Rise and Shine


Malia Obama, Sasha Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, and Bobby Titcomb attend the Oregon State University versus University of Akron college basketball game at the Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu



HHs.gov: Greetings Again From Texas

Greetings again from Texas.  I just had the opportunity to visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Clinic which is doing some great work here in Dallas to help Texans learn about their new options under the Affordable Care Act. I wanted to share the stories of a couple of these people who I met today in Dallas: Misty Parker is a 31 year-old who works with a community-oriented startup company, which does not currently offer insurance.  Misty says that because of the Health Insurance Marketplace, with financial help, she was able to sign up for a Bronze plan for $38 a month.  She had questions, but Misty says she was able to get answers from the call center.

I also met Amanda Waddle, who shared her and her husband Brian’s story about getting covered through the Marketplace.  They both enjoy playing hockey and were concerned about what might happen if they got injured on the ice. A 26-year-old graduate student, Amanda said she couldn’t afford insurance on the private market.  Brian also didn’t have coverage despite working two jobs as a waiter and a broadcast statistician for the Dallas Stars hockey team.  Thanks to the choices, competition, and financial help in the Marketplace, Amanda says she and her husband were able to get covered for only $105 a month.  She also signed up for a dental plan for $10 a month.

So I invite you to follow Misty’s and Amanda’s  lead!  You can learn about your new options online at HealthCare.gov or by phone at 1-800-318-2596/TTY 1-855-889-4325.  You can also find help in your community at localhelp.healthcare.gov. You have more than three months, until the end of March to enroll in coverage for 2014.  If you’d like your coverage to begin January 1st, you have until December 23 to sign up.

More here


Basketball Video Here





Matthew Yglesias: What You Need To Know About Today’s Obamacare Deadline

So here’s the key thing: Today is the last day to sign up if you want to get insurance coverage that starts in January of next yearBut if you’re currently uninsured and you don’t sign up today, nothing bad happens to you. It’s just that starting on January 1 you’ll still be uninsured. You have until March to sign up and avoid paying the individual mandate fee.  The main reason an uninsured person will probably want to sign up for an exchange plan is the same as the main reason that people whose employers offer work-linked insurance plans generally sign up—due to subsidies it’s a good deal in actuarial terms for most people, and even when it isn’t the sense of confidence and security (“insurance,” some might call it) offered by insurance coverage is valuable.

More here




Jennifer Epstein: Jarrett: Obama To Buy Health Insurance By End Of The Day

President Obama plans to sign up for health insurance through an Affordable Care Act exchange before the end of the day Monday, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said. Jarrett made the announcement in an interview with April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks, apparently ahead of the White House’s planned rollout. Officials did not respond to repeated requests for confirmation. The White House first said back in 2010 that the president, who has coverage through the federal government and gets his care from White House doctors, would sign up for insurance through an exchange.

More here




Ian Millhiser: Justice Department Calls In The Big Guns To Stop Voter Suppression

It’s difficult to exaggerate the prominence Stanford Law Professor Pam Karlan enjoys within the progressive legal community. Karlan is one of the most active members of the Supreme Court bar — among other things, she co-authored the brief that convinced the justices to strike down the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act last June. She is a former litigator for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and she is among the most widely regarded voting rights experts in the nation. So when the Justice Department revealed on Friday that Karlan would become the nation’s top voting rights attorney, it was as if Marsellus Wallace called up the many voters being disenfranchised in states like Texas and North Carolina, and told them that he’s sending The Wolf.

Karlan will take over as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division’s voting rights section. In this role, she will oversee the Justice Department’s most important challenges to voter suppression laws — including its efforts to restore federal oversight of Texas’ election law and its challenge to the nation’s worst voter suppression law in North Carolina. As a senior member of the Civil Rights Division, Karlan will work under soon-to-be Assistant Attorney General Debo Adegbile, who President Obama recently nominated as the nation’s top civil rights attorney. Like Karlan, Adegbile is himself a leading expert on voting rights law

More here




Zack Ford: New Mexico Supreme Court: Marriage Equality Is State Law

The New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday that same-sex marriage is legal across the state, cementing it as the 17th state to offer full marriage equality to same-sex couples. The state had been a bit of an oddity, in that it had no specific prohibition nor allowance written into law, leaving marriage equality an open question. The Court noted that although some of the marriage laws stipulate gender-specific language, preventing same-sex couples would deprive them of their rights

More here



USA Today: Utah Same-Sex Marriage Ban Back In Court

A federal judge on Monday is set to consider a request from the state of Utah to block gay weddings that have been taking place since Friday when the state’s same-sex marriage ban was overturned. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled Utah’s law passed violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights under the 14th Amendment. Lawyers for the state want the ruling put on hold as they appeal the decision that has put Utah in the national spotlight because of its long-standing opposition to gay marriage. Shelby will hold a hearing on the request Monday morning. On Sunday, a federal appeals court rejected the state’s emergency request stay the ruling, saying they couldn’t rule on a stay since Shelby hasn’t acted on the motion before him.

Following Shelby’s surprising ruling Friday afternoon, gay and lesbian couples rushed to a county clerk’s office in Salt Lake City to get marriage licenses. More than 100 couples wed as others cheered them on in what became an impromptu celebration an office building about three miles from the headquarters of the Mormon church. Hundreds of couples are expected to arrive at county clerks offices early Monday morning in hopes of getting marriage licenses before a possible halt if Shelby grants the stay its request. Legal experts say that even if a stay is granted, the licenses that have already been issued will likely still be valid. For now, a state considered as one of the most conservative in the nation has joined the likes of California and New York to become the 18th state where same-sex couples can legally wed.

More here




Powerful Must-Read Op Ed —-> Timothy Egan: Good Poor, Bad Poor

As the year ends, this argument is playing out in two of the most meanspirited actions left on the table by the least-productive Congress in modern history. The House, refuge of the shrunken-heart caucus, has passed a measure to eliminate food aid for four million Americans, starting next year. Many who would remain on the old food stamp program may have to pass a drug test to get their groceries. At the same time, Congress has let unemployment benefits expire for 1.3 million people, beginning just a few days after Christmas. These actions have nothing to do with bringing federal spending into line, and everything to do with a view that poor people are morally inferior.

For the record, the baseline benefit for those getting help under the old food stamp program works out to $1.40 a meal. And the average check for those on emergency unemployment is $300 a week. If you cut them off cold, the argument goes, these desperate folks would soon find a job and put real food on the table. They are poor because they are weak. I met a wheat farmer not long ago in Montana whose family operation was getting nearly $300,000 a year in federal subsidies. With his crop in, this wealthy farmer was looking forward to spending a month in Hawaii. No one suggested that he pass a drug test to continue receiving his sizable handout, or that he be cut off cold, and encouraged to grow something that taxpayers wouldn’t have to subsidize.

This week, Mayor Mike Bloomberg tried not to sound like a plutocrat out of Dickens when asked about the homeless girl, Dasani, at the center of Andrea Elliott’s extraordinary series in The New York Times — a Dickensian tale for the modern age. “The kid was dealt a bad hand,” Bloomberg said. “I don’t know why. That’s just the way God works. Sometimes some of us are lucky, and some of us are not.” And in that, he echoed my mother at Christmas. Luck is the residue of design, as the saying has it. But the most careful lives can be derailed — by cancer, a huge medical bill, a freak slap of weather, a massive failure of the potato crop. Virtue cannot prevent a “bad hand” from being dealt. And making the poor out to be lazy, or dependent, or stupid, does not make them less poor. It only makes the person saying such a thing feel superior.

More here







Steve Benen: An Alternative Look At Obama’s 5th Year

When books are written on Barack Obama’s presidency, it’s unlikely that his fifth year will be celebrated as the pinnacle of his tenure. On the contrary, it’s a year White House officials almost certainly consider a disappointment. But I’m not sure it’s been quite as disastrous as advertised. For much of the Beltway, that the year was an abject disaster is a foregone conclusion. The premise of these analyses seems a little excessive. Consider: Twice congressional Republicans threatened debt-ceiling default; twice Obama stood his ground; and twice the GOP backed down before Congress did real harm. The presidential leadership helped establish a new precedent that will benefit Obama, his successors, and the country.

Congressional Republicans shut down the government to extract White House concessions. Obama and congressional Democrats stood firm and the GOP backed down. The Obama administration forged an international agreement to rid Syria of chemical weapons, struck a historic nuclear deal with Iran, and brought Israelis and Palestinians to the table together for the first peace talks in years. The economy has steadily improved, and 2013 is on pace to be the best year for U.S. job creation since 2005 and the second best since 1999. The “scandals” the media hyped relentlessly in the spring proved to be largely meaningless, and while the president’s poll numbers have dropped, his standing is roughly at the same point as two years ago.

More here











92 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. 1 Dudette
    December 23, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Woot! About time!

  2. December 23, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Woot Woot for Número Uno, Dudette! Can’t believe I’m on Rise and Shine!

  3. 7 Dudette
    December 23, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I withdraw my snark. This post is JAM-PACKED with some good stuff! This kinda brilliance takes time!

    Bows to you UT! Blog Tyrant Extraordinaire!!! 😀

  4. 10 MightyPamela
    December 23, 2013 at 11:46 am


  5. 11 Dudette
    December 23, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Today’s C-Day (Coverage Day), so I present a shameless plea for re-tweetage!

  6. December 23, 2013 at 11:48 am

    What’s new Dudette? Are you ready for Christmas? What’s your plan? I’m going for the Twelve a Days of Christmas. It starts on Christmas Day! Lasts until Jan. 6. Epiphany.

    • 14 Dudette
      December 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      Girl, I’m not even close to being ready. Yes, I will be in the stores today and tomorrow. Will probably be up all night wrapping gifts tomorrow. Grocery shopping? Not done. House cleaning? So not done. In fact, I need to get my butt in gear and get on with the gettin’ now. Tons to do!

      I’ll leave you with some Christmas cheer on my way out 🙂

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everybody!

  7. 18 Dudette
    December 23, 2013 at 11:48 am

  8. December 23, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Faaaaaaantastic UT, thank you sooooooo much – and to think I was meant to be R&Sing this morning and you got 2 seconds’ notice 😳

  9. 22 Nena20409
    December 23, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Good Morning TODville Community.


    So when Mrs Obama said wearing shorts in AZ or NV was regrettable 😉 she Punk’d the haters. I so LOVE her style. This time the shorts got much shorter.

    Remember folks Nancy Reagan and Hillary both wore swimming suits. Jackie O, I am not sure, but I thought I had seen a picture of Jackie O.


    • 23 idon
      December 23, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Yes. Jackie has been photographed in both shorts and a swimsuit.

      • 24 anniebella
        December 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm

        Jackie O was white. Makes all the difference to these people.

        • 25 Nena20409
          December 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm

          That and coupled with the wicked willful laziness as displayed currently by our Nation Media. They refuse to accurately report any story with content or context

      • 27 Nena20409
        December 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm

        Thanks Layla. I am talking about while Jackie O was FLOTUS.

        Nancy and Hillary wore one piece bathing suits respectively while as FLOTUS.

        • 28 carolyn
          December 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm

          I just finished reading a book about JFK’s and Jackie’s last years….and it brought many events back to mind. After their son Patrick’s sad death in August 1963, Jackie went to Greece and was a guest on Ari Onassis’ yacht…..much to JFK’s displeasure. She sailed for about two weeks, I think. I remember at the time the paparazzi followed her like Diana in the 80s. There were all sorts of pictures of her in bathing suit, shorts…typical Greek Island vacation wear. Many people of course were disapproving, but that did not lessen the devotion to and adoration of her.

          • 29 Nena20409
            December 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm

            Thanks Carolyn. So far I have found 3. In 1962 Jackie Kennedy wearing a one piece bathing suit being sold at Ebay. Then 2 pics where Mrs Kennedy was wearing shorts with John, John at her side and another just with her family. I an unable to post the pictures here. I have not seen the pictures of her trip to Greece. I do remember in the 1990s seeing clicks. Thanks for reminding my easily forgetful Brains.

  10. 30 Don
    December 23, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Great work UT!!!

  11. 32 Nena20409
    December 23, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Just a question when did the pictorial POTUS Santa disappear? Today is 23rd. Still many Hours before POTUS Santa to deliver his HO HO TODable gifts, right?

  12. 33 Nena20409
    December 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Gold for our TODable DJ, Dudette 😉

  13. 35 utaustinliberal
    December 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm

  14. December 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Yet another fantastic R&S, UT. Thank you!!!!

    Regarding the poor ….

    We must do better.

    Yes We Can

  15. 38 Dudette
    December 23, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Had to post this great story

  16. December 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    As I was baking cookies Saturday I thought of Chips and what next year will be like if she bakes cookies. Sprawled out on my tiny kitchen floor is an 80 lb retriever making it hard to move. My eggs were in the sink hidden from view I thought. While I was rereading the recipe on the couch out comes this beautiful blonde looking sheepish. I knew he had something in his mouth. Yes, it was an egg. Since he was a retriever I was able to recover the egg unbroken. After the cookies were mixed and I was rolling them and putting on the cookie sheets this Bear bellied up to the sink like he was washing the dishes; and he was as only a dog can. I really wish I’d had a camera to take one of my signature bad pictures.
    When the cookies came out of the oven it was very hard to keep them away from my Bear. I had 100% success until Dad woke up and distracted me. He only got one though. He got a very good cracked sugar cookie warm from the oven.
    Have fun baking cookies next year Chips! 😀

  17. 54 Nena20409
    December 23, 2013 at 12:31 pm



    Former Massachusetts Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez (R) attacked two Republican activists on Facebook saying they and their small “‘Klan’ are an embarrassment to our civil society.”

    Gomez, writing on his Facebook page, criticized GOP activist Rob Eno and Worcester, Massachusetts official Chris Pinto. In the Facebook comment, now deleted, Gomez wrote:

    Could not copy the tweets. Interesting. Hmm?

  18. 55 0388jojothecat
    December 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks for posting the video of the entire Obama and extended family at the basketball game. I am glad most of the folks in Oahu appreciate and understand that the President and First Lady’s safety comes first and are patient. It kills me that the “paid” haters who rush to post nasty things do so because it’s their only job it appears. I feel sorry for people who live their lives having to go around writing nasty comments on websites.

  19. December 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    So the qestion is now what is the best way to help the least among us…the question is not about the how to remedy the growing inequality….the conversation has become that we should not help them at all because they are not worthy….

    we demean them as human beings….they are not worthy if the citizen rights of this country…they do not matter….

    We cannot allow this to stand!….

  20. 58 desertflower
    December 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    More on this…with Carlos Santana saying that because this has caused such a good outpouring of love all over the world, he thinks that we need a 24 hr news station that only reports of GOOD NEWS, GOOD DEEDS, and GOOD Feelings…..because goodness begets goodness….enough with the negative! Less money for the Pentagon, more money for love, he says:) Amen!!


  21. December 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Happy Christmas Eve Eve, everybody. 🙂

  22. 62 Layla
    December 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Tears of joy for my quadriplegic patient!!!!! Coming home today from the hospital just in time for Christmas with the family!!!!! Thank you Lord!!!!!!!I will be at work starting tomorrow!!!!!

    • December 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      PRAISES, Layla! That is fabulous news……and what a Christmas present and blessing. So happy for all involved.

      • 64 Layla
        December 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm

        TY Lala!!! This is a young man, a construction worker, who fell off a roof and became a quadriplegic, He is on a ventilator at home. The couple has triplets!!!!!

    • 65 No Child Left Behind
      December 23, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      The best Christmas present! I am joyful with you.

      • 66 Layla
        December 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm

        God bless you NCLB!!!!!!!!!!!

        • 67 HZ
          December 23, 2013 at 6:55 pm

          Your spirit is one of so much compassion, professionalism, and a loving heart for healing so many who need so much medical love with loving care. (((((((((((((((((((( My prayers are always inclusive of your beautiful work and spirit)))))))))))))))))))))))HZ

  23. 68 No Child Left Behind
    December 23, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    The New York Times ‏@nytimes 10m
    Breaking News: White House Extends Health Care Deadline by One Day


    • 69 Vicki
      December 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      This is genius because it must be driving the GOP over-the-edge.
      Every time the Administation changes a deadline or modifies a rule the MSM try to spin it as a negative. Hahahahahahaha!

      I see each change as a series of winning messages from the WH:
      message 1—-“We will fix this thing to make it work as well as it can.”
      message 2—-“We hear you when you state a problem and right now we are fixing your problem.”
      message 3——” We OWN this Obamacare and are thrilled to be offering it to the American people. We will not rest until the ACA is serving and serving well.”
      message 4——-‘Whine all you want MSMGOPTP. With you or without youthis thing rolls on.”

  24. 73 Linda
    December 23, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a second request by the state of Utah to put an emergency block on same-sex marriages in the state.

    The second emergency motion, filed by acting state Attorney General Brian Tarbet on Monday, came after a similar request was denied by the 10th Circuit on Sunday.

  25. December 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Good morning fellow Obama sychophants!

    Nothing says “Christmas in L.A.” like a week of temperatures in the low 70s. Freaking awesome! And, it gets nippy at night, so we can still pretend it’s winter.

    • 75 desertflower
      December 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      I hear you:) !! Same here in PHX…THIS is why we live here! I love it.

    • 77 vcprezofan2
      December 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Grrrrrrr! This celebration is why I felt no ‘pity’ for you and GGail recently! Grrrrr!.
      Meanwhile, I’m looking at a driveway frozen with thick ice and a crusty barrier at the edge which the snow plow created. 🙄 Offspring tried to chip away some of the barrier earlier to see if I could get out to go grocery shopping. Looks like I might be able to do it, though I’m not sure what the reentry will be like upon my return. I’m building up my courage to try when the mood hits.

      • December 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm

        Gosh, vc. I just popped out and did all my grocery shopping in the sunshine. Everyone is in a good mood and smiling!!

        • 79 vcprezofan2
          December 23, 2013 at 11:41 pm

          /lips smiling; eyes reflecting the driveway/ That’s nice, Meta! /okay, another CA name added to my ‘grrrrr!’ list for gleefully flaunting their inappropriate winter weather/

  26. December 23, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Have you heard from Lovely Plains Chips?
    Hope he is feeling okay.

  27. 81 Bill R.
    December 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm

  28. 82 anniebella
    December 23, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Hay the First Daughters are eating hot dogs.

  29. 83 Nena20409
    December 23, 2013 at 1:19 pm


    The tide is turning in favor of President Obama’s long-suffering bid to shut down Guantanamo Bay.

    Obama issued an executive order to close the Cuba-based detention facility on the opening days of his presidency. Five years later, it remains open, a sharp reminder of the chasm between the idealism of campaigning and the harsh reality of governing.

    But after years of setbacks, the president is making progress toward closing the base—and Congress is helping.

    The administration is using the limited executive authority it has to move prisoners out. And following two and a half years in which the administration transferred no detainees, the last few months have seen a series of aggressive moves to transfer prisoners elsewhere, dwindling Gitmo’s population to 158 as of Dec. 20.

  30. 84 desertflower
    December 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm



    Water gushed from a massive water main break that left thousands of Philadelphia residents, businesses and dozens of schools for miles around without water the day before Christmas Eve.

    For those without service it could take a while to get the faucet going again. Philadelphia Water Department officials gave no time table outside of saying it’s expected to take several hours to locate the exact source of the break in the 48-inch line.

    By early afternoon, crews had dug up pieces of asphalt as heavy machinery cleaned debris left by the large amount of water and mud.

    Within minutes, thousands lost water service around the city. The break affected water customers in eight different zip codes (19121, 19122, 19123, 19124, 19130, 19134, 19137, 19140). Water Department spokesman John DiGiulio said reverse 911 calls would be made to alert customers of the outage.

  31. 85 Nena20409
    December 23, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Perhaps, April and her WHPC should pay attention to the many Americans about to be terminated from receiving UI in 5 days? POTUS has Doctors traveling wherever he goes and ACA is not an issue for him.

  32. 86 Nena20409
    December 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Judge says if Marriage Equality is the FOOD of equality, Play on……..Oh Yeah…..Happy Christmas in UT for the LGBTQ community.


  33. 87 Nena20409
    December 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    OHIO may be the Next Marriage Equality State?



    CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal judge has declared in a ruling that applies only to death certificates that Ohio’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

    In his decision Monday, Judge Timothy Black orders state officials to recognize such unions on death certificates. Although his ruling applies narrowly, his statements about Ohio’s gay-marriage ban are sweeping and expected to incite further litigation challenging the law.

    In his lengthy decision, the Cincinnati-based judge says that “once you get married lawfully in one state, another state cannot summarily take your marriage away.”

  34. 88 Nena20409
    December 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    So POTUS signed up over the WKD. ACA that is. Obama Cares.

    Now critics say: It doesn’t matter? Now the same critics who were screaming their heads out?

  35. 91 Linda
    December 23, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Ad against GOP on unemployment insurance

  36. 92 cookemom
    December 23, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    So PBO signs up for the Bronze ACA plan, which he will pay for personally, even though he doesn’t have to. He and his family are fully covered under his coverage as CIC of the military.

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