Obama (in Off-topic)


Godpanda January 20 2009 12:06 PM EST

Is now the United States President. Woo.

QBRanger January 20 2009 12:07 PM EST

Tis now a socialist world.

Ernest-Scribbler January 20 2009 12:08 PM EST

Lets see it as a new beginning (obviously).

MissingNo January 20 2009 1:06 PM EST

/me watches the conservatives flee in terror. Mwuahahahahaa.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] January 20 2009 1:24 PM EST

If South Park is any indication, all the McCain supporters have holed themselves up in a bunker built into a mountain.

Haloki January 20 2009 1:45 PM EST

hay this is the first elected president of the new millenium

Koshka January 20 2009 2:08 PM EST

"...first elected president of the new millenium"

Are you sure about that?

QBRanger January 20 2009 2:12 PM EST

Apparently 2004 does not exist is some people's universe.

Haloki January 20 2009 2:47 PM EST

Popular vote you guys bush did not have it in either election :)

Colonel Custard January 20 2009 2:49 PM EST

I thought he had it in '04, actually.

Well, you know, I hope he does cool stuff.

PearsonTritonRaveshaw January 20 2009 2:57 PM EST

Rave not like Bush! Rave smash!

QBOddBird January 20 2009 3:04 PM EST

I really, truly hope Obama is a good president.


...but I don't have high hopes. The whole scene thus far has been the very most extreme example of absurd extravagance and self-adoration.

QBRanger January 20 2009 3:32 PM EST

2004 Election Popular Vote
George W. Bush John F. Kerry
Total 62,028,285 59,028,109

Morale of the story-Google is your friend, use it to not appear stupid.

AdminG Beee January 20 2009 3:50 PM EST

Heh, there's a certain irony in Bush being known for his verbal fumblings and Obama starting with his own fumbling whilst being sworn in.

Perfect illustration of the only true fact about politics. Namely, politicians are all the same no matter what party they're in...
I can't help think that it'll all end in tears.

I can't remember who said it, but it certainly rings true in my opinion.
"The desire to be a politician should be considered enough to exclude anyone from being allowed to actually be a politician."


Gunny Pew Pew [Red Permanent Assurance] January 20 2009 4:12 PM EST

+5 G_Beee

Hakai [Aye Phelta Thi] January 20 2009 4:13 PM EST

That quote is fantastic, GB.

QBsutekh137 January 20 2009 4:23 PM EST

GB, I think the justice actually said the a word ("faithfully") in the wrong order, and that is why Barack appeared out of sync... He had probably studied the oath before just winging it in front of 2 million live people.

So yes, a flub. Anything to compare to W's legendary, moronic blatherings? I don't think so. At least not yet... *smile*

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 20 2009 4:25 PM EST

i thought the irony was here! ; )

"
Morale of the story-Google is your friend, use it to not appear stupid. "

Rawr January 20 2009 8:02 PM EST

"Obama starting with his own fumbling whilst being sworn in. "

Well, actually Obama was fine. The Chief Justice had screwed up the recitation and Obama noticed his mistake. So he waited for the CJ to repeat it correctly :)

Thak January 20 2009 8:15 PM EST

now we see if he was full of hot air like our past pres' oris he will actually do a good job.

QBRanger January 20 2009 8:31 PM EST

How strange is it that Obama Hussein Barrack was one of the 22 senators that voted against this chief justice.

And this CJ makes it so his oath did not go smoothly. Something that will live forever on YouTube.

Payback is a puppy. (admin edit)

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] January 20 2009 8:51 PM EST



This whole party is great for the moral of the country!

Back to you, Dude!

QBsutekh137 January 20 2009 9:10 PM EST

If that's the reason, Ranger, then the Chief Justice is a sad, sad man (and even more sadly, we can't do much about it -- he wasn't appointed by Obama).

Revenge, from a man considered the highest form of unbiased, judicial resolution in the free, Western world? I'm not sure what that would be...

But it certainly wouldn't be an indictment of our new President Elect. That would be entirely on the Chief Justice. Unless, of course, you are saying our new President should never, not ever, do anything to make anyone angry or petulant. Hm, I guess such a weak-willed persona would be the pure Socialist you've already deemed him to be.

Poor Obama...first day on the job and he's already damned if he do, and damned if he don't. Masterful, Ranger. Masterful.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 20 2009 9:13 PM EST

regardless of the president the inauguration ceremony is one of the great moors of this country! ; )

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] January 20 2009 9:17 PM EST


You surely mean "irregardless"!

QBRanger January 20 2009 10:29 PM EST

Moral or Morale?

If the latter, the last 4 years has been quite the ideal of what not to do/be.

If only the media got behind Bush from day 1, instead of being against him.

It will be nice to see what the presidency can do with the media completely behind it.

But that is for another discussion.

I really do hope Obama can do what he promises.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] January 20 2009 10:30 PM EST

There was one channel behind Bush. Betcha can't guess which one huh. lol.

Mikel January 20 2009 10:51 PM EST

Change? what change?

I see quite a few of Clinton's former aides getting back into the action again with their "newly" appointed positions.

Same old, same old.

[P]Mitt January 20 2009 11:12 PM EST

Wow, less than 24 hours since he has taken office and you are already condemning his administration.

Whether or not you voted for him, whether or not you support him, give him an opportunity to prove himself.
Unless you are just inherently against some aspect of his that blinds you from ever supporting him (which I'm not going to speculate or accuse you of), you should give him a chance to do good before you make assumptions about what he is going to do in the future.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] January 20 2009 11:13 PM EST

Keep in mind, that most of us have heard people blindly complain about George Bush. Why shouldn't we get the same opportunity :P.

[P]Mitt January 20 2009 11:18 PM EST

If this was 2001 and Bush was just inaugurated, I would say the same thing about him.

But this isn't. There has been 8 years of the Bush Administration and by now, people can more or less make assumptions of what they will do because they have had the time to observe them working.

There has been less than 24 hours of this administration. Again, give them a chance to actually DO something before extrapolate.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] January 20 2009 11:19 PM EST

Mitt, my post was mainly meant as a joke. Sorry for the confusion.

[P]Mitt January 20 2009 11:21 PM EST

Ah, my bad. I've been running on 4 hours of sleep and getting locked out of my dorm room in the middle of the night. I feel like I'm half drunk, half underwater when I'm writing this.

But anyways, I'm pretty sure we can agree that his speech today was pretty much amazing.

Lord Bob January 20 2009 11:29 PM EST

My god. Please, not more "wahhh, socialist!" whining.

Moving on, this was a great day for America. I'm looking forward to what Obama can accomplish in his first days in office. Here's hoping 2009 is the start of the reversal of the past eight years.

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] January 20 2009 11:29 PM EST

You talk about media not taking Bush's back to help him out, yet you Bash Obama before he's even sworn in? What rubbish that is...

Mikel January 21 2009 12:07 AM EST

"Whether or not you voted for him, whether or not you support him, give him an opportunity to prove himself.
Unless you are just inherently against some aspect of his that blinds you from ever supporting him (which I'm not going to speculate or accuse you of), you should give him a chance to do good before you make assumptions about what he is going to do in the future."

He's going to be no different than any of the previous 7 presidents.
The only "change" Obama is going to do is "change" his mind about things he promised to get your vote, you'll learn :)

QBOddBird January 21 2009 12:07 AM EST

As I said earlier in a post, I'm watching and crossing my fingers that Barack Obama becomes an excellent president, and I'd love nothing more than to see him as the greatest president this country has known.


However, the extravagance and the measures I've seen taken, as publicized by the media, show me more self-importance than economic concern. Hell, he hired 45,000 police for this occasion - a number far greater than what is required, far greater than any definition of tight security would require - and that itself makes me wonder why he had to make it into such a spectacle. Every president wants to define his presidency, and that includes the inauguration, certainly, but the measures taken were excessive and expensive. C'mon Obama, it's not like we're in the middle of a depression or anything!



Again, my fingers are crossed that I'm entirely wrong and he's a spectacular president. But only hours in, I'm already seeing good cause for my fretting.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 21 2009 12:20 AM EST

i thought hiring people would be good for the economy? ; )

do you have a linky on the figure quoted for hiring? also, what credentials do you have for stating that the figure is excessive.

i truly have no idea about security measures, crowds or previous inaugurations. it does seem that you have some experience with it, perhaps you can enlighten us a bit rather than just a blanket statement that it is too much?

QBOddBird January 21 2009 12:33 AM EST

My mistake, dudemus - it was reported that 45,000 security would be involved, but I misinterpreted that as police.

After checking sources, it's actually only 9,000 police bolstered by 32,000 military personnel, or a total of ~41,000 total security force to protect a single target.

If you think 40,000+ security to basically protect 1 man (I realize there are slightly more to the party, but I'm generalizing here for the sake of unnecessary research) is not excessive, then please, do explain. The military increase alone is a 225% increase over the number of military involved in Bush's 2004 inauguration.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/01/19/2469087.htm

With Mr. Obama in a teflon lined suit, sitting in an armored limousine as one amongst many driving through, surrounded by military personnel and snipers lining the rooftops of his drive and standing behind bulletproof glass when he speaks, I don't think a total of 40,000+ is necessary, nor do I believe the cost of the inauguration needs to be as high as it is DURING A DEPRESSION.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] January 21 2009 12:49 AM EST


Just because I can't take it anymore:

Oh, don't be an idiot. 40,000 people to keep tabs on 2 million? Are you really thinking he's the head sticking up 6 inches in the middle of the crowd of 40,000 armed protectors?

Do you go to concerts and sporting events and assume that the security staff is there for the people you are there to see? Some of them are carrying you off to the First Aid tent when you faint at the sight of the Jonas Brothers.

As for excess, look at the 2nd Reagan inauguration ... _after_ he said they were reigning it in because it was unseemly.

TheHatchetman January 21 2009 1:00 AM EST

Yeah, just for kicks... What was attendance like at the Bush inauguration compared to Obama's?

QBOddBird January 21 2009 1:07 AM EST

So you do believe, Bast, that this high price tag and extraordinary number of security was necessary? I agree that a large number of security is necessary for crowd control, moreso than usual. But really, you feel this number was necessary?

For more fun and giggles, check out this link: http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/10/obama_campaign_selling_chicago.html


I'm sorry, and perhaps this is a mere disagreement between the two of us, but it's just too-muchery.

Mikel January 21 2009 1:33 AM EST

Bush's Inauguration Day 2005 attracted about 300,000 people. And he was blasted by the media for overspending.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] January 21 2009 2:10 AM EST


Absolutely. Weighing the risk potential inherent in _not_ having enough staff for a 2 million person event vs. putting some of that gummint money out there in actual pockets? Absolutely.

--> After our long, dark trudge of shame and head-hanging, traveling the international community, we are picking it up and saying "Hey, look, we've changed. We're not the most ridiculously backward hicks ever to have a firearm anymore. We're so grown up now! We'll even elect one of [sotto voce] ... those people." To risk having him killed by a fanatical follower of The Charlie Daniel's Band? No thank you.

--> All numbers should be adjusted for "awareness of terrorist threat", as much for inflation. We're not the dilettantes anymore, so we have to spend on precautions the way other countries have been for quite some time.

--> Which is the bigger, more-damaging complaint? "Thousands die of inaugural hypothermia ... no one to give aid!" or "Government pays 40,000 ... 2 million have a great time!"

Besides which, law enforcement and national guard from all over the country were invited to help out and, just parroting those from up here who were major local news before they went, were honored to have the opportunity to step-up for the event.

Economic aside: Baby Boomers Chocolate Chunk Cookies. History: 200 a week at $0.50 each. Current: 56,000 to D.C. for the event. 1000+ per week in additional orders at $0.75 per cookie. Another small business not going under this year.

Can we move on to "All this senseless travel! When you travel, you support terrorism!" now?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 21 2009 7:58 AM EST

the secret service protects the president as well as candidates to a certain extent. do you honestly think that any president, elect or otherwise, would decide that the secret service along with their intensive background checks would need to be bolstered by a force of any size hired hastily and without due process in regards to background data? as bast so eloquently put it, you have to expect that a certain number of the hired security forces were fans of charlie daniels.

as for it being too much, monday morning quarterbacks can say whatever they want but i have heard of no major incidents, therefore it would likely be in the range of adequate to excessive. i would also guess that this is the exact range of security they were seeking.

QBJohnnywas January 21 2009 8:33 AM EST

Speaking as somebody watching the US from outside, I'd say that anything going wrong with yesterday simply couldn't be allowed. Too much expectation, too much historical relevance, too much weight of the occasion.

And if something had happened...single shooter, suicide bomber, simple accident even.

Just think that one through. A terrorist event that killed about 3 thousand people led ultimately to a nearly decade long war. Imagine something similar happening yesterday, how many more people were at risk and what that might have led to?

How many security is too many at a time like this?

QBRanger January 21 2009 8:41 AM EST

I personally have no problem with the security involved.

I do have a problem with the 150M spent to "honor" this occasion.

Especially with the economy as it currently is.

All the parties and parades to celebrate this occasion.

This is not a good way to start showing the US and world that he is financially responsible.

Again, I do hope he succeeds. However, nothing he has do so far has shown me he will be any different then other Democrats that have been in office. Especially with his cabinet selections and campaign promises.

I just hope the economy can withstand the redistribution of wealth that is coming. Personally I need a new car, my wife's is over 5 years old now. But myself, like a lot of other people I know, are so scared to see our taxes go up, we are holding off on large purchases. That is very bad for the economy. If McCain was elected, a huge sign of relief would have come over those with disposable income and purchases would have been made.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 21 2009 9:19 AM EST

"If McCain was elected, a huge sign of relief would have come over those with disposable income and purchases would have been made."

thanks for the laugh ranger! as i have asked you before when you made amazing predictions regarding the future of cb, where exactly did you get your incredible crystal ball? ; )

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] January 21 2009 10:18 AM EST


No laughing, Dude! The "redistribution" is already starting. For every one of Ranger's domestic staff who had to do without the traditional Holiday bonus and sat around a barren table that held no goose (every household has to cut back somewhere), there's a hospitality industry specialist working overtime to wash every stem and clean every hotel room in D.C.

Plus, in all seriousness, has anyone thought about the negative impact on our struggling health care system? Our doctors are neglecting the ill and dying every hour they spend at home cleaning their own pools.

Lochnivar January 21 2009 10:34 AM EST

I'll say JW has the best response by far to this whole security debate.

Heck, I work with a guy who is running a pool on the month of the first assassination attempt (yeah, that's right/really really wrong).

At very least it should be interesting to see how things develop...

QBRanger January 21 2009 10:49 AM EST

Some of these posts are very amusing.

I actually worked very hard to get where I am. 13 years of college/residency, countless hours without sleep. Taking loans for the first 8 of those years, making less then a manager at WalMart the last 5. So please spare me the sarcasm of my "housestaff".

But to be able to finally enjoy the fruits of my labor is unacceptable to countless others who like to do nothing more then live off the government.

So let us tax those who actually produce and work and let those who do not get their welfare checks.

For those who think I have domestic staff, I just have to shake my head in disbelief and wonder if those are some of the reasons you voted for a product of a corrupt Chicago political system.

I have a lawn service and a pool service, the rest I do myself.

But the "crystal ball" I look at is the same one that occurred with Jimmy Carter in office. Rampant inflation, a worse economy then we have now. And what did the next president do to improve things? Cut taxes and let the economy grow.

I guess in Bast's world we should have parties every day to keep more hospitality staff employed. Perhaps the next time Obama goes to the bathroom we should throw another gala.

He is a person, not a messiah. I hope he can do what he promised but history has shown us that socialism and its principles will not work as a long term solution to any economies growth.

The reason the US is as strong as it is was/is due to capitalism. Something the new administration seems to want to stifle.

j'bob January 21 2009 11:07 AM EST

Let's be clear about something, and everyone can comment on my comments or simply ignore me and move on, my feelings will NOT be hurt.

Security. These enormous numbers are not, I SAY AGAIN, not solely for the protection of the President of the United States, or in the case of the Chicago party, a candidate for the Presidency of the United States.
That job is indeed what his Secret Service detail is present to fulfill. That's why the recent articles of "They'd take a bullet for him" and what not. And make no mistake, in the event of something dangerous happening anywhere REMOTELY near said President/candidate, he is promptly whisked away to safety by his immediate "traveling shield" of SS and gone before you can blink an eye. And no, I don't care what Police force Charlie Daniels and his band are employed by, none of them were getting near this man. Regardless of rank as well.
The massive hiring of security and police was for one thing. To CONTROL THE CROWDS. Same thing you say? NO. It was a dog and pony show so that he (and I'm certainly not saying he's the ONLY one to ever have held such a show) could make the people feel like they belonged to the change he promises. Bad thing? No, unless of course a more important issue is one of safety of the masses. In Grant park, a relatively small number of people were even allowed into the restricted inner secure area. Aside from Oprah and Brad Pitt, does anyone know anyone who was allowed in?
Sure, the common man (and woman, thank you) was represented, but not heavily. And that's fine too. But then why the security, if it was not for his sake? Because they could not GUARANTEE a win... and with that, they could not GUARANTEE a peaceful celebration. I'm not saying it, it has been said. Over and over. People were worried about a riot in Chicago if he did not win. Let me tell you, if a riot with a crowd of that size in that particular 5 square mile area had broken out...the amount of police they had would have amounted to beans... and it would have been terrible. So then why, WHY have such a party in such a place. Arrogance and extravagance. There would have been much safer ways to spend all that money and still have a great party that did NOT hold such a powder keg under the arm.
I've done what I usually do when I let this stuff build up, I've gone on way too long. But with all the talk of security and numbers flying around I thought I'd share my Chicago insight with people who really don't know what went on here.
A ton of money was spent, not on protection of a Presidential candidate, but on his party (woot woot party, not Democratic). Which in part was deferred by charging the press exorbitant amounts to not be the only game in town that didn't get in the right spot. A massive amount of people were placed in a potentially uncontrollable situation (had he not won) unnecessarily.

I too hope he is the greatest President to ever walk the face of the planet... we really need it right now.

Lochnivar January 21 2009 11:24 AM EST

"But the "crystal ball" I look at is the same one that occurred with Jimmy Carter in office. Rampant inflation, a worse economy then we have now. And what did the next president do to improve things? Cut taxes and let the economy grow."

Actually inflation was a problem before Carter was elected and only peaked under is presidency because Nixon (and Burns, head of the Fed) had refused to undertake the massive unemployment that came with killing inflation at any earlier in the 1970s.

and from wikipedia
"Paul Volcker, a Democrat[4], was appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve in August 1979 by President Jimmy Carter and reappointed in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan.[5]

Volcker's Fed is widely credited with ending the United States' stagflation crisis of the 1970s. Inflation, which peaked at 13.5% in 1981, was successfully lowered to 3.2% by 1983.

The federal funds rate, which had averaged 11.2% in 1979, was raised by Volcker to a peak of 20% in June 1981. The prime rate rose to 21.5% in '81 as well. [[1]]

These changes in policy contributed to the significant recession the U.S. economy experienced in the early 1980s, which included the highest unemployment levels since the Great Depression. These conditions were predictable by Carter when he appointed Volcker, and these circumstances contributed, predictably, to the defeat of Carter. Volcker's Fed also elicited the strongest political attacks and most wide-spread protests in the history of the Federal Reserve (unlike any protests experienced since 1922), due to the effects of the high interest rates on the construction and farming sectors, culminating in indebted farmers driving their tractors onto C Street NW and blockading the Eccles Building.[6]"

Obama has put Volcker on his economic team so inflation may be ok.... who knows.

Flamey January 21 2009 11:32 AM EST

The amount of text on this page is ridiculous and is slowly turning to flame.

j'bob January 21 2009 11:39 AM EST

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/b/bush-administration-lending.htm

I sure hope congress lets the new Pres fix things, cause they sure didn't believe in the last Pres'.
Too bad, cause how many of the "poor families" that they were worried would not being able to buy a home (from the link to the article in the link above) are now homeless after being given loans that they should have never qualified for (or may have never taken had they understood that ARM meant that in two years their payment would more than double). And how many of those homes are now sitting stagnant on the housing market.
Another example of how Bush tried to change things (I do certainly not think he was perfect) but will ONLY be remembered by his faults, which sadly all of us have.

j'bob January 21 2009 11:44 AM EST

LOL, you're right Flamey... (as you add to the text count, lol)
Could every one please have this discussion with fewer words please (I'm the most guilty party).
I was just happy no one is having rocks thrown at them yet!

HUGGS for alllllllllllllllllll my fellow human beans!

QBRanger January 21 2009 1:10 PM EST

I wish people would remember that 48% of America does not think he is the messiah and voted against him.

We hear him all day and night due to the liberal media and the effect of Hollywood who hate anyone who is not ultraliberal.

It is a matter of their voice being so overwhelming that one cannot hear anyone else.

IE: It is ok to have an opinion as long as it is ours. Any other is unacceptable.

Again, I hope he succeeds, however, nothing he has done so far leads me to believe he is anything other then a typical lying politician. No matter how much the media wishes to dietify him.

Little Anthony January 21 2009 1:15 PM EST

Another one trying to sell a dream. Fail.!

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 21 2009 1:16 PM EST

think how many of us felt in 2000 when the majority voted against the new president...at least we're not bitter.

media is by definition something you seek out. buy an ipod? turn off the tv? only you are responsible for what you view / listen to as well as for how it affects you.

QBRanger January 21 2009 1:58 PM EST

"think how many of us felt in 2000 when the majority voted against the new president...at least we're not bitter. "

Not bitter??? I have no idea who you socialized with, but those near myself were quite bitter about it, and never failed to say a disparaging word about Bush whenever they could.

The media from day 1 was against President Bush. There was none of this Kum-ba-ya that we now have. It is quite funny to see the media now saying "let us all work with the president" when for the past 8 years they did all they could to work against him.

The media in this current election cycle has been nothing short of wretched in their biased coverage. Yes, I could ignore it all but then I would have had to hole up in a cave 24/7.

Let us all not think he is the messiah and actually see how he does before we vote him a sainthood.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 21 2009 2:01 PM EST

you are the only one in the thread claiming messianic relations so far. ; )

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 21 2009 2:09 PM EST

on a related note though, if you are half as emotionally worked up about these issues as you seem to be, it will only work against you in the long run. someone needs to invent a computer program that will monitor blood pressure while posting in internet forums!

QBRanger January 21 2009 2:14 PM EST

On a related note, I guess one cannot post in internet forums having an opinion without being made fun of.

But I guess I can go to my workstaff of a butler, poolman, lawnman, maid, nanny, and all the others who did not get a goose this christmas and commiserate with them.

All the time not giving adequate patient care due to having to clean my own car/pool/house/toilet etc...

Lord Bob January 21 2009 2:14 PM EST

"The media from day 1 was against President Bush. There was none of this Kum-ba-ya that we now have."

Bush also "won" his presidency through unconventional means, and ruined just about everything he laid eyes on. At least give Obama a chance to fail before you start screaming about bias.

And considering your comments about liberals' "welfare checks," your fake outrage at Bast's house staff comment is pretty laughable.

QBsutekh137 January 21 2009 2:21 PM EST

Ranger, you mean the same way 50.5% voted against Bush in 2000? *smile* Seems a rather silly fact to bring up. Presidential elections are almost always close, at least popular-vote-wise, but that is no need to think that the president doesn't need to be 100% his/her own person even though barely more than half the people voted for him/her.

Your "messiah" comments are another strawman and/or false dichotomy. Do me a favor: view the thread, expand all posts, and do a search for "messiah". Report back who first started using the term, and we can go from there.

As far as spectacle. I can't stand it. I hate idols, icons, idolatry and iconicism. And I agree that spending, spending, spending cannot always be excused by "good for the economy".

As far as security goes, I think this was one of those "can't afford the tiniest thing going wrong" scenarios (as other posters have already stated). Failure could not be mitigated, it isn't something continuous or non-discrete. People either needed to be safe, or they would have been considered not safe. No middle ground, and impossible to efficiently predict. I don't have a problem with the security.

But some other voices on this thread have a point. At what point does Obama need to start setting an example? Pheasant and duck for lunch, eh... Hm. I just ate a sausage in a bun, a banana, and swilled it down with Diet Coke. Total cost per plate for Obama's lunch yesterday: $god-I-can't-even-guess. Total cost for my lunch: under $2.

The President should eat better than me, to be sure. I believe that. He should be kept safer, stronger, healthier, more informed, etc. He's the President, after all.

However, what does his speech mean if extravagance is still ANY part of his regime? Is gourmet fowl for lunch really necessary? Does Air Force One need to be so large? Could he get by with a cheaper suit, shoes, or tie? These things add up, they really do. They become very large numbers much like the bonuses and waste figures we are seeing CEOs and hedge fund managers excoriated over.

So my question to the group is this: Having a full understanding that certain moments of spectacle, history, and spending will be needed, nay, required for the most powerful man in the free world, at what point does Obama's rhetorical rubber need to meet the road of the future? And yes, that is a question I could have asked any of the 43 men who preceded him. Mikel already thinks he knows the answer -- there will be no change. If the luncheon yesterday had been serving Hamburger Helper, I could point at that and perhaps make Mikel believe he was wrong.

As it stands now, I cannot. Please, Mr. President, I implore you. If you do nothing else, lead by example. It is the most powerful, trust-building form of leadership on the planet, and it can serve to make all of the beautiful words you uttered yesterday ring true.

Colonel Custard January 21 2009 2:28 PM EST

In the Charlie Daniels' Band's defense, I haven't heard them publish anything that sounded at all racist to me. Of course, I only hear them on the radio, so I suppose their more racy material would not get airplay.

I agree with OB. I didn't vote for Obama, but I've been trying to be optimistic about our new President. Even though his campaign promises and his congressional voting record worried me a bit, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, and I really hope that he achieves good things for America while he is in office.

As for inauguration expenses, I would like to echo two things Ranger mentioned: Obama spent about 150M on his inauguration ceremony with full media support. Bush was criticized heavily for how much he spent on his last inauguration. It must have been more than 150M, right? No, it was in the 14M range.

I forget what else. I'd like to positively affirm all my fellow online community members who've been staying reasonable, because I've found that I need to be more encouraging as a person, but I can't remember who they all are, because a lot of it is way higher up and I basically read this whole thread all at once. Anyways, I like you guys.

Do cool stuff, Obama.

Lord Bob January 21 2009 2:31 PM EST

"But some other voices on this thread have a point. At what point does Obama need to start setting an example? ... ... ..."

I do agree with all of this 100%.

QBRanger January 21 2009 2:48 PM EST

Yes, Bush won with a minority of the popular vote in 2000. But that is how the electoral college is setup. Right or wrong, it is what it be.

But almost from the beginning the media villified Bush and never gave him a chance.

But now, all I hear is how the media is going to work with Obama and how things are so great now. Well again nearly 50% of the US who voted did not vote for the man.

Well, let us see it before we start making him out to be the end all, be all.

Yes, I first used Messiah. And that is the perception of quite a few people where I live and work.

I have no problem with the security needed for yesterday. I have a problem with the 150M spent to "celebrate" his inauguration. Especially in these times when I cannot get my housestaff the duck and quail they so richly need. Or give them their christmas bonuses like the BMW's I had picked out.

j'bob January 21 2009 3:13 PM EST

Without trying to refute anything anyone else says (but sorry if I end up doing just that) I completely see what Ranger is saying.
Perfect example, a friend of mine is married to a teacher (she teaches in a near north suburban/chicago school). The school rolled out every TV they had, popped rabbit ears on them and every person in attendance that day watched the inauguration. I can't speak for the students in that school but do you know how many of these events she's watched to date.
NONE.
See, everyone keeps talking about history being made. Some very bad men have made history as well some very good ones. Our new President does not belong on a pedestal merely because he is a "first". But you can't deny that there are already people willing to tattoo his likeness on they're first born child and he's been on the job for a day.
I will do my best not to judge his Presidency until we have a taste of it. But yes, I do hope it's different from what we've seen, without being too different from what we've been promised.

j'bob January 21 2009 3:14 PM EST

LOL @ "they're"
... edit to " their first born..."

QBsutekh137 January 21 2009 3:26 PM EST

Ranger, if the people where you live and work think Obama is truly messianic, you should take it up with them. *smile* No one here has said he was the messiah, and using words like that (especially pseudo-putting them in others' mouths) tends to polarize where no polarization is needed. I think this thread is actually quite level-headed and has a lot of good points, yours most definitely included.

However, I DO think the media is "on" Obama just as much as they have been for anyone else, perhaps even in a more insidious way. CNN's whole "The First 100 Days" could be construed as "Waiting For The First Big Mistake" just as easily as it could be construed as "100 Days of Sycophantic Worship".

And from my experience, the media is ALWAYS looking for bad things. SPECTACULAR bad things. That's why meteorologists often lead off the news now during the winter, so they can tell us how miserable our commutes are going to be and how our children are going to DIE from bad weather (and still be wrong half the time).

One thing I will never lose faith in the media's penchant and drive for sensationalism. You can take that to the bank no matter who wins the election.

Phrede January 21 2009 3:33 PM EST

Same country - new leader - no change. I will be pleased to be completely wrong but ...

Mikel January 21 2009 3:41 PM EST

You will be right Freed.

Until Laws are in place to where Politicians are not allowed to receive money from any outside organizations/individuals, then it's business as usual, just new faces.

QBRanger January 21 2009 3:44 PM EST

Sut,

I respectfully disagree with you about the media.

The media downplayed and even dropped stories that could have hurt Obama during both the primaries and the general election.

They have even given him a general pass on a couple of his cabinet selections. Or at least not gone as hard on him as they have on Bush for his selections.

And while I do discuss the messianic situation with my collegues, it is our general perception that this is how the media is portraying him. And while it may not be as others see, quite a few people I chat with see it quite clearly. None of us believe he is messianic, but we see how the media is trying to make him a messiah.

Given the way he has been portrayed so far, nothing has changed my personal opinion. My views of him as a politician are for another thread and are not very favorable.

We could go back and forth all day about whether he was fairly elected, whether the media was very biased in the election coverage, whether he is the messiah, or whether his policies are good/bad for the country. But that would be futile on many fronts.

But let us just see how he does before we put him in the hall of fame. It is quite amusing to see people saying the US is now respected by the world, how we are getting out of this recession, how Obama is going to do all this and all that.

Perhaps someday I can give quail and duck to my servants, I hope Obama can make that so. They are starving you know. :)

I guess I am a pessimist about his ability to really change things for the better. I hope I am 100% wrong.

And with that, I have nothing more to post in this thread. Have a nice day!

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] January 21 2009 4:32 PM EST

As far as I'm concerned, Obama has already brought significant change to politics, simply by his embrace of technology in the process of involving people in politics. No other president has embraced technology in the way he has, and I think that will ultimately give Obama the edge that previous presidents have not had.

If Obama can give a statistically significant amount of people enough hope for the future that they are inspired to volunteer and help their fellow man, then he has been a successful president in my mind.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 21 2009 4:44 PM EST

"Until Laws are in place to where Politicians are not allowed to receive money from any outside organizations/individuals, then it's business as usual, just new faces."

now here is something i can get behind. i am so ready for someone to say "do we really need lobbyists?"

QBsutekh137 January 21 2009 5:05 PM EST

Quite a slippery slope there, dudemus...

Do we need lobbyists? Well, define lobbyist. Do we need people actively working to get laws in place that they want? Of course! That's what referendums and such are for. I would hate to cripple all of democracy except for elections. Very powerful things have been accomplished via referendum and "grass roots" pushes having nothing to do with ballot box (at least not at first).

Indeed, terrible things happen, too. But what would be allowed and not allowed? Could I shake a senator's hand and compliment them, or is that unfair practice? Can I send him/her a Christmas Card? Can I say I like the same football team and put in a good word for the Senator with the coach of that team, resulting in free passes for the Senator?

This is capitalist democracy, people, not a pillow fight. If you try to crush every bit of influence people can have on the legislative process, you would indeed crush EVERY BIT of it. No writing to senators, no calls, no meetings. That would be awful, I think.

Could there be better limits on what people can do, and should there be more transparency on what is done? Absolutely. Then, actually get some education in place to teach people real critical thinking skills and voila! Elections just became smarter and more powerful by default.

And Ranger, I agree we can disagree, and I just don't see things the way you do. I DID see a lot of the media blasting McCain -- that's because he made some really, really bad decisions. Namely, choosing a vapid, mental deficient like Sarah Palin as a running mate. He made a gutsy play, but the media picked up his blitz and started the beginning of the end for him. She was a terrible, terrible choice.

I don't mind disagreeing on your perception of the media -- that perception is very, very personal. We all see and remember what we want to see and remember, and there's no all-encompassing factual record to compare things to and validate. There is no Phronimos we can use as a measurement standard. I saw plenty of media-based Obama bashing along the campaign trail, and even if we went anecdote for anecdote, you would simply say the examples were not bashing, and I would say they were. The same thing would happen if you were tell things from your side. That's basically why I have settled on the fact that the media is a very tricky thing. Can't live with them, wouldn't want to live without them. Solid, critical thinking is the only thing that can make it all palatable, but so few people pull up to the buffet with such mental skills.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 21 2009 5:23 PM EST

lobbyists as well as organizations need to be on a level playing field with constituents in regards to rules and regulations. as it stands now, once a politician goes to washington, their interaction with their constituents is minimized while their interaction with lobbyists and such is maximized. i think that balance should be adjusted even if i do not know how to do it exactly.

Mikel January 21 2009 6:26 PM EST

The media was far from Biased on their reports for Obama/McCain elections.

The media is in it to make money, don't be fooled.
Obama = $$$$ (historic events if elected)
McCain = $

Wait until Obama screws up, the Media will turn on him like a pack of Rabid Dogs.

Guilt January 21 2009 6:55 PM EST

As with any kind of politician. Whether he/she/it be white/black/Asian or otherwise. I say we give him a go and If we don't like him, we should pay attention to the elections more. Many people voted for Obama and McCain because their friends voted for them. We need individuality when it comes to voting!

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] January 21 2009 8:07 PM EST

Hey, check it out: Obama Truth-O-Meter

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] January 22 2009 4:07 AM EST

"Speaking as somebody watching the US from outside, I'd say that anything going wrong with yesterday simply couldn't be allowed. Too much expectation, too much historical relevance, too much weight of the occasion.

And if something had happened...single shooter, suicide bomber, simple accident even.

Just think that one through. A terrorist event that killed about 3 thousand people led ultimately to a nearly decade long war. Imagine something similar happening yesterday, how many more people were at risk and what that might have led to?

How many security is too many at a time like this?"

Echo-ing Johnny here, most of the casual discussion over here is how and when Obama is going to get 'ganked'. Some even speculated it would be before the inorguration, so as to never let him be the first Black President.

The rest is echoing Freed. Same old, same old. ;)

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 24 2009 10:50 AM EST

factcheck finally did a piece on the inauguration costs and are estimating that the last two are actually going to be nearly equal in cost or that possibly the most recent one will be cheaper when adjusted for inflation even though over 3 times as many people were present.

http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_barack_obamas_inauguration_really_cost_4.html
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