History today (not a political thread) So any parties?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is not about anyone's views on who should have been President. I am just wondering if people of all stripes are having any parties/celebrations to honor the historic event. I'm going to my friends to watch the Inaguration and we're eating afterward--the whole family. Since I have two African-American children, this is a big step for them. And I grew up watching segregation on television. I never thought this day would come.
    For the record, I always watch the Inaugurations, but this means something to my kids so it is special, regardless of whether or not I agree or disagree with President Obama's agenda (and I'm not telling :p) :)
  2. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    It is historic. As you mentioned - it doesn't matter what your political views are - today is one of those days when we will say "Do you remember when Obama was inaugurated?"

    I'm sort of nervous too. When such large groups gather - especially given the significance of this event - I always worry about some crazy detonating a bomb.

    I hope this new leadership ushers in a better era for our country.
  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Golden, it is definately something to think about - I know that Difficult Child has put everything possible in place to guard against something like that.

    I'm taking my little tv to the office so I don't miss it. difficult child told me Friday that everyone is scheduled to eat in their classrooms today because they will be broadcasting the inaugeration into every classroom.

    It is definately an historic event and it also is a time when the thought of change is hopefull given our current financial situation and the war we are fighting. Regardless of your political view, this country needs some fixing and someone who has never been told, "we don't do it that way" just might bring a fresh perspective! Goodness knows we need something.....

  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    As a rule, the Presidential inaugural speech etc makes our news in Australia. When the news comes round on that day, we see footage of it in the regular reports.

    But THIS year, two of our commercial networks in Sydney (the two most noisily rival networks) are transmitting the Inauguration live. One of the begins at 3 am our time, the other is beginning with a lot of preamble at 11 pm. I suspect the 11 pm start is to accomodate all those who are having Inauguration sleepovers...

    I guess it's a measure of how important our part of the world is seeing this particular historic occasion.

    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I will be watching it with Jess and thank you. I think I will try to throw something in the crock-pot because i iwll be cleaning with my aunt and mom today.

    But no real parties that I know of. I do know if you miss it, it will be on either www.imdb.com (click on the watch tv and movies banner) or on www.hulu.com so you can watch it on the computer.

    This truly is an historic occasion. And an amazing one.

    I still remember thinking my parents were joking about racial prejudice until a family enrolled their African-American children in the Catholic school I attended and a LOT of families moved their children to other Catholic schools in the area. And until both a lay teacher AND a nun told me that I wasn't supposed to talk to or play with these children because they were African-American.

    I strongly hope this is just the beginning of a trend of "color blindness" in America.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    There is a local "hoity-toidy" restaurant that's having a celebration but it's $50 to attend and we just can't swing it.

    I bought some Avery soda that has Obama's face on it and we'll toast with that when he swears in. I'm going home from work at around 11-ish today so I can see the immediate events leading up to it. My girls and H are meeting me there so we can watch it all together.

    I agree, no matter what your political feelings are, this is a monumentous historic event and it should both be witnessed & celebrated by all Americans. At least that's my hope; that everyone can agree that as a nation we've come a long way and this is something to be proud of.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Our TV here has given a lot of coverage to the Inauguration, all day. First the live coverage, which was advertised as beginning at 3 am (I'm ignoring the network that claimed to begin at 11 pm, they would have had nothing but loads of pre-packaged newsreels etc to show). When husband & I woke up this morning, the morning TV shows were still screening events live; we watched the motorcade make its way to the White House. I noted the comment from a US reporter that the motorcade was moving "no faster than the walking pace of a man with a gun (or somerthing like that).

    Then for those of us who refused to lose any sleep, the TV coverage began to replay everything. Whenever husband & I have seen a patch of news on TV, they've shown various bits from the whole Inauguration events. It's almost time for the evening news here and I know it's going to be full of the events.

    husband & I have been having our anniverary day out, and he commented, "We've not had our anniversary clash with US Presidential Inauguration before, have we? And I haven't heard of it being so close to Martin Luther Day before... so what determines when the Presidential Inauguration happens?"

    So - can anyone tell us?

  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Marg, Since F.D. Roosevelt, it's been on January 20 (unless that date falls on a weekend or like in Ford's case, a president steps down or *shudder* something worse). Prior to Roosevelt, it was on March 4. George Washington's Inauguration was April 30. I'm not sure why it was changed from March to January. That's a good question and one that husband will probably know. If I find out, I'll post it.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I found this bit interesting:
    We have just had what seems like a long lame duck period, during which the world has been slammed with what could be another Great Depression. And as with previous presidents, again we've been watching from Australia; this time to see our former PM get presented with a very high honour, by George W Bush (we presume for our ex-PM's unswerving support in the face of international disapproval).

    We have no official lame duck period, although we had one to a certain extent in 2006/7, because our incumbent leaders get a great deal of say in when elections can be held. They can't hold on to leadership for more than three years without calling another election. But if they keep winning elections there is no maximum number of terms. (Our former PM was the 2nd-longest serving PM in Australia. The record for the longest time in office was for Robert Menzies, who was PM for 23 years.) However they can choose to call an election (lower house, aka House of Representatives, the one that REALLY determines which party is in power) AT ANY TIME (although as the decision has to be ratified by our Governor General, it is unlikely in the first year of office).

    If a government is doing well, they may choose to call an early election while their popularity is high. Or they may gamble on still being popular at the end of their term and wait to call an election then. But a government that is increasingly unpopular (as our previous government was) can choose to wait til the absolutely last minute of their term, to wring out the last drops of public support and hope for a miracle.

    Our former PM had survived a couple of times before, by just such a miracle - in times of crisis, countries tend to not change political leaders. But this time he had at last run out of steam. We all knew he was almost certainly going to get voted out, with a resounding defeat (in the end, he not only lost the election, he even lost his own electorate - almost unheard of for a sitting PM to be voted out of his seat; it's happened only once before). But he stalled on calling an election. And stalled. Everyone knew the date of the last day on which he could call an election, and yes - he waited until then. He did everything he could in the previous YEAR to try and boost the popularity of his party but nothing worked, or it backfired badly. I suspect it wouldn't have mattered how good he was, people were bored with him, fed up and wanting change, ANY change. And he was good - or he wouldn't have been able to hold on to power for so long.

    The problem for us was, everybody knew that he was most unlikely to win the next election. But he still had so much control of the government, that he used every chance he could to get through every law that he could, all the unpopular stuff, all the stuff that would nobble the next government. Our Workplace Relations laws for example, were brought in by what Australia at the time considered to be its own "lame duck" government even though they had not yet lost the election. It's taken our new government the next 12 months to even begin to unravel the mess that was made of our employment laws. Rights that had been fought for for decades or more, were wiped away with the stroke of a pen, and are being fought for all over again. Strange holes have shown up in these laws, where a person can be sacked from a job with no reason given, then re-hired at half the pay and with all previous conditions removed.

    Having just lived through our own long lame duck period, and having watched US news a great deal in the run-up to your election and since, I'm wondering if some time soon, the lame duck period will be shortened again?

    I'll let husband know about the inauguration date having been the same, for all our lives. We never really noticed it before, probably because this is the first time we've had such a historic appointment. Certainly it's the first time Australian media were giving it such blanket coverage!

    I've been trying to run my mind back past previous inaugurations I can remember. We did get some coverage on our news, of the past few Presidents. I remember Reagan's, I remember George W, I remember Carter's and Clinton's, all as covered on our evening news. But nothing like the fanfare we've seen this time.

    Thanks for informing this weary little colonial from Down Under, of these events of great import. May we all be spared the excesses of lame ducks in the future!

    To the moderators - I tried really hard to avoid being political in this post. Much of what I have stated is not merely opinion, it is enshrined in the regular opinion polls which were updated on an almost daily basis, for the 18 months we waited to change our government. We finally did the deed in December 2007. It is just fascinating to compare how it works in Australia, with how it works in the US, and how eventually it all comes round to influence everything on a broader scale.