01
May
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama listens during one in a series of meetings discussing the mission against Osama bin Laden, in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (All Times Eastern)

11:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

2:25: President Obama honors the 2014 National Teacher of the Year and finalists

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Clara Ritger: 3 Reasons Why Obamacare’s Outlook Is Rosy For Insurers

WellPoint reported better earnings than expected Wednesday for the first quarter of 2014, adding to the growing list of health insurers showing positive outlooks for the future of the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges. The Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance company, which offers plans on Obamacare’s exchanges in 14 states, upped its annual earnings per share projections by 20 cents to $8.40. On a call with investors Wednesday about the company’s outlook, WellPoint CEO Joe Swedish identified three reasons that the Affordable Care Act is panning out as insurers expected. 1. The vast majority of people are paying their premiums.

The rate of people who select a WellPoint plan and then pay the premium to begin coverage is hitting about 90 percent, Swedish said. That could change, because the customers who purchased coverage at the end of the open-enrollment period aren’t included in Wednesday’s earnings report. But the company said 400,000 people signed up for its exchange plans through Feb. 15, and it anticipates its total to top 600,000. 2. WellPoint is seeing an overall bump in its number of customers. “We’re winning a lot of new members, and whether they had insurance previously or not, we do not know,” Swedish said. WellPoint covered an additional 1.3 million people in the first quarter and predicts that it could double that by year’s end.” The age of our applicants decreased the further we got into the open enrollment,” Swedish said, “indicating that young people signed up later in the open-enrollment period.”

More here

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Elise Vebeck: Insurer Backs Away From Dire O-Care Rate Hike Prediction

A major health insurer failed to embrace a prediction from one of its executives that premiums on ObamaCare’s exchanges would rise by double digits next year. Officials with Wellpoint, the biggest insurer in the new marketplaces, delivered an upbeat message about ObamaCare enrollment on a conference call with analysts Wednesday. Chief Financial Officer Wayne DeVeydt said the company met or exceeded expectations when it came to how many people signed up on the exchanges and their mix of ages. He predicted “less volatility in pricing” for Wellpoint members relative to people covered by other insurance companies.

“We’re really pleased with our strategy and the affirmation of our pricing strategy,” DeVeydt said. “If you were to talk to our actuarial team, we fell really good about moving into the new market. We think we hit our sweet spot.” The call focused on the company’s results in the first quarter of this year. Wellpoint raised its 2014 forecast again on Wednesday, pushing shares closer to their all-time high. Wellpoint reported Wednesday that it expects 600,000 customers on the exchanges this year. A total of 90 percent have paid their first premium, DeVeydt said.

More here

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Alexandra Schuster: Desmond Tutu Responds To John Kerry’s ‘Apartheid’ Controversy

The Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town Desmond Tutu doesn’t object to Secretary of State John Kerry’s use of the word “apartheid” to describe the future of Israel if a peace agreement is not reached. Kerry has since apologized for his remarks while remaining strongly in support of a two-state resolution. In a HuffPost Live interview Tuesday, however, Tutu likened his own experience under apartheid in South Africa to that of Israel.

“I go and I visit the Holy Land and I see things that are a mirror image of the sort of things that I experienced under the apartheid,” Tutu told HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. “How can you stop me from the right to describe as I feel. You go anywhere in the world and if I see things that mirror the kind of experience that I know first-hand, I think it’s cheek in a way for someone else to tell you, ‘no, you are wrong in feeling as you feel about what you have seen.'”

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AP: GOP: Health Signups Lagging

House Republicans issued a report Wednesday saying that one-third of people who signed up for health insurance through new federal exchanges hadn’t paid their first month’s premium as of mid-April, which could undermine the Obama administration’s claims of robust enrollment under the new health law. But administration officials, outside experts and even the health insurance industry immediately questioned the report, offering the latest skirmish over questionable claims and counterclaims that have come to characterize debate over President Barack Obama’s signature health law.

The report by House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans said 67 percent of people who had signed up for health insurance through federal marketplaces had paid their first month’s premiums as of April 15. That was far lower than the numbers emerging from individual insurance companies, which have been reporting payment numbers in the range of 85 percent and above. Wellpoint reported on an earnings call Wednesday that some 90 percent of people signing up for insurance actually had paid. Administration officials, insurers and others were quick to point out that because the GOP data cut off in mid-April, it didn’t capture a surge of health law sign-ups in March prior to the end of the first open enrollment period.

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Alexis Okeowo: Nigeria’s Stolen Girls

“I thought it was the end of my life,” Deborah Sanya told me by phone on Monday from Chibok, a tiny town of farmers in northeastern Nigeria. “There were many, many of them.” Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group, kidnapped Sanya and at least two hundred of her classmates from a girls’ secondary school in Chibok more than two weeks ago. Sanya, along with two friends, escaped. So did forty others. The rest have vanished, and their families have not heard any word of them since. Sanya is eighteen years old and was taking her final exams before graduation. Many of the schools in towns around Chibok, in the state of Borno, had been shuttered. Boko Haram attacks at other schools—like a recent massacre of fifty-nine schoolboys in neighboring Yobe state—had prompted the mass closure.

It was noon when her group reached the terrorists’ camp. She had been taken not far from Chibok, a couple of remote villages away in the bush. The militants forced her classmates to cook; Sanya couldn’t eat. Two hours later, she pulled two friends close and told them that they should run. One of them hesitated, and said that they should wait to escape at night. Sanya insisted, and they fled behind some trees. The guards spotted them and called out for them to return, but the girls kept running. They reached a village late at night, slept at a friendly stranger’s home, and, the next day, called their families. In the meantime, as in so many other ways in Nigeria, each community has to fend for itself. For a while after the abduction, girls trickled back into town—some rolled off trucks, some snuck away while fetching water. That trickle has stopped. “Nobody rescued them,” a government official in Chibok said of the girls who made it back. “I want you to stress this point. Nobody rescued them. They escaped on their accord. This is painful.”

More here

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Michael Grunwald: The Huge Obama Transportation Bill You Heard Nothing About

“Infrastructure spending is popular on both sides,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said. “Infrastructure investment is an area where we should work together,” House Majority Whip Eric Cantor once tweeted. And Republican-friendly business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance for American Manufacturing are huge supporters of public works. Republicans have urged the Obama Administration to propose a major transportation bill, calling America’s crumbling infrastructure a natural issue for bipartisan cooperation. Well, on Tuesday, the Administration unveiled a four-year, $300-billion transportation bill. It included a 22% increase in highway funding, a 70% increase in transit funding, and a provision allowing states to put tolls on interstates. At a time when one in nine U.S. bridges are rated “structurally deficient,” and nearly half the public lacks access to public transit, it’s a pretty ambitious piece of legislation. And this is probably the first you’re hearing of it, because it got virtually no media attention.

This is partly because Washington reporters are more interested in politics than the nitty-gritty details of policy. They opposed his $50 billion “roads, rails and runways” proposal in 2010, and then again when it was expanded and incorporated into his American Jobs Act in 2011. They’ve blocked Obama’s plans for an infrastructure bank and a national high-speed rail network. They’ve also blocked Obama’s proposals for corporate tax reform, which is relevant, because the new GROW AMERICA Act depends on tax reform for much of its financing. Infrastructure advocates often complain that Obama hasn’t used his bully pulpit enough to push for an investment program. But he barnstormed the country for the American Jobs Act. He has talked about rebuilding America in every State of the Union address. His problem is not a lack of will or poor messaging. His problem is that he doesn’t have the votes. Republicans control the House, and they can block legislation in the Senate. If they were willing to pass an Obama infrastructure bill, then an Obama infrastructure bill might make news.

More here

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KyivPost: Kyiv Ousts Russian Diplomat For Espionage

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has declared Russia’s navy attaché in Kyiv persona non grata in connection with his “activities (that are) incompatible with a diplomatic status under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961,” its statement said, cited by BBC Ukraine and Radio Free Liberty and Radio Europe. The Foreign Ministry stated that Ukraine’s spy agency – Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) – had detained the Russian diplomat “as a result of a successfully conducted counterintelligence operation on April 30…at the place (where he was conducting) intelligence actions.” No further details were provided.

Russia’s naval attaché in Ukraine, according to the Russian embassy in Ukraine website, is Kirill Koliuchkin. According to Ukrainian military expert and blogger, Dmitry Tymchuk, Koliuchkin arrived in Ukraine on Feb. 20 as part of a Kremlin delegation that included Federal Security Service agents, military personnel, including intelligence, border guards, as well as other officials. Their arrival coincided with the bloodiest days of the EuroMaidan revolution during which dozens of anti-government protesters were killed, most of whom from sniper fire, on Feb. 20-22.

More here

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PBS Newshour: Former Justice Stevens: Campaign Money Isn’t Speech

Campaign donations pay for more than political ads and should not be protected as free speech, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens told a Senate panel Wednesday in urging them to rein in the billions of dollars shaping elections. The retired justice reminded lawmakers that political donations funded the burglary at the Watergate office complex under President Richard Nixon. That break-in at the Democratic National Committee is not speech, Stevens argued in a rare appearance of a former justice in the Senate.

“While money is used to finance speech, money is not speech. Speech is only one of the activities that are financed by campaign contributions and expenditures. Those financial activities should not receive precisely the same constitutional protections as speech itself,” Stevens said. “After all, campaign funds were used to finance the Watergate burglary, actions that clearly were not protected by the First Amendment.” Stevens has been a critic of his former colleagues’ decisions that have opened the floodgates for unlimited donations and super PACs.

More here

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Igor Volsky: Health Care Spending Is On The Rise, And That’s A Good Thing

New federal data finds that health care spending increased by 9.9 percent in the first quarter of 2014, representing somewhat of a turnaround in the four-year slowdown in health care spending. Some critics are already spinning the news as an indictment of the health care law, pointing out, as Phil Klein does in The Washington Examiner, that health care costs are now spiking at the “fastest rate since 1980.” But let’s be very clear about what’s happening here: an improving economy is allowing Americans to now spend more on health care, while people who have previously been uninsured are finally getting insurance and are using their care. In the meantime, health care prices are still continuing to grow at low rates, reducing Americans’ health costs.

All of this was fully expected. When the Congressional Budget Office analyzed the Senate’s health care bill in 2009, it found that while spending would increase after the uninsured first obtain health care coverage, “during the decade following the 10-year budget window, the increases and decreases in the federal budgetary commitment to health care stemming from this legislation would roughly balance out, so that there would be no significant change in that commitment.” This month, the office released a report that included a graph showing this trend: a spike of health spending in 2014 and then an evening out, as growth comes down to below what it would have been without enacting reform

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Reuters: Obamacare Puts A Floor Under U.S. Economy In First Quarter

As the U.S. economy teetered on the brink of contraction in the first quarter, one thing stood out. Healthcare spending increased at its fastest pace in more than three decades. That surge is attributed to the implementation of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Because of Obamacare, the nation narrowly avoided its first decline in output in three years. “GDP growth would have … been negative were it not for healthcare spending,” said Harm Bandholz, chief economist at UniCredit Research in New York. Healthcare spending increased at a 9.9 percent annual rate, the quickest since the third quarter of 1980, and it contributed 1.1 percentage points to GDP growth.

The economy expanded at only a 0.1 percent rate in the first quarter, held back by a drop in exports and business investment, which economists attributed to a harsh winter. White House economic adviser Jason Furman said the increase should not be a cause for alarm. “Any upward pressure on healthcare spending growth from expanding insurance coverage will cease once coverage stabilizes at its new, higher level, so it does not affect the longer-term outlook for spending growth,” he said in a statement. Government transfers, including health insurance premium subsidies, boosted personal income in the first-quarter.

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Danny Vinik: Republicans Love Big Business So Much, They Forget About Reducing The Deficit

Whenever Democrats propose new legislation that requires additional spending, Republicans demand a spending offset. But the GOP has finally found something they covet so much that they’re willing to break that rule: tax breaks for big business. Two bills working their way through Congress address the more than 50 tax breaks—known as “tax extenders”—that expired at the end of 2013. These tax deductions and credits are primarily for big business. Congress has typically renewed them at the end of each year, but failed to do so at the end of 2013. Both parties are eager to extend them once again, thanks to an intense lobbying effort. The legislation would increase the deficit by $310 billion over the next decade, plus an additional $68 billion in interest costs.

While the Democratic position is difficult to justify given their supposed concerns about the deficit, the Republican one blatantly conflicts with the party’s years-long obsession with austerity. Farm Bill negotiations dragged on for months and ended with $8.6 billion in cuts over a decade. The Ryan Budget cuts $135 billion from food stamps alone. Even President Obama’s plan to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit—which Republicans support in policy, but disagree on the offset—costs only $60 billion over a decade. The Republican position on unemployment insurance is even more hypocritical. The same day that Ways and Means passed the six tax extenders, Republican Senator Dean Heller called House Speaker John Boehner to lobby him on the Senate UI bill. The cost of the extension is just $9.7 billion and even includes a spending offset, although most of it ($6.1 billion) comes from a budget gimmick. But Boehner said the deal needs a full offset and a job-creation measure—despite a Congressional Budget Office finding that a UI extension would help the economy.

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Mary Tuma: First Lady Michelle Obama To Stop In San Antonio

First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to make a stop in the Alamo City this week to help promote higher education. On Friday, Obama will join Mayor Julián Castro for Destination College Week’s ‘College Signing Day,’ an event that allows high school seniors to publicly display their college or university plans. The mid-morning event is expected to draw more than 2,100 attendees. The week-long (free) citywide program is geared toward empowering children to seek higher ed opportunities and reminds the public SA is a prime spot for collegiate education in Texas, with around 150,000 students enrolled at area colleges or universities.

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This marks College Week’s fourth annual event. Obama will be speaking at The University of Texas at San Antonio and is slated to discuss the administration’s “North Star” education plan (as she’s been doing recently) which aims to make the U.S. once again, have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

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Reuters: Sprint Moves Ahead With T-Mobile Bid Plan

Sprint Corp is meeting with banks to work out funding for its bid for smaller rival T-Mobile US Inc, a source familiar with the situation said, as the mobile carrier works to ease regulatory concerns that the deal would hurt competition. The source said that Sprint, which is owned by Japan’s SoftBank Corp, is hoping to fund the bulk of T-Mobile’s estimated $50 billion price tag with corporate bonds and cover the rest with syndicated loans and convertible bonds. Sprint is currently talking to at least five banks, the source told Reuters, including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. Sprint is facing a battle ahead with U.S. regulators who oppose consolidation in the wireless market on the basis it would inhibit competition.

The company is aware it may have to give up some of its spectrum holdings to win over critics, the source said. Two of the most vocal opponents to the deal are Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler and U.S. antitrust chief William Baer, who have pointed to T-Mobile’s success since U.S. authorities rejected a 2011 merger between AT&T Inc and T-Mobile on the grounds the market needs at least four major players to be competitive. The failure of that deal cost AT&T a $6 billion break-up fee, a penalty Sprint feels confident it can avoid, the source said, adding that it is leaning towards having Deutsche Telekom, which currently owns 67 percent of T-Mobile, retain part of that stake.

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MarketWatch: U.S. Consumer Spending Jumps In March

Consumer spending accelerated in March, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Consumer spending rose 0.9%, the largest increase since August 2009. Personal income rose a solid 0.5%. Wall Street economists had expected a 0.5% gain for incomes and a 0.7% gain in spending. The savings rate fell to 3.8% from 4.2% in February, the smallest level since January 2013. Excluding inflation, real disposable incomes rose 0.3% for the third straight month in March. Adjusted for inflation, spending rose 0.7%, also the biggest gain since August 2009.

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Josh Rogin: Obama Confidant To Be Next Ambassador To South Korea

Mark Lippert currently serves as chief of staff to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Obama will announce as soon as Thursday that he is nominating Lippert to replace Sung Kim as America’s top diplomat in South Korea, the officials said. The nomination comes at a tense time on the Korean peninsula, with North Korea threatening further provocations including a possible fourth nuclear test. Lippert is one of Obama’s oldest and closest advisors on foreign policy, having served in Obama’s Senate office and then as a top advisor in Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Lippert was the National Security Council Chief of Staff, a position resurrected by the Obama White House in 2009 for 10 months. Lippert spent some time deployed abroad as a Naval Reserve intelligence officer before returning to the Obama administration in 2011 as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs.

There is not expected to be any fight this time over Lippert’s nomination to be Ambassador to South Korea, although it could be a while before he gets confirmed due to the bitter Senate fight over confirmations following Democratic leadership’s elimination of the filibuster for executive appointments last fall. In retaliation, Republicans have slowed the confirmations process to a trickle and dozens of ambassadors are waiting in line for confirmation. But the South Korean government enthusiastically endorsed the Lippert choice because he is close personally to Obama and has had an extensive working relationship with Seoul during his time at the Pentagon. Lippert played an important role in crafting the Pentagon’s part of the Asia pivot policy, as codified in then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s June 2012 speech at the Shangri-La conference in Singapore. He worked to bolster missile defense capabilities against the North Korean threat, has a good relationship with U.S. Forces Korea Commanders General Thurman and General Scaparrotti, and led two separate U.S. delegations to the Defense Trilateral Talks between the U.S.-Japan-Korea on a range of key security issues.

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Three Years Ago Today

Pete Souza: “This is a composite of several images of the President and his national security team during a series of meetings in the Situation Room of the White House discussing the mission against Osama bin Laden on Sunday, May 1, 2011. We put this together so in addition to the now iconic image of this day, people might have a better sense of what it’s like in presidential meetings of historic significance.”

President Obama talks with members of the national security team at the conclusion of one in a series of meetings discussing the mission against Osama bin Laden, in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama edits his remarks in the Oval Office prior to making a televised statement detailing the mission against Osama bin Laden, May 1, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

May 1, 2011: “The President was ready to announce the news about the mission against Osama bin Laden and was putting the finishing touches on his statement in the Outer Oval Office. As he did so, the networks broke in with bulletins confirming that bin Laden had been killed and a photograph of him appeared on the television screen in the background near the Vice President and Press Secretary Jay Carney.” (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office before making a statement to the media about the mission against Osama bin Laden, May 1, 2011. The President made a series of calls, including to former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and others, to inform them of the successful mission (Photo by Pete Souza)

Senior administration officials listen as President Obama delivers a statement in the East Room of the White House on the mission against Osama bin Laden, May 1, 2011. Seated, from left, are: James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence; National Security Advisor Tom Donilon; CIA Director Leon Panetta; Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; and Vice President Joe Biden. (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama shakes hands with Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the Green Room of the White House following his statement detailing the mission against Osama bin Laden, May 1, 2011. CIA Director Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are pictured at left (Photo by Pete Souza)

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On This Day

Members of the military raise their hands during a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members in the East Room of the White House, May 1, 2009 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama during the playing of the national anthem at a Naturalization Ceremony in the East Room of the White House Friday, May 1, 2009 ( Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama in the outer Oval Office following a Homeland Security Council meeting in the Cabinet Room May 1, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama touches the sign above the locker room door at Michigan Stadium, before giving the commencement address to University of Michigan graduates in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, May 1, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama exits the stage with University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman after delivering the commencement address to University of Michigan graduates at Michigan Stadium, in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, May 1, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wait in a hallway at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., moments before taking the stage at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, Saturday, May 1, 2010 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to a group of supporters and volunteers at The Springs Preserve May 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada

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106 Responses to “Rise and Shine”


  1. 1 99ts
    May 1, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Good Morning all

    • May 1, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Mooooorning 99ts, mooooorning everyone – and thank you again to the one and very only Nerdy.

      • 3 99ts
        May 1, 2014 at 10:48 am

        GM Chips and NW – whenever I read R&S I am amazed at how the media of note finds only RW GOP news. Now that the ACA is a resounding success, there is NOTHING but nothing, discussed about it in the media.

        Our RW government has found a new way to screw we the people. They have a “commission” produce a document attacking every last safety net our country has implemented – health care, aged pensions, child care rebates, unemployment benefits etc etc – so when they implement policies to cut some, but not all of these – we can all bless them because they didn’t flatten us completely.

        This is a government that is paying out a million a day to search for an airplane and give CNN something to talk about. The mind boggles at who elected this lot.

  2. May 1, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Majestic, Nerdy, just majestic – what a wonderful round-up. Thank you so, so, so much.

  3. 6 Nerdy Wonka
    May 1, 2014 at 10:38 am

  4. May 1, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Good Morning, everyone :)

  5. 13 criquet
    May 1, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Gm all.
    Have not been able to post regularly due to family issues that have kept me really busy but have been reading all the posts and comments
    Superb R& S NW, just superb.

    I just want to say that I think that Bill Clinton wants to remake and rehabilitate much of his Presidency through Hillary and unfortunately they are hoping to ride in after PBO has done all the hard work and take away his glory by getting all these bills HE has proposed that were not taken up e.g the infrastructure bill, jobs bill , pre-K , minimum wage and the list goes on. They will also come in and pretend “to fix” Obamacare etc .And the press will aid and abet them . Lots of the Democratic Party will too.

    I know TODers will not be silent but I fear , we will be in the minority.
    I hope PBO ‘s team can push back on this in a big way when the time comes

    • 14 criquet
      May 1, 2014 at 10:57 am

      The Immigration Bill as well.

    • May 1, 2014 at 11:06 am

      I feel if those bills you mentioned are passed then it really doesn’t matter who gets the credit. It’s not Clinton’s fault that PBO is stuck with a do nothing no nothing Congress.

      Of course they’re going to take credit. Any Democrat that wins the White House would do the same. I’m okay with that. If it happens on their watch so be it. The real winners are the American people.

      • 16 japa21
        May 1, 2014 at 11:12 am

        Totally agree. What’s more, so would President Obama.

        • May 1, 2014 at 11:26 am

          That’s one of the things that amazes me about him. The man is so comfortable in his own skin that he truly could care less who gets credit as long as it helps people. If by some chance Hillary becomes President and passes these bills I have no doubt who would be the first in line to congratulate her.

    • 18 EricFive
      May 1, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Focus on 2014. 2016 will take care of itself.

      • May 1, 2014 at 12:37 pm

        Very true.

        EricFive, you have a way cutting through all the bull hurled by MSM and emoprogs.

        MSM is stuck in its ways and has no idea how to respond to an Administration that plans and executes its vision in a tortoise-like manner (hah, take that, Maureen Dowd whose only defense is to hurl bitter and personal attacks against PBO).

        We’re going to be subject to MSM “news” about Chelsea’s baby bump until the infant is born. Lazy MSM have nothing to do now except plan for their “nerd prom” and ignore progress by the Obama Administration.

        HRC will implode from all this early media attention. OFA and the Obama team are ready for Campaign 2014.

        A couple of tweets I posted on previous TOD threads, but are relevant to this discussion.

  6. 20 Cindy
    May 1, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Happy Thursday TOD!

    You know, when I saw the picture Chipsticks posted on Early Bird Chat, it reminded me of how they (repukes) swooped in and took President Obama credit for bringing down Osama, and they marched from network to network giving the credit to Bush. The most important decision that the President had to make; go in and take Osama down, they gave the credit to Bush and Cheney policies. MSNBC allowed these loud mouths to parade this on their network for almost 2 weeks.

    Thank you Chipsticks and Nerdy Wonka for reminding the world that it was President Obama who took out Osama and not Bush/Cheney. It is President Obama who brought HealthCare to this nation.

    Had the President’s mission failed, he would have been a one term President. Now, it’s a matter of time before they take credit for OBAMACARE.

    They hate President Obama; smart, good looking, articulate, did I say smart? fine a_ _ man, brilliant, deep thinking, caring soul, beautiful spirited man, loving human being, family man, mastermind, tall, did I say good looking? loving husband and father, dedicated to human rights for “all” and justice for “all”, fairness, giving, physically capable (HECTIC schedule- ladies), 1st class, BEAUTIFUL SOUL. They are inferior to his capabilities because, you know, he is a “BLACK MAN.”

    They can’t imagine what VICTORY lies ahead for President Obama and his team. The are scared s_ _ _ l_ _ _ as to what GREATNESS HE WILL LEAVE ON THIS COUNTRY..I for one am here to say; REPUKES! you haven’t seen anything yet because the BEST is still yet to come.

    May the good Lord pour out HIS BLESSINGS on President Obama, his family and his team. May this country be blessed indeed because America dared to elect a “Beautiful Caring Human Being”, not once but twice, who just happens to be a “black man” occupying the “Great House.”

  7. 21 anniebella
    May 1, 2014 at 10:59 am

    The First Lady looks wonderful in that orange gown.

  8. 22 JER
    May 1, 2014 at 10:59 am

    NW, you just continue to out do yourself time after time. Such a wonderful post. Thank you.

  9. 24 hopefruit2
    May 1, 2014 at 11:12 am

    G’morning Nerdy, Chips, TOD, lurkers, everyone, and congrats 99ts on #1 :) Thanks NW for this excellent Thursday R & S roundup!

  10. 28 Vicki
    May 1, 2014 at 11:28 am

    As Meta predicted the Democratic Alliance that has been going on with Bill de Blasio as keynote speaker this week is probably about the Clinton Resoration rather than the “shifting the dem party to the left” as was advertised.
    The only news I’ve seen is the restoring legacy crap about our first black president and his wife Lady WalMart.

    • 29 EricFive
      May 1, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Bill’s legacy was just fine until he turned racist during the 2008 primaries. Gore was foolish to listen to beltway CW and try to distance himself from Bill in 2000. Hilary discovered in 2008 that legacy is not transferable to one’s spouse.

      • May 1, 2014 at 12:45 pm

        I haven’t forgiven WJC for his part in the repeal of Glass-Steagal.

        MSM have forgotten the 2008 financial crisis, while billionaires have become zillionaires and manipulate the GOP base to elect politicans who will vote for tax breaks for the wealthy and for corporations-are-people too.

        • 31 EricFive
          May 1, 2014 at 1:25 pm

          The msm/gop have been trying to blame PBO for gwb’s mess tsince the moment he took office. The msm and the GOP share the singular goal of getting GOP candidates elected.

        • 32 Vicki
          May 1, 2014 at 1:36 pm

          I certainly haven’t forgotten and wrote about it on the previous thread. That was exactly what I meant by Bill C. weakening the table that GWB and his wars and tax cuts sent crashing down.

          Bill C. and Robert Rubin repealed GS which was the wall between savings banks and investment (gambling enterprises) banks.

      • 33 57andfemale
        May 1, 2014 at 1:26 pm

        Bill’s actual legacy SUCKED but he hid it under his charm, and frankly impeachment (which was a gross misuse of Congress’ power) made him the underdog that we all wanted to embrace (that includes me).

        His actual record is pretty damned deplorable. The Telecom Bill of 1996 is the reason RWNJ’s and corporatists now own the air waves. Thanks, Bill.
        DADT, but there were mitigating circumstances. I’ll give him that.
        Welfare ‘reform’ was a Republican wet dream.
        The “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” doesn’t get anywhere near the awful press it deserves: it is the basis of pharmacists refusing to dispense birth control and – wait for it – a major basis of the Hobby Lobby case as an excuse for using religion as a means of denying health care (and God knows what else). The bar for such actions was set very low in this law – I don’t remember Bill Clinton having any issues with it – because he was gonna win all the Evangelical racists with his Southern charm (fast forward to the 2008 primaries).
        And of course – Gramm-Leally (that spelling is wrong, I know). This deregulation of the financial industry is the REASON for the economic collapse of 2008. Bill ‘defended’ himself from impeachment during the day, and then was all chummy with Newt and Phil Gramm in the afternoon, crafting this destruction of the New Deal banking regulations.

        Bill Clinton stood at the point where anti-trust laws could be restored and he could have undone the privatization of government. Instead, he put privatization on steroids, and by the time PBO became POTUS, these ways of doing business were so entrenched that they could not be undone, especially in this political climate.

        Bill Clinton only plays progressive when he’s campaigning. His record is deplorable in actuality and yes – Hillary has to tell us how she feels about each and every law mentioned above that got her husband’s signature.

  11. 34 amk for obama
    May 1, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Vote counting is under way in Iraq after the country’s first parliamentary poll since US troops withdrew in 2011.

    The UN and US have hailed the running of the poll, held amid a heavy security presence with hundreds of thousands of soldiers deployed to polling stations.

    Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, who is seeking a third term, declared that his victory was “certain”.

    The election comes at a time of heightened sectarian tensions and spiralling violence in the country.

    Dozens of attacks on election day left 14 people dead, according to officials.

    This figure was lower than in the two preceding days, thanks to a security clampdown during the vote – including a vehicle ban in Baghdad.

    Correspondents say that, after a week in which 160 people died, the authorities will probably consider the vote a success, despite the deaths.

    Official results are not expected until later in May.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27236176

  12. 35 Ladyhawke
    May 1, 2014 at 11:44 am

    THE FIX IS NOT IN

    By Charles P. Pierce

    —————————————-

    Of all the examples of conservatives and their vandalism that we’ve seen since the inauguration of the Kenyan Usurper, their performance on infrastructure repair is the most delicate mixture of negligence and hypocrisy that they yet have produced. Everybody in Congress knows that the country is falling apart. Hell, everybody who drives knows the country is falling apart.

    —————————————

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/obama-republicans-transportation-infrastructure-bill-050114?src=spr_TWITTER&spr_id=1456_55753978

  13. May 1, 2014 at 11:45 am

    UH-mazing R&S, Nerdy. Thank you very much.

  14. 39 SUE DUVALL SMITH
    May 1, 2014 at 11:46 am

    YAAAAY,,,HOME ALL DAY,,,,,,WON’T MISS PBO THIS AFTERNOON!…WOOT-WOOT!

  15. May 1, 2014 at 11:47 am

    • 41 Cindy
      May 1, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      HAPPY THURSDAY META!

      THANK YOU FOR THIS TWEET.

      Indeed it was President Obama, not Bush/Cheney as the right wing repukes spewed lies across the networks, taking this Administration’s credit. We don’t have to imagine what would have happened, if Osama had escaped, and the Navy SEALs had been injured or killed. Would they still say it was Bush/Cheney?

  16. 42 Ladyhawke
    May 1, 2014 at 11:47 am

    ACLU sues Ohio over early voting cuts

    ——————————–

    Ohio’s cuts to early voting and elimination of same-day registration discriminate against racial minorities in violation of the Voting Rights Act, a new lawsuit alleges.

    The suit, filed Thursday in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union, offers a chance that the controversial cuts, enacted in the nation’s most pivotal swing state, could be blocked before the November election. And it will provide the latest test of the recently weakened Voting Rights Act’s ability to stop the wave of Republican-backed voting restrictions enacted in recent years.

    ——————————————

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/ohio-early-voting-cuts-could-be-stopped?cid=sm_twitter

  17. 43 Ladyhawke
    May 1, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Press Secretary Jay Carney is at the podium….

    • 44 Ladyhawke
      May 1, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Looks like the jackals will be spending a good amount of time today on the ‘but how many have paid their premiums’ meme. Jay is ripping the GOP bogus report to shreds but Chuck Todd (first class GOP water carrier) is asking for proof that they are wrong. smdh

    • 47 99ts
      May 1, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      The author lost me when he made this statement about Ryan

      “I know Ryan, and I’m sure that his problem was ham-handed language, not racial bias. And I also believe that he genuinely wants to find ways to relieve poverty and help people move up. ”

      Ryan knew exactly what he was saying – they all do – sad that someone has to be as overt as Bundy or Sterling before the pundits will suggest it may in fact be “racial bias”.

      Ryan is in congress – there are so many ways he has available to relieve poverty and help people – he could do this if he wanted to – He does not – Ryan, who has been dependent on government all his life – cares zilch about poverty and the poor.

  18. May 1, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Hopeless freaks.

  19. May 1, 2014 at 11:58 am

  20. 53 amk for obama
    May 1, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    • May 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      His contempt for the WH is showing…i suppose that means he won’t be attending the WHPC dinner

    • May 1, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      “Most questions don’t get answered.” — Mark Knoller, CBS News

      Well Markie, when your questions are basically along the lines of ‘has Obama hit 498 or 499 golf balls since inauguration’….

      • 56 Layla
        May 1, 2014 at 12:21 pm

        I disagree Mark! I think you have been thoroughly informed as to your questions about what the President is eating!

      • 57 99ts
        May 1, 2014 at 12:51 pm

        How many times do the hacks (to use a horsey term) have to be told as to what happened in Benghazi!!!!

    • May 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      This tweet exemplifies what is wrong with the WH correspondents.

      They believe their job is to report on the Presidential elections for four years. They are responsible for nothing else, so dreadful “journalists” like upChuck Todd get promoted to “Political Director.”

  21. 59 dotster3
    May 1, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    More needless, horrific, insane gun violence—–1 yr. old shot and killed by 4 yr. old brother. 3 toddlers were playing where a loaded gun was accessible.

  22. 60 Ladyhawke
    May 1, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    GOP’s fuzzy math on Obamacare enrollments

    By Steve Benen

    —————————-

    It’s the latest evolution in the GOP’s anti-healthcare line. What started with “no one will want to sign up” eventually became “no one should sign up,” which morphed into “not enough people are signing up,” and finally “those who did sign up don’t count.”

    Notice, of course, that Republicans involved in this debate make no effort to hide the degree to which they’re rooting for failure.
    .
    .
    How deceptive is the report from the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s panel? Let us count the ways.

    ———————————–

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/gops-fuzzy-math-obamacare-enrollments

  23. 61 Linda
    May 1, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Mrs Greenspan has David Gregory on watching Jay Carney because

    BENGHAZI !

  24. 62 amk for obama
    May 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    gunnite.

  25. May 1, 2014 at 12:23 pm

  26. May 1, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    ‘morans’ everywhere, it seems ….

  27. 68 Ladyhawke
    May 1, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Today’s WHPC Benghazi briefing is infuriating and embarrassing. The jackals should be ashamed of themselves. There is nothing that remotely resembles real journalism. Jay is on fire but my heart aches for him. Because he and we deserve better.

  28. 71 hopefruit2
    May 1, 2014 at 12:44 pm

  29. 77 Vicki
    May 1, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Here is one way to look at the “how many have paid?” GOP meme.

    If you ask a landlord “How many of your tenants have paid rent due in May?”
    Ask that question on March 15 and you will get a bad number.
    Ask that question on May 5 and the number will be very different.

    • 78 57andfemale
      May 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Although the work that I do for my boss has nothing to do with his real estate business, that is how he makes his money. I work in an office full of employees who do nothing more than try to collect rent. I am forever hearing calls like, “You haven’t paid your rent since January”, or “You’ve been paying off what you owe. You now have $29 to go toward your April rent.” And so on.

      Many, many, many people.

      As the banks how many pay people pay their credit cards on time.

      This is as false a meme as all their other lies.

  30. 79 Nena20409
    May 1, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Good Thursday TODable TODers.
    Jay is doing WH briefings early?
    I guess BENGHAZI and the GOP WHPC are still doing their Never Ending Talking Points.

    Shame how whenever the GOP screams, the press in a Zombie March Orders, follow?

  31. 80 Nena20409
    May 1, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Excellent R&S.

    OBL is Dead and GM is Alive. Works every time, Uncle VP Biden.

  32. 81 Vicki
    May 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Umm—so POTUS will be appearing directly after the ACA #### come out.
    Coincidence??

    • 82 hopefruit2
      May 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      Is he going to make a statement about ACA #’s or is his appearance related to something else? I believe he was scheduled to have the “WH 2014 Teacher of the Year Award” event this afternoon.

    • 85 0388jojothecat
      May 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      I wonder what “breaking news” will usurp the President ACA news this time…..Hillary Clinton broke a finger nail….

  33. 86 Nena20409
    May 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I doubt that the US press will mention OBL demise today?

    Not.

  34. 88 Nerdy Wonka
    May 1, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    This is freaking AWESOME. She used the song President Obama used for his 2013 WHCD entrance called ‘All I Do Is Win’ by DJ Khaled and she nailed it like President Obama did!

  35. 89 hopefruit2
    May 1, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Even horses are glad when their owners are signing up for coverage. #Obamacare. :)

  36. May 1, 2014 at 1:24 pm

  37. 91 Ladyhawke
    May 1, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Benghazi Testimony Derails Fox’s “Incredibly Damning” Attack On Obama

    By JUSTIN BERRIER

    —————————————–

    Fox News seized on testimony from Ret. Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell to push the false narrative that President Obama did not do enough to rescue the victims of the Benghazi attack, a claim that collapsed after Lovell clarified that he was not making that point.
    .
    .
    Fox’s attack collapsed later in the day, however. During the question and answer portion of the testimony, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) asked Lovell specifically about claims that the military had resources that they did not utilize. Lovell explained that when he said “we should have tried,” he did not mean that the response was insufficient and that it is a “fact” that there was nothing more the military could have done:

    —————————————–

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/05/01/benghazi-testimony-derails-foxs-incredibly-damn/199116

  38. May 1, 2014 at 1:27 pm

  39. 93 hopefruit2
    May 1, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Vicki – looks like you were right.

  40. May 1, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    NATO official: Russia now an adversary
    By ROBERT BURNS
    — May. 1, 2014 12:31 PM EDT

    “After two decades of trying to build a partnership with Russia, the NATO alliance now feels compelled to start treating Moscow as an adversary, the second-ranking official of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said Thursday.

    “Clearly the Russians have declared NATO as an adversary, so we have to begin to view Russia no longer as a partner but as more of an adversary than a partner,” said Alexander Vershbow, the deputy secretary-general of NATO.

    In a question-and-answer session with a small group of reporters, Vershbow said Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its apparent manipulation of unrest in eastern Ukraine have fundamentally changed the NATO-Russia relationship.

    “In central Europe, clearly we have two different visions of what European security should be like,” Vershbow, a former U.S. diplomat and former Pentagon official, said. “We still would defend the sovereignty and freedom of choice of Russia’s neighbors, and Russia clearly is trying to re-impose hegemony and limit their sovereignty under the guise of a defense of the Russian world.””

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/nato-official-russia-now-adversary

  41. May 1, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    MEDIA ALERT:

    JACK BAUER IS BACK!!!

    …………………..

    Jack Bauer is Back in New ’24: Live Another Day’ Teaser (Video)

    25 March 2014 2:31 PM, PDT

    What’s a four-year hiatus when you’re Jack Bauer?

    Fox has released a minute-long teaser for the reboot of its mega-hit skein, “24,” and in it, counter-terrorism agent Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is back for more. The clip shows Bauer trying to foil an assassination attempt against the U.S. president all while trying to evade his own capture.

    The limited series event, “24:Live Another Day,” will follow a 12-hour timeline instead of the show’s original daylong format. But it seems having only a half day makes no difference. Bauer will be doing everything in his power to complete his mission, which looks like involves drones and a “full-scale attack.”

    Benjamin Bratt and Tate Donovan are all set to star alongside Sutherland. The role of Margot (Judy Davis) has been recast and will be played by Michelle Fairley (“Game of Thrones”).

    Jack Bauer returns to the small screen May 5.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1598754/news?ref_=tt_nwr_1#ni56978800

  42. 103 hopefruit2
    May 1, 2014 at 1:59 pm

  43. May 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Am sure our team knows a lot about this dude, but it’s important everyone does ….

    “This surge of Russian nationalism has presumably gone down pretty well in the Kremlin, and it’s also bound to have pleased the man who was recently labeled the “brain” behind Putin’s annexation of Crimea, Aleksandr Dugin. Dugin is head of the Department of Sociology of International Relations of Moscow State University and an advisor to Sergei Naryshkin, a key member of Putin’s United Russia party. He’s also spent the past couple of decades advocating the restoration of the Russian Empire through the partitioning of former Soviet republics—an expansionist ideology that some have suggested is part of Putin’s own agenda.

    “We will have a new Cold War,” said Dugin when I spoke to him over the phone. “But maybe not so cold—maybe hot this time.”

    In 2008, before war broke out between Russia and Georgia, Dugin proclaimed: “Our troops will occupy the Georgian capital Tbilisi, the entire country, and perhaps even Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula, which is historically part of Russia anyway.” Of course, Dugin’s vision has already partly become reality, but he doesn’t want the expansion to stop at Russia’s takeover of Crimea.”

    Aleksandr Dugin Wants to See a Return to Russian Imperialism

    http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/aleksandr-dugin-russian-expansionism


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