Filed under: Life
Because a trip to the airport is never complete without some classics:
Women’s Bathroom – someone brushing her teeth, a baby being changed, another putting on makeup, and most importantly, one blow drying her hair.
Shoe Shine Man – “I’ll give you a shine, if you have the time.”
Clueless people trying to get through security – “What do you mean I can’t take my [huge industrial size] shampoo?”
This one’s new – ditzy stewardess and gay steward on our shuttle over. I personally think that their schedule got messed up because they screwed up the input, not the managers.
Searching for a Diet Pepsi for Mom; Diet Coke is never acceptable.
Is your baggage left unattended?
The rush to the gate to board.
And most exciting – the stewardesses pointing out the exits on the plane along with doing a tutorial of the drop down mask and how to fasten your seatbelt!
Filed under: Life
Lots of girls are tweeting about their biggest crush. The popular Canadian singer is just 15 years old. His album is out Nov. 17.
Filed under: Elections
The following is a guest post from Stephen Ansolabehere and Nathaniel Persily (cross posted):
- As part of our national survey of attitudes toward courts and the Constitution performed by Knowledge Networks this past July, we included several items related to election law and voting rights. We wanted to assess public opinion on some contemporary controversies, such as photo ID laws and election-day registration, while also examining classic controversies, such as literacy tests, poll taxes and one person, one vote.The survey included (among others) the following questions regarding voting rights:
“Below are a list of voting procedures that are or have been used in the United States. Weâ€™d like to know whether you would approve of each of the following in your state.
Require that all people show that they can read in order to vote
55% approve; 44% disapprove
Require that all people show photo identification when they vote
84% approve, 14% disapprove
Require that all voters pay a $5 fee
3% approve; 95% disapprove
Allow people to register on Election Day if they can prove their residency and citizenship
62% approve; 37% disapprove”
On the classic controversies: our poll shows majority support (55%) for literacy tests. This might seem surprising, but this figure is consistent with results from two polls conducted by CNN in June 2006 and October 2007, which asked “Do you think people who cannot read or write English should be permitted to vote, or not?” One concern about those earlier polls might have been that using the word English might have primed respondents to think about this issue in the context of the contemporaneous debate over immigration, but our poll, which gets the same results, simply says “Require that all people show that they can read in order to vote.”
The same cannot be said for poll taxes, which seem to be almost universally opposed. Only 3 percent support paying a fee in order to vote. Perhaps if the survey had said the fee would be used to pay for elections or public schools (as classic poll taxes did) the figure might be higher, since it seems reasonable to assume that people are generally against abstract fees unconnected to any purpose.
With respect to contemporary controversies, our survey asked about photo ID requirements and Election Day registration. As with most surveys, we found overwhelming support (84%) for photo ID requirements. To be sure, the question did not limit itself to “government issued photo ID,” as many of the challenged laws do, but surveys on photo ID generally find substantial support. Unlike some other surveys that ask about Election Day registration (EDR), we added the qualification “if they can prove their residency and citizenship” and 62 percent of respondents supported EDR when so phrased. Adding that qualification might alter the share supporting EDR (as was our unfounded suspicion with the CNN literacy test questions) by capturing some respondents who focus, in particular, on the citizenship requirement and think the question is asking about raising the barriers to voting rather than lowering them.
It has been a while since surveys have asked about one-person one-vote, and redistricting is a topic most respondents might have difficulty understanding. Recognizing these challenges, we sought to gauge general acceptance of one-person one-vote today. In 1966, a Harris Poll asked: “Another decision of the U.S. (United States) Supreme Court was to…rule all Congressional Districts had to have an equal number of people in them so each person’s vote would count equally. Do you personally think that decision of the U.S. Supreme Court was right or wrong?” 76% said “right” and 24% said “wrong”. In 1969, a Gallup Poll asked: “The U.S. Supreme Court has required states to change their legislative districts so that each member of the lower house and each member of the upper house represents the same number of people. Some people would like to return to the earlier method of electing members of the upper house according to counties or other units regardless of population. Would you favor continuing the present equal districting plan or returning to the earlier plan?” 52% said continue present plan; 23% said earlier plan; and 25% had no opinion.
Our survey asked:
“Do you think all legislative districts in your state should have the same number of people per district or is it okay for some to have more people than others?”
Districts should have equal populations – 32%
It’s okay for district populations to differ somewhat – 53%
It’s okay for some districts to have many more people than other districts. – 12%
“Currently all state legislative districts have equal numbers of people. An alternative is to have districts with equal numbers of people in one house of the state legislature but give each county one representative in the other chamber, even though counties have different numbers of people.”
Which way do you think is better?
It is better to have districts with equal populations in both chambers. 54%
It is better to have one seat for each county in one chamber and equal population districts in the other chamber. 40%
The results suggest majority support for something like the current rule of rough population equality for state legislative districts (as opposed to the strict equality rule for congressional districts), but with a substantial share supporting the “federal model” allowing for county representation in one house of a legislature.
Filed under: Life
Clouds fill the sky;
Your life darkens and the world disappears;
Everything becomes totally meaningless.
- But, as with time, the clouds will pass and
reveal the sun which was there all the time.
Filed under: Boston University
You know you’re reading something from a previous era when it says,
The recent submission of a constitutional amendment limiting the President to two terms…
That amendment, by the way, did pass, although that was after this paper was written.
Filed under: Life
I wake each morning with a new day inviting me,
to listen to myself and the world,
to speak and be heard,
to act in grace, kindness and love.
Filed under: Life
Via Kindness Girl:
What do you do when unkindness strikes? The kind that hurts your heart in a deep place. I’m always kind of stunned by this and deeply saddened. Especially when it is cloaked in something else and it’s hard to see at first that you just got screwed over. So vague right? sorry.
I’m not sure what to do except sit in the pain for a little while…and look at it, wonder how it happened, try to understand, and cry, and …. try to move on…try really, really hard.
Remind yourself that kindness can change everything, everything.
Filed under: State Politics
West Hartford, CT. Home.
Municipal elections were held in West Hartford on Nov. 3rd, just as many towns and cities across the United States held their own elections. The Democrats won an unsurprising majority – propelled by budget issues (the Republicans on the Town Council tend to vote down budgets causing referendum after referendum in the spring) and an overwhelming amount of Democrats registered in town.
So what did the Republicans run on? How did they conduct their underdog campaign in the face of overwhelming odds against them?
Well – taking a page out of the way the national GOP is headed – West Hartford’s Republicans used a very controversial issue to try to win the 2009 Municipal Elections — race.
Connecticut. A Yankee state. Succession – no way. But yeah, how about we use the threat of racial redistricting to try to scare all of those poor white grandmas that live in West Hartford. Seriously? This isn’t the 1960s! This isn’t the South! This type of campaigning is NOT APPROPRIATE, ever!
Here’s what the Republicans did – they ran on a firm platform (mind you, their own platform) of being against “a state statute that requires racial balance in individual schools to reflect the racial balance of the district as a whole.” Yes, the Republicans were against racial redistricting. And GOP town chair, Justin Clark, credits the Republican’s stance on this issue to helping the party as a whole gain votes - mind you, the top vote getters for TC and BoE were all Democrats.
But back to the point – the town Republican’s key issue was opposition to a state statute that mandates redistricting to reflect racial balances. This is not just a state statute – it’s a NATIONAL LAW! If the West Hartford Republicans took over the town council – do you think that they would not have to comply with this law? Of course they would have to – it’s the law. A national law. Unless they want the NAACP and the ACLU up on them and a case to be brought to the US Supreme Court – West Hartford public schools would get redistricted regardless of what party was in power.
Now that we’ve established the fact that the West Hartford Republicans need to go retake high school government, we can turn our attention to using race-baiting as a strategy in an upper-middle class New England suburb. This just shocks me. It’s West Hartford. Yeah, there’s a lot of white people – it’s because we live in Connecticut. But – we also border Hartford. Hartford kids are bused into our schools. Conard High School does so well on national scales because it is so diverse and does so well. I think it’s easy to view West Hartford a two distinct towns – the Conard side and the Hall side. Hall – of course they would submit to fear mongering and race baiting, I mean in their minds, it’s an attack on their culture of perfect pretentiousness. The Conard side – well even the lower per capita income of this side would not push this crew towards the Republican side. Our friends, our neighbors, our colleagues are all different. Why shouldn’t that be acceptable?
My town has a lot of problems – that’s for sure. But the vote returns from the 2009 Municipal Elections show that the voters here are not swayed by the tactics displayed by the Republican party. If things change – and who knows, they might – or if a fight breaks out when the redistricting issue comes about – I’m sure that there will be a lot of people on both sides of the aisle screaming at each other. I’ll be there too – because people need to understand that this type of campaigning and this behavior displayed by the town Republican party is not acceptable. Not today. Not then. Not ever.
Filed under: Life
A lovely little email that arrived sometime yesterday night…
My Dearest Amy,
I hope all is well in your life – you’re not too stressed and you’re finding time to have some fun along with all of your reading. Talking to you last weekend was great. We must remember to catch up more often – rather than just when on of us gets an award.
During our chat though, I realized that something was different with you. I know you hate when I do this – but I have known you for seven years, so I feel like I can tell when something’s wrong. Amy, to tell you the truth, I haven’t seen you like this since Aaron got sick. I know it’s November and I know it’s hard for you right now. If you ever need someone to talk to, you know who to call.
I don’t know how you’re able to handle vacillating emotional ups and downs along with everything else that you do. Simply put, it’s pretty much an amazing feat. But speaking professionally (yeah, I know, don’t get all upset with me for this, you need to hear it), the way you deal with things – by ignoring them until they overwhelm you – is not healthy. Please, promise me that we can talk about this. I’m worried about you. And don’t try to deny it – I see you shaking your head – you know I’m right.
Just remember to relax every now and then. I’m always here for you and I’m sure your friends as school feel the same way. You may not want to open up – but sometimes it’s a good thing. And remember, babe, it’s always okay to cry. You don’t need to be strong all the time. The other people in your life will be there to catch you when you fall.
And remember, it will all be okay in the end. You may be going through a hard time now, but things do get better, I swear. If not now, I can at least assure you that winter break will be a blast.
I’m always here for you, you can call anytime.
Love you always,
Alex is dead on (btw, Steph and I had this same conversation yesterday morning…)
No self-respecting liberal today would support Franklin Roosevelt’s original Social Security Act. It excluded agricultural workers — a huge part of the economy in 1935, and one in which Latinos have traditionally worked. It excluded domestic workers, which included countless African Americans and immigrants. It did not cover the self-employed, or state and local government employees, or railroad employees, or federal employees or employees of nonprofits. It didn’t even cover the clergy. FDR’s Social Security Act did not have benefits for dependents or survivors. It did not have a cost-of-living increase. If you became disabled and couldn’t work, you got nothing from Social Security.If that version of Social Security were introduced today, progressives like me would call it cramped, parsimonious, mean-spirited and even racist. Perhaps it was all those things. But it was also a start. And for 74 years we have built on that start. We added more people to the winner’s circle: farmworkers and domestic workers and government workers. We extended benefits to the children of working men and women who died. We granted benefits to the disabled. We mandated annual cost-of-living adjustments. And today Social Security is the bedrock of our progressive vision of the common good.
Politics is the art of the possible, not the perfect. I understand this specific issue is a very, verybig deal to some people. But big enough to sink a once in a generation chance at meaningful heath care reform?
As with all legislation, these reforms can always be altered and improved later on, particularly because the major provisions don’t take effect for as many as 3 or 4 years. If it cannot be corrected now, it can always be corrected later. But if this bill fails to pass, we lose everything in it. There is no a la carte option here.
Lieberman is willing to let the whole thing die because of the public option, exhibiting a level of self-interested short-sightedness that drives his opponents on the left nuts. But now, some of his fiercest critics want to draw a similar line over abortion funding. And so I have to ask: would the women that so many are fighting to defend be better off with a reformed system that doesn’t provide insurance coverage for abortions, or with no reform at all? Because if this fight is pushed too far, those will be the choices.
I’m not saying that this isn’t a fight worth having. If you believe it is, then fight! But as you do, keep the biggest possible picture in mind.