What we’re reading


One of the most hard-hitting questions of our time has now been answered: “Why Is The Dollar Sign A Letter S?”

The New Republic’s “Labor Pains” discusses the disproportionately negative effect outdated maternity leave policies have on women in the job market. Most shocking is a chart outlining the amount of time guaranteed for maternity leave and the percentage of salary compensation during maternity leave by country. The U.S. doesn’t fare too well…

President Obama sparked debate with his comments at the National Prayer Breakfast on the historical role of religion in justifying conflict. Ralph Peters wrote “Jihadis 14, Crusaders 2” for the National Review Online criticizing Obama for his comments and suggesting that everybody “try reading a book or two on the subject.” The Atlantic published “The Foolish, Historically Illiterate, Incredible Response to Obama’s Prayer Breakfast Speech,” a response to Peters which hits close to home on the topic.

Looking to get your SNL fix? Check out Gotham‘s interviews with the current cast of the 40th season of the show.

And if you think same-sex marriage is only the beginning of the gay rights movement, you’re definitely in agreement with Frank Bruni, the Times columnist responsible for “Do Gays Unsettle You?” The article is a look at whether or not cultural mores are keeping up with the rapid pace of same-sex marriage legalization.

Finally, if your summer job search isn’t going so hot, consider going into sports betting–it seems to be working out pretty well for Billy Walters. “A Life On The Line” goes in-depth into the life of perhaps one of the most famous and controversial sports bettors to ever live.

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Barack Obama wins 2012 presidential race

Time-waster(s) of the day: Election Day edition

After an exhausting saga riddled with false conclusions, the election cycle finally comes to a definitive close tonight. This means no more speculating, debating or anxious poll-poring. It’s time to stop focusing on binders of women. All that’s left to do is vote and wait for the results.

But where’s the fun in that? We have only a few precious hours left to enjoy the often absurd, always entertaining theater that is the American Presidential election–drink it in! If you’re a hardened poll junkie, revel in your final chance to extrapolate from the data found on sites like the no-nonsense RealClearPolitics. For hardcore economics majors, here is a more detailed comparison of the candidates’ economic plans. If you’re a prospective political scientist, peruse the analysis of intelligent blogs like The Monkey Cage and FiveThirtyEight. Use your last chance to consider every possible outcome on interactive sites like 512 Paths to the White House and 270ToWin. Finally, once the results start coming in and you’re a few beers into your election drinking game, you’ll want to catch Jon and Steve’s streaming live coverage. This only happens once every four years–take advantage of it. And feel free to add your favorite election-related time-waster in a comment!

Note: Guilt-free usage of these time-wasters is only permitted to those who actually voted. 

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Brown Market Shares Program & The White House!

Campus Champions of Change Challenge, a program initiated in the fall of 2011, is a White House- (and mtvU-) sponsored competition to spotlight student-led community projects on campuses across the country. And guess who’s in the race this year? Brown’s very own Market Shares Program!

Here’s how the challenge works: thousands of students and student groups across the nation are welcome to submit their programs to the White House Office of Public Engagement, which then chooses 15 finalists that best embody positive change in the campus community and move toward “helping America win the future.” Isn’t that vague nice? The vote to determine the top five finalists is open to the public — that means you have a say!

Of the 15 projects, the five finalists with the most votes are invited to the White House and will be featured on mtvU. Let’s show America what we’ve got: vote to help send Brown Market Shares to DC! Don’t know what Brown Market Shares is all about? Read on!

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Yes we can, Waterman

Guards abandoned their Sciences Library posts, and studiers ran down from the stacks. Sports teams crowded the sidewalks of Waterman Street at the corner of Thayer on their walk back from the OMAC. A RIPTA bus stood stalled on Thayer, and passersby stopped and stared. All for what? A 30-second drive-by by at least 20 vehicles, 12 motorcycles and one limo with tinted windows, with President Obama waving from inside.

At approximately 6:35 p.m., on his trip back from a speech at the Rhode Island Convention Center, Obama and his motorcade flew down Waterman Street on their way to a dinner and jack-o-lantern making event at a home on the East Side.

Earlier in the day, Obama spoke at a buckle factory in Woonsocket, R.I.

In time for his visit to the Ocean State, he announced he would not endorse a candidate in the state’s gubernatorial race. Democrat Frank Caprio was hoping for a nod, but Obama “decided against issuing an endorsement in the race for Rhode Island governor due to his feelings toward ‘his friend Lincoln Chafee,’ ” independent candidate and former U.S. Senator, according to the Providence Journal. “I never asked President Obama for his endorsement,” Caprio said, in a radio interview this morning. “He can take his endorsement and really shove it, as far as I’m concerned.”

Check tomorrow’s Herald for more on Obama’s Lil’ Rhody appearance.

Obama’s speech: “The End of the Combat Mission in Iraq”

You might have heard that President Obama gave a speech two nights ago entitled “The End of the Combat Mission in Iraq.” Here it is if you haven’t already watched it and want to start off the semester by impressing that Political Science professor.

In the video, President Obama said that he made a promise during his campaign, and that this was his fulfillment of that process. He also said that all U.S. troops will leave by the end of next year. He discusses the future involvement of the U.S. with Iraq, and what this means domestically, as well.