06
Apr
14

Rise and Shine

President Obama talks to Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who led Duke to win the NCAA Men’s Division One Basketball Championship, in the Oval Office, April 6, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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The Week Ahead

Today: The President has no public events scheduled.

Monday: The President will travel to Prince George’s County, MD to host an event on the economy. Following this event, he will meet with the Commander-in-Chief and Executive Director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Tuesday: The President  will host an event on the economy at the White House.

Wednesday: The President and the First Lady will travel to Houston, TX. The President will attend DCCC and DSCC events. More details regarding the President and First Lady’s travel to Houston will be forthcoming.

Thursday: The President and the First Lady will travel to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library in Austin, TX. The President will deliver remarks at a Civil Rights Summit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act. The President and the First Lady will return to Washington, DC, in the afternoon.

Friday: The President will travel to New York, NY to deliver remarks at the National Action Network’s 16th Annual Convention.

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KEYE Tv: President Obama To Attend Memorial At Ft. Hood

A White House aide says President Barack Obama plans to attend a memorial service Wednesday at Fort Hood — the site of last week’s shooting rampage. A Fort Hood spokesman confirms there will be a remembrance ceremony that day, and presidential adviser Dan Pfeiffer tells CBS’ “Face the Nation” that Obama will be there. Investigators say that an Army truck driver, Ivan Lopez, had an argument before opening fire at the Texas post last Wednesday, killing three soldiers and wounding 16 others before taking his own life.

More here

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White House: Statement By The President On Elections In Afghanistan

On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the millions of Afghans who enthusiastically participated in today’s historic elections, which promise to usher in the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan’s history and which represent another important milestone in Afghans taking full responsibility for their country as the United States and our partners draw down our forces.

We commend the Afghan people, security forces, and elections officials on the turnout for today’s vote –- which is in keeping with the spirited and positive debate among candidates and their supporters in the run-up to the election.

These elections are critical to securing Afghanistan’s democratic future, as well as continued international support, and we look to the Afghan electoral bodies to carry out their duties in the coming weeks to adjudicate the results –- knowing that the most critical voices on the outcome are those of Afghans themselves.

Today, we also pay tribute to the many Americans –- military and civilian –- who have sacrificed so much to support the Afghan people as they take responsibility for their own future.

The United States continues to support a sovereign, stable, unified, and democratic Afghanistan, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the new government chosen by the Afghan people on the basis of mutual respect and mutual accountability.

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Jim Kuhnhenn: Obama To Sign Executive Order With Equal Pay Rules For Federal Contractors

Lacking congressional backing to raise wages or end gender pay disparities, President Barack Obama is imposing his policies directly on federal contractors, following a long-established tradition of presidents exerting their powers on a fraction of the economy directly under their control. This week, the president will sign an executive order that would prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay with each other. The prohibition on the wage “gag rules” is similar to language in a Senate bill aimed at closing a pay gap between men and women. That legislation is scheduled for a vote this week, though it is not likely to pass.

In addition, Obama on Tuesday will direct the Labor Department to adopt regulations requiring federal contractors to provide compensation data based on sex and race. The president will sign the executive order and the presidential memo during an event at the White House where he will be joined Lilly Ledbetter, whose name appears on a pay discrimination law Obama signed in 2009.Separately, on Monday, Obama will also announce the 24 schools that will share in more than $100 million in grants to redesign their schools to better prepare high school students for college or for careers. The awards are part of an executive order Obama signed last year. Money for the program comes from fees that companies pay for visas to hire foreign workers for specialized jobs.

More here

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Michael Hiltzik: A Look At How Many Obamacare Enrollees Were Uninsured: 5.4 Million

As we observed earlier this week, one of the obsessions of opponents of the Affordable Care Act is the question of how many enrollees in Obamacare health plans already had insurance. The goal is to knock down the latest enrollment numbers by suggesting that most of the 7.1 million people enrolled through the individual insurance exchanges just moved from one insurance plan to another in a waste of time and effort. The real figure probably won’t be known for weeks, even months. But researchers at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center have weighed in with their own estimate. They’re figuring that the ACA has reduced the number of uninsured Americans by 5.4 million from the first quarter of 2013 through early March this year.

Their estimate is based on data from their March 2014 Health Reform Marketing Survey, which consists of public polling. Their finding is that the uninsurance rate for adults ages 18–64 was 15.2% for the nation in early March, a decline of 2.7 percentage points since September 2013, just before open enrollment on the exchanges began Oct. 1. “This represents a gain in coverage for about 5.4 million adults,” they write. Although the Urban Institute figures aren’t keyed to the enrollment figures, it’s worth observing that if all those newly insureds were among those who signed up on the individual exchanges, that would mean that of the 7.1 million enrollees, 77% were previously uninsured.

More here

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AP: Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Drone Strikes

A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit against Obama administration officials for the 2011 drone-strike killings of three U.S. citizens in Yemen, including an al-Qaida cleric. Permitting a lawsuit against individual officials “under the circumstances of this case would impermissibly draw the court into ‘the heart of executive and military planning and deliberation,’” said Collyer. She said the suit would require the court to examine national security policy and the military chain of command as well as operational combat decisions regarding the designation of targets and how best to counter threats to the United States. “Defendants must be trusted and expected to act in accordance with the U.S. Constitution when they intentionally target a U.S. citizen abroad at the direction of the president and with the concurrence of Congress,” said Collyer. “They cannot be held personally responsible in monetary damages for conducting war.” The lawsuit sought unspecified damages.

Anwar al-Awlaki’s classification as a key leader raises fundamental questions regarding the conduct of armed conflict, Collyer’s 41-page opinion stated. The Constitution commits decision-making in this area to the president, as commander in chief, and to Congress, the judge said. U.S.-born al-Qaida leader al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, an al-Qaida propagandist, were killed in a drone strike in September 2011. Al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, was killed the following month.  Anwar al-Awlaki had been linked to the planning and execution of several attacks targeting U.S. and Western interests, including a 2009 attempt on Christmas Day on a Detroit-bound airliner and a 2010 plot against cargo planes. “The fact is that Anwar al-Awlaki was an active and exceedingly dangerous enemy of the United States, irrespective of his distance, location, and citizenship,” said Collyer. “As evidenced by his participation in the Christmas Day attack, Anwar al-Awlaki was able to persuade, direct, and wage war against the United States from his location in Yemen, without being present on an official battlefield or in a hot war zone.” She said that the U.S. government moved against al-Awlaki as authorized by the defendants and she said the officials acted in accordance with the Authorization for Use of Military Force, which was enacted by Congress after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

More here

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Bruce Japsen: Medicare Seniors Like ObamaCare’s Team Approach

As the U.S. health care system moves away from fee-for-service medicine to more accountable care that uses a teamof health professionals, seniors covered by Medicare say they are okay with these new models that include nurses, social workers and other allied health professionals in the front lines of their treatment, according to a new analysis. Increasingly, the Medicare health insurance program for the elderly as part of the Affordable Care Act is moving to a system that rewards doctors and hospitals for working together to improve care. A new national survey of adults 65 and older from the John A. Hartford Foundation about “team care and the medical home” shows 27 percent say they get this kind of care right now, they like it and it has improved their health.

The openness to new models debunks theories by some in health care who think patients only want to see a doctor for all their health care needs. The bulk of the sample, or 73 percent say they want such care and 61 percent say they believe it would improve their health. Medicare, too, is moving aggressively toward more accountable models with success achieving savings. In the first year of the Medicare Shared Savings Program, almost half of the ACOs that started operations in 2012 had lower medical expenses than projected, exceeding their quality benchmarks, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. There were 29 ACOs that generated shared savings of more than $125 million.

More here

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Bloomberg: Private U.S. Payrolls Top Pre-Recession Peak

Private employers in the world’s largest economy reached an important milestone in March: they have made up all the jobs lost as a result of the recession, and then some. The CHART OF THE DAY shows payrolls excluding government agencies climbed to 116.1 million, surpassing the prior peak of 116 million in January 2008. Winning industries include mining and logging, education and health care, and professional services. Manufacturing and construction have lagged behind.

“Private-sector employment has popped its head out of the hole, and finally replaced the headcount lost due to the recession,” said Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies LLC in New York. “The labor market is the heartbeat of the economy, so when it finally gets to the point where it’s growing again, good things happen.” The recovery in private payrolls signals better times ahead for Americans still looking for work and lays the ground for a gradual pickup in wages and consumer spending, according to McCarthy. Steady progress also will probably prompt Federal Reserve policy makers to continue trimming stimulus while keeping interest rates low.

More here

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Cynthia Tucker: Irrational Hatred Of Obamacare Is Hard To Fathom

My friend Isatou has just received an invoice from Kaiser Permanente, testament to her new coverage through the Affordable Care Act — usually called “Obamacare.” She’s thrilled to finally have health insurance so she can get regular checkups, including dental care. A reasonably healthy middle-aged woman, she knows she needs routine mammograms and screenings for maladies such as hypertension. But before Obamacare, she struggled to pay for those things. She once had to resort to the emergency room, which left her with a bill for nearly $20,000. (She settled the bill for far less, but it still left her deeply in debt.) She is one of more than 7 million people who have signed up for health insurance through the ACA, stark evidence of the overwhelming market demand.

Now, young adults can stay on their parents’ health insurance policies until they are 26 years old — a boon in an economy where many young folks are struggling to find decent jobs. Now, patients with previously diagnosed illnesses (“pre-existing conditions,” in insurance lingo) can’t be denied coverage. Now, the chronically ill don’t have to worry about hitting a lifetime cap that would deny them essential procedures or pharmaceuticals. Now, working folks who don’t get insurance through their employers can purchase affordable policies. The GOP’s relentless opposition has been puzzling. Republicans have resorted to extreme measures to try to derail Obamacare, including an implicit threat to prevent the National Football League from participating in a marketing campaign to encourage people to sign up.It’s strange. Could it be that Republicans are simply furious that millions of Americans like Isatou finally have health insurance?

More here

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Bloomberg: Cement Deals Lay Foundation For Building Boom

For signs that construction is on the mend, look no further than the cement industry. Money being spent to acquire suppliers of building materials worldwide is surging to the highest level since at least May 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. After $22 billion of deals in the past 12 months, Holcim Ltd. (HOLN) and Lafarge SA (LG) — the world’s two biggest cement makers with a combined market value of more than $50 billion — are in advanced merger talks. “What we’re seeing is a recognition by these companies that the bottom is in and that the recovery is happening,” Todd Vencil, a Richmond, Virginia-based analyst at Sterne Agee Group Inc., said in a phone interview.

“Companies are feeling confident enough about that to have the buyers and sellers able to come together now.” In the U.S., construction spending increased 8.7 percent in the 12 months ended in February and 9.4 percent in the period ended in January, the fastest since 2006, data from the Census Bureau compiled by Bloomberg show. U.S. cement consumption will rise 8.1 percent this year to 86 million metric tons and will continue to increase through 2018, according to estimates from the Portland Cement Association.

More here

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Tara McGuiness: While Marketplace Enrollment Ended, Medicaid Enrollment Continues

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has already provided coverage to millions of Americans. More than 7.1 million Americans signed up for coverage through the Marketplaces, 3 million additional young adults were covered under their parents’ insurance and millions more will have access through Medicaid. A new report shows that more people are gaining coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as a result of the health law. The analysis, produced by the Health and Human Services Department shows enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP in February was at least 3 million people higher than it was, on average, between July and September. That does not include March, which saw an enormous spike in Marketplace enrollment and traffic to HealthCare.gov.

While this is great progress, states where governors or legislatures refuse to implement the Medicaid expansion provisions of the law will leave 5.7 million Americans uninsured. States that have expanded Medicaid, such as Kentucky and New York, have seen particularly dramatic declines in their uninsured populations. Just take Kentucky, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Kentucky has seen a 40 percent drop in its rate of uninsured since October 1.While open enrollment for the Marketplaces closed on March 31st, Medicaid coverage enrollment continues year round. That means we are going to continue, working with partners, to sign people up for Medicaid. We have made improvements to our systems and we are ramping up the tactics and tools that are working to reach uninsured Americans. We have learned that Medicaid expansion had a positive impact in getting people covered, as enrollment growth in states that expanded Medicaid was over 5 times higher than in other states (8.3 percent versus 1.6 percent).

More here

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AlJazeera America: Medicaid Boosted By 3 Million, Bringing ‘Obamacare’ Sign-Ups To 10 Million

Three million lower-income Americans have enrolled in the Medicaid program so far during the rollout of U.S. President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law. That brings to more than 10 million the number of people who have signed up for both public and private health coverage since the Oct. 1 launch of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. This week, the White House announced there were 7.1 million sign-ups as of March 31 for private health plans through new electronic insurance marketplaces now operating in all 50 states.

The current data includes people who qualify for Medicaid programs that have existed for decades, but it does seem as if the health care law is the reason behind many of the new enrollees: Medicaid enrollment has been brisker in states that are expanding the program – with a rate 8.3 percent higher than before Oct. 1. States that have not expanded Medicaid have seen enrollment rise by only 1.6 percent.

More here

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Joe Conason: On Our Highest Court, A Former Lobbyist Guts Campaign Finance Reform

It was Kennedy who wrote the majority opinion in Citizens United, which dismissed the notion that corruption will arise from unlimited political campaign contributions because they will all be disclosed. “Citizens can see whether elected officials are ‘in the pocket’ of so-called moneyed interests …and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way,” he wrote. “This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.” But if any Supreme Court justice knows how ridiculous that sounds, it must be Kennedy – whose own background as a corporate lobbyist and son of a lobbyist has been forgotten in nearly three decades since his Senate confirmation in 1987. His father, Anthony “Bud” Kennedy, was a backslapping, hard-drinking partner in a powerful lobbying law firm run by one Arthur “Artie” Samish, “the “secret boss of California” who finally went to prison on tax charges in the mid-1950s, while young Tony was studying to enter law school.

Samish liked to brag that he had amassed more power than anyone else in the state, including the governor, that he could buy any legislator with “a baked potato, a bottle, or a broad,” and that he was able to “unelect” any lawmaker who didn’t vote his way. The major clients of Samish and Kennedy were racing, entertainment, and liquor interests, notably including Schenley Industries, then run by J. Edgar Hoover’s mobbed-up pal Lewis Rosenstiel. When Bud Kennedy died suddenly in 1963, young Tony was only two years out of law school. But he went into the family business and inherited his late father’s clientele. While Kennedy always insisted that lobbying was only a “sideline” in his law practice, his billings were substantial – the equivalent of hundreds of thousands or more in today’s dollars. In 1974, he pushed through a bill for Capitol Records that saved the company (and cost the state) millions in sales taxes. How did he do it? The same way that special interests work their will today – by doling out huge wads of cash to lawmakers on behalf of his clients.

More here

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Washington Post: Facing Obamacare Deadline, More Young People Signed Up In March

Five state-based health insurance marketplaces and the District of Columbia’s exchange have so far provided an age breakdown of people who signed up for coverage through March 31, the official end of open enrollment. Compared against numbers reported by the Department of Health and Human Services in January and February, young adults in March signed up at higher rates.These numbers don’t tell the whole story of youth enrollment, though. HHS hasn’t reported March demographic data for the 36 states where it’s operating the marketplaces. Nine other state-based exchanges also haven’t yet provided an age breakdown for March enrollment.

People who struggled to sign up before March 31 can still enroll before April 15 through HealthCare.gov, the federal enrollment portal. HHS said it doesn’t have a reliable estimate of how many are still trying to enroll. State-run exchanges have also allowed some deadline leeway. The numbers also don’t account for young adults who enrolled in coverage outside the exchanges. The online Web broker eHealthInsurance, which sells off-exchange plans nationwide, recently reported that 45 percent of its shoppers since Jan. 1 are between 18 and 34 years old. Insurers must consider exchange customers and non-exchange customers as part of the same risk pool if they’re selling in both markets.

More here

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Jonathan Cohn: Obamacare Is Helping People Via Medicaid – Except In States Where Officials Are Fighting It

Some new Obamacare information: As of the end of February, the number of Americans on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was 3 million higher than it was at the beginning of the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period. It’s one more sign that the health care law is reducing the number of Americans without insurance significantly—although it doesn’t tell us by how much or whether, at year’s end, the reduction will live up to original projections. It’s also one more window into our growing geopolitical divide—between the part of America where officials are trying aggressively to help poor people get health insurance, and the part where officials are not. taking advantage of flexibility following the 2012 Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare, a large swath of mostly conservative states have opted not to expand eligibility.

As a result, millions of low-income Americans living in these states remain with no viable source of comprehensive coverage. The story is different in states that have expanded Medicaid. That explains the new figures, which the Department of Health and Human Services released on Friday morning. In states expanding Medicaid, enrollment in the two programs rose by more than 8 percent. In states that haven’t expanded Medicaid, enrollment rose by just 1.8 percent. Presumably a lot of these people were already eligible for Medicaid but either didn’t know it or hadn’t decided to do it before they heard about Obamacare. Wonks call this the “woodworking” effect.

More here

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 On This Day:

Sen. Barack Obama, D-IL, talks on his cell phone outside of the Senate chamber during a cloture vote on the immigration reform bill on April 6, 2006, on Capitol Hill in Washington

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President Obama speaks with National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones following a reception with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and heads of state attending the Alliance of Civilizations Dinner April 6, 2009, at Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, Turkey (Photo by Pete Souza)

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The Mount Ennon Baptist Church Children’s Chorus, from Clinton, Md., perform at an Easter Prayer Breakfast with Christian leaders in the East Room of the White House, April 6, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama walks to an outdoor meeting with, from left, Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor, Dan Pfeiffer, communications director, Jim Messina, deputy chief of staff, and Bob Bauer, counsel to the President, in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 6, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with staff in the Oval Office following a late night meeting with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the budget, April 6, 2011. Pictured, from left, are: Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew; Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; Senior Advisor David Plouffe; and Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, bottom right, meet with Members on Congress to discuss the Joining Forces military families initiative in the Map Room of the White House, April 6, 2011 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Filmmaker Spike Lee uses his iPad to photograph President Obama as he greets guests at the National Action Network’s Keepers of the Dream awards gala in New York, N.Y., April 6, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden greet participants during a roundtable meeting with military spouses, veterans, and volunteers to discuss the Joining Forces military families initiative in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, April 6, 2011 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden talk to AFPS reporter Elaine Sanchez about “Joining Forces,” the new White House initiative to raise awareness about the challenges facing military families, in the Map Room at the White House, April 6, 2011

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host a Passover Seder Dinner for family, staff and friends, in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House, April 6, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host a Passover Seder Dinner for family, staff and friends, in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House, April 6, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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97 Responses to “Rise and Shine”


  1. 8 Nerdy Wonka
    April 6, 2014 at 12:43 pm
  2. April 6, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Woooooooot!!!! An absolutely aweeeeeeeeeesome R&S Nerdy, 97 gazillion thanks, legend!!!

  3. 11 africa
    April 6, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Happy Sunday. Excellent newsy news!.

    Thanks, NW.

    Now, off to enrich my brain cells.

  4. 13 vcprezofan2
    April 6, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Fiiiiirst too!

    • 14 vcprezofan2
      April 6, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Putting aside Chips Chica and Nerdy Wonka, Africa and *I* are both morally first – so there!

    • 17 vcprezofan2
      April 6, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      I’m very certain that somewhere in the fine prints of the rule book it specifically states that BTs do not qualify for first place acclamation. Everyone knows all *reputable* organizations bans their employees AND family from participating in any contests. Don’t tell me TOD is not reputable? /There, Africa; the prizes should soon be arriving our way./

  5. 18 dotster3
    April 6, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Check out the Conan vid for proof of the creepiness of what is occurring ——-it is indeed ‘frightening’.

  6. 21 vcprezofan2
    April 6, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Ms Wonka, zat waz a bootiful way to open ze thred! Wiz a smile like dat to start ze day, … naught can go wrong. :) Thank you!

  7. 25 Dudette
    April 6, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Well I THOUGHT was commenting under this thread

    “Woooweee, that hunk a Rise & Shine, NW! Thank you!”

    So infuriating how Word Press works / doesn’t work from iPhones. Oh well. There worse things.

  8. 27 Judith Fardig
    April 6, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Happy Sunday. Enjoy your afterglow from the ACA Surge while David Gregory and the rest of the MSM GOP shills try to smear it.

  9. 28 MightyPamela
    April 6, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    111MightyPamela
    April 6, 2014 at 12:43 pm
    http://prks.org/1sixub4 For the new Easter egg collection, starring a collectible egg with Bo & Sunny! I wish I wasn’t poor, it would be great to add to my collection starring Bo only!! Oh well….
    Bringing this over. So hope I find a set of these in my Easter Basket!!

  10. 29 Nerdy Wonka
    April 6, 2014 at 12:55 pm
  11. 30 africa
    April 6, 2014 at 12:58 pm
  12. 32 Dudette
    April 6, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Knowledge is power

  13. 33 MightyPamela
    April 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    See, I should have been first, because I could tell my email was trying so hard to download incoming mail, and I was trying to get this link posted, thereby causing even more confusion for poor little iPad!! Never mind, the time stamp on the thread I brought over says all that need be said!! :) back later, for once I am all caught up! And I have NEWS: yesterday after work, I signed up for a PeaPatch plot up on the rooftop garden of my new apartment building!! So I have a place I can happily dig in the dirt again!! :) :) :) :) :)

  14. 34 Dudette
    April 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm
  15. 37 Dudette
    April 6, 2014 at 1:04 pm
    • 38 africa
      April 6, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Mind bending. They are so ill. But good to have the fix.

    • 39 Nena20409
      April 6, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      When the Media reports this as BAD News for the GOP and Great News for Americans, then I will know that the US media is trying to be Journalists.

  16. April 6, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Awesome Awesome…..Rise & Shine…

  17. 44 HZ
    April 6, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    A beautiful Sunday to my Chips, and TOD family. Thank you so much Chips for having such hardworking, brilliant minds working alongside you in our beautiful haven of goodness here. I am so appreciative.

    NerdyW., you are such an wonderful joyful sweet spirit of goodness to share all of this with us. {{{{{{{{{{{ Thanks for all you do for us}}}}}}}}}}}}HZ

    Oh, Chips please give my handsome grandson a Big Hug from granny. {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ Love you Danny}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}HZ

    Now I go back and take my time and enjoy all of this beautiful goodness. My tea and a delicious Coconut Cream Pie. Delicious. Yes, I might eat almost all of it. Dental cleaning tomorrow morning. What the hell. HZ

    • 47 Nerdy Wonka
      April 6, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Hahahahaha….you are amazing and one of a kind, HZ. Thanks so much.

      • 48 HZ
        April 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm

        {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ Nerdy W.,}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} I am starting from the top, and I am lying here weeping and giving thanks for you, and Chips’ brilliant contributors.

        I am stopping and crying and sending forth thoughtful words of grace because of what we all did here, and that is to work hard to first elect President Barack H. Obama the first time and again the second time. That is a gem of grace.

        Secondly, I do not remember having the beautiful opportunity to see and hearing a First Lady so graciously be able to share with us and the world such lovely and sincere greetings of “Hello, how are you, so nice to meet you.” In Our Peoples’ House? When have we seen this? Then to have that lovely young lady have the honor and pleasure of sitting down with the FLOTUS and hear those words of wisdom. What a time we are enjoying.

        So I think of all that Chips and all of you are doing to keep us informed in a brilliant manner of what is happening with our greatest president ever and FLOTUS ever, is just so wonderful. Tears have to flow from my eyes. Thank you so much, Nerdy W., for this R&S.

        I am just relaxing, sipping tea and eating pie and giving prayers of goodness seeds to continued to be planted in that WH by our First Lady and of course our great POTUS. I believe that in the midst of all of the negative garbage that we hear and see; we can thank Chips and her beautiful team for allowing us to focus on the goodness of this presidency and how so many are being helped daily in ways that most of us will not know of until he leaves office.

        So let us keep placing the ‘seeds of goodness’ as POB and First Lady Michelle Obama daily place into their space at the White House and see how many beautiful blossoms we will continue to see come forth with smiles like the beautiful babies who visit the WH; the seniors who run up to POB and say.”I want a hug.” So cute. The military families who come and get some loving hugs and words of thanks from their CIC; the families who need their wages increase coming and standing with the president; ; the families who come there and stand with the president and some senators and reps., asking for needed gun reform for all of us; and the many forward thinking business men and woman who stand with our president daily to try to make a positive and good change for our economy; , friends of POB from all walks of life who have stood with him through thick and thin so that young people of all representing our nation can have hope alive now and in their future as they come to ‘The Peoples House’ where the best Ever POTUS, VPOTUS, and FLOTUS and Dr. Jill work for all of us to bring good change to Washington. I have NEVER seem so much goodness in life come through that White House under Any president before President Barack H. Obama. Grammar teachers, please do not tear my up. I know I have just broken every rule in the book. I apologize. My heart leave my body and just starts to write from every inch of this great muscles inside of me. Sorry.

        We will not give up; and surely posts likes these and all of the others-past and future will encourage our spirits, hearts, and minds to hang in here with our Chips in support of our beautiful 44th President. Lift him up today in your spaces in the loving manner that you choose to do so. We Are Together. Thanks so all who contribute within our TOD family. You all are so loving in sharing your links of great news and uplifting information. We can beat the negative with the positive with all of us on board. Do not give up. Our leader is not going to give up.
        I love you all so much. {{{{{ My TOD family}}}}}HZ

        • 49 Nerdy Wonka
          April 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm

          You are such a kind and gracious soul, HZ.

          Thank you very much for the compliments in regards to my Rise and Shine. They are very much appreciated.

          Wishing you a fantastic day and rest of the week. TOD is lucky and blessed to have you. :)

    • 50 jacquelineoboomer
      April 6, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Feisty Ms. HZ! My favorite kind of person! Enjoy that pie, honey bunch.

      • 51 HZ
        April 6, 2014 at 3:15 pm

        {{{{{{{{{{{{{{ You are in my fabulous favorites, Jacqueline O’}}}}}}}}}}}}}} I would share it with you for sure, if we were near each othe my beautiful Jacqueline O. I will floss after eating the pie today, and for sure floss again tonight. HZ

  18. April 6, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Very Awesome Rise & Shine NW. And I’ve only looked at the photos. :)

  19. 56 hopefruit2
    April 6, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    G’d afternoon Nerdy, Chips, TOD, lurkers, everyone, and congrats Chips on #1 :) Today’s much-anticipated Sunday R & S is extra-special – filled with ACA goodies, wonderful pics, videos..oooh don’t know where to start! Thanks NW for doing the honors!

    • 57 africa
      April 6, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Hey Hope,
      Do you know what happened between Charles Blow and MSNBC? He was a regular, especially commenting on the Trayvon Martin case and then was no longer.

      Anyone?

      • 58 anniebella
        April 6, 2014 at 2:08 pm

        Charles Blow is on CNN now. Maybe he was told if you have to attack the President, if not you will lose your job. So now on CNN he attacks the President.

      • 59 hopefruit2
        April 6, 2014 at 3:14 pm

        I wasn’t even aware that Blow was no longer a contributor on MSNBC since I haven’t watched MSNBC in over 12 months! But anniebella says that he went to CNN – hmm..I wonder why.

    • 60 Nerdy Wonka
      April 6, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      You’re welcome, HF.

  20. April 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    THANK YOU for another astounding R&S, Nerdy Wonka. We are armed and ready!

    I know this has been mentioned in the last few days but I really want to hammer home this point so the truth is known.

    • 62 Nerdy Wonka
      April 6, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Thanks, Meta.

    • 63 vcprezofan2
      April 6, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      The Obama Admin is simply too efficient for the media.

      • April 6, 2014 at 2:02 pm

        It’s efficient but it’s also inordinately smart and disciplined. I think that’s what irks the RWNJs and the press so very much.

        • 65 vcprezofan2
          April 6, 2014 at 2:09 pm

          No arguments on this, Meta! :)

          Sadly, IMO, instead of learning from this admin, MSM and RWNJs flounder around digging for stuff to oppose and lying when nothing is found. That’s been the most amazing thing to me – that despite the fact he’s been pretty open, they know no more about the President, his personality, and his leadership style than they did at the beginning.

          • April 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm

            Yes, exactly. He’s not what they expected from a politician. He doesn’t play their games or even value their scoreboard. And they don’t understand any of that.

            • 67 vcprezofan2
              April 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm

              It’s their not understanding AFTER ALL THESE YEARS that floors me – convinced me that despite journo degrees or whatever, they have got to be truly dense (and not really worth the attention they crave). If they cannot adjust and grow, analyze and be occasionally insightful, of what value is their opinion?

              • April 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm

                None!

                It’s just because they are entrenched in their RW views and values. PBO is black, he doesn’t fit their stereotypes and they have no alternative universe in which the First Family’s lives can be true. So they’re angry and morose that he’s enjoying the office and all the successes.

              • April 6, 2014 at 2:39 pm

                Agree VC & meta. They continue doing battle with a fantasy version of Barack Obama, a version that resides only in their collective minds but certainly is not Barack Obama. Fighting phantoms may make for fun comic books or whatever, but is the surest way to get clobbered in reality.

                • 70 HZ
                  April 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm

                  Concur Bobfr, Vc, and meta.
                  Bobfr, were you attending a dinner gathering where several young, brilliant women and men who are very dear friends of the president(one who is dearest to me personally being in the group) were in attendance; and they all almost word for word Bobfr said what you just wrote.

                  “They continue doing battle with a fantasy version of Barack Obama, a version that resides only in their collective minds but certainly is not Barack Obama. Fighting phantoms may make for fun comic books or whatever, but is the surest way to get clobbered in reality.” So on point, Bobfr. Thanks for sharing this thought. Brilliant minds all over the place.HZ

    • April 6, 2014 at 2:00 pm
  21. 73 africa
    April 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm
  22. April 6, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Hi all, hope everyone is having a Blessed and restful day.

    Chip, I’ll have a post ready to go within the next hour. So please queue it up when appropriate. Thanks

  23. April 6, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    I’ll take 8.

  24. 78 africa
    April 6, 2014 at 1:46 pm
  25. April 6, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    OK, I’m 4 episodes into Season 4 of Breaking Bad. I’m off to see another 4 episodes.
    I feel worried and depressed for these people. The stakes get raised exponentially every other viewing. YIKES. YIKES. YIKES.

    • 80 Nerdy Wonka
      April 6, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      Ooooooo…it’s going to get even better. You think you’re feeling worried and depressed now? You ain’t seen nothing yet. LOL.

      It is going to take you on one hell of a roller coaster ride and you’ll be on the edge of your seat episode after episode and just when you think you’ve gotten used to the ride, season 5 and in particular, the last 8 episodes of season 5, will have your jaw dropping.

      Breaking Bad = A++++++++

      • April 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm

        ARGH!!!! Well, OK. LOLz.

        I often feel sympathetic toward Jessie and then he really really messes up. He’s really hurting himself right now and I know it is bound to get worse.
        Walter has always seemed so alienated and distant from his family even as he tries to save them from poverty. Just when he starts to soften up something happens to make him angry and withdrawn. I can’t really see what would look like victory for him right now. It seems like what he’s doing is really to free himself to do something personally cathartic.

  26. April 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm
  27. April 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm
  28. 84 Dudette
    April 6, 2014 at 2:46 pm
  29. 88 Dudette
    April 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm
  30. 90 africa
    April 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm
  31. April 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Several separatists groups very active in #Ukraine the past 12 hours ….

    Same scenario as Crimea

    • April 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm
    • April 6, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      “Oleksandr Turchynov urgently convened officials from the law enforcement and defense ministries and agencies due to the troubling events in Eastern Ukraine this Sunday, as reported by Ukrainska Pravda.

      clip

      The attack of public buildings happened in Kharkiv simultaneously with the attacks in Donetsk and with the same modus operandi. It is clearly organised in a military way and does not resemble a spontaneous movement. Stun grenades, seizing the building and immediate delivery of food, water, constructing barricades, non-Russian journalists that are forced to leave. Some vehicles bringing supplies are identified as coming from Belgorod (RU).”

  32. 94 africa
    April 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm
  33. April 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    As must be the case on 4 Nov 2014 for DEMS to win, it was Afghan women who rocked the vote, yesterday …

    “Taliban warnings defied as Afghans flock to vote in ‘massive victory for our people’

    Women help to swell the presidential election turnout to seven million, despite violence and reports of fraud and threats in the countryside. In anxious preparation for a historic presidential election, Afghanistan fortified its cities against attack, primed observers to detect fraud … then was blind-sided by a problem no one had even dared to imagine – unprecedented voter enthusiasm.

    Defying Taliban threats and the more mundane challenge of rainy weather, Afghans flocked to the polls in such high numbers that ballots were running out in some places by midday. Soon, more than a third of provinces were reporting shortfalls, and as the scale of the problem emerged election organisers scrambled to respond.

    “I don’t know how I will bear it if I don’t get to vote,” said 22-year-old Atifa Sultani, who had her finger marked with indelible ink – designed to stop repeat voting – at a station in west Kabul before being told that ballots had run out. “As a citizen it’s my right to choose our leader, but I can’t try anywhere else, because from my finger it seems I already voted.”

    Afghans are choosing a successor to President Hamid Karzai after 12 years, and if the handover is smooth it will be the first peaceful, democratic transfer of power their country has ever seen.”

    More at the link: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/05/afghanistan-presidential-election-voters-hamid-karzai

  34. 96 hopefruit2
    April 6, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Since it’s Sunday, I thought I would leave you all with some nice patriotic gospel music to go along with your Sunday lunch/dinner – this lovely piece will leave you feeling inspired as you never did before or thought you ever could. Enjoy! :)


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