Back to Base



President Obama signs the Sandy flood aid bill on his return to the White House (Photo: Chuck Kennedy)

315 Responses to “Back to Base”

  1. January 6, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Have you ever been censored or blocked by social media sites, like Facebook, for journalism, opinion or news-related content? Please tell us your story for an upcoming investigative report. Write to narconews@gmail.com with the details of your story. (From Al Giordano)

  2. 6 Betsy
    January 6, 2013 at 11:38 am

    So glad he is back.

  3. 7 yardarm756
    January 6, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Well now congrats Tien Le and helloooo everyone.

  4. 19 Proud Former White House Intern
    January 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Welcome home!

  5. 20 Dudette
    January 6, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Hi everyone! Gonna be online for a bit. See you all later! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. 22 prettyfoot58
    January 6, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Welcome back to the 1st Fam

  7. 27 Nena20409
    January 6, 2013 at 11:47 am

    GM all. Last day to officially celebrate the Holidays….12 days after Xmas.

    The Love from TOD monthly videos are on You Tube? Well, over at HP, a kindred spirit is indeed helping to spread the LOVE and the Goodwill of Chips over there.

    I thought you all should know.

    • 29 Nena20409
      January 6, 2013 at 11:52 am

      I will be tickled pink when non-News outlets like Fox are treated like the scum that it is. Banned. Thrown out. Then, I will rejoice, loudly. For now, just….timid clapping.

    • 30 theo67
      January 6, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      This is what they deserve – mocking and sarcastic ridicule. They’ve made the public discourse so rude and juvenile, they deserve to be treated like children.

    • 31 a4alice
      January 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      that was a most excellent slap down by the state department in defense of SOS Clinton.

  8. 32 GGail
    January 6, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Welcome Home First Family ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. 33 CEB
    January 6, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Did you notice how in sync were the strides of PBO and the Air Force officer as they walked to Marine 1? This says much about their relationship as well as a wider symbolism related to PBO’s relationship with the military.

    • 34 Melanie
      January 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      Does anyone know who the Air Force officer is who always greets PBO when he goes on/off AF1? I think it’s always the same man and I’m guessing his wife. What is his official title? He always looks so genuinely happy to see the First Family.

      • 35 CEB
        January 6, 2013 at 12:07 pm

        Yes, it is clearly a warm and familiar relationship. Did you notice that the officer kissed Malia on the cheek just before she boarded Marine 1? Off to google around to see if I can find out his name.

      • 36 jacquelineoboomer
        January 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm

        Probably the Commander of the base, because it’s his Commander-in-Chief.

  10. 37 utaustinliberal
    January 6, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Yay! They’re back. The camaraderie Pres. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have with the military men and women who come to escort them on and off Air Force One thrills me. It says a lot about who POTUS and FLOTUS are as human beings. They treat everyone with dignity, kindness, and respect.

  11. 38 Jessica
    January 6, 2013 at 11:56 am

    I can see the enthusiasm to be back in Washington secreting from the Obama ladies’ pores.

  12. 39 Dudette
    January 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm

  13. 40 utaustinliberal
    January 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm

  14. 41 Ladyhawke
    January 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    The Crack-Up of the GOP: No Way Out

    By BooMan


    The Washington Post reports that there are divisions within the Republican Party about whether or not they can effectively use a threat to destroy the country’s credit rating and cause a global recession to extract spending cuts from the Democrats. If they did it before, why not do it again?

    Meanwhile, the New York Times focuses more on the big picture divisions like immigration, women’s rights, gay marriage, and letting the NRA dictate the GOP’s policy on guns.

    In both cases, it is really a divide between conservatives and Republicans. The near-total capture of the GOP by conservatives has created a situation which has now come to a head. They call it the Conservative Movement for a reason. They have places to go. The problem is, the American people do not want to go there.



    • January 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      Seriously…everyone needs to read BooMan’s post…it’s that good.

    • 45 prettyfoot58
      January 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      AWesome AWesome analysis….

      here is one of the~money~ lines…

      The conservative movement is too stupid to live, but the Republican Party is too advantaged by law to die. It would like to remake itself into a party that reflects the values of enough Americans for them to win. But conservatives would rather wallow in their own impotence and rage than change their core beliefs. The GOP will remain bitterly divided for quite some time. The splits will grow when we debate guns and when we debate immigration and when we debate climate and energy. The coalition cannot hold. The most reactionary of the bunch have the advantage of being correct about one thing. Without race-hatred and religious tribalism and gay-bashing and attacks on women’s rights, the GOP has no coalition at all. It would simply scatter to the winds. So, they will persist.


      It has been stated by a few authors that the GOP/conservative radicals and their allies are in its death throes…i say that we should never underestimate the enemy…

      I worry that as they fall to the dust…that they could just take us all with them….

      taking back the state houses has to be a priority for the ~Obama Coalition~ forces…

      The Struggle Continues~~

    • 46 nathkatun7
      January 7, 2013 at 12:14 am

      Great piece and a must read! Thanks Ladyhawke for sharing it with us. This is the kind of critical analysis of the state of our politics, which is, for the most part, missing from our sensationalist driven, unethical, mainstream media

  15. January 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Did FLOTUS’s Mom go with them this year. I haven’t seen anything of her, sorry to be nosey just that I have missed seeing her with them this Christmas.

  16. January 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm


  17. 75 Ladyhawke
    January 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Government 101: Take the Plunge

    Learn How Your Government Works

    By Pat O’Malley


    Over the past decade, Americans’ anger at government has grown. We’ve seen griping and grumbling, ranting and raving about government’s size and its role in our lives. Civil, healthy debate is valuable, but it’s impossible when the participants are uninformed.

    Far too many people hold some very peculiar notions about our history, the Constitution, and government functions. Many of those who screeeeech the loudest about cherishing the Constitution have never bothered to read it and are ignorant about its contents. “We the people” can’t begin to solve our problems until we understand the governing process. And no, governing itself is not an evil activity.

    Successful democracy requires citizen participation in all phases of governing, not just on Election Day. Participation requires an educated public. Unfortunately, our schools have been producing socially, politically, and economically illiterate citizens for far too long. Corporate lobbyists control the government because they know how to, and the public doesn’t stand in their way.

    When you know how government works, you can influence Congress, find the text of a bill online, find help with government agencies, obtain documents under the Freedom of Information Act, and evaluate your representatives’ work. When you know what’s in the Constitution, and what’s not, you’ll know who’s grabbing power, and who’s not. Your life, and your children’s lives, will improve.

    Recently, I wrote that we need to start teaching civics again. I asked parents to teach their children, but it’s a big subject, and perhaps you can use some help.



    • 76 idon
      January 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Thank you, thank you, thank you, and yes I cannot thank you enough for this post. I have been preaching the same thing to fellow employees and friends. I had a very nice Republican tell me that PBO is the one who is forcing us into the awesome Obamacare. He just made up the law. This person attends college. This pesron did not understand the role of the three branches of government, e.g. executive branch sets and implements policy, Congress makes and funds laws, and the judicial interprets policy and law within our constitutional framework. The TEAPARTY folks I’ve seen on cable news shows seem UNREAD, UNEDUCATED, and UNINFORMED. They are angry but they are not able to make a cogent argument as to why they’re angry. I think all news outlets, especially C-SPAN and cable shows have a responsbility to make sure the public has a basic understanding of our system of govermment so they can make an informed decision about how they view a specific policy. Just getting viewers riled up and angry is not appropriate or socially responsible and I would argue ETHICAL.

    • 77 a4alice
      January 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      this is awesome! I’m going to go take the constitution quiz and see how little I know!

  18. 79 hopefruit2
    January 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm

  19. January 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Good Morning, Everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

    thank you, Chips, for the latest video recaps.

  20. 82 vcprezofan2
    January 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Extremely happy to see that the Os are back . I can now relax completely. Thank you Ms Chips. ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. January 6, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Good Morning/Afternoon TOD!

  22. 100 yardarm756
    January 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Football time.

  23. January 6, 2013 at 1:04 pm

  24. 108 Ladyhawke
    January 6, 2013 at 1:04 pm



    But we also believe in something called citizenship โ€” (cheers, applause) โ€” citizenship, a word at the very heart of our founding, a word at the very essence of our democracy, the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations.



  25. 109 CEB
    January 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I know that we have all felt it and talked about many times, but it is just amazing how so many people hold this president and his family in their hearts. We pore over every photo and commentary; we worry for their health and well-being; we defend them fiercely and pray for them without ceasing. We smile when they smile; we love the way that they love, and we want all of life’s bounty for them. We admire them for their works’ sake and for their sacrifices; and finally, through some strange alchemy that we had never experienced before them, we love them as family.

  26. January 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Chipsticks do you know what happened to Daylife, there used to be access to great AP/Getty photos, but now seems like there is some kind of paywall?

    • January 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Hiya Lovelyplains, sadly Daylife shut down their pics service a few months ago, makes finding them now a pain in the butt!

    • 122 vcprezofan2
      January 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      Yes they shut down and went to a paying scenario, and just when I was getting comfortable adding pics to my tweets too. Ticked me off, I can tell you, LovelyP. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • January 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm

        I just figured it out too VC, the way I do it now is right click on a photo and if there is a “save as” option do that. Then in your tweet in the bottom left corner hit the camera icon and upload the .jpeg or whatever “save as” file component, and it will convert to a twitpic!

        • 124 vcprezofan2
          January 6, 2013 at 1:56 pm

          There has been a camera icon in the bottom left corner of my tweets! Well what do you know!! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Did they just add that there after I read your instructions? They must have because *I* have never noticed it before today. LovelyP, thank you for bringing that to my attention.
          /musing in dazed wonder/ You really live and learn……except if you are a Repub of course. Thanks again, LP. ๐Ÿ˜†

  27. 126 pugeretto
    January 6, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    “Middle paw” ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ !! Good one Bo ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. 127 hopefruit2
    January 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Our Energizer Bunny President just keeps working for the American people.

  29. 135 Ladyhawke
    January 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm



    Our Nation | Historical Documents | Branches of Government | How Laws Are Made
    National versus State Government | Election Process | Citizenship | Games and Activities
    Glossary | U.S. Government Web Sites for Kids



    • 136 a4alice
      January 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm

      Nice LH thanks for this one too! Let’s get it out there:

      • 137 Ladyhawke
        January 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm


        Thank “YOU” a4a. This is a pet peeve of mine. An educated electorate is the Republican Party’s worst nightmare. I am on a mission today to post as many vehicles as I can find to help educate the public on how our government works. In addition, every American should know how their representatives are voting on important legislation. I would love to see votes posted on the front pages of newspapers across the country. Also, clearly the mainstream media needs a refresher course in government 101 too. Everything is President Obama’s fault. it’s as if the congress does not exist.

        • 138 EDP4BHO
          January 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm

          Amen to all you said, Ladyhawke. Thanks for the info–much needed. Afternoon to all. My Royal Family looks fantastic. Glad they’re back safely ๐Ÿ˜€

        • January 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm

          You know Ladyhawke, I say “knowledge is power” to my students all the time, especially when I taught them the constitution! They just groan now, they have heard it so often. I am hoping it is seared into heir brains by the time they graduate from middle school.

          • January 6, 2013 at 9:32 pm

            One of my former civics students graduated from Harvard Law School. When he was a student in my class, he never complained about any of the assignments, even the more difficult ones. Other gifted students in the class were lazy, and all I heard from them all semester was how “difficult” and “meaningless” the assignments were and that I assigned “too much work.” They didn’t like studying the Constitution in detail, and they didn’t like the critical thinking exercises I developed. The truth is that they thought that because they were gifted, they already knew everything there is to know about everything, and besides, the workload interfered with their extracurricular pursuits. Well, the student who graduated from HL returned to the school one day and told me that the stuff I’d taught in civics class about the Constitution stuck with him and helped him when he was in law school. It provided a sort of heads up for his constitutional law class. You can imagine how surprised I was when he said this. Today he lives in Atlanta and works for a very prestigious Atlanta law firm.

      • 142 Ladyhawke
        January 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm


        Easily track the activities
        of the United States Congress.


        Use GovTrack to keep tabs on your representatives in Congress or to research pending legislation that might impact your life or business.



  30. January 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Accountability time … like these dudes have never faced from any President, ever …

    Welcome home, Ike # 2 ๐Ÿ™‚


    • January 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      Bob, have I told you lately how much I love you? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 146 nathkatun7
      January 7, 2013 at 12:46 am

      Way to go Bobfr! Keep exposing their hypocrisy! As you keep reminding us, we can no longer depend on the the unethical media to communicate TRUTH to the American people. It’s now up to us, ordinary citizens, to be the source of of information for our fellow Americans. And you, sir, have been relentless in practicing what you preach. All I can say is thank you for all you do to spread TRUTH!

  31. January 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm

  32. January 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm

  33. 152 lamh36
    January 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Morning TOD.

    At work today until 5:30pm. 5 more days until my move!

    I really want those sunglasses FLOTUS is wearing. I swear I had a pair, but I’ve since lost ’em.

  34. 154 lamh36
    January 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    So everyone is talking about Chuck Hagel as SoD today I see. People are talking about the fact that it looks like Obama will be nominating him even with the Hagel antagonist doing their usual. I was just thinking and I maybe wrong, but what I think this shows is that Susan Rice may NOT have President Obamaโ€™s first pic for SoS anyway. I suspect that he was always gonna pick Kerry. But the GOP (particularly McCain and Graham) by elevating and throwing bombs Susan Rice just royally pissed off Obama and company. If Obama had really wanted Susan Rice as his SoS, the whole Susan Rice โ€œasking to be taken from considerationโ€ thing would never had materialized.

    By floating the Susan Rice pic though, it elevated everyoneโ€™s ire up even though the news forever had been that Kerry was next up for state. By making Susan Rice a more sympathetic character, the GOP basically ensured that Rice would get backing from the our side even though we ALL thought Kerry would be next SoS.

    Much like with the Mass Senate appointment. If Barney Frank was already being considered,then great, but if he wasnโ€™t being considered and instead governor Patrick had already had a 1st choice, then the constant โ€œhey Guv Patrick pick Barneyโ€ cascade would cause the same dynamic if/should Patrick pick someone other than Barney Frank.

  35. January 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Hi Chips, Tried to thank you for the lovely greetings and shared feelings, but for some reason it didn’t post under the lovely video, above. Just wanted you to know!

  36. January 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    According to Politico- it’s official The President has chosen Hagel as Sec Def!

    • January 6, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    • 163 lamh36
      January 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Posted this upthread, but it also works with ur comment jovie ๐Ÿ™‚

      People are talking about the fact that it looks like Obama will be nominating him even with the Hagel antagonist doing their usual. I was just thinking and I maybe wrong, but what I think this shows is that Susan Rice may NOT have President Obamaโ€™s first pic for SoS anyway. I suspect that he was always gonna pick Kerry. But the GOP (particularly McCain and Graham) by elevating and throwing bombs Susan Rice just royally pissed off Obama and company. If Obama had really wanted Susan Rice as his SoS, the whole Susan Rice โ€œasking to be taken from considerationโ€ thing would never had materialized.

      By floating the Susan Rice pic though, it elevated everyoneโ€™s ire up even though the news forever had been that Kerry was next up for state. By making Susan Rice a more sympathetic character, the GOP basically ensured that Rice would get backing from the our side even though we ALL thought Kerry would be next SoS.

      Much like with the Mass Senate appointment. If Barney Frank was already being considered,then great, but if he wasnโ€™t being considered and instead governor Patrick had already had a 1st choice, then the constant โ€œhey Guv Patrick pick Barneyโ€ cascade would cause the same dynamic if/should Patrick pick someone other than Barney Frank.

    • 164 Lovepolitics2008
      January 6, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      The confirmation process will be quite a show. The neocons and the AIPAC’S lapdogs will reveal themselves. As well as the puppets of the defense contractors.

      I wish the “left” wakes up to the fact that President Obama IS going against the big lobbies; he just carefully chooses his battles and doesn’t do everything at once because it is politically impossible. President Obama had begun some “cleaning house” at DoD in the first term ( some legislation on arms programs, on procurements) but I think that with the wars winding down and with a more stable economy, President Obama in his second term will have more time and energy to work on 1) the inefficiencies in the Pentagon and the political influence of the defense contractors and 2) the oversized influence of the Israel lobby both in Congress and in the State Department .

      Hang on to your hats folks, it won’t be easy. We’ll see a lot of screaming at the President from all corners.

      • 165 99ts
        January 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm

        “he just carefully chooses his battles” – perfect – he chooses the ones he “HAS” to win & the McCain’s of the world never realize how little their opinion is liked, wanted or relevant.

  37. 166 utaustinliberal
    January 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm

  38. January 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I just got an email from MoveOn telling me to tell PBO to get Paul Krugman as next Treasury Sec. Is Geithner leaving? I respect Krugman’s economic knowledge and agree with him mostly but I think he has few political skills.

    • 169 theo67
      January 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Krugman is the last person the President should consider. He wouldn’t be a team player, and is better as a “talker” on the sidelines.

      • January 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm

        Agree. He’s a smart guy who loves the sound of his own voice. Not even remotely qualified for the job.

        • 171 jacquelineoboomer
          January 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm

          Agree. And when he’s good (supportive of the President), he’s very, very good, and when he’s bad, he’s horrid.

      • 172 Lovepolitics2008
        January 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm

        Agreed. Krugman is a good economist, point. He wouldn’t survive a week in the SoT position; it would drive him nuts.

        Jack Lew is at the top of the list as Secretary of Treasury. He’s extremely qualified. And he cares about ordinary americans. He will be an ally of the President to fight against the excesses of capitalism, but unlike Krugman he is a pragmatic who’s aware of the political difficulties. And from the little I’ve seen of him, he has good people skills and works well in a team.

    • January 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      Good gawd, what a bunch of idiots. The position is not about grousing on teevee and print.

      Jack Lew will be the nominee for Treasury.

    • 176 nathkatun7
      January 7, 2013 at 2:32 am

      I used to subscribe to MoveOn but I stopped in 2010 because of their relentless attacks on President Obama. Paul Krugman is a distinguished economist, but he is not pragmatic when it comes to politics. Even more important to me, I deeply resent the idea that I should tell President Obama who to pick for his cabinet. I bet you people running MoveOn never told Bill Clinton who to pick for his cabinet! And Clinton had a few corporatists in his administration. Yet MoveOn was founded to defend Bill Clinton from impeachment. I am sick and tired of the double standards of the born again, holier than thou, liberal/progressives. I voted for President Obama because I respect and trust his judgement. President Obama is not my child for me to tell him what to do. Actually, I stopped telling my daughter what to do after she graduated from High School.

      • January 7, 2013 at 7:53 am

        I completely agree. I have not unsubscribed but haven’t contributed to their campaign for years and for the same reasons. I voted for President Obama and I trust him to make the right decisions. I can’t remember a time when so many people seemed to feel they knew better than the man they elected.

  39. January 6, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    George Stephanopolis pushed back against McConnell’s lies!

    This morning on ABCโ€™s This Week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reiterated what has become the go-to Republican talking point in the wake of the fiscal cliff deal: That the issue of taxes and new revenue is finished, and will not be re-opened. โ€œNow the question is, what are we going to do about the biggest problem confronting our country and our future,โ€ McConnell said.
    But this time host George Stephanopoulos pushed back. He pointed out that since last year Congress has already cut $1.5 trillion in spending, without any counter-balancing hikes in tax revenue until the fiscal cliff deal:


  40. 185 Ladyhawke
    January 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm



    Obama to Use Bully Pulpit to Push Agenda

    By Kenneth T. Walsh


    Obama has already begun framing the debate on raising the debt ceiling, which is emerging as the next economic battleground. He says failure to extend the current federal borrowing limit by late February would be a calamity, and he pledged not to negotiate over it. “I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they’ve already racked up through the laws that they passed,” Obama says. “Let me repeat: We can’t not pay bills that we’ve already incurred. If Congress refuses to give the United States government the ability to pay these bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy would be catastrophic.”
    But former House Speaker Newt Gingrich warns that confronting Obama on the debt ceiling will be harmful to the GOP. “They’ve got to find, in the House, a totally new strategy,” Gingrich told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Friday.



  41. 193 forus50
    January 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm

  42. 194 dotster3
    January 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Have a highly recommended movie review to pass along—-from my daughter. Silver Linings Playbook——said it may be her fave movie of the year—–way more than she was expecting—–had tears and laughs and sports and music and meaningful drama. Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro—-said acting was superb. Loved it, said I had to see it.

  43. January 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    • 197 carolyn
      January 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Wow! I’m old enough to remember that address! What I remember is “military industrial complex” and all the talk that generated. We didn’t fully comprehend the significance of or danger of it at that time. We sure do now!

      • January 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

        Yes, Carolyn, my family and I listened to it, together – sitting in front of the radio ๐Ÿ™‚

        Am sure you noticed how many times he said ‘balanced,’ as well ๐Ÿ˜‰


        • 199 jackiegrumbacher
          January 6, 2013 at 5:45 pm

          Bob, I, too, heard many a political speech in front of the radio. People developed better listening skills with radios. You didn’t get distracted by visual details like Eisenhower’s gray hair or his often stiff appearance. Ike had done real things in the world, he wasn’t just a politician. He could tell BS when he saw it and, as the former Supreme Allied Commander, he had nothing to prove. What impresses me now when I hear his old speeches is how he spoke to people as if they had brains and could understand complex sentences (as did Adlai Stevenson if you remember). He didn’t feel that he had to dumb it down for the masses.

          • January 6, 2013 at 5:50 pm

            “What impresses me now when I hear his old speeches is how he spoke to people as if they had brains and could understand complex sentences (as did Adlai Stevenson if you remember). He didnโ€™t feel that he had to dumb it down for the masses.”

            Very much so, Jackie. And, it’s interesting that you mention Adlai Stevenson – he’s easily in the top 10 people I have most admired in my life.


            • 201 jackiegrumbacher
              January 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm

              Bob, Adlai was the man who made me a Democrat. I heard him on the radio and then watched his speeches on B&W television and I found myself, as a very young girl, agreeing with him. Every one else in my family was a Republican at that time. But I kept the spirit of Adlai in my heart and never looked back.

  44. 202 Ladyhawke
    January 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    PROJECT VOTE SMART: Government 101: Introduction


    Are you fearful that you might one day be “that guy” on The Tonight Show who becomes perplexed by the question, “How many U.S. Senators are there?” Do you think of mudslinging as something you and your little brother used to do in the backyard on rainy afternoons? Is your knowledge of American Government, well, a bit rusty?

    If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, Project Vote Smart’s Government 101 is designed especially for you. This tutorial is informative, practical and easy, and is intended to help refresh your knowledge of American politics by providing useful information about Congress, political parties, campaign finance, the Constitution, elections, state government and much more.

    We hope that if you take a little time to read through Government 101, you’ll be able to see past the spin and get the facts next time you vote. At the very least, you’ll be a heck of a lot more competitive the next time you play Trivial Pursuit.

    – Introduction
    – The Constitution
    – Congress
    – President
    – How a Bill Becomes Law
    – Elections
    – Electoral College
    – Campaign Finances
    – The Budget
    – State Governments
    – Historical Documents



  45. January 6, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Don’t know if this has been posted, but just finished watching Bill Moyers on PBS and this is INTERESTING TO EVERYONE
    Anthony Leiserowitz on Making People Care About Climate Change | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com http://bit.ly/XA7r23 via @BillMoyers

  46. 207 Anna
    January 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Does anyone know who put the pork for Alaskan fisheres in the Sandy Relief Bill? Just curious who and why. Also curious about who added the pork for the agribusiness daries in the tax bill? Is there some source one can go to and discover this info? Thanks

  47. January 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    I don’t know if anyone has already posted this from smartypants, but it is excellent and deserves to be read and spread.

    “The Obama Method
    These days lots of political pundits are either trying to game out how President Obama will avoid negotiating with Republicans over the debt ceiling (which he has promised to do) or they are busy giving him advice about how to avoid it. The truth is – this is going to be a tough call. ”

  48. January 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Loyal Italian Cat, Toldo, Brings Gifts To Owner’s Grave (PHOTO) http://huff.to/Z448vz via @HPGoodNews

  49. 225 desertflower
    January 6, 2013 at 5:17 pm


    Beyond reinstating the lapsed Assault Weapon Ban and enacting bans on high-capacity ammunition magazines, the White House is reported to be considering instituting universal background checks for gun buyers, boosting mental health checks, putting into place a national database to track the movement and sale of weapons, and locking in harsher penalties for carrying guns in the vicinity of schools.
    Faced with a potentially harsh Congress and efforts by pro-gun lobbyists to hamper such moves, the task force is also considering ways to work around those roadblocks:
    In addition to potential legislative proposals, Bidenโ€™s group has expanded its focus to include measures that would not need congressional approval and could be quickly implemented by executive action, according to interest-group leaders who have discussed options with Biden and key Cabinet secretaries. Possibilities include changes to federal mental-health programs and modernization of gun-tracking efforts by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    • 226 a4alice
      January 6, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      and geeze DF what’s with the Junior Senators putting in their two cents about gun control? Heitcamp has an A from the NRA and Cruz is, well Cruz. They should be working! not being on TV shows. Don’t they have jobs to do ?

      • 227 Chi
        January 6, 2013 at 9:55 pm

        I hope Ed Schultz realizes that with ‘Democrats’ like his dear friend Heidi Heitcamp in the mix, President Obama once again does not have the ‘majority’ needed in the Senate and cannot magically do all of Ed’s ‘progressive’ bidding…

        Ed will no doubt find any number of ways to absolve Ms. Heitkamp and somehow blame the President for Ms. Heitkamp’s blatant disregard for even the most basic of democratic principles and for clinging to her extreme right wing ideas…

  50. January 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    A $10 billion settlement to resolve claims of foreclosure abuses by major lenders is expected to be announced on Monday, several people with knowledge of the discussions said Sunday,ย  after weeks of negotiations between federal regulators and 14 banks.

    The settlement follows a sweeping deal in February between state attorneys general and five large mortgage lenders, and covers abuses like flawed paperwork and botched loan modifications, these people said.ย 

    An estimated $3.75 billion of the $10 billion will be distributed in cash relief to Americans who went through foreclosure in 2009 and 2010. Another $6 billion will be directed toward homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes after falling behind on their monthly payments.ย The deal follows a week of feverish negotiations, and it almost fell apart over the weekend. Some officials at the Federal Reserve threatened to scuttle it unless the banks agreed to pay an additional $300 million for their role in the 2008 financial crisis that torpedoed the housing market and led to millions of foreclosuresy.ย 


    January 6, 2013 at 5:41 pm


    • 230 jackiegrumbacher
      January 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      Oh Sue, my heart goes out to that poor man and his family. Do you know what the prognosis is? It seems beyond reason that so much could happen from two teeth extractions. This looks like one level of incompetency after another. Sometimes the American health care system is nothing less than inhumane. Please keep us up to date. I will keep him in my prayers.

    • January 6, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      He is in our prayers and may he and his family survive this unimaginable ordeal.

      PS: Sue be careful posting a person’s personal health information on the innertubz. Your intentions are admirable, but there may be some privacy issues involved.

      • 232 SUE DUVALL SMITH
        January 6, 2013 at 6:56 pm


        • 233 SUE DUVALL SMITH
          January 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm


          • 234 cookemom
            January 6, 2013 at 7:15 pm

            Of course, I will continue to keep the family in my prayers. It is nearly unbelievable that so much would happen in one family. I just wanted to point that out in case your employ or something related to this would include a privacy policy.

            • 235 SUE DUVALL SMITH
              January 6, 2013 at 8:25 pm


  52. 236 cookemom
    January 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Good Evening all my O’s!!!! Another great getting up day on the TOD blog!!! I’ve just been kicking back enjoying the games. So far, I’m 50/50. I pulled for the Colts (friend’s son is on the team). They lost. Now I’m pulling for Washington, no special reason, but that’s who I’m backing. They’re only leading by one point, so who know.

  53. 237 cookemom
    January 6, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    s belongs at the end of the last word of the last sentence ^^^^

  54. 238 hopefruit2
    January 6, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Ode to O’Bama

    // President Obama is getting a special inauguration gift from Ireland: A song from the Corrigan Brothers declaring, “There’s still no one as Irish as Barack Obama.” The group’s first version went viral in 2008, earning millions of YouTube hits, an invitation to Obama’s first inauguration and a mention from Obama himself during his trip to Ireland.

    The Corrigans wrote an updated version for 2012, and Ger Corrigan tells POLITICO that Obama’s (very distant) Irish cousin Henry Healy will be attending the inauguration and plans to present a copy of the song to the president. (The president took Healy for pints of Guinness in Washington last St. Patricks Day.) //


  55. 239 dotster3
    January 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    NBC News is really trying to stir it up tonight. They started out with ‘if you thought the fiscal cliff crisis was bad, just wait till you see the upheaval with the debt ceiling matter’. ho ho ho, salivating. Then— Looks like PBO is really going to thro down the gauntlet by expectations that he will nominate Chuck Hagel for Sec. of Def.—–then showing Lyndsey Graham and others making opposition statements about this choice—-NBC seemed happy as a lark with the possibility of more controversy. Then they went onto expected sweeping gun control proposals, with Repubs saying that it looks like Obama’s 2nd term will be an “in your face” style presidency. News media, not happy unless there is all kinds of controversy, in election withdrawal, and provoking and promiting it. Now they’re moving on to all the pork in the Sandy relief bill—–stirring up anger in the public about that—-millions to Puerto Rican rum makers and algae growers—-those got top billing in the report.

    • 240 anniebella
      January 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      To hell with little lying Lindsey Graham, President Obama has a right to nominate anyone he choose too to serve in his administration.

    • 241 carolyn
      January 6, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      We watched ABC News with David Muir. Totally different. We used to watch NBC regularly, but have grown disgusted with BriWi. Last Tuesday we watched ABC for news because Diane was interviewing the women senators. I was pleasantly surprised. The actual news was given without editorial comment. Martha Raddatz gave a clear, objective report from the middle east, and the interview was terrific. After it was over, I mentioned to my husband that there was more actual news in the first fifteen minutes than NBC has any more. He agreed. On weekends we watch ABC because we like David Muir. NBC is not the proud peacock any more.

      • 242 dotster3
        January 6, 2013 at 8:28 pm

        Always put on NBC out of habit, will give ABC a try. Tired of NBC’s brand of reporting, so transparent in its controversy provoking.

      • 243 Chi
        January 6, 2013 at 10:09 pm

        David Muir has been pretty neat…

        His coverage of the Newtown tragedy was very well done…

        As for NBC, it’s all about rustling up ratings and it doesn’t matter if the potential for destroying our country by the republicans provides the ‘excitement’…

  56. 244 dotster3
    January 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Bad genes—-already a punk

  57. 245 utaustinliberal
    January 6, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Anyone super duper duper duper duper cotton candy, chocolate, champagne, sex, excited for Downton Abbey tonight?

    • 246 Lana
      January 6, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      I have one more episode of Season 1 to watch on Netflix and then I’m all about finding Season 2 to watch somehow. I will be recording Season 3 to watch later, though and wish I could join in the fun tonight!

    • 249 carolyn
      January 6, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      Yes, yes, yes! And I’m also going to watch the “Secrets of Highclere Castle” the hour before Downton Abbey starts.
      For all of you who like British comedy/drama…….have you seen Doc Martin? It’s on Netflix too. Martin Clunes plays a surgeon who has to leave his surgical practice in London because he develops haeomophobia…..fear of blood….NOT good for a surgeon. He relocates to a seaside village in Cornwall…….if you haven’t seen it, check it out. You will laugh, cry, and become exasperated….great writing and great acting, and the scenery is beautiful.

    • 251 jacquelineoboomer
      January 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      Yes, lots of people are arranging their evening around it. Ha! My friend in another time zone is calling me when it’s over.

  58. 252 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    January 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Received a “heads-up” email that ball tickets go on sale tomorrow via ticketmaster; supposed to receive another email tomorrow with an unique link. Tickets are $60.00 ea; you can purchase two.

  59. 253 utaustinliberal
    January 6, 2013 at 7:20 pm

  60. 254 99ts
    January 6, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    GM from my world – this has been a wonderful and informative thread about all sorts of things – you are an amazing and diverse group and Chips has generated a caring, interesting and entertaining group of people. It is a delight to read all the news which seems to send the message

    “Don’t be bothered, PBO has got this covered”

  61. 255 utaustinliberal
    January 6, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    BuzzFeed claimed no one was excited for Pres. Obama’s inauguration. Well….HAHAHAHA.

    • 256 donna dem 4 obama
      January 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      I haz a sad ๐Ÿ˜ฆ My request for tickets was accepted and I went straight to the site as soon as I got the message on my cell phone of the email telling me how to get the tickets. After puting in my code and password they assigned me and it taking forever to load it said that there were no more tickets available. I am soooo disappointed. I wouldn’t have been able to party all night but I sure would have stayed as long as the First Couple was there ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      • 257 Alycee (@jazziz2)
        January 6, 2013 at 8:03 pm

        Donna, I’m having the same problem. Received the email @ 7:26 pm; was successful in logging on, however, have not been able to get to the purchase screen.

        • 258 donna dem 4 obama
          January 6, 2013 at 8:09 pm

          Yep! Mine came at the exact same time. Why wouldn’t they stagger it? Looks like they sent the email out to everyone who was accepted at the same time. I’m very sad! I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand outside in the cold for that long time it would take for the Inauguration because of health issues so I was hoping for the Ball. When I got that email my heart skipped a beat only to be dejected ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

          • January 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm

            Donna, given all that you contributed to re-elect PBO, perhaps you should consider sending a letter to the President and, depending on whom your Rep/Senator are, send one to them. Hope it works!!

          • 260 Alycee (@jazziz2)
            January 6, 2013 at 8:34 pm

            Finally got in — ball and parade sold out; however, I’m going to check back frequently, just in case they release additional tickets.

      • 261 hopefruit2
        January 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm

        This is some bull. Why should the tx be sold out in less than a couple hrs after the site is announced?

        • 262 donna dem 4 obama
          January 6, 2013 at 8:25 pm

          They sold out within MINUTES of us getting the email. I guess I should be happy about the excitement for the Inaugural events by the public but if we could only purchase 2 tickets and we were selected with personal access to the site it just seems weird that they could sell out so fast. I guess I would understand this if people were allowed to buy as many tickets as they wanted but according the heads-up email that wasn’t the case.

          I don’t know it just seems odd. I guess I should move on…. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  62. 263 hopefruit2
    January 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    • 264 Lana
      January 6, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      Just terrible about the lack of enthusiasm for this Prez.


      • 265 dotster3
        January 6, 2013 at 8:44 pm

        AP had a big story out today which was blasted across the country about the lack of enthusiasm. The MSM is really pushing that notion, for some troubling reason.

        • 266 hopefruit2
          January 6, 2013 at 9:20 pm

          It’s similar to the “enthusiasm gap” meme. Trying to create a desired outcome by reporting endlessly about it – weather or not it’s true.

        • 267 nathkatun7
          January 7, 2013 at 3:24 am

          The MSM are totally unethical! They’ve hated President Obama from day one after his victory in 2008 was announced! Like the GOP, they were so convinced that their lies and distortions about the President would be enough to deny him a second term. Having failed to achieve that goal, they are now determined as ever to wreck his second term. Somebody should tell the MSM that they no longer have a monopoly on information.Consequently, they can no longer exert total influence in the formation of public opinion through their biased reporting. They are many sources of information and that’s why some of us can survive, and stay informed, without depending on the MSM.

  63. January 6, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Hey the Corrigan Brothers have a NEW video out — an updated ditty out singing an Ode to O’bama — “There’s STILL no-one as Irish as O’bama

  64. 272 vcprezofan2
    January 6, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Hey Yardarm, I saw this video and it reminded me of the conversation you and I had recently. This is the kind of thing I was trying to advocate – young children picking up the {protect us) gun message, organizing a ‘campaign’, building momentum, touching off the conscience of the country and forcing the adults in their world to support and protect them with sensible laws. This little lady has made a start (I wish she wouldn’t refer to my Pres as ‘Obama’ as I find that jarring, but I suspect that’s upbringing talking.

    • January 6, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      Thank you for sharing the video and Bronte’s message and worthwhile endeavor …

      • 274 vcprezofan2
        January 6, 2013 at 8:31 pm

        Hello there, Bobfr! How is life these days?

        I don’t know if you saw YA’s and my previous discussion on the gun issue but I was dreaming of some enterprising, smart, young kids starting their own push to bring increased attention to the issue, with visions of it rising to the level of ‘Occupy’ but children fueled all across the country. Dreams can be such wonderful and idealistic things, right?

    • 276 dotster3
      January 6, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      I love that. I wish it would get wide exposure. And I don’t mind the “Obama”—-I think of it as affectionate, familiar, endearing. We feel close to him, he’s part of our family.

      • 277 vcprezofan2
        January 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm

        In truth, Dotster, while I was discussing this with YA, your granddaughter Dotster who did that terrific civics project re PBO etc came into my mind. I saw her as ‘mature’, intelligent and aware enough to kick-start something in her school that could catch fire as a result of the raw emotions Sandy Hook has touched. I genuinely believe that children around the country have been touched by this. I also believe that there are enough potential leaders among our children who could carry the message along and I think the upraised voices of children ‘campaigning’ on an issue of their safety would be effective. Having said that, I think something like this would be most effective if the idea came FROM the children (ie is not adult driven).

  65. 278 donna dem 4 obama
    January 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Boohoo!! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    • January 6, 2013 at 8:46 pm

      If it’s any consolation even the staff got stiffed:

      • 280 donna dem 4 obama
        January 6, 2013 at 9:19 pm

        Poor guy!

        I really believe that someone jumped the gun tonight. According to the email we rec’d at 3:30 today it said, “‘Tomorrow, Monday, January 7th, you’ll receive an email from Ticketmaster with a unique link.

        Then suddenly we get the email with the link tonight at 7:30 which sells out in less than 5 minutes.

        • January 6, 2013 at 9:22 pm

          Yes, I saw a tweet that someone called a Ticketmaster manager and he said the tix aren’t available yet until tomorrow! I hope this doesn’t turn into a big fiasco.

  66. January 6, 2013 at 8:44 pm

  67. January 6, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    WASHINGTON โ€” The Obama administration is considering keeping a force of 3,000 to 9,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014, American officials said Saturday.


    No wonder Graham and McCain are pissed, also, no wonder the President chose Hagel. Haggle hates War.
    Imagine? A Dove as SecDef? I love it!

  68. 288 desertflower
    January 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm


    A concerted effort to unseat Speaker John A. Boehner was under way the day of his re-election to the position, but participants called it off 30 minutes before the House floor vote, CQ Roll Call has learned.
    A group of disaffected conservatives had agreed to vote against the Ohio lawmaker if they could get at least 25 members to join the effort. But one member, whose identity could not be verified, rescinded his or her participation the morning of the vote, leaving the group one person short of its self-imposed 25-member threshold. Only 17 votes against Boehner were required to force a second ballot, but the group wanted to have insurance.

    • 289 amk for obama
      January 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm

      Is there any no-confidence motion that can topple boner ? Or his election assures him the seat for the next two years?

      • January 6, 2013 at 9:31 pm

        ‘No confidence’ is not an option.

        What might have been interesting is if 17 or more Rs had flipped to D before the 113th convened – something I had tweeted about. With 2 currently vacant seats, that would have the Ds at 217 and Rs at 216. If 19 Rs flipped, it’d be a lock and the Ds would have been the majority even if both vacant seats had become R. That didn’t happen.

        Big ? for me is just how many House Rs are going to see their chances of re-election in 2014 become highly unlikely if they remain in any way affiliated with the crazies. One thing I am sure is the Leader Pelosi & Whip Hoyer know the Constitution and House Rules inside and out and are certainly capable of managing the implications of such a shift in actual power.

        No matter what, it’s blatantly obvious that if Boehner wants to see any legislation of significance make it through the Senate and onto President Obama’s desk, he’s going to need a bunch of D votes. That fact, as demonstrated last week, will become ever more obvious to Americans in the weeks and months ahead. That fact gives Leader Pelosi (and Senator Reid and the President) big time leverage on Boehner. Besides being drunk, that’s why he cried on the 3rd – he got what he wanted, but he knew the consequences ๐Ÿ˜‰


      • 291 nathkatun7
        January 7, 2013 at 3:50 am

        Unfortunately, the U.S. system is not structured the same way as the British system where you can bring a no confidence motion against the Speaker. For now, John Boehner is the Speaker of the House until January 3, 2015; unless, of course, he personally decides to step down from the Speakership before that date. The other alternative, highly unlikely, is to accuse the Speaker of ethics violations and then vote to oust him not only from the Speakership but also from membership in the House of Rep.

  69. 293 Ladyhawke
    January 6, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Josh Marshall โ€@joshtpm


    McConnell says Dems must not only make big cuts to SocSec/Mediare to avoid shutdown, must also say it was their idea. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2013/01/so_does_this_work.php โ€ฆ


  70. 298 hgerhard
    January 6, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Hello TOD family,
    I really wanted to go to Washington for the inauguration, but it won’t be possible. I will, however, watch every moment of it online. I can’t wait to hear the inaugural address. In 2009, the great recession confronted the newly elected President. This time, the country is moving forward and President Obama has both a record to be proud of and an exciting agenda for the next four years. The struggles of his first term and the relentless obstruction of a hostile and mean-spirited opposition have not taken one iota of the President’s beliefs and determination away – to the contrary, he is more poised to lead and more confident than ever.

    I truly believe that working for the election and re-election of President Obama is the most important contribution I have ever made. I am and always will be proud of having had a part in making history. I won’t have the pleasure of reading reviews of his administration’s accomplishments that may be published after his far reaching changes have fully matured – in another 20-25 years. That’s because this year I will have my 70th birthday and my health is not too great. But I am sure these reviews will be written.

    The world is changing rapidly. We are so fortunate to have a President who understands the challenges and also the promise of change. We have the opportunity of embracing positive change to make the world more peaceful and address the big issues of of our time.

    What we are witnessing today is the desperate struggle of a discredited minority to hold on to privileges enjoyed in the past. But neither wealth nor influence is the birthright of any one segment of the population, and this struggle is doomed to fail. President Obama is a true champion of democracy and his vision will serve us well. We shall overcome – and we will see a return to reason, to co-operation and progress. We will shape our destiny, as President Obama has pointed out many times. I am looking forward to the next four years – it will be a fabulous time to experience and to share.

    • 300 jackiegrumbacher
      January 6, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      hgerhard, this is wonderfully stated. I fully agree that re-electing the president was one of the greatest contributions to democracy that many of us will ever make. Please hang in there. I am catching up to you in age and I fully intend to read at least some of those histories.

    • January 6, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      You should be proud of yourself for the amazing work you have done for PBO. I think watching it on TV while you sip whatever poison (drink) of your choice. I am in awe of you.

    • 302 prettyfoot58
      January 6, 2013 at 10:23 pm


      I wonโ€™t have the pleasure of reading reviews of his administrationโ€™s accomplishments that may be published after his far reaching changes have fully matured โ€“ in another 20-25 years. Thatโ€™s because this year I will have my 70th birthday and my health is not too great….


      all things are possible with the Creator…..i hope he has mercy on you…….

  71. January 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Hey, Chips! Check your email.

  72. January 6, 2013 at 9:20 pm

  73. 305 forus50
    January 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm

  74. January 6, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Ah, Yep ….

  75. January 6, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Oh, this is the work being done behind the curtains in congress-


    It appears the wedge is Defunding obamacare or give them massive cuts to Medicare etc.
    A very cynical plan, while using the debt ceiling and government shutdown as leverage.

  76. 312 utaustinliberal
    January 6, 2013 at 9:34 pm

  77. January 6, 2013 at 9:48 pm

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