Senator Elizabeth Warren turns 70

the trouble with “tough” women in politics

Elizabeth WarrenAs a candidate for President of the United States, Elizabeth Warren probably has a plan for that. The Guardian suggests she is the intellectual powerhouse of the Democratic party.

Recently, she’s been getting applause even in heart of MAGA country. I think that’s because the “liberal firebrand” had been a diehard conservative, for years a registered Republican.

Maybe that’s why her campaign is “on the rise”. “Voters are inspired by her personal story of struggle growing up in Oklahoma and how she connects that to her worldview of fighting for everyday people and challenging power.”

She tells about her dream for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Back in the 1970s, “our toaster oven had an on-off switch and that was it. At some point, someone had the bright idea of adding a timer and automatic shut-off. This simple change made it a whole lot harder for distracted mothers” – like her – “or anyone else, to leave it running until it set the kitchen on fire.

“Thirty years later, while working on an article about how the government could protect consumers from predatory financial companies, I thought about those old toaster ovens. By then, it was all but impossible to buy a toaster that had a one-in-five chance of bursting into flames and burning down your house. A government agency monitored toasters for basic safety, just like government kept lead paint out of children’s toys and rat poison out of medicine.”

Elizabeth Warren has lots of ideas about education. Her student debt plan, formulated from grassroots pressure, is seen as an outsized economic boon for people of color. Try her new calculator to see how much of your student loan debt would be cancelled under her plan.

“Growing up, I knew I wanted to be a teacher… But that meant I’d need a college diploma. Our family didn’t have the money to pay for it.. But I got my second chance at a public commuter college that cost $50 a semester and opened a million doors for me.

“I got my degree and I got to live my dream: I became a teacher for students with special needs. My story was only possible because America invested in kids. That just isn’t true today.

“Betsy DeVos is the worst Secretary of Education we’ve seen. She and her team are up to their eyeballs in conflicts of interest. Instead of championing our students, they protect for-profit colleges that break the law and cheat them.”

And she has a plan to pay for things. An Ultra-Millionaire Tax in place for the 75,000 largest fortunes in the country would cover Universal Child Care and early education, do universal free public college, and cancel student loan debt for 42 million Americans. Even the 1% know they aren’t paying their fair share: a new poll shows 60% of millionaires support her idea.
Elizabeth Warren.obama
It seems she has two major impediments in her campaign. One is that she’s a woman of a certain age. Jill Filipovic wrote in the New York Times about age and the female politician: “They are seen as too young and inexperienced right up until they are branded too old and tedious. Elizabeth Warren… finds herself put in the same ‘old’ category as [Bernie] Sanders and Joe Biden, even though both men are nearly a decade older than she is. Men who are more or less the same age as Ms. Warren — John Hickenlooper (67), Jay Inslee (68) — are not lumped in with the white-hairs.”

The Daily Show’s Desi Lydic weighs in on why female 2020 presidential candidates such as Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren aren’t getting as much media coverage as their male counterparts.

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 communications director talked to Vanity Fair about Warren, Harris and the Likability Quotient. She sees the trouble with “tough” women in politics, is that “The media unintentionally perpetuates male candidates’ advantages because they look and sound like candidates who have won in the past. And—shocker—they’re usually men.”

Rebecca Solnit writes Unconscious Bias is Running for President: On Elizabeth Warren and the False Problem of ‘Likeability’. She sees stories like this one – I Can’t Believe Elizabeth Warren Is Losing to These Guys – as articles that tie her to failure before the race has truly started.

The other topic of “controversy” is described by former Treasury Secretary Robert Reich: “Elizabeth Warren is one of the most talented politicians and policy leaders in America. We must not allow Trump or anyone else to ‘swift-boat’ her because she identified herself as an American Indian three decades ago.

“At worst, Warren may have stretched the bounds of the definition of whiteness. That’s understandable. She grew up in Oklahoma, a state created from Indian Territory. She probably witnessed the disrespect and occasional brutality that Native Americans were, and still are, subject to. Her own genetic test showed at least one Native American ancestor. She has stressed that she is not a member of a tribal nation.”

“She hasn’t insulted Native Americans by calling a leading politician ‘Pocahontas’ and joking about the Trail of Tears in the 1830s.

“Warren got no career benefit from her self-designation. At every step of her exceptional rise in the legal profession, those responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman. The fact that she claimed Indian descent on a Texas bar form that was meant to be confidential is further evidence that her identification arose from sincere belief.”

One can agree or disagree with her positions on other specific issues, but that’ll have to be another post. Still, there’s reason to believe that she would make America great again. Guess who voters prefer in 2020 if the ‘perceived electability’ factor was removed.

Elizabeth Warren turns 70 on June 22, the same day as Meryl Streep.

Variations on the theme: tell Roger anything

Roger can haughtily ignore your ideas

questionUsually, at the this time of the year, I do this thing Ask Roger Anything. That still holds; more anon.

But THIS time only, gentle reader, you ALSO get to give me unsolicited advice about what I should do upon retirement from my job, which will be very soon.

Some of you braver folks have already offered me suggestions in this area. They contain the “You can take on…” statements, which I assiduously ignore. The “let’s think on that” category comprises things like travel, if we can figure out what to do with the cats.

Now the clearly clever people have come up with ideas such as taking naps – brilliant, I say!; reading that stack of magazines that have piled up; and watching those shows still clogging the DVR. I did mention naps, right?

Here’s the other thing. When you TELL Roger Anything, Roger can haughtily ignore your ideas. Whereas when you ASK Roger Anything, he HAS to respond to that, usually within the month, to the best of his ability. Obfuscation is allowed in ARA, but it’s not generally employed.

Of course, if you were extremely clever, I suppose you could get your “tell” to sound like an “ask”. And you can ask anything, no matter how mundane. I can do mundane especially well; wait for the next round of my ABC Wednesday responses.

As always, you can leave any of your questions and/or suggestions, in the comments section of this here blog or on Facebook or Twitter; for the latter, my name is ersie. Always look for the duck.

If you prefer to remain anonymous, that’s swell, but you need to SAY so specifically. E-mail me at rogerogreen (AT) gmail (DOT) com, or send me an IM on FB and note that you want to remain mysterious; otherwise, I’ll assume you want your names to be up in lights like the Broadway star you want to be!

Oh, yeah, I still need to finish watching the Tonys…

Actress Meryl Streep turns 70

I STILL haven’t seen Ironweed (1987)

Meryl StreepThere’s a tease for Big Little Lies, the season two opener, that features Meryl Streep. It was so intriguing that I ALMOST wanted to sign up for HBO. Almost.

By my reckoning, I’ve mentioned Meryl Streep over 40 times in this blog. Often, it was in a review of a movie I had seen or note of an award she was nominated for. When I wrote that she received the Kennedy Center Honors, I listed all the films of hers I’d seen through 2009. She is the film performer whose body of work I’ve probably seen the most of, percentage-wise.
Subsequently, I’ve watched:

The Fantastic Mr. Fox, 2009, though I didn’t see it until 2017
The Iron Lady, 2011, for which she won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Hope Springs, 2012
August: Osage County, 2013, nominated for Best Actress
Into the Woods, 2014, nominated for Best Supporting Actress
The Post, 2017, nominated for Best Actress
Mary Poppins Returns, 2018

I STILL haven’t seen Ironweed (1987), though it was both filmed partly in Albany and the story based in the city. I skipped Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018), though my wife and daughter viewed it and found it OK for what it was trying to achieve.

Somehow, I missed Streep’s Best Actress-nominated role in Florence Foster Jenkins (2016). Nor have I seen her Oscar-nominated role in The Deer Hunter (1978), which means I’ve caught 19 of her 21 nominated roles, and all three of her winning performances – Kramer vs. Kramer (1979 – supporting) and Sophie’s Choice (1982 – lead), as well as The Iron Lady.

Here are a couple interviews/”inspirational” pieces about the actress in Good Housekeeping and Parade.

I was at a graduation party this month, and someone was watching The Office, the US television sitcom, in the other room. Michael Scott (Steve Carell) had been viewing The Devil Wears Prada, bit by bit, on Netflix and was annoyingly boorish to his secretary Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer). Later, he apologized for his behavior; he didn’t know until the end that “Meryl Streep was the bad guy.”

She can be the villain, but she is almost never bad. Meryl Streep turns 70 on June 22.

Exiting my jobs over the years

I have no idea about these things

exitingSince I am about to leave my job of 26 years plus, I thought I’d mention exiting my jobs in the past.

IBM, Endicott, NY, 03-09/1971: I was working the evening shift, 5:12 p.m.-2 a.m., though it was usually until 4 a.m. I worked on putting this laminated gel on computer boards, then heating these boards in ovens, then attaching plastic plates to the board.

I was very good. Too good, in fact, because the first process was so easy that the job quota went from 60 items/hour to 80/hour. The day shift had been slacking off. In retaliation, the day shift did a ton of the first process, leaving the more precise second task for me.

When I left, my manager was disappointed, but I needed to go to college.

Some box factory, 2 weeks in the summer of 1973, described here. After they gave me grief about my productivity, they begged me to stay.

Albany Savings Bank, teller, 02/1978 – two days after my training was over, and I was on the window by myself, spending an hour trying to find a five cent overage, I quit with two days notice. They weren’t happy but they were only paying me $6000 a year, less than what I had in my drawer every day.

Schenectady Arts Council, 03/1978-01/1979 – I took this job, which, BTW, paid $8200. It was a lot more fun and interesting.

Ostensibly, I was the bookkeeper, but I solicited ads for a fundraiser to fix Proctors Theatre, I was a dance partner for the choreographer when she taught disco to school, and most regularly, I ran the biweekly Artisans’ Arcade in the Proctors’ walkway.

When the federal funding was suddenly cut, a bunch of us went out drinking. I’m fairly sure I called my girlfriend to come pick me up.

Empire Blue Cross, 02/1979-03/1980 – described here.

FantaCo, 05/1980-11/1988 – the comic book store/publisher/mail order place. It was a great job for a long time. But as I wrote here, I was just burned out.

I thought I would never have a job with a tenure more than the 8.5 years I worked at FantaCo. Yet I was at the NY SBDC greater than thrice as long, proving I have no idea about these things.

Listen to I Quit – Blotto

For ABC Wednesday

June rambling: hope, not optimism

Libraries Are ‘Second Responders’

TheFour

We need hope, not optimism

In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc

Alarm Over Use of Facial Recognition as Groups Demand Federal Moratorium

This is not sustainable: Analysis shows massive gap between CEO and workers’ pay is getting worse

Trade Wars: A Real-Life Game of Thrones

The tax cuts effect

The Arctic Is Thawing So Fast, Scientists Are Losing Their Measuring Tools

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Medical device approval process and the Equal Rights Amendment

Amy Biancolli: Women always know their bodies are not their own

The Catholic Church spent $10 million on lobbyists in a fight to stymie priest sex abuse suits

Auschwitz Is Not a Metaphor – The new exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage gets everything right — and fixes nothing

Human remains on Canadian beach are Irish famine victims from 1847

How archaeologists found the last American slave ship and one famous descendent of that passage

Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio: A Criminal Injustice Story – The Central Park Five have been exonerated and their story is finally being heard. But, there is still so much work to be done and Why I Can’t Bring Myself to Watch “When They See Us”

Why Narcissists And Gaslighters Blatantly Lie — And Get Away With It

When Libraries Are ‘Second Responders’

Vlogbrothers: On Sharing the Walk

Dooky Chase owner Leah Chase

What James Holzhauer’s Jeopardy Streak Meant

To Evade Pre-Prohibition Drinking Laws, New Yorkers Created the World’s Worst Sandwich

How to Prepare Your Bedroom for an Emergency

8 City Names We Bet You Can’t Pronounce – Skaneateles, NY, U.S.A. I can, actually

The English Word That Hasn’t Changed in Sound or Meaning in 8,000 Years

What’s My Line? – Doris Day’s FIRST Television Appearance in 1954

This film was entirely made with AI

When you get that ‘friend request’ from someone… who’s really not your ‘friend’

Now I Know: The Goalie Who Wouldn’t Stop and Why You Shouldn’t Tick off a Tiger and Where No Kidney Stone Has Gone Before and Why you may be playing basketball in your slippers and The Casual Slur in Your Utility Drawer and The Coffee Brand That is a Total Lie and The Desert’s No Fly Zone

MUSIC

Why We Build the Wall – Original Cast of Hadestown

‘Be More Chill’ parody of Michael in the Bathroom

2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Dr. John on Letterman

The Monster Song – Freezepop

Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve

Dog Breath Variations of Frank Zappa

A tone poem from the symphonic cycle Ma Vlast (My Country), From Bohemia’s Woods and Fields – composed by Bedrich Smetana

Propane – Pinkard & Bowden

I’m Still Standing – Sonny Vande Putt

Africa and If I Needed Someone – MonaLisa Twins meets Mike Massé

That Year – Brandi Carlile

First Suite in E-flat – Gustav Holst

Coverville 1264: Cover Stories for Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle and CeeLo Green

People who sing daily live longer

THE FIRST YEAR AND THE WHO yes, we mean Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey

Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony Completed Using AI