Monday Open Thread

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) is a Christmas holiday song originally sung by Darlene Love and included on the 1963 Christmas compilation album, A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records. The song was written by Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry along with Phil Spector, with the intentions of being sung by Ronnie Spector of The Ronettes. According to Darlene Love, Ronnie Spector was not able to put as much emotion into the song as needed. Instead, Love was brought into the studio to record the song which became a big success over time and one of Darlene Love’s signature tunes.

In December 2010, Rolling Stone magazine ranked “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” first on its list of The Greatest Rock and Roll Christmas Songs, saying that “nobody can match Love’s emotion and sheer vocal power.”

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.
This entry was posted in Celebrations, Christianity, Christmas, Christmas Songs, Current Events, Music, News, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Monday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Obamacare Naysayers Get a Big Lump of Coal
    Monday, December 02, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 10:36 AM

    Yesterday, the Obama administration released a report showing improvements in the experience on, and the news is devastating. For the Obamacare naysayers, that is. Not only has the administration’s tech surge implemented over 400 software fixes and massively increased’s hardware server capacity, the measurable progress in terms of the user experience is phenomenal. The site is now running at the full capacity of 50,000 concurrent users and 800,000 daily visitors.

    Just what does it look like? Let’s have a look:

    Error rates are down to less than 1% from 6% in October.

  2. Yahtc says:

    Published on Jul 18, 2013
    July 18, 2013 Mother will receive info at: Play List:


    – On the 24th day of May, 2013 School Resource Officer “Name Redacted” did without Probable Cause Assault MINOR CHILD a 14 year old (minor) child at Pinegrove Middle School, 4159 River Road, Valdosta GA 31605. — This 14 year old (MINOR CHILD) was attached and assaulted by two other minors, thus in accordance with the Georgia Castle Doctrine Law signed by Governor Sonny Purdue April 27, 2006, (SB 396). The “Castle Doctrine” bill removes the “duty to retreat” if an individual is attacked in his or her home, vehicle, place of business or any other place he or she has a legal right to be. The legislation also states that the victims may use necessary force to defend themselves against the attacker.

    – On the above listed date and time after staff member stop the attack, MINOR CHILD: was standing their talking to staff members about her attack, sometime shortly after that school resource Officer Robert “REDACTED” was told that MINOR CHILD hit a teacher, he then tackled her to the ground and put her in hand cuffs from the back lying face down, like a dog, and a common criminal!

    — MINOR CHILD….. Was illegally charged by Officer “NAME REDACTED” with violation of O.C.G.A. §16-11-32 Affray (M); O.C.G.A. §20-2-1181 Disrupting a Public School (M); and O.C.G.A. §16-5-23.1(I) Battery on a School Official (F).
    O.C.G.A. §16-11-32; and §20-2-1181 does not apply, the “Castle Doctrine” bill (Law) gives MINOR CHILD the absolute right to “Defend” herself when she is attacked!
    O.C.G.A. §16-5-23.1(I)

    (a) a person commits the offense of battery when he or she “intentionally” causes substantial physical harm or visible bodily harm to another. Statement written by teacher that he was never hit by MINOR CHILD, also there were no physical bruising or marks on the teacher, thus Officer “NAME REDACTED” lied!

    – In accordance we find that Officer “NAME REDACTED” have Violated the below listed laws!

    1. O.C.G.A. §16-5-20(a) (2) Simple Assault
    2. O.C.G.A. §16-5-70 Cruelty to Children
    3. O.C.G.A. §16-10-1 Violation of Oath of Office
    4. O.C.G.A. §16-10-20 False statements and writings, concealment of facts, and fraudulent documents in matters within jurisdiction of state or political subdivisions.

    5. O.C.G.A. §16-5-41 False Imprisonment of a Minor
    Ignorance is key n Valdosta.…

  3. rikyrah says:

    Governor Tells Supporters To Forgo Buying Children Presents, Give Money To His Campaign Instead

    By Scott Keyes on December 2, 2013 at 4:54 pm
    The War On Christmas may actually be happening this year, but it’s being waged by an unlikely culprit: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).

    Last week, Walker’s campaign sent an email encouraging supporters not to buy gifts for their children and to use that money instead to support his reelection effort.

    “Instead of electronics or toys that will undoubtedly be outdated, broken, or lost by the next Holiday Season, help give your children the gift of a Wisconsin that we can all be proud of,” the email read.

    Here is the email in full:

  4. Yahtc says:

    When will this ever stop?? !!!

    “Three African-American Teens Arrested While Waiting for School Bus in New York”

    Three Edison Tech High School students were arrested in Rochester, N.Y. while waiting for a school bus to take them to a basketball game. Their crime? Being young, black and male.

    A police officer repotedly approached 17-year-old Wan’Tauhjs Weathers, 16-year-old Deaquon Carelock and 16-year-old Raliek Redd because the store next to where they were waiting was under surveillance due to previous complaints about loitering. When he told them to leave, they explained that they were waiting to be taken to a game. When he told them to leave again, they detailed why they were standing there, which still resulted in their arrest.

    “We weren’t catching a city bus, we were catching a yellow bus. He didn’t care. He arrested us anyways,” Weathers said. As they were being handcuffed, Jacob Scott—their coach—appeared, attempting to explain that he was their varsity basketball coach. The cop also threatened to arrest Scott if he didn’t leave.

    According to a school official, this type of harassment is common. “I’m very concerned about a pattern of young people being abused by police authority,” said Mary Adams of the Rochester City School Board.

    The boys were charged with obstructing the sidewalk and disorderly conduct. They’ll next appear in court on Dec. 11 to enter their pleas.

  5. rikyrah says:

    these are some low down no-good mofos


    December 02, 2013 11:00 AM
    CA Assembly GOP Puts Up Fake California Health Exchange Site

    By karoli

    California Republicans are desperate and shameless. In the past two weeks, GOP Assembly members have sent mailings out on what appears to be the state’s dime to their constituents about health insurance. Only, they don’t direct those people to to sign up. Instead, they send them to their own astroturf version with the url

    On their version, there are links to negative articles and twisted messages intended to sour people on signing up for health insurance before they ever land at the official health exchange site.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Saturday, November 30, 2013
    Another Failure To Communicate
    Posted by Zandar

    NY Times columnist Timothy Egan has noticed that the entire GOP strategy these days is making sure President Obama (and everyone who voted for him) fails.

    Egan has some good points here, but let’s go over two things here. One, what’s different about Barack Obama compared to the previous 43 POTUS, and two how terrified are the Republican tea party rump of an America that allows someone like Barack Obama to become President?

    It’s gotten to the point where not only Obama must fail and suffer, but everyone who supported him. We all have to pay for messing up “their” America. So yes, that includes anyone Obamacare is trying to help. That includes making it harder for the people who supported the President to vote. That includes making it harder for the people who supported the President to feed their families, and earn a decent wage, and get decent health care and schools and opportunities.

    Which is fine with the GOP. They don’t see it as rooting against Americans, because they don’t see us as “real Americans”. We’re just “those people”.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Alison Grimes Will Have to Step It Up to Beat Mitch McConnell
    By Sam Youngman
    November 30th 20135:45 am

    While the disastrous rollout of Obama’s health care law has dominated national news for weeks, Kentucky’s version, behind the energetic and well-publicized efforts of Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, has been one of the few bright spots for the law, though Republicans are quick to note that it has been far from smooth sailing and most of the enrollees are signing up for Medicaid.

    After a few attempts akin to pulling teeth, Grimes appeared within the last three weeks to come out in favor of the Affordable Care Act after several weeks of hinting at a position including a one-year delay of the employer mandate and a repeal of the medical devices tax.

    Yes, those were two positions Republicans offered in their showdown with the president over the shutdown.

    In an interview with WKYT’s Kentucky Newsmakers in late October, the first local interview Grimes had done after chatting with The Huffington Post, The Hill, and Elle Magazine among others, she came out in favor of the law. Sorta.

    The interview came the night after Obama apologized on NBC for repeatedly saying that if they liked their doctor or insurance, they would still be able to keep them under “Obamacare.”

    For 280,000 Kentuckians, that proved not to be the case.

    When veteran Bluegrass newsman Bill Bryant asked Grimes if the president had done the right thing by apologizing, Grimes went to great and awkward lengths to avoid mentioning Obama by name, well aware McConnell has determined that the heart of his strategy will be to make the 2014 campaign a referendum on Obama in Kentucky.

    “Washington politicians made promises, not just to Kentuckians but to all Americans, that if you like your insurance plan, if you like your doctor, you should be able to keep it,” Grimes answered.

    Without ever mentioning Obama by name, Grimes said she thought the 280,000 who lost their insurance should be “grandfathered in,” then she signaled that she believed repeal efforts were a waste of time.

    “I think instead of Washington finger-pointing, it’s time that we actually fix what has gone through both chambers of Congress, what has gone all the way up to the Supreme Court, which was re-litigated through an entire election cycle,” Grimes said.

    It wasn’t Beshear on Meet the Press, but it was a position after weeks of silence amplified by the vocal advocacy of two of the ever-redder state’s Democrats, Beshear and Rep. John Yarmuth and the endless condemnations of McConnell and the commonwealth’s junior Sen. Rand Paul.

    In the most charitable light, it was improvement. And it was to a Kentucky audience. As Obama learned the hard way, no matter how much distance Democrats try to put between themselves and “Obamacare,” it’s theirs and they own it.

    • TyrenM says:

      Alison needs to go hard like her Gov. Get down or lay down.

      • Ametia says:

        AGREED! Give McTurtle a beatdown like no other. Alison pals around with the Clinton. and the fact that Kentucky’s Governor has successfully rolled out ACA in that state should be a big plus. She need

  8. rikyrah says:

    Why Hillary is courting African-Americans so early
    by Perry Bacon Jr. | December 2, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    …But if you’re Hillary Clinton, the smartest strategy is to stop any
    possibility of Booker, or another Democrat, making inroads among
    African-Americans by courting blacks early and often. And that’s what
    she’s doing.

    A front-page story in the New York Times depicting the Clintons’ outreach to blacks is very politically helpful to the former first lady by casting her as working diligently to win over black leaders. It will make black Democratic leaders think about endorsing Clinton this year, as many in the party, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have already done. And it puts pressure on any potential rivals, such as Warren or Booker, to stand down in 2016 because they see no way of truly winning the nomination.

    …But Democratic candidates, such as John Kerry and even Obama to some extent, often face criticism from black activists during their general election that they are taking the African-American vote for granted. It will be hard to accuse Clinton of doing that since her outreach to blacks started a full three years before Election Day.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Some folks can’t handle the truth.


    Black female professor reprimanded for pointing out existence of structural racism to white male students
    By Scott Kaufman
    Monday, December 2, 2013 13:30 EST

    A faculty member at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Shannon Gibney, received a formal reprimand for her handling of a discussion about structural racism in her Introduction to Mass Communication course.

    According to Gibney in an interview with City College News, a white male student asked her, “Why do we have to talk about this in every class? Why do we have to talk about this?”

    She claims she was shocked, because “[h]is whole demeanor was very defensive. He was taking it personally. I tried to explain, of course, in a reasonable manner — as reasonable as I could given the fact that I was being interrupted and put on the spot in the middle of class — that this is unfortunately the context of 21st century America.”

    • TyrenM says:

      Welcome to Cultural Diversity with a slice of “Minnesota Nice.” Troll a class pretending to learn about Structural Racism and cry when it’s pointed out to you. Fortunately, Professor Gibney has a few here that have her back. WATCHING.

  10. rikyrah says:


    *sigh*…….a #FastTailedGirls hashtag was started to generate a conversation on sexual abuse and misogyny specific to young black girls. Conversation started by black women about a very sensitive topic within our community…but dammit if Miss Ann can’t understand why she too can’t enjoy being a victim. Tha hell….she think this is a celebration? A party she didn’t get an invite too??

  11. @Vitamin

    Where you @?

    I was watching ESPN last night and an older Alabama fan was discussing the Alabama loss against Auburn and the old guy said he wasn’t like other Alabama fans, he wanted to DIE but didn’t want to leave his wife b/c they’d been together for so long. He said Alabama came FIRST in his life and his wife and family second…..on national tv!!!!

    • I’m not an Auburn fan but that win was frigging thrilling. I loved it! My son said he blacked out. He just screamed they’re going to be beat BAMA! They’re going to beat BAMA! He said he didn’t hear the crowd or the noise. He was totally blacked out. bwa ha ha ha ha

      Auburn vs. Alabama – Fan Reactions To Kick Return 2013 Iron Bowl

    • vitaminlover says:

      I am here. just found you. I still love the Tide but now have to say ‘War Eagle’ because my husband loves Auburn and both of my daughters graduated from Alabama. So I am being constantly pulled. My husband fell off the couch when Auburn made that last touchdown. Tee-hee. So again I say Rollll Tiiide and Warrrrr Eeeagle!

  12. rikyrah says:

    Christie’s health care confusion
    12/02/13 11:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    When it comes to Republican governors and the Affordable Care Act, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) isn’t quite as far to the right as some of his brethren. Sure, he condemns the law and refused to create an exchange marketplace for consumers, but the governor at least accepted Medicaid expansion, making him a relative moderate on the issue.

    But the more Christie talks about health care, the less he seems to understand it.

    “This is a disaster and it was a train wreck that anybody who’s managed anything, ever, in their lives, could’ve seen coming,” Christie told New Jersey 101.5FM.

    “This is just an awful law. It made no sense and that’s why I didn’t get into a state exchange,” the Republican governor said on Monday, during the monthly “Ask the Governor” program

    Objectively, whether you love or hate “Obamacare,” this is kind of bizarre.

    First, the notion that the law’s implementation difficulties were obvious in advance simply isn’t true. It’s not like Republicans and other detractors were warning for months that the troubled website wouldn’t work or that cancelation notices would cause a media feeding frenzy. If Christie saw the problems coming, why isn’t there a record of him predicting the recent troubles? Indeed, if anyone “could’ve seen” the missteps coming, shouldn’t someone in the Republican Party have piped up so they could say “I told you so” now?

  13. rikyrah says:

    Trey Gowdy’s contraception conspiracy
    12/02/13 10:49 AM
    By Steve Benen

    The question of whether corporations are people with religious beliefs, capable of theological objections to contraception access, won’t appear before the Supreme Court until the spring, with a ruling likely in the summer. But in the meantime, the rhetoric surrounding the issue is going to be amazing.

    Speaking out against the contraceptive mandate, South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy accused the president of winning the election by misleading women voters.

    “The president knows he is not going to win this case. But what he did win was an election. He won election in part by deceiving women and the so-called war on women,” Gowdy said Wednesday on Fox News’s “On the Record.” “He knows he is not going to win this in Supreme Court, but he won in 2012. That was his real objective.”

    Even for House Republicans, this is a doozy. According to Gowdy, President Obama included contraception access as part of preventive care under federal law, but it was really just an elaborate ruse. Consider the logic here, as outlined by the far-right congressman:

    Obama knew there would be a lawsuit filed by corporation owners pushing the limits of corporate personhood and religious liberty to unseen levels. And Obama knew an appellate court would ignore existing precedent that recognizes the distinction between owners’ religious beliefs and the business’ First Amendment rights. And Obama knew the Supreme Court would agree to hear the case. And Obama knows conservatives on the court will also ignore legal precedent and strike down this provision of the law.

    The president’s crystal ball is just that good.

  14. rikyrah says:

    On Friday, a rare weather phenomenon created an incredible sight at the Grand Canyon.

    The canyon was filled with fog due to something known as “temperature inversion,” according to the Grand Canyon National Park Facebook page, which posted photos to its website.

    grand canyon wow-1

    grand canyon wow-2

  15. rikyrah says:

    December 2, 2013, 9:34 am 14 Comments

    Benghazification Begins is much better. It’s not running like, say, Amazon — but remember, mainly the government is trying to give you money, namely subsidized insurance, rather than to sell you something, so it doesn’t have to match commercial performance right away. There are still serious problems with the back end — the delivery of information to insurers. But the site is no longer a laughingstock, it’s going to get better, and a lot of people are going to sign up by the time open enrollment ends on March 31.

    In short, the crisis is over — for Obama and the Democrats. It’s just beginning for the Republicans, who won’t be able to let go of the notion that it’s a criminal scandal, and that mobs with pitchforks will march on the White House if only they can find the right words.

    They’ll try everything. They’ll hold endless hearings; they’ll get the usual suspects to publish many op-eds. Maybe they’ll get 60 Minutes to do a report that has to be retracted.

    And yes, maybe they’ll gain some seats in the midterms, although those are a long way away.

    But health reform is, almost surely, over the hump.

  16. rikyrah says:

    a4alice @a4alice
    @igorvolsky would like @MaraLiasson & @NPRNEWS to see this. Pls read and tell me why Mara you are not covering states refusing to expand?

    9:45 AM – 2 Dec 2013

  17. rikyrah says:

    Support for gun control helped a candidate win in Virginia
    By Kevin O’Holleran,
    Published: December 1

    Political conventional wisdom has it that in a purple state, such as Virginia, support for gun-safety legislation is best played down. As manager of Mark Herring’s campaign for attorney general, I got a lot of advice. One of the things I heard most frequently was that we should soft-pedal his strong record and advocacy for sensible gun legislation. It would hurt us outside of Northern Virginia and wasn’t a voting issue within the Beltway, I was told.

    Like much conventional wisdom, this was wrong — and we not only ignored this advice but did the opposite. There were stark differences between Herring and his Republican opponent, Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg), on gun safety. Obenshain opposed comprehensive background checks and opposed closing the gun-show loophole. He opposed former governor Douglas Wilder’s landmark “one-gun-a-month” legislation. Obenshain also made a habit of voting for such irresponsible proposals as allowing guns in bars and restaurants where alcohol is served.

  18. rikyrah says:

    First artifacts arrive at Smithsonian’s African American history museum

    A segregated rail car and a prison guard tower are so large, they had to be put into place before construction is completed.

  19. rikyrah says:

    How Texas’ Voter ID Law Could Lead To Six Hour Delays On Election Day
    By Ian Millhiser on December 2, 2013 at 9:00 am

    A provision of Texas’ new voter ID law could delay the amount of time required for hundreds of thousands of Texans to cast a ballot, forcing hours of delays at polling places across the state. Indeed, a ThinkProgress analysis of figures provided by the Dallas Morning News suggests that Texas voting precincts could require nearly six additional hours to process voters caught by this law in 2016.

    In Dallas County, Texas, nearly 14,000 voters were delayed when attempting to cast a ballot, thanks to Texas’ new voter ID law. And that was in a low-turnout election last month where only six percent of the state’s registered voters turned out. In a presidential election year, nearly ten times as many voters are likely to turn out, likely resulting in ten times as many delays. In total, the voter ID law could force thousands of hours of delay spread across the many voting precincts in Texas.

    The origin of this problem is a provision of Texas’ law that requires voters to sign an affidavit testifying that they are who they say they are if the name on their ID does not exactly match the name in the voter registrar. Indeed, this provision casts such a wide net that both state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and her likely Republican opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott were delayed from voting because of disparities between their ID and their registered name. Davis’ driver’s license reads “Wendy Russell Davis,” while she is registered as “Wendy Davis.” Abbott’s license says his name is “Gregory Wayne Abbott” while he is registered as “Greg Abbott.”

    • TyrenM says:

      I thought there’d be some black boot stomping when Wendy and the judge got sweated while voting? Has the noise died down in TX already? smh.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Celebrating the wrong sector
    12/02/13 10:09 AM
    By Steve Benen

    When the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services published its “progress report” yesterday on, it included an interesting argument in its summary.

    “The general contractor and rapid response team has served us well; enabling us to execute with private sector speed and focus currently and for the long term.”

    In the report itself, HHS repeated the claim.

    “While there is more work to be done, the team is operating with private sector velocity and effectiveness, and will continue their work to improve and enhance the website in the weeks and months ahead.”

    That’s quite a bit of celebrating of the “private sector,” its “speed and focus,” and it’s “velocity and effectiveness.”

    On “Meet the Press” yesterday, Chuck Todd picked up on this, noting, “Okay, that is an acknowledgement that, ‘You know what? If this was a government operation for a long time and it failed, now we’re bringing in the private sector folks.’ I mean that is an indictment on the whole idea of government as a solution.”

    Clearly, the most substantive aspect of the health care news is the vast improvements of the website itself, but I still wish the administration wouldn’t use rhetoric like this.

    For one thing, there’s no reason to reinforce the conservative frame about the inferiority of the public sector. It’s wrong and it skews public attitudes in the wrong direction. For another, looking back over the last five years, some of the Obama administration’s most impressive displays of competence – managing Recovery Act investments, overseeing the rescue of the American automotive industry, responding effectively to natural disasters and terrorist threats, etc. – came without much of a role for private-sector “effectiveness.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    About Yoruba Names and their Meanings
    December 2, 2013 | Luvvie

    As some may know, I’m Nigerian, specifically Yoruba. We’re in the Southern part of the country, but we’re global because our culture and our people are all over the world. We’re over 35 million strong and we are everything. Yes, I’m biased.

    Anywho, yesterday, I started tweeting about how important names are to Yoruba people. To us, our names are of utmost importance and they really lay the groundwork for a child who’s entering the world.

  22. What was the first beverage company to use Santa Claus as a winter promotion? Put on your thinking caps!

  23. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Obamacare gets another chance
    By Greg Sargent
    December 2 at 9:06 am

    The Obama administration announced over the weekend that it had met its goals for fixing the problems plaguing the federal website for the “vast majority” of users, claiming the site is functioning more than 90 percent of the time, though many problems (particularly at the back end) remain.

    If this bears out, could it shift a political situation that is working heavily against the law and Democrats?

    One bright spot: Around 100,000 people signed up for health insurance through the federal website in November, a senior administration official tells me, confirming a figure that was first reported by Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman. As Goldman notes, this is still far short of the administration’s goal, but it is four times as many as in October, suggesting two things: A steady increase in signups, and a potential sign that “consumers are keeping an open mind” about the law, despite the technical failures.

    The news of improvements has not put the slightest dent in the absolute certainty among Republicans that its epic collapse is underway. GOP Rep. Tom Cole flatly predicted that the law’s future would be an “unmitigated disaster for the president,” while Senator Bob Corker suggested the law can’t be fixed.

    The truth is that it’s still too early to say whether the fixes will translate into long term success — because what really matters is whether the law works over time, which means enough people successfully enrolling in the right demographic mix for the exchanges to function properly. Most signs suggest demand is there. But as Jonathan Cohn and Brian Beutler detail, the real test will be how the website performs if and when we see enrollment surges this month and before the March 31st deadline, and what the enrollment mix looks like later next year.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Obamacare Website Sign-Ups Said to Reach 100,000 in Month
    By Julianna Goldman – Dec 2, 2013 6:00 AM ET

    About 100,000 people signed up for health insurance through the online federal exchange last month, a roughly four-fold increase from October even as a team of U.S. government and contractor programmers was fixing the troubled Affordable Care Act website, said a person familiar with program’s progress.

    The preliminary November numbers reflect individuals who successfully selected a plan. The administration expects that most consumers will sign up early next year as the enrollment period nears its March 31 close, said the person who asked for anonymity because the final numbers were still being calculated.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Dems should not hesitate to further streamline the Senate rulebook
    By Ryan Cooper
    November 29 at 2:18 pm

    With the filibuster gone, progressives have been arguing that the time is ripe for a burst of quick confirmation hearings to fill up empty slots in the executive branch and the federal judiciary. But there are more antiquated Senate traditions standing in the way of that. The latest practice to come into focus now that the filibuster is gone is the “blue slip” rule, which says that when a federal judgeship opens in a particular state, both home state senators have to sign off on the appointment before it can move forward.

    Senate Democrats should not hesitate to continue to streamline the Senate’s rulebook if Republicans continue to use procedural tricks to block the nomination process. Republicans will not be so generous when the tables are turned.

    This excellent Charlie Savage article gives us the upshot:

    Twelve more appeals court seats are either vacant or will be by the end of 2014. All but one are in states with at least one Republican senator. As a result, Mr. Obama still lacks unrestricted power to swiftly appoint a flurry of more clearly left-of-center judges than he has done to date, despite the fears of conservatives and the hopes of liberals, specialists said.

  26. rikyrah says:

    RNC reflects on ‘ending racism’
    12/02/13 09:19 AM
    By Steve Benen

    For all of its many benefits, Twitter’s brevity can cause trouble for plenty of political voices. Yesterday, for example, the Republican National Committee decided to honor the anniversary of Rosa Parks’ “bold stand,” which seemed like a perfectly nice gesture. The RNC added, however, that Parks played a role “in ending racism.”

    Not surprisingly, the message was not well received. Despite what you may have heard from Supreme Court conservatives in the Voting Rights Act case, racism hasn’t ended, it certainly wasn’t vanquished on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955.

    A few hours later, realizing that they’d made a mess of things, RNC officials returned to Twitter to say, “Previous tweet should have read ‘Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in fighting to end racism,’” which was a welcome clarification, though the damage was done.

    In fairness to the Republican National Committee, it’s hard to believe the party was trying to be deliberately offensive. For that matter, I rather doubt the RNC believes Rosa Parks helped end racism 58 years ago. This was likely the result of clumsy tweeting, not ignorant malice.

    But in the larger context, stories like these resonate because the party no longer qualifies for the benefit of the doubt. Too many incidents come quickly to mind: the Nevada Republican who’d embrace slavery, the North Carolina Republican whose appearance on “The Daily Show” became the stuff of legend, the birthers, the fondness for Jesse Helms, the widespread voter-suppression laws that disproportionately affect African Americans, the Maine Republican who wants the NAACP to kiss his butt, the former half-term Alaska governor who’s comfortable with “shuck and jive” rhetoric, etc.

    The RNC, in other words, can’t lean on its credibility on racial issues to easily dismiss poorly worded tweets. The fact that the party can’t even say a nice thing about Rosa Parks without screwing up and getting itself in trouble only helps reinforce the extent to which race is a systemic problem for the party.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Congress considers its next move on Iran
    12/02/13 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    In mid-September, after the Obama administration reached an agreement to rid Iran of its chemical-weapons stockpiles, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said he felt “very discouraged.” Yesterday, in the wake of the short-term nuclear deal with Iran, Corker again said he’s “very discouraged.”

    The senator’s distaste for diplomatic success stories notwithstanding, the next question is what “very discouraged” lawmakers intend to do about their dissatisfaction. Among those reporting on the issue, there’s some disagreement about what we should expect.

    Olivier Knox, for example, reports that it’s unlikely Congress will deliberately sabotage the West’s Iranian deal, at least while comprehensive talks remain ongoing.

    Congress didn’t exactly sound the trumpets and roll out the red carpet for President Barack Obama’s fragile interim deal with Iran – but it’s increasingly clear that lawmakers don’t want to blow it up with new sanctions, either. […]

    “The administration has gotten what it wants: Space for negotiations. And it will continue to get what it wants: Space. But not without consequences or repercussions if Iran breaks faith,” a top Democratic aide close to the process told Yahoo News.

  28. rikyrah says:

    The Tea Party Will Likely Try To Manipulate Voting Machines in 2014 and 2016
    By: Dennis S
    Sunday, December, 1st, 2013, 9:43 pm

    Dear PoliticusUSA readers: You do understand that the Teapublicans will do anything to capture the presidency, Congress and every state legislature and governorship in the country in the 2014 and 2016 election cycles, don’t you? Good; now let us proceed.

    Defining the most important term so there are no misunderstandings; “anything” means ANYTHING!!!

    All issues, personalities, controlled media and giant corporate and billionaire money notwithstanding, there is one element that is imperative to winning public office. Without it, no matter how commanding the other considerations may be, a political party cannot win a single office. That’s why it’s vital that beginning now, we track the process that decides whether America is going to continue it’s divisive path to mediocrity or if the Democrats are going to get a chance to right the Ship of the Republic that the Republican right is threatening to sink.

  29. rikyrah says:

    David Gregory Hits a New Low By Shilling For Delaying the Individual Mandate
    By: Jason Easley
    Sunday, December, 1st, 2013, 7:46 pm

    David Gregory took Meet The Press to an even lower low by ignoring all reality about the ACA website and shilling for a delay in the individual mandate.

    Gregory’s question was absolute B.S. The website is already fixed, but he couldn’t accept that or else it would destroy his whole premise for asking if the individual mandate should be delayed. Why would the individual mandate need to be delayed if the website is working?

    David Gregory was twisting himself into knots trying to set up the softball question on the individual mandate question for Republican Rep. Mike Rogers. This is a behavior that has been visible across the media today. ABC News was in denial, and basically accusing the White House of lying about the status of the website. CNN played dumb about the improvements to the website in order to question President Obama’s competence. In general, the media refuses to believe that a website on the Internet is capable of being repaired.

    News watchers have come to expect nothing less than disinterested regurgitation of Republican talking points from David Gregory. However, today’s break from reality was big even by his own standards. None of this is ever a surprise, because David Gregory is a man who treats Meet The Press like he would rather be hosting the Today show.

    Gregory has managed to do the impossible. He has made Meet The Press even more unwatchable with his slavish devotion to Republican talking points.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Peggy Noonan Reveals the Republicans’ ObamaCare Alternative: Nothing
    By: Sarah Jones
    Sunday, December, 1st, 2013, 5:37 pm

    I’ve been saying for weeks now that Republicans, so desperate to destroy Obama’s biggest accomplishment that they can’t stop tearing their own ideas apart, are accidentally making a case for single payer.

    Peggy Noonan took that to the next level today on ABC’s This Week, as she bypassed single payer to land back at the GOP’s real plan: Do nothing. Repeal or delay and do nothing.

    Peggy Noonan said on This Week, “I think the Obamacare problem is two-tier. One is the real problem with the website that has been fascinating and captivating people for two months. Beyond that, there is the deeper problem of America discovering of what is in the program itself, people losing coverage, the doctor situation — you can’t keep them, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.”

    Oh, yes, suddenly losing coverage is a bad thing that the GOP cares about! Hop on this bus before it takes off and rolls right over you — and it will. And I guess it shouldn’t be a shock that the only people the GOP cares about are those who already had insurance and now might have to switch their doctors. Oh, the inhumanity… It’s truly pulling at the 47%’s heartstrings. To think a few 5% of the population might have to meet a new doctor — it’s almost like dying from lack of health insurance.

    “Et cetera.” This means that there is so much to complain about but Noonan figures you already know what’s wrong with Obamacare. “Et cetera.”

    On top of “et cetera”, there’s this thing that hasn’t happened yet but might! Hang on to your outrage, America — “Plus, there’s something new, orphaned policies, in which people go on to the site, think they have registered and find out in January that they haven’t.”

    Because of all of that, you might as well not give health insurance to any of the 47 million who don’t have it for a year. Let them die because they might not get insurance in January, “So it’s so problematic that I have said since October, this thing should just be delayed one year.”

    Stephanopoulos replied, “And Peggy Noonan, one of the things you do see, even more Republican governs signing up accepting the program especially on Medicaid. We just saw Michigan signing up on top of Ohio and New Jersey, some big states there.”

    Noonan goes in for the anti government push, but gets hung up on government programs that she apparently loves more than ObamaCare, “But let me say something so old-fashioned, I always thought one of the central mistakes here was obsessing on the issue of insurance and not obsessing on the issue of health care and making sure everybody who gets into an accident, who has some trouble, who doesn’t have money, can get treated in America.”

    Say what? So, Peggy wants people to get treatment without insurance – no matter if they have money or not. Great idea!

  31. rikyrah says:

    Howard Dean Goes Off On Republicans and the Media for Questioning Obama’s Competence
    By: Jason Easley
    Sunday, December, 1st, 2013, 4:29 pm

    After having to listen to Candy Crowley and Rick Santorum question President Obama’s competence, Howard Dean went off and called the whole thing right wing talking point nonsense.

    Former Gov. Dean finally said what Democrats should have been saying for weeks. This is all nonsense. Republicans and their media allies need to be called out on it. Candy Crowley was wrong. We do not need to wait and see if the website works when people are on it. The website has been working for weeks with people on it. Between Sunday and Tuesday of last week, 20,000 people signed up.

    Only an idiot who hasn’t been paying attention, or completely insulated inside the Beltway lazy journalist wouldn’t know that. The Republicans have managed to trump up the ACA website issues to the same level as their other bogus scandals.

    Howard Dean had enough of this nonsense, and he called it out. Democrats out number Republicans in this country, and they to a person should be doing the exact same thing.

    It is time to stand up, fight back, and kill this lie.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Why American baby boomers are retiring in Latin America
    By The Christian Science Monitor
    Sunday, December 1, 2013 23:48 EST

    After 20 years in the US military, James Cummiskey was divorced and looking for a change. Relenting to his buddy’s request, he flew to Medellín, Colombia, for a visit. He looked, he saw, and, by dinner time, he decided to stay. Permanently.

    “After four to five hours, I was immediately captured by everything I saw,” says the ex-marine, who has lived in 35 countries. He spent the next four months selling two homes, three vehicles, two motorcycles, and one airplane. He put the money aside and decided to retire early.

    Now he lives in a posh section of the mountain city of 3.8 million, surrounded by lush vistas. He married a Colombian woman, started a coffee export business, and seems to get goose bumps every time he thinks about his new life. “I tell you honestly I have had more fun here in the past four years than in the previous 50,” he says.

    Mr. Cummiskey’s story is being repeated thousands of times – minus perhaps the sale of a personal plane – as more and more Americans retire to countries all over Latin America. Lured by sun-dappled landscapes and cheap living costs, they are settling in culturally vibrant towns in central Mexico, beach communities in Costa Rica, high-rise enclaves in Panama, and mountain retreats in Nicaragua.

    Even Medellín, once the drug and murder capital of the world, has transformed itself into something of an urban showcase, attracting baby boomers to a place where cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar used to carry out his ruthless craft.

    Though the phenomenon of Americans retiring in Latin America began 25 years ago, it has accelerated in the past five to 10 years. Call the region America’s new “Sun Belt.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    Affluent, white residents of south Baton Rouge propose seceding from city’s poor, black northern areas
    By Scott Kaufman

    The predominantly white and wealthy residents of the southern area of Baton Rouge have proposed seceding from the city proper and incorporating into a new one to be called “St. George.”

    The movement began as an effort to create a new school district, but after the state legislature repeatedly mothballed its proposals — claiming that they could not approve an independent school district that was unaffiliated with a city — organizers shifted their energies to the creation of “St. George.”

    The new city would be the fifth largest in the state, with over 107,000 residents, and would include two of the largest tax revenue bases in the state: Perkins Rowe and the Mall of Louisiana. A study by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber concluded that Baton Rouge residents “will be disproportionately paying taxes to the proposed municipality,” given city governance’s reliance on sales tax revenues.

    If the succession were successful, the study claimed, it “could entail the dissolution of the present system of governance.”

    John Fregonese, a city-planner responsible for the much-lauded FutureBR plan, said that “[t]he idea of creating a city like this — I can’t find another place in the United States where it would cause so much turmoil.”

    “The problem is that the whole parish built a major retail center there,” Fregonese said. “You have $90 million go from one hand to another and that’s going to cause a major catastrophe to the finances of this parish.”

  34. rikyrah says:

    The ACA Website Was An Easy Target for a Media Desperate to Play Pretend Journalist
    By: Sarah Jones
    Sunday, December, 1st, 2013, 3:51 pm

    It’s almost over and the media has a big sad. What will they talk about as Congress takes yet another break? Certainly not the many lies sold to them by the GOP this year. That would be embarrassing.

    They could squeeze a few more drops of blood out of a website rollout that no one will remember in a year! Oh, yes. PARTY.

    ABC isn’t alone in their attempts to portray themselves as serious journalists who will diligently fact check this White House (but not any other White House).

    Reporters want outside data to confirm that the site is fixed, because the White House might lie to them. Unlike Republicans, whose word apparently is GOLD even though they lied for partisan purposes regarding the IRS “scandal” and the Benghazi “scandal”.

    Sure, the media didn’t even bother to vet the anecdotal stories upon which it based the many of its claims that the site wasn’t working, but when the White House says a website is fixed, the media can’t just take their word like they can when a White House says Iraq has WMD.

    Oh, gosh no. Especially when the website is so secret and there’s no way of testing it… except for testing it. Or getting a website developer to take a look. Or interviewing an insurance broker who uses it all of the time, like Politicus did. In fact, one can easily fact check these claims- there’s no need to run around screaming about how this administration is probably lying and they are so like Russia with the not allowing the media to take pictures of Obama any time they want and the lack of transparency with this website report.

  35. Yahtc says:

    Good Morning Everyone :)

    Wishing all of you a great day!

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