First Lady Michelle Obama is thankful for her life. At the More magazine Impact Awards at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., the first lady credits her good life--and independence--to education.
"Growing up -- and I remind these girls all the time -- I wasn’t any smarter, I wasn’t more talented than they are. But instead of having to work to support my family, or being married off to a grown man and forced to bear children before I was ready, I got to go to school so I could support myself, so I could make my own choices about my body and my life," the president's wife told the crowd at the award ceremony.
"And none of us would ever accept anything less for our own daughters and granddaughters. We wouldn’t tolerate it. We would never accept a life of dependence and abuse for our girls. We would never allow their bodies to be violated or their potential to be squandered. So we have to ask ourselves, why would we accept this fate for any girl on this planet?
"And ultimately, that is why we started Let Girls Learn. As you’ve heard, it’s a government initiative, a brand new initiative to help adolescent girls worldwide go to school, and, more importantly, stay in school. And our focus on adolescent girls is deliberate, because we know that that critical moment when a girl is becoming a woman, so often, that’s when we lose her. That’s when they first confront the cultural barriers that take them away from school -- things like early and forced marriage, genital mutilation and cutting, and the belief in so many communities that girls simply are just less worthy of an education than boys."
Obama has an undergraduate degree from Princeton and a law degree from Harvard.
Democratic Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez of Illinois has introduced a law to put a woman on the $20 bill. The law is being called, "Put a Woman on the Twenty Act."
"As women fill more and more positions of leadership in United States and in U.S. economy, there remains one place they are not represented: on United States currency. This legislation will change that," says the congressman's office in a press release.
In recognition of Equal Pay Day Tuesday, Betsey Stevenson, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, wrote an entry on the White House blog entitled Five Facts About the Gender Pay Gap.
Last week, THE WEEKLY STANDARD reported that, based on 2013 tax filings, men made up the top eight most highly compensated employees at the Clinton Foundation, and that key women earned 63 cents for every dollar key men made.
Joe Biden got a little too close for comfort with another woman who doesn't know him today. At the swearing-in ceremony of defense secretary Ash Carter, Biden put his hands on the shoulders of Carter's wife and apparently leaned in to whisper something in her ear:
In spite of his own mostly impressive educational pedigree, President Obama has always harbored an anti-intellectual (or, to be generous, anti-academic) streak. Whether insulting art history in a failed appeal to "Real 'Muricans," or developing a philistine "College Scorecard," which reduces the entire value of education to future earnings, it's become apparent that in the president's estimation, American higher education should basically be a network of pretty good trade schools. You know, the kind of place where the “folks” drop their G’s when engaging in conversation.
Given that nine in ten African-American women voted for Democrats in 2014, it may be no surprise that a focus group of urban, female, African-Americans had mostly contempt for all things “Republican” or “conservative.” But what was shocking is that this group also, unprompted, uniformly opposed both extended unemployment benefits and a minimum wage increase, and volunteered conservative economic and moral arguments about their potentially destructive impact on job creation, costs, and conduct.