I’ve had inauguration videos up on YouTube for the last week or so, but I haven’t bothered to post links to them. After the jump will be the first batch of them.
Many friends of mine that had purple tickets to the inauguration got rogered and were not let in due to, I heard, problems with the magnetometers. I didn’t realize that this had made the news. The incident has led to an official apology from the Inaugural Committee and Diane Feinstein’s office. It has also led to, of course, a Facebook group.
Here’s the Tucson angle: the tickets that came from Raúl Grijalva’s office, including mine, were purple. I avoided the bad stuff, since the night before an angel who wants to remain anonymous gave us orange tickets.
On a related note, I posted several videos of the inauguration on YouTube. I will be linking them later. This led to a guy from the Capitol Police contacting me because he thinks the video will help with crowd control next time. By the way, I found the Capitol Police to be highly professional. The fact that out of two million people none were arrested is a tribute to their professionalism as much as it is to the peacefulness of the crowd.
(Oh, by the way, if we go by the low end estimate of 1.5 million people, that means one out of every 200 Americans was at the inauguration.)
Speaking of Grijalva, he asked me what my favorite lines were from the speech. I couldn’t think of just one, but in the intervening time the filter in my brain is working again. Here are a couple:
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
I’ll be posting links to the YouTube videos later.
I met a man named Leon Smith, who will be participating in the parade with the Grambling Univeristy marching band. I got his take on the inauguration:
Some of y’all have asked if I will be “Live Blogging.” You are kidding, right? Like I will be able to sit at my laptop surrounded by teeming masses of cheering Obamania and type anything that approaches coherence?
Okay, I relent. I will be on Twitter making, uh, tweets. You can check my “Twitter Feed” at twitter.com/tedski. Would you rather I used Plurk?
I have caught wind of random griping from conservatives about the attention played to this particular inauguration. Why not this much hype for, say, George Bush?
Setting aside that Bush’s first inauguration was after an election that was shall we say, not as decisive as this one, I have to wonder if these complaints have more to do with partisanship than anything else. This town is packed with excited people right now, people that had good reason think that what happened in November would ever be possible. To think that this is just like any other inauguration is to look at it with the most petty of partisan lenses.
I attended my only “official” party today (and no, I was neither invited to, nor do I plan to attend any balls). Jim Pederson threw a party at a restaurant close to capitol hill. The room was way to small for the 150 or so people that attended.
Also…I got bumped up to a higher class of ticket to tomorrow’s inaugural. I am not at liberty to say how this happened.
Lines. Lines. Lines.
Naw, that doesn’t really describe them. Crowds doesn’t either. I don’t want to say mob, not that bad. Let me give you a quick example. We had to pick up our tickets at Raúl Grijalva’s office over at the Longworth building. There were two block long lines, one for each entrance. We ended up not having to wait long as Grijalva staffer Sami Hamed led us to the front of the line (yes, I have that much juice). Jim McDermott sent a couple of staffers out to gather his constituents, while Rush Holt, to his credit, came out himself to get his constituents.
Anyhow, upon leaving the building, the lines were even longer. Both lines backed up onto C Street and so that they each passed each other. So, you were looking at the middle of another long line of people that were headed for the same place you were.
The Metro station for that cluster of buildings is called Capitol South. The Metro station got so crowded that personnel were letting folks in without asking them for their fare cards. Sounded like a great idea, until we got to our stop and couldn’t get out of the station. Lucky for us, the stop we got off at was lightly crowded and the Metro worker we encountered was nice to us. Nice, despite his anger at the other Metro employees that didn’t bother to inform people in the rest of the system of what they were doing. “I’m talking to someone and someone will be on the street, that’s the truth.”
I’ve never gotten the whininess of campus conservatives. They seem to be wounded in the most tragically metaphysical ways every time a professor or one of their fellow students expresses a liberal opinion. Funny thing is, millions upon millions of conservatives graduate from our nations universities without any psychological damage. Well, aside from conservatism.
So, in yet another example of College Republicans’ “poor me-ism” is this press release put out by our local CRs, who are mad that the U of A is actually acknowledging that a new president will be sworn in tomorrow. Maybe they think if they complain enough, Barack Obama will not be president after all.
(My favorite part: they refer to John McCain as a “native son” of Arizona. Wait, wasn’t he born in Panama?)
Anyhow, here are some events you can go to and they will not make a single College Republican cry:
The Pima County Democrats are holding two events, one will be a potluck at Democratic headquarters (4639 E 1st St), 9:30 – 1:30. The big event will be in the evening at the Doubletree Hotel (445 S Alvernon Way) from 6 to 10. That event costs $50 ($40 for PCs).
Also somewhat connected are protests at all three campuses to protest proposed cuts to university funding. Their theme is “40%=Death”
Arizona State University
MEET: On the North Side of the Memorial Union
For more info:
Monique Teal-541.324.8037, firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Arizona University
MEET: The Pedway by the Union
For more info:
Ali Smart-928.607.0015, email@example.com
The University of Arizona
MEET: On the Mall
For more info:
Allison Dumka-480.283.5977, firstname.lastname@example.org