Nice interview with Maureen Langan on KGO radio in San Francisco.
Everyone is writing the most glowing, loving and funny tributes to the now late, dear Florence Henderson. It’s what she inspired; love, fun, joy, and admiration. Florence was truly a “gamer”, a “good sport”, and she proved that a woman could be sexy and alluring at eighty two years old. Here is my most fun memory of us together:
In the nineteen seventies, one day Florence Henderson and I were two of several guests on the “Mike Douglas Show”. She was a gorgeous, petite woman, and was so encouraging to a new comic; me. At the end of the show, they had us all come out, sit on bar stools, and sing a closing number together. Being a silly comic, I spread my arms wide for the last note. With that, my pinkie went up Florence’s nose, and I knocked her backward off the bar stool. Needless to say, the mortification was unbearable to me. I thought I was done for. The show ended, Florence got up laughing hysterically. Not only wasn’t she upset, she spent the next half hour reassuring ME. And then we went our separate ways, after I apologized for sixteen hours.
Several years later, I was to entertain at an industry event, and I knew Florence was going to be there. I hadn’t seen her in a few years, and I kept hoping against hope that she wouldn’t remember what had happened. Suddenly, there she was. Florence Henderson: beautiful, dressed to kill, perfect, stunning, gorgeous, regal, surrounded by beautiful people. She saw me, she came toward me, and in front of all her admirers, stuck her own pinkie up her nose and, laughing heartily, said to me, “Remember? Remember? Hahahahahah!!” While everyone around her stood there gaping, we laughed until we cried. And that became our greeting every time we saw each other for the rest of her life.
May this wonderful human being, who spent her life making the lives of others better, who understood the insecurity and the humanity in all of us and who strove to honor it, who always saw the positive, now rest in peace.
So young millennial women “aren’t excited by” Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, and may not vote? Well here’s real excitement: standing on a dark street corner with a red carnation pinned on so the stranger driving the car can find you. He will then blindfold you and take you to a butcher of a “doctor” to end your accidental pregnancy, if you have enough cash. If you don’t die on the table, you will probably develop an infection a few hours later, or hemorrhage and have to go to a hospital where you “will be punished in some way”, for having an abortion. Most likely, you will never have children due to the negligent damage done to you, which you can do nothing about because you broke the law. Don’t believe me? Here:
Trump: “You go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places. But you have to ban it. There has to be some form of punishment.” Then forced by handlers to deflect in order to get elected, Trump re-calculated: “The doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman.” (Make America great again. No thanks.)
The Supreme Court is already only one vote away from repealing Roe v Wade, and if a Republican gets elected and appoints the next Supreme Court judge, make no mistake, Roe v Wade, and your freedom to control your own body, will be overturned. You can’t imagine that, can you? And you don’t believe that it really was and will again be that bad, do you? Because you grew up so entitled, so lucky, so free to enjoy everything we older women fought and yes, died for. And you can’t imagine it could ever be any other way. Well, it can be and it will be. How you doing? Excited yet?
Maybe you think you’ll just take the “Morning After Pill” and have no worries. Do you know how many years it took us, and Planned Parenthood, and every women’s group, and the politics and lawsuits, to even get RU486 to market in America? It was available to women in France in 1987, then the UK, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and finally, finally! as a prescription drug, with age and consent restrictions, in the U.S. in the year 2000. Thirteen years after French women could safely control their own bodies in the privacy of their own homes, American women were still fighting to legally swallow a pill with a glass of water in their own kitchens. Think that pill can’t go away instantly once the anti-woman, anti-choice, anti sex education (figure that one out, anti-choice and anti sex education. Why don’t they just sell cars without brakes?) republicans get in power? Here are five drugs that used to be legal which are now illegal: Cocaine, LSD, MDMA, Meth, and Heroin. Exciting, isn’t it?
The U.S. Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team kicked ass in Brazil this year, didn’t they? Do you know what that was directly attributable to? Title IX, a law that prohibits sex discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving any type of federal financial aid. It was passed in 1972. It opened the floodgates for women in sports and education. Do you know who has tried recently to repeal Title IX? Your Republican congress. You think women fighting for your rights isn’t exciting? It’s stupefying.
Hillary Clinton fought through the wars of discrimination waged against smart, professional women at a time when it truly was a war. We all had to be ten times better than any man to get any job. She was a warrior, and she did it all. We had nowhere to run, nowhere to complain, nobody to sue. We put on our big-girl panties and fought our way through. You don’t use the word “feminist” any more? I do. I am a feminist. My definition is: equality for all. I want everybody to be happy. But not at the expense of anybody else. A true feminist is a humanist. So I am happy we made it possible for you to be free to do anything you want; post pictures of your dinners on Instagram, count your “likes”, do whatever makes you happy, but I would ask one thing in return. Vote for Hillary Clinton on November 8th.
A twenty-year-old woman said to me the other day, “I don’t like either one”. I said, “What’s your problem with Hillary?” She replied, “The emails”. I said, “What about the emails?” She said, “You know, the emails”. I said “No. I don’t know. What about the emails?” All she could say was “The emails”. The empty talking point, the fake emergency, had been burned into her brain by endless repetition by our diseased media. I asked her, “Did anything go wrong because of the emails? Were we attacked? Were government secrets given to the enemy? Was there one ‘classified’ email that caused America even one problem in its dealings around the world or at home?” Of course not.
When a creature like Donald Trump is so flawed, with a new scandal every day; bankrupting yet another small business that expected to be paid for its work for him, faking having a NYC charity, then illegally misusing the donated money, when he talks of women like garbage to be sexually abused, when he leaves wife after wife and makes them sign draconian contracts to get divorce settlements, when he makes full use of all of America’s services to its citizens yet pays not one penny of tax to support them, when he is the first candidate in half a century to hide his tax returns, and on, and on, and on, the problem is this: There is so much shit on his plate, it just keeps rolling on through. But by him, and his party, simply saying “Emails” for a year and a half, that’s what sticks. If we could have just chosen only one of Trump’s egregious actions, and repeated it for a year and a half, the election might have been a referendum on, say: child rape vs emails, or fake charity scamming vs emails, or fake university fleecing of the poor vs emails, or tax evasion vs emails, or molesting women vs emails, or five bankruptcies vs emails, or lying about re-opening obsolete coal mines vs emails, or having absolutely no policy plans whatsoever vs emails, or claiming to support paid maternity leave when none of his companies has paid maternity leave, vs emails, or bringing manufacturing to America again when all of his, and his family’s products, are made overseas, vs emails, or overturning women’s rights vs emails, or reversing gains made by the LGBT community vs emails, or voter suppression in black and latino areas vs emails, or running fake ads telling Americans they can vote for Hillary by text, thus making them think they actually voted when they didn’t, vs emails, or lying every time he opens his mouth vs emails. But we can’t, because he is so steeped in shit there is no one talking point we can stick to long enough before the next heinous revelation comes to light.
Hillary Clinton, and every great woman I know, came up in a patriarchal, male-ruled society. They didn’t do rape kits because they didn’t believe us when we said we were raped. They didn’t respect us. They didn’t want to work with us and they didn’t want to pay us. And we made them. Because we didn’t give up and we knew we had the right to happy fulfilling lives and were willing to work for that. Pundits telling Hillary to “smile more” during the debates were the echo of every construction worker taunting female passersby, “Hey baby! Ya can’t give me a smile, sweetie??” A replica of every sexist boss and customer saying, “How ’bout a little smile, honey?” Why didn’t anybody tell that miserable male face in the debates to “smile more”? He didn’t smile at all, and he could have used it. All of this diversion nonsense about Hillary “not being likable” is a wink and a nod to the old sexism game. Who ever, ever, mentioned a male presidential candidate being likable as a thing. Donald Trump is a seventy year old throwback to steaks and cigars and broads, grabbing the waitress’ ass while smirking with his buddies drinking scotch, saying “I could get her”. He’s a bully and a failure of the worst kind; the kind who takes his off the top and leaves the little guy holding the bag, to go under. He’s a “white males first and best” kind of spoiled rich boy, taking credit for success where not only isn’t there true success, only a numbers game he can manipulate to come out on top on paper, but if there was, the credit goes not to him, but to all the small companies he used and destroyed, all the laws he twisted to serve his own grasping purpose. He’s small, he’s mean. He’s against all the people who think differently than he does, who want a better life but didn’t have a rich father, who weren’t born here but made their way here to give their children what his father gave him; a leg up, an in, a chance, and fourteen million dollars.
You still don’t see a difference? You “don’t like either one of them”? You weren’t outraged by Trump’s disrespectful treatment of Hillary during the debates? She came out classy and beautiful, prepared (oh right, that’s a negative. Explain that to me, will you?) She explained her policies, her plans, with intelligence. She treated him with respect. He couldn’t speak in full sentences, he had no answers, no policies, so he attacked her for ninety minutes at a time. That didn’t enrage you? Then you need better boyfriends. For years I’ve supported WRRAP, which is in essence the “underground railroad” for poor women needing abortions in one of the ten states that have already banned abortion completely, or one of the forty one states that make it almost impossible. But I’m done fighting the fight. Why should I help any more? I can’t get pregnant, and you can’t even be bothered to vote, yawn yawn. We’ve given you all this; freedom and choices and opportunity and the whole world, and sometimes we didn’t smile and weren’t likable doing it. Too bad. But you need to protect and cherish it now, and make your futures even better. You need to vote for Hillary Clinton on November 8th, for a million and one great reasons, and for the future of America and the world. Not because she is a woman. Because she is a great, brilliant, capable woman, and the best man for the job.
I am delighted to welcome a guest columnist today. My friend John Debellis, in his own twitter profile words: “Comedy writing, director, and stand-up comic. Author of Standup Guys: A Generation of Laughs. To me life is a gift better left unopened.”
Entertainment (News) Trumps the Truth
by John DeBellis
If the mainstream news media stopped kowtowing to the pagan God of Nielsen (he died on the antenna for TV sins), possibly the biggest story of the election would be the article written by James West of Mother Jones:
“It’s like modern day slavery,” claimed a former trump model. Mr. West’s article is a must read for everyone, even Trump voters (if you read silently you can still spit). The piece would not only disqualify Trump from the presidency, it may force him to stamp out license plates—the only product he’d make in America. Instead, Clinton’s foundation, which either saved or vastly improved the lives of eleven million people, comes under scrutiny by the spineless media and Trump, since apparently many of the foundation’s influential donors were allowed to rewrite the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, help Hillary fund Isis and commit the treasonous act of using Mrs. Clinton’s Amazon Prime account. Then there are Clinton’s sinister emails from her private server, which the Justice Department lacked enough evidence to prosecute, but became the equivalent of the Hindenburg disaster, dropping the bomb on Hiroshima, and dating Ann Coulter… (don’t take her to dinner she’ll only throw up the food).
On one hand there is the sterling Clinton foundation, and emailing three or more poorly marked classified documents, and Benghazi, where she was found innocent of any wrongdoing. On the other hand there is “Trump World”: hundreds of lies, more flip flops than fish washed up from an oil spill, softening and hardening of the wall (maybe it’ll be built with Playdough), the deportation of 400 billion undocumented Mexicans (none of the ones employed by Trump), childish name calling, mocking women, the disabled, and a war hero, inciting armed folks (some with teeth) to guard polling places, insinuating that Hillary should be shot (psychological projection), illegally hiring of models—the equivalent of indentured slavery at best, refusing to rent to minorities, employing a white supremacist (at least he had to buy his own sheet) as a campaign honcho, a former campaign manager with ties to Russia (borscht was found in his suitcase), not releasing his tax returns, a phony health report by a perplexed medicine man (with earrings, but no bone through his nose so he can’t be taken seriously), being sued for fraud (Trump University and other cons), refusing to pay contractors their entire fee, not hiring African Americans in his casinos, arguing with the Pope (I don’t think it was over Bingo odds), declaring bankruptcy six times—gutting a city and leaving a wake of lost jobs, calling undocumented Mexicans rapists, drug dealers and murderers… I can go on for decades (until we all die from global warming). If you have a brain that can still process information, you will see the light, and the bad makeup and dye in Donald’s hair.
Trump, despite the Secret Service’s displeasure (not that anything can penetrate his ego) unselfishly decided to take a last minute trip (possibly brunch) to Mexico. He was brave enough to face the threat of rapists, murderers and migrant workers—unarmed.
In a behind closed doors meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Trump was told that Mexico would not pay for a wall or even discourage graffiti artists. Still, Sir Donald returned as triumphant as General MacArthur (Gilligan for Trump supporters). Of course, he’ll soon spin yarns (longer lies) about his brilliant negotiating and that he will (before he loses the election) intimidate Mexico’s President into not only building a thirty foot wall and paying for it, but he’ll also force him to tap dance to the “Star Spangled Banner”.
The other night, the news mediocre showed Trump’s Kennedy- like (Ethel, not John) Immigration Speech, and afterwards, debated the merits of his diatribe and his temporary permanent hard line stance on immigration, which had as much substance as the Invisible Man’s shadow (far deeper than the media will dig). Great television for political pundits who can’t look past their own tv monitors.
For every five seconds of airtime the nutworks give Hillary, Trump is handed at least an hour to preach his fabricated gospel according to John Wayne Gacy. Only clips of Clinton’s speeches are played, which are written by intelligent life, unlike Trump’s, that sound like they were copied off a wall in a drunk tank and then delivered as if he’s reading them off a pumpkin with the lyrical tone of a high school marching band falling down a hill. When the media is willing to risk a fraction of a ratings point and give Hillary a second or a long-drawn-out two seconds of airtime, they repeat, repeatedly, over and over again that “the people don’t trust her”, which should be followed by “almost as much as the viewers should trust us”. Of course, faster than Donald can change campaign managers, they return to All Trump All the Time. I guess vile, disgusting, abhorrent, repulsive, revolting, detestable, repugnant, and obscene is the new acceptable.
The rise of Mr Trump, or is it Mr. Ed, (horse’s asses are difficult to tell apart), I mostly blame on the TV News Media, who in exchange for a larger viewership, will put our country in the hands of a Megalomaniac/Narcissist/Psychopath/idiotic blow hard, with the temperament of Genghis Khan/Caligula/Idi Amin/Dr. Strangelove and, well, Donald Trump.
If we don’t want to end up genuflecting to President Trump, (that dreaded title would be difficult for a whale to swallow), and paying tribute by giving him fashion models to exploit, and sacrificing one Constitutional Amendment a year (he’ll never read it so we can just eliminate one Rockette annually), we must drive the media into presenting us with consequential news shaped by facts, not farcical testimonials from parroting surrogates (cloned from Donald’s hair) who contort the truth so it fits Trump’s reversible tongue (when it’s not kissing his reflection in the mirror). We The People have to make our voices heard, along with Mother Jones and reporter James West, until the fourth estate (Trump thinks he’s going to build on it) serves the many, not the wealthy few who profit from deceiving the public, causing fatal harm to our American Democracy—the home of the brave and the land of the free, that may someday include the press.
“Let ‘Em Eat Lead” may as well be the rallying cry of the Republican party. No longer the party of Lincoln, it’s now the Party of Marie Antoinette.
While it’s legal in Ohio to carry guns openly or concealed, the Cleveland police union urged Ohio’s Governor Kasich to suspend the law during the Republican convention. While Kasich couldn’t quite do that, the RNC banned guns inside the convention center and in a large zone around the building. Think about that for a minute. While the republicans, the political party responsible for enabling the laws that made possible the shooting of ninety two people, 12 fatally, in Cleveland the month of their convention there, they sat safe and free from gun violence inside Quicken Loans Arena.
Why? If the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, as they love telling us while fattening their bank accounts with NRA blood money, didn’t they want to assure their safety with as many guns as possible inside and outside the arena? Did you know that guns were also banned at the RNC in Tampa in 2012? One hundred and thirty thousand ordinary Americans have been shot in the U.S. since 2012. But the republican elite again sat smug and safe from gun violence inside Tampa’s Amalie Arena. The absolute height of republican hypocrisy is their “Let ’em eat cake” lawmaking. Only nobody ever died from cake. The republicans were safe from guns while in Cleveland. Meanwhile in Cleveland, a two year old girl in her mother’s arms was shot in the head, and an eleven year old girl was shot while watching tv in her living room. Too bad they too couldn’t have been safe inside Quicken Loans Arena.
Dear Bernie Supporters, Undecideds, Swing Voters, Everyone who doesn’t see the difference between the two parties; no party is perfect. Politics is compromise, and it’s painful and often not pretty. Some of you are angry the DNC erected a fence around the convention. With terrorism and gun nuts, of course they did. But they didn’t exclude themselves from living by the laws they passed for us to live by. The DNC has passed laws to benefit the environment, children, the aged, labor, women, minorities, and improve health care. Their convention wasn’t a fracking barbecue over coals with oil lamps. They didn’t dine on endangered species while being waited on by non- union eight year old immigrants without Pre-k or health care, while their leadership burned down a women’s clinic. They’re with us. And #imwithher.
Yes, the DNC put a fence around its convention for safety. But hey, guess what? The RNC took away your guns.
There IS a DIFFERENCE. Let’s vote the Democrats back into our government.
Dear Bernie Supporters,
It is inspirational to see so much passion and idealism in politics again. Many of us remember feeling that exhilarating hope and joyous promise when Bill Clinton took office, and Hillary Clinton renewed the standard for how inspiring a role model a First Lady of the United States could be. I remember watching in awe in 1993 as Mrs. Clinton spoke to congress, without notes, for over two hours, outlining the new president’s health care proposal. She was smart, beautiful, classy, involved; the promise of how far women could now aspire to go.
I worked for Bill Clinton’s election, and then Al Gore’s, and I know your pain is as great as what we all felt when in 2000, the Supreme Court, to the great detriment of our constitution, threw the presidential election to George W. Bush.
When Al Gore said it was time to come together and support our new president (Bush), we were outraged, depressed, sick to our stomachs, and having none of it. NEVER! I cried. A lot. I’m sure my head would have exploded if the election had been ongoing, and Al Gore had asked us to actually VOTE FOR George W. Bush. I know I wouldn’t have.
But here is the difference in what we went through then and what is at stake today. George W. Bush was the political opposite of Al Gore. George W. Bush opposed every good policy and plan for America’s future that Al Gore embraced. George W. Bush was unqualified to be the president of the United States; intellectually, temperamentally, and in his lack of experience and vision. George W. Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, was/is a war profiteer and an architect of murder and destruction. I will never understand why Al Gore didn’t keep fighting.
Today: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have voted together ninety three percent of the time. Think about that. Bernie and Hillary have worked together to support the issues and legislation that matter to all of us, ninety three percent of the time. Hillary’s vice presidential pick, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, received a ninety percent positive rating in the liberal Americans for Democratic Action rating of 2014 Senate votes.
I love Bernie Sanders. I am so grateful that the Bernie Revolution forced the Democratic party’s platform even further to the left than it was, and it was already progressive (LGBTQ rights, choice for women, civil rights, minimum wage hikes, fixing the social safety net, education, financial regulation, supporting science and the environment, etc. etc.) You did that. That is what I call a successful revolution, and yes, of course it must continue. I understand the impulse to throw it all away in anger and frustration. I beg you not to. I am respectfully asking you to look at Hillary’s lifetime, true, successful record in fighting for all of us; all the people Bernie fights for. The right has so brainwashed the willing into seeing Hillary Clinton as the devil, it is shameful that we need to point out the incredible work for America this woman has devoted her life to for decades. I am not going to go down the list of what she has been subjected to by a partisan congress and partisan news outlets. Suffice to say, she has shown up every time, publicly put it all on the line, done her best, taken the heat, answered and answered and answered, without rancor or complaint. Donald Trump won’t even release his tax returns. (The first presidential candidate in fifty years, by the way, to hide his tax returns. Where is the press and congress now?)
I know. You are so angry you’d rather see Donald Trump elected, just for spite. I get it. I am the best grudge holder in the history of my family; Jews with 25 Olympic Gold Medals in Grudge Holding and Cutting Off Our Noses to Spite Our Faces. But listen, after you get past that natural instinct of rebellion, you must see what is at stake for the future survival, yes survival, of life as we know it. Donald Trump is the least qualified person to ever run for the highest office in the land. He makes George W. Bush look like Carl Sagan. Make no mistake, Trump is a danger to America, the world, and the future of both. I have nothing against him personally, he simply has zero qualifications for this job. Hillary Clinton is not “the lesser of two evils”. Hillary Clinton is one of the most qualified people to ever run for president of the United States. In forty years of public service, there are going to be some corners cut, some deals made, some less than idealistically perfect votes, some political manipulation. That’s politics, that’s life. That’s how things get done at all in the real world. Joan Rivers would say, “Oh, grow up”. I’m not minimizing actions of Hillary’s that offend you, I’m not dismissing your feelings. But nobody’s perfect. Life isn’t perfect. Politics is the least perfect place of all.
Bernie hasn’t given up. He knows the only way he can continue his revolution and have a powerful voice in our government is in a Clinton administration. You love him, you trust him, you support him. Then trust he is asking you to do the right thing for the right reason when he asks you to vote for Hillary. For our country. For the revolution.
He then squeezed his buttocks and coughed up another hairball: “Republican senators are pursuing real solutions that can help keep Americans safer from the threat of terrorism.” I assume these include:
“Congress won’t outlaw automatic weapons because they say it might infringe on some hunting weapons. If you need a hundred rounds to kill a deer, maybe hunting isn’t your sport.”-Elayne Boosler.
I wrote this joke in 1978. 1978! Are we there yet? Support all your senators standing up in today’s “No Fly No Buy” filibuster. Not one American voted Wayne LaPierre into congress. The fact that he makes our public policy is nothing less than a government takeover, ironically done with money, not weapons. The fifty-one senators who voted against the 2015 “No Fly No Buy” law collectively received thirty seven million dollars in blood money from the NRA. They should be arrested as traitors, clearly helping America’s enemies. (You are on the “No Fly” list, but you can buy an assault weapon?) The NRA makes possible the murder by guns of over thirty thousand Americans a year. If ISIS was able to kill that many Americans, on our own soil, every year, we’d know they had won the war on terror. The NRA made/makes possible the murder of hundreds of thousands more Americans than any radical religious group from anywhere. The NRA is a terrorist organization, going against the will of even their own members who agree with reasonable and logical gun laws. Wayne LaPierre has made possible the murder of more Americans than Osama Bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef, and every terrorist we are spending billions of tax dollars fighting while our shameless representatives take millions from the terrorists on our own soil.
Vote the bums out. Stand up for the senators who are standing up for America today. Let’s start buying teddy bears for children again, and flowers for lovers again, instead of buying them for shooting site memorials. Send Wayne LaPierre to Guantanamo, and force the representatives and senators whose graft greed made the loss of American life so prevalent, to donate all their ill gotten gains to the thousands of the loved ones left behind. Let’s bow our heads and take a moment of silence to remember the names of the senators and congresspeople who sold us out and made wholesale American murder the norm in our cities, schools, movie theaters, nightclubs, and homes. Amen.
It boggles my mind how long this took; a female candidate, Hillary Clinton, for president of the United States. Yes, we made history in America today, but it was only American history.
While we’re deciding if we want to have a beer with the candidate, the rest of the world is waayy ahead of us.
Seventy six years ago in 1940, Khertek Anchimaa-Toka was the Head of State of Tannu Tuva, which then joined the Soviet Union in 1944. She continued in various government positions until 1972. No word on how many people wanted to have a vodka with her.
In 2007, a record 13 countries had elected female Presidents or Prime Ministers; Ireland, New Zealand, Latvia, Finland, The Philippines, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Iberia, Chile, Jamaica, South Korea, Switzerland, and a Chancellor in Germany. None have ever asked neighboring countries if their maps make them look fat. All play some kick-ass soccer.
In 2002, the list was also at a record 13, with Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Panama, Senegal, and Sao Tome and Principe replacing some of the above, with only one of them being flooded by God.
Add to those, these countries, which elected female Presidents as far back as 1980; Iceland, Malta, Nicaragua, and Guyana. American tv shows debuting in 1980 included “Bosom Buddies”, where two men played women, “bosom”, get it? And “It’s a Living”, about spunky waitresses with a surprising amount of cleavage for a non-Hooters hotel dining room.
Countries with female Prime Ministers, some as far back as 1960, included; Sri Lanka, India, Israel, Central African Republic, United Kingdom, Dominica, Norway, Yugoslavia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Poland, and Turkey. The only power available to American women in the 1960s was Flower Power.
Many of these women were also re-elected, for example in Norway, where the female Prime Minister served from 1981-86, 1989, and 1990-96. For three years running, the United Nations has ranked Norway the number one place in the world to live (based on standard of living, life expectancy, education, democracy, public health). Norway’s economy is based on oil and gas, mining, shipbuilding, fishing, paper products. No men were forced to sell Mary Kay Cosmetics.
In Pakistan, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was the first woman to head the government of an Islamic state. She served from 1988-90, and 1993-96. Before being elected, she spent almost six years in prison or under detention for her political activism. She was ousted twice in corruption scandals, which may or may not have been political witch-hunts, but hey, that’s as good as the men. Too bad Muslims don’t drink, I’d have liked to have an Arak with her.
These countries have had acting or interim female Prime Ministers as far back as 1979; Portugal, Lithuania, France, Burundi, Canada, Rwanda, Bulgaria, Guyana, Mongolia, Finland, Peru, Macedonia, and Ukraine. In America in 1979, Bo Derek was elected the country’s number one sex symbol for her role in the movie “Ten”.
As to those polls claiming Hillary Clinton is “unlikable”, I can only marvel. I believe if most of the people who call her “unlikable” had her money and position, they wouldn’t give a damn about your college debt or your health care, or whether you had a job or your kid got a head start in education or a hot breakfast. They’d be living at a resort in the Caribbean, having daiquiris at the swim up bar and most probably under-tipping the over-worked waitstaff. Everything about her is likable to me, from the fact that she can take it, that she doesn’t give up, that she really wants to do good in the world, that she actually cares way beyond personal gain, that she’s so strong, that she isn’t a saint but rather knows how it works and can make it work to the good of all. I like her laugh and her flat no-nonsense midwestern tone. And oh yes, she’s a genius. The absolutely smartest person in the room, with the demeanor to reason, to command respect, and to lead. Did I mention she’s brilliant? We need someone to stand up against the obstructionist, misogynistic, myopic members of congress stuck in the 1950’s and trying to keep the country, women, immigrants, people of color, and anyone not exactly like them, back there. There is no denying George W. Bush was very, very likable, and the death toll in his misguided wake will reach into the millions, with the destruction of entire regions of the world. We need someone who understands the world. I think the world will see her coming and say, “The Americans finally grew up”.
At least twenty years ago, while I was walking along Fifty Seventh St. in Manhattan, stopping at Fifth Avenue to wait for the light so I could cross, I saw the most amazing thing. Across Fifth, a limo pulled to a quick stop. A beautiful man in a gorgeous suit jumped out and stood, looking around him. Within ten seconds, like dropping a huge dollop of honey in the middle of an ant colony, people on the street immediately started crowding Muhammad Ali. I saw paper and pens and pencils go high up in the air (no cell phones then), all shoved in his direction. He was smiling to the shouts of “Ali! Ali! Champ! Champ!”, and just started signing away. No announcement, no bodyguards. Cars stopped, traffic jammed. A police officer made his way to the center of the crowd to shake Ali’s hand. After five minutes he waved, jumped back in his limo, and was gone.
What a great time to be The Greatest. He might have just invented the Flash Mob. He didn’t have to check twitter to see how he was doing. He didn’t have to check Wiki, or IMDB, or Instagram, or Snapchat, or his Facebook fan page, or be isolated by virtual reality. His reality check was to check reality. He went headlong into it, saw he was definitely still trending, and with a big smile, The Greatest went about the rest of his day.