16
Apr
14

Rise and Shine

President Obama listens, during a meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan, in the Situation Room of the White House, April 16, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (All Times Eastern):

1:0: President Obama departs the White House

2:30: Arrives Pittsburgh

3:10: With the vice president, tours a classroom at Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center, Oakdale, Pennsylvania

3:45: The President and VP deliver remarks on jobs-driven skills training

5:45: The President departs Pittsburgh

7:20: Arrives White House

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Thursday: The President will welcome the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House in celebration of the eighth annual Soldier Ride.

Friday: The President will meet with the National Commander and Executive Director of the American Legion. Later, he will welcome the United States Naval Academy Football Team to the White House to present them with the 2013 Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.

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Darlene Superville: Obama, Biden To Announce $600M For Job Grants

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are hitting the road to trumpet $600 million in new competitive grants to spur creation of targeted training and apprenticeship programs that could help people land well-paying jobs. The programs that Obama and his Pennsylvania-born vice president are announcing do not need approval from Congress because they will be paid for with money that lawmakers have already authorized for spending. In response to stiff resistance to his agenda from Republican lawmakers, Obama has made it a goal this year to take smaller steps on his own, without support from Congress, to benefit the economy, workers and others, and Wednesday’s program fits that script. The larger of the two grant programs will put nearly $500 million toward a job training competition run by the Labor Department that is designed to encourage community colleges, employers and industry to work together to create training programs that are geared toward the jobs employers need to fill. Applications will be available starting Wednesday.

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The training is part of an existing competitive grant program for community colleges that prepare dislocated workers and others for jobs. A priority will be placed on partnerships that include national entities, such as industry associations, that pledge to help design and institute programs that give job seekers a credential that will be recognized and accepted across a particular industry, signaling to an employer what kind of work the holder can do. The Labor Department is also making an additional $100 million available for grants to reward partnerships that expand apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships are used less widely in the U.S. than in some other countries, said administration officials, who also noted that nearly 9 out of 10 apprentices end up in jobs that pay average starting salaries of above $50,000 a year.

More here

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Dan Witters: Uninsured Rate Drops More In States Embracing Health Law

he uninsured rate among adults aged 18 and older in the states that have chosen to expand Medicaid and set up their own exchanges in the health insurance marketplace has declined significantly more this year than in the remaining states that have not done so. The uninsured rate, on average, declined 2.5 percentage points in the 21 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have implemented both of these measures, compared with a 0.8-point drop across the 29 states that have taken only one or neither of these actions. Medicaid expansion and state health insurance exchanges — are realizing a rate of decline that is substantively greater than what is found among the remaining states that have not done so. Consequently, the gap that previously existed between the two groups has now expanded.

More here

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Reuters: Americans Increasingly Prefer Democrats On Healthcare: Reuters/Ipsos Poll

Americans increasingly think Democrats have a better plan for healthcare than Republicans, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted after the White House announced that more people than expected had signed up for the “Obamacare” health plan.

Nearly one-third of respondents in the online survey released on Tuesday said they prefer Democrats’ plan, policy or approach to healthcare, compared to just 18 percent for Republicans. This marks both an uptick in support for Democrats and a slide for Republicans since a similar poll in February.

…. “In the last couple of weeks, as the exchanges hit their goals, news coverage has been more positive and the support of the Democratic Party on this issue has rebounded,” said Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson.

More here

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Sun Times: At Howard U, Michelle Obama To Meet Chicago Public H.S. Students

First Lady Michelle Obama, a graduate of Whitney Young High School, will meet with Chicago high school students visiting Howard University in Washington D.C. on Thursday, juniors and seniors who will take part in a program called “Escape to the Mecca, ” run by Howard’s  Chicago Peoples Union and  “designed to immerse talented high school students in a college campus environment,” the White House said.

Background, from the White House: “The First Lady’s visit to Howard is part of her higher education initiative, in particular working to achieve the President’s “North Star” Goal, that by the year 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

The First Lady will join the students on a campus tour followed by a roundtable discussion where the students will be joined by their hosts. In the discussion, the First Lady will hear how college tours and similar types of exposure can inspire students to reach higher in their education.

More here

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Kyle Cheney and Brett Norman: Insurers See Brighter Obamacare Skies

Health insurers got their first taste of Obamacare this year. And they want seconds. Insurers saw disaster in the fall when Obamacare’s rollout flopped and HealthCare.gov was a mess. But a strong March enrollment surge, along with indications that younger and healthier people had begun signing up, has changed their attitude. Around the country, insurers are considering expanding their stake in the Obamacare exchanges next year, bringing their business to more states and counties. Some health plans that skipped the new marketplaces altogether this year are ready to dive in next year. “[W]e see 2014 as just the beginning for exchanges,” said Tyler Mason, a spokesman for UnitedHealth Group, one of the nations’ largest insurers. “As the economics, sustainability and dynamics of exchanges continue to become clearer, we believe exchanges have the potential to be a growth market with much to offer UnitedHealthcare and other insurers and consumers.”

State officials and insurance company representatives signaled in interviews that at least 10 states would feature more companies, not fewer, on the Obamacare health plan menu. Those include Kentucky, California, Connecticut and Washington, four states that have enthusiastically supported the health law and built high-performing exchanges. New York’s exchange chief, Donna Frescatore, said her state has had “additional interest” from new insurers, as well. But the list also includes more surprising interest in places like South Dakota, Idaho, Iowa and Michigan, far from diehard fans of the president’s health law. A spokeswoman for one of the companies Haislmaier cited, Michigan-based Physician’s Health Plan, said in an interview that it will indeed join the state’s exchange in 2015. The company had planned to join in 2014 but pulled out at the last minute, citing uncertainty caused by federal delays. New, Obamacare-funded nonprofit insurers are expanding their footprints, as well. Minuteman Health in Massachusetts is expanding into bordering New Hampshire; Montana Health CO-OP will sell plans in Idaho; and Kentucky Health Cooperative is moving into West Virginia.

More here

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USA Today: As MLB Honors Jackie Robinson, Can It Reverse A Trend?

Just when we want to believe that times are changing and prejudice is waning, along comes a ferocious reminder like a Manny Pacquiao punch to the jaw. Sheer racism, exposed in vile letters directed to Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, have poured into the Atlanta Braves offices over the past week. Yes, it was like 1974 all over again, the year Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, with letters laced with the most hateful epithet known to African Americans. “Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur)” a man named Edward says in an e-mail to the Braves front office obtained by USA TODAY Sports. Edward invokes the epithet five times in four sentences, closing with, “My old man instilled in my mind from a young age, the only good (racial slur) is a dead (racial slur).” There are 67 black players in the major leagues, with three teams not represented by a single African-American player: the San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis Cardinals.

Forty years ago, Aaron had the audacity to break Ruth’s home run record. This time, he simply spoke his mind. When asked by USA TODAY Sports last month why he still keeps those hate letters, Aaron calmly revealed his sentiments. “To remind myself that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record,” he said. “If you think that, you are fooling yourself. A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’s not a whole lot that has changed. “We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated. We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go. “The bigger difference is back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.” When I first started playing, you had a lot of black players in the major leagues,” Aaron said last month. “Now, you don’t have any (7.8%). So what progress have we made? You try to understand, but we’re going backward.”

More here

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Clare McCann: CBO Finds Third Consecutive Year Of Good News On Pell Costs

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office announced some more good news for members of Congress: For the third consecutive year, the Pell Grant funding cliff is smaller and further away than we thought. After a few shaky years of funding during the recession, the updated CBO baseline will surely come as welcome news to lawmakers facing midterm elections and a tight budget. Then, starting with the 2013 CBO estimate, there was some surprising news: The program actually cost less than expected. As the rate of growth in the program flat-lined, the expected costs started to drop. Underestimating the numbers for fiscal year 2013 meant Congress could draw on an accumulated surplus in the program. Those funds–which actually come from funding provided in past years but never spent–are large enough that Congress can spread the surplus across fiscal years 2014 through 2017, added to a flat appropriation for the program.

Based on a separate funding formula, the maximum grant also increases with inflation. Here’s where it starts to get tricky. In fiscal year 2017, all that will be left of the surplus is $0.4 billion. And at the same time, the costs of the program are projected to increase as more students become eligible. That means members of Congress aren’t off the hook in ensuring the Pell Grant program–the cornerstone of federal financial aid for low-income students–is financially stable. The CBO report is good news for the immediate future, but it’s not a cure. Lawmakers have bought themselves a few years to figure out the long-term future of Pell Grant appropriations. If they don’t, the Pell Grant funding cliff will come knocking again.

More here

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Jamelle Bouie: What If Bundy Ranch Were Owned By A Bunch Of Black People?

For 20 years the federal government has fined Cliven Bundy for grazing his cattle on protected land. And for 20 years Bundy has refused to pay. Last month this dance came to an end when the Bureau of Land Management sent Bundy a letter informing him that it intended to “impound his trespass cattle” that have been roaming on federal property. It closed off hundreds of thousands of acres, and earlier this month, moved to round up Bundy’s cows. The federal government blinked, and the Bureau of Land Management announced an abrupt end to its cattle roundup, hoping to avoid violence and further confrontations. this entire incident speaks to the continued power of right-wing mythology. For many of the protesters, this isn’t about a rogue rancher as much as it’s a stand against “tyranny” personified in Barack Obama and his administration.

right-wing media ought to be condemned for their role in fanning the flames of this standoff. After years of decrying Obama’s “lawlessness” and hyperventilating over faux scandals, it’s galling to watch conservatives applaud actual lawbreaking and violent threats to federal officials. I can’t help but wonder how conservatives would react if these were black farmers—or black anyone—defending “their” land against federal officials. Would Fox News applaud black militiamen aiming their guns at white bureaucrats as someone who closely follows the regular incidents of lethal police violence against blacks and Latinos, I also wonder whether law enforcement would be as tepid against a group of armed African-Americans. Judging from past events, I’m not so sure.

More here

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Neela Banerjee: U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Obama Administration Limits On Air Toxins

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s first-ever limits on air toxins, including emissions of mercury, arsenic and acid gases, preserving a far-reaching rule the White House had touted as central to President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda. In a 2-1 decision, the court ruled that the mercury rule “was substantively and procedurally valid,” turning aside challenges brought both by Republican-led states that had argued the rule was onerous and environmental groups that had contended it did not go far enough.

The EPA welcomed the decision, calling it “a victory for public health and the environment.” Liz Purchia, an agency spokeswoman, said. “These practical and cost-effective standards will save thousands of lives each year, prevent heart and asthma attacks, while slashing emissions of the neurotoxin mercury, which can impair children’s ability to learn.” The EPA estimates that the mercury and air toxins rule will prevent 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks annually.

More here

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Josh Gerstein: President Barack Obama Chops 3 1/2 Years Off Pot Sentence

President Barack Obama has issued a commutation to a drug convict, shortening his sentence by three-and-a-half years in what the White House said was an effort to correct a sentencing error. Ceasar Cantu of Katy, Texas pled guilty in 2006 to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and money laundering. He received a 15-year prison term but a White House official said it was subsequently discovered that a presentence report contained a mistake which caused the extra three-and-a-half years to be added to his sentence. “A judge ruled that Mr. Cantu did not discover this error in time to correct it through any judicial means; as a result, it can now only be rectified through clemency,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at the daily briefing, repeating word for word a comment offered on background by another Obama aide earlier in the day.

“The president thought [this] was the right thing to do to commute his sentence….The president wanted to act as quickly as possible. This is a matter of basic fairness and it reflects the important role of clemency as a failsafe in our judicial system,” Carney added. According to the Justice Department, Obama has issued 52 pardons and (now) ten commutations while in office. In recent months, Attorney General Eric Holder and his top aides have been encouraging lawyers for prisoners who believe their sentences are too lengthy to file commutation applications with the Justice Department.

More here

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LA Times: Surging Retail Sales Signal An Economy On The Upswing

Americans rushed out to shop as frigid weather lifted in March, propelling retail sales at the fastest pace in a year and a half. The gauge from the Commerce Department surged 1.1% last month from February in its biggest leap since September 2012. Sales boomed 3.8% from March 2013. The strong sales, which beat economists’ expectations for a 1% increase, bolstered hopes that the economy would continue to gain momentum after struggling through an especially harsh winter. “One month doesn’t answer all the questions, and it’s not like we have all-over-the-place exploding growth,” said NPD Group analyst Marshal Cohen. “But we’re beginning to see that the recovery is no longer segmented — it’s broader.” Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic output, making retail sales a strong indicator of the nation’s overall economic health. But other reports this month also signal a rebound.

Employers created a net 192,000 new jobs in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which said that all private sector jobs that were lost in the downturn have been recovered. Initial jobless claims hit their lowest level in nearly seven years. The International Monetary Fund projects that global economic growth will rise 3.6% this year in the strongest increase since 2011, led by expansion in the U.S. Small-business owners surveyed by the National Federation of Independent Business believe their sales are set to increase. The government also revised the anemic 0.3% improvement previously reported for February retail sales to a much stronger 0.7% upswing.

More here

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Jonathan Cohn: A New Report On Obamacare Says It’s $104 Billion Cheaper Than Expected

Republicans and their allies keep saying the Affordable Care Act will bankrupt the taxpaying public. Now there’s one more reason to think they are wrong. It comes from the Washington’s official accountant, the Congressional Budget Office, which on Monday released a newly updated projection on how the Affordable Care Act will affect the deficit and insurance coverage. It’s actually the latest in a series of revisions, each one suggesting the law would cost less money than the previous projection had suggested.  And why this latest change? It doesn’t appear to be because the law will reach fewer people. CBO now expects slightly more people to end up with health insurance, at least over the long run. The CBO’s primary explanation for lower costs is that health insurance premiums on the new exchanges—what the administration calls “marketplaces”—are lower than CBO had originally expected they would be.

the federal government is simultaneously providing generous tax subsidies, designed to offset those price increases and, more generally, make health care more affordable for people who couldn’t pay for it previously. Those subsidies, along with the law’s expansion of Medicaid, are the most expensive part of the law—together they account for the vast majority of its spending. The cost of those subsidies depends on the raw, unsubsidized prices that insurers are charging upfront. The higher the premiums, the more expensive the subsidies. And that’s where the law has, so far, outperformed expectations. Insurers are offering plans with lower premiums than CBO and other experts had predicted. As a result, the federal government is on the hook for less financial assistance. Better still, the CBO says that it doesn’t expect across-the-board premium spikes next year, as the law’s critics and even some insurance company officials have speculated would happen.

More here

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On This Day:

Senator Barack Obama and his wife Michelle wave to supporters after addressing a Women for Obama luncheon in Chicago on April 16, 2007

Senator Obama and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley watch a video highlighting Olympic venues at a rally celebrating Chicago’s selection as the U.S. candidate to host the 2016 Summer Games in Chicago on April 16, 2007

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Sen. Hillary Clinton speaks at a Democratic presidential debate with opponent Sen. Obama at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on April 16, 2008

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President Obama listens as Vice President Biden discusses the Obama administration’s plans for promoting high speed rail service in areas of the United States in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on April 16, 2009

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President Obama receives an update on the explosions that occurred in Boston, in the Oval Office, April 16, 2013. Seated, from left, are: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Tony Blinken, Deputy National Security Advisor; Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor to the Vice President; Attorney General Eric Holder; Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; and FBI Director Robert Mueller (Photo by Pete Souza)

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114 Responses to “Rise and Shine”


  1. 1 desertflower
    April 16, 2014 at 10:45 am

    GM everyone:)

    • April 16, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Cheat.

      Moooooooorning DF, moooooorning every one.

      Nerdy, you’re a bunch of excellence, another R&S packed with goodness and so many issues, you are THE BEST!

      • 3 desertflower
        April 16, 2014 at 10:53 am

        Who you calling cheat, woman?!! This from one with her finger on the button:) Have a great day everyone…going to be a loooooong one for me. Didn’t sleep a wink last night. Tired before I even started the day. oh well for me!

  2. 9 canadabarb4obama
    April 16, 2014 at 10:48 am

    do, re, mi…….nope, it is DF…..congratulations!

  3. 11 Nerdy Wonka
    April 16, 2014 at 10:49 am

  4. 12 Ladyhawke
    April 16, 2014 at 10:55 am

    What has the least productive House of Representatives in history actually done?

    By LOLGOP

    ———————————-

    It reduced the number of days it is scheduled to work from 126 in 2013 to 113 in 2014.

    It helped Senator Ted Cruz shut down the federal government for 16 days, costing the economy $24 billion, as the House GOP demanded, among other things, that the president roll back Obamacare’s birth control mandate.
    .
    .
    It refused to consider a Senate plan to restore emergency unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed seeking work.

    It refused to even consider the Senate immigration reform bill passed with Republican support.
    ———————————–

    Read more here …..

    http://www.eclectablog.com/2014/04/what-has-the-least-productive-house-of-representatives-in-history-actually-done.html

    • 13 jackiegrumbacher
      April 16, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      LH, if people really and truly understood this, they would demand their money back on this Congress. Paying their salaries is like pitching dollar bills into the Potomac River.

  5. 14 Nerdy Wonka
    April 16, 2014 at 10:57 am

  6. April 16, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Russian-speaking “civilians” are blocking Ukrainian troops from advancing on Sloviansk.

  7. April 16, 2014 at 10:59 am

    And Euronews reports that it’s seen military vehicles with Russian flags in the town center.

  8. 17 MightyPamela
    April 16, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Rising (well, 2 hours ago) to the beautiful and welcome rain… Nothing to add to the wonderful post, except good mornng TOD!

    • April 16, 2014 at 11:14 am

      Mooooorning Mighty P!

      • 19 MightyPamela
        April 16, 2014 at 12:07 pm

        Mornin’ darling – eagerly anticipating DannyStix’s next blog posting.. Not to be missed!!

    • 20 57andfemale
      April 16, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Morning, MP!

      • 21 MightyPamela
        April 16, 2014 at 12:15 pm

        Hey, gurl! You good??

        • 22 57andfemale
          April 16, 2014 at 12:17 pm

          Pretty good today, girlfriend. You doing okay?

          • 23 MightyPamela
            April 16, 2014 at 12:40 pm

            Meh. You and I going through a series of catching up with medical issues long overdue. It’s a bit tiring. But am a little excited about meeting with a trainer at noon today, to take some lessons on using our Fitness Room… Right here, one floor down! Hoping to learn some strengthening without causing more damage! It’s been almost 13 months since my injury, so thought I’d be farther ahead then this!
            I am still looking for Jovie to reappear, and am thinking today it feels like a while since sherijr has peeked in.

            • 24 57andfemale
              April 16, 2014 at 12:47 pm

              I’ve been thinking about Jovie a lot. It seems awhile for sherijr, but it can be long periods for her. I still think we need a ‘buddy’ system here where at least one other TOD family members knows how to contact someone.

              Are you still working with a physical therapist? Exercise is important, but it has to be the correct exercise.

              I forgot to take my increased asthma med last night and I sure could tell the difference this morning. I took the dogs outside and walked a little in the yard – I was winded, a tad dizzy. And I realized I thought this was ‘normal’ for years. My breathing meter was really low – now that I know to use it. Been hanging on by a thread until Obamacare.

              You be good to yourself, girlfriend. Don’t you dare overdo it.

  9. 25 dotster3
    April 16, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Interesting article on Steve Kornacki

    • 26 Vicki
      April 16, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      It is a good article. Steve K plays a nerdy guy on TV but he has jogged past me on the highway (Hudson River Park) we both exercise on and let me tell you in person he is a Hunk. Tall, broadshouldered and very slim. No glasses for jogging. Probably contacts.

  10. 27 amk for obama
    April 16, 2014 at 11:22 am

    “employers will pay $139 billion in coverage penalties under the ACA”

    What exactly do they get out of this? The money is gone out of their pockets. They might as well spend it on getting the coverage for their employees and earn their goodwill. As a businessman, I can’t see any upside to this.

    • 28 0388jojothecat
      April 16, 2014 at 11:31 am

      What is this Amk? Is this employers whose plans are not ACA compliant? Do you have link?

      • 29 amk for obama
        April 16, 2014 at 11:41 am

        see the tweet in the thread. most likely they are paying penalties for not getting the employee insurance.

        • 30 57andfemale
          April 16, 2014 at 12:16 pm

          That’s what it is.

        • 31 57andfemale
          April 16, 2014 at 12:20 pm

          And not necessarily bad: when companies provide health care, the cost, the comprehensiveness of the plans, etc. have more to do with what widgets cost, etc. than it does the actual health of their employees. I think de-coupling insurance from the whims of employers will be a good thing, eventually. However, that money must be given to the employee, since it is part of the employee’s compensation. But I don’t see these ‘job creators’ doing that. They’ll pocket it and buy more trinkets, like my boss.

    • 32 57andfemale
      April 16, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      I work for a man who went to great trouble to avoid giving health care to his employees. It was ugly. He ‘collects’ and my consulting job is cataloging and writing history about one of his collections. Trust me, one purchase would have insured this company of roughly 200 employees. Instead, he chopped up the business into a bunch of little companies to avoid providing health care.

      This is what constitutes ‘successful’ in America.

  11. 34 Nena20409
    April 16, 2014 at 11:23 am

    GM TODable TODers ;)
    R&S is impeccable NW.

    Saw this and thought about some of our TODable Males. Happy Wednesday. Remember this is Easter week ;) So Happy Easter :)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/16/serena-williams-fitness-cover_n_5158961.html?utm_hp_ref=bv-fashion-beauty

  12. April 16, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Good morning TOD. Lovely full news report as usual. Thanks NW.

  13. 38 Nena20409
    April 16, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Unpaid Interns in NYC gained rights to sue. Hmm? Thanks de Blasio?

    I hope the Interns would file class action suits ;)

    • 39 Vicki
      April 16, 2014 at 11:56 am

      Yes, thanks de Blasio. Mayor de Blasio, much like POTUS, is doing everything he can to improve the lives of ordinary people.
      Banning the spying on Muslims by the NYPD is a BFD, too. Like banning Stop & Frisk.

    • 40 0388jojothecat
      April 16, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      In June 2013 a judge ruled unpaid internships were illegal for two people working for Fox searchlight. It has started several others to sue for back wages.

  14. 41 amk for obama
    April 16, 2014 at 12:04 pm

  15. 42 Linda
    April 16, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Supreme Court To Consider Ohio Ban On Campaign Lies

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/16/supreme-court-campaign-lies_n_5158964.html

    hmmm…..any guess how this will go at the Right Wing Court ?

    • 43 57andfemale
      April 16, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      Free Speech!

      Voting – not so free.

    • 44 Nena20409
      April 16, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      In a FL Fox station sued for lying. These same courts in 2002 gave the OK for Fox FL Affiliate to lie to the viewers for the claim was that the 1st Amendments doesn’t guarantee the viewers the right not to be lied to………..OK…..it was that Their Freedom of Speech.

      Yep. This Robert Courts is No different from the Rehnquist Courts.

  16. 46 dotster3
    April 16, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    This is a well reported, detailed and important story re. the (non) investigation of the rape accusation against Fl. St. QB, Jameis Winston, and similar related offenses. I was following this story when it became known, mostly because my Fl. family who are big Fl. St. fans with alums among them, were worried about how this was going to affect their team, which was going for the national championship at the time, the QB a top prospect for the Heisman. They needn’t have worried. Nothing happened, their team won the national championship, Winston was awarded the Heisman. No wonder I read lately that fewer and fewer of these sex assault cases are being reported——the accuser, the victim, is demonized, especially if the accuser is a sports star or well known——and almost always these cases are dismissed, never prosecuted. The girls drop out of college, suffer severe depression, feel like their lives have been ruined. President Obama announced the creation of a task force to protect students from sex assault, citing surveys that 1 out of 5 women are a victim of attempted rape or completed rape while they are in college.

  17. 48 Linda
    April 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a North Dakota law that bans abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected is “invalid and unconstitutional.”

    U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland on Wednesday ruled that the law passed last year by the North Dakota Legislature “cannot withstand a constitutional challenge.”

    The law would ban abortions as early as six weeks.

    • 49 jackiegrumbacher
      April 16, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      None of these egregious state laws on abortion restrictions can withstand judicial scrutiny. They are written by lunatics for fanatics.

  18. 51 amk for obama
    April 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    • 52 57andfemale
      April 16, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      I don’t understand bitcoins. Don’t even try to explain it to me – by the time you’re done this crazy fad will be history.

  19. 53 jackiegrumbacher
    April 16, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    NW, once again am blown away by all the information you pack into an R&S. It’s like eating a power breakfast that keeps you mind alert all day. Thank you for the cornucopia of good stuff.

  20. 57 donna dem 4 obama
    April 16, 2014 at 12:52 pm

  21. April 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm

  22. April 16, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Where is everyone? Shopping for Easter Sunday or what? :)

    • April 16, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      I think they’re all snoozy today GB, lazy rascals :roll:

    • 70 57andfemale
      April 16, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Don’t remind me – I tried to get out of Easter dinner with friends and just have a quiet day at home. We were shamed into going. Now I have to grocery shop, cook………

      • April 16, 2014 at 2:36 pm

        Wait. You’re the one who has to host or are you all bringing food?

        • 72 57andfemale
          April 16, 2014 at 2:43 pm

          No way I’m hosting. But I end up bringing a lot of the food. And I don’t wanna do it this Easter. I hauled most of Thanksgiving, I hauled most of Christmas. I need a weekend at home to putter and work on my own stuff. The hostess will make the ham, but we’ll make a ham for ourselves anyway. Mr. 57′s mashed potatoes are legendary, they are expecting my roasted asparagus. She mentioned a salad, but that’s where I put my foot down. And if they want sweet potatoes, they can make them. At least I don’t haul pies for Easter like I do for Christmas and Thanksgiving. And just talking about it has made me exhausted.

  23. 74 dotster3
    April 16, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    • 75 Nena20409
      April 16, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      No News there. Ask the late Roosevelts. They knew and every other Dem POTUS since then have tried to stop this trend. Unfortunately, apathy is allowing this cancer to spread further.

  24. 76 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 1:24 pm

  25. April 16, 2014 at 1:33 pm
    • April 16, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      Nauseating. They need to stop watching cowboy movies and get a real life.

    • 79 Nena20409
      April 16, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      How many Brown and Black folks have died, shot dead by law enforcement while they have ZERO weapons pointing at the officers?

      How many times have groups such as these killed law enforcement agents in the line of duty, ambushed or assassinated without cause? What the right, Fox and elected GOPers are doing here supporting lawlessness is Unpatriotic and it leads to anarchy.

  26. 80 dotster3
    April 16, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    This is stomach churning, but I read about these kind of horrific accidents multiple times a week.

  27. 81 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 1:38 pm

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

  28. 83 Linda
    April 16, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Democratic Congressman Wants Federal Investigation Into ALEC-Backed Laws

    Grijalva cites a recent article in The American Prospect that links ALEC to bills in Utah claiming that federal ownership of Forest Service lands violates state sovereignty, and seeking to expand grazing into areas currently off-limits. Grijalva also notes that Bundy spoke at a committee hearing in March 2013 on an ALEC-backed bill in Nevada that dealt with the transfer of federal lands to state control.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/16/nevada-bundy-alec-federal_n_5160158.html

  29. 84 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 1:49 pm

  30. 85 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 1:50 pm

  31. April 16, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Yet another fantastic R&S, NW. Thank you!!!

  32. April 16, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    “Former Sec. of State – Russian Engaged In Grotesque Orwellian Propaganda | 2014-04-16 18:06:14

    Strobe Talbot, who was Deputy Secretary of State from 1994 to 2001 and is currently associated with Yale University and the Brookings Institution, has just spoken to MSNBC. His assessment is grim: Putin wants to destabilize not just Ukraine, but all countries in eastern Europe (and beyond) which Russian wants to become either “vassal states that basically take orders from Moscow, or basket cases.” Talbott also speaks about Russia’s PR campaign:

    “This is not ‘effective PR.’ This is the worst, most grotesque kind of Orwellian propaganda. We haven’t seen this kind of ‘Big Lie’ since the darkest days of the Cold War, and… we have to be very very careful about accepting the Russian version of what’s happening there (in Ukraine).” Talbott goes on to say that the polling is clear — as The Interpreter has pointed out — that very few in eastern Ukraine support declaring independence or joining eastern Ukraine.”

    http://pressimus.com/Interpreter_Mag/press/2335

    • April 16, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      “MP Hennadiy Moskal, former deputy minister of internal affairs, says he has received information from reputable sources about Russian plans to stage fascist demonstrations in cities in Western Ukraine in order to terrify the population in Eastern Ukraine and undermine international support. He reports on the planned provocations on Facebook, on April 16:

      On April 28, which is considered the anniversary of the creation of the SS Division “Halychyna,” marches are supposed to take place in the central streets of Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil under the symbols of SS Halychyna and using slogans designed to be perceived by people in Southeastern Ukraine as threatening to freedom, life and property. The plan also calls for slogans that encourage the killing of separatists and the destruction of buildings and offices of the Communist Party, the Party of Regions, and local administrations. The purpose of these actions is to stir up increasingly vehement separatist sentiments in the southeastern region of Ukraine.

      The obtained information comes from very reliable sources with direct contacts to the operation planners. In Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Ternopil oblasts, some 1,000 specially trained special service personnel will be arriving under the guise of tourists so as not to arouse suspicion among Ukrainian border guards through the Chernihiv Oblast checkpoint and also from Belarus. These individuals are specially trained by the Russian special services, are fluent in Ukrainian, and will be active participants in the provocation.

      Some of these individuals are already present in Ukraine and are seeking contacts with local civic organizations and with individuals who will agree to join the crowds in exchange for payment. Coordinators of these provocations are experienced members of Russia’s intelligence services who are natives of the western regions of Ukraine and who speak local Ukrainian dialects. Many are already present in Western Ukraine.”

      More at the link: http://euromaidanpr.com/2014/04/16/ukrainian-mps-warn-of-russian-provocations-in-western-ukraine/#more-7163

  33. 90 sjterrid
    April 16, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Good Afternoon, TOD!

    Nerdy fantastic Rise & shine Thread you put together. Now to go Back up to read all the comments.

  34. 91 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 2:30 pm

  35. 92 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    LIVE NOW: Awaiting the arrival of President Obama and VP Biden in Pittsburgh: http://www.wpxi.com/videos/news/wpxi-live-news/vsQ2Z/

  36. April 16, 2014 at 2:34 pm

  37. 94 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 2:37 pm

  38. 95 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 2:39 pm

  39. 96 anniebella
    April 16, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I was listening to those right wing Government hating people out there in Nevada who came out to support that welfare rancher, and they were saying that they was going to put the women and children on the front line so if there was any shooting with the Government you would see women and children shot down by the no good Government. Now excuse me please, but doesn’t that speak volume as to what kind of men they are, because I thought it is a real man’s job to protect the women and children regardless. Not offer them up for sacrifice.

  40. April 16, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    For Mad Men fans, Mad Men as Blaxploitation:

  41. 99 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    ANOTHER LIVE STREAM: Air Force One arrives in Pittsburgh – http://www.wtae.com/news/live-obama-biden-arrive-in-pittsburgh/19281952

  42. 101 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 2:58 pm

  43. 102 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 2:59 pm

  44. 104 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm

  45. 105 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    LIVE STREAM IS UP NOW: President Obama and V.P. Biden in Oakdale, PA – http://www.cbsnews.com/liveFeed/widget.shtml

  46. 107 Nena20409
    April 16, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    GOPer Rep tells constituent No on Minimum wage.

  47. 108 Nena20409
    April 16, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mcconnell-sylvia-mathews-burwell

    Speaking at the Central Kentucky Association of Health Underwriters, the Republican also said Sylvia Mathews Burwell is “probably going to have the worst experience of her adult life” leading the Department of Health and Human Services, which is in charge of implementing Obamacare.

    ////

    He did concede that Ms. Burnwell will be confirmed.

  48. 109 Linda
    April 16, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told his constituents Tuesday he believes President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the next health chief is “probably going to be confirmed,” according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

    Speaking at the Central Kentucky Association of Health Underwriters, the Republican also said Sylvia Mathews Burwell is “probably going to have the worst experience of her adult life” leading the Department of Health and Human Services, which is in charge of implementing Obamacare.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mcconnell-sylvia-mathews-burwell

  49. 110 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 3:23 pm

  50. 112 Gazelle
    April 16, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    [About the Seder]:

    [.....] Herbie Ziskind, another of the original Passover Three Musketeers, was also back for his sixth seder, and he brought his grandmother to the President’s dinner for the first time. Ziskind’s Bubbe, Joan Mass, was seated on the President’s right, with her grandson on her other side.

    “For her to have the amazing privilege of attending, is just so moving for me and for my family,” Ziskind said in an interview ahead of the seder with Huffington Post, where he now works.

    He added that the invitation “just kind of shows how special and incredible” Mr. Obama’s White House seders are.

    Eric Lesser, the third former aide who started the tradition, was also a guest, as was his wife Alison Silber. Lesser no longer works at the White House, either. He’s following in the footsteps of his old boss, however, and running for the state senate in Massachusetts. [.....]

    .

    http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2014/04/behind-scenes-at-president-obamas-sixth.html#more

  51. 113 JER
    April 16, 2014 at 3:29 pm

  52. 114 Linda
    April 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a contempt of court citation against an email service provider used by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

    A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled unanimously against Dallas-based Lavabit Inc. and its owner, Ladar Levinson.

    Appeals court Judge Steve Agee wrote that Levinson was sanctioned for refusing to help federal authorities track the email of a target of a criminal investigation. The opinion did not name the target.


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