Monica Potts

Monica Potts is a senior writer for The American Prospect and a fellow with the New America Foundation Asset Building Program. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Connecticut Post and the Stamford Advocate. She also blogs at PostBourgie.

Recent Articles

The Women Who Don't Live.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about college football star Tim Tebow's upcoming Super Bowl ad that will likely tell us about his mother's complicated pregnancy in the Philippines and her refusal to get an abortion despite her doctors' advice. In the post, I argued that triumphal stories like the Tebows' obscure all the stories about women who die trying to obtain abortions.

A Quick Look at the HUD Budget.

Most immediately, the proposed 2011 budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development calls for a 5 percent reduction in its budget from last year, which in turn was a 9 percent increase from the year before. In the introduction, Secretary Shaun Donovan writes that last year's increase was necessary because of the declining economy and because the agency had been neglected.This year they had the ability to make more targeted reductions and increases, he said.

Reforming the Meat Market

As the USDA's latest appointee, Elisabeth Hagen has been charged with keeping our food safe. But can one person fix a system that in some ways still resembles The Jungle?

(Flickr/Xose Castro)

Last week, after leaving the post vacant for a year, President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Elisabeth Hagen to be undersecretary for food safety at the Department of Agriculture. The appointment comes after years of food-borne illness outbreaks spread by everything from spinach to peanut butter, and after George W. Bush weakened biotechnology oversight as he was headed out the door. During the time the post was unoccupied, The New York Times revealed that much of the ground beef we consume contains ammonia -- an additive meant to kill E. coli and salmonella, of course. That kind of lax regulation of the industrial food chain is exactly the kind of thing food-safety advocates hoped Obama would change.

The Rental Crisis.

In yesterday's New York Times, Gretchen Morgenson wrote that the soured deal to buy Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan -- two rent-regulated apartment buildings bought at the top of the market by developers who intended to turn them into higher-rate rentals -- was just the most high-profile failure. Little deals like that all over the city sucked up about 100,000 affordable apartments, or about 10 percent of the rent-regulated stock, she writes.

Because it's Murder.

After deliberating for just 37 minutes, a jury in Kansas found Scott Roeder guilty of murder in the killing of George Tiller, a Kansas doctor who performed late-term abortions.