Gallery: Inauguration 2013

Barack Obama sworn in for second term, WSB stymied by protester

The second Inauguration of President Barack Obama - January 21, 2013.

The second Inauguration of President Barack Obama – January 21, 2013.

Willy Street Blog has a D.C. Annex and took time to attend the swearing-in for Barack Obama’s second term. It was a glorious day in Washington D.C., as glorious as a January can be in one of the northernmost southern Cities. Occasional sunshine and a high near 50 with very light breezes made for great all-day viewing of the events.

A workman-like speech was given by the re-elected President Barack Obama, however the crowd was dazzled by how enchanting the President and First Lady looked on this day. The newly acquired bangs of the First Lady were almost trumped by her fantastic overcoat.  Continue reading

Live Blog Wrap: Foreign Policy Debate

Battle in Boca is last face-to-face matchup

President Obama and Governor Romney in the final debate of the 2012 election. Courtesy:

The debates are over and there were no real gotcha moments. It was an exercise in Romney agreeing with Obama but trying to make it sound like he failed. As CBS News’ Scott Pelley noted right after the debate, “It seemed like they both only came alive when they started talking about the economy.”

Both candidates pivoted back to the economy saying that a strong economy will help when it deals with the world. Its obvious that this election will come down to the economy and now its up to the political ads and surrogates….down the stretch they come!  Continue reading

BlogWrap: Obama Drains it from Three Point Land

Oh, its on!

Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination for convention. Courtesy: PoliticoThe highly choreographed infomercials that are our political conventions are now over. The Republicans held a distracted and somewhat shrill gathering that was high on complaining and offered little in solutions or more crucial; inspiration that undecideds can take to heart.

The Democrats were highly focused and on message over 90 percent of the time. It was a stronger line-up of surrogates and party stars that made effective pitches. It helps that they have a better brand, incumbency, accomplishments that have solid support by the electorate, and frankly better speech writers.  Continue reading

BlogWrap: Bill Clinton’s Political Potion Number Nine

How Bill Clinton seduced Peter Griffin and America

President Barack Obama joins former President Bill Clinton after he gave a rousing speech in support of his reelection. Courtesy: The Washington Times

There is a magic about Bill Clinton. Its obvious there is a sex appeal that women fell for during his entire political life as exhaustively chronicled in the 1990s. But his underlying irresistible mojo has to do with his wonky command of policy details along with his innate ability to communicate to his fellow Americans how these policies impact them.

Clinton’s defense of Barack Obama’s stewardship over the last three years all but eviscerated every Republican attack on Obama’s record. Clinton relished the role because as of late, Republicans were in a way co-opting Clinton’s legacy by praising Clinton on issues like welfare in order to tarnish Obama with a dubious and largely discredited attacks on his welfare policy.  Continue reading

BlogWrap: Michelle Obama Pitch Perfect

First Lady Michelle Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention Tuesday September 4, 2012. Courtesy: YahooNews

Schedules kept me from covering the entire evening of speeches, but as one MSNBC Analyst put it, tonight was about speaking to the Democratic base, and reigniting their passion and reminding them why they supported Barack Obama in 2008.

Michelle Obama told a personal story about how their marriage began and the journey they took to the presidency. Obama showed that that journey was a familiar one for Americans in that it was done with student loans, low-paying jobs, and support from family members.

It was an important picture to paint, saying that Barack Obama understands your situation best, mostly because he has largely lived the same life that many Americans have.  Continue reading

Scott ‘Baghdad Bob’ Walker

Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf a.k.a “Baghdad Bob” was the Iraqi Information Minister under Saddam Hussein.

I’ve been wanting to write a post involving “Baghdad Bob” for quite a while and now I think I’ve finally found a reason. If you don’t know who former Iraqi Information Minister Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf is, he was the face of the Iraqi regime during the beginning of the Iraq war. Saddam Hussein was nowhere to be found but al-Sahaf, dubbed “Baghdad Bob” by the American press, was on the television spinning fantastic lies about how the war was going for Iraq.

It was of course going badly but you had to respect the man for doing his duty until the end. But what dictator survives without his very dedicated communications staff, and Bob’s role was to obsfucate the truth as much as possible.

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LiveBlog Wrap: Optimistic Nostalgia

Romney gives speech with few details, goes full neo-con on foreign policy

Mitt Romney gives his nomination speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida on August 30, 2012. Courtesy:

On a night when Romney had to appear human and the Republican party appear inclusive, it sort of happened. The line-up of Romney warm-up speakers strained to present a party that was inclusive of women and minorities. Several speakers rolled out sentences and whole paragraphs of Spanish to prove they like people that are not white. Then they were put back in their cages.  Continue reading

LiveBlog Wrap: Ryan’s Night of Lies

 Ryan avoids truth telling in acceptance speech, Maddow owns Walker in interview

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan speaks before the Republican National Convention Wednesday night August, 29, 2012. In accepting the Republican nomination for Vice-President, it was his first major national speech. Courtesy:

Below is a summary of WSB’s live blog of the RNC convention from Wednesday night, August 29, 2012. We joined the evening speeches when Former National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice addressed the convention. She was followed by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez who gave way to one of the Tea Party’s kingmakers Mike Huckabee. The final speech was given by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as he accepted the Republican nomination for Vice-President.

Probably the most entertaining part of the evening was seeing Scott Walker get grilled by MSNBC anchors Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz after Ryan’s speech. Walker, who has been hailed as a hero this week probably expected to go on television, spew his prepared talking points to the floor reporter, smile his dopey smile, and move on.  Continue reading

‘So Easy A Woman Could Fly It’

Women pilots in WW II helped men conquer fears of flying the B-29

Former B-29 Pilot Dora Dougherty (left) and Lt. Col. George Hardy ret. a Tuskegee Airman flew the B-29 in Korea. Photo by: Steve Schapiro

In World War Two women were not allowed to fly in combat, and African-Americans were only begrudgingly permitted toward the end of the conflict. But women did perform an incredible amount of military flying as Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs).

The Boeing B-29 “Superfortress” was the best bomber of the war, but it had some serious teething problems that made male pilots reluctant to fly it. Enter two WASPs who were plucked by Colonel Paul Tibbets to demonstrate that the plane was safe. Tibbets took this extraordinary step because he had a big mission to accomplish; train a bomber group to drop atomic weapons, which at that moment was still a big “if”.

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The Invisible Made Visible

This American Life pulls off another great live stage show

Host Ira Glass giving his prologue as animation plays behind him. Photo by: Adrianne Mathiowetz

I waited to write about the recent “This American Life” stage show in New York (May 10), beamed live to theaters around the world, since Ira Glass intoned us to not give away all the surprises due to a rebroadcast scheduled for the following week. This show, “The Invisible Made Visible”, was a natural evolution of TAL’s first live simulcast in 2009 and featured elements you just can’t do on the radio like animation, dance numbers, and using a smartphone app to play along Rock Band-style with the hand bell wielding members of OK Go.

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