Wonk’s Saturday Reads: Sheros don’t hold their finger to the wind, they ARE the wind

(Click photo to see slideshow of more) Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez (L) arrives with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a joint news conference at the foreign ministry in Madrid July 2, 2011. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

Morning, news junkies.

This week’s Hillary pic is actually from last Saturday, but it came out after I wrote up my July 2nd post, so enjoy. (Click on the image–or click here–to see a great slideshow of more Hillary and Trini pics at Still4Hill’s place.)

Before I go on, a moment of silence for First Lady Betty Ford who died yesterday at age 93. Carl Anthony has an appropriate tribute to Betty up… The Revolutionary Moment of First Lady Betty Ford : Her October 1975 Speech still Makes History:

In this excerpt of that now largely-forgotten speech, Mrs. Ford delivered her crisp yet eloquent case for equal rights. As an example of the increasingly political and social importance of First Ladies to the nation, it ranks with two other revolutionary speeches – those of Eleanor Roosevelt at the United Nations in outlining the Declaration of Human Rights, a document she helped draft, and of Hillary Clinton in Beijing at the U.N. Conference on Women.

If you click on one link from this post today, make it the following one… Anna Sale/WNYC: Gillibrand’s Bipartisan Partisan Pitch to Women. It’s a very extensive and informative piece, and while there’s a whole bunch I could excerpt and tease, you really ought to just read the entire thing. I do love these Gloria Steinem quotes on Gillibrand from the article though:

Gloria Steinem herself called Gillibrand “our senator and our future” at the May dinner honoring Gillibrand for her defense of abortion rights.

“Like Bella Abzug and Shirley Chisolm, she doesn’t hold her finger to the wind. She is the wind,” Steinem said.

Since NASA launched its last space shuttle mission yesterday, I wanted to link to a few items about the contribution made by women to the shuttle program:

  • about.com’s Linda Lowen: Many Firsts for Women in NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. As always, I recommend clicking over to give the piece a read for yourself, but here’s one part I wanted to draw your attention to in particular (in part because it reminds me of Hillary’s famous line that “if we can blast 50 women into space, we will someday launch a woman into the White House”):

Even women who’d hit the glass ceiling again and again, like astrophysicist and space scientist Candy Torres, kept their eyes on the prize. As one of the first women to work in aerospace, Torres’ story as told to CNN reminds us of the institutionalized sexism that once prvailed and how inroads made Ride and others enabled women to walk an easier path in their pursuit of a career in space science.

In October 2007, Melroy became the second female space shuttle commander, when she led the STS-120 mission of Discovery. On this flight, Melroy and her crew delivered the Harmony node to the fledgling International Space Station.

It also happened that she rendezvoused with another female commander, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who was commanding the International Space Station at the time.

Melroy said this coincidence actually made a deeper impression on her than being the second female shuttle commander.

“I think to me it was actually a bigger thing that Peggy Whitson and I were flying at the same time in space and that no one had planned it that way,” Melroy said.

Next up… leave it to Big Dawg to sum up the state of the 2012 election cycle thusfar… Via The Atlantic… At the Aspen ideas festival, Bill Clinton Handicaps the GOP Presidential Candidates.

A few other 2012-related odds and ends:

Moving along… here’s a rather bizarre link–Clinton-deranged Margaret Carlson of all people saying “You go girl” to Hillary. Meh.

And, another odd one via NY Mag…it’s an “alternate history” on what would have happened if Obama had been adopted, which… I wouldn’t have even linked to were it not for the incredible pic at the link. If you voted for Hillary in 2008, you will want to click on that!!

So we’ve gone from the ridiculous DC parlor game of floating Hillary as a replacement for Biden to the equally ridiculous one of floating Cuomo for the same. Are DC cocktail parties really that boring?

Speaking of which… apparently DC has gone back to the Victorian age? NYT: A New Shirt Closes a Gap in Modesty.

Here’s a fun Hillary moment on youtube, via Team Hillary Clinton. Love Hillary’s quip at the end that if she had the defense department’s budget, this wouldn’t be happening.

Be sure to check out this Dipnote post on Secretary Clinton Honoring “TechWomen,” if you haven’t read about it already. Teaser:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honored 37 women from the Middle East and North Africa and their American mentors who participated in TechWomen, an initiative that harnesses the power of technology and international exchanges as a means to empower women and girls worldwide, on July 6, 2011.

Secretary Clinton said, “…[B]eing a woman in the field of technology is not always easy. Being a woman in any field is not always easy but there are so many opportunities in technology that we just have to forge ahead, and we’re doing so around the world because we want to make sure that all the tools that technology has made available are just as open to women as they are to men. And I also believe that innovation thrives on good ideas, and women have a lot of good ideas. And we don’t want those ideas to just die. We want them to be shared and to help others and to create businesses and jobs and improve lives. And it has a greater impact when technology has access for everyone.

Reuters: Myanmar envoy seeks asylum, U.S. pressure on rulers. From the link:

(Reuters) – The No. 2 diplomat in Myanmar’s embassy in Washington is seeking asylum in the United States because the reports in which he outlined his government’s failures have put him in danger, he said on Tuesday.

Career diplomat Kyaw Win sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter before dawn July 4 spelling out his disillusionment with the lack of reform in the Southeast Asian nation also known as Burma, he told Reuters.

“Sometimes when you report the facts, they don’t like it,” Win said in a telephone interview, describing his efforts to persuade the junta that has ruled Myanmar for five decades that their repression and corruption hurt their country’s image.

“They would write back: ‘why are you doing these kind of things?'” Win said of officials in the capital, Naypyidaw.

And, one more Hillary item, via stacy at SecyClintonBlog–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Next Stop: India and then Indonesia.

I’m going lighter on the Hillary links this weekend (compared to usual, that is!), so I wanted to put a reminder to look out for Luke Fogerson’s Week-in-Review at Dipnote tomorrow. There’s usually one up on Sundays.

Two quick links from Huffpo on women’s issues (both of which mention Hillary’s call to action in Beijing 1995):

And, before ending with today’s historical trivia, I thought I’d just throw this last out there for weekend discussion–it’s an intriguing foreign policy read I happened to catch on Truthdig, by William Pfaff: Democracy Building Is Back in Fashion.

This Day in Women’s History (July 9)

1850: Upon the death of President Zachary Taylor, Abigail Powers Fillmore–wife of Vice President Millard Fillmore–becomes the 16th First Lady of the United States, as her husband assumes the presidency. Here’s a great bio on Abigail:

The Fillmore White House lasted for only two unremarkable years. While her husband is a forgotten president, Abigail can be considered a successful First Lady in that she established the First White House library and encouraged literacy awareness during her short tenure. This legacy would grow years later, when Mary Todd Lincoln added more books to Abigail’s collection. Sadly, Abigail did not live long enough to see her goal fully actualized. She died at age 55 on March 30, 1853, at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. The cause of death was pneumonia brought on by a cold that stemmed from Abigail’s intolerance of Washington’s climate. Had she survived, Abigail would have undoubtedly become an ardent crusader for the cause she cared so passionately about.

Well, that’s it for me. What’s on your blogging list?

[originally posted at Let Them Listen; crossposted at Sky Dancing and Taylor Marsh]

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