Official portraits of Obamas are unveiled

By ASHRAF KHALIL WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Portrait Gallery has unveiled portraits of former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama. Barack Obama’s portrait was painted by Kehinde Wiley — an artist best known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of African-Americans. For Michelle Obama’s portrait, the gallery commissioned Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald, first-prize winner of the Portrait Gallery’s 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. The paintings were unveiled Monday at the gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian group of museums. The gallery has a complete collection of presidential portraits. …read more Source:: The Mercury News – Politics       

Continue Reading

Is the era of hugging over? Some people sure hope so

By Lavanya Ramanathan | The Washington Post It seemed like a perfectly timed message for girls as the #MeToo movement picked up steam. “Reminder,” read a headline on the Girl Scouts Facebook page late last year. “She Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Hug. Not Even at the Holidays.” But the reaction was stunning. “You have gone overboard,” blasted one commenter among the hundreds of fiery responses to the November post. “One, no one MAKES a child give a hug. Two, don’t assume physical affection leads to negative behavior.” Countered another, “It’s about teaching a kid that her body is HERS, even from a young age.” Who would have thought that hugging… Read More

Continue Reading

ICE arrests of ‘noncriminal’ immigrants double under Trump

By Nick Miroff and Maria Sacchetti | The Washington Post A week after he won the election, President Donald Trump promised that his administration would round up millions of immigrant gang members and drug dealers. And after he took office, arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers surged 40 percent. Officials at the agency commonly known as ICE praise Trump for putting teeth back into immigration enforcement, and they say their agency continues to prioritize national security threats and violent criminals, much as the Obama administration did. But as ICE officers get wider latitude to determine whom they detain, the biggest jump in arrests has been of immigrants with no… Read More

Continue Reading

You weren’t supposed to have to think about politics

You were not supposed to have to think about politics. Not this much, anyway. Good citizenship was not supposed to entail paying obsessive attention to a 24-hour news cycle. It was not supposed to demand conversational knowledge, at any given moment, of at least 15 issues of national importance. It was not supposed to be the task of each American to have An Informed Opinion on What the Government Should Do about every matter of state. America’s founders never wanted politics to be a major occupation of your mind. It was not supposed to feature prominently among your worries. Most of the time, it was not supposed to be your… Read More

Continue Reading

Is it okay to preach politics to our kids?

“They fill you with the faults they had, and add some extra, just for you” — so Philip Larkin famously observed about parents. And it’s true, we do. But even if I accept that my children will inherit my wife’s tardiness or my neurosis, there is one thing I’ve always been reluctant about passing on: my political views. My eldest is now at the age where she is developing an awareness of the world, and as they all get older I struggle to answer a larger proportion of their questions fairly. At this point how much does one hold back on giving them opinions when they’re not quite ready to… Read More

Continue Reading

Florida bill would let bullied students go to private school

By TERRY SPENCER | The Associated Press FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — From third to fifth grade, Alyson Hochstedler says bullies slammed her son into lockers and punched him. One threatened to stab him. The public school’s administration did little to stop his tormentors, she says, so the mother of five transferred her son to private school, using a state grant for low- and middle-income families to pay his tuition. The Florida Legislature is considering a proposal that would give parents like Hochstedler a second, more controversial option, especially if they aren’t eligible for an income-based grant. That option is a state-funded private school voucher averaging $6,800 a year expressly for… Read More

Continue Reading