Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama embraces Nicole Hockley, who lost a son in the Sandy Hook shootings, after delivering a statement on the Senate’s failure to pass a measure to expanded gun background checks, April 17, 2013


Today (all times Eastern):

11:05: President Obama welcomes the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House

11:40: Meets with representatives from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners

1:35: Meets with insurance executives



LA Times: Health insurance gains since last fall hit 12 million, survey shows

President Obama’s health law has led to an even greater increase in health coverage than previously estimated, according to new Gallup survey data, which suggest that about 12 million previously uninsured Americans have gained coverage since last fall.

That is millions more than Gallup found in March and suggests that as many as 4 million people signed up for some kind of insurance in the last several weeks as the first enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act drew to a close.

Just 12.9% of adults nationally lacked coverage in the first half of April, initial data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index indicates, the lowest rate since the survey began in 2008.

More here




Brian Beutler: The Repeal Swindle Republicans are pretending to support Obamacare’s goals, but they don’t

For years now, undeterred by an imposing level of conservative schadenfreude, a handful of us have argued that the introduction of Affordable Care Act benefits in January would flip the politics of Obamacare, and the GOP’s repeal platform would collapse.

It’s April now and that worm is turning before our eyes, both on on Capitol Hill and in states across the country.

Republicans have replaced an unabashed “full repeal!” mantra with a deluge of weasel words meant to conceal the fact that “repeal” is still the beginning and end of their health-care reform agenda. It’s still the goal—they’re just a little ashamed of it now. And that places an onus on Dems (and reporters and anyone else who believes politicians should own the consequences of their policies) to be extremely explicit about the benefits Obamacare is conferring, and what an unvarnished rendering of GOP health policy would really look like.

More here



Steve Benen: Jobless claims inch up, but remain near 7-year low

Initial unemployment claims improved unexpectedly last week to a level unseen in seven years, and though the new figures from the Labor Department aren’t quite as good, they’re close.

The number of people who applied for unemployment-insurance benefits ticked up by 2,000 to 304,000 in the week that ended April 12, a slight increase from the lowest level since 2007…

… In terms of metrics, when jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold, it’s considered evidence of an improving jobs landscape, and when the number drops below 370,000, it suggests jobs are being created rather quickly. At this point, we’ve been below 340,000 in 13 of the last 15 weeks.

Full post here



CBS: Obama warns of “consequences” for Russian actions destabilizing Ukraine

President Obama put Russian President Vladimir Putin on notice Wednesday evening, warning that further actions to destabilize the interim Ukrainian government will result in consequences from both the United States and Europe.

In an interview with CBS News White House Correspondent Major Garrett , Mr. Obama said it was “absolutely clear” that Russia had violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by annexing Crimea last month, and they continue to do so by supporting “non-state militias” in southern and eastern Ukraine.

Still, the White House has not abandoned diplomatic solutions. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Geneva Wednesday evening to prepare for four-party talks with European, Russian and Ukrainian officials.

More here – video at link

And more from the interview here



LA Times: Putin: Russia may invade Ukraine to protect locals

Russia may invade southeast Ukraine to protect the local population, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

Speaking live at his annual call-in show in a Moscow television studio, Putin implied he reserves the right to move Russian troops into the neighboring country on behalf of pro-Russian residents.

“We know quite well that we must do our best to protect their rights and help them independently decide their fate and we will struggle for that,” Putin said. “I remind you that the Federation Council of Russia [the upper house of Parliament] empowered the president to use the armed forces in Ukraine.”

But Putin added that he hoped he would not have to resort to that.

Putin’s threat suggests that Russia’s armed intervention in Ukraine is a looming reality, Ukrainian political scientist Vadim Karasyov said.

More here



LA Times: Russian economy hit by Ukraine fallout; 0% growth in 2014 possible

Russia’s economy has been hit hard by the Ukraine crisis, prompting finance officials to cut growth forecasts for this year to near zero and draining the country’s hard currency reserves as investors flee an uncertain market, Kremlin officials disclosed Wednesday.

In an address to the lower house of parliament, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said $63 billion had been converted from rubles to hard currencies and taken out of the country in the first quarter of this year.

If that pace of capital flight continues, Russia could easily surpass the $120 billion lost at the height of the global economic crisis six years ago.

More here



Reuters: US Court Deportations Have Fallen Drastically Under Obama

Deportations through U.S. immigration courts have fallen 43 percent in the past five years as the federal government brought fewer cases before those courts, according to Justice Department data analyzed by the New York Times on Wednesday.

The figures come as President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Republicans clashed openly over immigration- reform legislation that remains stalled in the Republican-led House.

… Obama, who has made immigration reform a priority, has drawn fire from advocacy groups and been called “deporter in chief” for presiding over an administration that has deported some 2 million people. But his administration brought 26 percent fewer cases in immigration courts in 2013 than in 2009, the New York Times reported.

More here – (And see NDN Analysis: Total Removals, Returns of Unauthorized Immigrants Plummet Under Obama)


And who is helping push the ‘Deporter in Chief’ smear? Ah yes, Ezra’s Vox:

Get outta here.

PS Stay classy, Ezra:


USA Today: Biden: I’ll tell Obama first if I run in 2016

Vice President Biden says he hasn’t decided whether to seek the presidency in 2016 – and when he does he’ll tell the incumbent about it first.

“If I decide to run, believe me, this’ll be the first guy I talk to,” Biden said during a joint interview with President Obama on CBS News. “But that decision hasn’t been made for real, and there’s plenty of time.”

.”.. If I absolutely knew I wasn’t going to run – or I absolutely knew I was – there’s nothing I would do differently over the next seven, eight, ten months,” Biden said. “We have a very important job to do.”

Obama responded by praising Biden. “I’ve got somebody who I think will go down as the finest Vice Presidents in history, and he has been, as I said earlier, a great partner in everything that I do,” Obama said.

More here




SmartyPants: Why Taibbi’s brand of linkbait works

Perhaps by now you’ve heard that Matt Taibbi went on Democracy Now to promote his latest book and gin up that old emo meme about how President Obama is worse than Bush – this time it’s about not holding Wall Street accountable for the crimes that led to the Great Recession. So he managed to get our attention and probably sold a lot more of his books….

…. In stark contrast to this approach is a long article by Jed Rakoff, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York (someone who knows a thing or two about securities law and white collar crime). He thoroughly reviews every argument made for the lack of prosecutions (including the one made by Taibbi), discarding them all. Then he speculates about three of his own. The reason you probably haven’t heard about it is that he makes intelligent and nuanced arguments. He’s writing to educate, not inflame.

More here



Trevor LaFauci (The People’s View): From Boston To Bundy: Mainstream Media’s Struggle To Define Modern Terrorism

This past week in Kansas, a man shot and killed a teenager and his grandfather coming out of their house of worship. Three states over in Las Vegas, Nevada, a woman attempted to attack the former American Secretary of State during her speech by throwing a shoe at her. And down the road from the footwear fiasco, a man in Clark County, Nevada and an armed renegade militia engaged in a standoff with federal land managers for misusing government land and refusing to pay taxes.

Let’s recap: A vicious murder of two unarmed people after a religious service. An attack of an American diplomat and potential 2016 presidential candidate. An armed rebellion by a rancher who threatened federal employees who were just trying to do their job. Three separate events that put Americans’ safety and security at risk. Three deranged individuals who openly took up violence against their fellow citizens. There was media coverage of these events and yet not a single mention of a word that describes the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political means. Nowhere in any mainstream media coverage did any of the networks refer to any of these events as what they were:  Terrorism.

Which brings us to an interesting question: How does the mainstream media in the year 2014 determine who is and who isn’t a terrorist?

More here



Peter Bergen (CNN): U.S. right wing extremists more deadly than jihadists

On Sunday, a man shot and killed a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and then drove to a nearby Jewish retirement community where he shot and killed a third person. Police arrested a suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross, who shouted “Heil Hitler” after he was taken into custody.

Cross, who also goes by Frazier Glenn Miller, is a well-known right wing extremist who founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

…. since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants, have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology. According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11.

More here



Mother Jones: Is New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez the Next Sarah Palin?

Petty. Vindictive. Weak on policy. And yet she’s being hailed as the Republican Party’s great new hope.

…. Previously unreleased audio recordings, text messages, and emails reveal a side of Martinez the public has rarely, if ever, seen.

Full post here



The Daily Banter: Cenk Uygur Just Took $4-Million from a Conservative Source (but He’s Still a Better Liberal Than You)

One of the pitfalls of running a for-profit media company that traffics almost entirely in one specific brand of political opinion is that your funding, and where it comes from, becomes especially relevant. If you spend all day espousing what you claim are strongly liberal views, then turn around and take a giant bag of money from, say, a former Republican candidate for president and governor of Louisiana who has worked against a woman’s right to choose and in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, people might accuse you of being a bit hypocritical.

Just a little while ago the Young Turks Network announced that it’s inked a deal to get $4-million in seed money from a group run by Buddy Roemer. With the funding comes an option that could double the take for TYT, with the whole thing being made through Roemer’s private equity fund, Roemer, Robinson, Melville & Co. Roemer himself is a pretty staunch conservative, despite having been a Democrat for many years and a late-career decision to try running for president as a member of both the Reform and Americans Elect party. In addition to his retrograde views on abortion and gay marriage, he also supported Arizona’s draconian crackdown on undocumented immigrants, is pro-torture, and is for the repeal of the ACA, saying that it amounts to government interference in healthcare. In other words, the guy is the furthest thing from a liberal.

More here



On This Day

President Obama greets Costa Rica President Oscar Arias during a reception at the Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad, April 17, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)


First Lady Michelle Obama smiles as she greets several members of the 911th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve Command and the 171st Air Refueling Wing at their base near Pittsburgh on April 17, 2012

…. embracing one of the female members of the 911th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve Command and the 171st Air Refueling Wing

President Obama looks at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship trophy as he approaches Tony Stewart’s car during an event on the South Lawn of the White House, April 17, 2012. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Tony Stewart, center, Kyle Busch, and Ryan Newman, right, watch nearby (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


President Obama walks into the Rose Garden to deliver a statement on the Senate’s failure to pass a measure to expanded gun background checks, April 17, 2013

President Obama puts his arm around former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords before he speaks in the Rose Garden, April 17

Vice President Joe Biden embraces Mark Barden, father of Daniel who died at Sandy Hook

President Obama and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki applaud participants in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride on the South Lawn driveway at the White House, April 17, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama has lunch with midshipmen in King Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., April 17, 2013 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Obama delivers remarks during an interfaith prayer service dedicated to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Mass., April 18, 2013 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

112 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. 1 desertflower
    April 17, 2014 at 10:10 am


  2. 7 desertflower
    April 17, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Hot diggity! Morning everyone:) Thank you, Chips for a wonderful R/S this morning… is the fox out of your house?

  3. 15 Cindy
    April 17, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Good morning Chipsticks and Danny!!!

    Good morning TOD FAMILY!!!

    Wishing “EVERYONE” a BEAUTIFUL and PERFECT Thursday!!!

    ENJOY!…….I demand it : )

  4. April 17, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Good morning TOD. Perhaps we will have even more to smile about today. Great pics as usual.

    April 17, 2014 at 10:31 am


    • 28 jackiegrumbacher
      April 17, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Sue, your description of Cantor is perfect–“a cracked egg in the Easter basket.” A real classic.

    April 17, 2014 at 10:37 am


  7. April 17, 2014 at 10:48 am

  8. 32 amk for obama
    April 17, 2014 at 11:02 am

    I am comparing the unlimited cash in US elections to the strict election expenses limit being vigilantly. monitored by the Indian Election Commission. Zero hate speech tolerance. Easy voting arrangements by providing plenty of voting locations. Multiple small, medium, big parties contesting and winning and even playing a crucial role in federal govts.

  9. April 17, 2014 at 11:03 am

    I have absolutely no words:

  10. 52 Nena20409
    April 17, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Good Morning TOD.

    Wow! A POTUS and VP Selfie? Wow. I have missed quite a load of stuff.

    14 Inches of Snow on the Deck. Fell and slipped and slammed my right hand as I tried to break the fall. Now tender, swollen and it hurts as I type. So that is my REAL excuse for all my typos today. 😦

    Snowden is building a Putin snow Fluff? Wow.

    R&S is Awesome.

  11. 56 Don
    April 17, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Only in America can be people get talked out of accepting health insurance all because America has a black President. Only in America can people gladly accept an American leaking secrets to Russia all because America has a black President. Let me be clear, whatever bullshit you accept now all because America has a black President, be prepared in the future to accept any old type of bullshit that’s forced down your throat.

  12. 58 Nena20409
    April 17, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Au and Ag for DF. 😉 Congrats.

  13. 59 donna dem 4 obama
    April 17, 2014 at 11:20 am

  14. 62 Nena20409
    April 17, 2014 at 11:21 am


    Critics still promise that the law cannot work as intended, but the evidence keeps piling up in the other direction. The opportunities for failure keep falling away, and worst-case predictions keep going bust.

    There was no death spiral, nor will there be one. And there was never going to be a “death panel.” Some people’s premiums went up, and a lot of people had their plans canceled, but people didn’t reject the law’s coverage options—at least 7.5 million people picked a plan through the law’s exchanges, and another 3 million got Medicaid coverage. People were willing to come back to HealthCare.gov, and enrollment spiked at the last minute—just as the White House had predicted.

  15. 63 donna dem 4 obama
    April 17, 2014 at 11:22 am

    • 64 Nena20409
      April 17, 2014 at 11:29 am

      I have not watched Mourning Joke in months. Robinson was a frequent guest. I doubt that he would be asked to talk about ACA.
      Today is the day HHS is releasing ACA numbers. Have they yet?

  16. 65 Nena20409
    April 17, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Why would a six years old Russian be asking Putin if he was drowning would Pres Obama save him? That is propaganda at it’s fullest. And AK would Putin want that land back, yet another question? Seriously?

    Who do they think they are fooling?

    The Snowden stunt is so blatant that I am still wondering is Putin has any sense/marbles left.

  17. 66 Nerdy Wonka
    April 17, 2014 at 11:28 am

    • 67 derbingleguy
      April 17, 2014 at 11:31 am

      But the website was glitchy for a couple of weeks and because of that somebody anybody needs to be fired. Just reading those Ezra Klein talking points.

  18. 68 anniebella
    April 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

    If POTUS could he would spend the rest of the afternoon out there shaking hands, smiling and talking with that crowd.

  19. 69 Nena20409
    April 17, 2014 at 11:33 am


    The mayor of Marionville, Mo. is facing possible impeachment a mere week after he took office over his relationship with Frazier Glenn Miller, the white supremacist who allegedly shot three people to death at two Jewish facilities in Kansas last weekend.

    Marionville resident Debbie Sallee told television station KOLR that she and others intend to go before the city council or board of alderman and ask for Clevenger’s resignation.

    If he doesn’t resign, Sallee said they’ll call for impeachment.

    • 70 anniebella
      April 17, 2014 at 11:47 am

      I remember when Congressman Walter B.Jones Jr.(R.-NC) went to Tennessee to appear on some white supremacist radio show, and he never answer why he did that.

  20. April 17, 2014 at 11:33 am

    “A message from Kramatorsk:

    Kyiv is receiving information that is absolutely distorted.

    In reality, most of the residents of the city have an active pro-Ukrainian position, and help our military, and are holding a ‘For Ukraine!’ rally today with national symbols.

    It was a hired crowd together with organised criminal groups from Donetsk led by Russian officers that blocked and disarmed the paratroopers.

    Virtually everyone from the hired crowd is not local. The total amount of these hired ‘colorados’ [separatists wearing black-orange St.George ribbons] is around 300 people.”


  21. April 17, 2014 at 11:35 am

  22. April 17, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Never-before-seen African-American artifacts creating a buzz in Atlanta

    by Kunbi Tinuoye | April 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    The nationally acclaimed exhibition, The Kinsey Collection, is in Atlanta for the first time since its inception.

    The exhibit at the Atlanta History Center is creating a buzz, in part because it features never before displayed artifacts, including the first edition of Solomon Northup’s 12 Years a Slave.

    “A young man called me eight months ago about a stack of books his uncle had been collecting for 75, 80 years,” said philanthropist and avid collector Bernard Kinsey, who began the collection over 35 years ago, along with his wife Shirley.

    “We purchased these books about a month before the Oscars, really not thinking about 12 Years a Slave quite being so impactful. We got it because it’s really one of the first-person slave narratives that’s important to be in our collection.”

    Aside from Northrup’s harrowing memoir, which inspired the Oscar-winning movie, W.E.B Du Bois’s first edition copy of his groundbreaking book, The Souls of Black Folk, is also on public display for the first time ever.

    In fact, out of 130 items at the Atlanta History Center, on display through July 13, there are at least 15 new artifacts, which include the earliest known African-American marriage record dating back to 1598.


    • 80 donna dem 4 obama
      April 17, 2014 at 11:56 am

      I’d love to visit this exhibition. Thanks for sharing this rikyrah!

      • 81 Alycee (@jazziz2)
        April 17, 2014 at 12:57 pm

        Donna, it just left the Lewis Museum in Baltimore! I missed it too, due to illness. Fortunately, a dear friend works at the Lewis and she gifted me with an autographed copy of the book. I’m considering breaking my economic boycott and going to Atlanta. My Mother wants to visit the King Homestead and I want to view the collection.


        Tour Schedule

        April 5th – July 13th, 2014
        Atlanta History Center
        130 West Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

        August 2nd – October 26th, 2014
        Houston Museum of African American Culture: HMAAC
        4807 Caroline St, Houston, TX 77004

        Rediscovering America: Family Treasures from The Kinsey Collection on display now in the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot, Walt Disney World until 2016

        • 82 donna dem 4 obama
          April 17, 2014 at 1:04 pm

          Oh Noooooo!!! I missed it here 😦

          Thanks for the schedule…I might be visiting Atlanta this summer.

  23. 84 whatisworking
    April 17, 2014 at 12:00 pm


    GM TOD peeps. I am so grateful to this blog and all who create these amazing posts, add insightful comments, and enthusiastically lurk.

    Let’s do what we did in 2012 and use this incredible blog as a tool to organize and win elections.

    Since June of 2011 I have been involved with OFA as an event coordinator, NTL and now Chapter Lead. I understand their system and have total confidence that it works.

    Since OFA is a non profit organization it will not work directly with campaigns, it will continue to have event that focus attention on issues, but campaigning for Dems is out.

    The good news is that all of us who worked with OFA can take off our OFA hats, and bring our training and skills to any Democratic campaign we choose. In NorCal we are organizing and will be having export phone banks into Senate and Congressional campaigns where we can make a difference. If you live North of Silicon Valley and would like to be a part of the grassroots organizing please send me a note at whatisworking@gmail.com.

    No matter where you live, you may be involved with OFA and may have contact info for someone who is organizing former OFA volunteers to work on 2014 campaigns. Please send me that info, I would love to have a list of coordinators nation wide that can be shared.

    I also received an email today from the DCCC – they are inviting folks to be part of an Organizing Corps. The online application looks very similar to the fellows application for OFA. I would encourage everyone to fill out an application TODAY and share the link with volunteers who are hard workers and dedicated to giving President Obama a congress he can work with.

    Here is the email.——————
    Do you want to be on the front lines of the fight to kick John Boehner and Republicans out of power?

    The only way to defeat the Republicans is to empower Americans to be the change they seek in their communities. That is what we aim to do through our Organizing Corps team of grassroots activists.

    As one of our most dedicated supporters, we thought you might be interested in joining!

    We are recruiting a diverse, passionate and dedicated team of organizers to recruit, persuade and get Democratic voters out to the polls. We’ll teach you everything you need to know about winning campaigns — and have plenty of fun along the way! We think you (or someone you know) would be perfect.

    Be a part of the team that helps us win big Democratic victories: Click here to apply to join Organizing Corps this summer >>

    The events you organize, the voters you register and get to the polls, and the volunteers you inspire could be the push we need to take back the House.

    This is your chance to mobilize our grassroots strength and make history by helping us win a Democratic Majority.

    Apply by May 27th to be a Summer Organizing Corps Fellow >>


    Brandon Thompson
    2014 Organizing Corps

  24. April 17, 2014 at 12:04 pm

  25. April 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    • 88 Nena20409
      April 17, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      Oh my goodness, the freaks are going to freak out…..Not presidential…….wow, Please POTUS go right ahead 😉

      I ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ this picture the best ever.

  26. April 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm

  27. April 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    “That town, Chornomors’ke, is near several key ports in the western corner of Crimea. Why would Russia be stacking military vehicles there? Well, it’s one of the closest points to mainland Ukraine, which is just across the Karkinitskiy Bay, and it is home to a key military base and port.” http://pressimus.com/Interpreter_Mag/press/2350

  28. April 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Live Press Conference …. Lavrov speaking now ….

  29. April 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm

  30. 102 donna dem 4 obama
    April 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    This is our twisted society….

  31. 107 JER
    April 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    LIVE NOW: Secretary of State John Kerry is speaking – http://www.cbsnews.com/liveFeed/widget.shtml

  32. 108 anniebella
    April 17, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    First Lady Michelle Obama to speak at Topeka USD 501 High School graduation. She also will be the commencement speaker May 10th at Dillard University.

  33. April 17, 2014 at 12:58 pm

  34. 110 amk for obama
    April 17, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Funny how the griftwaldistas and snowdenistas are freaking out over esoteric 4th, 5th or some umpteenth amendments (about which I am sure 99.9% of americans don’t have any clue) when everyday supremes, gop state govs and gop congress critters are taking away their real freedom in real time.

  35. 112 donna dem 4 obama
    April 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Stood right there and lied to his constituent. He isn’t interested in an alternative and he knows it!!!

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