Heidi Pauken

Heidi Pauken is an assistant editor at the Prospect.

Recent Articles

The Students' Rep

The Capitol Hill office of Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) looks like nothing so much as a college bookstore without the books. Her University of Wisconsin-Madison pennant is proudly displayed, along with the matching stuffed bear, football and autographed basketball and football. A poster behind the reception desk proclaims that the Madison Area Technical College makes "everyday heroes." A visiting student would feel comfortable here -- a good thing, considering Baldwin needs student votes and works hard to get them. At first glance, Baldwin seems the perfect pol for a liberal college town like Madison. When initially elected in 1998, she was the first non-incumbent, openly gay candidate to win a seat in Congress. She's since become a tribune for a raft of progressive and youth-oriented causes. But winning elections by mobilizing the youth vote is never easy, and it's been a constant challenge for Baldwin throughout her career. At a moment when 20-somethings and teens are tuning in to...


"I'm not a big fan of the United Nations. But if the UN was good for anything, it would be something like this. Since the UN was no good for this, maybe they're good for nothing." -- Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), on the eve of war in Iraq The United Nations is easy to hate. With operations sprawling from Manhattan's First Avenue to the far reaches of Azerbaijan, a byzantine organizational structure including nearly 9,000 employees and a $2.6 billion annual budget, it can be inefficient, inconsistent and unresponsive. It's failed miserably at times at its primary objective -- keeping the peace -- by virtually ignoring Rwandan genocide and standing by as Bosnian Serbs overran the town of Srebrenica, a UN-designated "safe area." Such disappointments led former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban to compare the UN to "an umbrella which folds up every time it rains." The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), a former representative to the United Nations, dubbed the chamber a "theater...

Cloning Confusion

It should come as no surprise that cloning foe Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and research advocate Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) used entirely different terminology when they spoke at news conferences last Wednesday. Brownback knows he can pack a far stronger punch bellowing about a "threat to the sanctity of life" than speaking carefully -- as Feinstein did on Wednesday -- about "nuclear transplantation." In the coming months, Brownback and his allies will seek a complete ban on cloning research. And they're going to play word games to get it. It's an often-misunderstood aspect of the debate that both parties in this battle want a ban on reproductive cloning -- the kind that gave us Dolly the sheep and the rumored Raelian baby, the stuff of evil-octuplet nightmares. And even though Brownback and his crew -- which includes President Bush and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) -- would like everyone to believe that's the whole story, cloning research really falls into two distinct camps...