Kiersten Marek:

Funny post about baby names!

Originally posted on The Wordslinger:

As the wife and I (but mainly the wife) reach halftime of pregnancy #3, I thought an update might be in order.  20 weeks down, 20 more to go.  Based on results from the first two matchups, I don’t expect this to go to overtime.  There’s no doubt that Mommy showed up ready to play, but as the half wore on, she seemed to tire and even had to fight off a few bouts of nausea.  The plan is to hydrate feverishly here at halftime and throughout the second half in an attempt to negate the effects of the impending summer heat.  It’ll be a grueling final 20 weeks, requiring stamina and endurance that I (a two-time marathoner) simply do not have.  But my wife is strong.  She’s been here before.  So buckle up for an exciting second half!

(This extremely long basketball metaphor, which ran its course at least…

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Inequality Marches On — The Death March of American Inequality

I know some of our readers believe that no matter how unfair and extreme income inequality becomes, there is nothing the government can do — we must let the free markets set the course. But what if those free markets are setting us on a course for destruction?  Do we accept our ultimate demise as a necessary consequence of maintaining our free market belief system?  From Steve Rattner:   The Rich Get Even Richer – NYTimes.com.

Kiersten Marek:

Wow. More than half of the uninsured in the US are people of color.

Originally posted on Nursing The Buddha:

A recent article published in America’s Wire discussed the scope of race-related health disparities and the financial implications for the U.S. health care system.

The article focuses on how racial and ethnic health care disparities can affect earning capacity within a household, which can have long-lasting adverse effects on the entire family, particularly children. In addition, where one lives is a significant contributor to the existence of racial-related health disparities, Thomas A. LaVeist, director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD, noted. “Where you live determines what schools your children get to attend… It also determines whether you are exposed to environmenta

l inequalities and the type of health care facility that is available to you,” LaVeist said. According to the study cited in the article, 30.6 percent of medical expenditures from 2003 to 2006 for blacks, Asians and…

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Kiersten Marek:

Always interesting — the question of what constitutes objectivity.

Originally posted on mikhailzinshteyn:

Photo credit: Mikhail Zinshteyn (all rights reserved).

With the term “reform” being tossed around like an Ivy League acceptance letter at a high school graduation party, the need to suss out the possible bias and slant of a source often gets overlooked. Is a columnist with undisclosed connections any different than a press relations officer? Is a reporter on the payroll of a group with an agenda really a reporter?

The search for a touchstone on objectivity doesn’t often lead to treasure, but sometimes perspective can be gained from casual reads far removed from one’s beat. While not offering any definitive answer, I plucked this novel definition of objectivity from Sports Illustrated tennis reporter Jon Wertheim:

“‘Objectivity’ doesn’t mean an absence of opinion. It means an absence of conflict or motive. We expect the movie reviewers to have strong feelings and subjective observations about movies. We don’t expect them to be on the payroll of a…

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How to Lose Friends yet Influence Elections

Kiersten Marek:

The Dems do have to worry about the Republicans playing the Citizens United Super PAC card.

Originally posted on Joe Mohr's Cartoon Archive:


The next edition of this board game hopefully won’t have that card included…

More on Citizens United and Super PACs

From HuffPo: Citizens United and Contributions to Super PACs: A Little History Is in Order
From Salon: The hard truth about Citizens United
From Open Secrets: Super PACs (full breakdown)

Joe’s cartoon archive, twitter ramblings and StumbleUpon page

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My Letter to Michelle Obama

Did any of you other liberals get the email from Michelle Obama yesterday entitled “Up Late”?  It started:

Dear Kiersten,

Every night in the White House, I see Barack up late poring over briefings, reading your letters, and writing notes to people he’s met.

I decided to write a response.

Dear Michelle,

Please tell Barack that I would prefer he not stay up late at night.  Sleep is one of the most important factors in mental health, and I would prefer to have a president who understood this and got his proper supply of Z’s.  Without sleep, a person can become quite emotionally imbalanced.  Without sleep, your body cannot properly rejuvenate to fight off disease and infection.

I like your husband very much and I want to see him survive for another term in the White House, as well as long into his retirement years.  Please tell Barack to go to bed and stop worrying so much about the next election.  The Republicans don’t stand a chance, IMHO.

Sincerely, Kiersten

What do you think, should the President stay up at night writing notes to people he’s met, or should he let his body and mind rejuvenate so he can make decisions and lead the free world? Just sayin’.