Monday, January 21, 2013

Live-Blogging Second Inaugural

I didn't really plan on this, but Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY) was the first one out of the box quoting Lincoln and talking about the completion of the Capitol Dome during the Civil War and the placing of the Statue of Freedom on top ironically made by a recently freed Slave (Has Schumer been reading my blog?)

Senator Schumer Conducting Inaugural Ceremonies
Keep checking back. We'll see what I can get to. I do want to live-blog the Second Inaugural (ooh! Just typing that sends chills after Schumer's talk. I'm going back up top to change the title of this).

Schumer blows the intro to the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Just for a minute there, Carl Rove might have been right after all.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R. Tenn.)  gives the Republican response before the speech. And he is emphasizing the peaceful "transfer or reaffirmation" of the transfer of the People's power.

Justice Sotomayor issues oath to VP Biden. I like seeing the Park Service hats on the podium. The NPS (Department of the Interior) is in charge of the mall. You're welcome.

James Taylor forgot his guitar. And his head looks cold. "America the Beautiful" sounding like every other James Taylor song. Prez gives him a hug.

Chief Justice Roberts reads from his card again. (The President did the official oath yesterday on the requisite date). The Prez, for some reason, half-choked on the word "States" in "United States." Maybe he was concerned about the Supremacy Clause and all.

President Barack H. Obama takes the podium. Big crowd. Happy crowd.

Call for unity. What makes us exceptional and American is our allegiance to an idea articulated in the Declaration - That all men are created equal. Endowed by Creator with certain unalienable rights - live, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We are still engaged. Self-evident but not self-executing. Freedom gift from God but must be accomplished by people on the earth. They gave us a country of, by, and for the People [Lincoln - bingo!] And then he goes and quotes the "House Divided" Speech.

Competition & Fair Play. A great nation must protect the vulnerable. Initiative & enterprise are constants in our character. When times change so must we. Fidelity to founding requires collective action for individual freedoms. Muskets and Militias did not conquer fascism [interesting point] We must do these things together as one nation and one people.

We have been tested. A decade of War is now ending. Economic recovery has begun. Our prospects are limitless. Risk and Reinvention. We are made for this moment and we will seize it as long as we seize it together. We the People understand that we cannot do it when a very few have so much more than a shrinking middle class. Little girl American born in poverty has every chance because she is an American.

We must remake gov. Revamp tax code. Reform schools. The means will change but our purpose endures. We reward the sacrifice of every American. We, the People, still believe that everyone deserves a basic measure of dignity. We must address deficit. But reject that America must chose between those who built this country and those who will continue in the future.

Freedom is not reserved for the lucky or happiness for the few. Any of us could face job loss, or health concerns, or a house swept away in a storm. We are not a nation of takers, these social programs free us to take the risks to make this country great.

We, the People [this is the "We the People" speech. Has the President been reading my blog?]

We will address global climate change. Sustainable energy sources is difficult but we must claim it's promise. We must preserve our planet - lend meaning to our Fathers'

 creed. We, the People believe securing freedom and peace does not require perpetual war. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us vigilant - but we must honor the peace - strength of arms and rule of law. Resolve problems peacefully - engagement reduces suspicion and fear. Renew institutions. We'll support Democracy. We must be a source of hope to the poor, sick, marginalized. Peace in our time requires our basic principles.

We, the People. We are all created equal. The star that guides us all. References to Dr. King. and quotes.

It is now our generations task to carry on - women's pay (wives, mothers, daughters) Gays treated equal under the law. Love must be equal as well.

Our Journey is not complete. Can't wait for hours to vote. We have to bring in immigrants to help our country.

Reference to Newtown. That is our generations task to make these values, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness true for everyone. We don't all have to agree - progress does not require us to settle historical debates about role of government but we have to act for our time.

Name-calling and problems of politics. We must act knowing that our work will be imperfect. Today's victories will be only partial. But in 100 even 400 years hence we will still be working on it.

Oath sworn today was an oath to God and Country not party or faction and we must execute that pledge. Not so different than whenever a soldier signs up or an immigrant takes on citizenship.

They are the words of citizens. We have the power to set this country's course. Let us each of us now embrace our lasting birthright. With common purpose, passion and dedication. Answer call of history.

Yep. That was a "We the People" speech. Lincoln fused the Declaration into our Constitution. President Obama attempts to fuse "We the People" back into the Constitution. (they are the first three words after all).

Kelly Clarkson? "My Country 'tis of Thee" (sounding just like everything else Kelly Clarkson sings - not that I've heard that much).

Link to the Richard Blanco Poem, full text here.

The President during the closing prayer
Beyonce singing National Anthem. (I think this one's in American style).

Speaker Boehner addressing the luncheon. Talking about the bad acoustics in the old House Chamber (now Statuary Hall). He made a reference to listening acknowledging "the better Angels of our nature." [Check the Lincoln box.]

Eric Cantor presents some fancy crystal vases to the President and VP. (I hope Congress budgeted for that).

Earlier after the President signed some nominations and other first-day-of-second-term papers. Boehner and Cantor looked like they were trying to fade into the background.

Pelosi speaks about Freedom on the top of the Capitol [Freedom on the top, not Pelosi]. The luncheon guests get a booklet about the statue and the Capitol (maybe my blog piece is in there - probably not, they would have asked for copyright permission).

My celebratory inaugural lunch was a peanut-butter and honey sandwich, Salt & Vinegar Chips (Potato chips or "crips" for my British friends), Diet Coke, Guittard Milk Chocolate Chips (stolen from my wife's chocolate food storage). And then my son cooked bacon!! Yay!

As you can see from the TV screen shots above, I have generally been watching MSNBC. It is a time for celebration so I think that's just fine. My wife suggested I really ought to see what they are saying on FOX, so I tried it for a few minutes. They were going on about how 4 years ago, the parade crowds were 20-people deep and this time it's less, like about 18. So clearly the President is losing his popularity and the excitement factor. What a bunch of maroons!

So I'm back on MSNBC except whenever Lawrence O'Donnell comes on. Then I switch to the pomposity of CNN.

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