Romance novels need a canon
"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
A contemporary romantic comedy set to Elvis Costello and lots of luxurious and sinful sugary treats. Read the whole essay.
With a boatload of funding from the NRA, the Law Enforcement Alliance of America has been working at the state level to push pro-gun judicial candidates and prosecutors.
The LEAA is a conservative nonprofit that on its website purports to advocate for law enforcement and crime victims, and has, among other things, brought several lawsuits opposing federal background checks for gun buyers.
Though the LEAA is not required to reveal its donors, as Bloomberg News writes, its efforts are heavily funded by the NRA:
The group’s activities at the state level promoting judicial candidates are legal and not unusual in U.S. politics. What has been less known is the extent of its financial backing from the NRA, the nation’s leading gun-rights lobby.
The LEAA got at least $2 million from the NRA from 2004 to 2010, according to a report based on tax records to be released today by the Washington-based Center for American Progress. During many of those years, NRA donations accounted for about a quarter of LEAA’s funds, and in 2009 NRA money represented at least a third of the group’s revenue, according to the report.
As ThinkProgress reports, the LEAA has used this money for state-level judicial elections:
The LEAA, in turn, has spent big on state supreme court races, shelling out millions of dollars for attack ads that distorted the rulings of judges in criminal cases. One judge was accused of “voting for” a rapist and a “baby killer.” An African American judge in Michigan was described as “soft on crime for rappers, lawyers, and child pornographers.” The LEAA’s attack ads helped give Republicans a majority on high courts in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
The NRA has also used its pull among Republican senators to rally opposition to President Obama’s Supreme Court picks, Sonia Sotomayor in 2009 and Elena Kagan in 2010. In addition, the gun lobby has begun to fight against Obama’s lower court nominees, and “has effectively blocked President Obama’s nomination of Caitlin J. Halligan to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that has been vacant since September 2005,” according to Linda Greenhouse at the New York Times.
Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at email@example.com.More Jillian Rayfield.
"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
"Welcome to Temptation" by Jennifer Crusie
Another of Crusie's romantic comedies, this one in the shadow of an ostentatiously phallic water tower. Read the whole essay.
"A Gentleman Undone" by Cecilia Grant
A Regency romance with beautifully broken people and some seriously steamy sex. Read the whole essay.
"Black Silk" by Judith Ivory
A beautifully written, exquisitely slow-building Regency; the plot is centered on a box with some very curious images, as Edward Gorey might say. Read the whole essay.
"For My Lady's Heart" by Laura Kinsale
A medieval romance, the period piece functions much like a dystopia, with the courageous lady and noble knight struggling to find happiness despite the authoritarian society. Read the whole essay.
"Sweet Disorder" by Rose Lerner
A Regency that uses the limitations on women of the time to good effect; the main character is poor and needs to sell her vote ... or rather her husband's vote. But to sell it, she needs to get a husband first ... Read the whole essay.
"Frenemy of the People" by Nora Olsen
Clarissa is sitting at an awards banquet when she suddenly realizes she likes pictures of Kimye for both Kim and Kanye and she is totally bi. So she texts to all her friends, "I am totally bi!" Drama and romance ensue ... but not quite with who she expects. I got an advanced copy of this YA lesbian romance, and I’d urge folks to reserve a copy; it’s a delight. Read the whole essay.
"The Slightest Provocation" by Pam Rosenthal
A separated couple works to reconcile against a background of political intrigue; sort of "His Gal Friday" as a spy novel set in the Regency. Read the whole essay.
"Again" by Kathleen Gilles Seidel
Set among workers on a period soap opera, it manages to be contemporary and historical both at the same time. Read the whole essay.