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Democrats, Republicans Reach A Tentative Debt Ceiling Agreement

Two Ships Passing

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That was President Bush's motorcade getting in formation to depart the White House for a Sunday night dinner with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at her Watergate apartment, just after President-elect Barack Obama's motorcade pulled up across the street to the Blair House for his dinner with Oprah Winfrey.

For one of the motorcades (we'll let you guess which one), adoring throngs, held to the sidewalks by the Secret Service, cheered and took pictures.


Needless to say, guests will be carefully protecting their heavy-card-stock, gold-raised-seal invitations to the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama.

Indeed, the official Presidential Inaugural Committee invites could fetch hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars in the not-too-distant future.

Hours before the swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill, several dozen of the soon-to-be-"used" invitations were posted on the Internet auction site eBay, with bidding reaching more than $300 and counting.


Scores of celebrities have arrived by private jet for the much-hyped inauguration of Barack Obama. And no better time for Al Gore to emerge from his hibernation to draw attention to the environmental footprint that the star-studded visitors will be leaving behind.

(Actually, Mr. Gore is busy staying warm during this unusually frigid week of global warming.)

In the meantime, the Institute for Liberty (IFL) has taken data from federal agencies, environmentalist organizations and news agencies to extrapolate the estimated environmental impact for the 2009 Inauguration. It concludes that the 600 private jets expected to fly visitors to and from the capital city will produce 25,320,000 pounds of CO2, with personal vehicles accounting for 262,483,200 pounds of the odorless gas.

Indeed, during the Inaugural Parade, horses alone will produce more than 400 pounds of carbon dioxide, with the total carbon footprint for the day likely exceeding 575 million pounds of CO2.

In comparison, it would take the average U.S. household 57,598 years to produce a carbon footprint equal to that of the new President's housewarming party.

"The inauguration of President Obama is truly an historic occasion that should be celebrated," said IFL President Andrew Langer. "However, it would be very hypocritical for the scores of celebrities, VIPs and political elites to lecture on environmental policy to middle America and small businesses that are merely trying to survive in these difficult economic times, and then turn around and contribute to the half-billion pounds of emitted CO2."


It remains to be seen how many celebrities will adorn their arms at the inaugural balls tonight with those new high-fashion bags made from recycled tractor tire inner tubes, otherwise known as "Recycled Tractor Tire Inner Tube Bags."

The bag maker, the Passchal Collection, says Hollywood's hottest stars, including the Golden Globe nominees and presenters, have been scooping up the "handcrafted" bags in recent days. Cost of each bag: $170 to $525, depending on the size of the tire.

Passchal says it has collected and recycled more than 25 tons of tractor inner tubes before they were discarded to landfills.


Perhaps for future presidential inaugurals, what with the rapid advances in computer technology, Americans won't physically flock to the nation's Capital to dance the night away.

In fact, Smart Girl Politics, a right-of-center women's movement, is throwing an online "Twitter Ball" this Inauguration Day, counting among its guests Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin.

So do women attending the Twitter Ball wear gowns?

"Our goal is to not just give Conservatives something to do [this Inauguration Day] but to have an open dialogue about where we go from here," said Teri Christoph, co-founder and executive director of the smarter girls.


And after Barack Obama's inaugural parade draws to a close, several hundred thousand marchers will be marching for "change" in another parade this week.

The entire student body of Christendom College in Virginia, we've learned, will carry the lead banner in Thursday's 36th annual March for Life.

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