Kay Steiger

Kay Steiger is an associate editor at Talking Points Memo. She formerly worked at Raw Story, Washingtonian magazine, the Center for American Progress and The American Prospect. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, the Guardian, Jezebel, AlterNet and others. She graduated from the University of Minnesota. Contact her at

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Lauren Rankin: "more abortion restrictions were enacted from 2011-2013 than in the entire preceding decade."

Criminologist Christian Bolden questions stereotypes about gangs: "Participants explained that gang initiations are not always required, and people often depart from gangs with no dire consequences."

Ed Kilgore: "This year there are indeed tidings of great joy — or at least intimations of change — that call into question the usual identification of American Christianity with monolithic and triumphant Christian right."

Over at TPM Cafe Book Club today, American University Professor Chris Edelson and author of Emergency Presidential Power: From the Drafting of the Constitution to the War on Terror destroys David Brooks' recent argument for a stronger president with reminders of what happened with a strong presidency in history:

Roosevelt and the mass internment of Japanese Americans during World War II (Congress and the Supreme Court acted essentially as rubber stamps), Truman’s unilateral decision to make war in Korea, Johnson’s deceptions in Vietnam, Nixon’s nearly successful attempt to turn the presidency into a criminal enterprise operating above the law and Reagan's involvement in the Iran-Contra affair.

The Republican Study Committee saw its mission as pushing the GOP even further to the right, but this week Executive Director Paul Teller was fired. Read more about him and how his firing represents the fight for the soul of the Republican party.

One observer said: "Maybe that's the concern from the leadership; that he's too effective."

Diane Ravitch: "For the past dozen years, ill-advised federal policies have rained down on students, teachers, principals and schools."

We're hosting a TPM Prime (sub. req.) live chat with Ravitch tomorrow at noon ET. Also joining us: Rachael Brown, manager of teacher retention and recognition for District of Columbia Public Schools, and Chad Alderman, associate partner at Bellwether Education Partners. Should be a good discussion.