U.S. Politics

Publisher Announces Books By The Obamas Are Officially On The Way

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 18: (AFP OUT) President Barack Obama speaks, as First Lady Michelle Obama listens, at a reception for Black History Month, in the East Room of the White House, February 18, 2016, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mike Theiler-Pool/Getty Images)

Mike Theiler-Pool/Getty Images


Penguin Random House announced on Tuesday night that Barack and Michelle Obama have both signed book deals with the publisher. According to the statement, the former president and former first lady will each be authoring a book in the near future.

“Penguin Random House is pleased to announce that it will publish forthcoming books by former President of the United States Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. Oenguin Random House CEO MArkus Dohle announced today that the company has acquired world publication rights for two books, to be written by President and Mrs. Obama respectively.”

“Penguin Random House is pleased to announce that it will publish forthcoming books by former President of the United States Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. Oenguin Random House CEO MArkus Dohle announced today that the company has acquired world publication rights for two books, to be written by President and Mrs. Obama respectively.”

The statement did not disclose an actual dollar amount for these deals, but according to a report in Financial Times, bids on their books had reached more than $60 million. If accurate, this would blow away the price tag attached to the memoirs of other recent presidents. Bill Clinton got $15 million for his book My Life and George W Bush made approximately $10 million from his book Decision Points.

The announcement did say that “in support of the mission of The Obama Foundation and Penguin Random House’s own commitment to social responsibility, the company will donate one million books in the Obama family’s name to First Book.”

The First Book program strives to “promote equal access to education by providing new books, learning materials, and other essentials to children in need.”

In addition, “the Obamas also plan to donate a significant portion of their author proceeds to charity.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to continue our publishing partnership with President and Mrs. Obama,” Dohle said. “With their words and their leadership, they changed the world, and every day, with the books we publish at Penguin Random House, we strive to do the same. Now, we are very much looking forward to working together with President and Mrs. Obama to make each of their books global publishing events of unprecedented scope and significance.”

This is not the first time the former president has worked with the publisher. CNN points out that Penguin Random House has published Obama’s past books, “so the new deal continues a two-decade-long relationship.”

The hefty figures quoted in the bids for their books clearly demonstrate the expectation that these books are going to be huge best sellers. Personally, I have only one question: Where can I place a pre-order?

April Hamlin

U.S. Politics

Trump sets his sights on a new target: Michelle Obama

CREDIT: Screengrab


During a rally on Friday, Donald Trump unloaded on Michelle and Barack Obama, calling them “babies” and “losers” and accusing them of spending too much time campaigning.

“We have a president, all he wants to do is campaign. His wife, all she wants to do is campaign,” Trump said. “And I see how much his wife likes Hillary. But wasn’t she [Michelle Obama] the one that originally started the statement, ‘If you can’t take care of your home, you can’t take care of the White House or country?’”

Trump was referring to comments Michelle made in August 2007 during the primary race between her husband and Hillary Clinton. At an event in Chicago, Michelle said, “One of the things, the important aspects of this race, is role modeling what good families should look like. And my view is that if you can’t run your own house, you certainly can’t run the White House. Can’t do it.”


Some interpreted Michelle’s remarks as taking a shot at Hillary’s marriage. But other speeches Michelle gave around the same time suggested she was actually just talking about how she and Barack raised their daughters. Barack denied that Michelle’s comment was directed at the Clintons, and Michelle’s spokesperson said, “The only family Mrs. Obama was talking about was the Obama family.”

Trump used Michelle’s 2007 comments to attack Clinton during the second presidential debate, saying, “I’ve gotten to see the commercials that they did on you. And I’ve gotten to see some of the most vicious commercials I’ve ever seen of Michelle Obama talking about you, Hillary.”

But as Politifact’s Louis Jacobson wrote, “Trump is wrong to imply that Michelle Obama’s criticism came in an ad her husband ran against Hillary Clinton. Instead, it came from an ad made by a pro-Trump super PAC. And the comments from Michelle Obama are somewhat oblique.” Jacobson concluded that Trump’s comment was false.

Michelle Obama has emerged as one of Hillary Clinton’s most effective surrogates. Last week, she delivered a powerful indictment of Trump’s misogyny, and earlier this month, she ridiculed Trump for whining about his “defective” mic during the first presidential debate.

Trump has generally steered clear of attacking Michelle. He actually praised her Democratic National Convention speech, calling it “excellent” and saying he thought “she did a very good job,” even though she spent much of it criticizing him.

Trump’s reluctance to go after Michelle might stem from her popularity. In August, a Gallup poll pegged her favorability at 64 percent, which is about 10 points higher than her husband’s. But by unloading on her on Friday, Trump indicated no attack will be off limits during the final weeks of the campaign.

U.S. Politics

Behind Michelle Obama’s heartfelt speech: 8 years of sexist and racist attacks

Image result for sasha and malia obama 2015

Awakening/Getty Images


“I have to tell you that I listened to all this. And I feel it so personally,” first lady Michelle Obama said Thursday in remarks about the sexual assault and misconduct allegations against Donald Trump at a campaign appearance for Hillary Clinton in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“It has shaken me to my core,” she said.

That’s no wonder. She’s been the victim of sexist attacks — often intertwined with racist themes — since her husband’s 2008 run for the White House.

Obama made clear in her speech that what makes Trump’s statements particularly outrageous and uniquely unacceptable is that he bragged about behavior that could constitute sexual assault. She also lamented the sexist attitudes behind the treatment of women that his comments and conduct represent, and the day-to-day ways women are degraded, saying:

It’s like that sick, sinking feeling you get when you’re walking down the street minding your own business. Some guy yells out vulgar words about your body. Or when you see that guy at work that stands just a little too close, stares just a little too long. You feel uncomfortable in your own skin.

She continued:

I have to tell you that I listened to all this. And I feel it so personally. And I’m sure that many of you do, too. Particularly the women. The shameful comments about our bodies. The disrespect of our ambitions and intellect. The belief that you can do anything you want to a woman. It is cruel. It’s frightening. And the truth is, it hurts. It hurts.

Obama’s speech was emotional, and that makes sense. She knows firsthand that Trump’s infamous remarks, and the underlying views of women they reflect, are all too common.

When she talks about “vulgar words” and “shameful comments” that equate women’s value with their physical appearances, she could just as easily be referring to things that have been said about her, often with a dose of racism mixed in to increase the insults. Just a few examples:

  • In 2010, discussing the first lady’s promotion of breastfeeding, radio host Rush Limbaugh said he wasn’t surprised to see her “encouraging people to get on that teat.”
  • In 2012, a California comedian joked that “Playboy is offering Ann Romney $250,000 to pose in the magazine, and the White House is upset about it because National Geographic only offered Michelle Obama $50 to pose for them.”
  • In 2013, a Richmond, Virginia, school board member’s email captioned a photo of traditionally dressed African women with bare breasts “Michelle Obama’s high school reunion.”
  • In July 2015, Patrick Rushing, the mayor of Airway Heights, Washington, referred to her as “monkey man” and “gorilla face” in a Facebook post.
  • Just in July, a loan officer lost her job after calling the first lady an “ugly black bitch” on Twitter.

Obama didn’t speak out in response to any of these attacks, but it’s not hard to read her speech as partly catharsis about the pain she’s endured and what it says about how women — and black women in particular — are demeaned in this country.

After the speech, Politico reported that the White House warned Trump not to attack Obama. “I can’t think of a bolder way for Donald Trump to lose even more standing than he already has than by engaging the first lady of the United States,” principal deputy White House press secretary Eric Schultz told reporters during a gaggle aboard Air Force One.

The political calculation is accurate, but for the first lady, it wouldn’t be anything she hadn’t heard before.

U.S. Politics

Michelle Obama Gives Powerful Speech Roasting Trump For Predatory Comments (VIDEO)

First Lady, Michelle Obama – Jim Cole


First Lady Michelle Obama weighed in on the leaked tape of Donald Trump’s predatory comments about women at length in a powerful speech Thursday, calling his comments “disturbing” and “shocking.”

Campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Manchester, New Hampshire, Obama expressed disbelief that a presidential candidate made such remarks.

“The fact is that in this election, we have a candidate for president of the United States who, over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign has said things about women that are so shocking. So demeaning,” she said. “I simply will not repeat anything here today. And last week we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. And I can’t believe that I’m saying that.”

Obama said she felt compelled to speak out against Trump’s comments because of how disturbing they are.

“It would be dishonest and disingenuous for me to move on to the next thing like this was just a bad dream,” she said. “This is not something we can ignore. It’s not something we can sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season. Because this was not just a lewd conversation. This wasn’t locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior.”

Obama focused much of her speech squarely on Trump, though she never spoke his name. She expressed her disgust for Trump’s comments not only as a woman, but as a mother to two girls.

“I feel it so personally. And I’m sure that many of you do too. Particularly the women,” she said. “The shameful comments about our bodies. The disrespect of our ambitions and intellect. The belief that you can do anything you want to a woman. It is cruel. It is frightening. And the truth is, it hurts. It hurts. It’s like that sick sinking feeling you get when you’re walking down the street minding your own business. Some guy yells out vulgar words about your body. Or when you see that guy at work that stands just a little too close, stares just a little too long, you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.”

Obama said that the need to push back against Trump’s comments should transcend political party.

“This is disgraceful. It is intolerable,” she said. “Doesn’t matter what party you belong to. No woman deserves to be treated this way. No one deserves this kind of abuse. I know it’s a campaign, but this isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about right and wrong. We cannot endure this or expose our children to this for any longer. Not for another minute, let alone four years.”

She went on to emphasize that the characterization of Trump’s comments as “locker room” talk that’s normal for all men is disrespectful to men and boys.

“How is this affecting men and boys in this country? Because I can tell you that the men in my life do not talk about women like this,” Obama said. “I know my family is not unusual. To dismiss this every day locker room talk is an insult to decent men everywhere. The men that you and I know don’t treat women this way. They are loving fathers sickened by the thought of their daughters being exposed to this kind of language about women. They are us fathers and brothers and sons who don’t tolerate women being treated and demeaned. Like us, the men are worried about the impact this election is looking for boys, role models for what it means to be a man.”

Obama channelled her comments into a push for votes for Hillary Clinton, saying she represents everything that Trump is not.

“We need someone who will heal the wounds that divide us,” she said. “Someone who truly cares about us and our children. Someone with strength and compassion to lead this country forward. I’m here today because I believe with all of my heart that Hillary Clinton will be that president.”

Watch below:

U.S. Politics

Michelle Obama destroyed Donald Trump in the perfect campaign speech for Hillary Clinton

 Michelle Obama destroyed Donald Trump in the perfect campaign speech for Hillary Clinton

Image Credit: AP


First lady Michelle Obama did not mince words when she called out Donald Trump during a speech Friday supporting Hillary Clinton at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Trump, a noted racist, came to national political prominence in 2011 by spreading widely circulated rumors that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

After several years spreading this racist “birther” conspiracy theory, Trump announced Friday he believes Obama was born in the United States. (Because his opinion matters, apparently.)

On Friday, Michelle Obama had a remarkably poised clapback to theGOP presidential nominee’s track record on the issue — and she didn’t even use his name:

“There were those who question and continue to question for the past eight years, up through this very day, whether my husband was even born in this country,” Obama said. “Well, during this time in office, I think Barack has answered those questions with the example he set by going high when they go low.”

Obama went on to caution about the dangers of a candidate with a track record for vagueness on policy and a penchant for insults.

“If a candidate traffics in prejudice, fears and lies on the trail, if a candidate has no clear plans to implement their goals, if they disrespect their fellow citizens, including folks who made extraordinary sacrifices for our country — let me tell you, that is who they are,” she said. “That’s the kind of president they will be. Trust me, a candidate is not going to suddenly change once they get into office.”

Obama then gave an eerie warning about the perils of sending the wrong person to the Oval Office.

“The minute that individual takes that oath, they are under the hottest, harshest light there is and there is no way to hide who they really are,” Obama said. “And at that point, it is too late.”

“They are the leader of the world’s largest economy,” Obama said. “The commander in chief of the most powerful military force on Earth. With every word they utter, they can start wars, crash markets, change the course of this planet.”

She then eviscerated Trump for his immaturity and bigoted rhetoric by referencing his past hosting The Apprentice.

“Being president is not anything like reality TV,” Obama said. “It is not about sending insulting tweets or making fiery speeches. It is about whether or not the candidate can handle the awesome responsibility of leading this country.”

Obama closed her speech by offering a sliver of hope, stating Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, is by far the most qualified for the White House.

“So who in this election is truly ready for this job? Who do we pick?” Obama asked. “For me, I am just saying, it’s excruciatingly clear that there is only one person in this election we can trust with those responsibilities, only one person with the qualifications and the temperament for that job — and that is our friend Hillary Clinton.”

Which is fine, but let’s get to the real question: When can we just anoint Michelle Obama the Queen of the United States of America?

Sarah Harvard

U.S. Politics

Hateful Twitter nutters use Nancy Reagan’s death to bash First Lady Michelle Obama

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan visits the White House on June 3, 2009. Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton

Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton


With the advent of Twitter, the death of any controversial figure immediately leads to both condolences and insults directed at the dearly departed, and the passing of former First Lady Nancy Reagan was certainly no exception.

While there are more than a few rude comments directed at the wife of former President Ronald Reagan, her death also prompted some conservatives to lash out out at current First Lady Michelle Obama.

Fox News host Charles Gasparino went a step further blasting President Barack Obama for not immediately issuing a statement on the former first lady, writing, “fitting: no comment yet from @POTUS on nancy reagan’s death because he’s on a golf trip.”

Michelle Obama, however, was the main focus on a day for some when most Americans — both conservative and liberal — paid condolences to the Reagan family.

A sampling below:

reagan 1

Regan 2

Regan 3


U.S. Politics

Americans Actually Like Michelle Obama’s Healthier School Lunches


That’s amazing since the resistance got all the publicity via Fox “Noise”.


As another academic year kicks into full gear and students across the country return to school, longtime supporters of a 2010 law that updated nutritional standards for cafeteria meals have reason to remain calm amid uncertainty about its future.

A national poll shows that more than 80 percent of Americans support healthy school meals consisting of more fruit and vegetables and less high calorie and sodium food choices, requirements outlined in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act — a law that authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to set nutritional standards for food sold and distributed in schools and expanded access to healthy lunch to more than 115,000 U.S. children.

The survey, conducted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, debunks the primary argument against the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, one of the central policies at the heart of First Lady Michelle Obama’s effort to address childhood obesity. Two-thirds of respondents rated the nutritional quality of cafeteria food as “excellent” or “good.” Additionally, more than 90 percent of those surveyed said it’s somewhat or very important to serve nutritious foods in schools and strengthen children’s cognitive abilities.”

“Our survey found that people in the U.S. overwhelmingly support strong nutrition standards and believe school meals are healthier and on the right track because of these standards,” La June Montgomery Tabron, president and chief executive of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, told the New York Times.

If lawmakers reauthorize the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act next month, schools would receive $4.5 billion over the next decade. With time dwindling before it’s set to expire, its supporters and challengers have scrambled to make their case, drawing out a battle that started shortly after its passage and holding nothing back in the process.

Since the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act’s inception, the program has expanded, serving more than one million students across the United States not only lunch, but dinner too as part of its after-school snack offerings. The UDSA also rolled out $5 million in grants to fund programs that connect school cafeterias with local farmers. The 2014 grant cycle supported more than 80 projects in 42 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In total, more than $385 million in locally grown produce has entered school buildings across the country.

But GOP lawmakers remain unsatisfied, calling the law an example of executive overreach and a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Opponents also argue that adhering to the law has financially burdened some school districts, passing legislation that would allow states to opt out of changes for a year. The School Nutrition Association (SNA), a national lobbying group, called for changes including the reduction of whole grain rich from 100 to 50, stalling of changes to sodium levels until 2017, and elimination of requirements that students have a half cup of fruits or vegetables with every meal.

While SNA and other Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act opponents say that reauthorization would allow for these revisions, proponents say the law in its current form prevent students from spiraling down a road of unhealthy diet choices.

A growing body of research support such calls to keep the status quo. Last year, researchers at Ohio State University found that high consumption of fast food — often replete with salt and sugar and low in calcium, iron, Vitamin C, and zinc — causes some memory loss and slows down cognitive development in children. An unbalanced diet can also widen waistlines, especially among young people. Rates of childhood obesity have more than doubled in the last 30 years, bringing with it additional instances of cancer and higher hospitalization costs.

A nutritious breakfast and hour of physical activity has been proven to improve brain function, but some parents don’t take these words to heart: 90 percent of homemade school lunches include deserts, chips, and sweetened nondairy products.

Experts say a balanced diet that includes bread, fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat, and fish can ward off excessive weight and pave the way for positive health outcomes. For some Americans, however, it’s hard to prepare healthy meals because they live in areas with high food insecurity, where the nearest grocery store is more than a mile away. Funds from the Supplemental Nutritional Program haven’t sufficed in connecting low-income people with high quality meals. Additionally, parents’ unpredictable work schedules may preclude parents from engaging their children for dinner, let alone preparing a healthy meal.

That’s why members of the American Heart Association (AHA) have spoken out in recent weeks in support of keeping, and perhaps strengthening, the requirements outlined in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. They particularly point to high levels of sodium found in frozen and junk food that, when ingested consistently, can lead to heart disease or stroke.

“Our children are healthier because of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act,” Kristy Anderson, government relations manager at the American Heart Association, told an NBC Los Angeles affiliate. “We know that the more children are exposed to nutritious foods, the more they accept and like eating healthy — and it sets them up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits. So our message is stay the course.”


Fox News Fail · Michelle Obama

This Is the Perfect Response to Fox’s Racist Theory About Michelle Obama’s Time at Princeton


Over the weekend, Michelle Obama delivered a passionate, candid commencement speech to the graduating class at Tuskegee University, Alabama, in which she addressed the daily slights of racism she has endured throughout her life. From Saturday’s ceremony:

We’ve both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives. The folks who crossed the street in fear of their safety, the clerks who kept a close eye on us in all those department stores. The people at formal events who assumed we were the help. And those who have questioned our intelligence, our honesty, even our love of this country, and I know that these little indignities are obviously nothing compared to what folks across the country are dealing with every single day.

It was a powerful speech, and naturally, the folks at Fox News were not happy. Fox News contributor Angela McGlowan on Tuesday suggested the speech was yet another example of the White House dividing the country on issues of race, asking, “Why didn’t the first lady share the reason why she got into Princeton was probably because of Affirmative Action?”

“The reason why she became an associate at a law firm was probably because of diversity, they needed a woman—not saying that she wasn’t qualified—but they needed a woman, and a woman of color,” she said.

Comedy Central’s Larry Wilmore was not having it. In a segment on the Nightly Show, he fired back: “When a coke-snorting, alcohol-guzzling son of a CIA director DUI’s his way into Yale and ultimately into the Oval Office because his daddy’s was in both places, that’s affirmative action.”

George W., we hope you’re watching.

Watch the full segment HERE



Michelle Obama · Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity Calls First Lady A Racist In The Most Racist Way Possible (VIDEO)


What is it about white privilege that Fox’s Sean Hannity doesn’t get? After everything we’ve seen in the news, Hannity watched Michelle Obama’s searing graduation speech at Tuskegee University in Alabama, and can’t understand why she’s so angry and so black.

Actually, Obama didn’t even come across as particularly angry, Hannity just doesn’t like to hear the truth about how horribly White America treats black people. It’s much easier for him to portray our first lady as a reverse racist. Ellen Brodsky from NewsHounds(they watch Fox so you don’t have to) caught Hannity on the air weighing in on Michelle Obama’s speech, and called it “shocking.”

“But first, tonight, shocking comments from Michelle Obama while giving the commencement speech at Tuskegee University in Alabama this weekend. Now, he used the opportunity to express her own views on racism and discrimination in America. Take a listen, and look at this.”

Cue selective clips that bolster Hannity’s appalling views of Obama as a racist. Like the part where our first lady talks to the 2015 graduating class at this historic black university about the “sting of those daily slights” they will encounter as they launch their careers in White America.

“We’ve both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives — the folks who crossed the street in fear of their safety; the clerks who kept a close eye on us in all those department stores; the people at formal events who assumed we were the ‘help’ — and those who have questioned our intelligence, our honesty, even our love of this country.”

Any person of color — along with Anglo/white people who bother to care — have seen this dynamic at work and know it’s true. And instead of sounding angry, Obama even makes reference to how lucky she and her husband, the president, are compared to so many black people we’ve seen in the news lately:

“And I know that these little indignities are obviously nothing compared to what folks across the country are dealing with every single day — those nagging worries that you’re going to get stopped or pulled over for absolutely no reason; the fear that your job application will be overlooked because of the way your name sounds.”

It’s only natural that Obama would talk about race on the site of former cotton plantations worked by slaves at a college founded to train black teachers for segregated schools. But Hannity prefers to accuse FLOTUS of racism for daring to talk about race and call America out on our racism. He then trots out three black conservatives, plus one black token liberal to ensure he’s got someone he can bully and shout down.

First Hannity introduces Ron Christie, former special assistant to president George W. Bush and author of the disturbingly-titled book, “Blackwards: How Black Leadership is Returing America to the Days of Separate But Equal.” Also on his panel are Mike Meyers from the deceptively-named New York Civil Rights Commission; Denene Borelli, outreach director for the vile, Koch-funded libertarian group FreedomWorks; and political activist and former Hillary Clinton advisor Jehmu Greene,

Hannity and company’s derogatory comments on Obama’s speech included the following:

  • Hannity: “My initial observation is […] Barack Hussein Obama got elected by a majority of white America. Why is she so angry?”
  • Deneen Borelli: “Listen, I see this as propaganda. Instead of promoting how America is an exceptional country, Sean, she took that route to play the race card and race bait.”
  • Mike Meyers: Which racial ideologue do you know that’s not angry? She sounded like Hillary Clinton in that racial dialect. [Proceeds to make monkey noises, no I am not kidding]
  • Christie: Her message should have been uplifting […] It was a ‘poor me’ speech […] She just sounded so angry and so defiant.

Only Greene stood up for Obama, declaring that our first lady gave a speech that was not only moving, it embraced conservative values of hard work and self-reliance.

“What speech did y’all hear. I think some folks need to clean their ears out, because what [Obama]  actually did, she was frank, she was candid, and she gave a conservative speech. “

Greene pointed out that Obama even took a potshot at the kind of “feminists” Hannity loves to hate, who’ve criticized her for putting family before career, and then dished out a little tough love.

“She said if you feel brought down, if you feel that people are against you, if you think you’re going to be treated negatively, guess what? Get over it, you cannot use it as an excuse.”

“No,” Hannity objected, “That’s not the speech I heard.”

Well, of course Hannity can’t hear when he refuses to listen. Greene called him out for playing selective clips, and Hannity turned to someone more likely to say what he wanted to hear. Christie obligingly sneered about Obama’s “negative, poor me speech.”

U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today – 1/26/2015

Secret Service Officers search south grounds of the White House on January 26, 2015 | (Photo: Susan Walsh, AP)

 The Week

(Via my email.  There is no longer access to the online version without a subscription.)

1. Radical Greek anti-austerity party wins parliamentary election

Greece’s radical left Syriza party, which is vowing to end the country’s tough austerity program, moved quickly to form a government Monday, a day after winning a decisive victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections. Party leader Alexis Tsipras, at age 40 Greece’s youngest prime minister in 150 years, said the vote gave the party a clear mandate to end “five years of humiliation and pain,” signaling a showdown with lenders over the terms of Greece’s $270 billion international bailout. Greek stocks fell by five percent early Monday. [The Washington Post]

2. New York and the rest of the Northeast brace for historic storm

Airlines canceled nearly 2,000 flights on Monday ahead of a potentially historic winter storm headed into the Northeast. New Yorkers were expecting as much as 30 inches of snow to begin falling in early afternoon. New York City has only experienced two blizzards packing 26 inches of snow, one in 1947 and one in 2006. “Don’t underestimate this storm,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday. “My message for New Yorkers is prepare for something worse than we have ever seen before.” [ABC News, PBS Newshour]

3. Sixteen die in protests marking anniversary of Egypt’s uprising

At least 16 people were killed in Egypt over the weekend in clashes between police and protesters marking the fourth anniversary of the country’s revolution. At least 15 people, including three police cadets, were killed on Sunday. One woman, Shaimaa El-Sabbagh of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, was killed — shot by police, colleagues said — as she marched with a group heading to Tahrir Square. Police deny firing the shots, saying they only used tear gas. [CNN, BBC News]

4. New York Assembly Speaker Silver agrees to temporarily step aside

Longtime New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver agreed Sunday to step aside temporarily as he fights federal corruption charges. Silver was under increasing pressure from Democrats to give up his duties. One person familiar with the deal said Silver, who was arrested on Thursday, would “not specifically step down, but step back.” Democrats will hold a closed-door meeting on Monday afternoon to consider the plan. [The New York Times]

5. Small aerial drone found on White House grounds

A device believed to be a small aerial drone, was found on the grounds of the White House on Sunday. Obama administration officials said Monday that the device posed no threat. The discovery came as President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are in India, although their daughters, Sasha and Malia, did not travel with them. The news came as the Secret Service has been trying to regroup after several security breaches, including one in September when a man with a knife scaled a fence and ran into the White House. [The Miami Herald]

6. Christie forms PAC ahead of possible presidential bid

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has formed a political action committee in what has been interpreted as an early step toward launching a bid for the presidency in 2016. The move made Christie the third high-profile Republican to consider launching a campaign, behind former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney, the GOP’s nominee in 2012. Launching the PAC, Leadership Matters for America, will let Christie recruit the staff and fundraisers he would need to start a campaign. [The Wall Street Journal]

7. Obama moves to expand protections in Alaska wilderness

The White House announced on Sunday that President Obama will ask Congress to classify 12 million acres in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska as wilderness. The designation would make it illegal to drill for oil and gas, or build roads on the land. The news was met with excitement from environmental groups and anger by Republican opponents, including Alaskan Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who called the proposal “a stunning attack on our sovereignty.” [The New York Times]

8. Church of England consecrates its first female bishop

The Church of England is consecrating its first female bishop on Monday. The Reverend Libby Lane, 48, said her ordination as Bishop of Stockport is a “profound and remarkable moment,” as it ends an uninterrupted tradition of male-only leadership for the 500-year-old institution. The church announced Lane’s consecration last month after a divisive debate over whether to allow women to become bishops. Critics said Lane’s appointment was merely symbolic, but she said she may be “the first, but I won’t be the only.” [BBC News, The Associated Press]

9. Birdman takes top prize at SAG Awards

Birdman took the top prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night, winning for outstanding ensemble in a motion picture. The prize boosted the film’s Oscar hopes, although its star, Michael Keaton, was upset by Eddie Redmayne, who took the best-actor award for his work in The Theory of Everything. Uzo Aduba took the prize for outstanding female actor for her role as “Crazy Eyes” in the Orange is the New Black. The series also won for best cast in a comedy. [CBS News, USA Today]

10. Duke’s Coach K gets his 1,000th win

The Duke men’s basketball team made a late-game comeback to beat St. Johns 77-68 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, giving the Blue Devils’ legendary coach, Mike Krzyzewski, the 1,000th win of his 40-year coaching career. Duke trailed by 10 with just over eight minutes remaining, then went on a 28-9 tear. Krzyzewski was already the winningest coach in Division I college men’s basketball. He won that distinction three seasons ago in the same arena with his 903rd win, surpassing his mentor, former Indiana coach Bobby Knight. [Raleigh News & Observer, Sports Illustrated]