02
Feb
14

Rise and Shine

Feb. 2, 2009 – Pete Souza: “The light was streaming through the windows behind his Oval Office desk as the President talked with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.”

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Washington Post: Life After Jan. 1: Kentucky Clinic Offers Early Glimpse At Realities Of Health-Care Law

The envelopes began arriving in December across eastern Kentucky, one of the sickest and poorest corners of the country. “Dear member . . . We want you to be healthy . . .” read the letter to Mary Combs, and with it came a plastic card representing the first insurance she ever had: a Medicaid plan made possible by the nation’s new health-care law, effective Jan. 1. Nine days into the new year, the 41-year-old call-center worker headed to the health clinic on Highway 15. She saw a doctor about her chronic stomach ulcers, had her blood drawn for tests and collected referrals for all the specialists she had been told she needed but could never afford. The next week, she saw a neurologist, who found lesions on her brain and prescribed medicine for the cluster headaches, which are also called “suicide headaches” for pain that is far more intense than a migraine and which Combs had been treating with an alcohol-soaked cloth wrapped around her head.

“That’s the big question — does getting insurance bend the cost curve or the health outcomes curve?” said Karen Ditsch, the executive director of Juniper Health, which runs the nonprofit Breathitt clinic. Life since Jan. 1: The number of uninsured has dropped by 520 people, which represents about 21 percent of the those without coverage. Of that 520, 472 qualified under the health-care law’s expanded income parameters for Medicaid, which is aimed at the working poor. Here and there, for-profit clinics that never accepted the uninsured have hung “Welcome new patients!” signs on doors. A new blue billboard hovering above the Hardee’s advertises surgery to treat acid reflux.

More here

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Michael Hiltzik: What’s Behind Anthem’s Huge Premium Increase? Not Obamacare

Insurance companies, bless their hearts, seem determined to remind us why we need the Affordable Care Act. The latest example comes from Anthem Blue Cross, which has just hit 306,000 customers in California with premium increases of up to 25%. As reported by my colleague Chad Terhune, the increases average 16% and are scheduled to kick in April 1, unless the state Department of Insurance jawbones Anthem into backing down.

Here’s the kicker: No one can blame these increases on the mandates of the Affordable Care Act, a popular argument among critics of the act. That’s because the increases are for grandfathered policies exempt from the act.

“It’s a rich irony,” says Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access, a leading California consumer advocacy group. “The insurers can’t have it both ways — they can’t blame the increases on the ACA while increasing rates on their non-ACA-compliant plans as well.” Luckily, Anthem customers have a choice this time around. They can check the state’s insurance exchange at coveredca.com to see if they can replace their old plan with a new one that might well be better, at lower cost.

More here

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Sandra Fluke: What Mike Huckabee Wants To Take Away From Women

Memo to former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and the bosses at for-profit corporations who think they belong in every doctor’s office and that they should be able to decide whether their employees have access to birth control: Women who use birth control do not have an “overactive libido.” We are not looking for a handout from “Uncle Sugar” to score a contraceptive fix. We are not sluts. This is not the reality for women — it never has been and never will be.

In fact, women who use birth control are your mother, partner, sister, and daughter. Ninety-nine percent of sexually active American women have used birth control at some point in their lives. We are just regular people trying to take care of ourselves medically and financially. That’s why seven in ten Americans believe that health insurance companies should be required to cover the full cost of birth control, just as they do for other preventive services.

More here

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Jonathan Cohn: Farewell To Henry Waxman, A Liberal Hero

One of America’s most accomplished lawmakers—a crusader responsible for cleaner air, safer food, and healthier kids—is calling it a career. On Thursday, Congressman Henry Waxman announced that he would retire at the end of this term, 40 years after he first came to Congress. The list of laws for which he deserves substantial credit is simply staggering—not only for its length, but also for its breadth. Waxman was behind the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments, plus laws regulating lead, greenhouse gas emissions, and formaldehyde. That arguably makes him his generation’s most influential lawmaker on environmental issues.

He was also behind a series of Medicaid expansions, the Ryan White Care Act, the Orphan Drug Act, the Waxman-Hatch Generic Drug Act, and, of course, the Affordable Care Act. That almost certainly makes him the most influential living lawmaker on health care issues. Other major accomplishments include the Food Quality Protection Act and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act—and, somewhere along the way, he found time to modernize the postal service. How has Waxman done it? For one thing, Waxman recognizes that lawmaking requires patience and persistence—that you have to build the case for legislation, through investigations and stagecraft, even if that takes years or even decades.

More here

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Hannah Allam: Kerry’s First Year As Top U.S. Diplomat Yields Breakthroughs On Thorny Issues

A year ago, John Kerry succeeded Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, joking on one of his first days at work that he had “big heels to fill.” Now a year into his role as America’s top diplomat, Kerry has proven that any trepidation about following such a high-profile figure was misplaced. Kerry’s anniversary this week – he assumed office on Feb. 1, 2013 – finds him, in the opinion of foreign policy analysts, with more significant, concrete breakthroughs than Clinton had in her entire four-year term. As showpieces they hold up the nuclear deal with Iran and the chemical weapons pact with Syria.

A year into Kerry’s tenure, Ross said, the picture from Asia is brighter. Ross, who’s in Beijing for six months, said U.S. diplomacy has brought about improved cooperation with China on North Korea, including landmark banking and other sanctions. And while there are still no U.S.-Chinese military agreements, he said, there are deeper military contacts so that American officials can “pick up the phone and call them if there’s an escalation.” “Secretary Kerry speaks with a quieter voice and made real policy adjustments,” Ross said. “The quiet approach has been more useful than his predecessor’s.”

More here

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Robert McCoppin and Lolly Bowean: Low Wage Workers Struggle To Get By

In the bitter cold, dark hours of the night, as many others are sleeping, Rocio Caravantes begins her hourlong journey on public transportation from her home in Logan Square to one of her two jobs downtown. Once she arrives at work, Caravantes spends hours vacuuming and scrubbing floors, polishing sinks and toilets, cleaning the bar areas and event spaces and tidying up the rugs in an upscale luxury hotel where she can’t afford to spend a night. Panic at times grips her as she thinks about how she will pay all her bills, she said.

“It is impossible to live on $8.25 an hour,” Caravantes said in Spanish, through an interpreter. “Not even three jobs are enough. I earn $495 biweekly. The first check goes to rent — it’s $500 a month. The second is for transportation, food, (phone) and education.” Caravantes, 40, is one example of the minimum wage workers who have become the focus of a national conversation about salaries for the working poor. It’s a political debate in the Illinois governor’s race, and Gov. Pat Quinn used his State of the State address last week to renew his push for an increase in the state minimum wage. President Barack Obama weighed in on the issue too when he asked Congress to increase the federal wage to $10.10.

But the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research organization in Washington, D.C., paints a broader portrait of low-wage workers. “People tend to think of low-wage workers as teenagers who are working on the weekends for extra spending money,” said David Cooper, an analyst with the institute. “While that is a portion of these workers, the vast majority don’t fit that stereotype.” According to the institute’s research, more than half of low-wage workers are older than 30.

More here

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Jacob J. Lew: MyRA: A Start To A Secure Retirement

As President Barack Obama made clear in his State of the Union address, it is time to focus on restoring opportunity for all. That means helping to make sure more Americans can take part in our growing economy and build some economic security for the long term. To get that done, we are putting forward real, concrete solutions to our most pressing problems – from college affordability and job training to fair wages and a stable retirement.  This program, which will begin later this year, is called myRA or My Retirement Account. This account is designed to help low- and middle-income workers, who are too often overlooked or ignored, begin saving for retirement. We are talking about the waitress who is holding down two part-time jobs to support her kids; the recent graduate who landed a job but is grappling with student loans; the janitor who has never been given the chance to invest in a retirement account.

Here is how myRA, which is simple, safe and affordable, will work. You will be able to start saving with an initial deposit of as little as $25 and contribute as little as $5 each payday. If an employer chooses to participate, contributions are made through automatic payroll deductions, making them hassle-free. There are no fees – 100 percent of any contribution goes into the account and is invested in a Treasury security. That means it will be backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, will earn the same interest rate that is available to federal employees for their retirement savings, and the balance will never go down. Finally, myRA is not tied to any one employer – it belongs to the worker, not the workplace. In other words, the account is portable and can be easily rolled into a Roth IRA. And if myRA savers ever need to, they can withdraw their contributions tax-free, at any time.

More here

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Brian Murphy: Well, That Escalated Quickly

It is utterly irrelevant if Chris Christie ‘wins the day’ or the weekend or the next 5 minutes or the next week. Irrelevant. The bottom line is that he is in serious trouble, politically and legally. On the legal front, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey is probing allegations by the mayor of Hoboken that a member of Christie’s cabinet and the lieutenant governor linked federal Hurricane Sandy relief funds to the the mayor’s support for a redevelopment project in Hoboken that would exclusively benefit one of Christie’s closest allies – whom he appointed to chair the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

This morning on his MSNBC show Steve Kornacki discussed reporting he and I (and producer Jack Bohrer) did showing that those federal Hurricane Sandy funds have not been monitored by the Christie Administration as required by a law that Christie himself signed last March. Furthermore, relief funds have been extremely hard to account for because Christie vetoed a bill that would have created a single website to track Sandy funding and contract information. Based on the reactions of two congressmen who watched the report with me, officials in Washington will be loath to trust Christie with the next round of federal funds and we should not be surprised if an investigation is on the horizon.

More here

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Chicago Tribune: Push To Bring Obama Library To Chicago Begins

The push to build Barack Obama’s presidential library officially got underway Friday with the establishment of a foundation managed by three of his longtime supporters. “The president’s future library will one day serve as an important part of our nation’s historical record, and our mission is to build a library that tells President Obama’s remarkable story in an interactive way that will inspire future generations to become involved in public service,” Nesbitt said.

The foundation is responsible for developing a library that reflects Obama’s values and priorities, according to Nesbitt. He said it will focus on economic opportunity, inspiring an ethic of American citizenship and promoting peace, justice and dignity around the world, among other things.

More here

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Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

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On This Day:

St Louis, Feb. 2, 2008

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Pete Souza: “White House valets had moved the sofas in the Oval Office to accommodate the large number of press photographers that were covering the President’s meeting with Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas. When the photo-op ended, the President said to Gov. Douglas, ‘let’s move the sofas back in place.’ Gov. Douglas didn’t quite know what to do as the President did the heavy lifting. The valets now good-naturedly cringe when they look at this picture because it was their responsibility to move the sofas back in place.” Feb. 2, 2009

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President Obama walks to the Oval Office after returning to the White House following a trip to Nashua, N.H., Feb. 2, 2010 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

First Lady Michelle Obama speaking alongside Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, on childhood obesity during a meeting with Cabinet and Congressional members in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House, February 2, 2010

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Vice President Joe Biden talks with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., after President Barack Obama signed the New START Treaty in the Oval Office, Feb. 2, 2011. Behind them, the President talks with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama is updated on the severe winter storm currently moving across the country during a phone call with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in the Oval Office, Feb. 2, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Vice President Joe Biden snaps a photo of President Barack Obama and keynote speaker Eric Metaxas during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., Feb. 2, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)


162 Responses to “Rise and Shine”


  1. 1 desertflower
    February 2, 2014 at 10:59 am

    GM!

  2. February 2, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Great rise and shine for a morning coffee break!

  3. February 2, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Absolutely brilliant Nerdy, so much fantastic newsie stuff to read, you’re a GEM!!! Thank you.

  4. 6 africa
    February 2, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Great R&S. Thanks Nerda Wonka.

  5. February 2, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Love these photos, NW.

    New POTUS motto: Let’s move the sofas back in place.

  6. 8 africa
    February 2, 2014 at 11:15 am

    John Kerry is a stupendous Secretary of State.

    • 9 hopefruit2
      February 2, 2014 at 11:19 am

      Absolutely!

    • 10 debz
      February 2, 2014 at 11:34 am

      I thought John Kerry was PBO’s first choice for SOS, but he had to choose Hillary for political reasons. Imagine what John Kerry might have accomplished if he was SOS from the beginning.

      • 11 jacquelineoboomer
        February 2, 2014 at 12:02 pm

        Not sure I agree he chose HRC for only political reasons, but could have been. Definitely agree about your intimation that John Kerry as SOS from the beginning might have been awesome! I like to think HRC was holding a place for him!

        • 12 carolyn
          February 2, 2014 at 12:32 pm

          Hillary had to mend fences all around the world, to rebuild the mess GWB and company had made. She did this well, and in the process, I think, set the foundation for what Sec Kerry is doing today. And……the more I see of Menendez, the more I know that President Obama knew he NEEDED Kerry as chair of the foreign relations committee, as he knew Menendez’s weaknesses. John Kerry knew that very well too. PBO still used Kerry during those four years on many special missions.
          I think leaders of some countries responded to HRC because she was the wife of a former president, and that gave them status to be dealing with her, and probably opened some doors.
          All that to agree, I think SOS Kerry is fantastic, and his Nobel prize will come.

          • February 2, 2014 at 12:38 pm

            Good post Carolyn. The Kerry people acknowledge the foundation she built. Doing that is thankless without much reward but it’s vital.

          • 14 debz
            February 2, 2014 at 12:41 pm

            I never thought about Kerry leading the foreign relations committee. Menendez would have been a disaster while they were trying to mend fences.

          • February 2, 2014 at 1:12 pm

            So agree with your assessment. A time and place for both.

          • 16 jacquelineoboomer
            February 2, 2014 at 1:43 pm

            All that to agree, and I agree with ALL that. :) I would so love SOS Kerry’s receiving the Nobel prize! That’s not why he’s in it any more than PBO is, but it’s such an honor that I hope he’s chosen.

  7. 17 africa
    February 2, 2014 at 11:16 am

    PBO so down to earth. Moving furniture in the Oval Office not above him. Wow. Reason number gabillion why I love PBO.

    • 18 vcprezofan2
      February 2, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Hel-llloooo, Africa! Happy Belated….! :grin: (Was just trying to extend the day ……:oops: not really – tardy, so missed out on the occasion). Hope you had a mah-vel-ous time, and wishing you a year ahead filled with blessings!

      • 19 africa
        February 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm

        Hiya, VC. Thank you so much. Worked and it was a looooong day, so I was here sporadically. But thank you so much. Glad to be alive. Way back when I was 21, I read this on a plaque and have never forgetten it. It went something like this:

        “Don’t regret growing old
        It is a privilege denied to many”

        I count my blessings everyday. Thanks, VC :)

    • 20 idon
      February 2, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      The pic of PBO moving furniture tickled me to no end because he’s natural. I love love that pic and hopes it ends up in the PBO library. My other fav pic is of PBO and the SSA’s daughter. She’s got her arms folded, PBO has stopped down to get on her level and she looks like she’s doing some serious conversating with PBO.

  8. 21 hopefruit2
    February 2, 2014 at 11:18 am

    G’morning NW, Chips, TOD, lurkers, everyone, and congrats df on # 1 :) Thanks NW for another great Sunday R & S, with all these fabulous tweets, informative articles and gorgeous pics :)

  9. 22 Nena20409
    February 2, 2014 at 11:26 am

    G’Morning TODable TOD

    Truly a Superb R&S.

    Happy Sunday SuperB Owl, borrowing from Stephen Colbert ;)

  10. 23 Nena20409
    February 2, 2014 at 11:28 am

    2014. 2014. 2014. Any other discussions on any Future Elections are for Distractions, Division and Subtraction from 2014. KOCHRoaches are Busy spending Now. So Lets Not be distracted.

  11. 24 hopefruit2
    February 2, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Don’t forget to tune in to the beginning of this year’s Puppy Bowl! :)

    // The 10th annual Puppy Bowl (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET/PT) is Animal Planet’s signature event that basks in the festive glow of the Super Bowl. This year, it welcomes first lady Michelle Obama and her Portuguese water dogs, Sunny and Bo, as they help “train” the puppy players in a brief segment on the White House lawn. //

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2014/01/30/puppy-bowl-animal-planet/4836145/

  12. 25 jacquelineoboomer
    February 2, 2014 at 11:34 am
  13. 26 Nerdy Wonka
    February 2, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Anyone know what time Bill O’Reilly’s interview with President Obama comes on, and what channel?

  14. 33 vcprezofan2
    February 2, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Good Morning, Utal, and thank you for today’s R & S!

    Good Day to all other TODobots, wherever you are!

    Healing thoughts to GoB, NCLB, TnMG, Alycee, Dudette,PLUS anyone else in the family who’s in pain, or in recovery mode!

    Comfort and direction to both villagers AND visitors who are making difficult choices, or those with a cloud hanging over them!

    A new week is upon us, and with it, I hope, are lots of chances to experience change ………… for the better! Peace, all!

  15. 36 hopefruit2
    February 2, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Whatever John Harwood is smoking….

    • 37 Nena20409
      February 2, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Whatever he is smoking, I don’t want. These people are distracting Us. 2014 is the ONLY thing that matters. FL, PA, OH, GA, WI, MI all could have a change in the Governorship Positions. That is a BFD.

    • 39 vcprezofan2
      February 2, 2014 at 11:52 am
    • 51 anniebella
      February 2, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      John Harwood must have been spending to much time in Washington and Colorado, cause it’s clear he has been smoking too much of something. If Jeb’s own mother said he doesn’t need to run, please tell me how does this idiot Harwood think that Jeb can win, we have not forgotten sorry old G.W., we are sick and tired of the Bushes. Dam tired.

    • February 2, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Harwood may be right. Anything is possible in a couple of years. I disagree myself. I don’t think people will want another Bush in the White House but you never know.

      • 53 anniebella
        February 2, 2014 at 1:09 pm

        I know.

      • 54 hopefruit2
        February 2, 2014 at 1:29 pm

        The thing is, Harwood wasn’t simply speculating on an “anything is possible in the future of politics” line of thought. His point was that Jeb Bush is looking strong NOW, when he has absolutely no credible basis for making such a definitive comment.

    • 56 Lovepolitics2008
      February 2, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Mr. Harwood makes the mistake of believing that polls taken at this stage are indicative of what will happen in the next two years.

      Maybe Jeb polls well right now. It’s because he’s not in the spotlight !!! Put him everyday on tv and his numbers go down. He looks too much like his brother, talks like him, has the same mannerisms.

      Jeb in the spotlight will bring back the memories of the eight awful years of the Bush presidency. Not only will Jeb’s supposed strong support will crash, but he will get the approval numbers of his brother back into the abyss.

      The Bush clan will try to present him as the “smart” one. It won’t work. The Bush years were too traumatic.

      I have to add that I’m concerned Hillary is vulnerable too against the “fatigue” of old names. If the GOP finds a candidate who is sane, and has a good family story, moderates and independents could be tempted to vote for him. The media is so good at confusing people about the respective policies of both political parties, many people end up voting solely on superficial impressions, on likability.

      That’s why I think democrats should be careful. Other candidates should prepare and start making news, so they make some progress on name recognition. In case Hillary’s numbers against republicans begin to weaken, once she’s back into the spotlight 24/7.

      Glad to see Governor O’Malley making his move. Good idea.

      • February 2, 2014 at 1:03 pm

        It works both ways truth to tell. Dismissing Jeb at this juncture is not indicative of what may or may not happen in 2 years. I don’t think he will make it but all too often the American public has a short memory.

        Imo there’s really no such thing as old name fatigue. If the candidate can run an effective enough campaign than the only ones who will be pushing that line is the beltway media. I would love to see someone fresh myself but it’s just way too early to tell. I think the media is doing this to distract us from this years midterms given how high the stakes are.

      • 58 hopefruit2
        February 2, 2014 at 1:33 pm

        Exactly – Harwood of all people should know that polls taken 2 years out with so many unknowns precludes anyone from making definitive statements about how “strong” someone is or isn’t for the general election.

  16. February 2, 2014 at 11:51 am

    This is so sweet:

    Vows: Mr. Duckett and Dr. Jones
    By Samantha Stark October 19th, 2013

    Together 46 years, Lewis Duckett and Billy Jones wrote coded letters to each other during Dr. Jones’s deployment in Vietnam. They adopted a baby, became grandfathers and then, finally, got married.

    http://www.nytimes.com/video/fashion/weddings/100000002507994/vows-mr-duckett-and-dr-jones.html?playlistId=1194811622327

  17. 63 donna dem 4 obama
    February 2, 2014 at 11:55 am

    #Black History Month

    Did You Know:

    Allensworth, CA is the first all-black Californian township, founded and financed by African Americans. Created by Lieutenant Colonel Allen Allensworth in 1908, the town was built with the intention of establishing a self-sufficient city where African Americans could live their lives free of racial prejudice.

    It has since been designated Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.

  18. February 2, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks for the R&S… such a pleasure to read!

  19. 69 jacquelineoboomer
    February 2, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    This could mean whatever you want it to mean, but here ya go:

    • 70 vcprezofan2
      February 2, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      So, JO’B, am I to simply tell myself ‘IT’S SPRING!’, even as I sit here staring out the back at the very, very beautiful winter scenery? It is truly a winter wonderland as far as the eye can see, and because I have no need to go outside today I can say without reservation – It IS breathtakingly beautiful! Buy, hey, I’m having an early spring!

  20. 72 africa
    February 2, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I love Twitter Randomness:

  21. 73 africa
    February 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm
    • 74 vcprezofan2
      February 2, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      /smh/ Honestly, Africa, IMO that’s a sad reflection on the Christie ‘leadership’. That they could/would produce such evidence on a man who was weeks ago an important cog in their wheel, is scarey.

  22. February 2, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Please note: When folks can logically put John Dean and Nixon in a headline with YOU….it ain’t good….

    …………………………………….

    David Wildstein has flipped on Christie as spectacularly as John Dean flipped on Nixon
    By NJ.com
    Sunday, February 2, 2014 3:58 EST

    Of all the arrows fired at Gov. Chris Christie over the years, the one that inflicted the deepest wound came not from a rival, but from an ally.

    David Wildstein, by all accounts, was thrilled to be part of the governor’s inner circle. He was known as a loyal member of the palace guard, the governor’s eyes and ears at the Port Authority, a buddy of Christie’s since their high school days.

    And now he has flipped, as spectacularly as John Dean flipped on Richard Nixon. And in the end, Wildstein could do just as much damage.

    “This guy is really mad,” says one leading Democrat who asked not to be named. “The way the letter is written is almost rambling, throwing everything in the kitchen sink. There’s a lot of anger there. He feels dissed.”

    Why would Wildstein be so angry with his old boss? Look at it through his eyes.
    He closed those access lanes on orders from the governor’s office after receiving the infamous message from Bridget Anne Kelly, the governor’s deputy chief of staff: “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/02/david-wildstein-has-flipped-on-christie-as-as-spectacularly-as-john-dean-flipped-on-nixon/

  23. 76 dotster3
    February 2, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Bill Kristol, who has never been right about anything, including thinking Sarah Palin would be a most excellent and brilliant Vice President of the United States, has joined ABC News. Wowie—-how low can they go—-definite rt. wing trend in all our major news networks.

    • 77 Layla
      February 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      I would say they are wayyyyyyyy beyond a trend!

    • February 2, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      That’s almost hilarious.

    • 79 Vicki
      February 2, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      RW takeover and complete control is what I think.
      On TV, in all our newspapers and by invading and directing the Comments sections of most blogs the only messages and news getting coverage are those messages and the carefully edited news stories they want you to see.

      This was vividly on display yesterday when NY1 who was at the event and had an original version, probably many original versions, filmed by their large on-site crews, chose to air a sound dampening edited version of Christie’s 32 second remarks. They muffled the booing and reported that “Christie received a smattering of boos.”

      Our best weapon against the onslaught of propaganda is GOTV.
      In NYC where ALL TV and media were against BilldeBlasio Mayor dB still pulled out a 73% win.

      When we vote we win. No matter what bullpucky they’re pushing on their multiple platforms.

      • 80 99ts
        February 2, 2014 at 6:31 pm

        “In NYC where ALL TV and media were against BilldeBlasio Mayor dB still pulled out a 73% win.”

        The media is becoming irrelevant – and anyone employing Bill Kristol makes that happen faster

  24. 81 dotster3
    February 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm
  25. 82 JER
    February 2, 2014 at 12:51 pm
  26. February 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Never doubted he was (is) a traitor ….

  27. 86 Nerdy Wonka
    February 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Hey, it’s Rob! :D

  28. February 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Happy Sunday, Obots!

    Not going to be on much today as I finish getting ready for my Super Bowl party. And tomorrow I’ll be sacrificing grains and wine to the gods for a favorable outcome in the Man City v. Chelsea match.

  29. 93 GGail
    February 2, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Black History Month…Did you know
    Bruce’s Beach was a small beach resort in the city of Manhattan Beach, California, that was owned by and operated for African Americans. It provided the African American community with opportunities unavailable at other beach areas because of segregation.

    As a result of racial friction from disgruntled white neighbors, the property was seized using eminent domain proceedings in the 1920s and closed down. Some of the area was eventually turned into a city park in the 1960s and renamed Bruce’s Beach in 2007.

  30. 96 Layla
    February 2, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Is PBO having a Super Bowl party at his Home….

  31. February 2, 2014 at 1:13 pm
    • 98 jacquelineoboomer
      February 2, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Tally – I actually looked to see if the LA Times had used your headline! Ha. Would have loved that!

  32. February 2, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    When he won on 4 Nov 2008, they knew the President who would end the Reagan Oligarchy & #NEOCON ‘permanent war footing’ scam had been elected. Thus, their incessant obstruction came as no surprise.

    What is amazing is that despite that obstruction, a majority on #SCOTUS who are owned by the plutocrats, and enormous amounts of $$$ being spent to lie to the American people every min of every day, President Obama and the majority of Americans once again on 6 Nov 2012, rejected plutocrats, the MIC, and affirmed that we must and will change course, no matter how much inertia we confront.

    Yes We Can

  33. February 2, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Award-winning Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead in Manhattan Apartment, Law-Enforcement Official Said
    The New York Police Department is investigating, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine exact cause of death

    Pervaiz Shallwani
    Feb. 2, 2014 1:27 p.m. ET

    Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead Sunday afternoon in his New York City apartment, a law-enforcement official said.

    The New York Police Department is investigating, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine exact cause of death. The official said Mr. Hoffman, 46 years old, was found dead at his apartment at 35 Bethune St. in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

    Mr. Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 2005 film, “Capote.”

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304626804579358943360702878?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304626804579358943360702878.html

  34. 110 sherijr
    February 2, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Well I just have to share this, because I am completely freaking out… I received my water bill yesterday from the city of Baltimore and it is $65,798.68 !! No I do not have an ice skating rink or an Olympic sized swimming pool… I don’t even have a dishwasher or a working shower at the moment. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well last night :(

    • 111 Layla
      February 2, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Yikes!!!! Surely a big mistake which will be fixed! Try to step back a bit stress wise because this makes no sense at all.

      • 112 sherijr
        February 2, 2014 at 1:51 pm

        I know Layla, it is CRAZY.. I will call them in the morning first thing, but my health is also not good, and I’m just terrified I’m going to have to battle this… to give some Idea of things- my last water bill was less than $100. :) sooo I’m hopeful that whoever I have to deal with is going to be reasonable.

    • 113 jacquelineoboomer
      February 2, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Whoa. Obviously a mistake! I’d first call the water company (like you haven’t thought of that) and if they don’t rectify it immediately, your local news channel’s “action news” department! Have no fear – it’ll be handled. But I don’t blame you for the eek factor.

      • 114 sherijr
        February 2, 2014 at 1:53 pm

        thanks Job, I will call them first thing Monday morning, it came on Saturday.. but man I didn’t sleep well last night ;)

        • 115 jacquelineoboomer
          February 2, 2014 at 2:05 pm

          Hang in there, sugar!

          • 116 sherijr
            February 2, 2014 at 2:09 pm

            I’m trying.. talked to neighbors on either side of me, the two little ladies next door have a water bill of $116.00 and the family of 5 on the other side has one for nearly $800.00 and they have been fighting the city over their bill.

            • 117 jacquelineoboomer
              February 2, 2014 at 2:15 pm

              Oh my goodness! Definitely something wrong all over your street. Can you elevate your joint concerns to the Mayor’s office?

              • 118 sherijr
                February 2, 2014 at 2:17 pm

                I’m going to bring it all up tomorrow with the water people.. we’ll see what their response is and go from there. $65,000. may as well be a billion in my world ;) – obviously I won’t settle without them coming out and doing some kind of a check out here.

                • 119 jacquelineoboomer
                  February 2, 2014 at 2:24 pm

                  When new meters were put in throughout our neighborhood for some utility service years ago when I lived in Florida, I got a higher bill than expected the next month – way higher than normal. When I called, the rep said something like “the new meters are not subject to human error, so there are never any mistakes.” After I moved, I was sent a final bill and paid that amount. Lo and behold, I was sent a second final bill saying the final meter reading was incorrect and I owed more. But that was all chickenfeed compared to your bill, and there’s NO WAY you’d owe that much for one residential property’s usage! Fingers crossed it’ll all be reconciled Monday!

        • 120 daisydem
          February 2, 2014 at 2:28 pm

          Sherijr: the same thing happened to my aunt last month; no it was not as big as yours but it was huge for her water for one month. She is 82, lives alone, fixed income and literally watches every penny, I am not kidding. Her meter had been misread. My sister called them and they came out and checked and sent a corrected bill. Yes , it is a pain, but it is obviously their error. If you are not feeling well, do you have a family member, friend or neighbor who can/will make the call for you? If I were there, I would!

          • 121 sherijr
            February 2, 2014 at 2:48 pm

            oh you are so sweet to offer that… no I will have to make the call, with my brain damage (long story) making phone calls is one of the hardest things for me, next to writing info.. so I stall on these things- obviously one cannot stall over a bill such as this! I am so glad your Aunt’s issues were worked out. I am in much the same boat- on disability with my son and we are very cautious money wise. Now to be fair we do have an above ground pool- 48″ x 15′ that we filled during the summer… however I called a water delivery service and they were going to charge over $200. to fill it, silly me, I assumed it would be far cheaper to fill it ourselves. Our water bill is supposed to come every three months, however we didn’t get our first water bill for 6 months, at which point they sent us two bills at one time- which I promptly paid. I called and was told that if I didn’t receive my next bill by October, to call and “remind” them to send it- no I’m not kidding. Well I forgot to call for my bill.. and thus the bill I received yesterday is for 6 months. BUT what it says is that the previous 3 months from July through Sept was $65,365.73 and the newest bill from Oct through Jan is an additional 450. Even that amount doesn’t make sense. They’re basically charging me 65,000 dollars for filling a pool that was less than 5000 gallons of water. And 450. for taking baths, flushing the toilet and doing laundry twice a month. Anyhoo, enough of this, so sorry to take up this lovely space on this crazy stuff, I will hopefully work it out tomorrow. Thank you for your advice daisydem.. and to everyone for their concern :) :)

            • 122 Lynn
              February 3, 2014 at 11:40 pm

              T;hings get out of control so fast, sherijr. Water access shouldn’t have a price tag’

              • 123 sherijr
                February 4, 2014 at 12:03 am

                I agree with you on that Lynn.. its a shame things are this way, isn’t it? Water, food, life sustaining items should be something we all have without worry of whether or not we can ‘afford’ it.- worldwide, imo.

        • 124 daisydem
          February 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm

          Btw: my aunt’s bill came on a Saturday too so she fretted that day and all day Sunday before she could start to rectify the error.

    • February 2, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Sheri, understand your concern, but, that just must be an error – a very big error to say the least. Do try to rest and I’m sure it can be resolved with a call to the appropriate office, tomorrow.

      • 126 sherijr
        February 2, 2014 at 1:53 pm

        thanks Bob, I will definitely let you all know tomorrow.

        • 127 99ts
          February 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm

          The odds are so in favor of a misread meter or transcription error if they manually input the figures- do you get the meter readings on your bill? In my world we can check the meter ourselves. To use that much water you would have to have seen the flood in the street :)

          • 128 sherijr
            February 2, 2014 at 7:19 pm

            no I don’t get to read it- the meter myself, but the readings they’ve posted on my current bill are the same as what was posted on my first bill back last January- so something is really amiss- beside the obvious sixty five thousand dollars. I laugh and cry everytime I write that number .

            • 129 99ts
              February 2, 2014 at 7:30 pm

              Sorry I am so late with the replies – morning in my world – you made me remember the gas bill I got in London – middle of summer – higher than the winter one! When I queried it I was told they “estimate” based on previous use!! I learned to read the meter :)

              I’m sure whoever you talk to will laugh with you – and I love that TOD is around to waylay any worries. Do let us know what happens.

              • 130 sherijr
                February 2, 2014 at 7:35 pm

                Agree 99ts, it was soooo helpful to read all the sensible caring replies from everyone here- I was completely freaked out today.. before all the calming I received here :) I WILL find out about my meter, because I don’t even know where the heck it is! So I’ll be checking it, once they tell me where to look for it.

                • 131 99ts
                  February 2, 2014 at 7:43 pm

                  In London they had to tell me where the meter was – and they sent a key – It was like a child’s big plastic key – made me laugh. We were living on a shoestring – our $AU was at it’s lowest level ever – so the bill they sent which was only about $300 – created a big panic. Turned out it should have been about $40. 90% of the gas we used was for heating in winter!

                  I’d best catch up and read about the big “game” Just watching PBOs interview – wish I could keep my cool the way he does

    • 133 MightyPamela
      February 2, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      {{{{{sherijr}}}}}. This is not possible, there will be an explanation and an apology. Hard to take the shock of seeing something like that, on a Saturday, when you can’t just pick up the phone to handle it. I hope you get some better sleep tonight. And I hope you get that shower fixed. I know what that’s like!!

      • 134 sherijr
        February 2, 2014 at 2:13 pm

        exactly MP, not being able to deal with it right away was/ is frustrating. I’ve been planning to put the shower in- after the fear of freezing pipes, etc is over.. I have to go into the wall and replace the connections that the knobs fit on because the diverter ‘stem’ piece is broken.. but honestly we have no leaks or anything like that.. I think I’d know, because at sixty five thousand dollars my house should be underwater at this point.

        anyway, thanks everyone for your sensible replies, because I’m hoping the city is just as sensible.

        • 135 hopefruit2
          February 2, 2014 at 2:24 pm

          Hopefully sherijr, as a courtesy they will give you a credit on your next bill for all the emotional aggravation as well as the time spent trying to rectify THEIR mistake.

          • 136 sherijr
            February 2, 2014 at 2:35 pm

            Haaaha! I won’t hold my breath on that Hopefruit, but wouldn’t that be amazing :) thanks for that smile you put on my face !

            • 137 purpleshoesla
              February 2, 2014 at 5:11 pm

              Sherijr I don’t know if you are in Baltimore, but apparently it happened to someone last October for $64,000 and some change. It was a system error. It’s gotta be an error on the Water Company’s part in your case too.

              http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/north-baltimore/ph-ms-water-bill-1031-20131029,0,731669.story

              • 138 sherijr
                February 2, 2014 at 5:23 pm

                yep I’m in Baltimore city… I found my two previous bills and from what I can tell, they’ve read my meter incorrectly- they started with the exact same numbers that my first bill was read on way back last January… but even then, no one uses 65 thousand dollars worth of water.. we’d be literally underwater I would think.

                • 139 purpleshoesla
                  February 2, 2014 at 5:39 pm

                  Wow. What a coincidence. Given that you are in Baltimore, and after reading the article, I think you can unequivocally claim that the bill you got is in no way connected to your water consumption. No. Way. By. Any. Stretch. Of. One’s. Imagination. :smile: Even the Mayor acknowledged in the article that until the city’s water meter system gets replaced, some people may also get $60,000 water bills. It’s clearly a system error.

                  • 140 sherijr
                    February 2, 2014 at 5:45 pm

                    oh thank you for that info purpleshoes. I was unaware, so if they give me a hard time, I will then just go directly to the mayor. :)

  35. 141 japa21
    February 2, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    It doesn’t matter if it is minimum wage, immigration reform, climate change, education, voting rights, it is always the same:

    • February 2, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      Hope you are recovering quickly!!! Good to see you :)

    • 143 Layla
      February 2, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      I may be completely off base but considering how much they want to impeach the President, they just keep pushing the envelope hoping for executive actions which they can then cite as grounds for it. Of course they forget or cannot imagine that a President such as this would never venture outside the law. Just a recurrent thought I have been having!

      • 144 99ts
        February 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm

        I used to have those thoughts Layla – no more – they have searched to the ends of the earth – PBO is as honest as the day is long.

  36. 145 jacquelineoboomer
    February 2, 2014 at 2:08 pm
    • 146 jacquelineoboomer
      February 2, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Unfortunately, this handsome depiction of the Golden Thirteen officers doesn’t depict all the roadblocks they had in their way, before commissioning. Can’t find the “full” story right now, but believe their instructor made them all take their accelerated training course final exam a second time (if I’m recalling correctly) because of their high scores, and believe they did as well or better the second time through.

      The class average at graduation was 3.89.

      • 147 sherijr
        February 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm

        I’m betting that they had to be 10 times smarter, faster, better in all ways- as much as I respect and admire their courage, I despise the hoops they no doubt had to jump through to be “equal” . I was unaware of these gentlemen, so thank you Job for posting about them.

        • 148 jacquelineoboomer
          February 2, 2014 at 3:07 pm

          Here’s a link to a story about the author, historian Paul Stilwell, who wrote the book, “The Golden Thirteen: Recollections of the First Black Naval Officers” … Colin Powell wrote the book’s foreword:

          http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=35393

          From the story …In an excerpt from the foreword, former Gen. Colin Powell, U.S. Army, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote, “The Golden Thirteen were not activists. None of them had sought to make history. The Navy’s leaders had simply decided that it was past time to bring down the barriers to opportunity in the fleet and as a consequence, these 13 Sailors were plucked out of their separate lives to learn the ways of officership. They realized that in their hands rested the chance to help open the blind moral eye that America had turned on the question of race. And they recognized that on their shoulders would climb generations of men and women of America’s future military, including a skinny seven-year-old kid in the Bronx named Colin Powell.”

      • 150 purpleshoesla
        February 2, 2014 at 5:00 pm

        Great tweet! Our very own Yardarm, first introduced me to the book about the Golden Thirteen a couple of years back right here at TOD! I had never heard of them. Gave my step-dad a copy for his birthday, as he was in the Navy in Vietnam and the only African American in his unit. He was so proud that he took the book to his poker group (made up of retired white veterans) to brag and enducate. :smile: The book is available on Amazon, naturally. It’s a good read. I have a copy myself. The things you learn hanging out here at TOD is fantastic.

        • 151 jacquelineoboomer
          February 2, 2014 at 7:30 pm

          Excellent! So fun to hear about your step-dad’s poker group story – a little bragging and educating, with the book to back it up – thanks to Yardarm. Priceless! :)

    • 152 WilTal
      February 2, 2014 at 8:10 pm

      Thank you for posting this. In spite of all the obstacles they faced during that period, they succeeded. I was unaware of the book and will purchase it.

      Thanks again.

      • 153 jacquelineoboomer
        February 2, 2014 at 8:12 pm

        You are so welcome. I think there may be more than one book about their story, but I don’t have any links at the moment. Enjoy it!

  37. 154 57andfemale
    February 2, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    A damn overdose. One of the best actors of his generation with so much promise…….

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304626804579358943360702878?mod=WSJ_NY_LEFTTopStories

  38. 159 JER
    February 2, 2014 at 2:56 pm
  39. February 2, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    What network is the Puppy Bowl on?


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