I have decided not to go to DC. While I have missed few big events that have taken place in the last 20 years, Obama’s inauguration is just too much – too much security, too much of a hassle getting around.
Though I routinely walk miles every day, I’m not keen on standing outside in cold weather for hours on end. Since I would likely attend a viewing party, I’ll have the same view in NYC but without the fuss.
While the actual swearing-in will take place shortly before noon, the formal program begins at 11:30 AM and the musical prelude and seating will begin much earlier. Security checkpoints will open for ticketed guests at 8:00 AM, and the committee advises arriving no later than 9:00 AM to ensure that you are through the checkpoints by the time the program begins. Screening will end when the program begins at 11:30 AM and late arrivals will not be able to enter the grounds.
Getting to the Swearing-In Getting to the swearing-in ceremonies that morning will be very difficult because of the large crowds. In addition to the 240,000 ticketed guests, a million or more people are expected to view the inauguration from the National Mall between 4th Street and the Lincoln Memorial, along with hundreds of thousands of others who plan on watching the Inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.
We recommend planning ahead, but also caution that any plans made in advance should be double-checked in the days and hours prior to the event in case of changes to transportation schedules, street and other closures, and other factors that may impact your travel plans. We also recommend developing back-up plans in case your original travel plans need to be changed at the last minute.
I firmly believe that we must welcome all Americans into our party and that the road to Republican resurgence begins with unity, not division. But I know that our party leaders should stand up against the media's double standards and refuse to pander to their desire for scandal.
But, what is even more disgusting than the audacity of Saltsman to send out these insulting CDs, is the deafening silence of Black Republicans, especially the two who are running for national party chair.
I have searched all over the internet and have not found one word of outrage from any of the Black Republican “talking heads!” Where is Tara Wall or Amy Holmes (CNN)? Angela McGlowan or Star Parker (Fox News)? Joe Watkins (MSNBC)? These are the people the party parades out to the media and wonder why these people have absolutely NO standing within the Black community.
In addition, the accounts contain no indication of inappropriate discussions with the Governor or anyone from his office about a “deal” or a quid pro quo arrangement in which he would receive a personal benefit in return for any specific appointment to fill the vacancy.
I participated in a conference call with Craig who discussed his findings.
Craig reported that Rahm Emanuel was the only aide who had contact with Blagojevich. Emanuel had “one or two” telephone conversations with the Governor, and “about four” conversations with his chief of staff, John Harris. Craig said the exact number is irrelevant since “those contacts were totally acceptable and appropriate.”
There was little new news. Craig did not have access to transcripts of the wiretapped calls; nor were there any written communications.
In the period immediately following the election on November 4, 2008 – on either November 6, 7 or 8 – Deputy Governor Louanner Peters called him at his office and left a message. When he returned the call, Ms. Peters asked who spoke for the President-Elect with respect to the Senate appointment. She explained that the Governor’s office had heard from others with recommendations about the vacant seat. She stated that the Governor’s office wanted to know who, if anyone, had the authority to speak for the President-Elect. Dr. Whitaker said he would find out.
The President-Elect told Dr. Whitaker that no one was authorized to speak for him on the matter. The President-Elect said that he had no interest in dictating the result of the selection process, and he would not do so, either directly or indirectly through staff or others. Dr. Whitaker relayed that information to Deputy Governor Peters.
Craig’s bottom line: “All contacts were innocent, appropriate and predictable conversations.”
I’m pretty open-minded, but I don’t support same-sex marriage. That said, I understand gays’ outrage that Pastor Rick Warren will give the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Rep. Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of Congress, said on CNN’s “Late Edition”:
Mr. Warren compared same-sex couples to incest. I found that deeply offensive and unfair. And the president-elect was wrong when he said, well, he invited me to speak; I’m just inviting him to speak.
If he was inviting the Reverend Warren to participate in a forum and to make a speech, that would be a good thing. We should have these. But being singled out to give the prayer at the inauguration is a high honor.
It has traditionally given as a mark of great respect. And, yes, I think it was wrong to single him out for this mark of respect.
Can you imagine if, say, Dr. Bob Jones III were invited in the name of including “a wide range of viewpoints”? Black folks would not “agree to disagree.” Bob Jones University banned interracial dating until 2000. The ban was ended in the wake of a public outcry.
BTW, women also want to drive Pastor Rick from the Inaugural stage:
The Obama camp claims the move represents the President-elect’s commitment to inclusiveness. But, in fact, this is a gesture to reach out to conservatives who opposed President-elect Obama at the expense of women, LGBT Americans, and other progressive voters who overwhelmingly supported him.
It is disrespectful. It is antagonistic. It is a decision that is blatantly at odds with the progressive agenda on which he based his campaign. It is divisive, not inclusive.
This historic election is supposed to be about a vision of a new America – an end to politics of division. And yet President-elect Obama has made a choice to give prominence and pulpit to a promoter of an anti-choice and anti-gay agenda. He has chosen to highlight and give voice to someone who has actively supported the elimination of civil rights. He has chosen a divisive figure to speak out in a moment of prayer, on an historical day of bringing Americans together.