May 19, 2013
Obama’s Second Term Begins, Maher on the U.S. ‘Quasi-Police State,’ and More
Posted on Jan 20, 2013
Round Two: President Obama’s second term as commander in chief officially began Sunday. The president was sworn into office in the White House’s Blue Room, one day ahead of his inauguration. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath, as he did in 2009. Unlike last time, however, Roberts did not mix up some of the words and the president didn’t repeat the justice’s mistake. First lady Michelle Obama and the couple’s children, Sasha and Malia, were the only others in attendance at the official swearing-in. (Read more)
Biden Onboard: Vice President Joe Biden’s official swearing-in ceremony, which also took place Sunday, was better attended than the president’s. Among the guests: Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former Delaware Sen. Ted Kaufman, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan and former Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the oath of office. (Read more)
Lost Cause: Rick Santorum, who is probably daydreaming about how he would have become president Sunday if only he had won the Republican nomination, says Barack Obama has acted like a “sore winner” in his dealings with the GOP after his re-election victory. Santorum told ABC News on Sunday morning, “That’s the problem with this administration. They don’t—they’re not very gracious winners. And I always said, you know, there’s one thing worse than a sore loser, and that’s a sore winner. And the president’s a sore winner.” Unclear in his comments is whether being a sore winner is worse in Santorum’s book because he realizes that he himself is acting like a sore loser. (Read more)
Foul Pay? Republicans—especially those in the tea party—love to tout the U.S. Constitution and our rights under it. But perhaps they better take a closer look at it, because a new debt ceiling plan put forth by the House GOP may not pass constitutional muster. The proposal authorizes a three-month debt limit increase, but comes with this ultimatum: Congress must pass a budget or members of the House and Senate will have their pay withheld. It’s questionable whether the compensation part violates the 27th Amendment, which states: “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.” (Read more)
Taking a Tumble: Barbara Walters has been hospitalized after she fell on a staircase during an event at the British ambassador’s home in Washington, D.C., on Saturday night. The 83-year-old journalist cut her head when she slipped. According to a written statement by Jeffrey Schneider, a senior vice president at ABC News, Walters was taken to the hospital “out of an abundance of caution.” He added, “Barbara is alert (and telling everyone what to do), which we all take as a very positive sign.” (Read more)
Video of the Day: According to Bill Maher, unlike the rhetoric pro-gun advocates are pushing, it’s not our Second Amendment rights that are under assault in this country—it’s all of our other ones. In particular, the “Real Time” host says, in our “quasi-police state,” lack of privacy is the new norm. Moreover, he notes that lack of privacy appears to be the one issue Democrats and Republicans can agree on. “Yeah, both parties compete mightily to appear to be the greater champion of our freedoms, but the only thing that still has bipartisan support in Washington is not giving a sh-t about privacy,” he says.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
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