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. 18, No. 9, September

All Trivial! All the Time!
"AND THEN, CLEAVAGE!" THE CNN NEWS ANCHOR couldn't have sounded more excited as a white arrow blinked on the screen, pointing down the New York senator's chest toward the point where her V-necked shirt gave way to slightly more skin--we're talking...
Biodiversity in Jeopardy: There Are More Life Forms in Amazonia Than Anyplace Else. but by the End of This Century, There May Be Many Fewer
THE AMAZON BASIN IS, ABOVE ALL, our planet's greatest celebration of biodiversity, where for hun dreds of millions of years environmental conditions have favored an overall increase in the numbers of species. It is not clear why this has been so. Perhaps...
Bullish on God
PUT THE HEADLINE TOGETHER WITH THE SUBHEAD, and you have nothing less than the holy grail of modern conservatism. "In Europe, God Is (Not) Dead," proclaimed a headline on the front page of a softnews Saturday edition of The Wall Street Journal. Beneath...
Climate Change and the Forest: Warming Breeds Drought, Drought Breeds Fires, Fires Release Carbon, Carbon Breeds Warming
IN 1984, ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF PAR" agominas, a bustling and violent cattle town in the eastern Amazon, I walked through a pasture, brown and dusty from drought, into a 500-acre island of virgin forest. The moist greenness of the leaf canopy that reached...
Deforestation and Global Markets: An Amazonian Dilemma: Brazil Has Become a Global Producer, and China a Global Consumer
FOREST CLEARING ON AMAZONIA'S expanding frontiers is not about desperate poor people clearing the forest to eat. It is about land sharks fighting it out over the best parts and forcing the little fish to pick over the remains. In the wake of forest...
Deforestation and Poor Amazonians: Brazil's Forest Dwellers, Often Its Best Stewards, Are Trying Hard to Make a Living from the Standing Forest
THE LAST 30 YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT in the Amazon have proven an essential rule: Whenever social groups depend on forest resources--for economic and social development--they will work to protect those resources. And the opposite is also true: If the market...
Every Fight Tells a Story
WHEN CONGRESS RETURNS FROM ITS AUGUST recess, it will take up the battle over a modest expansion of the program that provides health insurance for children. The Senate Finance Committee will begin its fight over changing the tax treatment of hedge-fund...
Parody
"I am deeply concerned with suggestions that my testimony was misleading, and am determined to address any such impression."--Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, in a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, Aug. 1, 2007 Aug. 15, 2007 ...
Peretz: Who Was Right, When?
IN HIS RATHER NASTY AND despicable screed attacking The New Republic's Editor in Chief Marty Peretz, Alterman includes me on the list of "conservatives" who have written for TNR because they are closely associated with "the hawkish Peretzian position...
Road Pictures for Our Time: Filmmaker Michael Winterbottom Is That Rare Western Artist Who Can Depict the Streets of Tehran and Karachi. It's Movie Stars That Trip Him Up
RIGHT NOW A POLITICAL FILMmaker of great talent is making more than one film a year--17 in the last 15 years. That's the good news. The bad news is that his work has yet to be viewed by a substantial audience. That filmmaker is Michael Winterbottom,...
Share the Credit: Why Extending Income Tax Credits to Payroll Tax Payers Should Be the Next Big Idea in American Politics
THE DEMOCRATS ARE A POTENTIAL MAJORITY PARTY in need of a major idea with potential. The major idea that built a Republican majority starting with Ronald Reagan's election was simple: cutting income taxes, with or without cuts in spending. The Republicans...
The Fractured Landscape: A Road Here and a Cattle Ranch There Imperil More Than the Immediate Vicinity
THE LANDSCAPE IN AMAZONIA IS rapidly becoming fractured, weakening the rainforest s capacity to withstand the escalation of everstronger assaults, ranging from chainsaws to climate change. The forest is not only being crisscrossed by highways, pipelines,...
The Myth of the Balanced Court: In 1980, John Paul Stevens Stood at the Center of the Supreme Court. Today, He Is Its Most Left-Wing Member-And He Hasn't Changed
IT IS HOW THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA HAVE TAUGHT THE public to think about decisions by the current Supreme Court. And it is a conceptual scheme that makes it utterly impossible to understand either the Court's current makeup or its recent history. The Myth...
The Role of the Public Sector: Concerted Governmental Policies to Protect the Forest Have Been Few and Far Between
IT IS ONLY WITHIN THE LAST FOUR decades that governments sharing the Amazon Basin have taken the region seriously. Ignored for centuries as a distant, exotic outpost, Amazonia is now called upon to serve a number of diverse and often contradictory...
The Search for Solutions: From Indigenous People to Carbon Traders, Concerned Groups Have Stepped Up the Fight to Save the Amazon
BRAZIL HAS A PRODIGIOUS ABILITY to spend billions of dollars on Amazonian projects of little bene fit to Amazonian people, flora, and fauna. In 1997 the federal government launched SIVAM (System for the Vigilance of the Amazon), a $1.4 billion program...
The Shielded Guianas: The Global Economy Discovers the Most Obscure Corner of the Rainforest
SK SOMEONE THE LOCATION OF Suriname and you as likely to hear 'Africa' and Asia as you are "South America." While Latin America is demographically dominated by Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Catholics, the Guianas--from west to east the countries...
The Trouble with Impeachment: Bush and Cheney Merit-Overwhelmingly, Screamingly-Impeachment and Conviction. but That Doesn't Make It a Good Idea
YOU MAY RECALL THE SCENE IN CLINT EASTWOOD'S 1992 Western Unforgiven where Eastwood"s character levels his gun at Gene Hackmans" malevolent sheriff, whom he is about to dispatch to hell's lower depths. I don t deserve this, Hackman protests. "Deserve's...
This Year's Charade: Mitt Romney May Be Campaigning as the Compassionate Conservative, but, as George W. Bush Has Shown, Winning the Right Wing's Backing Guarantees a Right-Wing President
MITT ROMNEY WANTS TO MAKE SOMETHING very clear. We are inside the honey-colored, wooden A-frame of the Great Hall of Simpson's College in Indianola, Iowa, on a humid July evening, where an aged audience has trickled in for an earlybird Saturday dinner....
Till the Cows Come Home: Once Economically Marginal, Cattle Ranching in the Amazon Now Yields Big Bucks
MARABA, THE TRADITIONAL HUB for logging and gold-mining capital of cattle ranching in the Brazilian state of Pardi. Located in southern Pardi at the intersection of a trunk road of the Belem-Brasilia with the Trans-Amazon highways, Maraba is also intersected...
Tomorrow's Amazonia: As Farming, Ranching, and Logging Shrink the Globe's Great Rainforest, the Planet Heats Up. A Prospect Special Report on the Assaults on, and the Efforts to Protect, the Amazon
THERE'S A BRASHr RISKY NEW AMAZONIA OUT THERE. Pioneer entrepreneurs are making fortunes from activities long considered not feasible in this vast and challenging place, gouging ever deeper into the rainforest in pursuit of wealth. The deeper they...
What Worker Rights Can Do
WHY PUT WORKER RIGHTS IN TRADE BILLS? AT FIRST glance they seem toothless. In the past, when these rights made it into trade bills, the signing countries just had to "strive to ensure" the rights. Now congressional Democrats are crafting a new, tougher...
Whither Amazonia? A New Generation of Forest-Friendly Political Leaders Has Emerged in Parts of the Amazon
THE AMAZON IS NO LONGER THE overlooked region of its constituent countries or the remote region of the world that it once seemed. Vast as it is, it is clearly not impervious to human impact. Indeed, in this era of globalization, the Amazon is vulnerable,...
Windfall or Wipeout?
IF THE ECONOMY GOES INTO A TAILSPIN, WHICH NOW seems to be a growing possibility, how would it influence the 2008 presidential campaign? And if the Democrats should be elected, how would a severe recession affect their ability to govern? Until now,...
Young, Black, and Post-Civil Rights: There's a New Generation of African American Political Leaders, and They Aren't Confining Their Careers to Black Districts-They're Calling for Race-Blind, Not Race-Based, Policies
ON A BLUSTERY WINTER AFTERNOON IN JANUARY 2005, I went to see Harold Ford Jr. in his congressional office to talk about his upcoming campaign for the U.S. Senate. He guessed he would need about $12 million for the campaign. In terms of actual hurdles,...