First lady Michelle Obama greets RyAnne Noss at the Labor Department, Jan. 30, where she announced proposed rules to help caregivers of wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans, giving them the ability to provide care for their loved ones need without fear of losing their jobs. RyAnne Noss left school to take care of her husband SFC Scot Noss, who was injured in Afghanistan in Feb. 2007 during his eighth tour of duty as an Army Ranger. Mrs. Obama was joined by Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
The first family walk together to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, Jan. 29
The Obamas were visiting the gallery to view the ’30 Americans’ exhibition – they also toured an exhibit on Civil War photography and contemporary art.
30 Americans is a wide-ranging survey of work by many of the most important African American artists of the last three decades. Selected from the Rubell Family Collection, the exhibition brings together seminal figures such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and David Hammons with younger and emerging artists such as Kehinde Wiley and Shinique Smith. Often provocative and challenging, 30 Americans focuses on issues of racial, sexual, and historical identity in contemporary culture. It explores how each artist reckons with the notion of black identity in America, navigating such concerns as the struggle for civil rights, popular culture, and media imagery. At the same time, it highlights artistic legacy and influence, tracing subject matter and formal strategies across generations.
You’ve heard it from the pundits: “Obama is cloistered in the White House.” “He’s aloof.” “He’s in the bubble.” “He’s not connecting.” And that’s why one of my big goals this year was to get out and be among everyday, ordinary Americans – like the men and women of the Alfalfa Club.
And Speaker (John) Boehner, it is good to see you at the head table. I know how badly Eric Cantor wanted your seat. But, John, I want you to know: I am eager to work with members of Congress to be entertaining tonight. But if Congress is unwilling to cooperate, I will be funny without them.
I’d like to acknowledge a very good friend of mine – Warren Buffet’s secretary’s boss is in the house.