Posted by: David Carlson | January 21, 2009

First Day a success for President Obama

As posted elsewhere on Twitter and Facebook, my wife and I hosted a viewing party for the inauguration. Friends arrived about 10 AM CST, and were chattering away until people started to emerge from the Capitol. All were silent as the Vice President took the Oath of Office. No one spoke until President Obama finished his address. I found the transcript right away, provided on Yahoo! by the Associated Press, and made copies for everyone.

Another friend, Nancy Wong, who is a professional photogrpher, posted an excellent album on Facebook. Actually three days of photos, and the best of the shots were in the midst of the crowd on the Mall.

We enjoyed a potluck brunch, snacks and desserts. Friends hung around until 4 PM. The parade seemed anticlimactic. After everyone left, I cleaned up and watched Jeopardy.
My wife and I tuned in again later to watch the Neighborhood Ball. Excellent!

I got about 2 hours sleep before I popped awake at 12:30 AM. Watched Poker After Dark until 2 AM. Wondered if anyone called the new President at 3 AM EST. I’m sure he was ready to take the call.

Wayne Frame was at our party,  also could not sleep that night. Several of the women were out for a morning hike at 10 AM, usually a 3 mile roundtrip to a campground at Tettagouche State Park. What is it about Inauguration Day that stimulated the neighborhood women, and agitated the men?
Three other neighbors went ice fishing up the Gunflint Trail.  Success there; Ellen Hedin caught a 5 pound lake trout (big for  a Boundary Waters lake), and had help from Art Fenstad pulling it out of the hole in the ice.

My wife and I went cross country skiing on the Baptism River Trails at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. Beautiful! That cured my day-after lethargy.

Unfinished business. I wondered why there was a delay in Senate approval of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Senator Kerry gave a good speech on CSPAN, and the lead opponent, Senator Cornyn of Texas made sense until he suggested that the Clinton foundation should no longer accept donations from foreign contributors. I can see the point about lobbying for the  favor of the Chief U.S. Diplomat.  Contributions coming out of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for example, carry the questionable perception that the U.S. covertly supports the education of terrorist youth funded by the same sources.  The very purpose of the Clinton foundation is to solve problems that governments are unwilling or unable to address directly. If the foundation is an effective problem solver, it should be a global effort.

Skip to the one week delay in approval of the nomination for Attorney General, and we see the same old partisan roadblocks that will be used to campaign against every new program the President puts forward. Who’s thinking of country first in such delays? Can you see the headline now about what was not accomplished in the first 100 days?

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