Obama transition

By Brent Baker | January 19, 2009 | 1:46 PM EST
Catching up with something from Saturday I just came across, Newsweek's Howard Fineman pointed out on MSNBC just before 6 PM EST, as the Obama-Biden train arrived at Washington, DC's Union Station, that he was reading “the pool reports that have been filed by reporters on the train and they refer to Barack Obama as PEBO, which is short for 'President-elect Barack Obama.'” Fineman felt that illustrated how “there's an intimacy and a familiarity on that train,” presumably between the journalists and Obama, one shared by Fineman who hailed Obama's “many gifts” and saw “a down-home folksiness that belies the tremendous hopes that not only the country, but the whole world, have for him.”

Full quote, which matches an MP3 audio clip (160 Kb, 26 secs):
I've been reading the pool reports that have been filed by reporters on the train and they refer to Barack Obama as PEBO, which is short for “President-elect Barack Obama” and there's an intimacy and a familiarity on that train, a down-home folksiness, that belies the tremendous hopes that not only the country, but the whole world, have for him.
By Kyle Drennen | January 19, 2009 | 1:21 PM EST

Bob Schieffer, CBS On Monday’s CBS Early Show, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer shared his thoughts on Barack Obama’s inauguration and made this comparison: "Well, people just want to be a part of it. It's like who wouldn't want to be a part of it if you could have been there when Lincoln gave one of his addresses or something...People really do feel this is a moment in history. And they want to be part of it."

Earlier, co-host Harry Smith observed: "And there is an amazing feeling here, especially contrast with the feeling of eight years ago." Schieffer agreed: "Yeah, it really was, because don't forget, you had that really difficult thing down in Florida. People were not convinced. Some people were not convinced that George Bush really was legitimately-" Smith interjected: "Still not convinced." Schieffer continued: "-the president. There was a lot of rancor. People had fun, they came up, and -- but nothing like the spirit that you see here...There is a real spirit here. I've never seen anything quite like it."

Smith later declared: "They're here from Canada, California, Colorado, Ohio. They're from all over the country. Every color of the rainbow. And there really is a sense of togetherness, of unity." He then concluded the segment by exclaiming: "It really is that sort of a sense of E. Pluribus Unum, right?...Out of many, one." Schieffer agreed: "It really is."

By Scott Whitlock | January 19, 2009 | 12:37 PM EST

During Monday's "Good Morning America," the show's anchors and reporters did not hold back on the hyperbole while discussing Barack Obama's inauguration. While co-host Diane Sawyer discussed those Americans who drove across country to see the inauguration of the 44th president, an ABC graphic trumpeted, "Inauguration of Barack Obama: The American Pilgrimage."

During an earlier segment, referring to a star-studded concert for the President-elect, Sawyer gushed, "They are calling it Obama-Stock because the performances were unbelievable." In a third piece, former Clinton aide-turned journalist George Stephanopoulos breathlessly narrated how Obama has been handling final preparations for his speech: "...The President-elect is a real writer...He's in the tinkering stage, which means, like, he's even looking at each word and saying, 'Wait, do I need two syllables and not one?'"

By Kyle Drennen | January 19, 2009 | 11:41 AM EST

Harry Smith and Patricia Stiles, CBS On Monday’s CBS Early Show co-host Smith recounted being a passenger on Barack Obama’s inaugural train on Saturday: "On a freezing cold Saturday, people stood for hours just to get a glimpse. They wanted to be able to say in the years to come, ‘I was there that day when the train went through.’ In his fawning report, Smith used poetic language to describe the train ride from Philadelphia to Washington: "Barack Obama spoke of perfecting the Union, he spoke of common hopes and common dreams, he spoke of recognizing ourselves in one another...This was no mere victory tour, this was something more."

Smith found two particular passengers, Patricia and Ted Stiles, who showed bipartisan support for Obama: "Patricia and her husband, Ted, are lifelong Republicans who supported Obama. What did you see when you looked out the windows today?" Patricia declared: "This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for this nation. I'm excited, Harry, let me tell you." Ted exclaimed: "I saw large groups of people, I saw small groups of people. They were standing on their cars. It's like watching a regeneration of our country." A Sunday article in The Denver Post quoted Patricia Stiles, a Colorado native, about hugging Obama at the beginning of the trip in Philadelphia: "President-elect Barack Obama, the greatest, most articulate speaker I've known in my lifetime, standing there to my left. I just melted away."

By Brent Baker | January 18, 2009 | 3:45 PM EST

With HBO now showing “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial” (to be re-run from 7-9 PM EST/PST tonight and again at 11:30 PM EST/PST), featuring a “who's who” of artists, I thought I'd provide my list of one hundred celebrities planning to celebrate Obama's inauguration over the next few days in DC.

I've collated the list of people and groups -- those scheduled to perform, appear at an event or ball or listed on a host committee (many will participate in more than one event) -- from a bunch sources, starting with the AP's Thursday article, “Hollywood on the Potomac: Where the stars will be.” I supplemented that with the WashingtonPost.com's “Party Central” and its The Sleuth blog, USAToday.com's entertainment blog and MSNBC.com's The Scoop blog. Those with an * are taking part in the Lincoln Memorial event, the rights to which HBO paid the inaugural committee $2.5 million.

Jessica Alba
Marc Anthony
Patricia Arquette
Joan Baez
Angela Bassett

By Noel Sheppard | January 18, 2009 | 1:14 PM EST

A Muslim religious leader with alleged ties to the terrorist group Hamas is scheduled to address President Barack Obama's inaugural prayer service on Wednesday.

Given the recent hostilities in Israel surrounding Hamas, irrespective of a just-announced ceasefire, one has to wonder how much attention this matter will get from Obama-loving media which are also largely pro-Palestinian.

Although Politico is getting credit for breaking this story, the American Thinker appears to have been the first to unveil the truth behind Ingrid Mattson Saturday (photo courtesy AP via Politico):

By Tom Blumer | January 18, 2009 | 10:30 AM EST

This is a hopefully good news, bad news post.

First, the bad news: James Hansen, head of NASA's the Goddard Institute of Space Studies is still bloviating about the catastrophes that await us because of what yours truly and others refer to as globaloney (the belief that the earth is dangerously warming, that human activity is the cause of the warming, and that radical steps that would cause huge reductions in standards of living around the world are required to save the planet from extinction). Reporter Robin McKie carries Hansen's latest "we'd better act or else" warning at the UK Guardian.

The hopefully good news is that Hansen's warning is thus far getting very light press coverage. A 9:45 a.m. Google News search done on "Hansen climate" (not in quotes) for January 16-18 came back with all of 24 items (the first page of results says there are 267, but there are really only 24.

Here are the first five paragraphs of McKie's article, if you can bear reading them (bolds after title are mine):

President 'has four years to save Earth'
US must take the lead to avert eco-disaster

By Warner Todd Huston | January 18, 2009 | 4:01 AM EST

Last Thursday, Barack Obama's nominee for Attorney General, Eric Holder, admitted during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing that he supported renewing the part of the Patriot Act that allows for the FBI to seek records from businesses, libraries and bookstores as the policing agency investigates suspects in this country. For years we've seen news agencies and opinionists rail against the expanded power of the FBI to search such records. But, now with Obama's AG announcing in his confirmation hearing that he agrees that the FBI should have this power, all anti-Bush administration voices are silent on the matter that had them so exercised for 6 years.

Since 2002 the debate has raged about the efficacy and Constitutionality of the Patriot Act with the power of the FBI to search bookstore and library records coming in for special condemnation. Even as the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the law, right to privacy groups, the media and anti-Bushies have pointed to this particular policy and cried Orwell or worse.

By Brent Baker | January 17, 2009 | 11:25 PM EST
“I'm so happy my children have a real hero to look up to” in “a  truly scholarly man” who will make an “intelligent, constitutionally brilliant President” at a time when “people are so ready to rejoice and celebrate what is hopefully the return of the foundation of the United States” so “my eyes well up just thinking about” Barack Obama being sworn in since “I'm calm for the first time in eight years,” knowing “somebody is in charge that has such intelligence and grace and is so thoughtful.”

That's some of the giddy excitement expressed by a few of the many celebrities swarming to Washington, DC this weekend for Obama's inauguration which were collected by USA Today for articles in Thursday's and Friday's “Life” section:

Actress Gloria Reuben (IMDb page), now in TNT's Raising the Bar and formerly on NBC's ER, will be on hand Tuesday “to watch the magic moment happen” since she yearns for an end to the “hell” of the Bush years. (Screen capture is from Reuben on ABC's This Week in 2006 when she was promoting a play in which she played Condoleezza Rice):
It's a once-in-a-lifetime situation. The last eight years have been such hell. We're all so excited about the hope of things to come. I really think that's part of it. People are so ready to rejoice and celebrate what is hopefully the return of the foundation of the United States.
By Tom Blumer | January 17, 2009 | 10:17 AM EST

ObamaAndGeithner0109.jpgThe Associated Press's record of running interference for Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner continues mostly unabated.

My chronicle of AP's largely weak coverage, most of which has been previously detailed at NewsBusters (here, here, and here), is at the end of this post.

No AP report I have seen has noted that Geithner applied for and merely pocketed partial "reimbursements" from the International Monetary Fund for payroll/"self-employment" taxes. He signed IMF forms saying that he had paid or would pay those taxes. He didn't pay up for 2003 and 2004 until his returns were audited. He more than likely never would have paid up for 2001 and 2002 if he had not been nominated, even though a strong case could be made that he engaged in tax evasion.

These aspects of Geithner's tax situation, if widely known, would, I believe, cause the average taxpayer to object strongly to the very idea of his nomination. AP's alleged journalists appear to believe that this cannot be allowed to happen.

AP Personal Finance writer Dave Carpenter, in a mostly Q&A piece with a really weak title ("Meltdown 101: US tax laws can even foil the pros"), continued the silence on pocketed reimbursements yesterday afternoon (stored here for future reference). He also seems to have found every excuse for Geither except "the dog ate my W-2":

By Brent Baker | January 16, 2009 | 8:44 PM EST
Friday's CBS Evening News delivered a parting shot at outgoing President George W. Bush as fill-in anchor Maggie Rodriguez paired how a just-released CBS News/New York Times survey pegged Bush's approval rating “at just 22 percent” -- which she noted “is the lowest for an outgoing President since the question was first asked more than 70 years ago” -- with how “68 percent said they expect Barack Obama to be a good or very good President.”
By NB Staff | January 16, 2009 | 4:32 PM EST

http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/01/2009-01-14ReutersGrahamObamaBiden.jpg

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Pres.-elect Barack Obama and VP-elect Joe Biden meet in Washington January 14, 2009, after Biden and Graham's recent trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. Photo Reuters/Kevin Lamarque