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PUMA Cocktail Party: Cherish the Ladies

There have been several publicized reports of the effects of women in politics. Bottom line: “it’s a good thing”, as Martha would say.

For example, take the recent study on math education that was in a recent issue of Science. All things being equal, girls perform as well as or better than boys in math. There is only a slight difference in spatial abilities and these differences vanish with the top performing girls. But the researchers noted that some countries showed much better female performance than others. When they examined the factors that lead to discrepencies between countries, here’s what they found:

Having recognized gender gaps that expanded and contracted from country to country, Sapienza and colleagues examined social features that might explain the changes. Other researchers had shown that social conditioning and gender-biased environments can impact test performance, so Sapienza and colleagues used four tools to measure how well women were integrated into each society compared with men. The first measure was the Gender Gap Index (GGI) developed by the World Economic Forum (WEF; see Hausmann et. al. 2006). “There are a number of variables that go into the Gender Gap Index,” said Sapienza. “For example, it measures resources given to women who want to work, such as maternity leave and child care facilities. Participation of women in labor is also a big factor, as is their role in political leadership.”

Ding! Ding! Ding! If you want more equality, better quality of life, more opportunities, elect more women. The magic formula is 30%. With 30% of the body politic composed of women, you should see a profound change in society. Like, maybe we won’t have election wins for women nullified in favor of a male candidate? It’s a thought.

So, tonight, we are celebrating women in politics. We have a slate of women who need your help this year, ‘cos they sure as heck aren’t getting any from Obama. Take a look at our ActBlue for The Confluence page and send a few buckaroos to the lady of your choice, or all of them.

Welcome to the PUMA cocktail party! Now is the time to kick off your shoes, grab a drink ad relax with your friends. Our bartender with flair is Rico. You can find him to the left of the door working on a sudoku puzzle. His cocktail du jour is a snagglepooty. It’s a bit on the sweet side so if you prefer, you can purchase a Causmo for $10.00. Tonight’s cause is Heidi Li’s Democrats for Principle before Party to pay for ads in Capital Hill newspapers.

Our musical entertainment tonight consists of two sister acts: The Burns Sisters and The Guthrie Sisters who teamed up for some sweet harmony on this bluesy tune:

Ladies and gents, we run a respectable joint. If you’ve got something to say that is likely to break some chairs, take it outside or leave your trigger words with our lovely checkroom attendant, Florence. The waiters will be circulating soon with duck confit with black cherry spread and bleu cheese, sea scallops with bacon and green apple and haricot verts with valencia oranges and hazlenuts. Please dring responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.

I’m off to back to school night. I’ll be back at 10PM EST for Conflucians Say on PUMA United Radio (PURrrr) and we’ll pick up this cocktail party where I left off. Later taters….

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Harry Reid Wants Democrats To Lose Congress AND The White House

Vote For Me, I Have No Idea What To Do!

Vote For Me, I Have No Idea What To Do!

It looks like the horrible economy has boosted Barack Obama’s daily tracking numbers just a bit. Well, we can’t have that, now, can we? Harry Reid to the rescue! He’ll make sure that bounce goes away, further torpedo the chances of downticket Democrats, and reassure Americans that the Democrats ARE completely clueless:

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports from Capitol Hill: Don’t look for any legislation in the near future to address the financial crisis.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, asked today what new regulatory actions Congress can take, said, bluntly, “No one knows what to do. We are in new territory here. This is a different game. We’re not here playing soccer, basketball or football, this is a new game and we’re going to have to figure out how to do it.”

Woo-hoo! When big financial problems arise, it’s always good to admit you have no clue how to resolve them. That will build confidence in your party!

Now, the lede of the story is somewhat misleading, since there will be short-term legislation proposed to try to alleviate the damages caused by greed and deregulation. But apparently, any heavy lifting will be passed on to the next President and Congress. Now, THAT’s leadership!

In the short run, Democrats are trying to push through a second stimulus package with funding for infrastructure improvements, renewable energy tax credits and other things. But all agree it will be up to the next President and Congress to do any re-regulation.

And its important to remember that there is no congressional oversight on the string of bailouts by the Federal Reserve of AIG, the nation’s largest insurance company, or the lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Moments after the press conference, on the Senate floor, Reid said he will keep the Senate in pro forma session after the Sept. 30th departure date so that committees can meet and consider the problem.

I ask you, if the Congress will remain in session after September 30, and will be doing something to counteract the effects of these failures right away, then why didn’t Senator Reid say that?

And why in the name of the Giant Green Lizard are we allowing the free-marketeers to get control of the framing of this issue? Why doesn’t it SOUND like the Obamacrats are the Party of the Responsible Economy any more? Is it because they are stupid, or because they are bought and paid for by Corporate America? Or is it a combination of both?

Continue reading

Thursday: Alice Kryzan wins her primary!- and loses her party???

Let us go in together,
And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
The time is out of joint—O cursèd spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let’s go together.
Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 186–190

Alice, where art thou going?

Alice, where art thou going?

The time is indeed out of joint this year.  This campaign season has one of those convoluted plots where nothing is as it seems, allegiences shift, players changes sides, double cross, backstab and sometimes, the heroines lose even as they’re winning.  We’ve seen it happen to Hillary Clinton, who had the unmitigated gall to run for president against the Party’s Chosen One.  Not only did they not honor her higher count in the popular vote and the fact that the hard delegate count was almost dead even, they felt it was necessary to humiliate her during the roll call vote.  I don’t think the superdelegates knew at the time just how BAAADDD that made them look but I suspect that the recent actions of the Pennsylvania contingent are clueing them in. Even so, it does not appear that the DNC or the Obama campaign can be taught.  Reaching out to voters is so 20th century.

Now comes Alice Kryzan.  Alice is a well respected attorney in the area of environmental law.  She ran in the recent primary to represent NY-26 in Congress.  This is a red to blue district.  The Republican, Tom Reynolds, is retiring.  The Democratic primary featured two other contestants: Jack Davis, a wealthy businessman, and Jon Powers, an Iraq War vet.  Davis had previously run for this seat and came close to winning but lost.  But the Democratic party bosses in the district decided to bet the money on Powers.  Powers, by the way, has no resume to speak of but he *is* an Iraq War vet.  Nothing wrong with that.  Powers is an honorable man.  But an M16 may be playing the role of the Penis Year in terms of perceived experiential advantage.  But I digress.

Davis and Powers battled it out during the lead up to the primary, thinking they were the only two people who mattered and then WHAM! Alice wins!  Yeah for Alice!  There must have been great rejoicing and dancing in the streets!  Another woman to Congress!  One more on the way to the 30% Solution!

Not so fast.

Remember I said the party bosses were behind Powers?  Well, it looks like they still may be.  Powers pulled a Lieberman and has secured a slot on the ballot for the seat running under the Working Families Party.  So, let’s recap:  The WOMAN who WON the primary for the Democratic party is now running in a three way race against the Republican AND the Democratic Party’s favorite candidate who is now running in a third party.  And this is OK?

Darragh Murphy sums it up this way:

Maybe. If the 2nd place winner (aka loser) does not take his name off the ballot and tries to handicap her, then it will be split. If he does the Hillary Thing and Step Aside for Party Unity, then she’ll have a much clearer shot.

Hmmm, why aren’t the Party Elders stepping in crying foul when a man doesn’t step aside for a woman to attain power?

anybody?

Yes, Darragh, these are good questions.  Why aren’t the men who are dragging the party into permanent second class status stepping down?  Why is Powers stepping on the toes of the woman who won the primary?  It sort of reminds me of Barack Obama who couldn’t close the deal in the primaries so he gamed and defrauded the caucuses and secured the support of the middle aged white guys in the party to take the woman out.  Or is it like the Obama who sidelined Alice Palmer?  I dunno.  It just reminds me of Barack Obama.  I guess I will never completely get the taste of his dishonorable primary “win” out of my mouth.  The DNC shouldn’t kid themselves about this.  It’s going to follow them around like a silent but deadly fart for years to come. The least they could do to make amends is to pressure Powers to drop out in his race against Kryzan.  It’s the very least they could do.  But somehow, I don’t expect it.

*sigh*

It looks like it is up to us to help Alice out.  The good news is that Emily’s List has woken up and smelled the Starbucks and is now supporting her.  But there’s no doubt about it, Alice has an uphill climb with Powers still in the race.  She can take this district with the right backing and extra effort.  So, if you want to send a message to District 26 power brokers and the DNC, why not come to Alice’s aid and contribute time or money to her campaign?  We are adding Alice to our ActBlue for The Confluence page.  If you make a donation through it, Alice will know it comes from us.  We can build some street cred and mojo for Conflucians and PUMAs.  The DNC will think twice about messing with elections in the future.  Let’s give it a try, shall we?

Tonight is the weekly fundraiser on Conflucians Say.  Take the $35 bucks you were originally going to send to the DNC and divvy it up among our ActBlue Slate.  Or send a yuppie food stamp to Democrats for Principle Before Party where Heidi Li will put it to good use buying ads in congressional journals.  Let the DNC know that we are out here, we are strong and we are legion.  Show them your pride!

Extra! Found at Not Your Sweeties:

Hmmm, XY speaks to XX?

Hmmm, Mr. Y speaks to Ms. X's?