Chat Away


President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden listen as 9 year-old twins Zea and Luna Weiss-Wynne introduce the President at the LGBT Pride Month celebration in the East Room of the White House, June 13, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


120 Responses to “Chat Away”

  1. July 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    close to the top i hope

  2. 7 jackiegrumbacher
    July 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Congratulations, Cman and ourmanflint. So many posts today coming fast and furious–hard to catch up.

  3. 8 hopefruit2
    July 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    • 9 LunarSea
      July 22, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      damn corp control of our news continues. AJ what a let down.

    • 10 57andfemale
      July 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      “Kate’s arrival speaks volumes about what we intend to do and how we intend to do it,” said Mostefa Souag, the acting director general of Al Jazeera, in a statement. “She is a highly experienced and award-winning journalist who fully understands what Americans want to see and hear when they watch the news.”

      If ABC News is the model, and O’Brian has been in charge of ABC News since 2007, then I have lowered my expectations. The rest of the management team is full of MSM hacks who have been part and parcel of the PBO-bashing, no-news news that glosses over the outrageous sabotage of the government and elimination of basic decency by Republicans.

      The article says the parent company will be hands-off. So if you like the RW drumbeat we’ve been hearing from MSM, you will love Al-Jazeera America.

      I will watch with an open mind, but this management team does not bode well. I don’t need another CNN or msnbc, or even worse if ABC is the model.

      • July 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm


        who would you have liked in that position…and why do you think they went this way

        • 12 57andfemale
          July 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm

          I would have liked to have seen someone from more independent media. Can’t think of any one name off the top of my head – but there are mid-level journalists who have been in the game long enough to run the station competently and yet add a new perspective. I think a lot of us were looking for a comprehensive perspective from al-Jazeera.

          I’m unsure why they took such a corporatist approach to their management team. What doomed Current was two-fold: there was no competency in how to run a TV station; and Gore’s partner was in it for the money from the leases and had no interest in building a world-class TV network. I’m not one to defend Olbermann for a lot of reasons, but he did have every reason to believe that they would invest time and money into making the station look like more than closed circuit campus TV.

          I have an open mind on this. I will make judgments of what I see. But on its face, I would not take the word of an ABC executive on “what Americans want to see in their news”. The networks have determined that Americans want sensationalism and mindless banter, and have ceded their role to educate and inform. ABC was the first network to turn over their news division to the entertainment division – and here we are. I can’t blame Kate O’Brian for that, but have you seen better, more competent and thoughtful coverage from ABC in recent years? Covering all of PBO’s presidential campaigns and presidency? I didn’t think so.

          They just announced David Shuster as an anchor, whom I can love and hate at the same time. At least he’s smart. Soledad O’Brien should be fine.

          I’m assuming that the choice of Kate O’Brian had a lot to do with making sure everything runs competently.

          • July 22, 2013 at 4:49 pm

            I do not know much about Al Jazeera….but I assumed that they went in this direction to gain credibility… with the BIG Boys…but we shall see what the output will be…

      • 14 57andfemale
        July 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm

        Well, there is some hope. There’s this:

        “Perhaps foreshadowing what the American channel will look like, anchors and producers at Al Jazeera English repeatedly pointed out on Monday that they were electing to cover royal baby news much less than their competitors.”

      • 15 hopefruit2
        July 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm

        Couldn’t have said better, 57. This is going to be essentially an American-corporate sponsored media outfit – with a foreign-sounding name to fool gullible viewers.

        • 16 57andfemale
          July 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm

          Just announced that they hired David Shuster, who I can love and hate in the same breath. At least he’s smart, but can tend toward emoprog-ism. He is a decent journalist, though.

          We’ll see. I certainly will give them a chance. I know what I want to see in a news network, and I can even shelve my desire for pro-PBO coverage if we get serious, honest, well-sourced news. I have found ABC News appalling and I can’t get too excited about them putting a major ABC exec in charge. Maybe she’s been waiting to return to actual journalism? Hopefully.

          • 17 hopefruit2
            July 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm

            Yes – I had heard about Shuster. Lately he’s been on my “side-eye” list. He was hysterically calling for Eric Holder to be fired when AP first released their bogus report a few months ago, and never apologized when he turned out to be wrong.

            We’ll see, but I’m just not very optimistic.

            • 18 57andfemale
              July 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm

              He is an enigma to me. At the very least, David Shuster should have taken the time to do, like, actual journalism to determine that the whole faux scandal was bogus. But then at other times, he’s spot on.

              The other anchors they’ve hired, I know nothing about. 3 of the 4 come from local news stations across the country.

            • July 22, 2013 at 4:52 pm

              hahahaha…@ side eye….I know what that means…my grandmother had a famous one….

              and they all were calling for the AGs firing….sigh….

      • 20 vcprezofan2
        July 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm

        Hi 57F , I’m very late today – did you tweet your very important reaction to AL-J? In particular the part about the choice lowering your expectation? I’m thinking if potential viewers let them know how we feel BEFORE they get entrenched in the rut of the current media mode, maybe they’ll listen. What do you think?

        • 21 57andfemale
          July 22, 2013 at 2:53 pm

          I have to give them a chance. I’ve been looking at other stories about the management team and came across this quote from Kate O’Brian:

          “In a statement, O’Brian said “Al Jazeera America will demonstrate that quality journalism is alive and well in the United States.”

          And this:

          “Al Jazeera executives have said the channel will focus much of its efforts on hard-news coverage of the United States. ”

          And this:

          “The network has also promised to steer clear of lots of the political debates, murder trials and celebrity gossip that fill other cable networks.”

          That being said, I didn’t see Kate O’Brian set great journalism standards (at least by my calculation). And a former producer of Anderson Cooper 360? And some CBS ex-exec who has been in academia of late (hopeful on that front).

          I find almost all of ABC News deplorable. I saw them give marching orders to Christiane Amanpour that practically decimated her reputation. And back to Stephanopoulous? I will NEVER forgive him for the trap he set for PBO during a Hillary/PBO debate in 2008. So I have my concerns.

          Let’s see how things look next month. It’s just a corporate-heavy news management team which concerns me.

          • 22 vcprezofan2
            July 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm

            I am not suggesting they be criticized because as you point out, they haven’t done anything yet, so to speak. However, it might be proactive to let them know in a pleasant informative way what it is that ‘thinking’ Americans would love to have in their news. Encourage them to plan for that audience out there that has been starved for good reporting for the longest while. In short, let them know there is an active audience out ‘there’ who wants more than sensationalism.

            • 23 57andfemale
              July 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm

              good thinking, vc. Will do.

            • 24 GGail
              July 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm

              vc & meta – I’m so proud of you both for putting our expectations of better journalism on the table right off the bat. BRAVA!

              • 25 vcprezofan2
                July 22, 2013 at 3:46 pm

                Hello, you westerner, you; nice to see you! It’s been a while since we have run into each other. 😉 😀 😀

                ‘I’m so proud of you both for putting our expectations of better journalism on the table right off the bat’

                Join in, GGail, and get your friends and contacts to join in too. I’d like to think it would make an impact on the @ajam model of news reporting if they know going in that there are (hundreds of) thousands of viewers who want more than they are currently getting from the MSM. [Maybe I *should* **beg** Utal to ask her thousands of followers to let @ajam know we are rooting for them to actually follow through on their promise to rejuvenate QUALITY journalism.]

                • 26 GGail
                  July 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm

                  I have done just that – my friend vc! Thanks for supplying the appropriate tone to the message.
                  It so nice to run into you as well 🙂

                  • 27 vcprezofan2
                    July 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm

                    I have done just that 😆 TY

                    I’m sitting here thinking it’s a pity it’s not as easy to get twitter (or social media) going on a proactive possibility as it is to get many on board on a complaint initiative or on a bashing effort. Think of how effective it could be to really let @ajam see that many, many people are hoping for and willing to support a news network that does what it’s supposed to. /sitting here dreaming of how quickly they could grow if they actually delivered./

  4. 28 Jovie
    July 22, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    No joke: Feds bust energy traders for ‘spoofing’
    By Ben Geman
    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has busted the high-speed trading firm Panther Energy LLC for allegedly gaming commodity markets with a practice called “spoofing,” the agency announced Monday.

    The $2.8 million CFTC settlement marks the first time the commission has used powers granted under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law to limit “disruptive” trading practices, regulators said.

    “Using a computer program that is written to spoof the market is illegal and will not be tolerated,” said David Meister, the CFTC’s enforcement director, in a statement. “We will use the Dodd Frank anti-disruptive practices provision against schemes like this one to protect market participants and promote market integrity, particularly in the growing world of electronic trading platforms.”

    Yay Dodd/Frank!

  5. 29 Jovie
    July 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Ted Cruz suggests he is Lobbying GOP Senators to shut down the government in November, over Obamacare.
    He says he has over 12 already and growing.
    Many of you here said they would not dare do such a thing?
    Want to bet?

    • July 22, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      • 31 Jovie
        July 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm

        They’re desperate. My thinking is they will try to divide rest of America against Obamacare if they shut down government.
        Not to be taken lightly, they have the media under control!

        • July 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm

          I understand but I expect OFA will kick into high gear – and I do mean HIGH GEAR – to come out and rally support for Obamacare from all sectors. We’ve come too far and worked too hard to continue with this BS from the RWNJs. They do have the media but we have the boots on the ground!!

    • July 22, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      Well, we can either wring our hands over this news, or we can roll up our sleeves and start asking the Republicans to start explaining their positions. We all know that Obamacare is a good thing, for those with insurance and for those without, and for thr drficit. If the GOP plan to shut down the goverent over Obamacare, then they better be prepared to answer to us why they are opposing a law that has been proven to lower insurance premiums, provide affordable insurance to working Americans, and allowed children to get preventive treatment plus stay on their patents’ insurance to the age of 26. Let them attempt to destroy a recovering economy by threatening the debt ceiling. They’ll have all of us to answer to. And the fact that they have no alternatives makes the prospect of grilling them until they squeal all the more appealing. I’m looking forward to it!

    • 35 ericfive
      July 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Fundraising ploy. Ted Cruz also has a commercial advocating abolishing IRS. He has zero credibility.

    • July 22, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Bring it, please, Senator Cruz.

  6. 37 Jovie
    July 22, 2013 at 2:09 pm

  7. 38 Jovie
    July 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm

  8. July 22, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Update on husband: He has a broken shoulder blade–two places…..pretty bad break he said. No surgery. Sling for 6-8 weeks. He is at Shaw’s Lodge in Monson,ME. He will get cleaned up. They will do his laundry, help him re-organize his backpack and get it and his two boxes I had sent there shipped back home. using their computer to make travel arrangements. No idea when he will be home.

    Thanks again to all of you for your thoughts and caring. You’re the best!!

  9. 50 donna dem 4 obama
    July 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm


  10. 53 57andfemale
    July 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm

  11. July 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    @ajam is Al Jazeera America.

  12. 55 JER
    July 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    • 56 desertflower
      July 22, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      🙂 Joy: He (Cuccinelli) wants the govt on my back, and my husband off of it”…..ladies are funny. So much better w/o that crazy RW ??? with them.

    • 57 Linda
      July 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Obviously his wife won’t give him a BJ…so he wants to punish all of us

  13. July 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Since the GOP is admitting that they are DELIBERATELY not helping their constituents who want to know about Obamacare, Balloon Juice had a good idea:

    IF your Congressman/Woman is a GOPer, call them up with a generic set of questions. Keep track of those that they don’t answer.

    From Balloon Juice

    As mentioned two days ago, GOP reps face a tough dilemma between serving their constituents and hating the Affordable Care Act like it shot their dog. At the same time the pary as a whole needs the ACA to fail in every possible way, a lot of single Reps will have a hard time with re-election if people see them playing political games with the health and livelihood of individual constituents. I can think of several terrible Republicans at the Senate level, Jesse Helms and Rick Santorum being two, who stayed afloat not in small part due to a reputation for great constituent service.

    There are three ways that a GOP Rep can go with this. Some of them will talk tough to the press but do their job like a grownup when real constituents call with real problems to address. Some other faction, most I would guess, will punt either by not answering or passing the caller off to HHS. Most of all we need to keep an eye out for the fabricators, liars and true believers whose staff genuinely believe the pap in the morning blast fax from Glenn Beck.

    October is still some time off, so let’s start with questions that everyone should know. Say that I have a pre-existing condition and cannot get an individual market plan for any price. Can I buy one in October? How would I do that? The correct answers are yes and it depends on the state; in most cases we do not know the full details yet. If you feel like testing their bad faith, tell them you heard there will be death panels. I will not offer a script because you should really use your own words for this. Staffers’ interest often ratchets way down when they start hearing the same wording twice. Try being polite but a little slow and ask for clarification when possible.

    Many thanks to readers for offering links to the excellent summary of the ACA from the Kaiser Family Foundation. You can find a lot of useful questions, no doubt including some that are relevant to your own situation, at their FAQ.

    The Kaiser Family Foundation has an excellent collection of true answers that you can use to score your Rep.

    Does that sound good? Yes? Now make it happen. One call won’t change the world but a lot of calls to the right people at the right time can move mountains. Trust me on this.

    Here is the Phone Directory for Congress.

    Once you make the call, please make note of if the Congressman’s Office was helpful/truthful in the replies of this post. Be sure to leave the name and district of the Congressman.

  14. 61 desertflower
    July 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Smartypants adds the cherry on top of Spandan’s TPV piece 🙂


  15. 65 57andfemale
    July 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    I loathe that we need ‘Democrats’ like this who aren’t Democrats unless it involves taking DNC money:


  16. July 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    LL, You said you thought you would go stir crazy being in a sling for 2 months. Let me tell you MY story. In July of 2007, I fell right here in my kitchen. Stubbed my toe, tried to catch myself by reaching out to the granite island. My hand/arm stayed in place & I went down. Every doctor who saw the x-rays said it was by far the worst they had ever, ever seen. My insurance forced me to use one particular orthopedic clinic in town. I’m sure the doctor I got is a very good surgeon, but he had ZERO bedside manner, never came up w/any kind of treatment plan, would actually walk out of the room as I was asking questions. After two of those experiences, I reported him to the administration of the clinic. He got a little better but not much. I was the model patient…..did everything he told me to do, which of course, wasn’t much since he never did a treatment plan. Wore a born growth stimulator that was from HELL and we had to pay $2200 for!!!!!!! Even though it was a very bad break, I just wasn’t healing….very little new bone growth. During that late summer, is when big issues began w/my mother living alone & I could only be on the phone w/her–STRESSFUL!!!!! Then, in October our grandson was diagnosed w/cancer. No need to talk about the stress that added. I got word in November that our insurance carrier was changing in Jan. I was able to switch clinics/doctor and wow oh wow—-WHAT A DIFFERENCE. Kind, caring, treated my whole body/mind, came up with a wonderful treatment plan and a different bone growth stimulator and I began healing very quickly. I began having massages early on to keep from getting a frozen shoulder. (Something we will begin w/hubby ASAP) Needless to say, I’ve already called my doctor with basic info to them and will make an appt. as soon as I know when he will be home. I broke my arm July 10, 2007. Got released from doctor care August of 2008. It would not have been that long had I had the second doctor from the beginning…..can’t go back though.

    • 67 MightyPamela
      July 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      What a story tmg…. I can so relate to shoulder injury, I had that frozen (right) shoulder for a whole year until surgery was deemed necessary: the manipulative kind, where they put you you under then wrench your entire arm 360 to tear open the scar tissue. Oh yeah. So, in March, while in a knee immobilizing splint for my right knee, no weight bearing for 6 weeks, the crutches tore open all that old shoulder worry, so my entire right side is set back. I feel as if I have aged 25 years in the past 4 months. Best to you both.

      • July 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm

        OMG, MP. I knew you were having issues, PT, etc., etc., but NO idea the extent. Bless you!!!!! I can SO relate. I kept saying at the time I was SO thankful it wasn’t a leg or ankle/foot. My husband said the same thing this morning. I didn’t even sleep in a bed from July 10 until October 30 when we were on our way to VA after our grandson was diagnosed. “Slept” in a recliner. And, oh, I am left-handed. It was my left arm.

      • July 22, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        I’m sorry MP. I didn’t know more problems occurred after the first. Hope you feel better soon.

    • 70 jackiegrumbacher
      July 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Wow, what an ordeal, TN. So glad you got the second doctor. It’s amazing what tyrants insurance companies are and how they actually work to inhibit good health care. So much of that will change with Obamacare.

  17. July 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Congratulations and Best Wishes to the couple of TOD! 😀 May you type long and prosper. Sorry if that’s been used. I’m light years behind. Have you been given a couple name, like, ChipUt, or ChilLib or Chip Nerdy yet? I’m terrible at catch phrases, can you tell?

  18. July 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Happy Birthday Betsy, from my garden to yours. May you have a great day. What could be better than waking up and knowing that President Obama is in the White House?

  19. July 22, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I have a repair man here to break up my day. 😉

  20. July 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm

  21. July 22, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Conservatives prepare to finish off Voting Rights Act

    Zachary Roth, @zackroth
    12:13 PM on 07/19/2013

    Now, voting rights supporters fear a determined push by the right could let the Roberts Court go after the landmark civil right’s law’s other key pillar, Section 2.

    “Section 2 is a ripe target,” Christopher Elmendorf, a law professor at the University of California, Davis, who has written in depth on the provision, told MSNBC.
    If the court were to strike down or substantially weaken Section 2, the Voting Rights Act would technically still exist, and would retain a few historically important functions—its ban on poll taxes and literacy tests, for instance. But, on top of the demise of Section 5, the most successful civil rights law in the nation’s history would be all but a dead letter.

    Unlike Section 5, Section 2—which lets victims of racial discrimination file suit—is an after-the-fact remedy, making it a less effective tool for stopping race bias in voting. Still, it’s the strongest protection that the Voting Rights Act has left, and the weeks since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder have made clear that Section 2 now figures to play a crucial role in legal efforts to defend voting rights, including in cases against voter ID, cutbacks to early voting, and other Republican-backed voting restrictions.

    The argument against Section 2 is that by banning actions with discriminatory results, not just intent, it goes beyond what the Constitution empowers Congress to do.
    “I’d guess that arguments would be made that the statute should be narrowly construed, because to read it more broadly raises serious constitutional questions,” one conservative Washington election lawyer, who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized by his firm to speak to the press, told MSNBC, echoing the language of the young John Roberts. “That’s how I see this as playing out.”


  22. July 22, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Haven’t followed the Snowden saga. Does he know this is going on in the Ukraine?

  23. 78 57andfemale
    July 22, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    It’s a boy. A big-ass boy. 8 pounds, plus.

  24. 83 57andfemale
    July 22, 2013 at 3:35 pm

  25. July 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm

  26. July 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    The Associated Press ‏@AP2m
    BREAKING: Palace: Prince William’s wife, Kate, has given birth to a baby boy.

  27. July 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm

  28. 101 57andfemale
    July 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Wow. I do not think Nate Silver is a god, but…..

    • 102 japa21
      July 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      He probably didn’t. After all, Silver believes in facts, not conjecture.

    • 104 jackiegrumbacher
      July 22, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      Well, 57, that’s probably the nicest thing that anyone has said about Nate Silver. He should wear it as a badge of honor. To have fit into the Times “culture” would heave meant that he had really and truly sold his soul.

    • 108 ericfive
      July 22, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Nate must have burned bridges when he stuck to his guns refuting the Gallop propaganda of a Romney victory. One would think the fact that Nate was correct would have won him some allies. MSM is about propaganda, not providing the public with accurate info.

    • July 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      Nate got tired of lying and selling out

    • 110 Nena20409
      July 23, 2013 at 10:59 am

      Hilariously funny…..was it not the NY Times that went after, sought Nate Silver and paid him loads of money to join their Newspaper? Isn’t it truly ironic that now the Gray Old lady is saying what again? Foolishness is indeed a disease.

  29. 111 57andfemale
    July 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    God, it’s like eating peanuts – I can’t stop at just one. Maybe I was in more need of levity than I realized. I promise – this is the last one:

  30. July 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Big surprise. Haven’t had TV for about 24hours and the first thing I see is breaking news. The Duke and Duchess have had a baby boy. Can’t tell you any more. But I’m sure if you want to all you sleuths can find it. This is probably old news anyway. No name yet. 😀 Another baby the President can charm. 😆

  31. 114 dotster3
    July 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I don’t know why, but this made me LOL

  32. July 22, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Hellooooooooo everyone!

  33. 118 Claire
    July 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Sorry to go off track and go to local news but this story has been all over our local news and I just find this young woman incredible. Talk about embracing life and having a will to live! Her story is inspiring. Only 22 years old. Talk about a strong woman. The next time someone throws out that tired stereotype about black people not being able to swim… just tell them about Morgan Lake.

    Woman who survived Chesapeake Bay Bridge car plunge describes swim to safety


  34. July 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    I love how serious the POTUS and VPOTUS are looking while listening to the comments of those two little doodlebugs. Cutest. Picture. Ever.

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