Musings About Life... After Birth



Posted by Chelsea on July 29, 2008

I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican - if you’re a parent and are anything but disgusted by President Bush and the Republicans, you’re not paying attention. Here’s the deal:

In today’s Washington Post, there’s an article about how yesterday, Congressional negotiators agreed to a ban on a family of toxins found in children’s products. This ban will include three types of phthalates, which are found in plastics (they make plastic softer and more durable) commonly used in children’s toys, and to outlaw three other phthalates pending a study of their health effects in children and pregnant women. Why? Well, phthalates act as hormones and cause reproductive problems, especially in boys. Federally funded research found that male babies born to women with high levels of phthalates in their blood exhibited low sperm count, undescended testicles and other reproductive problems. Other studies have connected some phthalates to liver and kidney cancer. For purposes of global comparison, the European Union banned the six phthalates in question from children’s products in 1999 and more than a dozen other countries have done the same.

In a mind-blowing response, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said that President Bush opposes this ban. I’m going to repeat this and make it bold, because I want to make sure everyone gets this: President Bush opposes banning plastics that are harmful to children and pregnant women.

This makes me so angry that I am shaking. Shaking. Do I even need to explain why?

Joining President Bush on the deplorably disgusting list: (no shocker here) Exxon Mobil, which manufacturers the phthalate most frequently found in children’s toys. The company spent a chunk of its $22 million lobbying budget in the past 18 months to try to prevent this ban and try to get people to believe that banning phthalates may inadvertently expose children to greater risks, because manufacturers will be forced to use substitute chemicals that may be even more hazardous. Let me get this straight, Exxon Mobil: the U.S. should so allow toxic chemicals to be placed in kids’ toys because there’s a chance that whatever we decide to replace them with might end up being toxic too? Um, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and recommend we just go right on ahead and get rid of the stuff we know is highly toxic, mmmkay? I have faith that on he next go-‘round we’ll make sure that sperm and kidney-destroying chemicals aren’t allowed into rubber duckies. Seriously, how do these people sleep at night?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who sponsored the ban, said yesterday that the action is a first step toward moving the United States closer to the European model, where industry must prove the safety of a chemical before it is allowed on the market. Now seriously, doesn’t that make sense? Perhaps some prelim research prior to a chemical additive’s approval (as opposed to waiting until children suffer health consequences and THEN taking action) is a wise plan, no? Sadly, only the Democrats agree with her. Senate and House Republicans all voted against the ban, and you know why. Of course, the jerks at Exxon Mobil, etc. poured all kinds of obscene money into the Republicans’ re-election campaigns (check their campaign finance records - it’s publicly available info) in exchange for promises that they’d vote to oppose this ban. Really, how can we not be disgusted by the fact that our governmental representatives can and are willing to be bought at the expense of our safety - ESPECIALLY that of our kids?

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that do not hide the fact that I am a liberal. To me, however, this shouldn’t a partisan issue; liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, parent or not, you should support a ban on using toxic ingredients when making kids’ toys. The record is clear, though: the lawmakers against this ban are Republicans, and the ones supporting the ban are Democrats.

We must keep this in mind when we vote this November.


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Posted by Chelsea on March 30, 2008

First and foremost, the biggest, hugest thank you to reader Mona, who took it upon herself to up and photoshop that picture of me and the boys. Check out her handiwork:

Look, Ma - no tag!

How nice is that? Mona, you rule. Now, if you could only photoshop the post-pregnancy weight off of me in all of my other photos…..

In other news, my best friend Jessica, who has been my best friend since we were 8th graders (my, do we have some stuff on each other), is spending the year with her husband in China, courtesy of this cool opportunity she got with Google, the company for which she works. Anyway, it’s been kind of hard because China is like 13 hours ahead of me in my Eastern Standard time zone, so we rarely get to talk or google-chat. Luckily, there is email. In her latest report, she talked about how interesting Chinese culture is re: kids. She doesn’t yet have any of her own, but knows how into the subject I am, considering my profession both as Mom and parenting journalist. She writes:

“So, one of the different but really cool things here is how people are with their kids and other peoples’ kids. Since everyone can really only have one kid, people LOOOOOVE kids. LOVE them. And, in general, there is like, no violent crime here, but people especially really look out for little kids. So, if you’re at a park, restaurant or shop, you can really kind of let your kid run around and not worry about him. For example, last night we had dinner with some folks who also fairly recently moved here from Atlanta and who have an adorable 2 1/2 year old (Dillon). So we meet them at the (really nice) restaurant, and there is a kids playroom tucked away behind this like, frosted door. All of the waiters and waitresses were swooning over Dillon and
talking to him and playing with him. So he goes into the playroom, and we sit down to dinner. A few minutes later he comes out of the playroom and over to the table (totally by himself) and the waiter picks him up and helps him get settled in his high chair.  Can you imagine? And this is at a really cool, great restaurant - not one you would typically consider “family-friendly”. Nancy (Dillon’s mom) says it takes getting used to, but once you do it is awesome. And it was so fun - we got some adult-talking time when he would go to the playroom and we got some Dillon time when he came back. It’s a totally different approach but it was really cool to see.”

I’ve been saying that if a Democrat doesn’t get elected in ‘08, then I’m moving to Canada, but China might work too…

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Posted by Chelsea on January 03, 2008

In honor of today’s Iowa caucuses, here’s a quick little distraction to help you determine which Presidential candidate best falls in line with your personal beliefs:

Select a Candidate Quiz

Apparently, CT Senator Chris Dodd is my ideological twin (except when it comes to the issues of immigration and Social Security). And I always thought it was Carrie Bradshaw…..

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