Archive for the ‘Inauguration’ Category

Presidents’ Day

February 16, 2009

President's Day
Photo: © Dale Lowery. All rights reserved; used with permission.

You may think today is “Presidents’ Day.” Not quite.

As the  U.S. Office of Personnel Management puts it:

This holiday is designated as “Washington’s Birthday” in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees. Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is our policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.

In 1968, Congress decided to recognize the birthdays of George Washington (February 22nd) and Abraham Lincoln (February 12th) on a single day, the third Monday in February, but rejected a new name for the holiday. 

Jurisdictions that did adopt the new name don’t agree on its punctuation. Presidents Day, President’s Day, or Presidents’ Day? No wonder Congress stayed out of it.

Happy Holiday.


Photo: “Jumbotron Inaugural, Obama Arrives.” © Dale Lowery, all rights reserved; used by permission. Dale says: “I snapped it from about 6th Street on the Mall on January 20th, as Mr. Obama entered the Capitol and they flashed him up on the Jumbotron, and I think it captures the electric excitement of the moment.” We agree. For more information, go to

Celebrate Inaugural Security!

January 25, 2009

Celebrate Inaugural Security!

This year’s National Bollard Festival® will salute the brave men, women, and sniffer dogs who protected two million people during the Presidential Inaugural festivities, say producers of the Washington, DC event.

Crowds will gather on the chilly National Mall and give a standing ovation to members of the U.S. Capitol Police, Secret Service, Federal Protective Service, National Park Police, FBI, DC Metropolitan Police Department, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and dozens of security corporations with federal contracts. The exact date and time of the event is being withheld for security reasons.

The Purple Ticket Mass Choir will give an a cappella doo-wop concert in a tunnel under the Capitol grounds. “It’s standing room only,” said a U.S. Capitol Police officer, “but there’s a great echo.” The rest of the program is available on a need-to-know basis.


Oath ‘Oopsy’

January 22, 2009

  Oath 'Oopsy'

Both the New York Times and New York Post are calling U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts., Jr. the “Oaf of Office” merely because he muffed a little act the entire world happened to be watching, the historic swearing-in of Barack H. Obama as 44th President of the United States of America. Picky, picky, picky.

So many people were so upset by this gaffe that President Obama and Chief Justice Roberts reprised the routine to soothe the world with word magic. The oath was repeated (flawlessly this time) yesterday.

Does this mean we can get “do-overs” of all the other interpretations Justice Roberts has botched since he was sworn-in back in 2005?


Oopsy (noun) from “oops” (exlamation; var. “whoops” or “woops”) a minor error (houp! ops! esprime rincrescimento per un piccolo contrattempo).

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Sully’s Savory Sky-Chef Secrets

January 21, 2009

Sully's Savory Sky-Chef Secrets

Heroism got short shrift from the media in DC this week. Captain Chesley Sullenberger, the celebrated pilot of US Airways flight 1549, was all but ignored in Obama Inaguration coverage. “Sully” was on page one when he landed his Airbus in the Hudson River, but barely made it to Page Six when he dined in Washington’s Hudson Restaurant.

Captain Sullenburger cooked a pair of geese in New York, but dined on fried chicken in DC.


DC Blogger Meetup Today

January 21, 2009

DC Blogger Meetup Today

The first Washington Blogger Meetup of 2009 is this evening, Wednesday January 21st, from 7:15 PM to 9 PM . DC-area bloggers will talk, drink beer, eat burgers and such, and drink beer at RFD (a/k/a Regional Food and Drink), 810 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (202-289-2030). That’s near the MCI Center, a half block from the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro station. RFD has beer (did we mention that?).

The Washington DC Blogger Meetup was founded back in 2002, when the Brontosaurus roamed the Blogosphere. To paraphrase the words of new DC resident and Blogger-in-Chief Barack Obama, “Our founding fathers and Moms, faced with PCs that we can scarcely imagine, ordered draft beer to assure the rule of law and the rights of man and woman, a charter expanded by the blogs of generations.”

Mr. O has not yet RSVP’ed for the Meetup, but you can do it right here. Contact organizer Nikolas ‘Atrus’ Coukouma with any questions. Not registered with Meetup? Do it here, quick and easy.


 Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Entertainment Exploiters, January 16 — 22, 2009

January 21, 2009

Entertainment Exploiters, January 16 — 22, 2009

NotionsCapital presents this week’s Roll of Shame, Washington, DC area music venues that advertise “Live Music” but do not include the names of bands in their ads. You may think this is a mere quibble. Think again.


Cheney on Wheels

January 20, 2009

Cheney on Wheels

Outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney coasted through the inauguration of Barack Obama and Joe Biden Tuesday. He was in a wheelchair.

Mr. Cheney pulled a back muscle after spending the weekend hunched over a document shredder in his office.

The former Vice President claims he hurt his back moving boxes out of  his old office, but Stanley I. Kutler of the University of Wisconsin Law School says: “[W]hen the Archives goes to open Cheney’s papers, they are going to find empty boxes.”  A federal judge allowed Mr. Cheney to determine which of his official papers should be preserved. Details here.


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.


20 January 2009

January 20, 2009

20 January 2009

The 44th President of the United States of America will be was sworn into office on the steps of the United States Capitol today, January 20, 2009, just before after noon Eastern Time. See the White House web site.

11:30 AM Musical selections —  The United States Marine Band, the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus

Welcoming Remarks— Senator Dianne Feinstein

Invocation — Dr. Rick Warren

Musical Selection — Aretha Franklin

11:46 AM Vice Presidential Oath of Office administered to Joseph R. Biden, Jr. by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens

Musical Selection— Itzhak Perlman (Violin), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello), Gabriela Montero (Piano), Anthony McGill (Clarinet)

11:56 AM Presidential Oath of Office administered to Barack H. Obama by the Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr.

12:01 PM Inaugural Address –– President Barack H. Obama

Poem — Elizabeth Alexander

Benediction — The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery

The National Anthem — The United States Navy Band and Sea Chanters vocal ensemble

Details from PIC. CBS on the Lincoln Bible.  Inaugual FAQs from VOA.  Live video coverage from VOA


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Near-Witness to Pseudo-Events of History

January 19, 2009

Near-Witness to Pseudo-Events of History

[Looking for the program of the Swearing-In Ceremony (starts 11:30 AM 20 January 2009)? It’s here.]

We went down to the Pre-Inaugural Concert Sunday afternoon, exiting the Farragut West Metrorail station about 2:30 PM and walking down 18th Street, NW to the Lincoln Memorial and National Mall. Motor traffic was banned from the area,  just as it is during World Bank meetings. There was a party atmosphere as the crowd ambled along, and Springsteen‘s voice echoed up from the performance.

The area nearest the Lincoln Memorial concert site was already at capacity and security checkpoints were closed, so we watched the concert on the three giant Jumbotron screens set up between the World War II Memorial and the Washington Monument. The jubilant crowd was friendly and well-behaved, and people of all ages and origins from all around the nation and the world joked and chatted amiably, exchanging notes on the music and performers, expressing their relief, joy, and hopes. It may have been a pseudo-event, but the feelings were genuine.


Inauguration? Just Another DC Weekend

January 18, 2009

Inaguration? Just Another DC Weekend

The inauguration of Barack Obama as 44th President of the United States will be an historic moment in time. It will be an important moment in town, in Washington, but for DC residents it will not be much different from what goes on here every weekend.

Drive into DC on a weekend and electronic signs warn you: “CAUTION — DOWNTOWN EVENTS — EXPECT DELAYS.” There are marathons, fun runs, festivals, motorcycle rallies, marches, walk-a-thons, BBQ contests, tour bus caravans, rolling roadblocks, prayer vigils, demonstrations, motorcades, exhibitions, bike-a-thons, tourist mobs, high school senior trips, and pointless protests (“Mothers Against Bad Stuff”).