We Are One: Inaugural Celebration at Lincoln Memorial on Sunday, January 18, 2009

 

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The Opening Ceremony at The Lincoln Memorial

 

“The dream of our founders will live on in our time . . . What gives me hope is what I see when I look out across this mall.”

Tens of thousands of people showed up in frigid temperatures to be a part of the pre-inaugural festivities for President-Elect Barack Obama. The two-hour festivities culminated a day that began with a wreath-laying at Arlington Cemetery, followed by a church service. Along the National Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, people watched the festivites on giant screens, seemingly oblivious to plunging temperatures as they sang along to “America the Beautiful” and “This Land is Your Land.”

People at home watched courtesy of HBO, which televised the ceremony live free for subscribers and non-subscribers alike, and repeated the show again at 11:30 p.m. EST.

 

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Aerial View of Crowd at Inaugural Celebration

 

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Beyonce Leads "America The Beautiful"

Performers and speakers at the celebration included Martin Luther King III, Tom Hanks, Sheryl Crowe, Jamie Foxx, Denzel Washington, Tiger Woods, Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Bettye Lavette, Herbie Hancock, Queen Latifah, John Legend, and many, many more.

 

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Pete Seeger & Bruce Springsteen Lead "This Land is Your Land"

 

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Tom Hanks in a Tribute to Abraham Lincoln

Both the president elect, and the vice president elect spoke briefly to the crowd.

 

Dinner, Drinks, and a Smoke With that Deregulation?

The Trifecta of Rogues: Cheney, Palin, and Bush

Dinner With Darth Cheney

President-elect Obama and the lovely Michelle had it pretty easy. I mean, they only had to visit with W. and Laura, and well, Laura is an intelligent, well-read woman who can converse on numerous topics with ease. And W., well, let’s just say that it was probably not a hard conversation for the President-elect to follow as long as President Bush didn’t speak about OB-GYNs, and putting food on families, and human beings and fish co-existing peacefully.

However, I’m really not sure what Vice President-elect Joe Biden and Jill Biden should expect when they tour their new quarters with Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne. I mean, what’s going to be on the menu? Pheasant? Won’t that be awkward

Biden: Well, well. Pheasant. Who, I mean, where did you shoot it?

Jill: It looks lovely, really lovely.

Cheney: (teeth gnashing) mutters something incomprehensible, looks around for a shotgun

Lynne: Thank you. It’s an old family recipe. (checks watch)

Of course, I’m only surmising how the conversation might go. I could be totally wrong here. I am wondering if good old Joe will get taken on a tour of all of the double-secret locked down locations, you know, just in case.

Someone Get This Woman A DIet Dr. Pepper and a Spokesperson. Posthaste

Remember the good old days when Sarah Palin didn’t speak with the media? Remember when the Republican campaign still had control over that half of the ticket? Remember when a wink and a parade wave was enough to make everyone go ga ga, and all that we had to go on were guesses?

Ah, the good old days.

Seems that Governor Palin got back to Alaska and went into bright light withdrawal. Quick. Someone find the ex-candidate a cameraman and a microphone. She has something to say. On the record. Does it make sense? Who cares, gee golly. To date, she has spoken with Today’s Matt Lauer, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Larry King, local Alaska reporters, Santa Claus, the Abominable Snowman . . .

Some of her comments/arguments/complaints: “I know that I know that I know . . .” On the clothes fiasco: “Nobody is coming up to look at anything . . . Who said that anybody is coming up to look through closets?” Or how about the media: “There have been some stinkers, though.” Or on her interview Katie Couric: “What do you mean what do you read in Alaska? I read the same things that you read in New York and Washington State.”

I have a word of advice for the governor: Get yourself a spokesperson. You are a governor. Governors do not go on national television calling people stinkers, gee golly. That is why governors have spokespeople—to make themselves look better, look professional, look polished. When is the last time you remember a governor, or someone who aspired to higher office (hint, hint: the presidency) going on national television and calling people stinkers? The correct answer, by the way, would be NEVER.

Sorry, governator. You may be trying to appear to be an everyday kind of gal, but people really don’t want jane the plumber to lead them. In fact, people don’t even really respect jane the plumber when jane says berky kinds of things. So do yourself a favor, and go out and hire yourself a spokesperson to handle those media types that you can’t stand. That way, you save yourself some aggravation, and the Todders doesn’t have to worry about saying dumb stuff either. Okay? You betcha!

But one thing is for certain: We have not heard the last of the Governor, whether it’s the Senate seat that’s up for grabs or the presidential election of 2012, Sarah P. is just waiting for a door to open . . .

 Should I be mean and say what I really think should happen to her if there is an open door in front of her?

Executive Orders Withstand the Test of Time? I Don’t Think So

So what is W. doing in his final days in office? Just hanging around smelling the roses? Oh if only it were so. Like every president before him, Bush is busy signing bunches and bunches of Executive Orders, hoping to get them enacted within that sixty-day limit that makes them untouchable by President-elect Obama, or at least harder to touch. What W. is doing is “akin to fouling the water well,” according to Constitutional scholar Jonathon Turley of The George Washington University.

Some of the real beauties that Bush hopes to push through include the following:

  • a rule that allows natural gas pipelines to operate at higher pressures
  • a new limit on airborne emissions of lead
  • a rule that would ease limits on pollution from power plants
  • a rule that would allow current emissions at a power plant to match the highest levels produced by that plant, overturning a rule that more strictly limits such emission increases
  • a related regulation that would ease limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants near national parks
  • a rule to lift a requirement that environmental impact statements be prepared for certain fisheries-management decisions

But not so fast, Kemosabe.

Seems the Obama contingent has already familiarized Prez 44 with Congressional Review Act of 1996, which pretty much prevents the effectiveness of presidents from pushing through Executive Orders at the end of their administration. Public Law 104-121, which was signed by President Clinton, effectively takes any problematic rule and subjects it to review by Congress (go to http://www.thecre.com/pdf/congress-review-act-1996.pdf for specifics). in effect, there is a sixty day wait before anything can become effective, and another wait because Congress has adjourned, and then another wait before the new Congress is seated, and another wait for the new Congress to review, by which time, President Obama will have worked out the details for killing said stupid statutes such as the above.

We can only hope . . . coal-fired emissions near a state park? He’s kidding, right? Right? I know. He’s not. Which is why we love him so and can’t wait to see him go. W. W. He’s our man . . .

And on that note . . . more later. Peace.

My $150,000 Shopping Spree

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I don’t think that I’m the only one. Even though I’m not a Republican, I imagine that I’m not the only person who is more than a little torqued out of shape by the RNC’s decision to spend $150,000 on Sarah P. and family’s wardrobe update, not to mention $24k a month on a personal makeup artist.

Now, Corey and I have made a few contributions to Obama’s campaign, not substantial by any means, but they were what we could afford to contribute, and as the Obama campaign has proven, every little bit counts. But if I had contributed money to the campaign, and then that campaign used campaign money to buy Joe Biden $150,000 worth of ties, I think that I just might think twice about donating funds in the future. Now granted, the governator probably needed a style update for the trail (we all know that the Todders did), but to the tune of $150,000? Couldn’t they have found one of their rich benefactors to underwrite such an expenditure so that it did not come out of campaign funds? That certainly would have gone down easier with the Joe the Plumber electorate making $40k a year. I know that I would have been less pissed off, and I’m not even a Republican.

But, let’s just suppose that someone decided out of the goodness of his or her heart to give my family $150,000 to spend as we needed. Here is how we would spend it (and even though we all know that I love clothes and black boots and squishy leather bags, that’s not where it would go):

This is my $150,000 fantasy shopping spree:

  • I’d pay off all of the back balances on my utilities, especially the huge one that we owe on the gas bill so that we could have heat this winter.
  • Then there would be the past due amount on my health insurance. I figure that’s probably a good thing to take care of given my situation.
  • Speaking of health insurance, Corey hasn’t had any since he’s been out of work. I’m counting on the Obama health plan, but who knows how long that will take to implement . . .
  • It would probably be prudent to get caught up on the payments on our life insurance, you know, make sure the kids are taken care of, just in case.
  • I don’t even want to think about the mortgage payments and the late charges that we’ve accrued. That one gives me the cold sweats at night, but it would be great to get ahead by one or two payments
  • There’s the second mortgage we took out to try to stave off bill collectors, but that was ill-conceived, and now it’s just one more bill.
  • We started remodeling the house over a year ago, but haven’t had the funds to do anything with it in ages. It would be nice to finish that. But that comes at the bottom of the priorities for now. Although, I have to say, having a house that isn’t in a constant state of disarray would do wonders for my peace of mind. But hey, who needs peace of mind?
  • The dogs need to go to the vet; I wonder if the Louis Vuitton bag that one of the governator’s daughters got would cover that bill?
  • Both the Trooper and the truck need new brakes, and the Trooper needs a new passenger side window. I’m thinking that the red leather jacket that the governor was wearing would probably cover the cost of those repairs
  • And then there are the little things like the boys’ orthodontist bill, my doctors bills, the MRI that I need on my back, the glasses that my oldest son needs, the money that we still owe to the hospital for my back surgery.
  • The boys could use some new Levis and some new shoes, nothing fancy, maybe some Sketchers.
  • I could use a good night’s sleep and for my shoulders and back not to be tied up in knots.
  • Corey could use a job.

That’s my fantasy shopping spree. I don’t think that it even comes close to $150,000. I’d return the unused portion so that someone else could go wild and pay some bills. I’ll bet we could take care of at least three or four joe six-pack families out there, you know, real Americans who are going under just like us.

Real Americans who have worked, paid their taxes, served their country, and now find themselves in the unenviable position of being a one-income family with two-income bills, and that income is a disability income at that. I have to tell you, Governor Palin, being real Americans isn’t really making that much of a difference for us. We might have our honor, our pride, our patriotism, but we can’t eat that for dinner. It won’t keep us warm this winter, and it’s not going to get me the MRI that I need on my back. Sorry to be so cynical. Just cannot help myself.

So wink, wink right back atcha. You look mahvelous. As well you should, but have you thought about T. J. Maxx?

More later. Peace.