Chris Mooney

Chris Mooney is a Prospect senior correspondent and, most recently, author of Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatened Our Future (with Sheril Kirshenbaum).

Recent Articles

Sleeping with the Secretary...

This election has turned into a battle of the sexes. Polls have consistently shown that the vast majority of American men prefer Bush, and the majority of women prefer Gore. This situation has left the left behinds on both sides wishing they could somehow excommunicate the greater part of their gender. In the absence of sweeping surgical remedies, however, liberals have taken to recommending that Democrats appeal more to men [See The American Prospect 's, " Do Real Men Vote Democratic? "] -- and Republicans have decided the ticket to winning this election is putting women in their place. The nexus of right wing women bashing has been at the National Review , where successive feature articles have done hatchet jobs on those with two X chromosomes. Consider: Half the Population is Stupid . That was the upshot of a recent self-loathing article by Kate O'Beirne (XX) titled "Clueless: What women don't know about politics." Here's a nugget from that screed: ...

Green Day:

Listening to Tim Tompkins describe his job, it can be hard to tell if you're in a graduate sociology seminar or at a community activist meeting. Tompkins is the creator and director of New York City's five-year-old Partnerships for Parks , a joint public-private initiative run out of the Parks and Recreation Department , but partly underwritten by the non-profit City Parks Foundation . Partnerships uses community outreach to get New Yorkers involved in their neighborhood parks, with the ultimate goal of creating a lasting political constituency to demand increased parks funding from the city. Tompkins knows how to speak wonk. Discussing Partnerships at a recent Halloween weekend festival at Brooklyn's Fort Greene Park -- near an array of outdoor tables where costumed neighborhood kids painted mini-pumpkins -- he invoked Robert Putnam 's notion of "social capital," James Q. Wilson's and George L. Kelling's " broken windows " theory of crime prevention, and Malcolm...

Political Matching Made Easy

Which statement more accurately describes your political outlook: "We will all be called before God on Judgment Day to answer for our sins," or "I don't believe we will have to answer for our sins on Judgment Day"? It may seem like an odd question. But if you choose the second option, you're well on your way to being pegged as a "liberal democrat," the "least religious of all typology groups," according to an online "political typology" questionnaire based on studies by the Pew Research Center . The Pew quiz is one of several features at www.pbs.org designed to help people figure out where they stand politically. It poses a slew of questions--most of them are not theological--and also asks participants whether they feel "strongly" about each issue. Warning: If you skip too many sections, you may end up pigeonholed as "disaffected," which correlates with being "anti-immigrant and intolerant of homosexuality. Very unsatisfied financially." Whew...

The Virtual Campaign

O n Labor Day weekend, just as the presidential campaign was shifting into high gear, the Gore-Lieberman "war room" in Nashville faced a meltdown unthinkable even a few years ago. The computer system's server went down, isolating the press operation from the outside world. The fax machine was no help: In the 2000 race, "blastfaxing" is out, and both campaigns have shifted to mass e-mailing to influence the media with 'round-the-clock rapid response. Unable to get online, the Gore team couldn't fight back against Bush e-mails. As a team of tech-savvy twenty-somethings--the core of Gore's research and communications operation--waited impatiently, Information Technology Director Steven Berrent rerouted their Internet connections through a dial-up line on his desktop computer. After a precious 20 minutes, the electronic battle against the Bush team in Austin resumed. The Acceleration of Spin Welcome to the virtual campaign, where...

Political Science:

M ost people are demoted for poor performance. Dr. John H. Marburger, President Bush's newly confirmed science adviser, was kicked down a notch before he even started his job. For over a decade, the national science adviser--who heads the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)--has been a near-cabinet-level position. Officially, the designation is "Assistant to the President." Condoleezza Rice, Bush's national-security adviser, holds that rank; as chief of staff during the Ford administration, so did Dick Cheney. But Marburger, the former head of the Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, concedes "That title was never offered to me." (A recent executive order calls him merely a "Federal Government official.") D. Allan Bromley, the Yale nuclear physicist who served as the presidential science adviser to Bush's father, takes a dark view of this turn of events. The administration, he says, has simply decided that "they don't need that level of...

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