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Michelle’s Absence Causing Uproar in Japan

by Keith Koffler on April 23, 2014, 9:39 am

First Lady Michelle Obama’s decision to sit out President Obama’s four-nation Asia tour is spurring widespread consternation in Japan, fueling questions about America’s commitment to the country during a trip that was meant to reassure America’s Asian allies.

According to a report in the Christian Science Monitor, the Japanese are particularly unnerved because Michelle just spent a celebratory week touring China, Japan’s ancient enemy whose aggressive tactics helped prompt President Obama’s Asia trip in the first place.

Japan is the first stop on the trip. Obama landed there this evening - Japan time – and had dinner with the Japanese prime minister.

From the piece:

Japan is back to openly fretting about its place on America’s priority list – particularly in comparison to rising rival China.

The reason? When Obama arrives Wednesday evening, he’ll disembark Air Force One solo – without first lady Michelle Obama. Obama will be the first US president to come to Japan on a state visit in 18 years, but never mind: Michelle’s absence has thrown Tokyo into a tizzy.

Media commentators, social media discussions, academics, even some officials, named and unnamed, are wringing their hands over Mrs. Obama’s decision to sit out not just Japan but her husband’s entire eight-day Asia trip, which will also take in South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

But for most of those doing the chattering, Mrs. Obama’s absence is a woeful sign of Japan’s retreat from the top tier of America’s allies . . .

To the Japanese, the sight of Michelle jumping rope with Chinese kids, feeding pandas, trying out tai-chi, and meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, was more than insult added to injury. It was proof of China’s ascendency to the top rung of America’s strategic priorities and Japan’s fall to second class.

Michelle loves to travel on fun-filled voyages, like her semi-tourist trips to South Africa and China and her lavish vacation in Spain, but she often seems to miss important presidential travel where her absence may be taken as a slight. Her China journey last month was in part a way to make up for her absence when China’s first lady visited California last year.

She also skipped her husband’s trip to Belgium, Italy, The Vatican, and Saudi Arabia in March.

It’s not at all clear to me why Michelle is not on the Asia trip. I don’t really remember first ladies in the past being absent very often from such important diplomatic excursions.

What’s she doing instead? Well, not completely clear, but of course she’s got a DNC fundraiser scheduled for Thursday.

Mrs. Obama enjoys many perks and opportunities associated with her office. Making sure key allies aren’t miffed is part of the deal.

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CiscoKid April 23, 2014 at 9:43 am

Clueless, classless and tasteless.

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CiscoKid April 23, 2014 at 9:45 am

That just about sums it up about Mooch.

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Langley Spook April 23, 2014 at 2:09 pm

…can not stand that wookie “FLOTUS”…

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lc southern April 23, 2014 at 9:50 am

She has no reason to care. Obama can’t run again so there is nothing to benefit her by going.

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anneinarkansas April 23, 2014 at 10:41 am

Her trip to China was purely for the pleasure of Mooch, her daughters and her mother, who apparently was quite rude to those who “waited on her.”

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srdem65 April 23, 2014 at 11:54 am

Yes, that FirstGranny dust-up was puzzling and didn’t sound quite right.
I imagine that the honored mother of the US President’s wife would be treated with the utmost courtesy and her every wish tended to in a country known for respecting their elders, so what the heck happened there?

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gracepmc April 23, 2014 at 9:53 am

Interesting. I just made a comment about MO being absent and that being a good thing for the Japanese. But that was snark on my part. Of course, her absence, especially in light of her China moment sends the wrong message — not only to Japan but the other countries.

Either we have a really politically and culturally uninformed WH or the personalities of the dynamic duo outweigh protocol and diplomacy.

I suspect both. I also read/heard that Mooch and I play a Dr. on TV Jill Biden are going to be mucking about with their favorite pr hostages — military families.

The Asia pivot probably will work as well as the Russian Reset and the outreach to the ME.

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Robin H April 23, 2014 at 10:34 am

It’s interesting, I think Dr. Jill is the most invisible VP wife we’ve ever had. I haven’t decided yet if that’s a good thing or not.

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Julie Brueckheimer April 23, 2014 at 10:48 am

I wonder if DOCTOR Biden is not embarrassed by being married to such a clown.

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Star April 23, 2014 at 11:47 am

She’s a good Washington wife–sucks it up, smiles.

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srdem65 April 23, 2014 at 11:56 am

Exactly, @Star.
It’s what they do.

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David Marsters April 24, 2014 at 7:40 am

He married her for the money

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MarjoJimbo April 23, 2014 at 10:07 am

I don’t wanna go! I don’t wanna go!

She does only what she wants to do.

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PBB April 23, 2014 at 10:16 am

I can’t Imagine that we don’t have have an office of protocol for various countries such as Japan to advise the WH. I am sure they gave the President the correct advice and it was dismissed. Amatuer hour continues at the WH. Wait, that is unfair……….an amateur would take the advice and act correctly. My guess is the most expensive hotel room. In Japan was not available.

Anyone else enjoy Mooch’s comment on why they don’t attend church?

“During the interview with Strahan, Michelle Obama also discussed how difficult it was to get the whole family together for family time on the weekends now that the girls have differing schedules and activities. She remarked that while the family tries to go to church as much as it can, as it did the day previous on Easter, it’s not always possible.
The Obamas often uses Sunday as a time to relax and catch up on the news, the First Lady said.
‘We could be loungin’ or nappin’ or something like that,’ the First Lady said.”

Couldn’t they do all that on Saturday? Oh, the President is golfing. Is there a chapel at the WH? I would imagine many ministers would perform a private service. They were Christians when they were running for office. Now, their faith is not important until the various scandals rock the WH.

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Scottso April 23, 2014 at 11:01 am

“catching up on the news”? don’t they get the presidential briefings?

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Star April 23, 2014 at 11:58 am

News is kind of contemporaneous–you need to get it everyday.

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gracepmc April 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm

He was golfing while his Boston Auntie was being buried. He sent condolences.

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Jerry G April 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Michelle/Michael probably gets his/her estrogen shots on Sunday.

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SrBenedicta April 26, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Bingo, Jerry!

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Girly1 April 23, 2014 at 10:25 am

Have been wondering about this, especially since the Imperial family is hosting a State dinner – a very big deal in Japan.
After snubbing the Pope, everyone should realize MOOCHelle is nothing but a spoiled, lazy, rude, obnoxious biotch who wants nothing to do with the customary duties/protocol of her privileged position regardless of how it embarrasses her husband and insults oour allies.

The China trip was nothing less than bizarre, especially since the Chinese President and his wife left in the middle of her trip to attend a G-7 mtg in Brussels, along with Obama and other world leaders. She stayed behind in China to jump rope and play tourist.
My guess is she is planning to send Malia to China for a Sidwell exchange program and they were touring the facilities.

After the 2012 election, she told Barbara Walters: “I am my first priority”. Her travel privileges should be revoked. She is not OUR first priority.

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Julie Brueckheimer April 23, 2014 at 10:33 am

Good guess about a daughter being an exchange student in China. I think it might be the younger one, Sasha, as she was the one studying Mandarin at Sidwell. She will have two years left at Sidwell after the Obamas leave the WH so that would take care of one of those years and the necessity of some Obama remaining in Washington after January 2017.

I wholeheartedly agree with everything else you say!

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harv sibley April 23, 2014 at 10:27 am

Perhaps this disjointed union is not what it once was perceived to be, but what it will be one day.

H

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Julie Brueckheimer April 23, 2014 at 10:46 am

I agree. They seem to be going their separate ways, and their marriage will probably be a political one like the Clintons’.

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Girly1 April 23, 2014 at 10:34 am

Juicy, juicy:

Michelle Obama’s White House of Horrors

Michelle is called a ‘ruthless monster’ not only for her bullying of Barack Obama, but her loyal staff”…

http://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/exclusive-michelle-obamas-white-house-horrors

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Star April 23, 2014 at 11:42 am

This sounds partly true and partly planted–the planted stuff being the “dalliances.”

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Robin H April 23, 2014 at 10:36 am

What a shame, the only true Wagyu beef is from Japan.

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Scottso April 23, 2014 at 11:05 am

Please allow me to say something positive about the President:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/04/22/us-troops-arrive-in-poland-for-exercises-across-eastern-europe-amid-ukraine/

The Military is sending troops to Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
This is a smart move. Only 150-600 troops in total perhaps but a smart move.

These are not NATO troops (obviously the Europeans continue to be frauds) but US troops only.

I applaud this move.

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Julie Brueckheimer April 23, 2014 at 11:36 am

I think that it is just face-saving tokenism for Obama and that Russia, for that matter, has no interest in reforming the Soviet Empire. That’s what bankrupted the Soviet Union: having to maintain troops in so many countries. But I will admit that I was wrong if Russia does go into any of the Baltic countries or Poland.

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gracepmc April 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Re. the Baltics. Here is an interesting commentary from the Ukraine LiveBlog on recent Russi

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gracepmc April 23, 2014 at 1:07 pm

oops. on recent Russian propaganda against Lithuania and the Baltics, designed the writer suggests, to isolate the Baltics from the West.

http://www.interpretermag.com/russians-accuse-lithuania-of-welcoming-islamist-extremists/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=russians-accuse-lithuania-of-welcoming-islamist-extremists

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Julie Brueckheimer April 23, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Sorry, Grace, I don’t accept one side’s version over the other. It’s the cold war redux and what does it accomplish? Each ruler, Obama and Putin, gets to rattle his sabers. That’s all.

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Marcus April 23, 2014 at 6:42 pm

“cold war redux” is exactly where we are at. We are also in the situation of the 1880-90′s, the 1910-1920′s, the 1930-40′s and, as you say, the Cold War redux. For that matter, we are at where humanity always seems to get trapped–families fighting families, clans vs clans, political enemies vs political enemies, countries vs countries. And so forth ad infinitum. It just doesn’t end, and I suppose it never will. The Europe /Middle East/China areas have always been cauldrons of war and destruction. It is so damn depressing and disheartening

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gracepmc April 23, 2014 at 12:39 pm

I applaud the move also. But there was no “announcement” per se.

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BigDave April 23, 2014 at 11:15 am

Maybe since we don’t owe Japan trillions like we do China, Mooch didn’t feel it necessary to go. Maybe she’s saving her pennies for her next vacation like I am.

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veritaseequitas April 23, 2014 at 11:20 am

She’s probably exhausted from her trip to church on Resurrection Sunday.

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srdem65 April 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

Wow. A ‘free’ trip to Japan and other friendly Asian nations, wow. Flying there on your own luxurious jet, rooming in the most posh hotels, dining at the best restaurants, sightseeing at ancient and famous sites, and never worrying if they’ll take your credit card.
Wow.
Of course MrsO didn’t want to go, she’s the stupidest FLOTUS in modern history. IMHO, of course.

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DeniseVB April 23, 2014 at 1:11 pm

You know, you’re right, you know. Hard to believe, you know, she’s a Harvard grad, you know I think they owe her a refund ;)

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srdem65 April 23, 2014 at 2:06 pm

I know, um, stuff and everything.

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Star April 23, 2014 at 11:33 am

Remember how she wanted to be paid to be First Lady–maybe this is something she thinks is worth a few bucks, I worry about the Japanese–if seeing HER is a symbol of something, they need to rethink.

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DeniseVB April 23, 2014 at 1:16 pm

I do remember her fans supporting a paycheck because she gave up her professional career to move to the White House. I figure that’s the patient dumping job she rarely showed up for ? Her law degree was given up loooong before that, well before Malia was born.

I think the perks for this FLOTUS actually overcompensates her value. Millions a year on vacations ? With and without her family.

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Girly1 April 23, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Kinda strange that she would surrender her law license only THREE years after all that ‘sacrificin’ and taxpayer funding it took to get her through law school. Another waste of taxpayer funds!

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Josh April 23, 2014 at 11:39 am

That’s OK, she hates America as well, so Japan is not alone.

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mo1 April 23, 2014 at 11:52 am

Wonder if the fact that Caroline Kennedy is the ambassador was a factor. it has been suggested Mrs. Obama dislikes Ms. Kennedy.

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Don April 23, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Don’t you mean Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg ?

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DeniseVB April 23, 2014 at 1:17 pm

She’s still Princess Caroline of Kennedy to us. :D

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gracepmc April 23, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Who doesn’t Mooch dislike?

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The redhawk April 23, 2014 at 12:54 pm

MOOCHIE .. ERIOD!

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Hank April 23, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Well, she already visited China and you know, all them people look alike to Michelle.

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DeniseVB April 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm

What’s so messed up is that they could have timed the Spring Break trip to visit the Asian Allies countries. I’m sure they had the 2013-14 school schedule a year ago. How hard would that have been to shift BO’s schedule to fit the girls time off from school. They could have added Beijing as a leg of the trip too.

Could have even worked the European (Vatican et al) trip to include them instead of China.

No wonder Japan is outraged, we are too. Millions wasted on China.

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The redhawk April 23, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Well after he Clear and Evident LACK of class she showed on her China trip , may be Japan is better off without having to put up with MOOCHIE …Besides the Philippines are demonstrating abuot NOT WANTING her Betty Consort Stop over there!!

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DeniseVB April 23, 2014 at 1:09 pm

I just saw that….on NBC !!! Being called left-wing activists too. Hopefully that spreads to here to help the left wake up.

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Mandy April 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm

With the Obama’s is is all about them. They never, ever seem to think of the country and their elected duty as our representatives, but just about themselves. Counting down.

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Kevinc April 23, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Simple – she’s not a real “First Lady” no matter how much she pretends. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and is shaped like a duck, it has to be a duck…..

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Langley Spook April 23, 2014 at 2:14 pm

…or in Michelle’s case a big, nasty wookie :-)

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AFVet April 23, 2014 at 2:31 pm

No offense to the wookies.
Your welcome Spook.

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Artcat April 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Here’s the reason why she is at Ft Campbell and not Japan. I was wondering, because, even though *I* love W.Ky (a short drive from me), I couldn’t figure out her ulterior motive unless she really does want to help the military. From web of WHAS11 TV (my CAPS added):

First Lady Michelle Obama is at Fort Campbell, Ky. speaking to soldiers about jobs for veterans.

The first lady is announcing the launch of the new “Veterans Employment Center” on Wednesday, April 23.

Mrs. Obama says it’s important because service members haven’t always had the time or information to prepare resumes, plot careers, or meet with employers to get adequate jobs.

AND THERE’S A GOOD CHANCE SHE’LL ALSO BE FILMING SCENES FOR HER UPCOMING APPEARANCE on the ABC hit show “Nashville”.

In the episode singer Rayna James recruits the first lady’s help with a charity concert at Fort Campbell.

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DeniseVB April 23, 2014 at 1:31 pm

It’s a .gov website. Hope it works better than obamacare.gov. Also hope the troops don’t have to feed tons of personal information to get help.

Besides, don’t most military bases have transition offices to help those join the civilian world ? I know the jet base near us has airlines flocking to them for their jet techs. I’m sure most skilled military have no problems moving on their own.

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AFVet April 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm

I worked for a company for 30 years, and all I had to show them was my DD214.

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Don April 23, 2014 at 1:15 pm

She’s probably busy packing for her NEXT vacation.

Obama Skips Aunt’s Funeral; Goes Golfing Instead… Before leaving town.

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Emilie Louise Ille April 23, 2014 at 1:16 pm

She is just one dumb f..k !

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Star April 23, 2014 at 3:38 pm

That sure added. Also the wookie thing–getting overdone?

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Kimbly April 23, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Take my first lady, PLEASE!

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Joe April 23, 2014 at 5:23 pm

It is contrary to Muslim tradition, if not Shariah law, for a Muslim to involve his wife(s) in any political activity. You will notice, if you review her travels, she has not visited a Muslim country with him.

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SrBenedicta April 26, 2014 at 11:50 pm

Excellent point, Joe. I had not thought about that line of reasoning.

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Jean April 23, 2014 at 5:40 pm

You know what?? LadyO doesn’t care what anyone thinks. And everyone knows she prefers to travel without 0, where she is the star.
Sort of like Beyounce;)

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Mike April 23, 2014 at 6:18 pm

On the other hand, the sight of her climbing up Tokyo Tower while the airplanes buzzed around her while she threw subway cars would have been priceless.

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Hubbub April 23, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Langley Spook, do you mean ‘Flotus’ or ‘Flotsum’? It’s difficult to tell in this situation.

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Michael Hall April 23, 2014 at 11:24 pm

The Japanese should consider themselves lucky.

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Anonna April 23, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Michelle can’t stand being second to Barack in any way.

I’d say these two are living separate lives nowadays. Michelle Antoinette continues to use the perks as compensation for her living “in Hell.” She agreed to four more years, and we don’t know yet what he and his minions agreed to do for her.

Vice President Michelle Antoinette? Talk show host “Moprah” — the new queen of all tv wisdom? Big fat speaker-fees traveling know-it-all?

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RobertM April 24, 2014 at 7:19 am

Michelle is getting ready for her 2016 Presidential run. That takes a LOT of preparation! Sheesh!

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David Marsters April 24, 2014 at 7:39 am

The reason she is not around with him as they are going through a divorce. The Pres has hired a high priced criminal lawyer, for the divorce.

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ImNoDhimmi April 24, 2014 at 9:40 am

Really? I assumed he’s going to be Barry’s defense attorney.

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Sagebrush6 April 24, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Michelle don’t give a rats patuty about anyone except Michelle. that much is obvious.
Her place in life is really with both hands on a broom.

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georgia April 24, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Michelle Obama thinks of no-one but herself. She uses her position as First Lady to enhance her clothing wardrobe, to travel at the tax payers expense, to host private concerts for her own entertainment and to enjoy well prepared food.

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suzazq April 24, 2014 at 11:37 pm

I think MOOCH can’t stand BO for that long.

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Kaya Hund April 25, 2014 at 9:09 pm

N-rich behavior.

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CountryLife August 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm

The only great thing about when the Obama era ends in the U.S., is they (the entire family) will need 24/7/365 protection till the day they die!,…just saying. DF is as DF does, which seems to be inherent in that whole family as well as current WH ADM! Not too mention, if Marshall Law is declared, they will be totally out of luck at that point, as the major shift will fast forward and it will all happen one heckuva lot sooner. Gotta look at the bright side folks. It is all we can do, with such shameful behavior repeatedly. Sad. Sad. Sad. Very sad state of affairs.

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