Daily Archives: March 2, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama Celebrates NEA’s Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’ Birthday

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama prepares to read Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat, during an event at the Library of Congress on March 2, 2010 in Washington, DC. Over three hundred local students participated in the event to promote reading . and to mark Read Across America Day and the birthday of author Theodor Seuss Geisel. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America)

AP~First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday Tuesday by reading “The Cat in the Hat” to a group of children wearing red-and-white-striped stovepipe hats like the book’s main character.

Mrs. Obama helped kick off the National Education Association’s 13th annual “Read Across America” celebration at the Library of Congress. The event marked the day that Dr. Seuss, or Theodor Seuss Geisel, would have turned 106.

Do you know the president of the United States reads all the time,” Mrs. Obama told a group of more than 200 students from elementary schools in Washington and Arlington, Va. “Our girls at home read every single night.”

The first lady said that her daughters, Sasha and Malia, are allowed to stay up 30 minutes later if they are reading.

Some of the first family’s favorite children’s books are “Horton Hatches the Egg,” by Dr. Seuss and “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak, Mrs. Obama said in response to one of the children’s questions.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan also read “Horton Hears a Who!

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel led the children in a rhyming pledge to read every day. It began: “I promise to read each day and each night. I know it’s the key to growing up right.”

On Monday President Barack Obama proclaimed March 2 Read Across America Day.

Read Across America Day
What is NEA’s Read Across America?

NEA’s Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

NEA’s Read Across America also provides NEA members, parents, caregivers, and children the resources and activities they need to keep reading on the calendar 365 days a year.

In cities and towns across the nation, teachers, teenagers, librarians, politicians, actors, athletes, parents, grandparents, and others develop NEA’s Read Across America activities to bring reading excitement to children of all ages. Governors, mayors, and other elected officials recognize the role reading plays in their communities with proclamations and floor statements. Athletes and actors issue reading challenges to young readers. And teachers and principals seem to be more than happy to dye their hair green or be duct-taped to a wall if it boosts their students’ reading.

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Filed under Books, Children, Education, First Lady Michelle Obama, Obama Administration, Secretary Arne Duncan (Sec of Education), Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Not A Game by Senator John Kerry

Posted by: Betsm

Written by Senator John Kerry/Cross-posted from TPM

Senator John Kerry

Senator John Kerry

Too often, the way it’s played and the way it’s reported, Americans might think everything that happens in Washington is a game.

But look, this is anything but a game. The business before the Senate is literally life and death on many issues, and the parliamentary tricks to delay and obstruct the basic workings of our government have real-world consequences.

What am I talking about? Start with the latest example: one Senator’s effort to delay the votes on some critically-needed legislation for Americans out of work and hurting in our economy.

A lot of people today are clicking on this news story about Senator Bunning.

Political theater? Much more than that. Here’s what’s at stake: 2000 federal highway workers were furloughed this morning, losing the pay that their families depend on and halting work on critical national infrastructure. Nearly 1.2 million could lose their unemployment benefits without an extension of that program, pulling away a critical financial lifeline.

This has to end.

In the last Congress, the Republican minority more than doubled the previous record for filibusters, and they are on a pace to challenge or surpass that “accomplishment” this Congress as well. And filibusters are only the most obvious part of it. (TPM put together a great chart on filibusters which you can see here.)

On issue after issue, votes large and small, the strategy from the GOP at the highest levels has been the same: exploiting every Senate rule, playing every trick to try to slow things down. They put holds on bills that later pass by 90 votes, filibuster things they later vote for, block things they previously proposed. They used the filibuster to shoot down a debt commission that they themselves called on President Obama to implement! They block completely uncontroversial nominees and cause days of delays on the most critical of legislation. They even stalled on money for our troops last year, just to try to delay debate on health care reform.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are good Senators on both sides of the aisle. Last week, five Republican Senators (including Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and I don’t care about party label, I call it the way I see it – Scott cast the right vote for Massachusetts there) joined with Democrats to break a GOP filibuster to pass a jobs bill helping small businesses hire in this tough economy. Senator Lindsay Graham and I are working hard together to develop a bill on energy and global climate change.

But as long as the GOP leadership continues with the scorched-earth campaign, it will be tough to get done the things we know we need to do.

We need this to end. Debate big differences. Disagree. Use the filibuster when big matters of principle hang in the balance – and sometimes they do. But at the end of the day, Washington has to function – people are counting on it. When it comes to unemployment insurance for workers who have been laid-off through no fault of their own, stop playing games immediately, allow a vote, and then get to work trying to solve some problems, not playing tricks with the Senate rules. The framers invested the minority with rights to protect the Senate – not to destroy it.

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Filed under Economy, Jobs, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Sen. John Kerry, Senate, Uncategorized, Unemployment

First Lady Michelle Obama Offers Gratitude and Support for the School Nutrition Association

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to SNA

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to the School Nutrition Association Legislative Action Conference in Washington, Monday, March 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

For decades, we’ve been looking to you for help in achieving our nation’s most urgent priorities,” credited First Lady Michelle Obama, addressing more than 750 attendees of the School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) annual Legislative Action Conference, being held this week in Washington, D.C.

The First Lady acknowledged that efforts and achievements of the nation’s school nutrition professionals go largely unrecognized and unacknowledged by many. “There are not a lot of headlines about (how) school meals may be the only meals many children get all day,” she noted. “And most people don’t know how the cafeteria is one of the most important classrooms in the school.”

Mrs. Obama welcomed the partnership of SNA and its 50,000 members in joining her newly launched “Let’s Move” initiative to address childhood obesity.

The School Nutrition Association is honored to have First Lady Michelle Obama recognize the efforts of our school nutrition professionals, proud partners of the Let’s Move campaign. Preparing healthy well-balanced school meals while meeting federal nutrition standards and staying within budget is a tremendous challenge for our cash-strapped school districts,” noted SNA President Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS, who also serves as Executive Director of Child Nutrition Services for Dallas (Texas) Independent School District.

This week, SNA is calling on Congress to follow the President and First Lady’s lead and provide school nutrition programs with critical funds for healthy school meals,” continued Rivas. “For the 31 million children who eat school lunch each day, the upcoming re-authorization of the Child Nutrition Act is much more than just another congressional debate. It means nutrition for a hungry child, fuel for a successful school day, a healthy solution for a busy parent and a chance for children to learn about balanced meals and establish lifelong positive eating habits.”

In her address, the First Lady affirmed her understanding and support of many of SNA’s top priorities, including the need for adequate funding, reducing paperwork that presents obstacles to participation, improving the quality of foods served, providing equipment support and ensuring training for school nutrition professionals.

Mrs. Obama also spoke on the intent of the Let’s Move campaign to eliminate all “food deserts”—communities without access to a supermarket—within seven years. She cited statistics that almost one-quarter of the nation’s population lives in such areas, purchasing foods from gas stations and convenience stores. Children can have “the most delicious healthy school lunches, but it won’t help if their families don’t have access to a supermarket.”

She also cited the importance of physical activity as a tent pole in successfully addressing obesity concerns. “We know that healthy eating is only half the battle,” she noted.

The First Lady was extraordinarily complimentary of the efforts of school nutrition professionals working in schools and districts across the country. “You don’t just shape the future of individual students—you shape the future of America,” said Mrs. Obama. “For decades, we have looked to you for help in achieving our nation’s most urgent priorities. Let’s rally the country around a single, ambitious goal that kids born today reach a healthy weight by the time they become adults.”

I am thrilled that you have agreed to work with us to meet this goal,” the First Lady concluded. “We are going to need everything you’ve got. We will need your ideas—both big and small. Let’s be clear, the only way we’re going to solve [the problem of child obesity] is by working together.”

Full remarks by the First Lady

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Filed under Childhood Obesity, Children, First Lady Michelle Obama, Health, Obama Administration, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Star in Your Own Oscars® Viewing Party!


Event Producer Cheryl Cecchetto shows you the “10 Must Haves” to throwing an awarding-winning party; Master Chef Wolfgang Puck cooks and provides you with delicious and easy-to-make-at-home recipes; Executive Pastry Chef Sherry Yard shows you how to bake a yummy dessert; and Moët & Chandon, the exclusive champagne of the Oscars, provides a special cocktail that will wow your guests.

Invite your family and friends; download Oscar® ballots, party play-along games, recipes, cocktails ideas and much more.

Oscar® Night Essentials
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44-D’s Oscar® Ballot
Predict the winners using this downloadable/printable Oscar® ballot.
Download

Oscar® Bingo
Download Bingo cards and play along as you watch the show! (Nine different cards available)
Download

Oscar® Crossword Puzzle
Test your Oscar smarts with this Academy Awards-themed crossword puzzle.
Download

Party Planning Ideas
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Cheryl Cecchetto (founder and president of Sequoia Productions) shares with you the 10 must haves to hosting the Best Oscar-viewing party in town! She’ll take you step-by-step from invites to games, from décor to food. Everything you need to throw an award-winning party for your friends and family.
Watch Video

Cocktail Recipes

The Moët Golden Glamour

0.25 oz vanilla liqueur
1.5 oz passion fruit juice
4 oz Moet & Chandon Imperial champagne
Mint sprig, for garnish
Watch Demonstration

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The Red Carpet Fizz

1/2 oz Pomegranate Juice
1/3 oz Orange Liquor
Add Fresh Raspberries
Top with Moët & Chandon White Star Champagne

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The Ultimate Accolade

1/2 oz Orange Vodka
1/3 oz Orange Juice
Top with Moët & Chandon White Star Champagne

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The Golden Rush

1/3 oz Orange Vodka
1/3 oz Sugar Syrup
2 Dashes Fresh Lemon Juice
Top with Moët & Chandon White Star Champagne

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Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Serve sparkling apple, pomegranate, or blueberry juice – for a bubbly toast at any party!

Mix cranberry juice with lime soda and add a twist of lime for an elegant beverage.
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Appetizer Recipes

Smoked Salmon Blinis

Oscar’s Master Chef Wolfgang Puck shows how to make blinis with smoked salmon and dill cream. The little flour pancakes known as blini are a traditional platform for serving smoked salmon.
Recipe
Watch Demonstration

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Prime Mini Burgers with Cheddar Cheese and Remoulade

Toasted Brioche circles for buns, and topped with Remoulade, these sliders are elegant enough to serve at a wedding. Allow three burgers per person and top with tomato, arugula, and cornichon slices.
Recipe

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Vegetable Spring Rolls with Chinese Mustard

Forget about the greasy, tasteless spring rolls you once tasted from the take out restaurant. These are wonderful, crisp, fresh-tasting morsels that look a lot more complicated to make than they really are.
Recipe

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Entrée Recipes

Slow Braised Short Ribs

These are meltingly tender and flavorful short ribs. To make them even neater to present and easier to eat, ask the butcher to bone the short ribs for you. Feel free to dredge them with all-purpose flour instead of the matzoh meal.
Recipe
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Pizza with Smoked Salmon & Caviar

You can top the pizza with Sevruga, Beluga, or Osetra caviar; less expensive salmon roe or just chopped fresh chives. To make the pizza ahead, bake it for just 5 minutes; then, just before serving, complete the baking and top the pizza.
Recipe

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Dessert Recipe

Molten Lava Chocolate Cake

Sherry Yard demonstrates how to create molten chocolate lava cakes. Close your eyes when you take the first bite of this cake. Roll it across your tongue and let the flavor linger. If you’re a chocolate lover you’ll be transported.
Recipe
Watch Demonstration

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Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Culture, Drinks, entertaining, Food, Hollywood, Party Planning, Uncategorized