Beware of the Budget and Binder Smokescreens: Bewitching Women or Befuddled Men or Neither?

“The best way to help the world is to start loving each other, not blandly, blindly, but realistically, with understanding and forbearance and forgiveness.” –Madeleine L’Engle

The Elections are Over: Verbal Sigh and Rant

It’s only been eight days since our nation held Presidential elections and yet we’ve been overwhelmed with the rapid-fire news of now resigned CIA Director Petraeus’ indiscretions.  Never mind that there are less than 45 days of work in 2012 for Congress to actually work out a deal with newly re-elected President Obama for our nation.  Also, let’s not even think about getting to the bottom of the story of how the Benghazi situation got out of our control and left us with four Americans dead in the worst manner you can think about on foreign soil.  Finally, please take this as a reminder that women really are to blame for society’s ills and men’s downfall…sense my sarcasm already?

Women Can Work With Each Other: Even When From Different Sisterhoods

Our local The Palm Beach Post reprinted two columns on Monday, November 12 that I recommend reading if you haven’t already:  Maureen Dowd’s “Romney is President”

and Kathleen Parker’s “What Doomed Romney”

These two women, who come from different “sides” of the political lines, actually did an amazing job of together for some of the issues that women in America felt most affected by in the rhetorical debates of this Presidential race past.  Dowd wrote, “…in the real country, many wives were urging husbands not to vote for a Brycleemed boss out of a ‘50s boardroom whose party was helping to revive a 50-year-old debate over contraception” while Parker noted “Women’s reproductive rights need to come off the table…as Haley Barbour suggested long ago, agree to disagree.”  When it came to rape, Dowd cited President George W. Bush’s former aide Karen Hughes quote from this past Friday on Politico, “If another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue” and Parker remarked, “No abortion for rape or incest? Sit down. Legitimate rape? Put on your clown suit and go play in the street.”

Besides going over the help and rebuilding phase that the GOP is in, it was also hinted that President Obama isn’t thought of as winning this election in flying colors.  It’s just that given the conditions of our nation’s issues and the Republican’s indecisiveness, most Americans and single women especially felt safer sticking with the status quo.

These are great discussions to have for both sides to figure out how to better go forward especially in regards to women’s issues for our nation.  The fact remains that it was less than 100 years that women were given the right to vote and although we gained at least three more women in the House of Representatives, we still have a long way to go in having more of a say in the legislation making process.

Enter Scene: Bring CIA Director Out of Infidelity’s Hidden Closet

So, no sooner does our President return from his victorious night to Washington and he barely has 24 hours to gather his wits and get back in the swing of being Commander in Chief and his CIA Director David Petraeus walks in to offer his resignation over the investigation into emails that reveal he had an inappropriate relationship with Paula Broadwell, recent biographer for him.

This morning I read in my groggy stupor an impressive column entitled “The Siren and the Spook” by Frank Bruni

I was impressed by Mr. Bruni’s assessment of the press coverage of Paula Broadwell and David Petraeus—especially that of Broadwell and how quickly it was reduced to her physical attributes and “her long-ago coronation as homecoming queen, her six-minute mile—it was presented not merely as a matter of accomplishment, but as something a bit titillating, perhaps a part of the trap she laid.” 

As social media buzz and even the lady helping a friend and I shared with us in a women’s fitting room yesterday, the salacious topic of Piraeus, Broad well, Tampa Socialite and others is on everyone’s mind.  The subject matter triggers so many strong responses from folks that it is both entertaining and alarming. 

What is upsetting about a scandal like this is the possibility to uncover so much on both sides of the aisle.  As for the audacity of people arguing that this is a national security breach, I would like to remind all our amnesia-ridden Americans that it wasn’t that long ago (back in the pre-9/11 days) that we had a Commander in Chief that hooked up with a White House intern while being married and his daughter lived in the big house.

However, most incredulous about scandals such as these is the tendency to focus on the women in a manner that sets us up to be the perfect blame for the demise of these men in power.  Does this mean that women shouldn’t dress attractively, not show admiration, no nurturing—are we to revert back to trying to be like men who has failed us miserably since we tried burning bras in the 1960s?

Great closing, Bruni writes: “Such adamant women, such pregnable men. We’ve been stuck on this since Eve, Adam and the Garden of Eden. And it’s true: Eve shouldn’t have been so pushy with the apple. But Adam could have had a V8.”

Not the End: Re-elected and Renewed Energy for Women

Maybe I didn’t vote for President Obama, however, I honor and respect that he is our nation’s President and look forward to watching him and the other factions in our government try to overcome the negativity that seems to infect and re-infect inside the D.C. Beltway.  I have lived and worked within that system and had to finally walk away as I risked becoming jaded about our ability to work together for a common good in our nation despite our differences.  I pray and hope that in this 2nd term for President Obama and the Congress that they can together get the job done and not have to wait for the “Mr. Perfect—that doesn’t exist, it’s what we do with what we’ve got that matters most and makes the difference in the annals of history.

R. Saridakis Bean

Personal Reflection: Politics and Poisonous Speech

In my life I have had the honor of working in the U.S. Congress as a legislative aide and in a Presidential Administration as a humble political appointee.  During those ‘working bee’ years, I came to understand how our nation’s legislation is written, enacted and executed.  Admittedly, I came in pretty ignorant…I actually kept a book at my desk that broke down what we all should have learned in our Social Studies/Government Civics classes in grammar school.  Alas, nothing is a better education than being immersed in the daily grind of it all, down to the most mundane amendments written for bills on the House Floor.

However, my personal work experience in DC Beltway politics also served to affect me in a negative way.  One of my bosses went down in an ill-gotten scandal and although I already had garnered a jaded chip on my shoulder about politicians on both sides of the aisle–this one was pretty jolting.

My first inclination was to walk away altogether from politics for a while, but I did enjoy carrying out and interacting with ‘the people’ that have the power to elect and vote out these lawmakers.  Thus, when opportunity knocked to become a political appointee and work at the U.S. Department of Treasury, I leapt into it.

I can truly say that my post at Treasury was the hardest I had ever worked in an office environment in my career so far.  The people I met and worked with were among the highest caliber and yet I also came in contact with some who were so power-hungry and obsessed with subjects not necessarily in our nation’s best interests.  My political and bureaucratic education was once more expanded and it was extremely difficult to avoid becoming disillusioned further–again, both political parties to blame, neither better than the other.

Is the answer to abolish our heavily two-party system?  No offense to Independents, Libertarians, Green Party and so forth, but the Democrats and Republicans do have the most members and money of all our other political parties in this country.

Although the speeches between the politicians, the pundits and even the public has become so poisonous at times, I cannot believe that getting rid of the balance of powers would ever work for our nation.  Just as I can debate with my husband, my family, my friends and even strangers, I think it makes me a better person and perhaps more open to other ideas than just my self-formulated ones.

Many recent politicians, even our current President, have attempted to deliver a new way, a “hope for change” if you will.  Please understand that sort of promise in action is challenging in the present political halls of power.  Having worked with others who believe in compromising and working things out for the best of our people’s interests, even those persons in powerful positions have run and still run into the wall of “the way thing are”.

Having said all of this, I still firmly believe that our system of checks and balances in our government is the best for our time in our nation.  Another solution to consider is personal responsibility for everyone involved: the voting public, the worker bees in government, the lawmakers and elected officials.  Just as if we all simply let someone pass in front of us while we drive on the road this week, everyone would enjoy driving much more than the common ‘road rage’ many of us endure daily–we should consider that if everyone did their active part for our nation’s local and federal governments, there would be less griping about ‘the system’ because the system simply deconstructed is designed for “the People, by the People.”

Note:  A trip to Epcot with my son and a close friend yesterday yielded this thought tangent after viewing the Presidential show in the United States section–random but true:-)


Wyoming Life

"God bless it and keep it wild"