04
Jan
12

rise and shine

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Steve Benen: It was easy to imagine Mitt Romney winning the Iowa caucuses. It was harder to imagine Romney winning Iowa and looking weaker at the same time.

And yet, that seems to be a fairly reasonable assessment of the race for the Republican presidential nomination this morning….

….. there’s not much for Romney to boast about here. After five years of near-constant campaigning, Romney managed to get fewer votes in Iowa last night than he did in his first campaign. He also picked up the dubious honor of the weakest win in the history of the caucuses – no victor has ever managed to finish first with less than 25% of the vote until last night.

After spending nearly $4.7 million, most of it towards the very end of the contest, these are not results Romney should be proud of.

Full post here

****

10:05: PBO departs the White House en route to Joint Base Andrews.

11:35: PBO arrives in Cleveland, Ohio.

12:05: PBO participates in a discussion with a family at a private residence.

1:15: PBO delivers remarks on the economy.

2:35: PBO departs Cleveland, Ohio, en route to Joint Base Andrews.

4:05: PBO Obama arrives at the White House

****

****

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Hey, who’s the quarterback?

TMZ

****

Morning everyone 😉


173 Responses to “rise and shine”


  1. 1 itgurl_29
    January 4, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Morning, everyone. I’m dying over the shirtless POTUS playing football pics. Awesome! I think I’m gonna have to be on the naughty mat for the next week, that’s how awesome he looks!

  2. January 4, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Ron Paul’s 3rd place finish was my most desired result come true. I would have liked Surge Santorum to have squeezed past Willard instead of vice versa, but I really did not want Paul in the top two. So I’ll take this. Oh, and 😆 @ YOU, Mittens! 😆 😆 😆

    • 13 itgurl_29
      January 4, 2012 at 9:01 am

      Same here. There’d be nothing but a bunch of PL articles today hinting at Ron Paul endorsements. So glad he went down in flames after he’d been favored to win. Rachael Maddow was particularly peeved last night and I was LMAO.

      • 14 PoliticalJunkessa
        January 4, 2012 at 10:24 am

        Yeah, a lot of “disaffected former Obama young voters defect to Ron Paul” agita. I was not in the mood for that.

      • 15 Puddin'
        January 4, 2012 at 2:17 pm

        There was a young guy on Charlie Rose last night (I didn’t pay attention to his name/but I am sure you all know who he is) black rim glasses/short dark hair (a radio talk show host/I think) anyhow, he too seemed peeved that Ron Paul wasn’t getting the love!
        rachel got on my nerves last night, but Rev and Lawerence kept checkin’ her!!

  3. January 4, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Love the photo of PBO and VPJB. So sweet and so full of great energy.

    I saw a link to TMZ with tons of photos of PBO on the beach in Hawaii playing football in the sand. Just sayin……..

    • January 4, 2012 at 9:04 am

      Just added a few to the post …. just sayin’ Meta 😕

      Morning!!!!

      • January 4, 2012 at 9:07 am

        Hee. Never hurts to have a little Vitamin PBO in the morning!!

      • 19 luci1119
        January 4, 2012 at 9:16 am

        Good morning *Toders*, wellllllllll, what a night last night eh? Umm we’re In for a NASTY ride folks, between Newt, Mitt. I’m sure that Axelrod and Plouffe got something for them all.

        Chips, nice pictures as usual. It’s just nice to see our Beloved having fun, and forgetting It all for a bit 🙂

        The snapshot of Prez and VPrez chuckling It up, was spot on, I like It 😀

  4. 20 FiredUpInCA
    January 4, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Morning TOD crew.

    Like everyone else I am overwhelmed by the Mittmentum that bowled over the nation last night. I think history will record yesterday as the 8-vote mandate that changed the world as we know it.

    Looking forward to Michelle Bachmann’s imminent announcement:

    Michele Bachmann has apparently canceled her South Carolina trip; her campaign has called a press conference at 10 am CT – @JamieNBCNews

    Submitted 35 mins ago by editor

  5. January 4, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Good Morning, Chips and TOD 🙂

  6. 24 CTGirl
    January 4, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Chips, have mercy! Shirtless pics! Get those naughty mats out ASAP! 🙂

  7. 34 hopefruit2
    January 4, 2012 at 9:08 am

    HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

    I will leave it at that.
    Have a wonderful, peaceful, joyful and blessed day, everyone 🙂

  8. 35 desertflower
    January 4, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Morning!!!!!!!!!!! Who would have thought we’d be singing the praises of TMZ this morning!

  9. January 4, 2012 at 9:10 am

    L;OVE the pics of the President …hee hee hee

  10. January 4, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I love that Pete put his camera down for a few and joined in the game.

    • 40 lovingandlaughing
      January 4, 2012 at 9:56 am

      Oh yes, I hadn’t noticed Pete before you wrote that but I had been wondering who the other players were.

      • 41 HZ
        January 4, 2012 at 11:48 am

        I love seeing Pete having fun as well. They have to love our POTUS and VPOTUS. What a team!!!! We are so blessed. I love them.HZ

  11. January 4, 2012 at 9:11 am

    January 04, 2012 8:00 AM

    Santorum comes 8 votes short, declares: ‘Game on’
    By Steve Benen

    It was easy to imagine Mitt Romney winning the Iowa caucuses. It was harder to imagine Romney winning Iowa and looking weaker at the same time.

    And yet, that seems to be a fairly reasonable assessment of the race for the Republican presidential nomination this morning. As of about 2:30 a.m. eastern, the official results were released, and Romney eked out an eight-vote win over Rick Santorum, 30,015 to 30,007 — a difference of about one-tenth of one percent — in the closest Iowa caucus ever.

    Romney staffers and supporters were quick to say, “A win is a win.” There’s clearly some truth to that; Romney fought hard to come out on top in Iowa and he (just barely) succeeded. But in sports, when folks say “a win is a win,” they’re generally talking about a contest in which the victor won an ugly fight and the winner doesn’t look all that impressive afterwards.

    Full post here: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2012_01/santorum_comes_8_votes_short_d034511.php

  12. 43 ChristiMTL
    January 4, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Good morning Chips and TODers………..ohhhh lovely pics of the President this morning….looking good!

    I just read an article in Vanity Fair that will come out in the February edition. His speech last night was pitiful, he is a pathological liar.

    The Meaning of Mitt

    Mitt Romney has long been a front-runner for the G.O.P. nomination—even if no one really knows who he is. Digging into the candidate’s record as a Mormon leader, his business deals at Bain Capital, and that infamous car trip with the family dog strapped to the roof, Michael Kranish and Scott Helman pierce the Mitt bubble in an adaptation from their new book, The Real Romney, to find that the contradictions, question marks, and ambivalence go deeper than his politics.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2012/02/mitt-romney-201202

    • January 4, 2012 at 10:00 am

      Christi, I read the first two pages before giving up, but was struck by how hard the authors seemed to want to contrast Willard’s character with that of someone we all love. Maybe it wasn’t intentional, but it came through that way, even the description of his relationship with his wife. Here’s another quote that shows the ‘similarity’ is thin though …

      “As a result, he has numerous admirers but, by several accounts, not a long list of close pals. “He’s very engaging and charming in a small group of friends he’s comfortable with,” said one former aide. “When he’s with people he doesn’t know, he gets more formal. And if it’s a political thing where he doesn’t know anybody, he has a mask.” For those outside the inner circle, Romney comes across as all business. Colleagues at work or political staffers are there to do a job, not to bond. “Mitt is always the star,” said one Massachusetts Republican. “And everybody else is a bit player.” He has little patience for idle chatter or small talk, little interest in mingling at cocktail parties, at social functions, or even in the crowded hallway. He is not fed by, and does not crave, casual social interaction, often displaying little desire to know who people are and what makes them tick. “He wasn’t overly interested in people’s personal details or their kids or spouses or team building or their career path,” said another former aide. “It was all very friendly but not very deep.” Or, as one fellow Republican put it, “He has that invisible wall between ‘me’ and ‘you.’” Referring to the time later when Romney was governor of Massachusetts, a Democratic lawmaker recalls, “You remember Richard Nixon and the imperial presidency? Well, this was the imperial governor.” There were the ropes that often curtailed access to Romney and his chambers. The elevator settings restricted access to his office. The tape on the floor told people exactly where to stand during events. This was the controlled environment that Romney created. His orbit was his own. “We always would talk about how, among the legislators, he had no idea what our names were—none,” the lawmaker said, “because he was so far removed from the day-to-day operations of state government.”

      I can just imagine him in the White House……. actually, I can’t. Not in the current iteration of the White House, aka The People’s House!

      • 45 Beauzeaux
        January 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm

        Then contrast that with PBO working the crowds. Not only do people love him, he loves them back.

        Now try to picture Mittens being handed a baby. He wouldn’t know the first thing to do!! And he’d be obviously uncomfortable.

  13. 46 Lorraine
    January 4, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Looking very good President Jack Kennedy, uh ah I mean, President Barack Obama, there is no way on God’s beloveth creation that Willard van compete with this wonderful man. It’s Nixon vs Kennedy all over again.

  14. January 4, 2012 at 9:13 am

    So in in the 2004 Iowa caucuses, the R’s bragged that Bush got 4000 people to come out even though he had no challenger. This was considered a “great” testimony to the love the R’s felt for Bush. Yesterday, 25,000 Democrats turned out for their caucus, even though the president was running unopposed. So where are the ” Dems love Obama” stories this morning? The Democrats got 240,000 turnouts in 2008 and the R’s in an equally highly contested caucus could only stir up 119,000 this year. Their “appointed” one has to dig 8 votes out of the hall closet to edge out a first-class loser like Rick Santorum and he’s the winner, even though this is the lowest percentage EVER achieved by the presumed frontrunner in an Iowa caucus. So I’m searching and searching for the enthusiasm gap that’s supposed to doom Democrats in 2012 and I can’t find it.

    • 49 FiredUpInCA
      January 4, 2012 at 9:27 am

      Excellent points Jackie Grumbacher. If the media is true to form they will say only 25,000 people showed up for the President yesterday which is a far drop the 240,000 that turned out in 2008. The thing is, no matter what they say, they cannot spin the fact that Millard did not excite Republicans. They cannot spin the fact that despite the presence of Ron Paul, and the relentless narrative that he was the pied piper of young voters, only 4% of young people showed up, compared to 13% in 2008.

      The media and the Republicans can lie and spin all they want but the voter passion just isn’t there for the tea-poisoned GOP.

    • January 4, 2012 at 10:01 am

      Yep. And I want to see those 8 votes.

      Just saying……………………

    • 52 LOL
      January 4, 2012 at 10:03 am

      THIS! THIS! THIS! ZOMG the DEMS are so unenthused……unenthused I tell ya 🙂

  15. 53 collegekay
    January 4, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Shirtless pics!!!!!! OMG. Chips where’s that pic of that fainting person you always post?! 😆

  16. January 4, 2012 at 9:14 am

    OMG Chips you almost gave me a heart attack this morning with those shirtless photos of President Obama at the beach.

    He looks absolutely yummy!!

  17. 57 anniebella
    January 4, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Okay POTUS looks nice without his shirt, I’ll be the first to admit that, but I’m not so sure about these shirtless pictures. He’s the President. Are these pictures from their recent vacation from Hawaii? Or are they from last year or years before?

    • 58 anniebella
      January 4, 2012 at 9:24 am

      These pictures bring back memories of the President walking out of the Hawaii vacation home shirtless.

      • 59 anniebella
        January 4, 2012 at 9:34 am

        Okay enough about the pictures, I’m looking forward to the President speech in Ohio. I wonder what the White House has to say about the pictures?

    • January 4, 2012 at 9:26 am

      I wouldn’t worry about the photos anniebella, with the secret service presence in Hawaii I don’t believe for a minute they weren’t aware of the photographer, no matter how far away he/she was (presumably with a super duper long lens). I honestly believe the WH would be perfectly fine with the photos because they show a young, fit, energetic, healthy President – and where’s the harm in that? If he was skinny-dipping that’d be a different matter (!!!), but these pics are fine, perfectly respectable!

      • 61 anniebella
        January 4, 2012 at 9:37 am

        Okay Chipsticks. My concern is slow-ly disappearing. Thanks.

        • 62 anniebella
          January 4, 2012 at 9:45 am

          I guess I’m from the old school, I am just not use to seeing our President shirtless. Alot of them you would never want to see shirtless.

          • 63 lovingandlaughing
            January 4, 2012 at 10:01 am

            Well, that is true anniebella about never wanting to see many past presidents (or current republican candidates either) shitless. I honestly at first thought the pics were from a long while ago when he was younger.

          • 64 CEB
            January 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm

            There are photos of reagan and Clinton shirtless at the beach that have been in the public domain. Needless to say, neither looked as fit as PBO. Anyway, he was out doing what he loves doing, unaware of someone taking his picture. Not at all like the shirtless photos that Putin put out about a year ago.

      • January 4, 2012 at 10:46 am

        Believe me anniebella,

        The shirtless photos can only help. 😉

  18. 66 FiredUpInCA
    January 4, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Despite the presence of Ron Paul, the youth turnout was 4% — same as 2004 It was 13% in 2008:

    “According to CIRCLE’s estimate, approximately 8,800 young people turned out for Ron Paul in last night’s caucus. In comparison, at least 30,000 young people turned out for Barack Obama in the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, contributing to his victory there. Almost twice as many young voters supported Obama in 2008 as supported all the 2012 Republican candidates combined. The 48% support for Rep. Paul was the highest level of support for any candidate among any age group in yesterday’s Caucuses….

    The 2012 youth turnout was the same as in 2004 (the last year in which only one party had a competitive race). In the two recent years that had both Republican and Democratic competitive races, the youth turnout was 13% in 2008 and 3% in 2000.”

    http://www.civicyouth.org/iowa-caucus-youth-turnout-4-overwhelmingly-supported-paul-provided-candidate-13-of-total-votes/

  19. January 4, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012
    Sanctum Santorum: Iowa Edition
    Posted by Zandar

    How much of an utter disaster was Iowa for the GOP last night? Mitt Romney officially beat Rick Santorum by 8 votes. Eight. Votes. And that Romney lead magically appeared literally at the last moment as the results from one of the precincts were “found” at about 2 AM eastern time as Santorum was winning by a handful of votes.

    Yeah. The Republicans can’t even steal their own elections without looking like completely incompetent douchebags, and Romney still didn’t get more than 25% of the vote. No amount of spin can cover up this meltdown for Romney as that means 75% of Iowa’s GOP caucus goes rejected him outright for people even crazier than he is. Kevin Drum sums up last night:


    So now we have a new anti-Romney who will suddenly learn the dangers being in the spotlight and having voters actually get to know him; a promise from a bitter Newt Gingrich that the gloves are off and he’s now going to crush the Mittster and sow the smoking remains of his campaign with salt; the apparent end of Rick Perry; and a few days of chuckleheaded nonsense from people who should know better that Ron Paul owes a big part of his third-place success to his anti-war message and might now ride the burgeoning isolationist youth vote in the Republican Party to victory. (Actual reality: Ron Paul owes his success to his usual combination of economic crankery and fanatic opposition to social welfare in every possible form.)

    http://zandarvts.blogspot.com/2012/01/sanctum-santorum-iowa-edition.html

  20. 70 SUE DUVALL SMITH
    January 4, 2012 at 9:22 am

    FRANKLY…IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW OBAMA FOR AMERICA FIGHTS…IT IS THE QUALITY OF THE MAN THEY REPRESENT THAT CANNOT BE DEFEATED! HE COULD STAND ALONE ON A STREET CORNER…AND BECAUSE AMERICA DESPERATELY NEEDS HIM TO LEAD…THEY WOULD STILL COME RUNNING!

  21. 72 halo
    January 4, 2012 at 9:23 am

    How the heck did they get those pics?! He was on a military base!

    • 73 anniebella
      January 4, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Good question halo. Maybe TMZ should be investigated.

    • January 4, 2012 at 9:28 am

      A very, very, very long lens Halo!! The photos are quite hazy, so I’d guess the photographer was a LONG way away.

      But as I said to anniebella ….. with the secret service presence in Hawaii I don’t believe for a minute they weren’t aware of the photographer, no matter how far away he/she was. I honestly believe the WH would be perfectly fine with the photos because they show a young, fit, energetic, healthy President – and where’s the harm in that?

      • 75 Janelle
        January 4, 2012 at 9:40 am

        The pictures also squash the meme that PBO is depressed, aloof, antisocial and sad, per Andrea Mitchell, Tweety and others. We all know the truth but some people actually believe pundits on the TV instead of being skeptical about their opinions.

    • 77 AnitaW
      January 4, 2012 at 10:24 am

      Is this a military base or the beach house where the family was staying? These beaches are unbelivable and leave it to TMZ to get the pictures. If you don’t think folks will be clicking on these pictures you are crazy.

      And by the way he looks fabulous.

    • 78 Beauzeaux
      January 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Long lens — and not a real good one either.

  22. January 4, 2012 at 9:25 am

    ObamaCare’s Hidden Trigger Paves The Way For Single Payer

    When ObamaCare was passed conservatives slammed it as a government takeover of the health insurance industry and progressives complained the law didn’t offer at the least a public option, but it seems as though that the law had a hidden trigger that may very well pave the road to single payer health insurance system or Medicare for all. That trigger is the medical loss ratio. This is the part of the law that makes the health insurance industry use at least 85% of your premiums to cover medical expenses. This is something the for profit health insurance industry detests, because it limits the amount of dollars you pay into the system to go toward CEO pay, bonuses, lobbying and advertisements.

    Well, it turns out that the MLR (Medical Loss Ratio) is working rather quickly. In Rick’s latest article

    “Among the many companies that are dropping out of the business —rather than comply with the MLR requirements that would force them to actually spend an appropriate share of the premium monies received from customers on real health care— are some of the nation’s largest carriers.

    Principal Financial Group had already announced late last year that they were leaving the health insurance business, impacting on some 840,000 insured.

    http://www.politicususa.com/en/obamacare-single-payer

    • January 4, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Wow. This is interesting. But, we really need to get the Dems back in control of Congress for this to work. If all the insurance companies pack up and leave, it will cause some problems that the GOP would love to exploit to repeal the rule. Butl, if Dems get back in, they could create an orderly transfer to a pblic plan.

  23. 82 halo
    January 4, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Is that Pete Souza playing tackle?

  24. January 4, 2012 at 9:26 am

    January 04, 2012

    How to kill a political party

    If you were a thoughtful Republican commentator who genuinely cared about your party’s future, you would unquestionably slip into a brooding, self-exam mode regarding these two quick but fateful observations made last night by, among many others in the Iowa aftermath, E.J. Dionne: Ron Paul “won overwhelmingly among the young,” while Mitt Romney “was strongest among caucus-goers over 65.”

    You would undoubtedly ask yourself and your fellow Republicans, What’s going on here? Why the vivid contrast? Why would an older, multiple-term GOP congressman be so attractive to an emerging generation of GOP voters — meaning, quite literally, the potential future of our party — while this younger, well-greased former governor and professional presidential candidate holds greater appeal to the party’s demographic segment that is quite literally dying off?

    http://pmcarpenter.blogs.com/p_m_carpenters_commentary/2012/01/how-to-kill-a-political-party.html

    • January 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      I’m not sure if anyone will see my comments so late after everyone has moved on, but what the hey. I watched some of MSNBC last night, when Chris Hayes’ panel was on. And the one thing I loved hearing from Melissa Harris-Perry was when Chris Hayes was saying there was a gap that wasn’t being filled by the GOP, because they had these rabid Ron Paulbots, and then you had the extreme fiscal and social conservatives – but there was this huge gap in the middle that was common sense, rational, broad-thinking – who was going to fill that gap. And Melissa said, “President Obama is currently occupying that space squarely in the middle”. It completely shut them all up, because they knew this to be true. I loved it!

  25. January 4, 2012 at 9:27 am

    January 03, 2012
    We’ve only just begun

    The NY Times editorialized on Sunday that Iowa’s Super PAC “primary ads … are just a preview of what lies in store when the heavy armament is rolled out for the general election…. There are no limits to the dollars involved, and no accountability for the candidates those dollars are buying.”

    Super “PACs”? More like Super ESTs, “essentially septic tanks into which wealthy individuals and corporations can drop unlimited amounts of money.”

    And that, in large part, explains my growing despondency over the upcoming election: not Election Day itself, which, as I’ve made clear, I believe I’ll find agreeable; but the grinding, grueling, lugubrious process of mostly GOP lies, misrepresentations, distortions, untruths, dissimulations, fabrications, fairy tales and falsehoods, of which we’ve 10 hideous months yet to suffer.

    http://pmcarpenter.blogs.com/p_m_carpenters_commentary/2012/01/weve-only-just-begun.html

  26. January 4, 2012 at 9:31 am

    There’s a picture on the front page of msnbc.com showing Mittens and Little Ricky being congratulated by their wives. The look on Mittens’ face says, “OK. That’s enough. You can stop touching me now.” I have never seen a colder, stiffer person in my life…

    • 88 lovingandlaughing
      January 4, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Oh, I want to see that pic.

    • 89 conlakappa
      January 4, 2012 at 10:08 am

      Just as the President was a game changer in the world of politics, so have been the First Lady and their relationship with each other. Remember the Mack Daddy and Ms. Moneybags and their inability to fake it?

    • 90 dotster3
      January 4, 2012 at 10:12 am

      And the poor thing was doing her best Nancy Reagan imitation yesterday—–looking up at him with adoring, googly, submissive eyes. (I can’t stand those kind of dependent women)

  27. 92 desertflower
    January 4, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Finally!!!!!!!!

    http://loyalopposition.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/nobody-likes-to-talk-about-it-but-its-there/?hp

    DES MOINES — Talking about race in American politics is uncomfortable and awkward. But it has to be said: There has been a racist undertone to many of the Republican attacks leveled against President Obama for the last three years, and in this dawning presidential campaign.

  28. January 4, 2012 at 9:33 am

    January 03, 2012
    ‘A field of dwarves’

    While Republicans’ childish lips are saying “Yes yes yes” to President Obama’s vulnerabilities, Republicans’ adult eyes have said “No no no.” And what this abundance of caution, this failure of formation, this avoidance of battle by the party’s reputed grownups — Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush — reveals is that the Establishment’s true emotions behind, and authentic assessments of, the 2012 presidential race are this: The incumbent is, far more likely than not, unbeatable.

    That’s the barely submerged theme of Politico’s top story — “Iowa’s field of mediocrities” — on this yawn of a morning of a Lilliputian scramble. It’s an old and once-familiar theme, recited in various venues, including this one; yet it was put out to media pasture less by reason of any evolving invalidity than by squawking heads in commercial need of a tight race — thus higher ratings. I’m certainly not of a conspiratorial mind, and the old Nixonian paranoia about network executives all meeting each morning to decide the day’s official news is laughable rubbish. But self-interest isn’t; and it doesn’t take a crack media analyst to know the ‘hype of tight’ serves the self-interest of news-hawkers more than the humdrum of predictability.

    More here: http://pmcarpenter.blogs.com/p_m_carpenters_commentary/2012/01/a-field-of-dwarves.html

    • 97 anniebella
      January 4, 2012 at 10:01 am

      rikyrah, you will not believe this but I was just saying this the other week at Christmas dinner when my family was talking alittle politics. I recall saying that the media and pundits is always saying Obama is so beatable, but if that is the case, why didn’t the so call stronger Republicans like Christie, Daniels, Barbour, run against him. The Republicans were begging for someone else to get in the race. Begging. Christie acts big and bad, he loves to run his big mouth, but he didn’t run. Maybe they know what we know, it won’t be that easy to defeat President Obama.

  29. 98 desertflower
    January 4, 2012 at 9:36 am

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/04/opinion/the-iowa-caucuses.html?_r=1&hp

    The Iowa caucuses, in which a nation awaits the verdict of a handful of some of its least representative citizens, are not going to settle the race for the Republican nomination for president. But they did put on display the choice the Republicans present to voters: right, far right or the far, far right.

    The candidates were all nasty to each other; Newt Gingrich called Mr. Romney a “liar” on Tuesday. But when it came to President Obama, they were off the charts with baseless charges that would be laughable if they were not so insulting to the president and to the intelligence of voters.

  30. 99 FiredUpInCA
    January 4, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Chrysler’s US sales in 2011 increase 26%; best annual sales since 2008 – @CNBC

    “Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne warned employees that the company’s complete turnaround is “still a work in progress,” despite posting the biggest sales increase in 2011 of all major automakers in the U.S….

    Chrysler repaid its loans to the U.S. and Canadian governments in May, gained market share in the U.S. and Canada and expects to report a profit of about $600 million for the year.”

    http://www.freep.com/article/20120104/BUSINESS0103/201040330/Chrysler-CEO-to-employees-You-are-the-authors-of-a-remarkable-story-

  31. 101 dotster3
    January 4, 2012 at 9:40 am

    I had a feeling—-just a sneaky little suspicion—–that there would be an enthusiastic bunch of sand football fans popping up ’round these parts——for the sport—–to study the intricacies of the game, of course. The game looks beautiful, very pleasing to the eye, yes?

  32. 104 desertflower
    January 4, 2012 at 9:44 am

    For the first time, the Taliban publicly expressed interest in negotiations with the United States, a “major departure for a militant group that had long said it would not negotiate” as long as American troops are in Afghanistan.

    ThinkProgress……interesting.

  33. 110 lovingandlaughing
    January 4, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Well, I never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness for TMZ! 😉 It is so great to see POB on the beach having fun and he looks AMAZING!

    • 111 anniebella
      January 4, 2012 at 10:08 am

      I still can’t stand TMZ, but I still love my President, shirtless or in a suit. You see Chipsticks, I’m better.

      • 112 lovingandlaughing
        January 4, 2012 at 10:32 am

        Yes annibella , I am truly not a fan of TMZ either so I really can’t believe I am feeling even the slightest bit thankful for them this morning. I am agreeing with Chips though about the pics actually being good for the campaign showing a very vibrant, healthy and happy President.

        • 113 anniebella
          January 4, 2012 at 10:47 am

          Watch out lovingandlaughing, since Romney like copying the President , can we expect to see him shirtless playing football with his four spoil brats sons. YUKE! YUKE!

          • 114 lovingandlaughing
            January 4, 2012 at 11:10 am

            Yes, no doubt about it the Romney family football pics will soon be appearing (so funny), but there is NO WAY Romney will ever look as fine or be as fine as PBO!

  34. 115 Pamela
    January 4, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Good morning all! So, who is surprised? Kudos to all those who stayed up late for results…. And, Chips, the photos are terrific, as usual! I do really like that first one with PBO and VPB, they are so fired up! And love to see our President out having some much needed play time on the beach!

  35. January 4, 2012 at 9:52 am

    This is one of my local news stations but there’s no link:

    @abc7newsBayArea
    Obama will use a recess appointment to name Richard Cordray as the nation’s chief consumer watchdog, despite strong Republican opposition.

  36. 128 Ladyhawke
    January 4, 2012 at 9:55 am

    WILLARD DITCHED THE TELEPROMPTER LAST NIGHT

    Close call leads Romney to ditch teleprompter, deliver familiar lines: Scenes from the Iowa caucuses

    ————————————————————

    “Thank you Iowa”: Those were the first three words of Mitt Romney’s planned speech on Tuesday night after the caucuses, according to a photographer who saw the text queued up in the candidate’s teleprompter. Minutes before Romney took the stage, his staff took the teleprompter away.

    –Holly Bailey, 12:57 a.m. CT

    ————————————————————

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/appeals-more-young-voters-kelly-clarkson-iphones-scenes-190940316.html

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/04/us-campaign-iowa-idUSTRE8030IG20120104

  37. January 4, 2012 at 9:57 am

    WOOOOTTTT!!!!!

  38. 133 halo
    January 4, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Obama to appoint Cordray

    1/4/12 9:50 AM

    POLITICO has confirmed reports that President Obama will install Richard Cordray as the new consumer watchdog in job despite GOP opposition. The news was first reported by the AP.

    YES!! THANK YOU PBO!

    • January 4, 2012 at 10:10 am

      YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

    • January 4, 2012 at 10:10 am

      Great to hear and the right decision. It needs to be done – let the GOP whine about it because it will allow the administration to highlight the ridiculous levels of obstruction. Carney should have the numbers ready during the press briefing today – the numbers Pres Obama has faced and the comparative numbers each of the past Presidents have faced at this time in their respective presidencies. Will keep my fingers crossed for a couple NLRB recess appointees as well otherwise that body will be unfunctional for a year as they will not be able to have a quorum and thus can’t do anything.

      This will also take any focus away from Iowa results and ruin McCain’s endorsement rally for Romney.

    • January 4, 2012 at 10:35 am

      And it boosts Liz Warren, too! You follow?

  39. January 4, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I’ll believe Gingrich goes on the war path against Romney when I see it. I suspect GOP power players will be dialing him up this morning and telling him he will not do that. Gingrich playing nice with Santorum is transparent as hell as well, because Santorum doesn’t have staying power, but if he can curry favor with Santorum’s evangelical base now when he’s pretending to be happy Santorum is doing well, when Romney and his PAC machines take Santorum out, Newt will be seen as the defender to Santorum and the evangelical last hope to take it at Romney.

    In other news McCain will endorse Romney today – I’m not sure that really helps Romney. Endorsements only help candidates who might be seen lacking grativas – they helped Pres Obama because he was new on the scene and largely unknown, so established, respected politicians endorsing him was a big deal. Romney is the front runner and known entity already, all the endorsements do for him is make him more and more the establishment pick and I’m not sure that’s a good look in this political climate. Not to mention many conservatives had to hold their nose to vote for McCain in 2008 and wanted their own candidate this time around – that RINO’s got their chance at Pres. Obama in 2008, now it’s their turn.

    Perry and now Bachmann bow out. Michele might endorse Romney as she still has deluded hopes that she’d be his VP choice. Perry probably won’t endorse right away, waiting to see how things play out through Florida.

    Santorum will face greater media scrutiny, but I don’t think he’ll face any onslaught from the other candidates outside of Romney. Romney is the front runner and huge favorite in NH, and he still needs to be taken down by Huntsman, Paul and Co more than Santorum needs any momentum stunted. Huntsman needs to decide to either go all in in NH and take it to Romney or roll over for Mitt and be in line for a cabinet spot. Paul took a hands off approach to Romney in Iowa and it bit him. There might have been an understanding between the two – but Paul can’t let Romney win in a blow out in NH.

    Speaking of Huntsman, McCain does him dirty. It was McCain who talked Huntsman into running in 2012, Huntsman’s campaign is full of McCain 2008 staffers and the old boy couldn’t wait until after NH when Huntsman would naturally look to bow out before endorsing Romney? That’s cold.

    With Perry and Bachmann out there will be 15% points up for grabs in NH – it could be enough to ensure Huntsman finishes no higher than 4th behind Romney, Paul and one of Santorum/Gingrich (whoever gets the Perry/Bachmann voters). With Perry and Bachmann still in, Huntsman had an outside shot at 3rd. Huntsman could just as likely get 5th in the field of five now, after focusing solely on NH for the last three months.

    • January 4, 2012 at 10:37 am

      He does it in NH because it will not hurt Romney there.
      Also, right before the SC primary, and McCain is best friends with Lindsey Graham…

    • 139 Debz
      January 4, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Nobody in the gop will get Newt to stop, if he’s mad he’s going to let everyone know it. Don’t forget while he was at the top of the polls, all of the gop were screaming about how horrible he is. He doesn’t owe them anything.

    • January 4, 2012 at 10:48 am

      Great analysis. As David Axelrod tweeted last night: “The sound Santorum is hearing right now is not the buzz of victory. It’s the whirring of Romney Super PAC, preparing to carpet bomb him.”

      The GOP money is screwed having to back this Romney tool.

      Smartypants has a brilliant essay this morning on how this all came to be.

      • January 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm

        “It’s the whirring of Romney Super PAC, preparing to carpet bomb him.”

        “to carpet bomb” them. Oh dear, now Axelrod knows about our “Naughty mats.” 😆 😆

    • 142 Lovepolitics2008
      January 4, 2012 at 11:28 am

      McCain’s decision to endorse Romney surprises me too. Huntsman was McCain’s instrument of revenge against Barack Obama. I guess McCain has realized it won’t work. Huntsman is going nowhere, and I think he hurt his chances even in NH when he decided to not campaign in Iowa. After his ridiculous numbers yesterday night, he will portray himself as a serious alternative??

      I’ve been a bit puzzled as to why the GOP establishment has been all behind Romney for months and not considering Huntsman. If they’re confident that they can bring the party to accept a mormon who is not considered “far-right”, why choose the mormon candidate who has more negatives?

      Two explanations I can come up with and this is pure speculation on my part:

      1) Huntsman is extremely conservative, but he has expressed a couple of ideas that are a absolutely anathema to the Corporate Establishment: break-up the Big Banks, and end some of the oil subsidies.
      2) Romney is much easier to control. He would not ask questions , and do whatever the neo-cons, the Big Oil and Wall Street lobbyists tell him to do. Of course, Huntsman would govern as the strong conservative he is and it would be a disaster, but what I’m saying is he would at least be an active participant and disagree from time to time with the corporate elite, while Romney would be their puppet. Romney is corrupted, intellectually and morally. And he’s a coward.

  40. 143 JER
    January 4, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Awaiting PBO’s arrival at Andrews: http://www.ustream.tv/cbsnews

  41. January 4, 2012 at 10:08 am

    OMGn Chip, you couldn’t warn me to wait with the shower this morning???

    Damn.

    Good morning everyone.

  42. 146 Claire
    January 4, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Without a doubt Pres. Obama was the biggest winner in the repub Iowa primary.

    I am also the biggest winner after seeing my President playing football. Be still my heart. Come on Chips, you need to put a warning notice up when you are going to post hottie photos of my POTUS. I won’t be able to focus on anything else during my morning meetings.

  43. 147 FiredUpInCA
    January 4, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Newt: Mitt has a ceiling:

    “Gov. Romney spent five years and millions and millions of dollars and got exactly 25 percent in Iowa. It’s remarkable. Three of 4 Republicans said no. I’m always amazed at these arguments that he is more electable when, in fact, he can’t break out,” said Gingrich on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

    “He has a ceiling and conservative Republicans just walk off and say they won’t vote for him.”

    “How can you take seriously somebody who, with that amount of time and that kind of money, flattens out at 25 percent?” Gingrich added later on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown.” “He’s simply someone the media likes to talk about.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71074.html#ixzz1iVENnVTO

  44. 152 donna dem 4 obama
    January 4, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Lawd Have Mercy

    CHIPS!!!!

    You must have a warning in your title that says “warning naughty mat picture below”. I just opened that up here at work and I let out a big ole OH YEAH!

    My staff assistant thinks I’ve lost my mind 😉

  45. 154 lexusv
    January 4, 2012 at 10:19 am

    President looking good playing ball and e’erthang ;o)P

  46. 155 SUE DUVALL SMITH
    January 4, 2012 at 10:33 am

    WILL DEFINITELY BE WATCHING PBO IN OHIO TODAY…PERHAPS THEY COULD DROP HIM OFF AT MY HOUSE WHEN THEY FLY OVER!!!! LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! I’D PASS OUT!

  47. January 4, 2012 at 10:39 am

    You all are so proud of the President and who he is, it’s a pleasure hanging out here!

  48. January 4, 2012 at 10:40 am

  49. 159 Proud Former White House Intern
    January 4, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Good morning great people. Another one bites the dust. The only lady in the room is set to suspend her campaign. The nut from Texas I’m sure is leaving soon.

  50. January 4, 2012 at 10:42 am

    • January 4, 2012 at 10:44 am

      I didn’t accomplish my tweet insert 😦 Anyway I just post it here:

      @brianbeutler “By appointing Cordray today, instead of between sessions yesterday, Obama buys him an extra year in director’s chair….assuming he wins.”

  51. January 4, 2012 at 10:44 am

    OK, so this is pretty interesting. POTUS is making the appointment not solely based on the notion of “recess” so much as on the fact that there is no precedent for constantly holding pro-forma sessions to avoid recess appointments. IOW, the “pro forma” sessions don’t matter. What matters is if they are actually in session and they aren’t. Presumably from the sharpest legal team in the WH.

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/01/03/396384/president-obama-reportedly-will-make-recess-appointments-today-or-tomorrow/

    McConnell is absolutely throw a fit. Expect another nasty logjam.

  52. January 4, 2012 at 10:44 am

    President Obama signed several bills into law on Tuesday, including one that authorizes intelligence operations for fiscal 2012, and another increasing civil penalties for violations of oil and gas pipeline safety rules.

    Both the intelligence authorization bill, H.R. 1892, and the pipeline safety bill, H.R. 2845, were approved by Congress in December.

    Also on Tuesday, Obama signed into law H.R. 1801, which requires the Department of Homeland Security to develop rules allowing for expedited airport security screening for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. This popular bill was approved unanimously in the House in late November, and by a voice vote in the Senate in December.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/202273-obama-signs-intelligence-pipeline-safety-bills-into-law

  53. 165 Renegade522/AuntSis
    January 4, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Good day, TOD: first and foremost – dayum…the president is 50. Hubba bubba!!!

    2. What valuable lesson have we learned from the pundit class? They know nothing. NOTHING. Its all a guessing game. They have not swayed one vote their way and their influence is rather irrelevant. Let’s analyze this – Willard spent all that money (not very conservative or business savvy, if you ask me) and got less votes this time around but won the whole jackpot by 8 votes. Not very cost effective and those PAC’s didn’t get much bang for their bucks. But what do I know, I am only a true blue Democrat. I really don’t feel like analyzing the Santorum surge or Paul ‘the college/youth vote’ wins. Too easy. Believe me, it much more fun sitting on the naughty mat. 🙂 🙂

  54. January 4, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Romney won voters who were most concerned with beating Obama
    By Alan Silverleib\ Updated Wed January 4, 2012 7:14 AM EST

    Iowa’s Republican electorate shattered Tuesday night, showing a party establishment under siege and voters unable to coalesce behind any candidate in a deeply flawed field. Exit polls showed Romney winning major support among voters most concerned with beating President Barack Obama in November. Asked which candidate quality is most important, a plurality of 30% cited the ability to defeat the president. The former Massachusetts governor won almost half of those voters. Asked to choose which kind of experience is most important — a background in business or government — a majority cited the private sector. Romney, who made a fortune as a venture capitalist, won 35% of those voters — a clear plurality.

    ~snip~

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/04/politics/iowa-exit-polls/?hpt=hp_t2

    • 167 anniebella
      January 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      So crelechild, it doesn’t matter if you are a flip flopping liar, just as long as you can defeat Obama. That doesn’t surprise me about Republicans, it didn’t bother them that Ron Paul were racists.

      • 168 Beauzeaux
        January 4, 2012 at 6:00 pm

        Exactly. And it’s not as if they REALLY think that Romney can beat PBO. But they know for sure that the other passengers in the Clown Car are completely hopeless.

        Santorum? (see picture above) Rick Perry? (proof that you really can be too stupid to be GOP candidate for president) Gingrich? (everybody hates him — especially other Republicans) Ron Paul? (beyond ridiculous)

  55. January 4, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Huckabee Chides Republicans For Being ‘More Interested’ In Defeating Obama ‘Than They Are In Rebuilding America’ |
    By Marie Diamond on Jan 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    As the GOP candidates stump around the Hawkeye State before tonight’s Iowa caucus, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), who won the caucus in 2008, called out many in his party for prioritizing political victory over the country’s well-being. In a radio interview, Huckabee expressed his frustration with the current field and said, “If I walked in the booth today I’m not sure who I’d pull the lever for.” He explained that he decided not to get in the race this time because, “It appears to me, and it still does to a large degree, that many of the Republicans are more interested in just defeating Barack Obama than they are in rebuilding America.” Huckabee said he wanted to see more of an emphasis on how to get Americans back to work and noted, “defeating somebody without a plan to really resolve problems, to me, is a worthless endeavor.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/01/03/396952/huckabee-chides-republicans-for-being-more-interested-in-defeating-obama-than-they-are-in-rebuilding-america/

  56. 170 Squarepeg
    January 4, 2012 at 11:12 am

    some a**holes on twitter are praising Obama’s cordray appointment, saying stuff like “so he does have balls after all” and crap like that. to quote Ceelo “forget you”. *eyeroll*

    • 171 anniebella
      January 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Spuarepeg,America is fill with all kinds of people. Some with common sense, some without. All I can say is not to pay the senseless idiots any attention. This is why I hope, and I ask for we who care about this President and his family to keep them in prayer, because it can’t be easy to hear some of the horrible, racists, mean things said about you or your family. But love out shines hate anytime. And their is plenty enough love here for POTUS, FLOTUS, and the girls, Bo too.

  57. 172 Lightfoot
    January 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Okay, I wasn’t going to comment; but that picture of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden together seemingly unable to conceal
    their unbelievably, enormous glee, followed by the quotes “Santorum” or (Sanitarium) and “WTF” is too bleeping righteous!!!

  58. 173 CEB
    January 4, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    OMG! I just got in from work and logged on soon after and BAMM! the hotness that is PBO! The only one of the four brave enough to go shirtless. My, my, my (fans self and marches over to the naughty mat).

    Now, I will go to catch up on the rest of the news (Romney, really; this is all that 4.7 million could buy you?)


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