Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

First, let’s wish our tjb22 a very happy birthday!

In other news: former First Lady Barbara Bush wrote a compelling column for the Houston Chronicle calling on parents to do their part to help their children’s schools and for those who drive by schools every day to go inside and help. Texas is facing some harsh budget cuts at a time when teacher salaries, SAT scores and high school graduation rates are all low, the former first lady said.

Glad to see it isn’t only women who suffer from “maternity leave envy.” Here is a dad’s letter to Carolyn Hax:

Silver Spring, MD. : Not to get too progressive on you, but I’m a new dad and I’m having maternity leave envy. I did not expect this at all, but I am jealous that my wife gets to spend this time at home with our gorgeous 6-week-old daughter. Looking back I kind of resent that she scheduled this leave without even considering an alternative arrangement–such as half her, half me. Am I just being a dope?

Carolyn Hax: If you nurture this into full-blown resentment, then, yes, you’re being a dope–especially since it doesn’t sound as if you considered an alternate arrangement, either. At least not until now, after the fact.

You are not being a dope if you are just nuts about your new kid, want to be more involved, and use this smitten energy to figure out some way to do that. Talk to your wife, look at your family-leave policies at work, check your account balances and see what you can do.

Two of the best things parents can do for their kids is to want to be with their kids, and to want to be together. Don’t make a lunge for one at the expense of the other.

Did you or your spouse suffer from maternity leave envy?

I love this quote by political commentator Mark Shields that landed on the PBS News Hour, Time magazine, and even my e-mail box as a forward:

We saw a white, Catholic, Republican federal judge murdered on his way to greet a Democratic (Jewish Congresswoman) woman. Her life was saved initially by a 20-year-old Mexican-American college student, and eventually by a Korean-American combat surgeon. And then it was all eulogized and explained by our African-American president…That’s a remarkable statement about the country.


Anyone who thinks that President Obama is a socialist should read this Huffington Post story, which is actually an AP story. According to AP, the percentage of the nation’s economy that is taxes is at its lowest levels since 1950. For the third straight year, families and businesses in the U.S. will pay less in federal taxes than they did under former President George W. Bush. AP also does a good job of breaking down all the ways families are saving in federal taxes. Of course, they are paying for it in local tax increases, bond measures and less social services.

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