All Articles Tagged "Inauguration"
Just two days ago, I was writing about the mother who lost her fourth and last child to gun violence in Chicago. Unfortunately, today’s story is not all that different. Fifteen year old Hadiya Pendleton, a sophomore, was gunned down yesterday afternoon after she left school. Just last week Pendleton and her classmates were performing at President Obama’s inaugural parade with her band and drill team.
On Tuesday afternoon, Pendleton who attended King College Prep, one of Chicago Public School’s top 10 selective enrollment programs, was dismissed from school early after taking exams all day. Deviating from what was believed to be her normal schedule, Pendleton and a group of her friends went to a park blocks from her school. It was raining so Pendleton and her friends took shelter under a nearby canopy. That’s when, the police say, a boy or man jumped the fence, ran toward the group and started shooting. Afterward he got in a car and left.
A couple of other students were taken to the hospital with injuries. In addition to the group of Pendleton’s friends, there were several gang members in the park at the time. When the police arrived on the scene, the people who remained were uncooperative with their investigation.
Students, some of whom described Pendleton, a majorette and volleyball player, as warm and friendly, surrounded the hospital along with her parents.
**Update** The Chicago Tribune is reporting that a presidential spokesperson spoke out about the tragedy:
Presidential spokeman Jay Carney, asked about Hadiya’s death, said it was a “terrible tragedy” any time a young person is struck down “with so much of their life ahead of them.”“The president and first lady’s thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hadiya Pendleton,” he said. “All of our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”
According to the International Business Times, the New Yorker’s article on Rand Paul asking for President Obama to resign was just a joke. Apparently Andy Borowitz’s article was satire and he regularly writes these types of opinion pieces on current events — without letting people know they’re not real.
Well, at least this is relief Republicans aren’t that crazy.
I really wanted that headline to read: GTFOHWTBSYRAMF — the last letters meaning you racist a** mother f***ers but that’s not very ladylike so I’ll stop while I’m already behind on my swearing allotment for the day. But after you read this, you might want to yell out a few expletives too.
The New Yorker, in its Borowitz Report, has quoted the always-ridiculous Senator Rand Paul — a Republican from Kentucky, of course — who is now calling on President Obama to resign from office because Beyonce lip-synched the National Anthem during inauguration. According to him:
“By lip-synching the national anthem, Beyoncé has cast a dark cloud over the President’s second term. The only way President Obama can remove that cloud is by resigning from office at once.”
“We must remember that this happened on President Obama’s watch. If Beyoncé lip-synched the national anthem, how do we know President Obama didn’t lip-sync his oath of office?” he said. “If that’s the case, he’s not legally President. But just to be on the safe side, he should resign anyway.”
Yes, that’s a very logical way to look at this situation because singing and talking are exactly the same thing and I’m sure President Obama wanted to save his vocals so he could whisper in Michelle’s ear later during their first Inaugural dance. How does he not realize how crazy he sounds? And how is his party not ashamed? They need to put out a gag order on him.
At this point, I should remind you that Rand Paul is the son of Ron Paul, the originator of the “honest rape” theory that, speaking of cloud casting, overshadowed way too much of the abortion debate during the Presidential election this year. So yeah, the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree at all.
Like Beyonce, the White House has chosen not to comment on what has become the most unnecessarily crafted scandal in a slow news week ever — because why would they — but Rand says the refusal to comment:
“only serves the argument that this President has something to hide.”
I wish Republicans like Rand and his pappy would realize that they should actually be the ones who keep quiet on things that don’t actually matter. Isn’t there a deficit to be fixed right now?
Perhaps it wasn’t as much of an historic occasion this time around (although the re-election of our first black President is a very big deal). That could explain the viewing drop off for Monday’s inaugural events.
The 2013 Inauguration of President Obama pulled in fewer television viewers than in 2009, when he became the first African American to take the highest office in the United States. According to The Hollywood Reporter, cable news viewership dropped by roughly 10 million during the half-hour swearing in, with CNN topping MSNBC and Fox News Channel. Nielsen’s Fast National ratings for the Monday event were not surprisingly down. Combined averages from CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel was just about seven million viewers.
For the special coverage, CNN averaged 3.14 million viewers during the swearing in, 1.11 million of them in the key 25-to-54 age demographic. During primetime, CNN averaged 3.57 million total viewers, with 1.27 million adults ages 25-to-54 watching.
Compare this to Obama’s 2009 inauguration ceremony, which averaged nearly 38 million viewers with cable and broadcast networks combined.
Did you watch this year?
Bey Must’ve Got To ‘Em: Marine Corps Backtracks On Inauguration Lip-Syncing And Aretha Franklin Weighs In
Ya’ll thought I was kidding yesterday when I said the Illuminati was going to get Kristin DuBois after she spilled the beans on Beyonce’s lip-synched Inauguration performance Monday. After the woman who presented herself as a representative of the US Marine Band told Page Six that Bey’s rendition was pre-recorded, the real spokesperson for the band came forward to clean things up just a bit.
According to the Washington Post, “Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Gregory Wolf said that because there was no opportunity for Beyonce to rehearse with the Marine Band, it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill advised. Instead they used a pre-recorded track for the band’s portion of the song.”
“Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter’s vocal performance,” Wolf’s statement continued, “no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded.”
I.e., Kristin DuBois next time someone comes up to you with a tape recorder in their hand asking for your opinion be quiet.
Unsurprisingly Queen Bey’s camp hasn’t said a word on this drama, but another Queen — the Queen of Soul — has thrown her two cents into the mix. When asked by ABC how she feels about Beyonce’s lip-syncing fiasco, Aretha Franklin said she thinks the whole situation is comical.
“When I heard the news this evening that [Beyonce] was pre-recorded I really laughed. I thought it was funny because the weather down there was about 46 or 44 degrees and for most singers that is just not good singing weather.
“When I heard that I just really cracked up. I thought it was really funny, but she did a beautiful job with the pre-record … next time I’ll probably do the same.”
Asked why she didn’t do the same in 2009 when she sang “America,” Aretha said:
“I wanted to give people the real thing and pre-recording never crossed my mind.”
“In 2009, I wanted everything to be live and on the real side for the moment as it actually happened. Those were my feelings for my performance, but having come face to face with 28, 22 degrees I am not surprised [Beyonce] pre-recorded. She wanted her performance to be what she wanted to be and she realized it wasn’t going to be the way she wanted it to be or she was going to be running a risk. That’s probably why she pre-recorded exactly how she wanted it to be heard.”
And there you have it.
Beyonce has a tendency to get on my nerves just as much as the next disgruntled blogger who has to write about everything she does simply because the Beyhive has more numbers than McDonald’s has daily visitors. But people care about what she does — and doesn’t do, as appears to be the case with her supposedly not singing the National Anthem during the inauguration yesterday — still I’m having a hard time understanding all the hoopla over what has become in one short hour, a lip-synching controversy.
The Times in the UK supposedly broke the story that Queen Bey, who may now be demoted down to a princess if some folks have their way, didn’t actually sing the “Star Spangled Banner” on the National Mall yesterday and the NY Post followed up with confirmation from a rep for the United States Marine Band who revealed that Beyonce decided to perform to a pre-recorded track at the last minute. Kristin DuBois told Page Six:
“All music is pre-recorded for the ceremony because there are so many eventualities and conditions that day. We performed, live, the band. But we received last-minute word that Beyonce was going to use the pre-recorded vocal track. Those were the instructions we were given. We don’t know what the reason why.”
I can’t really think of a reason why either, other than Beyonce being a notorious perfectionist. But the way I see it, if she can gyrate and booty pop while barely breaking a sweat and hitting every note during her concerts, why the hell would she need to lip-synch standing still on the Capitol — other than it was brick cold and, again, she’s a notorious perfectionist. But at the end of the day, does this news — if it’s true — really change anything we admire about Bey?
Truth be told, I’m more annoyed with the way she stood at the podium as the music started and gazed at the audience like she was the one being sworn in than I am with her lip-synching. That dramatic moment when she ripped that earpiece out of her ear is all the more over the top now that the story is that there was nothing for her to hear in the first place. But lip-synching on the day our commander-in-chief is sworn into office? Doesn’t bother me so much. And though I’d probably deny ever writing this if someone asked me, I lowkey feel sorry for the girl because I feel like this controversy is the fake baby bump story all over again. It’s as though people can’t just let the girl be great (or pretend to be great one day) without mass hysteria ensuing. But then again, I think back to the fact that she made $50 million off of a deal with Pepsi and has a body on the cover of GQ that has made roughly 99.9% of women across the globe sign up for gym memberships, and the fact that she and Jay are couple BFFs with the FLOTUS and POTUS and I think, ahhh she’ll be aight. People will care about this situation for all of 12 hours and then the thirst for her next song/video/Instagram post/pic of the back of her baby’s head will resume again at an all-time high.
Do you Bey, however it is you do it — or don’t.
What do you think about rumors not so Baddie Bey lip-synched during the inauguration yesterday?
Did She Kill It? Listen To Beyonce’s Rendition Of The National Anthem During President Obama’s Inauguration
The “Star Spangled Banner” is one of the most difficult songs to sing, even for the most gifted of singers, but Beyonce was up to the challenge today as she belted out the country’s national anthem during the inauguration of Barack Obama for his second term. Baddie Bey definitely put her own spin on the song as she closed out today’s ceremony, and even news anchors had to remark how each one of today’s performers, from Kelly Clarkson to King/Queen Bey knocked their songs out of the park.
Let’s see if you agree. Check out video of Beyonce’s performance this morning. Did she kill it?
(Also, am I the only one who saw Tina Knowles all up and through Bey’s face before she started singing?)
I’m wondering who didn’t get the memo on Lupe Fiasco’s opinion of Barack Obama when they asked him to perform during inauguration events this weekend. It was literally only a little less than six months ago that he called President Obama a “baby killer” while speaking out against US drone attacks on Al Qaeda forces, which is why I don’t understand why he was invited to headline the StartUp RockOn concert in celebration of Obama’s reelection Sunday.
In true, Lupe fashion, the rapper accepted the invitation, but instead of using his platform to perform, he made some very strong political statements. According to the Huffington Post, when Lupe hit the stage at The Hamilton in Washington, he proudly announced that he didn’t even vote for the president in the 2012 election and then spent the next 30 minutes performing an anti-war song. Not exactly the type of performance one would expect at a celebration to commemorate four more years.
These antics quickly found Lupe a new soundstage outside of The Hamilton when, after he refused to move on to a new song, security took the stage and promptly escorted, i.e. kicked, him out of the place and moved on to the next one, meaning a new performer. A couple of media folks captured the odd scene and tweeted about the performance as it was happening, like Josh Rogin, staff writer for The Cable, who tweeted:
CNN’s senior director of public relations, Matt Dornic, had a similar account, saying:
I can respect Lupe exercising his right to speak out against social injustices, but he’s getting awfully close to that inappropriate Kanye West, I don’t know the time or the place for my rants line. He didn’t have to try to play the President like that during inaugural weekend. Next time he should probably just decline the invite, stay at home, and show his disapproval that way don’t you think?
I’m gonna say it right here and now, if President Obama calls me for anything, I’m dropping everything I have going on and heading straight to DC on the next thing running. I don’t know many people who wouldn’t do the same, including singer Ledisi, but it’s that move that has the Black Academy Of Arts And Letters giving the soulful lady the side-eye.
This morning we received an email from the organization with the subject: “Ledisi Cancels The Emmy Award Winning Black Academy of Arts and Letters Concert to Sing at the Inaugurati
“Ms. Badu, who headlined the concert in 1998, replaces Ledisi, who cancelled early Monday (January 14) morning citing a last minute request by President Barack Obama to perform in Washington, DC as part of the inauguration ceremonies.”
Then, TBAAL Founder and President Curtis King lowkey goes in on Ledisi, saying:
“We were very surprised and disappointed by Ledisi’s decision to cancel literally six days before the concert, especially after accepting the deposit and fully committing to be part of this thirty-year tradition honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plans were solidified over five months ago. Countless hours of rehearsal have been spent by our 200 plus choir members, administrative staff, musicians, conductors and dancers. First-class travel arrangements were made. Radio, television, print advertising and promotional collateral has been running and being distributed for months.”
I get it Curtis; however, I bet if Barack Obama called him to come wipe the sweat off his brow during the inauguration, he would peace out on the TBAAL concert too and be on the first flight out to Washington. I could see if Ledisi didn’t have a legitimate reason for cancelling, or even if the organization didn’t find another performer — which by the way, Erykah Badu may be a bigger draw — but c’mon if the commander-in-chief of our nation calls you to do something, you’re going to do it. Not to mention, this is an amazing opportunity for Ledisi just as a performer. I’m sure she can make it up to TBAAL in some way. Return that deposit girl, and have a good time with the leader of our nation!
Do you think Ledisi was wrong to pull out of her prior engagement or would you have done the same?
The Obama team is the most wired camp to ever set up shop in the White House. During both presidential campaigns they masterfully used social media to get out the vote. So it is only fitting that for the upcoming inauguration, they have unveiled an inaugural smartphone app.
According to USA Today, the Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC) has created an iPhone and Android app that will allow people to follow the inauguration events as Obama is sworn in for a second term — in real time.
With the app, users can watch a livestream video of inaugural events, including the January 21 public swearing-in ceremony. “This inauguration is a celebration of the American people,” Steve Kerrigan, president and CEO of the PIC told the newspaper. “That’s why we’ve designed our app to make sure folks across this country don’t miss a moment of history. Whether you’re in Washington, D.C., or any other part of the nation, there are plenty of ways to be involved in the inauguration through this app.”
The app will also include schedules of official inaugural events in Washington, and blogs with news items. And, it syncs with Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, and text.
There is another app as well for the special occasion. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which organizes the swearing-in ceremonies at the Capitol, has also debuted its own mobile website app for smartphones. The committee said it will “provide ticket and travel information to make the day run smoothly,” reports USA Today. “The mobile Web app includes GPS technology that will direct ticket holders to the appropriate gate based on the color of the ticket they hold,” the committee told the paper.
Will you be downloading this app?
Obama and the rest of DC are gearing up for his inauguration on January 21. This time around, when President Barack Obama takes the oath of office, there will be a marked difference in turnout. It will be a much smaller affair, with officials estimating that attendance will be fewer by half, reports Fox News.
The first time around, some 1.8 million people packed onto the National Mall to see the first black President of the United States being sworn in. Now, hotel occupancy is weak compared to 2009, when you could not find an empty hotel room for miles. The special hotel packages aren’t being booked like before, Kate Gibbs, spokeswoman for Destination D.C., a nonprofit corporation that promotes D.C. travel and tourism, told Washington Whispers blog in US News And World Report. Back in 2009, hotel occupancy was 98 percent with guests paying more than $600 that night, according to hotel tracking firm STR, reports Fox News.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is also expecting less congestion with 800,000 fewer people using the rails, compared with 1.54 million users in 2009.
There are fewer official events as well. There will be only two official balls, versus six in 2009. The Inaugural Ball is expected to draw more than 35,000 people at the Washington Convention Center. The Commander In Chief’s Ball, which honors U.S. troops, has actually doubled in size from 2009 and will host about 4,000 participants at the convention hall. The events will, of course be star-studded — performers include Katy Perry, Smokey Robinson, Usher, Alicia Keys, and Brad Paisley. Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor will perform at Obama’s signing ceremony.
Separately but equally interesting, President Obama will use two bibles for this swearing in, reports The Root. One of the bibles was used during the first inauguration in 2009, and was also used by Abraham Lincoln at his first inauguration. The second bible will be one used by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., according to a news release from the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
“On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, this historic moment is a reflection of the extraordinary progress we’ve made as a nation,” Steve Kerrigan, president and CEO of the committee, said in the release.
The MLK bible was actually Dr.King’s “traveling bible.” According to The Root, Dr. King’s children announced, “We know our father would be deeply moved to see President Obama take the Oath of Office using his bible. His ‘traveling bible’ inspired him as he fought for freedom, justice and equality, and we hope it can be a source of strength for the President as he begins his second term.”
In a private swearing-in ceremony at the White House on Jan. 20, the President will use a bible from the First Lady’s family. “The Robinson Family Bible was selected specifically for the occasion. The bible was a gift from the First Lady’s father, Fraser Robinson III, to his mother, LaVaughn Delores Robinson on Mother’s Day in 1958,” writes The Root. “Mrs. Robinson was the first African-American woman manager of a Moody Bible Institute’s bookstore and she used the Bible regularly.”
Will you be there? MadameNoire recently reported on nine reasons to attend.