Rise and Shine

First Lady Michelle Obama talks with a young patient during a visit to the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, December 16. The First Lady read the book “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” before greeting the children along with Santa Claus and presidential dogs Sunny and Bo


Today (All Times Eastern):

10:45: President Obama and VP Biden meet with executives from leading technology companies like Google and Apple to discuss ways to improve the functioning of HealthCare.gov

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press



BET: Obamacare And Me

McMillian, 54, is also one of millions of Americans who will benefit from the Affordable Care Actwhen it goes into full effect on Jan. 1. And she cannot wait to get some Obamacare. “Having the opportunity to get affordable health care is so important to me and others, who have long awaited this kind of break,” she said. The Bellflower, California, resident owns and operates Kiddie Depot, a home-based family childcare business. Her son, now 18, was covered by the state-sponsored Healthy Families program. “I couldn’t afford it. I have a pre-existing condition, which forces me to end up dropping my coverage each time I’ve purchased it, so I’ve been paying out of pocket,” As soon as she was able to, McMillian visited Covered California to get information about the state’s insurance exchange.

“I put in my information and my son’s and I was just floored because the amount to cover us both was in the range of $183 per month,” she said. “That is extremely affordable for me.” Seeing how strongly opposed to the law congressional Republicans are, going so far as to shut down the government, makes her mad. “They have excellent health care and could care less about me and aren’t going to pay my bills,” she said. “They’re trying to do everything they can to hurt the president, but they’re not hurting him — they’re hurting people like me.” It also has charged her up even more to help spread the word. “At a community event I said do not let the Obamacare discussion stop inside your houses. Tell somebody. Think of five people you know and tell them about the [law] and then ask them to tell five more people,” she said.

More here



Elias Isquith: Paul Krugman: Inequality Is “The Defining Challenge Of Our Time”

Paul Krugman’s latest column for the New York Times is a defense of prioritizing inequality as the top issue in American politics today. To begin his column, Krugman writes that while inequality is nothing new — it’s been a topic of conversation in pop culture ever since Oliver Stone’s 1987 film, “Wall Street,” he notes — the willingness to address it being shown by some major politicians (including the president) is. In fact, according to Krugman, concern over inequality has become so widespread that it’s produced “a backlash from pundits arguing that inequality isn’t that big a deal.”

But the truth, according to Krugman, is that inequality is a big deal — both economically and politically. Regarding inequality’s economic impact, Krugman writes, “inequality is rising so fast that over the past six years it has been as big a drag on ordinary American incomes as poor economic performance, even though those years include the worst economic slump since the 1930s.” He also argues that inequality’s influence is partially to blame for the weak post-recession economy, because having so much wealth tied up with so few people reduces consumer demand in the economy as a whole.

More here



County Times: Connecticut Readies for Health Care, Application Rate Soars as Deadline Approaches

Dan Beecher and his wife, Louise Coogan Beecher, unemployed since they lost their jobs in the 2008 housing crash, couldn’t find any affordable health insurance. As a couple older than 50, they were offered premiums of $700 per month, which was too much for them to afford. After being uninsured for five years, the couple recently was insured under the Affordable Health Act. They signed up during an enrollment fair for the Affordable Care Act in Cornwall last Saturday and found they were eligible for a government subsidy. Now they qualify for a free health plan.“We can finally see doctors,” Mrs. Beecher said, wiping her tears.

Mike Sweeney, an ethnographic researcher, paid more than $800 a month for his healthcare premium because of his pre-existing condition. He said the coverage was adequate but not great. After enrolling in the Affordable Care Act, starting in January he will pay $400 a month for better coverage. “It hurt every month to write that $800-plus check,” Mr. Sweeney said, “I was nervous about [Obamacare], because I’ve heard many complaints … but I was blown away when I went from such a high premium a month to half that.”

More here



ThinkProgress: Church Leaders Shame Catholic University For Accepting Koch Dollars

A group of 50 Catholic leaders are criticizing the president of the Catholic University of America (CUA) for accepting a $1 million donation from a foundation controlled by Charles Koch, arguing that his ideological agenda is not in line with Catholic theology.

…. Charles, along with his brother David, run Koch Industries and fund a wide array of front-groups and lobbying efforts to expand their anti-tax, anti-regulatory agenda.

“The Koch brothers are billionaire industrialists who fund organizations that advance public policies that directly contradict Catholic teaching on a range of moral issues from economic justice to environmental stewardship,” the group of priests, social justice advocates, theologians and other academics write. They point to Pope Francis’ strong condemnation of trickle-down economics and the importance of business serving the common good…

More here



NYT: Pope Replaces Conservative U.S. Cardinal On Influential Vatican Committee

Pope Francis moved on Monday against a conservative American cardinal who has been an outspoken critic of abortion and same-sex marriage, by replacing him on a powerful Vatican committee with another American who is less identified with the culture wars within the Roman Catholic Church. The pope’s decision to remove Cardinal Raymond L. Burke from the Congregation for Bishops was taken by church experts to be a signal that Francis is willing to disrupt the Vatican establishment in order to be more inclusive.

More here



CBS Sacramento: Covered California

Victor Kaslye. 19, is talking about the need get to health insurance. This comes as a big blow to most people when they turn 18, and cut off from mom and dads. “I know a lot of young people are thinking about it and talking about it,” said Victor. “Even though at that age we think were indestructible we don’t have health probs if something comes along that is serious you want health coverage,” said Roger.

Nearly 120,000 people enrolled in Covered California in November, way up from the nearly 31,000 in October. California is ahead of the game compared to other states. Victor’s just glad he can now get a checkup. “If this wasn’t available. I probably wouldn’t be doing anything about health insurance,” said Victor.

More here




Get Covered America: What #GotCovered Means For Brian And Dianna: “Relief.”

When Dianna Burke lost her job, she and her husband Brian also lost their health insurance. Although Dianna found new work, it didn’t come with benefits. Since losing their insurance plan, the couple has only been able to obtain coverage through COBRA for the hefty price of more than $1,000 per month — and even that insurance expires at the end of this year. Brian and Dianna were thrilled when they found out how much they would save when they shopped for a plan through their state Marketplace, Covered California. After looking at their options, they chose a health insurance plan that would cost just $127 per month.

More here



Reuters: Obamacare Enrollment In California Surges

California’s Obamacare insurance marketplace experienced a surge in enrollment last week, officials said on Thursday, offering welcome news for President Barack Obama’s sweeping healthcare law from a state crucial to its success. Some 144,146 applications were completed and 49,708 people selected commercial plans in the first week of December, compared to 403,323 completed applications and 109,296 enrollments in the previous two months since the Covered California marketplace opened, officials said.

At that rate, California would meet its 2013 enrollment target. “This is a good day for Californians,” Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, the state’s Obamacare marketplace, told reporters. “We are seeing real momentum.” California is arguably the most crucial state for Obamacare. It has more uninsured people than any other state (7.4 million in 2011), and the law’s supporters are counting on Californians to make up a good fraction of the 7 million people the White House hopes to enroll in health insurance through the law during this first open enrollment period, which runs through March 31.

More here




Anna Nemtsova: Heroes Of The Maidan

In the past few weeks, massive protests have transformed Kiev’s central square, the Maidan, into a military fortress guarded by disciplined volunteers-turned-soldiers. People from all over Ukraine came to the square for political reasons, yes, but they also came to support one other and bask in the protest’s strong feeling of community. Every day, thousands of people camped out in tents, braving the bitter cold, or joined the protests after work to chant: “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to its heroes!” For every Ukrainian, these words held deep meaning. In defending the square, people defended their rights, their dreams for the future. A new Ukraine of pure values was born on the Maidan.

As the weeks passed by, the Maidan took on a life of its own, as the activists added more and more issues to the Euromaidan agenda. The protesters — who were mostly from Kiev or the western and central parts of Ukraine — complained about economic issues, unemployment, injustice, and corruption. In the headquarters of the Maidan’s military section, Lieutenant Alexander Baranovsky criticized the “shameful pennies” officers received for their military service: just $400 a month. And an engineer from Lviv region, Alexander Grishko, complained about the massive unemployment in western Ukraine. “These people on the square are my family,” he said. “As long as we are here, we feel there is hope for a better future for our country.”

More here



Adrian Karatnycky: Ukraine’s Massed Protesters Have Pushed Their Country To A Tipping Point

For twenty-six days Ukrainians have stood in protest demanding that their president, Viktor Yanukovych, reject the blandishments of autocratic Russia. Instead, they insist that he sign a free trade agreement with – and embrace the democratic standards of – the European Union. The crowds in Kyiv’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) have ebbed and surged from thousands to as many as half a million, defying bracing winter temperatures to stand up for their country’s European future.

With a population of 45 million on the border of the European Union, Ukraine’s sovereignty and its ability to withstand Moscow’s pressures to amalgamate into its military-political space is crucial to ensuring that an authoritarian Russia never reemerges as a world power. The stakes in Kyiv are therefore crucial to securing the future of a peaceful democratic Europe.

More here




Jackie Calmes: An Indispensable Player On Obama’s Team Takes His Leave, At Last

Pete Rouse, President Obama’s “indispensable man” with a low profile and big footprint, is the quirky insider who built the Obama organization, hired nearly everyone from the White House chief of staff on down, plotted strategy and regularly said he was about to leave.  Mr. Rouse, 67, swears he finally is leaving at year’s end, nine years after agreeing only to help Mr. Obama, the newly elected senator from Illinois, set up his office. For once, people are starting to believe him — including his boss. “It will be a tough loss,” Mr. Obama said in a brief interview on Wednesday, acknowledging Mr. Rouse’s departure plans. Then he added, “But it may be a situation where he feels more comfortable with some discreet assignments here and there, and certainly I will continue to rely on him for the good counsel and advice that I really can’t get from any other people in this town.”


He has been as crucial to Mr. Obama as any presidential adviser in history. “I trust him completely,” Mr. Obama said in the interview. “He is a model of discretion and he has no ego, and he’s as wise as they come. So I think it’s fair to say that for the remainder of my term in office he will continue to be somebody who I talk to a lot and rely on heavily.” This year, Mr. Rouse internally announced his exit every season, but then always found reasons to stay — to vet second-term personnel, smooth summertime conflicts with senators over Syria policy and a new Federal Reserve chairman, and help with strategy during the fall budget showdowns with Republicans. “I can’t just walk out of here now,” he told a reporter in late summer, explaining another postponement.


Soon after Mr. Obama’s re-election, Mr. Rouse said, he told the president that he would help with second-term staffing issues and then depart. “Four months?” Mr. Obama asked him. Sure, Mr. Rouse replied, he would stay four months. Weeks later, Mr. Obama told advisers in a January meeting that Mr. Rouse had committed to stay the year. As surprised colleagues looked at Mr. Rouse, he objected, “Excuse me, but I thought we said four months.” “Whatever,” Mr. Obama replied.

More here




On This Day:

President Obama meets with, from left, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Special Assistant to the President Gary Samore, Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., regarding arms control and non-proliferation, in the Situation Room of the White House, Dec. 17, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama signs the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House, Dec. 17, 2010 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a “Toys for Tots” service project at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., Dec. 17, 2010 (Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling December 17, 2010

121 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. 1 utaustinliberal
    December 17, 2013 at 10:09 am


    Being a CHEATER like Chips.

  2. 3 jackiegrumbacher
    December 17, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Best possible way to greet a new day–photos of our beautiful FLOTUS!

  3. 6 jackiegrumbacher
    December 17, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Congratulations, UT. Glad to get the silver to your gold.

    • 7 utaustinliberal
      December 17, 2013 at 10:11 am

      Oh no, Jackie, my first doesn’t count. I authored the post and was just messing around. You are first. Congrats! 😀

  4. 8 Gazelle
    December 17, 2013 at 10:12 am

    [POTUS Alert! POTUS Alert! Steve Harvey Show, Friday, Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. ET. And MSM (probably WHPC) went on a whining binge! ]

    Steve Harvey interviewed President Barack Obama for his daytime talk show and learned that he shared a lot more in common with the president than he anticipated.

    The former comedian and current host of The Steve Harvey Show visited the White House and left politics aside when he talked to President Obama. Instead, he touched on more personal topics that drew close to home for the two men.

    “The greatest moment in that interview for me was [when] he was talking about his grandmother, who he misses so,” Harvey told NBC4 days following his interview with President Obama. “She passed in her eighties and my mom passed in her eighties.

    More here: http://thegrio.com/2013/12/16/steve-harvey-interviews-president-obama-at-the-white-house/

  5. 10 amk for obama
    December 17, 2013 at 10:13 am

  6. 11 utaustinliberal
    December 17, 2013 at 10:17 am

    I LOVE this law!!!!!

  7. December 17, 2013 at 10:21 am

    • December 17, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Chortle!! Excuse me Chips, I’m being handed a bulletin. This just in: Brazilian intelligence rejects Snowden’s offer. “We don’t need any help doing our jobs. Why should we let some third string hacker horn in on our fun?” says one Brazilian spymaster who spoke on the condition of anonymity. No word yet on how the Crummy News Network will spin this.

  8. 15 utaustinliberal
    December 17, 2013 at 10:23 am

  9. 16 Gazelle
    December 17, 2013 at 10:25 am

    [Yes. Retire.]

    Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) has remained a fixture in Congress for over 40 years, despite weathering an embarrassing ethics scandal and routinely clashing with President Obama and the White House.


    Under the subject line “Reflections,” Rangel wrote: “As I look to the future, it is clear to me that our country is at a crossroads … With that said, I have been contemplating my own future and the role I want to play in the fight with my family. I plan to make a decision shortly and will announce before the holidays. Please stay tuned.”

    More here: http://thegrio.com/2013/12/16/is-charlie-rangel-contemplating-stepping-down/

    • 17 anniebella
      December 17, 2013 at 10:57 am

      You won’t fine me shedding a tear over Rangel contemplating retirement.

    • 19 Vicki
      December 17, 2013 at 11:13 am

      We have many qualified NY Dems who would be happy to vie for that seat in the House

    • 20 Don
      December 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

      Rep. Rangel and many of the old guard African American congress people always had a problem with President Obama, maybe it was the fact that President Obama didn’t play their game of talking big but doing little. Honestly, President Obama would have achieved all of his goals even if Rep. Rangel wasn’t in congress. President Obama has so little use for Rangel and his ilk, all of them should rethink their reasons for continuing in office.

  10. 23 hopefruit2
    December 17, 2013 at 10:29 am

    While the grifters & dudebros are griping and sniping, our President is constructing, building, developing, PROGRESSING….

  11. 24 Gazelle
    December 17, 2013 at 10:30 am

    [South Carolina just got interesting! Bye-bye Tim!]:

    Rick Wade says he doesn’t consider himself the underdog in his upcoming run for U.S. Senate from South Carolina.

    The race will pit two African-Americans against each other, with Wade facing the incumbent, Tim Scott, who was appointed by governor Nikki Haley to fill the seat vacated by Jim DeMint January 1st.

    Wade, 51, announced his entry into the race on Friday, releasing a statement saying, “the people of South Carolina understand that Washington is broken. If we are going to solve the big problems we face and get things done, our representatives must be accountable to their constituents. That starts with three commitments: First and foremost, is the commitment to listen to the people, secondly, a promise to work for bipartisan solutions to fix our problems, and thirdly, a commitment to reduce the influence of special interests that have enjoyed too much power in Washington for too long.” […..]


  12. 25 Linda
    December 17, 2013 at 10:31 am

    10:45: President Obama and VP Biden meet with executives from leading technology companies like Google and Apple to discuss ways to improve the functioning of HealthCare.gov


    What ? What ? This cannot be correct……TeaNN told me this meeting is about the NSA spying.

    • 26 hopefruit2
      December 17, 2013 at 11:09 am

      Yes, this is what the media has been reporting. They are so obsessed with this NSA crap. Now that ACA is doing fine – they don’t want to talk about it anymore. This is our media for you.

    • 27 Don
      December 17, 2013 at 11:19 am

      I thought they were meeting to discuss NSA issues…….oh well.

  13. 28 utaustinliberal
    December 17, 2013 at 10:32 am


  14. 29 JER
    December 17, 2013 at 10:39 am

  15. 30 Gazelle
    December 17, 2013 at 10:42 am

    [Damn, everyone is claiming PBO! I’ll put in a bid for MD — he’s flown out of MD, drove the streets of MD, waved to me in MD, said “I love you back!” in MD! And so on! 🙂 ]

    “Early next year, Obama advisers are expected to announce a search for a home for Mr. Obama’s foundation and library, a project that some of the president’s closest financial supporters estimate could cost more than $500 million,” the New York Times reports.

    More here: http://politicalwire.com/archives/2013/12/17/advisers_already_planning_obama_library.html

  16. 37 MightyPamela
    December 17, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Mornin’ y’all. Tea, anyone? {{{{{TOD}}}}}

  17. 41 JER
    December 17, 2013 at 10:44 am

  18. December 17, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Forget ABC, CBS, NBC and all those other cheesy networks and cable “news” orgs, just come to TOD and read Chips’ and ut’s brilliant Rise & Shine round-ups. Everything we need is here without all the lies, distortions and pearl clutching, handwringing twits who call themselves journos and pundits. No thanks!

    • 46 hopefruit2
      December 17, 2013 at 11:13 am

      You’ve said it all meta. You’ve SAID it all!!! 🙂

    • December 17, 2013 at 11:18 am

      I don’t know why you say that meta. Why only last night I saw a report proving that when it rains in Seattle it’s a conspiracy to deflect from the fact a government website works. The President’s fault obviously but it did make for some serious journalism. Well that and the report about the multi-colored shoe strings. Wow that was heavy.

  19. 48 amk for obama
    December 17, 2013 at 11:14 am

  20. 49 hopefruit2
    December 17, 2013 at 11:16 am

  21. 50 amk for obama
    December 17, 2013 at 11:23 am

    • 51 57andfemale
      December 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      Oddly enough, I work with an elderly maiden lady who is of that 8%. She goes to mass every. single. day. And believes in Catholicism a la Rush Limbaugh: “The Pope wants to take everyone’s money away.”


      The liberal Catholic lady that we also work with loves to look her in the eye and tell her that she’s going to be struck by lightning.

    • 53 57andfemale
      December 17, 2013 at 11:58 am

      If we hadn’t had a traitorous Congress and MSM, PBO would have had marshalled the best recovery since Roosevelt. He would have been (and should be) a hero.

    • 54 anniebella
      December 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      And then these right wing tea party haters have the darn nerve to talk about how President Obama haven’t done anything. They are all bold face liars.

  22. 55 JER
    December 17, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Dozens of migrants who are seeking asylum in Israel have been put back in jail; Netanyahu calls them “infiltrators” … The Israeli government says …most of the 50,000 African migrants… are illegal job-seekers who threaten the Jewish state’s social makeup. … http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/17/us-israel-migrants-idUSBRE9BG0WE20131217

    • 56 utaustinliberal
      December 17, 2013 at 11:29 am

      This is cruel and disgusting. They “threaten the Jewish state’s social make-up.”

      Wow, prejudiced scumbags much?

    • 57 57andfemale
      December 17, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      Trust me, this is a perversion of the Judaism in which I was raised. I have been ashamed of Israel for a very long time.

    • 59 hopefruit2
      December 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      There’s nothing more that the media would love to do than to just camp out in Hawaii with their spy glasses and khaki clothes to go “Obama watching” for that 2-wk period. Take pics of the First Family on the beach, shave ice outings, bookstore, etc and make up stories about the pictures.

      • 60 jacquelineoboomer
        December 17, 2013 at 1:54 pm

        Exactly. That made me chuckle. It’s as simple and as ludicrous as that, especially the “make up stories about the pictures” part.

        Hey, media, get a life.

  23. 61 dotster3
    December 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I liked this—–one marathon victim found happiness after the tragedy…

  24. 63 vcprezofan2
    December 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    There’s a short video at the link.
    A step forward for female prisoners in Nashville – December 16, 2013

    Inmates at the Tennessee Prison for Women are earning college degrees while serving time


  25. 64 dotster3
    December 17, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    • December 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      What i don’t like about this comment is that POC did not start this argument about a fictional character…it is not a both sides to this…it is Fox News promoting an order of how they think things should be…

  26. 66 vcprezofan2
    December 17, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Making bread as an immigrant in NY.

    Challah, ciabatta, lavash … and a slice of English
    December 16, 2013

    In a Harlem kitchen, breads from all over the world are made by women from all over the world


  27. 84 vcprezofan2
    December 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Hillel And Its Donors Repress Real Conversation About Israel (Sun, 12/15/2013 – Jacob Plitman)

    J Street U student leaders across the country have all had “the conversation.” It’s the moment when your Hillel director calls you into her office and tells you like it is: “If I support the work you’re doing around Israel, we could lose a major funder. It’s either you or $50,000 that will benefit all your peers.

    If we are invested in a Jewish future that includes young progressive Jews, then we have to be willing to ask our Hillels and their donors to allow space for all the students they claim to serve. It is well past time for our communal donors to stop imposing their political goals on young people, and let us develop our own. To be sure, there are countless donors to Hillel and our communal institutions who do not seek to impose their political commitments on students. Instead, they are invested in the mission to create the next generation of Jewish life with those who will be our future leaders. These generous donors are a model for giving in the Jewish community that empowers students and other young people to build the broad-based pro-Israel community that is necessary for Israel’s future and a two-state solution. Because, at the end of the day, our future — and the future of the pro-Israel community — very much depend on it.

    Jacob Plitman is the President of the J Street U National Student Board, and a senior at UNC Chapel Hill studying Peace, War and Defense. He tweets at @jacobplitman.


    • 85 57andfemale
      December 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      My veterinarian’s son is a progressive rabbi and his place of work lost its funding because of their progressivism. This J Street group of thugs are not representative of the views of many American Jews. It’s very upsetting.

      • 86 vcprezofan2
        December 17, 2013 at 1:46 pm

        I may have missed something, but I got the impression the president who wrote this article is arguing for younger Jews to have a more inclusive dialogue.

  28. 89 jacquelineoboomer
    December 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Hi, all! Not sure if this has been posted yet:

    Former Microsoft executive tapped by White House to run HealthCare.gov site


  29. 90 anniebella
    December 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    FLOTUS looks lovely in that red sweater.

  30. 91 JER
    December 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm

  31. 92 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm

  32. 99 HZ
    December 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Another great Good Morning to my TOD family. Thanks UT for another wonderful R & S. Now back to reading. HZ

  33. 100 Gazelle
    December 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    [Gubna Pawdah haz a problem! 🙂 Bet the numbers are way off!]

    Scott’s Own Poll Shows Him Trailing
    Charlie Crist (D) leads Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) by 4 points in his own internal poll, 49% to 45%, Politico reports. […..]


  34. December 17, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Good shot for Dems to retake KY CD 6 ….

  35. 102 Gazelle
    December 17, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Michael Lehnert: Here’s why It’s long past time that we close Guantánamo

    […..] Even in the earliest days of Guantánamo, I became more and more convinced that many of the detainees should never have been sent in the first place. They had little intelligence value, and there was insufficient evidence linking them to war crimes. That remains the case today for many, if not most, of the detainees.

    In retrospect, the entire detention and interrogation strategy was wrong. We squandered the goodwill of the world after we were attacked by our actions in Guantánamo, both in terms of detention and torture. Our decision to keep Guantánamo open has helped our enemies because it validates every negative perception of the United States. […..]

    More here: http://www.freep.com/article/20131212/OPINION05/312120025/Guantanamo-Bay-prison

  36. December 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    • 104 57andfemale
      December 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Let me get this straight: MSM gins up problems with the Dem’s that don’t exist, but it’s just all a game and for show when it’s the Republicans?

      Alex is one I detest the most, because she doesn’t believe the b.s. she spouts in order to rake in a hefty paycheck. If you’re really an ignorant jerk, then at least you’re consistent. She’s just a liar, and that she does it to hurt progressive causes and the best Democratic president since Roosevelt, is a travesty.

  37. December 17, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Interesting to witness Senator McCain excoriating any Senator who votes against the Budget Bill. His premise is simple – a vote against the Bill is a vote for another shutdown and that must not happen. If a Senator has a way to improve the Bill they should offer it, but it is irresponsible to vote against it.

  38. 107 Gazelle
    December 17, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    [This meme is being pushed so hard that their game doesn’t even have a semblance of nuance. Just plain hatred & idiocy. Comparing his own ratings! Come on! WP is happily jumping on that tired bandwagon. Twitter warriors, could you help in push-back, if you haven’t done so already. Thank you.]

    President Obama is ending his fifth year in office matching the worst public approval ratings of his presidency ….. [blah, blah, blah]


  39. 109 desertflower
    December 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    See this? 🙂
    Emily Cahn ‏@CahnEmily 1h
    Longtime GOP Rep. Frank Wolf announces he will not seek re-election in 2014. Democratic pick-up opportunity in NoVa burbs. #VA10
    Retweeted by Jeff Gauvin

  40. 111 Gazelle
    December 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    [OT, but something really good! San Francisco has been converting ugly pavements into “gardens.” See these conversions at the link.}


  41. 113 Gazelle
    December 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    [UT, this one’s especially for you! Yet another Obamacare happy moment w/ video!]:

    When I opened my mail on Monday, what did I find? A shiny new insurance card from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan — for my coverage purchased at Healthcare.gov. It kicks in on January 1, 2014, exactly the way it’s supposed to.

    The video below captures how I felt at that moment. Except I was shouting “The new insurance card is here! The new insurance card is here!” (Also, I’m not a jerk.)

    But I definitely did the happy-jumping-around thing. […..]

    More here: http://www.eclectablog.com/2013/12/obamacare-is-working-just-as-it-should-people-are-getting-covered.html

  42. December 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm

  43. 117 Linda
    December 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah says he won’t run for an eighth term in Congress.

    Blue Dog …….Bye !

  44. 119 Gazelle
    December 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    [I just love the magnificent duo! 🙂 ]

    With President Barack Obama departing for Hawaii this Friday, he and Vice President Joe Biden will today have their last private White House luncheon of 2013. Their 32nd scheduled lunch of the year will be at 12:30 PM in the Oval Office Private Dining Room, the site of most of their chats over chow. […..]

    [Lunch] will be followed by a meeting with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in the Oval Office. The closed meeting is at 4:15 PM.


  45. 120 Linda
    December 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The attorney who helped get George Zimmerman acquitted of murder charges earlier this year is being investigated by the Florida Bar after a complaint was filed against him over how he conducted the case.

    Bar spokeswoman Francine Walker said in an email Tuesday that the complaint against Mark O’Mara is at the “staff investigation level” and that she couldn’t provide further information due to confidentiality rules.

    An O’Mara spokesman said he planned to release a statement later. O’Mara no longer represents Zimmerman in criminal matters.

    Of more than 7,000 complaint files opened this year, roughly 200 have led to discipline.


    Nice hire TeaNN…..

  46. 121 amk for obama
    December 17, 2013 at 3:22 pm

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