Beyonce Sings Her Heart Out

Dear Readers:

Sunday, Beyonce joined Diana Ross, Madonna and Janet Jackson as a Super Bowl halftime  star. Would she lip-sync, some joked. Not a chance: just as she did at President Obama’s inauguration, once she hit the stage she did her thing live and in living color.

While I listened and watched as Beyonce sang inauguration day, I got to thinking, and then I got to writing:  She sings two anthems, but President Obama only listens to one.

Her personal anthem is: “Who Run the World (Girls).” Yes, I’ve written about this song before: I love the song and its message. Alas, we’re not running the world, at least judging by who sits in President Obama’s most important Cabinet seats (State, Defense and Treasury).

Women’s History Month will be on us in a blink-of-an-eye, and it’s already Black History Month: Let’s make some history and raise a little sand.  

 Ida B. Wells: One of the great “raise a little sand” originals.

Best wishes.

Rebecca

No More Women on Top?

Dear Readers:

In the aftermath of last month’s Susan Rice drama, @HuntsmanAbby hosted a HuffPost Live segment,”No More Women on Top,” in which I participated, along with (Amanda) @ATerkel, Huff Post senior political reporter and politics editor. That day’s question: Does this mean no woman at State, Treasury or Defense, (the big three)? This day’s answer: Looks like.  (See today’s New York Times article,Obama’s Remade Inner Circle Has an All-Male Look, So Far.“)

I summed up my view of the Rice matter, and how women can win, in this piece: (Once Again), Hillary Clinton Teaches Us How to Run the Table (Are You Listening, Susan Rice?). If I do say so myself, please heed.
 
Meanwhile on the topic’s — that would be women in power — upside, and for your viewing pleasure (can’t get enough of this picture), see this.  Friday, I again joined Huntsman; this time to: “Meet the Class.” That would be the class in this picture.

Best wishes. It’s going to be a rocking 2013.

Rebecca

Can we talk? This cookie-baking and “cult of mom” strategy are driving me crazy.

Dear Readers:

Earlier this week I learned just how important moms really are to this election: landing on my desk early one morning was notice from Politico’s Mike Allen about a new report on the election and American moms, issued by Walmart. Later, I got to read about the Michelle Obama/Ann Romney cookie-baking contest. (Does anyone believe either one of them baked cookies any time lately? Or thought about it or even wished-to? If you do, text me.)

According to Walmart, “The candidate’s family lives are very important to ‘(Walmart) moms.'”

Not much of a surprise there. I daresay candidates’ family lives are very important to the rest of us too, including the opportunity for women candidates to run on an equal playing field because their right to have a family and run for office isn’t questioned by perpetrators of the “cult of mom.”

For this reason, I wrote this piece for Huffington Post, in which I suggest that the “cult of mom” is about denying women public power, not about respecting the family choices women public officials make. So are cookie-baking contests for the First Lady and would-be First Lady.

(A note to my Chicago-based readers: I was prompted to write this piece because of an experience Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan had at the Democratic National Convention.)

Best wishes.

Rebecca

P.S. Meanwhile, Check out Hello Ladies for a vivid summary of how American women are actually spending their time.

Did You See Saul Alinsky the Other Night at the Kennedy Center? (Not-to-mention, President Obama and Rev. Al Sharpton)

Did You See Saul Alinsky the Other Night at the Kennedy Center?

Yes, yes, I know, I’m like a broken record, keeping writing about Saul Alinsky. But, as they sing on the records I like the best, he’s my main (political) man. So, there it is: I can’t help myself.

This Saul Alinsky piece is mostly about the unlikely duo of President Obama, “Mr. Cool,” and The Rev. Al Sharpton, (a “Mr. Hot,” to a lot of people), and their mutual affinity for Alinsky’s lessons. I’m taking comfort in the apparent closeness of this relationship, since this common understanding of Alinsky’s approach to politics is about making sure the 99% gets what it should.

The piece is my latest for Huffington Post Politics and RH Reality Check, and discusses this Presidential partnership — going back to my favorite records — in light of what James Brown sang on Soul Train back-in-the-day.

In memory of Don Cornelius, the genius who created Soul Train; James Brown; Saul Alinsky; and recollecting what each of them taught us, the President, and The Rev., I send this piece along.

Best wishes.

Rebecca

The inside hardball on President Obama’s Plan B emergency contraception decision

http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2011/12/13/what-does-obama-administrations-emergency-contraceptive-reversal-really-mean

Dear Readers:

I was dumbfounded by the President’s decision to prevent over-the-counter access to safe, emergency contraception for sexually-active teenagers (16 and under; there are lots of them), especially when all the docs, up to and including his FDA director, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, told him such access would be a good idea.

After thinking about the decision for a while, I realized what’s also at-play in this decision:  the willingness of two progressive, pro-choice women public officials, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (unabashedly), and Dr. Hamburg (so far), to go along with the President’s decision.

There’s been a hue and cry all over the place about this decision, both from a public health standpoint and a political standpoint (whose votes does this decision garner, really; for starters, surely not independent women voters with teenage children, who the President needs and wants, badly). 

Here is my solution to this sorry state-of-affairs, in which people in important political positions ignore the needs of the less-fortunate among us, in favor of advancing their own careers: Elect more women.

Of course, any woman won’t do, but the more in-place, the more chance the rest of us will have to lobby them to do what’s right for their sisters.

And while we’re at it, let’s hold the ones already elected and appointed to a higher standard, i.e., a standard that doesn’t sacrifice the health of young women to the desire to placate conservative men.

I hope you’ll share this link on your Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. accounts and also join me @RebeccaSive, aka #Political Girl.

Thanks for reading.

Rebecca