08
Apr
14

Rise and Shine

President Obama embraces Vice President Biden in the Oval Office after a meeting on the budget, April 8, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (All Times Eastern):

11:45 EDT: President Obama delivers remarks on equal pay, East Room

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@petesouza: Pres Obama takes the stage at Bladensburg High School

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The Week Ahead

Wednesday: The President and the First Lady will travel to Houston, TX. The President will attend a memorial service at Fort Hood. He 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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Bryce Covert: Obama’s New Move On Gender And Pay Could Have More Impact Than The Lilly Ledbetter Act

President Obama on Tuesday is expected to sign two executive orders that will address the pay disparity between women and men. One will bar federal contractors from retaliating against employees who talk about their pay with each other. The other will require businesses to hand over data on pay, broken down by race and gender, to the Labor Department. The goal of both steps is to increase transparency, which is more important than it may sound. It’s hard to fight pay discrimination if you don’t even know what other people make. That’s exactly what happened to Lilly Ledbetter, for whom the Lilly Ledbetter Act is named. She didn’t find out she was being paid less than the men around her until 19 years after she started at Goodyear. Even then, it was thanks only to an anonymous note. While President Obama has touted the fact that his first act as president was to sign that bill, it was a very, very incremental step toward gender wage parity. The law merely gives women more time to bring suits.

The executive orders could start a new wave of progress. About half of American workers are either expressly barred or strongly discouraged from discussing pay with each other. Obama’s action won’t change that fact for everyone, but it will affect 22 percent of the workforce. And it can have ripple effects to other companies that might want to compete for federal contracts, changing standards over time.President Obama has proposed a universal preschool system that includes care for children ages zero to three and would go a long way toward helping parents afford the skyrocketing costs of child care. But many of these ideas are anathema to conservatives in Congress, because they would require government spending and/or interfering with the free market. Until that changes, executive orders like the ones Obama will issue Tuesday may be the best hope for a while.

More here

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Meghashyam Mali: Obama Administration Reverses Planned Cuts To Medicare Advantage

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Monday announced that it would increase payments to insurers offering Medicare Advantage plans by 0.4 percent, reversing a planned cut. The move comes after criticism from insurance groups and Democratic lawmakers who feared the fallout from trimming benefits for seniors in a difficult midterm election year.

CMS had proposed a 1.9 percent rate cut in February. But on Monday, agency officials said that changed estimates allowed for them to reverse the cut. CMS in a statement said that the rate changes would “ensure beneficiaries will continue to have access to a wide array of high quality, high value, and low cost options while making certain that plans are providing value to Medicare and taxpayers.”

More here

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Jamelle Bouie: Jonathan Chait’s Look At Race During The Obama Era Is Missing One Thing: Black Americans

You should contrast this with Jonathan Chait’s most recent feature for New York magazine, where the story of race in the Obama administration is a story of mutual grievance between Americans on the left and right, with little interest in the lived experiences of racism from black Americans and other people of color. It’s a story, in other words, that treats race as an intellectual exercise—a low-stakes cocktail party argument between white liberals and white conservatives over their respective racial innocence.That might fit the experiences of a mostly white pundit class, but it has nothing to do with race as experienced in the “day-to-day” lives of ordinary people. When a twentysomething black New Yorker talks about race, she isn’t as concerned with the rhetoric of Republicans as she is with the patrol car that trails her teenage brother when he rides his bike to the corner store.

What’s odd about the argument is that Chait clearly shows the extent to which conservatism—even if it isn’t “racist”—works to entrench racial inequality through “colorblindness” and pointed opposition to the activist state. But rather than take that to its conclusion, he asks us to look away.Of course, it’s not accusing conservatives of “racism” to note that particular policies—say, tax cuts to defund the social safety net, or blocking the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act—have a disparate impact. That’s just reality. And it’s not tarring your opponents to note that race plays a huge part in building popular support for those policies. Chait finishes his piece with a note (a hope?) that this dynamic of grievance will become irrelevant with time: “The passing from the scene of the nation’s first black president in three years, and the near-certain election of its 45th nonblack one, will likely ease the mutual suspicion. In the long run, generational changes grind inexorably away.” Yes, the Return of the White President will cause this tension to recede, as arguments over racial innocence—“You’re racist!” “You’re a race baiter!”—fade like the elves of Middle-Earth. But that’s only the end of the story if you’re most concerned with partisan fights.

More here

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Eli Clifton: Exclusive: Shady Double-Agent’s Obamacare Sabotage: Top “Supporter” Quietly Funded Its Opposition

While proponents of the Affordable Care Act took a victory lap on the April 1 signup deadline, opposition to the state-run marketplaces continues to expand across the country through “Health Care Freedom Acts,” bills that would seek to limit state governments’ cooperation with the Affordable Care Act. But the untold story, until now, is that a key White House ally in passing the Affordable Care Act may have helped lay the groundwork for these very anti-ACA legislations being introduced across the country. Billy Tauzin, the president of the pharmaceutical lobby, couldn’t help gloating while delivering a keynote speech at his final PhRMA annual meeting before his 2010 retirement. Reflecting on the industry’s decision to support comprehensive healthcare reform, the mega-lobbyist quipped, “This PhRMA team is a Super Bowl championship team of advocacy.” That comparison might be more accurate if the NFL’s championship team had rigged the Super Bowl.

Tax records show that PhRMA initiated a series of payments to the American Legislative Exchange Council with a $379,192 contribution in 2008. Tauzin’s powerful lobby continued its payments to ALEC throughout its negotiations with the White House. Between 2008 and 2011, those contributions exceeded $1.25 million. ALEC, a conservative group serving as a clearinghouse for state-level legislation, opposed the Affordable Care Act and launched its Health Care Freedom Initiative in 2008, the same year that PhRMA initiated its support. The project promised to “expose the truth about ObamaCare and fight back — one state at a time.” It also armed state lawmakers with “14 specific recommendations to push back against Obamacare” and offered boilerplate legislation with its “Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act.”In a previously unpublished “Schedule of Contributors” tax filing, PhRMA is listed as contributing $339,000 to ALEC in 2010, making it ALEC’s second largest donor after cigarette giant Reynolds American. The filing lists Pfizer, a member of the pharmaceutical lobby, as contributing an additional $136,000 on its own.

More here

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Think Progress: Black Women Are Breaking Barriers But Still Not Getting Compensated For It

Black women are graduating high school, attending college, participating in the labor force, and starting businesses at higher rates, but they still aren’t seeing the rewards of their hard work, according to a recent report from the Black Women’s Roundtable, the women’s initiative of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. Young black women have increased their high school graduation rate by 63 percent over the past 50 years, more than tripling it and “virtually eliminating the gap with Asian women (down to 2%), and significantly narrowing the gap with white women (7%),” the report notes. That gap between the rates of black women and white women has shrunk from 22 percent in 1960. After they leave high school, black women have begun to dominate college. “Though all women lead their male counterparts in college enrollment and degree attainment,” the report says, “Black women do so at higher rates than any other group of women in America.”

In 2010, they were 66 percent of all blacks who finished a Bachelor’s Degree, 71 percent with a Master’s, and 65 percent with a Doctorate. And they keep excelling after they graduate. “As they have from the beginning of their experience in America, Black women lead all women in labor force participation rates,” according to the report. Their labor force participation rate is higher than all other women, and that continues to be true even after they become mothers. They are also very entrepreneurial, starting businesses at six times the national average and representing the fastest growing segment of women-owned businesses. Black women own more than 1 million firms, employ 272,000 people other than themselves, and generate an estimated $44.9 billion in revenue. But even as they’ve been working harder on their educations and starting more businesses, black women aren’t seeing higher returns. While women working full-time, on average, make 77 percent of what men make, black women make 64 percent of what white men make.

More here

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Michael Cohen: How Putin Is Losing In Crimea: A Reality Check

A funny thing happened on March 21: Russia lost a war and virtually no one noticed. It was precisely this agreement — and the refusal of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to sign it — that led to the bloody demonstrations in Kiev that forced Yanukovych from power and spurred Russia’s seizure of Crimea. It’s the kind of trade that looks bad for Russia on the surface — and will only look worse in the future. Russia’s political influence in Ukraine and its dreams of creating an economic union to compete with the EU lies in tatters. Rather than push the U.S. and EU away from his western border, Putin’s actions have practically invited them in by strengthening the bonds between Kiev and the West. It is yet another reminder that Putin’s decision to seize Crimea, rather than serve as a triumphant moment, is far more likely to end up a disaster.

While Putin clearly imagines Russia to be a great power, the country is a hollow shell of its former self, with waning political and military influence and an economy that is teetering on the brink. Higher inflation, a weakening ruble, huge capital outflows and a lack of economic reforms contributed to a major slowdown in the growth rate last year — from a projected increase of 3.6 percent to a mediocre 1.3 percent clip. The Crimea crisis will only add to these economic woes.The far bigger one is that major financial institutions like Deutsche Bank are recommending that their clients keep their money out of Russia; two of the biggest ratings agencies, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, have downgraded Russia’s investment rating from “stable” to “negative”; and even MasterCard and Visa are ending relationships with key Russian banks to avoid the snare of U.S. sanctions.

More here

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Evan Perez and Steve Katsenbaum: Key Figure In M.J. Traffic Scandal, David Wildstein, Meets With Prosecutors

David Wildstein, a central figure in a political scandal that has upended the administration of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, met recently with federal prosecutors, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter told CNN. The U.S. attorney’s office in Newark is investigating suggestions that top Christie appointees and allies orchestrated traffic tie-ups near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee last September. Prosecutors are looking at whether the gridlock was politically motivated.

A state legislative committee is also investigating the matter, which involved sudden closures of access lanes to the nation’s busiest bridge over several days. Lawyers from the Justice Department’s public integrity section have joined the investigation to consult on certain legal aspects, particularly over separate allegations the Christie administration conditioned Superstorm Sandy relief money for Hoboken on the mayor’s support for a redevelopment project backed by the governor, according to one U.S. official.

More here

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NYT: In A Test Of Wills With China, U.S. Sticks Up For Japan

On his first trip to China as the secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel is finding himself in the middle of a spat that would not be out of place in “Mean Girls,” a movie about social cliques in high school. For the first time, China will host the Western Pacific Naval Symposium, a meeting every two years of countries that border the Pacific Ocean. The W.P.N.S., as it is known in naval circles, counts among its members the United States, Australia, Chile, Canada and a number of Asian countries, including China and Japan. Often at such meetings, the host country organizes an international fleet review, at which the visiting countries can parade their ships and show off some fancy hardware. For this year’s fleet review, China, which is hosting the event in Qingdao, invited all the countries in the symposium to take part — except Japan.

So on the eve of Mr. Hagel’s trip, which includes a visit to Qingdao, Pentagon officials announced that if Japan could not take part in the review, then neither would the United States. The United States will attend the meeting, the Pentagon said, but no American ships will sail in the fleet review. Late last year, China set off a trans-Pacific uproar after it declared that an “air defense identification zone” gave it the right to identify and possibly take military action against aircraft near the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and the Diaoyu Islands in China. Japan controls and administers the islands, but China claims them. Japan refused to recognize China’s claim, and the United States has been defying China ever since by sending military planes into the zone unannounced.

More here

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John W. Gonzalez: Allegation Against Battleground Texas Dismissed

Two special prosecutors have rejected public complaints that Battleground Texas violated election laws while registering voters in San Antonio last year. Three people had alleged that a Battleground Texas staffer violated state election law by mining voters’ personal data. The Democratic group has steadfastly denied the allegation as a fiction from conservative activist James O’Keefe III, who’s been criticized for dubious and even criminal tactics.Based on their finding, a state district court judge dismissed the case on Friday, officials confirmed Monday.

More here

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Brendan Sasso: FCC To Break Up Big TV Stations

Overriding intense Republican opposition, the Democratic leaders of the Federal Communications Commission voted Monday to crack down on media consolidation. The new rules bar multiple broadcast TV stations in the same market from sharing a single advertising staff. Democratic FCC officials argue that major TV companies around the country are using “joint sales agreements” to undermine the agency’s media-ownership caps. The FCC bars any company from owning more than one of the top four TV stations in a market. By selling ads for multiple stations, companies have been able to dodge the FCC’s ownership cap while effectively controlling several stations, the agency officials said.

The goal of the TV ownership cap is to ensure that viewers have access to a diverse range of views in the media and that no single corporation is able to dominate the flow of information. While the TV stations serve local markets, major media companies such as Sinclair own dozens of stations around the country. “The commission has long imposed limits on concentration of ownership for use of the public’s airwaves,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. “Today, what we’re doing is closing off what is a growing end run around those rules.”

More here

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Meredith Clark: Kansas Bill Kills Long-Held Teacher Rights

After a weekend of heated debate, the Kansas legislature passed a bill that strips teachers of the right to challenge dismissals and ensures tax breaks for corporations that fund private school scholarships. Despite huge majorities in the state House and Senate, the bills passed narrowly over the objections of hundreds of teachers and activists who packed the galleries to protest the bill. Until now, a teacher with three years of experience was guaranteed the right to receive a written reason for possible termination and the right to appeal the decision. Teachers in Kansas have had the right to due process since 1957. Without it, a teacher could be fired for being gay, or disagreeing politically with an administrator, and have no recourse.

The bill also provides $126 million to address disparities in public school funding. The Kansas supreme court ruled in March that the state’s current funding system is unconstitutional. The court had ordered the legislature to craft a solution before July 1. Some Republican lawmakers sought policy changes like the end of due process in exchange for supporting the funding measure. Republican Governor Sam Brownback has not said whether he will sign the bill. Kansas’ teachers are among the lowest paid in the United States, with the state coming in 42nd in teacher pay. Educators fear that eliminating due process rights for teachers will make it even harder to retain talented teachers. “How do we get great teachers to come to Kansas when they’re already getting paid so little, and now they have no due process?” Aaron Estabrook, a school board member in the city of Manhattan asked msnbc. “How can we recruit them when they won’t be protected?”

More here

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On This Day

Sen. Barack Obama before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the situation in Iraq, Capitol Hill, April 8, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the situation in Iraq, Capitol Hill, April 8, 2008

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President Obama offers a fist-bump to senior staff member Pete Rouse, during a meeting with senior advisors in the Oval Office, April 8, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama admires a tapestry at Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, April 8, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, and Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, share a toast during a luncheon at Prague Castle, Czech Republic, April 8, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama talks with Secretary of State Rodham Clinton following the expanded delegation bilateral meeting with President Medvedev of Russia at Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, April 8, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama talks with Vice President Biden in the Oval Office in between meetings to discuss the ongoing budget negotiations, April 8, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama is reflected in a mirror in the Outer Oval Office as talks with Chief of Staff Bill Daley, left, and Vice President Biden in the doorway of the Oval Office, April 8, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama meets with staff in the Roosevelt Room of the White House to discuss the ongoing negotiations on a budget funding bill, April 8, 2011. Pictured, from left, are: National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling; Bruce Reed, Chief of Staff to the Vice President; Phil Schiliro, Assistant to the President and Special Advisor; and Nancy-Ann DeParle, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama talks on the phone with House Speaker John Boehner in the Oval Office, April 8, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama gestures while meeting with staff in the Roosevelt Room of the White House to discuss the ongoing negotiations on a budget funding bill, April 8, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama delivers a statement in the Blue Room of the White House after Democrats and Republicans reached a short-term budget deal to prevent a government shutdown, April 8, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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138 Responses to “Rise and Shine”


  1. 1 JER
    April 8, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Good Morning NW. As always, thank you.

    LIVE NOW: Sec. of State John Kerry testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – http://www.cbsnews.com/liveFeed/widget.shtml

  2. April 8, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Interesting map:

    “A secret package arrived at CIA headquarters in January 1958. Inside were two rolls of film from British intelligence — pictures of the pages of a Russian-language novel titled “Doctor Zhivago.”

    The book, by poet Boris Pasternak, had been banned from publication in the Soviet Union. The British were suggesting that the CIA get copies of the novel behind the Iron Curtain. The idea immediately gained traction in Washington.

    “This book has great propaganda value,” a CIA memo to all branch chiefs of the agency’s Soviet Russia Division stated, “not only for its intrinsic message and thought-provoking nature, but also for the circumstances of its publication: we have the opportunity to make Soviet citizens wonder what is wrong with their government, when a fine literary work by the man acknowledged to be the greatest living Russian writer is not even available in his own country in his own language for his own people to read…….”

  3. 8 donna dem 4 obama
    April 8, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I am just this morning catching up on the Jonathan Chait article. :shock: :roll: :(

    The anger that stirs in me is palatable. My first inclination was to respond to this ridiculous article but 140 characters simply won’t do. So instead I am going to request that Jonathan Capehart or Eugene Robinson respond to this article with truth.

    Somebody needs to set him straight.

    • 9 hopefruit2
      April 8, 2014 at 10:56 am

      Jamelle Bouie has responded so far. But it would be nice to see more responses from the likes of Robinson, Capehart and Harris-Perry.

      • 10 donna dem 4 obama
        April 8, 2014 at 11:04 am

        Exactly. He needs to hear it from his peers just how ridiculously off base and out of touch this article really is. I don’t know what “Center” and “Center Left” people like it because 95% of the responses he is getting are taking him to task. He is living in an alternate universe on this one. It reeks of privilege and he’s in much need of a reality check.

    • April 8, 2014 at 11:31 am

      I thought he made some points here and there but he twisted himself into knots once too often.

      This for example regarding Joe Wilson’s outburst

      “Assailing Wilson’s motives on the basis of a word he did not say is, to say the least, a loose basis by which to indict his motives. It is certainly true that screaming a rebuke to a black president is the sort of thing a racist Republican would do. On the other hand, it’s also the sort of thing a rude or drunk or angry or unusually partisan Republican would do.”

      Except in the history of this country no drunk, angry or unusually partisan Republican has ever yelled out “You lie” to a President at a SOTU address. That only leaves the racist Republican.

      And this

      “The passing from the scene of the nation’s first black president in three years, and the near-certain election of its 44th nonblack one, will likely ease the mutual suspicion.”

      What if a Black candidate emerges between here and 2016 and wins the Presidency? Then where are we racially? The same place we’ll be if a non-Black candidate wins who has a history of liking and working with people of color.

      Chait acknowledges the racism and the history that goes with it but his attempt at even-handedness collapsed and failurer to really consider the most important factor in his essay (namely Black People) collapsed under it’s own weight. It really boils down to one side fighting for equality and one side fighting against it. Chait missed that altogether.

      • 12 TrumpDog
        April 8, 2014 at 12:06 pm

        “The passing from the scene of the nation’s first black president in three years, and the near-certain election of its 44th nonblack one, will likely ease the mutual suspicion.”

        Heard the same bullshit when Obama was elected: that racism ended when he won. Now Chait seems to think it will quietly go away when he leaves office. No. It may be swept under the rug a bit but racism will always be there. And trust me, a lot of us will remember the shit Obama has had to put up with in his presidency. Sad that Chait would rather make excuses and hide in a make-believe world instead of admitting what most of us see.
        Big fail on his article.

        • April 8, 2014 at 1:43 pm

          Which is weird given the fact he painted Obama supporters as naive that it would go away. Now a non-Black meaning White candidate will diffuse the tension by getting elected and eventually we’ll all live happily ever after because racism is on the way out.

          Please.

  4. April 8, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Nerdy? You’re a legendary loveable legend – this is a wonderful R&S, thank you soooooo much!!!

  5. 17 Nerdy Wonka
    April 8, 2014 at 10:56 am

  6. 18 hopefruit2
    April 8, 2014 at 10:58 am

    G’morning Nerdy, Chips, TOD, lurkers, everyone, and congrats JER on #1 :)

    Thanks NW for this wonderful R & S round-up and your excellent push-back tweets on Jonathan Chait and his Twitter sidekick (@Harsh_Voice) !

  7. 20 hopefruit2
    April 8, 2014 at 11:00 am

    GOP-loving Media barely mentions anything about this. It’s all doom & gloom for Democrats…

    • 21 japa21
      April 8, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Also, too, both Landreau in LA and Pryor in AR are leading in their races. It is early, but both of them have been declared as sure GOP pickups. If they both win, there is no way GOP can take Senate. In fact, if they both win, there is a 50/50 chance Dems can pick up seats. What that means, for all intents and purposes, is that, barring a miracle resurrection of the GOP, Dems could have a super-majority in Senate post 2016 electiosn. Would be nice now, but can’t have everything.

      In fact, some of those GOP Senators (I’m talking to you Mark Kirk) who are up in 2016, may be more amenable to working with the Dems these next two years.

  8. April 8, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Now, the US Supreme Court has decided to eliminate the aggregate cap on contributions to political candidates and parties. Currently, donors can give $2,600 per candidate, to a maximum of 18 candidates, and additional $75,000 to party committees and traditional political action committees, for a maximum spend of $123,200 in each two-year election cycle. Now, unless US lawmakers change the statute—unlikely, since they all benefit from it—there are no limits on the number of candidates a donor may contribute money, and perhaps more importantly, it will allow party committees to raise significantly larger sums from donors.

    The ostensible justification for this is that political spending is speech, and the First Amendment guarantees guarantees free (as in unrestricted) speech. More pragmatically, the court appears to be taking the logical next step after its last major campaign finance decision, Citizens United, which allowed independent political groups (so-called Super PACs) to spend unlimited amounts on ads in support of political candidates as long as they don’t “coordinate” with them, a rule more honored in the breach than in observance. Still, it didn’t make sense to the majority of the court that a donor could spend as much as she wanted supporting candidates indirectly but give only $48,000 to them directly.

    Campaign finance reform advocates fear this will give the wealthy even more influence in the US political system and make politicians spend even more time spent courting rich donors, especially at a time of rising economic inequality. For an example, the Koch brothers, billionaire industrialists who are among the most active political donors in the United States, raised some $407 million during the 2012 election. Now, rather than just spend such sums on independent advertising, they can also donate significantly more directly to candidates and parties. The average winning senate campaign spent just over $10 million in the last cycle; with only 36 senate seats are contested this year, you can bet the 2014 figure is going to be higher…..”

  9. 24 Nerdy Wonka
    April 8, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Thank you so much for this, Chiparoo.

    • April 8, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Isn’t it just gobsmacking, Nerdy, that he’d write a line like that, when it is so laughably untrue? And as someone on Twitter said, to compare PBO and Clinton being called “boy”????? I just can’t get my head around the crap this guy has written.

  10. 28 JER
    April 8, 2014 at 11:03 am

    What did you just do Chip?!

  11. April 8, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Anybody else getting the grey instead of the black background? Chips, are you fiddling around? I kinda of like it………

    Bryan Cranston Praises Obama’s LBJ-Esque Politics, ‘Fantastic’ Obamacare

    http://news.yahoo.com/video/bryan-cranston-says-obamacare-fantastic-082410781.html

    “I think our president is actually doing something now with the executive orders that is something that Lyndon Johnson would definitely do if he ran up against a brick wall,” Cranston said. “He would just push it through, because it was something that he believed in and he knew it was the right thing for him to do.”

    In addition, Cranston said he believes the Affordable Care Act is “fantastic,” while admitting that “there are problems” with it. “Anything worth while is going to go through a growing pains period,” he said. “But this is his legacy and I think it’s a great one because I don’t think that basic health care should be a privilege of the rich. It should be a right to all.”

    At that moment, he caught himself, remarking, “it sounds like I’m running for office.”

  12. 35 donna dem 4 obama
    April 8, 2014 at 11:09 am

    I like it!

    • April 8, 2014 at 11:11 am

      Phew!! The font looks very small to me Donna, does it to you too? Have to get a bit of work done but will check in and out to see how you all feel, if it’s easier on the eye.

      • 37 Nerdy Wonka
        April 8, 2014 at 11:14 am

        Chips? This is horrible. It’s all grey and sad.

        Why are you punishing us? :)

        The horror! The horror!

        • April 8, 2014 at 11:17 am

          Oh yiiiiiikes!! The weird thing is Nerdy, the WordPress guy changed it himself, I thought he’d just give me codes to play around with. :???:

          Promise, when I get this bit of work done, I’ll sort it out!

      • 40 amk for obama
        April 8, 2014 at 12:39 pm

        Ha. Ha. Ha. I am free from bt/wp tyranny. I am not seeing any of the changes, thanks to FF and add-ons

    • 41 japa21
      April 8, 2014 at 11:12 am

      It sucks.

      • April 8, 2014 at 11:13 am

        :lol: Seriously Japa, do you hate it? We might need a poll on this!

        • 43 japa21
          April 8, 2014 at 11:18 am

          Actually, I do. Hard to describe exactly why. However, if the majority like I will, unlike Republicans, bow to the majority and accept the results. It just so happens I believe in democracy, which they obviously don’t.

  13. 44 hopefruit2
    April 8, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I didn’t do it!

  14. April 8, 2014 at 11:10 am

    the new design is interesting.

  15. 47 Nerdy Wonka
    April 8, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I vote against this new design. It’s not pleasing to the eyes. I much prefer the old design with the white/gray comment box.

    This design has really small text and Safari is being forced to verify because it believes The Obama Diary is a hostile website.

  16. April 8, 2014 at 11:18 am

    GOOD MORNING TOD;

    Health Update from last CT scan:

    IT’S SHRINKING!!!

    The lumps in my breast are shrinking. The lesions on my liver are shrinking. The numbers from my blood work are good and have also decreased. The cancer has stopped spreading for now. I still have a long ways to go and have had only 3 chemo sessions but this is still very good news. Keep in mind that even if I end up in remission the cancer will come back, but for right now it’s NOT growing.

    I was more emotional than I thought I would be. Haven’t had any good news from these scans so I was happy and crying after reading this report. I had calmed down until I got to the waiting room to tell my mother. Starting crying again and she (and everyone else in the waiting room) thought I had gotten bad news. Had to explain quickly to my mother that the report was good. All good.

    I wanted to tell my online fam at TOD first. I will leave the news on Twitter later in the day.
    :) :) :) :)

    • April 8, 2014 at 11:20 am

      GB, I think I’m going to cry. This is the most wonderful news EVER, I am so so so so elated for you. Wow. What a beautiful piece of news. ENDLESS love to you GB, overjoyed!

    • 50 donna dem 4 obama
      April 8, 2014 at 11:21 am

      OH GB this is wonderful news. I believe in the power of prayer. I’ll continue to keep you lifted in prayer. Stay strong and positive and you will continue to get stronger and better each day!!!!

    • 51 hopefruit2
      April 8, 2014 at 11:23 am

      WOW…this is awesome news GB!!! :) :) Thanks for this very promising update, and we will keep sending positive vibes your way!

    • 52 japa21
      April 8, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Great news. Will continue to pray for continued improvement.

    • 53 JER
      April 8, 2014 at 11:30 am

      I am so glad to hear the wonderful news GB.

    • 54 Desertflower
      April 8, 2014 at 11:32 am

      Tears. Literally years. So happy for this bit of good news for you, gb. Awesome! (((((gb))))))

    • 56 COS
      April 8, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Good morning everyone. I am so happy for your continued improvement GB. This is great news.

    • 57 MightyPamela
      April 8, 2014 at 11:34 am

      {{{{{GoB}}}}}

    • 58 symmetry11
      April 8, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Absolutely wonderful news, GB!

    • 59 Nerdy Wonka
      April 8, 2014 at 11:48 am

      This is wonderful news, GB. Thank you for sharing it with us. I am so overjoyed for you and will continue sending good thoughts your way. We are with you every step of the way.

    • 60 globalcitizenlinda
      April 8, 2014 at 11:50 am

      GB,

      congratulations on this report!

      heavens, you made my day!

      your strong spirit in the face of such huge challenges always astounds me;

      thanks for trying to remain upbeat and strive through what must be done to get your health back;

      thanks to your doctors, healthcare providers and care-givers (especially Mum);

      hope you continue to improve and thrive;

    • 61 Bill R.
      April 8, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Wonderful news!

    • 63 dotster3
      April 8, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      So happy to hear your fantastic, encouraging news, gb! Celebrate! in whatever way you want!

    • 64 Dakota
      April 8, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      God Bless You gobrooklyn. I’m choked up…such wonderful news! You are in my prayers. Stay strong…you are such and inspiration to us all.

    • April 8, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      May Blessings continue to be showered upon you

    • 66 0388jojothecat
      April 8, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Super good news GB God is good and the power of prayer is working well.

      OT – Did anyone hear about the mom who was arrested for leaving her two young kids in the car during a job interview? A woman in NJ raised over $95k for her.

    • April 8, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      OH, GoB, that is FABULOUS!! You are fighting hard and now you are seeing the results!! Stay strong and keep going. We all have faith in continued healing for you!!

    • 68 Cindy
      April 8, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      GOOD AWESOME AFTERNOON GOBROOKLYN!!!!!!!

      I HAD A FEW MINUTES TO CHECK IN FOR NEWS AND JUST READ YOUR POST. GOOD NEWS TUESDAY!!!!

      My, My, My…..what awesome news today. I am so HAPPY to hear about your scan, God is GOOD all the time, and all the time God is GOOD.

      The power of TOD prayers, positive energy, words of encouragement, and YOUR FAITH!

      Yes you have a long way to go but don’t stop believing. If you end up in remission; you must say, I am in remission and this CANCER is not coming back. I declare it, and decree it in the name of Jesus. You are healed by HIS stripes and not by what the doctors say.

      Speak healing “always” over your life, and believe that all is possible, through Christ who strengthens you.

      Thank you for sharing the GOOD NEWS! Believe….your best days are not behind but they are yet to come.

      {{{{{{{{{{{{GOBROOKLYN}}}}}}}}}}}

    • 69 Alycee (@jazziz2)
      April 8, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Girl, that is GREAT NEWS! You continue to be in my prayers!

    • 70 Lovepolitics2008
      April 8, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      I’m so so happy for you gobrooklyn !!!

    • 71 Linda
      April 8, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      Congratulations GB…hang in there.

      Personal note :

      When one of my sisters lost her hair she was grey…..when it grew back in, it was Strawberry Blonde…the color of her childhood and she never had to color it again.

    • 72 jacquelineoboomer
      April 8, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      Much love to you, GoBrooklyn! Great news.

    • 73 Nena20409
      April 8, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      <3 <3 <3
      Good The News.
      Hello Sunshine. Please keep on being you and keep on getting better. <3 <3 <3
      {{{{{{G <3 B}}}}}}

    • 74 amk for obama
      April 8, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      That’s a wonderful news,gb. Hang in there.

    • April 8, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Thrilled for GB! This is GREAT news!!

    • April 8, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      That’s great news. More prayers on our end, more health care on yours, and please conserve your strength.

    • 78 whatisworking
      April 8, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Best News of the day, thanks for sharing it with us

    • April 8, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      Thanks, Everyone! :) :)

      • 80 MadameSoph
        April 8, 2014 at 3:48 pm

        I’m catching up and this post isn’t current, so you may not see this but….

        Yay!!! I’m so happy for your news! Shrinking, healing, yay!

        A dear friend of mine is awaiting some test results this week. Your news just lifted me up.

        So happy for you, GB!

      • 82 majiir
        April 9, 2014 at 1:58 am

        I’m checking in late, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to let you know how happy I am am at hearing your good news, gobrooklyn. I will keep you in my prayers.

    • 84 57andfemale
      April 8, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      I am overjoyed for you! Prayers and healing, positive energy sent your way, my friend.

    • April 8, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Oh great news GB. You are a fighter. Hang in there girl. you will beat this sucker. You will!!!

    • 86 jackiegrumbacher
      April 8, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      GOB, this is the absolutely best news ever!!!! I am so happy for you!!! Sending up rockets, flares and fireworks in recognition of your good news!!!

    • April 8, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      thank you for this news GB and prayers to you

    • 89 sjterrid
      April 8, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      Gobrooklyn, I’m so happy to hear that your chemo has stopped your cancer from spreading. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers on your recovery. I don’t know how you do it, but you have such a positive attitude and amazing strength.

    • 90 Dudette
      April 8, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      Oh GB, this the most wonderful news! I’m over the moon thrilled for you! You cry as much as you like. Those are good, healing tears! I’m shedding some for you too! Sheer joy!

  17. 91 donna dem 4 obama
    April 8, 2014 at 11:18 am

  18. April 8, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Okay, I’ve put everything back to the way it was! Will be back in a bit to check who wants what!

  19. 96 hopefruit2
    April 8, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Okay, back to normal! Carry on, folks, carry on! :)

  20. 97 globalcitizenlinda
    April 8, 2014 at 11:20 am

    can someone please ask Mr. Chait if wePBO’s supporters are also just imagining the huge increase in threats directed at POTUS and huge growth in hate-groups – as documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center and other institutions.

    Another reminder:

    PBO himself has talked about how demeaning it was to his own grandfather to be called a “boy”.

    My place of birth shares a border (just a few hours drive) and a former colonial master with PBO’s father’s home. So I am very familiar with how often adult men (and even grandfathers) in these community were routinely called “boy”

  21. 99 Nerdy Wonka
    April 8, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I didn’t think I could love Bryan Cranston more after his phenomenal performance as Walter White on Breaking Bad (also hearing Tony buzz for his performance as LBJ on broadway) but he just proved me wrong.

    • 100 hopefruit2
      April 8, 2014 at 11:35 am

      :):) :) It is extremely heartening (if not thrilling) when you find out that a favorite actor/actress/musician/comedian, etc is also a supporter of our President….

    • April 8, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Oh WOW, thanks so much for posting this, NW. He’s just a great human being.

      He was on Charlie Rose the other night and although I had to turn the channel away a couple of times to avoid spoilers, he really is a great guy.

  22. 102 donna dem 4 obama
    April 8, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Sigh!!!

  23. April 8, 2014 at 11:58 am

  24. 104 hopefruit2
    April 8, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    While our President is doing his part to ensure gender equity in pay, our Dems in the House will be doing their part to ensure that the unemployed continue to receive their insurance benefits.

  25. 105 Dakota
    April 8, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Did anyone catch “In Performance at the White House” last night? It was FABULOUS!!!

  26. 108 Cindy
    April 8, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Good afternoon Chipsticks and Danny!

    Good afternoon TOD family!

    Wishing ‘EVERYONE” a BEAUTIFULLY DELICIOUS TUESDAY!

  27. 110 Lovepolitics2008
    April 8, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Listening to the President right now. Well, it’s pretty evident that the he has lost patience with republicans. The campaign for the mid-terms is definitely ON, but I think there’s more to it. He has tried everything to make them work with him, he has given them EVERY CHANCE , but now he’s had enough. He’s not subtle anymore and calls them out.

  28. 111 amk for obama
    April 8, 2014 at 12:17 pm

  29. 112 donna dem 4 obama
    April 8, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Because they got nothing!!!

  30. April 8, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    YOU GO, TARA

    • 116 hopefruit2
      April 8, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      LOL! Soon this “delay” will be permanent. HAHAHahahahaha….

    • 118 Lovepolitics2008
      April 8, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      Could it be because their alternative doesn’t work ? Less americans insured, less rights for patients, bad for the deficit,…

      Hey, repubs !! Democrats did their homework and worked like crazy with health care EXPERTS to come up with a law that will WORK.

      And you think you can come up with an answer in a few weeks? Ha ha ha…. Hint hint… when you put IDEOLOGY BEFORE REALITY , when you use wishful thinking instead of hard work and sound analysis, you always end up with CRAP.

      We all know what’s coming… Some flashy , simplistic proposition that will LOOK good but will be laughed at by experts. Oh we know you’re going to campaign on your “ideas” that are nothing more than wishful thinking. We know that some people will be fooled and that the media will treat you seriously, unfortunately. Means that democrats will have, AGAIN, to push back against your nonsense. ANd in the end, SANITY will prevail !

      • April 8, 2014 at 12:52 pm

        Yes, exactly. We already know what their blueprint is and it doesn’t pass the stink test.

        It took years of hard work with all major stakeholders to come up with Obamacare. They cannot and will not meet this challenge.

  31. 120 Linda
    April 8, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    No words.

  32. 122 amk for obama
    April 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm

  33. 124 jacquelineoboomer
    April 8, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Thank you, President Obama, for never giving up on the American people! P.S. Especially women – Ha!

  34. 125 Nena20409
    April 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    GM and GA TOD.

  35. April 8, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    “All of this is to say that – if we are serious about wanting to “expose the CIA’s dark side” – we have to take a long view backwards. What the Bush/Cheney administration did was despicable. But it didn’t spring up out of whole cloth during their 8 years in office”.

    • 127 Linda
      April 8, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Even Gerald Ford knew that Cheney was evil when Cheney was his ” Assistant to the President ”

      One of the last things Ford did was issue an executive order

      Executive Order 11905 is a United States Presidential Executive Order signed on February 18, 1976, by President Gerald R. Ford as an attempt to reform the United States Intelligence Community, improve oversight on foreign intelligence activities, and ban political assassination.

      That order was strengthened by Jimmy Carter

      Executive Order 12036 is a United States Presidential Executive Order signed on January 24, 1978, by President Jimmy Carter that imposed restrictions on and reformed the U.S. Intelligence Community along with further banning indirect U.S. involvement in assassinations. The EO was designed to strengthen and expand Executive Order 11905, which was originally signed by Gerald R. Ford in 1976
      —-

      I don’t know for sure, but I would guess the oders were rescinded under Bush/Cheney.

  36. April 8, 2014 at 12:43 pm

  37. April 8, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    This is the video of PBO presenting his birth certificate. It’s shameful and an indictment on our sick media and RWNJ culture that a man of such tremendous achievement and stature has to endure this absolute NONSENSE. Watch how expertly he puts the press in their place without breaking a sweat. BRAVO, Mr. President.

  38. 135 Ladyhawke
    April 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    The first question out of the gate from Julie Pace of the AP is why did President Obama make partisan remarks at the Equal Pay event. True to form.

  39. 137 Linda
    April 8, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    ” You’re Toast !

  40. 138 HZ
    April 8, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    {{{{{{{{{{{{ Love you our beautiful GoBrooklyn}}}}}}}}}}}}}}. May you continue to have great reports. I will continue to give thanks for this report and pray for all of the loving healing power to enter into your precious space. HZ


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