Tag Archives: barack obama

Oh, For Eff’s Sake, Michelle Obama Is Not A “Feminist’s Nightmare”

Michelle Obama

One of the most intriguing characters on “Scandal” is First Lady Mellie Grant. She’s not just a WASP sent from Central Casting, or a put-upon wife of a philanderer. Mellie gave up her Yale and Harvard-bred ambitions for the full-time job of photo ops and glad-handing as the First Lady. Just like Lucy Ricardo always wanted husband Ricky to just give her one opportunity to be in a show, Mellie Grant wants to influence policy and make big moves wherever she can. At every turn, she is stopped, often angrily, by her husband the President and his apoplectic Chief Of Staff. Both men remind her, every episode it seems, that the First Lady is supposed to be pretty sidekick, not a policy wonk.  In one episode, Mellie is witheringly informed her job is to be “ornamental.”

Watching Mellie Grant on “Scandal” has made me look at Michelle Obama differently for sure. It’s not hard to imagine she, too, feels a bit trapped in a golden cage. We don’t exactly know whether Michelle Obama feels like her intellect is being wasted, but we do know from Jodi Kantor’s book, The Obamas, a portrait of the Obama marriage, that Barack’s high-level staff has bristled in the past at Michelle’s involvement. But  also we know that Michelle dedicated her first year as First Lady to acclimating her two children to their new home and school and has spent many years since promoting healthy eating and exercise. All this has been summed up by Michelle Cottle, a Daily Beast scribe in a piece for Politico Magazine, as a feminist failure. Keep reading »

Gloria Steinem, Oprah Winfrey Receive The Presidential Medal Of Freedom

oprah winfrey presidential medal freedom
  • Gloria Steinem and Oprah Winfrey both received the Presidential Medal of Freedom today from President Barack Obama at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  Ironically, Steinem was the first-ever woman to speak at the Club in 1971 and, at the time, was given the traditional gift of a men’s tie. [Ms Magazine, Marie Claire]
  • The Supreme Court refused to block a restriction on Texas abortions. [New York Times]
  • An Alabama woman has spoken out about the sentencing of her rapist, Austin Clem, who received no jail time despite being convicted of three rape charges, including raping her when she was only 13. [New York Times]
  • The General Synod of the Church of England voted to allow women to be bishops. [Guardian UK] Keep reading »

The Obamas Welcome Malala Yousafzai To The White House

The Obamas Welcome Malala Yousafzai To The White House

I love this photo mostly because of the absolute stars in Malia Obama’s eyes as she gazes at Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl targeted by the Taliban for her activism on behalf of girls’ education. So what did Malala and the President talk about? In a statement, the teen said:

“I thanked President Obama for the United States’ work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees. I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact.”

Such a brave, wise soul in so many ways. Be sure to pick up her memoir, I Am Malala, when it comes out this Tuesday. [The Washington Post[Photo: Getty Images]

Sunny Obama Is Pooping All Over The White House

Meet Sunny Obama
Meet The Newest Addition To The First Family, Sunny Obama!
The newest member of the First Family is one-year-old. Read More »
Bo, The First Puppy
Meet Bo, the First Puppy of the White House. Read More »
Bo's Christmas Card
President Obama's Christmas card photo
Bo appeared in the Obama's Xmas card ... and Sarah Palin complained. Read More »
puppies!
sunny obama accidents in white house
White House Puppy Training

Sure, Syria might have released chemical weapons on its own people this week.  BUT I WANNA HEAR MORE ABOUT THE WHITE HOUSE’S NEW PUPPY GAAAAAAH!  Here’s President Obama in an exclusive interview with CNN, talking about the new puppy Sunny (a Portuguese water dog like their four-year-old dog, Bo) and her accidents around the White House. Don’t worry, Hillary. They’ll be cleaned up by 2016. [Huffington Post]

President Obama Once Again Rags On Kanye

It’s the day of bros bashing bros: President Obama has had a somewhat tortured relationship with Kanye West, at least as reported in the media. He memorably called the rapper a “jackass” in 2009, then later explained that he “liked” the “smart” and “talented” Kanye … though adding “he is a jackass.” Now Kanye’s name has popped up once again, in a Kindle Singles Interview about “the economy and the increasing need for government programs that [Obama] believes can make a difference.” Wait, wha? Yes. Read more at Newser…

Obama On Trayvon Martin: “He Could Have Been Me 35 Years Ago”

"Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me."

Beginning less than an hour ago, President Barack Obama held a impromptu press conference in the briefing room to share his thoughts about the death of Trayvon Martin and the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. (This is on top of the brief statement he released earlier this week.) For nearly 17 minutes, the President gave what I would call an extraordinary and unprecedented speech that touched on the verdict itself, the need to review Stand Your Ground laws, and what it’s like to be a black boy/man in America, going one step further than he has in the past by saying, “Trayvon Martin could have been me.” I am so glad to see our President address this in such a thoughtful, nuanced way, especially given how many people would like to believe that his Presidency is indicative that we live in a “post-racial” world. You can watch the full briefing above (in two parts) and read a few of his most notable quotes after the jump. Keep reading »

Racial Politics
racism trayvon martin
Racial politics in America need a good, hard look. Read More »
This Is Shameful
This Is What's Shameful
Amelia's response to the Trayvon Martin verdict. Read More »
8 Positive Actions
trayvon martin case
... you can take in the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict. Read More »
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