Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

First, an update: as it turns out, Matt, our baker baker’s husband is able and working on switching the underlying platform of MotherTalkers.com to keep us there. (Yay!) However, to let him do his thing we should meet here until he is done. Then he will converge the two sites and we will continue meeting at MotherTalkers.com as we have the last seven years. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

In the meantime, I am collecting funds to pay him, hopefully, for a one time upgrade and every once in a blue moon if the site is down. If you feel inclined to help, paypal me at elisa at mothertalkers dot com. Thank you!!

In other news: I was tickled to see this rock video by Daily Kos intern Faith. She is the lead singer with the red hair and she used Eli’s dolls to rock out! We were all smiles here. Enjoy!

Mitt Romney won the Puerto Rican Republican primary this past weekend, according to the Washington Post.

I already see the Republican presidential candidates all over this one: the Springfield, Massachusetts school district will hand out condoms to students 12 years and older with parents’ approval AND handing out information on abstinence as well. Of course, this won’t stop us from hearing about it on the campaign trail as if kids today don’t already face teen pregnancy and STDs.

Seattle is considering canceling its contract with Teach for America before completing one of it’s three-year commitment with the organization, according to 360 Education Solutions. Public officials are starting to question the program’s effectiveness especially since the program trains its students only 5 weeks to become teachers and it is expensive to implement.

This BlogHer story touched a nerve as I’ve shown up to an Aveda hair salon in Chicago to be told that my children couldn’t stay with me. This particular story focused on whether hair salons should have child-free policies. My beef is if they are going to have such policies, then they need to state that upfront. It isn’t fair to the parents to show up to learn of the policy.

And justice is served. A Rutgers student who secretly video-recorded his roommate having sex with another man to share with others — in which his roommate later committed suicide — was convicted of 15 charges related to the incident, according to the New York Times.

Also, Freedom Airlines settled with a mom who it kicked off one of its flights five years ago for breastfeeding her baby. Companies, take notice.

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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.

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I stayed up late Saturday night to watch Game Change, a dramatization of Sarah Palin’s bid for the vice presidency in 2008. My two-second review? Great acting and a very nuanced view of Sarah Palin, who you get the sense was used by the McCain campaign to garner evangelical Christian votes, yet unfortunately, was woefully unprepared for the position. There was a handler in the movie, Nicole Wallace, who was shown very frustrated with a belligerent Palin who wouldn’t do what she was told, like, properly prepare for the infamous Katie Couric interview. Here is Wallace’s take on the movie in ABC News.

Did you see the movie? What did you think?

A victory via Jezebel: the bigoted, er conservative, group One Million Moms has dropped its campaign against JC Penney for hiring gay spokeswoman Ellen DeGeneres.

Speaking of victories, there were caucuses this past weekend. Rick Santorum took Kansas while Mitt Romney stole the show in Wyoming, according to the Boston Globe.

Another family was removed from a plane because of their two-year-old’s temper tantrum. The pilot for the airline, JetBlue, said it was a safety issue. It is so hard to be a parent. That’s all.

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Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I was out last night at an election-viewing party, got home at 9 and looked at our open thread for predictions. You all are GOOD! And nerds.

J/K!

I am excited to report that this bad reality TV show that is the Republican primary continues! Here are the results as of midnight on the east coast:

Alaska — Not in yet
Georgia — Newt Gingrich
Idaho — Mitt Romney
Massachusetts — Romney
North Dakota — Rick Santorum
Ohio — Too close to call
Oklahoma — Santorum
Tennessee — Santorum
Vermont — Romney
Virginia — Romney

In related news, the anti-immigrant and anti-women rhetoric coming from the Republican Party as of late is catching up to them in a big way. As my husband pointed out in a story that I saw floating in Latino tweeting circles yesterday, a FOX News poll shows that U.S. Latinos prefer President Obama to any of the Republican candidates six to one. Yesterday, I was listening to CNN en español for political news coverage and was amused to hear a Republican on the ground lie through her teeth about contraceptives and family planning. “You can buy contraceptives for $5 at Wal-Mart!” she actually said. “Republicans support family planning!”

She said this in reply to the radio host’s question, in which he pointed out that Latina women, like most U.S. women, support contraceptives and family planning so aren’t Republicans shooting themselves in the foot on this, too? Sheah!

Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh keeps on hemorrhaging advertisers and a Republican legislator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said she regretted her vote for the Blunt amendment, which was a way to deny women health insurance coverage for contraceptives. Let the soap opera continue!

Also, I threw my hat in the ring for this essay-writing contest held by the Oakland Children’s Hospital Foundation. The winner will receive free tickets to an event to read the essay as well as phone calls from 1) a Random House/Ballentine editor, 2) the Executive Editor at O Magazine, and 3) an agent from ICM. I know that there are a lot of writers here so I thought I’d share.

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Mitt Romney won Washington state’s caucuses this past Saturday. Expect an open thread tomorrow for Super Tuesday, which will be scheduled for 1 p.m. PT/ 4 p.m. ET. Gloria’s thread will run at 9 a.m. PT/ 12 p.m. ET. There are 10 states voting in the Republican primary tomorrow so that is not to be missed!

This piece of news came out a little over a month ago, but it’s still relevant: researchers at Ohio State University found that 10 percent of students on college campuses are hosting a party on any given weekend and they are more likely to drink the heaviest and engage in risky behavior over students attending the bash. I remember some high-profile alcohol-related deaths on college campuses in the Boston area when I was a student. I know it is something I will definitely talk to my kids about…

Loved this observation made by Daily Kos’s teacherken on how harried his students’ parents are juggling work and children in a country that offers no universal healthcare, preschool, paid family leave or social safety net. It was a rebuttal to a news article about how fabulous Parisian parents are. Amen.

In somewhat related news, Parents magazine published an article on how to find a job to do from home. Equally useful, IMHO, were the comments, in which work-at-home moms said they still needed childcare and/or found working from home to be difficult. I agree. Working at home allows flexibility as to when to work, but it can be easy to let work take over your life as work and the household chores are right there and work-out-of-home spouses expect you to pick up the slack when a child gets sick or there is a school event — since you are home. I, for one, hope this changes as more companies adopt telecommuting.  

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Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

There were primary elections last night and Mitt Romney easily bested Rick Santorum in Michigan and Arizona. Here are the final tallies at CNN.

I loved this blog at Broadside about a 13-year-old girl’s self confidence and valiant fight against leukemia even in the face of her own grandmother who is ashamed of her bald head.

My heart breaks for the shooting victims’ families and community at Chardon High School in Ohio. I am still shaking my head at this senseless act.

In celebrity gossip break: embarrassingly I spent too much time on this CNN video gawking at Angelina Jolie’s stick arms. I totally missed seeing her at the Oscars — I tuned in later in the night — and normally I roll my eyes at the scrutiny over celebrities’ thinness or fatness. But damn, I have never seen her that skinny! Her arms and legs looked emaciated. Did any of you have that reaction?

Finally, I am pleased to announce that I was selected for the 2012 New America Media Women Immigrants Fellowship! I will be attending workshops on immigration with members of the media, including La Opinion, Newsweek, the Daily Beast, Washington Post and others. I plan to stay an extra day or two the week of April 19 to see friends, including MTers! I will let you know as the date approaches.

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I couldn’t stop thinking about Whitney Houston’s death this weekend. As I mentioned yesterday, I loved her songs since I was a kid. Here is a couple new developments surrounding her death, according to the New York Daily News: it appears that she drowned in her bathtub in a drug-induced haze. Also, her daughter Bobbi Christina was rushed to the hospital after learning of her mother’s death. What a sad story all around.  

In non-Whitney news: Mitt Romney won the Maine Republican caucuses, and once again, failed to garner even half of the votes, according to the Washington Post.

Washington state legalized gay marriage. I was especially moved by this Republican legislator’s testimony.

As I have mentioned here before, one of my concerns of running outdoors by the freeway is inhaling too much air pollution. In a timely article, Moms Clean Air Force had a guest post with advice on how to avoid high levels of air pollution while running outside.

In “water is wet” news: here is yet another article on how spanking increases aggression in children.

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Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

First, a very happy birthday to our resident mom of 7 tjb! (Her birthday is tomorrow.) You are an inspiration to all of us here at MotherTalkers. Thank you for shedding your light and wisdom!

There were elections last night. And as of 10 p.m. PT, Rick Santorum had crushed and swept Mitt Romney in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado, according to results at our brother site Daily Kos. Ouch for Romney.

Speaking of sanctimonious Rick, there are a few reproductive justice articles I want to highlight. The first one is this hilarious story at Jezebel about a pro-choice Democrat in Oklahoma amending a personhood bill to include protections for semen ejaculated anywhere outside a woman’s vagina. Needless to say, it failed as this would mean no masturbating, no wet dreaming or oral sex for men without being charged with harming an unborn child.

The office of Congressman John Fleming (R-LA) was called out for posting a satirical Onion story on Planned Parenthood as real news. The story, which was clearly fake, was about Planned Parenthood building an $8 billion “abortionplex” complete with coffee shops, bars, dozens of restaurants and retail outlets, a three-story nightclub, and a 10-screen multiplex theater— “features intended not only to help clients relax, but to foster a sense of community and make abortion more of a social event.” The article was taken down — after a screen shot of it was featured on Literally Unbelievable. ROFLMAO!

And in a glaring example of the giant disconnect between Catholic church leadership and parishioners on the ground, a poll found that U.S. Catholics are more supportive (58%) than the general public (55%) of having employers provide health insurance plans that offer birth control at no cost. This story was all over the place yesterday, including Daily Kos.

Marriage equality wins (again) in California! Here is a story on it at the Los Angeles Times.  

Speaking of family values, the Washington Post ran a powerful story on how African American women are more likely than other demographics to care for extended family in spite of great economic hardship. This reminded me of a story some years back about how African Americans were more likely to care for their parents in old age, and not likely to get any inheritance. Unfortunately, their generosity is punished in our backwards-ass economic system.


This article is in Spanish, but too fun not to share. Jeannette Kaplun over at TodoBebé wrote her top 10 favorite things to do at Disney World in Florida. She considered dining with the various characters, taking a ride on the Monorail, and riding on the Pirates of the Caribbean to be highlights. Disney World is so huge and crowded that it can be overwhelming. What are your and your children’s favorite things to do there?

I hate to end on a sad note, but I must mention that Susan Niebur, the 39-year-old mother who publicly and gracefully battled breast cancer, which she documented on her blog Toddler Planet, passed away on Monday. Here is a wonderful Washington Post story on her.

I remember seeing Susan at the Blogalicious conference back in October. She was wheeled in where, despite her physical state, she gave a rousing testimonial about battling cancer with six-year-old and four-year-old sons. She was a public advocate for more research to cure cancer.

Seriously. When are we gong to find a cure for this awful disease? May Susan’s family find solace after such a terrible loss.

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Okay. Get it out of your system. For those of you who watched the Super Bowl yesterday go ahead and cheer or jeer here. The New York Giants edged the New England Patriots 21-17.

Mitt Romney won the GOP caucus in Nevada this past Saturday. Word on the street is this soap-opera-turned-snooze-fest will continue since Romney has not garnered 50 percent of the vote anywhere.

Rolling Stone ran a sad story about bullies preying on gay students in Michele Bachmann’s school district, and in particular, the high school she graduated from.

The Root published a list of 25 graphic novels for Black History Month, which is this month.

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Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

As of this morning at 1:22 local time, our brother site, Daily Kos, announced that Mitt Romney edged out Newt Gingrich 46% to 32% in the Florida GOP primary.

In related news, Rick Santorum, who placed third with 13%, was in his home state of Pennsylvania with his severely sick 3-year-old daughter who has Trisomy 18, a rare genetic condition. The Duggars had been campaigning for him, according to Slate.

Jezebel published an article about pregnancy discrimination. What struck me most were the comments by readers swapping stories on how disturbingly common it is to trash pregnant women in the office. What is this? The 1820s? Jeez…

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