Kay SteigerFeb 14, 2007
KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS. The WaPo humorously pointed out today that while the House debates the non-binding resolution on the troop surge, Bush scurried to a seemingly more friendly YMCA, where a little boy ruined the photo-op with a peace sign. Bush told him to, "Put your hands down." In the last line of the story, one kid said, "My favorite president is President Obama ." --Kay Steiger
Kay SteigerJan 29, 2007
THE 'WOMEN'S VOTE.' Linda Hirshman 's column in the Post yesterday was yet another commentary that focuses on Clinton-as-the-first-female-presidential-candidate angle. Hirshman concludes what seems obvious to me: women will never overwhelmingly support one candidate just because they are women. She says historically, women have never made a decisive difference in an election, with perhaps the exception of 1996. Hirshman even conducts a self-admitted unscientific survey of women in Washington, vis-a-vis her December 2005 article (adapted into a book) for TAP. The conclusion is overwhelmingly that these educated stay-at-home moms just don't follow the news or policy issues that closely. They rely on their husbands to keep them informed on events. I found this disturbing to say the least. Why should women rely on the men in their lives to make decisions about candidates? This makes going after the female vote a "popularity contest" and less about issues. It seems like Senator Clinton...
Kay SteigerJan 11, 2007
NO WAY OUT. A friend of mine was upset to learn that her son's deployment in Iraq has been extended, and now he won't be able to return in time to attend law school in the fall as he had hoped. Her son, who enlisted before September 11, is one of the many National Guardsmen whose tours have been extended to supply troops for the surge. It's important to remember that real families and soldiers will have to make sacrifices. She forwarded me a notice sent to family members of National Guardsmen. Here is the full text of the email, which was sent out within hours of Bush 's speech: From: "Swanson, James L LTC NGMN" To: [undisclosed-recipients] Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 9:27 PM Subject: FW: EXTENSION OF 1 BCT OF MINNESOTA ON BEHALF OF MAJOR GENERAL SHELLITO (UNCLASSIFIED) Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE Dear Families, I have been made aware that the 1/34 BCT will be extended in Iraq for an unspecified period of time. We have not yet determined how this decision will...
Kay SteigerJan 05, 2007
GAGGING. Campus Progress's Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza did a fantastic job of writing about the Global Gag Rule , which never gets enough media attention. When we put abstinence-only provisions on our global aid, we put women around the world at severe risk. Americans vastly overestimate the amount that actually goes in to foreign aid; it's a safe bet that they also don't know that such provisions have been put into place. Perhaps we can put this on Congress's ever-lengthening "to do" list. UPDATE: My colleague also pointed out that Plumer wrote a good piece about the Gag Rule a few weeks ago at TNR. -- Kay Steiger
Kay SteigerJan 05, 2007
BODY COUNT. I realized as I was reading Spencer 's recordings of each soldier's death release that the DOD has, perhaps intentionally or unintentionally, made the fatalities boring. The press releases are a dull monotone -- a template into which soldiers' names, hometowns, and circumstances of death are inserted (with a note that they died "supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom"). Keeping an accurate record of the body count seems important. The death of every American soldier is noted with a press release and a military funeral, but obviously no such release occurs when civilians die in Iraq. And even when they are reported, Iraqis are just numbers to many Americans. Which is why this first-hand account (via Juan Cole ) of civilian deaths is so jarring, and harrowing. The people that die are friends and colleagues of the writer. It's personal. --Kay Steiger