Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist at The American Prospect, and editor of Clarion, the newspaper of Professional Staff Congress, a New York City labor union. The views expressed here are her own.

Recent Articles


CHILDLESSNESS. I'm grateful to Brother Paul for the loophole in his wording that appears to exempt yours truly from presumed incapability of understanding the profound grief of burying one's own child: "At the risk of being exclusionary to the young and childless here on Tapped , if you don�t have kids, you wouldn�t understand." Thank goodness the old and childless are spared such judgment. As for the rest of Paul's post , I daresay that the Edwards marriage may well be the thing that best recommends the one-term senator for the job. He definitely seems like a good guy and his wife, Elizabeth , is even more impressive. On the matter of religion, I like that Edwards doesn't make a big show of his. While I find it admirable of Paul (and Harold) to state, in public, their disbelief, I remain wary of any full exposition of religious beliefs or lack thereof by politicians. Alas, the conditions that led Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to play coy on the exact nature of their own...


FOG OF THE WAR ON UNIONS. Neo-liberals, neo-cons, con-cons, and con men would have us all believe that unions exist to protect the incompetent and reward them with undeservedly exhorbitant levels of compensation. Even if unions did functionally fulfill such a purpose -- which, in the case of most unionized workers, they do not -- I can nonetheless assure you that opposition to labor unions from the likes of this administration has little to do with such arguments. Brothers Scott and Matthew have weighed in on this topic, but I think it's important enough to warrant a regular flogging. This is not really about compensation or competence; it's about transparency. Knock the unions out of the public sector, and government becomes nearly opaque, all the better for the looting of public coffers by contractors, and promoting all manner of cronyism and nepotism, not to mention retributionism (which is, I admit, a made-up word for whose use my unionized grade-school teachers would have sternly...


YA NEVER DO KNOW. Before we go all triumphal and everything, we'd be wise to heed Brother Ezra 's cautionary note on whether or not the GOP is a gone-er for '08. A terrorist attack would, indeed, change everything, as could any number of other variables, the economy not least among them. Having covered the religious right's role in presidential elections for a couple of decades, I can tell you that I have witnessed the movement come back ever stronger after each implosion, and the righties still run the party at the operational level. The politics of resentment are viral in nature; they often go into remission after sickening the host. After a period of dormancy, they'll be back with a bang the next time a national tragedy, depression or malaise cries out for a scapegoat. No one can pinpoint a scapegoat like the righties. They'll be back the moment they're needed. -- Adele M. Stan


MIERS, MIERS, PANTS ON... Brother Sam is on the money in pointing out the role Harriet Miers played in the scandalous firings of seven U.S. attorneys, as detailed in today's Washington Post . And I hate to say "I told ya so," (well, actually, I take smug satisfaction in the utterance), but back when everybody was laughing at Bush 's nomination of Miers to the Supreme Court, I smelled a rat , fearing that Bush was looking for an awesome two-fer here: Get Miers out of the way before anyone thought to call her to testify on any one of the multiple scandals of which she may have known or partaken, and have, on the bench, a ruthless and stalwart administration loyalist. --Adele M. Stan


RONNIE WELLS HAS PASSED. When the music programs in public schools began dwindling -- and as D.C.'s great jazz musicians found fewer and fewer venues in which to share their art with regular people -- singer Ronnie Wells founded the East Coast Jazz Festival , a singular event that drew together the greater area jazz community, from little children to wizened national treasures. Ms. Wells died on Wednesday of lung cancer. I didn't know Ronnie Wells as a singer though, by all accounts, she was wonderful, both as a vocalist and an educator. I simply knew her as the force behind that magnificent festival, which -- free of charge and absent of auditions -- brought me into workshops with some of the nation's great jazz musicians, and brought new people into my life. The East Coast Festival operated on many different levels, and was a place where musicians came both to teach and renew their relationships within the community . In placing the emphasis on education, Wells was hoping to see the...