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Grande Finale of Inauguralpalooza: God, Gays and Gaza

The fifth and final night of inaugural partying was like a cork popping off a champagne bottle. The inner party animal in thousands of revelers came out.

But this being Washington, there was just as much energy put into celebrating as there was debating what Barack Obama will do now that he's president - namely about the Middle East and the economy.

At the Google party, the hot ticket of the final night, Ben Affleck, who became usual suspect No. 1 on the inauguration party scene, was engaged in rigorous conversation with a few of Washington's wonkiest wonks (including liberal journalist David Corn and Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation).

Affleck was railing about the Israeli invasion of Gaza. And, thanks to his special access, he said he has already registered his concerns with the highest echelons of the Obama administration. He said he gave White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel an earful about Israel at a private dinner the night before.

It pays to have an agent who is the brother of the new White House chief of staff. Affleck's agent is Ari Emanuel, the model for obnoxious Hollywood super agent Ari Gold in the hit HBO show "Entourage."

Later, Affleck was spotted having an intense chat with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) about the economy.

Just as intense at the Google party was Glenn Close, in the back game room. She was intently playing a game of backgammon against an unidentified woman, eyes laser-focused on the board even as, just a few feet from her, people played bowling at the Wii game stations.

We also saw Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who said he was ticked off at Chief Justice John Roberts for screwing up the oath for Obama during the 44th president's swearing-in. "I'm glad I voted against him," Schumer groused.

Other big names at the Google party: John Cusack, Joaquin Phoenix, Google founder Larry Page, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Arianna Huffington, and Ben's brother, Casey Affleck.

Earlier, the Sleuth went to the Out for Equality ball at the Mayflower hotel hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, headlined by Cyndi Lauper. It was a who's who of major gay movers and shakers, including several openly gay incoming Obama administration officials and celebrities.

Among them: John Berry, director designate of Obama's Office of Personnel Management; Providence (R.I.) mayor David Cicilline, who's running for governor; David Medina, deputy chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama; Fred Hochberg, Obama's nominee for chair of the Import-Export bank; Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick; and openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson, who was invited - after conservative evangelical Rick Warren stirred outrage - to participate in inaugural prayers.

While there was still much grousing at the party about the Rick Warren controversy, Phil Attey, who served as the Obama campaign's gay outreach coordinator for the D.C. area, told the Sleuth: "I'm glad Obama brought in Rick Warren. It's part of his bigger vision of bringing America together. In the end, it'll be Rick Warren who changes, not Obama."

Christopher Guest (the Sleuth is a huge fan) and his wife, Jamie Lee Curtis, were also at the party, but Guest kept to himself and wanted nothing to do with the riffraff.

Another hot ticket last night was the Recording Industry Association of America ball, where Rihanna, wearing a skin tight glittering mini-dress, rocked the house. Celebs included: Cher; Leonardo DiCaprio; Kanye West and vocalist Josh Groban.

Wondering where the sex therapists were partying on the last night of Inauguralpalooza?

Apparently at the Western States ball. Dr. Ruth was spotted sharing a cab with two other attendees close to 1 a.m.

No word on whether anyone in the Obama camp sought her advice.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  January 21, 2009; 10:38 AM ET
 
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Next: Survivors of Inauguration's Purple Tunnel of Doom Demand Answers

Comments

Do these superstars actually think they are going to initiate policy on inaugural night or is it just ego tripping.
It seems every star has to have some can to kick as Obama might say - With Diana it was cluster bombs , Bono - cluster bombs / Aids / Bob Geldolf - all above + starvation
Paris Hilton - all of above + leprosy Cholera , obesity - Yea that war on obesity - we gotta get the troops outa there !!

Posted by: donmacnamara | January 21, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Do these superstars actually think they are going to initiate policy on inaugural night or is it just ego tripping.
It seems every star has to have some can to kick as Obama might say - With Diana it was cluster bombs , Bono - cluster bombs / Aids / Bob Geldolf - all above + starvation
Paris Hilton - all of above + leprosy Cholera , obesity - Yea that war on obesity - we gotta get the troops outa there !!

Posted by: donmacnamara | January 21, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Well done Ben Affleck.....keep up the good work especially as the Emanuels' father was a terrorist and has made recent anti-semitic comments vis a vis Arabs.....

Posted by: MrMadoff | January 22, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Hey, anyone spot Bill Maher at any of these inaugurals?

Posted by: GuinnessJ51 | January 22, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I AM APAULED THAT THE NEW PRESIDENT DID NOT GET ON THE NEWS AND REPREMAND THE 2 "BLACK RAPPERS" THAT MADE RACIST REMARKS ABOUT US "WHITE" PEOPLE! THEY USED DISTASTEFULL LANGUAGE, DEGRADED OUR LAST PRESIDENT, AND SAID THAT THE BLACKS ARE HAPPY BECAUSE THEY HAVE A BLACK PRESIDENT NOW!!!!!!THEY RANTED AND RAVED WHILE THE BLACKS CHEERED THEM ON!!!OBAMA IN ALL HIS SPEECHES SAID WE ARE A UNITED AMERICA??WHAT AMERICA WAS HE TALKING ABOUT, THE WHITES ARE REALY IN AN UPROAR, MAYBE UYOU NEWS PEOPLE SHOULD SEND HIM A COPY OF THE RAPPERS PREFORMANCE AND ASKED HIM IF THAT IS THE WAY HE WANTS TO BE RESPECTED!!!!! HE IS TOO BUSY, MAKING ALL HIS CHANGES ON DAY ONE, TO SHOW THAT HE TOO WAS APPOLLED BY IT, OR THEN MAYBE HE WAS'NT!!!

Posted by: JBRACALE | January 22, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I too am APAULED, APPOLLED, and even appalled by the results of our educational system. Is it really so difficult to run a spell check before you post your racist diatribes?

Posted by: SanFranciscoJack | January 22, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

When someone asserts that "THE blacks cheered him on" or "THE whites were in an uproar", I'm never sure whether that person is revealing ignorance about English grammar, or just racist attitudes.

Perhaps the error is simply one of grammar. Perhaps the writer doesn't realize that "the" is the definite article, and refers to a particular person, group or thing. It designates the entirety of whatever it addresses... "The tall people" properly refers to ALL tall people. If one wants to refer to only some tall people, or the majority of tall people, it is incorrect to write "the tall people" without specifying a limitation.

Perhaps the misunderstanding has nothing to do with grammar. In that case, the writer is making a sweeping generalization that implicitly ascribes the described action or attitude to all people of the specified race. It should require no further explanation to demonstrate that such assertions are racist.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | January 22, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

It's extremely amusing that actors have the ear of senators, high level administration staff, etc. If they are going to advise on issues of state, I believe they should be open to receiving criticism of their craft and industry. I'm ready to talk. Please, Ben and Glenn, dance, drink, have fun, add whatever it is celebrities add to these events, and then, go home!

Posted by: portiaperu | January 22, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The United Nation's Millennium Development Goals aim to cut world hunger in half by 2015 and eliminating it completely by 2025. An estimated $19 billion would eliminate malnutrition and starvation around the world. Our current defense budget is $522 billion, in comparison.

The BORGEN PROJECT (borgenproject.org) provides lots of information about this issue.

Posted by: alenka | January 22, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Thank you SanFranciscoJack. Enough said!!!

Posted by: hueylong | January 22, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

JBRACALE displays both his illiteracy and his bigotry, as various comments have made clear. It is depressing to be reminded that such opinion still exists in an America which has shown so much evidence of change and new hope. Let us hope that racism will plunge into terminal decline as Obama and his diverse and able team demonstrate the benefits of working together with mutual respect.

Posted by: JCinBelgium | January 23, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

As a writer, if you are that, this was the best example of the worst I have ever read.

You need to check in your prejudiced coat at the counter.

Shame on you!

Olga
Austin, Texas

Posted by: olgaolivia | January 23, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to SanFranciscoJack and others who called a racist by that name!

JBRACALE's was a totally appalling post, not only for the racism and bigotry it so openly displayed, but for the evidence of how very low our educational bar has fallen in this country!

How anyone could post such a rant is horrifying enough, but how anyone in this day and age could be so ignorant of grammar and spelling at the same time is even more disturbing!

What does America's future look like, compared with developing nations around the globe who value education and whose highly-trained and -educated young people are competing against our young people? We certainly hope and pray that JBRACALE is in a distinct minority when it comes to level of education and ability to communicate intelligently (nevermind his racist attitudes, which we do believe will die out in another generation or two).

What's really alarming is that ignorance such as his/hers can walk on two legs into a voting booth and cast a ballot just like everybody else! An IQ test for voters was considered and was rejected as undemocratic/unAmerican. And we suppose that is true.

But my gosh -- reading JBRACALE all we could say was "No wonder we got Dubya for eight years!"

As to this ridiculous article, we read it expecting to see just about what we saw. The Sleuth is now off our list of "must-reads." Amazing how she can slam so many people with her catty little snippets (playing to a few of her regulars, judging by the posts), but then turn around and practically drool down our monitor about one person in the crowd! Makes us suspect if any of those famous types had paid her even a teensy weensy little bit of attention, she'd have written about them in the same fawning fashion! What a pathetic little gossip columnist!

Posted by: danjanbee | January 24, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Rick Warren does not speak for the true Christian population of this country. However he is right on concerning Homosexuality.Homosexuality is not a lifestyle, it is a sin & an abomination before God. Read it, it's in the K.J.Version of the Holy Bible & it is the truth.It may not be politically correct to say this but Gays are in sin & unless they repent, they all face eternity in Hell.

Posted by: bob-lu-kk2 | January 26, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I am getting a bit weary of those who wish to complain about the acting and music celebrities taking stands on political issues. Could those who are taking that position please put out a list of which professions are allowed to participate in political discussion without criticism? Just lawyers? What is their profession that gives them the expertise to criticize others? I applaud those who take the time and energy to study the issues , take a stand, and use whatever means at their disposal to draw attention to the issues that they hold near.

Posted by: potrafka | January 27, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

It's nice to see that Obama is trying to taking some steps to fix our domestic and internation problems. I hope that Congress with help shape a stimulus package that will actually benefit Americans in the long run and not just tie us over for a week or so. The war on terror will shift to the countries that are actually harboring terrorist instead of staying in a country that is now self-sufficient. Americans will get adequate health care and education, while we try to help change the image of our country for the rest of the world. One way of doing this is to help eliminate global poverty, domestic and foreign. The Borgen Project (www.borgenproject.org) has some interesting facts about global poverty and how reducing it will help our society. It would cost $19 billion to eliminate global poverty, which is extremely small compared ot the $522 billion the U.S. government spent on our defense budget last year. By eliminating global poverty we are setting ourselves up to have stronger allies or new ones, we open up the doors to new resources and help make our society safer to live in.

Posted by: cougar_gal06 | January 27, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

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