Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama and Vice President Biden escort Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the East Room of the White House where the President will introduce her as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice David, May 26, 2009 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


Today (All Times Eastern)

9:15 AM: The President hosts a breakfast in the State Dining Room in honor of Memorial Day. The Vice President and Dr. Biden will also attend

11:0 The President and First Lady travel to Arlington National Cemetery where the President will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

11:20: The President delivers remarks


The Week Ahead


The President will host the 2014 White House Science Fair and celebrate the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country. The President will also announce new steps as part of his Educate to Innovate campaign, an all-hands-on-deck effort to get more girls and boys inspired to excel and to provide the support they need to succeed in these vital subjects


The President travels to West Point, New York to deliver the commencement address at the United States Military Academy at West Point


The President will host a summit at the White House on youth sports safety and concussions, where he will be joined by stakeholders, including young athletes, parents, coaches, experts, professional athletes, and military service members. At the White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit, the President will announce new commitments by both the public and private sectors to raise awareness about how to identify, treat and prevent concussions, and conduct additional research in the field of sports-related concussions that will help us better address these problems


The President will attend a hurricane preparedness meeting at FEMA Headquarters



President Barack Obama waves as he returns from a surprise trip to Afghanistan


Adrianna McIntyre: 21 Things Obamacare Does That You Didn’t Know About

1. Obamacare makes funds available for “training for adulthood.” True story. The law makes funds available for “personal responsibility” programs aimed at preparing young adults for being grown-ups. Per federal law, all of these programs must include efforts to educate young adults prevention of both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Beyond that, they’re expected to touch on other “adulthood preparation subjects”, including but not limited to: financial literacy, healthy relationships, communication and interpersonal skills, educational and career success, body image, goal-setting, decision making, and stress management. 6. The law authorizes funding for grants that target postpartum depression. The Secretary of HHS is authorized to make grants available for treating individuals who have postpartum depression and psychosis (conditions that occur in women following childbirth). The law also encourages the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct long-term study from 2010-2019 on how pregnancy affects women’s mental health. This piece of the Affordable Care Act is called the Melanie Blocker Stokes CARE Act; it is named for a woman who tragically committed suicide in 2001 after suffering from postpartum depression despite three admissions to Chicago-area hospitals following her delivery.

10. Young adults who age out of the foster system at 18 receive benefits until they’re 26. Before the Affordable Care Act, states had the option — but not the requirement — of extending Medicaid coverage up to age 21 for kids who aged out of the foster system at 18. This is an incredibly vulnerable population that suffers from high rates of homelessness, poverty, and unemployment. Under reform, states have to offer these young adults Medicaid coverage until they turn 26. 13. Employers are required to provide reasonable break time for nursing mothers. Employers must provide a reasonable amount of break time — and a private place that isn’t a bathroom — for an employee to express breast milk for up to one year after giving birth. Breastfeeding the first six months, at a minimum, is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Prior to health reform, there was no federal law that protected nursing mothers; state laws on the issue tended to be very general.

More here




Bob Small: First Memorial Day Created By Blacks Here In Hampton Park

Memorial Day may signal the beginning of the summer for many. A time for cook-outs and being with friends and family, but few know that the first widely publicized event, then called “Decoration Day”, was held in Charleston to honor the Union dead and was put together by many of the newly freed Black men and women. On May 1, 1865, more than 10,000 black freedmen and women including 3,000 children gathered at the old Race Track now known as Hampton Park track to honor dead Union soldiers who were buried there. They cleaned up the area and placed flowers on the graves of the unknown soldiers. The event was highly publicized and covered by a number of newspapers nationally. To many of the white citizens it was looked upon more as an Emancipation for the newly freed black men and women. Preachers and white northern missionaries gave speeches and thanks to those who had lost their lives in the Civil War. A war that claimed over 600,000 lives on both sides.

Charleston had been a holding place for captured Union Soldiers and at least 257 soldiers died while in the custody of Confederate soldiers. They were buried in hastily dug unmarked graves around the race track as Confederates fled the city from advancing Union troops. Northern missionaries who helped organize the events for Decoration Day participated in songs and speeches. The response by the Black population was tremendous. Freedmen came from all over the state to participate. Many feeling that the Union soldiers had given their lives for their freedom rather than to bring the seceded states back into the Union. They cleaned up the burial grounds and erected an enclosure with an arch that read, “Martyrs of the Race Course.” Many of those in attendance brought flowers to lie on the graves. For the newly freed people it was their way of honoring those who had given their lives for their beliefs and the black population’s newfound freedom.

More here




Sahil Kapur: What Obama Can – And Cannot Do – On Immigration Reform By Executive Action

Amid fading prospects for immigration reform in Congress, President Barack Obama has signaled he’ll take executive action on enforcement to ease the burden for certain people in the country illegally who don’t have criminal records. On his order, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is conducting a review of U.S. enforcement policies in order to determine how to implement the law in  the smartest and most humane way. One area where DHS feels confident in its authority to act is the prioritization enforcement resources, sources familiar with the matter say. Under the legal theory of “prosecutorial discretion,” the department could decide, for instance, to prioritize removal of dangerous criminals who pose serious safety threats, such as gang members, drug dealers and repeat offenders. It could in turn de-prioritize action against those who have not committed crimes, (or committed lower-level crimes like DUIs) and steer resources away from those who have family ties in the U.S. and have lived here for a certain period of time. Under this approach, undocumented immigrants would technically remain subject to deportation. They’d simply be less likely to get picked up by the system.

A second category of executive action is more contentious: to formally let certain subsets of immigrants temporarily live in the U.S. without fear of deportation and perhaps apply for employment authorization. This would build upon the Obama administration’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which granted two-year relief to certain young people brought to the country as children, referred to as DREAMers. The Obama administration feels less comfortable with expanding DACA because the legal issues are trickier. Granting a reprieve to a narrow, specific population arguably falls within the realm of enforcement discretion. But applying it to broader populations becomes problematic and may backfire legally and politically, as some immigration law experts have cautioned. “Republicans may challenge his actions in Court saying that they constitute a violation of the Separation of Powers,” said Eli Kantor, an immigration lawyer based in Beverly Hills, California. The one thing the president certainly cannot do is grant legal status to anyone in the country without proper documentation. “That’s absolutely Congress’s authority,” Chen said. That means any executive action Obama takes would, by definition, be temporary and theoretically reversible by the next president.

More here




NYT: Insurers Once On the Fence Plan To Join Health Exchanges In ’15

In a sign of the growing potential under the federal health care law, several insurers that have been sitting on the sidelines say they will sell policies on the new exchanges in the coming year, and others plan to expand their offerings to more states. “Insurers continue to see this as a good business opportunity,” said Larry Levitt, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “They see it as an attractive market, with enrollment expected to ramp up in the second year.” Eight million people have signed up for coverage in 2014, and estimates put next year’s enrollment around 13 million.

In New Hampshire, for example, where Anthem Blue Cross is the only insurer offering individual coverage on the state exchange, two other plans, both from Massachusetts, say they intend to offer policies next year. UnitedHealth Group and Cigna, which were notable in their caution about the exchanges last year, are expected to enter more markets this year. In Washington State, United is among four new insurers that have told state regulators they are interested in offering plans in 2015.

More here




NYT: After Revival In San Antonio, Washington Comes Calling

When Mayor Julián Castro of San Antonio and local officials traveled to Washington in 2012 to meet President Obama’s housing secretary, Shaun Donovan, the agenda was about housing policy. But for Mr. Castro, it was personal, too. The meeting was about revitalizing the Wheatley Courts public housing project on San Antonio’s impoverished Eastside, once the heart of the city’s black community. But it also hit home for Mr. Castro, who grew up near the low-rent projects in the Mexican-American barrio on the other side of town. His mother worked for the housing authority, and his father lived in the projects on the city’s Westside as a teenager. Two years after that meeting in Washington, the Eastside is now the focus of a public and private revival, fueled in part by a nearly

$30 million grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to demolish and redevelop Wheatley Courts as housing for a broader mix of incomes, including low- and moderate-income families and market-rate households. If he receives Senate confirmation, Mr. Castro, whose twin brother, Joaquin, is a Democratic congressman representing San Antonio, apparently would become the first housing secretary in the 48-year history of the position whose parents lived and worked in public housing projects. “It’s precisely because he’s lived out the American dream that he’ll work his tail off to make sure more people can travel that same path and earn their own dreams as well,” Mr. Obama said as Mr. Castro and Mr. Donovan stood next to him at the White House.

More here




AP: Far Right, Euroskeptics Make Big Gains In EU Vote

Far-right and Euroskeptic parties made sweeping gains in European Parliament elections Sunday — triggering what one prime minister called a political “earthquake” by those who want to slash the powers of the European Union or abolish it altogether. Voters in 21 of the EU’s 28 nations went to the polls Sunday, choosing lawmakers for the bloc’s 751-seat legislature. The other seven countries in the bloc had already voted in a sprawling exercise of democracy that began Thursday in Britain and the Netherlands. One of the most significant winners was France’s far-right National Front party, which was the outright winner in France with 26 percent support— or 4.1 million votes.

“The sovereign people have spoken … acclaiming they want to take back the reins of their destiny,” party leader Marine Le Pen said in a statement. She called the results “the first step in a long march to liberty.” The National Front like other far-right parties across Europe promote anti-immigrant and often anti-Semitic policies. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, in an impassioned televised speech, called the National Front win “more than a news alert … it is a shock, an earthquake.” French President Francois Hollande’s office announced he would hold urgent talks first thing Monday with top government ministers in what French media called a crisis meeting.

More here




Austin Frakt: Staying On Parents’ Plan May Lead To Healthier Paychecks

One of the earliest pieces of the health-care law to go into effect — and one of the easiest to understand — was the one that allowed adults under age 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance plan. It has long been clear that the policy has somewhat increased the insurance rate among young adults. Now a new study suggests the effects may be much broader, also leading to increases in educational attainment and the wages of young adults. The findings suggest that the health law has given young adults more flexibility to make decisions they think are best for them financially, rather than making decisions simply to obtain health insurance.

With coverage from their parents’ plans, they can remain in college or graduate school, rather than leaving to take a job that provides health insurance. With coverage in place, once students leave school, they can consider a broader range of jobs, including some that do not offer good health insurance or any health insurance. This finding is consistent with the academic literature on “job lock,” which has consistently shown that people who do not need to take a job with employer-based coverage have more flexibility, resulting in better employment matches with higher wages on average.

More here




Benjamin Goad: Administration Demands Equal Education For Ilegal Immigrants

Schools cannot require students or their parents to provide Social Security numbers, birth certificates or other documentation showing citizenship status as a condition of enrollment under formal Obama administration guidance issued. The directive to all public school districts, meant to ensure equal access to education for the nation’s illegal immigrants, comes amid reports that some children have wrongfully been denied enrollment. Attorney General Eric Holder said such policies “have a chilling effect on student enrollment, raising barriers for undocumented children and children from immigrant families who seek to receive the public education to which they are entitled.” “Public school districts have an obligation to enroll students regardless of immigration status and without discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin,”

Holder said. “We will vigilantly enforce the law to ensure the schoolhouse door remains open to all.” The new guidance from the departments of Justice and Education is an update of similar guidelines issued three years ago. The mandate to provide equal education to all children stems from the Supreme Court’s 1982 Plyler vs. Doe ruling, which prohibited a school district from charging illegal immigrants extra tuition fees. The new guidance makes clear that schools may request certain documentation showing the age and address of children in order to determine whether they are eligible to enroll. But they may not ask about a child or family’s citizenship status, or deny enrollment on grounds that a student is an illegal immigrant.

More here




Audrey Dutton: Idaho Medicaid Enrollment Climbs 

The number of people on Medicaid in Idaho rose almost 6 percent since the launch of Idaho’s health-insurance exchange last fall even though Idaho is one of the states that has not expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. The increase is sharper than usual. That’s partly because more people discovered they qualified for Medicaid during the process of shopping for health insurance to comply with the Affordable Care Act, which requires all Americans to be insured.

It’s also because Idaho is now using federal systems to check information for Medicaid renewals, making the process smoother for people already enrolled in the program, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. “This is a positive change for Idaho, as it ensures that those who are eligible for Medicaid can maintain coverage without burdensome administrative processes that cause individuals to [lose Medicaid] unnecessarily, causing problems for families and providers,” said Tom Shanahan, spokesman for the department. He said the change also cuts down on administrative costs.

More here




TPM: Obama Administration Will Let Veterans Seek Care At Private Hospitals

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.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki also said VA facilities are enhancing capacity of their clinics so veterans can get care sooner. In cases where officials cannot expand capacity at VA centers, the Department of Veterans Affairs is “increasing the care we acquire in the community through non-VA care,” Shinseki said. Lawmakers from both parties have pressed for this policy change as the VA confronts allegations about treatment delays and falsified records at VA centers nationwide.

More here




Brian Beutler: Mitch McConnell’s Obamacare Spin Misleads Kentucky’s ACA Beneficiaries

Now that Mitch McConnell’s emancipated himself from the exigencies of the Republican primary process, he’ll need to figure out how to square his primary-friendly view that Obamacare should be wiped off the books with the complicating fact that over 400,000 Kentuckians obtained insurance through the Affordable Care Act over the past several months. He just took a new line of obfuscation for a test drive. Assuming it’s been accurately characterized, it’s incredibly misleading. “McConnell told reporters Friday that the fate of the state exchange is unconnected to the federal health care law,” according to the Associated Press.

“Yet the exchange would not exist, if not for the law that created it.” If McConnell successfully wipes Obamacare off the books next year (which he won’t), Kynect might not go away. But the Medicaid expansion will. And the private insurance subsidies will. And the rules allowing and requiring uninsured people of all health statuses to become customers will, too. Insurance carriers will follow. Or else they’ll replace the plans they currently offer with much less generous ones. And hundreds of thousands of people will lose their coverage anyhow.

More here




NYT: In Russia, Tune Changes About Leader In Ukraine

Petro O. Poroshenko, the billionaire businessman who won Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday, was portrayed last month in a bilious campaign profile on Russian television here as money-grubbing, devious, a radical sympathizer — in short, a run-of-the-mill Ukrainian politician to Russian eyes. The program on NTV, a Kremlin ally, said he owned a mansion resembling the White House, clear evidence of dangerous Western sympathies. The report mocked him as “The Chocolate Rabbit,” twisting his usual nickname, “The Chocolate King,” from his confectionary fortune.

A scientist, or at least someone wearing a white coat, materialized on screen to denounce his popular Roshen chocolate brand as riddled with carcinogens. Then as Mr. Poroshenko emerged as the front-runner, a change occurred. The attacks ceased, and his chocolate factory in southern Russia, which government police had shuttered, was allowed to operate again. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia even mentioned the chocolates in passing on TV as edible, and, in recent days, he has said on various occasions that he would work with whatever new leadership emerges in Kiev.

More here




Bryce Covert: Workers At This Giant Retail Company Are Really Happy With Their Pay

In an analysis of employee feedback shared on Glassdoor over the past year, just one retailer comes in the top 25 for top marks on pay and benefits: Costco. In fact, the company is ranked at number two on the list, although has the same rating — 4.4 — as the top rated company, Google. It also beats out some big tech companies, which are often thought of as paying well and giving workers good perks, like Facebook, Adobe, and Microsoft. Costco has become known for paying its workers more than is typical in the retail sector, where median pay is $10.29 an hour.

Its starting pay is $11.50 an hour and even the lowest paid positions report on Glassdoor that they make $11.80 on average. Across all positions, its average pay is nearly $22. It also offers benefits, with 88 percent of employees enrolled in company-sponsored health insurance. On top of that, it offers significant room for advancement: 70 percent of its warehouse managers, who can expect to make about $22 an hour on average, started in the company’s lower ranked positions. This engenders high levels of worker loyalty, as its turnover rate is just 5 percent for those who have been there for more than a year.

More here


Future Obamacrats and proud of it. 🙂



On This Day

President Obama meets with Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter, and Vice President Biden, prior to an announcement in the East Room, May 26, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama embraces Sen. Harry Reid during a Las Vegas fundraiser for the senator at Caeser’s Palace, May 26, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)


President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive at Stansted Airport, May 26, 2011


The President and members of the White House staff look out the window of Air Force One to view tornado damage over Moore, Oklahoma. May 26, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama greets Gov. Mary Fallin after arriving at Tinker Air Force base in Midwest City, Sunday, May 26, 2013

President Obama tours tornado damage along a block of Eagle Drive in Moore, Okla., May 26, 2013. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, and local officials accompany him (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)





102 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. 6 Nerdy Wonka
    May 26, 2014 at 10:09 am

  2. 18 Dudette
    May 26, 2014 at 10:11 am

  3. 19 Nena20409
    May 26, 2014 at 10:11 am

    GM and On this Memorial Day, My sincerest Gratitude to all our Vets here at TOD.

    Wishing them well.

    Thank You all for your service.

    May the Good Lord Continue to Guide the Souls of all our dearly departed Vets.

  4. 20 Nena20409
    May 26, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Congrats V24.


  5. 22 Cindy
    May 26, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Good BEAUTIFUL Monday morning Chipsticks, Danny and TOD Family!
    Wishing “everyone” a WONDERFULLY SPENDID DAY!

    Let us remember our brave men and women who gave their lives for us, and remember their family members, who are left with broken hearts because their love ones are no longer here. They are gone but never to be forgotten.

    My dad served for this great country. He came back home but many did not return,

    My brother served in Vietnam, the war did not cause his demise. He made it out; returned home, only to be killed by his girlfriend because he made a decision to move on with his life. As he was packing, she took her gun and blew a hole in his stomach.

    Wars kill and irrational people who use guns to make a statement………kills
    God bless our men and women who are serving to keep us safe; America safe and free.
    God bless President Barack H. Obama, his family and Administration.
    God Bless America!
    – – – – – – –


    Constant in the American narrative is the story of men and women who loved our country so deeply they were willing to give their all to keep it safe and free. When a revolution needed to be won and our Union needed to be preserved, brave patriots stepped forward. When our harbor was bombed and our country was attacked on a clear September morning, courageous warriors raised their hands and said, “send me.” On the last Monday of each May, our Nation comes together to honor the selfless heroes who have defended the land we love and in so doing gave their last full measure of devotion.

    Today, we pause to remember our fallen troops, to mourn their loss, and to pray for their loved ones. Though our hearts ache, we find a measure of solace in knowing their legacy lives on in the families our heroes left behind — the proud parents who instilled in their sons and daughters the values that led them to serve; the remarkable spouses who gave our Nation the person they cherished most in the world; and the beautiful children who will grow up with the knowledge that their mother or father embodied the true meaning of patriotism. To those we lost, we owe a profound debt that can never be fully repaid. But we can honor the fallen by caring for their loved ones and keeping faith with our veterans and their fellow brothers and sisters in arms.

    The security that lets us live in peace, the prosperity that allows us to pursue our dreams, the freedom that we cherish — these were earned by the blood and the sacrifices of patriots who went before. This Memorial Day, as we near the end of more than a decade of war, let us never forget their service and always be worthy of the sacrifices made in our name. And today and every day let us pray for and hold close the families of the fallen.

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

    I request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.


    • 23 Paulita
      May 26, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Cindy, I am sorry to hear about your brother. But I know your faith informs you that most goodbyes are not forever. I appreciate your spirit, may you continue to be uplifted by the prayers of others also.

      • 24 Cindy
        May 26, 2014 at 11:10 am

        Thank you Paulita,
        Happy “BEAUTIFUL” Memorial Day to you.

        Vietnam was such an unpopular war, and when my brother returned, he had a different outlook on life. He wanted to start fresh, feeling that he had been blessed to come back alive. Mentally, I think he was tormented by what he had gone through, he spoke mostly of the killing of children.

        She didn’t want him to leave her, so deep in her warped mind she thought; “if I can’t have him, no one will.” She admitted that my brother was a good person, calm, and never hit her or raised his voice, she just didn’t want someone else to have him.

        Maybe she needed mental health care but we will never know. We need to have gun laws that protects the innocent, too many are dying.

    • May 26, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      I’m proud of your families service to our country. I’m so very sorry about your brother.

  6. 26 Dudette
    May 26, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Outstaning R&S Nerdy!

  7. 28 Nerdy Wonka
    May 26, 2014 at 10:13 am

    HEADS UP: President Obama is speaking at 11:20AM ET / 10:20AM CT / 8:20AM PT


    May 26, 2014 at 10:17 am


    • 32 Nerdy Wonka
      May 26, 2014 at 10:18 am

      President Obama is already back home. If you scroll up Rise and Shine, you will see that I posted the picture.

        May 26, 2014 at 11:21 am


  9. May 26, 2014 at 10:18 am

    You’re a grade A goldy gem Nerdy, what a wonderful R&S, so many issues covered. Thank you Legend!

  10. 36 hopefruit2
    May 26, 2014 at 10:20 am

    G’morning Nerdy, Chips, TOD, lurkers, everyone. Happy Memorial Day! Thanks to all our TOD service men and women, and those who have lost loved ones in service.

    Thanks NW for this wonderful Memorial Day R & S roundup. I will tune in to the ceremony and look forward to hearing our President’s remarks later this morning.

  11. May 26, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Good morning, TODville, and thank you, NW.

  12. 38 Cindy
    May 26, 2014 at 10:30 am


    This BEAUTIFUL Memorial Day Rise and Shine is “OUTSTANDING!”

    I don’t know how you do it but you do,


  13. 40 Linda
    May 26, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Dear CNN…please plan an in-service to educate your TV personalities ( I refuse to call them reporters ) the difference between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day…..

    What I am seeing is pathetic…….Stop trying to link the VA problems to the honoring of our dead soldiers.


    • 41 anniebella
      May 26, 2014 at 10:46 am

      That is all CNN did yesterday when POTUS was in Afghanistan, when ever I turn the channel and came across CNN every time they mention him being in Afghanistan, they mention the VA Scandal. CNN don’t want you to forget that it’s all Obama fault.

  14. May 26, 2014 at 10:37 am

  15. 43 Nena20409
    May 26, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Great R&S NW.
    Thank You.

  16. 45 Nena20409
    May 26, 2014 at 10:45 am
  17. 51 desertflower
    May 26, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Good morning TOD:) A reflective Memorial Day to everyone….and some thoughts to ponder about the VA


    Under the Bush administration, some of the VHA’s old problems started to re-emerge, most likely because it no longer had either presidential attention or a great administrator. As early as 2002—before the Afghanistan and Iraq wars made things even worse—claims-processing time skyrocketed from 166 days to 224 days.

    Under the Obama administration, the patient load of the VHA has increased by over a million. Partly this is because of the large number of combat vets returning from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and partly it’s because Obama kept his promise to expand access to the VHA.
    It was inevitable that this would increase wait times, and the VHA’s claims backlog did indeed increase during the first three years of Obama’s presidency. Over the past couple of years, however, wait times have shrunk dramatically. A digital claims system has finally been put in place, and the claims backlog today is less than half what it was at the beginning of 2013.

    What’s more, despite its backlog problems, the VHA still gets high marks from vets. Overall, satisfaction with VHA care is higher than satisfaction with civilian hospitals.

    The most sensational charge against the VHA is that 40 or more vets died while they were waiting for appointments at the VA facilities in Phoenix. But so far there’s no evidence of that. The inspector general investigating the VHA testified last week that of the 17 cases they’ve looked at so far, they haven’t found any incidents of a patient death caused by excessive wait times….

    More at the link

  18. 54 mtmarilyn
    May 26, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Good morning TOD family. What a wonderful R&S, NW!!! Thank you so much for always providing us with such great information.

    Yesterday afternoon we had a picnic with our friends. 3 of the guys are Viet Vets. My husband is doing very well, but the other 2 I really worry about. It seems like the older they have gotten and their wounds both mental and physical are becoming worse. Our one friend will no longer go out at night and now he doesn’t want to go in the forest or out in nature at all. The other has become very quiet and withdrawn. They both have received counseling, still are and great care at the VA. With this happening to our Viet Vets what is going to happen to all our young vets from the Bush wars. There are so many more and not enough care. My friends know there are plenty of people who care.

    All the vets here at TOD, I thank you for your service and for being so proactive. We need all of us. This morning on Facebook I saw this post about how Bush cared about the military and Obama doesn’t. I had to ignore it and think there are so many ignorant people in America. This is why I love TOD so much.

    Have a wonderful day everyone.

    • 55 desertflower
      May 26, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Morning, mtmarilyn:) I’d push back on that FB post…share some facts with them without being confrontational. The lie that R’s are more caring toward our military is just that. A Lie.

      • 56 mtmarilyn
        May 26, 2014 at 11:27 am

        Good morning DF. I did post pictures of this Afghan trip and of Brad Paisley. And I posted about the bills that have been filibustered and not brought up for a vote. I think there is push back.

  19. 58 Paulita
    May 26, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Nerdy, this is good work what you do here. I know I am a better, more informed person for making TOD a part of my life. Forever grateful to Chips and other Bts who keep this place the 9th wonder of the world.

  20. 65 yardarm756
    May 26, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Good morning mates. My contribution to this day of remembrance.

    • 66 Paulita
      May 26, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Good day to you Mr. Sailorman . If you find yourself getting too weepy in your cups, just ease up a bit on that ‘bosun’s grog’ or whatever that dreadful sounding brew you old squids use to toast the day. *8-D. 😀

      • 67 yardarm756
        May 26, 2014 at 11:26 am

        😆 😆 Okay “Kitty Cruiser”. I’ll keep your warning in mind as I takes me another sip!

        • 68 Paulita
          May 26, 2014 at 11:44 am

          Okay, I will own that moniker. I have been given a few nicknames, ( I was actually called “Doc” in the Navy ), but I am by nature and circumstances an official “cat lady”. 😎

    • 69 Dudette
      May 26, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Beautiful music (theme from Band of Brothers) ; beautiful trubute.

    • May 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Good day to you, sailor, and thank you for your service and the compassionate spirit you always bring to TOD.

  21. 73 hopefruit2
    May 26, 2014 at 11:03 am

  22. 74 JER
    May 26, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Thank you NW and Good Morning Everybody.

  23. 75 Nena20409
    May 26, 2014 at 11:03 am


    Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) leads Republican nominee Dr. Monica Wehby in the Oregon Senate race by double digits, according to the Republican-leaning pollster Rasmussen Reports.

    The Rasmussen survey released on Sunday found Merkley leading Wehby 47 percent to 37 percent among likely voters in Oregon. Five percent said they preferred another candidate, and 11 percent said they were undecided. The poll came less than a week after Wehby won the GOP nomination for Merkley’s Senate seat.

  24. 76 Nerdy Wonka
    May 26, 2014 at 11:04 am

    C-SPAN, MSNBC, and CNN are live.

  25. 77 Linda
    May 26, 2014 at 11:04 am

    A Mississippi judge allegedly slapped a young mentally disabled black man earlier this month at a flea market and yelled “run, n—-, run,” the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported Sunday.

    The family of Eric Rivers, 20, filed a complaint against Madison County Justice Court Judge Bill Weisenberger, who is white, accusing him of striking Rivers at the market on May 8 in Canton, Miss.

    “This is 2014, not 1960, where someone could slap a young man and call out, ‘Run, n—–, run,'” former Canton Mayor William Truly, now president of the Canton branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, told the Clarion-Ledger.

    An apparent witness, Tammy Westbrook, told the newspaper Rivers was offering to help flea market vendors unload their goods when Weisenberger slapped him twice, then yelled “run, n—-, run” as he fled. Westbrook and her sister, a vendor at the flea market, recalled that they thought Weisenberger was a law enforcement officer because he was wearing a security guard’s uniform.


    What say you Chief Justice Roberts ?

  26. May 26, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Live Now: President Obama lays wreath at Tomb of Unknown Soldier


  27. 80 Dudette
    May 26, 2014 at 11:16 am

    • 81 Cindy
      May 26, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Happy Beautiful Monday to you Dudette!
      Congratulations on your parents 55th Anniversity……….so nice when marriages can last through the smooth and rough spots.

      This picture is AWESOME. The second I looked at it, without reading the caption, I thought; these trees are dancing.

      You bring us such wonderful pictures of the arts, nature, science and everything in between.

      No doubt; lady tree is on the right, her afro is larger and she is preparing for her curtsy : )

      Thank you, and have a WONDERFUL Memorial Day.

      • 82 Dudette
        May 26, 2014 at 11:44 am

        Thanks so much Cindy! I’m happy to have to be able to see my parents still together, happy and in love after 55 yrs.

        The tree picture reminded me of them immediately. 🙂

        • 83 Dudette
          May 26, 2014 at 11:47 am

          … happy to have them here to see them still together… “

          • 84 Cindy
            May 26, 2014 at 11:58 am

            Yes indeed.

            My grandmother and grandfather were married 63 years; they took their vows seriously, and it was death that separated them as they were headed on the 64th year.

            Today’s marriages are so weak; an argument sends one or the other to the lawyers to file for a divorce. The lawyers get rich; parents hate each other, and the children deal with years of unresolved issues that stems from the divorce, and then it starts over with a vicious cycle with the grand kids.

            Marriage really is a BEAUTIFUL thing : )

  28. 85 Linda
    May 26, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Veterans Groups Rip Into Sen. Richard Burr For Questioning Their Priorities

    WASHINGTON — A highly bitter war of words has broken out between veterans organizations and the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs amid the brewing controversy over health care for former servicemen and servicewomen.

    Late Friday afternoon before the Memorial Day weekend, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) penned an “open letter to America’s Veterans” in which he took several veterans service groups to task for being insufficiently critical of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

    In their own letter, Veterans of Foreign Wars responded to Burr by calling his letter a “monumental cheap-shot” and labeling it “one of the most dishonorable and grossly inappropriate acts that we’ve witnessed in more than forty years of involvement with the veteran community.” If the tone wasn’t clear, the group added that Burr’s conduct and allegations were “ugly and mean-spirited in every sense of the words and profoundly wrong, both logically and morally,” in addition to breaching “the standards of the United States Senate.”


    Our Veteran’s see though these fake Patriot Senators.

  29. 87 yardarm756
    May 26, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Lot’s of water under a lot of bridges.

  30. 88 donna dem 4 obama
    May 26, 2014 at 11:39 am

  31. 90 yardarm756
    May 26, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Jeez! Somebody is peeling a lot of onions here. PBO ain’t helpin’ either. The 96 year old lady has me on my knees.

  32. May 26, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Happy Memorial Day everyone

  33. May 26, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Wow, scary results across Europe in the European elections, the far right doing well all over the place. At least Ireland took a left turn.

    • 100 Nerdy Wonka
      May 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Yup. Horror of horrors. Anti-immigrant, anti-semitic, anti-everything good and forward thinking, won.

      It’s disturbing to think that people actually cast ballots for the politicians who spew such hateful rhetoric and propose such unequal policies.

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