Thursday Open Thread

Christmas Candles 56Blue Christmas” is a Christmas song written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson. It is a tale of unrequited love during the holidays and is a longstanding staple of Christmas music, especially in the country genre.

The song was first recorded by Doye O’Dell in 1948,[3] and was popularized the following year in three separate recordings: one by country artist Ernest Tubb; one by bandleader Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra; and one by bandleader Russ Morgan and his orchestra (the latter featuring lead vocals by Morgan and backing vocals by singers credited as the Morganaires).

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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77 Responses to Thursday Open Thread

  1. Yahtc says:

  2. Charlie Brown Christmas Dance

  3. Ametia says:

    Renisha McBride shooter will face murder trial
    by Ed White, Associated Press| December 19, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area man who fatally shot a drunk, unarmed woman on his porch will stand trial for second-degree murder, a judge said Thursday, rejecting a self-defense argument for the killer’s “bad choice.”

    There is no dispute that Theodore Wafer shot Renisha McBride, 19, through the screen of his front door in the early hours of Nov. 2. His attorneys said the 54-year-old man feared for his life, but Dearborn Heights Judge David Turfe said there other ways to protect himself, including a phone call for help.

    “This court recognizes you can’t automatically penalize someone for making a bad decision when pressed to react quickly,” the judge said. “But at the same time we can’t allow one to use a bad decision as a shield to criminal prosecution.

    “The defendant made a bad choice when there were other reasonable opportunities,” Turfe said.

  4. Ametia says:

    Sweet 16!
    New Mexico Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage

    New Mexico’s highest court issued a ruling Thursday legalizing same-sex marriage in the state, declaring it is unconstitutional to deny a marriage license to gay and lesbian couples. New Mexico joins 16 states and the District of Columbia in allowing gay marriage.

    Read more at:

    • Vettte says:

      THIS shows the prevailing strength of the first African American president…to right the wrongs of the drug incarceration disparities in this country. The deliberate intent to entrap, incarcerate and enslave young black men so they wont come of age and succeed in this country. Thankful for Barack Hussein Obama and Chief Policeman, Attorney General Eric Holder for their sheer bravery in pursuing Martin’s Dream in America. My country tis of thee….sweet land of Li, Lib LIBERTY!!! Justine delayed but NOT DENIED.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Donna NoShock @NoShock

    Ladies and Gents…my very first grand babies and it’s twin girls!!

    Tally @bardgal
    @NoShock The 2 most dangerous words in the English Language: “Daddy PLEASE” uttered by females. Dad: YOU ARE NOT PREPARED.

    11:53 AM – 19 Dec 2013

  6. aquagranny911 says:

    Hola Chicas! Merry Solstice, Happy Christmas, Lovely holidays to all of you ♥

    I really enjoyed the music selection. Some right out of my teenage years…”Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” gave me a big smile. Something you might not know, Elvis rendition of “Blue Christmas” was an especially poignant song for those with relatives, friends & loved ones away in Viet Nam. It was often played on the radio then & brought tears from so many of us. I can never hear that anymore without remembering those who were away & those who never came back.

    It is bitter sweet for me never to forget a part of history that I lived through. My very best wishes to all of you here & a big “FELIZ NAVIDAD!!! from the bottom of my heart.”

  7. rikyrah says:


  8. Ametia says:

    The cultural lens that distorts the media’s perception of President Obama

    Part 1: The patriarchal lens that distorts the media’s perception of President Obama

    Part 2: The racial lens that distorts the media’s perception of President Obama

    I’m not a reporter and I don’t play one on the internet. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the media in this country is in trouble. Print media is dying, cable TV is losing subscribers and no one has figured out the formula for making money off of internet journalism. Then along comes Fox News, conservative talk radio and right wing web sites demonstrating that one way to survive is to cater to a niche market and we’re off to the races.

    In his seminal piece that got him kicked out of the conservative intelligentsia, David Frum wrote about the effects this was having on the Republican Party. But I’d suggest that it fits pretty well as an overall critique of our current professional media.

    I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.!/2013/12/the-cultural-lens-that-distorts-medias.html

  9. rikyrah says:

    Nancy Pelosi Turns the Tables on Darrell Issa and He Could Be In Big Trouble
    By: Sarah Jones more from Sarah Jones
    Thursday, December, 19th, 2013, 9:54 am

    Nancy Pelosi has had enough of Darrell Collateral Damage Issa.

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is calling for a high level security briefing on the operations of Darrell Issa (R-CA), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in which he would have to be forthcoming about what information he has released and to whom after he got his hands on sensitive documents surrounding HealthCare.Gov. It would then be up to the Department of Justice to make a determination.

    Ed Schultz and his panel discussed Pelosi turning the tables on Issa last night. Watch MSNBC’s The Ed Show segment on “Rep. Darrell Issa could face serious consequences after releasing classified information to the public” here:


    Issa finally got his hands on sensitive information about HealthCare.Gov that were it to be leaked, panelist E.J. Dionne pointed out, would make the site vulnerable to a cyber attack and would endanger national security. The release of the information could jeopardize the security of websites across the government, according to cyber security experts from across the administration IT departments.

    It’s also the kind of information that someone who had it out for President Obama and the entire Democratic administration could really use, if they had no scruples and maybe had a penchant for criminal activity. Darrell Issa just so happens to qualify.

    The Democrats are concerned.

    The administration asked Issa for a personal briefing in order to explain the security risks, but he declined to meet with them. So they had little choice but to escalate the matter, pointing out that he had not followed protocol in the procuring of the documents and his refusal to even listen to the security concerns “reckless in the extreme”.

    Democrats have been calling for a classified meeting with administration cyber security officials to discuss the proper handling of documents, including writing a letter requesting an immediate classified briefing “about the extremely significant risks of disclosing sensitive contractor documents relating to the website.”

    Issa subpoenaed sensitive documents from the MITRE Corporation, the contractors who worked on the security of the ObamaCare federal exchange. He had already been given unredacted access to the information, but then he wanted a set of documents for himself. Pause for gravity, because when Darrell Issa gets his hands on sensitive information, lives have been put at risk due to his relentless alleged carelessness.

  10. Ametia says:

    LOL Totally get the frustration.. These folks just read what’s put in front of them and get paid. At some point the conscience has to step in and say. WTF?

  11. rikyrah says:

    When GOP hostage taking gets farcical
    12/18/13 03:00 PM—Updated 12/18/13 04:35 PM
    By Steve Benen

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who over the weekend signaled yet another debt-ceiling crisis in 2014, told a conservative radio host yesterday:

    “With respect to the debt limit, you and I and our colleagues are going to have to meet early after the holidays to decide what’s the right course going forward in that. We’ve never just done nothing.”

    Um, congressman? Not only has Congress approved clean debt-ceiling increases literally dozens of times, the Republican-led House passed a clean debt-ceiling increase just two months ago.

    I realize that Paul Ryan has the worst memory in American politics, but are we to believe the House Budget Committee chairman, ostensibly Congress’ top Republican wonk and a man billed by the political establishment as one of his party’s brightest lights, doesn’t remember debt-ceiling developments from October?

    GOP debt-ceiling posturing has clearly reached farcical levels already, and we’re still several months from an actual vote. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who said in October that he doesn’t intend to spark another crisis, is now saying the opposite.

    Jon Chait asked the right question: “Are the Republicans really going to try this again?”

  12. Liza says:

    Oh, yes, “Blue Christmas” by Elvis. My favorite Christmas songs are the religious ones, and next are the sad ones. Elvis does the sad ones really well. Here’s my favorite by Elvis, “Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees.”

  13. Hey 3CP!

    Did you know every person will get elbowed or pushed at least 3 times while Christmas shopping? Watch out for those elbows.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Lupita Nyong’o in “12 Years a Slave”

    December 17, 2013, 6:25 AM|Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominee Lupita Nyong’o got the part of Patsey in the critically-acclaimed film “12 Years a Slave” just after graduating from the Masters Program at Yale Drama School. Nyong’o joins the “CBS This Morning” co-hosts to discuss the emotional film and her inspiration.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Morning Plum: Despite O’care rollout, Americans want to expand safety net
    By Greg Sargent
    December 19 at 9:02 am

    It’s been widely suggested that Obamacare’s rollout failures threaten to bring down the entire liberal project, by getting Americans to turn on the idea that activist government should — or can — solve major problems facing the country and effectively protect people from financial and medical harm.

    Anything is possible over the long haul, of course, but a new poll suggests this just isn’t happening. It finds that despite deep skepticism of the law, majorities still support the idea that the federal government has a responsibility to expand health coverage to those who lack it.

    Today’s New York Times/CBS News poll will get attention because it finds that a majority of the uninsured disapprove of Obamacare. That is potentially a big deal, since it could mean fewer will sign up for the exchanges over time. Overall, large numbers disapprove of Obama on the issue and say the law faces major problems and won’t make things better. But here’s what the poll also finds:

    * A majority of Americans says “providing access to affordable health care coverage for all Americans is the responsibility of the federal government,” by 54-43.

    * A majority says that “when individuals don’t have health insurance,” it “hurts the country,” by 70-22.

    * A majority says “providing health care coverage for the poor is the responsibility of the federal government,” by 53-41.

  16. rikyrah says:

    DonnaDem over at TOD is a new grandma to twins!

  17. rikyrah says:

    teve Benen: Dems’ sweep in Virginia now complete

    The recount in Virginia’s remarkably close race for state attorney general wasn’t quite complete, but the writing was on the wall. Rather than push the contest into the hands of state lawmakers or into the courts, the Republican decided to bow out.

    …. Democrats have won all three statewide races in Virginia for the first time since 1989. What’s more, this is the first time in four decades that Virginia will have a Democratic governor, Democratic lieutenant governor, Democratic attorney general, and two Democratic U.S. senators.

    …. So, for all the talk about Obama’s “year from hell,” his party just swept all of the statewide contests in this key swing state. Republicans, strategists, and pundits assuming GOP successes in 2014 should probably take note.

  18. rikyrah says:

    NBC: Patients pour on to successful state insurance exchanges

    People are flocking to the more successful state health insurance exchanges in the final days before a late-December deadline, exchange directors said Wednesday.

    So many people are calling in for help that states have had to beef up call center staffing, and insurers have agreed to let deadlines slide a bit so that as many people as possible can get coverage starting Jan 1.

    In just five states – California, Connecticut, Kentucky, New York and Washington – more than 436,000 people are signed up for health insurance – more than in the 36 states covered by the federal exchange. But the directors of the five exchanges say what’s happening in their states reflects much of what is going on nationwide – people want health insurance being offered by the Affordable Care Act.

    “We are seeing huge interest,” said Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California. “In the first week of December we had 50,000 pick a plan in Covered California. That’s an average of 7,000 a day.” Last week, Lee says, 15,000 people a day were signing up for insurance in California. New York is enrolling 4,500 people a day, Lisa Sbrana, counsel to the New York exchange, said.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Matt Roush’s Top 10 of 2013
    Dec 18, 2013 07:01 AM ET
    by Matt Roush

    1. Breaking Bad
    What a way to go out — with a bang, on a tragic yet triumphant high, at the peak of popularity and notoriety. What could be more satisfying than that? There wasn’t a wasted moment or unexplored opportunity for suspenseful conflict in the intense last chapters of AMC’s masterful thriller, charting Walter White’s ultimate descent into criminal infamy. Bryan Cranston brilliantly captured the character’s mood swings, from wounded pride to murderous rage to sorrow over the family he lost due to his dark machinations. No maddening ambiguities in this grand finale.

    2. The Good Wife
    Forget “good.” In its fifth season, CBS’s (and network TV’s) classiest and most entertaining drama has returned to greatness with an audacious act of reinvention, turning former partners — and lovers — into mortal enemies following Alicia’s (Julianna Margulies) split to start her own law firm. Everything is now ­beyond personal in this dangerously exciting, unpredictable new scenario. Even better, the show has lost none of its smart sex appeal and continues to tell some of the most gripping ­legal stories anywhere. Bravo.

    3. Broadchurch
    America’s shattering mystery, set in a British seaside village teeming with secrets, introduces an instant-classic detective partnership: Olivia Colman and David Tennant as Ellie Miller, a lifelong resident of provincial Broadchurch, and Alec Hardy, a brusque Scottish interloper. As a witch-hunt mentality envelops the town after a young boy’s murder, suspicion and, especially, emotions run high. Broadchurch elevates the whodunit with profound sensitivity and has spawned a U.S. remake on Fox.

    4. Masters of Sex
    From Showtime, the year’s most provocative and stimulating new series uncannily blends the kinky and the clinical as it dramatizes the pioneering research of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, portrayed by Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, both of whom are ­ superb at mining the passion that comes with ambition. Amid the ­repressive 1950s, when few dared speak of such things, their meticulous and graphic study of the biology of sexual behavior breaks down cultural taboos while invariably drawing them into uncharted territory: the unknowable mysteries of love and attraction, and the paradoxes of the human heart.

    5. Orange Is the New Black
    How ironic that this addictive dark comedy set in a women’s ­prison feels so creatively liberating. Netflix’s best series in a breakthrough year rewards the binge-watching experience as it builds from naive inmate Piper Kerman’s memoir into a character-driven study of the wonderfully diverse people, each with a surprising backstory, she encounters during her disorienting incarceration.

  20. rikyrah says:

    The GOP Repeal Trap
    By Greg Sargent
    December 18 at 3:39 pm

    The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Indiana, reports on a fascinating exchange between GOP Rep. Marlin Stutzman and a local meat market owner, Lee Albright, who likes the Affordable Care Act and quizzed the Congressman about the real world implications of the GOP repeal stance:

    Albright doesn’t want the Affordable Care Act repealed, which Stutzman and the Republican-controlled House have voted to do numerous times. Albright told his congressman that his monthly payment for family health coverage will drop from $3,800 to $1,700 by enrolling in a plan offered through the much-maligned law.

    Albright said most of his dozen employees also are enrolling in Affordable Care Act plans and will have coverage for the first time. “If the Republican Party thinks they’re going to kill Obamacare, you guys need to realize that those nine people that I add on, are they going to vote Republican ever again if you take their health care from them?”

    Stutzman responded: “No, probably not.”

    The Republican seems to be implicitly conceding not only that the GOP repeal stance is politically problematic, but also that the Republican position constitutes taking health coverage away from people.

    Stutzman doesn’t appear to be vulnerable, but the episode nicely illustrates the broader problems with the repeal stance, i.e., that the de facto GOP position right now is to return to the old system, and that this isn’t a palatable alternative, even though Obamacare is unpopular.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Washington Post: California is averaging 15,000 Obamacare enrollments each day

    State health exchanges are reporting a surge in enrollment — and consumer interest — as they near a late December deadline to purchase insurance coverage.

    If November had an Obamacare surge, consider this the December deluge. California averaged 15,000 daily enrollments early last week, about double the sign-ups the state had in early December. New York is now seeing about 4,500 residents choosing plans each day and, in Connecticut, the number is hovering around 1,400.

    With consumer interest seeming to spike, these states and others are increasing call center staffing by half.

    “We continue to see a tremendous increase in enrollment,” says Lisa Sbrana, counsel to New York State of Health. “We’re averaging between 1,200 and 1,500 calls per hour and have seen a 34 percent increase in enrollment from last week to this week.”

  22. rikyrah says:

    People: ‘I’ve Got 3 Opinionated, Strong, Tall Women’

    Sitting down for their annual interview with PEOPLE, President and Mrs. Obama reflect on the year’s difficulties, both in the political arena and the smaller challenges he encounters at home.

    “I’ve got three opinionated, strong, tall women,” says President Obama. “If they get together, they can have fun about my ears or being too loud, or how I dress.”

    …. The Obamas reveal that daughters Sasha, 12, and Malia, 15, weigh in on Mom’s fashion choices and have tutored Dad in using Instagram and Vine. And, like any kids, they are occasionally embarrassed by their parents.

    “Malia had friends over, and there was a question about whether she was going to even introduce them [to her dad], because sometimes he gets a little formal, asking them about school and interests,” the First Lady tells PEOPLE. “She says, ‘I don’t know if my friends can handle that.’” Then she turns to her husband and says, “But she said that you actually did quite well.”

    “I acquitted myself well,” notes the President. “I did not embarrass her.”,,20767223,00.html

  23. vitaminlover says:

    Good morning! Off to work I go!

    • Ametia says:

      Hi vitaminlover. Have a grand day! :-)))

      • vitaminlover says:

        Thanks, Ametia. Finally got home early enough to put up my tree. Whew!

      • Hi vitamin!

        What color is your tree? Mine is white with red and silver ornaments and red bows. I have 2 huge poinsettias that I am praying lives to Christmas. I’m not good with plants and flowers. My mother had a green thump but I don’t. I love them but I bring them home and kill them. :(

      • vitaminlover says:

        I love the innocence of children at Christmas.

    • vitaminlover says:

      SouthernG, hi there. My tree is a deep green ummmm (artificial) but looks like a blue spruce type? My lights are blue and white. The white ones do all kinds of twinkles and twitches and sparkles and fading on and off. The balls are large and of various colors. Am going to get the tree-topper today. I play Christmas music when I decorate, do you?

      • Your tree sounds beautiful with blue and white lights. I play Christmas music as I decorate too. It puts me in a happy mood. My white tree is artificial too. My lights stay on, they don’t flash but my grandbabies love it. They told me…”granny, it’s bee uuu tee ful”. :)

      • vitaminlover says:

        I love the innocence of children at Christmas.

  24. rikyrah says:

    A Brilliant Move

    by BooMan
    Wed Dec 18th, 2013 at 11:45:41 PM EST

    Nominating Max Baucus to be the next Ambassador to China is a brilliant move on several levels, although not all of them will he happy for progressives. Baucus has already announced that he will not seek reelection, so taking him out of the Senate will allow Democratic Governor Steve Bullock to select his replacement. That is likely to be to Lieutenant Governor John Walsh, who was already seeking the seat. He will gain the advantage of incumbency, and also get a seniority advantage over other senators who are elected next year.
    Moving Baucus out of the Senate will open up the chairmanship of the powerful Finance Committee, which will probably pass over Sen. Jay Rockefeller (who is also retiring) and fall to Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. Progressives will have mixed feelings about that, as Wyden is definitely an improvement over Baucus but has also played a bit of footsie with House Republican Budget chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. In order to take over the Finance Committee, Wyden would have to pass his gavel of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.* This could be a major boost to Landrieu’s reelection prospects, but also a major blow to any thought that the Democrats in the Senate might do anything about climate change that would make energy-producing states uncomfortable.

    The last bit of this puzzle isn’t discussed in the cited article, but the retirement of Baucus will also open up a slot on the Finance Committee. Slots on the Finance Committee are highly coveted and are not given out to freshmen, but they can help a vulnerable senator’s prospects of reelection. This is primarily because members of the Finance Committee are lavished with campaign contributions from powerful interests who want to control tax policy. The Democrats can therefore use the slot to give one of their more vulnerable members a slight advantage in next year’s midterms.

    This is how Washington works, unfortunately, but you can play game well or poorly. For progressives, getting Baucus out of the Senate and away from the Finance Committee is a good thing. Moving Wyden from Energy & Natural Resources* to Finance is not a good thing. Having Landrieu take over Energy & Natural Resources* is not a good thing. Having Landrieu reelected is a good thing.

    It’s complicated.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Ametia, SG2…

    it was 28 degrees this morning!!!

    I put down the Eskimo coat and brought out the Winter coat!

    yes yes yes

    Going to enjoy this for as long as it lasts

  26. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)))

    I see you, SG2, all decked out in Santa’s BEST. **So adorable.**.

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