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Entries in President Obama (31)


Dear Walmart Moms #2: A Divorced Mom With 2 Jobs and A Disabled Son Is Talking To You

I am thinking about this upcoming election day and all that is at stake. I hear there is a very important group of voters that both parties, both campaigns, think are critical to win the presidency –women that some are calling “Walmart moms.” Considering that I am a single mom, who is managing two jobs to support myself and my son- who also happens to have disabilities, I feel compelled to share some thoughts with some of my fellow moms.

I cannot tell you how important this election is – the huge difference in the America we will have, depending upon who becomes our next president. I understand that its hard to stay current with all the issues, where these two men who want to be president really want to take us as a country, and as a people. I thought about this a lot and thought it may be easiest to describe the difference in the two sides by giving a pop culture comparison.

Can We Talk Dirty Dancing?

I bet many of you have seen the movie ‘Dirty Dancing’ and this seems a fairly easy way to make a point about the difference in values of the men who are running for President of the US. You see, Paul Ryan — one of our vice presidential candidates — says that Ayn Rand is his hero. The values written about define the direction that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to take America.

Who is Ayn Rand you ask? —as you are working, caring for your kids, trying to pay bills and balance all that life demands of us – all while realizing you don’t have time to read Ayn Rand (her books are 600-1000 pages long!)

Okay – well, let’s get back to ‘Dirty Dancing’ – do you remember Robbie the waiter? You know, the slimy, ‘thinks he is better than others’ guy who got Penny pregnant? Well, if you think about the movie, and when Baby went to ask Robbie to do the right thing, own up that he was the father, Robbie gave Baby a book to read – it was The Fountainhead, written by Ayn Rand. Everything that defined who Robbie is (and his sense that he was better than “a girl like that”) came from that book – came from Ayn Rand.

Legitimate Rape and the Girl Who Asks For It

That’s how Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan think – they are better; they are entitled. You know how “girls like that” are…… now, think – what have you been hearing in the news? Things like “legitimate rape,” “the 47%,” “just put an aspirin between your knees.” THAT is the same mentality that existed not only in that fictional movie, but in the attitudes of today’s Republican party!

You don’t believe me? Well, Mitt Romney has said he will defund Planned Parenthood on day one of a Romney presidency. Can you afford to have more kids? To go without birth control? Think I am exaggerating? Well – I can tell you, the current Repulican candidate for the vice presidency has introduced a bill in Congress that involves what is called “personhood”.

Mitt Romeny says he would be happy to sign a personhood bill into law. Do you know what that kind of law would do? It would make many forms of birth control illegal, it would make IUDs illegal, defining the woman who uses one as a murderer! A personhood bill would make in-vitro fertilization illegal!

Ending Women’s New and Better Healthcare

Mitt Romney has said that he would get rid of Obamacare on day one of a Romney presidency. Do you know how bad that would be?

Obamacare means that as women, we don’t have to pay more for health insurance just because we are women! It means that we can get birth control at no charge as part of our health plans. It means that if you don’t have insurance today, states are supposed to be making plans to make insurance affordable and available to ALL of us!

Obamacare means that if you have a pre-existing condition like I do (I have had a long history of ovarian cysts and a higher risk of cancer), then insurance companies cannot deny me coverage – and, there are no longer lifetime limits on coverage. That is important for people who have long-term illnesses, or disabilities. I cannot tell you how important that is to me because my son has a disability. Before Obamacare, it was possible that he would reach a lifetime limit cap on insurance coverage before he turned 20 years old!! Not anymore – thanks to President Obama!

Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner

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Dear Walmart Moms #1: A Job Creator CEO Woman Living in America and Austria Is Talking To You

Dear AOC Readers. We are a complex and unusual group: international, gender-balanced, progressive and also conservative? “Did you say ‘conservative’, Anne? You have conservative readers?”

In fact, AOC has a significant group of conservative women readers, many without college degrees and living in non urban parts of America. I joke that AOC is their closet progressive read.

While we’ve quantified the existence of these women readers, I’ve never sat down with them for a chat. My business career has often brought me into contact with women featured in last week’s NYTimes read: Crucial Subset: Female Voters Still Deciding.

President Obama’s support among white women voters is eroding among a group demographers call ‘Walmart moms’.

America’s shrinking middle class and just-getting by families includes many of these Walmart moms, and they are struggling at the end of President Obama’s first term as president. Many of these women voted for Obama in 2008 but are now drawn to Romney.

Behold the coveted female swing voter of 2012. She has slipped a rung or two down the economic ladder from the soccer moms of the more prosperous 1990s, as indicated by her new nickname — waitress mom. Rather than ferrying children around the suburbs in minivans, she is spinning in the hamster wheel of a tight economy and not getting ahead.

My own views of the Republican War on women are clearly established since 2010. But I understand that not every woman sees it that way. To be honest, I can’t change your mind in many cases.

The woman we’re talking to — hurricane or no hurricane — is a woman like Emmakate Paris, a voter featured in the NYT article, a woman disappointed in President Obama but afraid of Mitt Romney and what his presidency and a Republican Congress will mean for her and her family.

You see, Paris “is not thrilled with Mitt Romney either. She said he would set women back because he did not understand their needs.”

“Women worked so hard to get where we are today and to take our rights away from us is — no,” she said, shaking her head.

Each day until the election (Internet connections permitting with this horrific weather), we will feature a longer essay or group of thoughts to AOC readers from one of our other readers about the upcoming election.

I’m calling this feature Dear Walmart Moms. Our first letter came almost immediately on Facebook from someone I don’t know in person. Pat Kennedy is a friend of a friend, and she jotted down her thoughts sitting in a Viennese coffee shop. Pat is a good writer and clear communicator. She is also a businesswoman and job creator.

Many of us Democratic women ARE job creators and still find lots to respect about decisions made for workers and non-elite people by the Obama administration. Mitt Romney would have you believe that progressive women want government to run the show. This assertion is so far from the truth, that I want to launch Dear Walmart Moms with a businesswoman’s perspective. ~ Anne

Dear Walmart Moms #1 by Pat Kennedy

Hi Anne,

We don’t know each other, but met ‘virtually’ through an email by Monica Day. My name is Patty Kennedy - and you kindly complimented me on summing up Monica’s challenges.

I am writing because I just read your post and love the idea! I am also very dedicated to what have become termed ‘women’s issues’, which, I have always argued are actually world issues. With that, I will share some of my thoughts with you….in the event they are helpful.

First, to put my thoughts in context, I am a mother of two young boys, CEO of a communications company headquartered in NY and with offices in Vienna, Austria. I split my time between NYC and Vienna. Life is purposefully full, and good….which is not to say it’s easy.

The War on Women Is Real and We Must Join Hands

Now that I’ve given you my brief bio, I want to get to the point. I applaud that you are reaching out to Walmart Moms. I think it is necessary and I too am appalled by what’s going on politically around women. But here’s the thing: until we collectively unite our voices as women, I don’t think we’ll get very far. Society, the media - and especially several Republican candidates - have set us up to define ourselves a certain way, structure our lives in a certain way and then judge other women for not doing the same. It is a battle — that divided — we can’t win. I wonder how we became afraid of our own power? A self power that I’ve seen women from all socio-economic, SAHM, WOHM, race, religious, sexual orientations eschew for the ‘greater good’, which to many, has been named ‘children’. I disagree with this.

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Col. Lawrence Wilkerson Says Republican Party Is "Full of Racists" As He Defends Powell's Endorsement of Obama


I returned early last night from an event to catch this memorable interview with Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief-of-staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell on The Ed Show. Typically, I don’t watch Ed, preferring Eliot Spitzer.

Col. Wilkerson is responding to Mitt Romney campaign surrogate John Sununu’s suggestion on Thursday that Powell’s endorsement of President Barack Obama’s re-election was motivated by race.

My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people — not all of them, but most of them — who are still basing their positions on race. Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists, and the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin, and that’s despicable.

Former New Hampshire Governor Sununu — who has previously called President Obama “lazy”, leaving CNBC host Andrea Mitchell visibly shocked — told CNN’s Pierce Morgan Thursday night that he believed Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama was motivated by race. Sununu has led the charge in calling President Obama unAmerican, saying specifically that he wishes the president would “learn how to be an American.”

Col. Wilkerson himself is known for not mincing words and his Ed Show comments are a jawdropper. Earlier this month, the retired Army colonel said of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team “These people make me sick.”

Speaking specifically of Mitt Romney’s chief adviser John Bolton who has totally trashed the United Nations as U.N. Ambassador, Col. Wilkerson said:

“The man scares me to death. He would defeat all the enemies in America and the world—and believe me they’re plentiful—and he’d do it with everyone else’s blood. John is like Dick Cheney, never served a day in his life and wouldn’t serve a day in his life.”