Friday, February 22, 2013
White House Press Corp Drama – Complains About Access, “Forgiven” –Except for Politico – Suddenly Transparency is at Issue.
The White House Press Corp – Image and Article from DM News “Reporters Notebook – Controlling the Message in the White House”>
The drama that has evolved between the White House Press Corp and President Obama began with a golf outing in Palm Beach – the President preferred to Golf alone with Tiger Woods, the Press Corp was invited along for the ride, but there was no access to the President and his Partner during the games. Consequently, the Press Corp became disgruntled and frustrated over “lack of access” to the President during what surely must have been a crucial meeting. Perhaps it was not so much the lack of access to the actual golf game, for if that is the case, the once-proud organization has been rendered completely useless. It would be better if, after being perceived as nothing more than a “mouthpiece” for the past 5 years and asking relatively no tough questions, those who truly are journalists, and care about their unique position as watchdog between the Oval Office and the Public, have simply had enough.
The White House Press Corp has a history - that began in 1914 at the suggestion of President Wilson. Although not a formal institution at the time, there were reporters who had been assigned to cover the President, Wilson unsure about who to include, passed the decision off to the “Congressional Standing Committee of Correspondents”, the original reporters (11) were incensed, and thus the Official White House Press Corp Association was formed. (WHCA) Generally speaking one would conclude that a journalist assigned to the White House, would be a watchdog of sort, having more access to the President than any others in their field. Ample opportunity has been given in the past to give those members the ability to ask tough questions, and develop, through print, a complete portrait of the individual who held the highest elected office in the nation. Developing, if one will, a series of snapshots that would give the reader a more complete idea of who was sitting in the oval office – a serial biography.
This particular President, compared to his predecessors, according to some, has been given a pass in general, on every topic, on every decision, by those in the media that have access or not – Bush and Clinton enjoyed no such “look the other way” behavior by the crème de la crème, of said media, the White House Press Corp. Times have changed.
Now, that those members had dared to complain, some of their counterparts rallied around the President (See Rachael Maddow, MSNBC, video on the subject (1:45 mark) at Mediabistro.com., the balance ignored the story completely. To those who complained, the President met with all of them, except for one, Politico.
Politico’s most recent piece, is a follow-up to the litany of complaints regarding access and including those links to articles written under the Politico banner regarding access. The Title “President Obama holds off-record meeting with top White House reporters”, speaks about the invitation to the Press Corp, to meet with the President after the complaints, with the exception of Politico’s White House Press Corp member – apparently due to being unapologetic to the President. Politico.
For a once-respected organization, that gave more formidable men and women that Carney, the current Press Secretary, fits, the current crop is perceived as rather benign, taking notes, rather than rendering Carney speechless, without comebacks and stuttering while C-SPAN camera’s roll on.
What did they expect?
More to the point, what good would a pass to watch the President golf with Tiger Woods accomplish? – It’s certainly not the PGA, and there was an appropriate reporter following the game – one from Gold Digest. One might not expect the President of the United States to give any pertinent information during a golf outing, a time when one is enjoying a break from “work”. Moreover, if there was something going on that the Press Corp could file, besides the fact that the President was golfing with Tiger Woods, it is doubtful that there would be anything in the Press as a result. Not in this era, not with this President and not with the collective Press.
When one is looked at as more of a propagandist than one who truly practices a craft, then one has a lot of nerve complaining. That is how this is being perceived by those who have read, watched or listened in stunned disbelief while “Rome” burned, and there was a virtual “blackout” of any further questions that may have answered questions or otherwise shed light on situations that left more than a few on the table. The situation is Benghazi for one, given the national coverage, or lack therefore, of the events leading to the deaths of an American Ambassador, and those Marine’s attempting to protect him. The general public, (otherwise considered “low information voters”) are not even aware of what occurred. (Moreover, the lack of attention to actual news has developed “low information voters” to begin with – the Press being an accomplice so to speak.
One used to count on the news to enlighten, not entertain, or be a mouthpiece for a political idea, a party or President – Op-eds, or editorial content was found in one section of the paper, or one segment of the news, rather than scattered through any given publication, including the sports section, where they now reside.
Politico, being one of the aforementioned, appears to be nothing more, at this point, than a child being “punished” for disobeying a “parent”, and shouting loudly on order to get that “parents” attention. Perhaps if they should loud enough, the President will grant them access – Once granted, they will go back to being the willing, and useful, left wing of the White House. Should they stand for an organization and a profession that had been held in the highest esteem by the general American Public since 1690, when the short-lived Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, out of Boston, was published (History.org), then that would spark the beginning of a revolution of sorts, leaving ideology at the door, and doing a bit of straight reporting. Something that is sorely missed, by those who had a belief in the press, at a time when the editorial section was the only place one would find opinion in the grand old newspaper.
Posted by Tina Hemond at 7:05 AM
Labels: History of the White House Press Corp. The changes in the U.S. Press., Politico White House Press Corp, White House Press Corp
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Fired Ohio Woman Sues Employer – Suggests Cause was her Vote for Obama – The Manipulation and Downfall of Being a “low-information” voter.
Applebees announced layoffs due to Obamacare - Image with article from the Examiner
Headline: from the Ohio Dispatch : “Ohio woman claims she was fired for Obama vote”, goes into some detail regarding a woman who filed suit against her former employer, a defense contractor, claiming her loss of employment was due to her personal vote for President Obama – she filed the suit (3) three months after her separation. (Read balance of story and comments here at dispatch.com)
The comments under the article are accusatory towards the woman, based upon her vote, rather than what should be obvious, for the most part. Those commenting are suggesting that if the owner of the company fired her due to her vote, it was justified; however they are missing two points.
The first is that the woman most likely was fishing for any excuse to find income after the separation, the national proclivity to bring suit over just about anything, is not lost on the general public (given the findings made in terms of suits filed on the most ridiculous of cases.) What better excuse, than an employee who is found to be out of a job, especially one who had been “last hired”, in a declining economy, with little to stand on, possibly believing that her separation was due to her political leanings?
If one however, reads one’s local or national news outlets, including online, broadcast and print, then one understands that the economy has driven the number of available jobs, and the number of layoffs. In addition, due to the costs to employers of the Affordable Health Care Act, there was sufficient notice, through the media outlets mentioned, that employers were more than vocal about the additional need to scale back on employees hours, as well as noting the costs would make it impossible to either keep those hired, or hire additional employees.
One might look at headlines today, based on a simple “Google News” search and find the following using “layoffs health care law” (simple search):
January 26th, 2013 "Aurora Health Care Says It Will Lay Off Employees Because Of Obamacare " (Huffington Post)
February 1, 2013 "Medical Company Blames ‘Obamacare’ For Layoffs Of Nearly 100 People" (CBSDC)
February 8, 2013 "Looming layoffs, pay freezes, hold the R&D: Regional manufacturer says medical device tax under healthcare law will hurt business”(Penn Live)
Today, February 21, 2013 "Farmington hospital to cut up to 40 jobs"(WGME Maine)
(The above is particularly disturbing for those who are concerned about availability of health care in general, as there are multiple articles in this vein, from Hospitals across the nation. Staff is being reduced to cut costs – those costs cutting measures are associated with the Affordable Health Care Act, as it pertains to providers of Health Care. In short, under the Affordable Health Care Act, providers must find ways in which to reduce the cost of healthcare generally. One such cost cutting measure that patients may face is the 30 day waiting period for appointments to treat the same diagnosis. This is designed to insure that hospitals’ make the “right call” and provide the correct treatment the first time an individual visits their provider. If not, the Hospital is footing the bill, should that individual present the same systems, and visit that provider within (30) thirty days. All things being equal, should human error occur, the provider may make the decision to push an appointment up – or offer a new diagnosis. As private hospitals are owned by corporations which have an obligation to make a profit in order to continue operations, an alternative is to reduce their overhead, (they are also subject to the employers additional costs to implement this act.) is to lay off staff, and/or to reduce hours.)
The above are relatively new articles, however, if one goes back a bit further into 2012, as the costs to employers under the law became more defined (Nancy Pelosi “Sign the Bill now, find out what’s in it later” approach come home to roost), the writing was on the wall and the front page:
For example: October 14, 2012 ”YET ANOTHER CEO ASKS EMPLOYEES TO VOTE ROMNEY FOR SAKE OF THE COMPANY (AND THEIR JOBS)” (The Blaze). Although the article points to the Blaze, a blog, cites MSNBC as the source for the individual companies who were, in desperation, trying to drum up votes for Mitt Romney out of fear of the costs of “Obama Care” to both the employer and employee.
August, 2012 "California Obamacare: LA County Prepares For Massive Health Care Restructuring" (Huffington Post)
The list of companies that have laid off since it was clear the mandate would go forward with the re-election of the President can be found on blogs such as ”Share This Massive List of Post Election Firing and Layoffs…”(The Economic Collapse Blog)
Using “low Information voters” – a term that is in itself, insulting, but for lack of another term and politically correct, is a new tactic by politicians - Those who are deemed “low information voters” are those that either do not avail themselves news on a local or weekly basis, if at all, or limit themselves to their local and national broadcast news. Therefore, they are somewhat easily “fooled” into thinking or voting a certain way, or for that matter, may fail to take shelter in light of a coming storm!
Understanding that the ”news” may be boring, and more to the point, that finding news sources and information by multiple outlets, may be too time consuming and/or challenging for the average voter (which is truly the term that should be used). Of course, news may be depressing, or incomprehensible, (given the state of our education system in the U.S.) – or shunned due to one political bent or the other (i.e. Fox on the left, MSNBC on the right) This type of news consumer is more prone to believe their separation of employment was caused by a vindictive employer knowing how they voted. On the face of it, ridiculous, however, in truth, they may simply not know better. If one is honest, especially those commenting on the Dispatch Article (Paragraph 1), they might know a family member, or several, friends and coworkers, who are not particularly keen on reading, listening or watching news in depth. The current state of affairs offers more teaching moments than not, when one considers that to be well-informed and educated on a subject gives on more power to make an informed decision.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The City of Detroit, not unlike cities across the country, taking on increasing debt, has reached its limit. According to the New York Times , the City of Detroit has been found to be fiscally unsustainable, and yet, somehow suggests that the City, with a majority African American Population and run by Democrats for Decades, is somehow a race issue, as the State as a whole has a “ population is nearly 80 percent white and Republicans, including Mr. Snyder, control the capital.”. (NY Times). That said, The City’s finances, reviewed by a State panel, and found to be dismal, to the point where the Govenor may appoint a City Manager – appears to have a rather long history of financial struggles – mostly based on corruption, incompetence and the cost of running a City, all under the supervision of those same Democrats that the NYTimes suggests are somehow victims.
Put aside the race baiting and the partisanship and one finds this City’s problems are a fiscal issue, one where , regardless of what has taken place in the past, attempting to fix the problem is the only way out, even if that means a State Manager is necessary (See City of Springfield, MA under the guidance of the Commonwealth). When Cities spend too much on City employee pensions and salaries, (those that are above the medium for private and public sector works in a given state), that is a starting point, but not the entire problem, there is the unchecked and rampant fraud committed by the City employees and elected officials, there is the exodus of city residents, where fewer tax-paying residents are able to support the aforementioned and eventfully, something has to give.
A timeline of Detroit’s decent into ruin by Reuters: suggests the problems began in 1973 under a long-term Coleman Young, who ran the city until 1993 (some late highlights from Reuters follow: read the entire article here at reuters.com:
In September 2008, Kilpatrick left office after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice charges, and City Council President Kenneth Cockrel became interim mayor.
The U.S. Census reported in March 2011 that Detroit's population fell in 2010 to 713,777 - a 100-year low and a 25 percent decline from 2000. The drop threatened key tax revenue sources that were tied to a population of at least 750,000.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in June 2011 signed legislation allowing Detroit to continue collecting income and utility taxes. Bing warned in November 2011 that Detroit faced a projected cash shortfall of about $150 million by the end of March 2012.
In March 2012, about half of Detroit's unions accepted pay cuts and other concessions to save the city $68 million annually. The Michigan Court of Appeals allowed the review team to continue working on a potential consent agreement with the city. An interim bond issue to raise $80 million for Detroit's near-empty coffers was sold.
In June 2012, Detroit's top lawyer asked a state court to void the consent agreement on the basis that the state owed the city money. The lawsuit postponed plans for a bond sale to replace the March interim borrowing and raise a total of $137 million for Detroit. Bing, meanwhile, warned the city could soon run out of cash, putting a debt service payment on $1.5 billion of pension debt in peril. As a result, Detroit's credit ratings were cut further into junk.
In July, Bing imposed 10 percent pay cuts on workers.
Michigan voters on Nov. 6 repealed the state's emergency manager law.
The governor on Dec. 27 signed a new emergency manager law to take the place of the law repealed by voters in November. The new law, which takes effect in late March, gives fiscally struggling cities and school district options for dealing with their problems.
An audit released on Jan. 3 showed Detroit's cumulative deficit jumped to $326.6 million at the end of fiscal 2012 on June 30, from $196.6 million in fiscal 2011.
Bing announced on Jan. 25 that the approval of more goals by the city council would allow Michigan to send $20 million of the bond proceeds to the city.
As the formal review of Detroit continued, Snyder revealed on Feb. 11 he had a "short list" of candidates to fill the job of Detroit's emergency financial manager if he decides the city needs one.(Reuters)
Therefore what took place in Detroit began with one city administration followed by others, who kept pushing the increasing public employee debt “can” down the road, The City lost 25 percent of its population over a 10 year period, which eroded the already stressed tax base, and by not dealing with the problem at any time between the 1980’s to 2012 – the current Mayor, Bing, is trying to stop the bleeding with band-aids – but, that began in 2012 with a City Union agreement. The state’s voters passed a bill that took the States ability to help failing cities away, the State’s Govenor signed a new law reversing that bill, in order to step in and save Detroit, but it’s Detroit’s call.
Looking at Detroit’s Demographics is an eye opener: Based on 2009 census data the population of Detroit was 711,700, noting a loss of 25% over the prior census, medium income in Detroit was $18,614, with a medium rent of $749., (City Data),
Compared to a similar metropolitan area in terms of population in the Midwest, with a population of 807,584, the Medium Household income was at$40,278 and the medium rent at $715. (City Data).
That suggests a majority of those living in Detroit were in poverty, with a high rental costs, and those that could, left the City and possibly the State.
A former Chief of Communications from the City of Detroit suggests the only option for the City is a managed bankruptcy. Commenting on the report released Karen Dumas, suggests Detroit’s woes, began a decade ago (contrary to Reuters findings), and follows with a short laundry list of issues that should have been corrected:
The city's long-term liabilities surpassed $14 billion, what it cost American taxpayers to bail out the entire auto industry.(Detroit Free Press)
The city charter is structured in a way that shackles the city and keeps it from making changes needed to survive.
And the city broke the law -- a lot -- by not amending its budget to prevent deficit spending. It kept paying for things that it could not afford. For instance, it paid last year for 285 employees at 36th District Court. The court has 350 employees, not counting judges. And the court owes the city $199 million.
The city did not balance its checkbook every month, just once a year.
The city sometimes recorded expenses in the wrong place, wrong account or the wrong year.
Some information about city workers did not match information in the personnel files.
When the city paid some insurance claims, they kept a record of the payments, but not of the claims that forced them to make the payment.
The city had no process for anonymous reporting of ethical or fraud violations.
The city used restricted funds to pay for things those funds could not pay for. That's why they're called restricted funds. As a matter of fact, some funds shared the same bank accounts.
The city sometimes determined weekly paychecks without computers and without having the amounts verified by managers. So some paychecks, perhaps many paychecks, were wrong.
And the city kept breaking the rules and operating like it was the 1950s until it accumulated $13 billion in bond debts and a $326-million deficit.
On Pensions and the City Management:
From the Detroit Free Press: 2010: “Risky bets cost Detroit pension funds $480 million”, reviews the mess pension fund managers made out of Detroit’s City Pension fund. Detroit’s Mayor Bing, responded to the Free Press: Asked about the losses, Mayor Dave Bing said in a statement: "The current obligations of the city's two pension systems are unsustainable."
He did not elaborate.
On City Pensions:
From the New York Times: an article entitled “Public Pensions, Once Off Limits, Face Budget Cuts” reviews the City of Detroit as well as other cities nationwide as to Union pensions. On Detroit specifically:
The struggles of Detroit, of course, are extreme. The report by the arbitrator, Thomas W. Brookover, noted that although the city’s unemployment rate was officially 28 percent, there was evidence that less than 37 percent of the city’s residents were actually working. The population had crashed. Property tax revenues were dwindling. Detroit had drained its rainy day fund, reduced overtime, offered property-tax amnesty, sold public assets, borrowed money, allowed casinos to set up shop — and still its deficits kept growing.(New York Times)
The average pension for retired police officers in Detroit is not especially rich: it is $28,501 a year. But with more than twice as many retirees as active workers, Mr. Brookover wrote, the costs of paying for the pensions “threaten both the city’s fiscal viability, as well as its wherewithal to provide public safety for its citizens.”
Detroit’s efforts to cover those costs through aggressive investing have not helped. In a 2010 report, an auditor warned that $103 million of alternative investments were unaccounted for. The city’s bets have included Tradewinds Airlines, which went bankrupt for the third time in 2008, and a luxury hotel in Detroit. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating.
The city initially sought to freeze its pension fund immediately, which is almost unheard of in the public sector. The arbitrator rejected that proposal, but agreed that the city could reduce the rate at which lieutenants and sergeants earn pension benefits from 2.5 percent of their salary per year to 2.1 percent. Although rare, the reduction is not particularly large, given the magnitude of Detroit’s problems. The arbitrator did not try to find a solution to the fund’s imbalance. (Read balance of article here
What happened in Detroit is obvious, a long standing and unchecked, systematic destruction of a once great city, by those in charge for decades at the City level. From corruption to incompetence, to downright criminal activity, the City has found itself on a precipice. As it is obvious why this occurred, fixing the problem is also obvious, not only for Detroit but for any municipality or town across the nation. If elected management is in any way, shape or form, incompetent or corrupt, there should be a mechanism in place to remove said individuals though a City recall, Union contracts should be reviewed and adjusted to the public sector in each individual municipality. Above all, the taxpayer to City obligations should be considered for all budget projections, and those findings should determine city wages, and services. Federal intervention is not an option, as the National debt and budget reads like Detroit’s. (Which makes one wonder, why, the President on budget cuts, is suggesting that firefighters, teachers, etc. will be laid off or fired, when the City hires, and fires, these employees, based on what the City has in its coffers, rather than the Federal Government? What has possibly worsened the situation (most likely), was the stimulus and job bills during the administration that was given to Cities and Municipalities to increase their employees, and create jobs. The problem arose when the funds ran out, and the City, now straddled with unemployment compensation, ran into deeper debt as a result of the Federal Aid.) It is unfair to those teachers, firefighters and police officers and all working for the City of Detroit, who have retired from any City System, to have to live in fear of a City going into bankruptcy, and the result, a loss of all benefits. It is now a human rights issue as well. If now is not the time to bring fiscal sanity to the table, across the country, when?
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The Washington Power Struggle – Ted Cruz and Mark Rubio – Dangerous to the Status Quo – To Both Major Political Parties.
Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio - Serving Public Contrary to Party Leadership - image Latino Fox News
When one thinks of the center of power in the United States, one instantly identifies Washington, D.C. the wealthiest City in the nation, the home to the President, Senators and Congressman, and their lobbyists. There are the political party leaders, and then the rank and file members – who are expected to do whatever is necessary to keep everyone at their peak of personal power, and when one member rocks the boat, there’s hell to pay.
The Republican’s now have two such members in their ranks – Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas, and Marco Rubio, Senator from Florida – both Hispanics and both staunch Conservatives.
First, Sen. Rubio, who delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union in in February, 2013. (Link includes full text of speech - NPR). Apparently, Rubio became thirsty and grabbed a bottle of water off camera – which quickly developed into Bottled-Watergate via a media hailstorm suggesting that one drink would stymie any future political ambition possibly held by the Florida Senators. In an op-ed by conservative columnist, Cal Thomas, in Newsday Rubio, and his Senate counterpart, Ted Cruz of Texas are portrayed as a “double threat”, first to the Democrats as they see Rubio communicating with Hispanics (which, said minority are considered “owned” by that political party), therefore, a sip of water becomes a full-blown career ender. (With Ted Cruz, it is also about his connection to the Hispanic Community, however, as Thomas suggests the Democrats have a vested interest in eliminating Cruz, not necessarily, it is more likely the Republican Leadership- see Red State on Cruz which follows.) The import of the State of the Union and the Response for the American Public is not as pivotal as it was in decades past – therefore one would imagine it is more about power, controlling power, and consolidating minorities in order for those that hold the power in D.C. to maintain that power.)
Background on the State of the Union
The first televised State of the Union was introduced by Democrat President, Harry Truman, and televised in 1947 (History.com), eventually drawing huge audiences, up to three quarters of the adult population watched on the new medium of television by the 1960’s. (History Channel, The Presidents). As the televised State of the Union developed over the decades, a response by the opposing political party was added. in 1966. (Senate.gov/artandhistory) The last State of the Union in February, drew 35 Millions, (Washington Post), which indicates that fewer U.S. citizens are interested in what the President, or the opposition might have to say - there’s also alternative cable channels.
On Cruz and his being a thorn in the side of Republicans see Erick Erickson of Red State’s take on that subject. Erickson outlines the business as usual in D.C.; the party leadership assigning lobbyist and allocating committee seats to newcomers in order to bring them around to a status point of view. As Ted Cruz is not playing along, therefore, leaks to the press about Cruz are more than likely coming from the left of center Republican Leadership. (Think McConnell, McCain and Graham). Red State).
When a politician who’s ideals outweigh their commitment to power, one of two things happen, either they become part of the party establishment after a period of time, they face a primary in the next term, or they decide one term in Washington is more than enough (Read: A National Party No More” by Zell Miller, one term Senator from the State of Georgia.)
Although one might not politically agree with either the Republican Party or the Democrat Party, the fact that our elected officials, who are elected by the people of their districts or states based upon their individuality rather than party (one would hope), once elected, those members are expected to become part of the “machine” that is Washington. This occurs in both parties (See Rahm Emmanuel and the Blue Dog Democrats), and does little but continue the partisan politics that pervade both Houses of Congress. Moreover, nothing actually gets accomplished other than the growth of wealth and consolation of personal power in the current two-party systems. It is refreshing when a member of either House, goes “off the reservation” and openly revolts by doing exactly what they said they would do – so far.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Danica Patrick – Making History at Daytona – First Women to pull a Pole position - From the Feminist Perspective
Danica Patrick - a first - image from usa today
From U.S.A. Today: Danica Patrick, became the first woman in the 65 year history of NASCAR racing to pull a pole position for what is considered the premier auto racing event in the U.S. – the Daytona 500 Patrick, is no stranger to firsts for women, in 2005, she finished 4th at the Indianapolis 500, being the first woman in the race, and the first to finish at that high a placement. (Biography.com).
Although this blogger is not a huge fan of NASCAR, or U.S. racing (preferring the Grand Prix with its pomp, circumstance, et.al), the image of a woman leading in any male-centered field, especially since Patrick did not take anything away from her personality as a result of “playing with the boys”, is a rather important for women in general. It was not uncommon in the 1970’s for one to want to work in any position (even something so mundane as sales) only to find that as a woman, one was expected to mimic the boys – in the manner of dress, (grey suit, white press shirt, pumps), to the beverage of choice, (“get rid of the girly drink – have a scotch!”). Therefore, it’s a bit refreshing when one sees a woman, competing at the predominant level in a male centered career, “doing it her way” (to steal part of a phrase from Sinatra).
Just a side: Although in President John F. Kennedy, signed the “Equal Pay Act” in 1963 noting at that time, women earned only .60 cents on a dollar, for work comparable to their male counterparts, (Read JFK's Statement here fifty years forward, women now manage to earn 10 cents more. Therefore, what may seem to some, a trivial event, at a NASCAR (of all things) race, where a woman garners another first, to those who have experienced, and waited and watched for the last fifty years, for improvement, a little satisfaction is in order.
Although a believer that the most qualified political candidate, regardless of gender, should be given the nod by “we the people”, it remains a rather steep climb for any woman to break the glass ceiling, in government and politics in general. Understanding that Sarah Palin (love her or no), was the first woman to be nominated to a V.P. slot on a national ticket since Geraldine Ferraro ran as the V.P. nominee n 1984 – with the same amount of disrespect, speaks volumes. It was not the win or the loss (as those are determined by the front-runner and the mood of the nation); it was the way in which both women were measured – 30 years apart. Moreover, as Hillary Clinton was vying for the top slot in 2008 – qualified, and competent, (although one may or may not agree with her political ideology), what the general public heard was “pantsuits”, hair, etc.” rather than the fact that she had solid ideas as to health care, voted on a bi-partisan manner –and was every inch a suitable candidate. (She was the most qualified of the bunch, in this opinion.) – Although strides have been made, since the 1920’s (The first decade a woman could cast a vote!), there is still much to be done. (Obviously, Equal Pay Acts, and the newly re-minted Obama Administration version) did and most likely will do little more than perhaps, another 10% in pay equity and opportunities.
In looking at candidates, what political strategists look to is the candidate that will appeal to “women” - in a recent scramble to find appropriate candidates for a MA special election, one such individual suggested that Ben Affleck would make a perfect Senate candidate – his appeal to “woman” being one of the main reasons. Apparently, in the male mind, a vote for a pretty face would be a trump card for women. No offense to Mr. Affleck, who is passionate about politics, and as a citizen, more likely just as capable if not more so than those now in D.C. – it was the though process behind the choice, that rankles. Somewhat sadly, it is true, that for some the trees are obscured by the forest, which may go a long way towards explaining the state of the Union as it stands. It is not that a woman should be chosen based solely on the fact that she may be the only alternative to a male, but on competence. Whether that woman is running for the Presidency, or a Congressional Seat, or the same position in the accounting department of what-ever firm, the measure should be competency, and if competent, she should be hired, at the same salary as her male counterpart.