Daily Archives: April 9, 2010

The First Couple Share A Private Moment in the Public Eye

Posted by: Audiegrl

CNN/Dan Lothian~On the driveway right outside the White House briefing room, a place where President Barack Obama rarely strolls during public hours, CNN caught a rare and personal exchange between the first couple.

Flanked by Secret Service agents and personal aide Reggie Love, Obama spotted his wife near the West Wing entrance and tried to get her attention. “Hey FLOTUS,” he shouted, then added, “I was just looking for you.” FLOTUS is the acronym for first lady of the United States.

As CNN photojournalist Bill Alberter videotaped the encounter, the president joked, “Stop it guys, I haven’t seen my wife in a while.”

The first lady, who seemed poised to deliver an affectionate greeting, was thwarted when the president said, “Let’s not do this in front of the cameras.”

Instead they held hands and walked together into the West Wing like a married couple that had not seen each other since one of them made a quick jaunt to Prague to sign a new nuclear arms treaty.

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Filed under First Lady Michelle Obama, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Recognizing Service~First Lady Michelle Obama Visits the Department of Defense

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama thanks military members and Defense Department civilian employees for their service at the Pentagon, April 9, 2010. (Photo by Cherie Cullen/DOD)

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates welcomed First Lady Michelle Obama to the Pentagon. Mrs. Obama visited the Pentagon to thank military and civilian employees for their service to the nation.

First Lady Michelle’s remarks

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Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under First Lady Michelle Obama, Military, Robert M. Gates (Sec of Defense), Video/YouTube

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Childhood Obesity Forum ~ Live-Streamed

Today the White House will host a meeting on childhood obesity, bringing together experts and industry leaders from across the country to discuss ways to combat the growing health epidemic. First Lady Michelle Obama, Administration officials and Childhood Obesity Task Force members will discuss healthier food in schools, access to healthy, affordable food, empowering parents and more.

We want to hear from you too. Today the White House is collaborating with GOOD to ask:
What are your ideas to end childhood obesity within a generation?

Tell us your ideas on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. We look forward to hearing from you will feature some of the most interesting responses on the blog.
Please note that the username, personal identifier or icon affiliated with responses may be posted.

Tune in to a livestream of the Childhood Obesity Forum today

1:30 PM EDT: Opening Session with First Lady Michelle Obama

2:30 PM EDT: Breakout Sessions:

  • Empowering Parents and Caregivers
  • Healthier Food in Schools
  • Access to Healthy, Affordable Food
  • Increased Opportunities for Physical Activities

4:15 PM EDT: Closing Session with Melody Barnes, President’s Domestic Policy Council

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Filed under Childhood Obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary Arne Duncan (Sec of Education), Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar (Sec of Interior), Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Mexico Itinerary

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama greets Mrs. Margarita Zavala de Calderon, the First Lady of Mexico, in the Yellow Oval Room of the White House, Feb. 25, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

In recognition of the deep ties between the United States and Mexico, First Lady Michelle Obama will visit Mexico City, Mexico, April 13-15, on her first solo official trip as First Lady. During this visit, Mrs. Obama will have the opportunity to engage the citizens of Mexico, particularly young people, and build on her recent conversation with Mexican First Lady Margarita Zavala de Calderon around areas of interest to both first ladies.

The following is Mrs. Obama’s public schedule including pooled and open press events:

Tuesday, April 13 – First Lady Michelle Obama will arrive at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City. Mrs. Obama’s evening arrival will be open press, however space is limited.

Wednesday, April 14 – Mrs. Obama will start her day by traveling to Los Pinos – the residence of President Calderón and Mrs. Zavala – where she will meet privately with Mrs. Zavala. This event will be closed press.

Upon conclusion of her visit at Los Pinos, Mrs. Obama will accept Mrs. Zavala’s invitation to tour the Museo Nacional de Antropologia (National Museum of Anthropology). The museum is a centerpiece of Mexican culture and history housing the largest collection of ancient Mexican pieces in the world. This event attended by both first ladies will be covered by a pre-determined pool of American and Mexican press.

Then Mrs. Obama will visit with students and teachers at Escuela Siete de Enero, a public elementary school that serves local low-income students ages 6-12. The school also participates in a mentoring program with the American School Foundation (ASF), an academically rigorous, international, university preparatory school offering students from diverse backgrounds an American independent education, in Mexico City. Mrs. Obama’s event will be covered by a pre-determined pool of American and Mexican press.

Mrs. Obama will then travel to the Universidad Iberoamericana, a multidisciplinary institution serving over 11,000 students including 800 graduate students, to address invited university and high school students from in and around Mexico City. Mrs. Zavala will attend Mrs. Obama’s address as a guest of honor. This afternoon event is open press, however space is limited.

In the evening, Mrs. Obama will return to Los Pinos to attend a reception with women leaders organized by Mrs. Zavala. Following the reception, Mrs. Obama will have dinner hosted by Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Mrs. Zavala. This event is closed press.

Thursday, April 15 – Mrs. Obama will begin her day by thanking United States Embassy employees and their families. This event will be closed press.

Then Mrs. Obama will host a group of young leaders at La Hacienda de los Morales, an event center with a rich history dating back to the 16th century, for a breakfast roundtable discussion. Mrs. Obama will ask these men and women about their experiences and encourage them to continue their leadership in the community. Mrs. Obama’s event will be covered by a pre-determined pool of American and Mexican press.

Upon conclusion of the roundtable breakfast, Mrs. Obama will depart Mexico City.

Thursday, April 15 – On the return trip from Mexico, the First Lady will stop in San Diego, California, for a Let’s Move! event. Further details on this event will be circulated next week.

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under First Lady Michelle Obama, Mexico

West Wing Week ~ 24 Tiny Marzipan Beaks ~ April 2 – 8, 2010

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama (L) and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sign the latest nuclear arms reduction treaty between the two countries, known as new START, at Prague Castle on April 8, 2010 in Prague, Czech Republic. The treaty provides for a reduction in the two countries' arsenals to 1,550 warheads over seven years and is the most significant arms agreement between the U.S. and Russia in nearly twenty years (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images Europe)

This morning’s West Wing Week was uploaded to you from location in Prague, Czech Republic, specifically from the American Ambassadors residence. It contains portions of the President’s events over the last week, including: A jobs town hall in Charlotte NC, the White House Easter Egg Roll, the President’s first pitch on opening day for the Nationals, Joe Biden on your recovery dollars, the New START treaty and much more.

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Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under Change, Obama Administration, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden, Video/YouTube, West Wing Week

Obama Gets 2nd Supreme Court Nomination, Stevens Retiring

cross-posted from T-Time

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens retiring

WASHINGTON (AP) – Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the court’s oldest member and leader of its liberal bloc, is retiring. President Barack Obama now has his second high court opening to fill. Stevens said Friday he will step down when the court finishes its work for the summer in late June or early July. He said he hopes his successor is confirmed “well in advance of the commencement of the court’s next term.”

Stevens’ announcement leaves ample time for the White House to settle on a successor and for Senate Democrats, who control a 59-vote majority, to hold confirmation hearings and a vote before the court’s next term begins in October. Republicans have not ruled out attempts to delay confirmation.

Stevens’ announcement, which came 11 days before his 90th birthday, had been hinted at for months. It’s presumed Obama will nominate another liberal, so Stevens’ departure wouldn’t alter the court’s philosophical makeup.

Obama promises quick court replacement for Stevens

AP Photo

WASHINGTON (AP) – The retirement of John Paul Stevens, the Supreme Court’s leading liberal but a justice who also could find conservative allies, will set off an election-year political battle over President Barack Obama’s second high court pick. Stevens said Friday he will step down when the court finishes its work for the summer in late June or early July. He said he hopes his successor will be confirmed “well in advance of the commencement of the court’s next term.” Obama hailed Stevens as an “impartial guardian of the law” and promised to move quickly to nominate a replacement.

more:  Potential Supreme Court Nominees: White House Prepared for Stevens Retirement

Biography of:  Justice John Paul Stevens

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University of Washington Survey Finds That Racial Attitudes Influence the Tea Party Movement

Posted by: BuellBoy



The tea party movement has gotten much attention in recent months, but aside from decrying big government and excessive spending, who are the supporters and what else do they appear to believe?

Many believed that the election of Barack Obama brought to a close the long, painful, and ugly history of race and racism in the United States. But as the incident with Henry Louis Gates last summer, and the more recent shenanigans with Tea Party activists suggest, racial divisions remain. Which is closer to the truth?

A recent survey directed by University of Washington political scientist, Christopher Parker, finds that America is definitely not beyond race. For instance, the Tea Party, the incipient movement that claims to be committed to reigning in what they perceive as big government, appears to be motivated by more than partisanship and ideology.

Approximately 45 % whites either strongly or somewhat approve of the movement. Of those, only 35% believe blacks to be hardworking, only 45 % believe blacks are intelligent, and only 41% think that blacks are trustworthy. Perceptions of Latinos aren’t much different. While 50% of white tea party supporters believe Latinos to be hardworking, only 39% think them intelligent, and at 37%, fewer tea party supporters believe Latinos to be trustworthy.

The survey shows among whites, southerners are 12 percent more likely to support the tea party than whites in other parts of the U.S., and that conservatives are 28 percent more likely than liberals to support the group.

The tea party is not just about politics and size of government. The data suggests it may also be about race,”said Christopher Parker, a UW assistant professor of political science who directed the survey.

It found that those who are racially resentful, who believe the U.S. government has done too much to support blacks, are 36 percent more likely to support the tea party than those who are not.

Indeed, strong support for the tea party movement results in a 45 percent decline in support for health care reform compared with those who oppose the tea party. “While it’s clear that the tea party in one sense is about limited government, it’s also clear from the data that people who want limited government don’t want certain services for certain kinds of people. Those services include health care,”Parker said.

Parker directed the 2010 Multi-State Survey of Race and Politics, a broad look at race relations and politics in contemporary America. The survey reached 1,015 residents of Nevada, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia and California. All were battleground states in the 2008 presidential election with the exception of California, which was included in the survey to represent the West Coast.

The survey found that 30 percent of respondents had never heard of the tea party, but among those who had, 32 percent strongly approved of it. In that group, 56 percent of Republicans strongly approved, 31 percent of independents strongly approved and 5 percent of Democrats strongly approved.

Preliminary analysis also reveals race affects the ways in which blacks and whites perceive the president, his policies, and how he’s handling his job. To illustrate, 75% of blacks have confidence in the president; 58% of whites share this appraisal. Likewise, where 90% of blacks think the president is doing a good job on the economy, 55% of whites agree with this appraisal. And the most recent hot-button issue, health care reform, received support from 86% of blacks versus only 36% among whites.

Are we in a post-racial society? Our survey indicates a resounding no,”Parker said.

Conducted by telephone from Feb. 8 to March 15, the survey reached 494 whites, 380 blacks, 77 Latinos and 64 members of other races. The sampling error margin is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Sexuality and the UW Department of Political Science paid for the survey. It was conducted by the UW’s Center for Survey Research.

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Filed under African-Americans, Barack Obama, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Presidents, Racism, Tea Party Protestors