Kay Steiger

Kay Steiger is managing editor at Raw Story and a former Prospect editorial assistant.

Recent Articles


TILLMAN HEARING. The House Oversight Committee has scheduled a hearing on Pat Tillman 's death for August 1. They've invited Donald Rumsfeld (among others) to testify. Should be quite an event. Finding out who knew what about Tillman's death is significant on a variety of levels, not the least being that the government-led cover-up of the circumstances surrounding his killing (he was hit by friendly fire) show the lengths to which the administration was willing to go to keep the war in Iraq PR-friendly for as long as possible. Beyond that, focusing on how the truth about his death was cynically sacrificed during the war helps legitimize the veteran-based segments of the anti-war movement -- was the government really supporting the troops when it lied about a soldier in order to make him a PR prop? And finally, there's something increasingly universal in the Tillman family's story. letter from Tillman's brother -- who also enlisted -- published late last year indicates that both the...


LEDBETTER LEGISLATION. George Miller has introduced legislation today that would essentially overturn the Court's decision in Lilly Ledbetter 's case. It spells out that discriminatory acts occur by extension "each time wages, benefits, or other compensation is paid." The legislation has more than a dozen bipartisan co-sponsors, and is expected to be introduced into the Senate next week. Additionally, it spells out that this act would extend to the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1967. --Kay Steiger


UNINSURED VETERANS. Various news outlets are reporting that there are more than 1.8 million uninsured veterans, according to a study and recent testimony by Steffie Woolhandler of the Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program. Technically, all veterans are eligible for enrollment in the Veterans Health Administration, but that doesn't necessarily mean that all veterans are covered . In her illuminating testimony, Woolhandler explained that veterans are enrolled in the VA health care system on a priority basis. Top-level priorities are veterans with combat-related injuries, but "Veterans without service-connected illnesses or disabilities, and with incomes above 80 percent of the median income in their area are classified in the lowest priority group... In January 2003, President Bush's Secretary of Veterans Affairs halted enrollment of [these] veterans." Even veterans with combat-related injuries may live too far from a VA facility to receive...


SLAUGHTER ON THE AMERICAN IDEA. Former Prospect intern Asheesh Siddique 's review of The Idea That Is America by Anne-Marie Slaughter over at Campus Progress is worth a look . He captures the essence of the book here: Most important for Slaughter, by engaging in the torture of "enemy combatants" suspected of association with Al Qaeda at the Guantanamo military base, the Bush administration has not merely reneged upon America's commitment to the Geneva Conventions but also abandoned the fundamentally American principal of "liberty and justice for all." [Slaughter's emphasis.] She passionately argues that the president's "sweeping claims of absolute power," especially to deny detained terrorists fair trials in court and to violently interrogate them, undermines our ability to fight terrorism by producing bad intelligence, alienating our allies, and mocking our values. His review isn't all glowing, faulting Slaughter's penchant for using idealized rhetoric of bipartisan and pan-...

Equal Pay Reality Check

Now that the Supreme Court has gutted pay discrimination law, it's up to Congress to ensure that employers don't get away with paying women or minorities less.

Last month, when the Supreme Court issued a majority opinion in Ledbetter v. Goodyear denying employees the right to sue for discrimination after 180 days, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was so incensed she read her scathing dissent aloud from the bench. She defended Lilly Ledbetter's right to sue her employer, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.,Inc., for pay discrimination on the basis of sex, giving a not-so-gentle reminder of the realities of the American workplace. She wrote, A worker knows immediately if she is denied a promotion or transfer, if she is fired or refused employment. And promotions, transfers, hirings, and firings are generally public events, known to co-workers. When an employer makes a decision of such open and definitive character, an employee can immediately seek out an explanation and evaluate it for pretext. Compensation disparities, in contrast, are often hidden from sight. As the American Association of University Women reported in a study released in April called...