Renee Ellmers is getting busy in Congress, but don’t worry, she’s not actually suggesting solutions to any of our many problems. Grateful as I am for that, truly, I don’t feel this proposal is worthwhile. Naming the old post office on Fayetteville Street after Jesse Helms is an insult to fine architecture. Read More

Y’all! There’s so much to talk about, we haven’t caught up for some little while. I’m going to hit some highlights from around the web so that we can all be up-to-date. It’s not Coffee Tawk, but it’s the new Pulse equivalent.

First, Women’s eNews had an interesting piece on choosing a doctor. Do you go to the OB/GYN for primary care? Do you go to a primary care doctor for your annual pap smear? We all know how important it is to have regular checkups, I’m especially sensitive to this since my mother died of ovarian cancer. It doesn’t matter if all there is to see is a chipped tooth and bloody eyeball, someone’s got to look up your business every year. We live in a state where there are probably many women who only have access to one kind of doctor, if that, and still plenty who can’t go at all. But we’re lucky enough to live in an area where we might be able to influence this part of the problem: “While the Affordable Care Act provides some incentives for medical students to go into primary care and some incentives to incorporate mid-level providers, the current medical education system is still ‘incentivized to produce more specialists.’” Read More

What a night! As glad as I am that the campaigning is over – for now. For what, a couple months maybe? – I’m sorry that North Carolina has handed state government over to people who would like to take us backward environmentally, socially, and educationally. All we can do now is hope for the best. This is not heartening:

McCrory also plans to ‘pick the brains’ of other Republican governors, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley”

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Yesterday I read Gene Nichol’s great piece in the N&O about poverty in North Carolina. But, don’t worry, I don’t want to talk about that! I want to touch on the very first comment on the piece, which reads simply: “birth control.” Cryptic, yeah? I can only assume it’s offered in the same spirit with which a woman of my acquaintance (I swear, that’s all) told me that the birth control implant should be “given when people sign up for welfare.” I wish I could tell you that I replied brightly, “Free birth control sounds great!” Or, “I don’t think it’ll do much for the gents!” Or, even, “Huh?” The sad truth is that I sat there staring dumbly, wondering to myself who in the Sam Hell could think a Prius driver from Chapel Hill would be receptive to welfare mom smackdowns? People! Read More

It’s so nice to be back among you, posting again. Or, in my mother-in-law’s words, sending my comments to the Internet. (Congratulations, you’re the whole internet now!) I’ve been in a bit of funk about the state of things lately. When we have elections and we can’t agree on the issues, I get a bit worried. I know we don’t all agree on gun control, for instance, but it turns out that it’s entirely possible to deny that gun violence is even a problem in our country. Likewise, climate change. It seems some people still think it’s either a) a hoax, or b) not caused by human activity if it is real, which makes me wonder how we’ll ever get serious about changing it. This is not even to speak of the “women’s issues” like contraception and abortion. Silly me thought those were for-real economic matters that affect the whole nation, but obviously they’re just for girls. Economics is for big, strong men and a lot of them are wondering why us gals can’t shut up about our hoo-hoos. Finally, even in the middle of a meningitis outbreak that, hello, demonstrates the crucial need for national and state inspectors, we’re still talking about how “government” is “too big.” I thought government comprised a lot of different people doing a wide variety of important work, but, no, it’s just a thing that provides too many jobs to people who don’t deserve them. Is that right? I’ve never been real clear on the whole philosophy. Read More