In the past 36 hours, a lot has been said about the President’s baffling performance during Wednesday night's debate. There were numerous missed opportunities: Why didn’t the President mention Bain? The 47% gaffe? Why did he let Gov. Romney get away with so many outright lies, about the thinly-veiled ‘death panels’ reference, about Medicare cuts, about green energy investments? And no mention of the housing crisis?
On the eve of Labor Day, a certain story provocatively titled “Who Wears the Pants in Today’s Economy?” caught my eye. It inspired me to try out a new Labor Day slogan: “Women and men of the world unite and fight for a more humane economy. You have nothing to lose but your pants!"
In honor of Mitt Romney's announcement of Paul Ryan as his running-mate, I looked back in the archives and found the following blog posting about the "Ryan Budget." As we noted in March, It is a pretty radical and morally-bankrupt proposal. If Romney and Ryan want to focus the debate on budgets and deficits, I say, let's seize the moment and put forward our vision for a moral, just and democratic approach to shaping our nation's budget priorities.
[From 03/29/12, Shredding the Social Safety-Net, Again]
First of all, thank you, workers, organizers, students, activists, farmers and dreamers of Wisconsin. You helped pave the way for mobilizations and actions around the country, including the Occupy phenomenon. You also boldly stepped into the electoral arena. An important step, and one that we should reflect upon and learn from in the spirit of moving forward, toward bigger, better street action that is both independent of, and, at times, well coordinated with, electoral engagement. You have much to build upon in Wisconsin, going forward.
This past week, in the span of 36 hours, we moved from the valley of despair, with North Carolina’s vote to ban same sex marriage, to the mountaintop of hope, with a sitting President affirming the civil rights of gay citizens. Yes, this was a notable first. It was a much-needed affirmation of basic rights and freedoms in the face of a majoritarian impulse to deny the rights of a minority. It was a reminder of the vital necessity of constitutional liberalism.
All eyes are on SCUTUS this week as they take up the case of Arizona’s draconian immigration law (SB1070). By the end of this session, the Court will have ruled on a wide range of social and economic issues, including health care, immigration and Affirmative Action. We can expect to see a pattern of radical --- dare I say 'activist' --- jurisprudence from the Roberts Court.
The stories about violent crimes were legendary. Yes, Cabrini-Green had gangs and drugs. But also, it had a community: neighbors who knew and cared for each other; extended families that looked after the kids. This explains why former residents can have such contradictory feelings when they share their stories. It also underscores why plans to ‘fix’ housing projects should have included the knowledge and experiences of residents.
Reading the arguments against the health insurance mandate that are being entertained by the Supreme Court this week leaves me feeling as if we are truly a morally-bankrupt nation. The fact that healthcare for over 40 million people is at stake is being treated as an unfortunate side-effect in the contest over who has responsibility for our nation’s health care system. And one of the leading arguments seems to be that we have no collective responsibility toward each other whatsover.
I’ll have to admit, following stories about the war on women has occupied much of my time of late; so much so that I’ve paid less attention to the accelerating war on the poor. Not being given to conspiracy theories, I’ll refrain from suggesting that this might be part of the point of the big “WoW,” to distract us from what they’re doing to the bottom portion of the 99 percent so that they can give even more tax breaks to the top 1 percent. Of course, women are justifiably alarmed by the recent upsurge in misogynistic rhetoric and action.
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