Stupak-Stupid in (Women’s) Suffrage Month

Dear Readers,

Why oh why is this happening? Here’s the latest scoop, from my perspective.

At the links above, you’ll see my commentary on the President’s recent policymaking on the matter of access to abortion. These posts of mine elicited hundreds of comments on The Huffington Post, a symptom, I imagine, of interest in the topic.

As most of you know, I’ve not been a happy camper on this front.

Well, now, not even the President’s strongest allies at the national pro-choice women’s organizations are happy, either. They seem almost as distressed as I. They have submitted letters, called for reconsideration, and, I imagine, have had private meetings. [To no avail, so far.]

So, why, oh why, is this happening? Why is the President taking this course?

I can only conclude that the President is, in this instance, as he says he always does, making policy according to his own lights. In this instance, however, he damns the fact that pro-choice women elected him.

Well, the problem is that this latest approach of his just won’t work. Further, it seems a bad decision, if his goal is advancing women’s overall good health and preventive healthcare.

Whatever the reason for the President’s decision, it’s really, really important for each of us to let the President know our view. You can do that here: “White House dot gov.” This makes a lot of sense to me in this week when we celebrate women’s suffrage.



From BP Massacre to BP Massacred.

Dear Readers,

Here is the link to my featured piece in today’s Chicago edition of the Huffington Post.

Among other places, the piece also appears on OnEarth, the wonderful NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) web site, the WTTW Chicago Tonight website, Buzzflash, the USA Today subject page re the Great Depression (keep reading at the link, and you’ll see why), and, of all places, on the Madison Square Garden website, which, lately, has been picking-up my work. (Maybe I can get a ticket the next time Beyonce plays there:).

Seriously, this isn’t funny, but laughing to keep from crying is part of the “mo” right now.

As I’ve advocated before, do feel free, if you haven’t yet, or, if you have, to express your views, get involved, and other wise help out. It’s that important, as the President reminded us yesterday and today.

Best wishes.


Abort the Executive Order

Dear Readers,

Here are my thoughts about the Executive Order the President signed yesterday, in the presence of Bart Stupak and his anti-choice cronies. I have to say this really, really doesn’t feel good.

Go to this link for the post at RH Reality Check:



Coakley, Schmoakley: You’re Not Our Heroes Anymore

Dear Readers,

Here’s my take on tomorrow’s big U.S. Senate election, taken from the Huffington Post national Politics and Chicago pages. Go here:



Here is the full text of my post, inspired by one of my favorite musicians, B.B. King, and doubly-inspired by thinking about Dr. King: Check-it-out.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley may or may not be elected to the U.S. Senate tomorrow. I ask you: What difference will it make–one way or the other?

Badly, the Democratic guns-for-hire, Coakley’s would-be colleagues, and the President want Martha Coakley elected because they, badly, want their sixtieth vote for a healthcare bill that presently renders American women unequal, second-class to the men around them.

Coakley can’t wait to vote for it: In thrall to Ted Kennedy’s legacy and desirous of keeping the “Kennedy seat,” talk about entitlement, she campaigns with Vicki Kennedy to make her case.

So, let’s say Martha Coakley pulls it out of the bag. Then what?

Well, at the same time Friday that the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee was pleading with me to send money to help get Martha Coakley elected, I received a call from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) fundraiser.

Now, Amy is a longtime and dear personal friend: A law school classmate of my husband’s, we have sent money to Amy since her first run for office back in the 90’s. So, when Amy decided to run for the U.S. Senate, I took it upon myself to introduce her to then Senator Obama’s donor-world: the world of big-money, progressive Chicago Democrats. The dividends (for her) have paid-off ever since.

But what about the dividends for me, for the rest of the women of Chicago, for the women of Minnesota, or for the rest of America?

Talk about the bag. Looks to me like we’ve all been left, holding the bag.

The reason for the formation of Emily’s List, say, and of other women’s organizations that raise money and work to elect pro-choice, Democratic women candidates, was crystal-clear: It was to increase the representation of Democratic women in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, so that these women would do what the Democratic men had failed to do: make the American world an equal one.

We were highly motivated; we worked really hard; we had a great interest in helping the interested women among us achieve this opportunity to serve—in order to serve our interests.

Instead, we find them serving their own.

As I’ve previously written in these pages, in lockstep with their male colleagues, the 13 Democratic women U.S. Senators voted for a healthcare “reform” bill that, tragically, takes millions of American women back to pre-Roe v. Wade days, i.e., to daily life in which they will, odds-are, be unable to obtain an abortion, in their very own state.

As to the Democratic women Members of the House of Representatives, well, yes, a group is fighting hard against the Stupak Amendment (talk about pre-Roe!), but their leader, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, birthed Stupak in the first place. Talk about failing to serve the interests of women.

You’re not my heroes anymore.

Your elections excited me. Your elections motivated me to (keep) helping you, because I believed that your election meant I would have representatives of me, fighting for me.

Well, as B.B. King would say: “The thrill is gone.”

Don’t come to me saying you represent me; don’t come to me saying that I owe you my financial support; don’t come to me saying that you are the defender of my rights; don’t come to me saying you matter to women, or, worse yet, for women.

For, right now, you don’t.

So, until further notice, my phone is on voicemail; my checkbook is closed; my e-mail contact list doesn’t include you; my living room chairs are empty of women donors; and my speeches for you won’t get written.

B. B. continues: “The thrill is gone away for good.”

Is it?

That’s up to you.

On this day of all days, on the day when we honor the work of a man assassinated for standing- up and acting on his belief in equal rights, the least you can do is:

· Stop making deals, stand-up to the enemy, and fight like Dr. King did.

· Stop thinking that being just a little bit better than the guys next-door is enough help for those who depend on you. Dr. King didn’t make this mistake, and neither should you.

· Stop thinking that being in proximity to power is sufficient (to our needs). The only thing that actually matters, on days like these, is having the power, and using it to do good.

· Stop thinking that fighting to “maintain the status quo” is a win, ‘cause, gee whiz, I tried really hard. It isn’t, not when women’s very lives are at-stake.

· Stop thinking “half a loaf is better than none.” Sometimes, some days, these days, this day,it’s not. We know that, and so should you.

On this day, of all days:

· Know that your male colleagues don’t understand what we need, in the way that you do. We need you to do what needs doing.

· Know that your sworn enemies won’t, ever, honor their word. The last few months of “healthcare reform” are ample proof of that, if any were ever needed. We need you to outflank our enemy, however you can manage to do that.

· Know that equal rights can’t be achieved by conducting business “as usual.” We need you to conduct the business that needs conducting, no matter the price you may personally pay for breaking away from the (male) norm.

· Know that you owe us a debt, and it’s time to pay it. We need you do what Dr. King did: Fight until you can’t fight anymore.

I close as B.B. closed: “I’m free, free now; I’m free from your spell, and now that it’s over, all I can do is wish you well.”