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Washington (AFP) – The first female CEO of the largest American automaker will be honored by sitting with Michelle Obama when the president delivers his State of the Union Address on Tuesday.

The White House announced that Mary Barra, 51, a veteran of General Motors, will be front and center when President Barack Obama delivers his speech on his policy outline for the year 2014.

Barra has worked at GM for 33 years, rising through a series of manufacturing, engineering and senior staff positions.

She was appointed to the top post on January 15.

In 2013, Fortune Magazine named Barra one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” and Forbes Magazine names her one of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.”

The White House has described the people chosen to witness the president’s address in the VIP box as representing “the stories of millions of Americans across the country, who are working hard to better their communities, improve their own economic outcomes and help restore opportunity for all.”

Another is Antoinette Tuff, an Atlanta bookkeeper who prevented a shooting at an elementary school in August of last year.

“Tuff, a mother of one daughter and one son, talked the would-be shooter down, sharing her personal struggles, discussing love and doing her best to connect with him until he surrendered before harming anyone,” the White House said in a statement.

“Now, instead of being known for another tragic school shooting, August 20, 2013 is remembered for one woman’s grace under pressure,” it added.

Others invited to join the First Lady include Ed Lee, the first Asian-American mayor of San Francisco, and Aliana Arzola-Pinero, a fourth grader from Puerto Rico, who on her second try won a healthy cooking contest in 2013 sponsored by Michelle Obama.

Photo: Daniel Roland via AFP

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Madison Cawthorn

Image via Politico

The Republican party seems to be having trouble trying to be the Christian Taliban and hating on LGBT people when they’ve got Rep. Madison Cawthorn in their ranks. His presence is making it so much harder for them to suppress their inner self-loathing--homosexuality and moral hypocrisy.

We all know politicians secretly love illicit drugs as much as taking bribes or paying off strippers they knocked up, so you have to give Cawthorn some credit for being honest. However, any creditability as a human he might have goes out the window when you consider his hatred and policies toward the LGBT community while, hypocritically enough, he engages in homosexual acts himself.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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