26
Feb
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama walks along along the Colonnade toward the Oval Office, Feb. 26, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

11:15 EST: President Obama departs the White House

12:50 CT: Arrives Minnesota

1:15: Tours the Metro Transit Light Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility; St. Paul, Minnesota

2:05 CT: Delivers remarks; Union Depot, St. Paul

3:05 CT: Departs Minnesota

6:25 EST: Arrives White House

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Tami Luhby: I’m Quitting My Job. Thanks Obamacare!

Now that Karen Willmus can get health insurance through Obamacare, she plans to quit teaching 9th grade English at the end of the school year. The 51-year-old found policies on the Colorado state exchange for about $300 a month. That’s less than what she’s paying now for employer-sponsored coverage and less than half what she paid on the individual market in 2007.  Obamacare is allowing them to become entrepreneurs or retire a few years early since they’ll be able to find affordable individual coverage for the first time. Instead of eating bonbons on her couch, Willmus plans to start her own business with her teen daughter publishing materials for non-native English speakers and others looking to improve their literacy. She expects to work even more than she does now and hire two or three people. “I can’t afford to go out and buy insurance while trying to start a business,” said Willmus, of Colorado Springs, Colo. “Obamacare will allow me to be more comfortable at risking what I own.”

For others, Obamacare frees them to leave a job before they qualify for Medicare. Edward Perri’s job as a grocery clerk has caused him constant back and knee pain in recent years, but he continued to work because he needed insurance. Obamacare allowed him to retire in December after 39 years, 4 months and 23 days on the job. His retiring at 57 allowed a more junior employee to move up on the job, said Perri, who is single and lives in Muskegon, Mich. Had Obamacare not existed, he’d either have to try to tough it out until he qualified for Medicare at 65 or pay $500 a month for COBRA coverage.  Instead, he’s paying $50 a month for a policy. And, as he sees it, the $450 that he would have sent to an insurance company is going to buy groceries, fix his car and take a vacation with his girlfriend. “That is money I spend in the local economy, creating and saving jobs,” he said.

More here

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Ta-Nehisi Coates: ‘I Am Still Called By The God I Serve To Walk This Out’ 

I told her that I was stunned by her grace after the verdict. I told her the verdict greatly angered me. I told her that the idea that someone on that jury thought it plausible there was a gun in the car baffled me. I told her it was appalling to consider the upshot of the verdict—had Michael Dunn simply stopped shooting and only fired the shots that killed Jordan Davis, he might be free today. She said, “It baffles our mind too. Don’t think that we aren’t angry. Don’t think that I am not angry. Forgiving Michael Dunn doesn’t negate what I’m feeling and my anger. And I am allowed to feel that way. But more than that I have a responsibility to God to walk the path He’s laid. In spite of my anger, and my fear that we won’t get the verdict that we want, I am still called by the God I serve to walk this out.”

I asked McBath how she felt about her country. She paused, then gave an answer that perfectly summed up the spirit of African-American patriotism. “I still love my country. It’s the only country we have. This is the best that I’ve got,” she said. “And I still believe that there are people here who believe in justness and fairness. And I still believe there are people here who don’t make judgments about people based on the color of the skin. I am a product of that. But I am disheartened that as far as we’ve come it doesn’t matter that we have a black president. It doesn’t matter how educated we’ve become. It doesn’t matter because there still is an issue of race in this country. No, we have not really arrived. If something like this can happen, we have not arrived. And I ask myself, ‘At what point are we going to get there?’ And I have no answer. And I want to be able to answer.”

She wanted you to know that Jordan Davis was an individual black person. That he was an upper-middle-class kid. That his ancestry was diverse. That he had blacks in his family. Mexicans in his family. Panamanians in his family. That his great-grandfather was white. That some of his ancestors had passed.  Now she addressed him, “You exist,” she told him. “You matter. You have value. You have every right to wear your hoodie, to play your music as loud as you want. You have every right to be you. And no one should deter you from being you. You have to be you. And you can never be afraid of being you.” She gave my son a hug and then went upstairs to pack.

More here

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Gene Lyons: Why Republicans Will Never Stop Lying About Obamacare

Politically speaking, here’s the thing about those melodramatic ads attacking the Affordable Care Act currently running on TV: In terms of actual policy, they’re as futile as the 40-odd votes to repeal the law that House Republicans have already cast. GOP hardliners are like a drunk in a bar fight threatening to whip somebody twice his size if only his friends would let go of his arms. It’s all over but the shouting. Like it or not, the ACA is here to stay. Indeed, governors and legislatures in previously recalcitrant states including New Hampshire, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Utah and Virginia are considering Medicaid expansion they’d previously shunned.

Despite early signup problems with the federal HealthCare.gov exchange, signups for individual private policies have increased to where it now appears the ACA will come close to meeting its projected goal of 7 million enrollees by the March 31 deadline. In Arkansas, virtually every news program features a pretty, AFP-sponsored actress plaintively begging viewers to remind Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor that health care is about “people,” and that “the law just doesn’t work.” More in sorrow than anger, it seems, because Pryor remains personally popular. 

More here

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Natelege Whaley: Rally To Remember Trayvon Martin And Jordan Davis To Be Held In NY

A day of outrage and remembrance for Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis will be held in Times Square in New York City on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Several other locations around the country will be holding marches including Los Angeles, Atlanta and Greensboro, North Carolina.

The rally is being organized by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. The organization is calling for demonstrators to meet at the red bleachers on 47th street between Broadway and 7th Avenue at 6:30 p.m.

Participants are asked to wear a hoodie and to stand in silence holding up signs with targets stating “No More.” The signs can be printed here. The aim of the event is to refuse acceptance of Black and Latino youth as targets of violence in America.

More here

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NYT: Solar Industry Jump-Starts A Revival In California

Back in 2009, when Danny Kennedy was looking for office space for the fast-growing solar services company he had co-founded, his venture capital investors recommended setting up shop in one of the “Twitterville kinds of areas” south of Market Street in San Francisco. There, social media and peer-to-peer pioneers like Foursquare, Yelp, Airbnb and, indeed, Twitter had created a technology zone where innovative ideas could fly free and cross-pollinate among young workers meeting casually over food and drink.

Instead — after looking at buildings he deemed “foggy and frumpy and cold and wet,” not to mention expensive — Mr. Kennedy ended up in an airy loft across the bay here at Jack London Square. In just four years, the company, Sungevity, has grown to 300 employees from 55 in its 11,000-square-foot space overlooking the Oakland Estuary, helping jump-start the area’s stalled revitalization. Taking things a step further, Mr. Kennedy, a former environmental advocate, has developed an incubator-accelerator program, the SfunCube, to attract and nurture other solar start-ups.

More here

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Zero Hedge: Ukraine Calls Russia’s Bluff, Slashes  Nat Gas Imports By 80%

Twice in recent years, Russia has suspended gas supplies, or notably raised prices, as the somewhatwell-known “trump card” of Russia’s oil and gas supply to Ukraine (and Europe for that matter) remains Putin’s easiest option for clenching his iron-first against the divided nation. Following a pre-emptive move in November by Ukraine to diversify its energy supply,  Russia had reduced the price of gas for the highly indebted Ukraine in December (to entice Ukraine under Russia’s wing); but, after recent events, Dmitry Medvedev signaled on Monday that the price could be raised again. However, today we find that Ukraine’s state oil and gas company, Naftogaz, has slashed gas imports from Russia’s Gazprom by  stunning 80% in February as Ukraine tries to show Russia it can’t be pushed around… of course, with limited (and more expensive) alternative supplies, we fear this could well shoot them in the foot.

More here

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NY Mag: Is It Mean To Debunk Lies About Obamacare?

Some eight months before the midterm elections, the airwaves are being flooded with the sad tales of Obamacare victims. The tales all fall into the same predictable rut. First, the poor victim steps forward to share his (or, more frequently, her) tale of deprivation. Then reporters discover the putative victim is either a non-victim, or possibly a beneficiary, of Obamacare. Then conservatives get angry. Finding a person made worse off by a huge, complex social-policy reform still in its first months in a gigantic country ought to be simple, yet the Republican Party has continuously failed to achieve even in the modest task which was its charge.

In her reply to President Obama’s State of the Union address, Cathy McMorris-Rogers held out the plight of “Bette from Spokane,” who is facing an astronomical price increase, which turned out to be highly inaccurate. The victim, Bette Grenier, could have secured a better plan if she had checked on the exchange, but told a reporter following up, “I wouldn’t go on that Obama website at all.” And yes, if the criteria for Obamacare victimhood includes forcing somebody to participate in a law designed by Barack Obama in order to save money, then any Obama-created health-care law is going to produce a lot of victims.

More here

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John Prendergast and George Clooney

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USA Today: Clooney: New Lost Boys Of South Sudan

The only activity in the hospital compound in Bor, South Sudan, these days is the dozens of vultures circling overhead. In mid-January, rebel forces swept into the Bor hospital, killing everyone that could not escape. Underscoring its crime, the group collected and burned the bodies of its victims. All that remains are bloodstained shoes, charred medicine vials, and overturned wheelchairs. Scorched patches of earth show where people were set on fire. When local residents are asked who was responsible, the answer is always the same: child soldiers of a militia called the White Army.

In the 1980s and 1990s, tens of thousands of boys from the southern part of Sudan were driven from their homes and forced to trek hundreds of miles in search of sanctuary. Many were press-ganged into military service. They crossed two international borders, faced surreal life-threatening challenges, and eventually given asylum by the U.S. government, landing them in places like Phoenix, Atlanta, and D.C. They came to be known as the Lost Boys. Today, renewed warfare in South Sudan is creating a new generation of Lost Boys.

More here

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Jonathan Cohn: CBO On House Obamacare Bill: More Uninsured, Higher Deficits

The Congressional Budget Office just taught the Republican Party a lesson. Governing is hard. The CBO on Tuesday issued a formal cost estimate of House Resolution 2575, a bill from Republican Todd Young of Indiana. The bill’s formal title is the “Save American Workers Act.” Its goal is to change Obamacare’s employer mandate—the requirement that medium-sized and large businesses pay a penalty if they do not offer affordable health insurance to all full-time employees. The definition of “full-time” is anybody who works at least 30 hours a week. And, for some time, the media has been full of stories of employers—particularly low-wage employers, governments, and universities—reducing or limiting worker hours, in order to avoid the costs of coverage.

CBO takes a different view. Virtually every respectable economist who has looked at the numbers has determined that there’s been no large-scale shift in hours. It’s not that the anecdotes are fake. As Jed Graham of Investor’s Business Daily has shown, some businesses are clearly limiting the hours of employees. It’s that, ultimately, they don’t add up to that much. The CBO reached the same conclusion—suggesting, in effect, that Young’s bill is solving a problem that may not need solving. But that doesn’t mean Young’s bill would have no effect. On the contrary, CBO found, about one million fewer people would end up with employer health insurance. And while some of them would find other forms of coverage, like Medicaid and insurance from the new exchanges, overall the net bill’s net effect would be to increase the number of people without any insurance by about half a million. And it turns out that moving the full-time threshold from 30 to 40 hours has a substantial effect on revenue, according to CBO: Over the next ten year period, from 2015 to 2024, the federal government would take in $73 billion less. That’s real money.

More here

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On This Day:

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton speaks as Sen. Barack Obama looks on in a debate at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center February 26, 2008

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President Obama arrives to discuss his proposed 2010 budget in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House in Washington on February 26, 2009

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President Obama signs a wall during a tour of the International Brotherhood of Electricians (IBEW) Local 26 headquarters in Lanham, Md., Feb. 16, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama signs an executive order in the East Room of the White House February 26, 2010 in Washington, DC. Obama delivered remarks and signed an executive order for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities during the event.

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President Obama greets Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Attorney General Eric Holder after speaking about the details of a $26 billion housing settlement between federal and state officials and mortgage lenders, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC on February 6, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama listens to President Obama speak in the State Dining Room of the White House, February 26, 2012, during the Governors Dinner.

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President Obama waves to employees during a visit to Newport News Shipbuilding February 26, 2013 in Newport News, Virginia. Obama spoke on the impact from the sequester would be for the defense industry and its workers

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129 Responses to “Rise and Shine”


  1. 31 Nena20409
    February 26, 2014 at 11:16 am

    GOOD Morning TOD :!:

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  2. 32 GGail
    February 26, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Oh hot dayum!!!!

    I’m ROFLMAO!!!!!

    What a GREAT DAY :lol:

  3. 33 Nena20409
    February 26, 2014 at 11:17 am

    GGail Allison and Moi :?:

    Golden :?:

    Yes :!:

  4. 34 GGail
    February 26, 2014 at 11:18 am

    My birthday gift from NW – you sooooo sweet! Thank you :wink:

  5. February 26, 2014 at 11:20 am

    A compleeeeeeeeetely awesome round-up Nerdy, a blissful variety of news – thank you soooooooo much legend!!

  6. 49 JER
    February 26, 2014 at 11:20 am

    LIVE NOW: Awaiting President Obama’s departure for Minnesota – http://www.cbsnews.com/liveFeed/widget.shtml

  7. 53 GGail
    February 26, 2014 at 11:25 am

    President Obama sure has been busy over the years on February 26, hmmmmmmm?

    And I see beautiful FLOTUS in the dress that will hang in the Smithsonian.

    Great R&S NW!

  8. 59 99ts
    February 26, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Thank you NW – great R&S as ususal – the full picture of FLOTUS’s dress was posted yesterday – on display I think?

  9. 61 Nerdy Wonka
    February 26, 2014 at 11:27 am

  10. February 26, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Good morning, TODvlle. I’m thrilled because it just started RAINING here and it’s expected to continue off and on for a couple of days. Weeeeee!

    Sincere THANKS to all who’ve voted for Pastry Studio in the Homies Award competition. Joy has basically left everybody else in the dust and I’m about to drop to third place, but voting is still open until midnight tonight EST or 9pm Pacific. PLEASE vote!

    http://www.thekitchn.com/nominate-for-your-favorite-sweets-baking-cooking-blog-for-the-homies-awards-the-homies-2014-200246

    xoxo

  11. 71 Judith Fardig
    February 26, 2014 at 11:32 am

    There are so many delicious photos posted on TOD that I can’t keep up. Love our POTUS and FLOTUS from any angle!

  12. 72 amk for obama
    February 26, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Rules of engagement/marriage

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  13. 75 Nerdy Wonka
    February 26, 2014 at 11:37 am

    LISTEN UP TOD: It’s down to the wire. If you have not voted for Meta’s Pastry Studio, do so NOW. Voting ends at Midnight EST. Get everyone you know to vote. This is the last chance. Meta needs our help, so spread the word and get your people to vote.

    Vote! Vote! Vote! :D

    http://www.thekitchn.com/nominate-for-your-favorite-sweets-baking-cooking-blog-for-the-homies-awards-the-homies-2014-200246

    • February 26, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      YEAH! Listen to our fearless Nerdy Wonka!

      Think chocolate.
      Think vanilla.
      Think apples, berries, peaches and cherries.
      Think cookies.
      Think PIE.
      And biscuits.

      Now VOTE!!

  14. 77 Nena20409
    February 26, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Today at the Vatican. Pope Francis meets Mini-Me
    The 18 month old was handed over to the Pope and it didn’t go too well, I suppose.

    • 78 MightyPamela
      February 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      Pontifex is apparently lacking some of the magnetic charm the young find so accessible in PBO and HHDL!

  15. 79 symmetry11
    February 26, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Happy Birthday GGail!

  16. 81 Nerdy Wonka
    February 26, 2014 at 11:43 am

  17. 83 amk for obama
    February 26, 2014 at 11:48 am

    LL or bt after a binge night? Vote.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  18. 97 99ts
    February 26, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Looks like the President driving to the plane – arriving now

    http://www.cbsnews.com/liveFeed/widget.shtml

  19. 102 Nerdy Wonka
    February 26, 2014 at 12:00 pm

  20. February 26, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Happy Birthday GGail and congrats on first. I just had to post a song. . .

  21. 112 JER
    February 26, 2014 at 12:05 pm

  22. 113 Nena20409
    February 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    AZ was last to implement Medicare. They were last for the MLK National Holiday. They had the Wicked Immigration laws passed. Now they want to legally discriminate against the LGBTQ community?

    What about if many in AZ who obviously are not in support of all these backward behavior were to start denying services to Fundamentalists or to start asking for ID to separate the Extreme Christians, would that be Okay?

    Why would a state like AZ continue to be as bat poop as possible legislatively? I have never been to AZ and I see no reason to in the future.

    Barry Goldwater predicted this behavior. The threat to the GOP is the rise and power of the Christian Fundamentalists.

    • 114 0388jojothecat
      February 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      Correct me DF if I am wrong but AZ has a lot of elderly snowbirds that decide to live permanately there. There are a bunch of old fearful old people. They’re a fraud of brown people and anyone not white. The politicians run on these fears of “those” people are out to get you. AZ is not the bible belt so I don’t think this is going to work in AZ like the south or where its more religious.

  23. 117 jacquelineoboomer
    February 26, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Mornin’, Chips – Yardarm asked me to let y’all know he’ll be in super lurking mode for a few days. He has appointments, here and there, and his extended family has lost a couple of its older and younger members this week. I’m sure he knows he’s in our thoughts and prayers, while he goes ashore for a bit!

  24. 121 Nerdy Wonka
    February 26, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    For all you who love Pharrell (pretty much the entire world), he released a new album today called ‘G I R L’ and from the first song, it will have you moving. If you want to listen to the entire album and be ‘Happy’ then here is a free stream of the entire album.

    http://www.highsnobiety.com/2014/02/26/pharrell-girl-album-stream/

  25. 122 japa21
    February 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Let me join in the happy birthday wishes for GGail. May there be many more, but if you keep eating those cupcakes Chips bakes for you that may not happen.

    I do fully expect Brewer to veto the AZ law, mainly due to the pressure from businesses. Wrong reason!!!

    • 123 GGail
      February 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Japa – thanks for the b’day wishes. You did notice that I specifically requested cupcakes from POTUS.
      I remember the early years when she baked those cakes for me – OH MAN!!!!

    • 124 japa21
      February 26, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Let me try that again

      Of course now it will probably show up twice

  26. 125 JER
    February 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm

  27. 126 Linda
    February 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    GOP’s Obsession With IRS Has Cost Taxpayers At Least $14 Million

    In response to a request by Reps. Sander Levin (D-MI) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD), top Democrats on House Ways and Means and Oversight committees, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said that 255 agency employees have spent some 97,542 hours responding to nine months of inquiries and 15 congressional hearings.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/gop-s-obsession-with-irs-has-cost-taxpayers-at-least-14-million

  28. 128 Linda
    February 26, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    On Wednesday — two years to the day after George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) placed a hold on President Barack Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, over Murthy’s view that gun violence represents a significant public health threat.

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/02/26/3332741/rand-paul-hold-murthy-guns/


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