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

Football Players: Just Out There Having Fun, Overcoming Adversity.

Last night, during Sunday night football, one of my friends retweeted a comment from a Twitter user called Lolo813 (she has protected her tweets) that said: "Um, being suspended for sexual assault isn't adversity. It would be great if the announcers would stop calling it that." She was referring to the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger , who in March was accused of sexual assault and subsequently suspended for six games. He's back, and, after their win Sunday, the Steelers are headed to the Super Bowl. If the announcers referred to his alleged misdeeds and subsequent punishment as "adversity," they're not alone. When Roethlisberger was accused, he and his defenders relied on a handy sports-star excuse, and the accusation was promptly forgotten by many Steelers fans in particular and football fans in general. Boys will be boys, and they're just out there on the field having fun, after all. Contrast that to the opprobrium ready for Michael Vick , a former Atlanta...

Clean-Energy Cuts at the Top of the List.

As Jamelle Bouie said below, the Republicans' proposed budget cuts amount to small savings that would do little to solve our long-term fiscal problems and have the added disadvantage of cutting investment at a time when we still need government spending to promote growth. But David Roberts at Grist notices another thing about the cuts: Clean energy and energy-efficiency spending programs were at the top of the list. He details them, and his list is below: Energy Star Program: $52 million a year. Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants: $2.5 billion a year. DOE Weatherization Grants to States: $530 million a year. Amtrak Subsidies: $1.565 billion a year. (There are no cuts to highway subsidies, of course.) Technology Innovation Program: $70 million a year. (Wait, I thought support for innovation was "post-partisan"!) Applied Research at Department of Energy: $1.27 billion a year. New Starts Transit: $2 billion a year. Subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate...

Texas Actually Cutting Pointless Services.

When I reported last month that states taken over by Republican legislatures in the South were likely to cut critical anti-poverty programs, I imagined that they would instead divert federal anti-poverty funds to programs conservatives like, i.e., marriage promotion, counseling for pregnant women that encourages them not to choose abortions, and other faith-based programs. I hadn't known before I did the reporting that states had a great deal of autonomy in choosing exactly where to send those federal grants, and critical programs like food stamps and early childhood education I thought, for sure, were done for. It turns out, though, that in Texas, one of the early causalities of budget cuts will be clinics providing sonograms and "counseling" to women in order to convince them to not have an abortion, according to the Washington Independent . These clinics were faith-based and funded through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families federal block grants, money states will get less...

Race Always Matters.

I finally caught up with Monday's episode of House last night (sorry, advertisers, I watch shows for free online) and the story line involved a patient who had jumped onto the subway tracks to save a seizing woman from an oncoming train. That act of heroism didn't have anything to do with his illness, but it allowed Hugh Laurie's character his regular moments of misanthropy. But if you recognize that story, it's because it's based on a true one: In 2007, a 50-year-old man named Wesley Autrey was waiting for the subway when a 20-year-old named Cameron Hollopeter, had a seizure and fell onto the tracks with a train approaching. Autrey jumped on top of him, squeezing him to safety between the tracks. There is one key difference between the real tale and the fictionalized one, though. Autrey is black, and the character on House , played by Matthew Lilliard of Scream fame, is white. You might think that's not a big deal. There are other parts of the story the show embellished: In it,...

Talking About Health Care.

Kevin Drum is annoyed at the way polling on the health-care law is presented. He calls out The Washington Post on a story that is factually correct in the technical sense -- it notes that 50 percent of Americans oppose the law -- but misleading in a more full sense -- 13 percent of those who oppose it think it doesn't go far enough. Combined with the 45 percent of those who support it, that means that a majority of Americans support the overall reform agenda, but just think we haven't finished the job. It also explains why only 37 percent support repeal. Drums says, and it's true, that we've drilled down on these numbers enough by now to stop running stories like that. Another story shows why that story doesn't matter so much. According to a survey by the Department of Health and Human Services, as many as 129 million Americans under the age of 65 have pre-existing conditions that would likely make it impossible for them to get insurance in the private market. That, of course, will...

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