The American Prospect

A monthly political journal of liberal though. Contains articles that generate debate, further ideas, and set agendas; and provides a forum for working through the controversies and hard choices facing all Americans. Includes regular topics and features.

Articles from Vol. 14, No. 7, July-August

A Few Good Men? (Comment)
The Marines are about to be hit by the same kind of sexual-harassment scandal that rocked the Army, Navy and Air Force. As yet, no Marine has gone on record talking about rape. But someone will--and I bet it will be soon. Documents I recently obtained...
After Davis, the Deluge. (Devil in the Details)
CALIFORNIA'S RECALL madness continues apace. Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, a political nonentity who made a fortune in car alarms, has already thrown more than $700,000 of his own money into a campaign to gather the signatures required to place...
A Shameful Harvest: Immigrant Farmworkers Are One Step Away-And Sometimes Less-From Slavery. (A Special Report on Immigration and Work)
The vast majority of America's farm laborers are immigrants, many of them undocumented. Farm work is notoriously dangerous, arduous and toxic; the average U.S. farmworker has a life expectancy of just 49 years. Farm laborers are generally paid piecework...
Bad Medicine: Why Bush's Malpractice Policy Will Only Help Insurers
FOR THE THIRD TIME IN AS MANY DECADES, DOCTORS across the country are protesting rising medical-malpractice insurance premiums. The American Medical Association (AMA) is promoting its long-standing goal of medical-liability reform in the shape of a...
Berserkeley Works. (Comment)
"Berserkeley," that famous play on Berkeley, Calif.'s name, calls to mind the city's widely held image. The media feast on tales about kooky characters such as the "Naked Guy" who organized a mass "nude-in" to protest social repression, or the homeless...
Business Meets Its Match: U.S. Corporations Get Their Way at Home. but the Old Charm Isn't Working in the Old World
FOR DECADES THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL INDUSTRY HAS put tens of thousands of substances on the market and into the environment with little interference from the U.S. government. What a surprise, then, to come up against the new Europe. The European Union,...
Candidates' Scorecard: Homeland Security. (Devil in the Details)
THOUGH THE DEMOCRATIC presidential field was split on the Iraq War, the issue of homeland security offers all Democrats a chance to challenge the administration on its defense of Americans at home. To date, Joe Lieberman, John Kerry and Howard Dean...
Civics Lessons from Immigrants: What Happens to the Working-Class Political Voice When Many of Its Speakers Aren't Citizens? (A Special Report on Immigration and Work)
The United States has always relied on immigrant workers, but in the last few decades their numbers have risen to a new peak. By 2000, roughly one in eight U.S. workers, or 17 million people, were foreign-born. That's up from about one in 17 in 1996,...
Closed-Door Policy: Mexico Vividly Illustrates How U.S. Treatment of Immigrant Workers Backfires. (A Special Report on Immigration and Work)
At the dawn of the 21st century, the United States offers a contradictory model of global economic openness. American policy has relentlessly promoted open commerce, leading the way by freeing its own markets to foreign investment, trade and travel....
Critical Mess: How the Neocons Are Promoting Nuclear Proliferation
BACK IN JANUARY, BRAZIL'S NEWLY APPOINTED MINISTER of science and technology, Roberto Amaral, suggested in a radio interview that his country had nuclear ambitions. "Brazil is a country at peace, that has always preserved peace and is a defender of...
How NAFTA Failed Mexico: Immigration Is Not a Development Policy. (Immigration and Work)
During the 1993 battle over the North American Free Trade Agreement, the proposal's promoters' most politically effective argument was that NAFTA would keep Mexicans out of the United States. As political writer Elizabeth Drew later observed, "Anti-immigration...
Insurance Impunity
One day in 1973, 65-year-old Elmer Norman went to his doctor for some hearing tests and a prescription for antibiotics to treat an ear infection. But when Norman submitted the bills to Colonial Penn Franklin, his health insurer, the company denied...
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize. (the Last Word)
"Who are you with?" asks a Democratic activist. "I like Dean." "He doesn't have a snowball's chance," says another. "If we put up an anti-war candidate, we're dead. Kerry's the man." "Kerry doesn't connect with people," says a third. "Besides,...
Mr. Personality: Is That Enough for John Edwards?
Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) sits about two feet away from me in the back of a sleek, black Dodge Durango SUV, a package of melting peanut-butter chocolate-chip cookies between us. We're speeding past fields and silos in southwestern Iowa, down a badly...
Off the Wall Street Journal. (Devil in the Details)
It's now clear that the Bush administration knowingly lied about Iraq. Paul Wolfowitz, in a rare moment of candor, admitted to a Vanity Fair interviewer, "For reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on the one...
Remaking Steel: Without Throwing Its Retirees on the Slagheap. (Dispatches)
HIS UNION'S MISSION, SAYS LEO GERARD, United Steelworkers of America's international president, is "saving these damn plants for our members, retirees and the next generation of workers"--not for corporate executives or nonunion subcontractors. With...
Road Map to Grand Apartheid? Ariel Sharon's South African Inspiration. (Dispatches)
JERUSALEM--THE BEST WAY TO UNderstand just how Ariel Sharon plans to crumple and fold the road map to Israeli-Palestinian peace is to get out on the roads of the West Bank. Drive east from Jerusalem. Pass the stone-faced apartment buildings of Ma'aleh...
The Demo Derby
George Stephanopoulos: Sen. Kerry ... earlier this week, your campaign questioned whether or not Gov. Dean was fit to be commander in chief. Do you think he's fit? John Kerry: I think Gov. Dean made a statement which I found quite extraordinary,...
The Indispensable Advocate: With Big-City Machines Gone, Unions Are the Primary Champions of America's New Immigrants. (A Special Report on Immigration and Work)
Varsha Patel works in the stockroom at the Cintas industrial laundry plant in Piscataway, N.J., sorting dirty uniforms as they come in for cleaning. For eight hours she remains standing as she separates the damaged cloths from the merely dirty; at...
The Road to Aqaba. (below the Beltway)
Before the Iraq War, administration neoconservatives were fond of saying, "The road to Jerusalem runs through Baghdad." In the wake of the war and of George W. Bush's June 4 summit meeting in Aqaba, Jordan, many people in Washington think they were...
The Wages of Death: Why Immigrant Workers Need a Better Contract with America. (A Special Report on Immigration and Work)
That morning, Edilberto Morales' supervisor called at 3. The phone rang in the apartment above the gun store, where he and five friends shared three rooms. They all got up, and in the cold darkness they put on their work clothes and made their lunch,...
Third Time's No Charm. (the Taxonomist)
So Congress passed the Third Annual Awful Bush Tax Cut. It was a close vote in the Senate, with Vice President Dick Cheney breaking a 50-to-50 tie. But both sides agree on one thing: The cost of the bill over the next decade will be far more than its...
UNderappreciated: Despite Its Right-Wing U.S. Critics, the UN Often Succeeds. (Dispatches)
"I'm not a big fan of the United Nations. But if the UN was good for anything, it would be something like this. Since the UN was no good for this, maybe they're good for nothing." --REP. ROSCOE BARTLETT (R-MD.), on the eve of war in Iraq THE...
Victims in the Heartland: How Immigration Policy Affects Us All. (A Special Report on Immigration and Work)
Shelbyville, Tenn., is an archetypal American working-class community of 16,000 people. Located 53 miles south of Nashville, it has one high school, one movie theater, six pawnbrokers and no parking meters. Its greatest claim to fame is the Tennessee...
Will Bush Pay for Deception? (Comment)
There are lots of reasons to think that the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq will merely be a historical footnote to the war. Polls this spring have shown little public concern about the government's inability to validate the principal...
Window on Reality: American Idol and the Search for Identity. (Television)
"REALITY" TELEVISION IS GENERALLY scorned as mindless, vulgar, exploitatire and contrived. So is it ever sociology, is it ever real? Yes, if it's American Idol, the FOX show that recently wrapped up its blockbuster second season. The program, for the...
Youth Hostile: To Win over Young Voters, Democrats Need to Stop Trashing Popular Culture. (Pop Culture)
BACK IN 1984, WHEN I PRODUCED THE first MTV voter-registration spots, a number of my liberal activist friends were worried about Ronald Reagan's popularity with youth. I asked then-Congressman Tom Harkin, the Democratic nominee for the Senate, if he...