Prequel: The Other Tsunami

First you read. Then you think. Then you wonder. Right?

Huffington Post interviews comic / reality TV star Joan Rivers:

Huffington Post: "One thing that has been making headlines in the fashion world this week is Michelle Obama wearing McQueen to the State Dinner." Joan Rivers: "Wrong. Wrong. Sorry! Sorry, sorry, sorry, but we're pushing America and we're so behind in everything that we're doing. We're trying to push our own industries, the president's coming out and saying we've got to make more American stuff, you know what, darling? Buy American. I like the Obamas, I voted for Obama, but totally wrong. Very badly advised." (by Hillary Moss, January 29, 2011)

Mrs. Obama hits back on Good Morning America: "Michelle Obama has hit back at the critics who reacted with anger after she chose to wear a British design to a White House formal dinner. In an interview with Good Morning America, the First Lady insisted she will continue to dress in the clothes that make her comfortable - regardless of the label. She said: 'Look, women, wear what you love. That's all I can say. That's my motto. I wear what I like because…I gotta be in the dress…'" (, February 02, 2011)

President Obama speaks to U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Speaking to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, President Obama "focused on corporate executives’ shared responsibility for the nation’s economic growth, echoing the rhetoric of President John F. Kennedy, who called on Americans to 'ask what you can do for your country' during the Cold War. 'As we work with you to make America a better place to do business, I’m hoping that all of you are thinking what you can do for America,' Obama said. 'Ask yourselves what you can do to hire more American workers, what you can do to support the American economy and invest in this nation…'" (, February 8, 2011)

U.S. Chamber of Commerce responds: "Chamber President Tom Donohue said [that President Obama] 'raises a great challenge but we have to look at it in the context that 95 percent of people in the world that we can sell something to live somewhere else. This is a two-part deal. Do it at home, sell it abroad.'" (, February 8, 2011)

First Lady Michelle Obama (wearing $35 H&M dress on Today show) says: "The economic structure of this country has changed significantly. Some jobs that were there are just gone. So my advise is to find the sectors that are growing, find a way to re-train." (February 8, 2011)

Mrs. Obama's H&M dress flies off the shelves: "A salesperson at H&M in Soho informed me that people have been buying the 'Michelle Obama dress' non-stop since yesterday afternoon." (, February 11, 2011)

Commerce Department releases latest trade figures: "...the nation's trade deficit jumped to a seven-month high. The deficit increased 15% to $46.3 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday." ("Trade gap Widens as Imports Grow 5.2%," Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2011)

"The U.S. trade deficit widened sharply in January to the highest level since the summer, as a surge in imports overwhelmed record levels of exports. The nation's trade deficit expanded 15.1% in January to $46.3 billion from a revised $40.3 billion in December, the Commerce Department said Thursday." (Los Angeles Times, March 10, 2011)

First Lady Michelle Obama buys American handbag, silences critics: "Michelle Obama put another label name on the map this week, when she was spotted carrying a bold new handbag to her daughter's parent-teacher conference. The teal blue leather tote by U.S. designer Reed Krakoff has already sold out around the world--despite the fact that it costs $1,000…Mr. Krakoff, 46, is the latest designer to benefit from Mrs. Obama's endorsement, which is said to be worth $2.7 billion to the fashion industry…It should also silence critics that slammed the Alexander McQueen gown she wore to a State dinner in January." (, UK, March 12, 2011)

First Lady Michelle Obama commands attention: "More than any other first lady since Jackie Kennedy, Michelle Obama has captured our attention with her sense of style. That's exactly her point, says Kate Betts, veteran fashion journalist and author of the book Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style. 'Style is often seen as frivolous, irrelevant, but it is what people notice and she uses it brilliantly,' Betts says. 'Once the first lady had our attention, she could get people to focus on her healthy eating campaign…She's a great role model.'" (USA Weekend, March 13, 2011)

PS: About Mrs. Obama's $35 H&M dress: At H&M "…99% of the tags [say] Cambodia, Bangladesh, Turkey, China, Hungary, etc." (November 11, 2010)

H&M is a Swedish (Stockholm) retail clothing company. Net worth reportedly $12-16 billion. "About 60% of its clothing is made in Asia, the rest is manufactured primarily in Europe." (

PPS: About Mrs. Obama's Reed Krakoff handbag: "All the leather bags are made in Asia." (Reed Krakoff, Madison Avenue New York, NY salesperson by phone, March 13, 2011)

Coming up: The Other Tsunami {What's a Country to Do?}