April 2009 Archives

So what do you make of this excerpt from Yes, Looks Do Matter, a New York Times article on stereotypes and the Susan Boyle phenomenon?

Stereotypes are seen as a necessary mechanism for making sense of information.... When people don't fit our preconceived notions, we tend to ignore the contradictions, until they are too dramatic to overlook. In those cases, said John F. Dovidio, a psychology professor at Yale, we focus on the contradiction -- Ms. Boyle's voice, for example. While that makes us see her as more of an individual, we also "find a way to make the world make sense again, even if the way we do it is to say, 'This is an exceptional situation.' It's easier for me to keep the same categories in my mind and come up with an explanation for the things that are discrepant."

Even when presented with multiple exceptions to the stereotype, we often keep the broad category and simply create a subtype, Professor Dovidio said.

For example, President Obama challenged negative stereotypes about blacks, but some people may have come up with a subtype of blacks -- black professionals -- rather than challenge the overall stereotype, Professor Dovidio said.

Makes an interesting conversation, to say the least. 

 

Barack Obama Washingtonian cover.jpg

First Lady Michelle Obama's well-toned arms have attracted many compliments and landed her on the cover of several magazines.  Not to be outdone, her husband Barack scored a few "hot bod" points himself this month, when Washingtonian put his presidential pecks on its May cover and declared that "Our New Neighbor is Hot."

This being Washington and all, the cover has inspired serious debate: Appropriate or not to put a half nekked U.S. president on a magazine cover and call him hot?  What about calling him beefcake, tenderoni or hunk o' hunk of burnin' love instead of hot?  Any better or no?  Do limitations on name calling apply to magazines only, or do they also apply to in person interactions? Say at a White House dinner, would it be okay to to introduce yourself to the president as Sasha Fierce and greet him with a respectful (albeit slightly husky and slurred), "Shawty, what your name is?" 

After these issues are resolved, Washington power players will return to solving the economic crisis.   

Ben Affleck appeared on Hardball to talk about his new movie State of Play, in which he plays a congressman caught up in a bunch of drama.  He also talked about the dying newspaper business and the likelihood that Texas will secede from the union (the governor of Texas recently mentioned the possibility).  

 

President Obama has to answer to the IRS, just like the rest of us.  He and Michelle released their income tax return April 15th.  We know you want to know what they earned, so feast your hungry eyes on these figures:

The Obamas earned $2.7 million in 2008, mostly from the president's book royalties.  They donated $172,050 to charities, making their largest donations to Catholic Relief Services and the United Negro College Fund.

Okay, show's over folks.  Nothing more to see here.  So mosey your nosey right along now....

(Psst...  wait...  maybe there is more to see.  You can eyeball the Obamas' 1040 yourself over here.)

Puppy crisis over

And puppy makes five.  Bo Obama became the newest member of the Obama family on Tuesday. Of Bo, the president joked, "I've finally got a friend," and had this exchange with a reporter:

Prez Obama: [Bo will] be sleeping inside the White House

Reporter: Is he gonna be in a bed?

Prez Obama: Not in my bed!

Take this lesson from Susan Boyle, a 47 year old woman who has never been kissed and lives alone with her cat: It's never too late to follow your (impossible?) dream.

 

Meghan McCain shades.jpgMeghan McCain just signed a six figure book deal for her second book.  Her first book was a children's book about her father, former presidential candidate John McCain.

Meghan's publisher-to-be, Hyperion, released a statement saying that Meghan's book will "touch on topics ranging from what the party needs to do to attract others like her, to the importance of technology in reaching out to younger voters, to what needs to be done to keep young people passionate and involved in politics in the future." 

You can pick up Meghan's new book in the spring of 2010.

TGIF

Friday makes us feel like this:

 

 

Michelle Obama and mom on Essence.jpgMichelle Obama and her mom, Marian Robinson, are Essence cover girls for the May 2009 issue.  Mrs. Obama's floral print dress is from Talbots. If you likey, you can get it (on sale!) here.

 

Sarah Brown-fl-001.jpg

Sarah Brown, left, wearing a fabulous (and presumably rented) Graeme Black jacket with her husband and the Obamas.  Photo credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

What does British First Lady Sarah Brown have in common with Carrie Bradshaw's assistant Louise?  She rents her fashion, girlfriend!

When Mrs. Brown wore a $13,000 blouse to an event during the G-20 summit, tongues wagged about how she could afford such a piece.  Well, she couldn't.  Mrs. Brown has no income and is not allowed to accept gifts or loans of clothing as First Lady, so she simply rented a few fabulous outfits. 

So now the secret is out of the closet - just not hers.  And we're not mad at her either.  She's just doing what any fashionista in a bind (and a bad economy) would do.

 

Will the real Michelle Obama please stand up?

Madame Tussad's in Washington D.C. put a wax likeness of Michelle Obama on display this week.  How much do you think it looks like Mrs. Obama?

 

Obama in Iraq with troops.jpgJust as the ladies on The View were reading the most hilarious exerpts from celebrity biographies, ABC News interrrupted programming with a special report. Damn.

The news was pretty important though.  President Obama stopped in Iraq Tuesday on his way back to the U.S. from Europe (more on his and Mrs. Obama's European tour later).  He spoke to about 700 troops, including Vice President Biden's son Beau, telling them that he and Michelle are working on providing additional resources for them.

 "We have not forgotten what you have done, grateful for what you will do and as long as I'm in White House you will get support you need and the thanks you deserve," he said to the troops.

Oscar de la Renta.jpgOscar de la Renta said all this bitchy stuff about Michelle Obama's style, like, "You don't...go to Buckingham Palace in a sweater."  Not nice, Oscar the Grouch!  

Some famous designers are ticked that Mrs. Obama chooses girl-next-door brands like J.Crew and lesser known designers like Jason Wu, rather than allowing the big wig fashion designers to dress her.

 

North Korea defied international warnings and launched a rocket missile Sunday.  Not cute, says the U.S.

Launched from a base in east North Korea, the Taepongdong-2 millile soared over an unamused Japan and plunged into the Pacific Ocean. 

The North Koreans issued a statement claiming that they successfully launched a satelite into space that now transmits music celebrating their leader. (Um, no, not like Rocket Man by Elton John.  More like Song of General King Jong II.) The U.S. and Japan say that's b.s., and that the North Korean rocket, missile or whatever never made it into the orbit and is now just a fish hotel at the bottom of the Pacific.  

The U.N. will hold an emergency meeting Sunday to figure out what to do about all this. 

Oh, and before you start totally freaking out, note that experts believe the North Koreans are still years away from creating a missile capable of reaching the U.S.

And now, for your listening pleasure...

 

and

Levi Johnston, Britol Palin's ex-fiancee and father of her baby boy, talked to Tyra about his relationship with Bristol.  He said that the couple practiced safe sex "most of the time" and that their baby Tripp was probably conceived as a result of some sort of "wardrobe malfunction."  He also said that Sarah Palin must have known about their sexual relationship, because "moms pretty are smart," and he and Bristol sometimes shared a bedroom.

Here's a preview:

 


How did Sarah Palin respond to news of Levi's chat with Tyra?  Um, we guess you could say she was slightly pissed.    She released this statement through a family representative:


Bristol did not even know Levi was going on the show. We're disappointed that Levi and his family, in a quest for fame, attention, and fortune, are engaging in flat-out lies, gross exaggeration, and even distortion of their relationship.


Bristol's focus will remain on raising Tripp, completing her education, and advocating abstinence.  It is unfortunate that Levi finds it more appealing to exploit his previous relationship with Bristol than to contribute to the well being of the child.


Bristol realizes now that she made a mistake in her relationship and is the one taking responsibility for their actions.

Levi's comments could be damaging to Sarah Palin, who promotes abstinence only education and is expected to run for office again in the future. If she knew that her own teen daughter was sexually active while insisting that abstinence only education works, well, some voters might feel that she's got some 'splainin' to do.

The show will air on April 6.

A raincoat.  It's a dreary, rainy day today in our nations capital.

We want to just stay in bed all day, sleeping and sipping Starbucks hot cocoa every now and then.  But Starbucks would mean we actually have to get out of bed.  Aargh!  We just can't win.

 

You know this: Once at a cocktail party, it's not who you know but what you know that matters.  Because obviously, who you know only matters before you get in.  And after your third martini, you won't recognize anyone anyway - so why bother with names? 

Your host and fellow guests will be looking for interesting conversation (read scoop).  That's what gets one remembered and atop many an exclusive guest list. So when it comes to news, gossip and stories of fabulosity, you want to be the go-to girl and Polichicks is here to help.  Here's all you need to know to be the most fascinating girl in the room (uh, until you get totally wasted, that is).

Michelle Obama and the Queen are really feeling each other. [The Washington Post]

Despite being the kind of girl who takes calls at 3 am, Hillary Clinton is not a phone sex operator. [AFP]

This guy helps Michelle Obama look supa dupa fly from the neck up. [The Washington Post]

Why Prez Obama is sprouting grays (since we're on the subject of hair and all). [The New York Times]

Hillary Clinton's Ah-ha moment [ABC News]

When America faces bad economic times, Superman and Wonderwoman save the day. [CNN]

Meghan McCain on hot, young and single Congressman Schock's abs. (Holla!) [The Daily Beast]

Halle Berry, she's fine. [Ellen]

 

 

What American music will sound like if Barack Obama "brings us all together."

 


This might make you cry. Click to play.

 


For more information, please go here.

So the ladies on The View were discussing the Michelle Obama baby bump rumors...

Shari: If she were pregnant, I would be excited...

Joy: So would Madonna.  She might want to adopt the baby.

Har.

Said baby bump has been denied by Michelle Obama and attributed (by her) to an extra candy bar here and there.

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