Inauguration Day

Here we are. After eight long years, it's finally time for change.

It's a peaceful transfer of power and a historic moment. What does it mean to you? Discuss.

Obama-biden

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Today there are reasons aplenty to smile, to cry, to share, to heal, to forgive, to progress, to wonder, to dream, to console, to caution, to care, to think, to pause, to rend, to coalesce, to work, to lead.

    Today is a day to celebrate and prepare for the work that starts anew.

    Congrats, Oregon, Nation and all.

  • Jim (unverified)
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    It means that I have someone in the White House who will finally listen to me ... not always agree with me ... but actually listens to me. That's amazing after eight years of being invisible to the powers-that-be.

    It means, hope has finally come home.

  • Glen HD28 (unverified)
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    I am very happy today.

  • (Show?)

    That someday soon my country will be considered compassionate and strong by other nations and their people. That our reputation as a caring nation may soon be returned. That public education will mean more than just test results. That unions will be treated with respect. That I can wake up in the morning and just believe that good things are coming.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Starting today, many US tourists abroad can now say they are Americans and not Canadians when dealing with people in other countries.

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    Tom Brokaw, who REALLY needs to retire, upon seeing Craig Robinson's orange and black muffler, described it as being "Princeton colors." Good god.

  • Roy M (unverified)
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    Great to see the right and left coming together in solidarity and support of BHO and Country. It was a little shocking however to see that Bill Clinton and Barbara Bush apparently have the same hairdresser.

  • Terry (unverified)
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    Will all I can say is just wait for the other shoe to hit, the man has started going back on his promises, he spends the most money on himself, like for today. We need to have someone think about us and not themselves, his wife really hss a problem "did anyone really read her collage theises", if this is what is going to run our country, god help us all.

  • (Show?)

    Oh, can it, Terry. Now's not the time.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    The Americans are once again in charge of America.

    HERE FOLLOWS OBAMA'S INAUGURATION ADDRESS:

    My fellow citizens:

    I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

    Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

    So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

    That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

    These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

    Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.

    On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

    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.

    We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

    In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

    For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

    For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

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

    Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

    This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

    For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

    Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

    What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

    Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

    Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

    We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

    For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

    To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

    To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

    As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

    For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

    Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

    This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

    This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

    This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

    So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

    "Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

    America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

  • BOHICA (unverified)
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    Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    It's a happy day, folks! Let's enjoy it. We're Americans today and not Ds or Rs, "not red states or blue states, but the United States of America," to quote a gifted orator. The inaugural speech was about who we are and our values, a work of rhetorical genius.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Excellent. Now, let's see a steep learning curve, after 8 years of one that been as flat at the Texas plains.

  • Frank (unverified)
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    As wiser people than I said earlier today...

    "...Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye!..."

  • Frank (unverified)
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    As wiser people than I said earlier today...

    "...Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye!..."

  • (Show?)

    I second BOHICA. Free at last.

  • (Show?)

    I second BOHICA. Free at last.

  • ZZ Front (unverified)
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    It's a peaceful transfer of power

    Of course it would be a conspiracy theory to say that two Democratic Party senators falling over, that happened to be sitting at the same table 15 minutes earlier, one of which CNN had commented on looking particularly well, the other the brother of a Prez killed in a coup to end the most used phrase today, was anything but the result of really bad luck.

    Besides, does the outgoing administration really think it could get away with that?

  • LT (unverified)
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    It doesn't seem that long ago that there were cynics speculating W would never let go of power.

    Maybe it finally dawned on him that history was watching, but he did help with the transition. And when that helicopter took off, I thought not only about what a great thing it is to have Obama as President, but how wrong the cynics were to say this day would never happen.

    And for those of us who are not conspiracy theorists, that an old man and a seriously ill man were not able to finish the luncheon but WERE able to watch the swearing in does not come as a huge surprise. It is a victory that they were able to be at the ceremony at all.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    OK. It stands at 1-1 for change. The contrast between his walk down Penn Ave and baby Bush's first term when he didn't dare get out, and was booed at the White House, is real change.

  • Jim H (unverified)
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    Prediction:

    The wingnuts will soon be claiming that Obama's oath was null and void because it wasn't recited correctly word-for-word: http://thinkprogress.org/2009/01/20/obama-oath/

    ... which of course means he's not legitimately the President! OMG!

    LT, I have to admit there was a small part of me that thought Bush might not give up power if a Democrat was elected - claiming war emergencies or declaring martial law or something. Not something I expected would really happen, but I certainly wouldn't have been surprised.

  • Jim H (unverified)
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    ooh, I like the new comment code!

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    It doesn't seem that long ago that there were cynics speculating W would never let go of power.

    That wasn't cynicism. For some it came from a knowledge of history that made them aware of the possibility that people like Bush and Cheney could have tried to install a long-term imperial presidency. With their contempt for the Constitution and laws and treaties and the fact that they were aided and abetted in most of their abuses of power by a cowardly and morally bankrupt Congress, anything was possible. Only those ignorant of history and not paying attention would have failed to be on guard. Perhaps enough people in power were on guard and let Bush and Cheney know that a coup was not in the cards.

  • Chris #12 (unverified)
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    I'm curious about the empty stands on the parade route--what's up with that? The media is speculating that it's either security or weather, but does anyone know for sure?

  • Chris #12 (unverified)
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    I'm curious about the empty stands on the parade route--what's up with that? The media is speculating that it's either security or weather, but does anyone know for sure?

  • Chris #12 (unverified)
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    I'm curious about the empty stands on the parade route--what's up with that? The media is speculating that it's either security or weather, but does anyone know for sure?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Meanwhile on BlueOregon Sam Adams is outdrawing President Obama by more than four comments to one.

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    The worst crowds and crowd control I have ever experienced in my life. In my life. Absolutely crazy beyond belief.

    Other than that? A great day here in DC.

  • genop (unverified)
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    Conspiracy theory my ass. Bush relinquished the reigns months ago and only now may Obama attempt to arrest the descent. Adams needs to emulate W and fly the hell away - far away - maybe Texas. Wherever, just leave the governing to others. I am sure there must be restrictions within the definition of "Mayor" which exclude an admitted dishonesty mentor of young adults from qualifying for the position? Isn't this an omission of material fact which should have been included in his statement of qualifications? Now stop killing my buzz - I saw W fly away with my own eyes.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Starting today, many US tourists abroad can now say they are Americans and not Canadians when dealing with people in other countries.

    This is absurd.

    In 30 years of travel, for both work and pleasure, to Europe, Asia, and South America--and including stays abroad as long as 6 months--I have NEVER, when asked, lied about my citizenship. My first trip to Europe was in 1976, a time when scads of young North Americans were tramping around with the Canadian flag sewn onto their backpacks...who knew their actual nationalities, however. The number of explicitly anti-American comments I've had directed at me over the years is somewhere in the range of 5 to 10. But then I make a effort to use the local language, halting as that effort may be. What people everywhere appreciate is your effort to use the language, and your knowledge of and respect for local history and culture.

  • (Show?)

    I keep waiting for news that Bush pardoned Cheney or someone else who should be in jail, but it looks like they are still exposed to criminal prosecution.

  • (Show?)

    Well here in Seoul Korea, I took a nap in the early evening so I could stay up most of the night to watch the coverage before, the inauguration and then his speech.

    When Obama finished taking the oath of office just after 2am here in Seoul I let out a loud whoop despite all the neighbors being asleep. It was pretty incredible to watch.

    I ended up staying up long enough to watch Bush fly off in the helicopter before going to bed.

    It's been a pretty incredible two years leading up to Obama taking the oath of office.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    News item:

    Progressives suspend dissent; tear "Question Authority" bumper stickers from their cars.

    Bob Tiernan (Mult Co)

  • Dave Muckey (unverified)
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    News item:

    Progressives suspend dissent; tear "Question Authority" bumper stickers from their cars.

    Bob Tiernan (Mult Co)

    The new Rick Hickey?

  • (Show?)

    are the Adams comments locked? It accepts them, but they don't appear--and the last one was at 1030 this morning. I suspect it drew interest since then...?

  • (Show?)

    OK, nevermind. I see now there's a "more comments" expander link. Which is cool!

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    President Obama said:

    Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.

    Bob T:

    Forty-three, actually.

    Didn't anyone proof read his address to take out errors like this?

    Bob Tiernan

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Jeff Alworth:

    Oh, can it, Terry. Now's not the time.

    Bob T:

    Oh, like you waited 'til after Bush's first day to start trashing him. Oh sure. If Terry wants to start today then let him, and stifle your inner sensor.

    Bob Tiernan

  • GregorZap (unverified)
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    They sang good-bye as W entered the dais. It was good to know the Free Speech Zone was once again from sea to shining sea and not some cage away from the people who needed to hear their voices of dissent.

    FREE AT LAST!!!

  • Daniel Spiro (unverified)
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    Our new President is a natural. I don't know if he can solve many of our more intractable problems, but if anyone can, we've found the guy.

    Viva Obama!

  • How to Start a Business in California (unverified)
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    It was a historic day indeed with the inauguration of Barack Obama and now Obama will have to sit down and to tackle the problems facing the United States of America. The economy, oil, jobs and two wars will all be Obama’s focal points during his historic first 90 days in office. The changing of the guard will hopefully equal an end to the crisis.

  • BOHICA (unverified)
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    Bob T: Forty-three, actually. Didn't anyone proof read his address to take out errors like this? Bob Tiernan

    Actually less than that since some took it twice. I find it more troublesome that the Chief Justice is a bumbling idiot.

    The oath:

    US Constitution Article II section 1 ...Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--``I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.''

    Technically the name should not even be inserted. Nowhere in the Constitution does it mandate the Chief Justice administer the oath. The only Constitutional requirement is that he say the above words "...Before he enter on the Execution of his Office...".

    Chief Justice: "Will you now take the oath of office please" Obama: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

    That's it, that is how it should be done.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Jim H:

    LT, I have to admit there was a small part of me that thought Bush might not give up power if a Democrat was elected - claiming war emergencies or declaring martial law or something. Not something I expected would really happen, but I certainly wouldn't have been surprised.

    Bob T:

    Well, you were wrong then. That's what you get for reading that leftwing conspiracy crap. I saw the same garbage when Clinton was president. You should have had the sense to ignore it from the start.

    By the way, what side would you be on if you were a Venezualan witnessing Chavez's power-grabbing?

    Bob Tiernan

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    President Obama said:

    Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.

    Bob T:

    Forty-three, actually.

    Didn't anyone proof read his address to take out errors like this?

    BOHICA:

    Actually less than that since some took it twice.

    Bob T:

    Re-think that. 44 different persons is what is meant. We can subtract one because Grover Cleveland became President twice (no 22 and 24). He counts as two presidents, but he's only one person, hence 43 total. Now, according to you the total is less than 43 because "some took it twice". Well, look at list of presidents, BOHICA, and get back to me on that one. I can't wait to hear this one.

    Bob Tiernan (Grover Cleveland Democrat)

  • GregorZap (unverified)
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    I think we should just get this on record that this was Obama's first mistake and he is human.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Our new President is a natural. I don't know if he can solve many of our more intractable problems, but if anyone can, we've found the guy.

    Viva Obama!

    I believe Obama, himself, said it more than once that he can't do it alone. If his presidency is to succeed, the people will need to stand up and push. That will be a tough job when we see the people who surround him.

  • dartagnan (unverified)
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    "I find it more troublesome that the Chief Justice is a bumbling idiot."

    Roberts isn't an idiot, but he was probably sputtering with suppressed rage at having to administer the oath to a Democrat and a LIBERAL.

  • dartagnan (unverified)
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    "Oh, like you waited 'til after Bush's first day to start trashing him. Oh sure. If Terry wants to start today then let him, and stifle your inner sensor [sic]."

    My fellow Oregonians, this is the new leader of the Oregon Republican Party talkin' to ya. A real "uniter," just like the presydunt he admired so much.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    dartagnan:

    "Oh, like you waited 'til after Bush's first day to start trashing him. Oh sure. If Terry wants to start today then let him, and stifle your inner sensor [sic]."

    My fellow Oregonians, this is the new leader of the Oregon Republican Party talkin' to ya. A real "uniter," just like the presydunt he admired so much

    Bob T:

    No, that was not the leader of the ORP , but me. Darn it about the typo--I had i correct at first but then backspaced to rephrase most of the line and flubbed it. Oh well.

    Anyway, whether it was me or the other Bob T, I don't know why you see it as an example of disunity. The only point I was making was what I have observed for many years--that despite their alleged "principled" defence of "dissent" for its own sake, the reality is that such dissent only applies when a Repub president is in office. Dissent is fine, of course, and all I was pointing out to Mr. Barnhart was that he had no business telling someone that he ought to hold off because it's apparently worship time. Time to kiss the feet of someone we're supposed to show dissent as a form of patriotism. Oh well. Y'all can show loyalty to a president from time to time, but just admit it. That's all. Paint his face on 50-foot high walls and so forth. Just don't pretend that "Question Authority" and knee-jerk dissent are things you're all consistent about.

    Bob Tiernan Un-affiliated voter living in Portland

  • Betty (unverified)
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    <h2>Hope is not color.. We all need to believe in something i understand that.. But the change we got was a president with a diffent color.. He is just a man.. He can not change the world. Don't get me wrong i hope he can get us out of what we are in.. I feel sorry for Mr Obama.. Your being him up to high, when he does something wrong are you going to turn your back on him.</h2>
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