Monday, September 29, 2014

Madison, I'm Glad You're In There

Earlier this month, I went looking in the site and found out about a 13-year-old North Carolinian named Madison Kimrey.

This Daily Kos article introduced her as the girl who wrote a letter to Phyllis Schlafly, the woman most responsible for preventing the Equal Rights Amendment from becoming the law of the land. 

She took the hypocritical Schlafly to school. (The St. Louis native got her law degree in 1950...only to spend the last 64-and-counting years discouraging subsequent generations of young women from going for their own dreams. In fact, the only dream Schlafly wants for any woman is to Get That Man. That's all.)

I first heard about Schlafly during the late 1970s, the time of the last big 20th-Century push to get enough states to ratify the amendment. That hatemonger (okay, conservative activist) made my skin crawl back then and made my blood boil at the time...and still does these things to me. 

Schlafly and her colleagues spent so darned much time spreading their brand of lies (such as: "If the ERA passes, we're gonna have unisex toilets from now on!") that it made many Americans' heads spin. 

To sum it all up, in her letter, Kimrey stated that the whole point of the modern feminist movement has been to empower girls and women to make their own life choices to be anything they want to be...and that Schlafly and Co. have no business shoving their right-wing agenda down any woman's (or man's, for that matter) throat.

It's all about moving the country forward together...and, as Kimrey likes to say, "Not one step backward!"

The antics of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and his fellow Republicans in the Tar Heel State's GOP-yoked legislature are a real collective case in point.

Efforts by McCrory and his Raleigh teammates to cripple most North Carolinians' right to vote- and to make health care much less acessible over there- are the big reasons for NC progressives to get together for Moral Mondays...and Kimrey's been one of the big cogs in those Moral Monday protests. 

She's right: "If it can happen back home (in North Carolina), it can happen anywhere."

And that's where the rest of us come in.

Madison Kimrey is urging the rest of us to pay attention to the antics of Republican lawmakers (especially at the state and national levels)...and fight those efforts of GOP figures to take America all the way back to...anywhere from the 1610s to, at best, the early 1950s.

You REALLY believe that Charles Koch, David Koch, Karl Rove, and their fellow cheerleaders on so-called talk radio as well as the hosts on Fox Gossip (oops...I mean Fox News) Channel care about America's rank-and-file citizens? You REALLY think the lawmakers they praise have our backs?

Think a darned 'gain. 

Kimrey absolutely proves that you don't have to be an adult to get concerned about (let alone involved in) United States politics, regardless of level. 

If you think this teenager should just go back to playing with her dolls and leave this work for the adults, you just don't get it.

Aren't you tired of (mainly GOP) lawmakers' efforts to take longstanding issues and continue to kick them down the road for the next generation(s) to solve? 

Aren't you aware that, at the same time, those same (especially Republican) lawmakers are teaching their trainees to avoid working on fixing these longstanding issues...and teaching them to kick these issues down the road, too?

Madison gets it.

A couple of weeks ago, I started following her blog, 

And I'm proud to be one of her followers.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Still Don't Have a Good Reason to Go to the Polls This November?

Well, I can think of plenty of reasons for voting-age Americans to get out there on 11-4-2014 and cast ballots at neighborhood polling places (or by mail or online if you want to vote prior to November's first Tuesday).

According to an article that appeared online at on 9-1-2014, people who aren't interested in getting heard during the upcoming midterm election have roughly 55 billion reasons to get their voices heard.

In this case, I'm talking (and so was the article's author, nicknamed "Echochamberlain") about the $25.308 billion this country's Republicans have spent to undermine Barack Obama's presidency since officially regaining control of the US House on 1-5-2011 and the $30 billion twenty states have walked away from because their governors and legislatures rejected Medicaid expansion rather than getting involved with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. 

55.308 billion reasons to go vote on 11-4-2014. 

The $25 billion wasted by John Boehner's House of Representatives could've gone to fund (partially at least) a jobs bill or an infrastructure bill. [After all, all through 2010, Republican candidates and incumbents loudly proclaimed that they wanted to go to (or stay in) Washington, DC to bring jobs back to America. Remember?]

The only jobs today's Washington Republicans are concerned about are THEIR OWN gigs.  

Instead, the $25.308 billion were spent to fight the 2011 increase in the nation's debt ceiling ($1.3 billion), facilitate the 2013 government shutdown (the October shutdown removed about $24 billion from the US economy), and fund periodic hearings on the 9-11-2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya ($7 million spent) say nothing of the $350,000 to be spent on the 2014 lawsuit against Obama. [At least, that's the estimate US Rep. Candice S. Miller (R-MI) gave reporters after stating that the law firm Baker Hostetler would represent the House Republicans.] 

As for the $30 billion left behind by those 20 states (Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming): The money was supposed to expand health coverage to low-income citizens through the Medicaid program. 

Instead, the governors and/or state legislators decided they didn't mind seeing increased spending on uninsured citizens' unpaid medical bills. 

The excuse most often given by those states' lawmakers and by their spokespeople is: "It'll ruin our state's budget to expand Medicaid." 

Bull droppings! Expanding Medicaid takes up about 1% of a state's budget, and that's what a December 2013 report by the Commonwealth Fund said.

Texas alone walked away from $9.2 billion because Gov. Rick Perry wouldn't expand Medicaid. Florida's out $5 billion on account of Gov. Rick Scott making the same decision. 

And when Gov. Pat McCrory said "NO!" to expanding Medicaid, he pushed aside the $2.6 billion North Carolina would've received from the US government.

Here in Nebraska, Gov. Dave Heinemann thought having a new airplane for the Cornhusker State was a better deal than expanding Medicaid for just 41,000 Nebraskans. 

Result: Nebraska can't get $738 million in Federal money.

How much longer do we have to PUT UP with this?

When answering opinion polls, millions of Americans- majorities, at that- proudly talk about how they're for adding jobs, repairing America's infrastructure, making our schools more effective, tightening this country's immigration laws, making its gun-control laws more effective, and making the Affordable Care Act stronger instead of repealing it. 

Yet those millions either vote against their own best interests or refuse to go to their neighborhood polling places at all...and can't understand that a midterm election is just as important as any other kind of election.  

Some people even use gerrymandering as an excuse for deciding to watch the election results on TV rather than being a part of those results. 

You still feel you don't have a good reason to vote on 11-4-2014?

Try this on for size: Millions of Americans throughout our history have put their lives on the line- and many have DIED- to not only keep this country on the map, but also to protect and even expand the right to vote.

They've done it not only at places like Bunker Hill and Chateau-Thierry and Iwo Jima and Pork Chop Hill and Hamburger Hill and Baghdad; they've done it at places such as Seneca Falls and Birmingham and Selma.

When we refuse to vote ("I don't like either candidate!"), we thumb our noses at all the people who fought to protect and expand the right to vote. And when we give in to Republican efforts to make it harder for people to cast a ballot, we thumb our noses at the people who fought to make sure everybody eligible to vote can do so.

We've got absolutely NO excuses...especially with this Republican-controlled House, a House whose contempt for America's rank-and-file citizens is some kind of legendary.

You say you don't like where America's going?

Want to make it better?