Thursday Open Thread

As Elisa mentioned on her post yesterday, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips issued an injunction on Tuesday stopping enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, ending the military’s 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops. Good news, right? But according to this post, GLAD expects the Obama administration to appeal the DADT decision.

Gary Buseck, GLAD’s legal director Buseck stated that it is expected that the Executive Branch would appeal since it “has a responsibility to defend acts of Congress.”

I think the author of this post, Joe Sudbay, said it best:

We were told this week that the President hasn’t spoken to the constitutionality of DOMA yet. But, today, a federal court judge did. Twice. So, the Obama administration’s DOJ will now have to argue that DOMA is, in fact, constitutional. The DOJ will be arguing that the judge was wrong and DOMA is not an “irrational prejudice” and that it doesn’t violate “equal protection principles embodied in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

I hope Eric Holder, Tony West and the so-called LGBT Liaison at DOJ, Matt Nosanchuk, all think really long and hard about this. And, the Obama political team better pay attention, too. How they decide to proceed with their appeal is going to be scrutinized very closely and not just from a legal perspective. It will have political ramifications.

I really hope the Obama administration doesn’t appeal. I know that my friend Joshua, who works for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network in Washington, D.C., is very disheartened, as am I.

Don’t do it President Obama. We need you to keep your promises.

74 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

      • I just want him to take a stand

        and prove that he’s a man of his word.  Cuz right now? not feeling it.  At. all.  never. have.

        he’s going to have to offend SOMEONE sometime ferchrissake–

      • I don’t think he gains anything

        It sounds like GLAD is saying he’s obligated to appeal, not that he wants to.  Politically it’s a loser all around, so I would expect him to wiggle out of it if he can.

        If his hands are tied by DADT being an act of congress I’d like him to explain that better.  

        • Go read Rachel Maddows blog today

          she explains it perfectly.

          I’m sorry. he’s president wuss. “oh i want the Senate to pass it”  really? the same Senate that filibuster-edit to death? the same senate that is on the brink of becoming MORE conservative b/c you can’t FREAKING STAND UP TO ONE REPUBLICAN?  That senate?

          sorry. his hands aren’t tied.  let the ruling stand.  man up and stay TRUE TO YOUR FREAKING WORD

          • I think we all know

            that the Senate isn’t going to do squat.  I can’t imagine anyone believes it will, inside or outside the administration.  So then it comes down to this:

            If the administration believes the law is unconstitutional, there is precedent that supports the administration not appealing it and letting the law die.

            OK Mr President, the ball is in your court.  I wonder when we’ll hear what he plans to do?  One thing this guy is not is a rapid responder.  And we’re less than 3 weeks out on an election.  Whatever he’s planning to do, my guess is that the calendar dictates when he tells us.

            • That’s the thing that gets me…

              we haven’t even heard an official announcement from the White House about the injunction. Why not? It’s a hell of a time to piss off your base. Especially the gays and their allies.

        • He gains nothing.

          I’m actually really annoyed at this judge for forcing the issue three weeks before the election.  (Sorry, Katie!)  

          From what I understand, the Administration has 60 days to appeal.  I guarantee you Bob Gates has been told to wrap the “study” at the Pentagon up NOW.  Once that finishes, Obama could move forward with an E.O.  Clearly the Senate is a dead option.  And its going to be, until at the very least the Pentagon finishes the review.

          But there is a historic precedent, and possibly a Constitutional obligation, for the Executive Branch to defend laws on the books.  Even crappy, stupid laws.  We will want that precedent in place when the Repubs take back over, I should think.

  1. My girl

    is 17 today.  I know it doesn’t seem likely when you’re dealing with diapers, but time really does fly.

    And it makes me just a bit sad to think that on her next birthday she won’t be home, unless it happens to be fall break.  Sigh.

  2. Math help

    Hi All,

    I know I post terribly infrequently, but I wonder if you could help me out. I have a 2nd grader who LOVES to read, but has decided that she just. hates. math. We haven’t pushed, but her teacher just reported that she’s still working on math facts to 10 – and I’m just a little worried. She’s fine, I know. But does anyone have any games/websites/something awesome that will help my math-averse daughter get these things down. I know the minute it seems like we’re forcing the issue, she’ll balk….but my inner panic is worried she’s falling behind (which her teacher says she isn’t…but this is one of those issues for me. I don’t worry about the boogyman, but do worry about girl-confidence-type stuff).

    Thanks for any and all help,
    Ellen

    • Not sure if it’s still around,

      but Mathblaster was great fun for learning the math facts – from 1+0 up to 12 times tables – back when my girls were little  - see post above to see how long that’s been :)

    • Math facts to 10

      is that addition or multiplication? Because if you mean “times tables to 10″ at the start of 2nd grade, I wouldn’t consider that cause for worry.

      I’d get some math related fun board games to play with.

      Yahtzee: you have to add the numbers, add the dice
      Tri-Ominos or dominoes: just matching numbers
      Blockus: shapes rather than numbers, very very fun, great for patterns
      card games of any sort… my daughter loved go fish at that age

      This has the advantage of being family time, and fun for everyone, and she sees family members using math.

      Other great activities:
      beading – make necklaces for xmas presents, you usually want a reflecting pattern, and Michael’s has tons of lovely, inexpensive natural stones that will allow even a young child to make something quite classy
      knitting – bet you didn’t realize knitting was math, but it is, patterns and counting
      needlepoint – again, patterns and counting.

      Cooking! There’s all kinds of math in cooking, and you can start with easy stuff like box cakes. When she gets more capable, have her make 3/4 cup by using 3 1/4 cup measures, etc.

      • Lord, no.

        Addition. And, great ideas! I HATE cards and really don’t like games (I swear, I’m fun – even though it doesn’t sound like it) and so we don’t have them out too often. But, really, she should be doing OK at this – we cook and bake all the time, puzzles, patterns. I think she has decent number sense – I do, but she has just decided that this isn’t her thing.

        Ugh. I go all crazy brain and decide this will ruin her for life. Must. gain. perspective.

        And, she can do the facts. She just still has to thiiiiinnnnk about it.

        • What things do you like to do with her?

          Let’s see if we can inject math into it.

          Sometimes the “math facts” that the teachers are working on aren’t just knowing the answer, but on a timed quiz and so they’re looking for speed. Sometimes the speed is intimidating.

          Handling money can be a good way to work on math. Maybe every night you can have a ritual where you and/or DH empty the change out of your pocket or purse and you count it together, perhaps into a jar where you’re saving for something special. Could be a small thing, like a family dinner out, or whatever. Count today’s change, add it to the running tally on the jar. It’s math you do together, and there are two aspects that are valuable: first, the practice, but second the modeling, where she sees that you do math, that you’re comfortable with math, and that it has utility in your daily life.

          With your cooking, think about ways you can trick her into doing math. Instead of just throwing, say, sunflower seeds in when making a salad, ask her to count out 5 groups of 10. Have her break lettuce into a specified number of pieces.

          I used to give chocolate chips for a reward, but I’d usually give her a different number than I promised, so she’d have to count them. And sometimes I’d be explicit about saying she could have 4+6 chocolate chips.

          Plant some winter flowers or lettuce, and count out seeds. Those six-pack seed trays mean you have to choose combinations that add to 6, like two lettuce, two flowers, two other-lettuce.

        • Speed and math facts

          My son isn’t stupid but he doesn’t do anything in a hurry. There is so much pressure to do those math facts quickly in first and second grade, it really stressed him out (part of our decision to move him to a Montessori school). He was 98th percentile for math, liked math, and still it takes him for-EVAH to come with the answer to 12-7. If you listen to him figuring out the problem, he really visualizes math differently from me–I’m strictly a learn-by-rote kind of girl; he actually analyzes things and gets a kind of internal understanding. In the long run, this may help him go farther in math than someone like me who can rattle off basic facts quickly. I have decided he will probably do just fine, and will probably better off if we don’t stick him with a hot poker if he can’t get 30 facts in 3 minutes, or whatever it is they want.

          Is there a way to take the pressure off for her and let her do things at her own speed?

      • money is the best teacher

        When she is with you while you’re buying something, make a habit of paying cash and tell her, “You may keep my change (coin part) if you tell me how much it is.”  Start by giving her the coins to total, then move up to asking her to calculate it without seeing the coins.  Passing these tests gives her money to spend, so tell her she can only spend it if she can do the necessary calculations herself.  Once she can add coins reliably take it up a notch, and keep raising the bar.  Make her tell you how much you’ll get back from a $10 bill, or ask if she can afford to buy 3 ring pops, or make her estimate tax.  You can teach math and financial literacy at the same time – double bonus.

        Not long ago I was at the store with DS2 when he asked if we could get popsicles.  He raced ahead and quickly came back with a box, telling me, “Mom, this brand is on sale!  They are all the same price but the other kind has 20 popsicles in the box and this one has 24 popsicles so I got this one.”  I was so pleased – he checked first for sales, then used units to find the better value.  I didn’t point out that the 20 count box was the same net weight of slightly larger popsicles, that can come later.  It’s all about making math be second nature.

    • i know i’m really late here-

      sorry

      how about playing uno?

      when my son was little he didn’t have a formal math assignment, but he was supposed to do twenty minutes of math for homework.

      we’d play uno, and he had to add up our hands and keep the running totals.

      we had a cat who used to lie down w/ us when we were playing, so we would deal him in too.  we’d play his hand for him.

  3. DH is sick

    And he is acting like a freaking baby.  The nerve.  Man sick.  This always happens before big occasions too.  Just guess how much sympathy I have for him right now.  Aargh!  At least I’ll be in the hospital for a couple of days while his mom comes up and babies him.  Yuck.

    • is he the one

      whose mom rubs his feet? As I recall, you’d rather be in labor than witnessing that again….

      This sounds like a case where noise-cancelling headphones could come in handy. Good luck not cracking him over the head before Friday.

      • Oh yes

        It’s appalling.  If she hears he’s sick, then she’ll play that up and probably get sick herself.  And then we will hear the litany of bellyaching between the two of them.  I think it’s fibromyalgia, SAD, general achiness from the long drive up and a few other self-diagnosed gems on her side.  DH will go into the “woe is me” on his sleep apnea, IBS and whatever malady du jour he comes up with.  I plan to nurse the baby and hide in my nicely redone little bedroom downstairs with the cable tv when this starts.

        • I am sympathetic

          to physical maladies, having a host of them myself, but whining is not attractive. Do you think your MIL believes her long drive trumps your birthing a human??!

          • Here’s the thing

            No doctor has ever confirmed anything they complain about.  I’d love to be in my MIL’s health when I am her age.  I grew up across the yard from my grandparent’s.  My gram had a quadruple bypass that she barely survived at my MIL’s and then diabetes complications and ultimately breast cancer for the rest of her life.  My family took care of her and my grandfather who had dementia during this time.  Gram would never go on and on like that and she had plenty of serious problems.

    • sinus rinse

      and STFU b/c you are about to push a watermelon through a water hose.
      Yikes, does this mean you have to do this yourself?? do you have someone to be with you in the hospital if he’s too sick?
      Of all the rotten timing. sorry MT!

      • LOL

        You are reading my mind.  He doesn’t sound like he plans on missing the arrival of this child so I think it’s safe to say that he’s going in with me.  But why can’t they take cold medicine, pump fluids and pretend everything is fine like women do all the time?

        • I’m doing it today.

          He probably has the same cold that I have.  Ok…I’m coughing and sneezing around a little more than usual and I can’t even take cold medicine, but I found a couple of extra strength tylenol to be quite beneficial.  I might add that I’m still hopping around on a broken toe/foot, too.  

          My husband had the same cold over the weekend, and even though he went out of town with me, he had to let me know he had it every minute of the day.

          And…not only are you going to push out a baby, you are going to bring said baby home and care for it with your own body.  For quite some time.  

          • we’re the opposite

            We’re the opposite.

            When I’m sick with a cold, I go to bed and that’s it. My DH keeps going.

            For example, the day before yesterday, I got a muscle spasm in my lower back from picking up my four-year-old (stupid me!).

            I went to bed for 24 hours, took Advil and just rested it. I’m fine today. He would just keep going and then have back pain for weeks : (

        • Preach it

          DH is all “I don’t understand why you’re still sick.” Well, maybe because I haven’t gotten a chance to lie down for more than two hours in a row the whole time I’ve been sick, and even then, I had one if not two kids next to me. I don’t get to tell them sorry, but Mama’s having a sick day.

  4. I’m outerwear-challenged

    Going to Seattle next week. Weather predictions are highs of 55-60, lows of 45-50. Amazingly, no rain predicted; chance of rain up to 20%. I can’t remember how to dress for this sort of weather! It’s been 80/60 here. I have a lined raincoat, but I am thinking I won’t need it. Any advice? I should mention (a) I’m always cold and (b) we’ll be indoors a lot, but I do plan to do some walking. We’re staying downtown at the Westin.

    • jacket

      I think you need a jacket for sure. The lined rainjacket sounds perfect.

      And pants, light long sleeve shirts and proper shoes (not sandals). Maybe a cardigan or something if you’re always cold.

      And warm jammies and socks.

      • it’s just like your weather

        I guess – for  kicks I also checked the forecast for SI. I was there this time last year when my dad was having surgery, and it was cold and damp. Thanks for reminding me about socks – I do have good ones, if DH didn’t appropriate them. I don’t wear socks from May to Oct…

    • I’m in Seattle :-)

      Layers…  Warm wool/poly socks do wonders…    I’d bring your raincoat and a fleece or wool sweater for underneath.  Light gloves will keep your hands warm.  If it rains (and ignore the prediction, it still could rain) it feels damp and gloves are fantastic.

      Seattle doesn’t require winter coats but a light jacket or warm sweater is almost always nice.  Then, when the sun comes out a long sleeve shirt and pants can feel perfect.

      And, you should get nice cups of our yummy coffee and carry them around.  Guaranteed to warm you up!

      The Westin is pretty….  Do you want ideas of things to do or are you familiar with the area?

      • thanks!

        I have a lot of rehearsal/competition stuff, mostly at the Westin and then Key Arena, and a few open pockets of time. The only touristy thing I am really doing is hitting a Dilettante cafe (and loading up on gifts) – there’s one two blocks from the Westin, yay! Might hit Pike Market as well.
        My first grown-up solo vacation was to SEA in 1993; I stayed with two sets of friends, one near Lake Washington and one at Friday Harbor. So I’m okay with not doing much sightseeing. DH will be home with the boys, so I didn’t book much extra time.

      • OH – reusable cup?

        do people bring their own reusable coffee cups there? I’ve been thinking of getting one, and y’know, if I’m going to be in coffee mecca…

    • I love my unlined, long gore-tex

      raincoat. Mine is from LL Bean; Land’s End has them too.

      I buy a couple of sizes larger. You can layer polar fleece or sweatshirts under and be very warm. Or, by itself, the larger size traps air and makes it feel warmer than it otherwise would if you’re cold and yet is more comfortable if it’s warmish out too. I wear these jackets for any kind of inclement weather, skiing, heavy rain, wind, whatever.

      Get a long one. My favorite for the heavy rain we see here (California North Coast) is knee length; the parka length that is mid-thigh is probably good enough for what you need. The extra length makes you warmer and keeps from having a draft at your waist, plus it means you have something waterproof to sit on outside.

      My first mid-thigh gore tex from Land’s End was bought in 1991 and has been worn regularly. Now it’s a bit tatty on the sleeve cuffs and it’s my barn coat, meaning I use it to move hay, fix fence, and generally do all the nasty, dirty outside work. It is still waterproof and still keeping me warm. I only bought the second one because I wanted a longer one and because I wanted to look presentable sometimes when it is raining. :-)

  5. Poop

    My daughter has been potty trained for pee for a couple months but has been holding out with regard to poop. I’m pleased to say she’s had four consecutive poop-on-the-potty days, a record. We may actually someday have two children who know how to use the toilet on their own.

    • YAAAYYYYy

      It does happen – I finally have two, too! Did you bribe her? We’re not above bribes.
      DS2 finally was “fully trained” a few months before turning 4. Of course he still wants help wiping, but his brother was doing it on his own by kindergarten.

      • Love that call…

        Last night:

        Isaac:  Mommy I need you.

        Me: Just a minute.

        Isaac:  Mommy I need you now.  I need you to wipe my butt.  It’s stinky.  I can’t stay in here for a minute. It’s too stinky.

        Can’t wait until he wipes himself…

        • when DS2 was little

          I had to compete to get in there first; otherwise my responsible and nurturing 4 year old would wipe his 2 year old brother’s butt for him.  It’s sweet that my boys take such good care of each other, but, eew.

          • heh

            We visited my sister-in-law last weekend, and her 3yo is just getting serious about poop in the potty.  Her 10yo brother was helping her in the bathroom and came out to announce to us with great amusement that his sister had wiped her butt and then wiped her FACE with the same TP.  

            (I suppose I was pleasantly surprised that he was willing to help with potty-training–something I shamefacedly admit I could probably not do NOW, let alone when I was 10.  I’ve always been profoundly grateful that when I got my stepkids, they were all set except for nighttime pull-ups for the littlest, and that I could handle.)

          • Mira told me…

            That this was why she wasn’t having kids.  First she was only going to adopt because she wasn’t having a baby come out of her vagina.  But then she decided she was just not going to have any because poop is disgusting and you have to deal with their poop for too long…

      • Gummy candies

        I have been extremely laid-back about potty-training–more or less, I just got tired of diapers and put her in some unders without much to-do. If the poop was too messy to wash out, I just cut them off with scissors and threw them away! I didn’t make a big deal about it, and didn’t really care much when she learned since she’s only 2. Lo and behold, she’s finally catching on. I do think giving her gummy candies has helped her motivation level.

        Five was pretty much the cut-off for my wiping my son’s behind. Of course, he only got trained a couple months before his fourth birthday, so it was only a year or so of wiping duty (pun?). With DD, I am looking at two years or more of wiping. Huh. Well, she’s more independent than her brother. Maybe she’ll catch on quicker.

    • Could she come over & teach Gus?

      Sigh. I’m starting to think he’s going to be an example in a book somewhere someday. You’ve got a very smart minn-girl!

      • Hah!!

        I knew I would jinx myself–she had TWO accidents at school today (poop of course, not pee). She was all out of sorts when I picked her up, and I don’t know if that was the cause or an effect. Also, I am not really liking her new classroom and new teacher since she moved to the transition room. I think she actually does better at home with me (I for sure did not feel that way about my son–he was happier in day care than with me). I’m not sure how much worry to give it. I really appreciate the day care’s flexibility, and it’s fine for the six hours a week she’s usually there. This month, though,  because I have a lot of work to do, she’s in three days a week. Do I make a fuss over it, or let it slide, knowing she’ll be back to six hours a week in November? Gah. Damn kids. Why can’t anything be easy?

        • Hmm..

          Do you think that the issues with the new classroom are just a transition/get to know it thing?  Or did you see specific things that bother you?  If you saw something specific, especially if you did more than once, then I’d ask about it/provide more info about DD to help them/something.  Otherwise it may be worth waiting a bit and seeing if it gets better.

          We had a lot of problems with Isaac last year at one daycare.  He was there Sept-Dec and it was a disaster.  We changed him in Jan and it was a night and day change from the get go.  So I definitely understand that sometimes things are wrong, sometimes they don’t fit for a particular child, and sometimes it’s just transition… But it’s sometimes harder than I thought to determine which it was :-)

          Hoping for an easier day tomorrow.  

        • Poor thing

          I’ll bet she was out of sorts because of the accidents…she’s smart enough to know she didn’t like that happening. How many more weeks is she in for three days? If it’s just two or three, maybe keep her in…she’s probably just adjusting, especially since she is so close to you.

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