Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Team USA: It Takes a Village

I am sick of Democrats being defensive about our love for American government.  We have the best government ever, and we have used it to do some truly amazing, wonderful things.  And what's more, the people who "hate the government" are usually overlooking the many, many things the government does for them - and does very well.

Take this dude (not the President, the business owner), for example:

He's forgetting that he accepted over a million dollars in aid from both state and federal governments to help his company start and grow.  Money that had nothing to do with his success?  I doubt it.

Every time some self-involved, entitled person...

Monday, July 30, 2012

When The Rubbers Hit The Road, or Why Don’t People Use Birth Control?

We all worry about the population explosion, but we don't worry about it at the right time. ~Arthur Hoppe

In the US, almost half of all pregnancies are unintentional.   Women in the United States are almost twice as likely as women in Great Britain and three times as likely as women in the Netherlands to face an unplanned pregnancy.
Despite the plethora of choices for birth control, such as the Pill, IUD, condoms, diaphragms, Depo-Provera, etc. women are  getting pregnant, despite their stated intentions not to do so.  Why is this the case?  Almost 99% of sexually active women have used some form of birth control at some point, so why aren’t couples more diligent about using birth control consistently?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Girly Questions

So I have this list of things that I've been thinking about using for post ideas.  But I mostly just want to share them and ask some girly questions.  So here goes:

  • Here, we are arguing whether women get to have abortions or use birth control.  In China, they are arguing whether to continue forcing women to have abortions (even as late-term as 7-months) as they enforce their historically anti-girl one-child policy.  Either way, the mostly-male governments would really, really like to be able to tell women what to do.  The good news is that China has undermined its own progress by short-sightedly messing with its gender dynamics and age dynamics.  123 boys to 100 girls under age 4.  How's that going to work out for you in 20 years, guys?  One thing about democracy: you end up talking about things a whole lot before you do them.  But which argument is more anti-girl?  Why do governments spend so much time trying to control reproduction?  Is there a better way to have this conversation?

Monday, July 23, 2012

What Do The Poor Deserve?

A newspaper in New Orleans recently published a story about a public housing project where the residents had to be moved due to a possible looming health threat.  The comment section of the newspaper became full of outrage, not because the state allowed some people to be in physical danger to save a few bucks...but because the accompanying photograph with the story had a young boy playing with an iPad while sitting out in front of the housing project. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Presidents: Dog People?

What is the deal with presidents/people running for president and dogs?

I'm not saying they don't love their animals.

LBJ with a couple of his beagles (these are probably "Him" and "Her"):

But it's a mixed history at best.

Friday, July 20, 2012

You Didn't Build That!

My two favorites of the memes...

Jefferson Starship gets educated by president Obama. They didn’t, in fact, build that city on rock and roll. Somebody else made that happen.

So, the right-wing has gone into a frenzy over remarks by Obama that seemed to me at least, perfectly unremarkable.  He said, to wit:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

That which you do to the least of my brethren...

There has been a recent, and, to me, fascinating back and forth between American nuns and Rome about how much Catholics should emphasize care for the poor in the public discourse, as opposed to focusing on being anti-birth control, anti-gay marriage, anti-ordination of women, and anti-abortion.

Now, I'm not Catholic.  So I'm treading oh so lightly here.  But I simply do not get a Pope saying that nuns should focus less on the poor.  That is really, really strange to me.  And because of the history of the Catholic Church with women and with American Catholics, generally... I can't help but wonder if this is a smack down of a group of uppity American women.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bain Deferred

So I'm working on a Bain piece.  As with the SCOTUS ones, this kind of a post takes time and research.  My kids are not cooperating, and neither is my schedule, so it'll be tomorrow when I finally get it up.

So instead, I leave you with a couple of diversions:

Mark Fiore:

Tom Toles:

and Ann Telnaes.

Have a great afternoon :-)

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Singing Politicians (updated)

The rare two-post day.

I just had to put these up - back-to-back - because I was taken by the differences in these ads, and I want you to be able to evaluate them:

My Name Isn't "Hillary," But I Play Her on TV

So you're Hillary Clinton.  Which is probably pretty awesome a fair amount of the time.

But what do you make of the fact that there is a TV show (some would argue there have been two) about you running for/being president?  You gotta like the caliber of actor playing you: what lady doesn't like the idea of the lady who was Ripley playing her?

And maybe the spin on Political Animals is that it isn't about Hillary, per se.  But...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

That's Not Funny Update

An update on the That's Not Funny post...

Mandi found this piece - and I think it's really worth the read (there is profanity throughout the piece, if that bothers you) - by a male Austin-area comic, to the Tosh rape joke fiasco.  The whole thing is powerful, but here is my favorite quote (profanity omitted by me):

Offended hasn't got anything to do with it, moron. 
People have wounds, and those wounds are painful. That doesn't have s--- to do with the weak concept of "taking offense." If someone talks about Texas being a s----- state, I might "take offense" at that. Fine, whatever. All of us who like comedy are generally in agreement with the idea that "taking offense" is lame, and a comedian should be willing to "offend" whenever he or she wants to. 
But causing pain is quite a different f------ matter. Your job as a comedian is to take us through pain, transcend pain, transform pain. And if you don't get that, you are a f------ bully, and I've got zero time for bullies.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Boo-Urns! -Friday Edition

Here it is again, by popular demand, Mitt Romney getting booed at the NAACP convention when he promises to repeal Obamacare.  You can almost see his circuitry stop at certain points...

Just to have a contrast, here is Vice President Biden, speaking at the same convention...
Get it?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just My Baby’s Daddy

Ok, I couldn’t resist throwing in a reference to that extremely terrible song.  But lately the issue of  “preglimony” has been in the news, thanks to the musings of one Shari Motro, who argues that in the era of  safe, inexpensive, minimally invasive paternity testing available even in the embryonic stage, men should be obligated to help pay for pregnancy or abortion related expenses.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff

The so-called “fiscal cliff” is coming, looming just ahead, and if we aren’t careful, the entire country may fall off of it.  What is the fiscal cliff, you may be asking? 

Monday, July 9, 2012


So my house went without power for a week.

This happened partially because there was a very bad storm in my area, and partially because the reigning utility (PEPCO) is way more invested in its shareholders' happiness than its customers' happiness. That's not really opinion.

Now, it may be that private utilities are more responsive, more efficient, or better for society in some way than public utilities are.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Game of Thrones Political Ads

Someone at Mother Jones decided to have a bit of fun during election season, and re-imagined what modern-day attack ads would like like if they were applied to the HBO Game of  Thrones characters. Here they are, with mild spoilers:

I especially like the Rob Stark "celebrity" ad, which I think is pitch perfect.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, America!

Mandi's right, we need infrastructure - if for no other reason than it allows us to blog.  And after going-on 5 days without their home (because of a pretty lame utility and a prolonged lack of electricity), my family is frazzled.

That said, a very Happy Birthday to America.  236.  You hardly look 200, baby.

As I may have mentioned once or twice in the past, America is - and hopefully always will be - a work in progress.  And so, as should befit YBGP, we will celebrate the time that America's men decided to allow us girls to vote.  It was a good decision, gentlemen.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Infrastructure-We Need It

So the DC area was hit with some brief, yet powerful storms last Friday night.  If you can read this post, count yourself as one of the lucky ones.  There were about 2 million people without power at the height of the storm, and there are still about a million without power, days later.  Many people are being told that it will take up to a full week for their power to be restored, during the middle of record high temperatures topping out at 110F. 

Observing all the pandemonium, I can't help but think, can't we do better than this?  If one storm manages to knock out power for more than a week for residents of the capital of the United States, then we have absolutely no hope during a terrorist plot.    While my husband and I have refined our emergency procedures since Friday, I wonder what our local and national goverments have learned from these errant storms?  Not only was the power out, but cell phone, water, and the 911 networks were down, right at the time that people needed them the most.  I am still under a "boil water before drinking" advisory, several days after the storm has passed.

Billions and billions have been spent on anti-terrorism and preparedness, but where did all of it go?  The DC area has lots of mature trees, so one of the easiest and obvious solutions is to bury our power lines, so a crashing tree won't take our electricity and stop lights.  While I know it isn't the sexiest uses of anti-terrorism money, it seems like one of the most useful when and if the time comes.  It's disturbing to think how vunerable we all are if something were to ever happen, and how little our local and national governments seem to be doing to address the realities of the threat.