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Inauguration Observations---2013 Edition

-- Myrlie Evers-Williams' invocation was, by my calculation, a thousand million times better than Rick Warren's. Probably more, but my calculator exploded.

-- I think I saw #45 walking in on #42's arm. Did you see that, too?

-- Another first: Joe Biden's Bible was the first to be delivered to an inauguration by a forklift.

Grover Cleveland's Inauguration 1893
Oldest surviving photo of
Obama's second inauguration.
-- That vice-presidential oath is a tricky little sucker.

-- Obama and John Roberts broke a record in the budding sport of "speed oathing."

-- I believe I speak on behalf of everyone when I say thank you, Mr. President, for not trying to break William Henry Harrison's word count.

-- It was a very gay inauguration. President Obama and benediction deliverer Rev. Luis Leon acknowledged the gay community, inaugural poet Richard Blanco is openly-gay, and the Lesbian & Gay Band Association strutted their stuff in the parade.

-- Sarah Palin could see the inauguration from her house. In Wasilla on TV.

-- I did not know until yesterday that Jimmy Carter could bench-press James Taylor.

-- The Queen parachuting onto the Mall lent a nice international touch.

-- Chris Matthews doesn’t get 75 percent of Rachel Maddow's jokes.

-- George H.W. Bush wasn't there because he's still recuperating. George W. Bush wasn't there because he's still George W. Bush.

-- Hey, how come Obamacare didn't get repealed on Day One??? Oh, right---that was the other guy.

-- One hundred years from now, Americans will look at yesterday's inauguration and think, "Wow, that must've been so awesome to be alive back then to see it as it happened." Yeah, it was, whippersnappers of the future reading this on your Apple iBrainchips. It surely was.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Note: Post-inauguration hangover.  Stop blogging so loud.  Seriously.


By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Oscars: 33
Days 'til the 31st annual Firehouse Art Center Chocolate Festival in Norman, Oklahoma: 11
Length of President Obama's 2nd Inaugural speech: 18 minutes
Number of previous inaugural addresses that acknowledged the existence of gay people: 0
Number of times the debt ceiling was raised under Ronald Reagan: 18
Number of the last 10 presidents who raised the debt ceiling as many times as Ronald Reagan: 0
(Source: USA Today)
Percent chance that Jon Stewart's fake carrier pigeon is named Günter: 100%
(Source: Jon Stewart)


Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

We are on the verge of a full-on irreversible Socialist takeover of the country, with the Constitution relegated to the status of a pulp fiction novel. You mean to tell me that Liberals and Progressives actually think the “Right Wing” is going to take over the country? I am still gobsmacked over that. Their politicians and media allies control virtually all the reins of political power in America, their country is rapidly going the way of France and Greece; there are FEMA camps, UAVs and unlimited federal surveillance of citizens, and they are worried about….. right wingers taking over the government? Really? Yikes.
---Commenter ChaBix at the Michelle Malkin blog
All together now: 1…2…3… "Their country?"  Classy!


Puppy Pic of the Day:  The rescuer becomes the adopter….


CHEERS to #44 Part II: #44 harder.  That was some speech, huh.  Even nasty old Charles Krauthammer agreed that "it wasn't a political speech, it was an ideological speech and that's fine."  (Of course, he hated the ideology in question, but still...)  It was a salute to liberalism past, and---I hope---a blueprint for liberalism of the future.  If you haven't seen it yet, here ya go:

Go ahead…pick through the transcript.  You can't swing a cat without hitting on an eminently quotable passage containing a universal truth about how meeting the challenges of modern times---climate change, civil rights, the social safety net---starts with a look back at our country's founding principles.  (His only glaring omission is language about restoring our civil liberties and rolling back our unfettered overseas assassination operations.  We should remind him of that and often.)  And so term two begins.  I hope y'all remembered to pee cuz we're not stopping.

CHEERS (I hope) or JEERS (I fear) to disciplining the children.  We'll find out today what Harry Reid has planned for filibuster reform.  (Here's a possible preview of what's in store by Taegan Goddard.)  It's the one day that a mere 51 votes can put the kibosh on abuse by Republicans.  Senator Jeff Merkley has been leading the charge on this, and he offers this last-minute perspective:

Infographic showing sharp increase of use of filibuster for obstruction in the Senate.
This shit has to stop.
As a young man, I was an intern for Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon.  Back then, I watched how Senators---of both parties---would come together to work on solutions that made a difference in real people's lives.  They didn't always agree on what the solutions should be, but they made their best case and then took votes.

Today, our politics are broken---and part of that is the abuse of the filibuster, which makes it nearly impossible for legislation to move forward. It empowers those who would obstruct the process, and discourages those who are working to solve problems.

Here's hoping that something gets done so that bills can get debated and voted on, and Republicans will have to stand up---literally, on the Senate floor---and prove just how deep their passion runs for killing bills and nixing Obama's nominees.  Wild guess: deep as the ocean right up until twenty minutes before their tee time.

CHEERS to a quiet little verdict that people hardly ever mention anymore.  Roe v. Wade turns 40 today.  Pro-choice advocates will mark the occasion with events to remind Americans that women should be in control of their own bodies.  Anti-choice advocates will mark the occasion by reminding Americans that blastocysts are people too, with full rights including voting and marriage (as long as they're not gay).  And the five conservative justices on the Supreme Court will mark the occasion by licking their chops.  (Stare decisis is sooooo yesteryear.)

JEERS to John Q. Corporation: Super Citizen!!!  Three years ago this week, five activist judges on the Supreme Court delivered their verdict on our system of government: For Sale To Highest Bidder.  Citizens United is now a four-letter two-words to anyone who values clean and fair campaign financing.  But we now know that there's a rather sizable silver lining in the wake of that decision.  Those idiot Justices, who agreed that "corporations are people, my friend," pissed off so many people that the billionaires and their Super PAC lapdogs got run over by a grassroots stampede last November.  Money is still huge and often decisive, hence the need to do something to curb the tidal wave of cash.  But it's not a bell that automatically makes us drool over a candidate when Sheldon Adelson or the Koch brothers ring it.  Unless, that is, the candidate's name is Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzard.


Five years ago in C&J: January 22, 2008

JEERS to fears.  Yesterday every stock market in the world hit an iceberg.  I believe I speak on behalf of our country, whose short-sightedness and greed have caused this meltdown, when I say: "Oopsie?"

JEERS to the dream-crusher.  GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson hung up his jowls and slouched back to wherever he came from.  So I guess the GOP hope-clingers now have their answer: "No, he's not the second coming of Ronald Reagan."  But I hear he does a pretty good Paul Harvey.


And just one more…

JEERS to the Deep Thinkers of America gathering to think deeply.  Here's one of my all-time favorite facepalm-worthy moments from the beltway, via the January 21, 2007 edition of The Chris Matthews Show.  Ask yourself if you think they'll treat Chris Christie the same way as they contemplate his presidential aspirations:

Slim-Fast carton
Ha Ha! Fat jokes about
fat people are ha ha funny!
David Brooks: I've heard no evidence that Al Gore wants to run for office, and unless there's a sharp increase in sales of Slim-Fast...
Chris Matthews: HA!!!  Ha Haaaaa!!!  That's what I say!!  That's what I say!!  Can a black man win the presidency?  Can a woman win the presidency?  Can a fat white man win the presidency is the other question!
Brooks: I'm not one to talk, of course...
Matthews: You're not overweight, not compared to him!
Brooks: And finally, you know, [Democrats have] stars running for office.  They've got three real stars.
Matthews: OK---if we see a plummeting in the scales of Al Gore this summer, a super Slim-Fast diet, does that say this guy's getting back in there?
Howard Fineman: It will be front-page news.  Al Gore buys a package of Slim-Fast.  But, y'know, I don't know...
Matthews: Norah, what do you think?  Are we going to watch the scales here to see how it's going?
Norah O'Donnell: I think that's unfair.  But I think...
Matthews: There's always somebody to put me in the position of bad guy!!!  I'm going for the white guy!  You're talking about the black guy!
The obvious conclusion: liberal bloggers are poisoning our civil discourse.

Have a nice Tuesday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

“The world is Cheers and Jeers, Mr. Beale.”
---Arthur Jensen


Overall, how would you grade President Obama's second inaugural address?

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