Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Real First Ladies

Real First Ladies

America has been privileged through the centuries to have had so many First Ladies who made a true difference to the betterment of our country. By fighting racism and sexism, going to war, influencing their husbands to see women as equals, they helped bring about progressive legislation and human rights. We have had so many intelligent, evolved women for young people to look up to and model themselves after. These woman moved the country forward. Of course, some First Ladies do absolutely nothing, wasting the most valuable opportunity imaginable to make positive change in a world that needs it. What a shame. We don’t need First Stepfords when a true original can change the world.

There were so many women in the White House who were our best faces forward. First to come to mind is of course Eleanor Roosevelt, but so many more as well contributed to the betterment of people and country. They did so with their bravery, brains and moral courage. Here are some real women to admire:

Martha Washington (First Lady 1789-1797)
She remained beloved by Revolutionary War veterans, and was publicly known to provide financial support or to intercede on behalf of those among them in need.

Dolly Madison (First Lady 1809-1813)
A patriot in action, not rhetoric. In the hours preceding the burning of Washington by British troops during the War of 1812, she famously refused to leave the White House before being assured that the large portrait of George Washington was removed from the walls and taken safely away from potential destruction by the encroaching enemy.

Sarah Polk (First Lady 1845-1849)
She outlived her husband by about forty years. She had been such a beloved First Lady that during the Civil War, both sides respected her neutrality, and she entertained officers from both armies.

Lucy Hayes said in 1876, “Woman’s mind is as strong as man’s…equal in all things and is superior in some.” After the Civil War started, Lucy wished she could take up arms for her country. She spent a substantial amount of time with her husband in camp with the 23rd Ohio, earning the nickname “Mother of the Regiment”.

Lou Hoover (First Lady 1929-1933) said, “It is very possible to have both a home and a career in this modern age”. She created controversy by eliminating outdated social customs such as the refusal to receive pregnant women at the White House, and by inviting all Congressional wives, including the wife of African-American Congressman Oscar DePriest from Chicago, to the White House. For that she was highly criticized, but never regretted her decision.

Mamie Eisenhower in 1953 strongly campaigned to invite African-American opera singer Marian Anderson to perform at the inauguration. She also made sure her African American staff had accomodations in still segregated Washington, and were welcomed at all the Inaugural events.

Lady Bird Johnson’s accomplishments read more like a successful presidents tenure in office. She toiled for integration, campaigning without her husband through the south, where she was spit on by segregationist protesters and hit with a picket sign, and she never flagged in her dedication to equality. She raised the profile of women in education, politics and public life. She raised the President’s consciousness on the equal competence of women in public service and influenced his efforts to advance women. She said, “If you achieve the precious balance between a woman’s domestic and civic life, you can do more for zest and sanity in our society than by any other achievement…” She got project Head Start off the ground. She introduced “Beautification,” an umbrella title for a wide variety of efforts, legislation and public campaigns that were a combination of rural and urban environmentalism, national parks conservation, anti-pollution measures, water and air reclamation, landscaping and urban renewal.

Jackie Kennedy showed the world America had a brilliant, educated and thoughtful First Lady, back when education was valued instead of derided by people who think wallowing in ignorance makes them patriotic, and calling people who like to think and learn “elites”. She traveled abroad and spoke to leaders in their own languages. She campaigned abroad for American textiles and industry. She brought the fine arts to Washington, and made culture accessible and available. She restored the White House. Knowing she couldn’t ask congress for the restoration money it would take, she looked at how many people toured the White House every day, designed a little booklet of White House information and history, and put a dollar price tag on it. With this simple idea, she raised millions to restore the White House and its historical artifacts.

Hillary Clinton was a beacon of intelligence and modern ideas. Her health care plan was brilliant, just ahead of its time. Yet she did manage to get the Children’s Health Insurance Program passed, covering more than eight million children. She championed the Violence Against Women act, the Adoption and Safe Families act, the Foster Care Independence act, and so much more. You can’t be controversial if you aren’t rocking the boat, working for change, shaking up the old ideas and trying to bring the world forward. As First Lady she was a great ambassador to the world, showing what American women were made of and what we could achieve. She raised a brilliant and successful daughter in the White House, a feat in itself. She made America proud.

Michelle Obama, the first African American First Lady, was a paragon of grace under pressure, and composure in the face of racism and ignorance. She was the Jackie Robinson of First Ladies, and despite the pressures on her every day, she carved out a magnificent legacy. With two Ivy League degrees, she launched Let’s Move! to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity. She got congress to pass the School Lunch Program, making sure children didn’t go hungry, and putting healthier foods in schools while also educating parents. She worked with the US Tennis Association to build/refurbish more than 6,200 junior tennis courts and sign up 250,000 kids to complete their PALAs, and train 12,000 coaches to help kids learn the sport of tennis. She worked tirelessly to make America better for all. She also raised two lovely daughters in a loving marriage, a role model indeed.

Right now the First Lady role is a vacuum. What a sad waste. Here’s hoping our next First Lady, whoever she may be, or our First Gentleman for that matter, values messages over massages, actions over infractions, “we first” over “me first”,  paving the way over wasting the day. You’re  not supposed to drop the mic until after you’ve said something.

 

You’re “Not Excited” About Hillary? Here’s Some Excitement

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.

 

 

 

Entertainment (News) Trumps the Truth

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:

Former Models for Donald Trump’s Agency Say They Violated Immigration Rules and Worked Illegally.

“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.

Dear Bernie Supporters

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.