Early Bird Chat

First Lady Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres dance during a taping of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” marking the second anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” initiative, in Burbank, Calif., Feb. 1, 2012 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


MoooOOOooorning Early Birds!

124 Responses to “Early Bird Chat”

  1. 1 99ts
    February 1, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Sandy money

  2. 19 Allison
    February 1, 2014 at 8:05 am

    GM Chips and TOD Family!

  3. February 1, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Morning Ms Chips! Morning everyone! Have been so busy, but try to keep up with everything…. been thinking positive thoughts towards GB and NCLB, and so thankful for the excellent (as always) SoTU coverage! My younger son just did his bachelor’s concert (jazz guitar) here, and we’ve had loads of house guests and plenty of stress! But he passed with flying colors, so all is well. Hope everyone has a beautiful day!

    • 23 Cindy
      February 1, 2014 at 8:17 am

      Good morning andogriff…..

    • 25 vcprezofan2
      February 1, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Oooo, Andogriff, another parent with a musician at post secondary level! Mega congratulations to the young man!!
      Tell me you are no more musical than *I*, so I can feel less out of it. ;grin: Also, what is youngest Andogriff planning to do with his music in the context of earning a salary? This inquiring mind is curious.

      • 26 andogriff
        February 1, 2014 at 12:36 pm

        Ah! VC, I fear I must disappoint…. I am an opera singer, hubby a conductor (orchestras, not trains!) ….. though we were thrilled our younger son “drifted” into music!! I still feel out of it as far as jazz is concerned, but I really appreciate his abilities! As far as earning a salary, it is a sad comment on the cultural scene to realize that so few well-educated and motivated young musicians can actually make a living in the performing arts. There is always teaching, composing, and (for instrumentalists) working in bands, orchestras or as “temps” in shows or on tours. I wish your young musician all the best for the future…. a strong dose of good luck is sometimes the most important element!! XXX

        • 27 vcprezofan2
          February 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm

          An opera singer, eh Andogriff? Sigh. I guess it was too much for me to expect that another non-musical soul got blessed with a musician. 😉 😀 Maybe I’ll ship my young’un over to the Andogriff family, where he may at least ‘jam’ with musical minds for a bit. 😆 Thanks for the good wishes – offspring has mentioned teaching in passing, but he is really obsessed with composing. My ‘problem’ is that he’s interested primarily in classical composition which puts him farther out on the ledge as far as I see it. 🙄 And yes, it is sad that making a living in this area is such a hit-and-miss proposition; yet he enjoys what he’s doing so who am I to question things. Congrats again on your son’s success! They will both undoubtedly find their paths …eventually.

          • February 2, 2014 at 8:04 pm

            Thanks for the kind good wishes VC! As long as your son loves what he is doing, that is the most important thing!! Enjoying one’s lifework must be the key to happiness… just my opinion! Perhaps our sons will cross paths one day, or even you and I! XX

            • 29 vcprezofan2
              February 2, 2014 at 8:08 pm

              Yes, he does love what he’s doing so is very happy. Also, since anything is possible in our ‘global’ world, wouldn’t it be a hoot if they (or you and I) did cross paths!

  4. 30 99ts
    February 1, 2014 at 8:16 am

    It would seem Gov Christie has met his Katrina.

    • 31 andogriff
      February 1, 2014 at 8:20 am

      I think the good governor has had it, 99!

    • 32 Cindy
      February 1, 2014 at 8:22 am

      His UGLY karma has come back to bite him in the “split” where the sun doesn’t shine….

      He mistreated our President just to appease his right wing nuts; now, the President can watch him GO ……..


      In disgrace…..where are your right wing “friends” NOW Christie boy?

  5. 33 JER
    February 1, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Good Morning Chips and all.

  6. 36 Allison
    February 1, 2014 at 8:24 am

  7. February 1, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Gooooooooood Morning everyone….

    Watching…Kornacki….this stuff is Obsceneeee…..Heads should roll….this is what causes such mistrust of our elected officials…

    • 38 99ts
      February 1, 2014 at 8:25 am

      Apart from anything else – the absolute waste of money is beyond anyone’s understanding.

      • February 1, 2014 at 8:29 am

        I agree 99ts…but yanno……. here in America we have a representative democracy …we abdicate so much of our power to elected officials…We the People ….have to be the watch dogs of our democracy

    • 41 99ts
      February 1, 2014 at 8:29 am

      I still believe anyone could have set up a spreadsheet – which if it did nothing else – listed what money was allocated where – anyone who has been the treasurer of the local guides association can do that – and HAS to do it.

      • 42 Don
        February 1, 2014 at 8:37 am

        99ts, the last thing that wanted was a paper trail.

      • 44 WilTal
        February 1, 2014 at 9:16 am


        More dirty dealings with Sandy funds.

        Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s decisions are drawing attention again, this time from two representatives who are questioning his termination of a Sandy-related contract with Hammerman & Gainer Inc.

        Representatives Frank Pallone and Bill Pascrell Jr. asked U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to review the “sudden cancellation” of a $68 million deal with Hammerman & Gainer Inc. on Wednesday. The New Orleans-based company was hired in May to oversee the distribution of $600 million in federal homeowner relief after Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New Jersey’s coast in 2012.


        • 45 99ts
          February 1, 2014 at 9:24 am

          What I will never understand – what oversight could ever cost $68million?? – more than 10% of the total funds being distributed.

          And then – did they get the full $68million – what did they do for the money – sure has been no oversight. As per Steve K this am – the oversight is about to start – a year of so late.

          • 46 idon
            February 1, 2014 at 9:51 am

            Thank you. This is exactly what I was wondering. How in the world could it cost 56 mil for oversight? That’s crazy.

        • 47 vcprezofan2
          February 1, 2014 at 9:50 am

          O, the sad irony; Hammerman & Gainer Inc could get $68m to oversee Sandy funds, but towns (Hoboken) that were devastated by Sandy haven’t gotten a good fraction of that!

  8. 48 99ts
    February 1, 2014 at 8:24 am

    The absolute integrity of the President shines so strongly alongside the reality of the GOP’s top people. 🙂

  9. 49 Mela in TX
    February 1, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Good morning Chips and all you lovely TODers. I’m sorry if it seems presumptuous as I mainly lurk but I’m asking for your prayers. My heart is heavy with sadness. There have been a few megastorms brewing in my life and one of them hit land last night. While my problems are not as critical as those of GoBrooklyn, NCLB and other members of this community are facing, they are potentially life altering and have filled my soul with grief and worry. My cup runneth over……and not in a good way. I’m in a dark place with no light in sight.

    • 50 99ts
      February 1, 2014 at 8:37 am

      Dear Mela in Tx – my thoughts and wishes for you to get through your problems and worries are here. {{{{{mela}}}}} Take care of you


      • 51 Mela in TX
        February 1, 2014 at 8:41 am

        Thank you, dear 99ts. I’m trying.

        • 52 99ts
          February 1, 2014 at 8:45 am

          This is a wonderful place – if for no other reason than it takes your mind of the hard things – for just a little while.

          Watching the President continue to work for the people of the US, despite everything that is thrown against him – brings a smile to the soul – I do hope it helps you through your problems.

          • 53 Mela in TX
            February 1, 2014 at 8:58 am

            So true! I truly admire this great man. We are fortunate to have a man of such great intelligence, ethics, sincerity, kindness and good heart as our President.

            I’d like to add that the members of this community never fail to make me smile…. Whether by their silly antics, insights or the incredible respect and kindness with which they treat each other. This is a very special place.

            • 54 Nerdy Wonka
              February 1, 2014 at 9:40 am

              Hey Mela, may the universe send good things your way and lift your burden. Sending you comforting thoughts and hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel that will restore peace and joy in your life.

    • 56 WilTal
      February 1, 2014 at 8:46 am

      Hello Mela,

      Although you’re feeling great sadness right now, I pray that God will give you strength and show you hat a better day is on the horizon. My heart and prayers are with you.

    • 58 Cindy
      February 1, 2014 at 8:53 am

      Good Mela in TX,

      I will be praying for you. I pray that you will find comfort during this time of your life. I will lift you up in prayer each day, and pray that you will have victory in the storm. Please keep the faith and keep believing that the sun will shine again.

      Warmest thoughts and prayers,

      • 59 Mela in TX
        February 1, 2014 at 9:04 am

        Thank you , sweet Cindy. Just knowing that total strangers are so willing to extend there hand restores my spirit and makes my day a bit brighter.

    • 60 No Child Left Behind
      February 1, 2014 at 8:56 am

      Dear Mela in Tx,

      Good morning to you!

      May God help you sort out what is ailing you and restore peace, stability, and prosperity in your life and that of your loved ones. Think of this sad moment as a phase, one that will pass soon. And it will.

      You do your best and leave the rest to the Almighty. He can take it all from your shoulders.

      Have a great day.

    • 62 globalcitizenlinda
      February 1, 2014 at 10:40 am


      Please hang in there! things may be tough right now but that means that eventually, they can only get better – pray for patience and perseverance;

      also dark as things may be, try and see if you can use any lessons learned from these events to make much needed changes in your life and those who matter to you.

      most importantly, never feel that you are imposing on others – ask for help when you feel overwhelmed

      • 63 Mela in TX
        February 1, 2014 at 12:47 pm

        Thank you for responding to me Linda. Trust me, I’m learning many lessons from this, sadly most of them unpleasant. A friend called them gifts wrapped in sandpaper which made me smile. Have a wonderful day.

  10. 64 Vicki
    February 1, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Good morning TOD.
    The murky water from West Virginia might be the wake up call the country needs. If we allow/don’t stop the despoilers (Koch, Chevron, Mobil,etc) this is our inescapable future. What happens to a state where the water is poisonladen???

    I am glad Erin Brocovich is speaking out. Never underestimate celebrity as a force for good. Erin knows her stuff and how to win.

    BBL. Back to Steve K and his excellent journalism

  11. 65 WilTal
    February 1, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Good morning everyone and Happy Saturday!

    Chips, love your tweet too! What a joy, what a joy to see this bully go down like a deflated balloon. Every time I think about those 3 lanes being closed for three days (the suffering that he inflicted on his citizens), it makes me sick to my stomach. He’s a cold-hearted SOB.

    Wishing you and Danny a great day!

  12. 66 Don
    February 1, 2014 at 8:34 am

    What I’m taking away from Steve Kornacki is that the Federal government gave New Jersey enough money to choke to horse and that the governor took that money and used it as a political weapon to keep everybody in line.

  13. 68 Don
    February 1, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Good Morning TOD Family, live long and prosper.

  14. 69 jackiegrumbacher
    February 1, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Good morning all. This whole week I’ve been thinking that PBO reset the nation with his SOTU speech. I think everyone is feeling better and seeing a new set of possibilities. When the president first ran on Hope and Change You can Believe in, may of us understood it on a visceral level–that this was a new kind of presidential candidate who, while not a miracle worker, could inspire US to accomplish things we wouldn’t have thought possible. And he did, because those who worked for him stretched themselves in ways they never had before. The president had two years of a semi-decent Congress and made so much out of it that he turned around the economy AND gave Americans the first national health care plan ever. All of that sank into a kind of torpid mud when Boehner and McConnell came to town. Now those mud dwellers seem kind of irrelevant. The president is as fired up as I’ve ever seen him. His set on changing things and he’s inspiring us to see the possibilities. I can’t think of a better way to head into this critical election year.

    • 70 Vicki
      February 1, 2014 at 8:45 am

      I agree, jackie. President whistling a happy tune and Christie imploding.
      President who wants you and your families health covered and GOP not so much
      POTUS wants to give America a raise. GOP thinks only rich people need more money (?!?!?!)

      Eyes will be on W Virginia water and Keystone Pipeline in the next few months. I’m betting PBO will be on the right side of these issues also.

    • 71 99ts
      February 1, 2014 at 8:53 am

      I think that is part of what we are seeing – but I also think the media and the GOP are reaping what they have sown – it is impossible for the media to keep attacking the President when it is plain for all to see the disintegration of anything that might have been good in the GOP.

      When we add the disaster in West Virginia – overwhelmingly caused by the corporations (and their owners)
      – to the loss of any leaders of integrity in the GOP – to the State Governors who can think of nothing other than women’s reproductive systems and removing minority voting rights
      and throw in the gop majority in congress that wants to starve the unemployed to death and kill the working poor through lack of health care
      – all of this helps the President show that he knows what needs doing and he knows how to do it.

      Not much talk about the GOP winning in November – and that is well due to their own implosion and the President’s words and actions.

  15. 72 WilTal
    February 1, 2014 at 8:49 am

  16. February 1, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Ta-Nehisi Coates can get on your nerves, but I agree with David Plouffe here. Interesting read.

  17. 77 donna dem 4 obama
    February 1, 2014 at 8:57 am

    A Must Read:

    “And I struggle to get my head around all of this. There are moments when I hear the president speak and I am awed. No other resident of the White House, could have better explained to America what the George Zimmerman verdict meant. And I think history will remember that, and remember him for it. But I think history will also remember his unquestioning embrace of “twice as good” in a country that has always given black people, even under his watch, half as much.”

    • February 1, 2014 at 9:07 am

      I found this very moving and right:

      Barack Obama was not prophecy. Whatever had been laid before him, it takes gifted hands to operate, repeatedly, on a country scarred by white supremacy. The significance of the moment comes across, not simply in policy, by in the power of symbolism. I don’t expect, in my lifetime, to again see a black family with the sheer beauty of Obama’s on such a prominent stage. (In the private spaces of black America, I see them all the time.) I don’t expect to see a black woman exuding the kind of humanity you see here on such a prominent stage ever again. (In the private spaces of black homes, I see it all the time.) And no matter how many times I’ve seen it in my private life, at Howard, in my home, among my close friends, I don’t ever expect to see a black man of such agile intelligence as the current president put before the American public ever again.

      • 79 99ts
        February 1, 2014 at 9:20 am

        That paragraph struck me too meta – as did many of the comments – there are many supporters of the President who understand ALL of the issues he faces – every hour of every day.

  18. 80 JER
    February 1, 2014 at 8:57 am

  19. 82 99ts
    February 1, 2014 at 8:59 am

    All the media – check out the NJ.com – the top 2 news items of the day http://www.nj.com/news/

    Gov Christie and Justin Bieber

  20. 83 Don
    February 1, 2014 at 9:01 am

    What is truly amazing about all of this dysfunction is that if not for a goddamn bridge closing none of this would have reached the light of day. Christie was fucking New Jersey every way possible and he was getting away with it, but like most greedy people, he could not resist that last piece of ass which he just had to have, turned out to be a goddamn bridge. You want to be a bully, fine, you want to be a greedy son of a bitch, fine. But you can’t be both, what I despise about Christie the most is that he walked around like he was some badass that was going to whip New Jersey into shape, he was going to break the unions and do battle with the teachers union, all by being fiscally sound with the tax payers’ money. After all of his histrionics at the end of the day Christie is nothing more than a con artist running a long con. Any old con artist will tell you, “stay away from the long con.”

    • February 1, 2014 at 9:26 am

      While it was the bridge closing that brought so much to light, there have been other situations that could have (and should have) raised flags about Christie and the way he operates…. not limited to and including the helicopter flight taken to his son’s baseball game, the verbal attacks when questioned about cutting millions in public education funding — while he sends his children to private school — and then giving same millions in tax breaks to corporations …

      His past actions make it hard to dispute his most recent actions. Christie has obviously convinced himself that he is Teflon coated and that any hint of corruption or abuse of power could be bullied away, bribed away, distracted away, or played down until it was forgotten.

  21. 87 JER
    February 1, 2014 at 9:07 am

  22. 89 donna dem 4 obama
    February 1, 2014 at 9:23 am

  23. February 1, 2014 at 9:26 am

    G’morning Chips and TOD! Mela in TX my thoughts are with you at this difficult moment in your life. Hope things eventually get resolved for you in the best way possible.

  24. 92 Linda
    February 1, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Good Morning.

    Here is my theory.

    Wildstein says ” evidence exists ” that Christie knew about the lane closing ” when they were happening ” soo…

    On September 11th. (one of the days of the closing ) Christie, Wildstein, Kelly and others went to Manhatten for a 911 anniversary event. How did they get there ?

    My guess is they took the State helicopter and flew over the bridge while the closings were happening in real time. Let’s here from every person that went to NYC with him that day and if they did take the helicopter…bring the pilot in for questioning too.

    There people are so full of themselves I would not be surprised if they took pictures.

  25. 93 99ts
    February 1, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Steve has Mayor of Fort Lee on air – I do wonder what has stopped him speaking out more.

  26. 95 donna dem 4 obama
    February 1, 2014 at 9:37 am

    In honor of Black History Month I’ll be doing a “Did You Know” Series for February

    Did You Know…

    Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on friend Maya Angelou’s birthday, on April 5, 1968. Angelou stopped celebrating her birthday for years afterward, and sent flowers to King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, for more than 30 years, until Coretta’s death in 2006.

    • 96 Layla
      February 1, 2014 at 9:39 am

      Beautiful! I loooove the “did you know’ idea!

      • 97 Layla
        February 1, 2014 at 9:52 am

        As you may or not know I have 2 beautiful sons, one is black and one is white. I have 3 beautiful black grandchildren. I will take advantage of your did you know segments to have discussions with all of them regarding your segments to further their education positively. Having lived with my 2 sons in the south USA for 12 years..we learned a lot, sadly some very negative. So my family thanks you!

        • 98 donna dem 4 obama
          February 1, 2014 at 10:03 am

          I did not know this about your family but you have moved me to tears. Thank you for planning to share them with you beautiful family.

    • February 1, 2014 at 9:42 am

      April 5th or April 4th?

    • 102 WilTal
      February 1, 2014 at 9:45 am


      Thank you and looking forward to your Series. No, I didn’t know.

    • 103 99ts
      February 1, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Thanks Donna – my US education by TOD continues unabated

  27. 104 africa
    February 1, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Happy Saturday. Good morning everyone.

  28. 105 africa
    February 1, 2014 at 9:49 am

    • 106 99ts
      February 1, 2014 at 10:02 am

      When I see some folks still saying “don’t jump to conclusions” “We need the full story” “I believe what he said” “This won’t impact his prospects for 2016” etc etc – NONE of these folks ever paid that courtesy to the President – yet everything they threw at him – did indeed fade away because there was no there there.

      Irrefutable at the minute – Christie either knew all about the Fort Lee Bridge closings before/when they happened – or his management skills are NIL

      There has been unregulated, undocumented distribution of sandy funds in NJ – with virtually no oversight.

      • February 1, 2014 at 10:15 am

        When you are not being truthful, it is hard to remember every lie and Christie seems to be having that problem given the variations we see as his statements about the events are compared. His denials are ringing hollow and every conflicting account accelerates his fall.

        Christie: Upon further reflection, what I now know is that I forgot what I knew and when I knew it.

    • 108 jackiegrumbacher
      February 1, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Excellent point, Africa. The media did everything it could and then some to tar the president with made up scandals. They did everything they could to make it seem that the president was defeated and overcome by the temporary failure of a website or the magnitude of the scandals ‘uncovered’ by Republican committees. They wanted us, PBO supporters, to be demoralized, to give up, to say it was just a dream and there was no point fighting anymore. We were supposed to say home and just cede it all to the GOP who had big guns waiting in the wings, i.e. Christie. And then Christie imploded and Barack Obama triumphed. Our twice elected President of the United States told us he was just getting started and had energy, enthusiasm and optimism to spare. And now the GOP and their media enablers don’t know what happened or how to sort through the wreckage.

  29. 109 globalcitizenlinda
    February 1, 2014 at 10:09 am

    in case there is any doubt about WHY that scum joe says all that crap he says on his show, here is the bottom-line from his mouth

  30. 119 globalcitizenlinda
    February 1, 2014 at 10:12 am

    interesting photo

  31. 122 africa
    February 1, 2014 at 10:14 am


    • February 1, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Good montage of newspaper front pages. Since they are all local, hope this helps to open the eyes of New Jerseyans who think that Christie can do no wrong; that they will stop accepting business as usual and push back against the actions of their state government that are detrimental to their well-being.

  32. 124 globalcitizenlinda
    February 1, 2014 at 10:35 am

    democrats need to get this Christie story & nationalize it with the theme that – gop using their power to abuse those who did not support them & reward their friends in business

Comments are currently closed.







Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.



RSS Obama White House.gov

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS WH Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Steve Benen

  • DOJ said to believe Trump has more documents: Report
  • Arizona faces 'very real possibility' election-denying Lake could win
  • 'Let's Be Frank' is a daughter's tribute to her late father
  • 'Adrift' looks at an America at a crossroads
  • Historic search-and-rescue underway in Florida



Blog Stats

  • 43,290,121 hits
February 2014

%d bloggers like this: