Congress Versus Hobbit – NYTimes.com

Gail Collins

Come back! This is going to be really interesting. Or at least I will try to trick you into feeling that it’s interesting by making copious references to popular culture.

We should begin with Representative Dave Camp, a Republican from Michigan who is the current chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Camp has been on a quest to make the tax system cleaner and simpler. In this matter we might think of him as a Hobbit, facing great danger in his search for the golden W-2 form.

“I aim to launch and fight the tax reform battle once again,” Camp announced, rather grandly. After many, many hearings and discussions, he unveiled a proposal to reduce the nation’s high corporate tax rate by eliminating loopholes that allow a number of corporations to avoid paying anything at all.

Continue reading Congress Versus Hobbit – NYTimes.com

“Eat Less, Exercise More” Isn’t The Answer For Weight Loss | TIME

By Alexandra Sifferlin (@acsifferlin}

Experts make an argument for why we should stop counting calories

You’ve heard it before: To lose weight, simply eat less and exercise more. In theory, that makes sense. Actually, it’s not just in theory—science has proven that burning more calories than you consume will result in weight loss. But the trouble is that this only has short-term results. For long-term weight loss, it simply doesn’t work, say renowned obesity experts in a recent JAMA commentary.

Ultimately their argument is this: stop counting calories. “We intuitively know that eat less exercise more doesn’t work. It’s such simple advice that if it worked, my colleagues and I would be out of job,” says Dr. David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. “The uncomfortable fact is that an exceedingly small number of people can lose a substantial amount of weight and keep it off following that advice.”

Blaming excess weight on people simply not changing their eating habits goes back thousands of years. Sloth and gluttony are two of the seven deadly sins, after all. But Ludwig and Dr. Mark L. Friedman of the Nutrition Science Initiative in San Diego, argue that this mindset disregards decades of research on the biological factors that control body weight. And they are not just talking about the role genetics play. They say we should stop viewing weight as something separate from other biological functions—like hormones and hunger and the effects of what foods we eat, not just how much of them.

Continue reading “Eat Less, Exercise More” Isn’t The Answer For Weight Loss | TIME

Not Just a Book: “Legacies, a Guide for Young Black Women in Planning Their Future”

Myrdith Leon Mccormack @BrandMeBookMe

This past month proved to be the most thought provoking for me in more ways than one.

My mother turned 77 and we laughed and joked about how time flies and how it is my turn now to experience the challenges of motherhood and the blessings and rewards that come with it.

My mother was born in Haiti to Haitian parents, and I had always thought our roots were only that of African and French people. But through our conversation, I found out that Spaniard blood runs through our family bloodline as well.

This new knowledge led me to do further researcher and to contact my dear friend Dolly Turner, who gifted me a piece of literature I will cherish and pass onto my children, Legacies, A Guide For Young Black Women Planning Their Future.

The stories in this book are designed to educate and motivate our children of all colors (and even adults) on black heritage, roots and the entire black race. The book is a combination of stories told by sixteen African Queens and almost forty successful black women.

Continue reading Not Just a Book: “Legacies, a Guide for Young Black Women in Planning Their Future”

@Wonkblog: What our reasons for moving say about the state of the economy

By Emily Badger

The decision to move is an intensely personal and revealing one. We move homes because we lost a job or found a new one, because a new child was born or an older one finally left for college. We move because we have to, following a foreclosure, or because we can afford to, in search of a nicer place.

So many of life’s milestones — good or bad, qualifying for a first mortgage, surviving a hurricane — are accompanied by a moving van. In the aggregate, this means that we can add up all of the reasons why Americans move in a given year and glean something about what’s going on in their lives, and even, by extension, the economy.

Take the the 35.9 million people who moved between 2012 and 2013, according to the Census Bureau — either just down the block, into a new county or much farther away. Data from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey reveals that, among their householders, 8.4 percent moved last year in search of cheaper housing. According to the data, 1.8 percent moved because of a foreclosure or eviction. Asked to pick the one reason that most contributed to their decision to move, 1.6 percent said they moved to look for work or because they lost a job.

Continue reading @Wonkblog: What our reasons for moving say about the state of the economy

Answers To Life, The Universe, And Everything