Early Bird Chat

On This Day: President Barack Obama looks out the window of Marine One as the helicopter lands on the South Lawn of the White House after the ride from the U.S. Naval Academy commencement ceremony in Annapolis, Maryland, May 22, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)



84 Responses to “Early Bird Chat”

  1. 6 africa
    May 22, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Happy Thursday TODers

    Wishing everyone a blessed day.

  2. 7 africa
    May 22, 2014 at 7:41 am

  3. May 22, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Good morning Ms. Chips, Danny and TOD family, I hope all is well with everyone. Congrats Ms. Chips on being first to open your own store this lovely Thursday morning. 😀 😀

    • May 22, 2014 at 7:43 am

      Thank you very much RanMan, it’s a proud day for me! Goooooood morning to ya! 🙂

      • 10 99ts
        May 22, 2014 at 7:53 am

        gm Ms Chips – my horrible terrible week is over – so now I’m back to complaining about politicians. Our local Premier (Governor equivalent) has decided our system of minimal political donations is bad – so he is allowing them to be 12 times as high without having to divulge the donor and making it harder to get public funding – the mind bogles.

        We also have students protesting – the Prime Minister and Education Minister cannot do their politicising at universities – good to see.

        I hope PBO cancels coming to our state for the G20 – much as I would love to see him, the current PM and Premier do not deserve his visit any which way what way.

        • May 22, 2014 at 8:13 am

          Morning 99ts! It really is the same the world over, especially the power of money in our politics. Ugh, why can’t we have a nice world?

  4. 12 Ladyhawke
    May 22, 2014 at 7:47 am



    The GOP and veterans: It’s complicated

    By Jonathan Capehart


    We absolutely should be angry about the horrific treatment of veterans in hospitals that are supposed to give them optimal care. Those folks responsible for violating that sacred trust must be held accountable. And everything must be done to ensure that systemic failures that allowed this to happen are fixed quickly and permanently. But, first, Republicans must cease their empty partisan thundering and “we care more than you do” lectures until they have a track record of support for our veterans that matches their righteous indignation.



    • 13 Vicki
      May 22, 2014 at 8:15 am

      Terrific article by Jonathan capeheart. Thank you Ladyhawke for posting it.

    • May 22, 2014 at 9:00 am

      I really wish there were more prominent journalists like Capehart who are truth tellers. The Republican response to this VA crisis is more of the same. They help to create the conditions for a crisis by denying adequate funding knowing full well that extended wait times will be the result and then when that happens they point fingers, act outraged and blame the President. The only reason they get away with this same tactic time and time again is because our media cover for them.

  5. 15 dotster3
    May 22, 2014 at 7:54 am

    Perfect day in Chicago for the visit of a perfect president—–sunny, no wind, high about 70.

  6. 17 amk for obama
    May 22, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Thailand’s army chief announces a coup d’etat, with the military taking control of government and promising reforms after months of political turmoil.


    GM folks. 🙂

    • 18 jackiegrumbacher
      May 22, 2014 at 8:15 am

      Yikes, AMK, this doesn’t bode well for the people of Thailand. I have a nephew-in-law who lives there with his family. Hope they aren’t in danger. I’ll be following this story closely. Thanks for the heads up.

  7. May 22, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Morning all, Can anyone explain why a report from ER docs says there are more ER admissions since the ACA law went into effect and the number is projected to increase each year?That doesn’t seem right to me if more people now have health insurance.

    • 21 Melanie
      May 22, 2014 at 8:42 am

      I’ve heard the same thing. The reasoning is reportedly to be a shortage of primary care docs. If more people have health insurance but not enough docs to take care of them, they’ll end up in the ER. If this is true, hopefully the number of PCPs will catch up with the number of newly insured.

      • May 22, 2014 at 9:41 am

        Some doctors have refused to accept some of the ACA policies because they either are rebelling against Obamacare and hoped fo r it’s repeal or the insurance companies have cut their fee scale. If you can’t find a doctor to accept your insurance, you either find a doctor who does or go to the ER.

    • 23 donna dem 4 obama
      May 22, 2014 at 8:56 am

      This sounds about right to me and I’ll tell you why. A lot of people signed up for health care to they are more apt to get care when something happens rather than riding it out and hoping the pain goes away. Although millions signed up, it is probably too soon for the majority of them to have found a doctor to treat their preventive and emergency care. When I changed jobs 15 years ago it took me several months before I found a general practitioner that I like and have been seeing ever since. Not everyone had a life threatening disease that needed treatment right away. Most people just wanted the security of knowing that if they got sick that they could get the care they needed. All these surveys and polls this soon after the program started is useless. You have to allow time to really see the full picture of the benefit of Obamacare.

  8. 24 jackiegrumbacher
    May 22, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Morning. I’m starting this densely foggy day with a dreaded dental appointment since I seemed to have an exposed nerve in my tooth that’s very painful. There’s no way I’m coming out of this without more pain and a huge dental bill. I don’t think I’ve ever been more fearful of a dental visit. If you have any positive thoughts to share, please send them.

    • May 22, 2014 at 8:29 am

      Oh Jackie, you poor thing – I just hope it all goes well and you get rid of that pain. Wishing you the very best.

      • 26 jackiegrumbacher
        May 22, 2014 at 8:33 am

        Thanks, Chips. Hopefully I’ll come back in one piece to report. Hope your day goes well.

    • 27 Vicki
      May 22, 2014 at 8:34 am

      my positive thought is 800 mgs of Advil before dentist visit, after procedure and when you get home. The usual dose is 400 mg—but the large dose before the work can prevent major discomfort.

      And, no, you won’t overdose from this. My dentist gave me 800 mg advils when I was going through implants.

      And Advil, specifically, because in addition to pain relief it reduces swelling and inflamation a bit which aspirin and tylenol do not do.

      I am not a doctor so ignore me if you disagree or feel uncomfortable with this info.

      Best of luck today and you will have thousands of day that are significantly better than this one.

    • 28 donna dem 4 obama
      May 22, 2014 at 8:44 am

      Hang in there JG. This too shall pass!

      I’m not going to tell you that there will be no discomfort but they generally give you pretty good meds to keep you comfortable. Get the prescription filled right after the appointment and start taking the pain meds before the Novocaine wears off. Set your alarm and take the medicine even if you think you don’t need it for the first 24 hours. After that you’ll probably be okay.

      Good Luck and I’m sending good vibes and well wishes for an smooth procedure.

    • 29 desertflower
      May 22, 2014 at 8:46 am

      Oh dear:( Don’t be fearful…the dentist WILL make that pain you feel now, go away! Novocaine is a wonderful thing:) Nothing BUT positive thoughts for you, jackiegrumbacher,,,,please let us know how it went today…always worse in your head than it is in real life:)

      Morning everyone…today is the last day of school for the kiddos!!! I’m glad, because they are now beyond squirrelly! We WILL get through this day 🙂

    • May 22, 2014 at 9:12 am

      jackie, your dentist will do everything possible to make you comfortable. Let them know if you need more attention. Focus on how you’re going to feel when all this is done. Pain free!!

    • 31 Nena20409
      May 22, 2014 at 10:01 am

      {{{Hugs+ ❤ + Warm wishes}}}

      Good Luck Jackie.

  9. May 22, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Good Morning TODVille.

    Thanks Chipsticks for the new thread. And a ⭐ for your first position!

    It’s a wet morning outside of my window. But since I am staying indoor (working from home) today, I should be fine.

    The news from Thailand is worrisome. Need to follow closely. South Sudan is also in turmoil. Always something, somewhere.

  10. 33 donna dem 4 obama
    May 22, 2014 at 8:37 am

    GM everyone…Second day of recovery on the tooth extraction. Pain is all but gone. Crossing fingers and toes that it stays that way!

    Thanks Ladyhawke for this really great article.

    • 34 anniebella
      May 22, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Republicans don’t give a dam about veterans just like they don’t give a dam about those 47%. The only ones these Republicans will fight to the death for are folks like the Koch Brothers. Rich folks.

      • 35 anniebella
        May 22, 2014 at 10:12 am

        Let us remember Republicans 2000-2008 years and what did they do for veterans? With Boehner in control of the House, and Republican Senators what have they done for veterans? Now they are all set to use them as some political ploy, there ought to be times when politics are put aside and this should be one of those times. Democrats and Republicans need to fine out the facts, and work together to fix what is wrong with the VA system.

  11. 36 donna dem 4 obama
    May 22, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Not sure if this was posting while I was away but it’s worth repeating. Love, Love, Love VP Joe!!!!

  12. 37 GGAIL
    May 22, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Good West Coast morning Chipsticks & TOD family.

    One more day till Friday. Whew!!

  13. 42 desertflower
    May 22, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Steve Benen breaks this VA issue down even more, and then there’s this gem of truth:

    Alec MacGillis added that the Republican “hypocrisy” on veterans “is truly something to behold.”
    If there’s been one side pushing for greater resources for the Veterans Administration in the age of austerity these past five years, it hasn’t been the Republicans. It was the much-maligned economic stimulus package of 2009 that included $1 billion for the V.A. While the V.A. itself was protected from the budget sequestration that Republican fought to keep in place last year, many other veterans programs – providing mental health services and housing, among other things – were hit hard by the sequestration cuts. […]

    But there is a whole other level of context to consider here as well. There is a pretty basic reason for backlogs at V.A. facilities and in the disability claims process, the other ongoing V.A. mess. Put simply: when you go to war, you get more wounded veterans, and in a country without a universal health care system, they are all funneled into this one agency with limited capacity. Every one of the Republican leaders quoted above attacking Obama for the V.A. backlogs strongly supported launching the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that resulted in nearly 7,000 fatalities and a huge surge in medical needs and disability claims.

    That’s it in a nutshell, isn’t it?

  14. 50 amk for obama
    May 22, 2014 at 9:01 am

  15. 51 desertflower
    May 22, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I’ve posted this before, but in light of the problems of the VA, it’s worth noting again. THIS IS FROM MARCH of 2013!!!


    while the VA is protected from the budgetary ax known as sequestration, veterans are not.

    Programs supporting veterans — on issues from housing to mental health — that are operated by agencies other than the VA are subject to the cuts.

    Moreover, many Defense Department programs that support veterans, wounded service members and their families are not exempt. The numbers of mental health counselors assisting service members returning from combat zones with issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder may be cut, Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Army chief of staff, told Congress last month.

    Forty percent of the Defense Department’s medical providers working at military hospitals and clinics are civilians subject to furlough.

    “This may mean a decrease in clinic appointment availability or longer wait times to see providers,” Jonathan Woodson, the Pentagon’s assistant secretary for health affairs, wrote Tuesday on the department’s military health system blog.

    Even deceased veterans may face longer waits. The Army has warned that sequestration cuts will increase the waiting time, already a month or more, for burial at Arlington National Cemetery, with the number of daily interments expected to drop from 31 to 24.

    Veterans make up 44 percent of the Defense Department’s 800,000 civilian employee workforce, which may face furloughs starting in April. About 27.3 percent of the approximately 2 million employees in the federal workforce are veterans, and more than a quarter of them are disabled, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

    Despite the VA’s exemption, sequestration is a top concern for veterans groups presenting their legislative priorities to Congress last week.

    “The VFW is deeply concerned about the impact sequestration will have on the departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense budgets,” John E. Hamilton, commander in chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, told a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees Tuesday, adding that the group fears cuts will hurt services for “our troops returning from Afghanistan, our veterans and their families.”

  16. May 22, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Good morning, TODville. Another gem:

    • 53 donna dem 4 obama
      May 22, 2014 at 9:16 am

      Wow I think those are the vendor trucks on Constitution Avenue. I’ve visited those trucks once or twice in my day for souvenirs. PBO took a nice little walk… It was a beautiful day yesterday from what I was able to see of it.

      • May 22, 2014 at 9:27 am

        I just treasure these quiet moments of respectful and warm connection with our POTUS. Especially on days when the noise machine is cranked up to eleventy.

    • 55 Nena20409
      May 22, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Too Sweet for words.

      ❤ it

    • 56 anniebella
      May 22, 2014 at 10:15 am

      Lovely picture of the little girl handing POTUS a flag.

  17. May 22, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Tornado hunter Ricky Forbes was driving through Kootenay National Park when he spotted the black bear cub sitting dangerously close to the highway.

  18. 61 desertflower
    May 22, 2014 at 9:13 am

    In other important news the MSM doesn’t talk about….. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/iran-president-nuke-deal-by-july

  19. 63 amk for obama
    May 22, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Teachers across Nigeria are holding a day of protests in support of more than 200 schoolgirls seized by the Islamist group Boko Haram last month.

    Teaching unions said they were also marching in memory of the 173 teachers killed by militants.

    It follows two days of bloody attacks in the country, in which nearly 150 people have been killed.

    Nigeria’s government is under pressure to do more to tackle Boko Haram and bring about the girls’ release.

    US President Barack Obama on Wednesday said he had deployed 80 military personnel to neighbouring Chad to help in the search.

    A UK spy plane sent to help look for the girls has arrived in Ghana, after it broke down and was forced to land in Senegal.


  20. 64 Nena20409
    May 22, 2014 at 9:22 am

    GM TODers.

    Home Alone this AM waiting for pluming repairs person and picked up the Star Tribune paper with my coffee and here’s part of what I read today…….

    Gregg Jarret a Fox Weekend Anchor had left his job a week or so ago for personal reasons. Low and behold, last night at the St Paul/Minneapolis Airport, Mr. Jarret was arrested, drunk and belligerent.


    Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett was jailed Wednesday after being arrested in a bar at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.

    Jarrett, who is a weekend co-anchor on the FOX News Channel, was arrested about 12:30 p.m. at Northern Lights Grill in the main terminal, said Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

    Jarrett was released from custody shortly after 1:30 a.m. Thursday after a $300 bond was posted, according to Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office records. The records show he’s due in court on June 6


    I guess reporting brainlessly and endlessly on distorted nonsense can get to even a RWNJ.

  21. 68 Nena20409
    May 22, 2014 at 9:24 am

    It’s Sunshine, Sunny and Humid in my neck of the woods.

    Perhaps, Spring and Summer rolled in one today, Minnesota’s style 😉

  22. 69 amk for obama
    May 22, 2014 at 9:26 am

    h/t to df.

  23. 70 desertflower
    May 22, 2014 at 9:28 am

    They LOVE the stuff…the warrior, not so much


    The House is bucking the Pentagon and pressing ahead with a $601 billion defense authorization bill that spares planes, ships and military bases in an election-year nod to hometown interests.

    Ignoring a White House veto threat, Republicans and Democrats were expected to vote overwhelmingly Thursday for the sweeping policy bill, which addresses issues ranging from the pervasive problem of sexual assault in the military to the future status of the nation’s nuclear weapons to a missile defense site on the East Coast.

    Spending on the military is being cut after more than a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and deficit-driven budget reductions are taking a toll.

    Working within spending limits, the Pentagon proposed retiring decades-old aircraft programs, including the A-10 Warthog, a close air support plane, and the U-2 spy plane of the Cold War era. The Defense Department also sought congressional approval to close unnecessary military bases and slightly increase out-of-pocket costs for housing and health care.

  24. 71 Nena20409
    May 22, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Those who tweet please keep up the great work and please keep demanding for Total Coverage on the VA not idiotic distorted one-sided crap from the GOP.

    Yesterday, I called the WH and suggested that they insist that the WHOLE factually based story is told. I also suggested that they have their people on and not to allow the MSM and the TBGOPers to drive the narrative. Summer is almost here. There is no need to once again allow the TBGOPers and the MSM to drive the VA narrative.

  25. 72 desertflower
    May 22, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Sobering. http://robertreich.org/post/86359911960

    For years Americans have assumed that our hard-charging capitalism is better than the soft-hearted version found in Canada and Europe. American capitalism might be a bit crueler but it generates faster growth and higher living standards overall. Canada’s and Europe’s “welfare-state socialism” is doomed.

    It was a questionable assumption to begin with, relying to some extent on our collective amnesia about the first three decades after World War II, when tax rates on top incomes in the U.S. never fell below 70 percent, a larger portion of our economy was invested in education than before or since, over a third of our private-sector workers were unionized, we came up with Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor, and built the biggest infrastructure project in history, known as the interstate highway system.

    But then came America’s big U-turn, when we deregulated, de-unionized, lowered taxes on the top, ended welfare, and stopped investing as much of the economy in education and infrastructure.

    Meanwhile, Canada and Europe continued on as before. Soviet communism went bust, and many of us assumed European and Canadian “socialism” would as well.

    That’s why recent data from the Luxembourg Income Study Database is so shocking.

  26. 73 Nerdy Wonka
    May 22, 2014 at 9:31 am

    • 75 desertflower
      May 22, 2014 at 9:43 am

      Thanks for this Ladyhawke…but it should be pointed out that this is old, in other words, 7 bills against veterans is now a larger number of bills against veterans, courtesy of the RWNJ’s in Congress.

  27. 77 Ladyhawke
    May 22, 2014 at 9:37 am


    Republicans won’t let the GOP denying 5 million, 250K veterans, insurance get in the way of pretending they care about veterans’ health care

    • 79 donna dem 4 obama
      May 22, 2014 at 9:51 am

      Thank You Rikyrah! Rhapsody in Blue is pure genius. This has always been my Gershwin favorite!!

  28. 80 amk for obama
    May 22, 2014 at 9:42 am

    charles gaba is pissed off that hhs will stop updating the Obamacare numbers.

    I am with him. Who made this dumb decision, especially in an election year?


    • 81 Vicki
      May 22, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Yes AMK Gaba reported this last night and confirmed it this morning.
      If your point is that ACA is a great Win for Democrats, then yes, why aren’t we taking every opportunity to draw attention to it?
      Perhaps there is more to this decision that we will see in the future as it plays out.

      • 82 amk for obama
        May 22, 2014 at 9:51 am

        I don’t know any common sense reason. If there is one, why don’t they just put it out?

  29. 83 Linda
    May 22, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Business That Bashed Obama’s OSHA Just Had Horrifying Industrial Accident


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