Friday, November 4, 2016


On Tuesday, a co-worker reported that Lafayette Square was partially closed. She wondered whether crews were beginning construction of stands for the inaugural parade in January. Today, another co-worker and I passed by the chain link fence that blocks off about a third of the square, and it appears so. The protesters who would ordinarily be on Pennsylvania Avenue facing the White House have now set up near the statue of Jackson.

One forgets, occasionally, in the noise and novelty of an election year, how much goes on by routine. In 1980, a project I worked for shared office space with the Quadrennial Commission, an organization that meets, or met, every four years to consider the compensation of federal employees. As best I recall, they did not know when they started who the next president would be. They did, however, know that personnel in all three branches of the federal government would be collecting pay during the years 1981 through 1984, and that the government needed guidelines for setting the rates of their pay.

So the workers along Pennsylvania Avenue expect that there will be an inaugural parade on January 20. Someone will take that oath, and someone will ride up from the Capitol in a limousine. In all probability, they are correct.

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