I have nothing to say today, but I’m sure you do. Let’s make it an open thread for the last day and the first, to discuss the inauguration, open to NN.C-ers of all races, creeds and political parties.

Tomorrow the re-education camps will open, and some of us will just quietly disappear. But today, on this day of celebration? Everyone gets a pony:

Photo by Andy Piper; used under Creative Commons license, via Flickr

So have at it!

Posted at 1:07 am in Current events |

83 responses to “1.20.09”

  1. Gasman said on January 20, 2009 at 1:18 am

    “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty we’re free at last!”

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  2. moe99 said on January 20, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Fiat is ‘buying’ a 35% stake in Chrysler. Such a deal!


    And I will be in a hearing up in Bellingham so will miss the live action. But I have a half bottle of french champagne I am going to take over to Maggie, my 90 year old next door neighbor, when I get home from work and we will toast to the new administration.

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  3. caliban said on January 20, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Hey. You lookin’ at me?

    You know. things are dire and Obama has to face the revolting prospect of the Progfessives along with enerything W fucked up. These people have re-branded and fiven new meanining to holier than thou.

    Progressives? Fine, if that’s the way you think you hve to frame tthings. Aome og us were radicls. Some of os were liberals, You know, old school that stood on lines and got beten, befpre everything boy yo be civilized on the net.

    Y’all thing Chicano is Obma’s hometown. You think this is David Plouffe emailing you. Y’all think that you’ve accompliished something.

    We thought we accomplished something in 1965, and heroes got got shot.

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  4. JGW said on January 20, 2009 at 6:29 am

    Good to see that despite it being CHANGE day (as in I rummage through my coinage for McDouble funds) that Caliban is still being a can’t type rambling kind of guy.
    I go from the “he’s drunk” theory to the “he’s a comic” one, but the “Chicano,” vs. Chicago thing, not sure. Reminds me of some stupid 1970’s tv PSA that was all about, “we are chicano,” in an age where spic was the common term. ANYWAY….
    I offered my sons a free day off to watch the events unfold today; I am confident they would learn more on TV today than at school.
    Both passed; one has perfect attendance – (age 17) the one the teachers would wish had the flu- and one (age 10) has the scary Shrine Circus field trip scheduled. So scary clowns and shriners on tiny motorcycles rate higher than the Obama stuff.
    For me the change has to be earned and hard work is on the schedule starting Wednesday morning, but I intend to savor seeing W in the rear view mirror. Crawford and Dallas can have you…. Have to give him credit – if the W that had that news conference and farewell spot was the W that led us, things might have been different. I liked what I saw for once and realized how he got elected in the first place. Without the Daddy crew he did well.
    And we got a final parting gift – while packing up boxes Cheney threw his back out, so he gets to depart in a wheelchair. Is that a commentary on how he and W governed?
    Savor this day folks – there will be hard times and hard work to come, and we may find we have not vetted our innointed leader that well, but today is going to be a lifetime memory. It’s a day I never expected to see in my day, but it’s here and it’s less than 6 hours and counting….

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  5. Connie said on January 20, 2009 at 7:12 am

    My assistant is off at the inaugural – her son is an asst city manager in one of those just across the river Virginia cities – and I asked for the cheapest tackiest souvenir sold on the streets. And I see that Obama tattoos are on special.

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  6. beb said on January 20, 2009 at 7:55 am

    moe99 beat me to the news that Fiat is acquiring a big chunck of Chrysler for merely retooling one plant. So, what does it cost to retool a plant, and if you can get a third of Chrysler for that, what does it make Chrysler face value out to be? Under a billion now?

    The question before me, was that really caliban or a hoax caliban? It seemed too mean spirited to be the real caliban. Also too badly spelt.

    As a kid my sister had horses. I got to clean out the barn, so no ponies for me, thank you.

    And in closing, I’d like to echo gasman about :Free at last, free at last…”

    PS — the honeymoon will be over by Thursday. Just saying….

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  7. coozledad said on January 20, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Well, if Fiat starts building cars here at least we’ll have a lot of shelters to sleep in when we’re homeless. Little ones, with no back seat.

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  8. John Brown said on January 20, 2009 at 8:15 am

    What was Cheney carrying in that box? Was he moving stuff from his undisclosed location?

    According to Andrea Mitchell this morning, Sen. Cornyn is considering blocking Sen Clinton’s nomination for Sec. of State. New year, same old shit.

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  9. brian stouder said on January 20, 2009 at 8:29 am

    I like ol’ Caliban, as is. His posts are often like abstract paintings; rather than looking at the brush strokes, one has to take a step back and take in the whole thing at once.

    Even at that, this sentiment struck me as unambiguously true:

    You know. things are dire and Obama has to face the revolting prospect of the Progfessives along with enerything W f***ed up. These people have re-branded and given new meaning to holier than thou.

    Keith Olbermann gave one of his holier-than-thou ‘Special Comments’ last night, directed at the not-yet-inaugurated President-elect, warning him that he had better do as KO says with regard to prosecuting President Bush (et al). It was like opening the refrigerator and being overcome by the stench of some decomposing produce item.

    High Moral Dudgeon is over-rated (literally, in Keith’s case).

    And I winced a little when I saw Nance’s pony pic, since some of the HTT Progressives took to calling Obama a “Unity Pony” after he defeated their pick (HRC) in the “stolen” primary.

    All that aside – Forward we go! I predict that a day will come that people will no longer admit that they voted against President Obama (never mind thinking that he was a communist or a pal of terrorists!)

    Today I wore one of my Lincoln Museum shirts to work, and I have several little Obama-related things displayed here and there.

    Huzzah!! Huzzah!!

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 20, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Those were Cheney’s old pacer-defibrillators in the box, four or five of ’em — he doesn’t want a voodoo priestess from Savannah getting a hold of one of his old heart-starters . . . who knows what she’d do with it?

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  11. Dave K. said on January 20, 2009 at 8:50 am

    I just got off the phone with my 29 yr. old daughter, on her way to work in Indianapolis. She received her Masters degree in International Relations in May, supporting herself tending bar and substitute teaching. Her job search lasted nearly six months, and she was hired, by the USDA, on election day.

    This girl cried when W was elected 4 years ago, and sadly I did not share her emotion. This morning she called me because she knew I’d be watching the television coverage from DC, (I was), and we shed a few tears together. This is going to be quite a day, and then we go to work. Nancy, thanks for giving us this place to share, (and thanks for the pony).

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  12. Connie said on January 20, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Listened to NPR’s coverage on the way in, there is a small group of protestors chanting “Obama is the anti-christ.

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  13. Connie said on January 20, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Story in my paper today: Detroit demolishes the wrong house. http://www.etruth.com/Know/News/Story.aspx?ID=473073

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  14. nancy said on January 20, 2009 at 9:28 am

    I’m nominating this as the benchmark Dumb Celebrity Inauguration Quote: “(Obama) is the biggest star here, even though it’s chock-full of celebrities.” — Jennifer Lopez

    Anyone wants to top that, go ahead, but you gotta cite.

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  15. brian stouder said on January 20, 2009 at 9:31 am

    there is a small group of protestors chanting “Obama is the anti-christ.

    well Connie, I heard Glen Beck this morning repeatedly stating (and I quote) “I am angry”. And his guest is (wait for it!)…. Jonah ‘the rube’ Goldberg!!.. and Goldberg is doing his ‘six degrees of Kevin Bacon’ schtick, wherein he substitutes ‘Hitler’ for Bacon, and connects everyone with whom he disagrees to naziism!

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  16. Connie said on January 20, 2009 at 10:09 am

    So Brian, why do you inflict Beck upon yourself?

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  17. Dorothy said on January 20, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Why was Cheney carrying ANYTHING? Doesn’t the outgoing VP get movers do lift the heavy stuff for him? That’s just kind of nuts.

    It’s hard not to slip into cliches on a day like today, but honestly I feel just plain happy. It feels like the USofA is on the verge of something really grand, and I hope that will be the case. Obama seems to represent a very promising future in so many ways, not just because he’s the first black president. To me, with his calm and steady approach to things, he inspires others to behave likewise. I hope he will bring out the best in people. We should all try to be more open minded and less judgmental. At least I’m going to try to be that way.

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  18. alex said on January 20, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Glad to see this groundswell of national pride is driving the haters back into the margins where they belong. Glen Beck isn’t just angry. He’s shitting himself. There goes his routine.

    David Brooks had a good piece in the NYT this AM. Hope he’s right:


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  19. MichaelG said on January 20, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Letters of the day: W, AMF.

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  20. Peter said on January 20, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Does Caliban need to adjust his meds, or should we all chip in to replace his malfunctioning keyboard?

    It’s divine intervention that Cheney’s in a wheelchair. That way they can tie him down and wheel him out. That’s a lot better than tear gassing the White House and dragging his lifeless body out – that would put a damper on the festivities, no?

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  21. brian stouder said on January 20, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Connie – I have no real idea why. Another fellow in the office has it on, but I turn an ear that way. (I knew KO would make me mad last night, yet watched anyway.) Maybe it’s the same impulse that makes one say “this doesn’t taste right. Here – have a taste”

    Alex – that was an interesting article; thanks for the link

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  22. LA Mary said on January 20, 2009 at 10:51 am

    “It’s divine intervention that Cheney’s in a wheelchair. That way they can tie him down and wheel him out. That’s a lot better than tear gassing the White House and dragging his lifeless body out – that would put a damper on the festivities, no?”

    That’s pretty much what I was thinking, Peter. I think they disabled him somehow and got him into the wheelchair. Otherwise he’d still be down in the bunker doing creepy things.

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  23. Dave K. said on January 20, 2009 at 10:56 am

    CBS News just showed Cheney being wheeled out of the White House. He’s carrying a cane on his lap. Katie Couric said, “Vice-President Cheney pulled his GROIN, uh, I mean sprained his back moving some boxes….”. Is this a scoop or a slip? Groin always sounds funnier somehow. W and Laura left the WH quite awhile ago, it almost seems like his aides had to search for ol’ Dick in some “undisclosed location”, (dank, dark cellar?), then load him up and wheel him out!

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  24. brian stouder said on January 20, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Hah!! LOL!!

    I think Dave K wins the thread, with the Cheney groin scoop!!

    (the double meaning is just too good!)

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  25. nancy said on January 20, 2009 at 11:13 am

    For Fort eyes only:

    Shorter Kevin Leininger: You’re not so smart, Mr. Smarty-britches Harvard-pants. I read this thing about the Depression; did you know FDR’s policies actually lengthened it?

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  26. Colleen said on January 20, 2009 at 11:17 am

    I bet KL is a lot of fun at parties.

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  27. Bob said on January 20, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Sure, there will be re-education camps, but they won’t be that bad. A lot like Good News Club child evangelism: Memorize Bible verses! Build Noah’s Ark dioramas! Enjoy snacks! Win rubber-band-powered balsa planes! Sean Hannity will emerge a much nicer guy.

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  28. brian stouder said on January 20, 2009 at 11:29 am

    He could have added that Lincoln invented ‘signing statements’ and FDR imprisoned American citizens of Japanese descent….but here we are.

    The plain truth is, President Obama will be in a position that only 42* other men have ever held, so he STARTS OUT perfectly justified in invoking the memories of any of them.

    And, that being the case, why NOT aspire to the greatest of them? And indeed, in three weeks, we celebrate the 200th birthday of the greatest of all of them – and that alone is worth invoking Lincoln even more often than modern presidents always do anyway.

    Aside from that – I haven’t been a subscriber to Mr Leininger’s paper since some time after that one brunette went on sabatical…although I will read it if a copy is at McDonald’s

    * remember that Grover Cleveland counts twice

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  29. Joe Kobiela said on January 20, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Dave K,
    Ed and Jayne always said you were adopted.
    Just joking, enjoy your day in the sun, I give the Messiah about 6-months then the media will turn on him. We should all give thanks that we live in a great nation that can have a change of power and and thinking, without blood shed and violence.
    We are truly blessed to live here.
    Your Broth,
    Pilot Joe

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  30. Jim H. said on January 20, 2009 at 11:54 am


    Just lurking on past. FYI – Economists have been debating the impact of the New Deal for some time. You might want to check the Britannica Online entry for the Great Depression where it states “the new spending programs initiated by the New Deal had little direct expansionary effect on the economy” and…”Some New Deal programs may have actually hindered recovery.” Unremarkable, except that Christy Romer authored the entry. Came across this when I was looking into some of her writing after she was named to Team Obama.

    Oh, and I thought Johnny Rotten was the Antichrist…

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  31. Dave K. said on January 20, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Joe, For ALL our sakes, I hope we’ve got more than 6 months. It will still be hard. Good things always require sacrifice. Media’s got little or nothing to do with it, (despite what your ol’ buddy Rush tells you). And you are so right about the transfer of power. President Bush and President-elect Obama shaking hands and kissing each other’s wives sends a tremendous message to our enemies and our allies. Yes we are so blessed!

    Rick Warren just kicked ass in the invocation, too!

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  32. Hoosier said on January 20, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Since the VP was sworn in first, does this mean if Dubya had a heart attack and died during the few minutes before Obama was sworn in that Biden would be our President? Just wanna know.
    JGW sez, “Have to give him credit…if the W that had that news conference and farewell spot was the W that led us, thing might have been different. I like what I saw for once and realized how he got elected in the first place.”
    I just re-watched the video of this last press conference,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZkKTTZux08 I’m not sure what you found that was redemming. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA. Doesn’t that have a nice sound? God Bless Him.

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  33. Julie Robinson said on January 20, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Watching Obama being he walked out, I welled up. His face held such solemnity and nobillity as well as pride. What a terrible burden he is carrying for our nation. His role in the bully pulpit will be vital. May we all join with him in making this a better country and world and for once, cut the snark.

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  34. alex said on January 20, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Wowee. Leininger’s only being a mild killjoy today. And he’s not wearing his Morals Police hat, so unlike him.

    Maybe they told him to dial it down after the other day when he suggested that ecumenicism at the inauguration doesn’t celebrate unity so much as it dignifies other peoples’ incorrect theology.

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  35. harrison said on January 20, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    the inagural address was solid. it didn’t fly rhetorically, but it faced the problems.

    as for david brooks — screw him! he’s just trimming his sails. he has no courage so he won’t follow his convictions.

    he’s not like kevin leininger, who has convictions — stupid ones, but convictions. in a way, i give him a little respect for that — a little, i said.

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  36. Sue said on January 20, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Re: this new debate about how bad on the “economy” FDR’s efforts to combat the depression were. Define “expansionary”. Expansionary as in how many people are affected, over a period of time? An alphabet agency (can’t remember which, did it eventually become the TVA?) brought electricity to rural areas, even as people screamed that the government was unfairly competing with private enterprise. The oral histories collected by those freeloading writers in the WPA – they were using TAX DOLLARS for this – have proven invaluable for anyone researching inconsequential things like slavery or music history. And next time you go to an old shelter in your local park, one that is sturdily constructed of stone and looks like it will last forever, consider that it might have been built by guys being put to work by the Federal Government, for no other reason than to put people to work. Roads? Possibly. Bridges? Same. Not to mention the many many people who have been saved from poverty by those damned entitlement programs started by FDR and continued through other bleeding heart administrations. Yes, I agree, FDR’s policies prolonged the depression, if by that you mean we live with the results and feel the effects of those policies to this day.

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  37. Connie said on January 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Rushed home for lunch and TV. Got prayer, Biden and Aretha on the radio, the rest on TV. The part that choked me up was was at the end when the band began to play “hail to the chief.”

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  38. Kirk said on January 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    That Leininger guy seems like a real dingelberry.

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  39. jeff borden said on January 20, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Whooo! Thank God, Thank God, Thank God. And I’m agnostic/atheistic these days.

    I know there will be mistakes, miscues, false starts, etc., but right now, it’s just a pleasure knowing that a good, smart, competent, articulate man will be sitting in the Oval Office.

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  40. Gasman said on January 20, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    The conservatives have always had this visceral loathing for FDR because of his success. They can’t seem to come to terms with the fact that Hoover, smart as he was, could not seem to grasp what was happening. To say that FDR prolonged the Depression is petty, unfair, and intellectually lazy. It is a classic example of molding and shaping statistical data to your own purposes.

    Much of FDR’s New Deal program dealt with improvements in infrastructure. The true benefits of such improvements accrue over time, usually many years later. To point arbitrarily to 1939 and use that year’s statistics to buttress an argument is highly self serving and exceedingly dishonest. I suspect that the year 1939 is chosen because it more neatly fits with this revisionist cant than does either 1940 or 1941.

    Many conservatives harbor a seemingly pathological need to diminish the accomplishments of liberal leadership. It is probably because the record of their own successes is essentially nonexistent.

    If conservatives would actually provide leadership instead of sowing the seeds of division and spewing their venom, maybe they would be able to amass a record of success. Conservatives, America is not buying what you are selling. Rethink your marketing.

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  41. Colleen said on January 20, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    The part that choked me up was about our ancestors taking risks and making sacrifices “for us”. As the granddaughter of an immigrant who worked himself into an early death in a steel mill, that hit home. He did it for his 5 kids and the 9 grandchildren he would never meet.

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  42. JPK said on January 20, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Today we are all Paul Giamatti at the inauguration of George Washington: “A fine day. A fine day.”

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  43. brian stouder said on January 20, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Ted Kennedy triggered a medical emergency at the luncheon..?? He looked to be in high feather, when I caught sight of him.

    “developing”, as they say

    Edit: and Byrd, too. At this writing, Kennedy’s case looks more worrisome….some talk of him being taken away in ‘convulsions’

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  44. Joe Kobiela said on January 20, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Just a side note,
    At W”s 2004 inauguration There were 300 private jets that came in to Dulles for the party’s, Any one care to guess how many came in for the” people’s environmentally friendly, presidents” party?
    How does 600 sound.
    That set a new record at Dulles.
    While I am glad people are using corporate aircraft, I think it is just a bit hypocritical, These are some of the same people that slammed the big 3 for their jets, and then whine about global warming.
    A sunny 15 degrees here in Indiana, off to Travers City, Grand Rapids, then Clevland.
    Pilot Joe

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  45. Rana said on January 20, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Unless we know how many people flew per jet, and what percentage of attendees arrived by private jet, it’s hard to accurately compare the difference. Without context, it’s just numbers.

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  46. Dexter said on January 20, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Olbermann reports Senator-Lion-of-the-Senate was “much better” as the stretcher neared the ambulance….

    I was up at 5:30, too excited to sleep, after going to bed at 3.
    It was inspiring to see the hundreds of thousands criss-crossing the National Mall, yelling and chanting…it was much more than I expected, and it was still very dark outside.
    It was a good speech by Obama, the music was great, and Rev. Lowery stole the show with his typically hilarious, inspiring benediction.
    I have been hoping and praying for this day to come, and for me it was culminated by that goddam horrible Bush waving goodbye from “Air Mission # whatever”. Yessir, GOOD RIDDANCE !!!!

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  47. Connie said on January 20, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Oh Pilot Joe, take me with you to Traverse City, please, please.

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  48. LA Mary said on January 20, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Pilot Joe,
    I think it proves a lot more people wanted to be seen with Obama than with Bush. He was already stinking up the joint by 2004.

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  49. jcburns said on January 20, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    REA = Rural Electrification Administration. My wife took me to see a roadside monument in Michigan commemorating their work. Can’t find a link to that right now, but here’s a historical marker in North Carolina.

    I’m hoping for a Rural Internetificating Administration.

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  50. Jim in FL said on January 20, 2009 at 4:55 pm


    How do you know that the folks flying to Dulles for the inauguration are “some of the same people that slammed the big 3 for their jets, and then whine(sic) about global warming”? It seems more likely to me that many would be corporate executives and lobbyists. Even though there’s a new sheriff in town, corporate America will still want to rub elbows with the power brokers.

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  51. Andrea said on January 20, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    My excitement for the inauguration was dampened by being laid off last Wednesday, but watching today (and I was glad I was home to watch it instead of trying to watch it on my work computer), I really am hopeful that things will turn around and I find a job before my severance runs out.

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  52. Jim in FL said on January 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I did chuckle when Chief Justice Roberts flubbed the oath, and Obama seemed unsure as to whether to say the oath correctly (faithfully execute) or to repeat what he was given (execute the office…faithfully)

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  53. crinoidgirl said on January 20, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    I’m reading stuff about Teddy K, and the quotes are from “President Obama”.

    It still feels unreal

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  54. crinoidgirl said on January 20, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Jim in FL says:

    >I did chuckle when Chief Justice Roberts flubbed the oath, >and Obama seemed unsure as to whether to say the oath >correctly (faithfully execute) or to repeat what he was >given (execute the office…faithfully)

    Yeah, Jim.

    I don’t know who was more nervous, BHO or Roberts

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  55. MichaelG said on January 20, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    JC, you just identified a big problem in this country. Millions of people in rural areas do not have access to highspeed internet. They are condemned to a life of 56K minus dial up modem speed. It wasn’t until I split with my wife and moved from Auburn to Sacto that I was able to get a dsl line. Something needs to be done.

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  56. MichaelG said on January 20, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Anybody else think the poem was poor? Somebody called it “bureaucratic verse”.

    I liked the occasional shots of the Ex-Pres (that sounds so nice) sitting amid all those Democrats, listening to the President criticizing his administration. He looked like he was in the middle of a root canal.

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  57. LA Mary said on January 20, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    They just laid off 96 people here. I think the idea was to do it on a busy news day.

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  58. alex said on January 20, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Well, here’s the downside of my basic cable package. Coverage is all over already and I haven’t yet had enough. (Was stuck in the office all day on a computer without sound.) On the ABC affiliate, they’ve got Rudy Kachmann, a local octogenarian pain doctor, hawking his new-agey mind and body institute in an infomercial. Alongside him is a young lady who used to rent space as a masseuse in an art gallery he bought and renamed after himself. And then there’s the former Fort Wayne news personality who got shitcanned after she broke up another old doctor’s marriage. So much for the liberal media. Our CBS station went right to Wheel of Fortune, cutting off Katie Couric’s extended show.

    Ah, here’s WNIT in South Bend. Jim Lehrer. Never mind.

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  59. Rana said on January 20, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    alex, that’s part of why I switched to radio. Local stations weren’t all that useful. (Plus I can do other work while listening.)

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  60. Deborah said on January 20, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    What a day. At work they projected the event on the big screen in the multi-purpose room, everyone was watching. I cried like a baby through a lot of it. Then when I returned to my desk I found I had received an e-mail from the owner of a stained glass studio in Munich that I am working with on a window for a project. In his broken english he congratulated our new president and said that he had worn a tie all day with only American flags on it. Isn’t that sweet.

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  61. Catherine said on January 20, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    LAMary, that sucks. Did anyone besides you see it coming?

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  62. LA Mary said on January 20, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    The two snippy Republicans in my office didn’t want anyone to watch the inauguration on their computers. Luckily, the rest of us didn’t give a shit what they thought and watched anyway. One of the snippy types stalked out of the room.

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  63. moe99 said on January 20, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    I listened to as much as I could before my hearing this am. The music by John Williams had me in tears. I used to sing that Shaker song to my kids as part of their bedtime ritual. And I cried at the oath of office as well. Then I dried it all up and went to my hearing. Bless NPR for replaying the Inaugural address so I could hear it on my drive home. I thought it it exactly the right notes. As opposed to Rick Warren’s invocation which was wooden words, woodenly spoken and the naming of Jesus four times plust the Our Father was a deliberate slap to those not Christian. Warren, in my opinion, stands exposed by his own actions for the narrow minded git that he is.

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  64. Catherine said on January 20, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Moe, I sing that song to my kids at bedtime, too. That was a lovely piece and a lovely performance, part of an amzing day.

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  65. coozledad said on January 20, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    I wonder if people will remember the rocky oath of office. Both of them were nervous, but Obama was already laughing it off in real time. He might have disarmed Roberts a little. Not a bad thing.

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  66. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 20, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Didn’t hear Warren – we set up a streaming video and broke at 5 ’til noon for the room with the projector linked to the computer, and when the link set, we heard Joe Biden and Justice Stevens doing their part . . . then i got a stitch out of watching Gibbs sitting obsessed with his crackberry, apparently unaware he was right in the shot every time they showed Yo-Yo Ma (press secretary, sir, you need to think through the camera angles).

    Had the unique privilege of sitting between two African American pastors during the oath, and helping reach tissues for all three of us. Then the picture froze for good as the address began, and our regional pastor (the minister on my right) remembered where there was a radio in the office, and we all watched a frozen video still while listening to most of the address on NPR (yay NPR!). I thought it was a marvelous speech, and for the life of me i don’t get the corner Hertzberg has mentally painted himself into.

    Then the guy with the laptop bit the bullet and took my suggestion to try [ahem] Fox News’ website, which was steady and sharp (yeah, yeah, i know, no one was on it today; maybe so), and we had Rev. Joseph Lowery in all his glory, with a room full of clergy (14 Obama voters, and lil’ token me) grooving on a benediction that was only perfect in that spot on that day — which is was, so it was.

    I plan to hunt up a video clip of Pastor Rick, and i’m betting it just wasn’t that bad. Friend of mine was up near Bruce Springsteen and said it just didn’t feel cold while the sun was out, but was certain it was entirely psychological satisfaction, but everyone was feeling it. . .until the program ended, and everyone realized that they could not feel their fingers or noses!

    Can’t wait until tomorrow morning and Rev. Sharon Watkins’ message at the National Prayer Service — Moe, i’m betting you’ll like it, and yet i trust i will too. The Lord’s Prayer wouldn’t have been my call, and i don’t usually end public prayers with “in Jesus’ name, Amen” because i don’t always even in church, so why force it into a public event? But it doesn’t sound like it was out of character for Rev. Warren, and Pres. Obama knew what he was getting.

    Oh, if you haven’t clicked on http://www.whitehouse.gov since noon, you really oughta. Really.

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  67. brian stouder said on January 20, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    I had the same situation as Alex at work, but Alex – if you have C-SPAN, you can watch and watch and watch!!! I just finished watching their replay of the invocation and oath and Inaugural Address and benediction – wonderful stuff.

    The Hoosier fouled the oath up – and the president stopped cold…and the First Lady had such a look! – and forward they went! As metaphors go, I think the moment was just fine.

    My day was happily made, when I learned that our kids got to watch all of the Inaugural events live on television at school today. Always eager to say things to the young folks that will appear to them (in time) as incisive (despite only really stating the obvious!), I told them that when they’re my age, they will STILL remember this day, and what they saw on TV at school.

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  68. Howie said on January 20, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    “Grooving on a benediction” is a great description of Lowery’s prayer, and he expressed the spirit of the day. Warren’s prayer was awkward because parts of it didn’t seem to be addressed to God. He was giving a speechette, disguised as a prayer. And in introducing Jesus’ name he referred to himself, as if he was lending Jesus some credibility. Yecchhh. Obviously, he needed to run this thing by Jeff, tmmo, before putting it out there in front of God and America.

    But I’m ok with the decisions that led moe99 to point to the “narrow minded git.” Warren is a Jesus-guy, so he prays in Jesus’ name. I would expect a wiccan priestess to end her prayer with Blessed Be.

    Was he really slapping non-Christians? Was he affirming that even some Obama voters pray in Jesus’ name? I guess I don’t know enough about him to make that judgment. The Christians are a part of America and they aren’t going away, but I hope they learn to change. On BHO’s National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation, I’ll also consider his social causes and give him the benefit of the doubt. But I also wouldn’t invite him back.

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  69. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 20, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    We’ll just all judge for ourselves —

    Pastor Rick to open:

    Rev. Joseph to close:

    Embedded video and text for each on both links. I think they both delivered just what Pres. Obama, Gibbsy, and Axelrod expected and wanted — to quote the poet, “It’s all good.” And g’night!

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  70. Joe Kobiela said on January 20, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    If it’s a slap to non Christians for Rev Rick, to invoke Jesus’s name, Then wouldn’t it be a slap TO Christians if he didn’t mention His name? And didn’t Obama himself use Jesus’s name in his speech? I did not catch it but I thought it was mentioned but I could be wrong.
    Connie, I wish I could take you to Travers City, it was stunning flying in at sunset to night, I was at 8,000ft an could see the bay at about 60 miles out, the sun was going down behind a cloud bank over lake Mich and it was just a orange glow. It is nights like this that make up for the nights it is a 200ft ceiling and 1/2 miles visibility with snow.
    As for the 600 jets at Dulles, maby things aren’t so bad under W if twice as many people have a jet then had one 4 years ago. Just saying.
    Pilot Joe

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  71. del said on January 21, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Upthread it was mentioned that Chief Justice Roberts was a Hoosier, so I went to wikipedia and found the following sentence in the entry about the Chief Justice: “While swearing in the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama, Roberts made several errors and was widely mocked on internet blogs and internet message boards for being an asshat.”

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  72. moe99 said on January 21, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Per NPR this am before the invocation was offered, Billy Graham, no slouch of an evangelical, never mentioned Jesus in his invocations for serious events such as this and that omissions has been widely understood to mean it was done in the spirit of inclusiveness. I stand by my opinion of Warren’s invocation.

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  73. Dexter said on January 21, 2009 at 12:56 am

    MichaelG…the poem was the worst thing by far of the entire day…everybody hated it and I have not heard ONE word of praise for it. My buddy said “where are the haikus when we need them? ”

    Blofeld? Cheney? DAMIFINO !

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  74. CrazyCatLady said on January 21, 2009 at 1:17 am

    I heard on the Daily Show that they used the ‘Poet’ to clear out the stands after the Inauguration was over. You can really clear out folks with poetry-bad poetry. Even the Vogons would puke at that tome. Thank God our long national nightmare is finally over. Let the healing begin…

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  75. Gasman said on January 21, 2009 at 2:31 am

    Joe K.,
    Nope, not one mention of Jesus by name in Obama’s speech.


    You seem to be OK with offending most of the globe to mollify the fundagelicals. Not a good way to start reaching out to the majority of the world who are not Christian. As a Christian I have never understood the glee that some other Christians seem to delight in by intentionally intoning the name of Jesus loudly when around others who do not share our beliefs. It seems to be contrary not only to the spirit of true evangelism, it also seems to be opposed to the ideals of Jesus himself.

    The holier than thou stuff wears thin mighty fast.

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  76. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 21, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Praise song for the day – Elizabeth Alexander

    Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others’ eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

    Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

    A woman and her son wait for the bus. A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, “Take out your pencils. Begin.”

    We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.

    We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, “I need to see what’s on the other side; I know there’s something better down the road.”

    We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

    Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

    Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.

    Some live by “Love thy neighbor as thy self.”

    Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.

    What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

    In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

    On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp — praise song for walking forward in that light.

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  77. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 21, 2009 at 6:40 am

    ps — imho, those are the preliminary notes for what could have become a good, even a great poem. As it is, it just doesn’t seem like there’s enough poetry there to make it much more than scribbled indications . . . and as a Yale professor, the poet might say “that’s exactly what i was trying to say.”

    I’m not a Frostian on free verse, but this was just image heavy prose with irregular spacing on the page and stilted word order — “they would then keep clean and work inside of.” It makes me think “editor, blue pencil, stat.”

    Oh, and Billy Graham? Didn’t mention Jesus? OK, he didn’t use those five letters, but c’mon – “in the name of the one whose shed blood on the cross cleansed all my sin”? I’m not seeing how that statement, but not using the Big Guy’s moniker, is better than what Rick Warren said. And i fully expect our first Theravadan Buddhist president to have at least one cleric in the inauguration who says “OMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…………….” Seems fair to me, even if i smile slightly and don’t join in loudly on intoning “the sound that evokes the very power of created uncreatedness.”

    (Om mani padmi hum, om mani padmi hum, ommmmm — see, now everyone feels so much mellower! Nothing wrong with a little “jewel in the lotus” early in the morning. Ommmmmm………)

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  78. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 21, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Sorry to hog the space, gotta go anyhow, but for the National Prayer service and my good colleague Sharon Watkins’ message, click on http://www.nationalcathedral.org about 10 am, and when i get a text i’ll post a link (then we can all pick that apart, too!).

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  79. MichaelG said on January 21, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I’m very sorry to hear about people here at nn.c losing jobs or as in Mary’s case being threatened. We’re on edge where I work as well. Lay offs are threatened and we are all getting a 10% pay cut as of Feb first. The state is in the midst of the worst financial crisis in its history, on the brink of catastrophe and the deep thinkers from under the dome have all been in DC partying instead of here in Sacto working on a budget that should have been wrapped up last July 1.

    There are reasons to live in California, however. This past weekend I mowed my lawn wearing tee shirt and shorts.

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  80. Connie said on January 21, 2009 at 9:04 am

    MichaelG, every work day for the last couple of weeks I have driven past a runner in shorts. So just goes to show you can wear shorts in Indiana in January. Even when it’s zero out. So there.

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  81. alex said on January 21, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Fun blooper this morning on CBS. When moving from inaugural clips to the weather, the weather guy thanked the anchors for a great look at the President’s balls.

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  82. brian stouder said on January 21, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Hah! Between Dave K’s great groin scoop (which was also from CBS, come to think of it) and Alex’s CBS’s eye on the Inaugural Balls, this thread has been well hung with a nice pair of bon mots! (Imagine the heightened awareness if Secretary Clinton had won the presidency…!)

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  83. Lex said on January 21, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I loved how Obama and Biden went to see Bush’s helicopter off … not as a show of civility, but to make damn sure he left. Hee.

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