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Barack Obama Sworn In As 44th President of the US 1656

Just before noon today, Eastern time, Barack Obama was sworn in before the US Capitol building as the 44th President of the United States ( has already been updated to reflect the new President), and offered an inaugural address which outlined some of the challenges that the country currently faces, both within the country's borders and abroad. Obama's election has been called "a civil rights triumph," and his candidacy has inspired perhaps the most visible political involvement of young voters of any candidate since John Kennedy. Here's your chance to discuss the newest occupant of the White House and what you'd like to see happen over the course of his presidency.
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Barack Obama Sworn In As 44th President of the US

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  • Time (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:12PM (#26531753)

    He was actually sworn in shortly after noon, although he was President at exactly noon anyway.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:17PM (#26531893)

    After first cutting off Obama, he forgets to say "faithfully" in the pledge, then tacks it onto the end of the clause. Obama clearly recognizes the screwup and pauses where "faithfully" is supposed to go, letting Roberts correct himself. Roberts stumbles, realizing his mistake. Corrects it, sort of. Then Obama continues with Roberts' original phrasing.

    To anyone not overly familiar with Article II, Section 1, Clause 8 of the Constitution, it looked like Obama was confused- or stumbled, but he was just in shock to hear Roberts put things out of order.

    Nice one there, Roberts.

  • by Skjellifetti ( 561341 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:20PM (#26531991) Journal
    We The People have pretty much the size of Government We The People want doing pretty much the tasks We The People believe to be Constitutional else We The People would have chosen other leaders.
  • Re:Time (Score:5, Informative)

    by timster ( 32400 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:21PM (#26532027)

    Not really... the Constitution requires the incoming President to take the oath "Before he enter on the Execution of his Office". The exact wording of the oath is also stated.

    Which makes it all the more surprising that Mr. Strict Constructionist John Roberts would mess it up, but there you go.

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:24PM (#26532091) Journal
    Go to Obama/Biden's issues site [] and flip through the plans. There are a few measurable details here and there on this site. Like his statement about Iraq:

    Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. Immediately upon taking office, Obama will give his Secretary of Defense and military commanders a new mission in Iraq: ending the war. The removal of our troops will be responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 â" more than 7 years after the war began.

    He better have a really good reason for not starting to redeploy brigades from Iraq with an end goal of 16 months. A really good reason.

    For us tech minded geeks, his fact sheet []--including:

    Protect the Openness of the Internet

    And if I don't see him take the steps he talks about in that plan, I'm going to quickly realize he's just another lying politician. Here's another point that needs to be reprinted all over:

    Open Up Government to its Citizens: The Bush Administration has been one of the most secretive, closed administrations in American history. Our nation's progress has been stifled by a system corrupted by millions of lobbying dollars contributed to political campaigns, the revolving door between government and industry, and privileged access to inside information--all of which have led to policies that favor the few against the public interest. An Obama presidency will use cutting-edge technologies to reverse this dynamic, creating a new level of transparency, accountability and participation for America's citizens. Technology-enabled citizen participation has already produced ideas driving Obama's campaign and its vision for how technology can help connect government to its citizens and engage citizens in a democracy. Barack Obama will use the most current technological tools available to make government less beholden to special interest groups and lobbyists and promote citizen participation in government decision-making. Obama will integrate citizens into the actual business of government by:

    • Making government data available online in universally accessible formats to allow citizens to make use of that data to comment, derive value, and take action in their own communities. Greater access to environmental data, for example, will help citizens learn about pollution in their communities, provide information about local conditions back to government and empower people to protect themselves.
    • Establishing pilot programs to open up government decision-making and involve the public in the work of agencies, not simply by soliciting opinions, but by tapping into the vast and distributed expertise of the American citizenry to help government make more informed decisions.
    • Requiring his appointees who lead Executive Branch departments and rulemaking agencies to conduct the significant business of the agency in public, so that any citizen can watch a live feed on the Internet as the agencies debate and deliberate the issues that affect American society. He will ensure that these proceedings are archived for all Americans to review, discuss and respond. He will require his appointees to employ all the technological tools available to allow citizens not just to observe, but also to participate and be heard in these meetings.
    • Restoring the basic principle that government decisions should be based on the best-available, scientifically-valid evidence and not on the ideological predispositions of agency officials.
    • Lifting the veil from secret de
  • by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:24PM (#26532103) Homepage Journal

    To anyone not overly familiar with ... the Constitution

    Yep. That would be Chief Justice John G. Roberts. Glad to know it wasn't an imposter up there.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:25PM (#26532125)

    You mean like Bush, who was a professional bum before he was handed a fortune then handed a governorship then handed the presidency?

  • by Anonymusing ( 1450747 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:27PM (#26532179) available here [] (unlike the odd "preview" of the speech noted in the /. text).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:29PM (#26532241)

    The first thing our new Prez changed was the party. Not the Dem party, the inaugural party.

    While GW spent $40M on his, OHB is spending $170M on his inauguration. He could have so easily claimed the country was in economic trouble and scaled back, but no, he quadrupled the spending for himself.

    And you thought change was going to benefit you? Ha!

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:38PM (#26532451) Journal

    Obama's reply to that was to state that he doesn't favor legalization. Don't count on the War on Drugs to end anytime soon.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:44PM (#26532607)

    Did you have something in particular in mind? I ask because a lot of "limit the government" types have curious ideas about what the constitution authorizes and forbids.

    Watch this: Michael Badnarik's Constitution Class []. That's several hours long, but very informative. I would like a government that actually follows it.

    BTW, Badnarik [] was the 2004 Libertarian Presidential Candidate.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:05PM (#26533211)

    Part of the higher budget is security. Bush was sworn in before 9/11, so security wasn't as big an issue as it is now. These days, it would be a big coup for a terrorist group have a sideshow during the inauguration, so a lot of manpower has to be put into DC to make sure this doesn't have a chance of occurring. The manpower in DC is almost as much as what is in Afghanistan.

    This security doesn't come cheap, and is a big factor to the cost of the ceremony.

    Another factor is the crowds. There has never been this much positive popular sentiment for a US President in modern day history. This rally has dwarfed the Million Man March. With crowds come the infrastructure needed for them, from porta-potties to EMS crews.

    Because of these factors, one can't compare Bush's swearing in to Obama's. In 2001, the swearing in was considered by many to be more of the same and pretty much ignored by most of the American people. Today's inauguration is considered by many people a historic changing of the guard.

  • Re:America, (Score:5, Informative)

    by spectro ( 80839 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:09PM (#26533349) Homepage

    o Issue at least one executive order to strike down one of the myriad unconstitutional laws violating the bill of rights

    Imho he can't do that, he can veto before signing but once it becomes law of the land only either the Supreme Court or Congress can do anything about it.

    o Issue at least one executive order to have a supreme court judge arrested ... (snip)
    o Issue at least one executive order to have a congressman arrested .. (snip)

    Have you heard about "separation of powers"? The President can't do anything against the other two powers, they are independent. I believe the procedure in the constitution is called impeachment. That would not have stop Dick Cheney from trying thought :-p

  • by Uberbah ( 647458 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:11PM (#26533411)

    Aside from the fact that it's paid for with private donations, dumbfuck, millions of people didn't show up because the inauguration was a big event. It was a big event because millions of people wanted to show up. You know, Constitutional rights and all (freedom of assembly).

    And even then the $170 figure isn't based on fact, but guestimations. There's also the fact that the cost of this inauguration, with security, is being fallaciously compared to the cost of Bush's inaguration, without security.

  • by plague3106 ( 71849 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:18PM (#26533587)

    Well, just because a majority believe them to be constutitional does not make it so. Also, we're not a direct democracy (which is what you're talking about) for a reason... out founders rightfully thought that would be a really bad idea. And it is.

  • Re:Time (Score:5, Informative)

    by Palshife ( 60519 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:20PM (#26533653) Homepage

    Read closely. "He" in your excerpt refers to the President, not the President-elect. The oath is something the President must make after his term begins.

    Also, check out section 1 of the 20th Amendment. "The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January...; and the terms of their successors shall then begin."

    President Obama's term started at noon, before he took the oath of office, as it should be.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:22PM (#26533697)

    Maybe this article [] can provide a balance to your $170M dollar talking point.

    Also, who calls Barack Obama B. Hussein Obama except right wing talkshow hosts? Do you guys just like the name Hussein for some reason?

  • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:27PM (#26533851)

    Now get to work, sucker.

  • by jjohnson ( 62583 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:38PM (#26534159) Homepage

    Actually, we do know who killed JFK: Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone. The evidence is overwhelming, well documented, well studied, and bascially incontrovertible to anyone who isn't looking for an X-file. This is an open question only to people who want to believe in a conspiracy, who want to believe that a coup took place, who don't want to believe that what obviously happened is what actually happened.

    You mention a lot of good criticisms of Obama's choices. Prune some of the crazy from your exposition and you'll have a much more powerful voice.

  • Re:America, (Score:4, Informative)

    by novakyu ( 636495 ) <> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:57PM (#26534671) Homepage

    Not really. Dark fiber uses anti-photons to work. ...

    Actually, photons are their own antiparticles (which is why photon number isn't conserved and you can have reactions like pair production, given that there is a third body to carry away extra momentum)

  • by tweek ( 18111 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:59PM (#26534723) Homepage Journal

    Wow. Way to take that WAY out of context.

    To make that fit your mold, you would have to argue that universal health care is some sort of right inherent in man's existence.

    The Constitution says:
    1 - These are a list of areas that the FEDERAL government is allowed jurisdiction
    2 - Anything not mentioned as a role of the FEDERAL government is a role of the STATE
    3 - Just because it's not listed doesn't necessarily mean it's not a right of the people

    So, yes, you could argue that universal health care is a right of the people but you still have to stretch to enumerate it as a role of the FEDERAL government.

  • Re:Time (Score:5, Informative)

    by osu-neko ( 2604 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:59PM (#26534727)
    It's not cognitive dissonance when you don't believe urban legends.

    Now it seems those closely detailed stories were largely bunk. Last week it was revealed that a formal review by the General Accounting Office, Congress' investigative agency, "had found no damage to the offices of the White House's East or West Wings or EOB" and that Bush's own representatives had reported "there is no record of damage that may have been deliberately caused by the employees of the Clinton administration."

    Source. []

  • Re:Time (Score:3, Informative)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:03PM (#26534785)

    The W keys incident didn't happen. There was no conspiracy to remove W keys from keyboards. There may have been a couple, but it was definitely not $4k worth of damages.

    And neither did the rest of that. It was bunk that was started as a joke column, which suddenly gained a life of its own. Sort of like Bill Gates and the 640kb or Al Gore and the invention of the internet. Neither Gates nor Gore ever actually made the attributed statement.

    The White House vandal scandal that wasn't []

    Or from W himself at: George W. Bush, Clinton defender []

    Whether or not you care to admit it, there was no massive scale vandalism or vast Left wing conspiracy here. It's just a few people are too obtuse to admit that maybe it didn't happen.

  • Re:Time (Score:5, Informative)

    by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:17PM (#26535079)

    How does Washington to Adams even qualify as a "transition"? That's as much a transition as the "transition" from Reagan to Bush Sr. was, in every sense (Adams was Washington's vice president, for one).

    Uh, no. They aren't really analogous at all. Do remember that for quite some time after the Constitution was established, the Vice President was the second place contender in the Presidential election, not someone who ran and was elected with the President. So Adams, as Washington's Vice President, had a very different relationship to Washington than Bush, as Reagan's VP, had to Reagan.

    The first transition of power ever in the U.S. was in 1800, also known as "Revolution of 1800".

    But, by your own argument about the 1797 transition, that should have been an easy transition, just like Reagan->Bush, simply because Jefferson was Adams' Vice President.

    Of course, the "but he was his predecessors VP, so it doesn't count" argument doesn't apply to the 1801 transition for the same reason it doesn't apply to the 1797 transition.

  • Those old Dubya lies (Score:3, Informative)

    by ed ( 79221 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:20PM (#26535145) Homepage

    Those "Clinton Staffers trashed the White House" were lies then ands are lies now..

    The General Accounting Office, Congress' investigative agency, "had found no damage to the offices of the White House's East or West Wings or EOB" and that Bush's own representatives had reported "there is no record of damage that may have been deliberately caused by the employees of the Clinton administration."

  • Re:Time (Score:5, Informative)

    by Logic and Reason ( 952833 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:31PM (#26535363)
  • Re:Time (Score:2, Informative)

    by kildurin ( 938538 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:31PM (#26535365)
    These issues came about after the 8 years of Republican control. Starting with Barney Frank assuming control of the Banking Committee. Since he is a Democrat, it is obvious who was in control of Congress. And lest we forget, Congress has a lower approval rating now than Bush does.
  • Re:Time (Score:3, Informative)

    by FredFredrickson ( 1177871 ) * on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:50PM (#26535827) Homepage Journal

    FDR did not take us out of the Depression. Japan did that when they bombed Pearl Harbor and gave the nation motivation to start building tanks and planes and ships and bombs non-stop for the next three years.

    Paying for things to be destroyed does not create wealth. That is a fallacy. []

  • by kellyb9 ( 954229 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:51PM (#26535841)
    I only heard them correctly mention this once, but Barrack Obama is the 43rd person to hold the job of President. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, and is considered both the 22nd and 24th President of the US.
  • Re:Indeed it should (Score:3, Informative)

    by bckrispi ( 725257 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @05:26PM (#26536627)
    See: Johnson, Lyndon B.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @05:36PM (#26536843)

    I was watching on CNN at work and they had people sending in cellphone photos of the inaugural speech that they were then stitching together to provide a rather awesome panorama. It seems that it can zoom to varying levels of detail (kinda like google earth's zoom levels for the satellite images) and they were panning around and zooming in with their touch screen interface. I was quite impressed, but then, I've wanted my very own Situation Room for a year or so now.

    I can't wait to get home where I might get to play with the panoramas a bit, though.

  • Re:Time (Score:5, Informative)

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @05:44PM (#26536983) Homepage Journal

    Well, first let me start off by saying you are exactly right in saying George W. Bush's administration was exemplary when it came to helping the transition to Obama.

    However, you may not be aware that many if not all of the stories of Clinton adminsitration vandalism were fabricated. The GSA, which administers the resources in question, found no evidence for any of the allegations. Likewise, the GAO, a congressional agency, initially found no support for any of the allegations. It reopened its investigation under political pressure from Bob Barr, and eventually revised its opinion to $15,000, not $250,000.

    Furthermore, even this lower figure is based on Bush staff recollections. For example, there is no actual documentation that the "historic doorknobs" bearing the presidential seal actually existed; in fact there was no mention of these anywhere until after the investigation was reopened by the Republican Congress.

    But of course, that is not proof that such doorknobs didn't exist, or that Clinton staffers didn't steal them. It just means even the $15,000 figure is hard to document. And there is no evidence at all for stories like the Clinton staffers defecating on desks. Since this would have to have been cleaned up, it certainly would have left a paper trail.

    Make of that what you will, but even the Republican's own investigation showed that the claims were at the very least wildly exaggerated.

  • Re:Time (Score:3, Informative)

    by bobwoodard ( 92257 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @05:58PM (#26537271)

    Actually, the Obamas wanted to move into Blair House _earlier_ than other President-Elects had used it, due to their daughters starting school. Traditionally, the incoming President will stay there from the 15-20th.

    Unfortunately, for the Obamas, the rooms had already been spoken for and were being used by the people wanting to visit with President Bush during his last month in Office.

  • by gobbo ( 567674 ) <> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @06:00PM (#26537297) Journal

    Um, hello? The founding fathers contained a significant number of Deists. Really, go look it up.

    That made them most specifically NOT followers of religion, but independents. Nowadays, they'd probably appear downright heretical to half of the USA.

  • by mpthompson ( 457482 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @06:42PM (#26537917)

    ...on what ails this nation and what corrective measures should be taken (not that I agreed with McCain either). However, I respect the fact he is our nation's President and I sincerely wish him much success for everyone's sake. The stakes are too high and the consequences too grave for our leaders to continue their pattern of failed leadership.

  • by LionMage ( 318500 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @06:59PM (#26538191) Homepage

    No, he's complaining that the Drudge Report, a conservative blog that gets noticed by a lot of higher-profile conservatives, is reporting the story wrong. Four years from now (or eight, depending), this issue will probably be raised again. When that happens, which version of history are people going to listen to and believe?

    In fairness to the Drudge Report and the Time live blog [], it seems that a correction (of sorts) has been issued:

    James Poniewozik - 1:00 p.m.: Drudge now backpedaling: "Obama AND CHIEF JUSTICE flub oath..."

  • Re:Time (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheSync ( 5291 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @07:01PM (#26538213) Journal

    So, yes, it was Roosevelt that turned around the Great Depression.

    The question is what did Roosevelt do that "turned around the Great Depression"? As you mentioned GDP growth returned in 1934, one year after taking office. What most people think of the "New Deal" in terms of NRA, CCC, WPA did not ramp up for years. What did happen in 1933 was the Gold Clause ban and the dollar devaluation to reverse the highly contractionary money supply changes the Fed had been engaging in since 1929. That said, while GDP recovered to pre-120 levels by 1937, unemployment definitely did not until WWII (when many people were put to work at the "point of a gun").

  • Re:But! (Score:4, Informative)

    by wanax ( 46819 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:31AM (#26543895)

    Robert Gates (Sec. of Defense) was deliberately absent from the ceremony to preserve the line of succession.

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