The Quickie: Let’s Judge Kavanaugh

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Pediatricians’ Group Endorses Affirming Care for Trans Youth

From The Advocate:

Pediatricians “can play an important, if not life-saving, role” in the health of trans youth, says the American Academy of Pediatrics.

By Trudy Ring
September 17 2018

The support of pediatricians is crucial to the well-being of transgender and gender-nonconforming young people, says a new policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The statement, which was  published online today and will be in the October issue of the journal Pediatrics, recommends that what the academy calls “TGD” youth — transgender and gender-diverse young people — “have access to comprehensive, gender-affirming, and developmentally appropriate health care that is provided in a safe and inclusive clinical space.”

It also calls for the availability of family therapy to foster support for TGD youth, for insurance coverage of needed procedures, and for inclusion of TGD health care in medical education. It further calls for increased research on TGD health issues and for pediatricians to advocate for laws and policies that support TGD youth.

In an online article accompanying the policy statement, the AAP notes the stigma and discrimination TGD youth face, and that they have high rates of self-harm and suicidality. A study published in the September issue of Pediatrics found that more than half of trans male teens had attempted suicide, and trans girls and nonbinary youth had high rates as well.

“TGD youths, like all children, flourish when they feel supported,” says the article by Jason Rafferty, MD, who is also the lead author of the policy statement. “Therefore, the policy emphasizes a gender-affirmative model of developmentally appropriate care oriented toward understanding and appreciating the gender experience of all youths.”

“Regardless of developmental stage,” Rafferty continues, even very young children “who assert a TGD identity know their gender as clearly and consistently as their developmentally equivalent peers and benefit from the same level of validation and social acceptance. Instead of attempting to predict, prevent or pathologize who a child may become, or withholding critical support, a gender-affirmative model is aimed at valuing every child for who they are in the present, even at a young age.”

“Overall, pediatric providers can play an important, if not life-saving, role in promoting the health and development of TGD youths,” Rafferty adds. “While every family’s experience is distinct, the need for nonjudgmental affirmation and empathy is universal.”

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I Highly Recommend Joining This Cult

From The New York Times:

I am slashing my spending and rethinking my bourgeois ways. You should, too.

By Lisa Pryor
Sept. 18, 2018

Let me tell you about the cult I have joined: the cult of thrift. The indoctrination started gently, with a podcast here, a YouTube video there, about minimalism, debt-free living, frugality, decluttering, zero waste.

Then, before I knew it, I was listening to an American evangelical Christian named Dave Ramsey telling me in his Tennessee drawl that “the borrower is slave to the lender” and that I need to get “gazelle intense” and live on “rice and beans, beans and rice” to get out of debt, be “weird” by having a paid-off house.

Now, having chugged the Kool-Aid, I am slashing my spending and rethinking my bourgeois ways.

Bargain grocery shopping has become a sport. I make soups from scratch and serve casseroles made from cheap cuts of meat. Instead of taking the kids to expensive museum exhibitions to learn about nature, we are spending time in nature. Instead of dance classes, we dance. I am buying less wine, and when I do, it is supermarket wine. Dyeing my hair less, and when I do, using supermarket dye.

And while it would be nice to be original, I am not alone. Mr. Ramsey, a radio host and author who has been preaching the gospel of thrift for decades, has been joined in recent years by a number of overlapping movements, born of the internet and growing concern that stressed-out, debt-ridden consumer culture is unsustainable.

Consider the popularity of the minimalism movement. Two of its most high-profile proponents, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, are friends from Ohio who pursued corporate careers before beginning their journey toward the shedding of things in 2009. They have since built very not-minimal careers out of inspiring others to do the same through podcasting, blogging, writing books and making a documentary that is available on Netflix.

Related to this is the decluttering movement, which reached its peak with Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” a global best-seller that led to Ms. Kondo being named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2015.

There is an abundance of related movements that are focused on finances and living debt-free. Australia has its own proponent, Scott Pape, whose book “The Barefoot Investor” has become one of the country’s best-selling books of all time.

These are messages relevant to our times, with reports in August that United States household debt reached a new peak of $13.3 trillion, an increase of $454 billion from the previous year. In Australia, we have some of the highest levels of household debt in the world, and with no sign of a big increase in wages any time soon, many Australians are having to learn to rein in their profligate ways.

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Medicare for All Is ‘Not Just Pie in the Sky’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

From Common Dreams:

“Medicare for all would save the American people a very large amount of money,” New York congressional candidate tells CNN

Andrea Germanos
Monday, September 17, 2018

New York congressional candidate and democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended a key (and widely supported) pillar of her progressive platform—Medicare for All—on Sunday, saying such systems are “not just pie in the sky” but have been proven in other Western democracies and would be “good for our future.”

Ocasio-Cortez made the comments on CNN‘s “State of the Union” when pressed by host Jake Tapper about how she proposes to fund a platform that also includes a federal jobs guarantee, tuition-free public college and trade school, and student loan debt cancellation.

She stressed that “one of the things that we need to realize” is that “Medicare for all would save the American people a very large amount of money.”

“And what we see as well is that these systems are not just pie in the sky.” She noted that “many of them are accomplished by every modern, civilized democracy in the Western world.” For example, she said, “the United Kingdom has a form of single-payer health care, Canada, France, Germany.”

“What we need to realize is that these investments are better and they are good for our future. These are generational investments… they’re not short-term Band-Aids, but they are really profound decisions about who we want to be as a nation… and how we want to act as the wealthiest nation in the history of the world.”

She went on to acknowledge the “political realities” the prove barriers to needed reforms. “They don’t always happen with just the wave of a wand. But we can work to make these things happen.”

Ocasio-Cortez addressed the same issue last month with CNN‘s Chris Cuomo. “People talk about the sticker shock of Medicare for All—they do not talk about the sticker shock of the cost of our existing system,” she said.

“We only have empty pockets when it comes to the morally right things to do,” she said at the time, “but when it comes to tax cuts for billionaires and when it comes to unlimited war, we seem to be able to invent that money very easily.”

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