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People love Michelle Obama photos no matter what the First Lady wears. Conversely, at least as some see it, it seems like her husband can do no right.

Some commentators are ripping President Barack Obama's bow to Japan's Emperor Akihito this weekend, accusing him of groveling before a foreign leader.

Is It Hot In Here Or ...

But is that actually the case?

While Obama bowing before the emperor looks a bit awkward, it isn't without precedent. Nor was it a sign of capitulation or anything of the sort.

U.S. presidents from both parties have often been criticized for their attempts at culturally sensitive greetings to high-ranking foreign officials.

Former President George W. Bush was mocked for holding Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's hand, a traditional sign of friendship in the Middle East.

In fact, back in 1994, former Democratic President Bill Clinton was even criticized for almost bowing to Akihito. He awkwardly stopped just short of this ...

Cultural faux pas or not, a bowing Barack just looks awkward.

If anything, Obama's encounter with Akihito could be considered a stumble because it mixed a bow with a handshake - something not normally done.

And it wasn't the first time the president, a Democrat who has been in office less than a year, has been criticized for his greeting of a foreign leader.

Critics accused him of genuflecting to Saudi King Abdullah at a summit meeting of the leaders of the top 20 rich and developing nations this year.

The bow comes during highly charged times.

Conservatives are strongly opposing Obama's policies, especially his plan to overhaul the health care system, and jump on any perceived faux pas.

Andrew Malcolm, in a blog on the Los Angeles Times, asked, "How low will the new president go for the world's royalty?" Apparently, pretty low.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters Monday that the bow by Barack Obama was traditional, "a sign of respect to the emperor."

"We're in an environment rwhere everything is hypersensitive. Any move you do, there will be some group that sees some message within all that."

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You could call it a Rush to judgment. Eh, eh?

It was too easy: Some obscure blogger "unearths" some pages of President Obama's college thesis. A thesis with gems for the haters: Obama hates the Constitution, etc.

The report supposedly originated from Joe Klein of Time.

The author really was an obscure blogger, but one who wrote a satirical post about the thesis, citing Klein's "discovery." Rush Limbaugh went on to quote from the supposed thesis on his radio show, believing it was legit. That's a good satire.

In reality, the joke post, which claimed Klein had gotten his hands on 10 pages of student Obama's college thesis, was a total hoax and is not true in the least.

However, unlike Balloon Boy, it was not concocted in the hopes of this happening. And some will argue that it duped Rush and others because it's so realistic.

El Presidente

Rush Limbaugh got punked by a satirical blog purporting to have seen Barack Obama's college thesis. On a side note, Rush is an interesting name for such a large fella.

Believable or not, Rush was definitely had by the fake thesis.

Supposedly titled "Aristocracy Revisited," the faux thesis excerpt revealed the president had "doubts" about the "so-called founders" of our great country.

Juicy. Except not true.

Limbaugh discovered halfway through his show that he'd been had, but defended himself by saying, basically, the thesis felt true. That'll work for his "fans."

Joe Klein himself even jumped in, calling the report "nonsense" on his blog, and another blogger who thought the Obama thesis hoax was real also apologized.

For a humble post to go from an entry on a humor blog to major media outlet sure seems impressive. Someone ought to write a thesis or commentary on it.

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The White House has released the first official family photo of the 44th President of the United States and his family, taken September 1 by Annie Leibovitz.

The picture of President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha Obama was taken in the White House's Green Room.

Outdoorsy First Lady

Bo the First Portugese Water Dog apparently had a prior engagement.

What a cute photograph. Follow the link for many more Barack and Michelle Obama pictures from their time on the campaign trail and as the nation's First Couple.

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Everyone's a critic.

When Whoopi Goldberg brought up Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize win on Monday's The View, guest-host Rachel Campos-Duffy, a former reality TV star and current blogger for Anderson Cooper's AC 360 on CNN, said she was shocked.

She's far from alone there, but her rationale was interesting.

"I think personally, for me, that it's Obama's radical abortion position that makes him the least qualified for the prize," Rachel Campos Duffy said.

Joy Behar chimed in with a different take: "We were starting wars. Now we're not."

"I don't know what's going to happen in Afghanistan. It is a little ironic that he is involved in two wars and would be considered the peace person."

"But he didn't start them, and he is trying to end the conflict, and he is trying to bring diplomacy around the world and start a new conversation."

Campos Duffy asks, in similar fashion to some recent late night bashing of Barack, "So basically, he just gets a prize for not being George Bush?"

Behar laughed. "That's true. He does get a prize for not being George Bush."

Yeah, yeah. We've heard it all before. Bring back Heidi Montag, The View!

Does Obama deserve the Nobel Prize?

 

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For the second straight week, Saturday Night Live opened with Fred Armisen doing an impression of President Barack Obama in a skit that wasn't flattering.

This time, SNL's faux-Bama played off "his" Nobel Peace Prize victory last week in a rather predictable way, stating that "I won it for not being George Bush."

Merely stating a fact does not a funny Obama skit make, but just the same, it was indicative of the TV comedy world turning its sights on the chief executive.

SNL joked in its news segment that after Obama won the Nobel prize so early in his presidency, honors like People's Sexiest Man designation may soon go to kids.

This followed an SNL Obama skit that received major attention the week before, where the President lauded his accomplishments (of which there are none).

Other late night comedy shows went after the Prez as well.

Jay Leno quipped, "That's pretty amazing, winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Ironically, his biggest accomplishment as president so far? Winning the Nobel Peace Prize."

Referencing Obama's "full plate" of business, Jon Stewart was apoplectic, even a little exasperated. "All that stuff you've been putting on your plate? ... It's [expletive] chow time, brother. That's how you get things off your plate."

All kidding aside, the New York Times opined this weekend that "the danger is that Mr. Obama is going to be defined by inaction and not living up to expectations."

Perhaps it was inevitable that the late night circuit would take shots at the 44th Oval Office occupant, but after eight-plus years of relentless Republican bashing, it has certainly signaled a shift from what had become the norm.

Follow the jump Saturday Night Live's latest (lackluster) Obama skit:

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Republicans will likely find a way to turn this into an example of Socialism, but Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Price.

In a surprising announcement this morning, the annual award's committee cited the President "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

Obama is only the third sitting President to earn the honor, following Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Despite his short time in his office, the Oslo-based committee said:

"We are awarding Obama for what he has done. Many other people and leaders and nations have to respond in a positive way" to President Obama's diplomacy.

In less than a year since his historic victory, President Obama has spoken out in favor for reductions in nuclear arsenals; is trying to restart peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians; and has faced constant challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thorbjorn Jagland -  the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee - told reporters he hopes the Nobel Peace Prize designation "will enhance what he is trying to do."

Do you agree it's well-deserved? Or is too early to bestow such an award on Obama? Vote below!

 

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On Saturday Night Live over the weekend, Lady Gaga and Madonna went at it in a cat fight for the ages. But it was a sketch about President Obama that got some of his supporters on the left of the political spectrum fired up.

SNL Obama skits are typically mixed bags, since:

  • Fred Armisen is funny, but looks and acts nothing like Barack Obama
  • He inspires strong opinions, but B.O. doesn't offer comedic material

Well, this week's SNL Obama skit was more attention-grabbing than usual, as it was one of the first that in which the show really went to town on him.

Sure, the skit slammed Republicans for calling Barack Obama a socialist ... but their reasoning is that you can't be a socialist if you don't do anything.

The skit that opened the show ripped Obama's lack of achievements since taking office, even poking fun at him for failing to get Chicago the Olympics.

Unfair to expect him to deliver on lofty promises in nine months? Probably. Factually accurate, however? Indeed. Check it out and see what you think ...

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Most people probably didn't find funny former President Jimmy Carter's assertion that criticism of President Barack Obama's health care plan is rooted in racism.

But the President himself can see the humor in it.

Asked about the comment on The Late Show with David Letterman, Obama quipped, "I think it's important to realize that I was actually black before the election."

Letterman deadpanned, "Really. Tell us, how long have you been a black man?"

Obama's visit made him the first sitting president to appear on Letterman's show. He personally had been a guest on Letterman's show five times before, however.

Early joking aside, the President's interview last night turned serious when Letterman asked questions about, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the state of the economy.

On the economy, Barack Obama offered a sober prediction as the country deals with 9.7 percent unemployment, the worst level since 1983. He said he expects unemployment will be a "big problem" for at least another year.

But Obama told Letterman the economy will rebound even stronger.

As for Afghanistan, Obama knows some people want him to bring troops home, and others are calling for him to increase U.S. force levels to fight the insurgency.

Obama said he won't make a decision on sending in more troops, though, until he completes a comprehensive review of the war effort and settles on his strategy.

"I'm going to be asking some very hard questions," Obama said.

Follow the jump for two clips from Obama's apperance on Letterman, a portion of his interview and the show's Top 10 list (of reasons he agreed to show up) ...

Continue Reading...

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Say what you will about Rush Limbaugh (and we have a feeling you will have no shortage of things to say), the conservative radio host does not mince words.

Rush devoted much of one of his shows this week to a tragic incident where a white teenager was beaten up on a school bus by an African-American teenager.

The attack was horrible and is being investigated by local police, but Rush Limbaugh seized upon it to pontificate about what he feels it is indicative of:

President Barack Obama spreading racism against white people.

According to the St. Louis-Dispatch, police say the beating was not racially motivated, and only transpired once the teenager chose the wrong seat to sit in.

After a caller phoned in and told Rush Limbaugh he did not think the beating was because of race, the blowhard responded with the following statement:

Rush Limbaugh Pic

Rush Limbaugh sure knows how to blow smoke.

"I think not only it was racism, it was justifiable racism. I mean, that's the lesson we're being taught here. Kid shouldn't have been on the bus anyway. We need segregated buses - it was invading space and stuff. This is Obama's America."

To be fair, Rush was probably only hyperbolizing and rambling to make his point and not really calling for segregation. Maybe. But it got worse, as Limbaugh continued, inexplicably comparing homosexuality with racism:

"If homosexuality being inborn is what makes it acceptable, why does racism being inborn not make racism acceptable? Sorry. I mean, this is the way my mind works. Apparently now we don't choose racism, we just are racists."

"We are born that way. We don't choose it. So shouldn't it be acceptable, excuse - this is according to the way the left thinks about things."

This is a man who also thinks John Edwards' affair with Rielle Hunter was his wife Elizabeth's fault, so you have to consider the source.

Well that's that. More importantly, is Rush on Team Taylor or Team Kanye?

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President Barack Obama's candid thoughts about Kanye West have provoked a debate over standards of journalism in the age of social media such as Twitter.

They're also sparking some hilarious parodies.

ABC News says it was wrong for its employees to Tweet that Obama called West a jackass following the rapper's ambushing of country star Taylor Swift.

The network said its employees overheard a candid discussion between the president and CNBC's John Harwood that it didn't realize was off the record.

E-mails shot around among ABC about Obama's comments, with at least three employees Twittering to spread the news before the interview even aired.

When ABC authorities found out about the Obama Tweets, they had them taken down after about an hour. But the news was out and the damage done.

ABC apologized to the White House and CNBC.

During informal banter before an interview began, Obama was how his two girls felt about Kanye hijacking Swift's acceptance speech at the MTV VMAs.

No one can accuse the President of being out of touch on this issue.

"I thought it was really inappropriate," Obama says. "The young lady seems like a perfectly nice person. She's getting her award. What's he doing up there?"

A questioner chimes in, "Why would he do it?"

"Eh, he's a jackass," Obama said, and was met with laughter from several people, prompting the President to quickly realize he may have gone too far.

"Come on guys," he said, subtly urging them to keep the comment private and to "cut the president some slack. I've got a lot of other stuff on my plate."

It's fitting that Obama was overheard commenting on Kanye, whose outburst was described by some outlets as giving Swift "the Joe Wilson treatment."

Wilson, a South Carolina Republican Congressman, was issued a formal rebuke by his colleagues following his heckling of Obama's speech last week.

Here's a brief, but hilarious video of Kanye's outburst interspersed with the President's health care speech, right as it was interrupted by Wilson ...

Barack Obama Biography

Barack and Michelle Obama Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America. He became a Democratic U.S. Senator from Illinois in 2004, and has... More »
Born
Birthplace
Honolulu, Hawaii
Full Name
Barack Hussein Obama II

Barack Obama Quotes

I do think in Washington, it's a little bit like American Idol. But everybody is Simon Cowell.

Barack Obama

I think I'm a pretty cool dad.

Barack Obama
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