Kay Steiger

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

Recent Articles

(FIRST LADY) HILLARY CLINTON.

Patrick Healy 's article in the New York Times today has gotten much attention. It attempts to dive into the question that's been looming over Hillary Clinton 's candidacy: Do the eight years Clinton served as first lady count as experience? Steve Benen 's take is summed up here: If you're sympathetic to Clinton, her eight years in the White House offer her the kind of experience and insights that few presidential candidates can even hope to match. If you're unsympathetic, Clinton shouldn't count her eight years in a ceremonial position in which she made practically no substantive decisions relating to foreign policy or national security, did not receive intelligence briefings, and did not, as some former officials put it, "feel or process the weight of responsibility." But after reading the article, there was something left unsaid: Hillary Clinton has great experience for a woman . There are few women as qualified as Hillary Clinton for a candidacy. There's a smattering of female...

PROGRESSIVE VOTER REGISTRATION.

It turns out Minnesota has the highest youth vote turnout in the nation thanks to its progressive voting laws . Via MTV , a recent examination of voter trends by Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement and the United States Election Project, young people in Minnesota had a turnout of 69 percent in 2004. This number is not only higher than national voter turnout of all ages that year (60 percent) but almost 1.5 times more than the national youth vote turnout (47 percent). Same-day voter registration in Minnesota only requires a state-issued ID. If you don't have one, bring an ID and a recent utility bill. Neighbors can also vouch for once another, and when I was a student, I could use my student ID as proof of residency. Opponents of same-day registration say that this opens elections up to voter fraud, but it always seems that the problem is not that we have too many people voting -- it's that we have too few. -- Kay Steiger

WORKING WITHIN THE SYSTEM.

I read Courtney Martin 's piece yesterday on the state of youth activism, and while it was good, I think she gets it wrong. Martin argues that institutions hold all the power and are killing radical individualism, but I think she forgets that not all institutions are bad. In fact, they can make youth more organized, better funded, and more effective. I'm an associate editor at Campus Progress , one of the largest and best funded progressive youth organizations in the country and I've been really impressed with some of the young people we've encountered. Martin's argument is that youth today are just too safe. They're resume-builders, not radicals, she says. But what's wrong with building your resume? Then you're better equipped to go on to make those big changes. Martin uses anecdotal evidence at a Catholic college about a girl concerned about the aesthetics of her antiwar ribbon as evidence that the youth today are silly, frivolous, and disengaged. To be fair, this is hardly a new...

WESLEYAN SCHOLARSHIPS FOR VETS.

Two wealthy Wesleyan donors, including Jonathan Soros , created scholarships for up to 10 veterans to attend the elite school. The school admitted that right now they only have about two students that would qualify for the scholarships. While it's admirable that the donors want to see that vets can afford to go to a school which costs roughly $47,000 a year, they might have better spent their resources lobbying for an expansion of the GI Bill. Many veterans benefits are having trouble keeping up with the demand -- an influx of new veterans puts a strain on a system that was intended to pay the way for a vet to go to pretty much any school he wanted. Instead, even with GI benefits, vets have to work jobs or take out loans to make up the difference. Additionally, most vets don't dream of going to schools like Wesleyan. They want to attend a nearby state school or community college. I admire the desire to welcome veterans into the folds of the elite, the reality is that veterans want the...

Giving Vets Their Due

Six years after the invasion of Afghanistan, it's time to examine the benefits we give our soldiers once they return home.

On December 22, 2005, Joshua Omvig, a 22-year-old reservist from Davenport, Iowa, committed suicide with a gun in his pickup truck, after returning from a tour of duty in Iraq a year earlier. He suffered post traumatic stress disorder, a common problem with soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Omvig's parents, Randy and Ellen, began lobbying for comprehensive PTSD care for all veterans; they even used his memorial webpage to lobby for mental health care. Omvig became a symbol in committee hearings for veterans suffering from PTSD. The Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act was signed into law last week. On this Veterans Day, nearly two years after Omvig ended his own life, and more than six years after the invasion of Afghanistan, it seems appropriate to step back and survey the state of veteran benefits. The exact number of Iraq or Afghanistan veterans experiencing PTSD is unknown. In 2004, the Associated Press estimated as many as one in eight returning soldiers might...

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