Monday 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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63 Responses to Monday Open Thread

  1. This is what my cousin wrote on her FB page.

    My son came home and said that they are going to start practicing new drills in case a robber comes inside the school. He asked why that man killed those kids and I said because he wasn’t right in the head and he was a bad person. # we live in a cruel world when your child has to practice hiding from a robber IN SCHOOL! :(

    I cried all day at work because I had to tell my babies if they hear a gun to run and hide and stay hidden. Its awful and No parent should have to have that conversation before sending their babies to school.

  2. Famed NBC Correspondent Missing In Syria

    Turkish media is reporting that veteran journalist Richard Engel, NBC’s chief foreign correspondent and Middle East bureau chief, and his Turkish colleague Aziz Akyavaş are currently missing in Syria.

    Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reports that Engel and Akyavaş haven’t been in contact with NBC News since Thursday morning.

    John Cook of Gawker reports that NBC has been “asking every reporter who inquires about the pair` to participate in a news blackout,” but the Turkish reports have already been referenced by journalists and others thousands of times on Twitter.

    Prominent investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill argues that NBC’s news blackout should be respected, although the news has been picked up by outlets including The Daily Mail, The Houston Chronicle, and The Atlantic Wire.

  3. Ametia says:

    Diane Feinstein is running around teh media saying Joe Biden tried to tell her that assault weapons ban bill she got passed in 1994 wouldn’t pass or some such nonsense. But then she mentions President Clinton did his part to get it passed. She’s trying tto set VP Biden up for Hillary in case he runs for POTUS..

  4. Mother shared her gun obsession with school shooter Adam Lanza

    She created a monster.

    Adam Lanza’s mother taught her son how to become a killing machine who used what he learned from her about firing guns to commit one of the worst massacres in American history at a Connecticut elementary school.

    Weapon-loving Nancy Lanza regularly took her awkward loner-son Adam to shooting ranges, where the painfully shy boy — who suffered from the autism-related Asperger’s syndrome — blasted away targets using his mom’s small arsenal of guns.

    “She’d take them to the range a lot . . . Nancy was an enthusiast — so much so that she wanted to pass it on to her kids,” said her former landscaper and occasional drinking buddy Dan Holmes.

    “Whenever I finished work and went inside to chitchat, she spoke often about her fascination with firearms. Nancy had an extensive gun collection, and she was really quite proud of it.”

    Nancy’s gun training took a tragic turn Friday when Adam grabbed her weapons and shot her dead in her Newtown, Conn., home.

    He then took one of her handguns and two powerful rifles she owned to the nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 students, six adults and, finally, himself.

    Lanza’s mom cherished her guns, which she began buying after she divorced her husband in 2009, according to a report.

    • Imagine if a black mother had taken Keeshawn to a gun range for target practice and he later massacred 27 people? Would the media be talking about Keeshawn’s mental illness?

  5. rikyrah says:

    From The Washington Post:

    When senators learned that Daniel Inouye died
    Posted by Ed O’Keefe on December 17, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    It was a typical Monday night in the U.S. Senate: Returning to Washington from a weekend at home, senators would quickly enter the Senate Chamber to confirm judicial nominees and depart just as quickly into the cold night.

    The vote was scheduled for 5 p.m., but several senators were seen milling about as a delay stretched for more than 40 minutes. By 5:44 p.m., Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) walked out of the Senate Cloak Room and approached Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

    “Inouye just passed away,” Landrieu said.

    “Oh my God,” Klobuchar said, putting her hand to her heart.

    Landrieu turned next to Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.): “Inouye has passed away.”

    Moments later, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) entered through a side door, followed by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the chamber’s highest-ranking woman; Reid’s deputy, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.); Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), the third-ranking Democrat; and Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), who is now Senate President Pro Tempore, the third in line to the presidency and most senior senator in the land.

    Reid walked to the back of the chamber and made his way down the center aisle. As the majority leader sought permission to speak, Durbin took his seat and quickly hushed nearby colleagues who were oblivious to what would come next.

    “Our friend, Dan Inouye just died,” Reid said.

    Senators froze in silence, except for Harkin, who gasped, grabbed his desk, leaned forward and stood briefly, as if in prayer, before sitting down. Leahy stood at his desk, towering over Reid’s left shoulder, before taking his seat.

    “I have never known anyone like Dan Inouye. No one else has,” Reid said, his voice quivering as he struggled to find words to match the moment. “The kindness that he has shown for my time here in the Senate is something I will cherish always. A man who has lived and breathed the Senate. If there were ever a patriot, Dan Inouye was that patriot.”

    As Reid spoke, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) stood in the back of the chamber, his arms crossed, his head down, with spectacles resting on his nose.

    Reid recalled a story about Inouye’s son, who once asked the senator why he had volunteered to fight in War World II, even though the U.S. had declared Japanese Americans “enemy aliens.” Reid said Inouye’s response was that “he did it for the children. That’s Senator Inouye.”

  6. Electoral College vote affirms Obama re-election

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Tradition trumped suspense Monday as members of the Electoral College cast the official, final votes in the 2012 presidential election, a constitutional formality on President Barack Obama’s march to a second term.

    The rite playing in state capitols involved party luminaries and tireless activists carrying out the will of each state’s voters. The popular vote from state-to-state dictates whether Democratic or Republican electors get the honor, but the outcome wasn’t in doubt. Obama had well more than the 270 votes required to win the White House.

    Obama was on course to get 332 votes to Republican Mitt Romney’s 206, barring defectors known as “faithless electors.” California’s 55 electoral votes — the largest cache in any state — helped put the Democratic president over the top by late Monday afternoon. Electors also were affirming Joe Biden for another term as vice president.

  7. OMG! Megan McArdle IS the most stupid bish in America. And I do mean bish!

    McArdle Wins Worst Newtown Reaction Award

    It what can only be seen as a malicious plot by Newsweek’s editors [Update: this is a long blog post, not a magazine piece] to ensure Megan McArdle’s reputation does not outlive its print magazine, the magazine has published a 4,000 word essay by its new hire on how to stop massacres like last Friday’s. McArdle begins her essay with a prescient harbinger (“There just aren’t good words to talk about Newtown.”) but recovers to churn out a fairly standard libertarian argument about why various government remedies won’t work. And it’s true, to some extent, that various regulatory solutions all have complications.

    The problem comes at the end when, having dismissed the standard liberal regulatory measures as unworkable, she has to propose her own solution. This is what McArdle comes up with:

    I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.


    The most asinine ignorant piece of ish I have ever seen. You stupid ass heffa!

  8. rikyrah says:

    Banks push to change Nevada law that crimped foreclosures

    Foreclosures in Nevada could spike next year if lawmakers and banks roll back a bill passed in 2011 that played a large role in stymieing banks’ attempts to retake homes from Nevadans, according to the state’s banking association president and housing analysts.

    But more foreclosures aren’t necessarily a bad thing for Nevada’s housing market, at least in the long term, according to housing analysts.

    Banks are in talks with Democratic Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and lawmakers about how to amend the state law that slowed foreclosures to a trickle in fall 2011, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

    Although foreclosures since have risen, they’re still about a quarter of where they were before the law went into effect.

    At issue is Assembly Bill 284, a measure passed by the Nevada Legislature in 2011 and signed by Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval that forces banks to prove they have the legal right to foreclose on a particular home before they take action. Most important, the law requires bank workers to sign an affidavit that they have personal knowledge of a property’s document history, or they will face criminal or civil penalties.

    Democratic lawmakers and Cortez Masto, who helped pass the bill, said the law was intended to uphold the integrity of the legal process and protect homeowners from banks wrongfully foreclosing on homeowners without having necessary paperwork. She has said it was never intended to prevent legitimate foreclosures.

    But after the law took effect in late 2011, foreclosures in Nevada — which previously led the nation in foreclosures — ground to a halt.

    In August 2011, banks issued 5,350 foreclosure notices in the state, according to the Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program. In September, there were 4,684 “notices of default.”

    In October 2011, when the law went into effect, the number dropped to 80.

  9. rikyrah says:

    From Charles Pierce:

    The Latest GOP Election Finagle
    By Charles P. Pierce
    at 4:00PM

    There is no longer any reason to believe that the Republican party has any intention of changing itself to adapt to a changing America. Every story you read to that effect is a lie. Every apparent attempt by the party to convince you that it is planning to do it is a fake. They are not planning on adapting to a changing country. What they’re planning is to change the system of presidential elections so that they never have to do so. I’m not sure it will work, but that hasn’t stopped them recently.

    Republicans alarmed at the apparent challenges they face in winning the White House are preparing an all-out assault on the Electoral College system in critical states, an initiative that would significantly ease the party’s path to the Oval Office. Senior Republicans say they will try to leverage their party’s majorities in Democratic-leaning states in an effort to end the winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes. Instead, bills that will be introduced in several Democratic states would award electoral votes on a proportional basis. Already, two states — Maine and Nebraska — award an electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district. The candidate who wins the most votes statewide takes the final two at-large electoral votes. Only once, when President Obama won a congressional district based in Omaha in 2008, has either of those states actually split their vote. But if more reliably blue states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were to award their electoral votes proportionally, Republicans would be able to eat into what has become a deep Democratic advantage.

    The only reason they still control the House Of Representatives is that they gerrymandered the local districts so as to maintain that advantage. This is simply the next stage of the rocket. They have largely given up on persuading a majority of American voters that their ideas matter, or that they are the best choice to lead the entire country. This is, of course, not unprecedented. In the election of 1800, in which Thomas Jefferson and his party broke the power of the Federalists, the method of selecting and awarding electoral votes was part and parcel of that year’s superheated political brawling. In Virginia, for example, James Madison, the patron saint of minority rights, helped ram a bill through that changed that state’s method of awarding presidential electors from a district-by-district system to winner-take-all based on the popular vote, essentially the reverse of what the GOP is trying to do now. Of course, the country was 11 years old then.

  10. Their Profit And Our Loss

    You want the violence to stop, break the people who are getting rich off it. Break their fortunes and you can break their power. The money comes first. It always does.



  11. The Daily Beast‏@thedailybeast

    The manufacturer of the gun used at Sandy Hook has said nothing, while reaping huge profits #Newtown

  12. Dannie Owens‏@DAOWENS44

    No one has claimed the bodies of Adam Lanza or his mother, Nancy | PIX 11

    No one has claimed the bodies of Adam Lanza or his mother; they remain with the medical examiner. Lanza’s father, Peter, is reported to be in hiding and has not come forward either.

  13. Twitter


    I can relate. I did the same thing. My youngest was not allowed to go to parties if the home had guns. Hell no!

  14. BREAKING NEWS: Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) has died of respiratory complications at the age of 88.

  15. Arizona electoral voters, GOP chair question Obama’s birth certificate:

  16. Ametia says:

    This fat FUCK right here. Putting this in USA Today attempts to make him look credible. NOT!

    Rush Limbaugh: Left uses massacre to promote gun agenda

    Limbaugh said he was “not wedded to guns or the Second Amendment,” but to everything in the Constitution.

    “…(Folks), let me tell you what this point is. The guns in this culture are the secondary target here. The primary target is the Constitution itself.That is what is under assault. That is what is in the cross-hairs of people who are using this tragedy to advance an agenda.”

  17. The Nation‏@thenation

    Newtown, Connecticut, is the headquarters of one of the main components of the American gun lobby.

  18. Here lies the poisonous cancer on our society.

    racist tweets
    racist tweets1
    racist tweets2

  19. Harry Reid Open To Gun Control Debate After Sandy Hook Shooting

    WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) signaled Monday that gun control laws would be up for debate after the horror at Sandy Hook Elementary School, making him the highest-ranking pro-gun politician in the nation to hint that his mind may be changing.

    Mourning the victims of the Friday massacre along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Reid said that the community of Newtown and the country face a difficult time coping with the immensity of the tragedy. But, unlike with past shooting sprees, he said that coping will include considering what Congress can do about the devastating violence.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Jim DeMint’s Replacement is Just As Crazy as Jim DeMint
    Posted on 12/17/2012 at 2:00 pm by JM Ashby

    South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced today that Tea Party Representative Tim Scott will replace Senator Jim DeMint as he exits congress bound for the Heritage Foundation.

    Scott’s legislative history, if you’re unfamiliar, leaves much to be desired if what you’re looking for in a senator is sanity and compassion. ThinkProgress has the highlights.

    Proposed a bill to cut off food stamps for entire families if one member went on strike. One of the most anti-union members of Congress, Scott proposed a bill two months after entering Congress in 2011 to kick families off food stamps if one adult were participating in a strike. Scott’s legislation made no exception for children or other dependents.

    Wanted to spend an unlimited amount of money to display Ten Commandments outside county building. When Scott was on the Charleston County Council, one of his primary issues was displaying the Ten Commandments outside the Council building. According to the Augusta Chronicle, Scott said the display “would remind council members and speakers the moral absolutes they should follow.” When he was sued for violating the Constitution and a Circuit Judge’s orders, Scott was nonplussed: “Whatever it costs in the pursuit of this goal (of displaying the Commandments) is worth it.”

    Scott also reportedly backed a state proposal to cut the state’s HIV/AIDS budget, effecting over 2000 infected people, and threatened to impeach President Obama if he unilaterally raised the national debt ceiling.

  21. rikyrah says:

    From The Maddow Blog:

    GOP moving on state plan to help GOP win White House
    By Laura Conaway – Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:06 PM EST

    Republicans now have full control of 24 states, and they’ve got some ideas for what to do with that power. For instance, rather than do the work of crafting policies that voters like, they’re hoping to rewrite the rules for how states back a president. From the National Journal

    “If you did the calculation, you’d see a massive shift of electoral votes in states that are blue and fully [in] red control,” said one senior Republican taking an active role in pushing the proposal. “There’s no kind of autopsy and outreach that can grab us those electoral votes that quickly.”

    The proposals, the senior GOP official said, are likely to come up in each state’s legislative session in 2013. Bills have been drafted, and legislators are talking to party bosses to craft strategy. Saul Anuzis, the former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, has briefed Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Chief of Staff Jeff Larson on his state’s proposal. The proposal “is not being met with the ‘We can’t do that’ answer. It’s being met with ‘I’ve already got a bill started,’ ” the official said.

    States are allowed to decide for themselves how they allot their votes in the Electoral College. In addition to Michigan, the National Journal cites the GOP as especially determined to act in Florida, Ohio and Virginia. Along with Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, those states all voted for President Obama but have Republican majorities at the local level. As you can see in the charts here and from Mother Jones, Republicans have drawn congressional and state legislative districts so that it takes more votes to elect a Democrat than it does to elect a Republican. H/t Matt Yglesias.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Why Dems shouldn’t fear politics of gun control
    Posted by Greg Sargent on December 17, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I noted this morning that gun control may not hold the political peril for Democrats that it once did, mainly because of the Democratic Party’s waning reliance on culturally conservative white voters. Ron Brownstein did a deep dive into older polling data and moved the ball further, establishing that the groups Obama relied upon for reelection — the emerging coalition of the Democratic Party’s future — are all behind gun control.

    Now we have a brand new Washington Post/ABC News poll that really drives this home. What’s really striking is that opposition to stricter gun control is largely driven by white men — blue collar white men in particular.

    By contrast, college educated whites, white women, moderates, and minorities all show majority support for stricter gun laws. These are the emerging pillars of the Democratic coalition.

    First, the toplines. The Post poll finds that Americans favor stricter gun laws by 54-43. The Post polling team tells me that whites oppose them by 48-50. But this is driven by opposition among white men (42-56) and non-college whites (44-53). By contrast, college educated whites favor stricter laws (54-43), as do white women (53-44).

    The same pattern is evident on semi-automatic weapons. Overall, Americans favor a nationwide ban on them by 52-44. Whites narrowly oppose this (48-49), but here again this is driven by opposition among white men (40-58) and non-college whites (42-54). By contrast, white women favor a ban by 56-40 and college educated whites favor one by 58-40.

  23. rikyrah says:

    GOP elevates reactionary Tim Scott to South Carolina Senate seat
    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on December 17, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Two weeks after South Carolina’s Jim DeMint left the Senate to serve as president of the Heritage Foundation, Governor Nikki Haley has appointed Rep. Tim Scott to fill his seat.

    Scott has only served one term in the House of Representatives, but he’s already made a name for himself as a rising star in the party. He defeated the son of Strom Thurmond to win his spot in Congress, and has gone on to earn praise from Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and other prominent national conservatives.

    What’s unique about Scott, of course, is that he’s one of the few African American Republicans to hold elected office. He was one of two black House members in the 112th Congress, and beginning in January, will serve as the only African American in the Senate, the first to ever come from South Carolina, and the first to come from the South since Reconstruction. Not only will he take seat once held by arch-segregationist Strom Thurmond, but he’ll represent a state that in 1860 seceded from the Union after affirming slavery and declaring blacks “incapable of becoming citizens.”

    When DeMint left the Senate, Governor Haley said that she was looking for someone who could win reelection and continue to serve. It’s worth noting that Scott fits the bill — a popular conservative, he’s well-positioned to hold the seat for as long as he wants it.

    It should be said that for all of the real problems the GOP has with diversity in terms of its organization and its candidate pool, the party does an excellent job of elevating the minorities that do find themselves in its tent. Scott joins Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, Suzanna Martinez, Brian Sandoval, and Ted Cruz in a growing pool of high profile, conservative nonwhites.

    But none of these people will solve the problem faced by Republicans, which is that minority voters aren’t interested in conservative policies. Indeed, Scott embodies this problem perhaps more than the others: He supports policies that can only be described as truly reactionary. He proposed a bill to kick families off of food stamps if one member went on strike as part of a union — he represents progress. And he called for the impeachment of Obama over the debt ceiling.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Huckabee keeps digging
    By Steve Benen – Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:01 PM EST

    On Friday afternoon, while details of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School were still coming to light, Mike Huckabee appeared on Fox News to complain about school prayer. “We ask why there is violence in our schools but we have systematically removed God from our schools,” he said.

    Upon further inspection, Huckabee’s unfortunate comments didn’t make any sense. But instead of backing off, the former Arkansas governor and failed presidential candidate managed to make matters slightly worse over the weekend.

    Reflecting on Friday’s murders, the Fox News personality argued:

    “Christian-owned businesses are told to surrender their values under the edict of government orders to provide tax-funded abortion pills. We carefully and intentionally stop saying things are sinful and we call them disorders. Sometimes, we even say they’re normal.

    “And to get to where that we have to abandon bedrock moral truths, then we ask, ‘Well, where was God?’ And I respond that, as I see it, we’ve escorted Him right out of our culture and we’ve marched Him off the public square and then we express our surprise that a culture without Him actually reflects what it’s become.”

  25. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Is ‘God, guns, and gays’ losing its peril for Democrats?
    Posted by Greg Sargent on December 17, 2012 at 9:13 am

    In the wake of the Newtown horror, it looks like we really may see some action towards meaningful gun law reform. In his speech yesterday, President Obama pledged to “use whatever power this office holds” to spur “an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this.” He added that “we can’t accept events like this as routine,” and asked: “Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”

    That is a direct shot at the philosophical underpinning of the “gun rights” argument, and all but guarantees some kind of push for a policy response to the problem of mass gun violence. Meanwhile, Senator Dianne Feinstein announced yesterday that she’ll reintroduce the assault weapons ban on the first day of the new Congress.

    So here’s one thing to watch: How will red state Democrats react? My colleague Aaron Blake predicts they will balk:

    While it will be hard for any gun control bill to get GOP votes, it will also be very difficult to get votes from Senate Democrats who face reelection in red states in 2014. And they are legion. Sens. Max Baucus, Mary Landrieu, Mark Pryor, Jay Rockefeller, Tim Johnson and Kay Hagan are all up in two years and will be very tough votes to get. And that doesn’t include Democratic senators in pro-gun swing states like Mark Udall in Colorado and Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire.

  26. Colorado breaks record for gun background check requests after Newtown:

  27. rikyrah says:

    Tim Wise, y’all

    Race, Class, Violence and Denial: Mass Murder and the Pathologies of Privilege

    …..Still, after all these years, and all these sanguinary calamities, there remains the utter surprise that yes, evil can visit the “nice” places too. What’s that you say? Childhood death isn’t just for the brown and poor anymore? Not merely a special burden to be borne by the residents of South Chicago, West Philadelphia, or Central City New Orleans? There is dysfunction and pathology and general awfulness where some of the beautiful people too reside? Yes precious, yes indeed. This time would you please write it down; perhaps make it your Facebook status forever, so you won’t forget.

    I don’t mean to be callous, and indeed I have shed plenty of tears for the families in Newtown, as I do every time one of these massacres takes place, as I sadly know I will again. But Goddammit, it is the denial, the cocoon-like innocence of the bleary-eyed denizens of these communities that drives me to distraction. Precisely because I do care, and I know that that very innocence — which now for the umpteenth time we get to hear has been shattered — is more than just maddening, and far more than an academic point. It actually helps to make these kinds of gut-wrenching catastrophes more likely.

    ….Speaking of whom, can we really imagine a poor, urban, black or Latina mom successfully removing her disturbed child from the local public school so as to home school them, and then, in her spare time hauling him off to the shooting range to make sure he knew how to fire, among other things, an assault rifle? Once again, I am merely wondering aloud, but it seems something less than irrational to believe that maybe, just maybe, it was this family’s social position, their class status and yes, their race, which insulated them from the judgment and external control so regularly deployed against the poor and those of color who manifest drama in one of another guise.

    They were from good families.

    This is a nice, safe place.

  28. Gun safety advocates protest at NRA offices: ‘End the murder’ ‘Stop the NRA’

  29. rikyrah says:

    GOP Acknowledges it is not a National Party
    by BooMan
    Mon Dec 17th, 2012 at 10:02:10 AM EST

    It isn’t illegal to change how Electoral College delegates are allocated. If the Republicans want to change how Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin allocate their votes from winner-take-all to by congressional district, they are within their legal rights to do so. And it appears that they have plans afoot to do exactly that in at least some of those states. The Democrats cannot retaliate in kind, but I imagine that we will go ballistic. It’s a very desperate move that acknowledges openly that the GOP no longer believes that they can remain a conservative party and win the White House unless they change the rules. And they would rather stay conservative than adapt or evolve to meet changing circumstances. I predicted that the GOP would make this move back on December 4th.
    It still is not certain that they will succeed in their plans. The Pennsylvania GOP wanted to change the rules for the 2012 election but discovered massive resistance in their own ranks. From my understanding, safe members didn’t want Obama campaigning in their districts. If you remember the competition between Obama and Hillary Clinton, you know that Team Obama is very good at competing on a district level. But changing the rules will benefit future Republican candidates in a massive way.

    There will be a huge backlash if the GOP attempts this, but they must think they no longer have any choice. They don’t want to change, so they will change the rules instead.

  30. Connecticut school shooting: Adam Lanza’s mother was preparing for disaster

    Nancy Lanza

    The mother of the gunman who killed 20 children and seven adults in America’s worst school massacre, was a gun-proud “survivalist” preparing for economic collapse, it has emerged.

    Nancy Lanza, whose gun collection was raided by her son Adam for Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook school, was part of the “prepper” movement, which urges readiness for social chaos by hoarding supplies and training with weapons.

    “She prepared for the worst,” her sister-in-law Marsha Lanza told reporters. “Last time we visited her in person, we talked about prepping – are you ready for what could happen down the line, when the economy collapses?”

  31. rikyrah says:

    The GOP’s Electoral College Scheme

    Republicans alarmed at the apparent challenges they face in winning the White House are preparing an all-out assault on the Electoral College system in critical states, an initiative that would significantly ease the party’s path to the Oval Office.

    Senior Republicans say they will try to leverage their party’s majorities in Democratic-leaning states in an effort to end the winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes. Instead, bills that will be introduced in several Democratic states would award electoral votes on a proportional basis.

    Already, two states — Maine and Nebraska — award an electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district. The candidate who wins the most votes statewide takes the final two at-large electoral votes. Only once, when President Obama won a congressional district based in Omaha in 2008, has either of those states actually split their vote.

    But if more reliably blue states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were to award their electoral votes proportionally, Republicans would be able to eat into what has become a deep Democratic advantage.

    All three states have given the Democratic nominee their electoral votes in each of the last six presidential elections. Now, senior Republicans in Washington are overseeing legislation in all three states to end the winner-take-all system.

    Obama won all three states in 2008, handing him 46 electoral votes because of the winner-take-all system. Had electoral votes been awarded by district, Republican nominee Mitt Romney would have cut into that lead. Final election results show that Romney won nine of Michigan’s 14 districts, five of eight in Wisconsin, and at least 12 of 18 in Pennsylvania. Allocate the two statewide votes in each state to Obama and that means Romney would have emerged from those three Democratic states with 26 electoral votes, compared with just 19 for Obama (and one district where votes are still being counted).

    Republicans are able to contemplate such a bold plan because of their electoral success in 2010, when the party won control of state legislative chambers and the governorships in all three states, giving them total control over the levers of state government.

    “If you did the calculation, you’d see a massive shift of electoral votes in states that are blue and fully [in] red control,” said one senior Republican taking an active role in pushing the proposal. “There’s no kind of autopsy and outreach that can grab us those electoral votes that quickly.”

    The proposals, the senior GOP official said, are likely to come up in each state’s legislative session in 2013. Bills have been drafted, and legislators are talking to party bosses to craft strategy. Saul Anuzis, the former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, has briefed Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Chief of Staff Jeff Larson on his state’s proposal. The proposal “is not being met with the ‘We can’t do that’ answer. It’s being met with ‘I’ve already got a bill started,’ ” the official said.

  32. rikyrah says:

    WHAT kind of lowdown mofo would even report this?


    Cafeteria Worker Rehired After Losing Job for Giving Food to Low-Income Student

    A woman who was fired from her job in an elementary school cafeteria earlier this week after giving free lunch to a needy student has been given her job back, according to Missouri’s Channel 5 News. Dianne Brame had been employed as the cafeteria manager for Hudson Elementary for the last three years; she began giving free lunches to the student, a fourth-grader, after she realized his name was listed under the free lunch program but his eligible status had expired.

    “I know each child by name,” she said in an interview shortly after losing her job. “His mom speaks no English. I tried communicating with them through the mail; he has to translate for his mother.” Students whose families cannot afford lunch are allowed three “regular” meals before being switched to the free lunch plan, which consists of a cheese sandwich and a carton of milk.

    Brame said that students receiving the sandwiches are easily identified and often teased for not having enough money, which is why she provided the student with the standard lunch for about two months.

    One of her co-workers reported her to Chartwells, the food service vendor for the school, and Brame was given the option of being “demoted and transferred” or released from her employment. According to MSN, she “could not work at another school because she walks to work” since losing her car after the death of her husband last spring.

    Within a few hours of Brame’s interview, she was contacted by higher-ups at Chartwells offering to reinstate her in her former position. The company briefed her on official policy should a similar situation arise in future. Brame has also been asked to enroll in conflict-resolution classes with the supervisor who terminated her.

  33. Ametia says:

    It’s heathens like Michele Bachmann who need to be removed from our political arena

    Remember this?

    Michele Bachmann: I Want People “Armed And Dangerous” Over Obama Tax Plan
    First Posted: 04/23/09 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:10 PM ET

    Controversial Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said this weekend that she wants residents of her state “armed and dangerous” over President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce global warming “because we need to fight back.”

  34. Ametia says:

    MONDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2012

    White Men and Mass Murder: Did a Sense of “Aggrieved Entitlement” Lead Adam Lanza to Kill 26 People at Sandy Hook Elementary School?

    It is good to see David Sirota and Chris Hayes talking about the relationship between white masculinity and mass shootings in the United States. So many folks are afraid to engage the obvious fact: white men are extremely over-represented among those individuals such as Adam Lanza who kill large numbers of people in one shooting incident. While folks like me can call attention to the public health problem that is white men and mass shootings, this is a conversation where “members of the tribe” such as Sirota and Hayes, are going to have to lead.

    In the aftermath of the horrific events in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, the reaction to my plain on the face observation that white man are grossly over-represented among mass shooting killers like Adam Lanza has been fascinating–albeit not surprising. Whiteness does not like to be confronted. It also hates being exposed to the light of truth.

    Masculinity is equally hostile to any type of critical self-examination. The combination of the two, and an intervention which seeks to examine white masculinity in America and its relationship to violence, is destined to create a hostile reaction on the part of many white men.

  35. Breaking: Schools on lockdown in two Connecticut towns

    Reuters is reporting that all schools in Ridgefield, Connecticut are in lockdown “because of a suspicious person who might be armed.” Police said that schools in nearby Redding are also closed as a precautionary measure.

    Lieutenant Paul Vance of Connecticut State Police said at a news conference, ”I’m aware of that situation in the town of Ridgefield. … There’s a report of a suspicious person, a suspicious person that may or may not be armed.”

    Ridgefield is 20 miles from Newtown, Connecticut, where site Friday’s horrific school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school took place.

  36. Ametia says:

    In Town at Ease With Its Firearms, Tightening Gun Rules Was Resisted

    People in the rural, hilly areas around Newtown, Conn., are used to gunfire. In one woodsy stretch, southeast of downtown, the Pequot Fish and Game Club and the Fairfield County Fish and Game Protective Association, where members can fish in ponds and hunt pheasant, lie within a mile of each other, and people who live nearby generally call them good neighbors.

  37. Ametia says:

    JOSH MARSHALL DECEMBER 17, 2012, 9:09 AM 381

    I noted in my earlier post the oddity of the widespread notion that firearms are the reason we’re free in America. Having discussed this this weekend with a lot of people who deeply believe this and read many of the online debates, I can’t help but notice that this overwhelmingly white, predominantly very conservative group most often references the internment of Japanese-Americans and restrictions on gun ownership to black freedmen in the post-Reconstruction South as the key supports for their views.

    The right to self-awareness is not be exercised along with the right to bear arms.

  38. WATCH LIVE: Officials hold news conference in Newtown, Conn.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Monday Morning Open Thread
    By Anne Laurie December 17th, 2012

    Professor Krugman, on “Whistling Past the Gun Lobby”:

    Almost five years ago Thomas Schaller published an important book titled Whistling Past Dixie, which basically argued that it was time for Democrats to stop running scared of the views of Southern whites — they weren’t going to get those votes anyway, and demographic change had proceeded to the point where they could win national elections without the South. Indeed, so it has come to pass: while Obama did win Virginia, he did it by appealing to the new Virginia of the DC suburbs, not the rural whites, and otherwise he had a totally non-Dixie victory.

    So Nate Cohn argues that this same logic applies to gun control: the voters who care passionately about their semi-automatic weapons are rural whites who ain’t gonna vote Democratic in any case — and the new Democratic coalition doesn’t need them. David Atkins takes it further, saying the awful truth: the pro-gun fanatics are basically the kind of people who think that Obama is a Kenyan socialist atheistic Islamist, and the urban hordes are coming for their property any day now. People, in other words, who already vote 100 percent Republican — and lose elections…

  40. rikyrah says:

    Did anyone catch the show 6 Little McGees on Oprah’s Network?

    About a Black family with sextuplets.

    I was just exhausted looking at them.

  41. Ametia says:

    The tune is changing on the right for some. Joey Scar does commentary this morning. says Forget about his ideology from when he was a Florida Rep. He has 4 children. See, men like Joey Scar can relate to them, they look like his kids.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Take That Nigger Off The TV, We Wanna Watch Football!”: Idiots Respond To NBC Pre-Empting Sunday Night Football

    NBC pre-empted the first quarter of tonight’s 49ers-Patriots game to show President Obama’s speech at the Newtown memorial for victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. As you might expect, many football fans didn’t take kindly to this. (So, too, some Bob’s Burgers fans.) Here are those idiots, led by someone who claims to be a Division II football player in the state of Alabama. [Update: The Birmingham News reports he was a walk-on long snapper and is no longer on the team.]

  43. Ametia says:

    Now is the time for meaningful gun control

    We should mourn, but we should be angry.

    The horror in Newtown, Conn., should shake us out of the cowardice, the fear, the evasion and the opportunism that prevents our political system from acting to curb gun violence.
    How often must we note that no other developed country has such massacres on a regular basis because no other comparable nation allows such easy access to guns? And on no subject other than ungodly episodes involving guns are those who respond logically by demanding solutions accused of “politicizing tragedy.”

    It is time to insist that such craven propaganda will no longer be taken seriously. If Congress does not act this time, we can deem it as totally bought and paid for by the representatives of gun manufacturers, gun dealers and their very well-compensated apologists. A former high Obama administration official once made this comment to me: “If progressives are so worked up about how Washington is controlled by the banks and Wall Street, why aren’t they just as worked up by the power of the gun lobby?” It is a good question.


    The Hartford Courant published a must-read “tick-tock” re-telling of the shooting. It’s the most complete, succinct story of events we’ve seen. It confirms what we gathered from multiple reports, like the detail that Lanza shot the glass on the partitions beside the school’s front doors until he could pass through. The most notable new detail is this bit about his computer:

    Two law enforcement sources said the hard drive had been removed from Lanza’s computer and broken in pieces. They said that forensic electronics experts at the FBI will examine the drive in an effort to determine with whom Lanza corresponded electronically and how he otherwise used the device.

  45. Heartbreaking photo of Christmas trees for Newtown victims goes viral

    Heartbreaking photo of Christmas trees for Newtown victims goes viral

    A heartbreaking photo of Christmas trees anonymously donated in memory of the Newtown shooting victims is going viral Sunday. The image, posted to Instagram by the “Today” show, shows a row of 26 holiday trees, one for each person killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, leading up to the school where the massacre occurred on Friday. Decorated with teddy bears and smiling stuffed animals, the image recalls the innocence of the young victims and has struck a powerful chord with viewers. Instagram user maryshaverlangevin commented, “This just breaks my heart. :'( RIP little ones [you’re] safe now.” User patient_mom said simply, “Merry Christmas sweet babies. We love you.

  46. Good morning all.

    My heart is still sad this morning. Just thinking about those poor little children. It’s so wrong for parents to be burying their kids a week before Christmas. So wrong!

    • Ametia says:

      Good Morning, SG2 & Everyone. Continued prayers to the families, the Newtown community, and ALL children in our nation.

    • rikyrah says:

      I’m trying to be positive, but my heart too, is still sad. I just can’t even totally wrap my mind around it. The funerals start today. How do you sit in a funeral with a tiny casket…it’s just wrong…wrong against what is right in the world.

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