Our daily look at stories and topics that are lighting up the Internets:
The World Is Obama's
Obama hasn't wasted more than a few seconds since taking office, already suspending military tribunals at Guantánamo Bay in addition to ordering all federal agencies "to withdraw any regulations proposed by the Bush Administration that had not yet been officially published or gone into effect." All this plus his salary freeze for White House officials making more than $100,000 a year. Before attending this morning's national prayer service, Obama spoke with four Mideast leaders about the Israel-Hamas conflict, among other things. Writes Sam Stein on Obama's calls: "Obama is doing his best to tilt the scales on this front—and it will be interesting to see how direct contact from him, compared to George W. Bush, affects the outcome on this front." Other reports came out on the specifics of the phone call Obama made to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, prompting White House press secretary to comment on the calls, which then, in turn, prompted bloggers to comment on the comment. Other talk about Obama's first day spanned from his potential priorities to questions on Obama's ability to rejuvenate U.S. efforts in Afghanistan to the ideological ramifications behind more bailouts.
Obama's Inaugural Speech
Judgments about Obama's speech vary today, though they are not hard to find. First up: The Opinionator rounds up op-eds on the speech with this post. This senator wasn't a fan of Obama's words, to put it mildly. Andrew Sullivan likes the speech more and more, appreciating what seems to be a move from Bush's boldness to Obama's restraint: "Mulling over the address yesterday, I felt in retrospect that the restraint and classical tropes of the speech were deliberate and wise." Obama's speech grew on our very own Jack Farrell like fine wine, too (i.e., it hits you on the ride home). Writes Farrell on giving the speech a second chance: "I came to the conclusion that this was a very good speech indeed. And I settled upon Reaganesque as an adjective." Johanna Neuman notes that Obama is the first president in U.S. history "to use the word 'Muslim' in his inaugural address," looking at the speech through a broader context of Obama's Muslim outreach. One blogger holds back his thoughts, castigating those who've formed premature opinions: "It will be the actions that make those words memorable that will make President Obama's speech great." And for all you picture people, here's a word cloud of the inaugural speech.
Other Inauguration Fallout
Hats. Hats. Hats. This being one of the themes dominating today' discussions of Obama's inauguration, where, it turns out, bloggers don't like funny-looking hats (and neither does Ellen DeGeneres), of course, in reference to the bow-tie-esque, head covering worn by Aretha Franklin yesterday. You can see the picture, and other mimicking hat-wearers, here. "The hat," writes a surprised Tom Phillips, "is now cropping up in all manner of unexpected places." Others talked today about the worldwide celebrations for Obama, as well as the celebrations at home. One conservative blogger isn't too happy about the "collective Matthews leg thrill" he sees all over the world (video included). In other inaugural news, the Jonas Brothers show Sasha and Malia Obama the perks of being first daughters. And Sen. Ted Kennedy is released from the hospital after seizing during the inaugural luncheon yesterday.
The NSA lets Obama keep his BlackBerry (or so it seems) . . . Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal reports $8.26 billion dollar loss . . . Scientists find that a woman's sexual satisfaction is linked to the size of her partner's bank account . . . Civil rights attorneys are popping bubbly . . . And one blogger learns that Amazon.com sells radioactive Uranium ore, actually!