President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet visitors during an inaugural open house in the Blue Room of the White House, Jan. 22, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
9:0 ET: The President, Vice President, First Lady and Dr Biden attend the Staff Inaugural Ball
Not sure if there is coverage of this, try the usual links in the sidebar on the right
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden and Vice President Biden applaud the choir as they attend a prayer service at Washington National Cathedral on January 22
President Barack Obama talks with House Speaker John Boehner and his wife Debbie Boehner at the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies tea in the Blue Room of the White House, Jan. 21, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wave to people as they ride in the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Hiya everyone, sorry I wasn’t able to be around much today, which was huuuuugely frustrating because there are a gazillion gorgeous photos and videos I wanted to share. Tomorrow’s a bit nuts too with work, I won’t be able to catch up until later in the day, but we’ll get there in the end. Come the weekend, I’ll do a proper review of the Inauguration, with the best stuff I can find.
As usual, I owe a bunch of you email replies, will get there in the end. I hope!
BooMan: For the first time in some of your lives, the House of Representatives just passed a bill that the majority of the majority party opposed. Ordinarily, such votes are not even allowed to happen …. this is the first time that Republicans have voted for tax increases since they helped Poppy Bush violate his “Read My Lips” pledge over twenty years ago…..
If you are worried that we will see cuts in entitlements two months from now, you are probably correct. We were never going to escape that entirely. But any cuts we see will be matched by further tax hikes. We have a president who is coming off a series of victories whose popularity will have never been higher, and he isn’t going to cave…..
TPM: During tense fiscal cliff negotiations, House Speaker John Boehner last Friday told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid “go fuck yourself,” according to a Politico report published early Wednesday. Boehner confronted Reid in the White House lobby and later bragged about it to his colleagues, according to the report.
Sometimes you just have to smile at NY Daily News’ headlines:
CNN: In a move that surprised many lawmakers and angered others, House Republican leaders wrapped up this session of Congress Tuesday night without voting on a package that would have provided billions of dollars in aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy.
The Senate passed the $60.4 billion measure last week, and senators from New York had called on the House to take it up promptly. But because the House failed to act and a new Congress will be sworn in Thursday, the entire legislative process will have to start over – delaying the package from disbursing money to affected states.
GOP leaders announced they would not bring up any legislation Wednesday – the last day of the session – as many expected. This prompted many angry Democrats and some Republicans – mostly from New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut – to demand that House GOP leaders bring members back and vote on the bill.
9:30 AM: President Obama observes a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the Newtown shooting
10:30 AM: President Obama and VP Biden deliver remarks at the funeral service for Senator Daniel Inouye
NYT editorial: The National Rifle Association is scheduled to hold a news conference on Friday where it says it plans to provide details about its promise of “meaningful contributions” to prevent another a massacre like the one in Newtown, Conn.
We would like to believe that the N.R.A. will do as it says, but we have little faith that it will offer any substantial reforms. The association presents itself as a grass-roots organization, but it has become increasingly clear in recent years that it represents gun makers. Its chief aim has been to help their businesses by increasing the spread of firearms throughout American society.
In recent years, the N.R.A. has aggressively lobbied federal and state governments to dilute or eliminate numerous regulations on gun ownership. And the clearest beneficiary has been the gun industry – sales of firearms and ammunition have grown 5.7 percent a year since 2007, to nearly $12 billion this year….
Jonathan Bernstein: There was nothing but embarrassment for Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans as they were forced to pull the vote on Boehner’s “Plan B” tax bill at the last minute because, as Boehner said, they didn’t have the votes to pass it. The Speaker sent the House home for through Christmas, with the option of recalling them afterwards if there’s anything for them to do.
For tonight, it’s a debacle, and they look foolish. But I’d caution against reading too much into this episode….
…..other than everyone having good fun at the expense of the House Republican leadership — and no question, Boehner and the rest deserve it — it’s just not clear that tonight’s fiasco will change anything.
Steve Benen: The irony of last night’s drama on Capitol Hill was that the proposal at stake had far more symbolic value than substantive …. John Boehner pushed his “Plan B” knowing full well it would not, and could not, become law. Rather, Boehner hoped to use the measure to send a message.
Oh, he sent a message, all right. It’s just not the one the Speaker intended.
….. Boehner tried everything. He tried pleading with his Republican allies, threatening them, and offering them all kinds of goodies. The Speaker made appeals based on emotion, economics, loyalty, and pragmatism, at times, simultaneously.
But in the end, despite all the bravado and faux confidence, Boehner just couldn’t deliver. The party he ostensibly leads heard his impassioned pleas, and decided not to follow him.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle ride in a golf cart at an Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C, Jan. 20, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
AP: With his nation under financial strain, President Barack Obama is restricting the inaugural balls to the lowest number in 60 years, with just two official parties plus a concert honoring military families.
…. Both balls are being planned at the Washington Convention Center on Monday, Jan. 21, the evening of Obama’s public inauguration at the Capitol on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Under the Constitution, the president’s second term begins Jan. 20 at noon, but he’ll be sworn in privately at the White House since inaugural celebrations traditionally aren’t held on Sundays.
One party will be the Commander In Chief’s Ball …. Tickets will be free for invited guests, including active duty and reserve service members, Medal of Honor recipients and wounded warriors, among others, with troops overseas participating via video. The other ball, simply being called the Inaugural Ball, will be larger than usual and held across all the halls in the vast convention center…..