Early Bird Chat


Pete Souza: Sometimes you gotta have fun. For the past three weeks, there have been four snowmen on display in the Rose Garden (see photo in earlier post). We’ve been joking that we should move the snowmen a few feet closer to the Oval Office every day to see if anyone noticed. Then we realized the snowmen were too heavy to easily lift. But finally this morning before the President came to the office, some helpful staff–I won’t say who–moved all the snowmen so each one was peeking through a different window into the Oval. This photo was taken this afternoon as the President signed end-of-the-year bills.



Pete Souza: Another snowman from yesterday. Yes he enjoyed the prank. See previous post for the backstory

133 Responses to “Early Bird Chat”

  1. 1 desertflower
    December 18, 2016 at 9:56 am

    So cute:) Both of them!

  2. 3 desertflower
    December 18, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I have to say, as someone that needs a new roof relatively soon….I’m EXCITED about this!!

  3. 14 desertflower
    December 18, 2016 at 10:34 am

    This is how you do it. Excellent:)

    • 15 globalcitizenlinda
      December 18, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      that is great way to approach a distraught individual – thanks a lot to the police officer in this story and so many others who try to see the humanity of those in their care

  4. 16 desertflower
    December 18, 2016 at 10:37 am


  5. 17 criquet
    December 18, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Bringing over from last thread:

    GM all.

    Just in case you need to correct the myriad ” progressives ” and media jokers now trying to pretend PBO’s administration did not issue any statement about the Russian hacking :


  6. 19 desertflower
    December 18, 2016 at 11:53 am

  7. 21 desertflower
    December 18, 2016 at 12:02 pm



    WASHINGTON ― A majority of American voters favor delaying the Electoral College vote scheduled for Monday until electors can be fully briefed on Russian interference in the election, according to a new poll conducted by YouGov.

    The survey, sponsored by the progressive advocacy group Avaaz, found 52 percent of people supportive of stalling the vote.

    A surprisingly high number of people ― 46 percent ― were also willing to support so-called “faithless electors,” the name given to members of the Electoral College who spurn the vote of their home state and vote for a different candidate instead.

    President-elect Donald Trump’s opponents have been pressuring electors to break with their state’s voters, and a law firm has even offered pro bono, confidential legal advice to any elector curious about his or her options. Avaaz has collected thousands of signatures on a petition calling for the vote to be delayed.

  8. 22 Nerdy Wonka
    December 18, 2016 at 12:04 pm

  9. 24 arapaho415
    December 18, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    GM/GA TODville.

    Hope everyone impacted the cold weather is safely bundled up against the bitter cold (cold even in SoCal, weather advisory last night to protect plants and pets from the dangerous cold — plus double-digit [freezing] wind is blowing where I am).

    To complement DF’s post above about fact vs. fiction, check out @davidfrum’s thread posted this morning:

    Thread begins here (note that he issued a correction for #3, auto-correct changed creatures to creatives).

    • 25 jacquelineoboomer
      December 18, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Thanks for pointing us to David Frum’s latest tweets. Normally don’t commend Republicans, no need, but every time they do something productive, I acknowledge it directly to them.

    • 26 globalcitizenlinda
      December 18, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      believing in lies is convenient to manipulate voters and hold onto power

  10. 27 GGail
    December 18, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Google Doodle is celebrating Steve Biko’s birthday. He would have turned 70 today.

  11. 28 globalcitizenlinda
    December 18, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    I have said this before and I will keep saying it:

    this election & subsequent years will show us who people really are and what values they hold dear.

    many have claimed to care about:
    – global peace
    – racism,
    – bigotry,
    – misogyny,
    – xenophobia,
    – the poor,
    – First Americans,
    – LBGTQ,
    – the disabled,
    – immigrants,
    – veterans,
    – human rights,
    – voting rights,
    – workers’ rights,
    – education for all,
    – the socio-economic safety net,
    – the environment,
    – public lands,
    – sexual abuse,
    – science,
    – income inequality,
    – financial order,
    – etc.

    – well, all is on the line now.

    – we now see celebrities and the rich running to support a person who trampled on all these during the campaign and promises to do so with his policies.
    – whose side will people be on …. that is the clarifying question … we are about to find out

  12. 29 JER
    December 18, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    • 30 susanne
      December 18, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      I didn’t feel it, and I’m at the North end of Hawaii Island. PBO and family are quite a bit further to the north, so unlikely they were affected at all.

  13. 31 desertflower
    December 18, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    You don’t say.


    Luke Harding and Hannes Munzinger
    Sunday 18 December 2016 13.00 EST
    View more sharing options
    Rex Tillerson, the businessman nominated by Donald Trump to be the next US secretary of state, is the long-time director of a US-Russian oil firm based in the tax haven of the Bahamas, leaked documents show.

    White House faces exodus of foreign policy experts ahead of Trump’s arrival
    Read more
    Tillerson – the chief executive of ExxonMobil – has been a director of the oil company’s Russian subsidiary, Exxon Neftegas, since 1998. His name – RW Tillerson – appears next to other officers who are based at Houston, Texas; Moscow; and Sakhalin, in Russia’s far east.

    The leaked 2001 document comes from the corporate registry in the Bahamas. It was one of 1.3m files given to the Germany newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung by an anonymous source. The registry is public but details of individual directors are typically incomplete or missing entirely.

    Though there is nothing untoward about this directorship, it has not been reported before and is likely to raise fresh questions over Tillerson’s relationship with Russia ahead of a potentially stormy confirmation hearing by the US senate foreign relations committee.

    ExxonMobil’s use of offshore regimes – while legal – may also jar with Trump’s avowal to put “America first”.

    Tillerson’s critics say he is too close to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and that his appointment could raise potential conflicts of interest.


  14. 32 desertflower
    December 18, 2016 at 2:13 pm


    At first glance, Ryan Zinke, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be his Secretary of the Interior, seems to fit the emerging Trump mold perfectly: he’s a white guy and a former Navy SEAL. But upon closer inspection, Zinke’s political career is a bit more checkered. In fact, the Montana congressman has been repeatedly caught getting a little too cozy with white supremacists.

    Here are just a few examples:

    —While he was running for office in 2014, Zinke landed in hot water for accepting a $500 campaign donation from the leader of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, Earl Holt, whose racist screeds about “brutal black on white murders” and far worse showed up in the manifesto of Dylann Roof, the now-convicted Charleston church killer. After the donation was reported, a spokeswoman for Zinke said he would donate the contribution to a fund for victims of the church shooting.

    —During his short tenure as a congressman, Zinke has co-sponsored legislation to resurrect a favorite right-wing hobby horse–making English the official language of the United States–along with more than 70 of his Republican colleagues. But Zinke also decided to record an interview with an organization called ProEnglish, a Virginia-based anti-immigrant group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has formally designated as a hate group, to promote the legislation they were championing.

    • 33 mtmarilyn
      December 18, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      Zinke is an idiot! He doesn’t even live in MT and the people here still voted for him. He is also one of those people who wants to privatize public lands.

  15. 34 carolyn
    December 18, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    So relieved that a major writer for a major paper, Norm Eisen in the Boston Globe has finally come out in his oped today and used the “T” word with regard to DT: TREASON. I’m not a constitutional scholar, nor a member of a think tank, but everything I have read about DT has led me to make this same assessment. Nothing less, nothing minor: Treason. Someone who counts has to say it out loud for people to start recognizing it. Bill Moyers also has said it, but this also needed to come from a major paper editorial writer.

    • 37 desertflower
      December 18, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Ignatius noted that Trump’s refusal the release his tax returns, as every other modern Presidential nominee has done, further complicated the process of determining possible Russian influence over Trump.
      Republican leaders in Congress steered potential investigations of Russian interference to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Both of these bodies are controlled by Trump loyalists and appear unlikely to act aggressively, if at all.
      Trump has appointed individuals with close relationships to Russia and Putin to key national security roles, including Gen. Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser and Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.


  16. December 18, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    I need to throw out a question and ask for some help in best way to answer. Talked to a long-time friend (from our days in Fairfax, VA) couple days ago. She is a life-long R, but did not vote for Trump. Voted for Hillary. She repeated a couple times she did not vote for him, but that she has always taken the attitude that whoever is elected is ‘her’ president. I explained to her why T will never, never be ‘my’ president. At some point, she mentioned that she’s going to “give him a chance” and that at least, he’s said he’s going to spend $$$$$ on the military and that’s good because PO hasn’t done that. I said, “Don’t go there with me, Betty. He has not decimated or harmed the military.” We quickly got off politics–at her request right after that exchange.

    ***Can someone/anyone give me some good info I can pass on to her. I have found the following link that I am going to send her later. Can anyone point me to some other good info? Please and thank you!
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2015/dec/14/politifact-sheet-our-guide-to-military-spending-/. As this article points out, a big problem is Congress and the sequestration. That is not PO’s fault!!!!!!! Yet people like her and many others are blaming him, of course. 😦 (Many, if not most, of her real estate clients are military or former military. That’s where she gets her info.) The link I have here is pretty good but I sure would like something with more detail, charts, data, etc. to give her.

    Am gong to be traveling and in meeting and dinner rest of today, but will find any response I get. Thanks friends. You all always come through.

    • 39 globalcitizenlinda
      December 18, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      one obvious thing, PBO has been in office with the goal of disentangling the US from Iraq & Afghanistan.

      of course such actions involved a draw-down of forces, reducing the number of military in the field and hence expenditure on the force.

      this would have happened no matter who was drawing-down the force.

      secondly, I hope you have a chance of reminding her the actual improvements in care for active military & vets that have been undertaken by PBO.

      care to remind her of the role FLOTUS & Dr. Jill Biden have played to help military families & vets right from day one. I do not know of a situation in which the most prominent ladies in the administration have focused so deep on this issue.


      from what you discussed, something tells me that she probably voted for him but is not being totally open about it. sorry if I am wrong but I have seen those types here in OH so I am very suspicious of those “give him a chance” … knowing that most never gave PBO a chance

      • 40 Obama Grandmama
        December 18, 2016 at 6:10 pm

        I have seen women saying they were not going to vote for Trump, but their husbands were. That was around the time Trump’s negatives were mounting up. Then after the election they were bragging about how there was going to be such an improvement in jobs now that Trump was elected. I think many did not want to admit to planning to vote for him ahead of time due to embarrassment. Seems like since he won it is not embarrassing to admit they supported him now. I am particularly annoyed with them, almost more than those that were outwardly brashly supporting Trump.

  17. December 18, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    • 42 globalcitizenlinda
      December 18, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      I have not consented … and will NEVER consent to him … that is all I have to say and I will stick with it

  18. 43 JER
    December 18, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    • 44 jacquelineoboomer
      December 18, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      • 45 susanne
        December 18, 2016 at 3:53 pm

        beautiful, J.

      • December 18, 2016 at 4:09 pm

        This really made me cry. I woke up this morning thinking especially about GOP. It was simply because of nothing more than their hate, why they blocked him at every turn. Just hate.

        • 47 Obama Grandmama
          December 18, 2016 at 6:20 pm

          What I hate most about the GOP obstructionalism, voter suppression, and outright lies is that it worked. The public blamed the President for what he could not get done and elected the party preventing anything from passing. I remember during the campaigning for second term that PBO would say you do not want to put the driver back in the seat when he was the one that drove the bus into the ditch. So now that PBO got us back on the road and going again the public thinks they want the policies that did not work the last time that put us in the ditch. History repeats itself.

  19. 50 jacquelineoboomer
    December 18, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    What a “tender moment” apparently looks like across the pond. 🙂

  20. 54 susanne
    December 18, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    no photos yet, but love imagining them hiking in the beautiful green warmth!

  21. December 18, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Hello Everybody,

    Mega thanks to Nerdy.


  22. 58 whenpamelawandered
    December 18, 2016 at 4:27 pm


  23. December 18, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    In the end, these 3 highly accomplished Black Women could be our salvation …

    … one can only HOPE ….

  24. December 18, 2016 at 4:36 pm

  25. December 18, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Please do it ….

  26. December 18, 2016 at 4:58 pm


  27. December 18, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Trump’s mentor in action ….

  28. December 18, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    back to work …. take care everyone ….

  29. December 18, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Had return ….

  30. December 18, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Fertile ground for recruiting #Trumpian brown shirts ….

  31. 80 vcprezofan2
    December 18, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Signing on to remind you all of the @Interior weekly summary [wouldn’t want to be fired 😉 ].

    • 81 vcprezofan2
      December 18, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Also, too, thinking of GrandmaDonnaD as she’s likely helping the twins celebrate their special day! “Happy Birthday, little princesses!” 😀

  32. December 18, 2016 at 7:00 pm

  33. December 18, 2016 at 7:01 pm

  34. 85 globalcitizenlinda
    December 18, 2016 at 7:04 pm

  35. December 18, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    • 89 desertflower
      December 18, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      Right there with you, africa:) I do believe that every day for the last 8 years has been his day, and as long as I breathe, all my remaining time on this Earth will be devoted to this great man and doing the hard work that he would expect from all of us…to make this a more perfect Union…for ALL OF US. I will miss his guidance and level headed way…his understanding and tolerance….his empathy and his humor. I will live my life the way he exemplifies everyday. It will force me to be a better person than I might have otherwise been.

    • 90 idon
      December 18, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      I would love to participate but I will go completely silent from Jan 20, 2017 at 12:01am until Jan 21, 2017 am by turning off all my electronic devices, including cable, smartphone, and not making any purchases during those hours or driving or using any form of public transportation.

    • 91 globalcitizenlinda
      December 18, 2016 at 11:53 pm

      great idea!

      • 92 idon
        December 19, 2016 at 2:28 am

        Thank you. This is not going to be easy because I sleep with my laptop on my chest but I know depriving a narcissist of attention and the capacity to generate money will have a much greater impact than a DC protest which he will only use to solidify his power and abuse of power. Can you imagine how disturbing SILENCE would be for LE social media surveillance? Oh the power of silence. On Jan 21st at 9am there will be the People’s Inauguration at Howard sponsored by the NAACP which I will watch and tweet about. And of course I will be here at TOD enjoying any pics we get of POTUS and FLOTUS from the previous day.

  36. December 18, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Hello TOD,

    Anyone on here that can help me with a Facebook question please?

  37. 96 globalcitizenlinda
    December 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    they will never stop =>

    so the deplorables are making one more attack on FLOTUS, because they choose to twist the clip of her answer to Ms. Oprah’s question about hope.

    saw (part of) a short clip where some fox scumbag started already and as usual, at least someone (CNN’s Cuomo) is following fox’s lead;

    just sent my first insult to fox …. enough of their crap, already;

  38. December 18, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Trumplandia ….

    • 99 arapaho415
      December 18, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      GE Dr. Bob.

      Has MTmarilyn offered local reaction to that carpetbagger Richard Spencer and his testing the waters for MT office?

      MT GOP Senator has weighed in:

      MT Dem Senator hasn’t tweeted about Spencer, but he has tweeted about getting feedback on potential cuts to ACA and Medicare and is soliciting comment on DJT’s (deplorable) cabinet nominees.

      • 100 mtmarilyn
        December 19, 2016 at 10:50 am

        This is very scary for folks here in MT. Yesterday I attended a workshop with Jews and Christians. I thought I was aware of most that was going on, but listening to these folks talk about their real fear was heart rending. I am writing up a report on what we are doing, but I have another meeting to go to this morning and I will post this afternoon.

  39. December 18, 2016 at 9:15 pm

  40. December 18, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    • 104 Obama Grandmama
      December 18, 2016 at 11:14 pm

      This first Inauguration photo brings back nice memories. I attended the 2009 Inauguration and consider it as one of my lifetime high points. The best way to create regrets for Trump becoming President would be if he does not get attention, but only criticism.

  41. December 18, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Snow. Men and snow women feel the love for POTUS; no wonder they couldn’t stay back!

  42. 106 arapaho415
    December 18, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    GE TODville, Merry Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa week to everyone.

    Not eager to see what this graph will look like in 2020.

    • 107 globalcitizenlinda
      December 19, 2016 at 12:06 am

      and to think that they are chopping at the bits to mess up all the progress and give everything to the rich who already have too much using fake rhetoric of tax cuts while cutting the socio-safety net ;

      I still cannot believe that millions could be so blinded by hate that they chose to throw everything away

  43. December 19, 2016 at 12:49 am

  44. 119 FoxfireTX
    December 19, 2016 at 1:01 am

    GE/GM everyone. Still checking in every day but haven’t been posting. Other than time with my grandkids, been feeling much too weepy thinking about what is to come. I can’t believe how much we have to lose. And these 10 white men who will be in the line of succession as of January 20th are disgusting. It’s incredible to believe that women finally had a real seat at the table for the last 8 years and that will be gone. But my fighting spirit will return eventually. In the meantime, I am looking forward to Michelle’s full interview tomorrow night, and the remaining days we have with them.

    For January 20th, I will not be on any of the major networks. Instead, I will watch all of the 2008 Inaugural festivites including that glorious concert on the Mall the Sunday before. Fortunately, I purchased the HBO DVD set so have everything. And when I am through with that I will watch again the 2012 Inaugural which I have preserved on my receiver:-)

    You all are in my thoughts as we try to get through this. It is tough.

  45. 120 jacquelineoboomer
    December 19, 2016 at 1:38 am

    I’ve retweeted the anti-Trump words of Joe Walsh, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, and Michael Moore, all in the space of a couple of weeks, and did it again tonight. So I think I’ll retire my tweet finger for the evening, because it’s confusing my brain! I don’t even like those people.

    Sweet dreams, TODville.

  46. 121 desertflower
    December 19, 2016 at 7:52 am

    The lies they tell to win elections….add this assist from Russia…BOOM.

  47. 122 desertflower
    December 19, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Add this…

  48. 123 desertflower
    December 19, 2016 at 8:09 am

    🙂 🙂

  49. 124 desertflower
    December 19, 2016 at 8:11 am

  50. 125 desertflower
    December 19, 2016 at 8:15 am

  51. 126 desertflower
    December 19, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Cheap AND Easy. NOT doing the people’s business.

  52. 127 desertflower
    December 19, 2016 at 8:33 am

    What they do to get the ignorant fools to vote against their own best interests..

  53. 128 desertflower
    December 19, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Good! As they should

  54. 129 desertflower
    December 19, 2016 at 8:39 am

    In my Inbox…

    Today is the Day

    Daniel Brezenoff
    DEC 19, 2016 — Today, 538 Electors will gather to vote for our president. We know we will see thousands of you gathering in all 50 states and Washington D.C., encouraging the Electors to vote their conscience and reject Donald Trump.

    Today, the ECP team will deliver the petition in person and participate in the protest on the steps of the Capitol in Austin. We will be posting updates and streaming live from the ECP Facebook page here:


    Today, use the hashtag #Dec19 as much as you can. If you can’t be at a protest, then repost those who are. For just one more day, post, tweet, and talk to your friends about the Electoral College and the unprecedented danger of Donald Trump. Make your voices heard.

    We are proud to stand with you. And no matter what happens today, know that we are just getting started.

    Daniel and the ECP team

  55. 130 JER
    December 19, 2016 at 8:46 am

  56. 132 JER
    December 19, 2016 at 8:54 am

  57. 133 arapaho415
    December 19, 2016 at 11:35 am

    GM TODville.

    In response to rikyrah’s post upthread re: BJ comments, IMHO, this is best response I’ve seen.

    We can’t acquiesce and timidly allow this moron fascist with the bad hair to replace democracy with oligarchy and kleptocracy.

    #NeverTrump #Resist

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