Dressing Michelle Obama, Then and Now

Meredith Koop spent many years in the White House working with the former first lady on her wardrobe. Now she is helping Ms. Obama with the book tour and trying to figure out what comes next.
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Books News: In Her New Book, Michelle Obama Denounces Trump’s Sexism and His Promotion of the ‘Birther’ Conspiracy

In “Becoming,” she talked about suffering a miscarriage, relying on IVF to conceive and the challenges of being the first African-American first lady.
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Books of The Times: In ‘Becoming,’ Michelle Obama Mostly Opts for Empowerment Over Politics

The former first lady’s memoir is mostly about her childhood in Chicago, her marriage and her time in the White House, but she leaves room for some unequivocal criticism of President Trump.
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Barack and Michelle Obama Are Adapting a Book Critical of Trump for Their First Netflix Project

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama‘s first project for Netflix will be an adaption of a scathing book about President Trump‘s administration, The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis, according to the latest episode of Katie Couric’s podcast.

“ optioned the book to come up with a series for Netflix to help people better understand the government,” Katie Couric said during her interview with Lewis, who broke the news.

In May, the Obamas announced their decision to produce a variety of content for Netflix through their company Higher Ground Productions.

“We hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples,” the former president previously said, according to a Netflix press release, “and help them share their stories with the entire world.”

The Obamas’ adaption of The Fifth Risk will be their first endeavor in a series production. And it will serve as an entertaining and necessary “civics lesson,” explained Lewis, who is the author of other bestselling books that have been adapted to film, like The Big Short and Moneyball.

As with his other books, in The Fifth Risk Lewis informs and entertains readers about topics that can sometimes be considered tedious. During his interview with Couric, he explained how his book delves into what he sees as the huge issues that Trump’s administration is creating across departments in the federal government — issues that Lewis says are endangering the very stability of the country.

Despite Lewis’ condemnation of Trump, a spokesperson for the Obamas’ production company, Higher Ground, said that The Fifth Risk Netflix project would center around the “civic lessons” it presents and not attack Trump, according to The New York Times.

It will be a “humorous series demystifying the little-known ways in which federal agencies improve our lives and serve our nation, from the food we eat to the planes we travel on,” the spokeswoman told the Times.

RELATED VIDEO: PEOPLE Writer Natasha Stoynoff Breaks Silence, Accuses Donald Trump of Sexual Attack

According to the author, problems in the administration began before and during the transition.

“Most everyone involved with , including Trump, were not prepared to win,” Lewis said. “He had not taken seriously the idea that he had to take over this operation.”

According to Lewis, the new president decided to appoint people into government office based on “appearance,” rather than experience.

As a result, many of the briefings that Obama’s team had prepared “for the better part of a year” to present to the new administration were not even seen, Lewis says. For instance, the Department of Energy would typically show incoming officials how to “manage the nuclear arsenal,” so they can “test atomic weapons without actually blowing one up,” Lewis explained.

“Three months ago, I was still getting briefings from very important people in the government that had never been given because no one had ever showed up to hear it,” Lewis said during the podcast. “It’s just a loss of knowledge. Who can run anything that way? There’s no decent argument for not learning about the thing you need to run.”

Lewis revealed that his book also delves into Trump’s alleged ties with Russia and how that affected his decisions during the transition. Specifically, Lewis addressed Trump’s decision to appoint Michael Flynn as national security adviser, despite then-senior aide Chris Christie’s warnings against the idea. Lewis argued that Flynn’s own ties to Russia are a “plausible explanation” as to why Trump wanted him on his team. (Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his connections with Russian officials.)

“I think had positive reasons for wanting chaos. I think they were friends of his… people who had connections to Russia like Mike Flynn, who he wanted to be able to put in important positions,” Lewis said. “I think thinks he functions better if things are not orderly.. was just kind of attracted to, ‘Let the chips fall where they may.’ ‘I’ll take care of all of this. I’ll decide who is going to be in the cabinet,’ mainly by casting them by appearance.”

Those type of staffing decisions have huge consequences, Lewis argued. The government is being dangerously mismanaged, according to his book. Lewis’ hope is to reframe Americans’ understanding of how government works.

“Trump is a symptom, not just cause here. We don’t elect someone who is so ignorant and negligent unless we have gotten to the point where we so misvalue and misunderstand the thing he’s running,” Lewis told Couric. “If society understood the government, if we all had a good civics lesson, we’d all say that person shouldn’t be running that because it’d be a catastrophe because that enterprise, the government, is really important.”

He continued: “The narrative needs to change first, that’s why I wrote the book… So people stop seeing the government as the problem and start seeing it as a tool, as a solution. If this society is going to survive, it’s got to happen.”


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Barack Obama and Michelle Obama Celebrate Their Wedding Anniversary With So Much Sweetness

Michelle Obama, Barack ObamaThey may no longer be president and first lady, but Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will always be first in each other’s heart.
Their love for each other was on sweet display on…

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First Lady Melania Trump Visits Obama Hall and Ghana Museum

HAIL TO THE CHIEF: First Lady Melania Trump spent part of Wednesday morning visiting Obama Hall in the Emintsimadze Palace in Ghana’s Cape Coast. A photo of President Obama, who visited the site during his first year in office, is hung in the lobby, according to a press pool report.
Trump was greeted with an “Awkwaaba” (Welcome) sign with a photo of her own likeness and name. She had traveled there to meet with Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, the chieftain of the regional Fante tribe.
The First Lady arrived to a flurry of Ghanaian and American flags outdoors. Yellow and purple sashes — meant to be signs of royalty and wealth — adorned the interiors. Girls played traditional horns, better known as antentebens. In an olive jacket, tan pants and chocolate brown stilettos, Trump appears to be maintaining an earthy palette thus far for her four-nation trip.
As is customary, the First Lady was seeking permission to visit the Cape Coast Castle, which served as an outpost to transfer slaves. Obama likened it to a Holocaust concentration camp.
With approval granted, Trump ditched her heels for flats, as there was some ground to cover. At what is believed to be the site in Ghana

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Why Anna Kendrick Once Called President Barack Obama an “A–hole” Right to His Face

Anna KendrickAca-scuse me, Anna Kendrick said what?
During an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the A Simple Favor star told Stephen Colbert about a time she once made President Barack…

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Why Anna Kendrick Once Called President Barack Obama an “A–hole” Right to His Face

Anna KendrickAca-scuse me, Anna Kendrick said what?
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Malia Obama Masters Chic Comfort With Jumpsuit and $24 Earrings

ESC: Malia ObamaMalia Obama just wore a dream outfit.
The black, loose-fitting overalls with silver detailing look as comfortable as they are cute. Her lace bralette adds a sultry twist without being…

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Nonfiction: Remembering Obama and Hoping to Win Again

Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to President Obama, has written “Yes We (Still) Can,” a memoir of his years in the White House, with prescriptions for the future.
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Michelle Obama Says ‘Making Mistakes Was Not an Option’ for Barack as the First Black President

During a recent speech in New Orleans, former First Lady Michelle Obama opened up about race and the unique pressure she and husband Barack Obama faced in the White House during his time as the nation’s first black president.

“Barack and I knew very early that we would be measured by a different yardstick,” Obama, 54, said during a talk at the American Library Association’s annual conference in New Orleans on Friday. “Making mistakes was not an option for us. Not that we didn’t make mistakes, but we had to be good — no, we had to be outstanding — at everything we did. … When you’re the first, you’re the one that’s laying the red carpet down for others to follow.”

She also touched on the dangers of judging people by the color of their skin, something she says she’s experienced first-hand.

“It’s just a shame that sometimes people will see me, and they will only see my color, and then they’ll make certain judgments about that,” she said. “That’s dangerous, for us to dehumanize each other in that way. We are all just people.”

Obama’s appearance comes a few months before the release of her upcoming memoir, Becoming, due out in November.

The former first lady announced the title and release date for her book in a February statement to PEOPLE, saying, “Writing Becoming has been a deeply personal experience. It has allowed me, for the very first time, the space to honestly reflect on the unexpected trajectory of my life … how a little girl from the South Side of Chicago found her voice and developed the strength to use it to empower others.”


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Nonfiction: Deep Inside the Obama White House

“The World as It Is,” a memoir by the White House aide Ben Rhodes, recounts some of the toughest decisions Barack Obama made during his presidency.
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Sasha Obama Hangs Out With Cardi B And Offset At A Festival

“Officially have a new fave Obama.”
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Michelle Obama Gets Real While Comparing Buckingham Palace to The White House in Hilarious Interview

Michelle Obama Michelle Obama is spilling all the tea when it comes to the White House and Buckingham Palace.
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Michelle Obama ‘loves’ Black Panther and so do the rest of us…

The ex-First Lady congratulates the makers of the superhero film after a successful opening weekend.
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Critic’s Notebook: Obama Portraits Blend Paint and Politics, and Fact and Fiction

This Barack Obama Is No Mr. Nice Guy. Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of the former president contradicts the impression he often made in office of being detached.
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See Barack Obama Get Serenaded by Carolers in Hawaii: ‘We Sounded Terrible … But He Made Our Christmas’

Barack Obama just celebrated his first Christmas since leaving office — but a women’s resistance group gave him a reception fit for a president during his annual holiday visit to Hawaii.

When Windward ReSisters, a women’s movement based in Obama’s native Hawaii, heard he was returning to the islands with his family for the holidays, they decided to welcome the former president by singing Christmas carols outside the Paul Mitchell estate in lanikai, where the Obamas were staying. 

“We got our group together on Saturday and went with our pussy hats and Santa hats and proceeded to Christmas carol in front of the estate,” group member Darlene Mandel tells PEOPLE. 

“We sounded terrible,” Mandel joked.

But their efforts paid off.

Obama, who was hosting a Christmas party at the estate that evening, took a break to come outside and visit with the caroling group.

“After about 10 minutes, he came out with three Secret Service agents and I was ready with my trusty camera,” Mandel says, noting that Obama shook hands with several of the women and hugged one. “He was joking because my girlfriend spilled champagne on him. It was short and sweet and made our Christmas.”

Footage of the former president shows him laughing and joking with the carolers — and even joining them in a few bars of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Obama can also be heard quipping to the group, “No wonder you’re singing so happy; I didn’t realize there was champagne to go with it!”

“I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas,” he added before heading back inside.

Mandel later posted the video on the private Facebook group Pantsuit Nation, where it quickly garnered nearly 140,000 likes and almost 7,000 comments.

“As far as I know, this is the only informal Christmas greeting he gave this year, besides the Obama family’s official card,” Mandel says.

 

“He and Ohana (family) are so missed,” she adds.


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Prince Harry edits Radio 4’s Today: Obama and Charles interviewed

The prince says he chose to highlight “incredibly important topics” as guest editor of Radio 4’s Today.
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SNL Host Chance the Rapper Parodies ’90s R&B Group in Barack Obama Tribute Video

Chance the Rapper, SNL, Come Back BarackChance the Rapper brought some serious nostalgia during his Saturday Night Live hosting debut.
He took part in a variety of sketches, including a prerecorded music video that has gone…

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Barack Obama Surprised Michelle With The Sweetest Anniversary Video Message

“The idea that you would put up with me for a quarter of a century is a remarkable testament to what a saintly, wonderful, patient person you are.”
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Books of The Times: Through the Lens of the Obama Years, Ta-Nehisi Coates Reckons With Race, Identity and Trump

“We Were Eight Years in Power” is a selection of Coates’s most influential pieces from The Atlantic, with new material about what he was thinking and feeling when he wrote them.
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Prince Harry Hanging With Obama And Biden At Invictus Games Will Warm Your Heart

Swoon.
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‘Mickey’ singer sues South Park over Obama song

The singer of worldwide hit ‘Mickey’ is suing South Park for using her song to parody Barack Obama’s US presidential win in 2008.
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Malia Obama Arrived At Harvard And Oh Man, Kids Grow Up So Fast

Can you believe it?
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Fake Barack Obama Reads Real Donald Trump Quotes To Expose GOP Hypocrisy

“Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest, and you all know it.”
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Halle Berry Honors Michelle Obama With The Perfect T-Shirt

We need one of these ASAP.
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Barack Obama Reportedly Proposed To Another Woman Before Michelle

This is according to the new biography, “Rising Star.”
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Tomi Lahren Uses Military Trans Ban To Slam Obama. J.K. Rowling Wasn’t Having It.

The “Harry Potter” author broke out her U.S. History Remembrall.
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Michelle, Malia And Sasha Obama Sport Matching Sarongs In Bali

The family visited Indonesia’s Tirtha Empul temple.
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See Towering Michelle and Barack Obama Alongside Prince and Harriet Tubman in Massive New D.C. Mural

Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are among the prominent black figures, politicians and celebrities covering the outside walls of famed D.C. restaurant Ben’s Chili Bowl in a new mural unveiled Wednesday.

The former first couple’s portrait looms larger than life at the popular restaurant located on U Street in Washington, D.C., and joins images of comedian Dave Chapelle, late musician Prince, rapper Wale, actress Taraji P. Henson, Muhammad Ali, Harriet Tubman and former city mayor Marion Barry, among others.

According to The Washington Post, the mural was commissioned by the city and painted by artist Aniekan Udofia. Udofia painted the building’s previous mural in 2012, which featured now disgraced comedian Bill Cosby.

In the wake of numerous sexual assault allegations against Cosby, there was pressure to paint over his image, said the Post. He is no longer featured in the mural, and those included were chosen through an online poll.

RELATED VIDEO: Backstage With Michelle And Barack Obama! PEOPLE Exclusive Photos from Their ‘Afterlife’

Initially opened in 1958 by Ben and Virginia Ali, the restaurant later had a prominent role in the 1968 civil rights riots that shook the city following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, reported the Post. During that time, the restaurant remained open past curfew to feed and provide shelter for those leading the efforts to stop the rioting.

Though the Obamas were not in attendance for the unveiling, Chapelle was, telling those gathered, “I’m honored to be home and that this means an enormous amount to me and my family. I’m very proud of it.”

Other speakers at the unveiling included civil rights activist Dick Gregory – whose likeness is in the mural – and longtime NBC Washington news anchor Jim Vance.


PEOPLE.com

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Beyoncé’s Mom Tina Boogies at Friend’s Party After Obama Allegedly Spills the Beans on the Twins’ Sex

Whether Tina Knowles Lawson is a grandmother to twins yet is a mystery, but one thing’s for sure: She sure can bust a move.

The mother of Beyoncé and her husband of two years Richard Lawson enjoyed a night out Friday, donning ’70s duds for a disco-themed bash to celebrate friend A.C. Collins’ birthday. And the couple had no problem getting down on the dance floor.

“When your favorite song of all times comes on ‘Drifting on a memory There’s no place i’d rather be than with you ! Yeah Than loving You,’ ” Knowles Lawson, 63, captioned a video of the twosome, quoting lyrics from The Isley Brothers‘ 1975 hit “For the Love of You.”

RELATED VIDEO: Did Barack Obama Just Reveal the Sex of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s Twins?

 

The couple’s dance-filled evening came a day after former president Barack Obama gave a video speech to honor Jay Z, who became the first-ever hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on Thursday.

“Jay and I are also fools for our daughters, although he’s going to have me beat once those twins show up,” he said, leading many to believe the latter part of the sentiment means Jay Z’s twins on the way with Beyoncé are both girls.

Added Obama jokingly of his friend, who also shares 5-year-old daughter Blue Ivy with the “Formation” songstress, “And let’s face it, we both have wives who are significantly more popular than we are.”

FROM PEN: People at the White House: The Final Interview with The Obamas

 

RELATED: Tina Knowles Lawson Says Beyoncé Is a “Really Good Mom”and She’s Excited for the Twins’ Arrival

Knowles Lawson recently told PEOPLE that being a grandma “is the second best job in the world” after being a mom, admitting that spoiling her grandkids is the best part.

“I buy them drum sets and noisy toys,” said the mother of two (she and ex-husband Mathew Knowles are also parents to Solange Knowles).

“I encourage them to ask for everything, so I’m getting my kids back,” continued Knowles Lawson jokingly of her grandchildren.


PEOPLE.com

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Michelle Obama Says Barack Wore the Same Tuxedo for Years

At Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Tuesday, Michelle Obama revealed that Barack Obama wore the same tux over and over while president.
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Michelle Obama Recalls Fashion Double Standard at the White House: ‘Barack Wore the Same Tuxedo for Eight Years!’

Before Barack Obama‘s post-presidency leather jacket, there was his tuxedo jacket. And he liked it so much, he wore it all eight years of his presidency.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama revealed this tidbit during an appearance at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on Tuesday, noting that while the dresses and accessories she wore for state dinners were meticulously photographed and scrutinized, her husband got away with wearing the same outfit year in and year out.

“This is the unfair thing — you talk about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers — no matter what we do, he puts on that same tux,” she said.

“Now, people take pictures of the shoes I wear, the bracelets, the necklace — they didn’t comment that for eight years he wore the same tux, same shoes.”

“And he was proud of it too,” she continued. “He’s like, ‘Mmm, I’m ready. I’m ready in 10 minutes. How long did it take you?’ I’m like, ‘Get out of here.’ ”

The former first lady also shared the story behind the photo of her adjusting her husband’s bow tie just before they welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan to the White House during a state visit in September 2015.

WATCH THIS: People at the White House: The Final Interview with The Obamas 

While waiting to greet their guests at the North Portico of the White House, the Obamas were photographed by “about 100 press people,” the former first lady recalls.

“So we’re standing there waiting for the cars to roll in … and I was bored,” she admits. “So I sort of thought, let me make sure my husband looks good.”


PEOPLE.com

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Michelle And Barack Obama Are Living Their Best Lives As Tourists In Italy

Michelle Obama’s vacation style just keeps getting better and better. 

The former first lady looked effortlessly casual and cool while walking around Montalcino, Italy over the weekend. 

Obama chose a $ 397 one-shoulder pink-and-white striped top from Teija with frayed white jeans that cut off at the ankle and white sandals. She accessorized with hoop earrings, black sunglasses, bracelets and a white cross-body purse. 

She’s truly living her best life: 

Former president Barack Obama gave a talk on climate change earlier this month and it appears the Obamas made the work trip into a vacation. The two are reportedly staying at the incredible Borgo Finocchieto villa in the Tuscan countryside.

Barack Obama is clearly loving his time in Italy, as he’s transformed into a rock star and played a few rounds of golf:  

After Obama left office in January, the couple has traveled all around the globe. They’ve made stops in Palm Springs, the British Virgin Islands, an island in the South Pacific and even enjoyed a little yachting with their famous friends. 

While many people have lamented the Obamas’ absence during this turbulent time, Michelle promised the two would be back soon during a recent appearance in Washington, D.C. 

“We’re not gone, we’re just breathing, y’all. Let us breathe,” Obama said, per People magazine. “We’ve got to get our new lives set up.” 

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Katy Perry Faces Criticism for Comparing Her Black Hair to Barack Obama

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In Two Words and One Photo, Former Obama White House Photographer Schools Sarah Palin, Kid Rock and Ted Nugent on Respect

Another day, another lesson in subtle shade-throwing from former Obama White House photographer Pete Souza.

On Thursday, Souza — who has regularly used his Instagram account to compare and contrast the Trump and Obama administrations — took aim at a buzzed-about new photo of Trump supporters Sarah PalinKid Rock and Ted Nugent posing mockingly in front of a portrait of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during their Wednesday evening visit to the White House.

In an apparent clapback, Souza posted a throwback photo of former President Barack Obama and his White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley sitting solemnly beneath a portrait of Republican icon and former President Ronald Reagan.

“Being respectful,” Souza captioned the snapshot.

Though the photographer didn’t mention Palin, Nugent or Kid Rock in his post, his followers were quick to pick up on the signature Souza shade.

“Oh God, the juxtaposition of this photo with the photo of Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent and Kid Rock sums up the sorry state of our country,” wrote one of Souza’s followers.

“You are the best, most low-key, delightful troll ever,” applauded another commenter.

RELATED VIDEO: Watch: Natasha Stoynoff Breaks Silence, Accuses Donald Trump of Sexual Attack

This isn’t the first time Souza has trolled President Donald Trump on Instagram. In the months since Trump’s inauguration, Souza has posted several photos of Obama and his team that, when juxtaposed with of-the-moment news about the Trump administration, offer subtle critiques of the new president.

In February, for example, Souza highlighted the lack of female leadership in Trump’s White House by sharing a photo of Obama meeting in the Oval Office with three top advisers, all of whom were women. “This is a full-frame picture,” Souza captioned. “I guess you’d say I was trying to make a point.”

Many others on social media also criticized Palin, Nugent and Kid Rock’s photo. Here’s what some people are saying:

Wrote The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman: “Doesn’t matter what the political party is, it’s the White House, not a rally, and it’s an official portrait, not a cardboard cutout.”


PEOPLE.com

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Barack Obama Took a Photo of Michelle on Their Cruise Together and It’s Going Viral

Barack Obama was spotted taking a photo of Michelle on the deck of their cruise ship, proving he is a classic ‘Instagram Husband.’
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Obama Is Back From Vacation And Looking 💯

He’s back! 

Former President Barack Obama has finally returned from his post-presidency vacation, where he got some much-deserved R&R in Palm Springs, California, and on Richard Branson’s private escape in the British Virgin Islands. 

While Obama’s vacation style consisted of a backward hat and flip-flops, he looked seriously dapper in New York City on Friday in a black suit and a white collared shirt. No tie necessary. 

Twitter took notice. 

The former president enjoyed a night out with daughter Malia. The two dined at Emilio’s Ballato, a popular Italian restaurant in Little Italy. (And happily posed for photos.) 

They also saw the Roundabout Theatre Co.’s production of Arthur Miller’s “The Price” at the American Airlines Theater, starring Mark Ruffalo, Jessica Hecht, Tony Shalhoub and Danny DeVito. 

Some theater-goers didn’t even notice who was in the audience with them.  

Welcome back, Sir! 

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Obama Takes In a Broadway Show, but Shuns the Spotlight

The former president, who has kept a low profile since leaving office in January, visited New York to see “The Price” with his elder daughter, Malia.
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Supreme Is the Latest Brand to Pay Tribute to Obama

The New York streetwear label features him in its spring collection.

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Malia Obama Was An ‘Angel’ Intern For ‘Girls’ Because Of Course

Oh, to have Malia Obama as your intern. 

Lena Dunham and “Girls” showrunner Jenni Konner sat down with Howard Stern for an interview on his SiriusXM show Monday and talked about how they had the privilege of working with the 18-year-old former First Daughter on the set of their HBO series back in the summer of 2015. 

“She’s an angel,” Dunham said. “She was interested and she was interning at HBO and they thought, you know, what if she comes a couple days a week to the set of ‘Girls.’ She loved the show. Obviously we weren’t making her go get our coffee, but she wanted to do all the jobs, that was the cool thing. She was totally enthusiastic.”  

Yes, the Secret Service was around. No, Malia was not on set for the filming of any sex scenes. And she’s as smart as you’d think.

“She’s such a delight. You cannot believe how poised and incredible she is,” Konner said. Malia, they said, worked a job similar to a writer’s assistant, training to take down the improv to use in subsequent shots. 

Malia’s latest gig is an internship with film producer Harvey Weinstein at the Weinstein Company’s New York office. The teen, who wants to become a filmmaker and is taking a gap year before beginning Harvard University in the fall, is set to start her Weinstein internship this month, and will be working in the marketing or development department, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

Who run the world? 

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Chance the Rapper Models New ‘Thank U Obama’ Clothes, Does Everything Right

The gear is by Chicago’s Joe Freshgoods.

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Obama Can Finally Rock All Those Special-Edition POTUS Sneakers Now

The one-of-a-kind pair of Royales from Greats seems like a pretty great everyday option.

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‘SNL’ Bids Obama Farewell With Touching Rendition Of ‘To Sir, With Love’

On the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, “Saturday Night Live” bid farewell to Barack Obama with a touching musical number. 

Cecily Strong kicked off the performance, singing “To Sir, With Love” as she stood in front of a large photo of Obama. Fellow cast member Sasheer Zamata joined in for the second half of the song, which was slightly modified from the 1967 original. 

The duo sang, “And as you leave / I know that I am losing my best friend / A friend who taught me right from wrong / And weak from strong / That’s a lot to learn / What, what can I give you in return?” 

They then pulled out a coffee mug for Obama that read, “World’s Best President.” Because nothing says “thank you” quite like a slogan mug. 

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Junot Diaz Discusses The ‘Surreal’ Lunch He Had With President Obama

Junot Díaz was one of five novelists President Barack Obama had lunch with last week, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author recently described the meeting as “surreal.”

In a New York Times profile published Monday, Obama discusses the authors he admired and the books that shaped his presidency. Díaz was one of them.

The Dominican-American author took to his personal Facebook page to share the NYT profile and recount his experience breaking bread with the President of the United States.

“I had lunch with President Obama on Friday, which was surreal and extraordinary to say the least,” Díaz wrote in a post on Monday. “I figured after all my criticism of his policies I wouldn’t be high on his list for anything but clearly there’s room at his lunch table for dissent, something we won’t be seeing a lot of with the next president.”

And Díaz’s criticism of the president in the past has been very public. He’s condemned Obama’s record number of deportations. In a 2010 New Yorker piece, he also said POTUS’ lacked presidential storytelling prowess; though he did admit he was an “Obama man all the way.” 

But after his lunch meeting with Obama, Díaz had nothing but praise for the president. 

“What surprised me was how completely unbowed President Obama was, how certain he was that the country would find its way,” the author wrote on Facebook. “He burned with optimism and faith invincible. If President Obama could still be positive after all the Republican bullshit he’d been through―that gave me hope. He was certainly one of the most complete man I’d ever met. With only a few days left before he leaves office I find myself, more than anything, overwhelmed by the knowledge that over the next four years we’re going to be missing Obama something awful.”

And the admiration is certainly mutual. Obama told the New York Times that Díaz’s writing, and that of Jhumpa Lahiri, gave him perspective by touching upon “a very particular contemporary immigration experience” with stories about “longing for this better place but also feeling displaced.” 

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Arts – The Huffington Post
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Transcript: President Obama on What Books Mean to Him

Michiko Kakutani, our chief book critic, met with Mr. Obama to discuss the books and writers that have influenced his life and presidency.
NYT > Books

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Critic’s Notebook: How Clothes Defined Michelle Obama

No one understood the role of fashion, and the potential uses of its power, better than the first lady.
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The Bush Twins Have Advice for Sasha and Malia Obama

An open letter from the former First Daughters.

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Oh God, The Ending Of ‘Shawshank Redemption,’ But With Obama And Biden

The bromance between President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden has built itself into quite a legend, highlighted particularly in the remaining days of this administration.

The president singled out Joe in his farewell speech, praising Biden as a brother. And Biden had nothing but warm sentiments for the president after Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Welp, edit wizard Todd Spence took this bromance to the natural next level, adding Joe Biden and Barack Obama to the end of “The Shawshank Redemption.” Definitely more satisfying than reality.

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President Obama Knows Better Than To Complain About FLOTUS’ Outfits

Any husband worth his salt knows to avoid criticizing his spouse’s outfits. That’s a rule President Obama has clearly taken to heart. 

Back at 2012 fundraiser dinner, Bravo’s Andy Cohen put POTUS on the spot, asking the President to reveal his least favorite outfit owned by the First Lady. (So brazen, Andy.)

Here’s how Cohen summed up the moment in a throwback Instagram photo posted earlier this week: 

“Putting @barackobama in the #PleadtheFifth hot seat at a fundraiser at @sarahjessicaparker’s house was certainly one of the most unforgettable moments I’ve had,” Cohen wrote. “He plead the fifth when I asked what item of clothing from his wife’s closet he would most like to burn. Smart man.” 

Very smart man. Not that he’d have any reason to complain ― Michelle Obama has style in spades ― and it clearly hasn’t gone unnoticed by the President. Here’s just a few times he’s admired FLOTUS’ look: 

And if this isn’t the look of love and total admiration, we don’t know what is:

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‘My President’: Celebrities bid Obama farewell

Celebrities have shared their farewell messages to Barack Obama on social media after his final speech as US President.
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23 Black Artists Who’ve Turned Up For Obama At The White House

It’s no secret, President Obama loves his music.

Beyond his passion for hope and change, Obama made it a point to celebrate black music in The White House during his presidency by hosting various events recognizing some of the musical contributions that have helped shaped America.

During BET’s special, “Love & Happiness: An Obama Celebration,” Obama told attendees how each musical event resulted in one of the first family’s “favorite traditions” and why celebrating black music at the White House is essential to the American experience.

“It makes sense because this is the people’s house ― and it ought to reflect the amazing diversity, and the imagination, and the incredible ingenuity that defines the American people,” he said. “And while much of the music that you will hear this evening ― gospel, R&B, rap ― is rooted in the African-American experience. It’s not just black music. This is an essential part of the American experience ― it’s a mirror to who we are, and a reminder of who we can be.” 

“That’s what American music is all about.  And generations from now, I hope it’s the story that the White House will continue to tell,” he added.

In celebration of POTUS’ historical presidency, we’ve highlighted 23 memorable performances from black artists who’ve performed at The White House. 

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This Farewell Mashup Of Obama Singing ‘My Way’ May Leave You Misty

The lyrics to the song “My Way” were written by singer Paul Anka for his friend Frank Sinatra. Sinatra had mentioned to Anka one night over dinner that he was leaving the business.

President Obama would probably serve a third term if we asked him to (and if it were legal), but alas, it’s time for him to go. And, as if there wasn’t enough going on in politics to make you want to cry, here is a touching rendition of “My Way,” created from a mashup of Obama sound bites.

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President Obama Was One Dapper Groomsman At His Aide’s Wedding

For the last eight years, Barack Obama has been our commander-in-chief. On Saturday, he held a different title: groomsman.

Obama stood by longtime aide Marvin Nicholson’s side as he married Helen Pajcic this weekend at a private residence in Jacksonville, Florida. Secretary of State John Kerry officiated the ceremony. FLOTUS, sadly, was not in attendance. 

Wedding Planner Lorna Meehan of Amelia Weddings & Events provided some photos from the wedding, which were shared on the WJXT4 Facebook page. 

Both the bride and groom have worked in the Obama administration and on his 2008 presidential campaign. The groom is White House trip director, personal aide and golf partner to Obama, while the bride works on policy for the U.S. Department of Education, according to the Washington Post. Her father is prominent Jacksonville attorney and politician Steve Pajcic, who is also an Obama fundraiser

As far as groomsmen go, it doesn’t get much better than the “swagalicious” POTUS himself. 

The Huffington Post reached out to the wedding planner for comment. This story may be updated. 

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Weddings – The Huffington Post
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President Obama Used to Write Women the Worst Love Letters

Back in his “wildly pretentious” college years.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Chrissy Teigen And John Legend Finally Explain That Obama Sex Thing

God bless Andy Cohen for finally getting John Legend and Chrissy Teigen to explain the connection between Obama and their sex life. 

Last year, the two were walking a red carpet and asked by Extra about the “most public place” they’ve ever done it. Never one to hold back, Teigen simply replied, “Probably the Obama thing” before laughing and leaving a shocked and speechless Legend by himself. 

When the couple stopped by “Watch What Happens Live” on Wednesday, Cohen asked them to describe that “Obama thing.” 

“It wasn’t at the White House, to be clear,” Legend said. “It was at a campaign event that we happened to be at.” 

Legend and Teigen revealed that the encounter took place in a bathroom, though they couldn’t agree if it was a public or private.  

When the Bravo host tried to compliment the couple on their amazing sex life ― especially after being together for nearly a decade ― Legend and Teigen chimed with a hilariously self-deprecating response.  

“This was 2008, by the way ― let’s not get 10 years of credit,” the singer said to laughs, while Chrissy added, “This was a long time ago.”

Watch them dish about their recent hookups (cough, Fred Segal, cough) in the clip above. 

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Michelle Obama Is Holiday Cheer Personified In This Festive Gown

The annual Kennedy Center Honors are always a delight for the soul, boasting epic musical performances and heartfelt speeches. Thanks to Barack and Michelle Obama, these evenings have been a treat for the eyes over the last eight years, too.

That’s largely because FLOTUS, who has been turning it all the way up these last few months in the White House, never ceases to amaze us with her keen sense of style and on-theme dressing.

Take this floor-length, off-the-shoulder Gucci stunner, for example. It’s even got a bow embellishment to symbolize the present she truly is (or, you know, the holiday season in general). 

The first lady previously showed off her holiday flair last week for an event at the White House, wearing a similar dress with long sleeves and a full skirt that was also beautifully embellished. Its length and lack of sparkle made it just a tad less fancy than this one, but there’s no denying they’re both show-stopping party dresses. 

President Obama, of course, looked exceptionally dapper in his tuxedo and bow tie, but this home run from FLOTUS is once again the main event. 

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Michelle Obama Breaks Hearts With Final Vogue Cover As First Lady

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

To call Michelle Obama’s first lady farewell tour a roller coaster of emotions would be an understatement. There were the love letters in T Magazine, the relentless, passionate campaigning for Hillary Clinton and the rose gold chainmail Versace gown seen ‘round the world, to name a few.

Now, during a week when we could all use a bit of a pick-me-up, FLOTUS is back to kick us right in the feels all over again.

Looking ethereal in a white Carolina Herrera gown, she is, as usual, the epitome of elegance and grace. Aptly calling her America’s “Mother-in-Chief,” the story followed Obama in the months leading up to Election Day. 

Of course now, the story, cover and Obama’s words, which went to print before the election, hold a completely new meaning post-election. Consider the way she describes her role as first lady ― a position that Vogue calls “surprisingly malleable, shaped by the personality, style and interests (or lack thereof) of the person occupying it.”

“I could have spent eight years doing anything, and at some level, it would have been fine,” Obama said. “I could have focused on flowers. I could have focused on decor. I could have focused on entertainment. Because any first lady, rightfully, gets to define her role. There’s no legislative authority; you’re not elected. And that’s a wonderful gift of freedom.”

It is what she did do ― advocate for education, promote healthy lifestyles and become a darling of the fashion industry ― that in part will make saying goodbye so hard to do. We don’t know for sure what kind of first lady her successor will be. All we know is what Michelle has meant to so many people over the past eight years, perfectly summed up to Vogue by President Obama himself.

“Who you see is who she is,” the president said. “The brilliant, funny, generous woman who, for whatever reason, agreed to marry me. I think people gravitate to her because they see themselves in her—a dedicated mom, a good friend, and someone who’s not afraid to poke a little fun at herself from time to time.”

We know it’s better to smile because it happened than cry because it’s over, but we’re going to need a few days to recover from this one.

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Michelle Obama Glitters in Gold at Congressional Black Caucus Awards Dinner

Barack Obama, Michelle ObamaMichelle Obama’s latest look has earned her a gold star.
The Princeton- and Harvard-educated attorney attended the Congressional Black Caucus Awards dinner with President Barack Obama…

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Michelle Obama Tells Vogue ‘It’s Time’ To Leave The White House

First Lady Michelle Obama’s days in the White House are numbered, and she’s savoring every last moment as she prepares to say goodbye.

“Looking out on the South Lawn and the Washington Monument and it had just rained and the grass was really green and everything popped a little bit more,” she told writer Jonathan Van Meter for Vogue’s December cover story. “It’s soooo beautiful. And for that moment I thought, I’m going to miss waking up to this, having access to this anytime I want.” 

Yet she’s ready for the next step, she said.

“On the flip side . . . it’s time. I think our democracy has it exactly right: two terms, eight years. It’s enough. Because it’s important to have one foot in reality when you have access to this kind of power. The nature of living in the White House is isolating. And I think Barack and I—because we’re kind of stubborn—we’ve maintained some normalcy, mostly because of the age of our kids. I go out to dinner with my girlfriends; I go to Sasha’s games; Barack has coached a little basketball with Sasha’s team. But at the same time, when you can’t walk into CVS?”

And while she admits that she doesn’t know what that step will be, she vows to continue fighting on behalf of the issues she cares about.

“I will always be engaged in some way in public service and public life,” she said. “I’ve always felt very alive using my gifts and talents to help other people. I sleep better at night. I’m happier.”

Van Meter spent a month by the first lady’s side, accompanying her to various engagements and speaking to her staffers.

He shows just how revolutionary her tenure has been. She took a “job with no salary, a platform with no power” and loaded it with significance and purpose, he wrote.

“Everything we do is by choice,” she said. “I could have spent eight years doing anything, and at some level, it would have been fine. I could have focused on flowers. I could have focused on decor. I could have focused on entertainment. Because any First Lady, rightfully, gets to define her role. There’s no legislative authority; you’re not elected. And that’s a wonderful gift of freedom.”

She is the perfect mix of substance and insouciance, Van Meter argued.

He highlights her accomplishments in the last eight years ― like Reach Higher and Let Girls Learn, two education initiatives ― as well as her impeccable style and penchant for SoulCycle and carpool karaoke with late-night host James Corden.

Particularly remarkable has been her choice to spend so much time learning from young people.

“It makes us want to live right and do right and be right—Every. Single. Day—so that we don’t ever disappoint these kids and they have something to hold on to, and so that they know—as I say all the time—I can do this. You can do this,” she said.

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Melania Trump’s First Meeting with Michelle Obama Could Have Been Worse

Probably could have been better, too.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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First Lady Michelle Obama to Appear on ‘The Voice’ and ‘NCIS’ to Celebrate Joining Forces Initiative

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden are heading to Hollywood for a good purpose. Next week, the D.C. duo will appear on NBC’s “The Voice” together. The First Lady will also appear on CBS’s “NCIS.” The TV appearances have been booked for the women to celebrate the fifth anniversary of their Joining Forces initiative, which was… Read more »

Variety

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NCIS’ New Promo Features Tony In a Fight, Michelle Obama & So Much More

Michelle Obama, NCISMichael Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo is leaving NCIS with a bang, alright–and he’s putting up a fight.
E! News has gotten a hold of the newest promo for the final three episodes of…

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Obama explains executive order to increase competition — starting with your set-top box

Obama explains executive order to increase competition — starting with your set-top box

Yahoo Tech

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FAQ: How Obama plans to fix cable TV and why it matters to you

An executive order aims to identify sectors of the economy that could benefit from a little healthy competition. The first target of that order: your cable box.

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Michelle Obama Makes a Surprise Appearance on Project Runway: Junior and the Designers’ Reactions Are the Cutest

Make it work for FLOTUS!

That’s the epic challenge the young designers will face tonight on Project Runway: Junior when Michelle Obama stops by, and we have your first look at the…

E! Online (US) – TV News

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State of the Union’s Technology? What Obama Didn’t Say

In his State of the Union address, President Obama nodded only briefly at such tech-policy priorities as net neutrality and expanded Internet access. That left plenty of other technology-related issues unmentioned.

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Michelle Obama Brings Broadway To The White House

First Lady Michelle Obama hosted an event on Monday honoring some of the best performing arts students from around the country, inviting some special celebrity guests to hold panels and workshops for the students.

“We always think that there’s a good reason to invite a bunch of talented young people to the White House to make sure they know how special they are. The President and I and everyone on this stage, we know how extraordinary you guys are,” she told the students. “And these folks are here today to honor you and to hopefully inspire you. They’re also here with an important message for you about what it takes to succeed, not just on Broadway, but in life.”

Obama also showed off some of her dance moves with singer Gloria Estefan and choreographer Sergio Trujillo, who taught one of the workshops.

Actors Kristin Chenoweth, Matthew Morrison and Whoopi Goldberg, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and Broadway legends Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Schwartz also joined the festivities.

At the event, called “Broadway at the White House,” the students got to learn about various aspects of musical theater, including acting, composing, dancing, costume design and, of course, singing, which Obama joked is “something I know nothing about.”

The day began on a somber note, with Obama acknowledging Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris and holding a moment of silence to honor the victims.

“Our thoughts and prayers of course are very much with the victims, their families, and all of the people of France. And we will continue to keep them in our hearts in the days ahead,” she said. “As my husband said on Friday, this was an attack not just on France, our dear friend and ally, but on all of humanity and our shared values. And as we mourn, we know that we must continue to show the strength of those values and hopes that the President spoke about when he talked. And the beauty is that all of you here, our young people that are here, you all reflect that passion, that creativity. You all are a part of those values that the President talked about. That’s what we’re protecting. We’re protecting what you all represent.”

According to the White House, the event will be part of a TV special, “Broadway at the White House,” airing on TLC on Thanksgiving.

You can see more photos of the event below.

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Obama Gives Kanye West Some Advice About Getting Into Politics

President Barack Obama gave Kanye West some advice about getting elected on Saturday. 

The rapper recently announced he was running for president in 2020. Obama, alluding to the inability of House Republicans to find a new speaker, suggested Kanye could be a candidate for that position instead.

“You may have heard that Kanye is thinking about running for Speaker of the House. It couldn’t get any stranger,” Obama said at a fundraiser in San Francisco. He dispensed some tips ”in case Kanye is serious about this whole POTUS thing, or as Kanye calls it, ‘Peezy.'”

“Do you really think this country is going to elect a black guy from the south side of Chicago with a funny name to be president of the United States?” Obama said. “That’s cray.”

“Saying you have a beautiful dark twisted fantasy — that’s what’s known as ‘off message’ in politics,” he continued.

Obama also suggested that West’s appearances on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” might serve him well in politics.

“You got to deal with strange characters who behave as if they are on a reality TV show,” Obama said. 

Also on HuffPost:

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‘Project Runway Junior’ to Feature Michelle Obama Cameo and Lands’ End Challenge

Always up for a challenge, First Lady Michelle Obama will help Lands’ End put the word out about its own challenge that is set for the new Lifetime show “Project Runway Junior.”
FLOTUS will appear in a video during the Dec. 10 episode of the show to let viewers know that the Lands’ End initiative will benefit Let Girls Learn, a government-wide initiative aimed at the 62 million girls around the world who are not currently in school. The effort, which includes a tie-in to the Peace Corps, strives to help teenage girls go to and stay in school.
Ranging in age from 14 to 17, “Project Runway Junior’s” 12 contestants will be vying for the chance to design an item that will be sold via Lands’ End’s Web site. This season’s winner will go home with a scholarship to the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, a Brother-provided work studio, a Seventeen magazine feature and a $ 25,000 cash prize to help launch their collection.
The First Lady has traveled around the globe to promote Let Girls Learn as well as other initiatives that help groom motivated, well-educated and healthy children. In addition to her Let’s Move and Let’s Read

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Obama Golfs With Larry David

President Barack Obama chose a pretty, pretty good golf companion for his first golf outing on Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday: “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David.

David joined Obama along with former UBS chairman of the Americas Robert Wolf and Cyrus Walker, a cousin of White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

David, who has golfed with Obama before, was spotted crying out in a sand trap, possibly because of a poor shot.

Obama arrived on Martha’s Vineyard on Friday for a 17-day vacation.

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Sometimes Obama Is Just A Dad Too

President Barack Obama’s father left him and his mother when he was just a young child, and as president he has made a regular effort to spend time with his family every day.

On Father’s Day, here are some glimpses of Obama just being a dad.

He’s really proud of his daughters

obama family

Despite living in the White House, Obama says that his two daughters, Malia, 16, and Sasha, 14, are actually pretty normal.

“The truth is the girls are wonderful,” Obama told “Extra,” earlier this month. “You know they work hard, they work a lot harder than I ever did when I was a kid.”

“Most importantly, they’re kind, they’re respectful, they don’t have an attitude,” he said. “Partly because maybe my mother-in-law was here, you know we say we don’t want to see any attitude out of them. And they’ve been terrific.”

He wants his daughters to make as much as their male counterparts

As president, Obama has backed legislation to get equal pay for women and has framed the issue as a personal one for him.

“Why would I want my spouse or my daughter discriminated against? That doesn’t make any sense,” he said in April.

He’s got pretty good dating advice

Obama often jokes about the Secret Service detail that he has following his daughters around, but when it comes to dating, he has said that he wants to be hands off.

“What I’ve told them before is, as long as that young man is showing you respect, and is kind to you, then I’m not going to be hovering over every second,” he told television host Steve Harvey in 2013.

Obama also said that it was “a little bit jarring” to see Malia in heels for the first time when she attended her first prom last year.

He helped coach Sasha’s basketball team to a championship

obama coach

In 2012, Obama said that he helped the head coach of Sasha’s basketball team run through practice drills on their way to winning a tournament championship. Obama also once filled in coaching for the team on short notice.

His daughters still think he is embarrassing

obama turkey pardon

Obama told Extra earlier this month that Sasha and Malia still are embarrassed by him. Some of that may have been on display at the annual Turkey pardon in 2014 when he asked them if they wanted to pet the turkeys and Malia simply said “no.”

He knows how to flaunt dad jeans

obama jeans

Enough said.

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Television Mogul Byron Allen Defends ‘Blackface’ Obama Comment

It appears television mogul and host of “Comics Unleashed” Byron Allen is standing by previous comments he made referring to President Barack Obama as a “white president in blackface.”

Earlier this week, Allen spoke to a TMZ cameraperson about his disappointment over the words the president chose in discussing last month’s violent tensions in Baltimore, referring to some of those rioting as “thugs” during an April 28 press conference.

Yesterday, Allen followed up on his comments during an appearance on “TMZ Live,” elaborating on his frustrations with the Obama administration.

“What we’re witnessing is a national crisis,” he said. “When you see young black men on the streets rioting it’s because of the two Americas. And by the way, in a lot of black cities unemployment amongst black men is 50 percent.”

According to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobless rate for African-American males over 20 years old is 9.2 percent — nearly twice the rate of unemployment among white men in the same age group. An October 2014 report in Al Jazeera notes high incarceration rates, lack of training, and discrimination as some of the contributing factors for the gap.

After launching his comedy career as a staff writer alongside Jay Leno and David Letterman and becoming the youngest standup comedian to appear on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson,” Allen founded Entertainment Studios in 1993. Entertainment Studios is now a global media production and distribution company with eight HD networks.

In his TMZ interview, the Detroit-native and television veteran claimed his public criticism towards the president stems from a previous in-person encounter during a dinner when he personally invited the president to have a meeting about his concerns over racist comments made by former AT&T president Aaron Slator, and the broader problem of race and racism in corporate settings.

Despite his invitation, Allen has yet to hear a response from POTUS.

“As the President of the United States if you’re going to call those kids in Baltimore ‘thugs’ why don’t you talk to the chairman of AT&T who’s calling us the n-word, covering it up for two years, and say ‘you need to sit down and talk to Knoyme King and Byron Allen and resolve these issues,’” he said. “You can’t be the biggest telecommunications company in the world calling us the n-word. You’re the president, but you’re also black man.”

Prior to Slator’s April termination from AT&T, the former advertising and sales executive was the subject of a $ 100 million discrimination lawsuit after a 50-year-old African-American woman and employee, Knoyme King, accused him of subjecting her to discriminatory behavior and using his work phone to send racially offensive images, according to reports.

As for a resolution to Allen’s concerns, he went on record during his “TMZ Live” appearance to state that he’s not mad at President Obama and is still open to sitting down with him for a conversation on the topic.

Allen did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for comment.

Check out more of Byron Allen’s comments in the clip above.

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Michelle Obama Is The ‘Hugger-In-Chief’

First lady Michelle Obama is “the hugger-in-chief,” according to White House photographer Pete Souza.

On Wednesday, Souza posted a series of photos on Medium.com, with an intro noting that Obama enjoys hugging almost anyone she meets.

“My staff and I have been photographing her since Inauguration Day, and as the following photographs clearly show, she’s been hugging people nonstop since Day 1,” Souza wrote. “Whether it’s a school child, a family member in peril, a surprised tourist, or even a famous person, the First Lady greets them with a hug.”

“I’ve always been a big hugger — that’s just how I am — and it’s always my first instinct when I meet someone,” Obama says in the post. “I think it puts folks at ease and shows them that while I might happen to have a fancy title, I’m just Michelle.”

Below are some of the photos. Check out all of them here.

A photo posted by The White House (@whitehouse) on

A photo posted by Yahoo News (@yahoonews) on

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Obama Tweets Back To Girl’s Awesome Letter About World Peace, Marriage Equality

A 5-year-old has some suggestions for how to solve a couple of global issues, and the leader of the free world has responded.

Last week, Yasmeen, self described as “5 almost 6 years old,” took to writing a handwritten letter to President Obama advocating for world peace and marriage equality.

Please stop war for our world, instead have a meeting. Please give a speech to tell everyone they can marry who they want. Thank you,” her message read.

On Friday, Yasmeen’s aunt tweeted a photo of the note to the POTUS Twitter handle, and that same day, the President replied.

“Tell your niece I really like her letter. Couldn’t agree more!” his tweet read.

After launching his first Twitter account six years into his presidency, President Obama broke the Guinness world record on May 18 for the “fasted time to reach 1 million followers on Twitter.” As of Tuesday, he has racked up 2.44 million followers. However, he has just seven published tweets — among them, his encouraging reply to Yasmeen.

This just goes to show, “please” and “thank you” still go a very long way.

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Doug’s Dozen: 12 Fox News Headlines for that Obama Rainbow Photo

You’ve seen the picture, no doubt a simple case of atmospheric phenomenon meets quick-fingered White House photographer.

Or is it?

May I submit….

DOUG’S DOZEN: 12 FOX NEWS HEADLINES FOR THAT OBAMA RAINBOW PHOTO

1. MILLIONS IN TAX DOLLARS TO FLY OBAMA TO JAMAICA FOR CORNY PHOTO OP

2. OBAMA FLAUNTS GAY SYMBOL TO INSULT CHRISTIANS

3. MAINSTREAM MEDIA FOCUSES ON RAINBOW, IGNORES STORM OBAMA CAUSED

4. WIMPY RESPONSE BY PREZ TO MAGICAL ISIS ATTACK

5. WHERE IS THE FLAG, MR. PRESIDENT?

6. OBAMA ALSO PROMISING ILLEGALS TO GET UNICORNS

7. PHOTOSHOP-GATE!

8. OBAMA HIDING LEPRECHAUN GOLD FROM AVERAGE AMERICANS

9. WHO’S REALLY BEHIND CLIMATE CHANGE?

10. ANTICHRIST OBAMA USING POWERS TO MAKE AMERICA HOMOSEXUAL

11. REAGAN DID IT BETTER

12. GOD SHOWS FAVOR, OBAMA RESPONDS WITH OFFENSIVE HITLER SALUTE

Read Doug’s comic novel, Memoirs of a Time Traveler,

Now available in paperback or on Kindle.

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FLOTUS Michelle Obama Wears Talbots on Jimmy Fallon

TALBOTS SPINS WITH FIRST LADY: First Lady Michelle Obama set the Internet abuzz after showing off her dance moves on Jimmy Fallon’s late night talk show Thursday. It was the second time the pair danced exaggeratedly for their fans’ amusement. Millions of them have since jumped online to check out the pair’s “Evolution of the Mom Dancing 2.” Executives at Talbots also cut in on the action since FLOTUS told Fallon on-air,”This ol’ thing? I got it at Talbots.”
Talbots created their own Facebook version of the First Lady’s dance moves on Friday, spotlighting four maternal-looking women swiveling around to what is billed as the “Summer Scarf Shuffle,” the “Talbots Twirl” and other Obama-esque touches. The First Lady has worn the affordable, middle-of-the-road label in the past, but Thursday was the first time she clued in voters to that preference. Fallon averaged nearly 4 million nightly viewers last year.

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WWD » FLOTUS Michelle Obama Talbots Dress on Jimmy Fallon
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Michelle Obama Heads to Cambodia

FLOTUS IN SEASON: After sharing the ins and outs of her “Let Girls Learn” initiative with Akin Abe, the wife of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Michelle Obama touched down in Cambodia Friday to spread the word with another fellow First Lady Bun Rany. FLOTUS stepped off Air Force One wearing a Carolina Herrera sleeveless silk printed dress in a red carnation print from the designer’s spring collection.
Obama is in the midst of a five-day tour to bolster the initiative which aims to help educate the estimated 62 million girls who do not attend school in 11 countries targeted by the administration. A Princeton and Harvard Law alum, the First Lady has repeatedly emphasized the value of her own education when speaking publicly during President Obama’s tenure. Having started and run her own company for more than three decades, the self-taught Herrera, a mother of four daughters, certainly can appreciate the First Lady’s efforts to try to better the lives of other girls through learning and perseverance.

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Obama Says The GOP Has Just Shown How You Diminish Your Office

President Barack Obama drew laughs when he joked about his approval ratings, legal marijuana and executive actions at the annual Gridiron Club dinner in Washington on Saturday.

But when it came to the letter that 47 Republican senators recently sent to Iranian leaders warning that a nuclear deal could be undone by a future administration, Obama dropped the comedic routine.

“You don’t diminish your office by taking a selfie. You do it by sending a poorly written letter to Iran. Really. That wasn’t a joke,” he said, according to a pool report of the event.

Obama was referring to his use of a selfie stick during a recent appearance in a video for BuzzFeed to promote the Affordable Care Act. Conservatives claim that Obama has diminished the presidency by appearing in the BuzzFeed video, being interviewed by YouTube stars and going on late-night talk shows.

Obama has also said that he was “embarrassed” for the Republicans who sent the letter to Iran. Vice President Joe Biden has said that the letter was “beneath the dignity” of the United States Senate.

Republicans have defended the letter, saying that they had to speak out because Obama didn’t consult them.

Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that he would not apologize to Iran for the GOP’s actions. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who orchestrated sending the letter, said that he had “no regrets.”

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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President Obama Reading Mean Tweets Is Your American Dream Come True

Hail to the tweets.

President Barack Obama kicked off his appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Thursday by reading his very own mean tweets.

Kimmel’s announcement this week that the president would be stopping by the show was obviously huge news for the late night host, but the commander-in-chief’s decision to participate in this popular sketch took things to a whole new level. During the segment, Obama was confronted with all kinds of crazy criticisms, and the stakes seemed even higher than the waistband on his jeans.

It’s fitting that Obama now joins Katy Perry as a “Mean Tweets” alum because this appearance was straight up fireworks.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on ABC.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Jon Stewart: Why Does The Obama Administration Keep Prosecuting Whistleblowers?

Blowing the whistle seems great!

Herve Falciani blew the whistle on HSBC, the British bank that allegedly helped clients evade taxes. Switzerland rewarded him with charges of industrial espionage.

We wouldn’t do something like that here in America, right?

Thomas Drake, a former National Security Agency official who provided information about mismanagement at the agency to a Baltimore Sun reporter, got the Espionage Act thrown at him.

“I assume you mean the rarely enforced provision of the Espionage Act, that involves rewarding whistleblowers with millions of dollars and unlimited blow jobs,” Jon Stewart said on Thursday night’s “The Daily Show.”

Nope!

Drake ended up pleading guilty to a misdemeanor in the case, but his life was ruined in the process.

Stewart said the United States’ applications of the Espionage Act — which, we’ll remind you, is a World War I-era law to stop people from aiding the enemy — highlights a terrifying trend.

“Of the 11 times in our entire history that the Espionage Act has been used against government workers sharing information with journalists, seven of them have been under this presidency,” he said.

See what else Stewart had to say in the clip above.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Happy Birthday, Michelle Obama! This Is Why You’re Amazing

First lady Michelle Obama turns 51 on Saturday. Happy Birthday, FLOTUS!

Ever since she stepped foot in the White House, Obama has wowed us with her style, dance moves and hilarious Vines.

To celebrate her Jan. 17 birth, we’ve compiled a few moments highlighting Obama’s awesomeness.

Watch above.

Style – The Huffington Post
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North Korea Blames U.S. For Shutting Down Its Internet, Says Obama Was Behind ‘The Interview’ Release

HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea called President Barack Obama “a monkey” and blamed the U.S. on Saturday for shutting down its Internet amid the hacking row over the comedy “The Interview.”

North Korea has denied involvement in a crippling cyberattack on Sony Pictures but has expressed fury over the comedy depicting an assassination of its leader Kim Jong Un. After Sony Pictures initially called off the release in a decision criticized by Obama, the movie has opened this week.

On Saturday, the North’s powerful National Defense Commission, the country’s top governing body led by Kim, said that Obama was behind the release of “The Interview.” It described the movie as illegal, dishonest and reactionary.

“Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest,” an unidentified spokesman at the commission’s Policy Department said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

He also accused Washington for intermittent outages of North Korea websites this week, after the U.S. had promised to respond to the Sony hack.

There was no immediate reaction from the White House on Saturday.

According to the North Korea commission’s spokesman, “the U.S., a big country, started disturbing the Internet operation of major media of the DPRK, not knowing shame like children playing a tag.”

The commission said the movie was the results of a hostile U.S. policy toward North Korea, and threatened the U.S. with unspecified consequences.

North Korea and the U.S. remain technically in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. The rivals also are locked in an international standoff over the North’s nuclear and missile programs and its alleged human rights abuses. The U.S. stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea as deterrence against North Korean aggression.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Slip of the tongue: Obama shouts out Flacco

During Friday’s year-end White House news conference, President Barack Obama said it was a mistake for Sony to cancel the release of “The Interview” because of the threat of violence from North Korea, adding that he loved actor “James Flacco.”
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Watch President Barack Obama Take Over Hosting Duties on The Colbert Report

President Barack Obama went from sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office to sitting behind Stephen Colbert’s desk on The Colbert Report. The President was a guest on the comedy-news show on Monday, but before his interview with Colbert, Obama temporarily took over hosting duties and delivered the fan-favorite Report segment “The Word.” Or as he renamed […]
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Bill Maher Compares Obama To Bill Cosby And Al Pacino In ‘Scarface’

Getting compared to a ninja, “Scarface,” “The West Wing” and Bill Cosby in under five minutes is a rare thing few of us can say about ourselves. But now President Barack Obama can.

In his “Real Time” monologue on Friday, host Bill Maher focused on Obama’s recent initiatives, including his stance on net neutrality, his green climate deal and his executive action on immigration. Or, as Maher puts it, “Obama went all black ninja on the Republicans this week.”

Stifling laughter, Maher managed to compare the President’s sudden course of action to “Pacino at the end of Scarface,” a scene from “The West Wing,” and, if you’re a Republican, Bill Cosby’s recent controversy. “If you’re a Republican, you see Obama as Bill Cosby sexually assaulting the Constitution,” said Maher. As far as the carbon deal, Maher admits that it’s not perfect but says, hey, it’s better than the plot of “Interstellar” as an alternative.

Watch the full monologue above.

“Real Time With Bill Maher” airs Fridays at 10:00 p.m. ET on HBO.
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Chloë Grace Moretz And Michelle Obama Give ‘The Hunger Games’ New Meaning

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, unless you’re Chloë Grace Moretz.

In Funny Or Die’s new parody of dystopian films, the actress finds herself on the receiving end of some strange advice from a medical professional while the rest her classmates gorge themselves on junk food. She’s accidentally stumbled into the “snackpocalypse,” where carrots are seen as threats, and the words “healthy eating habits” are verboten.

Although the fake trailer closely mirrors the plot of “Divergent,” it also tips its hat to “The Hunger Games.” First Lady and healthy eating advocate Michelle Obama even makes an appearance.

Give the star-studded parody a watch, above.
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Obama Doesn’t Like Katy Perry — He LOVES Her

We have an important clarification to make: President Barack Obama doesn’t like Katy Perry.

He LOVES her.

HuffPost’s Jen Bendery was the pool reporter during an event Thursday in which the president sung the praises of Perry, who would perform that evening at a White House event for the Special Olympics.

“I like Katy Perry,” Bendery’s initial pool report quoted the president as saying. “She is just a wonderful person. I just met her mom, now I know why she’s such a wonderful person.”

Committed to getting the story right, Jen gave the audio another listen and found the president actually has stronger feelings for the “California Gurls” singer-songwriter:

correction

There was a lot of love to go around at the event. Jen also caught this unforgettable moment and shared it via Twitter:


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Maya Angelou Memorial Service Attended By Oprah, Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama And More

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Maya Angelou liked to say that people will forget what you said or did in your life, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Former President Bill Clinton, first lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey said Saturday they were among the millions touched by Angelou’s wisdom when they needed help to rise.

Family and friends, both famous and anonymous, gathered Saturday to remember one of the 20th century’s most famous black writers. Amid tears, laughter, and gospel singing, they met at Wake Forest University, where she taught for 32 years though she never graduated from college. Dr. Angelou, as she liked to be addressed out of respect for all the honorary degrees she received, died May 28 at age 86. Hers was a remarkable life, linking worlds of civil rights, poetry, acting and teaching — those present recalled at the 2-hour-long tribute.

“We could just all be up here talking about how Maya Angelou represented a big piece of American history. And triumphed over adversity. And proved how dumb racism is,” Clinton said at the private memorial service. “But her great gift in her action-packed life was she was always paying attention. And from the time she starting writing her books and her poetry, what she was basically doing was calling our attention to the things she’d been paying attention to. And she did it with a clarity and power that will wash over people as long as there is a written and spoken language.”

The words of the indomitable woman, who Clinton said seemed to pack five lifetimes into one, changed a little black girl on the south side of Chicago whose Malibu Barbie doll was the standard of female perfection.

“Her voice lifted me right out of my own little head,” Obama told those gathered in the wooden pews of the main campus chapel. A large photo of her husband awarding Angelou the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 hung from the campus chapel’s oak wall.

The first lady added, “She told us that our worth has nothing to do with what the world might say. Instead, she said, each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. She reminded us that we must each find our own voice, decide our own value, and then announce it to the world with all the pride and joy that is our birthright as members of the human race.”

Tall and majestic, Angelou added heft to her spoken words with a deep and sonorous voice. She once described herself as a poet in love with “the music of language.” She recited the most popular presidential inaugural poem in history, “On the Pulse of Morning,” when Clinton opened his first term in 1993.

Clinton remembered that voice, and how Angelou chose not to speak for five years after she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend as a child.

“She was without a voice for five years and then she developed the greatest voice on the planet. God loaned her His voice,” Clinton said. “She had the voice of God. And he decided he wanted it back.”

Winfrey said the close and constant friend she met before becoming a talk show host could shake her out of bouts of self-doubt. Angelou taught her to look beyond trouble and spot the rainbow in the clouds, Winfrey said.

“Maya Angelou is the greatest woman I have ever known,” Winfrey said, then almost sobbing: “She was my anchor. So it’s hard to describe to you what it means when your anchor shifts.”

Winfrey and Obama, seated next to each other in the chapel’s front row, swayed in unison as Grammy-winning gospel singer Bobby Jones prompted hands to wave and clap. Actor and producer Tyler Perry assisted actress Cicely Tyson and former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young to the podium before country singer Lee Ann Womack drew cheers with her hit “I Hope You Dance.”

Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis and raised in Stamps, Arkansas, and San Francisco. Her life included writing poetry by age 9, giving birth as a single mother by 17, and becoming San Francisco’s first black streetcar conductor. She also danced at a strip joint, sang on records, acted alongside James Earl Jones and earned a Tony nomination for her work on Broadway. She wrote music and plays, received an Emmy nomination for her acting in the 1970s TV miniseries “Roots” and danced with Alvin Ailey.

Angelou also worked as a coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and lived for years in Egypt and Ghana, where she met South African liberation pioneer Nelson Mandela. In 1968, she was helping the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. organize the Poor People’s March in Memphis, Tennessee, where the civil rights leader was slain on Angelou’s 40th birthday.

Her son, Guy Johnson, said Angelou’s last decade was filled with pain — the toll of her career as a professional dancer and respiratory failure. She was bound to a wheelchair and oxygen tanks. Still, she was able to write four more books, had all of her mental faculties, and died quietly in her sleep.

“There is no mourning here,” he said.

___

Emery Dalesio can be reached at http://twitter.com/emerydalesio

___

Associated Press Writer Jeffrey Collins contributed to this report from Columbia, South Carolina.
Style – The Huffington Post
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Here’s How Connie Britton Really Feels About That Michelle Obama Cameo

Things are about to get crazy!

“Nashville” is back tonight with a brand new episode and while the series might be winding down the drama is definitely heating up. Last week, the cast recorded a special live performance shot at the Ryman Auditorium, and fans can expect even more action in tonight’s episode.

Connie Britton spoke to HuffPost TV about the season so far, that special Michelle Obama episode and why fans should brace themselves for the Season 2 finale.

On working with Michelle Obama
“It was an amazing episode,” Britton said when asked about the first lady’s lauded cameo. “My character Rayna puts on a concert at an army base. We shot at Fort Campbell which is right outside Nashville and we shot this incredible performance for the troops. It was such an amazing day.”

Britton also gave us a glimpse of the role the first lady has on the show. “Michelle Obama recorded a message for the troops, so its a pretty exciting episode,” Britton said. Fans should also get ready for the show to pick up the pace heading towards the season finale.

“Really everything leading up to the finale is very exciting,” Britton said. “We’re really just going to be moving crazily to the finish line and the season finale is going to be spectacular.”

On how Season 2 might end
The last time we saw Rayna, the country crooner was going on national TV to address her “baby daddy” issues and come clean to Deacon about why she kept Maddie a secret all those years. But Britton says the next few episodes are going to focus less on family drama and more on Rayna’s music career.

“This whole season for Rayna has been about her creating her new label and what we start to see as we get to the season finale is that everything, especially after everything that’s happened with Scarlett, everything is riding on her album release,” Britton said. “We’re going to watch Rayna doing everything that she can to make a great performance. The season finale we get to see her be really victorious with that.”

As to what fans can expect from the season’s final episode? “There’s definitely a twist in the season finale that even when I read it in the script I was very surprised,” Britton said. “I think the audience is going to love it.”

The actress also revealed her plans for after the show ends its sophomore season which include a new film with Tina Fey and Adam Driver and continuing to be an ambassador for the Ponds skincare brand.

Check out our full interview with Connie Britton, above.

Style – The Huffington Post
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‘SNL’ Obama Resorts To Kissing Justin Bieber To Boost Health Care Sign-Ups In Cold Open

Well, you can’t get much more “buzzy” than booking the President of the United States on “Between Two Ferns,” so how else can President Obama spread the word about his health care plan?

“Saturday Night Live” explored his options in this weekend’s cold open sketch, which featured Noel Wells as an obnoxious social media expert with even more “totes viral” ideas on how get more people to sign up for Obamacare by the end of March.

When a photo op with Pharrell’s hat, Kim Kardashian and even The Pope can’t do the trick, they’re forced to bring out the big guns: a kiss with Justin Bieber.

Check out Obama (Jay Pharoah’s) hilariously passionate kiss with the Biebz (Kate McKinnon) in the GIF below, and check back for a video clip when available.


Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Obama, Biden Go For A Run Around The White House To Promote ‘Let’s Move’

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden released a video Thursday evening to show America how they stay in shape.

The presidential pair went on a run around the White House to promote “Let’s Move,” First Lady Michelle Obama’s national initiative to fight childhood obesity by encouraging healthy eating and an active lifestyle. This week marks the fourth anniversary of the campaign.

The video, which premiered on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” features a cameo from the first dogs, Sunny and Bo.

Watch the video above.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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