Kate Sheppard

Kate Sheppard is a political reporter at Grist, and a former Prospect writing fellow.

Recent Articles


It looked like Maryland was on track to pass solid climate legislation, but it was killed this week in the House Economic Matters Committee. The bill would have called for a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 90 percent by 2050, but it was squashed after lobbying by state industries as well as factory workers fearful for their jobs (likely driven to fear by those industries) dressed in "Save Our Jobs" T-shirts. Kari Manlove of the Center for American Progress points out though that organized labor is increasingly endorsing action on climate change as a vehicle to create new jobs. The United Steelworkers is a part of the Apollo Alliance and the Blue Green Alliance nationally, and last week SEIU, UFCW, LIUNA voiced their support for the Maryland legislation. And just this week USW, Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council kicked off a national "Green Jobs for America" campaign. More and more labor unions are endorsing action on climate change, of...


To follow up on my Condi post yesterday, Matt makes a great point that I truly meant to include in the original. My fascination with Condi is merely based on a great curiosity about her as a person – but of course, one can't mention those without taking into her account her complicity in all the misdeeds of the Bush administration. And I am definitely in agreement that John McCain probably wants to distance himself from the Bush administration in a major way. This would be hard with a cabinet member as his running mate. At the same time, though the administration as a whole is not nearly as favorable as it once was, McCain might still get some traction with the establishment for bringing along an administration official. And of the possibilities, she seems to be the least offensive overall, judged on merits. Now that whole woman and African American thing might still be a problem for others in the establishment. --Kate Sheppard


Hillary Clinton just sent out an email praising Gordon Brown for pledging to not attend the Olympic opening ceremonies in Beijing. She called upon Bush to follow suit, and wants the other presidential candidates to join her: I wanted to commend Prime Minister Gordon Brown for agreeing not to go to the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Beijing. That was an important decision by Prime Minister Brown and I am calling on Senators McCain and Obama to join me in my request that President Bush also not attend the opening ceremonies. Obama has been hesitant to tell Bush to do so, though he says he's conflicted about U.S. participation. And Clinton herself has stopped short of calling for an all-out boycott of the games. I'm of the mind that a boycott should be all or nothing -- if you think the issue is important enough to skip the opening ceremonies, it should be important enough to skip the whole thing. Regardless, good for Clinton for taking up the issue. --Kate Sheppard


Following up on her remarks at yesterday's hearing, Hillary Clinton held a town hall meeting Aliquippa, Pa. today where she outlined her plans for the military including ways to reduce stress on individual members of the armed forces and end the stop-loss policy. "Among combat troops sent to Iraq for the third or fourth time, more than one in four show signs of anxiety, depression or acute stress, according to an official Army survey of soldiers’ mental health," Clinton said. "It is vital for our national security -- and for the health and safety of our men and women in uniform -- that we end the war in Iraq and begin to rebuild our military." Her plan includes measures to ensure that for every month spent in the field soldiers are guaranteed one month at home, forcing the Department of Defense to abide by its contracts with soldiers, and improving physical and mental health programs for veterans as well as education benefits. She also promises that, as president, she would convene...


Over on the fantastic youth climate activism blog It's Getting Hot in Here, Natasha Chart reacts to this piece calling for more youth activism on climate change, which includes lines like "young people are not cynical or jaded like many adults. They believe they can truly make a difference – and they can." Chart is dead-on in her response to the piece, but she really could have been any of the many calls for young people to take up the (insert progressive cause here) charge, and echoed my thoughts exactly: It’s deeply frustrating to me to to hear someone with 20-30 years worth of professional experience, social networking, capital accumulation and political influence say that what they’re really waiting on is for a bunch of people with none of those advantages to come do what they couldn’t manage. In the same vein, I know that leading figures in many activist issue camps, whether elected officials or NGO staff, hope that young people, or bloggers, or ‘local’ activists, really, anyone...