Open Thread: If You Can’t Buy Friendship, How Much Can It Be Worth?

Yeah, a better progressive would just ignore the whole ginned-up nontroversy, but here’s some ammunition to use against MoDo your Drudge-besotted email-forwarding relatives concerning Michelle Obama’s trip to Spain:

Mrs. Obama met two friends in Spain, who flew there on their own. The three women were joined by a total of four daughters. (Some news outlets reported Mrs. Obama was on vacation with 40 friends; that was not true.)
__
One of the women is a longtime Obama friend, Anita Blanchard, an obstetrician who delivered Sasha and big sister Malia, 12. Her husband is Marty Nesbitt, a close Obama friend and treasurer of Obama’s presidential campaign fund.
__
A White House source told me the Mrs. Obama was not able to attend the funeral for Blanchard’s father at the beginning of July. Blanchard, who was taking her daughter on a promised trip to Spain, asked the first lady and Sasha to come to Spain with her. (Malia is at overnight camp.) “She felt it was important as a dear friend to do this,” I was told.
__
Mrs. Obama and her friends paid for their hotel rooms and other personal expenses. All first ladies, however, get 24-hour security and transportation on military aircraft. When Mrs. Obama flies on personal business, she pays what amounts to a first-class fare, but taxpayers pick up most of the overhead costs for the plane and security.
[…]
__
The story has taken on a life of its own; on Monday morning, news shows and blogs were still debating the merits of the trip and Matt Drudge was featuring stories about it at the top of his page. Politics is about perception. For the record: Mrs. Obama did not attend a charity ball in Marbella hosted by Antonio Banderas and Eva Longoria on Saturday night.

This is good news for Megan McArdle, also, since it proves empirical data showing that having “friends” can improve a rational actor’s chances of scoring a sweet trip to Spain, albeit with the trade-off of having to fake non-rational concepts like “sympathy”, or at least listen to a lot of words that don’t directly involve high-value consumer purchases or even the supreme importance of individual autonomy. But still, Marbella!

Consider this an open thread, okay?

.






77 replies
  1. 1

    How dare anyone in the White House or the Administration take a vacation. George W. Bush would never do that.

  2. 2
    Bret says:

    So she vacations with a woman who’s seen her vagina twice? Michelle’s such a liberal.

  3. 3
    Josie says:

    Speaking of vacations, the Republicans seem to want a two month paid vacation following the elections to avoid having anything passed in a lame duck session of congress.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....75630.html

  4. 4
    kay says:

    Thanks, Ann Laurie, but I can’t talk to conservatives about Michelle Obama.
    I’m so knee-jerk defensive after all the absolutely disgusting and completely irrelevant attacks I’ve seen directed at her that I’m incoherent on this particular subject.
    It started with the campaign, where every single pundit decided, based on absolutely no evidence, that she was a liability. She wasn’t. She never was. No one who knew anything ever thought she was. Pundits and the political press made it up. To them she was a liability. So, where did they get that? Can they explain that?
    I can’t assume good faith or a legit objection with that history.

  5. 5
    El Tiburon says:

    In addition to the Lexicon List, perhaps we should start a list of what Democrats and their spouses can and can’t do.

    1. Don’t take vacations. Ever.
    2. Don’t take Air Force One. Ever.
    3. Don’t get haircuts. Ever.
    4. Don’t ever use words such as terrorist or Al Queda or Al Gore that can be taken out of context. Ever.
    5. Don’t ever own any car other than a Prius. But also don’t ever drive it.

    Just a few examples to get the list started.

  6. 6
    beltane says:

    @Bret: Yeah, you’ll never see Sarah Palin vacationing with her obstetrician, who is probably hiding in an ice cave somewhere.

  7. 7
    joe from Lowell says:

    I have a question about bulbs.

    I planted some this year – some gladiolas and some lilies. I live in Massachusetts, so they’re considered annuals.

    The flowers are done for the year. If I were to dig up the bulbs, cut off the greenery, and store the bulbs in my cool, dry basement, would I be able to plant them again next spring?

  8. 8
    El Cid says:

    Never mind. Rong thred.

  9. 9
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Here’s the list:

    Anything and everything in the entire world.

  10. 10
    licensed to kill time says:

    @El Tiburon:

    6. Avoid fist-bumping in public.
    7. No designer clothes but no off-the-rack stuff, either. And no mom jeans on either one of you.
    8. Quit acting like you really like each other, it just pisses people off. Have a miserable political marriage like everybody else.
    9. Food gardens on the back lawn? As if.
    10. No more smarty-pants brains. Duh.

  11. 11
    dmsilev says:

    @El Tiburon: I can shorten that list to one entry: Don’t win any elections.

    dms

  12. 12
    gbear says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    I have a question about bulbs.

    CFLs are more economical but the light quality sucks. See previous thread.

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    @joe from Lowell: Yes, you can plant them again. Just find out what the best way to store them is as you don’t want them to wither dry out or become moldy. Damp sand may work.

  14. 14
    joe from Lowell says:

    Sorry. Rong thread. lolz

    No, seriously, has anyone ever done this?

  15. 15
    Michael says:

    Rather than making myself even more depressed by reading idiocy, I give you this: Conan the Barbarian: The Musical

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBGOQ7SsJrw

  16. 16
    flukebucket says:

    She should have gone to Myrtle Beach.

  17. 17
    DonkeyKong says:

    If the bloggers at the Atlantic were the cast of Anchorman, isn’t Megan McArdle basically the Steve Carrell character Brick.

  18. 18
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    I wish one of these outrage merchants would just be honest enough to write “Uppity negro should know her place” and be done with it. Note to the “We’re-Not-Racists-Right”, we’ll stop calling you racists when you stop acting like them, morans.

  19. 19
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @DonkeyKong:

    Megan McArdle isn’t a real MoDo. She’s just a QuasiMoDo.

  20. 20
    Comrade Mary says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Heh. WIN.

  21. 21
    Keith G says:

    Doing house chores while streaming Pandora (My A-Ha channel). OMD’s If You Leave is playing, so I will not be caring about the nuttiness from our political culture.

    Since this is an open thread:

    I need a new pair of running shoes. Currently, I am doing a 3 mile variable interval walk/jog workout through near-downtown residential streets. Therefore, good cushioning would be really appreciated.

    Any tips?

  22. 22
    Mike in NC says:

    For the record: Mrs. Obama did not attend an orgy a charity ball at a mosque in Marbella hosted by Osama bin Laden Antonio Banderas and Eva Peron Longoria on the Fourth of July Saturday night.

    Original Drudge version!

  23. 23
    orogeny says:

    I’m a Obama supporter, voted for him in ’08 and will do so again in ’12, but this trip was really politically stupid. At a time when America is in the worst financial trouble since the Great Depression, it is pretty tin-eared to take a vacation overseas to a luxury resort…it just gave the opposition something to jump on. When some poor schlub who’s working two jobs because his pay got cut reads a description of the trip, it makes Obama look like he doesn’t care, whether that is reality or not. Would it have really been that big a hardship to forgo the expensive foreign vacation for one in the states?

    Coming on top of the Clinton’s $5 million wedding (3 for the wedding and 2 for security), it just looks bad. America is on the verge of becoming another Brazil, and our Democratic leaders are behaving like 3rd world royalty.

  24. 24
    Strandedvandal says:

    @Keith G:
    I run with Pearl Izumi Surge’s. Great shoe, when I was quite large, I always had problems with shin splints. These shoes take care of it.

  25. 25
    R-Jud says:

    @Keith G:

    I actually have less pain with less cushioned shoes, but if it is cushioning you’re looking for, Asics Gel Nimbus or Gel Cumulus do the trick.

  26. 26
    Brachiator says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Megan McArdle isn’t a real MoDo. She’s just a QuasiMoDo.

    Very well done.

  27. 27
    Anne Laurie says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    The flowers are done for the year. If I were to dig up the bulbs, cut off the greenery, and store the bulbs in my cool, dry basement, would I be able to plant them again next spring?

    That’s the standard advice. I live just south of you (Woburn), and the handful of glads that came with the house we bought 17 years ago still bloom every summer even though I never get around to ‘lifting’ them. Of course, they’re planted in a bed right next to a couple of ground-level windows that leak heat, so the very-micro-climate is probably Zone 7 instead of 5/6.

    Also have one pot of lilies (“true” Casa Blanca “Easter lilies”, the kind with lots of little leaves running up the stems) that gets left out through the winter and still sprouts every year, although 2 years in 3 the damned lily-leaf beatles eat them to the ground before they flower… which is why I never bother finding a sheltered place to move the pot.

    So, if you dig up your bulbs before, say, mid-October and store them in a warm dry place, they’ll be good to go next spring. Or, if you’re lazy and they’re planted in a semi-sheltered spot, you can take the chance of leaving them in the ground, maybe with some mulch pulled over them once they die back in the fall. And if you have a cure for the lily-leaf beatles, by all means, share!

  28. 28
    Librarian says:

    I want to predict that all this pressure on Obama to pick Elizabeth Warren is going to backfire. He is going to go out of his way to pick somebody else specifically to spite and piss off all the DFHs. You just know that’s going to happen.

  29. 29
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @orogeny:

    When some poor schlub who’s working two jobs because his pay got cut reads a description of the trip, it makes Obama look like he doesn’t care, whether that is reality or not.

    Well, except for the fact that the President of The United States was still here, in America, working away diligently on fixing everything.

    Would it have really been that big a hardship to forgo the expensive foreign vacation for one in the states?

    The Obamas have taken domestic vacations before, and have been roundly criticized for it:

    President Obama and his family arrived Friday for a weekend getaway in Maine, but along with a little rest and relaxation comes criticism that the president is taking it easy with the Gulf of Mexico oil crisis in a critical phase.
    __
    The Obamas plan to spend the weekend on Mount Desert Island, home of Acadia National Park. The trip marks the president’s third weekend vacation since the oil disaster began in April.
    __
    The Republican National Committee launched a website blasting what it considers Obama’s “leisure activities or missteps” during the oil disaster, like playing golf, attending concerts and vacationing in Asheville, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; and now Maine.
    __
    Obama has also faced criticism for scheduling a trip up north, instead of vacationing in the Gulf, as he advised other Americans to do.

    There is no decision available to them that would allow them to “win” against the Traditional Media. None.

  30. 30
    Keith G says:

    @R-Jud: Yeah, I hear ya. Since ideally, I am out on the road 3 or 4 times a week transiting streets and side walks, I would like to minimize knee and hip shocks on my 50 yr old bod.

  31. 31
    Poopyman says:

    @Keith G:

    I need a new pair of running shoes. Currently, I am doing a 3 mile variable interval walk/jog workout through near-downtown residential streets. Therefore, good cushioning would be really appreciated.
    //
    Any tips?

    Yeah. Don’t take any tips from online commenters. I’ve found significant differences in how different brands match the shape of my foot. My feet love Saucony, but they can’t stand Nike. Your mileage WILL vary.

    Go to a shoe store and try them all out, compare prices online, and choose. You need to do the legwork (HA!)

  32. 32

    @orogeny:

    Nonsense. Why should the First Lady be a shut-in the White House? Her kids are old enough to go to summer camp, it’s crazy hot, and there really is nothing to do these days.

    Every other First Lady has vacationed to far more exclusive places.

    I can hearz the racial dogwhistle a mile away. How dare these Neeegroes enjoy the perks of their position? Don’t they know they are supposed to be pedestrian workaholics who should just stay home and barbecue like all the others? I mean be not so cosmopolitan and travel to places like Martha’s Vineyard and Spain and such……

  33. 33
    MattR says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    There is no decision available to them that would allow them to “win” against the Traditional Media. None.

    And I am willing to bet had Michelle Obama not gone on this trip there would have been at least one outlet discussing the fact that the First Ladt pretends to be caring and empathic yet she couldn’t be bothered to be there for her mourning friend.

  34. 34
    OldK says:

    Did TPM rip off John’s Conservapedia/Relativity scoop without credit? I didn’t see any “H/T” on John’s post; was that post completely original? If so, very, very disappointing.

    (sorry if someone pointed this out somewhere else)

  35. 35
    Keith G says:

    @orogeny: Oh puleese!

    If I had the jack to escape this southern summer and the fetid discourse of our politics, I would be soooo gone. Especially if it was for a stay in Europe.

    Orogeny, bloviate about something consequential.

  36. 36
    Brachiator says:

    @orogeny:

    I’m a Obama supporter, voted for him in ‘08 and will do so again in ‘12, but this trip was really politically stupid. At a time when America is in the worst financial trouble since the Great Depression, it is pretty tin-eared to take a vacation overseas to a luxury resort…

    So, should Mrs Obama gone to a luxury resort in the US? Wouldn’t that look bad as well? So that leaves, what, an overnight stay in a Motel 6 somewhere in the rust belt?

    Or maybe a road trip with the Secret Service alternating behind the wheel. Fire up SUV 1, National Lampoon Vacation style.

    Or maybe a trip to Vegas or Atlantic City, like a lot of regular folk do. But then what if (gasp) she won money at a casino? Wouldn’t that be a bad thing, with so many regular folks unemployed and all.

    Apart from the media storm, uh, I mean light drizzle, I don’t know too many regular people who give a rat’s ass one way or another.

    As for the opposition. The only thing the wingnuts hate more than the idea of Michelle Obama outside the White House is Michelle Obama inside the White House.

    It doesn’t matter what the Obamas do. The GOP will spin it negatively. They have seemed to go out of their way to avoid excessive expenses (something that you never saw Nancy Reagan do) and the trip with friends had a particular personal connection to Mrs Obama.

    Sometimes you just gotta say fuck perception and live your life, not present a front for political purposes.

  37. 37
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Well, when Obama freezes like a deer caught in headlights when the greatest attack ever to occur on American soil happens, then they may have something. They can’t erase the fact that their tough-talkin’ “bring it on” dude rancher choked when it came time for the clutch play.

  38. 38
    Cat Lady says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Things Dems can’t eat:

    Hamburgers with dijon
    Philly cheese steaks with swiss
    Fresh squeezed orange juice
    Arugula
    Endive
    White wine

    More things Dems can’t do:

    Bowl
    Windsurf
    Ride in tanks
    Ride in limos
    Ride in any government vehicle
    Golf too much
    Golf too little
    Go to Hawaii
    Go to Maine
    Go to New York
    Go to Martha’s Vineyard
    Go to Germany
    Go to France
    Be seen with Oprah
    Throw out first pitches wearing jeans

  39. 39
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Are “leaf beetles” the little red ones? These lilies I planted are orange, and have the leafs running up the stems, and a bunch of red bugs about the size of lady bugs, but longer and thinner, munched them. I got a few good weeks out of them, though.

  40. 40
    R-Jud says:

    @Keith G:

    I would like to minimize knee and hip shocks on my 50 yr old bod.

    Generally, knee and hip problems are a function of running form rather than running shoes. This is what my Dad says– he’s 59, runs about 35 miles a week. He is not one of these whippet-lean ultramarathoner types. He is, however, an NCAA track coach with more than 30 years experience, so he knows about form.

    @Poopyman:

    Go to a shoe store and try them all out, compare prices online, and choose.

    Yeah, what you said. While a lot of the runners I know can run in Asics quite happily, it’s always a good idea to go see the shoes in the flesh first, then buy them super-cheap online.

    And once you find a pair you love, get multiples, because the manufacturers love to discontinue shoe models on a yearly basis. I have 6 pairs of Mizuno Wave Universe 2s, and you will pry them from my cold dead fingers.

  41. 41
    bkny says:

    chuckie-t subbing for tweety on hardball just described the ‘lavish’ overseas trip michelle obama took.

  42. 42
    Frank says:

    @orogeny:

    Would it have really been that big a hardship to forgo the expensive foreign vacation for one in the states?

    Obama got roundly criticized for when he took a vacation in Hawaii. Both he and Michelle got roundly criticized for when they spent a weekend in New York.

    With that in mind, I think we all know that it literally does not matter where the Obama’s go on vacation. People will criticize them anyway.

    Michelle Obama had a great visit to Spain. The locals loved her. Why not celebrate the fact that we have inhabitants in the White House who are popular abroad as opposed to the previous tenants?

  43. 43
    Violet says:

    @Keith G:
    I can’t figure out why I can’t get anything to post. I’ve tried three times and the post vanishes. Re-wording it without a link now.

    Running shoes are personal. Go to a good local running specialty store and get fitted. I’ve had good luck at Fleet Feet for shoes and there are locations all over the country. Maybe one in your area.

    Having ruined my feet with buying random running shoes, I always get fitted now. Worth every penny.

  44. 44
    Zam says:

    We also have this

    Have been seeing a few links on Yahoo about that.

  45. 45
    Jules says:

    @orogeny:

    Still spewing the “OMG! The Clinton’s spent MILLIONS” when yeah, they spent lass the a million.

  46. 46
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @MattR: You are correct, sir. “The Obamas put political optics above helping a grieving friend” would have been all we would have heard about if Michelle had not gone.

    I marvel at people slamming her for not going to the Gulf. They’ve been planning to go to the Gulf this month for about two months! Of course the spin will be in there as well: quick cover for the Spanish vacation gaffe. Sigh…

    SiubhanDuinne: That was wonderful. Keep up the good work! :D

  47. 47
    Cat Lady says:

    @bkny:

    He’s a good little puke funnel, isn’t he? He seems to have recovered from all the sleep he lost over his horrible brush with Journolist.

  48. 48
    orogeny says:

    I’m sorry, you’re all right. Obama never does anything that is politically dumb. Taking a very expensive, opulent trip to a foreign country during a time when Americans are suffering and the administration is telling people that they need to sacrifice is excellent political strategy. The fact that he’s been criticized in the past means that he should just say “Fuck you all, me & Michelle doing what I want to do, no matter how it plays in the press.”

    And Jules, every estimate I’ve seen for Chelsea’s wedding has been $2 million +, including ABC and CBS. But, if they only spent a million on the wedding, everything is fine…nobody could think that that was excessive.

  49. 49
    Barbara says:

    I would like to say that I was in Spain a few weeks before Michelle Obama, and my timing made me miss my husband’s birthday too. So I am feeling a little extra kinship — I even went to the Alhambra (apparently one of the most visited sites in the world, for good reason) — and I would like to report that in the train station, in the airport, and in line at the Alhambra a very high percentage of people were also American. And the Spanish loved us, because their economy is in much tougher shape than ours. What distinguishes them from us is that they have a more egalitarian safety net, including universal health care.

    Which is to say, going to the Alhambra might not be the most common place to vacation for Americans, but it certainly isn’t weird or unusual. What’s weird and unusual is for a country like ours, many times wealthier than Spain, to leave so many people in the dust.

  50. 50
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @orogeny:

    And Jules, every estimate I’ve seen for Chelsea’s wedding has been $2 million +, including ABC and CBS.

    No $3 Million Wedding for Chelsea – and Other Rumors Put to Rest

    As if it is anybody’s business in the first place.

  51. 51
    Allison W. says:

    @orogeny:

    the administration is telling people that they need to sacrifice

    No! the administration has repeatedly acknowledged that Americans are suffering and Obama has been criticized several times for NOT asking us to sacrifice.

    The fact that he’s been criticized in the past means that he should just say “Fuck you all, me & Michelle doing what I want to do, no matter how it plays in the press.”

    You’re a fast learner. I will also remind you that he also gets criticized for caring too much about what the right wing thinks.

    every estimate I’ve seen for Chelsea’s wedding has been $2 million +, including ABC and CBS. But, if they only spent a million on the wedding, everything is fine…nobody could think that that was excessive.

    ESTIMATES. You know why they call it an estimate? ’cause they have no idea. The only ones that really know are the people paying for it – which isn’t you or the taxpayer.

  52. 52
    Allison W. says:

    @Barbara:

    So you’re neglecting your man and having marriage problems also? Si? Lo Siento. ; )

  53. 53
    Barbara says:

    I have an idea because I used to work for a caterer. If this wedding exceeded $1 million it was because of security issues. I haven’t heard anything about flying people there on private jets, booking U2 for the evening, paying for two or three spa days for all the guests, serving rare caviar as an appetizer or diamond encrusted bridesmaids’ dresses, the kinds of things that push expenses into the stratosphere. This was an extra special, at the far end of what passes for an ordinary, kind of wedding.

  54. 54
    Brachiator says:

    @orogeny:

    I’m sorry, you’re all right. Obama never does anything that is politically dumb. Taking a very expensive, opulent trip to a foreign country during a time when Americans are suffering and the administration is telling people that they need to sacrifice is excellent political strategy.

    No, it’s that not every freaking thing that the Obamas, or any other president, does has to be done to satisfy the stupid and the envious.

    The trip doesn’t appear to be particularly expensive or opulent. But Michelle Obama is criticized for taking a trip outside the US which, by definition, is opulent to some people. Had she spent five times the money at an exclusive resort in the US, some people still would have dumped on her.

    The other point is that the opposition will criticize the Obamas for anything that they do, so since they can’t please everyone, they might as well please themselves in this, especially since Mrs Obama was visiting a friend.

    Had she been hanging out on a yacht with Paris Hilton, you might have a point. Might. Just barely. OK, not even then.

    The Reagans regularly hung out at the private, exclusive, luxurious compound of the Annenbergs. If anybody complained, they were told to go pound sand.

    By the way, would you feel better, do you think that people would object, if the Obamas used some of the president’s book royalties and bought an exclusive vacation home as did the Reagans or Dubya?

    Or would someone say that since ordinary Americans are losing their homes, the Obamas should not be buying property?

    Again, it’s not that you don’t have a point. It is that the Obamas are criticized for stuff that would be OK fine for any other president.

  55. 55
    Barbara says:

    Allison, well, only sort of. He was able to join me but only after his birthday. I think the fixation on the birthday bit is creepy. My husband and I have learned mostly to ignore each other’s birthdays.

  56. 56
    JCT says:

    And why in the hell should I or anyone care what the Clinton’s spent on their only child’s wedding? Not to mention the fact that these numbers being tossed around have no known basis in fact.

    Wow, maybe folks should try that minding that their own business “thing”.

    And I agree with everyone re: Michelle would get crap no matter where they went. Pathetic.

  57. 57
    YellowJournalism says:

    Okay, so let’s say the Clintons spent $2 million+ on Chelsea’s wedding, as if it’s any of our business. With the exception of security costs, where does a good chunk of that $2 million+ go? Why, back into the local and wedding-related economies, of course! Isn’t this, according to Republicans, what rich people are supposed to do with all that extra cash they have from not getting taxed?

  58. 58
    Ruckus says:

    @R-Jud:
    I’m with the go to the running store and try them out group, but I differ with the buy them online afterwords. That store pays rent and purchased the inventory that allows you to try them on in the first place. They deserve your business, unless they are so brain dead and greedy they aren’t priced in the ballpark with web prices. Otherwise buy online, try them out and return till you find the right shoe.
    This is part of the reason that small stores go out of business. They get used by customers who don’t pay anything to them when they have provided a valuable service. The web is a great place to shop but your local store usually provide something for that extra money. Remember you normally pay shipping and if you have to return something you usually pay that also. That’s not added to the price of the shoe at the local store.
    Notice, I own a small sports business store and have to compete against the web all the time. I also personally purchase from the web when I can’t get something locally.

  59. 59
    Allison W. says:

    @Barbara:

    Heck, I would ignore my own birthday but my friends and family tend to remind me.

  60. 60
    Ruckus says:

    @Allison W.:
    Mine more heckle than remind.

  61. 61

    @YellowJournalism: Not only that, but the wedding publicity will be good for the town. People will want to see where the wedding took place at least-it’s a bit of local history in a town that needs it. That means people will stay at the inn and even hope that Astor Courts makes an exception and allows them to also host their wedding as well.

    The merchants who helped with this wedding will be paid again and again from expensive referrals from people who want to hire them for their events.

    As for the cost of the wedding: it’s private money, their only child, and how do you think a former Presidential daughter should get married? I wouldn’t blame them if it was 3 million. A wedding that is worthy of the situation would be hard to pull off for much under a million anyway.

    It isn’t as if there’s going to be another big wedding in the Clinton clan anytime soon. It will be at least 20 years before there would be anything close (Clinton grandchild not yet arrived).

  62. 62
    Michael says:

    But Michelle Obama is criticized for taking a trip outside the US which, by definition, is opulent to some people. Had she spent five times the money at an exclusive resort in the US, some people still would have dumped on her.

    She’s supposed to load the kids in the family truckster, hit the pavement toward Alabama or somewhere South and get treated rudely at the roadside Denny’s like everybody else of her kind.

    Get with the program….

  63. 63
    Pangloss says:

    Can’t she visit Spain at Disney’s “It’s A Small World?”

  64. 64
    lamh32 says:

    This whole non-troversy, is all about jealousy. This Spanish trip has been on the schedule for a while now right??? No one said a peep.

    But once the pic came out of Michelle Obama in Spain, looking TOO DAMN FABULOUS for a First Lady, and the pic because it was SO DAMN FABULOUS was on beaucoup fashion/celebrity/news websites, that the little green monster stuck out it’s ugly head.

    Seriously, I bet if a pic had come out of Michelle O looking schleppy and unkempt(sp?) had come out, then people would be bitching about how Michelle is not “living up to her status as First Lady”.

    Like they say in my ‘hood, “High Hater!!”

    BTW, here’s the pic of Mrs O looking “too cool for school”:
    Michelle O’s first day in Spain

  65. 65
    Emma says:

    Good God, the puritanical police branch of the Democratic/liberal spectrum is out in force with the Clinton’s wedding thing. They’re rich, it’s their only kid, they paid for the whole thing… none of your business. If even one half of the money spent went to local businesses, there are people in Rhinnebeck (sp?) right about now kissing Bill and Hil’s picture. Not to mention all those guests who got there a day early, did a little shopping, had lunch at the local cafes…

    And there’s no way in hell you can convince me that this whole thing with Michelle isn’t just viciousness and jealousy. She’s popular, she looks fabulous, and makes Royal friends wherever she goes… HOW DARE SHE?

  66. 66
    Gwangung says:

    As for the cost of the wedding: it’s private money, their only child, and how do you think a former Presidential daughter should get married?

    In a way that makes Chelsea happy. Was she happy? If so, end of story. The cost is Bill’s problem.

  67. 67
    Anne Laurie says:

    @joe from Lowell: Yup, them’s the lily-leaf beatles, which moved into eastern Mass just around the time we bought the house & I had a yard I could plant lilies in, sigh. Unless you really enjoy digging up / replanting stuff, I’d leave the lilies in the ground, maybe mulch them a bit if they’re planted in an exposed area. There’s an argument (which I am not qualified to judge) whether the ‘transplant stress’ is harder on marginally-safe-to-overwinter plants than just adapting to weather conditions. My default gardening credo is “Any plant in my yard that can’t put up with New England weather and my erractic attention is better off dying quickly”, so your mileage may vary.

    (And for the haters, yes, I have plenty of flowers spread over the seasons. Siberian irises, daffodils, daylilies, geraniums (cranesbills), and even own-root roses. What doesn’t kill them makes them stronger.)

  68. 68
    Allison W. says:

    @lamh32:

    omg! I played that song just a few days ago in honor of the hateration going on. and yes, she looks fantastic!!!

  69. 69

    She does look faaaaab. It’s so nice to have a human First Lady.

  70. 70
    Frank says:

    @orogeny:

    Taking a very expensive, opulent trip to a foreign country during a time when Americans are suffering and the administration is telling people that they need to sacrifice is excellent political strategy.

    Look – Obama could spend his entire vacation at some soup kitchen helping poor people and FoxNews would still find a way to criticize him.

    I’m not surprised that the mouth breathers on the right are whining. That’s what they do. Bu I am surprised that are actually people falling for it.

  71. 71
    Randy Paul says:

    Ronald Reagan took twelve vacations in his first twenty months in office. In addition, there’s this:

    President Reagan leaves this weekend on his third trip home to California.since taking office. His two-week visit to his Santa Barbara ranch in August cost taxpayers at least $250,000.

    At that point he’d been in office eleven months.

  72. 72
    DavidTC says:

    @YellowJournalism:

    Okay, so let’s say the Clintons spent $2 million+ on Chelsea’s wedding, as if it’s any of our business. With the exception of security costs, where does a good chunk of that $2 million+ go? Why, back into the local and wedding-related economies, of course! Isn’t this, according to Republicans, what rich people are supposed to do with all that extra cash they have from not getting taxed?

    This is a good example of the sociopathy of the upper class and what they think we think is wrong with them.

    They think the left object to the rich spending money. Although, as you pointed out, this makes no sense with their ‘trickle down theory’, which the entire premise is that they do spend money. (Of course, I guess they think we object to it because of that, instead of objecting to it because it demonstratively doesn’t work.)

    But no one objects to spending. People object to the rich sucking all the money out of the system. They object to the rich making 300x as much as their employees, they object to the rich dodging taxes.

    It’s like if a guy steals my car, I don’t care if they resell it intact, chop it up, or melt it down. I care they stole it! In fact, just like I’d rather the rich spend the money, I’d rather the car get resold…in the end, it’s better for the human race that wealth doesn’t just vanish.

    The rich’s spending of money is just cited as an example of how absurd their lifestyle is. It, in and of itself, is not the problem. No one’s suggesting they hoard it instead. That’s just insanely stupid to everyone but the rich, who can’t conceive of the fact they each perhaps don’t deserve to collecting, individually, the end result of the wealth generation of 0.2% of the entire US population because they have paperwork saying they do.

    To avoid cognitive dissonance, they instead have to pretend we object to ‘spending’. Or even a ‘lifestyle’. The media’s started going along with the narrative, and it’s managed to fool some particular dim-bulbs, but it’s not the objection any sane person has. The problem isn’t flaunting wealth, the problem isn’t even wealth, the problem is the fact that for society to work, other people need money too!

    …and then let’s ask ourselves…who, exactly, did the Clintons rip off to become ‘rich’. Most of their money appears to be from speaking fees. Same with the Obamas…their money is from books.

  73. 73
    orogeny says:

    @Brachiator: Jeebus, when did the conduct of creeps like Reagan or Dubya become the standard for how a progressive president should behave?

    The other common thread in this debate seems to be that “they’re going to criticize him anyway, so who cares?” Sorry, but I expect a progressive president to be better than that.

    On the Clinton wedding…conspicuous consumption still makes the person doing it look like a jerk in my book. Sure, there is nothing illegal in behaving like a nouveau riche Russian billionaire, but it doesn’t engender any love from the peasants.

  74. 74
    Brachiator says:

    @orogeny:

    Jeebus, when did the conduct of creeps like Reagan or Dubya become the standard for how a progressive president should behave?

    Wow. This thread is still going on?
    I mentioned Reagan and Dubya since a lot of the most vicious criticism of the Obamas come from the right, even when they do exactly the same thing as their most beloved presidents.

    Aside from this, who in the ever loving freak ever devised a standard of behavior for progressive presidents? Who? When?

    Let’s get down to class and race, because I am really getting tired of this BS. FDR, JFK, LBJ, even motherfreaking Jimmy Carter had fairly elitist private property (off freaking limits to the ordinary guy and gal) that they could retire to. Nobody ever begrudged them this. The Obamas don’t have inherited property, nor have they made purchase of a ranch or compound that they can regular retire to and remain in the United States.

    Offhand I don’t know what the presidential vacation schedule of the Clintons were, apart from the times that they hung out with the Kennedys and Hollywood insiders.

    So, what motherfreakin progressive president do you want to use to set the standard for your specious BS that the Obamas should not make people feel bad during the neo-Depression?

    The other common thread in this debate seems to be that “they’re going to criticize him anyway, so who cares?” Sorry, but I expect a progressive president to be better than that.

    Because why? Better than what? What exactly is your supposed standard? I offered some examples earlier. Is it the foreign vacation or the opulent vacation?

    A progressive president is supposed to be your bitch?

    And my argument is not that people are going to criticize so who cares? My argument is that no president, even if progressive, exists to satisfy your expectations with respect to every aspect of their personal lives.

    Further, Michelle Obama took a vacation with a person whose friendship and connection is deeply significant. The idea that she should give up an opportunity to be with this person because you need to have a progressive president satisfy some ad hoc trumped up political requirement is ridiculous.

    On the Clinton wedding…conspicuous consumption still makes the person doing it look like a jerk in my book.

    Don’t. Give. A. Shit. About anything concerning the Clinton wedding.

    Sure, there is nothing illegal in behaving like a nouveau riche Russian billionaire, but it doesn’t engender any love from the peasants.

    I don’t view American citizens as peasants. A president has a political duty to the citizens of the United States. No president ever has an obligation to live his or her life so that jealous citizens can feel good about themselves or pretend that they somehow control or direct or influence or critique or comment upon their private lives.

    Also, as far as I am concerned, the president should hire a Protocol Representative to do all the simple minded crap that a First Lady (not an elective or constitutional office) is supposed to do. This will come in handy when we have a bachelor, woman or gay president. Then, the presidential spouse can do whatever he or she needs to do without the having to satisfy the fantasies and spurious pseudo-requirements of any constituents.

  75. 75
    Ailuridae says:

    @Randy Paul:

    Woot!

    Didn’t have a chance to thank you post WC finals but thanks for the excellent work. I think you made a dozen fans of soccer which is no small accomplishment on a US political blog.

  76. 76
    Frank says:

    @orogeny:

    The other common thread in this debate seems to be that “they’re going to criticize him anyway, so who cares?” Sorry, but I expect a progressive president to be better than that.

    He has. He still got criticized by people like you. He vacationed in Hawaii. They spent a week-end in New York.
    He simply can’t win.

  77. 77
    orogeny says:

    I give up, the hive mind is to strong here. You can’t even admit that Obama might have done something that was a little bit dumb from a political standpoint. And Frank, like I said before, I support Obama voted for him and will vote for him again. I’ve been a yellow dog Democrat for moie than 40 years. I spent two years as tech director for the state Democratic party (1992-1994). I’ve worked on a volunteer basis for at least 6 Democratic campaigns, starting with McCarthy in ’68 and you call me “people like you.” Kiss my ass, Frank.

Comments are closed.