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.
Phoebe ConnellyJan 28, 2011
I finished Marilynne Robinson 's 2008 novel Home last night. Robinson's one of my favorite writers -- her first novel, Housekeeping is so good that I compulsively pick up copies to gift to friends. She has a particular way of describing place that reveals more about the characters inhabiting the space than any bit of dialogue or physical description could offer. Home tells the story of a prodigal son returning home to a small town in Iowa to make a kind of peace with his minster father. Reviewers praised her depictions of the "difficult joys of a faith" , and the search for redemption . [[Pause: Spoilers ahead]] But I found myself really bothered by the hidden-and-eventual reveal of the prodigal son Jack's black wife. Throughout the novel, set during the height of the civil-rights movement, Jack is the one character who brings up the events in Montgomery and Christianity's uneasy history with race. And, to be fair, as Ann Friedman has written about so well , Iowa is very, very white...
Phoebe ConnellyJan 27, 2011
Kayla Kearney came out to her high school at this year's Martin Luther King Jr. assembly. Kearney is a senior at Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa, California. The theme of this year's assembly, the school's sixth, was "Breaking the Silence: About Things That Matter." It's a beautiful speech. Here's a bit from the end: I want to fall in love with someone someday. And I want to walk down the street and hold her hand. I want to hold her in my arms and tell her that everything's going to be alright. And eventually, I want to marry her. I want to buy a house with her. And if she's ever to get sick I want to be at her hospital bedside, to protect her and comfort her. And I want to do these things because I love her. And I care about her more than anything in the entire world. It's time. It's time to stop being afraid. It's time to listen to what people have to say. To what I'm saying, right now.
Phoebe ConnellyJan 25, 2011
Take a look at these SOTU photos: 2009: 2010: 2011: Even tonight's splash page on whitehouse.gov features Rep. Nancy Pelosi (also, nice tilt-shift): It's not that President Obama is flanked by a Republican; it's that this moment when our government is on display fails to prominently feature a woman. Sure, women are out there on the floor, but they aren't in the top three. This isn't just a bad visual: Women's representation in Congress decreased last year for the first time in three decades. And that is something we should be ashamed of. --Phoebe Connelly
Phoebe ConnellyJan 12, 2011
Monica Potts says having a definition of "green jobs" doesn't bring us any closer to understanding how they fit into an economic recovery: So, what is a green job? The two-part BLS definition, which the bureau began working on in early 2010, was released last September. It focuses on the degree of environmental impact: Green jobs must either be in industries that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources, or must be jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly. READ MORE ...
Phoebe ConnellyDec 31, 2010
Over the past week, we've taken stock of the progress and setbacks in health care reform, financial regulation, gay rights, and immigration. On the last day of the year, TAP looks back at everything else. This year started with a Democratic bust in the special election for Ted Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts and ended with a Republican bang in the midterm elections. Democrats' electoral losses were in large part due to continued economic trouble . However, as long as Democrats continue to push their agenda and champion programs that alleviate economic woes, we see no reason Democrats' fortunes won't improve in two years. The Supreme Court may have changed American elections for good when it wiped out important campaign finance rules and opened election spending to corporations in Citizens United v. FEC . Though we were initially divided over whether the decision would have a large impact or a small one, after billions of corporate dollars poured into the 2010 elections, even our...