is an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights and serves on the advisory board of the You Can Play Project that his other son, he devised the concept and then developed (with some help from Australia) the game “. Zombies” in which a swarm of aliens attacks a boy in a treehouse, BuzzFeed’s?reports that they’re divided on what Congress should actually do Democracy for America the grassroots organizing group that grew out of the Howard Dean presidential campaign sent a remarkable e-mail to its members explaining why the group is refraining from taking a position:“Thoughts are still coming in but after our team reviewed responses from over 40000 DFA members…only one thing was clear” reads the email from Jim Dean Howard’s brother and DFA’s chair “We are not united as a community And if we tried to call for one united action in response we’d be dividing our members — instead of uniting behind them”Adam Green the co-founder of theProgressive Change Campaign Committee told McMorris-Santorohis group was still “getting [our] head around it all” pointing to a New Yorker article by George Packer titled “” that captures the liberal ambivalence about a possible attackThe truth is this division is nothing new on the left but was obscured by the near-unanimity against the Iraq war But with a Democrat in the White House things are much more complicatedPrivate conversations with progressive activists and operatives reveal liberals are pulled between three desires: 1) There are the “” who want to strengthen international human rights and non-proliferation norms and try to stop the suffering; 2) There’s an anti-war camp which wants to avoid another violent foreign entanglement; and 3) There’s a desire from some to support the president who has staked his reputation at home and abroad on a vote to authorize the use of forceRemember it was liberals (including ) who spearheaded the humanitarian military interventions of the 1990s and sought to strengthen the international human rights regime with tools like the “” which creates a legal requirement for countries to use force to stop war crimes And in the mid-2000s it was largely liberals who pushed the Bush administration to intervene in Darfur Sudan especially the type of young educated tech-savvy? including liberal icon Nancy Pelosi, which ostensibly was intended as an expression of praise rather than commentary on his "dance" partner Apparently Thickes wife actress Paula Patton was also fine with the performanceSo who are we to protest Who are we not toBy far the best commentary in the picture-worth-a-thousand-words category was Maybe she was thinking about her next dental appointment but her expression of utter ennui spoke for me and doubtless others The usual critiques have included mockery of the right wing which apparently includes anyone who cares about the culture were providing our children But other commentary makes one hopeful that we may be experiencing a broader desire for greater decorum Call it postmodern prudery This is possibly a false hope I concede but theres some basis for imagining that the pendulum might find its way back toward civilizations center Even by the dubious standards of MTV Cyruss performance was widely considered over the top Or should we say under the bottom At a reported rate of during the broadcast viewers tweeted reactions that included shock and outrage Not all obviously but enough to suggest a tipping point in Americas slow decline into prurient voyeurism This is not the first offensive display and probably not even the worst I pretend to no authority but have seen enough to know that MTV videos often resemble soft-porn mini-movies Children marinating in a culture of online porn sexting rainbow parties and worse have little experience with other ways of relating emotionallyHard to believe I know but there was once a time when entertainers could get through a song without actually touching themselves Or simulating fellatio as Cyrus did The impulse to replicate animal behavior now called "twerking" (the lascivious gyrating of ones fleshy extremities according to my handy slang dictionary) now is mainstream entertainment So inured have we become to grotesque behavior that even a congressmans sexting expeditions were at least initially blithely disregarded as errors in judgment The notion of community standards meanwhile has become quaintly irrelevant How does one impose standards when almost every citizen has his own videocam and vast audiences can be summoned with a tweet One doesnt In free societies the call to civilized behavior is strictly voluntary Like democracy it has to be willed by the people by community consentTo that end Cyrus inadvertently may have performed a public service She didnt just tip the point she forced the shark to jump the shark There are only so many ways to shake ones booty after all Everybody has a tongue Sex is universal Given those circumstances whats a girl gotta do to get attentionThe grinding image of Cyrus playing nasty while sticking out her tongue at the world ultimately was mostly sad and as Rihanna so perfectly projected kind of boring Provocation for the sake of provocation is rarely provocative And sex in the hands of a Cyrus-gone-wild has all the appeal of rutting season at the zoo Whither mysteryEven posing such a question usually invites dismissal as out-of-touch old-fogery The planets young having discovered sex anew have always imagined their predecessors as hopelessly square forgetting until they themselves become parents that certain acts of passion were involved in their invitation to the circus This time may be different This time even the young are offended Just possibly America has had enough When all things are permissible then permissiveness loses its allure And the pendulum always comes back Read more from or Rinse the tomatoes in cold water then dry them with paper towels. Cool completely.Isidore, It’s a matter of distinguishing between sustained winds (found anywhere in the storm) of 60kts and 65kts. All other features can be virtually identical but that single number determines its statusEven with aircraft reconnaissance that measurement can be uncertain? She has also edited or co-edited several books, She is the editor and publisher of magazine and writes the "" blog there. We need to focus our energies on a smaller number of blogs that draw the majority of the traffic, Your comments,The Postal Board of Governors is scheduled to meet behind closed doors Thursday to consider a path to solvency for the money-losingthat includesa potential price increase that’s alarming mailers of newspapers and magazines advertising and other bulk correspondenceThe occasion for a possible “exigent rate increase” above the annual rate adjustment for mail that’s capped by the Consumer Price Index comes in the aftermath of the Postal Service’s failed effort earlier this year to eliminate Saturday delivery of letters without congressional approvalAfter Congress balked at the move — and with passage of legislation to shore up the agency’s finances looking like a long-shot in the near term — the board of governors directed postal officials to look into other measures to cut costs and raise revenue One of those options is a rate increase that could put direct mailers on the hook for hundreds of millions of new dollars a year if it is approvedDavid Partenheimer a postal service spokesman said in a statement Wednesday that the governors “Continue to explore the possibility of filing for price adjustments later this year No final decisions have been made”But the mailing industry has mounted a public relations offensive against what it predicts could be a steep rate increase request arguing to the board and in the media that raising prices is premature and would hurt their business and ultimately the Postal Service“Increasing rates cannot be part of a sustainable solution because this will add to the Postal Service’s structural deficit problem by driving more postal volume to e-commerce competitors” Rafe Morrissey vice president for postal affairs for the Greeting Card Association said in a statement The association represents 200 greeting card publishers and says the Postal Service delivers 60 percent of the close to 7 billion cards sold annuallyThe Affordable Mail Alliance which represents direct marketers and catalog mailers wrote last week to Postal Board Chairman Mickey Burnett warning of similar consequences — that mail volume and postal revenue would plummetThe Postal Service can ask for an “exigent” rate increase only in “extraordinary or exceptional circumstances” according to a governing many postal operations The request must then be approved by the The commission turned down the agency’s request for a 56 percent exigent increase in 2010 agreeing that the recession the exceptional circumstance claimed by postal officials had hurt postal revenues but disagreeing that the hike was needed to keep the agency in business The Postal Service filed suit against the regulatory commission but the court upheld the commission’s determinationFrom the Postal Service’s point of view turning to business mailers is the kind of reform that could help recoup multibillion-dollar losses in recent years as first-class mail volume plummets and the agency must prepay billions of dollars in health costs for future retirees Congress has so far failed to enact legislation to help stem the losses June 4 2011 (The White House later corrected the presidents statement to 77 cents)"Women earn only 77 cents for every dollar men earn with women of color at an even greater disadvantage with 64 cents on the dollar for African American women and 56 cents for Hispanic women" White House on Paycheck Fairness Act June 4The debate over the latest legislation to address the gap in pay between men and women is a great opportunity to explore the various ways these data are collected and often used for political purposes There is no perfect source of data the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics come up with different numbers even though they can draw on similar data sets but often advocates of action will tend to pick the worst possible figure to advance their causeWe will ignore the presidents misstatement and assume he meant to say 77 cents (We dont play gotcha at The Fact Checker) But we also will probe how Obama and the White House come up with the claim that the gap is "worse" for black and Hispanic women The FactsWe were struck by the disparities in the data when we noticed that a news release by Sen Barbara Mikulski (D-Md) trumpeted the 77 cent figure but it included that gave a different overall figure: 81 cents Whats the difference The 77 cent figure comes from which is based on annual wages The draw on data that are based on weekly wages Annual wages is a broader measure it can include bonuses retirement pensions investment income and the like but it also means that school teachers who may not work over the summer would end up with a lower annual wage In other words since women in general work fewer hours than men in a year the statistics may be less reliable for examining the key focus of the legislation wage discrimination Weekly wages is more of an apples-to-apples comparison but as mentioned it does not include as many income categories The gap is even smaller when you look at hourly wages it is 86 cents vs 100 () but then not every wage earner is paid on an hourly basis so that statistic excludes salaried workers But under this metric for people with a college degree there is virtually no pay gap at allThis brings us to our larger point: Broad comparisons are inherently problematic As the BLS points out: "Users should note that the comparisons of earnings in this report are on a broad level and do not control for many factors that may be significant in explaining earnings differences"Indeed economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis and concluded that "research suggests that the actual gender wage gap (when female workers are compared with male workers who have similar characteristics) is much lower than the raw wage gap" They cited one survey which concluded that when such differences are accounted for much of the hourly wage gap dwindled to about 5 cents on the dollar (UPDATE: Our colleagues at WonkBlog that the gap narrows to 91 cents for every dollar "if you control for life choices")Not only did the White House pick the statistic that makes the wage gap look the worst but then officials further tweaked the numbers to make the situation for African Americans and Hispanics look even more dire The BLS for instance says the pay gap is relatively small for black and Hispanic women (94 cents and 91 cents respectively) but the numbers used by the White House compare their wages against the wages of white men Black and Hispanic men generally earn less than white men so the White House comparison makes the pay gap even larger even though the factors for that gap between minority women and white men may have little to do with gender Administration officials who insisted on anonymity and would not allow direct quotes defended their use of the data They said the Census figures give a more complete picture of womens contribution to household finances They also said it made much more sense to compare black and Hispanic women to white men because those wages represent the standard that all workers should aspire toThe officials said the administration has never argued that wage discrimination is 100 percent the cause of the gap and that previous documents issued by the White House have made it clear that the comparisons were being made to white men (Mikulskis office meanwhile said it would no longer use the chart indicating a smaller gender pay gap)For people interested in more information the Institute for Womens Policy Research has put together a handy guide showing some of the differences between some of the data sets (UPDATE: Heidi Hartmann of the IWPR on June 13 wrote saying "there is nothing at all misleading or biased" about Obamas use of the figures)The Pinocchio TestWith so many choices of data from legitimate sources it is no wonder that the White House would choose the data set that best makes its case that the gender gap is large But the presidents phrasing "Women still earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns" suggests it is much more a straight line comparison of wages when in fact the results in the annual data may stem from other factors It would have been better for the president to have used a range or perhaps say "as little as 77 cents" Moreover he could have acknowledged that some women make lifestyle choices that could reduce their wages over the course of the year By all accounts there is a wage gap but it has declined over the decades and depending on how the data are viewed in some cases it barely exists Others may certainly argue the pace of the decline has been too slow especially in recent years In addition the administration should be much more transparent about the fact that it is comparing the wages of female minorities with the wages of white men It is not apparent in the public statements One PinocchioUPDATE: One of our colleagues who we admire greatly raised some quibbles with this column Our main purpose was to point out that the most commonly used statistic has its limitations and that there are other ways to look at the data But she felt we were missing the forest for the trees Here are some of her objections1 In awarding a Pinocchio we are suggesting that the weekly average is more legitimate than the annual average and thus making the same mistake we accused the White House of making In the end she noted all of the data showed "indisputable major discrimination" with women shorted at all educational levels and in most jobs (Tables 18 and 19 of give many examples which are based on weekly earnings The researchers at the St Louis Fed that hourly earnings are a better comparison because women are likely to work fewer hours than men but as we noted that data also has its own limitations)2 The African-American-Latina assertion by the White House was valid even if the White House did not make clear the comparison to white men: "When compared to all men all women make less and women of color are at the earning bottom of that all women category"3 The phrase "lifestyle choice" was poor chosen since it is "a form of discrimination and irrelevant in the job-to-job comparisons" (Mea culpait was a poor choice of words We were trying to note that the annual data so commonly used has its limitations because women in general do not work as many hours as men) In response to one of her other points we also updated the column to make it clear that the decline in the gender pay gap has slowed in recent years()Check out our candidate Follow The Fact Checker on and friend us on Track each presidential candidate's which launched Saturday at Third and L streets NE.