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The Evolution and Revolution of the First Lady

25 Feb

As one of the commenters at the end of this video so eloquently pointed out; “Even if you don’t like Michelle Obama, you kinda do like Michelle Obama.”

In a recent visit to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the FLOTUS unveiled some pretty hot 2013 moves in honor of her Lets Move Campaign, dubbed, “The Evolution of Mom Dancing”.  And while it does look as though Lady O is dropping it low to do The Bump with Sarah Palin, Conservatives needn’t fret; tis only a lovely Jimmy Fallon in (strikingly believable) soccer mom drag.

Regardless however of what your political proclivities are, it appears that time and time again, Mrs. Obama continues to live up to the title of coolest First Lady on the planet. Ever.  I mean really, who among us can imagine Grace Coolidge doing the Charleston or Barbara Bush serving up the Cabbage Patch?

But even as a pop-culture icon, Michelle Obama has found a way to keep her finger on the pulse of popular culture in such a way that 1) her image as a political figure is able to resonate with the masses and most importantly 2) she has been able to call to and keep  attention on her platform in a way that might not have received much traction otherwise if she were not so…well, cool.  Call it what you will, but it’s that “real” and “attainable” air that has so many of us falling a little harder for her every time we see her.

Police Deliver Devastating News Via Facebook

20 Feb

From the “What In The Ham Sandwich” Files…

Occasionally you can find me thoroughly entertained by a host of my blogging, social media and even journalism friends (all of whom, hold these posts as real and paying professions) who will from time to time, strongly debate with one another over the merits and pitfalls of utilizing social media as a source for uncovering, reporting and relaying significant news.  And of course, these conversations usually end with dismissive attitudes, elitist posturing and we all inevitably agreeing to disagree.

I do believe however that we were all pretty much on the same page after I emailed this recent story around and we kissed our collective teeth in disgust as the article revealed that a Georgia woman learned of her son’s death through a Facebook message from the local police department.

After searching for almost a month for her son Rickie, Anna Lamb-Creasey received confirmation via Facebook from the Clayton County Police Department that her son had been struck by a vehicle and killed on January 24, 2013.  In an array of news broadcast interviews, Lamb-Creasey told reporters that she did not know that messages from Facebook users who were not on her “friends list” could show up in an “other” labeled inbox.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable Facebook user, and I think even I would have found that type of cloak-and-dagger communique enough to either hit delete or report it as spam.  To think that it could have been a message about the status of my child is outrageous and simply maddening!  What’s worse is that Lamb-Creasey said that she was even more confused about the message, because the Misty Hancock Facebook profile picture was actually a photo of  Atlanta rapper, T.I. and his daughter at a birthday party (WHAT?!?!?! *Lil’ Jon voice*).

After twenty days had passed, Lamb-Creasey’s daughter found the unopened Facebook message received by her mother and opened it. The brief correspondence was from a person named Misty Hancock with a message requesting that Lamb-Creasey contact Lt. Schindler.  She called the number referenced in her mother’s Facebook message, and it was only then that was she told of Rickie’s death.

Understandable, Lamb-Creasey and her family are upset at how they found out about her son’s death, and why no constructive effort was made to reach her sooner, and personally.  A spokesman for the Clayton County Police Department said of the Misty Hancock Facebook account that it had formerly been used in an undercover capacity and was not intended to be revealed to the public.  Because of that apparent breach, the department now plans to investigate exactly why it was used to contact Lamb-Creasey.  The spokesperson also asserted that several attempts by officers were made to reach Lamb-Creasey, but they simply could not contact her.

Wait…what?  You mean, between all the Task Forces, Undercover Agents, Detectives, Beat Cops, Meter Maids and DMV records at their disposal, the Clayton County PD couldn’t find this woman to let her know that her child had been killed!?  I will say that I have a certain reverence for police officers and those who put themselves in harm’s way to preserve the safety of me and mine, but that is not this.  That can’t be this!  I will also say that I know that budget cuts and constraints all over the country have led to departmental cutbacks and creativity in how some officers are able to perform their jobs, so I won’t even lob a “desk jockey on point-and-click patrol while eating donuts” insult at the CCPD.

What is worth saying however is that Anna Lamb-Creasey and her family deserved better than a fake-me-out Facebook message that thank God her daughter bothered to read (again, thinking it was a solicitation, I can’t say that I would have even entertained it)!  I cannot even begin to imagine the stress of living with uncertainty for almost a month, only for it to be compounded by discovering that that uncertainty was now a reality…delivered through the host site of Farmville.

#DoBetter

Bang! Bang! -The First Fringe

19 Feb

FLOTUSFringeIn a Skype interview for the Rachael Ray Show scheduled to air this Wednesday, Michelle Obama jokingly revealed that her show-stopping fringe banged haircut that was all the rage before, during and after President Obama’s Inauguration for his second term in office, was inspired by a midlife crisis last month at the onset of her 49th birthday…

…Okay, timeout, FLOTUS is 49?????  Clearly she needs to bottle and sell those Robinson genes ASAP!

Mrs. Obama also went on to say that she settled for the bangs because she wouldn’t be allowed to bungee jump or purchase a sports car (side-eyes my balding neighbor with the convertible who shops at Ed Hardy Online).

But seriously, if this is what I have to look forward to in the way of a midlife crisis, then bring on my 49th birthday Jesus!

 

More Than a Slap On The Wrist

18 Feb

Listen…

When I first heard this story last Friday and since having read up on the most recent developments, Digital Underground has been playing in my head.  Loudly.  On repeat!

Now, I do get it about being flustered at having to share space on a long flight, with a crying child within the confines of a constricting passenger aircraft.  I mean, I’m not proud of it, but I’ve prayed for God to mute a baby a time or too myself, but to go so far as to become so unhinged that spewing a racist tirade and striking a child was the best resulting idea for resolving the matter?  Utterly unacceptable.

To me however, the problem wasn’t so much with Joe Rickey Hundley having these views; as disgusting as they are.  The problem was him feeling justified in articulating his views in an incredibly public and violent matter, and against a defenseless minor no less.  Sure, he and his defense attorney have been siting his distraught sensibilities that day due to him traveling to visit an ailing relative, and his alcohol intake (used to quell those sensibilities) which adversely effected his otherwise “glowing persona”, but the truth remains, in this “post-racial” (loose air quotes used here) American in which we live, he called a 19-month old baby a n*gger and tried to slap the child into submission.  Again, utterly unacceptable.

The story however, does have a silver lining.  Whether yielding to the court of public opinion, or displaying zero-tolerance for offensive and donkey behavior or simply in an effort to distance themselves from a drunkard and troubled individual, Hundley’s bosses effectively pumped the brakes on his employment this past Sunday.  In a released statement, President and CEO of AGC Aerospace and Defense Al Hasse characterized Joe Rickey Hundley’s behavior as disturbing, contradictory to the company’s values and revealed that the unit executive was no longer an employee of the company:

“We have taken this matter very seriously and worked diligently to examine it since learning of the matter on Friday afternoon.  As of Sunday, the executive is no longer employed with the company.  [His behavior is] embarrassing and does not in any way reflect the patriotic character of the men and women of diverse backgrounds who work tirelessly in our business.”

Presently, Hundley has been charged with simple assault, which if convicted, could lead to a maximum term of one year in prison, so he certainly isn’t “off the hook.”  It truly speaks volumes however; that since he likes slapping so much, that he wasn’t just slapped criminally, but also in his wallet!

You’re Welcome.

Election Eve 2012: Public Service Announcement to the Undecided Caucasian Electorate

5 Nov

At this, the eleventh hour just one day before the United States’ official election day;  if you find yourself a member of the still undecided Caucasian electorate population that has basically garnered all of the attention from both major presidential candidates this election season, perhaps this very rudimentary and candid endorsement from Chris Rock will help you to decide for whom to cast your ballot more expeditiously.

You’re Welcome.

Yeah…’Cuz Sorry is for Suckas!

27 Feb

So, in the latest episode of “I Can Do Better Than Obama,” starring the home-schooling, ovary inspecting Republican flavor of the week, presidential candidate Rick Santorum basically called out the POTUS for what he interpreted as being weak when The President apologized to the people of Afghanistan after it was revealed that American soldiers inadvertently burned materials belonging to prisoners at Bagram Air Base, including Qurans.

On NBC’s Meet The Press, Santorum clarified his remarks:

 “I don’t think the president should have apologized for something that was clearly inadvertent, [He should have said] this was inadvertent, this was a mistake. There was no deliberate act. There was no [intention of] disrespect – this is something that occurred that shouldn’t have occurred, but it was an accident.”

So, instead of simply stating “we apologize for accidentally burning your holy books,” Rick Santorum believes that the president should have articulated that sentiment 1) without actually using the words, “sorry” or “apologize” and instead replaced the short and sweet phrase or two with a varying amalgamation of the above 31 words.

Okay…wait.  So, admit to making a mistake, clarify that it was accidental, but by no means; NO WAY, NO HOW apologize for it. Right, because that makes sense.  Mr. Santorum went on to say that it was actually the Afghans that should be doing the apologizing.

 “The response… needs to be apologized for, by Karzai and the Afghan people, of attacking and killing our men and women in uniform, and overreacting to this mistake. That is the real crime, not what our soldiers did.”

 Okay, let try to put Rick’s theory into practice here…

You know what? I did mistakenly back into my neighbor’s car last week, but it wasn’t on purpose.  It was inadvertent – a misjudgment in night-time periphery.  It shouldn’t have occurred, but it was of course, just an accident.

I imagine that explanation will more than satisfy his claims adjuster.

But seriously though, someone cut off Santorum’s poppy supply please!  Westerners have played Occupy Afghanistan for the past several decades, have figuratively and literally pissed on their culture (and their dead) and now have burned their Qurans.  Mistake or not, how exactly did Santorum expect the Afghan people to respond? I’m pretty sure that we all believe in our heart of hearts that the matter of the burned Qurans was a horrible blunder on the part of the United States, but certainly one that was not deliberate.  I think however, at the very least, an apology for such an egregious error coming from the leader of the free world was not only a diplomatic gesture, but it was an opportunity to show that it isn’t global policing, ultimatums and sheer capitalism alone that makes our nation one of the greatest countries in the world, but the ability to display true contrition and humility, even in the face of an unintentional act that does.

Barry’s Best Week (In a Good Long While)

25 Jan

Coming off of a pretty resounding and  motivational State of The Union Address, The Obama Administration couldn’t have planned Tuesday any better, if they had hand-picked the joint sessions attendees themselves (or if they’d had the POTUS to end his speech with an encore rendition of Al’s Let’s Stay Together).

Like the rest of America, I’ve had my fill of talking points, bullet references and recycled stump speeches from both parties.  Last night, I was more interested in knowing where the President believed America really stood socially and economically, and what his plans were to resolve what has ailed us for so long.  And although he couldn’t have possibly given us an in-depth elucidation in the mere hour and change that he addressed the nation, I can say that I was satisfied with the fact that the President did address my big three.

National Security: Although not necessarily what I’d have opened with, right out of the gate, Barack Obama wanted to make sure that while some of America was pointing fingers and blaming him for any and everything, they were also reminded that Bin Laden had gotten “got” while on his watch…something the previous administration had only dreamed of doing (seeing as how they’d been playing a veritable game of Where’s Waldo with the man for the past ten years).  Prez also discussed the unacceptability of Iran constructing or acquiring nuclear weaponry and made clear his ardent stance (with or without peace negotiations or further sanctions) to ensure that Iran knew that although peace was always an option, America was not playing games with them and would respond swiftly and surely to their potential tomfoolery.

J-O-B-S: While the POTUS and his democratic supporters have been singing the same song for the last three years, Obama addressed the fact that like it or not, he had inherited the mess that had ultimately resulted in a not-so-fundamentally-strong economy and the loss of millions of jobs.  He also acknowledged that since in office, the economic rebound wasn’t as swift in coming as we all would have liked, but the Bailout out of companies like GM had in fact worked, resulting in more American jobs and the automaker reclaiming its throne as best in the business.  The President also expressed his willingness to work across party lines to get infrastructure jobs enacted, but challenged Congress to work to get a Bill on his desk that he could pass. Further, he suggested that incentives and tax relief be granted to American Companies that did not outsource American Jobs overseas.

Economic Equity:  Clearly the most divisive of political topics in the past few years (or ever), President Obama re-stressed his position that in order to stimulate the economy and provide opportunities that all Americans could benefit from, the nation’s majority (the 98 percent)who worked hard and did their fair share should be afforded some significant tax relief.  Becoming the poster child for this sentiment, Warren Buffet’s secretary (who notably makes substantially less money than her billionaire boss) was panned to many times during the speech, as Mr. Obama declared how senseless it was that those Americans who made significantly less money than their wealthy counterparts (the 2 percent), ultimately had to pay more in taxes.

Now, what I found so crucial about what the President discussed in The State of The Union Address last night was that so much of what he said could not have come at a better time.  For instance, yesterday’s release of Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s tax returns (in, let’s be honest, more grudging than perfunctory fashion) and the confirmation of SEAL Team 6’s rescue of two hostage aid workers in Somalia had to be a gift horse that the Obama Administration did not even consider looking into the mouth.  In the case of Romney, the situation clearly spoke to the distinct ideological contrast that while the President wants to provide tax breaks for the middle class, there is this potential Republican Presidential candidate who, in paying roughly 15% in Capital Gains Tax (because he is fortunate in the wealth department) believes that he should be paying less than that.  Where the SEALS are concerned, I wouldn’t go so far as to pat The President on the back for another mission accomplished, because let’s be for real for a sec, facilitating from the safety of a highly secure edifice is nothing like risking life and limb in the trenches; but it sure does look good for his presidential resume to be riding the wave of another military success.

As it were, I am not sure what last night’s address did to change the minds of staunch conservatives, or those who currently find themselves in the middle of the political road.  What I do know however is that from the various conversations that I’ve had over the past 24 hours, lots of Democrats seem pleased that the President is showing his aggressiveness; an almost forlorn trait that has now seemed to reenergize the democratic base.  I would be very interested to see what the Administration plans to do to maintain this momentum.

In the words of Rick Santorum (did I just do that??), Game On!

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