Early Bird Chat

On This Day: President Barack Obama bumps fists with a child in the crowd following the ceremony honoring the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies on the South Portico of the White House, May 15, 2009 (Photo by Samantha Appleton)



9.30 AM EDT: VP Biden Receives the 2016 Laetare Medal from the University of Notre Dame


12:50 EDT: The President delivers the Rutgers University commencement address

105 Responses to “Early Bird Chat”

  1. 1 jackiegrumbacher
    May 15, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Morning Chips. Hope you and your mom are doing ok.

    • May 15, 2016 at 8:09 am

      Morning Jackie, thanks a million – she made good progress this week, walked for the first time since her fall, so we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Hope all’s good with you?

  2. 15 jackiegrumbacher
    May 15, 2016 at 8:12 am

    This may have already been posted but after the ruckus the Bernie people pulled at the Nevada state Democratic convention, Al Giordano vowed he would run against Sanders in 2018 if Bernie’s fans disrupted the national convention in Philadelphia. Al’s well acquainted with Vermont and knows how to run a campaign. His twitter page is filled with promises to contribute to his campaign and make phone calls for him. Booing at Sen. Boxer and threatening to storm the stage are not ways to endear yourself to other Democrats.

    • May 15, 2016 at 9:03 am

      Just like her daughter. Si happy for her progress!

    • May 15, 2016 at 9:24 am

      I know he can’t control the actions of individual supporters, but he has not paid the last but of attention to our called out this bad behavior Much of it appears to start with his local staff and there is something he could have done about that. Instead he has fanned the flames with accusations of cheating and by lying to them about his chances of winning. (He has so obviously not been ready to run a national campaign: no training for campaign workers, inability to abide by FEC regulations, etc.) Either he is oblivious or he approves of this behaviour. If he were the honest, incorruptible, features person he would like us to believe in, he would at least be asking himself, “what is it about my campaign that makes my supporters act this way?”

      • May 15, 2016 at 9:27 am

        I know he can’t control the actions of individual supporters, but he has not paid the least but of attention to or called out this bad behavior. Much of it appears to start with his local staff and there is something he could have done about that. Instead he has fanned the flames with accusations of cheating and by lying to them about his chances of winning. (He has so obviously not been ready to run a national campaign: no training for campaign workers, inability to abide by FEC regulations, etc.) Either he is oblivious or he approves of this behaviour. If he were the honest, incorruptible, fearless person he would like us to believe in, he would at least have been asking himself, “what is it about my campaign that makes my supporters act this way?”

      • 19 jackiegrumbacher
        May 15, 2016 at 9:34 am

        Mary, I have seen NO effort on Bernie’s part to reign in his supporters and they have done nothing but alienate large blocks of people with their vitriol and shenanigans. There is no way a competent campaign would have tolerated this, so I hold him responsible for every disgraceful action that’s undertaken on his behalf. He is now a negative weight on the necks of Democrats and he must drop out quickly. And I do hope he gets a powerful Democratic opponent in Vermont in 2018 and does not return to the Senate.

        • May 15, 2016 at 10:25 am

          Exactly. He hasn’t been running the campaign, the campaign has been running him and doing a damn poor job of it. Right now what irks me the most is people saying “he ran an amazing campaign!”. I don’t see it at all. Each vote he got must have cost him thousands of dollars. He seems to have made no GOTV effort at all, preferring to blame the Democratic Party and to change the rules he agreed to at the outset in the middle of the game. His staff can’t properly track and report his donations and seemingly have made no effort to do so. I read one article that said in order to maximize donations, they put no information on spending limits or other regulations on their website. (The website was pathetic I thought). There was that terrible interview – who let him go to that so ill-prepared? Someone must have known that he would need coaching. I could go on and on. I’m far from being an expert but I think this has been an incredibly poorly run campaign, one of the worst I can remember.

          The second thing that’s an irritation right now is the people who say he brought a lot of great ideas to the campaign. Which great ideas were those? Which policies were not already a part of the Democratic platform? Oh yes; unworkable and unaffordable free college, and a health care system that would never be implemented, and which actually failed in his own state, and which would have thrown away all the good that has been done with the ACA. Instead of the far more practical and achievable and effective programs implemented by President Obama and proposed by Sec. Clinton.

          Again, either he feels it is beneath him to involve himself in the details of running a campaign or he is so pigheaded he won’t listen to the advice his team is giving him. I think he was damn lucky to have accidentally struck a nerve with certain segments of the population. Although he is nowhere near the level of Trump or any of the GOP, he has tapped into that same white angst which is the fear of losing their majority position in the country and all the attendant benefits. The supporters I know are not deep down racists like many of the GOP supporters. They support minority rights, voting rights, police reform, etc. But they have had a rougher time than they thought. Many graduated into the terrible job market after 2008 and have been told over and over again that they will never recoup those losses and that they have had their futures compromised (as if they were the first generation to have that happen) and his easy solutions seem to offer that redress and sense of power.

          • 21 catrst
            May 15, 2016 at 10:56 am

            Great summary. I am no expert either so I can only say what I have seen and relate it to my life experience. Bernie Sanders seems when he’s not scripted to talking points or podium fist pounding to be overwhelmed. I think its no accident that Jane and Weaver seem to be speaking for him more and more. Its like the feelings we had that Bush was being manipulated. It didn’t mean Bush was off the hook for his character and actions but you just knew he wasn’t strong or savy enough not to be used by others. I think Bernie is not in charge of much and is being propped up for the campaign. Decisions like dealing with supporters behavior would be beyond him I think.

            I seriously am saying I think he has some form of mental incapacity that leaves him confused and overwhelmed. Its why we see robotic answers to questions that require some capability to add to or adjust one’s position. Its why we see others basically running the show like his going off to the Vatican. Poor judgement and poor management seem to be the problem of his handlers.

            Too bad the disappointeds had so much fed to them over the years that they were primed for a “revolution” when what was happening right in front of them with our President in charge gave them all the opportunity they needed to tap into a transformative policy agenda, to work in collaboration with other service oriented people and to find their voice and express it.

          • 22 99ts
            May 15, 2016 at 4:14 pm

            Great points Mary – this struck a nerve
            “they have had their futures compromised (as if they were the first generation to have that happen) ”

            My parents met at college in 1938 – It was at the end of the depression and my dad had been unemployed for years when he got the chance to become a teacher. Just as things were looking rosy – WWII broke out. They spent the first 5 years of their marriage worlds apart. I often used to wonder how I would have coped seeing my youth disappear into world wide conflict.

            There are no easy solutions.

    • 23 Dudette
      May 15, 2016 at 11:01 am

      I will send Al every penny I can spare!

    • May 15, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      That’s great to know Jackie. As a Californian, that’s horrible to boo at Sen. Boxer. She’s a progressive champion. Why in the world would his supporters do that?! I missed it.

    May 15, 2016 at 8:27 am


  4. May 15, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Good Sunday morning, TODville!! SO happy to hear that Chips’ mother is doing better and better. We must get TOD’s Mom-in-Chief back home safe and sound ASAP!!

  5. May 15, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Julian Castro getting more and more exposure at different levels:

    • 36 jackiegrumbacher
      May 15, 2016 at 9:14 am

      Good news! I’m keeping all fingers crossed that HRC chooses Julian. It would be such a boost for Latino voters who MUST come out in droves next November.

      • May 15, 2016 at 9:20 am

        He’s racking up impressive achievements at HUD by reducing vet homelessness and fighting for equal housing opportunity in the context of criminal justice reform. As a Chicano, he represents another dimension of latism that is in the majority in many parts of the U.S.

        • May 15, 2016 at 10:09 am

          He has less experience than some of the other candidates, but perhaps that isn’t so important since she has so much. She won’t be relying on him so much, the way President Obama probably relied on Joe Biden at the beginning. He also seems to have appeal beyond the Latino population. I’ve heard many, many non-Latino Democrats say they were excited about him.

          • May 15, 2016 at 10:18 am

            Castro is extremely capable but I thought perhaps not as qualified as he should be in terms of experience for the job of VP. I previously thought he should wait and I also wasn’t on board with HRC at all, but now we are where we are. She has improved her image and he has been making great gains in his brief time at HUD. I have always thought he would eventually wind up in the WH, just not sure when. And when I look at the others being considered for VP, he brings more to the table in terms of the future of the party. I’ve also been impressed with Tom Perez.

            • May 15, 2016 at 10:28 am

              I like Tom Perez too. He would be great. When I read that the image of the campaign is ‘uninspiring’ (obviously not true for the people who have voted to put her far in the lead), I think Castro would bring the excitement the press and some people are looking for. Not a reason to choose some totally unqualified person, but probably a factor. If she should win two terms with a reasonably good administration, would that set him up for 2024?

              • May 15, 2016 at 10:33 am

                Yes, definitely. And it would be another tremendously historic move for the Democratic Party.

                • May 15, 2016 at 10:41 am

                  It’s so amazing when you think that for over two hundred years we rejected all the wisdom and talent of anyone who was not white and male. (Of course this doesn’t just apply to the presidency, but in the framework of this conversation). How exciting to think that all of the experiences and the world view of those rejected populations are now able to inform our policies at the highest level! I am overwhelmed by thinking how much this might change our country and world for the better. President Obama led the way, not just for black people, but for all non-white/non-male folk. And that’s not a rejection or dilution of his special meaning to the black community, but an enhancement of it. If Sanders wants to see a revolution he should open his eyes and see that. It’s much bigger than any specific policy.

                  • May 15, 2016 at 10:46 am

                    Yes and that’s a wonderful way to put it. The GOP is truly missing out on all the benefits of a pluralistic society. They seem only capable of resistance and bitterness. But we march forward without them.

                  • 44 catrst
                    May 15, 2016 at 11:03 am

                    That’s what is so inspiring and transformational about the President’s respect, empower, include agenda. This is what I want to see carried forward by anyone that wants to be in a leadership position. If I can keep my eye on that prize and evaluate everything with that lense I think I will make the best choices going forward and participate in this transformation that the President has begun in our country and possibly in the world.

            • May 15, 2016 at 10:30 am

              Just adding that I am a total amateur at this – I’ve been a campaign worker bee, but never an insider. I appreciate the political education I’ve had at TOD and want to thank you and the others for all the work you have done for us. I’m retiring in June. There is so much I have to do between now and then I will not have time to volunteer for the Democrats in my area – the whole school year has been exhausting and life-consuming – but this summer and fall I intend to become more deeply involved.

              • May 15, 2016 at 10:35 am

                I’ve always followed politics closely but never gotten directly involved until candidate Obama. He’s really changed my life!

                Best wishes for your retirement!

                • May 15, 2016 at 10:42 am

                  Many thanks! It’s scary/sad/happy. But luckily right now I can’t deal with those emotions – I’m just trying to cope with all I have to do to get there!

          • 48 idon
            May 15, 2016 at 12:13 pm

            I’m AA and I adore Sec Julian Castro. Absolutely adore him.

      • 49 sherijr
        May 15, 2016 at 9:52 am

        Yep I really like him- he would certainly make the election more exciting and interesting (for me).

        • May 15, 2016 at 10:10 am

          Me too! They also seem to have a pretty comfortable relationship.

          • 51 sherijr
            May 15, 2016 at 10:13 am

            oh do they? that is good to hear too. That’s right, I did read somewhere that he was an early supporter of hers. I’ve answered a few online polls by the democrats asking who we’d like her to choose for vp & I always put Julian Castro.

            • May 15, 2016 at 10:22 am

              She has actually courted him quite a bit. TBH, one of the things that irked me about him, that I showed some immaturity, is that he came out and endorsed her before VP Joe publicly stated his intentions. I thought that was very disrespectful given that Joe is the sitting VP and Castro is in PBO’s cabinet. But I’m guessing the Clinton’s may have exerted quite a bit of pressure on him at the time. So I guess it’s: do the math.

              • 53 sherijr
                May 15, 2016 at 10:33 am

                ohhh I did not know that meta. Hmm, yep that irks me too, because I love our Joe, so thank you for that info.

  6. 54 MightyPamela
    May 15, 2016 at 9:11 am


  7. 55 sherijr
    May 15, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Good morning & happy sunday TOD…. So very glad for you Ms. Chips that Mama Chips is on the mend. I know it can be so slow going and even frustrating, but she is progressing and that is so very important. Keeping her in my thoughts and positive wishes.. and her lovely daughter too ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. May 15, 2016 at 10:01 am

  9. 57 Roberta in MN
    May 15, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Good Morning Chips and glad to hear Mom is getting up and walking, that is the painful part. (((hugs))) to her and you.
    Congrats on being the 1st in line to greet everyone this Sunny Sunday morning Jackieg. Happy Sunday to the rest of our family at TOD.

  10. May 15, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Good morning TOD ๐Ÿ™‚

    Wishing all of you a refreshing Sunday …. some updates in the sidebar …. bbl hopefully ….

  11. 62 GGAIL
    May 15, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Good West Coast morning Chipsticks & TOD family.
    Chips, that’s awesome progress that your Mom is up and walking about ๐Ÿ’•

    • May 15, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Thank yooooooooou Gorgeous GGail!!!!

      • 64 GGAIL
        May 15, 2016 at 10:37 am

        LOL, girl, if you saw me right now at 7:30am, you would quickly delete the word gorgeous ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜˜

        On another note, after we get together for Tally’s birthday brunch, I’m going to do phone banking for Hillary. I’ll get to see what the pulse of support is out here for her. Stay tuned…

  12. 68 Ladyhawke
    May 15, 2016 at 10:23 am

  13. May 15, 2016 at 10:44 am

    G’morning Chips & TOD! Congrats Jackie on #1! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Sunday everyone! Chips, so glad to hear of your mom’s progress this week, sending out positive vibes for her continued recovery ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m looking forward to my President’s commencement address this afternoon.!

  14. 70 Dudette
    May 15, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Goooooood Morning TOD! ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐ŸŒžโ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜€

  15. 71 desertflower
    May 15, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Happy Sunday:) Morning everyone!! Morning Must Read…


    If you choose not to decide/you still have made a choice. By embracing neutrality instead of resistance in the face of Trumpโ€™s extremism, those who plan to abstain from voting in the presidential election have chosen to sanction such extremism.

    Do these abstainers have children and grandchildren? Do they not care about the behavior those children and grandchildren will witness in the White House over the next four to eight years? Presidents set a moral tone, and when they behave in an immoral fashion, children learn that such behavior is good, that one can get away with the most atrocious of actions. Ask yourself: What kind of moral example did Ronald Reagan set with Iran-Contra? What kind of moral example did George W. Bush set with his lies about WMD? And what kind of moral example would Deranged Donnie set for our children and grandchildren over the course of the next four to eight years?

    • May 15, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      Excellent article and here is an excellent comment that was made. Moral vanity is exactly the right phrase.

      “soleri marknc โ€ข 2 hours ago
      I wouldn’t call these people dumb, at least not many of them. What they’re doing is deciding to abdicate their primary adult responsibility in favor of moral vanity. This vanity tells people that they will not be tainted by a choice they do not make. But knowing what we know, this is an evasion where the impulse is to to stay blind in the face of real evil.

      I see this kind of childishness as much on the left as the right, btw. The Bernie or Bust faction self-congratulate compulsively for not seeing, or refusing to see. They stipulate that their favorite deal breakers override the basic ethical imperative to choose. Indeed, choice itself is framed as somehow settling for a lesser evil.This conflates venal flaws with actual moral wrong. Democrats are corrupt for taking corporate cash which becomes equal to Republicans’ wholesale assault on civic values like corporate responsibility to the commons and the nation’s well-being. Choosing not to choose is the very expensive vanity of narcissists too ego-driven to see the grotesque choice they’re actually making.

      There have been few elections so stark in terms of inherent moral choice. It’s not lack of intelligence that renders people ineffective actors. It’s the vanity of motivated reasoning and partisan rationalization.”

  16. 73 Dudette
    May 15, 2016 at 11:10 am

  17. 77 Dudette
    May 15, 2016 at 11:17 am

  18. 78 Dudette
    May 15, 2016 at 11:33 am

    • 79 Dudette
      May 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      She’s not on the Olympics team this year, hope she makes the next one.

      • 80 vcprezofan2
        May 15, 2016 at 12:50 pm

        That looked great! I don’t know where these gymnasts get the courage to launch themselves into the air like this but it sure is exciting to watch them when it works.

  19. 81 vcprezofan2
    May 15, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Hi, everybody!

    Greetings Ms Chips (if you’re still around). ‘Tis really great to hear of Mama Chips’ progress – may she continue steadily along this path during the coming days>>weeks!

  20. 85 vcprezofan2
    May 15, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Also, too….

    Happy, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Dakota! Have yourself a great day – maybe less packing and more celebrating today?. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. 86 Nena20409
    May 15, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Hello TOD on a Sunday Chilly AM. Folks, it’s 46F in my Backyard. No Joking! It’s Sunny with Blue Sky. Seriously Nippy!
    I am thrilled to hear that Chip’ Mom is doing much better. Amen. {{{{ โค Chips โค Mom โค }}}}
    Congrats to all the Au โญ winners since last Evening.
    Congrats, Ms. Serena Williams. 70 is a rounded awesome number!

    • May 15, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      And there were actual Flakes Of Snow in my world as I came out of church this morning. SNOW!! ๐Ÿ˜›

      • 88 Nena20409
        May 15, 2016 at 12:29 pm

        Yup, It does snow in MN in April & May.
        We have 4 Seasons to the Max!

      • 89 vcprezofan2
        May 15, 2016 at 12:48 pm

        I sure know what you’re talking about, Maryl! Being someone who works by her *feelings* I went outside to weed the flower bed this morning because I *felt* like it. It actually started to snow lightly! I couldn’t believe it initially but had to give up after 35 or so mins because my fingers (inside their garden gloves) were frozen. Of course, looking out the window right now it looks like a perfect gardening day – the sky is mostly clear, there’s a soft breeze and nothing is falling from the sky. How. ev. er. I do not feel like going back to the task today. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

        • May 15, 2016 at 8:47 pm

          And I think your part of the world is generally more temperate than mine. My daughter’s birthday is in May and we usually had the party on the second weekend in May. Quite often it was cold and rainy; the snow was a little startling however. It didn’t so very much, but I’ve been comfortable in my winter coat on my travels today!

          • 91 vcprezofan2
            May 15, 2016 at 9:26 pm

            Fortunately for me, Maryl, I didn’t go back outside today so I didn’t need my coat; I did however, turn the heater back on. It continued to snow for very brief intervals on and off through the day – go figure!
            Happy May Birthday to your daughter!

  22. 92 desertflower
    May 15, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Any questions?


    Senator Warren should call him “John Miller” or “John Barron”…better yet…How about LYIN’ JOHN MILLER and LYIN’ JOHN BARRON….that would tip him right over the abyss…

  23. 93 JER
    May 15, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    STREAM IS UP: President Obama Speaks At Rutgers Univ. Graduation – http://www.cbsnews.com/liveFeed/widget.shtml

  24. 101 Dudette
    May 15, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Italian Open: USA Champion, USA Finalist! Not bad at all!

  25. 102 Dudette
    May 15, 2016 at 12:22 pm

  26. 104 Dudette
    May 15, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Wow maybe we need a civil service exam for elected officials so difficult that 99% of takers don’t pass.

  27. 105 Dudette
    May 15, 2016 at 12:46 pm

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