Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Coverage of Today's Events

By Ben Trott

As promised, here are a few links to coverage - both 'mainstream' and otherwise - of today's inauguration and the surrounding events.

The Huffington Post are providing video, live blogging and Twitter coverage of today's proceedings. I imagine they will also be assembling commentary, which can likely best be found via their inauguration 'Big News Page'. They are also streaming live video of the inauguration from MSNBC.

The Guardian's Oliver Burkeman will be live blogging the event here, as of later today.

CNN will be covering the day from 11.00 Eastern Time, including live online video streaming. The BBC are covering the event here, and the Company's Radio 4 will also be broadcasting on the events throughout the day. If you can not pick the channel up on your radio, you can tune in online here. Al Jazeera's English-language coverage of news in the Americas is posted here and the channel is live streamed here. The channel's website carries the most detailed explanation of what will take place when and where today that I have been able to find. Here is an extract.
Tuesday January 20th...
9:00am: Church service.

Coffee at the White House with George Bush, the outgoing president.

Procession to the capitol with Bush.

11:35am: Invocation from controversial evangelical pastor Dr Rick Warren.

11:46am: Joe Biden's swearing as vice-president, by John Paul Stevens, a supreme court judge.

11:56am: President's swearing-in by John Roberts, Chief Justice of the US supreme court.

The oath of office, as laid out in the US constitution: "I (Barack Hussein Obama) do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

They usually add "so help me God" at the end as George Washington did...

This year, as it has for the past several inaugurations, the swearing in ceremony will take place on the west front steps of the US congress.

Obama will be surrounded on the platform by his family, the Bushes, past and future Cabinet members, the justices of the Supreme Court, and dignitaries.

12:01pm: Inaugural address by Obama, now president of the US...

12:32pm: Departure of former president and Dick Cheney, the former vice-president: In past years, the new president and vice-president have escorted their former counterparts out through a military cordon.

12:52pm: Signing ceremony, where Obama will make his first official executive acts. He will sign executive orders possibly fulfilling campaign promises.

Some possibilities are: Lifting the ban on stem cell research, closing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, banning harsh interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects, or allowing abortion services at overseas family planning centres funded by the US government.

1:05pm: Inaugural luncheon - this is one of the few times when the top tier of the US Government is in one room.

The president, vice-president, supreme court, cabinet nominees, and members of the congressional leadership will all attend.

Obama will also address members of congress and probably ask them to sign the $850bn stimulus package...

The Obamas and Bidens then review troops present at the event.

2:36pm: Trip between the US congress and the White House.

Newly sworn-in presidents and their families traditionally drive and walk the 2.7km along Pennsylvania Avenue between congress and the White House...

This year's parade will include 90 music, cultural, and community groups. About 5,000 tickets were sold to the general public for seats along the parade route.

After the parade ends, hopefully before dark, the Obamas have a bit of time to get ready for the inaugural balls...

There are 10 official balls that the Obamas will attend, including ones sponsored by Obama's home states of Hawaii and Illinois...

Wednesday January 21:
The Obamas and Bidens have invited dignitaries to attend a prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday morning.

It is the last inaugural event.
Democracy Now!, the daily independent liberal-left news show, will be covering today's events and will also be running a 'morning after' show tomorrow. For more details on scheduling and content, click here.

A number of protests and other events are planned for the day (see reports from this blog here and here). I imagine many of them may be covered on Washington DC's Indymedia website who are also going to be reporting on the inauguration.

And finally, the now infamous Obama Girl, whose first YouTube video launched during the primaries has now received almost 13,000,000 hits, is also said to be in town. With her web-video team from the political satire site, Barely Political, she is apparently also going to be covering the events.

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