17
Jan
14

Rise and Shine

michelle-obama-cover-ftr

Happy Birthday to the best First Lady, America has been fortunate to have at the White House. Wishing First Lady Michelle Obama long life, happiness, love, laughter, and prosperity.

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Presidential Daily Schedule (All Times Eastern):

11:0 AM EST: President Obama delivers remarks on signals intelligence programs, Department of Justice

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Brian Beutler: Desperate, Last-Ditch Effort For Obamacare Haters Fails

After the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare in 2012, most reasonable people assumed the right had missed its one big shot at using the courts to destroy the law. But Obamacare mania isn’t an ailment that afflicts reasonable people, and so conservatives turned their attention to an even more far-fetched legal challenge.  The short version is that if you take one phrase of the Affordable Care Act statute out of context,

it appears as if the law does not provide for premium tax credits on federally facilitate exchanges. Conservatives are thus asking the courts to invalidate and prohibit Obamacare subsidies in all Healthcare.gov states.

Well, a D.C. District Court judge has looked at this argument, and concluded that it’s total nonsense. I obviously agree. And if you agree, too then you also must conclude that the challengers and their supporters are either dishonest or so blinded by Obamacare hatred that they’ve lost the ability to read. There are no other interpretations.

More here

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Edward-Isaac Dovere: Obama To Nominate First Black Lesbian Judge In 20 Years

President Barack Obama has already nominated more African-American judges and more LGBT judges than any previous president. On Thursday, he’ll announce the nomination of Staci Michelle Yandle, the first African-American lesbian federal judge he’s picked. Yandle, who’s in private practice, will be Obama’s pick for the district court for the Southern District of his home state of Illinois.

If confirmed, that would make her the first African-American judge ever on that court, and the first openly gay judge in the 7th Circuit, which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. There’s another first among the four new nominees Obama will announce Thursday: Salvador Mendoza, Jr., currently a county Superior Court judge in Washington state, will be Obama’s pick for the district court for the Eastern District of his state, where he would be the first Hispanic judge in that position.

More here

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The Republic: Superior Court Judge Salvador Mendoza Jr. Of Tri-Cities Nominated To Become Federal Judge

A state judge from the Tri-Cities has been nominated by President Obama to become a federal judge for Eastern Washington. Salvador Mendoza Jr. was nominated on Thursday, and would be the first Hispanic to serve as a federal judge in Eastern Washington.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., says Mendoza has an inspiring life story, including working as a migrant farm worker in the Yakima Valley. Mendoza has been a Superior Court judge for Benton and Franklin counties since last year.

More here

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USA Today: OFA Sponsors Spring Fellowships

Organizing for Action, the political group set up to push President Obama’s political agenda, is looking to expand its roster.

OFA is launching what it calls a “Spring Fellowship program,” assigning more than 60 veteran organizers to train more than 1,400 new volunteers to promote items such as an immigration bill and Obama’s health care law.

“It’s about making sure that voices on our side are heard, and people are held accountable,” said Jon Carson, executive director of OFA.

The trainers — which include OFA alumni, long-time volunteers, and former fellows — will be located in 22 states. They will train fellows who hail from at least 29 states (plus Washington, D.C.), and range from college students to adults making their first foray into politics.

The program, which includes data and digital training, runs from Feb. 8 to April 15.

More here

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Reuters: Senate Approves $1.1 Trillion Bill To End Government Funding Battle

Washington’s battles over government funding ended with a whimper on Thursday as the U.S. Senate approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill that quells for nearly nine months the threat of another federal agency shutdown.

The measure, which funds thousands of government programs from the military to national parks through the September 30 fiscal year-end, passed by a strong, 72-26 majority. President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law.

The vote came exactly three months after the end of a 16-day government shutdown in October that was waged over disputed funding of “Obamacare,” the president’s signature health care law.

More here

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Jonathan Cohn: Obamacare’s A “Bailout” Now? Conservative Critics Are Getting Desperate

Conservatives used to say Obamacare is socialized medicine. Now they say it is a “government bailout” of insurers. The new claim is just as misleading and cynical as the old one.

The latest conservative plaything is a pair of previously obscure Obamacare features: “reinsurance” and “risk corridors.” ….

…. Conservatives might object to reinsurance and risk corridors on principle, regardless of amounts involved. That would be a perfectly legitimate argument, except for one thing: Reinsurance and risk corridors are already a feature of some government programs, most prominent among them Medicare Part D…

What’s that? You haven’t heard Republicans attacking Medicare Part D an insurer bailout? Maybe that’s because of one other, obvious difference between Part D and the Affordable Care Act. Only one of them was signed into law by a guy named Barack Obama.

More here

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Julie Pace: AP Source: NSA Phone Data Control To Come To End

President Barack Obama on Friday will call for ending the government’s control of phone data from millions of Americans, but will not offer a plan for where the information should be held, a senior administration official said. While the move would mark a significant shift for the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk phone record collection program, it’s unclear how quickly the plan could be carried out or whether it will ultimately need congressional approval. The government will continue to hold the data for now, though Obama is ordering that, effective immediately, a judicial finding will be required to access the information.

Obama will announce the decisions in a highly anticipated speech at the Justice Department. The official said the president will call on the attorney general and intelligence community to recommend where to move the data before March 28, when the collection program comes up for reauthorization. The official says the administration will also consult with Congress on the data transfer. Privacy advocates say moving the data outside the government’s control could minimize the risk of unauthorized or overly broad searches by the NSA.

A presidential review panel proposed moving the data to the telephone companies or a third party. However, the phone providers have balked at changes that would put them back in control of the records, citing liability concerns if hackers or others were able to gain unauthorized access to the records. The moves are more sweeping than what many U.S. officials had been anticipating about the president’s surveillance decisions.

More here

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USA Today: 20 subpoenas Issued In N.J. Bridge Scandal

A newly formed special state committee investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal issued 20 subpoenas Thursday, including several to key staff members of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The legislative committee sent subpoenas to 17 individuals and three institutions. None was immediately named.

Assemblyman John Wisinewski, who is leading the investigation, said no names would be revealed until the recipients were officially served. That could happen Friday. A New Jersey Senate committee is also investigating whether Christie’s top advisers orchestrated or covered up lane closures near the bridge for political purposes.

More here

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The Hill: AP Gives Award To Reporters Of Untruthful ‘Spanglish’ Story

The Associated Press’s recent error-filled article concerning the ObamaCare Spanish-language site apparently is the best story published by the AP over the last month.

The story claimed that the site was written in “Spanglish,” but the site is actually written in proper Spanish, a fact easily discerned by any fluent Spanish-language reader.

Michael Oreskes, AP’s senior managing editor, yesterday gave a “Best of the States” award to the reporters and editors involved in the ObamaCare Spanish-language hatchet job. In an email, Oreskes exalted the high-quality reporting that created this story — above and beyond other stories produced by the AP in the last month.

…. Not only did the AP story suffer from errors of the “Spanish as a second language” variety, but also it badly stumbled on factual mistakes that could have been fact-checked on Google in seconds.

More here

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Bill Quigley: Ten Examples Of Welfare For Corporations And The Ultra-Rich

There are thousands of tax breaks and subsidies for the rich and corporations provided by federal, state and local governments, but these 10 will give a taste. 1. State and local subsidies to corporations: An excellent New York Times study by Louise Story calculated that state and local government provide at least $80 billion in subsidies to corporations. Over 48 big corporations received over $100 million each. GM was the biggest, at a total of $1.7 billion extracted from 16 different states, but Shell, Ford and Chrysler all received over $1 billion each. Amazon, Microsoft, Prudential, Boeing and casino companies in Colorado and New Jersey received well over $200 million each.

2. Direct federal subsidies to corporations: The Cato Institute estimates that federal subsidies to corporations cost taxpayers almost $100 billion every year. 3. Federal tax breaks for corporations: The tax code gives corporations special tax breaks that have reduced what is supposed to be a 35-percent tax rate to an actual tax rate of 13 percent, saving these corporations an additional $200 billion annually, according to the US Government Accountability Office.

More here

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NYT: A First Lady At 50, Finding Her Own Path

Michelle Obama is in many ways the embodiment of the contemporary, urban, well-heeled middle-aged American woman. On Saturday night, Mrs. Obama will celebrate her 50th birthday with dancing and sweets throughout the state floor of the White House, drawing the nation’s attention away from her husband, at least for an evening. Guests will sip fine American wines, consume delicate macarons and be entertained — the expectation is by Beyoncé.

Marc Howard, whose daughter Zoe once played on the soccer team with Sasha, recalled how his daughter drained the tiny water bottle he had brought for her one hot Washington day on the field. Mrs. Obama lightheartedly chided him. “She said, ‘What kind of water bottle is that?’ and gave Zoe hers,” Mr. Howard said. “Those are things far away from the cameras.”

While Mrs. Obama has been careful not to define herself or her role strictly through race, she has paid steadfast attention to her role as a model and mentor to minority children from poor backgrounds like her own, and has built much of her policy agenda around them. “She is more self-determinative than prior first ladies because she very rarely allows herself to be drawn into distracting conversations,” said Carl Anthony, a historian of first ladies. In addition, he said, “She speaks to a demographic pretty much ignored by the White House by all first ladies except for Eleanor Roosevelt.” He cited trips Mrs. Obama has made to the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington and White House invitations she has extended to local working-class African-Americans.

More here

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On This Day:

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk with St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman in the Red Room after welcoming the team to the White House to honor their 2011 World Series victory, Jan. 17, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama greets David Hall, one of eight Citizen Co-Chairs for the Inauguration, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Jan. 17, 2013 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


135 Responses to “Rise and Shine”


  1. 1 vcprezofan2
    January 17, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Happy B-Day, FLOTUS!

  2. January 17, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Majestically magnificent, thank yooooooou UT!!!!!

  3. 12 utaustinliberal
    January 17, 2014 at 10:20 am

    • 13 jackiegrumbacher
      January 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      Great, great R&S, UT and stunning photos of our FLOTUS. ..’ “America is fortunate and thankful to have Michelle as our First Lady…” Amen to that.

  4. January 17, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Good Morning!

    Happy Michelle Obama Day!

  5. 16 Proud Former White House Intern
    January 17, 2014 at 10:23 am

    She is beautiful, I love her to pieces! Truly inspirational!

  6. 17 Desertflower
    January 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

    She is beautiful and extraordinary in every way!

  7. 18 japa21
    January 17, 2014 at 10:27 am

    At this very moment I am giving her a birthday hug…..sigh…how I wish.

    Anyway, GM all fellow TODvillians. I have decided winter can now go away, at least from Chicago. I want it to go and hit CA heavily with snow and rain. And I know the folks there are hoping the same thing.

  8. 19 GGail
    January 17, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Good West Coast First Lady Michelle Obama 50th birthday morning!!!!!

    UT, this is a beautiful R&S – thank you!

    japa – yes, we here in CA could really really use that snow and rain – please send it right away :D

    • 20 japa21
      January 17, 2014 at 10:41 am

      My brother lives just south of SF. He is supposed to host a family reunion this summer, but if the water condtion doesn’t improve, he may cancel. He would have to limit showers, which would mean none of us would want to be around each other.

      • 21 GGail
        January 17, 2014 at 10:48 am

        Yes, that would cause vast separation :-)

        January and February are our “winter rain months” and we are very dry.

        Climate change…is…real

  9. 22 JER
    January 17, 2014 at 10:49 am

  10. 23 dotster3
    January 17, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Happy 50th Bday Michelle Obama!

  11. 24 GGail
    January 17, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I’m looking at the different pictures of Mrs. Obama and I see that she got a deep tan during the holiday.
    She is now a bronze goddess (UT quote) :D

  12. 25 amk for obama
    January 17, 2014 at 10:51 am

    What about the kenyan muslin, you ask?

    Yes, what about him?

  13. January 17, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Heads up:

    11:00 AM EST President Obama Speaks on Signals Intelligence Programs

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

  14. January 17, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Happy Birthday FLOTUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! 50 has never look this good

  15. 29 Linda
    January 17, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Creepy Kristin Welker said the telecoms want no part of storing the meta data…

  16. 30 LadyTNT
    January 17, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Happy Birthday to the best FLOTUS EVER!!!! I hope you have a wonderful day and I wish you many more. Thanks for being so inspirational to all of us!!

  17. 39 yardarm756
    January 17, 2014 at 11:09 am

    In honor of my “Home Girl”.

  18. 44 utaustinliberal
    January 17, 2014 at 11:11 am

    HEADS UP:

  19. 45 yardarm756
    January 17, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Question mates: Does PBO have the ability to use a line item veto? It is needed now , I feel.

  20. 48 amk for obama
    January 17, 2014 at 11:16 am

    • 49 99ts
      January 17, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Sheriff might reject it – how about the jury of his peers?

      • 50 0388jojothecat
        January 17, 2014 at 1:06 pm

        Funny how common sense is not required when the people are AA. GZ cwould have gone home or waited for police. Shooting a warning shot not physically hurting anyone to get them to leave you alone gets you life in prison if you are not the right skin color.

  21. 51 amk for obama
    January 17, 2014 at 11:17 am

  22. 52 amk for obama
    January 17, 2014 at 11:18 am

  23. 60 amk for obama
    January 17, 2014 at 11:32 am

  24. 61 amk for obama
    January 17, 2014 at 11:33 am

  25. 62 amk for obama
    January 17, 2014 at 11:34 am

  26. 63 Linda
    January 17, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Amidst intense scrutiny and a bevy of civil rights lawsuits, the New York Police Department drastically reduced its use of the controversial stop-and-frisk practice in 2013. Newly minted Police Commissioner William Bratton announced Wednesday that recorded stops dropped 60 percent, from more than 533,000 in 2012 to 194,000 in 2013.

    A federal judge ruled last year that stop-and-frisk unconstitutionally targets black and Latino New Yorkers, but the decision was stayed as former Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) sought an appeal. De Blasio announced that he would drop the appeal when it goes to court next week, allowing the judge’s order to go into effect and end the stop-and-frisk decade.

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/01/16/3175171/stop-frisk-drop-60-percent/

  27. 64 amk for obama
    January 17, 2014 at 11:38 am

  28. 65 amk for obama
    January 17, 2014 at 11:40 am

  29. 66 amk for obama
    January 17, 2014 at 11:41 am

  30. 67 amk for obama
    January 17, 2014 at 11:42 am

  31. 69 amk for obama
    January 17, 2014 at 11:49 am

  32. January 17, 2014 at 11:49 am

    • 71 yardarm756
      January 17, 2014 at 11:56 am

      It will happen as soon as she gets her family away from the White House.

      • January 17, 2014 at 12:20 pm

        hello Yardddd,,,hope you are well….

        Although there are challenges…there are opportunites as well…and she took advantage of an opportunity to bring attention to the issue of not only getting more children into college but helping them to cope and graduate….
        children from not so privileged backgrounds
        I love FLOTUS!

  33. 73 lockewasright
    January 17, 2014 at 11:56 am

    My puppy girl Vespa, decided to lie down and not get up anymore a few days ago. She wouldn’t eat or drink. We gave a her a day after giving her some buffered aspirin to see if it helped. It didn’t. Wednesday she stood up exactly twice, once to greet me when I got home from work and once to go into our bedroom to sleep at night. We made an appointment to take her to the vet yesterday. I’ve spent those two days not sleeping much and fitfully when I do, pacing and generally being choked up. So did my wife and our son and daughter. I spent all day yesterday thinking we were going to be saying our goodbyes that evening.

    The vet checked her out. Her temp is normal, her eye color, gum color, lungs and heart beat all are fine. She took some blood and we are waiting for results. In the meantime, she gave us some Prednisone for Vespa. She took her first dose last night. This morning she stood up and walked with me to the kitchen as I got ready for work. Then she walked back into my bedroom and drank some water. She is still looking very listless and her gate is hardly spunky, but I am more hopeful than I was yesterday about her chances of recovery.

    Please keep your fingers crossed.

    • 74 57andfemale
      January 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      Oh, lockewasright, you have my constant prayers and healing energy sent to you and your wonderful family and beloved Vespa. Please keep us posted on her condition and diagnosis.

      All my love is with you………

    • 76 japa21
      January 17, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      You and Vespa are in m thoughts. It is a difficult time, which as I said a couple days ago, my wife and I will be facing soon. We had thought that time was a couple months ago, but Maggie regained some of her pep. The vet has told us, though, that this winter may be the last one. As she (the vet) put it to us, it ultimately comes down to quality of life for both the pet and the owners. But very few owners will put their quality of life as the top priority. I know we can’t.

      • 77 57andfemale
        January 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm

        Been there, japa. My prayers go out to you and Maggie. Sending healing energy to all of you. It is such a difficult time. Trust yourself (and Maggie) that maggie’s best interests will be paramount.

        All my love………

      • 78 lockewasright
        January 17, 2014 at 4:06 pm

        Thank you japa21. I certainly couldn’t put my quality of life first and feel good about it afterward. I think that the best that either of us can do is to make sure that our loved ones know that we love them and try to make the best effort that we can to support their health without being selfish. I won’t let her suffer an extension to her life that is not pleasant for her to experience just so that I can avoid the pain of losing her. If I can get her more time that I think she would feel is worth having, then I will use any resources that I need to.

        Give Maggie all of the love that you can and make sure to savor the love that comes your way. I all honesty, that’s how it should be regardless of how close any of us it to our final day anyway. We just forget that sometimes because life’s goals and complications along with ego make it difficult not to lose perspective. Times like these sure can bring us back some clarity.

      • 79 Cindy
        January 17, 2014 at 5:29 pm

        Good afternoon Lockewasright and Japa21,

        I am sad to hear about Vespa and Maggie; we were just talking about your girls a few days ago. I am sending prayers and positive energy, that you and your family members will feel the love for healing to Vespa and Maggie, and know that you’re not alone. Our pets are our family members. I still miss my Mr. Solomon and his brother Sam, and my baby before them, Mr. BB who lived to be 16 years of age (all cats).
        Blessings,

        A Special Doggie prayer for Vespa and Maggie,

        O Holy Father, Heavenly Physician of all thy creatures, Who heals our ailments and delivers from death: do thou visit and heal these precious pets (12 year old Vespa and 15 ½ years old Maggie) granting these precious family members release from pain and restoration to health and vigor, that they may return to Lockewasright and family and Japa21 and family; bring back the joy and love that they so treasure. Hear my prayer, now humbly offered unto thee.

        Please help Lockewasright and his family and Japa21 and his family; you have made them stewards of pretty girls Vespa and Maggie. If it is your will, please restore Vespa and Maggie to health and strength.
        I pray too for other animals in need. May they be treated with the care and respect deserving of all your creation. Blessed is You Lord God, and holy is your name for ever and ever.

        P.S. I added some words to this special prayer for animals so that I could personalize it for Vespa and Maggie.

    • 80 Nena20409
      January 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      Wishing Vespa a speedy recovery.

      {{{Vespa}}}

      • 81 lockewasright
        January 17, 2014 at 4:07 pm

        Thanks very much Nena20409. I will convert your digital hug to a physical one for Vespa as soon as I get home from work.

    • 82 0388jojothecat
      January 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      I am so sorry my dear friend that Vespa is not doing well. My heart sank when I read the first line of your post…then relief when it looks as though she still has some fight in her to keep hanging on. My prayers the meds work.

      • 83 lockewasright
        January 17, 2014 at 4:17 pm

        Thanks jojothecat. She didn’t even have her first gray hair when you and I first met over there at what has sadly become a sea of emoprogs. Hopefully, I will be able to report a few more of her birthday celebrations to you still. I am certainly more optimistic than I was yesterday, but I am trying not to get my hopes up too high just yet.

        Maybe Vespa will feel better in time for my weekend music and dance session with the crumb snatchers and we can go extra long to celebrate. :-)

    • 84 Cindy
      January 17, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      Good afternoon Lockewasright and Japa21,

      I am sad to hear about Vespa and Maggie; we were just talking about your girls a few days ago. I am sending prayers and positive energy, that you and your family members will feel the love for healing to Vespa and Maggie, and know that you’re not alone. Our pets are our family members. I still miss my Mr. Solomon and his brother Sam, and my baby before them, Mr. BB who lived to be 16 years of age (all cats).
      Blessings,

      A Special Doggie prayer for Vespa and Maggie,

      O Holy Father, Heavenly Physician of all thy creatures, Who heals our ailments and delivers from death: do thou visit and heal these precious pets (12 year old Vespa and 15 ½ years old Maggie) granting these precious family members release from pain and restoration to health and vigor, that they may return to Lockewasright and family and Japa21 and family; bring back the joy and love that they so treasure. Hear my prayer, now humbly offered unto thee.

      Please help Lockewasright and his family and Japa21 and his family; you have made them stewards of pretty girls Vespa and Maggie. If it is your will, please restore Vespa and Maggie to health and strength.
      I pray too for other animals in need. May they be treated with the care and respect deserving of all your creation. Blessed is You Lord God, and holy is your name for ever and ever.

      P.S. I added some words to this special prayer for animals so that I could personalize it for Vespa and Maggie.

  34. 85 utaustinliberal
    January 17, 2014 at 12:03 pm

  35. 86 utaustinliberal
    January 17, 2014 at 12:08 pm

  36. 87 Nena20409
    January 17, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/police_say_five_dead_utah_murder_suicide

    Hellish. A Police Officer, no less.

    Authorities said Friday that a Utah police officer allegedly killed four family members and himself in a quadruple murder-suicide, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

    Spanish Fork Police Chief Steve Adams told the newspaper that a commander from the Lindon, Utah police department called to ask the SFPD to check up on the alleged shooter, Joshua Boren, when he didn’t show up for work Thursday night.

  37. 88 debz
    January 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Happy Birthday to our wonderful First Lady!!!!

  38. 89 PoliticalJunkessa
    January 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Happy Grand 50th Birthday to our FLOTUS with the MOSTUS, our National Treasure, our Pride and Joy, our Inspiration — Michelle Obama!!!

    Best wishes for all the best things in life now and always!

  39. 93 utaustinliberal
    January 17, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    It was a fantastic speech and included groundbreaking transformations to the NSA and intelligence agencies. One more reason I respect President Obama, is yes, he will not apologize for keeping Americans safe, but will also not dismiss legitimate concerns.

  40. 94 Linda
    January 17, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    The scab pickers are out in force……

    They want details …..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. 95 utaustinliberal
    January 17, 2014 at 12:23 pm

  42. 98 utaustinliberal
    January 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm

  43. 99 Lovepolitics2008
    January 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Greenwald is an ideologue. And is consumed by his fears and his rage against “government”. It’s impossible to have a reasoned debate with this guy.

    His extremism will destroy him. He will lose a majority of his supporters; mark my words.

    • 100 Nena20409
      January 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      Yet he had a Love and supported GW Bush. Ms Chips has tweeted quotes from GG’s book or article many times here at TOD.

      Perhaps, GG saw GW Bush on that Fighter Suit and fell real hard?

  44. 101 sherijr
    January 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Happy Birthday to our Perfect FLOTUS, the Woman I most admire~ thank you for your graciousness, your decency and your love for all our children. My second son’s birthday was yesterday, I always feel he’s so blessed to be nestled in between the likes of MLK and First Lady Michelle Obama.

  45. 102 utaustinliberal
    January 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm

  46. 105 jackiegrumbacher
    January 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Great, great, great news from PA, everyone. A Pa Commonweath Court judge has ruled Pa’s draconian voter ID law as unconstitutional and not valid under the law!!!!! This can be appealed to the PA Supreme Court, but that would have to be done by Pa’s AG Kathleen Kane (obligated to defend any state law) and she us one of us!!! This enlightened decision by a PA Court is way more than I expected. We anticipated a tough year trying to get voters IDs to match the law’s requirement. I am doing the happy dance right now. Michelle’s birthday has brought us luck!!!!

  47. 113 utaustinliberal
    January 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm

  48. 114 utaustinliberal
    January 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm

  49. 115 utaustinliberal
    January 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm

  50. 116 utaustinliberal
    January 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm

  51. 117 utaustinliberal
    January 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm

  52. January 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    It bugs me that the media totally ignores the fact that the President has been over this ground before. President Obama delivered remarks on national security on May 23, 2013, at National Defense University. At that time, he called on Congress to scale back the authority to use military force. It was on June 5, after his appeal to Congress that we learned of Snowden. Could be me, but the timing stinks.

    For those who have forgotten, the President said:

    “….we will have to keep working hard to strike the appropriate balance between our need for security and preserving those freedoms that make us who we are.

    That means reviewing the authorities of law enforcement….that means finally having a strong privacy and civil liberties board to review those issues…. the challenges involved in striking the right balance between our security and our open society.

    …. the choices we make about war can impact, in sometimes unintended ways, the openness and freedom on which our way of life depends. And that is why I intend to engage Congress about the existing Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, to determine how we can continue to fight terrorism without keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing.

    …. Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may….continue to grant presidents unbound powers…. So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine and ultimately repeal the AUMF’s mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. “

    • 120 utaustinliberal
      January 17, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      President Obama once again mentioned his previously stated remarks in today’s speech. You’re absolutely right about something stinking. He implemented changes to national intelligence agencies and programs when he became president, consistently called for transparency, and due to all the faux outrage from grifters like Greenwald, liars like Snowden and pundits, it’s all being lost to the general public.

  53. 121 carolyn
    January 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    UT (Nerdy Wonka) I bet you are the best note taker in any of your classes! You always hit the important parts, and I think I could take a test on the speech if I studied your tweets. The MSM misses the meat of almost every speech by picking out irrelevancies…..you get the meat. Thank you so much. You are a professor’s dream…..the one who knows what’s been said, and what is important…..I could do that when I was in college…..now, not so much.

    • January 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      “UT (Nerdy Wonka) I bet you are the best note taker in any of your classes! You always hit the important parts, and I think I could take a test on the speech if I studied your tweets.”

      Exactly Carolyn! UT, your live tweeting is fantastic, as Carolyn said, you always pick out the key lines, never miss. Just brilliant.

    • January 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      Without a doubt…unmatched brilliance. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see the speech, but I had no real concerns. I knew I could come to TOD and UT (Nerdy Wonka) would give me an absolutely perfect transcript. Thank you!!!!!

    • 126 utaustinliberal
      January 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Thank you so much, Carolyn. Glad to help.

    • January 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      A BIGGGGGGGGGG DITTO…on this Carolyn…in fact every ever speech that PBO delivers …i look for UTs tweets here in TOD…..

      THANK YOU FOR YOUR AWESOMENESS UT!

  54. 128 jacquelineoboomer
    January 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Happy Birthday to our FLOTUS! And don’t worry about qualifying for that first AARP card. It’s just a couple of numbers and happens to all of us, if we’re lucky! And it’s just another “beginning.”

  55. 129 Nena20409
    January 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I was not able to listen to the NSA speech by the POTUS. Once again, reading the Tweets from UT gave me the Gist summation of the speech. Thank you Lady UT. Happy FLOTUS Five-0 Day ;)

  56. 130 sabreen60
    January 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Happy Birthday to our beautiful and dynamic First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.

  57. 132 amk for obama
    January 17, 2014 at 1:01 pm

  58. 133 jacquelineoboomer
    January 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I may be out of touch and not know who this guy is, but I like his quote:

  59. 134 Dee
    January 17, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Happy Birthday Mrs. Obama! Keep making us proud. God bless you! :-)

  60. 135 Nena20409
    January 17, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    A Birthday Tribute to Mrs Obama.

    Michelle


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