Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Income, Race, and School Diversity.

If you haven't already, you should read Robert Barnes ' fascinating Washington Post piece on how Louisville, Kentucky, is working to keep its schools integrated, while complying with a 2007 Supreme Court that struck down race-based measures for diversity: The final product, which integrates schools based on socioeconomic factors rather than on race alone, has proven to be more complex and costly than the previous system. Long bus rides and complaints from a vocal minority of parents have threatened popular support of the plan. The school board has delayed full implementation. The legislature is contemplating whether to guarantee parents a spot in their neighborhood schools. [...] Louisville's new plan splits the county into two geographic districts -- one having higher concentrations of minorities, lower incomes and less educational attainment -- and requires each school in the district to have a mix of students from both. It's not entirely surprising that Louisville has trouble...

The Super-Rich Deserve Higher Taxes.

( Source ) Ezra Klein bemoans the slow creep of "moral language" into our debate over tax cuts: The effort to separate support for popular middle-class tax cuts from unpopular upper-class tax cuts has let a sort of moral language creep into the conversation. As if rich people "deserve" higher taxes because they're somehow bad, rather than because their share of the national income has gone up and their tax rates have gone down. [...] The argument for taxing people who make more than $250,000 isn't that they're bad people, and it isn't that they won't notice the tax increase. It's that we've got a very large budget imbalance, and we're going to need to do a lot of things to correct it. This might be true for some groups of upper-middle-class/rich professionals. Doctors and lawyers have seen their share of national income increase over the last decade, but on the whole, they aren't bad people, and are mostly passive recipients of the upward redistribution of wealth. But of the wealth...

The Same Old Grass Roots as Before.

At the American Scene, David Sessions captures exactly why it's no surprise that Rep. Mike Pence won the Values Voter presidential straw poll: The speech itself was the most hard-line stump speech I’ve heard a conservative candidate give perhaps ever, though not in the John Boehner, podium-pounding “Hell No You Can’t“ mode. It wasn’t angry or even excessively passionate. But Pence effortlessly covered every shibboleth of both the Religious Right and the Tea Party. He heralded Tea Party victories around the country, including that of Christine O’Donnell, and credited the wins with pulling the current Republicans in Congress to the right. (Apparently, for Pence, being called the Party of No is a sign of the GOP’s health.) He cheered George W. Bush’s “courage” for pushing the surge in Iraq and said the CIA should be able to “fight wars like wars.” He talked about repealing Obamacare, “bondage to big government,” and obliquely opposed repealing the Bush tax cuts. For the values voter,...

Justified Mockery?

Last week, at a fundraiser for supporters of the Connecticut Democratic Party, President Obama made a few jokes at the expense of liberal activists: OBAMA: Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get — to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed — oh, well, the public option wasn’t there. If you get the financial reform bill passed — then, well, I don’t know about this particularly derivatives rule, I’m not sure that I’m satisfied with that. And gosh, we haven’t yet brought about world peace and — (laughter.) I thought that was going to happen quicker. (Laughter.) You know who you are. (Laughter.) We have had the most productive, progressive legislative session in at least a generation. Naturally, Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald were outraged ; Hamsher says that it is "awfully glib for Obama to now belittle the people who worked hard to get him elected for always seeing the glass 'half empty' if they’re disappointed about the public option...

A Moral Majority?

The Tea Party movement has long stressed its commitment to fiscal issues over social ones, but speakers at the 2010 Values Voter Summit -- while tying themselves to the Tea Party -- have tried to reduce the distance between social and economic conservatives. Citing recent poverty statistics, Mike Huckabee argued that "economic crisis is not a fiscal crisis; it is a family crisis" and that "the breakdown of Wall Street was not a money crisis; it was a moral crisis." Rep. Mike Pence earned his biggest applause when he declared that "we will not restore this nation with public policy alone; it will require public virtue." What's more, the most recent Tea Party celebrity -- Christine O'Donnell -- has made a name for herself as the arch-social conservative Tea Partiers can love. And former Sen. Rick Santorum had this to say, "The idea that the basic moral values of our country are not part of an integrated set of issues that keep our country safe and prosperous is a very dangerous idea." I...

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