Monday Open Thread

Silent Night” (German: “Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht”) is a popular Christmas carol. The original lyrics of the song “Stille Nacht” were written in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria, by the priest Father Joseph Mohr and the melody was composed by the Austrian headmaster Franz Xaver Gruber. In 1859, John Freeman Young (second Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Florida) published the English translation that is most frequently sung today.[1] The version of the melody that is generally sung today differs slightly (particularly in the final strain) from Gruber’s original, which was a sprightly, dance-like tune in 6/8 time, as opposed to the slow, meditative lullaby version generally sung today. Today, the lyrics and melody are in the public domain.

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About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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35 Responses to Monday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    watching Bad Santa…..

    HILARIOUS

  2. rikyrah says:

    watching and crying at the end of It’s A Wonderful Life.

    gets me everytime.

    :” Clarence…I want to live again…”

  3. rikyrah says:

    For Poor, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall

    By JASON DePARLE

    Published: December 22, 2012

    Angelica Gonzales marched through high school in Goth armor — black boots, chains and cargo pants — but undermined her pose of alienation with a place on the honor roll. She nicknamed herself after a metal band and vowed to become the first in her family to earn a college degree

    I don’t want to work at Walmart” like her mother, she wrote to a school counselor.

    Weekends and summers were devoted to a college-readiness program, where her best friends, Melissa O’Neal and Bianca Gonzalez, shared her drive to “get off the island” — escape the prospect of dead-end lives in luckless Galveston. Melissa, an eighth-grade valedictorian, seethed over her mother’s boyfriends and drinking, and Bianca’s bubbly innocence hid the trauma of her father’s death. They stuck together so much that a tutor called them the “triplets.”

    Low-income strivers face uphill climbs, especially at Ball High School, where a third of the girls’ class failed to graduate on schedule. But by the time the triplets donned mortarboards in the class of 2008, their story seemed to validate the promise of education as the great equalizer.

    Angelica, a daughter of a struggling Mexican immigrant, was headed to Emory University. Bianca enrolled in community college, and Melissa left for Texas State University, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s alma mater.

    “It felt like we were taking off, from one life to another,” Melissa said. “It felt like, ‘Here we go!’ ”

    Four years later, their story seems less like a tribute to upward mobility than a study of obstacles in an age of soaring economic inequality. Not one of them has a four-year degree. Only one is still studying full time, and two have crushing debts. Angelica, who left Emory owing more than $60,000, is a clerk in a Galveston furniture store.

    Each showed the ability to do college work, even excel at it. But the need to earn money brought one set of strains, campus alienation brought others, and ties to boyfriends not in school added complications. With little guidance from family or school officials, college became a leap that they braved without a safety net.

    The story of their lost footing is also the story of something larger — the growing role that education plays in preserving class divisions. Poor students have long trailed affluent peers in school performance, but from grade-school tests to college completion, the gaps are growing. With school success and earning prospects ever more entwined, the consequences carry far: education, a force meant to erode class barriers, appears to be fortifying them.

    “Everyone wants to think of education as an equalizer — the place where upward mobility gets started,” said Greg J. Duncan, an economist at the University of California, Irvine. “But on virtually every measure we have, the gaps between high- and low-income kids are widening. It’s very disheartening.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/education/poor-students-struggle-as-class-plays-a-greater-role-in-success.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1&pagewanted=all&

  4. Ametia says:

    Why Bother With Books? School Lockers Really Should Become Gun Lockers
    December 22, 2012

    Margaret, when someone comes at you with a gun, respond with a gun. And when someone comes at you with a bigger gun, don’t mess around – trade up to a semi-automatic assault rifle with a hi-capcity clip. Fight violence with more violence. That’s cleary the only way to respond to the horror in Connecticut… if you’re a dipshit from the NRA.

    Are they bullshitting us? Some peckerwood named Wayne LaPierre at the National Rifle Association announced that the NRA would form the National School Shield Emergency Response Program. And by that he means “armed security” at every school. I don’t know Margaret, NSSERP doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as NRA. This from the people who came up with “Trigger the Vote” as a voter registration slogan for the last election. I guess I expected better.

    http://margaretandhelen.com/

  5. rikyrah says:

    I Gotta Get This Cruise Gig

    by BooMan
    Mon Dec 24th, 2012 at 02:58:47 PM EST

    Every year I fantasize about going on the stupid National Review cruise (incognito, of course). This year, it must have been extra delicious. It certainly sounds like it was a blast. I wonder if I would come to feel sympathy for the cruisers or if my anger would just gradually rise to the point that I wanted to torpedo the ship.
    As a white Protestant man with three Mayflower ancestors who grew up in an elite Ivy League town as the son of an advertising agency executive, I could have considered this country as somehow belonging more to me than to everyone else. I have known plenty of elitist bastards of the type that people the National Review’s stupid cruise. I do not like them, even if most of them are very polite and well-meaning.

    There is nothing more depressing than a 60-something Old Money WASP who watches Fox News and actually believes what they’re seeing. It’s hard to swallow condescension when it comes from someone who is both infinitely more rich and more stupid than you are.

    These folks can’t function in a world where a black man runs the country instead of serving them drinks. And they are so ruined over it that they can’t even register the gargantuan improvement in how the country is being run now that a black man is in charge when compared to the Blue-Blooded WASP who preceded him.

    Reality isn’t supposed to be this way:

    At other times, things got a little too old-fashioned for comfort. I met a man near the railing who was there as a caregiver for a 70-year-old National Review cruiser from Palm Desert, California. He was gay and seemingly liberal and had come on the cruise only to push his boss around in a wheelchair. As he smoked a cigarette, he recounted a conversation the two had about the ship’s largely Indonesian and Filipino staff.
    BOSS: You notice none of the workers are white.

    CAREGIVER: Except the managers upstairs.

    BOSS: Well, that’s the way it should be.

    Or, as Jonah Goldberg explains, somewhat more diplomatically:

    “This is a more downbeat bunch this year,” he said. “We lost in 2008, but it was almost boisterous and fun. This, a little less so. People were dyspeptic. “Their conception of what the country is about, they really were sure the country would reject Barack Obama,” he continued. “I do think it hits them hard. The fear I have, why this election stung, I think, Obama has successfully ­de-ratified some of the Reagan revolution in a way that Clinton never could and didn’t even try to. That’s what freaks people out, that feeling in their gut, either Obama has changed the country, or the country has sufficiently changed that they don’t have a problem with Obama. That’s what eats at people.”

    Yeah, the guy saved the economy and the stock market doubled, but he’s black and that eats at these people. Better to lose half your fortune than to double it, cuz he’s black.

    I know how to get along with these folks. You talk about sports and the weather. The worst part about them is that their evil is so banal.

    Maybe someone will pay me to cruise with them next year.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2012/12/24/145847/43

  6. SG2 is tired. Been cooking all day! I need a little break.

  7. rikyrah says:

    some good comments from Camille and others about POTUS AND FLOTUS:

    Camille

    This Michelle Cottle chick needs to be flogged – Taliban style. She irritates the hell out of me and when she comes on Rev Al’s Politics Nation, I immediately switch channels. There is just something so off-putting about this sly, ugly woman-

    I stumbled across this article she wrote from a few months ago and I can safely say that this woman like her boss Tina Brown, Arianna Huffington, etc. are so obsessed with President Obama and are so determined to ruin him in all their hell hath no fury glory.

    These are women who have never come to Michelle Obama’s defense when she has been viciously attacked and maligned time and again by all and sundry, but we are to believe Michelle Cottle takes offense with President Obama “patronizing” and “insulting” anecdotes about his wife Michelle?

    Yes, Michelle Cottle really, really cares about Michelle Obama and feels the need to take up for her against that horrible misogynistic husband of hers!

    These people! LOL.

    “—I’m a big fan of political pandering. Forget the shamelessness, the emptiness, the glaring disingenuousness. Pandering is an indication that a politician recognizes the importance—the electoral power—of a particular voting bloc. It signals that, politically speaking, your demographic has arrived.

    That said, I have mixed feelings whenever I watch President Obama work that gender gap on The View.

    Tuesday was Obama’s fourth appearance on the ABC daytime gabfest, his second as POTUS. At this point, he’s got his routine down pat: glide in; banter with Whoopi, Joy, Sherri, Elisabeth, and Barbara; hit the talking points du jour; field a few gently probing political questions along with a couple of goofy pop-cultural ones; mention Michelle and the girls as much as possible; smile, smile, smile; then glide on out—leaving a good chunk of the show’s 4 million mostly female viewers hopelessly smitten.

    In the midst of this impressive charm offensive, however, I can’t help but feel a smidge patronized by the whole display: the warm-and-chummy sewing-circle atmosphere, the endlessly patient and fatherly tone Obama uses when answering questions (the more complicated the issue, the more he sounds as though he’s speaking to not-so-bright children), and, oy, those cutesy quips about Michelle.

    Back in 2010, for instance, the POTUS made a lame joke about how he was there because he’d been “been trying to find a show that Michelle actually watched,” as opposed to “all those news shows [where] she’s like” click, click, click. Obama held up his hand like he was pointing a remote control at the telly.

    Now I realize Obama’s aim was (1) to flatter his hosts and (2) to portray the first lady as just another normal American with no interest in hard news. Still, isn’t it just a little insulting to get everyone giggling about how your wife insists on having her current events served up lite and fluffy?

    This time around, addressing his much-buzzed-about crooning at an event in Harlem, Obama shared that Michelle “gets jealous” when he sings in public. “She thinks this is kind of a private thing.”

    Again, I appreciate the president’s desire to telegraph a regular-couple-in-a-regular-marriage kinda image. But surely he can come up with a way to establish faux intimacy with women that doesn’t make the first lady out to be an insecure mate who feels threatened when her hunky hubby unleashes his inner Al Green in front of others. In a word, blech.—”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/16/fatherly-obama-s-charm-turns-patronizing-on-visit-to-the-view.html?cid=INTERACTIVEONETRADE

    • rikyrah says:

      my response to Camille:

      this is all about Michelle Obama.

      I guarantee you that this woman, like so many others, don’t remotely have a man who displays their adoration towards them the way that POTUS does FLOTUS

      • rikyrah says:

        Camille reponsded:

        Camille

        Of course it is Rikyrah!

        These green-eyed women just can’t stand it. This idea that Michelle Obama who isn’t in their minds, part of their carefully delineated sisterhood sphere, gets to have it all.

        How dare she! And without their permission or begged for assistance too. She hasn’t groveled for the support or validation of the “Beckies” as you call them – and yet has successfully earned and retained the love and respect of the American people and people the world over.

        There has been a concerted play at driving a wedge between President Obama and the First Lady. Or doing just about anything to chip away at their marriage and bond which many see as a powerful driver for their success.

        The Obama marriage now seems to be the final frontier in this obsession to destroy this presidency. And they are now laser focused on trying to chip away at the Obamas.

        Lately it’s been a clarion call to President Obama by everyone from “historians” to Dan Rather insisting that the President needs to “defy” Michelle and spend more of his precious free time, not with his young family, but socializing and glad-handing D.C folks like Congress people who are miffed and obstructing him because he fails to socialize with their sorry arses.

        Have you ever heard anything more ridiculous??!

        The man has won a second term in spite of the assholes, but we are to believe that he should now neglect his wife and daughters to attend to the social needs, unchecked egos and insecurities of these shallow, petty elected idiots who won’t do the jobs they have been sent to D.C to do otherwise??

        These people are determined to destroy the most important thing that has kept this President popular and much loved – his marriage and relationship with his spectacular wife Michelle.

        And they won’t let up until they can make a dent in it.

        Why else would Dan Rather and others now keep insisting that the President “defy” his wife and “renege” on his “agreement with his wife” about prioritizing quality time with her and the kids when he isn’t engulfed in the serious business of running a country?

        And does anyone really think that besides the opportunity for scrounging for any amount of gossip and tid bits to be used AGAINST the President and to further demean him via another one of those yet to be published books by Ed Klein or Bob Woodard and their “anonymous sources, these Congress people or the Wall Street idiots and self-appointed D.C elite would actually behave any different if the President abandoned his wife and socialized more with them..??

        The President won re-election in spite of these D.C louts and thanks in great part to his smart, amazing and super-insightful and intuitive wife Michelle.

        Only a fool would change the dynamics now.

      • Ametia says:

        LOL WHY YOU MAD THOU?’ Can’t stand Queen Michelle sitting on the thorne with her handsome King.

  8. My potato salad, pasta salad, fruit salad, broccoli & rice casserole all made. Turkey necks for my dressing…done! Cornbread ready for the oven. Now to tackle washing the greens. Oh gawd!

  9. rikyrah says:

    House Republicans Circulate Plan to Oust Boehner from Speakership

    Several conservative House Republican members are contemplating a plan to unseat Speaker John Boehner from his position on January 3, Breitbart News has exclusively learned. Staffers have compiled a detailed action plan that, if executed, could make this a reality.

    The Republicans, both conservatives and more establishment members alike, are emboldened after the failure of Boehner’s fiscal cliff “Plan B” on Thursday evening. Dissatisfaction with Boehner is growing in the House Republican conference, but until now there hasn’t been a clear path forward.

    Those members and staffers requested anonymity from Breitbart News at this time to prevent retaliation from Boehner similar to what happened to those four members who were purged from their powerful committee assignments a few weeks ago. Their expressed concern is that if Boehner knew who they were, his adverse reaction toward them would be much more brutal than losing committee assignments, such as a primary challenge in 2014 by a leadership-sponsored candidate.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/21/House-Republican-members-circulate-plan-to-oust-Speaker

  10. rikyrah says:

    @eclecticbrotha
    Now I can tell my grand-babies “the first black president’s second inauguration was on Martin Luther the King Day.” #comingtoamericatweets

    @globalcitizenln
    @eclecticbrotha PBO is a person of destiny! Recall that his Denver Speech to accept the 2008 nomination was on anniversary of I Have A Dream

  11. rumpydog says:

    Have a wonderful Christmas holiday!!!! woo woo woo!

  12. rikyrah says:

    Team Romney still doesn’t see that Americans rejected its policies

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on December 24, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Over the weekend, the Boston Globe ran a long post-mortem of Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful bid for the presidency. Thus far, looks at the campaign have focused on Team Romney’s failure to deliver in the final weeks of the election. The Globe, on the other hand, details a campaign beset with a whole host of problems.

    For example, there was no attempt by Team Romney to define the candidate’s qualities to the public. Instead, the campaign focused its fire on President Obama, somehow blind to the fact that attitudes toward the president were largely set in stone — either you approved and hoped for success, or disapproved and were willing to vote for an alternative. This mis-focus gave Team Obama the space to run a torrent of damaging, anti-Romney ads that defined the candidate as callous and unconcerned with ordinary people. They worked; in the end the overwhelming majority of people felt that it was Obama who cared about people “like them.”

    The Romney campaign made other, and larger, mistakes. Its biggest seems to be its decision to wave away Team Obama’s massive expenditures on offices and staff. It assumed that the Obama campaign was wasting money. The Globe quotes Tagg Romney:

    “We were looking at all the money they were spending in the primary and we were thinking ‘what are they spending all their money on? They’re wasting a lot of money.’ They weren’t. They were paying staffers in Florida” and elsewhere

    The Obama campaign had 3,000 staffers nationwide, leading an army of volunteers that numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Indeed, there were more than 700 paid staffers in Florida alone, which itself dwarfed the 500 staffers employed by Team Romney nationwide

    One striking thing about the Globe’s analysis is the extent to which former Romney staffers continue to focus on biography as the thing that lost them the election. If they could have shown the public the goodness of Mitt Romney, people would have responded to him positively. There’s little recognition from the campaign that Romney’s big problem — perhaps, his biggest problem — was the emptiness of his agenda.

    On the question of “cares about people like me,” Obama beat Romney by a margin of 63 points, 81 percent to 18 percent. Only so much of that is attributable to negative advertising. In all likelihood, a large part of it is a result of the fact that Romney offered nothing to ordinary families. His policies promised tax cuts for the rich, deregulation for corporations and an outright attack on measures designed to help middle-class Americans — such as the Affordable Care Act.

    The Romney campaign had a lot of problems, yes, but it’s hard to overcome an agenda that is either irrelevant — or hostile — to the concerns of most people.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2012/12/24/team-romney-still-doesnt-see-that-americans-rejected-its-policies/

  13. rikyrah says:

    Why hopes for a Senate ‘fiscal cliff’ deal are misplaced

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on December 24, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Now that negotiations over a “fiscal cliff” deal have stalled in the House of Representatives, there are some lawmakers looking to the Senate to take action. But, as with the House, a deal in the other chamber requires some consensus on the what of the nation’s problems. Unfortunately for those who want to avert the fiscal cliff, that consensus doesn’t exist. Here’s the New York Times with more:

    Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Johnny Isakson of Georgia, both Republicans, implored Senate leaders to reach an accommodation with Mr. Obama when Congress returns on Thursday, even if that meant that taxes would go up for those with high incomes and that spending cuts would be put off

    Of course, Republicans and Democrats would have to craft new legislation — the bill passed in August only preserved tax cuts for income under $250,000, leaving other aspects of the fiscal cliff unaddressed. But Democrats will only introduce legislation if Minority Leader Mitch McConnell can assure them that it won’t be filibustered, and if John Boehner can guarantee that it will pass the House. But that’s not a guarantee that either leader can make.

    In the House, of course, Republicans have rebelled against tax hikes for anyone — including the wealthiest Americans. And in the Senate, where one member can block legislation, conservative lawmakers insist that tax increases are not a solution to the problem:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2012/12/24/why-hopes-for-a-senate-fiscal-cliffdeal-are-misplaced/

  14. rikyrah says:

    David Koch Now Taking Aim at Hurricane Sandy Victims

    Lee Fang on December 22, 2012 – 2:35 AM ET

    Billionaire David Koch’s prime political organization, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), having failed in its $125 million quest to oust President Barack Obama, is now aiming at a slightly less sophisticated political target: victims of Hurricane Sandy.

    Hurricane Sandy was the second most costly in American history, leaving 100 lives lost, over $50 billion in devastation and tens of thousands of damaged or destroyed homes. Legislative efforts to help those who survived Hurricane Sandy’s wrath will reach a major stumbling block.

    Earlier this week, AFP, which is chaired by Koch and believed to be financed by several other plutocrats from the New York City region, released a letter warning members of Congress not to vote for the proposed federal aid package for victims of the storm that swept New Jersey, New York City and much of the surrounding area in October. An announcement on the group’s website says that the vote next week for the Sandy aid package will be a “key vote”—meaning senators who support sending money for reconstruction could face an avalanche of attack ads in their next election. Already, opposition to the bill is growing, although it passed one procedural hurdle last night.

    There is some legitimate criticism with aspects of the legislation, including the fact that some of the money will go to non-Sandy related reconstruction efforts in disaster areas. For AFP, however, the whole bill must die and victims of the storm deserve no help from the government.

    Koch’s top deputy in New Jersey, a surly gentleman named Steve Lonegan, who heads the local AFP state chapter, called the aid package a “disgrace.” “This is not a federal government responsibility,” Lonegan told reporters. “We need to suck it up and be responsible for taking care of ourselves.”

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/171906/david-koch-now-taking-aim-hurricane-sandy-victims#

  15. After this cup of coffee I’m headed to the kitchen to start cooking. Time to rock & roll…

    • Ametia says:

      What’s on the menu, SG2?

      • Happy Holidays, everyone!

        SG2’s menu

        Turkey, dresssing, honey-baked ham, potato salad, mustard greens, candied yams, pasta salad, green beans, broccoli & rice casserole, mac & cheese, jambalaya with kountry boys jalapeno smoked pork & beef sausage, banana pudding, fruit salad, pecan pie, sweet potato pie, marble creme cake, red velvet cake, rolls, dr pepper.

        What’s on your menu, folks?

      • rikyrah says:

        go SG2 go!

        yum yum

      • Y’all pray for me b/c I will be tired. But I love making my family’s favorite dishes and watching them enjoy. The broccoli and rice casserole is the first to go. My kids love it and so does Jay and Haley.

      • Ametia says:

        Yummy! We’re having smoked turkey, roasted brusssel sprouts wrappefd in bacon, homemade cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes & gravy, .. let me check on the rest.

  16. Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto

    The young and old churches and spiritual dreams, seasonal things
    Heard throughout the ghetto reaches gangstas and dope-fiends, huh
    ‘Cause those who ain’t able get it now can finally get it
    ‘Cause the ghetto Santa Claus has sprinkled the hood and now we ballin’
    Livin’ to a new year of better thangs
    Celebrate it with some Champagne, ha ha, check it …

    Santa Claus … is coming straight to the ghetto …

  17. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone at 3CHICS!!!

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