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. 13, No. 20, November 4

Anthony Mazzocchi, 1926-2002. (Devil in the Details)
OUR FRIEND TONY MAZZOCCHI died Oct. 5 at the age of 76. As much as any American, he was the father of the modern movement for worker health and safety. Tony grew up in working-class Brooklyn during the Depression, the son of Neopolitan immigrants,...
Deter and Contain: It Worked against Joseph Stalin, So Why Not against Saddam Hussein?
THE SIMPLEST QUESTION THAT SUPPORTERS OF going to war with Iraq cannot answer is why would Saddam Hussein be less likely to use his weapons of mass destruction if we attack than if we contain him. This debate, essentially within the Republican Party,...
Dick Cuts a Deal. (Devil in the Details)
However much Richard Gephardt may have helped his presidential prospects by negotiating "compromise" language with the White House on its Iraqi war resolution, he sure didn't scoot to the head of the line as our favorite candidate for secretary...
Gangway! We're Going Preemptive! (Devil in the Details)
"PRE-EMPTIVE ACTION HAS a place in U.S. history," proclaimed a recent New York Times op-ed column by conservative journalist Max Boot. As if precedent were all, Boot reviewed a long list of nations into which the United States has barged either...
Globalism in the Dock: Burmese Villagers Sue Unocal in an L.A. Courtroom. (Gazette)
RANGOON, THE CAPITAL OF Burma (now officially called Myanmar), is normally one of the most depressing cities in Asia. It usually exudes the desperate air of a decaying totalitarian metropolis: Beggars wander the central market, queuing for handouts...
Gore vs. Gephardt. (Comment)
WITH THE MIDTERM elections now less than a month away, the Democrats have been split into two camps on the issue of war and peace. The most dramatic split, surely, is the one between the House of Gephardt and the House of Gore. The rift is more...
Impaired Faculties? Why Liberal Law Professors Vouch for Michael McConnell. (Gazette)
WRITING IN LATE SEPTEMBER, the National Review's Byron York took a telling swipe at Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Contrasting their relatively cozy treatment of conservative University of Utah law professor Michael McConnell, whom...
It's Full Employment, Stupid: Even a Slight Rise in Unemployment Clobbers the Bottom Half
NEWLY RELEASED DATA ON INCOME AND POVERTY suggest that the recent economic downturn hit lower-income families disproportionately. The latest Census Bureau report found that poverty began rising and median family income started falling in 200l, confirming...
Itty-Bitty Agenda: Can Tone-Deaf Democrats Give the Public What It Wants? (Gazette)
SOME SAY THE DEMOCRATS DON'T have the courage of their convictions. Could be. But what I worry about more is that they don't have the courage of the public's convictions. Take the issue of war with Iraq. Polls have consistently shown that the public...
Kindergarten-Plus. (Where We Stand: A Commentary on Public Education and Other Critical Issues)
How can we explain the achievement gap between poor children and more advantaged children? School critics usually assume that the schools are to blame, and blaming schools is easier than admitting that poverty affects the education of children in...
Mitch Daniels: Due Diligence? Bush's OMB Director and Indiana's Own Version of Enron. (Gazette)
IN HIS 29 YEARS AS A MAINTENANCE worker for the Indianapolis Power and Light Company (IPALCO), James C. Gilmore had never been asked to do anything like it. But in late 2000 and early 2001, according to an affidavit filed with the U.S. District...
Neither Consent nor Dissent: Bush's Uncontested War
AS PRESIDENT BUSH RUSHES HEADLONG INTO WAR with Iraq, there are endless reasons for concern; but the one that is most disturbing has been least remarked on. The president can be faulted for waiting so long to consult Congress, the United Nations,...
One Cheer for Schroder: How Isolated Is the New Germany? (beyond the Beltway)
FOR ANYONE CRITICAL OF THE Bush administration's foreign policy, there seemed much to cheer about in German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder's re-election last month. Schroder, after all, had made opposition to U.S. war plans in Iraq the centerpiece...
Show, Don't Tell: Igby Goes Down Proves Easier on the Eyes Than the Ears. (Film)
THE GREAT GOD OF LAUGHTER, his sides forever split, is not pleased by black comedies, for the simple reason that they tend not to be very funny. The comedy of blackness is usually a kind of local anesthetic, something frozen, producing not humor...
Showtime Iraq: On Network News, War's a Spectacle and Debate's a Bore. (Television)
THE PREGAME SHOW IS TICKING toward the opening kick-off. The networks are updating their SHOWDOWN and COUNTDOWN logos, upgrading their drumrolls and trumpet snippets, cueing their cruise missile videos and maps of hitherto obscure regions. The color...
Spot the Spoiler. (Comments)
BEMOANING THE FAILURE OF the Democratic Party to lead has become a newsroom sport. In The New Republic's version, the Dems have squandered their Roosevelt-Truman-Kennan foreign-policy heritage by wimping out on Iraq. In New York Times columnist...
Standing Up against America: An Army of Mercenaries Has Enlisted to Defend the Bermuda Tax Loophole. (the Taxonomist)
EVERYBODY'S ANNOYED AT BIG AMERICAN CORPORATIONS that renounce their citizenship and move to Bermuda to avoid taxes. The public heat has forced even most Republican politicians to feign outrage. In recent months, PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting...
Talent for Deception: A Centrist, Straight-Arrow Image Masks a Right-Wing, Ethically Challenged Record
BACK IN 1984, A SINGLE RADIO BROADCAST FOREVER changed the life of James Talent, a young lawyer in Missouri making his first foray into state politics. It was the peak of the Reagan era. God and country were hot topics, and religious broadcasters...
The Analogist: Jim Chapin, 1942-2002. (Devil in the Details)
"WHAT IF YOU GAUGED THE two sides in the Civil War just by looking at the two generals in command at Antietam?" Jim Chapin asked at some point during the 2000 campaign. "McClellan was more pro-slavery than Lee. If that's all you focused on--not...
The Blame Game. (on the Contrary)
IT'S NAIVE TO EXPECT PARTISAN POLITICIANS TO PLAY fair, I know; still, I'm always surprised by the boldness of their hypocrisies. Take the initial reaction of Bush administration cheerleaders to demands for an independent investigation of intelligence...
The Left Coast Goes Lefter: Even Gray Davis Gets Swept along. (Gazette)
CALIFORNIA GOV. GRAY DAVIS' signature on legislation that would bring far more power to the state's legendary farmworker union has capped and brought into focus a stunning year of progressive accomplishment in the Golden State. Together, a very...
This Little Student Went to Market. (Correspondence)
DAVID L. KIRP AND JEFFREY T. Holman's "This Little Student Went to Market" [Oct. 7, 2002] is filled with misrepresentation and half-truths. Too bad, because Kirp spent much time on the Dickinson campus and on the phone with me discussing the nuances...