I'm not sure how brilliant this will be, musically/technically speaking, but I am certain it will be entertaining, to say the least.
Regardless how innocent the reason, the fact Cheney departed the office Tuesday in a wheelchair brought a number of strong reactions to the photo from my readership at BAGnewsNotes. Here's a sample:
>> This is pure theatre and is absolutely impossible to believe. An attempt at presenting a weakened or sympathetic image in the face of a very real threat of criminal prosecution. (Thomas)
>> I wouldn't be surprised if this maneuver was simply his way of being disrespectful and she he would not be standing when Obama took the Oath of Office. (Asta)
>> A vivid flashback to one of my favorites, Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove. (Montana)
>> My impression is that Cheney is held together with band aids and glue. One of them busted, but I'm grateful for the metaphor and only sorry that he's sitting on the part the door should be hitting. (Karen)
>> Anyone watching NBC's coverage might have heard Brokaw actually say (out loud, even, though very quickly) that it's unfortunate the Cheney is in a wheelchair because he doesn't want to invite a Dr. Strangelove comparison. The quick statement was followed by a few seconds of what seemed to be awkward silence - I don't think anyone could believe he actually said it out loud. Priceless. (AJ)
>> Re: "An attempt at presenting a weakened or sympathetic image in the face of a very real threat of criminal prosecution." Hey, it worked for Pinochet! (Hermetically Sealed)
>> yg offered this link to explain the smirk (relating how a last minute decision by a federal judge has given Cheney discretion to decide what documents to preserve for history).And then, expressing the unspeakable anger so many feel toward the man, shpx.ohfu offered this:
|Sarah Palin is fighting to keep another species from protection—the Cook Inlet beluga whale.|
|© Office of Governor Sarah Palin|
Just in case you thought yesterday's Inaugural was free of on-the-streets rancor, we got news today from the documentarians at NomadsLand that those candy-colored, flag-desecrating, bigot-whackjobs from the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas - well known for their "protests" of funerals of fallen soldiers and the foaming ridiculousness of their collective gay panic, were out on Pennsylvania Avenue, acting like fools yesterday afternoon.
NomadsLand provides a nice video of the Westboro clan getting worked over by the more well-adjusted crowd and giving their typical bizarre answers to everything. I especially love the part where one church member explains the crypto-zoology behind the size of various mythical beasts' horns.
One of the Westboro gang is also shown carrying a sign that reads "JOBS WON'T FIX AMERICA," which is either a bearish take on the utility of the iPhone, or a warning to the nation that employment is sodomy. Both are probably a little bit true, but, jeez, that's no reason to yell at people.
Non-profit organization GetToKnowUsFirst.org produced five 30-second commercials featuring gay and lesbian families, with the message "Marriage promotes families. Support marriage equality." The ads, while not tied to any current election, are the result of California's passage of Proposition 8 in November. The group aired the spots in 42 of the states' 58 counties -- everywhere the initiative passed by 50% or more -- during Tuesday's coverage of the Presidential Inauguration. KABC is the only station that refused to sell the ad space. The rejected ad profiles two African American men raising five children ages 6 through 25. Ironically, the family lives in Los Angeles.Here's the clip.
The media buy was attempted by the organization's ad agency, New and Improved Media. Its CEO, Keith Fisher, was surprised that KABC rejected the group's money. Fisher said, "We usually only see this with risque content, as in a trailer for a movie." He added, "If KABC thinks they have to protect the public from this family, something's obviously very wrong over there." Chris Yokogawa, the ad agency's media buyer, worked with the station, attempting to ease any concerns they might have. He said, "We went back and forth a couple of times. I explained that this family is far from controversial. They were firm in their rejection. They said it was too controversial to air during the Inauguration, since 'many families will be watching.'"
The ad aired across California on Tuesday -- before, during and after the Presidential Inauguration on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Despierta America (Univision) and Levantate (Telemundo) broadcasts, as well as on a wide range of regional news stations, CNN and FoxNews during evening coverage of the day's events. Project Coordinator John Ireland expressed astonishment at KABC's rejection. He said, "This ad is about families. I challenge anyone to watch the commercials at www.GetToKnowUsFirst.org and articulate what is inappropriate about airing it at any time of day."
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Many U.S. troops in Iraq were overjoyed to see President Barack Obama take his oath, but some were unhappy about one thing the Democrat has promised to do: permit gay and lesbian soldiers to serve openly.
Obama said during his campaign he opposed a 1993 law stating that homosexuals are not eligible to work in the U.S. military, widely referred to as the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rule.
This month, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, when asked whether the new administration planned to scrap the law, replied on the president's transition website: "You don't hear politicians give a one-word answer much. But it's 'yes'."
But some of the 140,000 troops still in Iraq almost six years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein appear uneasy about the prospect.
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A report prepared for the U.S. Conference of Mayors forecasts the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area to shed some 11,400 jobs in 2009, a decline of 2.9 percent.
The study, conducted by IHS Global Insight, said of the 363 metropolitan areas studied, only five are not expected to see job losses this year. One of those markets is Ithaca.
The expected job losses in the Buffalo area place the city 41st, with unemployment anticipated to rise to 8.7 percent by the fourth quarter, up from 7.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Rochester, 46th on the list, is expected to lose 9,500 jobs in 2009 with unemployment rising to 8.4 percent from 6.7 percent in the comparable fourth quarter.
Syracuse is expected to see a loss of 5,900 jobs, or 1.8 percent, placing 73rd. Albany is 78th on the list with a decline of 5,800 jobs, or 1.3 percent.
New York City will lose the most jobs in 2009 — 181,000 jobs, the report said. Los Angeles will have the second-most losses at 164,000, followed by Miami (85,000), Chicago (80,300) and Boston (58,500).
The report notes that unemployment will top 10 percent in 70 metro area including Detroit and Cleveland.
"I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear ..." Well, nothing was more stunning and cathartic than those few words. Not the remarkable American diorama — in all its polychromatic wonder — spread out for miles on the National Mall in Washington. Not the clear, sober cadences of our new President's Inaugural Address. Not the prayers and tears, the unstoppable smiles and barely controlled giddiness of what may have been the happiest crowd ever to grace the nation's capital. A man named Barack Hussein Obama is now the President of the United States. He came to us as the ultimate outsider in a nation of outsiders — the son of an African visitor and a white woman from Kansas — and he has turned us inside out. That he leads us now is a breathtaking statement of American open-mindedness and, yes, our native liberality. Even before his first act as President, and no matter how he fares in the office, he stands as a singular event in our history. (See pictures of people around the world watching Obama's inauguration.)
Michael Smith, Jason Wu
If there's one thing we can be sure of with this new administration, it's that First Lady Michelle Obama will bring style back to the White House. Of course, that's not to say that Laura Bush didn't have "style" (in a "church secretary" sort of way), nor Nancy Reagan (in a Mary Tyler Moore Ordinary People "give her the goddamn camera!" sort of way).
But Michelle's ascension promises a fresher spin on First Lady and White House glamour, and that's due in no small part to her gaggle of gay designers.
Jason Wu designed Michelle's Inauguration dress, which has caused heated debate as to whether it flattered her, or looked like a Project Runway wreck. Jason is a NYC designer who has his own designing line, was a student of Tim Gunn, and has designed dolls for, among others, RuPaul.
When the First Family returns home to the White House, they'll see the handiwork of Michael Smith. The designer-to-the-stars had plans for the White House even before the election, wanting to bring "great masters of 20th-century American design into the executive mansion and bringing Alice Waters in to do a vegetable garden and head up the cooking".
In could-be-but-we're-not-sure related news, Michelle's personal hairstylist Johnny Wright has landed a development deal to star in a reality show. We don't know whether Johnny is gay (although he does like to use the word "honey" a lot), but gay or not, he joins a fabulous First Lady transition team.
And speaking of "the dress", there's a pic after the jump. Any thoughts?
Inauguration Flub Watch
By Joel Achenbach
The problem with Obama relying on that 27-year-old kid to write his speeches is that someone so young doesn't remember the Grover Cleveland presidency the way I do. And thus Obama opened his speech with a mistake that made every history geek in America wince and gasp (before deciding, perhaps, to call it a mere rounding error).
"Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath," Obama said.
Actually, it's 43. Obama is considered the 44th president because Cleveland, whose two terms were not consecutive, is considered both the 22nd and 24th president.
And while we're on Flub Watch duty, we have to mention the awkward oath. It appears that Obama jumped the gun at the beginning a little bit, and that threw off Chief Justice Roberts, who garbled the oath. Obama then improvised a little bit. They both closed strong, however.
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Should Obama retake the oath?
During Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony Tuesday, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts mangled the wording of the presidential oath of office. As a result, Obama said "execute the Office of President of the United States faithfully" instead of the correct "faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States." While the error is both minor and the fault of Roberts, not Obama, as War Room reported Tuesday, that hasn't stopped some in the media from speculating that Obama isn't officially the president because he hasn't taken the constitutionally mandated 35-word oath verbatim.
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A former Fayette man is challenging an order that he not be allowed to entertain “his homosexual partners and friends” while his three minor children visit him once weekly.
The order was entered Oct. 1, 2007, by Fayette County Superior Court Judge Christopher Edwards as part of the divorce case between Eric Mongerson and Sandy Ehlers. Mongerson has appealed this issue and several others to the Georgia Supreme Court.
Edwards ordered that neither of the parents could have “overnight company with a member of the opposite sex, or with any person deemed to be a paramour, unrelated by blood or marriage, in the presence of a child.”
One sentence later Edwards wrote: “Additionally, defendant is prohibited from exposing the children to his homosexual partners and friends.”
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GONZALES: The last thing he said as he was getting off the plane — he kissed me on the forehead — and he said, “Just stay strong.” […]
HERMAN: Any tears shed on the plane by anybody?
GONZALES: By me, yeah. There were a few.
GONZALES: Just pride. Just love and appreciation for the man and what he did, Ken. I feel — being on this trip did a lot for me, in terms of just making me realize — it was a small part, but I played a part in protecting our country, and I take a great deal of pride in that.
When Gov. Sarah Palin mocked Barack Obama's community-organizing background at last year's Republican convention, attendees lapped it up. "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities," she said of her own experience, to thunderous applause. But as the great orator moves into the Oval Office, some would-be GOP leaders are appropriating Obamaesque language.
On Wednesday she called the governor, David Paterson, who is making the selection of who should succeed Senator Hillary Clinton. Her concerns about Senator Edward M. Kennedy's deteriorating health (he was hospitalized after a seizure during the inaugural lunch on Tuesday) prompted her decision to withdraw, this person said. Coping with the health issues of her uncle, with whom she enjoys an extraordinarily close bond, was her most important priority; a situation not conducive to starting a high profile public job.
Headlines On This Date 4 Years Ago:
"Republicans spending $42 million on inauguration while troops Die in
"Bush extravagance exceeds any reason during tough economic times"
"Fat cats get their $42 million inauguration party, Ordinary Americans
get the shaft"
"Historic Obama Inauguration will cost only $120 million"
"Obama Spends $120 million on inauguration; America Needs A Big Party"
"Everyman Obama shows America how to celebrate"
"Citibank executives contribute $8 million to Obama Inauguration"
Nothing like fair & unbiased coverage of the news !!!
Welcome to the NEW and Unbiased World Order where every ... oops( I
mean only Democrats) man is created equal. Just Liberal Democrats are
created more equal than others.
Wake up America... There is equality for the Liberal, but God help the
middle class and the conservative.
His young daughters, Malia and Sasha, got to take the day off from school Wednesday after an exhilarating late-night scamper around their new home — one that ended in style when they opened a door to find their favorite band, the Jonas Brothers.
Obama's wife, Michelle, walked out of the Oval Office side-by-side with him — hardly a common image for that territory.
And then there was Obama himself, lightly rested after a late night of inaugural balls but ready to get started on his new job.
Here's his first day as president:
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I think Anti-Defamation League honcho Abe Foxman better think harder about this:
Some Jewish leaders say the very qualities that may appeal to the Obama administration — Mitchell’s reputation as an honest broker — could spark unhappiness, if not outright opposition, from some pro-Israel groups.
“Sen. Mitchell is fair. He’s been meticulously even-handed,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “But the fact is, American policy in the Middle East hasn’t been ‘even handed’ — it has been supportive of Israel when it felt Israel needed critical U.S. support.”
“So I’m concerned,” Foxman continued. “I’m not sure the situation requires that kind of approach in the Middle East.”
For one thing, I’m not thrilled to see Foxman talking about this issue at all which seems far afield from the ADL’s mandate. But the position he’s taking is also incredibly stupid—nobody comes out against fairness. It’d be one thing to complain that Mitchell is somehow biased against Israel in a problematic way, but Foxman’s complaining that he’s too fair and even-handed. That’s absurd. Fair is a good quality in an envoy.source
During the weekend of Presidential Inauguration celebrations, the words, “My President is black,” became more than a hot line taken from a hot song. The hook for Young Jeezy’s “My President” became the unofficial anthem for the entire weekend of festivities surrounding the 56th Presidential Inauguration. From parties, balls, and galas, to concerts and the Inauguration itself, the hip hop elite came to D.C. to celebrate a historical achievement, and in doing so, also became a part of it.
For hip hop artists and fans, the Inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama was as good of excuse as they were ever going to have to party. And so it began on Friday night with Jay-Z at D.C.’s megaclub, Love, for a kick-off event that put hip hop in the front and center of the weekend’s festivities. The Hip-Hop Caucus hosted it’s own party on Saturday night at Ibiza nightclub, where Mary J. Blige stopped by and Biz Markie hopped in the DJ booth to spin a couple records.
Sunday night, the party was in full effect back over at Love, where Young Jeezy and T.I. both performed for a star-studded audience. Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Akon, Bow Wow, Solange, Ashanti, Nelly, Wale and others were all in the house. The night ended with its biggest surprise when Jay took the stage and debuted his own verse to Jeezy’s “My President…” (click here to listen).( Collapse )
Young Jeezy and Jay-Z on stage at LoveOn Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the parties only grew bigger. A performance by Common at Love, as well as a Jay-Z concert going on at the Warner Theatre, were two of the night’s most-talked about moments. But over at the Harman Center in Downtown D.C., hip hop was getting its grown and sexy at the Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball presented by the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.
Kanye West performs at the Neighborhood BallThe unique thing about these last performances, and every celebration or performance throughout the weekend for that matter, was within a nation’s most progressive moment, the state of hip hop has moved beyond the streets, the blocks, and the clubs. By inviting artists such as Jay-Z and Common to perform at official Inaugural events, President Obama, whether intentional or not, showed American music isn’t necessarily Rock and Roll, Jazz, or even Country. It is now a music Chuck D once called the black CNN – a music once thought to be a fad and is now the soundtrack for a nation, performed by people who prefer to go by aliases rather than their government names. American music is hip hop and you better get used to it, because the President is black. And he likes himself some hip hop.
Dear Mr. President-elect:
Every 50 years or so since the rise of the U.S. as an industrial power, someone with your impending job title takes a hard look at the athletic activity of children.
He finds neglect and opportunity.
He takes action.
He leaves the nation -- and, ultimately, the sports nation -- in a better place.
Just over a century ago, it was Teddy Roosevelt. Ascending to the presidency at a time when America was about to make its play as leader of the free world, he didn't like what he saw happening with teenage boys. Roosevelt grew up an asthmatic, a sickly boy from polluted New York who made his body strong by embracing a life of vigorous exercise. He wrestled and lifted weights, and he boxed even after moving into the White House. He worried that the comforts of urban life had rendered middle- and upper-class boys soft and effeminate, raised, as many of them were, by their mothers. They hardly seemed fit, the way he saw it, to take over the businesses that their more manly fathers were hard at work creating. At the same time, the nation needed dependable laborers to pave the expansion into new markets. Sports, and team sports specifically, became seen as a way to indoctrinate immigrant boys into the ways of American capitalism. "Only aggressive sports can create the brawn, the spirit, the self-confidence, and quickness of men essential for the existence of a strong nation," Roosevelt roared.