16
Jun
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day – Pete Souza: “The President shows off his dance moves as he and the First Lady waited backstage during an intermission of daughter Sasha’s dance recital at Strathmore Arts Center in North Bethesda, Maryland.” June 16, 2013

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Today

10:0 am PT: President Obama departs Palm Springs

5:30 pm ET: Arrives White House

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The Week Ahead

Tuesday: President Obama will travel to TechShop Pittsburgh to deliver remarks on the economy. Following this, he will travel to New York City to attend the DNC LGBT Gala and take part in another DNC Event.

Wednesday: The President will host the first ever White House Maker Faire and meet with students, entrepreneurs and everyday citizens who are using new tools and techniques to launch new businesses, learn vital skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and fuel the renaissance in American manufacturing.

Thursday: The President will award Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.

Friday: The President will meet with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand.

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Paul Krugman: Yes He Could – Health Care And Climate: President Obama’s Big Deals

You should judge leaders by their achievements, not their press, and in terms of policy substance Mr. Obama is having a seriously good year. In fact, there’s a very good chance that 2014 will go down in the record books as one of those years when America took a major turn in the right direction. First, health reform is now a reality — and despite a shambolic start, it’s looking like a big success story. Remember how nobody was going to sign up? First-year enrollments came in above projections. Remember how people who signed up weren’t actually going to pay their premiums? The vast majority have.

Then there’s climate policy. The Obama administration’s new rules on power plants won’t be enough in themselves to save the planet, but they’re a real start — and are by far the most important environmental initiative since the Clean Air Act….Put it all together, and Mr. Obama is looking like a very consequential president indeed.

More here

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Colin H. Kahl: No, Obama Didn’t Lose Iraq: What The President’s Critics Get Wrong

As the senior Pentagon official responsible for Iraq policy during the first three years of the Obama administration, I had a front-row seat for the internal deliberations over how to end the war. Through the first half of 2011, there was a vigorous debate within the administration about whether U.S. forces should remain in Iraq beyond December, and if so, in what numbers and with what missions. Ultimately, at great political risk, President Obama approved negotiations with the Iraqi government to allow a force of around 5,000 American troops to stay in Iraq to provide counterterrorism support and air cover and to train the Iraqi army. But, as commander in chief, he was unwilling to strand U.S. forces in a hostile, anti-American environment without the legal protections and immunities required to ensure soldiers didn’t end up in Iraqi jails. These protections, which are common in nearly every country where U.S. forces operate, were guaranteed under the 2008 status of forces agreement negotiated by the Bush administration; Obama simply demanded that they continue under any follow-on accord. Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, told

U.S. negotiators that he was willing to sign an executive memorandum of understanding that included these legal protections. But for any agreement to be binding under the Iraqi constitution, it had to be approved by the Iraqi parliament. This was the judgment of every senior administration lawyer and Maliki’s own legal adviser, and no senior U.S. military commander made the case that we should leave forces behind without these protections. Even Sen. John McCain, perhaps the administration’s harshest Iraq critic, admitted in a December 2011 speech discussing the withdrawal that the president’s demand for binding legal immunities “was a matter of vital importance.” Moreover, because the 2008 security agreement had been approved by the Iraqi parliament, it seemed both unrealistic and politically unsustainable to apply a lower standard this time around. Unfortunately, Iraqi domestic politics made it impossible to reach a deal. Iraqi public opinion surveys consistently showed that the U.S. military presence was deeply unpopular

More here

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Matthew Lee: Kerry: US Open To Cooperation With Iran On Chaos In Iraq

Secretary of State John Kerry says the Obama administration is willing to talk with Iran over deteriorating security conditions in Iraq and is not ruling out potential U.S.-Iranian military cooperation in stemming the advance of Sunni extremists. Kerry also says U.S. drone strikes “may well” be an option.

In a Monday interview with Yahoo! News, Kerry said Washington is “open to discussions” with Tehran if the Iranians can help end the violence and restore confidence in the Iraqi government. Asked about possible military cooperation with Iran, Kerry said he would “not rule out anything that would be constructive.” However, he stressed that any contacts with Iran would move “step-by-step.”

More here

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Soumya Karlamangla: Uninsured Students Drop By 60% At Cal State Campuses

New data show the number of students without health insurance on California State University campuses dropped by 60% after health insurance enrollment, defying concerns that not enough young people would sign up for health insurance. According to a poll released Thursday, at the 15 largest CSU campuses, between 25% and 30% of students were uninsured before enrollment began, and 10% were uninsured after. The drop accounts for 60,000 students who became insured, and illustrates the late surge of young people who signed up for policies. “These students proved that the folks we’re calling young invincibles do want health insurance,” said William Covino, president of Cal State Los Angeles. Walter Zelman, chair of the Cal State L.A. Public Health Department and director of the project, said that he believes the 10% uninsured rate among the students is “virtually unheard of in California.”

He pointed out that the 60% drop in the number of uninsured CSU students is vastly higher than the 26% reduction in the number of uninsured nationwide that was reported by a Gallup poll this month. CSU students were perhaps more likely to sign-up for insurance than expected because many are low-income and therefore qualify for Medi-Cal, the state’s low-income health program that was expanded under the federal health care law. Natasha Buranasombati, 23, signed up for an insurance plan through Covered California. A recent Cal State L.A. grad, she’d been off her parents’ insurance for a few years, and couldn’t afford a plan on the individual market. She now pays $117 a month for her new plan. “The issue is not invincibility, it’s affordability,” Zelman said.

More here

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Bloomberg: Taliban Fighters Warn Foreign Investors To Leave Pakistan

Pakistan’s military began a full-scale operation in the Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan, prompting insurgents to warn foreign investors, airlines and multinational companies to leave the country. “We’re in a state of war,” Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, said in a statement today. “Foreign investors, airlines, and multinational companies should cut off business with Pakistan immediately and leave the country or else they will be responsible for their damage themselves.”

The army said yesterday it would target local and foreign terrorists in North Waziristan, a tribal region near the Afghan border the U.S. has called the “epicenter” of terrorism. The operation, long sought by the U.S., comes a week after militants attacked the country’s biggest international airport. As Islamic militants capture cities in Iraq and the U.S. draws up plans to withdraw from Afghanistan, public opinion in Pakistan is shifting in favor of stronger action against fighters who were previously seen locally as more of a threat to America’s interests. The Taliban wants to impose its version of Islamic Shariah law in Pakistan, which includes a ban on music and stricter rules for women.

More here

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LA Times: Actors, Musicians Are Big Beneficiaries Of Obamacare

In 2011, actress Lynda Berg didn’t make enough money to qualify for health insurance through her union. And, on her own, she had trouble finding a plan she could afford because she’s a survivor of breast cancer, considered a preexisting condition. The uncertainty of not having a health plan was stressful and at times expensive, she recalls. A few years ago she fell and broke her hand and elbow and ended up paying $4,000 for her medical care. But all that has changed for Berg, 59. In March, she went online, signed up for a policy through Covered California, the state’s new health insurance marketplace set up under the Affordable Care Act, and now is getting medical care. More than most people, workers in the area’s vast entertainment industry are poised to benefit from the federal health law.

“When people think Hollywood, they think George Clooney and Meryl Streep, but that’s not the average person in this town,” said Dan Kitowski, director of health services for the western region of the Actors Fund, a national nonprofit that does Affordable Care Act outreach. Actress Berg, who lives in Beverlywood, now pays a premium of $145 a month for her Blue Shield of California plan. She’s using her coverage to get prescriptions for $5 a month that she was paying more than $100 to fill before. She plans to head to the doctor’s office soon for a checkup she’s been putting off. “It’s a tremendous blessing to actors and anyone who doesn’t have insurance,” she said. “Even if you get a plan with a large deductible, at least you have that safety net … and you’re not in debt for the next seven years.”

More here

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Native News Online.Net: $70 Million Available To Improve Indian Housing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Friday $70 million in funding available during Fiscal Year 2014 to tribal communities across the nation to improve Indian housing conditions and stimulate community development for low and moderate income families. The grants are available through HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program for a wide variety of community development and affordable housing activities. Read HUD’s ICDBG Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). The purpose of the ICDBG program is to develop viable Indian and Alaska Native communities, including decent housing, suitable living environments, and economic opportunities. Recipients can use the funding to support rehabbing or building new housing or to buy land for housing. They can use it toward infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer facilities. Recipients can also spur economic development including commercial and industrial projects.

This has included community and health centers, energy conservation projects, or new businesses such as shopping centers, manufacturing plants, restaurants, convenience stores and gas stations. “Housing and infrastructure needs in Indian Country are severe and widespread, and far exceed what has been provided to tribes and their designated housing entities. This funding will go directly to the Native American and Alaska Native communities that are working hard every day to improve housing for the families who need it most,” said Rodger Boyd, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Native American Programs. “HUD invests in people and neighborhoods across the country that promote development at the local level by those local leaders who know their communities best. This year we are committed to not only expanding housing opportunities but also helping to ensure healthier environments for those affected by mold.”

More here

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Eliza Griswold: Can General Linder’s Special Operations Forces Stop the Next Terrorist Threat?

On a searing morning this spring, Brig. Gen. James B. Linder leaned against the red-webbing seats of a C-130 as it flew over the Sahara. On his camouflaged knee, he balanced two dog-eared Moleskine notebooks and a map of Africa. Linder, who is in his early 50s, commands the United States Special Operations forces in Africa. He was on his way to visit a detachment of 12 Army Green Berets training with African troops to fight Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Niger. Through the plane’s scratched plexiglass portholes, dunes crested like waves in an ocean of sand, and hot blasts of wind buffeted the fuselage.

An hour’s flight to the south, his team of Special Forces was deployed along the Nigerian border, where the militant group Boko Haram was targeting children in its bid to establish an Islamic state. “My job is to look at Africa and see where the threat to the United States is,” Linder said as he unfolded his map and traced circles around the territories where he knew extremist groups were operating. “I see Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the Libyan problem set, Al Shabab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, Benghazi and Darna.”

More here

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NYT: Starbucks To Provide Free College Education To Thousands of Workers

Starbucks will provide a free online college education to thousands of its workers, without requiring that they remain with the company, through an unusual arrangement with Arizona State University, the company and the university will announce on Monday. The program is open to any of the company’s 135,000 United States employees, provided they work at least 20 hours a week and have the grades and test scores to gain admission to Arizona State. For a barista with at least two years of college credit, the company will pay full tuition; for those with fewer credits it will pay part of the cost, but even for many of them, courses will be free, with government and university aid. Starbucks is, in effect, inviting its workers, from the day they join the company, to study whatever they like, and then leave whenever they like — knowing that many of them, degrees in hand, will leave for better-paying jobs.

In a low-wage service industry, Starbucks has for decades been unusual, doing things such as providing health insurance, even for part-timers, and giving its employees stock options. (Like other food and drink chains, it has also been accused of using improper tactics in fighting unionization drives.) Whether in spite of those perks or because of them, the company has been highly successful; its stock, which closed Friday at $74.69, has grown in value more than a hundredfold since it went public in 1992. The president of Arizona State, Michael M. Crow, something of an evangelist for online education, was scheduled to join Mr. Schultz and Arne Duncan, the education secretary, to announce the program on Monday in Manhattan. Arizona State has one of the largest online degree programs in the United States, with 11,000 students and 40 undergraduate majors, and one of the most highly regarded.

More here

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Stephen Michaelson: Robert Reich’s Facebook Post: 100 Years Old, And Spot-On About Obama

I’m here in Florida visiting my father, Ed Reich, who, at the young age of 100 and a half, just came up with one of the most incisive assessments I’ve heard of what’s happened in Iraq: “George W. Bush and the crooks he hired are responsible for this. If they hadn’t lied to the American people about weapons of mass destruction we wouldn’t have lost nearly 5,000 American lives and god knows how many Iraqi lives, and stirred up this hornet’s nest. Obama has spent his entire administration cleaning up Bush’s shit, like someone with a giant pooper scooper.” Dad has lived during the administrations of 17 presidents. “Bush was the worst,” he says. “Reagan the second worst.”

More here

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TPM: SCOTUS Rules On ‘Straw Purchaser’ Gun Law

The Supreme Court says federal law does not allow a “straw” purchaser to buy a gun for someone else, even if both are legally eligible to own firearms. The justices ruled Monday that the federal background check law applied to Bruce James Abramski, Jr. when he bought a Glock 19 handgun in Collinsville, Virginia, in 2009 and later transferred it to his uncle in Easton, Pennsylvania. Federal officials brought charges against Abramski because he assured the Virginia dealer he was the actual buyer of the weapon, even though he had already agreed to buy the gun for his uncle.

More here

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Smile Of The Day: A dad twerking because he’s cancer free

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On This Day

Sen. Barack Obama greets supporters a campaign rally at Kettering High School June 16, 2008 in Flint, Michigan

Sen. Barack Obama, former U.S. vice president Al Gore and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm appear on stage together after Gore spoke endorsing him at a rally at Joe Louis Arena June 16, 2008 in Detroit, Michigan

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President Obama picks up a fly he swatted during an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood in the East Room of the White House, June 16, 2009 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama gives a fist-bump to personal aide Reggie Love in the Oval Office of the White House on June 16, 2009. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is at left (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama arrives to speak the American Nurses Association House of Delegates June 16, 2010 in Washington, DC.

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President Obama walks with his daughter Malia as they follow First Lady Michelle Obama into the Strathmore Music Center June 16, 2013 in Bethesda, Maryland. The Obama’s were attending a dance performance with where their daughter Sasha was performing.


126 Responses to “Rise and Shine”


  1. 6 jackiegrumbacher
    June 16, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Morning Nerdy, Chips and all those rising and shining. Nerdy, this is a great round up with lots to sink your teeth into. We all get the best information breakfast in the world. Thanks, NW.

  2. 8 Nerdy Wonka
    June 16, 2014 at 11:25 am

  3. 9 Nena20409
    June 16, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Hello TOD, so I don’t feel too fatuous right about now…..were there Two R&S at one point?

    The one I had commented on just went poof.

    • 10 Nerdy Wonka
      June 16, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Yes.

      WordPress is acting weird today, so a second Rise and Shine had to be published because the first one was in a wrong section of TOD.

      • 11 Cindy
        June 16, 2014 at 11:37 am

        Nerdy Wonka you save my mind…..

        Thought I was crazy, several R & S popped up and I got weird messages; thought virus was on my computer. It was crazy.

        HAPPY MONDAY TO YOU!
        Thank you for this AWESOME Rise and Shine.

        HAVE A WONDERFUL AND FANTASTIC DAY!

      • 13 GGail
        June 16, 2014 at 11:45 am

        NW, does WordPress have any idea how hard it is for me to land on First?????@@@!!!!!!

        I’m staging a silent protect. (making picket signs)

    • June 16, 2014 at 11:32 am

      You haven’t lost your mind Nena, there were two! Nerdy had the same problem I had with Early Bird Chat, the post appearing on the blog when the draft was created (ie yesterday), instead of now! So, Nerdy posted it again to make sure it appeared up top. WordPress? Grrrrrrrr.

  4. June 16, 2014 at 11:31 am

  5. 40 Cindy
    June 16, 2014 at 11:33 am

    HAPPY BEAUTIFUL MONDAY CHIPSTICKS, DANNYSTIX and TOD FAMILY!!!

    Where is the “brush” Danny?

    WISHING EVERYONE A VERY BEAUTIFUL AND AWESOME DAY!

    Pleeezzzz don’t forget;
    count your blessings one-by-one, and if you have too many, don’t complain, find someone who is in need, and ease their pain. : )

    NOW, I COMMAND US ALL; GO OUT AND BLESS SOMEONE TODAY, YOU’LL FEEL BETTER IN A SPECIAL WAY!

    ENJOY YOUR DAY!!!

  6. 42 Nena20409
    June 16, 2014 at 11:34 am

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/16/filibuster-reform_n_5498071.html?utm_hp_ref=politics#comments

    Thanks to the push, Obama has appointed 261 appeals and district court judges — all of them lifetime positions — filling nearly a third of the entire federal judiciary since entering the White House. At the same point in his sixth year, the second President Bush had filled 242 such vacancies, according to Russell Wheeler, who studies the federal judiciary at the Brookings Institution.

    The influx of Obama judges is likely to give the federal courts a more liberal tint than they’ve had in recent decades. Before he entered the White House, Republican presidents had been appointing judges for 20 of the previous 28 years.

    “A president in office eight years leaves a stamp on the judiciary,” said Nancy Zirkin, policy director for the Leadership Conference, a liberal coalition. “Obama will be able to leave a stamp.”

  7. 43 Nena20409
    June 16, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Au :star: for COS. Congrats.
    Excellent Newsy Post NW. Thanks.

  8. 45 Nena20409
    June 16, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Wild Joey Hickok @60th_Street · 2h
    LOL! And, Hillary Clinton OUTPOLLS Obama on all major issues. Seriously white people. You have outdone yourselves, this morning. *slow clap*

    CNN is officially a bat poop network.

    • 46 57andfemale
      June 16, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Let’s remember – Hillary hasn’t actually ‘done’ anything.

      Let’s be clear on something else: in order to be ‘strong’, she is capable of getting us into another war. I’m unfamiliar of her great achievements as SoS. If there were any, please inform me.

      • June 16, 2014 at 12:23 pm

        Doing the grunt work for the Start Treaty. Rebuilding a demoralized State Department after it was decimated by the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

        But at this juncture I wouldn’t care if her biggest accomplishment was changing the batteries in the TV remote. If she gets the nod she gets my vote although I am really wishing for some new blood.

        The media trying to play divide and conquer. They hate they Clintons but they hate Obama even more so all this talk about 2016 and polling is a deliberate strategy not only to undermine the President but distract us from 2014.

        • 48 57andfemale
          June 16, 2014 at 1:19 pm

          I agree, derbingleguy. I’m on board with Hillary if she can beat the shit out of the GOP candidate. I really am.

          But I won’t love her. Not ever again. I will be surprised if she’s a great President – when given the chance to become and look great in 2008, she chose an ugly path with great ease. She will be way too eager for military solutions. And I expect the whisper campaign that she could have been a really great SoS, if only PBO had let her. Anything that comes from her camp that denigrates this President will make me mad.

          But vote for her I will. I don’t need to be ‘in love’. We need to hold the WH.

    • 49 anniebella
      June 16, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Let me email CNN and tell them that this same Hillary Clinton out poll Barack Obama in 2008 too. According to your polls Obama had no chance against the great and mighty Hillary in 2008, but your polls were WRONG then and I’m willing to bet they are WRONG now.

  9. 50 Judith Fardig
    June 16, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Glad to know I’m not crazy and that I can now read NW’s fantastic R&S! Congrats to COS and to my Senator, Jeff Merkley for persevering on filibuster reform. It’s a great start. When the Democrats hold onto the Senate, I hope they will take it further!

  10. 51 Nena20409
    June 16, 2014 at 11:49 am

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/empire-state-index-strong-in-june-2014-06-16?siteid=rss&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Fresh data from the factory sector showed that manufacturing remained a bright spot in the U.S. economic outlook at the end of the second quarter.

    Manufacturers in the New York region said activity moved up slightly in June to a new four-year high.

    Separately, the Federal Reserve reported industrial production bounced back in May after a drop in April that wasn’t as bad as initially estimated.

    The New York Fed’s “Empire State” general business conditions index inched higher to 19.3 in June from 19.0 in May. That was well above expectations of economists polled by MarketWatch, who expected a modest correction in the headline Empire index to 16.7.

  11. 52 Nerdy Wonka
    June 16, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Before we have a revolt on our hands, every TOD’er is first today. LOL.

    Cos, GGail, Chipsticks, Cindy, Meta, Judith, Nena, Rikyrah, 57AndFemale, etc.

    Every single TODer is first. Congratulations. :)

  12. 58 africa
    June 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Swatting that fly like he’s done the GOP, lying MSM.

  13. 62 Layla
    June 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I hope the President is playing another round of golf before he leaves…..

  14. 64 Nena20409
    June 16, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/16/obama-enda_n_5499377.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

    Hopefully my last time today linking to HP. Please forgive me.

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has directed his staff to draft an executive order that would ban workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors, a White House official told The Huffington Post.

    The move is the clearest indication to date that the administration is prepared to take action on LGBT rights where Congress has fallen short. Notably, the official would not say whether the president will sign the order into law on Monday — suggesting the White House is leaking the news to warn lawmakers that they have a limited window to pass more sweeping workplace discrimination legislation before he acts without them.

  15. 66 desertflower
    June 16, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Good Read. http://pleasecutthecrap.com/healthy-skepticism-is-your-friend/

    I’m fairly certain this will make some folks’ heads spin 360 degrees (send video of that, please), but one of the main reasons Fox News is so popular is because they don’t tell the truth. I know, right? Shocking! The thing is, their most faithful followers actually love Fox because they tell people what they want to hear. People with smallish minds have preconceived notions about how things should be, and Fox News makes them feel validated; the lack of truth contained in their opinions is completely irrelevant. Right wingers tend to prefer less information with their bullshit, which should be obvious when you speak with one.

    The funny thing about extremists is; they don’t care about truth much at all. But this tendency is not unique to right wing extremists. The professional left sells us misinformation in much the same way as Fox and it should make you mad. If you’re one of those who falls for someone trying to flatter you into believing something they want you to believe, and you don’t check their facts, you are just as gullible as those poor saps who depend on Fox News for their information.

    Consider the following::

    More at the link…

    • 67 carolyn
      June 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      This piece is a clear explication of why people should always listen to what the president says, themselves, and not rely on pundits’ summaries or opinions after the speech. They hear selectively and comment on that small selection. I would say never do they get the entire picture from his speeches. Okay……following the advice of this article, this is opinion, not fact; but opinion shaped by years of experience……

  16. June 16, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Coming soon:

  17. June 16, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    THIS would help, doncha think?

  18. 71 africa
    June 16, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    This happened when I took my son to football camp this weekend out of town. I don’t know who to thank but I am just plum grateful. I am putting a big yard sign in my yard with the words “Thank You.” on it.

    • 72 desertflower
      June 16, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      {{{africa}}} This makes me so happy! Now, if we could ALL do a kindness for someone else, everyday, what a beautiful thing that would be:)

      • 73 Cindy
        June 16, 2014 at 12:29 pm

        Happy WONDERFUL MONDAY TO YOU desertflower!

        Please forgive me if I missed the news (if you announced it); is Simi still with you, and if she is, how is she doing?

        Wishing for you a very BEAUTIFUL DAY!

    • 76 Cindy
      June 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Good afternoon africa…

      Happy BEAUTIFUL MONDAY TO YOU!!!

      How wonderful; someone paid it forward. Blessings are everywhere.

      I pray that Mr. africa will continue to get better.

      Have an AWESOME DAY!!!!

    • 77 Nena20409
      June 16, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Thank goodness that there are still people of GOOD WILL left in this world. Bless them for their kindness.
      <3 it.

  19. June 16, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    American Voters Need To Realize The Terrible Urgency Of 2014

    [….] Are Democratic candidates and especially Democratic leadership so incapable of connecting the dots that a sane and literate electorate will sit out this critical election? Yeah, apparently. We have leadership handpicking candidates who won’t galvanize the base and refusing to provide support to non-incumbents unless they are sure-fire winners. Our candidates pussyfoot through campaigns, terrified of offending Republicans who would never vote for them anyway. All in all we have a party which is unwilling or unable to bludgeon voters with the truth. [….] There isn’t a natural constituency the Republicans have not insulted, annoyed, or outright harmed in recent years yet many seem blissfully unaware of it.[….]

    There are 89,727 career and 137,037 non-career employees of the U.S. Postal Service. At least that many more adults probably depend on their paychecks. They all have heard that their livelihood is in danger but do they know why? If it was made clear that a Republican law is forcing USPS to fund employee pensions for 75 years over a period of ten; that this is a badly disguised plan to kill the USPS to the benefit of UPS and FedEx, big donors to the GOP; and that Republicans are now angling to use that pension money to erase the deficit in the Highway Trust Fund, do you think they would sit at home on November 4? Hell, they would probably drag their spouses, parents, and half the neighborhood to the polls with them.[….]

    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/06/15/american-voters-realize-terrible-urgency-2014.html

    • June 16, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      This is a hoot. How can voters realize the urgency when far too many media outlets including PoliticsUSA are telling us about Hillary Clinton and 2016 on a daily basis?

      • 80 desertflower
        June 16, 2014 at 12:31 pm

        SERIOUSLY!

        • June 16, 2014 at 12:41 pm

          You know? Bring it to my attention but spare me the chastising when your publication is part of the problem. 5 months away from the most important Congressional election in decades and their speculating on a candidate that hasn’t formally announced on a race that’s a year and a half away.

  20. 82 desertflower
    June 16, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    LOLGOP @LOLGOP · 4h
    :): Reforms from Obamacare and the Stimulus leading toward $1 trillion in deficit cuts without any benefit cuts. http://www.vox.com/2014/6/15/5807046/orszag-its-time-for-some-optimism-about-health-care-spending

    :) :) :)

  21. 83 amk for obama
    June 16, 2014 at 12:41 pm

  22. 86 japa21
    June 16, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    GM all.

    Just a thought that I have rattling around in my basically empty head, and I don’t know the legal issues, etc.

    I would love to see Chips, or someone, put together a TOD calendar. Every day, we see pictures of things from that date in previous years.

    Well, I don’t think a calendar could be made with a picture for every day in the year, each month could have a picture, or a split screen, so to speak, of 4 pictures, of things PBO did during that month during his presidency.

    Proceeds could go to a charity, Act Blue, or Chips pockets.

    Just a thought.

    • June 16, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      “Chips pockets”
      :cool:

      Lovely idea Japa, but we don’t have rights to any of those pics, so we’d end up in prison! Would love to see a Pete Souza calendar, with proceeds going to charity, that would be amazing.

      • 88 japa21
        June 16, 2014 at 12:56 pm

        That’s why I said I didn’t understand the legal aspects. And what’s wrong with “Chips pockets”. It is not like you don’t deserve some reward for your labors.

        • June 16, 2014 at 12:59 pm

          :-) All I want in life is a hairbrush, Japa (it went missing today), I am bereft.

          • 90 57andfemale
            June 16, 2014 at 1:53 pm

            Mr. 57 has a Costco container (I think it once held mixed nuts) that he keep corks in – he uses slivers of cork to stabilize clocks to walls, secure clock parts for transport, etc.

            He found Kasper with his head in the container. Kasper had already emptied all of the corks on the floor but he was SURE there was something good in there!

  23. 93 JER
    June 16, 2014 at 12:50 pm

  24. 94 Nena20409
    June 16, 2014 at 12:53 pm
  25. 95 JER
    June 16, 2014 at 12:54 pm

  26. 96 Nena20409
    June 16, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I have just got a message that Angela Merkle is at the Germany Vs Portugal Match in Brasil?

    She must be enjoying herself with a 3-0 so far?

  27. 97 JER
    June 16, 2014 at 12:56 pm

  28. 98 JER
    June 16, 2014 at 12:58 pm

  29. June 16, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    100 Black Men conference showcases role models – Posted 6.14.14

    [….] The 100 Black Men of America is a national organization that strives to improve the quality of life and enhance educational and economic opportunities for African Americans — especially youth. More than 10,000 belong. “We serve as positive role models for young black males,’’ said Dennis Wright, 43, the Fort Lauderdale chapter president and CA Technologies expert who aligns technology to fit businesses. “We lead by example and need to be out front showing them there’s a right way of doing everything in being successful.’’ The organization’s youth-oriented motto: “What they see is what they’ll be.”[….]

    The four-day convention not only was expected to bring more than $5 million in economic impact[….] This year’s empowerment project, in partnership with Nova Southeastern University, centers on the highly anticipated mentoring management system being launched in conjunction with the Broward County School System. Now, in addition to being able to see their children’s grades and attendance records, parents will be able to go online and see the dozens of mentoring programs available, then select the one they deem best suited for the youngsters. Mentors will then be designated through the electronic system.[….]

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/06/14/4178804/100-black-men-conference-showcases.html#moreb

  30. June 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    ‘Absolutely Nothing’. Stonekettle’s latest. His take on the Iraq situation and the Republican war hounds. Plain good.

    • 101 desertflower
      June 16, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      eveingeorgia..is that you?? :) Just checking..WP is drunk…or has been eating MJ brownies… Just playing with you, eve:) That post @ Stonekettle was awesome…as always

  31. 102 JER
    June 16, 2014 at 1:09 pm

  32. 103 amk for obama
    June 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    portugese need a columbus to find their football game.

  33. 107 amk for obama
    June 16, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    btw, I am rooting for Ghana. Go Ghana.

  34. June 16, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    As I was telling one of my patrons last week: Portugal is Ronaldo and 10 other guys.

  35. June 16, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I love the looks on Michelle and Sasha’s faces as PBO shows them his dance moves.

    Just wanted to stop by and say hello to everyone on this busy Monday.

  36. 121 vcprezofan2
    June 16, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    SOoooo, Hopefruit and a few other TODobots have been in discussion with Krugman for that article, Nerdy W shared above? Hmmm.

    //………………….

    The truth is that these days much of the commentary you see on the Obama administration — and a lot of the reporting too — emphasizes the negative: the contrast between the extravagant hopes of 2008 and the prosaic realities of political trench warfare, the troubles at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the mess in Iraq, and so on. The accepted thing, it seems, is to portray Mr. Obama as floundering, his presidency as troubled if not failed.

    But this is all wrong. You should judge leaders by their achievements, not their press, and in terms of policy substance Mr. Obama is having a seriously good year. In fact, there’s a very good chance that 2014 will go down in the record books as one of those years when America took a major turn in the right direction.

    First, health reform is now a reality — and despite a shambolic start, it’s looking like a big success story. Remember how nobody was going to sign up? First-year enrollments came in above projections. Remember how people who signed up weren’t actually going to pay their premiums? The vast majority have.

    We don’t yet have a full picture of the impact of reform on the previously uninsured, but all the information we do have indicates major progress. ……………………………//

  37. June 16, 2014 at 1:24 pm

  38. 125 JER
    June 16, 2014 at 1:39 pm


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