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Michelle Obama Talks About "Guilt" Women Hold

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First Posted: 07-10-08 04:10 PM   |   Updated: 07-18-08 05:12 AM

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Michelle

First Read:

A day after the revelation of Jesse Jackson's crude criticism of Barack Obama's speeches on fatherhood and faith-based initiatives, this morning Michelle Obama was talking about fatherhood, responsibility and accountability.

...

Obama used the roundtable audience, as she did yesterday, to describe her husband's understanding of women's issues through the prism of the strong -- but sometimes struggling -- women in his life.

His own mother, she said at the beginning of her remarks, was "very young and very single when she had him." And, Obama added, he has observed his wife's attempts to reconcile motherhood with her career aspirations.

"He sees me, his wife, who struggles every day with that guilt that we all hold deep in our hearts as women," she said. "That guilt that you don't have the choice to stay home, and even if you do, you feel guilty."

"He has seen me struggle with this my entire life," she added. "Trust me, Barack understands the struggles of women."

Read the whole story: First Read

A day after the revelation of Jesse Jackson's crude criticism of Barack Obama's speeches on fatherhood and faith-based initiatives, this morning Michelle Obama was talking about fatherhood, responsibi...
A day after the revelation of Jesse Jackson's crude criticism of Barack Obama's speeches on fatherhood and faith-based initiatives, this morning Michelle Obama was talking about fatherhood, responsibi...
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I would like some clarification, according to Michelle, Barack's mother was "very young and very single when she had him." According to Barack his mother was 18 years old and married to his father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr.
Does anyone know which account is accurate?

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 04:29 PM on 7/13/2008
- ipotter9 I'm a Fan of ipotter9 permalink

I struggle with being called "sweetie". Don't think he understands at all.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:14 PM on 7/12/2008
- uheardme I'm a Fan of uheardme 10 fans permalink

I'm sure no one with good eyesight calls you "sweetie".

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:29 AM on 7/13/2008
- Americanium I'm a Fan of Americanium 66 fans permalink
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I do not believe in abortion..If ever the case can be made for abortion..one needs to look no further than the current occupant of the White House.

A perfect case for abortion..so sad it was not effected.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 06:54 PM on 7/12/2008
- OsamaBushLadin I'm a Fan of OsamaBushLadin 4 fans permalink

Horrible picture. She's looks like a monster. Very unflattering.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 02:47 AM on 7/12/2008
- olivia I'm a Fan of olivia 115 fans permalink

According to Hllary and followers, if you talk about appearance it's sexist. You can only talk about the men's appearance.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:29 AM on 7/12/2008
- eden4barack08 I'm a Fan of eden4barack08 172 fans permalink
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" looks like a monster" is not talking about appearance, and is not sexist. it's pure "scary black woman" bigot/ racist MANTRA.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 05:19 PM on 7/12/2008
- eden4barack08 I'm a Fan of eden4barack08 172 fans permalink
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"...looks like a monster." is not talking about appearance.
It's downright, "scary black woman", bigot mantra!

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 05:44 PM on 7/12/2008
- eden4barack08 I'm a Fan of eden4barack08 172 fans permalink
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"...looks like a monster." is not talking about appearance.
It's downright, "scary black woman", bigot right-wing mantra!

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 06:03 PM on 7/12/2008
- Adrienne4Dean I'm a Fan of Adrienne4Dean 2 fans permalink

"...very young and very single when she had him."

So Barack's illigitimate? That explains why he'd hide his birth certificate.

*****A

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:22 PM on 7/11/2008
- Sabreen60 I'm a Fan of Sabreen60 129 fans permalink
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Ignorance is bliss.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:39 PM on 7/11/2008
- eden4barack08 I'm a Fan of eden4barack08 172 fans permalink
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Not anymore! Look at what ignorance brought them, AND us by default: 7 years of BushCo and complete DESTRUCTION!

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 05:27 PM on 7/12/2008
- LillianB I'm a Fan of LillianB 9 fans permalink

Obama's mother was in her late teens or early twenties (19, 20 or 21, I think?) when he was born. She was married to his father, but living with her own parents in Hawaii, as her husband studied at Harvard, across the American continent, on a scholarship not large enough to afford supporting her (still a student herself, at a university in Hawaii, where the couple had met) and the baby. When Obama was two, his father left the US to go back to Kenya, as his scholarship demanded, and some time during the next two years his parents divorced. Distance destroyed it, according to Obama's mother's explaination, in his own book "Dream from My Father. I'm reading it for the time being, wanting to get to know his story from himself, and I'd like to recommend it to anyone wanting to get to know him better. He wrote the book at 33, before running for any office, and it is a whole lot more honest and candid than politicians' books usually are.)

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 06:59 AM on 7/12/2008
- gabbyone I'm a Fan of gabbyone 4 fans permalink

Be sure and go to the Chicago Tribune archives and read the investigation of his book
and all the lies they found in the book, When they asked Senator Obama about them, he said the story was really not all based on fact but a composite of the stories of many people. You can also read a story the New York times did where they actually went back and talked to people in the book who disputed a lot of what he said. The man doesnot tell the truth just like he is now changing all the policies he said he believed in when he ran. Just because he wrote a book, it doens't mean he is honest and candid.
He also has refused to show his birth certificate to the press....so they can see the
original. I am not a McCain supporter but he brought his original certificate to the press
and let them view it. What do you think is on that certificate, Obama doesn't want you to see??????

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:51 PM on 7/12/2008
- presto I'm a Fan of presto 18 fans permalink

We can all read his book. The problem is that the accuracy has been questioned.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 06:33 PM on 7/14/2008
- presto I'm a Fan of presto 18 fans permalink

I think the problem is that Michelle Obama just said that Barack's mother was single when she had him. That contradicts the book.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 06:40 PM on 7/14/2008
- olivia I'm a Fan of olivia 115 fans permalink

Would that matter to you?

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:27 AM on 7/12/2008
- LillianB I'm a Fan of LillianB 9 fans permalink

It shouldn't matter to anyone. But it matters to some, and spreading gossip things aren't how they really are shouldn't be as easy as it sometimes is.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 02:52 PM on 7/12/2008
- presto I'm a Fan of presto 18 fans permalink

It doesn't matter at all. What matters is being untruthful about biographical information.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 12:26 AM on 7/15/2008
- eden4barack08 I'm a Fan of eden4barack08 172 fans permalink
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"...hide his birth certificate.." ??? It's public record in his birth state of Hawaii. Lucky for you, no need to go to Hawaii for facts, he's made it easy for your ilks by publicizing it on his website. Just Google, if you know how!

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 05:23 PM on 7/12/2008
- INDmind I'm a Fan of INDmind 2 fans permalink

The bottom of the certificate says "Invalid if altered" and it appears that the certificate number is blacked out, making it invalid.

Could care less, but just saying....

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:50 PM on 7/12/2008
- presto I'm a Fan of presto 18 fans permalink

That is not his birth certificate. He has not released that. You might want to google the controversy surrounding it.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 06:32 PM on 7/14/2008
- athy I'm a Fan of athy 8 fans permalink

williamg

The primary may be over but...
the election is not.

Check out the ad in today’s (7/11/08) edition of the Chicago Tribune page B5 of the Metro section


This is REAL DEMOCRACY AT WORK... As our founding fathers meant it to be...

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 11:48 AM on 7/11/2008
- williamg I'm a Fan of williamg 251 fans permalink
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"Chicago Tribune page B5 of the Metro section"

Hahahaaa. Wnat next, C16 of the fashion section in the San Antonio Gazette?

Get over yourself, you look silly.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 01:32 PM on 7/11/2008
- williamg I'm a Fan of williamg 251 fans permalink
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Let's do some basic math (you are capable, right?). She managed to garner 18 million votes, and she has about $20 million in debt. Just about ONE DOLLAR from each of you would pay off her debt, yet she realizes (yet again) she can't count on you people when it really counts, so she has turned to OBAMA SUPPORTERS to rescue her.

If you people really cared for her - or if you deadenders actually had a damn following - why not donate some money to help pay off all those small vendors she has screwed over, rather than spend the whooping 5 dollars on some silly ad buried deap inside of a FRIDAY newspaper?

Keep reinforcing the image ALL TWELVE of you people have as a bunch of nuts. Keep it up.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 01:42 PM on 7/11/2008
- presto I'm a Fan of presto 18 fans permalink

As long as you're being silly, how about Obama supporters paying Clinton supporters, via Clinton, $1 each for their votes. Then he would actually win. Why is the thought of a landslide so hard to take?

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 06:36 PM on 7/14/2008
- Sarahjan I'm a Fan of Sarahjan 6 fans permalink

Dgregory

Common sense tells us that mothers wishes that they can spend more time with their children and not being away from them for a long time. However, today thousands of mothers are in Iraq as soldiers away from their children because they have work and earn living. When they are doing their duties, people do not expect these women soldiers to under perform their duties because they are emotionally divided.

The same can be said about women with highly demanding jobs which require them to show dedication and focus. Michelle Obama was way of the mark with this comment. Her comment speak more about class privilege than the actual condition of women who work to feed their families, For these women, work brings not guilt feeling but feeling of pride and a sense of achievement. Michelle Obama’s heart is in the right place; she needs to slow down and pay attention before she speaks because she on the media spot light.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:01 AM on 7/11/2008
- Sabreen60 I'm a Fan of Sabreen60 129 fans permalink
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Comprehension!!! What she is saying is that women (at least the ones I know and the ones she referenced) think they must be all things to all people, especially their children and spouse. If you work and have to leave your children in daycare there is some guilt among many women. There are women who understand that something gets sacrificed when you work. It's either your children because you cannot give them as much time as you would like. Or it may be your career because you cannot spend long overtime hours on the job going that extra mile. Of course maybe you are a mom who doesn't experience these feelings. Or maybe you never had to leave your children in daycare.

UNDERSTAND????

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:45 PM on 7/11/2008
- benne I'm a Fan of benne 10 fans permalink

Women = Mothers?

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:46 AM on 7/11/2008
- DGregory I'm a Fan of DGregory 3 fans permalink

well as a guy, maybe its because im not a woman that i cant relate but i can empathize.

seems michelle is saying woman feel guilty not being able to spend as much time as possible with their children when they become working moms, but if they could they feel guilty about doing that?

am i right?

lol seems like one of those ur d@mn if you do and d@amn if you dont phrases, but nothing to go crazy about.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:35 AM on 7/11/2008
- eden4barack08 I'm a Fan of eden4barack08 172 fans permalink
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You're right, sort of, as a man.
Women feel pressured to achieve, be successfull, ambitious carrerists, all the while procreating and loving and raising their kids.

So yes, " lol seems like one of those ur d@mn if you do and d@amn if you dont phrases,..." is damn right!
But as you say, "...as a guy,..." ..."nothing to go crazy about." Just a 'women' issue. Feeling 'guilt' either way, that is.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 05:39 PM on 7/12/2008
- Sarahjan I'm a Fan of Sarahjan 6 fans permalink

Mono

As a black woman I have resisted so far to say anything native about Michelle Obama but her political acumen is very thin and as a result she stands to hurting her husband’s chances more than Rev. Wright or Jesse Jackson because she is Obama’s wife and what she says do matter great deal more than what other people say. Obama people need to get Michelle off the campaign wagon or bring her updated on key issues she wishes to speak about .. Obama’s sister, Maya, has been a much better surrogate for Obama so far. Michelle Obama lacks subtlety but she is very sincere. However, politics is not about being sincere or personal feeling; it is about doing and saying what will help the situation. Guilt is a term fraught with complex meaning and has been used against working women.

Michelle Obama could have spoken the needs of working women without bring guilt into the mix by focusing on concrete and practical policy issues such as safe parks, safe cities, accessible and affordable daycare facilities, and more rights for working women. “Guilt feeling” plays into the right wing family value discourse. If Michelle Obama does not understand political use of terms such as "guilt" in relation to motherhood and working women, she needs to refrain from taking official role in her husband’s campaign until she finds where she can best help him.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:31 AM on 7/11/2008
- nclayla I'm a Fan of nclayla 5 fans permalink

I apologize if this is a stupid question, but what doe sit mean to 'say anything native'?

Thanks!

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 11:22 AM on 7/11/2008
- pleeezzze I'm a Fan of pleeezzze 6 fans permalink

Kinda the same as doe sit !!!

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 05:11 PM on 7/11/2008
- gonavy I'm a Fan of gonavy 7 fans permalink

I agree that speaking about guilt was not a wise topic. She would do better to focus on womens issues. This motherly guilt is universal and while I have no problem discussing it, Michelle runs the risk of appearing to be talking down to mothers. But, I get the impression that talking down comesa natueally to her. Her PR people are probably having a hard time finding the correct role for her to play.

As far as motherhood goes, it's either guilt or regret, pick one and move on.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 04:46 PM on 7/11/2008
- nclayla I'm a Fan of nclayla 5 fans permalink

I think Michelle Obama has done a great job and I think the right wing media will use anyone's words against them. She is exceptionally honest - and I think that for everyone she offends there are two of us who applaud her.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:00 PM on 7/11/2008
- olivia I'm a Fan of olivia 115 fans permalink

You're so right. The risk of being a real person is that some might criticize you.

We don't need another Laura Bush who only reads from scripts. We need a real woman in the White House, to help and speak to other women and their families.

Michelle is real, and she gets it. She gets us.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:27 AM on 7/12/2008
- Sabreen60 I'm a Fan of Sabreen60 129 fans permalink
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Oh please. First, what difference does it make what color you are. Most women who have children and work feel some level of guilt. Get real.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:32 PM on 7/11/2008
- mono I'm a Fan of mono 2 fans permalink

I have heard this phony guilty conscience so many times. I also know, there are cases where women have to work to bring food to the table but most of the womens husbands earn enough to propel a healthy family. And this lady, if Obama loses, would be the main cause of her husband's defeat. I used to regard Harvard a top notch school. I wonder how this lady got admission in that school. Whenever she says something either it's bogus or stirs controversy.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:37 AM on 7/11/2008

"Whenever she says something either it's bogus or stirs controversy."

Add and BS and mono that would be you!

"most of the womens husbands earn enough to propel a healthy family." This statement is so uninformed and just SO ridiculous.

Harvard is STILL a top notch school! Just because you cannot fathom “this woman” going there does not eliminate that FACT!

What a ludicrous post mono!

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:22 AM on 7/11/2008
- robynuva I'm a Fan of robynuva 5 fans permalink

Have you ever raised so much as a gold fish?

For those of us who feel guilty every day for leaving our children in day care, or feel guilty every day for staying at home and not being able to save money and prepare for our children's college, what Michelle said really resonates.

I have had either day care bills or college tuition bills every month of my life since 1983. My oldest just graduated from college, and my youngest starts in 2 years. Working has never been a "choice" and I believe the vast majority of women are in the same boat.

Mrs. O was raised in a working class family, her dad had a debilitative disease, She put herself through Harvard the same way I put myself through school, with massive loans. She has earned what she has, but does not forget that all women are not where she is.

She is a role model I hope my children will look too, and I believe all girls in this country can embrace.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:57 AM on 7/11/2008
- nclayla I'm a Fan of nclayla 5 fans permalink

Gosh, mono, have you been participating in the same society that the rest of us live in? No understanding of why a mother of children would want to work if there was sufficient income from a husband to cover basic expenses? Try crawling out of your cave and interacting with the world and you just might find your answers.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 11:25 AM on 7/11/2008
- Sabreen60 I'm a Fan of Sabreen60 129 fans permalink
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The other part of that equation is this. Say your parents spend thousands of their hard earned dollars to send their daughter to college. The daughter spends 4 years in college and graduates and gets a pretty good job for recent college grad. Then she gets married; quits work and has kids. She may experience a sense of guilt because she is not fulfilling her career goals and she may have some misgivings about spending all that money to go to college. Now that is not to say that the college education serves no purpose. But it's not being used to obtain a career. There are several reasons women may or may not have guilt feelings about career vs children.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:39 PM on 7/11/2008
- Sabreen60 I'm a Fan of Sabreen60 129 fans permalink
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Maybe you should do a little self-analyzation. No, make it a lot.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:49 PM on 7/11/2008
- eden4barack08 I'm a Fan of eden4barack08 172 fans permalink
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Could that by any chance be because, she's ' too strong of a woman' for you?

Or are both sexism AND racism at play here?

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 06:14 PM on 7/12/2008
- Sarahjan I'm a Fan of Sarahjan 6 fans permalink

Michelle Obama should not have used "guilt" to describe how working women attempt to balance between work and the duty at home. I am not right wing, I am not in the corporate media, I support Michelle and Barack Oabma. Michelle Obama should have known political implications of this term. She needs to watch what she says because the notion of feeling "guilt" while working in the public domain as a woman works with idea that women can only be happy for being mothers raising their kids. This is an old story and Michelle Obama should have known the world moved on since the days of her stay home mom.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:24 AM on 7/11/2008
- Sabreen60 I'm a Fan of Sabreen60 129 fans permalink
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That's totally ridiculous.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:50 PM on 7/11/2008
- orangepetal I'm a Fan of orangepetal 6 fans permalink

I'm a Puma, so I guess she is also talking to me. I think all the Democratic Clintonistas and Nobamas have come to a consensus. You know what we need because we have told you. Anything else is a diversion. You can try to get our votes, but as an insider I can honestly say I see your efforts as futile. We have been battered and we cannot come home, we have no home. If you can win without us, go for it. But don't kid yourselves we will be in your face all the way till election day.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:17 AM on 7/11/2008
- aznurse I'm a Fan of aznurse 110 fans permalink

What exactly is a Puma?

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:33 AM on 7/11/2008
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It's a smelly cat.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:44 AM on 7/11/2008

P athetic
U nrealistic
M ad
A arrogant

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 01:07 PM on 7/11/2008

http://images.hugi.is/sorp/135891.jpg

Seriously, your entire paragraph boils down to that. WHAARGARBLE.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 11:56 AM on 7/11/2008
- pleeezzze I'm a Fan of pleeezzze 6 fans permalink

Guess you'll just have to wait til Nov. if you think it's somet5hing to joke about ,huh ?

Seriously , the biggest thing Against O bama is his nasty supporters ,and their Devotion to him (no matter what).
If you really believe THAT will win him votes ,be sure to continue .

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 05:14 PM on 7/11/2008
- beachpoet I'm a Fan of beachpoet 3 fans permalink
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Is this double-speak? Am I to understand that MO, who is wealthy and can well afford to stay home with her kids, would feel GUILTY if she did? I can understand that a woman in her position might feel bored, under stimulated, irrelevant to those things (and circles) she really values over raising a family - but GUILTY? Why? Because she'd hate doing it? Excuse me if I can't muster up sympathy for the luxury she has of actually having a choice.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 07:17 AM on 7/11/2008
- nomobull I'm a Fan of nomobull 89 fans permalink
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get real and get some information because you don't know what you are talking about.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 07:31 AM on 7/11/2008
- metalpipe I'm a Fan of metalpipe 10 fans permalink
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Take a moment to think about 'how' she became wealthy. The Obamas had to actually 'earn' their money. It isn't inherited, and it isn't easy money gained by raping the planet of it's resources through dirty deals. They both had to earn a degree, work long hard hours for many years, and write two books before their wealth came to fruition. It is only recently she has had the option of staying home with the kids, but she now feels compelled to help her valiant husband try to become president of this wayward country. You, my dear beachpoet, are obviously bitter about not getting the wealth you think you deserve but haven't decided to earn. Sorry, but the truth always hurts.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:05 AM on 7/11/2008
- beachpoet I'm a Fan of beachpoet 3 fans permalink
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Sorry - just got back from the club. Won my match 6-2, 6-3. Great lunch on the deck. It's a gorgeous day here on the Massachusetts coast. What were you saying?

I have owned my my own business for 30 years (if you must know) and I home-schooled my son, who now holds an MBA in sustainable business. I know what hard work is about :) I also know how nice wealth is, because I have earned it as well. We all have choices to make, and I have made mine. I understand that there are compromises that must be made when one decides to have a family and juggle a career at the same time. But whining about guilt? Please.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 04:01 PM on 7/11/2008
- Tommygun264 I'm a Fan of Tommygun264 352 fans permalink
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How long before the 'pubs start screaming "Michelle Obama is attacking working mothers", and the mainstream corporate media starts giving the non-scandal 24/7 coverage?

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 06:44 AM on 7/11/2008
- aznurse I'm a Fan of aznurse 110 fans permalink

about 10 minutes.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:32 AM on 7/11/2008
- nclayla I'm a Fan of nclayla 5 fans permalink

Those who would claim to be dems here on this blog have beaten them to it.

    Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 11:28 AM on 7/11/2008
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