Rise and Shine

A year ago: President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick listen as students from Orchard Gardens K-8 School in Roxbury, Mass., perform Dr. Marin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Feb. 28, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)



The President has no public appearances scheduled

12:0 EST: First Lady Michelle Obama will return to her hometown of Chicago to make a major announcement about bringing physical activity back to schools. She will be joined by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, NIKE President & CEO Mark Parker, Dominique Dawes, Gabby Douglas, Allyson Felix, Bob Harper, Bo Jackson, Colin Kaepernick, Sarah Reinertsen, Paul Rodriguez, Serena Williams, a surprise musical guest and thousands of Chicago area teachers and students (Details here)

12:30 EST: Press briefing by Jay Carney

3:25 EST: First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to Springfield, Missouri to see changes Walmart has made as part of the company’s commitment to Let’s Move! to open or expand up to 300 stores in communities with limited access to healthy, affordable food. (Details here)



Bloomberg: Fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, showing companies were looking beyond looming government spending cuts and maintaining staffing.

Jobless claims decreased by 22,000 to 344,000 in the week ended Feb. 23, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast of 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 360,000 applications. The number of people collecting unemployment insurance dropped to the lowest level since June 2008.

More here



Dana Milbank: For a quarter-century, Antonin Scalia has been the reigning bully of the Supreme Court, but finally a couple of justices are willing to face him down.

As it happens, the two manning up to take on Nino the Terrible are women: the court’s newest members, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

The acerbic Scalia, the court’s longest-serving justice, got his latest comeuppance Wednesday morning, as he tried to make the absurd argument that Congress’s renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2006 by votes of 98 to 0 in the Senate and 390 to 33 in the House did not mean that Congress actually supported the act. Scalia, assuming powers of clairvoyance, argued that the lawmakers were secretly afraid to vote against this “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”

Kagan wasn’t about to let him get away with that….

More here




Washington Post: Seeking to avoid a protracted and politically damaging fight over reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, Republican leaders are prepared to allow the House to vote Thursday on a version of the bill favored by Democrats, an unusual move that acknowledges GOP divisions on the touchy issue.

The House will vote first on a Republican version of the bill, which authorizes funding for programs to aid prosecution of domestic violence and sexual assault cases and assist victims.

But with Democrats unified in opposition and Republicans divided, the GOP’s alternative appears likely to fail.

More here


Business Insider




Steve Benen: Given how contentious the process was surrounding Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s confirmation process, it was easy to forget that Jack Lew’s Treasury Secretary nomination was advancing at roughly the same time – and Senate Republicans don’t like him, either….

But with his detractors unable to generate any meaningful controversies, and with Hagel drawing the most fire, Lew managed to earn confirmation late yesterday without much trouble.

…. Consider it this way: President Obama nominated a qualified official to a key cabinet post; the nominee had already been subjected to Senate confirmation processes before – five times – and had never received an opposition vote; and the nominee’s detractors couldn’t find anything especially wrong with him. But when it was time for a vote, 25 of the Senate’s 45 Republicans opposed the nomination anyway.

Full post here



USA Today: We should know Thursday whether President Obama will weigh in on a landmark same-sex marriage case pending before the Supreme Court.

That’s the deadline for friend-of-the-court briefs as the high court reviews Proposition 8, the California measure that bans gay marriage.

The Obama administration is not obligated to file a brief — and it would not be legally binding in any event — but Obama indicated he is thinking about it…

More here


Wall St Journal


Michigan Chronicle: … On Wednesday, the statue of civil rights icon Rosa Parks was unveiled at the U.S. Capitol ….. The audience included many of Parks’ surviving relatives, most of whom currently live in Detroit.

One moment that stole the show was an adorable photo snapped of President Obama with one of the legendary leader’s youngest family members. It shows 3-year-old Terrell Anderson Jr. in the arms of our nation’s leader as he curiously touches his hair.

More here


A year ago:



192 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. February 28, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Good morning Everyone!

  2. 3 magapie
    February 28, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Is today a holiday and no one told me?

  3. February 28, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Good morning Ms. Chips and TOD family, I hope everyone have a marvelous day today. Congrats magapie on being first this lovely Thursday morining.

  4. 6 LDS
    February 28, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Good morning,

  5. 7 isonprize
    February 28, 2013 at 8:52 am

    I just watched the babies from Orchard Gardens reciting the iconic Martin Luther King “I have a Dream” speech to Pres. Obama and Gov. Patrick.

    Tears unexpectedly streaming down my face…

  6. 8 LDS
    February 28, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Congrats, Magpie. Close, RanMan.
    What a lovely day! Excited to alive.
    Today is TOD day…..
    Lovely children a year ago bringing a smile to their President’s face. Gov. Patrick is no joke. He did a marvelous thing during the snow storm. He is not afraid to do the right thing and say the right thing. That’s all we ask for is the truth whether they want to hear it or not.
    Thank you, Chips. When do you sleep?

    • February 28, 2013 at 8:54 am

      Moooooooorning LDS, mooooooorning everyone! Sleep? Huh, who needs that? 🙂

      • 10 LDS
        February 28, 2013 at 9:06 am

        I know.
        I thought after the election I would chill out for a while. That is not going to happen, another month is here and I am still catching up with everything. These four years better go too fast. I am going to need serious therapy. So much is happening so fast.
        People who are in the way of progress making me lose my patience. WAKE UP! I feel like screaming out of my window?
        In NY that is normal. Love this town. Sick of “the little short man” who thinks he knows everything.

    • 12 Bill
      February 28, 2013 at 9:02 am

      For a person not sold on Hillary as our next POTUS I am impressed with Governor Patrick. He gave a wonderful speech at the DNC in Charlotte and handled the appointment of Senator Kerry’s replacement with much aplomb, disregarding the pressure to appointment Rep.Barney Frank.

      • 13 jackiegrumbacher
        February 28, 2013 at 9:11 am

        Bill, Deval Patrick would make a brilliant and powerful president if he had the ambition to run. He would have to withstand all of the ugly, as PBO has done, but he would do it magnificently. I don’t, however, think that’s his goal in life, unfortunately.

  7. 17 LDS
    February 28, 2013 at 8:55 am

    “Excited to be alive” it should be up above.
    Really, I am. Cloudy day, but I am expecting great things today.
    I claim it!

  8. February 28, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Good morning! In looking around the news and commentary, I see a lot of shock about Scalia’s comments. Not just because of the rather naked racism inherent in the statements, but in many ways he’s thrown overboard what he spent years touting as his judicial philosophy.

    Thank goodness for Justices Sotomayor and Kagan! This is why 2012 was an important election! At some point during the next few years, there are going to be some openings on the Court, and I’d much rather have President Obama making those choices!

    • 19 jackiegrumbacher
      February 28, 2013 at 9:13 am

      Oh, please, please , please let those openings come on the far right side of the court, although I think Justice Bader will probably retire while PBO is still president.

      • 20 Lovepolitics2008
        February 28, 2013 at 11:04 am

        Justice Ginsberg (sp?) has had some serious health problems, and I’m concerned something may happen to her. To be candid, I would like her to retire before the 2016 mid-terms, just in case democrats , God forbid, lose seats in the Senate.

    • 22 kathryn kivett
      February 28, 2013 at 9:13 am

      A.B.S.L.U.T.E.L.Y………..Sotomayor has become my new bestest heroine………..and a good morning to all

  9. 23 utaustinliberal
    February 28, 2013 at 9:01 am

    First Lady Michelle Obama will be on the Dr. Oz Show today. Check your local listings.


  10. 24 sherijr
    February 28, 2013 at 9:02 am

    So good morning all, happy thursday Chips & TOD. Heres the ‘threat’ to Woodward – what a smarmy pos he is.. this took place in an email.. and as you will read in paragraph two there is zero threat there, in fact the whole email is a bit apologetic if anything: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/exclusive-the-woodward-sperling-emails-revealed-88226.html

    • 25 99ts
      February 28, 2013 at 9:17 am

      The GOP school of cry out in fear – if your lies are not accepted. He lost any chance of support when he headed to FoxNews.

    • 26 Lovepolitics2008
      February 28, 2013 at 11:17 am

      Either Woodward is a pompous ass, or he is intentionally creating a fuss to help the republicans. It’s probably the former. Woodward is to journalism what McCain is to politics: for years he has been using his “heroIc past” for self-aggrandizement. He is totally OVERRATED.

      The e-mails, (given to Politico by the White HOuse, I have no doubt about that), are indeed proving that Woodward is full of …blank…

      I hope this episode opens the eyes of many in the Beltway. I take comfort in the fact that the Beltway READS Politico, and the e-mails are pretty damning for him. Gene Sperling apologized more than once in those e-mails. Woodward looks like a fool this morning.

  11. 27 GGAIL
    February 28, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Good West Coast morning Chipsticks! Great Rise & Shine. Thank you!

  12. 29 1jam4pbo
    February 28, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Good Morning my TOD family. Good Morning Miss Chips.

    You have not seen much of me recently but rest assured I visit as often as I can to keep up with all the news.

    I had to find the time this morning to comment on Scalia. I hope and pray that there is an opening to replace him soon before he wreaks more havoc on the American people. FORWARD!

    Have a great day everyone.

  13. 30 utaustinliberal
    February 28, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Who’s threatening Bob Woodward this meaning? Barney, SpongeBob, Thomas the Tank Engine or Scooby Doo?

  14. 33 99ts
    February 28, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Congrats magapie, hello everyone – lots of reading and listening in the morning thread.

    Can a supreme court Justice be removed other than by death or resignation. Scalia seems to overstep his constitutional powers – all the time – as of course do some of the others – but Scalia does not even try and give valid reasons for what he does. To say that the votes of congress (overwhelmingly for the act) do not mean that congress supports the act – is just unbelievable

    “Congress’s renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2006 by votes of 98 to 0 in the Senate and 390 to 33 in the House did not mean that Congress actually supported the act.”
    (Dana Milbank – link above)

    • 34 jackiegrumbacher
      February 28, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Scalia sounds like a man who’s lost it and taken a merry trip down the rabbit hole. No where in the Constitution does it say that the Supreme Court should try to read the minds of those casting a vote in Congress and act on what they believe Congress was thinking instead of what they actually did. If that were the intent of the Constitution, justices would have backgrounds as psychics, clairvoyants and palm readers, instead of lawyers. I don’t think Scalia is operating with a sound mind at this point (if he ever was) and that may become so obvious in time that even the dimmest wit will see it and pressure him to resign.

      • 35 99ts
        February 28, 2013 at 10:24 am

        It would seem the election of President Obama has not been kind to Scalia’s mental capacity – I knew little about him in earlier times

  15. 36 GGAIL
    February 28, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Bravo to Justice Kagan & Sotomayor! I bet POTUS is proud of your courage. I certainly am!!

  16. 37 utaustinliberal
    February 28, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Click on the link and read the email. Woodward’s an asshole.

  17. 47 jackiegrumbacher
    February 28, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Please everyone, call your Congressperson on the Sequester. These offices are not getting enough calls on the issue and they think no one cares. Congress gave birth to this monster and Congress can simply dismiss it with a single vote. Please call and make a fuss.

    • 48 proudmemberofglobalzero
      February 28, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Called my rep, Lois Frankel, Senators Rubio and Nelson. On anther note I listened to Shelby counties argument for getting rid of Section 5 of the voting rights act. ” Black candidates have been elected with 90% of the WHITE vote.” Yes he said that on the Supreme Court steps.

    • 49 desertflower
      February 28, 2013 at 9:50 am

      Just sent an email this morning…

    • 50 kathryn kivett
      February 28, 2013 at 10:15 am

      Done…….but……Virginia Foxx is my congressperson(yes, I do accept condolences)…….You know, some mornings I get up and day dream about what it would be like to experience living in an area that I was surrounded by like minded people….

  18. 52 japa21
    February 28, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Good morning all. Well, I don’t know how today can possibly match up to yesterday in terms of things triggering massive legitimate outrage. Usually, there is only one thing, but yesterday must have been 2 for the price of one day. I don’t think either Scalia’s blatant racism or Woodward’s blatant self-promoting lies will be forgotten soon.

    So what can there be today. Well the House will vote on the Senate version of VAWA, unless Boehner does something really stupid. Then the House will break for the weekend (I would love their hours) without doing anything about the sequester. The Senate will try to push through something to resolve the sequester, but since the House won’t be around, it will just sit there. Oh, and I am writing a letter (sent via email) to WGN TV in Chicago for their ridiculous reporting this morning. First they stated that PBO is being criticized by some for not meeting with Congressional leaders regarding the sequester. Didn’t say who was doing the criticizing nor did they mention that meetings have been going on between WH staff and Congressional staff, nor did they mention that Boehner has saidhe will not sit down with PBO.

    Then they mention simply that Woodward stated he had been threatened by the WH without any background or real substance to the claim or pointing out that the WH never threatened him, nor that journalists have come out totally against Woodward on this.

    So other than all that, it should be a quiet day.

  19. 54 99ts
    February 28, 2013 at 9:36 am

    For anyone who doesn’t understand the sequester or has friends on either side of politics saying it will have little impact etc etc – this is the best description/analysis that I have seen – with a small (but very small) amount of Jim’s humor added


    It’s a long read – but definitely explains it all.

    • 55 99ts
      February 28, 2013 at 9:44 am

      His final analysis

      “Conservatives will, in the end, make a deal. Very likely they’ll end up giving President Obama what he wants, at least to some extent. But not before they’ve made their point, not before they’ve caused gas prices to go up and stock prices to fall, not before they’ve risked yet another downgrade to America’s credit rating. Not before they’ve idled 700,000 American workers who can least afford it and not before they’ve driven the wedge that divides this country just a little deeper into its heart. But eventually, they’ll deal, they have no choice because they’ve already lost and they know it. And that’s what galls them the most.

      Every American, left and right, should be appalled that it’s finally come down to this.
      Every American, left and right, should be appalled by this continuous and unending state of self inflicted crisis.
      And it is long past time to stop playing games.
      It is long past time for congress to stop causing the problems and start fixing them. “

    • February 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks for sharing. It’s in my inbox.

  20. February 28, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I hope Rachel understands that the public is ignorant and the GOP can get away with lies precisely because she & HER COLLEAGUES in the media spend a lot of time hiding or not covering their shenanigans while wasting precious time focusing on false narratives or trivialities with President Obama (and his administration).

    When PBO completed his first debate (and most of us thought he did a fine job), many of Rachel’s colleagues at MSNBC were leading the chorus in attacking our President – while giving Romney a royal pass – calling his performance “STRONG” while ignoring the fact that almost everything he said in that debate was a LIE. Even after PBO wiped the floor with Romney in the 2nd & 3rd debate, some of these very pundits were still carrying on about the 1st debate.

    When the Republicans were busy voting against the bill to reduce violence against women, Mrs & Mr. Ezra Klein were busy spreading false rumors about the Obama administration’s purported hostility to women and focusing on a pic with Valerie Jarrett’s legs.

    While PBO was working hard to make good on his promise to not penalize seniors and middle-class and to let the Bush Tax Cuts expire, Jonathan Chait put out a nasty and FALSE article about the President being weak and ready to cave, instead of calling out the GOP for their refusal to cooperate and compromise in order to help move this country forward.

    Rachel herself spent damn near a whole week on drones – FOR WHAT PURPOSE?!?!

    I could go on and on, but right now I am just fed up of the good cop-bad cop antics displayed by some of these media pundits. If they themselves could be a little more consistent and honest about this President, and not try to play people for ratings, this country would be better off and I’m not just talking about knowledge of the GOP lies.

    • February 28, 2013 at 10:10 am

      The same statement below was ment to be a direct reply to hf2. Well put hopefruit2. I have been tweeting the following as much as possible: “The DC beltway media presents a clear & present danger to the future growth of America. They must be driven into irrelevance”.

    • 60 kathryn kivett
      February 28, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Boy, you are on point this morning….great summary!

    • 61 Vicki
      February 28, 2013 at 11:58 am

      Wow! So excited to hear that you thought PBO did a fine job on that first debate!!! So did I. He made his points and kept his cool in the face of outrageous lying.
      One of my friends who says she likes POTUS is still talking about the debate negatively. As tho 90 minuts out of what I’m hoping will be 10 years in the public eye—-90 minutes were determinative.

  21. February 28, 2013 at 9:55 am

  22. February 28, 2013 at 9:56 am

  23. February 28, 2013 at 9:58 am

  24. 74 Ladyhawke
    February 28, 2013 at 9:59 am


    Bucking Responsibility: GOP’s History Of Demanding Obama Identify The Spending Cuts They’d Support


    Senate Republicans unveiled their plan to avert sequestration this week, and though they are still demanding that the looming budget reductions be offset totally by a different set of budget cuts, they are refusing to say what new budget cuts they prefer. Instead, they want to give President Obama the authority to choose which programs would face cuts as part of the $85 billion plan.

    Republicans have, at times, offered specific spending cuts. The House GOP budget decimated Medicare and Medicaid while cutting taxes for the rich, and the GOP offered to replace sequestration in 2012 with a plan that protected defense while shifting all the cuts to domestic programs that have already faced steep reductions. But these proposals have been unsuccessful at brokering a spending compromise with Democrats and deeply unpopular with the American people, who largely want to protect the social safety net.

    To avoid that problem, the GOP has often turned to demanding spending cuts without actually naming specific cuts they want, as they attempt to extract painful cuts without taking any of the blame:



  25. February 28, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Well put hopefruit2. I have been tweeting the following as much as possible: “The DC beltway media presents a clear & present danger to the future growth of America. They must be driven into irrelevance”.

  26. 76 japa21
    February 28, 2013 at 10:10 am

  27. 77 dotster3
    February 28, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Not overly thrilled about First Lady touting Wal Mart. I hate Wal Mart. It has destroyed small towns and small businesses across America and treats its employees shabbily. I guess it’s a matter of deciding to overlook all the horribleness to recognize one positive aspect. What do y’all think?

    • 78 japa21
      February 28, 2013 at 10:13 am

      Don’t know what she is specifically saying, but if Wal-Mart is pursuing a positive policy on something, it should be so noted, more as an example for other companies to follow. Few people or companies are totally evil just like few people or companies are totally good. One can point out the positive without condoning the negative.

    • 81 Jessica
      February 28, 2013 at 10:34 am

      Wal-Mart is horrible but it is ingrained in our culture. People shop their for EVERYTHING especially groceries. I live in a town called Alamogordo and that’s one of the few places to get lower priced fresh fruit and vegetables (besides the Commissary if you’re military) and some shabby looking grocery store called Lowe’s. If Wal-mart is lowering it’s fresh fruit and vegetables then Target will and dominoes start falling. It’s a chain.

      I’m a firm believer in ghetto fabolousness. Working with what you got. We can’t get rid of Wal-Mart so we might as well work with them so we can get our needs met.

    • 82 sherijr
      February 28, 2013 at 11:00 am

      well heres the reality- a lot of folks shop at Walmart because it is what we can afford. I HATE Walmart, I even worked there many years ago for a short period- and they are terrible.. however when I can buy my food there cheaper, I do it- because I have little other choice. I think FLOTUS is touting their change in offering fresh/healthy food at lowered prices.

    • 83 kathryn kivett
      February 28, 2013 at 11:09 am

      Ok, I have to say something here…..First of all, I work for Wal Mart and although not perfect, Wal Mart does not treat it’s employees shabbily unless those employees do shabby work. I am paid, for the work I do fairly(who wouldn’t want more),get annual raises and have been lucky enough to get quaterly bonuses, work the hours I want to work, get time off when I want it, have 401K, dental & health, long term/short term disability, sick time, 3 weeks vacation, paid holidays, 20 hours paid personal time(this year), bereavement pay, and life insurance(company paid) in addition, I have an hour for lunch and 2 breaks during the day and more if needed….and I am not management…just a sales associate. When my husband was ill and subsequent death, they were supportive, gave me 3 months off TWICE and took the worry away that my job would not be there when I returned.(thanks FLMA). Management attended the funeral, sent flowers when he was in hospital and flowers to funeral, phone calls and cards…….I’m sorry, maybe I don’t expect much but I don’t consider that shabby. In return, I don’t abuse their policies, show up on time, do what I am asked to do(never been asked to do something that I can’t do), learn new skills, and try to be pleasant to customers even when they are rude or I don’t feel like it. Would I like it if Wal Mart sold less products made in China and more made in USA….You Betcha….but would customers pay for them….NOPE….I see customers spending their last dime on the newest electronic or the priciest piece of jewelry while collecting their food stamp money…and that is not a racial statement…it’s across the board of races…..There is recycling in place, offer a fairly good selection of glutton free, and fresh foods…(not impressed with their meats)….I am not doing a commercial for Wal Mart just telling it like it is and what I have experienced…..Have worked there 11 yrs and been offered promotions which I have declined b/c not right for me at this stage in my life….but advancement is available. Off soap box….just wanted to set the record straight.

      • 84 kathryn kivett
        February 28, 2013 at 11:14 am

        Forgot to add the discount I receive on about everything including fresh fruits and veggies….adds up over a year.

        • 85 dotster3
          February 28, 2013 at 11:33 am

          Glad you’re happy with your employer, maybe they have improved policies over the last few years. Living in the midwest , I have seen first hand in numerous states the wasteland a Wal Mart leaves behind—–once vital downtowns are now ghost towns, mom and pops can’t compete, all go out of biz. There is a reason many towns deny Wal Mart—–they are protecting their local businesses—–as just happened in my daughter’s town in In. And I know Wal Mart does not fare well in comparison to Costco.


          • 86 kathryn kivett
            February 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm

            You point is taken, it does not compare with Costco and besides, Costco leadership supported PBO….don’t think I wouldn’t want to work there in a heartbeat but unfortunately the closest one is 45 miles away, …..however….although some Mom’s and Pop’s grocery stores closed, it was more due to the fact Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Aldi’s, Bi Lo’s, and Lowes came to town…same with hardward stores, Lowes and Home Depot was the competition which also did damage to local plant nurseries……our down town thrives with clothing boutiques, children shops, art stores, jewelry stores, high end music and bike shoppes, local restaurants, antique dealers, huge farmer’s market with local produce, eggs, free range meats, plants etc;….people buy what they need from Walmart and either shop downtown or go out of town for what they want, if they can afford it. You are entitled to your opinion of Wal Mart, I just wanted to give mine from working there and I have received the same benefits and policies since I started 11 yrs. ago.The only difference is we are having to do more with less employees, as most businesses are doing.

  28. 87 Ladyhawke
    February 28, 2013 at 10:13 am


    Ending the permanent crisis

    By EJ Dionne


    The air of establishment Washington is filled with talk that Obama must “lead.” But Obama cannot force the House Republican majority to act if it doesn’t want to. He is (fortunately) not a dictator.

    What Obama can do is expose the cause of this madness, which is the dysfunction of the Republican Party.

    Journalists don’t like saying this because it sounds partisan. But the truth is the truth, whether it sounds partisan or not.
    The nation is exhausted with fake crises that voters thought they ended with their verdict in the last election. Those responsible for the Washington horror show should be held accountable. And only one party is using shutdowns, cliffs and debt ceilings as routine political weapons.



    h/t Greg Sargent

  29. 89 dotster3
    February 28, 2013 at 10:17 am


    • 90 anniebella
      February 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

      I know what you mean, Jon Lovett. Mr. Sperling threatened to pay my car payment, he look me in the eye and said you won’t have that car for to much longer. You’ll regret not letting me make the payment. On the way home that is all I could think about. I had nightmares about my car being taken away.

  30. 91 Ladyhawke
    February 28, 2013 at 10:21 am

    The Morning Plum: The false equivalence pundits are part of the problem

    By Greg Sargent


    The battle over the sequester has sparked a corollary argument over the proper role of pundits in assigning blame in political standoffs of this type. A number of us have argued that the facts plainly reveal that Republicans are far more to blame than Obama and Democrats for the current crisis. The GOP’s explicit position is that no compromise solution of any kind is acceptable — this must be resolved only with 100% of the concessions being made by Democrats — which means any compromise Dems put forth is by definition a nonstarter at the outset.

    Analysts reluctant to embrace this conclusion — an affliction I’ve called the “centrist dodge” — have adopted several techniques. One is to pretend Dems haven’t offered any compromise solution, when in fact they have. A second is to argue that, okay, Dems have offered a compromise while Republicans haven’t, but Dems haven’t gone far enough towards the middle ground, so both sides are still to blame for the impasse. (The problem with this dodge is that it fails to acknowledge that Republicans themselves have openly stated that there is no distance to which Dems could go to win GOP cooperation, short of giving them everything they want.)

    We’re now seeing a third technique appear: Acknowledge that Republicans are the uncompromising party, but assert that it’s ultimately on the President to figure out a way to either force Republicans to drop their intransigence or to otherwise “lead” them out if it.


    More here ……..


  31. 92 Ladyhawke
    February 28, 2013 at 10:25 am


    The consequences of misguided assumptions

    By Steve Benen


    I’m beginning to think an infectious disease is spreading in the nation’s capital. Symptoms include memory loss (forgetting everything Republicans have done in recent years), blurred vision (an inability to see obvious GOP ploys), and an uncontrollable urge to blame “both sides” for everything, even when it doesn’t make any sense.

    The disease has already affected pundits like Bob Woodward, Ron Fournier, David Brooks, nearly everyone on the network Sunday shows, and today reaches the editorial board of the Washington Post. Indeed, the Post’s editors seem to have come down with an especially acute case today, as evidenced this bang-your-head-against-your-desk editorial on the sequester, which cavalierly ignores the paper’s own reporting, and demands that President Obama “lead” by somehow getting congressional Republicans to be more responsible.

    You can almost feel James Fallows’ frustration.



  32. February 28, 2013 at 10:26 am

  33. February 28, 2013 at 10:28 am

  34. February 28, 2013 at 10:29 am

  35. February 28, 2013 at 10:31 am

  36. February 28, 2013 at 10:33 am

  37. 110 Jovie
    February 28, 2013 at 10:35 am

    GOP lawmaker: Obama practicing ‘Mayan politics’ with dire warnings on sequester

    By Pete Kasperowicz
    Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) said Thursday that the dire warnings from the Obama administration about the consequences of the sequester show that he’s practicing “Mayan politics” in order to scare people into protecting government programs.

    “I rise today to ask the White House to lead, and turn away from Mayan politics,” Olson said on the House floor. “The world is going to end! The world is going to end!

    Ummm, wasn’t Fox News the ones pushing this Mayan Calendar thingy?

  38. 111 Jovie
    February 28, 2013 at 10:40 am

    So, the GOP alternative is given the President the authority to identify the spending cuts?
    Maybe he could sheppard through the entitlement reforms he wants?
    That’s not a bad idea… Put it behind us once and for all?
    Only problem is, the republicans say you do it and then attack him for being responsible.
    That’s the real reason…

  39. February 28, 2013 at 10:48 am

  40. February 28, 2013 at 10:50 am

  41. 114 Ladyhawke
    February 28, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Open Mic Nite at the False Equivalency Cafe

    By Ed Kilgore


    These are the days of wine and roses for practitioners of that fine old Beltway MSM tradition of partisan false equivalency. And why wouldn’t they be? After all, we’ve got divided partisan control of government, which makes apportioning the blame equally a natural default drive interpretation of events. We’re drifting towards a series of fiscal calamities—a sequester, then maybe a government shutdown—that both parties claim they do not want to happen.

    But most importantly, there is an obvious “solution” to the country’s fiscal problems that is nicely symmetrical in that it would seem to ask for equal “sacrifice” from partisans on both sides: if only Republicans would accept higher taxes on the wealthy, and Democrats would accept “entitlement reform” (defined as benefit cuts), the fiscal “crisis” could be brought to a dignified end.

    Because the “adults” in both parties (a very important concept in this sort of Dover Beach Centrism that treats politicians as unruly children in need of direction) haven’t produced this obvious solution, it can be inferred that they are not trying hard enough. Thus, it doesn’t matter that the president has repeatedly offered a formula of “entitlement reform for tax reform;” he’s not offering it clearly enough or emphatically enough, and more importantly, he’s not rubbing his own supporters’ nose in it even nearly enough to make it a genuine “compromise.” And besides: he’s the president! He’s supposed to have magical powers! His desk is where the buck stops!

    More here….



  42. February 28, 2013 at 10:52 am

  43. 116 Don
    February 28, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Nice dog whistle there Bob, so the black guy in the white house threatened you, do tell. Ladies and Gentlemen, President Obama has just been declared winner of the “Which President drove the media village insane” award.

    • 117 amk for obama
      February 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Yup. The Kenyan usurper is yanking the chains of the bw buffoons and they can do jacksquat about it except whine since the public shares his contempt for them.

  44. 118 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    February 28, 2013 at 10:54 am

  45. February 28, 2013 at 11:02 am

  46. 122 Jovie
    February 28, 2013 at 11:10 am

    They will not shutdown government on march 27, to close to checks going out.
    If they do, they overreach and lose the House. People will nor stand for their checks to be held up by the House of republicans.

  47. 123 Jovie
    February 28, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Is their a Jobs report tomorrow?

  48. 124 amk for obama
    February 28, 2013 at 11:14 am

    • 125 Ladyhawke
      February 28, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Beltway Brain Fever: People Who Agree With Obama But Have to Pretend Otherwise



      These sorts of argumentative gymnastics are required when your dedication to the appearance of nonpartisanship trumps any intellectual integrity or commitment to particular policy goals. The Post set out to blame both sides for the impasse and obviously worked backward through the reasons in order to rationalize this pronouncement. The hash of pseudo-reasoning on display is the necessary outcome of that impossible task.

      I know I’m more than a bit obsessed with this particular brand of deceit. But it is not a marginal view. It’s a highly prevalent and influential one. Indeed, other than conscious intellectual dishonesty, the very prevalence of this opinion is the best explanation for its endless repetition. So many people have repeated versions of it — the very best, most thoughtful, nonpartisan people — that it has been imbibed unthinkingly. It’s an analysis so transparently false that it could only be sustained through endless incantation.


      See more at: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/02/beltway-brain-fever-sequester-edition.html#sthash.zAawdjjM.dpuf

  49. February 28, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I wish the President would tell audiences that despite the fact that he is the President, he only has the authority to accept or reject spending after Congress makes the decision. Tell everyone that he doesn’t have the power to change or repeal legislation. If he did, the sequester wouldn’t exist….there’d be no debt ceilings or high unemployment. People need a civics lesson.

    I was on a base yesterday where a group of soldiers told me they finally figured out that it isn’t the President who wants to screw them…it’s Congress! Of course, every television on the base is on Fox News. Go figure.

  50. 127 Bill
    February 28, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Meanwhile MSNBC is showing a helicopter with the Pope in it. Chris Jansen is reporting it is “stunning”.

  51. 132 amk for obama
    February 28, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Yay. my first pox news dittohead RT.

  52. 133 utaustinliberal
    February 28, 2013 at 11:27 am

  53. 140 utaustinliberal
    February 28, 2013 at 11:29 am

    You have got to read this for the endless laughter it will give you. Ron Fournier was threatened America! He was threatened Woodward style.

  54. 142 amk for obama
    February 28, 2013 at 11:32 am

    The US is to step up its support for the Syrian opposition as it fights to topple President Bashar al-Assad, Secretary of State John Kerry says.

    Mr Kerry said the US would provide direct support to rebel forces in the form of medical and food supplies.

    He also promised an additional $60m (£40m) in aid to the opposition to help it deliver basic governance and other services in rebel-controlled areas.

    Mr Kerry was speaking at a gathering of the Friends of Syria group in Rome.

    The promise of direct, non-lethal aid to the rebels represents a shift in US policy on Syria, correspondents say.

    However it falls short of providing the weapons and munitions that the rebels say they need to defeat government forces.

    Mr Kerry said the decision was designed to increase the pressure on President Assad to step down and allow a democratic transition.


  55. February 28, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Our favorite kid wonder John Favreau, is opening a firm w/ Tommy Vietor and possibly joining Jon Lovett in Hollywood.

    • 145 Ladyhawke
      February 28, 2013 at 11:52 am

      Woodward Outfoxes Himself

      By Ed Kilgore


      I say all this to explain that this week’s grotesque self-exposure by Woodward and his subjequent adoption as an unlikely hero by the Right hasn’t shattered any of my illusions or destroyed any cherished icons. And he certainly invited the ridicule he is going to get today by posing as a martyr to the First Amendment bravely enduring “threats” from the Obama White House.
      Now Woodward knew what was in that email, and should have known it would get out. Why on earth would he talk about “threats” when he knew infallibly it wasn’t true and wouldn’t stand the light of day? Was it because he figured his new right-wing fans wouldn’t care whether it was true or not? Or is because something funny happens to a person’s sense of perspective once he’s been played by Robert Redford in a movie and has been told repeatedly he saved his country?

      I dunno, but Woodward’s act is getting painfully old, and I don’t plan to pay any more attention to his feverish efforts to stay in the limelight.



  56. 146 japa21
    February 28, 2013 at 11:40 am

  57. February 28, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Woodward is this year balloon boy, The Media balloon boy.

  58. 149 utaustinliberal
    February 28, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Wonderful. Now the Senate version can proceed.

  59. 152 Ladyhawke
    February 28, 2013 at 11:43 am


    So much for ‘economic uncertainty’

    By Steve Benen


    Quite right. Looking back over the last two years — in fact, it’s closer to 22 months — Republicans have made three shutdown threats, forced two debt-ceiling standoffs, pushed the country towards a fiscal cliff, refused to compromise on a sequester, and have lined up even more related fiscal fights in the months ahead.

    So, here’s the question for GOP leaders: where did your concern about “economic uncertainty” go? Here’s the follow-up: do you think a never-ending series of hostage standoffs inspire investors, reassure “job creators,” and improve consumer confidence?

    Or is it more likely Republicans are doing the very thing they said they opposed in 2010?



  60. 153 utaustinliberal
    February 28, 2013 at 11:46 am

  61. 155 utaustinliberal
    February 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    199 Democrats and 87 Republicans voted for the Senate’s comprehensive version of VAWA. 138 republicans voted NO. It’s been renewed through 2018 and heads to Pres. Obama for his signature.

  62. 158 Bill R.
    February 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm

  63. 159 Bill R.
    February 28, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Yesterday two old GOP fools sealed their legacy. Scalia sealed his legacy as a hateful racist unworthy of his membership in the SCOTUS, Bob Woodward as an utter narcissistic fool who is drama queen of the first order, upset because no one cares about him anymore.

  64. 160 amk for obama
    February 28, 2013 at 12:13 pm

  65. 164 amk for obama
    February 28, 2013 at 12:13 pm

  66. 165 utaustinliberal
    February 28, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Oh really? He’s just now noticing this?

  67. 168 sherijr
    February 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    woohoo VAWA passed, how about that! Thank you Democrats.

    • February 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      I am so glad, I am so relieved, but I did have to go to WH.gov and ask, why does this law/act have to be continuously “re-authorized?” Why is this not a permanent, life-long, forever act on the books?

  68. February 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm

  69. 171 Ladyhawke
    February 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    What The Hagel Fiasco Told Us About The Press

    By Media Matters


    Unfortunately, that’s probably true. The Beltway press has made sure Republicans have routinely paid no price for their radical behavior, which means ugly stalling tactics will likely continue under Obama, as Republicans now try to grind the government to a halt on numerous fronts.

    During the months-long Hagel debacle, in which the traditionally routine, bipartisan confirmation process was upended by Republicans, we learned some uncomfortable truths about the mainstream press and the right-wing media.
    Did I mention the press often blamed Obama for the whole mess? He was guilty of picking a fight with Republicans… by wanting to have a lifelong Republican serve in his cabinet.
    The Hagel fiasco was fueled in part by media failures. And those failures ensure that we’ll be forced to watch more GOP confirmation charades.



    • 172 amk for obama
      February 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      in part by media failures ? No, the major part of that fiasco was the corrupt msm.

    • February 28, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      It’s true. Did anyone notice how crazy everyone went when a Democrat issued a racial slur against McConnell’s wife. They called it a shame…”spouses are off base”. The day before they had relentlessly attacked FLOTUS about the Academy Awards!

      • February 28, 2013 at 5:18 pm

        Who did that FayPax, just want to stay informed in case it’s thrown in my face and I wonder if its true. I only know his wife is Asian and was in the Cabinet for W.

  70. 175 JER
    February 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    First Lady Michelle Obama in Chicago for ‘Let’s Move’ . . . Watch the event LIVE … http://abclocal.go.com/wls/livenow?id=7096082

  71. February 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm

  72. February 28, 2013 at 12:30 pm

  73. 181 japa21
    February 28, 2013 at 12:36 pm

  74. February 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm

  75. 184 Ladyhawke
    February 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    VIDEO: Woodward’s Dubious Intimidation Claim Trumpeted By Right-Wing Echo Chamber

    Actual Emails Undermine Woodward’s Sinister Spin

    By Media Matters


    Right-wing media are hyping reporter Bob Woodward’s sinister interpretation of an email he received from the White House as a threat against him. But White House officials point out that the email was sent as an apology for previous tension, not a threat — a claim reinforced by the tone of the emails.
    CNN’s Soledad O’Brien pointed out that Sperling’s focus on possible inaccurate reporting weakened Woodward’s claim of intimidation:
    The emails not only contradict Woodward and the right-wing media’s claim of intimidation, they confirm the interpretation given by White House staff after they were asked about the exchange. One official told Talking Points Memo that the email was intended to warn Woodward against reporting inaccurate material:



  76. February 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Yes We Can

  77. February 28, 2013 at 12:40 pm

  78. February 28, 2013 at 12:43 pm

  79. 190 Jovie
    February 28, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    The house finally, finally passed the VAWA, goes to the President for his signature.
    Did the MSM even mention it?

  80. 192 Jovie
    February 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    GOP last ditch plan for Obamacare-
    Fund Givernment until January 2014, then blame the President that he will not repeal Obamacare.
    I know what they are up to…

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