Aug 022012

From Hillary-care to Obama-care

By Cannon-Marie Green Milby

On October 4, 1957, the U.S.S.R. sent Sputnik, the first rocket-powered satellite, into orbit. The U.S. had been beaten to the punch and now feared that it was no longer number one in technological advances. In the weeks that followed, Newsweek warned that, unless the West stepped up its scientific development, Russia would be ahead in almost all fields in a few years. The U.S. Office of Education also published a study showing that Russia outranked the U.S. in every aspect of scientific and technological education. American education underwent a makeover, and the 22 million children born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1951 found themselves with the weight of the free world on their shoulders.

Fifty-five years after Sputnik, the children from 1957 have grown up and now represent the largest aging population the American health care system has ever faced. The United States leads the world in health care spending, which takes place within a system that excludes people from basic health insurance coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions. Though the reasons may be different from the early days of the Cold War, the need for advancing science—and strong science education—is as urgent today: we will not solve the health crisis in the U.S. without it. However, in 2009 American students ranked twenty-fifth in the world in science and math.

Innovative science won’t fully address the looming health care crisis, though. We also need better public policy about heath care. Continue reading »

Jun 062012

By Cannon-Marie Green Milby and Beth Connors-Manke

On April 28, 2012, Kentucky Protest Against the War on Women held a rally in front of the Fayette County Circuit Court.

“We are all aware of the draconian laws being introduced and often passed in many GOP run states,” the group said on its Facebook event page. “Now this war on women has reached our Congress. We represent the majority in this Country and need to make our voices heard.”

The protest was part of a nationwide event sponsored by , a grassroots organization created in February 2012 by Karen Teegarden and Desiree Jordan. The mission of Unite Women is to help defend women’s rights and pursuit of equality. The organization takes a two-pronged approach: ‘Main Street USA,’ a public outreach campaign, and ‘Legislative Action,’ a targeted campaign. Local protests on April 28, like the one in Lexington, set their own agendas and picked key issues.

The Kentucky protestors raised the issues of domestic violence, rape, reproductive freedom, and abortion. Demonstrators thrust coat hangers in the air, shouting “we won’t go back,” and carried signs saying “reproductive freedom is a human right,” “keep your Mitt(s) off my birth control,” and “[w]e are the 53%.”

Judy Gatton Prats at the Kentucky Protest Against the War on Women. Photo by Keith Reed.

Continue reading »

May 022012

By Cannon-Marie Green Milby and Jonathan S. Milby 

In early April, struggling to connect with women voters and trailing President Obama by 19 percent in approval ratings among women, presidential candidate Mitt Romney introduced his wife Ann as his advisor on “women’s economic issues.”

On April 11, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen landed herself at the top of the list of “most hated” women in America by stating on Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees that, “What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, ‘Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife that’s what I’m hearing.’ Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why we worry about their future.”

When Rosen questioned Ann Romney’s qualifications to be an advisor on women’s economic issues, Rosen shattered the safekeeping of women in presidential politics.  In the words of Linda DiVall, a Republican pollster, it was “unbelievably shocking to hear another woman talk about Ann Romney in such a way.” Evidently, it has been hard for the public and pundits alike to come to terms with women disagreeing with each other.

The message taken away from Rosen’s answer to Cooper’s question was that stay-at-home mothers do not work. However, Rosen was actually arguing that Mitt Romney does not take women seriously, and she was right. Continue reading »