Monica Potts

Monica Potts is an Arkansas-based writer, currently writing a book about the women of her rural hometown.

Recent Articles

Post-Dodd Disarray.

A week ago, the big race in Connecticut was for governor in 2010. Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz , former Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy , and Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele seemed huddled near the top of a crowded race. And though it wasn't foremost on state resident's minds, everyone assumed the popular Attorney General Richard Blumenthal would fulfill his long-held goal of a Senate seat by running against the increasingly unpopular Independent Joseph Lieberman . Then, Christopher Dodd announced he would no longer run for re-election. Minutes later, Blumenthal got a two-year jump on his Senate seat attempt. Republican front-runners to challenge Dodd, who had been in the Connecticut news nearly daily, suddenly became big losers. Connecticut bloggers began wondering whether Bysiewicz or Malloy might prefer the AG spot, and Bysiewicz signaled she might. Former state Senator and chairman of the state Democratic party, George Jepsen , also wants to join in now. With Byziewicz possibly out...

About Those Full-Body Scanners ...

In the wake of a Nigerian man's failed attempt to blow up a flight over Detroit on Christmas Day with explosives hidden in his underwear, government officials, especially in Europe, now want full-body scanners to screen all passengers before flights. Many are still debating the pros -- namely that they can spot the tools Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly snuck in before they get on the plane, cutting off al-Qaeda's best route of attack -- and the cons -- which range from privacy concerns to the idea that the scanners, a response to the latest attempt, will be outdated by the time terrorists institute the new plans they're probably already dreaming up. But the New Scientist tells us that there's a problem -- the devices aren't quite ready for use everywhere: Their efforts could be stymied by the fact that the scanner technology has not yet been certified as fit for purpose by national governments – and manufacturers will not invest in mass production until it has. So says Colin...

Dodd to Retire.

Dodd's not running again! And people are shocked! Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo thought Dodd's seat was ultimately safe until he retired, and I have to admit that when I worked in Connecticut, I thought so as well. The Associated Press reports that Connecticut's popular Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal , will run to replace Dodd. Blumenthal had reportedly been contemplating a run for Sen. Joseph Lieberman 's spot in 2012, and now gets a chance two years earlier. Ken Dixon , a Hartford reporter for Hearst's newspapers in Connecticut, has already pretty much called it for Blumenthal. He predicts that might open up the crowded 2010 governor's race by luring folks to run for Connecticut's AG spot. Adam Raymond at the Daily Beast thinks Dodd's departure is better for the Democrats than that of Byron Dorgan of North Dakota. While Democrats might have a tough time holding onto Dodd's spot, they could be lucky in avoiding a throw-down between Dodd and possible a Republican Senate...

You Only Thought That Felt Nice.

Yesterday, the BBC published a story about a group of researchers at King's College London who concluded, after asking sets of identical twins whether they had one, that the erogenous zone called the G-spot reportedly enjoyed by some women is merely a myth or a figment of their imaginations. Turning it into a reassuring bit of news, the doctors, one man and two women, counseled that no one should be upset when he or she couldn't find it in his or her partners. Comic takedown by Balk over at the Awl aside, this just seems another way in which the mysteriousness of female sexuality, or the idea that women may lack a sense of sexuality, is codified and medicalized. The history of treating female sexual organs and the pleasure they can provide as the cause of medical problems — this is where hysteria gets it's name— and treating sex with men as a potential cure for those problems goes all the way back to Hippocrates . Hysteria didn't disappear as a diagnosis until the early part of the...

Running Away from the Runaway Problem.

Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that legislators are moving to improve the way social workers and police deal with youth runaways. New laws would change the way police track runaways and increase spending on social services and outreach. Another recognizes the importance of programs for at-risk youth. The move comes partly in response to a Times series in October that included the revelation that police departments nationwide fail to enter missing-persons reports into a national database about 16 percent of the time. The New York Police Department's rate of failure to do so was about 40 percent, according to the Times . That was highlighted in November when a 13-year-old with autism rode the subway system for 11 days despite his parents efforts to report him missing. But the problem, as the Times' original series pointed out , is that parents only file reports in a minority of cases. (A quick aside about a problem with the series, it profiled white teenagers while its...

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