Ben Adler

Ben Adler writes on national politics and domestic policy. Ben has been a staff writer for Politico and an editor at Newsweek and the Center for American Progress. His writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Columbia Journalism Review, Salon, The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, The Guardian and Next American City among other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Recent Articles

WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS:

WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS: A neat little story from The Washington Post today points to an alarming phenomenon: the lack of sidewalks throughout growing American communities. The Post focuses on Loudon County, Virginia, a D.C. exurb that is one of the fastest growing counties in the country. A survey of 840 miles of roads in Loudoun found that 14 percent had sidewalks.... The result is a piecemeal network of sidewalks and trails that begin and end haphazardly, influenced by the date or parameters of developers' contracts. Many times, there are no formal paths between neighborhoods and nearby shopping centers, parks or schools. Consequently pedestrians find themselves undertaking perilous journeys across six-lane roads without the benefit of a crosswalk, traipsing along narrow road shoulders and other dangerous endeavors to go even the shortest of distances. Although many local governments have begun to address this issue (Loudon started requiring sidewalks or bike trails in new...

WHY IT'S HARD TO TAKE ROMNEY SERIOUSLY.

WHY IT'S HARD TO TAKE ROMNEY SERIOUSLY. OK, I know that because he's up in the polls and fundraising, and has no personal skeletons (and less egregious policy skeletons) in his closet than Giuliani , I'm supposed to believe that Mitt Romney is the odds-on favorite for the Republican nomination. For reasons I can't articulate, I've been having trouble swallowing that idea. Now thanks to an ad by the Romney campaign itself, ( via Jesse Singal via Matt ) I think I can perhaps just let you see for yourself: The ad, for those too lazy to watch it, shows fuzzy footage of a beach scene with cheesy music and a voice over (it's meant to be soothing, but instead just sounds phony) by Romney lamenting the dirty culture our children "swim in." Matt expresses my gut reaction precisely when he says this commercial, "reminds me of a euphemistic ad for an erectile dysfunction pill." Who was the last candidate that I can remember so closely mimicking Viagra in the way he marketed himself? Joe...

THE TIMES MAKES MOORE'S POINT:

THE TIMES MAKES MOORE'S POINT: The New York Times front page story "Market Forces Cited in Lymphoma Drugs’ Disuse" on Saturday was a chilling case in point as to how the profit motive perverts American health care (per Ezra , Michael Moore et al.) The piece explains how Bexxar and Zevalin, federally approved drugs for lymphoma, are often not prescribed by doctors purely for monetary reasons, even when they might save lives. Dr. Oliver W. Press, a professor at the University of Washington and chairman of the scientific advisory board of the Lymphoma Research Foundation, called it "astounding and disappointing” that they are used so little. According to the Times , oncologists have financial incentives to use other treatments that they are paid to administer, rather than merely the treatments that are the most medically and economically effective. Imagine, instead, if we paid doctors to treat patients successfully. Sounds like a recipe for better outcomes and lower costs. But only a...

IN FAVOR OF UNSIGNED EDITORIALS.

IN FAVOR OF UNSIGNED EDITORIALS. In answer to Dana 's question , there are plenty of good reasons for The New York Times to keep unsigned newspaper editorials. The first is to give the editorials the institutional authority of a respected newspaper. Liberals we should be glad that the Times ' liberal editorial page isn't planning on surrendering that. Of course, this cuts both ways. The intellectually dishonest, rabidly rightwing Wall Street Journal editorials draw undue prestige from the quality of the Journal 's news pages. Bylined editorials would also be totally impractical for certain kinds of statements. A candidate endorsement, for instance, would lose all its power if it was just Joe Shmo instead of The New York Times endorsing, say, Ned Lamont . All of that said, I do like the bylined "editorial observer" pieces that occasionally run at the bottom of the editorial page. These pieces are almost invariably more fun to read and I'd be happy to see the Times make a more...

FIREFIGHTERS BEEF WITH GIULIANI.

FIREFIGHTERS BEEF WITH GIULIANI. Thanks to Ari Paul for reporting today on how the New York City firefighters union is going after Rudy Giuliani for his criminal neglect of their emergency equipment needs when he was mayor. But he doesn't delve into another important reason that the firefighters have beef with Giuliani: New York City cops and firefighters have a long, occasionally bitter, rivalry. And, as in every other confrontation between the NYPD and another group (such as, say, civil rights attorneys or African-Americans) Giuliani routinely favored the cops. The problem came to a head in an incident that Paul references, but doesn't fully explicate: the removal of cleanup crews from Ground Zero. As Paul mentions, the firefighters were angry that the city reduced the number of firefighters searching for bodies at Ground Zero in early November 2001 from 300 to 25. When they protested, Giuliani ordered the arrest of 15 firefighters , leading to an ugly brawl between the cops and...

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