Early Bird Chat

On This Day: President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia and Sasha join young “elves” for a photo prior to the “Christmas in Washington” taping at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., Dec. 15, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)



86 Responses to “Early Bird Chat”

  1. 1 desertflower
    December 15, 2014 at 7:31 am


  2. December 15, 2014 at 7:55 am

    G’morning Chips & TOD!! Happy Monday everyone 🙂

  3. 13 jackiegrumbacher
    December 15, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Morning. Hope you feel better, Df. I woke up with such a terrific backache I can barely stand. Spent too much time bent over wrapping paper and presents yesterday. I didn’t think I was going to be able to smile at anything today until I saw that holiday photo. I wonder if the Obamas would notice if I slipped in on their Hawaii trip. The idea of basking in the warm sun is making me sigh with envy. I’m very short and kinda small–maybe they wouldn’t notice.

    • 14 desertflower
      December 15, 2014 at 8:02 am

      Morning, jackieg:) Sorry to hear about your back…that’s way worse than my blah…hope it works itself out and you’re good as new! Are you a little like an elf? An elf could EASILY sneak in their bags and be heading to a warm Hawaiian beach! Great idea:)

      • 15 jackiegrumbacher
        December 15, 2014 at 8:07 am

        Unfortunately, I would not be mistaken for an elf– even a superannuated one– and it would absolutely kill my back to fold over into a suitcase. It has been two straight weeks since anyone in this area has seen the sun and the weather people are starting to joke about the shock we will all feel if a yellow circle ever again appears in the sky. So ironic that people on the west coast pray for rain, while we gray ones pray for the sun to shine.

    • December 15, 2014 at 8:05 am

      Morning Jackie!! So sorry to hear about your backache – we should start a petition today to get you on that Hawaii plane. Knoller doesn’t usually go on these Xmas trips, so maybe CBS will hire you to count golf rounds?

      • 18 jackiegrumbacher
        December 15, 2014 at 8:14 am

        Now that is a fabulous idea, Chips, since bending into a suitcase won’t work. I’m not bad at counting–have ten fingers and toes–and I would faithfully report every dish of their Christmas dinner plus lovingly detail every movement the President makes while out swimming or walking the beach. Unlike those idiot pool reporters, who don’t get what’s really important, my reports would be avidly read by women.

        • 19 desertflower
          December 15, 2014 at 8:37 am

          You’d be a trizillion times better than ANY of those “reporters”…I nominate you to go in place of anyone!

  4. 20 desertflower
    December 15, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Looks like some of those hostages in Australia managed to get out….


  5. December 15, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Good morning to all. VC, here are my picture picks–Jan.-A, Feb.-A, Mar.-C, Ap.-A, May-C, June-B, Jul.- B, Aug.-C, Sept.-D, Oct.-C, Nov.-A, Dec.-A

  6. December 15, 2014 at 8:37 am

    • 50 arapaho415
      December 15, 2014 at 8:48 am

      Posted a similar thought to yours just a few minutes later (always late in TODville, LOL).

      The originator of the #illridewithyou #hashtag invited others around the world to join in (see @mashable article downthread):

  7. 52 arapaho415
    December 15, 2014 at 8:41 am

    GM TODville,

    The Australian hostage siege continues, but Aussies have created a #hashtag to get non-Muslims to support a persecuted people.

    This is what Bobfr has championed so eloquently — that justice can only come about by being embraced by those in power (i.e., whites) — this is why Robert F. Kennedy’s message and leadership was so vital and important, and why his assassination two months after MLK’s was so devastating to his supporters regardless of their race.

    Examples of twitter support of #illridewithyou:

    • 53 arapaho415
      December 15, 2014 at 8:43 am

      Here’s the tweet that started #illridewithyou.

      Another example from the @mashable article linked to above:

  8. 54 amk for obama
    December 15, 2014 at 8:43 am

    I get iffy when the police do over-the-top commando stunts even for minor incidents. Many innocents could die that way.

  9. 55 99ts
    December 15, 2014 at 8:45 am

    The police seem to be doing well in Sydney – now negotiating with the “armed offender”. They seem to have the foresight to say very little to the press. I cannot watch most of the coverage. The press are interviewing themselves and making pronouncements as to what when why how etc. about which they know very little.

    The police are revealing little of what they are doing or anything about the hostages who are out – they are concentrating on keeping everyone alive, although if things got worse I have no doubt the snipers would be looking as to access.

    For once I agree with the PM – leave the police to do their job & carry on with other things if you are not impacted by what is happening. There have been hours of discussion on the flag & people at windows – which all seems really pointless

    • December 15, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Hiya 99ts, I actually wish the police would remove all the media from the area, the coverage is insane.

      This guy will surely need to sleep soon?

      • 57 99ts
        December 15, 2014 at 9:06 am

        It really seems like the police are doing this right – they know who the man is, they are negotiating and they are telling the press virtually nothing. I have many thoughts about the why of this but this would not be the time/place to discuss same.

        The swell against racism in Sydney is lovely to see – but there are many – as in the US – who will continue the fight against immigrants and multi culturalism. Until 1970 we were a very “british” country and the change is not welcomed by all.

        I fear that, as did GWB, the government will use this siege to spend millions on “homeland security” and use it to defend many of their immigration actions. But will have to wait and see. I think the PM has had some good advice – he has not yet put foot in mouth – mainly staying slient. Cannot imagine he can keep that up for too long.

        • 58 arapaho415
          December 15, 2014 at 9:41 am

          Good news about Abbott.

          Glad to see that the police are acting in a retrained manner — can you imagine a similar situation in the US (tanks in the streets, etc.)? And it’s not helping that CBS’ consultant, former CIA Morrell is now guaranteeing future attacks like this in the US — the MSM should stop paying these anti-American neocon fear-mongers, but of course we know that won’t happen. Sounds like Morrell is challenging psychopathic RWNJs to do his terror work for him (to keep the Military-Industrial-Complex wheels greased).

          Aussie news has released the name of the hostage-holding suspect, and it sounds like he took a page from the Westboro Church — obviously NOT representative of any Muslim except the unhinged.

          And I liked this photo of one of the police — beckoning towards a citizen, not aiming a rifle at her:

          • 59 99ts
            December 15, 2014 at 9:48 am

            Not sure who initially release the name – much of the media did not – as the police asked them not to release his name – but as I was mentioning with chips – the “media” is somewhat expanded in modern times – difficult for such things to remain hidden.

  10. 60 amk for obama
    December 15, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Cab-ordering firm Uber has been criticised for increasing fares by up to four times normal rates during the hostage crisis in Sydney, Australia.

    As the police cordoned off a wide area around the Lindt cafe where a gunman is holding staff and customers hostage, Uber’s pricing algorithm responded to a surge in demand by raising prices.

    Uber has responded to the criticism by offering free journeys out of the city’s central business district (CBD).

    It has also refunded some passengers.

    But the rapidly expanding cab firm also tweeted that higher rates were still in place “to encourage drivers to get into the CBD”.

    In a blogpost on Sunday, Uber explained that “surge pricing is used to encourage more drivers to come online and pick up passengers from the area.” (rrright, like vultures to carcasses)


  11. 61 desertflower
    December 15, 2014 at 9:01 am

    • 62 99ts
      December 15, 2014 at 9:08 am

      and we had some of the press saying earlier they would not release the name on request/advice from the police – sigh.

  12. December 15, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Good grief, this is the hostage taker:

    A Sydney man who sent offensive letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers has been charged with an additional 40 indecent and sexual assault charges relating to his time spent as a self-proclaimed “spiritual healer”.

    Man Haron Monis, 49, was arrested by sex crimes squad detectives in April and charged with the indecent and sexual assault of a woman in western Sydney in 2002.

    During a court appearance at Penrith last Friday he was charged with the additional offences, including 22 counts of aggravated sexual assault and 14 counts of aggravated indecent assault relating to six other women.

    …. The court was told when he was arrested in April that Monis was on bail after being charged in November with being an accessory before and after the fact to the murder of his ex-wife and mother-of-two Noleen Hayson Pal.


    • 64 jackiegrumbacher
      December 15, 2014 at 9:16 am

      So this is a man with a personal grudge and psychosis and has nothing to do with ISIS. I hope they get a good shrink on the hostage negotiation team because this one is a sicko. Question is if he was arrested for sex crimes in April when in was already ON BAIL for accessory to murder, why, in the name of all that’s holy, wasn’t he still in jail in December????

      • December 15, 2014 at 9:18 am

        Exactly Jackie, it’s incredible that this guy was free, but as I said to 99ts there are similarly lax rules on these things in Ireland (and Britain), absolute nuts.

      • 66 99ts
        December 15, 2014 at 9:35 am

        He was also given political asylum in Australia – it really makes it so hard for people who are currently applying for asylum & live in fear of being sent back to their original countries – that someone who is given asylum turns against the country that is protecting him.

  13. 67 desertflower
    December 15, 2014 at 9:03 am


    • December 15, 2014 at 9:04 am

      How the flippin’ heck was this guy out on bail???

      • 69 desertflower
        December 15, 2014 at 9:06 am

        Good question

      • 70 99ts
        December 15, 2014 at 9:12 am

        Not difficult, we do not lock people up to the same extent as what happens in the US.

        It makes something of a mockery of the claims that the whole siege is terrorist/religion related. I’m till confused as to why the detail was released. Perhaps I am behind the police actions/thoughts – I do not trust the media (guess the US media has ingrained distrust in my brain)

        • December 15, 2014 at 9:17 am

          It amazes me that his name didn’t come out sooner considering his history and infamy. There’s always uproar too about bail being given to (alleged) violent offenders in Ireland (and Britain), not least when they re-offend while out. It just seems incredible that anyone charged with violence should be given freedom until their trial, I can never understand why the safety of the public isn’t the first consideration.

          • 72 99ts
            December 15, 2014 at 9:21 am

            There was a request for the media NOT to release the name. It used to be that the press accepted and followed such requests in this type of situation. I don’t know if the request changed – or if one of the media groups wanted to be “first” with the story

            • December 15, 2014 at 9:27 am

              I suppose the problem nowadays is that these things break on Twitter, etc, so the media is usually playing catch-up with what’s already known.

              • 74 99ts
                December 15, 2014 at 9:33 am

                It would seem – getting the world wide media – not to mention social media – to stop talking just isn’t possible in current times. Has some good benefits – some not so good – the longer this goes, the bigger the impact in many many ways & I do so hope all those folks – who were just picking up their morning coffee – get home to their loved ones.

    • 76 jackiegrumbacher
      December 15, 2014 at 9:24 am

      Df, I think the seeds of selfishness and greed were long planted in the US before Ayn Rand was even born. Eighteenth and Nineteenth century America was rife with greedy plantation owners, rapacious businessmen and robber barons and the Industrial Revolution was built on profit before humanity. Little small town America occasionally had a sense of community but that’s because it was exclusively white and kept out the so-called riffraff. It was only during the major wars when there was a clear and common enemy that Americans rallied together in any kind of common spirit. As soon as the second world war was over and some economic stability was established in the 1950’s people went back to their selfish ways and they had never even heard of Ayn Rand let alone read her.

  14. 77 desertflower
    December 15, 2014 at 9:18 am

  15. December 15, 2014 at 9:32 am

    vc, here’s my picture list: Jan.–C. Feb.–D. March–B. April–E. May–C. June–B. July–B. August–A. Sept.–D. Oct.–C. Nov.–A. Dec.–A.

  16. 84 arapaho415
    December 15, 2014 at 9:45 am

    This echoes my thoughts.

    I have never cared for basketball, and ignore the NBA. I’m not a big movie goer, but have friends who love them.

    Movies are the embodiment of American popular culture.

    Can’t think of many Americans who haven’t seen a US movie, but there are probably millions who haven’t seen an NBA game:

  17. 85 JER
    December 15, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Good Morning Chips and TOD.

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