Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

The SEC Needs More Employees, Unlikely to Happen

According to a recent study, reports The Washington Post , the Security and Exchange Commission is in serious need of new employees, to implement the financial-reform law and attend to heightened regulation of financial firms: The Securities and Exchange Commission needs more money to meet its expanding responsibilities, but it hasn't made the most of the funds it already has, according to a study of the agency ordered by Congress last year. The consultant's report, a draft of which was obtained by The Washington Post, mentioned other issues that may be undermining the effectiveness of the agency responsible for policing Wall Street. Those include low morale, few staff members with experience working in financial markets, and a slowdown in reviews of money managers and brokerage firms. In a functioning political system, this would be immediate cause to increase funding, especially since the financial sector was responsible for the worst recession since the Great Depression. As it...

Honesty

In addition to what Paul said about Grover Norquist 's ridiculous interview with Ezra Klein , I'd like to add my appreciation for this bit of candor: EK: When it comes to the new Gang of Six -- the negotiations between Sens. Tom Coburn and Saxby Chambliss and Mike Crapo for the Republicans, and Mark Warner and Dick Durbin and Kent Conrad for the Democrats -- let’s say they really get the fiscal commission’s package on the table. About 70 percent spending cuts, 30 percent tax increases. Balanced budget fairly soon. Do you fight that deal because any tax increase is too much of a tax increase? Or is balancing the budget and making these other reforms, if they’re on the table, worth accepting? GN: The goal is to reduce the size and scope of government spending, not to focus on the deficit. The deficit is the symptom of the disease. And there are several reasons to oppose tax increases. Despite their rhetoric, most Republicans aren't actually interested in deficit reduction. From Reagan...

Will Gingrich Survive His Infidelity Problem?

Easy answer? Yes, of course he will. Just as Ronald Reagan survived his divorce problem, George W. Bush survived his alcohol problem, and John McCain survived his "maverick" problem. I've made this point before -- indeed, I make it all the time -- but partisanship and interest-group loyalty go a long way toward explaining political realities. If Newt Gingrich can rally the support of party elites and important interest groups, then it won't take much to convince primary voters of his worthiness. And if Gingrich becomes the nominee, then the combination of money, media exposure, and partisanship will virtually ensure his strong support from the vast majority of the Republican Party, their previous feelings notwithstanding. The problem for Newt Gingrich isn't his infidelity; it's everything else. Gingrich is stunningly unpopular with the public at large, which probably carries over to local and state elites, given the extent to which he drove the late '90s backlash against the GOP. A...

Race, Resentment, and Health-Care Reform

A recent report from the Greenlining Institute -- which focuses on issues of racial and economic justice -- uses the "racial resentment" scale to measure the racial dimensions of opposition to health-care reform. For those unfamiliar with the concept, here's a quick description: The “racial resentment” framework is a political belief system that fuses whites’ belief in traditional conservative values such as the protestant work ethic (e.g., hard work equals success) with whites’ negative feelings towards blacks as a group (Sears & Henry, 2003; Kinder & Sanders, 1996). Whites who share this perspective tend to believe that the reason blacks fail to get ahead in society is their failure to work hard enough, and not because of racial discrimination. Given the ethnocentric foundations of American public opinion, it comes as no surprise to learn that high racial resentment is associated with opposition to the health-care law: We utilized data from the summer 2010 wave of the 2008-...

Sympathy for the Rapist

Today's "Horrible Read of the Morning" comes from The New York Times , which reports on a terrible sexual assault in Cleveland, Texas, where 18 men and boys raped an 11-year-old girl. In telling the story, the Times reserves most of its sympathy for the victim, which isn't unusual. Unless, of course, your "victims" are the rapists themselves: The case has rocked this East Texas community to its core and left many residents in the working-class neighborhood where the attack took place with unanswered questions. Among them is, if the allegations are proved, how could their young men have been drawn into such an act? “It’s just destroyed our community,” said Sheila Harrison, 48, a hospital worker who says she knows several of the defendants. “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.” […] Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands — known as the Quarters — said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed...

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