01
Apr
14

Rise and Shine

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are welcomed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to Buckingham Palace in London, England, April 1, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

11:35: President Obama honors the 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox

12:15: Lunch with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

3:15: Meets with Secretary of Commerce Pritzker

4:15: President Obama announces ObamaCare numbers

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Wednesday: Travels to Ann Arbor, Michigan for an event on his proposal to raise the national minimum wage. Following this event, he will travel to Chicago, Illinois to attend DNC events

Thursday: The President and First Lady will host members of the United States teams and delegations from the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games at the White House.

Friday: The President will host Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa of Tunisia at the White House.

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Brian Beutler: It’s All Over, Obamacare Haters! Why They’ve Officially Lost The Battle

By 11:59:59 p.m. Monday night — the last moment of the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period — sign-ups on Healthcare.gov and 14 state-based exchanges had cleared the symbolic 7 million threshold, according to both administration officials and data experts, and will continue to climb above it over the next few weeks as HHS processes applications from people who were mid-queue when the clock struck midnight. Throw in new Medicaid enrollments, off-exchange enrollments into Qualified Health Plans, young invincibles on their parents’ plans, and the beneficiary total far exceeds 10 million. On net, millions more people — perhaps about 10 million — are now (or will soon be) insured because of Obamacare than were covered beforehand.

That net number will probably be less than initially forecast, but when you account for the fact that almost half of all states didn’t expand Medicaid, and Healthcare.gov effectively experienced a two-month outage last year, you have to be a fanatical Obamacare hater not to call it a comeback. Now that it’s all over but the shouting, conservatives are watching the mechanisms they’ve employed to discredit enrollment numbers shrink away from them. They are left to think wishfully that the new enrollees will not pay their premiums in overwhelming numbers, or deny that they exist altogether. The universe of Obamacare “success stories” is larger than the universe of Obamacare “horror stories” and many of said horror stories fall apart or are revealed to be ambiguous upon mild scrutiny.

More here

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April Ryan: Champagne Celebration As 7 Million Signups Achieved

At 12:01 AM, White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park acknowledged to QSSI, the Columbia, Maryland firm tasked with fixing Healthcare.gov that the ACA enrollments have surpassed the 7 million mark.  Park and QSSI employees celebrated with champagne after the early morning announcement in the lobby of the building as they are not allowed to drink alcohol in the offices at QSSI.

More here

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TPM: BREAKING: Obamacare Sign-Ups On Track To Hit 7 Million On Final Day

Beating expectations, President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul was on track to sign up more than 7 million Americans for health insurance on deadline day Monday, government officials told The Associated Press. Two government officials confirmed the milestone, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter ahead of an official announcement. Seven million was the original target set by the Congressional Budget Office for enrollment in taxpayer-subsidized private health insurance through new online markets created under Obama’s signature legislation. At St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington, Del., enrollment counselor Hubert Worthen plunged into a long day. “I got my energy drink,” he said. “This is epic, man.”

At a Houston community center, there were immigrants from Ethiopia, Nepal, Eritrea, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and other conflict-torn areas, many of them trying anew after failing to complete applications previously. In addition to needing help with the actual enrollment, they needed to wait for interpreters. Many had taken a day off from work, hoping to meet the deadline. The White House and other supporters of the law were hoping for an enrollment surge that would confound skeptics. The insurance markets — or exchanges — offer subsidized private health insurance to people who don’t have access to coverage through their jobs. The federal government is taking the lead in 36 states, while 14 other states plus Washington, D.C., are running their own enrollment websites. New York, running its own site, reported more than 812,000 had signed up by Sunday morning, nearly 100,000 of them last week.

More here

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Michael Hiltzik: Obamacare Numbers Surging: Here’s A Guide To GOP Excuse-Making

Against all odds and expectations, enrollments in health plans qualified under the Affordable Care Act are surging Monday toward – and maybe beyond — the 7-million figure projected by the Congressional Budget Office before Oct. 1, when the open-enrollment period began. The deadline for starting enrollment applications for 2014 plans is midnight Monday. The surge is creating a big problem for the “train wreck” narrative of Republican opponents of the ACA, who have been holding out hope for Obamacare’s utter failure. So the excuse-making has begun.

Before we examine those excuses: You will recall that the budget office reduced its projection of enrollments on individual insurance exchanges to 6 million earlier this year to account for the botched launch of healthcare.gov, the federal enrollment website. Enrollments blew past that mark days ago. If exchange enrollments meet or exceed the original projection of 7 million despite the loss of some six weeks in website functionality in October and November, that would be a testament to the public’s latent desire for effective healthcare coverage.

More here

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Damon Tucker: U.S. Secretary Of Education Arne Duncan Praises Hawaii’s Education Leadership

Hawaii’s public schools can be a model for the nation, according to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who visited two schools today before returning to Washington, D.C. Secretary Duncan, Governor Neil Abercrombie and Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi spoke with media in reflecting on the progress made during the last three years based on the Race to the Top (RTTT) federal education reform grant.“When we first did the RTTT grant, there was a huge amount of skepticism in the outside world, and frankly, internally,” stated Secretary Duncan. “Hawaii initially had its challenges; they’ve shown amazing leadership, courage and vision. I can’t overstate how important the Governor’s leadership has been…the leadership of the State Superintendent…they are a profile in courage. The only way you get better is to challenge the status quo. The only way to accelerate the rate of change is to do something different. The progress has been extraordinary.

Hawaii by any objective measure – is one of the fastest improving states in the nation – top five states, that’s top 10 percent in the nation.” Waipahu High is the second-largest high school in Hawaii with 2,450 students. About 70 percent of its students are of Filipino ancestry, while nearly 6 out of 10 students come from economically disadvantage backgrounds. Waipahu High Principal Keith Hayashi, who was appointed in 2009, has led a tremendous academic turnaround at the school. Reading proficiency among 10th graders rose to 69 percent in 2013 from 58 percent in 2011, while math proficiency jumped to 47 percent from 26 percent. College-going rate increased to 58 percent from 49 percent during the same period.

More here

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Examiner: New Poll: More Americans Now Support ‘Obamcare’ Than Oppose It

As the Affordable Care Act open enrollment comes to a close, more people now support President Obama’s health care reform than those who oppose it. Though by a slim margin, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 49 percent of Americans now support “Obamacare,” compared to 48 percent who oppose the law. President Obama has made a strong push over the last few months to encourage those who need insurance, to do so through the open enrollment period than ran through March 31.

When the same poll was taken in November of 2013, only 40 percent of Americans supported the law, while 57 percent opposed it.Two key voting blocks have also been tilting in the direction of Democrats and the Affordable Care Act. The WaPo/ABC poll notes that 57 percent of Hispanics support the law in addition to 52 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29.

More here

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Molly Redden: Hobby Lobby’s Hypocrisy: The Company’s Retirement Plan Invests In Contraception Manufacturers

When Obamacare compelled businesses to include emergency contraception in employee health care plans, Hobby Lobby, a national chain of craft stores, fought the law all the way to the Supreme Court. The Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, the company’s owners argued, forced them to violate their religious beliefs. But while it was suing the government, Hobby Lobby spent millions of dollars on an employee retirement plan that invested in the manufacturers of the same contraceptive products the firm’s owners cite in their lawsuit. Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012—three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit—

show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k). Several of the mutual funds in Hobby Lobby’s retirement plan have holdings in companies that manufacture the specific drugs and devices that the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, is fighting to keep out of Hobby Lobby’s health care policies: the emergency contraceptive pills Plan B and Ella, and copper and hormonal intrauterine devices.

More here

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Hayes Brown: Zero U.S. Troops Died In Combat In March, The First Time In More Than A Decade

March 2014 marked the first time in more than a decade that there were zero U.S. fatalities among American troops engaging in combat, according to numbers from the Department of Defense. After a decade at war in the post-9/11 environment, with major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and smaller conflicts in the various other countries where the U.S. uses more covert methods to fight against terrorism, the lack of combat deaths in March 2014 marks a milestone.

In Iraq, the death toll reached 4,474 before the last soldier fell in November 2011. For years after the war’s launch in 2003, no months passed where at least one American didn’t die in battle and then only towards the end of the conflict did the numbers taper off enough to have a month where the only fatalities were non-combat related.

More here

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Ellie Hall: Obama Told Military Leaders: Accept Gays In Military Or Step Down, Admiral Says

In a meeting with the heads of the five service branches in 2010, President Obama offered the leaders a choice: Support my efforts to end the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, or resign, the Commandant of the Coast Guard said. In a video obtained by BuzzFeed via a Freedom of Information Act request, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp revealed that Obama was unwilling to compromise with service leaders over DADT during a meeting in 2010. “We were called into the Oval Office and

President Obama looked all five service chiefs in the eye and said, ‘This is what I want to do.’ I cannot divulge everything he said to us, that’s private communications within the Oval Office, but if we didn’t agree with it — if any of us didn’t agree with it — we all had the opportunity to resign our commissions and go do other things,” he said.The admiral, who will be retiring from active duty on May 30, added that he thought the U.S. military made the right decision by abolishing DADT.

More here

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USA Today: He’s All Ivy — Accepted To All 8 Ivy League Colleges

In the next month, Kwasi Enin must make a tough decision: Which of the eight Ivy League universities should he attend this fall? A first-generation American from Shirley, N.Y., the 17-year-old violist and aspiring physician applied to all eight, from Brown to Yale. The responses began rolling in over the past few months, and by late last week when he opened an e-mail from Harvard, he found he’d been accepted to every one.

School district officials provided scanned copies of acceptance letters from all eight on Monday. Yale confirmed that it was holding a spot for Enin. The feat is extremely rare, say college counselors — few students even apply to all eight, because each seeks different qualities in their freshman class. Almost none are invited to attend them all. The Ivy League colleges are among the nation’s most elite.

More here

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Brian Beutler: GOP’s Self-Defeating Myopia: Why Its Obamacare Mania Is Now A Gift To Democrats

Here’s a riddle for anyone who thinks the politics of Obamacare are straightforward, and toxic for Democrats. How is it possible, in defiance of public rebuke, widespread misinformation and other headwinds, that insurance enrollment is surging in just about every state in the country? I suppose it’s possible that these millions of new beneficiaries were all supporters of the law to begin with and the surge doesn’t hint at a more complex public opinion. But I don’t think that’s right. Over the past several days we’ve been presented with a wealth of evidence that the conventional theory of the Affordable Care Act and the coming midterm elections is flawed.

Going back to last year, before they knew how poor the rollout of the law would be, administration officials knew they’d have to circumvent traditional media to encourage enrollment. But perhaps because the rollout was so bad, the press has been less helpful to the cause of the ACA than the administration expected. Not that it’s the press’s job to encourage enrollment, exactly, but a profusion of glitches and delays has given reporters a lot to write about aside from subsidies and other ACA benefits. Yet despite all that, the enrollment rate is way up over the past several weeks, due almost entirely to external messaging, organizing and advertising on the part of the administration and its allies. And apparently it’s been pretty successful.

More here

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Steve Benen: As ACA Climbs Higher, GOP Denial Digs Deeper

There is not yet an official announcement about exactly how many Affordable Care Act enrollments there were during the open-enrollment period. The Associated Press and others are reporting that the Obama administration believes it’s “on track” to sign up more than 7 million Americans for health insurance, but there’s been no official confirmation.As a practical matter, it really doesn’t much matter whether the total is 6.9 million or 7.1 million – it’s almost a matter of bragging rights at this point, but it doesn’t really affect the structural integrity of the system –

and it’s also worth noting that yesterday wasn’t necessarily the inflexible deadline anyway. Coverage through Medicaid expansion will continue, and those who began the process before the deadline will still be allowed to finish.But the larger takeaway remains the same. First, “Obamacare” is succeeding in ways no one was predicting a few months ago. Second, Republicans are in deep denial over facts that contradict everything they’ve chosen to believe about reality.

More here

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Judy Lin: Deadline Brings High Interest For Health Insurance

A blizzard, jammed phone lines and unreliable websites failed to stop throngs of procrastinating Americans from trying to sign up for health coverage by the midnight Monday deadline for President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy initiative. In Louisiana, wait times for callers lasted up to two hours. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee received nearly 1,900 calls by midday compared with about 800 the previous Monday. And in California, where enrollments surged toward the Obama administration’s original projection of 1.3 million, the deadline day volume forced the state exchange to switch off a key function on its website and encourage people to finish their applications in the days ahead. Across the nation, the interest in getting health insurance and avoiding a federal tax penalty was made clear in interviews with enrollment counselors and consumers.

“I have not had a physical in over 15 years,” said Dionne Gilbert, a 51-year-old uninsured woman from Denver who waited in a 90-minute line to get enrollment assistance. “I told myself, ‘You need to do this. Your daughter loves you and needs you.'” The last-minute rush was expected to significantly boost the number of Americans gaining coverage under the new law, and government officials told The Associated Press late Monday that they were on track to sign up more than 7 million Americans for health insurance by the deadline. But the months ahead will show whether the Affordable Care Act will meet its mandate to provide affordable health care coverage or whether high deductibles, paperwork snags and narrow physician networks make it a bust.

More here

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Bob Cesca: Please Republicans, Run Against Obamacare This Year And We’ll See You In November

Anyone who tells you the GOP is a lock for holding onto the House of Representatives while taking back the Senate in the midterms doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about. Why? Because it’s April. The election isn’t for another seven months. That’s a huge block of time, especially knowing how the speed of online media has accelerated news cycles and shortened voter attention spans. Again, if the Democrats can appeal to voters based on each of the very popular line items in the law, they might even be able to swing a few moderate, open-minded Republicans (yes, they exist), and especially those Republicans who happen to have ACA coverage (yes, they exist, too). At the same time, there’s seven months to carpet bomb swing districts with all of the Obamacare success stories such as, you know, my success story.

That’s more than enough time, and there’s more than enough material. This is all to suggest that the Democrats can absolutely meet the Republicans eye-to-eye on Obamacare rather than spinelessly running away from the law. There’s plenty of ammunition, 9.5 million Americans with new policies, along with strengthening poll numbers from which to draw support. If Mr. Priebus wants to make Obamacare The Issue for 2014, bring it on. The Democrats should absolutely stick it to him and make the GOP sorry it bothered. Who knows whether this will change the make-up of Congress or how the numbers will stack up. It’s still way too early to tell. But it’s a good bet the Republicans are making a classic strategic blunder — basing their fortunes upon the diminishing returns of the same old Obamacare myths and demagoguery.

More here

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Media Matters: From “Doomed” To Boom: How The Press Missed The Obamacare Comeback Story

Just three weeks ago the Associated Press reported the Obama administration needed “something close to a miracle” in order to “meet its goal” of enrolling six million people into private health care plans via the Affordable Care Act before the looming April 1 deadline arrived. The article’s premise was telling in that it focused on what the political fallout would be if Obamacare sign-ups fell short. Noticeably absent was any analysis of what an Obamacare deadline success would look like or what the political implications would be. The scenario of success simply wasn’t considered plausible or worth addressing.

Of course, we now know that as many as seven million people enrolled for private coverage through the exchanges established by Obama’s health care law. Thanks to an amazing consumer surge in the month of March, the seven million mark, routinely thought of last year as completely unattainable, and often dismissed this year as not possible, was met. And because of a provision of the Obamacare law, approximately three million young people have been added to their parents’ private insurance plans. Meaning, more than 10 million people have used Obamacare to secure health coverage. The new law, noted the Los Angeles Times, “has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century.” The paper reported, “At least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gotten health insurance since Obamacare started.”

More here

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Aaron Blake: Sebelius: 80-90 Percent Of Obamacare Enrollees Have Paid A Premium

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Monday that insurance companies estimate between 80 and 90 percent of the 6 million people who have signed up for Obamacare have actually paid a premium. “What we know from insurance companies … tell(s) us that, for their initial customers, it’s somewhere between 80, 85, some say as high as 90 percent, have paid so far,” Sebelius said on KWTV-TV. “Lots of companies have different timetables for when their new customers have to send their first payment.”

More here

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ABC: Behind The Scenes With Rosie The Riveters At The White House

Phyllis Gould waited 12 years for the moment when she, one of the six original “Rosie the Riveters,” made it to the White House.
Gould, 92, and her five fellow “Rosie the Riveters,” who worked in a shipyard during World War II, were invited by Vice President Joe Biden Monday after a decades-long letter campaign by Gould that began when Bill Clinton was in office. “I thought we are not going to be here that much longer and we need to get this out,” Gould said of why she asked for a White House invitation. “Because no one else can do it for us.” “Truthfully, I always thought I would drift through my life invisible to anybody,” she said. Instead, Gould’s letter to Biden, in which she said her dream was to take a picture with the president and the vice president in the Oval Office, resulted in an invitation for Gould and her fellow “Rosies” to a week-long visit to Washington, D.C.

 “This was the start of the first women’s liberation movement,” Biden told ABC News’ Lara Spencer as he greeted the Rosie’s. “You see these women working in a factory doing anything any man can do. It began to change everything.” With their motto, “We can do it,” and their famous red bandanas, Gould and the 20 million other American women who went to work during World War II turned gender stereotypes on their heads. The riveters worked as welders, electricians and draftsman at the Kaiser Shipyard in Richmond, Calif., as the men fought in the war. During the women’s visit to the White House, Gould not only got the hug from Biden that she asked for in her letter, they all also got a surprise visit from President Obama.

More here

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@VP: One of the Rosies at [yesterday’s] meeting requested a “Big Biden Hug”. Catch the whole story on [today’s] @GMA.

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On This Day:

Sarah Brown, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, President Obama and Michelle Obama on the steps of No.10 Downing St on the eve of the G20 summit in London, April 1, 2009

President Obama is welcomed to 10 Downing Street in London by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, April 1, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama talks alone with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton prior to President Obama’s Meeting with President Hu of China. Winfield House in London, April 1, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meet for the first time to issue a joint statement announcing their pursuit of a new START treaty, at Winfield House in London, April 1, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama smiles during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Medvedev at Winfield House in London, April 1, 2009

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 President Obama waves to crowd gathered for his arrival in Framingham, Mass., April 1, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama talks Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, center, at the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency in Framingham, Mass., April 1, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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The North Portico of the White House is seen through the fog, April 1, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama welcomes Robby Novak, known as “Kid President,” to the Oval Office, April 1, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama reacts to a missed shot on the White House Basketball Court, April 1, 2013. The President participated in a clinic with kids and professional basketball players as part of the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll (Photo by Pete Souza)

 

 


136 Responses to “Rise and Shine”


  1. 1 vcprezofan2
    April 1, 2014 at 11:24 am

    :cool:

  2. 3 Nerdy Wonka
    April 1, 2014 at 11:25 am

    HEADS UP:

  3. 4 vcprezofan2
    April 1, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Welcome! Come right in, Nerdy! You are a dear and a darling …… and probably tired from your hectic pace these last few days! THANKS!

  4. April 1, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Aweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesome Nerdy, fittingly magnificent for a magnificent day!!! Thank you Legend.

  5. 16 Gazelle
    April 1, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Can I be a fly on the wall for the Nancy Smash lunch?! I don’t think PBO will swat me! :)

  6. 17 donna dem 4 obama
    April 1, 2014 at 11:27 am

  7. 22 Nerdy Wonka
    April 1, 2014 at 11:28 am

  8. 23 Nerdy Wonka
    April 1, 2014 at 11:29 am

  9. 25 Nena20409
    April 1, 2014 at 11:31 am

    GM TOD.

    Fine job NW.

    Au for VC.

  10. 27 amk for obama
    April 1, 2014 at 11:35 am

    worth the wait, ut. Fabulous.

    Is april ryan worth following?

  11. 35 Dakota
    April 1, 2014 at 11:37 am

    When I post, I always seem to be the last one on the thread! So let me state again…I’M HAPPY! LOL! I can’t wait to hear the President’s statement and watch heads explode! One good thing about being home sick…I won’t miss the fun!

  12. 43 japa21
    April 1, 2014 at 11:40 am

  13. April 1, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Gooood Morning TOD and fellow OBOTS. Happy ‘7 million day after’ to you all.

    It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood….

    Thank you President Obama, VP Biden, Nancy Pelosi and all the other major players who worked so hard

    to get us to this day. OBAMACARE is here to stay.

    Let’s keep celebrating and promoting the ACA ,
    not just today but for the rest of this crucial election year.

    And we are not going to let anyone steal our joy!

  14. 45 Dakota
    April 1, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Good Morning gobrooklyn!

  15. 46 Vicki
    April 1, 2014 at 11:41 am

    What a great roundup of the news, Nerdy! Thank you.
    Paul Krugman does it again. Today his column is called “Seven Million” and again he praises Charle Gaba, the ACASignups guy.

  16. 48 57andfemale
    April 1, 2014 at 11:42 am

    • 49 Linda
      April 1, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Senator Kirk should be ashamed…..

      I wonder how he would have fared after his stroke without his Government Cadillac Healthcare coverage. He was out for an entire year getting the best care he could while WE all paid for it.

      Cruz is not even worth a comment, IMO

      • 50 japa21
        April 1, 2014 at 11:57 am

        And after the stroke he talked about how he felt the Medicaid expansion was good. Now he is saying the Medicaid expansion is fooling people and looking for horrow stories. Cruz got a lot of pushback. Hopefully Kirk is as well. And he still tries to present himself as a moderate. He is gone in 2016.

        • 51 57andfemale
          April 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm

          I’ve tweeted him about 6 times and I will continue through the day. I am FURIOUS.

          Did he support Medicaid expansion? I didn’t know that. I know he thinks Medicaid patients who have strokes should get more PT. So unless it’s his specific illness. millions of the rest of us can go eff ourselves.

      • 52 57andfemale
        April 1, 2014 at 1:14 pm

        We paid Kirk’s effing salary FOR A YEAR.

        It’s a whole lot easier to get well when you don’t have to worry about income, the mortgage, the car payment.

        He throws in his couple of reasonable votes and we’re supposed to think he’s moderate. Moderate, my ass.

  17. 53 donna dem 4 obama
    April 1, 2014 at 11:42 am

    NW, Phenomenal Rise and Shine

  18. 55 amk for obama
    April 1, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Fuck the media.

  19. 56 Nerdy Wonka
    April 1, 2014 at 11:44 am

    • 57 MightyPamela
      April 1, 2014 at 11:56 am

      Is this an April Fool’s joke?

      • 58 hopefruit2
        April 1, 2014 at 12:33 pm

        Why did you think that Mighty P?

        • 59 MightyPamela
          April 1, 2014 at 1:08 pm

          How can the GOP possibly consider the American taxpayer will see the ‘value’ in their so-called ‘budget’? I just have this eerie feeling that everything I read or hear today is a joke. Which is so odd, as I can see the statement looks like all the official statements. I think I might stay offine today. Something is disturbing me, just not sure what it is. Love to all. Back at a later time. God Bless our President and all those who have worked for years to bring us to a higher level of democracy.

          • 60 hopefruit2
            April 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm

            Oh okay. I don’t see it as strange at all. But I guess you probably just need a break from politics for today. Hope to see you back later this evening or tomorrow :) :)

  20. 61 Melanie
    April 1, 2014 at 11:47 am

    LOL Big Papi just took a selfie with PBO. Retweets starting in 3, 2, 1….

  21. 62 vcprezofan2
    April 1, 2014 at 11:47 am

    What’s with the flag jacket? A bit much, honestly.

  22. 63 Ladyhawke
    April 1, 2014 at 11:48 am

    THE BAGHDAD BOB PARTY

    Boehner: GOP ‘will continue to work to repeal this law’

    By Steve Benen

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    At one point, al-Sahhaf announced, “I triple guarantee you; there are no American soldiers in Baghdad,” as U.S. planes flew over his head and buildings blew up behind him.

    Just yesterday, al-Sahhaf came to mind watching Republicans struggle with Affordable Care Act developments. As “Obamacare” had one of its best and most important days to date, GOP leaders nevertheless assured the public that all of the good news is actually bad, that conspiracy theories can explain away the appearance of progress, and they can triple guarantee us that the law is not succeeding.
    .
    .
    For another, they still don’t have an alternative solution – and they’ve been working on it in secret for nearly five years.

    This is getting embarrassing.

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    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/boehner-gop-will-continue-work

  23. 64 sherijr
    April 1, 2014 at 11:49 am

    just sent off my my April Fool’s prank email to the two eldest sons… hopefully it’ll get them going for a bit :) I tend to not do so much with my youngest son anymore… as I really blew it when he was 9 yrs old by telling him there was a spider in his ear… oh yes I did, evil mom me.. and he does not appreciate April Fools jokes from me at all.. so I’ve had to cease and desist. ;(

  24. April 1, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Guten Morgen meine Freunde!

    In a better mood than I was yesterday.

    What amuses me is that pundits still think Obamacare won’t drive Dems and Dem-leaners to the polls. Yes, the single biggest social welfare program in 40 years will have NO IMPACT on midterms. That’s just plain logic. :roll:

    • 66 japa21
      April 1, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      I think I read in Bob Casca’s posty this morning that the number of new insured is approximately 10% of the total votes acst in 2010. They won’t allow the GOP to take this from them.

    • 67 donna dem 4 obama
      April 1, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      They believe their own made-up press. You see the Right tells them that only older, wealthy, white people will vote this year so they believe it because that has been the historical trends. They believe that the R’s (via hatred for the President) are far more motivated than our side. They refuse to believe that we can turnout the vote because of Obamacare this year. It will be difficult simply because our coalition doesn’t understand the importance of voting in every election but if we are focused and have a coherent message (and motivate them with a little fear) it can be done. Also, I think we first need a full-time DNC Chairman whose primary function this year is keeping the Senate and picking up seats in the House. Nothing else!

      • 68 hopefruit2
        April 1, 2014 at 1:26 pm

        I think the press (and their GOP sponsors) know deep down they’re talking garbage. But like the typical REPUBLICANS that they are, they foolishly started that narrative back in Oct 2013 and they’re going to stick it with it – until election day proves them wrong. Their narratives are designed chiefly to boost GOP morale – (even if it might ultimately hurt them in the longer term) with the notion that boosted morale will translate to greater voter enthusiasm in November. This is very insidious and less talked-about attempt at DEM voter suppression that the main stream media is engaged in.

        The best predictor of 2014 turnout is 2013, and not 2010. Yet the MSM, pundiots, GOP, EmoLeft, etc., seem highly motivated to pretend that 2013 never happened – and some Democrats buy into it. The Obama coalition WILL come out in 2014. NONE of the elections we’ve had so far since since the exchanges opened on Oct 1 point to ACA being a liability for the Dems – in fact, the opposite is true. Yet the beltway media refuses to critically examine the facts of the situation.

  25. 69 dotster3
    April 1, 2014 at 11:55 am

    My daughter was a co-worker/acquaintance of the wife of Transit Officer Donohue who PBO recognized as being in the audience there today. He was shot in the shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers, which severed a femoral artery, wife told he had no pulse when he arrived at the hospital, basically brought back from dead. They have had a real rough go and a tough rehabilitation—–had a brand new baby too—–as he has had to relearn everything. It was so nice to see that he was there today to cheer on his Red Sox and to hear he is walking again.

  26. April 1, 2014 at 12:00 pm

  27. 72 mtmarilyn
    April 1, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Happy April’s Fools Day TODville! But it isn’t a fool’s day it is a CELEBRATION Day. I was so busy yesterday I couldn’t comment but I was able to lurk on all of NW’s great posts. Did catch up about midnight last night. and how great to watch the numbers grow. With this R&S and all the posts yesterday NW is the best BT ever!!!! Of course we couldn’t have done it without Chips.

    I have a friend that is a tea partier, we don’t talk about politics but on the ACA she talks about all the people who lost their insurance. Does anyone have a place I can get the information on that. I know that they lost it because the insurance companies do their thing of changing policies and that most were junk insurance but I need a place to go to. Thanks

    • 73 Nerdy Wonka
      April 1, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      You’re so very kind, MTMarilyn. Thank you so much and thank you Chips for the joy that is TOD.

    • 74 Nerdy Wonka
      April 1, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      Here’s one new link.

    • 75 Nerdy Wonka
      April 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Also, check out Michael Hiltzik’s blog at the LA Times. He covers everything ObamaCare and will have addressed your issue.

      This is the link to his blog: http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/#axzz2xeT93ArK

      This is his Twitter handle.

      • 76 mtmarilyn
        April 1, 2014 at 12:20 pm

        Thank you NW, I think those will work. Don’t know if she will accept facts, but I will try anyway.

      • 77 GGail
        April 1, 2014 at 1:15 pm

        NW, a few minutes ago, I sent an email to Michael Hiltzik thanking him for doing his research and reporting the truth time after time. I also stated that I had just finished reading his GOP excuse-making article and that he hit it out the park. I also told him that I was a faithful reader.

        HE EMAILED ME BACK!!! and thanked me :-)

        Maybe you bt’s should let him know we follow him here at TOD and how popular he is here.

    • April 1, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      Not sure where to look but they did set up a special Hotline for use only by those who have received health insurance cancellations:

      1-866-837-0677

      Maybe you can get info there.

  28. 81 vcprezofan2
    April 1, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    • 82 hopefruit2
      April 1, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Exactly – had it fallen just one person short of the original CBO target, it would have been blasted all over MSNBC.

  29. 83 amk for obama
    April 1, 2014 at 12:06 pm

  30. 84 japa21
    April 1, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    • 85 MightyPamela
      April 1, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      See, that is exactly what I thought as well! It is so bizarre that they consider that a good workable budget. It screams of suffocating the real workers in this country.

  31. 86 Linda
    April 1, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Sen Roberts, – R is on the floor of the Senate trying to get a bill passed to STOP THE RATIONING OF OBAMACARE !!!!!!!!!!!!

    hahahaaaa….

  32. April 1, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Does anyone here get followed by this rather curious chap:

    https://twitter.com/Matheus95089239

    This is about the 97,000th ish account he’s had, all starting with ‘Matheus’ – in fact, I’m guessing half my followers are Matheus.

    He mainly sends garbled messages of admiration to Michelle Obama.

    Very odd.

    Okay, move on!

  33. 97 Don
    April 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    President Obama told all five military branch leaders to admit gays or resign, President Clinton told the military to go hide and don’t discuss your sexual orientation.

    • April 1, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Before DADT if the military found out it meant automatic discharge usually of the dishonorable or bad conduct variety. I was in the service at that time and witnessed it happening to a few people Clinton was battling Sam Nunn and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Nunn had set up his own fiefdom as Armed Forces Chairman and was still feeling his oats after derailing John Hightower’s SoS nomination about two years before.

      I agree Clinton could have said the same thing to the Joint Chiefs as PBO did. That would have taken the legs out from under the Senator from Georgia. Instead they compromised and got DADT. It wasn’t perfect I grant you but it was a huge step given what the military’s original posture on it was.

    • 99 Allison
      April 1, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      Don, If you’re on twitter you should tweet your message. It’s awesome.

  34. April 1, 2014 at 12:25 pm

  35. April 1, 2014 at 12:27 pm

  36. 104 Nena20409
    April 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    AP is reporting that Tiger Woods has back surgery and he would miss The Masters.

  37. 107 amk for obama
    April 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Ok. our arch enemies, pakistan, out of T20. I am off to watch west wing.

    Gunnite.

  38. 109 Kid kanga
    April 1, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Such a great rise and shine. you guys are the best at this. I love the idea someone had prevously for march 31st being a national healthcare holiday! I will always call the ACA Obamacare each and everytime in honor of our man. you guys think its to early to start measuring up Mt. Rushmore yet? I think that space next to Lincoln would fit PBO’s face perfectly.

  39. April 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    • April 1, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      “We know many of you worked hard to finish enrolling in a health plan in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Sometimes despite your best efforts, you might have run into delays caused by heavy traffic to HealthCare.gov or our call center, maintenance periods, or other special situations that prevented you from finishing the process on time.

      If that happened to you, don’t worry – you still may be able to get covered in 2014.

      If you were trying to enroll on our system by the March 31 enrollment deadline for coverage in 2014 and didn’t finish, we may still be able to help you get covered.

      Log in to your online Marketplace application on HealthCare.gov and finish the enrollment process – you’ll need to just confirm online that you were still trying to enroll on March 31.
      Or contact the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. The Call Center can help you complete your enrollment over the phone. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. Be sure to tell our customer service representative that you’ve been trying to enroll.

      Don’t miss out on the health coverage you need. Let us help you finish your enrollment today.”

      ==================
      Love it!!!

  40. 119 Nena20409
    April 1, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Pat Benatar’s Hit Me with Your Best shot…..Oh Yes!

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/obama-obamacare-enrollment

    President Barack Obama received an update from his aides on the pace of enrollment for his signature legislative achievement also known as Obamacare on Tuesday morning.

    Sign-ups for the federal health insurance exchange surged Monday night and are on track to hit the projected number of 7 million, officials announced.

  41. 120 donna dem 4 obama
    April 1, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    :lol: ;) :lol:

  42. April 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    • April 1, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      “Statement by NATO Foreign Ministers
      1 April 2014

      We, the Foreign Ministers of NATO, are united in our condemnation of Russia’s illegal military intervention in Ukraine and Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We do not recognize Russia’s illegal and illegitimate attempt to annex Crimea. We urge Russia to take immediate steps, as set out in the statement by the NATO-Ukraine Commission, to return to compliance with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities, and to engage immediately in a genuine dialogue towards a political and diplomatic solution that respects international law and Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders. We support the deployment of an OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine.
      Our goal of a Euro-Atlantic region whole, free, and at peace has not changed, but has been fundamentally challenged by Russia. We support the sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity of all states within their internationally recognised borders. An independent, sovereign, and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and respect for human rights, minorities, and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security.
      In order to demonstrate our commitment to Ukraine, we will intensify our cooperation in the framework of our Distinctive Partnership. Today NATO and Ukraine have agreed, as set out in the statement by the NATO-Ukraine Commission, to implement immediate and longer-term measures in order to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to provide for its own security.
      We have also today agreed a package of measures aimed at deepening our cooperation with other NATO partners in Eastern Europe, in consultation with them and within our existing bilateral programmes.
      Over the past twenty years, NATO has consistently worked for closer cooperation and trust with Russia. However, Russia has violated international law and has acted in contradiction with the principles and commitments in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Basic Document, the NATO-Russia Founding Act, and the Rome Declaration. It has gravely breached the trust upon which our cooperation must be based.
      We have decided to suspend all practical civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia. Our political dialogue in the NATO-Russia Council can continue, as necessary, at the Ambassadorial level and above, to allow us to exchange views, first and foremost on this crisis. We will review NATO’s relations with Russia at our next meeting in June.
      As stated by our Heads of State and Government at the Chicago Summit in 2012, NATO is based on solidarity, Alliance cohesion, and the indivisibility of our security. In the current situation, the Alliance has already taken steps to demonstrate solidarity and strengthen its ability to anticipate and respond quickly to any challenges to Alliance security. We will continue to provide appropriate reinforcement and visible assurance of NATO’s cohesion and commitment to deterrence and collective defence against any threat of aggression to the Alliance.”

      http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_108501.htm

  43. 125 donna dem 4 obama
    April 1, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    • April 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      Chips was asking on twitter about who these people are……

      I think that’s Marlon Marshall in the middle (he’s Deputy Director of the Office of Public Engagement) and to the right…. I think that’s Tara McGuinness, who was in charge of healthcare.gov communications. To her right, that kinda looks like Phil Schiliro, who I think was brought back to help POTUS with this year’s legislative agenda. Don’t know the others.

  44. 127 donna dem 4 obama
    April 1, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    The countdown is at this link :cool:

  45. 131 Nena20409
    April 1, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Sweet smell of Success for KY and a lump of contaminated Coal toxic for The Turtle O_o

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/obamacare-cuts-kentucky-uninsured-rate-by-40-percent

    Obamacare has cut Kentucky’s uninsured population by more than 40 percent, signing up roughly 360,000 residents since enrollment opened up on Oct. 1, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

    Some 75 percent of them — 270,000 — were previously uninsured. That means Kentucky’s uninsured population of 640,000 has come down by 42 percent.

    • 132 COS
      April 1, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Sad to say, but some of these folks will still vote against their own interest. I hope Allyson does not run away from the ACA.

  46. 133 Linda
    April 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    I am watching the Senate hearing on Caterpillar and their Tax Avoidance of transferring 85 % of profits to bogus entities in Switzerland.

    Wow….the auditors and their tax person are NOT doing very well.

  47. 134 Dudette
    April 1, 2014 at 1:15 pm

  48. 136 Gazelle
    April 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    [Nancy needs her gavel back! :) As someone stated up thread, Ryan’s budget is an April Fool’s joke. He covets Ways & Means? We have to take back the House, & keep the Senate.]:

    Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the powerful tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, plans to retire after his current term, he announced Monday.

    /////

    Camp’s retirement was expected by many inside the Capitol. The 60-year-old has served in Congress since 1991 and assumed control of the committee when Republicans retook control of the House in 2011. But his six-year term as top Republican on the panel is scheduled to conclude at the end of the year. He battled cancer last year and considered running for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat, but opted instead to put all his political and legislative muscle into the fight to overhaul the tax code.

    His partner in that effort was supposed to be the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who announced his own retirement plans last year. […..]

    Baucus then accepted President Obama’s appointment to be ambassador to China, retiring from the Senate in February and leaving tax reform stalled. Camp released his own plan in March, to much fanfare because it tackled several serious issues, but it was immediately dismissed by House GOP leaders and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as something that would not happen this year.

    The battle to succeed Camp at Ways and Means is a two-way race between Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the clear front-runner, and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), who is more senior on the panel than Ryan. […..]

    .

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/03/31/dave-camp-to-retire-after-his-current-term/


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