Something very sad happened: a 15-year-old girl, pretty but emotionally troubled (aren't all 15-year-olds emotionally troubled?) got sympathy for her emotional troubles. Then she got attention from cute, popular, older guys by sharing her emotional troubles with them. She "hooked up" with those boys. Then those boys' girlfriends started calling her names like "whore." Then the girl hung herself.
What's horrible, what's unimaginable and almost horrifying is this: those school bullies then laughed about her death on Facebook.
But in the end, those bullies did not take this girl's life. She hung herself.
Before she transferred to the high school in Massachusettes, Pheobe Prince had a history of self-mutilation. It is very sad. She was only 15 years old, and did not have the life tools to constructively channel that emotional pain. Life is tricky and complicated and unfair. Her mother may have even been a decent mom doing the best she could to support her two kids after her husband's death. Some people blame her parents. Some blame the school. Many blame the "mean girl" school bullies.ShareThis
Republican Senator Olympia Snowe called this morning for a stand-alone bill granting a second round of unemployment extensions for workers laid off after June 1, 2009 and first round for those laid off after Feb 2010 (for comparison: workers laid off before June 2009 received four rounds of extensions.)
Snowe's proposal spurs one to wonder if Republicans saved this card in the G.O.P. back pocket for weeks, months even, all while snickering as they voted down Reid's third attempt to pass the bulk "Tax Extenders" last week. Why, oh why, would Repubs make a surprise cut in middle-class benefits, thereby risking November seat pickups?
One guess: Repubs could then be seen as swooping in to a) restore those same middle class benefits AND b) look fiscally prudent. All in time for November. So obvious it can't be right!ShareThis
If you or anybody you know was laid off after June 1, 2009, you know unemployment benefits have been unexpectedly cut off. (Technically, a second extension to benefits has unexpectedly failed to pass in the Senate.)
The House has already passed a bill to enact a second extension of benefits to the group laid off in this time period (laid off after June 1 2009.) The bill is stuck in the Senate.
Many people laid off earlier than June 1, 2009 received four extensions to their unemployment benefits, totaling 99 weeks. In contrast, people laid off after June 1, 2009 received one extension.
Many valid arguments can be made as to why unemployment benefits should not be extended. But what people do not understand is the surprise cut off.
Granted, people should not rely on the benefits receiving a second, third, fourth extension. Many people are disrupting their current routine to make backup plans in case this second extension fails to pass.
It is a disruption that means people may have to put their job search on pause, move again, sell their cars and narrow the jobs they apply for to ones which can only be reached via public transit. (We Americans are made of tough stuff: if that's what we have to do, we'll do it. But it means we have to pass up jobs requiring a car, and moving a second time in a year is no fun.)ShareThis
Letter from California: Governor's race; Unionizing Pot Growers; and Protestors from Left & Right Unite to Greet Obama in SF
While disaster looms, explodes and recedes the world over, life trudges forward in the wacky beyond-broke Golden State. For some tension-relieving distraction, take in some recent headlines:
CA Governor's Race: 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat Remain
Maybe I'm suffering from the lowered-expectations myopathy of our favorite rodent that is the Supreme Partizane Commander (witness his diary below) but I'll go on a limb: we've got an embarrassment of riches in the three remaining candidates running for California governor. No, I'm serious. OK, I'm also in bed with a fever. But still ...ShareThis
Is anyone getting a big kick out of the Olympics this season? So many moments of authentic drama. One of my favorites was watching Norway's downhill ski champion (and gold medal favorite) Aksel Svindal ski, while his hand-wringing father watches from the bottom of the hill. (Video shows split screen of Aksel and his dad. By the end, the camera focuses solely on dad Bjorn, that's how happy he is. ) For contrast, see Bjorn Svindal's reaction when son Aksel cathces an edge on a gate in the giant slalom, disqualifying him from the podium and ceding the gold to American Bode Miller (oh no Aksel! Nonononono!!!)ShareThis
It's a wonder if he greeted Katie Couric the same way. Seems wise of ABC to include this greeting in the final broadcast, as this is seen by some as inappropriate behavior. Many commenters at Mediaite think it's no big deal.
Does he greet Brian Williams with a cheek kiss? How about German Chancellor Angela Merkel?
Clip courtesy of Mediaite.ShareThis
Two headlines, neither from The Onion:
Obama appoints 'pay czar' as part of executive compensation overhaul
Kenneth Feinberg will oversee pay at companies that received 'exceptional' taxpayer bailouts including BoA, Citigroup and AIG
June 10, 2009 Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney who handed out US Government compensation for the September 11 terrorist attacks, was unveiled yesterday as President Obama’s new 'pay czar'.
Mr Feinberg will oversee pay at companies that received "exceptional" taxpayer bailouts, as part of a larger Government overhaul of executive compensation. ... full story
Bill Maher admits it: John McCain's tagging of candidate Obama as a celebrity, "it turns out he was right" in a New Rules rant.
"We like you we really like you. You're skinny, and in a hurry, and in love with a nice lady. But so is Lindsay Lohan. And just like Lindsay, we see your name in the paper a lot but we're kind of wondering you're are going to start DOING something." Ouch!ShareThis
I feel sorry for Meghan McCain.
I know I shouldn’t.
I really have no business feeling sympathy for a wealthy, pretty, well-connected recent Columbia grad who’s already been given a political blog by Tina Brown, who’s already been paid a reported high six figures to write on the future of the Republican party, and who, despite it all, was foolish enough to go on “The Colbert Report” on Monday night and call herself “a 24-year-old pro-sex woman.”
(Bold and italics mine.)
Warner .... um ... jealous much?ShareThis
Josh Green, a columnist at the UC Berkeley student newspaper the Daily Californian "Daily Cal" awarded midterm grades for the Obama administration today:
Obama's first 100 days officially come to an end April 30, but I want to get a jump on all of the other carping analysts and get my grades in now. It's not too early to at least give Obama a heads up on what might appear on his transcript by the time he graduates. He can check it out on eGrades starting on May 1.
Obama's first 73 days:
60 Minutes, tonight:
His remarks came in a “60 Minutes” interview in which he was pressed by an incredulous Steve Kroft for laughing and chuckling several times while discussing the perilous state of the world’s economy.
“You're sitting here. And you're— you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he's sitting there just making jokes about money—’ How do you deal with— I mean: explain. . .” Kroft asks at one point.
“Are you punch-drunk?” Kroft says.
“No, no. There's gotta be a little gallows humor to get you through the day,” Obama says, with a laugh.
Full transcript here.ShareThis
New Hampster celebrated a major life milestone today. Cheers to the new father-in-law!
To the new couple: may your shared life be fruitful and textured, full of challenges, celebrations, and risks. We wish you patience, tenacity and resilience because now the ride begins!
Cheers to you both and to your mothers and fathers who must be so proud of you today!
Anybody have a toast or blessing to share?ShareThis
Another brilliant find by RealClearPolitics. Michael Wolff gets the difference between the Obama-supporting voters and the others from the primaries, and that difference was NOT racism. It was the grown-up unreconstructed Yuppie:
On one side of the line there’s a continued-to-be-employed managerial class, which includes, among others, the president and his Treasury secretary; and on the other side of the line there are the moralists, the PR savvy, and lots and lots of people who don’t know from bonuses.
The former group, whose members have spent their adult years as young upwardly mobile professionals, take it as an article of faith that in order to get people to work you have to pay them; and, too, the more you pay, the better people you get to do the work; and better people do better work. That pretty much sums up the philosophy of compensation and corporate organization over the long course, and during the massive economic expansion, of the yuppie generation.
Wolfe is late to the game, but discovered this month Barack is a Yuppie too. "Who knew?" Wolfe asks.ShareThis
Jay Cost, who writes for RealClearPolitics, is worried. He's managed to write analysis pieces while remaining very opinion-neutral. Why is he worried now?
I am worried. Not because I am enamored of bipartisanship. I like Ike - but I like "Give 'em Hell" Harry, too. I have no problem with the sharp elbows approach, even coming from the White House. I am worried because I thought partisan reconciliation was an animating force of Obama's candidacy, a big reason why he thought he - rather than one of the 306 million other Americans - should be President. I am worried that, amidst a credit crisis, two wars, and a lack of confidence in our nation's institutions, we have installed as President a man apparently willing to abandon a foundational premise of his candidacy not three months into his tenure.
Full article at RealClearPolitics' Horse Race blog. Much as we can laugh at the brilliant TOTUS blog Kim pointed out, a lot of us can shake off this worry for only so long, and then it returns. What anchors Obama down? Where is his line in the sand?ShareThis
Hat tip to Hot Air. And hat tip to WhiteHouse.gov, which displayed this NCAA video on the front page today. Hot Air's headline is better:Video: Busy president takes break from economic catastrophe to make NCAA picks
Hot Air introduces the video:ShareThis
They warned us, and thank goodness for that. Noemie Every on the Palinphobes and the audacity of type:
Now that the Obama presidency is nearing the 60-day mark, it’s time to thank those fastidious scribes on the left and the right who worked so hard to warn us against Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, and the dire things that would surely occur if she ever got close to executive power. How right they were to insist that she was unfit for high office. Let’s just imagine what she might have done:
As president, she might have caused the stock market to plunge over 2,000 points in the six weeks after she assumed office, left important posts in the Treasury unfilled for two months, been described by insiders as ‘overwhelmed’ by the office, and then gone on to diss the British Prime Minister on his first state visit, giving him, as one head of state to another, a set of DVDs plucked from the aisles of Wal Mart, a tasteful gift, even if they can’t be played on a TV in Britain. (Note, the Prime Minister, who is losing his eyesight, may even be blind in one eye).
Even Peggy Noonan chimed in to warn us about Palin:ShareThis
Did our state department really screw up a one-word Russian translation? (See Lost in translation: a U.S. gift to Russia.) Beyond embarrassing. Yet -Caption from International Herald Tribune: Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, left, pressing the "reset" button with Hillary Rodham Clinton in Geneva on Friday. (The Associated Press)
Reuters Published: March 7, 2009
By Stephanie Nebehay
More evidence that what we fear is true - columnist David Brooks wrote last week about his fears of all this government spending with the stimulus package, the budget, and the omnibus spending bill, along with bailouts galore.
But here's the scary part: Brooks' column today describes the response from four senior members of the Obama administration who contacted Brooks to assure him that Obama is committed to cutting "entitlements", among other things.
On Tuesday, I wrote that the Obama budget is a liberal, big government document that should make moderates nervous. The column generated a large positive response from moderate Obama supporters who are anxious about where the administration is headed. It was not so popular inside the White House. Within a day, I had conversations with four senior members of the administration and in the interest of fairness, I thought I’d share their arguments with you today.
These four unnamed officials (we can guess Larry Summers might be one of the four) fall all over themselves to prove they're not big-government liberals. Their arguments follow:ShareThis
Friends, hang onto your hats and miniskirts - weather.com forecasts more snow in Main, New York, New Hampshire, the Carolinas, and more ...
There have been reports of thundersnow in the western Carolinas Sunday evening as the snow came down fast and quickly accumulated on roadways.
By morning, Charlotte could pick up between 5 and 8 inches of snow.
In this administration, we taxpayers have to give something to GIVE something. Huh?
Candidate Bill Clinton in a 1992 debate brilliantly answered an audience member's question about slashing the deficit without cutting spending or raising taxes: we don't cut our way out of deficits, we grow our way out of deficits. How did Bill Clinton's deficit theory work out? Pretty well, from what we remember.
But now, just as our country is yearning for some certainty and to put economic growth back on track, our young president decides to talk about fiscal responsibility, decides to take on deficits(!?) and is considering slashing Medicaid and Social Security payouts.ShareThis
Welcome to episode #2 of PDS watch (episide #1, What Meg Whitman's Candidacy Will Tell Us About PDS can be read here.)
A Huffington Post contributor, comedy writer and presumed Los Angeles resident Chris Kelly is criticising Alaskan First Dude Todd Palin for entering, and winning, some snowmobile competitions.ShareThis
BookTV is broadcasting an interview with the author Philip Howard (he is a lawyer and a Democrat,) who wrote this very timely book "Life Without Lawyers", at 9:00pm Eastern 6:00pm Pacific Time. Full schedule at http://www.booktv.org/program.aspx?ProgramId=10219&SectionName=After%20W....
I caught the Howard interview yesterday on BookTV. The broadcast repeats tonight and tomorrow. He believes we've become too reliant on laws, and that our fear of liability is crushing America's can-do spirit. Here's more, from a WSJ a review of his book:ShareThis
Remember scratching your head wondering what inspired the deranged reaction to Sarah Palin? The only critique I thought fair was her poor performance when interviewed by Katie Couric. But the Palin Derangement Syndrome seemed to extend beyond the interviews.
Was it because Palin was SO attractive?
Was it Palin's fertility? - a friend with an 8-month-old expressed to me her fear that maternity leave would be taken away, given how quickly Palin returned to work after Trig's birth.
Was it that Palin knew how to use a gun? Was it that she shoots moose - and uses that one moose to feed immediate and extended family for an entire winter? Because that sounds environmentally sound to me.ShareThis
Our "uniquely qualified" Treasury Secretary spoke yesterday, and the market promptly tanked, taking the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 381.99 points to close at 7888.88.
But make no mistake - while Wall Street frowned, Geithner's bailout plan will also screw the Main Street, via what Robert Reich calls Lemon Socialism.
Private investors can buy up these toxic assets we've been hearing about under Geithner's bailout proposal. Woohoo! We taxpayers won't have to bail out the banks, right? Wrong. These assets will be backed up by taxpayer guaruntee. In other words, if the private investors make no money, the taxpayer will bailout the private investors down the road.
Should the private investors make a profit on the toxic assets some day, however, the taxpayer will see none of that profit.
Heads, private investors win. Tails, taxpayers lose.ShareThis