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Fuera de Serie, a Spanish magazine, has sparked controversy with its new cover depicting Michelle Obama as a 19th Century French slave. Seriously.

The First Lady of the United States' face is superimposed over "Portrait d'une négresse," a famous painting by French artist Marie-Guillemine Benoist.

The painting from 1800 depicted a female French slave in a headdress and white gown, one breast exposed. Now Michelle Obama is shown as such:

Michelle Obama Topless Slave Cover

The painting was finished just six years after France's abolition of slavery and has been regarded by art historians as a commentary on both sexism and racism.

Not surprisingly, the image has many critics in the U.S. and Europe wondering if the cover was designed to be more provocative than political ... ya think?!

For its part, the magazine lauds Michelle Obama as the "gran mujer" (great woman) behind her powerful husband. An excerpt of the cover story reads:

"In the shadow of the U.S. President is a person whose popularity ratings exceed those of Barack’s own. This person is none other than his wife Michelle."

"To find out how Michelle has managed to seduce the American people, [we] detail the secrets of a woman who has won [America's hearts]."

Many believe it smacks of racism and reinforces the historical denial of black female individuality, but artist Karine Percheron-Daniels stands by it.

In fact, she thinks Michelle would "love" the picture and would love to show it to Mrs. Obama one day. We wouldn't hold our breath if we were Karine.

What do you think of this Michelle Obama cover?

 

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Todd Akin may have just met his match in Tom Smith, another Republican U.S. Senate candidate who made controversial remarks about rape this week.

Smith, who was ironically trying to distance himself from the Todd Akin legitimate rape controversy, likened pregnancy from rape to any conception outside marriage.

The Pennsylvanian said that while he condemns Akin's comment, he agrees that abortion should be banned without exceptions, including for rape.

Asked how he would handle a daughter or granddaughter getting pregnant as a result of rape, Smith said he had already "lived something similar to that."

"She chose life, and I commend her for that," he said. "She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn't have to ... she chose the way I thought."

"Don't get me wrong, it wasn't rape." When a reporter asked Smith to clarify what kind of situation was similar, he said, "Having a baby out of wedlock."

Smith added, "Put yourself in a father's position. Yes, it is similar."

Smith's comment comes at an inconvenient time for Republicans, who've been scrambling to distract voters from the firestorm of controversy over Akin.

The Missouri candidate stated that when it's a "legitimate rape" women rarely get pregnant because "the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down."

Smith, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Bob Casey in the November election, told the media that he does not agree with Akin's remark on rape at all.

"He should have never said anything like that," Smith said, though the GOP official abortion position seems to be largely in line with both of theirs.

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The controversial new documentary 2016: Obama's America became a bona fide box office hit over the weekend, grossing $6.3 million and rallying conservatives in the run-up to the Republican National Convention this week in Tampa, Fla.

Dinesh D’Souza and John Sullivan’s film opened last month in just a few theaters, but has now earned over $9 million, tops among documentaries in 2012.

The anti-Barack Obama film offers a speculative, conservative vision of the President's second term, should he win one at the ballot box this November.

Spoiler alert: Said vision is not pretty.

2016: Obama's America has been advertised and promoted heavily on talk radio and was distributed to coincide with this week's Mitt Romney-led convention.

Reactions to the film have been predictably mixed, as the true believers in D’Souza's anti-Obama crusade will be even more fired up ... as will Obama supporters.

Election 2012:

 

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Journey has been hired to perform at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday night, at a reported price of $500,000.

This doesn't necessarily mean they endorse Mitt Romney, however.

Journey Band Photo

"It's an RNC event, but not one to endorse any candidate or party," a source tells E! News.

"I believe Journey and also Zac Brown [also set to play Thursday] are described as nonpartisan but they aren't aware of any of the details themselves."

"To Journey, it's simple, one of hundreds of private [events] they get hired to do."

No word if everyone's favorite groupie Michaele Salahi will be on hand in Tampa.

Kid Rock, Trace Adkins, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Oak Ridge Boys and Lee Greenwood are also scheduled to perform at private events during the convention.

Sadly, no Dave Mustaine, Ted Nugent or Toby Keith at the RNC.

Election 2012:

 

[Photo: WENN.com]

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Two-time Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul made full use of his final campaign rally on Sunday to take his final shots at an establishment that never quite delivered on promises to include him and his libertarian followers.

His rally at the University of Southern Florida's SunDome drew over 7,000 fans, an event staged in response to a Republican convention that will not include Paul.

Mitt Romney's campaign offered him a speaking slot at the national event this week on condition that he provide his remarks to them in advance for their approval.

Paul declined.

He'll still be honored in a video tribute on Tuesday night, but his convention presence - or lack thereof - was one of the first subjects Paul covered Sunday.

"Today I was very excited to get a call from the RNC," Paul said, before cracking a joke related to the weather-related postponement of Monday events.

"They said they changed their mind. They're going to give me a whole hour and I can say whatever I want - tomorrow night! Just kidding."

Paul directly referenced rules changes that may keep similarly insurgent delegates from succeeding in future elections, seeming stung by disappointment.

The RNC "learned how to bend rules, break rules, and now they want to rewrite the rules," the 77-year-old said. "That's what we have to stop."

Continue Reading...

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Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford confirmed on Sunday that he is engaged to marry his now-infamous Argentine girlfriend, Maria Belen Chapur.

"Yes, it's true and I stand by my statement," Sanford told Reuters.

Sanford was referring to a statement given to CNN in which he said, "Yes, we are engaged, and I'm both happy and excited for what that means."

Sanford, Chapur

"I have long expressed my feelings for her, she's a wonderful person. My closest friends love her, and I look forward to introducing her to still many more."

Back in the summer of 2009, then-Governor Sanford disappeared to visit his mistress in Argentina for a week. Aides said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

When Sanford returned, he gave a tearful, State House press conference admitting he had been unfaithful to his wife and calling Chapur his "soul mate."

He served out the rest of his term until January 2011. Sanford and his wife, Jenny Sanford, were divorced in 2010. They have four children together.

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a joke about his birth certificate - and took a subtle shot at his opponent in doing so - at a rally Friday.

Speaking about his roots in Michigan, where has father was governor, he told a Commerce, Mich., crowd, "No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate."

"They know that this is the place that we were born and raised."

It was awkward, if nothing else, for Romney to joke about "birther" conspiracies that dogged President Barack Obama since his 2008 White House run.

The President released his long form birth certificate in 2011.

The Obama campaign quickly responded, saying that with the comment, Romney was embracing the extreme elements in the conservative movement.

A spokesman for Romney said he was "only referencing that Michigan, where he is campaigning today, is the state where he himself was born and raised."

Romney's son Matt joked earlier this year about Obama's birth certificate, referring to Mitt Romney's tax returns - his own "missing" document controversy:

"I heard that someone suggest that as soon as President Obama releases his grades, and birth certificate, and a long list of things, then maybe he will."

Romney believes Obama was born in the U.S., saying in 2011 that "the man needs to be taken out of office but his citizenship isn't the reason why."

President Obama: U.S. Citizen?

 

Election 2012:

 

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In a recent interview with MTV, Lil Wayne - who spent 10 months in Riker's Island on weapons charges in 2010 - made it very clear, telling the network: "I don't like New York."

And apparently that was all it took for New York State Senator Malcolm A. Smith to hold a press conference in Times Square and call out the rapper for daring to diss his city.

Yes, folks, it's election season.

"I take strong exception to the words 'I don't like New York,'" said Smith, directing his comments at Lil Wayne. "You don't have to sell your products here. And perhaps we won't come to your concerts."

Continue Reading...

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A county judge in Lubbock, Texas, recently predicted a possible "civil war" if President Barack Obama is re-elected this November, according to reports.

Judge Tom Head was making a case for a local tax increase, saying hiring extra sheriff's deputies would especially be needed if Obama wins in 2012.

You know, to ward off the United Nations troops.

El Presidente

From Fox 34 News: "He's going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N., and what is going to happen when that happens?"

"I'm thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe."

"And we're not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we're talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy."

"Now what's going to happen if we do that, if the public decides to do that? He's going to send in U.N. troops. I don't want 'em in Lubbock County."

"OK. So I'm going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say 'you're not coming in here'."

Continue Reading...

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Republicans. When will they learn.

With some notable exceptions (Ted Nugent, Dave Mustaine, Hank Williams Jr.), music stars seem far from keen on having their material used at GOP campaign rallies.

Today, Dee Snider became the latest to decry such a move. He surely won't be the last. Said a rep for the Twisted Sister rocker / Celebrity Apprentice star:

  • Dee Snider Photo
  • Paul Ryan For Vice President

"It was brought to my attention today that Paul Ryan has been using client Dee Snider's composition 'We're Not Gonna Take It' in his political campaign to become the Vice President of The United States of America.

Dee does not support Paul Ryan. Accordingly, Dee has released this statement to Benjy Sarlin, campaign reporter for TPM in Washington, DC:

'I emphatically denounce Paul Ryan's use of my song 'Were Not Gonna Take It' as recorded by my band Twisted Sister. There is almost nothing on which I agree with Paul Ryan, except perhaps the use of the P90X.'"

The hilarious footnote to that statement refers to Ryan's personal training regimen ... check out Paul Ryan shirtless, the man's in good shape.

In any case, Paul can cross Twisted Sister off the list. The way this is going, he's going to cycle through dozens of jukebox heroes by election day.

Heck, Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello went out of his way to slam Ryan for merely saying he was a fan of the group in an interview.

Election 2012:

 

[Photos: WENN.com]

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