From this morning:

Why Michelle Obama inspires women around the globe

Heather Ferreira works in the slums of Mumbai, India, where she has watched thousands of women live under a “curse.”

The women she meets in the squalid streets where “Slumdog Millionaire” was filmed are often treated with contempt, she says. They’re considered ugly if their skin and hair are too dark. They are deemed “cursed” if they only have daughters. Many would-be mothers even abort their children if they learn they’re female.

Yet lately she says Indian women are getting another message from the emergence of another woman thousands of miles away. This woman has dark skin and hair. She walks next to her husband in public, not behind. And she has two daughters. But no one calls her cursed. They call her Michelle Obama, the first lady.

I have nothing against the first lady — in fact, I think she’s an admirable woman indeed. But with swine flu poised to wipe out millions of people and an economy still in crisis, does CNN really need to spend valuable bandwidth sucking up to Michelle? All this really does is provide ammunition for right-wing blowhards to start up their “left-wing wackos in the media” and “we surround them” chants again. And that doesn’t do anyone any good.

UPDATE: I realized I’d forgotten to hyperlink the “wipe out millions of people” phrase above (I don’t believe that’s what’s going to happen; I just wanted to point out a little hysteria for comic effect), so while looking for an appropriate page, I stumbled upon this big box o’ crazy.

I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP: This dude claims A) that swine flu was created in a lab and that Mexico City was deliberately targeted, and B) that the only way to stop the outbreak from happening is to have the U.S. states declare sovereignty or demand that Pres. Obama prove his citizenship.