Blog Posts by U. S. News & World Report

  • After Taking on Komen, Planned Parenthood Aims Guns at Romney

    By Mary Kate Cary

    If you look at Planned Parenthood's most recent annual report, amid the number of sexually transmitted disease tests it performed (3.5 million), number of women for whom it provided contraception (2.2 million), and the number of "breast exams/breast care" procedures (747,000; no mention of mammograms), you'll find these two facts:

    1. In 2010, Planned Parenthood performed over 329,000 abortions, which is about a third of all abortions in the United States. That same year, it gave 841 adoption referrals.
    2. The biggest percentage of its revenues-$487 million out of a $1.04 billion budget, or 46 percent of its revenues-comes from "government health services grants and reimbursements."

    It's easy to see why some might question whether the largest abortion provider in the United States uses government funds to perform abortions. And it's easy to see why Planned Parenthood might feel threatened by that question.

    [See a collection of political cartoons on the

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  • Women, Obama, Romney, and the Polls: It's Complicated

    By Leslie Marshall

    There's an old song called "Spinning Wheel" from back in the day and one of the lines is "what goes up, must come down." That is so true if you look at the polls during this residential election. They seem to change hourly and many of them completely contradict one another.

    Take for example the CBS/New York Times poll showing Mitt Romney up by 2 percent over President Obama with women. Gallup shows the president up by 8 percent over Romney, and many other polls show the president doing much better among female voters than Mitt Romney.

    [See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.]

    Now of course different polls use different methodology. Some use robocalls, some use live person-to-person callers. (The latter I feel are more accurate.) Could the president have lost so many female voters in a day or so?! He could have, but that isn't very likely.

    Now those on the right will argue that the president's support of gay marriage is the

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  • Coddling Moms Aren't Helping Their Kids

    By Susan Milligan

    In the run-up to Mother's Day, we have been predictably inundated with stories of women who give up everything to make things easier for their children. There's Clueless actor Alicia Silverstone, who chews her child's food and spits it into his mouth, as though he's a baby bird. Then there was the woman who was on the cover of Time, shown breast-feeding a child who looks old enough to chew barbequed ribs. Most of the rest of the stories are less provocative, extolling women who gave up such selfish pursuits as a career and adult personal life to cater to her children.

    Me, I called my mother on Mother's Day and thanked her for not being quite so easy on me. Or more to the point, I thanked her for doing her job as a parent.

    [Read Susan Milligan: Don't Discourage Girls from Soccer to 'Protect' Them]

    Listen at the park or mall, and you'll hear parents tell their children they are "special," that they are prettier, smarter and just better than other

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  • Female Athletes and Concussions: Prevent the Injuries, Don't Stop the Sport

    By Susan Milligan

    MSNBC has done a terrific story on the problem of concussions for school-age female soccer players. Girls, the experts the network interviewed, are particularly vulnerable to concussions, second only to football players in terms of risk.

    But what's disappointing is the questions the reporters raised to the players and their parents: Why take the risk? Why continue to play the game?

    [Slide Show: When Sports and Politics Collide.]

    We're not talking about skydiving here, or drag racing. This is a sport. It is a contact sport. Girls and women are more than capable of playing competitive, contact sports. The rules of the game, as well as the equipment used, should be designed to protect the players (male or female) against concussions and other damaging injuries. But why even suggest that the girls just give up soccer?

    Yes, it's true that the whole soccer culture has gotten a little out of control, with parents getting as involved in the play as their

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  • Obama's Old Girlfriend: A Biographer's Dream

    By Jamie Stiehm

    No ordinary girlfriend, Genevieve Cook is a biographer's dream.

    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce's autobiographical coming of age novel, captured the growing pains of a writer in Dublin a century ago. Now we have a brilliantly insightful portrait of the president as a young man making his way in the human ocean of New York, seen through the eyes of a 25-year-old woman who loved him. Barack Obama was then a Columbia College graduate who felt like a stranger and sojourner in the city.

    Bestselling author David Maraniss, while at work on a magisterial biography of Barack Obama, had the good fortune to meet someone very close to the president at a turning point in his life. And she had more than memories-she had her spot-on diaries, in black and white, which she entrusted to Maraniss for the forthcoming Barack Obama: The Story.

    [See the latest political cartoons.]

    Genevieve was a senior when I was a sophomore at Swarthmore

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  • Popular Kids' Drinks to Avoid

    By Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil

    As childhood obesity rates continue to balloon, sugary beverages are emerging as a prime culprit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sweetened beverages are the largest source of empty carbs, in the form of added sugars, in children's diets, and the extra calories are helping to expand young waistlines.

    [See: Is Child Obesity an Infectious Disease?]

    Even among adults, sugary drinks have been linked to not-so-sweet effects that include weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and heart problems. A recent study in the journal Circulation suggests that men who drink 12 or more ounces of a sugar-sweetened beverage a day are 20 percent more likely to develop heart disease than men are who abstain. Most Americans--including kids--get too much sugar. The AHA recommends that men get a total of no more than 36 grams of sugar a day, the equivalent of 9 teaspoons, and that women get no more than two-thirds that much. Children are advised to

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  • The Despicable Behavior of John Edwards

    By Susan Milligan

    It takes quite an effort to make Rush Limbaugh look like a feminist.

    But oh, John Edwards has done it. The failed candidate for both president and vice president had an affair with a woman who approached him on the 2008 campaign trail (even though his wife was sick with cancer), and-when he was told that the girlfriend was pregnant with their child-referred to her, according to a former aide, as a "crazy slut."

    [See a slide show of famous political sex scandals.]

    Mind you, this is not some anonymous person or activist Edwards was deriding. This was, according to court testimony by Andrew Young, a former Edwards campaign aide, the woman he had been having sex with, all the while his wife, Elizabeth, was battling cancer. It makes Limbaugh's descriptions of a Georgetown law student as being a "slut" and "prostitute" look positively polite in comparison.

    Edwards, according to Young, told his aide to "take care of it," and then hatched a scheme to

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  • The Art of Coaching Kids

    By Scott Galupo

    I was riveted by two blog posts over the weekend, by Rod Dreher and David Kuo. Both involve the trials and tribulations of parenting and youth sports.

    Dreher had just endured watching his eight-year-old son's baseball team suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of a team that apparently cherry-picks its players and felt no shame in running up the score:

    These are little children who are trying to learn how to play the game of baseball, and to love it. As much as it hurts my heart that my kid is so busted up - not about losing, but about the humiliating margin of their loss - I am more proud that my son was on the losing team today than on the winning team, given how ugly they won. It was shameful. Things have changed since I was a kid in the summer leagues here.

    Kuo, meanwhile, was filled with remorse over coming down too hard, however briefly and half-heartedly, on his four-year-old son, who'd taken to the soccer field for his first game:

    My

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  • The Real Losers in the Hilary Rosen-Ann Romney Fight

    By Susan Milligan

    It appears that the manufactured fight between Ann Romney and Hilary Rosen is just about over. And, as unfortunately happens in such cases, all women ended up being the losers.

    There was a chance that the overwhelmingly-male candidates for state and federal office would have had to take a look at some tough issues affecting women. Why hasn't the Violence Against Women Act been extended? Why did mostly men lose their jobs during the recession (the "mancession," it was called), but men overwhelmingly were given the jobs that came back in the recovery? Why do women still only earn less than 80 percent of what men do? And why isn't contraception understood to be basic healthcare for women, who cannot plan their lives and certainly not their career, without the choice of using it?

    [Read the U.S. News debate: Should the Violence Against Women Act Be Reauthorized?]

    Those are good questions, but they've been pushed aside by a more media-titillating

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  • Why You're Not Getting Job Offers

    By Alison Green

    Frustrated with your job search? Are you sending out tons of resumes, and maybe even getting interviews, but not any offers? Here are eight possible reasons why:

    1. Your resume doesn't indicate anything about your work beyond your job descriptions. In a market flooded with qualified candidates, your resume should show your track record of high achievement. That means that it shouldn't just list duties and responsibilities; it needs to emphasize your accomplishments in each role.

    2. Your cover letter puts hiring managers to sleep. If your cover letter just summarizes the same information found on your resume, there's no need for an employer to read it. Instead, your cover letter should take advantage of the opportunity to present employers with additional information: Show personal interest in working for this particular organization and in this particular job, and explain why you'd excel at it without simply reciting your employment history.

    3. You don't

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