Tag: Inauguration 2009

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There's Other New World Leaders Too

January 19, 2009 at 9:25 AM | by | ()

We’re all about Barack Obama and the inauguration, the parties, the celebs, and the hoopla. However, 2009 is a big year for some other world leaders as well. Since we try to be “fair and balanced,” we want to give a little love to the shining stars in some other countries.

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A Brilliant Idea for Obama: Invite U.S. Airways Captain and Crew to the Inauguration

January 17, 2009 at 3:35 PM | by | ()

There's simply no question that Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, the captain who guided U.S. Airways flight 1549 to an absolutely perfect water landing in the Hudson River Thursday after it was disabled by a flock of birds, is in every way a kick-ass dude and a hero for the ages. But he also had a crew whose quick thinking and bold action helped ensure that every one of the 155 people on board made it out alive, an outcome that seemed all but impossible to me when I first heard of the accident and saw the images on TV.

We received a tip that a New York millionaire and frequent U.S. Airways passenger named Michael Savage has offered to take Captain Sullenberger to the presidential inauguration as his guest, and it got us thinking. Sullenberger shouldn't have to rely on the generosity of Mr. Savage, because if President-elect Obama is as cool as he seems to be, he'll personally invite the entire flight crew to join him as guests of honor for the big day. Think about it: this crew represents the very best of our country, selflessly working together against seemingly impossible odds to save the lives of others. They're just the kind of working-class heroes presidents love to trot out during State of the Union Addresses and such. It'll be perfect.

It's just a hunch, but I wouldn't be surprised if Captain Sullenberger was joined by First Officer Jeffrey Skiles and flight attendants Donna Dent, Doreen Welsh, and Sheila Dail at the inauguration this Tuesday. If anybody represents the hope embodied by the campaign, it's this bunch. Here's hoping Mr. Obama is thinking the same thing.

You heard it here first.

[Photo: LA Times]

Related Stories
· Two-Minute Bio: Chesley B. Sullenberger III [Time]
· U.S. Aviation Safety Streak Still Alive [Jaunted]

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Everyone Poops

December 15, 2008 at 4:15 PM | by | ()

We're still not buying the prediction that 4 million Obamaniacs will show up in DC to drink themselves stupid this January. But even if the crowd isn't that record-setting, you're still gonna be facing some serious bathroom lines. So Jennifer Lynn has written up "Where To Pee in DC: The Insider's Guide on Where to Go," a digital booklet you can print out at home that's on sale via eBay for just $2.50.

She gave the Washington Post a few tidbits from her incredibly niche guide to DC:

Among potentially less-crowded Mall locations, for example, she suggests the east wing of the National Gallery of Art, the combined National Museum of African Art, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art, and the US Botanic Garden. "There are some less well-known spots," she said in an interview.

Lynn says her insider's view of downtown bathrooms comes from years of working in the Reagan Building--one of the best places to "go" on Inauguration Day, she claims.

Democrats: Their guy hasn't even been inaugurated yet and they're already dumping on Reagan.

Related Stories:
· During Inauguration, Places to "Go" [WaPo]
· Inauguration Travel coverage [Jaunted]

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Should DC Bars Stay Open Late For Obama's Inauguration?

December 11, 2008 at 1:00 PM | by | ()

Now that the DC City Council, two senators, police advocacy groups and hospitality associations have weighed in on DC's proposed January boozathon, it's time to ask what you think. Should bars, clubs and restaurants be allowed to stay open 24 hours a day, serving drinks until 5 am in the run up to Obama's inauguration? Or are hundreds of thousands of extra wasted people roaming the streets the last thing DC needs?

It's about more than just the "morality" of getting tanked, Bob Bennett fans: Every time a bar sells a drink, the city pulls in some scratch in taxes. And if people have a good time when they're in DC this time around, the city may well end up in future travel plans--once inauguration visitors pay off those pricey vacation rental bills that is.

Still, as one DC resident says:

I think it's insane to allow people to be drinking 24 hours a day.

Is it? Or does this guy just need a drink? Let us know in the comments!

Related Stories:
· History In The Making: DC Bars To Stay Open Late For Once [Jaunted]
· Two Senators Hope To Curtail Late Night Partying In DC [Jaunted]
· Inauguration Travel coverage [Jaunted]

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Two Senators Hope To Curtail Late Night Partying In DC

December 10, 2008 at 12:15 PM | by | ()

Senators Dianne Feinstein (of California) and Robert Bennett (of Utah, natch) want DC to roll up the sidewalks early for Obama's inauguration--even though the city council voted to let bars, clubs and restaurants serve booze until 5 am, January 17-20. Mayor Adrian Fenty hasn't actually signed the emergency legislation that would allow for extended hours yet, so he could take the senators' recommendations and preemptively cancel the late-late-night revelry.

The problem, say Feinstein and Bennett, isn't partying per se:

With projections as high as 4 million people planning to visit the city during this time period, we are deeply concerned that the plan approved by the City Council could seriously strain law enforcement resources that need to be focused on the large crowds and security requirements of the Inaugural and its impact on the City.

While Feinstein is the chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, Bennett just seems to be tossing in his two cents. Ironically, DC doesn't have any senators of its own to weigh in on the issue, a fact made blindingly clear by the anti-Feinstein and -Bennett comments on a Washington Post article about the senators' letter to Fenty. Would "No buzz killing without representation" fit on a license plate?

Related Stories:
· Breaking News: Sens. Feinstein, Bennett Object to Inaugural Nightlife Legislation [WaPo]
· History In The Making: DC Bars To Stay Open Late For Once [Jaunted]

[Photo: &y]

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The Ultimate Bipartisan Rental

December 10, 2008 at 9:19 AM | by | ()

Yesterday we got a few yuks out of the fact that Republican Fred Thompson plans to rent his one-bedroom pad to some Obama fanboy for $30,000. But the inherent joke there is nothing compared to this rental featured on the Best of Craigslist:

Me: Heartless, greedy right-wing oppressive type looking to make a buck.

You: Obama's election was Christmas/your first kiss/May Day all wrapped into one. You dutifully wore his button--which you have yet to remove--contributed money to his campaign from your non-profit job and chanted "yes we can" as if it were the 11th commandment. A strange void now exists in your life and--like an old hippie looking to recapture the spirit of Woodstock--you are undertaking a pilgrimage to Washington for one last gulp of the Kool-Aid.

Along with my bedroom you will have access to the house's many amenities including cable television (not that you watch much TV) for viewing Keith Olberman's latest unhinged rants and CNN in high-def. Wireless internet means that the Huffington Post and DailyKos are only a click away on your MacBook. American flags and other patriotic paraphernalia in the room can be removed upon request.

How much will all this goodness cost you?

Rather than state a price I am requesting that you bid on this fabulous opportunity to ensure profit maximization on my part so that I can better weather the Bush Recession.

Serious offers only!

Related Stories:
· Even More Rental Home Rip Offs [Jaunted]
· Inauguration Travel coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: martinstelbrink]

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Even More Rental Home Rip Offs

December 9, 2008 at 11:30 AM | by | ()

We should've known that we'd find more inauguration rip offs than the five we highlighted last week, but we didn't expect one of them to come from a former presidential candidate: Fred Thompson is reportedly offering up his one-bedroom condo in DC for $30,000. At least you get to stay for five days.

If you're too partisan to rent from a Republican, though, the people offering up this five-bedroom Bethesda home for $35,000 sound hip enough to be Obama fans:

The house is modern, just over one year old, lots of glass, stainless steel, stone, maple...

Most "MTV Cribs" pale in comparison to this property, it is truly one of a kind.

Not really the five-figure type? We managed to dig up an even more expensive rental if you want to mark the historic inauguration with a historic amount of vacation debt. This suburban Maryland home spans 7,000 square feet and can be yours for a week for $150,000. On the upside, it comes with a chauffeur, a chef, a masseuse and "private security." Even a guy who played a DA on TV can't promise you that!

Related Stories:
· Best Of The Craigslist Inauguration Rip Offs (So Far) [Jaunted]
· 4,500 DC Hotel Rooms Now Available for the Inauguration [HC]

[Photo: martinstelbrink]

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History In The Making: DC Bars To Stay Open Late For Once

December 3, 2008 at 4:08 PM | by | ()

Maybe if it's a hit, they'll extend it beyond January 20: The DC city council passed some "emergency legislation" today that will allow bars, clubs and restaurants to serve booze until 5 am from January 17 through the morning after Obama's inauguration. That's three extra hours to knock back shots with fellow Democrats before heading back to your obscenely overpriced rental apartment!

Council members in DC, which has a reputation for lame nightlife partly because of its 2 am last call, think they've got to show inauguration visitors a good time when they come to town--as well as cash in on some free-spending tourists. But opponents say it's not likely the people who are still partying at 5 am are the kind of folks who need another beer.

For anyone planning to do the smart thing and use the Metro, this is actually terrific. The trains will be running later than usual--until 2 am--which until today would've put you on the last one out of the station with a bunch of wasted people. Now the booze hounds will still be at the bars, leaving you to ride the rails in peace!

Related Stories:
· DC Bars, Clubs to Be Open 24-Hours a Day [WaPo]
· Inauguration Travel coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: &y]

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Best Of The Craigslist Inauguration Rip Offs (So Far)

December 2, 2008 at 4:00 PM | by | ()

Our sis site HotelChatter has been chronicling the absurdity of DC-area inauguration hotel packages, so we figured it was time for a look at the outrageous "deals" available on the couch-surfer's best friend, Craigslist. Can the nation count on DC for Obama-themed rip offs? Yes we can:

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Pre-Order Metro Tickets Online, Obama Fans

November 25, 2008 at 3:06 PM | by | ()

We've already instructed Obamaniacs to book early (like, now) if they're planning to fly to Washington, DC for inaugural festivities January 20. But you might also want to snag DC Metro passes ahead of time too. If literally 1 million people descend on the district, it won't be easy to buy rides, a transit authority spokesman tells the LA Times:

People could be standing outside in the downtown area for maybe an hour or more trying to get in [to stations].

Yikes. The good news is that trains will be running with rush hour frequency all day--and will stay open until 2 am. Smart inauguration goers will buy Metro passes online before showing up in DC: Skip the hassles of navigating the notoriously arcane fare system by buying a day pass for $7.80.

Related Stories:
· Inauguration Day Update: Get a Metro Pass Now [LAT]
· Metro Area Transit Authority: Plans for Inauguration Weekend [Official Site]
· How to Get to Inauguration 2009 [Jaunted]

[Photo: Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies]

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Southwest The Latest To Add Inauguration Flights

November 21, 2008 at 2:36 PM | by | ()

When we told you how to get to Inauguration 2009, we mentioned that Baltimore-Washington International should be on your radar, even if it's a bit removed from DC. Now there's ever more reason to consider BWI: Southwest is adding additional flights to the airport in the days before and after January 20.

The airline is adding service to and from Austin, Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, St. Louis and San Diego, and while some of those planes will be headed to BWI, others will land at Washington Dulles.

As we noticed when AirTran announced additional service to BWI, the extra capacity still isn't keeping up with demand: A number of Southwest flights from DC-area airports on January 21 are already sold out.

Prices are higher than you might expect from Southwest, too: Round-trip from San Diego to BWI, leaving January 19 and flying back January 21 starts at $688 all-in. Flying home on January 22 drops the price to $549. Book early and book often, Obamaniacs!

Related Stories:
· More Airlines Adding Inauguration Flights [Jaunted]
· How to Get to Inauguration 2009 [Jaunted]

[Photo: Wikimedia]

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More Airlines Adding Inauguration Flights

November 19, 2008 at 11:51 AM | by | ()

Last week, JetBlue announced it would add flights into Washington Dulles to cater to inauguration tourists headed to Barry's party on January 20. Now Virgin America and AirTran are doing the same.

Virgin will add three round trips from both SFO and LAX to Dulles between January 16 and 23, which will expand capacity for the week by 23 percent. AirTran is adding flights between Atlanta and both BWI and IAD and adding additional service between Milwaukee and BWI.

Whichever carrier you end up choosing, it'd probably be wise to book soon. Flying from JFK to IAD on January 19 and back January 21 will run you $389 all-in on JetBlue. Flying non-stop round-trip from OAK to IAD on those dates is $919 including taxes.

On AirTran, flying non-stop from ATL on January 19 and back from BWI on January 21 will cost you at least $559. Virgin's round-trip flights between LAX and IAD those same days start at $719. Despite the prices--and extra capacity--seats are still selling out.

Related Stories:
· How to Get to Inauguration 2009 [Jaunted]
· How Do I Get Inauguration Tickets? [Jaunted]
· Senator Bob Casey Says "Keep Pennsylvania In Mind" [Jaunted]

[Photo: Drewski2112]