Early Bird Chat

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visiting service members and their families at Marine Corp Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, Dec 25

102 Responses to “Early Bird Chat”

  1. 1 kathleenp444
    December 26, 2015 at 8:03 am


    • 2 Roberta in MN
      December 26, 2015 at 8:04 am

      You got it kathleenp444. Congrats . Maybe we can share. It’s going to be a New Year soon. 🙂

      • 3 kathleenp444
        December 26, 2015 at 8:08 am

        I call it a tie, Roberta😊. Happy day everyone!
        Now, does anyone on this planet work harder than PBO??!
        I love my president!

  2. 4 Roberta in MN
    December 26, 2015 at 8:03 am

    GM Chips & Danny’O

  3. 5 Roberta in MN
    December 26, 2015 at 8:06 am

    I read the article and watched some of this video on the front page of msn internet. The comments were just horrible. Made me sick to my stomach the nastiness and the hate they said about POTUS and FLOTUS. I should learn not to read any comments from an AP story.

    • 6 catrst
      December 26, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Everytime I hear about the disrespect toward our President and his family from now on I will contemplate the “force” created by the millions of people of good will all over the world that hold them in their hearts and prayers. I know only one thing that can overcome hatred and fear and that is good and there is a mighty amount of good out there directed toward our first family.

      • December 26, 2015 at 10:54 am

        Good Morning everyone. I hope yur Christmas was Joyous.
        Amen to your comments. Not only are there international citizens there are citizens in America who are working to ensure that we move the World FORWARD.
        #Trust Barack

    • 8 jackiegrumbacher
      December 26, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Morning, Roberta. Imagine having to live with a heart that full of hate, bigotry and ignorance. They live stunted lives and don’t even know it. Sad, pathetic people.

  4. December 26, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Moooooooorning everyone, hope you had a fantabulous Christmas day! Santa and me are so over – I asked him for a new Manchester United manager, he didn’t bring me one, and now United are losing 1-0 to Stoke. Life is crap.

  5. 26 jackiegrumbacher
    December 26, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Morning all. Love to see our President and FLOTUS looking so relaxed and happy. Yesterday was a lovely and quiet day with lots of treats and glorious presents–among them the final editions of POTUS and\ “FLOTUS calendars (sigh). Today will be wild as our granddaughter and her mom and dad arrive at noon and everything will go at high speed until they take off Monday morning. Have a great weekend.

  6. 27 amk for obama
    December 26, 2015 at 8:40 am

    overrated teams. overrated league. go la liga.

  7. December 26, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Good Morning, Everyone 🙂

    Have to work today, but it’s all good.

    Have a great day!

  8. December 26, 2015 at 9:00 am

    G’morning Chips, TOD, lurkers, and congrats Kathleenp444 on #1! 🙂 Happy Boxing Day and Happy Kwanzaa everyone!

  9. December 26, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Good morning everybody, hope you all had a glorious Christmas.

  10. December 26, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Good morning TOD!

    Big deal ….

  11. 41 hopefruit2
    December 26, 2015 at 10:10 am

    G’morning Chips, TOD, lurkers, everyone, and congrats Kathleenp444 on #1! 🙂

    Hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas Day, and wishing you a Happy Boxing Day or Happy Kwanzaa!

  12. December 26, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Seems everybody is running for Parliament in Iran 🙂

    More updates in the sidebar … will try to add more throughout the day ….


    • 43 jackiegrumbacher
      December 26, 2015 at 10:54 am

      Thank you, Bob. And none of this will be reported by our mighty media because a) it might make President Obama and his team look good; and 2) it would undermine the right wing scare narrative that they must promote at ALL costs.

  13. 45 hopefruit2
    December 26, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Chips, I think my initial post got stuck in pending? Please free me when you get a chance – thanks in advance! 🙂

  14. December 26, 2015 at 10:17 am

    • December 26, 2015 at 10:19 am

      “Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba—the seven principles of African Heritage), which Karenga said “is a communitarian African philosophy,” consisting of what Karenga called “the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world.” These seven principles comprise *Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:

      Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
      Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
      Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.
      Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
      Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
      Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
      Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

      Kwanzaa symbols include a decorative mat (Mkeka) on which other symbols are placed: corn (Mahindi) and other crops, a candle holder kinara with seven candles (Mishumaa Saba), a communal cup for pouring libation (Kikombe cha Umoja), gifts (Zawadi), a poster of the seven principles, and a black, red, and green flag. The symbols were designed to convey the seven principles.[7]”

      Reference link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa

      bbl …..


      • 48 jackiegrumbacher
        December 26, 2015 at 10:59 am

        Wow! ‘m embarrassed to say I never took the time to learn these principles. It’s hard to disagree with any of them and there are no “thou shalls” or “shalt nots,” just affirmations of love, loyalty, faith and finding the best in ourselves and each other.

  15. 50 JER
    December 26, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Good Morning Chips and TOD.

  16. 51 GGAIL
    December 26, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Good West Coast morning Chipsticks & TOD family

  17. 53 desertflower
    December 26, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Good morning everyone:)

  18. 54 amk for obama
    December 26, 2015 at 10:58 am

    • 55 jackiegrumbacher
      December 26, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Also, three bigoted narcissists with the moral integrity of sewer rats. Hope you’re doing well, AMK.

      • 56 amk for obama
        December 26, 2015 at 11:03 am

        Hi jg. I am ok. How was your xmas?

        • 57 jackiegrumbacher
          December 26, 2015 at 11:45 am

          The first part of Christmas was great; part 2 starts this afternoon when the granddaughter arrives and things don’t calm down again until noon at Monday. So Christmas is still in the “present tense” for us. After that I intend to go on a week long slumber fest.

  19. 59 amk for obama
    December 26, 2015 at 11:01 am

    man c on a blaze. 3-0.

  20. 60 Dudette
    December 26, 2015 at 11:06 am

    POTUS on TV Alert!

    Good Morning Everyone! Hope you all had a terrific Christmas! I did! 😀

    Anyway, I was just flipping through the cable guide and saw CSPAN has a short (less than 30 minutes) show coming up at 11:05am ET with The President talking about this years Kennedy Center Honors. Might be part of his remarks during the ceremony from a while back.

    By the way, the broadcast of the Kennedy Center Honors celebration will be on CBS at 9pm ET on December 29th.


  21. 63 mtmarilyn
    December 26, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Good morning Everyone here at TODville. I hope all had as wonderful Holiday as we did. We had so much laughter and conversation around the dinner table we lingered. We have had more snow, but the beautiful part is that on both Christmas Eve and Christmas night the clouds cleared long enough for us to see the full moon, then more snow. It was a beautiful sight. We are so blessed.

    Happy Boxing Day!

  22. 65 Dudette
    December 26, 2015 at 11:26 am

  23. 66 desertflower
    December 26, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Was this posted this week? ( I LOVE this man!)


    So, I wanted to flag some news that dropped Tuesday while I was busy pondering the semiotic significance of General Tso’s Chicken. With the deadline for Jan. 1 coverage having just passed, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that 8.2 million Americans have signed up for health plans on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges, compared to about 6.4 million at the same time during last year’s open enrollment period. The number of first-timers has grown too—about 2.4 million customers who picked plans on the federal exchange, healthcare.gov, were new, versus 1.8 million last year.

    Since open enrollment is still going, this all seems to suggest that HHS’s original estimate that 10 million people would ultimately sign up and keep a health plan bought via the exchanges through the end up 2015 was a bit of a lowball number—though, as always, it’s hard to make predictions (I’ll leave that to Charles Gaba).
    The other interesting news: More young people are signing up. So far there are 2.1 million enrollees on healthcare.gov are under 35 (about 35 percent of the total), up from 1.1 million last time around (or about 33 percent of the total).*

  24. 67 amk for obama
    December 26, 2015 at 11:41 am

    heck, half of murka wants to change all that.

    • 68 desertflower
      December 26, 2015 at 11:46 am

      We’re “so exceptional”…becomes the go to excuse as to why we don’t need to look at ourselves and make us better….

  25. 69 Judith Fardig
    December 26, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Merry after-Christmas glow and Happy Kwanzaa, TOD!

  26. December 26, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Erdogan must be stopped ….

  27. 72 GGail
    December 26, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Is Amk still awake? Comments on this article are much needed and appreciated

    NEW DELHI — It started with a private phone call by the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan on Friday morning to wish him a happy birthday.

    About four hours later, Mr. Modi landed in the Pakistani city of Lahore for an impromptu visit with Mr. Sharif, giving such little notice that Mr. Sharif’s national security adviser could not make the journey from Islamabad in time.

    It was the first visit to Pakistan by an Indian premier in almost 12 years. The tense relations between India and Pakistan, both nuclear-armed nations, have long worried American policy makers, who fear that proxy wars between the two countries could flare into a real one. Mr. Modi is also highlighting India’s role in Afghanistan, including providing military assistance, which risks angering Pakistani leaders.

    But with his flash of spontaneous personal diplomacy on Friday, Mr. Modi appeared to send a strong public message that the ambiguous course he has taken toward Pakistan has shifted to embrace engagement, not confrontation. It is a message that his administration has hinted at in recent weeks, seeking to sketch out a road map for talks with Pakistan on terrorism and trade.

    • 73 desertflower
      December 26, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      I saw this the other day and was encouraged that they might be moving toward better relations….the world was watching the Master:)

  28. 75 vcprezofan2
    December 26, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Missing a day in the TOD village sure wreaks havoc with one’s psyche. I’m simply not sure what’s been ongoing, but, to EVERYone…..

  29. December 26, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Guess the complexion of the Government Agent that wasn’t believed…

    and the complexion of the Drug Lord..

    I’m just sayin.


    The Tax Sleuth Who Took Down a Drug Lord

    Gary L. Alford was running on adrenaline when he arrived for work on a Monday in June 2013, at the Drug Enforcement Administration office in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. A tax investigator, he had spent much of the weekend in the living room of his New Jersey townhouse, scrolling through arcane chat rooms and old blog posts, reading on well after his fiancée had gone to sleep.

    The work had given Mr. Alford what he believed was the answer to a mystery that had confounded investigators for nearly two years: the identity of the mastermind behind the online drug bazaar known as Silk Road — a criminal known only by his screen name, Dread Pirate Roberts.

    When Mr. Alford showed up for work that Monday, he had a real name and a location. He assumed the news would be greeted with excitement. Instead, he says, he got the brushoff.

    He recalls asking the prosecutor on the case, out of frustration, “What about what I said is not compelling?”

    Mr. Alford, a young special agent with the Internal Revenue Serviceassigned to work with the D.E.A., isn’t the first person to feel unappreciated at the office. In his case, though, the information he had was the crucial to solving one of the most vexing criminal cases of the last few years. While Silk Road by mid-2013 had grown into a juggernaut, selling $300,000 in heroin and other illegal goods each day, federal agents hadn’t been able to figure out the most basic detail: the identity of the person running the site.

    It ultimately took Mr. Alford, 38, more than three months to gather enough evidence to prevail upon his colleagues to take his suspect seriously. After he convinced them, though, the man he identified, Ross W. Ulbricht, was arrested and Silk Road shuttered. The night of the arrest, Mr. Alford got an email from one of the other special agents at the center of the case: “Congrats Gary, you were right,” it said.

    Mr. Alford’s experience, and the lag between his discovery and Mr. Ulbricht’s arrest, were largely left out of the documents and proceedings that led to Mr. Ulbricht’s conviction and life sentence this year.

    Previous examinations of the Silk Road investigation have generally focused on the role played by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security, who infiltrated the website, arrested important deputies and gathered reams of crucial information, but not enough to find Mr. Ulbricht — until Mr. Alford came along.

    The other agencies involved in the investigation declined to comment on Mr. Alford’s work, but several people briefed on the investigation, who were not authorized to speak about it publicly, confirmed the basic outlines of Mr. Alford’s story.

    Back in the summer of 2013, it was not hard, even for Mr. Alford, to understand why it took him time to win over the others on the case. He had joined the investigation relatively late and was on a team that hadn’t previously found much of value. He also lacked the sophisticated technological experience of colleagues at the F.B.I. On a more personal level, Mr. Alford could come across as overeager.

    But Mr. Alford also detected the sort of organizational frictions that have hindered communication between law enforcement agencies in the past. Within the I.R.S., Mr. Alford had heard tales of his agency being ignored and overshadowed by more prominent organizations like the F.B.I. The story that resonated with Mr. Alford most strongly was that of the tax agent Frank J. Wilson, who brought down the gangster Al Capone, but who was forgotten in the movie versions of the investigation, which tended to focus on Eliot Ness, the flashier Bureau of Prohibition agent.

    “They don’t write movies about Frank Wilson building the tax case,” Mr. Alford said in an interview at the I.R.S.’s Manhattan headquarters. “That’s just how it is.”

  30. 77 57andfemale
    December 26, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    testing. Computer weirdness today on Firefox, so I’m trying Chrome.

  31. December 26, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Morning all.

    I have the flu. Which means I can’t meet the TOD ladies for dinner. And Chelsea drew yet again. This has been a rubbish Boxing Day. Don’t kill me, GGail.

  32. 84 MightyPamela
    December 26, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    ❤ TOD ❤ {{{{{ PBO & FLOTUS }}}}} ❤

    • 86 Vicki
      December 26, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      Oh my. Hahahahaha.
      No Lame duck whatsoever.
      I look forward with unrestrained glee at the chance that PBO can seize the microphone away from any of the folks now running for President.

      President Obama said he’s going to leave it all on the road. This is going to be good.

      • 87 desertflower
        December 26, 2015 at 4:59 pm

        It’s going to be GREAT!!~ Damn, I’m gonna miss him like nobody’s business. Savoring every single second:) Happy New Year, Vicki:)

  33. 88 desertflower
    December 26, 2015 at 3:27 pm


    Lincoln’s decision to resist Southern secession and fight a war to maintain the American Union was motivated primarily by his belief that the nation was founded on the idea that this country “proposed to give all a chance” and allow “the weak to grow stronger.” The toxic combination of secession together with an unending commitment to unpaid human bondage by a new and separate Confederate nation, he calculated, would be fatal to the American Dream. It posed a direct threat to a self-sustaining middle-class society and to the promise of America leading the way to spreading the idea of opportunity and upward mobility throughout the world.

    “I hold the value of life is to improve one’s condition,” Lincoln declared just three weeks before assuming the presidency, reiterating a lifetime of similarly expressed commitment to what historian Gabor Boritt brilliantly calls the uniquely American “right to rise.” Seven slaveholding Southern states had already declared by their independence the converse: the right to establish a nation of their own based on the denial of opportunity. Lincoln believed that the American nation based on the credo of opportunity for all was worth fighting for. “Whatever is calculated to advance the condition of the honest, struggling laboring man, so far as my judgment will enable me to judge of a correct thing, I am for that thing,” he said in 1861. In the face of unimaginable casualties and devastation, he remained for “that thing” for the rest of his life.

    “denial of opportunity”….Republicans STILL stand for this, even to this day, in this 21st century!

    • 89 desertflower
      December 26, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      A bit more:

      We Americans believe we so fully understand Abraham Lincoln’s contribution to our nation’s beliefs about slavery and freedom that his role in shaping our uniquely American vision of a just and generous economic society has been largely neglected. In fact, Lincoln was unwavering in his commitment to preserve the American Dream of economic opportunity for future generations, a dream he lived by escaping the poverty of his childhood and one he advocated throughout his political life. It was this commitment that lay behind his determination to ensure that a government dedicated to providing economic opportunity for its citizens “shall not perish from the earth.” Lincoln largely fought the Civil War over this principle, establishing a role for government in securing and guaranteeing economic opportunity for its citizens, a guarantee that has remained at the center of political debate and discord ever since, seldom so acrimoniously as today.

        December 26, 2015 at 3:53 pm


    December 26, 2015 at 3:56 pm


  35. 93 Betsy
    December 26, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Happy Boxing Day all. I wasn’t able to get on my computer to wish you all a Happy Christmas, but I do wish you all a wonderful rest of the Christmas season. I hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday.

      December 26, 2015 at 4:13 pm


      • 95 Betsy
        December 27, 2015 at 1:13 am

        I’m so sad you had an awful Christmas day, but am so glad today was better. You are an amazing person and I wish you a wonderful, and very happy, new year.

    December 26, 2015 at 4:17 pm


      December 26, 2015 at 4:18 pm


    • 98 susanne
      December 26, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Sue, your story reminds us all that we’re only as stuck as we believe. I remember your rants about the pastor and others in your old church, and your feelings of despair. Now you’ve wrenched yourself out of that sticky situation, and can breathe freely in the new church where you have a community you can embrace. I’m so happy for you!

  37. 99 JER
    December 26, 2015 at 4:37 pm

  38. 100 JER
    December 26, 2015 at 5:01 pm

  39. 102 susanne
    December 26, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Aloha Chips and Tod Ohana

    I’m reading an excellent book, ‘Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World’. Not a title that would make you want to pick it up and start reading, sad to say. But I’m enjoying it very much, and just want to quote this section, from page 109, that I think makes a powerful case for the necessity of putting Democrats in the White House.

    ‘ Once Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976, he was committed to integrating the federal judiciary with racial minorities and women. And women’s expectations went way up. The path was tortuous. First the Carter White House had to wrench the job of finding nominees from the members of the white and male United States Senate. Carter achieved this early in his term, creating citizens’ nominating committees to suggest names for the all-important courts of appeals. Then the women’s advocates on staff at the White House had to wrench access to the Carter committees from the clueless Justice Department, which would normally have had responsibility for justice-related matters such as nominees to the federal courts. The department, led by Attorney General Griffin Bell, whose longtime law firm, King & Spalding, was later successfully charged with illegal sex discrimination, was not a hotbed of diversity. And then, the newly enlightened White House had to fight off the American Bar Association, which still demanded fifteen years of legal experience to be labeled qualified to be a judge. That rolled the clock back to women who graduated law school before 1962, a group who could essentially be counted on one hand. ‘

    In one paragraph, so much work! We of course know that PBO has worked and changed the system immensely in his terms of office. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how much is going on behind the scenes of his triumphs, but I’m certain there’s much more happening right now than golf!! 🙂

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