Archive for fashion

How Dare First Lady Michelle Obama Dazzle?

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Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

One might think it takes a particularly ignorant individual, or individuals, to criticize the First Lady of the United States for wearing a ball gown to a state dinner. Yet, that is exactly what happened following last week’s official dinner honoring French President Francois Hollande.

On Tuesday, February 11th, First Lady Michelle Obama dazzled dinner guests wearing a GORGEOUS blue and black-laced gown designed by Venezuelan-America designer, Carolina Herrera. The next day, as if on cue, right wing darling Michelle Malkin, and her Twitter #BowDownWednesday crowd, were appalled – JUST appalled, I guess unhappy that Mrs. Obama did not “Bow Down” to their tacky level.

Amanda Marcotte states it best in the title for her piece on Slate.com, How Dare Michelle Obama Wear a Ballgown to a State Dinner.”

The loonier edge of the right-wing media has been up in arms all week at the temerity of the Obamas to think they get to host state dinners for foreign leaders just because the country elected Barack Obama to be our president. The outrage (hopefully) reached maximum capacity when Michelle Malkin and her outrage crew at Twitchy discovered that the first lady wore ... wait for it ... a ballgown to Tuesday's state dinner for French President Francois Hollande. Not just any ballgown, but an expensive one, as tends to be the case when it comes to ballgowns worn to state dinners. Blood pressures at Twitchy rose to worrying heights when it was discovered that some journalists thought Michelle Obama looked lovely in her ballgown. In retaliation for the travesty of the first lady donning formal wear to a formal dining event, Malkin started retweeting her followers taking selfies of themselves in cheap clothes meant for casual events. We all know Michelle Malkin is not ignorant, no; she is just mean, mean and very good at frothing the ignorant masses.

Here are a few other First Ladies who missed the Malkinite message:

BarbaraBushBallroomGownw288h244
October 13, 2008 President and Mrs. Bush with the Prime Minister of Italy photo by Charles Dharapak/AP

HillaryClintonBallroomGownw288h211
February 8, 1995 President and Mrs. Clinton and Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of Germany photo by Tim Brakemeier/ AFP/Getty Images

NancyReaganBallroomGownw288h267

March 31, 1987 President and Mrs. Reagan host French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac and his wife, Bernadette. photo by Ron Edmonds/AP

See More Historic State Dinner Fashion:

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Kinky Fears On Kinky Boots

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Kinky Boots the Musical 2

Well, it's Monday and we're back to work. Something's been gnawing at me over the long weekend, and it wasn't the long lines for Black Friday, Small Saturday or today's Cyber Monday.

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving, as everyone who's still reaching for some anti-acid knows. Our belts are still let out two notches too many and we're still shaking our heads over some of the conversations with distant (in some cases from reality) relatives that we now won't have to have endure until next November.

A standard piece of tradition fare for me and my family is and has been for over half a century the watching of at least some of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Face it, it's a staple item and as much a part of the holiday as the pumpkin pie, the turkey itself or the tryptophan-induced coma after eating.

In scanning the globe for stories as I do each day, plus monitoring the Twittersphere, looking for instantaneous reactions to the world at large, I was shocked and amazed and the outrage and uproar one of the performances generated from the televised parade.

It was this performance of the Tony Award-winning musical, Kinky Boots.

Here's a sampling of the uproar of tweets this performance generated:

And then then there was this one:

And this...

Now these are but three samplings of the fear and potential hate that are being demonstrated by some pretty opinionated folks. What are they really afraid of?

They seem to feel that indicating any alternative lifestyle is harmful. What is it in this family-friendly clip they are compelled to explain to their children, or even worse, protect them from?

This is a celebration of  life. Do these shallow people think that LGBT people have an illness? Haven't we gotten past that yet? This is no more a choice than the zebra having stripes or the peacock having feathers. Being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender is a part of life. A healthy part. And perpetuating fears isn't helping anything or anybody. Being LGBT is not contagious nor are they recruiters to their "sexuality." Recruitment is left to missionaries, sports coaches and the military. Three fears your children should be warned about more than something that's not a choice.

Ignorance is what's at hand here. And it's the tweeters who are demonstrating fear and perpetuating hate. If you want to "educate" your children, or America in general, and protect them, warn them of the dangers of ignorance and intolerance. That's going to do them much more good than scaring and misinforming them.

Don't be a poster child for stupid. Be a leader in smart.

So perhaps if you feel you need to explain anything to your children, it should be tolerance, acceptance and if you're really progressive, a sense of high, snappy, fashion.

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Know What You're Backing When You Shop At Certain Stores

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fast food logos

Who really pays much attention when they go shopping as to corporate political leanings or support when they need an item? If you can't find your hammer or drill, you just go to the closest hardware or Home Depot-ish store and grab one.

Hungry and in a hurry, you might just pick the next fast food store that comes up on the right, so you don't have to cross traffic on your way to sating your grumbling stomach.

For most of us, if we need a new pair of jeans, we walk into the mall, see who's got a sale and grab a pair. They're jeans, for Chrissake, not evening wear for the Oscars red carpet ceremony.

The bottom line is for most things, we really don't care where we get them -- price and convenience are the guidelines. But maybe we should take a moment and realize that there's more to our decisions. There's financial backing of a company that gives it power to drive away the competition as well as get their political missions funded. Recently HuffPo posted an interesting look at corporations and what they stand for. It's entitled, 8 Brands with Religious Affiliation. The quotes below are from them.

Perhaps you heard of Hobby Lobby. They're a crafts store with many branches across the country as well as having a large, internet E-tail business. They have over 560 stores nationwide. They also happen to be a right-wing Christian run outfit. They are so inclined that this year they refused to carry and Chanukkah merchandise or materials until public outroar made them change their mind. They also are outwardly anti-Obamacare, having filed a federal lawsuit against the ACA for mandating contraceptive coverage in their insurance.

Is this a place you want to support?

How about Forever 21, the youthful appealing casual attire outfit? They are considered a Born-Again Christian run chain. How so? Their founder, Do Wo Chang had demanded the following:

 — John 3:16 is printed on every bag: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Not a bad message, but do I need to advertise this on every shopping bag from them? If religious backing is that important to you, then the next time you buy chicken to make at home or for a barbecue, don't forget to buy Tyson Brand. They're so evangelical Christian that they provide counseling services for all employees from their evangelical in-house Chaplaincy Program, Would you like a prayer with those hot wings?

But you know who else falls into this Christian category? In and Out Burgers. Yeah, that big dog'll hunt -- for double barbecue cheese burgers, and a side of the Holy Ghost.

Now if Mormonism is more to your liking, next time you travel, stay at a Marriott. In your night stand,

you'll find another religious text alongside your Gideon's Bible: the Book of Mormon.

Now if only it was a DVD of those South Park guys' play, I'd stay there for sure. Oh, and just so you know, don't go looking for any porn on their pay TV in-room service. That's all been taken out. You'll just have to settle with regular TV or video's of the complimentary breakfast available from 5:30 AM until 9:30 AM.

Here's a twofer if you're interested in that kind of bonus-- Chick-fil-A. This company is both openly anti-LGBT AND devoutly Southern Baptist. How can you hate that?

Truett Cathy, the founder and CEO of Georgia-based Chick-fil-A, says he closes all 1,700-plus locations on Sundays for two reasons: "One, that there must be something special about the way Chick-fil-A people view their spiritual life and, two, that there must be something special about how Chick-fil-A feels about its people." He also believes that giving employees Sunday off "as a day for family, worship, fellowship or rest" is the secret to attracting quality people to the company.

If you're Seventh Day Adventists or Jewish and celebrate Saturday as your Sabbath, I guess you're excluded from the fun and frivolities Chick-Fil-A has to offer it's employees. But there's someplace for everyone.

Have no fear, Seventh Day Adventists, you aren't without a retail outlet of your own. It's the delectable darling of the desserts, Little Debbie Snacks.

And though the Company Statement begins with a faith-infused Family Statement — "The McKee family acknowledges the providence of God in our continued success." — you'd be hard-pressed to find evidence of the founders' Seventh Day Adventist faith without an encyclopedic knowledge of NASCAR.

The point of all of this is that we do say things by where and what we buy. Our spending power sends a message either by support or by boycott. I'm not preaching any of those, but merely wish to point out some of your choices. Shop however you like. And your reasons can be random, based on convenience, price, location or perhaps by personal choice to support those who believe the same way as you do.

I just thought it's interesting to let you know where you shop makes a statement about who you are.

Now, getting back to NASCAR...

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There is an actual What Not to Wear to CPAC graphic. Hey freedom-lovers! It's not the boss of you!

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fashion tips

D.C.-based media strategist and CPAC communications director Adrienne Royer has a do/don't list for all those confused, wishy-washy, tasteless, frumpy, slutty, and/or compliant females (and males) attending the big Conservative Political Action Conference.

Wait a minute, aren't conservatives supposed to be all think-for-themselvesy? Don't they thrive on "liberty" and "freedom" and "don't tell me WTF to do" (except in cases of legal abortions and voting rights, of course)? But that's not important now. What is important is this:

According to Washington Whispers, Royer "was inspired to make the infographic because interns for her event didn't know what to wear." And per Royer, "cocktail dresses and five inch heels" simply will not do!

Men, are you taking notes?

So she concocted this... thing:

what to wear at CPAC via Washington Whispers

Wait. No Uggs? Well, I never! And geez, no halter tops, miniskirts, Crocs, or bedroom slippers? Everyone knows how sexy minis look with a snappy pair o' Crocs!

crocs

Buzz kill! Way to ruin a perfectly groovy event, Adrienne!

But this was my favorite part:

what to wear at CPAC via Washington Whispers 2

Would I wear it to Walmart? It might be comfortable, but if you look like a slob, DON'T WEAR IT! While you don't have to pack a 3-piece suit, stay away from jeans, sweats, leggings, shorts, ballcaps & most of all... T-shirts!

That's it. Deal breaker. There goes my entire wardrobe. Looks like I'm skipping CPAC 2013!

you're not the boss of me

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"Ooo! Ooo! Who are you wearing?" "USPS, duh."

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who are you wearing usps

The United States Postal Service has budget issues that could be rectified, as you'll see in the email below. Doing away with the 75 year pension funding requirement would do wonders, but Republican hatred for unions and their goal to privatize America fuel their obstruction and destruction.

Meantime, the USPS is trying to pull in a little extra cash by introducing a collection of-- wait for it-- hip, "cutting edge" men's clothing and accessories. Women's wear is coming.

No, I'm not kidding. I can see it now, a giddy Ryan Seacrest on the Red Carpet calling out to Bradley Cooper, "Oo! Oo! Who are you wearing?" "Dude... USPS. Who else?"

L.A. Times:

The collection, to be called “Rain Heat & Snow,” will be made through a license agreement with Cleveland-based apparel firm Wahconah Group Inc. The Postal Service will not incur any cost and will collect royalties from sales, according to USPS spokesman Roy A. Betts.

The deal, which Betts said is “in the development and test phase,” will include outerwear, sportswear, casual wear, athletic wear and seasonal wear.

The clothing line, or “smart apparel,” will incorporate electronics like iPods that can be hooked up to, say, a jacket with volume controls on the sleeve.

Now if they can come up with a women's line of eye-popping designer gowns with plunging necklines and backless backs plus ban-worthy see-through fabrics and thigh-high slits (equipped with discreet Internet hook-ups) and create a little runway buzz and tons of name-dropping, they may be on to something.

Fun fashion news aside, “It’s called the U.S. Postal Service because it is a service, not a corporation.” The following email came to me from CREDO Action. I got a similar one from Color of Change, so it's good to see different groups are all over this:

The United States Postal Service announced last week that due to budget shortfalls, mail will no longer be delivered on Saturdays starting in August.

It's true the post office faces financial challenges. But the financial problems are in large part a direct result of an onerous and ill-considered 2006 law called the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act" (PAEA) that mandates pre-funding the postal service retiree health care and pension benefits for 75 years — something that no other government agency or private company is forced to do.

The vast majority — 85% — of the budget red ink comes from this pre-funding mandate despite the fact that, according to the post office Inspector General, the pension is over-funded and reserves for retiree health care are far higher than the federal government as a whole, the military and almost all Fortune 1000 companies.1

Tell Congress: Don't let Republicans kill the post office. Click here to sign this petition automatically.

Even with the declining levels of "snail mail," the post office still manages to deliver to every household in America a total of 563 million pieces of mail for an incredibly low cost. It does it efficiently, and without a penny of taxpayer money.2

But it's that very self-sufficiency that drove Congressional Republicans to hatch a long-term plan to destroy the agency by starving it of the ability to maintain services. By forcing the USPS to save an outrageous and unneeded nest-egg, the agency has been increasingly removed from revenues which would help it keep pace with the innovation of FedEx and UPS.

As a result, the post office has closed branches in some of the most rural areas, where it was the only government-affiliated location for miles around.

Rural post offices in particular are important institutions. Closing them, especially in areas with little or no access to broadband internet service, could have a major impact on the communities they serve. And closing them won't save much money.

Tell Congress: Don't let Republicans kill the post office. Click here to sign this petition automatically.

Undermining public services is exactly what Republicans have been doing since the Reagan-era, by cutting off normal, healthy revenues for any reason they can find — even if it requires doing something that in any other circumstance would be branded as total lunacy. FedEx and UPS would never be required to meet the same savings requirements as the USPS.

By making the public believe that government services are underfunded and poorly managed, Republicans can force more cuts, and eventually privatize services altogether, handing over public goods to private corporations that enrich a select few at the expense of many.

And if the USPS dies, FedEx and UPS will have been delivered an entire, centuries-old industry at wholesale cost.

But all of this can be avoided by making simple and popular reforms to the postal service like those proposed last year in a bill by Delaware Senator Thomas Carper. His bill would have allowed the USPS to stretch out payments for future retirees for the next 40 years, while recouping $11 billion the government has overcharged the postal service.3

If Congress can't get its act together and implement these necessary and simple reforms, the postal service will be forced to continue cutting staff and services. Legislators must act now to repeal the PAEA and put the post office back on equal footing.

Tell Congress: Don't let Republicans kill the post office. Click the link below to sign this petition automatically.
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6996482&p=usps_sat_delivery&id=55073-3929408-8oa51Ux&t=8

Thank you for standing up for the post office.

Jordan Krueger, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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President Obama's designer couture pays off for campaign

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I remember when they first started this all the right wing mouth breathers were going on about "Elitist, snobby, liberal Hollywood communists." Heh, 40 mil drowns out all that noise.

(CNN) - While President Barack Obama's re-election campaign took heat for launching a high-fashion clothing line as a fundraising tool earlier this year, it turns out the move may not have been such a far-fetched idea.

The Obama team's campaign manager, Jim Messina, recently said the line ultimately brought in "just north of $40 million"–a notable chunk of the more than $644 million raised by the campaign.

With high-dollar pieces created by some of the industry's top designers, the idea was started by Anna Wintour, editor of Vouge Magazine and a big Obama backer. The line even held runway fashion shows, including an event in February, where more than 500 paying guests showed up to shop for the Obama gear, paying anywhere from $44 for a discounted ticket to $2,500 for a chance to have dinner with the event's organizers.

Republicans had a field day with the fashion show, held at an upscale chain store in New York City and co-hosted by Wintour and actress Scarlett Johansson. Critics blasted the move as an insensitive nod to luxury during tough economic times.

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George W. Bush (the new Marcus?) to Michele Bachmann: "Why are you wearing those gloves?"

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Via Politico, screen shot

So there I was, innocently reading my L.A. Times this morning (it actually arrived on time for the first time in days), when what jumped out at me? This:

The book offers some fun political dish, such as when Bush went to Minnesota to headline a 2006 fundraiser for her congressional run. Bachmann’s mother told her she needed to dress like a lady, so she wore a pink suit, pink shoes and pink gloves, and carried a pink purse.

Riding in the presidential limousine, Bush "asked with a crinkly smile: 'Why are you wearing those gloves?' I explained, and he said gently, 'Lose the gloves.' "

Bachmann still has them tucked in a drawer but has not worn them since.

Gasp! Did Marcus gently tell W to get lost? After all, he was there first as Michelle's personal stylist.

More importantly, look who Bachmann depended on for fashion tips. I don't want to begin to imagine who she'd hire for foreign policy advice.

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