Tag Archives: feminism

OUR VOTES COUNTED, BUT WE DIDN’T?By Louise Annarino,November 9,2012

9 Nov

OUR VOTES COUNTED, BUT WE DIDN’T?,By Louise Annarino,November 9,2012


If we are to believe the media-take on the re-election of President Barack Obama, we managed to have our votes counted; but, we still don’t count. Despite the fact that Barack Obama won by a greater margin than George W. Bush without the need for court intervention to seal the deal, corporate media refuses to acknowledge president Obama’s mandate. Instead it sees his presidency as one calling for accession to the demands of those whose candidate lost the election and the majority of the electorate’s support for Republican policies.


The list denying a mandate includes: CBS Evening News’ Bob Schiefer. Washington Post’s Dan Balz. Politico’s Glenn Thrush,Jim VandeHei,and Mike Allen. CNN’s David Gergen, and Gloria Berger. FOX News’ Charles Krauthammer.Time Magazine’s Joe Klein.


Even NPR’s Cokie Roberts failed to credit the value of those who voted for the President and handed him a mandate when she described his challenge to govern in this way: “It is a divide where he’s lost whites, he’s lost Southerners, he’s lost people of a certain income and age, and he’s really got to do something fast to deal with that.”


Oh, I see now whose vote REALLY counts: whites (but not those whites who voted for Obama), Southerners (but not those Southerners who voted for Obama), people of a certain income and age( but not those wealthy, older persons who voted for Obama). Interestingly, the need to address the concerns of African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, young people, women and LGBT community seems to be of no concern to Ms. Roberts. Apparently, she thinks she knows who should be driving the bus, and who should ride in the back.


It is not because she sees division as a concern which disturbs me; we are all concerned about the divisions within our country. But, because she weighs the interests of those who do not support Obama as a greater issue for his attention than the mandate the majority of voters handed him on November 6 to enact the change we need to secure America’s future for all its citizens. It is the diminished value corporate media places on an Obama victory for those who do not look like them, earn what they earn, live like they live. By diminishing his win, they diminish his right to govern and they diminish the value of our vote. That diminishes all Americans.


THE DUMB BLONDE VS. THE ELITE,By Louise Annarino,October 27,2012

27 Oct

THE DUMB BLONDE VS. THE ELITE, By Louise Annarino, October 27,2012

This morning I watched a political add running in Arizona against an “activist” judge whom the ad also described as “violating the constitution because he made law”. The self-described middle-class housewife in a McMansion kitchen went on to say “the elite think we can’t understand, but we do.” I wanted to  shout out,“NO, YOU DON’T !” Her smug look, smiling that she had proved she was not just a “dumb blonde”, made me sad for her. Somewhere along the way, she had come to accept but resent the sexism directed toward her by those she trusted to love and support her. They used their own sexism to make her vulnerable to their manipulations, and to use her to attack candidates who know the law, are well educated and professionally competent; but, make her feel stupid. The ad makers play on the anger which has built up over time, the resentment toward real oppressors which they re-direct toward their opponents. I felt sorry for the woman in the ad and all those she represents. I felt sorry for all of us.

The first quarter I taught Business Law at Ohio University I learned a disturbing fact while grading my students first mid-term exam. They could not write a sentence. The essays were impossible to grade since sentence fragments could not sufficiently show my students had grasped the concepts I had been discussing with them for over a month. Mine was an upper-level course open to juniors,seniors and graduate students. How could they have gotten so far without being able to write, I wondered.

After returning their tests to moans and gasps of disappointment I wrote a simple sentence on the board and asked someone to come up to the front and diagram it. Blank stares and no volunteers was the response. My pleas for someone, anyone to speak up about why this was such a problem provided the answer: no one knew what I meant by “diagram a sentence”. It took a  moment for that information to sink in. Surely, I had heard incorrectly. But, no, they did not know what nouns,verbs, adverbs did within a sentence. A few students identified the adjective, and understood its function. They explained they had not had to write because all of their exams were multiple choice tests.

I found an empty class on the evenings my law class was not scheduled and invited students to attend my English class. They would need it because my exams would require them to write, and passing the test meant it was in their interest to attend the extra classes. I did not do this out of altruism, but out of desperation. I wanted to make it easier to grade those tests with certainty that the grade reflected a student’s full grasp of the subject matter. I wanted to shorten the time I spent grading! We helped one another in our common cause.

The other disturbing discovery that first quarter was that while in high school my students had not taken an American History course (no longer required), nor a Principles of Democracy course (not offered, or not required). It is extremely difficult to teach law to those with neither of those courses under their belts. What examples can one use to explain court decisions? Why do courts make the decisions they do? What guides the court?

Since every night of the week was now filled with Business Law and English, and since my “day” job was Associate Director of OU Legal Affairs ( I taught on overload contract because I love teaching AND had to pay back my school loans), I could not add more classes. Thus, I expanded my curriculum to include American and World History and P.O.D. Also, since racial and sexual discrimination is another topic they would need to understand but had never been taught, I used one week of class to run them through workshops I had designed. This complex amalgam of coursework became my template for all of my future classes: School Law,Law and Medicine,Social Welfare Law,Vocational Education Law, and my on-going Business Law courses. Each piece helped my students understand law with such depth that I am convinced they would not be easily duped by the ad I saw this morning.

What worries me is that too many Americans are being duped. They have no idea how a bill becomes a law, the role of committees, the power of committee chairs, Roberts Rules of Order and Congressional rules of House and Senate, difference between states powers and federal powers, how courts function, the role of the judge, grand-jury  and jury. I could go on and on. Such ignorance of basic governance by executive,legislative and judicial branches applies to members of both parties. The base of each party expects more than can or should be delivered by a governance system which relies on compromise and consensus to accomplish anything. We can see where this has gotten us.

Term limits have only made incompetence in governance worse. In term-limited positions the newly-elected representatives don’t stay in position long enough to learn the ropes and develop nuanced strategies within the rules, develop trust and create alliances with colleagues across the aisle, and grasp the long-view of what is good for the country they serve. They are focused on short-term celebrity and fund-raising for the next campaign.

Shortening the Congressional work week and schedule, to free up time for such fundraising and celebrity-building appearances has contributed to the problem. During 2012 the House was in session only 122 days (http://thomas.loc.gov/home/ds/h1122.html);the Senate, 123 days (http://thomas.loc.gov/home/ds/s1122.html). This is not to say members are not on the people’s business 24/7 because they are. However, it does mean they are not focusing on building a collegial enterprise for the good of the country. The Teapublicans found it quite easy to block any effort at consensus and cooperation between conservatives and progressive, between Democrats and Republicans. And the newly-elected Teapublicans  arrived with little appreciation or understanding for the historical and social context of cooperation which Congress had learned over time was necessary for good government. They came with the intent of stopping cooperation, blocking the first African-American president’s determination to build a “more perfect union” where Blue and Red states worked together for a common good. They are playing the role of the marginalized  and demeaned “dumb blonde” taking on the marginalized and demeaned “elite”.  And the Republican Party fell right in-step with them. Some decided it was time to retire.

I need another classroom!

SACRIFICING WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND RAPE, By Louise Annarino,October 25,2012

26 Oct

Sacrificing Women,Children and Rape,By Louise Annarino,October 25, 2012

The chart below by Brainwrap ,published today at Daily Kos illustrates how the GOP reframes the violence against women we call rape as simply another method of conception rather than criminal behavior. If rape is discussed as a method of conception rather than criminal violence it allows Republicans, Roman Catholic bishops, and others to exclude its consideration as a reason to allow an abortion exception for rape victims. After all, why should we allow abortion for any mere act of conception? Once we describe the question as one 0f conception only we can forget

about the need to protect women and to keep them safe. Thus, we are free to  criminalize abortion, even in the case of rape. Consequently, the  only person in need of our protection is the fetus; not the mother.

This is not new; nor is it necessarily partisan politics. Too often and for too long, we have allowed men to define rape as a sexual act, rather than a violent criminal act. Susan Brownmiller wrote of this   dismissive rhetorical formula in her book AGAINST OUR WILL: Men, Women And Rape, 1975 ,she wrote “Rape is a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.” I would add that rape is also used against children. Wrongly defining it affects children as well as women.

Rape is not a sexual act. Rape is not a method of conception. Rape is an act of violence meant to intimidate, control, and weaken women and chldren. It is an act of domination and control by violent attack. It is often, though not always, perpetrated against women. Men can also be raped. Rape is a crime committed by an individual, or by a group of individuals (gang rape) which is not uncommon, nor rare.

Recently, we have learned that children are often victims of rape by priests, clergy, Scout leaders etc. Unfortunately, those who knew of these rapes perceived and reacted as if the incidents were sexual acts rather than violent criminal acts which should have been immediately reported to the police for criminal prosecution. Instead the rapist priest or troop leaders were re-assigned as if the behavior could be stopped by removing the rapist from the temptations of his sexual partners. Rape is never a sexual act. It is an abuse of power meant to dominate and control another human being. It destroys human beings. It is violent. It is terrifying.It is soul destroying. I live with its memory every day, and dream it every night.

The position of the Republican party is that a woman who is the victim of a criminal rape should be forced to give birth.Vice President Paul Ryan and at least 12 of 28 Republican Senate nominees, including Republican Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel running against Democratic Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown take this position. Paul Ryan redefines rape and dismisses it is an act of criminal violence when he articulates this position,”I’ve always adopted the idea, the position that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.” But defining rape by criminalizing abortion this way vaccinates the horror of rape and re-injures its victims by denying the reality of their experience. It demeans  the victim and dismisses the crime. Ignoring the victim of a crime, re-victimizes the woman or child who has been raped.

During the past weeks as I heard the comments listed in the above chart, I found it difficult to sleep,eat,laugh and feel safe. I felt re-injured. I felt terror lurking beneath my skin, ready to bring me down. By calling rape “another method of conception” my experience with violent sexual assault was transformed into an innocuous,even harmless, sexual encounter. In effect, we are being told, “We see no reason why you should ask to be protected or kept safe from a mere method of conception. Asking us to do so, asking us to ALLOW you any CONTROL over your own safety, security or life itself will soon be a criminal offense, because we intend to make abortions,even in the case of rape, illegal. Women who are victims of the violent crime of rape are being told that we are the real criminals.

Why do Republicans need to define rape this way? To connect rape to contraception via  an act conception. Thus, they can justify access to birth control, allow employers to refuse to offer contraceptives coverage in insurance plans, to justify Catholic hospitals and clinics refusal to allow insurance company policies for their employees to cover contraception. Rape is yet again being used to dominate and control women, to intimidate us and bring us in line by redefining it as a method of conception. We feel re-injured by the Republican positions because we are being re-injured! These men declared their power over women and children in a new way; by refusing to allow us even the right to define our victimization as violent crimes. Any woman or parent of children should think long and hard before voting for ANY candidate who calls rape a method of conception.

The chart above paints a rosy picture of what Republicans intend for women and children. It seems to describe the types of rape. However, it is far worse. more insidious, and far more dangerous to our safety  because it does not merely define the type of rape; it removes the core, elemental use of violence which is at the heart of rape; instead defining it as an act for sexual pleasure or conception, not an act to dominate, threaten and control. Rape cannot be a crime if it just another method of conception, as defined by Paul Ryan, Josh Mandel, and the Republican platform. Women and children will lose their right to be safe, maybe even their lives, to protect a fetus and to insure continued male domination.

President Obama’s comments on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno explain why he deserves our support, “I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas. Let me make a very simple proposition: rape is rape. It is a crime.This is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women’s healthcare.”


19 Oct



Contests leave a lot to be desired. “No purchase necessary.” Hah! Who believes that? Buy the wrong size drink or fries? No prize piece; no chance to win. Yet, we expect our candidate to win the presidency; “no purchase necessary.” CITIZENS UNITED shocks our sensibilities. But, it is only unique in its scale. This is not the first breath of life into corporations. That was done long ago.


Early Rome recognized a group as a single fictional person. As early as 1444, the Rolls of Parliament stated “they [the Master and Brethren of the Hospital] by that same name mowe be persones able to purchase Londez and Tenementz of all manere persones.” Blackstone defines legal persons: “Natural persons are such as the God of nature formed us; artificial are such as are created and devised by human laws for the purposes of society and government, which are called corporations or bodies politic.” Why create such a legal fiction? To allow corporations to do their business: lease, buy or sell property, hire and fire employees, enter into contracts of all sorts. As England moved from a cottage industry into guilds, and then into the industrial age entrepreneurs created new ownership groups to organize workers and manage production. They needed the legal fiction of personhood to conduct business.


Some of these management groups were benevolent bosses;many were not. Nevertheless, workers found it ever more difficult to assure safe workplaces, reasonable hours and wages, and fair treatment. Child labor was rampant, seven day/18 hour workdays were not uncommon. Tenements were built alongside work sites for ease of access and assurance of a constantly available workforce. Workers were locked in to work sites. We no longer remember this in the West, but we can see it happening even today elsewhere in developing industrial economies. We see the abuse of corporations from Shell Oil in East Africa to FoxConn (Apple supplier) in China. In the West workers united amidst bloody attacks to form labor unions, opposed at every step by corporations. Unions remain under attack in Ohio, Wisconsin, and in any state where there is a Republican governor, or Republican-controlled state legislature.


Corporations, like real persons, do not like ANY regulation or control of their behavior, especially while trying to make money off someone else’s labor. Their lobbyists assure politicians protect their interests and assure their unbridled freedom. In return, through campaign contributions, ALEC and SuperPacs they assure politicians re-election, a high-paying job after they leave public-service, and life-long connections to fictional persons of wealth and power. This, too, is not new.


Queen Elizabeth was a somewhat secret partner with English Seadogs, or pirates; overlooking their attacks on Spanish and French fleets, and taking a share of the loot. The difference between a pirate and a privateer depended on whom was being robbed and who helped do the looting. To the gentry of England, who along with their Queen loaned and outfitted ships hoping for a share of Spanish gold they were privateers; to the French and Spanish, pirates. Practiced in maritime attack, Elizabeth mobilized them to help defeat the Spanish armada and destroy Spanish dominance of the seas, and of the newly-discovered Americas. This opened an era of English exploration and colony development, including Jamestown, Virginia (named after the Virgin Queen Elizabeth).


So protected were these Captains of (Industry) the Seas that they were knighted by their Queen: Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir John Hawkins, Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Richard Grenville were all first and foremost pirates. She bridled their freedom only to the extent she was permitted to share in their loot, enrich her coffers and assure her continued rule. Otherwise she assisted them in their piracy. Congress  limits today’s “Great Pirates”, corporations, only to the extent it is permitted to share in their loot. CITIZENS UNITED was inevitable. Any one of you have a game piece? Or only our politicians?


Labor unions, teachers unions, environmental groups, civil rights groups (African-American,Latino,GLBT,veterans,immigrants etc) don’t begin to have the power assured to corporations. There is no comparison. They are not given game pieces; they have to buy the right person to get a game piece! They have to elect a politician who will put them in the game. They have to elect a politician who will appoint judges and Supreme Court justices who will understand how the game is played and make it more fair to everyone; and, assure that everyone has an equal chance to win, assure that everyone has a piece of the game.


The person willing to do so, President Barack Obama, is the greatest threat to the Great Pirates… ever. The great pirates will do all they can to attack and defeat him; with the full support of those in Congress they control (with whom they share their loot), blocking his every move of the Ship of State. We cannot let them win. It will not be easy. We have little time left. We must support President Barack Obama for president. We must throw out those in Congress who help the great pirates. We must support labor unions, civil rights groups, environmentalists.

“We are in this game together” means nothing to the great pirates  because they hold all the game pieces. This must end if we Americans are to truly win; not just a second term for Barack Obama, but a chance for the 98% to play the game.



5 Oct



The Merriam-Webster dictionary tells us that the word debate was originated in the 13th century. It is a Middle English word, taken from Anglo-French debatre, from de- + batre to beat, and from Latin battuere. Its first known use is in the 14th century

Today it defined as: a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides. Its obsolete definition is : fight, contend.


Understanding the definition explains why the first Presidential debate had no winners,especially not the American people for whom this battle or debate of ideas was being waged across our screens. Many would blame moderator Jim Lehrer; but, that would be blaming the victim, as is so common in human nature, for the bully-behavior of one of the contenders, Mitt Romney. Mr. Romney brazenly and brutally shouted down the moderator and set his own rules,altering them to suit his attack. His rapid-fire delivery of disconnected thought bursts made it near impossible for a reasonable person to interject control over the proceedings. From his first comments the debate was removed from the moderator’s control to  Romney’s. From that moment on Romney  was free to lie, and he did so repeatedly.


I have written so often about his lies I won’t take time to repeat them today. There are many other sources fact-checking and reporting on them, if you will take time to read or listen. Before this first debate I described what to expect, a Romney shell game meant to sell Americans a bill of goods,and intimidation of the moderator. When President Obama calmly but decidedly pointed out Mr. Romney’s game, Romney called the president a liar. I predicted this strategy in my earlier blog. We all have experienced liars in our lives. We all have been warned by our mothers to tell the truth, that if you lie once you will have to continually lie to cover up the first lie, that after the first lie lying gets easier, that once you are known as a liar, no one will ever believe you. Nevertheless,this is the Republican strategy: Call our president a liar. Lie about your own unpopular and destructive policies, then call anyone who points out your lies a liar to confuse people and reinforce your own lies as truth. It is a brilliant one for those who don’t pay close attention to politics, or only watched the debate, or only watch FOX news.


Early in the debate, Mr. Romney called President Obama a liar to his face and obliquely referenced him as “boy” by using his own sons’ lies as a reference point for President Obama’s challenge to Mr. Romney’s lie. He said this with a smile on his face, speeding up his commentary and chuckling at his own wit. President Obama had to be disgusted. I know I was. The moderator remained silent. After this point, there was no debate happening. This was no longer a formal statement of position, with rules governing the manner in which each side argued for their position. Mr. Romney stated the president’s positions as his own, and when challenged called the president a liar. I cannot call what I watched a debate. It was the obsolete definition of a debate. It was battuerre or debatre. It was a fight.


Our president is a gentleman, a statesman, a leader who does not fight with his fists, nor fist-fight with his words. He does not lie to make a point;nor make a point to lie. He does not bully. He would never cheat and call it a victory, as Mr. Romeny’s own son tells us about his Dad with great pride as a reason to elect him president: Craig Romney: My Dad Cheats & “That’s What We Need in the White House.” Once a cheater,always a cheater, on income taxes, in debates, on the campaign trail [just review statements of other Republican candidates during the primary campaign],even in the White House.


Don’t mistake my words. President Obama knows how to fight. Both Mr. Lehrer and the president are the victims of a bully. For the beating they took we must blame the bully, not the victims. However, I do fault them and those who managed them for not anticipating they had a bully who would not play by the rules, who disdains rules, who is so privileged he believes rules should not apply to him and should apply only to lesser beings, certainly to the 47%. Did they not know who Romney is? Have they not been watching him campaign? Have they not seen his ad campaign? Do they think they are immune to bullying? They walked right into the trap. For that, I do blame them. But, that, does not make Romney a winner; just a lying, cheating bully not worthy of the presidency.


Romney can say whatever he wants, change positions all he wants. None of that matters. We know what the Ryan-Romney Budget [not a typo;Ryan will control the budget effort] will do to our economy, our middle class, our poor, women, children, seniors, immigrants, minorities, LGBT community, the arts and Big Bird. It is who he is and how he behaves which will betray our finest American ideals and our leadership throughout the world. No one can be safe with a bully running the neighborhood. Wake up America. GO VOTE for every democratic candidate on your ballots. The lying, cheating bullies must be defeated. In America we battere / debatre / fight withBALLOTS.


Republicans know this which is why voter suppression and intimidation is one tactic in their strategy to take back government. Bullies don’t know how to compromise; it is always their way or the highway. They have only one measure of success: how badly did they batter the other guy? Democrats are not bullies. This does not make us weak; it makes us brave, smart, and compassionate listeners and doers. Don’t judge President Obama or Mr. Lehrer by how they looked while being bullied.I’ve been bullied and it is not a pretty sight. Judge them by what they do for America, by how they behave toward others, by the dignity and compassion they show others, by the wisdom to know when to put up their fists and when to let the bully hang by his own rope. President Obama now knows Mitt Romney. He has felt his flying verbal fists in his gut. He will defeat Mr. Romney. Mr. Romney will never know what hit him.



YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE: REPUBLICANS ON THE MOVE,By Louise Annarino, September 21, 2012

22 Sep


Can Democratic candidates win control of the the House of Representatives? Will they retain control of the Senate? Republicans controlled redistricting in most key states, including here in Ohio, following the 2010 census. As a result, it has been commonly accepted that RepublicanHouse candidates have their races sewn up. If this is so, why are they running so fast to jump off Romney’s coat tails?

And do they think voters have forgotten it is House and Senate Republicans who have blocked the efforts of Democrats and President Obama to achieve economic recovery, job retention and creation, break-up of banks too big to fail, oversight of Wall Street, broader energy program, slow-down of climate change, more expansive coverage and lower costs for health care, extension of social security and medicare solvency, women’s rights, LGBT rights, veterans’ care and benefits? Their obstructionism justified simply because they preferred a 1 term presidency over the good of the country and ALL of its citizens?

Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann who are well-known for their independence and non-partisanship put it this way: “In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted.  Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.  The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics.  It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

They may run as far from Mitt Romney, and their House colleague and putative leader Paul Ryan; but, they can’t hide form the facts:

  • Due to GOP insistence on holding budget bill hostage to defunding Planned Parenthood and health reform it brought the US Government to the brink of shutdown in 2011.
  • Due to GOP insistence on defeating President Obama’s stimulus,it refused to raise the debt limit until a few hours before default. S&P downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history explaining, “We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process.”
  • Due to GOP standoff as a budget extension expired 4,000 FAA employees were furloughed in a partial shut-down lasting 13 days,cost the government $200 million in weekly ticket tax revenue that airlines no longer had the authority to collect,and stopped work on dozens of airport projects around the country,
  • Due to GOP demanding Advanced Vehicle Manufacturing Program,which would cut 10,000 jobs it delayed emergency disaster relief.
  • Due to GOP refusal to accept Obama’s routine  proposal to extend the payroll tax cut for middle class families,leaving town as the payroll taxes were about to go up,refusing  to pass the Senate bill until Rep. John Boehner acceded to public criticism and maneuvered the votes needed to pass the bill at the last possible moment.
  • Due to GOP need defeat Obama in 2012 it continues to block the president’s American Jobs Act costing firefighters,police officers and teachers more than 1 million jobs.
  • Due to GOP need to ruin President Obama’s support by small business owners, it continues to block tax cuts for small businesses included in Pbama’s American Jobs Act.
  • Due to GOP desire to show Obama as incompetent, it continues to block essential infrastructure projects included in Obama’s American Jobs Act.
  • Due to GOP effort to pass ideological/morality-laden bills, it has delayed for months any action on the Senate’s version of the Transportation Bill, holding up Obama’s efforts to rebuild roads,bridges,rail lines,seaports,rail and truck depots essential to rebuilding the economy and increasing deportation of American-mad goods which improve our trade balance.
  • Due to GOP plan to remove student support for Obama it delayed reduction in student loan rates, and repeatedly blocked Obama efforts to remove private sector profit from student loan program. The changes Obama was able to accomplish should have been agreed to long ago.
  • Due to GOP plan to deny Obama the support of women voters and impose ideological strictures on women it delayed and blocked extension of contraceptive health care benefits for women, repeatedly refused to renew the Violence Against Women Act, opposed the Lily Ledbetter law, and denied Sandra Fluke’s first attempt to testify before a Congressional committee.
  • Due to GOP need to protect its wealthy donors in order to finance Obama’s defeat, it continues to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage unless tax cuts for the top 1% are maintained, and even increased.
  • Due to GOP disdain for science it has blocked Obama’s efforts to address the effects of climate change, insists on major cuts for pure scientific research,and plans to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency.

GOP House and Senate candidates can run from Romney-Ryan ticket, but they cannot run from its recent history, nor from the Republican Party Platform, which would continue to hold economic recovery hostage to impose GOP ideology and protect its wealthy donors. How important are these donors? By most accounts Romney spends more time with them than he does on the campaign trail. As ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports: “At one recent Texas fundraiser, a donor told Romney, ‘I am happy to write a check, but why are you here? Shouldn’t you be in Ohio?'”

We have a choice in this election: Vote for Democrats who will support President Obama’s plans for economic recovery, job creation, energy independence, environmental and health protection,end of war in Afghanistan, avoidance of future unjustified wars, meeting the needs of veterans, aiding our military families, following a just foreign policy, and exerting every effort on behalf of all of us; or, vote for Republicans who will continue to block everything which would move us all forward unless we allow them to strip away our civil rights, reward the 1% with more tax breaks, increase middle-class taxes, demean and dismiss the working poor, ignore the indigent, forget our military and veterans, cripple our cities, and use foreign policy to make money for corporate war-mongers. Republicans should keep on running,and not let the door hit them on the back on their way out.

ROMNEY SPEAKS HIS MASTERFUL TRUTH,By Louise Annarino,September,18,2012

18 Sep

ROMNEY SPEAKS HIS MASTERFUL TRUTH, By Louise Annarino, September 18,2012


One’s first thought when hearing of candidate Romney’s disparaging remarks about 47% of Americans, recently caught on tape, is “another politician caught in private conversation.” I’ll leave to others the discussion of the political fall-out, the ineptness of a candidate and his campaign staff, and how this impacts the Romney campaign overall. Something more profound than a single election struck me as I watched the tape and listened to Romney’s words.


This was a relaxed Romney, not the robot-Romney of the campaign trail mouthing meaningless, convoluted sentences meant to reveal nothing of his true intentions; nor the hesitant Romney reluctant to provide income tax returns, specify policy points, or detail cuts he would make to balance a budget and reduce the deficit. This was a self-assured man, comfortable in his own skin because he was saying exactly what he believes. This is what bothers me.


Racism is so ingrained in our thought processes that it flies right past us. A notion that the  47% to whom Romney referred to as his lost votes would not vote for him because he would cut taxes is silly. He is speaking to wealthy donors, the country-club set who do all they can to avoid paying taxes, people just like Romney. His comments had nothing to do with his tax policy. He felt comfortable and safe within this setting because it is his domain,too. These masters of American wealth live in the big house, surrounded by invisible people who take care of their every need. Romney was assuring them he understands the wealthy are superior to those who serve them.


Like the master of the big house during slavery, they talk in front of the “help” as if the help are not listening; or if they are listening, cannot understand what is being said; or  if they do understand, have no power to do anything about it. What did the person who cleaned the room and arranged the seating think of Romney’s comments? What about the chauffeurs who drove the guests to the event? What about the cook who prepared the food, or the bartender who served the drinks? What about the staff who cleaned up afterwards? What did these persons think when they heard Romney show such disdain for them, their parents, their sons and daughters, and their grandparents? After all, these are workers in the service industry, many of whom do not even earn minimum wage which would likely put them among the 47% Romney disparaged.


As abolitionists campaigned to abolish slavery, they made every effort to paint the real horrors of slavery in newspapers, by writing books, and by creating an extensive lecture circuit. The most effective speakers were those who had escaped slavery. The slaveholders countered the abolitionists by describing slavery much differently. They used the same altered reality within which they could justify their ownership of another human being, by which they could profit from the sale of their slaves, by which they could justify protecting their assets, by which they could justify destroying slave families to pass on all their wealth after death by splitting up slave families among the children of the deceased. The master of slaves protected his investment in his business, and sold off human beings without remorse to elevate his bottom line. How is this different form what men like Romney, the big donors in that room, are trying to do?


I am not comparing a political campaign to slavery. I am demonstrating the historical trend of the wealthy class in America to do whatever it takes to maintain its hold on wealth and power, even if that means creating an altered reality. I am not describing everyone who has made money; only those who sense their wealth is unmerited.


How did slave masters justify their actions? By describing slaves as not interested in nor able to care for themselves, lazy and shiftless, as happy to be cared for by their benevolent master, as willing to do whatever the master asked of them, as too stupid to be taught to read and write-educating them would be a waste, as naturally docile and subservient, as overly emotional; and they wanted  the master to take care of them.


We know none of this is true; but, we see Romney describing Obama supporters with a similar altering of reality. He has done so throughout the campaign. This latest video simply affirms what we have understood all along. He is not just out-of-touch; he lives in an altered reality. The altered reality used to hang on to his wealth is nothing new; it is Romney’s and many of his big-donor supporters’ reality.



Actually, as an Obama supporter I can attest that disdain for Obama supporters started when Obama first rose to prominence. Obama supporters are described as obsessed, think Obama can do-no-wrong, support him no matter what, are naive or too stupid to understand how America works, and too stupid to realize he is not even an American. They are overly emotional, don’t listen to reason (of their betters), cannot be taught, are lazy and shiftless,want the government to take care of them.


The interesting thing is that President Obama is cast as both master and slave; subject to the deceptive descriptions of his followers, and described as the master of the big house/government. This racist theme is clear and overt in Teapublican circles. To see the Republican candidate meeting with masters with the money and using the racist rhetoric of the past in the current political contest makes me cringe for the GOP.


We cannot blame the wealthy for this behavior. Those with unmerited wealth must alter their reality. How else can they justify American veterans living on the streets, American children living in homeless shelters, those Americans chronically ill unable to get health insurance, the elderly and retired barely able to make ends meet, the very existence of a class of Americans called the “working poor”. How else can they justify their secretaries paying a higher share of their income than they do? How else can they justify hiding wealth in off-shore tax-shelters to avoid paying taxes?


Human beings cannot mistreat those whom they love and respect, nor a country they love and respect. They justify their mistreatment by disdaining them.They create an altered reality to cover a resentment of sharing their wealth. They use their labor to make wealth for themselves and call unionists thugs, African-Americans gangsters, women-sluts, and the middle-class and working poor unwilling to care for themselves.


Candidate Romney is not inept; nor is he stupid. He knows those he disdains will not vote for him. But his altered reality tells him he is the master of the big house and he can say what he wants and do what he likes.He believes he rules the media and the polls. He really does expect that the rest of us will go along with him; not because we want to but because we must do so to survive. Let’s prove him wrong. The master may still feel he is in charge. He may try to suppress our vote. He may dissemble in public discourse while he shares truths in private. But we are not fooled. And, we are fired up and ready to go care for our country, our fellow Americans, and ourselves.