Rise and Shine


President Barack Obama and Pope Francis laugh while exchanging gifts after their meeting at the Vatican


President Barack Obama shakes hands with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at Quirinal Palace in Rome





USA Today: Obama’s Gift To Pope Francis: A Seed Chest

President Obama presented Pope Francis with a custom-made seed chest on Thursday, containing fruit and vegetable seeds used in the White House Garden. The gift was inspired by the pope’s decision to grant public access to the gardens of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo, the pope’s summer residence, according to a White House statement. Obama and Pope Francis met for 52 minutes at Vatican City.

Pope Francis, meanwhile, presented the president with a plaque of some kind, and an encyclical. “I will treasure this,” Obama said. “I actually will probably read this (encyclical) in the Oval Office when I’m deeply frustrated. I’m sure it will give me strength and calm me down.” The seed chest from Obama is made from American leather and wood reclaimed from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, one of the oldest Catholic cathedrals built in the United States.

More here






Jason Millman: Young Adults Signing Up At Higher Rates Off Obamacare Exchanges

A higher rate of young adults and uninsured people are signing up for coverage through a private insurance website as next week’s enrollment deadline approaches, according to information released by the company Tuesday. The enrollment data, issued by eHealthInsurance, provides a snapshot of how some customers are shopping for insurance away from Obamacare exchanges during the law’s first enrollment period. EHealth, a national online insurance broker predating the health care law, operates similar to the Obamacare exchanges, offering customers a selection of health plans from competing insurers.

However, shoppers on eHealth’s website can’t access federal subsidies to help purchase insurance, though the company says it has helped people enroll in subsidy-eligible plans by telephone. Since Jan. 1, about 45 percent of those picking new health plans through eHealth were between 18 and 34 years old, the company says. By comparison, the all-important demographic accounted for 27 percent of signups on Obamacare exchanges the past couple of months. EHealth says its rate of youth enrollment has increased from 39 percent of signups between October and December.The rate of eHealth customers who identified themselves as previously uninsured has also increased since the first three months of the enrollment, the company says. Since January, 51 percent of the website’s shoppers say they were previously uninsured, up from 34 percent between October and December.

More here




America Blog: They Stole Her Photo, Then Claimed She Hated Obamacare. She Doesn’t

Helene isn’t having the best week. The Texas blogger was visiting Las Vegas for a bachelorette party this past weekend, and woke up on Saturday to find that she’d become the latest anti-Obamacare poster child. The thing is, Helene never signed up for the job. In fact, she told me yesterday that she’s quite happy with the Affordable Care Act (ACA),

and with the “affordable” health care it helped her find. “Not only do I not agree with what the image is portraying,” Helene wrote me, “I actually have Affordable Healthcare!” So, if anything, Helene is an Obamacare success story. But that didn’t stop over 17,000 people on Facebook from sharing an image of her face, posted just days ago, with a caption complaining about Obamacare. To add insult to injury, the people who stole her image couldn’t even spell “conspiracy” right.

More here






SmartyPants: President Obama’s Speech In Brussels – One Of The Most Important Of His Presidency

One of the things we know from reading about President Obama’s life story is that while he was practicing law in Chicago, he taught classes on the topic of “power.” I’ve always wished that either he or someone who attended one would outline the content of what he taught. Perhaps the President will do that once his second term is over.

He doesn’t tend to speak directly about the topic, but from listening to him refer to it in other contexts, what I’ve deduced is that he embraces the power of partnership as the alternative to our more traditional concept of the power of domination. Today the President began his speech in Brussels with a history lesson on the power of partnership vs the power of domination.

More here




Paul Krugman: Data As Slogan. Data As Substance

Noah Smith has the definitive piece on what’s wrong, so far, with the new FiveThirtyEight. For all the big talk about data-driven analysis,what it actually delivers is sloppy and casual opining with a bit of data used, as the old saying goes, the way a drunkard uses a lamppost — for support, not illumination.So what would real data-driven reporting look like (beyond what goes on at the sites Noah mentions, and also at the Times)? Well, here’s an example: Charles Gaba’s ACASignups.net.

Gaba, a website developer, realized that nobody was systematically keeping track of enrollment data for Obamacare, and has turned himself into one-stop shopping on the law’s progress. And he really fills a need: when you read news reports on Obamacare, you can tell right away which reporters have been reading Gaba and know what’s happening and which reporters are relying solely on official announcements — or, worse, dueling political spin.

More here




NYT: Obama Juggles Itinerary In Bid To Ease Tensions Between Two Allies

When President Obama brings together the estranged leaders of Japan and South Korea for a peacemaking session in The Hague on Tuesday evening, it will be the culmination of three months of intense behind-the-scenes American diplomacy. The unusual effort included a phone call from Mr. Obama to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan; a follow-up lunch that the American ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, had with Mr. Abe; a decision to put both Tokyo and Seoul on Mr. Obama’s itinerary when he visits Asia next month; and a plan to resolve this neighborhood quarrel on the ultimate neutral ground: a stately Dutch city accustomed to litigating international disputes.


In this case, Mr. Abe and President Park Geun-hye of South Korea have barely been on speaking terms since coming to power just over a year ago. Their antagonism is complex and deeply personal, rooted in World War II history as well as their own conservative and nationalist political leanings, which make old animosities even harder to overcome. Convinced the two were not going to mend relations on their own, the White House proposed a “trilateral” meeting with Mr. Obama at the nuclear security summit in the Netherlands. The European locale and nonproliferation theme made sense. “It’s a multilateral meeting not in Asia,” said a senior administration official, “and a multilateral meeting about the one thing Japan and South Korea are in agreement on.” Mr. Obama’s participation was critical: In a call on March 6, the president told Mr. Abe he wanted to bring his two allies together. At a lunch that day, Ambassador Kennedy fleshed out the idea.

More here




Sy Mukherjee: Anti-Obamacare Governor Now Encouraging Residents To Enroll Under Health Law

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), an ardent Affordable Care Act critic, is now encouraging residents to transition into new health plans under the very reform law that he once refused to help implement. Walker told the Washington Examiner’s Philip A. Klein that he has instructed state agencies to work with individuals who are transitioning into plans offered on Wisconsin’s Obamacare marketplace. That includes both the previously uninsured and poor residents just above the poverty level who are being siphoned out of the state’s Medicaid program, BadgerCare,

and into private ACA plans under Walker’s conservative alternative to Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion.  Just two years ago, Walker was singing a very different tune. He had refused to create a statewide ACA marketplace — thereby also forgoing significant federal funding for Obamacare outreach efforts — and said he wouldn’t lift a finger to help implement the law until the Supreme Court decided the law’s fate. In fact, Wisconsin’s spending on ACA outreach is the lowest in the nation at just 46 cents per capita.

More here







Bloomberg: WTO Panel Sides With U.S. In Dispute Over China Minerals

The World Trade Organization backed the U.S. in a dispute with China, agreeing that limits on exports of rare-earth elements used in hybrid-car batteries and wind turbines violate trade rules. A Chinese industry group said it regrets the ruling against China. A dispute-settlement panel at the Geneva-based trade arbiter yesterday determined that China, the world’s largest producer of the minerals, didn’t adequately justify imposing export duties and quotas on the goods, as well as the elements tungsten and molybdenum. China’s export limits “have been putting American manufacturers at a disadvantage and preventing full and fair competition,” U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman told reporters yesterday on a conference call.

The WTO decision follows a 2011 ruling in which the trade arbiter sided with the U.S. in determining that China’s export limits on raw materials for steel and chemical production, such as bauxite, magnesium and zinc, broke trade law. The U.S., the 28-nation EU and Japan in 2012 filed complaints with the WTO, saying that China’s restrictions on exports of rare-earth minerals — a group of 17 chemically similar elements used in electronics, autos, helicopter blades and other goods — disrupted trade flows and caused global prices to jump, in some cases as much as three times as much as what Chinese companies pay.

More here




Tara Culp-Ressler: Hobby Lobby Inspired New York Lawmakers To Fight To Protect Birth Control In Their State

If the craft chain Hobby Lobby and the furniture company Conestoga Wood Specialties successfully win their Supreme Court challenges, it could open the door to allow businesses across the country to compromise their workers’ access to reproductive health care. In response to that potential future, New York lawmakers are taking the opportunity to reaffirm their state’s commitment to providing insurance coverage for essential preventative health services like birth control.

Earlier this month, New York Sen. Liz Krueger (D) and Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee (D) introduced the so-called “Boss Bill,” which would close a loophole in the state’s existing workplace anti-discrimination laws to protect women’s access to birth control. Under the legislation — which was written in direct response to the multiple lawsuits against the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive provision — New York’s labor law would be amended to prevent employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of their reproductive health care decisions, even if those employers are trying to cite their religious beliefs.

More here






Owen Matthews: Sanctions Will Work, All Right. Just Ask The Oligarchs

President Barack Obama, who has supposedly taken the toughest line in condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “aggression,” has merely declared banking sanctions on a dozen Russian businessmen personally close to Putin. But in truth, there’s some deep thinking behind Washington’s sanctions regime, and they could ultimately prove deadly to Putin’s future. The key to the sanctions strategy is to drive a wedge between Putin’s shrinking inner circle and the wider Russian elite. “People aren’t ready to sacrifice their holidays in the Alps and in Antalya for the sake of an idea of a Great State,” says Nina Khrushcheva, a historian at New York City’s New School and a granddaughter of Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader who ceded Crimea to Ukraine in 1954. “That was fine in Stalin’s time, but it’s not fine in Putin’s time.”

In other words, the sanctions are smart because they so precisely target Kremlin insiders and personal friends of Putin—men such as such as billionaire Gennady Timchenko, whose Gunvor company trades most of Russia’s oil and who has major interests in gas pipe-building companies, and Arkady Rotenberg, Putin’s former judo partner, whose construction company hugely benefited from the $50 billion Sochi Olympics. The share prices of companies associated with the sanctioned billionaires have been badly hit, and Visa and Mastercard suspended operations with two banks linked to those on Washington’s list. In other words, Putin has become a liability for Russia’s rich—and they’re getting nervous.It’s easy to see why Putin’s moves worry them. Even without direct personal sanctions, all of Russia’s businesspeople will pay a price for the Crimea annexation in the form of steeply higher borrowing costs. Most international ratings agencies have downgraded Russia’s outlook from stable to negative. The ruble has slid further; capital is fleeing Russia fast.

More here




Brian Beutler: Republicans Losing It Over New Obamacare Data: Why Their Position Is Collapsing

It’s a complete accident of legislative and administrative history that the fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act should fall the week before the end of the law’s first ever, six-month-long open-enrollment period. But it’s a great coincidence for those of us in the business of cutting through all the hyperbole that accompanies each ACA anniversary, because, for the first time since the law passed, there are real data, and real beneficiaries, to hold up against the spin.

And as I’ve been arguing for months now, the GOP’s position on the law can’t actually withstand on-the-ground realities. Case in point: Terri Lynn Land — Michigan’s one-time Republican secretary of state, turned Senate candidate — held a first-ever conference call with reporters to trash the ACA on its fourth birthday. But confronted with the question of what happens to people with preexisting medical conditions if the GOP repeals the law (and thus eliminates the individual mandate) — Land’s press aide, Heather Swift, commandeered the call, and tried to take the whole thing off the record.

More here



Coral Davenport: Obama Turns To Web To Illustrate The Effects Of A Changing Climate

President Obama wants Americans to see how climate change could deluge or destroy their own backyards — and to make it as easy as opening a web-based app. As part of an effort to make the public see global warming as a tangible and immediate problem, the White House on Wednesday inaugurated a website, climate.data.gov, aimed at turning scientific data about projected droughts and wildfires and the rise in sea levels into eye-catching digital presentations that can be mapped using simple software apps. The project is the brainchild of Mr. Obama’s counselor, John D. Podesta, and the White House science adviser, John P. Holdren.

The effort comes as Mr. Obama prepares to announce a set of aggressive climate change regulations aimed at limiting emissions from coal-fired plants.“Localizing this information gives a sense of how this affects people and spurs action,” Mr. Podesta told a small group of reporters at the White House on Wednesday. “If you’re thinking about this from the perspective of how your local community will be affected, it’s likely to change that question of salience.”

More here




Sahil Kapur: Kagan Throws Scalia’s Own Religious Liberty Arguments Back In His Face

During oral arguments Tuesday about the validity of Obamacare’s birth control mandate, Justice Elena Kagan cleverly echoed Justice Antonin Scalia’s past warning that religious-based exceptions to neutral laws could lead to “anarchy.” “Your understanding of this law, your interpretation of it, would essentially subject the entire U.S. Code to the highest test in constitutional law, to a compelling interest standard,” she told Paul Clement, the lawyer arguing against the mandate for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood. “So another employer comes in and that employer says, I have a religious objection to sex discrimination laws;

and then another employer comes in, I have a religious objection to minimum wage laws; and then another, family leave; and then another, child labor laws. And all of that is subject to the exact same test which you say is this unbelievably high test, the compelling interest standard with the least restrictive alternative.” Kagan’s remarks might sound familiar to the legally-trained ear. In a 1990 majority opinion in Employment Division v. Smith, Scalia alluded to the same examples of what might happen if religious entities are permitted to claim exemptions from generally applicable laws. He warned that “[a]ny society adopting such a system would be courting anarchy.”

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The Bump: A Message From Michelle Obama For The Bump Moms (Really!)

Back when Barack and I were expecting our first daughter, we were overwhelmed with so many emotions: excitement, wonder, hope… and occasional moments of panic at the prospect of bringing this little person into the world. We had all the usual first-time parent worries: How would we balance the needs of our growing family with the demands of our jobs? How would the stresses of caring for a new baby affect our marriage? Would our little girl be able to tell that we had no idea what we were doing? But there was one thing we never worried about: ensuring that I would have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. That’s because, while we were still struggling to pay off our student loans and pay down our mortgage, we both had jobs that provided health insurance.

So while our finances weren’t perfect, we had the security of knowing that I could get the maternity care I needed. Every mother and every father in this country deserves this kind of peace of mind – and that’s what the Affordable Care Act is all about.Every plan on HealthCare.gov covers maternity care, pediatrician’s visits, preventive care (things like flu shots, mammograms and vaccines for kids), birth control and more. And these plans are affordable – the majority of people without insurance today will be able to get covered for $100 a month or less, and many young adults will be able to get covered for as little as $50 a month. Also, if you’re pregnant now, and you get signed up by March 31st, when your baby is born, you’ll both be covered.

More here




Greg Sargent: Is Obamacare Repeal Fatigue Setting In?

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.

Among indys, that keep/improve versus repeal/replace spread is 52-31. Republicans are all alone here, with their spread at 31-58. That overall keep-versus-repeal spread has improved for the law since February (when it was 56-31), and even more so since December and October, suggesting a clear trend. – Crucially, a majority, 53 percent, say they are tired about hearing about the law and want to move on to other issues. Only 42 percent think the Obamacare debate should continue. A majority of independents has had enough (51-45). Even 47 percent of Republicans are done with it. – Most of the ACA’s individual provisions are wildly popular. Virtually every one of them — the Medicaid expansion; the preexisting conditions piece; subsidies for low income people’s coverage – has overwhelming majority support, and all of those are even backed by a majority of Republicans.

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Pope Francis takes a picture with President Barack Obama and his delegation after his meeting at the Vatican with the President




Jonathan Cohn: John Bohener’s Hypocritical Griping About The Obamacare Deadline Delay. Conservatives’ Real Beef: That People Want To Sign Up

The Obama Administration has made another adjustment to the Affordable Care Act and the critics are making another fuss. The adjustment, first reported (I think) by Amy Lotven for Inside Health Policy, is an extension of the open enrollment period for buying private insurance through the new Obamacare marketplaces. Officially, most people have until March 31 to sign up for a plan. (The exception are people who lose a job or have some other, similar life-altering experience. They can sign up throughout the year.) But on Wednesday, the administration announced that it will be offering some extra time to consumers who don’t finish their applications in time. They’ll be able to use the websites, just like they can now, only they’ll have to check a box attesting to the fact that they started the application process before April 1.

“What the hell is this? A joke?” House Speaker John Boehner said at a press conference. “Another deadline made meaningless. If he hasn’t put enough loopholes in the law already, the administration is now resorting to an honor system to enforce it.”For each one of these extensions or delays, the ultimate question is whether they change the law’s ability to realize its basic goals—which, in this case, means encouraging people to buy new private health plans while maintaining a stable insurance market. Giving people a little extra time to enroll wouldn’t seem to impede this kind of progress. If anything, it would seem to enhance it. And maybe that’s what really bothers some of the law’s fiercer critics.

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Market Watch: Jobless Claims Fall To 4-Month Low Of 311,000

The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by 10,000 to 311,000 last week to mark the lowest level in four months, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected claims to total 320,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis in the week ended March 22. The average of new claims over the past month declined by 9,500 to 317,750. That was the lowest level since last September, when claims fell sharply because of a major errors related to a computer upgrade in California’s system for processing claims. The four-week average is the lowest since 2007 if the reports distorted by California’s computer problems are excluded. The monthly figure smooths out the jumpiness in the weekly report and offers a better look at the underlying trend.

More here




On This Day:

Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-IL, listens to testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs about the health care needs of returning service members on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 27, 2007


President Obama makes a point during an interview in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 27, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

 President Obama preps with staff in the Cabinet Room of the White House before interviews, March 27, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama laughs as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder jokes about his basketball skills during his ceremonial installation at George Washington University on March 27, 2009


President Obama travels aboard Air Force One en route to Afghanistan, March 27, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)


 First Lady Michelle Obama helps to plant a cherry blossom tree during an event celebrating the centennial anniversary of the 1912 gifts of cherry blossom trees to the United States from Japan, in Washington, D.C. on March 27, 2012

President Obama participates in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani of Pakistan during the Nuclear Security Summit at the Coex Center in Seoul, Republic of Korea, March 27, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

 President Obama talks with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon during a break in the Nuclear Security Summit at the Coex Center in Seoul, Republic of Korea, March 27, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama talks with President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine during a pull aside at the Nuclear Security Summit at the Coex Center in Seoul, Republic of Korea, March 27, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)


 President Obama watches as Vice President Biden administers the oath of office to Julia Pierson, as she is sworn-in as the new director of the U.S. Secret Service, March. 27, 2013, in the Oval Office


154 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. 1 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 9:41 am

    • 2 Cindy
      March 27, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Good morning Dudette,

      Happy Thursday to you! Congrats on 1st!

      How is your dear friend doing ? Was she able to get covered under Obamacare?

      I’ve kept you both in thoughts and prayers. Have a wonderfully blessed day.

      • 3 Dudette
        March 27, 2014 at 9:52 am

        Hi Cindy! Thanks! Yes, it took them a couple of hrs to resolve her lockout, but she finally got in and now she’s #COVERED! Wooohoo!

  2. 4 Nerdy Wonka
    March 27, 2014 at 9:43 am

    • 5 Cindy
      March 27, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Good morning Nerdy Wonka!

      Happy Thursday to you!

      Thank you for the BEAUTIFUL pictures of President Obama and the Pope.
      Thank you for the AWESOME posts this morning; pictures and news that matter, topped with truths.

      Have a wonderful and blessed day!

    • 7 Mela in TX (@bluetexasmoon)
      March 27, 2014 at 11:30 am

      WOW! you really out did yourself this morning, NW. I was so excited to wake up to all the gorgeous pics of HopeandPope 🙂

  3. 9 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 9:44 am

  4. 10 hopefruit2
    March 27, 2014 at 9:52 am

    G’morning Nerdy, Chips, lurkers, everyone, and congrats to Lady Dudette on #1! 🙂

    We couldn’t have asked for a better and more inspiring R & S round-up featuring our President’s historic visit with Pope Francis mixed in with upbeat economic and ACA news! Thanks Nerdy for all you do!!

  5. 12 anniebella
    March 27, 2014 at 9:53 am

    FLOTUS, Grandma, Malia, and Sasha should be home by now. I loved that message from FLOTUS to the Bumpies.

    • 13 hopefruit2
      March 27, 2014 at 9:55 am

      Yes, they must be catching up on some sleep!

      • 14 anniebella
        March 27, 2014 at 10:02 am

        I’m sure Bo and Sunny is happy. Bo probably is thinking didn’t you guys forget someone. Where is he? 🙂

        • 15 hopefruit2
          March 27, 2014 at 10:03 am

          True. Although Bo is so attached to FLOTUS that he might not even notice that PBO is missing 🙂

    • 16 anniebella
      March 27, 2014 at 9:59 am

      Well what do you know John Harwood is making some sense, ain’t no one mad about the extension but the ones who don’t want folks to sign up and who have voted to repeal the ACA 50 times, and their right wing hateful base.

  6. 17 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 9:53 am

  7. 18 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Nail bashed into the wall while screaming “Uncle”

  8. 19 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 9:59 am

    If you could stomach that show… (I can’t)

  9. 20 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:00 am

    A simple, yet elegant tweet!

  10. 21 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:02 am

  11. March 27, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Oh wow Nerdy, this is like a complete awesome newspaper, we need to rename this place The Nerdy Post or The Nerdy Times! Thank you so so so so so so much, you delicious legend.

  12. 30 jackiegrumbacher
    March 27, 2014 at 10:04 am

    NW, this is just a superlative summary of what’s going on. Had to stop to read everything before I got to the comment section because it was all so interesting and important. All of us start the day so informed and on top of things thanks to you and Chips. It’s a daily gift and I want you to know that we don’t take it for granted.

  13. 32 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:07 am

  14. March 27, 2014 at 10:07 am

  15. 34 amk for obama
    March 27, 2014 at 10:08 am

  16. 35 amk for obama
    March 27, 2014 at 10:11 am

  17. 36 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:12 am

  18. 37 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:14 am

  19. 38 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:16 am

  20. 39 hopefruit2
    March 27, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Okay, I don’t mean to spoil an otherwise beautiful rise & shine round-up, but this conveniently-timed graphic by NBC news shows us how manipulative and disgusting the US media is. (Ut you may delete this if you deem unfit for the thread).

    The headline is that more Americans feel positive towards Pope than they do towards PBO but none of the top three in this graphic are doing the hard work of governing the US currently. Therefore, they are not comparable and should not be compared to the President in this way. Why didn’t they compare the Clintons with the Bushes (both 43 and 41)? Wouldn’t that be more appropriate? Furthermore, the pope is NOT a US political figure and should not be compared with US political figures. Everything about this graphic screams bullshit, divisive Republican-sponsored propaganda.

    • 40 Nerdy Wonka
      March 27, 2014 at 10:41 am

      I will now send you to SPAM!!!!! 🙂

      You exposed their pathetic lies for what they are, HF. Their envy is so glaringly obvious and desperate. President Obama is well liked and loved and the world knows it.

    • 42 vcprezofan2
      March 27, 2014 at 10:50 am

      Just another example confirming your recent observation, Hf.

      • 43 hopefruit2
        March 27, 2014 at 10:51 am

        Thanks vc for posting this! 🙂 I saw it yesterday and happily re-tweeted.

        • 44 vcprezofan2
          March 27, 2014 at 10:56 am

          It is nothing more than the truth, Hf; however, *we* know (from the calibre and character of the man) they won’t/cannot stop PBO from succeeding. 🙂

          Sometimes I wonder if they (the ones who supposedly have degrees testifying to their education) don’t get tired of being small-minded, narrow, and ignorant, or at least feel ashamed to display these traits publicly.

    • 45 EricFive
      March 27, 2014 at 10:54 am

      The gop faxes its talking points to the msm every morning. Each msm outlet spews differnt shades of this pro gop bullshit.

    • 47 Nena20409
      March 27, 2014 at 11:10 am

      Wow I had no idea that the Pope is now governing US government?

      The media……lack of understanding of what our Constitution stipulates.

      Rev Billy Graham had higher favorable polling rate than Nixon, Carter, Reagan, etc. So freaking what.

    • 48 Dudette
      March 27, 2014 at 11:14 am


      • 49 hopefruit2
        March 27, 2014 at 11:17 am

        Was just about to post this – thanks Dudette. This “poll” and graphic must have been another of Chuck Todd’s genius ideas.

    • 50 Lovepolitics2008
      March 27, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      President Obama is shining on the World stage this week. Demonstrating LEADERSHIP, wisdom, brilliance, vision. It’s is NOT a coincidence that the media is trying to push a “Obama is unpopular” meme this week.

      They are becoming more and more obvious. Either they are republicans shills disguised as journalists (Todd, Karl), or they are cynical and narcissistic people who have come to detest the president because he doesn’t bow to them. Chris Cilliza (sp?) wondering about “competence” this week was one of the lowest points.

      Can we do something ? If we attack them very strongly, they double down on their negativity towards the president. Maybe we can try a less confrontational tone and ask them what the hell is going on ? I mean… you have a president who is loved on the international stage, a president who is extremely hard-working, very knowledgeable, honest; a president who cares for ordinary people, who cares for the troops. An administration that has not had real scandals with wrongdoing and disregard of the law. Wars coming to an end, auto industry saved, the economy has been growing (slowly) for years now. The ACA is changing the lives of many americans for the best and the enrollments numbers are good.

      SO WHY the CONSTANT negativity ??

      As I said above, we know the response: either they’re partisan republicans, or they find him arrogant and they resent the fact he isn’t friendly with them. Also, I suspect they’re probably bored because that administration is too competent and they can’t find anything juicy to report on.

      But you know what folks? I’m not sure they REALIZE how negatively biased they’ve all become. The ones who are not republicans I mean. There has been this cynicism and negativity that has built and built over the years and now they fall for every GOP talking point, thinking they are doing a good job as journalists, and not realizing that they don’t do any rational and nuance analysis anymore. Not that they were great before, but good lord, it’s getting worse and worse.

      Maybe just point out to them that they present a negative spin on everything, EACH and EVERY DAY. And telling them that it doesn’t seem normal, since this administration is pretty competent and hard-working in general. Put them on the defensive a little bit, without screaming at them. Maybe it could work.

      We may say to ourselves that their opinion doesn’t matter, but when the whole DC press corps is treating a president like s***, it has an impact on his poll numbers , hence on his political power.

  21. 51 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:21 am

  22. 52 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:21 am

  23. 53 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:22 am

    POTUS and The Pope agree too!

  24. 54 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Get yer hot, fresh health insurance, right over here folks!

  25. March 27, 2014 at 10:25 am

    GM TOD. Premo R&S NW!

    “….The theme of global inertia could not be more timely. This week the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meets in Yokohama, Japan to discuss “the impact that rising temperatures will have on humans, animals and ecosystems over the next century,” reports the BBC.

    The Yokohama meeting will produce the second of three reports updating the world on the state of the climate — a process last undertaken in 2007. The first report, issued September 2013, highlighted the physical science evidence for human-induced climate change.”

  26. 58 Nerdy Wonka
    March 27, 2014 at 10:25 am

    HEADS UP: 10:35AM ET / 9:35AM CT / 7:35AM PT: President Obama and Prime Minister Renzi will hold a joint press conference.

    • 59 anniebella
      March 27, 2014 at 10:32 am

      Is POTUS going to have to take questions from that WHPC again? I know he can handle it, I’m the one who can’t stand those jack “A”s.

    • 60 hopefruit2
      March 27, 2014 at 10:39 am

      I wonder whether any of the CSPAN’s are covering the presser.

  27. March 27, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  28. 62 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Aw yeh! That’s the way I like it! 🙂

  29. 63 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:30 am

  30. 64 amk for obama
    March 27, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Can PBO issue an executive order for a deadline extension, say, by 2months, citing the surging demand and the initial roll-out issues?

    • 65 Nena20409
      March 27, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Yes he can. There is a but. The Insurance Companies. The March 31st deadline was due to them. They claimed way back that they needed certainty to determine and map out plans for Oct when they made decisions for Nov Coverage for their customers. Nov generally is the beginning of Health Care enrollments with many corporations.

      Currently the Insurance Industry are 50/50 for the current extension.

      • 66 amk for obama
        March 27, 2014 at 11:07 am

        Thx Nena. But why should PBO careabout what these insurance cos think?

        • 67 Nena20409
          March 27, 2014 at 11:15 am

          My guess is that they were consulted during the ACA debates and those deadlines were affirmed. Nothing stops this POTUS from changing his mind…..but from my observation of president Obama……He is a man that tries to keep his promises.

          😉 😆 🙄 I am now speculating like CNN 🙂

  31. 68 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:32 am

    • 69 Nerdy Wonka
      March 27, 2014 at 10:50 am

      Oh my God.

      This one size fits all (exceptions for the powerful and wealthy) legal system that we have can be crazy sometimes. We punish people for not being wealthy and when they go out to change their situation for the better, we still punish them. How will it help her and her children if she is locked up?

      There are corporations and CEOs ripping economies and employees worlds apart and nothing is done. Yet the law goes after people like this woman who is trying to do the right thing for her family.

      One more reason why I will always support corporate tax reform and for my tax dollars to divert away from those parasites and fund social welfare programs, after school programs for children, help for the poor and elderly, childcare for families who need it, SNAP, school lunches for children, healthcare, etc. That is where the bulk of our dollars should and would be spent if we had a Democratic majority for oh, the next 60 or so years. So much progress would be made. When deep cuts are applied to social welfare programs, it’s not numbers but people who are affected. It’s people whose lives are destroyed.

      • 70 Dudette
        March 27, 2014 at 11:17 am

        Agreed NW. Our legal system is FUBAR!

      • 71 Mela in TX (@bluetexasmoon)
        March 27, 2014 at 11:28 am

        Amen, NW. Social injustice appears to have become the norm as Republicans brainwash their followers that the poor are moochers and takers when that best describes them and their corporate masters. It breaks my heart and make my blood boil, simultaneously.

  32. 72 Cindy
    March 27, 2014 at 10:33 am


    Good HAPPY and BEUTIFULLY DELICIOUS Thursday to Chipstix and Danny Boy!

    Good morning to the BEAUTIFUL TOD family.

    THANK YOU Nerdy Wonka for the awesome posts this morning with the GORGEOUS pictures.
    Sending prayers, warm thoughts, positive energy, and words of encouragement topped with love, to our TOD family who are facing challenges and or going through temporary bumps in life.

    Please know that you are thought of each day that passes. I pray for your healing, recovery and wellbeing; wishing you nothing but joy, happiness, peace and full recovery.

    It’s a BEAUTIFUL DAY, in spite of; Daddy use to say, if you didn’t read “your name” in the obituary column this morning, it’s a GREAT DAY! Puzzled at first-then I got it. A little slow but it finally made sense.

    Please Dear God,

    Bless and keep, our wonderful President Obama, and bless him in all of his travels. Bless his meeting with the Pope today, and seal their friendship, with your awesome and beautiful blessings. Please bless our 1st family; protecting them each day, and guiding them through the turbulence of hate, racism, and all the hurtfulness that the enemy pour out on them each and every day. Cover their hearts from the pain, give them wisdom, and the strength to run this race that you placed them in. We love our 1st family and believe, that you have anointed, appointed and called them to service for a time such as this.

    I ask for blessings for each of the TOD family members. Thank you for our beautiful Chipstix and Danny. Thank you for her commitment to TOD. Please continue to give Mother Chipstix healing as she recovers from her fall. I ask for blessings for our TOD contributors, who are working with Chipstix to make this a place of support for our beloved President, and a place of support for those who love our President, and support for each other. Blessings for Dudette, Nerdy Wonka, Mr. Bobfr, Liberal Librarian and all who post, tweet and bring us pictures of laughter (amk 4 obama), joy and educational stimulation.

    I ask for special blessings today for Gobrooklyn as she continues in her recovery; CarolMaeWY, as she goes through surgery this morning for her eyes and Yardarm756, as he will have eye surgery. Special prayers for nospin and her child, their neighbor’s son (13 years old) shot and killed himself, please give each family comfort today. Blessings for MomSense, who shared her beautiful story with TOD on yesterday, she is now covered under Obamacare and will have a biopsy today for the lump she found. Please continue to give healing to FormerlyFred, he dropped by yesterday to bring TOD up to date news on his illnesses. Please continue to give him healing.

    I pray for continue healing for No Child Left Behind, Mela in TX, Dudette and her friend and brother, Alycee, tnmtngirl, HZ, and Daisydem (David’s Friend); Special warm blessings for 57andfemale, and her dear friend Heather. Lastly but not least, I send a smile and blessings for our “special 4 legged family members.” They bring us joy and over shower us with love.

    I am grateful for this beautiful day and for TOD. I send love and hugs to everyone at TOD, wishing you a special and awesome day.
    Our yesterdays are gone, tomorrow is not promised, and all we have left, is today. Make it your best day ever; give a smile to someone, be grateful in spite of, and if you complain that you have too many blessings, give some away on this special day.

    Warmest Blessings,

    • 73 Cindy
      March 27, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Chipsticks not Chipstix…….please forgive me. : )

    • 74 Dudette
      March 27, 2014 at 10:52 am

      What a lovely and thoughtful tribute to all of our TOD family, Cindy! You are a blessing to us all!

    • 76 Nerdy Wonka
      March 27, 2014 at 11:01 am

      This is a wonderful tribute. Thank you very much and wishing you a great day, Cindy.

    • 78 daisydem
      March 27, 2014 at 11:23 am

      Oh Cindy, thank you so much. And thank you for remembering and including my son’s friend. An update: he went to Chicago to some hospital or clinic specializing in headaches. Not sure how I feel about the diagnoses as when I tell you all you will see why (it seems to be so prevalent as to be a fad) – they say he is allergic to gluten. Yes, it is the wheat story. However, my son says his friend is like a different person; headaches abating, he is feeling relieved and happy. So we will see. I am not putting down those who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease, just that I wonder why nothing had been seen for him before now and he has suffered so. Nevertheless, thank you all for prayers. I think they may have been answered. Amazing, is it not?

    • 80 57andfemale
      March 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      Morning, Cindy! Positive energy sent your way……..

  33. 82 amk for obama
    March 27, 2014 at 10:35 am

  34. March 27, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Hilarious headline in the Des Moines Register today: “Sirens shriek across Iowa as Sarah Palin endorses Joni Ernst” – I immediately thought of Caribou Barbie’s voice when I read that: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20140327/NEWS09/303270071/1056/news05
    Actual explanation: JE’s running for U.S. Senate and it was the statewide tornado drill. The comments to the article are great too.

  35. 84 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:36 am

  36. 86 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:41 am

  37. 87 vcprezofan2
    March 27, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeech! Huffff! Puff! Made it back, AND made 6 stops! 🙂 😉 I have to confess though that 2 sales people asked me if I was in a hurry.

  38. 88 amk for obama
    March 27, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko says she plans to once again run for president of Ukraine in May elections.


    Not a good idea.

    • 89 vcprezofan2
      March 27, 2014 at 11:15 am

      While it’s good she’s been released, let’s cross our fingers that Ukrainians in general have progressed beyond voting for her out of sympathy. Listening to her, very briefly, after her release, to me she doesn’t seem right for the times.

  39. 90 hopefruit2
    March 27, 2014 at 10:53 am

  40. 91 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 10:53 am

    • 93 anniebella
      March 27, 2014 at 11:29 am

      You see the little smirk on this bastard face. I don’t like to hate folks, but I can’t stand Chucky Todd.

  41. 94 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 11:02 am


  42. March 27, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Dear, dear Cindy, Thank you for that beautiful prayer. I have refrained from saying anything/giving any updates on my recovery because it will come across (maybe) as TMI. Anyway, here goes: Physically, I feel awesome. My low back problems have improved at least 75% so that adds to how much better I feel physically. However, the “mechanics” of my surgery haven’t gone so well. The problems didn’t being until 4 weeks after my surgery and have continued to worsen. (Lots of leaking and frequent bathroom trips. That’s all I’ll say, especially for the men here.) 🙂 Just rest assured it is very bad and limiting my quality of life greatly. Doctor tried one medication two weeks ago. That didn’t work. I picked up two medications Monday afternoon and they haven’t helped at all. So I have an appt. at 2:40 this afternoon. Will keep you posted after this appt.

    There’s also info about my husband’s hike, his health issues, etc. that I want to share but will do that later.

    • 97 daisydem
      March 27, 2014 at 11:38 am

      tnmtngirl, I hope it gets better. Praying for you.

    • 98 57andfemale
      March 27, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Sending healing and positive energy your way, tnmtngirl. Keep us posted. Your TOD family is here to support and love you.

    • 99 Cindy
      March 27, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Thank you for sharing the update tnmtngirl, I’ll keep praying and will add Mr.tnmtngirl. {{{{{{{{{Mr.and Mrs.tnmtngirl}}}}}}}} : )

  43. March 27, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Michelle Obama’s message to the bumpies is simply adorable.

  44. 101 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 11:06 am

  45. 102 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 11:07 am

  46. 103 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 11:08 am

  47. 104 amk for obama
    March 27, 2014 at 11:11 am

  48. 105 hopefruit2
    March 27, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Rico is telling it like it is!

  49. 106 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Dwarf planet discovered at the edge of our solar system, nicknamed “Biden” — Love that!

  50. 107 amk for obama
    March 27, 2014 at 11:12 am

  51. 108 desertflower
    March 27, 2014 at 11:14 am

    My goodness!!!! NW, you really have outdone yourself with this R/S post:) Spectacular post to wake up to this morning and I savored every bit of it as I sipped my coffee….you might want to add this one to another post today… thank you!!


    In the debate about poverty, critics argue that government assistance saps initiative and is unaffordable. After exploring the issue, I must concede that the critics have a point. Here are five public welfare programs that are wasteful and turning us into a nation of “takers.”

  52. 111 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 11:16 am

  53. 112 vcprezofan2
    March 27, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Okay, anyone knows what’s going on with the presser? My WH.GOV has been awfully silent, even with constant refreshing. Did I miss it? That’s been known to happen while I’m waiting (without refreshing).

  54. 116 Dudette
    March 27, 2014 at 11:18 am

  55. 117 desertflower
    March 27, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Great news! Has this been posted already? http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/03/27/3419576/domestic-violence-obamacare-benefits/

    Survivors of domestic violence who are living separately from an abusive spouse will now be able to claim tax credits to help them afford an Obamacare plan, thanks to new rules being developed by the federal government. Before the change, these individuals were locked out of federal assistance for health care unless they filed joint taxes with their abuser.

  56. 118 Nena20409
    March 27, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Au for Dudette.


  57. 119 Nena20409
    March 27, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Watch this Daily Show skit this AM and it was just too funny.
    Samantha Bee did a version of F&Fs hit piece and this time, she focused on Mourning Joke.


  58. 120 Linda
    March 27, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Tamron Hall said that Obamacare MANDATES that CHURCHES pay for contraception. She claimed it was discussed in the Meeting with the Pope

    After 4 years they still get it wrong.

    • 121 Nena20409
      March 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Yet they advertise that TH is an award winning Journalist?

      Those who Tweet should school and tutor her on her idiocy.

  59. 122 hopefruit2
    March 27, 2014 at 11:26 am

    The Italian Prime Minister took the care to open the press conference by saying (in English) that PBO was not only the US President, but also a source of inspiration to the global community. US media: Take note…but don’t hate.

  60. 123 vcprezofan2
    March 27, 2014 at 11:27 am

    ‘…to share our great concern…and our great resolve… ‘ Italian PM.

    Tzar Vlad….. you made a big miscalculation!

  61. 124 hopefruit2
    March 27, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Italian Prime Minister to PBO: “Your first message “YES WE CAN” is an important message…”

  62. 125 Nena20409
    March 27, 2014 at 11:28 am
  63. 126 Bill R.
    March 27, 2014 at 11:28 am

    For those not familiar with Matteo Renzi, the new prime minister. He was until recently the mayor of Florence. He is only 37 year of age, but is by far the most dynamic and charismatic political leader on the Italian scene. He represents a new generation of Italian political leadership, that is trying to bring electoral reform and reform of some of the governmental stagnation and even corruption of the past. He is a member of the Democratic Party of the Center Left, and leader of that party. Through a grass roots effort he took control of the party from the old inbred leadership and displaced the prime minister to rise himself to leadership. He has a strong reform agenda, both political and economic. And his first act has been to propose and soon to pass a new electoral law that will help to end the chronic instability of an excess of minor parties and weak coalitions, that brings clearer choices to the Italian electorate. Italy has a parliamentary system with proportional representation. His next focus is to bring great employment, especially to the young.

    • 127 daisydem
      March 27, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Wow. Great Bill R. Thanks for sharing that information with us. Now we will look to Italy in a new way and be excited for changes we might see and benefits not only for the Italians but for the world. I especially like that he want to further focus on employment especially for the young which of course we need to do in this country such that our college graduates (and high school too, if college is not their course) will find jobs and careers.

    • 128 Bill R.
      March 27, 2014 at 11:37 am

      I would add that Matteo Renzi seems to have a pretty good command of English, and has been quite personable in the informal interactions with our President.

  64. 129 Nena20409
    March 27, 2014 at 11:30 am

    The New PM is Not a bad look man. So young.

    • 130 Mela in TX (@bluetexasmoon)
      March 27, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Hi Nena, I spent a glorious month in Italy and let me tell you…there are some verrrrry attractive people over there. I came home with a bad case of whiplash. I met a sweet Italian named Giancarlo who showed me the sights. It was wonderful getting away from the touristy places and eating where the locals do.

  65. 131 hopefruit2
    March 27, 2014 at 11:35 am

    But ABC news tells me that it’s just Putin and Obama who are dueling. EU gets no mention whatsoever….

  66. 132 Bill R.
    March 27, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Matteo Renzi says ” Italy needs to change Italy, we have no alibis, no excuses. Change must come from Italy, not Europe or any other country. He said earlier, that “Yes, we can” needs to be our message as well.

    • 133 Bill R.
      March 27, 2014 at 11:43 am

      He adds that the model of action for Italy should be that of America under Pres. Obama. “Italy needs to have a Jobs Act as well.”

      • 134 nospin
        March 27, 2014 at 4:03 pm

        “the model of action for Italy should be that of America under Pres. Obama. “Italy needs to have a Jobs Act as well.”

        wow. so everybody knows our POTUS has a jobs bill except the msm.

  67. 135 vcprezofan2
    March 27, 2014 at 11:43 am

    The Italian PM has thrown quite a few accolades towards Pres. O! If only, if only! If only American politicians would recognize and accept the jewel in their midst. They’ll come around to it (maybe) way after the fact.

  68. 136 Linda
    March 27, 2014 at 11:44 am

    MSNBC cut away to Bridgegate Report.

  69. 137 Nena20409
    March 27, 2014 at 11:51 am


    MIAMI (AP) – Florida’s Republican leaders have fought the Affordable Care Act at every turn, banning navigators from county health departments, offering no state dollars to boost outreach efforts to 3.5 million uninsured and leading the fight to repeal the law. Yet the state has emerged as a tale of what went right with President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

    More than 440,000 Florida residents had been enrolled through the federal marketplace through the end of February, putting Florida on pace to exceed the federal government’s initial projections by the time enrollment closes March 31.

    The numbers are impressive for a state where Republicans control the governor’s mansion and both houses of the Legislature

  70. 138 Don
    March 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

    What you are seeing across Washington D.C. is the smallness of our elected leaders. Only someone small would cut food stamps for the poor. What drives a person to deny another person a full belly? I grew up poor, I remember coming home from school and the electricity being cut off. I remember coming home from school and there was no food to eat, I’ve gone to bed hungry many times in my life. So as I sit back and watch our elected official’s debate cutting food stamps, I can only hope that their god is a forgiving god.

  71. March 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

    $1 Trillion Student Loan Debt Widens US Wealth Gap
    March 27, 2014 (AP)
    By CAROLYN THOMPSON Associated Press

    Every month that Gregory Zbylut pays $1,300 toward his law school loans is another month of not qualifying for a decent mortgage.

    Every payment toward their student loans is $900 Dr. Nida Degesys and her husband aren’t putting in their retirement savings account.

    They believe they’ll eventually climb from debt and begin using their earnings to build assets rather than fill holes. But, like the roughly 37 million others in the U.S. saddled with $1 trillion in student debt, they may never catch up with wealthy peers who began life after college free from the burden.

    The disparity, experts say, is contributing to the widening of the gap between rich and everyone else in the country.


    The median 2009 net worth for a household without outstanding student debt was $117,700, nearly three times the $42,800 worth in a household with outstanding student debt, according to a report co-written by Elliott last November.


  72. 140 vcprezofan2
    March 27, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Here’s how I feel about those hated journalists and their long list of questions.

  73. 141 Nena20409
    March 27, 2014 at 11:59 am


    The former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive who orchestrated the September lane closures on the George Washington Bridge claims to have told Gov. Chris Christie (R) about the closures while they were happening, according to a report released Thursday by a legal team representing the governor’s office.

    The report, which concluded that Christie “did not know of the lane realignment beforehand and had no involvement in the decision to realign the lanes,” indicates that as the scandal began to escalate in December, former Port Authority David Wildstein began “feeling vulnerable, knew he would have to resign, and then did.” At the time Wildstein was still telling the Governor’s Office that the lane had been closed as the result of a traffic study, an explanation that has since been abandoned by the Port Authority and the Christie administration.

    Now that Christie is known Now to have been told…..about the GWBgate……as it was happening…..Christie LIED. Would Christie then Resign for he lied to NJ. On TV. On the Radio. I say: Impeach him if he refuses to resign.

  74. 142 Dakota
    March 27, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Good Morning TOD Family!

    These beautiful pictures and video of President Obama and Pope Francis (Hope & Pope) has me with tears in my eyes. I was blowing my nose and a co-worker asked me if I had allergies!

    It’s all so very touching and wonderful. Two beautiful men who life missions are to serve. I have never felt this way about any president or pope in my lifetime. May the blessings of the Lord reign down upon them.

  75. 143 hopefruit2
    March 27, 2014 at 12:13 pm

  76. 144 vcprezofan2
    March 27, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Hel-lo, Dakota! I’ve been keeping an eye out for you so that I could say ‘Thank you’ for sharing in my special day recently. I appreciated your company and participation (just got sidetracked and didn’t acknowledge you before you left the party). 😉 🙂

    • 145 Dakota
      March 27, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      Thank you vc! So cool of you to seek me out! I’m glad you had a great birthday! I’m doing more lurking than anything else these days, but I pop in when I can. I’m just so grateful to be a little part of this great place. Oh and I AM down for a group meeting at the Presidential Library whether its in Chi-Town or Honolulu. Seriously…this girl loves to travel and to meet you wonderful folks would be the cherry on top!

      • 146 vcprezofan2
        March 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm

        Now I’ll have to start saving. 😉 Actually, I’m quite open to a rendez-vous if I could be certain that many of the oldtimers and regulars would be there.

  77. 147 vcprezofan2
    March 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    That Italian PM seems to have his head well together! Good for him.

    • 148 vcprezofan2
      March 27, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      No offense meant to our more mature citizens here, but looking at this ‘young’ PM (at least in comparison to Berlusconi) who is talking sensibly and with wisdom, is one of the reasons why I hope the U.S. does not choose an old president in 2016. Older doesn’t always denote wisdom and insight as we know, and quite frankly, IMO, it does not do so within the current crop of presidential hopefuls. It would be a very regressive step, I believe, to choose any of those currently being touted by media.

  78. 149 No Child Left Behind
    March 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    A wild crowd of journalists at the USA-Italy briefing. Interesting.

  79. 150 hopefruit2
    March 27, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Excellent press conference, and once again our President shines on the world stages, and elevates the other world leaders with him. The US media continue to look like idiots parroting their myopic RNC/GOP/Rove talking points in front of the international community.

  80. 152 Bill R.
    March 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    How refreshing to contrast a group of real journalists in Italy to the gaggle of whpc hacks! I’ve been watching this on Italian television and they have much more in depth reporting and have a much greater reservoir of respect toward our POTUS and appreciation for his visit to their country. On the world stage he certainly is given the respect to which he is entitled and the admiration that he has earned.

  81. 153 Bill R.
    March 27, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    My wife and I visited Rome a year and a half ago in Sept. 2012. It’s great to see our President in many of the same places, including the Vatican, the Quirinale (presidential palace), and now the Colliseum.

  82. 154 jacquelineoboomer
    March 27, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Again, NW, thank you so very much for such a wonderful post, and the sweet, respectful images of #HopeAndPope !!! And your humor – always your humor!

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