FROM Peggy Brooks-Bertram
Michelle Obama and the Power of America's First Lady White House historians say first ladies are windows into America's cultural and social ideas, and while it's subtle, they have enormous power. Mamie Eisenhower gave parties and kept her mouth shut. Jackie Kennedy and Nancy Reagan embodied high fashion. Hillary Clinton was a liberated woman who botched healthcare reform. Laura Bush advocated literacy in a much quieter way. As the first African-American spouse in the White House, Michelle Obama 's unique. But her style and persona make her novel in other ways. Beneath her remarkable round of activities, is there a message? What about the bare arms and the vegetable garden?
From King to Obama: America Receives It’s First Black President Barack Obama declared that Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday should be a day of service and today, with the First-Lady-to-be, he surprised a group of volunteers in Washington, DC sending cards, letters and packages to troops serving overseas. Barack and Michelle Obama then circulated through a crowd of very excited people, shaking hands and getting their pictures taken. There is, of course, heavy symbolism in the coincidence of Dr. King’s birthday falling on the day before the inauguration of America’s first African American president.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.