Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 29, 2009


Eavesdrop DC - On the Mall near 7th street and Constitution during the inauguration: Woman #1: (pushing through the crowd) Coming through, coming through. (Then stops moving). . . Woman #2: Excuse me you can't just stop here in front of me. . . Woman #1: Well, where am I supposed to go?. . . Woman #2: Where were you before? . . . Woman #1: North Carolina.

On the mall at 5:30 am, inauguration day: "I feel really stupid.. I thought this was an actual mall. Like we were going to be watching this in front of Claire's."

A homeless guy: "You all voted for change...NOW GIVE ME SOME CHANGE!"

Charles L. Edson, Letter to Washington Post - I accepted the invitation from the unnamed local official quoted in your Metro article on Inauguration Day problems to "do the math" on the Purple Tunnel of Doom. The results were astounding. Accepting that the 24 magnetometers could each process 400 people an hour (an unbelievable seven per minute), this totals 9,600 admissions an hour. The gates opened four hours before the noon swearing-in, allowing a total of 38,400 ticket holders to make it through. But 52,000 purple tickets were issued. What on earth were the planners thinking? For Inauguration Day in 2013, planning should be left to a class of third-graders who have mastered the art of multiplication.


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