Early Bird Chat

On This Day: First Lady Michelle Obama greets students from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School during a visit to Christ Church College, Oxford University, in Oxford, England, May 25, 2011 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


On This Day: Luz Graham-Urquilla, 4, watches as the President signs her drawing at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.” May 25, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)




106 Responses to “Early Bird Chat”

  1. May 25, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Good morning Ms. Chips, Danny and TOD family. I hope all is well with everyone this Lovely Sunday Morning.

  2. May 25, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Hello from Barbados

  3. 11 Paulita
    May 25, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Good morning TOD family! May the blue-bird of happiness find you chirping happily like a room without a roof!

  4. 13 jackiegrumbacher
    May 25, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Morning. Always good to start the day with a hug from our FLOTUS. It’s no wonder our president smiles so much. Have a glorious last Sunday in May.

    • 14 Paulita
      May 25, 2014 at 8:17 am

      Morning Jackie. I’m praying for your relief from your tooth issues. I can relate to the pain and the costly options, but dentistry has come a long way since I had experimental transplant surgery in the late 70’s. (My molar was transplanted with a wisdom tooth). The best part of that was the dentist did it for free because it was experimental. It lasted for six years until another dentist who didn’t know what the hell he was doing, gassed me and pulled it; one of the many reasons I never wanted to own a gun because I was definitely feeling homicidal towards him.

      • 15 jackiegrumbacher
        May 25, 2014 at 9:23 am

        Thanks, Paulita, for you prayers and concern. I’ve made the decision that I have so much to spend and will not be pushed into spending more. I don’t need the stress of debt at this point in my life. I’m waiting an evaluation and then I will make a decision based on what works best for me, not the dental specialist.

  5. 16 sherijr
    May 25, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Good Sunday morning and a Happy and loving Memorial weekend to all of TOD and their families… Congrats on first RanMan! Looks like a beautiful day here in Baltimore.. πŸ™‚

  6. 17 Anjo
    May 25, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Pleasant Sunday morning to all TODers its a beautiful Caribbean day, have a wonderful day wherever you are specially GoB and all those sick or recovering, welcome back jovie

  7. 21 Cindy
    May 25, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Good BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY morning Chipsticks and Danny!

    A good weekend for your swimming Danny : )

    Good morning to the AWESOME TOD Family!

    Wishing β€œEVERYONE” a WONDERFUL and HAPPY Sunday, and a very safe, and blessed Memorial Day weekend!!!

    Happy partying, barbeques, picnics, fun at the beach, and what ever else you do to celebrate this long weekend.

    Words of wisdom; β€œplease” don’t drink and drive, the life you save may be your own, and the life of innocent people.

    Let us not forget why we can celebrate Memorial Day; sending blessings and prayers to those families who lost their love ones so that we can have the freedom that we have today.

    ***Thank you for the service of your love ones. May you be blessed indeed, and their service to this country will never be forgotten.***


    • 22 jackiegrumbacher
      May 25, 2014 at 9:26 am

      Cindy, that’s the important point to remember. This day is about the service men and women who died for their country. It’s good that we celebrate with our picnics and barbeques, but that’s not what it’s about.

      • 23 Cindy
        May 25, 2014 at 9:52 am

        Good morning jackiegrumbacher….


        Yes, it is about those who gave their lives. So sadly, it’s is forgotten.

        People look forward to that time off that they forget about why we have a Memorial Day.

        Sadly, everything is commercialized; Thanksgiving (greedy corporate America), Christmas and Easter. No one wants to sit down and have dinner together anymore; rushing to the stores for the ” fake sales.”

  8. 24 sherijr
    May 25, 2014 at 8:33 am

    am off to clean my garage and mow my lawns… my middle son is moving back home for a while.. and though it’s probably not pc- I’m looking forward to having him here πŸ™‚

    • May 25, 2014 at 8:34 am

      Oh, will you mow my lawn too sherijr? I’ll pay you in Cheesy Puffs.

      • 26 sherijr
        May 25, 2014 at 9:33 am

        It just so happens Ms Chips that I LOVE Cheesy Puffs… I’ll be the one at the airport with my magic mower in tow πŸ™‚

        • May 25, 2014 at 9:36 am

          πŸ™‚ If only I could train Danny, sherijr:

          • 28 sherijr
            May 25, 2014 at 9:37 am

            ohh get to work on that asap.. then come train my old dog, he needs a job.

            • May 25, 2014 at 9:42 am

              πŸ™‚ It’s about time they earned their keep, sherijr – the training starts today!

              • 30 sherijr
                May 25, 2014 at 9:52 am

                eggzackly.. mine is 10.. 10 yrs of barking, 10 years of never paying for a meal.. or a dang bath. He’s a sneaky one though, when he’s outside (lounging) and I walk outside- he jumps up, starts running & barking.. pretending ya know like he’s earning his keep.. he’s been scamming me for years. Let the mow-training begin!

                • May 25, 2014 at 9:58 am

                  “he jumps up, starts running & barking.. pretending ya know like he’s earning his keep.. he’s been scamming me for years”

                  πŸ˜† I just had a shady chap call at the door looking for money – the first time he called he told me his wife had just died and he needed money for his son; the second time he said his wife was dying. It was a miraculous recovery.

                  Any way, Danny stood there wagging his tail at the fella, and seemed really disappointed that I didn’t invite him in.

                  He will get better at this guard dog business sherijr, won’t he?????

                  • 32 amk for obama
                    May 25, 2014 at 10:08 am

                    cud be his 2nd wife. danny knows best.

                  • 36 sherijr
                    May 25, 2014 at 10:18 am

                    wow, that’s creepy Chips, you be careful. And yes, Danny will in fact start getting protective very soon.. so keep an eye on him, because he may catch you off guard. My old Prince (gone now) chased the cable guy one day- totally took me by surprise.. and scared the bejeesus outta that cable guy.. I’m afraid I tend to laugh when I’m shocked.. thus I lol’d totally inappropriately πŸ™‚

                    • May 25, 2014 at 10:24 am

                      So you were standing there laughing as Prince chased the cable guy down the road?

                      I would too πŸ˜†

                    • 38 sherijr
                      May 25, 2014 at 10:28 am

                      yep.. and that guy was none to pleased with me or my dog. πŸ˜‰

                      My dog now, qtpi, the lounger.. he barks at everyone.. he growled at a board last night for falling near him.. he’s a testy soul.

                    • May 25, 2014 at 10:31 am

                      πŸ™‚ My fella barks at the strangest of things too, like his bowl of water if he sees his reflection in it. Or leaves that blow around the garden. Potential burglars? They’re fine.

                    • 40 sherijr
                      May 25, 2014 at 10:34 am

                      lol.. aren’t they cute?? Gotta love ’em. Don’t worry Danny is going to be a real protector very soon.. somewhere around 6-8 months he’ll become ‘the man’. You’ll be in good paws πŸ™‚

    • 41 Desertflower
      May 25, 2014 at 8:42 am

      Morning everyone! Morning , sherijr! I HAVE no more lawn because my sprinklers broke! No mowing for me! No worries, they were mostly weeds and the guy is coming tomorrow to fix it:) My husband kept insisting that the sprinklers were watering in the middle of the night… Until the grass got crunchy. smh/ men

      • 42 sherijr
        May 25, 2014 at 9:35 am

        lol… that’s kinda funny df.. about your husband believing the watering was getting done in the middle of the night πŸ™‚ When we moved in here, no one had cared for the ‘yards’ for over two years.. and things were so overgrown that we couldn’t even get in the gate… it took my youngest son and I about 6 months to really get all the overgrowth done.. so now mowing the lawn is almost ‘fun’. almost.

        • 43 Desertflower
          May 25, 2014 at 9:50 am

          My backyard is huge. I thought that I wanted more elbow room and something more substantial than a postage stamp when we bought our home. It’s A LOT of work:) calling the professionals in this week to clear the branches I’ve cut with my handy dandy pole saw. THEN I’ll be able to relax and enjoy my big yard:)

          • 44 sherijr
            May 25, 2014 at 9:55 am

            there was a tree knocked down by lightening before we moved in… my son chain sawed it into pieces, but I still need to get it out of the yard.. this week it’s going in the alley, as a neighbor said he’ll send his kids over to pick it up for his firepit.. after a year, I’m finally getting that done. I don’t do anything fast anymore, lol. Off now to buy some spider killer, as my garage seems to be infested.

            • 45 Desertflower
              May 25, 2014 at 10:15 am

              Spiders? That’s one thing I DON’T have:) good luck!

              • 46 sherijr
                May 25, 2014 at 10:21 am

                My middle son was bitten by I think it’s called a brown recluse.. he got sick and has a huge scar.. thus before he moves in, need to make sure we are as spider free as possible. I’ve been using the garage just to store stuff since we moved in.. was last on my list to clean/fix up.. but Josh is moving his car into it.. thus, it has now moved to the top of the list.

                • 47 desertflower
                  May 25, 2014 at 10:35 am

                  !!! Those are DANGEROUS spiders! Glad he’s ok now.

                  • 48 sherijr
                    May 25, 2014 at 10:36 am

                    He was about 19- living away from home and didn’t even tell me for several weeks. But yes, it was dangerous and he did get quite sick. That’s been almost 15 yrs ago.. but he has no love for spiders.

  9. May 25, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Good morning, TODville.

    Great news that JOVIE is back, and glad to see that he lurks in TODville most mornings.

    Afternoon commenters (like myself) rarely got to converse with Jovie, but we enjoyed hearing about the antics of his mischievous puppy.

    Hope all is well with you Jovie, and that your Memorial Day is blessed. You’ve been greatly missed (especially the comments from the array of Greek Gods on Twitter).

    Maybe it’s just me, but I see signs this year of more attention to this somber day, by both the media and the general public (lots of purchases of American flags).

    President Obama’s trip to D-Day ceremonies in France early next month will be inspirational, coming so soon after our nation’s tribute to all those who served and are now gone. So many fathers of my generation were WWII veterans and grandfathers of many who comment/lurk here.

    Warm regards and appreciation to all who served this country with such courage and valor.

  10. May 25, 2014 at 8:50 am

    G’morning Chips & TOD!! Happy Sunday everyone πŸ™‚

  11. May 25, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Yesterday I awoke to the shocking news of the Isla Vista carnage by dotster.

    I mentioned that I’m in the county just south (actually east because the Pacific Ocean is south of Santa Barbara) of this “rampage” (both the local paper and the LA Times use that word in their headlines this morning).

    Now I learn that the killer attended High School in the town that I live, and that two of his victims were local girls.

    His father blames the accessibility of guns.

    Nothing seems to light a fire under our complacent Congress except campaigning and fundraising for themselves — if the senseless, cruel slaughter of 20 innocent babes didn’t, what will?

    This most recent murderous event needs to galvanize all Dems to VOTE in November.

    No civilian on God’s green earth needs a semi-automatic Glock or military assault rifle. Second amendment rights are NOT infringed by banning the manufacture and sale of these machines, whose sole purpose is to kill people.

    • 65 Cindy
      May 25, 2014 at 9:42 am

      Good BEAUTIFUL morning Arapaho415….

      Happy Sunday to you!

      I share your thoughts. It’s just crazy. I can honestly say; I really, really thought that Congress would be moved after the slaughter of “babies” and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary. My heart ached for their lives, never having a chance to grow up, and the brave teachers who gave their lives to try and save their precious ones.

      I really believed that their hearts would be moved in a profound way that they would do the right thing for these families, and all who have lost their love ones through senseless violence of guns.

      In my heart I believed that human compassion would dominate; human side would prevail.

      Instead, we have a bunch of A_ _ Holes; belligerent, cynical; devils, evil, fear mongering, greedy, heartless, hate filled, idiots, jackasses,

      kindless, lazy, lying, malicious, non-productive, over privileged, power hungry, quacks, race bating, spineless, spiteful, tormentors,

      unsympathetic, vultures, women hating, worthless, yellow bellies masquerading as Congressmen.

      These COWARDS refuse to do what is right because they hate President Obama so badly, that they can’t even produce an ounce of compassion for others, and for this GREAT COUNTRY.

      I despise these individuals who doesn’t give a damn about another human life. These cowards would let their own mothers die if it meant that they will have power and control.

      I “pray” that the people will rise up and VOTE their heartless a__ __es out for the good of this country.

    • May 25, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Just glanced at this and realized that it sounds like dotster was involved in the Isla Vista horror.

      Deepest apology, dotster. My plea is that it’s still early on the west coast (posted before 6 am here) and I’m just now getting my morning java.

      Meant to say that I first heard the news from dotster here.

      Love that I can come here and learn the latest US/world news on my own schedule, not that of TV/radio news (i.e., I have to listen to the radio at exactly the top of the hour [e.g., 7:00, 8:00, etc.] to hear the CBS network news).

  12. May 25, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Today’s a big day in history of Ukraine — election day.

    Look forward to Bobfr’s forthcoming comments (I’m waaay behind in my lurking duties here).

    A couple of grim updates:

    • 68 Desertflower
      May 25, 2014 at 9:12 am

      He said he wouldn’t interfere … Just sends in his henchmen to do that for him.

    • 69 jackiegrumbacher
      May 25, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Arapaho, these terrorists who kill and destroy are disgusting scum and I hope the Ukrainian army soon becomes strong enough to stamp them out permanently. Putin is behind these acts of terror. He hates that there will be a legitimately elected president in Ukraine and not one of his docile minions.

  13. 70 amk for obama
    May 25, 2014 at 9:19 am

  14. May 25, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Bon matin, good folks at TOD. Happy Sunday.

  15. 73 amk for obama
    May 25, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Pope Francis has prayed at the concrete barrier Israel is building in and around the West Bank during his three-day tour of the Middle East.

    The unscheduled stop came after he called for an end to the “increasingly unacceptable” Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

    Speaking in Bethlehem, the Pope invited the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to the Vatican to pray for peace.

    Jeremy Bowen, BBC News, Bethlehem

    This has turned into a much better than expected visit for the Palestinians, according to a PLO official I spoke to here in Bethlehem.

    Palestinians have used social media to post pictures of Pope Francis praying at the 8m concrete wall that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem. The Israelis say the wall and other parts of the separation barrier are vital for the security of their people. But for Palestinians the wall is tangible symbol of what they say is Israel’s intention to grab as much land as possible.

    The invitation to Rome for President Peres of Israel and the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is an intriguing development, at a time when negotiations have collapsed. The Pope’s spokesman said it was a papal peace initiative, based on the Pope’s moral and spiritual authority.


  16. 74 Jovie
    May 25, 2014 at 9:28 am

    George will just let the cat out of the bag. He said give our veterans vouchers 2 use in our private HC system. This is what they are really after… Privatization of the VA! $$$$$$
    Question; And what if they needed surgery that was more than the voucher?

    • 75 hopefruit2
      May 25, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Yes, they want to privatize the VA system – thus creating even more structural inequality among our veterans, leaving the most vulnerable with the least access to care!

    • 76 jackiegrumbacher
      May 25, 2014 at 9:37 am

      Jovie, so glad to see you. Yeah, privatization that puts money in the hands of their cronies is what the GOP is always about. They could care less about the health and well-being of veterans. This is why we must keep the Senate and make big gains in the House. The GOP is an insidious poison on the body politic and only consistent numbers of Dems voting in huge numbers can cure it.

      • 77 Jovie
        May 25, 2014 at 9:47 am

        WASHINGTON (AP) β€” The Obama administration’s decision to allow more veterans to get care at private hospitals could take some pressure off backlogged Veterans Affairs facilities struggling to cope with new patients from the wars on terrorism as well as old soldiers from prior conflicts. Agreeing to recommendations from lawmakers, the administration said Saturday it will allow more veterans to obtain treatment at private hospitals and clinics in an effort to improve care.

    • 79 catrst
      May 25, 2014 at 9:37 am

      I can’t believe this. Well yes I can.

      • 80 Vicki
        May 25, 2014 at 9:47 am

        I can, too, catrst.
        “Charter schools” means taking public money and turning it into private profit.
        VA Vouchers—-same intent
        Private prisons—-same again

        The GOP “Government is the problem” meme—–translated, means government keeps public money in the service of the public. GOP stands against public money for the public.

        Pretty much on any topic the direction the GOP is heading in is how they can funnell more money to them and away from the rest of us.

        • 81 carolyn
          May 25, 2014 at 10:10 am

          The pitiful thing is when they get into the “private” system, they will find just as many, or more frustrations and delays as they found in the VA system. This is a bandaid that will not cure the disease. The disease is not enough funding, and EVERYBODY knows it, and too many wars putting a strain on the system.

          Two instances to illustrate: my daughter’s sister-in-law is a veteran…..Iraq 2003. She has permanent back damage and pain. She is taken care of through the VA hospital here in OKC. Her surgeries and all her care and meds are through the VA. If she had not been in the system, she could never have afforded what she needed. She says sometimes the path is circuitous, but she knows it and works with it. She says her care is excellent. If the VA cannot provide what she needs at any time, she goes to the OU Med center across the street and is taken care of. I’m sure this is not how Phoenix works, but the overloaded system works as well as any other.

          On the other hand, I have a good friend who is going through physical problems right now. She went to the doctor for a cough and learned she had bronchitis. Her doctor discovered something in her chest x-ray he didn’t like, so sent her for an echocardiogram. She had one two and 1/2 weeks ago. The office just called her this past Thursday, with very sketchy results…..she had earlier had her daughter who works for a doctor call to find out the results, and those results did not coincide with what the office told her. She called and called the office, and when she finally heard asked why they were so slow…the office attendant said something about being lost in the transcription process. Now she has to see a cardiologist, but has had no recommendation or referral yet.

          These two are anecdotal, I know, but these anecdotes add up. Three years ago when I had a mammogram, I never did get results. Fortunately nothing was wrong, but…….

          This is a sop. Those vets will not find the system any better. Hopefully, they have applied for Tricare and have those benefits. Of course the Republicans want to stop that too.

    • 82 Cindy
      May 25, 2014 at 9:46 am

      Good morning Jovie….

      Happy Beautiful Sunday to you!

      So glad to see your return. You were missed dearly, and I pray that all is well for you.
      WELCOME BACK!!!!
      Have a WONDERFUL DAY!

    • 83 Desertflower
      May 25, 2014 at 9:56 am

      You know the answer to your question:) OH WELL! TOUGH LUCK, SOLDIER!! Should have saved more for that surgery you didn’t know you needed ! Morning, Jovie:) so happy to have you back!

    • May 25, 2014 at 11:02 am

      What an a**hole.

      JHC, you want to give vouchers to people who have witnessed horrific things that have happened to their fellow military buddies and are suffering potentially permanent damage, and you’re the a**holes who sent them there in the first place to fight unjustified wars to line the pockets of your cronies in the military-industrial-complex???

      Makes my blood boil.

  17. 85 hopefruit2
    May 25, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Hope this doesn’t lead to privatizing the VA system. Hope it’s just a release valve to help take some pressure off the backlogs.

    • 86 Desertflower
      May 25, 2014 at 10:00 am

      That was my thought. A release valve

    • 87 sherijr
      May 25, 2014 at 10:32 am

      when I was in ND, our local VA didn’t have the facilities for certain things.. many big things I’d have to travel 400 miles to the Fargo VA, but things like mammograms, xrays, ultra-sounds.. were all done by ‘private sector’.. locally.. same thing with emergency prescriptions, like antibiotics. So it’s not unheard of to use ‘civilian’ health facilities.

    • May 25, 2014 at 10:37 am


      Thanks for posting this.

      What I heard from David Plouffe is that the private sector needs to engage in helping vets by hiring them.

      Seems doubtful that someone like Plouffe would disavow federal government responsibility for administering VA support. He knows that corporate America is driven by only one thing, and that is greed (mostly to enrich their senior officers).

      I was at a local branch of Chase Bank yesterday, doing “new accounts” business, and the person helping me (the nicest man, BTW) mentioned that they provide checking accounts free of service charges to US vets, an example of how a minor policy change can make a small (but perhaps meaningful) difference in those people’s lives.

      • 91 hopefruit2
        May 25, 2014 at 12:32 pm

        Indeed arapaho – I agree that partnering with the private sector to improve general outcomes for is a good idea. And I believe Plouffe knows what he’s talking about. πŸ™‚

  18. 92 carolyn
    May 25, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I find George Will one of the most disgusting people on the planet! He never served, has lived a life of white male privilege, and sits on his chair with his little bow tie telling everyone else how to live and what to do…..YUCK!!!!

    • May 25, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Yes, and that’s true of the Isla Vista mass murderer.

      Not comparing Will to the murderer, who is too much of a coward to do much but occupy space, but it seems the murderer’s thought process revolved around his privileged status, the only world that he knew.

      A separate “anger management” course needs to be designed for white males — I know absolutely nothing about these courses (I hope there’s separate ones for males and females). The lightbulb of self-awareness might go off for those who are not murderously crazy (like the mass murderers of Newtown CT, Aurora CO, Isla Vista CA, Oslo Norway, etc.).

      The US murderers mentioned above were all economically highly privileged. They and their surviving parents could plead “affluenza,” another topic that outrages me.

  19. 94 Nena20409
    May 25, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Good Sunday Morning Every TOD across the Globe.

    Hello Jovie. Glad to see your posts today.
    Wishing you great and better things. Wishing your Mom and puppy well too.

  20. 95 Nena20409
    May 25, 2014 at 10:18 am

    George Will is a Nothing. He is now in the corner of Fox Sunday shows. At 73, his presence on earth is timely limited. He is an angry man with little but his pen and wicked mouth. That is all.

  21. 97 Nena20409
    May 25, 2014 at 10:19 am
  22. 98 Nena20409
    May 25, 2014 at 10:24 am

    The Pope prayed at the wall dividing Israel and the Palestinians. He was not travelling wearing a bullet proof vest nor was he being driven in his Pope Mobil. He was however travelling with a Rabbi and an Iman.

    I continue to wish him well for the areas are not particularly friendly territories.

  23. 99 amk for obama
    May 25, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Paul got off the elevator on the 40th floor and nervously knocked on his blind date’s door. She opened it and was as beautiful and charming as everyone had said.

    “I’ll be ready in a few minutes,” she said. “Why don’t you play with Rollo while you’re waiting?” He does wonderful tricks. He rolls over, shakes hands, sits up and if you make a hoop with your arms, he’ll jump through.”

    The dog followed Paul onto the balcony and started rolling over. Paul made a hoop with his arms and Rollo jumped through — and over the balcony railing. Just then Paul’s date walked out.

    “Isn’t Rollo the cutest, happiest dog you’ve ever seen?”

    “To tell the truth, “he replied,”Rollo seemed a little depressed to me!”

  24. May 25, 2014 at 10:45 am

    • 101 amk for obama
      May 25, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Why am I not surprised to see the fucking mcangry there? Vote against VA benefits and then attack the admin? #asshole

    • 102 Nena20409
      May 25, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Having been elected on Nov 4th 2008 doesn’t make the president-elect president.

      But with Fox, Facts have Knowledge bias as well as…… LIBERAL Bias.

      Fox is a Cancer and since 1996, it has spread and is killing off Real Factually based News Networks.

  25. May 25, 2014 at 10:45 am

  26. 105 amk for obama
    May 25, 2014 at 10:49 am

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