Rise and Shine


Steve Benen: Since I raised some concerns about David Brooks’ column, it’s only fair that I note there’s been some follow-up on the story.

To briefly recap, Brooks built his entire column around a falsehood: the bogus claim that President Obama “hasn’t actually come up with a proposal to avert sequestration,” despite the detailed, already published plan, built on mutual concessions from both sides, the White House already released.

…. Though the walk-back is welcome, Greg Sargent helps highlight why Brooks still has some room to improve his argument …. And then Brooks made one more mistake: he argued with Ezra Klein. This interview is an absolute must-read – really, it is….

Full post here


What Is the Sequester?


Wow, Brooks really is on a roll:

Jonathan Cohn: I have a big scoop, straight from an extremely reliable White House source: The Obama Administration has endorsed means-testing of Medicare.

For some time now, Republicans have been saying that wealthy seniors should pay more for Medicare …. New York Times columnist David Brooks seconded the plea in the New York Times. Apparently Obama has been listening. According to my administration source, the president would support means-testing.

Huge news! And who was my reliable source? The White House website. See, this isn’t a new proposal. It’s part of last year’s budget….

… the failure to recognize, or at least acknowledge, that the administration has already proposed serious means-testing is widespread in Washington — and emblematic of a broader truth in the budget debate….

Full post here



Read Charles Pierce on David Brooks here – nooooooooo extract would do it justice.



TPM: Top Senate Democrats excoriated the competing House Republican version of the Violence Against Women Act hours after it was unveiled Friday.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the author of VAWA, derided the legislation as “partisan” and said it omits critical measures designed to protect vulnerable populations like Native Americans, immigrants and the gay and lesbian community.

“Next week, the House of Representatives plans to revert back to its partisan version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act,” Leahy said in a statement. “The Republican House leadership has decided to replace the Senate-passed version with a substitute that will not provide critical protections for rape victims, domestic violence victims, human trafficking victims, students on campuses, or stalking victims. This is simply unacceptable …..”

More here


Washington Post: The number of double-digit rate increases requested by health insurers has plummeted over the past four years, according to a Friday report from the Obama administration.

Researchers combed through data available from the 15 states that publicly post all requests for rate increases in the individual market. They found that, in 2009, 74 percent of all requests came in above 10 percent. By 2012, that number had fallen to 35 percent. Preliminary data for 2013, which only cover a handful of states, shows 14 percent of rate increases asking for a double-digit bump….

More here


A gem:


What a perfect idea:

‏@KennettDems (Thanks UT!)


TPM: A few weeks ago, Tom Teves, of Phoenix, sent his senators a letter. His 24-year-old son, Alex, was killed last year in the Aurora, Colo. movie theater massacre, and he wanted to tell them Alex’s story and encourage them to take action on guns.

What he got in response, he said, were cold, impersonal form letters from Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Republicans. Neither of the letters even addressed the Colorado massacre. In fact, they brought up an entirely different shooting, the schoolhouse killings in Newtown, Conn., and mentioned each senator’s ongoing support of the Second Amendment. It was like Alex Teves’ death hadn’t gotten through to the senators or their staffs.

Now, Tom Teves has shared the letters he received with TPM. He did so after his wife confronted McCain in-person Wednesday with her son’s story and a question about guns at a town hall event in Phoenix. McCain’s response included the remark that Caren Teves needed “some straight talk” on the issue of assault weapons.

More here


What a brilliant toon:


Michael Tomasky: Deluded Republican Reformers – Conservative pundits’ ideas about fixing the GOP are totally meaningless, says Michael Tomasky, until they deal with the problem of their party’s rage-driven fanaticism.

Conservative pundits and intellectuals have spent the past week or two ….. talking about how to save the Republican Party. They have lots of ideas — some good, some not so good, most very sober-minded policy prescriptions …. The party they purport to support and care about has been engaged in burning down the house of American politics for three or four years now, and they are saying nothing about it; and until they say something about it, everything else they say is close to meaningless.

Full post here


President Barack Obama talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan as they stand in the West Wing Lobby of the White House, Feb. 22 (Photo by Pete Souza)


President Obama, Michelle Obama, VP Biden and Dr Jill Biden will host the 2013 Governors’ Dinner at the White House on Sunday


First lady Michelle Obama and host Dr. Mehmet Oz dancing with third graders from the Terence C. Reilly #7 School in Elizabeth, N.J. during a taping of “The Dr. Oz Show,” on Friday, Feb. 22 in New York. The episode will air on Thursday Feb. 28


And, one more time (that’s a lie: I’ll probably post it every day for the next four years):



115 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. 1 utaustinliberal
    February 23, 2013 at 9:13 am


  2. 19 utaustinliberal
    February 23, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Winning tweet!

  3. February 23, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Good Morning Everyone! Congrats UT!

    Enjoy your weekend and remember to be AWESOME!

  4. 24 Jovie
    February 23, 2013 at 9:19 am

    I think most people in this Country are getting really tired of the Republicans.
    I think we can take the House in closer, non gerrymandered districts. The ones in blue states, that were somewhat conservative districts.
    We should start registering voters in these districts, pinpoint who and where they are.
    Because, as it stands now, the Republicans get everything they want if they let these cuts go through and then obstruct everything.
    They are blowing up the federal Government.
    That’s why the Weekly address was spot on!

  5. 25 99ts
    February 23, 2013 at 9:22 am

    GM Chips – gm all – I have been watching Rachel’s show from yesterday – Cruz is a blot on the landscape in every possible way

  6. 27 utaustinliberal
    February 23, 2013 at 9:23 am

    The letter McCain wrote to Tom Teves and his response to Mrs. Teves was abhorrent to say the least. This is the same man pundits want us to praise because he said nice things about undocumented immigrants at his just for show congress-citizens meeting? A man who would look a mother in the eye and callously dismiss her son’s brutal murder at the hands of a mad man and an assault weapon as though it was just a normal event. A man who would so dismiss the loss of a loved one as though the grief his parents suffer isn’t real.

    There is no good in John McCain. There is no heart in John McCain. There is no compassion in John McCain. There is no kindness in John McCain. He is a conscienceless, soulless monster.

    • 28 99ts
      February 23, 2013 at 9:34 am

      Look at the picture – imagine that face staring at you when you speak of your son’s death.

      So McCains staff complained that the video was edited and omitted McCain’s words of sympathy. So the full transcript included the following
      “Well first of all could I say thank you, and God bless, and thank you for your service and sacrifice you’ve made.”

      Does John McCain think that every young American killed by gunfire lost his live in service to his country? This lad died when he went to a night at the movies & McCain thanks his mother for her service. He is the proverbial a-hole.

      • 29 globalcitizenlinda
        February 23, 2013 at 9:42 am

        more despicable behavior from the angry bitter man! oh he has the nerve!

      • 30 desertflower
        February 23, 2013 at 11:14 am

        Does anyone need ANY more than this to see that HE WASN’T REALLY LISTENING??? Canned response to a grieving parent who lost her son in an act of a madman with a killing machine! My blood boils….

    • 31 anniebella
      February 23, 2013 at 9:41 am

      ut, there is a bitter old man who has not gotten over the fact that he lost to some black new kid on the block. I have no respect for John McCain, none at all.

    • 32 hopefruit2
      February 23, 2013 at 9:41 am

      That’s why I don’t understand why some folks are ready to crown him halo whenever he slips up and does or says something that seems to be right for 5 minutes. He’s essentially everything you described him to be here.

  7. 33 Jovie
    February 23, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Also, it seems the Republicans put poison pills in legislation, purposely.
    They seem to have something against Native Americans? Why? It’s their Land!
    Ah, the good old days of General Custer and Geronimo!

  8. 34 sherijr
    February 23, 2013 at 9:43 am

    oh that interview w/ FLOTUS was so much FUN ~ she is classy, witty, beautiful, smart.. all of that and more, what a wonderful perfect First Lady she is!

  9. 35 prettyfoot58
    February 23, 2013 at 9:44 am

    More evidence of the REAL Chris Christie…….

    • 36 globalcitizenlinda
      February 23, 2013 at 9:53 am

      that is why I do not understand WHY the media & Dems in NJ are giving him such high approval and a token re-election opposition

      • 37 prettyfoot58
        February 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

        i’m not sure either…but i do not think that he has such a favorable rating among public workers, including educators. and surely not the NJ citizens left out in the cold because he will not accept the Medicaid expansion or health exchanges of the Health Care Law..not to mention the Federal programs that he rejected for responsible homeowners under water….

  10. February 23, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Sorry I don’t agree with “Means Testing”. We all give the same percentage every paycheck to contribute to Medicare. Who decides and at what percentage above the poverty level do benefits start to decline? What happened to raising the “Cap” on contributions?

    • 39 globalcitizenlinda
      February 23, 2013 at 9:51 am

      don’t know much about “means testing” but when I have heard PBO talk about “raising the Cap on contributions”, he has often used this as a solution to the problems in Social Security – I could be wrong

      • 40 57andfemale
        February 23, 2013 at 11:49 am

        Raising the cap should be a constant soundbite. I don’t know if it’s part of PBO’s plan, but I don’t hear it mentioned that much (and it should be).

    • 41 utaustinliberal
      February 23, 2013 at 9:55 am

      I believe the “Means Testing” Pres. Obama proposed last year mainly asks the wealthy to pay their fair share and doesn’t unfairly target the poor or seniors who are struggling.

      Increase Income-Related Premiums Under Medicare Parts B and D. Under Medicare Parts B and D, certain beneficiaries pay higher premiums as a result of their higher levels of income. Beginning in 2017, the Administration proposes to increase income-related premiums under Medicare Parts B and D by 15 percent and maintain the income thresholds associated with income-related premiums until 25 percent of beneficiaries under Parts B and D are subject to these premiums. This will help improve the financial stability of the Medicare program by reducing the Federal subsidy of Medicare costs for those beneficiaries who can most afford them. This proposal will save approximately $28 billion over 10 years.

      Allow me to translate: The administration would take two steps. It would ask wealthy seniors to pay higher premiums than they do now. Then it would freeze the income threshold at which those higher premiums kick in. Over time, as incomes rose naturally, more and more seniors would end up paying the higher premiums—until, under the administration’s proposal, one-quarter of all seniors were paying the surcharge. If you do the math, as analysts at the Kaiser Family Foundation have, you’ll see that it would eventually mean every senior making more than $47,000 a year in today’s dollars will be paying higher premiums. The change would raise only $28 billion for the next ten years. But it would probably save much more—over $100 billion—in the following decade.


    • 43 Jovie
      February 23, 2013 at 10:17 am

      Well, of course it will be scored and if it saves money then the wealthy should not get it. Period. The economy favors the wealthy, because they can afford lobbyists and have made a killing! Thus, social services should not be available to toilet billionaires like Koch, who want to get rid of it anyways.

    • 44 57andfemale
      February 23, 2013 at 11:51 am

      This may be where the plans diverge. I assume PBO is talking about means testing for those who really are well off – perhaps a sliding upward scale over and above the $80,000 two-tier system that is already in place.

      I’m assuming Repubs mean for those of us who really can’t afford it.

      Did I read this here yesterday? “To Republicans, for tax increases $250,000/year is middle class. For Social Security and Medicare, $25,00-$50,000 is wealthy.”

  11. 45 globalcitizenlinda
    February 23, 2013 at 9:47 am

    watched this appearance by FLOTUS. – very funny!

    Based on her response to her first kiss, do you think someone in the huge crazy bunch is going to demand a “watergate-style” hearing on FLOTUS’ first crush? Paging bitter mccain & irrational grham

  12. 46 Vicki
    February 23, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when the GOP calls PBO approving of means testing for Medicare a GOP win.

    There already IS means testing for Medicare!!!
    The cutoff point for the lowest per month charge is about $80,000.00 per year.
    It already is a 2 tier system.

    GOP trying to make believe that they are winning a battle that doesn’t exist.
    If a 2 tier system is expanded to a 3 or 4 tier system that is not exactly a success story.

    • 47 Vicki
      February 23, 2013 at 9:59 am

      Also, no cause for TOD to be concerned. if the third tier falls on high income folks that is exactly what PBO has been promising all along.
      If POTUS talks about cutting Medicare benefits to low and middle income seniors, first I’d be very surprised and 2nd then I would worry.
      But not now.

    • 48 prettyfoot58
      February 23, 2013 at 10:41 am

      it is not that the GOP does not understand…it is that most of America is uninformed (my self included on some of these issues)…this is what they bank on …using trickery and lies to mislead and lie to the American People…and it works..because our MSM does not report the truth…

    • 49 57andfemale
      February 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Am I uninformed? Because I swear when my husband’s stockbroker friend became eligible for Medicare, he had to pay more already.

      This issue (like so many others) is the media’s fault. Just because a Republican says something does not make it true. Not one staffer on any network or any newspaper bothered to find out if what the Republicans say is true?

      How do they continue to take a paycheck when they don’t do even the minimum of their jobs?

  13. 50 andogriff
    February 23, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Good morning everyone! Ms Chips, thanks for a brilliant morning round-up… I just sent you an email about lost kitties, hope your kitty comes home soon!

  14. 53 globalcitizenlinda
    February 23, 2013 at 10:13 am

    the carton on Obamacare says it all – they can keep fighting a useless fight to repeal it while we find other ways to make it better.

    two things come to my mind with respect to Obamacare:

    (a) Sec Sebelius was choosen for this post because she was not only PBO’s staunchest supporters from the very beginning but also because she had been an insurance commissioner who understood how markets work & she had been very strong in dealing with those who tried to scheme patients

    (b) Sec Sebelius stayed on in the second term so that she could fully implement Obamacare

  15. 55 anniebella
    February 23, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I watch FLOTUS and Jimmy Fallon doing the Mom dancing three times last night, and just finish watching it again and I.’m still laughing.

  16. 58 utaustinliberal
    February 23, 2013 at 10:31 am

    For those who couldn’t catch it last night or don’t live in America, (hope this works) Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has uploaded the full episode of First Lady Michelle Obama on the show. You should also check out the first two minutes of Scarlett Johansson’s appearance (she was on after FLOTUS). She talked about speaking at the DNC, POTUS and FLOTUS, and also, Jimmy gave us more behind the scenes look at what went on when Pres. Obama came to visit.



  17. 60 andogriff
    February 23, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I also loved the Tomasky piece, especially the section on how the media (“Faux” news, Limbaugh, etc) is to blame for the deep division in the country, and the intentional spreading of lies and hate.

    • 61 anniebella
      February 23, 2013 at 10:37 am

      People are starting to see the light. 2014 get rid of John Boehner and give the House back to the Democrats, and the Senate remain with the Democrats, then POTUS can do what he need to do for this country.

  18. 63 dotster3
    February 23, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Isn’t it thoroughly disgusting that the Phoenix father whose son was killed in the Aurora massacre received form letters back from Sens. McCain and Flake re. the Newtown massacre after he wrote to tell them about his son. It is obvious that neither senator nor any office aides read his letter—–they just automatically sent out a response they had ready to roll re. Newtown. I imagine it said something like —yes that was a tragedy but we still fully support our interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, guns are great, the more the better. Soulless, pathetic and sickening.

  19. February 23, 2013 at 10:36 am

    GM Chipsticks, TOD. Congrats UT.

  20. February 23, 2013 at 10:38 am

  21. February 23, 2013 at 10:48 am

    • February 23, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Good morning, TOD. I, like others, sometimes have issues w/MHP. However, her letter this week was some “awesome sauce” for sure. If you didn’t hear it, it was to my congressman, John “Jimmy” Duncan. I learned some things I didn’t know, took notes and will be calling his office Monday. He is like the rest of them–HYPOCRITES!!!!!!!!!!!! He has voted to re-authorize the VAWA twice! JERK……like all the rest of them.

    • 71 a4alice
      February 23, 2013 at 11:11 am

      wow Plains you’re on fiyah this morning! 🙂

  22. 74 a4alice
    February 23, 2013 at 10:57 am

    this made me chuckle:

  23. 75 prettyfoot58
    February 23, 2013 at 10:57 am

    • 76 anniebella
      February 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      They didn’t learn a darn thing did they? These old white men are use to it being there way, even if they have to do wrong to be their way.

      • 77 prettyfoot58
        February 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm

        Ohhhhh indeed they did…they learned that they could NOT win state wide elections without cheating and rigging the vote…

        question is what can we do about it…

        can this process be challenged using the Voting Rights act…can it be challenged using the same arguments that derailed, albeit temporarily, the Voter ID law…

  24. 78 prettyfoot58
    February 23, 2013 at 10:59 am

  25. February 23, 2013 at 10:59 am

  26. 80 japa21
    February 23, 2013 at 11:08 am

  27. February 23, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Good Morning Lovely Family! I love my FLOTUS! Can’t get enough of the Mom Dancing! 🙂

    Everybody have a fantabulous and fun Saturday!

  28. 82 lockewasright
    February 23, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Tomasky is right about the GOP and what it will take to fix it, but it is only going to happen after they lose a few more elections by way of self-immolation resulting from alienating large swaths of the population over and over again. Only when they realize that they are not going to win any more and it is about the base they’ve cultivated and not the candidate’s communication skills will they grudgingly acknowledge that they need to change, not just repackage but change.

    • 83 andogriff
      February 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

      You are correct, lwr… but I believe that the change will be a long time coming!!

    • 84 Lb4Obama
      February 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

      The tail has been wagging the dog since 2010. Now it is time to pay the piper GOP. Plug your sink, fill it with water, unplug…..that is where the once Republican Party is headed!

  29. February 23, 2013 at 11:13 am

  30. February 23, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Good morning! Site looks lovely this morning apart from the usual delightful fill of stories.

  31. 87 GGAIL
    February 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Good West Coast morning Chipsticks! I’m looking forward to watching FLOTUS on Jimmy Fallon.

  32. February 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

    • February 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      I just read the article written by April Ryan and I’m in disagreement with some of the sequestration cuts she set out. I think reporters are causing lots of confusion about what is exempt. For example, I don’t know why we have to discuss any of the entitlements as part of a settlement, since they are exempt from sequestration. Anyway, go read the exemptions for yourself and avoid some of the confusion:

      Budget “Sequestration” and Selected Program Exemptions and Special Rules

      Click to access R42050.pdf

      • February 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm

        Most reporters is D.C. dont know what they are talking about, campaigns are about all they can cover, which anybody can do. But I do believe in the original BCA, signed into law in 2011, their were about 200billion in entitlement cuts but they were to providers not beneficiaries.

  33. 95 57andFemale
    February 23, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Well, ‘rise’ is okay, but definitely not ‘shine’. Man, do I hurt from shoveling snow yesterday.

    • 96 desertflower
      February 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Did you get my “Phoenix snow?” 🙂 Wild week of weather…but don’t forget! There’s no such thing as global warming 🙂

      • 97 mtmarilyn
        February 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm

        DF, those pictures were amazing. The funny thing is we have a friend who flew to Phoenix Wed morning to spend 4 days with his sister.
        He was looking forward to the sun. We had to laugh.

        Also the distruction of Hwy 89 south of Page is quite the picture. That is the road we have traveled each time we come to Phoenix.

        Hope you have a great weekend.

    • February 23, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Where do you live? Do you ever lay salt in the driveway before the weather comes in?

  34. February 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Republicans might be a little credible if they weren’t obsructing proposals that they themselves have made. But beyond that, this constant game of chicken that they insist on playing is tedious and dangerous. Knowingly putting the country in a precarious position — and basically bragging about it — should be considered treasonous.

    • 102 jacquelineoboomer
      February 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      I agree, totally, but even going back to going along with proposals they’ve made falls well short of giving them any credibility. I just wish they’d get out of the way.

  35. 103 JER
    February 23, 2013 at 12:09 pm

  36. February 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm

  37. 105 Bill
    February 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    MSNBC announced Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) will be interviewed at 1:30. Why? What are they thinking? They should go back to the prison shows.

  38. February 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm

  39. 108 globalcitizenlinda
    February 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I don’t know how many more views the video of FLOTUS & Jimmy Fallon’ Evolution of Mom Dancing” will receive. I see that original is past 250,000

  40. February 23, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Hey y’all! G’day!

  41. 111 desertflower
    February 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/us/in-gun-debate-a-bigger-role-seen-for-insurers.html?ref=politics&_r=0 ABOUT DAMN TIME!!!

    Lawmakers in at least half a dozen states, including California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, have proposed legislation this year that would require gun owners to buy liability insurance — much as car owners are required to buy auto insurance. Doing so would give a financial incentive for safe behavior, they hope, as people with less dangerous weapons or safety locks could qualify for lower rates.

    “I believe that if we get the private sector and insurance companies involved in gun safety, we can help prevent a number of gun tragedies every year,” said David P. Linsky, a Democratic state representative in Massachusetts who wants to require gun owners to buy insurance. He believes it will encourage more responsible behavior and therefore reduce accidental shootings. “Insurance companies are very good at evaluating risk factors and setting their premiums appropriately,” he added.

    • February 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      I was hoping someone would present the idea of liability insurance. Now, we can get a real fight going because insurance companies will lobby for passage of coverage.

  42. 113 vcprezofan2
    February 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Was that UTAL at the top of the thread? That’s early for you, isn’t it, Utal? 😆 Well done! Me, I’m off to get a jolt from that dancing mom vid before immersing myself in today’s fare.

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