President Obama Sings ‘Sweet Home Chicago” at Blues Jam

The Prez gets the Blues on – with the opening bars of Sweet Home Chicago -

Reports of Shots Fired Near White House

Apparently an abandoned car and “machine gun” have been found at the scene, although it is unkown what the target may have been at this point…

Apparently, Constitution Avenue, which is some distance across parkland was shut down for a period of time.

Shots fired near White House

Shots have been fired between two cars near the White House, U.S. Park Police confirms.

Sgt. David Schlosser of the U.S. Park Police said Friday evening that the agency received a report of shots fired near 16th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, between The White House and the Washington Monument, at about 9:30 p.m.

He said that shortly afterward, officers located an abandoned vehicle several blocks away on the ramp to the nearby Theodore Roosevelt Bridge. Authorities tell ABC7 News that an AK-47 assault rifle was found.

He said police are looking at “involvement of this vehicle in the situation,” but didn’t know whether a weapon was recovered. He said police suspect another vehicle was involved.

Constitution Avenue is closed between 15th and 17th Streets. U.S. Park Police and Security Service are on the scene.

Police are looking for bullet holes and haven’t confirmed that shots were actually fired. He said The White House is a fair distance away and doesn’t appear to have been the focus.

President Barack Obama was observing Veterans Day with a basketball game aboard a Navy warship Friday. Obama’s stop in San Diego was the first leg of a nine-day diplomacy mission he’s embarking on, to Hawaii, where the U.S. is hosting an economic summit for the Asia-Pacific, and from there to Australia and Indonesia.

Michelle Obama Hits Local Target Store to Shop Incognito

Turns out the First Lady loves to slip out of the White House bubble and do things normal folks do…

Like Shop.

Michelle Obama shopping

Michelle Obama photographed shopping at D.C.-area Target

The first lady shops at Target — just like us!

An Associated Press photographer on Thursday snapped some choice photos of Michelle Obama in the checkout line of a Target store just outside Washington for what her office says was a “routine errand,” the likes of which she does often.

The first lady appears to have been trying to pick up some items incognito. She is seen sporting a Nike cap and large, dark sunglasses.

Photos: Michelle Obama shops at Target

“It is not uncommon for the first lady to slip out to run an errand, eat at a local restaurant or otherwise enjoy the city outside the White House gates,” said Kristina Schake, communications director for the first lady.

It’s unclear how the photo came about; her office said the photographer, Charles Dharapak, “caught her” at the store.

President Obama has often mused about how he wishes he could break outside the “bubble” he has to travel in. The first lady does not have the same full-time entourage of reporters as her husband.

But she, too, has spoken of some frustration about how living in the White House has changed her routine.

“Before we lived here, we were normal people. I had a job, I drove my own car, I took my kids to school every day.  I went to Target and shopped for my groceries,” she said at an April event for children of White House staff.

President Obama – “Bootlegging At the White House!”

Oh My! When the Tea Bagged set finds out the Chefs at the White House have been brewing their own special homebrew beer for the President and his guests, the Rethugs in Congress will undoubtedly want a full Congressional investigation of the “Al Capone” President! Undoubtedly, the White House recently had to purchase the Presidential Buses because the normal Presidential Limo, nicknamed “The Beast” is just too small to deliver the goods across the DC line to Maryland and Virginia…

Next, Michelle bachman and Hermain Cain will be accusing President Obama of turning the White House into a Speakeasy! Cantor and the House Tea Baggers have promised to  set in motion a bill to bring back Prohibition to be introduced on the floor of the House any day now.

Medal of Honor Awardee, Dakota Meyer Has a Beer With President Obama

White House brewing its own beer

Former Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, who was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Thursday, had a simple but unusual request when White House staffers talked to him a few days ago, reports CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante.

Meyer said he would like to have a beer with the president.

Great idea- right? And how could the president refuse?

So it happened. Mr. Obama and the war hero hung out together on the patio outside the Oval Office.

Wondering what brand they were drinking? Are you ready?

It was — the White House’s own brew, made with equipment the Obamas bought with their own money — the first beer ever made at the White House, according to historians.

It is White House Honey Ale.

It was the first beer served at the Super Bowl party. A very small batch — 90-100 bottles — all consumed that day.

The White House chefs have been brewing since, a little at a time. There was some for St. Patrick’s Day, another batch in June, and the beer served to Sgt. Meyer.

And just for the record: Home-brewing is legal in Washington, D.C.

The Black History of the White House

Interesting stories here about the history of the White House, slavery, and race in America.

Very interesting portion in the beginning about George Washington holding 9 slaves in the White House during his Presidency.

“The Problem” Rockwell Painting Now Hangs in White House

This image, done by famous American Painter, Norman Rockwell remains as one of the most poignant and powerful pieces done about the Civil Rights struggle in America.

Not sure why so many are trying to make a big deal out of this, other than the fact it demonstrates how far backward we, as a country, have slid since Raygun.

Norman Rockwell?s "The Problem We All Live With" / AL

Rockwell painting hangs in White House

Famous Rockwell painting in White House

All this - so one little girl could go to school...

Norman Rockwell’s iconic painting “The Problem We All Live With” is hanging temporarily in the White House at the request of President Barack Obama. Executives from the Norman Rockwell Museum, where the painting is usually displayed, visited the White House and Obama last week to view the painting in a West Wing hallway near the Oval Office.

Obama requested the painting, which depicts a black child being escorted to school by U.S. marshals, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ruby Bridges’ historic walk Nov. 14, 1960, integrating the William Frantz public school in New Orleans. It inspired Rockwell’s bold illustration for the Jan. 14, 1964, issue of “Look” magazine.

Rudy Bridges Hall, who serves on the board of the Rockwell museum in Stockbridge, Mass., also visited the White House, met Obama and stood before the painting.

“I was about 18 or 19 years old the first time that I actually saw it,” she said. “It confirmed what I had been thinking all along — that this was very important, and you did this, and it should be talked about.

“At that point in time that’s what the country was going through, and here was a man who had been doing lots of work — painting family images — and all of the sudden decided, ‘This is what I am going to do. It’s wrong, and I’m going to say that it’s wrong.'”

“The Problem We All Live With” was the first painting purchased by the Rockwell museum in 1975. Support by the Henry Luce Foundation made the White House loan possible.

Conyers Calls for March on White House

President Obama just signed his death warrant as a two termer. The sad thing is – he didn’t accomplish shit to have made it worthwhile.

Congressman John Conyers joins the long list of Progressives who have had enough… (the video quality on this one is poor)

Motown Concert At the White House

Seems to be going around… But inspired by the Motown Concert at the White House tonight, everyone is picking their Top All Time List of Motown Songs.

President Obama to host Motown concert at White House

President Barack Obama is celebrating rhythm and blues with a Motown White House concert Thursday night.

Smokey Robinson is set to headline PBS’ “The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House,” with guests, including singers Sheryl Crow and John Legend, who will perform Motown hits.

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden will also attend the event.

Other performers for the night include Natasha Bedingfield, Jamie Foxx, Gloriana, Nick Jonas, Ledisi, Amber Riley, Mark Salling, Seal and Jordin Sparks.

Now unfortunately, other than Smokey Robinson, I’m not sure how many actual Motown Stars are going to be there. But without further ado – He’s BTx3’s Top 30 All Time Motown Song List!
  1. My Girl – Temptations
  2. I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) – Four Tops
  3. Ain’t Too Proud To Beg – Temptations
  4. The Tracks of My Tears – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  5. Where Did Our Love Go? – Supremes
  6. (Love Is Like a) Heat Wave – Martha & The Vandellas
  7. What’s Goin’ On? – Marvin Gaye
  8. Dancing in the Street – Martha & The Vandellas
  9. I Want You Back – Jackson 5
  10. Superstition – Stevie Wonder
  11. What Becomes of the Brokenhearted? – Jimmy Ruffin
  12. Please Mr. Postman – Marvelettes
  13. My Guy – Mary Wells
  14. Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) – Temptations
  15. Shotgun – Jr. Walker & The All Stars
  16. Shop Around – Miracles
  17. War – Edwin Starr
  18. You Keep Me Hangin’ On – Supremes
  19. Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone – Temptations
  20. Super Freak Part I – Rick James
  21. Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler) – Marvin Gaye
  22. Jimmy Mack – Martha & The Vandellas
  23. Don’t Mess With Bill – Marvelettes
  24. Since I Lost My Baby – Temptations
  25. Don’t Leave Me This Way – Thelma Houston
  26. All Night Long (All Night) – Lionel Richie
  27. Let It Whip – Dazz Band
  28. What Does It Take (To Win Your Love?) – Jr. Walker
  29. Function At The Junction – Shorty Long
  30. Does Your Mama Know About Me? – Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers

Now This is the Lead Vocal Track off of the 4 Tops “Just Ask The Lonely” Song performed by Levi Stubbs. I suspect someone re-created this because the background singers are flat. I would guess when this was originally recorded they still only used 8 tracks, and may not have moved up to 16. In any event it illustrates the shear power and artistry of Levi’s voice, on what I think is one of the most beautiful songs ever written and performed.

Here is the full mix, apparently from an analog source -

 

1st Yellowback Donkey Award!

The new symbol of the Democrat Party as led by President Obama is the Yellowback Donkey. Unlike the old Democrat Donkey…

This one has a yellow streak a mile deep.

 

Yellowback Donkey Award #1 - To President Obama for cowering on the Bushit Tax Giveaway to the Rich

 

White House Caves, Will Extend Bush Tax Cuts

Any Republican attempt to repeal health care reform legislation won’t make it past President Obama’s veto pen, top adviser David Axelrod tells the Huffington Post. The president is willing to give ground in other areas and is prepared to accept an across-the-board continuation of Bush-era tax cuts even for the wealthiest taxpayers, according to Axelrod. “We have to deal with the world as we find it—the world of what it takes to get this done,” he said.

He indicated it was the only way that middle-class taxpayers would be able to maintain their cuts. Axelrod says the administration is willing to work with politicians willing to improve health care legislation but not with those intent on destroying it. He says the president has called every Republican senator-elect and many of the incoming House lawmakers—more than 100 calls in all. Axelrod, a former political reporter, says the Tea Party movement marks a “fascinating time in our history.” He believes Obama may be able to work with the movement on issues like ending earmarks and withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Yeah right, Alxlerod! Healthcare?  Like we believe anymore you guys got the effing cajones to stand up.

UPDATE:

Looks like somebody up there caught a whiff of the Donkey Doo they stepped in!

Axelrod: No, We Won’t Cave on Tax Cuts

Democrats won’t compromise their position on the Bush tax cuts, David Axelrod said today, hastily retreating from aHuffington Post article in which he said they would. “We’re willing to discuss how we move forward,” he wrote in an email to theNational Journal, “but we believe that it’s imperative to extend the tax cut for the middle class, and don’t believe we can afford a permanent extension of tax cuts for the wealthy.”

President Obama Speaks at Reception for HBCUs

President Obama speaking at a reception today at White House for HBCUs. Notice he made a strong point about getting those graduation rates up, which have been abysmal at a number of the schools.

White House, Visilak Apologize to Sherrod

White House Apologizes to Shirley Sherrod

The White House has apologized to Shirley Sherrod for its hasty firing of her over an out-of-context video. “Without a doubt, Miss Sherrod is owed an apology,” said Robert Gibbs at his afternoon press conference. “I would do so on behalf of this administration.” But will she be rehired at the USDA? Unclear. He said agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack is trying to reach Sherrod to personally apologize, “and they will talk about their next steps,” reports Politico.

“I think, clearly, that a lot of people involved in the situation … acted without all the facts,” said Gibbs, who faced a lengthy grilling over the controversy. “A disservice was done. An apology is owed. That’s what we’ve done.”

USDA Secretary Visilak Apologizes

Agriculture chief Tom Vilsack said he personally called the ousted USDA employee today to apologize and offer her a new job, reports CNN. She was “extraordinarily gracious,” said Vilsack, but she’s going to think about that job offer for a while.

“A good woman has gone through a difficult time, and I will have to live with that for a very long time,” said Vilsack.

Texas Tar Baby – Republicans Stuck to Big Oil

After the now prophetical “Drill, Baby, Drill” of the 2008 Republican Convention, Republicans are finding it hard to scrub the black oily stuff from their image…

If you blinked today you might have missed this remarkable turnaround – Just the headlines:

GOP Rep. Apologizes to Hayward, BP for $20B Fund- CALLS WHITE HOUSE PRESSURE A $20B SHAKEDOWN’

Rep. Joe Barton told Hayward he was “ashamed” of the pressure the White House put on BP to create the $20 billion escrow fund to cover losses to victims of the spill. “I think it’s a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would call a shakedown,” the Texan said. “In this case a $20 billion shakedown.”

Joe Barton’s BP Apology Could Be ‘Game-Changing’ – PUNDITS THINK DEMOCRATS HAVE A LINE OF ATTACK

Steve Benen, Washington Monthly: “We’ll see if Barton is forced to walk back his apology, but at this point, his remarks may be one of the year’s game-changing moments.”

Fellow GOP Congressman Wants Barton Off Panel – FLORIDA LAWMAKER BLASTS APOLOGY TO BP

A fellow Republican has called on Joe Barton to step down from the House Energy Committee forapologizing to BP’s CEO. Rep. Jeff Miller, who represents the Pensacola district of Florida—one of the areas most affected by the Gulf oil spill—said Barton’s conciliatory comments to Tony Hayward “call into question his judgment and ability to serve in a leadership on the Energy and Commerce Committee,” the Hill reports.

Barton Retracts Apology to BP – TEXAS REPUBLICAN REGRETS USE OF WORD ‘SHAKEDOWN

“I apologize for using the term ‘shakedown’ with regard to yesterday’s actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP,” said the Texas Republican in a statement.

“I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident,” said his statement, as per CBS.

GOP Leaders Ordered Barton to Apologize, ‘Immediately’ – BOEHNER, CANTOR LAID DOWN THE LAW

So what prompted Joe Barton’s quick retraction of his apology to BP? A sincere change of heart, maybe. Or it could have been the meeting with House GOP leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor, who told him, “Apologize, immediately. Or you will lose your (committee) position, immediately,” reports the Washington Post.

Oh My… All in 4 hours! Mr Barton must have bumped into his staff still leaving the conference room before they could all file out!

Of Course Rep Barton and Republicans have another problem… A comment he made in 2004:

“Offshore drilling and production platforms are so technologically advanced that one platform on the surface of the water can handle production from several different wells several miles apart, house a myriad of technologically advanced computer systems, employ scores of personnel, generate electricity, enable people to face and conquer the adversities of living in the middle of the ocean, and do so 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; all without so much as losing a gum wrapper over the side of the platform. It is truly amazing,” Barton said, at an opening for aSubcommittee on Energy and Air Quality hearingon April 29, 2004.

And the small issue that Mr Barton has received $1.2 million in campaign contributions from big oil…

Paul McCartney Sings “Michelle” to Michelle Obama

Paul McCartney was honored last night with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, and his evening at the White House was filled with reverent tributes, raucous performances, and a bit of humor. “After the last eight years, it’s good to have a president that knows what a library is,” McCartney said after thanking the Library of Congress for the prize. He also sang “Michelle” to the first lady, while speculating that “I’m gonna be the first guy to get punched out by a president.” Not so: President Obama simply joined in the serenade to his wife, the Washington Post reports. Other artists, from Dave Grohl to Corinne Bailey Rae, also performed McCartney’s hits—with the Jonas Brothers, who sang “Drive My Car,” being the obvious favorite of the first daughters. PBS will air the program on July 28.

WH Press Secretary Gibb Rips Faux News a New Orifice

About time!

The Prez Sings – “Lift Every Voice”

Our “Post Racial President” even knows the the first stanza!

(Keep your day job, Mr. President!)

OK, Old Timers – a flashback! Kim Weston at Wattstax, August 20, 1972 -

Now – when I was a little tike in segregated Virginia elementary school – we sang this each morning, instead of the “National Anthem” – and then did the Pledge of Allegiance.

James Weldon Johnson

Lift every voice and sing,
‘Til earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on ’til victory is won. Continue reading
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