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First Lady Michelle Obama Donates Inaugural Gown to Smithsonian

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama stands with inaugural dress designer Jason Wu in front of the inaugural gown she wore to the inaugural balls and is now on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History on March 9, 2010 in Washington, DC. Mrs. Obama continues a long tradition of first ladys who have donated their inaugural gown to be on display at the Smithsonian. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America)

The one-shoulder, white chiffon gown First Lady Michelle Obama wore to the inaugural balls is on display.

On Tuesday, Mrs. Obama publicly donated the gown to the first ladies collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.

The beaded gown was a star attraction at 10 inaugural balls held in January 2009 to celebrate President Barack Obama’s swearing-in. It was designed by Jason Wu of New York. Mrs. Obama also invited 32 high school fashion design students to today’s event. The students were able to tour the gallery and take part in the special luncheon.

The Smithsonian Institution says all first ladies since 1912 have contributed to the collection, though not all have parted with their ball gowns.

Mrs. Obama’s gown will join those currently on display from Helen Taft, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosalynn Carter and Laura Bush.

Read the First Lady’s remarks here.

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Host the Annual Governors Ball At the White House

Post by: Audiegrl

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks next to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (C) and first lady Michelle Obama (L) at the 2010 Governors Ball at the White House in Washington February 21, 2010.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks next to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (C) and first lady Michelle Obama (L) at the 2010 Governors Ball at the White House in Washington February 21, 2010.

The nation’s governors and their spouses gathered at the White House on Sunday night for the Governors’ Ball hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle. The ball is a annual black-tie event held in the State Dining Room. President Obama in the evenings first toast, praised the nation’s state leaders for “helping to right the ship” during the economic crisis in the United States the past couple of years. President Obama began his toast by joked “This is not too stiff of an affair, because last year, Ed Rendell led a conga line. We still have photographs that we may use.” He also added, “to our spouses and families who make extraordinary sacrifices…Michelle is starting to clink already,” as he glanced and smiled playfully at his wife.

Each of you in your own respective states saw how brutal it was on so many families — hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs every month, home foreclosures, small businesses having to shut down unable to make payroll and people not sure about the future,” President Obama said. “It is worth this organization taking some extraordinary credit for helping to right the ship.”

He attributed the success of a portion of the recovery efforts to the governors and their willingness to work across state and party lines for the good of the people.

The annual Governors’ Ball is seen as an opportunity for the leaders of each of the 50 states to get together in a non-working environment, allowing them to get to know one another on a personal level.

Gov. Douglas (R-Vermont) also delivered a toast, despite the president prematurely ushering the ceremony to the first course, only to renege on the announcement, “Dinner is served.”


For all the foodie details out there, please check out the excellent behind the scenes coverage of the ball from our friends at Obama Foodorama, they’ve got ‘all the juice‘ on the dinner menu, wines, place settings, linens, and flower arrangements. Check them out here

The seating arrangement according to the pool report:

“Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota was seated to the right of FLOTUS. Neither he nor any other guest was seen measuring drapes, though of course the pool can only attest to the 10 minutes it was in the room.

In the back row: Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida – well beyond hugging range – at Table 3 with Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mike Beebe of Arkansas, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of Calif. sat beside Wisconsin Gov Jim Doyle, with Interior Sect. Salazar two seats to Arnold’s right, and the two governors clicked glasses at the toasts.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who got a shoutout from Obama during his pre-toast remarks, was in a striking emerald jacket at Table 12 with FLOTUS and Pawlenty.

Also spotted, at separate tables: Gov. David Paterson of NY, Gov. Bill Richardson of NM. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood were seated together.

Vice President Biden was at the table in the middle, with a head-on view of the lectern.

Apologies to the many other VIPs. Presumably, all the governors in town for the NGA were at the dinner, but no attendance list was available. I can report that Texas’ chief executive, Rick Perry, nine days from the primary and never a fan of the NGA anyway, was home campaigning today.”

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Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief” Video highlights

Thanks to everyone who joined us for a night of great music and a show of support for the people of Haiti

Posted by: Audiegrl

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President Obama Signs Legislation

President Obama Signs Legislation Providing Immediate Tax Deductions for Haiti Charitable Contributions January 22, 2010.

President Obama Is Making It Easier for Americans to Support Haiti
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In the days since the earthquake in Haiti, Americans have shown their generosity with millions of dollars in donations. Tonight, President Obama signed a bill into law that makes it easier to give. This legislation will allow taxpayers to receive the tax benefit from donations made to the Haiti effort in this tax season, rather than having to wait until they file their 2010 tax returns next year. Specifically, cash donations to charities for the Haitian relief effort given after January 11 and before March 1 of this year may be treated as if the contribution was made on December 31 of last year so that the contribution can be deducted from 2009 income. This measure applies to monetary donations, not goods or services.


Clinton Bush Haiti Relief FundUNICEFAmerican Red Cross

WFP:  World Food ProgrammePartners In Health Oxfam America
Yéle Haiti

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Go, Tell Michelle: You’ve Read the Book, Now See the Play

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“When you and your family go to the spot under the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, where Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, you will take with you our history of dreams deferred; however, you will also take with you our prayers and hopes for an America that is ready to build and dream anew.”~~Excerpt from a letter to Michelle Obama

Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady was first published in January 2009. In December 2009, “Go, Tell Michelle” was named by book and movie critic Kam Williams as one of the 10 Best Black Books of 2009. My daughter gave this to me as my Mother’s Day present last year, and I highly recommend it. I thought it would be a great way to start off the new year (and new decade), to introduce the book to those who have not read it yet, and also give me a chance to provide a photo slideshow of our First Lady during the first year.

Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First LadyGo, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady”, the award winning volume of 100 letters to Michelle Obama written shortly after the 2008 election of President Barack Obama has been adapted as a dramatic production. Drs. Barbara Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram, co-authors and editors of the book, have been working with Dr. Robert Knopf, chair of University at Buffalo’s Drama Department on this dramatization. The outcome of this collaboration is Dr. Knopf’s adaptation, a one hour play that features three readers.

Dr. Knopf describes “Go, Tell Michelle: the Play” as more than a dramatic reading: “It is a montage of lost voices, personal stories, and heartfelt emotions unleashed by the tide of history that has swept the nation.” Under Dr. Knopf’s direction, storyteller Karima Amin, Brooks-Bertram and Seals Nevergold will give voice to the stories and poems in this dramatic adaptation.

The play will debut on January 19th at University at Buffalo’s Allen Hall on the South Campus on the eve of the first anniversary of President Obama’s historic inauguration. Performance time is 7:00pm and Jericka Duncan, reporter from WIVB-TV will act as Emcee. A second performance will take place at the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library on January 20th. Both performances will be free and open to the public.

The Warmth, Style, and Grace of First Lady Michelle Obama

This is the short biography of Michelle Obama that introduced the Obama family to families across America. It originally played the first night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

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Drs. Barbara Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram on C-SPAN Book TV (03/28/09)

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Paranoia Strikes Deep by Paul Krugman

Op-ed by Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman, New York Times

Paul Krugman, New York Times

New York Times/Paul Krugman—Last Thursday there was a rally outside the U.S. Capitol to protest pending health care legislation, featuring the kinds of things we’ve grown accustomed to, including large signs showing piles of bodies at Dachau with the caption “National Socialist Healthcare.” It was grotesque — and it was also ominous. For what we may be seeing is America starting to be Californiafied.

The key thing to understand about that rally is that it wasn’t a fringe event. It was sponsored by the House Republican leadership — in fact, it was officially billed as a G.O.P. press conference. Senior lawmakers were in attendance, and apparently had no problem with the tone of the proceedings.

True, Eric Cantor, the second-ranking House Republican, offered some mild criticism after the fact. But the operative word is “mild.” The signs were “inappropriate,” said his spokesman, and the use of Hitler comparisons by such people as Rush Limbaugh, said Mr. Cantor, “conjures up images that frankly are not, I think, very helpful.”

What all this shows is that the G.O.P. has been taken over by the people it used to exploit.

gallery-bachmannteaparty30The state of mind visible at recent right-wing demonstrations is nothing new. Back in 1964 the historian Richard Hofstadter published an essay titled, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” which reads as if it were based on today’s headlines: Americans on the far right, he wrote, feel that “America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion.” Sound familiar?

But while the paranoid style isn’t new, its role within the G.O.P. is.

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Michelle Obama, First Lady of Fashion, Is Hailed for Her Style in Print

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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

michelle_obama_official_portraitTelegraph.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.

MichelleObamaVogueJan20093

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

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.

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.”

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Mrs. O: The Face of Fashion Democracy

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.

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Designers: Monique Lhuillier; Diane Von Furstenberg; Michael Kors

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.

Read the full interview here.

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Mrs Obama Tops Vanity Fair’s 70th International Best-Dressed List

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Weiner And McCaughey Go Head-To-Head In Health Care Debate

 Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and Betsy McCaughey

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and Betsy McCaughey

TPM/Rachel Slajda—In a heated and sometimes vitriolic debate Monday night, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) repeatedly called out former Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey for lying about health care reform. He said debating her was like “debating a pyromaniac in a straw man factory,” prompting intense and immediate reaction from the audience.

Debate like a man!” hollered one bespectacled, middle-aged man. Another quieted the ensuing shouts with, “This is his speaking time, not yours!

Weiner and McCaughey arguably represent the furthest ends of the health care reform spectrum. Weiner is a progressive Congressman who wants a single-payer, government run health care system. McCaughey, who recently posited that reform may lead to government-mandated euthanasia, helped kill the Clintons’ health care plan in the 90s.

The “Lincoln-Douglas-style debate,” hosted by Democracy Leaders for the 21st Century and held at the NYU Medical Center, lasted nearly two hours. For much of that, the pair seemed engaged in two entirely different debates.

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