Tuesday Open Thread

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Christmas Candles 45Please Come Home for Christmas” is a Christmas song, released in 1960, by the American blues singer and pianist Charles Brown. Hitting Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in December 1961, the tune Brown co-wrote with Gene Redd peaked at position #76. It appeared on the Christmas Singles chart for nine seasons, hitting #1 in 1972.[2] It includes a number of characteristics of Christmas music, such as multiple references in the lyrics to the Christmas season and Christmas traditions, and the use of a Church bell type sound, created using a piano, at the start of the song. It is sometimes referred to as Bells Will Be Ringing.

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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27 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Yahtc says:

    Nelson Mandela & Fidel Castro: A Video You Won’t See on the Evening News


  2. vitaminlover says:

    Love the snowflakes!

  3. rikyrah says:

    Democrats clear path for Mel Watt confirmation
    by Associated Press | December 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats have used the Senate’s newly eased filibuster procedures to clear the way for confirmation of the man President Barack Obama wants to become a top housing regulator.

    The Senate voted 57-40 on Tuesday to end a Republican filibuster, or delaying tactics, against Rep. Mel Watt.

    Until Democrats forced through changes last month, it took 60 votes to end filibusters — a margin Democrats cannot achieve without support from some of the chamber’s 45 Republicans.

    In May, Obama picked the veteran North Carolina Democrat to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency. It oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own or guarantee about half of all U.S. mortgages.

    Until now, the nomination had languished because of Republican complaints that Watt is unqualified. Democrats say that is untrue.


  4. rikyrah says:

    Former black BP executive claims she was fired for braided hair and ‘ethnic’ attire
    by Carrie Healey | December 10, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Melphine Evans, a former top executive at BP, has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, in which she claims she was told her “ethnic clothing and ethnic hairstyles” made coworkers uncomfortable.

    According to the 24-page lawsuit, Evans was working as the CFO BP West Coast Products when she was fired.

    The former CFO claims she made complaints to supervisors and management regarding racial and gender discrimination within the company, and they responded with insensitive remarks, saying she was the problem.

    Some of the offensive remarks listed in the lawsuit include:

    ‘You intimidate and make your colleagues uncomfortable by wearing ethnic clothing and ethnic hairstyles (‘Dashikis,’ ‘twists,’ ‘braids/cornrows’). On one occasion, a BP representative went so far as to ask Ms. Evans ‘if she understood that wearing a “dashiki” to work makes her colleagues feel uncomfortable?’

    ‘If you insist on wearing ethnic clothing/hairstyles-you should only do so during ‘culture day,’ black history month or special diversity events/days.’

    ‘If you are going to wear ethnic clothing, you should alert people in advance that you will be wearing something ethnic


  5. Ametia says:

    Bipartisan negotiators have reached a deal to set government spending levels and eliminate arbitrary forced spending cuts, and — if approved by Congress — avert another government shutdown in January.

    The House and Senate must vote on the agreement, and opponents in both parties are already raising concerns. If passed by Congress, the agreement would mark a significant departure from repeated congressional showdowns over the budget.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Senate starts moving after ‘nuclear option’
    12/10/13 12:49 PM—Updated 12/10/13 02:24 PM
    By Steve Benen

    Something happened on the Senate floor today that, unfortunately, seemed pretty remarkable. In this instance, there was a vacancy on a key federal bench, so the president nominated a qualified jurist for the post. She was approved easily by the Judiciary Committee, and even Republicans couldn’t think of any substantive reasons to oppose her nomination.

    The matter went to the Senate floor for a confirmation vote, and a couple of hours ago, senators cast their votes. They were tallied, and since a majority supported her nomination, she was confirmed.

    The Senate voted 56-38 Tuesday to confirm Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit Court, making her the first nominee of President Obama’s to clear the Senate since Democrats unilaterally changed the rules in a vote last month. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) voted with Democrats.

    The rule change means only 51 votes are needed to end a filibuster on nominations below the level of the Supreme Court.


  7. rikyrah says:

    Time for liberals to make rental housing policy a top issue
    By Ryan Cooper
    December 10 at 12:20 pm

    Today, homelessness, poverty, and housing policy are the focus of a big debate among liberals. After the 2008 crisis rooted in homeownership, more and more people are renting every day. But liberals have not really grappled with the problem of affordable housing, and traditional solutions are unequal to the task.

    The Obama administration’s housing policies have mostly fixated on restoring the pre-crisis home mortgage status quo, but have barely addressed renting at all. Homeownership is important, but liberals now need to set affordable rental housing on an equal political footing with owning. At a minimum, this will involve massive new construction to address the desperate shortage of affordable rental units.

    One place for liberals to start is with this magnificent piece in the New York Times. It tells the story of a girl named Dasani, as she and her family struggle to survive homeless in Brooklyn. It’s a gripping tale that, if you have even a scrap of human decency, inspires deep sympathy.

    Dasani’s family has a lot of problems. But possibly the biggest one is housing. New York City rents are very, very high, and climbing all the time as rich whites move back to the city en masse. The city bureaucracy keeps encouraging the family to go out and find their own place to live, but with rents so preposterously far out of reach, and rental assistance vouchers cut in the age of austerity, it’s easy to see why Dasani is stuck so long in a thoroughly wretched homeless shelter.


  8. rikyrah says:

    Cracks emerge in anti-ACA wall
    12/10/13 10:15 AM—Updated 12/10/13 11:02 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Since the beginning of the debate over health care reform in 2009, the line from congressional Republicans has been as unyielding as it’s been unconstructive: whatever President Obama suggests, they hate, even when the White House adopts GOP ideas. The party has come to be defined by their almost hysterical hatred, contempt, and disgust for the Affordable Care Act.

    But just over the last couple of weeks, unexpected cracks have started to emerge. The Republican approach to “Obanacare” has started to evolve, at least a little.

    Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a U.S. Senate hopeful, said recently, “A lot of conservatives say, ‘Nah, let’s just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own.’ But I don’t think that’s always the responsible thing to do.” As Zachary Roth explained last week, that was soon followed by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), who conceded that “some Americans’ lives have gotten better” as a result of the law, and to fail to acknowledge this is to “deny reality.”

    Yesterday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who ran on an anti-ACA platform in 2010, stopped by National Review’s office and said he realizes his party’s repeal crusade is a bust. “We’ve got to start talking about transitioning,” the far-right Wisconsinite said.


  9. Ametia says:

    Eleanor Parker, 91, Oscar-Nominated Actress, Dies

    Eleanor Parker, who was nominated three times for a best-actress Oscar but whose best-known role was a supporting one, as the marriage-minded baroness in “The Sound of Music,” died on Monday in Palm Springs, Calif. She was 91


  10. Ametia says:

    Why this can’t be TRUE

    Many blacks and Latinos have no retirement savings, study shows

    Fewer than half of blacks and Latino workers have retirement plans on the job, leaving the vast majority of them with no savings designated for their golden years, according to a report to be released Tuesday



  11. rikyrah says:

    General Motors is alive – and privately owned
    12/10/13 09:24 AM—Updated 12/10/13 09:24 AM
    By Steve Benen

    When drawing up a list of President Obama’s accomplishments, I tend to think the rescue of the American auto industry – the backbone of the nation’s manufacturing sector – is too easily forgotten.

    As Obama himself said in a statement yesterday, “When I took office, the American auto industry … was on the verge of collapse. Two of the Big Three – GM and Chrysler – were on the brink of failure, threatening to take suppliers, distributors and entire communities down with them. In the midst of what was already the worst recession since the Great Depression, another one million Americans were in danger of losing their jobs.”

    But the administration intervened and the results continue to be impressive.


  12. rikyrah says:

    The Fournier Journal’s New Low
    Posted by dpm (dread pirate mistermix) at 8:25 am

    Reader J sent me a whole bunch of links this morning, but this one, from Alex Seitz-Wald at the National Journal, should be taught in Journalism schools across the country as an example of shitty narrative-based journalism.

    Let’s start with the click bait headline: “How Adam Lanza Wrecked Obama’s Second Term”. Perhaps it’s just my peevish nature and small mind, but as far as I’m concerned there’s a special place in hell for anyone who decides to juxtapose the name of a loathsome child murderer with a decent public servant (of any party) just to get a few more hits on the Internet. That guy’s name should be mentioned as little as possible, and you should spit after you say it.

    But, if you can get past the headline, here’s the heart of the argument:

    Immigration was in an almost impossible bipartisan sweet spot: a singularly important policy goal for Democrats that could be a political boon for both parties. For Republicans, it was a way to fix a demographic problem revealed by the 2012 election. Still, they’d have to move quickly. The populist Right that had torpedoed immigration reform under George W. Bush seemed quieted by defeat, but it wouldn’t stay that way for long.

    Then Lanza’s rampage altered the debate in Washington. Suddenly, priority No. 1 wasn’t immigration reform but gun control. The base that had just elected Obama was clamoring for background checks and magazine-clip restrictions, threatening to desert the president before his second inauguration. […]

    Yes, it was the dirty fucking hippies who killed immigration reform. The nativist right “seemed quieted” (to whom? the deaf?), so Obama had his moment. If only those fucking hippies had shut up and tolerated a grotesque massacre of children, the DREAM act would have sailed through Congress.

    How can someone who has functioning eyes and ears, and a neural pathway between them, believe this garbage? It’s been clear all along that immigration reform would live or die in the House, that the House is dominated by a band of zealots who have no intention of risking a Tea Party primary challenge, and that one sure way to encourage Tea Party challenger would be to champion “amnesty”, as it would be called in the campaign ads.

    The distasteful fact that this piece is dancing around is that Republicans have been looking for excuses to kill immigration reform for years. (Here’s the previous effort that used Obamacare as an excuse.) Apparently under the reign of Ron Fournier, it’s also the National Journal’s job to help them make excuses, or at least create distractions.


  13. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: GOP set to stiff-arm conservatives once again?
    By Greg Sargent
    December 10 at 9:03 am

    If we are going to get a deal to replace the sequester, which looks likely, perhaps one key reason may be as follows: This time, the incentives favor Republicans showing they can enter into the basic give and take of governing.

    With GOP Rep. Paul Ryan close to a deal with Dem Senator Patty Murray that would lift spending levels to just over $1 trillion in fiscal 2014 and 2015, conservatives are already savaging it. Everyone from RedState.com to Breitbart to Hot Air to Heritage Action to Americans for Prosperity have pilloried the deal for lifting spending levels, warning of an imminent cave to Democrats. As National Journal reports, a revolt is brewing among House conservatives.

    Despite conservative opposition, the expected deal may end up passing the House with the support of Democrats. Of course, those with very long memories will recall that only a few months ago, the notion that GOP leaders would allow something to pass with a lot of Dems — provoking great rage from the right — was thought to be unthinkably risky. Now, it looks at least possible that House GOP leaders will try to get this done with a minimum of drama. What changed?

    The difference this time is that Republicans know they can’t afford another crisis heading into 2014. Having already gotten scorched by the last Tea Party-inspired government shutdown — which only ended when House GOP leaders bowed to the inevitable need to stiff-arm the Tea Party — Republican leaders appear determined not to let things get out of hand this time. Which means the only other alternative — aside from temporarily funding the government at sequester levels again, which would only mean another battle into 2014 — is to enter into the sort of basic governing that requires making concessions.


  14. rikyrah says:

    In GWB Hearing, “Aberrant” and “Illegal” Lane Ploy by Christie Men Draws Fire
    Monday, December 09, 2013 – 08:10 PM
    By Andrea Bernstein

    For as long as anyone can remember the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has worked like this: Two governors divide up the board and staff appointments, and the contracts that flow from that. No one blows the whistle on anyone else, because that might jeopardize one’s own spoils.

    On Monday, the whistle blew as long and loud as a foghorn by the shoals of the Hudson River.

    The setting was a hearing room in Trenton, where State Assembly member John Wisniewksi decided to exercise a rare authority – using his subpoena power to summon officials to explain why three lanes onto the George Washington Bridge had been abruptly closed in September, causing a week’s worth of traffic and sending the Port Authority’s Executive Director, Cuomo appointee Pat Foye, into a rage.

    Back in September, Foye charged in a heated email that the closures were made without proper public notice, in possible violation of the law, and, in fact, without his knowledge. He immediately reversed the closures.

    But Democrats were swift to raise the possibility the lane closures had been made as political retribution against the Mayor of Fort Lee, a Democrat, who, unlike some Democrats, had not endorsed Christie for reelection. There was a lot of whispering during Christie’s re-election campaign that he had a “naughty and nice list” but no one had been able to prove it. Now, there was talk, there might be some evidence.

    The closures, according to some terrific reporting by the Wall Street Journal, had been ordered by David Wildstein, second in command on the New Jersey side to Bill Baroni, the Port Authority Deputy Executive Director.


  15. rikyrah says:

    Obama honors Mandela legacy in Johannesburg
    12/10/13 08:42 AM
    By Steve Benen

    President Obama addressed a massive South African crowd today at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, and if you missed his remarks, they’re worth your time. (For those who can’t watch clips online, the White House has already posted a transcript.)

    The oratory on Madiba’s life and legacy was stirring, but perhaps the most salient rhetoric came when Obama looked ahead.

    “The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality or universal franchise may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before, but they are no less important. For around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger and disease. We still see run-down schools. We still see young people without prospects for the future. Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs, and are still persecuted for what they look like, and how they worship, and who they love. That is happening today.

    “And so we, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace. There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. And there are too many of us on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.”

    It was pointed precisely because it applied to some of the very leaders who traveled to South Africa for the event and heard the rhetoric from the stage.


  16. rikyrah says:

    A bridge too far
    12/10/13 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Did Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) administration cripple a New Jersey community with a deliberate, brutal traffic jam, purely out of petty and partisan spite? The question is not as outlandish as it may appear.

    To recap our report from yesterday – and if you missed last night’s segment on this, trust me, it’s worth your time – Fort Lee, New Jersey, was effectively turned into a giant parking lot on the first day of school in September, after the Port Authority closed two of the three lanes leading from the community to the George Washington Bridge. The Christie administration later defended the move, saying it was part of a “traffic study,” though we now know there was no study.

    So why cause the massive congestion on purpose? New Jersey Democrats allege the Christie administration was punishing Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor for refusing to endorse the governor’s re-election campaign. And while that seems hard to believe – Christie was cruising to an easy win, anyway – the burgeoning controversy is increasingly difficult to dismiss.

    [O]n Friday, the man who ordered the closings – a high school friend of the governor’s who was a small-town mayor and the founder of an anonymous political blog before Mr. Christie’s appointee created a job for him at the Port Authority – resigned, saying the issue had become “a distraction.”

    And testifying under subpoena in Trenton on Monday, bridge workers described Mr. Christie’s associates’ ordering the closings, and called the different maneuvers “unprecedented,” “odd” and “wrong.” There was, they said, no study.

    Mr. Christie’s associates at the Port Authority, they said, ordered bridge workers to shut down the lanes with three days’ notice despite warnings that it would cause havoc, and that changes of this magnitude typically took years of planning. They were instructed not to tell anyone — not the news media, not Fort Lee, not even the Port Authority’s executive director, who is an appointee of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, they said. They protested, but went along, they said, because they feared retribution.


  17. rikyrah says:

    Cheney’s descent into incoherence
    12/09/13 11:30 AM—Updated 12/09/13 11:43 AM
    By Steve Benen

    It stands to reason former Vice President Dick Cheney would be unimpressed with the international agreement with Iran over its nuclear program. Heck, Cheney didn’t even get along with George W. Bush late in their second term because Bush was reluctant to launch military strikes on Iran, so the notion that Cheney would balk at President Obama’s policy is hardly a surprise.

    But as Ben Armbruster noted, Cheney appeared on Fox News this morning to complain about U.S. policy towards Iran, and the former VP doesn’t even seem to be trying anymore.

    The former vice president moved to Iran and without mentioning any specific criticisms of the agreement, claimed it’s bad because of unrelated health care issues. “We don’t follow through and Iran we’ve got a very serious problem going forward and a deal now been cut,” he said. “The same people that brought us ‘you can keep your insurance if you want’ are telling us they’ve got a great deal in Iran with respect to their nuclear program. I don’t believe it.”

    This is what I like to call a “guy at the end of the bar” argument. You may know the type: there’s some angry guy watching the TV above the bar, and to no one in particular, the loudmouth wants to share his poorly informed wisdom about a variety of subjects. He’s the guy who’s convinced government is inherently bad because of lines at the DMV.

    Cheney has become that guy. About 1 percent of the population will be adversely affected by changes to the messy individual, non-group insurance market, and as such, the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran is suspect. What do these two things have to do with one another? For sensible people, nothing.


  18. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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