Early Bird Chat

On This Day: Lauren Fleming, the 2011 March of Dimes National Ambassador, looks up as her brother Corbin touches President Barack Obama’s face during a visit to the Oval Office, Feb. 7, 2012. Lauren is also accompanied by her parents Densel and Nikki Fleming, and her sister Erin (Photo by Pete Souza)



84 Responses to “Early Bird Chat”

  1. 1 COS
    February 7, 2015 at 8:07 am

    GM Chips and TOD.

  2. February 7, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Happy Saturday TOWers!!

    Heeeeeey Chips

  3. 7 amk for obama
    February 7, 2015 at 8:13 am

    elections in delhi.

    67% turnout. Bigger than last time around just a year back. No effing ‘election fatigue’.

  4. February 7, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Yikes!! Stupid iphone. TODers

    • 13 vcprezofan2
      February 7, 2015 at 11:17 am

      Africa, I kinda liked TOWers – as it had me trying to figure out what the ‘W’ represented. 😉 😉 Warriors? Worriers? Worshipers?….

      😀 😀 Greetings, TODobots all -diarists, worriers, warriors, fans….whatever! May your weekend be blessed in exactly the way *you* need blessing!

      • 14 GGail
        February 7, 2015 at 11:57 am

        Good West Coast morning Chipsticks & TOD family.
        VC, are all ready to party ? 😉

        • 15 vcprezofan2
          February 7, 2015 at 2:20 pm

          Good wc morning /ec afternoon, gxG!

          It’s been snowing lightly all morning, but I washed my hair earlier and I’m trying to decide what to do with it, so I guess I’m getting ready, sort of. 😀 The birthday ‘girl’ is serious. Here is a sentence from her reminder, sent two days ago “Come rain, snow, or sleet this party will be happening and I’m looking forward to see you all.” My one qualm is that we don’t have a storm *while* I’m there as I no longer like night driving.

  5. 16 99ts
    February 7, 2015 at 8:17 am

    gm all – elections in Australia 90% plus turnout 🙂 wonder who dreamed up this compulsory voting – must google it

    • 17 amk for obama
      February 7, 2015 at 8:17 am

      where did the 10% go?

    • 25 arapaho415
      February 7, 2015 at 8:45 am

      GE 99,

      I have no idea how Julia Baird leans politically, but her description of Tuesday’s Liberal Party meeting helped me understand what is happened in Australia this week. Unfortunately she doesn’t mention #ClimateChange, which is the biggest take-away Americans have of PBO’s recent visit there.

      It’s very confusing to a typical American like myself that Abbott is part of the Liberal Party. And my memory about Prince Philip’s gaffes were nudged — didn’t immediately recall his elite foot-and-mouth disease.

      If a new Liberal leader is elected, does that person immediately replace Abbott as PM?

      • 26 99ts
        February 7, 2015 at 9:12 am

        Julia Baird an abc columnist – usually trend to the left – I’ve not read her much. This one is my favorite

        Problem with the party names in Australia – left is right cf USA – ie Liberal Party is conservative right wing. They usually form a coalition with the National Party – who historically represent the people living outside of the major cities (country folks) and are also conservative.

        Labor Party – as you would expect is left wing.

        If you can imagine the US system without a President – then this is similar to the Oz system. We have a house of reps and a senate.
        The leader of the majority party in the house of reps is the Prime Minister. I am not entirely sure who is the leader of the GOP in the US reps since Cantor was defeated but that person would be the Prime Minister in a Westminster system of government.

        At any time, any political party can have a “leadership spill” and vote for new party leaders. This can happen to the majority or minority party (We call the minority party the opposition and the majority is the government).

        Thus the Liberal/National party coalition is having a meeting next Tuesday. Someone will call for a leadership spill – if this is successful there will be a new vote for a party leader. Whoever wins this vote will become the Prime Minister. If the vote for a leadership spill fails, Abbott remains the Prime Minister. He could also be voted back in as leader in a vote.

        There are many reasons people are upset with the Prime Minister, probably a major one is that he has attempted to “balance the budget” on the back of the poor, he has attempted to give financial bounty to the wealthy, he is ruining our health system, he introduced many issues not mentioned in the election campaign. One of the things that has really annoyed me, the School chaplaincy program has been changed so that ONLY religious chaplains are financed – previously social workers could be part of this program.

        The Prince Philip issue was not really major – but it was utterly stupid and highlighted his absolute lack of judgement – he embarrasses many people with his words and actions. He is lying when he says “the people elected me”. His political party gave him the PM job – the only folks who elected him were the small group in his electoral district.

        A majority of Australians accept the science of climate change – but are not really prepared nor concerned enough to do much about it. It is another reason why Abbott is unpopular – he is removing any form of science from government, and has removed the carbon tax without providing an alternative to cut back on carbon production.

        Gosh – I’ve probably confused you more

        Short answer YES – a new liberal leader will replace Abbott as PM. No idea if this will happen.

    • February 7, 2015 at 9:03 am

      greetings 99…

      how do they enforce the mandatory voting

      • 28 99ts
        February 7, 2015 at 9:15 am

        If you don’t vote, you get a “please explain” letter & are fined if your response is not acceptable – or you do not reply. Thus said, the fine is not large & there are easy excuses. You can also state that you did vote & the poll worker must have made a mistake. Some folks are not on the rolls – so never vote. For the majority, however, it is easier to vote. There are rarely long waits (worst I ever had was 20 minutes) and there is pre poll voting (which is getting very popular) and postal voting.

        • February 7, 2015 at 9:58 am

          what i like is that although the penalty is not not too fierce…your citizens have a climate of voting …i do not think that we have this in America…we talk allot about voting…but there is not a climate that encourages voting…often it is cumbersome…antiquated…confusing..and as always…there have been and continue to be barriers for parts of the population to vote…we tout how great our democracy is…but how great is in when you have millions who can vote that don’t …and on the others hand millions who want to vote but are prevented from voting…i remember the President mentioning that we have to fix that…i agree…we have to fix that…

          • 30 99ts
            February 7, 2015 at 10:12 am

            One advantage is that there is no GOTV required. Young adults can easily enroll – it could even be semi-automatic, I’m not sure as I enrolled many moons ago. Change of address/state etc is online – everyone uses the same system – states and federal – although our state RWNJ – decided to bring in voter ID which no-one else has.

            First time this vote we had electronic rolls – poll workers had lap tops. Voting is, however paper votes only. There has been talk of computer voting but lots of negatives as to security were raised. We only have about 16 million voters – rather different to the US!

  6. 32 amk for obama
    February 7, 2015 at 8:31 am

    early exit polls predicting a two year old upstart party kicking the ass of modi’s party.

  7. 35 Don
    February 7, 2015 at 8:34 am

    If you guys get the chance you should read up on United Airlines getting subpoenaed by the Feds for providing Chris Christie’s friend David Samson special flights home every weekend.

    • February 7, 2015 at 9:01 am

      TY, Don.

    • 45 99ts
      February 7, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Read that earlier Don – nothing like having a commercial airline provide your own commercial route – cheaper than owning your own plane & just as convenient. Seems like Samson was good at living the high life – and a traffic jam, created by his organisation at the behest of ??? might just be his downfall

  8. 46 desertflower
    February 7, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Happy Saturday morning everyone! SO glad that the weekend is finally here. Don, do you have a link for that story?

  9. 50 desertflower
    February 7, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Was this posted yesterday? Holy moly….

    • 51 amk for obama
      February 7, 2015 at 8:45 am

      why would bls do that?

      • 52 desertflower
        February 7, 2015 at 8:51 am

        I have no idea..will see what I can find.

        • 53 amk for obama
          February 7, 2015 at 8:57 am

          If this is found true, it will be mocked as a another governmental fuck up.

          • 54 desertflower
            February 7, 2015 at 9:09 am

            Well, the BLS seems to “survey” households to get certain bits of info for their info. I also think that this may have something to do with those that gave up looking for work at one point…hard to really get a read on that. As far as “another Govt fuck up”…these crazy ass anti govt ANYTHING don’t need this to make them squawk..that comes naturally to all of them. The real proof is in what’s going on around you. Businesses are hiring left and right, building is happening, cranes are all over the skylines, people have more money to spend, foreclosures way down….there really is no better comparison than the reality you see and feel for yourself. This recovery is undeniable.

            • 55 amk for obama
              February 7, 2015 at 9:12 am

              It has more to do with that frigging indies than the nutjobs. Perception does matter in politics. They have had six years to correct their ‘survey’ methodology, ffs.

            • 56 desertflower
              February 7, 2015 at 9:16 am

              Some clarification. As I thought.


              Alongside Friday’s good employment data, there is a brouhaha on the Internets over claims that the government’s employment numbers are a “big lie.” Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of the Gallup polling company penned “The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment,” claiming that “the media” is “cheer-leading” and the White House is “scor[ing] political points” over phony numbers that the government makes up to make things look better than they are.

              In fact, the “top line” unemployment number – now 5.7 percent, representing 9 million people, does not factor in people who have given up looking, 6.8 million part-time workers who want to work full-time, 2.2 million “marginally attached” people, people who are grossly underpaid, etc. But everyone knows that, and the government reports that. The “official” number has a specific definition, the “U-6 “alternative measure of labor under-utilization” reports the more accurate 13.5 percent number. So somewhere between 15 and 20 million Americans count as un- or underemployed. But even that doesn’t count those who have given up. It’s still bad out there, but the government’s figures are not being manipulated.

              • 57 Anna Luc
                February 7, 2015 at 12:05 pm

                Hi! Am delurking (is that like de-cloaking?) to say that the best info on this issue is an article in Fortune — http://fortune.com/2015/02/04/unemployment-rate-gallup/ — which debunks the Gallop blog. BLS releases 6 different measures of unemployment. A real picture of employment/unemployment requires all those measures — but only economists do that. A conservative friend sent me the Gallup posting and I sent them the Fortune link. We spoke yesterday and they didn’t even bring it up.

  10. 58 sherijr
    February 7, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Good morning TOD and happy weekend to everyone 🙂 Off to pick up my 7 yr old perfect granddaughter today and spend a little time with her baby brother, my grandson who was born in Nov… have not seen them since Christmas as I had that dang cold/cough all through January. Have missed them so… Wishing all of you a lovely day. I so enjoyed POTUS in Indiana yesterday, our Professor in Chief never fails to enlighten and educate this country. Proud of Joe Biden too and John Lewis and others choosing not to sit in on Netanyahu’s/ Boehner’s fiasco.

  11. February 7, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Good morning, TODers. This is interesting!

  12. 68 amk for obama
    February 7, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Win or lose, Delhi elections offer a rude shock for Modi.


    The land acquisition act was a blatant land grab attempt violating our constitution. As the same delhi voters, who gave him such a huge ‘mandate’ just a few months back, are now showing him & his party the door, should be a warning to him.

  13. February 7, 2015 at 9:28 am

    VP is currently over 30 minutes late.

  14. 72 desertflower
    February 7, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Pretty much. http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2015/02/cartoon-of-day-change.html

    Reminds me of the story, “The Little Red Hen.’

    • 73 amk for obama
      February 7, 2015 at 9:56 am

      They don’t even have to effing change, just vote for the change, instead of voting in the same old corrupt pols election after election.

  15. 74 MightyPamela
    February 7, 2015 at 10:16 am

  16. 75 amk for obama
    February 7, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Out of 13 million voters, nearly 70% turned out, that’s almost 9 million voters for a frigging small state. No major incidents thus far (where booth capturing, vote rigging, voter intimidation used to be the norm up until late 90’s). Thanks to our supreme court & our constitution, our election commission has been armed with enormous autonomous powers and all the parties are literally afraid of rubbing them the wrong way.

    modi and his party’s style of personal attacks, stealing their chief minister candidate from the smallest of small party (which is currently kicking their ass), making it as a referendum on his role as pm etc. have backfired in a big way for them.

    Indian voters are smart.

    • 76 donna dem 4 obama
      February 7, 2015 at 10:43 am

      Good Morning dear friend!

      Since the midterm elections I have struggled with the reality of the ignorance of our voters here in the states. I am truly in search of answers to this question….Why do you think that people in India are more engaged and apt to vote at the rate of 70% or better in your country but here we can barely get people to turnout at 50% rate even in General Election years? People will say that voter suppression is the main reason and I know that this plays a role but they haven’t done enough to sway elections as of yet. PBO addressed this one morning before the mid-term election when he came on one of the radio morning shows and when he was asked about voter suppression he said that they have looked at it but it is a very small percentage of the vote. He said that we (Democrats or people who vote Democratic) have the numbers and there are stats to back that claim. He said if we just voted at the same rate for every election we would win. WHY DON’T WE DO IT is the 64M dollar question.

      It will take me 4 long hard years to get over people here in Maryland sitting on their hands last November! 😦

      • 77 amk for obama
        February 7, 2015 at 11:22 am

        Though I can’t comment about the voters’ mindset & apathy in US, here millions of peoples’ only hope is that a constant change in governments, both at state and federal levels, that will likely bring them the change they want. Of course, almost all parties fail in that mission and the new one at Delhi has not been time tested yet on its populist schemes. One of the reasons of the voter participation is that the candies have to do door-to-door canvassing to get their votes. So the candie awareness is much better instead of what the media projects them to be. One common factor all of our govts, whether left or right wing, is that they all have proven themselves to be very corrupt when given the power and the voters crave and will vote for anyone who campaigns on corruption issues. Modi govt is the one that was given a clear mandate last year as a single party in the last 25 years, because people all over India were sick of multi billion dollars scams of the previous cong govts. In short, hopes spring eternal and the voters, especially the ones from economically weaker sections, will show their power through their votes.

      • 78 Vicki
        February 7, 2015 at 11:26 am

        Hi Donna. I may have an answer to your question.
        Here is what NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said this week:
        “When Democrats fail to stand up for their democratic values and fail to stand up for their leaders, people lose interest in the political process.”

        That was pretty much what he said followed by a vigorous defense of Dem achievements and implicitly a hearty endorsement of PBO and a slap at the “waiting and distancing” posse.
        We know whose side de Blasio is on. We need more dems like him

        • 79 donna dem 4 obama
          February 7, 2015 at 11:57 am

          Vicki I think that de Blasio makes a case for the “informed” voter’s apathy but what about the ones who will stand in lines for hours to go see PBO speak and then on election day not bother to vote. We had plenty of Democrats who stood up for democratic values and touted the Obama Administrations success over the last 6 years here in Maryland but it still failed to move people to the polls. It leaves me flabbergasted!!! 😡

      • 80 amk for obama
        February 7, 2015 at 11:32 am

        of course, it helps a lot that we are not stuck with just two parties to choose from. gazillions of parties and gazillions of platforms to choose from. So in that sense, what modi achieved at the federal level is phenomenal. Hope he realizes that and doesn’t squander it all away.

  17. 81 Vicki
    February 7, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Good morning, TOD. I was very pleased to read this mornings NY Times describe the economic pace and growth in our country as “scorching.”

  18. 83 JER
    February 7, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Good Morning Chips and TOD.


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