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. 15, No. 11, November

A World Apart
George W. Bush and John Kerry could agree on one point in the first presidential debate: Nuclear proliferation--especially the risk of terrorists obtaining nuclear weapons--represents the most serious threat we face. But the difference in how the two...
Cloak and Swagger: The Larry Franklin Spy Probe Punctuates the Fierce Feud within Conservative Circles over How to Go after Iran. the Neocons Are Arguing Their Case in the Time-Honored Fashion
TO WASHINGTON'S SMALL AND SOMETIMES FRACTIOUS community of Iran experts, it was becoming obvious: What to do about Iran and its fast-developing nuclear program was set to rival Iraq as the most pressing foreign-policy challenge for the person elected...
Figures of Speech: First, Bush Said Two-Thirds of Al-Qaeda's Leaders Had Been Neutralized. Then, Magically, It Was Three-Quarters. Both Assertions Are Pure Fantasy
ONE OF JOHN KERRY'S STRONGER MOments in the first presidential debate came when he explained that, contrary to what George W. Bush would still have had inattentive viewers believe, Saddam Hussein did not attack the United States. To this cold reminder,...
Head Start under Assault: The Flaws in the Administration's Misguided Plan
WHO WOULD HAVE thought a 40-year-old program that has helped millions of our nation's poorest preschoolers get a head start could come under attack? Despite its many successes, recorded by researchers and lived by families, Head Start's future is now...
It's Your Money They're Wasting
In September, my group, Citizens for Tax Justice, released a major study on corporate tax avoidance. We looked at 275 of the largest and most profitable Fortune 500 companies and found that almost a third managed to pay nothing (or less) in federal...
Keeping Faith with Our Children: Why Early-Childhood Education Is the Best Investment We Can Make
EDUCATION FOR ALL IS A DEfining value of our country, and living up to it takes more than lip service. It takes dedication, hard work, and financial commitment. It means working in partnerships to create the best federal, state, and local policies...
Leave No Parent Behind: The Most Effective Child-Development Programs Work with Kids and Their Parents. Why, Then, Do We Leave So Many Parents Behind?
FORTY YEARS AGO, AS MARIAN Wright Edelman and her fellow pioneers at the Child Development Group of Mississippi were organizing sharecroppers, fending off Jim Crow, and cobbling together a model for the nation's Head Start program, Betty Hart and Todd...
Loyal to Rumsfeld-Or the Constitution?
A REMARKABLE CEREMONY took place in the Pentagon last month. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld swore in the civilians who will be reviewing the judgments reached by military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Here is their oath of office: "Does each...
Of Human Bondage: A Coalition against Human Trafficking Worked Well until a Prostitution Litmus Test Was Imposed. Now, Groups Are Losing Funding-And the Women Aren't Necessarily Better Off
ON AUGUST 6, CHRISTINA ARNOLD FOUND HERSELF IN SVAY Pak, Cambodia, an area full of wooden shacks, bars, and brothels 11 kilometers from the capital city of Phnom Penh. Arnold, the 29 year-old director of Project Hope International, a nonprofit organization...
Past, Present, and Future: What We Can Learn from the History of Preschool Education
THE MOVEMENT TO UNIVERsalize preschool education is not new. Americans have been attempting to get public support for educating our youngest children for more than 150 years. Why has it taken so long? What are the obstacles? And what do past successes...
Primeval Minefield
FOR A FEDERAL STATUTE, the Wilderness Act of 1964 contains some unusually poetic language. As if channeling Henry David Thoreau, the act defines a federal wilderness area as a place "where the earth and its community are untrammeled by man ... retaining...
Raising the Bar: We Know Better-Qualified Teachers Produce Higher-Performing Children. We Need to Reward Better-Trained Child-Care and Preschool Teachers
LILLIANA DIAZ HAS OPERATED a child-care business in her Lowell, Massachusetts, home for more than four years. Often rising before dawn and putting in 10-hour days, she guides eight toddlers through a busy schedule of reading, playtime, meals, and more....
Shaping the Brains of Tomorrow: What Developmental Science Teaches about the Importance of Investing Early in Children
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE BEST MINDS in the country concluded that investments in early-childhood development are necessary and cost-effective? That the early years present an opportunity, unequaled later in life, to enhance inborn potential and avert...
Starting November 3
The real work for progressives starts November 3, either fighting a newly unleashed George W. Bush or helping a sure-to-be besieged John Kerry. But to be effective, progressives must understand why the right has been so successful at shaping the national...
Starting Right: Building on Proven Strategies to Promote Development in Very Young Children
IN THE MID-1990S, NEWSSTANDS ACROSS THE COUNTRY BRIMMED WITH MAGAZINES touting new research on brain development, and the "science" of early-childhood development was championed from the East Room to the hearing room, from the boardroom to the living...
Swifter Than Truth: During the "Swift"-Boat Scandal, the Press, Supposedly Being "Balanced," Helped Spread Lies. Anyone Believe That the Press Has Learned a Lesson?
HISTORIANS OF THE MAD PAGEANT IN which Americans chose their president in 2004 will someday note with astonishment that the quote-unquote Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, many of its members inveterate liars more swift than truthful, succeeded in hijacking...
The European Model: What We Can Learn from How Other Nations Support Families That Work
TO JUDGE FROM PUBLIC DEbates on everything from marriage promotion to educational standards, the United States is exceptionally concerned with the well-being of children. But as American families struggle to balance work and family demands, our government...
The Good Guys: Tort Reformers Complain about "Frivolous" Lawsuits. but at a Time When Government Has Stopped Protecting Citizens, Trial Lawyers Have Become the Regulators of Last Resort
ON JULY 5, JOHN EDWARDS SLIPPED INTO A HIGH-RISE AT One Boston Place to greet some of his and John Kerry's top contributors among plaintiffs' attorneys. At the offices of Robinson & Cole, Edwards shook hands with Alex MacDonald, a partner there...
The Israel Deal: Conventional Wisdom: Israel Wanted the Iraq War. Reality: When America Is Overextended Militarily, U.S. Support for Israel Is Inevitably Weakened
IRAQ, IT'S TRUE, ISN'T PRECISELY Vietnam: Vietnam is hellishly hot and humid, whereas Iraq is infernally hot and dry; Americans aren't dying as quickly in Iraq as they did in Nam; the justifications used to pull the United States into Iraq have proven...
Too Young to Test: Why We Need a Better Means of Evaluating Our Nation's Youngest Children
LAST FALL AND AGAIN IN THE SPRING, THE GOVernment administered a standardized literacy and math test to all children in the Head Start program. It's being given again this year. Four-year-olds are asked to count objects, name alphabet letters and simple...
Where Do We Go from Here? Building a Movement on Behalf of Young Children
AN IMPORTANT REASON why quality early education and care is not universally available in America is because the public is not demanding it. Many of the people most affected by current supports for young children are not engaged in the conversation...
You're Doing Fine, Oklahoma! the Universal Pre-K Movement Takes off in Unlikely Places
THIRTY YEARS AGO, THE NAtional movement for universal preschool came heartbreakingly close to success. But Richard Nixon's 1971 veto of such a measure--it "would commit the vast moral authority of the National Government to the side of communal approaches...