13
Dec
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are introduced at the “Christmas in Washington” taping at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., Dec. 13, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (All Times Eastern):

1:0: Jay Carney briefs the press

2:15: President Obama and VP Biden meet with newly elected mayors

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Michael Tomasky: Told You So: Obamacare’s Back

From an atrocious starting point, enrollment on HealthCare.gov is essentially quadrupling. As predicted, by next fall, the law is going to be a net plus for Obama and the Democrats.

….. if we could graph it, the bar line of enrollment would make for a pretty impressive ski slope: After just 27,000 people signed up in the whole of October, about 100,000 people signed up in November, and then, in the first week of December alone, 112,000 chose plans …. If that pace were to continue, the 7 million figure would be cleared in March.

…… I would definitely and unflinchingly bet on the central proposition I argued last week:  By next fall, HealthCare.gov is going to be a net plus for Obama and the Democrats.

…. The thing is that all this isn’t going to make the papers and the cable channels much. There isn’t a lot of inherent news value in a free cervical-cancer screening or a prescription-drug refill. But these millions of people live real lives, not on TV, and they and their families and friends will know what has happened.

More here

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PCTC: Ever See An Insurance Company’s Pre-Existing Conditions? They’re Scary

If you’re wondering why so many people claim they liked their old health insurance, the answer is simple. Very few people with health insurance ever use it for anything other than health maintenance, like doctor visits and annual checkups and the like.

What many people seemed to be unaware of was that, under their old insurance policy, their company could simply refuse to sell them insurance, or cancel their insurance, and/or deny payment of a claim if, at any point, they decided they had a pre-existing condition.

…. And if you think pre-existing conditions were limited to extremely serious conditions, think again. Here is a list of pre-existing conditions from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, issued in 2011 (see link)

…. Be happy for Obamacare. Your insurance is better, because it’s now actually insurance.

Full post here

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Detroit Free Press: Ford To Hire 5,000 U.S. Workers In 2014

Ford will hire about 5,000 employees in the U.S. next year, during which it plans to launch 16 new vehicles in North America, including the 2015 Mustang and F-Series, and seven in the rest of the world.

The jobs will include salaried and hourly positions and are in addition to 14,000 added during the last two years in preparation for the new product onslaught coming, said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas.

…. The expansion comes as the U.S. industry wraps up its best sales year since 2007, fueled by easier credit and rising consumer confidence.

…. “2014 will be our biggest year for product launches in our 111-year history,” Hinrichs said. “We keep investing in product.”

More here

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Get Covered

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Michael Daly: What If The Founding Fathers Saw Newtown?

In a home built 45 years before the Second Amendment, six scared kids hid after their teacher and 20 classmates were shot dead. Our nation’s fathers would be weeping with the angels. Forget the Sandy Hook killer, but remember the Sandy Hook heroes such as 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who had just seen his teacher shot when the gunman’s rifle jammed. Rather than use this moment to save himself, Jesse called to some fellow first graders who were standing off to the side, holding hands. “Run!” he told them. In the next moment, Jesse was killed, but the other youngsters escaped. Six of them, four boys and two girls, ended up outside a small yellow frame house nearby that is home to a psychologist named Gene Rosen.

 “We can’t go back to school,” one of the boys reportedly told Rosen. “Our teacher is dead.” In the mid-afternoon, I found the house empty and still, the stuffed animals where the children had left them as they headed home, having escaped the killer thanks to the monumental courage of a tiny hero. I took note of a wood plaque that attested to the year the house had been built. “1746” That was 30 years before the Declaration of Independence, 45 years before the ratification of the Second Amendment. I wondered what the founding fathers—whom the gun rights people love to invoke—would have said if they had happened to pass by here back then and been suddenly bestowed with the gift of prophesy.

More here

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Suzy Khimm: Budget Deal Passes The House

In sharp contrast to the strife and infighting that led to the government shutdown, the House easily passed a bipartisan accord that sets spending levels for the next two years. The budget deal, which passed 332-94, marks a key victory for Speaker John Boehner, who struggled mightily to contain the GOP’s right flank just weeks earlier. The deal would reverse about one-third of sequestration’s automatic cuts for the next two years and reduces the deficit by $23 billion through higher fees and federal pension cuts, among other measures.

Thirty-two Democrats also voted against the bill, with many blasting the bill for failing to include an extension of federal unemployment insurance, which will expire at the end of December for 1.3 million jobless Americans. It was the last day the House was in session this year, leaving Democratic leaders resigned to revisiting the issue in early 2014. “Embrace the suck,” Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told her caucus earlier Thursday. “We need to get this off the table, so we can go forward.”

More here

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Des Moines Register: Branstad, Feds Reach Agreement On Health Insurance Program For Tens Of Thousand Of Poor Iowans

Gov. Terry Branstad and federal officials have reached an agreement that will allow tens of thousands of poor Iowans to gain public health insurance. The two sides had been negotiating for months over details of the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan, which is an alternative to expanding Medicaid. The new program is to take effect Jan. 1, so time was running short. If no agreement had been reached, more than 50,000 people who now have public coverage would have become uninsured.

Federal officials announced Tuesday that they had approved the proposal, except for one part. They said they could not allow Iowa to charge monthly premiums to people who make less than the poverty level if they failed to comply with healthy activities, such as undergoing annual health assessments. Under the agreement, the state will be allowed to charge a few dollars per month in premiums for such people starting in 2015, but it won’t kick them off the insurance if they fail to pay. The Iowa Health and Wellness Plan will offer health insurance to Iowa adults who make up to about $11,500 per year. A related program, the Marketplace Choice Plan, will offer insurance to people making between that amount and about $15,900. People who think they might qualify can sign up by contacting the Iowa Department of Human Services. Go to https://dhsservices.iowa.gov/apspssp/ssp.portal, call 855-889-7985, or visit a local DHS office.

More here

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BBC: Ukraine Court Frees Protesters Held After Kiev Clashes

A Ukrainian court has freed nine people arrested during clashes between pro-EU protesters and riot police, a key demand of the protest movement. The nine were arrested during a violent crackdown on 30 November to drive protesters away from the presidential administration in the capital Kiev. Amid the international outrage, US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed “disgust” at the use of force. Protest leaders have joined talks with President Viktor Yanukovych.

Hundreds of demonstrators remain camped out in freezing temperatures on Kiev’s Independence Square, their numbers swelling each evening as thousands of others join them. The protests erupted last month after President Yanukovych pulled out of an association agreement with Brussels, which would have been a crucial step towards the former Soviet republic’s integration into the EU. His government continues to give conflicting signals over whether it will press ahead with the agreement after all.

More here

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Senate.Gov: Senate Confirms Seven Nominations

Cornelia T.L. Pillard, of the District of Columbia, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit. Chai Rachel Feldblum, of D.C., to be a Member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Elizabeth A. Wolford, of New York, to be U.S. District Judge. Landya B. McCafferty, of N.H., to be U.S. District Judge. Patricia M. Wald, of D.C. to be a Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Brian Morris, of Montana, to be U.S. District Judge for the District of Montana. Susan P. Watters, of Montana, to be U.S. District Judge for the District of Montana

More here

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Philip Elliot: Changes Ordered For College Loans For Gay Couples

Students in same-sex marriages will be treated the same as their straight married classmates when it comes to federal college loan applications, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Friday in a shift that reflects this year’s Supreme Court ruling that broadened gay rights. “We must continue to ensure that every single American is treated equally in the eyes of the law, and this important guidance for students is another step forward in that effort,” Duncan said in a statement. The Education Department also revised its required Free Application for Federal Student Aid to reflect more inclusive language about students and their parents. The department said it would recognize a student — and parents — as legally married if the couple was legally married in a state that permits same-sex marriages.

The new application forms do not distinguish between gay or straight marriages. The department also said students’ eligibility for federal aid would be the same in all 50 states, regardless of where the student attends school. For instance, a same-sex couple from Massachusetts, where gay marriage is legal, would be treated the same as a straight couple if one or both applied for a federal student loan to attend a school in one of the 34 states that do not permit gay marriage. The same standards would apply to parents in same-sex marriages. Before the Supreme Court ruled this summer, the Education Department was bound by the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited all federal agencies from recognizing same-sex marriages. The Clinton-era law defined marriage as between one and one woman and hurt many applicants in same-sex marriages.

More here

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Brian Beutler: Obama’s Shutdown Critics Look Like Morons After Budget Deal

Guess what, tired Beltway pundits: Obama’s successful leadership from October brought an end to GOP hostage-taking. most conservatives, and several allies of convenience in the mainstream media, argued that Obama needed to get his hands dirty and negotiate a settlement of both issues, even if it meant paying a modest ransom to the GOP. That his refusal to be extorted, to haggle over the terms of his own surrender — to say nothing of his prior inability to strike a grand bargain with the same hostage-taking party — amounted to a failure of leadership. Many said his position was unsustainable. National Journal’s Ron Fournier argued paradoxically that while Obama couldn’t cave to GOP ransom demands, he also needed to negotiate a ransom. Or that a more adroit leader would have been able to wring a mutually agreeable budget deal out of uncompromising House Republicans.

The budget agreement Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. struck this week — mutually agreeable to many Democrats and many Republicans — badly discredits both arguments. “We’ve got to find a way to make divided government work,” Ryan told reporters Wednesday. It’s very hard to look back at the events of the past couple months and not credit Obama with provoking this volte-face. The deal he struck with Murray, by contrast, wasn’t negotiated under threat of default. As such, it contain no fruits of the right’s extortion fantasies. No cuts to big social insurance programs. No pound of Obamacare flesh. In that sense his refusal to negotiate in October wasn’t a failure of leadership, but precisely the tough-minded act of leadership Republicans needed to reach an understanding of the limits of their power.

More here

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On This Day:

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama address guests in the Grand Foyer of the White House during a holiday party, Dec. 13, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Christmas in Washington, December 13, 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama greets patients and staff at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dec. 13, 2010 (Photo by Samantha Appleton)

President Obama pretends to shave a boy while filling care packages with Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers during a NBA Cares service event at the Boys and Girls Club at THEARC December 13, 2010

President Obama is joined by members of the 2010 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers for an NBA Cares service project at the Boys and Girls Club at THEARC in Washington, D.C., Dec. 13, 2010. Lakers’ Head Coach Phil Jackson is at right ( House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama checks his BlackBerry en route to the Oval Office, Dec. 13, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)


President Obama signs the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 into law at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C., Dec 13, 2010


113 Responses to “Rise and Shine”


  1. 3 amk for obama
    December 13, 2013 at 10:49 am

    1st?

  2. December 13, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Moooooooorning everyone, moooooorning UT, thank yooooooou for a GEM of an R&S, legend!!

  3. 8 MightyPamela
    December 13, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Mornin’ all o’ y’all! Green jamine tea, TOD, taking an easier day today! Thank you everyone! Many blessings!

  4. 10 utaustinliberal
    December 13, 2013 at 10:58 am

  5. 11 hopefruit2
    December 13, 2013 at 10:58 am

    G’morning Chips, TOD, lurkers, everyone, and congrats Mariele on #1!!! :) :)

  6. December 13, 2013 at 11:07 am

    GM TOD. Congrats, Meriele!

    Pete Rouse is finally leaving the WH after being with President Obama for 9 years…. PBO on the record about Pete

    He has been as crucial to Mr. Obama as any presidential adviser in history, like Harry Hopkins to Franklin D. Roosevelt, said former Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, for whom Mr. Rouse worked for 19 years, including as chief of staff for a decade, when Mr. Daschle was the Democratic Senate leader. One colleague said Mr. Rouse has “almost a peer relationship” with the 52-year-old president, providing unvarnished advice.

    “I trust him completely,” Mr. Obama said in the interview. “He is a model of discretion, and he has no ego, and he’s as wise as they come. So I think it’s fair to say that for the remainder of my term in office he will continue to be somebody who I talk to a lot and rely on heavily.”……..

    Soon after Mr. Obama’s re-election, Mr. Rouse said, he told the president that he would help with second-term staffing issues and then depart. “Four months?” Mr. Obama asked him. Sure, Mr. Rouse replied, he would stay four months. Weeks later, Mr. Obama told advisers in a January meeting that Mr. Rouse had committed to stay the year. As surprised colleagues looked at Mr. Rouse, he objected, “Excuse me, but I thought we said four months.”

    “Whatever,” Mr. Obama replied.

  7. 14 Vicki
    December 13, 2013 at 11:10 am

    What a juicy R & S. Thank you UT and good morning all.
    A few comments: It is so much fun to watch the girls growing up.
    Also Brian Beutler and Michael Tomasky’s pieces. Truth and more truth.

    Whining emoprogs stressing UI are driving me crazy. I believe UI will be fixed and paid retroactively, not that I think a delay is ok, but that this insisting on the perfect at the expense of the good is getting very old “so called progressives.” Please give it a rest and understand a victory when we see one.

    Similarly the ACA is the best thing ever and sooner or later the entire country will get that if not admit it out loud.

    The Crazy Right has been routed. If not permanently at least for a bit.
    Now what can we do with the Crazy Left?

  8. December 13, 2013 at 11:11 am

    You can help support Newtown…. http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/newtown-asks-for-privacy-ahead-of-sandy-hook-shooting-anniversary-1.1581487 ….anniversary of shooting is tomorrow Dec. 14th.

  9. December 13, 2013 at 11:15 am

  10. 23 hopefruit2
    December 13, 2013 at 11:19 am

  11. 25 hopefruit2
    December 13, 2013 at 11:23 am

    G’morning UT, and thanks for being such a persistent and reliable disseminator of ACA-related information :) Our gratitude to you on that front deserves a whole separate thread in and of itself.

  12. 28 amk for obama
    December 13, 2013 at 11:24 am

  13. 29 HZ
    December 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Good Morning my Chips, Danny O’ and my TOD family. Beautiful morning on the west coast. So grateful to be a part of this family. I hope that our MightyPamela is enjoy and relaxing in the new and lovely space while sipping that hot cup of lovely tea. Following right behind you, my dear candles bearer for goodness and love. (((((((((((((( Love you MightyPamela))))))))))))) Do not over do it today, okay.

    Chips, I hope our handsome Danny O’ is doing fine. Did you get him a holiday collar to wear? Do I need to rush one to you from his granny? I would do it in a heart beat. Oh, I better change that. I have been experiencing a little slow down, but nothing to worry about. Spoke with my cardiologist yesterday. I have an appointment set up already.

    Now, everyone please write the WH about the jackals in the WHPC whining about access to our President. I just finished writing my letter. I am tired of these lazy people who want nothing but gossip items to spread around. For peace sake, this is the best POTUS these foolish people will ever have to write about.

    Well, I will not continue in this because of all people, our TOD family will handle this for sure.

    Be kind to your space and gentle on you precious spirit.. This is one day to live your dream and enjoy your hopeful space of goodness.
    (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Loving Hugs to all of my TOD family))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) Thank you Chips and all of your wonderful contributors.HZ

    • 30 mtmarilyn
      December 13, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Good morning HZ hope you have a very blessed day. Your words are always such a blessing for me.

      • 31 HZ
        December 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm

        TY, mtmarilyn.
        ((((((((((((((((( Loving hugs of appreciation to you for being another loving and faithful supporter for POB and our TOD family))))))))))))))))))))

    • 32 Judith Fardig
      December 13, 2013 at 11:59 am

      HZ, you are a blessing to all of us. I will write my note to the White House today as you wisely suggest.

      • 33 HZ
        December 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm

        ((((((((((((( TY, Judith.))))))))))))) Your faithful work for ACA is also such a blessing to all of us. Thank for all that you do, Judith.HZ

  14. 34 amk for obama
    December 13, 2013 at 11:30 am

    whatever happened to this cutie potatie?

    • 35 Linda
      December 13, 2013 at 11:32 am

      She now works at TeaNN with Newt, Van Jones and S.E. Cupp on Crossfire. The show stinks

    • December 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Cutter is more than a pretty face…I was hoping that she would end up doing something much better than a remake of an old CNN program…

      • 41 amk for obama
        December 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm

        Yes, she is. I say after 2014 elections, give Jay a break and make cutter the WH spox. The wingnuts and the whpc clowns will have a heart attack.

        • December 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm

          Hmmmmm…now that would be interesting….altho I would miss Jay…but Cutter in that role…would bring a new dynamic

        • 43 Nena20409
          December 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm

          Sorry Amk…..chances of that happening is very slim. She is pregnant and she is going to have a baby in the early 2014. At 45ish to be with a new baby, she will not want a 11-14 hrs day at the WH and traveling as much as POTUS does. TeaNN job is steady, opinion driven and I guess pays very well. The job has 4 co-hosts. That gives her more time to chill and raise her baby…….No inside information, just my raw assessment from the outside looking in.

          I have not seen her show on TeaNN. She is a solid advocate for POTUS.

      • 44 jacquelineoboomer
        December 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm

        I believe Stephanie thought she could contribute something positive toward the Obama message, via Crossfire. Obviously, she could, but the deck was stacked against her by CNN with the other three using up valuable air space.

  15. 45 amk for obama
    December 13, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Is this our Kayla?

  16. 49 amk for obama
    December 13, 2013 at 11:43 am

  17. 50 amk for obama
    December 13, 2013 at 11:45 am

  18. 51 Ladyhawke
    December 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Take Two Aspirin and Blame Everything on Obamacare (A MUST READ.)

    How the health care law became the scapegoat for everything.

    By Sam Baker

    —————————————

    Welcome to the Obamacare era.

    The healthy are subsidizing the sick. Insurance companies are tightening access to doctors. Plans with low premiums have high deductibles. Sometimes it rains, Nickelback is still a band, and people continue to die literally every day.

    But just because something is happening and Obamacare exists doesn’t mean it’s happening because Obamacare exists—even in health care.

    Don’t tell that to the law’s critics: The Affordable Care Act has become the go-to scapegoat for just about everything people don’t like about health care, if not in the economy overall. The law is being blamed for trends, economic incentives, and basic realities that it did not create and that were part of the health care system long before President Obama was even elected.

    ———————————–

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/health-care/take-two-aspirin-and-blame-everything-on-obamacare-20131212

    h/t Jonathan Cohn

    • December 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      ACA was always going to work. A Democratic Congress and The President didn’t spend of year of political capitol on this to watch it fail. This is a long range project and people claiming fail after after a couple of weeks miss that point.

      The US medical system is going to be transformed, the deficit is going to go down and there are going to be millions of jobs created. This is what the GOP fears. Once Obamacare becomes entrenched it would be political insanity to run against it no matter what party the candidate belongs to.

  19. 55 Ladyhawke
    December 13, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Obamacare On Track to Beat Enrollment Estimates

    By Spandan C

    ——————————-

    Conservatives gave the ‘Obamacare’ moniker to the Affordable Care Act in an effort to berate and ridicule it. But now, it is turning out to be an apt nickname for the law in more ways than one. Not only is it this president’s signature domestic policy achievement and his lasting legacy, but Obamacare is showing the kind of resiliency its namesake himself is known for. Both the Obama presidency and Obamacare have survived countless conservative attempts to dismantle, unprecedented conservative obstructionism, liberal poutrage of not-enough-ism, and somehow, both keep shining through, surviving, and thriving.

    Actually, not somehow. We know exactly how. By keeping set on the goal of making lives better for ordinary people, working hard, and never giving up into the naysaying, condescension, and obstructionism.

    ————————————-

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2013/12/obamacare-on-track-to-beat-enrollment.html

  20. 56 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 13, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Received this today via email:

    Message for veterans using “MyHealtheVet” website —

    Please push this out to your Detachments and ask that they notify their members who use the VA website.

    The servers that support My HealtheVet are down and VA is unable to post a message to warn Veterans trying to access the site.

    Please let your members know that emergency maintenance is now taking place on the MHV Website.

    We apologize for the inconvenience. Technical teams have identified the issue and are working aggressively to get the website portals fully operational. Additional information will be disseminated as it becomes available.

    In the meantime, members that are trying to access prescription refill should call the phone number on their prescription bottles. Members in need of their medical records will need to contact the release of information office at their local VAMC.

    It is estimated the servers will be restored by tomorrow.

  21. 57 Nena20409
    December 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Good, Good Morning. Good, Good, Good Day. Good a happy feeling……..Andy Kim, Canadian Lebanese songwriter/singer.
    Hello TODers.

    Great R&S Post.

    TGIF

    http://www.pbs.org/weta/washingtonweek/blog/gwen%E2%80%99s-take-handshakes-selfies-and-budget-deals

    But this will not be the first time we’ve lost sight of the bigger picture. This week’s memorials for the great South African leader Nelson Mandela provided three glaring cases in point.

    The first wave of foggy coverage occurred when President Obama shared a passing polite handshake with Cuban leader Raul Castro. The world did not shake. Communism did not end. Cuban émigrés in Miami did not take to the streets. Yet, the greeting dominated coverage and analysis (overshadowing an actual kiss the president accorded Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who had canceled a state visit to Washington earlier this year over a national security spying dispute).
    The Obama-Castro handwringing also ignored what the president actually said in his Mandela tribute. “There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people,” the president said, in pointed comments that could have been directed at Castro or any of at least a half dozen leaders crowded on stage that day.
    The other non-story that overwhelmed coverage of a historic day was fun but excessive. I admit I shared the picture of the president posing for a “selfie” with the Prime Ministers of Great Britain and Denmark on Twitter. It was cute. It was funny, especially because Michelle Obama seemed so unamused.

    • 58 Nena20409
      December 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      She said this also:
      “I never cease to marvel how efficiently we can minimize real news – whether it be rare proof that Washington has a little bipartisanship left, or history unfolding on another continent,” she wrote. Ifill criticized the media for getting distracted by a “non-story” and called the coverage “foggy.”

  22. 59 amk for obama
    December 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm

  23. 60 amk for obama
    December 13, 2013 at 12:33 pm

  24. 61 amk for obama
    December 13, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    LOL.

  25. 63 anniebella
    December 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    With so much good news about Obamacare, now I know why the sorry as U.S. media have focus so much on selfie, FLOTUS and handshake.

  26. 64 sherijr
    December 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Soooo… I’m standing in line at the Post Office, and what to my wondering ears do I hear- but one noisy tea-bagger spreading his fear… “Obama, Soros, Russia, China, Obama bombing Ohio” … Shouted with a leer. I dashed away, dashed away, making his noise disappear. ;)

  27. 65 Nena20409
    December 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Drip, Drip, Drip, ;)

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/nj-official-tied-to-revenge-traffic-jame-reisgns

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced the resignation Friday of an official tied to the growing scandal over a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge last summer.

    Bill Baroni, an ally of Christie’s who was the deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the bridge, resigned effective immediately.

    Other local officials have alleged three lanes leading onto the bridge were ordered closed by Christie’s allies because a local mayor declined to endorse the governor’s re-election bid. Baroni said the lanes were closed for a traffic study.

    Dr Maddow has been on this case……Now. No doubt she will be again tonight.

  28. 68 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    • 69 hopefruit2
      December 13, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Will be marking my calendar. Thanks ut.

    • 71 jacquelineoboomer
      December 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      Yes!!!! I love Patrick Murphy!

    • 72 Nena20409
      December 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      Great. He is passionate and an avid supporter of POTUS.

    • 73 HZ
      December 13, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      I will also be giving former Congressman, Patrick Murphy my support on his new journey. I have always liked him and his taking a firm stand on the ACA during his time in congress. He took a heavy blow when he stood by POB during this vote, and he lost his seat in many ways because of it. POB took his losing his seat very personally and expressed that to Patrick.

      However, Patrick Murphy has spoken up and out in support of what the administration has done and will continue to do to help our veterans. I do believe what I have seen of Patrick Murphy that he will be very helpful. Let us give him a good support system, please.HZ

      • 74 jackiegrumbacher
        December 13, 2013 at 2:26 pm

        HZ, Murphy is the real deal. Have met him several times and was disappointed when he didn’t get the PA AG job. The one who did win–Kathleen Kane–is doing a good job, though.

  29. 75 Nena20409
    December 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Jon Stewart on Megyn @ 2:56

  30. 79 Ladyhawke
    December 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    The ground has shifted and the long game is paying off (updated)

    By Smartypants

    —————————————

    Yesterday the ground shifted in our political debate. Did you notice? It all started with Speaker Boehner’s weekly press conference.

    He not only said the teapublicans had “lost all credibility,” he talked about the need for finding “common ground” – something that was repeated by Representatives Ryan and Cantor on the floor of the House later. If you remember, Boehner is the same guy who literally couldn’t say the word “compromise” a few years ago.

    So its clear that Republican leadership in the House has changed their tune – big time! I’d like to take a few minutes to think about how/why that happened. And rather than do what so many in the media tend to do, lets look at the long game on how we got here rather than simply focus on the recent past.

    ———————————————

    http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-ground-has-shifted-and-long-game-is.html

    • 80 Don
      December 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      The ground shifted under these numb-nuts a long time ago, what they are experiencing now is the aftershocks. Speaker Boehner chose to ride with the Branch-Davidian faction of Congress and thought they were going to deliver unto him everything he wanted, only to find out later that they were bat-shit insane.

      • 81 LDS
        December 13, 2013 at 1:48 pm

        Another word for that is “inflamed”. I did not watch the WHPC tantrums yesterday. I have a difficult time watching” fake” journalists.
        But I do know when your enemies become inflamed! you are doing the right thing.
        Not only has the ground shifted, they are going down in it. But first, they are going to start eating each other alive.
        Obamacare is working. PBO is still the President.
        These last two terms his enemies will be his footstool. We will never forget these times, ever.

    • December 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      From the article….
      “But what’s important to note is that those calamitous strategic objectives (ie, total obstruction and hostage-taking) have not just been the purview of the “professional right” (read: teapublicans) over the last 5 years. They have been the adopted strategy of the Republican Party from top to bottom. So what’s important to note is the strategy (rather than the policy) break. It means the battles will be played on a different terrain going forward and the Republican civil war that has been engaged will be a big part of that terrain.”

  31. 83 utaustinliberal
    December 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    • 84 hopefruit2
      December 13, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      I meant to respond to you here but for some reason responded to the wrong post above. Anyway thanks and I will mark my calendar!

      • 85 LDS
        December 13, 2013 at 1:54 pm

        I can hardly wait!
        Never got excited about this in recent years. Mostly embarrassed by GWB fiascos in front and off camera.
        I will mark my calendar, also and double dare any outbursts and disrespect.

        I feel something remarkable will happen before this!

  32. 86 jacquelineoboomer
    December 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm

  33. 87 Nena20409
    December 13, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Jay is at the Podium

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    Jan 28th is SOTU in 2014.

    • 88 hopefruit2
      December 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      Media’s Musings on the SOTU:

      What will he say? What will he not say? What MUST he say? What can’t he say? What should he say? Will he respond to growing concerns about selfiegate and how the WHPC needs more access to his daily and inner life? Will he personally arrest, convict and sentence to jail forever that sign-language interpreter in South Africa? Will he update the American people about Sasha’s possible modeling aspirations? Will he be transparent about what colleges Malia will apply to AND her SAT scores? Will he make a statement about Sunny and Bo’s REAL relationship? Will he invite Snowden and Greenwald for a beer summit at the WH?

  34. December 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Neat photo!!

  35. 93 LDS
    December 13, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Good morning TOD!
    Just catching up with all the good reads. It is so hard to catch up when there is so much information.
    I just want to say I love coming here because I do not watch television anymore concerning newsworthy events. I rarely buy a newspaper maybe my community news.

    HF2, you are the most prolific, down-to-earth, make so much damn sense, common sense writer that I enjoy reading whenever I get a chance to come here. Every single time the “misfit” MSM, tries to run with a negative spin on our President your counter punch is poetry to me. I know you were on a serious debate team or should have been. You brilliantly exposed the irony of the fake interpreter-gate by referring to all the fakeness and hyporacy of MSM, John Bohner, Chuck Todd and others.

    Needless to say, the WHPC should really listen to themselves how stupid they sound wanting more access to our President while they despise himso much. Why should they be allowed that privilege when it so obvious what their true motives are? But as gracious is our President, if he allows it, I would not be surprise me that it comes back to slap them in ther racist faces like everything else does.
    They are so inflamed they can’t think straight. That is what happens to your enemies when you do the right thing by everyone.

    I learned early on growing up down South the difference between outright racism ans subtle racism. The latter is much worse. It tries to convince others and themselves that they care while deep rooted they are spinning negative shit to demoralize, dehumanized not only the person, but his race. Simply because it makes them feel superior.

    HF2, thank you for calling shit out when you see it and being able to see the whole total picture.
    Have a good weekend everyone. Off to the movies!
    Ms. Dudette, thank you for the Impressions late last night. I woke up humming, “I’m So Proud Of You.”
    Dedicated that one to POB and FLOTUS for all the distractions trying to creep up this week to get them and us off course.
    #Stay Focus

  36. December 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I’m on constant conference calls so I just mute the audio and watch the video of these Republican dudes on the Senate Floor – from Sessions to McCain to Toomey, etc. They all look like they are going to blow a gasket.

    Yes We Can

  37. 99 Linda
    December 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    ” Does the President take exception to Politifact calling him a liar ?

    These people are pathetic…….

    • 100 Ladyhawke
      December 13, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Now they are trying to find something nefarious about people deciding to leave. Pete Rouse has been there for five years. And he said he planned to leave back in August. But there is something suspicious about him leaving now. The search for the takedown piece is in full swing. This is what passes as reporting the news.

      I loved it when Jay said the problems with the healthcare.gov website were on the front pages of the newspapers but the significant improvements just get mentioned on page 22.

    • 101 Layla
      December 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Did you mean politicrap!

  38. 102 LDS
    December 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Linda, I assume that is a “fake” journalist asking another stupid question.

    • 103 Ladyhawke
      December 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      All the jackals care about is process, feelings, personalities and who’s up and who’s down. It’s embarrassing to think these people are getting six figure salaries to ask such inane questions.

    • 104 Ladyhawke
      December 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      It’s clear that the jackals are struggling with the fact that President Obama and Jay Carney have taken complete ownership of the rocky rollout of the healthcare.gov website. I don’t know how many times Jay has to say the problems with the rollout is on us and we are working to fix the problems 24X7. There is no need to ask another question about how the WH feels about the impact of the rocky rollout. Asked and Answered. Now they are desperate for someone to be fired.

  39. December 13, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Well, ho, ho, ho, all you O’s!!!! Another great getting up day on TOD Blvd!!!

    So I wake up to hear the press whining about not getting to take pics of the Prez on their terms. yawn…..crybabies couldn’t even get close to the late, and and not too great Reagun.

    They brought it on themselves, who wouldn’t be po’d when they took a second in a moment in time and felt it necessary to comment on FLOTUS who was just sitting and minding her own business. more yawn….idiots think PBO was going to let them dis his lady?

    OK, I’m sure all of that has already been hashed out and I’m just late to the party,

    Holiday Helpful Hint:

    If you’re that uncle at the dinner table who wears on the nerves of every one, remember what happened to good ol’ Uncle What’s His Name from North Korea. Zip it!

  40. 107 vcprezofan2
    December 13, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    A wee bit late to the village today. :neutral: Is there anything hot cooking?

  41. 108 hopefruit2
    December 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Just a few Christmas/Holiday related-events with coming up this weekend:

    1. Tonight PBS airs the National Chrismas Tree lighting (which we saw via livestream last week).
    2. Sunday Dec 15, there will be the taping of the “Christmas in Washington” annual event which will be aired on TNT Friday Dec 20th.
    3. Sunday Dec 15 @8PM ET – HGTV White House Christmas 2013.

    Tune in or set your DVR’s.

  42. December 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm


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