How the female condom became a success…Nonprofit leaders come to D.C. to fight for charitable deduction…Local economy is recovering slower than most metro regions [News, 12.3.12]

HIV/AIDS | The Post asks a tough question: “How do you create a market for a life-saving consumer product when the population with the highest demand for it cannot afford it?”

The product is the female condom, and the answer to the question lies in the success of a coalition led by the Washington AIDS Partnership. (WaPo, 12/1)

Related: The Huffington Post profiles Sabrina Heard, a female condom advocate and community health worker who is part of the Washington AIDS Partnership’s Positive Pathways program. (HuffPo, 12/1)

EDUCATION | Montgomery County parents say new curriculum is ‘one-size-fits-all’ math (WaPo, 12/3)

COMMENT | Jordan Spooner posted an interesting comment on the Daily about last week’s article on D.C.’s graduation rate:

I don’t understand why DC is continuously lumped in and compared with states, when it seems to me like comparing apples and oranges, and is unfair to DC. DC is solely a city, with all of the encompassing sociological challenges, while states are comprised of so much more (e.g., wealthy suburbs, etc).

Any other thoughts on the subject? Is it fair to compare D.C. to states?

FISCAL CLIFF | More than 200 nonprofit leaders are expected to descend on Capitol Hill tomorrow to advocate for keeping the charitable deduction intact. The leaders will have the results of a new United Way survey to support them – 79% of Americans think that reducing the charitable limit will harm charities. (Chronicle, 12/3)

ECONOMY | While our region might have a relatively low unemployment rate, we are actually one of the worst-ranked regions in the country for economic recovery. According to the Brookings Institution, we rank 56th of 76 regions. (WaPo, 12/3)

Related: Our growth might be slower, but apparently professionals in our region are very happy. (WaPo, 12/3)

LOCAL | I’m in awe of the luxury packages that some local hotels are offering for the inauguration. At the low-end of the spectrum is the Hyatt’s $57,000 package that comes with a couples massage and…apple pie? The hotel says it “wanted to come up with a package that best reflects America.” What America are they living in? (WaPo, 12/3)

For $57,000, renters can enjoy my wonderful apartment – with full access to my fine beers, extensive movie collection, and luxury grooming products like Old Spice. I bake great pies and give massages, too.


Big game for the Redskins tonight – here’s hoping for another superstar performance from RGIII! On a more somber note, this weekend’s awful murder-suicide involving a Kansas City player produced one of Bob Costas’ finer career moments. A recap wouldn’t do his point justice, so I recommend watching it.

But let’s not start the week on a sad note! Instead, here are two great videos. First, a crazy person forming a “porch swing” on El Capitan in Yosemite. Just wait for the payoff. Second, artist Cai Guo-Qiang blowing up a Christmas tree on the Mall. Why? No idea. But it sure looks ridiculous.

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