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Category Archives: Michelle

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 come so far, the truth is that those age-old problems are stubborn and they haven’t fully gone away. So there will be times, just like for those Airmen, when you feel like folks look right past you, or they see just a fraction of who you really are.

The world won’t always see you in those caps and gowns. They won’t know how hard you worked and how much you sacrificed to make it to this day — the countless hours you spent studying to get this diploma, the multiple jobs you worked to pay for school, the times you had to drive home and take care of your grandma, the evenings you gave up to volunteer at a food bank or organize a campus fundraiser. They don’t know that part of you.

Instead they will make assumptions about who they think you are based on their limited notion of the world. And my husband and I know how frustrating that experience can be. 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 — 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; the agony of sending your kids to schools that may no longer be separate, but are far from equal; the realization that no matter how far you rise in life, how hard you work to be a good person, a good parent, a good citizen — for some folks, it will never be enough. (Applause.)

And all of that is going to be a heavy burden to carry. It can feel isolating. It can make you feel like your life somehow doesn’t matter — that you’re like the invisible man that Tuskegee grad Ralph Ellison wrote about all those years ago. And as we’ve seen over the past few years, those feelings are real. They’re rooted in decades of structural challenges that have made too many folks feel frustrated and invisible. And those feelings are playing out in communities like Baltimore and Ferguson and so many others across this country. (Applause.)

But, graduates, today, I want to be very clear that those feelings are not an excuse to just throw up our hands and give up. (Applause.) Not an excuse. They are not an excuse to lose hope. To succumb to feelings of despair and anger only means that in the end, we lose.

But here’s the thing — our history provides us with a better story, a better blueprint for how we can win. It teaches us that when we pull ourselves out of those lowest emotional depths, and we channel our frustrations into studying and organizing and banding together — then we can build ourselves and our communities up. We can take on those deep-rooted problems, and together — together — we can overcome anything that stands in our way.

I don’t frankly agree with some of the other commenters I’ve seen on the right, who have made snide points to the effect of, “Poor Mrs. Obama, with her wonderful lifestyle, still complaining.”

People can have beautiful lives and still feel the sting of racism, and certainly have experienced it on the way up. It carves out wounds that never heal, even when you become first lady of the United States.

It’s clear here is that Mrs. Obama, who also last week talked about the alienation black children feel in museums, has decided to jettison the nonracial, less-controversial public image created for her just before and after the Obamas entered the White House in 2008.

Fine. My concern here is that both of the Obamas seem to now be making race a very large focus on their agenda. And this can end up being dangerously divisive.

This country has come a long way on race. Though it took long enough, we have dealt with our racial differences in a far more successful and noble fashion than almost any other society with racial divides. I’m still waiting for the first non-white leader of a European nation, for example.

That there continue to be racial problems is without question. But this is not the chief issue holding African Americans back from their place as full economic and social equals with everyone else in their country.

The main problem used to be white oppression. Now the main problem is from within the black community. A problem, that, in my view, is stoked by liberal economic, social, and cultural policies.

Without sacrificing the things that are sublime about black culture, African Americans need to become more integrated into the general culture. Not that there’s so much that’s great about the general culture these days, but still it has to happen. But the change, abetted by better government policies designed to lift all, has to come from within.

To the extent the Obamas are going to be flagging race on a constant basis, we are going to become more divided. I know this is not their intent. But it will be the result. And it will do nothing to solve the deep, entrenched problems of the inner city.

We need, instead, a message of togetherness.

Now if that doesn’t send a chill down your spine, even after hearing it many times, nothing will.

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 not equal pay in the White House when it comes to her and me.”

Well, uh, they’re not doing the same job, first of all. Which goes right to part of the reason women aren’t paid as much as men – they choose jobs that pay less.

But it’s obviously an issue for the Obamas. The president has noted on various occasions that Michelle doesn’t get paid even though “she works pretty hard” and it’s “a tough job.” It seems from his statement Wednesday, even if said with an element of jest, that Michelle is driving the conversation here.

Michelle Obama runs.

I understand the president wanting to stick up for his wife and recognize her work. And she does do some good work. But of course, she is quite well compensated.

How about free housing – utilities included! – in one of the world’s great mansions? And when was the last time she wrote a check to have the place cleaned? Or the lawn mowed? Sorry, maybe the president mows it. And paid travel all over the world, and many weeks of vacation every year. Food delivered by servants after being prepared by a personal chef.

How about the honor of being first lady? Sorry to be so old-fashioned.

It never occurs to liberals like the Obamas that her government salary would have to come out of other people’s paychecks, people who don’t go on safari in Africa or spend 24 days resting up in Hawaii over Christmas.

Her predecessor in the office thinks equal pay at the White House is not really necessary.

Eventually, political correctness will force a salary for a future first lady. But you still won’t see her filling up the limo at the Exxon station.

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 get behind, it’s to serve those who have served all of us. And Michelle, and well as Dr. Biden, is to be commended for her vigorous and consistent commitment to helping veterans, long after any PR benefit might have worn off.

From their White House schedule:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The White House – First Lady Michelle Obama delivered remarks on a call with Mayors participating in the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Washington, DC – First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver remarks to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Joining Forces at the Congressional Club’s annual Congressional Spouses Luncheon.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Montgomery County, MD – First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will visit a Vet Center in Montgomery County, MD to highlight and amplify how Vet Centers are resources for veterans and their families. Vet Centers offer a range of resources including mental health counseling, outreach, and referrals to veterans, service members and their families.

Monday, April 20, 2015

New Orleans, LA – First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will travel to New Orleans, LA and join Mayor Mitch Landrieu to highlight the Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Vice President’s Residence, Washington, DC – Dr. Jill Biden will announce new commitments made to the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), enabling greater access to AP College Readiness Programs among children of service members and veterans.

She is promoting the initiative with an interview in Glamour magazine, where she said:

Think about the amount of training the average veteran has received through the military—physical training, project management training, public relations work. Think of an average tour of duty in a foreign land, the money we put into developing that, and then they’re discharged, and what, we let that investment go? Absolutely not. These are some of the best-trained people in our society.

That’s very nicely put. And with their service, our veterans have also invested in America. And America owes them a return on their investment, which Michelle is helping us provide.

Hillary Hires Michelle’s Image-Redo Guru

Remember when Michelle Obama used to seem kind of mean and didn’t appear to like America very much? Well, today, she’s just a hip, dancing mom who cares about what your kids eat, shops at Target, and wants to help tell our troops, Thank you for your service.

Well, that didn’t just happen. The East Wing employed a woman named Kristina Schake to help Michelle transform herself into a likable first lady.

michelle Obama Halloween

Now Hillary wants some of that.

According to NBC News, Mrs. Clinton has taken Schake into her orbit to help her appear like less of a space alien. Schake no doubt will jettison the poor-little-rich girl shtick – “We left the White House broke!” – put Hillary in the aisles at Walmart, and have the Associated Press catch her at Bingo night down at the church.

But alas, it won’t be so easy this time. Mrs. Obama has far more control over her image than a presidential candidate. She doesn’t have to face the press, can carefully choose her relatively infrequent public appearances, isn’t under 24-hour extraordinary pressure, and isn’t being bashed every day by the opposition.

It would be great if Hillary could just be herself. But no one seems to like that very much.

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 theContinue Reading

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, ostentatiouslyContinue Reading

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