Rise and Shine

Four years ago today: President Obama hugs Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient actor Sidney Poitier during the award ceremony in the East Room of the White House,  August 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)


The Grio: Holder to call for major reform of mandatory minimum sentencing

Attorney General Eric Holder will announce in a speech today that the Department of Justice will no longer charge low-level, non-violent drug offenders with crimes that trigger mandatory minimum sentences, a major shift in American drug policy and an indication that President Obama wants to reduce the number of Americans who serve long prison sentences over drug crimes and rethink American laws that have existed for decades.

“I have mandated a modification of the Justice Department’s charging policies so that certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs, or cartels will no longer be charged with offenses that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences,” Holder is expected to say Monday at a meeting in San Francisco of the American Bar Association, according to excerpts of his remarks provided to theGrio….

In effect, Holder is calling for prosecutors to charge defendants for lesser crimes than they may have actually committed, thereby allowing juries and judges more latitude in imposing sentences, instead of following mandatory minimums created by Congress that many in both parties say are now outdated.

More here

See SmartyPants

1:0 EST: AG Eric Holder Address the American Bar Association








Love this:

Michael Tomasky: Obama Is Giving Up Some Executive Power, and He’ll Still Get No Credit

Predictably, everyone is unimpressed by the measures Barack Obama has announced to bring a little ray of transparency to America’s surveillance programs …. I think it’s pretty remarkable that a president, any president, announced, without absolutely being forced to, a series of steps that relinquish some degree of executive power. Of course he’ll get no credit for that, because civil libertarians tend to be absolutists and other liberals tend to be afraid or even terrified of their wrath…

…. Obama was headed down this course before the Snowden leaks. Those began on June 5. But on May 23, he gave a speech at the National Defense University in which he foreshadowed the moves he just announced. Combine all this with John Kerry’s recent announcement that we have a plan for ending drone strikes in Pakistan, and you might have thought liberals would be cheering.

I suppose some liberals are. I am. But not civil libertarians. With them, it’s all or nothing. If you’re not signed on to the whole program, you might as well be Joe McCarthy….

…. Obama has public opinion to think about. And of course he has keeping the country safe to worry about, and no one at the ACLU is sitting in on those intel briefings and learning the things the president is learning every day about threats to the nation, and no one at the ACLU will be responsible if our wall of security is breached. Obama is responsible, and I think mere willingness of the man in that position to have this conversation, let alone take some concrete steps, does him enormous credit.

Full post here


Truly, these people are deranged:

Next tweet will probably be: ‘Ask not what the Nobel Prize can do for Bradley Manning, ask what Bradley Manning can do for the Nobel Prize’


Andrew Liepman (LA Times): What did Edward Snowden get wrong? Everything

Edward Snowden is now out of his limbo at Moscow’s airport, presumably ensconced in some Russian dacha, wondering what the next phase of his young life will bring. Having spent 30 years in the intelligence business, I fervently hope the food is lousy, the winter is cold, and the Internet access is awful. But I worry less about what happens to this one man and more about the damage Snowden has done — and could still do — to America’s long-term ability to strike the right balance between privacy and security.

More here



LittleGreenFootballs: Sen. Al Franken: “I Assure You This Isn’t About Spying on the American People”

“I have a high level of confidence that it is used to protect us”

Noted far right nutjob (do I need a snark tag on that?) Sen. Al Franken says he was not surprised by the Greenwald/Snowden NSA revelations…..

More here



Steve Benen: Steve King just can’t help himself

Democrats and other proponents of immigration reform caught another lucky break over the weekend: Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) appeared on “Meet the Press” yesterday, and just kept talking. If the progressive goal is to see reform opponents discredit themselves on the national stage, the right-wing Iowan has become the left’s most reliable ally.

Indeed, who do you think was happier to see King on the air, the DNC or the RNC?

More here



The Root: Politics Gets Its Own Cheerios Ad – The black son of a white candidate tackles stop and frisk in a campaign ad.

Earlier this year, Cheerios generated extensive media attention — and countless racist comments online — for becoming the first major American brand to feature a mixed-race family in a television advertisement. Now, an ad for a political campaign is poised to be just as groundbreaking, and potentially controversial.

This weekend television advertisements began airing starring the teenage son of New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. De Blasio is white, his wife, Chirlane McCray, is black, and their son, Dante, sports a sizable Afro in the ad, in which he makes the case for why he believes his father is the best candidate for mayor.

While he touches upon a number of issues, including affordable housing, the ad’s most powerful moment comes when he talks about his father’s position on stop and frisk….

More here

The ad:



That pic again, but a bigger, shinier, lovelier version:


On this day:

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with Justice Sonia Sotomayor prior to a reception for the new Supreme Court Justice at the White House, on Aug. 12, 2009 (Pete Souza)

President Obama and Justice Sonia Sotomayor meet in the Oval Office prior to a reception for the new Supreme Court Justice at the White House, on Aug. 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama and President Obama greet guests at a reception for Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients and their families, Aug. 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk in the Blue Room of the White House before the start of the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony on Aug. 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Neighbors sing Happy Birthday to President Obama during a walk in the Hyde Park/Kenwood section of Chicago, Ill., Aug. 12, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)



124 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. 8 africa
    August 12, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Morning all.

  2. 9 Roberta in MN
    August 12, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Congrats Layla, GM Chips.

  3. 10 jackiegrumbacher
    August 12, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Gm. Great rise and shine, Chips. Hope you enjoyed your last day of vacation. Always a bummer to get back.

  4. 12 jackiegrumbacher
    August 12, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Looks as if all three of you–Layla, Africa and Roberta–tied. Congratulations.

  5. 16 Jeff
    August 12, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Guess Eric Holder is to announce new drug sentencing reforms. They look to be a huge leap in the right direction and proves yet again that my defense of this man to my ideologue friends is proving me correct and them wrong.

    • 17 arkluvspbo
      August 12, 2013 at 9:34 am

      Naysayers don’t understand that progress takes time. They are too impatient and too greedy/needy. When one let’s go of the need to control, the universe has a magical way of working things out.
      I love our POTUS, and he has a strong ally in AG Holder.

  6. 18 utaustinliberal
    August 12, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Chipsticks, you’ll pay for my doctor’s bills if I’m forced to be admitted for uncontrollable laughter. That Wikileaks tweet about Bradley Manning just about killed me. Bradley Manning?….Nobel Prize? Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaha. The greatest joke ever told.

    Also, a big kudos to the Obama Admin. for the new approach to the so called war on drugs. A couple months back, Pres. Obama released a memo that his administration was going to be taking a better approach to drug offenses and as usual, he kept his word. Awesome.

    • 19 Layla
      August 12, 2013 at 9:21 am

      The ACA will cover that utl!

    • August 12, 2013 at 9:27 am

      Moooooooorning UT!!!! I’m with ya, still howling at thought of Manning winning the Nobel Prize, HOOOOOOOOOOWLING!!!!

    • 28 arkluvspbo
      August 12, 2013 at 9:41 am

      UT, the same ones who said POTUS didn’t deserve it — they just prove their jealousy when they think BM deserves it (BM…very appropriate).
      They feel so cheated out of not having a Bush version of President Obama. They were hoping that POTUS would do their bidding and he would live by the so-called “progressive” playbook.
      I’m so glad we have a President who doesn’t make his decisions based on emotional people who are just looking for a reason to whine and complain about everything.

    • August 12, 2013 at 1:30 pm

  7. 30 hopefruit2
    August 12, 2013 at 9:21 am

    • 31 Layla
      August 12, 2013 at 9:22 am

      BOOM! About time!

    • 32 anniebella
      August 12, 2013 at 9:40 am

      So can we stop and frisk that Mayor and let him know what it’s like to have that done to someone. I can not get over his comment about how we need to stop and frisk more blacks and less whites. I have family in New York who never like Mayor Bloomberg.

  8. 33 africa
    August 12, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Stop and Frisk violates the law!!

  9. 39 desertflower
    August 12, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Debunker for “Obama ran up the deficit” LIE!


  10. 40 japa21
    August 12, 2013 at 9:23 am

    GM all TODvillians. ANother nice autumn day in Chitown. A great R&S, Chips. Like UT I almost fell out of my chair at the Wikileaks tweet.
    Today is the first day of a new computer platform at work. I already hate it.

    Have a great day all.

  11. 41 GGAIL
    August 12, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Good West Coast morning Chipsticks & TOD family.
    Thanks again Chips for the computer advice last night! Zoom!!

  12. 44 hopefruit2
    August 12, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Interesting I don’t see/hear nary peep from all those “Civil Liberty” folks about the new Stop & Frisk ruling…think they would be rejoicing in the streets…

    • 45 africa
      August 12, 2013 at 9:34 am

      But NSA, that’s their default. It is old and tired. Stop and Frisk ruling is very good news.

    • 46 ericfive
      August 12, 2013 at 10:48 am

      They were also quiet about the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. They only care if they personally have a stake in an issue. The only exception to this rule appears to be the soft spot many of them have for terrorists.

  13. 47 japa21
    August 12, 2013 at 9:26 am

  14. 48 utaustinliberal
    August 12, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Best news of the day so far. The war on drugs crap spun by Reagan did and continues to do more harm than good.

    • 49 Jeff
      August 12, 2013 at 9:29 am

      I love Eric Holder and wish that he would run for president but that’s not his calling. Know a lot of people that would laugh at me saying it but something about the guy I like.

      • 50 jackiegrumbacher
        August 12, 2013 at 9:41 am

        I agree, he would be great, Jeff, but I don’t think he would care to do all the glad handing and ingratiating that that would take.

  15. 51 arkluvspbo
    August 12, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Good morning everyone! {{{{xoxoxox}}}} all around.

  16. 52 Vicki
    August 12, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Good morning, Chips.
    I am so glad you showed the TOD community the De Blasio ad. Bill is the candidate I’m supporting. He has been on the right side of many battles for years. Currently Public Advocate De Blasio has been struggling to keep hospitals in Brooklyn open holding vigils and enduring being hauled off to jail. His opponents—Bloomberg and Quinn have closed 17 hospitals recently. Go Bill GO!!!

    • 53 jackiegrumbacher
      August 12, 2013 at 9:41 am

      Vicki, do you know how DeBlasio is doing in the polls right now. Is his support growing?

      • 54 Vicki
        August 12, 2013 at 10:52 am

        His numbers are going up as Anthony Weiners numbers go down, jackieg
        Right now 3 candidates are leading—-Quinn, De Blasio and Bill Thompson, who is also a good candidate. My hope is that Bill De blasio makes it into the runoff. If he doesn’t I will support Bill thompson.

  17. 55 Proud Former White House Intern
    August 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Good morning everyone. Have a great week! Chips keep up the good work!

  18. 56 anniebella
    August 12, 2013 at 9:33 am

    The pictures are nice. I love any picture of POTUS and FLOTUS.

  19. 57 utaustinliberal
    August 12, 2013 at 9:35 am

    The good news continues. YES! YES! YES! Screw you Mike Bloomberg.

  20. 58 hopefruit2
    August 12, 2013 at 9:35 am

  21. 60 jackiegrumbacher
    August 12, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Joy Reid’s tweet about voting in ALL elections is extremely important. We focus on 2014 and 2016, when we’ve got elections coming up this November that affect how our communities and schools are managed. When RWNJs slip into town council positions or school boards, the community ends up hurting–compassion disappears, ugly divisiveness increases and school programs deteriorate. And these lower level spots are farm team training grounds for higher office. They are our future. In our area, we’ve got three Latinos running for local office for the first time and it’s been very difficult to get people to focus, which is one reason we’re putting on a big Latino community picnic at the end of the month. This is the time to register, register, register and get the word out to every voter. If one of our candidates win, others will be encouraged to step forward and the a snowball effect begins. I know people get tired and local races aren’t as sexy as mid-terms or presidential ones, but they’re important and every local candidate who supports our president and progressive values needs our help.

  22. 61 africa
    August 12, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I love, love the De Blasio ad!!

  23. 63 desertflower
    August 12, 2013 at 9:44 am

    The real life effects of sequestration.


    A U.S. preschool program for low-income families allowed single mother Kelly Burford to take a $7.25-an-hour job as a department store clerk in Maryland. Her son, Bradyn, 2, spent the day with friends listening to stories, singing and drawing pictures — at no cost to Burford.
    That ended in June, when Bradyn’s school in Taneytown, seventy miles north of Washington, closed after losing $103,000 because of automatic government spending cuts. Without support from the federal Head Start program, Burford, 35, said she had to quit her job and has seen her son’s progress slip.

    “The teachers were really good — he was learning a lot,” she said. “Now, he’s fallen back.”
    While President Barack Obama advocates expanded education for all children under five, the budget deal he cut with Republicans in Congress is throwing poor children out of existing programs. The across-the-board reductions, made through a process known as sequestration, removed about $400 million from Head Start this year, the deepest cut in dollar terms since its 1965 creation.
    As a result, about 60,000 slots in the preschool program for poor children are expected to disappear, according to the National Head Start Association, an Alexandria, Virginia-based nonprofit that advocates more funding for the program. The cuts must take place by the Sept. 30 end of the U.S. fiscal year.

  24. 64 JER
    August 12, 2013 at 9:51 am

    … Just before 7:30 pm, the president and Mrs. Obama arrived at Sweet Life Cafe on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs to dine with a group of friends.

    President Obama waved to a small crowd of people gathered in front of the Oak Bluffs Inn across the street as he stepped out of his vehicle. He bounded up the front steps with a smile and joined a group of seven friends waiting in a private upstairs dining room. The president chose grilled swordfish from the menu, according to a restaurant staffer. …

    At about 9:15 pm, the president and first lady came downstairs, and spent about five minutes chatting with the restaurant staff and posing for pictures inside the front entry, before leaving the restaurant.

    A sizable crowd gathered while the president and his friends had dinner, and they cheered as he left the restaurant. … http://www.mvtimes.com/2013/08/11/farm-neck-sweet-life-vacation-favorites-president-obama-16822/

  25. 65 africa
    August 12, 2013 at 9:55 am

  26. August 12, 2013 at 10:00 am

    1:0 EST today: AG Eric Holder Address the American Bar Association on Prison Sentences – live on C-Span

  27. 67 WilTal
    August 12, 2013 at 10:02 am

  28. August 12, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Chips won the internet today and it’s only morning:

  29. 81 utaustinliberal
    August 12, 2013 at 10:11 am

  30. August 12, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Forgive my hysteria, but….

    Where’s the faint pic when I need it?

  31. 94 utaustinliberal
    August 12, 2013 at 10:15 am

  32. 95 africa
    August 12, 2013 at 10:17 am


    • 96 jacquelineoboomer
      August 12, 2013 at 11:13 am

      I think Ari was trying to nuance it, but I responded in any event. If he can’t take a stand, I will.

      • 97 jacquelineoboomer
        August 12, 2013 at 11:16 am

        All you have to do is look at the statistics (and “quotas”) from the stop and frisk fallout to have “racial profiling” hit you square in the face. It’s the impact of policies and laws that is the real test of racial discrimination, not the words on the papers, not the words from the city officials.

  33. 100 utaustinliberal
    August 12, 2013 at 10:23 am

  34. 101 dotster3
    August 12, 2013 at 10:32 am

    President Obama always looks like he’s trying to entertain the First Lady, get her to laugh, on these departure pics. It always makes me smile even without knowing his funny stuff because it’s so cute!

    • 102 arkluvspbo
      August 12, 2013 at 11:01 am

      I also like the picture where they are having a “serious” discussion…she’s wearing that wonderful red dress, and her body language is very pronounced 🙂

  35. 103 anniebella
    August 12, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I saw a piece about what happen at the Missouri State Fair yesterday on the Today show this morning.

  36. August 12, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Racist Sedalia MO contact info to express your discuss w/using a rodeo clown to excite their Klan rally @ PBO. 800-827-529 cvb@sedaliamo.org— RanMan (@ranman09) August 12, 2013

  37. August 12, 2013 at 10:53 am

    First day of school for my nephew

  38. 112 No Child Left Behind
    August 12, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Good Morning TODville,

    I enjoy reading every post on The Diary for which I thank all the brilliant authors.

    This morning, this quote made my day.

    Next tweet will probably be: ‘Ask not what the Nobel Prize can do for Bradley Manning, ask what Bradley Manning can do for the Nobel Prize’

    Is Traitor Snowden really being considered for the Nobel Peace Prize, or the Nobel Piece Prize? My world!

  39. 115 africa
    August 12, 2013 at 11:05 am

    How cool is this?

  40. 117 jacquelineoboomer
    August 12, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Mornin’, Chips and TODville! Enjoy your week.

    Wow, UT – that decision on NYC’s stop and frisk is monumental! Not surprising, but still monumental. Thanks for the info.

  41. 118 africa
    August 12, 2013 at 11:16 am

  42. 119 japa21
    August 12, 2013 at 11:17 am

  43. 121 africa
    August 12, 2013 at 11:33 am

  44. 124 jacquelineoboomer
    August 12, 2013 at 11:51 am

    This should unfavorably impact the prison industrial complex, quite nicely. Not to mention favorably impacting the actual people experiencing the excessive mandatory minimum sentences. Well done, AG Holder.

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