A Peek at White House Christmas 2008 From My Friend Mark

Well Folks its time for a little fluff in the face of the crazy roller coaster times we find ourselves in.  You know my friend Mark from CNN.  His journals on the road during the election were a lot of fun for all of us. Now, Mark has given his permission to give you all a taste of the White House at Christmas time.  Mark recently photographed some of the White House decorations and the reception given to the Christmas decoraters.  From now until Christmas, the White house will give a series of Christmas receptions for friends, colleagues, and the Media. Enjoy and

Thanks Mark!  Barney and Mark       grand-foyer   santa-2                white-house-christmas-20081                                               grand-foyer-21      view-from-grand-foyer      tennessee     

white-house-a-red-white-and-blue-christmas   white-house-christmas-3   whie-chocolate-covered-gingerbread-wh                      texas-ornament

state-dining-room   silver-in-the-whie-hosue  palm-room  

first-ladys-parlor1     first-ladys-portait        dessert-at-the-white-house    blue-room-tree-members-of-congress



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91 responses to “A Peek at White House Christmas 2008 From My Friend Mark

  1. dog's eye view

    What a nice treat. And how beautiful to see that portrait of Betty Ford, I think, and think about that valiant lady.

    Obama inviting the surviving Tuskegee Airmen to his inaugural. It’s thought that 330 of 16,000 trained as pilots and ground personnel survive.


    “…the Tuskegee Airmen have a special place in history. Their bravery during the war — on behalf of a country that actively discriminated against them — helped persuade President Harry S. Truman to desegregate the military in 1948.

    “The election of Barack Obama was like a culmination of a struggle that we were going through, wanting to be pilots,” said William M. Wheeler, 85, a retired Tuskegee combat fighter pilot who lives in Hempstead, N.Y. He tried to become a commercial pilot after the war but was offered a job cleaning planes instead.”

  2. dog's eye view

    More common sense and wisdom from WaPost’s business columnist Steven Pearlstein. He’s my go to guy on the bailouts and anything economic, and has a good platform — you know Barney Frank and most congresscritters read him.

    A Perfect Storm? No, a Failure of Leadership
    By Steven Pearlstein

    “A bit of unsolicited advice to business executives trying to explain why their company or their industry is suddenly in the soup:

    Please spare us the “perfect storm” metaphor.

    It’s hackneyed, for starters. It doesn’t square with the facts. And for people who fancy themselves leaders, it’s downright unbecoming.

    … The latest victim to offer the “perfect storm” defense is Sam Zell, the real estate tycoon who was smart enough to sell out at the top of the commercial real estate cycle, only to dive into the newspaper and broadcast business of the Tribune Co. just as circulation and advertising revenue were about to collapse.

    Three weeks ago, it was the auto executives on their first visit to Washington …”


  3. dog's eye view

    LATimes: with Obama’s first (in-depth) newspaper interview.

    Obama says he hopes to help ‘reboot America’s image around the world’


  4. chefsheila

    Morning morning morning…..going for some coffee……

  5. BevnTempe

    Mark’s pictures were beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Is that a picture of you with all the desserts that you created just for the White House Christmas?

  6. morning peeps,
    Nice pics Sheila, a lot of fun!

  7. chefsheila

    lol No Bev, I’m plumper!

  8. chefsheila

    maybe a little mindlessness is what we need this week.

    The Media is trying to find anything they can to back up their need for scandal in Obama.

    Its going to be a long week and its all ready half over.

  9. chefsheila

    Thanks Brian.

    Looks like other Blogs, like Trail Mix are just jumping at the chance to make it bigger than I suspect it is.

    Give’s Craig a chance to highlight his disgust of Obama, rather than objective journalism. Which, if he and so many others DID use real journialist ethics, they would begin publically asking the questions and waiting for the answers or going out to find he answers.

    Oh how fast the hidden feathers unruffle.

  10. chefsheila

    President-elect Obama’s efforts on behalf of an ethics bill in Illinois “indirectly” led to yesterday’s dramatic arrest of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, reports the New York Times:
    Brian and all, the following exerpt is the key…..looks as though there are Journalists out there afterall!!

    Blagojevich, Illinois Governor Arrested (VIDEO)


    In a sequence of events that neatly captures the contradictions of Barack Obama’s rise through Illinois politics, a phone call he made three months ago to urge passage of a state ethics bill indirectly contributed to the downfall of a fellow Democrat he twice supported, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich.

    Mr. Obama placed the call to his political mentor, Emil Jones Jr., president of the Illinois Senate. Mr. Jones was a critic of the legislation, which sought to curb the influence of money in politics, as was Mr. Blagojevich, who had vetoed it. But after the call from Mr. Obama, the Senate overrode the veto, prompting the governor to press state contractors for campaign contributions before the law’s restrictions could take effect on Jan. 1, prosecutors say.

    Tipped off to Mr. Blagojevich’s efforts, federal agents obtained wiretaps for his phones and eventually overheard what they say was scheming by the governor to profit from his appointment of a successor to the United States Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Obama. One official whose name has long been mentioned in Chicago political circles as a potential successor is Mr. Jones, a machine politician who was viewed as a roadblock to ethics reform but is friendly with Mr. Obama.

  11. Swearing in: Barack Hussein Obama

    President-elect Obama says he plans to use all three of his names when he takes the oath of office in January, giving voice to an unusual name that was rarely heard during the campaign expect by critics.


  12. chefsheila

    Nanny! Dan Abrahms sighting!!!

    He’s commenting on the Illinois Governor.

  13. dnd

    Great pics.

    As to the Blagojevich/Obama “associations” the wiretap revealed that Blagojevich called Obama a mutha{bleep}. That’s all one needs to know about their “associations.” Any pundit who claims Obama pals around with Blagojevich, and hence is likewise corrupt, or stupid, is officially lame. Or lazy. Or both.

    But hey, it’s Fitzmas again!

  14. chefsheila


  15. chefsheila

    dnd and all,

    Robert Reich has come up with an interesting comment on what the BIG 3 should do.

    I’m learning so much more than I was interested in. ;0)
    I find layman self thinking that this potential answer is pretty common sense and probably how the Obama Adminstration could go.

    A Hybrid Vehicle (One Third Bailout, Two-Thirds Chapter 11) for Automakers, But No More TARP for Wall Street


  16. dnd

    I bet the guy that’s really bummed about the Blagojevich scandal is his predecessor, George Ryan. Ryan, otherwise known as Federal Inmate Number 16627-424, wants a pardon from Bush. This scandal might make it politically iffy.

  17. dnd

    I bet the guy that’s really bummed about the Blagojevich scandal is his predecessor, George Ryan. Ryan, otherwise known as Federal Inmate Number 16627-424, wants a pardon from Bush. This scandal might make it politically iffy.

  18. chefsheila

    Laughing @ dnd!

  19. dnd

    I bet the guys really thrilled with the Blagojevich scandal are the big three automakers. Gets them out of the news.

  20. chefsheila

    Not just a nice touch…..they deserve it! I hope all the African American medal of honor winners are there too.

  21. chefsheila

    Time for work guys. Later.

  22. dnd

    Blagojevich’s wiki page shows that today’s his 52nd birthday. Happy Birthday! Hope your wife is baking a cake with a file in it…

  23. Nannymm

    Damn! I missed Dan, Sheila. What was his take on Blago?
    And the pics are great! Wish I could decorate like that.

  24. dog's eye view

    Yeah, the undeserving have had some memorable birthdays this year.

    Blagojevich awakens to find himself indicted on federal charges.

    Ted Stevens awoke to find himself defeated by Mark Begich, as of the evening before.

  25. dog's eye view

    Real Simple’s Daily Thought. (Stop snickering, Brian.)

    Imagination is more important than knowledge.
    — Albert Einstein

  26. I never snicker, I laugh robustly!

  27. dnd

    Will Michael Bennet be the next Sec of Education?


    This would be another controversial pick.

  28. chefsheila

    ……Jesse Jackson Junior has been implcated? This is nasty……

  29. Nannymm

    It’s going to be ugly alright! But not sure that JJ, jr is actually implicated. It appears that someone offered to raise money for Blago IF JJ, jr was given the seat. We don’t know who that someone is and whether or not that person was acting with JJ, jr’s consent. But it sure is interesting. I wonder if the unnamed individual is Jesse Jackson, Sr. or someone acting on his behalf. That would not be good.

  30. chefsheila

    Thanks for that. I had such respect for that young man!

    I’m hoping he’s exactly what I think he is, not his father!

  31. I find him annoying, but I don’t think he’s stupid, and therefore don’t think he’s involved in this mess in anyway.

  32. Nannymm

    Me, too, Sheila. I can see the father doing something like that but pray the son is innocent. The sad part is if his father is involved he will be tainted no matter what in the minds of many.

  33. chefsheila

    Agreed Nanny. If Dad has done this, Jr is sunk for sure…

  34. horsedooty

    we are all now in the Christmas spirit here. I was 23F last night and as I was out in the backyard feeding the dogs, it started to snow. Lasted about 10 minutes and dropped about 12 flakes. That is Texas for ya.

  35. horsedooty

    39F here today supposed to warm up by the weekend. One of the main reasons for moving back to Tx from Mass was the winter temps. Some years it never freezes. Jan and Feb are our worst months. Here it is likely to sleet and ice storm.

  36. chefsheila

    From Detroit Free Press. I tend to say yes on this one. I figured Chrysler would have failed last year….just because I was living in the area and understood the frailty of the company.

    Analyst: Chrysler can’t survive operating at current scale


  37. chefsheila

    The Auto bail out bill is looking like no go. Should have gotten a filibuster proof Congress and Senate….too bad. Now instead of having a lard unemployment problem next year, we’re going to have a gigantic unemployment problem.

  38. chefsheila

    This is what happens when a smiling President has another agenda and thats to undermine “The American Agenda”.

    Bailout Overseer: We’re Still Trying To Get Office Space


  39. BevnTempe

    I hope you saw Jon Stewart’s defense of gay marriage. Took the words right out of my mouth!

  40. dnd

    Does your ankle predict the change in the weather? My broken bones don’t predict a change in the weather, but they definitely feel different when the temps get cold.

  41. Bev that was fun watching Huckabee squrim

  42. chefsheila

    I fell asleep as soon as he was announced!

  43. BevnTempe

    Yes, I saw the ad for Call in Gay. I also saw the movie “Day without a Mexican,” which I thought was good but could have been better.

    I think the overall premise for Call In is good, but it has a lot of potential to backfire also.

  44. BevnTempe

    Speaking of bodies predicting the weather, does anyone else get migraine headaches when the barometric pressure changes? What a pain in the …head!

  45. chefsheila

    In my sinuses Bev….But what I really get is terrible pain in my hands and now my right fore arm OUCH!

  46. BevnTempe

    Is the pain in your hands and arms due to the weather change and are they classified as migraines? Hadn’t heard that connection before.

  47. chefsheila

    The pain in my sinuses is definately horrible migraine strength.

    The Pain in my hands and fore arms are arthrytis.

  48. chefsheila

    Sorry, both cases are brought on most of the time by weather changes.

  49. BevnTempe

    I share the headaches – sorry about the arthritis in your hands and arms.

  50. chefsheila

    Hey bev, I could whine, but at least its not rheumatoid…..Then I could whine for sure

  51. horsedooty

    Does your ankle predict the change in the weather? My broken bones don’t predict a change in the weather, but they definitely feel different when the temps get cold.

    so far, nothing. Maybe I am just not a sensitive sort.

  52. chefsheila

    lololol Your sensitive….you were just raised in Texas. Those two facts just cancel each other out 😆

  53. Sheila you sure it’s not your tooth acting up again?

  54. chefsheila

    Positive. when i got about 48 hours of Zyrtex in myself, it stopped then this morning I missed my cut off and it started up again. Now its gone.

    Nope, that tooth is another matter. I hope it doesn’t come back.

  55. Just want to give you all a heads up, I’ll be having my first real food tonight in over a week. I make no promises, but stand back if you hear a loud rumbling sound!

  56. dog's eye view

    what are you dining on, Brian? Enjoy! (You could almost dine outside, too!)

  57. roast chicken and a sweet potato, nothing too exciting.

  58. chefsheila

    I figured Cheese would have been one of the dining items. 🙂

  59. Look it was a struggle eating what I did, I have no appetite at all.

  60. I can aim this thing high or low when it’s loaded, ducking won’t help!

  61. Here’s something to think about. I said depression, well here is a post that talks about people who predicted this financial mess and what they have to say about it now.


    Now this is some scary stuff if their right.

    God Bless.

  62. Hey AP when you going to write something for us again? How you doing, how the cats doing?

  63. Hi Brian and all the rest of the BC group.

    The cats are doing alright although this past week Baby has been a bad girl. It seems that at times she’s afraid to walk past Jasmine to use the kitty box so I have found twice that she used the rug behind the couch.

    This needs to stop and I’m not sure what to do about it. Never had this happen in all the years I had cats. Not even when I had 5 cats and a dog.

    Also my fridge went out Saturday and on Sunday my landlord said she would have her husband go to a well known outlet and get me a new one.

    He was suppose to come in Monday morning to remove the old one and pick up the new one in the afternoon and put it in. What he did instead was wire the thermostat wires together and see if that would fix the problem.

    I come home to find him and his attempt to cancel the fridge he had bought and I walked around the house for over two hours cussing and fuming over it.

    Finally around seven o’clock the doorbell rang and he was outside with the new fridge. So I finally got to go to the store yesterday and buy some grocery’s so could eat.

    Not sure when I will be doing a new post though I have had bad thoughts and feelings in my head and heart over the Republican Fascists not wanting to help out America’s last manufacturing sector namely the Auto Industry.

    Maybe I’ll come up with something this weekend if I get caught up with my moving furniture around in anticipation of my new LCD Samsung I’m near purchasing.

    I’ll let you know if I do and thank you for asking me to contribute here.

    Catch you all later. Two more days than I’m off until January 5th. 2009 for vacation. I must use them or lose them so I’m looking forward to some time away from my job.

    Take care and…

    God Bless.

  64. horsedooty

    I got the bill today from the VA wrt my broken leg surgery. Basically we went to the big hospital in South Dallas 3 times it cost $50. So, some scripts and the exam and surgery and a follow up will cost under $200. That is everything. X-rays walking boot crutches EVERYTHING. I have one more follow up on 12-18 and that may be it but I might have one more visit.

  65. AP sounds like you need two litter boxes at opposite ends of the house so baby feels she has a safe place to go.

    Cool news doots

  66. dog's eye view

    Facing a tough re-election in 1916, Europe a theatre of war and the US on the brink of joining it, Woodrow Wilson hand-typed and dispatched a secret letter to the Secretary of State, proposing that he would resign immediately upon an electoral loss. He was that worried about the dangers of a three-month transfer of power during tumultuous times.

    Wilson’s letter stayed secret until the SecState mentioned it in his memoirs in 1935, three years too late for Herbert Hoover (really, FDR!) to benefit from Wilson’s example.

    NYTimes op ed by Wilson scholar; an interesting plea for having a VOLUNTARY rapid transition system in place for situations exactly like the one we are living through.

    The Pause That Depresses


  67. chefsheila

    Good morning.

  68. dog's eye view

    Foreign Policy magazine: The 10 Worst Predictions for 2008:

    Haven’t read them, but Bill Kristol’s mug being first photo up sounds about right.

    Why did that man get a New York Times column and, more important, why does he retain it?


  69. chefsheila

    Because he provides the opposite view of Dowd 🙂

    His prediction was obvious. Crystal had to predict that Clinton was going to win. It was all a part of the failed proganda sweep about getting Hillary on the ticket at all cost.

  70. chefsheila

    Going for coffee then read that failed predicions list. Too tempting.

  71. chefsheila

    Yes, they’re woppers. But predictable ones with the state of politics in this country. 😉

  72. dog's eye view

    WRT Dowd comment: 8:55a: she gets it right a lot and is an astute — if often mean — observer.

    Kristol marinates in his own juices, and reality checks against other neocons, period. Brooks to a lesser extent, but he’s not worth reading much for his conclusions either, (Say that sadly. He’s a gifted writer. His observations are often sharp, but he won’t follow them to the logical conclusion — goes with the ideological one.)

    If you are going to counterbalance Dowd, go with an intelligent and realistic conservative. Not a contradiction in terms.

    And there are plenty of them out there, who cannot get air (to breathe or airtime on TV) because of the lazy bookers and editors who go with known and repeatedly discredited neocons.

    How much of a market is there out there for the known quantity, the tried and found not true?

    Maybe Americans are ready for a livelier debate?

  73. dog's eye view

    PS: Dowd gets it wrong too, sometimes. She can be too mean or acerbic and not give others credit for their goodness (or outright mistakes).

    But she was right about GWBush.

  74. chefsheila

    The only reason I counter balanced that two is that, the NYTimes hired Crystal to do so. Fair and Balanced. 🙂

  75. dnd

    Dowd is a satirist. If they want an opposing columnist, they should hire P.J. O’Rourke.

  76. chefsheila

    Sorry guys, Was just making an observation, not and issue.

    Dog was asking why he as hired. I jsut asnwered.

    Whether I agree or disagree with the Crystal hiring last year. There was a method to the madness. More fair and balanced was one reason. The other was an increase in sales.

    The predictions piece was pretty good.

  77. chefsheila

    dnd, she’s not a satirist to the “Right”. 😉

    The reasoning is “Draw”. She brings us all in. Crystal is a draw for the other side. He brings more readers.

  78. dnd

    Any of you guys who didn’t read the link anon-p put up regarding the financial crisis, I highly recommend it. These people are not financial lightweights.

  79. chefsheila

    I read it this morning. Very scary!

  80. dnd

    Since Kristol’s argument are frequently weak, transparent ideology talking points, the conspiracy theory is that the NYT hired him to give liberals a good laugh. Brooks is a more thoughtful conservative commentator.

    I brought up O’Rourke because he’s smarter than any of their conservative commentators. And way funnier 😉

  81. chefsheila

    Actually I agree on all accounts! ONLY, I’m a progressive like yourself and not a conservative. Even thought it does not compute for us…..they sure love Crystal.

    I did too, pre-9/11

  82. dog's eye view

    agree with dnd on this one, Sheila — and Sheila’s right as to why NYT hired Kristol; my point is they should have gone with a smarter and better columnist.

    Seriously. Because the conservatives frequently have the germ of good arguments which they take too far.

    And moderates and those to the left of consvs need to read good arguments to sharpen their own thinking — or co-opt.

    And PJ O’Rourke would be superb!!

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