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Archive for the ‘Political Culture’ Category

 

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The Meaning of Michelle Obama

By Nancy Gibbs and Michael Scherer

Time Magazine

It was just two days after the Inauguration when an e-mail went around to Michelle Obama’s staff, instructing everyone to be in the East Room of the White House at 3 that afternoon. The First Lady’s advisers arrived to find the room filled with ushers and plumbers, electricians and maids and kitchen crew gathered in a huge circle, and Michelle in a T shirt and ponytail, very casual and very much in charge.

“This is my team that came with me from Chicago,” Michelle said, pointing to her communications staff and policy people. “This is my team who works here already,” she went on, indicating the ring of veterans around the room. Many of the household staff had served for decades; some had postponed retirement because they wanted to serve an African-American President. And so the two groups formed concentric rings and spent the next hour or so making sure that everyone had a chance to meet everyone else. I want you to know that you won’t be judged based on whether they know your name, Michelle had warned her advisers. You’ll be judged based on whether you know theirs.

The White House became as much Michelle Obama’s stage as her husband’s even before she colored the fountains green for St. Patrick’s Day, or mixed the Truman china with the World’s Fair glasses at a state dinner, or installed beehives on the South Lawn, or turned the East Room into a jazz lounge for a night or sacrificed her first sock to the First Puppy. Of all the revelations of her first 100 days, the most striking was that she made it seem natural. She did not spend decades dreaming of this destination, and maybe that’s the secret. “I’m not supposed to be here,” she says again and again. And ever since she arrived, she has been asking, “What are the things that we can do differently here, the things that have never been done, the people who’ve never seen or experienced this White House?”

For the rest of the article visit Time

I never tire of seeing and reading about our First Lady.  The picture above is absolutely awe-striking.

A couple more pictures below.

—TRAVERS

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Tea Time

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Despite generally crappy weather, thousands of people across the country came out for today’s Tax Day Tea Parties to protest the Obama administration (or just Obama in general), big government, “socialism,” Congress, Democrats, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

I don’t agree with these people, but seeing them make their voices heard about the things they believe in (even in this case, lol) reminds me of how great our country is.  I imagine that for many of you, most of the images will make your blood boil, but I encourage you to take a step back and appreciate what these protests represent—democracy.

More pictures below.  To read more about the “Tea Parties” across the country CLICK HERE.

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Thoughts?

—Travers

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Defiance

blood_86203dImages: The Guardian

I don’t agree with their method or most of their message, but from a photo-journalistic perspective these images from the anti-capitalism (among other things) protests/riots in London during last week’s G20 Summit GO SO HARD!

More photos below.

Activists or Anarchists?

—Travers

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jobapprPew Research Center for the People & The Press

Via Pew Research Center:

For all of his hopes about bipartisanship, Barack Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings of any president in the past four decades. The 61-point partisan gap in opinions about Obama’s job performance is the result of a combination of high Democratic ratings for the president — 88% job approval among Democrats — and relatively low approval ratings among Republicans (27%)…

The growing partisan divide in presidential approval ratings is part of a long-term trend. Going back in time, partisanship was far less evident in the early job approval ratings for both Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon. In fact, a majority of Republicans (56%) approved of Carter’s job performance in late March 1977, and a majority of Democrats (55%) approved of Nixon’s performance at a comparable point in his first term.

I think this is so telling of where we are as a country and where we’re going.  I must say, though, that I’m not at all surprised.  Just last week, both the House and Senate passed President Obama’s budget with ZERO affirmative votes from Republicans.

Thoughts?

—Travers

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