President Obama's Second Inaugural

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Today President Obama will be inaugurated for the second time (ceremonially to be sure, as he was formally inaugurated yesterday, January 20, as the Constitution requires.) Daily Kos Radio, with Netroots Radio, will be covering it.

Starting at 10:00 a.m., I will be offering an hour of thoughts on President Obama's challenges for his second term, the history of second inaugural addresses, from Lincoln to FDR to Clinton, and the "civil war" that the president will face at the outset of his second term (a civil war on our very philosophy of government.)

Please join us.

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    I was disappointed with (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 10:05:51 AM EST
    his first Inaugural -- both the botched swearing in and the speech itself, a mediocre, cliche-ridden text that has rarely been mentioned in the four years since.  What is remembered is the massive million plus crowd that showed up in high spirits and expectations.  

    Sadly, Obama wasn't quite up to the moment, though, in contrast to VP Andy Johnson in 1865, at least he showed up sober and didn't have to be dragged away from the podium.

    I want bold policy objectives in a few areas clearly articulated, with a dash of poetry.  And if he reaches for still more "reaching across the aisle" postpartisan rhetoric, it had better darn well be followed by something like "but it takes two to tango, and we can't expect to achieve results if the other party refuses to put country ahead of party", etc.

    And, please, if Roberts screws up the swearing in again, Obama needs to have the oath committed to memory and just recite it straight through.

    I was also disappointed (none / 0) (#3)
    by sj on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 10:58:17 AM EST
    I watched his speech in the cafeteria TV's at work.  I was deeply hoping to be inspired by this man declared "so inspiring" by so many people that I knew.  I was standing by to throw down my support to this man for whom I did not vote.

    Instead I got:

    "...Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

    These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.

    Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.


    In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.

    It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.

    My spirit was tired before he even finished his speech.


    What actually wore you out was the crap artistry (none / 0) (#5)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:07:02 AM EST
    and overblown pageantry preceding his speech.  I saw nothing untrue in the words you quoted.

    I didn't say I was deceived (none / 0) (#7)
    by sj on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:16:55 AM EST
    I said I was uninspired.  In fact I was the opposite of inspired.  I'm pretty sure I know what sapped my energy.  

    And besides, I didn't even watch the overblown pageantry.


    Obama was already officially (none / 0) (#10)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:55:05 AM EST
    sworn in yesterday, as required by the Constitution, which stipulates that it must take place on January 20.  It was a private ceremony.  Today's oath of office was ceremonial.    ;-)

    Haters gonna hate (none / 0) (#20)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:21:40 PM EST
    Seriously, is there a single thing Obama could have done in 2008 that you would have approved of other than taking a back seat to your preferred candidate?

    I can't speak for brodie (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by sj on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:16:57 PM EST
    but I can speak for me, and the answer is "he|| yes".  Pursuing a HOLC like solution rather than HAMP* for the housing crisis and/or an ACA that was transparent (instead of opaque meetings with insurance industry business leaders) and that advocated for and actually moved toward single payer would have been excellent.

    Truth be told, I'm still not unrecoverable.  I'm a sucker for generosity of spirit.  And I'm watching his moves on the gun debate with great interest.

    And anyway, my preferred candidate was knocked out of the running very, very early, but he was the only one actually talking about poverty.  The others, it seemed to me, only talked about the middle class, and upper middle class at that.  Not even working class.


    * re HAMP:  About once a year I get a call from my mortgage lender trying to get me to refi using HAMP.  It infuriates me.  I know people who are underwater and need help, while I have lots of equity and have never been late even once.


    You - and lots of others with equity (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:26:10 PM EST
    and uninterrupted payment history - are getting those calls because there's tons of money in it; you're a good risk, it's already a good loan, so they have nothing to lose and only money to make.

    The problem with HOLC is and always has been that some people who don't "deserve" help might get it, and we just can't let that happen, even if it means that huge numbers of people don't get help, and even if it means the housing market continues to lag.

    It's about priorities and choices, and too bad if the people negatively affected get caught up in that process.


    In other words, sj, ... (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:50:15 PM EST
    ... you're perceived as low hanging fruit. Banks will always be happy to lend money to those persons who've no demonstrable need for the assistance.

    Yep (none / 0) (#52)
    by sj on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:49:02 PM EST
    The banks rake it in and all they have to do is a little paperwork.  It would benefit me as well, in that my interest rate is a "little" higher than the current market, but frankly the payment is far from a burden.  I'd rather keep the deduction and couldn't care less that the bank doesn't get to profit any more from me than they already do.

    In the meantime, my relatives are staying in their house even though it's too big for them now because they can't afford to sell it at a loss.

    I just realized this is the second time they've been in this position.  They got caught in the real estate bubble of the 80's and couldn't afford to move then when their family grew.  


    Banksters get paid over 60% of principle (none / 0) (#79)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 10:14:53 PM EST
    "forgiven" under HAMP refis, under the terms of last year's foreclosure fraud settlement with JPM Chase, BofA, et al..  Routine congressional scam.  Nothing to see.  Move along.

    No idea how they benefit if a mortgage isn't underwater.


    I'm not entirely sure how it works (none / 0) (#88)
    by sj on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:57:50 AM EST
    either, but I thought that they get some sort of credit if they issue a HAMP loan.  Plus, of course, all the 30 years of interest that (in my case) replaces the 10 years left, and, I am assured, there is almost no paperwork.  Which gripes me.  I've read about people who really need help having to jump through the same paperwork hoop multiple times.

    "Back seat" (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:50:24 PM EST
    Unintentional reference, I'm sure ...

    Does not apply to Brodie (none / 0) (#22)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:28:40 PM EST
    It does to others but not him....

    The "others" (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:48:43 PM EST
    Heh - the mindreaders should try to get on the same page.

    Time was when ... (none / 0) (#25)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:07:33 PM EST
    The President elect recited the oath without prompt.

    Can't remember when that changed to Chief Justice fed every three or four words of the oath.


    If you watch the tape (none / 0) (#42)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:29:59 PM EST
    Obama anticipated a break and interrupted the CJ, which threw him off.

    They both messed up.

    No biggie - the oath was given (and then re-given), and all was official.


    I'm pretty sure that in 1961 (none / 0) (#47)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:31:26 PM EST
    JFK was fed longer stretches of oath text, by CJ Warren.  Seems like over the years, the segments have gotten smaller, as you note down to the 3-4 word byte.

    As for botches on the swearing in, which I managed to miss live, the c-span tape shows Obama on camera hesitating, cutting himself off, as he says "faithfully execute the office of President of the United Sta-- .."  

    Not sure if he thought Roberts was about to speak so stopped himself, but it's sudden, and noticeable, and so once again he was unable to complete a clean take.


    Seriously? (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by sj on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:55:47 PM EST
    I haven't seen a thing (and won't til I get home, no TV or sound card at work), but I assume that you are referring to today's oath of office.

    You would that after 2008's little snafu that they would have rehearsed or predetermined where they pausing during yesterday's events.  10 minutes prep and no embarrassment.  How hard is that?


    Yeah, today's (none / 0) (#59)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:06:53 PM EST
    Saw the tape first at c-span then, to make sure Brian Lamb hadn't been mischievously fiddling with the video to make O look bad, I checked the FP at Kos and the same video showed up showing the same thing.

    Minor botch, but still not clean.  A director would ask them to do another take, from the top.

    That's four oaths taken involving the two, and both times the private oath went smoothly while the public oath was marred, if only slightly in this case.

    Small potatoes, I know.  The speech apparently was much smoother, and an improvement on his first Inaugural, which is the important thing this day at least.


    Yep, agree (none / 0) (#67)
    by sj on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:29:06 PM EST
    that the speech is more important.

    Listen to FDR (none / 0) (#95)
    by cal1942 on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:30:56 PM EST
    His 1st Inaugural.  He simply recites the oath.

    My memory is a bit hazy on Truman and Eisenhower.  

    I believe you're right about JFK.  IIRC he got almost no prompts.  I saw the JFK inaugural live on TV.  Unforgettable except for the smallest details.

    The great passage "ask not ..." was especially memorable because the adults in the living room leapt to their feet.  I was just shy of 19 and the passage "the torch has been passed ..." was also a real highlight.

    Still, IMO, in my lifetime. the best constructed and delivered Inaugural address.


    I was a little young (none / 0) (#97)
    by brodie on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 04:04:03 PM EST
    in 1961, age 7, and was in school that day.  Seen it a million times since though.  Agree, best inaugural speech -- both as written and delivered -- in my lifetime.  Unlikely to be surpassed.

    Kennedy was pleased with it too, but said Lincoln's second was better.  He and Sorensen, excepting maybe one line, really wrote one for the ages.


    The inaugural speech (none / 0) (#83)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:16:34 AM EST
    Is generally not the speech for "bold policy objectives in a few areas clearly articulated, with a dash of poetry." While Obama articulated an overall liberal vision of the world and for the US government, the inaugural speech is a roadmap, seen from the view of 10,000 feet. They are lofty, and meant to be devices to bring us all together as Americans (remember - 49% of the people voted for the other guy).

    The speech you are looking for is the State of the Union.


    Yeah policy is a word (2.00 / 1) (#94)
    by brodie on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 05:47:50 PM EST
    best left out of that post on the Inaugural.  But an early morning attempt at getting some thoughts on the record, and the posts made before the 3d cup of coffee is in the books aren't always going to be perfectly expressed in all particulars.

    Btw, didn't "the other guy" -- presumably your guy -- actually get 47% of the vote, not 49%?


    Not sure what you mean (none / 0) (#98)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 05:08:35 PM EST
    About "my guy". I did not vote for anyone at the top of the ticket, so I had "no guy". Sorry to disappoint you with your "gotcha".

    I guess the "other guy" should be "the other guyS".  I just did quick math - Obama got 51% (some tallies show 50.96%, some tallies show 51.1%).  That should tell you that 49% of voters voted for someone else.


    The other major guy--as in Romney--got 47% (none / 0) (#99)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:31:45 PM EST
    As Bill Press (& others) have said.... (none / 0) (#89)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 01:06:30 PM EST
    President Barack Obama's 2nd Inaugural Address was one fine speech...it will wear well because it is the statement of Democratic Party beliefs in a cogent, well-constructed 18 minute speech. Some major commenters have noted that the Conservatives had their President Reagan, and now the Democrats have the forthright progressive President Obama who focused on the Constitutional framework--an expansive Constitution, mind you--of Equality for all, of how a great nation grows & progresses from a group of individuals through community in its most inclusive sense.

    The Repubs have their "Don't Tread on Me" types clinging to the old exclusive network; and, now for many of us, yesterday's speech encapsulated the set of values at the core of progressivism.  While including specific references with brief descriptions of agenda--an agenda which will undoubtedly be enlarged upon/spelled out more fully in the SOU--the President stated the guiding philosophy.  In so many ways, it is (as I heard described this a.m.) a liberal manifesto for our time.


    It was a good speech (none / 0) (#90)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 02:31:52 PM EST
    That is one of his strengths.

    However, the commenter was lamenting the fact that it didn't have specific policy lists, and I was pointing out that the inaugural speech is not where one should be looking for policy specifics. And, just as his first speech, he had no lasting, ringing line that will be remembered (although "Seneca Falls..Selma..Stonewall" may carry forward for a few months).

    Now the issue becomes - will he follow up this speech with action, or will he fall back on his habit of trying to convince us he said something entirely different?


    I've heard a lot of speeches... (none / 0) (#91)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 03:24:16 PM EST
    And, in terms of declaring a set of guiding principles during an inauguration, this ranks at or near the top.  

    The question for me is more whether Democratic legislators will focus more in the new progressive era.  If so, this speech (and the actions around it) will prove to be quite consequential in ushering this new era.

    To begin, I would expect genuine immigration reform ( with Repubs moving more in Obama's direction because this last election really doesn't leave them any other realistic option.)  Some legislation regarding gun control, as in expanded registration & limited magazine, may well be headed for passage eventually (with the changing demographics in the broader polity.). And, here is a big guess:  If the economy continues on an improved trajectory over the next few quarters, the hyperbolic talk about we-must-do-something-about-the-debt (such as screw Social Security & Medicare) or face "dire" consequences, will lose it's oomph and impetus.  If that is so, this Administration will be credited with securing these fundamental benefits in our modern times.  (BTW, that "guess" is not at all far-fetched.)

    Things are looking up.  Yes, indeed.


    Like I said (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 03:40:58 PM EST
    He gives good speeches. We knew that already.

    Things are definitely not looking up all over, but we have to hope he is successful - for OUR sake.  I could give a rat's a$$ about his legacy or history.  I expect he will achieve moderate success on a few things, but the clock is ticking and he has about 18 months - after that, he is a lame duck and nobody will care about him anymore.

    The Democratic legislators will focus more in the progressive era, as you call it, for only as long as it doesn't hurt them in the midterms.


    While the speech may have been (5.00 / 5) (#93)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 03:52:32 PM EST
    the most liberal one the president has given, I cannot, in good conscience, draw as much from it as many seem to be doing; if he comes back toward the middle of where he seems to have set his sights, it's good that it's much farther to the left than where he usually starts, but it remains to be seen how if the action translates as progressively as the rhetoric.

    That Republicans may be out of realistic options - or any options at all - on issue after issue, it has never stopped them from continuing to be intransigent - and there's a reason for that: they often end up getting their way to some extent.  Remember, for the GOP, "bipartisan" is just a shorter way to say, "do it my way."

    With respect to gun control, I see some efforts that may end up sounding stronger than they will end up being in practice, and a whole lot of golly-gee-our-hands-are-tied crocodile tears being shed.

    As for the economy, signs seem to be pointing to a slowdown, not an upward trajectory.  From CBS MarketWatch:

    A national activity index inched lower in December but remained in positive territory, the Chicago Fed said Tuesday. The index, designed so that zero readings indicate trend growth, fell to +0.02 in December from +0.27 in November. The three-month moving average was negative for the tenth straight month, rising to negative 0.11 from negative 0.13 in the prior month. This suggests that growth was below its historical trend. When the three-month moving average falls below negative 0.70, there's an increasing chance a recession has already begun.

    I don't think the deficit hysterics and scolds are going anywhere; when the president himself keeps hammering away at fiscal responsibility, I don't look for him to just walk away with a Roseanne Rosannadanna "nevermind" anytime soon.

    We'll see - I'd love to be 150% wrong, but given the track record, that doesn't seem likely to happen.


    I love inauguration day! (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by indy in sc on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 10:35:46 AM EST
    It is such wonderful spectacle.  Reality is not quite as sparkling, but at least for one day, we remember the great potential of our country for awesome things.

    I remember standing in the freezing cold (for me) for President Clinton's first inauguration.  It was the first time I had been in cold weather and I thought I was going to need to have my fingers severed--I ran in and out of one of the Smithsonian Museums to try to keep warm.  That remains one of the best memories of my life.

    I agree with your feelings about this day (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by DFLer on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:01:37 AM EST
    In fact, just watching a little just now, with the allusions to the traditions of the day, the peaceful transfer of power etc., I was getting a little choked up....which usually means I need a nap!

    James Taylor's "America the Beautiful" was wonderful...the master of the substitute chord

    What's with the hat Scalia is wearing? Looks like a priest's hat.


    Perhaps Scalia (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:12:25 AM EST
    Apparently he (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:29:02 PM EST
    felt the need to make a statement of some kind.

    What statement I have no idea except that Scalia is too effing weird for words.

    The only bench this guy should sit on is found in a park.


    The special judicial hat, (5.00 / 0) (#33)
    by Peter G on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:34:36 PM EST
    for outdoor use, is explained here.  It has an interesting historical provenance.

    An update from the site you provided (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:00:09 PM EST
    UPDATE, 2:45 pm: University of Richmond School of Law professor Kevin Walsh is claiming that Justice Scalia's headgear is actually a replica of a hat worn by St. Thomas More. It was a gift to Scalia in 2010 from the St. Thomas More Society of Richmond, Virginia for his participation in the society's Red Mass and dinner.

    Regardless of providence of the hat Scalia was wearing, as a dedicated fashionista, let me be the first to say it is not a good look for him. ;o)


    And consider what happened (none / 0) (#40)
    by Peter G on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:12:01 PM EST
    to St. Thomas More, Esq., in the end.  Not, presumably, because of his taste in hats, though.  (Wikipedia also shows the hat.)

    ... Justice Scalia clearly has much more in common with St. Thomas More's persecutors, than with the Man for All Seasons himself.

    Yes, but as a martyr for the faith - (none / 0) (#65)
    by Peter G on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:59:51 PM EST
    standing up to Henry VIII over church/state supremacy - Thomas More is the patron saint of Catholic lawyers, as I know from my former life as a non-RC professor at a Catholic law school.

    St. Thomas More called out Henry VIII's ... (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:52:44 PM EST
    ... ecclesiastical rationalization for trading his wife in for a newer model for exactly what it was, an entirely self-serving exercise in pretzel logic, and he ultimately lost his head for it.

    But honestly, I believe that while More was by all accounts a learned man and very devout Roman Catholic, his own line of thought in this particular matter hardly differs much from that which was similarly expressed by Susan B. Anthony, some 350 years later:

    "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."



    In disputes with English kings named Henry (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:59:52 PM EST
    men named Thomas did not fare well. Before Henry VIII had his spat with Thomas More, poor Thomas Becket fell out with Henry II. Both conflicts ended badly for the Thomases.

    Ditto re Thomas Cromwell. (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:03:35 PM EST
    Yes I saw that other justice's had hats, but none (none / 0) (#39)
    by DFLer on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:11:42 PM EST
    as weird as Monseigneur Antonin

    Discussion of Scalia's hat (none / 0) (#34)
    by rdandrea on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:40:01 PM EST
    Pretty Sure He Was Going for... (none / 0) (#43)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:32:24 PM EST
    ...something noble, but to me he looks like this Ghostbusters villain.

    Except for the day (none / 0) (#27)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:09:52 PM EST
    Ronald Reagan said ' ... government is the problem ... '

    Wish we were... (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:19:31 AM EST
    swearing in Lupe Fiasco instead.

    Is it a transfer of power when all the power remains in the hands of the 1%?  We haven't seen a transfer of any power in this country since FDR, if not the Revolution itself.  

    It All Feels Very... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:09:18 PM EST
    ...not sure of the word, but it's like they are acting like royalty at a time when they want cut and slash benefits from the most needy.  Here they are spending zillions for the inauguration of a guy who is already the president.  

    A real 'let them eat cake' day.

    But I guess it's better than seeing Mitt Romney being sworn in.

    Lupe.  Best line ever:

    "We are staunch supporters of free speech, and free political speech," the organizers said. "This was not about his opinions. Instead, after a bizarrely repetitive, jarring performance that left the crowd vocally dissatisfied, organizers decided to move on to the next act."

    What, they took him off stage because the crowd was 'vocally dissatisfied', yeah sure.  Wonder who decided getting a guy known for slamming Obama would be great for Obama's pre-inauguration party.  Idiots.


    Yes... (5.00 / 5) (#23)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:11:06 PM EST
    that's about all you can say about it that is positive...at least it ain't Mitt Romney.

    Another example of what may perhaps be our # 1 economic issue...a shameful misallocation of resources. If we were flush and not spending 9 figures a day in Afghanistan or talking about austerity measures, I wouldn't fault the inner party members their party, but as we know that is not the case.  I think that's the word you're looking for...shameful.


    Proof... (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 03:13:08 PM EST
    From Think Progress:
    ...on Thursday, the city issued a special order requiring homeless shelters, which normally close during the day, to remain open on Sunday and Monday.

    There was a 6% increase in homelessness in DC last year, yet:

    Last year's city budget, which cut homeless services by $7 million even as the District enjoyed a $140 million surplus, might be an indication.

    Shameless doesn't even come close, should be criminal.  


    "Inner party members" (none / 0) (#26)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:07:35 PM EST
    An apt phrase.

    But KDog, doesn't the military pageantry (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Peter G on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:26:29 PM EST
    Peter, the whole drone (none / 0) (#55)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:53:09 PM EST
    sh!t was entirely the wrong imagery to be projecting.  And, as per your link:  
    At press time, sources confirmed that inaugural celebrants were enjoying the Jumbotron's live closed-circuit feed of the still-open prison facility at Guantánamo Bay.

    I did not enjoy the drone fly-over, and if I had been there, I would not have enjoyed the feed of Guantanamo.
    But then, that's just me.  I realize that there are many on this site who think otherwise.
    Obama is not my idea of the ideal Democrat, but then, there are very, very few politicians today whom I would characterize as "ideal Democrats."
    This may well be the best that we can get in this day and age.  He is a neo-liberal.  And that is fine, for those who support him.  That is not where I am, however, and I also know that I am not where most of the country is right now.

    I believe, Mme. Zorba, that ... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:01:32 PM EST
    ... you've been punked by The Onion.

    The thing about the Onion (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by sj on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:30:52 PM EST
    is that their satire is right on point.  It's fairly easy to get punked unless you see who it is and know who they are.  They do some pretty brilliant stuff.

    This time 12 years ago... (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by unitron on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 10:58:01 PM EST
    ...The Onion did a piece on GWB's first inaugural entitled

    "Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over' "

    I wish it had remained funny instead of turning out to have been so prescient.


    Good topical satire will always ... (none / 0) (#76)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:48:23 PM EST
    ... be girded by an underlying truth.

    Okay, Donald (none / 0) (#62)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:14:22 PM EST
    You are quite right!

    Sorry, Z, didn't mean to embarrass you (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Peter G on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:06:21 PM EST
    It was a joke, to help remember why we remain skeptical and critical, while still being supportive when support is earned.

    Oh Jeez (none / 0) (#96)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 02:28:11 PM EST
    I knew it could not be possible.  Come on, even Bush wouldn't have done that much less Obama.  
    Thanks for clarifying Donald.

    I almost missed who was responsible (none / 0) (#61)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:09:25 PM EST
    for that article so maybe you failed to see that it was The Onion. I may be wrong but I think that was a satirical piece.

    Well, I know it does mine. (none / 0) (#57)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:57:30 PM EST
    Sorry, Donald, but homophobia (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Peter G on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:50:08 PM EST
    is no longer funny, even from the esteemed Pythons.

    Grranted, that sketch is a bit dated. (none / 0) (#75)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:42:47 PM EST
    That said, you might find it interesting to know that the "Sergeant Major" in the skit (also its author) -- "Right! Stop that! Silly -- and a bit suspect, I think ..." -- was Graham Chapman, who was openly gay and obviously had a highly attuned camp sensibility.

    Further, Chapman had been out of the closet since 1967, making him one of the first celebrities ever to publicly acknowledge his homosexual orientation. By most all accounts, his fellow Pythons were always very accepting and supportive, and were heartbroken when he died of throat cancer in October 1989 at age 48.

    Speaking for myself only, I would no more label the Monty Python troupe's work as homophobic, than I would the films "La Cage Aux Folles" or "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" -- both of which, it could similarly be argued, also trafficked in gay stereotypes in order to mine situational humor.

    I mean, if gay people can laugh at and lampoon themselves, and what's being presented is not reflective of a rancid and / or corrosive spirit, then who am I to otherwise frown upon it all as being somehow politically incorrect?

    Anyway, while that's just my opinion, I can also fully understand and respect where you're coming from. And if one didn't know the backstory of "Military Fairy," then one cannot be faulted for finding the skit to be offensive.

    But then, nobody can ever rightfully accuse Monty Python of good taste and propriety.



    I'm no culture critic, and I realize (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Peter G on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 10:21:24 PM EST
    it's a fool's errand, at least for an amateur such as myself, to attempt a serious critique of madcap comedy, but here I go ... The joke in "Military Fairy" is only that gay men -- presented as a limp-wristed stereotype -- would be in the military.  To call that "a bit dated" is quite an understatement, Donald. Nor can I see in that sketch an example of gay people poking fun at themselves. That Chapman was out as gay at the time (I'll take your word for that) is no more a defense of this particular sketch than to say that "Stepin Fetchit" was a black actor, so his movies couldn't be racist. I don't know "Priscilla," but I remember "La Cage Aux Folles" (the movie) as portraying its gay characters, with humor, as human beings in a real relationship, and their interaction with socially conservative straights as the source of the humor, with the joke being at least equally on the straights.

    For an admitted amateur, Peter, you (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 10:49:26 PM EST
    did a fine job of critiquing that particular Python sketch. You critical points were on target.

    Well, I *could*... (none / 0) (#78)
    by unitron on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 10:05:34 PM EST
    "But then, nobody can ever rightfully accuse Monty Python of good taste and propriety."

    ...but such foolishness might leave me subject to an unforseen offshore challenge.


    Donald, if this was a one-off for you, (none / 0) (#87)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 06:33:12 AM EST
    I'd be looking upon your offering a lot differently than I am, but we both know that this is not the first time you have posted something that reinforces a gay stereotype and tried to label it "humorous;" it's not.

    I'm not about to plumb the depths of the pattern you seem to have established, but apparently, what others have said when calling you out on your attempt to be funny this way has fallen on deaf ears.  Trust me when I tell you that trying harder to make these stereotypes funny, or digging deeper into the you tube archives, is not going to make any of it any funnier.  It's just not.

    Please stop.  And please, no more "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" apologies; a simple "I'm sorry I made offensive comments or posted an offensive video" is the better way to go.


    FDR yes (none / 0) (#28)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:11:12 PM EST
    That was a transfer of power.

    Today we need a very heavy dose of FDR.


    Obama's best speech ever (5.00 / 5) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:55:40 AM EST
    Shades of FDR's Second Inaugural.

    I was surprised how liberal it was (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:03:07 PM EST
    We must end perpetual war, must protect the poor, those on Medicare and Social Security are not "takers".....

    Need to address global warming in spite of skeptics....

    Mention of Newtown and need to protect our children.  


    Republican Alex Castellanos on CNN (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:13:11 PM EST
    agrees with you and (unprompted) just made the same comparison.

    Pleasantly surprised (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:15:37 PM EST
    with the liberal emphasis.

    Nice speech (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Dadler on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:08:45 PM EST
    But, wow, for the supposedly most free nation on earth, in the year 2013, out expectations are pretty damn low. However, when there isn't anything approaching creativity or imagination in the American body politic today, well, I guess you take the crumbs you can get.



    Best ever? Better than (none / 0) (#19)
    by Peter G on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:16:41 PM EST
    his Philadelphia race relations speech?  Wow.  I will definitely have to listen to it later, as had been my plan in any event.

    Ok, so I now listened through (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Peter G on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:06:05 PM EST
    and I particularly liked the Kennedy-esqe triplet of alliteration:  "Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall."  That's just superb.

    Agreed. (none / 0) (#60)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:08:49 PM EST
    We were listening to the inauguration ceremony as background noise while we were both getting ready for work this morning (the presidential oath of office was delivered at 6:55 a.m. HST). But we were quickly compelled to stop what we were doing, and sit down to watch and really listen to the president.

    I thought it was a magnificent speech. Hopefully, it will not be all dowhill from here.


    It got high marks (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:58:27 PM EST
    from Hendrik Hertzberg and ex-Ted Kennedy speechwriter Bob Shrum.

    Both agreed with me that his first Inaugural was not memorable.  Shrum said this one was muscular, and a firm expression of liberal values, an attempt almost at again making liberal values mainstream, as they once were during Kennedy and Roosevelt.

    O's gotta follow up though with strong and principled governance, as FDR and JFK did, else his speech will be turned around in history as a bunch of easy but empty feel-good rhetoric.


    Hillary looked radiant (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:04:31 PM EST
    Bill seemed a little glum.

    Good to see Jimmy Carter get a little appreciaion.  It occurred to me his foreign policy was outstanding.  Camp David.   The hostages freed in the end.    

    I'm thinking maybe some (none / 0) (#48)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:33:58 PM EST
    bitter feelings still lingering betw Bill and Jimmy?

    Why (none / 0) (#50)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:46:48 PM EST
    would that be?

    As I remember it, Clinton brought Carter back from the ashes.


    Recall then-Gov Clinton (none / 0) (#63)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:52:09 PM EST
    in 1980, and a prominent Carter backer, was none too pleased after Pres Carter decided to pick AR as one of the states that would get a lot of the Cuban Ariel boat refugees, many of whom were supposedly nonpolitical felons, at a time of economic stress in that state, and as Jimmy failed to give Gov Bill a heads up and chance to discuss it in private.

    Then, Pres Bill, having brought in Jimmy to do some diplomatic work re, iirc, NK, or maybe it was Haiti, saw Jimmy reporting back to the press before reporting to him.  Iow, grandstanding and disrespecting the president.

    I think Carter always liked squeaky-clean Gore much more than Clinton, partly for the above reasons, partly for personal distaste reasons re Bill and Monica.


    Carter, (none / 0) (#85)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:27:47 AM EST
    well, he did lust in his heart, whereas Clinton...  

    Schumer having the time of his life (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:22:00 PM EST
    Master of Ceremonies directing traffic and mentioning New York every other sentence....

    Schumer (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:21:02 PM EST
    Continued his New York promotion at the Inaugural Luncheon in the old House chamber.

    Actually, IMO, a bit amusing.


    Impressed with his embrace of gay rights (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by lilburro on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:32:44 PM EST
    will have to listen later when I can really concentrate.

    Absolutely (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by kempis on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 03:31:39 PM EST
    If he keeps this up and follows through, I'll turn into an Obamabot. :)

    Seriously, it was an uncompromising speech--and I've thought for four years that Obama needed to stop compromising, so I'm more pleased with him today than I've ever been.

    My hope--if I dare--is that he figures what the hell: he's got four more years and no more elections, so why not use his time left in office to fight for what's right. Today, it sounded like his moral compass was in tune with mine on climate change, election and tax reforms, and equality.


    If (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:23:56 AM EST
    there is some extra room in his moral compass, I would like it if he could close Gitmo, end the practice of unlimited detention without charge or trial, and stop sending drones to kill suspects on a kill list, stop supporting Karzai.

    I know you have hope, and are pleased with him because you like what he is saying, but I need to see action. Being aware of the dangers to our survival posed by climate change does not square with the push to increase our production of oil, for example.

    I have no hope. No expectations.

    I'l seen this before.


    Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by indy in sc on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:24:33 PM EST
    will be the part of the speech that I will most remember.  There is a link that runs through our continuing march towards civil rights for all...

    And it doesn't hurt that it uses my favorite rhetorical device of alliteration.

    The struggle for American (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:24:20 PM EST
    civil rights and equality captured in one poetic insightful sentence.

    A profound phrase for the ages.

    OK Democrats, let's get this done and out of the way. Repeal DOMA before the wingers use it against us in the next election.


    Good speech (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:00:08 PM EST
    hope he means it.

    Natch I got pulled away (none / 0) (#9)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:34:33 AM EST
    by other duties just as swearing in and speech began.  Just caught the last few minutes.  He was sounding spirited, as if trying to rise to the occasion.

    Have no idea whether he met the challenge but the final few minutes seemed promising.

    I did manage to hear James Taylor, still sounding good and not hitting the wrong chords on his guitar, and the Brooklyn Tab Choir sounded great on a different interpretation of one of my favorite songs.  But also far too many people for a church-state separating democracy stepping up to the podium invoking someone named "God".  Be interesting to see how many times Obama invoked the fellow some imagine is up there overseeing us.

    I'm also now curious as to whether the use of "God" in an Inaugural ceremony or presidential speech has increased over the years -- somone oughtta do a study ...

    Harry Reid tries to filch (none / 0) (#12)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:00:33 PM EST
    a pen Obama used to sign formal nominations to his Cabinet--after the ceremony, in a room inside the Capitol.

    Obama was shaking hands with Boehner when Harry went for the swipe.  When Obama turned towards Harry's side, Schumer and Biden ratted Harry out.  Obama had Harry replace the pen and then reached in his pocket and gave that pen to Harry.

    It was very funny imo.

    Funny? (none / 0) (#15)
    by rdandrea on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:07:09 PM EST
    I thought it was painful.

    The pens were for the cabinet nominees whose nominations Obama signed with them.  He made sure each one was signed with a separate pen.

    Then old Harry tries to pocket a souvenir.  Made him look pretty small.


    Sucks... (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:55:51 PM EST
    ...that they think they are so GD important they use a pen for one signature, but expect us to work to 70, some of which is because of that kind of mentality.

    Harry (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:32:13 AM EST
    has a collection of tiny soaps and shampoos that he keeps from each and every hotel he visits. Sometimes, he has been known to take a fork or a spoon from White House galas. Nobody says anything about it. They all say, "That"s Harry", and let it go.

    It makes him human (none / 0) (#18)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:15:10 PM EST
    and it was not a big deal.

    Obama handled it well, telling Harry that he had a different pen he could have.....