Over Dinner at a Fort Worth Olive Garden, Michelle Obama Heard All About Oak Cliff

JasonandAndreaRobertsPlacecards.jpg
Maybe you saw KXAS-Channel 5 last night -- why, yes, that was Jason Roberts and wife Andrea seated next to First Lady Michelle Obama at a Fort Worth Olive Garden last night. But, but ... how'd the would-be congressional candidate and the missus land the seats? And what did they talk about? Besides hats.

Roberts says this morning that Obama -- in town on a health-and-fitness "Let's Move!" anniversary tour that'll include a drop-by with some DISD kiddos, Dallas Cowboys and Top Chefs today -- found out about the Oak Cliff-dwellers through former Dallas Morning News photographer Sonya Hebert, who went to work at the White House last month -- spending half her time covering the First Lady.

"The White House is looking for families in the area promoting healthy lifestyles for kids," says Roberts. "So Sonya called and said, 'Would you be interested in going to dinner with the First Lady?' And I was like, 'Yeah, ya know, let me check our agenda.'" He laughs. "Absolutely. Without a doubt."

The couple was seated with a few other local families, and among the topics of conversation: the Robertses' efforts to get kids bicycling to school (so retro it's revolutionary!) and, of course, Jason's ongoing Better Block-ing efforts around town. Jason figures they spent 10, 15 minutes on those two things as they went 'round the table gobbling up ideas. The obvious question is: Will they make it past the dinner table at the Olive Garden?

"We were the third city she'd been in that day, and I am sure she hears stories, incredible stories, from a lot of people on a daily basis, and I'm not sure how much of that gets filtered out later: 'Can we promote this on a bigger scale?'" Roberts says. "But we talked about the incentive program for kids, giving them punch cards for riding their bikes to school, and about how with Better Block we're creating walkable and bikable neighborhoods. We talked about how Oil and Cotton" -- which sprang up during the very first Better Block event -- "is now permanent, so there this kids' arts studio they can walk to, ride their bikes to. It was fun to talk about our community. It was a chance to brag about Oak Cliff.

"And we talked about how, in this city, fruit stands are not something we allow in our right of way, and it's something we can do easily. Why can't a kid can get a peach on a corner? It seems so simple, but it's a revelation when we're in New York and a guy's selling fruit on the street -- and you give him 35 cents and it's no big deal. Here, it is. Simple things like that. If we can find a way to incentive the right things, not only would be it be healthier, but we could grow local businesses."

Incidentally, Jason and Andrea were the first to arrive last night; that's when they took the photo you see above.

"I have to say, it was pretty awesome, as you can imagine. It took 30 minutes for it to get out of your mind: 'This is the First Lady of the United States,'" Jason says. "And she said, 'I was normal at one point. I used to have to go to the grocery store. What hardships do you have when trying to get stuff done for your kids?' And it's a shame it had to end, because at the end it was getting pretty interesting, pretty loose -- well, as loose as you can get without wine."
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Muh Dik
Muh Dik

Why does anyone give a fuck about this tranny ape sow?

It's me
It's me

Jason to First Lady, "And then we get old pallets and make ugly, uncomfortable chairs from them and put them in your street along with rusty shipping containers. The pallet chairs can leave splinters in your backside if you're not careful. That's why I wear thick tweed. Anyway, then we paint lines in the street and pretend that cars do not exist. Oh, and we bring in temporary trees. It is really great. Did I mention I like bicycles and silly hats?"

Firehed1
Firehed1

 Nobody mentioned that "Michelle Antoinette Obama" came, ate (for free), caused a huge inconvenience to the other patrons and staff and left without leaving a TIP...in this economy where waitresses and waiters are struggling to make ends meet - she doesn't even bother to leave a Dime.....shame on her!!!  Don't come to my town - we don't want you here !!

Tax settlement Companies
Tax settlement Companies

Once the client is enrolled with the tax settlement net branch for any of the programs then the tax settlement affiliate is responsible for carrying the process ahead and getting relief for the client.

MattL1
MattL1

Setting aside the "Olive Garden?!" issue, and the "Obama must be the devil because I'm functionally illiterate" issue, it's cool that Jason's ideas and efforts are getting some recognition.

Albert
Albert

Actually, the functionally illiterate are Michelle Obama's target audience.The people who until now didn't realize that the type and amount of food one eats has an effect on the body.In that, the First Lady is performing a valuable service.

MattL1
MattL1

Her target audience for this particular initiative is children, so I'll cut them a break on their reading level.

yellowdog
yellowdog

you might try the    space     bar instead of the return

Albert
Albert

No matter how many returns I put between paragraphs/sentences, this groovy software hates white space.

There is a line break wherever you see no space where it should be, the software is illiterate, not me, I swear.

Albert
Albert

The issue has been addressed for years. I'm not against the First lady's attempts, perhaps the national weight will drop. It can't hurt.Given that most food is untaxed, the federals will have to use the law to reduce costs. The new health care system will serve us well in that regard, it is to enforced by the IRS.Societal shaming will help to a certain degree, as it did with smokers and drinkers, but that alone won't work.So much of what the First lady espouses to voluntarily meet the crisis today is a good indication of the laws you can expect in the future.

MattL1
MattL1

I'll grant you that many parents are terrible at giving their children proper nutrition. However, I don't see a link between that and reading ability. I know a lot of very obese, very brilliant people.

Either way, it's an issue that needs to be addressed. Your profound disagreement with this administration, well-founded or not, doesn't change that fact.

Albert
Albert

Most children have parents, who buy the food.

Maybe she'll take up running with scissors when folks slim down.

Barney
Barney

Republican/Democrat.  Patriots/Giants.  Black/White.  Spaghettios/Mac&Cheese.  How simple life would be if we could all just be more Albert-like.

Albert
Albert

Hey Barney, maybe you should read the thread to see just where the dichotomy began.

Cheers!

Albert
Albert

And if you;re double-barrel-smart, you'll realize who is mocking whom for said dichotomy

Kergo 1
Kergo 1

Olive Garden, and a presidents wife?  We look like freaking hillbillies to the rest of the world.  Olive Garden is a dump.  Where is she eating today?  At the Whataburger on Central and Parker?

MattL1
MattL1

Whataburger would be a HUGE step up.

peanutgalleryallergy
peanutgalleryallergy

Maybe, Whataburger is next...since that's where the avg.American would be more likely to go and eat, over The Chesterfield. 

Here All Week
Here All Week

Jason Roberts? TMZ is reporting it was actually Jason Robards.

First Lady: Can I get more ice in my water?Jason: The Iceman Cometh.

Albert
Albert

Does Olive garden accept food stamps?

Kergo 1
Kergo 1

No, but they do accept AARP cards, because the target demo is 65-80 years old. Go blue hair!

Albert
Albert

So Michelle is targeting fat seniors?

America is broke, we can't afford the pensioners, have another serving!

Albert
Albert

Have another beer is a better dynamic.

Kergo 1
Kergo 1

No, she is targeting a restaurant that kids don't eat at....In fact, no one under 50 eats at said resty.  "Have another serving!"; the new American dynamic!

Love, The Statue of Liberty
Love, The Statue of Liberty

Good question. Here's another: Why do failing big banks lobby so heavily for Republican candidates?

Albert
Albert

Beats me, Love.

Why did they contribute so much to President Goldman Sachs?

Albert
Albert

Besides Love, we only HATE our domestic reds.

The ones in China actually work.

Albert
Albert

No Love, just go camp out in some urban park, you'll get a job.

Love, The Statue of Liberty
Love, The Statue of Liberty

Great point! It's easy...just point them to the nearest boat dock...their jobs and paychecks are safely being held for them in manufacturing plants in sunny Communist China. 

You know, the one's Republicans hate.

Albert
Albert

They'd have to teach you how to get the money in  the first place, Love.

Love, The Statue of Liberty
Love, The Statue of Liberty

Hey, great question! Maybe Republicans can teach us how to hide our earnings in pro-American tax havens like the Caymen Islands and Switzerland. That's some solid knowledge that those accounting geniuses on foodstamps would love to learn more about.

scottindallas
scottindallas

 Don't play that partisan tune too loud.  In the last election Obama out drew McCain 2 to 1 in Wall St. Donations.  In fact, Wall St. has picked every Presidential winner over the last 100 years judging by who they donated more to.  Though they always hedge their bets, playing both sides of the field.

scottindallas
scottindallas

 Well, when Obama goes to eat on Wall St. it sure as hell ain't Olive Garden, and it costs $50k.  Who do you think was paying for that.  There IS NO MORAL HIGHGROUND FOR EITHER PARTY HERE.

Albert
Albert

"Hey, great point! So tell us, where are they putting their money now?"

I almost hate to break it to you.

Rangers100
Rangers100

Racism is funny.

Colleyville must be very proud of you.

Albert
Albert

Ranger, whoever told you food stamps were only for minorities is probably racist.

Doug
Doug

Notice how she gave Dallas the snub? LOL The city who approves bike lanes but forgets to fund them? The Can't Do City!

Andrea Benningfield Roberts
Andrea Benningfield Roberts

She is in Dallas this morning at an elementary school promoting healthier lunches. She told us last night that out of the entire country, DISD is doing the most to incorporate nutritious food into school menus.

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

Does that include the buttered popcorn & sodas fed to the students at the screening of "Red Tails" ????

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

If they are, that's good news. When I tutored at two DISD elementary schools years ago I learned that for many of those kids, school breakfasts and lunch were about all they got to eat, sometimes. In the summer, of course, they suffered greatly. I'm sure the situation's even worse these days, and I hope people can at least stop fighting long enough to agree that these kids need good food, and plenty of it. Any encouragement or inducement to the DISD to improve on this matter is to be praised.

Albert
Albert

Maybe we should also try to induce the parents to feed their kids.

Isn't that in the instruction manual?

cp
cp

I'm just having a real hard time believing that....

Albert
Albert

Democrats tend to avoid Dallas, on account of the Communists.

Love, The Statue of Liberty
Love, The Statue of Liberty

That's odd given that Republicans love outsourcing American manufacturing jobs to Communist countries.

Albert
Albert

I guess that's why Germany is mad when other European cut corporate tax rates.

scottindallas
scottindallas

 They never get taxed, they redirect those gross profits into productive investment like R%D, expansion, innovation, advertising and employee benefits which are all; wait for it, DEDUCTIBLE.  That's right, they are UNTAXED.  So, a firm facing high tax rates will reinvest their gross profits.  The higher the tax rate, the greater the incentive. 

Remember, we tax net profits, that means that firms that aren't profitable or are barely making it, don't face the top rates.  Under Ike, when the top tax rate was 94% the effective rate was still only 20%.  So, it's specious to suggest that raising the tax rate equates to raising the effective rate.  The incentive of deductibility of traditional business expenses is precisely what high tax rates serve.  The corollary is that low taxes encourage non-productive firms that cherish profit over all.  This is typified by financialization, which has grown in the US economy since Reagan from 15% to 40%.  We get lobbyists, high corp exec pay, high media star pay, and financial speculation.  High taxes encourage doubly capital intensive production especially once depreciation schedules are considered, which again pay a greater return under a higher nominal tax rate.  The lawyer, lobbyist, super star doesn't get the benefit of that. 

scottindallas
scottindallas

It came from low top marginal tax rates.  Under high tax rates the  costs of production amount to valuable tax deductions.  High tax rates actually encourage capital intensive manufacturing--see Germany.  Our consumer base is so strong that corporations will do anything to be here.  We've instead cut rates, inflating executive salaries, and encouraging liquidation of capital and arbitrage of labor.  Even under Ike when tax rates were 94% the effective tax rate was only 20%.  This means that those onerous tax rates drove vast sums into productive, deductible activity.  That's how Steve Forbes' and Grover Norquist's daddys made those nest-eggs they so jealously guard.  If they were running productive companies rather than non-profit lobby groups, they might understand the difference between gross and net profits. 

Albert
Albert

Tax the corporations Love, they;ll pass the costs on to you.

You'll awaken every morning a little poorer, but purer.

Love, The Statue of Liberty
Love, The Statue of Liberty

Holy shit, you're on to something! So the free market's natural tendency to find the lowest possible cost for labor and highest price for profit is a Democratic run scam. I've always wondered why Republicans prefer paying more for goods than Democrats. 

Ok, so help me out here...we've just sent all the jobs to communist china, and now there's a bunch of whiney American's on food stamps crying about no jobs. How do we convince to stop thinking that Communism is good? you know...because those Chinese people seem to have all their jobs now. Oh, I've got an idea...we can tax companies exorbitantly for outsourcing to Communist China and try to tip the whole pendulum back to American manufacturing. That should be easy, because Republicans love taxing corporations. Especially the ones who hide their money in oversees accounts and outsource work...you know, because Democrats like cheap crap.

Albert
Albert

Because democrats demand cheap goods?

Love, The Statue of Liberty
Love, The Statue of Liberty

How did it come to this, where Republicans fear communism yet 90% of the products sold in their neighborhood Wal-Marts are made by...wait for it...

Communists.

Albert
Albert

How did America come to this, where all the manufacturers and corporations are controlled by republicans?

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