Kate Sheppard

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

Recent Articles

OP-ED AUTHORS PERISH...

OP-ED AUTHORS PERISH IN IRAQ DURING PETRAEUS TESTIMONY. As Gen. Petraeus was testifying before Congress this week about the progress of the surge, two of the seven soldiers on active duty who penned last month's New York Times op-ed questioning whether we are making any gains in Iraq died in a vehicle accident in western Baghdad. Omar Mora and Yance T. Gray , both sergeants with the 82nd Airborne, died when the cargo truck they were riding in overturned on Monday, but news of it reached Washington as Petraeus was wrapping up his testimony. The soldiers' op-ed questioned claims by military leaders and the press about headway being made in Iraq, and called the United States an "army of occupation." From the op-ed: Viewed from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is indeed surreal. Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans,...

NYET GAIN. Via...

NYET GAIN. Via the Progress Report , we learn that today has been designated the Day of Conception in Russia, which just happens to coincide with Putin's unceremonious disbanding of the government. Today falls exactly nine months before Russia Day, and as one of Putin's policies to encourage more breeding in his country, he's offered SUVs, refrigerators, and monetary rewards to anyone who gives birth on June 12. So the mayor of Ulyanovsk, a region in central Russia, has given workers there the afternoon off to make with the baby making. Everyone who gives birth is a winner in the "Give Birth to a Patriot on Russia's Independence Day" contest, but the grand prize winner -- judged on qualities like "respectability" and "commendable parenting" -- gets to take home a UAZ-Patriot, a Russian-made SUV. "I don't think people get pregnant just to get a prize on the 12th (of June) but if the dates coincide and they give you a ... car there's nothing wrong with that," Yuri, a 28-year-old father-...

THE GAS REGULATIONS...

THE GAS REGULATIONS WE PASS. A federal judge in Vermont ruled against the auto industry today, upholding states' rights to set tougher fuel economy standards than the federal government. Automakers have attempted to block California, Vermont, and 13 other states from instating new efficiency requirements that would require vehicles to get at least 43 miles per gallon by 2016. From the Detriot Free Press : In his ruling, Vermont U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions found that the industry had failed to prove either it could not meet the standards, that they would endanger drivers, or that Congress had forbidden states from setting their own fuel economy rules. "In light of the public statements of industry representatives, history of compliance with previous technological challenges, and the state of the record, the Court remains unconvinced automakers cannot meet the challenges of Vermont and California's GHG (greenhouse gas) regulations," Sessions wrote in his opinion. Meanwhile,...

HELLO, NURSE. Could...

HELLO, NURSE. Could nurses simultaneously save unions and lead the fight for a solid, universal health care plan? If what's going on in California is any indication, caregivers could reinvigorate the movement and take it beyond the bargaining table and into national politics. Nurses in California marched on the capitol Monday, and prompted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to call a special session of the Legislature in order to pass legislation that would expand health care coverage in the state. Now they're gearing up to take their mission national. There are 325,000 nurses who belong to AFL-CIO affiliates, and 85,000 more belong to SEIU. Another 115,000 belong to United American Nurses, which recently forged an alliance with SEIU. While only one in eight blue collar workers in the country is unionized, one in five nurses belongs to a union – and healthcare is one of the most rapidly-expanding work forces in the country. "We are a very, very strong and, some say, militant organization,"...

RE(A)D ALL OVER....

RE(A)D ALL OVER. To jump on the discussion of the new Media Matters report that finds that conservative syndicated columnists are published much more frequently than their liberal counterparts, while I'm on board with Ezra and Matt 's musing about the possible reasons this is true, I think there may also be another factor at work, one perhaps more difficult to overcome in today's media market. As recent studies have proposed , liberals tend to tolerate ambiguity and nuance more than conservatives, and this is perhaps most apparent in how they write about a subject. A liberal columnist may be more inclined to examine the many facets of a topic, to wade into the subtleties of an argument, explore the finer points, and concede to the possibility of conflicting evidence or opinion. And complex arguments don't generally make for the same hard-lined, concise, and easy-to-read column fodder that our ever-more-dumbed-down mainstream media tend to favor. Conservative columnists tend to lean on...

Pages