Letters to the Editor 

Cecile Richards

Randy Haspel asks, "Where is Gloria Steinem, now that we need her?" (The Rant, April 12th issue). After reading "The Genius of Cecile Richards" in The Nation, I suspect she studied up, changed her name to Cecile Richards, and became CEO of Planned Parenthood.

Richards is quoted as saying: "Until Planned Parenthood, I had never worked with a group in which people got up every day trying to figure out how to keep us from doing our work." Four days later, PP had $3 million in new funding; 32,000 new Facebook fans; 22,000 people who shared the PP facebook badge, more than 100,000 new viewers; the public support of New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who donated $250,000 to PP; vast television and radio exposure; and the Komen funding back in place.

It was all due to Cecile Richards, who in 2008 said, "We aim to be the largest kick-butt political organization," and launched a campaign to bring one million pro-choice voters to the polls via phone banking, direct mail, and door-to-door canvassing. At her direction, Planned Parenthood collaborated with a national progressive voter list to create the first model for building public support for choice.

And how did we come by such a jewel as Cecile Richards? Well, maybe her mother, former Texas governor Ann Richards, had something to do with it, though Cecile Richards says, "I get my impatience from my father, who would not suffer any fools." (David Richards was a labor and civil rights attorney.)

Last year, when I began hearing about the "war on women," Planned Parenthood became the target of Republican attacks. This will be a primary reason for women not to vote Republican, either nationally or locally. And if waspy, fat, white guys in their 60s continue to attempt to repeal Roe v. Wade or ban contraception, health care, or abortion, you will never see the like of the fury of the numbers of women — yes, even Republican women — who will abandon GOP candidates in droves, especially those who remember what it was like pre-1973.

Miriam Rachels

No Buffett

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives recently vetoed the Buffett Rule, which would have required billionaires to pay at least the same percentage of tax (on capital gains) that their maids and chauffeurs pay. Now, I read that the strongest supporters the Republicans have are uneducated white males over 50. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! Nothing like voting for people who want to take away your Social Security and Medicare to widen the income gap for the 1 percenters.

Jim Brasfield

Those Pesky Liberals

I am amused by the liberals celebrating moving the Ramesses II statue to the University of Memphis from the Pyramid.

How fitting it is that the city hypocritically known for standing up for civil rights would hail a madman who enslaved, tortured, and even murdered the Israelites. Don't worry, I get it. As long as you leftist kooks can scream racism at anything that makes blacks uncomfortable, you don't care about how anyone else was treated.

The statue of Ramesses should be used as a fund-raiser for $5 a sledgehammer swing. Anything else is a slap in the face to the multitudes stripped of their humanity by this man.

Tommy Volinchak


Reagan Redux

Current GOP candidates and office-holders constantly praise former President Ronald Reagan, holding him up as the very model of an ideal Republican. Saint Ronnie. They ignore, as usual, reality.

While he was president, Reagan and Congress raised taxes to bring down unwieldy deficits. In 1983, Reagan hiked gas and payroll taxes. In 1984, he raised revenue by closing tax loopholes for businesses, resulting in the largest corporate tax hike in history.

Additionally, Reagan boosted taxes on capital gains by 40 percent to align them with taxes paid on wages. In total, Reagan raised taxes 11 times in eight years, because it was the responsible thing to do. A far cry from the "dribble-down" lunacy being spouted by today's GOP.

L.J. Carter

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