Kate Sheppard

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

Recent Articles

BEST YET?

BEST YET? Matt , along with The Onion's AV Club , is trying to convince us that 1997 was the best year for music. I'm going to avoid that debate, but it leads me to a similar question I've been pondering since a recent conversation: What has been the best year for domestic politics so far? What I mean is, the year where we really seemed to be getting things right at home, and doing well abroad, and America seemed to be on the high road to the end of history, or whatever criteria one might choose to qualify a year as the "best." I'm thinking of surveying thought-leaders in conservative, liberal, and all the other spheres about what that year would be, coming from their respective ideologies. Perhaps someone else has done this before? In the meantime, I'm soliciting thoughts from TAPPED readers on what that year would be for them. So, have at it. --Kate Sheppard

I'M NOT A...

I'M NOT A RACIST OR ANYTHING, BUT… If you've ever wondered where mainstream media digs up some of their crackpottiest anti-immigrationites, look no further than this new piece put out by the Center for American Progress that digs into the back story on some of voices that have been, rather absurdly, making their way into the mainstream debate on immigration. One of the examples they cite is John Vinson . As the head of the American Immigration Control Foundation, he's been quoted in that capacity in stories all over as simply your average citizen concerned about immigration policy. But he's also the author of The Greybook: Blueprint for Southern Independence , put out by the League of the South, the neo-Confederate secessionist group that still thinks they're going to rise again and retake the South for middle-class, white America. This part usually gets left out when he's quoted in the news. Also among the anti-immigration crowd that gets quoted regularly are people backed up by...

NEWS ON NEWS....

NEWS ON NEWS. It had been rumored for a while now, but today the New York Times announced that as of midnight tonight, they'll be bringing down pay walls on their website, exactly two years after they started charging $49.95 a year for complete access to the site. The pay wall was deterring drop-in readers who came to the site from search engines, and it wasn't bringing in enough paid subscribers to justify its existence. There were only 227,000 paying subscribers, and the site gets an average of 13 million unique visitors every month. Rupert Murdoch followed up on the announcement with his own public pondering about whether he should just take down the subscriber-only walls at the Wall Street Journal when News Corp. takes over in a few months. That site has fared much better in the pay-to-read realm, with one million paying subscribers who pay to get their news content. But Murdoch's betting that traffic at the site will increase to 30 million, and ad reps will come running for the...

SHOWING UP STILL...

SHOWING UP STILL THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN ABILITY TO WIN THE GAME. After all but John McCain declined invitations to participate in a Spanish-language debate, the GOP front-runners have now decided not to talk to black voters, either. McCain, Giuliani , and Romney had already opted out of the Sept. 27 debate at historically black Morgan State University in Baltimore, and yesterday Fred Thompson decided that he couldn't be bothered to show up, either. All cited other obligations for the evening. The other five candidates have agreed to take part in the debate, but the fact that four of the Republican candidates don't think black voters are worth reserving a night for doesn't just look bad; it's bad politics for the GOP. And turning down two consecutive forums designed to talk to voters on the brown end of the spectrum is in exceptionally bad taste. Maybe black and Latino voters aren't the biggest contingent Republicans are hoping to pull in this year, but down the line (and not...

HABEAS CORPUS, PLEASE....

HABEAS CORPUS, PLEASE. On the same day that Chris Dodd gave a notably rowdy speech at the SEIU Political Action Conference, he and Patrick Leahy announced that they would be introducing the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007 as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. Last year's Military Commissions Act effectively stripped it away by giving the president the power to determine who qualifies as an "enemy of the country" and eliminating their right to due process. The elimination of habeas corpus in last year's bill is pretty widely recognized as a problem that should be corrected, even by conservatives. It was rushed through before the November elections, and pretty much everyone who likes the Constitution has decided it's a bad idea. Now to do something about all the other problems with the Military Commissions Act... --Kate Sheppard

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