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

BLOOMBERG'S CANDIDACY IS BLOSSOMING:

BLOOMBERG'S CANDIDACY IS BLOSSOMING: So New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg just announced he's leaving the Republican Party and registering as Independent. Funny how his announcement makes no mention of why he's leaving the Republican Party, he simply touts his achievements and attributes them to over-coming partisanship. If Bloomberg didn't suddenly discover that his supposed commitment to reproductive freedom, civil rights, a clean environment or a fair shake for New York from Congress is contradicted by the positions and actions of the rest of his party (and this was just as true, say, in 2004 when he praised President Bush at the Republican Convention), why is he doing this now? Clearly, as I've been saying for a while, Bloomberg is seriously thinking of running for president. I believe this is bad news for the Democrats, since he's smart enough to only sink his billions in blue and purple states that he has a chance of carrying and where he'll split the non-fundamentalist vote. Now...

HACKISH CONSERVATIVE THINK TANKS:

HACKISH CONSERVATIVE THINK TANKS: I agree with Ezra that Heritage is the most hackish of the Big Three conservative think tanks in Washington (AEI has some non-ideologues and Cato is honest about how ideological they are.) But I think it should be added that outside Washington reside some pretty shameful rightwing think tanks as well. Consider, for instance, the California-based Hoover Institution, which has "scholars" like Peter Schweizer, author of Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy . This intellectually incoherent smear job on the personal lives of predictable targets like Michael Moore and Barbara Streisand has zero value in terms of policy analysis. Meanwhile, as I've written before on TAPPED , City Journal , the publication of the neo-conservative Manhattan Institute, shamelessly flacks for Giuliani's presidential candidacy (if my organization did anything like that we'd lose our tax status in a heartbeat.) These kinds or organizations may not be perceived...

Suburban Cowboys

As smart growth gains ground among academics and activists, conservatives are whipping themselves up into a frenzy over the perils of what they term "anti-sprawl policy."

You know your conservative pet cause has arrived when it gets an event at the Heritage Foundation. Every kooky right-wing crusade, from denying global warming to teaching creationism in public schools, will eventually have its moment in the sun at the conservative think tank. So it is no surprise that the honor was recently granted to a growing group of reactionaries who think that America's sprawling, post-war development pattern is actually a good thing -- and that the nascent anti-sprawl "smart growth" movement needs to be stopped. These pro-sprawl views have begun to find their voice on the op-ed pages and, on May 22nd, with a discussion at Heritage modestly titled "War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life." The event took its name from the title of a new book by Wendell Cox, a public policy consultant ( critics call him a "hired gun for the roadway industry") and visiting fellow at Heritage. Cox was introduced by another Heritage fellow, Ron Utt, who...

BROWNBACK'S PATHETIC ATTEMPT AT MODERATION.

BROWNBACK'S PATHETIC ATTEMPT AT MODERATION. Poor Sam Brownback . Like so many conservative leaders, he has to struggle with appeasing the flat-earth wing of his base while attempting to maintain some intellectual credibility. And for anyone in that position, there is no right answer to the question of whether you believe in evolution. Apparently realizing that denying outright the overwhelming scientific consensus might get him branded as a marginal candidate, Brownback took to the pages of the New York Times op-ed page today to clarify an answer he offered during the Republican presidential debate that he does not believe in evolution. To someone who doesn't follow the debate closely, Brownback's explanation that he accepts micro-evolution (changes within species) and that he doesn't necessarily believe God created humans in their present form in six days a few thousand years ago, might make it sound like he isn't too crazy on the subject. Don't be fooled, his hair spltiting is the...

WILD MISREPRESENTATION:

WILD MISREPRESENTATION: Following up on Scott's incisive takedown of Reihan Salam 's recent piece in Slate , I'd just like to point out that Salam egregiously misrepresents a great piece by Michael Kinsley . Salam writes : Two years before Fletch infected movie theaters nationwide, Michael Kinsley boasted in Harper's that he was a reverse-snob: Not only did he self-consciously eschew the shmancy Lacoste alligator -- he and his friends sported decidedly down-market discount polo shirts emblazoned with the J.C. Penney fox. This gets Kinsley's point precisely backwards and contains an outright error. First, it wasn't Kinsley who wore those shirts, it was an unnamed friend (later revealed to be James Fallows .) Second, Kinsley's whole point was that this reverse snobbery is just as pernicious as the old-fashioned kind of snobbery. In fact, Kinsley made the same argument about reverse snobbery more recently , also in Slate . Salam should at least try to understand an article before he...

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