Friday: A sensitive subject

Dakinikat says this cartoon by Thomas Oliphant of the Boston Globe reminds her of something:

Mr. Oliphant should expect to get long, lecturing letters about the Holocaust, which he obviously has never heard of.

In other news:

  • The NYTimes still hates Kirsten Gillibrand.  Now they are highlighting the work she did as a young attorney working for a firm representing Phillip Morris.  Look, guys, this personal vendetta you have against Gillibrand is getting ridiculous.  Caroline Kennedy didn’t get the job.  Give it up already.  Those who want to help Gillibrand out can contribute here.
  • Paul Krugman (why aren’t you in the administration?) writes about where the finance industry went rogue on us in The Market Mystique.  He knows what I described the other day is probably true: The MBA Lifestyle was born and exploded onto the scene in the 80′s.  He also thinks we have to get rid of it:

As you can guess, I don’t share that vision. I don’t think this is just a financial panic; I believe that it represents the failure of a whole model of banking, of an overgrown financial sector that did more harm than good.

I don’t think the Obama administration can bring securitization back to life, and I don’t believe it should try.
Much discussion of the toxic-asset plan has focused on the details and the arithmetic, and rightly so. Beyond that, however, what’s striking is the vision expressed both in the content of the financial plan and in statements by administration officials. In essence, the administration seems to believe that once investors calm down, securitization — and the business of finance — can resume where it left off a year or two ago.

To be fair, officials are calling for more regulation. Indeed, on Thursday Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, laid out plans for enhanced regulation that would have been considered radical not long ago.

But the underlying vision remains that of a financial system more or less the same as it was two years ago, albeit somewhat tamed by new rules.

Now, if we could only get people like Paul to acknowledge that taxpayers have a right to protest instead of submitting quietly while the intellectuals and academics write sternly worded columns, maybe we could turn this baby around…


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Hoodwinker and bamboozler: Burris and Blago

Burris and Blagojevich have no problems kidding the kidders

Burris and Blagojevich have no problems kidding the kidders

Burris and Blagojevich had no problem playing Harry Reid and the rest of a the Senate like a violin. They race-baited, they turned hasty and stupid claims about the Senate’s power back on the Senate, they masterfully orchestrated p.r. And all along any ordinary non-politician knew that these two were just like Paul Newman and Robert Redford in The Sting.

See reports here, here, and here for why that comparison is so apt and see who’s laughing now. Let’s see if the DNC and the DCCC get behind Kirsten Gillibrand’s reelection in 2010 or whether they leave her to fend for herself while they try to vindicate the Burris appointment by a “redemptive” election.

Wednesday: The NYTimes grinds its ax on Gillibrand

Does she know the man in the middle is a wetback from Britain??

Does she know the man in the middle is a wetback from Britain??

They are just not going to get over it.  Caroline Kennedy was their girl.  The great heaving mass of aging Baby Boomers besotted with Camelot is going to hurl its ire at New York’s interim senator until she goes away, just like they did to Hillary Clinton.  For all we know, Hillary’s ability to snag the Secretary of State position is driving them to these extremes.   She eluded their grasp. It now appears that the Times doesn’t really care if a Democrat keeps the senate seat just as long as it isn’t Gillibrand.  After all, the NYTimes did not give her their blessing.  Therefore, it will pursue a mean spirited and destructive personal vendetta against Gillibrand until she yields or is defeated.  Die!, you evil upstate wench!

Today, Gillibrand is being racked for being an anti-immigrant crusader:

Ms. Gillibrand, a Democrat, opposed any sort of amnesty for illegal immigrants, supported deputizing local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws, spoke out against Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s proposal to allow illegal immigrants to have driver’s licenses and sought to make English the official language of the United States.

Still, Ms. Gillibrand has not backed down from her long-standing opposition to “amnesty” for illegal immigrants, which has left some immigrant advocates wondering whether she would support any law that would establish a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

In Washington on Tuesday, the new senator elaborated, saying, “I don’t support amnesty because I don’t think it will work.” She added that the amnesty bill was “fatally flawed.”

She said, for example, that “the guest worker program all but guaranteed illegal immigration.” But she suggested one alternative might be to allow consecutive five-year work visas, with the ability to apply for permanent residency at the end.

Ms. Gillibrand also said that she would support finding ways to speed up the reunification of immigrant families; some of them can wait as long as eight years.

“They should get rid of the backlog,” she told reporters in the Russell Senate Office Building.

Damn!  I happen to agree with her on the guest worker program.  It always seemed to me like a backdoor way of creating a permanent underclass of cheap labor with no rights.  I suppose my position “borders on xenophobia” as well.  I could be wrong about this but as conservative as she seems on immigration, it appears that some of her positions are being deliberately taken out of context.  For example, when she says she wants to increase funding for enforcement of immigration laws, does she mean she wants more ICE squads rounding up factories full of Mexican chicken pluckers or does she mean she wants the chicken plucker factory owners trembling with fear whenever they attempt to hire an illegal?  The article is vague on this point, perhaps deliberately so.  Oh, and she wants to speed up reunification efforts.  Well, that seems positively heartless.   Maybe she is secretly hoping to deport her own husband as well.  Those Brits will do just about ANYTHING to stay in the states including marrying an up and coming politician. Logical consistency is not necessary.  They’ll throw everything and see what sticks.

She represented a conservative district.  She had some pretty unpleasant conservative positions.  But she’s also a fierce defender of unions and new deal programs.  She has a couple of years to make a transformation from being the rep from a beautiful but rural section of New York to being a senator who represents the vast majority of New Yorkers who are progressive.

But all of that is beside the point.  The Times is out to get her.  They are going to smear her within an inch of her life on everything she says or does.  All voters are equal but some voters, with access to large amounts of ink, paper and bandwidth, are more equal than others.  The NYTimes is now slapped with junk bond status, the result of Pinch Sultzberger’s cludgy and stupid management decisions.  He retained Judy Miller, who had to have been cooperating with the Bush war machine.  He charged subscription fees for the Op/Ed columnists, who are virtually worthless in a burgeoning blogosphere, while giving away his most valuable commodity, the news.  Then he allowed his paper to be turned into an Obamarama special for nearly a year.  Didn’t anyone stop and think that these decisions might end up alienating a good hunk of the target audience?  Lately, even the news has taken on a nasty negative tone.  Can’t they just report and save the editorializing for the Op/Ed pages?  Or are the years of practice in propaganda just too hard to shake so that it has to creep into every bloody article?  The only thing worth reading anymore at the Times is Krugman and occasionally Kristoff.  Everyone else needs to take Obama’s advice and “change!”  Pretty soon the only thing the paper will be good for is kindling.

Going after Gillibrand is just going to drive more readers away.  Give it up already.

For those of you who want to even the score, Gillibrand is now accepting donations for her Senate run.

“Caroline would have been FINE without those pesky voters”

As the NYTimes shakes its tiny fists and wails in rage over the fact that Caroline Kennedy didn’t get s Senate appointment, it is simultaneously revealing its true nature and why it is bleeding so much in revenue as the years go by.  It’s not that it’s a liberal paper, although they are certainly more left leaning than the Washington Post.  And it’s not that it’s too difficult for readers to absorb. The paper seems to be written at the right level.

The problem is that there is a complete disconnect between the editors and its target audience.  Readers aren’t stupid or less literate.  But they are a lot more savvy these days and can tell when they’re being condescended to.  Gail Collins goes out of her way to blame everyone in her editorial this morning and take some ungracious swipes at Kirsten Gillibrand because Gillibrand is a real politician who attempts to get votes at rallies where she might influence a voter or two.  Horrors!  In the refined world of the New York Times, a politician should *never* have to court the voters.  Her family name and the policies she was born with should be sufficient bona fides for the voters who should listen to their betters and vote for her.   After all, wasn’t that what the last primary season was all about?  The powers that be, a group to which no one WE know belongs, shall pick the winner and voters will go along with it.  All that primary campaigning was just window dressing to make voters feel like they still have choices.

Read Collins’ column.  It almost reads as parody.  She asks, “…in a state chock-full of distinguished residents, it was so hard to scrounge up Hillary’s replacement?”  Indeed, NY is full to bursting with distinguished residents.  Unfortunately for Collins, Lawrence O’Donnell and a bunch of other name dropping snobs, what Paterson was looking for was a person who actually liked politics, the people in the state and winning elections.

I think we are reaching a tipping point here.  What we now see is that we have here a class of people who are shaping opinion and running the country who hold the rest of us in utter contempt.  To them, the actualities of living, working, raising children, acquiring healthcare, well that’s all theoretical.  They will discuss it amongst themselves and think up pretty remedies that will not inconvenience them in the least.  They will pat themselves on the back for all the a priori thought experiments and pass their results down to us as fiats.  The vast unwashed masses who use our hands and minds to actually earn a living, the ones who find themselves on the posteriori end of these fiats, will have to do the best we can. And if any of us decide that we want to succeed in politics so that we can make an actual difference, we can be sure we will be derided for getting our hands dirty at state fairs, rallies and parades where we may have to mix with the common  man.

They were being truthful when they said their hatred of Hillary had nothing to do with sexism.  Of course it didn’t.  They don’t think of themselves as sexists.  Well, ok, so they indulged a little in order to get Barack Obama elected but that’s just because they wanted him to win.  It wasn’t sexism.  No, the reason Hillary was the old Tracy Flick, while Kirsten Gillibrand is the new Tracy Flick, is because she actually was one of those overachieving ambitious common people who wanted the votes of other commoners.  Like they matter.  What Barack Obama’s election has shown us is that the only people who matter are the ones you flatter and try to emulate.  So, I imagine Obama went out of his way to behave like the snobs at the Times and the Washington Post.  What Obama’s election tells us is that snobbery works while Hillary was insufficiently deferential.

Of course, now he has to deal with the rank and file WH press corps and it’s giving him fits.  But I’m sure that as soon as he figures out that he has to make some of them feel like they are part of some exclusive little club, they’ll come around.  He’s already making some inroads there even if there is some initial whining.  Give him time and some quail and they’ll be as right as rain and eating out of his hands.

Gov. David Paterson and Senator Gillibrand are going to have to kiss up to the powers that be if they want to get elected.  It’s just that they *thought* those powers were, um, the people.  But the only people that matter are the ones that own the mastheads.

Meanwhile, in Ms Kennedy Regrets, The New Yorker’s Larissa McFarquhar wrote what seems like the definitive explanation for Caroline’s demise: she realized she didn’t have it in her even though the courtiers around her were smitten with Camelot nostalgia.  Thank you, Caroline.  You may go now.

Obama: I Won, You Didn’t, So Shut Up!

ObamaThere have been a number of recent signs that we are in for an administration where petty is politics, and it starts right at the very top.  In a “private” (in a “transparent government” kind of way) bi-partisan meeting about his stimulus proposal, President Petulance basically told one of the members who made the meeting “bi-,” (partisan) Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) that he was going to get his way because he was president and he wanted to.  From FOX News:

During his private meeting with congressional Democrats and Republicans on Friday, President Obama ended a philosophical debate over tax policy with the simple declaration that his opinion prevailed because “I won.”

ABC News reported it this way:

On one of the issues, regarding whether the lowest individual tax rates should be cut from 15 percent to 10 percent and from 10 percent to 5 percent, Obama told Cantor that “on some of these issues we’re just going to have ideological differences.”

But Obama added, “I won. So I think on that one, I trump you.”

The Associated Press claims that the response was to Jon Kyl of Arizona:

At one point in Friday’s meeting in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, GOP Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona objected to a proposal to increase benefits for low-income workers who do not owe federal income taxes.

Obama replied in a friendly but firm way that an election had been held in November, “and I won. I will trump you on that,” according to several people briefed by participants who took notes.

So, not only can we look forward to snotty, schoolyard attitudes from the President, we can also expect continued levels of shoddy journalism.  Not that Sir Nose In The Air cares.  His “can’t I just eat my waffle, I already answered like 5 wasted questions from people I picked to talk to me in advance” peevishness was on full display yesterday when he dropped by the “worse than Middle East” White House press room to say “hi.”  News Busters asked what took the media so long to get semi-pissed about it:

NOW they get worried that Obama is not too dedicated to freedom of the press? After Obama is fairly elected, NOW the Old Media is beginning to question The One on his treatment of them?

“Fairly elected?”  Et tu, News Busters, with the KoolAid?  Anyway, seems the media is just waking up to the stage-managed nature of all things Obama, too.

It’s not exactly Watergate but Barack Obama’s inauguration was back in the dock today after it emerged that the quartet of classical musicians who ushered him on to the steps of the Capitol were faking it.

In a report headlined “The Frigid Fingers Were Live, but the Music Wasn’t”, The New York Times said that the four, including the violinist Itzhak Perlman, had already recorded their contribution two days earlier and played along just for show.

Politico proves that the press can be a bit petty, themselves, by reporting the Earth-shattering “news” that nobody likes recently appointed Senator and Hillary Clinton cohort, Kirsten Gillibrand, anyway:

“Nobody really likes her,” sniped one New York City-area member, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“She’s smart and capable, but she’s rubbed people the wrong the way,” said another.

Then, talk about petty, there’s the media and Blago.  His lawyers expect him to be removed from office, and one of them, Ed Genson, is quitting the team because Blags won’t listen and insists on mounting a public relations defense in the press instead of in the Illinois Senate, which only makes sense since that’s where he’s being tried and convicted first.  On Monday, Blagojevich will make his case on ABC’s Good Morning America and The View.

Aaaaannnnnddddd, theeeeee wheels on the bus…

*X-posted @ Cinie’s World

Friday: It’s a Girl!

Kirsten Gillibrand is expected to be appointed to fill Hillary Clinton’s seat in an announcement this afternoon by Governor Paterson. Gillibrand is a centrist Democrat from a conservative district in upstate New York. She’s a two term congresswoman with a reputation for being bold and forceful. With this appointment, Paterson is hoping to secure the vast wilderness of NY that is not Manhattan.

Hillary campaigns for Gillibrand in August 2006.

Hillary campaigns for Gillibrand in August 2006.

Of course, he may not have secured the seat against primary challenges in 2010. Gillibrand will likely have a contender or two, most notably Carolyn McCarthy, a congresswoman from Long Island (pronounced Lawn Guyland). McCarthy ran for congress on a gun control platform after her husband and son were callously shot by a deranged gunman as they were commuting home on a train. McCarthy is angry over the appointment as Gillibrand is one of the few Democrats who is supported by the National Rifle Association. Given Gillibrand’s district, the rolling foothills south of the Adirondacks, it’s easy to imagine that many of her constituents are avid hunters. But country folk and city folk don’t always see eye to eye on these things. It would be great if the NRA recognized that there *is* a difference and that having a lot of guns floating around a crowded metropolis where they can fall into the hands of the not-so-stable is probably not such a good idea.

Still, Hillary Clinton was an enthusiastic supporter of Gillibrand so I suspect that she’ll be pleased with this announcement. The NYTimes seems to be busily trying to find a way to smear Paterson by blaming him and his office for the botched handling of Caroline Kennedy. Personally, I’d like to thank him for taking his time and allowing the vetting of Kennedy unfold as it did. We learned a lot about the reclusive socialite, who doesn’t seem to have a political bone in her body, and the people at the NYTimes who were behind her. Something seriously weird has been going on with the Times over Kennedy. The articles written about the event have been nothing short of bizarre with a defensive tone and disjointed, out of sequence reporting of what actually happened. The sooner Caroline Kennedy is off the front page, the better.

So, Kudos to Paterson for doing the right thing and congratulations to Kirsten Gillibrand, the second female senator from the state of NY. She has some mighty big shoes to fill but if she was recommended by Hillary herself, then I’m sure the state is in good hands.

Lily Ledbetter, unlikely heroine

Lily Ledbetter, our newest heroine

In other news, the Senate passed the Lily Ledbetter act. The bill passed by 61-36.  We need to get a roll call to see which of our nation’s 36 senators voted against fair pay for women and to find out what their rationale was.  They have a lot of explaining to do to their non-burqa wearing female constituents.   Some of you ladies out there should expect to see a raise as your employers rush to head off any potential lawsuits. But there’s more to paycheck disparities than just discrimination:

The Senate debate on Thursday reflected society’s debate. Civil and womens’ rights advocates hailed the new Ledbetter legislation, but others said it will leave companies vulnerable to potentially crippling lawsuits even though discrimination is only a small factor in the so-called “gender gap” between male and female earners.

A 2007 report by the American Association of University Women found that when experience, training, education and other factors are weighed, discrimination accounts for only 5 percent of the earnings differential between male and female college graduates one year after graduation — and only 12 percent after ten years.

Nevertheless, Catherine Hill, an AAUW senior researcher who co-authored the study, said the Ledbetter law is needed.

“Most companies do the right thing anyway, but some will only do the right thing when they see laws on the books. And some companies have to be taken to court. Without (punitive) damages for discrimination, there really is no way to make them take the issue seriously,” Hill said.

However, Warren Farrell, the San Francisco author of “Why Men Earn More,” said that much of the pay gap can be explained by men choosing higher-paying professions that are in high demand and short supply, such as engineering, computer science, and information technology.

Men are also more likely to take dangerous, grimy jobs, such as collecting garbage and driving cabs, which typically pay more than other non-skilled labor.

Eliminating overt discrimination is only the most obvious thing to do. Now we have to figure out how to make the nation realize that sexism has a cost. When we don’t help girls and women succeed to the best of their abilities, it costs all of us the loss of their ideas to propel business and the nation forward. Ending pay disparities starts in middle school where we must now turn our attention to advocate for our daughters and to make sure they have the same opportunities to succeed as their male counterparts. That’s where we need to fight the next battle against gender discrimination so that girls are as prepared to study higher level math and science as boys.

Sometimes, evolution doesn’t happen gradually but in leaps and bounds. Let’s seize the day and take Lily Ledbetter up to 11.

Escape Inauguration Mania With Activism: Just Say No to Caroline!

Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy

Governor Paterson of New York has just a few more days to decide who will be appointed to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat. Reports are flying through the New York press – some say the Governor is dead set on appointing Caroline, whereas others say he is giving other candidates a second look, including the redoubtable and incredibly worthy Representative Carolyn Maloney.

We still have a chance to make a difference. Call, write, email or fax the Governor’s office, and disseminate the open letter below as far and wide as possible.

Governor Paterson’s Contact Information:

To Write To The Governor:
David A. Paterson
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Call: 518-474-8390

Fax: 518-474-1513

To Email The Governor:
Click here to email the Governor.

———————————————————————————————————–

An Open Letter to Governor David Paterson:

Dear Governor Paterson,

The person whom you appoint to Senator Clinton’s seat should have two qualities:

1) She should be a woman; and

2) Like Hillary, she should be ready and qualified on Day One.

Satisfying the first requirement should be quite simple. However, it is the need to satisfy both requirements that seems to be escaping your attention.

To a certain extent, we need gender affirmative action in government. As a group that makes up 51% of the country’s population, women are severely under-represented in Congress, at an abysmal 17%. When Senator Clinton becomes Secretary of State, that already inadequate percentage will dip to 16%.

But in the case of the next New York Senator, there is no need to appoint a person who has literally no Congressional experience whatsoever; a person who has apathetically declined to vote in several New York primaries; a person who, with her fawning, disingenuous attempts to pretend Barack Obama was “a President like her father,” was instrumental in making sure that the highest, hardest glass ceiling was not shattered for women this year.

Yet that is what you may end up doing with Caroline Kennedy. And according to the Post story today, it is for no other reason than the Kennedy-Bloomberg money and connections she is promising you.

May I ask how this is ANY different than what Rod Blagojevich was arrested for doing? If you are unconcerned with the fate of your state, and only looking out for your own political future, then I say you are simply selling the Senate seat that Hillary Clinton worked so hard to earn, to the people with the deepest pockets and the most political influence. For shame, Governor Paterson!

Two outstanding Congresswomen, Carolyn Maloney and Kirsten Gillibrand, are more than ready and qualified on Day One. Should one of them be appointed, Ms. Kennedy could easily step into one of their seats and EARN her stripes as a New York Congresswoman before running for the Senate seat in 2010. Interestingly, Carolyn Maloney’s district is the same as Ms. Kennedy’s. It would be a seamless transition for both women, should you choose this path.

Honor the New Yorkers at whose pleasure you serve. Do not choose Caroline Kennedy as the next Senator from New York. Below are just a few of the many blog posts and articles stating that Caroline Kennedy would not be a good choice.

 Say It Ain’t So, Governor Paterson

Caroline Kennedy is Not Being Palinized

Say Good Night, Caroline

Caroline Kennedy No Whiz With Words

Caroline Kennedy Botches Debut

PUMAs Growl at Caroline Betrayal

Caroline Kennedy Lets Her Interest Be Known

Caroline Kennedy and The Bloomberg Connection

Bloomberg Maneuvers To Crown A Kennedy

Roundup of Caroline News

New Yorkers Saying No, NO, NO to Caroline Kennedy

Is Caroline Ready? No.

She’s No Jack Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy No More Qualified Than J. Lo

Caroline Kennedy Dismayed By Own Voting Record

Caroline Kennedy’s “you knows” Turn Into “You? No.”

In addition, here is a link to an online petition that has more than 100 signatures in support of saying no to Caroline and yes to Carolyn or Kirsten.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/qualifiedwoman/index.html

Thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely,

(add your name here)

Monday: Live by the, you know, sword…

Dear Caroline,

He already had 15 Penis Years on you at age 3

He already had 15 Penis Years on you at age 3

If your brother were asking to fill Hillary’s seat, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.  He would have been *well* qualified.  It wouldn’t have mattered a bit to New Yorkers how many times he had failed the bar exam.  He would have been a son of a president and we would have all passed pictures around the web of him saluting at his father’s funeral.  Little girls didn’t salute.  See, even at 3 years old, he had more in penis years than you did as his senior by 3 years.

The drubbing that you are getting in the court of public opinion is an unintended consequence of your ill-considered endorsement of Barack Obama.  Did your uncle put you up to that?  You passed up a hard working, well-respected, two term senator who earned her seat by campaigning and meeting the people of New York, for an empty suit who refuses to lead and will instead rely on the youthful hooliganism of his base in order to govern.

More than that, you have helped to set the bar so incredibly high for women candidates that it may be hard to find any woman in NY who will be able to meet the new standards set for them.  That is not to say there aren’t well qualified candidates who are women,  There most certainly are.  But there are an increasing number of people who are saying, “Well, it doesn’t *have* to be a woman as long as it’s the best candidate”.  See, that’s just wrong because the scales are unequal for men and women.  Hillary wasn’t good enough for the media and the DNC because they set the bar for her at 432 ft and expected her to pole vault over it while Obama’s bar was set at knee height and his friends carried him over, gently, so as to not upset his waffle digestion

And so it will be for the women in NY State who want to fill Hillary’s shoes.  Well, let’s just say for the record right now that it will be very difficult for anyone, regardless of gender, to fill Hillary’s shoes.  But for women like Carolyn Maloney and Kirsten Gillibrand, women who are well qualified to fill her seat, the fact that they are even lunped in the same category as Andrew Cuomo is kind of insulting.  The two women have real legislative experience and have competed in congressional races while Cuomo has served as an Attorney General and as a housing secretary during the Clinton administration.  All things being equal, he’s on the same par as Lisa Madigan, the attorney general of Illinois, who was actually a state senator.  She says she has zero chance of being appointed (although the odds may have changed now that JJJr is out).  So, if Lisa isn’t being seriously considered, why is Andrew?

I’ll tell you why.  Penis years.  He’s a guy.  His name is almost always mentioned as a Hillary replacement in the articles about you.  Carolyn Maloney’s almost never and she has been elected to her seat in Manhattan eight times.  If that doesn’t demonstrate a record of achievement and fundraising ability, what does?  Yes, it’s unfair.  But not to you.

It was unfair to Hillary and Sarah and Linda Stender and every other woman who ran this year and lost.  It’s not fair to any of us that we can be reduced to a bunch of “you knows” and “I can see Russia from my house!” and “why didn’t Hillary cry for Katrina?”.  Now, Caroline Kennedy, that second in line to the throne after her younger brother, is going to be subjected to the same sexism and misogynism that reduced Hillary from one of the most powerful women in the world and Sarah from the governor of a crucial oil state with two international borders to charicatures of the calculating uber-bitch and brainless beauty queen respectively.  Your new role will be as one of the aristocratic “ladies who lunch” socialites whose family pulls out of private life to shore up the brand name.

I hear, you know, you are a lawyer.   Like, really?  You’d never know it from the press you’re getting.

You know.

Sincerely,

RD

PS.  The idea of Harriet Christian for senate is actually growing on me.  Few people understand the average New Yorker better than Harriet and she’s articulate and courageous.  What a combo!

Friday: Gov. Paterson, it’s CAROLYN, not Caroline

Carolyn Maloney, D-Manhattan

Carolyn Maloney, D-Manhattan

Lady Caroline Kennedy

Lady Caroline Kennedy

I have read persistent rumors that Caroline Kennedy is on Governor Paterson’s short list of replacements for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat.  Now, I don’t live in NY.  I live in the next state down.  So, maybe Paterson doesn’t give a flying f^&* what I think, although our two states *do* share a common harbor and the WTC was a joint operation so you might say I am a concerned citizen.  Then there is the whole concept of the Senate itself, which is supposed to be a cooling saucer for hot blooded mob rule that is the House of Representatives (snort!).  The Senate is supposed to be a different kind of legislative body, one that by its very number and makeup is intended to transcend state boundaries.  So, the fact that we have only 17 females in this august body is very disturbing indeed and we can’t afford to lose even one.  Percentage wise, the Senate should be more like 52% female to 48% male and we are certainly going to work very hard to bring those numbers up.  But if the Governor plays a game where he appoints Caroline Kennedy because she meets the gender requirement, he might as well be sticking a fork in our eyes.

Why should he pass on Caroline?  Let me count the ways:

  1. She’s not a politician.  Never has been.  She’s never run for political office, never advocated for legislation (that I know of), never even expressed an interest.  If Hillary were close to an election cycle, one might justify appointing Caroline as a symbolic gesture.  But Hillary has four years left in her term.  That would make Kennedy a rather strong incumbent.  She hasn’t earned it.
  2. The Senate is not the House of Lords.  I know the argument against dynasties has also been made against Hillary’s run for president.  But in Hillary’s case, she did the whole campaigning thing.  She’s worked on health care throughout her tenure as first lady.  She went into the senate having *earned* her seat through a legitimate election and her own accomplishments.  We saw her on the campaign trail for president.  She is smart, tough, assertive, unflagging, eternally optimistic.  We *like* her.  Just because her husband was a president doesn’t mean we had to deprive ourselves of the best presidential candidate in the past 15 years.  But in Caroline Kennedy’s case, the name is everything.  She is the closest thing we have to an American princess.  She’s an aristocrat and nothing more.  Oh, sure, she’s a lawyer and she’s published books.  But for her, it almost like finishing school.  She chose to lead a more private life.  Good!  Let her enjoy it.
  3. There are other women who would be passed over who would be legitimately and righteously indignant.  Kirsten Gillibrand and Carolyn Maloney are perfect examples.  For the upstate vote, Kirsten is the way to go.  She’s young, intelligent, well liked.  She’s very much in the Hillary model.  For experience, go to Carolyn Maloney, who has been elected from her Manhattan district *eight* times.  She has a track record of championing women’s issues.  For either of these true politicians who have earned their way to be queue jumped by Caroline Kennedy is a real slap to the face.

Wake up and smell the Starbucks, Governor Paterson.  You have an opportunity to earn some major mojo by appointing a woman who has *earned* that right through hard work and accomplishments.  Appointing a woman because of who she is and not what she has done further undermines women in the eyes of the public.  A woman’s accomplishments are always held to a higher standard than a man’s.  Caroline Kennedy would send the worst kind of message about women in politics.  Women will once again be beholden to male benefactors and not merit to get a seat at the table.  Forget about Lady Caroline and appoint Carolyn or Kirsten.

Do the right thing.

[UPDATE by katiebird] – And please take a minute to sign MadamaB’s petition: Appoint a Woman to Senator Clinton’s Seat

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