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Random Obama Fact…

Obama is Left-handed. Just thought I’d throw that in there. I discovered this while I was reading a CNN Article a little bit ago. The article discussed the three proclamations that Obama will sign today. (that’s really why I’m posting this…)

  • a proclamation declaring today a day of national renewal and reconciliation. The last three presidents have signed similar proclamations in this same time and venue).
  • cabinet nominations
  • sub-cabinet nominations

“I’m a lefty. Get used to it,” Obama quipped as he signed his name. “I was told not to swipe the pen.”

Senate staffers say the nominations will be presented to the Senate when it convenes at 3 pm today, and are necessary for those nominees to be confirmed by the full Senate.

For more info on Cabinet Nominees, click here.

What’s your view on Obama’s picks for the Cabinet?

For those wanting a historic souvenir: How to get a flag flying over the state capitol today…

In honor of the inauguration of President Obama, Washington state’s Secretary of State is selling U.S. flags that are being flown at the state capitol today. (Yup, there’s some person who’s going to be busy hauling flags up and down all day. Really.)

You can buy the 3-foot by 5-foot flags for $14 if you pick them up at the Secretary of State’s front desk, or they’ll mail you one for $17.25.

“People just snatch them up,” said Dave Ammons, a spokesman for Secretary of State Sam Reed. Each comes with a certificate, state seal, and Reed’s signature. Any proceeds go to thestate capitol historical furnishings fund.

If you’re interested, call Suzette Black at (360) 902-4151.

Presidential inauguration: the view from the state capitol…

The capitol rotunda and hallways were like a ghost town this morning, as staffers and lawmakers crowded around TVs to watch the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

In the darkened state Senate, about a dozen lawmakers sat at their desks, peering up at a big-screen projection on the wall. Up in the public galleries overhead, dozens of visitors also watched in silence.

Below, in the Democratic caucus room, exuberant senators laughed as Chief Justice John Roberts and Obama stumbled over the oath of office. Then they cheered.

“I think we’re entering a more hopeful period,” said Sen. Chris Marr, D-Spokane. As he watched the nation’s first African-American president sworn in, Marr said, he thought of the racial dark days of the OJ verdict and Rodney King beating.

“To think that we would stand up this day a few short years later is pretty amazing,” he said.

Sen. Bob Morton, R-Kettle Falls, watched in his office.

“I had a little lump in my throat for those who’d worked so hard otherwise,” he said of the Democratic president’s victory. “It would have been more joyful the other way.”

In the House Republican caucus room, beneath portraits of Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln, a few lawmakers and staffers sat in silence, watching a projection TV. Nobody spoke.

Across the chamber, people were crammed into the standing-room-only House Democratic caucus room, where a sheet cake waited on a staffer’s desk. “Go Obama!” it read.

Lawmakers, some wiping away tears of happiness, looked up at the screen. Outside, a toddler squealed with delight and wheeled a stroller around the abandoned floor of the House of Representatives.

Obama Becomes President

 Barack Obama, second right, joined by his wife Michelle, far left, and daughters Sasha, second left, and Malia, not shown, takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts to become the 44th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington today. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)

DFO: Let’s have a conversation about today’s historic events under this posting.

Inauguration: Changing Of The Guard

President Bush, right, walks out with President-elect Barack Obama, on the North Portico of the White House before sharing the presidential limousine enroute to Capitol Hill for inauguration in Washington this morning. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Otis G: ‘I Felt Hope For America’

A few years ago, I went to visit my aunt in St. Louis. I was excited to visit the University district, after hearing it was culturally diverse. I found my way there, and for the first time in my life, experienced what I had always wondered possible. There were Muslims. Latinos. African Americans. Everything I’d never seen in Idaho. They were all shopping, walking among each other, and surprisingly… talking to each other. And the best part? Nobody seemed to really think anything of it. Just the naïve white guy from Idaho. I felt hope for America. At the same time, I also wondered why this wasn’t the norm for America. I returned to the boring, white safety of Idaho/Otis G’s Experience. More here.

Question: How will Obama’s election and performance is president affect racism in America?

A Case for Security

As Mariah mentioned earlier, Security for tomorrow is going to be pretty heavy in DC. Like I said, I’m not surprised and here’s why: Some idiot from Wisconsin made threats to assassinate Obama via posts made on a website (www.alien-earth.org). He’s been arrested.

From the Reuter’s Article:

Steven Joseph Christopher, in three postings to www.alien-earth.org, said he planned to assassinate Obama in Washington “as a sacrificial lamb,” the department said in a statement.

“It’s really nothing personal about the man. He speaks well… But I know it’s for the country’s own good that I do this,” Christopher reportedly wrote.

“It’s not because I’m racist that I will kill Barack, it’s because I can no longer allow the Jewish parasites to bully their way into making the American people submit to their evil ways.”

Case in point.

Security is Tight.

If you have ever been to Washington DC, you have seen the incredibly tight security. There are security cameras everywhere. Snipers on the roof of the White House, and a motorcade that the President is protected by wherever he goes.

That’s small stuff, compared to the inaguration. 25,000 military troops, law enforcement officials and security agents wil be on hand tomorrow to make sure the inaguration runs smoothly. The city is all but shut down tomorrow, with a hundred and fifty blocks closed to traffic. Bomb-sniffing dogs are going to be in the crowds. The Pontomac is shut down tomorrow. The MSNBC story is here.

I just thought this was interesting. It is the most security ever for a Presidential inaguration. Do you find this interesting?

Dogwalk Musings: New Beginnings

President-elect Barack Obama speaks at the Lincoln Memorial during an inaugural concert in Washington Sunday. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

It’s a new beginning for the country. We have matured to where we’ve elected a man for his qualities without qualification. How wonderful is that? At times I wonder if we elected him more for the man he would seem to be than for his policies. Quite probably. Next week the hype will begin to subside. The pundits will ratchet back up and start picking apart everything Obama. The realities happening around the world will again make the headlines. For now, though, it’s a time for the celebration of new beginnings. No matter what may lie ahead, I’m going to take the week and rejoice in the fact that this infant of a nation, which has been crawling for years, has taken a huge first step/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Are you filled with hope or despair as America stands on the doorstep of the historic inauguration of Barack Obama?

Obama Rally Draws 500,000

Obama, the first African-American to be elected president, looked out at the sea of people and told them, “What gives me hope is what I see when I look out across this mall. For in these monuments are chiseled those unlikely stories that affirm our unyielding faith – a faith that anything is possible in America.” He gazed fleetingly at the Washington Monument in the distance. “Rising before us stands a memorial to a man who led a small band of farmers and shopkeepers in revolution against the army of an empire, all for the sake of an idea,” he said. He looked at the World War II memorial down the mall, “a tribute to a generation that withstood war and depression, men and women like my grandparents who toiled on bomber assembly lines and marched across Europe to free the world from tyranny’s grasp”/McClatchy Newspapers. More here.

Question: Why is Obama so popular?

Columinist: MLK Dream Comes Full Circle

t is very fitting that Barack Obama will be inaugurated the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Indeed, the dream has come full circle. The battle is far from over, but this election is as big of a victory as any for racial equality in the history of our country. This election of hope seemed unimaginable when hope itself seemed to die with John F. Kennedy in Dallas. When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, no one could foresee the inauguration of another leader of change, President-elect Barack Obama. Forty years after the untimely death of presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy, Obama�s campaign ended in transformative victory/Derrick Skaug, WSU Evergreen. More here.

Question: Is Barack Obama’s presidency the beginning of the end of racism in this country?

PS: Obama Is Top Gun Salesman?

Nathaniel Pulliam of Black Sheep sporting goods in Coeur d’Alene works the gun counter on Wednesday. The owners of Black Sheep put up the cutout of Barack Obama after the election. Kathy Plonka/SR.

Mirroring a national trend, gun owners in the Inland Northwest appear to be responding by purchasing as many guns as possible before Obama takes office. At Black Sheep Sporting Goods in Coeur d’Alene, a life-size cutout of Obama stands behind the gun counter adorned with the phrase “Salesman of the Year.” “There’s a lot of fear of peoples’ gun rights,” said Dave Knoll, owner of Black Sheep, speaking from a gun show in Las Vegas this week. “With a total Democratic Congress, anything’s possible. People are reacting in a strange way”/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

SR Today In Photos

Question: Will Demo control of the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government mean far tighter gun control?

Eye Opener: A $150M Inaugaration?!

Item: Obama’s inauguration set to be the most expensive in US history: The $150m (£102m) cost of the celebration will dwarf the amount spent on George Bush’s inauguration in 2005/Guardian

More Info: resident Barack Obama’s inauguration next week is set to be the most expensive ever, predicted to reach over $150m (£102m). This dwarfs the $42.3m spent on George Bush’s inauguration in 2005 and the $33m spent on Bill Clinton’s in 1993.

Question: Is the cost of Barack Obama’s inaugaration reasonable at a time when America is in such dire financial straits and many Americans are wondering if they’ll survive financially this year?

Sources: Obama To Close Gitmo

President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to issue an executive order his first week in office—and perhaps his first day—to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, according to two presidential transition team advisers. It’s unlikely the detention facility at the Navy base in Cuba will be closed anytime soon. In an interview last weekend, Obama said it would be “a challenge” to close it even within the first 100 days of his administration/AP. More here.

Question: Should the U.S. close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility?

WND Poll: Obama & Economy

What should Obama’s first objective be to turn America’s economy around?

1. Raise taxes significantly on the rich
2. Tax Social Security benefits for the rich
3. Raise taxes across the board
4. Implement a new “New Deal” that puts everyone to work
5. Create a massive program to rebuild America’s infrastructure

More below

Adam: Inauguration Important To All

The inauguration is an event that is for all Americans, even those who did not support the President-elect. It is a fundamental reminder that we’re still a free country where we decide our differences at the ballot box rather than a box of bullets. While I’m not thrilled with whose being sworn in, I’m thankful that a transition has come about through a democratic process rather than bodies piled up in the streets, which is the case in countries around the globe/Adam’s Blog. More here.

*Mountain Goat & Political Game begin Zeb Bell watch blog

*Sali in line for Rothenberg Award/Randy Stapilus

*5 presidents Felt ‘Deep Throat’ presence/Dennis Mansfield

Question: How important are presidential inaugarations to you?

Gregoire’s budget plan: “the nightmare before Christmas” for the social safety net?

In Friday morning’s paper:

Before unveiling her budget plan Thursday, Gov. Chris Gregoire glanced around the crowded room.

“Before we begin,” she said, “I’d like to ask all of you to remove your shoes and take them outside. Particularly boots.”

That was the first and last joke of the somber 45-minute presentation, as Gregoire laid out a no-new-taxes proposal for deep state budget cuts to close an unprecedented $5.7 billion budget shortfall over the next two years.

“I hate it,” Gregoire said of her budget plan. “Nothing went untouched.”

Among the proposed cuts:

-halting nearly $700 million in planned cost-of-living raises for state workers and teachers for two years,

-cutting the Basic Health Plan, a state health insurance program for the working poor, by 42 percent,

-laying off more than 2,400 state workers,

-at least a 12 percent across-the-board budget cut at the state’s four-year colleges,

-a 6 percent cut for community colleges,

-cutting community mental health and chemical dependency services by $53 million,

-doing away with health care and small monthly checks for more than 20,000 people deemed unemployable, often due to mental health problems. At least 2,000 of those people are in Spokane.

-and cutting money for new affordable housing in half.

The depth of the cuts stunned social service advocates, labor leaders and others.

“Some of these programs really are the most extreme form of safety net,” said Nick Federici, a lobbyist for human services groups. “To us, this really is the nightmare before Christmas.”

Pro-Lifer To Give Obama Invocation

Item: Pro-Life Rick Warren to Give Invocation at Obama Inauguration/The Brody File

More Info: Pro-life pastor Rick Warren will give the invocation at President-Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration. It makes a whole lot of sense. Even though Warren and Obama disagree on the life issue, they do see eye to eye on many social justice issues. This move is also classic Obama because it is a signal to religious conservatives that he’s willing to bring in both sides to the faith discussion in this country. Obama has never shied away from that.

Question: What’s your reaction to the fact that pro-life minister Rick Warren will deliver the invocation for pro-choice Barack Obama’s inaugaration?

Time Names Obama ‘Man of the Year’

This image supplied by Time Magazine shows the cover of the magazine’s Dec. 29 issue naming President-elect Barack Obama as its “Person of the Year” for 2008. The news magazine’s cover is by ex-street artist Shephard Fairey, whose early poster of Sen. Obama became a populist image of the campaign. (AP Photo/Time).

Question: Can anyone disagree w/the choice of Barack Obama as Time Man of the year?

Otter Lukewarm To Obama Bailout Offer

Item: Obama wants to offer states help, Gov. Otter isn’t sure he wants the handout/Idaho Statesman More Info: President-elect Barack Obama is offering states their share of federal economic recovery dollars to start rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure. While other states are throwing out their wish lists — some with billions of dollars in proposed projects — Idaho’s conservative governor is taking a more cautious, if not skeptical, approach. “If you are just going to give us money that is going into our general fund, you might as well keep it. That’s like giving alcohol to an alcoholic,” said Jon Hanian, spokesman for Gov. Butch Otter. “Our governor is very cautious about taking blank checks from the federal government. We do not want to add to this country’s problems.” Question: Should Gov. Otter accept money from the federal government as part of an infrastructure bailout problem (especially when he wants to raise gas taxes to fix Idaho roads)?