Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration -- Live Blog -- Part I

10:14a.m. -- What a song...

10:05a.m. -- As a veteran of an inauguration (2001), I can't tell you how insane the security is. There are marines with guns, cops every five feet, checkpoints a few blocks from the Mall and lines that stretch blocks long to go though. It's crazy. And I can't imagine what it's like today.

There were a lot of people out there in 2001 supporting or protesting Bush... but by all accounts this blows that day out of the water in terms of numbers. I can't imagine what it's like. I can't imagine why people want to go other than just to say they were there. The amount of security really takes away from the event. This is a peaceful transition, but the security is something out of the Third World. Maybe I'm a sucker for the old stories about Andrew Jackson and what democracy should be about (the people and the free moment of people). It's a fine line between freedom and security and I can't tell you were that line is. But in 2001 I thought it was too much.

Anyway here is a bit of what I wrote back in 2001 and I'm not sure why I was so angry:
"So I ask this, what is so peaceful about this event? This was not peaceful! This was like some third world country. There is nothing peaceful about men with guns and in riot gear trying to 'control' the crowd. Okay so they weren't standing on every corner with a big ole' AK-47, but they were intimating. It made you think twice about anything and everything. Just the fact that it was so freakin' hard to get any were pissed me off. Anyone that wanted to get on the parade rote was searched. It's not like you could walk up there, they checked your bags, and it seemed like they were doing a little pad down work too. There were cops everywhere, and there were a ton of military people too. I saw like 200 marines just marching down the street like it was no big deal. And the fencing! It was like they were expecting a billion dogs with out owners to show up. Everything was fenced. The sidewalk was fenced from the parkway which was fenced from the street. It was like a jail, because you couldn't go any were with out someone stopping you. This was not peaceful this was intimidation. If this was truly peaceful then all the fencing and officers and military people would not be necessary. Now I'm not saying there should be no security, I just think that this was a little too much. What was the point? I'll tell you, to scare the hell out of people and make it hard for them to do get around." -- REO, Jan. 20, 2001

9:48 a.m. -- W and Obama come out and get in the limo. Cheers go up (W probably doesn't think they're for him right?) What do these two talk about? My bets are on John Danks, who Bush said is his favorite baseball player and Danks just happens to pitch for Obama's favorite team, the White Sox. So I"m going to go with a five minute discussion on the maturation of John Danks over the 2008 baseball season.

Anyway, the motorcade is off. It really isn't that interesting. So just imagine what Bush and Obama are talking about...

9:46a.m. -- Cheney is in a wheelchair... the Dr. Evil joke is too easy right?

9:44a.m. -- A Barbara Bush sighting!! Not H.W.'s wife, but rather W's daughter who picked up and left for New York about three years ago and was rumored to be a pill popper/party who loved the Georgetown area! Why no one has done a feature on her, I'm not sure...

9:42a.m. -- This has nothing to do with the inauguration, but a nice feature on Charles Wheelan who is running for Congress for Rahm's old seat (the 5th here in Illinois). Here is his website.

(Note: Charlie was our professor at U of C over the last two years).

9:35a.m. -- I'm flipping between ESPN, NBC, and MSNBC (full disclosure, I owe 6 shares of G.E. stock). NBC has former CUA student, Brian Williams; MSNBC features Olbermann (more on him later), and ESPN is LIVE talking about the Cowboys!!!

Other blogs:
L.A. Times
Chicago Tribune

9:25a.m. -- John Cusack sighting on NBC!!!! Is there a quasi-Chicago event he doesn't show up at? I love John as much as the next girl, but after his "I'm a Sox fan" routine in 2005... Die Cusack, die.

9:05a.m. -- A few over bets to get out there:
** Over/under **
Number of times "Change is Gonna Come" today on the radio: 1,387
Number of times the TV heads say John F. Kennedy: 937
Number of times the TV heads say Abraham Lincoln: 3,498
Number of times the TV heads say Martin Luther THE King: 2,974

More to come as the day progresses.

8:55a.m. (c.s.t) -- We are coming to you LIVE from Hyde Park—two blocks from Obama's barber and six blocks from Obama's house—here on a not that cold, snowy Chicago, Illinois!!! Obama just got out of the limo and took a picture with W. and then walked into the White House.

Stay with me today as I live blog the shit out of this inauguration. Who needs the NYTimes or the WashPost attempting to make Obama their own when I've got TV crews a block from my house?

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