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Watching Obama in New Orleans

As of the weekend, I had no plans for watching the inauguration down here in New Orleans. I'm firmly in the camp of Andrew Bacevich who rightly believes that we cannot solve our problems by simply electing a new president.

But Monday night I had dinner with a friend who said that she was going to watch the swearing in ceremony from this incredible church in New Orleans' Holy Cross neighborhood.

It seemed like an opportunity too good--and too historic--to pass up. When I arrived at the Greater Little Zion Church yesterday morning, I was immediately glad that I'd made the trip: there was a big, multi-racial crowd and there was an almost electric feel in the air. [More...]

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Tunnels of Gloom

The only negative from today's festivities: Washington, D.C. was woefully unequipped to handle the million people who turned out for the inauguration. Even the 240,000 with tickets.

The horror stories are all over. There's even a Facebook group, Survivors of the Purple Tunnel of Doom's Wall.

A few stories: [More...]

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Neighborhood Ball and Youth Ball


Via the LA Times

Obama's Neighborhood Ball, airing on ABC (7pm MT but earlier on the east coast.) Guests include: Beyonce, Jay-Z, will.i.am, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Shakira, Sting, Faith Hill, Mary J. Blige, Stevie Wonder and Maroon 5. The Obamas will have their first dance as Beyonce sings the Etta James' classic, At Last.

The Youth Ball airs on MTV at 8pm MT (check your time zone.) It features Kanye West, Kid Rock and Fall Out Boy, among others. Unfortunately, it's not in HD on Comcast here.

As I wrote earlier, you can also catch Bon Jovi at the Commander in Chief's ball. Here's the Pentagon Channel Live Stream.

This is an open inaugural entertainment thread.

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Commander in Chiefs Ball: Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi is headlining the Commander in Chief's ball. It's playing on the Pentagon Channel if your cable or satellite system gets it. If not, here's the live feed, courtesy of our United States Military.

They take some breaks but I don't mind waiting. I'll also be watching the Neighborhood Ball on ABC and Youth Inaugural Ball on MTV when they start.

Update 7:37 pm MT: Bon Jovi is on, he just sang "You Can't Go Home" and he announced he's being upstaged. It's President Barack Obama. Obama's comments below:

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Obama's Inaugural Speech: Live Thread

12:08 pm: President Barack Obama begins his inaugural speech, expected to last 20 minutes.

The full text of the speech is here.

On challenges: "Know this America, they will be met."

He acknowledges the different religions, including "non-believers." Followed by tough talk against those who need to "unclench their fist."

12:26 p.m. Speech over. We have a new President. What a relief.

This is a thread for your reactions. I'll be back tonight to cover the televised inaugural balls.

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Inauguration Live Thread One

Best seats in the house...in front of the tv, watching in HD

10:45 am: The Clintons, Ted Kennedy, Michelle Obama and Dick Cheney (in a wheelchair) are arriving.

President Bush and soon to be President Barack Obama are walking into their car to cheers.

Update 11:01 am: Michelle Obama and Laura Bush just entered, Michelle looking happy. GW and Obama entered next. There are hundreds of thousands of people in the crowd watching, with the Washington Monument in the background. John Roberts is arriving.

Interesting tidbit: Roberts will be swearing in a new president who voted against his confirmation. More updates below:

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It's a New Dawn

Grace Slick uttered her most memorable line at Woodstock, coming onstage Saturday at 6:00 am, saying:

Alright Friends, you have seen the heavy groups, now you will see the morning maniac music. Then she walks out to the stage with the music playing louder and she yells, Good Morning People. Believe me, it's a new dawn.

She and the band then launched into "Volunteers" (a theme that fits nicely with Obama's emphasis on service.)

Of course, we're not getting a revolution, just change, which after 8 years of Bush is just fine with most of us. The point being, there never was going to be a revolution in Washington, but I'm thrilled as could be to get even a sea change. And we will get that.[More...]

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Guide to Viewing Inaugural Events

So many sources of information out there, so little time to read them all. Here's the official Presidential Inauguration Committee and the Joint Congressional Committee on the Inauguration websites .

If you're at work tomorrow, you can watch the actual inauguration online here. All networks of course will broadcast the event, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET It takes place on the National Mall at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. No tickets required, open to the public, starting at 8:00 am.

After President Obama takes the oath of office and delivers his Inaugural address, there will be a departure ceremony for George W. Bush.

Following that, Obama will be escorted to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol for the traditional Inaugural Luncheon. The menu is here and the recipes for them are here. The herb-roasted pheasant and molasses whipped sweet potatoes look pretty good and easy to make. [More...]

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Bush Possessions Already Moved From White House

Via CNN: No moving trucks will be needed for soon to be former President George W. Bush. He and Laura have already moved their things out of the White House. They are "Already Gone."

Goodbye to 8 years of Republican rule and the W.P.E. (Worst President Ever.) To ring in the new, I'll be following Jane, Marcy, John and the rest of the bloggers in D.C. and the HuffPo Ball -- from my perch in Denver where it's an uncharacteristically warm 60 degrees. Forget the Louboutins, this inauguration will be a time for Uggs.

Arianna's got the video up that will show just before midnight at the HuffPo Ball. Also check out HuffPo's Obama Inauguration Page.

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Inauguration: "We Are One" Concert

Update: Here's Bettye Lavette and Jon Bon Jovi and singing Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come." It's great. The replay just started. Bruce Springsteen and the choir on The Rising is amazing, the visual is as good as music. I think I'm hooked for the whole thing. Updates to come, if you're by a tv, turn it on. HBO is free if you have cable or satellite.

More faves: James Taylor, John Legend and Jennifer Nettles singing "Shower the People." Joe Biden was a downer after that. Mellencamp really rocked out in the second half of Little Pink Houses. They all look so cold out there. [More...]

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Beware Phony Inaugural Ticket Scams

Some fraudsters are peddling phony tickets to President-Elect Barack Obama's inauguration. The Washington Post reports the only source for tickets, which are free, is the Congressional Offices. They are setting up a website with information.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has printed about 250,000 tickets to the Jan. 20 swearing-in ceremony at the west front of the U.S. Capitol.

The tickets are free and will be given to members of Congress and to President-elect Barack Obama's presidential inaugural committee, once that is established. Those who want to attend the ceremony should contact their local member of Congress to request tickets.

One drawback for out-of-towners planning to attend: "Tickets will not be given out until one week before the inauguration." Maybe the airlines will offer last minute inauguration fares? I don't think so either, but I thought I'd throw the idea out there.

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