Tag Archives: Michelle Obama

Fox rolls out another blowhard

Keith Ablow isn’t looking at the same person many of the rest of us are seeing.

Ablow is a Fox News Channel commentator. He’s a shrink who has declared that first lady Michelle Obama needs to “drop a few” pounds if she is going to be a credible spokeswoman for healthy eating.


OK. Let’s see here. The woman I have watched functioning as first lady of the United States looks pretty damn fit. She’s also, shall we say, easy on the eyes.

Michelle Obama also is an accomplished lawyer and an individual who speaks fervently and eloquently on behalf of her husband … which, of course, shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Ablow popped off on a Fox talk show and was taken to task immediately by some of his cohorts on the program. He didn’t back down. He’s standing by his comment that the first lady isn’t fit — pun intended — to lead the discussion on childhood nutrition.

Well, it’s no use trying to pick apart the comments of someone who — I’m supposing — doesn’t support much of anything that comes out of the Obama White House, given that he’s a Fox News Channel talking head/gasbag.

He’s taking on the first lady, whose message — which has been to encourage healthier food choices in public schools — has been resonating with most Americans already and according to medical studies has produced tangible results by reducing childhood obesity.

Keep up the good work, Mrs. Obama. Never mind the musings of a goofy psychiatrist.

Food fight erupts in Congress

There likely can be no greater example of the current political pettiness infecting Congress than the fight that’s erupting over first lady Michelle Obama’s desire to have our children eat healthier meals in school.


Congressional Republicans want to scale back Mrs. Obama’s healthy-eating program. They contend, along with their activist friends, that the first lady is trying to force feed healthy eating habits in our public schools, making school administrators adhere to silly dietary rules.

The first lady has taken an uncharacteristically (for her) stance in response to the criticism. She’s fighting back.

She’s noting that childhood obesity has begun to decline in the country. Children’s healthier school meals are having a tangible — and positive — impact on their health.

And somehow this is seen as a bad thing?

I’ll need some help understand this one, folks.

Congressional Republicans want to roll back the standards the government has enacted for our kids. The first lady says she’s offended as a mother and as an American. She blasts Republicans for “playing politics with our nation’s children.”

Is there no end, or limit, to this political petulance?

VA mess … now there's a scandal

Internal Revenue Service vetting of conservative political action groups’ claims of tax exempt status?

Pffft. Big deal.

Benghazi … Shmenghazi.

Sure, it’s a bigger deal, but it doesn’t rise to the level of “scandal.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs and allegations that it delayed veterans’ health care so long that vets actually died while waiting? Now that is a hyper-serious matter that needs to be resolved thoroughly.


Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki — a Vietnam War combat veteran and a former Army chief of staff — says he is “personally angered and saddened” by the allegations. He’d better be. Shinseki is now fighting to keep his job after the American Legion — in a rare statement of outrage — called for his resignation in light of the growing scandal.

At issue is the death of at least 40 veterans who were awaiting health care at the Phoenix, Ariz., VA hospital. Many of the vets’ names were on a secret waiting list that reportedly was designed to conceal lengthy waits that didn’t meet VA standards.

As a veteran myself who a year ago enrolled as a Veterans Administration patient at the hospital here in Amarillo, I have a number of concerns. The most notable of those concerns is whether such delays are being orchestrated at the Thomas Creek VA Medical Center in the city where I live. There was a time I wouldn’t have dared ask that question out loud, but given what has happened in Phoenix, is it possible that other such disgraceful activities are occurring across the Department of Veterans Affairs’ vast health care network?

The situation at the VA clearly is FUBAR, which in military parlance means — and this is the cleaned-up version — “fouled up beyond all recognition.”

President and Mrs. Obama have made veterans care a signature issue as the administration winds down the Afghanistan War, having already ended U.S. involvement in the Iraq War. Michelle Obama, along with Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Biden, have been champions for the cause of ensuring that our veterans receive the best health care possible.

One only can imagine what the response to this mess has been inside the West Wing of the White House, not to mention in the living quarters upstairs. I’m hoping the president has tossed some furniture around and is demanding answers to what has happened in Phoenix.

Gen. Shinseki, you have some serious explaining to do.

Right-wing media go fishing for anti-Obama grist

It long has been clear that the right-wing mainstream media cannot find enough material with which to batter their foes in the White House.

This item came to light this afternoon on the Fox News Channel.

Fox News talking heads were critical of — get this — the calorie count of the meal served at the White House state dinner that President and Mrs. Obama hosted in honor of visiting French President Francois Hollande.

They were yapping that the meal contained 2,500 calories. I didn’t hear precisely what they served at the White House, but I’m quite sure it was mighty sumptuous.

Why target the meal?

Well, first lady Michelle Obama has taken up the cause of healthy eating. She’s counseled parents about how to serve healthier food to their children, campaigned for schools to quit serving carbonated soda and fatty food and encouraged other institutions to dispense with “junk food” in favor of fruit and vegetables.

The Obamas’ critics on the right, of course, have accused the first lady of seeking to make it “illegal” to serve fatty food, which she has not done.

Then the White House chef turns out some gaudy meal for the Obamas to serve at the White House, which according to the right-wing mainstream media amounts to evidence of hypocrisy.

Allow me to add that the president noted in his State of the Union speech recently that his wife’s campaign to fight childhood obesity is working. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an actual decline in the number of obese children since 2009.

So, let the first couple indulge a little for a visiting head of state.

They can get back on their own healthy-eating routine tomorrow.

SOTU ends with emotions running high

The end of President Obama’s State of the Union speech all but wiped out what he had said earlier.

It was near the conclusion of his 65-minute speech that the president introduced the nation to Army Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg, a grievously wounded Ranger who was nearly killed during his 10th deployment in Afghanistan.

As the columnist Mark Shields noted on PBS immediately after the speech ended, Remsburg drew the “longest standing ovation I’ve ever heard” at a State of the Union speech.

Indeed, Remsburg’s presence reminds us of the extreme hardship the entire nation has endured while fighting the longest war in its history.

SFC Remsburg was wounded when a roadside bomb exploded. He was comatose for months. He has learned to stand and speak again. Remsburg has fought back against impossible odds.

All the other topics the president raised during his speech seemed to fade into the background during the two-minute ovation.

To be honest, it was a thrilling moment to see Remsburg standing between his father and first lady Michelle Obama. And I am pretty sure I saw some moisture in the first lady’s eyes as she joined the nation in applauding this valiant wounded warrior.

I take heart in knowing I wasn’t the only American who was swallowing hard at that moment.