Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama waits to be introduced in the Blue Room for ABC’s “Prescription for America” town hall conversation on health care at the White House on June 24, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)


Today (All Times Eastern)

12:0: The Vice President ceremonially swears in Sylvia Mathews Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human Services

12:45: Josh Earnest briefs the press

6:30: President Obama hosts the 2013 Presidents Cup Team, East Room


The Week Ahead



Ariel Hart: ‘Fair Housing’ Gets New, Expanded Push

Forty-six years after the Fair Housing Act took aim at racial segregation and poverty in America, the federal government has declared the effort half-hearted and is setting out to fix it. Within months, the Obama administration is expected to require local governments to devise new strategies to give people in poor, racially segregated areas better access to jobs, transportation, and, particularly, good schools. At stake locally are tens of millions of dollars in federal grants distributed across the region, from Atlanta to Marietta to Gwinnett County. If governments fail to satisfy the mandate, they could lose that money. To date, few outside of Washington have even heard of the proposal. Where it is known, it tends to draw sharp reactions across the political spectrum:

Liberals, who have waited decades for an administration with moxie enough to confront the issue, cheer it; conservatives blast it as an assault on local communities. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was one of that decade’s signature civil rights laws. Its intent, confirmed in some subsequent court decisions, was not just to prevent obvious discrimination, such as refusing to sell or rent homes to racial minorities. By that definition, things that may stand in the way of “fair housing” might include zoning that keeps apartments or affordable houses out of good neighborhoods. It might include a lack of public transportation from poor neighborhoods to the areas with jobs that pay well. It might include fewer and shabbier parks or weaker police protection in poor areas than affluent ones, or benign neglect of troubled public schools.

More here



Jeffrey Goldberg: No, President Obama Did Not Break The Middle East

A brief note on a new Elliott Abrams essay in Politico Magazine that appears under the eye-catching headline, “The Man Who Broke the Middle East.” The man in question is not Sykes or Picot or Nasser or Saddam or Khomeini or George W. Bush or Nouri al-Maliki, but Barack Obama. A few points. The first is to note that the Middle East Obama inherited in early 2009 was literally at war—Israel and the Gaza-based Hamas were going at each other hard until nearly the day of Obama’s inauguration. Obama managed to extract himself from that one without breaking the Middle East. In reference to a “contained” Iran, I would only note that Iran in 2009 was moving steadily toward nuclearization, and nothing that the Bush administration, in which Elliott served, had done seemed to be slowing Iran down. Flash forward to today—the Obama administration (with huge help from Congress) implemented a set of sanctions so punishing that it forced Iran into negotiations.

(Obama, it should be said, did a very good job bringing allies on board with this program.) Iran’s nuclear program is currently frozen. The Bush administration never managed to freeze Iran’s nuclear apparatus in place. I’m not optimistic about the prospects for success in these negotiations (neither is Obama), but the president should get credit for leading a campaign that gave a negotiated solution to the nuclear question a fighting chance. It’s also worth noting that when Obama came to power, he discovered that the Bush administration had done no detailed thinking about ways to confront Iran, either militarily or through negotiations. There was rhetoric, but no actual planning. Obama applied himself to this problem in ways that Bush simply did not.

More here




AP: Kurdish Leader Cites ‘New Reality’ In Iraq

The president of Iraq’s ethnic Kurdish region declared Tuesday that “we are facing a new reality and a new Iraq” as the country considers new leadership for its Shiite-led government as an immediate step to curb a Sunni insurgent rampage. The comments by Kurdish President Massoud Barzani came as he met with visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is pushing the central government in Baghdad to at least adopt new policies that would give more authority to Iraq’s minority Sunnis and Kurds. Kerry has repeatedly said that it’s up to Iraqis — not the U.S. or other nations — to select their leaders. But he also has noted bitterness and growing impatience among all of Iraq’s major sects and ethnic groups with the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Barzani told Kerry that Kurds are seeking “a solution for the crisis that we have witnessed.”

Kerry said at the start of an hour-long private meeting that the Kurdish security forces known as peshmerga have been “really critical” in helping restrain the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a Sunni insurgency that has overtaken several key areas in Iraq’s west and north, and is pushing the country toward civil war. “This is a very critical time for Iraq, and the government formation challenge is the central challenge that we face,” Kerry said. He said Iraqi leaders must “produce the broad-based, inclusive government that all the Iraqis I have talked to are demanding.

More here




Bill Scher: Who Says Obama Can’t Lead?

Last week, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found President Obama tying his record low approval rating of 41 percent. NBC’s Chuck Todd, referring to another poll result showing that 54 percent of Americans “no longer feel that he is able to lead the country and get the job done,” told the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “Essentially the public is saying, ‘Your presidency is over.’” But one morsel from the NBC/WSJ poll didn’t fit that narrative: 67 percent of respondents are in favor of the president’s newly announced regulations “to set strict carbon dioxide emission limits on existing coal-fired power plants.” And when the pollsters re-asked the question, after presenting supporting and opposing arguments, including charges of “fewer jobs” and “higher prices,” approval held with a healthy 53 percent to 39 percent margin. That’s a hell of a lot of support for a major presidential initiative from an electorate supposedly no longer listening to the president. What did Obama do right? Adhering to a favorite maxim of U.S. presidents of both parties that it’s remarkable how much you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit, Obama tapped EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to announce the plan and stump for it in media interviews. By keeping a relatively low-profile, Obama tempered the media’s tendency to polarize everything while dampening conservative backlash, a strategy that previously helped shepherd the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law and the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on gays and lesbians.

While Obama was exhibiting leadership with finesse, Republicans decided to run into a wall. Instead of training their fire on the climate proposal in the days following the June 2 release, they obsessed over freed prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl. The president has bucked the trend of history and successfully used the bully pulpit to advance another major goal: raising the minimum wage. Anticipating obstinacy from House Republicans, he told the states during his January 2014 State of the Union address, “You don’t have to wait for Congress to act.” He followed up that call with several outside-the-Beltway stump speeches urging states to raise their minimum wage above the federal standard. The stumping is working. So far this year, eight states have raised their minimums and later this week Massachusetts will make it nine. If I were a Republican, I would not be savoring Obama’s 41 percent approval rating and presuming his presidency was done. I would be worried about my party’s 29 percent approval rating, its 15 percent level of support among Latinos and Obama’s plans to take executive action on immigration reform if House Republicans don’t act by July 31. If you think Obama isn’t able to lead on immigration, after what he has done on climate and minimum wage, you haven’t been paying attention.

More here




Greg Sargent: Care About Minors Crossing Border? Then Pass Immigration Reform Now!

Amid all the noise over the crisis of minors crossing the border into South Texas, a basic fact about this debate has gotten lost: The humanitarian disaster we’re now seeing is actually an argument in favor of immigration reform, not against it. Republicans have suggested the crisis proves they are right about Obama’s lawlessness (he cannot be trusted to enforce the law or secure the border, so they shouldn’t make a deal with him) and that the general promise of reform, or “amnesty,” is acting as a magnet for kids. All of this makes it more certain they will not embrace reform this year. But this has it exactly backwards. The crisis underscores the need for reform. In the days ahead, you may see Dems amplify this case. Simon Rosenberg of the New Democrat Network, who has been working on this issue for a decade,

offers this simple explanation for why the crisis is an argument for action: “If Congress wants to help solve the border migrants crisis, the single most consequential thing it could do would be to pass the Senate immigration bill or something similar in the House. Nothing else would do as much to clear up the confusion in Central America about how our system works or do as much to make clear that recent arrivals will not be able to stay under some form of future legalization. Congress will have spoken with a loud and clear voice, making it near impossible for criminal elements south of the border to exploit our current inadequate system for their own ends.”

More here




Hayes Brown: Nobody Thought Syria Would Give Up Its Chemical Weapons. It Just Did.

Last year’s deal to remove all of Syria’s chemical weapons was widely recognized to be extremely ambitious, with a timeframe that few expected would actually be achievable. On Monday, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced that beyond many expectations, Syria has turned over all of its declared chemical weapons stockpile for destruction. As the process was ongoing, critics lashed out at the framework negotiated between Russia and the United States last year as a strategic failure. “This removal of chemical weapons…[is] the very thing that has validated [Assad]; it’s the thing that we did to put him in the strongest position he’s been in since this conflict began,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said in March. At the announcement of the deal last September, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said it “requires a willful suspension of disbelief to see this agreement as anything than the start of a diplomatic blind alley,

and the Obama Administration is being led into it by Bashar Assad and Vladimir Putin.” Still now these weapons are out of hands of Syria, a fact that might not be said if the administration had launched the air strikes it threatened prior to the compromise between Moscow and Washington. And the grounds for legitimacy that the international community needed to bestow upon Assad to facilitate the removal process is gone. With that complete, the international community will now likely return its attention to figuring out how to remove Assad without further emboldening the more extreme militants operating in Syria — including the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) which is currently in possession of several cities across the border in Iraq.

More here


Thanks, First Lady Michelle Obama



On This Day

President Obama his personal aide Reggie Love share a laugh outside the Oval Office in the White House, June 24, 2009. Personal secretary Katie Johnson is in the background (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama greets Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, during a meeting with governors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, June 24, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama talks with assistant Eugene Kang in the Oval Office, June 24, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama tosses a football in the Rose Garden of the White House, June 24, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama holds the door for military families exiting the West Garden Room of the White House where they were to meet with the President in the Oval Office, June 24, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama in the Oval Office with former White House Communications Director Ellen Moran and her family, June 24, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)


First Lady Michelle Obama hosts First Lady Svetlana Medvedeva of Russia, right, on the Truman Balcony of the White House, June 24, 2010 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

First Lady Michelle Obama and First Lady of Russia Svetlana Medvedeva depart after watching a music and dance performance at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington on June 24, 2010

President Obama and President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia ride together to lunch at Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, Va., June 24, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have lunch at Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, Va., June 24, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)


First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother Marian Robinson watch as traditional dancers perform during their arrival at Gaborone, Botswana, June 24, 2011

President Obama delivers remarks following a tour of the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., June 24, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)


108 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. 1 Allison
    June 24, 2014 at 10:11 am

    GM All!

  2. 18 donna dem 4 obama
    June 24, 2014 at 10:13 am

    I guess they got our message. Loud and Clear!

  3. 21 Nerdy Wonka
    June 24, 2014 at 10:14 am

  4. 22 Judith Fardig
    June 24, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Rising, trying to shine…admiring Alison for getting here first.

  5. 25 sherijr
    June 24, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Posting this again… because I’m lost and confused.. as usual : Hola, good morning TOD, Voting today in Maryland !! Happy Tuesday… question please, for computer savvy- I just updated my java and suddenly I can’t see any of the tweets posted here… all I see is a long straight line- such as with Donna dem’s posts… anyone have a clue how to fix this??

  6. June 24, 2014 at 10:18 am

  7. 38 Nerdy Wonka
    June 24, 2014 at 10:19 am

  8. 43 donna dem 4 obama
    June 24, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Before I head out to go make calls for Anthony Brown to GOTV I leave you with this:

    Have a great O’Day Everyone!!!!

  9. 44 Allison
    June 24, 2014 at 10:21 am

  10. June 24, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Ahh, PBO put his hand over the sneezeguard at Chipotle. Ha.

  11. 50 Nerdy Wonka
    June 24, 2014 at 10:30 am


  12. June 24, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Just can’t say ‘Thank you President Obama’ enough ….

    We know it would have been ‘hell’ we just don’t know the scale of it had McCain or Mitt been elected.

    #TrustBarack …. And deliver a BLUE 114th Congress to him!!!

    Yes WE MUST

    • June 24, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Alliance of Adversaries

      When they write the history of how President Obama led the successful effort to remove WMDs from Syria two amazing facts – that he did it by eliciting the cooperation of Russia and Iran & that Syria was engulfed in civil war – will undoubtedly seem incredulous. That he did it without firing a single shot should serve as a lesson in the real power of diplomacy based on the fact that everyone at the table knows you’re not bluffing.


      • 53 GGail
        June 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm

        Bob, great statement and so very true – that he accomplished this in the most difficult of circumstances without firing a shot!

        Now that’s a Leader!

    • 54 Nena20409
      June 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      A wonderful Gem, Our TODable Doc Bobfr. You are a ROCK!

  13. 55 vcprezofan2
    June 24, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Hel-lo TODobots! Sending out healing wishes to everyone nursing aches, sprains, and pain! Take special care of yourselves today.

  14. 56 Nerdy Wonka
    June 24, 2014 at 10:35 am

  15. June 24, 2014 at 10:37 am

  16. June 24, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Important insights …

  17. June 24, 2014 at 10:57 am

  18. June 24, 2014 at 11:01 am

    • 67 GGail
      June 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      meta, I received an email today from Dan Pfeiffer with this story – Amazing!
      The Community Organizer has done this before – only then he wasn’t the President of the United States

  19. 68 amk for obama
    June 24, 2014 at 11:10 am

  20. 70 amk for obama
    June 24, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Former UK tabloid editor Andy Coulson is found guilty of conspiring to hack phones while ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks is cleared of all charges.


  21. 71 Don
    June 24, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Let me see if I got this right, Putin has vetoed his own bill that gave him the authority to use force in the Ukaraine. I wonder who or what made him change his him, oh well.

    • 72 derbingleguy
      June 24, 2014 at 11:57 am

      I guess those calls from angry panicked oligarchs every five minutes are starting to get to him.

      • 73 Don
        June 24, 2014 at 12:31 pm

        But I thought this guy wrestled bears and shit, I mean he walked around Siberia shirtless and his nipples didn’t even get hard. And now you tell me he punked-out from a few calls from some rich clowns that more than likely inherited their fortunes, is that what you are telling me?

  22. 75 MightyPamela
    June 24, 2014 at 11:26 am

    We were talking about bacon yesterday, here are some ideas: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/maple-bacon-and-cashew-nut-popcorn

  23. 77 Jovie
    June 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

  24. 78 Jovie
    June 24, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Hey Bob,
    What about that Ebola virus that’s spreading in Africa like wildfire?
    We have to watch that shit… Maybe the CDC should be informed?

  25. June 24, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Good morning, Chips. I sent you an email titled “Possible TOD post.” Let me know what you think.

  26. June 24, 2014 at 11:49 am

  27. 83 Jovie
    June 24, 2014 at 11:54 am

  28. June 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm


    • 85 57andfemale
      June 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Now I want to leave the office and go pet my puppies.

      Two close friends may have to put their dogs down this week. I’m heartbroken for both of them. Particularly one who I met when both of our dogs had insulinoma. She also lost ‘Maggie’s’ brother to bone cancer four months after losing Maggie. But she opened her heart and adopted two Great Pyrennes sisters – about four years ago. For her to lose one of those dear dogs is tearing my heart apart.

      • June 24, 2014 at 12:31 pm

        Oh 57, that is heartbreaking, I couldn’t even imagine coping with all that pain.

        • 87 57andfemale
          June 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm

          ‘ZZ’ had a terrible night. They know her brain isn’t working but they don’t know why. She has made the decision to let her go this afternoon. She is absolutely shattered. I can’t stop crying.

          The best of the internet, like TOD: we met online in a support group for insulinoma in dogs. We remained friends after we lost our dogs to that terrible disease, and have remained Facebook friends. I ‘know’ her and love her as if we had coffee every day together, although we have never met.

          She makes dog-related Pandora-style jewelry for fundraisers for dog shelters all over the U.S. That’s the kind of person she is – how can so much bad happen to someone this good?

          Next time she does a fundraiser I will post the information here, with your permission. She does so much good.

    • 90 Nerdy Wonka
      June 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      LOL. That’s me when Chelsea is about to hit the field and I know they’re going to CRUSH Man United and make Wayne Rooney cry squirrel tears.

  29. 92 lockewasright
    June 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Trying to shake the cobwebs…

    I’ve got cooking to do today and an appointment to take my boy to get new glasses.

  30. 93 Linda
    June 24, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I found 3 kittens up at the family farm yesterday….their Momma was no where to be found.

    I brought them back here to the Atlanta area and just got back from the vet.

    2-males look like siamese 1-female is grey stripped. All weigh less than 1/2 lb. I have to bottle feed them with replacement mother’s milk. My Calico is hissing at them.

    Any takers ?

    • 94 0388jojothecat
      June 24, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      Bless you Linda. If you live near a Petco or Pet smart they usually have folks who hold pet adoptions on the weekends. Maybe you can foster until they can be fixed then adopted. Good luck.

      • 95 Linda
        June 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm

        shhh….don’t tell but I will probably just keep them…..

        • 96 0388jojothecat
          June 24, 2014 at 2:41 pm

          I adopted three kittens last year and my 16yr old cat hissed at them for months. They get along better now….sort of…

  31. 97 vcprezofan2
    June 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today applauded the decision by the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to inscribe the prehistoric Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point, a State Historic Site and National Monument in Louisiana, as a World Heritage Site.

    The U.N’s World Heritage Committee inscribed it by consensus at its 38th session in Doha, Qatar this past weekend.

    “Poverty Point is an extraordinary settlement built by an ancient hunter-gather society more than 3,000 years ago that deserves to be recognized as one of the world’s great archaeological sites,” Jewell said. “It is a vital part of Native American heritage and culture, and its inscription as a World Heritage Site will draw visitors from around the world to Louisiana, providing an economic boost to local communities.”

    The historic hunter-gatherer settlement joins a list that includes cultural and natural sites of universal importance such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Taj Mahal in India, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

    Jewell praised the efforts of Sen. Mary Landrieu in promoting inscription of the site, which features an extensive collection of prehistoric earthworks constructed 3,100 –3,700 years ago.


  32. 98 Nena20409
    June 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Hey TODable TODers 😉
    Greetings from 15K plus lake state.
    Loads of stuff to try and catch up.
    Congrats to all the GOLD medalists, starting with this post and 4 deep.
    WH presser by Josh “The Voice” Earnest on 6-24-14

  33. 99 Linda
    June 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Cummings Apologizes To IRS Official For GOP Questioning ‘Hell’ (VIDEO)


  34. 100 Gazelle
    June 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    [Idgits everywhere. Geez, shame!]:

    Neo-Nazis, Blackface and Homophobia at the World Cup

    Article w/ photos here: http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/06/neo-nazis_blackface_and_homophobia_at_the_world_cup.html

  35. 101 Gazelle
    June 24, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    [**I blame Obama!** 🙂 ]

    Gap this week made good on a February announcement that it would raise its minimum wage to $9 an hour. Next year employees will see it increase to $10 an hour. The $9 raise for 31,000 employees will be felt most by workers living in the South and Midwest where states tend to have lower minimum wages.


  36. 102 amk for obama
    June 24, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    go home gerard.

  37. 105 Gazelle
    June 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    [Lots of cool at this site! Kids Gardening. Here’s one:]

    […..] The Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden program is focused on providing schools with the tools and lessons to begin and sustain a successful garden program where students will learn the value of nutrient-rich foods for healthier, more peaceful lives. Peace gardens focus on using edible plants from different cultures providing youth with the opportunity to learn about the world through culinary delights. Edible gardens in particular provide opportunities for youth to learn how to nurture and care for other living things while also learning how to care for themselves. […..]


  38. 106 amk for obama
    June 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    uruguay scores.

  39. 108 Nena20409
    June 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Just had a few minutes now watching the WH briefings and someone fainted or dropped and that ended the presser. I don’t know what happened or how long the presser has gone on.

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