Feel The News, April 12, 2012

At any time, President Obama could issue an executive order that will prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in federal contracting. Gay people would like to see that happen, but the administration punted this week, insisting they want a legislative solution.

Gay advocacy groups were disappointed with the decision, particularly since the order had already been approved by the Departments of Labor and Justice and would have expanded employment protections for up to 16 million Americans.

White House spokesperson Jay Carney was asked if it was “a political calculation.”

CARNEY: Absolutely not, the president is committed to securing equal rights for LGBT Americans, and that is why he has long supported ENDA….The approach we’re taking at this time is try to build support for passage of this legislation, a comprehensive approach, to legislate on the issue of non-discrimination.

Translation: you know we like the gays, we just can’t have the President’s fingerprints all over this during an election year.

From the “duh, we coulda told you that” department: Homophobia is more pronounced in individuals with an unacknowledged attraction to the same sex and who grew up with authoritarian parents who forbade such desires, a series of psychology studies demonstrates.

“Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves,” explains Netta Weinstein, a lecturer at the University of Essex and the study’s lead author.

“In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward,” adds co-author Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester who helped direct the research.

Bad news for this sedentary blogger: Sitting a lot is unhealthy.  Australian researchers compared medical records and lifestyle questionnaires for more than 220,0000 Australian adults 45 and older, and  found that the more hours the men and women sat every day, the greater their chance of dying prematurely.

Those people who sat more than eight hours a day — which other studies have found is about the amount that a typical American sits — had a 15 percent greater risk of dying during the study’s three-year follow-up period than people who sat for fewer than four hours a day.

That increased risk held true even if the people sitting eight hours a day spent at least part of that day exercising.

It is likely that there are at least as many adult Americans with student-loan debts outstanding as there are living bachelor’s degree recipients who ever took out student loans.

Moreover, this debt is not all held by young persons who face a likely upward trajectory in their earnings over time. Roughly 40 percent of borrowers are over 40, and many even are over 50–people hoping to retire in another decade or so.

And finally, a little smile for you.

three-month-old baby white-handed gibbon named "Knuppy"

A zoo keeper feeds a three-month-old baby white-handed gibbon named “Knuppy” at the zoo in the northern German city of Bremen on April 9, 2012. The animals are found in Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand. By Ingo Wagner/AFP/Getty Images.


2 responses

  1. //Translation: you know we like the gays, we just can’t have the President’s fingerprints all over this during an election year.//

    I realize this is a rather disgusting truth, but he can’t help us if he doesn’t get elected. While I don’t like the fact that this sort of political tango is necessary, I’m realistic enough to know that he needs to dance if he’s gonna have a second term.

  2. I understand. But, *sigh*.

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