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. 12, No. 22, December 17

Airpower and Our Power. (Comment)
WHEN THE WAR BEGAN in early October, no one knew how long and difficult it would be, and many pointed to the Russians' failed invasion of Afghanistan as a warning that the enterprise could prove to be a disaster. Two months later, as I write, the Taliban...
An Imperial Presidency. (on the Contrary)
TERRORISM WAS EXPECTED TO BRING BACK BIG government, but lately it seems that federal power isn't growing so much as it is coalescing in the White House. Some in Congress have reacted to recent power grabs by the Bush administration with appropriate...
Arsenic and Saving Face. (Correspondence)
IN WASHINGTON, D.C., IF IT spins, it wins. On Halloween Day, Christine Todd Whitman, the beleaguered Environmental Protection Agency director, sent letters to congressional appropriators announcing that she would retain the Clinton arsenic standard...
Boring Buildings. (the Critics Architecture)
NOW THAT THE WORLD Trade Center towers are gone, will Tony Soprano still glance at them in his rearview mirror as he drives home on the New Jersey Turnpike? Or will The Sopranos' producers have him looking back at the now denuded skyline of Manhattan--at...
Commission Impossible: How the Bush Administration Plan to Pave the Way for Privatization Became Its Own Worst Enemy. (below the Beltway)
ALL SUCCESSFUL COMMISSIONS are the same; all unsuccessful commissions are unsuccessful in their own way. This is how the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security marked its singular sort of failure: A few days after being summoned to the...
Dumbledore's Message. (the Critics Cultural Phenomena)
BACK WHEN THE HARRY Potter books first reached America, the righteous were ready: Conservative Christians called for a ban on the little wizard. Focus on the Family, a conservative religious group, cautioned that "witchcraft ... is directly denounced...
Feinstein's Rule Some Immigrants Are More Equal Than Others. (Gazette)
SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN HAS never been shy about grabbing hot-button law-and-order issues. So it was hardly surprising in the days after September al to see the California Democrat leading the charge for tougher visa restrictions and other controls...
Holy War: Republicans Woo an Ex-Muslim Blasphemer in the Fight to Separate Mosque and State. (Gazette)
WHEN "IBN WARRAQ," the pseudonymous Muslim apostate, visited the United States after September 11, one of his first stops was the White House. There, he enjoyed an hour-and-a-half lunch with President Bush's chief economic speechwriter, David Frum....
Home-Court Advantage. (Correspondence)
MICHAEL MASSING DID AN excellent job of pointing out the major differences between the war on drugs and the war on terrorism ["Home-Court Advantage," December 3]. Afghanistan's brutal Taliban regime profits from the heroin trade because of drug...
I $ New York: Bloomberg Batters Campaign Finance Reform
WHAT ARE CAMPAIGN finance reformers to make of the fact that Republican billionaire Michael Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York last month? Bloomberg's success has reignited the issue of money in politics and underscored the power of constitutionally...
Inside Job: Richard Perle Plays the Pentagon's Undercover Agent in a Propaganda War against Iraq. (Gazette)
IF YOU'VE CAUGHT MUCH OF THE TV commentary about the "war against terrorism," you've probably seen a lot of Richard Perle, the portly, Ronald Reagan--era assistant secretary of defense who kept the defense-hawk home fires burning throughout the Bill...
Lose That Eyeshade. (Comment)
SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADERS, stung by criticism that they have failed to challenge the Bush administration's assault on civil liberties, are taking comfort from their goal-line stand against the latest round of proposed tax cuts. Yet as we approach the...
Sex, Lies, Etc. (the Critics Film)
SET IN A SINGLE, GRIM MICHIGAN motel room, Richard Linklater's latest film, Tape, has an air of let's-put-on-a-movie spontaneity--and concentration--that's often missing from contemporary American pictures. This refreshing charge derives in part from...
Smart Bomb? Would Gore Have Been a Better Wartime President?
WERE IT NOT FOR THE BUTTERFLY BALLOTS in Palm Beach County and the Democratic Party's failure to insist on a statewide recount of the Florida vote, the crisis that has engulfed America since September 11 would be unfolding in a vastly different political...
Stimulus Wars. (Networks)
WHEN, IN THE WAKE OF the September 11 attacks, conservatives pushed a $100-billion economic-stimulus package that favored their corporate allies over laid-off workers, a coalition of more than 60 groups, spearheaded by the Institute for America's Future,...
Stockade Justice: Why We Don't Need Military Tribunals. (Gazette)
EVEN BEFORE THE INK WAS dry on the antiterrorism bill, the Bush administration began relying less on powers granted it by a cowed Congress and more on assertions of inherent presidential authority. Several new actions--the establishment of military...
The More Things Change. (Correspondence)
"THE WORLD AS WE HAVE known it since September 11 has changed, perhaps irrevocably," wrote the columnist Cal Thomas in early November, "but some things remain the same." One of those things, as it happens, is punditry. Two sentences into his column,...
The Unending War. (the Last Word)
AT THE HEART OF PRESIDENT Bush's war on terrorism lies a deepening contradiction that, unless resolved, will undermine the legitimacy of the entire war effort. The contradiction is embedded in the narrative of why we are at war and what it will take...
Time's Up: Under Term Limits, California's Legislative Engine Sputters
IN THE AFTERMATH OF SEPTEMBER 11, A WRITER TO The New York Times spoke for many New Yorkers when he wrote, "There is no more eloquent testimony to the mindlessness of term limits than the performance of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani during this time of...
We Aren't Stupid, We're Lying. (the Taxonomist)
IN A LETTER TO THE WASHINGTON POST ON OCTOBER 29, the Cato Institute's fiscal-policy director, Chris Edwards, wrote to urge the repeal of the corporate minimum tax. His central argument was that three of the companies that would get the biggest rebates,...
"We" -- Not "Me": Public Opinion and the Return of Government
DISTRUST OF GOVERNMENT IS DOWN AND THE public is clearly looking for an expanded governmental role in a vast range of areas related to the September n attacks. How else can we explain the big debate on airline safety? The U.S. Senate wants to federalize...
Whose First Amendment? Media Conglomeration as Free Speech
WITH THE RISE OF SO-CALLED REALITY TELevision in recent years (proving that truth is tawdrier than fiction, too), it might well be asked what all of the TV writers are up to these days. Some, it would seem, have lent their fertile imaginations to a...