The Pasty Little Putz is having the vapors over “The Party of Julia,” in which he squeaks that the Obama campaign invents a cartoon everywoman whose partner is, of course, big government. They’ve added Keller to the Sunday lineup (maybe to make it more like the TV Bobblehead shows?). Today he extrudes a turd called “Murdoch’s Pride is America’s Poison” in which he opines that Fox is the empire’s good son, but also its most toxic legacy. Anyone who can use “Fox” and “good” in the same sentence has no business being anywhere NEAR journalism. In “Leading Sarkozy to the Guillotine” she posits a French tea party: Trying to escape her father’s racist past and rebrand her far-right party as more mainstream, Marine Le Pen channels Cardinal Richelieu. The Moustache of Wisdom, in “Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way,” has a question: In the awakening Arab world, who is going to step up and speak the truth? In “A Battle With the Brewers” Mr. Kristof points out that thanks partly to Anheuser-Busch, alcoholism is an epidemic on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Suddenly that Bud doesn’t taste so good. Mr. Bruni, in “Heartland Justice,” points out that support for same-sex marriage can spring up far from the coasts. Here’s The Putz:
A week ago the Obama re-election campaign unveiled a slogan for the fall campaign — its answer to Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America,” Bill Clinton’s “bridge to the 21st century,” and other successful re-election pitches. There were reports that the slogan-writing process had been a struggle for the White House, and the final product bore those rumors out. “Forward,” the Obama campaign will be declaiming to Americans, which feels like a none-too-subtle admission that a look backward at the Obama economic record might be bad news for the president’s re-election prospects.
But maybe the White House doesn’t need a slogan. After all, it has a person instead: a composite character who’s been the talk of Washington these last few days, and whose imaginary life story casts the stakes in this presidential campaign into unusually sharp relief.
Her name is Julia, and she has the lead role in an Obama 2012 slide show that follows what’s supposed to be an American everywoman from childhood into retirement, tracking everything the Obama White House’s policies would do for her and everything the “Romney/Ryan” Republicans would not. The list of Obama-bestowed benefits includes Head Start when Julia’s a tyke, tax credits and Pell grants to carry her through college and low-interest loan repayment afterward, guaranteed birth control when she’s a 20-something and government-sponsored loans when she wants to start a business, all of it culminating in a stress-free retirement underwritten by Medicare and Social Security.
All propaganda invites snark and parody, and the story of Julia is ripe for it. She’s an everywoman only by the standards of the liberal upper middle class: She works as a Web designer, has her first child in her early 30s (the average first-time American mother is in her mid-20s), and spends her golden years as a “volunteer at a community garden.” (It will not surprise you to learn that the cartoon Julia looks Caucasian.)
What’s more, she seems to have no meaningful relationships apart from her bond with the Obama White House: no friends or siblings or extended family, no husband (“Julia decides to have a child,” is all the slide show says), a son who disappears once school starts and parents who only matter because Obamacare grants her the privilege of staying on their health care plan until she’s 26. This lends the whole production a curiously patriarchal quality, with Obama as a beneficent Daddy Warbucks and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan co-starring as the wicked uncles threatening to steal Julia’s inheritance.
But if the slide show is easy to mock (and conservatives quickly obliged, tweeting Julia jokes across the Internet), there’s also a fascinating ideological purity to its attitudes and arguments. Indeed, both in its policy vision and its philosophical premises, the slide show represents a monument to certain trends in contemporary liberalism.
On the one hand, its public policy agenda is essentially a defense of existing arrangements no matter their effectiveness or sustainability, apparently premised on the assumption that American women can’t make cost-benefit calculations or indeed do basic math. In addition to ignoring the taxes that will be required of its businesswoman heroine across her working life, “The Life of Julia” hails a program (Head Start) that may not work at all, touts education spending that hasn’t done much for high school test scores or cut college costs, and never mentions that on the Obama administration’s own budget trajectory, neither Medicare nor Social Security will be able to make good on its promises once today’s 20-something Julias retire.
At the same time, the slide show’s vision of the individual’s relationship to the state seems designed to vindicate every conservative critique of the Obama-era Democratic Party. The liberalism of “the Life of Julia” doesn’t envision government spending the way an older liberalism did — as a backstop for otherwise self-sufficient working families, providing insurance against job loss, decrepitude and catastrophic illness. It offers a more sweeping vision of government’s place in society, in which the individual depends on the state at every stage of life, and no decision — personal, educational, entrepreneurial, sexual — can be contemplated without the promise that it will be somehow subsidized by Washington.
The condescension inherent in this vision is apparent in every step of Julia’s pilgrimage toward a community-gardening retirement. But in an increasingly atomized society, where communities and families are weaker than ever before, such a vision may have more appeal — to both genders — than many of the conservatives mocking the slide show might like to believe.
Apparently someone in the White House thinks so, which makes the life of Julia the most interesting general-election foray by either campaign to date. Interesting, and clarifying: in a race that’s likely to be dominated by purely negative campaigning on both sides, her story is the clearest statement we’re likely to get of what Obama-era liberalism would take us “forward” toward.
He actually gets paid… Here’s Keller:
Roger Ailes is (a) the genius who midwifed the astoundingly successful Fox News; (b) the sharpest thorn in the side of Barack Obama; and (c) the most important surviving officer in Rupert Murdoch’s global media army.
You can see why he would be a great subject for a biography. He is also (d) a political operator of the first order, which is why there are now three Ailes books in the works, two of which look to me like pre-emptive strikes by Ailes himself.
We’ll come back to this little publishing intrigue, but first the news: Murdoch Inc. sinks deeper and deeper into crisis. His newspapers hemorrhage money. The political clout that once justified all that red ink is waning, as exposés of illicit phone-hacking, police payoffs and possible lobbying improprieties make him unwelcome company in any politician’s photo op. Murdoch’s hopes of expanding his substantial foothold in British broadcasting have been dashed by the scandals. Last Tuesday, a parliamentary committee, voting on party lines, issued a verdict that Murdoch was “not a fit person” to run a major international corporation. Meanwhile, the acid rain of criminal charges and civil lawsuits continues.
In this beleaguered family of news enterprises, Fox is the good son. It is the most reliable profit center, expected to net a billion dollars this fiscal year. It is untainted so far by the metastasizing scandals. It is a source of political influence more durable than Murdoch’s serial romances with British prime ministers. This year the Fox News Primary probably did more to nominate Mitt Romney than New Hampshire or Michigan.
And yet I would argue that — at least for Americans — Fox News is Murdoch’s most toxic legacy.
My gripe against Fox is not that it is conservative. The channel’s pulpit-pounding pundits, with the exception of the avuncular Mike Huckabee, are too shrill for my taste, but they are not masquerading as impartial newsmen. Nor am I indignant that Fox News is the cultural home of the Republican Party and a nonstop Obama roast. Partisan journalism, while not my thing, has a long tradition. Though I do wonder if the folks at Fox appreciate that this genre is more European than American.
My complaint is that Fox pretends very hard to be something it is not, and in the process contributes to the corrosive cynicism that has polarized our public discourse.
I doubt that people at Fox News really believe their programming is “fair and balanced” — that’s just a slogan for the suckers — but they probably are convinced that what they have created is the conservative counterweight to a media elite long marinated in liberal bias. They believe that they are doing exactly what other serious news organizations do; they just do it for an audience that had been left out before Fox came along.
I would never suggest that what is now called “the mainstream media” — the news organizations that most Americans depended on over the past century — achieved a golden mean. We have too often been condescending to those who don’t share our secular urban vantage point. We are too easily seduced by access. We can be credulous. (It’s also true that we have sometimes been too evenhanded, giving equal time to arguments that fail a simple fact-check.)
But we try to live by a code, a discipline, that tells us to set aside our personal biases, to test not only facts but the way they add up, to seek out the dissenters and let them make their best case, to show our work. We write unsparing articles about public figures of every stripe — even, sometimes, about ourselves. When we screw up — and we do — we are obliged to own up to our mistakes and correct them.
Fox does not live by that code. (Especially the last part. In a speech at the University of North Carolina last month, Ailes boasted, “In 15 years, we have never taken a story down because we got it wrong.” Gosh, even the pope only claims to be infallible on special occasions.) For a salient point of reference, compare Fox’s soft-pedaling of the Murdoch troubles with the far more prominent coverage in The Wall Street Journal, which has managed under Murdoch’s ownership to retain its serious-journalism DNA.
Why does this matter? In the digital era of do-it-yourself news consumption, it is easier than ever to assemble an information diet that simply confirms your prejudices. Traditional news organizations, for all their shortcomings, see it as their mission to provide — and test — the information you need to form intelligent opinions. We aim to challenge lazy assumptions. Fox panders to them.
Which brings me to the story of the dueling Ailes biographies. Ailes, I think, is trying to do with the story of his life what Fox does with the story of the day: control it, spin it for his segmented audience of believers, and demonize anyone who sees things differently.
For a year and a half a journalist named Gabriel Sherman has been gathering material for a book on Ailes. He writes mostly for New York magazine, the kind of irreverent urban venue from which Ailes would naturally expect no kindness, but Sherman’s work is densely reported and not innuendo-laden or agenda-driven. (He has written a fair amount about The Times, and pulled no punches.) He may be 32, but he’s old-school.
Sherman was informed that Ailes would not talk to him, period. For one thing, the Fox chief was planning to write his own memoir. (He subsequently lined up a Fox News contributor, James Pinkerton, as co-author.) For another, Ailes’s people made clear this was not a book for their audience. When Sherman approached Ailes’s lawyer for an interview, he says, the unsettling response was: “What the hell am I going to talk to you about? I may wind up suing you, for Christ’s sake.”
A few months later Sherman appealed again for an interview, this time for a magazine article on shake-ups at the channel. The Ailes team asked Sherman to agree to one precondition: any negative material in the piece would be attributed to its source by name.
Granted, the casual use of anonymous sources is a plague in journalism. But some stories simply cannot be told unless sources are protected from retribution, and Fox comes down hard on disloyalty. When a producer named Joe Muto was caught last month slipping in-house videos to Gawker, Fox did not merely, as any employer would, send the mole packing. It called the district attorney to press criminal charges, including grand larceny. Well, at least this answered the nagging question of what, exactly, constitutes a criminal offense in Murdoch World.
Early this year, Sherman learned of a third entry in the Ailes book-a-thon. Zev Chafets was racing to finish an Ailes biography with the cooperation of the subject. Chafets had won favor among conservatives when he wrote a magazine profile of the radio fire-breather Rush Limbaugh, a profile so evenhanded that Limbaugh subsequently cooperated as Chafets expanded it into a best-selling book.
BY the way, that evenhanded profile was published in The New York Times. And I can easily imagine a similarly fair-minded portrait running on NBC or CNN or NPR. Can anyone imagine Fox airing an unloaded profile of anyone left of center? Say, Nancy Pelosi?
Chafets assured me that while he had been given precious access, he had ceded none of his authorial independence, had not been asked to show the manuscript to Ailes or to forswear anonymous criticism, and was not planning to deliver “a wet kiss.” He described Sherman as “a nice kid.”
But Chafets couldn’t resist mentioning — twice — that Sherman has a fellowship from “a George Soros-funded institution.” Actually, the fellowship in question is from a nonpartisan foundation that gets a minuscule share of its funding (0.5 percent this year) from Soros, the liberal billionaire, and Ailes’s own collaborator, James Pinkerton, was also a fellow at the foundation. But in the Fox mind-set, Soros is a boogeyman, so this is like insinuating that Sherman is on the payroll of the Socialist International.
That’s journalism, Fox-style.
And that’s what you called “the good son,” you jackass. Here’s The Moustache of Wisdom, who’s in Dubai:
Traveling in the post-Awakening Arab world, I have been most struck by how few new leaders have emerged from the huge volcanic political eruption here. By new leaders, I don’t just mean people who win elections, I mean leaders— men and women with the legitimacy and the will to tell their people the truth and build the coalitions required to get their societies moving forward again.
Discussing this problem with Arab friends, I am always quick to note that my own country — not to mention Europe — has a similar problem. There is a global leadership vacuum. But in the Arab world today it is particularly problematic, because this is a critical juncture. Every one of these awakening countries needs to make the transition from Saddam to Jefferson without getting stuck in Khomeini.
Why has the Arab awakening produced so few new leaders? Partly because the electoral process is still playing out in places like Egypt and Yemen, and partly because it hasn’t even begun in places like Libya and Syria. But these are technical explanations. There are deeper factors at work.
One is just how deep the hole is that these societies have to confront. Who will tell the people how much time has been wasted? Who will tell the people that, for the last 50 years, most of the Arab regimes squandered their dictatorship moments. Dictatorship is not desirable, but at least East Asian dictatorships, such as South Korea and Taiwan, used their top-down authority to build dynamic export-led economies and to educate all their people — men and women. In the process, they created huge middle classes whose new leaders midwifed their transitions from authoritarian rule to democracy. Arab dictatorships did no such thing. They used their authority to enrich a small class and to distract the masses with “shiny objects” — called Israel, Iran and Nasserism to name but a few.
Now that the dictators are being swept away, Islamist parties are trying to fill the void. Who will tell the people that while Islam is a great and glorious faith it is not “the answer” for Arab development today? Math is the answer. Iran could afford to get stalled in Khomeini Land, because it had oil to buy off all the contradictions. Ditto Saudi Arabia. Egypt and Tunisia have very little oil, and both need loans from the International Monetary Fund. In order to secure those loans, their rising Islamist politicians are going to have to cut subsidies and raise taxes. But they are used to giving things away, not taking things away. Are they up to this?
Who will tell the people that, yes, the way capitalism came to the Arab world in the last 20 years was in its most crony and corrupt mutation, but that the right answer now is not to go back to Arab socialism, but better capitalism: better market-based economics, emphasizing expanded exports, but properly governed by the real rule of law and targeted safety nets.
Who will tell young Arabs that they have as much talent as young people anywhere? Look at the worldwide trend their uprisings sparked. But many of them still lack the educational tools to compete for jobs in the private sector and, therefore, need to study even harder — because the days of easy government jobs are over.
And then there is the Sunni-Shiite divide in Syria, Bahrain and Iraq, or the Palestinian-Bedouin divide in Jordan, or the Muslim-Coptic Christian divide in Egypt. These sectarian divisions have prevented national leaders from emerging — and no Arab Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jr. has been able to rise above them to heal the rifts. Without such leaders there is too little trust in the room to do big, hard things together, and everything that these Arab societies need to do today is big and hard and can only be done together. Who will tell the people that Arab societies have no time anymore to be consumed by these sectarian divisions, which just drive everyone into their own ghettos or out of the region altogether?
The Arab world has steadily been losing its diversity, “and without diversity there is no tolerance,” says Hassan Fattah, the editor of The National, Abu Dhabi’s best newspaper. And without diversity, new ideas are harder to spark.
The new-generation royals in Morocco, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, who do have the legitimacy to pull people together and drive change, are probably the most effective leaders in the region today. Burson-Marsteller just published its annual Arab Youth Survey, which found that more young Arabs said they would like to live in the United Arab Emirates than any other Arab state, because of how it has built Dubai and Abu Dhabi into global hubs and job engines.
Leadership matters. Education reformers will tell you that three consecutive years of a bad teacher can hobble students for years, while just one year of a highly effective teacher can catch them up or vault them ahead. The same is true of leaders. Pushing out the autocrats in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Libya and, maybe soon, Syria is necessary. But it is not sufficient. This region doesn’t only need to get rid of the old, it needs to give birth to the new — new leaders able to tell hard truths and build broad domestic coalitions to implement them. It is not happening yet. Who will tell the people?
Next up is Mr. Kristof, writing from Whiteclay, Nebraska:
After seeing Anheuser-Busch’s devastating exploitation of American Indians, I’m done with its beer.
The human toll is evident here in Whiteclay: men and women staggering on the street, or passed out, whispers of girls traded for alcohol. The town has a population of about 10 people, but it sells more than four million cans of beer and malt liquor annually — because it is the main channel through which alcohol illegally enters the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation a few steps away.
Pine Ridge, one of America’s largest Indian reservations, bans alcohol. The Oglala Sioux who live there struggle to keep alcohol out, going so far as to arrest people for possession of a can of beer. But the tribe has no jurisdiction over Whiteclay because it is just outside the reservation boundary.
So Anheuser-Busch and other brewers pour hundreds of thousands of gallons of alcohol into the liquor stores of Whiteclay, knowing that it ends up consumed illicitly by Pine Ridge residents and fuels alcoholism, crime and misery there. In short, a giant corporation’s business model here is based on violating tribal rules and destroying the Indians’ way of living.
It’s as if Mexico legally sold methamphetamine and crack cocaine to Americans in Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez.
Pine Ridge encompasses one of the poorest counties in the entire United States — Shannon County, S.D. — and life expectancy is about the same as in Afghanistan. As many as two-thirds of adults there may be alcoholics, and one-quarter of children are born suffering from fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
In short, this isn’t just about consenting adults. Children are born with neurological damage and never get a chance.
“Every person on this reservation has personally seen the negative effects of alcohol, with loved ones or themselves,” said John Yellow Bird Steele, the tribe president.
The only purpose of Whiteclay is to sell to tribe members — there’s nobody else around — and the tribe can’t do anything about it.
“It’s hopeless; the tribe can’t stop the alcohol,” said Kenny Short Bear, 45, who was slumped on the ground outside one of the alcohol stores. He said he was a former teacher who had lost his job and his family because of alcoholism — and then he asked me for $5.
While some Miller, Coors and Pabst beer is sold in the stores, the great majority is Anheuser-Busch products, including Hurricane malt liquor and Budweiser beer.
The tribe says that more than 90 percent of arrests by the tribal police are alcohol-related, along with 90 percent of arrests of juveniles. Children often begin drinking in their early teens.
Alcohol also fuels stunning rates of domestic violence, suicide and crime on the reservation. I spoke to one family that first lost a father to cirrhosis, then a son, killed in a knife fight with his own cousin over a bottle of beer. A few weeks later, the dead man’s younger sister killed herself at age 16.
Since March, I have repeatedly tried to get a comment from Anheuser-Busch or, more recently, its lawyers. The company has had nothing to say, not a peep in its defense.
The Oglala Sioux tribe filed a lawsuit in February against Anheuser-Busch and other brewers, as well as local retailers and distributors. I don’t know how the lawsuit will go, but I’m pretty sure a nationwide boycott of Budweiser would wake the company up.
Victor Clarke, manager of a grocery store in Whiteclay and its unofficial spokesman, acknowledged that the alcohol sold in Whiteclay exacts a huge toll on the reservation. But he said that if these stores closed, Indians would just drive to more distant towns to get a drink.
There’s something to that. As Eli Bald Eagle, who described himself as an alcoholic for more than 20 years, told me unsteadily, “Nobody’s going to stop us from being alcoholics.”
Yet Bald Eagle, like many others, had simply walked into Whiteclay and didn’t have ready access to a car. Certainly it would be more difficult for young people to start on the road to alcoholism if they had to drive to get beer. Studies have found that when there are fewer liquor stores, there is less drinking and fewer alcohol-related crimes.
One nifty solution, proposed by former Senator James Abourezk of South Dakota, would be for the Obama administration to extend Pine Ridge reservation lines to include Whiteclay. No land titles would change hands, but reservation laws would apply and liquor sales would become illegal.
For now, Pine Ridge’s alcohol problem is matched only by Anheuser-Busch’s greed problem. Brewers market beers with bucolic country scenes, but the image I now associate with Budweiser is of a child with fetal alcohol syndrome.
That’s why I’ll pass on a Bud, and I hope you’ll join me.
Last, finally (WHY did they add Keller to Sunday?) is Mr. Bruni, who’s in Des Moines:
We tend to think of people who play pivotal roles in the advancement of social justice — and who pay steep prices for it — as passionate advocates with intense connections to their cause. We imagine them as crusaders.
Marsha Ternus wasn’t. She just tried to be fair.
The first woman ever to preside over the Iowa Supreme Court, she was asked three years ago to rule on a challenge to an Iowa statute banning same-sex marriage. She looked at the case and at the law and deemed the ban a violation of equal-protection language in the state’s Constitution, which said that no privileges should be reserved for a limited class of citizens. Her six fellow justices agreed. Their unanimous decision is why Iowa is among the minority of states in which two men or two women can marry.
It’s also why Ternus lost her job. The following year, she and two other justices came up for what are usually pro forma retention votes, and Iowans booted them from the bench. National groups on the religious right had mounted a furious campaign against them, calling them members of “an arrogant elite” with a “radical political and social agenda.”
“We laughed about that,” Ternus told me, referring to the accusation, not its career-ending consequence. “I mean, honestly, I can remember the first time somebody used the words ‘gay marriage.’ And I said, ‘What is that?’ ”
Which happened… when?
“Sadly, not that long ago,” she said, looking embarrassed.
It was news to Ternus when I mentioned that on Tuesday, North Carolinians would be voting on a constitutional same-sex marriage ban, which will probably pass. She doesn’t track the issue, though it continues to dominate the news, as it did last week when an openly gay aide supportive of marriage equality quit Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. And she has rarely given interviews about the ouster of her and her colleagues David Baker and Michael Streit, who have been similarly reticent. None of them, she said, wanted their hurt feelings in the foreground.
“The important thing that happened wasn’t us losing our jobs,” she said over dinner here on Thursday. “It’s what it represents about what people think of justice and the rule of law and constitutional rights.”
Ternus, who is 60, agreed to meet with me because on Monday, she, Baker and Streit are receiving Profile in Courage awards from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation in Boston. The timing, she said, felt right.
But she worried that she was talking too much about herself and too far beyond her authority.
“I’m just a judge from Iowa,” she said, speaking of the past in the present tense. “What do I know?” She had just been to the hairdresser’s — her flight to Boston was in the morning — and was allowing herself a Key lime martini.
Until she encountered so much religious opposition to the court’s decision, some of it from Catholics, she was a loyal member of her local Catholic parish. Two of her three children graduated from Catholic high schools. One went to Notre Dame University.
Ternus’s parents and grandparents and great-grandparents were all farmers, and she’s the oldest of six children reared among fields of corn and soybeans, with a wood-burning stove in the kitchen.
“Don’t make me sound like ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ ” she pleaded. She said her childhood wasn’t nearly as austere as that.
At the University of Iowa, she majored in home economics. Law school entered her thoughts only when a job after college as a bank teller bored her to tears.
I asked about gay people in her life. She mentioned a man who lived in a nearby apartment at college and an architect she has worked with. “But was my best friend gay or anything like that?” she said. “No.” Nor are any relatives, as far as she knows.
She said that after the ruling, “when I saw and heard the reaction of people whom it actually impacted, I just couldn’t — I mean — it was amazing to me. I just had never been conscious of how meaningful it was to gay and lesbian couples.”
Ternus spent her early legal career as a litigator specializing in insurance law. She was appointed to the Supreme Court, her first judgeship, in 1993, by a Republican governor. In Iowa, voters weigh in at later intervals, usually every eight years, but many don’t bother to. Their rejection of Ternus, Baker and Streit was the first such dismissal of Supreme Court justices in the history of the state’s current system.
SHE said that she and the other justices knew there was risk in taking on the same-sex marriage case and began researching it months before hearing arguments. They agonized over the wording of the decision.
As for the decision itself, they learned in the first hours of discussion that none of them saw any way to square the marriage ban with equal-protection language. “Everyone’s jaws dropped — that we had a unanimous decision,” she recalled.
Theodore B. Olson, one of the lawyers who has argued the high-profile case against California’s same-sex marriage prohibition, praised the Iowa justices’ ruling for its painstaking thoroughness.
“What the Iowa Supreme Court did — and they did a terrific job of this — was to go through the objections systematically,” he told me.
That same-sex marriage offended tradition? Well, many musty traditions proved indefensible over time. That marriage was for procreation? Childless couples abounded. That it undermined religious tenets? The court was dealing with civil marriage, not church weddings. That it devalued male-female unions, as conservative religious groups claim?
Ternus told me: “If these organizations are really worried about marriage, rather than being motivated by bigotry and hatred, then they would be going after the divorce laws. But they’re not.”
What most concerns her, though, is what she sees as the politicization of the judiciary, with elected officials and partisan groups firing warning shots at judges and screening them for preordained allegiances. The judiciary, she said, can check and balance legislatures — and mete out true justice — only by being less casually reactive to public opinion.
A registered independent, she said that she and her fellow justices divorced politics from their thinking.
Referring to her subsequent punishment at the polls, she said, “If people think that what happened here doesn’t influence other judges, they’re really naïve.”
She now gives speeches (usually for no charge) on that topic. Even so she has time for once neglected chores.
“The first week I was off, I took everything out of the kitchen cupboards and I washed them all down,” she said. “And then I cleaned every closet in the house. And I’m telling you, the pleasure that gave me was indescribable.”