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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Maureen Dowd, "When Cruelty Is Cute": Does Dowd Inject Botox?

In a New York Times op-ed earlier this month (, Maureen Dowd wrote:

"Feminism has come and gone, and women now routinely puff their lips, inflate their chests, dye their hair and dress with sultry abandon."

Oddly, there was no mention by Maureen of the use by women of Botox (global market expected to reach annual $2.9 billion by 2018 at a CAGR of 14%) to eliminate wrinkles.

Dowd, who had her 60th birthday in January of this year, appears to have a furrow-free forehead. How does she do it? I'm two and a half years younger than Dowd, and there is no mistaking the grooves over and around my weary brown eyes. Admittedly I have worked on farms, suffered a plethora of military exercises in the desert, and continue to endure the vicissitudes of a wife and three children, all contributing to signs of aging, but please, Maureen, tell us the secret to your youthful mien. I'm certain your readership deserves to know.

But more to the point, I wonder whether Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate has finally elicited a crease in Dowd's brow.

Commenting on Ryan's appearance in her op-ed in today's Times, "When Cruelty Is Cute" (, Maureen writes of the Republican vice presidential candidate, "He’s the cutest package that cruelty ever came in."

Dowd proceeds to shower vituperation upon poor Paul. Asking, "Who better to rain misery upon the heads of millions of Americans?," Dowd demeans Ryan's affinity for "Atlas Shrugged," claiming that "Randism is a state of arrested adolescence."

Mocking the concern of Ryan and "his fellow conservative Cassandras" with the "debt bomb," Dowd would have us know that Ryan is "a numbers guy whose numbers don’t add up." Yet nowhere is there any attempt by Dowd to deal with the numbers, and regrettably, this would-be opinion piece is little more than a bloated ad hominem attack.

Allow me to set the record straight: I am pro-choice and am in favor of gay marriage, positions diametrically opposed to those of Ryan. Moreover, there is much detail lacking with respect to the manner in which Ryan would cut the US federal budget and deficit.

However, only a fool could ignore the mountain of debt that has been created by the Obama administration and which threatens to bring America to its knees.

Unfortunately, the American budget will need to be cut, and although there is plenty of room for argument as to which expenses need to be slashed, ultimately this will be unpleasant for many.

Impose higher taxes on America's wealthiest? Sure, they should share in the burden, but all, including Obama, acknowledge that this doesn't even come close to providing a solution.

I am not an aficionado of "Atlas Shrugged." Rather, I am a fan of Edward de Bono's "Lateral Thinking for Management" and believe that proffering and considering a multitude of ideas can give rise to creative solutions.

I also think that in order to solve America's debt problem, it first must be acknowledged - something that Ryan has brought to the fore in the 2012 presidential election, but something that Dowd does not deign address in her op-ed.

How much of an unreasonable "package of cruelty" is Paul Ryan? Listen to Erskine Bowles, the Democratic co-chair of the Obama Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and decide for yourself.


  1. Oh, Jeff, oh, Jeff.
    Something is wrong. "The rich should share in the burden." Yeah, there is no difference between suffering of a billionaire who "loses" some 10 thousands (oh unbearable pain, oh suffering) and a poor mother who watches her children starve to death(she, they just deserve it).
    Something is wrong with your values. Clearly, I am not an American "My precious body (abortion, gay rights only) and my precious bank accounts 'liberal.'"
    These can go to hell to join randists. The world be a better place.

  2. Not quite sure I understand the point, but . . . "according to Census Bureau data for 2009 (the most recent year statistics are available), of the almost 50 million Americans classified as poor, 96% of the parents said their children were never hungry. Eighty-three percent of poor families reported having enough food to eat, and 82% of poor adults said they were never hungry at any time in 2009 due to a lack of food or money" (

    Moreover, let's suppose we strip American billionaires of all their wealth and pass it over to the government. Do you honestly believe that this will make a dent in the trillion dollar annual deficits the government is running or benefit the poor over the long-term? Even Obama acknowledges that this will not help.

    You've probably read my ideas for reviving the American economy and creating sustainable jobs which can help eliminate poverty.

  3. Of course you don't understand the point. Aren't you a graduate of American high school and the University of Chicago.
    How can you expect someone who spent his most formative years first under some desk ("the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming") and then memorizing "the rich are rich because they deserve to be rich."
    We went to different schools (and I did go for decades to university schools) and see the world differently.
    There are profound systemic problems in America (I'm sure you didn't hear this under your desk or in ... that University) and THEY must be addressed.
    Imagine that, Jeff. There are countries in the world where (hard to believe) employees (as employees) have rights. Unbelievable. Just people who do all the work have ... rights! Oh, horror.
    In such societies there are fewer chances for the ruthless and criminal to become .... billionaires (with all the negative consequences). There are some, but guess what ... they actually pay taxes. Oh horror.
    Yes, I do believe that it's healthier to pay and treat employees decently (let them pay their taxes) than shifting all the wealth of the nation to a tiny group of sickos/predators (who BTW never pay taxes.)
    Ah, for the last couple of years I've been interested in nutrition, and you don't want to know what I think about the food the poor eat .... to survive (not for long).

  4. BTW, creation of jobs is important of course, but it does matter what kind of jobs, on what conditions, etc.
    I tend to repeat that the greatest creators of job were ... yes, Hitler and Stalin. There were probably equally great creators of jobs in Asia, but this isn't the area I am familiar with.

  5. Frankly, Jeff, you had plenty of time to move away from the idiocy of the "rich are rich because they deserve to be rich" and "the rich are so wonderful and important because if someone is really, really, really nice (like kissing this or that part) the rich will (maybe) drop him/her some useless scrap. Ah, actually not totally useless - it can be deducted from taxes and be used in self promotion and entrance to heaven.
    I am angry (in case it isn't obvious)

  6. I think "the rich are rich because they deserve to be rich"? Goodness, when did I ever say or even think this?

  7. "I am not an aficionado of "Atlas Shrugged"
    Nice. BUT Ryan is and you praise him, him, him who brags about being shaped by Rand and who promises the Rand paradise in America. Not so nice.
    I don't care whether you are pro choice and gay marriage or not. What it has to do with Social Darwinism your beloved promotes?
    BTW, some predatory billionaires (there is redundancy) pushed for gay marriage in New York and probably elsewhere - the same ones who have contributed significantly to the progress in turning this country into some labor camp for most (or joblessness and homelessness for many)
    Kenneth Cole, my governor's gay ex-brother in law, promoted gay marriage and a day after passing of this law started to promote the destruction of the one of the few remaining unions.
    Ah, this video.
    I am foreign born and in spite of well trained eyes (art history) and a huge microscope I can't see a difference between the two parties. Among other things, Kenneth Cole is probably a Democrat.