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Archive for January 18th, 2009

VIDEO: Obama addresses the nation

RAW STORY
Published: Sunday January 18, 2009

Two days away from his swearing in, President-elect Obama addressed the nation at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday afternoon.

The Obamas, and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden and his family, began the day on a somber note by placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, departing for Sunday church services.

Festivities commenced on the National Mall with musical performers and guest speakers. Musicians performing at the event included Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce Knowles, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks and U2’s Bono. The invocation was delivered by openly gay Episcopal bishop V. Gene Robinson.

President-elect Obama’s entire speech, as broadcast on CNN, is embedded below, followed by a full transcript.

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TRANSCRIPT:

MORE HERE

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SNL: Dick Cheney’s Exit Interview With Diane Sawyer (VIDEO)

Huffington Post |   January 18, 2009 09:16 AM

“Saturday Night Live” opened with Diane Sawyer interviewing outgoing VP Dicky Cheney. No matter what he’s asked, Cheney regrets nothing.

Starting with topics like Iraq, Sawyer (Kristen Wiig) asks Cheney (Darrell Hammond) increasingly irrelevant, sympathetic questions. Cheney answers every question with a negative.

Sawyer: “We recently learned that my assistant has separated from her husband. Isn’t that regrettable?
Cheney: “In my opinion, no.”


PLUS: SEE THE SNL GITMO CLEARANCE SALE AD


SEE SNL’S ANN COULTER WEB EXCLUSIVE

>>>WATCH HERE<<<

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“Saturday Night Live” Gitmo Ad: Going Out Of Business Sale! (VIDEO)

Huffington Post |   January 18, 2009 07:56 AM

Obama announced he’ll close it and “Saturday Night Live” had a commercial for a going-out-of-business sale from Guantanamo Bay.

“Hoods! Blindfolds! Shackles! Chains! Dog bones for people! If it’s used to humanely detain or interrogate prisoners, we’ve got it! And we’re passing the savings onto you.”

SNL host Rosario Dawson played one satisfied customer who purchased a portrait of Donald Rumsfeld while Jason Sudeikis was the CIA agent advertising the sale.

“Gitmo bargains, gitmo savings, gitmo of everything you need!”

See the cold open with Diane Sawyer interviewing Dick Cheney


See the Ann Coulter web exclusive

>>>WATCH HERE<<<

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Your Inaugural Guide

Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 08:00:04 AM PST

With his “whistle stop” train journey from Philadelphia complete, today is the start of three days of celebration in Washington D.C., leading up to the inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama this Tuesday. And whether you will be there in person, or watching from home or at work, here’s a guide on what’s happening, and how you can participate wherever you are, along with some handy information for those who will be braving the crowds and the cold.

Sunday, January 18th

In less than three hours, the We Are One celebration kicks off at the Lincoln Memorial, with President-Elect Obama and Vice President-Elect Biden in attendance. Beginning at 2:30 (EST), there will be readings from Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington, and musical performances by Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Mary J. Blige, Herbie Hancock, and Stevie Wonder, among others.

  • While HBO owns the exlusive rights, they’ve made it available for free to television service providers across the country, so check your local listings, or watch it at HBO.com.
  • If you’d like to attend, the event is free and open to the public, with entrances at: Constitution Avenue at 19th Street, Constitution Avenue at Virginia Avenue, 17th Street at North Elm Walk, 17th Street at South Elm Walk, Independence Avenue at the DC War Memorial. Space will also be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Reflecting Pool area, JFK Hockey Fields and Constitution Gardens.

Also, beginning today and running throughout the next three days, the Presidential Inaugural Committee and The Trust for the National Mall, will run a public service announcement that “raises awareness about the current disrepair of the National Mall and urges Americans to help contribute to the restoration of this national treasure.”

“President-elect Obama believes that the National Mall belongs to every American, and that each of us can play a role in helping restore and preserve it for future generations … we are proud to broadcast the Trust for the National Mall’s PSA to help raise awareness of the needs of this iconic park.” said Josh Earnest, PIC Communications Director.

You can watch the video here.

Monday, January 19th

Monday marks the Renew America Together: National Day of Service, where the Obama and Biden families will participate in volunteer service, while asking you take part in events in your own community. There are already more than 10,000 service events scheduled across the country, and you can visit USAservice.org to find one in your area.

On Monday night, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden will host the “Kids’ Inaugural: We Are The Future,” concert to honor military families. The event will be broadcast on the Disney Channel, simulcast on Radio Disney and streamed on Disney.com, beginning at 8:00 (EST). Performing will be the Jonas Brothers, and Miley Cyrus, among others.

Tuesday, January 20th

The day we’ve all been waiting for. Beginning at 11:30 (EST), the official inauguration ceremony will begin on the West front of the U.S. Capitol, with music, speakers, and the swearing in of Vice President-Elect Joseph Biden. And at 12:00, President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama will take the oath of office:

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

He will be sworn in by Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, Jr., using the same bible Abraham Lincoln used at his own inauguration in 1861.

President Obama will then deliver his inaugural address, after which he will escort George W. Bush to a departure ceremony (and a dark cloud will lift and slowly drift towards Texas).

Beginning at approximately 2:30 (EST), the 56th Inaugural Parade will begin from the Capitol, making its way down Pennsylvania Avenue before ending at the White House.

If you plan to attend the ceremony and/or parade, maps, locations of food and restrooms, and a list of prohibited items can be found here.

“The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration”

On Tuesday night, beginning at 8:00 (EST), and airing exclusively on ABC, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will attend the first of their 10 inaugural balls, and this is one that you can take part in, no matter where you are:

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced interactive features using Internet and text technology to bring neighborhoods from across the country together in celebration during the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball …

… There will also be live blogging from the Convention Center, so people can follow along online and get behind the scenes scoop.  Finally, neighborhood parties across America will be able to participate in the main event via both text message and online video.  People will be able to text in photos of their events and send video – both of which could appear in the television program.

Wednesday, January 21st

Beginning at 8:30 a.m. (EST), at the National Cathedral:

The newly-inaugurated President and Vice President of the United States will join with dignitaries and Americans of diverse faiths to celebrate the previous day’s events through prayer, readings, and musical performances. Reverend Dr. Sharon Watkins will be the first woman to deliver the sermon at this traditional Inaugural event. This event is by invitation only.

Helpful links for those attending inaugural events

  • Here’s all you’ll need to use Washington D.C.’s outstanding public transportation, the Metro: A map of the stations and lines, a schedule, and an easy how-to-use guide.
  • On Inauguration Day:

    Metrorail will operate rush hour service for 17 consecutive hours (4 a.m. to 9 p.m.), will stay open for two extra hours (until 2 a.m.), charge $4 for parking at its facilities…

    The U.S. Secret Service has deemed the Inauguration a special national security event and due to security measures, the Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter station on Metro’s Green/Yellow Lines and the Smithsonian station on the Blue/Orange Lines, will be closed on Inauguration Day, Tuesday, January 20. They will open after the parade, approximately at 6:30 p.m. Judiciary Square station on the Red Line will close at 4 p.m. and Mt Vernon Sq 7th St-Convention Center station on the Green/Yellow Lines will close at 7:30 a.m. due to their proximity to locations hosting Inaugural Balls. Both stations are scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, January 21.

  • You can count on doing a lot of walking, and you can find printable maps with road closures and walking routes here.
  • The Presidential Inaugural Committee will be providing mobile updates for all events.
  • Courtesy of the District of Columbia, you can sign up for text alerts to receive information on traffic problems, scheduling delays or any emergency that may arise.
  • The Washington Post is offering “Survival Alerts,” to keep you up-to-date on the best routes out of the Mall and the city.
  • Twitter is offering its users live traffic alerts.
  • And it’s going to be a long day with limited food being available, so here’s a dining guide to the various city neighborhoods.

Odds and Ends

  • If you don’t have a T.V., you can watch the Inauguration ceremony here:

    >>>WATCH HERE<<<

      The countdown clock is just an added bonus.
  • If you want to check in now and then to see how the crowds are looking, check out this webcam for a cool view of the National Mall.
  • If you happen to take a great picture during the various events, submit it to the Presidential Inaugural Committee and your photo might make it into the Official Inaugural Book.
  • And what about the weather? Well, the bone-chilling cold of the past couple of days is over, but you’re still going to need to bundle up: Sunday, 39/27 with a chance of snow or rain showers; Monday, 31/21 and partly cloudy; and on Tuesday, 31/19 and mostly cloudy.

And finally, the bathroom situation. There will be somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 port-a-potties located throughout the Mall area, making this:

… the largest temporary restroom event in the history of the United States.

And you thought that watching Barack Obama being sworn in as President of the United States was going to be the historic event you witnessed.

[Note: Unless otherwise sourced, all information provided is from transition team press releases or found at Change.gov]

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Weezer – Island In The Sun

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Nasir @13:40 CET

by Patrick J. Buchanan | Antiwar.com, January 17, 2009

As Israel entered the third week of its Gaza blitz, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert regaled a crowd in Ashkelon with an astonishing tale.

He had, said Olmert, whistled up George Bush, interrupted him in the middle of a speech and told him to instruct Condi Rice not to vote for a U.N. resolution Condi herself had written. Bush did as told, said Olmert.

The crowd loved it. Here is the background.

After intense negotiations with Britain and France, Secretary of State Rice had persuaded the Security Council to agree on a resolution calling for a cease-fire. But Olmert wanted more time to kill Hamas.

So, here, in Olmert’s words, is what happened next.

“In the night between Thursday and Friday, when the secretary of state wanted to lead the vote on a cease-fire at the Security Council, we did not want her to vote in favor.

“I said, ‘Get me President Bush on the phone.’ They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn’t care. ‘I need to talk to him now.’ He got off the podium and spoke to me.”

According to Olmert, Bush was clueless.

“He said: ‘Listen. I don’t know about it. I didn’t see it. I’m not familiar with the phrasing.’

“I told him the United States could not vote in favor. It cannot vote in favor of such a resolution. He immediately called the secretary of state and told her not to vote in favor.”

The UN diplomatic corps was astonished when the United States abstained on the 14-0 resolution Rice had crafted and claimed her country supported. Arab diplomats say Rice promised them she would vote for it.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, with Rice at the United Nations during the debate on the resolution, said Olmert’s remarks were “just 100 percent, totally, completely untrue.”

But the White House cut Rice off at the knees, saying only that there were “inaccuracies” in the Olmert story. The video does not show Bush interrupting his speech to take any call.

Yet, the substance rings true and is widely believed, and Olmert is happily describing the egg on Rice’s face:

“He [Bush] gave an order to the secretary of state, and she did not vote in favor of it – a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organized and maneuvered for. She was left pretty shamed. …”

With Bush and Rice leaving office in hours, and Olmert in weeks, the story may seem to lack significance.

Yet, public gloating by an Israeli prime minister that he can order a U.S. president off a podium and instruct him to reverse and humiliate his secretary of state may cause even Ehud’s poodle to rise up on its hind legs one day and bite its master.

Taking such liberties with a superpower that, for Israel’s benefit, has shoveled out $150 billion and subordinated its own interests in the Arab and Islamic world would seem a hubristic and stupid thing to do.

And there are straws in the wind that, despite congressional resolutions giving full-throated approval to all that Israel is doing in Gaza, this is becoming a troubled relationship.

Two weeks ago, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in opposing any truce, assured the world there “is no humanitarian crisis in the (Gaza) Strip,” and the humanitarian situation there “is completely as it should be.”

Not so to Hillary Clinton. In her confirmation hearings, the secretary of state-designate, reports the New York Times, “struck a sharper tone toward Israel on violence in the Middle East.”

Clinton “seemed to part from the tone set by the Bush administration in calling attention to what she described as the ‘tragic humanitarian costs’ borne by Palestinians, as well as Israelis.”

More dramatic was a weekend report by the Times‘ David Sanger that the White House had rebuffed Olmert’s request for new U.S. bunker-buster bombs and denied Israel permission to overfly Iraq in any strike on Iran’s nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz.

Sanger described these U.S.-Israeli talks as “tense.”

Repeatedly, Israel has warned that Iran is close to a bomb and threatened to attack unilaterally. Indeed, Israel simulated such an attack in an air exercise of 100 planes that went as far as Greece.

Bush both blocked and vetoed that attack, says Sanger. But he did assure Olmert that America is engaged in the sabotage of Iran’s nuclear program by helping provide Tehran with defective parts.

This would seem a stunning breach of security secrets, but no outrage has been heard from the White House, nor has any charge come that the Times compromised national security.

With Olmert, Rice and Bush departing, and Obama and Hillary taking charge committed to talking to Iran, can the old intimacy survive the new friction and colliding agendas?

COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

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