Friday Open Thread

Advent wreathThe 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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65 Responses to Friday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    V. Hussein Savage @Kennymack1971

    The President doesn’t trade insults with Valerie Jarrett like George Jefferson and Florence did? That’s not “normal” #JodiKantorThoughts
    6:48 PM – 13 Dec 2013

    • rikyrah says:

      Sharon Sharp @asoldiersvoice

      Why is the WH suppressing n hiding all the pics of the Obamas throwing up gang signs. #JodiKantorThoughts
      6:21 PM – 13 Dec 2013

      Willie Hussein Wonka @ArrogantDemon

      Hawaii….why Hawaii, can’t he say he’s from Compton, that’s more believable #JodiKantorThoughts
      6:16 PM – 13 Dec 2013

      V. Hussein Savage @Kennymack1971

      I thought Malia and Sasha would act more like Arnold from Different Strokes.. #JodiKantorThoughts
      5:52 PM – 13 Dec 2013

      Judith fardig @FardigJudith

      @jodikantor @davidgregory @whpresscorps Your condescension toward our First Family reflects badly on you, not them.
      7:53 PM – 13 Dec 2013

  2. rikyrah says:

  3. rikyrah says:

    john miller @deaconmill

    #JodiKantorThoughts Damn, how can we keep the dysfunctional black family stereotype going? Have to discredit the Obamas.
    8:24 PM – 13 Dec 2013

  4. rikyrah says:

    Brian Henry @Brian8473

    Why is Sasha wearing Doc Martins instead of Air Jordans? #JodiKantorThoughts
    6:47 PM – 13 Dec 2013

  5. rikyrah says:

    PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots

    Sasha and Malia have the same father AND he lives with them and their mother. That’s not normal. #JodiKantorThoughts
    7:00 PM – 13 Dec 2013

  6. rikyrah says:

    bitter & covetous RT@jodikantor: @davidgregory Friends would post so-called natural pix of Obamas …they had no idea how staged they

    @madelynemoments @jodikantor @davidgregory You should all resign for this sick, twisted attack on our first family

    @LiberalPhenom @madelynemoments @jodikantor @davidgregory Im about to remove my earrings

    • rikyrah says: @TheObamaDiary

      It’s still, like, tooootally weird to me to see black persons in the White House who aren’t there to serve the canapés. #JodiKantorThoughts
      6:42 PM – 13 Dec 2013

  7. rikyrah says:

    SheriffFruitfly @sherifffruitfly 8m
    @GoBrooklyn @PragObots the entire zeitgeist of the country KNOWS what “normal is – and a black family simply isn’t it. by definition.

    SheriffFruitfly @sherifffruitfly 7m
    @GoBrooklyn @PragObots it was one thing for us white folks to accept the fiction of Cosby Show. quite another the reality of Obama.

    GoBrooklyn ‏@GoBrooklyn 20m
    @PragObots It’s like they can’t stand to see a black family look more normal and loving than previous First Families.

  8. rikyrah says:

    you know twitter had something for Jodi Kantor


    #JodiKantorThoughts Why doesn’t he sell things from his trunk?

    Where are all the pics of the Obamas taping up their fingers before the weekly Bid Whist game with friends? #JodiKantorThoughts

    @jodikantor wants to see pics of Malia holding her ear while Michelle takes the hot comb off the stove.

    I bet Barack wears a do rag at night #JodiKantorThoughts

    @TheToast2013 The Obamas aren’t used to nice houses. They lived down the hall from Florida & Willona before they came to DC. #JodiKantorThoughts

  9. rikyrah says:

    She’s still mad folks clowned her over that wretched book


    jodikantor ✔ @jodikantor

    @davidgregory The Obamas rose to power claiming to be a normal family. Now all we see are glossy, perfect pix– that are incredibly popular.


    great comments:


    Breaking: The President and First Lady don’t struggle much. And until they were black, nobody expected them to.

    End of story.


    gn jds09

    I’m thinking that some of these folks in the press would like to see some c00ning, just to go ahead and lay it out. Many years ago people in this community predicted a massive level of butthurt coming because the President refuses to be the entertainment. Some people seem to still not be over that…



    They’re black. She wants to see them “struggling” like Good Times even though they are the President and First Lady of the US, two of the most visible and powerful people on the planet. Some folks will always see Peaches and Ray Ray on the corner, and can’t handle what they consider “fake” visual depictions of them as a loving, positive family.



    Well she will never see this family struggle. When they leave the White House they will still be on top because as we all know this family had it together before they came to the white house. Sahsa and Malia will always attend the best schools and colleges. Michelle and Barack will continue to be that couple when they leave the white house so this bitch can stay mad.



    And that’s why Jodi and nem are mad.

    It’s like this…

    You can be smart….but you can’t be smarter than them.

    You can be rich….but you can’t be richer than them.

    You can have a great position at your job….but you can’t have a higher position than them.

    You can be attractive…but you can’t be more attractive than them.

    You can have a great, loving family…but your family can’t be greater, more loving than theirs.

    You can be or do whatever you want, but if you excel over them in any way, they don’t like it.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Zeke Miller @ZekeJMiller 34s
    De Blasio on whether his election moved Obama to embrace inequality message: “he was already there”

  11. rikyrah says:

    Top 10 Moments of ‘Scandal,’ Season 3, Midseason Finale

    by Luvvie Ajayi | December 13, 2013 at 10:10 AM | Black Entertainment, Scandal

    “Scandal’s” winter finale had me reeling and the “Door Marked Exit” was our test in patience. The next episode isn’t until February 27. TEN WHOLE WEEKS! Us Gladiators have to exercise patience but wow! Below are my top 10 moments from episode 310!

    Sally Kills Daniel – Sally calls Cyrus because she’s “committed a sin” and we see what led up to her killing her husband. When she confronts him about sleeping with James, he lashes back by reminding her that she wasn’t unaware of his attraction to men. The VP tells him ”You are the burden I carry on my back as I make my way to salvation.” OUCH! Her husband says he’s done and wants to tell her business on 60 minutes and she stabs him in the back with a letter opener.

    Devil in Distress – Cyrus comes up with the plan to clean up Sally’s mess and calls Charlie to move Daniel’s body back into bed, stitch his stab wounds close and clean him up. With Quinn’s help, they dress Sally’s hubby up in pajamas and place him in bed. The agreed cause of death is a heart attack, and when the doctor wants to undress him to confirm, Sally throws herself over his body like a weeping widow.

    When Cyrus returns to his office, Mellie joins him to celebrate but Mr. Beene’s drinking is from guilt. He now knows that he’s in fact the devil and his evil ways have reached an all-time high. He maintains his caustic sense of humor with “Hell hath no fury like a woman whose husband is screwing another man.” WELP!

    Rowan’s Read – Fitz has Papa Pope picked up and brought to the basement of the Pentagon to be held until Mama Pope is free. He antagonizes Command because having him hostage is such a rare feat that why not make the best/worst of it by pissing him off? He does it by telling Rowan that his daughter is great in bed. And what comes next is well-deserved. Command lets him have it, in the best monologue I’ve seen on TV in recent memory.

    “You’re given the world and you can’t appreciate it because you haven’t had to work for anything!… You are always going to be Senator Grant’s disappointing BOY, Fitz! SHE is always going to be the formidable Olivia Pope! Don’t use the person that I made to make YOU into a man. YOU are a BOY.”

    WHOOOOOOO!!! Rowan Pope slaps Fitz in the face with his words and I am loving it! It was a statement on privilege taken for granted and it was strong and Joe Morton is a master actor!

  12. rikyrah says:

    Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne Cameron Diaz,Quvenzhané Wallis, were dancing to the song tomorrow in the streets of Harlem New York

  13. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013 07:04 AM CST
    Corporate Democrats freak out over Elizabeth Warren threat

    There’s a smear campaign against progressive ideas that might undermine Hillary Clinton in 2016
    Thom Hartmann, Alternet

    The Washington establishment’s war on Senator Elizabeth Warren has officially begun.

    On Friday, Jim Kessler, vice president of the centrist Democrat think-tank Third Way, took to the airwaves to defend his organization’s recent attack piece on the Senator. That editorial, which was published in the Wall Street Journal last week, blasted Warren for supporting an expansion of Social Security.

    Kessler doubled down on Third Way’s anti-Warren messaging during his appearance on Sirius XM radio, telling host Ari Rabin-Havt that she is “starting to get out of hand.”

    Ignore the not-so-hidden sexism in that comment, and consider for a second what’s really going on here.

    Jim Kessler and the corporate Democrat “moderate” types who support Third Way are absolutely terrified. They’re terrified that Elizabeth Warren and her supporters will upend the stranglehold they’ve had on Democratic politics since the Clinton era.

    So now they’ve joined Republicans in declaring an all-out war on her and everything she stands for.

    Warren has said that she won’t run for President in 2016, but that doesn’t really matter. Because even if she makes good on her promise to fill out her Senate term, Warren’s message and her supporters will continue to threaten what the Democratic establishment sees as an easy road to a second Clinton presidency.

    So make no mistake about it—that Wall Street Journal editorial was just the start of a big multi-year smear campaign against progressives who might represent a threat to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

    And here’s the thing—those establishment Democrats know that Elizabeth Warren is spot-on when it comes to policy issues.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013 08:00 AM CST
    Ayn Rand-loving CEO destroys his empire

    The invisible hand waves bye-bye to Eddie Lampert, whose business plan has run Sears into the ground
    Lynn Parramore, Alternet

    Once upon a time, hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert was living a Wall Street fairy tale. His fairy godmother was Ayn Rand, the dashing diva of free-market ideology whose quirky economic notions would transform him into a glamorous business hero.

    For a while, it seemed to work like a charm. Pundits called him the “Steve Jobs of the investment world.” The new Warren Buffett. By 2006 he was flying high, the richest man in Connecticut, managing over $15 billion thorough his hedge fund, ESL Investments.

    Stoked by his Wall Street success, Lampert plunged headlong into the retail world. Undaunted by his lack of industry experience and hailed a genius, Lampert boldly pushed to merge Kmart and Sears with a layoff and cost-cutting strategy that would, he promised, send profits into the stratosphere. Meanwhile the hotshot threw cash around like an oil sheikh, buying a $40 million pad in Florida’s Biscayne Bay, a record even for that star-studded county.

    Fast-forward to 2013: The fairy tale has become a nightmare.

    Lampert is now known as one of the worst CEOs in America — the man who flushed Sears down the toilet with his demented management style and harebrained approach to retail. Sears stock is tanking. His hedge fun is down 40 percent, and the business press has turned from praising Lampert’s genius towatching gleefully as his ship sinks. Investors are running from “Crazy Eddie” like the plague.

    That’s what happens when Ayn Rand is the basis for your business plan.

    Crazy Eddie has been one of America’s most vocal advocates of discredited free-market economics, so obsessed with Ayn Rand he could rattle off memorized passages of her novels. As Mina Kimes explained in a fascinating profile in Bloomberg Businessweek, Lampert took the myth that humans perform best when acting selfishly as gospel, pitting Sears company managers against each other in a kind of Lord of the Flies death match. This, he believed, would cause them to act rationally and boost performance.

  15. rikyrah says:

    The media’s Michelle Obama problem: What a selfie says about our biases
    The overanalysis of the first lady’s expression speaks volumes about America’s expectations of black women
    Roxane Gay

    Not even President Obama is above taking a selfie in the least appropriate selfie-taking venue possible. While attending a memorial service for Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Obama posed with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt. It is probably a bit tacky for these world leaders to pose and preen together, but they are only human. We are all helpless when we have such photographic power in the palms of our hands.

    In the already widely circulated image, Michelle Obama is sitting to the president’s left, staring into the distance. In two other images, the first lady looks in the president’s direction as he speaks with the Danish prime minister and then looks straight ahead.

    The media (and everyone else) have reacted, trying to frame Michelle Obama as “angry” or “disapproving” when maybe she wasn’t even paying attention to her husband being silly with his world leader friends.

    At the Washington Post: “The first lady looks stern — dare we say disapproving? — throughout.”

    In the New York Daily News Michelle Obama “sat at a distance, as if in disapproval of the digital display.”

    Someone at Business Insider quipped, “That stare can kill.”

    The headline at The Huffington Post boldly declares “Michelle Obama is having none of it.”

    Over at D.C. political blog Wonkette, “Michelle Obama Pissed, Y’all.”

    On and on the punditry goes, ascribing very specific, historically racialized narratives to what Michelle Obama is thinking and feeling in one candid moment.

    Setting aside how sad it is that this story is even being reported as a “story,” we have no possible way of knowing why Michelle Obama isn’t grinning and posing and presenting herself the way people apparently expect her to at a memorial service for one of the most beloved world leaders of our time. Has it gone unnoticed that in these images, she’s the one person acting like she’s at a memorial service?

  16. rikyrah says:

    Marco Rubio’s had a terrible year

    He began as a senator admirably fighting for landmark, bipartisan reform. Now he’s a predictable, pathetic panderer
    Jim Newell

    It’s hard not to enjoy Paul Ryan’s subtle thrashing of Marco Rubio this morning over the latter’s obviously predetermined posturing on the budget deal:

    “People are going to do what they need to do,” Ryan continued, perhaps making an oblique reference to Rubio positioning himself for 2016. “In the minority, you don’t have the burden of governing, of getting things done.”

    “If you’re in the minority, you don’t have to pass things. You don’t have to govern,” Ryan said. He went on to frame his plan as a protection against another politically damaging government shutdown, saying, “We are in the majority here in the House. We’re one-third of the so-called power structure here in Washington, and we think it would be a bad idea to have two government shutdown scenarios in 2014.”…

    Ryan questioned whether Rubio and other critics of the deal had even bothered to read it.

    “I thought it was a little strange, because the press releases came flying out against the agreement before [Sen. Murray] and I actually even reached an agreement,” Ryan said. “This is Washington. I would prefer that people would actually read what we’re doing and see the details before forming conclusions, but I’m a big boy, I’ve been around for awhile, it doesn’t really necessarily surprise me.”

    Sure, this is a little rich coming from Paul Ryan, who knows well enough that “people are going to do what they need to do.” Only a couple of months ago our dear boy-scout national accountant himself was voting against the deal to reopen the government and avert default, because he could, and because 2016.

    Everyone’s a hypocrite, though. And that aside, everything Ryan said about Rubio is correct. And the lesson about Marco Rubio in 2013 is that he is going to do what he needs to do. Over the course of the year we’ve watched Rubio go from a promising potential dealmaker of some admirability to another useless troll. Someone who could’ve come out of this year with a major legislative accord on an issue near and dear to him instead is halfway down the slope towards becoming another pathetic Vitterian gimmick bot.

  17. rikyrah says:

    But Boehner Isn’t Insane

    by BooMan
    Fri Dec 13th, 2013 at 11:48:08 AM EST

    I think Brian Beutler makes important and fair points when he argues that John Boehner isn’t much different from the nut-jobs he just picked a fight with, but I’m not sure that Beutler has sufficiently considered the ramifications of the battle that will result. I think, for example, that Boehner’s decision to ream out the Heritage Foundation and the Tea Party was not unrelated to Harry Reid’s decision to change the filibuster rules. In both cases, a congressional leader had seen enough dysfunction and took a dramatic step to marginalize the obstructionists.
    It was striking that Boehner admitted that the recent government shutdown wasn’t his idea and was never a plan he agreed with. No similar admission has come from Mitch McConnell, whose relentless obstruction led to a revision of the Senate rules. But it hardly matters which party is responsible for fixing the problem, so long as it is the lunatics who are sidelined.

    Now, it might seem that there is less disagreement between Boehner and the Jim DeMint contingent than meets the eye, but things are not static. As Beutler notes, Erick Erickson of Red State has responded to Boehner by saying that “he is done as speaker.” Glenn Beck just said that Boehner is a “worthless, worthless Republican” who “ha[s] to go” and called Mitch McConnell “the biggest two-faced liar I’ve ever seen.” Rush Limbaugh complained, “it just seems like the Republican Party is absorbed, is consumed with eliminating any conservative influence inside the party whatsoever.” Dan Holler of Heritage Action, said that Boehner’s message to conservatives was “We use you guys to get elected.”

    Whether it was his intent or not, the fight that Boehner started sucked in McConnell, as well. The radicals didn’t even notice that McConnell voted against the budget because they seem to understand that McConnell is just pandering to them. They see McConnell as indistinguishable from Boehner because he, too, has been blasting outside conservative groups recently.

    This development cannot help but lead to changed dynamics in how the Republican Party and their messaging machine function. I believe it is the beginning of a slow process whereby the Republican Establishment comes somewhat to terms with the fact that the business community is fed-up with their refusal to accept that fact that Barack Obama is our president and will remain so for another three years.

    Letting the president staff the courts and his administration, and ending the crisis budgeting strategy are two parts of the same thing.

    The Republicans went insane. And now we all have to manage the consequences.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Dems hatch new strategy to pressure GOP on unemployment insurance
    By Greg Sargent
    December 13 at 1:30 pm

    Now that Congress is set to leave town even as unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans are set to expire just after Christmas, is there any chance that Democrats can still prevail on Republicans to agree to extend them?

    Dems who are pushing for an extension have hatched a new plan to do just that: Once Congress returns, they will refuse to support the reauthorization of the farm bill — which will almost certainly need Dem support to pass the House — unless Republicans agree to restart unemployment benefits with the farm bill’s savings.

    “Under no circumstances should we support the farm bill unless Republicans agree to use the savings from it to extend unemployment insurance,” Dem Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a top party strategist, told me today. “This is a potential pressure point. We’re going to have to resolve differences in the farm bill because otherwise milk prices will spike. If past is prologue, they are going to need a good chunk of Democrats to pass the farm bill.”

    Van Hollen said that he would organize among Democrats to get them to make this stand, and said he’d encourage the House Dem leadership to do the same.

    “I will encourage my colleagues to take that position,” he said. “I’m confident that the House Democratic leadership will look for every opportunity to extend unemployment insurance, helping struggling families and the economy. The farm bill reauthorization may be the first such opportunity.” (Nancy Pelosi has already vowed to keep pushing, so she may favor this approach.)

    Van Hollen said this idea could serve as a rallying point for outside progressive and labor groups, who can now insist that Dem leaders in both chambers adopt this stance. “I would encourage outside groups to make this point,” he said.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Reminder: Over one million people set to lose unemployment insurance
    By Greg Sargent
    December 12 at 4:43 pm

    At a closed door meeting today, Nancy Pelosi told House Democrats to “embrace the suck” and support the budget deal, even though it doesn’t include an extension of unemployment benefits for the 1.3 million Americans who are set to lose them just after Christmas. That quote is creating some buzz, but this is the really galling bit:

    While she expressed a continued unhappiness that there will be no vote on those benefits before the House heads home Friday, she said that it wasn’t worth holding up the deal.

    So, no vote on extending unemployment benefits before the House goes home tomorrow. Oh, well. Now what?

    It’s worth reiterating just how dramatic an outcome this really is. It’s unclear whether Congress has ever cut off unemployment insurance with long-term unemployment this high; it certainly has not happened since the middle of last century, and probably before.

    There is still an outside chance the benefits do get renewed. It is possible that, as House Members interact with constituents in the run-up to the holiday season, the pressure could be intense enough from local media coverage of constituents set to get cut off that the House could still hold a vote by unanimous consent to extend the benefits. There’s precedent for it; that’s how the payroll tax cut was extended at end of 2011.

    Or, alternatively, Harry Reid has said he will take it up as soon as the Senate returns in the new year. If an extension were to happen then it could be made retroactive.

    The question is whether lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans alike — will care enough to make it happen.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Scandal Fans, this was in the comments at Luvvie’s this morning:

    KW says:

    December 13, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Shonda let her green, black, and red rags hang out last night and crip walked all over American history as we know it!!!!! Loved it!

  21. Ametia says:

    Mandela film gets 3 Golden Globe nominations
    2013-12-13 08:20

    Los Angeles – A film about the life of former president Nelson Mandela titled Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom received three Golden Globe nominations on Thursday.

    The nominations were announced in Los Angeles, the company that produced the film, Videovision Entertainment, said in a statement.

    Idris Elba, who plays Mandela in the film, was nominated for Best Actor and the film’s music composer, Alex Heffes, scooped a nomination in the Best Original Score category.

    • Ametia says:


      The media screaming about not having access to photograph POTUS is BULLSHIT. They have enough access, they just think they’re going to catch him in a negative light so they can use it to FURTHER their attempts to demean & debase him.


      • trekkiewife says:

        The media does whatever it wants to do. That’s why I keep the 1st Family in prayer. They have been such a Blessing and the media has been such a mess!!!! LORD have Mercy!!!

    • Liza says:

      “Stop & ask yourself why that might be.”

      Because if the news media that spun all of this nonsense into a “story” showed this picture then they wouldn’t have a “story” and they might have to report real news, something they are increasingly avoiding. First the Raul Castro handshake, now this.

      Where is the bottom? At what point is our news media so bad that everyone refuses to watch or read their nonsense? We should be getting close.

      • Ametia says:

        Spot on, Liza. The media is not interested in reporting factual information that serves Americans. Just writing and making shit up for shits and giggles.

  22. rikyrah says:

    I see no difference between the South African interpreter and, let’s say, Chuck Todd.

  23. Haley’s teacher and counselor were discussing her academic progress and her creativity with Haley & her mother yesterday. They were impressed.

    Haley's progress report

  24. Ametia says:

    This is my favorite Christmas song! Love Nat King Cole.

  25. Ametia says:

    If This Rich Kid Has ‘Affluenza,’ Then We’ve All Got ‘Negrobetes’
    By: Stephen A. Crockett Jr.|Posted: Dec. 12 2013 4:40 PM

    A drunk-driving teenager in Texas kills four and claims that his wealth made him do it. Try a defense like that if you’re black.

    • Ametia says:

      Negrobetes, a mashup of “Negro” and “diabetes,” is a disease that affects all African Americans. While it can be dormant in some and rampant in others, it runs in the blood, traced back to slavery, and cannot be transmitted from personal contact. Negrobetes is not airborne. While in very rare cases it can be deadly, it is a manageable progressive disease that, like its namesake, is categorized into two subclasses.

      Type 1 sufferers of Negrobetes can manage their disease with a steady diet of highbrow literature and a solid education. In such cases, their exposure to the experiences of Type 2 Negrobetes sufferers (getting arrested at high-end department stores, random bouts of racial profiling, etc.) is rare and may be nonexistent.

      For Type 2 sufferers, all cases are extremely debilitating and could result in severe injury or worse. They are usually negatively affected by a social justice system that doesn’t care about their needs. They can be sensitive to a school system that is underfunded, and as a result they may have difficulties managing a working world that demands a proper education. Generally they are prescribed three to four shots of self-affirmation, positive belief and prayer. When left unmanaged, Negrobetes can be deadly.

  26. Ametia says:

    And every time Rowan called Fitz a “BOY” an angel moonwalked. Because yes.


  27. Ametia says:

    December 12, 2013, 05:02 pm
    FCC moves to allow in-flight cellphone use

    The Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to consider a proposal to allow cellphone use on flights despite a major public backlash to the plan.

    Lawmakers, passengers and the union for flight attendants have all slammed the move, saying people shouldn’t be forced to listen to obnoxious phone conversations in a tight space.

    But FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called the existing ban on in-flight cellphone use, which is based on interference concerns, “outdated.”

  28. rikyrah says:

    Boehner boils over
    By Greg Sargent
    December 12 at 2:04 pm

    At a presser today, John Boehner finally went Bulworth on the conservative groups that have been making his life miserable for so long:

    “Frankly I think they’re misleading their followers. I think they’re pushing our members in places where they want to be. And frankly I just think they’ve lost all credibility,” he told reporters at his weekly press conference Thursday. “There comes a point when people step over the line. When you criticize something and you have no idea what you’re criticizing, it undermines your credibility.” […]

    “You know, they pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and shut down the government,” he said. “It wasn’t exactly the strategy I had in mind. But if you recall, the day before the government re-opened, one of the people at one of these groups stood up and said, ‘well we never really thought it would work.’ Are you kidding me?”

    Asked if he thinks the groups should “stand down,” Boehner said, “I don’t care what they do.”

    There’s some choice hilarity here. Boehner says conservative groups “pushed” Republicans into the destructive government shutdown fight. You’d almost think he was some kind of passive, helpless onlooker, rather than, you know, the leader of House Republicans. Also, as you may recall, Boehner actively wanted Republicans to make a stand around the debt ceiling, which, if anything, was crazier than the shutdown standoff. Remember the “Boehner Rule“?

  29. rikyrah says:

    Chris Christie reportedly asks Andrew Cuomo to rein in the investigation of the George Washington Bridge closure.

    Chris Christie’s bridge problem just won’t go away.

    According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Christie recently spoke with Cuomo to complain about the way an appointee of the latter was handling an investigation into a controversy over the George Washington Bridge. Christie, according to the Journal, told Cuomo that the investigator — Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Patrick Foye — was being too aggressive.

    At question is whether a Christie appointee —David Wildstein, a former high school friend who has since resigned — had two-out-of-three lanes of the George Washington Bridge closed as political payback to a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse the New Jersey governor during his reelection campaign. The initial reason given for the closure, a traffic study, has since been revealed to have been false. The mayor in question, Fort Lee’s Mark Sokolich, originally accused Wildstein of acting “punitively,” but later withdrew his charge.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Obamacare On Track to Beat Enrollment Estimates
    Thursday, December 12, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 1:57 PM

    A lot of people are closely watching the enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act exchanges, ready to quip and pounce on the administration for falling behind a quasi-goal of enrolling 7 million Americans by 2013. The pace of enrollment has been poured over by the media to try to find ways to suggest that the administration is falling short, and by extension, Obamacare is doomed.

    While the 7 million figure is a CBO estimate rather than an explicit Administration goal, the bloodhounds in the media are likely to come up empty even in its chase. A whole lot of splash was made from numbers released yesterday by HHS which saw the federal exchanges quadruple in November their October haul. Still, argued the media’s tea-leaf readers, the total is only 365,000 enrolled two months into the process between the state and federal exchanges, and the pace is not enough to drag the numbers to 7 million by the March 31 deadline for open enrollment.

    The media’s provocateurs are wrong on two fronts: first, the assumption that the “pace” is linear (meaning, you can take an average of the past and extend that linearly to get an estimate of future enrollment) is completely bunk. Linear calculations would indicate an average enrollment of about 182,500 per month, which would mean roughly 1.3 million by the end of the March 31 deadline. That would be horrendous indeed.

    However, enrollment rates always spike the closer we get to the deadline. The pace is closer to exponential than linear – meaning a better estimate would be to assume each month the numbers go up by a certain multiple. In October, the enrollment figure (state+federal) stood at roughly 100,000, and in November it was roughly 2.5 times that. If that pattern holds, 650,000 will enroll this month, etc. But that won’t hold forever either. We are likely to see a spike this month for people wanting coverage to start January 1, and another spike in March as people hurry in before open enrollment closes.

    Interest remains overwhelming. Just last week, after the website fixes went live, 3.7 million visitors rushed to, which held up to the dismay of the law’s right wing critics and its left wing deserters alike.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Preview of Coming Attractions
    Posted by dpm (dread pirate mistermix) at 7:29 am .

    If anyone doubts whether Republicans will gut the Post Office the next time they control the government, just take a look at what the Tories have done in the Great White North:

    An iconic slice of Canadian life – the postal worker dropping letters through the door – is slipping into the past as financially troubled Canada Post scrambles to find its footing in the Internet age.

    Faced with a persistent decline in letter-mail and a massively underfunded pension plan, the money-losing federal Crown corporation announced drastic measures on Wednesday designed to get back to profitability and ensure its survival.

    The changes include the phase-out of home delivery for the five-million Canadian households that still get it and moving them to community mail boxes over the next five years, and hiking the cost of stamps by more than one-third to 85 cents from 63 cents, effective March 31.

    The rurals get a good deal under this plan (nothing changes for them), but the suburbans get screwed (community mail boxes will probably mean a walk of a block or two to get your mail every day). Both of those are important Republican/Tory constituencies, so it will be interesting to see how this shakes out for Harper. Of course, President Christie would do the fiscally responsible thing and stop mail delivery to Democrats, so it may not be an issue.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Daddy Goon Pope’s monologue last night to Fitz:

    “You’re a funny funny man. Or should I say boy? You’re a boy. You’ve been coddled and cared for and pampered and hugged. For you, it’s always summer time and living is easy and daddy’s rich and your mama’s good looking. You’re a Grant! You’ve got money in your blood. But YOU. ARE. A. BOY. I’m a man! I’ve worked for every single thing I have ever received. I have fought and scraped and bled for every inch of ground I walk on. I’m the first in my family to go to college. My daughter went to boarding school with the children of kings! I MADE THAT HAPPEN! YOU cried yourself to sleep because daddy hurt your feelings because papa banged his secretary. Because it hurt to have so much money. SPOILED. ENTITLED. UNGRATEFUL little brat! You have EVERYTHING handed to you on a silver platter and you squander it. You’re given the world and you can’t appreciate it because you haven’t had to work for anything! So now you’ve decided that the one thing that you want is my daughter. MY CHILD. MINE! What I made! WHAT I CREATED!

    You can talk about what great lay she is to try to get a response from me but guess what? I am actually quite literally above your pay grade which means that I know that you believe that you are in love with her. You love that she is a Door Marked Exit. You LOVE that she is your way out. Because if you are with Olivia Pope, you don’t have to fulfill your father’s dream of being president. If you are with Olivia, you no longer have to be your father’s son! An apple never falls too far from the tree. You are always going to be Senator Grant’s disappointing BOY, Fitz! SHE is always going to be the formidable Olivia Pope! Don’t use the person that I made to make YOU into a man. YOU are a BOY.”


  33. rikyrah says:


    A Door Marked Exit: Scandal Season 3 Winter Finale Recap

    [ 10 ] December 13, 2013 | Luvvie

    Honestly, I just wanna lay out until February 27, 2014 because the Scandal winter finale has slayed me completely. I just… OMGGGGGGG!!! I can’t even. Let’s just jump into the happenings.

  34. rikyrah says:

    It’s going to break 20 degrees here today!!!

    woo hoo!!!!

  35. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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