National News, Jan. 20 – Joe Biden Sworn In As 46th President of the United States

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

President Joe Biden Calls for Unity in Inaugural Address

It’s on.  A new man is in the White House today as Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the U.S. shortly before noon eastern time in Washington D.C.  Just minutes earlier, Kamala Harris was sworn in as vice president, the first woman to hold that role.

Mr. Biden emphasized themes of unity and recovery in his inaugural address, messages that he returned to repeatedly on the campaign trail on his way to victory over President Trump. “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue,” he said.

Also in attendance were former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. The group also gathered to a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

Mr. Trump didn’t attend the inauguration ceremony. Instead, he left White House this morning for Florida. Mr. Trump vowed a return to the public stage.

“I will be watching.  I will be listening,” he said. “We will be back in some form.”

President Biden is expected to sign a range of executive orders. The actions include revoking a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and reversing a travel ban from several largely Muslim and African countries.

President Biden’s actual inaugural speech:

“Chief Justice Roberts, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Vice President Pence, and my distinguished guests, my fellow Americans, this is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve. Through a Crucible for the ages, America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge.

Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause. The cause of democracy. The people, the will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded. We’ve learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.

So now, on this hallowed ground, where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.

As we look ahead in our uniquely American way, restless, bold, optimistic and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be. I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here today. I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I know, and I know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength, the strength of our nation, as does President Carter who I spoke with last night who cannot be with us today but whom we salute for his lifetime of service.

I’ve just taken a sacred oath each of those patriots have taken. The oath first sworn by George Washington. But the American story depends not in any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us. On we, the people who seek a more perfect union. This is a great nation. We are good people. And over the centuries, through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we’ve come so far, but we still have far to go.

We’ll press forward with speed and urgency for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities. Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain.

Few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we are in now. Once in a century virus that silently stalks the country has taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II.

Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.

The cry for survival comes from the planet itself. A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear. And now a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.

To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy. Unity. Unity.

In another January, on New Year’s Day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. When he put pen to paper, the president said, and quote, If my name ever goes down into history, it will be for this act and my whole soul is in it.

My whole soul is in it.

Today on this January day, my whole soul is in this. Bringing America together. Uniting our people. Uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause.

Uniting to fight the foes we face, anger, resentment, and hatred.

Extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness, and hopelessness with unity, we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus. We can reward–reward work and rebuild the middle class and make healthcare secure for all. We can deliver racial justice, and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.

I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are deep, and they are real, but I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart. The battle is perennial, and victory is never assured.

Through Civil War, the Great Depression, world war, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice, and setbacks, our better angels have always prevailed. In each of these moments, enough of us, enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward, and we can do that now.

History, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity. We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature.

For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury, no progress, only exhausting outrage; no nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge and unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America.

If we do that, I guarantee you we will not fail. We have never ever ever ever failed in America when we have acted together, and so today at this time in this place, let’s start off fresh all of us. Let’s begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another. Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war, and we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.

My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this. America has to be better than this, and I believe America is so much better than this. Just look around here we stand in the shadow of the Capitol dome as was mentioned earlier completed amid the Civil War when the Union itself was literally hanging in the balance.

Yet we endured, we prevailed. Here we stand, looking out on the great mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream. Here we stand where 108 years ago, at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote, and today we mark the swearing-in of the first woman in American history elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris.

Don’t tell me things can’t change. Here we stand across the Potomac from Arlington Cemetery where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace, and here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen; it will never happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever.

To all of those who supported our campaign, I am humbled by the faith you have placed in us. To all of those who did not support us, let me say this hear me out as we move forward, take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it, that’s democracy, that’s America. The right to dissent peaceably within the guardrails of our Republic is perhaps this nation’s greatest strength. Yet hear me clearly disagreement must not lead to disunion, and I pledge this to you I will be a president for all Americans, all Americans.

And I promise you I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.

Many centuries ago, Saint Augustine, a saint in my church, wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love defined by the common objects of their love. What are the common objects we as Americans love that define us as Americans? I think we know. Opportunity, security, liberty, dignity, respect, honor, and yes, the truth.

Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit, and each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens, as Americans and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies.

Look, I understand that many of my fellow Americans view the future with fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs. I understand like my dad they lay at bed staring at the night–staring at the ceiling wondering can I keep my healthcare, can I pay my mortgage? Thinking about their families, about what comes next. I promise you I get it, but the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don’t look like–look like you or worship the way you do or don’t get their news from the same source as you do.

We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urlan–or–or rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts if we show a little tolerance and humility and if we are willing to stand in the other person’s shoes as my mom would say just for a moment stand in their shoes because here’s the thing about life, there’s no accounting for what fate will deal you.

Some days when you need a hand, there are other days when we are called to lend a hand. That is how it has to be, and that is what we do for one another, and if we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future, and we can still disagree.

My fellow Americans in the work ahead of us, we are going to need each other. We need all of our strength to preserve–to persevere through this dark winter. We are entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation, one nation.

And I promise you that this as the Bible said weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning. We will get through this together, together.

Look, folks, all of my colleagues I have served with in the House and the Senate up here, we all understand the world is watching, watching all of us today, so here is my message to those beyond our borders. America has been tested and we’ve come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again, not to meet yesterday’s challenges but today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.

And we’ll lead not merely by the example of our power, by the power of our example. We’ll be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security.

Look, you all know we’ve been through so much in this nation. And in my first act as president, I’d like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer, remember all those who we lost this past year to the pandemic, those 400,000 fellow Americans, moms, dads, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

We will honor them by becoming the people in the nation we know we can and should be. So, I ask you let’s say a silent prayer for those who’ve lost their lives and those left behind and for our country.


Folks, this is a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy and on truth, a raging virus, growing inequity, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America’s role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways, but the fact is we face them all at once, presenting this nation with a–one of the gravest responsibilities we had.

Now we’re going to be tested. Are we going to step up, all of us? It’s time for boldness for there is so much to do. And this is certain. I promise you we will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era.

We will rise to the occasion is the question. Will we master this rare and difficult hour? Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world to our children?

I believe we must. I’m sure you do as well. I believe we will. And when we do, we’ll write the next great chapter in the history of the United States of America, the American story, a story that might sound something like a song that means a lot to me. It’s called American Anthem. There’s one verse that stands out at least for me, and it goes like this.

“The work and prayers of century have brought us to this day. What shall be our legacy? What will our children say? Let me know in my heart when my days are through America, America, I gave my best to you.”

Let’s add–lets us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our great nation. If we do this, then when our days are through our children and our children’s children will say of us they gave their best. They did their duty. They healed a broken land.

My fellow Americans, I close today where I began, with a sacred oath. Before God and all of you, I give you my word I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution. I’ll defend our democracy. I’ll defend America. And I will give all, all of you, keep everything you–I do in your service, thinking not of power but of possibilities, not of personal interest but the public good. And together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear; of unity, not division; of light, not darkness; a story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness.

May this be the story that guides us, the story that inspires us, and the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history. We met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice did not die on our watch but thrived, that America secured liberty at home and stood once again is a beacon to the world. That is what we owe our forbearers, one another, and generation to follow.

So, with purpose and result, we turn to those tasks of our time, sustained by faith, driven by conviction, devoted to one another in the country we love with all our hearts. May God bless America and may God protect our troops.

Thank you, America”.

WASHINGTON—All those National Guard soldiers there for the inauguration of Joe Biden stood by, with nothing to do, as expected by most Americans.  The mainstream media’s attempt to make out a possible disastrous day didn’t materialize as they had hoped. Instead the thousands of troops standing guard in the nation’s capital watched as Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States just before noon.

Instead of unrest, the day simply featured a mix of traditional ceremony and distinctly 2021 adjustments were visible. Former presidents, top lawmakers and other dignitaries wore masks and sat socially distant from each other as they watched President Biden take the oath of office on the west front of the U.S. Capitol.

Military bands played, and entertainers Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks sang American classics. Lady Gaga was decorated with a giant gold brooch of an eagle carrying an olive branch. Celebrity glitz and glam on traditional display.

Mr. Biden gave his inaugural address while looking out at a National Mall with perhaps only a few hundred in attendance, along with flags memorializing the 400,000 Americans who have died of Covid-19.

Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old from Los Angeles, brought the audience to its feet with her poem, “The Hill We Climb.” She said in an earlier interview that her goal was to portray the uplifting spirit of a usual inauguration while capturing the uncertain times.

Americans at home watched the rather boring ceremony, that took place in the same building where just two weeks earlier, Trump supporters mixed with odd fringe groups tried to storm in to the Capitol Building on a day that embarrassed most conservatives.

A heavily fortified Washington, laced with miles of security fencing, was mostly quiet, with few protesters or even passersby on the streets downtown. The observers said they wanted to participate in history in some way, despite the restrictions keeping them far from the main events.

The lawmakers assembled on Capitol Hill continued to discuss and argue about the need for so much security—and the loss of a more traditional transfer of power. Former House Speaker Paul Ryan, the Republican of Wisconsin who retired a couple years ago, said that he had never imagined the need for such measures but said in some ways it is a testament to the country’s durability.

“As I drove in this morning through all the security checkpoints, I was reminded of the fact that these institutions stood very strong and they endured,” Mr. Ryan said. “And our system still works, and it’s still very, very strong, even though it was deeply tested this year.”

Elsewhere in the news today….

INAUGURATION DAY MOVE-IN  Hours after Donald Trump left the White House en route to his new home in Palm Beach, Florida., the movers were ready to move Joe and Jill Biden and unpack their bags.  Their belongings will be unloaded, their furniture arranged and their favorite foods stocked in the fridge. It’s a task carried out by the 90-person White House residence staff in about five hours.

… This year, people involved in the process said, moving day also involves additional cleaning and safety precautions because of the coronavirus.

The National Football League announced its officiating crew for Super Bowl 55 and Sarah Thomas is set to make history when kickoff takes place on February 7. She will serve as the game’s down judge, making her the first female to officiate the NFL Championship in the league’s history. Thomas, a 47-year-old from Pascagoula, Mississippi, has served in her position for the last four years.

A Missouri woman who lost her high school class ring 42 years ago was recently reunited with it. Jackie Schauer (of Lake St. Louis) said her husband recently received a mysterious phone call from a stranger in Texas who asked if he knew a woman with her maiden name. The caller, Richard Escobedo, said Schauer’s class ring was one of several that he has purchased from various locations while on the hunt for his own lost ring.

… Escobedo says he goes to pawn shops and antique stores looking for his class ring. Escobedo said he started buying up the other rings he found and using the information from the rings — school names, dates and initials — to try to find their owners. He has been documenting his progress on his Facebook page titled Class Rings Bought to Reunite to Rightful Owners.

… Escobedo said he recently bought Schauer’s ring at a store for $3.25.

A California man has pled guilty to the charge of hitting a Police Helicopter with his drone. The crime of unsafe operation of an unmanned aircraft carries up to one year in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

… Andrew Hernandez is accused of flying his drone into a police helicopter after launching the gadget in an attempt to see a crime scene near his Hollywood home in September of last year. According to the plea agreement, he flew the drone into the path of a police helicopter that was in the process of responding to a burglary and hit its fuselage, forcing it to make an emergency landing.

Why do we miss tapping away on our laptops in a public setting? Why, when things settle down, would we bother going back out to work in places like coffee shops only to isolate ourselves with our heads down and headphones on?

… Scientists have known for years that background noise can benefit our creative thinking. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Consumer Research showed that a low-to-moderate level of ambient noise in a place like a coffee shop can actually boost your creative output. The idea is that if you’re very slightly distracted from the task at hand by ambient stimuli, it boosts your abstract thinking ability, which can lead to more creative idea generation.

… Another study from 2019, which had similar findings, zeroes in on what’s called “stochastic resonance”: originally observed in animals, it’s the phenomenon in which just the right amount of noise benefits our senses. And while that ‘Goldilocks’ level of noise is different for everyone, audio stimuli in the background also help us improve decision making.

… And while the stereotypical coffee-shop user might be a lone worker struggling with a creative project, experts say these café settings can also benefit work groups who are brainstorming and building camaraderie. There is an implied formality when gathering on digital meeting platforms. By contrast, there is an air of informality when meeting up at a bar or café.

Donald Trump’s daughter Tiffany announced her engagement on the eve of the end of her father’s presidential term. Tiffany’s fiance is Michael Boulos. Tiffany is Trump’s daughter from his marriage to Marla Maples.

… Boulos grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, which Tiffany’s father once called a (blank)hole country. His family runs Boulos Enterprises, a successful motorcycle company. Michael is an heir to the multi-billion dollar family fortune.

The average job seeker has unsuccessfully applied for 16 different roles during the pandemic. A survey of 2,000 employed and unemployed adults currently looking for a job found eight in 10 have attributed a downturn in their mental well-being to the search for a new role. Of these, 45 percent feel their motivation has been damaged by the process, while 38 percent said their self-esteem and morale were hit as a result. And another 44 percent have also seen their confidence levels nosedive thanks to their search for a new job. The dampening in confidence has resulted in 28 percent lying to friends or family members about how many roles they have applied for.

A Canadian teen who got lost while snowmobiling managed to survive by constructing a snow cave and staying in it until he was discovered. Photos shared by law enforcement on Facebook show the impressive-looking snow den the impromptu 17-year-old survivalist built and hunkered down in until the rescue. • IMAGES

People size you up in seconds, but what exactly are they evaluating? A Harvard Business School professor (Amy Cuddy) studied first impressions and found patterns in these interactions. In her book, Presence, Cuddy says people quickly answer two questions when they first meet you:

• Can I trust this person?
• Can I respect this person?

… Psychologists refer to these dimensions as warmth and competence respectively, and ideally you want to be perceived as having both.

… Cuddy says MBA interns are often so concerned about coming across as smart and competent that it can lead them to skip social events, not ask for help, and generally come off as unapproachable. These overachievers are in for a rude awakening when they don’t get the job offer because nobody got to know and trust them as people.

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