May 10, 2006

Motherhood in America; and other items of the day.

I think this is an important issue--and one that receives political attention but not political action. I posted a link to the Manifesto story the other day, but here Ruth Rosen addresses it with even more context. First, she clearly reaffirms what we need to not forget--that despite all the language of family values and our adoration of motherhood, we as a country do not adequately help either mothers or children--especially if they are in the poor category.

But Rosen also does a nice little recap of the history of Mother's day:
"Let me take you on a brief tour of this holiday's history. Mother’s Day began as a day to commemorate women’s public activism, not as the celebration of one individual mother’s devotion to her own family. In 1858, Anna Reeve Jarvis organized Mother’s Work Days in West Virginia. Her immediate goal was to improve sanitation in Appalachian communities."


Speaking of a divide between our rhetoric and reality, evidently America is second to last in infant mortality among industrial nations: "CHICAGO - America may be the world's superpower, but its survival rate for newborn babies ranks near the bottom among modern nations, better only than Latvia."


Much ink and cyberprint has been devoted to the problems of the Religious right--some of that here at Streak's blog. (Just a little). But Andrew Sullivan presents a very thoughtful critique of the problem here
"What to do about it? The worst response, I think, would be to construct something called the religious left. Many of us who are Christians and not supportive of the religious right are not on the left either. In fact, we are opposed to any politicization of the Gospels by any party, Democratic or Republican, by partisan black churches or partisan white ones. 'My kingdom is not of this world,' Jesus insisted. What part of that do we not understand?"


So, we find out that our HUD secretary refused a contract to someone who was not a Bush supporter. And this isn't speculation. The man admitted it.

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall May 9, 2006 03:39 PM: "Just as interesting was Jackson's follow-on statement in which shows his understanding of how government contracting works: political supporters get contracts so they can pump a percentage of the profits back into the political party. Standard machine politics, at best. Organized bribery, at worst. And whatever you want to call it, the guiding principle of all contracting and government spending in the second Bush administration.

Said Jackson: 'He didn't get the contract. Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe.'"

Update: The HUD office now says that he wasn't being serious--that he was speaking hypothetical. Josh Marshall has a post suggesting that the scenario Jackson described suggests that the contract offer broke down when possibly Jackson asked the recipient for a campaign contribution. Otherwise, how would this subject even come up?


Saw a streaming video of the Dixie Chicks at Amazon with some of one of their other songs. They sound good, and I am looking forward to this cd. Last week I picked up Alejandro Escovedo's first studio album in some 6 years and like it very much.

Question: has anyone here purchased the Neil Young protest album? I know, I know, I can hear it streaming at his site, but that is inconvenient for me. I just want to know if it is worth buying beyond the voting with my feet/dollars.


I will return to a couple of subjects as I finish up some grading. The mock-interview with Dobson came out of some thinking about how conservatives might view the sovereignty of God. I am also working on a followup to the Springsteen post and my Oklahoma roots.

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