Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 12.13.2011

No excuses, but I've simply slipped from posting for the last several months.  And no promises that this is a sign of future posts to come.  But my browser window was full of several on point articles that seemed to scream for a LobbyList post.

Without further ado...

An amazing photo (left) of women firefighters at Pearl Harbor, and the call for help in identifying these brave women. Updated: they've been found!

I loved the MoveOn.org-made-famous YouTube video of Iowan Zach Wahls testifying about his (ordinary) life with two moms.  But the teen really got me with his Daily Beast column, which concludes:
...And while I’m trying to reserve most of my story for a setting in which I can tell it on my own terms, I’d like to address the two questions most frequently aimed my way over the last couple of days.
First: “Are you gay?”
I’ve answered this question in other places and at other times. I’ve recently decided, however, to stop answering it. If the only question you have after listening to me defend my family is about my sexuality, I’m afraid you’ve missed my point. Whether I’m gay, straight, or bisexual, tall or short, male or female, white or black, successful go-getter or slacker, is entirely immaterial. I happen to be a go-getter student-turned-activist speaking out in defense of his moms, but this isn’t—and shouldn’t be—the norm. Nobody wants to spend all of his or her time defending his family, and I’m looking forward to mine no longer needing defending.
And as to that second question …
Yes, I am single.
We're going to be seeing more of Zach, and for that we're all so lucky.

In other "I have hope for the future" news, I have to give it to this brave Vietnam vet calling Mitt Romney out on his position on equal marriage.  But what I love just as much is the way the NYT Caucus's Ashley Parker covered it.  Just the way it felt to be Mitt, having no idea which direction this was going to go, and being asked tough, prodding questions about his own inconsistencies.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's late husband has a published cookbook, "Chef Supreme".  What an incredible couple. 

Finally, Rebecca Traister (love!) on Obama's "woman problems" in light of his administration's decision to over rule the FDA recommendation Plan B contraception to be available on drugstore shelves.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 8.6.2011 - "Do what’s best for your country, and you will be remembered well"

Thank you, Frank Bruni, for pointing out the alarming absence of women in the debt ceiling negotiations.  I remain skeptical if a single woman will be appointed to the "Super Committee."  Still so far to go.....
On Monday, photos with a winners-and-losers article on the Web site Politico showed President Obama, John Boehner, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell — but, tellingly, not Nancy Pelosi. Like women in general, she was sidelined through much of the mess, and while the reasons weren’t gender-related, the optics were true to a stubborn gender imbalance in the Capitol.
Fabulous interview in Glamour this week of Secretary Hillary Clinton.  A favorite quote:
SECRETARY CLINTON: You just have to figure out what you’re trying to accomplish. I often try, in private discussions with leaders, to press them on women’s rights. For the first few years, I kept a running tally of how many women were in meetings with me. It was always fascinating, who would bring women and what roles they would have. And who never showed up with women at all…. It’s wonderful to go to a country like Brazil, which elected a woman president [last year]. I made a big effort to go to her inauguration, because I know how hard it is for a woman to be elected.

I think my political background has been a very big advantage in my job—I understand the pressures of politics on leaders…. Sometimes I push them to do more than they think is possible. But not impossible. So I’ve told leaders, “Look, I was in politics. I’ve won elections and lost elections. And it’s not the end of the world…. Do what’s best for your country, and you will be remembered well.”
Long overdue to post this obituary of a true inspiration and she-ro, Sandra "Mama" Pressley, mother of Boston City Councilor, Ayanna Pressley.  She is the living proof that behind amazing women is often a fierce advocate of a mother: "Sandra L. Pressley was determined to show her only child the world was bigger than the block on which they lived in Chicago. She exposed her to ballet, the cello and ballroom dancing, and took her to Europe despite being a single parent with limited means."  Thank you, Mama P, for all you've given us - with your life and your daughter.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Gaga on the View

I didn't know if it's possible for me to adore Gaga more than I already do, until she went and took on Tim Gunn for his horrifying comments about our girl, Hillary Clinton.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Situation

So we have a “situation” regarding the now famous photo taken from the Situation Room during the successful, high stakes Osama bin Laden mission.  (photo left, source Pete Souza, White House Flickr stream)
The photo has received attention because it’s one of the very few insider looks into the weekend.  But of course, it’s also received attention because you can’t help by notice Hillary.  Front row.  The only woman at the table.  This time, we’re not talking about her hair or the bags under her eyes.  Media is focused on the fact that she’s the only person appearing to show emotion in the scene.  And because she’s the only woman at the table, her emotion is highlighted, and pondered on.

Even Hillary felt like she needed to another possible explanation for her expression in the photo:
"Those were 38 of the most intense minutes. I have no idea what any of us were looking at that particular millisecond when the picture was taken...I am somewhat sheepishly concerned that it was my preventing one of my early spring allergic coughs. So it may have no great meaning whatsoever."
Compare this to Obama’s sweet, personal, and yes, emotional, statement during his 60 Minutes interview about those same 40 minutes.
 “And it was the longest 40 minutes of my life with the possible exception of when [daughter] Sasha got meningitis when she was three months old and I was waiting for the doctor to tell me that she was all right.”
Comparing the stress of national security to a stressful moment of parenthood?  Can you imagine the political backlash that any female politician would receive by making such a statement?  But from Obama, it demonstrates a certain type of humanity that we like in our (male) leaders.

The National Journal said that "It’s apparent in the way that female trailblazers of Clinton’s generation remain exquisitely self-conscious about – and apologetic for – anything that distinguishes them from the males they struggled so hard to make their peers. I know female senators who have agonized over the question of whether to carry a purse, worrying that it somehow detracts from the image of power they need to project."

Of course, one option is to simply Photoshop Hillary out of the photo altogether, as the Ultra Orthodox Hasidic newspaper in Brooklyn did.  As a way to protect women's "modesty," of course.

And who is the only other woman in the photo, in the back of the room?  She is Audrey Tomason with title "Director for Counterterrorism".  Her presence is notable for a few reasons. She's only other woman pictured in the testosterone-filled room, she appears to be the only person under 40, and she's one of the few unrecognizable faces or names in the room.  I loved the response from a spokesman for the National Security Council about  why she had never been identified or mentioned before: "Well, we've never killed bin Laden before." 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 5.12.2011

The Free Williamsburg Press removes the sexually suggestive male images in the sit room photo. 

Newt announces his presidential campaign.  The NYT has an interesting look at the role his wife will play in the campaign:  "Yet in a curious tale of Washington reinvention, the onetime congressman from Georgia is counting on the third Mrs. Gingrich for his political redemption...Mr. Gingrich is presenting himself as a family man who has embraced Catholicism and found God, with his wife as a kind of character witness. Depending on one’s point of view, she is a reminder of his complicated past, or his secret political weapon."

WaPo's Jonathan Capehart on the "Black Face on Gay Marriage," featuring Massachusetts' own Rep. Byron Rushing.

A great Hillary feature in Vanity Fair! (h/t ESL)

Speaking of Hillary....Public Policy Polling released a poll asking who Iowa Democrats like for 2016 and "Hillary Clinton is the overwhelming favorite at 44%, followed by Joe Biden at 13%."  Just sayin'.....

Wasserman Schultz on Gabby Giffords this morning on GMA: "She's going to come back to Congress."

Caroline Kennedy became the 100,000th signer on Freedom to Marry’s Open Letter urging President Obama to support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 5.9.2011

Chelsea Clinton is rocking it out for marriage equality in New York.

What does changing your name say about you - and what can it cost you (!) ?
"Researchers also asked 50 students to screen e-mails containing hypothetical job applications from women. The candidates who had kept their maiden names were more likely to be hired and were offered salaries averaging 40% higher than their name-changing peers."

The race is on for Boston City Council at large candidates, with failed mayoral candidate Michael Flaherty throwing his hat in the ring against four incumbents.  Go Ayanna!
“Our plan has always been to run hard and compete for votes in every neighborhood of the city, no matter what the field looked like,’’ said Jessica Taubner, campaign manager for Ayanna Pressley, who finished fourth in 2009 and captured the last at-large spot. “Pressley earned her seat and she’s been a powerful and effective advocate for the residents of Boston during her 16 months in office.’’
 Sen. Gillibrand with a Mother's Day HuffPost column promoting the The Paycheck Fairness Act. "When women earn more, families are stronger and children have better access to quality health care and education."

A little late, but definitely wanted to give a shout out to the new DNC chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the second woman to hold the post.  From the fantastic feature in the NYT a few weeks ago about the choice of the Democratic party choosing a young, ambitious woman from Florida to head the party: 
“It’s a big deal, a very big deal,” said Ms. Wasserman Schultz, whose toughness was admired by her colleagues even before she grappled with breast cancer in 2007. “My generation is significantly unrepresented in terms of public policy and decision making. As a woman today, it’s very different living through raising children and balancing work and family. It’s an opportunity to reach out to so many families. And women who work outside the family can say Democrats get it.” 

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 5.6.2011 - Mothers' Day

Anna Holmes on Trump's sexism.   “'You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of [expletive],' he told a writer for Esquire in 1991."

A cool (and depressing) interactive map of women's representation in global governments.  "Around the world, 19.2 percent of all national parliamentary positions (including seats in the upper house or senate, where applicable) are held by women. Of the 181 countries for which data was provided, the United States ranked almost exactly in the middle: 92nd, just above Turkmenistan." (h/t BB)

The HuffPost on the 10 states with the highest wage gap between men and women.  I am concerned that both NH and IA made the list, considering their role in national primaries!

A Susan B. Anthony handbag! "To her, a bag was not a fashion statement but a symbol of independence at a time when women were not allowed to enter into a contract or even open a bank account."  (h/t ESL)

The ever thoughtful Linda Greenhouse on when a judge should recuse themselves from cases before them.  She points out the pitfalls on both sides of the ideological aisle - from the right wing attack on Judge Walker in the Prop 8 case in CA, as well as the Common Cause suit challenging Judges Scalia and Thomas and the Citizens United decision.  Nice food for thought: "Back when the duck-hunting controversy was raging, I amused myself by asking friends who insisted that Justice Scalia should remove himself from the case how they would respond to a slightly different situation. Suppose, instead of Justice Scalia going duck hunting with Dick Cheney, it had been Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg going shopping with Lynn Cheney. Would they move to disqualify Justice Ginsburg

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 4.21.2011

Celebrating 90 years of female cops in Boston.  While women still only make up 13% of today's police force, the Globe has a great feature today focusing on the field's pioneers.

Linda Greenhouse highlights the need to speed up the confirmation of the fabulous NY attorney Caitlin Halligan for United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

NEJM makes the case for funding contraception and family planning services as part of the free preventative care services included in the ACA passage, stating "Preventing unwanted pregnancies saves women’s lives, since the complications of pregnancy and birth are avoided."

MoDo raises the profile of State Representative Sharon Cissna of Alaska who has become a heroine for many women with breast cancer since she spoke out about the “twisted policy” of having the “invasive, probing hands of a stranger” on her, after scanners twice showed the scars from her mastectomy and she was ordered to undergo “humiliating” body searches. "The second time the Anchorage Democrat was told to do the pat-down in mid-February, returning to Juneau after getting medical treatment in Seattle, she refused. She rented a car, drove three hours into British Columbia, took a plane from Vancouver to the small town of Prince Rupert and then got on a ferry for a two-day trip to Juneau."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 2.23.2011 - Born this way

Woo hoo! In a pretty spectacular decision, President Obama reverses his DOJ's position defending DOMA by declaring it "unconstitutional".  From the Attorney General's statement:
"After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny.   The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional.   Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases.   I fully concur with the President’s determination."
Lady Gaga gives me a reason to love capitalism when she agreed this week to a deal with Target to sell a special edition of her new gay anthem single "Born This Way" - only if the retailer "made amends" for past corporate donations to anti-gay groups by donating to gay rights groups.  Take a bow, Gaga.

Really love these stichin' bitches who graffiti knit in Boston.  I've admired their handiwork in my neighborhood all year, and love knowing the women behind the art. (The photo at the left is from sister-knitter Olek in NYC who graffiti knit the Wall Street bull this December.  Love her!)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 2.22.2011

A truly horrifying fax received by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.).  The level of hate, racism and misogyny in one document baffles the mind.  What caused the stir?  Her introduction of bill to eliminate U.S. military sponsorships at NASCAR.

The Gender Pay Gap by Industry (left)
(h/t BB)

More fun in Italy. Prime Minister Berlusconi's case has been assigned to a panel of three women judges. His lawyer's reaction?
"Noting that Mr. Berlusconi would be tried before a panel of three judges, all of them women, [Berlusconi's lawyer] said: 'Great. Women are always appreciated, sometimes even agreeable,' the center-left daily La Repubblica reported."

Who wins in book publishing?  The male or female author? Want to take a wild guess?

One of the few women CEO's in Boston, Ellen Zane of Tufts Medical Center, announced her retirement last week.  I loved this quote from one of her female colleagues: “Her heel print is very deep on the Massachusetts health care landscape,’’ said Lynn Nicholas, the state hospital association’s chief executive. (#backwardsinheels)

Fun list of the top ten things women invented.  Some things you'd expect (chocolate chip cookies, the dishwasher, Liquid Paper), but others are truly incredible - circular saw and windshield wipers!

Sarah Palin continues to lay the groundwork for a presidential campaign announcement:
"Gosh, nobody’s more qualified [for the] multitasking than a woman, a mom… who’s administered locally, state, with energy issues, so maybe a mayor, a governor maybe," she joked, adding that "vice presidential candidate" was also a good precursor.

Badass Broad of the Week - February 21

Much has been written about Rep. Jackie Speier's incredibly personal story offered on the House floor during debate last week on the Republican proposal to defund Planned Parenthood.  But I nominate Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) for my inaugural LL award of "Badass Broad of the Week," for her stirring floor speech on the value of Planned Parenthood in her life and the lives of other young, poor women with lack of access to health care.  The Daily Beast explained more about Moore's own biography, when she found herself 18 and and with an unplanned pregnacy:
Though she didn’t say so on Thursday, Moore had been bound for Radcliffe, then the women’s counterpart to Harvard, when she found herself pregnant. Instead, she ended up on welfare. She was eventually able to go to college and build a life for herself, but as she points out, even the meager programs that helped her have since been gutted or eliminated. “It is important for women to have a choice, to have an opportunity to plan their families,” she said. “Because if they don’t, the Republicans have said this is an ownership society. You are on your own, and they’re going to begrudge that child everything, from WIC”—the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program—“to a Pell Grant to health insurance.”
Watch and be inspired.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Why women's voices matter

Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) took to the floor yesterday to speak against the Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) amendment “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act” (H.R. 217), which would strip federal family planning funding from health care providers that also provide abortion care with private funds, by telling her own story of having an abortion.  It's thoughtful, powerful, and to the point.  She concludes:
"You may not like Planned Parenthood.  So be it.

"There's many on our side of aisle who don't like Halliburton....

"Do you see us over here filing an amendment to wipe out funding to Halliburton?  No, because frankly that would be irresponsible.
"I would suggest to you that it would serve us all very if we moved on with this process and started focusing on creating jobs for Americans who so desperately want them."
Sadly, the House passed the amendment this afternoon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 2.16.2011 - Let's Talk About Sex

Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley is rocking it out on teen pregnancy and better access to sex ed for Boston girls:
"[P]eople told her not to speak about her history as a 'survivor of sexual abuse or sexual assault' because it 'makes men uncomfortable.'

"She says she was told not to talk about her commitment to girls because 'that’s not a city-wide issue that will resonate.'

"Instead, Pressley developed her own philosophy. She gave the same stump speech, no matter what side of town she was on. Everyone heard how she was raised by a single mom, that her father was in prison most of her childhood, how she dropped out of college to work full-time and support her mother, who had been laid-off."
Loving the Italian women these days.  Self-described as "neither desperate, nor housewives", these protesters have made the courts and the Parliament take the allegations that Prime Minister Berlusconi paid for an underage prostitute seriously. 

South Dakota.....wow.  A state legislator introduced a bill to make it "justifiable homicide" for killing an abortion doctor.

Santorum's ongoing "google problem".  He he.

One woman's name continues to get play in the field of Sen. Brown challengers: Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll.

Former Cantabrigian and President of Lesley University Margaret McKenna is making impressive strides in the world of corporate philanthropy.....at Walmart.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 2.10.2011

Happy early Valentine's Day from the GOP.  I know I'm not supposed to love these cards as much as I do, but they get me every year.  If we can't laugh at ourselves, then what's the point of being in this business?

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on HuffPost - Urgent Call to Action: GOP House Pushing Anti-Woman Agenda

The failed challenger to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is now onto the next thing: giving makeup tips.  You can't make this up if you tried.  (h/t JM)

Senate women's 'civility' pact
It’s something you almost never see in Senate politics: one female senator attacking another, even when they’re on opposite sides of an issue.

Among the 17 female senators, it amounts to an informal nonaggression pact. In the male-dominated, tradition-bound Senate chamber, their desire to recapture a long lost sense of civility trumps the constant pressure to score partisan points. It’s a bond forged by their common experience as women in the highest level of American politics, reinforced during a regular dinner meeting led by the longest-serving female senator, Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.).

Mikulski set the rules for the dinner group when she launched it years ago: no staff, no memos, no leaks and no men.
NYT editorial supporting the bad ass claim brought by Efrosini Katanakis, a New York woman who was discriminated against in hiring for a job......painting NY bridges and towers.  Yes.  She's that bad ass.

I can't wait to dig into Tina Fey's column on work/life balance in this week's New Yorker: Confessions of a Juggler.

I thought we had a great system for training female candidates through Emerge, but I obviously failed to consider the power of Hooters (yes, Hooters) as a women candidates pipeline.  (another great find by JM)

Rick Santorum hits below the belt at Sarah Palin on missing CPAC:  "Santorum — the father of seven children — also said that Palin has 'other responsibilities,' such as raising her children, that he doesn’t." (h/t BB)

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 2.4.2011

Boston magazine's Most Powerful Women list includes some of my favorite women in Massachusetts: State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, Sheriff Andrea Cabral, GLAD legal powerhouse Mary Bonauto,  Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson, and on and on.

Boston is losing a fantastic federal judge, Judge Gertner.  I can't wait to check out her memoir this summer.

Congrats to Sen. Gillibrand, who is now serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Her leadership on the Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal and the 9/11 First Responders bill passage make her an incredible asset to the work on this committee.

Love Attorney General Coakley's quip at last week's Government Affairs Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast: "twice now in the past year, the voters have said they want me to stay as attorney general."  On a more substantive note, I was so impressed to hear her use the opportunity to call on the business community to join in signing an amicus brief supporting her case challenging DOMA.

A $17,000 gender pay gap with starting salaries among doctors?  Sigh. 

"Her"story continues to be excluded - this time with Wikipedia and the predominance of male contributors.

So many interesting things being said about this article over the past week: Black? White? Asian? More Young Americans Choose All of the Above  I loved this part:
Starting with the 2000 census, Americans were allowed to mark one or more races.
The multiracial option came after years of complaints and lobbying, mostly by the white mothers of biracial children who objected to their children being allowed to check only one race.

I would have loved to have seen this dual: Larry Summers vs. the Tiger Mother at Davos.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 1.25.2011

The New Yorker on the "bomb" of the Feminist Mystique.

Last week's styleboston "Power Player" was Sheriff Andrea Cabral.

From earlier in the month, Sec of State Hillary Clinton is continuing to push rights for same sex couples: Parent One, Parent Two to replace references to mother, father on passport forms

Five Reasons Why Elizabeth Warren should challenge Scott Brown

Fascinating look at Gov. Brewer in Arizona, when the political becomes personal as she faces budget cutting decisions.

Barbara Lee's latest Huff Post piece:  Girl Power: What Women's Leadership Means for America.

Another fantastic Rebecca Traister piece on Rep. Giffords and why the Wild West is better for women candidates.

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm's next plans - teaching at Berkeley, being a guest commentator on Meet the Press and coauthoring a book with her husband, Dan Mulhern, about "the experience of governing what has been the toughest state in the country."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 1.19.11

A fantastic Weekend Edition on NPR this weekend on women in agriculture.  Women are the fastest growing group of US farmers, numbering more than 300,000.  The women interviewed brought back some of my heartland pride, discussing the strong historical presence of women on family farms, which is now turning into a real force in the industry.

State Treasurer Steve Grossman was sworn into office today, which means that his chief of staff Kathryn Burton starts her new job today, as well.  Welcome to the hallowed halls of the State House, where more click of heels and pant suits are always needed, especially in such high profile and influential positions!

I love it when a strong woman candidate is bold enough to be the first in a race: Democrat Susan Bysiewicz to Run for Joe Lieberman's Senate Seat

Bummed that I missed Prof. Melissa Harris-Perry on MLK day in Boston, urging us to heed Dr. King's words of wisdom to "choose community over chaos."

 An interesting NYT piece on gay parenting (and gay friendly churches) on the rise in Jacksonville, FL.

Hillary is proving that you can have a feminist foreign policy:
From the start Clinton left no one in any doubt where she stood: women's rights are "the signature issue" of this administration's foreign policy, she said. She mentioned women 450 times in speeches in the first five months in office. "Transformation of the role of women is the last great impediment to universal progress," she declared, and began to develop what is her standard line: women's issues are integral to the achievement of every goal of US foreign policy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 1.12.11

Rebecca Traister on Rep. Gabby Giffords:  "...it would be irresponsible to fail to note that a young, highly educated, ambitious Jewish woman like Gabrielle Giffords, despite her centrism, represents much that is revolutionary and hopeful about the changing face of American politics, as well as about the new and varied paths and possibilities available to women."  Keep fighting, Gabby!

Last week, Sen. Barbara Mikulski became the longest serving female senator.  Her video interview on CNN is fantastic, including a bit about how Senator Byrd had to check the Senate rules before allowing her to wear pants on the Senate floor.  In 1988.  She said when she walked on the floor of the Senate: "You would have thought I was walking on the moon."

In another sign of how slow things change in the Old Boy's Club, this week I joined my spouse for an evening event at the New York Stock Exchange, where one speaker proudly announced the opening of official women's restrooms at the Stock Exchange (see photo left)Yes, in 2011.  When we were at the event last year, we noticed that the women's restroom had been a poorly designed repurposing of old telephone booths. 

A tribute to some fabulous "trouble making" women of 2011.

My favorite edition of the NYT magazine is always the issue of "The Lives They Lived".  This year featured the "biting critic of cockocracy” Mary Daly.

And finally - an explanation about what happened to Broadsheet, my go to source for feminist political news commentary.  Come back, come back!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 1.6.11

A New Year.  A new state legislative session.  A new Congress.  A new Lipstick LobbyList.

On the state side:

A shout out to State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz for being picked for the Rodel Fellowship at the Aspen Institute.

Today, the newly re-elected State Senate President Therese Murray becomes the first woman in Massachusetts history to swear in the governor.  Baby steps....

Longtime Herald sports columnist Steve Buckley came out today in his column
I’ve put this off long enough. I haven’t been fair to my family, my friends or my co-workers. And I certainly haven’t been fair to myself: For too many years I’ve been on the sidelines of Boston’s gay community but not in the game...
Onto national news:

Congress has a new Speaker of the House.  As yet another sign of her admirable - and in this case, humble - leadership style, I loved Nancy Pelosi's tweet on Tuesday:
@Nancy Pelosi I'm now @NancyPelosi - 2 characters shorter than @SpeakerPelosi. RTers rejoice!
An interesting article in today's NYT about Speaker Boehner's wife, Debbie Boehner. I have to admit, I found myself really liking her.  She's 62.  She's planning to keep her career in Ohio as a real estate agent, versus moving to DC to simply support her husband's career.  And I particularly related to her working part time at a Garden Center to get the discount for her daughter's wedding flowers.  I do miss the Midwestern creative thriftiness and work ethic.

Lisa Belkin in the Motherlode blog analyzes New Jersey's governor Chris Christie's emergency snow response, who was absent from the state for a planned family vacation.   
His reasoning: that he had “made a promise to my children that at the end of my first year of governor that I was going to take them to Disney World. My first and most important responsibility, in my view, is as a husband and a father.”

[W]hat if Christopher had been Christine? Lost in the debate over whether or not the state could function with the governor out of town is the striking fact that a woman would never have used the words that this man did. Women in the workplace still go out of their way to hide their families — still fibbing and saying that they themselves are sick when their child has the flu — for fear of being dismissed as “mere moms.”

I can not imagine a woman announcing that her role of “wife and mother” comes before her role as governor. Can you? And is Christie’s embracing of his “paternal side” a kind of progress for parents or just a reminder that the rules are still different for men?