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Obama Attends Ford's Theatre Gala

By Michael A. Fletcher

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama took part in a gala tonight celebrating the recently completed renovation of Ford's Theatre and the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth.

The celebration came one day before what would have been Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday.

Obama, who has often been compared to Lincoln, was treated to a performance that featured singer Cheryl Freeman and opera star Jessye Norman, a scene from the play "The Heavens are Hung in Black," and a video presentation of the Gettysburg Address by the four surviving former presidents.

The gala also honored George Lucas, director of Star Wars and renowned actor Sidney Poitier, who were presented with the Lincoln Medals.

The celebration caps an 18-month $25 million renovation of the theater where Lincoln was assassinated. The improvements include a new lobby, improved dressing rooms and improved seats.

The revamped theater is to reopen to the public on Thursday.

By Patricia E. Gaston  |  February 11, 2009; 9:27 PM ET
 
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Comments

"We are on a slippery slope here and the President is pouring motor oil on that slope with his doom and gloom.

I am still DISGUSTED.

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 12, 2009 2:15 PM"
-----
Is this a reference to Bush's "Mushroom cloud" statement to the American people?

The difference: Mushroom cloud = LIE
Deep economic problems = TRUTH

Perhaps if we hadn't blown a trillion on a lie then we might not have such a huge deficit and would not be in such a mess.

Never mind the tax cuts for the richest 1% accounting for 49% of the deficit.

Posted by: JRM2 | February 12, 2009 7:13 PM
*************************************
At least with that trillion, we have a country freed from the grips of Sadaam. Only a trillion for freedom. That's a real bargain. Democracy has never been cheap. It is just plain easier to study salt marsh mice and pay an artist big bucks to sculpt dogs in the sex act on a bridge in California than to spend money for freedom isn't it? Will we have anything as tangible as freedom to show for this so-called stimulus?

And as far as that old song and dance, "tax cuts for the richest 1%" That is a dead horse. I never believed a single verse of that garbage. That is a tired old poltical ploy.

The President is busy giving away the middle class's income for the next 100 years to the wealthiest corporations in America right now. Why aren't you disgruntled about that?

You know why? Because in your eyes that's okay only because it is a Democrat doing it. Liberals are all for spending on nonesense, but never freedom.

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 12, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

"We are on a slippery slope here and the President is pouring motor oil on that slope with his doom and gloom.

I am still DISGUSTED.

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 12, 2009 2:15 PM"
-----
Is this a reference to Bush's "Mushroom cloud" statement to the American people?

The difference: Mushroom cloud = LIE
Deep economic problems = TRUTH

Perhaps if we hadn't blown a trillion on a lie then we might not have such a huge deficit and would not be in such a mess.

Never mind the tax cuts for the richest 1% accounting for 49% of the deficit.

Posted by: JRM2 | February 12, 2009 7:13 PM
*************************************
At least with that trillion, we have a country freed from the grips of Sadaam. Only a trillion for freedom. That's a real bargain. Democracy has never been cheap. It is just plain easier to study salt marsh mice and pay an artist big bucks to sculpt dogs in the sex act on a bridge in California than to spend money for freedom isn't it? Will we have anything as tangible as freedom to show for this so-called stimulus?

And as far as that old song and dance, "tax cuts for the richest 1%" That is a dead horse. I never believed a single verse of that garbage. That is a tired old poltical ploy.

The President is busy giving away the middle class's income for the next 100 years to the wealthiest corporations in America right now. Why aren't you disgruntled about that?

You know why? Because in your eyes that's okay only because it is a Democrat doing it. Liberals are all for spending on nonesense, but never freedom.

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 12, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes JakeD but what the article does not mention is that if Lincoln were alive today he might think differently, especially since there were no black graduates of Harvard, heads of the Harvard law review, state Senators, national Senators or any had been elected President of the Untited States of America in his time.

Posted by: JRM2 | February 12, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

"We are on a slippery slope here and the President is pouring motor oil on that slope with his doom and gloom.

I am still DISGUSTED.

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 12, 2009 2:15 PM"
-----
Is this a reference to Bush's "Mushroom cloud" statement to the American people?

The difference: Mushroom cloud = LIE
Deep economic problems = TRUTH

Perhaps if we hadn't blown a trillion on a lie then we might not have such a huge deficit and would not be in such a mess.

Never mind the tax cuts for the richest 1% accounting for 49% of the deficit.

Posted by: JRM2 | February 12, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

What would Abe Lincoln think about Obama's presidency? Not what you would imagine

Actually, Lincoln likely would have been appalled. How could he not? He was a 19th-century white man who famously said in 1858 that "there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which ... will forever forbid the two races living together upon terms of social and political equality."

How do you reconcile that with all those cartoons of Lincoln congratulating Obama? You don't. You simply recognize it for what it is: yet another illustration of how shallow our comprehension of history is, yet another instance where myth supersedes reality.

Not that this is anything new — or that political cartoonists are the only ones susceptible. Indeed, blacks once tended to regard Lincoln with an almost religious reverence. Consider another Lincoln statue, this one in a park east of the Capitol: It depicts Lincoln towering over a newly freed black man who kneels at his feet. While modern eyes might find the image unbearably paternalistic, it represented the heartfelt sentiment of the black men and women who gave it to the city in 1876 in gratitude, they said, for Lincoln freeing the slaves.

Of course, Lincoln freed no slaves. That's the myth. His Emancipation Proclamation was a military measure to demoralize and destabilize the rebellious South; it covered states he did not govern, but did not apply in slaveholding states that remained under his jurisdiction.

None of which is to deny or diminish the greatness of the 16th president. His greatness stands unquestioned, unquestionable. We would be a very different nation, a lesser nation, without his political genius, his dogged faith in the unsundered Union, his refusal to accept less than Union, even when haunted by reversals and setbacks that would have broken anyone else.

No, the argument is not about Lincoln's greatness. Rather, it is about our tendency to cherish untextured myths that affirm our preferred narratives. George Washington confessing that he chopped down the cherry tree is one, a parable of honesty that has survived for generations despite the minor inconvenience of not being true. Lincoln the Great Emancipator is yet another.

Abraham Lincoln did not believe in the equality of black people. He did, however — and this was no minor distinction in his era — believe in their humanity. He also abhorred slavery. But he was willing to countenance it if doing so would have vindicated his primary goal: to save the Union.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2008638049_opina18pitts.html

Posted by: JakeD | February 12, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Since WHEN do we celebrate the places Presidents were assassinated?

YoHooo! Big Party coming up in Dallas! :-(

Posted by: SAINT---The | February 12, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, you are welcome. It would seem you agree and perhaps then some.

DCgrass01, I am aware that this was started in the Days of Wine and Roses. Since then we have become drunken alcoholics with the country's checkbook, to which only the taxpayers seem to be putting in deposits, and the government makes up the difference by just printing what we cannot give.

The road to accountability, however, is not started with a "stimulus package" to spend yet more money. This is utter foolishness. The American People are worth more than this. We deserve better treatment than this. We have been told to "tighten our belts" That's just ducky, but how about an example from Big Brother. He needs to tighten his belt first to staunch the bleeding.

If not now, when?

For the first time in my adult life, I am ashamed of my country. For once, I would like to see a REAL MAN stand up in the oval office and say. "That's it! The Buck Stops HERE", and mean it. BUT I have heard nothing but excuses. "I inherited this and that....blah, blah, blah. This is nothing NEW. This is not CHANGE.

The President stated in Ft. Meyers when asked, that families (not individuals), but families were going to receive $1,000 in stimulus pay. He further stated "I know that doesn't sound like much." Uh, no Mr. President it doesn't sound like much because it isn't much. It might pay the rent one time and maybe buy some groceries, but then we are right back in the same boat that we were in before we got that huge amount of money. All of this while the bankers and all the other big business brokers raise our rates and go on living large. Exactly how is that helping the average tax payer? Freeing up credit you say? We are scared to buy anything. We don't have any money. We lost our jobs and without a job, you cannot get credit.

How about a little encouragment from the Oval Office? We are on a slippery slope here and the President is pouring motor oil on that slope with his doom and gloom.

I am still DISGUSTED.

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 12, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"Other than that, how was the play?"

******************

IT IS DAY 24 OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

DO YOU *REALLY* KNOW WHAT YOUR 'MULTI-AGENCY ACTION CENTER' IS UP TO?

http://my.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-targets-terrorizes-u-s-citizens

http://my.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted):

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener


Posted by: scrivener50 | February 12, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Daylo1,

The $25 million was authorized at least 18 months or more ago, when the work began. I highly doubt that every contractor or laborer who worked on the renovation agreed to hold off on receiving money until after Jan. 20 of this year. Therefore, I conclude that the bulk of the money was spent well before Pres. Obama's inauguration.

I genuinely hope that you find work soon. In the meantime, please keep in mind that the conditions that have caused your employment problems have been in the works for many, many years-- not just the past 3 weeks. I personally believe you will find far greater opportunities for work during the next 4 years, than you have had for quite a while.

Good luck to you.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | February 12, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Daylo1:

Thank you.

Posted by: JakeD | February 12, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

The country's economy is in the toilet. We are printing and spending billions of dollars, devaluing our own currency, and we just spent 25 million to renovate a theatre. This strikes me as rather odd, since just this past week, the President has been stating we are on the way to the poor house, here. Which is it? Are we poor or rich? (well, I know which categaroy I am in on this one). Are we celebrating or mourning? Are we working or unemployed? Should we look forward to life or worry about the outcome?

The press conference was unbelievable double talk. When it was through, I asked, "Whaaaat?" Because then I woke up. I am afraid that this presidency will be our downfall.

The President has been throwing out scary words, like depression, greater than the Great Depression, Catastrophe and FEAR at the pinnacle of every comment. It seems that the only thing we have to fear, is the President himself.

I need a job. I had a good one, but lost it due to "financial difficulties" with a "non-profit hospital" where the boss got a raise that same year that was over $100,000. I had not had a raise in 6+ years when I and several others were terminated. No unemployment because I was a contractor. It is not easy watching all of this "stimulus" money being spent frivolously. The country will revolt. It may take a while, but there will be revolt. Chuck Schumer, if you are reading this, YES! WE DO CARE ABOUT THE MONEY BEING SPENT. I DO AND I AM NOT ALONE. I HAVE BEEN AGAINST THE BAILOUTS SINCE DAY #1 WHEN BUSH WAS STILL IN OFFICE. IT WAS A MISTAKE THEN AND IT IS STILL A MISTAKE!!!!

Common sense evidently has vacated the premises. Wake me up when this presidency is over. Talk about shock and awe.

Sign me, "Disgusted" This is a free country still on 02/12/09 (I think).

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 12, 2009 2:55 AM | Report abuse

Was Ford's Theatre associated with Lincoln's BIRTH?

Posted by: JakeD | February 12, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

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