As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Category Archives: Michelle

First Lady Forces Staff to Eat Apples

The White House released this strange little video with First Lady Michelle Obama claiming that she and her staff actually eat the decorative apples found in a bowl in the East Wing, where her offices are.

I don’t know. They have those apples in the West Wing too but my understanding is everyone is eating plenty of junk food.

Hopefully she has some hard cider lying around too. Long hours at the White House.

Michelle’s Cousin is a Powerful Black Rabbi

Rabbi Capers Funnye of Chicago, a first cousin once removed of Michelle Obama, has been nominated to become what an international organization is calling the first “black chief rabbi” of the 21st century, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports.

Funnye 2According to Haaretz, “A statement from the International Israelite Board of Rabbis declared that Funnye would serve as the ‘titular head of a worldwide community of Black Jews.’ Along with the United States, the community has branches in the Caribbean, South Africa, Uganda and Nigeria.”

Funnye, chief rabbi at Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation of Chicago, Illinois, is expected to officially assume his duties in the fall.

Funnye was born a Christian in 1952 in South Carolina. He converted to Judaism in 1985.

Mazel tov, Rabbi!

Jill Biden to Spend a Week in Asia

The White House today announced that Dr. Jill Biden will take a week-long tour of Asia to promote girls’ education.

Here’s the statement:

Dr. Jill Biden will travel to the Republic of Korea, Vietnam, and Laos on July 16-22, 2015 where she, along with Catherine Russell, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, will engage government and civil society partners on issues related to economic empowerment and educational opportunity for women and girls. Dr. Biden will also travel to Japan on July 22-23 to participate in events as part of her Joining Forces initiative to support service members, veterans, and military families.

This official White House drive to promote girls’ education overseas has created lots of travel opportunities for the wives of the president and the vice president. Mrs. Obama this year has already logged separate excursions to Asia and to Europe – the latter costing at least $600,000 – and is promising more.

Jill Biden

The exorbitant security, travel, staff, lodging and other expenses related to these excursions are of course all picked up by taxpayers. While everyone supports expanding learning opportunities for girls, helping non-U.S. citizens overseas get a proper education would not really seem to be such a high priority that it would be worth spending deficit dollars for the first and second lady to address the problem on the scene.

But it must be nice to see exotic places.

Report: Michelle Europe Trip to Cost Over $600K

First Lady Michelle Obama’s European trip will cost taxpayers at least $600,000, and probably much more, according to a report in the Washington Examiner.

Mrs. Obama, accompanied by her daughters and her mother, is promoting the vital issues of girls learning and healthy eating in . . . England and Italy. She is also hanging out with Prince Harry and taking in sights like Da Vinci’s Last Supper painting. And she’ll meet with some U.S. troops in Vincenza.

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According to the Examiner:

While the White House didn’t provide cost estimates for the week-long visit to London, Milan, Venice, and Vincenza, Italy, the State Department put lodging costs for just a couple nights in Venice at $128,781, according to Free Beacon, and Air Force charges based on a 2012 document for flying her group on past overseas trips indicate that this one will hit $243,000. Those charges alone total $371,781. Add in the still unknown lodging costs in London and Milan, based on the Venice hotel charges, and the price should top $600,000, or about $100,000 a day. And that’s just for taxpayer funded airfare and lodging and doesn’t include security, staff and other transportation and food.

Michelle earlier this year made an similar excursion to Japan and Cambodia.

It must be nice.

Mrs. Obama to Take a Week-Long Trip to Europe


Just three months after hitting Japan and Cambodia to talk about girls’ education, Mrs. Obama will travel to London to promote the same thing and to attend the Milan Expo 2015, where she will tour the USA Pavilion – “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet” – and “participate in activities to lift up efforts to support healthier families and communities,” according to the White House. And she’ll make it to Venice too.

I know that the topic of education in Great Britain has been much on your mind the last several years, as it has mine. FINALLY, the first lady is doing something about it.

From the White House:

As part of the Let Girls Learn initiative and following her recent visits to Japan and Cambodia, the First Lady will visit London where she will meet with students and discuss how the UK and the U.S. are working together to expand access to girls education around the world – supporting adolescent girls in completing their education.

Mrs. Obama will also meet with U.S. military stationed in Vicenza, Italy, which is fine, though undoubtably these are not the service members most in need of the first lady’s care and comfort.

Her mother, Mrs. Marian Robinson, and Malia and Sasha will be along for the trip. No word on if the cousins are coming too, as they have in the past.

You don’t need to be a foxhound to perceive that this smells a lot like a vacation. And a very expensive one for taxpayers, given the security and staff that will be involved. But I gather, with no more elections to be won, that Mrs. Obama figures she can do whatever she wants.

“The First Lady will also visit cultural sites in Venice before returning to Washington, DC,” the White House noted.

That, she will.

Mrs. Obama Invites Children to White House to get Stung by Bees

Okay, I’m just having some fun here, alright? Leave me alone.

But, uh, you know. If my kid were going to this event, I’d want to know whether we’re taking any precautions . . .

Because the White House put out the notice last night: First Lady Michelle Obama to Harvest the White House Kitchen Garden, Highlight Pollinators

Okay, pollinators. Personally, I’m allergic to certain pollinators, and these delightful creatures do get angry sometimes and turn their attention from the pastoral pursuit of flowers to inflicting venomous stings on human victims.

From the White House:

The First Lady will welcome students from across the country who participate in the ten Let’s Move! sub-initiative programs to harvest the White House Kitchen Garden . . . This garden harvest will highlight the important role of pollinators in the healthy food that we grow and consume. Last year, Mrs. Obama planted a pollinator garden next to the White House Kitchen Garden to support bees, monarch butterflies, and other pollinators as part of Administration efforts to promote pollinator health.

Just as I suspected. They’re trying to spin this as also a butterfly event, but we know “pollinators” means bees.

Pollinators play a critical role in supporting agricultural production, and they are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we take. Because pollinators are facing disturbing signs of decline from a variety of causes, important efforts are underway to support pollinator health and habitat.

Okay, that’s all true. I mean, I can’t say I awaken in the morning fretting about the decline of bees, but I do salute the first lady for addressing the issue. Also, might I suggest, if things plants aren’t being sufficiently pollinated, eating more meat

This year, W. Atlee Burpee & Co. donated one million pollinator seed packets to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Interior to encourage people to plant pollinator gardens in communities across the country. Nearly 30,000 of these seed packets were distributed to families at this year’s Easter Egg Roll. As well, the newly established National Pollinator Garden Network is launching on Wednesday the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of pollinators.

Well, I thank Mr. Burpee, Mr. Slurpee, and anyone else who is working to solve this problem. Although I have noticed fewer yellow jackets around in recent years, which gives me some comfort that there is less chance I will be stung and suffer a slow, wrenching death as my gills swell and seal off my supply of oxygen. But still, I get that the earth needs bees more than it needs me. So go for it.

Just, I won’t be covering the event.

Mrs. Obama’s Comments on Race

So I will say a couple of things about this, from First Lady Michelle Obama’s commencement speech Saturday at Tuskagee University. First, here are her remarks. Or you can watch the video below. The road ahead is not going to be easy. It never is, especially for folks like you and me. Because while we’ve… Continue Reading

Equal Pay . . . for Michelle?

President Obama returned this week to a subject he has broached several times before, that Mrs. Obama does not receive a salary for her work. “Let me tell you, now, Michelle would point out first ladies get paid nothing,” he said to laughter during a “town hall” gathering Wednesday in Charlotte, North Carolina. “So there’s clearly… Continue Reading

Michelle Continues Her Excellent Work for Veterans

I don’t know if the program was started to burnish Michelle’s image, but it’s the fourth anniversary of Mrs. Obama’s and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces initiative, which aids veterans and their families with struggles at home, and she’s proven beyond a reasonable doubt her genuine commitment to the cause. If there’s one function of government I can… Continue Reading

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.… Continue Reading