Three weeks from today, President-elect Barack Obama will place his hand on the Bible that President Abraham Lincoln used in 1861 and take the oath of office.
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.
If you’re going, here are some tips from the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies:
For more info, go here.
Oops, he did it again.
Chip Saltsman, a former chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party and a candidate for national party chairman, distributed a CD of holiday music that includes the song, “Barack the Magic Negro.” The parody has been featured on Rush Limbaugh’s playlist for nearly two years.
Saltsman accurately notes:
My friend Raynard Jackson, a longtime GOP activist, writes:
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.
I am not surprised at Saltsman’s behavior. He is who he is. He is the same person that was part of the state party that ran the infamous “Harold Ford” TV commercial with the white blonde bombshell asking him to “call her.” But what surprises me, no infuriates me is the embarrassing response from the two Black candidates for chair, Ken Blackwell (former State Treasurer of Ohio) and Michael Steele (former Lt. Gov. of Maryland).
In the wake of his latest racial blunder, Saltsman is likely out of the running for GOP national chairman. But then again, it is the Stupid Party.
It’s Christmas Eve, but stuff happens. So instead of asking you to remember me on your Christmas list, I’m writing about who’s been naughty or nice on President-elect Barack Obama’s transition staff.
In a five-page memo to the President-elect, Greg Craig, incoming White House Counsel, writes the transition staff had “no inappropriate contact” with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich:
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.
We did learn that Obama, Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett were interviewed by FBI agents and federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's office last week.
Also, Jarrett had a conversation with a top union official in Chicago about Blago being appointed Secretary of Heath and Human Services. Craig said Jarrett “never thought of it as a quid pro quo”:
Blagojevich’s interest in HHS was ridiculous on its face at a time when it was widely reported that he was under investigation.
Obama’s BFF, Dr. Eric Whitaker, was approached by one of Blago’s deputies:
Craig’s bottom line: “All contacts were innocent, appropriate and predictable conversations.”
BTW, Emanuel was not on the call. He reportedly left for a “long planned family vacation in Africa.”
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”:
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.
Mind you, I’m not analogizing gay rights to civil rights. Rather, no bigot should be given a platform on such an historic occasion, no matter how many good deeds he has done.
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.
To sign WomenCount’s petition, go here.