First Family Attends National Christmas Tree Lighting

5:0 EST: The First Family Attends the National Christmas Tree Lighting

100 Responses to “First Family Attends National Christmas Tree Lighting”

  1. 2 COS
    December 3, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Thanks Chips.

  2. 5 GGail
    December 3, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks Chips, this is greatly needed today

    Congrats COS on First 🙂

    Hi there Betsy 🙂 I hope your husband has recovered from yesterday’s events.

  3. 6 vcprezofan2
    December 3, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    O good, maybe the O-young ladies will be there (I really missed them at the xmas tree arrival)!

  4. 7 a4alice
    December 3, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Hey TOD hope everyone is well 😀

  5. December 3, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    My most recent letter to President Obama …. if he’s going to use an EO mechanism then what I’m proposing would have way more impact that background checks ever will given that my proposal puts folk with billions to lose (gun/ammo manufacturers) in the equation and puts folk (insurance industry) who’d like to make a few more billion than they already do on the President’s side of the table ….

    Unfortunately, it’s likely that PBO and VP Biden (sent him a copy & asked for his help) will never see it …. but, I’ll keep trying … back to work and probably won’t be able to visit again today so take care everyone ….

  6. 9 GGail
    December 3, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    The more I’m learning about the couple, the more I believe that the female was the leader of this plot

    From Fiancé Visa to Green Card
    Mr. Farook, who is an American citizen, and Ms. Malik traveled to the United States together in July 2014, David Bowdich of the F.B.I. in Los Angeles said at a news conference.

    He said Ms. Malik had been traveling with a Pakistani passport and a K-1 visa, a special visa for fiancés that allows people to come to the country to marry an American citizen. A couple has to marry within 90 days; after that the K-1 visa expires.

    Mr. Farook applied for a permanent resident green card for Ms. Malik on Sept. 30, 2014, within the legal 90-day limit, a federal official said. She was granted a conditional green card in July 2015.

    As a routine matter, to obtain the green card the couple had to prove that their marriage was legitimate, and Ms. Malik had to provide her fingerprints and pass criminal and national security background checks using F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security databases.

    In the shootout with the suspects, gunfire came first from the female suspect, who was sitting in back of the car.

    • 10 globalcitizenlinda
      December 3, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      I got the same suspicion, and yesterday, I commented here more about the female;

      story didn’t add up unless you considered that the male (who was looking for a spouse online), was singled out by someone who considered him vulnerable and easy to manipulate at the opportune time – a set up through love;

      maybe I have read and watched too many spy novels and movies !

  7. December 3, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    The program has started.

  8. 13 GGail
    December 3, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    I remember the time that Train performed, good times with the Obama family /sigh

  9. December 3, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Help me out here, because I know as much about guns as I do nuclear physics – I thought you couldn’t buy assault rifles anymore (since the 1990s?), unless you have a special license and even then the wait is 10ish years. At least I thought I read that. Or am I confusing assault rifles with assault something else?

    • 15 GGail
      December 3, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      I have no clue what an assault rifle looks like but…”A federal law enforcement source told the Los Angeles Times that the guns were bought at Annie’s Get Your Gun, a firearms retailer in nearby Corona that advertises itself as a “family-friendly gun store.”

      A woman reached by phone who identified herself as Anne, the store owner, denied that the weapons involved in the shooting were sold at her store.

      “That’s not true,” she said, before hanging up.”

    • 19 MadameSoph
      December 3, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      There was a federal assault weapons ban, passed by a Dem Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1994. There was a ten year sunset clause in it and Bush and a Repub Congress of 2004 let the ban expire. The ban was officially called the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act

      Mass shootings were down while it was in effect:

      • December 3, 2015 at 5:38 pm

        Ah, thanks a million Madame Soph, I though the ban still existed – unbelievable that it was allowed expire. Who needs a weapon like that?

        • 21 MadameSoph
          December 3, 2015 at 5:41 pm

          I remember when Congress let it expire and the arguments back and forth. It was at the height of the Bush/Cheney madness (2004).

          • December 3, 2015 at 5:42 pm

            Help me again Madame Soph, as someone just said on Twitter, I thought you couldn’t buy these weapons in California?

            • 23 GGail
              December 3, 2015 at 5:49 pm

              Uzi’s, AK-47s, AR-15s, Bushmaster semi-automatic rifles – all are banned by California’s Assault Weapons Control Act. Yet thousands of the guns legally remain in the state.

              Anyone who registered an assault weapon with the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Firearms before Jan. 23, 2001, effectively was grandfathered in. All told, that’s 145,253 guns that would be illegal if purchased today.

              Owners of these grandfathered guns need to keep a signed letter from the state proving they are the legal owner. They aren’t allowed to sell it or give it away; it’s a felony to transfer ownership of a registered assault weapon.

              • December 3, 2015 at 5:53 pm

                Damn it, even in states with sensible-ish guns laws, there’s still a way to maintain the madness. Screwed up.

                • 25 GGail
                  December 3, 2015 at 5:56 pm

                  The whole article is an eye-opener about how the loop-holes and splitting of hairs can allow these dangerous weapons to be kept and purchased.

            • 26 MadameSoph
              December 3, 2015 at 6:03 pm

              Hi Chips, had to do some Google research for this, as I am not a gun owner and have no desire to be a gun owner, so I am not super up on the current gun laws here (although I did go to a shooting range once with an ex-boyfriend and it was kind of fun to fire one at a target).

              There was a ban on assault weapons passed in 1989. That seems to have gone away at some point. Then our Dem congress here passed one in 2013. However, the conditions and specifics and loopholes are so confusing, especially to one like me who’s not a gun person.

              Found this article explaining how the guns in the San Bernadino massacre were purchased legally:


              From the article:

              “The two rifles were not specifically listed among the models outlawed under California’s famously tough gun laws, and as long as each included a minor design change affecting how bullets are loaded into the weapon they would have been legal.

              California limited access to high-powered, military-style rifles in 1989 and lawmakers passed further restrictions in 2000, when they banned specific types of AR-15 and AK-47 style rifles. Included in the ban were rifles that can use detachable ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and have other characteristics. Ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 bullets are also outlawed.

              But rifles that aren’t specifically listed in the ban are considered legal, as long as a tool is required to release the ammunition magazine. The change is intended to effectively limit the number of rounds the gun can fire because it presumably takes extra time to reload.

              California’s law prompted the gun industry to start marketing military-style rifles with so-called bullet buttons, a sort of sleeve that blocks quick access to the release button. Users can use the tip of a spare bullet or a tool to release the gun’s magazine, although a small magnet can be attached to the button so that users can quickly press it using just their finger.

              The executive director of the Violence Policy Center in Washington, Josh Sugarmann, said the gun industry was “cynically exploiting an inadvertent limitation” of California’s assault weapons ban.”

              • December 3, 2015 at 6:09 pm

                A brilliant link Madame Soph, thank you.

                “The two rifles were not specifically listed among the models outlawed under California’s famously tough gun laws, and as long as each included a minor design change affecting how bullets are loaded into the weapon they would have been legal.”

                Good gawd almighty, a minor design change and you get passed the ban. I just can’t.

                • 29 MadameSoph
                  December 3, 2015 at 6:42 pm

                  Inorite? That’s why we need to address gun violence on multiple levels. Owner’s requirements at least as basic as those required to drive/own a car, etc. Any one law might not prevent all of these shootings, and all of them combined wouldn’t either. But these sort of regulations would reduce casualties and, possibly, as incidents decrease, discourage copycats.

                  Speaking of regulations, doesn’t the 2nd amendment refer to a “well-regulated militia” not an unregulated militia or a poorly regulated militia!?

    • 30 idon
      December 3, 2015 at 11:39 pm

      It is my understanding the ban on assault weapons expired and Congress refused to re-authorize it.

  10. December 3, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Is the Christmas tree lighting on any TV network?

  11. 33 GGail
    December 3, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Beautiful tree!

  12. December 3, 2015 at 5:25 pm

  13. 36 GGail
    December 3, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Did Crosby, Stills & Nash not have a chance to practice before tonight? They sound HORRIBLE!!!!

  14. December 3, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Oh yikes, they’re all out of tune 😕

  15. 49 GGail
    December 3, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Oh look, Smelly Melly can sing

  16. 53 GGail
    December 3, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    There’s FLOTUS

  17. 54 MadameSoph
    December 3, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    O.k., now I REALLY have to go do my chores…

    Before I leave, in keeping with the loveliness of the Christmas Tree Lighting with our First Family, here is some cuteness/warm your heart goodness:

    • 55 mtmarilyn
      December 3, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      That kitten looks like my Sassy!

      I agree with everyone, Crosby, Stills and Nash sounded awful, I have several of there old albums. Oh well we all do get old.

  18. December 3, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Yes, Crosby, Stills and Nash sounded HORRIBLE!!!!!!! Not giving them a break for their age either. That was embarrassing.

  19. 58 JER
    December 3, 2015 at 6:01 pm

  20. 59 sjterrid
    December 3, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I do like the graphics that the National Parks are running to encourage people to visit the parks.

  21. 61 GGail
    December 3, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    There’s our President! YAY!

  22. December 3, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Oh, tears here. How special and touching. I had read that Betty was going to be there. I thought she was going to light the tree, but introducing the President was much better.

  23. 63 GGail
    December 3, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Oh Nooooooo Crosby, Stills & Nash. Thank God for President Obama – he can keep a party going 😀 😀 😀

  24. 66 GGail
    December 3, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Thank you Chips for allowing me to “play” while at work 🙂

  25. 71 sherijr
    December 3, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Wow Betty the Park Ranger ~ what a National Treasure she is. Oh, and I love my President and First Family 🙂

  26. 72 arapaho415
    December 3, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    For those who missed the Christmas tree lighting, it was well worth watching (no doubt Chips or NW will post you tube later today).

    The 94-year-old park ranger who introduced PBO said her great-great-grandmother was born into slavery.

    The (Korean-American?) string ensemble was amazing — mostly 9-year-olds, youngest was 5, the oldest 11.

  27. December 3, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    PBO having fun!

  28. 79 JER
    December 3, 2015 at 6:25 pm

  29. December 3, 2015 at 6:42 pm

  30. December 3, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    • 89 arapaho415
      December 3, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      GA GGail.

      GORGEOUS photos.

      Glad to see I’m not the only TODvillager who checks out Obama family photos at @MailOnline.

      I ignore their jabs and haven’t viewed comments there in years.

  31. December 3, 2015 at 7:05 pm

  32. December 3, 2015 at 7:07 pm

  33. 93 Roberta in MN
    December 3, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    I thought I would die of embarrassment for Still & Nash & Crosy. Theycouldn’t even single Jingle Bells at the end either. But those little kids were awesome. I thought the First Lady on Scandal had a great voice
    Hi Everyone. Got back from Texas last night and just trying to get caught up. Glad to hear all of you Californians are sage from what happened in San Bernardino.

  34. December 3, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Have anyone seen the chocolate gingerbread White House? I’m sure the right wing haters loves it, the Obamas have finally painted the White House black. Ha! Ha! Ha!

  35. 96 Dakota
    December 3, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Don’t forget to watch “The Wiz!!!”

  36. 97 Nena20409
    December 3, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    GE TOD.
    Thanks Chips for the Xmas event.
    Yesterday, this guy’s picture was all over the Social Media as the San Bernardino Shooter, Syed Farook. It turns out, it was his brother, A Navy Vet; Syed Faheel Farook.

    I have yet to hear this part of the story from CNN, MSNBC or any other News Outlet Nationally.

  37. 98 JER
    December 3, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    • December 3, 2015 at 8:52 pm

      JER, thank you, this is for the next time right wing haters who claim they are christians try to tell us that this President doesn’t know the meaning of Christmas.

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