The Absurd and a Little Testy Gabfest
Listen to Slate's review of the week in politics.
Updated Friday, Jan. 30, 2009, at 11:25 AM
See all of Slate's inauguration coverage.
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The group discusses their experiences in Washington, D.C., during Tuesday's inauguration. Emily spent time in the crowd gathered near the Washington Monument. John had a better vantage point from which to watch the ceremony—sitting on the risers along the Capitol steps.
The president quickly got down to business by issuing several presidential directives. Among them were orders to begin the process to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and to restrict the methods available for interrogation of prisoners. He also issued an executive order to freeze the pay of high-level government officials and improve the ethics of the White House.
A vote of the full Senate has now been scheduled for Timothy Geithner's nomination to be treasury secretary. On Wednesday, Geithner told senators that he regretted the tax problems revealed during his confirmation hearings.
Emily talks about how Michelle Obama dancing with her husband made a wonderful statement for tall women around the world. The first lady is more than 5 feet 10 inches tall and wore heels, not flats, to the inaugural events.
John chatters about a quick reversal by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. Frank had wanted a law that, among other things, required any company that receives government bailout funds to sell off its private aircraft and to remove all aircraft leases. Frank changed his mind when a fellow representative pointed out that many of those aircraft were made in America.
The e-mail address for the Political Gabfest is firstname.lastname@example.org . (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)
Emily Bazelon is a Slate senior editor and writes about law, family, and kids. She is also the Truman Capote Fellow at Yale Law School and a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine. Her new book is Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Empathy and Character. Find her at email@example.com or on Facebook or Twitter.
John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his series on the presidency and his series on risk. Follow him on Twitter.
David Plotz is the Editor of Slate. He's the author of The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank and Good Book. He appears on Slate's Political Gabfest.