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. 11, No. 4, January 3

21-Gun Salute
I recently had the honor of being the liberal team-captain in the final episode of William F. Buckley's 34-year PBS series Firing Line. I've been Buckley's token liberal on and off since 1974. I agree with the man on just about nothing, but he has...
Clinton's Bequest Reconsidered
WILL BILL CLINTON'S BRAND OF FISCAL PRUDENCE SAVE LIBERALISM--OR KILL IT? AN ECONOMIST AND A JOURNALIST DISCUSS THE PRESIDENT'S ECONOMIC POLICIES AND THE HIDDEN DANGERS OF FISCAL CONSERVATISM. BARRY BLUESTONE ON FISCAL CONSERVATISM'S HIDDEN DANGERS...
Crazy for Bush?
There are basically two kinds of New Hampshire voters. The first kind--not very different from those in the rest of the country--is represented by Frank Claik, a local dignitary from Littleton, who recently shook hands with George W. Bush. Claik is...
Deifying Dutch
Like many religious exercises, the premillenial deification of Ronald Reagan has progressed more by zeal than by logic. Consider the steps conservatives have taken to elevate their man to the political firmament. Step one: Identify something good the...
Deliberate Intent: A Lawyer Tells the True Story of Murder by the Book
Rod Smolla, a professor of law at the University of Richmond, is one of the country's most able and articulate First Amendment experts. In this engrossing narrative, he explains how and why--contrary to his pro-free-speech impulses and after much agonizing--he...
Diversity Follies
Here's what I saw on TV last week: Good-looking, doe-eyed white youngster to his good-looking, doe-eyed sister: It's not like I'm still in the closet. Dad already knows I'm gay." Click. Black guy in suit to white guy in suit: "This is important. I...
Few Good Men
WHY POOR MOTHERS DON'T MARRY OR REMARRY It is no secret that the institution of marriage is in trouble. The median age at first marriage is at its highest since the United States began keeping reliable statistics: 24 for women and 26 for men. Nearly...
Inside John Malkovich
Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness was forecast by his 1938 novel La Nausee, in which a solitary named Antoine Roquentin, in the privacy of his journal, analyzes the agony of his existence: "La nausee ... c'est moi." The comedy Being John Malkovich...
It Pays to Discover
Freedom isn't free. And perhaps justice isn't either. But few people take that dictum so literally as the federal judiciary. The Judicial Conference, the body of federal judges in charge of making the rules for trying cases in federal court, came mighty...
It's the Year 2000 Economy, Stupid
Exactly eight years ago, I trudged through New Hampshire sleet and slush, telling anyone who'd listen that Bill Clinton would do wonders for the American economy. Now, as the nation lurches into a millennial election year, most Americans seem largely...
Perot, Revised
Pat Buchanan's recent defection to the Reform Party has led to a lot of soul-searching within the Republican Party. Spurred in part by fears that "Pitchfork Pat" could siphon off votes from the next GOP nominee, Republicans of all stripes have been...
Playing Chicken
The other day. McDonald's announced that it was buying Boston Chicken, which operates some 750 comfort-food restaurants. Boston Chicken was the most spectacular flop in fast-food history. When it went public in 1993, its stock rose 143 percent in a...
Schlemiel, Schlimazel
One of my favorite hoary bits of Jewish humor explains the difference between a schlemiel (a fool) and a schlimazel (one prone to misfortune): A schlemiel is the traveler who spills his coffee on a fellow passenger. A schlimazel is the fellow he spills...
Shades of Green
More than two-thirds of Americans call themselves environmentalists. Their rank includes every serious presidential candidate, a growing list of corporate executives, some of the country's most extreme radicals, and ordinary people from just about...
Taiwan on the Brink
Speaking to a German radio interviewer last July, Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui sparked a diplomatic fire storm with three seemingly innocuous words: Taiwan, he announced, would henceforth treat contacts with mainland China as "state-to-state" relations....
The E-GOP
As the high-tech sector has grown as an industry, its bankroll of financial contributions to politicians has swollen as well (over $3.8 million so far this year). So it's no surprise that presidential candidates are now flocking to Silicon Valley,...
THE SAVINGS Lottery
Perhaps millions of Americans play state lotteries because they are dreamers or, more prosaically, just mathematically challenged. A good libertarian might argue that policy makers should simply shrug and let people spend money as they choose. Its...
The Taxonomist
ANTITAX MANIA. GOP presidential hopeful John McCain has recently let it be known where he stands on taxes. He's against them. All of them. According to McCain, "We should all be ashamed of a system that taxes your salary, your investments, your property,...
Too Good to Be True
MANY PEOPLE IN TEXAS ARE KEEPING MUM, FOR FEAR OF ROCKING GEORGE W. BUSH'S BOAT, BUT LOOK CLOSELY: BEHIND THE FUDGED NUMBERS AND THE TEST-TAKING MANIA, THE VAUNTED TEXAS EDUCATION "MIRACLE" MAY BE A MIRAGE. Who'd have ever thought that Texas, famous...
When Congress Plays Doctor
When HMOs deny life-saving care to their patients, members of Congress fulminate. Recently, 275 of them, including 29 Republicans, voted for a patients' bill of rights. "Deny American citizens effective, lifesaving treatments or palliatives for pain?"...
Without a Net
WHOM THE NEW WELFARE LAW HELPS AND HURTS The welfare rolls have fallen by almost half since 1994. To assess the impact of this dramatic change, both journalists and social scientists have been talking to families that have left the rolls. But these...
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