Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

From our brother site Daily Kos: Rick Santorum won last night’s primaries in Mississippi and Alabama. As of 9:16 p.m. PT, Mitt Romney was in third place in both states. I did not stay up to watch the returns in Hawaii. Feel free to chat among yourselves.

Happy birthday to our NCmom! May you have many more happy and healthy ones.

Please join me at 1 p.m. ET/ 10 a.m PT today for a live talk at The Motherhood on tips to raise bilingual children. I am in great company and so honored to have been asked. It should be a great discussion.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


80 thoughts on “Wednesday Morning Open Thread

  1. Romney won Hawaii

    and American Samoa.

    Happy birthday NCmom!

    Off to the hospital in a bit for DH’s surgery. I’m a little nervous to be on this side of things — I’ve had several surgeries in our marriage but this will be the first one DH has had that involved full anesthesia [he had hernia repair under twilight anesthesia several years ago].

    I’m also a little nervous about the possibility that the surgery won’t fix the problem with his foot — the Dr. said within 2 mos. after the injury is optimum for surgery and we’re pretty close to 2 mos. Which would probably mean the end of his tennis playing days, at least his competitive tennis playing. Which would be really, really sad for him. He’s played competitively since he was 11, went to college on a tennis scholarship, and it is his main outlet to get exercise and deal with stress.  

  2. So

    what’s the deal? Is Romney done yet? It seems that if Gingrich would drop out, the vote would consolidate around Santorum and he could have a real shot?

    • well

      Romney has more electoral votes right now, so I don’t think he is done. I saw on HuffPo this a.m. a “republican strategist” saying that a Santorum-Gingrich ticket might be what happens. I personally find it hard to think of 2 less likable candidates than those 2.

      I just love that they are not gelling around one candidate — I hope that translates to less enthusiasm on their part in the fall.

    • I don’t know

      You would think that if Gingrich dropped out, his voters would go to Santorum, but I’ve read that in polls that asked voters their second choice candidate that wasn’t always the case. Often the voters were split between Romney and Santorum or even Paul. So if Gingrich dropped out it might not mean those votes would mostly go to Santorum.

      Like this for example –

      In what are expected to be tight three-way contests in Mississippi and Alabama today, Santorum and Romney are neck-and-neck. But even if Gingrich were to exit, the two would still be neck-and-neck. A poll conducted this weekend by Public Policy Polling (PDF) shows Romney leading Santorum by 1 percentage point. When the same respondents were asked who they would support if Gingrich were not a candidate, the results hardly change: Santorum takes a 3-point lead—still within the poll’s margin of error.

      In MI and OH, it says, both Gingrich and Santorum voters had Romney as their second choice.

      I don’t think Romney can lose at this point considering how far ahead he is in delegates. It’s more a question of how long it will take. He’s weak, but the other guys are even weaker.

      • Oh that’s interesting

        Makes sense I guess. Somehow I lump Gingrich and Santorum together in my head, but they really are very different.

    • I don’t think so

      IIRC, some of the primaries/caucuses are non-binding, so it doesn’t mean the votes are actually there. If I think back to March ’08, things were still very up-in-the-air on both sides. I’m not sure anyone will be done (unless they go completely broke) until June, and I’d love to see a good old-fashioned convention that goes into second or third voting…just like during the Gilded Age!

  3. I’m not surprised that Romney won Hawaii

    Somehow I can’t imagine Hawaii voters thrilling to Santorum’s message of “Put some more clothes on and stop having fun!”

      • Oh,

        could be, I don’t know. There are a lot in quite a lot of Western states (ID, WY, AZ, WA, not just UT) so it wouldn’t surprise me. We have quite a few around here.

          • I HAVE to read that.

            I’ve been fascinated with Hawaiian history since I first read Michener’s “Hawaii” 30 years ago.  I re-read it every few years.  Always remember his line in the book about how “the missionaries came to Hawaii to do good and ended up doing quite well”.  Sums it up.  

            Just watched “Descendants” yesterday, too, so I’m really in a Hawaiian history mood.

  4. Is our Midday post going to feature songs by

    Michael Penn or will it be a singer-songwriter theme? If it is the latter may I vote for Grace by Jeff Buckley next?

    Also, cannot talk about the damn Republican candidates for one more second.


    OMG – I am so over-whelmed on every possible level that I don’t even know what to attend to first.

    Know how I b-ched about my two friends draining my compassion? Well, one is on FMLA and the other is on vacation, and itakeitallback!  I underestimated how much re-charging I was getting from them on a daily basis.  Missing them both at the same time has been hard.  I have one other BF at work, and she’s been a lifesaver, and thank the goddesses for my DD.

    Here are all the balls I am juggling

    short staff at work and need to hire asap
    need to write a 15 minute presentation for the regional autismspeaks dinner (good news, but stress)
    DS’s Bar Mitzvah is not going to plan itself!
    my own health stuff – needing many appts and trying not to think about major surgery until it’s closer.

    On the upside – my DH has been wonderful – he knows when I am “fried” and always jumps in.  Plus, he called me out of the blue at work and said “hey – I’ve been thinking – you and I should take sailing lessons together this summer”  This is something we’ve wanted to do, and have done a little of, and it’s wonderful for him to take the initiative.  He said “after the surgery, after the bar mitzvah, you’ll want something fun to do and this is something fun for us to do together”.  Can we give the man an “awwwwww!”?

    • That is super awwwww!

      What a great way to spend the summer!

      Is anyone else you know doing a bar mitzvah soon or has done one recently? Maybe you can “steal” his/her ideas and get numbers for halls, caterers, DJs etc. To b honest, most of the bar mitzvahs I’ve attended were nicer than my wedding, so I imagine that is A LOT to co-ordinate even without the crazy amount of extra temple and learning time you have to shuttle DS to and from.

      Schedule that doctor stuff, tackle it one thing at a time. You are no good to anyone sick!

      I have to go get something looked at on my back, something is, um, growing there and it is FREAKING ME OUT. One of DH’s childhood friends died at my age from melanoma and I am… not calm. Anyhow, doc will see me April 3rd.

      • Breathe!

        I had a funky mole taken off my leg last winter. It freaked me out as well because the doc had looked at it and said let’s just keep an eye on it. Six months later, it was huge & changing color. She took it off immediately, and it was nothing, but she said had I not been aware of it, it could’ve turned into something. I also have one on the side of my face that feels a bit crusty, but she says it’s nothing but age change, since I know I’ve had it since I was in 8th grade. I will NEVER give up my yearly mole patrol. Try to stay steady…although it sucks that you have to wait another two weeks.

    • I’m envious!

      What a great hubby, go take the sailing lessons!  Good luck with getting everything done.  I have Jewish relatives so I know what a big deal the Bar Mitzvah is…I probably shouldn’t suggest toning it back? I know at that age you want to do what your friends have done.

    • I’m so glad to

      hear your DH leaped in to take your mind to happier places. Good luck with your “stress list” — that’s a lot to tackle all at once. But if anyone can do it, you can!!

    • Ooph

      Good luck managing all the work and Bar Mitzvah stress!

      I’m so happy for you that DH stepped up to the plate and that you have the sailing to look forward to!

  6. Suggestion for mid day post

    I would love to hear from artists that are well-known outside the US, but not (yet) in the US.  

    Having seen how Adele is sweeping the country, I’ve been interested in other British artists.  I listened to Florence and The Machine for a while, but I don’t love the new album.  Larry Flick, on OutQ recently featured Ed Sheeran – unbelievably young for how profoud his songs are – who went from playing at whatever open-mikes he could find to touring with Stone Temple Pilots to winning “best new artist” at the  Brits (at the ripe old age of 21).  I’ve also been listening to Paolo Nuitini (a Scot of Italian ancestry) who an internet friend introduced to me (“all the moms like him” ….ouch!).  And another friend introduced me to James, a band that has been around for 30 years, but somehow I’d never heard of them.  They are launching a huge west coast tour soon.

      • had him last week!!

        Gloria posted the video of “Somebody that I Used to Know” and I’m now obsessed with that song. I think it was cynmill who said she was obsessed with it and that one of her kids (Sanna?) asked for the song about “you screwed me over.” I gave it a listen and got sucked in, myself.

        • That was me!

          Love the song & the video. I need to check out more by him, and Kimbra. Although now Sanna is asking for the “scoob song.” I think “scoob” is her way of saying “screwed” which is a lot better IMO!

  7. I’m upset

    This is heart breaking, and I’m more upset by it than I should be:

    A bus transporting 46 11-12 yo kids and 4 supervisors back to Belgium after a skiing vacation crashed last night in Switzerland. 28 people died: 22 kids, the supervisors and the drivers. As 10 of the kids in the bus are Dutch, it’s all over the news here. It’s horrible – most families don’t even know yet whether their kid survived or not. This is what the BBC reports.

  8. DH poked her

    The woman who was all over me on FaceBook?  DH responded to her and now she’s at it again.  I was all set to block her and now…


    She homeschooled her kids, therefore all public institutions are wasteful and she knows more than I do about 1) education and 2) living in New Hampshire.

    She lives in Iowa.

    Stupid DH.  I’ve threatened him within an inch of his life if he responds to her.

    • I looked at her comments yesterday

      and she didn’t seem to be making a lot of sense. She was totally sailing past your rather clear & benign comment. She probably needs to go!

      • She’s crazy.

        I remember her from high school. She was easily led and not terribly bright. I suppose that makes her the perfect candidate for the crazy religious right, doesn’t it?

        • ugh, and she’s homeschooling?

          I got into a big debate with a hs friend a few weeks ago, and I felt it was really respectful. She’s libertarian/conservative and lives in Montana, is a teacher by profession and is homeschooling. I have total confidence in her ability to teach her son and give him great skills and community values. She and I had what I thought was a great exchange that fell straight down the left/right axis; she thinks she should have the total right to be left alone to educate her son as she sees fit, and I think that there has to group/state ability to intervene in that parent/child bond in the case where the child’s needs aren’t being met because of abuse or neglect.

          I am sorry to say it, but there are people in this world who should not be homeschooling.

          • Well of course not.

            Just as there are people who shouldn’t be teachers, people who shouldn’t be doctors and people who shouldn’t be parents there are people who shouldn’t homeschool.  

          • Yeah

            She’s was never terribly good in school.  If I remember right, she barely squeaked by.  I imagine that she’s using a pre-packaged curriculum provided by her church and online courses for the older kids.

            I’m doing another FB purge tonight.  I can’t imagine it makes her happy to see my liberal pinko commie crap anymore than it makes me happy to see her garbage.  It scares me though- I worry about the future when our two versions of reality- both representing big chunks of  the population- just can’t co-exist  It feels like a harbinger of something really, really bad.

      • Believe it or not

        we were actually friends in high school.  Not close, but she was always my accompanist when I sang at school.  

  9. I went to the pediatrician today

    to see if he could help me out with my older daughter’s digestive issue. I think I talked to some of you on Facebook about it. Anyhow, we have a course of action to take now that involves dedicated time just sitting on the toilet, some meds (Miralax), some prune juice and some patience.

    Hopefully this will resolve her stomach pain and we can all go back to normal after a few months. Yes, months, of treatment. So this is no overnight fix, but it should be a fix. YAY!

    • Hope the results kick in soon

      DD1 had trouble too at some stage, but a long course of miralax, as well as appropriate fruity drinks did the trick in the end. Patience required though, as you know. I hope at least she feel better soon.

    • I’m gonna say no.

      From the article she linked to –

      The impact of environmental chemicals on children’s neurodevelopment is sometimes dismissed as unimportant because the magnitude of the impairments are considered to be “clinically insignificant.” Such a judgment reflects a failure to distinguish between individual and population risk.

      In other words, there may be reason to be concerned on the population level because overall small changes may be a problem when spread across a very large population. However, from an individual level these impacts are unlikely to mean much. The purpose of his paper was to determine population level impacts.

      This is purely personal but as someone who does statistical analysis on a daily basis I love blog posts that include phrases like

      I’m not a tremendous fan of statistical analysis

      • stats

        I’m not a tremendous fan of statistical analysis, except on those rare occasions where it supports a conclusion that I’ve already decided upon.  Usually it doesn’t.  Why do all that math if you’re not going to get the answer you need?  It’s so pointless.

        • What

          the hell does this even mean?

          Exposure to organophosphate pesticides is reducing IQ by about 17 million points at the population level.

          Why on earth would you report a statistic in that format?!! Just to get the “million points” in there to make it sound scarier? Because you know…we’re talking about 400 million people here. 17 million points at a population level isn’t really much.


    • I clicked on two links.

      A lot depends on where the data comes from and how it is extrapolated to the rest of the population.  Rather than dig deeper, I clicked on the first two easy links for a sample.

      Methods: We conducted a birth cohort study (Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas study) among predominantly Latino farmworker families from an agricultural community in California. {snip}
      Conclusions: Prenatal but not postnatal urinary DAP concentrations were associated with poorer intellectual development in 7-year-old children.

      Most of the data establishing organophosphate exposure risk that I’m aware of are based on the children of agricultural workers.  It has long been clear that pregnant women should not be exposed.  Unfortunately, OSHA protection for undocumented workers is not exactly rigorous.  

      In June 2000, the U.S. EPA announced a phase-out of the sale of CPF for indoor residential use, with a complete ban effective 31 December 2001 (U.S. EPA 2000, 2002). After the ban, levels of CPF in personal and indoor air samples in our own cohort decreased by more than 65%, and plasma blood levels dropped by more than 80% (Whyatt et al. 2005), despite some lingering residential residues (Whyatt et al. 2007).

      Also a known risk.  During ant or spider seasons my house looks like an Indiana Jones set.  Now that my kids are older I’ve begun selectively spraying tiny amounts of household insecticides to small strategic points – mostly outdoors, but I have to confess to spraying a little into the wall around an electrical outlet.  I’m not really comfortable with that, obviously.  So I mostly live with the insects.

      But I feed my kids conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.  This is my husband’s specific area of expertise.  He doesn’t even bother to wash fruit unless he knows it’s organic.  

      • Thanks you guys!

        I really wish I was more scientifically literate! I appreciate you breaking it down for me!!

        Big hugs and BIG THANKS!

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