Rise and Shine

Pete Souza: “Interrupting a Christmas Holiday photo line, the President confers with Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, about the latest developments in the payroll tax cut extension as the First Lady waits in the background.” Dec. 15, 2011



6:20 EST: The First Family attends Christmas in Washington, National Building Museum

The schedule for the week ahead has not yet been released, but the First Family will depart the White House en route Honolulu, Hawaii on Friday



Katharine Haenschen: My $55,000 Migrane, Or Why Young Americans Should Enroll In Health Insurance

Many years ago when I was a 23-year-old working as a hostess-with-the-mostess at a fancy seafood restaurant, saving up money to go back to school. I was hanging out in my apartment one night when my vision suddenly tunneled, and an unbearable pain exploded in the left side of my head. I couldn’t make a fist with my right hand. It was super scary. I called my Dad, who said “Go to the hospital right now.” The doctors at the emergency room took great care of me, and determined that no, I was not having a stroke. They took a spinal tap, did some scans, and sent me home a few hours later with ample headache pills. But the headache kept coming back, unbearably painful such that I couldn’t function at work and spent as much time as possible lying down.

I eventually landed back in the ER and even had to be admitted over night, until the doctors figured out that my spinal tap never healed — as 10-20% don’t, causing a slow drip of brain juice out the bottom of your spinal column.   And then the hospital bills came. At first I was afraid to open them — and that’s even though I was thankfully still covered by my Mom’s health insurance plan through her job. After all, just walking into the ER cost me $100 in co-pays each time.

Finally, I opened the big envelopes from the hospital and found a bill for $55,000. The amount I owed? $0. That’s right. Zero dollars. Because when I got my freak $55,000 headache, I was covered. No one plans to have emergency medical care — but we can prepare for the possibility of it happening by signing up with healthcare.gov. Of course, now that migraine — and my later gap in health insurance coverage — can’t come back to bite me in the butt later, because thanks to the Affordable Care Act I can’t be denied coverage for “pre-existing conditions” and I can’t be screwed over for gaps in consistent insurance coverage.

More here



Sun Sentinel: Affordable Care Act Really Does Work

I am one of the few people who has good things to say about Obamacare. You probably only hear from those who complain. My daughter has applied on the Internet for health insurance. She had no problem whatsoever linking to the site. Everything worked like a dream. My daughter is self-employed in a small business. She has been paying more than $2,800 every other month for her health insurance. Her entire yearly salary pays for the cost of her current insurance. She received a letter from her insurance company telling her that under Obamacare, this very same policy — without any change — will cost her $625 per month. This is less than half the price of what she is currently paying, which has been highway robbery.

More here



Keith Naughton: How U.S. Workers Rebuilt An Industry

In June 2009, the last auto plant in Detroit was idle, mausoleum-quiet and a symbol of failure. Weeds had grown three-feet tall around Chrysler’s sprawling Jeep factory at the desolate crossroads of Jefferson and Conner as the company went dark during bankruptcy. Among the bills the near-dead automaker couldn’t afford to pay: lawn service. Yet on one Monday morning came the drone of lawn mowers and buzz of weed whackers — sounds of rebirth. Chrysler was emerging from Chapter 11 and something had to be done about the eyesore the plant had become. The Detroit Three also overhauled their lineups to field their best cars in a generation, which now command higher prices than formerly formidable foreign offerings. Ford’s fashionable Fusion, whose looks draw comparisons to Aston Martin, has an average price of $27,444, which exceeds the Toyota Camry by $3,251, according to researcher Kelley Blue Book.

“It’s flipped,” marveled Lutz, 81, who served as a senior executive at all three Detroit automakers over the last half-century before retiring in 2010. “All of a sudden, the Japanese are behind.” Detroit’s new strength is embodied in Chrysler’s reborn Jefferson North Assembly Plant. The Jeep factory has gone from barely breathing to bursting at the seams. Its future was in doubt when it closed during Chrysler’s 2009 bankruptcy. Since then, employment there has more than tripled to 4,500, from fewer than 1,400 when Chrysler went bankrupt, and production has more than quintupled to 325,000 models this year, from 60,584 four years ago. It spits out Jeeps 20 hours a day, seven days a week and still can’t keep up with demand for the Grand Cherokee. Sales soared 21 percent for the hot model last year and are up 15 percent more this year through November. Chrysler said it expects to make as much as $2.2 billion this year.

More here



RH Reality Check: On Medicaid, Shame, And Not Being Silent

When the Obamacare exchanges became open for enrollment this fall, I eagerly went online to check out my options for affordable health care in my state. It was exciting to know that I could potentially afford health insurance. I considered how my life would be affected: doctors’ visits, blood tests, checkups, an eye exam,a teeth cleaning—all the things I’ve longed for as an uninsured adult. After wading through a sea of questions about my income and expenses to determine my eligibility, I discovered what I had not considered a possibility: I qualify for Medicaid. Wow. Am I that poor? For so long I made just enough money to not qualify for Medicaid. Now, I do qualify.

While I was relieved to know I wouldn’t need to pay out-of-pocket each month for health care, I felt uncomfortable. I had originally intended to write about my experiences navigating Obamacare, how I’m weighing the options or different health-care plans in my state. But how was I going to write about that now? I couldn’t possibly share my experiences navigating Medicaid in public. My initial thoughts and feelings were rooted in shame. I didn’t want people to know my income is so low that I qualify for Medicaid. Shame is a tool. It keeps people immobilized, silent, and afraid. It keeps people in closets, in hiding, invisible.

And I’m sure this is only one of the reasons why nearly 700,000 people nationwide who qualify for Medicaid haven’t enrolled in the program. Money and time is spent to keep the “welfare queen” mythology alive, not only informing budget cuts, but also the minds of people who qualify for public assistance but decide not to use it. Shame is ridiculous. It will have you believe you deserve nothing—that you don’t deserve the resources you qualify for, resources that can support your livelihood.

More here



A Message From Isonprize

Hey my TOD pals, have you voted for PARENTS UNITED for PUBLIC EDUCATION today?

Parents United for “Non profit of the year” and Eileen Duffey, RN, for “Do gooder of the Year”, FIERCE advocates for public education in Philadelphia.

Please don’t let us lose to a skate park!! 😆

And for good measure, scroll to the bottom and PLEASE VOTE to EXCOMMUNCATE Gov. Tom “Cut It” Corbett





Ari Berman: North Carolina Shows Why The Voting Rights Act Is Still Needed

A federal judge in Winston-Salem today set the schedule for a trial challenging North Carolina’s sweeping new voter restrictions. There will be a hearing on whether to grant a preliminary injunction in July 2014 and a full trial a year later, in July 2015. This gives the plaintiffs challenging the law, which includes the Department of Justice, the ACLU and the North Carolina NAACP, a chance to block the bill’s worst provisions before the 2014 election. Earlier this year, in July 2013, the North Carolina legislature passed the country’s worst voter suppression law, which included strict voter ID to cast a ballot, cuts to early voting, the elimination of same-day voter registration, the repeal of public financing of judicial elections and many more harsh and unnecessary anti-voting measures.

These restrictions will impact millions of voters in the state across all races and demographic groups: in 2012, for example, 2.5 million North Carolinians voted early, 152,000 used same-day voter registration, 138,000 voters lacked government-issued ID and 7,500 people cast an out-of-precinct provisional ballot. These four provisions alone will negatively affect nearly 3 million people who voted in 2012. Ironically, it took the North Carolina legislature less than a month to approve the law, but it will take a year before an initial hearing on it and two years before a full trial. That’s because in June 2013 the Supreme Court invalidated Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which meant that previously covered states like North Carolina, with the worst history of voting discrimination, no longer had to clear their voting changes with the federal government.

More here




Ian Millhiser: Meet The Next Ruth Bader Ginsburg

With her confirmation to the second highest court in the nation very early Thursday morning, Judge Nina Pillard should immediately rocket to the top of the Democratic shortlist of potential nominees to the Supreme Court. Though there are a number ofDemocratic judges who possess the youth, brilliance and legal credentials required from a new Supreme Court justice, Pillard brings something to the bench that is quite rare among judges — she’s won two of the most important civil rights victories to reach the Supreme Court during her career.

Pillard was a member of the legal team in United States v. Virginia, which eliminated the Virginia Military Institute’s discriminatory policies against women and cemented the rule that no law may engage in gender discrimination unless there is an “exceedingly persuasive justification” for doing so. Seven years later, Pillard argued and won Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs, an important case helping women (and men) with families to have a fair opportunity to participate in the workplace.

More here




Katya Gorchinskaya: EuroMaidan

No amount of live video feeds or news stories can convey the essence of EuroMaidan. The Dec. 11 massive attack by Berkut riot-control police, for example, took people by surprise. Although there was an alert from the leaders of the political opposition that there would be a police raid at 1 a.m., people simply dismissed as ludicrous the idea that a raid would happen that night. I left Maidan around 1 a.m., with no visible signs of an imminent attack, and with just a few handfuls of protesters shivering near the stage. I rushed back to find it completely transformed in a matter of 15 minutes after receiving a tip-off that Berkut is advancing.

When Berkut started crashing through the first barricade, it was truly scary. It was not clear what their plan was, and at that point it seemed that it would be a miracle if no blood got spilled. Now, when we know that only 20 people required hospital treatment after that night, it does seem nearly miraculous. It soon became clear that Berkut was acting under orders to go easy on the protesters, and the resulting scuffle looked like a practice session of police units, not real action. As police broke through the first barricade, the church bells of St. Michael’s started to ring – an ancient and powerful call for alarm and mobilization.

For hours that followed, those watching Maidan saw massive shoving between Berkut and demonstrators, and its footage was top news around the world. But what was even more striking is how quickly Kyiv mobilized and moved into the city center, turning a crowd of a few hundred into a mass of tens of thousands of people in a matter of several hours. There was a lot of dignity in it, and a lot of pride. This was the massive proof that EuroMaidan is not about its leaders, that it’s truly the will of the people.

More here




Frank Schaeffer: The Slow Motion Lynching Of President Barack Obama

I’ve watched liberal and right wing commentators alike blame the president for being lynched. They say “he’s not reaching out enough” or “he’s too cold.” It’s the equivalent of assuming that the black man being beaten by a couple of thug cops must have “done something.” I am a white privileged well off sixty-one-year-old former Republican religious right wing activist who changed his mind about religion and politics long ago. Weirdly, I just realized that through all my writing, this has been the first time in my life I’ve personally gone to bat for a black man. It just happens that he’s a president. But my emotional stake in his life is now personal. So I’ve changed from a white guy who used to read news about some black man getting shot or beaten by cops or stand-you-ground types who assumed that the black man must have “done something,” to a white guy who figures that the black man was probably getting lynched. I’ve changed ideology but I’ve also changed my gut intuitive reactions.

I’ve changed because if this country will lynch a brilliant, civil, kind, humble, compassionate, moderate, articulate, black intellectual we’re lucky enough to have in the White house, we’ll lynch anyone. What chance does an anonymous black man pulled over in a traffic stop have of fair treatment when the former editor of the Harvard Law review is being lynched? One famous liberal commentator wrote a book on how Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil could disagree and still be friends. Why, he asked on many a TV show promoting his book, couldn’t President Obama be like that? Because, I yelled at the screen, those two men were white Irish Americans and part of a ruling white oligarchy.

Because, I yelled, you might as well ask why Nelson Mandela didn’t talk his jailers in South Africa into seeing reason. Because, I yelled, the president is black and anytime he’s reached out he’s pulled back a bloody stump. Because, I yelled, liberal white commentators have been as bothered by a black man in the White House, who’s smarter than they are as much as right wing bigots have been bothered. Because, I yelled, President Obama has been lied about, attacked, vilified, and disrespected since Day One. Because, I yelled, this country may have passed laws so blacks can vote and eat in a white man’s world, but in our hearts are stuck in a place more like 1952 than 2013.

More here


On This Day:

First Lady Michelle Obama greets guests in the Grand Foyer of the White House during a holiday party, Dec. 15, 2009 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Barack Obama walks from the White House to Blair House in Washington, D.C., to attend a working meeting with business leaders, Dec. 15, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama is joined by First Lady Michelle Obama and Bo, the Obama family dog, as he delivers remarks during a Christmas holiday reception in the Grand Foyer of the White House, Dec. 15, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama descend the Grand Staircase to greet guests at a holiday reception in the Grand Foyer of the White House, Dec. 15, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

120 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. December 15, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Happy Sunday y’all.

  2. 2 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 15, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Good Morning!

  3. 3 vcprezofan2
    December 15, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Are you just rising, Utal? 😉 Well, nice to see you shining as well.

  4. 9 magapie
    December 15, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Frank Schaeffer is GREAT.

  5. December 15, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Thank yoooooooooooou UT, another blissful R&S! Morning everyone!

    • 14 utaustinliberal
      December 15, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Thanks, Chiparoo. Last week, I focused on a global news Rise and Shine and for this Sunday’s Rise and Shine, I decided to focus on thought pieces (including global news) that everyone can read, debate, disagree with, have an opinion about, etc. and of course wonderful ObamaCare news.

      • 15 hopefruit2
        December 15, 2013 at 11:33 am

        Flows very nicely. A very strategic (and effective) approach to TODing. Thanks! 🙂

        • 16 utaustinliberal
          December 15, 2013 at 11:40 am

          Thank you for reading. 😀

          • 17 jacquelineoboomer
            December 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm

            Thank you for posting all this, UT! Just beautiful. And anything with Frank Schaeffer highlighted in it quickly draws me in! The man and his writings are a real asset to the President, in more ways than any of us may know.

            Good Sunday afternoon, TODland!

  6. 18 africa
    December 15, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Happy Sunday to all.

    R&S chock full of goodies. Thanks, UT.

  7. 22 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 15, 2013 at 11:28 am

  8. 23 hopefruit2
    December 15, 2013 at 11:30 am

    G’morning UT, Chips, TOD, lurkers and everyone, and congrats Magapie on #1 🙂 Thanks UT for another excellent R & S round-up; love reading those positive ACA stories. One of the pics you posted is putting me in somewhat “naughty mat” frame of mind. But I will quickly put those thoughts away because (1) it’s too early, (2) it’s Sunday, and (3) Mr. Yardarm is not up yet. (Sorry Audrey and Eleroy).

  9. 24 africa
    December 15, 2013 at 11:32 am

    • 25 hopefruit2
      December 15, 2013 at 11:35 am

      What he says about the right is true – but I also told him that the left/mainstream media was just as obsessed with this notion as the right. He needs to look no further than Jodi Kantor’s TL.

      • 26 africa
        December 15, 2013 at 11:40 am

        You are right.

      • December 15, 2013 at 11:49 am

        Has she posted since her silly statement with Gregory?

        • 28 hopefruit2
          December 15, 2013 at 11:53 am

          Nope. This was her last tweet on the subject – a very defensive “that’s not what i meant” tweet which got blasted on Twitter.

          Something tells me she won’t be touching that subject for while – not on Twitter anyway.

      • 37 Lovepolitics2008
        December 15, 2013 at 3:16 pm

        Barack Obama is a very handsome, has the perfect smile. Heck, he could be a model. And Michelle has a lot of magnetism as well.

        Moreover, Barack Obama is obviously in love with his wife and has a strong, healthy marriage.

        He’s LOVED all around the world, like no other american president before him. ( He’s loved in EVERY continent, remember that).

        He’s brilliant, and a better writer than most of the journalists and pundits who cover him.

        Race plays a role in the double standards we observe daily. But a deep rooted, unconscious jealousy of him may be at play more ofter than not. A jealousy that drives many people to find all sorts of different little ways to diminish him, to say to the world: “See? he’s not THAT great! “

    • 38 jacquelineoboomer
      December 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      No clue why, but I thought of that blonde guy’s viral video where he cried and pleaded Leave Brittany Alone! Maybe we should get him to do one where he cries Leave My President Alone!

      Or maybe not. Moving on … 🙂

  10. 43 mtmarilyn
    December 15, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Good morning fellow TODbots! What a wonderful R&S UT! That article by Frank Schaeffer really hits the nail on the head!! It says what so many of us here have been saying.

    I thought I was dvr’ing Mandela’s funeral on cspan last night and it was just a rerun of the memorial. I know that you will have some videos later. I just couldn’t stay up to watch.

    Have a beautiful day everyone!

  11. December 15, 2013 at 11:46 am

    For the Record….

    I find Frank Shaefffer ‘s essay …Offensive

    • 48 Layla
      December 15, 2013 at 11:54 am

      Cringe worthy at the least

      • 49 magapie
        December 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm

        You are both correct and obvious that he was going for that as he deviated from his usual style. It takes a shocking, cold, swift, hard slap to get people’s attention to the TRUTH sometimes, unfortunately. We would all love to never see the word “lynch” ever again.

        • 50 forus50
          December 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm

          I just find the over the top metaphor offensive in the same way that Sarah Palin used the US relationship to China as equal to slavery. There is no doubt that the attacks on Barack Obama’s presidency by the GOP and media has been racist and disgusting in every sense of the word. But it sullies the history of those victims of lynching by comparing political tactics of the GOP against the president to their deaths by public hangings.

          • 51 magapie
            December 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm

            No comparison exists between palin and Frank Schaeffer.

            • 52 forus50
              December 15, 2013 at 12:46 pm

              No – they are on opposite ends of the spectrum politically, IQ and I imagine most everything. But comparing human slavery and lynching to political issues is what they both did. Over the top rhetoric and metaphors turns me off just as much coming from the Left as the Right. Sorry, but I just don’t think it is helpful and I don’t care for any politician or writer who resorts to that.

          • December 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm

            Have to agree with you Forus, I’ve only been able to pop in and out all day so missed most of the chat on the FS piece, but I do think the use of ‘lynching’ in this context is in seriously bad taste, I hate it. Just like people so stupidly and casually use ‘holocaust’. I love FS’s writing, I especially respect him because he saw the light and left his ugly past behind, but I really wish he would choose different analogies.

            • 54 africa
              December 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm

              Totally, I agree with you both on his use of lynching as I stated in this tweet attached below. But I thought he made some good points about both the right and left and their treatment of PBO. He definitely could have done without that word.

  12. 56 anniebella
    December 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Is there anywhere on line where we can see the Christmas in Washington tonight?

    • 57 hopefruit2
      December 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      Not that I’m aware of. The taping is not usually live streamed. TNT made sure of that. They want all the ratings they can get on Friday nite. We usually rely on pictures from Chips. 🙂

      On another note, tonight HGTV will be showing their annual WH Christmas decoration program from 8PM ET.

  13. 59 hopefruit2
    December 15, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    The fact that the RW media seems to LOVE Snowden so much to give the so-called “liberals” pause in promoting his cause….

    Rassmussen is trying to spread propaganda that Ted Cruz and Ed Snowden are in the top five “highly influential” people. They cleverly disguise their agenda by including the Pope and PBO in the top 2 (of course making sure that PBO is in 2nd place), and Ted Cruz follows PBO in 3rd place, with Snowjob 4th place. This is some garbage right there.


    Ted Cruz was supposedly at the Mandela Memorial – and no one cared or spoke about him. That’s how influential he is.

  14. 61 Vicki
    December 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Our own Bobfr and Jeff Gauvin have both been covering huge rallies in Ukraine.
    Jeff has a map up today which shows the gas being carried from Russia through Ukraine into western Europe through a series of pipelines. This brought back some memories for me.

    A few years ago when Russia was pissed about something or other, they shut down the pipelines during the bitter winter cold and many of the countries in the EU froze.

    With the threat of fuel being cut off in December by a vengeful Russia, you have to admire even more the Will of the people of Ukraine to rid themselves of the Russian Oligarchs.
    The stakes and risk are high and I wish the people of ukraine a swift and just resolution they can be happy about.

  15. 62 forus50
    December 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Thanks UT for the very newsy R&S!!

    So I’m not sure that I’m all that crazy about Boehner dissing the Teabaggers as it means something is afoot. My guess is that – based on reading tea leaves 🙂 – is that the immigration bill will be passed before Nov 2014. If that’s the case then the DEMs will have a very hard time taking back the House and holding the Senate as the GOP will be seen as conciliatory by Hispanics and Independents.

    Just thinking it would be better to wait until after the November elections for immigration so that we can get a majority in the House and Senate and finally also get gun control and climate change legislation passed as well as possibly getting something done on tax loopholes for corporations.

    • 63 Lovepolitics2008
      December 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      I’m concerned too.

      Adding to my concern are some new polls showing that democrats have lost their big advantage on “fixing the economy”…

      Gosh THAT I find hard to take. Part political culture, part mythification of the presidency, part media’s total failure at informing the population, SO MANY people don’t know and understand that the slow recovery is the work of an obstructionist opposition. Republicans have been gumming the works for three years now.

      Last note: I think the President and democrats in Congress are very well aware that the population doesn’t get it. And that’s why they’ve done their best to get a budget deal FAST so there’s some certainty out there. And I think the dems have done their best to introduce some measures that will help grow the economy, or at least to not make things worse.

      Democrats will use every leverage they can find to resolve the UE issue really soon.

      The left, as usual, is totally clueless on the “politics” of this budget.

      • 64 hopefruit2
        December 15, 2013 at 1:54 pm

        The media hasn’t simply “failed to inform” the public. They have ACTIVELY and PURPOSEFULLY DIS-INFORMED the public. An uninformed and dis-informed electorate is truly VERY dangerous and frightening thing – far more dangerous to the well-being of this country than any Al Qaeda nut.

        • 65 nathkatun7
          December 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm

          “The media hasn’t simply “failed to inform” the public. They have ACTIVELY and PURPOSEFULLY DIS-INFORMED the public.”

          That’s the absolute TRUTH! Thank you Hopefruit for always going to the heart of the matter in your commentaries.

    • 66 theo67
      December 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      If Dems have a hard time taking back the House and holding the Senate simply because the Republicans manage to do one thing, which will benefit the people whom they’ve spent the last year insulting and demanding they learn English, since this is America… then this country is in serious trouble. The GOP have done nothing for the American people but lie to them, insult every demographic, exploit biases and bigotry and pass laws harming the American people. At some point, the electorate has to wake up.

      • 67 forus50
        December 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm

        I hear ya theo but that’s the country we live in. After the GOP had spent every waking moment being the party of NO and having a horrendous candidate and our side was getting things done with an amazing candidate the presidential election was only 4% apart 51%-47%. We are going to have to work harder in 2014 than we did in 2012. Not having immigration as a rallying point will make it more difficult that’s all.

    • December 15, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      I think that’s the whole point. Throw the right wing under the bus so they can hold on to the House. Part of it may be that Boehner really has had enough of these people. He did exactly as they wanted and it was one disaster after another. Hopefully Dems can use this to get through other things.

  16. 70 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    This made me LOL — if previously posted, pls forgive duplication…

    • 71 forus50
      December 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Alycee, I saw that the other day somewhere – omg, lol, so true!

      • 72 Alycee (@jazziz2)
        December 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm

        This had me rolling! As I’ve never raised a baby, I get a new lesson every time I have a baby or toddler in my home. Who knew that collapsible net clothes hampers could rather safely entertain a kid for hours…

  17. 73 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 15, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Please forgive if duplicate:

  18. 75 africa
    December 15, 2013 at 12:53 pm

  19. 76 africa
    December 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm

  20. 88 africa
    December 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm

  21. 89 hopefruit2
    December 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    UT (or Chips) could you kindly add this to this post or to the next main thread if it’s not too much hassle? Airs tonight at 8PM ET. Thanks! 🙂

    HGTV’s exclusive look inside the White House to see how they decorate for the holidays.

    // Once again, it’s time to visit the White House during one of the most festive times of the year! Follow along with Genevieve Gorder on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at how the White House is decorated for the holidays. HGTV will show how each room is transformed to reflect the First Lady’s meaningful theme of 2013. From the official Christmas tree in the Blue Room, to the iconic gingerbread replica of the White House, watch as designers, White House staff and volunteers bring the theme to life for the First Family and America. //


  22. 90 africa
    December 15, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    GOP are rats.

  23. 93 jacquelineoboomer
    December 15, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    I’m not going to say that Frank Schaeffer’s use of the word “lynching” was good or bad – that’s up to the individual reader to decide for himself or herself, in the context of the article, their own feelings, and their own experiences. The word is an appalling word, and the actions it describes are evil incarnate.

    However, when I think about why Frank may have used it (and I’ve been picking my head up when I hear his now-sane voice for years), I feel it must be because he’s not addressing people who find the word offensive. He’s addressing people – and I’m guessing he’s known the full spectrum of people in his early evangelical upbringing (pious and not so pious) – who use the word or make it their wish or imply the action in their backrooms and meeting halls and at their kitchen tables. Still to this day and hour. And probably directed at President Obama, too.

    Believe me, I’ll never understand people who think of that act now or have accomplished that act in the past – NEVER.

    When those kinds of people see what he wrote, they know he was speaking to them. Not us. That’s his target, and he slashed the collective jugular. We might cringe and wish we weren’t seeing it, but they’ll know they’ve been seen for what THEY are. The fact remains that Frank was standing up as tall and as loudly as he could for our President, as his uninvited advocate, and I can only speak for myself (an uninvited advocate of Frank’s truths) but – while understanding everybody’s viewpoints and no matter what awful wording he should have or should not have chosen – I applaud it.

    And it’s way too early in my day to be going that deeply into conversation, so I’m going to go turn on some music and chill out!

    • 94 HZ
      December 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Thank you, jacquelineoboomer. You always write so beautifully what I am trying to say. I was so slow in my comment, so when I came back, you gave me a peace that I needed in my heart. Thank you, my dear friend.HZ

    • 96 utaustinliberal
      December 15, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Ma’am? You win the day with one of the best takes on Frank Schaeffer’s piece that I have seen.

      I put the piece up so that everyone can read and come to their own conclusions about his truth, but you just blew me away with your observations.

      • 97 jacquelineoboomer
        December 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm

        Oh, sweet UT, I almost added a P.S. to my earlier comment directed to you, since you mentioned here was a place we could “give our opinion about” the various issues and I couldn’t help taking you up on that! Thanks so much for your comment. Meant a lot.

    • 98 mtmarilyn
      December 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      JOB, thank you for your insight. I didn’t like him using the word lynching, but the rest of what he was saying I so agree with. The absolute harshness these people go after our President just takes my breath away. In so many ways I know I have lived a sheltered life, even though I have lived with people of all races I haven’t lived with racism and non acceptance. Thank you for your take on this article. I learn and grown everyday from all you wonderful people here at TOD.

      • 99 carolyn
        December 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm

        jboomer….thanks for explaining Frank Schaeffer. I tried to on an earlier post. Yes…..we on this blog are not his target audience. His target audience are the right wing fundamentalist evangelicals who talk this way. This language is all that gets through to them. Sometimes hyperbole is what it takes to break through a hard cover.
        Lynching is ugly, the word is awful, but last week in Oklahoma, two out of state tourists saw a dummy with a black head hanging by a noose from a tree…on private property so nothing legal could be done.
        Race is a topic we tiptoe around, and are often embarrassed to discuss. Frank’s article is startling…….I think he is planting seeds of concern in those who need it.
        I know whereof he speaks…..my husband and I left a church we had been attached to for a long time because of this kind of language, not from the pulpit but by people in the church. We couldn’t take it. We found a warm, open, accepting church where we actually enjoy attending. So…..sadly, his article is real.

    • 100 nathkatun7
      December 15, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      JOB, thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      • 101 jacquelineoboomer
        December 15, 2013 at 8:37 pm

        Thanks, nath – and mtmarilyn and carolyn – I value hearing everyone else’s opinions on the various issues, and I’m glad I could express mine.

        Have a nice evening!

  24. 102 HZ
    December 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Good Morning UT, Thank you for another wonderful R&S. Thank you my Chips for having continued opportunities for all of us to be on this journey of this presidency.

    UT, thank you for including the piece written by Frank Schaeffer. I attended a church in Orange County where his father and mother were frequent guests speakers. I followed their writings for years until the light came on for me as I became personally involved in this very well known church.

    Frank Schaeffer has seen a more peaceful light for his life without being hateful in his actions. His analogy may offend many people, but his truth speaks loudest for me. I live this and my understanding of his points are well taken and need to be continued written about. I saw lynching as a child, so the scene is raw, but the reality is that was the final act for this full blown hate to be exercised by these deep haters to perform.

    I am encouraged that a writer like Frank Schaeffer will in good faith put truth on the table. He has been a strong supporter of POB’s from day one.
    I know that we are do not have to agree all the time about an issue, and that is what I respect about our TOD family. I hope that my words have not offended anyone, because that was not my intentions. I know Frank Schaffer as a young man, and now he has the opportunity to have put away his childish actions in his journey and realize truth and boldly take these people on for who and what their actions are toward this president.

    Thank you for the article. Everyone have a lovely day and move with grace to help us all remember the gift that we have been given in President Barack Obama and also help him to accomplish and use his brilliant gifts to benefit those who need his brilliant mind and compassionate actions.HZ

    • 103 utaustinliberal
      December 15, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      Wow. These are very enlightening words, HZ. We truly are blessed to have you in the TOD community.

      • 104 HZ
        December 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm

        And my wonderful, faithful, and brilliant UT, I feel so humble to be here such brilliant minds, open hearts, fun-loving spirits, kind and caring souls who put into my space a new and fresh source of strength to keep me within this beautiful TOD family.
        I just sit and cry with gratefulness when I read and see how Chips and all of the brilliant minds standing alongside her brilliant mind put together such a peaceful, loving, intellectual, and respectful space to support such a wonderful president. What a wonderful time to be living it all out with all of you here, UT.

        ((((((( TY, my precious one)))))))) I know Chips is so grateful to all of the beautiful and brilliant minds. And I know for a fact that our President is so grateful. We are such a special and one of a kind family, and I am so grateful for all of this.HZ

    • 105 nathkatun7
      December 15, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks, HZ, for your comment and your words of wisdom. I agree with everything you said. I am also very thankful that UT included Frank Schaeffer’s piece. In my humble opinion, Mr Schaeffer told the TRUTH about how both the left and the right have been treating President Obama.

  25. December 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I have nothing to add regarding Frank Schaeffer’s article except to say that I concur with Jacqueline and HZ’s assessments.

    • December 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Chiming in here regarding FS’s article. I concur with what Bob just said. One line from HZ struck me: “I am encouraged that a wreiter like Frank Schaeffer will put truth on the table.” THIS!

      May all have a wonderful day. I am working in my kitchen preparing some things to take to two different Christmas events, checking in on TOD and listening to Christmas music. Feeling blessed!!!

  26. December 15, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Film legend and Lawrence of Arabia star Peter O’Toole dies at the age of 81
    By Peter Lloyd

    13:05 EST, 15 December 2013


  27. 110 desertflower
    December 15, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Off to tutor in a moment…I’m taking next weekend off 🙂 In the mean time, the start button on my “fancy” washer has decided to break…after I put all the clothes and the soap in. {{sigh}} Seriously?

    • 111 desertflower
      December 15, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      And may I just say that they don’t make things the way they USED to!! My parents has the same washer and dryer for 40 years!! I have mine for 4 and it decides to crap out. Almighty dollar wins out over pride in craftsmanship. So sad.

  28. 113 desertflower
    December 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    He’ll be missed. Some entrance! H/T Political Carnival

    • 115 HZ
      December 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Bobfr, I just want to thank you for always keeping our TOD family abreast on the important world issues. You and Desertflower find the most wonderful and informative articles that gives so much light on what is taking place in our world. Your deep love for great information is so appreciated by me. I say that because I realize that you, Chips, UT. LL, Zizi, Tally, LP, meta, DF,, japa, amk, and All of you great intellects here at TOD keep us seniors in the loop. Thank you, Thank you, my TOD family. ((((Love you all)))))HZ

  29. December 15, 2013 at 3:10 pm

  30. December 15, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Hello all! Just want to add my two cents about Frank Shaeffer’s article. Whether we choose to call the treatment of the President a lynching or an assassination hardly matters, either is an appropriate description of the ire that has been shown toward this President. I suppose lynching is more appropriate because of the racial connotations, but in the final analysis it is about making this President’s term an asterisk in the history books. The words conjure up images of pain, but they are no less true.

    I frequently argue with those who want to claim that the treatment of this President is no different than that which was directed towards Kennedy or Clinton, because it is absolutely untrue. Without a doubt they both faced ridiculous ridicule and opposition…but it was political. With President Obama it is deeply personal and racial. Whoever called “any” president’s mother a fat slut?

    Even the repeal of ObamaCare has little to do with what is sensible…it is about allowing Obama to score. Remember “if we can stop ObamaCare, we can break him. It will be his waterloo.” I think few people realized the significance of that statement. Break him…as the slavemaster once broke resistant slaves. Waterloo as in total defeat. That was DeMint…but imagine being one of the men in on that plot…and they got beat! They are driven to repeal because “they got beat”. There I go 🙂 anyway, I completely agree with Shaeffer.

  31. December 15, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Full List: 2012 Top Ten Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Slurs

    The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s full annual list of top 10 anti-Semitic slurs:

    5. Ukraine’s Anti-Semitic “Svaboda” (Freedom) Party

    Oleg Tyagnibok – Leader of the Svaboda Party

    In recent elections the radical right party won 41 seats in the Ukrainian Parliament (12% of the popular vote). Tyagnibok has called for purges of the approximately 400,000 Jews and other minorities living in Ukraine and has demanded that Ukraine be liberated from what he calls, the “Muscovite Jewish Mafia.” – Oleg Tyagnibok


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