Jessica and Heather of Go Fug Yourself tackle the very obscure and surprising topic of Inaugural Fashion for NY Mag.com."
Sure, yesterday's inauguration was mostly about change, making history,
and one mildly mixed-up oath of office — but let's face it, a day with
no fewer than ten balls is also going to be about clothes. Expensive
ones. We ogled every photo we could find of the celebrities who turned
out to support the Obamas — as well as of the First Lady herself — and
have compiled a list of our personal bests, worsts, and in-betweens of
the Inauguration Day festivities.
by Damozel | It was one of several entertaining moments during the inauguration.
In giving the oath, Roberts misplaced the word "faithfully," at
which point Obama paused quizzically. Roberts then corrected himself,
but Obama repeated the words as Roberts initially said them..Beermann said if he were Obama's lawyer, he would recommend retaking
it, just as two previous presidents, Calvin Coolidge and Chester
Arthur, did under similar circumstances.
"The Constitution says what he's supposed to say," [Constitutional scholar Jack] Beermann said. "...
It's kind of surprising the chief justice couldn't get it right." (SF Gate)
Anyway....he's taken it over again..."And we're going to do it very slowly," he apparently told Chief Justice Roberts. Which is what they did. BUT.... OHHHHH NOES!
I loved the speech, LOVED Aretha, loved seeing Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman together with the glorious young flautist McGill and the fingerless-glove wearing Montero, loved the little Obama girls, loved the Reverend Lowry --- yeah, especially him --- and even loved trying to sing the high parts of "The Star Spangled Banner." I loved it when Roberts and Obama biffed on the oath. Hell, I even sort of loved Michelle's Inauguration Day dress, though---to be candid--- it evoked Ladybird more than Jackie.
We were in North Florida, about 900 miles away from the inauguration, watching it on huge TV screens at Gators Dockside. When Barack Obama finished the oath, most of the people in the place jumped up, raised their arms, and clapped their hands overhead.
To say that people were feeling festive is an understatement. The Alachua County Democratic Executive Committee had invited the public to join the group in embracing our new administration (and saying goodbye to one of the worst periods in our nation's history).Both sections of the "house" were packed. Damozel and I went and had a good time.
Here's the part of President Obama's inaugural address that I found most moving (yes, tears):
"...This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women
and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration
across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than
sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can
now stand before you to take a most sacred oath."
by Damozel | According to incoming White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, apparently so. Via The Washington Post:
[Gibbs] said Obama had written the speech himself last weekend and was relieved to have the bulk of it completed...
Obama will talk about restoring a sense of responsibility in the
country, Gibbs said, conveying his belief that "we need more
responsibility and accountability, certainly, in the way our government
"We have to have it, certainly, within many of our financial
institutions that sort of have gotten us to where we are in this
economic crisis today," Gibbs said on "Fox News Sunday." "Obviously, the American people are going to have to give some."
by Damozel | This is according to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Gibbs was answering a question during a Q&A at Change.gov. Fox News whinges:
The Obama transition team declined to elaborate on that one-word answer when asked by FOX News on Wednesday about a timetable for repealing the policy, which was enacted by Clinton after a protracted public debate. Obama officials also would not explain which lawmakers or Pentagon officials would attempt to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." (Fox News)
by Damozel | John Amato sums up my thoughts on this: "So the national joke is finally coming to an end." CNN has the story:
Earlier in the day, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Illinois
senior senator and Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin said the
Senate would accept Burris' credentials.
of the Senate has determined that the new credentials presented today
on behalf of Mr. Burris now satisfy Senate Rules and validate his
appointment to the vacant Illinois Senate seat. In addition, as we
requested, Mr. Burris has provided sworn testimony before the Illinois
House Committee on Impeachment regarding the circumstances of his
appointment," the two said in a statement.
by Damozel | Though he plans to issue on his first full day in office the executive order that will ultimately shut down Guantanamo Bay, the actual process is likely to take a year or so. (NYT) Transition officials evidently say that plans are on track to suspend immediately the Bush administration’s military commissions system for trying detainees. (NYT) But then what happens?
[E]xperts say it is likely to take many months, perhaps as long as a
year, to empty the prison that has drawn international criticism since
it received its first prisoners seven years ago this week. One
transition official said the new administration expected that it would
take several months to transfer some of the remaining 248 prisoners to
other countries, decide how to try suspects and deal with the many
other legal challenges posed by closing the camp....
During an interview yesterday, ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked President-elect Barack Obama a question that is on many Americans' minds: will Obama appoint a special prosecutor to investigate potential crimes of the Bush Administration.
Obama's answer conflicted with other parts, to the point that the answer, as a whole, was not clearly understandable:
by Damozel | As Tom Raum says at AP, they didn't seem to mind spending taxpayer money like drunken CEOs when they were in power.
Now that they aren't? They want a "restrained" answer to the massive erosion of the economy they created. Yes, they've morphed back into "responsible" guardians of the public purse strings.
Republicans. There's nothing they won't posture about, or politicize. The article includes a great round-up of GOP quotes about "responsible" spending on saving the economy, if you feel the need to laugh bitterly or anything.
In "The Obama Gap," Krugman points out that Obama's plan for dealing with the crisis will not, because as presently configured it cannot, live up to his rhetoric.
This is the most dangerous economic crisis since the Great Depression, and it could all too easily turn into a prolonged slump. But
Mr. Obama’s prescription doesn’t live up to his diagnosis. The economic
plan he’s offering isn’t as strong as his language about the economic
threat. In fact, it falls well short of what’s needed....
by Teh Nutroots | According to The New York Times, December's losses bring the total to 2.6 million. And if you believe the article, this is just the thin end of the wedge. Who will be next? You? Me?
More than 11 million Americans are now unemployed, and their growing ranks seem likely to put pressure on President-elect Barack Obama and Congress to act quickly on a stimulus package that mixes tax cuts and public spending.“These
numbers, back to back, of more than a half million a month suggest that
the U.S. economy is in a freefall,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief
economist at IHS Global Insight. “It’s scary, and it indicates that
unless something is done and done quickly to turn this economy around,
we’re looking at an awful situation this year.”
by Damozel | According to The Guardian, at least three incoming officials in the Obama Administration say that Obama is willing to talk with Hamas. Such a policy is supported by Obama's choice for Middle East envoy, Richard Haass, who has been a diplomat under Bush 41 and 43. (The Guardian)
I don't understand why there are any objections to this. It isn't as if Bush's policies have exactly gone a long way toward bringing peace to Israel or the Middle East generally. I can't understand the people who think that the best way to address failed policies is to do more of the same, only more so. Isn't that meant to be a marker for insanity? And apparently even some Republicans are coming round to the idea that a change of policy is going to be required.
by Bill Kavanagh: Paul Krugman expresses my concerns about the size and focus of the stimulus package.It looks like 40% of the plan that’s going to fund tax cuts will be wasted expenditure, like the Bush stimulus cuts last year.People, justifiably, will pocket any tax cut money that comes their way, rather than stimulating the economy by spending it.The country is scared. Direct disbursements, to the extent they are necessary, need to focus on those who are falling through the cracks, not on a wide but economically useless tax cut.
by Damozel | "The conservative former MTV VJ Kennedy," that is. Though the Great Man has a few words to say about Caroline as well:
Those who are lobbying for Caroline Kennedy, such as New York City
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have their hearts in the right place. They
want to find the candidate who will most annoy and embarrass Hillary to
replace her. And appointing Caroline would certainly accomplish that.
Although she hasn't voted much or been that involved
in politics or even studied the issues, she did make Hillary angry when
she and her uncle Sen. Ted Kennedy endorsed Obama over Hillary in the
Democratic primary.As I explained
at the time, "It is not just that Obama reminds them of Kennedy, it is
also that the Clintons remind them of Lyndon Johnson. And if there is
anything that the Kennedys don't like, it's a bunch of hillbillies in
the White House, which is being kept in trust until a competent Kennedy
can be groomed to take it back for its rightful owners. Until that time
Obama will do."
by Damozel | While Obama and his crew are presumably working all the hours there are on that economic stimulus package of which we hear so many reports, Obama doesn't want anyone to assume that this or anything else is going to be more than a palliative for our current dire straits.
President-elect Barack Obama
on Tuesday braced Americans for the unparalleled prospect of
“trillion-dollar deficits for years to come,” a stark assessment of the
budgetary outlook that he said would force his administration to impose
tighter fiscal discipline on the government. (NYT)
by Damozel | According to The Washington Post, Obama would like Sanjay Gupta to be surgeon general. Gupta, a neurosurgeon, is a CNN correspondent. As one of my friends would say, he's certainly extremely attractive (skippy's caption to that same photo: "Dr. Sanjay Gupta, forgetting to drain the swamp", heh)
Gupta also certainly has the background in public policy wonking.
The Michigan-born son of parents who were born in India, Gupta has
always been drawn to health policy. He was a White House fellow in the
late 1990s, writing speeches and crafting policy for Hillary Clinton.
His appointment would give the administration a prominent official of
South Asian descent and a skilled television spokesman.