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. 16, No. 10, October

A Breath of Fresh Air: How Environmentalists, Health Experts, and Poverty Advocates Are Forging New Coalitions to Tackle an Urban Asthma Epidemic
THE CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT IN urban health came in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, when a series of broad changes transformed the social and material environment for millions of inner-city Americans. Important policies aimed at improving children's...
An Emergent Progressive Majority: Americans Are Tired of Voting against Someone. It's Time to Recruit Leaders Who'll Speak Clearly to People's Real Needs and Problems
PROGRESSIVES SHOULD BE Optimistic as we look toward the 2006 midterm elections. A recent CNN/Gallup Poll shows that a record-high 54 percent of Americans believe that the United States made a mistake in going to war in Iraq. Surging gas prices in the...
A New Environmentalism: Could a New Green Ethic Provide Common Cause in Our Deeply Divided Nation?
MCLEAN COUNTY, KENTUCKY, IS SO RED THAT political operatives might call it crimson. You can't get much further from the image of a latte-drinking liberal than Bernadine Edwards, a local school-bus driver. She speaks with a soft Kentucky lilt as she...
A Perfect Storm? Katrina Could Lead to a Political Transformation, but We'll Have to Fight for the Right Kind of Transformation. Great-This Is Just the Fight We Want
IS HURRICANE KATRINA A TRANSFORMATIVE POLITICAL moment? Is this finally the time when Americans appraise the failure of the Bush administration--that is, the failure of modern conservatism--and say, "Enough"? Can liberals seize the opportunity those...
Bolton Begins
JOHN BOLTON IS IN THE building. Just three weeks before some 170 heads of state converged on New York for the September 14-16 United Nations summit, which considered the most ambitious set of reforms in the organization's history, the new recess-appointed...
Catching the Wave
HURRICANE KATRINA WAS FIRST and foremost an environmental event. Experts can debate whether it was an early casualty of global warming or merely a harbinger of what every reputable climate scientist predicts will happen if we don't radically change....
Changing the Climate: Why a New Approach to Global Warming Would Make for a Better Politics-And Planet
IT'S HARD TO REMEMBER HOW POPULAR THE ENVIRONMENTAL idea was at the end of the 1980s. The movement had survived the crude efforts of the Reagan administration to kill it off. (Remember James Watt? Remember Treasury Secretary Don Regan advising that...
Coast to Coast: The Off-Year Elections to Watch: The Tight Virginia Governor's Race and the Anti-Union Ballot Initiatives in Schwarzenegger's California
MIDWAY THROUGH VIRGINIA Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine's presentation-cum-slide show, a tour de force on education policy in the state where Democrat Kaine is running for governor in November's upcoming election, a slide like no other abruptly appears...
Death Warmed Over: Beyond Environmentalism: Imagining Possibilities as Large as the Crisis That Confronts Us
JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER BEGINS THE LONG EMERGENCY, his new book warning that the world is running out of oil, by quoting psychologist Carl Jung as saying, "People cannot stand too much reality." The quote is wrongly attributed. It was T.S. Eliot who...
Dossier: Bordering on Ludicrous
In August, Governors Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Janet Napolitano of Arizona declared states of emergency due to illegal immigration across their borders ... The declarations allow the governors to spend nearly $1.5 million each to bolster the...
Excerpts from Cato Institute Analysis *: "The Government Is Waging an Aggressive, Intemperate, Unjustified War on Pain Doctors."
"By demonizing physicians as drug dealers and exaggerating the health risk of pain management, the federal government has made physicians scapegoats for the failed drug war. Even worse, the Drug Enforcement Administration's renewed war on pain doctors...
Fool Me Twice
WHEN IS A BIPARTISAN commission not bipartisan? Perhaps when, like the bipartisan, bicameral congressional inquiry into Hurricane Katrina proposed on September 7, it's unveiled by Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert at a press conference Democratic leaders...
Global Denial: Katrina Is a Portent. but Will It Cause Americans to Embrace Fundamental Change in How We Consume Energy and Understand Politics?
AS FLOODWATERS RECEDE AND bodies emerge, Americans are belatedly making some terrible connections about the Bush administration, which has a contempt for public planning matched only by its habit of subordinating reality to public relations. One aspect,...
Hurricane of Debt
LAST SPRING, CONGRESS woman Sheila Jackson-Lee offered an amendment to the gleefully punitive bankruptcy-reform bill under consideration in the House Judiciary Committee. Her proposal would have exempted aid and relief money received in the wake of...
Laboratories of Progress: It's Time to Look Past the Blockage in Washington and Fight for Good Energy Policy at Home
IN THE ABSENCE OF FEDERAL PROGRESS, STATE AND local governments have emerged as key arenas for policies to address global warming. These policies include strategies to encourage the use of cleaner cars, renewable energy, high-performance buildings,...
Labor Gains? for a Change, a Piece of Good News from the World of Labor: Larry Cohen Takes the Reins at the CWA, a Union That's Adapted to the Times
"CITY AND STATE, PLEASE?" For a moment I think the voice at the other end of the phone belongs to a telephone operator, but I've been conned: I'm talking to a piece of voice-recognition technology. Over the course of the last two decades, the Communications...
Leadership, Please
GEORGE W. BUSH'S CYNICISM AND INCOMPETENCE have come back to haunt him, earlier than might have been predicted. As a result, history has dealt Democrats an opportunity. Whether they will rise to the occasion remains to be seen. Michael Tomasky addresses...
New Century, New Challenges: When It Comes to the Environment, We Should Think and Act Differently-But Not at the Expense of What We've Already Achieved
"THE DEATH OF ENVIRONMENTALISM" ism" has stimulated a lot of debate, and not just at tables where environmentalists gather. It asks questions that are legitimate and necessary to consider: how to fight Wal-Mart, how to win universal health care, how...
See It Again: Is George Clooney a Serious Filmmaker? He's Made a Stark, Perfectly Focused Film on Edward R. Murrow's War with Joe McCarthy. So, Yes
THE IRRESISTIBLE FORCE OF AMERICA'S post-World War II Red Scare first slammed into the immovable object of network television in September 1953, when the House Un-American Activities Committee revealed that TV's biggest star had registered to vote...
Shooting the Moon: The Apollo Alliance's Grand Vision for Energy Independence Is a Distant Legislative Goal, but It Can Help Transform Politics Right Now
THE MISSION OF THE 2-YEAR-OLD, WASHINGTON, D.C.-based Apollo Alliance has come to represent a bold vision of progressivism. Named for President Kennedy's moon shot, the alliance s goal is to mobilize a sweeping federal commitment to energy independence,...
State of the State: The Israeli Left Pushed Gaza Withdrawal for Years. Now, It's Happened-And the Left Is in a Shambles. but There May Be a Way Out
DRIVING ON THE FOUR-LANE HIGHWAY PAST THE cushy American-style Tel Aviv suburb of Ra'anana to the Jewish settlement of Ariel, there's a clear drop in the countryside from green trees to brown, rocky hilltops. This is the "Green Line," the 1967 border....
Tax Follies at TNR
YOU HAVE TO WONDER. HALF TO THREE-QUARTERS of the American public doesn't believe in evolution (depending on how you define it). One out of three Americans thinks the budget deficit can be eliminated (a) by hoping (or praying) that it goes away (8...
The Afterlife of Environmentalism: Can We Tie Big Global Concerns to the Everyday Lives of Americans?
A YEAR AGO, TWO COMMITTED activists with serious credentials in the environmental movement released a report proclaiming "the death of environmentalism." In so doing, they sparked a debate that continues to this day. While some have suggested that...
The Defectors: Some House Democrats Have to Vote with Bush from Time to Time. but What about the Ones Who Don't Have To-But Do It Anyway?
RICK LARSEN IS A THIRD-TERM DEMOCRATIC representative from Lake Stevens in Washington state. A balding former publicist for the Washington State Dental Association, Larsen, 40, is a proud member of the New Democrat Coalition. His district, Washington's...
The End of the Population Movement: The Challenge Isn't Population Control. It's Sustainable Development, Built upon the Emancipation of Women and Economic Opportunity
ON A TYPICALLY BRIGHT AND SUNNY DAY ON THE corner of 24th and Mission in San Francisco, the trade in forged birth certificates and Social Security cards flows with the same efficiency as the burrito shops that surround the BART rail station. On this...
The Neocon Who Isn't: Francis Fukuyama Has All the "Right" Credentials. So When He Opposed the Iraq War and Voted for John Kerry, Eyebrows Were Raised. They're Still Rising
ON A SATURDAY IN ,JANUARY 2003, AS THE IRAQ War approached, the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment convened a meeting in a nondescript building in Arlington, Virginia, with three dozen of Washington's top conservative policy intellectuals. Using an...
The Outsiders
SO WHAT, EXACTLY, ARE the anti-war bloggers of the Democratic Party looking for in a presidential candidate? Some recent straw polls on leading anti-war blogs have produced some surprising results. An ongoing MyDD poll, as of 1,339 respondents,...
The Paradox Explained
HOW CAN THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION BE SO DISCIPLINED and effective at politics and so undisciplined and ineffectual at governing? No White House in living memory has been as successful at squelching leaks and keeping cabinet members on message, reaching...
They're BA-Ack: Actually, They Never Went Away. the Social Security Privatizers, Quiet over the Summer, Are Merely Gearing Up for the Next Battle in a Long War
IN AUGUST, ON THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SIGNING of the Social Security Act, the White House released a three-sentence presidential statement. "For 70 years," it read, "Social Security has been a vital program and helped millions of America's seniors...
Unfortunately, He Knew
From the editors: On May 23, 2005, Prospect senior correspondent Chris Mooney, whose "Inferior Design" appeared in our September issue, wrote a piece for our Web site about his hometown of New Orleans. Fully three months before Hurricane Katrina hit...
We're All Environmentalists Now: It Isn't Environmentalism That Died. What Expired Was Progressive Politics Based on Single-Issue Interest Groups
FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY, "The Death of Environmentalism" hit last year with the force of a tsunami, leaving its audience so taken aback by its sweeping, cocksure condemnation of their decades of selfless struggle that they could barely think...
Withdrawal Pains: Looking for a Unified Democratic Position on Leaving Iraq? Here It Is: Each Individual Democrat Takes Whatever Position He or She Wants
RICHARD CLARKE, THE FORMER National Security Council counter-terrorism chief whose book criticizing the Bush administration--and the White House's ferocious counterattack--briefly dominated public debate in summer 2004, doesn't seem to have enjoyed...