Operatives are Standing By

We’re not sure how well this is going to work, but we’ve set up a special Inaugural Jam for our correspondents on the ground in DC (and String Bikini Theory in San Francisco), and we hope to post text messages as events proceed. This presumes we’re awake.

(Programming note: Pastor Doublewide is scheduled for 11:35 a.m., in case you need a bathroom break.)

Mall Rats Roll Call…

9:25 (SFL): My line has moved 2 feet in 90 minutes — I don’t know what the security hangup is.

10:16 (SFL): This is such a clusterfuck I need a valium.

10:36 (SFL): I think they have TSA in charge of crowd control and security.

10:44 (Mellbell): There’s a hot mic somewhere on stage, but so far nothing scandalous. They seem to have fixed the delay on the jumbotrons at least.

10:45 (Mellbell): ZOMG, the crowd went wild for Colin Powell!

10:52 (SFL): They are closing the gates to ticketholders and making everyone go through one security area on the north side of the Capitol. Crowd is chanting LET US IN. DC police incompentence…

11:43 (SFL): They turned most of us with purple tickets away at the gate.

11:49 (SFL): Going to meet HF at a bar.

12:01 pm (Mellbell): I assume that the requisite Star Wars, etc. jokes have been made…

12:10 pm (Mellbell): And with that, the ceremonial joint was lit. (Seriously. Someone couldn’t wait to get home.)

12:58 pm (SFL): Na na na na na na hey hey good bye Bush.

11:10 pm (HF): Drunk in a country western gay bar.

133 comments:

7:26 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

For Chicagoans in the crowd, a note: it is snowing here — lake effect via northerly winds. And yet, there is no weather porn on the newscasts, on account of the whole swearing-in of some guy into some important public office thing.

That’s Change I Can Believe In.

7:32 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Sincerely, all of you in DC — I hope you have a good time, and thanks for your first-hand accounts. I’m”working” (McGeezer airquotes intentional) today but I’ll be watching the events on the big screen at my university’s student center. I think that no one anywhere, even if they are “working” is going to get any work done at all. And that’s fine by me.

I also plan to turn my back on Rev. Lardface, and I’ll be glad when his words are over.

8:08 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

From the photos, it seems everyone is, um, happy (?) unlike the last two inauguration days.

I saw the 1st on CNN International when I was in France. Seemed pretty lousy to me, but boy was I surprised when I saw a replay on CNN sometime later. No mention of tomatoes being thrown.

8:37 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@rptrcub: I’m working as well, but there’s a big screen in the conference room with a cable box, so I should be able to see history made.

8:40 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

I am so excited, I can barely stand it. I feel like it’s Christmas Day, and I know I’m getting a puppy, and I’m waiting for my parents to wake up so I can open all my prezzies!

9:03 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

The San Francisco Bureau is minimally caffeinated and will soon be walking to the SF Civic Center in the dark with cell phone camera in hand. Not sure what kind of attendance the organizers of this event are expecting at dawn, but I’ll be reporting in… If someone can remind me how to post to the jam.

9:05 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@blogenfreude: Hardly any traffic today in the ATL; MARTA was not crowded at all this morning like it usually is during rush hour. Correction on watching: we’re being told to gather in our office conference room instead of going to the student center, which is fine by me because it it cooooold.

9:08 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Santa Fe logged on, with msnbc on in the LR and The Stephanie Miller Show with Frangela on in the kitchen and BR.

I’ll be watching on line at my desk for the 10 am local swearing in.

9:22 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@redmanlaw: I’m thinking the swearing in breaks the Intertoobz.

9:33 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Largest prior inag. was 1965 with approx. 1.2M…to be dwarfed today. Apparently there was well over 100,000 on the mall at 630am. Simply amazing.

9:39 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@redmanlaw: Woodward and Bernstein? I thought they couldn’t stand each other.

9:42 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

I guess I am the Trenton Bureau chief. My Las Vegas correspondent (Mrs. Prom) told me a wonderful story while I was driving this morning. She says Tom Brokaw was on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show with Joe Scarborough, the recount douche and intern-killer, and Brokaw made a reference to all the racial troubles he has covered throughout his long career, and then ended it with “I just want to say, to all you rednecks and racists out there, take this.”

Ooohhh, snap. He said it, what I have been thinking for 6 months.

9:52 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

The images sent by the DC crew(shoes, prison stripe, etc.) are at variance with what is on the MSM and therefore do not exist.

9:58 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@String Bikini Theory: Check your email. You have been deputized as a Civic Center correspondent.

10:09 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Prommie: Wow. I might be able to forgive him for all that greatest generation shit.
Orygun Bureau reporting in, over French toast with marionberry syrup, bacon and coffee (Mr Cyn was so excited he’s been up all night and started cooking at 6 AM). Watching CSPAN, where the House members are fighting over who gets to be first in line. It’s almost as good as British parliament.

10:12 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@nojo: What’s the super secret Jam address? Central PA bureau has a pic from Satiday to post, because I’m otherwise a slave to my freaking desk today. Trying to reschedule a ‘working lunch’ so that I can stream the swearing in.

10:15 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@nabisco: I’m trying to keep this one super-focused, so no general address today. But you can shoot it to me, and I’ll exercise Editorial Discretion.

10:27 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@redmanlaw: Jailbird George is from Monday’s Code Pink rally, so the MSM gets a pass.

10:30 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

If govs are there, does that mean Talibunny will be there plotting evil?

10:33 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Mistress Cynica:
i LOVE the british parliament! pulling off each others wigs and shit?
couple of em regularly end up grecco-roman. how did they get the stiff upper lip rep? what, we just got the stiffs? the dicks and the bores and the broom up the tuchas’?

10:36 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

diane sawyer just observed there were as many troops in afganistan as in the mall. good one diane. timing is everything. mike never told you that?
GMA has rotted her brain. or being from kentucky.

10:40 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@baked: I wish our leaders had to have question time like the PM in the UK. I thought it was going to come to blows today, as they jockeyed for a good seat at the swearing-in. And when they found out there weren’t enough tickets for spouses it got damned ugly.

10:45 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Mr Cyn has just declared Michelle the first FLILF since Jackie.

10:48 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

they just wheeled out the dark lord.
it’s not a guerney, but it’s a start.

10:48 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Sen. Lieberman (I-Anal Pear) looks amazing lifelike this morning.

10:49 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@nojo: It’s a crappy camphone shot of Air Farce One landing on SaturdaySunday, taken from the porch of Arlington house. That description is about ten times better than the quality of the pic, so I’ll edit myself.

Is Lefty in line for a ticketed space, or the general cluster? Remind her that it will all be worth it if she gets to wave at the camera when Keef and Rachel pan the crowd….

10:52 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Mistress Cynica:
she looks STUNNING!
i share her penchant for gloves in any color. have the red, the purple, look at those gorgeous olive shade she’s wearing today, that go oh so perfect with that celery suit. the fabric, divine.

10:53 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

baked: Please let the man give a final speech about animals being bred and slaughtered in a mineshaft. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.

(BTW: we cannot allow an undisclosed location gap.)

Incidentally, some lucky stiff at the Hawks game last night (moderate applause at the mention of Black Eagle during pregame tribute to Dr. King) won a million bucks. It wasn’t me. But I get my president inaugurated today, so it all evens out.

[cursing incomprehensibly]

10:53 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@nabisco: Ticketed.

10:56 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@nabisco: Not sure who’s where. Mellbell just checked in. Haven’t heard from HF yet.

10:58 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

L.A. branch checking in. I’m covering this unbelievable event from my desk, streaming CNN.

10:59 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@chicago bureau: I am told he looks more like Mr. Potter than Herr Wiertenlieben.

11:04 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

OT: Hey Prommie, do you know anything about this project: “Construction could begin later this year on a three-berth container port in Paulsboro, N.J.”

11:04 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Thanks for the jam, Nojo et al. I hope they show Janet at some point. Today is likely her last day as gov’na and I want to see what outfit she’s wearing. Will she embarrass Az one last time or has someone gotten a hold of her in the past week and fixed some or all of what sartorially ails her?

Also, in the spirit of Hope™ and coming together, I’d like to point out that Laura is wearing a lovely light grey coat this morning. Kudos.

11:06 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

CSPAN just showed Cindy McCain in her full length mink. Bet she’s glad she doesn’t have to be first lady and wear a cloth coat. The horror.

11:07 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Just saw – Sandy-baby is there. She’s got a big share of the blame for the heaps of dead bodies and trillions wasted. Can you imagine if she’d voted with the Reality Based Community instead of her party? And don’t tell me she had no idea what would happen – the Boy King’s ability to fuck up a two-car parade were well known.

11:10 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Watching CNN’s feed.

Please no more holograms.

11:13 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Jeez, Al Gore is so big he’s gonna need 2 seats.

11:16 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Of course, they had all the most annoying anchors in CNN doing this.

I’ve opted to go mute because I don’t want to have the urge to put my remote thru the TV every time Vulfie Blitzkrieg opens his mouth.

Vulfie quote: “His son, if you believe the opinion polls, isn’t very popular.”
Duh. Two badly executed wars. World wide economic ruin. Some legacy.

11:16 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

They’re playing the Monty Python theme, otherwise known as the Liberty Bell march. I think I still know the second trumpet part from the Oregon Country Fair hippiefest.

11:17 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Has 41 had a stroke? He can barely walk.

11:18 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Barbara 41 looks like a troll.

11:19 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

The Carters just cut the Clintons dead — greeted 41 and Babs and walked right past Billary without a word or handshake.

11:20 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Very subdued entrance for Babs and HW.

11:21 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Mistress Cynica:
So much for letting grudges die for today.

11:23 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Central PA is loud and clear on msnbc. Billary got some big cheers – think Dumbya’ll get booed?

11:23 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Got to my office at 9:11 Mountain time.

@rptrcub: If the Govs are there, does that mean Bill Richardson is ready to vomit blood over how a two bit corruption case in New Mexico torpedoed his sitting in a White House meeting today as Commerce Secretary?

Also, our legislative session is opening today. Bet they wished they have moved it a day, but it’s probably constitutionally mandated.

11:24 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Mistress Cynica: Fuck them, the Arkansas nazi fucks. If I recall they pretty much cut Carter dead their whole 8 years. Didn’t want to be seen hanging around with a liberal.

11:26 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

WTF, just lost my feed. Switching to CSPAN.

ADD: Ruh-roh…hamster probs with the gubmint server in pennsyltucky

11:27 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Wives of the future defendants.

I never thought that Sports Color Commentators sound so good when listening to CNN for the last 1/2 hour. I feel dumberer.

11:28 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Applause close up and I can hear grumbling from the distance.

Barney is probably the most popular Bush admin figure and he bites.

11:30 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

O-BA-MA!! O-BA-MA!!!

11:32 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

The msnbc feed looks like the 1969 moonwalk when I blow it up to full screen.

Today is Mrs RML’s friend Eric’s last day as WH photographer. He’ll be on the flight to Texas then unemployment.

Love the way the next first lady’s yellow dress/coat pops out on the stand in the long shots. Good call.

11:35 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Clinton hitting on one of the Bush twins?

Dr Evil Strangelove. Heh. Heh.

11:37 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@ManchuCandidate: That’s my boy!
ADD: Probably the married one.

ADD: Eagle on deck. What a dignified man,

11:38 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@ManchuCandidate: Twin Babs in the silver lamé skirt, no doubt. Guess she couldn’t get home from clubbing in time to change.

11:39 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Barry is taking the walk.

11:41 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Mistress Cynica:
Despite the pasted on/drugged up smile, Babs Jr looks attractive if cold as an iceberg.

11:46 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

SFL update, above: “They turned most of us with purple tickets away at the gate.”

I don’t know whether I’d be pissed or crushed in that situation.

11:50 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Preznit Bunnypants has ten … no, nine more minutes to blow shit up.

11:50 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@nojo:
I think a bit of both. Out of solidarity with teh gayz, I have put the TV on mute for Warren’s invocation.

11:50 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@blogenfreude: They’re running about 25 minutes late on the schedule, so the UniCron may indulge in premature celebration.

11:51 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@nojo: So we still are a red and blue America…bastids.

I’m streaming npr now…

11:51 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Did Doublewide just call Barry an immigrant??? This is not a prayer. One longs for the structure of the Book of Common Prayer. One longs for the eloquence of Gene Robinson.

11:51 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Does his god know that I don’t close my eyes during prayers?

11:54 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

LOVE Aretha’s hat!

11:55 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Order of Bidness…

Aretha.
Veep oath.
John Williams conducting Star Wars.
The Moment.

So, looks like we’ll be without a preznit for ten or fifteen minutes.

11:55 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Aretha makes me teary – despite that moth on her head.

11:58 am • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@nabisco: On the Queen of Soul it works. And I’m full-on sobbing now.

12:01 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@nojo: Gah, it’s one of those Air-Water-Fire pieces from the 80s (altho luv Perlman and Yo Yo)

12:02 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

The Classic classical music quartet!

No Kenny G. Thanks FSM.

12:03 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Itzhak!

12:04 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Yo Yo!

12:05 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

/snark on

12:07 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

I don’t blame him for jumping in too soon. I’d want to jump in too.

Funny that CJ Roberts screwed it up as well…

12:07 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Thank FSM – the End of an Error.

12:07 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Can someone tell me why Feinstein is MCing?

12:07 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

There will be much gnashing of teeth among the bitterz over his flubbing the oath of office. I think he never did say “faithfully”.

12:09 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Jamie Sommers: ’cause she can throw down and spit on the mike something fierce.

12:09 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Was I the only one who watched on BBCAmerica?

12:13 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Ewalda: He said “faithfully”. And I looked up the oath last night: Roberts screwed up the language.

12:13 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Well, except for our SUVs….

12:14 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Ewalda: Well then – that plus the birth certificate means he’s not really preznit!

12:18 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@nojo: On purpose, I’m sure.

12:19 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Damn, I think he really believes this stuff.

12:19 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

SHout out to the atheists!

12:21 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

that “hand/fist” line was a good one.

12:27 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Fucking wow man.

You will be judged by what you build, not what you destroy.

Bush is hating him so bad.

He may well choke on his own vomit tonight.

12:28 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Prommie: He can choke on mine anytime he wants.

12:29 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Prommie:
You make that sound like a bad thing.

12:30 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Prommie: Nah. He’s not listening to a word of this. The boyking has been tuning out what he doesn’t want to hear for a lifetime. It’s second nature now.

12:37 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Hope that fantasy about how popular he will be after he is dead works out well for him.

12:45 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Walnuts looks old (er).

12:46 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Ewalda: But sure enough, Matt Sludge is already running with the “flubs the oath” line. I agree with Nojo, it was Roberts who screwed the pooch. Typical Bush appointee…

12:47 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Lowery rocked the house.

12:47 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

NBC reported it as “Roberts flubs the oath.”

12:51 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

[Channeling Lowery] to Warren: I’m a Jew, and fuck you.

12:56 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

When do the commemorative plates go on sale at Kohl’s?

12:58 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Dodgerblue: Aretha and Lowery exorcised Doublewide right quick.

12:58 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

I had to watch with the whole building of impressionable minds so I couldn’t register my protest at Warren, but sat there thinking will he ever STFU!!!

1:01 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Prommie:
President Obama takes Chief Justice to school (from msnbc.com):
Roberts, who used no notes, stumbled at one point, appearing to forget the opening words. Obama, a former constitutional law professor, made sure to insert the crucial phrase “that I will faithfully execute the office of president to the United States.”

1:01 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Prommie: [media crowding around John Roberts’s locker, post-game; Roberts seated, shirtless, towel hanging loosely around neck]

Scribe: “John, can you tell us what happened out there?”

Roberts: “Well, you saw it, right? I don’t know — I just choked out there. I let the team down. All I can do is focus on next week.”

Scribe: “Can you describe your feelings right now?”

Roberts: “My feelings? [BLEEP] you, that’s my feelings right now.”

[Roberts pushes microphones away, quickly staggers into adjacent room]

1:02 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@nabisco: He he, you could see Obama smirking at Roberts, too. It reminded me of, what was it, the 3rd funeral in Four Weddings and a Funeral? Where Rowan Atkinson is the priest and totally screws up the vows.

1:03 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@chicago bureau: Roberts plays for the 76ers?

1:06 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Prommie: Would be cool if Roberts is so embarrassed he quits.

1:11 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Prommie: Problem is that we were not talking about practice. We were talking about the game. Not practice.

[Yes, yes: A.I. doesn’t play in Philly anymore, but it’s still a good line.]

1:12 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

I’m re-watching video of the oath and noticed Janet for the first time. Whoever did the seating chart up there must not like her at all. She was seated behind some behemoth of a man who looks vaguely like Larry Eagleburger. Anyone know who that guy is?

@Prommie: In the name of the father, the son, and the holy spigot.

1:13 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Dodgerblue: Speaking of which, I’ll bet there are several tired old butts on the bench at SCOTUS who just breathed a sigh of relief and started booking their retirement cruises.

1:19 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Ewalda: Stevens did a much better job than that punk kid Roberts. I had forgotten that the VP oath is different.

1:33 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Dodgerblue: The GM is going to send Roberts to the 15-day DL, and have him work a couple of arguments down at Double-A 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on a rehab stint. Probably out 3-4 weeks.

Oh, and Ewalda is absolutely right. Justices Stevens and Ginsburg? Boca is calling your name, and it sounds warm and lovely.

1:36 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@chicago bureau: I hate to piss on the parade, but based on the Cass Sunstein nomination we might not do as well as Stevens and Ginsburg.

1:37 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@chicago bureau: I was thinking more Limas Sweed with the dropped TD pass for P’burgh, but at least he partially redeemed himself with a vicious (but clean!) block on Corey Ivy.

1:40 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Dodgerblue: Suicide would be an honorable exit.

1:41 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

Dodgerblue: True. But also, keep in mind that Sarah Plain and Dumb could be Mme. Selector in 2013. If we are lucky, that will not happen, of course. Nevertheless: get out while the getting’s good, I say.

1:43 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@chicago bureau: I’ll give you Stevens and Ginsburg for Roberts and Alito. And I’ll throw in an old Ernie Banks card.

3:00 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@chicago bureau:

[media crowding around John Roberts’s locker, post-game; Roberts seated, shirtless, towel hanging loosely around neck]

Dude, I’m rolling on the floor with teh laughs! Ha!

3:54 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

HF, Mellbell, SFL, & SF correspondent MW: Well done, good and faithful stinquers. Everybody DRINK now!

4:01 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@Mistress Cynica: WAAAAAAY ahead of you. I just got back to where I am staying for a nap, although we are watching the parade right now. It is difficult to describe the amount of cheaply made Obama crap for sale on the streets of DC right now. And of course I bought some of it and will have pics!

I was in the purple ticket cluster fuck with SFL, although she got there about two hours before me and was way up in the front. There was apparently some sort of security breach so none of us got in.

My friend and I ended up at an Irish bar (SFL later joined), we made some friends, and the atmosphere was amazing. People were cheering, crying (including me), hugging after the swearing in. We got there early and got a great table, and made some friends from all over. And of course chicken wings. Mmmmmmm…..chicken wings.

5:01 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

I just sent in some of the photos from my camera to supplement the ones from my cellphone.

6:59 pm • Tuesday • January 20, 2009

@SanFranLefty: Loved the stinque team coverage. It really gave me a regular person’s POV of the event. As for Mr. Buckskin, remember that Geronimo rode in TR’s parade in 1906(?).

I wish I had a picture of my office from this morning – an Indian guy, two white guys and two Hispanic women watching on my computer. Sure looked a lot like our piece of US America in here this morning.

9:26 am • Wednesday • January 21, 2009

Man, I am fucking tired this morning and I was back home at 11 pm. Have a few pics from a neighborhood (not the “Neighborhood”) ball on the Hill. Wonder if Barry & Michelle got to sleep in.

4:15 pm • Wednesday • January 21, 2009

Just added a photo of Bush Street in SF, which was transformed to Obama Street. Taken by a friend of a friend.

6:38 pm • Wednesday • January 21, 2009

Just uploaded my scant few pictures.

I got to the opening concert on Sunday around 11:30 and found a spot about 4 blocks back from the Lincoln Memorial. It was incredible to be in a crowd of half a million people of all ages and races and backgrounds dancing and singing along to “Shout” and “Higher Ground” (though, for fuck’s sake, who thought it was a good idea to have Jon Bon Jovi sing “A Change is Gonna Come”?). I only heard about the last third of Bishop Robinson’s invocation, because he was the first to speak and they hadn’t worked out the volume levels yet, but it sounded great. The best line of the afternoon, though, came not from the stage, but from a mother near us trying to pacify her daughter, who was complaining about not being able to see anything: “You’ll just have to listen. That’s what Stevie Wonder does.” All in all a very fun time, and good preparation for Tuesday (lessons learned: bring blankets and food, and wear shoes with better insulation).

Unrelated, but I saw “Che” Sunday night, and would highly recommend Part 1 to anyone and everyone. It is masterfully done. Part 2 is less accessible, and feels sort of tacked-on, though someone with more than passing knowledge of his later years might appreciate it more.

Monday I met up with Homofascist for lunch, and later for dinner and drinks with SanFranLefty. (HF thought I would be taller, because SFL and flippin are so statuesque. Sadly, no.) We also checked out the smudging ceremony in Dupont Circle and mugged for the camera with the giant George Bush inflatable. Unfortunately, the shoe-throwing permit expired just as we got there.

Tuesday I was up at 4, though my crew didn’t hit the streets until around 5:30. We took a roundabout way of getting to the Mall, and arrived at the main viewing area about 6:15. Some friends of ours had gotten there a tad earlier and were able to make it onto the first section of the Mall, without tickets, before it was closed off. We tried to cross 7th Street to get to that area a few different times before giving up and settling on a spot near 9th and Independence (by the carousel, if you’re familiar with the area). We ended up on the south edge of the Mall, on slightly higher ground than the people in the middle, so we had a clear view of one of the Jumbotrons, and enough space to spread out blankets. At this point it was still only 7, so we busted out the Taboo cards and got a game going with three guys from Pittsburgh we’d just met. By the time we got sick of that, they had started to replay the concert, and we noticed that there was maybe a 5-second delay between the audio feed from the speakers and the video feed on the Jumbotrons. I thought it had been fixed, but when they went live it was still happening, so, you know, yay technology!

I was truly shocked by how bad Rick Warren’s invocation was. Not what you would expect from a man who routinely addresses crowds of tens of thousands of people. And, though it wasn’t surprising, it was disappointing — especially in light of Joseph Lowery’s fucking badass benediction — to hear him triumphantly call out names for Jesus in different languages, because it showed that his idea of diversity is that Christianity is practiced in other countries. What a sad, single-minded man. (Though a guy behind me clearly disagreed, because he said “amen” after every single line.)

Anywho, loved Aretha, loved the address, loved the benediction, even loved the bumbled oath. After all was said and done, we packed up our stuff and set out on the two-hour (!) trek home. It took us an hour just to get to the Washington Monument (less than a mile away) and another hour to get up 18th Street to Dupont Circle. Still, I’d do it all over again (and get up even earlier).

1:21 am • Thursday • January 22, 2009

@mellbell:
Excellent reportage Mell. Truly an “I was there.” experience for the ages.

Makes my little foray down to the SF Civic Center for a San Francisco garden party pale in comparison. Still, I enjoyed the group grope. I’ve got a few more pics I took with the camera (vs. the cell phone), and will add them to the jam.

I guess I should finish my report.

On the walk back home I diverted through the moneyed neighborhood of Pacific Heights. “The Change” had already begun. Obama Youth Corp volunteers were knocking on doors of the remaining Old Money Republicans and dragging them into the waiting buses. Off to the rumored Utah re-education camps I surmise. I understand the camps were built to the FDR Japanese Internment Camp specifications. Of course some of the louder objectors had to be simply thrown up against the wall and shot, their bodies dragged out to be left to decompose in the street as a warning to others. Grisly, messy, smelly, and unfortunate, but most would agree – necessary. In end analysis – it is certain to save more bloodshed overall.

The mansions of the big money hi-tech moguls that raised 100’s of millions for the Obama “Peoples Campaign” were, of course, spared. I could see them peeking out from behind the designer window treatments – pointing, laughing, and hoisting glasses of Heitz “Martha’s vineyard” Cabernet. For some reason the mansion of the lead guitarist for Metallica (near Pacific on Divisidero) was also passed over. I can only hope this was some sort of oversight and they will be back to pick him up later.

With that one excpetion the Obamites seemed remarkably efficient. I assumed they had some high tech database of contributors cross-referenced to Google Maps and accesible on their ubiquitous i-Phones. But then I noticed the big red “O” hastily splashed in organic, bio-degradable vegetable dye on doors of the houses that were passed over. Time to get home and do a little painting of my own.

I didn’t think that Paultards were high on the list. I even held out hope that we would be kept around for the entertainment value. Still, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and stuck to the alleys as I made my way home in falling darkness.

By the time I got to Russian Hill, I began to notice a higher incidence of body counts and fewer buses. These were not the same victims. There seemed to be more middle-age overweight fashion disasters wearing dirty “Hillary ’08” tee-shirts. I don’t know what the story was there. Suicides? Or simply deemed un-trainable? I’ll probably never know.

I made it home, shaken but still hopeful. But there waited my biggest surprise.

Pete Seeger was in the bedroom fucking my wife.

I had nothing left inside and collapsed on the sofa.

Soon he emerged, noticed me, smiled, picked up a guitar and – buck naked – he started to sing…

Your yard is my yard.
Your house is my house.
From the limestone flooring
To the sub-zero freezer.
This house was made just for me

As I was reading
your on-line statements
I distributed payments
to my deserving compatriots.
Yes this house was made just for me.

I ran out of the house.

Time to get back undercover until things cool down.

1:42 am • Thursday • January 22, 2009

SBT neglected to mention the new posters that are now plastered all over town. The same Shepard Fairey Obama campaign poster, but instead of the “HOPE” “CHANGE” “PROGRESS” tag, the new official banner has a bit longer copy:

“My name is Obamandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

I like it.

2:13 am • Thursday • January 22, 2009

@String Bikini Theory: For some reason the mansion of the lead guitarist for Metallica (near Pacific on Divisidero) was also passed over.

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett is good for a few thousand annually to the DNC. If that’s James Hetfield’s place you’re describing, perhaps Kirk’s giving buys goodwill for the whole band.

2:41 am • Thursday • January 22, 2009

@redmanlaw:
That explains it. But SBT has disappeared. I don’t know if we’ll ever see him here again. He was rumored to run a feeder fund for Madoff and his private plane disappeared somewhere over the Nevada Desert.

6:50 am • Thursday • January 22, 2009

@mellbell: @String Bikini Theory: Awesome reportage. SBT, if I had been in SF we could have reprised our team coverage.

9:11 am • Thursday • January 22, 2009

@Hose Manikin: “Jose?”

9:37 am • Thursday • January 22, 2009

@SanFranLefty:
I am sure SBT (wherever he is) felt he was reprising your team coverage, just a little more distance in between. Sorry to hear about the purple ticket clusterfuck. Rachel Maddow covered it on her show last night. The tunnel many got stuck in has been re-named the “Purple Ticket Tunnel of Doom”

@redmanlaw:
hose – synonym for “sock”.

10:13 am • Thursday • January 22, 2009

@Hose Manikin: Tell SBT, should you be in contact, that the Pete Seeger encounter is for the ages. I presume he was wielding an axe before he picked up his guitar, because comrade Guthrie decreed that anyone exposed to his Unknown Verse would have to be executed in Year Zero.

1:45 pm • Thursday • January 22, 2009

@nabisco:
I am sure that if SBT had taken the time to check the closet before blowing out of the house, he would have found Bob Dylan strung up by electric guitar strings, with leads from the guitar amplifiers attached to his gonads.

1:52 am • Saturday • January 24, 2009

Check out the last photo on the stream. It was taken at a federal building in California that must remain anonymous, but where the employees were frustrated that the photos of Shrub and Darth Vader hadn’t been taken down on Tuesday, and so with some good printers they took things into their own hands on Wednesday morning.

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