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Thursday
Jul262012

Mr. Olympics Slips Up in London | The Marriage Divide & Children's Lives | Climb Wyoming for Women

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Mitt Romney at Downing Street London. Image: Oli Scarff/GettyRepublican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is in London, trying to mend many fences, but one in particular concerning London’s security at the Olympics.

For all his bravura, Mitt Romney is largely untested on the world political stage. The candidate managed to create a major stir by questioning whether Britain is prepared to pull off the Olympic Games without problems.

Security preparedness concerns have been reported within the last week, and Romney chose to use the issue to comment on the games to ABC News. The candidate cited “not have enough people” on the security detail, as well as the “supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials.”

Romney then went on to wonder if the people of London would “come together and celebrate the Olympic moment.” Still not stopping his lack of diplomatic tact, the former president of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, added “That’s something which we only find out once the Games actually begin.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron replied to Romney’s commentary, saying: “Of course it’s easier to hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”

London’s mayor Boris Johnson told a raucous crowd in London’s Hyde Park after the arrival of the Olympic flame: “There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!”

Mitt Romney: Anglo Saxon

The Republican candidate entered a dustup yesterday, under reports that an unnamed adviser told the conservative newspaper The Telegraph that the Romney team has a greater appreciation for the US and Britain’s shared “Anglo-Saxon heritage” than does President Obama.

The paper said the adviser’s remarks “may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity.” via Chicago Tribune

Lives of Single Mothers

Melissa Kutz, a 27-year-old single mother of three, said she had gained new hope from the Climb Wyoming job training program. Carmel Zucker for The New York TimesWyoming has the highest gap in America between a woman’s wage and a man’s, writes the New York Times. The state of Wyoming also has a divorce rate 30 percent above the national average. Wyoming also rants near the bottom of states, in the percentages of women having higher education degrees or owning businesses. Suicide rates and methamphetamine use are among the highest in the nation.

Enter Climb Wyoming, a project of Nancy Freudenthal, the wife of Gov. Dave Freudenthal, a Democrat.

Ms. Freudenthal, a lawyer who worked on women’s economic issues in private life, kept at it as first lady and is credited with helping Climb Wyoming expand statewide from here in Cheyenne. The group’s $1.8 million budget is about 70 percent public money, mostly federal grants, and 30 percent private donations and foundations.

More than 500 women have participated in the program so far. Co-founder psychologist Ray Fleming Dinneen admits that the emphasis on on training go-it-alone mothers for male-dominated jobs that rule the state’s economy.

Related Reading

Two Classes, Divided by ‘I Do’ New York Times

Estimates vary widely, but scholars believe that changes in marriage patterns — as opposed to changes in individual earnings — may account for as much as 40 percent of the growth in certain measures of inequality. Economic extremes are woven in the fabric of American history. Becoming a society of family haves and family have-nots, with marriage and its rewards largely absent in some communities is a cause for serious concern, say statistics.

The Kids Are Not Really Alright Slate

W Bradford Wilcox strikes back against Katie Roiphe’s dismissal of the recent New York Times story on the marriage divide in America. Roiphe charged that the feature was a “puritanical and alarmist rumination on the decline of the American family.”

New York Times, Stop Moralizing About Single Mothers Slate

Wednesday
Jul252012

Violence & the Code of Masculinity | Ohio Women Strongly for Obama | Gender Gap at London Olympics

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Imagemore Co., Ltd./CorbisWriting for The Daily Beast, Lizzie Brockers reports on the ‘code of masculinity’ that researchers link to the reality that men are 9-10 times more likely to be a mass murderer than women.

“There’s a proclivity to aggression [in men] that’s biological, but it takes a social trigger to engage it,” says William Pollack, the director of the Centers for Men and Young Men at McLean Hospital in Boston and a psychology professor at Harvard Medical School. “We socialize healthy, normal boys to ‘stand on their own two feet’ for fear that otherwise they won’t be real boys,” says Pollack, whose New York Times bestseller, Real Boys, dissects the inner emotional lives of young men. “They’re taught not to tell anyone when they feel pain, because they should be stoic, and they certainly shouldn’t cry.” As a result, Pollack says, men have a preconditioned level of tolerance for violence that makes it easier for them to act on it without remorse.

Women are diagnosed for depression much more often than men, Pollack continues. Yet depression is one of the common mental afflictions of mass murderers. Generally, depression in young men is twice as likely to go undiagnosed as in young females. Men are often taught that empathy equals weakness.

Indigenous cultures not only had rites of passage for young men, but training on how to use aggression in positive ways. Today’s young men have — hazing?

Women at London Olympics

Women’s rights organizations have called on the Olympics, urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “to ensure there are equal numbers of sports and medals for men and women.”

Annie Sugier, spokeswoman for the International League of Women’s Rights, said that at the London Games starting Friday and ending on August 12, women are competing in 30 fewer events than men, with 132 gold medals for women versus 162 for men.

The list included having the same number of medal events for men and women, ensuring women held 50 percent of positions in leading sports bodies, and enforcing neutrality in sport by banning the wearing of political or religious symbols. via Reuters

Related Reading

Election 2012: Ohio Becomes Battlefield To Win Women Voters Huff Po

Mitt Romney continues to trail President Obama with women voters: 52% support Obama’s reelection campaign, compared to 50% who support Romney, according to a poll released Monday night by Purple Strategies. The view of Romney in Ohio is even more negative with 56% of Ohio women viewing him unfavorable.

Gallup Poll Reveals Best, Worse Gender Gaps for Working Women National Journal

Countries most likely to have women working at desired capacity for employers include Kuwait, Singapore and Sweden. In the US, 61% of women are working full-time or part-time (and not wanting work), compared to 70% of men.

Tuesday
Jul242012

Republicans Reject Disclosure Due to Democratic 'Lies' About Facts | Personhood Fails in Montana | PA Voter ID Law

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Mitt Romney photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty ImagesSlate Magazine discourses on a topic very important to AOC readers: facts. It’s not only a dangerous time for lack of reasoned discourse in America; it’s a tough time for facts and transparency of any kind among our politicians.

Mitt Romney says that the reason he’s not releasing his tax returns is that the Obama team will “pick over it” and “distort and lie about them”.

Last week Senate Republicans filibustered the DISCLOSE Act. “Republicans are in favor of disclosure,” Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) said in 2000 on NBC’s “Meet the Press”.

“I don’t like it when a large source of money is out there funding ads and is unaccountable,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said in 2010. “To the extent we can, I tend to favor disclosure,’ cited The Washington Post last week.

Today Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell refuses to consider full disclosure, calling it an “enemies list”.

“This amounts to nothing more than member and donor harassment and intimidation, and it’s all part of a broader government-led intimidation effort by this administration. There are parallel efforts at the FCC, SEC, IRS, DoJ, and the White House itself to silence its critics. The creation of a modern day Nixonian enemies list is currently in full swing and, frankly, the American people should not stand for it. As I’ve said before, no individual or group in this country should have to face harassment or intimidation, or incur crippling expenses defending themselves against their own government, simply because that government doesn’t like the message they’re advocating.”

Republicans, led by Mitt Romney, are telling all Americans that our nation should no longer have any information about campaign contributors, where they got their cash or anything about their agendas.

It’s important to note that even the ultra conservative Justice Scalia disagrees with Mitch McConnell. Slate cites his position on disclosure and transparency:

There are laws against threats and intimidation; and harsh criticism, short of unlawful action, is a price our people have traditionally been willing to pay for self-governance. Requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed.

Someone needs to explain this civic virtues of transparency and information to Republicans. Is it not the foundation of a free society?

The Right To Vote

PA’s Voter ID Law Large

As the Justice Department prepares to look into the legality of Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law, lawyers for the state acting as defendants in the case, say they will offer no evidence that there is a problem with voter fraud in the state, past or future.

From the inception, voter fraud in Pennsylvania or any other state has been a miniscule number, even though its possibility as served as the ideological argument for new laws that disproportionately disenfranchise poor people and the elderly.

Huffington Post writes:

Pennsylvania GOP House Majority Leader Mike Turzai fueled the concerns of anti-voter ID activists earlier this year when he claimed that the recently enacted measure would “allow Gov. [Mitt] Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

Estimates are that the new laws will impact more than 758,000 voters in PA, with a large number located in Philadelphia, a city that votes Democratic.

Personhood Fails in Montana

Supporters of a drive to put a personhood amendment on the ballot in Montana failed to muster up the 48,674 signatures needed to put the issue before voters in November.

“Personhood” for fertilized eggs has failed everywhere it has come to the voters — twice in Colorado by overwhelming margins and most recently in conservative Mississippi by 16 points.

In an interesting piece for the The Clarion Ledger, conservative writer, and Bible Belt believer Natalie Winningham makes the point that the fight against personhood bills is not only coming from progressive women.

The push back against personhood initiatives by conservative women represents a rebellion against the government assuming a role as morality police, with lawmakers openly wanting to participate in creating legislation that controls women’s bodies.

Many conservative women who are pro-life personally are also pro-choice, rejecting governmental control — and especially in the name of religion — over women’s beings.

One Third of US Births ‘Unintended’: CDC

In a number that has remained constant from 1982 to 2010, a new government report confirms again that 37 percent of US births are unintended. The only group that has made progress in declining the percent of unplanned pregnancies are married white women.

In 1982, white women accounted for 66% of all births. In 2006-2010 they accounted for 43%.

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Merle Bergers | Olivia Da Costa | Please! Spring 2012 | I Always Dreamed Of Being A Princess

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Lina Zhang & Chrystal Copland | Mark Seliger | Vogue China August 2012 | Fashion on the Ground

Bregje Heinen | Lee Broomfield | Elle Russia August 2012

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Rose Byrne | Max Abadian | Flare August 2012 | Rose to Stardom

Aurelie Claudel | Juan Aldabaldetrecu | Elle Taiwan July 2012 | Blue Wave

Ashley Smith | Patrik Sehistedt | Glamour France August 2012 | ‘Plein Soleil Avec Ashley Smith’

Emily Senko | KT Auleta | Glamour US August 2012 | Fall Fashion, Sneak Peek