Of the many biographical details that shaped Barack Obama as a political figure, perhaps none is more prominent than the absence of his father during his upbringing. The president's public effort to understand Barack Obama Sr. began with the publication of his 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father, shortly after he finished his term as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. In the book, Obama describes how difficult it was to grow up without a relationship to his Kenyan father, the man who gave him a name and a heritage but was not around to help him navigate America's complicated racial divide.
Many view the Credit CARD Act provisions that prohibit those under 21 from getting cards if they don't have an income or a parent to co-sign as the kind of law they wish they'd had. But that depends upon the idea that college students are only digging big holes for themselves during those four years, and the years immediately following, without a good reason.
Regularly, someone tries to remind women that they can't have children after a certain age. This week's effort comes from Carolyn Butler in the Washington Post, who writes about a study published in a journal called PLoS ONE telling us that we have fewer eggs by 30 than previously thought.
Women start out with about 300,000 eggs, and the new study says they have 12 percent left at 30. After 35, fertility drops and potential problems rise every year, which I'm pretty sure we all already knew. Halfway through the piece, Butler quotes a scientist, Robert Stillman, and then rather belatedly tries to reassure us:
'This adds to the abundant evidence that for women, unfortunately, it's use 'em or lose 'em.'
A JetBlue employee whose harassment case was thrown out in 2007 won an appeal last week that will revive her claim. A judge had thrown out the case, in which Diane Gorzynski provided evidence of gender, racial, and age discrimination from her supervisor and complained about it to the same supervisor she accused.
In Missouri, yacht owners continue to enjoy a sales tax exemption that costs the state $6 million. The report, from The Kansas City Star, comes my way via Balloon Juice and also tells us that the state Revenue Department refuses to tally the cost of exemptions like these because it would be too burdensome on taxpayers. Meanwhile, the state Legislature has recommended cuts to schools and shelters for battered women.