Opinion Journalists On Fire

Seriously, folks. I’ve been reading so much great stuff today that I feel like the excitable, sycophantic Chester in the old cartoons about big ol’ bulldog Spike and Sylvester the cat.

Woudja like that, Spike!?!?

Women

Did you know this is an Internet Feminist blog? I didn’t. But I just keep writing about wimmins, don’t I? They pull me back in.

Mitt’s Binders and the Missing Women,” by Amy Davidson

But one measure of the lack of intensity afforded to women’s issues by either candidate was that, while contraception was discussed, the word “abortion” did not come up at all, except maybe by proxy. Obama mentioned Planned Parenthood five times, once in the same sentence with Big Bird. A woman watching, who did not know either of the candidate’s positions going in, might have guessed the general orientation, but would not have known that Romney—at the moment—supports a ban on abortion unless a woman has been the victim of rape or incest, or will die without it. That is an extreme position. How, after all, is it supposed to work, even for a woman who has been raped?

What Women Voters Want,” by Margaret Talbot

Moreover, the fact that sometimes gets lost in this parsing and claiming of voter motivation is that access to contraception and abortion are economic issues. They are matters of health care, as the Democrats like to emphasize, and they are moral matters, as the Republicans like to. But there is a reason why the dramatic rise in women’s work-force participation in the nineteen-sixties and seventies coincided with the wider availability of a reliable birth-control pill and abortion. Women’s ability to pursue education and careers is predicated on their ability to plan when they will give birth. The health and prospects of their families rests in part on mothers’ access to reproductive health care. When some, usually more affluent, women can easily obtain birth control, and others cannot, that has real economic implications, both for individuals and for social equity. Romney and Ryan would prefer that you forget it, but women’s issues are everybody’s issues.

And for good measure, next time you feel like wandering into the golden sparkles of brainiac journalism, just head to the New Yorker Politics page. Facts + Heart = AWESOME.

But, as always, don’t read the comments. DON’T READ THEM!

Dang, you’re going to read them.

The rule about the feminist Internet is that the comments will always depress you. No matter what. Even if there are excellent smartypants supportive ones. This irrefutable fact about the Feminist Internet has scared me away from being a full-service Feminist Blog. I’ll dabble, sure, because I care about the wimmins. But the minute I have to create a comments policy is the minute I’ll have to reconsider my own blogular investments. Which are now being held in a blind trust, with some activity, I’m sure, in the Cayman Islands.

 

Money

Because wimmins, Latinas, undecideds: we all care about the cheddar. And we can turn the election.

So for cheddar slicing, I always trust the Wonkblog.

Obama’s real 2nd term plan, which he can’t really talk about. (Though for the record, I believe that he’s been quite clear about his 2nd term goals. Not to mention the need for him to be elected to allow his 1st term achievements to actually happen.)

If the Obama administration were to really lay out their plans, they would go something like this. In November, President Obama will reiterate, clearly and firmly, that he will veto any attempts to extend the high-income tax cuts or lift the big, dumb spending cuts without finding equivalent savings elsewhere. In fact, as my colleague Lori Montgomery reports, they’re already reiterating that promise.

Graphing Romney’s tax plan. Capping deductions to pay for tax cuts.

Guess who benefits! People with blind trusts.

It’s impossible to cut taxes for every single person and make up for it by simply capping deductions. The numbers also show that such a plan would mainly benefit top earners.

And here’s Ezra Klein reading the debate and helpfully summarizing and transcribing its highlights.

Romney has no policy on pay equity.This is just straight-up word salad:

We’re going to have to have employers in the new economy, in the economy I’m going to bring to play, that are going to be so anxious to get good workers they’re going to be anxious to hire women. In the — in the last women have lost 580,000 jobs. That’s the net of what’s happened in the last four years. We’re still down 580,000 jobs. I mentioned 31/2 million women, more now in poverty than four years ago.What we can do to help young women and women of all ages is to have a strong economy, so strong that employers that are looking to find good employees and bringing them into their workforce and adapting to a flexible work schedule that gives women opportunities that they would otherwise not be able to afford. This is what I have done. It’s what I look forward to doing and I know what it takes to make an economy work, and I know what a working economy looks like.

Yum. Word salad.

It’s lunchtime!

 

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