Rise and Shine

A Year Ago Today – Pete Souza: “There is closure in this photograph. I suspect that neither man really wanted to have lunch with the other, but they both knew the importance for the American people in seeing them do so. Here, the President bids farewell to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney following their lunch.”


Friday, Saturday and Sunday:

The President has no public events scheduled


11:0 EST: The Arrival of the White House Christmas Tree


President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s interview will air tonight on ABC’s 20/20 at 10PM ET / 9PM CT


Timothy Egan (NYT): Rooting for Failure

I just spent 15 minutes on my local health care exchange and realized that I could save a couple hundred dollars a month on my family’s insurance. Of course, I live in Washington State, which has a very competitive market, a superbly functioning website and no Koch-brothers-sponsored saboteurs trying to discourage people from getting health care.

California is just as good. It’s enrolling more than 2,000 people a day. New York is humming as well. And Kentucky, it’s the gold standard now: More than 56,000 people have signed up for new health care coverage — enough to fill a stadium in Louisville.

This is terrible news, and cannot be allowed to continue. If there’s even a small chance that, say, half of the 50 million or so Americans currently without heath care might get the same thing that every other advanced country offers its citizens, that would be a disaster.

But not to worry. The failure movement is active and very well funded….

More here




Paul Krugman: Obamacare’s Secret Success

…. Much of the Beltway establishment scoffed at the promise of cost savings. The prevalent attitude in Washington is that reform isn’t real unless the little people suffer…

… Has the curve been bent?

The answer, amazingly, is yes. In fact, the slowdown in health costs has been dramatic.

…. The news on health costs is, in short, remarkably good. You won’t hear much about this good news until and unless the Obamacare website gets fixed. But under the surface, health reform is starting to look like a bigger success than even its most ardent advocates expected.

Full column here


Steve Benen: The Nature Of The ACA Opposition

It’s easy and accurate to say the Affordable Care Act isn’t yet popular with the public, but it’s important to take the next step and ask why. A CNN/ORC International poll also indicates nearly six in 10 Americans oppose the national health care law, but some give the Affordable Care Act a thumbs down because it isn’t liberal enough.

This has always been the inconvenient detail for the right. Conservatives look at the top-line poll results and say, “See? 58% of Americans oppose ‘Obamacare.’ Therefore, Democrats should listen to Republicans and gut the law.” But it’s the nuances of Americans’ attitudes that matter. In this CNN poll, 40% of the public backs the Affordable Care Act and another 14% want the law to go even further and be more ambitious. In other words, as the CNN analysis explained, 54% of the country either supports Obamacare, or say it’s not liberal enough. That’s not a recipe for conservative success; that’s the opposite

More here



Michael Hiltzik: What Americans Really Think Of Obamacare

The data from the latest CNN opinion poll, conducted Nov. 18-20, suggest that Americans are far more sophisticated about the Affordable Care Act, glitches and all, than the Republican and Democratic parties alike have given them credit for. The poll results are here; crunch the raw numbers as you wish. Released on the eve of the reboot of the federal government’s enrollment website, healthcare.gov, the survey indicates that 54% of Americans favor the law or think it should have gone further. Most important, Americans are willing to give the law a chance to work, and on balance confident that it will work.

The pockets of greatest strength for the law are non-whites and–happily–those aged 18-34.  The breakdown by age is gratifying because participation by young persons is crucial if the cost-sharing aspects of expanded insurance coverage are to be achieved: younger and healthier enrollees subsidize their older and sicker neighbors, on average, until they themselves become older and sicker, something that befalls us all. In that age group, 48% favor the law and 12% think it should go further. The 60% total is the highest of any age cohort. Younger respondents are also the most confidence that “the current problems facing the health care law” will be solved: 71%. But more than half of all respondents (54%) think so.

More here



Jonathan Cohn: Boehner Inadvertently Exposes Sloppy Media Coverage of Obamacare Costs

House Speaker John Boehner loves to tell stories about people getting a raw deal from Obamacare. This week, he decided to tell one about himself.

As you may recall, Obamacare treats members of Congress and their staff differently from other working Americans. Thanks to a provision added to the law by Charles Grassley, the Republican Senator from Iowa, certain Capitol Hill workers can’t get insurance like other federal employees—i.e., via the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. Instead, they must get coverage through one of the new Obamacare exchanges. For many, that means enrolling through the District of Columbia exchange.

This week, Boehner did just that. But, as his advisers later explained to media outlets, the Speaker had trouble. The website had technical problems, they said, and it took hours for Boehner to complete process. When he finally found a policy, he discovered it would cost a lot more. Politico got the full story, including a quote from Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck. “The Boehners are fortunate enough to be able to afford higher costs. But many Americans seeing their costs go up are not. It’s because of them that this law needs to go.” Soon it was all over social media.

But this story turns out to be a lot more complicated than either Boehner or the initial press accounts suggested. In fact, it’s an almost perfect example of how media coverage of Obamacare has failed to provide scrutiny, context or a sense of scale.

More here



Washington Post: Obamacare’s Online SHOP Enrollment Delayed By One Year

The Obama administration announced Wednesday it would delay a significant piece of the health-care law: the online small business insurance marketplace. The Small Business Health Options Program, known as the SHOP exchange, will not offer online enrollment until November 2014, a one-year delay from a launch that was initially planned for this past October. Small businesses will still have the option to purchase SHOP health insurance plans through a broker or agent, who will assist the employer with filing a paper application.

The federal government expects to process those filings for eligibility within three to five days, according to a document circulated to health law stakeholders. “It’s disappointing that the online portion of the federal small business marketplace through Healthcare.gov will be delayed and it’s important it get up and running as soon as possible,” said John Arensmeyer, president of the Small Business Majority, a nonprofit that supports the Affordable Care Act. “However, it doesn’t change the fact that the marketplace can offer the most competitive combination of price and quality for small businesses purchasing health insurance.”

More here




ThinkProgress: ThankProgress: 9 Things Progressives Can Be Thankful For

States are enacting protections for undocumented immigrants.

Same-sex couples have more access to marriage benefits than ever before.

More workers are getting raises and taking sick leave.

Uninsured Americans are signing up for health insurance.

The U.S. is taking steps to address the consequences of climate change.

States are enacting prison reform.

College activists across the country are fighting back against rape culture.

Solar power is on the rise and prices keep dropping.

Number of homeless Americans on the decline.

See details here



Suzanne Maloney: How Rouhani Won The Negotiations And Rescued His Regime

Although it was greeted with heated debate in the United States, the announcement of a landmark deal on Iran’s nuclear program was met with wide approval in Iran. Cheering crowds decked in purple and green, the colors associated with the country’s embattled movements for moderation and reform, met Iran’s nuclear negotiators at the airport. Newspapers printed special editions with jubilant headlines. And even the stern Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, released an official statement with unusual dispatch to welcome the news and laud the diplomats who hammered out the deal.

One might think that the crowds and officials were rejoicing at the relatively meager sanctions relief meted out by a justifiably mistrustful West. Or perhaps that they were celebrating the fact that the deal left open the question of whether Iran has the right to enrich uranium. In fact, their concerns were far broader: thanks to the deal, regime moderates have started to rebalance a government that seemed on the verge of toppling only a few years ago. And, in so doing, they have confounded the world’s expectations.

More here



Think Progress: Texas National Guard Begins Offering Benefits To Same-Sex Couples

The Texas National Guard has begun processing benefits for same-sex couples at all facilities with the so-called RAPIDS machinery necessary to produce ID cards. The state originally had refused to comply with a Defense Department directive to offer the benefits, citing a constitutional amendment that limits the definition of marriage to different-sex couples. When this change was first announced on Tuesday, it seemed as though Texas may have followed Oklahoma’s example and moved the available RAPIDS machines only to federal facilities, forcing all couples to travel to those facilities.

Staff Sergeant Jennifer Atkinson, a spokesperson for the Texas National Guard, clarified to ThinkProgress that couples can have their benefits processed at any facility currently equipped with RAPIDS, including some state facilities. Georgia and Louisiana remain the only two states that are in violation of the Defense Department’s directive to ensure same-sex couples are afforded the same federal benefits through the National Guard as other married couples.

More here



TPM: Biden Intends To Object To China’s New Air Defense Zone

Vice President Joe Biden intends to raise objections over China’s newly declared air defense zone in the East China Sea during a visit to the country next week. China says all aircraft must notify Chinese authorities before entering the zone, which includes islands controlled by Japan but claimed by Beijing. The United States is not acknowledging the zone and flew two B-52 through unhindered Wednesday. The officials said Biden will make it clear the U.S. has a “rock-solid commitment” to its allies in the region. Biden plans to visit allies Japan and South Korea during the visit from Dec. 1-8.

More here


UT’s wonderful ’50 Thanks Yous’ post from yesterday is now permanently linked at the top of the sidebar on the right, so next time someone asks you, ‘but what has Obama done?’, tell them to clickety click the link.


On This Day:

Bo is greeted by several of the President’s Active Lifestyle Award achievers in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Nov. 29, 2010 (Photo by Samantha Appleton)


MoooOOOooorning! And thanks a gazillion to UT for so many of the links.

102 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. 1 desertflower
    November 29, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Haven’t finished it yet, but good read so far on China/ Japan/US issues in South China Sea.


    Next week Joe Biden, America’s vice-president, arrives in China. The timing may be uncomfortable, but it is fortuitous. Mr Biden and Mr Xi know each other well: before Mr Xi became president, he spent five days in America at Mr Biden’s invitation. Mr Biden is also going to South Korea and Japan.

    America’s “pivot” towards Asia is not taken very seriously there: Mr Obama is seen as distracted by his domestic problems. Mr Biden could usefully make clear America’s commitment to guaranteeing freedom of navigation in the region. Japan and South Korea, who squabble over petty issues, need to be told to get over their differences. As for China, it needs to behave like a responsible world power, not a troublemaker willing to sacrifice 60 years of peace in north-east Asia to score some points by grabbing a few windswept rocks. It should accept Japan’s suggestion of a military hotline, similar to the one that is already established between Beijing and Washington.

    The region must work harder to build some kind of architecture where regional powers can discuss security. If such a framework had existed in Europe in 1914, things might have turned out differently.

    And I hadn’t known that VP Biden was going there next week. I think that’s a GOOD thing.

  2. 4 MightyPamela
    November 29, 2013 at 9:28 am


  3. 5 africa
    November 29, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Morning, again!!

  4. 6 desertflower
    November 29, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Off to read this R/S goodness 🙂

  5. November 29, 2013 at 9:31 am

    G’morning Chips, TOD, lurkers, everyone and congrats df on #1 🙂
    Excellent post-thanksgiving R & S roundup – thanks Chips!!

  6. 9 hopefruit2
    November 29, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Chips, do you know when FLOTUS will be receiving the Christmas tree today? I don’t see it listed on the Whitehouse.gov website, or anwhere else at the moment. 🙂

  7. 11 Vicki
    November 29, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Chips, the Timothy Egan article in the NYTImes you featured is great and so is Paul Krugman’s editorial today, “Obamacare’s Secret Success.”
    If I knew how to post it for TOD I would.

  8. November 29, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Phenomenal R&S Chips. Thank you so much!

    • November 29, 2013 at 10:17 am

      Thank yooooooou Jackie, but I was still wiping the sleep from my eyes when I discovered UT had added a gazillion delicious links to the post – I just file my nails most of the time while she does the work!

  9. 18 utaustinliberal
    November 29, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Thank you for the shout-out, Chiparoo. It’s a pleasure to help you, anytime.

    Thanks so much for including a permanent link to the Thanksgiving Day post. It’s remarkable what President Obama has accomplished in five years and we could go on and on and on and on with that list. The man is superb!

    Thank you for Rise and Shine, informative columns from the NYT and Jonathan Cohn. ObamaCare is here to stay and the GOP is rightly freaked out because the American people are learning first hand what a crappy health insurance system we had and what positive change looks like. It’s the dawn of a new day.

    Thanks also for the pictures. Mr. 47% Romney gave me a huge chuckle. Aaaaaah…..memories.

  10. 20 Linda
    November 29, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Border Collies Try To Sneak Up On Each Other, Hilarity Ensues

    • 21 mtmarilyn
      November 29, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      That was so great to see. We had a border collie and it was so much fun when he would sneak up on something. I miss him.

  11. 22 Don
    November 29, 2013 at 10:04 am

    It is simply mind boggling that the U.S. and Iran will open a joint Chamber of Commerce in the coming months. What better way to avoid a war than with a chance at having a vibrant economy, more carrots less sticks as PBO is fond of saying. Not only is PBO going to welcome Iran back to the table, he’s also going to show them the money.

    • 23 Vicki
      November 29, 2013 at 11:25 am

      mindboggling is the right word. That President! What will he accomplish next?!?

      If the RW is labeling the second term as an “unraveling agenda failing mess” OMG what do they think winning looks like?

  12. 24 utaustinliberal
    November 29, 2013 at 10:08 am

  13. November 29, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Holy smokes, missed this in the original schedule:

    11:0 EST: The Arrival of the White House Christmas Tree

  14. 26 Don
    November 29, 2013 at 10:20 am

    At this exact moment somewhere in America someone is signing up for Obamacare, and will for the very first time in their lives not have to worry about going broke or losing a job just for getting sick. And every second going forward the same thing is happening, we are in the midst of a great change in how our government cares for the vulnerable in our society.

  15. 27 amk for obama
    November 29, 2013 at 10:22 am

  16. 29 amk for obama
    November 29, 2013 at 10:27 am

  17. 32 utaustinliberal
    November 29, 2013 at 10:29 am


  18. 33 utaustinliberal
    November 29, 2013 at 10:31 am

    There’s video at the twitter link.

    In an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters, President Barack Obama said he and his family may remain in Washington, D.C., after he leaves office. Obama said his younger daughter Sasha, who will be a sophomore in high school when his second term ends in 2016, will have a “big say” in the family’s decision. “You know we gotta make sure that she’s doin’ well … until she goes off to college,” said Obama. “Sasha will have a big say in where we are.”

    If Obama remains in Washington after his presidency, he would be the first president since Woodrow Wilson to do so. Prior to taking office, Obama and his family lived in Chicago. Obama added that his family would have input on the decision since his daughters and First Lady Michelle Obama had made “sacrifices” for his career. “Cause she’s, you know, obviously they – and Michelle – have made a lot of sacrifices on behalf of my cockamamie ideas, the running for office and things,” he said.

    • 34 Don
      November 29, 2013 at 10:37 am

      Can you imagine President Obama living in D.C. after he leaves office, the WhiteHouse might have to confer with former President Obama whenever he decides to do something or go somewhere just so they don’t get in his way.

    • 36 donna dem 4 obama
      November 29, 2013 at 10:56 am

      He would completely upstage whoever wins the WH in 2016 😉 He will forever be permanently the President of record for me! I’d love to have the Obama’s grace our city for a few more years after his term ends. They are such social people that I can imagine that they will continue to embrace the city and be out and about all the time. Can you imagine how awesome it would be to run into FLOTUS out shopping at Target or COSTCO?

      • 37 Don
        November 29, 2013 at 11:20 am

        Especially if the Clintons retake the Whitehouse, I’m sure they would enjoy having a former President opening up his mouth all the goddamn time. But knowing President Obama, he would be to dignified to openly question Hillary about anything.

    • November 29, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Love the idea of the Obamas staying in DC after Jan 2017.

      It’s important at Sasha’s age to really concentrate on her future when she’s a high school sophomore and not have to worry about making new friends since she would be a celebrity at a new school.

      I love the idea that President Obama can get involved in the underserved and neglected areas of DC, and Michelle Obama can launch an initiative for community urban farming for those same areas.

      In just 2 or 3 years they both could make a big difference to an area ignored by the elite in DC.

  19. 39 amk for obama
    November 29, 2013 at 10:44 am

  20. 40 No Child Left Behind
    November 29, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Good Morning Everyone,

    This photo is a quick reminder how blessed we are, that the man closer to the desk is actually far from its reach. It is a good day, indeed.

  21. 41 amk for obama
    November 29, 2013 at 10:46 am

  22. November 29, 2013 at 10:48 am

    On polls and politics.

    At this blog (thanks eternally to Miss Chips’ and the associated, but unpaid for, fellow blog tyrants) we often discuss polls.

    Well, I have been the subject of one today (of my own chosing) – in the Netherlands, of course.

    Problem number one is that – of course – people only take part in polls if they have time for it. Now that I passed my 57th birthday, I am allowed to take of a day a week at a very modest decrease in income (5 % before taxes, which means just 2.5 % in net income) and I *just happen* to have time for this.

    I always wonder how sociologists correct for this sampling error (as a physicist, I have a hard time being convinced by the humanities).

    But the questions (aarrrgh, this is our leading National polling institute):

    Do you think the EU should subsidize farmers who happen to be struck by bad weather and lose their crop (Note: a *large – not to say obese part* of the EU budget goes to farming subsidies).

    Nowhwere you get to insert the (obvious to me): Hey, perhaps farmers could set up a mutual insurance coop to compensate for bad crops due to weather …

    In short, a poll is only as useful as its questions are smart.

    • 43 Don
      November 29, 2013 at 11:13 am

      Farming can be a very expensive business, here in the U.S. most farmers that get subsidizes are subsidized at the expense of others (namely food stamp recipients). Though farmers play a large part in providing food to communities, they do seem to come out ahead either way as it relates to losing crops to bad weather or not losing crops. I think the whole problem with subsidizing farmers would go away if food stamp recipients were not stigmatized as takers and not have the amount of their food stamps lessened all because they aren’t a moneyed interest group with high priced lobbyist. But to answer your question, it is a question of morality and not money. Do you want to feed the poor or not

  23. 44 amk for obama
    November 29, 2013 at 10:50 am

  24. November 29, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Good Morning, Everyone 🙂

  25. November 29, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Got The Heat and Red2 from the Redbox yesterday.
    Enjoyed them both.

  26. November 29, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Well howdy doody all you O peeps!!!! What a great getting up gobble, gobble day in TODville!!!! Oh wait………that was yesterday…….hope you enjoyed it!!!! Now off to the next holiday race. I love it, the hustle and bustle, the comings and goings, and the frenzy a-plenty!!!

    Breathe in, peace out.

  27. 53 donna dem 4 obama
    November 29, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Good Morning TOD. I hope everyone had a great and safe holiday.

    Excellent R & S Chips and I’m so looking forward to seeing our First Families interview tonight.

  28. 54 GGAIL
    November 29, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Good West Coast morning Chipsticks & TOD family. I have the day off!

  29. 55 Linda
    November 29, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Yesterday I ate 15 Pfeffernüsse cookies………

  30. November 29, 2013 at 11:42 am

  31. 72 Allison
    November 29, 2013 at 11:59 am

  32. 73 Allison
    November 29, 2013 at 12:04 pm

  33. 74 Allison
    November 29, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    • 75 anniebella
      November 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      That’s so cool of our POTUS and FLOTUS. Aren’t we proud to have them as our President and First Lady.

    • 77 CEB
      November 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      Never, in all of my wildest dreams, could I have imagined a First Couple like Barack and Michelle Obama. They are binding our wounds and drying our tears, cleaning up the mess left by those who proceeded them, showing daily what inclusion looks like, and walking the walk of kindness, respect and love.

  34. November 29, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Totally O/T, but I heard on the radio this morning that Villa Park (Orange County CA’s smallest city) is considering a proposal for free wi-fi for all residents.

    The report on @knx1070 said it could be a done deal in 2 to 3 weeks.

    The service would be free to the city as the internet provider (they didn’t say who) would foot the bill for infrastructure and whatever else in involved.

    This should be standard practice for all of America in the 21st century.

    BTW there was one Debbie Downer councilwoman (report didn’t identify the person) who is suspicious that the city would be used as a “guinea pig.” No doubt a Republican skeptic who refuses to believe it is the 21st century.

  35. 80 Allison
    November 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm

  36. 81 utaustinliberal
    November 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    They are amazing human beings.

  37. November 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm

  38. 88 Allison
    November 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm

  39. 89 Linda
    November 29, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    MSNBC just showed a previous year video clip of the WH Christmas tree being delivered.

    How pathetic.

  40. 93 WilTal
    November 29, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    A fabulous R&S Chips. Thank you!

  41. 95 Don
    November 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Can someone please show me a picture of Sasha’s shoes, I’m asking for a friend.

  42. November 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Superb R&S Chips and I see Ms Sasha has provided much excitement for all the ladies!!! 🙂

    Need everyone to push hard on the Justice Department and it doesn’t hurt to include the head of President Obama’s entire National Security team, as well.

    Thank you!

    Yes We Can

  43. 102 Nena20409
    November 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm



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