Early Bird Chat

On This Day: President Barack Obama jokingly mimics U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney’s “not impressed” look while greeting members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams in the Oval Office, Nov. 15, 2012. Steve Penny, USA Gymnastics President, and Savannah Vinsant laugh at left (Photo by Pete Souza)


MoooOOOooorning, Happy Friday!

93 Responses to “Early Bird Chat”

  1. November 15, 2013 at 7:11 am

    First? In the morning??

      • November 15, 2013 at 7:21 am

        I’m totally impressed with myself. Although I wake up to my alarm, I’m not totally functional until much later! It should have read something like “Fotdy? Int hemorbing??” I’d like to thank my alarm clock 6:00AM setting, my alarm clock 6:15AM setting, and my cell phone 6:05, 6:20, 6:30, 6:45, 7:00, and 7:15 settings for all they hard work they do, and for this highest honor of being a TOD First Rise-And-Shiner! Thank you! Thank you! You really love me!!

        • November 15, 2013 at 7:25 am

          “Fotdy? Int hemorbing??”

          😆 😆 Happy Fotdy Mary!!!!!!

          “I’d like to thank my alarm clock 6:00AM setting, my alarm clock 6:15AM setting, and my cell phone 6:05, 6:20, 6:30, 6:45, 7:00, and 7:15 settings for all they hard work they do”

          Cryyyyying: my alarm clock works just as hard!!!!

          • November 15, 2013 at 7:32 am

            And that’s not exaggeration. I have slept through my dog chasing my cat all over and around my bed barking madly enough to wake up my daughter in the next room with both our doors closed. She came in and dragged the dog out of the room She had to tell me about it the next morning. That happened twice. So yes, I set many, many alarms. The girl sleeps hard; good to know I’m not alone 😉 (Although it looks like Danny is a pretty good alarm clock!)

          • November 15, 2013 at 11:45 am

            Oh GAWD, you guys sound like my neighbor upstairs. She has the most obnoxious and loud alarm known to man. When it goes off, it takes her about 2 minutes to wake up. Then she hits the 5 minute snooze button and the whole thing starts all over and over and over and over and over and over again. One day she did this for 4 HOURS. I thought I was going to flip out. WAKE UP!

        • 11 desertflower
          November 15, 2013 at 7:25 am

          🙂 Morning, maryl1…..Happy 1st!

        • 13 vcprezofan2
          November 15, 2013 at 9:37 am

          😯 Maryl, just reading about all those alarms is enough to give me the shivers! Your poor head!

          Anyways, a) glad you are not *my* neighbour….and b) have yourself a great and calm day! oh, and waving to you in first position. 😀

          • November 15, 2013 at 6:19 pm

            I usually wake up enough to shut them off, but occasionally there’s one that went off while I was in the shower. You know the old song, “Waking up is hard to do…” Neil Sedaka, I think?

            • 15 vcprezofan2
              November 15, 2013 at 6:27 pm

              Not sure who lays claim to ‘waking up is hard to do’, but do know that the opposite is true for me. Generally I can tell you who in the house got up to go to the washroom at night and how often. I cannot imagine what hearing several alarms would do to my morning system! Fortunately, and unfortunately, my own inbuilt alarm works even when I had to leave home at 5:30am to get to the airport.

  2. 18 africa
    November 15, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Happy Friday morning, Chips, Mary!!

  3. 20 africa
    November 15, 2013 at 7:18 am

    CBS sure giving Fox a run for its money.

  4. 21 africa
    November 15, 2013 at 7:20 am

  5. 22 africa
    November 15, 2013 at 7:21 am

    • 23 jackiegrumbacher
      November 15, 2013 at 8:01 am

      Africa, to that list, add: Use it yourself if you need health insurance and tell your friends to go to the exchanges.

  6. 24 criquet
    November 15, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Morning all.
    What has happened to America?
    How is this possible?

    • 25 utaustinliberal
      November 15, 2013 at 7:46 am

      Looks like they had a huge sample of Republicans, so of course, Fox News will come out on top in a poll like that. I call BS on their methodology.

    • 26 jackiegrumbacher
      November 15, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Criquet, you and I could both make a “study” says anything we choose. Fox viewership has declined dramatically among young people, so yeah, if you ask older white Republican males, they might say they trust FOX. After all, you can be absolutely sure of getting negative misinformation there and that’s a comfort to the old and resentful.

    • 27 57andfemale
      November 15, 2013 at 8:42 am

      That’s yahoo. Which is full of, well, yahoos.

  7. 28 africa
    November 15, 2013 at 7:26 am

  8. 29 africa
    November 15, 2013 at 7:28 am

  9. 30 dotster3
    November 15, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Do you want to know what I was just thinking about? No? Well, anyway—–I was thinking about the W press conference when he was asked if he had any regrets, what mistakes he had made. And W paused and replied, ‘Uhhhhh nope, can’t think of anything. No regrets, didn’t ever do anything wrong.’ Now I could have helped him out here—–perhaps he could have mentioned waging a war for no good reason, the loss of thousands of lives, the wasting of billions of taxpayer dollars, much of it unaccounted for. W could have started with those little tidbits. But he didn’t. And the WHPC? Their reaction? They chuckled.

  10. 33 Jovie
    November 15, 2013 at 7:47 am

  11. 34 africa
    November 15, 2013 at 7:48 am

  12. 35 utaustinliberal
    November 15, 2013 at 7:49 am

    • 37 Roberta in MN
      November 15, 2013 at 8:43 am

      Read the article. I will have to digest some of it. It brings back memories of what was happening during the Reagan time actually since 1950, but I can’t agree with all his analysis. What do you think? Any comments of wisdom on this?

  13. 38 africa
    November 15, 2013 at 7:53 am

  14. 39 africa
    November 15, 2013 at 7:54 am

    • 40 desertflower
      November 15, 2013 at 7:59 am

      Send this to George. http://www.alternet.org/print/no-obama-didnt-lie-you-about-your-health-care-plans

      President Obama has been getting a lot of grief in the last few weeks over his pledge that with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in place, people would be able to keep their insurance if they like it. The media have been filled with stories about people across the country who are having their insurance policies terminated, ostensibly because they did not meet the requirements of the ACA. While this has led many to say that Obama was lying, there is much less here than meets the eye.

      First, it is important to note that the ACA grand-fathered all the individual policies that were in place at the time the law was enacted. This means that the plans in effect at the time that President Obama was pushing the bill could still be offered even if they did not meet all the standards laid out in the ACA.

      The plans being terminated because they don’t meet the minimal standards were all plans that insurers introduced after the passage of the ACA. Insurers introduced these plans knowing that they would not meet the standards that would come into effect in 2014. Insurers may not have informed their clients at the time they sold these plans that they would not be available after 2014 because they had designed a plan that did not comply with the ACA.

      However if the insurers didn’t tell their clients that the new plans would only be available for a short period of time, the blame would seem to rest with the insurance companies, not the ACA. After all, President Obama did not promise people that he would keep insurers from developing new plans that will not comply with the provisions of the ACA.

      In addition to the new plans that were created that did not comply with the terms of the ACA, there have been complaints that the grandfathering was too strict. For example, insurers can only raise their premiums or deductibles by a small amount above the rate of medical inflation. As a result, many of the plans in existence at the time of the ACA are losing their grandfathered status.

      In this case also it is wrong to view the insurers as passive actors who are being forced to stop offering plans because of the ACA. The price increases charged by insurers are not events outside of the control of insurers. If an insurer offers a plan which has many committed buyers, then presumably it would be able to structure its changes in ways that are consistent with the ACA. If it decides not to do so, this is presumably because the insurer has decided that it is not interested in continuing to offer the plan.

      Lazy corporate shills.

  15. 41 utaustinliberal
    November 15, 2013 at 7:56 am

    • 42 desertflower
      November 15, 2013 at 8:01 am

      Gee..wonder where all the dead people are from being able to get healthcare? Yes…just the same as Katrina.

  16. 43 desertflower
    November 15, 2013 at 7:56 am

    http://robertreich.org/post/66876915801 Having the Backbone to Set Minimum Standards for Health Insurance

    Democrats are showing once again they have the backbones of banana slugs.

    The Affordable Care Act was meant to hold insurers to a higher standards. So it stands to reason that some insurers will have to cancel their lousy sub-standard policies.

    But spineless Democrats (including my old boss Bill Clinton) are caving in to the Republican-fueled outrage that the President “misled” Americans into thinking they could keep their old lousy policies — and are now urging the White House to forget the new standards and let people keep what they had before.

    And some congressional Republicans are all too eager to join them, and allow insurers to offer whatever crap they were offering before — exposing families to more than $12,700 in out-of-pocket expenses, canceling policies of people who get seriously sick, failing to cover prescription drugs, and so on.

    Can we please get a grip? Whenever industry standards are lifted — a higher minimum wage, safer workplaces, non-toxic foods and drugs, safer cars — people no longer have the “freedom” to contract for the sub-standard goods and services.

    But that freedom is usually a mirage because big businesses have most of the power and average people don’t have much of a choice. This has been especially the case with health insurance, which is why minimum standards here are essential.


    But right now the President needs all the political support he can muster to hold insurers’ feet to the fire. Democrats should stand firm for a change.

    • 44 Linda
      November 15, 2013 at 8:03 am

      I recently read or watched something on Clinton from a former staffer that said he was incapable of making a decision on his own…

      That every time something hard came up he was in chaos…..that he asked everyone what he should do which made it more confusing.

      I will try to find it…

  17. 45 utaustinliberal
    November 15, 2013 at 8:01 am

  18. 46 Jovie
    November 15, 2013 at 8:01 am

  19. 47 utaustinliberal
    November 15, 2013 at 8:02 am

  20. 48 africa
    November 15, 2013 at 8:03 am

  21. 50 Roberta in MN
    November 15, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Goood Mooorning Chips and all the TOD Family.
    Congrats mary1 on 1st. been up early just going through some articles. Had a conversation with one of the tenants here in the bulding and she got her panties in a twist because the President apologized and shouldn’t have rolled out ACA if it didn’t work and no way of letting people know the alternative. G-d she wouldn’t let me get in a word to counter her. She was a Surgical RN in Heart transplant and had to retire for medical reasons in 2007, she lives in the past. I sent her some information to our FB pages for her to read if she is really interested in what is going on and not listen to CNN and the rest of the news media. Shaking my head still, even after I slept on it. 🙂 Have a wonderful day everyone. God Bless.

  22. 53 Jovie
    November 15, 2013 at 8:14 am

  23. 55 utaustinliberal
    November 15, 2013 at 8:22 am

    • 56 amk for obama
      November 15, 2013 at 9:10 am


    • 57 0388jojothecat
      November 15, 2013 at 10:08 am

      ACA website response just like Katrina response……Over 1 million families will have healthcare vs. almost 2 thousand people died, no food and water for weeks and millions of taxpayers dollars went to private contractors with nothing to show for it……

  24. 58 dotster3
    November 15, 2013 at 8:24 am

    They’re about a minute away from this comparison—–have already used slavery and Katrina. Hitler anyone?

    • November 15, 2013 at 9:08 am

      They wouldn’t want to compare ACA to 9/11 because then they would be admitting to GWB’s poor handling, just as they are *trying* to imply about the handling of ACA. Not a can of worms they want to risk opening.

  25. 60 dotster3
    November 15, 2013 at 8:30 am

  26. 61 dotster3
    November 15, 2013 at 8:35 am

    It has been most mystifying to me that the CBC has never really supported this president, has never really had his back. They have not shown him even a fraction of the loyalty they gave Clinton.

    • 62 Vicki
      November 15, 2013 at 8:57 am

      If you frame the Obama-bashing as primarily racist then you see the opposition in a certain way.
      On the other hand if you see the hate directed at President Obama as economically driven then you will understand the problem differently.
      Similarly, if you see the main ponit of the character assassination as a play for power, then it is possible to see all the negativity coming at The President as naked fear that PBO, not them, is the one in power and there is nothing they can do about that except squeal.

      Power, $$$$$, racism. What a combo

    • 67 jackiegrumbacher
      November 15, 2013 at 9:15 am

      Rangel can go to hell. It’s long past time someone replaces him. He comes from a Dem district. Isn’t there someone who can step forward to challenge this fossil?

  27. November 15, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Morning all. Hoping for the day when we have heard the last of the broken website!

  28. November 15, 2013 at 8:42 am

    • 70 carolyn
      November 15, 2013 at 8:49 am

      Poor Li’l insurance companies. Let’s all weep for them!

      • 71 dotster3
        November 15, 2013 at 9:24 am

        We have remarked for years on our road trips that the most lavish office buildings everywhere are insurance companies—–beautiful office buildings, acres of lushly landscaped grounds, lakes with geysers and waterfalls and sometimes swans. We always say, “Looks like they’re doing ok, making some extra dollars.”

  29. 72 criquet
    November 15, 2013 at 8:46 am

  30. 73 hopefruit2
    November 15, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I agree – this is not just about “laziness” or “to get ratings” as many people have put it. This is a CONCERTED, well-funded, organized effort to protect certain interests of a select few, but at the expense of the significant majority of American citizens.

    • 74 Vicki
      November 15, 2013 at 8:59 am

      I agree,hf. I examined what I think are the motivations for the assault up-thread.

    • 75 sherijr
      November 15, 2013 at 9:05 am

      the thing is, I believe, is that this goes even beyond President Obama- and doing/saying all they (gop/media) can to describe him as failure, inept, incapable- the goal, ultimately, is to prevent another black/brown President from being elected again. They, the media- who I have never doubted are funded by the gop, have worked tirelessly at attacking President Obama from day one- and their main goal has always been to turn us against him. And to make the battle so constant that we will be gunshy about electing another person of color to run this country.

      Also, It’s no shocker that certain democrats will turn against him, because they too are easily swayed by $$.. I’ve always found it funny as hell, that dem senators, reps.. and former Presidents run to the media with their “concerns” when in reality all they have to do is pick up the phone and call President Obama personally with their issues. Bottom line- they jump on that media bandwagon for attention and $$$.. NOT out of concern for making things better or right.

    • 76 jackiegrumbacher
      November 15, 2013 at 9:19 am

      Yes, HF, it’s aimed at the 2014 elections and beyond. If they work together to damage the president and the Dems they think they will be assured a Dem House and Senate and later the presidency. It’s our job to prove them wrong.

  31. 77 hopefruit2
    November 15, 2013 at 9:00 am

  32. 78 utaustinliberal
    November 15, 2013 at 9:01 am

  33. 79 desertflower
    November 15, 2013 at 9:06 am


    This was the top story on my NYTimes mobile this morning, and like Michael Shear, I’ve been noting the similarities between these two events. Just outside my window, the bodies of people who haven’t been able to access a website are stacking up in the streets. The lucky who have survived are huddled together in their own filth in hot, overcrowded stinking shelters, waiting to log in.

    And well I remember how Democrats worked for years to gut FEMA. Every Democratic governor pushed all disaster preparedness up to the federal government to make FEMA’s job as hard as it could possibly be, and the forty separate votes by the Democratic Congress to defund FEMA are still etched in my mind.

    Morning Snark

    • 80 hopefruit2
      November 15, 2013 at 9:35 am

      LOL- this is funny but it speaks to a profound truth of how the media bends over backwards to create these false equivalencies — to a disturbingly ludicrous level….

  34. 81 57andfemale
    November 15, 2013 at 9:07 am

  35. 82 57andfemale
    November 15, 2013 at 9:09 am

  36. 84 desertflower
    November 15, 2013 at 9:23 am


    Georgene Mortimer, who runs a winery and lives in Hilton Head, S.C., was recently having trouble accessing the online health insurance exchange. So she decided to check in with the local insurance agent who in 2010 had sold her an individual health insurance policy from a company named USHealth Group. It didn’t take long for Mortimer to realize something was off.

    “She started to basically tell me how bad the exchanges are, and that the exchanges are only for the very sick people,” Mortimer told TPM in an interview last week. “And she said, ‘Have you had cancer, heart attack, you or your husband?’ And I said no. And she said, ‘Good, because if you said yes, I would have had to recommend the exchanges.'”

    The agent then proceeded to offer Mortimer a product that she touted as not meeting the minimum coverage requirements set by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The agent strongly recommended that Mortimer sign up before Jan. 1, and said that she could lock her premiums in for three years.

    “I said, I thought that non-compliant ACA policies can’t be sold,” Mortimer said. “She said, ‘we can still sell ACA non-compliant plans, but we can’t compete on the exchange.’ And I didn’t know — I didn’t think that was possible.”

    The Affordable Care Act was designed to make sure all Americans had a certain level of insurance. But TPM has learned that USHealth Group is actively telling consumers that they don’t need that minimum level. In fact, company representatives are telling people they’d be better off without it. And the company may be just one player in a larger industry trend, where companies see non-ACA compliant plans, like the so-called fixed benefit coverage marketed by USHealth Group, as a business opportunity.

  37. 85 jackiegrumbacher
    November 15, 2013 at 9:30 am

    The Harrisburg Pa Patriot News reminded us yesterday that all great presidents are belittled and demeaned by the press when they offered an apology for their brutal critique of the Gettysburg address 150 years ago. In 1863, the then Harrisburg Patriot and Union called the address, “silly,” and unworthy of the occasion. Today they attributed that ignorant comment to “partisanship.” Well, duh. Lincoln was constantly vilified for ineptness by both the northern and southern media and very few recognized his greatness, despite all the rosy revisionism we see in movies and books today. Even the sainted FDR was hated by many in the media and business community and some actually rejoiced when he died. Barack H Obama is a great president and those of us who are blessed to see it are grateful to be living in this time and place. No matter how many media gnats and Koch brothers minions attack him, we, our children, our grandchildren and future generations beyond them will know that true greatness graced the White House in this era. I will vote for ANY Democrat who runs in 2016 and I will support them in their efforts. But I know in my heart that I will never see this greatness again.

    • November 15, 2013 at 9:55 am

      The media are the “court jesters” and have no credibility. They are partisan, petty, and petulant fools almost all of them. Good journalist don’t exist on the airwaves and you might find someone like Bill Moyers on cable or on a station the majority of people can’t get access too. Listening to the news is painful because it is all bottle feed to the “news reader” to say the same script written by the Corporate owners. Starting January I have no need to get a newspaper except for looking at the ads on Sunday. I don’t need that since most stores have their ads in the stores now.

  38. 87 dotster3
    November 15, 2013 at 9:31 am

  39. 88 vcprezofan2
    November 15, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Good Morning, Chips!

    Figured 9:40am would be a good time to claim the moral ‘Fiiiiiiirrst’ for the R & S post, before you pick up the moral picket sign and come charging in.

    • 89 vcprezofan2
      November 15, 2013 at 9:42 am

      “Moral Fiiirrrst” for ensuing post! 😛

      /brushing hands off/ Okay, now that that’s secured, off to see the Early Bird offerings.

      Morining TODobots, in case you needed reassurance – I’m in the house! 😉

  40. 91 hopefruit2
    November 15, 2013 at 9:52 am


  41. 93 MightyPamela
    November 15, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Hey, g’day TOD! MightyPamela and her support team at this time are in need of a MEGA PUSH of spiritual energy and loving kindness to make it through the final stages. 15 days to go and it feels as if the paperwork process just to sign a lease has become a prehistoric effort on the part of the ‘corporate’ building owners, to kill off anyone interested in living on their premises. so, please, my dears, Love and Light all around me, your friend MP is out on the edge, getting ready for the next amazing adventure!! Big hugs all around, and Thank You! (whew) (oh, and sheesh!)

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