January 21, 2009 archive

The End

George W. Bush slinked quietly out of Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. Bush’s send off, much like his campaign stops, were closed to all but the most loyal few.

So for the histories of the past eight years, here is the final chapter of George W. Bush, or Occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

From the Washington Post:

Following the inauguration, Bush and his wife, Laura, boarded a Marine helicopter for Andrews Air Force Base, where they attended a private 20-minute going-away rally in one of the cavernous hangars used to store presidential airplanes…

Bush was headed for his boyhood home town of Midland, Tex., the site of a welcome-home rally intended as an echo of a goodbye celebration held there in January 2001…

The Andrews rally and the flight from Washington were closed to the press corps, with whom Bush had a rocky and often distant relationship. Only a handful of journalists and photographers showed up for a former president who once lured the attention of planeloads of correspondents. About 1,000 people gathered in the hangar and heard extensive remarks by the departing vice president, Dick Cheney, who was in a wheelchair because of a moving-related injury.

The traveling party was a gathering of old friends, including former commerce secretary Don Evans, former attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales and former political adviser Karl Rove. Bush’s father and mother, daughters and other relatives were also on the flight.

From the Wall Street Journal:

On board, they watched a surprise 30-minute video including clips of speeches and memorable moments, as well as comments by aides – some funny, some sad. Mr. and Mrs. Bush spent the rest of the flight walking around the plane’s cabins chatting, as supporters dined on crabcakes and sipped beers.

Approaching Midland, the presidential jet flew low over the city’s downtown, so the occupants could get a look at the crowd — and the crowd, estimated at about 20,000, could get a look at the big plane.

And finally from the LA Times:

Late Tuesday afternoon, Fox News was the only major national TV outlet that carried a live telecast of former President Bush’s homecoming speech to cheering supporters in Midland, Texas…

The rest of the networks, however, did not see the Bush address as news fit to broadcast.

Pony Party – Open thread!

This Pony Party is an Open Thread!  Chat away…I’m sure something interesting happened today!

The Aftermath for Gaza, Jan. ’09 Destruction Of!!

Gaza rebuild ‘to cost billions’

Poverty wages for day laborers recruited for inauguration

Original article, by Jeff Lassahn, via World Socialist Web Site:

The inauguration festivities for Barack Obama are estimated to cost as much as $150 million. Just under a third of this tab will be covered by the influence-peddling donations of the wealthy. The bulk of the costs will fall on the general tax-paying population, which faces rapidly increasing unemployment and sharp declines in income.

Obama to Vietnam vets: Welcome home

He had me at "my fellow citizens."

But of the many remarkable things Barack Obama said as he assumed this office of president, this simple phrase spoke volumes to me, and no doubt to many of my fellow Vietnam veterans, numbering some 2.5-million with another 6+ million who served during the Vietnam era:

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

I'll leave the analysis to others. I know what hearing that from the lips of our new President meant to me.

Vietnam, like Iraq, was a terrible mistake. But, as Vietnam Veterans Against the War have said for 40 years, it is possible — and fitting — to honor the warrior, not the war.

By mentioning Khe Sahn in the same breath as Lexington, Gettysburg, and Normandy, Obama has done that.  

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