Early Bird Chat

On This Day – Pete Souza: “Despite the haphazard framing, I love the expressions on the President and one-year-old Lincoln Rose Smith as she learns to walk in the Oval Office. This moment happened when former Deputy Press Secretary Jamie Smith and her family stopped by for a departure greet and photograph with the President.” April 4, 2014



11:10: The President meets with NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg

4:55: Hosts a reception for Greek Independence Day, East Room


126 Responses to “Early Bird Chat”

  1. April 4, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Morning everyone, have to go out for a bit, catch ya later.

  2. 2 Roberta in MN
    April 4, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Good Morning Chips and TOD Family. Wonderful morning pictures you sent our way Chips.

  3. 3 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Gooood Morning! Whatcha doin’ today? 😄

    • 4 jackiegrumbacher
      April 4, 2016 at 8:18 am

      Morning, Dudette. Gotta admit that little guy knows how to get attention.

    • 6 arapaho415
      April 4, 2016 at 8:33 am

      GM Dudette.

      What a cute picture!

      Reminds me of my favorite cat (long gone now, alas) — one of my first jobs was as a teller in Malibu, and one of our customers was giving away kittens and he brought in a 6-week-old calico that he placed on the counter (before all the security measures now in place — our little branch had screen doors, which I really enjoyed) — she then proceeded to walk (wobble) over my keyboard and I was hooked, love at first sight.

      Stopped by his house that evening after work and adopted her and her 2 brothers (black and white).

      Adorable memories.

      • 7 Dudette
        April 4, 2016 at 8:42 am

        Awww what a sweet story Arapaho.

        They’re so adorable when they’re little, then … 😂😂😂

        • 8 arapaho415
          April 4, 2016 at 9:21 am


          BTW long-haired and Persian cats kinda freak me out. Prefer short-haired cats (who shed enough you’d think they *were* long-haired, LOL) and sweet-faced cats.

          • 9 Dudette
            April 4, 2016 at 9:26 am

            I’m not much of a cat person. Enjoy looking at kittens – mostly cuz I like almost any kind of baby animal. 😄

            • 10 Obama Grandmama
              April 4, 2016 at 1:33 pm

              I am not a cat person either as I have allergies to cats. My Sister-In-Law has two cats in her small condo that have the run of the place including kitchen counters, dining table and they sleep with her. She would tell you her “kids” are good and do not get up on the counters or table only at least a third of the time I am there they are on them. The cats have more large toys in the condo than she has furniture. I need to take allergy medication when I visit.

  4. 11 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:14 am

  5. 12 jackiegrumbacher
    April 4, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Morning. Another primary tomorrow in WI and more tension among Democrats. After tomorrow the dial turns to the mid Atlantic states, including PA and things are going to get frenetic. I forgot how lucky we were in 2012 not to worry about primaries.

  6. 14 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:17 am

  7. 15 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:18 am

  8. 16 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:18 am

  9. 17 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:21 am

    • 18 arapaho415
      April 4, 2016 at 9:18 am

      Don’t think it’s gonna be a “forgotten” race as we near November.

      Have said before here that the most delicious aspect of Dems retaking 2010 Senate seats lost to RWNJ “revenge” nuts is Rubio being out of a job, inconsequential and a footnote in history. 🙂

      Don’t understand McConnell’s strategy of losing House and Senate to Dems by obstructing Merrick Garland for SCOTUS. Makes no sense to me.

      • April 4, 2016 at 9:58 am

        the GOP have not paid a price for their obstruction the past 7 years…why should they believe that 2016 will be any different

        • 21 arapaho415
          April 4, 2016 at 11:15 am

          GM PF58.

          Sorry to hear about the Amtrak accident yesterday. Don’t understand why railroad tracks don’t have sensors — the freeways in Los Angeles do, seems like a doable improvement — this is why we desperately need to invest in our aging infrastructure, which was cutting age 40-50 years ago (during the height of the Space Program), but now not so much.

          I think the GOP has paid a price at the polls, but unfortunately only during Presidential election years (otherwise PBO would not now be a two-term transformational President).

          Since 2016 is a Presidential election year, think Dems will become the majority in the Senate (thankfully ousting the no-nothing, rabble-rousing GOP Senate Committee chairs) and if they don’t win the House will certainly close the gap between number of GOP vs. Dems there.

  10. 22 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:25 am

  11. 23 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:27 am

    • 24 hopefruit2
      April 4, 2016 at 8:55 am

      Is Costa mocking CNBC, or Trump (or both)? Or is he doing neither?

      • 25 Neena20409
        April 4, 2016 at 4:41 pm

        I don’t know. DC/NY Pundits who are paid Contributors to .@MSNBC.@NBC.@CNN.@Fox,etc are Not to be trusted. This guy is a newly minted contributor to MSNBC.

  12. 26 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:30 am

    But my wife hasn’t had time to file 2015 yet…

  13. 28 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:36 am

  14. 30 Ladyhawke
    April 4, 2016 at 8:40 am

  15. 31 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:43 am

  16. 32 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:44 am

  17. 33 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:46 am

  18. 34 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:46 am

  19. 36 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:47 am

  20. 37 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:47 am

  21. 38 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:49 am

  22. 39 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:51 am

  23. 40 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 8:56 am

  24. April 4, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Good morning Ms. Chips, Danny and TOD family, I hope all is well with everyone this lovely Monday morning. Congrats Chips, on being first to open up TOD’ville this morning.

    To all, I hope that you are refreshed, rejuvenated, and reinvigorated to pursue your visions today. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Thank God that President Obama is still the President of The United States of America. ⭐🏆 ⭐🏆 ⭐🏆

  25. 43 hopefruit2
    April 4, 2016 at 8:57 am

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

  26. April 4, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Good Morning, Everyone 🙂

  27. 47 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 9:07 am

    • 48 arapaho415
      April 4, 2016 at 9:28 am

      Bet a lot of the (mostly greedy and corrupt) 1% are sweating this out.

      My guess is that the investigation will report on Americans in about 90 days, just in time for RNC.

  28. 49 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 9:15 am

  29. 54 GGAIL
    April 4, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Good West Coast morning Chipsticks & TOD family.

  30. 55 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 9:18 am

  31. 57 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 9:22 am

  32. April 4, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Control of state courts becomes a top political battleground
    Apr. 3, 2016 3:04 PM EDT

    ATLANTA (AP) — Much attention is being paid to the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy, but equally partisan battles are being waged for control of state courts around the nation.

    In states where voters elect Supreme Court judges, millions of dollars are being spent to reshape the courts for years to come. Judicial watchdogs say spending by national groups overwhelmingly favors judges on the right of the political spectrum, and is mostly aimed at maintaining or improving the courts’ responses to corporate interests while countering state-level spending by labor unions and other interest groups.

    Lawmakers are busy too, debating proposals to tip the balance of power by expanding or reducing their court’s size, or making it easier to impeach judges whose rulings upset the legislative majority.

    “State courts are the final word on a host of state law issues that have high stakes for businesses’ bottom lines, legislatures’ agendas and the rights of individuals,” said Alicia Bannon with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. “Who sits on state courts can have a profound impact on the legal landscape in a state, and special interest groups and politicians are increasingly paying attention.”

    State supreme court elections have begun to resemble the rough-and-tumble, high-dollar campaigns associated with races for governor or Congress. Voters in about two dozen states are casting ballots for state supreme court justices this year. Spending for two Arkansas Supreme Court seats alone topped $1.6 million, setting a state record for TV ad buys in a judicial election.

  33. April 4, 2016 at 9:26 am

    April 4, 2016 at 9:31 am


  35. April 4, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Mississippi landlord evicts couple from RV park after learning they were an interracial couple.

    The Clarion-Ledger 3:24 p.m. CDT April 3, 2016

    TUPELO — A Mississippi RV park owner evicted an interracial couple because of the color of their skin.

    “Me and my husband, not ever in 10 years have we experienced any problem,” said Erica Flores Dunahoo, who is Hispanic and Native American and whose husband, a National Guardsman, is African-American. “Nobody’s given us dirty looks. This is our first time.”

    More than a half-century after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 barred discrimination on the basis of race, Gene Baker acknowledged asking the interracial couple to leave his RV park in Tupelo.

    Baker, who lives in Aberdeen, said he only did it because “the neighbors were giving me such a problem.”

    • 66 Dudette
      April 4, 2016 at 9:42 am

        April 4, 2016 at 9:54 am


      • 68 sherijr
        April 4, 2016 at 10:53 am

        34 years ago my husband and I tried to rent a house in Lafayette LA. We were staying at his mom’s at the time. We were fresh out of the Army and had my one yr old son. I called to rent the house and was told, yep hurry on over it’s available. We drove over… I went in initially while my husband got my son together. Yep, landlord says, still available… then my son and husband walk in. He immediately raises the rent and when I call him out on the price, he then tells me.. it’s no longer available. Mind you that was 34 yrs ago, also in the south. Husband was AA, me Caucasian, bi-racial son.

        Flash forward to 2003 and I call a hotel/motel in ND, reserve a room- my youngest son- age 4 & I were moving from Florida to ND. Room available & reserved… less than an hour later, I walk in alone- yep room available. Go get sleeping son out of car… and room no longer available. In fact I was yelled at to leave. 10pm at night, rural, no where to sleep, too wiped out to keep driving. Had to sleep in a desolate rest stop. Luckily we had our very large dog in the car too. But it was so anger inducing.

        There have been too many times this happened. I know it’s common over the years for mixed couples, people of color. But man it doesn’t hurt any less, no matter how many times it occurs.

        • 69 arapaho415
          April 4, 2016 at 12:25 pm

          GM sherijr.

          Your story has me in tears of frustration.

          Cannot believe this happened in ND — cannot believe that Americans can be so bigoted, nearly 50 years after Dr. MLK’s shocking assassination by a white bigot.

          MSM endorses this inhuman, inhumane bigotry here — people who violate laws like your hotel/manager and this couple’s landlord need to be arrested, just like DUI drivers are — they are a threat to civil society.

          ((( sherijr and son — cannot imagine how hurt he must have been ))) 😦

          Thank God for PBO, but it’s the MSM white elites who must assist in shaming, not sheltering these craven bigots.

          • 70 sherijr
            April 4, 2016 at 2:26 pm

            thank you Arapaho, agree with your entire commentary. People can be quite cruel- knowingly so. And don’t even get me started on the media- they are the most shameful in my book on so many issues.

  36. April 4, 2016 at 9:36 am

    so true.

    SUNDAY, APR 3, 2016 01:00 PM CDT

    Donald Trump is the pinnacle of American stupidity: Why his campaign consummates decades of rising anti-intellectualism

    It’s not that we’ve never seen anyone like Trump before. He’s just finishing the job begun by Reagan, Bush & Palin


    During Tuesday’s Republican town hall in Milwaukee, it was not a candidate, but the host, Anderson Cooper, who had the best line of the night, when he told Donald Trump — in the politest way possible — that he was acting like a fatuous little boy. “Sir, with all due respect, that’s the argument of a 5-year-old,” said the CNN anchor, after Trump defended his attack on Ted Cruz’s wife by saying that he “didn’t start it,” in just the same manner a child who is unable to admit any wrongdoing (or someone with narcissistic personality disorder) might.

    Of course, while the Donald is nearly 70 years old, and his stout physique and leathery skin display what several decades of gravity, tanning booths and well-done steaks can accomplish, his temperament has remained fixed somewhere in the adolescent period of development. The billionaire has thrived off of petty insults, having defended the size of his junk (admittedly, he’s not the only grown man who feels the need to do this, but the only presidential candidate); threatened to “beat the crap out of” protesters; and, most recently, tweeted an unflattering picture of his opponent’s wife next to his supermodel trophy wife. Trump also speaks at a 4th–grade level — by far the lowest of all presidential candidates — and has offered almost nothing in terms of actual policy, just bravado about his superhuman deal-making abilities.

    • 72 Dudette
      April 4, 2016 at 9:47 am

      Anyone seen the movie “Idiocracy”? It’s so awful, you just keep watching thinking “any minute now it’ll get less stupid” but it doesn’t. Then you see the Republicans and think “Holy crap, that movie is freaking prophetic!”

  37. April 4, 2016 at 9:38 am

    They don’t disagree with his ideas.
    They only disagree with HOW HE SAYS IT.

    IF he was speaking in Frank Luntz-approved dogwhistles, they’d all be lined up behind him.


    CNN’s Donald Trump disgrace: Trump coverage is the smoking gun, CNN is the corpse

    Also: David Brooks, Ross Douthat and the intellectual right gyrate to pretend Trumpism wasn’t always part of GOP


    SUNDAY, APR 3, 2016 09:30 AM CDT

    If Donald Trump didn’t constitute, in this year’s favorite word, an existential threat to American democracy, the contortions into which he has thrown the Republican Party, as they simultaneously try to thwart him while espousing his basic policies, would be hilarious.

    On the other hand, the contortions into which he has thrown the media are less hilarious, because they ultimately have more bearing on the outcome of the presidential race. What Trump’s candidacy has managed to do is reveal fault lines in the media that usually are buried beneath the typical journalistic blather, the groupthink and the feigned objectivity of the mainstream media — and the reflexive lockstep partisanship in the right-wing media. (The liberals, with a pox on both Trump and his GOP rivals, get to sit this one out.)

  38. 75 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 9:57 am

      April 4, 2016 at 10:02 am


    • 77 Dudette
      April 4, 2016 at 10:13 am

      1968 was the year I woke up to the enormity of ugliness in the world.

      My parents did their best to shelter me and my little sister from racial strife and much of the news & pain when MLK was killed.
      I didn’t really understand what was happening except this great man was taken away from us.

      8 weeks after this photo was taken, there was nothing they could do as I was watching soap operas with Mom when lives images of Bobby Kennedy lying in a pool of blood flashed across the TV screen.

    • 78 Dudette
      April 4, 2016 at 11:34 am

  39. 80 Allison
    April 4, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Good Morning!

  40. 81 MightyPamela
    April 4, 2016 at 10:15 am

  41. 82 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 10:16 am

  42. April 4, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Recorded on April 7, 1968, live three days after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. and performed at the Westbury Music Fair. Nina Simone dedicated her performance to King’s memory. The song was written by her bass player, Gene Taylor. An edited version of this performance appears on Simone’s album, Nuff Said (1968). I felt the unedited version captures the true emotional energy of the period surrounding Simone’s

  43. 89 Roberta in MN
    April 4, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Good Morning again everyone, thank you Dudette for these awesome pictures of beauty, hope and remembrance. I remember the day Dr. King was assinated, I wept my heart out and for all the peoples that took his word to heart. (((hugs))) to all.

  44. April 4, 2016 at 10:46 am

  45. 96 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 10:49 am

  46. 97 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 10:51 am

  47. April 4, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Good morning, good people. Some sad news today.

  48. 100 amk for obama
    April 4, 2016 at 10:57 am

    election season fever across many states in india started today. 70 to 80% turnout today.


    It’s going to be noisy for next 2 months.

  49. 102 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 11:06 am

  50. 103 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 11:10 am

  51. 104 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 11:17 am

  52. 105 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 11:19 am

    • April 4, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Are you kidding me? The New Orleans man must have been black. He gets 20 years for stealing candy, 16 year old white boy gets no time for drinking drunk and killing four people. What justice.

  53. 107 jacquelineoboomer
    April 4, 2016 at 11:24 am

    I love Frank Schaeffer! I love his latest (among many) tribute to President Obama … you can start or continue your day just right, if you listen to this. ❤

    • 108 Dudette
      April 4, 2016 at 11:49 am

      ❤ ❤ ❤

    • April 4, 2016 at 11:52 am

      Hay Bernie Sanders listen to Frank Schaeffer.

    • 110 Obama Grandmama
      April 4, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      Tears in my eyes after just hearing Frank Schaeffer’s tribute to PBO. He expressed my exact feelings eloquently.

      • 111 jacquelineoboomer
        April 4, 2016 at 2:35 pm

        Mine, too. All of his videos about PBO, all of his appearances on cable TV “news” shows about him, all of his writings are totally this strong and supportive. He gets it. I’ve been following (figuratively – Ha!) Frank for years, and really appreciate how he turned his mind and heart around (mostly I think when his son joined the military, or at least around that time) – but most definitely appreciate how much he respects and loves our President. Just as we all do!

      April 4, 2016 at 4:19 pm


  54. 113 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 11:24 am

  55. 114 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 11:27 am

    LOL! 😀

  56. April 4, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Schaeffer goes off and it’s a thing of beauty.

  57. 119 57andfemale
    April 4, 2016 at 11:48 am

    I live in a middle class, Northwest side Chicago neighborhood. It is not without its crime, but it’s a solid neighborhood. There’s a bar a half block from us, well-attended but not rowdy. If things get out of hand once in awhile, a neighborly visit gets results from the management. It’s part of living in the city.

    Saturday around midnight there was great commotion and police presence. I live on the main street, and there are periodic car accidents. I figured that was it. No. A guy was ejected from the bar for being beligerant. He apparently went to his car, got a gun, and shot through the window of the packed bar. He hit the “bouncer” (who actually was the manager – Mr. 57 knew him). He died this morning. They are combing through camera footage to try to identify him.

    I often let the dogs out late at night, but I didn’t on Saturday. The guy could have fled through my yard.

    2nd Amendment right my ass – every damned slight or argument is now life-threatening and jackasses with guns are killing people. No longer is there conflict management or de-escalation. Everything is answered with a gun.

    This country has gone insane.

    • 120 forus50
      April 4, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      I saw that on the news last night. So insane the gun rights BS. I also read something the other day that research found that almost all guns involved in crime in Chicago were obtained legally in another state.

      • 121 57andfemale
        April 4, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        Chicago proper has as restrictive gun laws as they can. But all you have to do is go to IN to get easy access.

        I will say, all of this access is crazy. And with it comes a coarser and coarser society, who thinks all slights should be settled with deadly force. It’s completely insane.

        Usually, if there’s a car crash, all the neighbors come out to see what’s going on and to make calls or help if necessary. Normally, I would have gone out, but something seemed different and we didn’t hear a crash.

        Don’t the rest of us have rights? Those of us who are afraid if we cut someone off in traffic, we’re going to get our heads blown off? It is beyond insane,forus.

  58. 122 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 11:51 am

  59. April 4, 2016 at 11:59 am

  60. 125 Dudette
    April 4, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Waiting for tonight! Whoa-oh-oh-oh! 😀

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