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First Lady Visits Department of Education


First lady Michelle Obama speaks to staff during her visit to the Department of Education. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

By Maria Glod
In the first stop of a planned series of visits to federal agencies, first lady Michelle Obama went to the Department of Education today to energize workers by announcing: "I am a product of your work."

During a 10 minute speech with a pep rally atmosphere, Obama plugged the president's stimulus plan, which would pay to renovate thousands of schools, add funding for preschool for disadvantaged children and increase federal dollars for Pell Grants for college students. She said the infusion of cash would prevent teacher layoffs and help children in poverty and those with disabilities.

"This is a good thing to see -- this department fired up and ready to go," Obama said as the crowd of about 350, the maximum allowed under fire code violations, cheered and used their cell phones to snap photos.

"The Department of Education is going to be at the forefront of many of the things that we have to do in this administration and we're going to need that energy in these times of economic challenge," she said.

Michelle Obama also noted the administration's support of innovate approaches such as charter schools and turnaround programs intended to make sweeping changes in long-struggling schools. "There's a lot of work to do, and we're going to need you," she said.

Career staff at the department said it was the first time, as far as they were aware, that a first lady had addressed employees there. Obama appeared on stage with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, her longtime friend and former Chicago schools chief executive. The two were joined by 17 long-time career workers who, together, had logged about 600 years total.

"It's like a rock concert, and I had a front row seat," said Juliette Rizzo, director of exhibits, event planning and agency-wide outreach. "I loved what she said about being a product of our work."

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 2, 2009; 4:55 PM ET
Categories:  The First Lady  
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Comments

"Better to fight them over there, than over here or to pur it down a rat hole on 'social programs' that have no added-value, mah friend."


ZZZZZZZZZ... oh, puh-leeze, poster (with the pretentious. overly long name): Do you really think your cliched talking points from Sean Hannity's show impresses anyone?
Back to the drawing board for you, sir.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | February 3, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

>>>Zodwa sez- How much was spent in Iraq? I would rather have trillions be spent on what I see on American soil? Money was wasted in Iraq. Our tax payer money.

What, more money for welfare??? More money for reconstruction efforts from a terrorist attack?

Better to fight them over there, than over here or to pur it down a rat hole on "social programs" that have no added-value, mah friend.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | February 2, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

"DIANNE721" A SYMPTOM OF A MUCH GREATER EVIL

Evidence points to the likelihood that "Diannne721" is the product of a paid disinformation troll.

ALL of us may even be paying "her."

Which would be illegal.

That doesn't appear to phase these types.

Yet.

Mr. Holder, Mr. Panetta, Mr. Blair, and yes -- you, too, Mssrs. Gates and Mueller: You must do your duty.

First, ban radiation weapons that are being deployed to police nationwide, and which (strong evidence indicates) already are being used to wage a "multi-agency action" -- a stealth war on innocents who have been deemed political and social "enemies."

Then take care of the legions of "Diannne721's" who spend the better part of their day polluting political blogs.

Do their fellow dark siders also harvest IP addresses of those "enemies"?

Who wants to bet?

And if they do -- then what? (see "radiation weaponry", supra?)

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 2, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I agree that you really should address her only as the First Lady or Mrs. Obama. Laura Bush was never simply referred to as "Bush," and reading this article I got momentarily confused, thinking that maybe the President attended too.

Please!

Posted by: nina4 | February 2, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I am very offended that your writers think it is ok to refer to the First Lady Michelle Obama as "Obama." When referring to the First Lady, you should address her as the First Lady or Mrs. Obama. Please be respectful, she has earned it...

Posted by: anonymous110 | February 2, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Obama came from my community. I feel very proud now to live on the southside of Chicago.

Dianne271 - Maybe you need some of that affirmative action cause you sure as heck can't spell.

Posted by: danson1 | February 2, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Obama came from my community. I feel very proud now to live on the southside of Chicago.

Dianne271 - Maybe you need some of that affirmative action cause you sure as heck can't spell.

Posted by: danson1 | February 2, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

MRS. OBAMA/STAFF: RADIATION WEAPONRY IS SILENTLY DESTROYING LIVES, INDUCING ILLNESS, AND MAKING POSSIBLE "STEALTH WAR" ON UNKNOWING INNOCENTS.

RADIATION WEAPONRY (aka "Directed Energy Weapons") ARE WMD AND MUST BE BANNED WORLDWIDE.

THIS WEAPONRY SHOULD BE NOWHERE NEAR THE PRESIDENT OR HIS FAMILY. EVER. NOT EVEN FOR "DEFENSIVE" PURPOSES.

Team Obama must immediately work with GOP defenders of the Constitution to dismantle the nationwide extrajudicial punishment network...

...authoritarian bureaucrats and security/intel officers and their nationwide network of citizen vigilantes fronted by federally-funded volunteer programs.

This nationwide, Gestapo-like "multi-agency action" operation has made a mockery of the judicial system for the past eight years and has claimed many victims from all strata of society.

Crimes against humanity are being committed across the nation via the use of so-called "directed energy (radiation) weapons" which the Bush D.O.J. recently confirmed are being widely deployed to police forces nationwide.

These RADIATION weapons emit silent, pulsed bursts of various forms of radiation -- and are degrading and damaging the health of those on the receiving end as well as their operators.

This weaponry has NO PLACE in civilized society -- much less in the hands of security personnel who interact with the public. It should be BANNED -- and NOT deployed to local law enforcement with the aid, approval and funding of D.O.J.

The widespread deployment of this weaponry virtually assures its misuse. Imagine if rogue actors tried to use its silent, deadly force to induce illness or to disable our political leaders.

Perhaps they already have.

Victims of this extrajudicial punishment network also see their finances and livelihoods expropriated and destroyed by coordinated "multi-agency action" "programs of personal destruction" that deny them due process of law while degrading their lives and destroying their families.

Obama administration officials must address these abuses IMMEDIATELY, before these affronts to the Constitution destroy more American families -- and subvert the Obama presidency.

The bureaucrats and officers behind these "programs of personal destruction" remain entrenched. They cannot be co-opted or rehabilitated. They have threatened and harassed those who demand that they take down their unconstitutional programs.

These programs surely have contributed the nation's economy crisis -- and by extension, the world's.

These betrayers of the Constitution be removed from power and brought to justice.

http://my.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-targets-terrorizes-u-s-citizens

http://my.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted):

http://My.NowPUblic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 2, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Team,

Please refer to our first lady by her correct name. Her middle name is LaVaughn. Why would the Post allow obvious attempts a slurring her to make the light of day, I’m not sure.

Posted by: micreaux | February 2, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

"How appropriate for Michelle Shaniqua Obama. She can extol the virtues of her affirmative action education whilst trying to sound intelligent and articulate."
Posted by: Diannne721


She has more intelligence in her pinkie that YOU will ever have in your whole, bitter, jealous and angry body, poster. There's a middle name for you, too, Dianne: LOSER.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | February 2, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

RE: "How appropriate for Michelle Shaniqua Obama. She can extol the virtues of her affirmative action education whilst trying to sound intelligent and articulate"

Such ignorance is astounding.

Posted by: Gmull | February 2, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Why do you refer to her as "Obama" and not "Mrs Obama"? She's the First Lady!!

Posted by: mikecapitolhill | February 2, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

"I am a product of your work, but don't think for a minute that I am going to send my kids to a public school - not on your life!"

Posted by: hongkongkid | February 2, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

How much was spent in Iraq? I would rather have trillions be spent on what I see on American soil? Money was wasted in Iraq. Our tax payer money. President Obama has not discussed how he will make people accountable for trillions spent in Iraq? Anyway, if my money is going to education and not dinner at the Whitehouse, I am for it.

Education is a tool to fight terrorism. If we are to protect our inventions then let's put American education first. Let American children be at the forefront in Sciences. Let them invent something like their fore fathers who invented the car, the plane, etc. For this to happen education has to be juiced up. Look at India! China! These guys are serious in Maths and Science and most start ups in the Bay Area area are by Indians, while a bunch of American kids are working at Wal Mart. Wake up America! If this cannot be done under the Obama administration, America will be way behind.

Refer to trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) for the U.S. Department of Education http://nces.ed.gov/timss/ to see how US is trailing.

Posted by: zodwa | February 2, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

what a fantastic first lady michelle obama is going to be -- smart, engaged, and ready to lead.

and it's especially awesome that it's gonna drive that 28% (i.e., diannne721) absolutely bonkers in the years ahead.

bwahahahahahahahahahaha......

Posted by: mycomment | February 2, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

She is delightful. I wonder though if the media will be even-handed and count her "uhs" and "uhms" as it counted Ms. Kennedy's "you knows."

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | February 2, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Great! Education is a key to the future. Teachers and administrators need all the backup they can get.

Posted by: asoders22 | February 2, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

How appropriate for Michelle Shaniqua Obama. She can extol the virtues of her affirmative action education whilst trying to sound intelligent and articulate.

Posted by: Diannne721 | February 2, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Good for Michelle Obama. Whatever one thinks of her husband, I think she will make a fine First Lady.
(And for the record, I liked Laura Bush, too.)

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | February 2, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

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