Kate Sheppard

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

Recent Articles

THE AUDACITY OF POPE.

Looking at the photos of all the people who came out to Nationals Stadium today to see the Pope , I can't help but be a little wistful for the other things that giant gathering might be able to accomplish. Think what this country might be like if that many people were gathered around the White House demanding an end to the war in Iraq. Or lobbying for action on climate change. Or agitating for universal health care. Or even writing letters to their representative about parochial local concerns. It's not that I don't understand that is an important spiritual occasion for those 46,000 people. While I might not agree with a lot of what the Pope stands for, I do get that his visit is relevant for many Americans. It's just that I wish that passion translated to immediate and tangible issues. --Kate Sheppard

OBAMA PIN CONTROVERSY, PART II.

You've got to be kidding me. Calling Obama 's view on lapel pins "reasonable" doesn't give you a free pass to proceed to generate a new pin controversy, LA Times . I'm visualizing the next round of allegations already: because Obama doesn't actually eat the the apple pies hand-delivered to him by voters, he must not love apple pie and is therefore inherently un-American. --Kate Sheppard

BREAKING OUT THE BIG GUNS.

Like everyone else, I'm pretty tired of polls these days, not to mention anything else that portends to predict the trajectory of the Democratic primary. Yet I did find these results of the latests Washington Post-ABC News poll interesting. Obama maintains a 10-point lead over Clinton among Democrats. He also has a 2-to-1 edge on being considered the "more electable in a general contest," and has cut Clinton's lead on the question of who would be a "stronger leader." Meanwhile, 54 percent of all respondents said they have an unfavorable view of Clinton, as well as nearly six in 10 independents. It's notable in that this recent flap over Obama's "bitter"/"cling" comments hasn't really seemed to hurt him, or at least not as much as the Clinton campaign hoped it would considering how much they've hyped it. Perhaps I'm stretching it, but if anything, it seems to me like the recent attempts to hype up her opponent as elitist may actually be backfiring on Clinton, which is how I guessed it...

WE'RE COOKED.

So yes, as expected , George Bush 's big speech on climate policy yesterday actually yielded very little in the way of good news. Yes, it's great that he finally got around to admitting climate change is real and a problem, and better still that he's at least discussing targets for emissions reductions. But here's the problem: his plan for "halting the growth" of U.S. emissions by 2025 not only doesn't call for mandatory cuts or enforcement mechanisms. Besides that, most of the rest of the world is calling for emissions to peak in 2020, and Bush's plan would mean 17 more years of unfettered emissions. Dan Froomkin does an excellent job of illustrating the many ways this speech was just like every other one he's given, and David Roberts picks it apart piece by piece. But I think Ed Markey , chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, put it best in his statement on the address, noting that "By the time President Bush's plan finally starts to cut global...

THE POLLSTERS ARE LOSING IT.

Via Slog , Zogby must be tired of the primary too. He appears to have fallen off his rocker : Obama pulled into a statistical tie with McCain at 45 percent after trailing him by 6 points last month. Clinton trails McCain by 5 points, 46 percent to 41 percent, gaining slightly from an 8-point deficit last month. "Obama still does better than Clinton against McCain, but it’s a very close race either way,” pollster John Zogby said. "Obama and Clinton hurt each other the longer their race drags on, and McCain is getting a free pass." Um, except that's not at all what your poll found. Despite the ongoing Democratic primary and McCain's national tour, both Clinton and Obama are gaining on him. Which is pretty impressive, if you think about it. Apparently, Zogby hasn't. --Kate Sheppard

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