Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Lame Duck Update: The START Treaty.

Last week, I mentioned START ratification as one of the four progressive goals for the lame-duck session. The commonsense treaty -- which would would reinstate ground inspections and reduce each country's deployed nuclear arsenal by 30 percent -- has been on shaky ground for awhile, thanks to GOP opposition. There were signs that the Obama administration had brokered a deal with Republicans, but as Laura Rozen reports at Politico , this seems to have fallen through: Seemingly shutting the door on one of the Obama administration’s key goals for this lame-duck session of Congress, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that he does not think the Senate should vote to ratify the START treaty before the end of the year. “When Majority Leader Harry Reid asked me if I thought the treaty could be considered in the lame duck session, I replied I did not think so given the combination of other work Congress must do and the complex and unresolved issues related to START and modernization,” Kyl...

Tea Partiers Want Big Government Bureaucrats to Spend Your Money.

Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walked back his earlier support for earmarks and joined Jim DeMint in the Tea Party crusade to end legislative pork: Make no mistake. I know the good that has come from the projects I have helped support throughout my state. I don’t apologize for them. But there is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and the out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight. And unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government. That’s why today I am announcing that I will join the Republican Leadership in the House in support of a moratorium on earmarks in the 112th Congress. This is one of the few times when I'll say that Mitch McConnell was right; I made this point a few weeks ago, but earmarks are one...

The Future of Whiteness.

Via PostBourgie is U.C. Irvine professor Jennifer Lee discussing the "color line" as it moves and shifts in response to the demographic changes of the last few decades: Traditionally, the "color line" has been a simple divide between black and white, with Latinos falling on the side of "black" in most cases. But as Lee points out, this is shifting to black/non-black, as the U.S. sees a growing population of Asians and Latinos and higher rates of interracial marriage. Of course, this doesn't apply to all Asians and all Latinos; because of their skin color, Afro-Brazillians -- for instance -- are most likely to be thought of as black, despite the fact that they might identify differently. What's more, as Lee notes, where you fall on the continuum will have a lot to do with your socioeconomic status, so that less prosperous Asian groups -- like Cambodians and Vietnamese -- might be lumped in on the black side of the divide. Still, as I've noted before , "whiteness" is a very fluid...

More on the Vacancy Crisis.

When you get a chance, you should read my new piece for the magazine on the huge number of judicial vacancies plaguing the lower courts. The short story is that Obama has made preciously few nominations for judicial vacancies, which has left the lower court system in disarray, with almost two dozen "judicial emergencies" among the circuit and district courts. Of course, Obama isn't entirely to blame; Republicans have brought the confirmation process to a standstill, leaving dozens of nominees in limbo. Given the GOP's newfound confidence, I expect this to carry over into the next year, when Republicans have a larger minority and Democrats move to embrace their reflexive timidity. The other possibility, as Brian Beutler notes , is for Democrats to take advantage of Republican obstruction by devoting more time to judicial nominees: So while the House passes legislation the Senate has no interest in considering, Majority Leader Harry Reid will have much more time, if he chooses, to...

Obama's Lament.

I'm already tired of President Obama 's apology tour : But as the president returned home on Sunday to face an even more rigidly divided capital city, Mr. Obama went even further: he blamed himself for the failure to do what he had repeatedly promised: to change the tone. He said his own “obsessive” focus on implementing the right policies had led him to ignore a part of the reason voters handed him a mandate in 2008. “I neglected some things that matter a lot to people, and rightly so: maintaining a bipartisan tone in Washington,” he told reporters in a brief question-and-answer session aboard Air Force One as he returned from a 10-day trip abroad. “I’m going to redouble my efforts to go back to some of those first principles,” he promised. I can appreciate that Obama is sincere about making Washington a more friendly place, but he was never in a position to change the capital's tone. Republicans committed themselves to a rejectionist strategy before he entered office, and since the...

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