The Gulf: Between Perception and Reality

Dear Readers,

I hope you’ll take a look at this piece in today’s Huffington Post: The Gulf: Between Perception and Reality.

Then, if you’re so inclined, take action (NOW):

–Write the President, or your Member of Congress, or your U.S Senator, or whoever (else) you think can make a difference.

–Or, join in one of the environmental organization advocacy efforts. I’m partial to: the Natural Resources Defense Council, and to the Gulf Restoration Network,

–And/or post this article, and any others you think pertinent, to Facebook, or to Twitter, or otherwise share, by way of encouraging people’s awareness of this tragedy and the need to speak-up, and take action.



Malcolm X to Barack Obama: The Supreme Court Needs Someone Like Me

Dear Readers,

Here’s a link to my piece in yesterday’s Huffington Post re the President’s Supreme Court pick:

The title references Malcolm X for his quote that’s such a wonderful guidepost to life: “A man (or woman) who stands for nothing will fall for anything.

I’ve already sent the piece along to some of you; if you haven’t yet read, I hope you will, and, anyway, now it’s here for the duration:).

Best wishes.


White Men Can’t Jump: The Rep. Stupak Edition

Dear Readers,

Here is the latest call-to-action from Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood.

Please read, and take part. And, if you are in Washington, D.C. on December 2nd, there will be a major rally at The Capitol; see below for details.

Don’t let the anti-choice Stupak amendment become law.

You’re furious, and we hear you. Tens of thousands of Planned Parenthood supporters have expressed disappointment, sadness, and anger since the House adopted the anti-choice Stupak abortion ban to its health care reform bill.

Believe me, I’m just as angry as you are. And I want to take the outrage that supporters of women’s health are feeling and turn it into action. If we join together, we can still stop the Stupak ban and other efforts to undermine choice. The first step is simple, but it will be effective: sign our petition to President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid, and Speaker Pelosi.

If the Stupak ban becomes law, it will outlaw private abortion coverage for millions of women and prohibit coverage in the public option. That means that millions of women who currently have abortion coverage will lose it — and millions more will be locked out of the comprehensive coverage they have long deserved, even if they are paying for the entire cost out of pocket. It will be the most far-reaching restriction of abortion access in decades. We have to stop it now.

Take action to stop the Stupak ban before it’s too late. Click here to sign our petition:

When you speak out, lawmakers listen. [Last] Sunday, I asked Planned Parenthood supporters to contact President Obama and ask him to stand up for women — and more than 30,000 of you answered the call. The next day, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to women’s health and stated plainly that Congress must pass a health care reform bill that does not impose any further restrictions on women’s ability to choose a health plan that meets all of their health care needs, including abortion care.

Now, our focus turns to the Senate. We are demanding that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ensure that language similar to the Stupak ban does not become part of the Senate bill. Help us make it clear that the Senate must protect women’s access to complete reproductive care, including abortion.

Those of us who support women’s health and right to choose must come together and demand that women be treated fairly under health care reform. We need to tell our leaders — including President Obama, Majority Leader Reid, and Speaker Pelosi — that women must decide for themselves what kind of insurance coverage they can buy and what kind of health care they need.

Anything less is unacceptable.

Please, sign our petition right now: — and know that this is just the first step in what will surely be a long fight for women’s health.

Over the coming weeks, I’m going to ask you for help again and again. And on December 2, thousands of supporters will gather at the Capitol to speak with one voice and tell our
leaders: health care reform must protect access to abortion coverage. I hope you’ll stand with us, today and throughout this crucial campaign.

(C)2009 Planned Parenthood(R) Federation of America, Inc.


Why Roland Burris Matters to Barack Obama, Right Now

Dear Readers,

I’m delighted to tell you that I’ve become an Huffington Post blogger.

Go to: for: “A Lesson for Barack Obama from the Harold Washington Playbook,” my first.

My second, “Why Roland Burris Matters to Barack Obama, Right Now,” is a featured post today. It is at the link above, as well as at:

As I’ve gotten into this whole (blogging) thing over the last few months, I’m thinking I’d like to be a muckraker of the 21st century women’s movement, or, if you will, the Rachel Maddow of my generation: the unrepentant feminist truth-teller, strategist, and, yes, when needed, rabble-rouser and occasional (metaphorical) bomb-thrower; one who understands, and helps others understand, that, lest we thought otherwise, the (needed) women’s revolution is unfinished.

Case-in-point: Just think about the Saturday-night massacre this past Saturday night.

Mr. Stupak, (in my opinion, Mr. Stupid), and his infamous colleagues did more harm to America’s women than has been done in a generation. Read the brilliant Cecile Richards on this one:
“Dear Rebecca,

“[Saturday] was brutal.

“While there are some who are satisfied with the health care reform bill that passed in the House of Representatives late Saturday night, I am not one of them.

“When it came down to it, Congress passed a bill that will undercut women’s access to comprehensive health care. Despite hundreds of thousands of voters like you and me who called on members of Congress to include women’s health care in health care reform, the bill that passed late Saturday night includes a ban on private abortion coverage for millions of women and would prohibit it in the new ‘public option.’

“Opponents of legal abortion and health care for women are emboldened by Saturday night’s vote and ready to bring their ban on abortion to the Senate floor. But now it’s our turn.

“President Obama campaigned on a promise to put reproductive health care at the center of his reform plan. Supporters of women’s health voted for him and contributed to his campaign in record numbers — and now it’s time for the president to reaffirm his commitment to women’s health, and demand that Congress reject any bill that leaves women worse off under health care reform than they are today. Take a moment right now to tell President Obama that we need him to stand with us — in both his words and in his actions.

If there’s anything we learned Saturday, it’s that women’s health is being targeted as expendable in health care reform.” _______________________________________________________________
Another great woman and feminist colleague, Marcia Greenberger, head of the National Women’s Law Center, cited the benefits of Saturday’s bill.

But, remember, we will get none of these, if the right bill doesn’t pass the Senate. And, here’s my question: Do we want any bill to pass the Senate that codifies women’s second-class status; that takes us back to the dark, pre-Roe, back-alley days?

Here is Marcia’s list of the bill’s benefits:

–gender-based pricing in health insurance is barred, ending the practice of charging women more;

–financial assistance would be available to members of a group that includes a higher proportion of women: those with incomes too high to be eligible for Medicaid but not sufficient to afford market-priced insurance;

–all insurance companies would be banned from denying coverage of pre-existing conditions, including pregnancy, breast cancer and intimate-partner abuse;

–preventive care, such as Pap smears and mammograms, would be required, benefiting numerous women who might otherwise skip such screenings; and

–a national insurance exchange will be created where small businesses can buy insurance at lower cost and where no higher prices to cover female employees will be permitted, a provision that helps women because most small employers are women with female employees.

Back to the Huffington Post.

Here’s what the HP blogteam suggests, so that thoughts can be shared, and, I hope, most-of-all, be used as encouragement to organize:

–Email/IM: Send a note, with a link to my posts, to any lists you’re on and encourage comment.

–Encourage your friends to share the post, too.

–Facebook/Twitter: Share the post via Facebook or Twitter.

Sisterhood is powerful: let us not forget this.


Two Chicago Community Organizers and the Nobel Peace Prize

Good morning.

In 1931, Jane Addams, a community organizer in Chicago since founding Hull House a full 40plus years before, won the Nobel Peace Prize, for work she’d begun almost two decades before.

According to the Nobel Prize Committee, see:, here are some reasons why Addams won: “…[in 1913] at a ceremony commemorating the building of the Peace Palace at The Hague and in the next two years, as a lecturer sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation,[Addams] spoke against America’s entry in to the First World War. For the next 14 years, she served as the president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.”

According to CNN’s report this morning, see: (,quoting the Nobel Prize Committee’s press release: Our President’s “…diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.”

Continuing, CNN said: “Obama’s recognition comes less than a year after he became the first African-American to win the White House….Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, last year’s laureate, said it was clear the Nobel committee wanted to encourage Obama on the issues he has been discussing on the world stage.

“‘I see this as an important encouragement,’ Ahtisaari said.

“The committee wanted to be ‘far more daring’ than in recent times and make an impact on global politics,’ said Kristian Berg Harpviken, director of the International Peace Research Institute.

“And Wangari Muta Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist who won the 2004 Peace Prize, said the win for Obama, whose father was Kenyan, would help Africa move forward.

“‘I think it is extraordinary,’ she said. ‘It will be even greater inspiration for the world. He has shown how we can probably come together, work together in a cooperative way.'”

You tell me: What’s the matter with this picture? A woman slogs away for 42 years and wins a prize. A man wins the very same prize because it is hoped he will be encouraged to further inspire and “make an impact.”

What’s truly “daring”? I say it’s having the courage of your convictions, sticking with them for a lifetime, and demonstrating results.

Tragically, a full century-plus later since Jane Addams began to demonstrate the courage of her convictions, and to show results, in a very rough Chicago neighborhood, we still live in a world where the scales of justice are uneven.

Think about it: Would any woman have won the Nobel Peace Prize, so that she would be “encouraged” to do the right thing?

It’s a laughable notion.