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First Lady Michelle Obama’s style and wardrobe is celebrated in a glossy new book that will delight her growing band of fashion devotees
Telegraph.co.uk/Philip Sherwell—Michelle Obama demonstrated a fresh skill to the American people last week when she completed an impressive 142 swivels of a hula hoop on the South Lawn of the White House at a “healthy kids fair” to promote fitness and nutrition for children. She hitched up her studded belt over a blue cardigan, held out arms hung heavy with bangles and skillfully sashayed hips clad in figure-hugging black capri trousers.
Mrs Obama was again filling the role she gave herself during her husband’s presidential bid of the nation’s “Mom-in-chief“. For her legions of fashion devotees, it was also further evidence of the style she has brought to events ranging from glitzy dinners to physical work-outs.
Almost a year after Barack Obama won that historic race, there have been numerous books about the election, the first African-American incumbents at the White House and a new era of American politics.
Photographed by Annie Leibovitz
Now the First Lady is now the subject of a series of glossy books celebrating a closet that has made the transition from the campaign trail to Washington. Published this week by Hachette, Mrs O: The Face of Fashion Democracy is a tribute to the mix of designer brand with high street outfits that is earning her glowing accolades.
The book is a spin-off from the blog Mrs.O , set up last year by Mary Tomer, 28, who works in advertising for Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York. “I was captivated by this very dynamic professional woman who was confident wearing such striking feminine clothes,” she told The Sunday Telegraph.
“She was just as happy wearing off-the-rack outfits for $150 as she was choosing interesting young designers in high fashion. It was such a change for a woman in politics where if you think of style at all, it’s all boxy suits.”
The book features features more than 120 photographs, including rarely-seen images from the campaign trail, details her own impressive professional career as a lawyer, and then delves into the back story of her clothes and accessories. It also goes behind the scenes with interviews from some of her favorite designers, including Isabel Toledo, Jason Wu, Michael Kors, Maria Pinto and Isaac Mizrahi.
Mrs. O: The Face of Fashion Democracy
In an extensive interview with the author, Style.com notes: Even before Michelle Obama moved into the White House, publishers were scrambling to meet with the public’s demand for books on the new First Family. But while some of those books now seem slapdash or rushed, next month will see the release of Mrs. O, a colorful hardback written by blogger Mary Tomer, dedicated to Mrs. Obama’s style from her early days as a student to her role as the first African-American First Lady in the nation’s history. Tomer explains her project as a labor of love, one that began when she first clocked Mrs. Obama at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, joining the president on stage after the speech that vaulted him into the collective consciousness.
Designers: Monique Lhuillier; Diane Von Furstenberg; Michael Kors
Read the full interview here.
Blasblog: The Story of Mrs. O
Mrs Obama Tops Vanity Fair’s 70th International Best-Dressed List
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AP/Ann Sanner—Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry is calling on people to burn effigies of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this Halloween, as part of a “Burn in Hell” video contest to protest the health care legislation in Congress.
Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, said Tuesday that the contest serves as a political and spiritual statement that “gives people a chance to peacefully vent their rage.”
“If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid force us to pay for child killing and they die unrepentant, they will burn in hell for this,” Terry said in a telephone interview.
A YouTube video of the contest instructions shows how to print a poster of Reid and Pelosi and construct a stand for it. The clip shows a person dousing the Democratic leaders’ images with flammable liquid. The next scene shows their picture going up in flames. People are then encouraged to take pictures, record and submit online the footage of their Oct. 31 protests.
“No, this is not a threat to their body,” an unidentified man says in the instructional video, “but it is a threat to their soul.”
Terry insisted the contest was not a threat to Reid or Pelosi. He contended that the Democrats’ plan to overhaul health care would allow federal funding of abortion.
Operation Rescue Halloween: Nancy Pelosi Burn in Hell Contest
Colorado Independent/John Tomasic
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
, the founder of fanatical anti-abortion group Operation Rescue
, is sending around an email to supporters asking them to burn Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in effigy as part of a national Halloween protest and video contest. The email and video rallying supporters is characterized by an ironic tone that serves only to heighten the threatening factor that has come to characterize the organization and its actions.
Of the many notable features of the Operation Rescue call-out is the explicit references it makes to major mainstream U.S. corporations FedEx Kinkos
, Home Depot
. The references have the feel of embedded advertising. Do the companies know Operation Rescue is sending them their “Nancy Pelosi Burn in Hell
” business? Do they want that business?
FedEx spokesperson Jenny Robertson told the Colorado Independent
that the company had no part in the video.
“Fed Ex is in no way affiliated with [the Terry project] and did not provide permission to film the video in one of our centers. They probably took that video in the store very quickly and there was no time to stop it
And an ironical disclaimer on the video
Legal Mumbo Jumbo: Obey local laws on open flames; be careful; if under 18, do not burn Nancy Pelosi in effigy unless your mom or dad is with you, and gives you permission, and strikes the match; do not burn yourself; do not burn another human being; do not burn small animals; do not burn large animals; do not burn anyone from PETA; and remember: this is not a threat to Nancy Pelosi’s or Harry Reid’s person…it is a prophetic witness of what awaits them when they die if they do not repent for this horrific sin.
Far-Right Activist Launches Nancy Pelosi And Harry Reid ‘Burn In Hell!’ Contest
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ThinkProgress/Zaid Jilani—Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that he would be including a version of the public option (with a state opt-out provision) in the Senate’s final health care bill. Although all of the details of the public plan are yet to be determined, progressives cheered the move. As Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) admitted, without all the pressure that progressives in and out of Congress put on legislators, it is unlikely there would have been a public option included in Reid’s final bill.
Yet this afternoon, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) broke with the Democratic caucus that he is a member of and vowed to join a Republican-led filibuster if the public option is not removed from the bill. In response, insurance company stocks — which plummeted Monday as Reid made his announcement — shot up after Lieberman made his announcement around 1:30 pm
Click image to enlarge
Top 15 Lieberman Betrayals: Joe’s Worst Double-Crosses
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Oct. 27– President Barack Obama today will announce $3.4 billion in government grants for equipment to improve the efficiency of the nation’s electrical transmission network.
The grants, ranging in size from $400,000 to $200 million, will be used to develop and install “smart-grid” technology to make electricity transmission more reliable and aid the transmission of energy generated from sources like wind and solar power.
Smart Grid Layout
“The current system is outdated and dilapidated,” Carol Browner, the White House’s top energy adviser, said in a conference call with reporters late yesterday. “Today’s grants “will give us a transformational impact on how electricity is generated, delivered and consumed,” she said.
The money comes from the $787 billion economic stimulus legislation approved by Congress in February. Jared Bernstein, chief economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, said during the conference call the grants will “save or create tens of thousands” of jobs.
Bernstein said Oct. 15 the stimulus legislation has created or saved about 1 million jobs since it was enacted. The nation’s unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent last month, and the president has said he expects it to exceed 10 percent before it starts coming down.
Solar Power Plant
Obama will announce the grants today in Arcadia, Florida, at one of the nation’s largest solar power generating facilities. Florida Power & Light Co.’s DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center will generate enough power for 3,000 homes when it is completed
See: Largest Solar Power Plant In U.S. Rises in Sunshine State
DOE: “The Smart Grid: An Introduction”
Enhancing the Smart Grid: Integrating Clean Distributed and Renewable Generation (PDF 1.14 MB)
Vice President Biden Outlines Funding for Smart Grid Initiatives
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Media Matters/Chris Harris—After six days, the Republican National Committee finally removed a picture from its Facebook page that called the mixing of races a “crime against American values.” In 2004, the RNC demanded an apology from MoveOn.org after a supporter posted a video comparing President Bush to Hitler. Will the RNC live up to its own standards and apologize?
As the Raw Story article notes, members of the liberal news forum Democratic Underground launched a discussion about the photos on Sunday night. Another commenter saw the Obama photo had been on the RNC Facebook page since October 20. “So it has been up five days and not one person administering the site did anything about it. Apparently the site administrator finds this correctly sums up Republican philosophy.”
Other photos causing consternation included one of Mother Teresa, in which the revered religious activist was shown feeding a child. The caption underneath read, “Enabling scab-eating mouth breathers will do them no good. How do we expect them to take care of themselves?” That photo, also posted by Gee Dub, was also removed.
Yet another photo showed former presidential candidate John Kerry with what at first sight appears to be a rifle pointed at his head. The picture was framed in such a way that a gun several feet away from Kerry was made to look like it was aimed at his temple. That photo was removed as well.
Additional photos and more information @ The Raw Story
Will the RNC apologize for racist Facebook photo?
RNC keeps racist pics on Facebook for nearly a week
The Rachel Maddow Show discovers friends of Scott Roeder, the man who allegedly murdered women’s health doctor George Tiller, is planning to auction off anti-abortion materials to raise money for his defense. Rachel Maddow is joined by Lee Thompson, the lawyer for George Tiller’s estate.
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AP/Lisa Leff—The U.S. Census Bureau is making an unprecedented effort to include same-sex couples in next year’s national population count, but legally married gay couples won’t show up as such in the official once-a-decade tally, bureau representatives said Thursday.
Gay March on Washington 10/11/09
Statistical problems related to the development of the 2010 census form and the evolving legal state of same-sex relationships led Census officials to conclude that trying to include married gay couples in the overall snapshot of household marital status could yield an inaccurate number, said Gary Gates, a University of California, Los Angeles demographer who has been advising the bureau on gay issues.
Instead, same-sex married couples will be added into the category for unmarried partners, just as they were for the 2000 census. But in a marked policy departure, the agency plans to make the data on same-sex couples who described themselves as married available on a state-by-state basis.
“The Bureau has decided to give us the information, but be a little cautious,” Gates said.
The decision to develop separate sets of numbers was a compromise position that was “less about politics and more about accurate data,” he said.
Gates stressed that it was important for gay couples to participate in the census, noting that information drawn from the last one had been used in lawsuits dealing with same-sex marriage and to lobby congressional representatives who may wrongly assume they do not have many gay constituents.
Because same-sex marriages were not legal in any U.S. state a decade ago, the 2010 census is the first for which the bureau has wrestled with how to count married same-sex couples. In June, census officials announced that they would make the attempt, reversing an earlier decision made under the Bush administration.
Gary Gates, is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Williams Institute. He co-authored The Gay and Lesbian Atlas. His doctoral dissertation included the first significant research study of the demography of the gay and lesbian population using US Census data. His work on that subject has been featured in many national and international media outlets. He is also co-author of a study examining the interplay of diversity and the location and growth of the technology sector. He holds a PhD in Public Policy from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University along with a Master of Divinity degree from St. Vincent College and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
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Congresswoman’s initials on target at gun range prompts Republican activist’s resignation
Sun Sentinel/Anthony Man—Republican activist Ed Napolitano has apologized to U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, and resigned from all his Republican Party positions, over the actions of a Wasserman Schultz political opponent at an event sponsored by the club Napolitano used to lead.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Napolitano’s resignation and apology were prompted by what happened at the Southeast Republican Club on Oct. 6. Instead of the usual community center meeting room, the Napolitano-led club met at a gun range.
Among the approximately 40 people at the event was Robert Lowry, a Republican seeking his party’s nomination to run against Wasserman Schultz next year.
Lowry shot at a target bearing the letters “DWS” next to the silhouette head.
Lowry said he didn’t know who wrote Wasserman Schultz’ initials on his target, but said he knew they were there before he started shooting. He initially described it as a “joke,” but after answering several questions he said it “was a mistake” to use a target labeled “DWS.”
After the event was reported on in the Oct. 9 Sun Sentinel, it was picked up, reported, and commented on by national news outlets, generated a fury in the blogosphere, and drew critical reactions from Democrats.
Napolitano said he wasn’t aware of the target with Wasserman Schultz’ initials on the night of the event.
But in a letter to the congresswoman dated Oct. 12, he apologized.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to you and your family for an incident that occurred at a function we sponsored recently…. Let me say that this action was wrong and should never have happened. It was stupid and irresponsible to do such a thing.”
Read the letter here.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz for President/Vice-President in 2016?
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Entertainment Weekly—Is the Balloon Boy fiasco the latest example of parents putting their love of fame before their love of children? Should kids even be allowed on reality TV? And how much blame should go on the network executives behind such programs? These are a few of the questions that we look at in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly with a story focusing on how past and present shows like Jon & Kate Plus Eight, Supernanny, Kid Nation, and The Baby Borrowers could be putting young children at emotional and physical risk, all for a paycheck and 15 minutes of fame. “The entertainment executives very well know the risks that are facing these children,” says former child star Paul Petersen (The Donna Reed Show), who now serves as president of A Minor Consideration, an advocacy group for young performers. “They just turn a blind eye to it and climb in their Mercedes as if they’re blameless. I’m sorry, but you’re not blameless.”
Richard Heene holding son Falcon
But what about the parents who sign up their children for such shows? And what of Richard Heene, who has been accused of orchestrating the whole balloon hoax involving his 6-year-old son Falcon to get himself his own TV show? “This is what I’m really scared of,” says reality producer Tom Forman (Kid Nation), who says he heard and rejected Heene’s pitch for a storm-chasing series. “Parents get blinded by the lights, the fame, and the lure of Hollywood, and are willing to do anything to get themselves on television, including putting their children in harm’s way. This is what happens when a father tries to play television producer.”
To read more about fame-hungry parents, children on TV, and the possible future of the Heenes, check out the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now.