20
Apr
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama prepares to board Air Force One before his departure from Andrews Air Force Base, April 20, 2011

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The President has no public events scheduled today

See here for ‘The Week Ahead’

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Zachary Roth: Obamacare Helping Millions Register To Vote

It’s the right’s worst nightmare: Obamacare working to boost not just the number of Americans who have affordable health insurance — but also the number who are registered to vote. And it could be coming true. Under the terms of an agreement between California and an alliance of good government groups, the state will mail voter registration forms to 4 million people who applied for Obamacare via California’s online exchange. The deal could end up creating 400,000 new registered Golden State voters — the actual numbers will be available later this year.

Nationwide, Obamacare could ultimately be responsible for registering anywhere from 3 to 7 million voters — potentially over 10% of the total number of eligible voters who aren’t registered today — over the next eight years. Here’s why: Under the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which aimed to boost voter registration, people applying for public assistance—as well as DMV customers—must be offered the chance to register to vote. That means every state insurance exchange like California’s, as well as the federal exchange, will need to ask people whether they want to register. Even those people who end up getting covered via Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion or through other parts of the law, rather than through the private market, will still be offered the chance to register to vote.

More here

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Washington Post: White House Announces Itinerary For Obama’s Asia Trip

President Obama will meet with the leaders of four Asian nations, answer questions at a town hall-style event at a university in Malaysia and address U.S. service members in South Korea during a week-long trip that begins Tuesday, the White House announced. Administration officials hailed the president’s visit to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines as a chance to underscore the United States’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific, with an emphasis on regional allies.

“Unlike many of the president’s overseas trips, particularly to Asia, there are no large summits involved,” National Security Adviser Susan Rice said while briefing reporters on Obama’s itinerary Friday. “So the agenda in each country can focus intensively on energizing our bilateral relationships and advancing the different elements of our Asia strategy.” The town-hall event at Malaya University will be with young leaders from 10 Southeast Asian nations, and Obama also will meet with civil-rights leaders in Malaysia, as the United States attempts to promote democratic values.

More here

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Wendy George: After 17 Years, I’m Bringing My Little Sister Home From Prison

When we were little, we used to tell our mama she had good ears. My little sister and I would whisper under the covers in our bed after lights out, and somehow mom could always hear us. She’d tell us to quit talking and go to sleep. Tomorrow I’m going to pick up my sister from prison. She’s been away for 17 years, and until last December I thought she would never come home. I can’t wait to drive back to my house, get in bed, and tell each other everything like we used to. You’d think I had a twin. As kids, my sister and I looked a lot alike. Our mom used to dress us the same. Even as we got older, we wore the same kinds of clothes. We raised our small kids together. We both wanted to style hair for a living. Since she’s been gone, a part of me has been missing. A part of me has been locked up for years.

Stephanie was 26 with four small kids when she was sentenced. Even though the judge objected, a mandatory minimum law meant that she got life without the possibility of parole for being “a girlfriend and bag holder and money holder” in a drug conspiracy. When Stephanie was sentenced, I took her kids into my home and raised them. I am grateful I had the strength to keep pushing on to make sure that her kids got to the prison to visit their mom. She told me horror stories of some of the women in there who didn’t have a family outside to help with the kids. It was a rough role, but I thank God for giving me the strength to raise them all. I talked to my sister on the phone last week and joked that once she gets home, I am going to take a month vacation. She said I deserve it. Even when they said she had a life sentence, I never accepted that. I’ve been praying and fighting for this day since day one. And the fighting has paid off. Finally, my sister’s sentence has been commuted by President Obama.

More here

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NYT: Republicans See Political Wedge In Common Core

The health care law may be Republicans’ favorite weapon against Democrats this year, but there is another issue roiling their party and shaping the establishment-versus-grass-roots divide ahead of the 2016 presidential primaries: the Common Core. A once little-known set of national educational standards introduced in 44 states and the District of Columbia with the overwhelming support of Republican governors, the Common Core has incited intense resistance on the right and prompted some in the party to reverse field and join colleagues who believe it will lead to a federal takeover of schools. Conservatives denounce it as “Obamacore,” in what has become a surefire applause line for potential presidential hopefuls. Other Republicans are facing opprobrium from their own party for not doing more to stop it.

The learning benchmarks, intended to raise students’ proficiency in math and English, were adopted as part of a 2010 effort by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to bolster the country’s competitiveness. Unlike the health care law, the Common Core retains bipartisan support and has the backing of powerful elements of the business community. The Republican revolt against the Common Core can be traced to President Obama’s embrace of it, particularly his linking the adoption of similar standards to states’ eligibility for federal education grants and to waivers from No Child Left Behind, the national education law enacted by President George W. Bush. “There is a great deal of paranoia in the country today,” said Sonny Perdue, a former governor of Georgia, who was also instrumental in creating the program. “It’s the two P’s, polarization and paranoia.”

More here

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Kathy Lally: Ukraine, Short On Military Budget, Starts Fundraising Drive

Ukraine’s new government inherited an army so bereft of modern equipment and training that when Russian troops entered Crimea and agitators stormed government offices in eastern Ukraine, the country proved helpless to protect its borders and citizens. The corruption that had darkened all the nation’s institutions had provoked demonstrators to stand their ground in Kiev until the old leaders fled. But the depth of the damage took the country by surprise when the Crimean Peninsula was easily lost to Russian annexation last month, revealing a military profoundly weakened by theft and neglect. “Our army has been systematically destroyed and disarmed,” Deputy Defense Minister Petro Mehed said at a briefing this past week, “and its best personnel dismissed.” In the east, militants have occupied buildings in more than a dozen cities and on Saturday showed no signs of giving up their positions.

The army was sent in and looked more anemic than ever when small knots of civilians managed to block armored personnel carriers simply by standing in front of them. Ukraine’s position is dire. The new government found the treasury empty when it took over Feb. 27. The Ministry of Defense was so desperate for money that it went to the public for help. People across the country have responded by pulling together for the Support the Ukrainian army fundraising drive, trying to repair the damage done by years of thieving governments. Children have held fairs and bake sales to raise money. Adults have delivered food and water to tent encampments. Community groups have collected shoes, clothes and canned goods. Ukrainian businesses and individuals had raised more than $9 million for the military as of Friday, the Defense Ministry reported. Of that, $2 million came from cellphone users who made 50-cent donations from their accounts by calling a designated number.

More here

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Michael Laris: Voting-Rights Quest In Va. Will Soon Become Easier For Ex-Prisoners Held On Serious Drugs Charges

Those convicted in Virginia of manufacturing drugs, distributing drugs, having the intent to distribute drugs or “accommodating” the sale of drugs will now be put in the same category as those who were found guilty of mail fraud, check kiting, embezzlement or simple drug possession when it comes to processing requests to have their voting rights restored. The drug-dealing and other major drug charges had been on the state’s “violent/more serious” list of offenses. Bumping them to the list of nonviolent crimes will have far-reaching implications. Since McDonnell’s reforms, those types of lesser offenses are processed in a faster, more streamlined fashion, taking weeks or months rather than years. Unlike most states, Virginia requires ex-felons to proactively pursue their voting rights — they are not automatically restored.

Virginia law, the American Civil Liberties Union says, has prevented hundreds of thousands of people — many convicted of drug crimes — from voting, and advocates point to racial disparities. About 45 percent of those arrested for drug offenses are black, said Edward Hailes, general counsel for the Advancement Project, a civil rights group active on the issue. “We should see a large number of African Americans in Virginia getting their rights restored more automatically,” he said, adding that one in five can’t vote because of felony convictions. “Virginia is making progress but is still far behind most of the states in the union.” Attorney General Eric Holder, speaking at the Georgetown University Law Center this year, called for further changes in Virginia and elsewhere. “Eleven states continue to restrict voting rights to varying degrees even after a person has served his or her prison sentence and is no longer on probation or parole,” Holder said. “It is time to fundamentally reconsider laws that permanently disenfranchise people who are no longer under federal or state supervision.”

More here

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Lucia Graves: Good News For Obamacare Is Bad News For Conservative Pundits

Conservatives were sure at every turn that Obamacare would fail, but as the numbers roll in, those convictions are looking increasingly ideological. First they said nobody would enroll. Then they said first-year premiums would be through the roof. And later, they warned of a “death spiral,” wherein premiums would go up uncontrollably. My colleague Sam Baker has written an excellent analysis of the situation, the upshot of which is that Obamacare is on a winning streak. The next great frontier of conservative hyperbole concerns premiums for 2015, with critics warning that costs will double or even triple next year. As of this week, we have good evidence to the contrary.

Health insurance premium rates are expected go up just 7 percent—a rate of increase much lower than what critics were predicting. And the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is predicting that premium hikes will be relatively modest. “The double-rate increases we’ve been hearing are probably exaggerated,” Dave Axene, a fellow with the Society of Actuaries, told USA Today. “That’s not what we’re seeing from the actuarial organizations—I guess we’re being a little bit more optimistic.” “A little bit more optimistic” is something of an understatement. For weeks, pundits have been spouting apocalyptic notions about the costs of insurance premiums, warning Americans that “the worst is yet to come.”

More here

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Derek Thompson: Get Rich, Live Longer: The Ultimate Consequence Of Income Inequality

Brookings economist Barry Bosworth crunches the data on income and lifespans for the Wall Street Journal, and the numbers tell three clear stories. 1. Rich people live longer. 2. Richer people’s lifespans are growing at a faster rate. 3. The problem is worse for women than for men. First, let’s look at the guys. A rich man (top decile) born in 1940 can expect to live 10 years longer after he turns 55 than a poor man (bottom decile). That longevity gap grew by four years in one generation. Women live longer than men, overall. But their inequality gap getting worse. A rich woman at 55 can expect to live a decade longer than a poor woman, too. But this gap grew even more between the Silent and early Boomer generations, by six years.

The typical guy in McDowell County, West Virginia, makes less than $30,000 a year and doesn’t live to 65. Five hours north on the highway, a typical man living in Fairfax County, Virginia, makes more than $100,000 and lives more than 80 years. The two Virginian counties are two different countries. When somebody in Washington proposes raising the retirement age for Social Security or Medicare, he typically says something like: “We can afford it, because we are living longer.” Yes, We can afford it, when the We in that sentence applies to an audience of white rich old men and women who really are seeing their lifespans grow by leaps and bounds. But We doesn’t apply to the millions of poor women whose lifespans are actually declining. Raising the Social Security retirement age disproportionately reduces lifetime benefits for the very people Social Security was invented to protect.

More here

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USA Today: New Data Signal Smaller Jump In Health Care Costs

Several new reports also hint at a bend in the health cost curve — even as health spending picks up with the improving economy. The change after years of large increases in how much health care costs seems to be coming for several reasons, the reports find: Americans are using their prescribed medications more often, which may be keeping them out of the hospital; payment systems have begun to reward quality over quantity, which has encouraged a team-based, data-driven approach; and record numbers of medications have been developed to address chronic disease, while older medications have come off their expensive patents. The week’s findings include a report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics that found that even as health care spending has rebounded with the economy, the growth rate remains lower than usual. In addition, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected lower health insurance premiums than originally expected.

Aitkin says people spent more on drugs and less on follow-up visits and hospitalizations, which could be key to keeping the growth rate low. Health experts have long held that if people can afford — and take — prescribed medications, it may keep them safe from heart attacks or low blood sugar levels, and ultimately keep their overall health costs lower. Aitkin says 23% of prescription drugs had no co-pays in 2013, mostly because of provisions within the Affordable Care Act, including the one for coverage of contraceptives as preventive medications. Women saved $483 million in out-of-pocket costs in 2013 for contraceptives alone. And hospitalizations from emergency room visits decreased 14.6%, possibly because consumers were encouraged to try other options first. This week, the CBO downgraded its original premium projections by about 15% lower than projected in the fall of 2009, in part due to “lower projected health care costs for the federal government and the private health sector.”

More here

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Frank Newport: Newly Insured In 2014 Represent About 4% of U.S. Adults

Four percent of Americans are newly insured this year, reporting that they have health insurance now but did not last year. A little more than half of that group, or 2.1% of the U.S. population, got their new insurance through health exchanges. The rest got it using some other mechanism. Overall, 11.8% of U.S. adults say they got a new health insurance policy in 2014. One-third of this group, or 4% nationally, say they did not have insurance in 2013. Another 7.5% got a new policy this year that replaced a previous policy. The ACA envisioned that the new healthcare exchanges would be the main place where uninsured Americans would get their insurance this year, but it appears that a sizable segment of the newly insured Americans used another mechanism.

These sources presumably include employee policies, Medicaid, and other private policies not arranged through exchanges. The newly insured are, on average, much younger than the overall population, with most younger than age 65. Within the 18 to 64 age range, the newly insured are slightly more overrepresented in the 18 to 29 age category than in the 30 to 49 and 50 to 64 age categories. These data suggest that the ACA’s efforts to add previously uninsured young people to the ranks of the insured have been modestly successful. The newly insured who signed up outside of the exchanges are substantially younger than those who signed up through the exchanges.

More here

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Energy.Gov: Energy Department Announces $15 Million To Help Communities Boost Solar Deployment

In support of the Administration’s goal of doubling renewable energy generation for a second time by 2020, the Energy Department today announced $15 million to help communities develop multi-year solar plans to install affordable solar electricity for homes and businesses. The United States continues to be a global leader in solar, with total U.S. solar energy installations reaching 13 gigawatts last year. As the cost of solar energy continues to decline, more states and local communities are deploying solar energy projects to meet their electricity needs.

“As part of the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, solar energy is helping families and businesses throughout the U.S. access affordable, clean renewable power,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “The Energy Department is committed to further driving down the cost of solar energy and supporting innovative community-based programs – creating more jobs, reducing carbon pollution and boosting economic growth.”

More here

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Maggie Fox: Obamacare Helped Up To 10 Million Get Insurance, Gallup Finds

Obamacare has helped as many as 9.9 million people to get new health insurance, and more than 4 percent of all Americans have gotten health insurance for the first time, according to a new Gallup poll. It’s the largest poll yet to assess the effects of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, and the findings add to what’s been reported in earlier surveys and the government tally of how many people signed up through the new online exchanges. The percentage of the U.S. population that has no health insurance has plummeted from an all-time high of 18 percent during the last quarter of 2013 to just 15 percent this past March, says Dan Witters, lead researcher for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

About half got insurance on the new state and federal online health exchanges, the survey found, and half got it through Medicaid, an employer or bought it directly from an insurance company. “We feel pretty comfortable attributing much of this change to the Affordable Care Act,” Witters told NBC News. The survey confirms that people started getting insurance in the last months of 2013 and really started signing up in the first three months of 2014. “There is no evidence that the exchanges only signed up extremely sick people,” said Frank Newport, Gallup’s editor in chief. Gallup found younger people aged 18-29 tended to gravitate to buying health insurance directly, not on the exchanges, while those signing up on the new exchanges tended to be in the 50-64 age group. Overall, 30 percent of those getting insurance for 2014 were 18 to 29; 24 percent bought insurance on the exchanges and 37 percent got it elsewhere.

More here

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Christopher Ingraham: Your Taxes Are Really, Low, In One Chart

Taxed enough already? Hardly. According to the Congressional Budget Office, your effective federal tax rates are near historic lows.
One of the great ironies of the rise of the tea party movement was that it coincided with the lowest total tax burdens seen in at least 30 years. The chart below plots effective federal tax rates since 1979 by income group. The key word here is “effective” — these are the tax rates people actually pay after factoring in things like the mortgage interest deduction, the child tax credit and the myriad other deductions and credits written into the U.S. tax code. Values for 2011 and 2012 aren’t yet available, but the CBO does provide projections for 2013 tax filings, which I’ve plotted, as well.

Overall the trend is downward. The average filer saw her effective tax rate drop from 22 percent in 1979 to 18.1 percent in 2010. Rates on the bottom 20 percent of tax filers went from 7.5 percent to 1.5 percent, while the top 20 percent of earners saw a more modest decrease, from 27.1 to 24.0 percent over the same period. The effect of crisis-era policy is clearly visible in the sharp drop in rates from 2007 to 2008, mostly from tax provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Tax rates hit rock bottom in 2009, right as the tea party movement was gaining steam.

More here

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National Journal: Obamacare Is On A Winning Streak

The headlines about the Affordable Care Act have turned positive lately, and they’re starting to pile up. The most dire predictions from the law’s critics simply haven’t panned out, and now Democrats are headed into another big health care fight—the confirmation of a new Health and Human Services secretary—with stronger real-world evidence than they’ve had before. Narratives feed on themselves, and there was a time when Obamacare just kept losing. But over the past few weeks, the news has started to roll in the other direction. Enrollment has surged beyond expectations. Costs are coming in lower than predicted. Various reports say the number of uninsured Americans is falling. Now it’s good news snowballing, and it’s critics who increasingly seem to have missed the mark with their warnings of inevitable collapse.

Critics still promise that the law cannot work as intended, but the evidence keeps piling up in the other direction. The opportunities for failure keep falling away, and worst-case predictions keep going bust. There was no death spiral, nor will there be one. And there was never going to be a “death panel.” The next big warning is about premiums for 2015. Critics say premiums will skyrocket because not enough healthy people signed up this year. some insurers are looking to expand their presence in the exchanges next year, and others have indicated they might jump in for the first time, after taking a wait-and-see approach this year. So far, no large plans have said they intend to leave the exchange marketplace. All of that indicates that insurers see the market as stable. And more plans competing for more new customers will likely keep premium increases in check. According to Gallup, the percentage of Americans without health insurance has fallen from 18 percent in to 15 percent.

More here

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The Obamas leaving the White House today for Easter Services at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church

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Malia Obama follows her father President Barack Obama, her mother First Lady Michelle Obama and her sister Sasha as they depart for Easter Services at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church.

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WH.gov: The 10 most eggcellent moments from past Easter Egg Rolls

1. That time Bo wore bunny ears


2. Playing H-O-R-S-E with the P-O-T-U-S


3. 30-Love


4. YOU get an egg, and YOU get an egg, and YOU get an egg!


5. That time 30,000 people were on the South Lawn like “NBD”


6. When everyone did the “Wild Rumpus”


7. When we had a Kid POTUS


8. When Bo did an Easter egg hunt and was all like “Found it!”


9. Float like a butterfly, hop like a bunny.

10. And we went “Hip hop hooray!”

See the full Easter Egg Roll program here

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On This Day

Sen. Barack Obama with Caroline Kennedy before addressing supporters at a rally in Scranton, Pa., April 20, 2008

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President Obama with Tiger Woods in the Oval Office April 20, 2009

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On This Day: First Lady Michelle Obama greets students after talking to them about the importance of exercise as part of the “Let’s Move!” initiative at River Terrace Elementary School in Washington on April 20, 2010

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President Obama speaks at a “town hall” at Facebook headquarters, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Palo Alto, California on April 20, 2011

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President Obama signs a proclamation to designate federal lands within the former Fort Ord as a national monument under the Antiquities Act in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, April 20, 2012. Fort Ord is a former military base located on California’s central coast and is a world-class destination for hikers, mountain bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts

President Obama greets members of the military and their families during the kick off event for the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride on the South Lawn of the White House April 20, 2012

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144 Responses to “Rise and Shine”


  1. April 20, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Afternoon all. Happy Easter to everyone!

  2. 3 vcprezofan2
    April 20, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Here you go! Come and get it!

  3. 5 Dudette
    April 20, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Good Morning! Happy Easter!

  4. April 20, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Happy Easter to All!

  5. April 20, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Stuuuuuuuuuuuuupendous Nerdy, you are a LEGEND!!!!!!

  6. April 20, 2014 at 11:46 am

    First this:

    Now: Iran vice president says row over reactor resolved

    “TEHRAN, Iran — Iran will redesign its Arak heavy water reactor to greatly limit the amount of plutonium it can make, the country’s vice president said Saturday, marking a major concession from the Islamic Republic in negotiations with world powers over its contested nuclear program.

    The comments by Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi come as the talks face an informal July 20 deadline to hammer out a final deal to limit Iran’s ability to build nuclear arms in exchange for ending the crippling economic sanctions it faces. Iranian state television quoted Salehi, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, as saying that Iran has proposed to redesign Arak to produce one-fifth of the plutonium initially planned for it. He said that will eliminate concerns the West has that Iran could use the plutonium produced at Arak to build a nuclear weapon.

    “The issue of heavy water reactor … has been virtually resolved,” state television quoted Salehi as saying. “Iran has offered a proposal to … redesign the heart of the Arak facility and these six countries have agreed to that……….”

  7. 16 hopefruit2
    April 20, 2014 at 11:46 am

    G’morning Nerdy, Chips, TOD, lurkers, everyone, and congrats vet24 on #1 :) Thanks NW for this amazing and much-anticipated R & S! Happy Easter everyone :)

  8. 18 vcprezofan2
    April 20, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Yea, Ms Wonka, you didn’t trick me this time. :) :) At least not completely, ’cause Vetivera guided me in with her.

    Have an enjoyable remaining Easter weekend, young lady! :) :) :) Off to see what you have gathered together; thank you!

  9. 19 hopefruit2
    April 20, 2014 at 11:46 am

  10. 20 Nerdy Wonka
    April 20, 2014 at 11:47 am

  11. April 20, 2014 at 11:48 am

    “Much attention has been paid to the fact that the federal minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation (or with increases in worker productivity, or with the rising incomes of the 1 percent). But in a much less abstract sense, federal and local minimum wages have also failed to keep up with the rising cost of rent……

    ….As a result, according to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a minimum-wage worker in the District of Columbia – where the wage floor is currently $8.25 an hour – would need to work 137 hours a week to afford what the Department of Housing and Urban Development considers a fair market rent for a modest two-bedroom home. Put another way: A local household would need 3.4 full-time minimum-wage workers to afford such a home. Or, a single earner in that household would need to make a lot more money: $28.25 an hour to be exact…..”

  12. 25 Nerdy Wonka
    April 20, 2014 at 11:51 am

  13. 26 Nena20409
    April 20, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Happy Easter TODable TODobots ;)

    Now I can go back and read……try to catch up from last evening.

    The R&S Photos Look deliciously Presidenting, Presidential, First Lady Classic and First Daughters’ Beuatifying.
    <3 <3 <3

    Happy Easter All :)

  14. 27 vcprezofan2
    April 20, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Hey Utal, when you had Avast, did you ever use them to clean up your system? They ‘update’ every time I sign on, yet they keep telling me I have x amount of grime slowing down the system. Whenever I click the link for clarification it seems that they are suggesting I buy another level of protection (premier, or some such). Since what I signed up for was, I thought, the premier version, I don’t get it. Does this remotely ring a bell for you? I never like to try cleaning up myself because I invariably do something wrong. I prefer to pay for someone experienced who can be faster and more reliable, but I don’t wish to pay double if I’m supposed to be getting that service now. Any comments on your experience. [ps: I did get it because you recommended them in passing once.]

    • 28 Nerdy Wonka
      April 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      Hey VC, I don’t know what Avast is and have never heard of it. I think you’re confusing me with Amk or LP maybe?

      I have a Mac so I don’t purchase any external spam ware because Apple takes care of software security and all I have to do is update whenever Apple sends a notification to all Mac users.

      The external security software I’m familiar with is McAfee. A friend would pay like $30 for the entire year and that took care of security for the computer and it also had an automatic renewal option. I believe McAfee comes with different types and one can choose which level of security is best for them and as far as I know, they don’t bug you with constant messages of “updates”, or “your system has x amount of grime.”

      Software security that constantly tells you have x amount of grime, you need to clean up your system, and need you to go to another level of protection leave me wary. That’s one reason why Norton Antivirus was hated by 99.9% of people and is one you should never use.

      If anyone knows what Avast is, can you advice VC?

      1. If Avast has a customer service line, it might be prudent to call them and detail your questions about their product and see what they want you to do.

      2. If you have been satisfied with what Avast has done up to now, you can keep using them.

      3. If you are not, the external software I am familiar with is McAfee and my friend has had no problems with it.

      • 29 vcprezofan2
        April 20, 2014 at 12:29 pm

        Thanks for taking time to give me a detailed answer, Nerdy. Much appreciated! I can’t imagine why I thought you used Avast (the old memory is definitely going), but I did buy and install it after someone here said they hadn’t had any problems after procuring it. I’m so tired of having to think about fixing/cleaning my laptop. I’m one of those who expect things to work on their own, especially after you have bought the extended warranty or the security software, or whatever they recommend. I even went to the nearest Staples to ask how much it would cost for them to clean it for me ($179 or something such, AND I would have to leave it for a couple of days, plus back it up, if I didn’t want to pay for that service as well). Told the very friendly techie guy I couldn’t possibly survive without it for a day (minimum) much less more. However, I am *tired* of them pointing out the existence of grime without vacuuming it up!

        I think I’ll just wait till it quits, then go on a starvation diet to procure the vaunted Mac that several of you here brag about ever so often. Have I ever told you I truly hate technology? Actually, more accurately technology absolutely hates me – does all kind of weird things as soon as it sees me coming from afar.

      • 34 vcprezofan2
        April 20, 2014 at 12:34 pm

        BTW, I have, at different times, tried McAfee, Norton/Norton 360 and Kaspersky; currently using Avast. Come to think of it, the poor laptop is probably hopelessly confused! :grin:

  15. April 20, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Happy Easter everyone. May all TODrs have a beautiful and blessed day.

  16. 38 Nerdy Wonka
    April 20, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha….the Easter bunny sure looks mighty different than the one we’re all used to.

    https://twitter.com/NEFirebuff/status/457883163927142400

  17. 46 Nerdy Wonka
    April 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm

  18. 47 vcprezofan2
    April 20, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    That ‘voting for a new Congress’ part would definitely shake up/out the #GOPs. I hope

  19. April 20, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Wow, the amount of great Obamacare news and coverage in this R&S is amazing – the ‘train wreck’ crew seem to have gone terribly quiet!

    • 49 Nerdy Wonka
      April 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      Thanks, Chips.

      It’s wonderful to see facts shut the ‘train wreck’ crew down. The idea that the majority of the population doesn’t want affordable and comprehensive health insurance is ludicrous. Your house, your business, your life or affordable health coverage? It’s pretty much common sense. The whole dishonest outcry about the website “glitches” were only seen amongst the privileged media and pundit class who already have fantastic health insurance and never have to worry about going into bankruptcy because one was rejected by insurance companies or quoted too high a premium due to nonsense classifications of things like acne being referred to as a preexisting condition.

      This is the dawn of a new era in the American healthcare system and in peoples lives. History will forever thank and be on the side of President Barack Obama.

      • April 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm

        And I’m still smiling at Ezra Klein’s seeming surprise that people actually wanted healthcare. His sneering attitude to it all mirrors the attitude of almost all the MSM: pure and utter privilege, utterly clueless about ‘real’ people’s lives.

      • 51 jackiegrumbacher
        April 20, 2014 at 2:23 pm

        I love this, NW and wish I had a big poster with your last line about “the dawn of a new era.” To which I say, amen and about time.

  20. 52 Dudette
    April 20, 2014 at 12:10 pm

  21. 54 sherijr
    April 20, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    a very Hoppy Easter to all who celebrate ~ have a beautiful day TOD !

  22. 60 globalcitizenlinda
    April 20, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Busy minds, crazy thoughts!

    ;

    ;

    ;

  23. April 20, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Poor Bo, he’ll never be allowed to forget those bunny ears.

  24. 69 donna dem 4 obama
    April 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Stopping by on this busy day at the Donna Dem’s House to wish you all a Happy Easter. My little angels (#GrandbabiesRTheBest) were beautiful this morning for their first Easter service.

    Our First Family is beautiful…every single one of them. Love them to pieces.

    p.s. Paulita, you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Dinner is at 5 so off I go…

    • 70 hopefruit2
      April 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Happy Easter to you Donna and your wonderful immediate and extended family. VC and I were earlier discussing our plans to have dinner at your place. Please prepare enough so that we can bring home leftovers!!! :) :)

  25. 71 globalcitizenlinda
    April 20, 2014 at 12:22 pm

  26. 72 MightyPamela
    April 20, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    *Silver Fox Sighting? Is that the back of our SilverFox, in pic #1?

  27. 73 Dudette
    April 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm

  28. April 20, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Why is it that when I see Tim Howard at goal I’m compelled to scream out “Timmeh!!”?

  29. 80 Dudette
    April 20, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Cool! I see 7 faces! :-)

  30. April 20, 2014 at 12:40 pm

  31. 85 yardarm756
    April 20, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Good afternoon and happy Resurrection Day to all…….and somebody get a naughty mat for meta. The locker is open. ;)

  32. 98 Dudette
    April 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm

  33. 99 Dudette
    April 20, 2014 at 12:44 pm

  34. 100 PrayerWarriorforObama
    April 20, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    A joyful and blessed Easter day to everyone!

  35. April 20, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Ok, my Stewie is whining in his sleep. Oh, to know what dreams he’s having…

  36. April 20, 2014 at 12:53 pm

  37. 106 Don
    April 20, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Happy Easter TOD Family!

  38. April 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm

  39. April 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    UHM…… what just happened to Man U?

  40. April 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    I think Stewie is tooting. My living room is a noxious cloud.

  41. 121 Dudette
    April 20, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    • 122 COS
      April 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      Happy Easter Chips and TOD friends. Thanks to NW for this awesome R & S. Good to see all of this great ACA news.

  42. 123 HZ
    April 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Happy Easter to my TOD family. Enjoy your time together with your family and friends. I love you, my TOD family.HZ

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ Happy Easter Egg Hunting to my handsome Danny}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} Stay out of the flower beds, Danny. Mommy will be happy.HZ

  43. 124 Nena20409
    April 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Hmm? The second Drone attacks in Yemen has saluted dozens of Al Qaeda militants?

    Calling on David Brooks on his manhood?

    • 125 globalcitizenlinda
      April 20, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      reports earlier in the week indicated that Al Qaeda militants were having some kind of huge meeting in Yemen – apparently it was publicized;

      I heard some people who were wondering out loud WHY the meeting could go on and the US had not taken a drone strike at so many AQ gathered together

      • 126 globalcitizenlinda
        April 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm

        I guess those AQ who did not leave when their meeting was disclosed are no longer on this earth

  44. 127 hopefruit2
    April 20, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    • 128 Dudette
      April 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      I ain’t mad at her! ;-)

    • 129 anniebella
      April 20, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      No you shouldn’t be tweeting in church.

    • 130 globalcitizenlinda
      April 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      read through some of the comments – many seem to be from a much young crowd than me;

      also read a few (from probably more older ppl) asking this young (my assumption about her age from the photo) lady about today’s drone strikes in Yemen – as though she is part of the national security team; I had to stop my self from chiding these apparently older ppl to direct their questions to the White House

  45. 131 57andfemale
    April 20, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Mr. 57 – the hero: this morning while walking Kasper and Nickelby, he saw a little, short-haired mutt on his own on the street. A ragged red jacket, tied around him with a tattered ribbon. He had severely deformed hindquarters – Mr. 57 thought he had been injured but it was either an old injury or a deformity. He brought our guys home, went after the dog, and brought the little guy into our yard.

    We gave him water, food (he drank the water, didn’t want our food). Kasper, of course, is raising hell from the house.

    We asked around – no one knew him. Called the doggie ER who said they would look for a microchip. An hour or so later, I made some flyers and Mr. 57 was putting them up in the neighborhood and at the local 7-11. He ran into a couple walking their dogs, and they recognized him as a dog living in their building. They called the owners – they didn’t know he was missing. He must have slipped out.

    When the owners came to our gate, there was no doubt this dog was theirs. The tears in this old man’s eyes would have melted the heart even of a Republican. Deformed but jumping up on his daddy.

    His name is ‘Nino’. And Mr. 57 was able to bring him home.

    • 132 57andfemale
      April 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      A little addendum to the story: Mr. 57 came home and I heard him call the dog ‘Nino’ and I knew we’d found his owners.

    • 133 Dudette
      April 20, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Aw that’s wonderful! Mr. 57 is a superhero today! Well done!

      • 134 57andfemale
        April 20, 2014 at 2:10 pm

        We feel so good about it, Dudette. You should have seen this poor little guy – you knew someone was out there who loved him. His back legs were sooo bad – but he was used to getting around.

        We live in an old-fashioned neighborhood, where people aren’t afraid to engage and help each other. A girl walking her dog helped Mr. 57 corral the little guy. Said she couldn’t take him but gave her phone number if she could help. Our neighbor on the corner has two cats and couldn’t take the dog but said, “You can put him in my yard if your dogs are upset in any way. I’ll help you find the owner.” Then the couple who saw the flyer in Mr. 57’s hands and said, “Hey, that looks like Nino.”

        Better than running your entire life with your head down on a cell phone screen.

        a good Easter.

  46. 136 Dudette
    April 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm

  47. 137 Dudette
    April 20, 2014 at 1:36 pm

  48. April 20, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Happy Easter everyone. Thank you for the outstanding R&S, NW!!

  49. 140 Dudette
    April 20, 2014 at 1:45 pm

  50. 141 Anna
    April 20, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Happy Easter to all at TOD. TOD is my daily classroom, thanks to all who contribute to my knowledge Thanks Dudette for the wonderful pictures , especially the Iris and Black Stallion on last blog. Thank you God for this wonderful place to go to.

    • 142 Dudette
      April 20, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Anna. Glad you like the pictures.
      I feel exactly the same way as you about this blog. It’s my online “home”, a safe place to hang out, laugh and learn. Like you, I’m grateful all who contribute on this space. Can’t thank Chips enough for creating it.

  51. 143 Dudette
    April 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm


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