Dylan Matthews

Dylan Matthews was a summer 2008 Prospect editorial intern.

Recent Articles

Never Catering to None.

Via Nick Baumann , McClatchy's Kevin Hall has written a blockbuster investigation into the rating agency Moody's. After the house market tanked in late 2007, Moody's starting firing analysts and executives in large numbers. Far from punishing those who didn't see the crash coming, however, the firm targeted those who saw the warning signs: A McClatchy investigation has found that Moody's punished executives who questioned why the company was risking its reputation by putting its profits ahead of providing trustworthy ratings for investment offerings. Instead, Moody's promoted executives who headed its "structured finance" division, which assisted Wall Street in packaging loans into securities for sale to investors. It also stacked its compliance department with the people who awarded the highest ratings to pools of mortgages that soon were downgraded to junk. Such products have another name now: "toxic assets." The amount of detail and number of inside sources for the piece is fairly...

By Way of Introduction.

(For the next month we'll be joined by weekly guest bloggers here at TAPPED. Love TAPPED? We're hiring .) Hello all! I'm Dylan, and I'll be one of your guestbloggers. This feels a bit like a homecoming, as I wrote my fair share of TAPPED posts two summers ago when I interned at TAP , and filled in from time to time for Ezra Klein 's blog here. I've since interned at The New Republic , and I now work as a staff writer for Campus Progress and edit Perspective , a small liberal monthly. In my spare time, I go to college. In any case, I'm thrilled to be back. Now let's wonk out. --Dylan Matthews

Don't Know from Adam

Adam seeks to raise awareness of Asperger's Syndrome, but does it do much good for those who have it?

Were it not for its titular character's Asperger's Syndrome, Adam would be an unremarkable, color-by-numbers romantic comedy, with a couple who meet serendipitously, fall in love, encounter some obstacle, and try to miraculously overcome it. But whether it is a good movie is somewhat beside the point. By placing Adam (Hugh Dancy) on the autism spectrum, writer-director Max Mayer ensured that the film would be not a 90-minute dose of light escapism but a heavily didactic exercise. Adam is less interested in entertaining than in showing neurotypicals that Aspies are people, too. In certain respects, Adam fulfills that mission. Mayer captures the lived experience of Asperger's in great detail and with great care. A previously ignorant viewer will leave the theater with a working knowledge of the syndrome's symptoms and at least some empathy for the experiences of those of us who have it. Yet that same viewer would also conclude that, like Adam , Asperger's people have their charms but...


By Dylan Matthews I hesitate to self-promote too shamelessly on Ezra's turf, but I have a new piece up at Campus Progress building on a guest-post I wrote here a few months ago. Basically, I want to get rid of the US Senate, and asked a number of constitutional law experts how one would go about doing that. Long story short, no one agrees on anything, least of all about whether the Senate is even capable of being abolished. An excerpt : Sanford Levinson, a professor at the University of Texas law school and author of Our Undemocratic Constitution , thinks a Senate-abolishing amendment would not violate Article V. “The lack of any suffrage at all for any state would meet the formal requirements of "equal suffrage" (i.e., none for anyone),” he said. Daniel Farber, a professor at UC Berkeley, agrees, and argues that equal representation may not even be required. “One of my former colleagues once suggested to me that the Senate to which the equal representation cause refers no longer...


By Dylan Matthews Nordic socialism is terrifying : The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M - Th 11p / 10c The Stockholm Syndrome thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full Episodes Economic Crisis Political Humor You know, when segments like this are airing on programs with viewership as high as The Daily Show 's, Harold Meyerson's "Glenn Beck will bring socialism to America" theory starts going from funny to plausible. And for good measure, here's Robyn talking about how socialism has helped make Swedish music as great as it is: