Remarks by the First Lady at Topeka School District Senior Recognition Day ( From Whitehouse.Gov )

For Immediate Release May 17, 2014

Expo Center

Topeka, Kansas

6:33 P.M. CDT

MRS. OBAMA: Thank you, guys. Thank you so much. Wow! (Applause.) Look at you guys. (Applause.) All right, you all rest yourselves. You’ve got a big day tomorrow. I want you guys to be ready.

 

It is beyond a pleasure and an honor, truly, to be with you here today to celebrate the class of 2014. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so proud of you guys. (Applause.) Days like this make me think of my own daughters, so forgive me if a get a little teary. You guys look great.

 

We have a great group of students here. We have students from Highland Park High School. (Applause.) We have Hope Street Academy students here today. (Applause.) Topeka High School is in the house. (Applause.) And of course, we have Topeka West High School in the house. (Applause.)

Michelle Obama in Pueblo - June 20

 

 

 

Continue reading “Remarks by the First Lady at Topeka School District Senior Recognition Day ( From Whitehouse.Gov )”

Obamacare website-maker runs failed Army Human Terrain System program

Posted By Patrick Howley On 9:32 PM  12/01/2013 In  |

The company that earned the no-bid contract to build the failed Obamacare website also runs the Army’s disastrous Human Terrain System in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has been accused of fraud, sexual harassment and racism.

The much-maligned Human Terrain System (HTS), launched in 2007, sends academics from social science fields like anthropology and linguistics into war zones to help soldiers understand the local population. The Army spent $58 million on the program in 2013, down from $114 million in 2011.

CGI Federal, the U.S. arm of the Canadian CGI Group and the designer of the failed Obamacare website, attempted a failed turnaround in HTS during the Obama administration. The young company, which employs Michelle Obama’s former Princeton classmate and Christmas guest Toni Townes-Whitley as a top executive, received eight figures from the Army in 2013 for the project, records reveal.

Continue reading “Obamacare website-maker runs failed Army Human Terrain System program”

Obesity expands amid federal anti-obesity campaign

 

Posted By Neil Munro On 4:40 PM 11/01/2013

The national obesity rate has expanded since 2012, even as federal regulators and first lady Michelle Obama exhort the nation to slim down, eat less and exercise.

The adult obesity rate climbed from 26.1 percent in January 2011, up to 27.2 percent in late 2012, according to Gallup’s survey, released on Friday – a 4.2 percent rise in 24 months.

The jump is a surprise, partly because the obesity rate had drifted down from 26.5 percent in January 2009, to 26.1 percent in January 2011, during the recession.

For more than a decade, federal health agencies have tried to reverse the growing obesity rate. In 2000, for example, the agencies announced their goal of reducing obesity to 15 percent by 2010.

The federal takeover of the nation’s health sector via the Obamacare law is also being used by experts to tighten the nation’s girth. Health companies must include anti-fatness measures in the benefit plans they offer to the nation. The value of the mandates is unclear, but they will likely fatten revenues of professionals in the anti-fat business.

Gallup’s survey showed that the obesity rate is lower among populations that are wealthy, white, older and live on the West coast. Rates are higher among populations that are middle-aged, black, latino, poorer and who live in the south.

“The U.S. obesity rate thus far in 2013 is trending upward and will likely surpass all annual obesity levels since 2008,” the Gallup report said.

Gallup also suggested that employers regulate their employees’ weight.

“Employers can also take an active role to help lower obesity rates… The annual cost for lost productivity due to workers being above normal weight or having a history of chronic conditions ranges from $160 million among agricultural workers to $24.2 billion among professionals,” Gallup claimed.

MIchelle Obama has also tried to draft companies in her waistline-reducing agenda.

Kids’ waistlines matter because the costs of treating adults’ obesity “matter for every business in America,” she wrote in February 2013.

“We spend $190 billion a year treating obesity-related health conditions like diabetes and heart disease, and a significant portion of those costs are borne by America’s businesses,” she wrote.

“We need every business in America to dig deeper, get more creative, and find new ways to generate revenue by giving American families better information and healthier choices. We know this can be done in a way that’s good for our kids and good for businesses,” she wrote.

In August, the first lady tried to claim that her “Let’s Move” campaign deserved credit for a drop in the number of obese children.

“Obesity among low-income preschoolers declined, from 2008 through 2011, in 19 of 43 states and territories studied, said a study released in August by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Today’s announcement reaffirms my belief that together, we are making a real difference in helping kids across the country get a healthier start to life,” said an August statement from the first lady.

The results were “evidence of progress,” according to her website, LetsMove.gov.

“Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams,” according to the site.

The government-centered program does allow a role for parents.

“Everyone has a role to play in reducing childhood obesity, including parents, elected officials from all levels of government, schools, health care professionals, faith-based and community-based organizations, and private sector companies,” the site declares.

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——————————————————————————–

Article printed from The Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com

URL to article: http://dailycaller.com/2013/11/01/obesity-expands-amid-federal-anti-obesity-campaign/

Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is executive at company that built Obamacare website ( no-bid contract )

Posted By Patrick Howley On 4:57 PM  10/25/2013 In  |

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the contract to build the failed Obamacare website.

Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at Healthcare.gov. CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company.

Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.

Toni Townes ’85 is a onetime policy analyst with the General Accounting Office and previously served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, West Africa. Her decision to return to work, as an African-American woman, after six years of raising kids was applauded by a Princeton alumni publication in 1998

George Schindler, the president for U.S. and Canada of the Canadian-based CGI Group, CGI Federal’s parent company, became an Obama 2012 campaign donor after his company gained the Obamacare website contract.

As reported by the Washington Examiner in early October, the Department of Health and Human Services reviewed only CGI’s bid for the Obamacare account. CGI was one of 16 companies qualified under the Bush administration to provide certain tech services to the federal government. A senior vice president for the company testified this week before The House Committee on Energy and Commerce that four companies submitted bids, but did not name those companies or explain why only CGI’s bid was considered.

On the government end, construction of the disastrous Healthcare.gov website was overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of longtime failed website-builder Kathleen Sebelius’ Department of Health and Human Services.

Update: The Daily Caller repeatedly contacted CGI Federal for comment. After publication of this article, the company responded that there would be “nothing coming out of CGI for the record or otherwise today.” The company did however insist that The Daily Caller include a reference to vice president Cheryl Campbell’s House testimony. This has been included as a courtesy to the company.

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http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/25/michelle-obamas-princeton-classmate-is-executive-at-company-that-built-obamacare-website/

Amber Alert website has been taken offline during the shutdown but Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move site is up and running

By  Meghan Keneally

PUBLISHED: 09:42 EST, 7  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 09:44 EST, 7 October 2013

The website dedicated to helping find  kidnapped children has been turned off during the government shutdown but the  First Lady’s healthy living initiative has not received the same treatment.

Amber Alerts advertise national and local  cases where children have been abducted, and since it is not considered an  essential service like national defense, it has not been funded during the  shutdown.

One website that apparently is too important  to unplug? First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ campaign, as that is one of  the few government websites still operational.

Pulling the plug: The Amber Alert website displays this message now like many government-funded programs 

Pulling the plug: The Amber Alert website displays this  message now like many government-funded programs

 

Up and running: Michelle Obama's healthy living website makes no mention of being hindered by the shutdown 

Up and running: Michelle Obama’s healthy living website  makes no mention of being hindered by the shutdown

 

 

 

Agency websites like the Department of  Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control  and the National Weather Service all have had their websites taken down or  bannered with a warning that the information is not being updated during the  federal shutdown.

Mrs Obama’s Let’s Move website, which is  clearly run by the government since the address ends with ‘.gov’, has no such  notification and is operating as usual.

The Department of Justice, which has had 15  per cent of it’s own workforce furloughed during the shutdown, said that even  though the Amber Alert website is down, they are still working on the abduction  cases.

‘Amber alerts are uninterrupted. They get  issued by states and counties, which do notifications to media, on twitter,  highway signs, etc,’ an unidentified Justice Department official told Buzzfeed.

Local issue: Text alerts will still be sent to smartphones near the suspected abductions during the shutdown 

Local issue: Text alerts will still be sent to  smartphones near the suspected abductions during the shutdown

 

Communication: Amber Alerts will still be sent to freeway signs but that order has to come from a federally funded program  

Communication: Amber Alerts will still be sent to  freeway signs but that order has to come from a federally funded program

‘The .gov site is informational, not the law  enforcement tool.’

In spite of their claims that searches would  continue uninterrupted, NBC Los Angeles said that may not be the case.

The local affiliate reports that messages on  freeway signs that typically flash descriptions of the abductor’s cars would  need to be ordered by the federally-funded program in the state capitol which is  clearly hindered by the shutdown.

State-wide alerts to smartphones and local  media will still be sent out.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2448891/Amber-Alert-website-taken-offline-shutdown-Michelle-Obamas-Lets-Move-site-running.html#ixzz2h5yGPQ5o Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Barack Obama is political king of the fake Twitter followers, with more than 19.5 MILLION online fans who don’t really exist

By  David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor

PUBLISHED: 15:58 EST, 24  September 2013 |  UPDATED: 20:57 EST, 24 September 2013

Fakest of the fake? Barack Obama's Twitter following includes 19.5 million people who don't exist, and the first lady has 1.9 million nonexistent fans of her ownFakest of the fake? Barack Obama’s Twitter following  includes 19.5 million people who don’t exist, and the first lady has 1.9 million  nonexistent fans of her own

Among influential U.S. political tweeters,  President Barack Obama is the undisputed king of the fake followers. A  MailOnline analysis ranks his sizable Twitter following as the most deceptive  total among the 21 most influential accounts run by American politicians: More  than 19.5 million of his 36.9 million Twitter followers are accounts that don’t  correspond to real people.

The four phoniest accounts in the sample,  which included Democratic and Republican Party leaders in Washington, D.C., were  those belonging to President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, first lady  Michelle Obama and the White House communications shop.

Of the president’s 36.9 million Twitter  followers, an astonishing 53 per cent – or 19.5 million – are fake accounts,  according to a search engine at the Internet research vendor StatusPeople.com. Just 20 per cent of  Obama’s Twitter buddies are real people who are active users.

Overall, the five most influential accounts  linked to the Obama administration – the  first lady has two – account for 23.4  million fake followers.

Biden’s nonexistent fans make up 46 per cent  of his Twitter total, with 20 per cent being ‘real’ followers. The White House’s  followers are 37 per cent fake and 25 per cent active; the first lady’s primary  account is 36 per cent fake and 29 per cent active.

The Daily Caller reported on Tuesday that  Michelle Obama’s Twitter followers included nearly 2 million nonexistent people,  a number that lines up with MailOnline’s findings.

Fake Twitter followers seem to be chasing U.S. politicians on both sides of the aisle, but Barack Obama is the undisputed champFake Twitter followers seem to be chasing U.S.  politicians on both sides of the aisle, but Barack Obama is the undisputed  champ

A matched ticket: Vice President Biden's fake-follower ranking was 46 per cent, with just one-fifth of his supposed Twitter audience consisting of human beings who are actually listeningA matched ticket: Vice President Biden’s fake-follower  ranking was 46 per cent, with just one-fifth of his supposed Twitter audience  consisting of human beings who are actually listening

Michelle Obama's complaints about Americans' diet and exercise are falling on deaf ears, at least among the 71 per cent of her Twitter followers who aren't tuning inMichelle Obama’s complaints about Americans’ diet and  exercise are falling on deaf ears, at least among the 71 per cent of her Twitter  followers who aren’t tuning in

The difference between fake followers and  ‘real’ ones is comprised of ‘inactive’ accounts, which may relate to real people  but no longer send tweets with any regularity.

There are several reasons why  so many  followers of a given Twitter account might be considered ‘fake.’ In some cases,  direct marketers and other spammers follow influential accounts  en masse,  hoping to be followed in return.

Twitter’s own CEO, Dick Costolo, has a  personal feed followed by 1.1 million people, but 31 per cent of them are  fake.

There is also the possibility that prominent  politicians are buying blocks of Twitter followers. Such an accusation was  leveled at Republican  presidential candidate Mitt Romney in  2012.

The digital security company Baccardua Labs told The Guardian that Romney’s surge of new followers at the time were ‘not from a general  Twitter  population but most likely from a paid Twitter follower  service.’

‘Romney’s newest  followers could have been  paid for by himself, his associates or by his  opponents. So far, there is not a  feasible way to confirm who is  responsible,’ said the report’s author, Jason  Ding.

No such report about Obama’s social media  accounts was published.

MailOnline looked at 21 accounts, and the numbers show that just about everyone in Washington is at least 11 per cent phony -- at least on TwitterMailOnline looked at 21 accounts, and the numbers show  that just about everyone in Washington is at least 11 per cent phony — at least  on Twitter

Up, up, up! Vice President Joe Biden is second only to his boss in the fake follower departmentUp, up, up! Vice President Joe Biden is second only to  his boss in the fake follower department

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich has made a name for himself among conservatives with nearly 1.5 million Twitter followers, but more than 400,000 of those don't appear to be realFormer U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich has made a name  for himself among conservatives with nearly 1.5 million Twitter followers, but  more than 400,000 of those don’t appear to be real

When the White House tweets ... only one-quarter of its followers are receiving the message. About 37 per cent of them aren't real, and another 38 per cent aren't active on TwitterWhen the White House tweets … only one-quarter of its  followers are receiving the message. About 37 per cent of them aren’t real, and  another 38 per cent aren’t active on Twitter

One British company called Buy More Followers  advertises online that it offers ‘a wide  range of packages,’ providing as many  as 100,000 artificial but ‘real  looking’ Twitter followers for a relatively  modest £189.99. The company  also offers a 30-day money-back  guarantee.

Did he? One report determined that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's social media staff purchased a raft of Twitter followers to boost his online credibilityDid he? One report determined that Republican  presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s social media staff purchased a raft of  Twitter followers to boost his online credibility

The most genuine follower totals in  MailOnline’s sample were those of the four congressional ‘whips’ – the  second-in-command members in each party who enforce discipline and count heads  before votes are called.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, an Illinois  Democrat, boasts a Twitter account with only 11 per cent ‘fake’ followers, a  number matched by Minority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican.

‘Twitter is a great medium for Sen. Cornyn to  stay in direct contact with Texans,’ press secretary Megan Mitchell  said.

GOP House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy  of California was second-best among Republicans, with 12 per cent of his  followers lacking pulses and names. Democratic House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer  of Maryland came next with 13 per cent.

‘Twitter and other social media platforms are  an effective method for online conversations about important issues in  Congress,’ said Hoyer spokesperson Amanda Ott, noting that her boss ‘continues  to emphasize engaging with his constituents and the broader American public  through social media.’

Near the other end of the scale, however,  four of the most prominent House and Senate leaders – from both major parties – gave the  Obama administration a run for its money.

U.S. Senator John CornynSen. Dick Durbin

Playing it straight: GOP Sen. John Cornyn (L) and  Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin (R) had the best records, with just 11 per cent of  their Twitter followers regarded as phony

Grass roots? About 29 per cent of Sen. Marco Rubio's 431,000 Twitter followers don't appear to be living, breathing peopleGrass roots? About 29 per cent of Sen. Marco Rubio’s  431,000 Twitter followers don’t appear to be living, breathing people

House Speaker John Boehner had the worst  record among members of Congress whose Twitter accounts MailOnline sampled.  One-third of his speaker account’s followers – 33 per cent – are fake, which is  a greater proportion than the 30 per cent who exist and are active tweeters.  Boehner also has a second account with a 24 per cent ‘fake’  rating.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, Democratic House  Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid  followed with 29, 29 and 28 percent fake followers, respectively.

The White House offered no reply to messages  seeking comment

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2430875/Barack-Obama-19-5m-fake-Twitter-followers.html#ixzz2froerERI Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Michelle Obama loses her cool: First Lady threatens to leave fundraiser after lesbian protester heckles her – and the White House deletes exchange from official transcript

By  David Martosko

PUBLISHED: 22:39 EST, 4 June  2013 |  UPDATED: 00:20  EST, 5 June 2013

First lady Michelle Obama, usually upbeat and positive in public, turned sour Tuesday night and threatened to leave after a gay-rights heckler interrupted her speech at a Democratic National Committee fundraising dinner 

First lady Michelle Obama, usually upbeat and positive  in public, turned sour Tuesday night and threatened to leave after a gay-rights  heckler interrupted her speech at a Democratic National Committee fundraising  dinner

First lady Michelle Obama’s speech at a  Washington, D.C. political fundraiser was interrupted by a lesbian protester on  Tuesday night, and she threatened to leave the event if the gay rights activist  wasn’t forced to leave. But the official White House transcript doesn’t indicate  anything about the heckler or Mrs. Obama’s audible reaction.

While the first lady was speaking to  approximately 200 Democratic Party loyalists who paid up to $10,000 to attend  the event at the swanky Washington home of a wealthy lesbian couple, the  protester interrupted with demands that the president issue an executive order  forcing federal contractors to stop discriminating against gay and transgendered  job applicants.

Amanda Terkel, a Huffington Post scribe who  served as the night’s ‘pool’ ‘reporter, wrote that the ‘[m]ost notable part of  the event was an interruption from a protester about 12 minutes into the  20-minute speech. A pro-LGBT rights individual standing at the front began  shouting for an executive order on gay rights.’

‘”One of the things I don’t do well is this,”  replied FLOTUS to loud applause,’ according to Terkel. ‘She left the lectern and  moved over to the protester, saying they could “listen to me or you can take the  mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”‘

The crowd, the pool report continued,  ‘started shouting that they wanted FLOTUS to stay.’

Terkel reported that when the protester was  escorted out, she shouted about being a ‘lesbian looking for federal equality  before I die.’

In a later report, she added that  ‘Heather  Cronk, co-director of the pro-LGBT rights group GetEQUAL, …  identified the  protester as one of their activists, Ellen Sturtz.’

Mrs. Obama brought her speaking talents - and her considerable wingspan - to stump for Democratic candidates, but got her feathers ruffled by the lesbian avenger 

Mrs. Obama brought her speaking talents – and her  considerable wingspan – to stump for Democratic candidates, but got her feathers  ruffled by the lesbian avenger

Terkel advised her fellow reporters to  ‘[p]lease check quotes with [the] official transcript.’

 

But when the White House’s transcript  arrived, The  Daily Caller reported Tuesday night, it didn’t include any  indication of an acrimonious exchange — and was missing Mrs. Obama’s threat to  leave the event.

GetEQUAL activist Ellen Sturtz heckled Michelle Obama on Tuesday night, demanding that the president sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating in their hiring on the basis of sexual orientation 

GetEQUAL activist Ellen Sturtz heckled Michelle Obama on  Tuesday night, demanding that the president sign an executive order banning  federal contractors from discriminating in their hiring on the basis of sexual  orientation

The only indication in that transcript that  anything was amiss is a note about an ‘(Inaudible audience  interruption.)’

‘I lived and worked in the closet, hiding who  I was in order to earn a living,’ Sturtz said in a statement late Tuesday  night.

‘I had planned to speak tonight with DNC  officials but, as the First Lady was talking about our childrens’ future and  ensuring that they have everything they need to live happy and productive lives,  I simply couldn’t stay silent any longer.’

‘I’m looking ahead at a generation of young  people who could live full, honest, and open lives with the stroke of the  President’s pen,’ she insisted.

The  White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney took an oddly coincidental  question  earlier in the day during his regularly scheduled briefing  about the same  discrimination issue that had Sturtz shouting at the top  of her  lungs.

A reporter asked Carney for a  progress  report on ‘a study of LGBT workplace discrimination possibly  led by the Council  of Economic Advisors,’ which was commissioned in 2012 after the president  declined to sign an executive order banning the  practice.

White House press secretary Jay Carney took a moment Tuesday from his 'patent troll' discussion to parry a question about the presidents plan to ban federal contractors' workplace discrimination against gays

 

White House press secretary Jay Carney took a moment  Tuesday from his ‘patent troll’ discussion to parry a question about the  presidents plan to ban federal contractors’ workplace discrimination against  gays

‘I don’t have any updated status on that for  you,’ Carney said. ‘I can tell you that the  president has long supported, as  you know, an inclusive Employment  Non-Discrimination Act. … And his  administration will continue to work to build support for it.’

‘The president’s record on support for LGBT  rights is significant and well known,’ Obama’s chief spokesman added.

Mr. Obama, he said, ‘believes that the right  approach to this problem is an inclusive piece of legislation, and that’s the  approach that we’re  taking.  It was the approach that we took with repeal  of “don’t ask,  don’t tell.”  And we continue to support this  effort.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2336084/Michelle-Obama-threatens-leave-fundraiser-lesbian-protester-heckles-speech-White-House-deletes-exchange-official-transcript.html#ixzz2VJrawuKD Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Report: Michelle Obama once dated inspector general at the center of IRS investigation into anti-tea party political favoritism

By  David Martosko

PUBLISHED: 15:33 EST, 22 May  2013 |  UPDATED: 19:45  EST, 22 May 2013

 

A young Michelle Robinson, the future first  lady of the United States, may have dated Treasury Department Inspector General  J. Russell George at Harvard Law School, a new report claims.

George, 49, has testified in two congressional hearings about the IRS’s unethical targeting of conservative organizations with special scrutiny after they applied for tax-exempt status.

The revelation of a previous link to Michelle  Obama came in a lengthy interview with George – published a week after the IRS  scandal was brought to light.

National Journal reported Wednesday that U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George dated first lady Michelle Obama while the two were in law school 

U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration  J. Russell George (L) testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform  Committee on Wednesday about IRS abuses of right-wing nonprofit groups. National  Journal reported hours earlier that he had dated the first lady while the two  were in law school

Mrs. Obama (L), equal parts political cohort and marital consort, has become a force to be reckoned with in Washington 

Mrs. Obama (L), equal parts political cohort and marital  consort, has become a force to be reckoned with in Washington

Mrs Obama has never spoken publicly  about  her boyfriends during the years before she met Barack Obama – the  future  president – at a Chicago law firm where they were both  associates.

George and Mrs  Obama, then Michelle Robinson, graduated together from the university in  1988.

He told the National  Journal that the two shared social  circles at Harvard, and were both active in the Black Law Students  Association.

 

But Virginia Republican Rep Tom Davis, who  worked with George as staff director of the House Oversight committee in the  late 1990s and early 200s – the same committee that questioned George on  Wednesday, said the relationship was more than just friendly.

‘I think he actually dated Michelle at one  point,’ Davis told National Journal.

Pressed about  his purported love interest from a quarter-century ago, George said that  conclusion ‘is overstating it.’

First Lady Michelle Obama is pictured on Wednesday alongside Aidan LeBlanc, a 12-year-old 6th grader dressed as Abraham Lincoln from Willow Springs Elementary School, in Washington 

First Lady Michelle Obama is pictured on Wednesday  alongside Aidan LeBlanc, a 12-year-old 6th grader dressed as Abraham Lincoln  from Willow Springs Elementary School, in Washington

In their early years together, Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama spent a Christmas holiday together in Hawaii. They were married in October 1992 

In their early years together, Michelle Robinson and  Barack Obama spent a Christmas holiday together in Hawaii. They were married in  October 1992, four years after her Harvard Law School graduation

‘Michelle was a lovely person, and down to  earth,’ he said, recalling times when Black Law Student Association members  ‘went out for pizza; we would go out together.’

‘Don’t get me in trouble,’ George told the  Washington newspaper, after ‘pausing for a beat.’

From Harvard, the future Mrs Obama got a job  at a law firm in Chicago, one of just 14 black lawyers in an office of  hundreds.

It is at that firm of Sidley &  Austin  that she met Barack, who arrived as a summer associate in 1988.

For their first date in 1989, Obama took her  to the Art Institute of Chicago and to see the Spike Lee film Do the Right  Thing.

After stopping for ice cream at  Baskin-Robbins, the two shared their first kiss. A plaque now marks the  location.

Kissing plaque: A 3,000-pound granite marker, pictured, was erected to commemorate the where the President first kissed Michele Obama

 

Kissing plaque: A 3,000-pound granite marker has been  erected in Chicago to commemorate where the president first  kissed Michelle in  1989

Did a young Michelle Robinson catch the eye of the Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George? A Virginia congressman who once worked with him on Capitol Hill remembers it that wayDid a young Michelle Robinson catch the eye of the Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George? A Virginia congressman who once worked with him on Capitol Hill remembers it that way

Did a young Michelle Robinson catch the eye of the  Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George more than four years before she  married the future president? A Virginia congressman who once worked with him on  Capitol Hill remembers it that way

They married in 1992 at the Trinity United  Church of Christ in  Chicago.

George, who was born in New York City,  attended Harvard Law in  between stints working for then-Senator Bob Dole of  Kansas and serving  in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, both  Republicans.

In 1995, he returned to Washington for good  after he took a job at Committee on Government Reform, among other high-profile  positions in government.

He was appointed by President George W. Bush  to serve as inspector general of the Corporation for National and Community  Service before moving on to his current post in 2004.

Mrs Obama’s time at the prestigious  Cambridge, Massachusetts law school put her squarely in the middle of  the  nationwide debates raging about race politics in the 1980s.

J. Russell George (L) testified on May 17 alongside the outgoing acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller before the House Ways and Means committee 

J. Russell George (L) testified on May 17 alongside the  outgoing acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller before the House Ways and Means  committee. George wrote the report that officially recounted an audit of the  IRS’s scandalous behavior toward tea party groups

During her final year at Harvard, she wrote  an article for the Black Law Students Association’s newsletter in which she  argued that the school was perpetuating ‘racist and sexist stereotypes’ because  it wasn’t hiring enough minority law professors based on the color of their  skin.

The Daily  Caller first reported on the essay,  in which she wrote that hiring on the sole basis of merit, instead of recruiting  according to affirmative-action principles, ‘serve[d] to legitimize students’  tendencies to distrust certain types of teaching that do not resemble the  traditional images’ of law school.

The future first lady lauded the  teaching  styles of liberal academics Martha Minow and Charles Ogletree,  who ignored the  traditional question-and-answer ‘Socratic method’ in  favor of other habits.

 

Harvard Law School may have been the ultimate matchmaker society in the late 1980s, connecting Michelle Robinson romantically with future president Barack Obama and the future chief inspector of the Treasury Department 

Harvard Law School may have been the ultimate matchmaker  society in the late 1980s, connecting Michelle Robinson romantically with future  president Barack Obama and the future chief inspector of the Treasury  Department

She also praised critical race theory, the  idea that powerful groups of  people – including caucasians – use the law as an  instrument to oppress  the powerless, including blacks.

Mrs. Obama also wrote a  message for the Harvard Law School’s  yearbook in which she called for greater civility in American  society.

‘After three years,’ wrote the graduating  lawyer-to-be, ‘I continue to be struck by the tremendous talent and energy among  HLS students and faculty.

‘The diversity of campus life challenges all  of us to question our assumptions, listen to other viewpoints, and articulate  our values in a spirit of mutual respect and tolerance.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2329232/Report-Inspector-general-investigated-IRS-anti-tea-party-political-favoritism-dated-Michelle-Obama.html#ixzz2U6LPaJtV Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

New Secret Service chief ‘hacked and personal information published online’ days after appointed

  • A Social Security number,  phone  numbers and a credit report are among those claimed to belong to Julia Pierson  on site
  • Secret Service investigating with accuracy  of private data unclear

By  Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 16:57 EST, 4  April 2013 |  UPDATED: 17:25 EST, 4 April 2013

Personal information belonging to the Secret  Service’s new director Julia Pierson has been hacked and published online  according to new claims now under federal investigation.

The hacking would be the latest in a string  of such incidents against top officials that include first lady Michelle Obama  and CIA Director John Brennan.

The information on the website included a Social Security number, phone numbers, and a credit report that  includes  accounts with The Home Depot, Sears, and Macy’s.

Hacked: Julia Pierson, seen after being sworn-in as the new director of the U.S. Secret Service late last month, has allegedly been hacked with her private information published online 

Hacked: Julia Pierson, seen after being sworn-in as the  new director of the U.S. Secret Service late last month, has allegedly been  hacked with her private information published online

It was unclear how much of the data that  appeared on http://www.exposed.re was accurate or who posted it.

The website appeared to have information  about other government officials and celebrities that had been published online  previously at another Internet address, http://www.exposed.su.

That address appears to have been taken down  after its launch last month.

In that one-month period the former site was  viewed more than a half a million times,Information  Week reports. The latest site reports more than  770,000 page views and counting.

‘We are investigating and we are aware of the  matter,’ a Secret Service spokesman said without commenting further.

Creeper: The website, pictured, claims to also have the information of national players like Hillary Clinton, John Brennan and stars like Kim Kardashian 

Creeper: The website, pictured, claims to also have the  information of national players like Hillary Clinton, John Brennan and stars  like Kim Kardashian

Pierson was sworn into office on March 27 and  is the first woman to head the agency which protects the  president.

An FBI spokeswoman said ‘we’re aware of the  reports’ but she would not say whether the FBI was investigating  them.

The Internet domain country code for the  island of Reunion is .re, while .su was the domain code for the Soviet  Union.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2304214/Julia-Pierson-New-Secret-Service-chief-hacked-personal-information-published-online.html#ixzz2PYmmVEEI Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

U.S. to give security services access to citizens’ financial data

 

Mar 14, 2013 05:58 Moscow Time

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has announced plans to allow special services access to financial data of all citizens who have accounts in the U.S.. This applies to both Americans and foreigners.

Reportedly, the goal is to deal a blow to financing of terrorist organizations and organized crime groups. Access to personal financial data will thus be granted to the CIA and National Security. Until now, such access was open only to the FBI.

The document which outlines the plan, notes that its development is at an early stage, and it’s hard to say when it will be implemented.

According to statistics from the U.S. Treasury, more than 15 million cases of “suspicious activity” in citizens’ accounts are reported annually.

Earlier, it was reported that several prominent U.S. public and political figures had their personal financial data hacked into. Among them were the U.S. president’s wife, Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Voice of Russia, RBC

How Michelle Obama is backing fashion queen ‘Ambassador’ Anna Wintour all the way – to Paris, NOT London (despite the fact she speaks little French)

By  Sharon Churcher and Nick Pryer

PUBLISHED: 20:35 EST, 8  December 2012 |  UPDATED: 20:55 EST, 9 December 2012

 

Anyone doubting the veracity of Washington  rumours that Anna Wintour, the famously icy fashion queen of New York City, will  soon become a high-profile American ambassador in Europe should look no further  for substantiation than the archives of Vogue magazine.

In March 2009, the magazine – ruled by  Wintour as her personal fiefdom – devoted its cover and eight glossy pages  inside to an  interview with the new First Lady Michelle Obama alongside a  fabulously glamorous set of photographs shot by legendary portrait photographer  Annie Leibovitz.

The ‘Michelle Obama Edition’ hit the  newsstands with the glowing headline The First Lady The World’s Been Waiting For  – and transformed her public image at a stroke.

Vogue editor Anna Wintour, pictured at the 58th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards in November, is being put forward to become an ambassador to Paris 

Vogue editor Anna Wintour, pictured at the 58th London  Evening Standard Theatre Awards in November, is being put forward to become an  ambassador to Paris

 

Icy fashion queen of New York City: Anna Wintour backstage at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on December 8, 2012 in New York City 

Icy fashion queen of New York City: Anna Wintour  backstage at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on December 8, 2012 in New York  City

When she first appeared on the  political  stage, Michelle was dismissed as a slightly awkward,   intellectual lawyer:  an angrier, African-American  version of the young  Hillary Clinton. But  when Vogue was finished with her, Michelle was  recreated as a softly elegant  global fashion icon and role model: a  perfect Jackie to her husband’s JFK for a  multi-racial age.

The Vogue cover was the culmination of a year  of hard work by the ambitious and hard-working Ms Wintour, a committed  Democratic Party fundraiser  who spotted the White House potential of the Obamas  when Barack was  still regarded as a rank outsider.

As his star began to rise, Michelle appeared  in clothes by fresh, exciting young designers, and political sources say the  influence of Ms Wintour  on her choice of wardrobe is unmistakable. ‘Anna makes  Mrs Obama feel  glamorous,’ an administration insider told The Mail on Sunday.

So successful has Wintour’s guidance been  that Michelle, rather than  Barack, was regarded as the star of this year’s  bitterly fought  Presidential election.

Now highly placed diplomatic sources  in  Washington have revealed Michelle is driving the campaign to reward  Ms Wintour  by making her an ambassador to Paris. The move has been  greeted by astonishment  on this side of the Atlantic, particularly  because of Ms Wintour’s reputation  as a capricious ice maiden. Indeed  her legendary frostiness, which earned her  the soubriquet Nuclear  Wintour, seems at odds with the art of international  diplomacy.

The proposed appointment is backed by First Lady Michelle Obama, pictured at the Democratic National Convention in the U.S., who was featured on the front cover of Vogue in 2009

 

The proposed appointment is backed by First Lady  Michelle Obama, pictured at the Democratic National Convention in the U.S., who  was featured on the front cover of Vogue in 2009

She once described overweight people  in  Minneapolis as looking like ‘little houses’, and she is known for  frequent  angry outbursts. Her chilly demeanour is made all the more  intimidating by her  love of dark glasses – even indoors.

British journalist Toby Young – who  satirised his five-year stint in New York with Conde Nast, the magazine  company that publishes Vogue, in the book and film How To Lose Friends  And  Alienate People – said: ‘She presides over the fashion business with the  imperial hauteur of a Prussian general and expects instant,  unquestioning  obedience.

‘It’s hard to imagine a personality less  suited to the world of international diplomacy. She left school at 16 and has  been working in fashion ever  since. Obama’s chauffeur probably knows more about  international  relations than her. It’s like Caligula making his horse a  senator.’

One fashion editor in London said: ‘It’s  incredible the most powerful  nation on Earth should even consider appointing  the least diplomatic  woman on Earth as an envoy. She is joyless and  intimidating.’

The 'Michelle Obama Edition', pictured, was the culmination of a year of hard work by hard-working Anna 

The ‘Michelle Obama Edition’, pictured, was the  culmination of a year of hard work by hard-working Anna

Tales of Wintour’s capriciousness are legion.  When she hosted the Evening Standard theatre awards in London last month, she  demanded gold chairs, gold cutlery and a 22ft yew hedge be installed inside the  venue. She asked for the temperature to be turned down, that a guest who arrived  with her baby be removed and summarily cancelled dessert. At a New York fashion  ball at the Metropolitan Museum she asked to be informed about the size of the  knots on the ties of the waiters.

She put noses out of joint two years ago by  giving a speech at a London Fashion Week soiree at No 10, rather than leaving it  to a British fashion leader. Samantha Cameron was  said to be so terrified  of her that she acquiesced immediately.

But in America, the idea of Ambassador  Wintour has scarcely raised an eyebrow. Sir Christopher Meyer, former British  envoy to Washington, said last night it would be entirely in keeping with US  tradition.

He said: ‘Americans have always  regarded  their top ambassadorial positions as political appointments, a  reward for  services rendered.’

The current US envoy to London, Louis Susman,  is a banker from  Chicago who was a major Obama fundraiser in 2008. Obama  also appointed Dan Rooney,  owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, as  ambassador to Dublin.

U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes a speech at a dinner held by the U.S embassy in Paris last year 

U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes a speech at  a dinner held by the U.S embassy in Paris last year

In the past 50 years, nine out of ten US  ambassadors to Paris and London have been political appointees rather than  career diplomats. British-born Ms Wintour is an American citizen and Sir  Christopher added: ‘There is no systemic reason why Anna Wintour shouldn’t be an  ambassador.’

Meanwhile a State Department insider told The  Mail on Sunday: ‘Anna Wintour’s friends have expressed an interest in making  sure that she is nominated to become an ambassador to a major Western European  nation. I have had this confirmed from a friend in the political office at the  White House. I am also told there is only a slight chance Wintour will end up in  London.’

Mrs Obama, instead, is said to be pushing  vigorously for her to be sent to France, despite the fact that she is said to  speak little French. The State Department insider told The Mail on Sunday that  Ms Wintour is currently ‘under consideration’, adding: ‘Paris is her number one  choice. I gather Ms Wintour finds the Paris house and grounds particularly  spectacular.’

It is easy to see why the US ambassador’s  official residence should appeal to Ms Wintour. The grand mansion, once the home  of Baron Maurice de Rothschild, is one of the most imposing houses (after the  Elysee Palace) on the Rue du Fauborg St Honore, which is itself regarded as the  most fashionable street in the world.

State Department insiders are at  pains to  say that, if appointed, Ms Wintour would be expected to  concentrate on using  her close relationship with President Obama to  influence French president  Francois Hollande. Her personal style, love  of Parisian haute couture and  elitist views about beauty and femininity  are expected to go down  well.

Anna Wintour would be expected to focus on using her relationship with President Obama to influence French president Francois Hollande if she was sent to Paris, pictured 

Anna Wintour would be expected to focus on using her  relationship with President Obama to influence French president Francois  Hollande if she was sent to Paris, pictured

Ms Wintour’s supporters in the Democratic  Party hierarchy point to her tireless fundraising for Obama as evidence of her  focus, contacts and drive. She helped design a range of election merchandise  that raised £25 million for the party and organised a series of glittering  fundraising dinners where celebrities paid £25,000 each to meet the Obamas over  dinner at Sex And The City star Sarah Jessica Parker’s Manhattan town house, and  at the home of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Ms Wintour is said to have  personally overseen the preparations with the iron hand for which she was  satirised in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada.

If divorcee and mother of two Ms Wintour is  nominated as an ambassador, the appointment must be confirmed by the US  Senate.

One obstacle might be money. Ms Wintour is  well-paid – her salary is believed to be £1.2 million – but not independently  wealthy. It is believed she has calculated she will need £500,000 a year to  fulfil the job in the style she regards as appropriate.

Some in Washington have raised the  possibility that her ambassadorship could be discreetly ‘sponsored’ by American  fashion designers Michael Kors or Ralph Lauren.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said  last week: ‘I have no personnel announcements to make.’

Vogue said: ‘Anna Wintour is very happy with  her current job.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2245298/How-Michelle-Obama-backing-fashion-queen-Ambassador-Anna-Wintour-way–Paris-NOT-London-despite-fact-speaks-little-French.html#ixzz2EdEaDqdh Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Local Reporter Tells TheBlaze: ‘I’m 100 Percent Positive’ Crowds Were Chanting ‘Hail Obama!’ at First Lady Rally

Engineering Evil: If anyone finds a link to the audio of the alleged event…Please post in comments…THX 😉

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 9:25pm by Jason Howerton

 

UPDATE (10:25 p.m. ET): In an exclusive interview with TheBlaze, WOFL Fox 35 reporter Mike Synan said he is “100 percent positive” that the crowds were chanting “Hail Obama!” at the event. Further, he said there were at least three or four other local TV stations at the event that heard it as well.

 

“We all started talking about it after my tweet started getting attention,” he told TheBlaze. Everyone was “in agreement” about what was being chanted and many agreed it was “tacky.”

 

People have questioned Synan’s claim, some because they are Obama supporters and others because there is no video that proves inconclusively that “Hail Obama!” was being shouted at the rally.

 

Synan said the chant began before Michelle Obama took the stage and before the TV stations were plugged into the audio and the TV stations were unable to capture video.

 

Responding to his critics, the 15-year veteran reporter said he would have reported it the same way if the crowds were chanting “Hail Romney.”

 

“I am just a reporter,” Synan told TheBlaze. “I just report on what happens.”

 

However, in 15 years he said he was never heard a crowd say “hail” before anyone’s name, much less a politician. He said some of his colleagues at other local news outlets didn’t think it was as newsworthy as he did.

 

“I don’t think anybody else thought it was a big deal like I did,” he said. “They generally say the same things at these rallies, so my ears are always up for something that’s different.”

 

 

TheBlaze is currently reaching out to other reporters who Synan says can corroborate his claim.

 

Here is Synan’s report for WOFL Fox 35:

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOX 35 News Orlando

 

 

Read TheBlaze’s original story below:

 

Crowds of President Barack Obama’s loyal supporters chanted “Hail Obama!” during a campaign rally featuring First Lady Michelle Obama in Daytona, Fla. on Thursday, according to a local reporter who was at the event.

 

Mike Synan, a local reporter for WOFL in Orlando, says he is positive that “hundreds” of people in the crowd at the rally chanted “Hail Obama,” not something that sounded similar. He also said he would not risk his 15-year reputation as a journalist to make something up.

 

 

 

 

Mike Synan@msynan

 

 

Crowd for #FLOTUS event in Daytona now chanting “Hail Obama”. Wow, just wow #fox35

 

1 Nov 12 Reply

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Synan spent hours defending his claim as Obama supporters attacked him for making up “a load of crap” and others questioned if he heard correctly. The local reporter did not walk back his claim:

 

 

 

 

Mike Synan@msynan

 

 

True. Would not lie. Chanting “Hail Obama” RT @jeffreybillman: @msynan For real, or are you just Drudge-baiting?

 

1 Nov 12 Reply

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Mike Synan@msynan

 

 

100% RT:”@shoutingboy: @msynan Are you sure they weren’t chanting “MICHELLE Obama”?”

 

1 Nov 12 Reply

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Mike Synan@msynan

 

 

@Pizentu I did not mishear. Was not the full crowd. Someone would yell “hail Obama” and hundreds that could hear that person would repeat

 

1 Nov 12 Reply

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Mike Synan@msynan

 

 

100% sure it was “Hail Obama” RT @Macrotots: @Romniac @msynan Are you sure it’s not “Hell”??? Or (worse) “Heil”?

 

1 Nov 12 Reply

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Mike Synan@msynan

 

 

Not that we have. Much too far before the event and not entire crowd, so would be muddled RT:@vulgarUG: @DrewMTips @msynan Is there video?”

 

1 Nov 12 Reply

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Mike Synan@msynan

 

 

I am the reporter, and not the only one who heard it. Would never ruin 15 years of cred RT:”@Sanosuke1981: @msynan it’s a load of crap.”

 

1 Nov 12 Reply

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Mike Synan@msynan

 

 

I am the reporter, and not the only one who heard it. Would never ruin 15 years of cred RT:”@Sanosuke1981: @msynan it’s a load of crap.”

 

1 Nov 12 Reply

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While WOFL was not able to get video of the chant, TheBlaze is currently on the lookout for video captured by participants or bystanders. Check back for updates.

 

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/local-reporter-defends-claim-that-he-heard-crowd-at-first-lady-rally-chanting-hail-obama/

 

Afghan ‘Woman of Courage’ hailed by Michelle Obama for defending women’s rights has actually JAILED 100 wives for ‘adultery’

More than 50% of women jailed for adultery  in Afghanistan come from province prosecuted by Ms Bashir –  which holds just 20% of the population

By Eddie Wrenn

 

Last year she was hailed as one of the most  influential people in the world – a defender of women’s rights as Afghanistan’s  only female head prosecutor.

Ms Bashir has been lauded by both  Michelle  Obama and Hilary Clinton – and she was one of ten women to receive a ‘Women of  Courage’ Award in Washington last year.

But Maria Bashir’s reputation is now in doubt  after the Times revealed that Ms Bashir is also the most prolific prosecutor of  women for Afghanistan’s so-called ‘moral’ crimes, such as adultery.

While Ms Bashir campaigns against abuse  husbands, more than half of the 172 women jailed in Afghanistan for sex outside  of marriage (known as ‘zina’) have come from her province.

Defender or jailer? Maria Bashir, pictured with with First Lady Michelle Obama U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has jailed more than 100 women for adultery in Afghanistan 

Defender or jailer? Maria Bashir, pictured with with  First Lady Michelle Obama U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has jailed  more than 100 women for adultery in Afghanistan

The Herat province’s population stands at an  estimated 1.7million, and Afghanistan as a whole has a population of  35million.

Last week Ms Bashir, who became lead  prosecutor in 2006, and has prosecuted nearly a thord of the 78 women jailed for  murder in Afghanistan, was promoted to become Herat’s  attorney-general.

The Times said diplomats are ‘shocked’ by the  extraordinary tally of women imprisoned for adultery.

It further says that 101 out of 136 women  serving in Herat’s women jail are there for adultery, one of the moral crimes  which campaigners for women’s rights are trying to remove from  Afghanistan.

Two sides: Maria Bashir, attorney general of Herat comforting Arefa, a victim of domestic violence, in Herat, Afghanistan, last year 

Two sides: Maria Bashir, attorney general of Herat  comforting Arefa, a victim of domestic violence, in Herat, Afghanistan, last  year

When she received her award, the two  presidential wives said: ‘Ms Bashir has waged a determined campaign against  crime and corruption.

‘She stands out as a champion of judicial  transparency and women’s rights, and exemplifies the resilience of Afghan  women.’

When the Times contacted Ms Bashir, she said  she was unaware that her prosecution rate was so much higer than other  provinces, but blamed it on her province’s closeness to the border with  Iran.

She said: ‘If it is higher it’s because we  are bordered with Iran, which culturally influences Afghans.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2221316/Woman-Courage-hailed-Michelle-Obama-defending-womens-rights-jailed-100-wives-adultery-Afghanistan.html#ixzz2A4XMAF37 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Mitt was correct to attack Obama over Libya killings after siding with President . . . as cameras catch Michelle breaking rules by clapping husband

  • Moderator said Romney was incorrect to  question whether the President called the killing of the U.S. ambassador in  Benghazi an ‘act of terror’
  • Crowley claimed she waded in over Libya to  ‘bring clarity’ to debate
  • Later backtracked and admitted Romney ‘was  right in the main’
  • Michelle Obama caught on camera applauding  controversial moment
  • GOP aides say moderator ‘had no business’  interrupting the candidate
  • Obama spoke for three more minutes than  Romney during New York debate
  • Republican extends lead in national polls  released on Wednesday morning

By Louise Boyle and Hugo Gye

PUBLISHED:20:23 EST, 16  October 2012| UPDATED:13:12 EST, 17 October 2012

Candy Crowley admitted that Mitt Romney was  RIGHT to criticise Barack Obama for his response to the attack on the U.S.  consulate in Benghazi just hours after she apparently sided with Obama at a  crucial point in the high drama presidential debate on Tuesday night.

The moderator’s shock intervention, in which  she cut Romney short when he claimed that Obama had failed to say the  attack was the work of terrorists in  the his Rose Garden statement the following day, has been met with  outrage.

However, Crowley appeared to backtrack just a  few hours after she left the GOP candidate exposed on the stage in front of  millions of viewers. She admitted that Romney had been ‘right in the main’ but  added that he had ‘picked the wrong word’.

The row intensified when Michelle Obama was  caught on camera applauding Crowley’s intervention – despite rules banning  members of the audience from clapping or otherwise showing support during the  debate, which has been called the ‘most rancorous’ in history.

The fiery clash came as President Obama  continued to struggle in the polls, with the latest data showing a six-point  lead for Romney, who is also performing strongly in the Democratic-leaning swing  state of Wisconsin.

Scroll down  for footage of the electric clash

Hot seat: Moderator Candy Crowley talks to the audience at Hofstra University on Long Island last night before Barack Obama and Mitt Romney took to the stage for the second presidential debateHot seat: Moderator Candy Crowley talks to the audience  at Hofstra University on Long Island last night before Barack Obama and Mitt  Romney took to the stage for the second presidential debate

At loggerheads: Both candidates talk at once as they disagree over how Obama handled the Benghazi attack

At loggerheads: Both candidates talk at once as they  disagree over how Obama handled the Benghazi attack

No pussyfooting around: Crowley often struggled to control the candidates as they spoke over each other

No pussyfooting around: Crowley often struggled to  control the candidates as they spoke over each other

Not impressed: Mr Obama fixes an angry stare at his opponent

Not impressed: Mr Obama fixes an angry stare at his  opponent

 

A storm of protest has followed the incident.  Top Romney allies said  Crowley ‘had no business’ intervening in the argument,  accusing her of  ‘getting in the game’ rather than being an impartial  observer.

During a question about security at  the  Benghazi compound, where four American officials including  ambassador Chris  Stevens were killed on September 11, Obama said he was  ultimately responsible  as commander-in-chief.

Romney then questioned whether or not Obama  had called the consulate attack an ‘act of terror’ in his Rose Garden address  the following day.

While Obama cut across Romney – saying ‘look  at the transcript’ – Crowley  seemed to back up the President, telling the  Republican governor that  Obama did ‘call it an act of terror’.

THAT CRUNCH EXCHANGE IN  FULL

ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day  after the attack it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous  demonstration.

OBAMA: Please proceed.

ROMNEY: Is that what you’re  saying?

OBAMA: Please proceed,  Governor.

ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for  the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in  Benghazi an act of terror.

OBAMA: Get the transcript.

CROWLEY: It – he did in fact,  sir.

OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder,  Candy?

CROWLEY: He did call it an act of terror. It  did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out  there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.

Her interjection drew applause from the  audience, led by Mrs Obama, but angered political commentators, who accused  Crowley of stepping in on behalf of the President.

Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro called the  moderator’s reactions a ‘disgrace’ while  his colleague John Nolte said Crowley  ‘lied to save Obama’.

Democratic strategist Joe Trippi told Fox  News the exchange was ‘going to help the President’, adding: ‘There’s a ref, and the ref just threw the  flag.’

Romney advisor Ron  Kaufman continued the sporting metaphor as he said: ‘At different times tonight,  she in fact got into the game, and she wasn’t on the  sidelines.’

And former New Hampshire governor John Sununu  said: ‘Candy was  wrong, and Candy had no business doing that, and Candy didn’t even keep the time  right.’

However, top Romney  aide Eric Fehrnstrom insisted he was relaxed about the controversial  intervention, saying: ‘I don’t complain about the refs – I think Candy was  dandy.’

The shock moment came  in the middle of what CBS News anchor Scott Pelley described as  ‘the most rancorous presidential  debate ever’, adding: ‘We have never seen  anything like that in presidential history. They turned every  question from the  audience into an attack on the other.’

Crowley often struggled to control the  candidates as they spoke over each other amid angry exchanges.

The pair bordered on being physically  aggressive, coming toe-to-toe and  looming over each other as they gesticulated  at each other.

Obama’s in-your-face performance was a major  improvement on his display in Denver, and viewers rated him the  winner by a  seven-point margin in a CNN poll – 46 per cent, compared to 39 per cent for the  challenger.

But Romney scored a number of points, especially on the economy, and in the CNN poll only 38 per cent felt  Obama had  a clear plan for the country while 50 per cent thought Romney  had one.

In another poll by CBS, 37 per cent of those surveyed said Obama won with Romney trailing at 30  per  cent.

Obama’s much better showing might not be  enough to halt his slide in the national polls, which has seen  Romney gain  around five points nationally and take a narrow but clear  lead.

The Gallup tracking poll on Wednesday gave  the Republican a lead of six points as he took 51 per cent of the vote, with 45  per cent for Obama, while he was just one point behind in Wisconsin, where the  incumbent has until now held on to a large lead.

Early reports indicated that the debate on  Long Island had pulled in a smaller audience than the first event in Denver,  with around six per cent fewer tuning in.

Crowley's interjection angered political commentators, who said she had stepped in on behalf of the PresidentCrowley’s interjection angered political commentators,  who said she had stepped in on behalf of the President

Rule-breaking: Michelle Obama can be seen clapping in the bottom right corner of this imageRule-breaking: Michelle Obama can be seen clapping in  the bottom right corner of this image

Obama at one point said it was  ‘offensive’  of Romney to suggest that his administration’s response to  the Libya consulate  attack was politically motivated.

Obama said: ‘The  day after the attack,  Governor, I stood in the Rose Garden, and I told  the American people and the  world that we are going to find out exactly  what happened, that this was an act  of terror.’

Romney then questioned the veracity of  Obama’s remarks. He said: ‘I want to make  sure we get that for the record, because it took the  president 14 days before  he called the attack in Benghazi an act of  terror.’

While Romney continued to question Obama’s  claims, Crowley interjected: ‘He [Obama] did in fact, sir.’

Obama then said: ‘Can you say that a little  louder, Candy?’ to laughter and applause from the audience.

Then rather belatedly, Crowley told Romney:  ‘He did call it an act of  terror. It did as well take – it did as well take two  weeks or so for  the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape  to come  out. You are correct about that.’

The exchange was the only point during the  debate when Crowley sought to correct one of the candidates on a point of  fact.

Barack ObamaBarack Obama

The morning after: Obama leaves the White House on  Wednesday morning after the debate

Happy? Romney walks up to his campaign plane at the airport in Ronkonkoma, New York on WednesdayHappy? Romney walks up to his campaign plane at the  airport in Ronkonkoma, New York on Wednesday

YOU DECIDE: TRANSCRIPT OF  OBAMA’S ROSE GARDEN SPEECH

Last night’s  second presidential debate reignited the controversy over Obama’s words  following the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.

The following  day, he made this speech from the White House Rose Garden:

‘Of course, yesterday was already a painful  day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. We  mourned with the families who were lost on that day. I visited the graves of  troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed  grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and  visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed.

‘And then last night, we learned the news of  this attack in Benghazi.

‘As Americans, let us never, ever forget that  our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight  for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it. Our  country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of  those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.

‘No acts of terror will ever shake the  resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the  values that we stand for.

‘Today we mourn four more Americans who  represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in  our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.  And make  no mistake, justice will be done.’

A number of audience members could  clearly  be heard applauding the line. Nearly all the applause came from  the higher  levels of the auditorium, not from the debate participants.

But one person within the inner circle did  participate in the illicit  ovation – Mrs Obama was caught on camera clapping  during the heated  back-and-forth.

The  First Lady was given three tickets to  the debate and allowed to sit  among the participants who were involved with  questioning the  candidates.

The moderator later appeared to backtrack on  her own comments, saying ‘it  was just the natural thing to come out of me’ but  admitting that the  substance of Romney’s assertion was correct.

‘He was right in the main, I just think he  picked the wrong word,’ she said during a post-debate appearance on  CNN.

The audience member who asked the question  which touched off the controversy said he did not feel Obama had answered his  query.

‘I really didn’t think he totally answered  the question satisfactorily as far as I was concerned,’ Kerry Ladka told the  Washington Post.

Ladka, 61, asked who ‘denied enhanced  security’ to the Benghazi consulate – but the President avoided the issue,  instead offering a tribute to U.S. diplomats and an attack on his  opponent.

After the debate, Obama approached Ladka for  a two-minute conversation in which he said he could not answer the question  because ‘releasing the individual names of anyone in the State Department would  really put them at risk’.

The undecided voter told the Post, ‘I  appreciate his private answer more than his public answer’ – though his high  regard for Romney’s business record means he has still not made up his mind how  to vote.

Another questioner, Jeremy Epstein, did  decide whom to vote for during last night’s debate – but has refused to say  which candidate he now supports.

The 20-year-old student paid tribute to both  participants, saying: ‘Mitt Romney’s first answer – I felt like he was staring  into my soul, just right through me, when he was asking me the  question.

‘And then when the President came up, I felt  like he, you know he started up by saying my future’s bright – I feel like they  were both sincere.’

Epstein spoke to the two candidates after the  debate – and argued with Obama over whether he would beat him in a one-on-one  game of basketball.

Carol Goldberg said she had been swayed  towards the President based on his answer to her question about how to keep jobs  from being outsourced overseas.

Obama replied, ‘There  are some jobs that are not going to come back. Because they are low-wage,  low-skill jobs. I want high-wage, high-skill jobs.’

‘I believe that’s true,’ Goldberg told the  Huffington Post. ‘I thought that was a very good answer.’

Embattled: Crowley applauds both candidates as the debate, which was often vicious, got under way
Fighting talk: Romney and Obama clash during the debate, with the President on more aggressive form than the first time they metFighting talk: Romney and Obama clash during the debate,  with the President on more aggressive form than the first time they met

Anger: Romney lost his temper at one point as he ordered the President not to interrupt himAnger: Romney lost his temper at one point as he ordered  the President not to interrupt himDuring his Rose Garden address on  September  12, the day following the attack in Benghazi, Obama said: ‘No  acts of terror  will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter  that character or  eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.’

While he did therefore establish a link  between the raid and ‘terror’ as a  whole, he did not explicitly say that he  believed it to have been  conducted by terrorists.

And over the next few days, the President  repeatedly linked the attack to  protests against a U.S.-made YouTube video  mocking the Prophet Muhammad  which were sweeping the Muslim world at the  time.

The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi  was a talking point again during Vice President Joe Biden’s debate last  week.

Biden claimed in the debate with Republican  VP nominee Paul Ryan that ‘we  weren’t told’ about requests for extra security  at the consulate.

TIMELINE OF ADMINISTRATION’S  SHIFTING POSITION ON DEADLY ATTACK

September  11: Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others are killed in an attack on  the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

September  12: Barack Obama makes a statement saying, ‘No acts of terror will ever  shake the resolve of this great nation,’ but does not explicitly label the raid  a terrorist attack.

September  13: White House press secretary Jay Carney blames the assault on a  U.S.-made YouTube video mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

September  16: Susan Rice, American ambassador to the UN, says she believes the  attack ‘began as a spontaneous, not premeditated, response’ to protests over the  video.

September  20: Carney says, ‘It is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a  terrorist attack.’

September  25: Obama declines to label the attack as terrorism during an appearance  on The View.

October  9: State Department officials insist they never linked the attack to the  video protests.

Relief: The GOP candidate kisses his wife Ann on stage at the end of the evening's proceedingsRelief: The GOP candidate kisses his wife Ann on stage  at the end of the evening’s proceedings

Embrace: The First Couple hugged after the debate, with Mrs Obama, like her counterpart, dressed in pinkEmbrace: The First Couple hugged after the debate, with  Mrs Obama, like her counterpart, dressed in pink

In waiting: Romney, his wife Ann, their son Matt and his wife Laurie sit backstage before the debateIn waiting: Romney with his wife Ann, in a pink brocade  coat over her neon dress, and their son Matt and his wife Laurie sit backstage  before the debateOn Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  was forced to come to his defence.

Pushing back against Republican criticism of  the Obama administration for its  handling of the situation, Clinton said that  security at all of  America’s diplomatic missions abroad is her job, not that of  the White  House.

She said: ‘I take  responsibility… The  President and the Vice President wouldn’t be  knowledgeable about specific  decisions that are made by security  professionals.’

The Libya question was one moment when  Crowley struggled to rein in the debate on Tuesday night.

She failed to shut down  both Obama and  Romney when they ran over allocated times and attacked  each other in angry  exchanges.

In her opening statement at the town hall  debate in New York,Ms Crowley said:  ‘Because I am the optimistic sort, I’m sure the  candidates will oblige by  keeping their answers concise and on point’.

It was revealed from CNN  timekeeping on the debate, that Obama had spoke for three extra  minutes

The President got 44:04 minutes of speaking  time, while Romney got 40:50.

BARACK OBAMA IN  QUOTES

On the  budget:

‘Governor Romney’s allies in Congress have  held the 98 per cent hostage because they want tax breaks for the top 2 per  cent.’

On Romney’s  economic plan:

‘Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point  plan, he’s got a one-point plan. To make sure that the folks at the top play by  a separate set of rules.’

On Romney’s  investments in China:

‘Governor, you are the last person who is  going to get tough on China.’

On his  pension:

‘I don’t look at my pension, it’s not as big  as yours, so it doesn’t take as long.’

On being defended  by the moderator:

‘Can you say that a little louder,  Candy?’

MITT ROMNEY IN QUOTES

On his  opponent:

‘Thank you, Mr President, for being a part of  this debate.’

On the  deficit:

‘I know what it takes to balance budgets.  I’ve done it my entire life.’

On  interruption:

‘You get your chance in a moment, I’m still  speaking.’

On Obama’s  response to the Libya attack:

‘The President, the day after it happened,  flies to Las Vegas for a political fundraiser.’

On the President’s  rhetoric:

‘He’s great as a speaker, and describing his  plans and vision. That’s wonderful, except we have a record to look  at.’

Pressure to perform: Obama arrives at JFK Airport in New York yesterday afternoonPressure to perform: Obama arrives at JFK Airport in New  York yesterday afternoon
Rose Garden: Obama with Hillary Clinton on September 12, the day after the Libya attacks. He used the phrase 'acts of terror' but Romney last night claimed this was not specifically about the killings in BenghaziRose Garden: Obama with Hillary Clinton on September 12,  the day after the Libya attacks. He used the phrase ‘acts of terror’ but Romney  last night claimed this was not specifically about the killings in Benghazi
Killings: Ambassador Chris Stevens was one of four Americans killed in the Benghazi attack on September 11 (right)Killings: Ambassador Chris Stevens was one of four Americans killed in the Benghazi attack on September 11 (right)

Killings: Ambassador Chris Stevens was one of four  Americans murdered in Benghazi on September 11 (right)

Obama and Romney had both expressed concern  over Crowley’s role ahead of the debate because she was robust in saying  beforehand that she would not shirk from guiding the conversation.

Lawyers for both Democratic and Republican  campaigns complained about comments  the CNN journalist made ahead of the town  hall-style debate at Hofstra  University in Hempstead, New York  tonight.

Her job was to referee the two  presidential  candidates as they answered questions from online viewers  and members of the  audience.

But in an interview, she indicated that she  planned to take a more aggressive  stance than the last moderator Jim Lehrer who  was roundly criticized for a listless performance and letting Obama and Romney  walk all over him.

Where PBS veteran Lehrer said his job was to  stay out of the way, Crowley planned a different set of tactics.

The political correspondent said: ‘Once the  table is kind of set by the town hall questioner, there is then time for me to  say, “Hey, wait a second, what about x, y, z?”‘

Both candidates appeared less than pleased  with her remarks – and they weren’t the only ones.

The Commission on Presidential Debates  has  also complained, saying Crowley’s remarks are vastly different from  the memo  that was signed by lawyers for both campaigns.

‘In managing the two-minute comment  periods,  the moderator will not rephrase the question or open a new  topic,’ the legal  document obtained by Time  says.

Watch the  video of Michelle clapping


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School set to install cameras in trash cans to pick out students who throw away their vegetables

 

PUBLISHED:12:38 EST, 4 October 2012| UPDATED:13:19 EST, 4 October 2012

In a move that smacks of a nanny state, a Florida school district is debating installing video cameras on cafeteria dustbins so that it can monitor what its students are throwing away.

The Lake County School Board is considering the extreme food-salvage method because of the thousands of dollars lost through food wastage, Fox News reported.

Officials claimed that more than $75,000 worth of fresh fruit and vegetables have found its way from kids’ plates to the trash can since the Obama Administration launched a policy in January forcing schools to be more healthy.

Schoolchildren are rebelling against their schools' healthy eating policies by chucking their fruit and vegetables in the trash 

Schoolchildren are rebelling against their schools’ healthy eating policies by chucking their fruit and vegetables in the trash

‘It’s fairly specific recipe of what they would like us to serve,’ Lake County School Board member Tod Howard told Nbc News.

‘Unfortunately, much of it has to do with fresh fruit and vegetables and it seems to be going into the trash. And that’s not okay.’

Not everyone is happy about the potential filming, however, including parents who do not want to see ht trash cams adopted.

‘So we’re going to spend how many more thousands of dollars to put cameras on trash cans to document the thousands of dollars in food the kids are throwing away,’ one parent wrote on ClickOrlando.com

‘This is a no brainer, kids are not going to eat the stuff served at school. Has anyone really looked at these lunch trays?’

Among objections are that kids and parents themselves run the risk of being caught on camera themselves and personally penalized.

Obama is behind the fruit-and-vegetable regimeMichelle Obama and her 'Let's move' programme campaign for people to eat more healthily and do more exercise

Obama (left) is behind the fruit-and-vegetable regime. Michelle Obama (right) and her ‘Let’s move’ programme campaign for people to eat more healthily and do more exercise

‘Because no matter what they say, they are going to try to identify the kids throwing the food away and then social workers and courts will get involved,’ wrote another disgruntled commenter.

‘If your child doesn’t eat his school lunch, you will face punishment. Think I’m wrong? There are cities and states that punish the adults if the children are truant or get in trouble with the law in any manner.

‘Your kid threw away a carrot? Go to jail. This is what we are coming to.’

But Howard is adamant that the cameras will serve a quality purpose.

‘If we just can’t get kids to eat broccoli and 90 percent of it is going in the trash – that’s a waste of taxpayer dollars – and the federal government needs to look at their mandate,’ he said.

‘We have no choice in the matter. This is just a tool to help us document he issue.’ A decision has yet to be made.

Are prisoners better fed than our children? Students and inmates eat almost identical lunches, but jailhouse cuisine is healthier

 

Sunday, Sep 23 2012

By Laura Cox

PUBLISHED:13:02 EST, 22 September 2012| UPDATED:13:02 EST, 22 September 2012

Few can say they had a good school lunch experience.

Stereotypically sloppy and greasy and served up with greying mashed potatoes, canteen dinners are a childhood memory best forgotten.

Even prisoners would turn their noses up at some of it, according to the LA-based community blog GOOD.is.

Do students eat like prisoners? Graphic shows the average contents of a jailhouse meal versus a school lunchLarger: http://awesome.good.is/transparency/web/1105/lunch/flat.html

 

Do students eat like prisoners? Graphic shows the average contents of a jailhouse meal versus a school lunch

This infographic was posted on the site, comparing the average daily offerings of jailhouses and elementary schools.

Both meals contain roughly the same number of calories (around 1,400) but what’s shocking is that prisoners are allowed a greater serving of fruit and vegetables than growing children.

Students are missing out on essential vitamins and mineral, being served just half a cup of fruit or vegetables, compared with prisoners’ half cup plus one piece of fruit.

They are also given less meat – a maximum of two ounces – while inmates get three or four.

Money-saving prison chefs can feed an inmate on approximately $2.62-per-day, compared with $2.68 for just one school lunch.

Healthier: Inmates get a half cup of vegetables plus one piece of fruit per mealHealthier: Inmates get a half cup of vegetables plus one piece of fruit per meal

And they have to be frugal – in 2009 the federal budget for prison food was $205 million, while school chiefs are allocated a significantly higher annual fund of around $11 billion for school food programmes.

But it seems the money could be more wisely spent. Less than one third of school food operations meet the recommended standard for saturated fat in their meals.

Equally alarming is the revelation that meat products go through fewer standard tests than the ground beef served at fast food chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King.

Perhaps student ought to take inspiration from the residents of one Vermont prison who in 2008 filed a lawsuit over ‘nutraloaf’, which they argued was more punishment than nourishment.