Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

The FCC Pleases No One

New net-neutrality rules may allow Obama to claim his campaign pledge on fostering an open Internet, but they did little to appease foes, or supporters.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve new rules for "net neutrality." And as a compromise between net neutrality activists, conservatives and telecommunication companies, the rules don't seem to satisfy anyone. For wired internet, the new rules maintain the status quo. Cable and DSL providers can't meter your internet access, and have to let you use the applications, online services, and devices you want, regardless of how they affect the network. Verizon, for example, can't charge you more for streaming videos from Hulu, or increase your internet speed if you choose to watch YouTube instead. What's more, broadband providers are required to provide network performance updates to consumers, as well as tell them how they manage network congestion. For wireless internet, the new rules are a little different. While mobile providers can't restrict services that compete with their core products (voice applications, like Skype, for instance), the FCC will permit...

Reflexive Anti-Liberalism.

Kevin Drum is baffled by conservative opposition to "net neutrality": I've had an email conversation lately with a conservative reader who is absolutely convinced that this is an effort by Democrats to rid the internet of conservative voices. But as Zornick notes, this is nuts. The whole point of net neutrality is just the opposite: it would continue to allow internet providers to discriminate on the basis of volume but not on content. So if you're a heavy internet user and have a lot of bits streaming through your pipe, they can charge you more. But that's it. They can't charge either content providers or you based on what you say or who you are. It's hard to think of anything that should assuage conservative concerns more. And yet, somehow this has become the latest grand conspiracy theory. It's craziness. This isn't hard to explain. At this point, most conservatives are reflexively anti-liberal. If liberals like something, then conservatives will find a reason to hate it, even when...

Barbour's Racial Myopia.

It's a strange day at TAP when I find myself agreeing with Jim Geraghty : I stand by my earlier point that the bar for accusations of racism has gotten dangerously low, and that Monday afternoon we saw a disturbing conveyor belt in which Barbour was compared to the worst villains of American history over a lone comment that suggests historical inaccuracy and gauzy hometown sentimentalism, not a deep-rooted hatred or a belief in one group of Americans’ inferiority. Neither inaccuracy nor obliviousness is hate, and neither deserves the same response . It doesn't really matter whether Haley Barbour is a racist or not. He doesn't seem to have any particular racial animus, and I've seen nothing in his actions to suggest otherwise. If there is anything significant in Barbour's comments, it's the extent to which they reveal his basic indifference to surrounding injustice. Of course he doesn't see his local White Citizens Council as a white supremacist organization; he wasn't the target of...

No One Branch Should Have All That Power.

HD H.264 HD H.264 Ezra Klein has a good post up on the relationship between earmarks and executive power: But the people who are more commonly associated with the fight against earmarks both hate this White House and want to see more power devolved to the states and to political actors who are directly accountable to the American people. Which is what makes this fight so weird. If you get rid of earmarks, you don't get rid of the money that gets spent on earmarks. It's just that the agencies, rather than the Congress, get to decide where that money goes. That is to say, unelected bureaucrats make the decisions that elected representatives had been making. Power centralizes in Washington, D.C. Local concerns don't echo so loudly. The executive branch becomes stronger. Political scientist Sean Kelly noted this in our interview last week, and I argued a similar point in a recent column : But for all of their yelling about small government and a broken political process, conservatives...

Crime is Down, Again.

Or at least, it is according to the FBI's Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report: On the whole, reported incidents of violent crime fell across the country, with a tiny decline in the Northeast -- a scant 0.2 percent -- and a large drop of 7.8 percent in the South. In terms of population, mid-sized cities (500,000 to 999,999) saw the greatest declines in violent crime and property crime, at 8.3 and 4.8 percent, respectively. Hopefully, as crime continues to decline, policymakers will begin to reevaluate their commitment to the high incarceration status quo, as the steady march of lowered crime is only partially related to our astronomically high prison population. -- Jamelle Bouie