Inauguration Kitsch For Sale

Every inauguration of a new president brings out the kitsch, the manufactured collectibles of the moment. But this inauguration has more marketing opportunities than any before. As Stephen Colbert says, "Barack Obama can sell crap. I mean worthless crap." Anything and everything with the words Obama, inaugural, commemorative, or collectible is on sale and flying off the shelves. There is, of course, the same type of memorabilia you recall from past inaugurations. There are commemorative coins, plates, photographs, videos, t-shirts, and buttons, as well as the coffee mugs and caps you've come to expect from any big occasion. Look a little further, and you'll find that anything you can buy, you can now buy with Barack Obama's name on it.

There is an amazing assortment of food items hooking onto Obama's inauguration. L.A. Burdick created a box of chocolates for each presidential candidate in the 2008 election, and sold more of the Obama boxes than any other. Now they have the Obama Boxes on sale with in a wooden box with a gold wax seal and red, white and blue ribbons as an inauguration commemorative package. Old Pueblo Sauces has issued the Barack Obama Inauguration Hot Sauce. Ben & Jerry's traditionally names an ice cream after any large occasion, usually with a pun. The flavor of the inauguration is Yes, Pecan. Go ahead and groan, they are expecting it.


The assortment of Obama light switch covers will remind Americans that they have a new president every time they turn on the lights -in every room of the house! Could this be an incentive to save energy by using those switches more often to turn off the lights and save energy?


For your next keg party, you'll be proud to pull out your Obama Inauguration Souvenir Collectors Stein Mug, available in several designs. You can even change the design and slip your own name in there somewhere! They'll go well with your inaugural plates, shot glasses, and stemware.

This model airplane is a replica of Barack Obama's campaign plane. Only 100 were made, and only 90 were ever available to the general public for sale. However, the price has been marked down to $149.99, so they must not be selling as fast as expected.


So far, I haven't heard of a commemorative inaugural perfume, but the scent called Yes, We Can has been spotted in stores. No word on what it smells like, although you might guess that it smells like "change".

150obama_smartrip.jpgBuy a permanent, rechargeable fare card from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority with a picture of Obama on it to commemorate the inauguration. A card with $10 worth of train or bus rides will cost you $20, or you can get one with no value for only $10.


For $30 (or two for $50), you can display your Presidential Inaugural Plates on the front of your car, but I seriously doubt there will be many of these on the road six months from now.


The US Postal Service doesn't issue stamps with the image of a living person, but that doesn't stop them from issuing an official souvenir for the inauguration. For $14.95, you can get an envelope with images of Barack Obama and Joe Biden on it, with a special color postmark of January 20th. Because of the postmark, they go on sale today.


Obama souvenirs are not limited to the United States. In Japan, Obama face masks are hot. The Obama Phone is big in Kenya.


This only scratches the surface of the Obama kitsch available. Some push the envelope of taste, like this candle holder. Some I don't even want to link here, but you can search for "Obama sex toy" if you wish. Where will you store all these wonderful souvenirs? In your new Barack Obama Inaugural Keepsake Box, of course!

Watch a Rogue Pet Dog Interrupt a Russian News Anchor on Air

Last week, a Russian news broadcast briefly went to the dogs after its host was startled by a surprise co-anchor: a friendly black canine that wandered on set, announced its presence with a loud bark, and climbed onto her desk.


As TODAY reports, Mir24 TV anchor Ilona Linarte went off script for a few minutes, telling viewers "I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" After the initial shock wore off, she gave her furry guest a tepid welcome, patting its head as she gently pushed it off the desk. ("I actually prefer cats,'' Linarte remarked. "I'm a cat lady.")

Linarte’s query was answered when the TV station announced that the dog had accompanied another show’s guest on set, and somehow got loose. That said, rogue animals have a proud tradition of crashing live news broadcasts around the world, so we’re assuming this won’t be the last time a news anchor is upstaged by an adorable guest star (some of which have better hair than them).

[h/t TODAY]

Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
SpaceX Is Sending Two Private Citizens Around the Moon
Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0

Two members of the public are set to take an historic trip around the Moon, according to an announcement from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As The Verge reports, the anonymous private citizens have already placed substantial deposits on the commercial space flight.

The private spacecraft company SpaceX revealed on Monday that the Falcon Heavy rocket will be launching with its Crew Dragon spacecraft in late 2018. The mission will consist of a circumnavigation of the Moon, passing over the body’s surface before traveling farther into space and returning to Earth. In total, the trip will cover 300,000 to 400,000 miles and take a week to complete.

A noteworthy part of the plan is the human cargo that will be on board. Instead of professional astronauts, the craft will carry two paying customers into space. The passengers, who’ve yet to be named, will both need to pass several fitness tests before they're permitted to make the journey. According to The Verge, Musk said the customers are “very serious” and that the cost of the trip is “comparable” to that of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. The goal for SpaceX is to eventually send one or two commercial flights into space each year, which could account for 10 to 20 percent of the company’s earnings.

[h/t The Verge]


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