Tag Archives: Inauguration Day

Obamacare, the long Christmas and Inauguration Day

With its embedded links this post is a kind of ambitious round up. It comes on the twelfth day of Christmas and a time for  dealing with cold weather in Louisiana. January 6, 2017 the votes of the Electoral College have been certified on the Feast of the Epiphany. I have written about the Epiphany before and about the bridge between Christmas Season and Carnival Season. I have discussed much of the meaning of Christmas as I see it in an unpublished novel, several chapters of which I have included in this blog as well. I am not celebrating in great style this year, I covered some plants against the cold. i smoked a cigar and shared some hot cocoa in two different occasions with two different friends  –and the day is not over just yet.


I started typing this post  today on the Feast of the Epiphany — January 6. My thoughts included the following Epiphany related thoughts, “I love to go to Mass on that day but it did not seem to be likely this year. I love a lot of things I do not do. I love to buy a King Cake but probably won’t make that happen either. ” This was also the same January sixth when there was cold weather that needed to be dealt with and when I had to help a friend at the library delete a Facebook account. Then while I had already been thinking about the certified votes I had a chance to hear and see some of them during the break between typing and editing here.

Donald Trump ran in part on the promise that people would start saying “Merry Christmas” again. (I have blogged a good bit about Christmas and love it plenty well.) My sister’s recent blog post about a Christmas tree.  But about much more than a Christmas tree. But like many things Christmas is a complicated matter if you look at it hard enough. The holiday season is not the only thing in contention (having ended for most Americans but not all). The new assault on an airport in Florida has many Americans facing this day with familiar and not festive feelings.


There has been a bit more fuss than usual in this certification day in Congress. I also noted a greater awareness in the morning news shows that this was the day assigned for the Congress to certify the Electoral Votes of each State.  However, the protests appear to have been ineffectual,the process moving the President -Elect one step closer to being President. The heritage of representative government and electoral governance and Western Civilization are linked in complex ways. But when we think of Greek roots of Democracy we must remember Greek roots of organized Royalist Monarchy and Aristocracy as well. The Greek ideas of the role of the One, the Many and the Few are beyond what I can discuss today but Greece continues to yield up new wonders from its storied past .I remain convinced that our Constitutional tradition needs to be both relatively conservative and dynamic. I have spelled that out here and here — at least in brief. I have said much more in other places in the blog. But this is the star of a new year and the start of a new Presidential administration is on the way and I am in no position to exert influence of any kind. One of the issues in this transition relates to the nature and state of race relations in the United States of America. Two stories frame this debated and reported struggle. One story is the sentencing phase of the trial of Dylan Roof, convicted of the Hate Crime killing of the people known as the Charleston Nine:

  • Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd (54)
  • Susie Jackson (87)
  • Ethel Lee Lance (70)
  • Depayne Middleton-Doctor (49)
  • Clementa C. Pinckney (41)
  • Tywanza Sanders (26)
  • Daniel Simmons (74)
  • Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (45)
  • Myra Thompson (59)

While only one of these was a politician several were leaders in the Black Church communities int he region. Dylan Roof gives every evidence of being a militant and selective terrorist. The other story is that of the hate crimes committed by four African Americans against a white guy of limited capacities which was broadcast on Facebook Live. these things remind us all of the racial tensions and animosities that exist in this country.

Those extreme situations only underline and bookend the much large tensions that involve race and other factors in more complicated ways. The Obamacare issues and the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act are only part of the overall struggle. people who do lots of work for which they are not paid at all or are paid far less than one can survive on are taxed and fined to pay for the most irresponsible, expensive and uncontrolled medical economy in the world  on behalf of those privileged to have had good jobs are willing to admit that they have no work at all. Our society is deeply corrupt in countless ways that rest heaviest on those most victimized by Obamacare. the repeal will likely benefit not those people as much as the richer people who will pay less for the healthcare insurance premiums under a new regime and the more successful small business people who may see their deductibles go down. For some people it may always seem like Santa Claus is coming on Christmas to those watching, for others like the winter in C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia — very cold and brutal with no Christmas in sight. The middle fifty percent are the ones who can really afford to get excited about arguing the merits of the plans put forth.

For me this portends to be a very bleak year. But the actual Christmas that is ending has been better than average. I would like to hope for a happy New Year as well. But I am not there yet….


Inauguration Day as Required by the Constitution: A Facebook Note

by Frank Wynerth Summers III on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:09pm ·
Barack Hussein Obama is to start his second term at about the time that I will be arriving for Brunch at the home on the banks of the Bayou Vermilion where a family is hosting my cousin and her newly betrothed for a brunch. All around the country people will be giving birth, being born, dying, going to houses of worship and going out to eat among other things. Millions will be getting ready to watch football with a few friends or family members. I am hoping that my manner of dress will be sufficiently and not excessively “country club casual”. I really do wish the couple well. I also have worries not everyone brings to a party of this kind when they attend. My life has left me with a little bit of what some people might call PTSD but is not reallly serious enough to be a disorder. Within the spectrum ofrisk awareness I am simply at the high end and when there are not so many factors known as unkown it is easy to worry even about security.

But while all sorts of things are on my mind I am also aware of the troubles of the country and the difficulty of addressing them. I am further aware that the USA is addressing its own set of serious crises. The countries own parties this week will celebrate the vision and hopes of one man and the team he has gathered. They will celbrate that he has been returned to office. I may have fewer enemies or more enemies thatn President Obama. I may live to see many more presidents of these United States or none at all. But President Obama will face many challenges as will all Americans in the coming years. Perhaps things will turn out very well and perhaps they will not.

Unlike my own worries, which are often tenuously connected to me but extend to people far and near who are in real danger, the worries of a President are largely structural and known I would suppose. There are so many ties between him and all those he needs to worry about or chooses to worry about. The party planners, hosts and guests in Washington are able to connect the man to a wide range of policy questions and issues very directly.

However, for me and others at more personal parties our problems risks and connections are less openly public and national. I have written here and elsewhere about the troubles I have seen. Many of those I hope the happy couple will be spared. I also hope for a better occasion on which the party will occur than the most tragic days of my life. But the party will not be world-wide news. With hostages possibly, or possibly not still in Algeria or Mali there is another factor to complicate inaugural security. However, the President has a large team to engage any perceived threat. However, those of us at smaller parties will not have large protective details. Does the inuguration matter to all of us at our varied parties?

I think it can matter and I God grants me chance I will watch all or most of Monday’s proceedings. I have not been a fan of the President and I have never voted for him. But amid my many criticisms of the man, his policies and flaws in our system I have also written about some good and agreeable qualities of Obama and his team. It seems to me the President will matter to the betrothed couple and to many others. Whether his presidency will matter much to me is harder to say. We are close in age and both have had some experiences which are both rare and similar. What will happen to either or both of us is hard for me to say. Perhaps it is impossible to say.

I do not even know all that will happen tomorrow. I am going to a nearby place to which I have never before traveled. I may be posting my last note before Monday’s big inaugural affairs. Like many American my attention is divided. But the President will matter. It is not possible to say how much he will matter but he will shape the future. Many Americans will be celebrating the future and I am also celebrating a new future. The future of a newly engaged couple is what I am celebrating mostly. Will there future be a good one? I hope so…

As I type this I am preparing to go to what may be a small or larger brunch to honor a cousin’s betrothal. I have just sealed up a gift for the occasion. These will be the last few hours of President Barack Hussein Obama’s first term legally. However, the public inauguration will not be until Monday. Monday is Martin Luther King Day. He drew huge crownds to many places including the Mall that will be used Monday. Obama is to use his bible in one of the ceremonies. I will be far from the hundreds of thousands gathering in DC. I will be with a smaller group the whole time.

I spend more time online than in large groups these days. My access to the internet is not that secure. But I trust that these virtual crowds are not like Manti Te’o’s girlfriend. I trust that his principal remaining tie to the world for me is mostly authentic. It usually seems to check out. It is easier todeal with than thousnads on the Mall would be probably. My uneasiness about crowds, groups and gatherings increases a great deal over time and more than a little bit from day to day. I have no regular job, occupational license or mortgage. I no longer own real estate and I have not even had a compensated by-line in several years now. Those factors of isolation combine with the many troubles and problems I have seen in the world to remind me of all the risks that I must face in the world. I can hope for something good to happen for myself and those around me and still be aware That I have a darkening view of the world. Yet I am drawn to try to honor a couple’s brightest hopes. Perhaps many are doing that this week in Washington. I do not know what the scene really is there. I know less and less of the scene around me…