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Bush declares a 'state of emergency' in Washington as cost of Obama's swearing-in ceremony soars to 110m
By Paul Thompson
Last updated at 11:34 PM on 14th January 2009

'State of emergency': Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to Obama's 100m inauguration
Barack Obama's inauguration is set to cost more than 100m making it the most expensive swearing-in ceremony in US history.
The President-elect will take less than a minute to recite the oath of office in front of an estimated two million people in the US capital next week.
But by the time the final dance has been held at one of the many inaugural balls the costs for the day will be a staggering 110m.
The cost was revealed as Mr Obama scrambled to answer questions about the nomination of Treasury Secretary pick Timothy Geithner.
Geithner - the president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank whose selection by Obama as Treasury chief in November - is facing questions about an 'illegal' housekeeper whose work papers lapsed while she was employed by his family, and about several years when Geithner did not pay 35,000 of Social Security and Medicare taxes for himself.
Obama's White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said in a statement that Geithner had committed honest mistakes that he quickly addressed upon learning of them.

'He made a common mistake on his taxes, and was unaware that his part-time housekeeper's work authorization expired for the last three months of her employment.

'We hope that the Senate will confirm him with strong bipartisan support so that he can begin the important work of the country,' Gibbs said.

As the Obama team went into damage control over Geither, President Bush declared a state of emergency in Washington - because so many people were expected to attend the inauguration.

The Obamamobile: The first official photograph of Obama's new armoured limo, which he will ride in for part of the swearing-in parade, and which can withstand rocket and chemical attacks
The Capitol building in Washington during a clean-up operation for the Inauguration Ceremony
In doing so he paved the way for unlimited funding to be released to those local authorities responsible for staging the event.
A president mostly uses the power to declare a state of emergency during a crisis, such as a hurricane or other natural disaster.
The bulk of the cost for the event will be on security with more than 10,000 police and troops forming a ring of steel around Washington DC.
Obama has managed to raise 30m towards the cost of the event with a host of Hollywood stars, including Sharon Stone and Halle Berry, contributing the maximum amount of 33,000.

Army Honor Guard members march as they rehearse at the Capitol in a rehearsal last Sunday

An invitation for the Inauguration of Barack Obama
His money will fund many of the extravagant balls and also for giant TV screens to be placed along The Mall to allow visitors to witness the historic moment when America swears in its first black president.
A spokesman for Obama said they wanted as many people as possible to be able to witness the event.
But it will be the US taxpayer who picks up the main part of the bill to cover security and transport costs.
Officials in Washington DC and neighbouring states have sent a request to Congress for 50m to cover a variety of inaugural costs.
Enlarge The Presidential route: The rehearsal for the inauguration ceremony saw two stand-ins for the President-elect and the First Lady-in-waiting
Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty revealed that is amount that will be billed in the days after the January 20th event. US authorities had previously budgeted just 10m for the day based on previous inaugurations for George Bush and Bill Clinton.
A White House spokesman said President Bush had willingly approved the extra money.
He said President Bush 'declared an emergency exists in the District of Columbia' linked to the inauguration.
More than 2million spectators are expected, and thousands of seats are currently being set up along the parade route
It said the city would get federal money for protective measures 'undertaken to save lives and protect public health and safety.'
At least two million people are expected at the swearing-in and parade next Tuesday when Obama will be seen in his new official limousine, dubbed the 'Obamamobile'.
Officials estimate 10,000 charters buses will arrive in Washington with roughly 500,000 passengers.
All bridges leading into Washington are being closed and cars banned from a two mile area where Obama will stand on the steps of the US Capitol building to take the oath of office.
Visitors have been told to use public transport and be in their place at least three hours before the service begins.
U.S. intelligence services said such a high profile event would be perfect for a terrorist attack, but they have no specific intelligence that anything has been planned.
Obama will use the same Bible used by Abraham Lincoln during the swearing in ceremony

rosco 357

Tips to FBI about suspicious activity on the rise

Jan 17, 2:08 PM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI said Saturday it is receiving more and more tips about suspicious activities and items as the inauguration approaches, though there have been no specific or credible threats.

"The closer you get to the event, the more threat streams come in. People become a little bit more aware and want to do the right thing and pick up the phone and call us and tell us," said John Perren, the special agent in charge for counterterrorism at the FBI's Washington field office.

"Agencies want to forward us everything they have, just to ensure that this inauguration will be the safest inauguration there has ever been," Perren said.

The FBI is one of 58 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies that are part of the largest inaugural security operation in history.

There is no credible intelligence, at this point, that indicates terrorists plan to disrupt the events. But intelligence officials are concerned about potential attack scenarios, such as a car bomb or other explosive devices.

Should such an incident occur over the next three days, the bureau is ready with emergency response equipment that stretches down a city block on 5th Street.

There is a 40-foot bomb truck to handle suspicious items with a bomb-detecting robot that performs jobs considered too dangerous for a person. The FBI has a separate truck with a 12,000-pound blue steel ball that is strong enough to contain blasts of explosives.

There is also a mobile command center with seven laptops, 15 televisions, six cell phones, a microwave, mini fridge and 12-cup coffee maker; an armored assault vehicle; and evidence response team trucks to process a crime scene.

The FBI will have as many as 1,000 employees helping to secure the inauguration, with 155 two-person intelligence teams dressed in plain clothes and strategically placed to look for specific threats.

"We're very, very confident that if anything happens, we know how to respond to it," Perren said.

Perren said that "rhetoric" directed toward President-elect Barack Obama has also risen.

"The rhetoric is always out there," Perren said. "Has the rhetoric risen? We are being told that it has. But again, that's something we don't want to get in to."

The Secret Service does not discuss threats against people under its protection. An intelligence assessment of the inauguration, however, states that Obama "has been the focus of voluminous threat-related reporting since announcing his candidacy, and the number of threat reports has increased since his election."


Guess they will have to adjust the price tag for this showboat affair, seems to me the homeless and umemployed would take this as a slap in the face.

rosco 357

i would imagine the homeless, will be well out of sight during all this, in D.C.


Not just the homeless in DC Rosco but the thousands through out the US that could have benefited from the 150,000,000.00. If the estimate is correct one hundred and fifty million dollars spent on this bullshit should be a crime, and if you read closely the taxpayers will be footing a large part of the bill.

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