Sunday Open Thread | Praise and Worship

Christmas Candles9Mary, Did You Know?” is a Christmas song with lyrics written by Mark Lowry and music written by Buddy Greene.

Mark wrote the words in 1984 “when his pastor asked him to write the program for the living Christmas tree choir presentation. It was while he was working on the project that Mark considered what it would have been like to have been Jesus’ mother”[citation needed]. The music was written by Buddy Greene several years later. Michael English was the first recording artist to record and release ‘Mary did you know” on his debut album aptly titled “Michael English” which was released on January 1st, 1992.

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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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53 Responses to Sunday Open Thread | Praise and Worship

  1. rikyrah says:

    David Gregory and Meet The Press Lie and Claim the ACA Website is Still Broken
    By: Jason Easley more from Jason Easley

    David Gregory and NBC News didn’t even acknowledge the surge of Americans signing up for the ACA, while pushing the bogus Republican talking point that the ACA is broken.

    David Gregory happily let Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal push his Obamacare lies, and not a peep was uttered about the surge in signups. Gregory also had on Rev. Al Sharpton who did his best to discuss the ACA victories that we are seeing, but Gregory and his panel weren’t interested in that.

    For weeks, David Gregory has been ignoring the improvements in the ACA website. Gregory and Meet The Press are ignoring the fact that ACA sign ups are increasing exponentially. The responsibility for the continued pushing of these false statements rests with David Gregory and NBC News. The Meet The Press host keeps pushing the false story that the ACA website is broken. They still see an Obama presidency in crisis, when the reality is that millions of people will have access to healthcare soon.

    Most of the media have moved on from the broken website talking point, but David Gregory is still hanging on and doing his part to help the Republican Party deny 40 million Americans affordable healthcare.

    http://www.politicususa.com/2013/12/08/david-gregory-meet-press-lie-claim-aca-website-broken.html

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  2. rikyrah says:

    Reminder:

    Oprah has her old interview with Nelson Mandela on tonight at 8 PM EST

    And then at 9pm EST, she has on Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael B. Jordan

    Like

  3. rikyrah says:

    Like

  4. Ametia says:

    I’ve changed my avatar; it will take a few before it’s displayed. An oldie but goodie!

    Like

  5. Yahtc says:

    Published on Dec 5, 2013 by Semhar Davis
    “I was listening to this song a few days ago and fell in love with it. Then when I heard the news about Nelson Mandela, the first thing that came in my mind was I had to dedicate this to our hero because it makes so much sense. RIP Nelson Mandela.”

    Like

  6. Rikyrah, check your email please. TY!

    Like

  7. Ametia says:

    2013 Kennedy Center Honors: A sneak peek

    Five high-profile entertainers are about to reach a new milestone on Sunday.

    Singer-songwriter Billy Joel, actress Shirley MacLaine, opera singer Martina Arroyo and musicians Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock will receive the 36th annual Kennedy Center Honors at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/2013-kennedy-center-honors-a-sneak-peek/

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  8. rikyrah says:

    Racism and the Cold War
    BooMan has written a fascinating article about how Nelson Mandela responded to the conservative’s claim that he was a communist. Here is what he said in his own defense at his trial in 1964:

    It is perhaps difficult for white South Africans, with an ingrained prejudice against communism, to understand why experienced African politicians so readily accept communists as their friends. But to us the reason is obvious. Theoretical differences, amongst those fighting against oppression, is a luxury which cannot be afforded. What is more, for many decades communists were the only political group in South Africa who were prepared to treat Africans as human beings and as their equals; who were prepared to eat with us; talk with us, live with us, and work with us. They were the only political group which was prepared to work with the Africans for the attainment of political rights and a stake in society.

    And here’s BooMan’s response:

    Another way of putting this is that white South Africans, as well as many white Brits and white Americans, did not fully appreciate how much the Soviets gained from the West’s institutional racism.

    That got me thinking about how this scenario played out all over the globe in the 1950′s – 1980′s. White colonialism had taken control of much of the Southern hemisphere from Africa to South America and Asia. As people of color in those countries rose up to fight against their oppression, rather than hear their cries for liberation, the United States and Western Europe simply cast the struggle under the rubric of the Cold War and joined in on the side of the oppressors.

    We recently saw an example of how that has played out in our national consciousness when Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang visited President Obama at the White House and presented him with a copy of the 1946 letter from Ho Chi Minh to President Truman asking for assistance in their struggle against the French. Here are the President’s remarks:

    At the conclusion of the meeting, President Sang shared with me a copy of a letter sent by Ho Chi Minh to Harry Truman. And we discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson. Ho Chi Minh talks about his interest in cooperation with the United States. And President Sang indicated that even if it’s 67 years later, it’s good that we’re still making progress.

    Of course that set off a firestorm of reaction from conservatives who are ignorant of the fact that Ho Chi Minh came to the U.S. for help BEFORE aligning himself with the communists. Liberation leaders all over the globe joined Ho Chi Minh in revering the United States – only to be cast as “communists” for doing so. For example, Guatemalan President Juan Jose Arevalo modeled his reforms in the 1950′s after Roosevelt’s New Deal – only to be called a communist by Eisenhower and removed from power by a CIA-backed coup.

    It is important to acknowledge that corporate colonial interests were always a driving factor in how the U.S. chose sides in these struggles. But its also important to heed the words of Mandela up above when he suggests that – at its roots – it was racism that allowed us to dismiss the struggles of people experiencing the kind of oppression we as a country paid lip service to fighting against (much as we were busy dismissing the rights of African Americans right here at home).

    Now, with the Cold War over, our attention over the last decade has been focused almost exclusively on the Middle East, where initially our alliances were again with the dictatorial powers who were the beneficiaries of colonialism. Within six months of taking office, President Obama gave one of the most important speeches of his career at Cairo University where he said:

    I know — I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: No system of government can or should be imposed by one nation by any other.

    That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people. Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas; they are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere.

    Now, there is no straight line to realize this promise. But this much is clear: Governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them. And we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments — provided they govern with respect for all their people.

    Those words were backed up with deeds when the Arab Spring exploded on the scene. In every instance, President Obama has promoted the rights of the people to rise up on their own behalf. Other than to stop a massacre in Libya, the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and nuclear weapons in Iran, he has refused to insert the U.S. into an attempt to control or dictate the outcome…maddening the neocons in the Republican Party and even his own administration.

    As we all know, President Obama is no pacifist. As he said years ago, he’s not against all wars, just stupid wars…the kind where the U.S. has sided with white corporate interests against people of color around the globe.

    http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2013/12/racism-and-cold-war.html

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  9. rikyrah says:

    I love the Sprint commercials with James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell…they crack me up

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  10. The racists are seething b/c there is an outpouring of love and honor world wide for Nelson Mandela. They can bite me and then go catch fire!

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  11. rikyrah says:

    In Colorado, Same As It Ever Was

    by BooMan
    Sun Dec 8th, 2013 at 11:03:21 AM EST
    In the 2010 election cycle, there were some high-profile examples of the Republican Party nominating candidates who were not preferred by the party establishment who then went on to lose what had been considered very winnable Senate races. There was Sharron Angle in Nevada (who beat Sue Lowden) and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware (who beat Rep. Mike Castle). There was also Ken Buck in Colorado, who beat Jane Norton.

    Ken Buck wasn’t taking on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and he never felt the need to run a commercial declaring that he is not a witch, so his contest received less attention than the others. Yet, he was a real piece of work. When serving as Weld County District Attorney, he was caught on tape essentially threatening a rape victim that if she pressed charges he’d expose her motives. This was in spite of the man admitting that she had said ‘no’ more than once and confessing that he knew he had done something wrong.

    ……………………

    I mention this because Ken Buck is running for Senate again, this time against Mark Udall, and he is far ahead in the polls.

    At the same time, former Rep. Tom Tancredo is running for governor of Colorado, and he is doubling up the GOP’s establishment choice, Scott Gessler. Tancredo is probably the most high-profile anti-Latino racist in the country, so it would be a public relations disaster if he were to become the Republicans’ gubernatorial candidate.

    Remember when the RNC did that post mortem of the 2012 election and concluded that they needed to do better with women and minorities?

    In Colorado, that ain’t happening.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/12/8/11321/7198

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  12. Hey Chicas!

    Just look at this fuckery here..

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    • rikyrah says:

      no, muthafucka, there wasn’t a better way.

      period.

      Like

    • Liza says:

      Bob Estes, professional golfer, woo hoo. I have nothing against golf, my husband loves it, but let’s understand and be clear that a pro golfer in his late 40s who has won 4 PGA tournaments in his entire life has not exactly made a contribution to the betterment of mankind. Just to be clear, this is an also-ran pro golfer criticizing Nelson Mandela. Wow, what a stupid ass this Bob Estes is.

      Like

  13. rikyrah says:

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  14. rikyrah says:

    Mandela’s Paradoxes Made His Journey Even Greater
    Posted by Al Giordano – December 6, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    By Al Giordano

    Two of the paradoxes surrounding the late great Nelson Mandela are on my mind today.

    One is how our celebrity-focused culture virtually ignores the work of the rest of his colleagues during Mandela’s 27 years in prison (1963-1990) that ended Apartheid. The official media picture is as if a man went to jail and solely by example toppled an entrenched system of mandatory racial segregation. That’s not at all how it happened. The organizing – and, in particular, the evolution of it – by so many others remains one of the epic collective heroic stories of the twentieth century.

    The other is Mandela’s absolutely unique evolution on questions of violence and nonviolence and their efficacy in struggle. Mandela began, by his own words, as an expressly Gandhian leader. “I followed the Gandhian strategy for as long as I could,” he later reflected, “but then there came a point in our struggle when the brute force of the oppressor could no longer be countered through passive resistance alone.” He then helped lead the military wing of the movement, received training in guerrilla warfare and sabotage in Algeria, and was arrested when back in his own country for that activity. He was kept in prison longer than his original five-year sentence precisely because he refused to renounce armed struggle, right up through his release in 1990.

    But while Mandela was in prison, his colleagues in the African National Congress and related organizations changed their strategy from one of armed insurgency to one of nonviolent civil resistance. One former ANC official, Howard Barrell, has described a turning point that came when a delegation from South Africa went to visit Vietnamese military general Vu Xuan Chiem and others who had defeated the US occupation in the early 1970s. The South Africans laid out their situation and sought advice, telling how many trained soldiers they had, how many weapons of each kind, etcetera. They believed they were ready to escalate to a guerrilla war. It was the Vietnamese, according to Barrell, who convinced them otherwise. I’ll paraphrase because I don’t have a recording of his remarks, but the Vietnamese reportedly told the South Africans: You haven’t done the most important thing yet. In Vietnam, we were not ready to fight a guerrilla war until first we had educated and organized public opinion to support us. That is the most important first step. Without that, nothing else is possible.

    The movement changed its strategy, returning to its Gandhi-influenced roots, and set about organizing and educating to build public support. It wasn’t the gun that defeated Apartheid – and those who claim it was are being willfully ignorant of the authentic history of events – but, rather, the strike, the boycott, the training of participants in how to organize such things, and a full arsenal of nonviolent civil resistance tactics that won the day.

    Mandela told his jailers that he would renounce armed struggle only when the State – which had committed serial massacres and violence upon civilians – would do the same. Yet during his 27 years in prison, the movement simply found that nonviolent resistance was more effective than armed struggle. It wasn’t a question of “morality” as society understands the word. It was a question of what worked and what did not work (which to me, I suppose, is the highest moral question for any aspiring change agent out there).

    Once out of prison, Mandela’s position evolved anew to advocating nonviolent resistance and crediting it for his release and the toppling of Apartheid.

    “In a world driven by violence and strife, Gandhi’s message of peace and non-violence holds the key to human survival in the 21st century,” Mandela said in 2007, adding that Gandhi “rightly believed in the efficacy of pitting the sole force of the satyagraha against the brute force of the oppressor and in effect converting the oppressor to the right and moral point.”

    This was a leader who paid close attention to his fellow and sister organizers, and to the everyday struggles and opinions of the people (that explains, for example, his keen interest and use of sports – something many of today’s hapless “activists” consider somehow “bad” because sports are “competitive” and have “winners” and “losers,” gasp! – as an organizing tool to heal the wounds of so many years of imposed racial segregation).

    I admire Mandela, first and foremost, as a shining example of a leader who was “in it to win it.” He sought concrete, historic and “big” change, knew that it could not be achieved without the support of public opinion, and proved expertly flexible in, through trial and error, discovering what worked and what did not work, and embracing what did work.

    People who confuse the question of nonviolence as one of “violence or peace” – this includes those who fanaticize pacifism and those who fetishize armed struggle, who to me are mirror images of each other’s most authoritarian impulses – don’t seem to get what I take as the real lesson of Mandela and the other great heroes of social struggle of the twentieth century, including Gandhi himself: Choosing what works over what does not work is not a question of ideology. It is one of life or death. Mandela will always be one of history’s great role models in the art of building public opinion to win victory, instead of suffering defeat after defeat.

    http://narcosphere.narconews.com/thefield/4987/mandelas-paradoxes-made-his-journey-even-greater

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  15. rikyrah says:

    December 7, 2013
    Mandela and the Politics of Forgiveness
    Posted by Jelani Cobb

    In 1966, Senator Robert F. Kennedy delivered a speech at the University of Cape Town. He began by stating that he was there to talk about a country settled by the Dutch, which fought a bloody war of independence, and had then become an international pariah for its treatment of black people. He allowed a tense moment to pass and then added, “I’m here tonight to talk about the United States of America.” To an extent greater than most Americans recognize, but which Nelson Mandela understood implicitly, the United States and South Africa are products of kindred histories: both founded by settlers, both emerged from wars to overthrow British colonialism, both forged national identities on their respective frontiers. Before the election of Barack Obama allowed this country, albeit briefly, to indulge the idea of postracialism, Mandela was revered here as a proxy for the American past. His capacity to emerge from twenty-seven years in prison without bitterness broadcast the hope that this country’s own racial trespasses might be forgiven.

    If the American reverence for Mandela is at least partly self-interested, the country has not just wandered into someone else’s story. Prior to becoming Prime Minister of South Africa, Jan Smuts had studied the issues of race and federalism at the heart of the American Civil War in hopes of avoiding the same outcome. Years later, the architecture of apartheid was explicitly modelled on America’s Jim Crow system of segregation. Decades before Reagan rejected sanctions against the regime or Dick Cheney denounced Mandela as a terrorist, this country had planted its feet firmly on the wrong side of South African history. When Mandela declined to press charges for the past, it was not just white South Africans he was absolving.

    The twentieth century produced a tiny number of figures—King, Gandhi—who changed world history through the weight of their moral example, and an equally small number of heads of state—Walesa, Havel—whose emergence was as intimately tied to a collective realization of freedom. But only Nelson Mandela’s name would appear on both lists. In the tide of remembrances that began Thursday, Mandela has invariably been compared to Martin Luther King, Jr. President Obama’s borrowed King’s language about the moral arc of the universe bending toward justice in his homage to Mandela. Yet it’s one thing to make forgiveness an element of a humanitarian movement; it’s quite another to enact it as public policy. King sagely and sincerely presented racial reconciliation as a function of Christian love; Mandela knew that beyond his own spiritual inclinations racial reconciliation was an imperative of national survival.

    Mandela’s release from prison and the collapse of apartheid were direct consequences of the demise of the Soviet Union; the South African regime could no longer rely upon its anticommunism as a counterbalance to its miserable human-rights record. Like the civil-rights movement in the United States, the racial struggles in South Africa were intertwined with the efforts of that country’s Communists to build radical cross-racial coalitions. (It is not coincidental that beyond their common faith in forgiveness, King and Mandela both saw their efforts dismissed as part of a left-wing conspiracy.) King’s activism was informed by the organizing insights of former Communists like Bayard Rustin and Stanley Levison. Mandela’s formative relationship was with Joe Slovo, of the South African Communist Party, which had been an enemy of apartheid for decades. (Slovo’s wife, Ruth First, was killed in 1982, when the South African police sent her a letter bomb.) On the other side, the collapse of the U.S.S.R.—long a supporter of independence movements on the African continent—halved the political options of any emerging black-led government that would take root in South Africa. The irony of the negotiations between former South African President F. W. de Klerk and Mandela, his successor, is that despite their vastly differing histories they arrived at the bargaining table for precisely the same reason: the end of the Cold War left them with few other options.

    It’s also worth thinking about Mandela as simply the most successful of his generation of anticolonial radicals, many of whose names are scarcely known in this country. Those peers of his who are known—Castro and Arafat, for instance—are widely reviled. King has become the default comparison for Mandela but for a large swath of his life the more apt American parallel was the late-life Malcolm X. His advocacy of armed struggle against the apartheid government was not an isolated foray into radicalism; it was consistent with the tactics of his cohort. The forces that pushed the A.N.C. toward violent engagement were akin to the forces that inspired the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

    Mandela’s twenty-seven years in prison condemned the South African regime in a way few could have predicted at the time of his sentencing. But it also allowed him to view the trajectory of other anticolonial movements from the sidelines. When he was sworn in as President, he had the perspective of three decades of postcolonial history, much of it validating the idea that reconciliation held more promise than the decidedly less charitable route that states like Zimbabwe took. No figure could garner Mandela’s moral standing by simply pantomiming forgiveness out of necessity. He believed in the redemptive power of forgiveness. But he also recognized that it was the only route that lay between civil war and the mass exodus of the moneyed, educated class of white people who were integral to the economy.

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/12/mandela-and-the-politics-of-forgiveness.html

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  16. rikyrah says:

    Congressman: ‘I Would Vote To Repeal The Minimum Wage’
    By Bryce Covert on December 6, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) told the National Journal that he thinks the country should get rid of the minimum wage. “I think it’s outlived its usefulness,” he said. “It may have been of some value back in the Great Depression. I would vote to repeal the minimum wage.”

    Barton’s not the only lawmaker to hold such a view. In June, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) told a meeting of the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee to mark 75 years since the signing of the Federal Labor Standards Act, which guaranteed a minimum wage, that he “do[es] not believe in it” and that he would abolish the minimum wage. And while he hasn’t called for the full repeal of the minimum wage, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has said, “I don’t think a minimum wage law works.”

    The minimum wage historically helped many families stay out of poverty. Up until the early 1980s, making the annual minimum wage income lifted a family of two above the federal poverty line. At its peak in 1968, it was enough to lift a family of three out of poverty. Yet despite rising inflation and worker productivity since then, the minimum wage has failed to keep up. It would be over $10 an hour today if it had risen with inflation since that high, and if it had kept pace with gains in productivity it would be more than $20 an hour.

    As it is, however, working a 40 hour week at minimum wage won’t bring in enough money to afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the country — workers would have to put in at least 80 hours a week. Working 40 hours a week for 52 weeks each year at the minimum wage only brings a worker $15,080, below the federal poverty line for a family of two or more. But bringing the wage in line with inflation by increasing it to $10.10 an hour would lift nearly 6 million people out of poverty, many of them women and people of color.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/12/06/3028321/barton-minimum-wage/

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  17. rikyrah says:

    Pope Francis Sneaks Out Of The Vatican At Night To Serve The Homeless

    By Scott Keyes on December 3, 2013 at 10:58 am

    The leader of the Catholic Church has been quietly sneaking out of the Vatican at night to minister to homeless residents, according to a new report.

    “Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women,” writes The Huffington Post.

    The report hinted that Pope Francis had sneaked out of the enclave with Archbishop Konrad Krajewski. As Almoner of His Holiness, Krajewski is the Vatican’s point person on giving charity to the poor and visits the destitute nightly.

    This isn’t the first time Pope Francis has earned attention and praise for his predilection to serve the needy. Just months after assuming the papacy, he invited nearly 200 homeless people to join him for dinner at the Vatican. He also deplored the plight of homeless people in the first apostolic exhortation of his papacy last week: “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”

    Over the years, the Catholic Church has grown too “obsessed” with abortion, contraception, and gay marriage, Pope Francis argued in May, imploring followers instead to focus on combating trickle-down economics and the world of inequality it produces.

    Pope Francis has also taken a more modest personal approach than his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, shedding gold-embroidered robes and an ornate golden throne for white threads and a wooden chair.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/12/03/3011421/pope-francis-homeless/

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  18. rikyrah says:

    U.S. unemployment rate drops to 7%, lowest since 2008
    The Labor Department says that employers added 203,000 non-farm jobs in November and that a large part of them were higher-paying positions.

    By Jim Puzzanghera

    December 7, 2013

    WASHINGTON — A surprisingly robust gain in new jobs last month helped drop the unemployment rate to a five-year low, fueling optimism about the nation’s economic recovery and raising the prospect that the government may finally start to ease a key stimulus effort this month.

    In its report Friday, the Labor Department said that the nation’s employers added 203,000 non-farm jobs in November and that a large part of them were higher-paying positions. The unemployment rate fell to 7%, the lowest since November 2008.

    “It’s not just the quantity of the jobs but the quality,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. “These are higher-wage jobs, and a shift from a reliance on leisure and hospitality and retail gains we had seen in recent months.”

    Big increases in manufacturing and construction gave experts hope that the labor market was starting to produce enough solid jobs to fuel stronger economic growth and lead the Federal Reserve to pull back on its monthly purchases of $85 billion in bonds.

    The economy has averaged more than 200,000 net new jobs a month for the last four months. That’s the sustained level that central bank officials have said they wanted to see before starting to reduce the monthly bond purchases, part of their effort to spur the recovery from the Great Recession.

    Despite fears that the Fed’s easy money policies might start ending, investors cheered the upbeat labor market news, the biggest in a series of positive economic reports recently. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 198.69 points, or 1.26%, to close at 16,020.20.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-jobs-20131207,0,5416221.story#ixzz2muPtXa1w

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  19. rikyrah says:

    Fiscal idiocy: What states refusing Medicaid will cost their citizens

    By Michael Hiltzik

    December 6, 2013, 2:03 p.m.

    One ever-popular piece of political theater is for governors to go to Washington to demand a fair return on the money their citizens pay to the federal government.

    You know the drill: Governor calculates that his or her state receives only 80 or 90 cents back on every dollar the people pay, throws conniption, takes junket to DC, accompanied by TV cameras. When he was governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger made this a big part of his fiscal reform program.

    Sherry Glied and Stephanie Ma of the Commonwealth Fund have done the math to show how this calculation is affected by the refusal of 25 states to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. (Thanks to Brad DeLong at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth for the tip.) The bottom line is that as a pure fiscal and budgetary matter, refusing the Medicaid expansion is insane. The cost is $57 billion a year.

    The Act provides for federal funding to expand the state-federal healthcare program to residents earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level. The federal share will be 100% of the expansion cost through 2016, and stay at 90% or above through 2020.

    The Supreme Court made the Medicaid expansion optional, and 25 states have turned down the deal. This is entirely the handiwork of Republican governors or legislatures determined to take a dramatic stand against Obamacare. Of the 25 refusenik states, six have governors who support the expansion over the legislature’s objection; four are Democrats, including the governor-elect of Virginia, and two are Republicans.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-citzens-20131206,0,7229746.story#ixzz2muPAcSQV

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  20. Liza says:

    Is anyone watching the Detroit / Philadelphia game? My gosh, what does it take for them to postpone a football game? Does it have to be below zero or what?

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  21. rikyrah says:

    David Simon: ‘There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show’
    The creator of The Wire, David Simon, delivered an impromptu speech about the divide between rich and poor in America at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney, and how capitalism has lost sight of its social compact.
    David Simon
    The Observer, Saturday 7 December 2013

    America is a country that is now utterly divided when it comes to its society, its economy, its politics. There are definitely two Americas. I live in one, on one block in Baltimore that is part of the viable America, the America that is connected to its own economy, where there is a plausible future for the people born into it. About 20 blocks away is another America entirely. It’s astonishing how little we have to do with each other, and yet we are living in such proximity.

    There’s no barbed wire around West Baltimore or around East Baltimore, around Pimlico, the areas in my city that have been utterly divorced from the American experience that I know. But there might as well be. We’ve somehow managed to march on to two separate futures and I think you’re seeing this more and more in the west. I don’t think it’s unique to America.

    I think we’ve perfected a lot of the tragedy and we’re getting there faster than a lot of other places that may be a little more reasoned, but my dangerous idea kind of involves this fellow who got left by the wayside in the 20th century and seemed to be almost the butt end of the joke of the 20th century; a fellow named Karl Marx.

    I’m not a Marxist in the sense that I don’t think Marxism has a very specific clinical answer to what ails us economically. I think Marx was a much better diagnostician than he was a clinician. He was good at figuring out what was wrong or what could be wrong with capitalism if it wasn’t attended to and much less credible when it comes to how you might solve that.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/08/david-simon-capitalism-marx-two-americas-wire

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  22. rikyrah says:

    Obama Threw Some Serious Shade At MSNBC’s Chris Matthews And Everybody Missed It
    Looks like the president probably took a shot in friendly territory.
    posted on December 7, 2013 at 11:32am EST

    During his interview with MSNBC’s Chris Mathews, President Obama told the MSNBC host that he believes the media prefers to focus on negative stories because “that’s what gets attention.”

    Obama specifically cited the critical reaction of “some so-called progressives” to accusations that the White House or Democrats had directed Internal Revenue Service to target certain conservative groups.

    By the way, Chris, I’ll point out there’s some so-called progressives [PAUSES] and, you know, perceived to be liberal commentators, who during that week were just were outraged at the possibility that these folks, you know, had been, at the direction of the Democratic party, in some way discriminated against Tea Party folks. You know, that is what gets news. That’s what gets attention.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/dorsey/obama-threw-some-serious-shade-at-msnbcs-chris-matthews-and

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  23. CarolMaeWY says:

    Good Morning. It’s a beautiful, sunny, but “cold” day.

    Like

  24. rikyrah says:

    Nelson Mandela’s death: the newspaper front pages – in pictures
    How papers, magazines and websites around the world marked the death of Nelson Mandela

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/gallery/2013/dec/06/newspapers-national-newspapers#/?picture=424312320&index=0

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  25. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone:)

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  26. rikyrah says:

    Published on Dec 7, 2013

    In this week’s address, President Obama says that before Congress leaves for vacation, they should extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million hardworking Americans who will lose this lifeline at the end of the year.

    Like

  27. Yahtc says:

    Good Morning Everyone!

    6266588-green-christmas-wreath-decorated-with-red-burning-candles-red-ribbons-and-golden-pine-cones-on-timbe

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