Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 12.8

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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8 Comments

  1. I suspect that the fact Presidents look older like they are aging faster then the rest of us is mostly an illusion, and one that they encourage.

    For most people you see every day you don’t notice they look older this year then they did last year because you don’t have to go out of your way to see video of what they looked like last year. With a President you see him on the news every day, and most of those stories include video of him earlier in his career saying stuff. Any story about whether Obama flip-flopped on his commitment to a New Politics, is gonna have to include footage from his 2004 speech to the Democratic Convention.

    Moreover you’re seeing a President in the years where aging is most visible because hair color changes. In 8 years a 40-something is gonna get a lot grayer, a 60-something is probably gonna go from gray to white. OTOH a 70-something, 20-something, or 30-something is probably gonna have the same hair color. Presidents typically take office in their late 30s to early 60s.

    This is also something a President encourages. When first campaigning for the Presidency you want the image of a young man who is about to go to Washington and do great things. When you’ve been President for a few years you want to project the image of somebody who has actually done great things. In other words a President wants to go from looking like a young, virile person, to looking like a graybeard.

    Which means that if you’ve only gone 25% gray naturally after 6 years in the White House somebody is gonna suggest you dye your hair white so you’ll look less like a punk kid who just got his first job in retail, and more like the President who accomplished great things.

  2. I feel bad for all of these introverted loners who have been thrust into the presidency. They just want to just keep to themselves and live their lives without stress so you can see how being forced, on a daily basis, to divulge their privately held opinions and influence the 600 million of us who so callously swung the spotlight around to them without their consent.
    Wait, what? They asked to be elected? They like being in the spotlight? They actually thrive on that shit?
    Wow, never mind.

    And since when can one Secretary of Whatever overrlue a federal agency? Could the Ag Secretary decide on a whim that irrigation should no longer be allowed despite the protestations of the EPA? And if so why are these powerful people not subject to the vote?

    You peoplez are crazy!

    1. As the country grew, and the role of the federal government expanded, a great deal of authority became invested in the bureaucracy. Congress took on the duty of laying down broad rules and guidelines, which were then implemented by the agencies in the form of specific policies and so forth.

      As time has gone on, however, we’ve also had a shift of authority from the legislative to the executive branch. One result of this is that the Cabinet, which was once simply the President’s expert knowledge store, is now also responsible for implementing White House policy.

      Which is a long-winded way of saying that this sort of story makes me at least question my Obama vs. Clinton preference during the Democratic Primaries–Obama ultimately had to have okay’ed this action, which is an appalling betrayal of the women in the Democratic Party’s base, and this is one of the few areas where I’m fairly certain Clinton wouldn’t have made the same betrayal. (The first Clinton Administration, after all, was great for supporting abortion rights–it was the gay community they stabbed in the back.)

      1. The president just came out and said he didn’t intervene with the decision but that he agrees with it. The quote;

        “I will say this, as the father of two daughters. I think it is important for us to make sure that, you know, we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine.”

        Very disappointing and cowardly. Now I’m depressed.

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