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Thread: Michelle is invited to White House State Luncheon

  1. Default Michelle is invited to White House State Luncheon

    Reference: Michelle is invited to White House State Luncheon with Presidents Hu of China and Bush of the United States

    Decided I better post my thoughts here. I see no honor for Michelle here and would hope she'd decline based on her commitments to the COI tour or some other convenient excuse..

    Both the President of China and the President of the US have dismal human rights records. While being an American I think and hope China's treatment of it's own people is far more outrageous than that of the US government's. I do, however, hold the US to a much higher standard than China since it does much preaching to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, America recently is showing a tendency to be willing to sacrifice the lives and freedoms of thousands of non-Americans to their flights of fanciful geopolitical theories and ideological narrow-mindedness. The American government knows what is best for not only those living in other countries but for "all" Americans based on religious driven narrow ideological interpretations of ancient sacred texts. This ideology is often used to deny people the right to make human choices honored by most civilized nations and exclude people who are different from full participation in society.

    China's leaders operate a brutal, repressive and intolerant regime that has no limits to what it is willing and capable of doing in dealing with dissidents of any kind whether they be religious, philosophical or political. Because it is so secret and unaccountable, all we have are very incomplete lists of people who have vanished and a long list of broken and ignored promises.

    The US government has spent the years since 9/11 trying to keep Americans terrorized of international bogeymen in the hopes they would be willing to trade many traditional freedoms for the false security of a strong police state. Since when has it been an American tradition to "trust" an unchecked national government with absolute power to spy on and detain people without due process?

    Somehow the American government convinced Congress, the Supreme Court and the military that it is a proper exercise of American power to kill thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraquis and sacrifice thousands of American soldiers to protect America from extreme religious militant terrorists originating in Saudi Arabia. The entire war in Iraq was based on the fanciful, arrogant and dangerous belief that the exercise of US military power was the only way to remake the Middle East into a haven of liberty, tolerance and constitutional democratic governements. Instead we've unleashed tens of thousands of religious fanantics who will stop at nothing to turn the Middle East into a region ruled by religious fanatics rather than see it ruled by American military power.

    I see no honor to Michelle breaking bread with these barbarians in Washington.

  2. #2

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    Completely and utterly disagree….. mostly... sort of. Um, maybe half. Glass half full or half empty?

    While I get tired of the U.S being held to an utopia standard where anything less than perfect is deemed an utter failure, I do see your point. The only way I can see how other nations might look at the U.S favorably is if we become lapdogs of the UN and Europe and let them tell us when it's OK to defend our country, how we can do it, and we can sign every sovereignty and economy killing treaty they put in front of us. If we do that, our poll numbers in other countries will go up and we'll be lauded for being such great international citizens.

    That's not to say we shouldn't do our best to create good will towards America in the rest of the world, but, being liked isn't as important as defending our country from terrorists, guarding our sovereignty, or looking out for America first. Some of the current dislike of the US may be warranted by some countries. However, for many, jealousy plays a role. I think our unilateral initial approach to Afghanistan though full within our rights, revealed the sheer gulf in millitary power between the US and Europe. Another factor for the anti-americanism of politicians abroad is an effort to divert public attention from their own problems at home (for example unemployment). There is also a question of diverging interests (for example, if a country has an oil deal in Sudan, then they might oppose declaration of genocide there). Others have a perverse logic that if you can't help everybody, you can't help anybody. For example, our motives can't be noble in Sudan, because we're not doing the same for Congo, Eritrea, etc?

    The US government has spent the years since 9/11 trying to keep Americans terrorized of international bogeymen
    Except 9/11 was 27 years in the making when the U.S. did not react strong enough each time an Islamic fanatic bombed American embassies and a ship (U.S.S. Cole anyone?)

    This made me think of Iran and the long term consequences of not showing your strength. At the time when the Islamic Revolution was simmering beneath the surface in Iran, the US had a weak man in charge; Jimmy Carter was a religious “do-gooder” with no understanding of the world politics. At a time when the U.S should have been tough and should have backed the Shah, they abandoned him. Carter did not think that Shah was worth saving because his human rights records were not outstanding. What Carter could not see, was that the consequence of his inaction would be worse. What he did not know, was that the fanatical Islamists are going to be a thousand times more ruthless than the Shah. Today we have Ahmadinejad going nuke crazy and so provocative that even France threatens Iran with nuclear retaliation

    o kill thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraquis
    I'm assuming you're talking about civilians, not Saddam's henchmen.

    Iraqi civilians killed this year as by Islamic Terrorists: 2,067
    Iraqi civilians killed collaterally by Americans: 23

    Instead we've unleashed tens of thousands of religious fanantics who will stop at nothing to turn the Middle East into a region ruled by religious fanatics rather than see it ruled by American military power.
    Personally I don’t believe Bush and his people actually want to establish democracy in the middle east, but to destabilize the source behind the ‘eurabia’ and maybe save the United States from having to rescue Europe a third time in 100 years. If my guess on Bush is correct, then he is far sighted enough for driving a wedge right into the middle of the Middle East by giving the pragmatists (i.e. moderate Muslims and secularists) the upper hand over the gun-toting fundamentalists. Democratic government does have a cleansing effect, Hamas now is out in the open and has to answer for its policies. Same in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Democracy does not mean that we will have clones of American politics within the "box" of the democratic framework, but it does mean that there is a box and that compromise and accountability will be more common than coercion at gunpoint and unlimited crimes by the gun-toters.

    As for China, my opinion is not well formed as this point. Only that in the last decade China has lifted almost 250 million of its own people out of poverty and on their way to middle class-hood. That is almost the population of the United States. The Communist government in China is being chipped away at, their people are now allowed to travel the world, start businesses and be educated in the West.

  3. #3

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    Every country has its problems. I totally disagree that it is not an honor for Michelle. Sure, there are things that can be said about Hu and Bush and also the current Chinese and US regimes/administrations. But these governments and their leaders are also symbolic of their countries and people. Whether you like it or not, Bush is now the symbol of America. Hu is the symbol of China. Their meeting is not just a meeting on behalf of themselves and their respective administrations. It is also a symbol of a meeting of China and USA, a symbol of the American people and the Chinese people coming together.

    It has never been the case for anyone merely attending a White House event to be seen as a political statement. Michelle's attendance IMO is a symbol of her support of the two countries and their peoples coming together. I am the last person to be a fan of Bush, but still I am proud to see her being seated today next to not so much Bush, but the President of the United States and what that role represents.

    In international affairs a lot of acts and gestures are interpreted symbolically. Michelle certainly could've declined, but it may not be viewed necessarily as a decline on political stand, but a decline of support of building a strong relationship between the two countries.

    Besides, we always complain about celebrities using their fame to spread their messages in politics. We don't like it when actors make political speeches at Oscars and use their fame to advance their personal platforms. So it is inconsistent to the other hand expect them to do exactly what we say we don't like. Michelle is a celebrity skater, not a politician. The day she runs for office, maybe then I will hold her accountable for the things you bring up.

    Besides, Michelle also attended a WH state dinner on Clinton's invitation a few years ago when the then Chinese president visited.
    Alexa

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    I agree more with Alexa than Yenzie but I think Yenzie and i generally are looking at the same facts just interpreting them differently. I think with so much enormous military power at our disposal the American Nation has to be more bound by international law so when it is time to hold others' feet to the fire we have the moral standing to do do. Once the US was the leader of the free world, now it is a pariah of the rule of law in international relations.

    Using foreign locations to treat enemy prisoners in ways it would be illegal in our own country is one of probably many lawless things we are doing, many others not yet disclosed. Unilaterally declaring "enemy combatants" not prisoners of war allows us to ignore the fact that they are human beings however dangerous or threatening their beliefs are. We have decided we can do whatever we want with them. Just trust us to be humane!

    I heard President Bush use the figure of 30,000 civilian casualties as a result of US military actions in Irag since the beginning of the war. I've seen other estimates of nearly 100,000 Iraqui civilians dead as a result of US military activities. 24 is an absurd number. Even present insurgent attacks can indirectly be attributed to the US presence there. Sure Saddam was evil, so is Hu. Saddam was being contained.

    Unlike the religious zealots we are currently facing in Iraq, Saddam had no interest in dying and was contained much more effectively than the Soviet Union was contained with their nuclear arsenal for over 50 years. Saddam was no more or less evil than Stalin and his successors but through strong alliances and effective but limited shows of military power we kept the Soviet threat dangerous but manageable. But it took pragmatic politics, not ideological extremists with secret agendas too outrageous to share with the American public.

    Those old alliances are now in shambles. The same alliances we used to bring down the Serbian dictatorship, without I might add, having American soldiers break into civilian homes and terrorizing whole communities in their search for insurgents.
    Addressing Alexa's comments: I appreciate you sharing your views and vision of these two men. I cannot see them symbolizing their two great peoples.

    I believe Bush with his base of religious extremists and militant ideologues has polarized this country to the point where he no longer is a symbol of the American nation. Increasingly he is identified by his dangerous and deadly incompetence in foreign affairs and politics of fear and intimidation at home.

    In Hu, I see a government exploiting the greed of the West to ignore the evils of his oppressive destruction of every kind of freedom in China except for the freedom to gather whatever material riches by whatever means it takes to get them. I wish someone from the Falun Gong had been invited to the dinner instead of Michelle.

    Michelle's presence was ornamental and her reputation was most assuredly being exploited by her government. She added unwarranted respect and a veneer of class and dignity to the affair. I find that these two men represent some of the most dangerous ideologies in the world as they relate to issues in Iraq, Iran, Taiwan, Tibet, North Korea and even Hong Kong and many many other areas.
    Last edited by shellyfan; April 20th, 2006 at 11:59 PM.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by shellyfan
    . Michelle's presence was ornamental and her reputation was most assuredly being exploited by her government.
    I agree with that statement. And with such a dismal approval rating and many people upset with his hosting the Chinese president, Bush's handlers surely did not accidentally seat him next to perhaps one of--if not the--most popular and well-known Chinese-Americans in any field, not just sports. And look at the thread in MK Fan Chat to see how the strategy paid off in just our little segment of the population.

    I don't blame Michelle. It can be perceived as more political to turn down such an invitation than it is to accept it. And surely her family had reasons to leave China, and surely, she knows what they are.
    "Grace finds beauty in everything"

  6. #6
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    shellyfan, I absolutely agree. She was just a pretty decoration, maybe even a buffer. I think Michelle was correct in accepting the invitation, and correct in doing so with her typical grace and dignity. She's an athlete, not a politician. I think it speaks volumes about her that we'll probably never know whether or not she truly enjoyed sitting next to the president. If it were me, well, I don't hide my feelings well. There'd be a grimace, no matter how hard I tried to hide it. Maybe she likes him. Who knows? It doesn't matter. I love her skating. Her politics are her own business. As far as him, well, to say he's the absolute worst president I ever remember (and I remember Nixon) says it all.

  7. #7

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    I think it's interesting that the Anschutz family's foundation, The Foundation for a Better Life, features the famous shot of the lone man standing in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square as its image of Courage. (Family scion Christian Anschutz is a friend of Michelle's and attended the luncheon with Hu and Bush as well.)

    In Hu, I see a government exploiting the greed of the West to ignore the evils of his oppressive destruction of every kind of freedom in China except for the freedom to gather whatever material riches by whatever means it takes to get them.
    In my opinion, it isn't that simple. Human rights have to begin somewhere, and I believe they must begin with the basics: food, shelter, health. For all of its faults and mistakes - and there are many - China's government is also achieving so much, and on such a massive scale, as to be almost unimaginable.

    China's per capita income remains very low - Third World low. But in the span of one generation, it has lifted 250 million of its people out of abject poverty - starvation level poverty. A nation of 1.3 billion people could very easily be the world's greatest tragedy - a scale that would dwarf even Africa in the amount of human suffering.

    If it is able to continue growing, and lift all its citizens to at least a minimum level of decent living standards, it will be akin to a miracle - something very few countries have achieved, and none as large and geographically unlucky as China.

    It will no doubt come at a high price. But I think it would be unfortunate to see China only in shades of black and white.

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    In response to some of the comments(from mainly the thread in the MK section) of people being bothered by Michelle sitting next to the President, I have to say I think it is a little bit ridiculous. The President is known to be a great guy who is very easy to talk to. I have heard this from people who have met with him. Whats so wrong if Michelle was republican, either moderate or conservative? I'm republican, and would think no less of Michelle if she was a liberal. Michelle could wine and dine with the Clintons and I would love her no less or lose my great respect for her character. I have alot of respect for both republicans and democrats who serve this country. It is not that odd to find people who like the President, even if his proported public approval ratings are low. Remember he had about 4 million more votes than Kerry, generating a higher voting total than in 2000, while at the same time being teared down by the media and the like for 4 years. Sorry, that was a little rant, but I had to say it. This is my first post in the political section, and I hope I'm not disliked because I hold some conservative viewpoints.(I can be libertarian as well) I have a high regard for all of the posters here at MKF. I'm just expressing my opinion like the people who are criticizing( and who are very entitled to do so) the President.

  9. #9

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    Human rights have to begin somewhere, and I believe they must begin with the basics: food, shelter, health. ........ in the span of one generation, [China] has lifted 250 million of its people out of abject poverty - starvation level poverty. A nation of 1.3 billion people could very easily be the world's greatest tragedy - a scale that would dwarf even Africa in the amount of human suffering.
    Which is why I hold back criticism of China for the time being. Majority of people could care less about politics as long as their leader brings in jobs and security.

    MKan107, don't worry about being disliked, plenty of conservatives floating around. The nature of the political board will always bring out the passionate and zeal in those who participate. Should the thread gets very personal and name calling then it is time step away and let the other simmer down. Some people may be bothered by Michelle sitting next to a *gasp* a...a....a...Republicain (!) but the word is "some", most think it is a tremendous honor. Really, there is not a whole lot of difference between a Republician or Democrat when it comes to policy making and behind the scene deal making. Don't get me wrong, liberals have very good ideas, but ideas don't create jobs.

    There is this saying in China: A pretty face don't grow rice.

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    I hope it is allowed to say this as long as I keep it in the Political section. I have to agree with those that believe that it was exploitive to put Michelle next to the president. What bothers me most is --- her relationship with the Anschutz family. I'm not going to go into the life and times of Phil Anschutz - you can read about it yourself on the internet. But for one thing, Phil Anschutz at last report was the 37th wealthiest man in the country. Fact - he is a multi-billionaire big time. I personally find his business practices and politics deplorable - but that's personal and political. But fact, a published fact, Phil Anschutz was one on the largest individual contributors to the Bush campaigns, and to almost every major Republican campaign in the US, as were his many corporate contributions from his many corporations - which raised some legal eyebrows recently. If you have any interest in who this family is, just google it up. There is endless reading. You can find this info yourself on the internet, along with his efforts to acquire control of the majority of media outlets in the country.

    I know that Chris Anschutz is listed as "Michelle's Guest" on the list. My personal opinion is that it was more likely that Michelle was Chris' guest...not that it matters - just much more likely.

    For those who have said, "Chris is not his father" - true. But he works within the "family business" and is certainly the heir apparent...as anyone from Denver who reads the paper will tell you.

    I am personally uncomfortable with Michelle's obviously close relationship with this family and its politics. And that's all I have to say on the matter.
    Last edited by missmarysgarden; April 21st, 2006 at 11:26 AM.

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    I didn't quite know what to say about this yesterday. I was struggling all day with it -- even went to bed a little upset and discouraged. Not necessarily because of Michelle's politics, because as a more liberal person, four of my very closest friends are more conservative -- a person's politics do not necessarily say anything about their humanity.

    I've been more upset that she was there for Hu Jintao -- who was Party Secretary of Tibet from 1988-1992, and oversaw the imposition of martial law there. It is because of this man that several of my friends were imprisoned and endured years of torture. Those that were released early (see: a good 10-16 years after their initial imprisonment...nun Ngawang Sangdrol is one of the most famous) were only released early because of failing health. Ani Sangdrol still has neurological problems because of the years of beatings and other torture she was forced to endure.

    However, after reading this:
    I think it's interesting that the Anschutz family's foundation, The Foundation for a Better Life, features the famous shot of the lone man standing in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square as its image of Courage. (Family scion Christian Anschutz is a friend of Michelle's and attended the luncheon with Hu and Bush as well.)
    It's gotten me thinking. As a Tibet supporter, I've seen how more conservative members of our government have definitely been more supportive of Tibetans, Taiwanese, and Chinese dissidents. In fact, Bush was the first president to meet with H.H. the Dalai Lama in a more formal setting. I remember talking with some of my Tibetan colleagues around the time of the 2004 election -- they believed Bush was better for Tibet than Kerry. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. I do know, that as much as I despise him, more political prisoners have been released prior to visits to China by members of his administration than under Clinton. Clinton pushed for more trade, and refused to link it with human rights. I don't really ever remember him doing much for Tibet, to be honest -- although I only joined the movement in 1998. Whether it's the right thing or the wrong thing in the long term, and whether they're doing it for the right reasons or the wrong ones, many conservatives have been friends to those who oppose the Chinese regime. And as much as I am opposed to conservative domestic politics, on behalf of those in Tibet without a voice I have to thank them for their support.

    And we know that H.H. the Dalai Lama is Michelle's hero. I know she feels strongly about issues in China -- I don't know in which direction, but with H.H. as her hero and her incredibly compassionate nature, I can only imagine that she is on the side of human rights. So perhaps she was there as a buffer. Perhaps she was there to lend additional support to the voiceless inside China and Tibet. We'll never know. But this is the scenario that I can only hope is true...
    Last edited by scheherazade; April 21st, 2006 at 11:52 AM.
    "I'm a bit of the past, a bit of the present and, hopefully, some of the future."
    --Michelle Kwan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yenezie
    . . .Really, there is not a whole lot of difference between a Republician or Democrat when it comes to policy making and behind the scene deal making. . .
    I agree. This is not so much a partisan deal with me. I blame the Dems perhaps more than the Republicans for Bush's catastrophic foreign policy decisions that is wasting so much of the human and financial treasure in the US and alienating the rest of the world. The Dems should have known better and yet let him run this country as if he had a mandate when if fact he brought us to war as a minority President (Gore did in fact win the popular vote).

    Posters in the MK Chat thread were told to avoid politics. I see that entire thread gushing over the honor bestowed on Michelle by Bush as a political thread. Granted that is a very lonely position today.

    Suffice it to say seeing pictures of Michelle and Bush laughing and carrying on have to rank up there as one my own personal worst nightmares. While that angers some, I hope some realize it is a genuinely painful moment for me.
    *******
    China is a great nation and a great super power. It survived Mao and the Cultural Revolution to create a strong capitalistic economy. It is Communist today in name only. Measured in material wealth it, it has shown almost miraculous progress.

    India has shown you don't need an authoritarian dictatorship for economic progress in a poor and over-populated country. It is just not quite so orderly and regulated.

    I have no right to tell the Chinese government how to treat its own people. But I can make value judments on the human costs it inflicts on religious and ethnic minorities, neighbors like Tibet, political dissidents in Hong Kong and the future oppression and threatened destruction of Taiwan. Many in the US would gladly deny minorities the rights to their language, culture and religious practices in return for economic progress and political stability. To me, that price is too high and a false choice. In the long run, diversity makes for greater prosperity, happiness and enriching life experiences.
    Last edited by shellyfan; April 21st, 2006 at 01:35 PM.

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    For every one success story like India, there are literally dozens more poor, overpopulated nations with democratic systems that are failing miserably at giving their people a decent standard and quality of life.

    I think there is no one formula to national development - if history teaches us anything, it's that no one set prescription will work. And that the road of democracy and human rights promotion is paved with good intentions ... but with many unintended, often disastrous, consequences.

    I agree that in the long run, democracy and diversity are the best answers. But the road to the long run is a difficult and trecherous one, and many, many other things have to be in place for democracy to work as it is meant to work.

    I know that Chris Anschutz is listed as "Michelle's Guest" on the list. My personal opinion is that it was more likely that Michelle was Chris' guest...not that it matters - just much more likely.
    I actually think Michelle was invited because she is Michelle Kwan. Just as Yao Ming and Zhang Ziyi were invited because of who they are. She was seated at the presidential table because she is probably the most recognizable Chinese-American in the world right now.

    Did Bush benefit from her being there? Of course he did. Just as he benefited from having Tom Brady sitting next to Laura during his State of the Union a few years ago. This is what politicians do.

    I personally don't agree with Bush on a lot of things: social issues/"moral values," international relations, runaway deficit spending with simultaneous tax cuts, you name it. But I don't think his choice to invite Michelle and seat her with him is that bad. Any other president, including a Democrat, would have done the same thing.

    The fact that she brought Chris Anschutz as her date speaks more about her personal relationship with him, I think, than it does about the Anschutz-Bush family connection. I'm sure Chris and his family have been to the Bush White House a number of times, and on those other occasions, perhaps he brought Michelle as his guest. I think this particular time, it really was the other way around: Michelle was the invitee, and Chris was her guest.

    Don't get me wrong, liberals have very good ideas, but ideas don't create jobs.
    Liberals have good ideas that create jobs too.
    Last edited by chilli; April 21st, 2006 at 12:38 PM.

  14. #14
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    Hmmm .... I thought I had a pic of Michelle when she went to a State Dinner at the White house. But I can't seem to find it. So ... here's one at the White House anyway, with the President.

    Click to see MK with the President
    I pledge allegiance to Liberty and Justice for all.
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    I know that Chris Anschutz is listed as "Michelle's Guest" on the list. My personal opinion is that it was more likely that Michelle was Chris' guest...not that it matters - just much more likely.
    They have been seen out together several times. No doubt Michelle was invited because of Hu and she chose Chris Anschutz as her escort. I know tnothing about the son and wont discredit him for being the son of an rich oil tycoon. I'm sure Bush has saved the family billions in taxes over the years.
    Regarding conservative vs liberal -- American conservatives have roots in strong anti-communist feelings and have often equated socialists with communists. (My personal objection to communism was not that it violated the divinely inspired free enterprise system but that it was governmentally authoritarian and indistinguisable in its evil effects from fascism. I find the present regime in China to embody all the evils of fascism with the fascist benefit of keeping the trains running on time.)
    Democrats were blamed for "losing" China in the late fourties (like it was ours to lose!) and often accused of being soft on communism. This "soft of communism" label made it tough for LBJ to avoid dragging the nation into the war in Vietnam.
    So for the conservatives to be against Chinese aggression in Tibet makes perfect sense. They are not always wrong. Although China is functionally capitalistic, it no longer fits easily into an anti-communist ideology, it continues to be a nation willing to destroy any groups or any ideas it sees as a threat to the authority of the ruling party.
    I have always felt like a conservative when it comes to individual human rights and the dangers of unchecked governmental powers. I can't understand present day conservatives being so willing to allow the government to take away personal choices and human freedoms based on religious ideology. The willingness to trade freedom from government spying and and due process protections for all for the lie of safety from terrorism also escapes my understanding and makes cowards of us all.
    I refuse to believe China has to deny fundamental human freedoms in order to move toward a more prosperous life for its people. I refuse to believe it is necssary to supress or control religious or quasi-religious groups and organizations like Buddhaists, Christians, Falun Gong and others in order to become a better nation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryStopher
    Hmmm .... I thought I had a pic of Michelle when she went to a State Dinner at the White house. But I can't seem to find it. So ... here's one at the White House anyway, with the President.

    Click to see MK with the President
    Inappropriate remarks deleted. The old "look before you leap caveat!" . . . .
    Last edited by shellyfan; April 21st, 2006 at 08:21 PM.

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    Ok I find this debate of whether Michelle should or should not have attended this luncheon totally ridiculous considering that the following people also attended:

    Daniel Inouye, Dem Senator of Hawaii
    Rick Larson, Dem Congressman of WA and his wife, also Dem.

    I'm FROM Washington and belive you me, Rick Larson is a bleeding heart liberal.

    If Democratic politicians were there, why are we debating the attendance of a figure skater???!!!

    Also in attendance were non-political people whose position are much more symbolic of something. The President of Yale University and his wife were there. So does the fact that the nations' top university's figure head is symbolically supporting all the atrocities you all are bringing up mean that the highest learning institution of the country is now supporting all that?

    I really think that while we all can disagree on politics and all, in the end, we cannot divide ourselves into liberals and conservatives, or define ourselves only by our politics and conduct our lives that way. I used to be a Democrat 10 years ago and I accepted a staunch conservative friend's invitation as his guest to a dinner for some Republican/conservative organization or another (I'm talking hard core Souther Mississippi conservative!). Gordon Liddy was there and for fun I asked him to take some photos with me. My attending the dinner did not mean anything regarding my views or opinions. It was a dinner and that was it. Plus it was very interesting to see what goes on on the other side. (BTW, Gordon Liddy was very gracious and polite when I asked him to take some pictures with me. People are people. We're all more than just our politics.)

    US and China are the world's two superpowers right now. These two countries have to make efforts to reach out to each other, work with each other, and come together somehow. There needs to be a bridge between these two countries for the stability of the world. I think that the symbol of everything that Michelle represents--grace, beauty, strength and perseverance--is a beautiful symbol of that bridge. Besides, maybe the bonehead in the White House and Hu can learn something from Michelle now that they've had a chance to be in her presence. Both of them can really use a touch of grace and humanity. Sometimes the best way to make things better is not to protest and protest and shout, but to extend an offer of grace to show that there's another way. (That is also why I oppose a death sentence for Moussoui (sp?) but that's a whole different matter.)

    And Michelle's personal relationship with Christian whose name I cannot pronouce or spell is her own business. If Mary Matalin and Jim Carville can get along despite their differences, I don't see why two non-political civillians can't.


    Actually, the guest who really puzzled me is the Chairman of Amway. Amway? WTF????!!!
    Alexa

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    MK still has relatives in Hong Kong. If she rejected the invitation, it might be interpreted as a slight on President Hu -- and that might have repercussions for her family. It is one thing for the protesters to take their own risks; it is something different (IMO) for Michelle to make the gesture in the US (where she can do so safely) and leave her relatives to take any flack.

  19. #19

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    I just want to restate the main point of my position:

    It is usually perceived as more political to turn down a WH invitation of this nature than it is to accept it. So she was not wrong to accept it.

    And, it's not like she attended a party fundraiser. If she did that, I would consider questioning her judgement regardless of which party it was.
    "Grace finds beauty in everything"

  20. #20
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    It was a meeting of two leaders in history. Who wouldn't want to be there? If nothing more than to be a fly on the wall and hear what is said? Michelle understands Chinese, so I'm sure she'd know what was being said.
    Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what's right. ~Isaac Asimov

  21. #21

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    I do wish that Michelle didn't go and respectfully declined the invitation, because of the terrible human rights record of the Chinese government.

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    I want to clarify my position - I did not and am not saying that it was wrong for Michelle to attend this function, with or without Chris Anschutz. I was talking about my growing concern, personal concern, about Michelle's relationship with the Anschutz family. I have been concerned about Anschutz, and his undertakings, for several years, long before the post-Olympic announcement that she was in Denver for Chris Anschutz birthday party, and that she was seen "around Denver" dining out with him, and suggestions that they were an "item."

    It is a personal thing, because Michelle represents something singularly beautiful to me, in a world that seems to get more seamy and sinister every day. This announcement came on the same day that I heard that Anschutz group is buying our local St. Paul Pioneer Press - which is a big story here, and a very negative one - part of his efforts of the last five years to buy up newspapers, radio and television stations, theaters, and develop a vast conglommerate with a stated intent of controlling content according to his political and religious ideology...which is ultra conservative. If you are not alarmed at an individual using his money to get control of the media, then you don't understand anything about democracy, and why anti-trust laws were put in place.

    I just don't even feel like talking about this. And no matter how you want to spin it, Anschutz et al. is a powerful machine of restrictive conservative politics. Seeing Michelle sitting between Bush and Chris Anschutz just makes me feel numb. I choose for now to hold to my opinion that Michelle has been extremely insulated in the world of FS, that she is not a political person, and that none of this says anything about Michelle - my personal hope is that she isn't being "swept away" by all this excitement. Everything I have believed about Michelle is incompatible with everything I know about the Anschutz agenda - which is a lot.

  23. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by missmarysgarden
    I want to clarify my position - I did not and am not saying that it was wrong for Michelle to attend this function, with or without Chris Anschutz. . . .
    I agree. She is not doing anything wrong, per se. But I see her being somewhere there at the luncheon is far different than sitting next to Bush at the head of the table. Unfortunately these pictures of her with Bush and big oil money are significant clues where her political and philosophical heart is. That is unnerving and very jarring. That, to me, is a political statement which she is certainly entitled to make in a free country. I don't like it but if that's where she is, then its the right thing to do.
    To me, this is far more painful than seeing her withdraw from the Olympics.
    I have to remind myself she is still young and rather naive when it comes to glamorous, rich and powerful people. They will use her. That is one way they get to be rich and powerful. Perhaps someone will remind her there is another large world of outcasts, innocents, poor, weak, sick, dying and sufferring people being trampled upon by these two "great" leaders.

  24. #24

    Default

    Having spent more time than I like to think about around extreme religious right-wingers...I have to say that I wonder how much of his father's views the son shares. The right-wingers with religious extremes that I know would do all they could to stay away from someone who has a Buddha in her house.
    "Grace finds beauty in everything"

  25. #25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shellyfan
    I agree. She is not doing anything wrong, per se. But I see her being somewhere there at the luncheon is far different than sitting next to Bush at the head of the table. Unfortunately these pictures of her with Bush and big oil money are significant clues where her political and philosophical heart is. That is unnerving and very jarring. ... They will use her ...
    Given that she attended a state dinner at the Clinton White House for the Chinese premier, why do you think that these pictures are significant clues to her political or philosophical heart? IMO, there would be a clue to her heart if she attended one, but not the other, but the fact that she attended both indicates to me that her political or philosophical heart is yet unrevealed.
    Furthermore, I don't think she had a choice where she would sit, so I don't think it reveals anything about her, either.

    The seat at the head table may well be an attempt to use her. It would be tempting for Bush to be associated in the public mind with someone of her demonstrated integrity, but if so, I would expect those pictures to get much more prominence in the mainstream media. Maybe, the reason why they aren't on the front pages of the newspapers is that Michelle told them that, if they did try to exploit them too much, she would say what she really thinks.

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