Links for 2012-04-17

  • A few thoughts on Hilary Rosen, moms and work

    But instead of engaging Rosen’s points, the media storm is about how Democrats Hate Mothers. Or, Democrats Hate GOOD Mothers — you know, the kind who stay at home. The women the Democrats like are those slutty Planned Parenthood sluts, or something. And while all the Democratic and Republican spokespeople (including President Obama) seem to agree that being a mother is THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB IN THE WORLD: -None of the men who think parenthood is THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB IN THE WORLD seem willing to do it full-time themselves, even when, like Mitt Romney, they surely have the family money to enable them to be financially comfortable and still stay home full time;

  • De-legitimizing Christians outside the evangelical tribe

    This is a deliberate, intentional attempt by a politicized faction of American evangelicals to do two things: 1) redefine “Christian” to mean “white evangelical Protestant,” and 2) redefine “evangelical Protestant” to mean “conservative Republican.” This is inaccurate. And uncivil. It’s deliberately insulting to every Christian who is not a white evangelical Protestant and to every white evangelical Protestant who is not a conservative Republican. The latter group is not a small category. Millions of white evangelical Protestants voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Millions of them. Millions of us. More than the combined total populations of Alaska, Delaware, Montana, the Dakotas, Vermont, Wyoming, Rhode Island and West Virginia. But for the most part, the fundraisers and vote-herders of the religious right have succeeded in getting the media to play along with the weird idea that these millions of people do not exist.

  • Corruption Responsible for 80% of Your Cell Phone Bill

    And so Americans continue to have a small number of expensive, poor quality cell phone providers. And how much does this cost you? Take your phone bill, and cut it by 80%. That’s how much you should be paying. You see, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, people in Sweden, the Netherlands, and Finland pay on average less than $130 a year for cell phone service. Americans pay $635.85 a year. That $500 a year difference, from most consumers with a cell phone, goes straight to AT&T; and Verizon (and to a much lesser extent Sprint and T-Mobile). It’s the cost of corruption. It’s also, from the perspective of these companies, the return on their campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures. Every penny they spend in DC and in state capitols ensures that you pay high bills, to them.

  • I went to some of D.C.’s best schools. I was still unprepared for college. – The Washington Post

    Entering my freshman year at Georgetown University, I should have felt as if I’d made it. The students I once put on a pedestal, kids who were fortunate enough to attend some of the nation’s top private and public schools, were now my classmates. Having come from D.C. public charter schools, I worked extremely hard to get here. But after arriving on campus before the school year, with a full scholarship, I quickly felt unprepared and outmatched — and it’s taken an entire year of playing catch-up in the classroom to feel like I belong. I know that ultimately I’m responsible for my education, but I can’t help blaming the schools and teachers I had in my early years for my struggles today.

  • WTF, GOP? | Mother Jones

    This sanctimony is not playing as part of the genuine, profound disagreement between (and, guess what, among) liberals and conservatives about whether and when abortion should be legal. It’s playing as needlessly humiliating women with invasive procedures, as denying people the choice of when and whether to have kids, and, frankly, as straight-up slut-shaming puritanism (recall Rick Santorum admonishing married couples that it’s not okay to have sex unless it’s “procreative”). Let’s have GOP strategist Alex Castellanos bring it home: “Republicans being against sex is not good,” he told Maureen Dowd. “Sex is popular.”

  • Prepping For The Publishing Doomsday

    Once again the cries of panic have risen over the walls of our digital city. A big shadow is passing over our heads. Publishers and bookstores are in danger. Amazon is a mecha-robot stomping toward Bethlehem. And writers feel lost. Worried. Bookstores are exploding like a landmine gophers! Books are on fire! Publishers are throwing writers out of windows! An army of self-publishers is marching on New York! So you turn to me. Your drunken, pantsless Sherpa. Waiting at the top of Mount Penmonkey, stroking my beard seductively at you. *stroke stroke stroke* *comb comb comb* Okay, you don’t really turn to me so much as I kidnap you in a van and yell at you as we barrel toward the liquor store at increasingly troubling speeds, but whatever. Just the same, let me tell you what to do: Nothing. Calm down. Breathe easy. In. Out. In. Out. Maybe have a drink. Take a walk. Sip some oolong tea. Then, when you’ve relaxed: keep writing.


  1. #1 froggy
    April 17, 2012

    The hyper testing environment has done so much damage to the kids who can afford it least.

  2. #2 Bee
    April 18, 2012

    The grass is always greener on the other side I guess. In Sweden you don’t get a phone contract if you haven’t paid taxes in Sweden for at least 7 months. I do not kid you. This is the case even, so I’m told, for Swedish citizens who have been out of country for some while. After I moved to Sweden, I went from one phone company to the other. I was like, wtf do you care where I pay taxes as long as I pay my bill? “That’s how we do it in Sweden.” With apologies to Gandhi: What do you think of a free market economy? I think it would be a good idea.

  3. #3 CCPhysicist
    April 22, 2012

    The point made in your first link, about Hilary Rosen, neatly documents why I think Democrats are in trouble this year: They have always politely allow prevaricators and outright liars to reframe an issue in a way that misrepresents the original remark.

    Ditto for the Mother Jones article, which misses completely the essential point that Republicans think it is unconstitutional to force an individual to buy insurance, yet perfectly OK to force an individual to buy an unnecessary medical procedure.

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