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      Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says “it was evident” Jared Kushner was engaging in freelance foreign policy during the Trump Administration.https://t.co/kYvBHglYnK — Vicky Ward (@VickyPJWard) October 4, 2022
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A Tale from the Street: Why the 30 Percent Solution Is Important

Not the Only Role Model Anymore
Not the Only Role Model Anymore

Coming home from temple yesterday afternoon, I heard a father and his daughter talking as they walked past me. The daughter, who looked like she was in the tween years, was complaining about being short.

The father’s response took my breath away.

“Do you think Sarah Palin is tall? Do you think Hillary Clinton is tall?” he asked his daughter.

Wow. Female role models that aren’t six feet tall and 100 pounds with D-cup breasts. Can I get an Amen? 

Throughout the primary season, Hillary supporters were told how historic the election was for Barack Obama. We got it, believe me. In fact, some of us are AA or have AA friends and family (or both). The symbolic nature of his candidacy was evident.

But what about the historic nature of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy? What about the fact that 52% of Americans are women – that’s a MAJORITY, people – and have never seen ANYONE that looks like them ascend to the highest levels of power in the United States? Why is this impossible for anyone in the media or the Democratic Party to acknowledge?

We know the answer to that, don’t we, ladies? It’s never, EVER our turn. We are to step aside and let the important ones go first. If you have a penis, you may step to the head of the line, especially if you make sure to step over the little ladies on the way.

But John McCain made a bold move with his Vice-Presidential pick. He made it possible this year for us, the MAJORITY of Americans, to have our turn anyway, despite the disgusting machinations of Obama for America. And the endorsement of the head of the L.A. Chapter of NOW for McCain/Palin shows American women that the 30 Percent Solution can, and should, be supported by feminists of every political stripe, without fear or shame.

And that is something we can all look forward to, in these dark and confusing times.

Interview With Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney – Part II

You Said It, Sister!

You Said It, Sister!

The following is Part II of my email interview with the gracious, intelligent, fiery and fabulous feminist, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, after reading her book: “Rumours of Our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated.”

MadamaB: Your writing shows a real talent for framing that is sadly lacking in too many Democratic policiticans’ lexicons. For example, you make a great point that strip-club visits are considered tax-deductible, but child-care expenses aren’t. Have you had any success with framing the comparison the way you do in the book?

CM: Every once in a while you have an ‘aha’ moment – when you see the absolute correctness of a particular position. How you frame an issue helps other people have that ‘aha’ moment. Sometimes you get there by giving your issue a face – I called my DNA bill after Debbie Smith, a woman whose rapist was identified because of a cold hit after her DNA kit was processed. The prosecutors were able to obtain a conviction because of the DNA contained in the rape kit. Debbie came to be the representative of hundreds of thousands of women whose rape kits were gathering dust on the shelf. Every one of those kits belongs to a woman who has a compelling story, and we couldn’t tell all of them. But we could tell Debbie’s, and we could talk about what happened to her, and how processing the DNA in her kit made all the difference. And it helped other members of Congress understand the importance of passing my bill because they understood what happened to Debbie.

MadamaB: Another great frame is your concept of a bipartisan “decency deficit” Could you explain what you mean by that?

CM: Many on the right talk about ‘family values’ which often translates to being anti-choice, anti-gay and, I would argue, anti-family. How can you be for family values if you do not support laws that protect work/life balance? The most important values in my view are what I would call human values: tolerance, compassion, generosity, honesty, humility. Or, to sum it up in one word: decency. Over the past seven years we’ve had an inordinate abuse of power, arrogance, disregard for the constitution – in short, a decency deficit. We need to restore the decency and provide basic needs for those who require it most. We’re the richest nation in the world, but we don’t have paid family leave or paid sick leave. We have no child care system. Health care is unaffordable for millions of American families. As a nation, we need to pay down the decency deficit and restore human values – and I believe women will have a lot to do with that.

MadamaB: In the book, you demonstrate how punitive the second-income tax is to working women. Is this a secondary result of conservative anti-government activism, or do you feel it was specifically intended to punish women?

CM: The marriage penalty is probably an unintended consequence of an effort to end a system that some people felt discriminated against single people. I was surprised to learn that it was adopted in 1969, just before the women’s rights movement gained momentum. There are scholars who are far more expert than I in this subject. I would recommend a wonderful book by Edward J. McCaffery, Taxing Women, who has explored this subject in great detail.

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The 30 Percent Solution: Why Democratic Women Are Voting for McCain/Palin

You Said It, Sister!
You Said It, Sister!

When I read Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s book, “Rumors of Our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated,” I felt as if I had been sleep-walking through the past twenty years of my life. (I hope that soon I will have the long-promised interview with the Congresswoman for your reading pleasure, but she is obviously quite busy on her book tour!) Through a devastating, methodical collection of facts and figures, the Congresswoman builds an airtight case for her premise: American women have NOT come a long way, baby.

Sexual harrassment suits are still routinely filed at places that are designated by female-led organizations as woman-friendly. Women still make 77% less money than men for doing the same job. Although many other countries, including the not-so-forward-thinking Pakistan and India, have had female heads of state, we Americans are still not quite able to bring ourselves to elect a female president, although many qualified women have tried and failed. Our business community has little to no support for women who want to participate in the workforce; no places for breastfeeding, no help for those who need daycare, and maternity leave for most is a thing of the past, having been replaced by “disability pay” – as if having a child were a disability! And as for a woman’s right to control her own body, although 6 years of Republican control over Congress, the Executive Branch and the Supreme Court has not led to the overturn of Roe v. Wade, certain factions within the Republican Party never seem to stop trying to chip away at reproductive choice. Just recently, HHS Secretary Leavitt put forth a proposal erroneously declaring some forms of birth control as abortifacients, thus opening the door to more “conscientious refusals” by anti-choice health professionals to prescribe them. Finally, the ERA has been dead in the water since it failed to pass in the 1970’s, the last time that a demonstrated, concentrated push for womens’ rights occurred.

Maloney’s excellent book offers practical, real-world solutions for many of these problems; among them, lobbying for specific legislation and networking with women in business to get more females into the top slots in Fortune 500 companies. But when all is said and done, the overwhelming thing we all must do is to elect more women to local, state and federal government. Why? Because of the 30% Solution.

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