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. 8, August

A Failure of Intelligence
America's intelligence system failed to see terrorist threats coming from al-Qaeda prior to September 11 that should have been evident, and then, after 9-11, saw terrorist threats coming from Iraq that didn't exist. A system that doesn't warn of real...
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After Kerry, the Deluge
MASSACHUSETTS DEMOCRATS sure would love for one of their own to move into the White House next January--but they don't want to lose a seat in the closely divided U.S. Senate to a Republican for the first time in a quarter-century as a result. That...
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America Reinvents
Think back to last summer. George W. Bush's approval ratings stood near 60 percent. Iraq, a "mission" the president had famously declared "accomplished" aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln that May, was no paradise, but it was also not yet the political...
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Be a Hero: A President Must Create His Moment, Not Stumble on It
THE INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT KERRY ON JANUARY 20, 2005, will be the beginning of the global post-Bush era. As a young American, I would give President Kerry one central, and simple, piece of advice: Be a hero. His success at recasting the issues in...
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Black Listed Cancer Treatment Could Save Your Life
Baltimore, MD -- As unbelievable as it seems the key to stopping many cancers has been around for over 30 years. Yet it has been banned. Blocked. And kept out of your medicine cabinet by the very agency designed to protect your health--the FDA. ...
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Build an "A" Team: And Fight like Hell against the Right
MY ADVICE, PRESIDENT KERRY, IS THAT YOU ASSEMBLE A political "A" team, install it in the West Wing, and fight like hell against the right over the next four years. "We ought to have two real parties," President Franklin Delano Roosevelt told speechwriter...
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Civilization's Price: The Simple Truth: We Need Higher, and Smarter, Taxes
IF JOHN KERRY IS ELECTED THIS FALL, HIS NO. 1 TASK WILL be to deal with the huge budget mess George W. Bush's tax cuts have created. Which begs the question: How could President Kerry build public support for the higher taxes our country desperately...
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Class Will Out
CHATTING ON A MOBILE phone in the back seat of a Honda that's barreling through eastern Pennsylvania, Billionaires for Bush Co-Chair Andrew Boyd is decked out in an elegant, Old World suit made many decades ago by his immigrant grandfather. As he prepares...
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Climbing the Hill: As President, John Kerry Might Find a Few Surprising Allies in a GOP-Controlled Congress. and a Few Is All He'd Need to Enact Some Significant Changes
SO, WHAT, IF ANYTHING, COULD A PRESIDENT KERRY GET through Congress? It's beyond question that a President Kerry would inherit a Congress that, for the past half-decade, has been spiraling into an ever deeper dysfunctionality. During the past two...
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Fiscal Boldness First: A Progressive Tax Plan That Moves beyond Austerity
IF HE TAKES THE OATH OF OFFICE AS PRESIDENT, JOHN Kerry would inherit an upside-down economy marked by slow job growth, stagnant wages, and rising costs; twin deficits--budget and trade--that threaten havoc for the middle class; a health-care system...
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Follow the (Saudi) Money: Can a Small Muslim Community in Cambodia Resist Being Pulled toward Wahhabism?
HEAD NORTH OUT OF PHNOM PENH, AND WITHIN A FEW miles the cacophonous traffic of Cambodia's capital gives way to herds of oxen and water buffalo, their shoulder blades rolling underneath their hides. As you travel, the riverside restaurants--frequented...
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From Bush's Playbook: Vision, Leadership, and Structural Change
GIVEN HIS LACK OF MANDATE, ONE MIGHT HAVE EXPECTED moderation and caution from George W. Bush. Instead, Bush moved aggressively to reframe the basic dialogue of American politics and restructure the institutions of American government. What has...
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Independence Day: Galvanizing Public Support for a Real Energy Plan
IF I HAD 15 MINUTES WITH THE FUTURE PRESIDENT KERRY, I would not have to educate him about my ideas for energy security. That's because he already has a deep understanding of them. Making America energy independent, strengthening our national security,...
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John Edwards Pop Quiz
1. John Edwards' father worked: a) in a paper mill b) in a textile mill c) for General Mills d) as a research assistant to C. Wright Mills 2. In 1997, Edwards won a $25 million verdict for a girl injured by: a) a NASCAR driver ...
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Know Thine Enemies: And Go after Them. but Only Them
SINCE WORLD WAR II, AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY IN GENERAL has been both realistic and moderate. There have been occasional bursts of intensified anxiety and paranoiac fears, but, by and large, American presidents--both the Democrats and Republicans who've...
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Labor-Inescapably! at the Very Least, a Return to a (Modest) Status-Quo
ONCE UPON A TIME--AS IN LONG, LONG AGO--ALL PRESIDENTS and presidential candidates were expected to have an answer for the "labor question." Nowadays, not only are there no answers, there's scarcely a question, at least not one demanding enough to...
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Leading the Races: On an Ignored Issue, There's Much Work to Be Done
WE ROUTINELY SCREEN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES FOR demonstrated competence on national security, economic policy, and other supreme responsibilities. But neither major candidate has demonstrated leadership or expertise on racial and ethnic justice (though...
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Life after Theory: The Romance with French Thought That Has Dominated American Humanities Departments since 1966 Is over. Can the Left Academy Speak in a Common Political Language Again?
NOT LONG AGO, I WATCHED A PANEL OF NOTED LITERARY scholars conclude a conference at Yale. The professors were just putting away their papers and wrapping up when, somehow, they started passionately debating the case of James Yee, the Guantanamo Bay...
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Lyndon Agonistes: When Democrats Celebrate Their Lineage, One Name Is Usually Conspicuous in Its Absence. the Erasure of LBJ Says Far Less about Him Than about How Liberals Make Use of History
AS DEMOCRATS FLOCK TO BOSTON TO NOMINATE JOHN Kerry for president, few surprises will await them at the Fleet Center. Today's political conventions stay relentlessly "on message," and they serve as mere heralds of the home stretch of a seemingly endless...
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Onward and Forward: Since Its Founding in 1998, MoveOn Has Influenced Everything from Impeachment to War. Its Secret: Always Giving Members Something to Do
ON A BLUSTERY MARCH DAY, PETER Schurman, the executive director of MoveOn.org, stands next to a Win Without War poster at a press conference on Capitol Hill. Schurman is a 34-year-old Yale School of Management graduate with a high forehead, blue eyes,...
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Organizer in Chief: Great Presidents Are Great Movement Builders
What do you do if you've just been elected president and you lack a working majority in Congress? A lot, actually. Our most effective presidents have moved not just legislation but public opinion. Eventually, they moved Congress-because they had...
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Promises, Promises: Big Talk Aside, Bush's Go-It-Alone Global AIDS Strategy Is Hurting More Than It's Helping
AT THE JUNE 2003 G8 SUMMIT IN EVIAN, FRANCE, PRESIDENT George W. Bush met with the other heads of state at a private dinner. There, according to sources close to two dinner guests, he promised the Europeans that if they gave $1 billion to a new joint...
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Teachable Moments: Every Week, Celebrate a Public Hero
ONE OF THE EMBLEMATIC MOVEMENTS OF THE 1990S WAS an ideologically ambiguous crusade called "Reinventing Government." It took its name from a surprise best-seller by David Osborne and Ted Gaebler. The idea was that we still need government, but we need...
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Teaching Tolerance: Reveal Us as Human Beings
CONGRATULATIONS, MR. PRESIDENT! THE PROGRESSIVE lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) community is delighted that you have an opportunity to turn America back on a path to tolerance. Here's what we expect in return: no more, and no less,...
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The Breakfast Crowd: Mr. President, Speak Directly to Ordinary People
I HAVE TWO WORDS FOR OUR NEXT PRESIDENT: NO EXCUSES. You will be facing an angry country frustrated by the serious challenges we confront and hungry for a leader who will actually get things done. I am from a small town in Maine, where 1 occasionally...
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The Courage to Lead: A Resurgent Movement Awaits Its Organizer in Chief
AS PRESIDENT, JOHN KERRY WOULD INHERIT THE MOST formidable grass-roots force in recent American history. Born in the rising populism of last year's frenetic primaries, this force has generated its own cobblestone leadership. What will Kerry do with...
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"The Evil Was Very Grave ..." Jose Marti's Description of Our 1884 Election Sounds Eerily Contemporary
THE CUBAN INDEPENDENCE HERO AND poet Jose Marti lived in New York from 1880 to 1895. He was a New Yorker, and easily the most important literary figure then residing in the city (after Walt Whitman's departure to rural New Jersey). During most of those...
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The Kerry I Know: So He's Not Mr. Charisma. but He Has Courage, Judgment, and Intellect. Imagine That!
THE FIRST TWO TIMES I DEALT WITH JOHN KERRY, WHEN he had his initial brush with notoriety many years ago, I didn't know what to make of him. It was actually a little later, after he had screwed up and taken one on the jaw, that I became intrigued by...
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The Next Generation: Illinois' Barack Obama Is Just the Most Visible of a New Breed of African American Leaders with Ambitions Their Forbears Couldn't Have Imagined
"BOY, THIS IS REALLY STANDING-ROOM only," complained a man outside the AFL-CIO hall in Peoria, Illinois, on a bright Tuesday morning in late June. U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama was set to start speaking soon to the diverse crowd, and a line of...
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The Power of the Pen: The Not-So-Secret Weapon of Congress-Wary Presidents: The Executive Order
Sure, the Democrats could hit the jackpot this year and take the White House and both chambers of Congress. But if John Kerry wins, he could just as easily be facing a Republican-controlled Congress that's, well, not eager to cooperate. Luckily, his...
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The Return of Energy: Early and Effective Use of the Powers of the Office
MR, KERRY, AFTER FOUR YEARS OF SLOTHFUL LEADERSHIP, the American people may be ready for the quality that the Framers referred to as "energy in the executive." That energy, of course, can't be solely of your own making. Since the nation's founding,...
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The Talking Cure: If Elected, Kerry Would Fight Terrorism with Diplomacy, Not War. but Can Diplomacy Win?
PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL JOHN KERRY SEEMS IN MANY WAYS the perfect foreign-policy foil to President George W. Bush. Educated partly in Switzerland and fluent in French, Kerry is the son of a diplomat who worked intensively with U.S. allies during the early...
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The Vital Middle: Redeeming and Defending Middle-Class Values
REMEMBER ALL THOSE SPEECHES YOU GAVE FILLED WITH statistics and stories about the middle-class squeeze? You spoke the truth. Wages really are stagnant, and we really are struggling to buy the basics. The core of a middle-class life--a home, health...
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Think Different: Teresa Heinz Kerry, Who Speaks Her Mind (and Can Do So in Five Languages), Is Not Your Typical Politician's Wife. That Ought to Be a Good Thing
ON A STEAMY WASHINGTON NIGHT IN early June, a moneyed crowd of gay men and lesbians gathered in the vaulted hall at the National Museum of Women in the Arts for a John Kerry fund raiser. The big draw that night was not actress Sharon Gless (Queer As...
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Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
Looking for some summer fun for the whole family? Why not join a new class-action lawsuit urging the Boston Roman Catholic Archdiocese to excommunicate one John Kerry for I the crime of heresy? Oh, stop protesting your inadequacies! It's been centuries...
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We the Government: Repairing the Rift between Citizen and State
WHEN WE RECALL THE NOW FAMOUS INCANTATION, "ASK not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country," we focus on its content: John F. Kennedy invited Americans to become active participants in, rather than passive recipients...
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