollywood for Ugly People Meets . . . Hollywood - lol

I expected to be moved by a lot of points in the inaugural, and was, but I hadn't expected the sudden surge of joy when Biden finished taking his oath of office, and I thought: Oh God, Dick Cheney isn't Vice President anymore!

I actually whooped out loud. ;)

Did anyone notice that Roberts forgot the word "faithfully" in the Oath of Office...

Anyone that did wasn't listening. He just put it in the wrong place, is all.

"Of course, it also sometimes happens even if you do rehearse."

It's Roberts' first inauguration. He'll probably get it right by his third.

Did anyone notice that Roberts forgot the word "faithfully" in the Oath of Office...

Well, his job really doesn't have anything to do with the Constitution...

...wasn't listening carefully, I meant to say.

Did anyone notice that Roberts misplaced the word "faithfully" in the Oath of Office, and that Obama did not proceed when he reached the point where that word was supposed to be until Roberts corrected himself?

XM Radio in my car:

CNN: Obama Inaugural Address
Bloomberg: Obama Inaugural Address
POTUS: Obama Inaugural Address
NPR: Obama Inaugural Address
CNBC: Obama Inaugural Address
CSPAN: Obama Inaugural Address
America Left: Obama Inaugural Address
America Right: Reagan Inaugual Address

Let freedom ring.

ABC News is reporting that Senator Kennedy collapsed during the ongoing luncheon. They also report that Senator Byrd was wheeled out because he was so upset. Ok, now they're confirming both reports.

Best wishes for the health of both Senators. C-Span is now cutting back to live coverage of the luncheon.

NBC is reporting Senator Byrd was taken out, and that there's confusion about others, but not reporting anything about Senator Kennedy specifically.

President Obama is now speaking about Senator Kennedy being taken out.

ABC and NBC and others have been speaking to people now coming out of the luncheon, confirming that Senator Kennedy had a seizure, and was taken out of the luncheon.

Aretha's hat won. If you were looking for something bold and beautiful, there it was.

Aretha's bow was something, but Reverend Lowrey's use of the borrowed phrases of "We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right" was better than her hat.

Rush Limbaugh wants America to fail.

What a guy.

i'm just happy about the "non-believers".

(as Gary mentioned, above)

but i felt bad for all the Wiccans, Zorastarians, Rotarians, Rotifers, Kobolites, Jedi and Satanists who didn't get a shout out. be patient guys, someday you'll get yours!

"I actually whooped out loud."

Would like to have witnessed that, hilzoy.

I called my wife from the other room -- she was on a cleaning spree all morning -- when Biden raised his right hand. My man Joe did me proud. I have the photo of the Vice President and me at this year's Hockessin Fourth of July Parade on my dresser at home. Thought about it adorning my area here at work -- which is filled with personal items, no automobile propoganda -- but Republicans do buy cars, don't they?

unfroven caveman: I have no problem with Spielberg representing the Democratic Party or the country, for that matter, as an invited high-profile celebrity -- and a great talent.

Gary: Watching the ceremonies, I wondered about the wisdom of Sen. Kennedy sitting out in the elements. Best wishes to the Lion of the Senate.

Nell: Cheney in a wheelchair leaving office, looking miserable . . . fittting. He may have been the only person among the million or so who did not want to be there.

P.S. I really loved Rev. Lowery's benediction, a perfect close.

Watching some of the videos I kept wondering whether that wasn't a celebration more fit to the crowning of a king than for a simple swearing in ceremony of an elected official.

Whatever. I can relate to celebrating that a certain village in Texas will get its idiot back.

"Aretha's bow was something, but Reverend Lowrey's use of the borrowed phrases of 'We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right' was better than her hat."

"Yellow will be mellow"? I know that at least a portion of Lowery's closing lines were borrowed from a Civil Rights era song and should be heard in that context, but I'll still take the hat.

I am honestly happy to see so many genuinely joyful folks here today. You have all (mostly) worked for this and wanted it so badly. I’m happy for you, if not so happy myself. That is meant with all sincerity. Enjoy!

What a nice guy you are OCSteve! I don't think I could be that generaous if this was McCain's inaugeration.

Wonkie: I would not be in a good mood if it was McCain's inauguration. ;)

I noticed with interest, while watching C-Span coverage of the beginning part of the inaugural luncheon, that Rahm Emmanuel was seated next to Cindy and John McCain, and was in animated conversation with them.

(I also noticed with amusement everyone carrying a gift bag when they left. Republicans and Democrats alike! Cats and dogs eating together! VIPs using coat check like mere mortals! Somehow I found this all very funny.)

What's making you unhappy, OCSteve? Feel free to answer on another day.

I'm floating, despite all my reservations.

Rev. Lowery made my day. "Let all those who love and work for justice say Amen, {Amen!}, Amen, {Amen!}, and Amen!

I muted Rick Warren, and from later reports am even more certain that was a sound mental health choice. Did he actually have the poor judgment to talk about himself during the invocation?

Fell out when I saw Aretha's hat. I liked Obama's address much better the second time, this evening, than when I heard it live.

I suppose most of you hard-working ObWians didn't have the luxury of time, flu recovery, and a Nyquil-induced haze, but I even watched the whole danged parade of bands! Michelle, Barack, the C-SPAN camera operator and I may have been the only ones who did. High points: Florida A&M U. doing James Brown's 'Got That Feelin' (including a choral 'baby, baby, baby' break). Orland Park H.S. doing 'Chicago'. The Arcola, IL Lawn Rangers (ordinary guys with mowers and brooms; it's a midwestern thing). And not just the VMI band, which has been in many inaugurations, but the whole freaking corps of cadets! Lookin' sharp, too.

The Lesbian and Gay Band Association, playing Sousa, followed so closely by pastel chiffon-hoop-skirted Something-Or-Other Belles from Mobile, Alabama that at first glimpse there seemed to be a faint possibility that the whole Belles contingent were in drag, followed by a high school band doing 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'. I feel certain I can picture the inaugural staff meeting where that lineup was set...

"Did he actually have the poor judgment to talk about himself during the invocation?"

Transcript. He was very Jesus-y. I imagine you're talking about his line intro the Christian "Lord's Prayer":

[...] I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus, who taught us to pray, "Our father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever."
"Michelle, Barack, the C-SPAN camera operator and I may have been the only ones who did."

I watched a couple of hours worth, and finally took my headphones off and let them march in my background.

I posted this on another thread, but I'd like to again point to Obama's civil rights agenda.

not to pick nits, but what the heck are dustin hoffman and steven spielberg doing there?

They showed up just to annoy the hell out of you.

As is so often true, wonkie speaks for me, only better.

All I have to add is a heartfelt "yay".

And now it's time to get to work.

I don't want to pick on the lunatic (not right-wing!) fringe, but this, from PowerLine's assessment of the Bush presidency, is just too much to pass up:

"Bush's great failing was that his focus was almost exclusively on policy, and he was unwilling to pay adequate attention to politics."

Wow. Just wow.

It was a historic day indeed with the inauguration of Barack Obama and now Obama will have to sit down and to tackle the problems facing the United States of America. The economy, oil, jobs and two wars will all be Obama’s focal points during his historic first 90 days in office. The changing of the guard will hopefully equal an end to the crisis.

Geez, Obama has been president for what, almost a day, and we still have am-spay? God, I'm disappointed.

My favorite sentence from that PowerLine mishegos is

It was always obvious that the biggest challenge in Iraq would not be felling Saddam, but rather what would come afterward.

Apparently, the only people to whom it wasn't obvious were the ones in charge of the war, who thought that there was no need to do any planning for the big challenge.

I was going to make the identical point as Mike.

[...] With the benefit of a bit of hindsight, it seems to me that Bush's failings on Iraq were mostly political. It was always obvious that the biggest challenge in Iraq would not be felling Saddam, but rather what would come afterward. The ethnic and sectarian divisions in that country were well understood, and many (like me) wondered whether Iraq was really a country that could stay together once its tyrant was deposed. But Bush failed to adequately prepare the public for the tough, ambiguous conflict that was sure to ensue once Saddam was gone.
But, of course, it's clear that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the people around him, in no way foresaw a "tough, ambiguous conflict that was sure to ensue once Saddam was gone."

It's hardly a coincidence they didn't prepare the public for something that caught them completely by surprise.

Let's also all enjoy: "That tendency to turn the other cheek was, in the end, fatal. Bush never cared much about politics."

And, of course, we simply weren't brutal enough in Iraq -- that was the problem: "With the stakes this obviously high, I think it's fair to judge President Bush rather harshly for focusing too much on Iraqi 'hearts and minds' and not enough on stamping out insurgents (be they Moqtada al Sadr or the Sunni killers in Fallujah) before they could mount a real insugency."

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