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. 13, No. 6, March 25

Between Iraq and a Hard Place: Invade Now, Pay Later-Or Sooner. (below the Beltway)
THERE ARE THREE GOOD REASONS why the United States should worry about Iraq: oil, weapons of mass destruction, and Saddam Hussein. Iraq has the second-largest oil reserves in the Mideast, and what its government does with them vitally affects the world...
Can Buffy's Brilliance Last? (Correspondence)
UNTIL I READ GARRETT EPPS'S dazzling piece "Can Buffy's Brilliance Last" [January 28], I thought I was the only adult in this country who realized that Buffy is brilliant television. I could not agree more that the series, without preaching, sent a...
Congress on Drugs. (Networks)
THE DEMOCRATS HAVE A terrific issue in prescription-drug coverage, but their caution on budgetary politics and deference to the pharmaceutical industry could blow their advantage. President George Bush says he supports drug coverage, but his budget...
Customized to California? Why Dick Riordan Isn't the Great GOP Hope after All. (Gazette)
HE'S BEEN CALLED THE harbinger of a "New Republicanism"--a West Coast Michael Bloomberg who can customize the GOP for a Democratic California much as Bloomberg has for a Democratic New York. But for all the hype and hope that's been invested in Richard...
Film Business: Labor as Art: Cantet's Time out and Human Resources. (the Critics Work)
WORK IS THE DIRTY secret of contemporary life--to judge by the movies, at any rate. Although work is where people experience roughly half their waking hours over the course of four or five decades, working life is not considered glamorous or electric...
Kennedy's Quidditas: Roscoe's Place in the Albany Cycle. (the Critics Literature)
THERE'S A LAW THAT SAYS YOU can't write about William Kennedy without invoking William Faulkner or James Joyce, or both, the idea being that if a novelist returns to a place in a number of works over time he is not so much writing books as re-creating...
Not the People's Choice: How to Democratize American Democracy
THE TRUE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DISPUTED 2000 election has thus far escaped public attention. This was an election that made the loser of the popular vote the president of the United States. But that astounding fact has been obscured: first by the flood...
Organizing People: The One Sure Way to Defeat Enronism. (Enron Capitalism and How to Fix It)
THE ENRON SUPERMARKET OF CORPORATE crime, fraud, and abuse has engendered its own media frenzy and congressional investigative momentum to document the wrongdoing and the harm to innocents; it will likely also stimulate civil lawsuits and criminal...
Our Man Musharraf. (Devil in the Details)
FEW PEOPLE DID NOT FEEL outrage and sadness at news of the death of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Indeed, according to Colin Powell, Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's dictator, "took it pretty hard because he was trying to do everything he...
Putting Profits over Patriotism. (the Taxonomist)
IN A RECENT ARTICLE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, DAVID CAY Johnston details how some sleazy American companies are reincorporating in Bermuda and other countries in order to avoid taxes. Insurance companies led the way a few years ago; and when Congress...
Regulating Power: An Idea Whose Time Is Back. (Enron Capitalism and How to Fix It)
IGNORED IN THE SCANDAL ABOUT Enron's off-the-books deals is the fact that Enron's core businesses--trading and selling energy--made little economic sense. Starting in the early 1990s, Enron claimed it could make electricity generation more efficient...
Roe V. Bush. (Networks)
ALTHOUGH THE 29TH ANNIVERSARY OF the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade came and went on January 22 without much media attention, reproductive-rights organizations were revving their engines. With the Bush administration opposed to abortion, and even taking...
Saddam's Real Opponents: What You Don't Know about the Iraqi Opposition. (Gazette)
THREE YEARS AGO, THE INFLUENTIAL journal Foreign Affairs published an article on Iraq entitled "The Rollback Fantasy." It was a typically long and sober piece, challenging the thinking of those who were arguing for a United States role in toppling...
Secrets and Lies. (on the Contrary)
ASSUMING THAT THE LATE FORMER ENRON VICE Chairman Cliff Baxter died by his own hand and not the hands of others who feared he might testify against them, you might blame Baxter's suicide on guilt, shame, or fear of financial ruin. Linda Lay, wife of...
Securing Pensions II: Some Necessary Reforms. (Enron Capitalism and How to Fix It)
ENRON'S COLLAPSE--AND THE TERRIBLE losses suffered by Enron workers--has created the political space for a real conversation about how employers have chosen to finance their employees' retirement. That debate is centered on the fact that millions of...
Securing Pensions I: The Cult of Bad Ideas. (Enron Capitalism and How to Fix It)
THE ENRON SCANDAL SEEMS LIKE A heaven-sent opportunity to reform the business excesses of our recent Gilded Age. But the fetish of markets retains a powerful grip on the American political psyche. Already, corporate lobbyists, elevating stock-market...
Sounds like Chomsky; Votes GOP. (Devil in the Details)
THE LAST TIME WE LOOKED, Kansas Senator Sam Brownback was your standard-issue Republican right-winger--a guy who, in the 2000 session of Congress, had run up a 100 percent positive voting record on the American Conservative Union's scorecard and a...
The Big Bash Theory: Mira Nair's Latest Movie Revels and Reels. (the Critics Film)
MIRA NAIR'S NEW COMIC melodrama Monsoon Wedding opens with a shot of a frowning man trying to prop up a traditional Indian marigold bower, then flits straight to his agitated cordless-phone conversation with a clownish "event manager." As we soon learn,...
The Other War at Home. (Correspondence)
I READ WITH INTEREST Emily Parsons's "The Other War at Home," which reviewed Judge James R. Gray's book on the failed drug war. Gray is quite right in saying that "the War on Drugs is about a lot of things, but only rarely is it really about drugs."...
The Road to Enron. (Comment)
FOR THE PAST QUARTER-CENTURY, America has been deregulating capitalism in expectation of a more dynamic and efficient economy. In fact, average economic growth since 1976 has slightly lagged that of the previous quarter-century, when capitalism was...
Uncooking the Books: Restoring Accounting. (Enron Capitalism and How to Fix It)
FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING HAS ONE quite simple goal: to give investors and other outsiders an honest report on a company's performance and management's stewardship. Accurate accounting ("transparency") is something that we Americans preach to other nations...
With Victories like These ...: The Glaring Inadequacies of Shays-Meehan. (Gazette)
WHAT A CRUEL TWIST OF fate: campaign finance reform that benefits Republicans and big money. The Shays-Meehan bill is back-to-the-future reform: legislation that takes us back to just before 1980, when there was no "soft money" but still a huge...