Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Your Daily Dose of History.

Via Sociological Images, by way of The New York Times , is the last slave census taken in the United States, dated 1860: The shading indicates what percent of the county's population was enslaved, with darker shades indicating a higher percentage of enslaved people. As you can see, some counties along the coasts and near the Mississippi have slave populations as high as 80 percent. The map also included information on the overall population and percentage enslaved on a state level. You can see that image here . The numbers are astounding, to say the least; in Mississippi and South Carolina, slaves were 55.1 percent and 57.2 percent of the population, respectively. In raw numbers, Virginia had the largest population of slaves -- 490,887 enslaved persons -- but they were "only" 30.7 percent of the total population. You can safely say that fear -- as much as ideology -- drove Southern planters away from the Union. If anything else, emancipation meant a huge population of former slaves,...

Mike Huckabee and the Minority Vote.

Mike Huckabee hasn't made up his mind about another run for president, but he is confident about his appeal to "ethnic" voters: The real question for me is, do I get through the nomination process? I feel better about getting through the general election if I were the nominee. I think I would be one of the best at drawing real contrasts with President Obama. A lot of the polls show I do exceptionally well, far better than any Republican candidate, with my support with women. I got a significant vote from African-Americans when I was governor--I got 28 percent of the African-American vote in my state, and very few Republicans are able to do that. I'm not suggesting I could do that in a national election, especially against Obama , but I would have a much better opportunity to bring in ethnic voters than most Republicans. I actually think this is true, for the simple reason that Huckabee knows how to talk about poverty and other issues that disproportionately affect minorities in a way...

The House Is Too Small.

Sad times for advocates of a larger House: The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal that calls for greatly increasing the House of Representatives to reduce discrepancies in the population of congressional districts from one state to another. The justices on Monday ordered a lower federal court to dismiss a lawsuit from Mississippi. The suit said House districts vary widely in population, in violation of the principle of "one-man, one-vote." Doubling or even quadrupling the size of the House from its current 435 representatives would make it easier to draw more evenly populated districts, the lawsuit said. The current arrangement might not be unconstitutional, but it's definitely unfair to residents of densely populated areas, who effectively have fewer votes than their rural counterparts, thanks to the wildly divergent size of House districts. If we wanted fair representation in the House, we'd have to increase its size by at least 200, which sounds huge but isn't much by...

No Labels.

To the right is a list of featured speakers for No Label's official launch webcast . If you were looking for a reason to be skeptical of the enterprise, there it is. With few exceptions, this is a who's who of figures devoted to furthering Beltway conventional wisdom and its agenda of gutless, pro-corporate "centrism." And indeed, given its mission of "putting labels aside" and putting "issues" first, it's no surprise that No Label can count support from the likes of Joe Lieberman and Charlie Crist ; in practice, this is all shorthand for ignoring voter preferences and forcing them to accept more and greater accommodation with the status quo. You don't actually need to look far to see the anti-democratic, pro-establishment element embedded in No Label. Here is a portion from the organization's " statement of purpose :" Just as citizen movements have played an important role in America since its inception, it is time for another movement, one based on No Labels and the merit of ideas...

A Bad Deal for Judicial Nominees.

Last on the Senate's to-do list: judicial confirmations : Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is negotiating a deal with Republican leaders to confirm a long list of President Barack Obama 's judicial nominations that have idled on the Senate calendar for months, sources say. The deal could involve as many as 19 of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees who the GOP consider non-controversial, but would leave out a shorter list of more liberal nominees Republicans consider objectionable — setting up another potential disappointment for liberal activists, who have spent months pushing for their confirmation. With a huge number of vacancies on the nation's lower courts, some judges are better than none, but it doesn't hurt to note that this is a bad deal. As of last week , there were 38 judicial nominees approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and waiting for a floor vote. Twenty-nine of those nominees left Judiciary without opposition, and at least three came with significant...

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