Compared to their counterparts in many European countries, American women get almost no public support in their struggle to combine work and motherhood. Judging from the dispiriting conservative freak-out over health-care reform, that's unlikely to change any time soon -- one can only imagine the type of demagoguery that would attend any attempt to create French-style state-funded crèches. Yet most American women work, and given the contraction of many male-dominated industries and the fact that more women are attending universities than men, they may soon make up a majority of the employed.
Two orthodox Jewish men walk down a street in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mike Derer)
Billionaire Jewish philanthropist Charles Bronfman is worried that Israel's conflict with the Palestinians is hurting the country's relationship with young Jews in the Diaspora. "We turned from David to Goliath in 1982, with the invasion into Lebanon, and the Arabs became David," he told the Israeli daily Ha'aretz last week. "Now everybody's worried about the Palestinians. Now we're occupiers, oppressors, who live by the sword. That's what you see in the media, and it festers and has effects on the general population and on Jews as well." Peace, he said, was crucial to maintaining the bond between Israel and the broader Jewish world.
There's a conservative campaign against White House science czar John Holdren, and it seems to be ratcheting up. At the heart of it is a textbook book that Holdren co-wrote in 1977 with the famous neo-Malthusians Paul and Anne Ehrlich. Quotations from the book about coercive population control have been floating around the Internet for a while, but it's only in the last week or so that they've really broken through. They are indeed shocking, treading a fine line between describing and condoning outrageous proposals to curtail reproductive autonomy. They're a reminder of an ignominious chapter in American intellectual history. But they tell us very little about where Holdren stands today.
Republican vice-presidential candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin blows a kiss to supporters after speaking at a rally at the Silver Spurs Arena, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Joe Burbank, Pool, File)
When Gary A. Lee, chair of Florida's Lee County Republican Party, heard Sarah Palin's resignation speech, he felt "absolute exhilaration." Lee had been publicly enthusiastic about a Palin presidential bid, and nothing he heard on Friday changed that. Watching her, he says, was "riveting -- the fact that she is stepping up, on behalf of families, her state, and the nation, and her willingness to assume what I think will be major national leadership is inspirational both for our republic and the Republican Party." When you look at her, he says, "you see leadership. She's blessed with it in my opinion."
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to media after meeting privately with ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya at State Department in Washington on Tuesday July 7, 2009 (AP).
On March 27, at a ceremony in Houston, Texas, Hillary Clinton accepted the Margaret Sanger award from Planned Parenthood. In her speech, she expressed her "awe" for the family-planning pioneer and then laid out the connections between reproductive rights and global security. Calling the reproductive-rights movement "one of the most transformational in the entire history of the human race," she argued that Sanger's work isn't done, in the United States or abroad.