Dylan Matthews

Dylan Matthews was a summer 2008 Prospect editorial intern.

Recent Articles

The War in Afghanistan and the Fight for Women's Rights.

There are plenty of good reasons to be less than satisfied with Obama 's Afghanistan speech last night. Tim addresses many in his column today, and I expect Adam will weigh in further as well. However, Michael Crowley 's objection seems off-base: Ben Smith notes a striking omission from Obama's speech tonight: Although Obama spoke about America's dedication to human rights generally, there was no mention of the terrible plight of Afghan women specifically. Curiously, however, his March 27 AfPak speech did include such a reference: As their ranks dwindle, an enemy that has nothing to offer the Afghan people but terror and repression must be further isolated. And we will continue to support the basic human rights of all Afghans – including women and girls. It's a sign of the extreme realism reigning in Washington today. Still, I find myself wondering whether a President Hillary Clinton would be pressing this case harder. Certainly, the horrendous state of women's rights under the...

Citizen Charles.

I have to say I'm far less surprised by Little Green Footballs reactionary blogger Charles Johnson 's denunciation of the American right than, say, Pam Spaulding is. First off, as Steve Benen notes, Johnson has been denouncing the tea party movement for some time now, and broke with bloggers even more fervently Islamophobic than himself, like Robert Spencer , long ago. More important, though, Johnson was never a movement conservative. Take a look at the Little Green Footballs archives from August 2001 . It's largely a blog about Web design and photography. The most political it gets is a post denouncing Iranian torture. September, however, saw Charles Johnson break into the kind of anti-Muslim, terrorism-obsessed style that earned him his reputation. The idea of 9/11 breaking writers into a different ideological posture is overused, but Johnson was not even primarily a writer before the attacks. In a manner almost reminiscent of Joe the Plumber , he saw an event larger than himself...

On Worthlessness.

Hey all. This is Dylan Matthews, and I'm glad, as always, to be back at TAPPED, guestblogging alongside Jamelle . Let's get down to business then, shall we? Howard Dean really needs to stop saying things like this : According to Dean, the most important component of the health care bill is the public option. "If we don’t have a choice, this bill is worthless and should be defeated," the former Governor of Vermont said. This is wrong on two separate levels. First, as TAP founder Paul Starr noted in the New York Times the other day, less than 2 percent of the population will likely be enrolled in a public option in the form in which it is currently being proposed. It will also likely have higher premiums than private plans, meaning that it will not be able to pressure private insurance prices downward, as was the proposal's original intention. Why providing this very weak public option to a very small slice of the public is a make-or-break aspect of the health-care bill for Dean is...

A Worthwhile Swedish Initiative.

While Maine is set to vote on whether to preserve marriage equality a week from Tuesday, new strides are being made on the other side of the Atlantic: The Lutheran Church of Sweden - the country's largest - is to conduct same-sex marriages from next month. … Sweden's government introduced a new law in May allowing gay couples the same marriage rights as heterosexuals. Three-quarters of Swedes are members of the Lutheran church, though church attendance is low. While it is interesting in its own right that a church of this size -- and one which until 2000 was Sweden's state church -- would make such a move, the repercussions of this will not be limited to Swedes or even to Lutherans. Due to the Porvoo Communion , the Church of Sweden is in full communion with a large number of other European churches, including the 80-million-member Church of England. Among other things, "full communion" includes mutual recognition of sacraments, including marriage. This poses a dilemma for the...

A Climate Skeptic and a Superfreakonomist Walk Into a Bar.

Freakonomics and now SuperFreakonomics authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner may still be denying claims that they are climate-change skeptics, but Dave Weigel talked to some self-proclaimed skeptics who beg to differ: “It reminds me of what happened when Michael Crichton wrote ‘State of Fear,’” said Myron Ebell , director of energy and global warming policy at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, which gets some of its funding from the energy industry. “The problem for the left is that there are still some people who don’t toe the party line who have megaphones. And anyone who has a megaphone, they’re going to go after.” … [Cato fellow Patrick] Michaels , who has not read the book but is planning to pick it up, saluted Levitt and Dubner for tackling an issue that few popular economists touch. “It’s about time that people who do popular economics tell people the truth,” he said. “Fortunately, the planet is not warming.” Of course, these endorsements do not in...

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