President Obama speaks to the nation in his weekly address. The topic is equal pay for equal work.
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:
March 31, 1987 President and Mrs. Reagan host French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac and his wife, Bernadette. photo by Ron Edmonds/AP
Two nights ago, Lawrence O'Donnell, as he often does, takes a breaking national story and rather than become a mouth-piece lemming and following along, or a parrot repeating back talking points, he examines the full story with an eye from overhead, giving him a wider view. Instead of flowing downhill with the jabberhead mainstream press through heavily germ-filled waters of bunk, spin and political pollution, he looks a bit deeper and sees some runoffs that might actually lead to fresh water.
Such is the case with Robert Gates new book, his memoir of the few years he served in the Obama Administration. Many thought it was a strange choice to keep Gates as he served in the corrupt GW Bush administration, but President Obama saw something in him. Perhaps it was his boldness. Maybe his honesty. Or possibly something else, he was a near perfect barometer. Perhaps Obama knew that if Gates was in favor of something, the wise choice was to do just the opposite.
DUTY: MEMOIRS OF A SECRETARY AT WAR, according to O'Donnell, actually makes a good argument for that. Gates was a litmus test. That's always good to have around when there's a toxic situation.
At yesterday's press conference the adjective "explosive" was tossed about like a hot potato. It was used so much, it was obvious that it was a prepared, planned buzzword. It's like "IRS Conspiracy," "Benghazi," and "Trainwreck" when referring to the ACA rollout. Explosive was the word of the day that Jay Carney needed to defend. If only he had Lawrence O'Donnell with him it would have been a cake walk.
During the Rewrite segment on THE LAST WORD yesterday O'Donnell took great delight in pointing out these explosive revelations are perhaps not as damaging as the headless chickens of the beltway press would have you think. Rather than look at what the ex-CIA chief and defense secretary really said, these brainless reporters took to their imaginations and interpreted what was really written. They took words like "vaguely" and changed them to "definitively" and phrases like "conceded political opposition to the Iraq surge" meant Obama's opposition, not his parties or the nation's opposition. When you twist words, you can get them to say almost anything.
Watch this systematic destruction of the "explosive accusations" in the book, and enjoy how it's actually becomes a most complimentary Obama piece. For instance, Gates writes Obama's decision to launch an attack on Osama Bin Laden (against Gate's advice) was, "One of the most courageous decisions I had ever witnessed in the White House."
Yes sir. This book is not a hammering away at Obama. It's a tribute to a fine military and diplomatic leader.
Take a look. This clip is bit longer than I usually add, but I think every minute of it's worth it to understand just how much the White House really loves what William Gates had to say, as it makes Obama one of the strongest and definitive leaders ever to rule the roost. This is one time that Obama is no Jack Kennedy, and we're all better because of it. (Watch the clip and you'll understand that reference.)
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has been constantly on the attack over Wall Street gaming us, playing the public for fools on an uneven playing field. Plainly put, they refuse to pay their fair share. Recently that's brought out some ringing criticism from the Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank. Democrats for years have been known for in-squabbling. Lately it's been a Republican trait, but the exclusivity and even civility seems to be waning. Democrats are picking on each other. That's what's cost them in the past, and may hurt them again in the 2014 elections.
Responding to Senator Warren's call to increase, not trim Social Security benefits...
Third Way’s Jon Cowan and Jim Kessler wrote Monday that “nothing would be more disastrous for Democrats” than to embrace the economic populism of Warren and New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. Warren responded Wednesday with a letter to several major financial institutions, asking them to disclose donations to think tanks — seen as a thinly veiled reference to the op-ed.
That hit a nerve, for sure. Senator Warren's attacks continued on their tactics. HUFFPO:
The Massachusetts Democrat said that Wall Street's push to cut Social Security is part of a broader agenda. "It's part of the larger issue about a rigged playing field. They don't wanna pay more, they don't wanna pay a fair share. I believe everybody should pay a fair share," she said. "That's how we make sure people can retire with dignity. That's not what Wall Street wants to do."
Third Way's spokesman responded by saying that under Warren's plan, Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase's CEO, would be entitled to a higher Social Security payout.
"Oh please. I'm out there working for Jamie Dimon the same way Dick Cheney is out there trying to save the environment," Warren said.
Senator Warren, you tell 'em. Third Way is a think tank. Make them pay when they don't think. Seems that when you dish it back at them, Democratic ears prick up. And you're retort has even cracked through the Third Way think tank's leaders. They don't even agree with themselves, evidently.
Rep. Joe Crowley, a New York Democrat who is an honorary co-chair of Third Way, told BuzzFeed that he did not agree with Third Way on all issues, especially on Social Security, but he would “continue to work with them.”
It's nice to know someone has our backs. Now keep on 'em. Don't let up. We need you and your progressive thinking. Seniors are, as you say, for the most part separated from poverty by Social Security. They can't afford any cutbacks. Not if they want to live out their lives with a modicum of dignity. The seniors who helped build this country deserve that at the very least.
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