The Washington Monthly

An independent monthly magazine devoted to politics, government, culture, and the media in America, from a progressive perspective. Publishes investigative and opinion-based feature articles by notable authors, short news items, humorous sidebars, and boo

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 12, December

Beam Me Up, Scotty
SCOTTY: James B. Reston and the Rise and Fall of American Journalism by John F. Stacks Little, Brown & Co. $29.95 BY THE TIME I BEGAN WRITING A column in the early 1990s, Scotty Reston's example still held powerful sway over ambitious pundits--but...
Bright Lights, Small Villages: Why Helping Africa Get Solar Power Is Good for America
IN MOST WAYS, PATRIENSA IS JUST ANOTHER tiny town amidst lush fanning land in the Ashanti region of Ghana: a remote part of a I remote country where per-capita income is less than a dollar a day. The day starts when the rooster crows and ends at...
Bubble Wrath. (Letters)
Phillip J. Longman ("Bad Press," October) makes any number of thought-provoking points in his recent broadside at the failings of business journalism. But he is wrong to suggest that Fortune's coverage of AOL Time Warner has been tempered by the...
Bumper Mentality: Americans Buy SUVs to Feel Safer. They Should Buy Life Insurance, Too
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY sport utility vehicle drivers seem like such assholes? Surely it's no coincidence that Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, tours Washington in one of the biggest SUVs on the market, the Cadillac...
Comparative Advantage: How Economist Paul Krugman Became the Most Important Political Columnist in America
There have always been columnists who, for better or worse, commanded the greatest attention of their day. Think of Walter Lippmann during the postwar consensus, Joseph Kraft during the Vietnam era, or George Will during the Reagan years. William...
How Democrats Could Have Won: Three Ideas That Might Have Changed the Election
HOURS AFTER THE POLLS CLOSED last month, a rough consensus emerged on why the Democrats got shellacked: They had no message. They had tried to pin the blame for a weak economy on the GOP, but offered no alternative economic plan of their own. They...
Patriot Gains
A FREE NATION, DEEP IN DEBT by James MacDonald Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $30.00 ON THE THREE MONTH COMMEMORATION of the September 11 attacks, Secretary of the Treasury Paul H. O'Neill, yielding to congressional pressure, held a press conference...
Privatizing Propaganda: Poppy Bush and His Cronies Rescued Dubya's Iraq Policy. Now They're Saving His Propaganda War
ON Nov. 11, 2001, EXACTLY TWO months after the terrorist attacks, White House adviser Karl Rove traveled to what must have seemed like the heart of enemy territory: Beverly Hills. There, Rove met with several dozen Hollywood chieftains to discuss...
Sales to Minors: Can Commercial Culture Possibly Corrupt Today's Teens More Than It Did Their Parents?
ALISSA QUART BELIEVES THAT KIDS today are victims of an unprecedented barrage of slick, mind-numbing advertising, a phenomenon dissected at length in her book Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers. To check her thesis, I called a 40-something...
Size Matters
WHY ECONOMIES GROW: The Forces That Shape Prosperity and How We Can Get Them Working Again by Jeffrey Madrick Basic Books, $26.00 JEFFREY MADRICK'S Why Economies Grow is a short work with a big ambition: Debunk mainstream economics about the best...
Still Stupid?
IT'S STILL THE ECONOMY, STUPID George W. Bush, the GOP's CEO by Paul Begala Simon & Schuster, $12.95 PAUL BEGALA, WHO WAS FORMERLY Bill Clinton's campaign consultant and who now plays a likable, liberal bandy rooster on CNN's Crossfire, has...
Tilting at Windmills
Vice City * Unread Cables * $50 Cocktails * H2 as 007 If W Were Bill * What Democrats Should Do Now I HAD HOPED KEITH BRADSHER'S devastating critique of the SUV in High and Mighty (see Stephanie Mencimer's review, p. 44) would get those top-heavy...
Tutor Restoration: Test-Prep Firms like the Princeton Review Are Invading America's Grade Schools. This Is: A) Good. B) Bad
IN A COUNTRY WHERE HIGH SCHOOL KIDS of every stripe seem to favor the same uniforms of baggy pants or midriff-baring shirts, it can be hard to spot differences in class background. But one giveaway for juniors and seniors lies in the contents of...
Unnecessary Evil: China's Muslims Aren't Terrorists. So Why Did the Bush Administration Give Beijing the Green Light to Oppress Them?
The terrorist attacks of September 11, and the Bush administration's response to them, have unsettled much of the world. But few places have been more profoundly--and negatively,--affected than Xinjiang, an obscure province in Chinas far northwest....
War Dames: If America Invades Iraq, Thousands of Female U.S. Soldiers Will Fight on the Front Lines
LAST FEBRUARY, AS THE SUN ROSE over a parched California desert, tanks from the 4th Infantry Division's 1st Brigade reached a large enemy minefield. Their orders were to secure a hilltop in the enemy's rear area. But until combat engineers could...
Who's Who
The Democrats' midterm pasting has put a crimp in the presidential plans of the party's "six pack": Al Gore, John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards, Howard Dean, and Richard Gephardt. Gore and Dean can plausibly call themselves "outsiders" and...