Kate Sheppard

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

Recent Articles

DECIDEDLY PURPLE. E.J....

DECIDEDLY PURPLE. E.J. Dionne Jr. ponders whether Mark Warner will be able to turn purple Virginia blue, and help bump the red/blue divide a little further south. But the thesis of his article is that the Dems can, and will, win these states by putting forth moderate candidates who appeal to suburbanites. "Safe, soothing and very suburban: These could be the characteristics of the new American majority," he writes. But could this new American majority make any major progressive strides? It would be hard for a moderate to pull off much that would be at all perceived as radical to your average swing-voter and be able to rest confident that he'll maintain the support of his home base. So while gaining states that have long-been red will be a boon to the Democratic party as a whole, a real emergence of progressivism seems far off. --Kate Sheppard

SUCK ON THIS....

SUCK ON THIS. Via Chris Hayes , Tom Friedman on the Charlie Rose Show : "We hit Iraq because we could." I appreciate his candor, but what's that mean now that we're stuck in this remnants of that bubble, clutching our ever-shortening stick? Points for honesty though. --Kate Sheppard

FACT CHECK. Our...

FACT CHECK. Our own Terence Samuel examines the implications for Republicans of Bush's embrace of the Petraeus report, and gets at the point I made last night : "The Iraq war, judged by the number of American troops engaged at the front, will look next spring the same as it did last spring -- more than 130,000 American troops on the ground trying to advance the noble mission of creating 'breathing room' for Iraqis to construct some kind of human infrastructure that will allow them to live together in peace." Over on the Washington Post , there's some additional fact checking : some of the signs that Bush hailed as progress last night had been previously – by Bush himself – noted as problem areas, such as solidifying a deal on sharing oil revenue and reformation of laws. He also thanked the 36 countries with troops on the ground, when there are only 25, and unduly hyped the capabilities of the Iraqi army as they stand today. --Kate Sheppard

NUMBERS. ABC News...

NUMBERS. ABC News is reporting that Bush will announce plans to pull 5,700 troops out of Iraq by the end of the year during tonight's speech. The New York Times reports that he's going to call for a troop reduction of 30,000 by July 2008. Both numbers are far below what most Dems would like to see. Granted, this does mark the first time Bush has described a plan for troop reductions, but does it really count as a move toward withdrawal if you're just going back to pre-surge levels? This figure is the bare minimum of what has to be done if he's to avoid extending the tours of servicemen already in Iraq. It's the equivalent of borrowing 100 bucks from someone, giving it back, and expecting a ticker-tape parade for not holding onto it longer. --Kate Sheppard

ARE WE HAVING...

ARE WE HAVING FUND YET? A scientific panel created in 2002 at the behest of President Bush is failing largely due to Bush administration funding cuts and delays, according to a report issued by an independent review by the National Academy of Sciences issued Thursday. The Climate Change Science Program was intended to improve climate research at government agencies, but funding for satellite programs and ground-based monitoring projects has been slashed , preventing much of the research necessary to make advances in the study of climate change and shape policy decisions. The biggest void in research at the program has been in the affects of climate change on human populations, the investigation found. The report called the cuts the "single greatest threat to the future success" of climate research. --Kate Sheppard

Pages