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by Sheryl Robinson

Women’s unemployment is rising as fast as men’s. The most recent version of Obama’s economic stimulus package, revealed Saturday, is expected to cost taxpayers $775 billion and create 300 million jobs, but it does nothing to allay concerns that women will not receive a fair share of job creation dollars.

Women typically suffer greater hardship than men in times of economic downturn. More women in government means more support for issues that affect women, according to the UNIFEM report released this Fall. For this reason, Obama should appoint a woman to replace Bill Richardson, who has withdrawn as U.S. Secretary of Commerce-designate.

In U.S. News & World Report, Bonnie Erbe writes, “Barack Obama Should Replace Bill Richardson in Cabinet With Kathleen Sebelius“:

She wouldn’t be as much fun for reporters [as Richardson], but she’s an incredibly capable person and beloved governor who deserves to be in the cabinet. She played an important role in the Obama campaign and would boost the number of women in top administration jobs, a point I’ve blogged on in the past.

Erbe previously expressed concern about the dearth of women in Obama’s cabinet:

[I]t’s important to reinforce the fact that Obama’s breaking no new number with his female appointments. […] Just because I’m talking quantity does not mean I’m not also concerned about quality. But read the New Agenda list of women [found here] he passed over. There were plenty of experienced, talented, professional women available to fill any of his cabinet posts.

Women should take this into account when he’s up for re-election four years from now.

This week in the Greensboro News Record, Eileen Boris, Lisa Levenstein and Sonya Michel looked at the parallels between Obama’s economic stimulus plan and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, the latter of which neglected to provide for women. In their article “Obama’s stimulus plan must include jobs for women, too,” they wrote:

Women make up 46 percent of the labor force, and they’re almost as likely as men to be the principal supporters of their families.

However, women are not likely to be hired for jobs rebuilding infrastructure. Therefore some women, they argue, ought to be trained and hired for “nontraditional” employment, ie. “men’s work.” Nevertheless, they say, his won’t be sufficient to ensure women get equal support:

[E]ven if the stimulus package guarantees women an equal chance at the new jobs, it still won’t address the occupational sectors in which most female wage-earners are concentrated, such as education, child care, social work, health care and care for elders and those with disabilities.

This echoes Linda Hirshman in her New York Times Op-Ed piece of December 9, 2008,”Where Are the New Jobs for Women?”:

Maybe it would be a better world if more women became engineers and construction workers, but programs encouraging women to pursue engineering have existed for decades without having much success. At the moment, teachers and child care workers still need to support themselves. Many are their families’ sole support.

The New Agenda co-founder Amy Siskind notes:

Meanwhile, two open Senate seats in both Illinois and Colorado have recently been given to men, continuing a pattern of moving representation of women in this country to a standstill or backwards. As well, Sheila Bair, the sole woman on the Bailout Team is being pushed out by proposed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Pew Research recently reported that in 43% of all U.S. homes, women make more of the decisions on household finances (men make more in 26%, and in 31% of homes it is equal). After carrying 56% of the female vote in the 2008 Presidential Election, we had hoped that President-elect Obama would give the women of this country a voice. Thus far, he has failed to deliver. Filling this seat with a qualified woman would be a step in the right direction and alleviate the hemorrhaging of woman from our country’s leadership.

Working conditions and wages for women are also areas of concern. Women, on average, still earn only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men, and in fields where women are underrepresented, support for women’s retention and career success must also be given consideration.

Bottom line: Obama should appoint a woman to Commerce. As Bonnie Erbe says, if he doesn’t, women ought to file that information away until he’s up for re-election in 2012.

CNN fails to see the irony

The secretary of the U.S. Senate on Monday rejected the certificiate of appointment for Roland Burris, named by Illinois’ controversial governor to fill Barack Obama’s Senate seat, according to an aide to the secretary.

and the technicality

State Jesse White — must sign the certificate of appointment along with the governor. White has declined to sign the certificate,

The show goes on as Burris is determined to fight

But Burris insists he has the legal right to serve as senator, and has said he will appear at the Senate’s door Tuesday.

“I am going (to Washington) to be seated. I am the junior senator from the state of Illinois — that’s all I can say,” he said Monday at an airport news conference in Chicago before leaving for Washington.

He said he is not bothered by controversy surrounding his appointment by Blagojevich because “the appointment is legal. What has been done here is legal.”

“If I am turned away, my lawyers will take it from there and we’ll see what happens.”

U.S. Chief District Court Judge James Holderman entered an order allowing the indictment deadline to be extended from Jan. 7 to April 7, according to the court docket in the Blagojevich case. Prosecutors had sought the extension last week, citing the complexity of their investigation of pay-to-play politics in the Blagojevich administration.
Somehow, I thought Fitz had all the time he needed or else Blago wouldn’t have been arrested. Of course, now they have to come up with non-Obama evidence…

Remember those W days when no matter what the ailment the panaceea was tax cuts? We had a surplus? Tax cuts! We had a recession? Tax cuts! We had 2 wars going? tax cuts!

Now, that we got “hope and change” the first thing for the ecnomy is…

TAX CUTS!!!! 300 million of them!

President-elect Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are crafting a plan to offer about $300 billion of tax cuts to individualsand businesses, a move aimed at attracting Republican support for an economic-stimulus package and prodding companies to create jobs.

The size of the proposed tax cuts — which would account for about 40% of a stimulus package that could reach $775 billion over two years — is greater than many on both sides of the aisle in Congress had anticipated. It may make it easier to win over Republicans who have stressed that any initiative should rely more heavily on tax cuts rather than spending.

Because what’s the most important thing to do in a depressed economy? Win over Republicans. And let’s face it, it’s only 3 times the amount they invested in getting Obama installed – so they can get these cuts.

Individuals and businesses – a good thing the contributors to the campaign were never released!

Remember Lockhead ?

Obama aides have already enlisted business groups to rally behind spending for public-works projects. Norman R. Augustine, a former chairman and chief executive of Lockheed Martin Corp., will testify before the House Democrats’ Steering and Policy Committee Wednesday in favor of an infusion of federal infrastructure spending. But the tax cuts may hold more sway with Republicans.

Also, interesting how Wall Street Journal does it’s job of singing praises.

In the entertainment department, not that scandals and corruption forced Richardson to resign his nomination

Obama Team Feels Richardson Wasn’t Forthcoming About Investigation Before Being Offered Commerce

.Not the Richardson they used to know!

Obama Transition Team realized the FBI would not be able to give Richardson a clean political bill of health before the new administration is ready to send his nomination up to the Senate for confirmation.

What’s with all those people who are wonderful when they meet Obama and turn bad once they know him?

Update

And Krugman is starting to wonder too

Is Obama relying too much on tax cuts?

While admitting that some measure of cuts in the package might help he also notes

40 percent of the whole, two-year plan — sound high. And all the news reports say that the high tax-cut share is intended to assuage Republicans; what this presumably means is that this was the message the off-the-record Obamanauts were told to convey. And that’s bad news.

and the common sense observation

Look, Republicans are not going to come on board. Make 40% of the package tax cuts, they’ll demand 100%. Then they’ll start the thing about how you can’t cut taxes on people who don’t pay taxes (with only income taxes counting, of course) and demand that the plan focus on the affluent.

And then Krugman is trying to soothe himself by irrational hope

OK, maybe this is just a head fake from the Obama people — they think they can win the PR battle by making bipartisan noises, then accusing the GOP of being obstructionist.

but he’s not very successful

But I’m really worried that they’re sending off signals of weakness right from the beginning, and that they’re just going to embolden the opposition.

Update II

Marie Cocco  has  good commentary on this

Obama promotes tax cuts not to enhance the economy but to elevate his political standing

Not Your Sweetie