Rise and Shine: Belgium and China


President Obama, Belgium’s King Philippe (C) and Belgium’s Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo attend a ceremony at The Flanders Field American World War I Cemetery and Memorial in Waregem, March 26


Today (all times US Eastern):

9:10 AM: President Obama holds a press conference, Council of the European Union

11:35 AM: Meets with NATO Secretary General Rasmussen

12:45 PM: Delivers remarks, Palais Des Beaux Arts, Brussels

1:45 PM: Departs Brussels

3:40 PM: Arrives Rome

6:30: Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden Hosts a Reception in Honor of Women’s History Month, United States Naval Observatory




The First Lady in China

First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother Marian Robinson feed apple to giant pandas during their visit at Giant Panda Research Base in Chengdu, Sichuan province, March 26



First Lady Michelle Obama is greeted by Tibetan students as they arrive to a Tibetan restaurant for lunch in Chengdu in southwest China’s Sichuan province


On This Day:

On This Day: President Obama looks out the Green Room window prior to the “Open for Questions” virtual town hall meeting on the economy in the East Room of the White House, March 26, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)


President Obama surprises personal secretary Katie Johnson with a birthday gift in the Outer Oval Office, March 26, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)


March 26, 2011: “More often than not, the President is in the office on most Saturdays to convene a national security or economic meeting. Here, on a Saturday in March, the President listens during a conference call on Libya in the Situation Room of the White House.” (Photo by Pete Souza)


President Obama prays with faith leaders in the Oval Office following a meeting to discuss the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Aug. 26, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)



 President Obama signs memorabilia for March of Dimes 2013 National Ambassador Nina Centofanti, 8, at the Resolute Desk during her visit to the Oval Office, March 26, 2013. Centofanti’s parents Vince and Christine, brother Nicholas, and sister Mia, not visible, stand behind her (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama bounces a soccer ball on his head while hosting a ceremony honoring players and coaches from the National Hockey League Stanley Cup-winning Los Angeles Kings and the Major League Soccer champions Los Angeles Galaxy in the East Room of the White House, March 26, 2013

Vogue, March 26, 2013


MooOOOoorning again everyone – got completely caught up with worky stuff so ran out of time, so apologies for the teeny R&S. Will catch up later in the day.

130 Responses to “Rise and Shine: Belgium and China”

  1. 1 vcprezofan2
    March 26, 2014 at 11:08 am


  2. 14 vcprezofan2
    March 26, 2014 at 11:10 am

    😉 ‘O, a feel good. Ta-na-nana-na-na. I know that I would. Ta-na-nana-na-na’ Actually, I didn’t know anything of the kind, but I’m happy.

  3. 15 amk for obama
    March 26, 2014 at 11:11 am

  4. March 26, 2014 at 11:12 am

    GM TOD. Congrats VC! Wonderful R&S Chips 🙂

    • 22 Cindy
      March 26, 2014 at 11:37 am

      As Joe would say; this is a BFD!!!!

      One million on Saturday, another million on Monday, and now 1.2 million on Tuesday and there are still more days to go?

      I see 8 million plus by the time this is closed down in April. Look out repukes…..how long will you run on repeal?

  5. March 26, 2014 at 11:14 am

    “But the election of Pope Francis last March seemed to breathe new life into the Catholic Church and, potentially, into the relationship between Mr. Obama and the institution that gave him his start. While far from an ideological progressive, Francis does sometimes appear cloaked in Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment.” His de-emphasis of issues like abortion and same-sex marriage and his championing of the poor and vulnerable — articulated in his mission statement, “The Joy of the Gospel” — have impressed a second-term president who argues that income inequality undermines human dignity. “Whether you call that the ‘seamless garment’ or ‘the joy of the Gospel’ or what, I’ve said to the president I consider that a pretty Catholic way of looking at the world,” said Denis McDonough, the White House chief of staff, who is Roman Catholic. Mr. McDonough added that the community-organizer-turned-president had expressed admiration to him about “how important it is for the Holy Father to be so in the community….

    Last month, Catholic activists made their case for social justice on Capitol Hill. Afterward, relaxing over beers and a buffet in the Russell Senate Office Building, they discussed whether Cardinal George, who is retiring as archbishop of Chicago, would be replaced by Archbishop Gregory, who helped secure Mr. Obama’s church grant application in the 1980s. Among them was Mr. Lyke, the man who had received coaching from Mr. Obama years earlier in the basement of Holy Name Cathedral. He characterized Francis and Mr. Obama as a match made in heaven……”

  6. 25 JER
    March 26, 2014 at 11:16 am

  7. March 26, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Read this excerpt of the BullS**t Bush & Co. were feeding the press/public

    Highest ranking Al-Qaeda member convicted in U.S. Federal Court.

  8. March 26, 2014 at 11:18 am

    My older sister and her kids are coming to visit for a few days. So good times will be had. Hopefully, not in too much pain from the surgery.

  9. 42 MightyPamela
    March 26, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Y’all! These top photos leave me searching for words (ino,me?) Amk, please scratch that liddle guys ears, please. He is just so sweet!

  10. 61 Nena20409
    March 26, 2014 at 11:22 am


    Today’s new Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll — the gold standard in health care polling — offers clues as to why the latter may be more likely. Key findings:
    – Views of the ACA remain unfavorable, but the gap is narrowing. The new poll finds that in March, 38 percent viewed the law favorably, versus 46 percent who saw it unfavorably. That’s a substantial narrowing from the 34-50 spread during the dark days of January, and a return almost to where opinion was in September (39-43), before the rollout disaster began.
    – Support for repeal continues to shrink. Only 18 percent want to repeal the law and not replace it, while all of 11 percent want to repeal and replace it with a GOP alternative — a grand total of 29 percent. Meanwhile, 49 percent want to keep the law and improve it, and another 10 percent want to keep it as is — a total of 59 percent.

    • 62 Cindy
      March 26, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      Hi Nena20409,

      I keep hearing the statement from MSM and the papers; improve on the existing law.

      What more are they looking for with the ACA? I keep hearing and seeing this but no one is saying what is wrong, unless I missed it.

      Do you know what the 49% want to improve?


      • 63 jziglar
        March 26, 2014 at 12:31 pm

        I think most people want it too go even further and the polls back it up. I think they want a public option to compete with the private plans in the exchanges, and greater subsidies with more people qualifying for it.

        I’m sure like Social Security and Medicare the ACA will not be the same 20-30 years from now.

        • 64 Vicki
          March 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm

          Yes, over time everything gets fine-tuned.
          If you’re talking about fixing it now instead of promoting it now you are not exactly with the program.

        • 65 Cindy
          March 26, 2014 at 12:40 pm

          Thank you jziglar and Vicki for some clarity.

          Have a WONDERFUL and BLESSED DAY!!!!

      • 66 Vicki
        March 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm

        In my humble opinion “improve on or fix the ACA” are anti-Obama dogwhistles. I think the idea is that the next democratic president will ride in to save the ACA.
        REAL Democrats aren’t calling for fixing or improving. REAL Democrats are promoting the Huge Benefits of Obamacare.

      • 67 carolyn
        March 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm

        A fair portion of that 49% want single payer, but that option is never included in the polling, or if it is, it is never put in the results. That is the only improvement a number of people want: Medicare for everyone.

        • 68 Cindy
          March 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm

          Thank you Carolyn,

          Yes, I do hear some of the Dems mentioning the single payer, I thought it was something drastic. Every time I hear “fix” it, the repukes are always up in arms about their replacement for it, and why their plan is better. Of course I was asking myself, fix what?

      • 71 Nena20409
        March 26, 2014 at 2:11 pm

        Those on the left are still calling for Public Option. That is a % of %, mind you. 49% looks huge, but totally exaggerated. It comes to about 12-20% for real who would want Public Option or Medicare for All……single payer model.

  11. March 26, 2014 at 11:23 am

    O/T For you Federer/Nadal etc. fans…… check out this new technology the ATP is going to use.

    Other broadcast examples….

  12. 73 yardarm756
    March 26, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Good morning everyone. No snow, hurray! This may be my transmission for a bit. I’ll be going for a pre-op assessment for a cataract this afternoon. I’m told it’s a piece o’ cake so we’ll see. No pun intended. 🙂
    Good to see you gob (smooches) ♥

    • 74 amk for obama
      March 26, 2014 at 11:52 am

      My mom got it done when she was in her late seventies. One day stay. A week of not exposing the eye to bright light.

      Much better than when my dad got in done 1980’s.

      All the best

      • 75 yardarm756
        March 26, 2014 at 12:04 pm

        Thanks amk. My Doc said the procedure will only take 15 minutes as an out patient. But today is the work up w/dilation and photos.

        • 76 amk for obama
          March 26, 2014 at 12:20 pm

          It’s a piece of cake with modern technology. My daughter, a perennial specs wearer, got the problem corrected with laser surgery about a year back (while anxiety attacks to the clueless dad & mom). Now, no specs, she is totally happy.

          Eye treatments have grown by leaps and bounds in the last 2 decades. Only precautions – no direct water for 1 or 2 weeks, on infection and no unintentional injuries. Cut your nails.

          • 77 carolyn
            March 26, 2014 at 12:27 pm

            My husband had cataract surgery two years ago at age 81. It was wonderful. Fifteen minute surgery max…probably less. He walked out with very dark sunglasses covering his eyes, but his eyesight improved radically. Not one problem. He followed doctor’s orders to a tee, and ho problems.
            It will be the same for you. He saw colors again, and that was wonderful!

          • 78 yardarm756
            March 26, 2014 at 12:41 pm

            Ha! Thanks for the tip. I guess I’ll have to curtail all basketball activities, eh? 😉

            • 79 otter44
              March 26, 2014 at 1:12 pm

              Dear Yardarm

              Mostly a lurker on TOD , you have given me so many smiles, chuckles, and even belly laughs with your jokes. i also appreciate your more serious postings, you have educated me on part of our history that I never heard or saw before. Willing be sending healing thoughts to you and your family.

    • 80 Cindy
      March 26, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      Good Happy Wednesday to you yardarm756!

      Wishing you the very best with the surgery.

      My grandmother had it done back in the late 80’s, and she had to avoid light (wear shades) for two weeks.

      I have heard that it’s a simple surgery now. I am sure they have improved, with new technology and all, since her time.

      Good Luck!!!!

    • 82 daisydem
      March 26, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Hubby had cataract surgery in both eyes a few months ago. One eye, then you wait about 2 weeks and they do other eye. He had no problems and now, (for a man who wore glasses from the age of 8) he LOVES his eyes. He brags about them; they literally make him happy. The hardest thing for him is that now even months later he does still reach for imaginary glasses to put on he was so conditioned.

      He does have to use reading glasses now for some things, not all the time, but he loves his eyes.

    • 84 jackiegrumbacher
      March 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      I’ve had both eyes done, Yardarm. It’s really okay. I’m the world’s biggest coward and made it through just fine both times.

    • March 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Best wishes for quick and smooth sailing, yardarm!

  13. 87 vcprezofan2
    March 26, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Chips-y Doodle, a very ‘Good Wednesday’ to you again! Sure is frustrating how ‘worky’ stuff often gets in the way, isn’t it? No apologies necessary though. What you consider a ‘teeny R&S’ is more than enough to keep some of us hopping around all morning.

    Have yourself a good day, and give the guard dog in training a gentle pat on the head for me!

  14. 88 vcprezofan2
    March 26, 2014 at 11:44 am

    /breath heal/ Will this work? Will this work? Smiley

  15. 93 Cindy
    March 26, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Thank you Chipsticks for the BEAUTIFUL POSTS,

    Everything is just beautiful!!!!

  16. 94 Judith Fardig
    March 26, 2014 at 11:54 am

    POTUS and pandas – what’s not to love? Have a healthy, happy day!

  17. March 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm

  18. 97 desertflower
    March 26, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Good morning everyone:) I don’t even know what day it is, just that I’m still on vacation and the sun is shining! Chips, I guess you got the WP picture issues sorted out because this R/S looks stunning to me:)

    Anyway, hard to read, but so so important…please read and pass.


    • 98 Cindy
      March 26, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Good Happy Wednesday to you desertflower!

      This story is sad and sickening on every front, and I’ve been hearing about it (reading, news etc….) but nothing is being done. It’s time, and I pray that it is, for the people to get rid of Scott and his cronies. I am definitely going to do my part to get him out of there (vote) and work on Chris behalf. They make everything about politics, and people lives are always in danger for the repukes behavior; no health care, no unemployment insurance extensions, no immigration etc…..

      I hope that the people are fed up and will not accept this as politics as usual.

  19. March 26, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    One of several US – EU fact sheets that have now been posted by NSC


    This Administration just pumps it out and have clearly grasped the power of Twitter ….

  20. March 26, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Just heard a report that in California, Obamacare sign-ups are high in Asian community, catching up with Latinos but lower than expected with AAs.

    Please hustle your CA relatives in every group to sign up before Monday!!

  21. 104 amk for obama
    March 26, 2014 at 12:27 pm

  22. March 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    CRITICAL that you ALL Read this ….


    I have no doubt that the number off-exchange enrollments is going to be way larger than many expected. As it is, Charles is displaying the following banner item: “(OFF-Exchange QHPs are at least 558K, more likely 4M or more nationally)”

    • 106 Vicki
      March 26, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      I saw that and it means that many more Americans are going to have a better quality of life. Hip hip hooray!

    • 107 Linda
      March 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      A Navigator told my son to contact an Off Exchange Insurance Agent yesterday for coverage here in Georgia due to his owning a business with only 2 employees and how he would have to reimburse one, ( ME ) for my Medicare payments.

      I think he will take the penalty this year and take his time enrolling for next year.

    • 108 Nena20409
      March 26, 2014 at 2:15 pm


      I’m Lovin it as the McDonald ad sings. 😉

  23. 109 MightyPamela
    March 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I’m still hoping we will hear from our Jovie. It’s just been way way way too long.

  24. 114 Ladyhawke
    March 26, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    How The Press Covered For House GOP’s Ukraine Aid Delay

    BY Eric Boehlert


    So wouldn’t a more accurate headline this week have read, “House Republicans Promise To Stall Vote On Ukraine Aid”? It would have, but the Beltway press has a long history of not labeling GOP obstruction for what it is.

    The meek press has only emboldened Republicans, who actually used the Ukraine aid bill to try to force the administration to cave on a completely unrelated topic: to delay new Internal Revenue Service rules aimed at policing the political activities for tax-exempt nonprofits, or 501 (c)(4)s.
    Instead, many in the press positioned the Ukraine story as an institutional showdown between the two Congressional bodies. “Unlike many battles in Congress, the differences holding up the aid are as much between the two chambers as they are between the two parties,” reported The Hill.



  25. 115 carolyn
    March 26, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Have you noticed……that President Obama makes everyone around him look better? The European leaders are having a big chance to shine with him. He is so positive and creative and SMART, that people who work WITH him look smarter too.
    Who ever knew who the Dutch prime minister was before? But look how statesman like he appeared! Who knew about King Philippe of Belgium, or their Prime Minister, but PBO’s presence with them just brings out the best, and they get a good positive moment on the stage. They all know it, and are soaking it up. Europe may ask PBO to come be president of the EU in 2017!

    • 116 vcprezofan2
      March 26, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      ‘ Europe may ask PBO to come be president of the EU in 2017!’

      At a fitst glance, that is not at all a bad idea, Carolyn. I can see it giving the girls a chance at an international education (to encourage fluency in another language) and tying in nicely with FLOTUS’ current push. Hmmmmm.

      • 117 anniebella
        March 26, 2014 at 2:34 pm

        POTUS president of EU in 2017, never happen.

        • 118 anniebella
          March 26, 2014 at 2:36 pm

          So much more POTUS can do to help mankind outside of politics. Just my opinion.

        • 119 vcprezofan2
          March 26, 2014 at 2:52 pm

          Why do you feel this way, Annieb? As stated here previously, I personally want him out of politics to concentrate more on his personal life and his girls, but I admit I had never considered this possibility before Carolyn mentioned it. Once she did, and suspecting that BHO will never be able to completely stay away (when he sees others messing up the world through selfishness and ignorance), this seems like a feasible solution. It would put the Obamas in Europe for a year or two, give the girls – all of them 😉 – a natural way to acquire another language (I’m a freak about speaking another language, particularly because I don’t), and would I am thinking be quite advantageous. Of course, I’d expect them back in North America after a maximum 2-3yr stint.

          🙂 The nerve of us plotting and planning the Obamas’ llives!

  26. 120 desertflower
    March 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Does anyone know if Dems have filed this Discharge Petition yet today??


  27. 124 Don
    March 26, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I don’t know whom I’m more upset with; the Republicans or the head barely above water motherfuckers that vote Republican.

  28. 126 Don
    March 26, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Can someone please explain to me the reason for Ronan Farrow’s existence on MSNBC? He’s such a lightweight.

    • 127 anniebella
      March 26, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      If MSNBC had any sense they would go beg Martin Bashir to come back. I am not a fan of Alex Wagner show either.

  29. 129 HZ
    March 26, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Yardarm, I hope and pray that all will go well as you prepare for your procedure. {{{{{{{{Wishing you the best, Yardarm}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    Gobrooklyn, enjoy your family and feel all of the love you all can share together. {{{{{{{{{{{{{ Lots of loving hugs to you}}}}}}}}}}}}

    Thanks for such a loving and beautiful family. So special here, Chips. Thanks to you for making it such a wonderful and beautiful place to support President Obama and each other.

    Pray for the Judicial Nominations to flow smoothly in the Senate.

    Lots of loving thoughts going out to Jovie. I missed him so much. It is not like Jovie to not be around. I hope all is fine with him.

    Keep saying loving goodness in your space today, and TOD family keep President Obama and the First Lady and First Daughters in your thoughts and prayers. We are so blessed to have such a brilliant and gracious man in that Oval Office. We thank him for representing our nation with such respect and intellectual interactions with other world leaders. The best president in my lifetime, and I have seen a lot of them as many of my TOD family here.

    Chips, when you get a free moment please give my handsome and very smart grandson, Danny O’ a Big Hug for me. I was driving home from the dentist last week, and next to me was a dog with his head resting on the opening of the truck window and that dog looked so handsome just like my Danny. I smiled and thought of my grandson, Danny, Our First Dog. {{{{{{{{{{{ To our Danny }}}}}}}}}}}}.Hz

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