The clever gentlemen pictured is Rahm Emanuel, incoming White House Chief of Staff.
Emanuel, known for his tempestuous anger and foul language, is now President Barak Obama's closest adviser. If Obama can be faulted as being too laid back, perhaps "Rahm-bo" offers some balance. He is Mr. Hyde to Obama's Dr. Jekyll.
Born into a wealthy Jewish family, Rahm made millions as a Wall Street investment banker before being appointed by Bill Clinton to head Freddie Mac in 2000. Yes, that Freddie Mac.
Rahm-bo spent the last six years as a congressman from Chicago, but resigned to serve on Obama's staff. He appears to be a social liberal, a chicken hawk, a friend of Israel and a fiscal abomination.
But I didn't start out to write about Mr. Emanuel -- his ilk is too common in government to be very remarkable. I set out to write about the inauguration, but got lost trying to explain how this picture epitomizes the government's attitude toward its people.
The sight of nearly two million people shivering for hours just to say they "were there" at the beginning of America's first black Presidency did not give me hope. When the television commentators explained how proud I should be that our country had marched down the road of freedom and equality, I nearly cried. My swelling tears were not of patriotism, but shame that so many people still sheepwalk through their lives.
After eight long years of unending disasters under Bush, it's hard to fault people for swallowing the empty promises of "Hope" and "Change." The ghost of Carroll Quigley must be having a good chuckle at our expense. The only thing that changed were the names of the actors -- and as far as I know, we still can't eat hope.
Our rulers thumb their noses, stick out their tongues and wriggle their fingers in our general direction. We just got fooled, again. Now Obama can take up the "hard work" of Presidential signings -- signing our checks over to Rahm's bankster buddies.