Rise and Shine

President Obama hugs Irene Hirano Inouye, widow of the late U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, after she receives the flag that draped his casket at his memorial service, Hawaii, Dec 23



MoooOOoooOOooorning everyone. I hope you’re very impressed: I almost have the February photos video made, which gives me a whole week to get the other 10 done. 😕

Equally impressive, you’ll agree, is that I have all of this afternoon to get all of my Christmas shopping done. I vowed to be more organised this year than last, I think you’ll agree I’ve succeeded. 😎

So, chat away and I’ll be back later with a very, um, seasonal February video and my presents bought.

208 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. 1 Proud Former White House Intern
    December 24, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Great morning

  2. 3 JER
    December 24, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Happy Christmas Eve everybody. May your tomorrow be Merry and Bright!

  3. December 24, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Merry CHRISTmas TOD! & Good Morning

  4. 6 desertflower
    December 24, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Morning:) Congrats, Proud! And Chips…you will not be alone in that quest to get ALL your Christmas shopping done today:) I do this every year, it seems:)

  5. December 24, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Good morning Chips and TOD family. Happy Christmas Eve to everyone and have a blessed day today. Congrats Proud on being first this lovely day.

  6. 8 CEB
    December 24, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Good morning and Merry Christmas TOD ohana. While I have finished shopping, I have yet to clean the house and to do a little cooking, so I will have to get myself in gear. Have a lovely Christmas eve and an even more joyful Christmas day.

    December 24, 2012 at 8:36 am


  8. 11 CEB
    December 24, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Made my earlier comment before really viewing the photos or watching the video.

    1. The W H pastry chefs are true artist.
    2. I wish I could give a fierce Mama Bear hug to PBO; he has had to bear so much grief and sorrow. He fills us up with hope, love, and comfort and I pray that he in turn is filled up and renewed.

    • 12 Eveingeorgia
      December 24, 2012 at 8:47 am

      Here’s another Mama Bear that wishes she could give him a warm, supportive hug. Hope he and Michelle feel our love and concern.

    • 13 Rain
      December 24, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Good morning TOD family! Happy Christmas Eve to everyone!

      Mama Bear #3 in line here. I hope that in some way they can feel all the love and support from all of us out here. I hope they get at least few days to just relax and have some special family time.

      • 14 anniebella
        December 24, 2012 at 10:09 am

        I agree with you guys. I have never written the President and First Lady, but I think I will do that to let them know that they are in my prayers and they have my support 100%, even when we disagree, you still have my support. When I think about it it really piss me off that POTUS has to cut his Christmas vacation short all because of those Republicans who hate this President more than they love this country.

    • 15 susanne
      December 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      late to the party (good hawaii morning chips and tods!) but would also love to give our dear president a big mama-bear hug. it breaks my heart that his family time is so limited this christmas, with the girls growing up so fast.

  9. 16 Eveingeorgia
    December 24, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Happy Christmas Eve to all in this wonderful family that Chips has created. May your celebrations be joyful and filled with light.

    May our president and family experience joy and renewal.

    May God bless them, protect them and direct them.

  10. 19 Japa21
    December 24, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Good morning TODville. For the next couple days I have decided I am not going to worry about politics at all. Instead, I am going to focus on what this season is all about. For Christians, such as myself, there is a particular meaning. But the message of Christmas goes beyond what it means to us. It is a season to renew a dedication for peace and good will for everybody. Needless to say, many people, Christian or not, will disregard that message. But the fact they do does not mean that I or others have to also disregard it.

    One of the things that the season means is that hatred of others, for any reason, is wrong. Unfortunately, over this year we have seen just the opposite from to many people, and when you see hatred all around you, it is easy to be swept into the same emotions. It is easy to hate the haters. But all that does is make one become what he or she hates.

    This site has been a place where the ability to disagree without failing into the pit of hatred has been exemplified. Let us resolve to continue to make it a place of refuge from the negativity, a place to recharge our batteries and work all the harder to make the message of this season come to reality.

      December 24, 2012 at 8:57 am


    • 21 jackiegrumbacher
      December 24, 2012 at 9:03 am

      Words of peace to strive for, Japa, even though they aren’t always easy to live by. And yes, this is a place of refuge for which most of us probably owe our mental health through most of this year.

    • December 24, 2012 at 9:15 am

      Beautifully and perfectly said, japa. If I could write like you (and many others) do, that is what I would say. If it’s okay, I’ll say “DITTO”!!

      Sending my biggest Christmas wishes and blessings to everyone here at our TOD family. We will be attending two Christmas Eve services this evening/tonight (different campuses of our church); get to bed fairly early so we can get up early and get on the road to our daughter’s in Chesapeake, VA. Son-in-law is nav officer on a sub so they can’t get away this year. This is the first Christmas they have been at home since Walker’s last Christmas (2007) so my daughter is having a very difficult time. Christmas is extremely hard for her anyway and this magnifies the emotions.

    • 23 Eveingeorgia
      December 24, 2012 at 9:35 am

      Exactly, Japan. I will take a hiatus, as well. So much hatred makes the mind and body sick. I will keep in touch with TOD, though. Wouldn’t miss it for the world. Merry Christmas, Japa.

      Got a question for you after our break.

    • 25 a4alice
      December 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Japa your message of peace and good will resonates with me. I hope you and all of you at TOD have a peaceful and recharging few days over this Christmastime of 2012.

    • December 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      Lovely sentiment, Japa! Merry Christmas to everyone – enjoy the days and the meaning of the season.

    • 27 JD
      December 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Thank you for your deeply spiritual words. I have always enjoyed your insightful commentary.

      I am also a Christian (pretty conservative theologically) who is a staunch supporter of President Obama. I am constantly interacting with people with whom I disagree in some way and your words serve as a timely reminder to keep first things first and to remember why I am here. The president exemplifies this spirit of keeping the end constantly in mind as he faithfully leads our country.

  11. 28 Ladyhawke
    December 24, 2012 at 9:01 am

    How Party of Budget Restraint Shifted to ‘No New Taxes,’ Ever


    The conservative revolt against that 1990 legislation — and against President George Bush, who violated his own “Read my lips” vow not to increase taxes — was a seminal moment for Republicans. The party of balanced budgets became the party that opposed tax increases.

    When conservatives sank Speaker John A. Boehner’s plan last week to acquiesce on tax increases for the most affluent Americans as part of a potential broader deal with the Obama administration to avert tax increases for everyone else, several said that 1990 accord was a reason. They regard Mr. Bush’s broken promise as a major reason he was not re-elected, and they say the budget agreement proved that such compromises do not restrain the growth of government.

    But the 1990 legislation also highlights a basic challenge now facing the party, which the chaos within the House caucus helped bring into public view on Thursday night.



    • 29 jackiegrumbacher
      December 24, 2012 at 9:14 am

      Sadly LH, this is how a great country declines, when one party decides it will stand still and not yield to any reality whatsoever. If we don’t radically change this Congress, the US will be stuck in a time warp, a rigid 1990’s budget mentality, unable and unwilling to meet the needs of the future. Other countries will surge forward and we will be the nation that “might have been.”

  12. 31 Ladyhawke
    December 24, 2012 at 9:11 am


    It’s Our System On The Cliff

    By E.J. DIONNE


    WASHINGTON — The United States faces a crisis in our political system because the Republican Party, particularly in the House of Representatives, is no longer a normal, governing party.

    The only way we will avoid a Constitutional crackup is for a new, bipartisan majority to take effective control of the House and isolate those who would rather see the country fall into chaos than vote for anything that might offend their ideological sensibilities.

    In a democratic system with separated powers, two houses of Congress, split between the parties, a normal party accepts that compromise is the only way to legislate. A normal party takes into account election results. A normal party recognizes when the other side has made real concessions. A normal party takes responsibility.

    By all of these measures, the Republican majority that Speaker John Boehner purports to lead is abnormal. That is the meaning of his catastrophic failure to gather the votes for his “Plan B” proposal on the “fiscal cliff.” Many of his most radical members believe they have a right to use any means at their disposal to impose their views on the country, even if they are only a minority in Congress.



    • 32 JD
      December 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      E. J. Dionne is a national treasure. It is a tragedy that there are so few pundits who write with his understanding and integrity.

  13. 33 amk for obama
    December 24, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Christmas eve shopping ? What do you plan to gift, gift wrappers ?

    • December 24, 2012 at 9:27 am

      Since I will be on my own this year, I am gift wrapping and sending out all my best wishes for a happy and safe 2013 for everyone and a good night’s sleep for me.

      • 35 jackiegrumbacher
        December 24, 2012 at 9:33 am

        Alma, you won’t be alone. There is a whole world of family here who will be with you this Christmas. And best wishes to you in return.

        • 36 mtmarilyn
          December 24, 2012 at 10:07 am

          Alma, I agree with Jackie, you are never all alone. This is a family here. This is the first year I will not be cooking dinner tonight or tomorrow night for a house full of family and friends. My children will be spending the time with their in laws and my husband and I are going out to eat both nights. Our children will be here for breakfast tomorrow for our gift exchange then we have the rest of the day to ourselves. I am fine with all of it.

          Have a beautiful, wonderful Holiday time everyone.

          • 37 HZ
            December 24, 2012 at 11:04 am

            Alma, you are loved by your TOD family. ((((((( Special Hugs from my arms to yours))))))))HZ

          • 38 theo67
            December 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm

            Oh, you might think about going to see Les Miserables, which starts tomorrow.

            • December 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm

              Thanks for the suggestion but I had a kid in music theatre and spent hours/days/years sitting in my car waiting to drive him home after interminable rehearsals. Love that he sang. Love musicals with all my heart, but I think that despite all the bad press for the violence, I will see the love story Django cuz I believe in the power of love and see PBO as living proof of its reality.

              • 40 theo67
                December 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm

                Sounds like you’ve got a plan. I’ll be interested in hearing how that movie turns out (Django) – I was undecided about that one. Have fun! 🙂

      • December 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm

        Hey thanks….It is so true that this is an amazing family. I have spent hours reading and chatting with the night crew here and love you all back.

    • 42 vcprezofan2
      December 24, 2012 at 11:32 am

      You mean you can actually ‘gift’ the people who wrap the presents? I never knew that! I’ll take a handsome one, Chips, inside and out, but he has to be self-sufficient yet malleable. Thanks for this new bit of info, Amk. You can be a real treasure ……at odd times. 😉 😉

  14. 43 sabreen60
    December 24, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Good Morning TOD and Merry Christmas Eve. I have probably never been here this early – I didn’t stay up to 2:00am and got up early. Now it’s off to a doctor’s appointment 😦 and then my sister is coming over 🙂 Take care.

  15. 44 jackiegrumbacher
    December 24, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Everybody is going to be busy and sometimes overwhelmed today with last minute shopping, frantic cleaning, food prep, etc. No matter how much I try to do ahead there are always countless things I “forgot” and didn’t realize would take so long. So…the challenge is to let the little details slide and enjoy this once a year time to stop and enjoy all the people you love. If we thought about all the sadness, tragedy and ugliness in the world, we would sit on the floor and cry all day. But now’s not the time for that. Christmas gives us a chance to see the world as it could be with love in everyone’s heart and kindness in their behavior. By this afternoon, the presents will be under the tree, the sauces simmering on the stove and, if we’re lucky, the predicted snow will start falling. So a special merry Christmas to Chips and our wonderful TOD family, to our beloved president and his family and a wish that all travelers reach home safely. Oh, and a thank you to those incredible White House chefs who really do create magic with their skills. And Chips, you have to have impressive nerves of steel to do all your Christmas shipping on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. May the Force be with you!

    • 45 CEB
      December 24, 2012 at 9:43 am

      Thank you, Jackie. Good Holiday cheer and blessings to you and to all that you hold dear.

    • 47 Japa21
      December 24, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Well said. It is time to let the little things slide. As Richard Carlson said “Don’t sewat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff.”
      Sometimes we try too hard to make the holidays perfect, but in reality, the message of the holidays is exactly the opposite.

      And on a humorous note regarding putting off Christmas shopping to the bitter end. In one of my many earlier lives, I managed the housewares department at Marshall Field in a Chicago suburb. We closed at 5 on Christmas Eve and at 4:45, since it had gotten really quiet, I told my staff they could leave and I would handle closing up everything. The department was on the second floor near the escalator. I closed one of our registers at 5 to 5 and was standing in front of the second one reading to close it out at exactly 5. At 4:59 and 30 seconds a man came running up the escalator, saw me and shouted “Do you have any toasters left?”

      Fortunately we did, but I think he was breaking a cardinal rule of Christmas gift giving, which is never buy your wife a present with an electric cord for Christmas, birthday or anniversary.

  16. 48 Bill R.
    December 24, 2012 at 9:40 am

    A Christmas Eve Prayer-

    In the darkness of the evening
    the eyes of my heart are awake to you.
    In the quiet of the night
    I long to hear again intimations of your love.
    In the sufferings of the world
    and the struggles of my life
    I seek your graces of healing.
    At the heart of the brokenness around me
    and in the hidden depths of my own soul
    I seek your touch of healing, O God,
    for there you reside.
    In the hidden depths of life, O God,
    there you reside.

  17. December 24, 2012 at 9:43 am

    amk one of america’s traditions is to do all or most of your shopping as Xmas gets closer :). In the case of our Chips she’s been pulling double duty of working a regular job and TOD which we truly appreciate. Be safe out there Chips and good luck. I went grocery shopping and almost everything is sold out….consumer lack of confidence my a……

    My Dearest Chips, I am thankful for your gift of the TOD because without it I would not have meet or known some of the most terrific people. You showed me that giving of yourself is truly a blessing and YOU my dear are a blessing.

    My cousin’s wife (soon to be ex-wife) had a tumor removed from her face and is partially paralyzed. My deadbeat cousin did left her shortly after her surgery with three girls and a granddaughter. Two are young adults (one just entered college this year ) and one is fourteen. I sent them a money order to help out but stupid me spelled her name wrong and the store won’t honor it so she mailed it back. I am going to surprise them with a turkey, vegetables, dressing fixings, and cranberrys thanks to Trader Joes. I am going to brave the malls to get the five year old a present and money for the older girls to go on a shopping spree the day after Xmas.

    Merry Christmas everyone.

  18. 64 Betsy
    December 24, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Good morning all. Merry Christmas Eve! I, too, am going to be at peace this Christmas and not sweat the small stuff. I love coming to this place and I thank you all for keeping me sane this past year. I hope the President has a real break for the next two days and gets some rest. I hate it that those shitty Repugs have forced him to come home early, but I will try not to hate them, it will be hard 😦

    • 65 HZ
      December 24, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Good morning from the westcoast to all of my TOD family and our beautiful and special angel, Chips. May this day be what each of us will need to give us a thankful and gracious heart to enjoy this gift of life today. Fill your hearts, and homes with those beautiful and wonderful joys that make you, family, and friends feel the beautiful reason why we celebrate this beautiful and loving holiday.

      May the gift that we write about, sing about and speak about help us to share its blessings to those who may not have someone to call them or send them a message of this Christmas. Just say a word of thanks, or hope for your neighbor, your children, your friends, and tell them you care.

      Chips, this is a beautiful gift that you have given to all of us, and I want to say, “Thank you for making my life full of so much joy by being able to come here.”

      May the music of God’s love fill your homes; fill your hearts, and fill your minds. Do not try to be perfect, just make room for His arrival. As you greet your guest, remember the warmth of a hug will probably cover so much. Be joyful, all of my TOD family. I love you all, and I am so grateful to God for this day, and pray that I will offer unto Him my thankfulness with how I live my life. HZ

  19. 66 No Child Left Behind
    December 24, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Merry Christmas TODVille!

    I wish everyone the joy of the season, the peace in having faith in the Lord, the love of those around you.

    May you keep hope for even a brighter New Year. While we are grateful for all the blessings of this year, the reelection of President Obama among many in the list, we also trust God to keep us safe, enthusiastic, focused in whatever we do.

    I am very grateful for Chipsticks that has created a forum where BO’s supporters and like minded individuals can get the news without spin.

    All the best.

  20. 67 desertflower
    December 24, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Sorry for this. WTH is going on here?


    Firefighters Shot While Battling Christmas Eve Blaze

    At least 4 firefighters were shot, and two reportedly killed, while responding to a house fire in Webster, New York early Monday morning.
    As first responders moved in to battle the blaze, a gunman who is still at large opened fire, prompting officials to evacuate the entire scene while the flames enveloped the house and spread to neighboring residences. At least three houses are reported to have burned down.

  21. 72 xtine
    December 24, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Beautiful pics, Chips! Woke up to groundhog day: turned 29 again! Happy birthday to me! 🙂

    Have a lovely day!

  22. December 24, 2012 at 10:52 am

  23. 86 Beverly Crosson
    December 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Dear Chipsticks,
    Happy holidays to you! And many many thanks for providing me with such hope and positive emotions this past year. I have recommended The Obama Diary to countless people and will continue to do so. I do hope you are able to continue sending out the information, pictures, videos, articles – all so powerful – for the next 4 years. I wish you were published in daily newspapers. Your contributions to the public discourse are so valuable. I wish you the happiest of new years – and again, I cannot describe how grateful I am that you are doing what you are doing with this website.

  24. December 24, 2012 at 10:58 am

    The media has dubbed the Fiscal standoff as Merry CLIFF-Mas.

    • 88 FiredUpInCA
      December 24, 2012 at 11:33 am

      As news spread that John Boehner’s Plan B did not have enough votes, the President led the West Wing in a soulful and joyful rendition of ‘I’ll Be Home Cliffmas’ according to reports in my imagination.

  25. December 24, 2012 at 11:00 am

  26. 90 vcprezofan2
    December 24, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Happy 24th, TODobots! 2012 sure is winding down quickly. Good work there, PI, mostly alternating top spot with a couple of other ‘stars’! Keep it going, you marvels of speed.

    Special ‘Good Morning’, Ms Chips! I know Monday is not one of your favourite days, but this one is almost over for you and there’s only one more in 2012, so enjoy. 😉

    • 91 vcprezofan2
      December 24, 2012 at 11:08 am

      Congratulations, Ms Chips! I am so proud of you for having kept your vow – an entire afternoon to do your Christmas shopping! If I remember correctly that’s QUITE an improvement from last year. I am truly impressed! Now you’ll have time to make choices instead of picking up whatever is left on the shelves, and you may even be fortunate enough to get some good last minute deals. Happy shopping! 😛 😛 😆

  27. December 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

    • 94 anniebella
      December 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      Everytime I see Bo jump in FLOTUS lap I can’t help but smile, but wasn’t going to give the kids a chance to sit there.

  28. 95 sherijr
    December 24, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I have to share that yesterday I received the best Christmas gift ever: My 5 year old granddaughter, Rylie, helped me bake cookies 🙂 She was such a joy ~ she is a chatterbox with sparkling almond eyes & thick curly eyelashes… she is smart & polite and sooo happy, I have fallen completely & irrevocably in love ~

    Wishing alllll of you a very Merry Christmas ((((((((((HugsToAll))))))))) and wishing you Chips all the goodness you deserve for the goodness you do for so many of us. Peace everyone.

    • 96 jackiegrumbacher
      December 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      What a joy. I can’t wait until our new grandbaby is old enough to make cookies with us. Enjoy every minute and have a great Christmas.

      • 97 sherijr
        December 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm

        Grandkids are the reason I moved here recently- so I could be close by… and let me tell you jackie- BEST thing I ever did 🙂 There is nothing better.. Congratulations on your new grandbaby 🙂

    • 98 utaustinliberal
      December 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Awwwwwww…..best story ever. Hope she brings you even more happiness. 😀

      • 99 sherijr
        December 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm

        oh ut, she was here today to open her Christmas presents.. and she is just such a little doll, so loving and adorable. Thank you & have a wonderful Christmas~

  29. 100 hopefruit2
    December 24, 2012 at 11:55 am

    G’morning Chips, TOD, lurkers, everyone! Happy Birthday Extine 🙂

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. Peace and blessings and hoping that everyone gets their shopping and holiday prep completed in time!

  30. 101 desertflower
    December 24, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Pretty much sums things up. http://politicalwire.com/archives/2012/12/24/party_of_nothing.html

    it is becoming clear that the Republican party “is against everything and for nothing.”

    “Nothing on taxes. Nothing on gun control. Nothing on climate change. Nothing on gay marriage. Nothing on immigration reform (or an incremental, piece-by-piece approach, which will result in nothing). It’s a very odd situation when the losing party is the party refusing to negotiate. It may be how you disrupt, but it is not how you govern, or how you ever hope to regain a majority.”

    “And so, we have a Republican Party today willing to eliminate any prospect for a decent future for anyone, including itself, if it cannot be a future that is 100 percent in accordance with its core beliefs and principles. That’s not governing. That’s just lobbing hand grenades. If you’re only standing on principle to appear taller, then you appear smaller. And the GOP is shrinking daily before our eyes.”

  31. December 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Good afternoon everybody, how is your day and how is your weekend?

  32. December 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I would like to dedicate this video: http://youtu.be/Z2CczHmK_k4, to all of you who love to celebrate the Holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays To All Of You!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. December 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Merry Christmas, you all and Happy Holidays!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. 124 sherijr
    December 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Okay I just had to ‘borrow’ this:

    ★¸¸.•*´¯`★❥✿•.¸ϺƐƦƦɎ ȻĦƦÎŞŦϺѦŠ¸¸.•✿❥★¸¸.•*´¯`★

    • 125 vcprezofan2
      December 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      Seasons Greeting, Sheri, dear! Have a good time celebrating with family (and leave a couple of Rylie’s cookies for me – Santa might be persuaded to drop them off if you put my name on them. After all, I have been a NICE girl this year).

  35. 136 lmrj
    December 24, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Delurking to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to TODville! Happy Birthday Xtine! Last but not by any means least, Merry Christmas and THANK YOU to our Chips! With TOD you created and daily maintain a gift to the world. You have given us all a sane place to gather and discuss events of the day and obtain news about POTUS, VPOTUS, FLOTUS & SLOTUS and everything concerning them without the negativity we receive over our airwaves, most blogs and print. Especially in the past election cycle, you were a blessing to us all. Don’t know how you do it and still maintain your first job. THANK YOU… THANK YOU… THANK YOU…! ! !. . . AND GOD BLESS YOU!

  36. 140 vcprezofan2
    December 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    This is not exactly in the x-mas spirit, but it’s topical. I found it in my email…

    Alan Simpson, the Senator from Wyoming calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation as he compared “Social Security ” to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats. Here’s a response in a letter from PATTY MYERS in Montana … I think she is a little ticked off! She also tells it like it is!
    “Hey Alan, let’s get a few things straight!!!!!
    1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole (tit) for FIFTY YEARS!
    2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15 years old. I am now 63).
    3. My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give OUR money to a bunch of zero losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.
    4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and “your ilk” pulled the proverbial football away from millions of American seniors nearing retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to age, 67. NOW, you and your “shill commission” are proposing to move the goalposts YET AGAIN.
    5. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare from Day One, and now “you morons” propose to change the rules of the game. Why? Because “you idiots” mismanaged other parts of the economy to such an extent that you need to steal our money from Medicare to pay the bills.
    6. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes our entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again. Why? Because you “incompetent bastards” spent our money so profligately that you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money. Now, you come to the American taxpayers and say you need more to pay off YOUR debt. To add insult to injury, you label us “greedy” for calling “bullshit” to your incompetence.

    Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questions for YOU:

    1. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during your pathetic 50-year political career?

    2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the American taxpayers?

    3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?

    4. What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are you proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or as usual, have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?

    It is you, Captain Bullshit, and your political co-conspirators called Congress who are the “greedy” ones. It is you and your fellow nutcase thieves who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers. And for what? Votes and your job and retirement security at our expense, you lunk-headed leech. That’s right, sir. You and yours have bankrupted America for the sole purpose of advancing your pathetic, political careers. You know it, we know it, and you know that we know it. And you can take that to the bank, you miserable son of a bitch. NO, I did not stutter.

    If you like the way things are in America delete this.

    If you agree with what a Montana citizen, Patty Myers, says, please PASS IT ON!!!!

    P.S. And stop calling Social Security benefits “entitlements”. WHAT AN INSULT!!!! I have been paying in to the SS system for 45 years, “It’s my money”, give it back to me the way the system was designed and stop patting yourself on the back like you are being generous by doling out these monthly checks!

    • 141 desertflower
      December 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      This should be included in everyone’s tax returns.Just sayin’ 🙂 A most truthful and excellent rant!

      • 142 vcprezofan2
        December 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm

        Hello there ‘old girl’! I notice you are officially on vacation and that you haven’t bought MY present yet, so I do not understand WHY you are on-line. I have no desire to wait until AFTER Christmas to receive my car elevator (hopefully Chips is out shopping for my red corvette chevy volt even as we speak). 😉

        Seasons Greetings, Desertf! Wishing you the very best as 2012 trickles down in a very real sense. 😆

    • 145 mtmarilyn
      December 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      WOW!!!! that was great. I know we do have some great people here in MT. It is time we all speak out. Thank you for sharing!

  37. December 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Merry Christmas everyone. Chips, hope you get all your shopping done!!

  38. December 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Merry Christmas Chipsticks, you are the greatest at what you do. One Love, Much Respects and Happy Holidays!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. 149 desertflower
    December 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Off to do ALL my shopping now….focused like a laser…in, out, I’m done! I HATE to shop! Am I the only woman in America that hates to shop? I avoid it like the plague…

  40. 155 utaustinliberal
    December 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    So happy POTUS is getting some much needed fun.

  41. 156 utaustinliberal
    December 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    The WH Press Corps should never complain about covering Pres. Obama. Look at their view in Hawaii.

  42. 159 auni
    December 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Wishing everyone in the TOD family a wonderful Christmas. Especially wishing President Obama a few moments of peace from his hard situation. So many sorrows lately for him. He carries it all for us and gives me a feeling of strength. God bless him for being the man he is–our country is blessed.

  43. December 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    You see how insane this is? Petition to deport Piers Morgan over Gun control remarks nears 38k-


    I am telling you, this gun culture is crazy!

    • 161 anniebella
      December 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      Can’t we who support gun control get a petition in support of Piers Morgan? I’m no big fan of his, but I agree with him concerning gun control.

  44. 162 Bill R.
    December 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    A Celtic blessing to all:

  45. December 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Teddy Kennedy Jr will nit run for vacant seat.
    I wonder if Vikki will? I hope, otherwise, that seat is in jeopardy!

  46. 164 Bill R.
    December 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    A Friendship Blessing – from John O’Donohue “Anam Cara”

    May you be blessed with good friends,
    May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.
    May you be able to journey to that place in your soul
    where there is love, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.
    May this change you.
    May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold in you.
    May you be brought in to the real passion,kinship,
    and affinity of belonging.
    May you treasure your friends.
    May you be good to them and may you be there for them;
    may they bring you all the blessings, challenges, truth,
    and light that you need for your journey.
    May you never be isolated.
    May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging
    with your anam cara. (soul friend)

    Merry Christmas, peace and good will to all!

  47. 165 utaustinliberal
    December 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm

  48. December 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    df, You are not the only woman who hates to shop. I don’t like it either!! I need to know, or have a darn good idea, what I am looking for, whether for myself or someone else. Hopefully, I am lucky enough to find something fairly quickly, get it and get home. 🙂

    Merry Christmas!!

  49. December 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Merry Christmas to everyone in the TOD community.

    Astounded about the news from Webster NY.

    Did you see this? NRA President David Keene’s ex-wife was convicted of embezzlement last year, his son did 10 years for gun-related road rage (convicted in 2003).

    I don’t endorse guilt by association, but those closest to that well-paid lobbyist snake are not shining examples of American values.


    • 169 4morefor44
      December 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      there’s no mention of either on his wikipedia page, of course. seems like it’s written by his mother, extolling this virtuous man as a uniter, not a divider. yea, the president of the n.r.a. is a uniter….riiiight. the entire republican agenda is based on fraud, and they practice fraud in every aspect of their lives. pathetic people….truly.

  50. 170 susanne
    December 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    some images of the maunawili falls hike taken by the first family yesterday afternoon (they are not depicted–the trail was closed during their hike).


  51. 171 Bill R.
    December 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I grew up in a cooking tradition. I was raised (literally) in my Italian immigrant grandmother’s restaurant. So I am the one who cooks in our household, every day and on holidays. So today and tomorrow I am busy cooking for my wife, my almost 2 year old granddaughter, named after my grandmother family matriarch, her parents, my daughter and her husband, and for a couple who are good friends of ours. Tomorrow my little granddaughter will arrive at the door, and grin when she sees me, yelling “Up!” and I will hold her in my arms while she laughs in hers and my delight, calling me her “Babbo” ! (Italian for Papa or Grandpa!) Good wishes to all!

    • 172 theo67
      December 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Merry Christmas, Bill R. Sounds absolutely delightful!

    • 173 sherijr
      December 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      Yep those grandbabies make everything pretty perfect- have a great Christmas Bill 🙂

    • 174 jackiegrumbacher
      December 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Sounds wonderful, Bill, uh, Babbo. Have a great time!

    • 175 desertflower
      December 24, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Memories:) I miss my delightful and most amazing Italian nana. She was a wonderful cook and spread love to everyone she knew. Dinner at her house was always filled with great food, lots of wine, and lots of family. I miss her everyday:) Enjoy tomorrow.

  52. 176 kasai
    December 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    MERRY CHRISTMAS (((((((((((((((((TODS)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
    Chips thank you so much for all that you do….love ya!
    Wishing you all Love, Peace and Joy!

  53. 179 susanne
    December 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    i’m loving all these sweet christmas greetings today! todville is truly ohana for so many–all thanks to matriarch chips! just thinking about gifts, and i realize the best one this year we already received: our president re-elected to a second term. yes! that was a great gift to open! sending aloha to all of you! mele kalikimaka!

  54. 180 carolyn
    December 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Merry Christmas to everyone at TOD. As susanne said, having our president be re-elected was indeed a wonderful present, not only to us, but to the entire country and all of the world. The world knows he is the one to be leading us and the world. Truly hope everyone is getting a break from the worries around us, and sharing this time with those you love best.
    I’m sitting here right now in our living room, with my husband in the chair across from me, overwhelmed with the joy of having him here again this year, when I was truly afraid I was going to lose him. He is stronger now than he was at any time last year. I’m so thankful for modern science and medicine.
    As I rejoice, my heart breaks for all the families who have lost loved ones to gunfire and to storms this year. They will certainly be in my prayers as I attend Christmas Eve service this evening.
    Take care of yourselves, everyone. A special greeting to Chipsticks.

    • 181 theo67
      December 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      Carolyn – it warms my heart each time you write about how well your husband is doing, especially since his previous condition was missed by the last doctor. I’m so glad he’s doing well, and that you’ll be enjoying the holidays together, with his renewed vigor! Enjoy!

  55. December 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Merry Christmas TOD family. May you all enjoy the blessing of having family and friends around and the special LOVE that it brings.
    May God continue to BLESS our PRESIDENT and First Family and give them peace, joy and rest during this brief vacation time.
    Love you all.

  56. December 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Oh my gosh, THANK YOU TODers for all the lovely gifts on this page – the stories of grandchildren are so touching, the music, the community spirit. We are so fortunate to have Chips and each other. Love you all and wish the very merriest of evenings with those you love!!

    • 185 COS
      December 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      Merry Christmas to Chips and all of my TOD friends. This has been quite a year, but we made it throughwith our love and respect for each other. Everyone please have a safe holiday and cherish your family and friends.

  57. December 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I extend a very Merry Christmas to Chips and TOD friends. Have fun everyone with family and friends.

  58. December 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Good Christmas Eve day all you O’s!!!!! What a wonderful evening on this great getting up day!! I’m all good, the grandkids made it in and Santa will descend the chimney at Cookemom’s this year for the 7 year old. Even the 15 year old is actually grinned ear-to-ear as she bounded up the stairs. Hopefullly that’ll last for a few days, before the eyerolls deploy.

    I did 99.99% of my shopping on-line this year and after taking the kids out to do their shopping for each other and mom, I’ve decided to make it a tradition. Why you ask?

    I had to assert my right to a parking spot that was at least 1/2 mile from the store.

    I had to put up with a 7 year old melt down when the understanding that ‘no you can’t get your mom that big, shiny, necklace and ring behind the counter. There’s a reason they keep it there. And yes, it’s very pretty and yes, she’d love it (so would I), but once again no, it cost too much and no it’s not because I won’t let you pick out what you want, and yes I did say you could, but no, not this one. How about the shiny one hanging on the cardboard display? No? Stop crying, we’re in the store and Santa is just outside in the mall and you know about naughty and nice. Yes, I did say it’s better to give and yes you are a good boy and how bout we go get something loaded with sugar? 15 year old, how about giving your brother a hug and let him know your mom will be happy with the cardboard box display item? 15 year old, “huh? what’re you talking about, can I get the Justin Beiber cologne?”

    Happy day to you and yours and may your celebration be tailored made especially for you.

    • 188 carolyn
      December 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      This is hilarious…..and so true!!! Glad you came home in one piece!!!!!

      • 189 cookemom
        December 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm

        Thaks, it’s funny now, not so much then. The grandkids thought I was crazy over the parking spot, but not as crazy as the other driver thought I was. It never got to scary, at least not for me. His car was so much nicer than my old beater. I was sure he wouldn’t want to chance it.

    • 190 vcprezofan2
      December 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      Good Christmas Eve to you too, CookeM! I pictured that quite clearly, you are such a hoot! Enjoy each moment with the family (including the skype moment with #2) over the next couple of days and think of the lovely memories you’ll be able to share….with us. 😉 😉 😆

      • 191 cookemom
        December 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm

        Thanks VC this is already shaping up to be one the best ones. With the exception on #2 not at home (will do Europe over the holidays), this one will go down in the Cookemom, ‘best of’ series of holiday ho, ho, hodumness. Today the 7 year old asked to set the cookies out early. No problem go ahead…… couple of hours later, awfully quiet in there. ‘So what’s that you got there over the cookie plate? Why are my craft popsicle sticks and yarn dangling off the shoe box that you’ve glued on the living room cocktail table?” “Oh,” says the wee lad, I’ve figured it out. I’m making a trap for Santa. When he puts his hand in to get the cookies, the box will come down and trap him. That way I’ll be able to have Christmas all year long!!!!”

        The only thing left now, is to see how well the cardboard boxes that I’ll be cooking Xmas dinner on will hold up.

  59. December 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I’d like to wish all of you & your loved ones, a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, Safe & Prosperous New Year!

    Semper Fi!

  60. 193 FoxfireTX
    December 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Merry Christmas to each and every one of you, and especially to Chips! It’s been a joy spending time here this year.

    I am ready to head out the door. This will be the first Christmas I’m home and not cooking. My daughter decided she wanted to do Christmas Eve at her house so the kids could have Christmas at home. I feel like half my house is going out the door with me but it will be fun. My granddaughter recently turned 5 and is at the wonderful age when she understands anticipation. We spent an afternoon last week making cookies and decorating a gingerbread house. I am so looking forward to Christmas with her and the rest of my family. And I feel so blessed. The Newtown folks will be in my prayers this Christmas along with those who were so devastated by Hurricane Sandy. I feel so sad for the families of the firefighters that lost their lives today. One of my prayers for the coming year will be to see far less gun violence in this country.

    I hope each of you find joy and peace this holiday. You are one of the blessings in my life.

  61. 194 Dakota
    December 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Preparing my house for guests tomorrow. Making my traditional gumbo and friends are bringing other dishes. Daughter is unable to visit this year and were unable to visit her, so I’m happy to be sharing it with friends.

    To my TOD Family:

    May God Bless you all and have the happiest of holidays as we remember the reason for the season. May God Bless our President and his family with the most happy and Blessed of Christmases.

  62. December 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    CNN votes that the President is the most intriguing Person of 2012.


  63. 196 susanne
    December 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    so much silly stuff on the innerwebs today!

  64. 198 desertflower
    December 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Update on those firefighters killed doing their jobs today….who will not be here to spend the holiday with their families….


    The Webster, New York man who fired on firefighters responding to a blaze, killing two, is a felon convicted of manslaughter, according to local police. Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering told a press conference this morning that the suspect was William Spengler, who served roughly 18 years on manslaughter charges for killing his 92 year old grandmother. Spengler had a number of run-ins with the police after that, according to Pickering.
    Because Spengler was convicted a felon, he was supposed to be legally barred from owning a gun. However, because of the so-called “gun show loophole” — a National Rifle Assocation (NRA) supported-policy that allows “private” gun sales to take place without background checks — it’s possible Spengler could have purchased his weapon without the seller even checking whether he could legally own a gun or had a history of violence. Guns bought in this manner are used in 80 percent of violent firearm crimes across the country. Moreover, it’s very easy, as a consequence of another set of NRA-supported changes to federal law, for some felons to get their right to own guns reinstated.
    When asked about the nature of Spengler’s murderous assault on the firefighters, Pickering said that, from what they could tell so far, “it was a trap.”

    Crickets from the idiot.

  65. 199 JER
    December 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm

  66. December 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    If you go to the AP, their has been 3 more brutal shootings today.
    If we only had more guns?

  67. December 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Wishing everyone at TOD a very Merry Christmas Eve! Although at our house – it’s my husband’s birthday! That had to be rough growing up. Since we don’t have any kids and only my parents in a nearby town – we celebrate today as birthday day. Went to the casino for the free birthday meal and free $10 gambling, but best of all – NO SHOPPING! Cold and a bit snowy in Iowa – but at least we aren’t full of a dozen GOP caucus candidates like this time last year. Cheers and best wishes everyone!

  68. 202 JER
    December 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Before starting his round of golf, President Barack Obama poses for a photo with a young girl, who celebrated her birthday … at the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course today. http://media.staradvertiser.com/images/312*310/20121224_obama_BD_photo_11247.jpg

  69. 203 utaustinliberal
    December 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    For those at home, E! Channel is airing Pride and Prejudice right now. Christmas Eve just officially became un-sucky due to Jane Austen.

  70. 204 4morefor44
    December 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    one of my favorite christmas moments…i love the theme of generations working together.

  71. 206 utaustinliberal
    December 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm

  72. December 24, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Affleck will not run for Senate

    Kyle Balluck – 12/24/12 08:55 PM ET
    “I love Massachusetts and our political process, but I am not running for office,” Affleck wrote on his Facebook page.…

    He is not running, but will he get picked?

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