HOORAY: A crowd gathered at LR’s Mosaic Templars Cultural Center cheers the new president. Brian Chilson photo.

Aretha’s country tis of us again. Her powerful voice made up for the invocational preacher. (Joseph Lowery’s benediction, on the other hand, was a triumph.)

At 10:58 a.m., Dick Cheney was no longer vice president of the United States.

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Two minutes later, Barack Obama became president of these United States. Already, the White House website has a new face. The text of the inaugural address is already up on the new White House blog.

— Rob Schneider

The challenges the country faces are great, the new president said, “but know this America, they will be met.”

I loved this: He promised to “restore science to its rightful place.” And this: “Know that America is a friend of each nation.” Security comes from the justness of our cause and restraint and humility, he said. A choice between our ideals and security is a false choice. He promised a hand of friendship to the Muslim world, at least those without clenched fists. But he had strong words for would-be terrorists:  “You cannot outlast us and we will defeat you.”

On the jump, Doug Smith’s editorial for this week’s Times.

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Your thoughts?

Eric Wilson was one of many Arkies who attended. He sends the photo below taken from the top of a portapotty.