Rise and Shine

First Lady Michelle Obama walks with children past the official White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room, Nov. 30, 2011. Mrs. Obama welcomed military families to the White House for for the first viewing of the 2011 holiday decorations. (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


The President has no public events scheduled this weekend



America’s Voice: President And First Lady Visit “Fast For Families” On The National Mall

On day 18, “Fast for Families” welcomed the visit of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. SEIU’s Eliseo Medina, NAKASEC’s Dae Joong Yoon, DREAMer and Mi Familia Vota’s Cristian Avila, FIRM‘s Rudy Lopez and Sojourner‘s Lisa Sharon Harper, along with 22 other advocates fasting in solidarity, met with the President and First Lady in a private session at the “Fast for Families” tent where both listened closely to the fasters’ personal stories.

The President said that this fast and their sacrifice are receiving immense attention. He expressed great concern over their health, urging them as well to continue to pray over their decision on the time they intend to fast. During their meeting, the President also held the shoe of an immigrant who perished in the desert trying to seek a better life, which the fasters hold in reverence as a symbol of why they are fasting to underscore the plight and suffering of immigrants.

More here



Colbert King: Obamacare — A Question Of Morality

…. the Affordable Care Act is viewed more kindly by the congregation at First Baptist Church, located a few miles from the shadow of the Capitol, than by those within the governmental structure.

…. The Rev. Frank D. Tucker, who has been First Baptist’s pastor for nearly 38 years, used Sunday morning’s service to address Obamacare in terms its critics do not.

He announced that First Baptist, working with the city’s health-care exchange, DC Health Link, would host a health insurance enrollment fair on Saturday. He issued an emotional call to his congregation, young and old, to enroll in the program, resorting to language associated with the battle to win the right to vote.

Tucker noted the decades of unsuccessful efforts by several presidents to extend medical care to all Americans, including those living in dire circumstances beyond their control. Not sugar-coating the problems that President Obama has encountered in bringing about health-care reform, Tucker hammered at the obligation of the uninsured to enroll in the insurance program that Obama and other health-reform advocates have worked so hard to create. The Obama administration and its congressional supporters, Tucker observed, have been opposed every step of the way, taking a beating from people in Congress and around the country. Don’t let their sacrifices be in vain by sitting on your hands, he contended. Get enrolled, he declared.

More here


You can find your local small businesses here



SmartyPants: An Activist White House

I’ve been following Fast for Families on twitter since day one. Unlike a lot of “keyboard activists,” these folks are showing their courage and commitment by putting it all on the line. I watched as union, faith and civil rights leaders visited these fasters in a show of solidarity. And then something interesting started happening. Gawd, I LOVE this President!!!!! Think about the last time we saw a POTUS provide this kind of support for an activist movement. I’ll give you a hint…never.

More here




Paul Krugman: Obamacare’s Secret Success

The law establishing Obamacare was officially titled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. And the “affordable” bit wasn’t just about subsidizing premiums. It was also supposed to be about “bending the curve” — slowing the seemingly inexorable rise in health costs. Much of the Beltway establishment scoffed at the promise of cost savings.

So, how’s it going? The health exchanges are off to a famously rocky start, but many, though by no means all, of the cost-control measures have already kicked in. Has the curve been bent? The answer, amazingly, is yes. In fact, the slowdown in health costs has been dramatic.

Since 2010, when the act was passed, real health spending per capita — that is, total spending adjusted for overall inflation and population growth — has risen less than a third as rapidly as its long-term average. Real spending per Medicare recipient hasn’t risen at all; real spending per Medicaid beneficiary has actually fallen slightly.

More here



CBS Denver: Judge: Sheriffs Can’t Sue Colorado Over Gun Laws

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Colorado sheriffs suing the state over new firearm restrictions don’t have standing to proceed with the case as a group, but the legal battle is far from over. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger in Denver doesn’t stop the lawsuit because 21 other plaintiffs who are suing do have standing. The court will still consider whether universal background checks and a ban on ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds are constitutional, the judge said.

“If individual sheriffs wish to protect individual rights or interests they may do so … however, the sheriffs have confused their individual rights and interests with those of the county sheriff’s office,” Krieger said. The remaining plaintiffs include individuals and various gun groups. The laws that took effect July 1 were among a package of gun control legislation passed in response to mass shootings last year at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.

More here




Nicole Winfield: Pope Ramps Up Charity Office To Be Near Poor, Sick

Pope Francis has ramped up the Vatican’s charity work, sending his chief alms-giver and a contingent of Swiss guards onto the streets of Rome at night to do what he usually can’t do: comfort the poor and the homeless. A few times a week, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski takes a few off-duty guards with him in his modest white Fiat to make the rounds at Rome’s train stations, where charities offer makeshift soup kitchens that feed 400-500 people a night. Often they bring the leftovers from the Vatican mess halls to share.

“Aside from their vitality, they know at least four languages,” Krajewski said of the guards in an interview Friday with The Associated Press. “Above all, poor people need to be listened to.” He can’t do that so easily now that he’s pope, so he has tapped Krajewski to be his envoy, doling out small morsels of charity every day: sending a 200 euro ($260) check to a woman whose wallet was stolen, visiting a family whose child is dying.

More here




Henry Blodget: Sorry, Folks, Rich People Actually Don’t ‘Create The Jobs’

“Rich people create the jobs.” Specifically, by starting and directing America’s companies, rich entrepreneurs and investors create the jobs that sustain everyone else. This statement is usually invoked to justify cutting taxes on entrepreneurs and investors. This argument ignores the fact that taxes on entrepreneurs and investors are already historically low.

Entrepreneurs and investors like me actually don’t create the jobs — not sustainable ones, anyway. What creates a company’s jobs, Hanauer explains, is a healthy economic ecosystem surrounding the company, which starts with the company’s customers. The customers of most companies are ultimately American’s gigantic middle class — the hundreds of millions of Americans who currently take home a much smaller share of the national income than they did 30 years ago

If that $9+ million had gone to 9,000 families instead of Hanauer, it would almost certainly have been pumped right back into the economy via consumption (i.e., demand). And, in so doing, it would have created more jobs. Hanauer estimates that, if most American families were taking home the same share of the national income that they were taking home 30 years ago, every family would have another $10,000 of disposable income to spend. So, if nothing else, it’s time we stopped perpetuating the fiction that “rich people create the jobs.” Rich people don’t create the jobs. Our economy creates jobs.

More here



Washington Post: Obama To Issue A New Statement Of U.S. National Security Strategy

President Obama will formally present a new national security strategy early next year, identifying his foreign policy priorities for the remainder of his time in office, the White House said Friday. The new policy document will be the second of Obama’s administration and will likely update the previous one, released in May 2010, in several important areas. Those include policies for fighting the next phase of the war against al-Qaeda, the shift of national security resources to Asia and a plan to manage declining defense budgets amid fiscal strain.

The National Security Strategy document falls under a 1986 law requiring the president to present Congress with an annual strategic statement. Most administrations have been inconsistent in meeting that obligation. George W. Bush, for example, issued only two during his eight years in office. Obama’s first National Security Strategy ran 52 pages and set out a course for ending the U.S. military involvement in Iraq. Although the strategy asserted America’s central role in the world, it also warned that “when we overuse our military might, or fail to invest in or deploy complementary tools, or act without partners, then our military is overstretched.”

More here


On This Day:

Rep. Emanuel Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., gestures to President Obama and a U.S. Secret Service agent after the President dropped by a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 30, 2010. The Congressman knows the agent (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama talks with former President Jimmy Carter who was attending a meeting in National Security Advisor Tom Donilon’s office in the White House, Nov. 30, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Wilkes Barre/Scranton International Airport, November 30, 2011 in Avoca, Pennsylvania

First Lady Michelle Obama meets with members of the board of Partnership for a Healthier America, an organization working to end childhood obesity, at the Omni Hotel in Washington, D.C., Nov. 30, 2011 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama tours the Rodon Group, a manufacturer of toys in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, November 30, 2012

President Obama greets the audience after speaking at the Rodon Group, a manufacturer of toys in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, November 30, 2012

91 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. 1 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    November 30, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Good morning, TOD!

  2. 2 Don
    November 30, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Missed it by that much!

  3. 5 utaustinliberal
    November 30, 2013 at 10:05 am

  4. November 30, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Faaaaaaantabulous, thank you UT, you legend!!!

    Morning everyone!

    • 9 utaustinliberal
      November 30, 2013 at 10:13 am

      Thanks, Chiparoo!

      • November 30, 2013 at 10:30 am

        Thank yoooooooooooou legend! Wonder will PBO go book-shopping again on Small Business Saturday?

        • 11 utaustinliberal
          November 30, 2013 at 11:06 am

          I was thinking the same thing this morning. Hmmmm…..he’s playing basketball at the FBI HQ, so, I say, be on the lookout, TOD! He sure does like surprising folks.

          Update. Response from President Obama.

  5. 12 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    November 30, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Wow, just logged on and was greeted with this new thread! Love the pic of FLOTUS and the kids; now back to the top to absorb the goodness that UT has shared…

  6. 13 utaustinliberal
    November 30, 2013 at 10:10 am

    • 15 HZ
      November 30, 2013 at 11:49 am

      ((((((Thank you, desertflower.))))))) Very nice column indeed. Love that last line of the column: ” If life for you is a hill, be a world class climber.” Charles Blow, nytimes column. HZ

  7. 17 Linda
    November 30, 2013 at 10:28 am

    The Funniest Politician FAILS From Around The World

  8. 18 hopefruit2
    November 30, 2013 at 10:51 am

    G’morning UT, Chips, TOD, lurkers, everyone and congrats Alycee on #1 🙂 🙂

    Excellent Saturday R & S roundup with more amazing ACA info – thanks UT!!

  9. November 30, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Good morning again everyone. Great pics and stories to start the day out on a happy note.

  10. 20 desertflower
    November 30, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Interesting point!! http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024111920

    If Hobby Lobby, as a corporation is opposed to abortion and providing contraceptive coverage to their employees Health Insurance plans, based on moral convictions….how do they reconcile the fact that they support the Chinese govt through all the products they purchase and sell here in America? With millions of abortions the govt MANDATEs and mandatory contraceptive use? Moral convictions stop at the profit line?

    • 21 desertflower
      November 30, 2013 at 11:08 am

      I certainly hope that the lawyers that are defending the ACA provision for contraception!! What hypocrites!!!

  11. 22 donna dem 4 obama
    November 30, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Fabulous R & S UT. I’m loving that “First Responders” toon!

  12. 23 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    November 30, 2013 at 11:11 am

    • 24 Nena20409
      November 30, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Now this is Not a Slack 100 yrs Lady.

      Happiness and Joy is why she is still working. Good for her. I wish her well and a Happy 100th Birthday.

  13. 25 HZ
    November 30, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Good Morning my Chips, Danny and TOD family. A lovely day on the west coast after a little rain yesterday. A little earth wash is good. I went out to retrieve the trash containers for my two neighbors and myself a few minutes ago, and it is a lovely morning. I hope everyone in our TOD family will have a lovely day as well.

    (((((((( Hugs to our Danny)))))))). Please chips.

    Donna and Zizi, both of your points are worth a look, IMO. I know that we all have so much on our plates, but we have come a long way together with our president, and any idea is good to be thinking how we can accomplish it. I know the president wants us to be the force behind him as well. He loves it when we come together and present our ideas and then put them into action. I am in.

    One suggest that I do have is for us to contact Valarie’s office and just keep presenting our ideas over and over and see if we can get some traction. Also get in touch with OFA and present our points. You know TOD family, believe it or not, Bobfr’s faithfully writing and tweeting people with some force in the administration, even the president move a lot of action from the administration in a very good way. Believe me, it works.

    We are out here, and we certainly can see from a different view, and POB wants to hear from us and hear our concerns and how we want to move with our plan. He is open to those ideas when it will help people move to a better place. I recall on the last call we had with him just before the filibuster rule change; he was almost finished with his comments to us, but then he reminded us of the importance of getting the judicial nominees confirmed, and how important this one aspect would be. I heard in his voice his calling out for our help. He does not push us in the manner that he has been accused of by the opposition, but he will gently give us an opportunity to act on our own because he knows that this is our government and he needs us to make it a working government for all of the people.

    So, one thing I do know about our TOD family, we have many, many brilliant minds that are so capable of leading us, and I am ready to follow your leadership. We will make this happen, I do believe. At least, we can try something that will work.

    Now, I will go back and enjoy all of the great links and hope and pray that my spirit will be open to see where I can make a difference with our president. That was what I came away from my devotional time this morning. ‘Make me an open, solid, and productive vessel to be one of the instruments that will bring change for the best things, goodness in actions for the right things, and purpose in spirit for the true and fair things.’Hz

  14. 26 utaustinliberal
    November 30, 2013 at 11:18 am

    We have response from President Obama.

  15. 27 africa
    November 30, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Good morning everyone.

    Hiya Chipa. Bad news. We lost. I am so sad today, not for me but for my son and his team mates they fought so hard and came up short. They cried. I cried for them.


    • 28 desertflower
      November 30, 2013 at 11:35 am

      They may have lost the game, but they didn’t lose….they were perfect, and learned and gained so much from this experience they shared together. Life goes on and they are closer and better for this. May sting now, but when they reflect on the bigger picture…..they are ALL winners:)

      • 29 africa
        November 30, 2013 at 11:44 am

        Ooh, thank you so much DF. Thank you.

        • 30 desertflower
          November 30, 2013 at 12:02 pm

          Absolutely, africa:) Both my kids played competitive sports in school. One swam (double whammy because of indiv. times/ and whether they won as a group!) And my son played lacrosse….I know how this all feels to him….but its all good. He learned much from this experience that he doesn’t even realize yet:)

    • November 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      I am sorry for your son and his team’s loss. I hope that their disappointment does not prevent them from celebrating the FANTASTIC season that they had, and from your description, it sounds as if last night’s game was well played. So they have much to be proud of and represented their school and community well.

    • November 30, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      They are still perfectly great winners!

  16. 34 africa
    November 30, 2013 at 11:29 am

    OK, that should say Chips. Sorry!!

  17. 35 Nena20409
    November 30, 2013 at 11:54 am

    GM TODable Village, Township, Hamlet, TODville, Community, Globe, etc. etc, etc.

    Loads of stuff to read. Now enough time to do it today.

    So 20/20 was a No No. Thank goodness, I didn’t DVR it nor did I watch it.

    Happy Saturday All.

    Great Job by BTs and Twitter Brigades. Thank You.

  18. 36 HZ
    November 30, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Africa, this lost may bring on a sense of hurt for your son and his team, but remember to share with them that a lost can also bring on an opportunity to walk, run, and play even harder because the long game is still out there. The mountain is still there which gives him and his team another opportunity to climb even higher each time. Run with assurance young men, brave the lessons with fortitude of skills, and rest assure that the winning is still in your reach. (((((((( Lots of encouraging hugs for your son and his teammates.)))))))))HZ

  19. 41 Nena20409
    November 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm


    GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Scottish police say eight people are now confirmed dead following the crash of a police helicopter into a crowded Glasgow pub.

    Chief Constable Stephen House says all those aboard the helicopter — two officers and a civilian pilot — died when the aircraft crashed into the roof of The Clutha pub and five other people were killed on the ground.

  20. 42 amk for obama
    November 30, 2013 at 12:42 pm


    Henry Ford – Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.

    That’s my business motto.

    @bt – you looooose.

  21. 44 africa
    November 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    File this under GOP loses its ever-loving mind.

  22. 46 Vicki
    November 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    If anyone here is wondering why there hasn’t been news from Bill deBlasio, the NYC mayor-elect, it appears to be that Mr. DeBlasio is taking the “one mayor at a time” thing seriously.
    After his landslide victory he could have had the Presses attention 24/7 but he has wisely kept his public appearances to few and far between.

    In just one month the new Mayor of NYC will take the stage and I for one cannot wait!

    • 47 Nena20409
      November 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Pres-elect Obama did the same thing……No matter how loudly the Media and others were demanding that he should comments on matters from Nov 5th–Jan 20th Noon 2009.

    • November 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Wise and appropriate and no surprise given Mayor-elect deBlasio’s leadership qualities!!!

      Thank you Vicki.

      • 50 Vicki
        November 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm

        I’m pretty sure we have a lot of DeBlasio fans here already and I’m also pretty sure the number of his admirers will increase.

        Bob, the article you recommended was well worth the time it took to read. Thanks. President Obama is all about solutions for the important problems not about the relentless striving for profit. That is why he is so dangerous.

  23. 51 amk for obama
    November 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm

  24. 52 africa
    November 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm

  25. 53 amk for obama
    November 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm

  26. 55 vcprezofan2
    November 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Pausing to wave wildly to Alycee and Don, though late to the party and leaving very shortly. BBL – much later!

  27. 57 amk for obama
    November 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    • 58 Nena20409
      November 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      You find the Funniest Toons Amk.

      Is there a TODable Amk Toon Post coming at the Hamlet soon 😉

      Pretty Please 😉

  28. 59 amk for obama
    November 30, 2013 at 1:08 pm

  29. 60 Nena20409
    November 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Just One to grow on…..Panda style 😉

  30. 62 hopefruit2
    November 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm

  31. 63 JER
    November 30, 2013 at 2:01 pm

  32. 64 hopefruit2
    November 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Since Mark Knoller wants to turn everything into a campaign on the GOP’s behalf, lets give it to him:

  33. 65 hopefruit2
    November 30, 2013 at 2:13 pm

  34. 67 Vicki
    November 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I can only wish that The President’s assurances to the Immigration Fasters that the world is concerned with their struggle was borne out by the NY Times who had a tiny mention—–3 sentences on page 13——.
    Of course, New Yorkers won’t be voting on immigration and it is GOP Congressfolks that need to be convinced. It may take a tent in each of their districts, but even that won’t move people who care only about their own welfare.

  35. 68 hopefruit2
    November 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    • 69 Nena20409
      November 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      POTUS, AG Holder, Natasha and Malia supporting Local Small Businesses…..Now that is how it is done.


      • 70 HZ
        November 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm

        And don’t forget Dr. Sharon Malone Holder right there by AG Holder’s side. Family shopping. Love our AG and his wife. Personal for me.HZ

  36. 71 Nena20409
    November 30, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    So On MSNBC……TJ Holmes is filling in for Greg M. WTG TJ Holmes. He was tweeting yesterday or so that he’s a #Newnewyorker and about his Thanksgiving and his daugher Sabrine(sp) at a local shop.

    WTG TJ Holmes….it took him to showcase that POTUS was at the DC Mall yesterday visiting the Fast for Immigration activists

  37. 72 JER
    November 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm

  38. 73 Nena20409
    November 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm


    For the third year in a row, President Barack Obama celebrated Small Business Saturday with his daughters by visiting a local bookstore.

    According to pool reports, Obama chose Politics & Prose in northwest Washington, D.C. as his 2013 destination. Among the titles purchased: “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” “The Kite Runner,” and “Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football.”

  39. 74 Nena20409
    November 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Love the Album Thriller.

    On this day Nov 30, 1982 MJ’s most Album ever sold was released

    http://www.youtube.com/watch ?feature=player_detailpage&v=sOnqjkJTMaA#t=11

  40. 75 forus50
    November 30, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    OMG – these Romneys are not human; freakish robots. Somebody tweeted about “who would be smiling at a car crash scene…”

    • 76 Nena20409
      November 30, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      He is posing, smiling and then tweeted about an accident? Seriously? He could not allow those he claimed to have saved to toot his own Kindness horn? Sheesh. There is something Not Right with the Romneys. Oh yeah, apples don’t fall too far from Willard and Ann Romney’s twisted rotten tree.

    • 77 Puddin'
      November 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      Sick…something is seriously wrong with this picture! OMG!!

    • 79 Nena20409
      November 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      Yep, the Jesuit RADICAL Priest, now called, Pope Francis. I think Many of Us Roman Catholics would much like to keep Him. Sorry righties.

  41. 80 forus50
    November 30, 2013 at 3:05 pm

  42. 82 forus50
    November 30, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    • November 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      They really are so far out of their league. Shouldn’t ever mess with us. We are the real 4th Estate!!

    • 84 hopefruit2
      November 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      Well -done Bob and FORUS50! 🙂 🙂 Mark Knoller didn’t know who he was dealing with….

    • 85 Nena20409
      November 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      Perhaps this explains why his endless blabing tweets are negative about pres Obama for Mark Knoller is still stuck on the GW Bush. 3 plus years after the Stupid has left for Crawford TX.

    • 86 criquet
      November 30, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      That is awesome, forus50. Major props for that.

    • 88 Nena20409
      November 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      They are No Long pretending. Their actions, coverage and their verbiages Now are out there for the world to see. Unfortunately, only those who have eyes……Objective eyes see their wicked bias reporting.

      Let Us see how long it will take for this Blatant blunder to be corrected.

      I wonder what his excuses would be.

  43. 89 africa
    November 30, 2013 at 3:49 pm

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