Kate Sheppard

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

Recent Articles

AN EARTH DAY MESSAGE FROM THE FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL.

Thinking about doing something to honor Earth Day today? Well, don't forget that environmentalism is a giant plot by those pro-abortionists. Good thing the Family Research Council is here to remind us, via email: Today isn't just another reminder to use recycled paper or drive energy-efficient cars. It's a calculated attack on the sanctity of human life. Population control is inextricably linked to the environmental and abortion movements. [...] The crisis du jour is global warming, but even that is just another excuse to fund "Planet" Parenthood and similar groups. So yeah, don't go out and do anything brash like recycle today; you'd be supporting the population-controlling master plan. I mean, I pretty much have that thought every morning as I bike to work: "This sure is good for the planet, but wouldn't it be better if I were aborting some fetuses right now?" --Kate Sheppard

CLEARLY ANY SYSTEM REPUBLICANS USE MUST BE BETTER, RIGHT?

This story , in addition to having the most obvious headline I've seen yet this campaign, should be frustrating for a lot of Democrats. Bill Clinton is now alleging that it's because Democrats like to do democratic things like represent voters proportionately that his wife hasn’t won the primary already. If the Democrats had the Republican system, she's already be the nominee: "If we were under the Republican system, which is more like the Electoral College, she'd have a 300-delegate lead here," he said. "I mean, Senator McCain is already the nominee because they chose a system to produce that result, and we don't have a nominee here, because the Democrats chose a system that prevents that result." Yes, it would appear as if he’s saying the Republican primary system is superior and less disenfranchising than the Democratic system. The Democratic system, which was revamped in 2006, awards delegates proportionally to any candidate who receives more than 15 percent. The Republicans still...

NOW THAT'S A SMACKDOWN.

There isn't much at all to say about the Pennsylvania primary as we all twiddle our respective thumbs awaiting an outcome after all these weeks. But I'm up in rural New Jersey today in the town I grew up in, which is within the Philadelphia media market. And the hot disscussion here isn't who will triumph -- in the primary that is. The buzz on local radio last night was about the candidates' appearance on World Wrestling Entertainment's "Monday Night RAW." Just to put things in perspective for all of us sitting around contemplating margins and superdelegates. --Kate Sheppard

THE COAL TRUTH: DC EDITION.

The Washington Post analyzed nearly four years of data on the coal used to power to the six plants that supply most of the D.C. region's energy. It's not a huge surprise that the majority of it is pulled out of mountaintops in West Virginia, western Virginia, and eastern Kentucky. But the shock should be the 40 percent increase in coal use between 2004 and 2006 alone, and the 816,000 acres of land this growth in demand is expected to destroy by 2012 – an area 20 times the size of the D.C. It's a useful reminder that our energy comes from somewhere, and as "cheap" as coal may be for us, someone else is paying for it. It's also evidence that though we regularly discuss the planet-warming effects of burning coal, we you can't forget that long before you burn it, coal is already an environmentally unsound fuel. Our unfettered energy consumption is destroying the land and water in these regions, and it's only going to get worse in the absence of alternatives. This is yet another reason why...

DOWN AND DISPARATE.

Several weeks ago I mentioned the New York Times /CBS poll that found that 81 percent of Americans believe that "things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track" in this country. A few weeks ago, the Pew Research Center released a poll that goes deeper into the specifics, with some disheartening figures about how, well, disheartened Americans are these days. The poll that found that fewer Americans now than at any time in the past half century believe they're moving forward in life. A quarter of respondents said they don't feel as if they have moved forward in life in the past five years, and 31 percent feel they have moved backwards. It's not surprising; since 1999, middle-class Americans have not made economic gains. The more interesting data in the study, though, is on those who consider themselves middle class. Forty percent of Americans with incomes below $20,000 say they are middle class, as well as a third of people with incomes above $150,000. That's a mighty big...

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