Monday blog roundup

A few of the goodies for the start of the week.


Morning Plum: Inside Obama’s game plan for 2014

In his State of the Union address tomorrow, President Obama will declare his intention to use executive authority to bypass Congress. The Wall Street Journal reports that a host of such policies are being considered on the economy, job training, infrastructure repair, climate change, and education.

Republicans are outraged. Yesterday Rand Paul declared that Obama’s promise of executive action smacks of a “threat,” adding that he should instead be “building consensus.” Senator Roy Blunt similarly argues that “we don’t need more class warfare” and that the President “has a lot of explaining to do.”


Along these lines, note this finding from the new Post/ABC News poll:

Presidents have the power in some cases to bypass Congress and take action by executive order to accomplish their administration’s goals. Is this approach something you…

Support: 52

Oppose: 46


The Snowden Revelation That Might Start a War

For the first time since June, a Snowden revelation could have serious life and death consequences.

Not widely reported in the United States, a November article by The Guardian‘s Ewen MacAskill revealed that in 2009 Australia’s NSA counterpart, the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD), eavesdropped on the cellphone of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as well as his wife Ani.

The timing of the article couldn’t have been worse. Australia and Indonesia have been struggling to curtail what’s known as “people smuggling,” a refugee crisis in which people from the Middle East and South Asia have been using Indonesia as a launching-off point for harrowing journeys across the Banda and Timor Seas to seek asylum in Australia.


GOP In Shambles As Poll Finds Americans View Democrats as More Ethical and Honest

Despite spending years attacking the character of President Obama and the Democrats, a new Pew Research Center survey found that the American people trust Democrats more than Republicans 41%-31%.

The Pew Research Center’s annual survey of policy and prioritiesfound that Democrats led Republicans on a wide range of character issues. Democrats had a 25 point lead (52%-27%) on being more willing to work with the other party. Democrats held a 20 point (52%-32%) advantage on the question of who is concerned with the needs of people like me. By a margin of 54%-35%, Republicans were found to be the more extreme party in their positions. Respondents also thought the Republican Party was more influenced by lobbyists than the Democratic Party (47%-30%), but the most telling question was who do people trust to govern ethically and honestly.


Weather and climate

Let’s talk for a minute about Nome, Alaska. This burg of 3,700 sits near the western edge of the Seward Peninsula where it borders the Bering Sea, summer destination for the Earth’s recovering population of Grey whales due to very cold surface waters which circulate freely with deep currents, bringing up nutrients that feed a thriving surface community of algae and plankton that nourish the whales.


Sea ice started melting a while ago in the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean. This warms up the area like crazy because ice reflects solar energy whereas open water absorbs it. This drew the jet stream north as everyone knew it would, winters get a lot nicer in the far north (unless you have a foundation in permafrost, which everyone does) and the higher atmo pressure pushed the arctic weather south to us while denying the Southwest any precipitation at all. That kind of sucks for SoCal, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and anyone in the lower 48 who prefers not to freeze to death and it will put huge pressure on Colorado and other upriver states to sacrifice their water consumption so Arizona farmers and Flagstaff golf courses can stay in business.


Keep chatting!

88 Responses to “Monday blog roundup”

  1. 1 vcprezofan2
    January 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Come on. Really?

  2. January 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Well done, LL!!!!!

    • January 27, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      Thank you, Bob, I was very derelict in my blog rounding up last week.

    • January 27, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      BTW, LL, that poll you cite is likely to be even more positive after everyone hears what the President plans to do with Executive Orders (especially when he hits to road for two days and is able to repeat his message directly to several different groups of Americans).

    • 11 MightyPamela
      January 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      All the while thinking they are confusing people, with their own confusion! Even the dimmest candle on the national cake may finally begin to see the charade. Hi, and Bye! I am SO determined to empty that storage locker this week… Oh, my aching back (and arms, and hands, and neck, and knees and shoulders, well, you get the picture!) {{{TOD}}}

      • 12 jackiegrumbacher
        January 27, 2014 at 3:34 pm

        Hi, Pamela, emptying you locker is a worthy goal, but please, please don’t hurt yourself. Aching backs are no joke, as I can tell you. The locker will still be there next week, so please take it easy.

        • 13 MightyPamela
          January 27, 2014 at 6:41 pm

          Thank you for the words of wisdom and caution, jg, but it’s becoming a money thing – had a nice discount for 2 months, but the realty of renting it is in place. Besides, in truth, I had hoped to rent the extra space only for about 2 months, so am on track and pleased! 🙂

  3. January 27, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    The Tuesday blog roundup will be very much delayed, as I have an all day workshop to attend tomorrow.

  4. 15 Nena20409
    January 27, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Congrats VC

    Hello TODers

    WH presser by Jay “Clark Kent” Carney on 1-27-14 LIVE now

    I am Not able to watch today.

  5. January 27, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Thank yooooooooou LL!!

    Two gifts in one day —->

    • January 27, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      You’re welcome, Mrs. Mata! (BTW, do read Dirty Tackle’s piece on the Mata signing. Mata, MUFC, and Chelsea had a kumbaya moment.)

      • January 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm

        Haven’t seen it yet LL, very unwise by Moyes today to go on about his surprise at Chelsea selling Mata, he should have kept his trap shut, they’ll double their efforts to get Wayne now!

        • January 27, 2014 at 1:58 pm

          Jose is bursting at the seams with talented attacking midfielders. Moyesie is acting like a Lotto winner.

          • January 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm

            Still think it’s weird that they sold Mata, probably the best Premier League midfielder the last two years. Convinced it was something personal on Jose’s part, it was almost like he set out to humiliate him – taking him off early on the rare occasion he played him, etc. Bizarre. Thrilled to bits, but will wait to see if he can make the same impact when surrounded by miserably mediocre midfielders – although, giddy at thoughts of him doing his thing with Rooney, Van Persie and Januzaj!

  6. 21 dotster3
    January 27, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Sorry, OT, but these are some of the most beautiful photos I’ve ever seen—–a Russian mother’s photos of her kids growing up on their farm. Almost as beautiful as chips’ award-winning horse poo and port-a-potty photos. 🙂

    But I do love these:

  7. 32 desertflower
    January 27, 2014 at 1:50 pm


    For the first time since Barack Obama took office in 2009, deficit reduction has slipped as a policy priority among the public. Overall, 63% say reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority for Congress and the president this year, down from 72% a year ago. Most of the decline has come among Democrats: Only about half of Democrats – 49% – view deficit reduction as a top priority, down 18 points since last January.

    The Pew Research Center’s annual survey of policy priorities, conducted Jan. 15-19 among 1,504 adults, finds that the public’s agenda continues to be dominated by the economy (80% top priority), jobs (74%) and terrorism (73%). As in past years, the lowest-rated priorities are dealing with global warming (29%) and dealing with global trade (28%). (Click here for an interactive showing the public’s priorities since 2002.)

  8. 33 jacquelineoboomer
    January 27, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    • January 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      Ok, call me kooky, but doesn’t that young man 3 rows in on the right with the hoodie look a bit like Trayvon Martin?

      • 35 jacquelineoboomer
        January 27, 2014 at 2:37 pm

        I saw the young man
        In the photograph
        Three rows in, on the right
        After you pointed him out
        And he wore a hoodie
        On that day of days
        And probably into that night
        Back in May of 1969
        When the people were
        Commemorating the
        Awful Dr. King assassination
        We had all lived through
        With them
        The year before.

        And so it was in so many ways
        And so many years since
        That another young man
        Minding his own business
        With his entire life ahead
        Walked out onto the street
        Away from the protection of his father
        Wearing a hoodie into the night
        And into the photographs in our minds

        Rest in Peace, Dr. King
        Rest in Peace, Trayvon Martin
        Never forgotten in the annals of history
        And the depths of the souls
        Of good people
        Like you, when you thought to point out the likeness
        Like us, when we understood the meaning
        Good people, coast to coast
        And sea to shining sea
        All the good people they left behind
        To pass the story forward.

    • 41 Alycee (@jazziz2)
      January 27, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Wow, that’s Wisconsin Avenue; in 1980, my office was where the American flag is in the above pic…

  9. 42 Nena20409
    January 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Rep Scott DesJarlais from TN did worse than Mark Sanford of SC and even sen Vitter of LA, yet Rand Paul Dare to speak about any Dem? These 3 are still in Congress Today.


    More than six months after media reports and the divorce papers of Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., alleged he had sexual relationships with two female patients while he was a practicing doctor, the socially conservative congressman has been fined $500 by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners for the charges.

    [RANKINGS: U.S. News Best Hospitals in Tennessee]

    But Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a legal watchdog group that filed two complaints against DesJarlais, said the penalty was far too weak.

    “This is the exploitation of women. A traffic ticket is more expensive. It’s pretty offensive,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan tells Whispers.

  10. 43 vcprezofan2
    January 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Thank you, LL, that first link you gave was quite a plum! It gave me a good overview of what’s been ‘on the go’, so to speak.

  11. 44 Nena20409
    January 27, 2014 at 2:12 pm


    “I think for the president to ask for a clean debt ceiling [increase] when we have the debt the size of our economy is irresponsible,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Fox News Sunday. “I think the president is taking an unreasonable position to suggest that we ought to treat his request to raise the debt ceiling like some kind of motherhood resolution that everybody says aye and we don’t do anything, when we have the stagnant economy and this massive debt created under his administration.”

    Fighting words. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has similarly warned
    that Republicans will insist on attaching conditions to any resolution that raises the country’s borrowing limit and prevents a potentially disastrous breach in late February. They may tie it to legislation that scraps a stability mechanism in Obamacare that they call an insurer “bailout,” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) signaled.

    But what if Democrats reject the demand, as they have vowed to?


    TBGOPers are No Longer Funny…….Govern by EMPTY Threats. That is all they have got.

  12. 45 JER
    January 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    • 46 jackiegrumbacher
      January 27, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Yes we have seen this movie before and it gets more and more boring. Who are the R’s appealing to with this? Certainly no ordinary (non TP) voter wants the US to go into default with the attendant loss of jobs, savings and retirement funding and if they can find one businessman who thinks tanking the world economy will help his/her business, then I’d like them to present that person. The Republicans are reminding Americans (IN AN ELECTION YEAR) that all they know how to do is lurch the country from one crisis to another. People are tired of this crap and they need to know that there’s a simple way to fix it—vote them out!!!

  13. 47 Nena20409
    January 27, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Last year it was in VA. Now WVa. Yet another lawmaker’s son kills self.


    West Virginia Delegate Anthony Barill (D) was injured on Saturday when his son killed himself and reportedly shot his father by accident in the process.

    Police said Barill, 80, was sleeping when a bullet went through floor and hit the delegate in the lower leg, according to West Virginia’s CBS affiliate, WDTV

  14. 48 Linda
    January 27, 2014 at 2:34 pm


    At least one person is dead after a shooting at a mental health facility in Chesterfield, South Carolina, according to law enforcement.

    The shooting happened Monday afternoon at the Tri-County Mental Health Center in Chesterfield.

    WBTV has learned that the victim was a patient at the facility.

    Details about the shooting are very limited, WBTV is on the scene and gathering more information


  15. 49 Gazelle
    January 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    [Jennifer Hudson on FLOTUS b-day bash. Too cute! Apologies if this has been posted already.]:

    “Oh my God, Mr. President!” Hudson said as she finished, laughing, then added “You gotta love him.”


  16. 51 Gazelle
    January 27, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    [Awwww! That’s just nice!]:

    ‘Extreme Marshmallow Cannon’ Inventor Will Sit With First Lady At State Of The Union Address


    • 52 Gazelle
      January 27, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      [This is one amazing kid!]:

      Arizona native, a star of the “Maker” movement, just began a job as Intel’s youngest-ever intern.

      [From same article]

  17. 53 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    January 27, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Good afternoon, TOD. Back home from the witch doctor and vampires. I’ll continue meds at home and go back on Thursday for a CT Scan. I’m actually following Dr’s orders and will stay in. Like I said last night, the side effect of the steroids and antibiotics is I’ll eating like a horse. Once I assemble this eggplant parm, I’m headed to bed…

    • 54 donna dem 4 obama
      January 27, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      Feel better Alycee and my condolences to you for your loss.

    • 55 vcprezofan2
      January 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Continue to take good care of you, Alycee! Hope you are, at least, enjoying the eating. {Sure hope you are not alone during this time as you try to rebuild your strength.}

    • 56 jackiegrumbacher
      January 27, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Alycee, I’m so glad you’re following Dr.s orders. We all want you to heal quickly. Love and prayers to you and your family.

    • 57 No Child Left Behind
      January 27, 2014 at 5:37 pm


      Take care of yourself.

  18. 58 donna dem 4 obama
    January 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm

  19. 72 donna dem 4 obama
    January 27, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    This is big for him to get the endorsement of a well known Republican in Virginia but I shared with you all last week that Warner is a favorite son in Va. Gillespie is wasting his time and money IMO.

  20. 73 GGail
    January 27, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I tried to go back to the Beyonce’ video that NW posted last night and it has been blocked by the Grammy’s 😦

    • 80 GGail
      January 27, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      Oh, I am so proud of Gabby – she has worked hard and never gave up!

      • 81 GGail
        January 27, 2014 at 3:50 pm

        Chips, this goes along with the video (I just got it in my inbox)

        Do you remember this emotional moment from last year’s State of the Union Address?

        “Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek and Tucson and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence — they deserve a simple vote. They deserve a simple vote.” – President Obama

        I was there with Gabby, sitting in the First Lady’s box. We watched as the chamber rose to its feet as one — both sides of the aisle, divided on so many important issues, but unified in that moment.

        One year later, that same body has done what was unthinkable on that night … nothing at all.

        On the eve of this year’s State of the Union, add your voice to Gabby’s and mine and tell Congress “It’s too dangerous to wait” any longer on gun violence. Sign our petition, and you’ll be the first to see our new television ad.


        Four weeks into 2014 and there have already been eight school shootings in fifteen school days: South Carolina State, Purdue University, Albany High School and several others.

        It’s too dangerous to wait, and it’s too important for us to be silent.

        Thanks for adding your voice to ours.

        Mark Kelly
        Americans for Responsible Solutions

  21. 84 Gazelle
    January 27, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    [Yep, tis a corpse! Or go away already! 🙂 ]:

    Is that aroma we are smelling the decaying corpse of Fox News, and we simply have not noticed that it has died?

    […..] This article goes into great detail as to how Ailes and company tried to hide the Fox News agenda in the beginning, and how success made them over confidently reveal their hand and allow the world to see the truth behind their faux reporting and blatant propaganda.

    As I mentioned before I am reading Gabriel Sherman’s book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room.” And what is made very apparent in that book is that Fox News is essentially the Id of Roger Ailes laid bare.

    In other words when Roger Ailes ceases to exist, so will Fox News in its current form.

    However if Frank Rich is right, and I believe that he is, then it really does not matter how much longer Roger Ailes continues at the helm, because Fox News is already in its death throes. […..]


  22. 85 donna dem 4 obama
    January 27, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    PBO is going to the COSTCO just 4 miles from my house on Wednesday. I sure would like to be there 🙂

  23. 86 Jovie
    January 27, 2014 at 4:45 pm

  24. 88 forus50
    January 27, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    All I think of is a nasty cold when I see him.


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