Tag Archives: Michelle Obama

10 things you need to know today: April 10, 2014

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett waits to speak about the stabbings. 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett waits to speak about the stabbings. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Week

A student is charged with a high-school stabbing rampage, Chris Christie catches a break, and more

1. Pennsylvania student charged with high school stabbings
A 16-year-old boy was accused of stabbing at least 21 people in a rampage at a Murrysville, Penn. high school on Wednesday. Four were in critical condition. Witnesses said the student, Alex Hribal, moved through the hallways with two kitchen knives before being tackled by a security officer and a vice principal. Another student, Nate Scimio, was praised as a hero for sending people fleeing by pulling a fire alarm, and defending a girl before being slashed. [Reuters]


2. Judge shields ex-Christie aides from Bridgegate subpoenas
A New Jersey judge ruled Wednesday that two former aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie do not have to comply with subpoenas for records related to the Bridgegate scandal. Some state officials have complied and provided documents, but Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and his former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, were fighting a demand to turn over information on the allegedly politically motivated bridge-lane closures. [Asbury Park Press]


3. Russia didn’t tell the U.S. about Tsarnaev’s talk of jihad
The Russian government knew that one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, the late Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had discussed Islamic jihad in a phone call with his mother, but didn’t tell the FBI until after last year’s deadly attack. Russia had the information, which should have prompted heightened scrutiny of Tsarnaev, for two years before sharing it. Before the deadly bombing, all Russia had told the FBI was that Tsarnaev believed in radical Islam. [The New York Times]


4. Search chief says Malaysia Airlines plane will be found soon
Australian authorities shrank the area where crews are looking for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 on Wednesday after the detection of fresh pings believed to have come from the plane’s black-box recorders. “I’m now optimistic that we will find the aircraft… in the not too distant future,” said Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who’s coordinating the search. The area in the southern Indian Ocean is still as big as South Carolina. [CNN]


5. GOP senators reject equal pay bill
Republican Senators blocked a Democratic bill on pay equality on Wednesday, unanimously backing a filibuster to prevent the opening of debate. The bill sought to narrow the pay gapbetween men and women by making it illegal for employers to retaliate against workers who ask about or disclose their wages. Democrats said the bill would increase fairness. Republicans said it would only increase lawsuits. [The Washington Post]


6. Car crashes into Florida day-care center
One girl was killed and 14 other children were injured on Wednesday when a car crashed into a central Florida day-care center. Authorities were searching for a man, Robert Corchado, whose SUV they believe sent another vehicle slamming into the building. Police said Corchado fled the horrific scene. “It was just kids on the ground and there was teachers giving CPR,” one witness said. “It was horrible.” [CNN]


7. Alleged cartel enforcer reportedly confesses to 40 killings
A man accused of nine contract killings in Central California has confessed to killing 40 people over several decades as a drug-cartel hitman, police said Wednesday. Jose Manuel Martinez, 51, was arrested last year after entering Arizona from Mexico, and allegedly told investigators about the murders while in custody. Martinez faces a June trial in Alabama, but says he is innocent of the charge there, a defense attorney said. [The Associated Press]


8. Embarrassed congressman decides not to ask who leaked damning video
Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) reportedly has decided not to ask the FBI to look into who leaked a surveillance video showing him kissing a staff member in his district office. McAllister, a first-term representative who ran as a devout family values Baptist, has apologized for his actions. The woman’s husband has called McAllister, saying he and his wife, who quit her job after a local paper posted the video online, are heading for divorce. [The Christian Science Monitor]


9. George H.W. Bush greets the Obamas in Houston
Former president George H.W. Bush went to Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport on Wednesday to greet President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. “When the president comes to your home town,” Bush said, “you show up to meet him.” After a brief visit with the Republican former president, Obama headed to a meeting with 30 members of the Democratic National Committee and a Democratic fundraiser. [Houston Chronicle]


10. UMass guard Derrick Gordon becomes first openly gay Division I player
University of Massachusetts basketball player Derrick Gordon announced to ESPN and Outsports that he was gay, becoming the first openly gay player in Division I men’s college basketball. Gordon, a starting sophomore shooting guard, said he told his parents, coaches, and teammates, then decided to make a public announcement because he didn’t want to hide. He said he had been waiting for a player to come out. “Finally I just said, ‘Why not me?’” [ESPN]


Filed under 10 things you need to know today

Columnist Blasts Obama For Acting Like ‘Hormone-Ravaged Frat Boy’ At Mandela Service

Barack Obama seems to be absorbing every moment in this picture with his wife, Michelle Obama.

What is this fascination with the unrealistic stereotype of the “virile, over sexed Black man and the angry Black woman?

Get over yourselves news people…move on, nothing to see here but your warped imaginations. The POTUS and FLOTUS do not need your intervention.

TPM Livewire

Employing an inordinate number of pastry puns and an inexplicable knowledge of the first family’s marital harmony, the New York Post’s Andrea Peyser unleashed a torrent of outrage toward President Obama for “using the solemn occasion of Nelson Mandela’s memorial service Tuesday to act like a hormone-ravaged frat boy on a road trip to a strip bar.”

The columnist’s evidence for such moral depravity? A series of photos showing the President smiling and laughing with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Mandela’s service, all while First Lady Michelle Obama appears to be shooting her husband a scornful glare.

You might not be all that familiar if you aren’t a Twitter user, presumably because the photos were rightly treated as a goofy meme more than a news story. But Peyser, writing in her column on Thursday, somehow knows it’s a sign of trouble in paradise for Obama.

In front of 91 world leaders, the mourning nation of South Africa and Obama’s clearly furious wife, Michelle, the president flirted, giggled, whispered like a recalcitrant child and made a damn fool of himself at first sight of Denmark’s voluptuously curvy and married prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

Later in the column, Peyser observed what she deemed a particularly unsavory interaction between Obama and Thorning-Schmidt.

Thorning-Schmidt placed her hands dangerously close to Obama’s side. The president’s cackling head moved inches from the Danish tart’s and yards away from his wife’s. Obama then proceeded to absorb body heat from the Dane, which he won’t be feeling at home for a long time.

It’s unclear how Peyser knows that the first lady was actually miffed, and not simply photographed at a few ill-timed moments. Peyser wasn’t at Mandela’s service, nor does she cite any source to back her assumptions. Nevertheless, Peyser insists that President Obama owes his wife — nay, the world — an apology.

President Obama has some ’splaining to do. To the woman he married. To his daughters. To the people of South Africa. And to the scandalized folks here at home. He owes the world an apology.

And don’t think Thorning-Schmidt was let off the hook either! Peyser cooked up a batch of sexually-charged labels drawn from both baked goods and Thorning-Schmidt’s nationality. The prime minister of Denmark, Peyser reminds readers throughout the column, is Danish.

Not just any Dane, but a “Danish pastry,” “Danish hellcat,” and “cross-legged Danish cupcake.”

Update: A photographer who actually attended the service made it clear that the first lady’s “stern look was captured by chance.”

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk from the Marine One helicopter to the White House as they return from the memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela to Washington, December 11, 2013

H/t: Obama Diary


Filed under News Columnists

Selfie-Gate? I think not…

Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron pose for a selfie photo with Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt (center) as First Lady Michelle watches the memorial service
|Getty Images


My own opinion to these photos is reserved.  None of the following pictures can tell the true story of an event…

Click here to see  MSNBC’s Chris Hayes’ video discussing the “incident”.


Other photos of the Mandela Memorial from the United Kingdom’s Mail One:

First Lady Michelle Obama did not look too pleased as her husband laughed and joked with the Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt

First Lady Michelle Obama did not look too pleased as her husband laughed and joked with the Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt at the memorial service

First Lady Michelle Obama did not look too pleased as her husband laughed and joked with the Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt at the memorial service
Obama waves as he arrives to speak to crowds attending the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg
Obama waves as he arrives to speak to crowds attending the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg

Front-row seats: Chelsea Clinton sits with her parents former president Bill and Hillary Clinton at the memorial service in Johannesburg as George W and Laura Bush look on

Front-row seats: Chelsea Clinton sits with her parents former president Bill and Hillary Clinton at the memorial service in Johannesburg as George W and Laura Bush look on

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter (far right) sat separately from the other former presidents at the official memorial service in Johannesburg, South Africa

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter (far right) sat separately from the other former presidents at the official memorial service in Johannesburg, South Africa

Obama and his wife, first lady Michelle look at the official program booklet during the memorial service

Obama and First Lady Michelle look at the official program booklet during the memorial service in Johannesburg


Filed under Mandela Memorial Service

President Obama awards Medal of Freedom to Clinton, Oprah, others

USA Today

President Obama paid tribute Wednesday to Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton, and both of them honored a presidential icon: John F. Kennedy.

Obama awarded Clinton and 15 other Americans the Presidential Medal of Freedom, created 50 years ago by Kennedy. Other recipients included television legend Oprah Winfrey, country music artist Loretta Lynn, women’s rights leader Gloria Steinem, baseball great Ernie Banks and pioneering astronaut Sally Ride.

“These are men and women who in their extraordinary lives remind us all of the beauty of the human spirit,” Obama said during a ceremony at the White House.

MORE: The Obama and Clinton relationship over the years

Obama and Clinton later traveled to Arlington National Cemetery for a solemn ceremony at the eternal flame that marks Kennedy’s grave. Friday is the 50th anniversary of the assassination that transformed American politics and culture.

The delegation to the graveside included members of the Kennedy family, as well as a former official who may soon seek the presidency herself: former first lady and secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton.

On a sunny but chilly day, Obama, the Clintons, and first lady Michelle Obama placed a wreath before the twin graves of President Kennedy and wife Jacqueline. The Obamas and the Clintons held their hands over their hearts as a military bugler played Taps.

Obama also pays tribute to JFK at a dinner tonight for current and past Medal of Freedom recipients.

Like their presidential predecessors, Obama and Clinton have often paid homage to the memory of the charismatic Kennedy.

The Kennedy family gave Obama crucial support during his 2008 presidential campaign. The endorsement of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the late president’s brother, helped Obama win that year’s Democratic primary race — over Hillary Clinton.

Continue here…



Filed under Medal of Honor Ceremony

How do you make a conservative hate water?

First Lady Michelle Obama participates in an event at Watertown High School to encourage people to drink more water, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, in Watertown, Wis. (Photo by Morry Gash/AP)

Another knee-jerk reaction from Rush Limbaugh and his supporters.  I’m just waiting for the Obama’s to come out in support of air, simply to see what those folks would do.


Drink more water. It’s pretty simple advice, the type of thing any health-conscious consumer has probably read at least a dozen times over the last few years. It’d be hard to come up with a less controversial idea, until, of course, first lady Michelle Obama started advocating water.

Last week the first lady unveiled her new “Drink Up” campaign — an offshoot of her healthy “Let’s Move” advocacy to reduce childhood obesity. For “Drink Up” she traveled to Watertown, Wisc., to encourage kids and adults to add a little more water to their drinking habits.

“I’ve come to realize that if we were going to take just one step to make ourselves and our families healthier, probably the single best thing we could do is to simply drink more water,” she said in a statement announcing the program. “That’s it — it’s really that simple. Drink just one more glass of water a day and you can make a real difference for your health, your energy, and the way you feel.”

But according to the right wing’s resident conservative weathervane, Rush Limbaugh, this new campaign is simply “more command-and-control” from the White House.

“We have real trouble, real problems in this country and around the world. What is this push to drink more water?” he quipped on his program last Friday.

The primary scientific critic Limbaugh and a number of news outlets quoted, is Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of the University of Pennsylvania. He’s a nephrologist (doctor who specializes in kidneys) with a long history of bashing the Affordable Care Act.

As Limbaugh pointed out on his show, Goldfarb says there “really isn’t data to support” the claims that increased water consumption can achieve the goals of the “Drink Up” campaign. “To make it a major public health effort, I think I would say it’s bizarre,” Goldfarb said.

So where is Michelle Obama getting this data to support her new program? It comes from the Centers for Disease Control, which has found that one in four children don’t drink any water daily and that nearly half of all Americans are getting less than four cups of water a day.

The new “Drink Up” campaign is focused on positive advocacy, encouraging people to consume more water, rather than telling them not to avoid sugary sodas. And while you might think that positive message would assuage a nanny-state-averse conservative pundit, Limbaugh found a way to hate it anyway. His criticism? The campaign has her cozying up too much with Big Soda.

“It’s Big Bottled Water, or Big Bottled Water is Big Soft Drink,” Limbaugh said. “That’s who’s pushing this.”

As pundit Bill Maher joked on his Friday program, ”I think this is a test to see if the Republicans will come out against water. ‘That’s not water, that’s socialism juice!’”

At least one Republican managed to pass that test. Congrats, Rush.


Filed under Michelle Obama, Rush Limbaugh

Week in one-liners: FLOTUS, Carney, Paul

I haven’t published this Politico feature in a while.  This particular one was from Friday 8-16-2013…

Michelle Obama, Jay Carney and Donald Trump are shown in a composite. | AP Photos


The top quotes in politics…

“I’m in this business to win.” — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reassuring Republican leaders.

“Reporting for #juryduty.” — Arizona Sen. John McCain tweeting about his afternoon in Maricopa County Superior Court.

“I think I’m too famous.” — Rush Limbaugh brushing off suggestions that he should moderate a presidential debate.

“Why does that make me not serious?” — Donald Trump defending his ongoing skepticism about the president’s birth certificate.

“I love an endorsement by Sarah Palin, what’s not to love?” — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paultouting support for “Team Rand” from the former Alaska governor.

“I want to be this really fly 80-, 90-year old.” — First Lady Michelle Obama dishing on her upcoming birthday.

“I’m kind of busy right now.” — “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson shutting down talks of a congressional run.

“Can you teach me how to do the Jackal?” — White House Press Secretary Jay Carneywelcoming West Wing star Allison Janney to Twitter.


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Filed under Politico top quotes of the week

LGBT activist: Michelle Obama got ‘in my face’ after heckling at fundraiser

Michelle Obama via AFP

I saw Michelle Obama’s name trending on Twitter this morning so I decided to see what was going on.

The heckler’s complaint about Mrs. Obama “getting in her face” reminded me a lot of the incident at the Arizona airport in early October 2012 where reporters took pictures of Gov. Jan Brewer wagging her witch-like finger in the POTUS’ face.

When asked by reporters why she did that, Mrs. Brewer complained, “I felt intimidated by him…”

So let me see if I understand the heckler’s logic here.  She interrupts a speech given by the First Lady.  The First Lady steps down from the lectern to speak to the woman one on one instead of retorting in a more public manner via the media presence.   The woman felt intimidated because Mrs. Obama “got in my face”.  Yet, the heckler initiated the exchange.

There are some parallels to both of the above instances…at least from where I stand.  Both examples show the complaining parties as the persons doing the intimidating yet they both complain of being “intimidated.

The Raw Story

A member of an LGBT advocacy group heckled First Lady Michelle Obama at a private fundraising event Tuesday night, leading to a brief confrontation between the two.

The Washington Post reported that Obama was speaking at a Democratic Party event at a private residence when 56-year-old Ellen Sturtz, later identified as a member of GetEqual,interrupted her speech to demand that President Barack Obama sign an executive order forbidding federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The first lady allegedly addressed Sturtz directly, telling her, “One of the things that I don’t do well is this. Do you understand?” before walking toward her and saying, “Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”

Sturtz told the Post Obama was “flustered” when she replied that she would be happy to take the microphone, saying that the executive order would protect 22 percent of U.S. workers.

“She came right down in my face,” Sturtz said to the Post about the encounter with the first lady. “I was taken aback.”

Sturtz was escorted out of the event shortly afterward, but loudly identified herself as a “lesbian looking for federal equality before I die” on the way out.

GetEqual’s co-director, Heather Cronk, told Buzzfeed Tuesday night that the group planned the incident beforehand. In a release, the group said three other members were present at the fundraiser, which cost between $500 and $1,000 to attend.

But Sturtz, who donated $5,000 to the president’s 2008 election campaign, also said to theHuffington Post that she did not go to the event planning to heckle the first lady, instead intending to speak to Democratic National Committee officials about her worries regarding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

“Basically, I was asked by the first lady to be quiet, and I can’t be quiet any longer,” Sturtz told theHuffington Post. “I was surprised by how negative the crowd seemed to be. It was actually a little unsettling and disturbing.”




Filed under Michelle Obama

Week in one-liners: FLOTUS, Flake, Palin

Michelle Obama, Jeff Flake and Sarah Palin are shown. | AP Photos

Michelle Obama, Jeff Flake and Sarah Palin are shown. | AP Photos


The top quotes in politics…

“… I have to admit, I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be.” — PresidentBarack Obama joking around at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

“Fox is the jocks, MSNBC is the nerds…NPR is the table for kids with peanut allergies.” —Conan O’Brien jabbing the media during his routine.

“That #WHCD was pathetic.” — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin bashing the dinner.

“We’ve got your back!” — First lady Michelle Obama tweeting her support to NBA center Jason Collins.

“I’m looking forward to personally congratulating America’s great sex pioneer.” — Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt endorsing Mark Sanford.

“She went there.” — A debate moderator noting Elizabeth Colbert Busch’s reference to Sanford’s affair.

“That probably puts me somewhere just below pond scum.” — Sen. Jeff Flake commenting ona poll of his political popularity.



Filed under Politico top quotes of the week

Week in one-liners: Weiner, Palin, Reid

AP Photos


The top quotes in politics …

“Unflippingbelievable.” — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin slamming an ad from MSNBC.

“They’re starting to grow out, getting a little irritating.” — First lady Michelle Obama talkingabout her bangs.

“We’re saying that no one is above the law, even if you are the diva Beyoncé.”— Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen demanding info about the star’s Cuba trip.

“He reminds me of the clowns at the circus.” —  Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy describingWayne LaPierre.

“I know I didn’t do it.”— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on leaked tapes of conversations about Ashley Judd.

“We’re in deep doo doo.” — Former Vice President Dick Cheney speaking frankly about North Korea.

“I wasn’t really thinking.” — Former Rep. Anthony Weiner opening up about his Internet scandal.

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Filed under Politico's Top Political Quotes

Week in one-liners: FLOTUS, Sanford, Newt

AP Photos


The top quotes in politics…

“He’s got a little swag, you know, that’s okay.” — First lady Michelle Obama when askedabout her husband as a sex symbol.

“She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country.” — PresidentBarack Obama praising California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

“It looks like you’re expecting somebody else.” — Kid President Robby Novak taking over the White House briefing room.

“He couldn’t make one, I had to help him out.” — 10-year-old Kahron Campbell on shooting hoops with Obama.

“We’re trying to finish it this week.” — Former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on binge-watching “Downton Abbey.”

“…at the end of the day he’s not on the ticket.” — Former Gov. Mark Sanford reminding everyone that Stephen Colbert’s sister is the one running.


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