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Posts tagged "Inauguration 2013"

nbcnews:

Teen slain after performing at inaugural: ‘Happiest day of her life and then she’s gone’

(Photos Courtesy of the Pendleton family)

She was a “walking angel” with a “heart of gold” and performing at President Obama’s inauguration last week was “the happiest day of her life.” The shooting death of 15-year-old Chicagoan Hadiya Pendleton, a marching-band majorette with big dreams, has sparked grief and outrage across the country. 

Learn more about Hadiya

(via nbcnews)

Religious Right activist and gay exorcist Gordon Klingenschmitt emailed members of his Pray In Jesus Name Project this week criticizing President Obama for endorsing gay rights during his inaugural address. Klingenschmitt, who believes Obama is ruled by approximately fifty demons, said that Obama’s support for gay equality is “an open invitation to the devil” and “demonic rule.” According to Klingenschmitt, Obama is “making Satan equal to God” as “he declares the demonic to be godly.”

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

think-progress:

Someone say Obama’s second inaugural was a “far left” speech? 

It wasn’t, just show them this

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

With its elegant rendering of the liberal agenda before the eyes of the American people, President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address was music to the ears of many a progressive. But to the ears of Tea Partiers and the Republican right, this inauguration speech, as well as the ceremony that surrounded it, was war — not just a war of words, but a war of prayer, a war of poetry and even, perhaps, a war of song.

Driving the message home were the hands of the Fates, who conspired to see the second inauguration of the nation’s first African American president fall on Martin Luther King Day, the national holiday whose very creation was opposed by so many who still today comprise the Republican Party’s right wing.

Here we recount a dozen ways in which the president brought his fight to the right, in no uncertain terms, at his second inauguration.

1. Reminding the nation who won the Civil War.  On the eve of Obama’s second inauguration, civil rights leader Julian Bond addressed a crowd of progressives gathered in Washington, D.C., at the Peace Ball convened by the activist restauranter Andy Shallal, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, and a host of progressive entities. Bond spelled out the statistics of Obama’s 2012 victory for the crowd, noting that Mitt Romney’s voters were almost entirely white, and that the only states won by the Republican presidential candidate belonged to the old Confederacy.

2. Reminding the nation of the history of the civil rights movement. The significance of the president’s first musical selection could easily be dismissed, had it not been for the fact of how it was bookended: on the front end, the invocation by Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of the slain civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, and afterward by the president’s own speech, in which he acknowledged the nation’s history of slavery. From the invocation by Evers-Williams:

One hundred-fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation and 50 years after the March on Washington, we celebrate the spirit of our ancestors, which has allowed us to move from a nation of unborn hopes and a history of disenfranchised votes, to today’s expression of a more perfect union.

Near the beginning of the president’s own address were these lines:

Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free.  We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.

3. Reclaiming the founding documents for liberalism. The president didn’t waste any time plucking the heartstrings of the Tea Party movement, citing both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence in the opening paragraph of his inaugural address. It was from the latter that he got the most mileage, beginning with his recitation of the Declaration’s opening strains:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time.  For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob.

Hear that, Messrs. Koch? Did ya catch that mob thing, Tea Partiers?

4. Throwing right-wing rhetoric right back at ‘em. In most political contests, a good political consultant will tell her client never to repeat the opposition’s framing of you. But, as the nation’s first black president, Obama finds himself in a position like no other. To ignore the rhetoric of the right as it is deployed against him lends a sort of cover to the racism that is often implicit in it — or the simplistic ridiculousness of it all. When Obama, as he has since his re-election, acknowledges and, yes, even repeats that language, he lets the rest of America know that he’s in on the joke, and he thinks it’s a pretty lame joke.

So that line about “the tyranny of a king”? Yeah, that was for the wing-nuts who paint the president as a tyrant in order to justify their call for his overthrow or the overthrow of the U.S. government. Later in the address, Obama, defending the social safety net, took on the right’s “producerism” trope, heard from pundits and politicians throughout Rightlandia, that America is populated by two kinds of people, “the takers” versus “the makers”. (Remember that “47 percent” video?)

The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

And Ayn Rand wept.

5. Actually, you really didn’t build that. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney and his allies tried to make hay of Obama’s poorly crafted defense of government projects and collective action. In fact, Romney devoted an entire day of the Republican National Convention to refuting a straw man of an idea that Obama never stated, claiming that the president said small business owners were not truly the builders of their businesses. What the president actually said was that the success of small businesses depended, as well, on things the individual could not provide: roads, bridges and a public education system.

In his inauguration speech, Obama showed he’s not backing down from that claim, no matter how hard the right may try to misconstrue it:

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.

No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores.  Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people. 

7. Calling out the climate-change deniers with a call to action. In a speech as concise as the president’s second inaugural, the paragraph he devoted to climate change is significant. Not only did the president call for the U.S. to take the lead in battling climate change, in part through the development of new technologies, he also smacked down any doubters (such as, one might imagine, those inculcated to doubt by the many right-wing enterprises funded by energy barons Charles and David Koch):

Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult.  But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it.

8. Spanish is the loving tongue, amigos. After a long jihad against Spanish-speaking Americans, right-wing Republicans are reaping their just rewards, left with the impossible task of electing their next president without Latino votes, or doing an about-face on their anti-immigrant policies. In the 2012 presidential election, Latino turnout was the highest it’s ever been, and nearly all of those Latinos voted for Barack Obama. They were rewarded by the sight of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic to sit on the Supreme Court, conducting the oath of office ceremony for Vice President Joe Biden, as well as a poem presented by Richard Blanco, the son of Cuban immigrants, and a benediction, partly delivered in Spanish, by Luis León, a priest who came to the U.S. as a Cuban refugee.

9. Making the moral, patriotic case for the social safety net and against poverty. As mentioned in item #4, Obama made a strong case for maintaining Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as government programs. Using the timeworn opening phrase of the Constitution’s preamble, he wove that case into a broader argument for collective action, care for the greater community and the fulfillment of the ideal of equality, as asserted in the Declaration of Independence:

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity.  We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.  But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.  For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.  We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few.

[…]

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.  We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.  We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship.  We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.

10. Asserting the moral imperative of gay rights. Although the right has succeeded in suppressing the rights of women and people of color, it’s widely acknowledged that in this regard, the right is on the wrong side of history. So when, in a line of great rhetorical flourish, Obama equated a famous gay rebellion against New York City police at a Greenwich Village bar with an iconic civil rights march and a catalyzing moment in the quest for women’s suffrage, he essentially said to his opponents: Your campaign against LGBT people is immoral. Here’s the line from the second inaugural address that’s destined for immortality:

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall… Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. 

Alas, transgender people, it seems, will continue to wait for their day.

11. Calling for equal pay for women. I know — not very controversial, right? Well, if you’re a right-winger, it’s a stick in the eye. Remember the Lilly Ledbetter Act, the first piece of legislation signed by President Obama? That’s the law that lifted a statute of limitations on bringing suit against an employer who was found to have evaded fair pay laws. The Tea Party had only begun to coalesce at the point, but Republicans were already sufficiently anti-woman to vote against it. In fact, only eight Republicans voted for it.

12. Shining a light on voter suppression. Among the many ugly things for which the 2012 election campaigns will be remembered, foremost among them is the bald-faced attempts by Republican officials to suppress and subvert the votes of Democrats — particularly, the votes of African Americans, Latinos and young people.

In his victory speech on November 7, Obama spoke specifically to that problem, saying it needed fixing. 

H/T: AlterNet

(via Addicting Info: First Lady Rolls Eyes At Boehner - This One Is For The History Books (VIDEO))

Just when I thought it wasn’t possible for me to love Michelle Obama even more than I already do, she does something that makes me laugh, beam with pride, and fall in love with her all over again.

Now, we all know that there is no love lost between the Obamas and that idiot Speaker of the House John Boehner, but the First Lady couldn’t hide her contempt today at the Inaugural Luncheon as she refuses to acknowledge something Boehner said, and (if you watch the video closely you could see it), effectively rolls her eyes at him as she takes another bite. 

I am all for throwing shade at nasty people, and Michelle Obama does it with grace and class here. This piece of gold is courtesy of Tumblr blogger Mattyrab.

Now, some might say that Mrs. Obama could have stopped short of her obvious disdain for Boehner, but, on the other side of that, he could have shown some respect for her husband, which, as far as I can see, he has never done. He certainly didn’t today, as anyone who watch the inaugural events knows. Now that President Obama is sworn in, signed, sealed, and delivered for a second term, I think she deserves to be able to relax a bit more and show what she really thinks. Further, it isn’t like everyone doesn’t already know how she likely feels about the man anyway. 

justinsgeneralties:

pantyhoseappreciation:

Katy Perry being patriotic

I want to bow down to Katy Perry’s stockinged feet.

President Obama on Monday became the first American president to refer to gay rights in an inaugural address, drawing effusive praise from gay rights advocates for his strong embrace of the cause and reflecting how much his views have changed.

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” the president said, “for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

He invoked the Stonewall riots of 1969, a landmark event in the history of the gay rights movement, tying them to seminal events in the battles for women’s suffrage and civil rights.

“We, the people,” Obama said, “declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper immediately recognized the significance of the moment.

“For a president who only recently, to use his word, evolved on the issue of same-sex marriage, he made very forceful statements in this inaugural address, actually, historic statements on equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans,” said Cooper, who is openly gay.

The sweeping endorsement stands in contrast to Obama’s opposition to marriage equality through most of his first term — until just last May. The change comes amid rapidly growing support for gay rights, including marriage, as reflected in public opinion polls.

h/t: Sahil Kapur at TPM

Below are the prepared remarks for President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address, delivered Monday at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.:

Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: 

Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution.  We affirm the promise of our democracy.  We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names.  What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” 

Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time.  For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth.  The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob.  They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed. 

For more than two hundred years, we have. 

Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free.  We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together. 

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.

Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. 

Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.

Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone.  Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.

But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.  For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias.  No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores.  Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people. 

This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience.  A decade of war is now ending.  An economic recovery has begun.  America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands:  youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention.   My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together. 

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.  We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.  We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship.  We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own. 

We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time.  We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher.  But while the means will change, our purpose endures:  a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American.  That is what this moment requires.  That is what will give real meaning to our creed.  

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity.  We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.  But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.  For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.  We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few.  We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us.  They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great. 

We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity.  We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.  Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.  The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult.  But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it.  We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise.  That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks.  That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.  That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.  Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage.  Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty.  The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm.  But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.

We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law.  We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.  America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.  We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.  And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes:  tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice. 

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth. 

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began.  For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.  Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.  Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.  Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.  Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm. 

That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American.  Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness.  Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time. 

For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay.  We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.  We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect.  We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.

My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service.  But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream.  My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride. 

They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope. 

You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course. 

You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals. 

Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright.  With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom. 

Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America. 

h/t: TPM LiveWire

breakingnews:

Obama calls for equality for women, gays in inaugural address

In his second inaugural address, U.S. President Barack Obama urged the nation to make sure that women were paid equally to men and that gay men and lesbians were treated equally under the law.

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” he said.

Obama also vowed to respond to the threat of climate change, to maintain economic vitality, to protect the poor and to defend the country’s people through “strength of arms and rule of law.” Read more from The New York Times.

Read the full text of Obama’s inaugural speech from NBC News.

More on today’s inaugural events on BreakingNews.com.

Photo: President Barack Obama takes the oath of office during the 57th Presidential Inauguration ceremonial swearing-in at the Capitol on Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington, D.C. (Emmanuel Dunand / AFP - Getty Images)

President Barack Obama giving his #Inauguration2013 speech. #inaug2013 #inauguration #obama #potus #fourmoreyears #barackobama

President #BarackObama getting sworn in by #scotus Chief Justice #JohnRoberts at #Inauguration2013. #inaug2013 #Inauguration #POTUS #fourmoreyears #eightyearsofexcellence #BHO #PBO #Obama

Associate Justice #SoniaSotomayor swears in #JoeBiden at #Inauguration2013. #Inaug2013 #Inauguration #VPOTUS #Politics #instapolitics #instaliberal #instademocrat #Biden

current:

Happy Inauguration Day, President Obama!

(Photo: Obama arriving at the inauguration, via Getty Images)

Angie Mock on #Inauguration2013 and MLK Day.

Today is Martin Luther King Day and Inauguration Day.