David Jackson of USA Today: "The president and first lady Michelle Obama attended a staff inaugural ball Tuesday, though there are no press pictures of it. The White House permitted only a print pooler -- no photographers, no television cameras -- into the post-inaugural party that featured one of music's great odd couples: Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett."
BUT I did find a photo, courtesy of Obama Foodorama. Please note that the First Lady has decided to continue with the nightdress theme I remarked upon below. For the final presidential ball dedicated to her husband, Mrs. Obama has chosen to wear pajama pants. Good night!
The Party's Never Over. The Obamas & Bidens will attend a staff inaugural ball at 9:00 pm Tuesday.
President & Mrs. Obama greet visitors to the White House January 22. Video.
The Obamas & Bidens will attend a prayer service at the National Cathedral at 10:45 Tuesday morning. AP: "President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and their families plan to attend a prayer service Tuesday morning at the Washington National Cathedral."
Okay, here's "The Dress." There's no accounting for taste, but I like this one only slightly less than I liked the First Lady's first inaugural gown. I don't blame Mrs. Obama for choosing to wear comfortable dresses (i.e., dresses that look & feel like high-priced nighties) at the end of a long day. But still. BTW, same designer for both nighties -- Jason Wu.
Eric Wilson of the New York Times on Mrs. Obama's inaugural wardrobe. Includes three slide shows.
President & Mrs. Obama walk a portion of the parade route:
President Obama speaks at the inaugural luncheon:
House Speaker John Boehner presents flags that flew over the Capitol today to President Obama & Vice President Biden:
Sen. Chuck Schumer speaks at the inaugural luncheon: "If you don't like the food, you can't blame it on one party or the other":
Commenter Diane mentioned the luncheon menu. Here it is. ...
... Also commenter Akhilleus figured that -- contrary to a rumor spread by Andy Borowitz that Fox "News" would be down for routine maintenance today -- Fox "News" would cover the inaugural events to disparage them. Sure enough, they even found fault with the menu (which is all-Americans, BTW): "The menu is an exclusive surf and turf that includes lobster in clam chowder sauce, grilled bison and apple cake with homemade ice cream. The meal's three courses, if you eat the whole thing, clocks in at 3027 calories, minus the booze.... The decadence of the Inaugural Luncheon has raises a few eyebrows." That's right, it's "exclusive" & "decadent." Did I mention that Obama didn't choose the menu and isn't hosting the lunch? As Sen. Chuck Schumer pointed out in his opening remarks at the luncheon, a "bipartisan" committee of Members' spouses chose the menu. Strangely enough, the Fox "News" "report" doesn't mention that.
President Obama signs nominations for Cabinet posts:
Caity Weaver of Gawker: "On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the United States Marine Band stated that Beyoncé 'did not actually sing' live." Weaver runs down the 7 Stages of Star-Spangled Grief.
President Obama's Inaugural Address. "Today we continue a never-ending journey to bridge the meaning of [our founding] words with the realities of our time":
... The full text of the speech is here.
Here's video of the complete inaugural ceremony, courtesy of the White House:
Michael Shear of the New York Times: "Barack Hussein Obama renewed his oath of office at midday Monday, ceremonially marking the beginning of another four years in the White House and calling for 'fidelity to our founding principles' while also embracing 'new responses to new challenges.'” ...
... David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post reports on the speech.
** James Fallows here and here on the President's inaugural address. "This was the most sustainedly 'progressive' statement Barack Obama has made in his decade on the national stage." Read 'em both, please.
** Adios, Pollyanna. Noam Scheiber of The New Republic: "By choosing to start his second term with a case for liberalism, Obama announced that arguing for his worldview isn’t a separate task from governing. It’s central to governing. And that’s a development you can’t cheer loudly enough."
New York Times Editors: "With this speech, he has made a forceful argument for a progressive agenda that meets the nation’s needs. We hope he has the political will and tactical instincts to carry it out."
Greg Sargent: "Today Obama was effectively declaring victory in the great argument that has consumed us for the last four years. During the campaign Obama argued his vision of a judicious mix of individual and collective responsibility is more in keeping with our national identity than the GOP’s 'you’re on your own' ethic."
Jane Mayer of the New Yorker: "... by referring to a 'nation of takers' he took aim at ... a lasting redoubt of opposition: the corporate-funded think tanks and publicists who originated the phrase, and the politically suspect research behind it, in the first place."
John Cassidy of the New Yorker: "Having shaken hands with Republican leaders on his way into the Capitol, the President didn’t once appeal to them, or even acknowledge them, during his speech. Instead, he turned Republican constitutional rhetoric on its head, repeatedly invoking the Declaration of Independence to justify tackling inequality and spending tax dollars on collectively provided government programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, interstate highways, and federal investments in research and development."
Richard Stevenson of the New York Times: "Gone were the vision of a new kind of high-minded politics, the constraint of a future re-election campaign and the weight of unrealistic expectations. In their place was an unapologetic argument that modern liberalism was perfectly consistent with the spirit of the founders and a notice that, with no immediate crisis facing the nation, Mr. Obama intended to use the full powers of his office for progressive values."
Charles Pierce: "We will wait and see, of course, what happens once the scaffolding and the bunting come down, bearing in mind always the scriptural caution about faith without works being dead. But, for an afternoon, anyway, a Democratic president reclaimed the language of freedom from those for whom it means merely lower taxes and more guns.... And he refuted, with precision and neatly camouflaged contempt, many of the most destructive ideas that have poisoned out politics for nearly four decades now. He did nothing less than redefine patriotism in a progressive way."
Digby: "If he wants to be in the liberal pantheon beyond the obvious (and very real) accomplishment of becoming the first African American president and some movement on gay rights, the second term will have to be different from the first. From the sound of today's address, it would seem that he wants it to be. And if that's true, progressives have some leverage."
Elections Matter. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. -- President Barack Obama, January 2013
Today, I call upon the Congress to promptly pass and to send to the states for ratification an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and woman as husband and wife. -- President George W. Bush, February 2004
Andy Borowitz: "Congressional Republicans heaped fulsome praise on President Obama’s second Inaugural Address today, saying that it had given them a detailed list of things to thwart over the next four years. 'My big fear was that the speech would be full of vague platitudes that wouldn’t be helpful to us in plotting against him,' said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). 'Once he started offering details of what he actually hoped to accomplish, though, I realized we had hit the mother lode.'”
The wingers hated -- the -- speech! So did Dana Milbank: "What followed was less an inaugural address for the ages than a leftover campaign speech combined with an early draft of the State of the Union address." This is all the evidence you need it was an effective, substantive speech.
Chief Justice John Roberts swears in President Obama:
Jon Stewart on Obama's flubbing the oath -- again. Also, George Stephanopoulous is an idiot:
... "The Daily Show" was excellent last night, including the interview of Justice Sotomayor. Also, What Would MLK Do? Larry Wilmore is pitch-perfect on everybody's convenient embrace of Dr. Martin Luther King. Watch it here.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor swears in Vice President Biden:
I don't usually do prayers, but this one by Myrlie Evers-Williams is a good one:
The Martyr Sir Nino Scalia. The Unhappiest Man at the Coronation:
Prof. Kevin Walsh : "The hat is a custom-made replica of the hat depicted in Holbein’s famous portrait of St. Thomas More. It was a gift from the St. Thomas More Society of Richmond, Virginia. We presented it to him in November 2010 as a memento of his participation in our 27th annual Red Mass and dinner." (Indirectly, via Esther Zuckerman of the Atlantic.) CW: I feel pretty confident Scalia wore a replica of the martyr's hat specifically to symbolize his own martyrdom as Protector of the Original Constitution.
Kate Brumback of the AP: "Commemorative events for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. slid seamlessly into celebrations of the swearing-in Monday of the nation's first black president, with many Americans moved by the reminder of how far the country has come since the 1960s."
Joe Stiglitz in the New York Times: "... after four decades of widening inequality and the greatest economic downturn since the Depression, we haven’t done anything about it.... Despite Mr. Obama’s stated commitment to helping all Americans, the recession and the lingering effects of the way it was handled have made matters much, much worse."