Tag Archives | Presidential Election

Labor Day & A Metaphor

It’s Labor Day weekend in the States: the last hurrah of summer, the beginning of fall, and–given that it’s an election year–the beginning of revved-up campaigning from both the right and the left.

The Repubs just finished their hot-air balloon of a convention (with apologies to hot-air balloons everywhere), leaving the world with a legacy of Lyin’ Ryan, The Empty Chair, and Ann Romney loving that her son spoke “great” Spanish (she knew it was great even though she says she “doesn’t know a word” of Spanish). Happily unleashed from facts–because, as a Romney pollster said, their campaign won’t be dictated to by fact-checkers–the Romney/Ryan campaign bus, full of animatronic Mitts,  trundles onward towards November.

Now, granted, Obama’s campaign has had its share of playing fast-and-loose with truthiness, but in a recent column, Charles M. Blow cites Mediaite as saying that Romney’s campaign is ahead in the “liar liar pants on fire” race, with a score of 46% to the Obama campaign’s 29%. Nearly 1 in 10 statements coming from the Romney camp is likely to be false, as opposed to 1 in 50 from Obama.

No matter how you slice it, that’s a grim statistic. I suppose politicians and world leaders have been lying to their flocks since forever, so maybe now it’s just that we have ways of discovering the lies (except no one can crack the mystery of Mitt’s taxes. Where o where have you hidden them, Mittens? Are they Romney’d to the roof of one of your many cars, perhaps the jeep you use in the Caymans?)  But if I have to choose a liar, I’m going to choose the person who lies the least.

Some of you, perhaps, want to throw your hands up in disgust and say “screw ’em all,” and stay home watching reruns of “Burn Notice” on the telly. Two words for you, people: Supreme Court. Be as disenchanted with the process all you want, but the person who is sitting in the White House for the next four years will choose two, maybe three Supremes. And anyone who wants even a remote shot at health care, transparent political systems, reasonable immigration policies, clean air/water/land, or relatively stable individual freedoms, should care deeply about who will be picking the next members of that abaya-clad group.

No, Obama hasn’t been perfect. Probably no one other than Clark Kent or god could’ve lived up to the national expectations that greeted Obama’s 2008 victory, and if you’re feeling disappointed, a recitation of his accomplishments probably won’t convince you – so I’m not going to say anything about child tax credits, or killing bin Laden, or Ledbetter, or Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, and I won’t send you to this list for a fuller account of what this “do-nothing” President has done.

I’m going to ask, instead, if you have any t-shirts that you wear and love, even if the t-shirt is a little rumpled, a little faded, a little bit stretched out?  I bet you do.  Maybe it’s the fave because it fits just so, or maybe because of the memories it connotes, or maybe you love the slogan blazoned across the front or stitched on the sleeve.

I have a t-shirt like that:

Yeah, it’s a little faded, a little wrinkled, a little stretched out, and the letters look a little worse for wear. But I love what it says. After all, hope was the only thing left in Pandora’s box after she released all the evils into the world; hope is “the thing with feathers/that perches in the soul,” says Emily Dickinson. What do we have without hope? We’ve got truth strapped to the roof of a campaign bus, like just another Romney pet, that’s what we’ve got.  And that, my friends, is simply not enough.

here’s what might be enough: come see what’s happening at yeah write this week (this month, too): the mommy bloggers will be blogging without help from our cute tykes and irascible partners. yeah write: one of the forces for good on the interwebs

Continue Reading · on September 3, 2012 in Feminism, NYC, Politics

Monday Listicles: Perry. Men.

This Monday’s listicle topic is chosen by Jen, over here at Just Jennifer. She wants people to write about reasons to have (or not have) children. Or if you have kids, to write about whether you do (or don’t) want any more.

Well. I have two boys. That’s the equivalent of a houseful of meerkats.  When I feel overwhelmed, I think about my next-door neighbor here, who has FIVE. Boys, not meerkats.  She’s the calmest human I know. My head could explode in flames while we’re in the elevator together and she would dump her water bottle on the fire, wrap a bandage around the worst injury, take my pulse, and feed me an aspirin before we reach our floor.

Let’s just say the baby-making factories are closed in my house. I would love to have a daughter—in fact, I always assumed I would have a daughter—but instead, boys. My sister has two daughters. I have considered swapsies, so we each could have a matched set, boy & girl, but for some reason she wants to raise her own kids.  Can you imagine? Selfish, selfish, selfish.

But this list offers me a chance to write on a marginally related topic: the problem with men named Perry. Or Peri, as the case may be.

Oh yes, you heard me. We’re talking about the fabulous Presidential Perry, Rick O’Texas, and that other Peri, Peri Men O’Paws.  Both are a nuisance, but only one will be gone (hope, pray) for sure in 2012.

Bad memories:
1. The governor of Texas would like to abolish several key Federal agencies. He just can’t remember which ones, exactly. Click here to watch him fumble. Hardest I’ve laughed in a week.

2. Peri Men O’Paws can’t remember when you’ve had your last period and doesn’t care. He just shows up, willy-nilly.


3. Rick O’Texas thinks abstinence is the only form of “sex ed” that should be taught in schools, even though statistics show that Texas (which mandates abstinence education) has the third-highest rate of teen pregnancies in the U.S.  Despite these statistics, however, he is sure that abstinence works.  Click here to be convinced.

4. Men O’Paws maintains an irregular schedule (known perhaps only to the moon) which makes abstinence frequently necessary, rarely convenient, and difficult to teach.

5. At public appearances, Texas Perry sometimes seems comatose, and then sometimes he’s aggressive (as when he crowded Ron Paul’s personal space during a September 2011 debate):

photo via AP on Huffington Post

Sometimes, though, O’Texas is just downright loopy, as he was during a campaign appearance in New Hampshire recently, when he told the audience bring their gold into his campaign manager.  Having a moody Texan with his thumb hovering over the nuclear button just can’t be a good thing.

6. Peri Men brings hormonal joyrides the likes of which I haven’t experienced since high school, when I regularly spent at least one day a month sobbing in my bedroom because the world was just TOO AWFUL.  Now those joyrides include snapping at my children, wishing Husband should take up residence on a houseboat in Lake Winnipesaukee (in the winter), loathing my late-mid-forties wrinkles, popping Advil as if they’re candy corn, and thinking that writing a blog is the stupidest goddamn thing I’ve ever done.

Bad hair:

7. Rick O’Texas has hair like a Ken doll. It manages to be both fluffy and immobile, just like Ken’s hair helmet.  I hope for his sake that Rick doesn’t smoke, because you just know that entire helmet is coated in flammable material.

8. Peri brings the gift of gray. Gray hair that refuses to play nicely with what’s left of the curly tresses from my youth.  The gray coils up out of my head like antenna, as if Peri is trying to talk to compatriots on the moon to make plans for pushing my body even further out of whack.

9. Texas Rick thinks that floods and other natural disasters are acts of God. Actually, he thought the British Petroleum explosion was an act of God, too. In other words, human actions ain’t got nothing to do with the environment and the science of climate change is “shaky.” His Texas agencies so deeply censored edited a scientific study of Galveston Bay that all the scientists who contributed to the study asked to have their names taken off the report.

10. Peri Men brings on floodwaters so profound that endless trips to the pharmacy are required for reinforcements against sartorial damage. And you don’t know what fun is until you’ve gone into a pharmacy filled with customers in abayas and headscarves, staffed only with men, and dumped your boxes of super tampons at the cash register where they practically scream out HELLO I AM A MENSTRUATING WOMAN AND PROBABLY UNCLEAN STAY AWAY.

11. O’Texas thinks that while abstinence is best for teen-agers, married folks should have babies galore. He wants to strip all funding from Planned Parenthood and promises to appoint only pro-life appointees to the Justice Department, the Attorney General’s Office, and the National Institutes of Health.  The fact abortions only count for about 3% of what Planned Parenthood actually does (as opposed to, say, things like blood-pressure screenings, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, or prenatal care)—well, that’s just a pesky detail.

12. Peri O’Paws seems to be suggesting that this old late-mid-forties married lady will have to stop at two babies.  The married lady in question thinks that probably this is a good idea, as a third child would only complete the fund-stripping process begun by first two children and then render the mother incapable of remembering any details about anything.

There you have it folks, a point-by-point analysis of why Perrys are to be avoided. I can take comfort in knowing that by November of 2012, the entire GOP sideshow will be over, one way or another.  Unfortunately, however, Peri Men O’Paws doesn’t operate by any calendar that I can deduce.   But you know what? I’d still rather be governed by O’Paws than O’Texas.


hey…yes, double-dipping again. This post linked to Monday’s Listicles and now I’m linking up over at Lovelinks, where you will find lots of funny smart writers. You should read around on the lovelinks page and then come back Thursday (after your turkey or your lentil loaf or your baloney sandwich, whatever) and VOTE for your top three. Probably you, unlike Rick O’Texas, can remember three things.

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Continue Reading · on November 21, 2011 in Children, environment, family, Feminism, Kids, Monday Listicle, Politics, ranting

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