Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Obama’
These new posters feature a large photo of Michelle Obama and a picture of Solis, along with a few choice quotes about Memorial Day.
“In January, First Lady Michelle Obama joined Secretary Solis to announce proposed revisions to the FMLA that will expand military family leave provisions to support caregivers,” the poster reads. “Through our work, we honor our service members, veterans and military families every day.”
The poster then quotes the first lady saying, “We all have an obligation to serve our troops and veterans as well as they’ve served us.”
Rick Manning, the communications director for conservative group Americans for Limited Government told The Daily Caller that Memorial Day is supposed to be about honoring veterans and remembering fallen American soldiers, not about highlighting the Obama administration’s political agenda.
“Memorial Day is dedicated to honoring those American servicemen and women who have died in the defense of freedom around the world, it is stunning that the wartime Obama Labor Department would choose to ignore the ultimate sacrifice these fallen warriors have paid and instead have tried to make this day of remembrance about them,” Manning said in an email.
Solis’ decision to place posters featuring Michelle Obama throughout DOL headquarters comes as Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch has called for an investigation into what he calls an “overtly political message” with her “poster campaign.”
Hatch said he thinks it’s “vital” to make sure “American taxpayers are not subsidizing partisan political messages, particularly during this contentious election season.” He said it’s also important to “ensure that federal government employees are not subjected [to] political propaganda in the workplace.”
In early April, TheDC first reported that Solis had placed posters in elevators throughout her building featuring a photo of Solis marching in protest alongside Rev. Jesse Jackson and MSNBC television host Rev. Al Sharpton, among others. She was acting as an emissary of the Obama administration protesting against Alabama’s strict new law combating illegal immigration. Solis had her arms locked with Sharpton, and Jackson is a few feet away.
The poster also carried a message for federal government employees — who are traditionally expected to be apolitical in the performance of their duties.
“Whether we take to the streets or simply do our work with integrity and commitment here at the U.S. Department of Labor,” the poster read, above Solis’ signature, “We are all marching toward the same goals: safer workplaces, fair pay, dignity on the job, secure retirement and opportunities to make a better life. I believe in the power of collective action.”
That report sparked Hatch to write to the Labor Department’s Deputy Inspector General Daniel Petrole, asking him to “investigate this matter thoroughly to determine whether the insertion of these posters violates any federal laws, including the Hatch Act, and whether the Secretary’s message has created a hostile work environment for any federal employees who might have differing political views.”
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/05/29/memorial-day-propaganda-posters-glorify-michelle-obama-at-labor-dept/#ixzz1wNknB2YK
When Michelle Obama worked in Mayor Daley’s City Hall in the early 1990s, she was “distressed” by how a small group of “white Irish Catholic” families — the Daleys, the Hynes and the Madigans — “locked up” power in Illinois.
And as she prepared to become first lady, Mrs. Obama naively wanted to delay a move into the White House for six months, so her daughters could finish the school year. Her initial thought was to “commute” to the White House from her South Side home.
And Marty Nesbitt, one of President Obama’s best friends, had been recruited to run for Chicago mayor by African-American leaders — but never ended up challenging Rahm Emanuel, who was Obama’s chief of staff who went on to win City Hall.
Details about Mrs. Obama’s initial reluctance to embrace her new life, her time in City Hall, the influence she has in the White House, tensions between Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, Emanuel and former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs — are in a new book about the first couple by New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor.
The Chicago Sun-Times has obtained a copy of The Obamas, to be published Tuesday. Kantor hits Chicago for an East Lake Shore Drive book party on Jan. 16; the next day, Jan. 17, she headlines a 6 p.m. event at the Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State.
Mrs. Obama worked in the Daley administration between Sept. 16, 1991, and April 30, 1993, according to City of Chicago personnel records. She was hired by Jarrett, then Daley’s deputy chief of staff.
Kantor writes Mrs. Obama “disapproved of how closely Daley held power, surrounding himself with three or four people who seemed to let few outsiders in — a concern she would echo years later with her own husband.
“…She particularly resented the way power in Illinois was locked up generation after generation by a small group of families, all white Irish Catholic — the Daleys in Chicago, the Hynes and Madigans statewide.”
When Jarrett was forced out of City Hall in 1995 — even though she was close to Daley — “the Obamas were horrified, their worst suspicions about the world confirmed.”
Jarrett, Gibbs, Obama’s top strategist David Axelrod, Mrs. Obama’s former chief of staff Susan Sher and Chicago pals Eric Whitaker and Marty Nesbitt “gave me many hours of interview time each,” Kantor wrote in her acknowledgements. In all, Kantor got the cooperation of 33 current and former members of the Obama administration and close friends.
Still, with reports about issues in the administration — and an Emanuel who did not welcome Mrs. Obama’s influence — the Obama White House gave the book a frosty reception.
“The book, an overdramatization of old news, is about a relationship between two people whom the author has not spoken to in years,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. “The author last interviewed the Obamas in 2009 for a magazine piece, and did not interview them for this book. The emotions, thoughts and private moments described in the book, though often seemingly ascribed to the president and first lady, reflect little more than the author’s own thoughts. These secondhand accounts are staples of every administration in modern political history and often exaggerated.”
Camille Johnston, Mrs. Obama’s former communications chief, told the Sun-Times, “We had some disagreements over how certain things would be handled, but in the end we all got back to the place Mrs. Obama had set at the onset: nothing on my agenda is more important than what’s on his.”
If we can stop Michelle Obama from spending the tax payers money, there won’t be a need to raise the debt ceiling. While Americans are struggling to make ends meet, Michelle Obama drinks top shelf boozes and plan extravagant family vacations. It was bad enough when the Obama’s took 2 different plane to go on vacation, but spending $10 million on vacations in one year is another thing. It’s pathetic and reprehensible to abuse the power as the first lady. Michelle Obama is living her dream to be the 21st Marie Antoinette.
(Daily Mail) The Obamas’ summer break on Martha’s Vineyard has already been branded a PR disaster after the couple arrived four hours apart on separate government jets.
But according to new reports, this is the least of their extravagances.
White House sources today claimed that the First Lady has spent $10million of U.S. taxpayers’ money on vacations alone in the past year.
Branding her ‘disgusting’ and ‘a vacation junkie’, they say the 47-year-old mother-of-two has been indulging in five-star hotels, where she splashes out on expensive massages and alcohol.
The ‘top source’ told the National Enquirer: ‘It’s disgusting. Michelle is taking advantage of her privileged position while the most hardworking Americans can barely afford a week or two off work.
‘When it’s all added up, she’s spent more than $10million in taxpayers’ money on her vacations.’
The First Lady is believed to have taken 42 days of holiday in the past year, including a $375,000 break in Spain and a four-day ski trip to Vail, Colorado, where she spent $2,000 a night on a suite at the Sebastian hotel.
And the first family’s nine-day stay in Martha’s Vineyard is also proving costly, with rental of the Blue Heron Farm property alone costing an estimated $50,000 a week.
The source continued: ‘Michelle also enjoys drinking expensive booze during her trips. She favours martinis with top-shelf vodka and has a taste for rich sparking wines.
‘The vacations are totally Michelle’s idea. She’s like a junkie. She can’t schedule enough getaways, and she lives from one to the next – all the while sticking it to hardworking Americans.’
While the President and his wife do pay for some of their personal expenses from their own pocket, the website whitehousedossier.com says that the amount paid by the couple is ‘dwarfed by the overall cost to the public’.
The magazine also reported that Mrs Obama, whose fashion choices are widely followed, had been going on ‘wild shopping sprees’, much to the distress of her husband, who, its sources reveal, is ‘absolutely furious’ at his wife’s ‘out-of-control spending’.
The President has already come under fire this week over his decision to take a family vacation while millions of Americans are out of work and countless more are financially strapped.
CNN reporter: “How’s the family ready for this [the election]? It’s going to be quite vicious, isn’t it? How do you prepare for that?”
First Lady Michelle Obama: “You know, it’s … we’re ready, you know. Our children, you know, could care less about what we’re doing. We work hard to do that. Fortunately, we have help from the media. I have to say this: I’m very grateful for the support and kindness that we’ve gotten. People have respected their privacy and in that way, I think, you know, no matter what people may feel about my husband’s policies or what have you, they care about children and that’s been good to see.”
So much for the diet: Anti-obesity crusader Michelle Obama feasts on ribs during pricey family vacation
Michelle Obama feasted on ribs while on her skiing holiday, it has emerged.
The First Lady, who has spearheaded a campaign to change American eating habits, ate ancho-chile short ribs from a restaurant next to her luxury ski hotel in Vail, Colorado.
The Obamas have already come under fire for the vacation, with the President accused of double standards after appealing for Americans to sacrifice their holidays just days before his wife and children went on the costly skiing trip.
First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha are on the ‘private family trip’ for Presidents’ Day Weekend.
The first lady went to Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail Village on Saturday night, dining on a braised ancho-chile short rib with hominy wild mushrooms, the Vail Daily reported.
Chef and owner Kelly Liken said: ’Yes, it’s true, the first lady dined at our restaurant tonight and seemed to really enjoy it.’
Criticism: Conservative DJ Rush Limbaugh attacked the First Lady as a hypocrite for eating ribs
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh hit out at the First Lady for her choice of food on Monday.
Speaking on his radio show he said: ‘The problem is, and dare I say this, it doesn’t look like Michelle Obama follows her own nutritional, dietary advice.
‘And then we hear that she’s out eating ribs at 1,500 calories a serving with 141 grams of fat per serving … I’m trying to say that our First Lady does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue or of a woman Alex Rodriguez might date every six months or what have you.
‘She’s a hypocrite. Leaders are supposed to be leaders. If we’re supposed to go out and eat nothing, if we’re supposed to eat roots and berries and tree bark, show us how.’
It has since been established that the meal contained around 600 calories.
The family are staying at the up scale Sebastian Hotel on Vail Mountain, where rooms start at $650 a night and range up to more than $2,400 for multi-bedroom suites.
Pictured on the first day of their holiday, the First Lady’s cream ski jacket was open, perhaps indicating that temperatures were not as bitter as they are in other parts of the country.
A light snow appeared to be falling on Mrs Obama and her daughter, who herself was clad in fluorescent pink snowboarding pants and a sky blue puff jacket.
Both wore gloves and hats. They were not carrying skis.
The family appear to have flown there on Air Force Two.
‘If you’re a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, or you might put off a vacation,’ he said.
While Mr Obama is staying put at the White House, the rest of his family headed to Colorado – rather than visiting slopes closer to Washington in Virginia or Pennsylvania. The trip came just days after the President tried to sell his cost-cutting budget to the American people by asking them to stay at home.
Their trip came despite previous criticisms over the family’s extravagant vacations, including a trip last summer to Spain.
Mrs Obama also raised eyebrows when she left earlier than her husband for their annual Christmas holiday in Hawaii, incurring additional expenses estimated to be more than $97,000.
In August it cost taxpayers an alleged $375,000 for her security detail – and two flights on Air Force One – on a holiday to Spain with her daughter, Sasha, and 40 friends.
Although the Obamas will pay for a portion of the skiing trip, taxpayers will still shoulder many of the costs.
A motorcade of about a dozen vehicles, including at least 15 police officers, travelled from Eagle County Regional Airport to Vail on Friday night when the presidential party arrived.
Family vacation: President Obama with daughters Malia, right, Sasha, and First Lady Michelle Obama. Mr Obama has not joined his wife and daughters on this ski trip
Roads were temporarily closed to make way for the cavalcade, which arrived at the hotel at about 9.30pm.
No public events have been scheduled for the visit.
‘I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,’ said one of the president’s most outspoken critics, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. ‘He’s got the single largest deficit in the history of the country and he’s trying to tell us that we really cut back here.’
Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife are spending the holiday weekend in the U.S. in Florida’s Key Largo resort town.
The White House said the Bidens arrived in Key Largo on Thursday night and will remain there until Monday night.
‘The First Lady and several close family friends are chaperoning their children on a ski trip. Personal expenses are being paid for by the Obamas,’ said a spokesman for the President.
Sasha, nine, and Malia, twelve, have been skiing once before, at Liberty Mountain Resort, in Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania, in February last year.
At the time, the First Lady said her family had been thrilled to discover the resort.
‘You can go from 60- and 50-degree weather to being on a slope,’ she said.
‘Not too many places in this country you can do that and still be at the seat of power. It’s kind of cool.’
Michelle Obama is determined to make you lose weight— and she has created and manipulated a system to keep you under her collective thumb.
First, they came for the salt. Conservatives spoke out against the 2010 FDA decision to limit salt in food products, but the agency, empowered by a Democrat-controlled Congress and liberal White House, had no reason to listen. An FDA representative speaking under conditions of anonymity told the Washington Post that the agency was planning an initiative to work with food manufacturers to begin a “comprehensive phase-down” of salt in their products, with the goal of “embedding” changed tastes in the next generation. The new regulations would be open to public comment, but “administration officials did not think they needed additional authority from Congress.”
Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity made waves when word got out that her pet project—the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act—authorized the federal government to regulate bake sales. On Dec. 3, 2010, the Associated Press reported that the legislation authorized the Department of Agriculture to write guidelines requiring healthier food on school premises. “The legislation would apply to all foods sold in schools during regular class hours, including in the cafeteria line, vending machines and at fundraisers,” the report explained. Although language in the bill permits the secretary of Agriculture to ban bake sales altogether, Secretary Tom Vilsack explained in a letter to then-House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Calif, that he did not plan to do that. Instead, the Department of Agriculture would determine how many “infrequent” bake sales to allow per school year. How reassuring.
If the authoritarians have their way, though, they will do a lot more than place an embargo on cookies. Perhaps the most Orwellian development took place during last summer’s confirmation hearings for then-Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. When asked by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., whether Congress could pass a law requiring all Americans to eat vegetables, her response was that it “sounded like a dumb law.” But she could not find any constitutional authority to strike such a law down.
Food hysteria has reached a fever pitch. Time was when Congress and the courts tried to heed the constitutional requirement to stay out of citizens’ private lives. Now, troubled by our food choices, they are churning out laws, regulations and initiatives to nudge our diets in their preferred direction. The National Institutes of Health monitors (and determines what constitutes) national obesity levels. Agencies from the Federal Trade Commission to the Department of Agriculture are using their regulatory power to muscle food manufacturers around. Lawsuits abound. What this nexus of paternalism amounts to be that citizens have increasingly less say over what they ingest. How did we reach this point?
It started with a number: Body Mass Index, or BMI, measures the amount of fat in a person’s body by plugging his height and weight into a formula. It is the favorite tool of public health officials to gauge the health of a population. BMI may be the go-to method for national surveys of body fat, but it says very little about personal fitness levels. Instead, it indicates a national average health scale, which people can then measure them against. “Calculating BMI is one of the best methods for population assessment of overweight and obesity,” the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website explains. “Because calculation requires only height and weight, it is inexpensive and easy to use for clinicians and for the general public.”
The ease with which BMI can be calculated (the formula essentially boils down to weight divided by height squared) makes it a great tool for surveying public health (and doesn’t require that anyone be prodded with calipers). That said, if a doctor ever recommends anything to you based on your BMI, you should run, not walk, away.
BMI is not a meaningful measure of personal health. Enough other indicators are used to render BMI essentially useless for that purpose. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends assessing waist circumference and levels of physical activity to determine if a person should be concerned about their health. Such recommendations are so common sensual that it sounds redundant to even mention them. Who wouldn’t think that blood pressure and waist size are the most obvious indicators of overall health? But the existence of such individual factors that are a better measure of health raises questions about the effectiveness of BMI, even as a public health measure.
The problems associated with BMI measurements are almost as numerous as the people it is used to screen. It is calculated using one equation, regardless of age or gender. Children’s results are charted by percentile, but adults get one number to weigh against a national average, regardless of how fat levels change over time. And even though women store, on average, 10 percent more body fat than men, BMI does not account for that difference either.
Even if public health workers were differentiating between men and women (or 20-year-olds and 80-year-olds), BMI itself does not account for levels of physical fitness. It doesn’t take a middle-school health class to know that muscle weighs more than fat. But BMI measurements lump both together under the category of “weight,” effectively treating them as the same thing. The CDC notes this but still claims that “anyone with a BMI over 25 would be classified as overweight and anyone with a BMI over 30 would be classified as obese.” This leads to some interesting conclusions, including one in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggesting that 97 percent of NFL players are overweight and 56 percent are obese.
In 1998, the National Institutes of Health Task Force on the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity, tasked with determining the obesity threshold, changed the definition of overweight from a BMI of 27.8 for men and 27.3 for women to a uniform 25 (in spite of the fact that, on average, Americans whose BMI is 27 live the longest). The number for obesity was lowered as well, from 32 to 30. As a result, 35 million people were reclassified as overweight with the stroke of a pen, upping the percentage of the population in that category to 55 percent. As it turned out, eight of the nine people on the task force had ties to the weight loss industry.
A 1997 article in the Newark Star-Ledger described their incestuous relationship: “Eight of the nine members of the National Institutes of Health task force on prevention and treatment of obesity have ties to the weight-loss industry, either as consultants to pharmaceutical companies, recipients of research money from them, or advisers to for-profit groups such as Weight Watchers.” The same people who were paid to help companies like Sanofi-Aventis turn a profit were put in charge of determining the point at which Americans would need the company’s products. Weight loss companies effectively gave themselves millions of new customers overnight.
In spite of financial conflicts, the Task Force’s numbers caught the eye of regulators and public health workers alike. Suddenly faced with so many more “obese” Americans, they began to change their language concerning obesity. Over a period of several years, words like “disease” and “epidemic” began popping up. It may have been based on a shaky number, determined by a financially conflicted panel, but obesity morphed into a “public health problem” nonetheless. It came to a head in 2004, when then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson called obesity a “critical public health problem in our country” and announced a new policy that would allow Medicare to cover anti-obesity treatments.
Prior to 2004, Medicare did not pay for any obesity treatments. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) explicitly stated that obesity was not a disease, barring coverage of any treatment for it. In 2004, the Department of Health and Human Services removed this language, allowing Medicare to review obesity treatments (such as stomach stapling) on an individual basis. While Medicare did not explicitly call obesity a disease, it was still covered like one, a change lauded by then-Medicare Administrator Mark McClellan. “This change in Medicare’s coverage policy puts the focus on public health,” he told SeniorJournal.com.
This decision came on the heels of another policy change. In 2002, the Internal Revenue Service promulgated Revenue Ruling 2002-19,’ stating, “Obesity is medically accepted to be a disease in its own right,” making stand-alone weight-loss products tax deductible. Before 2002, only weight-loss products that were prescribed by a doctor could be written off, and in 2000, the IRS did not deduct any weight-loss products at all. These seemingly small changes were indicative of something bigger. In changing their language, federal agencies codified obesity not as a matter of personal health but as a public epidemic, licensing new intrusions into the personal lives of American citizens. It isn’t clear that calling obesity a public health problem has done much to shrink waistlines. It has, however, given public health paternalists a way to expand into our personal lives.
You know that a big government nanny is about to take something away from you when he couches a proposal in language concerning “choice.”When New York Democratic State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz proposed a measure banning the use of salt in restaurant cooking, he told Fox News’ Jon Scott that it empowered consumers “to ask the waitress and the chef don’t put any additive sodium in their items.” In an interview on “The Daily Show,” San Francisco Democratic Councilman Eric Mar explained that his embargo on toys in Happy Meals was a way of saying “we want healthier options from fast food companies in San Francisco if they want to attach a toy to it.”
Not to be outdone by its local counterparts, the Federal Trade Commission subpoenaed 48 companies, including Chuck E. Cheese, whom they suspected of marketing unhealthy products to children. “This is a follow-up to measure the effects that self-regulation has had over the last three years,” Carol Jennings, spokeswoman for the FTC’s Division of Advertising Practices/Bureau of Consumer Protection, told Advertising Age. “We are supportive of industry voluntary efforts to limit their marketing to kids, and this will see whether more is needed.”
And of course, no effort to change the behavior of the masses would be complete without lawsuits. The litigious consumer watchdog group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, gained notoriety for suing McDonalds to stop including toys in Happy Meals, so much so that it almost eclipsed their other efforts, like lawsuits against Vitamin Water for using “health buzz words” such as “energy” or Denny’s for not including a sodium warning on their menus. (“Not one single Denny’s meal contains less than 500 mg of sodium,” the complaint read.)
Calling obesity a disease, as though it could be caught like the flu, necessitates that it be treated as a public health issue. The problem is that obesity is neither a “disease” nor a matter of public concern. To the contrary, nothing is more private and personal than what someone chooses to ingest. As David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, wrote for Cato.org, “Language matters. Calling something a ‘public health problem’ suggests that it is different from a personal health problem in ways that demand collective action. And while it doesn’t strictly follow, either in principle or historically, that ‘collective action’ must be state action, that distinction is easily elided in the face of a ‘public health crisis.’”
Justin Wilson, a policy analyst at the Center for Consumer lose weight. One is taking responsibility for lifestyle choices. “People lose weight by taking responsibility for them,” he tells Townhall “This is what the vast majority of Americans do, not eating as much or getting more physical activity.”
The second method, Wilson explains, is to give the government more say in food choices. This method is pushed by advocates of consumer protection, who argue that in a world of unhealthy options, food corporations need to be reined in. But this approach hands control over personal choices to regulators, eschewing personal responsibility and preventing people from determining how they can best maintain their health. “Physical activity is half the equation, and you can make it 70 or 80 percent,” Wilson says. “And yet it is completely ignored because the mindset that these public health practitioners come from is so anti-corporate. It’s so much easier to blame corporations.”
Consumer-protection advocates are so eager to punish food manufacturers that they hand over food guidelines to those who would stifle choice in the name of control.
Michelle Obama appears to be one of the consumer-protection types. As her husband signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into law, she told the audience, “We can’t just leave [childhood nutrition] up to parents.” In a report titled, “The Challenge We Face,” Mrs. Obama justified her finding that “the childhood obesity epidemic in America is a national health crisis” by citing BMI statistics. In the same report, she recommends that schools keep track of students’ BMI measurements. Armed with an easy way to survey—and overestimate—body-fat levels, she is one of many who would replace the judgment of individuals and families with her own, when it comes to personal health.
Body mass index is a good tool for obtaining a wide read of the public health barometer. It yields a wide sample size efficiently (if not entirely accurately), but it is as flimsy as it is easily manipulated. Lobbyists found a way to profit from this more than 10 years ago, and more recently, it has been used to justify a large menu of nutritional imperatives. It’s a pity that no one stopped to question whether the numbers they relied on were accurate.
Conservatives know that the regulation brouhaha that ensued is nonsense, not because Americans nonchalantly shake off health concerns in the name of freedom, but because we know how to look out for ourselves. We don’t need an elected official to tell us not to drink too much soda.
In a country as populous as the United States, bans and regulations won’t improve national health because there isn’t a uniform way to be healthy. Instead, most Americans rely on values such as personal responsibility and self ownership to stay fit—and not on the government to determine what they can serve at their dinner table. •
If a doctor ever recommends anything to you based on your BMI, you should run, not walk, away.
Helen Whalen-Cohen is an assistant editor for Townhall.com