Will the FDA Stub Out Big Tobacco's Menthol Ploy?

menthol_ban_033110.jpg By Jessica Strong Last June, President Obama signed a law authorizing the FDA to regulate tobacco and creating a panel for that task. Now the panel’s taking up the question of whether to ban menthol-flavoring in cigarettes, which critics say is used to cover up the taste of cigarettes and recruit young smokers.

It's Back! Abstinence-Only Funding Revived in Health Bill

holding_hands_033010.jpg By Jessica Strong The Obama administration can add this one to its ever-growing list of progressive criticisms: The health insurance reforms the president finalized this morning include a revival of the controversial abstinence-only education initiative known as Title V.

Gaysians Take Over New York Fashion Week

By Alex Jung Inconstancy, rather than a vice, has long been a strength of fashion. Empire waists, shoulder pads, and bubble skirts have all come in, out, and back again. Designers, too, fall in and out of favor with editors and the shopping elite who patronizes them. But lately, there has been a noticeable sea change, too strong to be a 15 seconds type of thing: Asian American designers.

New Orleans Needs More Than a New Mayor

mitch-neworleans-win2.jpgWritten by Jordan Flaherty In a city consumed by the Superbowl and Mardi Gras celebrations, New Orleans elected a new mayor last weekend. Mitch Landrieu, the state’s current Lieutenant Governor, won 65% of the vote — almost twice the total of the other ten candidates combined. Landrieu will be the city’s first white mayor since his father held the office, from 1970-78.

The Weekly Diaspora: Real Immigration Reform in 2010

By Nezua, Media Consortium Blogger

“Is it ever ‘the right time’ to pass immigration reform and a path to legalization?” asks Maribel Hastings at New America Media. The short answer? Yes. Our national economic situation dictates that we are smart about the resources available to us all. It’s also a moral imperative to adjust our laws to protect the most vulnerable of us.

The Decade of Fear: A Radical Desi Meditation on The End of The Zeros

leah and a megaphone.jpgBy Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha On the last day of the first decade, I stay home. There are parties across the bridge, but because I have spent five hours piloting a friend to a Stinson Beach visit in a 1992 Honda Accord up and down the S-curves of Highway 1, aka the Throw Up Road, driving across the bridge doesn’t seem so appealing.

Virgin Island Prisoners Who Won't Cut Hair Held In Isolation In Virginia State Prisons

UTR prison poster image1.jpgBy Rend Smith In the early part of this decade, a prisoner named Bradley Maxwell got into trouble for refusing a haircut. He was serving time at the Wallens Ridge State Prison in Virginia. He had been convicted of a separate transgression back in his home in the Virgin Islands but was nevertheless shipped to Big Stone Gap, Virginia, in the United States. Why was a state facility taking on an out-of-state convict? Simple.