Phoebe Connelly

Phoebe Connelly is a former web editor of the Prospect. Previously, she was managing editor of In These Times. She writes on political culture, human rights and feminism.

Recent Articles

DORIS LESSING IS MY HERO.

I whooped for joy this morning when I read over at the Times that Doris Lessing won this year's Nobel Prize for Literature. As the Guardian notes , she's only the 11th woman to win the prize, and the oldest living person to be awarded the honor. She's best know for The Golden Notebook which is usually hailed as a feminist text, but is just as bold an experiment in literary form. (Side note, check out this audio snippet of her reading from the book.) I highly recommend her Children of Violence series, which has some of my favorite writing about women struggling to maintain identity within political movements. Her response to the news? Stout, sharp and a bit hard of hearing, after a few moments Ms. Lessing excused herself to go inside. “Now I’m going to go in to answer my telephone,” she said. “I swear I’m going upstairs to find some suitable sentences which I will be using from now on.” I'll refer you back to the title of this post. -- Phoebe Connelly

AND YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD PROBLEMS WITH CUSTOMER SERVICE.

There's an interesting article in Sunday's Times about attempts by Countrywide borrowers to keep their houses. Countywide has "a 2,700-member unit, called the HOPE Team, that it says helps borrowers modify their loans and hold onto their homes." But Mark Seifert, executive director of Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People, a consumer advocacy group in Cleveland, is dubious. He said his experience with Countrywide, one of the dozen or so lenders and servicers with whom he works on behalf of borrowers, has been unsatisfactory. For the first eight months of this year, he said, his group took in 132 cases in which Countrywide was the loan servicer. Of those, two ended up in what he called “very good” workouts from the company. One involved forged documents when the original loan was made, Mr. Seifert said, and the other involved a borrower who received her deal from Countrywide the day before she was set to testify before Congress last July about her problems with the company. But...

TODAY IN TAP ONLINE.

David Moberg (senior editor at In These Times ) weighs in on the GM strike: If business and labor had joined together in 1970 in the fight for health insurance, unionized and non-union auto companies would now be on a level playing field, and GM would not be at such a financial disadvantage against producers like Toyota because of retiree health care costs. Kate Sheppard reports back from the UN summit on climate change. Jon Margolis says that Wednesday's Democratic debate was really about unseating Hillary as the front runner. Harold Meyerson explains the rise of the "Have-Nots." Ezra Klein evaluates Al Gore and Bill Clinton's post-White House efforts. And we'd especially like to note Terence Samuel 's column this week -- it's a scathing critique of Bill O'Reilly 's comments about his meal with Al Sharpton , and a look at what gains we've really made in the 50 years since the Little Rock Nine. -- The Editors

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LABOR LAWYERS?

I went to the American Constitution Society's Supreme Court Term Preview today. Lots of interesting stuff, (I'll be writing a run down of the fall docket for TAP Online early next week) but I thought the most interesting comment came from Virginia Seitz of Sidley Austin who discussed the civil rights, or as she put it "the labor and employment law " docket : The first thing I think that is interesting is to note what's missing, and that is any labor union plaintiff or defendant in any of these cases. These are all individual employee cases and just from my historical perspective that is unique over time in the Supreme Court's docket, and reflects the sort of shrinking proportion of organized labor in this country, and it's extremely critical these employment law cases to an organized work place. But I think it's worth noting and maybe mourning for a moment the absence of labor union plaintiffs in the court's docket this year. I asked Seitz about this after the event. "No one is a...

CRAIG’S PISSED. I...

CRAIG’S PISSED. I assume my fellow Gadflyer Paul had to file his column, as I did, before we learned that Larry Craig is fired up about being entrapped, and is now re-thinking his resignation announcement . Whatever the case, Paul's piece today for the TAP Online is more thoughtful than my weekly effort for the Baltimore Sun , but our larger point seems to be the same: There's something creepy about the national Republican Party standards as they pertain to politicians’ personal behavior. I would excuse Paul's deeper thinking on the issue by complaining that he has more space with which to work, but that would be a lie. --Tom Schaller

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