Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is the executive editor of The American ProspectHis email is hmeyerson@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Alito's Smoking Gun

Samuel Alito could not have put it more plainly. "The Constitution," he wrote in a 1985 job application he posted to the Reagan administration's attorney general, Ed Meese, "does not protect a right to an abortion." The folks charged with getting Alito confirmed as Sandra Day O'Connor's successor are insisting that the judge's declaration is not a smoking gun. Alito's subsequent record on the federal appellate bench, said Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, "shows he has indeed put his personal views on abortion aside." And in the Washington Times story that revealed the existence of the application, an unnamed Republican official insisted, "the issue is not Judge Alito's political views during the Reagan administration." The issue was the hundreds of opinions Alito had authored in the years since, in "none of which is it evident what his political philosophy is." Now, maybe I'm cockeyed here, but I don't read Alito's abortion assertion as either personal or political. A personal...

Arnold Terminates Himself

LOS ANGELES -- Arnold Schwarzenegger's nine mad months of governing Democratic California as a partisan Republican came to the most predictable of unhappy endings here on Tuesday. Each of the four ballot measures he inflicted on voters in his special election lost decisively -- his spending-limit proposal tanking by 24 percent, and his measure to curb the clout of public-sector unions (Proposition 75) by 7 percent. The mystery of this election is what on earth Schwarzenegger could have been thinking: No comparable elected official in recent memory has picked a fight so gratuitously and come out of it so beat up. Back in January Schwarzenegger's approval rating stood at 62 percent in the Public Policy Institute of California's poll. Then, in short order, he called for axing the pensions of the state's public employees, which would have eliminated the survivor benefits for widows and orphans of police officers and firefighters. He tried to stall the implementation of a law mandating a...

Open Doors, Closed Minds

By all accounts, Jim Bill Lynn bled Wal-Mart blue. His friend Darrell Altom, who worked with Lynn at Wal-Mart's Searcy, Arkansas, distribution center in the days before Lynn traveled the nation and the world on Wal-Mart's behalf, recalls that at the Monday-morning warehouse meetings back in the mid-'90s, "A lot of managers didn't want to get up and do the [company] cheer, but [Lynn] would do it every week." This article, along with articles in The Nation , In These Times , and at AlterNet , is published in conjunction with the release of Robert Greenwald's film Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price . For information about screenings and the DVD, please visit www.walmartmovie.com . "It's corny, but it's part of the culture -- and he was so pro-Wal-Mart." Lynn and Wal-Mart seemed made for each other. Driven, affable, and politically conservative, with clear managerial aptitude and a boundless appetite for work, Lynn was exactly the kind of young fella for whom Sam Walton's executives...

Revolt Of The Moderates

Amid all the self-inflicted disasters that befell the Bush White House last week, it was easy to miss the fact that the president had to cave to a group of disgruntled Republicans who had not made trouble for him before. I don't mean the conservatives in revolt over Harriet Miers. I mean the moderates in revolt over President Bush's suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act, the law that mandates payment of prevailing wages on federally funded construction projects. In an apparent attempt to ensure that nobody rebuilding the Katrina-damaged Gulf Coast made much more than minimum wage, Bush had suspended the 1931 statute. But last week a group of 35 moderate Republican members of Congress -- hailing disproportionately from Northeast and Midwest states where building-trades unions still have political clout -- told Andy Card that they couldn't support Bush's edict. With a congressional vote on overturning Bush's order scheduled for next week, the president backed down. Now, I haven't done the...

Indictment Day

“We got a job to protect the American people,” President Bush said this afternoon in his blink-and-you-missed-it two-minute statement on the indictment of Scooter Libby. Bush's problem is that prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald had just spent an hour saying essentially the same thing, and Fitzgerald's was much the more credible case. For Fitzgerald said that his job, too, had been essentially that of protecting national security. By outing Valerie Plame and then lying about it, the prosecutor argued, Libby hadn't merely endangered Plame but the entire CIA and the nation it spies for. Fitzgerald came off as an ultra-linear straight-shooter who rigorously avoided any discussion of issues beyond those set forth in the indictment -- with one crucial exception. “At a time when we need more human intelligence,” he said, “just the notion that someone's identity could be compromised lightly … compromises our ability to recruit” new agents. The people who work in intelligence, he continued, “need...

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