Friday, December 17, 2010

My Second Fav Holiday Song

This amazing rendition of "Sleigh Ride" by the Boston Pops never ceases to get me into the Christmas spirit. Happy Holidays, everyone.

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chart Of The Day: $900 Billion Tax Deal Graphically Illustrated

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Help Batgirl Fight For Equal Pay: Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Just Another Reason I want a Dog

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 8, 2010

America, Meet Your New Freshman Class!

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

White House White Board: CEA Chair Austan Goolsbee Explains the Jobs Trends

In the second edition of White House White Board, Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, looks back at the President’s record on the economy through the perspective of the last three years in private sector employment.

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Research Career Choices at Least as Much as You Would Research a House or a Car!

U.S. employment is expected to go up 10 percent in the next decade, but there are some professions that are expected to see their ranks shrink. The reasons vary –- from outsourcing, to technology and the economy.

As high school seniors start scoping out colleges and thinking about what they want to be when they grow up, it’s a good idea to take a look at the broader jobs landscape –- what the Fastest-Growing Jobs are, but also what jobs may be disappearing, what they pay, and what some of the alternatives for a degree in that field.

Before students and their parents drop $30,000 to $100,000 or more on college, it’s important to think about what that investment will buy you: a job with good prospects or a ticket to the unemployment line?

You would spend time researching a major purchase like a house or car –- and it’s even more important to research your career and your college. You know, the thing that will actually pay for the house, car and other lifestyle choices.

Here are Nine Disappearing Jobs for those with bachelor’s degrees, according to the Labor Department.

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Health Care Reform Will Help Everybody

Enjoy this Guest Blog by Barbara O’ Brien

Many Americans assume the new health care reform act will benefit mostly the poor and uninsured and hurt everyone else, according to polls. As Matt Yglesias wrote, “Basically, people see this as a bill that will take resources from people who have health insurance and give it to people who don’t have health insurance.” Those who still oppose the reform say that people ought to pay for their own health care.

We all believe in the virtues of hard work and self-reliance, but these days it’s a fantasy to think that anyone but the mega-wealthy will not, sooner or later, depend on help from others to pay medical bills. And that’s true no matter how hard you work, how much you love America, or how diligently you take care of yourself. The cost of medical care has so skyrocketed that breaking an arm or leg could cost as much as a new car. And if you get cancer or heart disease — which can happen even to people who live healthy lifestyles — forget about it. The disease will not only clean you out; it will leave a whopping debt for your survivors to pay.

And the truth is, we all pay for other peoples’ health care whether we know it or not. When people can’t pay their medical bills, the cost of their health care gets added to everyone else’s bills and insurance premiums. When poor people use emergency rooms as a doctor of last resort, their care is not “free.” You pay for it.

Another common fantasy about medical care is that the “free market” provides incentives for medical companies to develop innovative new drugs and treatments for disease without government subsidy. It’s true that private enterprise is very good at developing profitable health care products. But not all medical care can be made profitable.

For years, the U.S. government has been funding medical research that the big private companies don’t want to do because there is too much cost for the potential profit. This is especially true for diseases that are rare and expensive to treat. An example of a recent advance made possible by government grants include new guidelines for malignant pleural mesothelioma treatment developed by Sloan-Kettering mesothelioma cancer researchers. Another is a blood screening test developed by mesothelioma doctors like thoracic surgeon Dr. David Sugarbaker. The health reform act provides for more dollars for such research, from which even many of the tea party protesters will benefit.

The biggest fantasy of all was that people who had insurance didn’t have to worry about health care costs. But the fact is that in recent years millions of Americans have been bankrupted by medical costs, and three-quarters of the medically bankrupt had health insurance. And yes, insurance companies even dumped hard-working, law-abiding patriots. But the health care reform act will put an end to that, and now America’s hard-working, law-abiding patriots are more financially secure, whether they like it or not.

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rhode Tackles "THE BEAUTY BIAS: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law" in New Book

•Why, when over 1/6 of the population lacks access to basic health care, are cosmetic procedures the fastest growing medical specialty—with women accounting for 90% of the procedures?
•Why have beauty pageants for girls between the ages of 5-10 evolved into a billion dollar industry?
•Why, in representative surveys, have over half of young women reported that they would prefer to be hit by a car than be fat, and two-thirds would rather be mean or stupid?
Because we live in a culture of severe BEAUTY BIAS.

Deborah L. Rhode -- Legal Momentum Board Member and Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law and the Director of the Center on the Legal Profession at Stanford University -- explores the answers to these questions, and addresses many other costly, time-consuming, and even deadly trends in THE BEAUTY BIAS: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law. In this sobering look at aesthetic demands in America, Rhode surveys the pervasive discrimination against people—many times women—over issues ranging from hairstyle to weight and beyond. "The kind of attention people once gave to the state of their souls," Rhode writes, "they now give to the state of their bodies. And too often, the result is far from constructive."

Drawing from both research and first-hand experience, Rhode tours the cut-that-throat-and-tighten-it effects of beauty obsession. We learn that:
•Attractive students receive more attention from teachers and classmates
•Overweight individuals are often assumed to have poor work habits
•Short males are penalized in hiring, promotion, and earnings
•Minorities spend billions in plastic surgery for Anglo-European features
•Waitresses can be restricted to specific weights, hairstyles and shoes, when it is rarely the case for their male counterparts

THE BEAUTY BIAS is a call to action, demanding we treat appearance "not just as an aesthetic issue, but as a legal and political one as well." Here, Rhode not only points out the flaws in current discrimination law, but offers a plan to temper America's ever-growing and destructive addiction to "beauty."
To learn more about the book, please visit THE BEAUTY BIAS: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Unemployment Among Single Mothers Remains at Highest Level in Over 25 Years

(Washington, D.C.) -- Analysis by the National Women’s Law Center of August jobs data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this morning reveals unemployment among single mothers remains at the highest level since the recession began.

“For millions of women and their families, there is no recovery yet,” said Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center. “Unemployment among single mothers has almost doubled since the recession began and is at the highest level in decades. Yet critically needed help for these vulnerable families will expire unless Congress acts soon.”

While the BLS data show little change in the unemployment rate among women and men overall for the past few months, a closer look reveals significant changes for some groups of women. Unemployment for women who head families increased to 13.4 percent in July and August from 12.1 percent in June. The 13.4 percent rate is almost twice the pre-recession rate of 6.9 percent in December 2007, and the highest unemployment rate for this particularly vulnerable group in over 25 years.

The picture for women of color is also bleak. Unemployment among African American women increased to 13.2 percent in August, up from 12.9 percent in July and 11.8 percent in June. Unemployment among Hispanic women dropped from 12.1 percent in July to 11.6 percent in August, but is still higher than the 11.0 rate in June.

Before leaving for the August recess, Congress extended enhanced unemployment benefits through November to help workers unemployed for six months or more and approved additional funding to states and localities for health care and education that will help stem further job losses and deeper cuts in public services. But Congress has yet to act on a more substantial jobs measure, the Jobs for America Act, additional funding for child care assistance, restored funding for child support enforcement, and an extension of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency fund, which has allowed states to create jobs and provide emergency assistance to families.

“Families across the country are in crisis. Yet some members of Congress have been blocking measures to create jobs and help vulnerable families but urging the extension of costly tax breaks for millionaires,” Campbell said. “Congress needs to get its priorities right.”

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Since 1888, AAUW Has Provided More Than $80 Million to 11,000 Fellows, Grantees

WASHINGTON – AAUW will award $3.2 million in 2010–11 in support of 215 scholars, research projects, and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls. Building on its rich tradition of opening the doors of higher education and opportunity to women, AAUW has provided more than $80 million to 11,000 fellows and grantees from around the globe since awarding its first fellowship in 1888.

"In these tough economic times, when many nonprofits are cutting back on giving, we are proud that we can continue our generous support of exceptional women and worthwhile projects that benefit communities locally and abroad," said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. "We are equally proud of the accomplishments of our outstanding former fellowship and grant recipients, who have impacted our nation and world in remarkable ways."

Past recipients of AAUW fellowships and grants include:

•Mahzarin Banaji, Harvard psychologist whose research on unconscious bias was featured in the 2010 AAUW report Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
•Jenny Bramley, who was the first woman to receive a degree in physics from a U.S. institution and who went on to design cathode ray tubes, including those used in color televisions and early computer terminals
•Joyce Brothers, eminent psychologist
•Marie Curie, who received a $156,413 grant in 1920 to purchase one gram of radium for her experiments
•Judith Resnick, Challenger astronaut
•Susan Sontag, author, literary theorist, and political activist
This year's awardees represent an outstanding group of accomplished women scholars, researchers, and nonprofit and community leaders from more than 25 states and a dozen countries around the world.

AAUW fellowships are among the most competitive and offer one of the largest funding pools available exclusively for graduate-level women. Specifically, AAUW:
•provides vital financial support to graduate women preparing research for publication, advancing their careers, reentering the workforce, or changing careers to enhance their professional credentials and marketability in the academic world and the global workplace;
•targets funding to advanced studies in the traditionally male and higher-paying fields of science, technology, engineering, and math and supports women of color in fields in which they have traditionally been underrepresented;
•responds to the global development needs of women by awarding financial support to women from around the world to enable them to gain access to academic training and contribute to the economic and social development of their countries; and
•supports nonprofits and individuals in their efforts focused on women's and girls' educational and economic development, with a preference for STEM-related programming.
AAUW's fellowships and grants programs were highlighted on, which included AAUW on the 2010 Top-Rated Women's Empowerment Nonprofits List.

Longtime AAUW member Bets Brown wrote, "Just over 30 years ago, I was fortunate enough to receive from AAUW an American Fellowship for my doctoral dissertation. This grant allowed me to focus on my research without having to have a full-time job and, thus, shortened the time it took to complete my degree by one year. AAUW grants have impact. As the only woman in my graduate school class in marine sciences, I was impressed by the positive responses of professors and others when they learned of my having the AAUW grant. AAUW elevated my stature professionally."

To view the directory of fellowship and grant recipients, visit

To reach an award recipient, contact AAUW at 202/728-7602 or For information about sponsorship and endowments, contact

To apply, visit For application questions, contact

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Honor the Dead, Fight Like Hell for the Living: Front Pages from 9/12/01

Read and remember, via front pages from September 12, 2001, via the Newseum.

USA Today (“'Act of war'”)

N.Y. Times (“U.S. ATTACKED”)

Washington Post (“Hundreds Dead”)

N.Y. Post (“ACT OF WAR”)

N.Y. Daily News (“IT'S WAR”)

Chicago Tribune (“'Our nation saw evil'”)

L.A. Times

The (London) Times

The (London) Daily Telegraph “War on America”

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Young Women Now Less Likely to Work in Same Jobs as Men Wage Gap Continues Due to Occupational Segregation

WASHINGTON, DC - A new briefing paper from the Institute for Women's Policy Research charts occupational segregation since the early 1970s. Women continue to enter some high paying male-dominated professions, for example, rising from 4.0 percent to 32.2 percent of lawyers between 1972 and 2009, yet overall progress has stalled since 1996, according to one common measure, the Index of Dissimilarity. Slowing progress, women continue to dominate professions traditionally done by women, which typically pay less, accounting for over 95 percent of all kindergarten teachers, librarians, dental assistants and registered nurses in 2009.

A few occupations have witnessed a sharp reversal in desegregation, with women's share falling from over one-third to less than 21 percent of computer programmers since the late 1980s, and women's share of civil engineering declining from 13 percent in 2005 to just over 7 percent in 2009. Most troubling, young women experience more segregation today than they did a decade ago; since 2002, their Index has worsened by 6 percent, erasing nearly one-fifth of the improvement since 1968.

IWPR's Briefing Paper "Separate and Not Equal? Gender Segregation in the Labor Market and the Gender Wage Gap" analyzes data from the Current Population Survey on women's share of occupations from 1972 to 2009. Based on 2009 earnings data, it examines the relationship between median earnings and the gender composition of occupations, differentiating between occupations that are predominantly male, have a relatively even gender balance, and are predominantly female -- for low-skilled, medium-skilled and high-skilled fields.

“It is very likely that the stalled progress in integrating the labor market is contributing to the failure of the wage gap to close,” says Heidi Hartmann, President of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Working in traditional female occupations can come at a steep price. Women are now proportionately more likely than men to have some years of post-secondary education. Yet, whether an occupation requires college level education or medium-level skills or is low-skilled, typically occupations that are predominantly held by women have lower median earnings than occupations with a more even gender balance or occupations predominantly held by men. There are important exceptions, particularly among medium-skilled occupations: dental hygienists, an occupation almost exclusively held by women, have higher weekly median earnings ($956) than occupations almost exclusively held by men such as electricians ($856) or carpenters ($665). Yet, while over 80 percent of dental hygienists have at least an associate degree, only one in five electricians, and even fewer carpenters, have similar levels of education. To achieve similar earnings, women have to acquire more formal education than do men.

"All workers are likely to do better if they have at least some post-secondary school qualifications. Yet while it is still possible without college to earn a decent wage in some male-dominated occupations, the same is not true in female-dominated occupations," says Ariane Hegewisch, a Study Director at the Institute for Women's Policy Research. "Almost as important as getting a qualification, however, is the field in which you qualify. A speech language pathologist--an occupation that is predominantly female--on average makes $1,153 per week, compared with a pharmacist--an occupation nearly half female--who receives median earnings of $1,841, a difference of close to $700 for a week of full-time work."

The difference in median earnings is not as big in absolute dollar terms for workers in low-skilled occupations. Yet working in a female-dominated, low-skilled occupation (the Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies nursing and psychiatric aides, maids and housekeepers and cleaners, and personal and home care aides as the largest occupations in this group) is much more likely to result in earnings close to the poverty threshold than working in low-skilled male dominated occupations (such as truck drivers, laborers and ground maintenance workers). Median weekly earnings in low-skilled, male-dominated occupations were $553 in 2009, compared with $408 in female-dominated occupations.

"Policy makers need to pay attention to the stalled progress in gender desegregation," says Robert Drago, Research Director for the Institute for Women's Policy Research. "Occupational segregation carries costs for the economy and employers by exacerbating skill shortages and causing reduced productivity. It also costs working families. Particularly in low-skilled jobs, working in an occupation predominantly held by women instead of one held by men, may be the difference between earning a poverty wage and earning a family supporting wage."

IWPR's research on occupational segregation and earnings is supported by the Ford Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. The Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies. The Institute works with policymakers, scholars, and public interest groups to design, execute, and disseminate research that illuminates economic and social policy issues affecting women and their families, and to build a network of individuals and organizations that conduct and use women-oriented policy research. IWPR's work is supported by foundation grants, government grants and contracts, donations from individuals, and contributions from organizations and corporations. IWPR is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization that also works in affiliation with the women's studies and public policy programs at The George Washington University.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dr. King vs Glenn Beck: An Info-Graphic

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

GO BUCKS! President Obama Gets the Buckeye Spirit

President Barack Obama helps spell out "O-H-I-O" with the Weithman family: Rachel, 9, Josh, 11, and mom Rhonda, in their home in Columbus, Ohio, on Aug. 18, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Ohio State 2010 Football Schedule

Thu, Sep 02 Marshall Columbus, Ohio 7:30 p.m. Alumni Band Day

Sat, Sep 11 Miami(FL) Columbus, Ohio 3:40 p.m.

Sat, Sep 18 Ohio Univ. Columbus, Ohio 12:00 p.m.

Sat, Sep 25 Eastern Michigan Columbus, Ohio TBA Hall of Fame

Sat, Oct 02 Illinois * at Champaign, Ill. TBA

Sat, Oct 09 Indiana * Columbus, Ohio TBA

Sat, Oct 16 Wisconsin * at Madison, Wis. 7:15 p.m.

Sat, Oct 23 Purdue * Columbus, Ohio 12:00 p.m. Homecoming

Sat, Oct 30 Minnesota * at Minneapolis, Minn. 8:00 p.m.

Sat, Nov 13 Penn State * Columbus, Ohio TBA

Sat, Nov 20 Iowa * at Iowa City, Iowa TBA

Sat, Nov 27 Michigan * Columbus, Ohio TBA

* Conference Games

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mama Grizzlies Speak Out: Sarah Palin Doesn't Speak for Us!

"EMILY doesn't get mad....she gets ELECTED" (Gov. Jennifer Granholm [D-MI]). Check out the new rogues gallery of Palin's radical candidates -- and she called feminists a cackle of rads???

Sign the pledge today to vote in November and send the message loud and clear: Sarah, you do NOT speak for me.

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Emmys 2010: Jimmy Fallon with the Cast of Glee

Folks, if you like the television show Glee, you will love this opening sketch from the Emmys last night. If you love Bruce Springsteen, and have a sense of humor, you will also love this sketch. However, if you are a true Boss aficionado, you may cringe and feel like someone just ran their nails across a chalkboard. Enjoy!

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Guest Blog: Women & Elections: 5 Reasons Why Women Make Great Political Candidates

In honor of Women's Equality Day and the 90th anniversary of women winning the right to vote, here is a guest blog from Phil Van Treuren at Killer Campaigning.

One of the reasons we started Killer Campaigning was to show potential political candidates of all demographics how to serve their communities by running for office. As a former political consultant and campaign manager, however, I’m especially interested in encouraging women to get into politics–particularly because I know how effective they can be as candidates in local elections.

While women often make unparalleled government officials, they also have a knack for being very competitive political campaign candidates. As a political consultant, I would have much rather worked for a strong female candidate than a typical male candidate–for many reasons. While female politicians and candidates are outnumbered by their male counterparts today, I’m encouraged by the growing number of talented women entering political campaign races every year.

So, how do women win such a large percentage of campaigns and elections they enter, and what characteristics make females such effective political candidates? The reasons why women are often more successful than men in politics are far too numerous to list in one article, but we’re going to take a look at five of the most compelling below. If you have more to add to the list, please leave a comment at the end of this post.

And if you’re a women thinking about starting a career in politics and elections, I hope you’ll go for it . . . your country and community needs more talented females in government!

Top 5 Reasons Why Women Make Great Local Political Campaign Candidates

1. Natural Communication Skills

While nothing in this post is meant to stereotype men or women, it’s a fact that females are often more talented and comfortable in the realm of effective communication.

Being able to communicate your ideas in a compelling fashion is a vital trait for political candidates, and the person who can do so naturally–without having to be taught how–has an advantage in any campaign. Many voters find the communication style of women candidates more appealing, which helps in both one-on-one grassroots situations and public forums or debates.

2. Higher Thresholds for Campaign Trail Stress

The rigors of the campaign trail–even in local elections–can be much more demanding and stressful than new candidates expect. A woman’s innate ability to process and deal with stressful situations calmly is a huge boon in political campaigns.

Not all men are hotheads, but a male political candidate is much more likely to respond to respond to the steady stress of campaigning in a damaging fashion. Angry outbursts, impulsive comments and bad attitudes just aren’t as common in female candidates.

3. Better Ability Make Supporters & Volunteers Feel Appreciated

One of the most important–and overlooked–things that political candidates can do for their campaigns is making employees, volunteers and supporters feel as though their hard work is appreciated.

I can’t tell you how many male candidates I’ve worked with who treat their staff and volunteers like dirt, which leads to awful productivity. This kind of arrogance and lack of empathy might be present in some women candidates, as well, but it isn’t as common. Women are often much better at letting people know how important and needed they are.

4. Lower Likelihood for “Skeletons in the Closet”

Sure, women can have their secrets, too, but they are much less likely than men to have career-destroying skeletons hanging in the closet. As a campaign manager, one of your greatest fears is that something scandalous is going to be revealed about your candidate in the last few weeks of the election.

Male candidates certainly don’t have a corner on the scandal market, but many of them do seem to have more political baggage. How often do you see a scandal involving a female politician in the news?

5. Greater Voter Appeal and Demographic Advantages

It’s a well-known fact in political consulting circles that a female candidate will often run a few points ahead of a male challenger just because she is a woman. We’re not going to explore the reasons for this, but in most districts, being a woman is automatically going to give you a head start in the race.

Now, just being female won’t win the election for you–it also takes good planning, hard work and a bit of luck. As a man, though, I would much rather run against another man than go head-to-head with a female candidate at the polls.

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Glenn Beck Doesn't Think Women's Rights Should be Military Goal

I find this little ditty from the August 24 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program quite fascinating. Given that much of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan has been billed as "democracy building," you'd think Mr. Beck would have a clearer view of the importance of strong women's roles in a developing democracy. Democratization is harmed by not including gender as an important axis in assessing the character of political institutions, and gender theorists have long suggested that gender is a primary organizing principle of the state. Given the way the Taliban has horribly oppressed women and girls, it does not seem out of bounds to me that, in working with Afghan nationals, the roles and opportunities for women and girls would be part of our focus.

At the dawn of the 20th century, Egyptian poet Hafez Ibrahim said: "When you educate a woman, you create a nation." Another play on this idea came from Robert M. Maciver when he said, "When you educate a man you educate an individual; when you educate a woman you educate a whole family." Investments in women and girls -- through increased education, family planning, and labor force participation -- can lead to real economic growth in developed and developing countries. The cause of women's empowerment has never been more important. So yes, Mr. Beck, our soldiers -- an unprecedented amount of whom are women -- care about women's equality as they carry out their mission.

As New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently put it, gender inequality is "the dominant moral challenge we face in the 21st century."

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Forced into Facebook

Well, it's finally happened. Despite my clear resistance, my friends have bullied and conned and schmoozed their way into winning the Facebook argument with me. So I have finally signed up for the worldwide social networking site. But, I must admit, I am intensely ambivalent about this move -- I'm really more of a Twitter girl, quite frankly. This great clip from Southpark aptly illustrates my Facebook ambivalence. Enjoy!

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Forecast Says GOP House Takeover More Likely

The Cook Political Report raised its House forecast "from a Republican net gain of between 32 and 42 seats to a gain of between 35 and 45 seats, with the odds of an outcome larger than that range greater than the odds of a lesser outcome." House Republicans would need a net turnover of 39 seats to take control of the chamber.

"At this point, only 214 House seats are Solid, Likely or Lean Democratic, while 181 seats are Solid, Likely or Lean Republican, and 40 seats are in the Toss Up column. While this would imply an advantage for Democrats, given the continuous erosion we have seen in dozens of contests so far this cycle, races shifting from Solid and Likely Democrat to Lean Democratic and Toss Up, we would be surprised if there was not more movement over the 78 days from now until Election Day."

Ugh. We need to turn out the vote, people. Just remember where the last "Republican Revolution" got us. Besides that, if poor Rep. Boehner becomes speaker, he won't be able to devote so much time to his beloved golf game.

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lightning, Up Close and Personal

Okay, folks. If you're a science geek -- or even not -- I bet you will find this as cool as I did. The video shows lightning strikes slowed down by 300X. While the video lasts 90 seconds, it actually covers less than a second of real time. What a scene. I don't know about you, but I love a good thunderstorm! Enjoy!

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Not In My America

Asking citizens “Where are your papers?” We are better than that
Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) wrote, “I do not want to live in a nation where American citizens are asked, ‘Where are your papers?’ We are better than that.” Arizona’s new immigration law strikes deep at the heart of American values of freedom and fairness. Watch this video and then share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

This campaign is sponsored by CAP Action and SEIU.

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fab Ohio Billboard Hits Boehner Where it Hurts

Special thanks to @watergatesummer on Twitter, picture via twitpic.

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Americans Having Twins More Often

It seems that American women are having twins more frequently than ever. And certain states have even more? Why? There's actually a simple biological explanation, as little Evan and Jamie's mom knows. Yep, a pal of mine had twins, and typifies this growing trend. Perhaps she will take them to the Twinsburg Twins Festival someday!

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Everyone Loves BP - An Unedited Marketing Video a la Breitbart

Some fab new BP-inspired satire from Funny or Die. BP's spokesperson Beau Jangles hits the streets to ask people what they really think of BP.

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

RNC Changes Presidential Primaries, Process to Avoid Winner-Take-All

The Republican National Committee "has approved a resolution making dramatic changes to the way the GOP picks a presidential nominee, moving primaries to later dates and requiring states to allocate their delegates on a proportional basis," The Hotline reports.

"The proposal will move the earliest nominating contests -- in IA, NH, SC and NV -- back from early Jan. to Feb. It will also require states that hold nominating contests in March to award delegates based on the proportion of votes candidates win, eliminating the prospect of an early winner-take-all state that would effectively end the nominating process."

Meanwhile, the St. Petersburg Times reports the 2012 Republican National Convention will be held in Tampa. I won't mind going there.

On June 30, 2010, the Democratic National Committee announced that four cities had been chosen as finalists to hold the convention: Charlotte, Cleveland, Minneapolis and St. Louis. I hope its in Cleveland!! Meanwhile, the DNC has also decided to retain its ridiculous superdelegate process, the one that made the 2008 primary so unnecessarily prolonged. Bad move, guys. You're supposed to learn from your mistakes.

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Turning the Tide: from the Great Recession to Job Creation

Here's some fab propaganda from the office of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's (D-MD) office. It also has the added benefit of being true. Enjoy, and share with friends...the more folks who see it, the better.

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

WWF's Top Ten Critically Endangered Species for 2010

The World Wildlife Fund has released its list of Top Ten Critically Endangered Species. I knew about the Tiger and the Polar Bear, and the Giant Panda, of course. But the Monarch Butterfly is a sad surprise. I guess its something of a Pyrrhic victory that there are no whales on the list.

1. Tiger
2. Polar Bear
3. Pacific Walrus
4. Magellanic Penguin
5. Leatherback Turtle
6. Bluefin Tuna
7. Mountain Gorilla
8. Monarch Butterfly
9. Javan Rhinoceros
10. Giant Panda

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Women's Careers: The More Things Change, the More Things Stay the Same

It's 2010. These days, girls and women can be whatever they want, do whatever they want -- the world is our oyster. Right? Equal opportunity is ours, doors have been flung open, and career and family choices are no longer constrained by gender-based stereotypes.

If you believe that, I have a bridge in a certain NYC borough with your name on it.

According to the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor, the 16 most prevalent occupations for employed women in 2009 were as follows:

Secretaries and administrative assistants: 3,074,000
Registered nurses: 2,612,000
Elementary and middle school teachers: 2,343,000
Cashiers: 2,273,000
Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides: 1,770,000
Retail salespersons: 1,650,000
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers: 1,459,000
Waiters and waitresses: 1,434,000
Maids and housekeeping cleaners: 1,282,000
Customer service representatives: 1,263,000
Child care workers: 1,228,000
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks: 1,205,000
Receptionists and information clerks: 1,168,000
First-line supervisors of office & admin support workers: 1,163,000
Managers, all other: 1,106,000
Accountants and auditors: 1,084,000

Do these occupations look barrier breaking to you? Lots of them likely don't pay living wages and are unlikely to have health insurance, paid sick days, vacation, and retirement plans. They also are distressingly, well, typical. That is not to say its not respectable work. What I mean is that women are still very much constrained to career paths that are extensions of their traditional roles in the home. But we know when women get good career counseling that covers the range of options -- including typical pay and benefits -- they often make different choices. These pink collar jobs are often a low-paying self-fulfilling prophecy. The majority of women might now be in the workplace, we still have a ways to go for true equal opportunity. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Classic Dave Obey: The Retiring King of House Appropriations Speaks His Mind about Education Reform

Rep. David Obey (D-WI), the irascible longtime chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, is retiring. He says he leaves more discontented than when he started. Here is a quote -- and Mr. Chairman is in fine form, I must say -- from an Obey interview with The Fiscal Times:

"The secretary of education [Arne Duncan] is whining about the fact he only got 85 percent of the money he wanted .… [W]hen we needed money, we committed the cardinal sin of treating him like any other mere mortal. We were giving them over $10 billion in money to help keep teachers on the job, plus another $5 billion for Pell, so he was getting $15 billion for the programs he says he cares about, and it was costing him $500 million [in reductions to the Race to the Top program]. Now that’s a pretty damn good deal. So as far as I’m concerned, the secretary of education should have been happy as hell. He should have taken that deal and smiled like a Cheshire cat. He’s got more walking around money than every other cabinet secretary put together.

It blows my mind that the White House would even notice the fight [over Race to the Top]. I would have expected the president to say to the secretary, “Look, you’re getting a good deal, for God’s sake, what this really does is guarantee that the rest of the money isn’t going to be touched.” We gave [Duncan] $4.3 billion in the stimulus package, no questions asked. He could spend it any way he wants. … I trusted the secretary, so I gave him a hell of a lot more money than I should have.

My point is that I have been working for school reform long before I ever heard of the secretary of education, and long before I ever heard of Obama. And I’m happy to welcome them on the reform road, but I’ll be damned if I think the only road to reform lies in the head of the secretary of education.

We were told we have to offset every damn dime of [new teacher spending]. Well, it ain’t easy to find offsets, and with all due respect to the administration their first suggestion for offsets was to cut food stamps. Now they were careful not to make an official budget request, because they didn’t want to take the political heat for it, but that was the first trial balloon they sent down here. … Their line of argument was, well, the cost of food relative to what we thought it would be has come down, so people on food stamps are getting a pretty good deal in comparison to what we thought they were going to get. Well isn’t that nice. Some poor bastard is going to get a break for a change."
And by the way, Obama Administration, if you really proposed cutting food stamps, shame on you.

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

President Obama Strongly Urges the Senate to Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act

Below is a press release from the Obama Administration. Yes, they support this bill. Then-Sen. Obama was a co-sponsor. But the heavy push a year and a half after the House passed the bill might have something to do with this recent poll.

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release

July 20, 2010


In America today, women make up half of the workforce, and two-thirds of American families with children rely on a woman’s wages as a significant portion of their families’ income.

Yet, even in 2010, women make only 77 cents for every dollar that men earn. The gap is even more significant for working women of color, and it affects women across all education levels. As Vice President Biden and the Middle Class Task Force will discuss today, this is not just a question of fairness for hard-working women. Paycheck discrimination hurts families who lose out on badly needed income. And with so many families depending on women's wages, it hurts the American economy as a whole. In difficult economic times like these, we simply cannot afford this discriminatory burden.

My Administration has already begun to address this problem. In my first week in office, I signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which helps women who face wage discrimination recover their lost wages, and in my State of the Union Address, I promised to crack down on violations of equal pay laws. Today the Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force will present its recommendations, which include ways to better coordinate among enforcement agencies and inform employees about their rights. These steps support women, and they also support businesses that are doing the right thing and paying their employees what they deserve.

We cannot do this work alone. So today, I thank the House for its work on this issue and encourage the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, a common-sense bill that will help ensure that men and women who do equal work receive the equal pay that they and their families deserve. Passing this bill is one of the Task Force’s key recommendations, and I hope Congress will act swiftly so that I can sign it into law.


The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Senate Republicans Block Extension of Unemployment Benefits -- Just Because They Can

Below is a press release from the Office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

For Immediate Release

Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CONTACT: Jim Manley, (202) 224-2939


Washington, D.C.— Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following remarks on the Senate floor this evening regarding Republican delay of a final vote on unemployment benefits extension. Earlier today, Senate Democrats won a key cloture vote to move forward on this legislation that millions of unemployed Americans are depending on:

“I want everyone watching the proceedings tonight to again understand what the Republicans are doing. We just passed badly needed legislation to help 2.5 million unemployed. To show the lack of understanding and feeling and compassion of the Republicans, they're making us waste 30 hours. There are people who are desperate for this money -- desperate. And they're making us wait because that's what the rule of the Senate is.

“Now, I hope the American people understand how callous this is. People are desperate, can't make house payments, car payments, can't pay for kids' food. And they are having us wait for 30 hours after cloture's been invoked. We only need a simple majority to pass this bill now, but they're making us wait. I just can't articulate in strong enough feelings how unfair this is to 2.5 million people. So would the chair rule on my consent?

“Earlier today the Senate invoked cloture on the legislation to extend unemployment insurance benefits. As a result, debate on the measure is limited to 30 hours.

“Now, we can finish this 30 hours after this passed, sometime around 9:00 tomorrow night. If that gives these people over here [Republicans] some feeling that -- that 2.5 million people deserve this, then let them do it. I would hope we could come in the morning and get this thing done and so this bill could go on to the House, the house has to pass it and then to the President.

“Every hour that is delayed is more misery for 2.5 million people. The debate over whether it's paid for or not is over with, it's clear, all experts say that this money that is spent will return to us CBO says twofold. John McCain’s chief economic advisor says it will come back $1.61 for every $1 we spend.

“Now, if they think that they're getting even, with who? 2.5 million [unemployed] people because it passed? So I hope we can reach agreement to yield back some of the post cloture time so we can complete action on this bill at a reasonable time tomorrow. Upon disposition of the unemployment bill, the Senate will resume consideration of the small business jobs bill - which is good legislation we need to get to.

“I want everybody to understand, the Republicans better be ready tomorrow to defend their position. Because we're going to have people come during this 30 hours and show how ridiculous it is that we're having to wait for 30 hours. No amendments can be offered. Nothing can be done under that 30 hours except speeches.

“So I would alert my friends, come and explain to the American people how this 30 hours has helped the American people.”


The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Timeline of GOP Opposition to Extending Unemployment Insurance in 2010 Alone

3/9/2010 Cloture vote to end GOP Filibuster and Move to Up or Down Vote
80% GOP No Votes

3/10/2010 Temporary Extension of UI
85% GOP No Votes

4/12/2010 Cloture vote to end GOP Filibuster and Move to Up or Down Vote
93% GOP No Votes

4/15/2010 Temporary Extension of UI
93% GOP No Votes

6/17/2010 Cloture vote to end GOP Filibuster and Move to Up or Down Vote
93% GOP No Votes

6/24/2010 Cloture vote to end GOP Filibuster and Move to Up or Down Vote
98% GOP No Votes

6/30/2010 Cloture vote to end GOP Filibuster and Move to Up or Down Vote
88% GOP No Votes

7/20/2010 Temporary Extension of UI

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Take the 2010 Ask a Working Woman Survey

The Great Recession has hit American workers in the gut—unemployment is up, jobs are scarce, foreclosures are occurring at record rates and health care costs are skyrocketing. Even if you are working, wages are stagnant and many seniors will have to work past retirement age just to pay bills.

In this brutal economy, what is on the minds of today’s working women?

The AFL-CIO’s community affiliate, Working America, is providing a chance to share those concerns through the just-launched online 2010 Ask a Working Woman survey. The biennial survey enables working women to share workplace concerns.

The Ask a Working Woman survey runs through the end of July.

More than 12,000 women responded to the survey in 2008, when they said the top item that would make their lives easier is a 10 percent raise. While issues such as affordable health care and quality child care were major concerns for working women, paying the bills, buying the groceries, filling the gas tank and paying the rent and mortgage were the concerns women said worried them the most.

AFL-CIO NOW BLOG | Take the 2010 Ask a Working Woman Survey

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Could U.S. Go The Way Of The British Empire?

Debt, deficits, and their impact on the ability of nations to maintain government spending levels is a burning issue around the globe, as national leaders try to recover from a deep recession and not break the bank.

However, according to the chart below, it's clear that as debt levels increase, the power of a nation is put at risk. According to Business Insider, the British Empire might have a thing or two to teach us upstart colonials. From World War I to the end of World War II, the British Empire's debts increased, much of it to a growing power in the U.S. that supplied it with weapons.

For the U.S. today, China could be that supplier of goods, as the U.S. government racks up debt on the way to its decline. Kinda scary, huh? Of course, this fate is far from certain, and there were many more reasons why the British Empire declined than just debt levels. However, it does make a clear statement when a nation's legislature (actually, the GOP) is unwilling to extend jobless benefits for fear of increasing debt, when such benefits are actually -- dollar for dollar -- the best investment a government can make to encourage spending. Oh yeah, it's also the right thing to do.

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Health Reform: What the Affordable Care Act means for Medicare Recipients

Go to for more information.

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Young Americans Learn That Trying To Find Work Is Pointless

While the nation has experienced some job creation during the rebound (and I use that term lightly), the rebound so far, however small, hasn't even started for the young.

That's because the new jobs in today's market aren't open to younger workers, according to a study called "Unemployment Among Young Workers" by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee:

"Employers added over half a million jobs in the last four months, yet the unemployment rate for young workers reached a record 19.6 percent in April 2010, the highest level for this age group since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking unemployment in 1947... The youngest workers (16 to 17 years) experience the highest rates of unemployment. The unemployment rate for 16 to 17 year olds was 29 percent in April."

The chart below shows how the unemployment rate for America's youngest workers (in red) continues to get worse, even while other age groups' unemployment rates have plateaued or slightly declined (in blue or green).

Read more:

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Introducing Take a Video Tour of the Website that Helps You Understand Healthcare Reform

Curious about what the new health care reform law means for you and your family? Wondering when certain key provisions of the law kick in -- and when you can take advantage of them? Wondering which options are best for you and yours? The government has launched a comprehensive new web site designed to walk you through these questions and much more.

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dan Gilbert's open letter to fans: James' decision a 'cowardly betrayal'

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert issued the following statement on LeBron James' departure from the franchise:

Dear Cleveland, all of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers supporters wherever you may be tonight:

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several-day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight: "I personally guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers will win an NBA Championship before the self-titled former 'king' wins one."

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that's simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our homegrown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch.

Sleep well, Cleveland. Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day...

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue...

Dan Gilbert
Majority Owner
Cleveland Cavaliers

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

LeBum: By rejecting his hometown team, LeBron James earns his slot on the Modell list of shame

LeBron James is free to go to Miami. He's free to market himself on ESPN. But fans in his hometown also are free to say he never should have embarrassed us by spurning Cleveland and the Cavs in front of a global audience.

One disappointed fan -- Thomas Johnson of Bridgeport, Conn. -- was prepared to express his opinion after LeBron James' announcement on Thursday night.

Check out this great piece on LeBron's unnecessarily public defection in the Plain Dealer by Bill Livingston. The LeBum is dead to the Zaftig Redhead, my friends. Not simply because he left, but because of how he did it -- and because he disappointed my mama. That's a no-no, and unforgivable.

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

What People Are Actually Doing With Their Cellphones

Also in Pew's research:

* 54% have used their mobile device to send someone a photo or video
* 23% have accessed a social networking site using their phone
* 20% have used their phone to watch a video
* 11% have purchased a product using their phone
* 11% have made a charitable donation by text message
* 10% have used their mobile phone to access a status update service such as Twitter
Read more:

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Deficit You're Freaking Out About Is Bush's Fault

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Great Gifts for Mother's Day: Video Stardom and $10,622

Mother's Day is just a few days away. This year, give your mom something she needs and deserves: equal pay. has developed a great Mother's Day video that you can customize and send to your mom and all the moms you know. Each mom you send the video to will see her name appear in a faux news story about them winning the "Mother of the Decade" award and will be lauded by Michelle Obama and Hollywood celebrities. Celebrating the achievements of mothers everywhere, this short, funny video also educates folks about economic issues facing all women.

Honor all the women in your life this Mother's Day by urging your senators to support the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182) and bring the bill to the floor for a vote. Imagine how happy your mom would be when she opened your gift: a giant check for $10,622, the gap between the median yearly earnings of men and women. Just think of all the things she could do with this! From paying for groceries and health care to investing in an education and saving for retirement, equal pay is the best gift that you could give the women in your life.

By supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act, you'll also be giving your mom -- and everyone who has a mom -- the gift of workplace fairness. Mom deserves the right to ask about her employer's wage practices and discuss her wages with coworkers without the fear of being fired. In addition, you'll give her the tools she needs to negotiate for fair pay and the protection of stronger federal enforcement efforts. Since her economic security throughout her lifespan is largely determined by her earnings, this truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

This recession makes pay equity even more important. With women now making up half of the workforce and more and more families dependent upon a woman's paycheck to make ends meet, ensuring that women are paid fairly is even more critical. Equal pay for equal work is not only crucial to most families' economic security, it's crucial to our nation's economic recovery. That's why it's so imperative that these tough economic times aren't used as an excuse to ignore pay discrimination.

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What has the Stimulus Bill Really Achieved?

Take this online quiz, and test your knowledge about the effects of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Football Player Sean Jones and Gold Medalist Al Joyner respond to Tebow Superbowl Ad

A new video from Planned Parenthood with some unusual suspects speaking out for women's reproductive rights.

Copyright 2009 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Raging Grannies Rip CBS Anti-Choice Super Bowl Ad

Copyright 2009 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.