02
May
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama listens during a briefing on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, aboard Air Force One en route to New Orleans, La., Sunday, May 2, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (All Times Eastern)

9:55 AM: President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

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11:40: Holds a joint press conference with Chancellor Merkel, Rose Garden

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12:15: The First Lady Speaks at College Signing Day at the University of Texas at San Antonio

White House Live

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12:45: The President holds a working lunch with Chancellor Merkel

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3:50: Meets with Asian American Business and Faith Leaders to discuss common sense Immigration Reform, Roosevelt Room

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AP: Health Law: 8 Million Chose New Plan Under Law

Blue or red, a majority of states have exceeded their health care sign-up targets under President Barack Obama’s law. strong state-by-state performance indicates that the health care law is making inroads around the country, even as Republicans insist repealing “Obamacare” will be a winning issue in the fall congressional elections. An Associated Press analysis of the government numbers found that 31 states met or exceeded enrollment targets set by the administration before the insurance exchanges opened. Twenty of those are led by Republican governors, many of whom were hostile to the program. The Health and Human Services Department said 8 million Americans chose a health plan through the new insurance markets in the first year of the historic health care overhaul. Some 4.8 million more gained coverage through Medicaid and children’s insurance programs.

A surge in enrollments since March 1 doubled sign-ups in some states, including Texas, Georgia and Florida. Blacks and Asians signed up at higher-than-expected rates. Blacks make up 13.3 percent of those eligible for marketplace coverage, but represented 16.7 percent of those who chose a health plan and disclosed their race. Asians make up 3.3 percent of the eligible pool, but were 7.9 percent of enrollees who volunteered racial information. -Nearly a third of people who chose a health plan on the federal exchanges didn’t report their race or ethnicity, or chose “Other.” The next enrollment period for private health insurance coverage for 2015 under the health law is scheduled to run Nov. 15 through Feb. 15.

More here

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5.2.14

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Steve Benen: Where Are The Jobs? They’re Right Here

The new report from Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in April, well ahead of expectations, and one of the highest totals of any month in several years. The overall unemployment rate, meanwhile, dropped to 6.3% – its lowest point since September 2008, nearly six years ago. For the third consecutive month, public-sector layoffs did not drag down the overall employment figures. Though jobs reports over the last few years have shown monthly government job losses, in April, the private sector added 273,000 while the public sector added 15,000.

The latter may not sound like much, but when you get used to that total being negative, it’s a breath of fresh air. Better yet, the job totals for both February and March were both revised up, pointing to an additional 36,000 jobs that had been previously unreported. All told, over the last 12 months, the U.S. economy has added over 2.36 million jobs overall and 2.37 million in the private sector. What’s more, April was the 50th consecutive month in which we’ve seen private-sector job growth.

More here

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Reuters: U.S. Says 13 Million Enrolled In Private/Public Health Plans

Nearly 13 million people signed up for public and private health coverage during Obamacare’s open enrollment period. The total includes 8 million people who selected private plans through state and federal insurance marketplaces and another 4.8 million who enrolled in the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program, two government programs that serve lower income Americans.

More here

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Ari Berman: ACLU Lawsuit: Ohio Early Voting Cuts Violate Voting Rights Act

Voting rights advocates, after successfully challenging Wisconsin’s voter ID law this week, filed suit today challenging early voting restrictions in Ohio. The GOP-controlled Ohio legislature, after repeatedly attempting to cut early voting in 2012, earlier this year eliminated the state’s first week of early voting—the “Golden Week” when voters could also register at the polls. In addition, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted issued a directive abolishing the last two days of early voting before Election Day and eliminating early voting hours on weeknights and Sundays, when African-American churches traditionally organize “Souls to the Polls” drives. In 2012, 157,000 Ohioans cast ballots during early voting hours eliminated by the Ohio GOP, according to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of groups including the Ohio NAACP and the League of Women Voters.

As in Wisconsin, the lawsuit contends that such cuts violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) by disproportionately burdening black voters. Blacks in Ohio were far more likely than whites to vote early in 2008 and 2012. “In the November 2008 election in [Cleveland’s] Cuyahoga County, African Americans voted early in person at a rate over twenty times greater than white voters,” according to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. In cities like Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton blacks voted early in numbers far exceeding their percentage of the population. In the 2004 election, before Ohio adopted early voting, there were extremely long lines in large urban counties and African-American voters waited nearly three times as long as white voters to vote. One survey estimated that 130,000 Ohioans left the polls without casting a ballot. George W. Bush won the state by only 119,000 votes.

More here

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Alan Pyke: Seattle Announces $15 Minimum Wage, Highest In The U.S.

Seattle will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour over the coming years under a deal brokered by Mayor Ed Murray and blessed by labor and business groups alike, city leaders announced Thursday afternoon. The new pay floor will phase in at different speeds for businesses of different sizes, but all employers will have to meet the $15 minimum wage by the end of the decade. Businesses with more than 500 employees nationwide will have a three-year phase-in period, while smaller employers get five years to ratchet up their pay scales. After reaching $15 an hour, the city’s minimum wage will automatically climb by 2.4 percent each year regardless of the rate of inflation. Even among states with relatively strong minimum wage laws, automatic increases are uncommon. Thursday’s deal will make Seattle the national leader on municipal minimum wage laws.

Washington currently has the highest pay floor of any state at $9.32 per hour. The deal was a long time coming, with Murray first indicating he wanted to establish a $15 floor back in September during the mayoral campaign. Murray created the 24-member advisory group that crafted the compromise package back in December, and the group of local business owners, restaurateurs, and labor leaders has been grinding toward an agreement for the past four months. Approval from restaurant owners is especially noteworthy given the deal’s provisions for tipped workers. Tips can only be counted toward worker minimum pay for the next five years. After that, the separate minimum hourly pay rates for tipped and non-tipped workers will disappear, and all employees citywide will have to be paid $15 hourly or more.

More here

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MarketWatch: Shifting Employees To Exchanges Could Save Firms $3 Trillion

Obamacare presents an opportunity for businesses to cut more than $3 trillion in costs over the next decade by shifting more health-care responsibility over to employees, according to a report issued Thursday from S&P Capital IQ. The financial information provider says in its findings that as much as $3.25 trillion could be saved by companies with 50 or more employees through 2025 as a result of costs shifting to the government under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. S&P 500 companies could save $700 billion in that same time frame, the report says.

The ACA requires companies with 50 employees or more to offer coverage or pay a tax — with the option that they can shift administration of plans over to the exchanges. It stands to reason that many companies would want to move their employees to exchanges — either private or public — that could save them the cost of maintaining insurance coverage for employees. Employees would then be more involved in the administration of their health program. “Over the long run, the ACA may eventually come to be historically recognized as the starting point of the reconstruction of the U.S. health care benefit industry and a catalyst for how companies provide health care insurance for their employees,” the report said.

More here

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BBC: Ukraine Reinstates Conscription As Crisis Deepens

Ukraine’s acting President Olexander Turchynov has reinstated military conscription to deal with deteriorating security in the east of the country. The move, announced in a decree, came as pro-Russia militants seized the regional prosecutor’s office in the eastern city of Donetsk. Ukraine blames Russia for organising the seizures of a number of offices in the east, a claim Moscow denies. Some 40,000 Russian troops are stationed near the Ukrainian border. Mr Turchynov admitted on Wednesday that his forces were “helpless” to quell the unrest in some parts of the east, saying the goal was now to prevent it from spreading. He also said Ukraine was on “full combat alert”, amid fears that Russian troops could invade.

On Thursday, his office said in a statement that conscription was being introduced “given the deteriorating situation in the east and the south… the rising force of armed pro-Russian units and the taking of public administration buildings… which threaten territorial integrity”. BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says Kiev’s decision is, in the short-term at least, a symbolic step as the Ukrainian military has been starved of cash for years and is no match for what Russia has on its borders. The real battle for control of Ukrainian territory is already under way and Kiev is losing ground, he adds. Analysts say Ukraine has 130,000 personnel in its armed forces that could be boosted to about one million with reservists. Kiev scrapped compulsory military service for young men in late 2013 under a law introduced by then President Viktor Yanukovych.

More here

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Esther Yu-Hsi Lee: Florida Senate OKs In-State Tuition For Undocumented Immigrants

A bevy of undocumented immigrants and advocates dressed in caps and gowns burst into loud applause and cheers in the gallery of the Florida State Senate when 26 state senators out of 39 members moved to pass a bill Thursday evening that would give undocumented immigrants a chance to pay in-state tuition at state colleges. The bill, which just last week seemed certain to die in the Republican-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee, will now move on to the state House and later to Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) desk, where he has already promised to sign into law.

Florida will likely become the 21st state to pass an immigration-related tuition bill that allows undocumented immigrants a chance to further their educations and contribute more to the state economy. Like many other state-level DREAM Act bills, this Florida tuition equity bill would allow undocumented immigrants, who attended high school for three years and graduated or are already in college, to qualify for in-state tuition at public colleges.

More here

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Josh Israel: Kentucky Store Refuses To Print LGBT Content After State Passes ‘License To Discriminate’ Law

In March, Kentucky’s state legislature overrode Gov. Steve Beshear’s (D) veto and enacted an Arizona SB 1062-style bill to protect the rights of those with “sincerely held religious beliefs” to ignore non-discrimination laws unless there was a “compelling governmental interest.” Now, an Oak Grove embroidery company has posted a notice that it will not print messages that contradict their consciences — including anything promoting “homosexuality, freemasonry, the use of foul language,” or “immodesty.” The Advocate reported Wednesday that, after “public confusion” about a sign on the door of Herald Embroidery featuring a crossed-out rainbow flag in a red circle and a citation of a Bible verse in a green circle,

the business has replaced it with a new sign explicitly explaining the company’s discriminatory policies. It reads: “While we will serve all customers who treat our place of business with respect, we reserve the right to refuse to produce promotional products that promote ideas that are not in keeping with our consciences. This includes, but is not limited to content promoting HOMOSEXUALITY, FREEMASONRY, the use of FOUL LANGUAGE, and imagery which promotes IMMODESTY.”

More here

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ABC News: WellPoint Helps Investors Breathe Easy On Overhaul

Investors pushed WellPoint shares closer to their all-time high price on Wednesday after the company raised its 2014 forecast again and became the latest health insurer to ease some worry about a key health care overhaul coverage expansion. The Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer estimates that it will add more than 600,000 customers through state-based public insurance exchanges that started accepting enrollment last fall, and it said it still expects to make money from that business. The federal overhaul set up these exchanges to help millions of people buy coverage, many with help from income-based tax credits. WellPoint officials said Wednesday they saw a “substantial” surge in applications toward the end of the open enrollment period for these exchanges that lowered the average age of the applicants. “Applications especially near the end of the quarter were robust,”

WellPoint CEO Joseph Swedish told analysts during a Wednesday morning conference call. Swedish also told analysts that about 90 percent of the people who signed up for coverage through the exchanges paid their first month’s premium. That provides another bit of reassurance to investors, who are wondering whether overhaul enrollment totals were inflated by people who never wound up paying. Last week, Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna Inc., the nation’s third-largest insurer, said about 80 percent of its exchange customers followed through with a premium payment. It expects to add about 450,000 paying customers through the exchanges, and company officials said the risk of that business appeared manageable so far.

More here

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Bloomberg: Medicare May Raise Pay To Health Clinics By $1.3 Billion

The U.S. Medicare program said it would increase payments to nonprofit community health clinics by as much as $1.3 billion over the next five years under a new reimbursement system ordered by Obamacare. About 3,830 of the clinics stand to benefit from the change, which may raise their payments from Medicare by about a third, according to a rule published today by the government. The clinics serve mostly low-income patients in communities with few other options for health care and are supported by about $3.6 billion in federal grants.

Elderly and disabled Medicare patients — who generally can go to any doctor they choose — were the fastest growing segment of the clinics’ business in 2008, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers, even though they comprise less than 10 percent of patients nationally. The association lobbied the government for increased Medicare reimbursement, arguing the clinics lost at least $51 million a year because of limits on their payments from the program. The clinics “are essential to countless patients in local communities who depend on them for getting their primary and preventive care,” Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a statement.

More here

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Rob Wile: Nonfarm Payrolls Report, April 2014

The jobs report crushed expectations, coming in at 288,000. Expectations were for 218,000. Last month’s figure was revised upward to 203,000 from 192,000. More: Private payrolls hit 273,000, also well above the 215,000 estimate and up from the revised 202,000. There were gains in most major industries. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3%, the lowest print in more than five years. The labor force participation rate fell to 62.8% from 63.2%. The number of long-term unemployed dropped by 287,000 to 3.5 million. Average hourly earnings growth fell 10 bps to 0% from the prior month. Weekly hours were unchanged at 34.5. On the plus side, we’re quite close to recovering all the jobs we lost in the recession. It probably took too long though.

More here

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Bloomberg: Payrolls In U.S. Rise Most Since 2012, Unemployment At 6.3%

Employers boosted payrolls in April by the most in two years and the jobless rate plunged to 6.3 percent as companies grew confident the U.S. economy was emerging from a first-quarter slowdown. The 288,000 gain in employment was the biggest since January 2012 and followed a revised 203,000 increase the prior month, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 218,000 advance. Unemployment dropped to the lowest level since September 2008. Households spent more freely as the first quarter drew to a close and manufacturing accelerated, helping explain why companies such as Ford Motor Co. are taking on more workers. The figures corroborate the Federal Reserve’s view that the expansion is perking up after stagnating last quarter, indicating it will keep trimming stimulus.

“The economy is gathering momentum after the bad winter,” said Michael Gapen, senior U.S. economist at Barclays Plc in New York, whose firm’s projection was among the closest in the Bloomberg survey. “The unemployment rate will stay in its downward trend, which means tapering will continue.” The increase in employment was broad-based, with construction companies adding the most workers in three months and retailers taking on the most this year. Manufacturing, temporary help services and health care were among other industries boosting payrolls. Private payrolls, which don’t include government agencies, increased 273,000 in April after a 202,000 gain. Last month, hiring by companies surpassed the pre-recession peak for the first time. Americans are the most upbeat about finding a “quality job” than at any time since January 2008, according to Gallup data released April 25.

Such optimism extends to Ford. Boosted by record profits in North America, the second-largest automaker said it will probably hire more than the 12,000 new workers it promised in its 2011 contract with the United Auto Workers. “The business has grown faster than we predicted it would in 2011,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, said in an interview on April 30. The company said it hired 2,000 new workers at its factory in Claycomo, Missouri, and that it’s completed about 75 percent of its commitment to hire 12,000 workers by 2015.

More here

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NPR: Unemployment Drops To 6.3 Percent, Lowest In 5 Years

The nation’s economy added a robust 288,000 jobs in April, far more than forecast, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, its lowest level in five years, according to the Labor Department. The rate, which is the lowest since September 2008, was down from 6.7 percent in March. Economists had forecast just 210,000 new jobs for the month, citing severe winter weather for the sluggish growth. April represents the largest burst of hiring in months. Figures for February and March were revised upward, giving an average for each of the 3 months of 238,000. “We may be seeing an acceleration in job growth,” Gus Faucher, senior economist with PNC Financial Services, Pittsburgh, was quoted by Reuters as saying. “It’s sustainable to have a 200,000-plus job growth over the next 6 to 9 months,” he says.

More here

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MarketWatch: U.S. Adds 288,000 Jobs In April; Unemployment 6.3%

The U.S. generated 288,000 jobs in April – the biggest increase in more than two years – and the unemployment rate fell to 6.3%, a strong performance that suggests the economy is accelerating after tepid first-quarter growth. The unemployment rate is the lowest since September 2008. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected an increase of 215,000 nonfarm jobs. Employment gains for March and February were also revised up by a combined 36,000, the Labor Department said Friday. The job growth in April was broad based. Professional jobs surged by 75,000 and retail, bars and restaurants and construction all posted big gains.

More here

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Yahoo: U.S. Payrolls Surge, Jobless Rate Hits 5-1/2 Year Low

U.S. job growth increased at its fastest pace in more than two years in April, suggesting a sharp rebound in economic activity early in the second quarter. Nonfarm payrolls surged 288,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. That was the largest gain since January 2012 and beat Wall Street’s expectations for only a 210,000 increase. March and February’s data was revised to show 36,000 more jobs than previously reported. While the unemployment rate dived 0.4 percentage point to a 5-1/2 year low of 6.3 percent. The unemployment rate was last at this level in September 2008. “The economy really has strong underlying fundamentals supporting its growth. Temporary headwinds such as the bad weather can be certainly managed,” said Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial in Troy, Michigan.

U.S. Treasury debt yields soared after the report, while the dollar jumped to session highs against the euro and the yen. U.S. stock index futures turned higher. The employment report joins other upbeat data such as consumer spending and industrial production in suggesting the first quarter’s 0.1 percent annual growth pace was an aberration and is not a reflection of the economy’s otherwise sound fundamentals. Employment gains in April were broad based, with the private sector adding 273,000 jobs and government payrolls rising 15,000. Manufacturing employment increased 12,000 after rising by 7,000 in March. Construction payrolls gained 32,000. That followed an increase of 17,000 jobs in March.

More here

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Justin Sink: Celebs Celebrate O-Care Enrollment

Celebrities, athletes, healthcare advocates, and liberal activists gathered Thursday night at the White House to celebrate the release of final data from the first ObamaCare open enrollment period. According to data released by the administration, a surge of 3.8 million consumers in the final weeks helped push the total enrollment numbers past 8 million — above initial projections for the law. Nashville star Connie Britton and actor and former White House official Kal Penn. University of North Carolina men’s basketball coach Roy Williams, former NFL player Eddie George, and University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma also enjoyed the champagne-fueled party.

Celebrities and athletes were a key part of the final push for ObamaCare. According to the White House, celebrity advocates conducted interviews reaching roughly 400 radio stations nationwide in the final month of enrollment. Celebrity tweets reached nearly 350 million followers, and stars including Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Eva Longoria, Zach Galifinakis, Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Scott, and Elizabeth Banks created YouTube videos to promote enrollment.

More here

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Video

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TIME: Obama Hosts Obamacare Enrollment Party

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama feted about 300 people at the White House on Thursday to celebrate the close of the Affordable Care Act’s maiden enrollment period. According to attendees, the President highlighted the success of the initial enrollment period, but said more work needed to be done — both when enrollment reopens later this year and in states that have not accepted federal dollars to expand Medicaid.

Obama gave a special shout-out to the “tech team,” which fixed the troubled HealthCare.gov website that threatened to derail the enrollment process. He was followed by the First Lady, who expressed how proud she was of her husband for pushing the health care law through even when it was politically inexpedient. Attendees said Obama got “pretty emotional” as his wife retold stories of those who have been helped by the law.

More here

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On This Day

Pete Souza: “Washington had its first big snowstorm and I knew the girls were home from school. I suspected the girls might try to sled or make a snowman, so I asked the Usher’s Office to call me if the girls headed outside. I got there just in time to catch the First Lady helping the girls sled down a hill on the South Lawn. This picture now hangs on the wall of the President’s study.” March 2, 2009

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President Obama talks with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal after arriving at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans, La., Sunday, May 2, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama talks with U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen, who is serving as the National Incident Commander, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, aboard Marine One as they fly along the coastline from Venice to New Orleans, La., May 2, 2010. John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, is in the background (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama listens during a briefing about the situation along the Gulf Coast following the BP oil spill, at the Coast Guard Venice Center, in Venice, La., Sunday, May 2, 2010. Pictured, from left, are U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen, John Brennan, assistant to the President for homeland security and counterterrorism, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Photo by Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes young runners participating in LIVE with Regis and Kelly’s Run Across America with Dean Karnazes at the South Lawn of the White House, May 2, 2011

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President Obama celebrates the birthday of Bloomberg White House correspondent Julianna Goldman aboard Air Force One during the flight from Ramstein, Germany, to Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 2, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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The President tastes a sip of tequila at the urging of President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico prior to a working dinner at Los Pinos in Mexico City. May 2, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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119 Responses to “Rise and Shine”


  1. 11 Nerdy Wonka
    May 2, 2014 at 10:35 am

  2. May 2, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Wait. Ya’ll still asleep?

  3. 13 hopefruit2
    May 2, 2014 at 10:40 am

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

    Thanks NW for this excellent R & S round-up. So much fantastic ACA and economic news to parse through – it’s a great day!! :)

  4. 15 hopefruit2
    May 2, 2014 at 10:42 am

  5. 16 Nerdy Wonka
    May 2, 2014 at 10:43 am

    You do good by helping millions gain access to affordable and comprehensive health insurance, you get rewarded.

  6. May 2, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Absolutely stunnnnnnnnnnnnnnning Nerdy, your round-ups are just spectacular, we are soooo lucky to have you. Thank you Legend!

  7. 24 Nerdy Wonka
    May 2, 2014 at 10:50 am

    HEADS UP: President Obama and Chancellor Merkel hold a press conference at 11:40 AM EDT / 10:40AM CDT / 8:40AM PDT

    Also, First Lady Michelle Obama will be celebrating College Signing Day at the University of Texas San Antonio at 12:15PM EDT / 11:15 AM CDT / 9:15 AM PDT

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

  8. May 2, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I’ve been looking in on CNBC this morning and it’s just mind-boggling. They are doing everything possible to spin these job numbers as bad news.

    Amazing.

    • 26 hopefruit2
      May 2, 2014 at 11:00 am

      CNBC has been doing this for years now. Not shocked by their reaction at all – in fact I’m reassured by it because when the GOP-owned and operated media is unhappy, it’s good news for PBO and the country.

      • May 2, 2014 at 11:10 am

        Thanks hopefruit. That makes me feel better. It also shows the contempt they have for their audience. I mean who in their right mind would believe that close to 300,000 jobs and falling unemployment is bad news?

        • 28 EricFive
          May 2, 2014 at 11:33 am

          It is normal for propagandists to have disdain for the audience they are paid to deceive.

  9. 29 japa21
    May 2, 2014 at 10:55 am

  10. 30 donna dem 4 obama
    May 2, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Good Morning TOD – TGIF!!!

  11. 31 hopefruit2
    May 2, 2014 at 10:58 am

  12. 32 amk for obama
    May 2, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Don’t understand Sabrina Siddiqui’s tweet.

  13. 36 Nena20409
    May 2, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Took a quick pick at this R&S and was just blown away. I don’t know how you do it. Where you get the time. Wow.

    NW, you are on fire. Thank you. Now, I can Go and read your post in full.

    Chips, we are about to hit 25, 000, 000 million hits. You are the very best.

    Morning TODable TODers ;)

    I am home today and I will be doing a lot of camping here at TOD….. today.
    >-I >-I >-I

    To NW

  14. 38 japa21
    May 2, 2014 at 11:02 am

  15. 40 JER
    May 2, 2014 at 11:04 am

  16. May 2, 2014 at 11:04 am

    I don’t think I have seen this mentioned here:

    Now that The People are empowered to go on health care insurance exchanges, there is no need for employer-care; which has the additional benefit of enlarging job mobility.

    • 42 Nerdy Wonka
      May 2, 2014 at 11:50 am

      The article is in the Rise and Shine I posted this morning and that you are currently commenting on.

    • 45 57andfemale
      May 2, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      The only problem with this scenario: will business pocket the savings or treat it as ‘compensation’ and give it to the employee?

      If we had a Blue Congress, we could fix this right now. Instead we have to worry that the true nut jobs will take over everything.

      God.

  17. May 2, 2014 at 11:05 am

    On second thoughts, this R&S isn’t stunning – it’s absolutely friggin’ stunning. And there’s like a week’s work in it!

    • 48 Nerdy Wonka
      May 2, 2014 at 11:50 am

      Bless your heart, my friend. Thank you so much.

    • 49 GGail
      May 2, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      I know! It’s soooo much in here that I only have time to look at the pictures :-)

      And may I say that the pic of POTUS & FLOTUS from yesterday is toooo hot to handle! Man do they sizzle together :shock:

  18. 50 Nena20409
    May 2, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Hello Sunshine in MN. Truly. In light of this sad story.

    Police were able to stop a Columbine style heinous shoot-out in Waseca, MN by a teen. This kid had the ability to make bombs, had gun power and loads of weapons. He had tried his his act by exploding home-made bombs at a park where kids go to play. Thank goodness, another teenage girl was able to warn the authorities and that was how this wicked SOB was stopped. He is in custody.

    http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/05/01/waseca-teen-accused-of-making-bombs-attempting-murder/

    WASECA, Minn. (WCCO) – A Waseca, Minn., teenager is charged with attempted murder, possessing explosives, and attempting to damage property after allegedly planting a number of devices at a school playground.
    John David LaDue, 17, had also obtained weapons and intended to kill his father, mother, sister, and a school liaison officer, investigators say. He allegedly intended to plant devices at Waseca Junior and Senior High School.
    “My personal feeling is that I’m very disturbed by the amount of items that he had of that nature,” said Capt. Kris Markeson, of Waseca police.

  19. 51 donna dem 4 obama
    May 2, 2014 at 11:09 am

    • May 2, 2014 at 11:12 am

      I’d settle for those Republicans of yesteryear who would take credit for everything good instead of trying to systematically wreck the economy.

  20. 53 japa21
    May 2, 2014 at 11:11 am

    BTW, appears we will hit the 25 million mark very soon. Less tha 4,000 away. Chips, you have created something truly amazing. And your additon of the other BT’s was a stroke of genius (as well, I am sure, an act of self preservation).

    • May 2, 2014 at 11:25 am

      A monster hug for you Japa, what a lovely thing to say. Without Nerdy and the gang, methinks TOD would have faded away, eternally grateful to them all, especially the wonder that is Nerdy!

    • 55 mtmarilyn
      May 2, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Does this mean Friday night Party!!!!!

  21. May 2, 2014 at 11:15 am

  22. 59 JER
    May 2, 2014 at 11:16 am

  23. 60 4morefor44
    May 2, 2014 at 11:17 am

    at least it’s good to see the true agendas of ezra klein and his wife annie lowery exposed. never noticed this woman before, but she’s one to follow with responses such as this-perfect

  24. 62 mtmarilyn
    May 2, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Good morning all at TODville. It is a beautiful spring morning in MT. This fantastic R&S by NW is the best way to start the morning. My cup of coffee just tops it off. Off to work at the school today. Have a great Friday. I miss the Friday’s great video with the President. That would be a way to really top off the morning.

  25. 63 JER
    May 2, 2014 at 11:21 am

  26. 64 hopefruit2
    May 2, 2014 at 11:28 am

    It’s funny how some on the left and right media are now throwing a hissy fit over the WHCD – now that it’s no longer an exclusive event. More watched, attended by more people, with PBO being the main event – not the media as was once the case.

    That’s what they’re really upset about, but they’re couching it in a general “the WHCD is stupid” terms…

    • 65 amk for obama
      May 2, 2014 at 11:31 am

      • 66 hopefruit2
        May 2, 2014 at 11:36 am

        Exactly – PBO naturally shines in this role, and he is THE reason it has gotten so popular in the last few years. But certain folks just cannot handle that, apparently. The WHPC look like idiots -no one really cares about them at this event, and people like Ron Fournier, Ezra Klein (VOX) and Mattyglesias are just green with personal envy and resentment.

        • May 2, 2014 at 11:42 am

          It would be interesting to see the world-wide “attendence” to the Youtube movie of the WHCD; I think a large part of the world is laughing WITH the President at his audience.

      • 68 anniebella
        May 2, 2014 at 1:27 pm

        When did the WHPC become stupid? When this President started attending?

      • 69 GGail
        May 2, 2014 at 1:57 pm

        True dat amk!
        This President knows how to hit and hit hard and this is his one day that he can really unload on them. What Fun!!!

    • 70 hopefruit2
      May 2, 2014 at 11:31 am

      They can’t stand that PBO & FLOTUS get a lot of positive attention from this event. That’s what’s really bothering them and nothing else. I’m not fooled about this at all!

    • 71 EricFive
      May 2, 2014 at 11:53 am

      The gop/msm are sore losers plain and simple. The constant negativity, deceit, and logic defying spin are why more and more people are tuning them out. They are attempting to create an alternate reality that conforms to the sensibilities of an increasingly deranged corporatist/racist minority.

  27. May 2, 2014 at 11:28 am

    TOD Twitter Brigade: follow the First Lady’s newest initiative

  28. 74 Linda
    May 2, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Darrell IssaVerified account ‏@DarrellIssa

    Today I announced a subpoena requiring Secretary Kerry to testify at a public @GOPoversight hearing on May 21. #Benghazi

  29. 75 JER
    May 2, 2014 at 11:31 am

  30. 76 yardarm756
    May 2, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Good morning everyone. May as well start with a laugh before I clean the naughty mats. They’ve had some heavy usage these past few days.

    > THE SHOEBOX
    >
    > A man and woman had been married for more than 60
    > years. They had shared
    > everything. They had talked about everything.
    >
    > They had kept no secrets from each other except
    > that the little old woman
    > had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had
    > cautioned her husband
    > never to open or ask her about.
    >
    > For all of these years, he had
    > never thought about the box, but one day the
    > little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would
    > not recover.
    >
    > In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old
    > man took down the shoe
    > box and took it to his wife’s bedside.
    >
    > She agreed that it was time that he
    > should know what was in the box.
    > When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack
    > of money
    > totalling $95,000.
    >
    > He asked her about the contents. ‘When we
    > were to be married,’ she said, ‘
    > my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to
    > never argue.
    >
    > She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I
    > should just keep quiet and
    > crochet a doll.’
    >
    > The little old man was so moved; he had to fight
    > back tears. Only two
    > precious dolls were in the box.
    >
    > She had only been angry with him two times in all
    > those years of living and
    > loving.
    >
    > He almost burst with
    > happiness.
    >
    > ‘Honey,’ he said, ‘that explains the
    > doll, but what about all of this money?
    > Where did it come from?’
    >
    > ‘Oh,’ she said, ‘that’s the money I
    > made from selling the dolls.’
    >
    >
    > A Prayer
    >
    > Dear Lord,
    > I pray for Wisdom to understand my man;
    > Love to forgive him;
    > And Patience for his moods;
    > Because Lord, if I pray for Strength,
    > I’ll beat him to death,
    > Because I don’t have the freaking time to
    > crochet.

  31. 80 Linda
    May 2, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Andrea Mitchell and Gloria Borger are doing preemptive strikes on how bad the news conference will be.

  32. 81 Nena20409
    May 2, 2014 at 11:47 am

    http://time.com/85354/obama-obamacare-enrollment-party-healthcare/

    Attendees said Obama got “pretty emotional” as his wife retold stories of those who have been helped by the law.

    After the Obamas spoke, they worked the room greeting attendees, but as the President warned the crowd: “We don’t have time for selfies with everyone.”

  33. 82 amk for obama
    May 2, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Nice work, ut.

  34. 87 Nerdy Wonka
    May 2, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Bahahahahahahahaha

  35. 88 Nena20409
    May 2, 2014 at 11:59 am

    C-SPAN.org will somehow find the time today to broadcast POTUS and Angela Merkel today……Hmm? Looking for BENGHAZI angle?

    http://www.c-span.org/video/?319156-1/president-obama-chancellor-merkel-joint-news-conference

  36. 90 57andfemale
    May 2, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    There are ACA horror stories – or rather the horror stories from anti-ACA.

    A close friend told me about her friend who has been diagnosed with skin cancer (she is in her 40’s). She is without insurance and she was bemoaning the fact that the surgery for the biopsy alone was going to cost $10,000. She and her husband are private contractors, with two children. The husband also has health issues.

    I asked my friend, “Why aren’t they insured? Why don’t they have Obamacare?”

    My friend said, “Don’t get me started. They’re Republicans and there was no way.”

    So here she is: pre-existing conditions, skin cancer and uninsured children but she hates Obama and wouldn’t get insurance.

    I want to SCREAM!

    But wait, it gets worse: this same friend is a good Democrat. We share the same views. She also complained that she couldn’t get her brother any insurance in FL. He makes about $9,000/yr but made too much money for ACA and was in the Medicaid gap. I’ve had to tell her twice in as many weeks that that is RICK SCOTT’S FAULT – NOT ACA.

    And yet, all of the Republican morons will vote and our side will whine about NSA or some other b.s. and let the ignorant, hateful 25% of our voting population decide our fate.

    Sigh.

    • 91 EricFive
      May 2, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Why let other people’s stupidity upset you? $9000/yr income entitles one to generous subsidies under the ACA. If partisanship and/or racism outweigh pocketbook concerns, that their personal choice

      • 92 57andfemale
        May 2, 2014 at 1:40 pm

        According to my friend, there were no subsidies available to her (55 year old) brother. He made too much for Medicaid without the expansion and not enough to qualify for subsidies. She claims she plugged the numbers in repeatedly at healthcare.gov and couldn’t get him a subsidy.

        I told her to try to contact a navigator. She is doing this from Chicago for her brother in FL. (He’s a little ‘off’ and needs help).

        This also happened to a friend of mine in NH. They finally expanded Medicaid but not in time for his surgery for his cancerous kidney.

    • 93 hopefruit2
      May 2, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      Take heart, 57. There’s almost always some dishonesty at the bottom of these ACA-horror stories. Some details are carefully being omitted in these people’s narratives of their “awful, horrible, terrible, no good ACA experience.”

      It can be very frustrating to hear them whine and complain, but I remain fully reassured that the ACA -success stories far outweigh these so-called horror stories (which are usually dotted with lies).

      • 94 57andfemale
        May 2, 2014 at 1:43 pm

        Well the ‘friend of a friend’ flat out screwed herself and her family because Rush Limbaugh told her to do it. I have no sympathy whatsoever.

        My friend’s brother – I believe she tried as she described and her brother has fallen into the Medicaid gap. I told her that the law was written for NO GAP at all – this is the doing of the Roberts Court and heartless, sociopathic Republican governors and legislatures. That she didn’t know about the Medicaid gap was upsetting to me – and she’s someone who considers herself ‘informed’.

  37. 95 japa21
    May 2, 2014 at 12:14 pm

  38. 96 Nerdy Wonka
    May 2, 2014 at 12:21 pm

  39. 97 amk for obama
    May 2, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Many rebels have been killed, injured and arrested in a government offensive in east Ukraine, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov says.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27259614

  40. 98 Jewelz
    May 2, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    That was an amazing and inspiring video of FLOTUS singing POTUS praises and talking briefly about how friends and foes alike tried to discourage the president from pursuing healthcare reform at the beginning of his presidency. Just from watching that clip, and listening to Michelle, I honestly don’t think any other Presidential candidates from 2008 (both democrats and republican) besides Barack Obama would’ve had the guts to pursue healthcare reform as President. They would’ve considered it too politically risky to even attempt it. Thanks to President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, every democratic members of Congress that voted for the law, and every citizens that worked tirelessly to make it happen. Thanks also to Brendon for posting that video on his Facebook, and thanks to President Obama and Michelle Obama for always fighting the good fight. And thanks to Chips and everyone here at TOD for always posting things that are insightful and thoughtful. I learn a lot from all of you, and I’m grateful to have a place like this to come to.

    • 99 amk for obama
      May 2, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      It’s ironic that it took a brave black couple to free most americans from the real slavery of blind capitalism.

  41. 100 Paulita
    May 2, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Happy Friday TOD!! Big 25 mil. milestone needs a big party to celebrate.

    On another note: I’ve was wondering when the civil war at the Bundy Ranch would start. The Oath Keepers are deemed traitorous by the militia groups and so they turn on each other regarding how to deal with their own conspiracy theories and who is taking orders from who. This is all funny, pathetic and predictable!

  42. May 2, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Ukraine’s president reports on new anti-terrorist operation, calls on Russia to stop terrorism

    “This morning we began the active phase of the anti-terrorist operation directed against the main base of the militants in Slovyansk, who are terrorizing the entire Donetsk region. Our main goal is to protect people and prevent casualties among the population.

    Our security forces are fighting the mercenaries of a foreign state, the terrorists and criminals who are seizing hostages, killing and torturing people, and who, with weapons in their hands, are threatening the territorial integrity and stability of Ukraine.”

    More at the link: http://euromaidanpr.com/2014/05/02/ukraines-president-reports-on-new-anti-terrorist-operation-calls-on-russia-to-stop-terrorism/

  43. 102 Nerdy Wonka
    May 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm

  44. 103 JER
    May 2, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    • 104 hopefruit2
      May 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      I like the way this ENTIRE administration is mutually supportive of each other’s efforts. It’s a beautiful thing to behold! So rare; so inspiring.

  45. 106 dotster3
    May 2, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Reminded of how all Repubs fought to stop any/all investigations of 9/11!!! I guess Benghazi is way more important to them. Pretty weird, huh?

    • 107 Sandy1110
      May 2, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      Not so weird – 9/11 happened on a GOP president’s watch; Benghazi under a Dem. No other logic applies. Always protect their own, go after the other party. No matter what.

      That’s one thing they do better than the Dems.

  46. 108 hopefruit2
    May 2, 2014 at 1:05 pm

  47. 109 JER
    May 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    LIVE NOW: FLOTUS in S.A. on College Signing Day Live Event – http://news4sanantonio.com//news/features/live-events/

  48. 110 dotster3
    May 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm

  49. May 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm

  50. May 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Russia taking another beating in the UN Security Council – http://webtv.un.org/live/

    • 114 japa21
      May 2, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      Unfortunately, because Putin is as delusional as he is, he doesn’t care. A wise man knows when to fold. Putin is not wise.

  51. 115 japa21
    May 2, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Less than 2,000 to go.

    On another note, I don’t think the GOP has recognized it yet, but the country is Benghazied out and at the point where even those who thought there was something there are tuning out.

  52. 116 Linda
    May 2, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    British Officials Portrayed Reagan as a “Bozo”

    In the early1980s, senior members of the British foreign service were appalled by what they saw as the American president’s bumbling ignorance and lack of interest in world affairs.

    Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were often portrayed as geo-political soul mates, but government files declassified in London on Wednesday expose a deep British disdain for the president who was described in official papers as homophobic, uninformed, disinterested and, not to put too fine a point on it, “a Bozo.”

    The British Foreign Office files seen by The Daily Beast show that Prime Minister Thatcher was warned President Reagan had little interest in world affairs and was unable to sustain a serious conversation about contemporary politics.

    The damning critiques, which expressed sheer incredulity that this man could occupy the White House, were shared at the highest levels of government before and after Reagan’s first State Visit to Britain in 1982.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/30/british-officials-portrayed-reagan-as-a-bozo.html

  53. 119 JER
    May 2, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    LIVESTREAM: First Lady Michelle Obama to speak at UTSA for College Signing Day http://ksat.tv/1lPePPmhttp://www.ksat.com/Battle-of-Flowers-Parade/9293744


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