Eary Bird Chat

MoooOOOooorning Early Birds!

118 Responses to “Eary Bird Chat”

  1. December 29, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Morning Chips, Layla and TOD!

    What beautiful pictures of the First Couple. Very, very nice.

  2. 8 Roberta in Mn
    December 29, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Good Morning Chips. Congrats on the Silver Layla.

  3. 9 Linda
    December 29, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Woot . Good Morning

    HONOLULU (AP) β€” A December surge propelled health care sign-ups through the government’s rehabilitated website past the 1 million mark, the Obama administration said Sunday, reflecting new signs of life for the problem-plagued federal insurance exchange.

    Of the more than 1.1 million people now enrolled, nearly 1 million signed up in December, with the majority coming in the week before a pre-Christmas deadline for coverage to start in January. Compare that to a paltry 27,000 in October β€”the website’s first, error-prone month β€” or 137,000 in November.


  4. December 29, 2013 at 8:04 am

    GM, TOD. Traveling home today.. Prayers appreciated..

  5. 11 Layla
    December 29, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Awwww! baby dog learns how to howl……

  6. 16 amk for obama
    December 29, 2013 at 8:14 am

    phew. finished sending individual NY greetings to 300 odd people.

    So, has danny finished eating up the tree? Destroy the evidence so to speak?

  7. 28 dotster3
    December 29, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Gregory is on NBC with a preview of MTP, having to admit that the new Benghazi report “bolsters the initial claims by the administration”. He looked sad saying that. But he quickly regrouped and added something possibly bad about Obamacare. Whew. That was a close one, David. You risked getting fired on the spot, allowing something positive to sneak out of your mouth like that.

  8. 31 isonprize
    December 29, 2013 at 8:20 am

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Oh, how I love, love, LOVE to wake up and know that Barack Hussein Obama is my president and Michelle Robinson Obama is my First Lady!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • 32 anniebella
      December 29, 2013 at 9:44 am

      It will be a very difficult day when POTUS and FLOTUS walk out of that White House for the last time. I just wipe away a tear. 😦

  9. 33 amk for obama
    December 29, 2013 at 8:23 am

  10. 35 jackiegrumbacher
    December 29, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Chips, thanks for the great eye opener this morning. One of our baby girl’s gifts to us (aside from joy and laughter) was a winter cold, so I’ve been fighting stuffy head, scratchy throat and an annoying cough. Yuck! Hope you get your tree issue resolved. Does your insurance cover it?

    • 36 Jovie
      December 29, 2013 at 8:28 am

      Take a kids aspirin and children’s flintstones vitamin.

    • December 29, 2013 at 8:31 am

      Ooooh Jackie, you poor thing, keep cozy and shake that darn thing off!

      Hoping the tree business will be sorted smoothly – don’t know about the insurance, will nervously check it out if it comes to it!

      • December 29, 2013 at 11:47 am

        Insurance doesn’t have to be nasty, our niece fainted in my kitchen one Thanksgiving and hit her head on the cupboard. Lost some hair, gained stitches. Grandpa and hubby took her to emergency room because folks had not arrived yet, just a few hundred miles away. Anyway, we just called our homeowners insurance and they payed the bills. No hard feelings, nothing.

        • December 29, 2013 at 11:50 am

          Ah, that’s excellent Carol, you hear so many horror stories, great to hear one about a company acting reasonably!

          • December 29, 2013 at 1:09 pm

            Chips, I think most claims are handled that way. You just hear about the bad ones. We get shingles blown off in windstorms, hail damage on cars, roofs, run into deer while driving on our roads, our fence was blown down by wind, etc. Just call, but talk to neighbors and see is they will call or you. Don’t worry, it will work out. Oh and there are vitamin type pills for Danny’s poop to keep it from killing the grass or so they advertise. Check out Drs. Foster and Smith I think it is. πŸ˜‰

  11. 43 Layla
    December 29, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Off to work! Day 6..only 4 more to go! Everybody have a great day!

  12. 44 99ts
    December 29, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Good morning everyone – in just 30 minutes in my world time it will be my birthday – and it is really special this year – because last year I was obviously doing GOP maths and I added an extra year to my age – so this year I can stay the same age – sometimes I worry about my sanity

    However – the good news is – I can have 2 birthdays – one using my world time & one using TOD world time – I have explained this to the family so they understand why there will be 2 days wherein they will have to do the cooking and the cleaning and the present giving. Daughter and grandbabe then headed out of town for 3 days & Mr 99 is not impressed – but it sounds good to me.

    • 45 amk for obama
      December 29, 2013 at 8:43 am

      by the time you get this, 30 min will be up.

      Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    • 47 hopefruit2
      December 29, 2013 at 8:51 am

      Happy Birthday 99ts! May your day be filled with joy and relaxation πŸ™‚ Hopefully, Chips (and vc) are busy in the kitchen baking your cake.

    • December 29, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Happy double birthday 99ts!!!!! πŸ˜†

    • 50 jackiegrumbacher
      December 29, 2013 at 9:10 am

      99ts. have a wonderful birthday for two days or ten. I think your idea of getting everyone else to do the work is a great one–keep shifting your birthday forward until everyone is around and ready to do their part. Have a great, great day (days).

    • 51 theo67
      December 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Happy, Happy Birthday, 99 – we’re celebrating all around the world! Hope you have a brilliant day – in your time zone and in ours. What a brilliant idea – tell the family that you can extend this birthday as long as it takes for them to get back and completely pamper you!πŸ’

  13. 52 utaustinliberal
    December 29, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I was at an auto shop for a regular car check-up and they had the People Magazine interview. There are many more pictures and they’re all so beautiful close-up. The love in their eyes while looking at each other and their responses was so nice to see early in the morning while conducting the boring but necessary work of car maintenance.

  14. 55 utaustinliberal
    December 29, 2013 at 8:43 am


  15. 56 amk for obama
    December 29, 2013 at 8:47 am

  16. December 29, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Always great to start the day with a smiling first couple

  17. 58 forus50
    December 29, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Good Sunday morning to you all! Wow, those are gorgeous pictures of a beautiful couple. I would have to say that I have never seen a woman – in person or in a photograph – with arms and hands as beautiful as the First Lady, Michelle Obama.

    • 59 hopefruit2
      December 29, 2013 at 9:09 am

      Everyone I’ve spoken to who has seen FLOTUS in person have gushed about her flawless skin. And they ALL say that she looks even better in person than she does in the pictures!!

  18. 62 amk for obama
    December 29, 2013 at 9:12 am

  19. 63 hopefruit2
    December 29, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I thought I heard a loud noise in my back yard. Oh yes, Chuck Todd’s head just exploded after looking at these pictures.

  20. 64 Don
    December 29, 2013 at 9:13 am

    So seems as though Security Advisor Rice was correctomudo about Benghazi.

    • 65 hopefruit2
      December 29, 2013 at 9:19 am

      Last year I had an argument on Twitter with an Obama supporter back then about Susan Rice. I cautioned them to not assume that the media is telling the truth about Rice and it’s likely that in time, we will find out that Rice was correct. For some reason I can’t access my old Tweets even though I requested them from Twitter months ago.

      • 66 forus50
        December 29, 2013 at 9:28 am

        hp, you requested your archive through your Twitter settings, right? I guess you are supposed to receive an email when it’s available. I just requested it now so I’ll let you know if/when I get an email.

  21. 68 hopefruit2
    December 29, 2013 at 9:15 am

    UT, it’s time to set your DVR for the Twilight Zone New Year’s marathon! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  22. 71 Don
    December 29, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Over one million people signed up for Obamacare in December and the GOP still want to run in 2014 on repealing Obamacare?

  23. December 29, 2013 at 9:16 am

    “You can be sure that no real Programmer would be caught dead writing accounts-receivable programs in COBOL, or sorting mailing lists for People magazine. ”

    See: http://moene.org/~toon/realmen.html

    [ No, I didn’t come up with this myself – I just saved it from the Internet forgetfullness for posterity. ]

  24. 76 jackiegrumbacher
    December 29, 2013 at 9:29 am

    That luminous first photo of Michelle Obama reminded me of one of the moments in 2013 that really touched my heart. It was the night of the inauguration ball when FLOTUS stepped onto the stage, radiant in her bright red dress and bangs, and I realized how much she had grown and flowered in the four years of her husband’s presidency. As beautiful and sweet as FLOTUS looked on inauguration night 2008, the Michelle of January 2012 had come fully into her own. Our first lady has been vilified and slandered in some of the most racist and outrageous ways possible, but she has given a new meaning to the role of a politician’s wife. She is thoroughly and completely her own person, very modern, very stylish, but also able to dedicate her whole heart to causes she cares passionately about. While she gives unlimited support and love to her husband, she is NEVER an appendage to him in the way of so many political wives. And she doesn’t seem to chafe at the bit the way Hillary did, always wanting to break out on her own. As someone without political ambition herself, she has performed a highly political role, stepping lightly between land mines, supporting her husband’s positions without ever, ever seeming to push them on people. The warmth that many in the media try to deny, just shines in every encounter she has with the people she meets. She’s real, outgoing, caring, passionate and fully comfortable in her own skin and her deep love for her husband and children shines out of everything she does. We’ve been privileged to see her grow in these last years and I think she’s just hitting her stride. There isn’t any doubt in my mind that history will record her as one of the most successful, popular and best loved first ladies of all time. And we will all be grateful that we knew her, loved her and saw it all first hand.

    • 77 anniebella
      December 29, 2013 at 9:35 am

      jackie, I agree with you, I couldn’t have said it better.

    • 78 dotster3
      December 29, 2013 at 9:36 am

      A perfect observation, jackie. Agree with every word.

    • December 29, 2013 at 9:38 am

      THIS! Thank you, Jackie. Beautifully and perfectly stated.

    • 80 hopefruit2
      December 29, 2013 at 9:43 am

      Jackie this is so beautifully stated, I think Chips could save it for front-page, perhaps as part of a fitting tribute when we celebrate FLOTUS’ 50th birthday in January πŸ™‚

    • 81 amk for obama
      December 29, 2013 at 9:45 am

      well said, jackie. she ain’t no trophy wife. And she is smarter of the two since the dude can get too dreamy some times.

    • 82 forus50
      December 29, 2013 at 9:46 am

      So well said and so true. Instead of becoming withdrawn or letting the demands of the job overwhelm her or get in a rut, I love how she has grown in her role as First Lady. I did like Mrs. Bush for how well she handled the (well deserved) criticisms of her husband and she seemed to grow into the First Lady role too but frankly she didn’t do a fraction of the amount of work that Mrs. Obama has done and is doing that has making a real difference in the lives of kids and parents and servicemen and women.

    • 86 theo67
      December 29, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      Beautifully said, Jackie – I so agree with your observations. Michelle Obama has even talked about realizing the purpose of political life and the power of her platform, and the fact that she didn’t initially understand her husband’s ambitions in this realm. I think she learned just how productive she could be, and she’s used her platform very well and judiciously. It must be very satisfying.

  25. 87 forus50
    December 29, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I’m thinking that the long term unemployment benefits will get extended by January 15th. The proposed bipartisan bill, supported by the President, also has it retroactive so that’s good.

    “…Reed said the bill would offer retroactive benefits. He added that his priority is securing a filibuster-proof majority during a Senate vote scheduled for Jan. 6.

    β€œI’m now taking it step by step. The first step is the procedural vote, where we need 60 votes,” Reed said Saturday. β€œA lot of it is going to be a reflection of what my colleagues are hearing from back home.”

    On Friday, President Obama called Reed and Heller to offer his support for their bill.”


  26. 88 dotster3
    December 29, 2013 at 9:36 am

  27. 90 Vicki
    December 29, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Heads up—-Kennnedy center awards show CBS 9:00 EST.

    Funniest bit recently was Chips posting of large, clear photo titled “unknown person.”

  28. 95 amk for obama
    December 29, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Haven’t seen Ms O and Ms B together for sometime now.

  29. 96 amk for obama
    December 29, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Over 1.1 million Americans enrolled in private health plans through Healthcare.gov between October 1 and Christmas Eve, the Obama administration announced on Sunday. That includes 975,000 enrollments in December alone as the beleaguered Obamacare website was relaunched at the beginning of the month and Americans faced a December 23 deadline to sign up for plans that take effect on New Year’s Day.

    β€œAs we continue our open enrollment campaign, we experienced a welcome surge in enrollment as millions of Americans seek access to affordable health care coverage through new Health Insurance Marketplaces nationwide,” wrote Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in a Sunday morning blog post.

  30. 97 amk for obama
    December 29, 2013 at 9:52 am

  31. 98 amk for obama
    December 29, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Last month, Harold Pollack of the University of Chicago tried to tote up the number of people with a stake in the success of healthcare reform, using statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He counted 1.8 million uninsureds who had received a cancer diagnosis, 2.8 million suffering from diabetes, another million or more diagnoses with stroke, emphysema, heart disease or another serious chronic condition.

    Throw in an additional 4.6 million with asthma or other pulmonary condition or liver and thyroid disease, and you’ve got 10.3 million uninsured Americans with “significant physical health issues.” Prior to Obamacare, a huge percentage of these people, perhaps almost all of them, would have been unable to find affordable coverage at all. Now none of them can be excluded or socked with inflated premiums.

    That’s a population that easily swamps the number of those who are made worse off by the act. That latter figure, moreover, has been systematically overstated, due in part to confusion by customers and lazy news reporting.

  32. 99 anniebella
    December 29, 2013 at 9:59 am

    The third photo of POTUS and FLOTUS, look like FLOTUS is cracking POTUS up. Making him laugh, or maybe it’s stage.

  33. 100 forus50
    December 29, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I just got the archive email from Twitter so it took about 1/2 hour. The email includes the zip drive. Maybe your email went into your spam mail.

  34. 108 anniebella
    December 29, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Sound like good news from the Affordable Care Act. I think about the media and how disgusting they were in their reports about ACA and the roll out. They have the darn nerve to talk about 2013 being a bad year for the President, the media ought to be ashame of what it has become. How low it has sunk.

  35. 109 amk for obama
    December 29, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Go Gunners. Back to the top exactly mid-way.

  36. 111 desertflower
    December 29, 2013 at 10:28 am


    The ACA is killing off a college plague: junk student insurance
    One type of junk health insurance that the ACA is doing away with is the kind of crappy policy that many colleges used to push on their students. (There is one loophole extended to Jan. 1, 2015, explained below.) BusinessWeek exposed this scam in 2008:
    More than half of the insurance plans recommended by colleges offer benefits of $30,000 or less, according to a survey published in March by the General Accounting Office, an arm of Congress. Many plans have further limits that prevent payout of even modest maximums. While two-thirds of the country’s more than 17 million college students have coverage from a parent’s employer or their own job, many of the rest may be vulnerable if they suffer a serious illness or accident. With premiums and restrictions increasing under employer-provided plans, a growing number of parents are shifting children to college-sponsored coverage. But “when a student gets gravely sick, $30,000 in benefits is unrealistically low,” says Alan Sager, a professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health.
    Indeed. BusinessWeek reporters Ben Elgin and Jessica Silver-Greenberg spotlighted a 19 year-old college kid who came down with a rare nervous system disease, for which the college plan, offered by UnitedHealthcare, reimbursed just $22,800 of the $206,325 bill for 19 days of intensive care (ultimately leaving the family on the hook for $265,000 in hospital and doctor bills).

    The ACA banned lifetime coverage caps upon passage and phased out annual caps. This year, colleges were allowed to cap coverage at $500,000 for a year; as of January 1, annual caps are illegal.

    Some more good news:

    UPDATE: Grad student health wonk (and TIE blogger) Adrianna McIntyre points out that for many students, the ACA will offer a better deal, either through the exchanges or the Medicaid expansion (though if the student is claimed as a dependent, it’s the parents’ income that determines eligibility). Adrianna points to an invaluable Kaiser Family Foundation FAQ confirming this:
    Eligibility for a student health plan does not make you ineligible for Marketplace coverage and subsidies. Even if you are eligible for student health coverage, you can get coverage through the Marketplace. In addition, if your income is between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level and you meet other requirements, you can qualify for premium tax credits; if you income is between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level, you can also qualify for cost sharing reductions.

    In addition, eligibility for a student health plan does not make you ineligible for Medicaid. Check with your state Marketplace to find out if you meet the income and other eligibility standards to enroll in Medicaid coverage.
    According to the BusinessWeek article, two thirds of college students have health insurance either through their parents or an employer (that’s as of May 2008). Many if not most of those who lack such insurance may be eligible either for heavily subsidized insurance on the exchanges or for Medicaid. Perhaps college-sponsored student health plans are en route to becoming a relic. The BusinessWeek article also reported that 30% of colleges required students to buy the school-sponsored plans. I hope that’s not still the case.

  37. 114 vcprezofan2
    December 29, 2013 at 10:40 am


  38. 115 amk for obama
    December 29, 2013 at 10:43 am

  39. 116 amk for obama
    December 29, 2013 at 10:44 am

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