Monday, October 29, 2012

Women Will Remember in November

Latino women will remember Willard Romney's remark that he'd have a better chance of winning if his parents were Mexican.  How many Latino president's have we had in America Willard? Latino women will remember that the President's Executive Order allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in America will not stand under the Romney-Ryan ticket.
Elderly women accessing Medicare will remember that at the Romney-Ryan plan calls for getting rid of Medicare as we know it and replacing it with some sketchy voucher system. No one really knows the details of the details of the plan. He wants us to just "trust" him.

Women with kids in college will remember in November.  They want to be sure  that their kids will have insurance while they complete their under graduate degree.  Women want to protect their reproductive rights.  In November women will remember that Romney has stated that he would support legislation to repeal Roe v. Wade. They don't want to go back to back alley abortions. Women will remember in November.  If by some fluke Romney is elected he will appoint a Supreme Court Justice that would tip the scales in favor of repealing Roe v. Wade.

Women will remember that Willard Romney spoke about  "binders full of women" in a live debate as way of avoiding a question about supporting equal pay for women. Women have a lot more to do than just hurry home to prepare dinner.
Women voters will remember in November that for the Romney-Ryan ticket and for the Republican party, there is a distinction between rape and "legitimate" rape. As women, we don't see a distinction. For us, rape is rape.

Women will remember that their children learned their letters and numbers by watching Big Bird on PBS.  They will remember that Romney has said it's not his job to worry about 47% of America. Then he held a press conference, not to say he was sorry, but to say it was true but "not elegantly stated."

Willard Mitt Romney has given us women quite bit to think about.  Have you forgotten about all of the Mitt comments and ever changing positions? Are you suffering from Romnesia? I will remember, will you?

As always, comments are welcome and encouraged.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blue Binder on a Red Shelf : Let's Turn Texas Blue!

I conducted my own informal poll on who is likely to win the presidential election.  As I travelled to Austin, Texas this week to attend the Texas Conference for Women, I didn’t succumb to the driver’s lull that usually takes over when I’m on the road for more than an hour.  Nope, this time I was on maximum alert. 
As I drove along the rural highways leading to Austin, Texas I counted yard signs, or a better description is "farm" signs.  I didn’t plan to count the signs, it just sort of happened.  As I was driving in the Red State of Texas I noticed sign after sign…not for Romney-Ryan, as you would expect, but Obama-Biden.
The signs seemed out of place as I headed further towards west Texas, but they were everywhere! In Caldwell, Texas I counted 6 signs for Obama-Biden and two for R-R.  In Bastrop, Texas, a huge Republican city I didn’t see a single R-R sign. I saw several for Obama-Biden. 

I couldn’t help thinking…”What if we turn Texas Blue?”  What if the Romney-Ryan ticket is just too right wing even for Texas?  No, the drive didn’t make me crazy. I know I’m talking about the same Texas that produced George W. Bush. The same Texas that put Rick Perry on the national stage and exposed him for all that he is.  The same Texas that has an elected official, Tom Head of Lubbock, Texas, who said out loud, in public that President Obama “…is going to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the UN”.

There are a lot of feisty women here in Texas. In fact we have a saying here, “Don’t mess with Texas women”.  We can handle ourselves pretty well in most situations.  At the Texas Conference forWomen over 5000 women were in attendance. Most of them were executives and entrepreneurs.  I sat in that roomful of women (binders and binders…), at the luncheon listening to keynote speaker Dr. BrenĂ© Brown I couldn’t stop thinking it’s truly possible.

The women in that room have children they want to have health insurance through college.  They want their daughters to have access to reproductive health services provided by Planned Parenthood.  If that same daughter is raped while away at college and it results in pregnancy, I believe they’d want to make the decision on how to proceed as a family. The government shouldn’t get a voice in such a personal and life changing decision. These women are part of the infamous 47 percent.

Surely Texas Republicans have a threshold that they are not willing to cross… don’t they?

Let’s make history. Let’s Turn Texas Blue!

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Hope You're Ready Mitt


President Obama is a Harvard educated lawyer.  Most lawyers I know will debate you for 20 minutes on something as simple as the best choice of mayonnaise just for the fun of it.  He taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago Law School.  Let’s face it, President Obama knows how to debate and his positions are based on facts.  He took it easy on Willard Romney in the first debate. Instead of accepting that gift gracefully, Romney went on the attack. 

In this second debate, I fully expect President Obama to say all of the things we wanted to hear from him a few weeks ago.  I fully expect him to speak up for women who would have their reproductive health jeopardized under his opponent’s administration.  It is absolutely appalling to think about the possibility of Roe vs. Wade being overturned. Or to think about young women in Our America being unable to access birth control.  I expect him to point out that the 47% votes.  And that we DO accept personal responsibility for our lives.  We have not forgotten about the video… We don’t find anything funny about your statement that you would have a better chance of winning the election if your parents were Mexican.  Seriously Willard, look around you… if you really believe Latinos in America have it easier than you then you are even more out of touch than I thought.

This semi-moderate persona that Willard has switched to in the past couple of weeks is too little too late.  I expect President Obama to talk about how the unemployment rate has improved, clear up the misinformation Mitt spouts about Medicare, and to point out the lack of information about his tax plan and how it will impact the middle class.

Am I expecting too much from one debate? I don’t think I am.  I hope you’re ready for this Willard. It’s not going to be pretty.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Invisible Wounds of War


A disabled veteran leaves her office and travels to a burger shop for lunch. As is her right, she parks in a spot reserved for those with proper identification that she is disabled.  As she exits her vehicle she is approached by a police officer who says, " You don't look disabled to me".  

Unfortunately, not all wounds are visible. 

Women may not serve in direct ground combat in war zones but they are often in roles that provide significant support to combat.   Our female veterans served as nurses of course.  That's the first thing we think of when we imagine women in the military.  But they also carry M-4 assault rifles and were Kevlar helmets.  They are medics and photographers and electricians.  They walk a fine line between what is considered combat and what is considered non-combat.  They are in constant danger of death.  After serving in a war zone they have residual effects as well as their male counterparts.   
The military is still largely male dominated. Even though we don't like to talk about it, women remain the outsiders in many situations.  In the last twenty years, our military women are still experiencing "firsts".  Can you imagine the welcome received by the first women on a Navy ship? Stop for a minute and think about what those women probably had to endure.  How about the first women who served in the war zone of the Gulf War, or Afghanistan? Do you think all the men welcomed them as a viable part of the team? I believe most men felt that women didn't belong there.  I believe some men were excited to see them there, but not because they could add value to the military.

Our female veterans are the silent sufferers of wounds that often go ignored. 
So many of our female military veterans have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and so many more go undiagnosed.  Some figures estimate 18% of women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD.  I would guess that the figures are higher.  Women are more likely to show signs of depression, while their male counterparts are more likely to turn to alcohol.  
Neither women nor men return from war unscathed.  We need to develop a heightened sense of awareness about the unseen scars of war.  In the coming years we will have untold numbers of women returning to our communities that may appear to be healthy physically.  They may never discuss the sights and sounds of the war in they served.  I think we need to assume there are lasting scars.  Lasting images in their minds. Lasting smells that can never be forgotten.  Lasting sounds that can be triggered by something as insignificant as a slammed door.

 Not all wounds are visible.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Romney's Opening Night Performance

 President Obama did not give the flash and pizazz that we have come to expect from him.  If we judge President Obama against President Obama, I have to agree with the polls, this was not his greatest showing.  Because we expect so little of Willard Romney, the polls are responding to his showing of emotions tonight.  If we compare Romney to typical Romney, he had a good night. 

That said, I am still struggling with understanding Romney's plans.  I feel sure that Big Bird is going to get fired if Romney is elected, but beyond that, I'm still in the dark. I am still waiting to hear the details.  Romney says he will repeal Obamacare.  Okay, but what are you going to put in its place?  I need to know more about the plans for Medicare.  I'm not at that magic age he mentions, so how EXACTLY will the changes he wants to make impact me? 

Tell me something about the 5 trillion dollar tax cuts you are planning Willard.  How are you going to pay for it? Romney is quoted as saying he will "create more jobs, decrease debt and shrink government".  Okay, but how Mitt? How are you planning to do it?

I had the privilege today to participate on a pre-debate panel with HuffPost Live to discuss "zingers" used in presidential debates.  One of the things I said on the panel was that I don't need Romney to practice zingers, I need substance!  Here I am after the debate, still waiting for that substance.

We are only a few weeks away from the election.  The American people need to know your plans Willard Romney.  Americans don't know Romney well enough to just trust that he'll do the right thing.  I haven't forgotten that he dismissed me and half of America by saying it's "not my job to worry about them".  I have to assume that I am part of the infamous 47%.  Am I supposed to now believe that he cares?  

Willard Romney had a good performance tonight.  It was a performance.  He practiced for weeks.  It worked. Now show me your taxes Willard!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Presidential Debate is More Than Zingers


I am eagerly awaiting the first debate between President Obama and Willard Romney, I have to admit it.  Both sides are working hard to downplay the debating abilities of their perspective candidates.  I fully expect President Obama to come away from this and subsequent debates in an even better position to win the election. We are roughly five weeks away from the election.  Most polls show Romney trailing the President in expected votes by 2-8 points, depending on the poll.  
So once again, Romney's camp is saying that this will be the thing to re-energize their campaign.  Governor Chris Christie said over the weekend that after the debate "the campaign will turn around".  How many times will this campaign re-invent itself.  At this point anyone who is trying to hold on to their faith in the republican candidate for president must feel like they are chasing a runaway car down a steep hill.  It's hard to keep up.  
Romney is apparently practicing "zingers" that he will spout during the debate.  "Zingers" may play well as sound bites, but I need more substance in a candidate for president.  "Zingers" should be authentic.  Not something that you practice.  They should be born from your own true feelings, not memorized words from a speech writer.  Is it just me, or doesn't that take away the "sting" from the "zinger"?
Who do you think will benefit from the Presidential Debates this month?