Rise and Shine

President Obama speaks while standing in front of a printed version of a stained glass window known as the Sun Man, from the Cosmovitral Botanical Garden, at a news conference at the state government palace in Toluca, Mexico


Presidential Schedule (All Times Eastern):

5:35PM EST: President Obama delivers remarks and answers questions at the Democratic Governors Association dinner, Washington

12AM EST: First Lady Michelle Obama will be a guest on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon





USA Today: California Exceeds 2014 Exchange Enrollment Goals

Well before the March 31 deadline to buy insurance, California announced Tuesday it has already exceeded its 2014 enrollment goals for its health care exchange.

By the end of January, 728,410 people had enrolled in private health plans through Covered California, and 100,000 more signed up in the first two weeks of February. About 26% are 34 and younger.

“These enrollment numbers mean that with six weeks to go, California has already exceeded its projected base enrollment for the 2014 open-enrollment period,” said Covered California executive director Peter Lee. “While this is a strong showing, our goal is not pinned to meeting projections, but to making sure every Californian gets covered.”

More here



NYT: Gap To Raise Minimum Hourly Pay

In a surprising move, Gap Inc. informed its employees on Wednesday that it would set $9 as the minimum hourly rate for its United States work force this year and then establish a minimum of $10 next year. Gap said this move would ultimately raise pay for 65,000 of its 90,000 American employees, including those at Banana Republic, Old Navy and other stores.

Gap is making this move as many states consider raising their minimum wage, and as Republicans and Democrats debate a bill that includes a proposed increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2016. President Obama has endorsed the increase, and has campaigned for it at stops around the country.

In explaining the wage increases, Mr. Murphy told employees: “We work for a company with a strong set of values, which can be directly linked to our founders, Doris and Don Fisher. They invented specialty apparel retail, but Don also challenged us to live up to our promise to ‘do more than sell clothes.’ ”

More here



Sun Times: Michelle Obama on “Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” Thursday

A year ago, First Lady Michelle Obama and Jimmy Fallon created a YouTube hit with their dance skit, “Evolution of Mom Dancing.” On Thursday, Mrs. Obama teams up again with Fallon, guesting during his inaugural week of hosting the “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

Mrs. Obama marks this month the fourth anniversary of her signature “Let’s Move” anti-obesity, healthy eating drive and it would not be a surprise to see another high-energy sketch with Fallon.

Mrs. Obama hits New York for Fallon and a high-dollar Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the home of Obama “bundler” Maneesh Goyal. The funder is billed as a roundtable with the tab ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 per person. Mrs. Obama did a California swing for the DNC last month and more DNC events are in her pipeline.

More here




Ta-Nehisi Coates: Black Boy Interrupted

I think of dying at 17, in my loudness, in my vanity, which is to say in my human youth, and I tremble. I was barely anything. I understood barely anything. When Michael Dunn killed Jordan Davis, he obliterated a time-stream, devastated an open range of changes. And somewhere on that American jury, someone thought this was justice, someone believed in the voodoo of shotguns and teleportation. Michael Dunn killed a boy, and too robbed a man of his chance to be.

And this will happen again, must happen again, because our policy is color-blind, but our heritage isn’t. An American courtroom claiming it can be colorblind denies its rightful inheritance. An American courtroom claiming it can be colorblind is a drug addict claiming he can walk away after just one more hit. Law and legacy are at war. Legacy is winning. Legacy will always win. And our legacy is to die in this land where time is unequal, and deeded days are unequal, and blessed is the black man who lives to learn other ways, who lives to see other worlds, who lives to bear witness before the changes.

More here



Jenna Portnoy: Former Christie Staffer Under Subpoena Takes Job With Port Authority

A former aide to Gov. Chris Christie who has been subpoenaed in the George Washington Bridge scandal, recently took a high-level job at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, The Star-Ledger learned today.

Nicole Crifo, who served as the liaison from the governor’s office to the Port Authority for three years, was named chief of staff to Deb Gramiccioni, the deputy director of the bi-state agency, last month. Christie selected Gramiccioni to replace Bill Baroni, who has been implicated in the scandal over the closing of access lanes to the bridge in September.

More here




White House: Statement by the President

In my State of the Union Address, I asked more businesses to do what they can to raise their employees’ wages.  Today, I applaud Gap, Inc. for announcing that they intend to raise wages for their employees beginning this year – a decision that will benefit about 65,000 workers in the U.S.  As a chief executive, I’ve required federal contractors to pay their employees a wage of at least $10.10 an hour, and more states are taking steps to raise their minimum wage as well.  But only action from Congress can make a difference nationwide.  Right now, there is a bill in front of both the House and the Senate that would boost America’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and lift wages for more than 16 million workers – all without requiring a single dollar in new taxes or spending.  It’s time to pass that bill and give America a raise.




The Atlantic: A Question For Obama’s Syria Critics: What Are The Alternatives?

McCain and others like Anne-Marie Slaughter, formerly of Hillary Clinton’s State Department policy planning staff, have called for more boldness in America’s Syria policy. Slaughter has advocated establishing humanitarian zones, or corridors, inside Syria—but these zones could require U.S. or international forces to establish no-fly zones and use force to halt Syrian military incursions against those seeking refuge in such zones.  

But most of those urging the U.S. to intervene more aggressively in Syria are woefully short on details and shrug off the risks of blowback and escalation. If a strategy existed that would tip the scales toward the rebels with little likelihood of blowback, then skeptics like me might be turned into supporters.

It’s emotionally wrenching to watch killing on the scale that the world is witnessing now in Syria. But the depressing likelihood is that the country will be convulsed with conflict for years to come. Obama is not to blame for that. In fact, he should be commended for the abundant caution he has shown during this tragedy.

More here



Frida Ghitis: Venezeulan Opposition Tries New Strategy Of Confrontation

The Venezuelan opposition has shifted gears and is steering down a new path, carrying a message that the country is crumbling and there is no time to wait for change. The decision to take a much more confrontational approach comes in an environment of growing popular discontent, with an accelerating downward economic spiral and increasingly harsh living conditions under the rule of the late Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor, President Nicolas Maduro. The move by the opposition is a calculated gamble. It could provoke a much harsher crackdown from the regime, creating an even deeper chasm between the two sides of Venezuela’s already profound political divide. It could trigger a wave of violence that would be difficult to control. And it could also lead to a splintering of the opposition. But it might just have a chance of bringing an end to Maduro’s presidency. The call to take the fight to the streets came from the charismatic and photogenic hard-liner Leopoldo Lopez, a Harvard-educated local mayor who is now under arrest after leading massive anti-government protests.

Economic mismanagement and ad hoc socialist policies are unraveling the economy of oil-rich Venezuela. Yearly inflation is approaching 60 percent. Foreign investment has dried up in the face of the government’s capricious confiscation of private businesses. Currency controls have stoked a red-hot black market for hard currency, with the illegal dollar rate now at 13 times the official exchange rate. Venezuelans who can afford it are buying dollars and taking them out of the country to preserve what they can of their assets. Hard currency shortages are destroying manufacturing by making it virtually impossible for businesses to buy raw materials. Newspapers are shutting down because they cannot find enough foreign exchange to buy newsprint. Car manufacturers are stopping assembly lines, and staples of daily life are disappearing from the shelves amid chronic shortages of basic consumer goods. The government’s response has been to blame the shortages on speculators and saboteurs.

More here




Washington Post: Truce Fails, 22 More Die In New Kiev Clashes

Fearing that a call for a truce was a ruse, protesters tossed firebombs and advanced upon police lines Thursday in Ukraine’s embattled capital. Government snipers shot back and the almost-medieval melee left at least 22 people dead. Video footage on Ukrainian television showed shocking scenes Thursday of protesters being cut down by gunfire, lying on the pavement as comrades rushed to their aid, trying to protest themselves with shields. Protesters were seen leading apparently captured policemen around the sprawling protest camp in central Kiev, or carrying bodies away on sheets of plastic or planks of wood.


An AP cameraman saw snipers shooting at protesters in Kiev. Video footage showed that at least one sniper wearing the uniform of Ukraine’s riot police. President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition protesters who demand his resignation are locked in an epic battle over the identity of Ukraine, a nation of 46 million that has divided loyalties between Russia and the West. Parts of the country— mostly in its western cities — are in open revolt against Yanukovych’s central government, while many in eastern Ukraine favor strong ties with Russia, their former Soviet ruler. At least 50 people have died this week in the clashes in Kiev, a sharp reversal in the three-month, mostly peaceful political crisis.

More here




Steven Lee Myers: Violence In Ukraine Creates Deepening Clash Between East And West

Russian officials denouncing what they called a coup by right-wing extremists, even as the United States and Europe threatened to impose sanctions on those responsible for the violence that has erupted in the capital, Kiev, and spread to other cities. The starkly divergent reactions underscored the deepening confrontation between Russia and the West over Ukraine’s fate, with each side accusing the other of interference and disputing even the facts of what was happening. Expressing alarm at the escalating death toll, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President François Hollande of France blamed the security forces of President Viktor F. Yanukovych and made it clear that they supported a political transition that would allow Ukrainians to elect a new government. Russia, by contrast, vowed to use all its influence to support Ukraine’s government and joined Mr. Yanukovych in accusing his opponents of trying to seize power in what amounted to a coup.


President Obama, on a visit to Mexico, interrupted his opening meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto to tell reporters that “the United States condemns in the strongest terms” the violence that has claimed lives in the last two days. He pointedly warned the Ukrainian military on Wednesday to stay out of the political crisis that has already ravaged the streets of Kiev and said the United States would hold the government responsible for further violence. The substance of that threat became clear on Wednesday evening, when the Obama administration said it had imposed a visa ban on 20 senior Ukrainian officials whom it accused of playing a role in the government’s crackdown on Tuesday. The State Department declined to say which officials were on the list, but a senior State Department official said it included “the full chain of command responsible for ordering the violence last night.”

More here



NYT: The Clear Benefits Of A Higher Wage

What Republicans fail to mention is that Tuesday’s report from the budget office, a federal nonpartisan agency, was almost entirely positive about the benefits of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016, as President Obama and Congressional Democrats have proposed. More than 16 million low-wage workers, now making as little as $7.25 an hour, would directly benefit from the increase, the report said. Another eight million workers making slightly more than the minimum would probably also get raises, because of the upward “ripple effect” of an increase.

That would add $31 billion to the paychecks of families ranging from poverty level to the middle class, significantly increasing their spending power and raising the nation’s economic output and overall income. In fact, the report said, 900,000 people would be lifted from poverty with a wage increase. The income of those below the poverty line would increase by a total of $5 billion, or 3 percent, at no cost to the federal budget. The vast majority of those getting raises would not be teenagers with part-time jobs. Nearly 90 percent of them are adults 20 and older, and 53 percent of them work full time. Women represent 56 percent of them.

More here



On This Day:

Sen. Barack Obama speaks to supporters during a rally, February 20, 2008, at Reunion Arena in Dallas


President Obama and Vice President Biden wait in the Green Room of the White House prior to a meeting with U.S. Mayors, Feb. 20, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama arrives at the Department of Transportation February 20, 2009 in Washington to speak with employees about working with President Obama’s administration.


First Lady Michelle Obama speaks about her campaign to end the childhood obesity called “Let’s Move” at the National Governors Association’s winter meeting in Washington February 20, 2010


@ImAngelaBassett: Hail to OUR chief! @BarackObama @SheilaEdrummer @AlfreWoodard @SandraFluke. Feb 20, 2013


114 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. 2 LadyTNT
    February 20, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Good morning MRM!! Congrats!! Good morning TOD peeps!! Have a great day!!! It’s my Friday and I’m so looking forward to my 3 day weekend!!

  2. 4 Desertflower
    February 20, 2014 at 10:35 am

    In a ‘ fits like a glove’ move… Matt Taibbi is leaving Rolling Stone to go work for GG. I know , you’re just shocked!!! Not.

    • 5 Linda
      February 20, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Jeremy Scahill also……

      They need to call it ” emprogs, inc. “

    • 7 Nena20409
      February 20, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Nothing Like what a LITTLE $250M Stolen US Classified Documents can buy ❓

      Taibbi was excellent in detailing the Wall Street Abuses. But his idealism gets the better of him in many other matters.

  3. 8 Nerdy Wonka
    February 20, 2014 at 10:35 am

  4. 9 Vicki
    February 20, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Ta Nehisi Coates work is moving and amazing.
    Thank you, Nerdy Wonka for featuring it and I hope everybody will read the entire piece.

  5. 11 dotster3
    February 20, 2014 at 10:35 am

    A big dose of sweetness to start the day——cutest photo from the Olympics—–U.S. silver medalist, Gus Kenworthy, with one of the Sochi strays he fell in love with and is rescuing, bringing home with him…..

  6. 12 japa21
    February 20, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Just missed again, but at least top 5. GM all from very wet Chicago.

  7. 14 Ladyhawke
    February 20, 2014 at 10:37 am


    Minimum wage advances without Congress

    By Steve Benen


    It’s been over a year since President Obama began pushing Congress to act on an overdue increase in the minimum wage, but prospects for action are basically nonexistent – despite overwhelming public support, congressional Republicans won’t budge.

    But GOP lawmakers aren’t just out of step with the American mainstream; they’re also sitting idle as much of the country passes them by, unwilling to wait for them to act (and knowing they won’t).



  8. 15 vcprezofan2
    February 20, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Missed Nerdy’s arrival again – I give up! 😀

    • 16 japa21
      February 20, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Never give up. Never, ever ever.

      • 17 vcprezofan2
        February 20, 2014 at 10:47 am

        Okay. Thanks. Will brush off the dust (I was left in) and try again.

        Morning, Japa! How’s the grandson – right?- progressing?

        • 18 japa21
          February 20, 2014 at 11:20 am

          Grandson doing well. Saw doc yesterday and the pediatrician is very pleased at his weight gain. Son and d-i-l, like all new parents, were very worried he wasn’t eating enough. Mrs. Japa, the RN, get a call from them every other day wondering what this means, and is this bad, and on and on.

          • 19 jackiegrumbacher
            February 20, 2014 at 11:35 am

            Good news, Japa, about your grandson. All new parents worry. Soon he’ll be a chubby little guy crawling around and getting into everything. Babies are very hardy.

          • 20 vcprezofan2
            February 20, 2014 at 12:59 pm

            Excellent news :grin:, and isn’t it great Mrs. Japa is a RN; they’ll feel more confident with her reassurances!

          • 21 99ts
            February 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm

            So pleased japa – and nothing like a grandmother to provide the expert advice 🙂 We all seem to find our way through the maze of parenthood – but I think the real reward comes with the grandbabes – they steal away your heart forever.

  9. 22 Ladyhawke
    February 20, 2014 at 10:48 am

    What Are Republican Ideas To Increase Wages?



    They have still not offered a jobs plan. In the American Jobs Act, President Obama proposed infrastructure spending, payroll tax cuts, extending unemployment insurance, and tax credits for firms to hire the long-term unemployed.

    What have Republicans offered? The same thing as always: reduce regulations, cut taxes and “get the government out of the way.” But these are supply-side policies aimed at promoting long-term growth. They aren’t ideas to help in business cycle downturns.



  10. 24 cookemom
    February 20, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Howdy all you O’s!!!! What agreat getting up day in TODdytown don’cha know!!!!

    the crazy weather continues in my neck of the woods. I shoveled the sidewalks, driveway, and roof the other day in the frigid cold for the umpteenth time. This morning we had thunderstorms while I stood gentry in my basement at the ready to hold back the flood from the melting snow. This afternoon, temperatures are expected in the 50′s, but with 55 mph winds and more rain. Tomorrow, and for the rest of the week we expect low 20 degree temps.

    PS: Thanks for the pics of the “This Day in 2008” in this thread. PBO is wearing one of my all time favorite ties in those pictures. It has evidently found its final resting place in that great tie rack in the sky, along with the grey/silver striped one that I loved so much. #ohthememories

    • February 20, 2014 at 11:30 am

      You’re getting Iowa’s used weather over there in Chicago – you’re welcome. Are you also seeing large flocks of robins this early – I think their wiring must be off, they aren’t supposed to be here until mid-March…..

      • 26 cookemom
        February 20, 2014 at 11:52 am

        No, I haven’t seen any unusual furry or feathered.friends, unless those weird paw/hoof/foot prints I saw in the snow outside of my house mean anything.

        with my luck, it’s probably Big Foot!

      • 27 japa21
        February 20, 2014 at 12:02 pm

        We have had robins visiting our heated bird bath all winter long. A lot of them never left.

  11. 28 dotster3
    February 20, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Suspect arrested in Indianapolis day care shooting yesterday—–ex-husband shot his ex-wife 13 times in the parking lot of a day care where she was dropping off their daughter. She is in critical condition.
    Have gun, will shoot.


  12. 29 Nerdy Wonka
    February 20, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Some comic book fans kill me. They can accept the idea of a man faster than a speeding bullet but can’t accept a Black man playing Johnny Storm. Same crap when Idris Elba was cast in Thor (he did a fantastic job, by the way).

    Reflections of the ongoing problem in the larger society.

    Why It’s So Exciting That Michael B. Jordan Will Play Johnny Storm In ‘The Fantastic Four’

    Rumors surfaced almost a year ago that Michael B. Jordan, who broke out as a young, conflicted drug dealer in The Wire, and has gone on to star in the innovative superhero movie Chronicle and as Oscar Grant in Fruitvale Station, would be cast as Johnny Storm, the flammable superhero in the planned reboot of The Fantastic Four. Late yesterday, that good news became official. Jordan will play Storm, House Of Cards veteran Kate Mara will play his sister, Sue Storm, Miles Teller will play scientist Reed Richards, and Jamie Bell, who is starring in AMC’s new Revolutionary War series Turn, will play Ben Grimm, who is transformed into the Thing.
    The first word that Jordan might play Storm riled the same sort of comics purists who got upset that the Thor movies cast a black man (Idris Elba) as a Norse god. I expect their grumblings to resurface, though I’d issue the usual reminder that there’s something screwy in the functioning of an imagination that can stretch to accommodate the idea of a man bursting into flame and into flight, but not that man having dark skin.


  13. February 20, 2014 at 11:05 am

    What a fantastic R&S Nerdy, so so many issues covered, and stunning images from Ukraine and Venezuela. You’re a gem, thank you Lady Hazard!

  14. 32 sabreen60
    February 20, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Morning Ms. Chips and TODers.

    Nerdy, this is a great R&S. I was really moved by the Ta-Nehisi Coates article. As a mother of an African American son, I can really relate. Even though he’s 37 and looks 27 that fear is ever present.

  15. 34 JER
    February 20, 2014 at 11:35 am

  16. 35 jackiegrumbacher
    February 20, 2014 at 11:38 am

    You outdid yourself once again, NW. Loved the information, loved the photos. The bloodshed in Venezuela and Ukraine is heartbreaking. I hope there is some way out of this horror that does not mean more deaths. What a nightmare.

  17. 37 57andfemale
    February 20, 2014 at 11:40 am

    The greatest call to Stephanie Miller this morning: a black woman from TX I believe, asked “As a black woman, if I see a Confederate flag on a car, do I have the right to feel threatened and shoot the driver? Is a Confederate flag more ‘threatening’ than rap music or a hoodie?”

    Another female caller made this point: she said she never fathomed owning a gun, but does she need to consider it, since any a**hole who imagines a threat can shoot her on sight?

    Chris LaVoie, Stephanie’s engineer also made a great point: the stand your ground laws take away the “duty” to retreat or take any other defensive, de-escalating action. When did Republicans stop enforcing ‘accountability’? Cafeteria accountability.

    This is the path we’re headed down. It’s time to have a serious conversation of the ‘general welfare’ of citizens who have a right to feel safe in their cars or walking down the streets, to not be victims of some fevered, imagined ‘threat’ to some RWNJ with a gun.

    • 38 Cindy
      February 20, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      Good morning 57andfemale,
      How are you doing? I hope things are well for you, Mr.57, Mr. Kasper, pretty girl Miss Pearl and Mr. Nickelby. I hope that Mr. Nickelby is healing beautifully. Happy Thursday to you all!

      I truly understand the caller’s fear. Last week, I was driving next to a pickup truck that had a HUGE confederate flag mounted in the back of the truck, and it was blowing in the wind. My thoughts at the time; what if these guys hate me just because I am black, they could shoot me and lie their way out of killing me. I realized how fearful I was at that moment. I was so glad that I was not on a strip of highway that is not well traveled. It was scary.

      This hateful law give others the right to start a fight with you, and you could ignore them, turn to get in your car and they could kill you and say; she turned and I thought that she was going to pull a weapon on me. Dunn would have walked out of that courtroom a free man, had he not shot at the truck as the young men drove off. I saw Jordan’s parents on GMA and Lawrence O’Donnell yesterday. It is truly sad and heart breaking to see the Davis family stand, with such integrity and class, when they are hurting so deeply. They have every right to scream out for justice, curse the laws that murdered their son and gave the murderer freedom from being charged. They could be screaming at the jurors but they believe in their hearts that God will ultimately repay Dunn for his hatred.

      How many more families will have to stand before the world and say; my child was a good kid?

      I just pray that we can get these laws changed for the betterment of everyone. All of us are Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis if one lives in a State that ushered in “Stand Your Ground” laws. I do feel fearful at times because it only takes hate for a person to kill another and say; I was afraid of her because she moved the wrong way and I thought I was going to be killed by her.

      Nothing will change until “we all” get mad about the injustice of others, regardless of race. We all have to care about Sandy Hook’s babies, Trayvon, Jordan, Virginia Tech and all the others who have died because of these gun laws. When “we all” rise up, change will happen. When “we all” believe that Jordan could have been my child; grandchild, my nephew, my uncle, my brother and my father, then and only then, will change come about. If we live in a world that says; it’s not my problem, it’s not my child, then history will continue to be played out over and over and over again; killing our children and walking free.

      I pray that the day will come, when a nation stands up “together” and say; NO MORE! Enough is enough, and “we the people” will no longer tolerate the killing of innocent children and babies. We, the people, are not there yet; saddened but we are not angry. The day that everyone who can vote, go out and vote, is the day that change will happen. Anger directed in the right direction for positive change, will light the fuels for a new beginning. Until then, sadly, there will be another Jordan Davis, another Saturday evening verdict, and another murderer saying; I stood my ground.

      • 39 57andfemale
        February 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm

        Beautiful, Cindy.

        I believe the conversation has to turn to the rights of EVERYONE, not just the rights of someone with a gun. “General welfare” must apply to all of us and citizens should have the right to honk at someone cutting in front of them on the highway and not inviting lethal force.

        I almost wish this issue wasn’t seen so much through a racial lens – because I’m sure this law is being used regardless of race in many instances, as we see ‘justifiable’ homicides rise because this law is making it lawful to kill at will.

        • 40 Cindy
          February 20, 2014 at 1:52 pm

          So true 57andfemale,

          I don’t remember where I saw the graph; Dr.Maddow’s show or Mr. O’Donnell’s show but the graph was shocking. States that have “Stand Your Ground” laws, homicides have gone up, and states that do not have this law, homicides are flat or decreased. This law is not stopping murderers, it’s encouraging them. It is nothing more than a free pass to murder anyone you dislike or hate, especially minorities.

          I wish 1,000,000 people would march with our young people to our Governor’s office, and let Scott know that this law has to change. It has been the young people here in Florida fighting fervently for Scott to change this law. They are still working hard but I want to see everyone join hands, lock arms and walk to the Capitol and sleep in as the young people have done and demand change. This is when we need to take lessons from the Civil Rights era; Blacks, Whites, Jewish and others marched “together” for change.

  18. 41 donna dem 4 obama
    February 20, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Good Morning TOD. This is another amazing R & S Nerdy Wonka.

  19. 43 JER
    February 20, 2014 at 11:45 am

  20. 44 JER
    February 20, 2014 at 11:57 am

  21. 45 cookemom
    February 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Christie in over an hour of town hall meeting and not one question form the audience on bridgegate. He warns the folks that ‘if they give, they’ll get it right back!” whatever that means. Sounds like bullying to me. The location of the town hall was purposely picked because it’s a Christie friendly city. Still, you’d think at least one person would be brave/curious enough to make a teeny, tiny reference to the news headlines in their state. It really becomes apparent why the NJ Dem organization went for Christie, rather than their own Dem candidate.

    • 46 cookemom
      February 20, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      btw, looking at the coverage, the only diversity in the room is between those with canes and those with walkers. to be fair, there are a few younger folks in the audience. I spotted at least two people in their forties.

    • February 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm

  22. 52 JER
    February 20, 2014 at 12:18 pm

  23. 53 donna dem 4 obama
    February 20, 2014 at 12:19 pm

  24. 54 donna dem 4 obama
    February 20, 2014 at 12:29 pm

  25. February 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    “Details released in alleged local plot targeting U.S. government”




    Three Floyd County men are facing federal firearm charges alleging involvement in a plot targeting the U.S government.

    The FBI said they caught on to the plot after monitoring conversations online, including on a website called chatcrypt.com. The website claims it is a military-class encryption chat website.

    The FBI said they intercepted a chat from a person using the moniker, “Chief,” that read:

    “We will be using Guerilla style warfare tactics… I do not want kill or injure fellow Americans. So, at least for the guys with me, we will restrain the violence toward people and target infrastructure. Then respond to violence with reciprocal violence. “

    The criminal affidavit claimed the men were part of a group planning to target the U.S. government, including “TSA, DHS, and non-emergency FEMA.” Agents also intercepted chats where members claimed they were planning to “strategically sabotage power grids, transfers station, and water treatment facilities.”

  26. 60 donna dem 4 obama
    February 20, 2014 at 12:33 pm

  27. 61 Dakota
    February 20, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Can someone give me the 411 on so-called proposed Social Security cuts?

    • 62 Linda
      February 20, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      Nothing new….it is still what PBO proposed in the 2014 budget……” Chained CPI “.

      • 66 57andfemale
        February 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm

        I wish PBO didn’t support this. It gains him and the Dem’s nothing and ultimately it does hurt seniors. We don’t have a social security crisis that raising the cap even minimally wouldn’t solve, a more stringent means testing, etc.

        Chained CPI is only legitimate for younger workers or those with a good amount of disposable income. It will translate as a cut for seniors, who spend their money differently – health care, housing and food. Chained CPI works if, say, in order to combat inflation you forego getting a new iPhone for 6 months to a year instead of buying it now. Seniors have fixed costs that eat up their income – housing for example, or health care costs that outstrip inflation more than, say, your new DVR. Seniors are already foregoing steak for hamburger; and if you realize they don’t have a whole lot of disposable income purchases to forego – they end up eating poorly, foregoing vegetables, replacing hamburger with – yes cat food – hence the term ‘cat food commission’. Or foregoing their medications.

        I will support PBO in damn near anything, but he and the administration have not explained this to me in any satisfactory manner.

        • 67 Nena20409
          February 20, 2014 at 1:50 pm

          Chained CPI was Not on this 2014 Budget. TBGOPers reneged on the Tax Increases; hence, No Changed CPI…..that is my understanding.

          • 68 57andfemale
            February 20, 2014 at 1:58 pm

            That’s what I gather, as I read today’s info. And it’s a hell of an argument for the Good Guys: PBO was willing to do something really difficult and you GOP numbskulls couldn’t find a tax loophole to close?

          • 69 donna dem 4 obama
            February 20, 2014 at 2:02 pm

            Yes but….. “The offer to Speaker Boehner remains on the table for whenever the Republicans decide they want to engage in a serious discussion about a balanced plan to deal with our long-term fiscal challenges that includes closing loopholes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations,” the White House official said.”

            I know this is a moot point because we all know that the Repubs will never allow any tax increases on their wealthy donors!

  28. 72 MightyPamela
    February 20, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Born under the sign of Leo ~ PBO is indeed the Sun Man! Fantastic photo at the top. Heartbreaking photos of Ukraine. Hey y’all. Everyone take good care.

  29. 73 Nerdy Wonka
    February 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm

  30. 74 Nerdy Wonka
    February 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm

  31. 75 Nerdy Wonka
    February 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Breaking: Obama To Drop Social Security Cuts In His Budget

    President Barack Obama will drop Social Security cuts he supported last year in his upcoming budget proposal, White House sources told TPM. The president’s budget blueprint for the coming year will omit the so-called Chained CPI proposal, which slows the rate at which Social Security benefits grow (which were included in his budget plan last year).

    “The compromise embedded in last year’s Budget included policies like chained CPI — the number one policy change that Republicans had asked for in previous fiscal negotiations,” said a White House official. “However, over the course of last year, Republicans consistently showed a lack of willingness to negotiate on a deficit reduction deal, refusing to identify even one unfair tax loophole they would be willing to close, despite the President’s willingness to put tough things on the table.” The president isn’t definitively taking the idea off the table as part of a broad budget deal that includes tax revenues.

    “The offer to Speaker Boehner remains on the table for whenever the Republicans decide they want to engage in a serious discussion about a balanced plan to deal with our long-term fiscal challenges that includes closing loopholes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations,” the White House official said.


  32. February 20, 2014 at 1:12 pm

  33. 80 Nerdy Wonka
    February 20, 2014 at 1:12 pm

  34. 81 Nerdy Wonka
    February 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm

  35. 83 vcprezofan2
    February 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Are you moving, TODvillage? Well, here’s a call to share your moves with FL Michelle Obama.

    • 84 jacquelineoboomer
      February 20, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      No, I am not moving today, VC. Except to and from the coffee pot. I feel like Achy Breaky Grandma.

      But I do expect Spring to arrive in the Midwest to warm us up … oh say somewhere around June, perhaps.

  36. 86 Ladyhawke
    February 20, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Deputy Press Secretary Josh ‘The Voice’ Earnest is covering for Jay Carney at the briefing today. The first question from Julie Pace (AP) is about Chained CPI.

  37. 88 Nena20409
    February 20, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    WH presser while POTUS is in Mexico?


    Not Jay, but still another “J” guy 😉 Josh

  38. 91 Nena20409
    February 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Loads of information on this excellent R&S.

    You Did Really a fantastic job as always, NW.

    Thank you.

  39. 93 donna dem 4 obama
    February 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm


    Did You Know That?

    Scholar and activist W.E.B. Du Bois died one day before Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the infamous March on Washington (August 28, 1963). Du Bois became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University and he wrote extensively but was the best known spokesperson for African-American rights during the first half of the 20th century.

    • 94 0388jojothecat
      February 20, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Was W.E.B DB buried in Africa?

      • 95 donna dem 4 obama
        February 20, 2014 at 3:38 pm

        Yes. Ghana I believe.

        • 96 nathkatun7
          February 20, 2014 at 6:32 pm

          You are right, Donna. DuBois renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1961 and became a citizen of Ghana. In Africa he is regarded as the father of Pan-Africanism. DuBois’ life was truly historical, He was born in 1868, the year that the 14th Amendment, which recognizing Blacks as U.S.citizens, was ratified. And as you have reminded us, he died, at 95 years of age, the day before Dr. King made his “I Have a Dream” speech. P.B.S. did an excellent biography of him entitled “W.E.B. DuBois: A Biography in Four Voices.”

  40. 97 JER
    February 20, 2014 at 1:38 pm

  41. 98 donna dem 4 obama
    February 20, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    • 99 Nena20409
      February 20, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      If Gallup says +46%

      Add +10%=56% as the Actual Numbers 😉

      Gallup is still using higher GOP numbers…..25% is what the actual GOP ID today….per the same Gallup.

      However, they over use Indies and Low-ball Dems and Minorities…….

  42. 100 donna dem 4 obama
    February 20, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    • 101 Nena20409
      February 20, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      I’ve just called her office in DC. This bat poop is my rep. I let them have it as usual. She also said that US is not ready for a woman POTUS. Then I asked her rep, why the Dickens did she run for the presidency? The fool had no answer. I told her that Bachmann needs to stop being a racist and to Stop dividing The United States of America. I also told her rep that Bachamann needs to stop lying about her Tax Attorney claim for she Never took a MN Bar exams.

      • 102 donna dem 4 obama
        February 20, 2014 at 2:05 pm

        Good for you!!!!

      • 103 jacquelineoboomer
        February 20, 2014 at 2:07 pm

        Hope you sprayed something anti-bacterial on your phone, after the call. Eek.

        • 104 Nena20409
          February 20, 2014 at 2:12 pm

          I wish I could. The bat poops office keeps calling my number. This year alone, they have called my number 3X. It is only Feb 20, 2014. Lord Have mercy. My area is mostly rightie dominated. The only great news is that she will be out this year. Unfortunately, Fox, or any of the other Cablers will sign her for.

          • 105 Nena20409
            February 20, 2014 at 2:13 pm

            Sign her UP……oopsy not for.

          • 106 jacquelineoboomer
            February 20, 2014 at 2:15 pm

            I’m sure you have a countdown calendar on your wall! Cannot wait for her to be gone, and at least when she’s on Fox, we won’t have to hear from her … until she’s invited on MTP as a Pres. Obama basher, of course, for the circus clown appeal.

    • 107 jacquelineoboomer
      February 20, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Yeah, same white guilt excuse, because no white person would actually see President Obama as a distinctive, brilliant, caring, dynamic, innovative leader, who’s an honorable person to boot – and because his base is only African Americans, dontcha know.

      Michelle and Marcus Bachmann: A union of stupidity, denial, arrogance, homophobia, and racism, among other RWNJ traits.

      • 108 Nena20409
        February 20, 2014 at 2:17 pm

        I did ask her rep If Michele was elected in 2006 and on for her white-Ness? She was quiet then said that she heard me and she would pass along my information. It was at that time that I asked her about her staunch support for Jimmy Carter in 1976 over saintly Ronnie, was that because Carter was More White that Reagan? She then told me Thanks for calling and the Phone went DEAD!

        • 109 jacquelineoboomer
          February 20, 2014 at 2:18 pm

          We need a transcript of some of yer phone calls to these clowns! Love it. Go, Nena!

        • 110 99ts
          February 20, 2014 at 5:02 pm

          Wonderful Nena – reminds me of when I rang a TV station to complain of their biased coverage – took me awhile to realize they had hung up on me – I was so into telling them the error of their ways.

  43. 111 Linda
    February 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Luke Russert just asked a stupid question about a discharge petition……..

    Why not try it on immigration you only need ” 28 ” Republicans.

    Duh…….they only need 18 Republicans,,,,there are 200 Dems in the House.

    Maybe Luke should pull himself out of Paul Ryan’s ass once in a while and learn the facts.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 112 jacquelineoboomer
      February 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      Lukie, same old wise one who used a reference to prove a point about something on Capitol Hill once, by mentioning his “class trip to the National Zoo”? That boy genius? Why am I not surprised.

  44. February 20, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    So much harm…by drunken drivers…this made me cry!

  45. 114 Linda
    February 20, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Oregon’s attorney general said Thursday that she will not defend the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

    Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum argued in a court filing that Oregon’s ban, which voters added to the state constitution in 2004, “cannot withstand a federal constitutional challenge under any standard of review,” as quoted by The Oregonian.

    Rosenblum filed her brief with U.S. District Judge Michael McShane, who is hearing a suit brought by four same-sex couples challenging the state’s ban. Her statement means that both the plaintiffs and the defendant in the case view the ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.

    Aside from that court challenge, a campaign to overturn the ban via a ballot initiative in the November election has gained the support of GOP officials and activists.


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