Tonight, I applaud the men and women of the Illinois General Assembly, a body in which I was proud to serve, for voting to legalize marriage equality in my home state.
As President, I have always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally under the law. Over time, I also came to believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married like anyone else. So tonight, Michelle and I are overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois whose love will now be as legal as ours – and for their friends and family who have long wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and equally under the law.
I also commend the members of the General Assembly for approaching this issue in a fair and open way, and for recognizing the importance of our commitment to religious freedom by engaging the religious community in this conversation. Throughout this debate, they’ve made it clear that this is about civil marriages and civil laws, and made sure that churches and other institutions of faith are still free to make their own decisions that conform to their own teachings.
As I said in my Inaugural Address last January, our journey as a nation is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. And tonight, I’m so proud that the men and women elected to serve the people of the great state of Illinois have chosen to take us one step further on that journey to perfect our union.
Every time President Obama and his family take a vacation, the hypocrites on the right whine and complain about it. They typically gripe about how much it costs taxpayers, or how terrible it looks in light of all the people struggling economically in this country.
Here are some of the complaints this time, as President Obama and his family enjoy an8-day vacation at Martha’s Vinyard.
Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart: “Most of the people in my district could never afford to visit Martha’s Vineyard, and those who could would feel uncomfortable vacationing in a place that has a reputation for being for the elite.”
Here’s a couple of reality checks for those critics: At the same point in his presidency, George W. Bush had taken 399 days of vacation, much of it spent at his Crawford, Texas ranch. President Obama, meanwhile, has taken just 87 days of vacation.
Does ANYONE remember Republicans bashing George W. Bush over his excessive vacation days? Didn’t think so. Did the likes of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck take President Obama’s predecessor to task for having taken over a full years worth of vacation time, or roughly 20% of the total time he had spent in office? Nope. They did not.
Fox Nation attacked Michelle Obama by asking if she is turning the Easter Egg Roll into a “fat camp” by adding physical activities and healthy meals to the agenda. In fact, first ladies commonly incorporate their policy initiatives into the annual event.
Other first ladies have used the Easter egg roll to highlight their policy initiatives. During the 2002 Easter Egg Roll, Laura Bush read to children to highlight her campaign on literacy, a tradition that Michelle Obama has continued.
This week, Breitbart News broke a long-standing security protocol and published a story detailing the precise location where President Obama’s daughters are vacationing this week. On Wednesday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) used the report to attack the First Daughters for taking a vacation.
King’s comments came during an appearance on Mickelson in the Morning, an Iowa-based radio show. A caller, Carla, brought up sequestration and proceeded to criticize the Michelle Obama and her daughters for taking a vacation in the Bahamas. King agreed — “Carla, you’re on point and on the mark all the way through” — before criticizing them for also taking a vacation last year in Mexico. “That was at our expense, too,” King bemoaned.
CALLER: When I see the First Lady and the beautiful girls going off to the Bahamas waving goodbye to us, it’s really hard to stomach. When we’re tightening our belts, either all of us should do it or none of us should do it. This, I am pretty tolerant, I always have been, I usually shut my mouth. This is not acceptable.
KING: Carla, you’re on point and on the mark all the way through. […] You’re right on the president. He needs to show some austerity himself. Instead he wanted to tell America how bad it was going to be. […] We’ve got the president doing these things. He sent the daughters to spring break in Mexico a year ago. That was at our expense, too. And now to the Bahamas at one of the most expensive places there. That is the wrong image to be coming out of the White House.
Listen to it:
This notion that the Obamas are living a life of excess is beginning to take hold among conservative members of Congress.
Right-wing media are falsely suggesting that First Lady Michelle Obama’s Academy Awards appearance is unprecedented, ignoring that former presidents and former First Lady Laura Bush have previously participated in the ceremony. In fact, former presidents and former First Lady Laura Bush have participated in Academy Awards ceremonies. In 2002, Bush appeared at the Oscars in a taped appearance. From the Chicago Tribune:
The documentary history montage was put together by director Penelope Spheeris, whose remarkable “Decline of Western Civilization” rock documentaries likely have never been even close to nominated. And the show’s marvelous “What do the movies mean to you?” opening segment was done by director Errol Morris, whose groundbreaking work, from “Thin Blue Line” through “Fast, Cheap and Out of Control,” has also been criminally neglected. It was bracing to see people from Laura Bush to Jerry Brown to Mikhail Gorbachev interviewed, and mind-bending to hear film titles such as Russ Meyer’s “Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill” and William Castle’s “The Tingler” mentioned on usually sacrosanct Oscar airspace.
But now that Mr. Reagan has moved on to another profession, he’s been invited to appear on the Academy Awards program on March 30. The President will remain in the White House and tape a brief greeting to the audience at the Oscar ceremonies, and his words will be televised early in the awards show. ”President Reagan was once a member of our industry and it seemed fitting for him to join us,” said Norman Jewison, producer of this year’s show.
The Times also noted that former President Franklin D. Roosevelt “spoke to an Oscar audience by radio in 1941.”
The far right-wing loves to lie and smear any member of the Obama family (or any Democrat/liberal/alleged “RINO”).
Walsh’s criticism of the first lady attending the Pendleton service is not the first time the Tea Party favorite has lashed out on the topic of Chicago violence following a headline-grabbing tragedy. Last spring, after the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin inspired Walsh’s then-congressional colleague Bobby Rush to don a hoodie on the House floor, Walsh said he hoped Rush would “be as outraged with all of the black on black crime going on in the city of Chicago weekend after weekend” as he was with Martin’s death.
The puritans are up in arms against Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance, which included a reunion with her 1990s R&B group, Destiny’s Child. It wasn’t “family friendly”. They say their kids can’t watch the Super Bowl anymore if women are going to dress like that and lick their fingers.
I hope these same people don’t take their kids to that bastion of family values, Hooters.
Here’s Beyoncé’s smoking hot performance, in which we are told she sang live (talent is sexy, no?):
It astounds me that anyone living in this culture could be offended by Beyoncé’s performance. Is it offensive that women can’t play football and that they are served up as objects of lust who cheer on the men? Yes, that’s offensive. But that is hardly Beyoncé’s fault. Is football a sport that attracts the sort of male energy that objectifies women? Often, yes. Again, NOT Beyoncé’s fault.
Is it offensive that these same puritans are okay with Smiling Barbie cheerleaders’ costumes but offended by the same coverage when done in leather? It’s okay to show off your breasts and bottom in order to cheer the men on, but if you are fierce and awesome in black leather while showing your tummy and bottom as your own act, you are no longer family friendly.
After the performance, the focus of America’s criticism for being too sexy/sexist left an inspiring letter for her fellow female performers, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson. Beyoncé wrote that it was “an honor” to perform with the “phenomenal ladies… You are all beautiful, talented and showed so much class!”
This is a nation that calls Hooters a family restaurant, so spare me the puritanical outrage over Beyoncé.
That this is a sexist, misogynistic culture is not up for debate among sane people. I don’t blame mothers who don’t like it, but it’s a bit short-sighted to blame Beyoncé for this fact. Is she making money off of her sexuality? Yes. So are the women anchors at Fox News. So are the girls at Hooters. Models. Sarah Palin when she had it. And so many more. Because of our culture, almost all women in media have to sell their sexuality, even if by withholding it (so rare) and creating a more valuable commodity. Some of those people also have talent to back up their sex appeal. Some of them don’t, which should be offensive but somehow we don’t seem to mind a girl selling herself short or bemoan the women with talent who are ignored by our culture because they aren’t “hot”.
This culture is offensive to women and bad for young girls and it’s not fixed by cheering women in the front lines of combat, because even that, while progress, is still an attempt to catch the approval of the American male centric value system in which power is equated with being like a man.When a woman is seen as an equal because of her more feminine traits (not sexual traits; feminine traits, like cooperation – and I note that Beyoncé demonstrated one such feminine trait by praising her female co-performers) we will have advanced into post-knuckle-dragging days.
Beyoncé is actually a strong, talented woman making the most of her short shelf life as an object of desire and using that sexuality to empower herself. In 2010, Knowles was ranked first on Forbes list of the “100 Most Powerful and Influential Musicians in the World”. She designs clothes and markets perfumes because she’s smart enough to know where this is going to land.
Hey, the First Lady enjoyed Beyonce’s performance, as did most of the country. Michelle Obama tweeted, “Watching the #SuperBowl with family & friends. @Beyonce was phenomenal! I am so proud of her!”
Here’s the family friendly argument: Cheerleaders, who make a lot less money, have no power and often wear less, are a great model for their daughters but Beyoncé isn’t. Here’s a hint, puritans of America — if the men aren’t watching the NFL expecting sex, then why do the cheerleaders dress like strippers, albeit American sparkly strippers? Maybe if Beyoncé had put some Sarah Palin sparkly stars on her leather, she wouldn’t have been so darn scary, eh?
Some people seem to have a real problem with a woman being center stage in her own life. Who would you rather your daughter emulate in her career: Beyoncé or a cheerleader?
High School Football “Coach of the Year” Caught On Tape Making Homophobic Remarks And Calling First Lady Michelle Obama A “Big, Fat Gorilla” [TW: Anti-Gay Bigotry, Homophobia, Racism]
The head football coach at Lauderdale County High School in Alabama gave a number of students a lesson in bigotry recently when he expressed his distaste for “queers” and “big fat gorilla” Michelle Obama in the same breath.
Coach Bob Grisham, who also teaches psychology and driver’s ed at the school, was caught on tape ranting about the cafeteria’s “600-calorie” lunches, blaming them on “fat butt Michelle Obama.”
He went on to call the First Lady a “big fat gorilla.”
“Our country is going in the wrong direction, you’d better be aware of it,” Grisham told his students. “And people running around like, oh it’ll get better, it’ll get better. No, it ain’t gone get no better until things change.”
Apparently unaware that “it gets better” is the slogan of a campaign aimed at gay teens who are bullied because of their sexuality, Grisham prods students to “call the superintendent and tell her” that “I don’t like queers.”
“I don’t hate them as a person but what they do is wrong, it’s an abomination against God,” he continues. “I don’t like being around queers.”
Word did eventually reach Superintendent Jennifer Gray, who told the TimesDaily that an investigation into the remarks had been launched.
Reached for comment, Grisham told the TimesDaily that he “misspoke in a debate-type situation,” adding that he has “no hatred toward anyone or any group,” and “people that know my heart” know that.
But the Huntsville-based GLBT Advocacy and Youth Services isn’t convinced, calling for Grisham to resign or be fired.