Early Morning Bird




You’re out to dinner with your wife and the phone rings. How many of the people in your life are you like, “Uh-oh, I’ve got to take this”?

Malia and Sasha. [laughs] And maybe my mother-in-law. My national security adviser, Susan Rice, and Denis McDonough, my chief of staff. Those are the only people whose call I would take during a date night with Michelle.


What’s the most entertaining conspiracy theory you ever read about yourself?

That military exercises we were doing in Texas were designed to begin martial law so that I could usurp the Constitution and stay in power longer. Anybody who thinks I could get away with telling Michelle I’m going to be president any longer than eight years does not know my wife.


Would you ever want to be a Supreme Court justice?

You paused!

No – well, the reason I paused for a second was just to make sure that I let people know that I think good judges are really important, and Supreme Court justices, obviously, are hugely important. I don’t have the temperament to sit in relative solitude and just opine and write from the bench. I want to be in the action a little bit more.


Read the whole interview @



111 Responses to “Early Morning Bird”

  1. 1 amk for obama
    April 17, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Happy Sunday, toddys.

  2. April 17, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Morally FURST1!1!1!1!

  3. 15 donna dem 4 obama
    April 17, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Good Morning TOD

    That was such a great interview. I loved PBO’s perspective of technology and how it has even advanced from one daughter to the next.

    Simmons: You win the election in 2008, and Twitter is just becoming a thing. Over the course of your presidency, that’s the biggest thing that’s changed. What’s the biggest challenge with all that stuff?

    PBO: Speed. You are on 24/7—you have to respond immediately. The job of our office, to keep up and to respond quickly to anything that’s happening but not be consumed by it, is completely different. We’ve been building a digital team inside the White House.

    Simmons: When did that start?

    PBO: Too late. That’s an example of something that I would’ve started earlier. That was a lesson that coming out of the first term, I should’ve understood. That’s why we built this team. It’s so interesting watching my daughters. Both are complete ninjas on the phone, right? And they can do things that I don’t even understand—they’re doing it in two seconds. But I even see a difference between Malia, who’s 17, and Sasha, who’s 14. There’s almost a mini-generational gap in terms of Sasha being so connected seamlessly to this smartphone in a way that Malia, who was already a little bit older when it really started to take, is not.

    Have a great O’Day Everyone!

    • 16 jackiegrumbacher
      April 17, 2016 at 7:49 am

      Morning, Donna, if there’s a perceivable difference between Malia and Sasha in their command of smartphones, imagine what us old fogies like me who remember operator-assisted phones feel like? PBO is so far ahead of where any other president would/could have been on digital technology, it’s interesting to think he should have understood more and acted earlier. After all, he had a country to save from complete economic disaster and an international reputation to restore.

      • 17 donna dem 4 obama
        April 17, 2016 at 8:16 am

        I know how you feel JG. My sons that are 36 years old don’t have any idea what a rotary phone is. 😯

        • 18 jackiegrumbacher
          April 17, 2016 at 8:31 am

          “Back in the day” you had to get your phone from AT&T and the standard issue was black, unless you wanted to pay more. There was no shopping for phones and the phone company had to come to your house to set you up, all of which would be inconceivable to our children.

          • 19 arapaho415
            April 17, 2016 at 9:38 am

            GM JackieG.

            Since I don’t have any online devices except for laptops, cannot comment on smartphones, tablets, etc. However, the first time I got a (landline) phone in the 1970s, I couldn’t get a pushbutton phone because my phone carrier did not offer in my area (Hollywood CA).

            This is because I was on General Telephone (GTE), not AT&T — which apparently served in pockets of SoCal that AT&T couldn’t/didn’t want to offer service to. For some reason, GTE was always my (only) option for phone service, even as I moved to different SoCal locations, and it was always behind — couldn’t get DSL in the 1990s because they didn’t offer in my area, etc.

            After telecom deregulation, GTE became Verizon, and now Verizon has abandoned CA, FL and TX.

            Mentioned earlier this month that I was without internet service for 2 full days at the beginning of this month because Verizon sold their CA/FL/TX internet service to Frontier Communications (which I had never heard of before — Frontier wasn’t available here before my Verizon account became Frontier).

            My situation wasn’t as bad as some locales (such as Long Beach CA) — they were still offline last week. Heard a report on the radio that a freelancer was missing assignment because of no internet, and the local UPS was operating from mobile devices because of the outage.

            So AT&T wasn’t as bad as the other “options” — which aren’t really options because competitor services don’t overlap.

            I have only one other option for internet service — TimeWarnerCable — since I don’t have a television, don’t really want to go back to them and pay for a service that I will never use.

            Bottom line from this long rant — we need more competition for non-mobile internet service. It’s ridiculous that in an area with almost a million people that we have only 2 options for internet service. 😦

            End of rant.

            • 20 GGAIL
              April 17, 2016 at 11:50 am

              GM Arapaho. Verizon sold me to Frontier too. I was out of service for a whole weekend and still experiencing problems. I called TWC. They will be coming out on Thursday to hook me up to a modem & wifi only. I don’t want cable so I’m glad they have a separate plan for internet only.

              • 21 arapaho415
                April 17, 2016 at 12:20 pm

                ((( GG!!!! )))

                Thanks for the info!

                I whined here when my internet came back online (around 9pm two Sundays ago), and since I started out behind, am even further behind here at TODville. 😦

                Great info — what ballpark $$ range can I expect from TWC? (I understand that their internet speed is faster than Verizon/Frontier, so maybe I’ll check out Netflix).

                Love you, GGail! xoxox

                • 22 GGail
                  April 17, 2016 at 12:33 pm

                  {{{{{arapaho}}}} you’re very welcome ❤
                  I am going to purchase my own modem with wifi, so my monthly TWC payment will be around $34/mo., for 50mb of speed. If you use their modem w/wifi (be sure to state that you want a modem with wifi) it will cost monthly around $44/mo.

                  • 23 GGail
                    April 17, 2016 at 12:42 pm

                    arapaho, I forgot to mention that my complex has TWC cable’s installed in each apartment, so if you don’t have the cabling, it might be a smidge more for you, but the service will be millions times better than what we’re receiving from Frontier!

                    • 24 arapaho415
                      April 17, 2016 at 1:27 pm

                      I love you, GG, I truly do.

                      Thanks a million x million (or the amount that Steve Harvey asked the little boy to read [see yesterday’s LP thread]).

                      Not savvy enough to know about cabling, but will find out.

                      Question. When I signed up for Verizon (almost 2 years ago), I had to buy a modem, which is what I use now (with Frontier 😦 ). I only use wifi, all those cables and thingamabobs geezaws confuse me even more than wifi, LOL.

                      Was that the case with you? Did you have an existing Verizon modem that wasn’t compatible with TWC?

                      ((( GGail )))

      • 25 99ts
        April 17, 2016 at 8:57 am

        You have brought back the memory of the operator in a small town – when you were going out for the day you told the operator & she passed on the message to anyone calling you. Fun times 🙂 There was almost an uprising when auto dial came into being. Everyone lost their answering service.

        • 26 jackiegrumbacher
          April 17, 2016 at 9:11 am

          Oh yes, 99. As a child I got a real sense of security from having a live person come on the phone when I picked it up. The dial phone was so impersonal, plus a lot of women my family knew lost their jobs when the rotary phone came in.

          • 27 99ts
            April 17, 2016 at 9:56 am

            I have a vague memory we had a party for the operator when the direct dial came into being. I think she moved to a larger town where there were still people working in the exchanges (long distance, directory assistance, complaints etc etc). Now that’s automated or run from a call centre with minimal employees.

    • April 17, 2016 at 11:06 am

      hey Donna…

      i agree..a good read….this is one of fav sections..

      Simmons: So you’re like Gregg Popovich. Although he does get mad at sideline reporters.

      PBO: [laughs] He does. So do I. [laughs] Yeah. Or maybe [Aaron] Rodgers in the pocket, in the sense of you can’t be distracted by what’s around you, you’ve got to be looking downfield. And I think that’s a quality that I have—not getting flustered in what’s around me. So there was never a point, even early on—even in the first six months, where we weren’t sure whether we were going to dip into another Great Depression, we weren’t sure whether the steps we were taking on rescuing the auto industry or stabilizing the financial system were going to work—there weren’t moments where I thought, “Sheesh, feels like we’re in over our head.”

      But what I didn’t fully appreciate, and nobody can appreciate until they’re in the position, is how decentralized power is in this system. When you’re in the seat and you’re seeing the housing market collapse and you are seeing unemployment skyrocketing and you have a sense of what the right thing to do is, then you realize, “Okay, not only do I have to persuade my own party, not only do I have to prevent the other party from blocking what the right thing to do is, but now I can anticipate this lawsuit, this lobbying taking place, and this federal agency that technically is independent, so I can’t tell them what to do. I’ve got the Federal Reserve, and I’m hoping that they do the right thing—and by the way, since the economy now is global, I’ve got to make sure that the Europeans, the Asians, the Chinese, everybody is on board.” A lot of the work is not just identifying the right policy but now constantly building these ever shifting coalitions to be able to actually implement and execute and get it done.

      • 29 jacquelineoboomer
        April 17, 2016 at 12:08 pm

        Wow. The President writes the textbooks for future presidents, all while sitting down with a reporter and casually mentioning how things are. I truly don’t recall previous presidents talking so openly and with such a full understanding of “his role” as leader of the free world (to me, it’s not a role – he just is! ❤ ).

        Love him!

        • April 17, 2016 at 12:13 pm

          Indeed he does…he talks about the intricacies of getting things done…all these things taking place now shows all the groundwork that the President has done…these things have not just happened over night…

          • 31 jacquelineoboomer
            April 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm

            It’s intellectually stimulating just to think about his “big brain”!

            (Hope that came out right. Ha. Seriously, he has remarkable insights.)

      • 32 Obama Grandmama
        April 17, 2016 at 2:42 pm

        I cannot see Bernie as a coalition builder based on his past experience. Exciting a crowd with only the power of their vote is a whole other thing.

  4. 33 amk for obama
    April 17, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Guantanamo Bay: Nine Yemenis released to Saudi Arabia.

    The US has transferred nine Yemeni prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba to Saudi Arabia, officials say.

    The Saudis agreed to take the prisoners because Yemen was considered too unstable for them to return them to.

    The transfer leaves 80 prisoners at the US military jail – most of whom have been held without charge or trial for more than a decade.

    President Obama wants to close the prison before he leaves office.

    The BBC’s Laura Bicker in Washington says that the transfer of the nine has been a long sought-after deal between Washington and Riyadh and comes just days before President Obama touches down in Saudi Arabia for a summit of Gulf Arab allies.


    one kenyan vs the entire cowardly congress critters.

  5. 35 jackiegrumbacher
    April 17, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Thanks, AMK. It will be a good day for the US when that place of shame is finally closed and that disgraceful chapter in history ends. If PBO says he will close it, he will.

  6. 36 amk for obama
    April 17, 2016 at 8:49 am

    aaand vardy scores. go foxes.

  7. April 17, 2016 at 8:54 am

    G’morning amk, Chips & TOD!!! Happy Sunday everyone! 🙂 Congrats Chips on *morally* 1st! Hope your mom is continuing to improve in rehab. 🙂

  8. April 17, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Good morning Chips, amk, TOD 🙂

    Hope you are all enjoying the day …

    • April 17, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Wonderful smiles from such fiercely brave women!!!

    • 42 jackiegrumbacher
      April 17, 2016 at 9:16 am

      Bob, I know the Muslim tradition is for women to cover their hair, but why is this total envelope of invisibility necessary? The women who walk down these streets are not seen as people with minds, hearts and spirits, but simply covered ‘things.” I hope that doesn’t sound insensitive, but it’s deeply disturbing to see.

      • 43 jackiegrumbacher
        April 17, 2016 at 9:19 am

        Also, what a contrast between the enveloped woman and the Kurdish female soldiers!! There could not be a starker comparison for today’s young women to see.

        • April 17, 2016 at 11:24 am

          Yes, JackieG. That’s why I juxtaposed the two tweets.

          In neither case are the women any less brave. While those Peshmerga women are fighting DAESH, that Afghan women (and many like her) confront the likelihood of torture and death (by the Taliban) just for trying to become educated.

          • 45 catrst
            April 17, 2016 at 12:46 pm

            Thank you for every bit of information you bring here. I have learned so much from you and my heart has been opened to struggles that I might not have even been aware of. Blessings on all your efforts.

    • 46 jacquelineoboomer
      April 17, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      Can’t wait until the world uncovers all our women, looks ’em in the eye, and treats them as equal partners! Maybe it’ll never happen, but I keep hoping.

      Good morning, Bob!

  9. April 17, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Good Sunday, AMK, Chipsticks…TOD Family!!!

    Everyone, enjoy your day!!! 😀

  10. 50 Don
    April 17, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Good Morning everyone today is Sunday which is a day of leisure. I’m having spaghetti for dinner tonight. We usually have spaghetti on Sundays. I love garlic bread, I love mopping up the sauce with the garlic bread. And after dinner there’s a certain satisfaction that I get as I’m reclining on the couch of knowing that I ate all of my dinner, it’s like I’m a conqueror.

  11. 57 donna dem 4 obama
    April 17, 2016 at 9:46 am

    • April 17, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Do Bernie supporters think about things like that? How the hell do they think Bernie will get all he is promising done if he has to deal with those right wing tea party Republicans in control of the House and Senate?

      • 59 catrst
        April 17, 2016 at 12:50 pm

        I have come to think of Sanders supporters as closet authoritarians themselves. They don’t do well with coordinated efforts in the long run I think. That’s boring stuff.

    • 60 arapaho415
      April 17, 2016 at 11:26 am

      GM DonnaDem.

      Good to see you ready to face the world and TODville! Good timing, since no Obot wants to miss this week’s historic trip to Saudi Arabia, England (#QueenAt90 !) and Germany.

      Thanks for posting; interesting that George Clooney believes that Merrick Garland would strike Citizens United down, since that decision is Sanders’ litmus test for SCOTUS nominee, and why Bernie said during this week’s debate that he would nominate another person if he were President and there were only 8 filled seats.

      George Clooney has a lot of inside info and friends, so it’s good to hear this from him. Based on the little I know of Judge Garland, I’m inclined to agree with Clooney — Merrick Garland seems like a decent, good man, and someone with his character understands that corporations are not people my friend (as opposed to #NoTermMitt).

  12. 61 a4alice
    April 17, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Good Morning TOD and Chips. Hope all is well! Wonderful interview – thanks Amk. Although I’m sad that I can’t vote for him a third time, I can’t wait to see what PBO is going to do once he goes into civilian life. I think he’ll go on to do even greater things. 😀

  13. April 17, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Good Morning, Everyone 🙂

  14. 63 Linda
    April 17, 2016 at 10:25 am


    CNN host Dana Bash told Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Sunday that she would give him another try at answering how rival Hillary Clinton favored big banks following donations with ties to Wall Street.

    Bash said Sanders didn’t initially answer the question at the debate last week.

    “So let’s try it again. Can you point to a decision that Hillary Clinton made as senator that shows she favored banks because of the donations she received?” Bash asked on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

    Sanders said she voted for “bad bankruptcy legislation.”


    oops! The Bankruptcy Bill of 2001, which she did vote for…never got out of committee and died.
    She did NOT even vote for the 2005 bill because she was absent that day.

    Bernie is wrong again. !!!!

  15. 66 MightyPamela
    April 17, 2016 at 10:36 am

  16. 67 vcprezofan2
    April 17, 2016 at 10:42 am


    Greetings Amk, and thank you so much for that little bit of the GQ interview! I have my ad blocker on so they won’t allow me to read it, and since offspring isn’t here yet to remove then replace the ad blocker I’ve been ….frustrated by the link.

    Good morning Ms Chips, Mama Chips, DannyO and the rest of the Chipsy family. Hope all is progressing in the direction of our prayers and wishes!

    Greetings TODobots of all stripes and colours! Happy, sunny, Sunday to one and all! 🙂

  17. April 17, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Good morning, TOD! May we all have a Blessed day!

  18. 75 Linda
    April 17, 2016 at 10:54 am

    It was left hanging out there……

    • April 17, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Yes, it did, Donna.

      Thank you for the walk down memory lane. I love this family totally.

    • April 17, 2016 at 11:50 am

      i love this…thanks Donna….

      what will we do without them in the WH…i have signed up with the foundation…i never want to loose contact…i wonder what will happen with OFA

    • April 17, 2016 at 11:56 am

      Donna, so good to see you. How are you feeling? It takes such a long time to recover! Hope your energy level is returning, slow but sure.

      • 80 donna dem 4 obama
        April 17, 2016 at 2:46 pm

        Hi Meta, it seems that I take two steps forward and one step backwards. I think I’m feeling better and then….You warned me 😦

    • 81 mtmarilyn
      April 17, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Oh that was beautiful. I can’t wait for all of Pete’s books to come out. I know he is going to have to do more than one. They’ll be broken down by Obama & Kids, Obama’s travels, Obama with world leaders, Obama at National Parks, Obama greeting people, Obama at the White House, Obama with behind the scene workers. etc. I’ll buy them all.

  19. 82 GGAIL
    April 17, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Good West Coast morning amk & TOD family.
    Thanks amk!
    I’m looking forward to reading this 😊

  20. April 17, 2016 at 11:37 am


  21. April 17, 2016 at 11:37 am

  22. April 17, 2016 at 11:37 am

  23. April 17, 2016 at 11:38 am

  24. 88 jacquelineoboomer
    April 17, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Oh, amk, can’t wait to read this article – thanks and good day to you!

    One of my favorite parts, from your clip:

    Q: What’s the most entertaining conspiracy theory you ever read about yourself?

    A: That military exercises we were doing in Texas were designed to begin martial law so that I could usurp the Constitution and stay in power longer. Anybody who thinks I could get away with telling Michelle I’m going to be president any longer than eight years does not know my wife.

  25. April 17, 2016 at 11:46 am

    bbl ….

  26. 90 desertflower
    April 17, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Morning everyone. George is right….It means EVERYTHING to keep moving FORWARD!

  27. 91 forus50
    April 17, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Thanks amk and happy Sunday! And I love your comment above re “the Kenyan” defeating the “whole cowardly congress critters” on Gitmo.

  28. April 17, 2016 at 11:58 am

  29. 93 desertflower
    April 17, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    YES! I can’t wait!


    Lew announced last summer that he was considering redesigning the $10 bill to include the portrait of a woman. The decision to make the historic change at the expense of Hamilton drew angry rebukes from fans of the former Treasury Secretary. The pro-Hamilton movement gained steam after the smash success of the hip-hop Broadway musical about his life this year.

    Those pressures led Lew to determine that Hamilton should remain on the front of the bill. Instead, a mural-style depiction of the women’s suffrage movement — including images of leaders such as Susan B. Anthony — will be featured on the back of the bill.
    A Treasury spokesman declined to comment on the pending changes. But Lew hinted that a decision could come this week.

    “When we started this conversation not quite a year ago, it wasn’t clear to me that millions of Americans were going to weigh in with their ideas,” he told CNBC. “We’re not just talking about one bill. We’re talking about the $5, the $10, and the $20. We’re not just talking about one picture on one bill. We’re talking about using the front and the back of the bill to tell an exciting set of stories.”

  30. April 17, 2016 at 12:11 pm

  31. 96 Neena20409
    April 17, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Hello Gorgeous TOD Community.
    WTG, Amk! Thanks.
    Congrats to all the Gold ⭐ winners, since yesterday.
    Rafa Nadal, Wins!

  32. 98 Ladyhawke
    April 17, 2016 at 12:24 pm

  33. 99 jacquelineoboomer
    April 17, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    This story may bring tears to your eyes … and hope to your heart:

    Innocent man ends up pals with crooked cop that framed him


  34. 102 desertflower
    April 17, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    THUD. Just dropping this here.

  35. 103 Neena20409
    April 17, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    His Purple Royal Badness is up & running 😉

    😳 Cycling 🙂

  36. April 17, 2016 at 12:48 pm

  37. April 17, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Finally opening an office in my county; Bernie has been in Delco for several weeks…

    SUN, APR 17, 2016, 5:30PM – 6:30PM
    Delaware County Office Opening with Senator Stabenow
    HFA Delaware County Office
    23 -25 S Lansdowne Ave

    Lansdowne, Pennsylvania 19050
    Map this location
    Official event

    Join us as we open our official HFA Office in Delaware County! We will be joined by Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. She will discuss how Clinton will make college affordable, break down the barriers that hold too many Pennsylvania families back, and build ladders of opportunity for all Americans. Come by and learn how you can help Hillary win the Pennsylvania Primary! Stay after if you can help us make phone calls or knock on doors.

  38. April 17, 2016 at 12:50 pm

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