Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Desperate Housewives for Barry

Were you as taken by surprise as I was to find this email from Michelle Obama in your inbox today? What? You mean you didn't get one? Well, permit me to share the sanctimony:
Karen --

As I have traveled across the country, I have had the privilege of meeting incredible women from all walks of life. From young women paying their own way through college, to moms working the extra shift to keep food on the table, to women struggling to make ends meet during retirement. We talk about their bills, their children -- how they're constantly striving to strike that balance between work and family. And no matter what kind of challenges they're facing, they don't complain. They just work harder.
(Actually, Michelle, my friends and I complain all the time, because there is a hell of a lot to bitch about. You mean we should all just shut up and take on that third minimum wage, no-benefit job? Since your hubby cut home heating assistance for this winter, I guess a lot of us will be too cold and tired to complain. You may think quiet desperation is a virtue. But sometimes it's healthier to scream... and protest). 
This is what we do as women. We persevere. Because no matter our ages, backgrounds, or stations in life, we are determined to leave a better world for our children and give them opportunities we never even dreamed of.

 (Thank you for acknowledging that I care about my children as much as you care about yours, despite my lowly station in life. Due in part to your husband's policies -- including failure to regulate Wall Street, or to prosecute even one banker -- that better world is turning out to be a nightmare for them and for us. One in five children now lives in poverty, yet your husband thinks we should share the sacrifice with corporate jet owners. You're right: we are leaving them a world we couldn't have imagined when we gave birth to them).
 Women have always been the heart of the Obama organization. We make up nearly half of the American workforce and are the majority of students in America's colleges and universities. We're the primary caregivers for our children and seniors. We're the heads of households and workplaces across the country.
(Is that why your husband fought so tepidly in nominating Elizabeth Warren to be head of her own  Consumer Protection Agency?  Oh, never mind: Timmy Geithner threw a tantrum. Read "Confidence Men" by Ron Suskind if you want to really find out about the women in the O-rganization. More like they were stabbed in the heart by the Oval Office Boys Club.)
And right now, it's time for us all to dig deep, step up, and keep building this campaign together: person by person, discussion by discussion.
(Dig deep into our knock-off handbags to come up with a few tattered bucks, you mean?  Step up and take off our slippers, you mean?)
Today, we are officially launching Women for Obama -- and I am incredibly honored to be serving as its chair. This is a special group dedicated to growing this campaign from the ground up. Because we know better than anyone that movements for real and lasting change have got to start at the grassroots -- and they're sustained by the relationships we develop with one another. Together, that's what we're going to do -- build relationships with supporters, new and old, and grow this campaign -- one woman at a time.
(Tear me out at the roots, Michelle. The only movement with the power to effect real and lasting  change is the Occupy Movement. The only thing "moving" in the Obama Campaign is all the Wall Street money --  from their bloated profits to his billion dollar war chest.  Better rename your effort One Woman (you) for a One-Time Obama.  He two-timed the rest of us, Michelle!)

I wanted to ask you myself if you would join us. The stories of the incredible women I meet serve as a constant reminder of why we're all here: because American families all around the country are facing very real problems. They're balancing mortgage payments and utilities bills with full-time jobs and raising children. They're struggling to make ends meet while still trying to put money aside to send their kids to college one day.
(Oh puh-leeze!  Let me try to wrap my head around that last paragraph. "We are all here because families are facing very real problems". Does that mean a} You and your husband exist only to to solve our problems; or b} We all exist in order to have problems.  Love the balanced comparisons, though. Very centristy. It is indeed hard to juggle mortgage payments with jobs when millions of us have already lost both homes and jobs. And your husband did little to enforce HAMP and is doing zilch to stop foreclosure fraud. We struggle to make ends meet, and can't afford shoes, but you think we can still manage to put money away in a college fund? Michelle! You really need to get out more.)
Barack understands these issues because he's lived them. He was raised by a single mother who struggled to put herself through school and pay the bills. When she needed help, Barack's grandmother stepped in, waking up every morning before dawn to take a bus to her job at a bank. And even though she worked hard and was good at what she did, she ultimately hit a glass ceiling and was passed over for promotions time and again because she was a woman.

(Barack had a pretty good childhood, despite the mythology. He went to private school from fifth grade on, for one thing. He had a strong extended family support system. Read "A Singular Woman" by Janny Scott as an antidote to "Dreams from My Father". What kind of narcissist writes a memoir at the age of 33 anyway?)
So Barack knows what it means when a family struggles. He knows what it means when someone doesn't have a chance to fulfill their potential. And today, as a father, he knows what it means to want your daughters to grow up with no limits on their dreams.That's why, since taking office, he's worked tirelessly to make sure every child and every family gets a fair shake.
 (Please give just one example of how your husband was thwarted in reaching his potential. This is a guy who had tons of help along the way. He was hand-picked by Wall Street to be their guy! That's why, since he took office, he has made several offers to slash Social Security, and sold out the public option in health care reform behind closed doors -- then continued to pretend it was "still on the table". He had worked tirelessly, all right: to make sure corporations get a fair shake while perfecting the art of the soaring populist speech.)
The historic health reform he passed is making sure every American family gets the quality and affordable care they need to stay healthy. The crucial investments he's made in our students and workers -- raising the standards in our public schools and building out job-training programs at community colleges -- are investments in our country's economic future. And the very first bill he signed into law -- the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- will help make it easier for women to get equal pay for equal work, because he knows that women's success in this economy is the key to families' success in this economy.
 (Obama Campaign Talking Points #1,2 &3: Lilly Ledbetter, Lilly Ledbetter, Lilly Ledbetter.  What about the time the White House sacked Shirley Sherrod without cause because of a filthy Andrew Breitbart video? And more people than ever remain uninsured -- 50 million of us. The private insurance parasites have raised premiums to unaffordable levels and posted record profits.  
But we have so much more to do. And, as women and supporters of this campaign, we need to keep showing up -- and we need to keep fighting the good fight.So I'm asking you to join me, and women all across the country who support this movement. I'm asking you to say you're ready to work.
(The only movement we're ready to join is the Occupy Movement. Won't you join us, Mrs Obama? Oh, and we're more than ready to work: for a living wage.... all 20% of the chronically unemployed and underemployed of us. Is Barack going to pay his campaign workers, or are the ladies expected to work for free?)

Join Women for Obama, and help us grow this organization.Thank you for being a part of this.

She's In: Real Desperate Housewife and Obama Bundler Eva Longoria


eaveltri said...

Congrats Karen, you really sliced and diced her. You know how Batman and Robin are called the dynamic duo. Well now we know that her hubby and her are the deceitful duo.

George R said...

Interesting. Well said and representative of how many voters feel although probably for different reasons.

I'm curious regarding what the posters on this site really want besides free health care and being relieved of their legal and financial obligations?

Anonymous said...

That letter is incredible. Now I know how a pancake feels when someone pours maple syrup on it.

Kat said...

'I'm curious regarding what the posters on this site really want besides free health care and being relieved of their legal and financial obligations?"

What the hell are you talking about George R?
Who is this guy? Has he posted previously?

Neil said...

It appears George R is a troll. George R wrote "I'm curious regarding what the posters on this site really want besides free health care and being relieved of their legal and financial obligations?"

I have not read anywhere that posters to this site what "free health care". If George R is referring to Obamacare, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, that plan requires people to purchase health insurance, a mandate to be considered soon by the US Supreme Court.

George R should take note that the People’s Republic of China, and Germany, the number one and two exporting nations in the world, provide universal health coverage to their citizens, but it is not "free". The leaders of China and Germany realize that their private sector companies are more competitive in the free market when health care costs are contained by universal coverage.

Our president has failed to articulate the enormous financial benefit to the American economy, and American exports, of universal health care coverage. Instead, the private health care industry lobbyists and special interests have hijacked this issue to their own benefit and profit.

In the program Sick Around the World, FRONTLINE and veteran Washington Post foreign correspondent T.R. Reid show how five other capitalist democracies - the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Switzerland - deliver health care, and what the United States might learn from their successes and their failures. Links to this and other information can be found on my website here http://yousue.org/healthcare/

George R also claims posters on this site want to be relieved of their legal and financial obligations. Again, I have not read a single post by anyone asking for relief of a legal or financial obligation. I have read lots of posts about people who are sick and tired of bailing out the legal and financial obligations of Wall Street, and Too Big To Fail banks. So George R appears confused on this issue.

George R said...

Neil, have you been to Germany lately and spoken to any German citizens regarding their health care? I have. I also have a good friend whose mother lived in Germany (now deceased) who couldn't get medication near the end of the month because her physician had already met his prescription quota – rationing?

I would never claim our health care system is the best (or the worst) because I don't know. What I do know is Obamacare is not the answer. What I think was incredibly stupid was for Obama and the Democrat leadership to focus on a massive redesign of the health care system which is loaded with new taxes without any bilateral support while the economy was cratering.

A rather curious set of priorities.
Actually, I believe some would rate France’s system ahead of Germany’s system. Either system has strong points but the reality is the majority of American taxpayer’s would reject the tax increases necessary to fund such a system. Those tens of millions who pay no income taxes or actually receive a payment from those who do probably don’t care.

By the way, I was told by a German in Germany that free college education ended in Germany several years ago and the average time to earn a degree went from eight to four years. Do you suppose there is a connection?

Kat said...

Nicely done Neil. Yes, George R seems rather confused about a lot of things. I see now he has comments on the previous post by Karen.
I would like him to show us where any of us stated a desire to be free of our legal and financial obligations.
I could show him the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 where the bankers asked congress (and of course their wishes were granted) to involve the state in relieving them of their obligations i.e.: they handed out credit to anyone with a pulse and then expected to change the rules of the game (done!) so they would not have to suffer the consequences.

Neil said...

@George R

Yes George, I was in Germany last November, in Berlin for a show at the Neues Museum. A pretty young fräulein named Bregeta whispered in my ear how satisfied she was with German healthcare. (among other things). And the German people look so vibrant and healthy, they must have a great health care system.

As for your good friend whose mother lived in Germany and couldn't get medication near the end of the month because her physician had already met his prescription quota, that sounds a lot like Americans who can’t buy medicine near the end of the month when they run out of money – rationing?

You claim not to know if our health care system is the best (or the worst) because you don't know. Please educate yourself. The World Health Organization's ranking of the world's health systems was last produced in 2000, and ranked the US at number 37. That sounds pretty sick to me! http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html The New England Journal of Medicine discussed the WHO study here http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp0910064 The New York Times wrote on the issue, see World’s Best Medical Care? http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/opinion/12sun1.html And don’t forget the Michael Moore documentary film Sicko. Cuba may have a better health care system. Cuba!

George, you are mistaken about the cost of universal health care; the costs will drop once prices are contained for the public good and instead of private wealth enhancement.

As for German education, it is still free to those who are qualified, according to Wikipedia. "Many of Germany's hundred or so institutions of higher learning charge little or no tuition by international comparison. Students usually must prove through examinations that they are qualified." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Germany

That beats the heck out of bone-crushing student loan debt, doncha think George?

Valerie said...


I lived for nine years in Germany, on the economy, as a teacher in a German school. I just had German houseguests this weekend, a bio-chemist researcher and a lawyer - quite well-off financially and very middle of the road politically - They like Angela Merkel. They LOVE the German health care system and are appalled at the American health care system. He taught at Harvard for a while so they can compare - as can I.

Great if you have good health care in America - but good health care is very expensive and since so many people have been laid off, it is hard to afford it.

I imagine you have health care supplied by the corporation you work for. And hey, you've got yours - to hell with those who don't! What kind of a person are you? - Sp lacking in compassion and proud of it!

Marina said...

Karen, that was quite the amazing letter that you wrote. Especially given your lowly station and all....

Thanks. It made me feel good to read it.

George R said...

Neil wrote, "George, you are mistaken about the cost of universal health care; the costs will drop once prices are contained for the public good and instead of private wealth enhancement."

I did some calculations regarding the cost of "universal health care" based on the Medicare model. My estimate of the annual cost came out to about $6,600 per worker based on 160,000,000 employed – over $1 trillion annually. Based on an average benefit cost of $12,000 per Medicare recipient the number seems reasonable. That’s my number, what’s yours? Keep in mind the cost of medical care in the U.S. began to seriously escalate after the government got involved with the Medicare program.

I don’t think a single payer system in the U.S. is necessarily unworkable but American taxpayers don’t want to foot the sizeable bill – they would not pay what the average German pays in the form of taxes. If it were to be done, the VA medical system would be a good model.

Obamacare really solves none of the problems and will likely make them worse.

Regarding Germany’s education system, the percentage of people in the USA aged 25 to 64 with an associate degree or higher is about 40%. In Germany, it’s about 25% and their economy is doing quite well. Just about everyone is required to learn a trade. The idea everyone needs a college degree is nonsense. However, being told by the government you are going to be a carpenter or plumber might not go over well in America.

George R said...

Valerie wrote, “I imagine you have health care supplied by the corporation you work for. And hey, you've got yours - to hell with those who don't! What kind of a person are you? - Sp lacking in compassion and proud of it!”

No, I’ve provided for my own health care, including insurance, since I left the corporate world in 1995. Health insurance, especially first dollar coverage, can be quite expensive but like everything else you might purchase it pays to shop around.

Geez, thanks for letting me know I lack compassion. What I do lack is the sense the government is the solution to all my problems and envy of those who have been successful is healthy. I actually believe they are entitled to keep what they earn. How they earn it is another topic but those I know worked very hard for what they have and they don’t cotton to the idea the government has any right to confiscate it.