Michelle Obama Guests at SOTU Include Watts Police Cpt. Phillip C. Tingirides

Michelle Obama Guests at SOTU Include Watts Police Cpt. Phillip C. Tingirides

Michelle Obama Guests at SOTU Include Watts Police Cpt. Phillip C. Tingirides (Photo Credit: White House/Pete Souza)

The White House released the lists of invitees who will sit in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box during the State of the Union address. The guests include:

Watts Police Captain Phillip C. Tingirides:

“Once a hotbed of crime since its eponymous race riots of 1965 and a surge of gang violence in the 1990s, the Watts neighborhood of South Los Angeles has seen a 50 percent reduction in violent crime in recent years.”

“That’s thanks in large part to the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) — a program that Captain Phillip C. Tingirides, a 35-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, is spearheading. The CSP facilitates cooperation between the police department and Watts housing development residents scarred from decades of distrust — including encouraging dialogue at community meetings with police who personally engage with residents.”

Malik Bryant, Student (Chicago)

“But this past Christmas, 13-year-old Malik Bryant from Chicago wrote Santa with a very different request.”

“All I ask for is for safety,” he wrote. “I just wanna be safe.”

Malik’s neighborhood of Englewood has one of the highest rates of violent crime in Chicago. In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Malik’s mother explained how he isn’t always able to leave his house and go hang out with his cousins, “because he has to cross gang lines and walk past all these gang members on some of those blocks. And all he ever hears on the news about our neighborhood is shootings, gangs and violence.”

State Senator Catherine Pugh (Marylyand)

“Senator Catherine Pugh isn’t just Maryland’s Senate Majority Leader: She’s a small business owner who knows first-hand how important it is that employers take care of their employees.”
“Senator Pugh has passed over 100 bills since being elected in 1999, and she’s been a tireless advocate on behalf of working families.”
Prophet Walker (California)
Co-founder of Watts United Weekend
“Prophet Walker was serving a six-year sentence for robbery when he made a choice to turn his life around. Walker — now 27 — began a program in his prison that provided fellow inmates with the opportunity to complete a two-year college degree.”
“After he was released, Prophet graduated with a degree from Loyola Marymount’s Engineering school, working as a construction engineer and still finding time to serve the southern California community.”
“Prophet is the co-founder of Watts United Weekend — a program that provides weekend camp retreats for hundreds of people weekly, strengthening trust between law enforcement, community members, parents, and kids from local housing projects.”
See FLOTUS’ full guest list here.

Obama Marital Woes: Australian Press Runs with National Enquirer ‘Bombshell’

Obama Marital Woes: Australian Press Runs with National Enquirer 'Bombshell'

Obama Marital Woes: Australian Press Runs with National Enquirer ‘Bombshell’ (Attribution Unknown)

Obama Marital Woes? The Australian reports that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are having marital problems, which threatens to overshadow her 50th birthday party at the White House on Saturday. Um, really? Guess where the Sunday Times got its information — the National Enquirer. Enough said.

Not for the first time in their 22-year marriage the Obamas are approaching what should be a happy family milestone under a cloud of rampant tabloid innuendo, summed up by a National Enquirer headline: “World exclusive: Obama marriage explodes!”.

The Enquirer has earned a measure of respectability in Washington with its reporting of political scandals – most notably its exposure of the double life of John Edwards, a former senator and once a Democratic presidential contender.

Yet its so-called bombshell Obama report was based on nothing more substantial than the vague allegations of an unnamed “Oval Office insider” who claimed the first couple “are now sleeping in separate White House bedrooms” – tame stuff compared with the adventures of the president’s French counterpart Francois Hollande.

In one sense the report was partly right: Barack Obama returned to Washington from his Christmas break in Hawaii last week while his wife remained in Maui to spend more time with friends, reportedly at a holiday home owned by the media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

Before the Enquirer could detonate another bombshell, a White House spokesman offered a different explanation for Michelle’s solo break: it was a birthday present from her husband.

“If you have kids, you know that telling your spouse that they can go spend a week away from home is actually a big present,” said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary.

Mr Obama acknowledged long ago that his marriage to Michelle had had ups and downs as they coped with the pressures of dual careers – she was formerly a lawyer and a hospital administrator – and the arrival of their two daughters, Sasha and Malia.

The latest tabloid report appears to have been provoked by the notorious incident at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service when Mr Obama and David Cameron posed for a selfie with Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the prime minister of Denmark – or as the National Enquirer described her, “a leggy blonde foreign leader”.

Despite the speculation, the Obamas have succeeded in presenting a united front and, as their daughters have grown, many of their admirers have come to regard them as an inspirational family. Source: The Australian

POTUS: First Lady Michelle Obama Opposes Military Action Against Syria

POTUS:  First Lady Michelle Obama Opposes Military Action Against Syria

POTUS: First Lady Michelle Obama Opposes Military Action Against Syria

You know President Obama is in a bind when even First Lady Michelle Obama opposes a military strike against Syria. Well, at least that’s what the president said during a series of interviews on Monday.

He told PBS, “You know, if you talk to my own family members, or Michelle’s, you know, they’re very wary and suspicious of any action.” He then said in a separate interview with NBC, “‘If you ask Michelle, “Do we want to be involved in another war?” The answer is no.”

Michelle Obama has not publicly spoken about Syria or possible military strikes by the U.S.


Michelle Obama Says “Hadiya Pendleton Was Me, And I Was Her” at Chicago Fundraising Luncheon

First Lady Michelle Obama: Hadiya Pendleton was me, and I was her

Michelle Obama Says “Hadiya Pendleton Was Me, And I Was Her” at Chicago Fundraising Luncheon

A new right wing freak-out is coming over First Lady Michelle Obama’s comments, “Hadiya Pendleton was me, and I was her.” Of course, they will throw in President Obama’s comment if he had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin. You recall that right wing freak out, right?

“Hadiya Pendleton was me, and I was her,” Obama said at a fundraising lunch for a public-private partnership aimed at giving support to young Chicagoans and making neighborhoods safer. “But I got to grow up and go to Princeton and Harvard Law School and have a career and family and the most blessed life I could ever imagine.”

“And Hadiya? Oh, we know that story,” she said, recounting the life that took the 15-year-old to Washington for President Obama’s Inauguration one week and dead on the South Side of Chicago the next. Source

First Lady Michelle Obama Writes Touching Letter About Newtown Shooting Massacre

Full disclosure, I am a big fan of First Lady Michelle Obama, as I was of Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. Mrs. Obama wrote a touching and heartfelt letter to the people of Newtown, Conn., in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre that left 20 children dead and six adults. Here’s the letter in its entirety:

Over the past week, we as Americans have been united in our grief as Newtown has laid to rest so many beautiful, innocent children, along with the heroic educators who worked every day to help them achieve their dreams.

As a mother of two young daughters, my heart aches for you and your families. Like so many Americans, I wish there were something — anything — I could do or say to ease your anguish.

But I know that I cannot begin to imagine the depths of your grief. I know that for many of you, the pain you are enduring right now seems unbearable; and many of you may be asking yourselves, how can we go on — as families and as a community?

But I also know that we have already begun to see the answer to that question in the countless acts of courage, kindness and love here in Newtown and across America.

Over the past week, I have been awed and inspired by Newtown’s heroes: the first responders who risked their lives at a moment’s notice; the educators whose devotion to their students shone brightest in one of our nation’s darkest hours; the children who comforted each other despite their fear; the families coming together to support each other as they grieve.

And I am so proud of the outpouring of love and support that has come from every corner of America: from first responders from neighboring cities rushing to help however they could; from people in Cleveland and Charlotte and Juneau and so many other communities joining together to honor Newtown with their thoughts and prayers; and in living rooms and houses of worship and the halls of our government, where we are beginning to have those difficult conversations about how we can build a safer, more peaceful tomorrow for all our children.

And I want you to know that this is just the beginning. As my husband has said, in the coming weeks, he will use all the powers of his office to engage citizens from across this country to find ways to prevent tragedies like this one. And please know that every minute of every day, we are thinking of you, and praying for you, and holding you and your families in our hearts as you begin the slow and wrenching work of healing and moving forward.

In the months and years ahead, may the memories of those beautiful children and those heroic adults be a blessing for their families, for your community, and for our country, and may God bless you all.

First Lady Michelle Obama, Washington, D.C.  Source

Here is a photograph of all the victims:

Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting Victims

First Lady Michelle Obama Writes Touching Letter About Newtown Shooting Massacre (Photo credit: Hartford Courant)

Singer Marc Anthony and Actress Gabrielle Union to Speak at First Lady Michelle Obama FL Events

Gabrielle Union at the San Francisco Blackberr...

Singer Marc Anthony and Actress Gabrielle Union to Speak at First Lady Michelle Obama FL Events. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the Obama campaign:  Singer Marc Anthony will play a prominent role in First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign appearances in Daytona Beach and Miami today. Stevie Wonder will perform prior to Mrs. Obama’s remarks in Jacksonville, Fl. Gabrielle Unionwill deliver remarks prior to Mrs. O’s speech in Miami. Marc Anthony will also speak there and at her a

ppearance in Daytona Beach.

President Obama will hold a tarmac event in Green Bay, WI.  Congresswomen Tammy Baldwin (WI-2), Senator Russ Feingold and Green Bay Packers Player, Charles Woodson, will join the President in Green Bay.  The President will then head to a grassroots event in North Las Vegas, NV with actress and National Campaign Co-Chair, Eva Longoria.  The President will end the day with a grassroots event in Boulder, CO where Congressman Jared Polis (CO-2), Senator Mark Udall and Senator Michael Bennett will deliver remarks as well.

Former President Bill Clinton will spend the day campaigning in Wisconsin and Ohio. He will hold a rally in Waukesha, WI, and grassroots events in Perrysburg, Akron and Toledo.

Vice President Joe Biden will campaign in Fort Dodge and Muscatine, Iowa.

Youngstown Vindicator Editorial: Romney’s GM and Chrysler ads are an insult to Ohioans:

Mitt Romney’s widely debunked claim that GM and Chrysler are moving auto manufacturing jobs to China after being bailed out by President Obama isn’t just dirty politics. The claim suggests that the Republican nominee for president believes the voters of Ohio are not sophisticated enough to separate fact from fiction. The fact about Chrysler and Jeep is clearly laid out in a statement from the company’s chief executive officer, Sergio Marchionne: “I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China. “North American production is critical to achieving our goal of selling 800,000 Jeep vehicles by 2014. In fact, U.S. production of our Jeep models has nearly tripled (it is expected to be up 185%) since 2009 in order to keep up with global demand.” The fact about GM is contained in a searing critique of the advertising campaign. “The ad is cynical campaign politics at its worst,” Greg Martin, GM spokesman, told the New York Times. “We think creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back in this country should be a source of bipartisan pride.”

Here’s the latest campaign video, features Colin Powell to “stay the course:”


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Neither President Obama Nor First Lady Michelle Obama Scheduled to Commemorate D-Day

Neither President Obama nor First Lady Michelle Obama, who has made military families a platform issue, have nothing planned for D-Day celebrations. In fact, President Obama, who is hitting the beach in sunny California, took to Twitter to pay his respects on the 68th anniversary of America’s brutal landing on Normandy shores. Obama will be in San Francisco for two fundraisers and then moving on to two more in Beverly Hills. Don’t expect better from Mitt Romney either, considering he didn’t serve in his country’s military but instead did “missionary” work all from high priced digs.

Obama’s D-Day tweet:

Um, I seriously doubt he tweeted this himself. Someone from his campaign probably did. Well, like President Obama’s failure to show up in Wisconsin to support Tom Barrett in his bid to unseat Gov. Scott Walker in the recall election, he has missed an opportunity to reach out to the military community and to America on such an important anniversary.

Obama is making a political mistake by ignoring this  holiday for a number of reasons, most significant is the fact that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs said swing states Florida and Pennsylvania are among the top five states, in terms of veterans’ population. I can’t understand how someone who ran such an impeccable campaign in 2008 can seem like a deer caught between two headlights four years later. Obama failed to mark D-Day for the last two years, though he did give a speech marking the 65th anniversary. SMH.

Drudge Report Goes After Michelle Obama for Allegedly Spending $50K at Luxury Lingerie Store Agent Provocateur on One Shopping Spree

Drudge Report Goes After Michelle Obama for Allegedly Spending $50K at Luxury Lingerie Store Agent Provocateur on One Shopping Spree

The Drudge Report took a break for slamming Newt Gingrich to attacking First Lady Michelle Obama for allegedly spending $50,000 (£31,794) at luxury lingerie store Agent Provocateur in one shopping spree.

Agent Provocateur, which is styled on vintage Hollywood glamour, sells handmade Calais lace corsets that sell for up to £900, which could ruffle the feathers of more than just President Barack Obama in an election year.

Gary Hogarth, Agent Provocateur’s chief executive, refused to be drawn on the store’s closely kept “secret client list”. But he admitted the brand had attracted a high number of “unexpected famous names” – especially in the US, where sales have overtaken the UK.

On the back of this growth, Agent Provocateur, which is owned by listed private equity firm 3i, is launching an aggressive expansion strategy with more than 20 new shops opening globally in 2012. Source: UK Telegraph

Has anyone questioned how much money Ann Romney spends when she goes shopping? Or even past first ladies such as Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush?

Detroit Free Press Columnist Rochelle Riley: “Where’s the Respect Our First Lady Deserves?”

First Lady Michelle Obama visits with Former F...

Detroit Free Press Columnist Rochelle Riley: "Where's the Respect Our First Lady Deserves?" (Wikipedia)

Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley asks in her latest column, “where’s the respect for First Lady Michelle Obama?” She said it’s time to deal with this notion of an angry black woman and enough is enough. Speak it sista! President Obama and his wife have been denigrated by elements on the right for no other reason but because they are black. But there were other criticisms that were legitimate, on President Obama’s side and not his wife. I can’t say that Michelle Obama is being treated any worse than Nancy Reagan or Hillary Clinton, who were too very strong-willed and independent women. It hits a nerve with Michelle Obama because she is black and we are all protective of our first black president and his wife. But the reality is some people just can’t stand a strong woman and a strong black woman is an even bigger threat. But I digress. Let me get back to Rochelle Riley’s column. Actually, here’s an excerpt:

And the juvenile attacks on the first lady go too far. Here’s the real truth: No one trying to portray Michelle Obama as an angry black woman has probably ever seen one.

I’m talking the kind of anger that comes from having to be the soul of your family because America is used to trampling on your husband’s.

I’m talking the kind of anger that comes from lowered expectations for your children, which makes them have to work twice as hard.

I’m talking about a glass ceiling that impairs all women, but drops to the right so that black women hit it first.

I’m talking the kind of anger that comes from seeing racism — true, 1950s-style racism — play itself out in Washington and America in the 21st Century and you, as was done millions of times during this country’s Jim Crow era — smile stoically and rise above it. Source: Detroit Free Press

I guess I can’t really top that, other than saying, damn, Rochelle Riley is coming off as that “angry black woman” she’s saying she has had enough of hearing about. There will always be books written about presidents and their wives. Just ask Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. Barbara Bush was mocked repeatedly for looking like a frumpy mess with a string of pearls around her neck. There were many, many hurtful things said about each of these women’s husbands and even about these first ladies. So, while I find some of the treatment towards the Obamas deplorable, I won’t go as far as to write a screed about why Michelle Obama has been wronged. The reality is that it comes with the territory. An Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at former president George Bush. That was the ultimate sign of disrespect, but you didn’t hear the president or his wife complaining about it in public. Michelle Obama is a strong woman and she can take care of herself. Yes, she deserves a lot of respect, but there will always be haters on the prowl to muck things up.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Joins Twitter as @MichelleObama

First Lady Michelle Obama has joined Twitter — @michelleobama.

Michelle Obama on Twitter: “We’re excited today to launch @michelleobama as a new way for you to connect with First Lady Michelle Obama and the President’s campaign,” the account posted Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. That message was followed by: “This account will be managed by campaign staff, with any tweets from the First Lady herself signed “-mo.”