Carol Marin asks: “Why aren’t women running for office?”

Good afternoon, readers.

On this day, the National Day of Action (to prevent Stupak), when America’s women are in one of the biggest political battles of the last 50 years: battling to prevent the Stupak Amendment from becoming law, think about where we might be, instead, if more women were in high political office.

Would there be such misogynist legislation taken seriously, approached with such respect, from the White House on down, if women held office in greater numbers?

I don’t think so, even though I don’t believe that women are “purer” or “better” than men–one of the main reasons my hero, Jane Addams, gave for the need for women to be active in the “public sphere.”

Carol Marin takes a look at the reasons for the dearth of women in high (elected, political) places, in her column in today’s Chicago Sun-Times. Here’s the link:,CST-EDT-Carol02.article.

Carol concludes by saying: “…it’s up to us women to take the risk. And run.” Hear, hear. Yes, yes.

Check-out Carol’s column. And when you’re done, if you haven’t already, go to :, to find out how you can lobby Congress today.


“There’s a New Princess in Town”

This morning, I got to check-out Sunday’s edition of USA Weekend, an insert in the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as in another one of my favorite weekend papers, The Herald- Palladium. [If I’m reading it, that means I’m in beautiful Southwest Michigan. The very thought of that makes me very happy.]

The cover story? “Meet Disney’s First Black PRINCESS.” [All-caps’-type was theirs. “PRINCESS” was in a bright red font.]

The headline of the story? “There’s a New Princess in Town.” [“Princess” in blue type, this time.]

And who is that princess, but Anika Noni Rose, star of Dreamgirls, and, most recently, of the smash–and (my) girlfriends’ favorite–the HBO series: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

Disney’s choice of Anika Noni Rose made me very happy.

Anika Noni Rose is very, very smart, funny, beautiful, intense, and sensitive. She’s fit, in ever way, to be a queen, much less just a princess.

One has to wonder why it took until 2009 for Disney to select its “first black princess,” though, upon a moment’s reflection, it’s obvious: “Black (wasn’t) beautiful,” in the eyes of too, too many, for hundreds of years, too-too-long.

But, today, Michelle Obama, an African-American woman from the South Side of Chicago, is the First Lady, (and what are “first ladies,” after all, but royalty), living in the White House, by many lights the most important house in the world, a palace, if you will.

And, besides, she sure is princess-like–white ballgown, diamond bracelets, beautiful hair, and all.

So, I go to some of Ms. Rose’s comments in the USA Weekend story:

“It’s just so magnificent [to be playing the “first black Disney princess”]….It’s wonderful to be a part of this moment, the recognition of beauty outside of what has been the standard blond hair and blue eyes.”

Speaking of “standard blond hair and blue eyes,” I’ve never had either, either, but I sure do remember trying.

I remember, waaaay too vividly, the blond-hair-dye, kinky-hair-straightener, orange-juice-cans-as-hair-rollers of my teenage years. I remember trying, desperately, to get that “standard blond hair” you had to have, if you were ever going to have a shot at being a princess. [And we didn’t even dream about being queens.]

That was 40 years ago. Think of how many American girls with kinky brown hair have tried that horrible combo since then.

So, here’s to the new generation of American female royalty: Michelle, Anika, Anika’s fabulous co-stars, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott and Beyonce Knowles, and to every other American girl–African-American, Jewish, or otherwise–born with kinky brown hair.


The not-so-invisible empire: Part 2: Roger Simon nails-it.

Good morning,

Here’s Roger Simon in today’s Chicago Sun-Times*:

“To compete with the huge health care industry, you have to be huge yourself or you get steamrolled. That’s why a public option would work and a system of smaller health care ‘coops’ almost certainly would not.

“In general, the health care industry wants health care reform and for a very simple reason: It would mean 47 million new customers, many of them young and healthy.

“But the industry does not want a public option as a part of that reform, because a public option would be large enough to negotiate with private insurers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and doctors for lower costs.”

Why is Simon making this point: Exactly for the same reason I wrote my blog yesterday, recommending the President take-up the James-Carville/Huey-Long playbook.

That is, Simon is wondering whether the President has the “guts,” (Simon, again), to push for the public option, which, as Simon also points-out, the President knowsand has said–is the way to create competition with the empire otherwise known as the” health-insurance industry.”

Mr. President: Take-on the big guys, and share their wealth.

I’m reminded of the words of the British feminst-anarchist, Kate Sharpley:

“We have nothing to lose but our chains.” *

Kate Sharpley continues:

strong>”We are striving to bring about a condition of society in which there shall be neither slave nor master, neither poor nor rich, where all shall be able to satisfy their human desires, in a word we are striving for FREEDOM (sic). **



* “An Address To The Army,” The Sheffield Anarchist, July 19, 1891.

“She did not get a beer with the boys.”

Dear All,

So, here’s Roger Simon bright and early this morning on the guys having a beer at the White House last night:

“Three amigos get suds, she gets scorn”

“She did not get a beer with the boys. Lucia Whalen was not invited to the White House.

“The three amigos — Henry Louis Gates Jr., James Crowley and Barack Obama — threw down some cold ones on the South Lawn on Thursday as the whole world watched this ‘teach-able moment’ on race in America.

“And they deserved a drink. They had been through so much! How they had suffered!

“In reality, only Whalen, the woman [italics and asterisk mine] who called 911 on July 16 to report a possible break-in at the Cambridge home of Gates, acted responsibly from beginning to end in this whole affair.

“And she didn’t even get a free drink out of it….”
For the rest of the story, go to today’s Chicago Sun-Times: http://www.chicagosuntimes/.com. I saw the column in the Sports Final, page 22.


*Talk about a “teachable moment:” That all-American-boy image of quaffing a beer in the backyard on a summer afternoon just wouldn’t have been the same, had a woman been in it.