Rise and Shine

President Obama joins in singing “Sweet Home Chicago” during the “In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues” concert in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 21, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)


Today (all times Eastern):

10:0: President Obama meets with the Dalai Lama

11:15: Attends the Democratic Governors Association Meeting, State Dining Room

1:15 Press briefing by Jay Carney



Michael Tomasky: Obamacare Wins on Specifics

If Republicans can keep discussion around the Affordable Care Act vague, they’ll win in the midterms. The party of health care should collect stories of success and confront the party of no.

The big electoral question hanging over Democrats, of course, is what to do about Obamacare this fall. The pundits say: It’s death! The Democrats are gonna get killed. The Democratic consultants advise their candidates to be as mealy-mouthed as they can possibly get away with being and change the topic as quickly as possible.

The pundits might end up being right after all the votes are counted. But I say the quickest way for Democrats to guarantee that the pundits end up being right is to take their consultants’ advice and pussy-foot around the issue. Democrats who do that will be hoping they sound “reasonable,” but what they’ll really be sounding, and everyone will hear it, is timorous, callow, and totally without conviction. If Democrats are going to say they support the ACA at all—and most of them are going to have to—they might as well do it in a full-throttle and in-your-face way. And they can. The material is there if they just have the onions to use it.

More here



Steve Benen: A closer look at latest ACA ‘horror story’

It’s hard to miss the pattern: the right identifies an “Obamacare victim,” who receives a fair amount of attention and finds themselves featured in a misleading attack ad. Soon after, reality sets in – the ACA “horror story” draws closer scrutiny and the story turns out to be quite different than the one first presented to the public.

I tried to keep up with all of them for a while, but I’ve literally lost count of how many times this has happened.

The new one is an attack ad in Michigan’s U.S. Senate race, sponsored by the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity, featuring a woman named Julia Boonstra….

More here




Jonathan Bernstein: Catch of the Day: Republicans Fire, and Miss, at Obamacare

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones asks the obvious question about yet another overinflated or inaccurate Obamacare sob story from Republicans, in this case, from an advertisement produced by Americans for Prosperity:

So here’s my question: if this is the best AFP can do, does that mean that no one is truly being harmed by Obamacare? … If this is happening to a lot of people, finding a dozen or so of them shouldn’t be hard. But apparently it is. So maybe it’s not actually happening to very many people at all?

…. It’s not as if the occasional Obamacare horror story turns out to be exaggerated; every single one propagated by Republicans has fallen apart under scrutiny.

…. The lesson for the press? If you want a nice, easy, debunking story, focus on Republican claims about Obamacare.

Full post here



Steve Benen: Obama moves away from chained CPI

Last spring, President Obama signaled to congressional Republicans that he was serious about a long-term debt-reduction deal. GOP leaders made it explicitly clear: if the White House really wants a deal, Obama will have to accept a change to how Social Security benefits are calculated – a policy called “chained CPI,” in reference to the Consumer Price Index.

To the severe disappointment of his progressive allies and Democratic base, the president agreed, including chained CPI in his budget as a demonstration of his commitment…

In theory, this was poised to be a breakthrough moment for a bipartisan debt-reduction agreement. But in practice, the president’s effort was for naught …. A year later, the president has decided there’s no point in offering Republicans what they want if they’re not prepared to take “yes” for an answer – Obama’s new budget plan drops chained CPI.

More here






On This Day:

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama cheer during their daughter Sasha Obama’s basketball game, Feb. 21, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)


President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama smile as they walk through the crowd at the Governors Ball in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb. 21, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Pete Souza: “The President and First Lady were dancing along to the music of the Harry Connick, Jr., Big Band at the Governors Ball. Mrs. Obama turned towards me and, for one split second, looked right at me. Usually I strive to capture moments when the subjects are unaware of the camera. But this an exception where I actually liked that she was looking at me.” Feb. 21, 2010

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama applaud the performance of Harry Connick Jr. and the Big Band during the Governors Ball in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 21, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)


President Obama gestures during a meeting in the Oval Office, Feb. 21, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)


President Obama reads a document in the Oval Office, Feb. 21, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and VP Biden following remarks on the extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, Feb 21 2012

Mick Jagger performs “I Can’t Turn You Loose” during the “In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues” concert in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 21, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)


MoooOOOooorning everyone, I ran out of news-gathering time again, will catch up later. Happy Friday!

104 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. February 21, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Good Morning! Thanks for all these great videos! ♥

  2. 7 amk for obama
    February 21, 2014 at 10:15 am

    “The party of health care should collect stories of success and confront the party of no.”

    Riiiiight… When that happens, I’ll be dancing with nubile angels.

  3. 18 Ladyhawke
    February 21, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Meet the default caucus



    In essence, Capito voted to run up charges on the nation’s credit card and then refused to pay the bill when it came due. And she wasn’t alone: 135 representatives and 17 senators voted the same, a ‘default caucus’ made up almost exclusively of Republicans. Many – perhaps even most – of these legislators may very well have liked to vote ‘yes’ on the debt ceiling bill, but felt constrained against doing so by pressure from Tea Party-aligned deficit hawks. But the fact a significant faction in Congress can vote to run up debt, refuse to pay for it, and bill themselves as “fiscal conservatives” shows just how much that term has lost its meaning. You can search below to see how your representatives voted on these measures. (Capito did not respond to a request for comment).



  4. 20 hopefruit2
    February 21, 2014 at 10:21 am

    G’morning Chips, TOD, lurkers, everyone and congrats CarolMae on #1 🙂

    Thanks Chips for all the lovely pics, videos, memories from last year, and Obamacare news – fabulous R & S collection. Will the Democratic Governor’s association mtg be carried live?

  5. 21 JER
    February 21, 2014 at 10:21 am

  6. February 21, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Well I’m going to BBL to see all these great picks and videos and see what else is going on. Hope there is no major damage from the storms. Enjoy your day!

  7. February 21, 2014 at 10:31 am

    GM & Wonderful R&S, Chips! Congrats, Carol……… AMK, always sloppy seconds 😎

    WASHINGTON — The first black woman to win the crown of Miss Israel says she believes the country has real problems with its treatment of refugees and immigrants from Africa but that the situation is improving.
    “I’m not ashamed to say that there is racism in Israel; it’s a problem, but it’s a problem that Israel is working on and it’s something that Israel is trying to fix and it’s actually improving,”

    “I don’t feel the racism, me, exactly,” Aynaw said. “But my family feels it sometimes.” Aynaw is in the United States this week on invitation of the Israeli Embassy. She traveled first to New York and then to Washington, where she met with members of the city’s large Ethiopian community. She also played basketball with members of the Philadelphia 76ers……..”

  8. 31 hopefruit2
    February 21, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Harper thinks he is PBO – making special phone calls and all that…. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  9. 32 hopefruit2
    February 21, 2014 at 10:46 am

  10. 39 japa21
    February 21, 2014 at 10:49 am

    GM all fellow TODvillians from frozen Chicago. I mean that literally. A lot of snow melted yetsreday with around an inch of rain also falling. Temps plunged, so guess what happened to the water?

    I have truly come to hate winter.

    Anyway, I have a warning to issue to all our Canadian TODers. My son, who is in the Army and commands many, many troops, has told me that if Canada wins the hockey game today, he is going to invade and confiscate all the maple syrup and walleye and leave Justin Bieber behind.

    • February 21, 2014 at 10:51 am

      😆 I can now picture VC building a trench around her home!

      • 41 japa21
        February 21, 2014 at 11:14 am

        I waited a while before coming back to see if she would respond. I think she has already passed out in fear of having Bieber back.

        • 42 vcprezofan2
          February 21, 2014 at 11:25 am

          Japa, I keep bouncing in and out following links from Chips’ R & S, plus wandering in and out of twitter, so I haven’t been following the thread comments here.

          Re Bieber, he’s totally and completely all yours. Americans can’t accept people with open arms on the basis of the outward package (and their questionable talents), then want to throw them away when you open the package and discover their insides are not to your liking. You ‘bought’ him, he’s all yours! Enjoy!

      • 43 vcprezofan2
        February 21, 2014 at 11:18 am

        Troops, mostly male, coming to visit – forget the trench, CC! 😀 Go Canada, Go! You can do it, Canada!

    • 47 vcprezofan2
      February 21, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Tell young Japa, no need to invade. When Canada wins, we’ll open our doors wide and will gladly share our maple syrup. Some of us will give him all the walleye he can eat IF he agrees to keep Bieber.

      • 48 No Child Left Behind
        February 21, 2014 at 11:37 am

        Good Morning VC,

        We’ll keep Bieber but you must take the CRUZ back. Send his father to Cuba if you may but, please, take this Teabagger back.

        • 49 vcprezofan2
          February 21, 2014 at 11:44 am

          {{{NCLB}}} Glad to see you’re here!
          Sorry, no deal. First you welcome these, these, ….. I don’t know…, then you puff them up with a sense of their own importance, and when they become overinflated with self, you want to pawn them off. No way, no how. You break ’em (in), you’ve bought ’em.

          ps. Maybe Cuba will take them all – Cruzes and Biebers. I say it’s worth a try on your part.

  11. 50 hopefruit2
    February 21, 2014 at 10:53 am

  12. 53 hopefruit2
    February 21, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Now that is affordable health insurance for you. 🙂

  13. 54 amk for obama
    February 21, 2014 at 10:59 am

  14. 56 Ladyhawke
    February 21, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Back When Fox Was Fine With Raising The Minimum Wage

    by Eric Boehlert


    Not that long ago, the conservative movement and its media allies wanted to be seen as the champions of America’s working class. Today, as Fox News leads a barrage of attacks against wages, benefits, time off and flexibility, everyday workers have become a favorite right-wing target.



  15. 57 dotster3
    February 21, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Today Show was promoting an interview with First Lady Michelle Obama by Jenna Bush Hager which will air next week. I didn’t catch the subject matter—–physical fitness or expanding education opportunities?

  16. 58 hopefruit2
    February 21, 2014 at 11:01 am

  17. 59 amk for obama
    February 21, 2014 at 11:01 am

  18. 60 Linda
    February 21, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Burned out from politics, Republican messaging guru Frank Luntz is taking his talents to sports media.

    Luntz will join Fox Sports 1 as an “exclusive sports communications analyst,” the fledgling network announced Thursday.

    According to the announcement, Luntz will primarily contribute to the network’s nightly flagship program “Fox Sports Live.” He’ll also get to show off his speciality as host a segment called “Sound Off,” which will feature taped focus groups covering a wide range of sports issues.

    “It may surprise people, but sports are my passion, and I love the excitement and intensity on and off the field,” Luntz said in the press release. “There is a right way and a wrong way to communicate to viewers, fans and players, and I plan to bring analysis and accountability to the language of sports and those who play them.”

    Luntz appeared to be at a personal and professional crossroads when he posed for a profile last month in The Atlantic. In the piece, he expressed disenchantment with politics and said he’d love to serve as a Hollywood consultant but couldn’t get anyone in show business to return his calls.


    • 61 Don
      February 21, 2014 at 11:19 am

      Frank Luntz; right-wing fear monger extraordinaire hosting a sports talk show, nothing can go wrong with that.

    • 62 jacquelineoboomer
      February 21, 2014 at 11:42 am

      Remind me to write his debut on my calendar. Or remind me to rip up my calendar and try to get him out of my mind.

      Obviously, the guy never played sports, but thinks he can talk about them. Just like he did with politics.

      Hey, Frank, my focus group consensus is: Begone!

  19. 63 amk for obama
    February 21, 2014 at 11:02 am

  20. 66 amk for obama
    February 21, 2014 at 11:06 am

  21. 68 vcprezofan2
    February 21, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Just looking at this picture shared by Chips above made me smile. Those guys on the other side never elicit a smile even on their best days.

  22. 69 Nerdy Wonka
    February 21, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Love this law.

  23. 70 hopefruit2
    February 21, 2014 at 11:20 am

  24. 71 vcprezofan2
    February 21, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Smart wife – if you can’t beat them, join them?

    • 72 Lynn
      February 21, 2014 at 11:39 am

      I’ve got a copy of that!! It’s fab!!

      • 73 vcprezofan2
        February 21, 2014 at 11:51 am

        Okay, is it just a 1-2 page article with not enough pictures?

        • 74 Lynn
          February 21, 2014 at 11:55 am

          112 pages of all FLOTUS and pictures, pictures PICTURES!!!

          • 75 vcprezofan2
            February 21, 2014 at 11:58 am

            ALL Flotus!!! THANKS for this info, Lynn. I will definitely be hunting for this Essence. Usually in my corner of the world I have to either wait forever for certain magazines to hit shelves near me, or take a trip to scout the shelves in the ‘south’ – a sometimes frustrating activity.

            • 76 Lynn
              February 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm

              Glad I could add something productive, vc. Almost entirely full page photos. Absolutely stock up on smelling salts and reupholster the fainting couch. I keep my copy in my glass china cabinet (with my few true treasures) where I can see it from my desk all day.

              • 77 vcprezofan2
                February 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm

                What’s the date on it, Lynn, so I know what I’m looking for when I go in?

                • 78 Lynn
                  February 21, 2014 at 12:21 pm

                  Oops. Posted before I saw this response. I looked for a print number, but found none. Parts of it were previously published in ESSENCE magazine in 2012. You could probably ask for it by the title “A Salute to MICHELLE OBAMA” in the perfect bound version. There may be a hard copy version. Hope this helps. Let me know how it shakes out. I’m usually up to 3 days behind, but I always catch up.

                  • 79 vcprezofan2
                    February 21, 2014 at 12:25 pm

                    Valuable identifying info that will help me in my investigations ••►’Salute to MICHELLE OBAMA” in the perfect bound version’.

                    Much appreciated – thanks heaps!

            • 80 Lynn
              February 21, 2014 at 12:14 pm

              Phone # 1 (800) 327-6399 from the magazines 4th page. Hope this helps, vc.

  25. 82 JER
    February 21, 2014 at 11:32 am

  26. 83 hopefruit2
    February 21, 2014 at 11:32 am

    HEADLINE: Michelle Obama’s Black Jumpsuit on The Tonight Show: Get the Look!

    // FLOTUS really can do no fashion wrong. For her latest appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday, Feb. 20, Michelle Obama looked incredibly chic in a black jumpsuit. She accessorized the cowl-necked one-piece with a wide black belt with leather piping and black pointy-toed kitten heels.

    If the first lady’s look has you jumping for a jumpsuit, try the similarly styled Mango Draped Neckline Jumpsuit. At $89.99, the sleeveless jersey piece features an elastic waist and a flattering cowled neckline. Finish the FLOTUS-inspired styled with the Three-Strap Sash Belt from Mango ($14.99) and a black heels. //

    Read more: http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-style/news/michelle-obamas-black-jumpsuit-the-tonight-show-get-the-look-2014212#ixzz2tyV8kX9t

  27. 84 Linda
    February 21, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Three 19-year-old freshmen at the University of Mississippi are wanted for questioning in the racially charged vandalism that took place last weekend at the school, according to University Police Chief Calvin Sellers.

    According to a statement released Friday from the university, Sellers and investigators had gathered enough evidence by Wednesday night to bring charges against two of the students.

    Sellers said the names of the three students, all white males, had figured prominently in the investigation into the defacement of a campus statue honoring James Meredith, the school’s first black student. A noose and a flag showing the “stars and bars” of the Confederacy were draped over the statue early Sunday morning.

    University police were stymied in their efforts to question the three students on Thursday night when attorneys representing the young men declined to make them available without a search warrant.


  28. 86 dotster3
    February 21, 2014 at 11:50 am

    7 fatal shootings last night in Indianapolis, including a 16 yr. old. Have gun, will shoot.


  29. 89 carolyn
    February 21, 2014 at 11:54 am

    My apologies to the lady behind FLOTUS in the picture on the previous post. I see her in a picture on this post, and she is smiling and clapping. She was probably caught in that moment like we all are at times, when we wish the camera hadn’t snapped.

  30. February 21, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Hi everyone,
    As you can see from my tweets I am single minded in my pursuit of all things Christie. I posted this diary on DK, which I know is not a popular place but I use whatever I can to get out the word.
    This is a diary on Christie’s recent town hall. Or should I say town fail.

  31. 97 dotster3
    February 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    New plant in Fl. is turning Disney World food scraps into electricity and fertilizer. Advantage over wind and solar is this electricity can crank out kilowatts 24/7, when wind isn’t blowing, when the sun isn’t shining. Also—-saving on landfills. Wave of future?


  32. 98 donna dem 4 obama
    February 21, 2014 at 12:05 pm

  33. February 21, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Latest from Ukraine:

    The government and opposition agree to early elections.

    The parliament is considering a law which will free Yulia Timoshenko.

  34. 101 dotster3
    February 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    This org., begun by a mom of 5 in Indy and now with members in every state, is working daily to make a difference everywhere they can. Deserve much credit and support.

  35. February 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    And this is one of the reasons I am single minded about Christie

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