Question of the Day: Is State Work a Job?

For the voters who showed up to the polls during the 2010 midterm elections, the weak economy and high unemployment rate were king. People were unemployed and they lashed out at the incumbents, who happened to be Democrats.

But this is the thing. The Republicans are running on budget cuts, which means…less jobs.

Let’s take for instance, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s proposal to balance the budget on budget cuts alone. According to an Associated Press story cited by El Paso Times, that would mean eliminating 100,000 teachers, or a third of the 333,000 teachers employed by Texas public schools. As it turns out, in the smallest and reddest towns, the school is the largest employer.

So I have a question: for those proposing building the economy on budget cuts and tax cuts alone — how the hell does that create jobs? Is state work, like teaching, not a “real” job?

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Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I have been running around town like a mad woman, preparing for a two-week trip to the east coast. This Friday, the kids and I will go to Philadelphia and drive to New Jersey to stay with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law for a couple nights. We plan to see fellow MotherTalker Rachel and her family. I am very excited as I have not seen Rachel in more than five years, and haven’t met the girls. We plan to get the families together on Saturday.

On Sunday, I will drive to Reading, Pennsylvania, to stay with my uncle and two cousins — on my mom’s side. I also plan to see my dad’s brother and his kids as they also live in PA. The following Friday, we plan to fly from PA to New Hampshire to see my parents, grandmother and brother — and of course, our Katie! It will be good to catch up with family and friends. Markos will join us in New Hampshire.

During that time, I will not be online much, if at all. I am handing the reigns over to our very competent Gloria and Erika who will update the site at least once a day. I’ll be back August 30. Until then, have a safe and relaxing rest of the summer!

In other news: here is a freaky story on belly bulge. Even people who are considered thin by body-mass-index-standards still have an elevated risk of early death if they have a bulging tummy, according to the Associated Press.

The Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts capped unpaid maternity leave for women working at companies with six or more employees to 8 weeks, according to the Boston Globe. In a 4-3 vote, the justices ruled against a housekeeper who was fired by a telecommunications company for taking 11 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. Did I mention that her leave — pretty paltry IMHO — was unpaid?

President Obama signed into law an emergency jobs bill credited with saving more than 300,000 teaching, law enforcement and other public sector jobs, according to AP.

This doesn’t sound right, but I know my kids would dig it. A Pop-Tarts Cafe — think, Pop-Tarts sushi — is opening in Times Square, according to Gawker.

The Washington Post ran an article on how, to the chagrin of parents, they hardly speak to their adult children over the phone due to the prevalence of texting and e-mail.

Some readers at MSNBC.com were vicariously living through a JetBlue flight attendant who ranted against a customer on the microphone, grabbed a beer and went down the emergency chute of the plane. Not surprisingly, he ended up in jail. Have you ever quit a job in such dramatic fashion?

Also in MSNBC.com: former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens died in a plane crash yesterday.

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

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

On Friday, the kids and I met with our local Target store manager to hand him a form provided by MoveOn.org letting him know we would not shop at the store as long as Target donated to political campaigns — especially those with whom we virulently disagreed. About 20 of us showed up at the store. He met with us, shook our hands, let us vent away, and promised to present the forms to upper management.

To Target’s credit, it issued an apology and said it would set up a review process for future political donations, according to CBS News. It also had this to say about California’s Proposition 8 and marriage equality:

Target did not, nor has the company ever, knowingly donated to legislation or referendums that aim to undermine equality for all, including Proposition 8 in California. Further, Target’s support of the GLBT community is unwavering, and inclusiveness remains a core value of our company.

That said, I will not shop there until I learn of the outcome of its review process regarding political donations. Corporations are not people who should be allowed to funnel unlimited sums of money to buy elections. Publicly funded campaigns, anyone?

In case you missed it, a bill that is supposed to save nearly 140,000 teaching jobs and provide extra aid in healthcare for poor families during the recession, just passed 61-38 in the Senate, according to UPI.com. Moderate Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine voted for the bill, overcoming a potential filibuster by the Republicans.

Here is a freaky story in Wired about how violent dreams, especially in males, can predict neurological disorders like Parkinson’s 50 years down the line.

Once again, Laurie Puhn over at the Expecting Words blog had a poignant list of what constitutes a healthy relationship.

Infant mortality is up in Washington D.C., according to the DC Action For Children blog.

Wheat bread surpassed white bread in dollar sales this year, according to the Consumerist.

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

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