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SIMMONS: Sticks, stones, ‘Skins

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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On Monday, President Obama tiptoed again where the springtime tulips used to bloom, laying out his executive prescription plan for working parents that takes the pressure off mommies to make the tough calls.

In their stead, he wants governments and businesses to dole out paid leave policies that focus on women as chief cooks and bottle washers.

They can bring home the bacon, slice it and broil it.

Mr. Obama wielded several sticks to bolster his points of view, and none was labeled "hypocrisy," though a few should have been.

For example, he's readied a presidential memorandum that orders government agencies to be flexible where possible so working women don't have to choose between family and work — even though they choose between the two before they take a job.

If they didn't, we wouldn't have female nurses or doctors working 'round the clock, or ambulance and firefighter crews running into dangerous situations in the wee hours of the morning. Or women running school systems. Or female journalists working 24-hour news programming.

And we certainly wouldn't have female chiefs of police and sheriff's departments. Or blue-collar dolls doing manual labor alongside guys, or female warriors protecting our freedoms, or women running agencies in the Obama administration, or standing as committee and caucus chairs in Congress.

You don't hear these sisters griping about child care.

So what's the president after?


Instead of carrying a Big Daddy stick, Mr. Obama should walk boldly.

Throw stones for new policy

For the next couple of years, Mr. Obama will be residing but a stone's throw from one of the most powerful lobbies regarding children and families — the National Child Care Association.

The NCCA doesn't merely push day care policies, it weighs in on early childhood education (a huge Obama issue), transportation (which affects everyone) and quality care (another universal issue).

Well, since we're no longer a 9-to-5 society, Mr. Obama should use a few pebbles to push NCCA and other special interest groups on 24-hour child care centers.

(I already mentioned a few of the working women who could take advantage of such.)

The name game

So they wanna snatch the name "Redskins" outta Dan Snyder's hands, huh?

So they think it's "disparaging," huh?

Guess they never heard the refrain "Sticks and stones will break my bones

"But words will never harm me."

Guess not.

Probably too "religious."

Probably too "black" as well.

The African Methodist Episcopal Church first ginned it in print during the Civil War.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at

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About the Author
Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...

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