Tag Archives: chicago

The Chicago Tribune Names First Lady Michelle Obama One of the 2010 Good Eating Award Winners

Post by: Audiegrl

Children from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. help First Lady Michelle Obama plant the White House Vegetable Garden, April 9, 2009.  (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Children from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. help First Lady Michelle Obama plant the White House Vegetable Garden, April 9, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Chicago Tribune~There’s a 1,100-square-foot organic vegetable, fruit and herb garden on the South Lawn of the White House. That patch of earth planted in March — the first time vegetables have been grown at the White House since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency in the ’40s — has yielded 700-plus pounds of lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, collards and more for meals at the White House and a nearby homeless shelter.

That garden, first lady Michelle Obama told reporters, is “one of the greatest things that I’ve done in my life.” It also signaled the first lady’s efforts to improve America’s eating habits, tackle childhood obesity and encourage fitness. She began by bringing those efforts to her new home, where chef-working mom Cristeta Comerford runs the White House kitchen, by adding chef Sam Kass (whose track record includes work at Avec) to mentor her local-sustainable efforts.

2010 Good Eating AwardOther first ladies have urged healthy eating at the White House ( Hillary Clinton pushed for a low-fat menu, while Laura Bush encouraged organic foods). But Michelle Obama has, in her first year, moved food and nutrition issues front and center. Her efforts dovetail with our appetite for the food-tube (she kicked off this year with an appearance on “Iron Chef America“) and America’s awareness that what you eat plays a major role in your health.

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 Barack Obama, Charity, Childhood Obesity, Children, Culture, Education, First Lady Michelle Obama, Green, Health, Hunger, Media and Entertainment, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Pop Culture, Presidents, Students, Teachers, Washington, DC, Women's Issues, Young Men, Young Women

New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees and President Obama Team Up for Children’s Fitness

Posted by Buellboy

Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware, President Barack Obama, Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Pittsburgh Steelers' Troy Polamalu with Washington, D.C.-area children at the White House. Brees said it was the only time he had thrown a pass to someone wearing a Chicago Bears jacket.

Times-Picayune—In support of his United We Serve initiative, President Barack Obama and NFL stars Drew Brees, DeMarcus Ware and Troy Polamalu team up to highlight the importance of fitness for America’s children.

Obama joins Saints quarterback Brees, Steelers safety Polamalu and Cowboys linebacker Ware in a special public service announcement debuting during each of the three NFL games played on Thanksgiving.

The 90-second PSA is a joint effort of the NFL’s PLAY 60 campaign, a league-wide effort to fight childhood obesity by getting kids active for 60 minutes a day, and United We Serve, the president’s initiative encouraging all Americans to participate in community service.

The spot will continue airing throughout the rest of the season in a shorter format.

Through United We Serve, I have challenged all Americans to roll up their sleeves and engage in sustained service to strengthen our communities,” the president said. “For some of us that means volunteering at a soup kitchen or cleaning up a local park. For others, it means taking time to build a playground or volunteering your time to improve the life of a child.

Quarterback Drew Brees

No matter how we serve, we find common purpose when we dedicate ourselves to helping others. This holiday season, I am asking all Americans to find their own way to give back to their communities.”

The Saints’ Brees, who has been a national spokesman for the PLAY 60 campaign for the past two years, said, “We had about 25 minutes and did three different takes. I threw him a couple of passes. He was wearing his Chicago Bears jacket, so there was some ribbing about that.

Thanksgiving is a time when families come together, and it is also a perfect time to focus on the importance of keeping kids healthy and active,” Brees said. “I was honored to spend time with the president on an issue that is clearly important to him. I was also impressed by his wide receiver skills.”

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Filed under Barack Obama, Change, Children, Football, Health, Media and Entertainment, New Orleans, LA, Politics, Pop Culture, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, PSA, Sports, Thanksgiving, Volunteerism

First Lady Michelle Obama to Mentor Washington Girls

Posted by Audiegrl

Will join staffers Desiree Rogers, Susan Sher, Tina Tchen, Valerie Jarrett

First Lady Michelle Obama, Fran Drescher and Sheryl Crow

First Lady Michelle Obama, Fran Drescher and Sheryl Crow

Chicago Tribune/Katherine Skiba—First Lady Michelle Obama — and some of her Chicago “sisters” in the White House — on Monday will launch a first-of-its-kind mentoring program with about 20 high school girls from greater Washington.

As the first anniversary of President Barack Obama’s election nears, it’s the first lady who is making history now. Call this chapter “Girl Power.”

Observers say her leadership and mentoring initiative has not been done by a first lady before. It will see Obama — and White House staffers including Valerie Jarrett, Tina Tchen, Susan Sher and Desiree Rogers, Chicagoans all — act as mentors to high school juniors and sophomores.

Jarrett is a senior White House adviser. Tchen leads its public liaison office. Sher is the first lady’s chief of staff. Rogers is White House social secretary.

The proteges were chosen by high schools, the Girl Scouts and military families, including Gold Star families who have lost a loved one, said Katie McCormick Lelyveld, the first lady’s spokeswoman.

A similar initiative for young men is coming later, she said.

Tchen, an attorney from Chicago long active in politics, said the program builds on a March event at the White House that saw high school girls interact with the first lady, White House officials and a cast of celebrities including singers Alicia Keyes and Sheryl Crow; actresses and sisters Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad; actress Fran Drescher; and Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel into space.

The First Lady chats with Fran Drescher and Alica Keys

The First Lady chats with Fran Dresche and Alica Keys

Tchen said the program launch will see proteges visit their mentors’ offices and gather as a group for dinner. The inaugural class’s duration has not been decided, she said, adding that she expects discussions of college, careers, and balancing work and motherhood.

The mentors, she said, want to give proteges a “window to a wide variety of different opportunities to play out your dreams.”

Letitia Baldrige, who was a top aide to first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, said the mentoring program was “definitely” a first for a presidential spouse. She called it “wonderfully imaginative,” but cautioned it will be difficult in part because of the ongoing commitment it requires.

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Filed under Chicago, IL, Democrats, Education, Politics, Uncategorized, Women's Issues

Laura Ricketts Is First Openly Gay Major League Baseball Owner

Posted by Audiegrl

LAURARICKETTS-largeHuffington Post/Tim Taliaferro—The Chicago Cubs have reached a baseball milestone and it has nothing to do with their century-plus World Series drought.

With the team’s purchase by the Ricketts Family, the Cubs are the first Major League Baseball team to have an openly gay owner.

Among the new owners is Laura Ricketts, an out lesbian who is also on the board of the gay rights organization Lambda Legal, the Windy City Times reports.

Ricketts, who is a member of the Cubs board of directors, came out to her family in her 30’s.

Chicago_cubs_2I think for a long time I wasn’t really out to myself growing up in Omaha, Neb., to a Catholic conservative family,” Ricketts said. “It took me a while to come out to myself and not long after that I came out to them. I think that it really couldn’t of been a better experience. They were all immediately supportive. … I have been really really fortunate in that regard.”

The Ricketts family bought the Cubs and Wrigley Field from the Tribune Co. for $845 million in a deal that was finalized Oct. 27.

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Halloween at the White House 2009

Two Events, 2,000 Kids, & A 1,000 Pound Presidential Pumpkin



A volunteer decorates the North Portico of the White House

A volunteer decorates the North Portico of the White House

Obama FoodoramaPresident Boo-rack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama open the White House for Halloween…with a special focus on Military Families

President Obama and Mrs. Obama will host two different Halloween events today, for their very first All Hallows Eve at the Executive Mansion. The first event will be for school children, who are invited to come trick-or-treat, and the second will be for military families, the children of White House staff, and the children of residence staff. Yesterday, truckloads of pumpkins, hay bales, and other decorations were delivered to the White House (as well as cobwebs!) to prepare for today’s events, and a special 1,000 pound Presidential Pumpkin was trucked in from Wisconsin. And given that the White House is said to be haunted* by more than just the ghosts of Republican administrations past, it should be a very busy and authentic holiday!

On the North Lawn driveway, volunteers carve one of three massive pumpkins shipped in for the festivities

On the North Lawn driveway, volunteers carve one of three massive pumpkins shipped in for the festivities

2,000 lucky “local” kids…and the special White House treats
For the first event, the White House and Department of Education chose schools from DC, Maryland, and Virginia to send 2,000 kids, ages 6-14, to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for special trick-or-treating, which will start at around 6:30 PM. The kids and their parents will troop by the “front door” of the White House, which is the North Portico (getting spider’d at top of post). “Traditional candy“–special presidential White House M&Ms–will be handed out, as well as a sweet dough butter cookie made by White House Executive Pastry chef Bill Yosses. In keeping with Mrs. Obama’s nutrition agenda, kids will also be given a serving of a dried fruit mix made with cherries, apricots, pears, apples and papayas. They’ll also be treated to a National Park Foundation Ranger activity book.

Military Families, and Staff Kids…
trick_treat_1029At 7:00 PM, President and Mrs. Obama will host a reception for military families and children of White House and residence staff in the East Room, which will be co-hosted by Vice President Joe Biden and Mrs. Biden. The focus on military families is part of a continuing effort to support our troops and their families at home. Since January, President and Mrs. Obama have both appeared at numerous military bases; earlier this week, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden appeared at Game 1 of the World Series, which was dedicated to military veterans. The Fourth of July bash at the White House was in honor of military families, too. The Redmoon theatre company will perform. The Chicago-based company describes its productions as “equal parts pageantry, gadgetry, acrobatics, and ephemera,” so it should be quite a show.

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Redmoon to do Halloween show at the White House and treat Obama’s and military family’s with skeleton crew

Puppets designed by Kass Copeland may be used in Redmoon's Halloween presentation

Puppets designed by Kass Copeland may be used in Redmoon's Halloween presentation

Chicago Sun Times/Hedy Weiss—It’s still very hush-hush, top secret and high security in nature. But word has it that Chicago’s Redmoon Theater, which has made its mark during the past 19 seasons as the masterful creator of grand-scale spectacles staged both outdoors and in traditional theaters, has been invited to the White House for a special Halloween performance on Saturday.

Though all details of the event are being closely guarded until then, what is known so far is that an invitation from President Obama and the first lady has generated a beehive of activity at Redmoon, where skeletons and crows and other seasonal fright objects are being crafted, and where a lot of thought is going into which of these might be presented as gifts to the first family.

For minute-by-minute updates on Redmoon’s plans, go to the troupe’s blog.

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Filed under Children, Holidays, Military, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, Washington, DC

Washington Watch – Roland Martin’s Perspectives

Posted by Buellboy

rolandsitemartinrTV One political editor, CNN and Tom Joyner Morning Show analyst Roland Martin hosts a new weekly public affairs series on TV One that focuses on issues that are critical to African Americans, through interviews with officials from the Administration, Congress and other policymakers who represent black communities, as well as discussions with journalists and commentators, and a wide range of policy experts.

Each week Roland Martin and a rotating panel of journalists and experts, including American Urban Radio Networks White House Correspondent April Ryan and Comcast Network host and Philadelphia Tribune columnist Robert Traynham, will discuss the top stories in Washington. The show will also feature regular appearances by members of the Congressional Black Caucus. In addition, Martin will conduct a one-on-one interview with a key newsmaker each week.

The show, debuted on Sunday, Sept. 27 and will air weekly at 11 AM and 5 PM ET.

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The issue of gay marriage is coming to a head in the nation’s capital and DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is ready to fight — FOR gay marriage. Roland asks her how she thinks this controversial issue will play with strong voices on both sides speaking up and out.

Question: Do you think gay marriage will be legal in Washington, DC?

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While discussing the horrible beating death of a Chicago honor student, Roland asks a provocative question that gets everyone talking.

Question: Do you think that Pro-Life supporters should also get involved in matters of life beyond the womb?

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Filed under Democrats, Media and Entertainment, Opinions, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Television, TV Shows, Uncategorized, Washington, DC

Mayor Daley to Sign Abortion Protest Bubble Law

Posted by Audiegrl

ABORTIONprotestors-largeChicago-Sun Times/Fran Spielman—In a political about-face, Mayor Daley said Friday he would sign legislation creating a protective zone around Chicago hospitals and clinics to keep patients and employees from being hounded by “in-your-face” abortion protests.

In 1996, Daley ridiculed a proposal that would have given women entering Chicago abortion clinics an eight-foot buffer between themselves and the nearest protester during the Democratic National Convention here.

At the time, he denounced it as the equivalent of a “free trade zone” and said enforcing the buffer would require “measuring tapes…You’d get into arguments.”

What a difference thirteen years makes.

On Friday, the mayor said he would sign the permanent protective zone created by a divided City Council.

On Friday, the mayor said he would sign the permanent protective zone created by a divided City Council.

On Friday, the mayor said he would sign the permanent protective zone created by a divided City Council.

You’re just trying to make sure no one’s being harassed. …If someone is going into a medical complex and I disagree with them going there, I should not harass and scream and yell at them. It doesn’t matter whether it deals with the word abortion or anything else,” the mayor said.

There has to be some civility left in our society. Everybody has the right to demonstrate and picket. But, to use words and other things to frighten people going in to seek assistance — that is another question.

Daley said he anticipates a court challenge. But, he’s confident the ordinance drafted by his Law Department will stand up to legal scrutiny.

Many people are going into many of these medical complexes for other reasons as well—not just for that [abortion] reason,” he said.

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Filed under Abortion, Democrats, Law, Politics, Supreme Court, Women's Issues

Republician Olympic-Hater’s: Don’t Count Chicago Out Yet…

Posted by Audiegrl

Chicago had a big disappointment last week by losing the 2016 Olympics, but don’t count us out yet. Chicagoans still have great spirit. This is how we flashmob in Chi-town! This crowd is the largest flashmob performance held in an American city, with only 20 professional dancers, teaching it to a core 800 person group, who in turn taught it to 20,000 more everyday people. It makes you really wonder what type of excitement we would have seen from Chicago residents and people around the country, if the Olympics had come here in 2016.

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Thank You, Mr. President by ‘Morning Joe‘ Scarbourough

Posted by Audiegrl

Joe Scarborough, Host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, former member of Congress

Joe Scarborough, Host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, former member of Congress

I could not have been more surprised when I read this article. Normally, MSNBC’s Morning Joe and I don’t agree on much. With his article, Thank You, Mr. President, he and I are on exactly the same page. It was fantastic to see the President so committed to winning the 2016 Olympics for Chicago and the entire country. It was refreshing to see him go to the mat for America, just like all the other foreign Presidents do for their countries. President Obama being the first POTUS to go there personally was not a negative, but a positive sign that we will no longer be viewed as an arrogant nation who puts itself above the rest of the world. Even though we lost the bid, I was proud to see the President behave so graciously towards Brazil in defeat. Some times the best way to judge a person (or in this case a countries) character is by how they behave in defeat. Morning Joe must feel the same way, which is probably why he is chastising his fellow conservatives. They are an object lesson in how not to be a good loser. If they ever intend to win another National election, they should heed his words. Nobody wants to vote for a sore loser.

Count me as one conservative who is disappointed that President Obama’s hometown will not be hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.

Chicago is a beautiful city that would have made a perfect backdrop for the Olympics. The President was right to fly to Copenhagen to try to land the games, not for the sake of his city, but for the good of his country. The fact President Obama failed makes me respect him more for taking the chance, and the fact many right-wing figures opposed the President’s mission shows just how narrow-minded partisanship makes us all.

For the better part of 20 years, a bitterness has infected our politics that has weakened our country.

We Republicans spent eight years trying to delegitimize Bill Clinton.

Democrats spent the next eight years doing the same to George W. Bush.

Now that a Democrat is in the Oval Office again, it is the GOP who is trying to delegitimize a sitting president.

When I try to talk to Republicans about the need to break this cycle of viciousness, some cite the chapter and verse of every hateful left wing attack against George W. Bush.

Whenever I attempt to have a conversation with some Democrats about the need for us respect our president– whether he be an Obama or a Bush– I am told that Bush deserved whatever he got because he was a lying war criminal who hated the Constitution and loved torturing people.

Fortunately, there are a growing number of Americans who believe we cannot continue going on this way.

You and I may disagree on how the CIA handled terror suspects. But that does not mean that you are soft on terrorism anymore than it means that I hate the Constitution.

You and I may have a different approach to Afghanistan. But just because you want to stay there another five years doesn’t mean you are an imperialist. And if I believe a decade in that forsaken land is more than enough, that doesn’t mean I’m soft on al Qaeda or the Taliban.

It just means that we view the world differently.

That creative tension–that intense give and take–has been what has kept America strong since Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton fought like hell in George Washington’s White House.

Hamilton wanted a strong centralized government while Jefferson believed that the government that governed least governed best.

Both men were frustrated by the checks and balances that stood in the way of their agendas, but that debate shaped America for years to come.

But something has gone terribly wrong.

Today on Morning Joe, NBC News Legend Tom Brokaw remarked to Pat Buchanan about how the level of partisanship is even more intense today than during the depths of the Watergate crisis. Brokaw was commenting on Congressman Grayson’s comments, but he could have easily
been talking about Joe Wilson or death panels or the bizarre claim that the President “hates all white people.”

Some of the rhetoric is dangerous. But what we saw from some conservative corners regarding the President’s failed Olympics bid was just plain stupid.

I’m happy for Rio and think it is past time that South America got a chance to host the Olympic Games. But put me down as one conservative who is glad my president flew across the ocean to try to bring the 2016 Games to America.

Nice try, President Obama. And thanks for taking time away from your young girls for the sake of your hometown and your country, Michelle. I know that’s never an easy thing to do.~~Joe Scarbourough

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MSNBC’s Ed Schultz , Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and MSNBC Contributor Jim Warren discuss why the Republican Party’s has a anti-Obama’s agenda from the Olympics to health care reform.

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Rachel Maddow is joined by Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) to try and make some sense of conservatives celebrating the news that the International Olympic Committee decided the summer Olympic games won’t be held in Chicago in 2016.

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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, E.J. Dionne, and NYT conservative Columnist David Brooks comment on Sunday’s Meet the Press.

Joe Scarborough discusses the Republicans cheering for the failure of America getting the 2016 Olympics

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Rio de Janeiro Wins 2016 Olympics Vote + Conservatives Revel In Obama’s Olympic Bid Failure

Party Time in Rio

Party Time in Rio

Rio wins 2016 Olympic Games in landslide over Madrid

story @


as predictable as the sun rising in the east….
**44-Update** “Conservatives Revel In Obama’s Failure”

conservatives-olympics-1002-cropped-proto-custom_1Just minutes after the news broke, RedState’s Erick Erickson took glee in Chicago – and, by extension, Obama’s – rejection.
“Hahahahaha,” he wrote. “I thought the world would love us more now that Bush was gone. I thought if we whored ourselves out to our enemies, great things would happen. Apparently not. So Obama’s pimped us to every two bit thug and dictator in the world, made promises to half the Olympic committee, and they did not even kiss him.”
Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, meanwhile, wrote that the news effectively ended the Obama campaign motto of “Yes We Can” by dawning in a new slogan: “No, You Can’t.”
“This is a big win and a massive relief for taxpayers,” she wrote. “But Chicago cronies are not going to take this well. Gird your loins.”
The National Review Online called the episode an “embarrassment for Obama,” before adding the predictable conservative ribbing: “If he can’t work his personal magic with the Olympians, why does he expect it to work with the Iranians?”
The Drudge Report — topping them all — blared the headline: “THE EGO HAS LANDED
WORLD REJECTS OBAMA: CHICAGO OUT IN FIRST ROUND.”

more @: HuffPost

Posted by TheLCster
**44-Update**
COPENHAGEN DENMARK–

Shock in CHI-Town

Shock in CHI-Town

The City of Chicago was dropped from consideration on the first ballot by the Olympic organizing committee… full story here

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