What You Won't See

I was really touched by Anna’s most recent post on missing women, and also stumped about the theme of my post this week. So here is your shamelessly-ripped-off roundup on what you might find missing in the political universe around you.

Medical Care. Remember that guy, we used to all talk about him a lot, his name is President George W. Bush? Yeah, he’s still president, and he’s got about five weeks left to do some nice damage before he bounces. Among those things are the “Provider Conscience” rule, which, according to NOW, “has the potential to severely restrict women’s access to birth control and other reproductive health services.” Essentially, the rule says that “any healthcare worker who morally objects to any medical procedure or service can legally refuse to perform it or take part in any way.” And—get this—although this is an obvious poke at abortion, birth control, and other repro rights beneficiaries, technically, this rule could protect medical staff that didn’t want to make appointments, prescribe drugs, or clean medical instruments. Um…what?

Jobs. Well, only if the auto industry gets good and shot down by Congress, and by Congress, I mean Congressional Republicans. The auto industry bailout is one of those things that I just didn’t want to think about, because it makes my head hurt. But the truth is, no matter how bad your bailout fatigue, you should really give this one a few minutes of consideration. For starters, this is not your investment broker’s bailout: this one’s a lot smaller ($25 billion vs. the financial industry’s $700 billion); it’s in loans, and not straight giveaways; it’s got the support of the United Auto Workers, normally not too chummy with the heads of the Big Three. However, I can’t do nearly the job explaining this as can Senator Barney Frank, interviewed by the ever on-target Rachel Maddow, so watch this.

By the way, yeah, you’re in America in the 21st century, watching a gay senator being interviewed by a wildly popular, incredibly talented and totally butch lesbian talking head, which brings us to…

Gays. This Wednesday is scheduled to be Day Without a Gay. LGBTQAI etc. folks and their straight allies are encouraged to call in “gay” to work and do service projects of all sorts. I think this is sweet. If you’re missing lots of folks from the office on Wednesday, I hope DWaG is why.

Senator Nita Lowey. With Secretary of State Clinton getting ready for the transition, Gov. Patterson needs to fill her seat soon, and not shockingly, everybody’s got an opinion. As ever, I have several, but at the top of my little list was Congresswoman Nita Lowey, who was under consideration but has apparently formally declined. In addition to her great progressive voting record, I had really been hoping for a resurgence of of those great dancing-head videos about Jewish women in Congress. Oh well—more’s the pity.

–Mel Weiss