“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, August 06, 2010

Unemployment Holds, Michelle Obama Holds Court at Villa Padierna Hotel, Spain

Queen Michelle's Spanish Retreat

The Queen and Her Court


"In my own life, in my own small way, I have tried to give back to this country that has given me so much," she said. "See, that's why I left a job at a big law firm for a career in public service, " Michelle Obama

First Lady requires more than 20 attendants

No, Michele Obama does not get paid to serve as the First Lady and she doesn't perform any official duties. But this hasn't deterred her from hiring an unprecedented number of staffers to cater to her every whim and to satisfy her every request in the midst of the Great Recession. Just think Mary Lincoln was taken to task for purchasing china for the White House during the Civil War. And Mamie Eisenhower had to shell out the salary for her personal secretary. How things have changed! If you're one of the tens of millions of Americans facing certain destitution, earning less than subsistence wages stocking the shelves at Wal-Mart or serving up McDonald cheeseburgers, prepare to scream and then come to realize that the benefit package for these servants of Miz Michelle are the same as members of the national security and defense departments and the bill for these assorted lackeys is paid by John Q. Public:

1. $172,2000 - Sher, Susan (Chief Of Staff)

2. $140,000 - Frye, Jocelyn C. (Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Policy And Projects For The First Lady)

3. $113,000 - Rogers, Desiree G. (Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary)

4. $102,000 - Johnston, Camille Y. (Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the First Lady)

5. Winter, Melissa E. (Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)

6. $90,000 - Medina , David S. (Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)

7. $84,000 - Lelyveld, Catherine M. (Director and Press Secretary to the First Lady)

8. $75,000 - Starkey, Frances M. (Director of Scheduling and Advance for the First Lady)

9. $70,000 - Sanders, Trooper (Deputy Director of Policy and Projects for the First Lady)

10. $65,000 - Burnough, Erinn J. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)

11. Reinstein, Joseph B. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)

12. $62,000 - Goodman, Jennifer R. (Deputy Director of Scheduling and Events Coordinator For The First Lady)

13. $60,000 - Fitts, Alan O. (Deputy Director of Advance and Trip Director for the First Lady)

14. Lewis, Dana M. (Special Assistant and Personal Aide to the First Lady)

15. $52,500 - Mustaphi, Semonti M. (Associate Director and Deputy Press Secretary To The First Lady)

16. $50,000 - Jarvis, Kristen E. (Special Assistant for Scheduling and Traveling Aide To The First Lady)

17. $45,000 - Lechtenberg, Tyler A. (Associate Director of Correspondence For The First Lady)

18. Tubman, Samantha (Deputy Associate Director, Social Office)

19. $40,000 - Boswell, Joseph J. (Executive Assistant to the Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)

20. $36,000 - Armbruster, Sally M. (Staff Assistant to the Social Secretary)

21. Bookey, Natalie (Staff Assistant)

22. Jackson, Deilia A. (Deputy Associate Director of Correspondence for the First Lady)

There has never been anyone in the White House at any time that has created such an army of staffers whose sole duties are the facilitation of the First Lady's social life. One wonders why she needs so much help, at taxpayer expense, when even Hillary, only had three; Jackie Kennedy one; Laura Bush one; and prior to Mamie Eisenhower social help came from the President's own pocket.

Note: This does not include makeup artist Ingrid Grimes-Miles, 49, and "First Hairstylist" Johnny Wright, 31, both of whom traveled aboard Air Force One to Europe .


  1. Can any honest Democrat tell me they would not be apoplectic, if A Republican President's wife carried on like the lovely Michelle?

    This from a 1988 Time magazine article:

    "She set her own little rule, and she broke her own little rule." With that quip, Nancy Reagan's press secretary Elaine Crispen tried to defuse the controversy that erupted last week after TIME reported that the First Lady had failed to disclose the borrowing of lavish designer outfits, a practice she had promised to stop six years ago. By week's end the question of whether borrowed outfits were hanging in the First Lady's closet had been eclipsed by the White House's gyrating attempts to explain away the affair.

    Read more

  2. Maybe for the second time in her life, the simean first lady is proud of her country.

  3. I was going to put this on the post but thought better of it lest it be misconstrued.

  4. Employers in the US shed twice as many jobs as expected in July, adding to fears that the recovery in the world's largest economy will not see a revival in employment.

    The dismal US job figures came as the National Institute of Economic and Social Research predicted a protracted depression for the UK economy.

    Across the Atlantic talk of a double-dip recession was revived when the government revealed 131,000 jobs were lost last month. That dwarfed forecasts for a fall of 65,000. June's drop was also revised to a far steeper 221,000 from 125,000.

  5. Qu'ils mangent de la brioche

  6. "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche"

    What they eat of the bun?

    Is this a comment about her broad beam?


  7. very funny Q. Never take the literal translation of anything French, mainly because, well, their French. nuff said?

    Let them eat cake, my friend, let them eat cake.

  8. Talking of employment and referring back to ponderables and inponderables, answer me this: The top three recording artists of all time have each sold more than 115 million copies. Two of these artists are Jewish. These two Jews went to the same NYC (Hymietown) high school. They were contemporaries in high school. Who are they?

  9. The Beatles? Garth Brooks? Elvis? None are from NYC

  10. allen said...
    Talking of employment and referring back to ponderables and inponderables, answer me this: The top three recording artists of all time have each sold more than 115 million copies. Two of these artists are Jewish. These two Jews went to the same NYC (Hymietown) high school. They were contemporaries in high school. Who are they?

    Bob Dylan and Barbra Streisand?

    Or maybe Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr, Gene Simmons? Or maybe Paula Abdul, Pink or Lou Reed? Or maybe Arlo Guthrie, Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys? Or maybe Simon and/or Garfunkel?

    Who knows...

  11. Without looking I'm gonna have to say....Madonna.

    That would be, Madonna, Al for a 115 million...

  12. That would be, Madonna, Al for a 115 million...


    She's a not a Jew...

    Nor does she "practice" it...

    Nor is she any example of anything to be proud of...

    Catholics can claim her...

    We dont

  13. Bruce Springsteen, and Barbra Streisand

  14. Bzzzzt. Wrong!

    Neil Diamond, and Barbra Streisand

    Erasmus High School, Brooklyn, NY

  15. I a godddamned commie.

    Who likes to fly fish in his off time.

  16. She's a not a Jew...

    Nor does she "practice" it...

    Nor is she any example of anything to be proud of...

    Catholics can claim her...

    We dont

    Maybe that's why she one of the top best selling female artist of all time.

  17. rufus,

    The booze is on me. Well done!

    Shabbat Shalom

  18. What really pissed me off, going to this Shakespeare play in Boise, and paying $62.50 for each of six seats, which made it about four hundred bucks for the Midsummer's Nights Dream, wasn't the fact that little Niece Emily didn't show up, or that my daughter crashed in the motel room, or that my son got bored and walked out halfway through, but that it was a union shop play, they were good actors, but they said no pics, so when Helena was on all fours, baying to the moon, and swaying her butt to Demetrius, so empassioned, I couldn't get a damn picture or it

  19. I'm a guy that really doesn't give a good damn about Madonna. I think, I like my wife better.

  20. M:
    Maybe that's why she one of the top best selling female artist of all time.

    Popularity is rarely an indicator of talent...

    after all , Obama was very population

  21. It has nothing to do with popularity. Although, she isn't one of my favorite artists, she is amazing.

  22. She's the world's top selling female artist in the world and second to Barbara Streisand in the United States. If she is not an example of anything to be proud of what does that say about Barbara Streisand?

  23. So I'm working out at the gym trying to relax and work out the stress that built up in talking to Rufus earlier.

    Unfortunately, they had Fox News on and I'm watching when Janet Napolitano comes on again and repeats her BS about not knowing why it took so long to deport that illegal alien who got drunk and killed the Nun with his car.

    Bad enough but then this story comes on about the ICE agents union holding a straw vote which resulted in a verdict of no confidence in their leaders in D.C.

    ICE Union No Confidence Vote

    Then to top it all off they have a story about a judge in NJ who refused to grant a muslim woman a restraining order against her muslim husband who had raped and abused her. His rationale for refusing the order was that the husband was merely acting in accordance with the tenets of his religion.

    Judge Refuses To Grant Re-straining Order in Sex-abuse Case

    In the future, I may restrict my television viewiing to the Cartoon Channel.


  24. MeLoDy said...
    She's the world's top selling female artist in the world and second to Barbara Streisand in the United States. If she is not an example of anything to be proud of what does that say about Barbara Streisand?

    absolutely nothing...

    Madonna= the McDonalds of music

    Streisand? A James Beard Rated, Michelin 5 Star Restaurant

    Madonna? A VW... world's vest selling car..
    Streisand? a Mercedes Benz

    Madonna? A harmonica
    Streisand? A Stradivarius

  25. Michelle, the white hating bitch, is doing just exactly would she should be doing, cause hubby isn't going to be reelected. Look at the economy. We're looking at either Hillary or Sarah, cause Hillary is going to bail after November.

    Michelle is actually less qualified than my daughter, who doesn't even have a law degree.

    Might as well spend it now cause it's back to Chicago in two years.

    blogged by....

    The Communist

  26. That's just your opinion.

    I'm not putting down Streisand, she's just as stellar as Madonna if not more, in a different way of course.

  27. What we dislike about Madonna is her tits. You know, all the spangles and stuff.

    What we like is a good American woman, well breasted, but not overly so, and with a hell of a good sense of humor..

    That's important

    Nice breasts, something you can get you mind and heart into. A nice hairdo helps as well.

    Svetlana and me agree on this subject.

  28. The gym you go to televises the news? That's like putting the radio on while you meditate.

  29. Streisand actually isn't much.

    We got better singers out here in Idaho, right here in the Lutheran Church.

    I'm not kidding, we have a world class singer, who sang at my aunt's funeral, world class, she has sung in Europe too, but I can't remember her name.

    Christ, what a voice!!

    She would put Streisand down, easy.

  30. Babble: Idle talk; senseless prattle; gabble; twaddle; Inarticulate speech, such as was used at the building the tower of Babel; constant or confused murmur...

    No more Bob, Bobbo, Boobie, Bobal, alBob...

    Babble it is. So fitting.

    Henceforth ye shall be knowed by me as Babble.

  31. What in the hell does that mean Linear?

    You've never said an intelligent thing yet.

    I'm waiting.

    Good night

  32. Moody's and Brookfield (Wisc.)-based financial services industry information firm Fiserv (FISV) estimate that by 2014, U.S. home prices will be 7.2 percent above 2010 levels, with the strongest growth in the Pacific Northwest. (whoo hoo!)

  33. Tried it LT.

    Let them eat buns or let them eat pots?

    Obviously, the Google translator isn't really set up for idioms either.

    I had French 101 and 102 in high school but I can't remember the idioms (that is if I ever knew them).


  34. Cartoon Network

    My nemesis (well, my other nemesis).

    How long have you been sitting out the in the dark ether waiting to pounce?


  35. I tested it on gag's phrase and it came out perfect: "Let them eat cake."

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. An addled babbling boobie.

    Now that's funny stuff.

    At least he's looked in the mirror and now admits he's a racist anti-American Communist.

    One that supports the abortion of black fetuses, while the destruction of the hydro-electric dams of the northwest United States is his principle position on US Energy Policy.

    The babbling boobie, fabulous.

    Babs, her energy policy position, totally hypocritical, to say the least.
    She has two standards, one she advocates for US, another for herself.
    Typical liberal bitch.

  38. And she's Jewish, too?

    Who'd have known?

    Or even have cared.

  39. Over at lib/prog Balloon Juice, there is a new contributor:

    Please allow me to introduce myself

    by E.D. Kain

    First of all, much thanks to John for inviting me to write at Balloon Juice. For those of you unfamiliar with my writing, I blog at a number of venues. Up until recently one of those was True/Slant. Currently I write at the group blog I helped launch a year and a half ago, The League of Ordinary Gentlemen; at my own personal blog, American Times; and at The Washington Examiner. I posted for a while at David Frum’s New Majority until he changed the name to FrumForum, whereupon I just couldn’t do it anymore.

    I typically write about things like civil liberties, immigration, fiscal sanity, folk wisdom, healthcare policy, reforming conservatism, the war on drugs, transportation and urbanism, the culture wars, and fantasy and science fiction.


    John alluded to me as a ‘sane conservative’ and I’m sure plenty of people would take issue with both descriptors, but I’ll take what I can get. I look forward to stirring the pot around here a bit with my perfectly lucid advocacy of free markets, limited government and fiscal discipline. You may also find that I’m anti-war, anti-torture, anti-stupid-arguments-against-building-mosques, and anti-death-penalty. Indeed, I’m pro-life across the board though I have little interest in immersing myself in the endless culture war debates.

    I also have very little interest in bashing other conservatives or, for that matter, liberals. Bashing has very limited utility. And others are better at it in any case.

    That was 4 AUG.

  40. Rat, you moron, what I have said is that we could take out some of the dams, and replace them with nuclear power plants. If you see anything wrong with this idea, say it.

    As for abortion, I support Sarah Palin, and I am not a self confessed killer like you.

    Linear, you are a dumb shit, really.

    Quirk, you got a mind. Use it.

  41. I tested it on gag's phrase and it came out perfect: "Let them eat cake."

    I tried it again. It keeps coming up "let them eat brioche". I can see where they get the idiom from. Brioche is a small, tasty, buttery loaf of bread.

    If you know the idiom that's fine. If you don't, well, it would probably sound a little strange when telling Marie Antionette that the people have no bread and then having her tell you "Let them eat bread."

    When I put brioche into the translator alone it came up bun or pot.

    Of all the translations, I guess I like the last one best.

    "Let them eat Pot."

    Of course, that would probably make them more hungry.


  42. This evening, an exasperated John Cole threw up this post:

    So I’m going through the comments section, and I see a lot of whinging about Erik. My first instinct is to tell you to STFU and deal, but that is just how I roll.

    Because I’ve mellowed in my older age, I’ll just tell you to deal with it. I keep seeing “warmed-over conservatism” and other petty bullshit like that, and all I have to say is that if you want the public debate about policy, you better get some more game. I’ve gone through every post Erik has written, and I have not once seen him attack liberals, dismiss other people’s ideas, or generally be the kind of petulant dipshit a lot of you are being in the comments.

    You dislike his argument? Make a counter argument. You guys constantly claim you want to honestly engage thoughtful and decent people who will argue the merits of issues, and now you are presented with one, and your gut instinct is to insult or try to shut him down.

    That, to me, is not the sign of a confident movement. You think his ideas are bullshit and warmed over conservatism, explain why. Make the argument. Make the case. What the progressive movement needs is not to emulate the Dan Riehl’s and Michelle Malkins, but to confidently make their case that their ideas are better.

    It may be that I am a lot more sensitive to the hive mind than some of you all. If it weren’t for the fact that even when I was at peak wingnut, I was still willing to read and keep on my blogroll folks all over the political spectrum. I’ve been reading the great orange satan and the powder blue satan and Oliver Willis and a whole host of liberal blogs from the beginning. It was because a lot of them (the Poorman and the Sadly’s included) engaged (and mocked) me that I started to rethink shit.

    So Erik is here to stay until he doesn’t want to, and I’ll revert to my original position. STFU and deal. Dislike what he says? Argue with him and tell him why he is wrong. But don’t bitch at me in the comments, because I’m enough of a prick that I’ll find some bottom feeder at the Free Republic to start posting here about how evolution is a lie and abortion is murder.

    Just. To. Piss. You. Off.

  43. E.D. Kain


    Dammit, Trish.

    I like to keep my different screen names separated on the various blogs I visit.


  44. I guess you just have to have the touch, Q.

  45. Did the babbling addled boobie make a comment?

    Or was that someone else using his pet whore as a mouth piece?

    Hard to tell.

  46. "I’ve gone through every post Erik has written, and I have not once seen him attack liberals, dismiss other people’s ideas, or generally be the kind of petulant dipshit a lot of you are being in the comments."

    Oh, forget it, that's not me then.

    I post under E.B. Kain.

    My mistake.




  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. He only thinks abortion is murder, if the fetus is white, otherwise he thinks it's good public policy, to abort fetuses, especially of blacks.

    He said so in November of 2008, right after the election of the current President of the united States.

    Racist Communist scum bag that he is.

  49. Quirk, you got a mind. Use it.

    Geez Bobbo, cut me a little slack.

    So I couldn't get the translator to work. It's not a capital offense.

    Damn, I'll keep trying.


  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. Supporting the policy position of the radical liberation theologians of Nicoland, while bad mouthing the policies of Ronald Wilson Reagan.

    Claiming those that fulfilled Reagan's policies in Latin America were guilty of murder.

  52. Any bets that he spit on GIs returning from the 'Nam, too?

  53. And you are a self confessed killer while i support Sarah Palin. and my wife worked for years with
    The Idaho State Department of Health and Welfare. And all you can do is take life, not ever give it.

  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. Hiding behind the skirts of his betters, there is the babbling boobie, again.

    Claiming Ronald Wilson Reagan and those that supported his policy in Latin America to be murderers, once again.

    A communist scum bag from Idaho that refused to protect the women of his town from a marauding rapist.

    He masquerades as a man, when he is just a mouse. Or he'd have stood up for the women in his town, protecting them from a recidivist rapist.

    Instead he chose to hide from reality. Claiming cowardice to be the better choice, for his family.

  56. I love you. vov, that says it all. Night.

  57. Kain did smartly make this one of his first posts:

    International Beer Day

    by E.D. Kain

    Today is International Beer Day (the site was down last I checked so here’s the wiki article). My favorite beer is Fat Tire. I like New Belgium both as a company and because they make lots of good brews. I also enjoy all the local breweries here, and going to local breweries when I’m on the road.


    The comments are interesting. Those involving actual beer tastes rather than scrutiny of Jimmy Carter's ultimate, and contested, role in reviving through deregulation the small brewer market.

  58. And what exactly are you Trish?

    Kain's John the Baptist.

    Proclaiming his message of light and hops to the barbarians of the EB.


  59. Bobbo, remember this post:

    Quirk said...

    You prick Bob...

    May the wolve be put back on the endangered species list in Idaho to the point where the elk herds disappear.


    Tue Aug 03, 10:21:00 AM EDT

    From the NYT:

    Victory for Wolves

    "Donald Molloy, a Federal District Court judge in Montana, ruled Thursday that gray wolves in Montana and Idaho must be provided federal protection under the Endangered Species Act...

    Sometimes I scare myself.

    Don't be insulting my dog no more or this is just the beginning.


  60. You prick Quirk.

    Where in the hell do you live, up in Minnesota somewheres?

  61. Minnesota?


    I move like the wind, silently and unobserved, with the children of the night at my back. A whistle summons Garm to my right hand from his post at Helheim Gate. A gesture draws Finrir across Bifrost, the rainbow bridge, to my left.

    Our one mission is to reek vengeance on those who would insult my dog.


  62. Repent Bobbo.

    And ask for Checkers' forgiveness.

    (By the way Checkers is his screen name. He's always asking me to read him that Nixon speech. Loves it. He's a swell dog and may forgive your insult.)