STEVEN LEVITSKY and DANIEL ZIBLATT: Is Donald Trump a Threat to Democracy? (NY Times)
Donald J. Trump's election has raised a question that few Americans ever imagined asking: Is our democracy in danger? With the possible exception of the Civil War, American democracy has never collapsed; indeed, no democracy as rich or as established as America's ever has. Yet past stability is no guarantee of democracy's future survival.
Paul Krugman: Will Fiscal Policy Really Be Expansionary? (NY Times Blog)
Right now it looks as if Republicans are going to ram through their whole agenda, including an end to Obamacare, privatizing Medicare and block-granting Medicaid, sharp cuts to food stamps, and so on. These are spending cuts, which will reduce the disposable income of lower- and middle-class Americans even as tax cuts raise the income of the wealthy.
Ivanka Trump Women's Issa Boot (Amazon)
"These Chinese boots are just perfect, whether walking the streets with your stepmother the streets of Moscow with your dad and Uncle Vlad -- or dancing the night away at the annual Aryan Gala to the strains of A Whiter Shade of Pale, or just your everyday trampling the rights of others. However, they are so constricting that they sent me to the podiatrist, whom I could not pay, having lost my healthcare. My mom offered to pay, but she has lost her social security and now lives in an alley behind a deli off Lex." - Carla Martin-Wood (5 Star Review)
"I don't think this will happen, but I'm praying. President-elect Donald Trump intends to do away with Obamacare and replace it with something better. In fact, something is better: Medicare for all, regardless of age and paid for by taxes. If President Trump brings about Medicare for all, he may go down in history as one of our greatest, kindest, and best Presidents." - David Bruce (Just a comment, no link)
This song debuted in a commercial for Crocker National Bank in 1970, was extended and re-recorded, then went on to hit No. 1 on the Cash Box singles chart and No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. What is the title of this one-time TV jingle?
"We've Only Just Begun" is a hit single by Carpenters written by Roger Nichols (music) and Paul Williams (lyrics). Ranked at No. 405 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time", it is frequently used as a wedding song.
The song was originally recorded by Smokey Roberds, a friend of Nichols, under the name "Freddie Allen". It debuted in a wedding-themed television commercial for Crocker National Bank in California in the winter of 1970 with Williams on vocals. Hal Riney, founder of the San Francisco-based advertising agency Hal Riney & Partners, commissioned the song to help Crocker appeal to young people. The song played over footage of a young couple getting married and just starting out. Direct reference to the bank was left out, in part to make the song more marketable. The commercial was very popular and Crocker National's business flourished.
Richard Carpenter saw the commercial and guessed correctly that it was Paul Williams (both of them were under contract to A&M Records). Carpenter ran into Williams on the record company's lot and asked if a full-length version was available. Although it had only two verses and no bridge, Williams stated that there was a bridge and an additional verse, forming a complete song; he and Nichols went on to write them. Carpenter selected the composition for the duo's third single and included it on the LP Close to You.
Released in the late summer of 1970, the single featured Karen's lead vocals and the overdubbed harmonies of both siblings. Following their hit "(They Long to Be) Close to You" onto the charts, "We've Only Just Begun" hit No. 1 on the Cash Box singles chart and No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, becoming the pair's second million-selling gold single.
Alan J was first and correct with:
We've Only Just Begun.
Whooda thunk there could be a hit from a duo with a female drummer
The jingle was the Carpenter's "We've Only Just Begun".
Gosh. Could that be...
Jim from CA, retired to ID, responded:
We've Only Just Begun
That was easy in a way the Billboard chart questions often don't submit easily to a Google search- 'We've Only Just Begun'.
And holy cats, that commercial! It's like a drip 1970 straight into a vein.
Kevin K. in Washington, DC said:
It was "We've Only Just Begun", a hit for the Carpenters, co-written by Paul Williams. I saw Paul Williams on the street once in L.A., and he really was as tiny as he looked on TV. (He's about 5'2".)
George M. responded:
Marty, if my memory serves me correctly, this one-time jingle for California's Crocker Bank is "We've Only Just Begun", by the Carpenters.
I hope I've got it right.
I didn't know the answer and didn't want to look it up but curiosity got the best of me: The song is "We've Only Just Begun," which was made popular by The Carpenters. I had no idea how that song came about, and now I have a new trivia factoid in my arsenal. Happy Monday!
DJ Useo answered:
I pondered this all afternoon, off & on, & the answer finally came to me.
The Carpenters' "It's Only Just Begun". I never really dug them, but I saw a movie on them, & it was very interesting.
I remember the commercial that featured it, too. Wow, those tv ads really stick in one's head, eh?
Anyone recall that
Santa sledding on a
Joe S took the day off.
MAM took the day off.
Marian took the day off.
Dale of Diamond Springs, Norcali took the day off.
BttbBob has returned to semi-retired status.
Patriot Act NSA Spying Unconstitutional Section 215 National Security Letters Must End
My name is Marc Perkel and I have decided to announce that I will not comply with the so called "Patriot Act" laws requiring me to disclose information about my customers. If I receive a national security letter I will immediately photograph it, post it online everywhere I can, and then make a video of me burning it. I will then await my arrest. If you want to put me in jail then come get me mother fucker.
CBS begins the night with a RERUN'NCIS', followed by a RERUN'Bull', then another RERUN'Bull'.
Scheduled on a FRESHStephen Colbert are Bruce Springsteen, David Duchovny, and Bryan Cranston.
On a RERUNJames Corden, OBE, (from 11/3/16) are Aaron Paul, Piper Perabo, and Jack Hanna.
NBC starts the night with the FRESH'Michael Bublé Sings & Swings', followed by the FRESH'Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet To Come'.
Scheduled on a FRESHJimmy Fallon are Matthew McConaughey, Janelle Monae, and Sylvan Esso.
Scheduled on a FRESHSeth Meyers are Michael Fassbender, David Remnick, and Craig Finn.
On a RERUNCarson 'The Scab' Daly (from 10/25/16) are Cobie Smulders, Bomba Estereo, and Skylar Astin.
ABC opens the night with 'Toy Story That Time Forgot', followed by 'Shrek The Halls', then the FRESH'The Year 2016'.
On a RERUNJimmy Kimmel (from 12/14/16) are David Spade and Metallica.
The CW offers the FRESH'Terry Crews Saves Christmas', followed by the RERUN'Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown 2016'.
Faux has 'Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas', followed by a RERUN'New Girl', then a FRESH'Scream Queens'.
MY recycles an old 'Bones', followed by another old 'Bones'.
A&E has 'Intervention', followed by a FRESH'Intervention', then another FRESH'Intervention', followed by a FRESH'Leah Rimini: Scientology & The Aftermath'.
AMC offers the movie 'Deck The Halls', followed by the movie 'Four Christmases', then the movie 'Sweet Home Alabama'.
[6:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 1-New Earth
[7:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 2-Tooth and Claw
[8:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 3-School Reunion
[9:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 4-The Girl In The Fireplace
[10:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 5-Rise Of The Cybermen-Part 1.
[11:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 6-The Age Of Steel-Part 2.
[12:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 7-The Idiot's Lantern
[1:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 8-The Impossible Planet-Part 1.
[2:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 9-The Satan Pit-Part 2.
[3:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 10-Love & Monsters
[4:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 11-Fear Her
[5:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 12-Army of Ghosts
[6:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 13-Doomsday
[7:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 4-The Girl In The Fireplace
[8:00PM] DOCTOR WHO: THE CHRISTMAS INVASION
[9:00PM] DOCTOR WHO: THE CHRISTMAS INVASION
[10:00PM] DOCTOR WHO: VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED
[11:30PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 1-Smith and Jones
[12:30AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 2-The Shakespeare Code
[1:30AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 3-Gridlock
[2:30AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 4-Daleks In Manhattan-Part 1.
[3:30AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 5-Evolution Of The Daleks-Part 2.
[4:30AM] DOCTOR WHO: VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED (ALL TIMES EST)
Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of BH', followed by a FRESH'BH Social', then a FRESH'Real Housewives Of BH', followed by a FRESH'Ladies Of London'.
FX has the movie 'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted', followed by the movie 'Hotel Transylvania'.
History has 'The Curse Of Oak Island', followed by a FRESH'The Curse Of Oak Island: Digging Deeper', then a FRESH'The Curse Of Oak Island', followed by a FRESH'Hunting Hitler'.
[6:30AM] THE THIN RED LINE
[12:15PM] THE THIN RED LINE
[6:00PM] THAT '70S SHOW-Surprise, Surprise
[6:30PM] THAT '70S SHOW-Winter
[7:00PM] THAT '70S SHOW-Don't Lie to Me
[7:30PM] THAT '70S SHOW-Can't You Hear Me Knocking
[8:00PM] THAT '70S SHOW-Street Fighting Man
[8:30PM] THAT '70S SHOW-It's All Over Now
[9:00PM] THAT '70S SHOW-On With the Show
[9:30PM] THAT '70S SHOW-Down the Road Apiece
[10:00PM] THAT '70S SHOW-Oh Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin')
[10:30PM] THAT '70S SHOW-Who's Been Sleeping Here
[11:00PM] THAT '70S SHOW-Surprise, Surprise
[11:30PM] THAT '70S SHOW-Winter
[12:00AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Don't Lie to Me
[12:30AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Can't You Hear Me Knocking
[1:00AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Street Fighting Man
[1:30AM] THAT '70S SHOW-It's All Over Now
[2:00AM] THAT '70S SHOW-On With the Show
[2:30AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Down the Road Apiece
[3:00AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Oh Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin')
[3:30AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Who's Been Sleeping Here
[4:00AM] PORTLANDIA-Take Back MTV
[5:00AM] PORTLANDIA-Nina's Birthday
[5:30AM] ACCEPTED (ALL TIMES EST)
[6:30AM] All in the Family-Archie Is Cursed
[7:05AM] All in the Family-Edith's Christmas Story
[7:40AM] All in the Family-Mike and Gloria Mix It Up
[8:15AM] All in the Family-Archie Feels Left Out
[8:50AM] All in the Family-Et Tu, Archie?
[9:25AM] All in the Family-Gloria's Boyfriend
[10:00AM] All in the Family-Lionel's Engagement
[10:35AM] All in the Family-Archie Eats and Runs
[11:10AM] All in the Family-Gloria Sings the Blues
[11:45AM] All in the Family-Pay the Twenty Dollars
[12:20PM] All in the Family-Mike's Graduation
[12:55PM] All in the Family-The Bunkers and Inflation
[1:30PM] The Fog
[3:30PM] The Amityville Horror
[8:00PM] Animal House
[12:28AM] American Graffiti
[4:58AM] Rectify-Yolk (ALL TIMES EST)
SyFy has the movie 'Tremors', followed by the movie 'Fast & Furious', then a FRESH'Aftermath'.
Scheduled on a FRESHConan are Megan Mullally, Steve Ballmer, and David Gborie.
A new teaser trailer for the upcoming series of "Twin Peaks" has been released, revealing the return of one of the show's most beloved characters.
The 30-second teaser of David Lynch eating a donut confirms that the show's creator will reprise his role as FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole.
The critically-acclaimed show will return to Showtime next year after 25 years off the air, with many fans hoping the new series will answer some of the questions left by the show's eerie final episode.
Lynch returns alongside other original cast members Kyle MacLachlan as FBI Agent Dale Cooper, James Marshall, Sherilyn Fenn and Sheryl Lee, who will be joined by newcomers Monica Bellucci, Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Laura Dern and Amanda Seyfried.
This Dec. 7, 2016, photo provided by Phelan Moonsong shows a portrait of himself in Portland, Maine. Moonsong, an ordained Pagan priest, finally has gotten the OK to sport goat horns in his Maine driver's license photo. Maine resident Moonsong said that unless he's sleeping or bathing, he always wears his goat horns, which serve as his spiritual antennae and help him educate others about Paganism.
Photo by Phelan Moonsong
A rainbow-headed snake and a dragon-like lizard are among 163 new species that scientists recently discovered in the Greater Mekong region, conservation group WWF said on Monday, adding rapid development in the area, from dams to mines, was threatening wildlife survival.
The discoveries, published in a report on Monday, include a gecko in Laos with pale blue skin and a rare banana species discovered in northern Thailand that is critically endangered because of increasing deforestation.
The Greater Mekong is home to some of the world's most endangered species. Rare or endangered animal parts, including tiger bones and rhino horns, are seen as collector's items by some and are often used in traditional medicine.
Jimmy Borah, Wildlife Programme Manager for WWF-Greater Mekong, said the new species discovered in the Greater Mekong region were a reminder that there is hope at a time when extinction rates are increasing at an alarming rate.
Try something in between: "surreal," which is Merriam-Webster's word of the year, unveiled Monday.
Meaning "marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream," or "unbelievable, fantastic," the word joins Oxford's "post-truth" and Dictionary.com's "xenophobia" as the year's top choices.
The company tracks year-over-year growth and spikes in lookups of words on its website to come up with the top choice. This time around, there were many periods of interest in "surreal" throughout the year, often in the aftermath of tragedy, Sokolowski said.
Merriam-Webster first started tracking lookup trends in 1996, when the dictionary landed online. In 2001, after the 9/11 terror attacks, the Springfield, Massachusetts-based company noticed plenty of spikes in word lookups. The most enduring spike was for "surreal," pointing to a broader meaning and greater usage, Sokolowski said.
Artist Liu Bolin wearing a vest with 24 mobile phones walks in smog as he live broadcasts air pollution in the city on the fourth day after a red alert was issued for heavy air pollution in Beijing, China on Dec. 19, 2016.
Photo by Jason Lee
One of the oldest and most complete skeletons found in North America will be given back to American Indian tribes in Washington state for reburial.
President Barack Obama signed a bill Monday with a provision requiring the ancient bones known as Kennewick Man be returned to tribes within 90 days.
Experts estimate the remains found in 1996 on federal land near the Columbia River are at least 8,400 years old. The discovery triggered a lengthy legal fight between tribes and scientists over whether the bones should be buried immediately or studied.
The bill transfers the skeleton, which the tribes call the Ancient One, from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the state archaeology department, which will get it to the tribes.
When Rev. Katie Grover arrived on a recent morning at Patapsco United Methodist Church, one of two congregations she pastors in the Baltimore area, she was surprised to find a $12,000 citation attached to the door.
According to the citation, the church, located on a busy street in Dundalk, Md., had violated a county regulation that prohibits "non-permitted rooming and boarding" houses by allowing homeless individuals to sleep on church grounds. Patapsco UMC failed "to cease exterior use of property as housing units," read the inspector's comments. "People still living in rear of property under tarped area."
Now the church has to decide by Sunday, Dec. 18, whether to evict homeless individuals from its grounds or pay a $12,000 county fine that would severely strain the small congregation's lean budget.
To the Methodist minister, allowing those without beds to stay on church property is part of her Christian duty. "We're just trying to do our business, which is caring for each and every human being," says Grover. "The best we can do as a church right now is not deny homeless people access to a bench to sleep on."
Ellen Kobler, deputy director in Baltimore County's Office of Communications, characterizes the sleeping arrangements differently. Homeless people have made an encampment on church property, she says, explaining that the county defines an encampment as any place a homeless person would sleep, including a bench.
A Brahmin conducts a ceremony to mark the beginning of the restoration for the Royal Chariot, which will be used during the late King Bhumibol's cremation next year, at the National Museum in Bangkok, Thailand on Dec. 19, 2016.
Photo by Chaiwat Subprasom
A leading Israeli think tank on Monday said it has found that Israelis are increasingly losing faith in their government and most Israeli public institutions - findings that mirror the global trend of dissatisfaction and cynicism that helped propel Britain's exit from the European Union and the victory of President-elect Donald Trump.
The Israel Democracy Institute also found a continuing nationalistic streak among the country's Jewish majority, with more than half of respondents in a nationwide survey opposed to allowing Arab political parties into the governing coalition.
Tamar Hermann, an Israeli professor who led the research, said the study found a "value shift" away from Israel's traditional liberal democratic roots that should concern its leadership.
The study found a "significant drop" in the public's trust in Israeli political institutions.
Trust in the Knesset, or parliament, fell to 26.5 percent from 35 percent last year. Similarly, trust in the government fell to 27 percent from 36 percent, and three quarters of respondents now feel their politicians are detached.
The U.S. Interior Department on Monday finalized a contentious rule to protect streams and forests from the impact of coal mining, one of the Obama administration's last major environmental regulations that the incoming Trump administration is likely to target.
The Stream Protection Rule, which the coal industry strongly opposes, updates 33-year-old regulations with stronger requirements for responsible surface coal mining.
The Interior Department says the rule will protect 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forests over the next two decades.
The Stream Protection rule requires companies to avoid mining practices that could pollute streams and drinking water sources, restore streams, and promise to return mined areas to their original form.
It also requires mining companies to replant these areas with native trees and vegetation in certain cases.
Visitors look at decorated Christmas trees at the Garden of Morning Calm in Gapyeong, South Korea on Dec. 19, 2016. The Garden of Morning Calm was founded by professor Sang-kyung Han and it opened on May 11,1996 as a private garden.
Photo by Jeon Heon-Kyun
An ancient Greek settlement thought to be a small village was actually an important city, new excavations reveal.
The ruins at Vlochós in western Thessaly have been known for 200 years, researchers with the Vlochos Archaeological Project wrote on their blog. Until now, though, the site hadn't been studied systematically, and archaeologists had considered it something of a "backwater," fieldwork leader Robin Rönnlund, a doctoral student in archaeology at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, said in a statement.
The researchers, part of a joint effort of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Karditsa in Greece and the Swedish Institute at Athens, first conducted the fieldwork in September 2016. Instead of digging, the archaeologists used ground-penetrating radar, a method that sends radar pulses into the ground and detects the reflection of the pulses off buried objects. The team found evidence of a town square and street grid. They also found ancient pottery and coins. The area inside the city walls measures 40 hectares (99 acres), Rönnlund said.
"Our oldest finds are from around 500 B.C.," Rönnlund said, "but the city seems to have flourished mainly from the fourth to the third century B.C., before it was abandoned for some reason, maybe in connection with the Roman conquest of the area."
American sweet tooths may suffer this holiday season as a ready-made whipped cream shortage could leave such favorites as apple pie or a mug of hot chocolate without a little extra on top.
The creamy dessert topping is in short supply after an August explosion at an Airgas Inc facility in Florida disrupted the supply of nitrous oxide, the gas used to keep whipped cream airy and light, industry officials said.
"The timing is really unfortunate," said Stephanie McVaugh, vice president of Delaware-based Natural Dairy Products Corporation, the maker of Natural by Nature whipped cream.
Demand usually picks up in November as the holidays approach, she said, but her company produced its first run of whipped cream only last week after having none for a "couple of months."
The U.S. market for products like ready-made whipped cream was expected to reach $505.3 million in 2016, according to market research firm Euromonitor International, up from $407.2 million in 2011.
Extreme cold conditions cause ice accretions to cover the St. Joseph lighthouse and pier, on the southeastern shoreline of Lake Michigan, on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, in St. Joseph, Mich.
Photo by Robert Franklin
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