Tuesday Open Thread | Christmas Jams

christmas candles 78Carol of the Bells” is a popular Americanized version of a Ukrainian Christmas carol. It is a choral work by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych as “Shchedryk and translated, or rather, adapted to English by Peter J Wilhousky who wrote and Americanized the lyrics. Leontovych’s composition was in turn, set to the words of an ancient Ukrainian carol performed during the celebration of the New Year.

The song is recognized by a four-note ostinato motif (see image to the right). It is a holiday favorite throughout the English-speaking world, having been arranged hundreds of times for different genres, styles of singing and settings. For example, it was been covered by artists and groups of many genres: classical, jazz, rock, and pop. It has also been featured in films, television shows, and parodies.

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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66 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread | Christmas Jams

  1. rikyrah says:

    The polar vortex is coming. Time to break out the Eskimo Coat…sigh

  2. rikyrah says:


  3. eliihass says:

    Pffttt…They’re at it again…already putting out their ‘picks’ ..aka psychological arm-twisting and force-feeding…

    I can categorically declare that none of these women on this list will be getting my vote if they ever ran for President…none..

    So shallow and so short-sighted…yet again..

    The media and party poobahs keep trying to force-feed us their favorite politicians de jour…build and talk them up to the exclusion of others who are so much better but don’t have the backing of the establishment or the media…and then wonder why we the masses didn’t bite…and why their preferred candidate that they feel qualified to force us to embrace, ultimately fail…

    “…Here’s another test to think of before asking whether a woman is enough of a national figure to jump into the Presidential race: How well known was the state senator Barack Obama in 2004?
    Hillary Clinton will not be the first woman President. But Americans are ready to elect one: despite the real misogyny that Clinton faced, this was a close election. And they should do it soon…”

    1. Amy Klobuchar, senior senator from Minnesota. Popular, practical, appealing, progressive—picture her, for a moment, on a debate stage with Donald Trump, cheerfully taking him down. Why shouldn’t she beat him? Klobuchar has been in the Senate since 2006.

    2. Elizabeth Warren, senior senator from Massachusetts. She’s already won some Twitter wars with Trump, whom she can rival as a communicator. And she knows something that a lot of Democrats, it seems, don’t: where she wants the Party to go.

    3. Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. representative from Hawaii, combat veteran. She resigned her position on the Democratic National Committee to endorse and campaign for Bernie Sanders, whose name she placed into nomination at the Party’s Convention. (At thirty-five, she is less than half Sanders’s age.) She is the first Hindu member of Congress, could she also be the first Hindu President?

    4. Kamala Harris, attorney general and senator-elect from California. She is charismatic. As a state attorney general, she confronted financial institutions. That won’t hurt in 2020.

    5. Claire McCaskill, senior senator from Missouri. She has won election in a red state twice—in 2012, by beating Todd Akin in a race that gained national attention because of his outrageous comments about women, “legitimate rape,” and abortion.

    6. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer. Sandberg is ambitious and talented and a far better businessperson than Donald Trump. And she also has some public-service experience, in the Treasury Department, where she worked with Lawrence Summers. She could lean in on the debate stage. Sandberg supported Clinton in the Presidential election, and, when Democrats were assembling a Clinton Cabinet of the mind, she was mentioned as a possibility for Commerce or the Treasury.

    7. Kirsten Gillibrand, junior senator from New York. She is just a couple of steps behind Hillary Clinton, in terms of her relations with leading members of the Party establishment. She’s sometimes said to want the big job a little too much—but let’s throw that thinking right out. An ambitious woman who sees a path forward for herself is a good, good thing. Gillibrand has also been exemplary in her efforts to get women to run at all levels of public office. Coming from New York, where there is some money to be found, won’t hurt.


    • eliihass says:


      8. Maggie Hassan, governor and senator-elect from New Hampshire. She has the executive experience; this year, she won a tight, tough race against Kelly Ayotte, and her victory and the turnout she inspired may have cost Trump New Hampshire.

      9. Val Demings, U.S. representative-elect from Florida. “I carry a 9-mm. gun in my Dooney & Bourke that was a gift when I retired from the police department,” Demings told Marie Claire, in 2012, when she first ran for Congress. Demings, who had been the first female police chief of Orlando, didn’t win that time, but she was back in 2016. An African-American, she overcame the poverty and the segregation of her childhood in Florida (a swing state, if anyone needed to be reminded). In every respect, she is a determined fighter and a compelling presence. Also, Demings’s husband would be the first former sheriff to serve as First Spouse.

      10. Tammy Duckworth, U.S. representative and senator-elect from Illinois, combat veteran. Duckworth lost both her legs when the U.S. Army helicopter she was flying was shot down over Iraq. She wouldn’t be the first President to rely on a wheelchair, though she would be the first not obliged to keep it secret. Her mother’s family is Thai-Chinese; on her father’s side, there is a record of military service that goes back to the earliest days of the nation. She could find new ways for her family to serve the country.

      11. Tammy Baldwin, junior senator from Wisconsin. Another Tammy, and another woman who has found a way to win in a state that has recently favored Republicans. Baldwin has been credited with helping to make sure that the provision allowing young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of twenty-six was part of Obamacare; that measure has been so popular that Trump is claiming that he’ll protect it. She voted against the Iraq war and is known, generally, as a strong progressive, and as one of those trying to find a new voice for the Democratic Party. An anxious assembler of traditional markers of “electability” might note that she is openly lesbian.

      12. Susan Collins, senior senator from Maine. Collins was one of the few Republican leaders who clearly stepped away from Trump during the campaign. She is also one of the few remaining moderates in the G.O.P. A run on her part might bring some focus to those Republicans who are thinking again about what their Party has come to stand for.

      13. Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina, U.N. Ambassador-to-be. Here’s a potential plot twist: Haley, who was reasonably clear-eyed about Trump during the campaign, comes to her senses after working for him for a while, quits loudly, and runs against him. Getting foreign-policy experience to run for President in 2024 may be why she took Trump’s offer.


  4. rikyrah says:

    Apparently at @Heritage today @newtgingrich gave away the game; said goal of Trumpism is to “eradicate FDR government.”— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) December 13, 2016

  5. eliihass says:

    And now that bloody Donald Rumsfeld has chimed in and offered his effusive endorsement of oil crook cum Putin’s buddy, all is well with the world again – and we have absolutely no worries and nothing to fear at all..


  6. eliihass says:

    And crickets from all those who insist that Americans rally around the racist buffoon in the name of ‘unity’ and ‘patriotism’…


  7. eliihass says:

    Both the Obamas memoirs have the potential of being the most insightful, most instructive, most powerfully gripping and compelling memoirs – and reads ever …of any President and First Lady…

    I can’t wait to read how they each cover not just…the endless betrayal…the lack of support …driven by envy and jealousy – even by those who should’ve been obvious allies…the stabs in the back…the fickle about face of those who expected them to grovel and be beholden…but who eagerly extended Trump such effusive, unearned and undeserved respect and support and deference and reverence…and space and unsolicited assistance to do whatever the hell his soulless sociopathic being desired…

  8. rikyrah says:

    How Repealing Obamacare Will Affect Medicare
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    December 13, 2016 10:24 AM

    For the moment, it appears that House Speaker Paul Ryan may have decided to table his plans to privatize Medicare, at least for right now. But Republicans continue to be united in their desire to make the repeal of Obamacare their number one priority next month – even as they struggle to find agreement on how to go about doing that.

    We are hearing a lot of talk about how the repeal of Obamacare will affect – not only the 20 million people who have gained coverage since the law was enacted – but insurance companies, hospitals and entrepreneurs. We’re hearing less about how it will affect seniors who rely on Medicare – or the solvency of the program in the near future. The two programs are actually intimately intertwined and so repealing Obamacare weakens Medicare in some fundamental ways.

    The one thing seniors would notice immediately if Obamacare is repealed is that the donut hole in Part D prescription drug coverage (enacted under President Bush) would reappear. In case you are unfamiliar with that, under the original plan, the 25% limit seniors paid for prescription drugs disappeared annually once total spending reached $2,800 and didn’t go into effect again until it reached $4,550. Within the donut hole, seniors were responsible for 100% of the cost of prescription drugs. Under Obamacare, the percentage paid by seniors in the donut hole was capped at 50% beginning in 2011 and continued to drop annually until the hole disappeared in 2020.

    The Commonwealth Fund reported recently that, since 2010, 8 million seniors saved over $11.5 billion on prescription drugs due to the closing of the donut hole.

    Medicare recipients might also notice another change when/if Obamacare is repealed. The law requires that all insurers provide free preventative care (including flu shots as well as screenings for cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases). Since 2013, it is estimated that 37 million Medicare beneficiaries have benefited from this provision.

  9. rikyrah says:

    BY KURT EICHENWALD ON 12/13/16 AT 6:50 AM

    The president-elect is issuing statements to world leaders that radically depart from U.S. foreign policy, and benefit his family’s corporate empire.

    Donald Trump hasn’t been sworn in yet, but he is already making decisions and issuing statements to world leaders that radically depart from American foreign policy, all to the benefit of his family’s corporate empire. Because of this, the next president of the United States is already vulnerable to undue influence by other nations, including through bribery and even blackmail.Given the vast scope of the clashes between the Trumps’ extensive business dealings and the interests of America, the president-elect vowed during the campaign to eliminate potential conflicts by severing ties to his company—yet, with only weeks to go until he takes the oath of office, he hasn’t laid out a credible plan. Trump’s sole suggestion to date—a “blind trust” run by his children—would not eliminate the conflicts, given that the money generated would still go to his family. Moreover, such a trust would be anything but blind: If Trump Tower Moscow goes under construction, Trump will see it while in Russia and know that his kids are making millions of dollars from it. That is why foreign leaders hoping to curry favor will do everything they can to help Trump’s family erect more buildings, sell more jewelry and make money through any means possible. Even if the family steps away from its company while Trump is president, every nation on Earth will know that doing business with the Trump Organization will one day benefit the family. The only way to eliminate the conflicts—sell the company, divvy up the proceeds—has been rejected by Trump, whose transition team refused to respond to any questions from Newsweek for this article.

  10. rikyrah says:

    I have not one ounce of sympathy for these people.

    CORBIN, Kentucky — Kathy Oller is so committed to her job signing up fellow Kentuckians for Obamacare that last Halloween, she dressed up as a cat, set up a booth at a trick-or-treat event, and urged people to get on the rolls. She’s enrolled so many people in the past three years that she long ago lost count.

    “Must be somewhere in the thousands,” she said to me one morning at a local buffet restaurant where she’d just finished an enrollment event with the staff.

    The health care law has helped lots of people in Whitley County, where Oller works. The uninsured rate has fallen from 25 percent in 2013 to 10 percent today, according to data from the nonprofit Enroll America. Overall, Kentucky is now tied with West Virginia for the biggest increase in health coverage.

    But Obamacare’s success in Whitley County and across Kentucky hasn’t translated into political support for the law. In fact, 82 percent of Whitley voters supported Donald Trump in the presidential election, even though he promised to repeal it.

    Oller voted for Trump too.

    “I found with Trump, he says a lot of stuff,” she said. “I just think all politicians promise you everything and then we’ll see. It’s like when you get married — ‘Oh, honey, I won’t do this, oh, honey, I won’t do that…’”

    I kept hearing informed voters, who had watched the election closely, say they did hear the promise of repeal but simply felt Trump couldn’t repeal a law that had done so much good for them.


  11. eliihass says:

    Robert Gates, former Defense Secretary, and Condoleeza Rice who are both being talked up in the media today, as highly recommending and effusively endorsing the buffoon’s pick for SoS….the greedy, slimy, oil crook and Putin acolyte, Rex Tillerson…Exxon CEO..

    Robert Gates and Condoleeza Rice are both PAID ‘advisors’ to Exxon …

    No honor, no integrity, no scruples..

    They are all crooks…slimy, deceitful, corrupt, greedy crooks…who will sell this country down the river in a heartbeat, if it means they get to line their pockets …remain relevant…and have access to power..

    These folks wouldn’t know what integrity, honor or patriotism means if it hit them in the face…but these are the same folks that are held up as ‘upstanding’ ‘patriots’ …and whose judgement, perennially touted as ‘unimpeachable’…even as we all know that these were the very same folks who led us into the Iraq war …the architects of the Middle East debacle that has disrupted and threatens the world today…

    How have we allowed the media repeatedly sell these evil, greedy, corrupt incompetents as the ‘most ‘knowledgeable’ and the ‘best’…

  12. eliihass says:

    Money, power and relevance are sure highly toxic, potent and intoxicating forces…And it seems the more they have it, the wealthy assume it makes them smarter than everyone else….even when the wealth and position has been by fluke….

    And they will just about do anything to get even more …and no matter how wealthy, will obfuscate, gloss over, mislead, weasel and turn a blind eye to evil …if it means they get to stay relevant and powerful…keep amassing wealth …and keep pushing and protecting their own self-serving agenda …no matter how seemingly ‘high-minded’ and ‘universally beneficial’ the agenda might at first appear to those who fail to dig deeper…and no matter how much the poor masses will suffer and are trampled …and denied basic rights and services…in the course of rationalizing, normalizing evil…

    Listen to Bill Gates ….

    Calls Trump ‘very sophisticated’…

    Insists that Trump who lost the popular vote and has no mandate has ‘flexibility on many different issues’…

    What are we missing here…Are we all watching and hearing the same thing..?

    When the historic black President twice won in a landslide, most of these same folks immediately pushed back hard…offered no support…snide, spiteful asides were the order of the day….as they all insisted and declared loudly that he must not get to big for his britches…that he had no mandate and must not try to do anything…and subsequently spent the next 8 years condescending and obstructing and acting as if they were doing him the favor…

    There was to be no reverence – or immediate and unsolicited offers of support, goodwill and assistance…not for the historic President that won twice in a landslide…and after running a clean and honorable and uplifting campaign…

    And where folks like Bill Gates have all now immediately switched and flipped within weeks from mocking the bloated racist buffoon, to immediately acting with reverence and assigning obviously absent wisdom, intelligence, ‘sophistication’ and good intentions to Trump who for all intents and purposes actually lost..and lost …but for the electoral college… And even when every last one of his cabinet picks are so glaring and brazen in completely contradicting the undeserved benefit of the doubt and good faith he’s been given…

    Are we all watching and hearing the same thing..?

    How are these oligarchs so deliberately and self-serving so obtuse …pretending not to notice …or conveniently glossing over facts staring them right in the face..?

    Bill Gates on Trump:

    “…A lot of his message has been about … where he sees things not as good as he’d like,” the billionaire Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder said on “Squawk Box.”

    “But in the same way President Kennedy talked about the space mission and got the country behind that,” Gates continued, “I think whether it’s education or stopping epidemics … [or] in this energy space, there can be a very upbeat message that [Trump’s] administration [is] going to organize things, get rid of regulatory barriers, and have American leadership through innovation.”

    Gates said he recently spoke on the phone with Trump, and discussed the power of innovation. “Of course, my whole career has been along those lines. And he was interested in listening to that. And I’m sure there will be further conversation…”


    How can you pretend to be for and all about Climate Change, and yet with a straight face talk about getting ‘rid of regulatory barriers’…WTF…?

    Fam, you can’t make this crap up…and in the end, it’s just as we’ve long discussed… this is ultimately about putting back a white man…any white man…no matter how dumb and vile…back into the White House…

    This is what it’s all about for those who don’t even normally lean R-Crazy…


    Bill Gates just made his own pilgrimage to meet with the buffoon…

  13. Liza says:

    My President Was Black
    A history of the first African American White House—and of what came next

    By Ta-Nehisi Coates

    “They’re a rotten crowd,” I shouted across the lawn. “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”
    — F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby


  14. Ametia says:


    Susan B. Glasser
    December 2, 2016

    For the last two decades, the rules of political reporting have been blown up. And I’ve cheered at every step along the way. Not for me the mourning over the dismantling of the old order, all those lamentations about the lost golden era of print newspapers thudding on doorsteps and the sage evening news anchors reporting back to the nation on their White House briefings. Because, let’s face it: too much of Washington journalism in the celebrated good old days was an old boys’ club, and so was politics—they were smug, insular, often narrow-minded, and invariably convinced of their own rightness.

    The truth is that coverage of American politics, and the capital that revolves around it, is in many ways much better now than ever before—faster, sharper, and far more sophisticated. There are great new digital news organizations for politics and policy obsessives, political science wonks, and national security geeks. Today’s beat reporters on Capitol Hill are as a rule doing a far better job than I did when I was a rookie there two decades ago, and we get more reporting and insight live from the campaign trail in a day than we used to get in a month, thanks to Google and Facebook, livestreaming and Big Data, and all the rest. Access to information—by, for, and about the government and those who aspire to run it—is dazzling and on a scale wholly unimaginable when Donald Trump was hawking his Art of the Deal in 1987. And we have millions of readers for our work now, not merely a hyper-elite few thousand.


  15. rikyrah says:

    Trump taps Texas’ Rick Perry for agency Perry vowed to eliminate
    12/13/16 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Towards the beginning of the Republican presidential nominating process last year, Donald Trump and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) didn’t quite see eye to eye. Trump, for example, said of Perry in July 2015, “He should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate.” A week later, Trump added, “He put on glasses so people think he’s smart. People can see through the glasses.”

    Apparently, however, Perry is smart enough to join Trump’s cabinet.
    President-elect Donald Trump has selected former Texas Gov. Rick Perry … to be secretary of energy, two sources familiar with the transition process told NBC News on Monday night.

    Perry, a rival of Trump’s during the Republican presidential nominating campaign, met with Trump for about 90 minutes earlier in the day at Trump Tower in New York.
    It’s quite an evolution for the former governor. During his presidential candidacy last year, Perry went further than nearly anyone in condemning Trump, calling the television personality “a barking carnival act” who represents a “cancer on conservatism,” and who would send the Republican Party to the “graveyard.”

    Less than a year later, however, the Texan started hinting that he was looking for a job on Trump’s team.

    • Ametia says:

      Another white, dumb as a bag-o-dicks & rocks, mediocre man, who doesn’t know his ass from a HOLE IN THE GROUND. nor the name of the very department he’s been nominated to head.


  16. rikyrah says:

    From TOD:

    Bobfr (@Our4thEstate)
    December 13, 2016 at 1:44 am
    Have had several folk ask about hacking an election and why what Comey did was actually central to a successful hack.

    It’s all about margins. The wider the gap, the more manipulation required to shift the ‘win’ to the cheater candidate.

    Two weeks before the election a hack would have been so easily detected as to make it impossible because HRC’s substantial lead was being confirmed over and over.

    Something had to be done and it’s been obvious since the day Comey’s letter became public that it would impact HRC’s lead especially in States like FL, WI, MI, OH & PN – “swing States.”

  17. rikyrah says:

    Trump is simply using his cabinet as an extension of his real estate development expansion abroad or in renegotiating his current leases.

    — Jeff Gauvin (@JeffersonObama) December 13, 2016

  18. rikyrah says:

    Clear enough now?

    $500 billion Exxon deal quashed when US sanctions hit Russia over Ukraine.Trump/Tillerson could reverse—via @maddow

    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) December 10, 2016

  19. rikyrah says:

    With full Russian coup, Trump is now a threat to sovereignty of the United States

    Spandan Chakrabarti
    December 11, 2016
    There are many reasons why Donald Trump cannot legitimately serve as president of the United States, even if we leave aside his devastating loss in the popular vote. Trump’s clear attempts to help his business from his position of governmental power, his payments from foreign governments. his blowing off of intelligence briefings, his monumental screw-ups on international diplomacy and his transition team’s coup attempt of the US government by installing foxes to guard henhouses are just a few such reasons.

    But the biggest reason is this: it has now been conclusively proven and accepted by the CIA that Russia deliberately helped Donald Trump win the election. In explosive reports over the last couple of days, the Washington Post and the New York Times have reported on not only Russian goal of helping Trump but their method: hacking both DNC and RNC emails, but only releasing DNC (and Clinton campaign) emails through Wikileaks. I have chosen my words carefully here in saying Russia released the emails through Wikileaks rather than to Wikileaks: I want to leave no doubt that there is no longer reason to believe that Wikileaks is anything more or less than an effective propaganda arm of Kremlin.

    Combine this with the fact that Russians generated hundreds and thousands of fake news and clickbait sites and stories to push this propaganda (and other complete lies) on American social media channels in what now appears to clearly be a concerted, coordinated effort.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Have Eroded Trust in the Media
    by Steven Waldman
    December 13, 2016 8:52 AM

    There’s a rising chorus of people saying that fake news took hold because the “mainstream media” had lost the trust of the American people. “Who’s to blame for fake news? America’s real newsrooms,” declared a column in the Washington Post.

    I’ve spent a good part of my career pointing out flaws in mainstream media, including the possibility that fewer reporters would lead to lower quality and erode trust.

    But that is not mostly what has happened here.

    Let’s look at the numbers. We have indeed seen a dramatic drop in public trust for the press – from 55% who trusted the press in 1999 down to 32% in 2016. And there’s been a particularly large drop recently, from 40% in 2015 to 32% this year.

  21. rikyrah says:

    N. K. Jemisin ‏@nkjemisin 21h21 hours ago
    You want to oppose bigots? Great. Try not giving them what they want. Try boosting people opposing them. Try having some damn courage.

    N. K. Jemisin ‏@nkjemisin 21h21 hours ago
    You cannot be *neutral* on bigotry. That’s why we have w/ fucked-up governments now, here in the US & the UK. Honoring the fringe w/respect.

    N. K. Jemisin ‏@nkjemisin 21h21 hours ago
    Folks in SFF, like elsewhere, really need to remember that you cannot be *nice* or “civil” to bigots w/o legitimizing them.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Morning Everyone.😄😋😍😃

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