Archive for Michelle Obama

Here’s a Line President Obama Never Hears:

“Chicken or pasta?”

Or: “Can I ask you to put up your tray table?”

The Obama family managed to rack up nearly $16 million in flight expenses for two trips last year.

According to Air Force documents obtained by the government accountability group Judicial Watch via a Freedom of Information Act request, the Obama family vacations to Africa in June and July, and the family’s Christmas vacation to Honolulu, cost taxpayers big bucks.

The Obama’s Africa trip cost $8,104,224 to fly for a total of 35.5 hours to, from, and around Africa at a rate of $228,288 an hour. The family’s Christmas Honolulu trip flights were slightly less expensive costing about $7,781,361 — flying for 36.9 hours at a cost of $210,877 an hour.

The conservative watchdog notes that the Obama’s 2013-2014 vacation to was more than $3 million greater than their Honolulu vacation the year prior.

“The costs to taxpayers of President Obama’s travel, especially his luxury vacation travel, are beyond the pale,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “And the secrecy surrounding these costs shows that Obama’s vows of transparency are rubbish.”

No way!

Of course, travel costs do add up when you take separate planes (Boeing 747s) back from Hawaii. A few extra days in Hawaii and a dedicated plane were our gift—sorry, Obama’s gift—to Michelle for her birthday. (If you believe the story, which the National Enquirer doesn’t.)

Do they tell Obama to turn off any electronic devices? Does he have to check his luggage? Do they lose his luggage? Do they tell him to stick the nuclear football under the seat in front of him or in an overhead bin? Do they shut him off from the drink cart? Does he stare at the flight attendant’s behind? Does he wipe down the lavatory for the next user? (I do, unless previous pigs have left it beyond my help.)

If we’re going to use FOIA, let’s find this stuff out!

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My Defense of Michelle Obama

Trust me, this is going to hurt me more than it is you:

Writing in the New Republic, former White House West Wing press aide Reid Cherlin goes pretty far out on a limb for a former in-guy with the Obama towel-whipping society, describing First Lady Michelle Obama as a controlling yet sometimes fickle East Wing boss who has created an unhappy work environment.

I credit Mrs. BTL for installing a sexism BS detector in my head. Women are often described in critical terms for the same traits that win men praise. Always, if you ask the missus.

So let’s tread carefully:

Apparently, all that spontanaiety you see from Michelle takes a lot of planning.

The first lady’s office can be a confining, frustrating, even miserable place to work. Jealousy and discontentment have festered, as courtiers squabble over the allocation of responsibility and access to Mrs. Obama, both of which can be aggravatingly scarce. Fueling these sentiments, according to former East Wing insiders, is the exacting but often ambivalent leadership style of the first lady herself.

Unlike her husband, who derives visible satisfaction from his ability to improvise, Mrs. Obama depends on structure to support her public warmth—the ease with which she’ll pick up a hula-hoop, say, or do the Dougie with school kids.

The imperative to guarantee results could be paralyzing. “That was the pressure on us,” one ex-aide told me. “‘Don’t do it if it’s not going to be perfect.’” Staff knew that every event should produce positive coverage, and that all the angles had to be exhaustively researched and gamed out (not easy with a team of less than 30).

But it was never completely clear what the standard of perfection should be. “There’s no barometer: The first lady having the wrong pencil skirt on Monday is just as big of a fuck-up as someone speaking on the record when they didn’t mean to or a policy initiative that completely failed,” says another former aide. “It just made you super anxious.”

Former staffers describe a high-stress, high-stakes workplace, in which Mrs. Obama scrutinized the smallest facets of her schedule. Aides in both wings of the White House say she insists on planning every move months in advance and finalizing speeches weeks ahead of time—a rigidity nearly unheard of in today’s chaotic political environment.

“For her, trust is huge, really feeling like people were protecting and thinking about her,” says one alum. “And then, also, she’s a lawyer. She’s really disciplined. She cares about the details. She’s never going to wing it.”

Imagine the first black First Lady of the United States wanting to be the personification of perfection! Imagine her holding to account the people on whom she relies!

There’s plenty I don’t like about Michelle Obama—her politics first and foremost. I’m also tired of her hectoring tone. (A-WOO-GAH! A-WOO-GAH! Sexism alert!!) Her bossiness. (CRACK!!! That just broke the detector.)

But I haven’t learned anything damning about her yet. Let’s keep trying:

All of this led to a culture of harsh internal judgment. Invitations to meetings with the first lady, in her office above the Jackie Kennedy Garden, became a vital status symbol, a way for staffers to measure their worth. “Every meeting was like an identity crisis, whether you got invited or not,” one former East Winger told me . . .

Whoever the chief of staff has been, Cherlin makes clear that the real power behind the throne is Valerie Jarrett, who gives the orders. Also very powerful is Sam Kass, who seems to have risen from Obama chef and gardener to all-round advisor and general-purpose guru.

They’ve become personal friends even intimates of the first lady, which Cherlin makes suggests, is what it takes to really succeed in the East Wing.

Talk about an unfair work environment.

BS.

What we’ve learned is that Michelle Obama is hypersensitive about her image. (What a bitch!) This makes her identical to any other woman not named Joan Rivers. Again, one could completely understand, and should certainly forgive, her compulsion to be a model First Lady (even First Mother), as she is the first African American to hold the position. While we might wish her to be more relaxed, more herself, she’s hardly in a comfortable position to do so. (Hey, maybe we’d rather she did not.)

We also learn that Mrs. Obama has her trusted intimates. That, too, is far from damning indictment.

I’ve had some pretty bad bosses, the worst of whom by far was a woman. She was irrational, temperamental, sharp-tongued, a nightmare to deal with in any capacity. But she was the boss, she ran the place. I bitched and moaned, to be sure, but my solution was to find another job. I did, and everyone lived happily ever after. (Except for my successor.)

We now return you to our regularly-scheduled First Lady bashing…

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Michelle Obama’s Chinese Vacation [UPDATED]

Some might say that a First Lady who reports on herself has a fool for a subject.

Michelle Obama, rather, believes: FLOTUS, report on thyself:

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Malia and Sasha visit the Great Wall of China. March 22, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Today we drove about an hour north of Beijing to a village called Mutianyu to visit a section of the Great Wall of China, which was simply breathtaking. The scenery on the way there was beautiful – a wide vista of mountains and trees – so the car ride alone was a treat. But then, running along the highest ridges of the mountains, you see it: The Great Wall – one of the great marvels of human history.

Sound familiar?

PRESIDENT [NIXON]. I can only say to the media, who, like myself, have never seen the Great Wall before, that it exceeds all expectations. When one stands there and sees the Wall going to the peak of this mountain and realizes that it runs for hundreds of miles, as a matter of fact thousands of miles, over the mountains and through the valleys of this country, that it was built over 2,000 years ago, I think that you would have to conclude that this is a great wall and that it had to be built by a great people.

Why’d they build it again?

“…to protect the Chinese Empire or its prototypical states against intrusions by various nomadic groups or military incursions by various warlike peoples or forces…”

Huh.

Anyhow, back to the State Media travelogue:

To get to the Wall, we rode a cable car up a mountain (and we later rode back down on a long slide!). The section we visited is one of the more popular parts of the Wall for tourists, and it’s easy to see why. At Mutianyu, the Wall is roughly 20 to 25 feet tall and full of stairs, and there’s a watchtower every 100 yards or so. Those watchtowers serve as a reminder of why the Wall was built in the first place – to defend against attacks from armies descending from the north. Throughout its history, the Great Wall has gone through decades, even centuries, of ruin and disrepair. But it has always served as not only a physical barrier, but a psychological one to intimidate potential invaders.

Huh.

A long slide, huh?

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First Lady Michelle Obama takes a toboggan ride after visiting the Great Wall of China with Malia and Sasha. March 23, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Who needs Pravda when the Kremlin—sorry, White House—can report on itself?

UPDATE
I have been laboring under the impression that this junket is media-rein, but I stand corrected:

From a Q&A Mrs. Obama had today with CaixanOnline, a China-focused news site.

Never mind what bilge she spewed, or that she spewed it to state-run media organ (much like AP, NPR, NBC, et al), Mrs. Obama did sit for an interview. I regret the error.

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Michelle Obama’s Chinese Vacation

I would try to count the days, but who can tell which day it is when she’s a world away?

It’s the nights you need to count:

First Lady Michelle Obama is staying with her daughters and mother in an $8,000-per-night suite in Beijing, according to Chinese media.

Don’t worry. I’m sure the dozens of support staff and Secret Service rooms don’t cost a penny more than two grand.

The total cost of this excursion, which is heavy on tourist stuff, is likely north of $1 million, given that Judicial Watch was able to peg her 2010 trip to Spain at $467,000. This voyage has far more flying time – a major piece of the cost – and much more demanding security requirements, as well as lots of staff.

“Heavy on the tourist stuff” it may be, but she’s speaking in an official capacity, too:

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama has told students at Beijing’s Stanford Center of the prestigious Peking University that access to information – especially online – and freedom of speech are universal rights.

On her second day of a five-day trip to China, Mrs. Obama told American and other students on Saturday that freedom of expression and worship, and having open access to information are universal rights that are the “birthright of every person on this planet.”

Good for her. I mean it. And what speaks of modern diplomacy better than a selfie?

Sadly, FLOTUS hasn’t updated her blog since the state dinner and “performance” hinted at yesterday (the day before?) Did she have the Moo Goo Gai Pan or the Egg Foo Young, I wonder?

She did have a great time in the Forbidden City, you’ll be happy to know!

PS: Aggie noted yesterday Michelle’s pitch-perfect Midwestern Nice tonality. She’s still got it:

The Forbidden City is far too large to fully experience in a single visit, but highlights include the following: The Hall of Union and Peace has almost 14,000 ornamental dragons. The Hall of Supreme Harmony is where the emperor viewed birthday celebrations and coronation ceremonies from his Dragon Throne. And then there are the Imperial Gardens, where you can walk along the paths and pavilions, admiring the beautiful rock arrangements, flowers and cypress trees.

While we loved our visit to the Forbidden City, we only wish we had more time to see everything. But then again, I’m not sure there could ever be enough time to fully appreciate all of the art and history within this extraordinary place.

You can take the girl out of Chicago, but I guess you can’t take the Chicago out of the girl!

PPS: We’ll continue to put our efforts into covering this trip, since the press won’t (can’t).

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Michelle Obama’s Chinese Vacation

The Obama/Robinson women are in China now, without a man and without the press, so how’s it going so far?

Obama, who is visiting China with her mother and two daughters, is expected to forgo discussion of trade, human rights and the tangle of other issues that have weighed on U.S.-China relations. Instead, she plans to focus on building goodwill through soft diplomacy.

Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan accompanied the visitors on a visit to the Beijing Normal School attended by elite Chinese students and American teenagers from prestigious schools such as Exeter, Andover and Sidwell Friends on study abroad programmes.

Obama, a Harvard-educated lawyer, wore wide-legged black slacks and a loose black vest.

Good to know! Of course, if that sentence isn’t a non-sequitur—two, actually!—I don’t know my non-sequiturs. (What relevance do her slacks have to her law degree? What relevance does her law degree have to her family vacation on the public’s dime?)

Peng, dressed immaculately in a cornflower-blue skirt suit, with a red leather clutch and matching stud earrings, appeared to speak limited English, but gamely ventured a few comments to foreign students and the Obama family.

Is that a shot at Michelle’s frumpy outfit?

Deserved, if it is.

But if we’re to get the real story of the First Lady’s Beijing junket (no press), we’ll have to go to the source:

After a long flight from Washington, D.C. – one that took around 20 hours – my mother, my daughters, and I arrived in Beijing to begin our official visit to China. Our first stop was at the Beijing Normal School, where we were hosted by Madam Peng Liyuan, the First Lady of China.

Madam Peng (her name is pronounced “Pung”) first became known to the Chinese people long before she was First Lady.

Pronounced “Pung”? Who knew? Betcha NPR wouldn’t know that.

As my family and I can attest from our time together at the Beijing Normal School, Madam Peng is a warm and gracious host. And this visit was a perfect opportunity to highlight the themes of my trip: the value of education and the importance of cultural exchanges between young people in different countries.

About 800 students attend the Beijing Normal School, and of those, roughly one in four are international students – including some Americans. All the classes are taught in English (one room even has a map of the United States on the ceiling), and the curriculum prepares students to study internationally once they graduate. Many students here hope to one day attend college in America.

Which opportunity will be denied to them to make room for affirmative action students. (Am I wrong?)

Madam Peng and I first visited a class where students were actually building their own robots, and they were kind enough to do a demonstration for us. The first robot we saw could actually walk over obstacles. Another one, which was shaped like a triangle, was referred to as “bad boy” by its student creators (one of them explained to us that this robot is “really naughty”).

It holds up little signs that say “I’m Falun Gong!” and “Free Ai Weiwei!”

I jest. But Nixon went to China in 1972 and we’re still playing ping-pong diplomacy 42 years later?

After the robotics class, we stopped by a ping pong practice session where I got some tips from the instructor and then had the chance to play with one of the students. She was excellent (though I think she may have gone easy on me, just to be nice).

Isn’t that sweet?

Look, there’s a role for this sort of thing, I guess. But isn’t it fair to say that Michelle’s personal ambitions (not least wanderlust) are covering up some very real problems? China’s human rights abuses; its support of North Korea; its territorial ambitions; intellectual property theft—one could go on. And her insistence that she be the only reporter with direct access to the participants in the trip is disturbing, dare I say Chinese, in its authority. It’s like Jay Carney asking questions of himself in a news conference. (Oh wait.)

Can’t wait for tomorrow’s dispatch from the front lines: dinner and a show.

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Air FLOTUS

I think I made a crack the other day about Michelle Obama and the girls (and their grandmother) visiting China, but also allowed that First Families often serve as American ambassadors.

But this?

First lady Michelle Obama will not take questions from reporters or give interviews during her tour of China that begins today, and members of the press corps who usually follows the first family everywhere can’t travel with her entourage.

And although she will make a few speeches with reporters in the room, the picture is largely one of an expensive, taxpayer-funded tourism exercise for Mrs. Obama, her two daughters, and her mother – not the official trip the White House has projected.

And limited information made available to MailOnline suggests that only two out of 22 scheduled events on the trip will afford journalists a chance to do any significant reporting – including a solitary speech – but still without interviewing Mrs. Obama.

‘How does this comport with the standards of an “official” trip that uses government resources?’ MailOnline asked. ‘Doesn’t this look more like a vacation at taxpayer expense if she’s not going to interface with the media?’

White House travel can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars since members of the president’s family must take a phalanx of Secret Service agents with them wherever they go. Those agents and their staffers need hotel rooms, rental vehicles and per diem meal expenses.

A vacation? Dude, she’ll be working! Doing the job the American press won’t (be allowed) to do:

I’ll be posting a daily travel blog, complete with videos and photos, and I’ll be taking – and answering – questions from kids across America as I go.

I hope you’ll join me – all you have to do is get online:

Go to WhiteHouse.gov to check out my travel blog, and you can even sign up for a daily email update delivered to your inbox.

Who needs the Fourth Estate when you have the First Lady to tell you what’s going on?

And she’ll be worth every penny:

First Lady Michelle Obama plans to pack in an exciting week of sightseeing during what is definitely NOT a vacation excursion with her daughters, who are on spring break, and her mother, who likes to go on Michelle’s trips.

The White House refuses to say how much it will cost you, according to the New York Times.

Well, I can reveal it here:

A lot!!

But this is not a vacation. Please repeat to yourself. This is not a vacation.

I’ll give you a moment.

This is just the Sister Sledge of the Second City, the Jeffersons of Georgetown:

[A]ccording to Tina Tchen, Mrs. Obama’s chief of staff:

I will say this as a Chinese American — of family and of three generations of family traveling together, which I think the Chinese will appreciate, and will appreciate the ties and the bonds that the Obama family have with one another across generations. And this is a great opportunity for the Obama family to experience that, and I think for the Chinese to see that as well in an American family.

OH PLEASE HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK WE ARE?

Stupid enough to return them to power, without any restraints on their behavior. He’s not running for a third term—though he might find the office too much to his liking to leave.

I say without rancor: this is a family vacation at your and my expense. A state trip would permit a role for the press, a private trip would not.

Now with rancor: They wanna go, they can pay their own way. Freeloaders.

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Sweets for the Sweet

Sasha and Malia seem pretty nice. And you can’t blame the dogs, Bo and… the other one.

The rest of the inhabitants seem a pretty bitter lot:

The White House executive pastry chef, Bill Yosses, is calling it quits, in part because first lady Michelle Obama has discouraged his creativity in working with full fat, sugar, and eggs, The New York Times reported.

“I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs,” Yosses told the Times.

Old-fashioned “20 percent traditional desserts” make White House appearances only on special occasions. On Thanksgiving, “the Crustmaster,” as President Barack Obama calls him, was authorized to make different kinds of pies, and on Christmas he has created a detailed gingerbread version of the White House.

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel came in 2011 for a state dinner, Yosses created his own version of phyllo strudel with a plethora of farmer’s cheese, raisins, and apple. When French President Francois Hollande came in February, Yosses was permitted to prepare chocolate pastries without fretting about fat and sugar.

Here was that glorious moment:

We’re using a paint sprayer (previously unused of course) to give a micro-thin layer of chocolate over soft and creamy ganache cake. The bittersweet chocolate comes from Hawaii, and it will be served à la mode with vanilla ice-cream from Pennsylvania.

Bet that peeved Michelle no end. No wonder he was out a month later.

Yosses, now 60, was brought on board by Laura Bush in 2007 when decadent desserts were more welcome. With the arrival of the Obamas, Yosses found himself picking more ingredients from the White House garden, including strawberries, blueberries, and pineapple sage.

Á chacun a son goût, as they say. If the Obama’s like pineapple sage better than crème brulée, why shouldn’t they have it? But you’ve seen the president when he’s allowed to go out without the little ball and chain. It’s all butter, cream, chocolate, and eggs. And you can’t keep an ice cream cone out of his hands when he’s on vacation. Any nutritionist will tell you to include a little fat in your diet. You crave it and you need it. But let Michelle terrorize the kitchen staff if it keeps her happy.

But I want to consider a different angle (Rush and I came to these thoughts independently). Yosses is gay, and is moving to New York City with his husband. You all know that’s a-ok with me.

But if a gay couple can insist that a baker may not refuse on religious grounds to make their wedding cake (offering muffins and cookies—even non-wedding cakes—in their place), why does Michelle get to hound a gay baker out of his job without being criticized?

Besides:

A new review of published evidence challenges current guidelines that suggest in order to reduce heart disease risk, people should generally restrict intake of saturated fats – like those found in butter and dairy foods – in favor of unsaturated fats – such as in margarine and sunflower oil.

The analysis, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine by an international group led by a team at the UK’s University of Cambridge, included 72 separate studies on heart risk and intake of fatty acids.

They found no evidence to support guidelines that say people should restrict saturated fat consumption to lower their risk of developing heart disease.

God spare us from these liberal do-gooders. They’ll be the death of us. Certainly the death of our jobs.

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Who Wants to Accompany the First Lady to China?

Whoa, don’t everybody answer all at once.

Come on, it’ll be fun!

The First Lady will travel to China from March 19-26, 2014. She will be visiting Beijing from March 20-23, Xi’an on March 24, and Chengdu from March 25-26. During her trip, the First Lady will meet with Madame Peng, the spouse of China’s President Xi Jinping. She will also visit a university and a high school in Beijing, and a high school in Chengdu. Additional details about the First Lady’s trip will be announced in the coming weeks. Accompanying Mrs. Obama on this trip will be her mother, Mrs. Marian Robinson, and daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama.

The First Lady is encouraging students and classrooms across the U.S. to follow her trip by signing up for updates throughout the visit.

Who doesn’t want to read about people you don’t know traveling around the world at your expense? It’s like credit card fraud and royalty watching combined.

You didn’t think I meant really accompanying her, did you?

You couldn’t afford it trust me:

President Obama and his family have come under heavy scrutiny for the unprecedented high travel costs during his time in office – and a week-long trip to China for four members of the First Family, members of the Secret Service and other members of the White House staff will likely cost several millions of dollars.

The president’s pricey travels have become so controversial that Judicial Watch was forced to sue the Secret Service and Defense Department to get them to turn over records on the amount of taxpayer money used to fly the First Family all over the world – in many cases for vacations or fundraisers – over the last two years of his administration.

According to Judicial Watch, it cost more than $11 million for the president and his wife to travel to Africa to attend Nelson Mandela’s funeral in December of last year. According to the New York Daily News, the Obamas were only in Africa for ‘less than 13 hours.’

But that trip was nothing compared to a 2013 visit the Obamas made to the Dark Continent, which reportedly cost tax payer more than $100 million.

For two vacations the Obamas took in 2013 – one to Hawaii and one to Martha’s Vineyard – records show that it cost taxpayers a whopping $7,396,531 in flight expenses alone. That figure also includes travel expenses for the president’s trip to California to file the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

During an August trip to California, during which Obama attended a party held by Democratic fundraiser Jeffrey Katzenberg and again appeared on the Tonight Show, taxpayers paid more than $2 million in travel expenses for the president and his security detail.

The president himself won’t be making the trip. He’ll be in Belgium. (Draw your own conclusions.)

Will Michelle be hectoring the Chinese about their dining habits as she does here?

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One of Guangzhou’s signature dishes, luó bó niú zá is nothing more than a stew made with beef hearts, livers, spleens, stomachs, intestines, and lungs, along with some large chunks of soft, white radish. They are all boiled together in a large drum of water with a shelf near the top for organs that are finished cooking…. When you order a bowl of luó bó niú zá, the vendor will reach a ladle deep inside to scoop up some radish pieces from the bottom of the barrel, chop up some of the offal off of the offal shelf, and dump both components into a bowl with a small amount of the broth.

Let’s move!

And what better quaff to go with cow spleen?

Got fermented camel’s milk?

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President’s Day

That should read Presidents’ Day, but for Barack Obama, every day is President’s Day:

President Obama today [Saturday] is playing golf on the course at the Annenberg Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage, California.

As expected, several buddies have flown in to join him for a three-day weekend of fun. Today he is playing with old pals Bobby Titcomb, Greg Omre, and Michael Ramos.

It’s the fourth time he has played so far this year – he got in three outings while in Hawaii last month – and the 161st round of his presidency.

Of course, behind every successful president stands a First Lady.

On skis:

First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters are skiing Aspen again this year.

It’s her third time in Aspen after hitting the slopes in Vail back in 2011. “She likes it here,” said local Sheriff Joe DiSalvo, according to the Aspen Daily News. Reasonable deduction.

Michelle is once again at the home of Jim and Paula Crown, major Democratic donors who own the Aspen Skiing Co.

According to the New York Post, Mrs. Obama’s arrival shut down the Aspen airport for an hour on a high travel day, forcing other vacationers to cool their heels on their private jets as they waited for Michelle to land and disembark.

One of our readers wrote Friday that he had “spotted a caravan of about 7 black SUVs with a police escort leaving the Aspen airport. In all likelihood that was her.

She took an Air Force jet and a cargo plane 2,000 miles across the country so she could slide down America’s most powdery slopes beside its wealthiest skiers.

This would be just the moment for President Obama to talk about income inequality, don’t you think? And John Kerry on greenhouse emissions?

PS: We’ve largely ignored scandalous rumors of infidelity and estrangement in the First Family. And I guess we’ll continue to do so. But their separate vacations (plural), and the president’s persistent palling around with someone arrested for soliciting a prostitute (named Titcomb, no less) don’t make it easy to ignore.

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Fifty and Fabulous!

You were expecting someone else?

On Wednesday the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a devastating report that blamed the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s State Department for security failures leading up to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.

While the Big Three (ABC, CBS and NBC) networks covered the report for a day, they found another event far more compelling — The First Lady’s 50th birthday bash, spending twice as much time on the White House party than Benghazi.

ABC was the most wildly out of line — 10 minutes on Michelle’s birthday vs. just 2 minutes on Benghazi. NBC spent twice as much time on the birthday (12 ½ minutes) as Benghazi (6 ½ minutes), while CBS actually gave slightly more time to Benghazi (6 minutes) vs. Michelle (5 ½ minutes).

NBC started their celebration on Thursday’s Today show with White House correspondent Kristen Welker, as she excitedly declared: “For days they’ve been gearing up for a big bash here at the White House. Guests were told to wear comfortable shoes and to be prepared to move around a lot, an indication there will be no shortage of dancing here. You can also bet there will be a long list of celebrities to pull off a party fit for a First Lady.”

Gack!

Still, the old bat looks like she could bust a move.

(Mamie Eisenhower, for those uninformed.)

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Who Came to Your 50th B-Day? [UPDATED]

Nelson Mandela was invited to mine, but he had the sniffles. I did get John Lennon and George Harrison, however. They serenaded me with a medley of The Monkees greatest hit. Brangelina tried to crash, but I had them turned away. (Brad, anyway; how could I not accept Angelina’s offered gift?)

How about you?

[H]igh-profile guests included Sir Paul McCartney, Magic Johnson, Chicago-born actress/singer Jennifer Hudson, singer Janelle Monae, actor Kal Penn, TV personality Al Roker, actress Ashley Judd, tennis great Billie Jean King, retired Olympic figure-skater Michelle Kwan and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, the sources said.

Singer John Legend sang the happy birthday song to Michelle Obama, according to the sources.

They said Beyonce, who is a close friend of the Obamas, sang hits including “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)“ and “To the Left,” and Wonder gave a more impromptu performance that included “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” and “Do I Do.”

Beyonce, ha! How about Diana Ross and the Supremes? “Stop in the Name of Love” ring a bell? That was my birthday gift. And who needs Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg when Steve Jobs and Bill Gates agree to a mud-pit wrestling match? Hey, I turn 50 only once.

You think I’m kidding, exaggerating? I’ve got just as much proof of my coke-fueled Roman orgy as FLOTUS does of hers:

The event was closed to the press, and the White House did not release a guest list or any other details. But two guests spoke to the Tribune on condition of anonymity, describing a bash at which a deejay kept people on the dance floor in the East Room until after 3 a.m. Washington time.

Guests were told not to bring cellphones with them, and there was a cellphone check-in area for those who did, the sources said. Signs at the party told guests: No cellphones, no social media.

That didn’t stop singer Hudson from sending out a tweet: “We had such a good time with the 1st family in dc tonight ! Now on to the next stop !”

Jennifer Hudson… please. Get your C-list has-beens outta my face. Try Michael Jackson entering stage left on the back of a tiger accompanied by Siegfried and Roy, bitches. Modesty forbids me from reporting what happened next. Use your imagination.

UPDATE
You thought it was dozens, maybe score, who attended?

Try hundreds:

There was a party in the East Room of the White House Saturday night, an affair attended by a reported 500 people, a lavish celebration with celebrities galore, appearances by some of the world’s most popular performers, lots of dancing and powerful government officials, including, of course, the most powerful official of all, the President of the United States. And the White House wants to make sure you know as little as possible about it.

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Michelle Obama Turns 50—World Tries to Care, Fails

What do you give someone who already has a Princeton/Harvard education (and finds it underwhelming, see below)?

How about national adulation?

If your invite to Saturday’s dance party in Washington went missing, here are 50 other ways to honor the first lady on her big day — by doing some of her favorite things, from wearing stylish dresses to eating your veggies to doing the Dougie, preferably with Jimmy Fallon.

1. Dance to Beyonce

2. Eat your vegetables

4. Work out yours arms

5. Make the cover of Vogue

6. Call the president, “Barack”

Funny, that’s the sound I just made while retching. Soldiering on:

9. Drink lots of water

10. Get bangs

11. Shop at J. Crew

12. Play with Portuguese Water Dogs

13. Grab a burger at Five Guys

14. Lend a hand at a homeless shelter or food pantry

15. Laugh out loud

Mission accomplished. I’ve laughed myself silly. Whatever indifference the public has displayed toward the demicentenarion has been more than made up for by lapdog media.

But they missed a few:

23. Take kids skiing. In Europe. On taxpayer’s dime. Scant weeks apart from Florida sun vacay.

37. Make nation’s schoolchildren eat lunch they describe as tasting like “vomit”.

42. Take separate Air Force flight back from Hawaii (at cost of 200k). To stay and party w/Oprah.

46. Declare yourself never previously proud of your country.

49. Call daughters fat in front of nation, world.

Happy birthday, Mish. Though I think the biggest gift we can offer is to hope those nasty rumors in the National Enquirer aren’t true (as they were with John Edwards).

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