POSTS WITH TAG: moms matter

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    America, today's the day! If you haven't yet signed up for health insurance, the deadline is TODAY. So head on over to HealthCare.gov and ... uh oh, whoops. Um, this is so embarrassing ... apparently HealthCare.gov went offline for six hours earlier this morning. Then it came back, stronger than ever! Except not so strong, because it crashed again around noon. Oh wait -- it's back up again now! Give it a try? At this point you have a 50-50 chance of being able to complete an application.

    Those of you who started an application only to have the website crash on you in the middle of the process, you should have received an invitation to try again. I believe it looked something like this ...

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    I know you’ll all be shocked to discover that the Obama Administration has changed the rules once again when it comes implementing the monstrosity known as the Affordable Care Act -- AKA ObamaCare.

    On Monday, officials announced another delay for the employer mandate -- the rule that says businesses of a certain size must provide health care coverage for their full time workers. They’d already pushed it back to 2015, but now they’ve decided that companies with 50-99 employees may wait until 2016 to implement the new law.

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    On MSNBC over the weekend, there was a panel on Melissa Harris-Perry's show in which they were doing a year-end wrap-up, since, you know, it’s the last week of 2013. So basically, the panelists were shown photos from this year and asked to caption them.

    Harris-Perry showed a photograph of Mitt and Ann Romney surrounded by their many grandchildren, including an adorable baby sitting on the Governor’s lap who happens to be adopted. Oh yeah, he’s black too.

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    During this week's Moms Matter Google Hangout, we tackle a question countless women have asked: What is the best age to start a family?

    According to a recent Gallup Poll, most women have their first child at 25. That's a reality I can't imagine since I was occasionally eating cereal for dinner at that point in my life. It's hard to know exactly when you're ready to take that plunge into parenthood, but your age should definitely factor into the decision. Some of your favorite writers from The Stir debate whether it's better to be a young mom or an older one. Check out their take on the controversial issue:

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    You've heard that old saying about good intentions, right? The road to hell is paved with them. And that's exactly where Col. Lynette Arnhart is sitting right now -- in a hell of a lot of trouble. The high ranking Army officer is behind the US military's "war" on pretty soldiers.

    To be honest, when I first heard that an Army officer had called for "more average-looking women" in public affairs materials, I figured it was a man. Perhaps that's sexist in and of itself, but as a woman, you'll excuse me for being a touch jaded about how often my gender is judged for our looks. When I found out Col. Arnhart was a female, her demands began to make more sense.

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    Ahh, President Obama ... the great Uniter in Chief. Or something. Remember when President Hopey-Changey was going to usher us into an era of butterflies and rainbows and free medical care for all? Things aren’t exactly working out like that, are they?

    The Obama Administration seems to have a tough time facing failure. Take senior communications strategist Dan Pfeiffer, who took to Twitter on Monday to bully a woman with stage-4 gallbladder cancer. The White House is now belittling a cancer patient. That’s what we’ve come to, America.

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    The police have issued a statement regarding their recent controversial arrest of a 16-year-old teen boy and his 21-year-old sister, Brenda Hardaway, who claims to be pregnant. The story garnered public notice when a video was released of the sister being arrested with what appears to be an undue amount of violence. In the video, she tells the officer she is pregnant as he attempts to cuff her. Eventually, the officer punches her in the head and moves her forcibly to the ground. The Rochester Police argue this claim, saying that their officers acted with "tremendous restraint."

    The reason the officers gave for their arrest tactics? They claim that the pregnant woman had pointed a can of pepper spray at them. However, if that is indeed what took place, it wasn't captured on the video which later made its way to YouTube.

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    It's been a big week for something near and dear to moms' hearts. Literally. Actress Angelina Jolie set off a firestorm of debate this week over testing for the BRCA gene, aka the "breast cancer gene," when she announced she'd not only been tested, but she'd undergone a double mastectomy too.

    It's a move some are calling brave, others stupid, while still others have been empowered by the celebrity mom's announcement to come out and talk about their feelings about whether or not women really need to know what could happen to their bodies decades into the future.

    So should moms be rushing to their doctors, begging to be tested so they know if they need to prepare their kids for the worst?

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    Mother's Day is back, and it's bigger than ever. Americans are expected to spend between $17.1 billion and $20.7 billion on mom this year. It's pretty clear America loves mom and Mother's Day. Or do we?

    This year there's been a backlash like never before against the decades-old holiday. Turning the second Sunday in May into a day for moms has been called out as everything from insensitive to non-parents to torture for folks with absent moms.

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    Oh man, a wave of standardized tests just hit our school kids the past few weeks. For some parents and kids, it's a nightmare. You may have read Lindsay Ferrier's post on her daughter's test stress and the Google Hangout conversation on school testing we had last week. It seems like every year, more and more parents are saying, "Let us off this crazy ride!" Well, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan admitted last week that he gets it. He said the criticism about testing "is merited."

    Duncan says he and his department are "spending a huge amount of time listening to ideas" about how to transition to the Common Core Standards. But ditching assessments is not one of those ideas -- he says testing will still happen. He's open to support "much better assessment," though. So what are they? Here are a few better school assessment ideas different education experts are pushing.

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