EVENT: Presidential Inauguration 20th and 21st Jan. 2013
Sunday, Jan. 20
Inaugural ceremonies are not held on a Sunday because public institutions are closed. In accordance with the requirements of the Constitution, Obama and Biden are officially sworn in on Sunday.
Vice President Joe Biden’s Official Swearing-In
Naval Observatory 8 a.m. EST
Wreath-Laying Ceremony Location:
Arlington National Cemetery 9 a.m. EST
President Obama’s Official Swearing-In
White House, Blue Room 11:55 a.m. EST
CBS NEWS POLITICALEYE :
Series of reports on the inauguration 2013
Corporate donations to Obama inauguration draw fire
A list of donors to President Obama’s second inauguration released Friday evening revealed some big corporations that will be bankrolling the upcoming festivities, drawing fire from transparency advocates and political money watchdogs.
In 2009, Mr. Obama’s inaugural committee did not accept corporate donations, donations from lobbyists, and individual donations in excess of $50,000. This time, he retained the ban on lobbyist donations but opted to allow unlimited donations from individuals and companies.
Despite the relaxed restrictions, the president does not yet have much to show for it – the corporate donor list includes such marquee names as Microsoft and AT&T, but only a dozen corporations have donated to the official Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC). More than 400 individuals have donated $200 or more. Specific donation amounts from the corporations or individuals were not disclosed.
And despite the relative paucity of corporate money donated to date, advocates for tighter restrictions on political donations have not greeted the about-face enthusiastically. “It’s not worth indebting yourself to corporate interests just to have a big party,” Craig Holman, an advocate with the watchdog group Public Citizen, told the Washington Post. “It’s very unfortunate and quite a reversal of what this president stood for.”
Holman also criticized the lack of transparency in the PIC’s disclosure. In 2009, inauguration organizers released the employer, amount donated, and state of residence for each individual donor. This time, however, the president provided “just a list of names,” Holman told the Post.
An inaugural committee spokeswoman, Addie Whisenant, pushed back on complaints about transparency, telling the Post, “The Presidential Inaugural Committee is continuing its pledge of transparency for the American people and is taking extra steps to provide the public with ongoing updates about who is donating to the inaugural. In keeping with the FEC requirements, we will also make public the final list of donors and the amounts they contributed to the [committee] 90 days after the presidential inauguration.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Election Committee announced on Friday that Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign has been fined $375,000 – one of the largest fines ever levied on a presidential campaign – due to a reporting violation related to nearly 1,200 donations totaling nearly $1.9 million received during the closing days of the 2008 campaign.
Campaigns are required to disclose donations in excess of $1,000 or more within 48 hours of receipt during the final 20 days of the campaign.
The fine stems from the Obama campaign’s failure to disclose nearly 1,200 donations totaling $1.9 million.
Chief Justice John Roberts to swear in Obama, twice — again
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will deliver the oath of office for President Obama when he is sworn in for a second term in office, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced today.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor will administer the oath of office for Vice President Joe Biden, making her the first Hispanic and fourth female to deliver the oath.
Mr. Obama followed tradition by choosing the chief justice to administer the oath, while Biden personally selected Sotomayor. The oaths will be delivered first on Sunday, Jan. 20, the constitutionally-mandated date. However, inauguration ceremonies are typically not held on Sundays because courts and other public institutions are closed, so the the oaths will be delivered again in a public inauguration ceremony on the West Front of the United States Capitol, on Monday, Jan. 21.
“I will be honored to again stand on the Inaugural platform and take part in this important American tradition,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “I look forward to having Chief Justice John Roberts administer my oath of office as we gather to celebrate not just a president or vice president, but the strength and determination of the American people.”
Biden called it an “incredible honor” to be sworn in by Sotomayor. “From the first time I met her, I was impressed by Justice Sotomayor’s commitment to justice and opportunity for all Americans, and she continues to exemplify those values today,” he said.
Incidentally, Roberts had to administer the oath to Mr. Obama twice in 2008 as well — that time, Roberts went to the White House to re-administer the oath after flubbing it the first time around. When Roberts misspoke in the 2008 inauguration ceremony, it prompted Mr. Obama to repeat the wording differently than as prescribed in the Constitution.
Sunday, January 20
The public swearing-in ceremony isn’t until Monday, but because January 20, the mandated swearing-in date, falls on a Sunday this year, Mr. Obama will have two: First a private ceremony administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and then again on Monday during the festivities. Vice President Joe Biden will be sworn in on both occasions by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who will become the first Hispanic and fourth woman to deliver the oath.
Monday, January 21
Ceremonial swearing-in – 12:00 p.m. ET
Obama’s inauguration theme: “Faith in America’s Future”
The theme for President Obama’s second inauguration will be “Faith in America’s Future,” Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., announced today.
Schumer, the chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said the theme was chosen to celebrate the United State’s “perseverance and unity.” It is also, perhaps, an implicit acknowledgement of the fact that Mr. Obama’s reelection took place against the backdrop of an economy that has yet to fully recover from the 2008 financial crisis.
The theme will also mark the 150th anniversary of the Statute of Freedom being placed on top of the partly constructed Capitol Dome in 1863, which the committee calls a transformation year.
A news release by the inaugural committee says the year 1863 is “one of the most fateful in our nation’s history” because of the Civil War, the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the transcontinental railroad and the first land grant college.
“Our nation has faced countless challenges throughout its history, and each time we have come together as Americans and moved forward with renewed strength,” Schumer said in a statement.
The inaugural committee is made up of a bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders. It is responsible for planning and implementing the ceremonies to officially swear in the president.
Mr. Obama’s second inauguration will be the 57th presidential inauguration. While the president will be officially sworn in on the constitutionally mandated date of January 20, that date falls on a Sunday, so the ceremony will take place on Monday, January 21.
The U.S. Constitution states that the president is to be inaugurated January 20 of the year following his or her election. But what happens when that date falls on a Sunday?
It’s been the case before – last with Ronald Reagan in 1985 – and will be again this weekend: The president will be sworn in twice.
At noon on Sunday, January 20 – the Constitutionally-mandated date – President Obama will be sworn in officially for his second term by Chief Justice John Roberts, in the Blue Room of the White House, surrounded by a small group of family and friends. On Monday comes the big celebration, replete with the inaugural speech, a parade, and, for spectators, a mock swearing-in.
In reversal, corporate donors sought to pay for inauguration
WASHINGTON (AP) — Planners of President Barack Obama’s second inauguration are soliciting high-dollar contributions up to $1 million to help pay for the celebration in exchange for special access.
The changes are part of a continuing erosion of Obama’s pledge to keep donors and special interests at arm’s length of his presidency. He has abandoned the policy from his first inauguration to accept donations up to only $50,000 from individuals, announcing last month that he would take unlimited contributions from individuals and corporations.
A fundraising appeal obtained by The Associated Press shows the Presidential Inaugural Committee is going far beyond Obama’s previous self-imposed limits and is looking to blow away modern American presidential inauguration fundraising records by offering donors four VIP packages named after the country’s founding fathers.
Event organizers are hoping the packages will pay for expensive events surrounding Obama’s inaugural on Jan. 21. Obama raised $53 million in private money for his first inauguration, when a record 1.8 million people packed the National Mall to see the nation’s first black president take the oath of office. The celebration has been scaled down this year, with less than half the crowd expected and a cut from 10 inauguration-night balls to two.
But the pressure is high to pay for the festivities after donors already contributed to the most expensive political race in U.S. history, a campaign that exceeded $2 billion. So far, health care executives and major Democratic Party donors – including those who’ve taken private meetings with Obama or his senior staff – are among those paying for the party.
The shifts underscore Obama’s evolving stance on changing how business is conducted in Washington. He criticized pay-for-access privileges during his first campaign, and after coming into office he pledged to have the most transparent administration in history. The president once shunned lobbyists but later gave some waivers to work for his administration. Once a vocal opponent of super political action committees – which can spend as much money as they can raise to help candidates – Obama later embraced them when faced with the mountain of cash spent by allies of his Republican campaign challengers.
The inaugural donation pitch for top contributors promotes a standard inaugural fundraising practice of offering packages that include tickets to balls and other events, albeit at much higher prices this time.
Donors at the “Washington” level are offered “premium partner access” for a minimum donation of $250,000 from individuals and $1 million from corporations. The package includes four tickets to the inaugural ball, an in-demand perk with just two being held this year on inauguration night. Inaugural planners also offered $60 tickets for members of the general public, but they sold out quickly Sunday night. Tickets to the Commander In Chiefs Ball are free for invited members of the military and other guests.
Other perks of the Washington package include two bleacher seats to the parade, a VIP reception at a Candle Light Celebration on inauguration eve, tickets to a children’s concert, co-chairs reception and a “Road Ahead” meeting featuring members of the president’s finance team Saturday and tickets to a benefactors’ reception to kick off the weekend.
The “Adams” package also promises premium partner access for $150,000 from individuals and $500,000 from corporations. It offers two tickets to the ball but not the parade bleacher seats and some other reception access.
Donors are offered “special partner access” that still includes ball tickets and the Candle Light Celebration at the National Building Museum for donations of $75,000 for individuals and $250,000 for corporations at the “Jefferson” level and $10,000 and $100,000 at the “Madison” level.
Presidential Inaugural Committee officials point out that many civic organizations also accept corporate donations and that they do not allow sponsorship deals. The committee also says it vets donations and rejects those from companies that haven’t paid back loans from the 2008 federal bailout of Wall Street. And it does not accept donations from any foreign entity in compliance with federal law.
“Our guidelines aren’t just consistent with the law – they are consistent with the president’s commitment to transparency and to reducing the influence of PACs and lobbyists in Washington,” the committee said in a statement. “In fact, President Obama is the only president who has refused to accept donations from PACs and lobbyists for his inaugural committee and put in place the most robust disclosures for his inaugural committees, which include regularly posting donors to a website.”
More than 400 individuals and a handful of corporations have so far contributed $200 or more to the committee, according to the online list. The rolling disclosure goes beyond the law that requires that donations be disclosed within 90 days of the inauguration.
But the list of donors being posted online is limited. It contains only names of people and companies who contributed, and offers no information on how much each donor gave. There is also no hint at the donors’ occupations or where they’re from.
An AP review of those names, combined with government records and White House visitor logs, found more than 30 inauguration benefactors who apparently have had private meetings with Obama’s advisers, dined at state dinners or attended holiday parties with the president in attendance.
Donors to the 2013 inaugural party include Bertram Scott and Challis Lowe, two health care executives who’ve been to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., records show. Scott, a former president with Cigna, and Lowe, Ascension Health’s senior vice president for organizational development and human resources, attended White House receptions.
Beyond health care circles, inaugural supporters include David DesJardins, a former Google top staffer and political activist who met with deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough in March 2010. DesJardins contributed more than $100,000 in the recent election campaign to American Bridge 21st Century, a super PAC supporting Obama’s a second term.
Irwin Jacobs, co-founder of tech giant Qualcomm and one of the biggest donors to Obama’s re-election effort, also is among the inauguration donors. The La Jolla, Calif., billionaire has given more than $2 million to pro-Obama super PACs and thousands more directly to Obama’s campaign and the Democrats.
An aide said Jacobs was out of the country and unavailable for comment. None of the other donors responded Tuesday to requests for comment.
Not all the donors have gotten what they wanted from Obama in his first term. For instance, AT&T has faced regulatory hurdles, including its decision to scuttle a merger with T-Mobile USA at a cost of $4 billion following opposition from the Obama administration. Microsoft donated even though Obama opposed an immigration bill that the company supported to expand visas for its workers.
The $1 million donations sought by Obama’s inaugural committee far surpass the record $250,000-range in contributions made by corporations and affluent financiers during the inaugurations of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and appear to the be the highest in the history of American presidential inaugurations, several inauguration analysts say.
The Federal Election Commission allows limitless contributions to presidential inaugurations, but recent presidents set self-imposed bars. Bush set a limit of $250,000 on inaugural contributions for his 2005 event and $100,000 for his 2001 event. Those caps did little to damp the flow from corporate contributors, as Bush reaped $42.5 million in inaugural donations in 2005 and $30 million in 2001. Despite the limits, several firms gave as much as $750,000 apiece by donating from corporate subsidiaries.
Clinton’s inaugural committee raised $23 million for his 1997 event, adding to a $9 million surplus left over from nearly $30 million in fundraising for his 1993 inauguration. In 1993, Clinton’s inaugural committee tried to sell $1 million corporate sponsorships to fund a televised gala, but didn’t get any takers, with the highest cash donations at $250,000 and a contribution of $1.5 million worth of communications equipment from Motorola. Clinton set a much tighter cap for his second inaugural, limiting contributions to $100 and selling ball tickets for a maximum of $3,000 each.
Rally, March, and Die Against Drone Wars in Washington, D.C., on Monday
By david swanson – Posted on 18 January 2013
What you can do to stop drone wars and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s opposition to militarism, racism, and extreme materialism.
1. Take 30 seconds to join 60,000 others in pushing for a ban on weaponized drones.
2. Take 30 seconds to demand that the millions being wasted on inaugural balls go to those who have lost their jobs, healthcare, and homes.
3. Be in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to say: No Blank Check for Israel!
Condition U.S. aid to Israel on compliance with U.S. and international law!
4-6 p.m. in Farragut Square
4. Join a meeting of anti-drone activists in Washington, D.C., on Sunday at 4 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church located at 400 I (Eye) Street, SW Washington, DC (near Arena Stage); Metro: 1 block from Waterfront Metro (GREEN LINE). Contact 571-501-3729.
5. Attend a rally and march in Washington, D.C., on Monday morning.
9-10 a.m. Rally with prominent speakers and music at Meridian Hill Park (lower level) at Florida Avenue and 16th Street NW, Washington DC, 20008. At 10 a.m. parade forms and marches down 16th Street NW to K Street NW. Contact 202-422-6275.
6. Do a die-in Monday in Washington, D.C., organized by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR). At the U.S. Capitol sometime after noon. Those dying-in will be risking arrest, and as we lie on the ground we will cover our bodies with a red-painted sheet to represent a bloody shroud, and with a large picture of a drone victim. We invite you to participate in this action — either risking arrest, or to be there in solidarity and witness. We call on all participating to commit to nonviolence. There are a number of people who would like to participate in both the Arc of Justice Rally and Parade, and then participate in the die-in. We have organized our action so that people will be able to do both. If you are planning or thinking about risking arrest, please contact email@example.com – especially if you will be joining us at 11:45 am after the Arc of Justice Parade.
January 21, Inauguration Day. Meet at 8 a.m. at the food court at Union Station near King BBQ and Vittorio’s Gelato. OR: Rendezvous point for people hooking up after Arc of Justice Parade will be at 11:45 a.m. in the same location. We will leave Union Station as a group at 12:15 p.m. and move towards the Capitol for the die-in. Photos of drone victims and shrouds will be provided for people risking arrest. We will need people to hand out flyers during the die-in. It is suggested that those dying-in bring a piece of plastic to put underneath them on the sidewalk. Temperatures are supposed to be in the upper 30s or low 40s and we may be lying on the ground for up to an hour. If you can play a support role for the action, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 608 239-4327.
7. Attend the launching of a new book: We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in The 21st Century. Reading, signing and discussion of new book in honor of MLK Day. 7-9 p.m. on Monday at 1525 Newton Street NW, Washington, DC 20010