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First Lady Michelle Obama’s Brother Writes A Memoir

Posted by: Audiegrl

The eagerly anticipated inspirational memoir from Michelle Obama’s brother, celebrating the extraordinary family members and mentors who have shaped his life

LAT~Reporting from Washington – The news might have set off alarms in some past administrations: The president’s brother-in-law has written a book.

But you won’t find dirty laundry in a memoir from First Lady Michelle Obama’s brother, Oregon State basketball coach Craig Robinson.

The book, “A Game of Character,” which has a foreword by their mother, Marian Robinson, is due out April 20.

Craig Robinson writes that he and his parents didn’t think Barack Obama stood much of a chance with his sister when they met him.

He and his parents were out on their porch on a hot summer night in Chicago when the couple stopped by to say hello on their way to a movie.

Well, he’s tall,” Marian Robinson said while Obama was out of earshot.

Not a bad-looking guy, either,” said her husband, Fraser.

But even though the suitor struck the Robinsons as a self-possessed man with a nice smile and firm handshake, they figured he wasn’t a keeper. “Too bad,” Marian said. “Yep,” Fraser answered. “She’ll eat him alive.”

Miche, as he calls her, was a disciplined, scholarly girl who saved money fastidiously, who learned to box at their father’s behest and who once conspired with him, upset that their parents smoked, to destroy every last cigarette in the house.

Robinson writes mostly about basketball, even when describing how he introduced his sister before her prime-time address at the Democratic National Convention.

Michelle was being asked to sink a three-pointer at the buzzer in a do-or-die game at the start of the championship,” he writes. “Everything to come, victory or disappointment, would hinge on this one shot. And all I could do to help was simply pass her the ball. And believe.

More @

In A Game of Character, Robinson takes readers behind the scenes to meet his most important influences in his understanding of the winning traits that are part of his playbook for success. Central to his story are his parents, Marian and Fraser, two indefatigable individuals who showed their children how to believe in themselves and live their lives with conviction through love, discipline and respect. With insights into this exemplary family, we relive memories of how Marian sacrificed a career to be a full-time mom, how Fraser got up and went to work every day while confronting the challenges of multiple sclerosis, how Craig and Michelle strengthened their bond as they journeyed out of the Southside to Princeton University and eventually, the national stage.

Heartwarming, inspiring, and even transformational, A Game of Character comes just at the right time in an era of change, reminding readers of our opportunity to work together and embrace the character of our nation, to make a difference in the lives of others and to pave the way for the next generation.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Visits the U.S. Trade Representative Agency

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First Lady Michelle Obama arrives at the United States Trade Representatives office in Washington, Friday, April 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Earlier this morning, First Lady Michelle Obama visited the U.S. Trade Representative Agency to thank USTR employees and Ambassador Kirk for their work on behalf of American businesses, workers and families.

The fact is that folks across this country depend on trade to put food on the table and pay the mortgage and send their kids to college” said Mrs. Obama. “But what a lot of people don’t understand is that your work isn’t just about boosting GDP or negotiating billion-dollar trade agreements. It’s about keeping the American Dream alive for hardworking folks in every corner of this country who depend on you – even if they don’t always realize it.”

Full remarks

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Dem Mayor Cory Booker and Former GOP Senator Bill Frist Join First Lady Michelle Obama’s Childhood Obesity Initiative

Posted by: Audiegrl

Remarks by the First Lady at Foundation Chair Announcement Conference Call

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks on the "Let's Move" health initiative at Fairhill Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pa., Feb. 19, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks on the Let's Move health initiative at Fairhill Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pa., Feb. 19, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Via telephone, 11:02 A.M. EDT
MRS. OBAMA: “Well, good morning, everyone. This is Mrs. Obama. It’s good to have you all on the line. Thank you so much for joining us as we take another very important step forward in the work to address America’s childhood obesity crisis. This is a very exciting step for us.

As all of you know, nearly two months ago we launched this magnificent campaign, “Let’s Move.” The nationwide goal of the effort, as all of you know, is to rally this country around a single and very ambitious goal, and that’s to solve the problem of childhood obesity in a generation so that children born today will grow up at a healthy weight.

And with this initiative, we’ve issued a call to action for the nation. We said let’s move in so many ways. We said let’s move to give parents the information that they need to make good decisions for their kids’ health. We said let’s move to get healthier food into our schools. Let’s move to get more supermarkets into underserved areas, so that every single American in this country has access to fresh and nutritious foods. And we’ve also said let’s move to help our kids be more physically active –- not just in school but outside of school as well.

But we were also clear from the very beginning when we launched this effort that the solution to this problem isn’t going to come from Washington. I have had the pleasure of talking to a number of experts around this issue, and not a single one of them has said that the answer to this problem is for the federal government to tell people what to do. This is going to take all of us getting involved.

It’s going to require a non-partisan effort because there’s nothing partisan about this issue. There’s nothing Democratic or Republican about wanting our kids to lead active and healthy lives. And there’s really nothing liberal or conservative about wanting to reduce the billions of health care dollars we spend each year treating obesity-related conditions.

Ultimately, this solution is going to be about families and communities making manageable, commonsense changes that fit with their budgets that fit with their needs and their individual goals.

But we all have to play a role in making this happen. Families can’t do this alone, which is why we’re bringing together governors, and mayors, and parents, and educators, and doctors, and businesses, community groups, all of us. And I’ve spoken to almost all of these groups over the last month asking them to come together to tackle this challenge once and for all.

And that’s why a new foundation that we’ve created along with this movement — the Partnership for Healthy America — is going to be so critical to these efforts. And I’m very proud of the work that’s been done to pull this foundation together.

The Foundation is going to serve as an independent, non-partisan player that’ll mobilize the private sector, foundations, government officials, the media and others around the goals of the “Let’s Move” campaign.

The Foundation will seek truly meaningful commitments from all of these players, and will do something very critical — and that is measure the success of these efforts and hold us all accountable.

The Foundation is going to also connect potential partners from the public, private and non-profit sectors, working to support the best, the most innovative programs in our communities -– and working to replicate these success stories all across the country. And that’s really the key to this. As I’ve traveled around, we have many of the answers already at our fingertips. If you go into states and cities across this country, many are already working to bring their local solutions to this problem. We need to highlight and elevate those successes. This Foundation is going to be critical in playing a role in that. So it’s very exciting.

I have agreed to serve as the honorary chair of this Foundation. And today, I am pleased and very proud to announce that two incredibly outstanding individuals –- Mayor Cory Booker and Senator Bill Frist -– have agreed to serve as the Foundation’s honorary vice chairs.

As all of you know, Senator Frist and Mayor Booker are both distinguished public servants who are passionately committed to the health and well-being of not just our young people but this country.

Let's Move!Over the past four years, Mayor Booker has made tremendous strides transforming the city of Newark. He’s done work to increase affordable housing, doing a fabulous job of reducing crime in the city, renovating the parks, playgrounds and recreation centers to provide safe places for children in the city to be active. And he’s committed to making Newark a model for what a city can do to address childhood obesity.

So I’m so happy to have Mayor Booker with us. I’m thrilled that he’s agreed to bring the kind of energy, that contagious energy that he has, to focus on this issue and lead this new Foundation.

In addition to being a renowned heart surgeon and lung transplant surgeon, Senator Frist served, as you all know, as the Senate Majority Leader from 2003 to 2007.

Since he left the Senate, he’s devoted himself to health and humanitarian efforts around the world, leading medical mission trips to Africa and founding an organization called Hope Through Healing Hands to improve health care in developing nations.

In the Senate, he took the lead in sponsoring legislation to address childhood obesity, and I am truly delighted that he’s agreed to bring his passion and expertise to this Foundation.

I also want to recognize the diverse and talented group of advocates, business leaders, dedicated philanthropists who have come together to serve on the board of this Foundation.

Specifically, I’d like to thank the Board’s Chair, James Gavin, for offering his strong leadership to ensure that this Foundation attracts the kind of commitments that are going to be essential to reach our goals.

And I also want to end by thanking the extraordinary organizations that have come together to organize the fund, and fund this new Foundation. We would not be here if it weren’t for these organizations, and they include the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente, Nemours, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Brookings Institute, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

This is a phenomenal group of organizations, people, of leaders that represent all of America. I am thrilled that all of you have come together to support this effort. This is why I’m confident that we can move the mark on this issue, because this effort and this issue means so much that we’ve just been able to bring together a group of individuals that has been working on this issue for decades, that understands these challenges in a very powerful way, and will have the commitment and the passion that we need to move this issue forward.

So I am grateful, truly grateful, to all of you — not just for being on this call, but for taking the time that it’s going to require to get us to our goals.

So with that, it is now my pleasure to turn this meeting over to Senator Frist. Senator Frist, I know you’re there. Thank you, it’s good to have you onboard. I’m very excited.”

END, 11:10 A.M. EDT

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First Lady Michelle Holds White House Spring Garden Planting Event

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First Lady Michelle Obama (R) plants seedlings with schoolchildren from Bancroft and Hollin Meadows Elementary Schools and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (2nd L) during the annual Spring Garden Planting event held in the White House Kitchen Garden March 31, 2010 in Washington, DC. Mrs. Obama sponsors the event to teach children the importance of eating healthy foods and to encourage children to spend time outdoors. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images North America)

The First Lady hosted the Spring Garden Planting in the White House Kitchen Garden, where she was joined by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, as well as the President of the National Gardening Association. Students from Bancroft and Hollin Meadows Elementary Schools also participated. Enjoy the video and the pics!

Full transcript of the First Lady’s remarks
Photo credits: Getty, Reuters and AP

Note: For more fun foodie coverage and photos, please check out our friends at ObamaFoodorama who were at the event: The Rhubarb Dance & Other Tales From The Spring Planting Of The Kitchen Garden

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Host White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility

Posted by: Audiegrl

Small Business Owners, Workers, Business and Labor Leaders, and Experts Join Administration Officials to Discuss Workplace Practices for a Changing American Workforce

President Barack Obama addresses the closing session of the Forum for Workplace Flexibility in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building March 31, 2010 in Washington, DC. The Obama Administration held the forum to discuss workplace practices that allow working class to meet their jobs demands without sacrificing the needs of their families. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America)

Today, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House Council on Women and Girls are hosting the White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility to discuss the importance of creating workplace practices that allow America’s working men and women to meet the demands of their jobs without sacrificing the needs of their families.

Small business owners, business leaders, policy experts, workers and labor leaders are joining with senior administration officials today to share their ideas and strategies for making the workplace more flexible for American workers and families. The opening and closing sessions, as well as five breakout sessions focused on best practices and benefits for the American workplace and workforce, are streaming live on www.WhiteHouse.gov/live. In addition, much of the event is streaming on Facebook and Ustream, and the White House will include comments taken through these social networks in the feedback collected through the forum.

In conjunction with the forum, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers is releasing a report presenting an economic perspective on flexible workplace policies and practices. The report documents some of the changes in the U.S. workforce which have increased the need for flexibility in the workplace, including the increased number of women entering the labor force, the prevalence of families where all adults work, increasing eldercare responsibilities, and the rising importance of continuing education. It then examines the current state of flexible work arrangements and discusses the economic benefits of workplace flexibility – such as reduced absenteeism, lower turnover, improved health of workers, and increased productivity. The analysis is available online here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/files/documents/100331-cea-economics-workplace-flexibility.pdf.

“Workplace flexibility isn’t just a women’s issue. It’s an issue that affects the well-being of our families and the success of our businesses,” said President Obama. “It affects the strength of our economy – whether we’ll create the workplaces and jobs of the future that we need to compete in today’s global economy.”

“Flexible policies actually make employees more – not less – productive,” said Mrs. Obama. “Instead of spending time worrying about what’s happening at home, employees have the support and the peace of mind they need to concentrate at work which is good for their families – and the bottom line.”
The Office of Personnel Management is also announcing a pilot program to incorporate flexibility in the government to provide better, more efficient service for the American people – even in the face of snow storms and other emergencies. The pilot program will build on the cost savings telework provided during last winter’s snow storms and expand opportunities for federal employees, here in Washington and across America, to telework on a regular basis.

“Employers, including the federal government, will have to implement flexible work policies if they want to attract the best and the brightest,” said Valerie Jarrett, Senior Adviser to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls. ” The President is committed to making sure that the federal government can compete for talent because he knows that good people produce better work, which in turn, leads to better service for the American people.”

Shortly after taking office, the President signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, restoring basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is delivering relief to working families across the country, including tax credits and child care assistance for working families.

The President’s Budget for FY2011 builds on those initiatives with a series of investments to support caregivers for elderly relatives or family members with disabilities, to help families afford the cost of quality child care, to aid states wishing to establish paid leave funds, and to build the knowledge base about work-family policies.

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks about the importance of creating workplaces that allow workers to balance job and family as she opens the Forum of Workplace Flexibility. A panel discussion follows the First Lady’s remarks.

Read the Transcript

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Host France’s President Sarkozy and First Lady Carla at the White House

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President Barack Obama meets with President Nicolas Sarkozy of France in the Oval Office, March 30, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The President and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France spoke to the media after meeting at the White House.

France’s first couple visited Columbia University and the Alliance Francaise and dropped in on Julliard School of Music students. The first lady is a musician herself; her last album “Comme si de rien n’était” was released in July 2008. Scroll down for a video of her singing the song “Quelqu’un m’a dit.”

Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy also visited Washington’s Kipp DC charter school (Knowledge is Power Program). The kids were over the moon at their visitor and her entourage of bodyguards. They greeted her carrying French flags and sang to her, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” She read them a Madeline book from the series about a girl living in France — read it in English, which the Italian-born French first lady speaks fluently.

The Sarkozy’s gift to the Obama family was some Asterix comic books for the Obama daughters, Sasha and Malia. According to The Examiner, the French president and his wife decided to do what regular people do. They stopped by local DC landmark Ben’s Chili Bowl and got a half smoke for lunch.

In the evening President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosted a private dinner (closed to the press) for President Sarkozy and Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy. (hoping to have a photo soon…)

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First Lady Michelle Obama Wins “Best Celebrity Mom” Title

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It was stiff competition but First Lady Michelle Obama was able to pull it off. Taking first place in Babble.com‘s “50 Best and Worst Celebrity Moms”.

In praising First Lady Michelle for the Best Mom award, a company spokesman said:

It’s not often an American political figure has such universal, bi-partisan admiration and respect as our First Lady, Michelle Obama. Although her iconic style and killer biceps are often more discussed than her political endeavors (like her current initiative to fight childhood obesity), she’s also a grounded, fist-bumping, smart woman who places her job as a mother before her public role. Even with an entire staff on hand, Michelle makes sure her girls, Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, learn responsibility and have a normal childhood, which means they do their chores and complete their homework without presidential free passes. Plus, we can practically see the love radiating off of her and Mr. President — a rare dynamic in White House history. Having such a strong woman and an inspirational mother representing our country is something we should all be proud of.

In addition to being named #1 in the celebrity moms category, the First Lady is also named #3 in the busiest mom category, and #9 in the most stylish category.

Top 10 Celebrity Moms

  • Michelle Obama
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Tina Fey
  • Jennifer Garner
  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Katie Holmes
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Gwen Stefani
  • Madonna

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