Shani Hilton

Shani Hilton is associate editor of Campus Progress. You can find her blogging here.

Recent Articles

To PlayStation or Not to PlayStation?

When I got a PlayStation 3 some months ago, Adam teased me a bit -- he's an XBOX 360 owner -- but of the big three (Wii, PlayStation and XBOX) consoles, it made the most sense to me. It was the system I had the most (albeit, still limited) familiarity with, and I could stream Netflix for free, and Hulu with a pretty cheap Hulu Plus account. Several weeks ago I noticed some issues with logging into the system, but if I mashed enough buttons on the controller, I could log in to Netflix. On April 26, I received the following email from Hulu: "Unfortunately, due to the outage on PlayStation® Network, Hulu Plus subscribers cannot currently access the application on the PS3™. We understand this is frustrating, and we are looking forward to Sony restoring access to the application as soon as possible." They offered a 1-week credit to my account. The next day, April 27, I got an email from the Sony PlayStation Network saying that sometime between April 17 and 19, hackers obtained the...

The Political Novel We Deserve

O: A Presidential Novel doesn't get the 24-hour news cycle. And perhaps that should tell us something.

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster
In the proud tradition of Joe Klein's fictionalized (and briefly anonymous) retrospective of the 1992 George H.W. Bush- Bill Clinton race comes O: A Presidential Novel . O , which purports to foretell the 2012 race, has already been dismissed for its terrible writing, its lack of women, and the bald stunt of an anonymous author. But, ladies and gentlemen of Washington (and you brave souls who are reading this despite lacking a Beltway address), I encourage you to read it. Because finally, political journalism of the 2000s has gotten the novel it deserves. The disdain journalists are showing for O is amusing, if unsurprising. David Weigel at Slate called it "execrable" and mocked the publisher's request that political journalists not comment on whether they authored the novel. (Weigel suggests it is the work of a "young-adult fiction writer.") Alex Balk at The Awl guessed at the "real" ending: "Someone with an attenuated connection to the president will make a considerably larger...

Women in Combat.

Amanda Terkel reports that a military advisory panel says the ban on women soldiers engaging in direct ground combat is discriminatory: "The Commission recommends that DoD and Services remove a structural barrier for women," reads the report, which commissioners met to review Thursday and Friday. "The current DoD and Service policies barring women from direct ground combat career fields and assignments have been in place since the early 1990s. As previously described, these policies constitute a structural barrier that keeps women from entering the tactical career fields associated with promotion to flag/general officer grades and serving in career enhancing assignments. The Commission considered four strands of argument related to rescinding the policies." By focusing on vague questions of "troop readiness" and ignoring the fact that women already see combat, we miss out on a larger issue that the panel is pointing out: The barrier actually prevents women from getting combat pay and...

Ignoring the Facts on Race and Homeownership Gaps.

Mark Calabria at Cato points to an NBER working paper that finds the gap between white and black home ownership narrowed considerably between 1870 and 1910: In 1870 the gap between white and African-American homeownership rates stood at an astonishing 48.8 percent. As mentioned, this gap in 2007 was 22.5%, representing a 26.3 percentage point decline. However, of that 26.3 narrowing, 25.3 occurred before 1910. That is correct, almost all of the decline in the racial homeownership gap occurred before we had any national policies targeting said gap. Given all the massive resources that have been devoted to pushing homeownership, it is somewhat surprising that these policies have made almost no difference in the racial homeownership gap. That Calabria finds the 48.8 percent gap which existed in 1870 "astonishing" is pretty laughable. In 1870, this country was a mere five years removed from the end of the Civil War. Blacks had just stopped being property (well, sort of ). What's...

Giffords and the Women Who Run.

One thing that stands out in Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's (D-Fla.) account of their hospital visit to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords yesterday -- Giffords managed to open her eyes and squeeze their hands -- is their description of the friendship the three share: REPRESENTATIVE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I think I told you the other day, I mean, there's very few of us -- SENATOR GILLIBRAND: Young women. REPRESENTATIVE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: -- young women who -- so we naturally gravitate to each other. And Kirsten and I were -- I was assigned as Kirsten's mentor when she -- SENATOR GILLIBRAND: Before I ran for office in 2006, I called Debbie and she gave me advice about what was it like to have young children and serve in Congress. So Debbie was instrumental in making me feel comfortable before I even ran for office to be able to know that I could be a good mom and a good legislator at the same time. REPRESENTATIVE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: So literally right from when I...

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