It’s time that we tidied our desktop once again so here we go with some interesting tidbits.
First item: We were thrilled to see that CNN has been taking special notice of Senator Barbara Mikulski who will be beginning her fifth term as a United States Senator. She will thus become the longest serving female Senator, beating the record set by Maine’s Republican Senator, Margaret Chase Smith. When she arrived in the Senate in 1986, she was the first Democratic woman who had been elected in her own right.
This 72-year old Senator from Maryland has broken many, many barriers in her years in the Senate. One of the first ones was the wearing of pants. When she alerted Senator Robert Byrd, the Senate Democratic leader, of her intention, they had the Parliamentarian look up the rules and found nothing specifically about the subject. When she walked onto the Senate floor wearing slacks, she smilingly remembered that “it caused a big stir.” [Here]
Mikulski reported that the Senate gym was another exclusive, all-male area and verboten to women.
They just couldn't accommodate me and I'm not much of a jock anyway, but that's where they networked and that's where they bonded.It's an interesting observation, isn't it?
Senator Mikulski is now the unofficial dean of all the Senate women. Introducing newly-elected Senators, regardless of party, to the routines and habits of the Senate is a role that she takes very seriously.
We salute this interesting woman.
Second item: Sarah Palin is still trying to explain away her famous “Refudiate” gaffe. She wrote her famous malaprop in a Tweet last July: [Here]
Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn't it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate."
The word was picked up and suddenly became the “Word of the Year” by the New Oxford American Dictionary.” [Here] Now Palin is trying to explain it all away by saying it was a typo--that she pressed an “F,” instead of a “P.” (On my keyboard, I press an “F” with my left index finger and a “P” with my right ring finger. Maybe they do things differently in Alaska.) Also, refudiate is not the only thing wrong with the Palin Tweet.
If you believe the Palin explanation, please stay away from folks selling Brooklyn Bridges...
Third Item: Did you know that both N.J. Gov. Chris Christie AND Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno were out of New Jersey during the recent blizzard and the management of the state’s response to the massive storm was directed by the President of the N.J. Senate? [Here] I guess all went well. The only problem is that New Jersey just changed its laws, creating a Lieutenant Governship, to avoid this very situation. I guess they just didn't bother to check each other's schedules?
The Governor is in Disney World in Florida and the Lt. Governor is in Mexico. I guess they couldn’t fly back to handle things because the New Jersey airports are closed.
Fourth item: Huffpost reported that Newsweek interviewed both former SCOTUS Justices Stevens and O’Connor and wrote that both rejected the Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC. It’s scarce comfort for all of us who must endure the pouring of corporate money into political campaigns but it’s important to note once again how off-kilter that decision was. (It’s also painful to be reminded of how a sensible Sandra Day O’Connor was replaced by a rigid, conservative Samuel Alito.)
By the way, when is Michelle Bachman’s First Congressional Constitutional class to take place? That’s the one that she says will be taught by Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. [Here] I can’t wait. I have my pencil box and notebook all ready.
In the meantime, we are still digging out from the Christmas 2010 blizzard. Let’s hope that Christie and Guadagno get back safely. Do you suppose that there’s a Republican private jet service? Well, if there isn’t, it won’t be long until Michael Steele creates one.