Kate Sheppard

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

Recent Articles

DADDY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. "Petraeus...

DADDY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. "Petraeus for President?" ponders Mother Jones : Regarded as a straight shooter by Republicans and Democrats alike, and well respected among current and former military officials, his name has been invoked alongside those of legendary military leaders (among them Dwight Eisenhower) and tales of his keen intellect, competitive flair, and grit abound. According to one piece of Petraeus lore, several days after taking an M-16 round to the chest during a training mishap in 1991, he rose from his bed, dropped to the floor, and proceeded to do 50 pushups. Because what the U.S. needs right now is a "walking mass of ambition" that can leave foes "trailing in his wake and, literally, gasping for breath." --Kate Sheppard

GOOD NEWS WHEN...

GOOD NEWS WHEN YOU CAN GET IT. This week's Newsweek U.S. edition makes the dubious claim that Hillary "seems like the safest money in the 2008 race," and proceeds to analyze how she might govern the country. This piece is a long, tepid regurgitation of Clinton's career with little new insight, rife with quotes from anonymous staffers and advisers. Read it if you'd like, but don't say I didn’t warn you. But swing over to this week's cover story in the international edition of the magazine (read: not the cover story here in the U.S.): " Legal in Unlikely Places ," which takes a look at the state of gay rights around the world. (A quick run to the nearest purveyor of periodicals, reveals that the U.S. edition doesn't contain the story at all, actually.) Seems that both social and legal acceptance of homosexuality is rapidly increasing in some unexpected parts of the world. South Africa legalized civil unions in November 2006, making them the first developing nation to do so, and former...

A DUBIOUS CLAIM...

A DUBIOUS CLAIM TO FAME FOR MISSOURI. As Sarah Posner reported last month , a revision to Missouri's abortion law might put at least two out of the three clinics in the state in jeopardy if conservative lawmakers get their way. The new law puts anyone who provides abortion services – even first trimester and abortion pill providers – into the same regulatory category as outpatient surgical centers, and would force the clinics to make cost-prohibitive updates to their facilities. As yesterday's Los Angeles Times explained: The law, which a federal judge is to review today, would force the immediate closure of at least two of Missouri's three abortion clinics, plus a private medical practice near St. Louis run by a doctor who offers first-trimester terminations in his office. Those facilities would need extensive renovations to comply with the law; the requirements could include widening hallways, raising ceilings, installing locker rooms, rerouting plumbing, and creating surgical...

SPEAKING IN TONGUES....

SPEAKING IN TONGUES. Speaking of Spanish and the presidential candidates, as David Weigel points out on the Reason blog, the only GOP candidate doing visible outreach in Spanish is Mitt Romney , on the " Conozca a Mitt Romney " portion of his site. At the page, Romney's son Craig implores Spanish-speaking voters to vote for dear old dad not because of what he's done or will do for Latino voters, but because he believes in family, faith, and integrity. "His achievements are impressive, but the reason you can count on my vote for him is because he has always been a good father, husband, and grandfather," says Craig Romney (in Spanish), an obvious ploy to the perceived interests of Latino voters. At least Romney makes an attempt. While most of the Dems -- all but Biden and Gravel at least -- have a portion of their site for Spanish-speakers, there's nothing for the other eight Republicans. --Kate Sheppard

HOW TO WIN...

HOW TO WIN THE GAME: SHOW UP. Last night's debate at the University of Miami offered Dems a direct line to the 17 million eligible voters in this country whose first language is Spanish, as well as an opportunity to set them apart from the GOP field. While Republican candidates tend to emphasize border security in all discussion of immigration, last night's conversation focused on pathways to legal immigration, programs to support immigrants, and the many positive contributions that Latinos are making in the United States. But there was still some discussion of border security. Asked about why they support a barrier along the Mexican border and not the Canadian border, Clinton called for more border patrols and technology and a physical barrier "in certain areas." Dodd pretty much agreed, and Obama reframed the question. Only Richardson spoke out about the absurdity of a barrier: "If you’re going to build a 12-foot wall, you know what’s going to happen? A lot of 13-foot ladders."...

Pages