Hidden POTUS, Crouching Tiger

November 18, 2009

POTUS finished his trip to China with visit the Great Wall.  Notwithstanding the frigid temps (Obama exclaimed he wasn’t aware China got as cold as Chicago), the President squeezed in a half hour tour of this World Heritage site

Can't believe I had to travel all the way to China for some peace and quiet! (EPA)

Obama also met very briefly with his step-brother Mark Ndesandjo, who was still “over the moon” about the mini-reunion.  Apparently, the brothers haven’t seen each other since POTUS’ inauguration, but Obama got to meet Ndesandjo’s new wife and catch up on family chit chat.

We just hope Obama was able to pick up a pair of these awesome kicks before heading to South Korea.

These would be perfect for dunking on Reggie Love! (AFP Getty)


Ch(I)na just called to say I love you

November 17, 2009

So, what does the leader of the Free World do on his first trip to China?  Eat and see the sites, of course!  POTUS was honored with a state dinner reception at the famous Great Hall of the People in Beijing, replete with a multi-course meal, peafowl, and the Military Band of the People’s Liberation Army.  The somewhat odd musical choices included performances of Wonderful Night, I Just Called to Say I Love You, and In the Mood.  What happened to some good old fashioned Chinese opera?

Szechuan peacock with noodles, anyone? (AP Photo)

Obama also checked out the sites, including the Forbidden City

For a Forbidden City, there sure are a lot of people here! (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Of course, the Oba-mao shirt isn’t the only product coming onto the Chinese market.  It could be hairy deciding what to come home with…

This replica is made entirely of human hair. You decide: creative, creepy, or just plain gross? (Jason Lee/Reuters)


Oh (big) brother, where art thou?

November 16, 2009
The American media is abuzz with POTUS’ first official visit to China.   China’s pretty excited too, as evidenced by a variety of Obama-swag coming on the market.   One particular piece of attire is making Chinese officials nervous, though, enough so they’ve banned the “Oba-mao” shirt out of fear it will upset Obama.   Interesting in light of Obama’s comments yesterday on the benefits of an uncensored society…
obamao shirt

Coming soon to hipsters and Urban Outfitters near you... (David Gray/Reuters)

obamao shirt seller

Yes you CANnot sell this t-shirt! (Frederic Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

 Obama will also be meeting his half-bro Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, who lives in southern China.  Ndesandjo recently published “Nairobi to Shenzhen,” which includes passages about his abusive father Barack Obama Sr, which our POTUS has yet to comment on.  Could be an awkward meeting, you think?

mark ndesandjo

Maybe I should've named my book "Screams From My Father" (Ym Yik/European Pressphoto Agency)


Update: the Obamas weren’t enough…

October 2, 2009

The IOC has apparently dismissed Chicago and Tokyo as possible hosts for the 2016 Summer Games.  Now, the race remains between Madrid and Rio de Janeiro.


The REAL Power Couple

October 2, 2009

Copenhagen got hit by a serious one-two “O” punch–Oprah and Michelle O, that is–as they bid for Chicago as host for the 2016 Summer Olympics. 

Work it, girl! (AP Photo)

Work it, girl! (AP Photo)

With the vote happening this afternoon, Michelle and Oprah both arrived in Copenhagen Wednesday, ready to spend some serious time wooing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and meeting various Olympic athletes.

Furtive whisper heard: "It's in the bag, honey" (AFP/Getty photo by Matt Dunham)

Furtive whisper heard: "It's in the bag, honey" (AFP/Getty photo by Matt Dunham)

It wasn’t all work and no play, though.  Ladies O made sure they had some glam time at the Opening Ceremony, held at the Copenhagen Opera House.

Pay attention, ladies! (Photo by Charles Dharapak-Pool/Getty Images)

Pay attention, ladies! (Photo by Charles Dharapak-Pool/Getty Images)

Where was our POTUS through all this?  Never fear, Obama joined his beloved yesterday, and they addressed the committee together.  Obama was the last of the Chicago team to speak, and is the first sitting president to ever address the IOC.  Those other cities don’t have a chance!

"Our dedication is clear.  Michelle here is dressed like a gold medal."  (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)

"Our dedication is clear. Michelle here is dressed like a gold medal." (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)

Since the committee members are not allowed to visit the potential host cities, such visits make a huge difference.  Members were impressed by more than just the Power Os; Chicago explained plans to convert the temporary Olympic stadium seats into wheelchairs.  Nice!


First Jock of the United States

September 30, 2009

Obama is fast proving to be quite the Renaissance Man when it comes to physical activity.  Not only is he joining his lovely wife in Copenhagen to lobby for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Chicago,  athletics is a big White House theme.  From the honors he gives to the guests he hosts to how he spends his free time, could our POTUS be dubbed FJOTUS (First Jock of the United States)?

Obama is signing the Arnold Palmer Gold Medal Act today.  While such an honor is nothing new for Palmer (he received the National Sports Award from Clinton and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bush), he can certainly talk shop with Obama, a golf-lover in his own right.

Even Presidents must groin stretch every now and then (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Even Presidents have to stretch their groins every now and then (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 To emphasize his love of the Olympics, POTUS engaged in a little sparring at the White House.  His masterful weilding of a lightsaber warranted respect even from Olympic fencers.

HELLO!  You killed my father--prepare to die! (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

HELLO! You killed my father--prepare to die! (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Hezbollah High Five! (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Hezbollah High Five! (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama even honored the “sport” of NASCAR by inviting Jimmie Johnson, 2008 winner of the Sprint Cup, to the White House last month.


FLOTUS Arm Wrestles for Olympic Torch

September 15, 2009

Chicago’s favorite denizen is heading to Copenhagen in hopes of sweet talking folks before the Olympic Committee votes on whether Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo or Rio de Janeiro will play host for the 2016 Summer Games.  Michelle will have some competition though; the King of Spain, Brazil’s President and the Japanese royal family are plannning to do their own schmoozing of the committee.  

chicago_olympics_logo

BoL is hoping our FLOTUS will flex a little muscle while in Copenhagen, especially in light of the renewed attention to her glorious biceps.  Women’s Health magazine recently interviewed Michelle’s trainer, Cornell McClellan, about how Michelle stays fit.  According to the article, the First Lady “might do one set of 15 to 20 reps each of lunges, bench presses, hip raises, and rows, all without resting–and with short bouts of intense cardio mixed in. …The workouts also feature rope-jumping, kickboxing, and body-weight calisthenics.”  Phew!  BoL is tired from just cutting and pasting that list of activities. 

Got tickets to the gun show? (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Got tickets to the gun show? (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Brains and Brawn?  What a gal!  (Photo by Getty Images)

Brains and Brawn? What a gal! (Photo by Getty Images)

Ignoring David Brooks’ snarky (jealous?) comment about Michelle putting away “Thunder and Lightning”, who better to advocate on behalf of Chicago’s Olympic dreams?