Kate Sheppard

Kate Sheppard is a political reporter at Grist, and a former Prospect writing fellow.

Recent Articles

GETTING OUT THE NOVEMBER VOTE.

As I just mentioned, the Obama campaign held a press conference this afternoon about a new voter registration drive they're kicking off on May 10. "Vote for Change" will be a 50 state national registration driv to train volunteers and send them out to register voters. Obama deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand was sure to emphasize that this "not just a one day deal... it's a sustained six month campaign." So what makes this newsworthy? Well, it makes it clear that Obama's not worrying too much about whether he'll win the primary. They seem to be assuming that they will, and are proceeding as such. It's also interesting because they don't seem to be targeting any particular states, which they emphasized. They're putting as much emphasis on Wyoming as they are on Ohio, it would seem. This "will be more of an advantage to Democratic nominee .... "People are going to say why are you doing this in states that might not be critical battlegrounds in the general election ... This is not...

IT'S NOT A QUESTION OF INTENSITY.

A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released yesterday found an increase in carbon dioxide emissions in 2007. Emissions were 19 billion tonnes higher than 2006, and have been increasing ever-faster since 2000. This is especially important in light of George Bush 's climate speech last week, in which he claimed, "I have put our nation on a path to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of our greenhouse gas emissions." Of course, he often emphasizes slowing our "greenhouse gas intensity," which is quite different than curbing our "greenhouse gas emissions." Intensity is the amount of emissions per unit of economic output, and that's been declining 1-2 percent per year on its own as our economy moves from manufacturing to largely service-based. But since our economy has continued to grow a rate faster than carbon intensity has declined, our emissions have increased. So when Bush claimed success last week in achieving the goal he set in 2002 of...

WRIGHT SPEAKS.

Bill Moyers has an exclusive interview with Jeremiah Wright that will air tonight on PBS. It's Wright's first television interview since the controversy over his remarks, and In These Times has posted some excerpts from the transcript. Finally, an insightful conversation about the substance of the issue rather than another shallow reference to the "controversy"! I found this part particularly interesting: The persons who have heard the entire sermon understand the communication perfectly. When something is taken like a sound bite for a political purpose and put constantly over and over again, looped in the face of the public. That’s not a failure to communicate. Those who are doing that are communicating exactly what they want to do, which is to paint me as some sort of fanatic or as the learned journalist from the New York Times called me, a "wackadoodle." It's to paint me as something: "Something's wrong with me. There's nothing wrong with this country…for its policies. We’re...

PRINCIPLES FOR GLOBAL WARMING LEGISLATION.

Earlier this week, Reps. Ed Markey , Henry Waxman , Jay Inslee released their Principles for Global Warming Legislation , which are intended to be a framework framework for Congress to produce legislation establishing an economy-wide, mandatory program of emissions cuts. The principles: 1) Reduce emissions to avoid dangerous global warming; 2) Transition America to a clean energy economy; 3) Recognize and minimize any economic impacts from global warming legislation; and 4) Aid communities and ecosystems vulnerable to harm from global warming. On first read, these seem like pretty general and easily agreed upon principles. They even seem in line with the basics of the Lieberman - Warner Climate Security Act, which is the climate bill most likely to pass this year. But then they go further, also calling for: [S]trong science-based targets for near-term and long-term emissions reductions; auctioning emissions allowances rather than giving them to polluting industries; investing auction...

JOHN MCCAIN IS SMARTER THAN THE MSM.

In the absence of other things to say about the primary, the MSM has resorted to repeating reports along the "Oh noooez the Democrats are going to eat each other alive" storyline. Case in point: this story in today's Post titled "Continuing Battle Divides Democrats." Funny thing is, when you actually read the article, few of the individuals quoted seem to strike the same terrified tone as the headline would have you believe. But that reality doesn't feed the MSM's hunger for chaos and confusion I guess. Meanwhile, John McCain seems well aware that giddiness about the split among Democrats is premature, according to the latest Evans-Novak Political Report : Obama's difficulties and the prolongation of the Clinton - Obama confrontation have lifted Republicans from their slough of despondence to optimism about the presidential election. The transformation from deep pessimism to overriding optimism is such that McCain is privately warning supporters that once the nomination is decided and...

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