So I'm watching the Inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama as our 44th President, trying to calculate the number of coal-fired electricity plants and oil-burning cars, buses and planes utilized to make this day so special, guesstimating that the Earth will heat at least 1½ degrees before D.C. is done celebrating itself. It was all we expected, indeed deserved, our millions of dollars in donations ensuring that hope is still alive. And then the following happened:
Lord Cheney Not Looking So Well
Wearing a fedora that matches his old pal and Indian-giver Jack Abramoff, former (oh the joy in being able to write that!) Vice President Dick Cheney was in a wheelchair, and purposely well hidden behind bulletproof glass. Maybe there's tact in the old grumpy Halliburton hack after all: He could have faked his death months ago and we'd now be celebrating Condi Rice as our 44th - African-Americans still pleased but the GLBT community ecstatic at the thought of our first butch prez.
Two hours and thirty minutes after witnessing history, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass) collapsed at a luncheon for President Obama. Initial reports said a seizure was the cause, which was the second suffered by the 75 year-old Senator since May and being diagnosed with a tumor in his right parietal lobe, later successfully removed. Given Kennedy's condition, and the rather lukewarm response to Caroline Kennedy's bid for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat, perhaps it's the end of an era
Bill Clinton Accepting Bribes, err, Goodwill
Eight years later it is time to accept the following: former (again, it's so nice to write that) President George W. Bush did far more to fight AIDS than Bill Clinton; a lack of testicles is no reason to vote for a former First Lady; and wanted felons, oligarchs, and Saudi royal family members are deeply invested in the Clintons. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is threatening to delay Hillary Clinton's confirmation as US Secretary of State, and with good reason. The William J. Clinton Foundation's "disclosure" of donors amounted to the Mob saying that it sometimes plays in organized labor and concrete. Does anyone expect a Secretary of State Clinton to talk tough with Middle East leaders when $10-$25 million (slick Willy was oh so specific!) was given to her husband from groups known as the "Dubai Foundation" and "Friends of Saudi Arabia?"
The Oath and Gaffes
Watching the new President looking for cues during the swearing-in was rather unnerving. But Obama had cause for confusion: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts flubbed the oath, stepping on "I, Barack Hussein Obama..." with "...do solemnly swear..." then forgot the "faithfully" part of "faithfully execute the office of president of the United States." However trite, this may be an omen, as the right-leaning Roberts will lead the Supreme Court through critical decisions involving Gitmo and the definition of a fetus and price-rigging in the coleslaw market under an Obama Administration.
One gaffe that Obama should have caught was saying that 44 presidents have been sworn in - actually Buffalo's pride and joy Grover Cleveland was elected twice non-sequentially, making Obama the 43rd person to take the oath, of 44 total presidents.
What Was Said and Unsaid
Rick Warren, the evangelical minister and bestselling author used the word "compassion" twice during his invocation; the words "bin Laden" were never uttered, nor was "taxes;" Reverend Joseph Lowery proved that black preachers are better than all the rest, ending his benediction with, "help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right." AMEN!
Obligatory Sex Item
A new study shows that men who stare at women's breasts for a few minutes every day are healthier and live longer. According to the study, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, a solid ten-minute breast observation session is the equivalent of a 30-minute aerobic workout for men. The results of the five-year study of 200 men showed that men who get a solid daily dose of mammaries have lower blood pressure, less heart disease and a stronger pulse than those who did not.
"There is no question that staring at breasts makes men healthier," said study author Karen Weatherby.
Among other things the study found that men who got a good dose of boobage, could cut their rate of heart disease in half and extend their lives by four to five years.
Finally another excuse for reading Playboy besides the great articles - seriously, they're good.
Money, Sex and Power
In other male libido research news... A new study from the University of Cambridge has found a link between testosterone and profit making in the financial world. According to a report in The Economist the study looked at the fingers of 44 traders to make the connection. The magazine said that researchers could tell if men were subjected to high doses of testosterone in the womb because it causes the ring finger to grow longer than the index finger. Evidently it's a pretty good yardstick for determining how well they will do as traders - those with the longest ring fingers earned "far more" than those with standard digits and stayed in their line of work for a greater length of time.
Upfront checked out our fingers and, surprise!, no Carsenio digits here. But we could have told you that just by checking our bank balance, which could also use a shot of testosterone, or something...