Thursday Open Thread

The Christmas Song”, commonly subtitled  “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire or, as it was originally subtitled, “Merry Christmas to You”, is a classic Christmas song written in 1944 by vocalist Mel Tormé and Bob Wells. According to Tormé, the song was written during a blistering hot summer. In an effort to “stay cool by thinking cool,” the most-performed (according to BMI) Christmas song was born.

The Nat King Cole Trio first recorded the song early in 1946. At Cole’s behest — and over the objections of his label, Capitol Records — a second recording was made the same year utilizing a small string section, this version becoming a massive hit on both the pop and R&B charts. Cole re-recorded the song in 1953, using the same arrangement with a full orchestra arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle, and once more in 1961, in a stereophonic version with orchestra conducted by Ralph Carmichael. The latter recording is generally regarded as definitive and continues to receive considerable radio airplay each holiday season, while Cole’s original 1946 recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1974.[1] Mel Tormé himself eventually recorded his own versions in 1954 and again in 1965 and 1992.

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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67 Responses to Thursday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    December 02, 2010 04:30 PM
    Rep. Steve King Attempts to Defend His Racist Remarks on AC360
    By Heather

    Steve King appeared on CNN’s AC360 and attempted to defend his racist statements comparing the black farmers’ settlement to slavery reparations and calling President Obama “very, very urban”. King’s dog whistles are about as subtle as a fire alarm, but that didn’t stop him from feigning ignorance when called out for them by the founder of the Black Farmer’s Association, Dr. John Boyd.

    For some context on King’s prior remarks, you can read more over at TPM — Steve King: Black Farmers’ Settlement Is ‘Slavery Reparations’ (VIDEO) and at Mediaite — Controversy Alert: Republican House Rep. Steve King Calls Obama “Very, Very Urban”.


    • I could slap that mofo into next week. He has no business being in Congress where laws are made. I’m tired of the damn racist views and dog whistles coming from his mouth. The black farmers have suffered enough. They won their lawsuit because of discrimination by our own government and to have this bastard Steve King call it reparations is the got damn last straw. This country owes a lot more to black people for how they were treated than what the black farmers are getting. The black farmers are owed that money. It should have been paid a long time ago. Steve King needs to seek help about his penis envy. That’s all the hatred directed against black men & our President is about. Got damn penis envy.

    • Ametia says:

      Yes, and unfortunately, big penises do NOT pay the mortgage and put food on families tables, unless of course the big, bad, mandingo is a high class prostitute!

  2. Ametia says:

    Rangel censured by Congress in 333-79 vote
    By theGrio

    5:33 PM on 12/02/2010

    Charlie Rangel (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

    LARRY MARGASAK,Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Charles Rangel of New York has been censured by the House for financial and fundraising misconduct.

    The vote Thursday was 333-79. It was only the 23rd time that the House invoked its most serious punishment short of expulsion.

    The solemn procedure calls for Rangel to appear at the front of the chamber while Speaker Nancy Pelosi reads the censure resolution.

    The 80-year-old Democrat has served in the House for 40 years.


  3. Juan Williams: Jobless Benefits Hurt Work Ethic, Values About ‘Showing Up, Dressing Well’

    Juan Williams told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that extended unemployment benefits are harmful to peoples’ work ethic and basic values. (H/T TPM)

    The two were speaking about the fight over the extension of the benefits on Thursday’s “America Live.” Kelly told Williams that a man she knows is staying on unemployment because his jobless benefits bring him more money than a potential job.

    “To me it’s crazy because the longer that person is unemployed the more difficult it is then for them to get a job,” Williams said. He continued:

    “Because employers, potential employers, will look and see that gee, they’ve been out forever, it doesn’t make sense. And I think that’s partly playing in to this cycle. And at some point then it becomes a matter of you lose your work ethic, your values are impacted, you know, getting up, showing up, dressing well, all that good stuff. So I don’t know that that’s smart.”

    Lord Have Mercy. This house nigga right here…

    • Ametia says:

      Juan Williams should loose his job, home, all his funds, and then see if his MASSA will give him any jobless benefits.

      PBO’s election has uncovered all the skinnin’, grinnin’, buckin’, shuckin’, hankyhead, lawn jockey, house negroes. Juan, you’re one of them1

  4. Ametia says:

    Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 12/ 2/2010
    Boehner goes off on House tax cuts vote
    By Felicia Sonmez
    House Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) had some sharp words Thursday for House Democrats, who are bringing to the floor a vote on extending the Bush-era tax cuts for only the middle class even as bipartisan negotiations on the tax cuts are taking place.

    “I’m trying to catch my breath so I don’t refer to this maneuver that’s going on today as chicken crap, all right? But this is nonsense!” Boehner said in response to a question on the tax-cut bill, which Democrats are bringing up under suspension rules that require a two-thirds majority for passage and don’t allow any amendments to be made.

    Boehner said that leaders of both parties had an “honest conversation” this week at the White House — which by all accounts was a polite affair — and are looking for a way forward on the tax cuts. By staging Thursday’s vote, he said, Democrats are playing political games and “trying to set up the next election.”

    “To roll this roll out today really is just, it’s what you think I was going to say anyway,” Boehner said.

    Boehner made the comments at a news conference with Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Rob Bishop (R-Utah) announcing new changes to the House Republican conference rules.

    Asked about the tax-cut vote at a news conference last night, Boehner accused House Democrats of playing “gotcha.”

    Even if the bill passes the House Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has vowed to block it in the Senate.

    Keep it classy “NO LIP” McConnell

  5. Ametia says:

    House Passes Democratic Tax Bill

    By Kathleen Hunter
    Roll Call Staff
    39 minutes ago
    Updated: 4:05 p.m.

    The House on Thursday passed a permanent extension of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class. Democratic leaders are pointing to the vote as an example of their party’s efforts to help working Americans before Republicans take control of the chamber in January.

    The bill, which would extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts on income less than $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for families, passed 234-188, with the backing of three Republicans and all but 20 Democrats.

    The Republicans who opposed the bill were Reps. Walter Jones Jr. (N.C.), Ron Paul (Texas) and John Duncan (Tenn.). Several Democrats who hail from wealthier districts as well as a number of Democrats who lost on Nov. 2 were among the defectors.

    In a speech prior to the vote, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) acknowledged that the bill had virtually no chance of being enacted. It is clear there are not 60 votes in the Senate to extend just the middle-class tax cuts, but Hoyer said the bill was an important first step and would provide a vehicle for the Senate “to effect consensus policy.”

    Democratic leaders blocked all amendments to the bill, including a Republican motion to recommit that likely would have extended the tax cuts for all income brackets. House Republicans have pressed for an across-the-board extension, and a sizable chunk of House Democrats have said they would prefer that approach as well.

    Hoyer made the case that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree at least on the middle-class tax cuts and urged lawmakers not to “hold hostage” tax cuts for the middle class just because there was disagreement about whether to extend the tax cuts for higher earners.

    Republicans, meanwhile, accused Democrats of political posturing. (ya know what, fuck the Rehugs!) :-)

    “I think what’s happened here today is a charade, and I’m glad it is coming to a close,” incoming Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said at the conclusion of the floor debate.

    Earlier in the day, the House narrowly adopted the rule for debate on the bill, with 30 Democrats voting “no.”

  6. Aretha Franklin Prayer Vigil Held

    DETROIT — A community prayer vigil has been held in Detroit for Aretha Franklin, a day before organizers say the singing legend is to undergo a medical procedure.

    City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson and others gathered downtown Wednesday to pray for Franklin. Last month, the 68-year-old singer announced she was canceling all concert dates and personal appearances through May on the orders of her doctors.

    Franklin wasn’t at the vigil, but in a statement she thanked the City Council, saying “all prayers are good.”

    A news release announcing the vigil says Franklin’s medical procedure is scheduled for Thursday. A message seeking comment was left with Franklin’s publicist, Tracey Jordan.

    Thoughts & Prayers for Aretha!

  7. Nigeria: Dick Cheney To Be Charged Over Alleged Bribery Case

    Nigerian authorities will charge former Vice President Dick Cheney over a bribery scandal that is alleged to involve Halliburton, BusinessWeek reports. An arrest warrant “will be issued and transmitted through Interpol,” said Godwin Obla, the prosecuting counsel at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Nigeria.

    The charges center on an alleged $180 million bribery payment used to secure a $6 billion liquefied natural gas contract. Prosecutors are also looking into international companies Saipem and Technip. Cheney was the CEO of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000, before becoming George W. Bush’s running mate. “As the CEO of Halliburton, he has the responsibility for acts that occurred during that period,” Obla told the AFP.

    Nigeria arrested 12 employees of Halliburton earlier in the week, reports Reuters. The firm’s offices in Nigeria were raided by anti-corruption police, although the company said that the detentions “had no legal basis and that its employees had since been freed.”

    Nigeria’s Guardian newspaper reported that charges against Cheney were confirmed by the government and included “criminal conspiracy.”

  8. TURNCOATS! Tea Party Caucus Requested More Than $1 Billion In Earmarks This Year

    Cutting federal spending may be a rhetorical cornerstone of the Tea Party and the congressional members of its official caucus, but a recent report finds that its delegates requested a large number of earmarks in the 111th Congress at a cost of more than $1 billion to taxpayers.

    Hotline On Call’s report on records from Citizens Against Government Waste found that the 52 members of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus were responsible for 764 earmarks that racked up a tab of $1,049,783,150 in federal dollars. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) and 13 of her Tea Party Caucus-mates are notably absent from the list of requests.

    The problem of earmark hypocrisy extends beyond the House, though, where members of the Senate approached a potential pork ban with equal fervor.

    While some, such as Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) continued to describe earmarks as a “gateway drug to spending addiction in Washington” in their crusade to cut the practice, other purported opponents, like Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) proved unable to kick the habit.

    Just three days after GOP senators proposed a ban on federal carve-outs, an eventually unsuccessful endeavor, Kyl locked up a $200 million earmark “to settle an Arizona Indian tribe’s water rights claim against the government.”

  9. Ametia says:

    Hey, SG2, check this out:

    Supreme Court reviews federal court order that California reduce prison population

    By Robert Barnes
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, November 30, 2010; 10:50 PM

    A majority of the Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed prepared to uphold a court order that California reduce the population of its overcrowded prisons by more than 40,000 inmates, despite dire warnings that “people are going to die on the streets of California” if the release is approved.

  10. opulent2 says:

    Hey SG!!

    Lovin the snowflakes fallin on the banner…it is so FESTIVE!!

  11. opulent2 says:

    Hey 3Chics!!

    What do you think about this tax cut extension logjam?

    Personally, I would rather the tax cuts expire than the DEMS or POTUS compromise and allow the millionaires to keep the tax cuts. Particularly, if we are serious about reducing the deficit, which I do not believe the GOP is.

    “While on one side of the capitol a deficit commission is proposing a $4 trillion cut in the Federal Debt, on the other the Republicans are proposing we add $4 Trillion to the deficit by not allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to expire. But who benefited in the Bush era? The top 0.01% of taxpayers.

    According to the U.S. Treasury, if all the Bush Tax cuts were to expire,a one-earner family with wage income each year of $80,000, would pay about $38 more in taxes on their weekly paycheck. Is that too much sacrifice to ask of a solidly middle class family worrying about our country’s massive deficit? Needless to say, the Hedge Fund manager earning $100 million per year would take a substantial hit, but that’s the point.”

  12. opulent2 says:

    “The key feature that distinguishes the increasingly extremist perspective of today’s Republican Party from the standards of political behavior we have traditionally considered proper in America is the view that politics is — quite literally, and not metaphorically – a kind of warfare and political opponents are literally “enemies”

    This “politics as warfare” perspective has historically been the hallmark of many extremist political parties of both the ideological left and ideological right……

    Historically, these political parties display a series of common features – features that follow logically and inescapably from the basic premise of politics as warfare:

    I. Strategy:

    • In the politics as warfare perspective the political party’s objective is defined as the conquest and seizure of power and not sincere participation in democratic governance. The party is viewed as a combat organization whose goal is to defeat an enemy, not an organization whose job is to faithfully represent the people who voted for it.

    • In the politics as warfare perspective extralegal measures, up to and including violence, are tacitly endorsed as a legitimate means to achieve a party’s political aims if democratic means are insufficient to obtain its objectives. To obscure the profoundly undemocratic nature of this view, the “enemy” government–even when it is freely elected — is described as actually being illegitimate and dictatorial, thus justifying the use of violence as a necessary response to “tyranny”.

    • In the politics as warfare perspective all major social problems are caused by the deliberate, malevolent acts of powerful elites with nefarious motives. An evil “them” is the cause of all society’s ills.

    • In the politics as warfare perspective the political party’s philosophy and basic strategy is inerrant – it cannot be wrong. The result is the creation of a closed system of ideologically controlled “news” that creates an alternative reality.

    II. Tactics:

    • In the politics as warfare perspective standard norms of honesty are irrelevant. Lying and the use of false propaganda are considered necessary and acceptable. The “truth” is what serves to advance the party’s objectives.

    • In the politics as warfare perspective the political party accepts no responsibility for stability – engineering the fall of the existing government is absolutely paramount and any negative consequences that may occur in the process represent a kind of “collateral damage” that is inevitable in warfare

    • In the politics as warfare perspective the creation of contrived “incidents” or deliberate provocations are acceptable. Because the adherent of this view “knows” that his or her opponents are fundamentally evil, even concocted or staged incidents are still morally and ethically “true.” The distinction between facts and distortions disappears.

    • In the politics as warfare perspective compromise represents both betrayal and capitulation. Destruction of the enemy is the only acceptable objective. People who advocate compromise are themselves enemies.

    These various components all form part of an integrated whole. Seen as a coherent package they make it clear that politics as warfare is simply not an acceptable philosophy for an American political party. It is profoundly and unambiguously wrong.

  13. opulent2 says:

    LIARS!! ..they only cut money for the downtrodden, not their pet’s all about having more of the pie for their own selfish needs.

    “According to The Hotline, the 52 members of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus, “which pledges to cut spending and reduce the size of government, requested a total of 764 earmarks valued at $1,049,783,150 during Fiscal Year 2010, the last year for which records are available.”

    • LIARS!! ..they only cut money for the downtrodden, not their pet’s all about having more of the pie for their own selfish needs.

      ALL OF THIS!

    • Ametia says:

      I sincerely believe that POTUS is silently toppling the GOP as we blog away. He is setting them up, while the rest of the folks bite nails, scream, cuss, and fret about how weak and ineffective he is. Watch & WAIT.

  14. opulent2 says:

    I don’t know about this short coat tails, could be true could not be…Obama still as O-mentum movement potential and folks may be tired of no unemployment checks!! Even with re-districting if you have loss your home or may be in foreclosure you just might decide the GOP is NOT for you!
    Republican pollster Glen Bolger guarantees that even if President Obama stages a political comeback — “which is certainly within the realm of possibility” — Republicans will still control the House of Representatives after the 2012 elections.

    He notes that “when re-elected Presidents have coattails, those coattails are VERY short, if they exist at all. Only newly elected Presidents might have sizable coattails.”

    “The other factor putting a stake through the vampire hearts of the Democrats’ hopes of control post-2012 is the overwhelming shift in redistricting fortunes. Because of GOP gains in Gov races and the legislatures, there will be a dramatic change in the structure of the 2012 House races.”

  15. opulent2 says:

    Even though House Democrats will vote today on extending Bush-era tax cuts for only those families earning less than $250,000, the New York Times explains why Republicans still have the upper hand in this stand off.

    “If [Democrats] cannot come up with a plan that can win 60 votes in the Senate, which means at least two Republican votes, Republicans can filibuster any bill. All of the tax cuts would then expire on Dec. 31. When the new Republican House majority arrives in January, it will be able to make its first order of business a retroactive tax cut — forcing President Obama and Senate Democrats to choose between a purely Republican plan and an across-the-board tax increase.”

    “How many Democrats wish they could go back in time to, say, May when they probably could have gotten the following deal: permanent extension of the middle-class tax rates and a one- or two-year extension of the wealthy tax rates (i.e. decoupling the tax cuts)? Remember, quite a few folks were advising the White House and the congressional Dem leadership to do just that six months ago.”

  16. dannie22 says:

    Good morning all !

    • Morning, Dannie!

    • Ametia says:

      Yo Dannie, How are thangs in OHIO?

      • dannie22 says:

        Things suck!! Our soon to be former gov Ted Strickland, met with President Obama and VP Biden this morning. I don’t know what they talked about as of yet. Strickland was prolly crying. I know I am.

        Our gov elect Kasich is still talking about sending back all that money for light rail while cutting taxes. Yea, that’ll bring the jobs back.

        I take my nclex exam on dec. 22. Pray for me!!

      • Ametia says:

        PBO and VP Biden prolly thanked Gov. Strickland and strategized on his next area of service for Ohio. I don’t beleive Ted’s leaving the political scene.

        All the best, and major blessings to you on the NCLEX exam.

        You’ll do well, Dannie! :-)

      • dannie22 says:

        Thanks Ametia!!! I’m confident.

        As far as Strickland goes, I hope to see him run for another seat again here in Ohio or maybe he can get a cabinet position.

        It’s messed up though.Ohio finally has a good governor and a good President working together to rebuild this raggedy state and the racist ass voters mess it up.

      • Ametia says:

        You know folks can’t help themselves. They’d rather be racist thEn having their very basic survival needs met, if it means blacks and other POC want and get what they need for their basic survival too. It’s insane. Hang on to whiteness, even if it KILLS them. SMGDH!

  17. Ametia says:


    Now THAT’S a VPL: The new XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL underwear for women with a 105in waistline (and they’re flying off the shelves)
    By Daily Mail Reporter
    Last updated at 6:05 PM on 1st December 2010

    company which makes the world’s biggest knickers has been forced to make even larger underwear – for women who are a size 74 with 105in waistlines.

    The Big Bloomers Company was set up by mother and daughter Dianne and Laura Mannering earlier this year making underwear up to XXXXXXXXL for 35 stone women.
    But they were inundated

  18. Ametia says:

    The Republican case for ratifying New START
    By Henry A. Kissinger, George P. Shultz, James A. Baker III, Lawrence S. Eagleburger and Colin L. Powell
    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Republican presidents have long led the crucial fight to protect the United States against nuclear dangers. That is why Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush negotiated the SALT I, START I and START II agreements. It is why President George W. Bush negotiated the Moscow Treaty. All four recognized that reducing the number of nuclear arms in an open, verifiable manner would reduce the risk of nuclear catastrophe and increase the stability of America’s relationship with the Soviet Union and, later, the Russian Federation. The world is safer today because of the decades-long effort to reduce its supply of nuclear weapons.

    As a result, we urge the Senate to ratify the New START treaty signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. It is a modest and appropriate continuation of the START I treaty that expired almost a year ago. It reduces the number of nuclear weapons that each side deploys while enabling the United States to maintain a strong nuclear deterrent and preserving the flexibility to deploy those forces as we see fit. Along with our obligation to protect the homeland, the United States has responsibilities to allies around the world. The commander of our nuclear forces has testified that the 1,550 warheads allowed under this treaty are sufficient for all our missions – and seven former nuclear commanders agree. The defense secretary, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the head of the Missile Defense Agency – all originally appointed by a Republican president – argue that New START is essential for our national defense.

    • opulent2 says:

      The only living former Republican Secretary of State not signing on to today’s Washington Post op-ed backing New START was Condoleeza Rice.

      “She met privately with Obama in November. No doubt the subject came up, since Rice’s academic expertise is Soviet/Russian foreign policy. Rice has been silent on it. Is this a case where silence equals tacit support, but she doesn’t want to upset some Bush 43-conservatives?”

    • Ametia says:

      Umm, you bring up a valid question, on Rice’s silence, Opulent.

  19. Ametia says:

    Eminem nominated for 10 Grammy Awards; Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars among top nominees
    Thursday, December 2, 2010; 1:04 AM

    LOS ANGELES – Rapper Eminem, riding high on the comeback trail after spending several years battling drug addiction, led the field of Grammy Award contenders Wednesday with 10 nominations.

    The 38-year-old hip-hop star will compete for the three big awards of album, song and record of the year, as well as in a host of rap categories.

    Other leading nominees in the major categories included rising R&B star Bruno Mars with seven nominations, followed by rapper Jay-Z, flamboyant pop star Lady Gaga and country group Lady Antebellum, who had six nods each.

    Canadian teen idol Justin Bieber led a strong international field for best new artist. He will compete for the award against a countryman, the rapper Drake, as well as British bands Florence & the Machine and Mumford & Sons, and American jazz singer Esperanza Spalding.

    Winners in all 109 categories will be announced during ceremonies in Los Angeles on Feb. 13.

    Rock bands were largely missing from the leading categories, as pop, hip-hop and country artists grabbed the spotlight.

  20. Good Morning, 3 Chics, friends & lurkers!

    Happy Thursday!

  21. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, 3 Chics! Lovely, simply lovely music by the late, GREAT Nat.

    Thank you SouthernGirl.

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