Rise and Shine


USA Today: President Obama will be back at the White House on Thursday, cutting short his vacation to deal with the approaching “fiscal cliff.”

Obama is scheduled to leave Hawaii late Wednesday (10 p.m.  – 3 a.m. Thursday Eastern time)….

…. First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha will remain in Hawaii.

More here


President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet military personnel eating Christmas dinner at Anderson Hall at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on December 25. Photos: Kent Nishimura/UPI


MoooOOOoooOOOoorning everyone


PS Tonight:

The Kennedy Center Honors will air tonight on CBS at 9PM ET / 8PM CT.

Barbara Walters’s interview with The Obamas will air tonight on ABC’s ‘Nightline’ at 11:35PM ET / 10:35PM CT.

Thanks to everyone for the double heads-up

267 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. 1 utaustinliberal
    December 26, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Hello everybody.

  2. 12 utaustinliberal
    December 26, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Pres. Obama is wearing a shirt with bright color! Niiiiiiiiiice.

    p.s. MUST AVOID LOOKING AT SNOW. Will be glad when the christmas decorations are over at TOD.

  3. December 26, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Things I learn at TOD- I can change the direction of the snow by changing the position of my mouse. It never occurred to me. This site should be called the Learning Place.

    • December 26, 2012 at 8:33 am

      Morning Sweetbay! I needed Theo to tell me that, I had been complaining about the weird behavior of the snow 😳

    • 22 vcprezofan2
      December 26, 2012 at 9:08 am

      I’ve been having a lot of fun with that, Sweetbay. I haven’t been able to get the flakes to go in circles tho I’ve been trying since last year, but I do love to rapidly change its direction when it’s coming down fast and furious. 😀

      • December 26, 2012 at 9:10 am

        “I haven’t been able to get the flakes to go in circles”

        😆 Another WordPress glitch!!

      • December 26, 2012 at 9:24 am

        Morning, VC. So imaginative. I never thought about circles, but if the flakes could go in circles can we control how concentric they are and will they accumulate to make a snowball? Then if we can make a snowball we can make a snowman…..oh, this could be endless fun. Theo?!

        • 26 vcprezofan2
          December 26, 2012 at 9:30 am

          😆 😆 😆 😆 Well, we have to get the circular motion going first, Sweetbay, all without upsetting further those who are dealing with the straight snowfall. Theo?! Theo!!! Wake up!

          • December 26, 2012 at 12:21 pm

            I’m here – just seeing that I have created a monster with the snow direction instructions, and keeping a low profile… 😉

            Good morning/afternoon all!

            • 28 vcprezofan2
              December 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm

              It took you long enough, Theo! It’s almost night again… ….at least it is night somewhere. Jeez! You may as well go back to sleep as I’m starting an instant gratification period of life and you took too long to sign in with the needed answers. Humpfff.

              • 29 Pamela
                December 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm

                Yawn…Stretch! Ahh. I have SO forgotten what it means to go back to bed sometimes – not even having to look at a clock. Someone is on a long, slow path to recuperation. Hey, TODs, would y’all be so good as to remind me n.e.v.e.r to work 7 days a week for nine months, (in 2010-11 it was 15 months)… That is, if I ever get crazy and think it is necessary. Thank you, bless you, and am continually appreciative it never snows on iPad! 😆

                • 30 vcprezofan2
                  December 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm

                  Oh dear, another bear is sticking her head out! {{{Pamela}}} If your ears are awake => “Season’s Greetings!” Re that working schedule you lived through, I’ll be nice (in case Santa has already started his tabulation for 2013) and not add ‘I told you so’, instead I’ll only say give thanks you made it through ‘safely’ .

  4. 31 GGAIL
    December 26, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Good West Coast morning Chipsticks!
    Congrats ut on First

  5. 34 collegekay
    December 26, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Good morning. I think I have whatever sickness LL had. It may be going around. 😦

    Haven’t slept at all.

  6. December 26, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Good morning Chips and TOD family, I hope everyone had a great Christmas yesterday. As always, I hope for everyone to have a super fantastic day today. Congrats ut on being first this lovely Wednesday morning.

  7. 48 mtmarilyn
    December 26, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Good morning TOD family and Ms Chips.I love the shirt the President is wearing! He looks great in bright colors. So mad that he has to go back to DC early.

  8. 49 utaustinliberal
    December 26, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you Chips for making the snow stop. It’s been making me throw up every time I look at it on TOD. I’ve had to use my hand to block part of my face so that I could avoid looking at the snow. My insides thank you.

  9. 51 amk for obama
    December 26, 2012 at 8:45 am

    So Santa told me yesterday – “tsk, tsk, tsk”. What does that mean ?

  10. 72 mtmarilyn
    December 26, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I just read that actor Jeff Goldblum fell to his death while filming a movie in New Zealand. What a tragedy.

  11. 80 Japa21
    December 26, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Good morning to all TODers throughout the world. This is really a global community that has developed here. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, even those who don’t celebrate the holiday.

    My hiatus from politics is over. Time to buckle down and start using my mind control techniques to make Republicans into real homo sapiens again. I think I will start with Boehner and see if I can find enough of a mind there to exert some control over.

    • December 26, 2012 at 8:54 am

      “My hiatus from politics is over. Time to buckle down and start using my mind control techniques to make Republicans into real homo sapiens again”

      Now, that’s the kind of resolution I like to hear, love it Japa!!

    • 82 Eveingeorgia
      December 26, 2012 at 10:18 am

      Ah, Japa, I think I’m going to drag my hiatus over at least until 12 noon EST. I’m too tired to think.

      Good morning, everyone!

    • December 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      I feel the same way, Japa. But I needed a few days away. Now I’m ready to battle the jackals.

  12. 84 Vicki
    December 26, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Kennedy Center Honors tonight—-9-11 CBS

    Morning TOD

  13. 88 amk for obama
    December 26, 2012 at 8:55 am

    A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the engine of a Range Rover when he spotted a well-known heart surgeon in his shop. The surgeon was there waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his Mercedes when the mechanic shouted across the garage: “Hey doc, can I ask you a question?”

    The surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to where the mechanic was working on the Range Rover. The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked: “So Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take the valves out, repair any damage, and then put them back in, and when I finish, it works just like new. So how come I get such a small salary and you get the really big money, when you and I are doing basically the same work?”

    The surgeon paused, smiled and leaned over and whispered to the mechanic: “Try doing it with the engine running.”

  14. 93 mtmarilyn
    December 26, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Off to make my morning coffee and get the day started. Today is bill paying day before the end of the year. I know I won’t last to long at it.

  15. December 26, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Good morning Chips, good morning everyone!! Don’t know if anyone has announced this here yet, but I heard on ABC this a.m. that POTUS and FLOTUS Barbara Walters interview will be on Nightline tonight. The little clip they showed was so, so sweet. Can’t wait to see it tonight.

  16. 99 utaustinliberal
    December 26, 2012 at 9:22 am

    In which GOP meltdown is scary and hilarious. Proving once again that FreedomWorks and other tea party organizations are not grassroots.

  17. December 26, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Goooooooooood morning, Chips and TODville!!!! I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday.

    OFA has a busy week planned for us with online activity and local messaging to pressure Congress to act on the fiscal cliff. Let’s move!!

    • December 26, 2012 at 9:26 am

      It’s Metttttttttttttaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! Morning!

      • December 26, 2012 at 9:29 am

        Moooorrrrnnnningggg! Santa brought me a very bad head cold that feels like it’s now moving into my chest. OMG, I couldn’t open that cough medicine with the child-proof packaging to save my life. What does that mean? I almost went at it with a hammer. Luckily shops are open again today and I can buy something else. ARGH!

        • December 26, 2012 at 9:36 am

          Ah Meta, you poor thing – but I am so relieved I am not the only one who cannot open child-proof thingies. Get yourself better, very soon.

          • 107 vcprezofan2
            December 26, 2012 at 9:53 am

            Meta, take care, please. Also, I think they should label those things child and ‘mature’ adult-proof. I’m finding the same difficulty even opening cleaning supplies, like bleach bottles for goodness sakes. 🙄

            • December 26, 2012 at 9:59 am

              Honestly, vc, I went at that thing for at least an hour. I’ve never had any trouble with these things but this one must be defective. Last night I was trying to think of ways I could use a corkscrew on it. The funny this is, I hardly ever use this kind of OTC stuff. I felt like a junkie!

            • 109 ourmanflint
              December 26, 2012 at 9:59 am

              Yeah. VC. I agree.

        • 110 ourmanflint
          December 26, 2012 at 9:57 am

          Hi meta you are not alone. I recently had a sore wrist from basketball. Pain and swelling lasted months. And I could not open the bottle of pain medicine either. Had to clutch it under my arm. Made me appreciate how difficult it must be for someone with arthritis for example.

        • December 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

          If you can get your hands on some rubber waffle weave shelf liner, it can be cut into rectangles that can be used to grip any size cap. It’s all about the grip and the smaller the cap, the harder to grip. The shelf liner works very well. Hope you feel better soon, dear.

          • December 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm

            Oh, thanks so much, Tien Le. I tried that, no go.

            Well, I just now hauled myself 3 blocks down to the drugstore and asked the people there to open it. After 3 different people, they finally got it open AND they removed the safety cap for me. WHEW, what an ordeal. But we were all laughing and we wished each other a Happy New Year, so WIN!!

            • 115 susanne
              December 26, 2012 at 4:25 pm

              aloha meta–late logging on here (happy hawaii morning all) but i have the old lady arthritis thing, and have found i can open screw-top bottles by gripping the top with a nut cracker. sort of like a wrench, but i have a nut cracker… sorry about your cold–stay warm and rest, and forget that pharmacy stuff. squeeze a lemon into a tea cup, add a dollop of honey, pour in boiling water, then a slug of whiskey. you’ll feel better, whether your cold is better or not! 🙂

              • December 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm

                ARGH, susanne, if only you’d Rx’d that earlier. You are right. After all that drama to get the thing opened, it tastes like garbage! So I’m going to follow your advice and see if that does the trick.

        • 117 Pamela
          December 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm

          Oh, meta! {{{{{ 😦 }}}}}

  18. 118 utaustinliberal
    December 26, 2012 at 9:28 am

    EARLY HEADS UP TOD: The Kennedy Center Honors will air tonight on CBS at 9PM ET / 8PM CT.

    When the Kennedy Center Honors end at around 11PM ET / 10PM CT, Barbara Walters’s interview with The Obamas that was supposed to air earlier on in December will air tonight on ABC’s ‘Nightline’ at 11:35PM ET / 10:35PM CT.

    We get a double dose of Obamas tonight. Happy Holidays!

  19. 121 ourmanflint
    December 26, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Hey. Mornin’ My excuse is I was up earlier but since there was no new post on TOD I went back to bed. 😆 😆 😆

    • 122 vcprezofan2
      December 26, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Makes perfect sense to me OMF. 😆 Season’s Greetings! Wasn’t it great that we didn’t have to shovel snow in our corner of the world, yet many people got their wish for a white Christmas?

      • 123 ourmanflint
        December 26, 2012 at 10:08 am

        Yes absolutely. We have so fortunate. Even today snow storm is coming by we may escape the brunt of it. Hope you had a merry Christmas with family.

        • 124 vcprezofan2
          December 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm

          I had my ideal Christmas OMF – a no-fuss, no excessive cooking, no wait for always-late siblings, stay-by-myself Christmas! Mother and one sibling +immediate family decided to go to Jamaica, leaving on Xmas Day for 10 days. Other sibling never bothers to get together on holidays unless I instigate it, so ……. 😆 😆 after declining three families’ invitations to join them, I had my idea of a ‘ball’, a very quiet ball. It was great! My first un-fussy Christmas in over 20 years! 😆 😆

          • 125 Pamela
            December 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm

            I agree, VC, mine was rather blissful, just kitty and I, cozy and warm, plenty of good things to eat, and all connectivity shut down for awhile, I even read a BOOK! 😆

            • 126 vcprezofan2
              December 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm

              A BOOK! 😯 what’s that? 😆 In truth, I did a bit of reading after the elections too, and confess I was pleasantly surprised that I remembered how to turn the pages, and how to read from left to right. It was very reassuring to know I could actually read for hours without falling apart because I didn’t know what was happening in TODville. [Honest to admit though, it was during a couple of slow periods when Chips was otherwise engaged. 😉 ]

    December 26, 2012 at 9:55 am


  21. 132 desertflower
    December 26, 2012 at 10:00 am

    h/t Political Carnival….POTUS/FLOTUS talking to troops in Hawaii on Christmas

  22. 138 yardarm756
    December 26, 2012 at 10:15 am

    G’day you lot. I hope everyone had a jolly ole time yesterday and there’s smooth sailing into next year.

  23. 139 4morefor44
    December 26, 2012 at 10:22 am

    please, please people. we must stop giving money to places such as this. especially with coffee, there are likely so many other great alternatives that are locally owned in your area, that no one needs to go. starbucks c.e.o. is using his company to push the false equivalency things about the debt and “fiscal cliff” nonsense, and suggesting that he’s never seen “such a lack of leadership,” which implies president obama. you really want to give money to this man?!?

    what’s extra stupid, and is never brought up by these fake astroturf groups such as “fix the debt” or the media, is that honoring the deal signed last year (I refuse to say the media created “go over the cliff”) would be the fastest fixing of the national debt ever, so if howard schultz really cared about the debt and not his personal taxes, he’d be arguing to leave the deal alone on january 1st! we all make our own choices each day on things as simple as which coffee to buy.

    • December 26, 2012 at 10:32 am

      I do not buy starbucks coffee anymore and I go to the locally owned coffee shops (coffee tastes better too and cheaper). Funny how these people didn’t worry about the two wars or how they were gonna be paid for during Bush. Only when Democrats are in office the media and GOP worry about “the debt”. Whenever anyone repeats the meme, I repeat Dick Cheney: “Deficits Don’t Matter”.

    • December 26, 2012 at 10:45 am

      He sponsors hours of freakin’ Morning Joe every day and he’s sad the discussion hasn’t progressed? GIVE ME A BREAK.

      There are Starbucks everywhere and I never go there.

    • 142 idon
      December 26, 2012 at 11:37 am

      STOP BUYING FROM THESE antiAmerican businesses is the best way for the average American to fight back. BEST WAY!!

    • 143 relellit
      December 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      The irony in this whole mess is President Obama has cut his vacation short. Yet, John Boehnor, the Grimm Weeper of the House of Representatives, has not called his uncontrollable, do nothing, determined to destroy America caucus back to work.

      Washington’s Christmas gift to America from the STALE MATES: Nothing!

      The reasoning is simple, aides say: Boehner and other GOP leaders aren’t going to herd 433 lawmakers back to town with nothing to do.


      • 144 anniebella
        December 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm

        relellit, Nothing to do, there are alot of things they can do, like there dam job, like passing that job bill the President put forth, like passing that fiscal debt bill which already have been pass by the Senate. Considering this a Congress lead by that horrible Speaker who have work the less, considering they haven’t done a darn thing to help this economy get better, there is alot they can be doing. John Boehner will go down in history as forgettable.

        • 145 anniebella
          December 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm

          I meant to say there is a bill already passed by the Senate which will not raise taxes on 98% of Americans, by Boehner will not bring it to the floor to be voted on.

  24. 146 4morefor44
    December 26, 2012 at 10:48 am

    am i missing something here? every article i’ve been seeing about the deal set to begin january 1st suggests, as if it’s a fact they know for sure, that letting it happen as signed last year will automatically send the u.s. into a recession. given that, as the media calls it “going over the cliff” will rapidly start paying down the national debt immediately, and that “the news” and republicans are always so very, very concerned about “fiscal responsibility,” shouldn’t they be cheering for this new law to take effect january 1st? it’s exactly what republicans are always claiming they want!

    according to the republican/media logic, the rapid debt reduction after january 1st should improve the economy, not send it into recession. of course i know republicans and “the news” only care about their own personal tax rates and that’s what is really driving them, but their lack of logical arguments, and especially how “the news” repeats them unchallenged every day, always amazes me still.

  25. 147 utaustinliberal
    December 26, 2012 at 11:21 am

  26. December 26, 2012 at 11:28 am

    This is for ut: A fun Q & A with the cast of Downton Abbey from a couple weeks ago:

  27. 161 hopefruit2
    December 26, 2012 at 11:32 am

    G’morning Chips, TOD, lurkers, etc. 🙂 Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and Santa was good to all of you!

    • 162 vcprezofan2
      December 26, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      Merry Christmas Season, Hopefruit! I missed giving you a holiday greeting and hug yesterday, so here you go! {{{{Hopefruit}}}} 😆

  28. 163 utaustinliberal
    December 26, 2012 at 11:38 am

    President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama say that humor, love and respect have kept their marriage together.

    “We’ve been married now 20 years, and like every marriage, I think, you have your ups and you have your downs,” the president said in an interview with Barbara Walters. “But if you’ve worked through the tough times, the respect and love that you feel deepens.”

    “And then there’s a lot of laughter,” Michelle Obama added.

    The president said that everyone thinks his wife is the funny one, but, he said, “I’m funnier than people think.”

    “I am,” he insisted.

    The interview with Walters was taped December 11 and had been scheduled to air earlier this month but was pushed back after the Newtown shootings. It is now set to air Wednesday during ABC News’ “Nightline.”

    Walters also asked the couple about the photo of them hugging that became the most shared picture of all time on Twitter.

    It was taken on the campaign trail in Iowa.

    “I hadn’t seen him in a while,” Michelle Obama explained. “You know, when you’re campaigning, they have, we’re two ships passing in the night, and the first time I saw him was when I walked on stage to greet him. And that’s my honey giving me a hug.”

    “I like giving you hugs,” the president added.


  29. 165 desertflower
    December 26, 2012 at 11:47 am


    Only 26 percent of voters approve of the job Congressional Republicans are doing in handling fiscal cliff negotiations, down 3 percent from a week ago. At the same time, President Barack Obama’s approval rating on the fiscal cliff has soared from 48 percent a week ago to 54 percent today.

    • 166 jackiegrumbacher
      December 26, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      DF, I wonder where they dug up 26 percent who think the Boehner clown act is commendable. That means about one out of every four people you see on the street is either a multi-millionaire or so blinded by ideology they don’t care what happens to their country.

      • 167 anniebella
        December 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm

        26% approval, they shouldn’t be allow to vote for themselves. I don’t know of anyone who ought to be approving of what Boehner and his do nothing Republicans are doing.

  30. 168 hopefruit2
    December 26, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I’m really looking forward to this interview! 🙂 🙂

  31. 169 FiredUpInCA
    December 26, 2012 at 11:52 am

    “Police in Washington, D.C. are investigating NBC’s “Meet the Press” after the show’s host David Gregory appeared to display a high-capacity ammunition magazine during Sunday’s program, a spokeswoman for the police department confirmed to the Washington Post early Wednesday.

    Washington, D.C.’s firearms regulations state that “No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device” even if it is not attached to a firearm. During his interview with National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre on Sunday, Gregory held what he said was a magazine capable of holding 30 bullets.”


  32. December 26, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Illinois. Gov. Pat Quinn (D) is embracing a new type of insurance plan under President Obama’s signature healthcare law.

    The State Journal-Register reported that Quinn praised a new healthcare “co-op,” which announced last week it would seek a license to operate in Illinois.

    Co-ops are new, nonprofit health plans authorized by the Affordable Care Act. They’re privately run, must be owned by their members and must reinvest all of their profits into improving quality or lowering premiums.

    Co-ops were the brainchild of Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who pitched them as an alternative to the much-maligned “public option,” although substantively the two policies have very little in common.
    There are significant questions about whether co-ops will be able to get off the ground. It’s hard to start a new insurance plan, especially given the large reserves plans are legally required to maintain.

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is providing $4 billion in loans to would-be co-ops, but has said it expects a significant number of loan recipients could default.

    Illinois’s co-op has received a $160 million grant from HHS and announced plans last week to apply for a state license, the Journal-Register reported.


    • 171 57andfemale
      December 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      I believe there’s something similar to this in WA or OR. Thom Hartmann was talking about it and thinks they’re a great alternative in the mix.

  33. 172 mela in TX
    December 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I just wanted to pop in and thank you, Chipsticks, for this lovely sanctuary. I’ve lurked here for around a year or so and have truly enjoyed the sense of community and the support for our President. Living in Texas I’m surrounded by wing nuts and (mostly) hard core Repubs so this site is essential to my sanity. I’ve enjoyed the videos, pictures and links to interesting articles but mostly, I’ve enjoyed all of you. I was saddened to hear of sue’s death, a sweet soul, and of CT girl’s losses…she’s been in my prayers each night. amk’s jokes always bring a smile to this weary face and Bob’s dedication to tweeting the truth is inspirational…to each of you who contribute so much to this lovely space I give my heartfelt thanks. I may rarely comment, if ever, but felt it would be rude to continue to enjoy the bounty of kindness this site provides without ever thanking you all.

    • 173 susanne
      December 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      aloha mela
      ‘the bounty of kindness’ –that was a beautiful tribute to chips’ big welcome. and your note is a wonderful reminder that america is better than what appears on the news. lots of good folks, leading good, quiet lives, never de-lurk–but they contribute daily to the strong structure of our union.
      have a blessed new year!

    • 174 vcprezofan2
      December 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Hello, Mela from TX! Speaking on behalf of all TODobots, ‘Season’s Greetings!’ and thanks for the compliments. We love our no-longer-little web space, and as you have seen, we LURVE to bits our Presi and his family and admin. We are happy to know you are here and we hope you will continue to visit and say a word or two more often. Best of wishes heading towards 2013!

    • 175 majiir
      December 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      I know how you feel, mela. I’m surrounded by the same type of people here in GA. They’ve never met a fact or a dose of reality they like. TOD has also save my sanity on many occasions, especially when the firebaggers and the PL allow their emotions to replace their ability to think critically.

  34. December 26, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Sure would be nice to have one of these!

    • 177 jackiegrumbacher
      December 26, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      Yeah, but not gonna happen until Repubs are a permanent minority in Congress AND we have a Democratic president. The lloonies we’ve got would rather have every other advanced country in the world get ahead of us than spend a dime. I’d even settle for interstates without potholes or bridges that weren’t likely to collapse. How about an improved electrical grid and high speed interest service everywhere in the country? We can dream, can’t we?

      • December 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm

        Have to get rid of tea party- they hate America and want to see us all start over! That is their goal, to start over.

      • 179 majiir
        December 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm

        Many republicans seem to think that being “exceptional” means allowing the rest of the world to leave us behind, Jackie. We had a black mayor a few years ago, a really smart guy and former military officer who wanted to extend the runway at the airport, build a new court house, and start high speed rail service in Middle GA. The republicans treated him the same way they treat PBO, any suggestion from him was to be dismissed immediately, even if they were good ideas that would benefit the city. The republicans here couldn’t see the forest for staring at the trees. When gas prices went up a couple years after he left office, they wanted high speed rail to save gas money. When we voted for a one cent tax increase to expand the airport runway and pay for the new court house, the misers voted against it. They have really taken the “no new taxes” mantra to an extreme extent, and they wonder why we don’t have more flights coming into and out of our city and why we get ticketed when we have to park on the street to conduct business at the court house. I have said many times that those with the real entitlement mentality are those who want government to do certain things but don’t want to pay for them.

  35. December 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Good Morning, Everyone 🙂

    Sad that POTUS will have to leave FLOTUS and the girls to come back and deal with the clowns in Congress 😦

  36. December 26, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Just saw this on TPM – that the House hasn’t even been called back to DC and won’t be in session on Thursday! Is that true??? WTF!?!

    • 182 idon
      December 26, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      Recall what Speaker Pelosi said. The Dems only need 25 Repubs to vote with them to pass bill. I think PBO will be making a lot of phone calls. Also, I think he came back for another reason and used the fiscal cliff as cover. PBO is the great multi-tasker so he may be dealing with another crisis he can’t make public right now. Oh and the First Lady looks so cute in her sundress – love the bib dress, hair band, and shoes – the way she is standing in one of the photos – so cute.

    • December 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm


      As much as it saddens me that PBO can’t spend more time with his family in his home town, I think he has to be seen making himself available to solve this. By coming back before the rest of the rat pack and talking about how much he wants to work on a solution, he will be on the right side of the problem.

      • 185 susanne
        December 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm

        yes, and when they say he’s not offering anything, he’s not trying, whine whine whine, all of america says, hmmm, i saw my president cut his vacation short to work with you idiots, and you’re giving him nothing.

  37. 186 utaustinliberal
    December 26, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    • 187 susanne
      December 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      what a beautiful child. that’s a great photo, too–look at his little fingers on the bunting, and those intelligent eyes. am i alone thinking his forehead makes a strong statement?

  38. 188 hopefruit2
    December 26, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks so much vcprez and the same to you too! (((vc)))

  39. 189 sabreen60
    December 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Good afternoon TOD. Congrats UT.

    I hope everyone enjoyed family and friends yesterday. I ate too much and now I’m feeling really lazy.

  40. December 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Morning everyone!

    Hope everyone had a great Xmas. I was a busy domestic god yesterday, as I had the house to myself—wifey had to work all day.

    I was going to settle down and watch Norwich v. Chlesea right now. However, it was on Fox Soccer Plus, for which I pay $15 a month, but which Dish Network doesn’t see fit to broadcast in HD. So, the picture is unwatchable. I cheated, saw that Chlesea won, and am now off to do errands. See everyone later!

  41. 192 utaustinliberal
    December 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Wooooooooooooooooooot! Especially for Meta.

  42. 195 utaustinliberal
    December 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    A little snack before the main show tonight on ABC. It has video, so click away.

  43. December 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I’ve got to stop reading those other sites, but it’s either that or work. Over on HuffPuff somebody actually wrote an article criticizing PBO’s bright blue shirt and khaki pants (pictured above). All the commenters basically told the article’s writer that it was a stupid article. I think he looked very nice. And I know you all did! 🙂

    • 197 anniebella
      December 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      Criticizing the President’s blue shirt and khaki pants. I saw nothing wrong with them. Why can’t people just allow POTUS and FLOTUS to relax, enjoy themselves, being with their family and friends, without having to analysis every little thing.

      • 198 Pamela
        December 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm

        Right on, anniebella, he is in the islands, it is warm, he looks stunner! Leave them alone…. I agree!

      • 199 COS
        December 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm

        I also hope that PBO’s blue shirt become a staple in his wadrobe. He is free to wear whatever he want to wear. This is a free country. 🙂 It is a slow news day for sure.

    • 200 majiir
      December 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      The transparent jealousy of some of these journalists is so easy to see. PBO could wear a paper sack and look better than they ever could in their Sunday best. They know he’s very photogenic, highly intelligent, well-liked, a good husband, father, friend, son-in-law, and a very capable POTUS, and they can’t stand it, so they use any reason to try to disparage him. Complaining about what he wears means they’re grasping at straws in their efforts to criticize him. Who really cares what others think about their clothing when one doesn’t care what they think?

  44. 201 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Good afternoon all! I so enjoyed reading of everyone’s delightful holiday. In the middle of a snow/ice shower here. Still feeling sort of lousy, however, I ventured out to do a few things to get ready for my party. A friend told me about a store that had angel ornaments at two bucks a piece before Christmas; went there hoping to score them at 50% off — no such luck, all of their Christmas stuff was on sale EXCEPT the angels. Since I need 75, they stayed right there on their hooks. Fortunately, I ordered some last week from Oriental Trading Co — they are nice, but not as nice as the one’s I’ve previously given. Will get started at the beginning of the year making hand-crafted angels for next year.

    My caterer had to cancel several weeks ago as she has to work at her full-time job; I was going to prepare the meal for 75 – 100 myself, however, on the way home today, I stopped in my favorite Chinese restaurant and they gave me a great price! Now, I only have to do appetizers and dessert (CostCo here I come!)!

    I’m really looking forward to Saturday, we will have five generations of my maternal family; some of my paternal family members; cousins (in-laws of a deceased family member); a few neighbors and friends. I just had a call for a 94 year old friend of my late aunt; she has found a ride to the party — I’m so thrilled, she is like an Aunt to me. I feel so Blessed to be able to celebrate with my family.

    • December 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Oh WOW, Alycee, what a party that will be! Cheers for a great reunion!

    • 203 0388jojothecat
      December 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Have a wonderful party Alycee…..looks like you are over half way there.

    • 204 Pamela
      December 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Wow, alycee! Did the tree turn out alright? I’ve been thinking of you. Have a wonderful time with your family!

      • 205 Alycee (@jazziz2)
        December 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm

        Yes, sort have finished decorating the tree. I say “sort of” because I’m still going through boxes, so even though the tree is “full,” I still add an ornament or two as I come across my old favorites. Tonight will be my last night of going through boxes, my handy-man comes in the morning and he’ll help me get the boxes, empty or full, back into the storage shed. Right now, the living room and dining room look like an obstacle course!

  45. 206 FiredUpInCA
    December 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    “Home prices climbed more than forecast in October, indicating a rebounding real-estate market will bolster the U.S. economy for the first time in seven years.”


  46. December 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm

  47. December 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    GREAT news!

    Nelson Mandela discharged from hospital in South Africa


  48. 211 vcprezofan2
    December 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Dear Utal, I want you to know that I kept my word and spent an hour and a half listening to David Axelrod at the Chicago (?) university forum discussing the 2012 campaign. 11/2 is a long time for me to actually listen, so I feel quite proud of myself. Thank you for the endorsement, as I doubt I would have sat through it all without it. And, yes, it was very informative. I’m re-posting the link in case someone else wants to make the effort.


    • December 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      I agree, VC. Spent the wee morning hours watching and thoroughly enjoyed! Thanks for the link UTAL. Would love to take a class from Axe.

      • 213 carolyn
        December 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm

        I also watched the entire hour and a half…..after my husband had gone to bed. I had napped in the afternoon so wasn’t ready for bed yet. Very informative…Axelrod is so sound. I loved his listing of accomplishents….”I was with him when he promised, and he…..” On a petty note, the interviewer’s laugh was so irritating!
        One thing you can’t get away from in a campaign, you need the right messenger and the right message. It is not all tactics and strategy, and I loved how Axelrod stressed that. All the wonderful strategy and tactics in the world could not have elected Mitt. The Republicans refuse to get the correct lesson from the whole debacle.
        I thought the questions the students asked were good, so much better than media personnel. Maybe POTUS will teach a constitutional law class at Chicago after 2017. Can you imagine the line up to get in that class???!!!

        • 214 anniebella
          December 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm

          Believe me I am not rushing anything, I wish POTUS and FLOTUS could have 10 more years in the White House, but I’m so grateful for the 4 more years. But I do wonder sometimes what POTUS and FLOTUS will do after they leave the WH.

        • December 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm

          Goodness, I’ll be 67, but I’d travel to Chicago to audit such a class.

          • 216 vcprezofan2
            December 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm

            For this willingness to audit, are we talking hours and days of travel here, Susan, or just around the corner? 😉 😉

    • 217 idon
      December 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      I love David Axelrod so I totally and completely enjoyed the hour and a half. I also loved how he mentioned his wife Susan. PBO has surrounded himself with truly awesome men.

      • 218 vcprezofan2
        December 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm

        PBO has surrounded himself with truly awesome men’ Yes, he has. And awesome wimmin too! 😉 😉

        Oh ho. you reminded me of two old sayings – ‘Like calls to like’ – Not scientifically true, I know, and ‘Show me your company and I’ll tell you who you are.’ Must be the end of year feeling that is stirring these sayings to the forefront of my brain. 🙄

        • December 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm

          That second quote is like VPOTUS Joe’s father’s saying about show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.

        • 221 majiir
          December 26, 2012 at 6:24 pm

          Something I really, really love about PBO is that he doesn’t have such a fragile ego that he feels the need to surround himself with “Yes, men and women.” He can withstand criticism and can find something in the criticism that he can use to his advantage. If thin-skinned Romney would have won the election, he would have surrounded himself with people who would always tell him what he wanted to hear and would walk around on eggshells so as not to upset his delicate “emotional” balance. I thank God that he heard and answered my prayer about not allowing Romney anywhere near the WH. I was ecstatic when BO won the presidency in 2008, but I was grateful when he won last month because it means that he will be able to reap the benefits of his work and continue to move the nation FORWARD.

          • 222 vcprezofan2
            December 26, 2012 at 6:46 pm

            Along with having a healthy ego, Majii, what I really love about this president is the way he treats everyone with respect (even those whom *I* think are undeserving). In my mind I keep returning to the fact that when in negotiations he could step on someone’s throat because THEY stuck their neck out too far (i.e. the Republicans), Pres allows them the opportunity to pick themselves up with dignity and carry on. Of course THEY have no dignity so they never know how to react prudently, but he always leaves that up to them. That aspect of the President has been very noticeable to me and is something I want to emulate. Also, I love how The Pres is a man of his word…always, to the point where whatever he says about the GOP positions, etc he can say to their faces – I remember him meeting their caucus and telling them like it is, or seating Paul Ryan in the first row to tell HIM his budget proposal stank! It’s this knowledge that he keeps his word that keeps me strong when the whiners start ranting about ‘caves’. 😉 Man, I’m so happy to be alive to SEE a REAL man in action in politics, a truly rare experience for me!

    • 223 99ts
      December 26, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      Probably one of the best things – David Axelrod – “After the 2012 election, he announced he would step down from campaigns and become the Director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics”

      GOP political advisors spend their lives wheeling and dealing for the old white rich folks – wonderful that David will be involved with the university and future generations of students.

      • 224 vcprezofan2
        December 26, 2012 at 6:50 pm

        I thought that was terrific too. The fact that David will be trying to nurture/steer talent into politics and the fact some will be there who have seen and been involved with a leader who has integrity bode well for our political futures, I think.

  49. 226 lamh36
    December 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Welp it’s official. My apartment application was approved today. I move in and sign my new lease on Jan 12th in Baton Rouge. The new apt is 300 sq ft more than my current & is a 2 bd/2bath on the first floor & I still paying less for it than I pay here in DFW!

    Everything’s falling into place. Feeling really blessed today.

  50. 231 Jazz
    December 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    just beginning to see mention of MTP Gregory being investigated over prohibited use of gun magazine on air…

  51. 235 Japa21
    December 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Geithner sent Congress a letter today saying we will hit the debt ceiling Monday. Since this is 2012, not 2013, does PBO still have the autrhority to arise it arbitrarily? If so, that removes one hostage scenario for a while longer.

    • December 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      No! His WH lawyers said that is a setup for congressional hearings and Judicial lawsuits.
      But, treasury can get an additional 200 billion for a couple more months, or March 1st.
      And if we go over the cliff, the spending cuts and tax revenue will also put it off for acoupke more months.
      Maybe not such a bad deal going over the cliff afteral?

  52. 238 jacquelineoboomer
    December 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Happy day after, TOD.! Trying to ease back into the political “news” … listened to and watched five minutes too long of Chris Matthews’ spitting, and almost gagged. Ha! Waiting for Rev. Al’s show next, which should help me forget Tweety. So glad y’all posted the exact times for the Kennedy Center Honors + Nightline. Can’t wait!

  53. 239 susanne
    December 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    hawaii’s democratic party has selected three candidates for governor abercrombie to choose from in replacing senator inouye pending a special election in 2014: colleen hanabusa, esther kiaaina, and brian schatz.


    • December 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      To honor the Senator, I hope Abercrombie appoints Colleen. Not to mention another woman in the Senate would be awesome.

      • 241 desertflower
        December 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

        I thought he asked for that to be in wishes in his will before he died.

        • December 26, 2012 at 5:54 pm

          Yes, he did. Hope Abercrombie adheres to his wishes.

          • 243 susanne
            December 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm

            me, too. i was surprised to see, in this article, that schatz is considered the front-runner, due to his close association with the governor. he is certainly an able public servant, who i hope to see continue into national public office, but inouye’s wishes were clear and reasonable, and none of the other short-list candidates have served our state in washington. the senate is the big time, and i think it’s wise to have someone with hanabusa’s experience there at this critical moment.

            • December 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm

              Good points, Susanne. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

            • 245 desertflower
              December 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm

              I hope he does the right thing by Sen. Inoye. A dying wish is important

              • 246 susanne
                December 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm

                i’m pretty sure he will honor it–hawaii’s people do not forget when our elders are disrespected.

                just ask ed case– ‘ First elected to the House of Representatives in 2002 in a special election to fill the seat of Patsy Mink, who died of pneumonia, Case represented Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district until 2006, when he chose not to run for another term in the House of Representatives so he could challenge Senator Daniel Akaka in the Democratic primary for Akaka’s U.S. Senate seat. ‘ (from wikipedia)

                ever since then, case can’t get elected to dog-catcher. challenging senator akaka was considered a grave breach of political and personal etiquette. he keeps running, and he keeps losing.

                i can’t see abercrombie ignoring inouye’s written request, but procedure must be adhered to.

  54. 249 Carolyn Verdin
    December 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Love to see the 1st lady smile when she see her husband speak. ( President Obama

  55. 250 dotster3
    December 26, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Daughter went to a party and the favors in xmas stockings was Mitt Romney toilet paper.

  56. 252 susanne
    December 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm


    ‘ The U.S. Supreme Court declined Wednesday to put a temporary hold on a controversial provision in the new health care law requiring employers to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives.
    On Wednesday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from the courts where the companies are based, declined to grant an injunction.’


  57. 254 dotster3
    December 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Mr. Stark, my 11th grade soc. studies teacher called me a “juvenile delinquent” for laughing in the hall on the way to watch a movie. All my classmates then laughed when he pointed at me and bellowed, “YOU are a juvenile delinquent!” It became a fam joke, calling me a “juvenile delinquent” whenever I fail at anything, like spill something or burn something.

  58. 255 susanne
    December 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    andy borowitz at the new yorker has a christmas letter from john boehner 🙂

    ‘ You see, this will be my last Christmas as Speaker of the House, all because a cabal of Tea Party miscreants in the House of Representatives doesn’t think I’m a ginormous enough asshole for their taste. ‘

    Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2012/12/a-holiday-letter-from-john-boehner.html#ixzz2GCdAIwMo

    • 257 susanne
      December 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm

      includes obscure reference i had to explore:

      ‘ Starbucks C.E.O. and Venti, double-shot capitalist Howard Schultz has had it up to here with this fiscal cliff business and has “asked employees at its approximately 120 D.C.-area stores to write ‘Come Together’ on coffee cups when serving customers on Thursday and Friday.” ‘

      • 258 majiir
        December 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm

        Schultz has a really immature way of looking at the “fiscal cliff.” With his money, power, and influence, I would think he’d be calling Boehner and the other recalcitrant republicans who don’t want to vote for any deal. PBO is not the one at fault in these negotiations. He told the nation what he wanted repeatedly on the campaign trail from one end of the country to the other. Republicans are the ones who want everything to go their way. I saw a video recently of an interview with Boehner. He would not utter the word compromise, and the reporter noticed it. This tells me everything I need to know about his belief in reaching any compromise with PBO on any issue. I think that when he said last week that he was leaving working out a deal up to the president and Senator Reid, he was signalling that he’s a weak-ass leader, and that he has given up on getting a majority of his caucus to vote for any deal. The fact that he won’t recall members of the House to DC shows how little he is really concerned that a solution to our fiscal issues is reached.

  59. 259 dotster3
    December 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Is everyone in tuxes and gowns on Rev. Al for the Revvie Awards?

  60. 261 utaustinliberal
    December 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm

  61. 264 utaustinliberal
    December 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm

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