The Takeaway for Wednesday, January 28, 2009 (Early Edition)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Headlines; Iraqi elections
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The Takeaway for Tuesday, January 27, 2009 (Early Edition)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Headlines; News from Washington, D.C.
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White House role in slashing stimulus bill transit funding questioned

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Who's responsible for allocations in the stimulus package? Who decided that roads would get $30 billion, transit would get $9 billion, and that the "smart grid" would get $11 billion? According to transit advocates who've talked with House transportation committee chair James Oberstar, D-Minn., it was Lawrence Summers, director of the White House's National Economic Council.

ShovelWatch is a joint project of the non-profit investigative journalism organization ProPublica, The Takeaway and WNYC Radio.
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The Takeaway for Monday, January 26, 2009 (Early Edition)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Headlines; Washington review
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Qualifying my "true belief" in President Barack Obama

Friday, January 23, 2009

The 20-year-old single "Don't Believe the Hype" by hip-hop icons Public Enemy has been a constant thought of mine in days up and through the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States. The seminal political rap tune instructs black Americans, and others, to look beyond contrived media stereotypes to explore the complexities of black males and the negotiation of social and political spaces.

Having this lyrical tome — however dated — as a backdrop in considering the celebration of so many blacks on the election of President Obama can be helpful.

In cutting to the quick of Obama, there is an appreciation of him as articulate (I hated that reference to me by condescending teachers in school), self-disclosing and a brilliant, disciplined political mind. His list of personal and professional positives represents much of the best in the black community. And to see him appreciated so grandly gives us, and obviously many others, a sense of hope that we can be seen beyond the boxes that so often separate us from being seen as whole.

This is not to say that Mr. President is all-the-way on point. He is a politician. One who has manipulated circumstance, situation and stakeholders in ways that politicians do, and that's OK as long as there is an understanding of it all.

Just before the election of Mr. Obama to the presidency I opined that I'd sipped the Kool-Aid. I explained that I was a true believer, but only halfway. As with many who experience marginalization in this country, I believe in the ideal of American democracy — I dare say many black folk do. However that ideal has not been, nor is it now bound in one individual, no matter how cool and competent.

So, with President Obama there is true belief. His social standing and thoroughness gives us an opportunity to bet on black. He has allowed Us to step forward in this pivotal point in history.

Nonetheless, 'politics' is still 'politricks,' and we'd be wise to consider the words of Chuck D.

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The Takeaway for Friday, January 23, 2009 (Early Edition)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Headlines; Obama in the Middle East
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The Takeaway for Thursday, January 22, 2009 (Early Edition)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Headlines; Caroline Kennedy withdraws from U.S. Senate; Goings-on on Capitol Hill
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Video: "Section 1?" Andrea Bernstein finds her prime seat for the inauguration of Barack Obama

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Follow Takeaway Political Director Andrea Bernstein to her prime, second-row seat at the inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, in Washington, D.C.
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Top four things overheard at the inauguration

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"I'd rather get a stimulus than a recovery."

"Look at this mob. It looks like a Will Smith movie here."

"Don't forget this is the city that greenlighted a trillion-dollar bailout and two days later couldn't figure out where the money had gone."

"Log cabin republicans? There are six, and they all hate themselves."

Watch Mary Beth Williams' collection of images from the Inauguration.

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Global reaction to the Inauguration

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The AP created a really nice video essay of the world's reaction to the moment Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States.

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The Takeaway for Wednesday, January 21, 2009 (Early Edition)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Headlines; Day one for President Obama
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Favorite part of the speech

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Now safely inside and thawed (minus about seven layers of clothing) I’ve been listening to NPR, where the consensus seems to be that the speech was dark. But I found it strangely hopeful. After all, the revolutionary warriors made it through the icy waters, the soldiers whispering from Arlington are calling a nation to serve “something larger than themselves.” I find these encouraging words for dark times. But on the metro line waiting to leave the Capitol area, the emotional highlight of the day seems to have been the words “so help me God.” As one eight-year-old told me, on her way to the parade, “I liked it when he read the Bible.”

Read a transcript of President Obama's inaugural address and discuss it in The Takeaway's "user-annotated" document viewer.
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"A long way to get here…"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Countless hours to arrive in Washington, six hours in sub-freezing temperatures, and some folks with tickets couldn’t even get in after the blue gate was shut down. Then it was a two-hour line just to get in to the Capital South metro station. Did it matter? Nope. A family from Rochdale Village, Queens, had a Plan B — they went to Cong. Gregory Meeks’s office in the Raeburn House Office Building — heated, with snacks — and watched it on TV. A young man from Scranton slipped in by walking around the crowd, but his friends were not so lucky. One woman from Philadelphia was relegated to the streets, far from the jumbotrons, where she clung to the event by listening to the cheers for the mall. She didn’t care, either. “We came a long way to get here,” she explained. “Oh,” I asked “Where are you from?” “No,” she corrected, “I mean a long way, in years.”
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President Barack Obama's Inaugural Address (Transcript)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

THANK YOU. THANK YOU. MY FELLOW CITIZENS, I STAND HERE TODAY HUMBLED BY THE TASK BEFORE US. GRATEFUL FOR THE TRUST YOU'VE BESTOWED, MINDFUL OF THE SACRIFICES BORNE BY OUR ANCESTORS.

I THANK PRESIDENT BUSH FOR HIS SERVICE TO OUR NATION. AS WELL AS ...

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Made It! I'm at my seat

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Two rows from the band, which is right in front of the podium. Dressed in four layers, rode a (full) metro at 4:30 a.m. By 4:45 a.m. the mall was filling with a crowd that just wanted to be a part of history — I met people from Alabama, Indiana, California, red states, blue states, the United States. People that just decided to come and people that bought tickets a year ago. They wanted to be part of something larger, and today they are.
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A schedule of events for the inauguration of Barack Obama, Jan. 20, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Beginning at 8:00 a.m. Eastern
11:00 a.m. Pacific
Musical selections (The United States Marine Band)

9:30 a.m. Eastern
6:30 a.m. Pacific
Official video stream begins

11:00 a.m. Eastern
8:00 a.m. Pacific
Official audio stream begins

11:30 a.m. Eastern
8:30 a.m. Pacific
Takeaway Live Blog with John Hockenberry and Adaora Udoji

Approx. 11:30 a.m. Eastern
8:30 a.m. Pacific
Call to Order (Sen. Dianne Feinstein), Invocation (Rick Warren), Music (Aretha Franklin)

Approx. 11:45 a.m. Eastern
8:45 a.m. Pacific
Vice President-elect Joe Biden receives oath of office (Associate Justice John Paul Stevens), music (John Williams (composer/arranger), Itzhak Perlman (Violin), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello), Gabriela Montero (Piano), Anthony McGill (Clarinet))

Approx. 11:56 a.m. Eastern
8:56 a.m. Pacific
President-elect Barack Obama receives oath of office (Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts)

Approx. 12:01 p.m. Eastern
9:01 a.m. Pacific
President Barack Obama's Inaugural Address (expected to last about 20 minutes)
Poem (Elizabeth Alexander), Benediction (Rev. Joseph Lowery), the National Anthem (The United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters")
President Barack Obama escorts outgoing president George W. Bush and outgoing vice president Dick Cheney to a departure ceremony

Approx. 1:05 p.m. Eastern
10:05 a.m. Pacific
President Barack Obama attends an Inaugural luncheon

Approx. 1:25 p.m. Eastern
10:25 a.m. Pacific
Outgoing president George W. Bush speaks at Andrews Air Force Base

Approx. 2:20 p.m. Eastern
11:20 a.m. Pacific
President Barack Obama reviews the troops, the Inaugural Parade begins

MORE INAUGURATION 2009 »
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What's the year's biggest cultural event without tacky souvenirs?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Hours before Barack Obama was to take the oath of office, a CD of his speeches set to techno music blared out of a boom box sitting on a pile of T-shirts. "How much for the Shepard Fairey watch?" said a customer, leaning over the sidewalk table full of Obama merchandise. The greatness and gravity of the presidency, conjured up today under the Capitol dome, will sit starkly against the moat of junk that has never been seen before for a president.

Obama's popularity and personality have inspired designers and hawkers to take his rock star status to new marketing heights. The new president's smiling face sits behind the hands of clocks. A towel features the former senator dunking a basketball in a Superman suit, with the scoreboard reading "1:20:09." Regular campaign buttons that would have satisfied collectors and politicos of past ages are now neon, handmade and outfitted with glowing backlights.

Norris Gibson knew this would be big business eighteen months ago. "Win or lose, he was going to be a legend," he says. On Monday, he was busily manning tables outside Union Station that are extension of his Web site, myobamashop.com ("The New Presidential Obama Hoodies and Long Sleeves are now available!") He's created more than 150 designs with Obama's likeness, and boasts that he was the first to celebrate the young president using rhinestones on clothing. Caps and ski caps with "OBAMA" in white plastic stones are selling for $12; T-shirts at his stand go for $26.99. The devoted throng stood two or three deep, calling out sizes and styles, while a CD switched to a Gospel-backed version of Obama's Grant Park victory speech.

Just outside the Greyhound Bus Terminal, Darin White was pushing sequined T-shirts for $45. "I think there will be enough folk here that there will be nice sales all across the city. It'll be a great Obama Day," he said, further reinforcing his brand.







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Behind the scenes with the first gay and lesbian band to march in a presidential inauguration parade

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Trouble viewing this video? Check out the YouTube version (click "watch in high quality" for best quality).

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