Thursday, January 29, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Well, at least Oprah could have bought it without using taxpayer money.
Friday, January 23, 2009
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME
My youngest Marine called me this morning. In the course of the conversation he made mention of being part of the Color Guard for the ceremonies at the Super Bowl. He has been part of other Color Guards at other games and has been able to enjoy the entire game after presenting the Colors. HOWEVER, this will not be the case this time. The 12 man/women color guard will be presenting the Colors and then will be escorted out of the stadium and therefore not allowed to see the game. Steven and the 11 others are quite upset about this and have asked that I see if I could contact someone and have that changed.
Well, count me out of the television audience if this isn’t changed.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
POST INAUGURATION -- SOME THOUGHTS
First, it seemed to me that President Obama used his speech to dampen the expectations of his supporters, both domestic and foreign. There is no single element to the speech that leads me to that conclusion; rather it is embedded in the tone of the entire speech.
It also seemed that the inauguration attendees recognized it as well, as there were relatively few interruptions for applause.
Second was this warning: "We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you." Again, it seemed to me that it was directed as much to the extreme left within the US as to those without.
Third was this tribute to our military: "We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves."
Continuing, he said "And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all." Right or wrong, it seems to me that he was chiding the Democratic left for being anti-military.
The full transcript is here.
LIVE BLOGGING THE INAUGURATION
1235: The benediction -- more in line with what the crowd expected, I think. The crowd applause was the largest I heard.
1230: Now it's poetry time ... a sop to the "true believers" in my opinion. My wife disagrees.
1225: President Obama's speech is over. Althouse is a bit negative, I think.
1201: The crowd is shouting "O-ba-ma!" but it was quickly stilled. Well, he seems to be making the right statements ... certainly less partisan than I had expected; also less negative. He's promising a lot; now arguing that the American people can do it.
The crowd is quiet; I don't think that Obama is telling the true believers what they wanted to hear.
"We will not apologize for our way of life." Not what the nutroots wanted, I think.
1200: The concert is over; Chief Roberts is about to administer the oath. Obama fumbled the oath; but no matter -- he's now the President. "Hail to the Chief" is being played; now it's time for him to speak.
1154: Biden is being sworn in. Justice Stevens administered the oath; Joe Biden is now Vice-President of the United States. Now a "symphony" to introduce the next President.
1150: Pastor Rick Warren is delivering the invocation. Well done.
1145: Shadow and Daisy watch the inauguration.
0900: The traffic in Manassas is surprisingly light. WTOP, the local news and weather radio station is reporting 21 degrees in Washington, with wind chill down to the teens and possible snow flurries later this morning. Metro is reporting over 350,000 people carried; parking garages are at capacity as far out as Springfield/Franconia and Vienna/Fairfax (the end of the lines in Virginia). Entrances along the east side of the Mall have already been closed.
It looks like inauguration goers have a choice -- to attend the inauguration or to attend the inauguration parade, but not both. The parade route is limited to 350,000, and may already be at capacity.
0830: The weather is cold, but clear. The crowd estimate is for about 1.5 million by noon. Metro is reporting over 150,000 carried since opening this morning. Interesting comment by Fox News: "This election has been about change. So far the change is in Obama."
Monday, January 19, 2009
BAGHDAD INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
CHRISTMAS AT CAMP VICTORY
RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM IRAQ
Contrast that with flying over even the most desolate parts of the US. Not only are the cities and towns visible from the air, but there is always traffic on the roads and highways in between.
That suggests to me that the greatest differentiator between first-world and third-world countries is roads. Inter-city roads. Perhaps part of the greatness of the United States can be attributed to the Eisenhower Interstate Highway system.
KILROY WAS HERE
SATURDAY NIGHT CAT BLOGGING
MOSQUE AT CAMP VICTORY
Sunday, January 18, 2009
INAUGURATION? OR CORONATION?
If you live in Virginia, as I do, and work in DC, you're essentially out of luck getting to work on Tuesday since all (repeat, all) the bridges connecting northern Virginia to DC will be closed on Tuesday. My own company (in Alexandria, not DC) is recommending all employees work at home and implementing VPN access to the company intranet.
I've lived in the Washington area for three inaugurations, attended one, and never before have I seen this level of restriction on movement. I could perhaps understand the restrictions if there were credible threats, but there has been nothing in the news, and the authorities are all saying that they are just trying to "manage traffic efficiently."
It strikes me that the Democrats just want to party, and party-crashers, like the poor slob just trying to get to his day job, are unwelcome.
I hope I'm wrong.
UPDATE: “With Barack Obama’s approval ratings in the 70s and his visage plastered on every shop window and Metro card in Washington, it’s hard to remember that 58 million Americans voted for the other guy.”
BACK FROM IRAQ
The only remaining question is if it will stay won. If the US opts for a conditions-based, phased withdrawal, it will stay won. If not, I won't go so far as to guarantee chaos, but it would be the way to bet. Iraq is still fragile.