Friday, November 27, 2009

Secret Service needs to get it right

Well, everyone is a buzz about the D.C. area couple who busted into the State Dinner on Tuesday. This would be funny if it was a "punked joke", but for the leader of the free world, this is hardly funny. It is very dangerous and no one is laughing about this.

This photo released by the White House Nov. 27, 2009, shows President Barack Obama greeting Michaele and Tareq Salahi, right, at a State Dinner hosted by Obama for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House in Washington Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009. The Secret Service is looking into its own security procedures after determining that the uninvited Virginia couple managed to slip into the dinner.

The Northern Virginia socialite was being taped by a production crew for Bravo cable channel's forthcoming "The Real Housewives of Washington."

"It was a lot of schmoozing with the staff," James Packard-Gomez, CEO of Erwin Gomez Salon, said Thursday, explaining why the hair and makeup session lasted from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The salon was abuzz because Michaele and her husband, Tareq, were among the 320 VIPs invited to join the president and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "They were asking, 'So, what do you think of them getting invited to this?' "

The stylist doing Michaele's hair asked to see the White House invitation, Packard-Gomez said. "She starts rummaging through her purse, and then said, 'It must be out in the car.' "

Would the film crews get into the White House, too? " 'We tried,' " he says she told them, " 'but they wouldn't let them in.' "

This couple, Michaele and Tareq Salahi are part of the new Bravo series, "Real Housewives of D.C. or Washington". Again, this would be all fine and dandy for SOMEONE ELSE, but not the President of the United States. The Secret Service is not a secret by letting this couple, who was not on the list of attendees, to actually bypass their procedures and security to actually meet and greet the President of the United States and the Vice President of the United States. This takes me back to the President Bush "shoe incident" in Iraq. Though this was funny, for me the first thought was, "Where is the Secret Service?"

This coming from an agency that has stated it is overwhelmed at the increase of death threats against President Obama and his family, an increase of 400%. The highest for any sitting U.S. President. And now this? If this agency needs increase of funds, give to them. If this agency needs to hire new personnel, allow them to do so. An incident like this should never happen again, a total embarrassment.

Yes, the Secret Service is embarrassed.
Sullivan said that “the preliminary findings of our internal investigation have determined established protocols were not followed at an initial checkpoint, verifying that two individuals were on the guest list.

“Although these individuals went through magnetometers and other levels of screening, they should have been prohibited from entering the event entirely. That failing is ours,” he said.

Sullivan said it wasn’t good enough that his agency screened more than 1.2 million visitors last year to the White House complex and protected more than 10,000 sites for the president, vice president and others.

“Even with these successes, we need to be right 100 percent of the time,” he said. “While we have protocols in place to address these situations, we must ensure that they are followed each and every time.”

It is unclear what the couple told officers at the checkpoint that allowed them to go through the security screening. Federal law makes it a crime to knowingly and willfully falsify statements on matters within the federal government’s jurisdiction.

Lastly, the White House released a statement that the Obama Family will not spend the Christmas Holiday in Chicago. After this, I am not surprised, as the Obamas live in the heart of the City of Chicago, under urban dwelling and for the Secret Service it just may be too much of a stretch to protect the family when homes are so close to one another.

Washington Post

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

President Obama in NFL commercial for United We Serve (Video)

In support of his United We Serve initiative, President Obama and NFL stars Drew Brees, DeMarcus Ware, and Troy Polamalu team up to highlight the importance of fitness for America's children. The NFL's Play 60 initiative stresses that young people can live a healthy lifestyle by engaging in 60 minutes of physical activity a day. The President's United We Serve initiative encourages all Americans to get engaged in their communities and help create a brighter future for our nation's youth through service. read more here....

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

To you and yours, a blessed day and good eats....back on line tomorrow.

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President Obama's Weekly Addresss, Happy Thanksgiving, November 26, 2009 (Video/Transcript)



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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

With the economy the way it is, spending over 80K on golf outings??? Minority Leader John Boehner does without no regards (Video)

Spending 30K on a single golf course?? From morning joe:

Don't talk about, put fear mongering into your speak about JOBS, JOBS, JOBS when you are golfing like a D.C. elitist. OK???

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President Obama"s turkey pardon (Video)

At this year's official Turkey Pardon, President Obama mixed jokes in with a serious message about giving thanks for our blessings. With Sasha and Malia at his side, he noted how delicious the turkey looked (at 40-plus pounds, the North Carolina-raised bird named Courage did look pretty juicy). Obama claimed he wanted to eat the turkey, but Sasha and Malia prevailed upon him to pardon it, sparing it "a terrible and delicious fate." Courage will now head to Disneyland for their Thanksgiving Day parade.

Watch to the end of the video when Malia says the turkey looks like a big chicken, and Obama makes a little food policy joke when he asks if the turkey received performance enhancing drugs.


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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Obamas State Dinner for Prime Minister Singh of India (Video and Pictures)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife to the White House Tuesday for the administration's first state dinner. (Nov. 24)

President and Mrs. Obama host Prime Minister Singh of the Republic of India at a State Dinner on November 24, 2009.

Vimeo Video

First Lady Mrs. O has debuted her ensemble for the state dinner, wearing a gown by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan. The strapless gown features hand cut sterling silver sequins sewn on nude silk chiffon, creating an abstract floral pattern. The dress is entirely handmade, requiring three weeks of work by 40 people, completed in Naeem Kahn's family workshop in India. The custom, one-of-a-kind gown was made specially by the designer for Mrs. O to wear to the state dinner, which honors Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and his wife, Gursharan Kaur.

Mrs. O accessorized her ensemble with oversize drop earrings, featuring a fleur de lis at each ear and tear drop shapes made of gold and purple stones. Mrs. O completed the look with a dramatic stack of bangle bracelets on her right arm, a nude wrap, and her hair swept into a loose, romantic updo.

Official List of Guests to the Obamas State Dinner
The Obamas china used for State Dinner
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and wife, Gursharan Kaur (Pictures)
President Obama and Prime Minister Singh's remarks to the press (Video)

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Full Guest List of the Obamas State Dinner for Indian Prime Minister Singh

Here we go, and I just heard on C-SPAN that Oprah Winfrey was on the list but Gail King is coming in her place.

Producer Steven Spielberg, music mogul David Geffen and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman are among the guests at tonight's White House state dinner in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) will be attending, and he's not the only Republican.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is attending, as is Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN).

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent who has backed the White House on key matters, also is attending.

Ari Emanuel, brother to White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Congressional leadership, Cabinet members and White House staffers are on the list, including incoming general counsel Bob Bauer.

Oprah Winfrey isn't on the list, but her best friend Gayle King, is.

Television personalities Katie Couric of CBS, Brian Williams of NBC and Sanjay Gupta and Fareed Zakaria of CNN are on the list.

Full guest list after the jump. Source

Official Guest List for State Dinner in Honor of Prime Minister Singh is here.
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The Obamas State Dinner China (picture)

From the Photo Spray held by FLOTUS displaying tonight's table settings on the South Lawn. The beautiful grounds and rolling green lawn seem to be a key part of the inspiration. It also is quite reminiscent of the Green Room with its silk moire in the White House where the Obama family had their official family portrait taken by Annie Libowitz.

Here what we can tell from this photo - Its the William Jefferson Clinton China with the gilded flatware from Barbara Bush. The cushions on the chairs match the tablecloth and the linen napkins. That means a stunning backdrop for what FLOTUS or Michelle Obama has chosen to wear. (Photo courtesy CBS.) The brand spanking new White House Chief floral designer, Laura Dowling (last week's East Wing hire is how new), will have an amazing centerpiece which we do not have photos of yet.

Read more here @ East Wing Rules

Official State Dinner Menu

Michelle Obama's explains protocol for a State Dinner

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President Obama and Prime Minister Singh's remarks to the press (Video)

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State Dinner Tuesday with the Obamas (a must read)

Maureen from East Wing Rules comes through again with full details on how these state dinners are put together and reminds you to watch C-SPAN as full coverage on this will be uninterrupted.

This was a plate (mid bites) prepared by White House Chef Sam Kass for the governor's formal dinner in February 2009. The presidential seal is on the dessert chocolate and notice not a smudge - each one is checked for perfection. This was Mrs. Obama's first formal dinner at the White House and she chose the Wilson China.

Watch C-SPAN for coverage that is uninterrupted and filled with salient tips from experts on everything from military protocol to the floral arrangements. A State Occasion, let a lone a dinner is lavish and meant to welcome a head of state with the finest of American hospitality at America's most famous address. First Ladies traditionally show off their arrangements and release details regarding floral arrangements, china selection, silverware settings and other details during the day. The room is already arranged and the menu selected. It is written by hand for each setting by the White House calligrapher's office. Each course is designed, pre-tasted by the first lady and a small group of insiders and every seat has a handwritten name above each plate. Mrs. Obama's press secretary Katie Lleyveld will be overwhelmed today as most microscopic minutiae will be fodder for the press and interested folks like me ... and you!

Read the full post, here.

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The hottest ticket TONIGHT is the Obamas first State Dinner honoring India, here are some tidbits

And Jennifer Hudson, Chicago's own, is part of the entertainment.

-Here's the invite to the hottest ticket in town Tuesday night--President Obama and First Lady Michelle's first state dinner. Several news outlets are reporting that the entertainment will include Chicago's Jennifer Hudson and Kurt Elling. This is the most anticipated event yet produced by White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers--so the Chicago connections are no surprise.

Some 320 guests are expected.The invite is on a cream-colored card embossed with a gold presidential seal and black text:

The President and Mrs. Obama request the pleasure of the company of Mr. _____ at a dinner in honor of His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, and Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, to be held at The White House on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at seven o'clock.

My column with background on the Obama dinner is here. Mrs. Obama presides over a session Tuesday afternoon with girls she is mentoring on the history of White House dinners. Her East Wing will also show off the place settings at that time. Mrs. Obama will be joined by White House Curator William Allman and Tanya Turner, protocol officer for the Visits Division of the State Department.

All the Chicagoans in the White House--Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod and Susan Sher are expected. Emanuel's brother, superagent Ari, will be part of the Hollywood crowd showing up. There will also be a Chicago contingent, including business executive Penny Pritzker, the chairman of TransUnion, Pritzker Realty Group, and Classic Residence by Hyatt. She was the finance chair of the Obama presidential campaign and Obama might not be in the White House today if it were not for her efforts, especially in the first quarter of his campaign in 2007. Read it all here....

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and wife, Gursharan Kaur (Pictures)

First Lady Michelle Obama stands with Gursharan Kaur, wife of the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, during a welcoming ceremony at the White House in Washington November 24, 2009.

No doubt, we have a tall First Lady. And she wore Isaac Mizrahi. Oh, here is the take from Mrs. O

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (L), accompanied by U.S. President Barack Obama (R), listens to the Indian national anthem as they participate in a state arrival ceremony in the East Room of the White House November 24, 2009 in Washington, DC.

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President Obama Presents Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award (Video/Transcript)

The President presents the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award to Magadonga Mahlangu and her organization Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. November 23, 2009.

Vimeo Video


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In case you missed it: President Obama Meets with Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama (Video)

The President meets with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama of Japan on the first stop of his trip to Asia. Following a private discussion, they speak to the press about issues including climate change, nuclear disarmament, and Afghanistan. November 13, 2009.

Vimeo Video


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President Obama, Chinese President Hu Meet in Beijing (Video)

The President and President Hu Jintao of China make a joint statement to the media after their extended bilateral meeting in Beijing. November 17, 2009.


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Monday, November 23, 2009

Obama to address the nation on Afghanistan, December 1, 2009

Well, we will finally hear a plan or vagueness of a plan from President Obama. It is up in the air until December 1st. The rumor is we are sending a sizable force to Afghanistan, but what happened to the wasting of spending over 10 billion a month from this White House? We have been over there, what, 8 years and don't have nothing to show for it? Remember, the Soviets fought over in Afghanistan for 10 years and damn near killed their economy doing so. Eventually, the United States of America got to say "enough" or pony up on that "draft thingy", because the truth and reality is that we don't have the troops to send over there and what will 30K or 40K do in Afghanistan. The country alone is dense, sparse and huge, but we are fighting for what? Yes, 9/11, but the Bush Regime took its eyes off the prize and we wasted manpower and money in Iraq, so we are still fighting 2 wars and still with nothing to show for it. Oh, yes, we have become really good at wasting money and nation building, while we can't even perform the same for our own citizens. A shame. Lastly, that Nobel Peace Prize, was for what again?

Read it all, here

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Concierge doctors for a price....yes, cash only....

Wow, after reading this piece on MSNBC, it makes me believe more strongly that medicine and insurance is ramping towards those who HAVE versus those who HAVE NOT. The number of doctors are growing who are not signing contracts and opting out of insurance. What does this say about this country and its citizens? Not much.

Doctors who make the switch to concierge practices find it’s a lucrative choice. At MDVIP, which franchises concierge-only arrangements, doctors limit their practices to 600 patients. At $1,500 apiece, that amounts to $900,000 a year. Even with the 33 percent the agency charges for administrative fees, it’s still $600,000 for the docs, in addition to insurance reimbursements.

Bob Goodrich’s physician, Dr. Susan Debin, signed up two years ago with Concierge Choice Physicians to start a “hybrid” model that contracts with 125 concierge patients from a practice of about 5,000.

Debin now tends first to the concierge patients, who bring in $200,000 annually at $1,600 a pop. Another full-time doctor and a staff of four nurse practitioners usually cover the rest of Debin’s patients.

For the Goodriches, the differences are clear. When Marjorie Goodrich goes to the doctor, she doesn't sit in the regular waiting room that her husband uses, with its close-set chairs and drab paint. She enters a different door in back, where plush chairs, fresh coffee and bottled water are available. More important, she sees Debin every time, while her husband typically sees a newer doctor or a nurse practitioner.

read the whole article here

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Whitney Houston at the American Music Awards (Video)

She sounds good and is trying to come back.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), how can you sleep at night? Look at the people from your state!! No health insurance. (Video)

h/t nyceve @ Daily Kos, I only posted a few, view all of them by clicking this link

Blanche, these are your PEOPLE who need desperate medical care, but you continue to side with the corrupt insurance companies. When will you get a spine? More importantly, a damn conscience...

Democrats, we are better than this and this final bill needs to represent that.

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