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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Nichole Perkins takes a look at the newish TV show "Salem," which seems to be taking all the wrong lessons from the puritans. Rather than teaching us that religious fundamentalism taken to an extreme is bad, there's a strong anti-sex current running through the show.

Catherine Burke, a public administration professor at USC's Price School of Public Policy, explains why all these calls for Secretary Eric Shinseki's job won't do anything to fix the problems at the VA -- and might even make them worse.

Nichole Perkins writes about the life of Maya Angelou: "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings may have been styled after slave narratives, but it was unique in its storytelling because Angelou wasn’t trying to uplift all Black people. She didn’t write for a white audience in order to gain its empathy."

Today's Cafe piece from David Shorr on the lazy critique that both sides are to blame is a must-read: "because the 'plague on both houses' complaint has stayed such a popular flavor of critique, we have to keep reminding ourselves of the facts."

Ed Kilgore weighs in on the messy Mississippi Senate primary between incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R) and tea party upstart state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R): "But with the radicalization of the conservative movement and the Republican Party that has intensified during the Obama presidency, the perceived value of Cochran’s Grandee position has steadily declined, and he’s in real danger of being seen as that most hated figure, a Scalawag."

Conor P. Williams takes a look at California's "Parent Trigger" law, which allows parents who sign a petition to make dramatic changes to a school. Though this can be a force for evil, Williams takes a look at a case in which it seems to have been used for a force for good.