Kay Steiger

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

Recent Articles

'LONG SHOT' BID.

The Hill reports today that antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan is looking to run against Nancy Pelosi in 2008. Sheehan says Pelosi has failed to defund the war. Apparently, Sheehan doesn't know that the trend for reelection in Congress is very high (over 90 percent in the last two congressional election years). Furthermore, Pelosi's approval rating in her home district of the Bay Area is 56 percent, more than enough to comfortably win reelection. The whole thing is mainly a press stunt to make Pelosi uncomfortable (as I'm sure she already is) with every war supplemental bill. This was confirmed by The Hill quoting Sheehan saying, "This really isn’t me against Nancy Pelosi. This is me against the war machine." --Kay Steiger

The Cineplex's Complex War

In his new film, In the Valley of Elah, Paul Haggis offers a portrait of returned Iraq soldiers which critiques not just the war, but also the way we treat our veterans.

Two-time Oscar winner, for Crash and Million Dollar Baby , Paul Haggis uses a powerful and heavy-handed image in the opening scenes of his new film: an American flag flying upside down. “Do you know what that means?” the main character Hank, played by Oscar-winner Tommy Lee Jones, asks the Salvadoran groundskeeper he encounters on his drive out of town to look for his missing veteran son. When the response is negative, he tells the man it’s an international distress signal -- and instructs him on how to fly the flag correctly. The far left has been opposing the Iraq war for some time, but In the Valley of Elah tells the story of moderate, middle America coming to grips with the with its grim realities. In a stock murder mystery format, it shows young men (female soldiers are noticeably absent from the film) who go away to war as heroes and return capable of frightening violence. The movie is finally getting people to talk about something on the fringe of most discussions about the...

THE GI VOTE.

THE GI VOTE. Despite the fact that historically troops' absentee ballots have overwhelmingly gone to Republican candidates, when it comes to campaign donations, members of the military are showing a shift to the left ( via Steve Benen ). The amount of money soldiers contribute to Democrats has nearly doubled since the last presidential campaign cycle. Obama, who has never served in the military, has brought in more contributions from uniformed service members—about $27,000—than any other presidential hopeful, Democrat or Republican. "I feel that he's the most progressive candidate and he stands for change," Griggs said. "I believe he is that breath of fresh air that we need to get this country back on course." Among GOP candidates, Ron Paul, the only Republican who opposes the war, has brought in the biggest haul from the military since the start of the 2008 election cycle in January—at least $19,250. Republican John McCain, a Vietnam War prisoner who backs the administration's policy...

NEW RANKINGS.

NEW RANKINGS. U.S. News and World Report is planning two new rankings for colleges after a controversy over colleges using questionable tactics to increase their rankings. According to WSJ 's The Numbers Guy , U.S. News will release a list of top historically black colleges and another list of good schools that are easier to get into. They also hinted at other lists in the works. Because U.S. News has dominated the information market on colleges -- mainly because compiling lists like this is massive amounts of work -- I think it's good that they're breaking out of their Ivy League-dominated lists. Such schools aren't right for everyone, and my major complaint of the rankings has been that they focus on elitism and leave out factors like diversity. That's something that could be solved by taking a step back and thinking about premium historically black colleges, but it's too bad that they have to be considered in a separate category to make rank. --Kay Steiger

THE POWER OF O. Kate Sheppard

THE POWER OF O. Kate Sheppard points out that Obama could see a bump from the endorsement of Oprah , who is arguably one of the country's most powerful opinion leaders. Chris Rose explained this unique power in his humorous essay (via Ezra ) on how he couldn't talk about his book on Oprah's show: You probably don't need to understand a lot about the publishing industry to know that if Oprah says the name of your book on TV, you sell about a million copies by nightfall. And if she says she likes your book, you can buy a Lear jet and move to Belize by the end of the business day. The thing here is that she has the power to make people spend money, but the question is whether she can actually do what activists, politicians, and other celebrities have all failed or had marginal success at: getting people to vote. I'm frankly a little disturbed by the influence Oprah has over people. By having candidates "sit on her couch and chat," as Kate put it, she's actually encouraging people to...

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