Wednesday Open Thread | Christmas Jams

beautiful-candles-6White Christmas” is an Irving Berlin song reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.[1][2][3][4]

Accounts vary as to when and where Berlin wrote the song.[4] One story is that he wrote it in 1940, in warm La Quinta, California, while staying at the La Quinta Hotel, a frequent Hollywood retreat also favored by writer-producer Frank Capra. He often stayed up all night writing — he told his secretary, “Grab your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best song I’ve ever written — heck, I just wrote the best song that anybody’s ever written!”

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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43 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Christmas Jams

  1. eliihass says:

    ‘…DIPLOMATS from various countries have spent the past few weeks booking suites at the Trump International Hotel in Washington in the hope of ingratiating themselves with president-elect Donald Trump. The Industrial and Agricultural Bank of China, whose majority stakeholder is the Chinese government, rents office space in New York City’s Trump Tower. The 35-storey Trump Office Buenos Aires development is awaiting approval from that city’s government. These are just a few of the unprecedented conflicts of interest presented by Mr Trump’s decision to retain his business empire and hand its management over to his children. No law obliges Mr Trump to sell his assets or place them in a blind trust, though nine of the 12 presidents since the second world war have done so. But when his businesses accept money (or anything of value) from foreign governments or state-owned entities, Mr Trump may nevertheless be breaking the law. In fact, he may be violating the Constitution of the United States—and specifically, a section known as the Emoluments Clause.

    Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the constitution states that no American officeholder shall, “without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.” The clause is no weird historical quirk. Gordon Wood, an American historian, argues that America’s founding fathers were obsessed with the problem of corruption, which they believed had doomed earlier republics. They saw it as an element of aristocratic and monarchical rule, which confused public functions (officeholders) with private personages (nobility). When the king of England granted titles and salaries to loyalists, wrote John Adams, America’s second president, it turned the crown itself into a “private interest”. Preventing such conflicts of interest was vital to the survival of the new state.

    Foreign gifts to American government representatives were of particular concern, writes Zephyr Teachout, an American law professor, in her book “Corruption in America”. King Louis XVI of France liked to present gilded snuff boxes to favoured diplomats such as Benjamin Franklin, who received one encrusted with 408 diamonds. This caused some scandal among the egalitarian Americans. They looked to another young republic, the Netherlands, which in 1651 had adopted a ban on gifts for its ambassadors unless they were declared and approved by parliament…’


    Jonathan Adler, the naysaying lawyer quoted in this article, is a Repub/neocon…so take his opinion with a grain of salt…

    I just wanted to share about emoluments clause…and how it can and should be used to hold Trump accountable…

  2. eliihass says:

    We’ve got to do better…we rank 25th in science, 24th in Reading and 40th in Math…

    ‘…Singapore, named as the top rated country for maths and science in another ranking last week, is in first place in all the Pisa test subjects, ahead of school systems across Asia, Europe, Australasia and North and South America.

    What is Pisa? In three sentences

    The Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) provides education rankings based on international tests taken by 15-year-olds in maths, reading and science.
    The tests, run by the OECD and taken every three years, have become increasingly influential on politicians who see their countries and their policies being measured against these global school league tables.

    Asian countries continue to dominate, with Singapore rated as best, replacing Shanghai, which is now part of a combined entry for China.
    Asian education systems dominate the upper reaches of the these results tables – accounting for the top seven places for maths, with Singapore followed by Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Japan, China and South Korea.

    Finland, Estonia, Canada and Ireland are the only non-Asian nations to get into any of the top five rankings across all three subjects…’

  3. Ametia, Rikyrah check your mail

  4. Liza says:

    Sweeping Health Measure, Backed by Obama, Passes Senate

    WASHINGTON — The Senate approved complex health care legislation on Wednesday that would increase funding for disease research, address weaknesses in the nation’s mental health systems and vastly alter the regulatory system for drugs and medical devices. The vote sealed a final legislative victory for President Obama, who strongly supported the bill against objections from many liberal Democrats and consumer groups.

    In many ways the bill, known as the 21st Century Cures Act, is a return to a more classic approach to legislation, with policy victories and some disappointments for both parties, and potential benefits for nearly every American whose life has been touched by illness, drug addiction and mental health issues. Years in the making, the measure passed 94 to 5 after being overwhelmingly approved by the House last week.

    One major winner — and a donor to both parties — was the pharmaceutical industry; its role set off fierce but futile opposition by Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts. On many of the areas addressed by the bill, pharmaceutical companies were in step with the interests of patients desperate for cures, an unusual and emotionally charged alliance between an industry and its consumers.

    The measure would benefit people with mental illness and chronic diseases, biomedical researchers, pregnant women, hospitals, children with diabetes, people addicted to opioid drugs, children who are bullied, and those who are gravely ill.

    The legislation does not include provisions to to rein in prescription drug prices, a significant victory for the pharmaceutical industry. Consultants to the industry said that drug makers had kept a low profile in their lobbying on the legislation, knowing that any conversations on Capitol Hill could turn quickly to drug prices.

  5. Liza says:

    A Report from Occupied Territory
    By James Baldwin JULY 11, 1966

     “My report is based, in part, on Truman Nelson’s The Torture of Mothers (The Garrison Press, 15 Olive Street, Newburyport, Mass., with an introduction by Maxwell Gelsmar). The Torture of Mothers is a detailed account of the case which is now known as the case of The Harlem Six. Mr. Nelson is not, as I have earlier misled certain people into believing, a white Southern novelist, but a white Northern one. It is a rather melancholy comment, I think, on the Northern intellectual community, and it reveals, rather to my despair, how little I have come to expect of it that I should have been led so irresistibly into this error. In a way, though, I certainly have no wish to blame Mr. Nelson for my errors, he is, nevertheless, somewhat himself to blame. His tone makes it clear that he means what he says and he knows what he means. The tone is rare. I have come to expect it only of Southerners—or mainly from Southerners—since Southerners must pay so high a price for their private and their public liberation. But Mr. Nelson actually comes from New England, and is what another age would have called an abolitionist. No Northern liberal would have been capable of it because the Northern liberal considers himself as already saved, whereas the white Southerner has to pay the price for his soul’s salvation out of his own anguish and in his own flesh and in the only time he has.”

    • Liza says:

      “…the white Southerner has to pay the price for his soul’s salvation out of his own anguish and in his own flesh and in the only time he has.”

      I’ve always known this, but I’ve never been able to put it into words.

      I wonder about now. What are white southerners like now? And how many are left who would even know the meaning of James Baldwin’s words?

  6. Liza says:

    Jay Z’s Docuseries on Kalief Browder to Premiere at Sundance
    Stanley Nelson’s new documentary on HBCUs will also show at the festival in January.

    Sameer Rao DEC 6, 2016 4:16PM EST

    The first two episodes of the Shawn “Jay Z” Carter-produced documentary series about Kalief Browder will premiere next month at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

    The Sundance Institute announced yesterday (December 5) that the festival will feature “TIME: The Kalief Browder Story” as part of its “Special Events” showcase. Carter executive produced the series through his two-year film and television production deal with The Weinstein Co.

    The full 10-hour series focuses on the short life of Browder, who became a face of prison and trial reform movements after he was imprisoned for three years without trial at New York City’s infamous Rikers Island jail for allegedly stealing a backpack. Browder, arrested at age 16, endured violent beatings from prison guards and other incarcerated individuals and spent 400 days in solitary confinement. Outcry over his ordeal pushed Mayor Bill de Blasio to promise reforms that would keep minors from long pre-trial jail stays. Browder committed suicide in 2015, two years after his release.

    Browder’s mother Venida died in October, just days after she appeared on a panel with Carter to discuss the series. “TIME” will air in full on Spike TV on a still-unreleased date in January.

    The Sundance Institute’s announcement also mentioned “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities,” a new documentary from Stanley Nelson (“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution”) about historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

  7. eliihass says:

    The Obamas as President and First Lady, taking the high road and still remaining gracious as they have always been even in the face of unprecented, vile and baseless attacks for over 8 years – and without any support or defense from the very ones now conveniently screaming about rallying around Trump as a ‘patriotic’ act…

    The Obamas in their official capacity as the international face of this country, being appropriately polite to Trump as successor, during this transition…should not be allowed to provide cover for obvious grifters, opportunists, cowards, and any number of power-hungry, soulless, do anything to get a gig, do anything to remain relevant, mealy-mouthed, 5-prong tongued, suck-up, greedy, wannabe aligned to any kind of ‘power’ – no matter how dubious – shameless, political, money and power grabbing climbers and chasers…

    The Obamas in their official capacity, politely and graciously passing on the baton of office to their racist successors, should never be allowed to provide convenient justification for, or the basis for any number and variety of self-serving, cowardly, greedy opportunists – or the vile racists among them – to argue for …or to brazenly embark on shamelessly and opportunistically normalizing, shining up, glossing over and elevating the pathologically dishonest, manipulative, hollow, megalomaniac buffoon and his equally hollow and manipulative brood…

    And folks should ignore the glib yaps of the buffoon – no matter how often the buffoon attempts to now conveniently and manipulatively name-drop the sitting President to dishonestly telegraph to the stupid media and the President’s supporters, that they are now somehow cool with each other…even after he’d spent years othering him…the basis and launching pad for the buffoon’s candidacy…and not after the dangerous and false sentiments he helped plant… and the racist hate he nurtured, encouraged and whipped up …and eventually tapped into to help propel him into a fluke of a ‘win’…Can’t be schmoozing and communing with the devil…appointing and nominating racists to your banana republic cabinet, and talking about getting and taking advise on folks from the historic President..

    If then Senator Obama had gone about his presidential transition in this ridiculously tacky, ignorant, mediocre and shoddy reality t.v manner…and had he gone on rallies with taxpayers obviously shouldering the costs, he would have been roundly lambasted and endlessly raged on by the media …Similar proceedings as the buffoon’s would’ve been branded ‘the Amateur hour’…and any such ‘thank you’ rallies declared a gauche, arrogant, ungracious and tacky self-congratulatory tour of a mindless, juvenile, arrestedly developed, cocky narcissist…for which some members of Congress – including some of the always quick to co-sign with the enemy members of then President-elect Obama’s own party, would have immediately moved to either curtail Secret Service use…and even demand reimbursement of all associated costs..

    But instead, the pilgrimages to New York and the now convenient and loud and desperately embarrassing declarations of just how fantastic the ‘president-elect’ buffoon is, continue…and the media and spinners, insist that this obviously ridiculous Amateur hour we are all witnessing…this laughable, finger in the wind, constantly pulling stuff out of the b*tt, winging it as they go along, shenanigans of a ‘transition’ farce by the megalomaniac, is somehow now declared the ‘genius’ and ‘deliberate’ and ‘calculated’ doings of a ‘businessman’, ‘negotiator’ and ‘maverick’…


    You really can’t make this crap up if one tried..

    We always knew folks were shallow and fickle, but what we are witnessing at the moment, not only takes the cake and is appalling, but is way beyond, stranger than fiction…

    What do young people take away from all this…?
    That at the end of the day, no matter how despicable a buffoon …and no matter how much folks pretend to despise him and rail against his racist and other destructive spewing and shenanigans… that even if he loses the popular vote, and somehow ‘wins’ the electoral college ‘votes’, with the lowest numbers in history…that folks suddenly do an about face and start kissing up to the same devil…not just kissing up, but shamelessly and very publicly schmoozing and talking him up – and begging for him to hire them…

    No integrity…no principles…no scruples..

    • eliihass says:

      Oprah knows full well that FLOTUS in her official capacity as First Lady of these United States, has to remain polite and gracious to their racist successors, no matter how much those racist successors and their cohorts, endlessly dehumanized and attacked them…and dangerously tried to other her husband…

      So Oprah better not go asking FLOTUS about the Trumps…trying to on the sly, force FLOTUS to go on the record with nice words….but only to be exploited by Oprah to provide backing for and cover up Oprah’s own cowardly attempt to prematurely normalize her pal Donald Trump …an effort that got folks very loudly clapping back at her..

      The same Oprah who never called out, pushed back at, or admonished her pal Donald Trump as he for years loudly and viciously pushed the birther movement…not even when she inexplicably had him and his entire family for the entire hour, on one of her last shows in her final season – and in the midst and thick of his vicious Birtherism…and at the same time he was demanding that the historic President show his birth certificate…but Ivanka did give Oprah a pair of earrings from her jewelry collection…and Oprah got to normalize Trump and his birtherism by raving about what great children he’d raised…

      But I trust my brilliant, insightful, sincere, eyes at the back of her head, clear-eyed FLOTUS…she knows all these folks too well…and she has all their numbers…and is 10 steps ahead always…

      FLOTUS knows well that these folks …some of whom may have supported her husband’s candidacy in 2008, and even tried to take credit for creating him and winning him the election…and gotten mad that she was not sufficiently beholden…and refused to turn herself and her family over to them…or allow them completely usurp her husband…never ever had her back…and still don’t…

      She and her family have survived this interesting journey, no thanks to any of these folks….but only by the grace of God…

      Yea! toTime magazine’s international Editor Jim Frederick, who correctly stated on the record, that contrary to Trump’s self-impressed and gleeful declarations of thanks at being ‘honored’ by Time’s decision to name him Person of the year, that it is not in fact an honor..

      That he has been chosen because he had an ‘impact’ …but only for the worse…

      In much the same way as the devil might have been selected …

      Meanwhile, Nancy Gibbs, Managing Director Time Magazine, is a mealy-mouthed, lacking in integrity and principles, multi-prong tongued, coward…she is another one of those female ‘firsts’ (who might appear to have the ‘qualifications’ on paper, but not much else – not personality or integrity or smarts for that matter)…that should never have been…

    • Liza says:

      It’s all going to blow up. We don’t know when or how, just that it will.

      PBO knows it.

      • eliihass says:

        It will..

        How on earth do these many and multiple competing egomaniacs with fragile and brittle egos and vacant souls co-exist without crossing and destroying each other, self-destructing and imploding in no time?

        Trump, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell (who’s already planted his wife in anticipation of the gravy train), the many retired generals, the many fake and real millionaires and the Steve Bannons and other White Supremacists, the Heritage Foundation and its benefactors, the Koch brothers, Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones, Anne Coulter, Kelly Anne Conway and her husband and such convenient and temporary ‘allies’…

        And let’s not mention what Newt Gingrich who has his moments…and a desperate and vindictive Chris Christie might do as revenge …or Rudy Giuliani…if in the end he doesn’t get the SoS gig he desperately wants…

        But more importantly, what happens when all this new fake shine wears out, and the scam that is Trump implodes…and the ‘generals’ and fake billionaires who have all existed by maintaining smoke no mirrors existence…faking wealth and know-how because it kept them relevant and kept folks slightly interested in them…

        Trump perfected the art and the act of feigning wealth…a man that has always been cash-poor, but has desperately tried to keep up appearances because he learnt early on that money talks and bullshit walks…And as long as wealth is projected, no matter how dumb and useless you are, folks project smart and ‘maverick’ on your bullshit…

        This circus will come undone even before it takes hold…

        Linda McMahon running the Small Business Administration…because lucking out in the wrestling world …in the world of fake and rigged ‘fights’..and theatrics… is precisely the winning formula for funding and supporting small businesses…or Niki Haley as United Nations Ambassadorial nominee…because somehow, having immigrant parents and being the small town governor of one of South Carolina who’s done precious little besides, is just the perfect exposure and skill set necessary to represent the United States at the United Nations in these crucially important and precarious times in the world…

        And so much for Al Gore communing with and influencing Ivanka who might in turn ‘influence’ her buffoon papa…we now have some fossils fuel guy from Oklahoma looking to decimate the EPA …nominated to head the EPA…

      • Liza says:

        Yeah, these folks are lining up to catch Trump’s coattails. I can’t figure their motivation as anything other than wanted to be famous and/or powerful and/or wealthier. They have no concern about being on the wrong side of everything that is just and righteous and moral because they believe they occupy their own universe. They get to DECIDE.

        I wake up everyday sick just thinking about this because we know who ultimately gets hurt or dies because of this debacle.

    • eliihass says:

      I just re-read my long rant and this doesn’t read right…

      ‘..The Obamas in their official capacity, politely and graciously passing on the baton of office to their racist successors, should never be allowed to provide convenient justification for, or the basis for any number and variety of self-serving, cowardly, greedy opportunists ..’

      It should read:

      WE should not allow any number and variety of self-serving, cowardly, greedy opportunists – etc…to conveniently try to justify their normalization of Trump, by trying to invoke or hide behind the politeness the Obamas have exhibited in their formal capacities as POTUS and FLOTUS, as they’ve shown the undeserving racist buffoon such graciousness in the passing of the baton to their racist successor..

      I’ve been watching as some greedy opportunistic folks like Joe Scarborough etc. try to justify, invoke and hide their dubious, opportunistic agenda, behind the sitting President’s sincere and polite dealings with his racist successor, as he tries to ensure a smooth transition of administrations…

    • eliihass says:

      This reads wrong…

      ‘…The Obamas in their official capacity as the international face of this country, being appropriately polite to Trump as successor, during this transition…should not be allowed to provide cover for obvious grifters, opportunists, cowards, and any number of power-hungry, soulless, do anything to get a gig, do anything to remain relevant, mealy-mouthed, 5-prong tongued, suck-up, greedy, wannabe aligned to any kind of ‘power’ – no matter how dubious – shameless, political, money and power grabbing climbers and chasers…’

      This should read:

      The Obamas doing what they have to do in their official capacity, by being appropriately polite and gracious to Trump – as their successor, during this transition…should not be seen as permission or a free pass or convenient cover or justification for all manner of grifters, opportunists, cowards and any number of power-hungry, soulless, do anything for a gig…dubious, suck-up, money grabbing power climbers, …invoking the Obamas politeness, but only to justify shamelessly chasing after Trump for a gig under the guise and lame excuse of ‘patriotism’ or ‘unity’…

  8. rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    What a Minority Does to Maintain Power
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    December 7, 2016 1:22 PM

    Josh Marshall is right to point to this article by Michael Barone as an important indicator of what is driving our politics these days. Noting that Clinton will win the state of California by something like 62 points, Barone literally warns that without the electoral college, white America would be colonialized by “those people” in California.

    California has been called the Left Coast for quite a while. Just about everyone in Silicon Valley except Peter Thiel and in Hollywood except Pat Sajak supported Clinton. White middle class families have been pretty well priced out of the state by high taxes and housing costs, and the Hispanic and Asian immigrants who have replaced them vote far more Democratic…

    California’s 21st century veer to the left makes it [electoral college] a live issue again. In a popular vote system, the voters of this geographically distant and culturally distinct state, whose contempt for heartland Christians resembles imperial London’s disdain for the “lesser breeds” it governed, could impose something like colonial rule over the rest of the nation. Sounds exactly like what the Framers strove to prevent.

    Allow me a brief detour to wonder how those Hispanic and Asian immigrants are managing to survive in a state that “priced out” white middle class families. But we’ll have to leave that discussion to another day. Barone never tackles that one.

    Another thing Barone doesn’t mention in his attempt to scare people about being overrun by the Hispanic and Asian immigrants in California is that the same phenomenon that he describes in that state is also at work reducing Republican margins in red states like Arizona, Texas and Georgia. In other words, if he feels the need to halt the “colonialization” of white America – he’d better get to work in those states, regardless of whether or not the electoral college survives.

    But Josh Marshall also notes the bigger picture.

    This is the mindset of a person and, I think, a political movement that fears that their power cannot be maintained in the context of majoritarian democracy. It’s of a piece with voter suppression, voter ID checks, expulsion of undocumented immigrants — the nationalist surge that drove the outcome of this election.

  9. rikyrah says:

    We honestly don’t have a choice but to obstruct and say no to Ferret Head.

    Just exactly what we are supposed to compromise on?

    The removal of healthcare for 20 million Americans?

    The Muslim Registry?

    Seeing, what, a million DREAMERS thrown out of this country and families torn apart?

    The destruction of the American Social Safety Net?

    The taking away of abortion and a woman’s right to self-determination?

    Just say OK, when a RACIST, in word and professional deed, is nominated to become the CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THIS COUNTRY?

    Just be OK with a White Supremacist and Anti-Semite in the White House holding a FORMAL Advisor position?

    I’m curious, just what the phuck do people believe I’m supposed to compromise with these muthaphuckas?

  10. rikyrah says:

    Why we will miss President Barack Obama.

    It’s as if we were fed Prime Rib the past 8 years, and now they tell us, beginning January 20, 2017, our meals will come out of the garbage can.

  11. rikyrah says:

    For Republicans, Being Anti-Science is a Feature, Not a Bug
    They ultimately want to prove that government is a problem, not a solution.

    by Nancy LeTourneau
    December 7, 2016 10:36 AM

    It is hard to imagine two people more polar opposite than Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Perhaps someone will eventually write a book comparing these two men because that is what it would take to adequately explain the myriad ways that they are mirror images of one another. But I’d like to take just a moment today to zero in on one big difference that could have a dramatic effect – not only on how our federal government works – but how it will affect the American public.

    One of the things that is not often mentioned about our current president is that he is a genuine science nerd. We’ve seen that in myriad ways over the course of the last eight years – most notably in how he has done so many things to inspire young people to study science. A couple of months ago, Obama was the guest-editor of WIRED magazine. In his editor’s note, he explained his love of science.

    I love this stuff. Always have. It’s why my favorite movie of last year was The Martian. Of course, I’m predisposed to love any movie where Americans defy the odds and inspire the world. But what really grabbed me about the film is that it shows how humans—through our ingenuity, our commitment to fact and reason, and ultimately our faith in each other—can science the heck out of just about any problem.

    When it comes to governing and policymaking, that is why you’ll find this statement on the web site of the Office of Budget and Management:

    The Administration is committed to a broad-based set of activities to better integrate evidence and rigorous evaluation in budget, management, operational, and policy decisions, including through: (1) making better use of data already collected by government agencies; (2) promoting the use of high-quality, low-cost evaluations and rapid, iterative experimentation in addition to larger evaluations examining long-term outcomes; (3) adopting more evidence-based structures for grant programs; and (4) building agency evaluation evidence-building capacity and developing tools to better communicate what works.

    This is an example of how President Obama is less driven by ideology than he is by pragmatism. His statements to Republicans over the years about his willingness to consider their proposals if they could demonstrate their effectiveness was not so much a kumbaya call to bipartisanship as it was an attempt to call them out. He knew their only plan was obstruction and that they didn’t really have any pragmatic solutions (see: Obamacare).

  12. rikyrah says:

    What Does it Take to be White?
    by Martin Longman
    December 6, 2016 3:15 PM

    In a new piece in the Atlantic, Emma Green explores whether or not American Jews can be considered “white.” Apparently, the election of Donald Trump has given this question new urgency since white supremacists supported his campaign and one, Stephen Bannon, has become Trump’s chief adviser. Bannon’s ex-wife alleged in court that Bannon would not let their children attend one school because it had too many Jewish students (who he referred to as “whiny brats”), wondered why another had so many Hanukkah books in the library, and opposed a third because it used to be housed in a Jewish Temple. Bannon did not contest the allegations at the time (“it would serve no useful purpose to refute each of the critical comments Petitioner has directed at me.”) and some of them have been independently corroborated by reporters who tracked down the school administrators who interacted with Bannon at the time.

    It’s pretty hard to define whiteness, but it’s probably good to put things in perspective by asking why the Irish were not originally considered fully white and how they became so. In some ways, both Jews and the Irish have always been white, as least as far as immigration and citizenship laws are concerned. But they both experienced discrimination in housing and employment, as well as social estrangement and politicized racism.

    The controversial Noel Ignatiev explored the Irish’s journey in a 1995 book called “How the Irish Became White.” Maybe you won’t fully embrace his thesis, but however it came about no one, including Irish-Americans, questions their “whiteness” today.

    American Jews overwhelmingly self-identify as white when forced to choose, and secular Jews seem to blend in and certainly don’t experience police harassment or suffer from other disabilities suffered from darker-skinned minorities like being treated as presumptive shoplifters. I haven’t forgotten that former Chief Justice William Rehnquist had restrictive covenants in the deeds of two of his homes that barred their sale to Hebrews or nonwhites, but I think housing discrimination against Jews is mostly a thing of the past (correct me if I’m wrong).

    In a lot of ways, then, Irish-Americans and Jewish-Americans have become white over time. I was doing some research recently on the Ku Klux Klan’s presence in Indiana during the 1920’s, and it was quite clear that the organization at that time in that state was much more anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish in its outlook and priorities than anti-black. I don’t think that legacy has simply disappeared on the far right (or Alt Right), but it does seem like anti-black racism has more power at the moment.

    I don’t think you bother to ask if Jews are white, though, unless you think they’re under some kind of renewed threat. Stephen Bannon sits at the left-hand of the president, and he’s known for making anti-Semitic remarks, not for bashing Catholics.

    Of course, most Latinos and certainly most Mexicans are Catholic, but their religion seems like less of an animating factor for Trump’s anti-immigration supporters than their race, their language, and the perception that they compete for low wage jobs. I guess for the Klan, their Catholicism is one more mark against them, but not the first and most important one.

  13. Liza says:

    The Drifters version of “White Christmas” is the best, IMO. That’s Bill Pinkney singing bass and Clyde McPhatter on tenor. Those guys could sing.

  14. rikyrah says:

    I miss Michael Jackson. :(

  15. rikyrah says:

    Quick Takes: Chaos Over Obamacare “Repeal and Delay”
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    December 6, 2016 5:07 PM

    * I am going to summarize the chaos that is erupting among Republicans as they try to hammer out a “repeal and delay” strategy on Obamacare. First up is Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

    Republican Senate leaders said Tuesday that they plan to charge through with their plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act as soon as the new Congress convenes in January.

    “Obamacare repeal resolution will be the first item up in the new year,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said at his weekly press conference after the GOP caucus lunch.

    Republican leaders reiterated their previously floated plan of repealing the Affordable Care Act first and replacing it in a piecemeal fashion.

    * Last week there was an attempt to rally the troops around a plan in which the repeal of Obamacare would happen immediately, but implementation of the repeal would be delayed for three years while Republicans came up with a replacement plan. Members of the House Freedom Caucus don’t like that idea.

    The proposal “will meet with major resistance from Freedom Caucus members,” the North Carolina Republican vowed in an interview, calling it “the first big fight I see coming for the Freedom Caucus.”

    “It should be repealed and replaced, and all of that should be done in the 115th Congress” — the two-year period starting in January through 2018 — and “not left to a future Congress to deal with,” Meadows added.

    Most members of the Freedom Caucus represent the reddest of red districts. They don’t want to face their constituencies in the 2018 election without demonstrable proof that they got rid of Obamacare.

    • Liza says:

      They need to strap Mitch McConnell to a lie detector and and get the real reason for why he wants to repeal Obamacare. It is his seething hatred for President Obama. Period.

      I think these crazed monsters like McConnell want to rush this through before people have an understanding of what it means and public outrage mounts.

      My loathing for the GOP cannot be expressed in words at this point. I have to quit trying. There are no words.

    • Ametia says:


      • Liza says:

        During the debates Trump said that he would repeal Obamacare and open up the competition among insurance companies so that premiums would go down. That was it, that was all he had that I ever heard.

        And that “competition” baloney is a worn out GOP talking point that means nothing. Insurance companies are not concerned with affordability, they are concerned with things like profits and risk.

        What kind of person denies health care to millions of people? Not even millions. As far as I’m concerned, in the 21st century in this country, one person without reasonable access to health care is too many. And the emergency room is not reasonable access.

        The GOP has got nothing, that is God’s truth. On the flip side of that, they don’t care. They have been salivating to promote their regressive agenda and they figure now is their big chance because Trump is in so far over his head. They think they can strike before they are fully exposed as evil monsters from hell. And they don’t care if people die without health care as long as it’s not them or their cronies or the folks who line their pockets.

      • Liza says:

        And another thing, to complete my rant, does anyone think the Democrats in Congress will take on this fight? Or will they bend over holding jars of vaseline and take it up the tail pipe? Will they talk about “compromise” and “reaching across the aisle” and so forth or will they get the lead out of their asses and represent us?

  16. rikyrah says:

    … According to the Brookings analysis, the less-than-500 counties that Clinton won nationwide combined to generate 64 percent of America’s economic activity in 2015. The more-than-2,600 counties that Trump won combined to generate 36 percent of the country’s economic activity last year.

    Clinton, in other words, carried nearly two-thirds of the American economy.

    This appears to be unprecedented, in the era of modern economic statistics, for a losing presidential candidate. The last candidate to win the popular vote but lose the electoral college, Democrat Al Gore in 2000, won counties that generated about 54 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, the Brookings researchers calculated. That’s true even though Gore won more than 100 more counties in 2000 than Clinton did in 2016.

    In between those elections, U.S. economic activity has grown increasingly concentrated in large, “superstar” metro areas, such as Silicon Valley and New York.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Nixon 1960: 49.55%
    Gore 2000: 48.38%
    Kerry 2004: 48.26%
    Ford 1976: 48.01%
    Romney 2012: 47.15%
    Trump 2016: 46.17%

    — David Frum (@davidfrum) December 2, 2016

  18. rikyrah says:

    54% of us voted against Donald Trump.

    — Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) December 4, 2016

  19. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

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