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Category Archives: Michelle

Michelle: Next Stop, Japan and Cambodia

Having just flown on the same day as her husband, but separately, to Los Angeles, First Lady Michelle Obama will leave this week on a five day tour of the Far East to promote her “Let Girls Learn” initiative in Japan and Cambodia.

I wasn’t aware that there was a crisis in girls education in Japan. And I wasn’t aware that if there is, that it’s any business of ours.

Nevertheless, Michelle will embark on what will undoubtedly be a fabulously expensive trip there to make sure the Japanese gender reading gap is erased.

From the White House:

On the heels of the President and First Lady’s launch of the Let Girls Learn international girls education initiative, Mrs. Obama will travel to Japan and Cambodia from March 18-22, 2015.

While in Tokyo, the First Lady will meet with Mrs. Akie Abe, the Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan, and deliver remarks on the importance both countries place on international girls education. The First Lady will also announce plans to deepen our partnership on this issue, including through a collaboration between the Peace Corps and Japan’s Overseas Cooperation Volunteers. Following their remarks, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Abe will meet with Japanese university students and share stories from their own educational backgrounds.

Alas, there will be sightseeing.

The First Lady will travel to Kyoto on March 20 and visit the Kiyomizu-Dera Buddhist Temple and the Fushimi Inari Shinto Shrine. She will also greet staff from the U.S. Consulate in Osaka.

And then its on to Cambodia to shore up our critical relations with Khmer schoolgirls.

In Cambodia, Mrs. Obama and Peace Corps Director Hessler-Radelet will see up close how community-driven solutions – which are key components of the Let Girls Learn Peace Corps program – are changing girls’ lives.

While in Cambodia, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Bun Rany, the First Lady of Cambodia, will meet with high school students and hear directly how they benefit from community-led programs like Room to Read and the Peace Corps.

Don’t forget the sightseeing:

While in Siem Reap, the First Lady will also visit Angkor Wat.

Here’s Angkor Wat.

angkor wat

Gosh. Unfathomably beautiful. There’s lots of places for girls to read there, looks like.

This can’t possibly be a vacation, because Mrs. Obama already had vacations in December, January, and February. Right? Right??

She wouldn’t do that on our dime. I mean, as I understand it, Mrs. Obama’s plane flew to Los Angeles in the draft of Air Force One just to save on fuel costs, as one of our readers suggested!

This is just good government, because who knows where the United States would be if Cambodian girls never learned trigonometry?

Here’s What You Paid For

Just want to make sure you have seen exactly what you paid for when you flew First Lady Michelle Obama round trip to Los Angeles Thursday – on a separate flight from the one her husband took to Los Angeles.

Here it is.

You paid for the fun!

Michelle couldn’t just appear on Ellen’s show from from a studio in Washington. Because, you see, she had rehearsed the moves.

Michelle Celebrates an Iranian Holiday at the White House

No no no no no no no no no.

No no no no no.

This is not how you do it. This is not how you deal with the Iranians.

Wednesday, Mrs. Obama celebrated at the White House something called Nowruz, the Iranian festival of spring that marks the beginning of the Persian new year.

There are somewhere between half a million and a million Iranian Americans in the United States, about the same as the number of Lithuanian Americans. Where’s the White House Lithuanian American holiday celebration?

No, this is not about Nowruz. This is a clear attempt to appease the Iran government, and it is exactly what is wrong with President Obama’s approach to Iran and the rest of the world. It explains why Iran has been able to extract a deal that will allow the centrifuges to keep spinning and, ultimately, a bomb to be built.

What is it with the Left in the West that the default switch is set to appeasement? Reminds me of when Chamberlain returned from Munich talking about “Herr Hitler” – Mister Hitler. Yes sir, thank you for agreeing not to hurt us.

Obama, who supposedly understands the world with extra perspicuity because of his exotic background, actually does not. The barbarians who rule Iran and our other tough-minded enemies and rivals around the world are unmoved by our attempts to show how nice we are. They do not blush when we kiss them, except out of embarrassment for our stupidity.

What tyrants respond to is strength. Malice. Threats. Force. They do not love, and they do not seek to be loved.

When Qadaffi gave up his nuclear program after Bush invaded Iraq, it wasn’t because Laura Bush celebrated a Libyan holiday.

Our attempts to placate evildoers with something like a Nowruz festival invite only contempt. It confirms for them that we are weak, and that they can take advantage of us.

We are, as these things go, a nice people. Some of us, mostly on Left, tend to think the rest of the world is nice too. It’s not.

It is, actually, no more than self-indulgence to assume others are like us. It is hubris. The hubris of someone like Obama.

The Iranians understand our leaders much better than our leaders understand them. They know Obama will never attack them. And they are negotiating accordingly.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who understands the neighborhood in which he lives, came here to warn America. Obama didn’t even bother to watch the speech. Because it contradicts his world view.

One day, quite possibly, hundreds of thousand or even millions will die because of the deal Obama is about to strike. Those people may be Americans.

Because Peace through Weakness is a deadly way of doing business.

Michelle Leads the Government Into Your Kitchen

The government is increasingly in your business. And the more it’s in your business, the more it feels comfortable there and thinks it should be further into your business.

Regulation of our lives is not a thing. It’s a process. Driven by entrenched bureaucracies and changing attitudes, it grows inexorably. We get used to the regulation. The regulators get used to giving to us. And so more regulation seems only natural.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s health advocacy is not just a moral crusade for thinner waists. You see, Michelle isn’t just some nice lady with a big heart. Michelle is the government. And her advocacy therefore constitutes government interference in our lives. What’s more, her advocacy has come with specific policy recommendations, and even, legislation.

Mrs. Obama has abetted the creation of an attitude that the government has the right, and even the obligation, to regulate what you eat.

michelle treats

That the government’s growing role in our diet has coincided with worsening health habits makes no difference to Michelle or any of the other health virtuecrats.

The low-fat diet demanded by our health professionals has turned out to be disastrous for the physical well being of Americans. Our grandparents were in better shape than we are, despite their supposedly atrocious eating habits, which the government felt it needed to correct.

In fact, Michelle continues to advocate low-fat eating despite growing evidence that fat – even saturated fat – does not play a role in disease and may even prevent obesity by promoting satiety. Did you know that people who drink whole milk tend to be leaner? Did you know?

With Mrs. Obama leading the way, the federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee released a nearly 600-page report Thursday with recommendations that include a variety of coercive methods designed to get you to eat “better.”

Of course, “public places” will get the heavy handed treatment as a matter of routine:

  • Establish local, state, and Federal policies to make healthy foods accessible and affordable and to limit access to high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods and sugar-sweetened beverages in public buildings and facilities. Set nutrition standards for foods and beverages offered in public places.

The DGAC has some requirements for health insurers, who have been turned into utilities by President Obama:

  • Require health insurance providers to use financial and other positive incentives to encourage and motivate health care settings and businesses to support individuals in adopting healthy behaviors and engaging, as appropriate, in nutrition and exercise counseling and comprehensive lifestyle behavior interventions.

But the committee cannot achieve its goals by poking around the public sector. It must, and does, outline a series of draconian steps that get the government deep into what you will be permitted to eat. I’ve highlighted some of the scarier phrases that portend maximum intervention in the private sector, just to ruin your weekend.

  • Incentivize businesses to establish employee health benefits plans that include access to resources and services that encourage personal health promotion and healthy lifestyle behavior changes. Support employers in using positive motivation strategies to realize these changes.

Remember, “incentivize” means tax breaks for some, and by extension, higher taxes for others.

  • Improve retail food environments and make healthy foods accessible and affordable in underserved neighborhoods and communities.
  • Align nutritional and agricultural policies with Dietary Guidelines recommendations and make broad policy changes to transform the food system so as to promote population health, including the use of economic and taxing policies to encourage the production and consumption of healthy foods and to reduce unhealthy foods. For example, earmark tax revenues from sugar-sweetened beverages, snack foods and desserts high in calories, added sugars, or sodium, and other less healthy foods for nutrition education initiatives and obesity prevention programs.
  • Making “smart snacks” consistent with the Dietary Guidelines in schools, child care settings, parks, recreation centers, sports leagues, after-school programs, worksites, colleges and universities, healthcare, and other community settings.

Of course, we must regulate commerce. It started with cigarettes, but that was only the beginning.

  • Implementing policies that limit exposure and marketing of foods and beverages high in added sugars and sodium to all age groups, particularly children and adolescents.
  • Implementing economic and pricing approaches to promote the purchase of healthy foods and beverages. For example, taxation on higher sugar-and sodium-containing foods may encourage consumers to reduce consumption and revenues generated could support health promotion efforts. Alternatively, price incentives on vegetables and fruits could be used to promote consumption and public health benefits.

With efforts like Michelle’s wedging open the door, the people who wrote this report, many of them academics, assume the right to interfere extensively in the private sector, and private lives. After all, it’s for your own good.

Because mother doesn’t know best anymore. The chairman of the Harvard Department of Health knows best. And he will make sure mother gives you what you he has determined is right for you.

Video || Michelle Surprises Guests in the White House

Well this is kind of cute. I mean, I don’t expect you to watch all 28 minutes, but I thought you might want to have a look.

It’s one of the nice things Mrs. Obama does – occasionally surprising guests by making herself part of the White House tour. In this case, they were being brought into the newly redecorated White House Old Family Dining Room, which is open to the public for the first time.

Mrs. Obama invited former First Daughter Jenna Bush Hager to join her, which was a classy thing to do. Jenna looks great, doesn’t she? Interesting how many people recognize her and seem glad to see her.

Michelle Dissed by Feudal Saudis

First Lady Michelle Obama chose not to wear a veil during her visit with President Obama to Saudi Arabia Wednesday.

Good for her. We don’t’ cover our women here in the United States. Unlike in Saudi Arabia, American women are first class citizens. I’m glad she made the point.

The Saudis also made their point, ostentatiously refusing to shake her hand in the receiving line. Apparently, Saudi men are not supposed to touch women to whom they are not related. So, many of them just nodded to her after shaking Obama’s hand. The new King Salman apparently didn’t acknowledge her at all.

But according to the White House, exceptions to the rule have been made for officials like Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, and Angela Merkel.

We get plenty of lectures about not respecting other people’s cultures, but we often do our best. The Saudi leaders arrive here dressed in their pajamas and make our presidents walk along with theirs holding hands like a pair of little girls, as is the Saudi custom. The Saudis should have shown some respect themselves, and shook the first lady’s hand if they were going to go through a receiving line.

Obama Cancels Taj Mahal, Will Visit Saudi Arabia Instead

President Obama shortened his three day visit to India – canceling a planned visit to the Taj Mahal – in order to make a stop in Saudi Arabia to offer condolences on the death of King Abdullah and meet the new Saudi leader, King Salman.

This is an excellent idea. The Saudis, despite their many serious flaws, are a key ally in a region where we are fast losing allies and influence.

From the White House:

President Obama and the First Lady will travel to Riyadh on Tuesday, January 27 in order to pay respects to King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the family of the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. The Vice President was originally to have led a delegation to Saudi Arabia on the President’s behalf. As the President’s and Vice President’s travel schedules became clearer, we determined that the window when the Vice President would be on the ground in Riyadh coincided with the President’s departure from India.

Accordingly, we adjusted the schedule in coordination with the Indian Government so that the President would be able to depart India following his speech on Tuesday to stop in Riyadh during the return trip to meet with King Salman and other Saudi officials and offer his condolences on behalf of the American people. The President regrets that he will be unable to visit Agra during this trip. The Vice President will remain in Washington.

Ah well. The Obamas skipped the Taj Mahal last time they went to India, no doubt with the intention of seeing it next time. I’m wondering if it’s the main reason Mrs. Obama, who often doesn’t travel overseas with the president, accompanied him on this trip.

The Obamas departed for India this morning.

When Barry Met Shelley

A new movie is in the works chronicling that historic summer afternoon in 1989 when Barry and Michelle went out on their very first date. According to Deadline.com, “Southside With You” depicts “the summer 1989 afternoon when the future President of the United States of America wooed his future First Lady on an epic first dateContinue Reading

Michelle Messes Up Again

On the campaign trail Thursday in Colorado, First Lady Michelle Obama touted the credentials of Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, calling him a “fifth generation Coloradan,” who, as such, “understands what makes this state special.” Well, Udall may or may not understand what makes Colorado special. Wait a second, isn’t every state special?? Doesn’t everyone getContinue Reading

Barack Cracks a Michelle Joke

President Obama this morning early-voted in Chicago, Illinois – where Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn is running for reelection – and then headed over a Quinn campaign office carrying three boxes of donuts and pastries. “Michelle sent these. We got broccoli, carrots.” Uh oh. Trouble when he gets home. But well played . . . Obama,Continue Reading

One Ketchup for Your Burger

Under First Lady Michelle Obama’s new healthy lunches, students in Austintown, Ohio are allowed one ketchup packet for their burgers, because two would make the sandwich unhealthy. According to a local newspaper, Vindy.com: The federal law sets nutrient requirements, such as snack items being 200 calories or less and entrees at 350 calories or less. It alsoContinue Reading