rise and shine

Time: The number of people seeking unemployment aid fell to nearly a four-year low last week, an encouraging sign of continued improvement in the job market.

The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 358,000. That’s the second-lowest level since April 2008.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to 366,250, the lowest since late April 2008.

The figures come a week after the government reported that employers added 243,000 net jobs last month. That pushed the unemployment rate down to 8.3 percent, the lowest in nearly three years.

When applications fall consistently below 375,000, it usually signals that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.


Steve Benen: The general trend on initial unemployment claims over the last few months has been largely encouraging, though there have been setbacks, and most analysts expected this morning’s report to show an uptick in filings.

The good news is, that didn’t happen. The better news is, initial jobless claims have reached one of the lowest levels we’ve seen in four years.

….. here’s the chart, showing weekly, initial unemployment claims going back to the beginning of 2007 (see above)

More here


Ezra Klein



Nick Baumann (Mother Jones): President Barack Obama’s decision to require most employers to cover birth control and insurers to offer it at no cost has created a firestorm of controversy. But the central mandate — that most employers have to cover preventative care for women — has been law for over a decade. This point has been completely lost in the current controversy, as Republican presidential candidates and social conservatives claim that Obama has launched a war on religious liberty and the Catholic Church.

Despite the longstanding precedent, “no one screamed” until now, said Sara Rosenbaum, a health law expert at George Washington University.

More here


Link – thanks rikyrah


Gail Collins (NYT): ….. This new rule on contraceptive coverage is part of the health care reform law …. The churches themselves don’t have to provide contraceptive coverage. Neither do organizations that are closely tied to a religion’s doctrinal mission. We are talking about places like hospitals and universities that rely heavily on government money and hire people from outside the faith.

We are arguing about whether women who do not agree with the church position, or who are often not even Catholic, should be denied health care coverage that everyone else gets because their employer has a religious objection to it. If so, what happens if an employer belongs to a religion that forbids certain types of blood transfusions? Or disapproves of any medical intervention to interfere with the working of God on the human body?

Organized religion thrives in this country, so the system we’ve worked out seems to be serving it pretty well. Religions don’t get to force their particular dogma on the larger public. The government, in return, protects the right of every religion to make its case heard.

More here


Romney’s network of influence could make a real difference in the policies that matter to all of us. Get the word out, and share this infographic with everyone you know – click here


Steve Benen: …. the Conservative Political Action Conference will get underway in Washington today, and will feature a cavalcade of Republican leaders and prominent far-right voices…. ….. every member of the Republican congressional leadership and each of the leading GOP presidential candidates  will be on hand to shamelessly pander to the right-wing audience.

But they’re not the only ones who’ll be part of CPAC 2012: ….. CPAC is hosting the panel “The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the pursuit of diversity is weakening the American Identity” with Peter Brimelow, the founder and head of VDARE.com. VDARE is a White Nationalist website, run by Brimelow, which frequently publishes the works of anti-Semitic and racist writers….

When BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray asked CPAC organizers if they would renounce Brimelow’s participation at the conference, they chose not to.

More here


Rasmussen?!?!?! 😯

Rasmussen: Voter confidence in President Obama’s handling of the economy is at its highest level in a year’s time. That’s in line with the recent upticks in overall economic confidence and in Obama’s job approval ratings as measured by the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Forty percent (40%) of Likely U.S. Voters now rate the president’s performance in the economic area as good or excellent – That’s up from 36% a week ago and is the highest positive finding since the first week in February 2011.


Nick Anderson


Morning everyone 😉

199 Responses to “rise and shine”

  1. February 9, 2012 at 9:27 am

    FIRED UP…!!

    READY TO GO..!!! 😀

    +############### ++++ +++++###########++

  2. February 9, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Good morning TOD community.

  3. 10 desertflower
    February 9, 2012 at 9:28 am

    OUR RISE AND SHINE!!! Morning 🙂

  4. 11 CTGirl
    February 9, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Good morning!!

  5. 12 ChristiMTL
    February 9, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Good morning Chips and everyone…..

    I can’t believe they are still at it this morning….the big fake controversy……..

    • 13 Jessica
      February 9, 2012 at 9:40 am

      If the GOP want to be the anti-birth control party along with the anti-gay and anti-immigrant party I say go right ahead. They are self-destructing and it’s a beautiful sight to see.

    • 18 a4alice
      February 9, 2012 at 11:15 am

      I wrote the President yesterday a letter of support thanking him for having women’s backs when it comes to this issue. If any of you feel so inclined I bet they would love to hear from us gals

      here’s the linky:


      • 19 Judith Fardig
        February 9, 2012 at 11:33 am

        Just did and called the WH comment line also : 1 202 456-1111 to support President Obama and Sec. Kathleen Sebelius. The Republicans just want to start another culture war because they have nothing to offer on jobs, education, foreign policy, the environment, or anything else most Americans care about.

      • February 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm

        Thank you alice. I finally got wise and put that address in my blog list. I hope they don’t get tired of hearing from me!

      • 21 sjterrid
        February 9, 2012 at 6:17 pm

        I sent an e-mail yesterday to the Whitehouse site, and I also sent my democratic congressman one that he and the rest of the dems should veto any legislation that republicans produce to ban birth control.

  6. 22 utaustinliberal
    February 9, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Great compilation of news Chips. You might want to add Greece to the roll. It seems as though Greece has accepted a deal and now the Euro is rising in the stock markets.

    Also a new Rasmussen poll shows that PBO has seen a jump in approval of how he’s handling the economy. It was 36% last week I believe, and it is now 40%. So that’s good news. Also in the Rasmussen poll is that more people blame GWB for the bad economy than PBO. So that’s another fantastic news!

  7. February 9, 2012 at 9:34 am

    And the good news continues to pour in. Not just good news for our fantastic President, but good news for the country. The two go hand in hand. The best good news for the country will happen in November when he is re-elected and Dems regain control of the House and maintain control of the Senate. And without being concerned with defeating PBO in 2016, maybe the Republicans will actually be willing to drop some of their obstructionism. If they are smart, a conclusion not necessarily warranted by the evidence, they will realize that it was that very obstructionism that hurt them in 2012 and that if they continue, the American people will turn their backs on the Republicans even more in 2014 and 2016.

  8. 29 hopefruit2
    February 9, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Ah – the long awaited “rise and shine!” Excellent roundup Chips!

  9. February 9, 2012 at 9:35 am

    February 09, 2012
    ObamaCare’s tyrannical fairness
    Filed under ‘In Case You Missed It.’

    Appearing on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show last night, the unflappable David Boies, of Bush v. Gore fame, calmly and damn near indifferently explained to his host that there is no — repeat, no — Constitutional, First Amendment issue at stake in the most recent Inquisition into ‘Obamacare’s’ purported tyranny, this time over the Catholic Church’s holy conscience.

    (To digress, or perhaps I should say clarify: Yes, holy “conscience,” as divinely revealed, for example, in the ecclesiastical expediencies of shuffling pedophiles or accommodating fascist regimes. Just so we all understand the terminology.)

    More here: http://pmcarpenter.blogs.com/p_m_carpenters_commentary/2012/02/obamacares-tyrannical-fairness.html

    • 31 JoJothecat
      February 9, 2012 at 11:10 am

      I think those Bishops that are SO opposed to this then they need to start with their OWN organizations who ARE OFFERING contraceptives to ALL employees.

  10. 32 Cheryllou
    February 9, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Good morning everyone, have a splendid day. I’m fired up and ready to go!!

  11. 33 Bill
    February 9, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Senator Rubio (R-FL) is saying the WH should follow VP Biden’s advice on contraception.

    • 34 hopefruit2
      February 9, 2012 at 9:38 am

      The WH (including VP Biden) has already made decision which is the decision that currently stands – which PBO AND Dem female senators have reaffirmed as recently as yesterday. Rubio can shove it.

    • 38 Lovepolitics2008
      February 9, 2012 at 9:41 am

      What has VP Biden said?

      • 39 utaustinliberal
        February 9, 2012 at 9:46 am

        Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Because he’s Catholic, they want to drag him into the quagmire of this ginned up faux outrage.

        • 40 anniebella
          February 9, 2012 at 10:23 am

          I’ve said before it’s a made up controversy by the catholic bishops and the Republicans and the media.

      • 41 Bill
        February 9, 2012 at 9:46 am

        It has been reported that VP Biden was against the ruling in discussions, and Rubio is using that. Rubio is disgusting.

        • 42 anniebella
          February 9, 2012 at 10:25 am

          VP Biden might have been against it, but the President Obama is the man in charge, so that settles it.

        • 43 Mel
          February 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm

          There romors, and inuendos there is no truth is just B,S By Rubio and as far as i. am concern
          fuck Rubio, there are a lot’s of Cuban American Catholic women that take birth control, my Sister
          has Cuban friends and yes the use birth control including my nices.

    • 44 ChristiMTL
      February 9, 2012 at 9:42 am

      Listening to these 2 idiots, well 3 (including Chuck Todd)….all I heard was rubbish.

      They need that fake controversy because they sure can’t talk about the economy these days.

      • 45 anniebella
        February 9, 2012 at 10:47 am

        We know how the media works, they like stuff like this, it doesn’t matter to them if it make believe or real they will go with it because it’s all about ratings, and so many of them don’t like this President. But how can it be a controversy when catholic universities, hospitals, are all really offering the contraceptive benefits. So where is the controversy? POLITICS that’s were.

    • 46 Jessica
      February 9, 2012 at 9:43 am

      Rubio is such a loser, he’ll probably go home and try to impregnate his wife again just to prove a point. His ego is so inflated over his 2010 win and the GOP comparing him to PBO. Too bad he’s an idiot (and doesn’t know it) and won’t get far.

  12. February 9, 2012 at 9:39 am

    A cheerful and pleasant morning to all. Special thoughts go out to those who are infirmed, those coping with the infirmed,..those who need upliftment…and those like me who are in the party-hearty atmosphere of Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago with its calypso competitions, ssteelband competitions, all-inclusive parties, ..counting down and getting geared up for Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st of the costumed bands in the streets!! Phew!

    • 55 Pamela
      February 9, 2012 at 9:50 am

      You just enjoy the heck out of those festivals, ladyjazzfromtrinidad, we love to see the colors and hear the fantastic music! Have so much fun! 😉

    • 56 desertflower
      February 9, 2012 at 10:12 am

      AH! Carnival! Remember it fondly from my days living on St Thomas 🙂 I can hear the steel drums from here 🙂 And taste the best fried chicken I have EVER had in my life! Enjoy 🙂

    • 57 Dakota
      February 9, 2012 at 11:17 am

      I love the Caribbean! Haven’t made it to Trinidad yet, but I hear Carnival there is one of the best, if not the best. Please keep us posted & enjoy!

  13. February 9, 2012 at 9:40 am

    US regulators are preparing to announce a settlement, worth up to $39.5bn and covering nearly all 50 states, that would resolve allegations that five leading banks systematically abused borrowers in their pursuit of improper home seizures.
    Under the proposed agreement, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Ally Financial would be forced to improve their mortgage procedures; reduce borrowers’ loan balances and monthly payments; and make about $4.2bn in cash payments to an estimated 750,000 aggrieved homeowners and state governments, people with knowledge of the matter said.


    40 billion! Woweeee! The President and his team doubled the initial number.

  14. February 9, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Good Morning, Everyone 🙂

  15. February 9, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) — BP Plc is negotiating with U.S. officials to settle pollution claims over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill that may leave the company liable for as much as $17.6 billion in fines, a person familiar with the talks said.

    The government cited the energy company with violations of the federal Clean Water Act for the offshore spill, the biggest in U.S. history. Officials are seeking fines of as much as $4,300 for each of the 4.1 million barrels spilled after the explosion of the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig.


    17.6 billion to rebuild our coastline! Yippee!

  16. February 9, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Just in- Kamala Harris just secured 18 billion dollar commitment for the Mortgage crisis.
    State of California doing backflips.


  17. 75 ChristiMTL
    February 9, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Rick Santorum , 3 months ago

    ”One of the things that I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the sexual liberty idea and many in the Christian faith have said, you know contraception is OK. It’s not OK because it’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

    Yea, the Duggar method for the win.

    Sometimes I can’t believe that’s it’s 2012 when I listen to idiots like him.

    • February 9, 2012 at 9:52 am

      I have been wondering lately how Santorum or others who use that argument justify the use of drugs for erectial dysfunction issues. After all, if God wanted the man to have the ability to procreate, wouldn’t He have made sure that all parts functioned. Maybe the ED is God’s way of saying he doesn’t want the man to procreate, as it might produce more Santorums in the world, and thus using Viagra et al runs counter to how things are supposed to be.

      • 77 Pamela
        February 9, 2012 at 10:01 am

        Sharing this view with you japa21. It has long seemed ED is natures way of controlling overpopulation of the Earth by humans, the only species not smart enough to self- regulate, crushing out an uncountable number of life forms, while strewing destruction every step of the way.

      • February 9, 2012 at 10:14 am

        japa, I’ve been wondering the same thing. Where was the uproar over the “boner pills”? Even Bob Dole was pushing them on our teevees. I’d also like to hear from the media the other medical reasons birth control pills are prescribed, i.e., endrometriosis. In fact, I e-mailed Rachel this A.M., suggesting she interview a physician to discuss this issue.

        • February 9, 2012 at 10:19 am

          I mentioned that the other day. Birth control pills are not precribed only to prevent pregnancies and are used for a lot of other medical reasons. I read somewhere, and this was a couple years ago so I don’t have a link, that somewhere between 15-20% of BCP prescriptions are for medical conditions.

          • 80 symmetry11
            February 9, 2012 at 10:30 am

            As someone who has to take them for a medical condition and can confirm that you are correct.

          • 81 miss pat
            February 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

            It sure helped my daughter. She suffered so much and the pills helped her. She was only twelve and would be in so much painn nothing helped. We got her on the low dose for a few years and then took her off. As for viagra they will never stop the horny old men from getting their blue pills. I heard an old man in the pharmacy askiing if they had viagra. So old he could hardly stand but he was in the islands so I guess that was a part of his vacation plans.

            • 82 JoJothecat
              February 9, 2012 at 11:31 am

              I wish I knew that when I was young. I had such horrible painful periods and no one recommended BCP to help my problem. I wound up with endometriois and fibroids. I don’t know if BCP would have prevented fibroids but it would have helped with the painful periods. I could not go to school or work due to the extreme pain.

    • 83 Pamela
      February 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Yadda yadda yadda, so on and so forth, and guess what, Rick, no on is listening to you blathering away there in your own little make believe world. Might as well shut up now…

  18. 85 ChristiMTL
    February 9, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Wow I guess there’s no limit to their madness…..feed the fear and the ignorance to the max….but this is way over the line…..ef him!

    Santorum: ”Obama Has Put America On ‘The Path’ Of Executing Religious People By Decapitation”


  19. February 9, 2012 at 9:54 am

  20. 90 Pamela
    February 9, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Top of the mornin’ to ya’ Chips! Good morning everyone! Hope this day brings more and more uplifting experiences to all!

  21. 91 CTGirl
    February 9, 2012 at 9:56 am

    With all this good news I find myself singing some Bob Marley – want to sing with me 🙂

    “Don’t worry about a thing,
    ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.
    Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing,
    ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right!”

    Rise up this mornin’,
    Smiled with the risin’ sun,
    Three little birds
    Pitch by my doorstep
    Singin’ sweet songs
    Of melodies pure and true,
    Sayin’, (“This is my message to you-ou-ou:”)

    Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh!
    Every little thing gonna be all right. Don’t worry!”
    Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing” – I won’t worry!
    “‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”

  22. 96 utaustinliberal
    February 9, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) of West Virginia should be ashamed of himself. He is working with Marco Rubio (R) of Florida to craft a bill that repeals PBO’s HHS contraception mandate. He doesn’t have a uterus, he’s never going to go through the agony of ovarian cancer, he’s never suffered debilitating menstrual cramps, he’s never had menstrual disorders. He’s not part of the middleclass and working poor who have to shell out as much as $600 annually, if not more for birth control while men can get Viagra covered in their health insurance plan all because they want the almighty erection. Frankly, he has no dog in this fight. All he’s ever done since replacing the late great Sen. Robert Byrd is been a thorn in Democrats side.

    He should take a leaf out of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) of California (@SenatorBoxer)who gave a ringing endorsement of PBO for his 100% support of womens rights, 100% support of equality in the healthcare system. She was beyond fantastic on Chuck Todd’s Daily Rundown. She stood up tall and proud for women, she trashed the GOP for their paternalistic and obsessive stranglehold on a woman’s body and her right to choose. She pointed out that this mandate does not in any way trample on religious freedom. 28 states have this mandate, 8 of those states – some like Georgia which are very red states – have no religious exemptions at all. Even for churches. Leading Catholic Universities and Hospitals have coverage of contracetpion, sterilization & other birth control practices in their health insurance. She also pointed out that this is at its heart an issue of science and healthcare. Many scientific institutes have pointed out the benefits of birth control on the population and on women, and also when institutions provide a means to such coverage, it reduces their overhead insurance costs because as a large pool, they weld more power on the bargaining table.

    I tweeted my immense disgust of Manchin to his twitter handle and tweeted my thanks to Sen. Boxer. She was a breath of fresh air.

  23. 101 JER
    February 9, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Wednesday, February 08, 2012 |

    [Excerpt] Remember how the President won the other battles I mentioned at the beginning of this article. The first step was always – to the impatient whining of many – to expose the extremism of the GOP. The first step was always to lay their extreme philosophies bare in front of the American people while being open to reasonable compromise that in no way sacrifices the most important principles for the president (in this case, protecting women’s access to health care). The President has followed the same method on every one of these fights: let the GOP scream, take up the mantle of reasonable-ness, and expose the GOP for who they are: reactionary social radicals who cannot be trusted. He hands them enough rope and then puts them in a corner.

    And what do you think the President is doing now? You see Obama surrogates talking about being open about ‘resolving’ this with a reasonable compromise, but not once backing off their commitment to protecting women’s access to birth control. In the mean time, the Republican field of candidates and the extremist members of Congress are openly going after women’s health care. This is textbook Obama: the GOP is now being handed rope while the President takes up the role of the only adult in the room. The Republicans are too busy boxing themselves into a corner against women’s health to notice what is going on underneath the media headlines in the real American mainstream.

    Read more here: http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2012/02/barack-obamas-brilliant-play-on-birth.html

  24. 107 xtine
    February 9, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Here’s a snippet from The People’s View:

    Yet, what are the headlines you see today in the beltway media? It’s all about how the GOP is smelling blood and has found an issue they can pick a fight with the Obama administration on in an election year. Do you really think that the President was unaware that the GOP would try to exploit this? I don’t think so. In fact, one could intelligently deduce that the strategy of announcing this rule and once the Republicans started screaming, of letting them ratchet it up is precisely in order to expose the modern day Republican party as the instigators of “personhood” for fertilized eggs and opponents of birth control.

    Remember how the President won the other battles I mentioned at the beginning of this article. The first step was always – to the impatient whining of many – to expose the extremism of the GOP. The first step was always to lay their extreme philosophies bare in front of the American people while being open to reasonable compromise that in no way sacrifices the most important principles for the president (in this case, protecting women’s access to health care). The President has followed the same method on every one of these fights: let the GOP scream, take up the mantle of reasonable-ness, and expose the GOP for who they are: reactionary social radicals who cannot be trusted. He hands them enough rope and then puts them in a corner.

    More here: http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2012/02/barack-obamas-brilliant-play-on-birth.html

  25. February 9, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I can’t believe I’m inflicting Santorum on you, but anyone who missed this, you’ve GOT to see it:

    Rick Santorum continued to rail against President Obama’s so-called war against religion during a town hall in Plano, Texas Wednesday night. The former Pennsylvania senator …. accused the administration of “crushing” religion and setting the United States on the path towards executing religious people by decapitation…..


    • 109 ChristiMTL
      February 9, 2012 at 10:05 am

      I just posted it Chips pretty much at the same time as you….It’s so disgusting…..I know he is a RW nutjob but this is too much even for him…..

      • February 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

        Isn’t it beyond belief ChristiMTL? I knew the guy was a nutjob, but I honestly didn’t realize he was this bad: he’s like Bachmann and Palin rolled in to one. What a vicious, deranged piece of crap he is.

    • 112 57andFemale
      February 9, 2012 at 10:13 am

      To which I say, Ricky — you have an overt hostility to the Constitution.

      You want to live in a theocracy, go to Syria. this is the United States of America and we do not inflict our religious views on the rest of the populace.

      You effing traitor.

      • February 9, 2012 at 10:19 am

        He and his followers are the same people decrying “Sharia Law, Sharia Law”. Beyond disgusting; there are no words.

      • 114 ChristiMTL
        February 9, 2012 at 10:23 am

        Frank Schaeffer is the expert on those far right religious fanatics. They are crazy, they live in their own world.

        So much for the separation of church and states.

        Very good point 57andFemale….if you want to live in a theocracy, go to Syria…..nutjob.

    • 115 anniebella
      February 9, 2012 at 10:54 am

      Rick Santorum is just as disgusting as Mitt, Newt, and Paul.

  26. February 9, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Just on note on the contraceptive Thingy!

    VP Biden is The VP!

    That is all’

  27. February 9, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Does anybody else get the feeling that bill Daley quit because of this contraception Thingy?

    Because somebody is leaking private conversations between him and the VP!

    Just saying!

  28. 125 Ladyhawke
    February 9, 2012 at 10:08 am


    Tales From the Kitchen Table

    By Gail Collins


    The church is not a democracy and majority opinion really doesn’t matter. Catholic dogma holds that artificial contraception is against the law of God. The bishops have the right — a right guaranteed under the First Amendment — to preach that doctrine to the faithful. They have a right to preach it to everybody. Take out ads. Pass out leaflets. Put up billboards in the front yard.

    The problem here is that they’re trying to get the government to do their work for them. They’ve lost the war at home, and they’re now demanding help from the outside.

    And they don’t seem in the mood to compromise. Church leaders told The National Catholic Register that they regarded any deal that would allow them to avoid paying for contraceptives while directing their employees to other places where they could find the coverage as a nonstarter.



  29. February 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

    US military food gets upgrade in 1st nutrition effort in 20 years:


    This has FLOTUS’ fingerprints all over it.

  30. February 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Hi everyone, just a gentle reminder – if you’re posting extracts from other blogs please only post 2 or 3 paragraphs (no more than 2 if it’s a short piece) and then put the link at the end. Otherwise we’re stealing these good people’s work! I’ve edited a few extracts in this thread, so no worries if you posted more than 2 or 3 paragraphs: fixed! Thanks everyone – and thanks for the links, they’re great.

  31. 129 Pamela
    February 9, 2012 at 10:09 am

    It is only to the GOP that this is a game. PBO knows the difference between reality and delusion. He has been on the ground with the real Americans, he has seen up close what lives are like for most of us. His complete and thorough understanding and knowledge of the Constitution is the solid ground he treads, all on our behalf. God bless him and his beautiful family, each moment of each day.

  32. February 9, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Morning Chips! Good stuff here today – lots of reading for me to do. Good morning to all.

  33. 131 Debz
    February 9, 2012 at 10:10 am

    POTUS will make a statement about the Mortgage settlement at 12:15

    • 132 Ladyhawke
      February 9, 2012 at 10:50 am


      Great, I can’t wait to hear this announcement. POTUS likes to get things done. He is mopping the floor with the Republican Party and leaving them in the dustbin of history. His effective leadership and governing ability has embarrassed and humiliated them. They look like radical out of touch amateurs who have been relegated to the “CHILDREN’S TABLE”.

  34. 133 LOL
    February 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Speaking of Assmussen…he has the prez at 53% approval in MICHIGAN. So much for Mitt “Let Detroit Die” Romney’s home state advantage.

  35. February 9, 2012 at 10:14 am

  36. February 9, 2012 at 10:17 am

    ERic Holder live now on mortgage deal.


  37. February 9, 2012 at 10:24 am

    The right keeps targeting the Girl Scouts
    By Steve Benen – Thu Feb 9, 2012 10:00 AM EST

    .Conservatives’ antipathy towards the Girl Scouts has generally been found on the fringes. In 1994, for example, James Dobson’s Focus on the Family published a memorable attack on the Girl Scouts, insisting the group “lost their way” after the Scouts made a religious oath optional for membership. (For the religious right, faith shouldn’t be voluntary; it should be mandated on children by authority figures demanding vows of allegiance.)

    I can’t find it online anymore, but back in 2005, Amanda Marcotte had a great item about various paranoid voices on the right, complaining about “radical lesbian feminists” having taken over the Girl Scouts.

    And while much of the mainstream likely considers Girl Scouts as American as moms, baseball, and apple pie, the freak-out continues.

    In today’s prayer alert, the Family Research Council boasted that as a result of their pressure campaign against the Girl Scouts “their cookie sales are suffering.” The FRC has long attacked the Girl Scouts over discredited allegations that the Girl Scouts work with Planned Parenthood to promote “casual sex” and train girls about living with HIV. […]

    Although “none of the money” from Girl Scout cookie sales “is given to any other group,” that hasn’t stopped FRC from asking for prayers against the Girl Scouts. The prayer alert says the “Scouts had better confess their errors” and stop “collaborating with Planned Parenthood,” and even cites a passage from Matthew 27 on the suicide of Judas Iscariot to imply that the Girl Scouts are taking blood money.


    • 144 Lovepolitics2008
      February 9, 2012 at 11:08 am

      Frank Schaeffer said it numerous time: these pople are NUTS ! There is NO reasoning with them. Just be aware of the danger they represent and keep them from power!

    • 145 JoJothecat
      February 9, 2012 at 11:55 am

      I will start buying GS cookies and giving them away (trying to lose weight) after this and from now on.

  38. 146 57andFemale
    February 9, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Here’s how I see it: If the church truly believes its anti-contraception position is so important, then they can fund their hospitals by themselves. They do not get to take my tax dollars, employ people of all faiths, and get the government to do their preaching for them by denying a cleaning woman in a hospital making $25,000/yr the right to affordable birth control.

    they can employ only the Catholic faithful if they choose. But they do not get to set precedent that anyone can call themselves ‘religiously affiliated’ and ignore labor safety laws, minimum wage and other responsibilities that the federal government expects of all employers.
    By all means, rich Catholics — fund the hospitals on your own. Hire only Catholic doctors, nurses, janitors and technicians. Go right ahead. I will choose a 21st century hospital instead of a being forced into a doctrine that was meant to supply farm hands in the 15th century. In fact, start funding your hospitals with the salaries of pedophile priests. While you were taking tax dollars to run Catholic hospitals and universities, you were paying exorbitant amounts of money to bail out these criminals, of the legal and moral nature. You stay the hell away from the rights of American women — you have no moral ground to stand on.

    Catholic bishops — you are anti-life. You would have women push out babies for your own religious reasons, and then pretty much abandon the needs of those children when they are born. Nothing is more anti-life than denying women the right to have the children they want, when they want and can afford to support them.

    • 147 Pamela
      February 9, 2012 at 10:57 am

      Yeah, Catholic Church, and do not risk pissing off intelligent women like our 57andfemale, or do so at your own risk! Brilliant you are, 57andfemale, thank you very much for your dedication to calling them out. I stand beside you.

    • 148 edp4bho
      February 9, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Fabulousl This should be a letter to the editor, if they dare publish it.

    • 149 JoJothecat
      February 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      Love it 57andFemale. These Bishops need to clean up their house before telling other people about what is moral.

  39. February 9, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I want to repeat something I said yesterday (or maybe the day before, time is running all together of late). It may be a msitake to focus too much on the contraceptive side of the argument. The Republicans are using the mandate as an example of something bigger, the so-called war on religion. They are arguing that this is the first step on a slippery slope. Note they are not saying this is an attack on the Catholic Church. Also note that when they use the term “religion” they are specifically talking about Christian religion. Note there was no attack on Romney for waging a war on religion when he vetoed legislation that would cover kosher food in Massachusetts in terms of providing it in state run or funded institutions.

    For all the talk about supporting Israel and attacking people who question our support for being anti-Semetic, the Christian right is not supportive of Judaism. This is all about firing up the base, just like they did in 2004 with the same-sex marriage amendments. They realize there is an enthusiasm gap this year and they are using this to close that gap. And the underlying message is that Obama is a secret Muslim who is undermining Christianity through all of this.

    If we get too mired in the discussion of contraceptive coverage we miss the point.

    • 151 57andFemale
      February 9, 2012 at 10:42 am

      I’m not hearing what I think is effective pushback: the slippery slope would be to exempt these affiliates — it would allow one religion to inflict its beliefs on everyone else. Where, then is the line for Liberty University to say for ‘religious reasons’ it does not believe in minimum wage? Or safe working conditions?

      Let’s be clear: the first Amendment issue is on OUR side, not theirs. They employ Americans of all faiths — they must abide by the laws that do not discriminate based on religious beliefs.

      We need to hear from more Democrats other than Boxer and Murray. This is a true assault on American values.

      • 152 hopefruit2
        February 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

        57 this is not about religion or contraceptives. There is no need for pushback from the administration because it’s a non-issue not worth the administration’s time. The president re-affirmed his stance on this yesterday and FEMALE democrats in congress echoed the same sentiment. WE the people need to pushback on the media who is making this nontroversy into an issue simply because they are unhappy with the pathetic state of the Republican party, PBO’s improving poll numbers over their chosen candidate, and the recovering economy. This was not an issue a month ago when the admin istration first announced it’s decision – it only became an issue in the last week when the positive jobs numbers came out and PBO consistently beat Mitt Romney in the national polls. We cannot blame the administration and Democrats for the media’s working at the GOP’s behest. The media needs to called out and exposed.

        • February 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

          Kudos and SPOT ON, hopefruit.

        • 154 57andFemale
          February 9, 2012 at 11:40 am

          You are absolutely right, hopefruit2.

          I heard Chris Jansing and other alleged White House reporter about an hour ago. “Oh, yes, the administration is VERY worried, so worried that they’re working on a compromise RIGHT NOW. ”

          they don’t even pick up a phone and ask, do they? They make their six figures and don’t bother to even read last night’s news reports. But by all means, let’s NOT do our jobs and spread the lies.

        • 155 57andFemale
          February 9, 2012 at 11:46 am

          I’ll add one comment: This WAS a big deal when first announced several weeks ago, for progressives. Even a good number of grumblers were pleased to see this administration stand proud on simple issues of women’s rights and health.

          so when I hear how this is going to damage the President, I have to remind people of this. The Catholic vote is far from monolithic and if we’re going to talk about politics only, Obama stands to lose more progressives if he were to offer a serious ‘compromise’. It was precisely the professional stand taken by the administration that put this as a ‘win’ in the progressive column. As we see the horror that is the Republican field and the spectre of what they will do to this country, these principled actions help our side a lot.

          If Mark Shields decides to not vote for Obama because he would prefer to burden the $25,000/year cleaning woman at a Catholic hospital, so be it. I would rather progressives and Dem’s have another great reason to trust this President and his governance. That is our path out of this fear-mongering, billionaire-coddling morass.

      • 156 a night owl
        February 9, 2012 at 11:19 am

        I highly recommend Deaniac83’s take on this:


        He puts this episode in the context of what Smartypants calls “the Obama Method” in general:


        In a nutshell, it’s rope-a-dope. The Administration takes a position, the radical right howls in outrage. PBO offers to negotiate a compromise, indicating what the boundaries of such a compromise might be. In response, the radical right thinks he’s going to “cave” and takes an extreme position that is far to the right of most Americans. PBO is left holding the sane middle ground, which is exactly where he wants to be.

    • 157 hopefruit2
      February 9, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Exactly! This is not about contraceptives or Catholic Church. This just GOP pushing a fake wedge issue to remind their base that PBO is a “muslim socialist” because they’ve got nothing else – especially now that their foreign policy and economy trump cards have been snatched away from them.

      The problem I see for the GOP is that even if they push this issue, it will be a huge headache for them come September/November when Mitt Romney has to explain why his health care plan also mandated coverage B.C, AND why he profited from a pharmaceutical company that made BC pills.

      • February 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

        Agreed. However, they are like a corned wounded rat. They will come at you with whatever they have out of pure desparation and all they have now is more likely to hurt them than help them. I was so happy when Rove came out with the “I am offended” statement about the Chrysler ad. It actually reminded people how PBO engineered the bailout of GM and Chrysler rather than making them angry about the ad.

    • February 9, 2012 at 11:16 am

      I disagree with you. I think the contraception part IS the part to cut through all the rest of the subtrefuge that the religious right tries to cloak it’s war against women in. It’s the reason why, in the likes of Mississippi, the Personhood Amendment failed. in the reddest fo red states – it was CONTRACEPTION that broke through to folks and told them that this ain’t your mama’s anti-abortion platform. these folks are ANTI-WOMEN, and they want to CONTROL YOUR BODIES COMPLETELY.

      NOTHING, IMO, breaks that down for the most obtuse and non-political woman , than to tell her, that the church and the GOP is coming for YOUR birth control.

      • 160 hopefruit2
        February 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

      • February 9, 2012 at 11:31 am

        Actually, to some degree we agree. What you are talking about is the back lash because of the anti-woman compnent of the specific issue I am talking about. What I was talking about is why this has become an issue for the Republicans. They are hoping to motivate their base against the Christian hating secret Muslim k Hussein Obama. But I agree with you in terms of how this may well turn around and bite them in the ass. It is just that, even while we are focusing on the contraceptive issue, we have to keep in mind what their real motive is here and what they are trying to accomplish.

        • 162 57andFemale
          February 9, 2012 at 11:37 am

          this motivates the people who were never going to vote for Obama anyway.

          And the 10 other people that the MSM has managed to find who say, “I was a strong supporter of Obama, but because he’s holding affiliates to accepted labor law, I will vote against him” — well, by all means I hope you never need a safe road, clean water or safe drugs and food, because your principles are going to cost you dearly.

      • 163 57andFemale
        February 9, 2012 at 11:52 am

        I’m no novice at this liberal political stuff. But it is interesting how certain issues crystallize things in your mind.

        There is truly a war on women from the right wing and the Republican party, and short of stoning in the public square, they will do everything in their power to metaphorically stone women back to the 15th century, with the help of pedophile-coddling bishops. It’s more than disgraceful.

        I always thought my hot button issues were health care and education, about which I am passionate. But I have found a new motivation in joining organizations to fight this onslaught against American women. There will be no place for progressive health care legislation or improved education without women feeling that they have dominion over their reproductive rights. Women are being attacked by the entire Republican party and we have to fight back.

    • 164 edp4bho
      February 9, 2012 at 11:27 am

      Very revealing, and on par with the way I see this, strategically. The only things they really care about is keeping taxes low for the wealthy, and keeping their misguided minions in the dark. They could not care less about their supposed beliefs, as they sure as hell don’t live by them.

  40. 165 CTGirl
    February 9, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Warning: This is from WorldNetDaily so I will not link – Google if you wish to read the entire thing:

    20% of Republicans leaning to Obama

    WASHINGTON – For critics of Barack Obama, 2012 has been portrayed as a do-or-die year for the country – an election that will determine whether America stays on the road to European-style socialism or veers right to reclaim its positions as the most vibrant economy in the world and the home of individual liberty.

    But the 2012 election is looking more like a replay of 2008 than a do-over.

    The latest WND/Wenzel Poll shows none of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates has solidified the base of the party, with one in five GOP voters leaning toward support of Obama in November.

    The results are from the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies. The poll was conducted by telephone Feb. 1-3, 2012, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.44 percentage points.

    Guys, do you remember the % of republicans he got in 2008?

  41. 166 57andFemale
    February 9, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Okay, this is from dKos. Go read it if you wish:

    “But finally, a way out of the apparently controversial concept of providing American women with basic health care has been found. From the general counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a compromise has been offered:

    “There has been a lot of talk in the last couple days about compromise, but it sounds to us like a way to turn down the heat, to placate people without doing anything in particular,” Picarello said. “We’re not going to do anything until this is fixed.”

    That means removing the provision from the health care law altogether, he said, not simply changing it for Catholic employers and their insurers. He cited the problem that would create for “good Catholic business people who can’t in good conscience cooperate with this.”

    Problem solved! Restrict access to a basic health service for all women.

    Of course this never would have been an issue if prepubescent boys could get pregnant.”


  42. February 9, 2012 at 10:35 am

    President Obama on Thursday will offer waivers to 10 states that applied for exclusion from some aspects of the No Child Left Behind Law, according to a report in The Associated Press that cited an anonymous White House official.

    The first 10 states are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee. New Mexico, the only state to apply and not be granted a waiver, is still working with the administration on its application.


  43. February 9, 2012 at 10:38 am

    House passes bill banning insider trading almost unanimous!
    Watered-down version of the Senate bill!

  44. February 9, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Another gaffe by Robney-

    Mitt Romney made a minor slip-up at a campaign event here Wednesday afternoon when he mixed up the name of a pipeline project favored by Republicans and the name of the Obama abminsitration-backed solar firm that the GOP argues has become symbolic of the White House’s failed policies.


    This guy is stupid!

  45. 170 hopefruit2
    February 9, 2012 at 10:45 am

  46. 174 Linda
    February 9, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Ford’s board of directors, which cleared the new executive appointments in its Wednesday meeting this week, also announced the addition of former Utah Governor, U.S. Ambassador to China and recent Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. to the board.

    Huntsman represents an addition, as there were no board retirements. Ford is playing catch-up with some of its competitors in China, and Huntsman is viewed as being a strong adviser to Ford and an advocate for the automaker in China.

  47. February 9, 2012 at 10:47 am

    President to speak on housing settlement, education
    2/9/12 10:40 AM EST
    President Obama will deliver remarks twice today, first about a deal with housing lenders over alleged foreclosure abuses, then about waivers for 10 states from requirements of No Child Left Behind.

    Authorities have reached at $26 billion settlement with financial institutions, as POLITICO reported. That pot of money could provide a funding source for the president’s proposals to help bail out homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages. Obama will speak about this at a pooled press event at 12:15 p.m.

    Later, in the East Room, he will speak at an open press event about education reform. The White House said in a statement that 10 states have agreed to “raise standards, improve accountability, and undertake essential reforms to improve teacher effectiveness,” in exchange for No Child waivers. The states are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.



    We get to see the President twice today.


  48. February 9, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Is everybody still alive and well on this blog

    Where did everybody go? One minute, I see hundreds of comments, and then Nada!


  49. February 9, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars has a good question – “Why Aren’t Republicans Listening to Catholic Bishops on Unemployment Benefits?”

    “Isn’t it interesting how Republicans pick and choose which moral positions they decide they want to support? Too bad they don’t knuckle under to pressure from the Catholic church on policies like this – and that the church doesn’t work quite as strenuously to push social justice issues as it does with those having to do with reproduction:”


  50. February 9, 2012 at 10:55 am

    (AP Photo)

    Ben Smith reports in POLITICO that former New York City mayor Ed Koch believes that Jewish voters are warming to President Obama on Israel, based on his own, unique statistical sample:

    Surveying American Jewish public opinion is notoriously difficult, but Ed Koch relies on his own sample: the several hundred emails a week he receives from all over, printed out and laid on his desk by his assistant. The former New York City mayor answers each one, in longhand, then returns it for a digital reply.

    And in recent months, Koch has been hearing fewer and fewer complaints about Barack Obama.

    “Nobody is writing me,” he said in an interview this week. “I would tell you that there are very few, a handful, in any month, that excoriate me for my position in support of Obama or ask me to change.”

    Politico must feel guilty…

  51. February 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

    This new bank settlement does NOT:

    Release any criminal liability or grant any criminal immunity.
    Release any private claims by individuals or any class action claims.
    Release claims related to the securitization of mortgage backed securities that were at the heart of the financial crisis.
    Release claims against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems or MERSCORP.
    Release any claims by a state that chooses not to sign the settlement.
    End state attorneys general investigations of Wall Street related to financial fraud or the financial crisis.

  52. 186 m
    February 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

    i just came along a tweet to a politico link listing the obama campaign’s list of songs. i know i’m not supposed to link poiltico and i’m not supposed to copy and paste the entire link….so what to do, what to do?

    here is the list:

    “Different People” – No Doubt
    “Got to Get You Into My Life” – Earth, Wind & Fire
    “Green Onions” – Booker T & The MG’s
    “I Got You” – Wilco
    “Keep on Pushing” – The Impressions
    “Keep Reachin’ Up” – Nicole Willis & the Soul Investigators
    “Love You I Do?” – Jennifer Hudson
    “No Nostalgia” – AgesAndAges
    “Raise Up” – Ledisi
    “Stand Up” – Sugarland
    “This” – Darius Rucker
    “We Used To Wait” – Arcade Fire
    “You’ve Got the Love” – Florence and the Machine
    “Your Smiling Face” – James Taylor
    “Roll with the Changes” – REO Speedwagon
    “Everyday America” – Sugarland
    “Learn to Live” – Darius Rucker
    “Let’s Stay Together” – Al Green
    “Mr. Blue Sky” – Electric Light Orchestra
    “My Town” – Montgomery Gentry
    “The Best Thing about Me Is You” – Ricky Martin, featuring Joss Stone
    “You are the Best Thing” – Ray Lamontagne
    “Keep Marchin’” – Raphael Saadiq
    “Tonight’s The Kind of Night” – Noah and the Whale
    “We Take Care of Our Own” – Bruce Springsteen
    “Keep Me In Mind” – Zac Brown Band
    “The Weight” – Aretha Franklin
    “Even Better Than The Real Thing” – U2
    “Home” – Dierks Bentley.

    Chips, PLEASE edit this post if i messed up your posting wishes/rules!

    • 187 lovingandlaughing
      February 9, 2012 at 10:58 am

      oh man, i completely did not realize my old account name was set up. sorry, the above was from lovingandlaughing

      • 188 lovingandlaughing
        February 9, 2012 at 10:59 am

        i love that “let’s stay together” is included on the playlist!

        • February 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm

          Yes – I wonder if that was added after the sensational signing performance of President Obama, or if they had planned to include it all along. I didn’t recognize most of these songs, so I’ll have to spend some time on you tube. (And I’m sure they’ve got permission to use all these songs, unlike their GOP counterparts…)

  53. February 9, 2012 at 11:04 am

    If the public has reservations about the Obama administration’s policy on contraception coverage and religious organizations, it’s not because Catholic bishops have gone public with criticism, according to a Democratic-backed survey.

    A poll conducted by the Democratic firm Lake Research Partners – and obtained by POLITICO – found that voters like the Affordable Care Act more, the more they hear about it. And on the issue of contraception specifically, they’re not concerned about what the bishops have to say.

    Asked how criticism from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops affects their view of the health care reform law, only 20 percent said it made them view the ACA less favorably. Eighteen percent said it made them view the law more favorably, while 57 percent said it made no difference.


  54. 191 Ladyhawke
    February 9, 2012 at 11:04 am



    Middle Class Paying the Price after 400 Days of Republican Control of the House


    By the Numbers: GOP Do-Nothing No Jobs Agenda

    400: Days Republicans have been in charge

    0: GOP jobs agendas

    2 million: Jobs potentially destroyed under GOP bills

    31: Times House GOP have voted against taking up Democratic jobs legislation, including China currency legislation that would help create 1 million American jobs


    More atrocities are documented here….


  55. 196 hopefruit2
    February 9, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Florida has a ~10% unemployment rate – one of the highest in the nation. Yet the “good” senator Rubio is busy pushing legislation blocking women’s access to BC. That will work sooooooooo well for the GOP come November. Rubio’s days in the senate are numbered.


  56. February 9, 2012 at 11:13 am

    BIG NEWS FOR NUCLEAR — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission today is set to approve the first nuclear reactor construction permit in almost 35 years. The permit will allow Southern Co. to kick its construction of two AP1000 reactors at its Vogtle site, southeast of Augusta, Ga., into high gear. NRC’s thumbs up is a double bonus for Southern, as it also moves the utility a critical step closer to closing the deal on an $8.33 billion conditional loan guarantee from the Energy Department that has been pending since February 2010. Nuclear nerds can watch the NRC meeting here starting at noon: http://video.nrc.gov/.

  57. 199 Walking_on_ Sunshine
    February 9, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    mmmmn. After an entire evening spent panicking about reproductive rights, I wish I had started here with this post and the very reassuring video of RM and Chris Hayes. They are right of course. I could have saved myself much grief. Add to that the bonus of wet Obama and I could have had a much less stressful evening.
    The trick is in knowing where to start- end of the day and work backward or rise and shine and work forward? I’m always playing catch up so I guess I just have to take my chances.
    Well tomorrow is another day.
    Night! 🙂

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