Monday, August 27, 2012

Live And In Person ~ The WP Speaks!

On Thursday, August 30th, I will be participating in a roundtable discussion for the New York Times. Seems that they think it would be fun to lock Gail Collins and Frank Bruni in a virtual room with a bunch of strangers for discussions on various topics. For reasons which currently escape me, some folks in the editorial room of the Grey Lady thought I would be fun to invite. They are very serious about this, and even sent me a new microphone thingee for the computer link-up. Of course, sending a photographer for a real honest-to-goodness photo shoot in my kichen was beyond cool. I’m doing the war on women. Gee, why ever would they pick me to talk about that? 

Well, I have between now and Thursday at 3:00 pm central time (4:00 eastern) to get all my ducks in a row. On index cards. With silent little rubber bumpers so they can’t hear me shuffling my crib notes. With the ceiling fan off. And the windows open if it’s quiet. And yes, I am very nervous, but you probably discerned that already.

Meanwhile, there's a blog to write and this one has been stewing for a while. Sit back, relax, and let me give it a shot.

Birth certificates. Tax returns. Job growth. Obamacare. All are hot items at the moment and all of them have versions of some truth, semi-truth, and pants-on-fire lies. Let’s be real clear about this: it’s all spin. It’s all crap. And it’s all about what's legal, moral, and ethical. 

The birther business was baloney four years ago and it’s baloney now. Barak Obama could’ve been born on Mars and he would still be a natural born US citizen by reason of his mother’s status. Questioning President Obama's citizenship is absurd, but it's not illegal. Making a joke about it when you're the opposition running for president is in poor taste; continuing to intimate from a podium that he is not a citizen when you know damn well that he is, is unethical. See the difference?

Mitt Romney’s tax returns aren’t really anyone’s business after he provides the minimum required to run for office, but there's this secret handshake kinda thing going on that smacks of “you don’t need to know.” Sorry, anyone running for POTUS does not get to have one of those moments. If the taxable shoe were on the Democratic foot, the Elephant Men would be manufacturing all sorts of African prince scams to lay at the doorstep of the Obamas' house. Instead, they wave their magic wands and tell We, The People not to worry our petty little heads about off shore and Swiss bank accounts. Unfortunately, these tax shelters are perfectly legal; probably unethical, but legal.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Bureau of Labor Statistics
The economy is growing slowly. Housing numbers are improving. Job gains are statistically creeping upward. This is one giant ship of state; turning it any faster is dangerous. Meanwhile, the ToonTown RR keeps pushing trickledown economics as the only way to save the country. Tax cuts for the rich will result in increased employment. Seems we've tried that before. Anyone with half a brain knows it didn't work. Both sides figure we’ll be baffled by the mathematical dog and pony show. Obviously, there's no legality question here...but spinning the numbers until they’re unrecognizable? Well, that’s pretty much unethical... on both sides.

Ah, Obamacare. Face it, it sucks. It’s a half-baked program with more holes than Swiss cheese. But it’s something We, the People don’t have and desperately need. Back in the day, when Senator Ron Wyden (D- Oregon) was working with Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) to fashion a bi-partisan plan to shore up the poverty safety net, there was a sense that there was a place in the middle where two sides could meet. This was hailed as a positive step and one that may have offset some of the inherent problems with AHCA. For a brief moment, there was real hope that a bi-partisan agreement could be set in place.

Unfortunately, that optimism didn't last. When Congressman Ryan presented his budget plan, the idea of a national health plan was decimated. Hit hardest of all were those with the least amount of resource to fight for themselves: the recipients of Medicaid. Aid to the poorest of the poor, most especially children, was slashed to nothing in Congressman Ryan's plan. Along with that, was a complete un-funding of Planned Parenthood, the mainstay of family planning, low cost birth control, and health services to women. 

Here's where the dominoes crash. Left without Planned Parenthood's accessibility, where do these women turn to prevent pregnancy? If low cost clinics are gone and you can't afford to see a  doctor, you can't get  prescription. If you can't get a prescription, you can't get the pills. And if you do become pregnant, the state is now telling them you must carry the baby to term....even in cases in rape, incest, and severe medical condition of either mother or fetus. A woman's right to self-determination is effectively terminated by the government. According to the Ryan plan, this is not illegal. Since these new rules will apply to everyone, it's technically not unethical.

However, the removal of the medical services safety net does not conform to the patterns of conduct in this nation. Since 1965 both Medicare and Medicaid have served as important safety nets for impoverished families as well as senior citizens. Removing that net imperils both groups, and most specifically targets poor women and children. Targeting a specific demographic that is without resources and cannot possibly defend itself is just plain immoral.

For a bunch of guys who wave their religions around like so many American flags on July 4th, there is a marked lack of compassion and neighborly love for those less well-to-do than themselves. For a bunch of guys who claim they want smaller government, they sure are trying to get legislate American bedrooms. And for a bunch who swear on a stack of Bibles that they love America, they sure don't seem to care too much about the land that feeds all of us. The Republicans currently running that party will tell you it's all legal...and it probably is....but it doesn't make it ethical, moral, or just plain right.

Folks, think what you want, but no one, not a single one of us, is exempt from this new version of social engineering. 

Iceberg. Tip. You get the idea.


Wifely Person Tip O’the Week
If a newspaper is coming to photograph you in your home,
dusting before they get there is always good idea.

13 comments:

  1. Brava! You have untangled much spin.

    Perdie

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  2. Good luck with your gig Thursday... how do We the People get to hear and/or see you?

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    1. I will be posting the official link here as soon as I get it!

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  3. THanks for speaking truth. It's a refreshing change from what we usually get from so much of our media.

    On another topic, on Thursday I will be unable to listen to the interviews/discussion. Will it be rebroadcast?

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    1. It will be on the NY Times website and I think on You Tube as well. Not to worry; I'll let everyone know!

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  4. So proud of you Susan! Next stop....MEET THE PRESS!
    xo

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  5. You'll do great, Susan by simply being yourself. Break a leg, darlin'

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    1. Thank you, Steve! I m totally excited about this!

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  6. Here's the link:
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/08/30/opinion/voters-a-war-on-women.html

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  7. Saw your comment on the NYT. I love you! (And not in the insincere way that Ann Romney said "I loooove women!" the other night.) Best of luck to you!

    TexasTrailerParkTrash

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  8. I loved being with you today on the discussion! I really enjoyed our post chat "chat". :)

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    1. Thank you! I thought it turned out great. Some of the comments on the site were a bit sharp but hey! if we stimulate discussion, isn't that kinda the point?

      Keep doing the great works in Ol' Miss...and if there is anything I can do to help, let me know!

      sj

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  9. You were terrific, today. "Not a clue! Not a clue!" These "women issues" are really "everybody issues."

    I can't wait to watch it again, and again, and again.

    Perdie

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