It’s time for Democrats Suck: The Immigration Reform Edition. Here’s a clip from my latest Salon essay:
When Republicans stand strong on principles while Democrats obsess about political practicality, Democrats repeatedly concede too much and Republicans repeatedly win more than policy and politics would otherwise dictate. The immigration reform markup is only the latest example of this larger, depressing state of affairs.
Read the rest here.
UPDATE: Here is a response the Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas wrote in response to my piece. An important discussion for all of us to be having. And I think if we don’t have this discussion, the Democrats will continue to feel free to sell out their base with no fear of consequences.
I wrote a travel and leisure story for the Fox News website — about how hard it is to get into some of the nation’s hippest restaurants, and whether that’s a good thing or not. Here’s a clip:
The line outside San Francisco’s hottest new restaurant starts forming at about 4:00 pm on a Friday night. A dozen or so people line up for about 10 walk-in seats at State Bird Provisions –which just nabbed the James Beards award for best new restaurant in the U.S. In fact, some of the seats for walk-ins aren’t even seats. They’re standing room spaces at a bar top sandwiched between the front door and a kitchen station.
When I ask a waiter why they don’t put bar stools there, he points out — correctly, as I later see for myself — that there’s just not enough room. But yes, as I go to leave, there are three patrons belly up to the bar top trying to enjoy their dinner.
Read the whole story here.
Willa finally agreed to let us make a video of her singing. Happy Mother’s Day, y’all!
For Mother’s Day, I wrote about the roots of the holiday — and the future of American families:
Today in America, four out of five families fall outside the traditional notion of a mom at home and a dad at work and a bunch of kids in the yard with the picket fence. And while some certainly see this as a cause for concern, arguably a similar majority does not. Just as our idea of America — of race and citizenship and belonging — have expanded, albeit with great struggle, over the centuries to include new communities and identities, our idea of family is always expanding.
How? Read my full essay here.
This weekend, for my first time, I went to Washington, DC, for the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. And mostly to maintain a record for my own memory and ensure myself that I wasn’t dreaming, I decided to jot down my best moments from the many-great-moments-packed weekend. Plus there are some stories too good not to share. So in no particular order, here they are:
1. A progressive walks up to Christine O’Donnell in a prom dress at a bar…
No, it’s not a joke. Failed Delaware Tea Party candidate for the United States Senate Christine O’Donnell was at the MSNBC after-party. We talked. She complained that the media was unfair to her (as it often is to women candidates).
O’Donnell said: “Nobody knows who I really am.”
I said: “Well, I know you’re not a witch.”
And she laughed. Which was admittedly awesome of her.
2. Zou Bisou Bisou!
Megan Draper is my favorite character from Mad Men. Seriously, if she’s not yours, you should get your head checked.
At the New Yorker party, I met the fantastic actress Jessica Pare who plays Megan and promptly expressed my profound horror that Don Draper would cheat on her. WTF! We hung out for a while and talked politics along with Jessica’s musician boyfriend John Kastner (he of awesome hair) and the always-fun Meredith Fineman.
Jessica told me she’s a “total nerd” and reads Mother Jones cover to cover. As if she could get any cooler in my book!?!?
3. All of my woman journalist heroes in one room
When I started out in the media three years ago, one of the first things I did was look for inspiring role models from whom I could learn. I had the extraordinary honor and privilege of meeting many of the greatest women (and men, too!) in media this past weekend including but not limited to: Candy Crowley, Cokie Roberts, Mandy Grunwald, Lynn Sweet, Gayle King, Dana Bash, Clara Jeffrey, Tammy Haddad, Karen Finney, Tina Brown, Nell Scovell. And of course it was great to see all of my fantastic Fox News colleagues as well, including Alisyn Camerota, Martha MacCallum, Andrea Tantaros and many more — and ol’ friends like Arianna Huffington, Alex Wagner, SE Cupp and Krystal Ball. So many fantastic, inspiring women voices in the media to make us all proud!
4. Hanging with the best fairy godmothers imaginable
I would never have even gone down to the so-called #nerdprom if Rachel Sklar and Glynnis MacNicol had not encouraged me and invited me to share their room. Talk about amazing and inspiring women leaders! If you don’t know about their important effort to create “the old boys club” for women, you should. Find out about The Li.st here.
5. I apologize for every joke I ever made about Callista Gingrich’s hair
First of all, it looks pretty damn awesome in person. Second of all, I finally met Callista (along with Newt) and not only was she absolutely lovely but Callista told me that she enjoys watching me on Fox News and said, “You do a great job of holding your own!” Very sweet of her to say so.
6. Confessing my love for Kathleen Sebelius — to Kathleen Sebelius!
Sometimes, you gotta just go for it. There I was, steps away from Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius who I indeed have a big crush on in every way imaginable. So I told her as much. And then quickly pointed out that I have a partner and, you know, I’m not going to try and do anything about it — but I just wanted to tell her she’s awesome. (I tried to forget about the Plan B thing for a second…) Admittedly though it was a bit awkward when I saw her the next day. She waved coyly. I blushed. What was I thinking?
7. Seeing DC Moving and Shaking
Best summed up in this tweet from the Huffington Post’s Michael Hogan, who I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with — accurately capturing the mystique of the nerd prom’s official stenographer and unofficial king, Politico’s Mike Allen:
Best thing about DC, as always, was spying @mikeallen in the wild. Caught him documenting hors d’ouevres with a phone cam today.
— Michael Hogan (@m1keh0gan) April 28, 2013
8. Holding hands with Ian McKellan
Let’s be clear about something: There are actors and then there are actors. And then, in a class basically occupied by only himself and Patrick Stewart (!), there is Ian McKellan. I was a big fan before I met Ian. Now I am a supernova of a fan. Such a fun, lovely and thoughtful gentleman. I’m smitten!
It was definitely a peak experience when my friends Patrick and Sunny introduced me to Ian. But when, a few hours later I saw Ian at another party and he joyfully shouted at me, “Where the fuck have you been?” I thought I had died and gone to some sort of Shakespearean heaven.
And in case you’re wondering, the low point was definitely stepping on Sharon Stone’s toe. Otherwise, the weekend was amazing — with many other great moments and conversations and such than I could include here!
People were understandably outraged that a professor and UN-affiliated rapporteur, Richard Falk, wrote a fairly crassly framed essay about how the Boston bombings were blowback for U.S. foreign policy. Falk has a history of expressing his opinions in ways that often put off thoughtful discussion. At the same time, conservatives are stringing up Falk as a proxy to attack the Obama Administration and the United Nations — both of which censured Falk and called for his removal. And while all this happens, we ignore any serious consideration of whether our drone attacks and other actions abroad are helping provoke hostility against America.
Here’s my attempt to say all that on live television:
Video courtesy of Fox News Channel.
ColorLines asked me to share my thoughts on the role of the media in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. Here’s what I wrote:
The job of a public servant is to run away from conventional wisdom and toward the tangled mess of reality from which facts and insights—and humanity—can be rescued. Our public servants with badges and uniforms performed heroically in the face of mass chaos, saving the lives of hundreds and helping calm the fears of an unsettled city and nation. But too many of our public servants with pens and cameras let us down by repeating or even feeding our worst fears and biases.
You can read my full essay here.
The road to citizenship isn’t exactly shovel ready. In my latest column for Salon, I look at how yet again Democrats have put a watered down compromise on the table — only for Republicans to still attack it. Argh!
There are many good things about the Gang of Eight bill, but here’s the bad:
If you came into the United States after December 31, 2011, you cannot get on the road to citizenship. If you come into the United States on the proposed W-visa for low-wage workers, you cannot get on the road to citizenship. If you committed document or passport fraud or any one of an expanded list of infractions, you cannot get on the road to citizenship. If you are the same-sex spouse or partner of a permanent resident or citizen, you cannot get on the road to citizenship.
Plus even if you can get to the road, it’s layered with traps. First of all, new system would be strongly tied to employment and employers. That makes it hard for the millions of undocumented immigrants contributing to the informal economy to prove their work history and qualify for citizenship. And new immigrants coming into the country may be unduly beholden to the whims, and potential abuses, of employers.
Read my full reaction here — and let me know what you think!
You’ve gotta admit, it just doesn’t feel right. Conservatives rail against “illegals” “sneaking across the border” with language laden with racial code — despite the fact that most immigrants are white and just overstay their visas. But then a Christian evangelical white family from Germany is denied asylum and conservatives rally around their cause? Seriously?
From my latest for Salon:
Look, this is how racial stereotyping works. No one comes right out and says, “We only like the immigrants who look like us.” They say things like, “The immigration system worked very well up until the mid-1960s” (Rep. Michele Bachmann) and “White America was kind of unified” in the 1950s, which “made it easier for society to function” (Bill O’Reilly, ignoring that Irish folks like him were once considered non-white). They call undocumented immigrants an “invasive species” that “contributes to the overall deterioration of the culture of this society” (Rush Limbaugh). The racialized message is mostly implied but nonetheless crystal clear — white immigrants, especially from Europe, are good, and dark-skinned immigrants, especially from Mexico, are bad. Which explains how a swath of conservatives so opposed to immigrant rights could be shouting from the rooftops in support of one family from Germany.
Read the rest here.
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