Chris Mooney

Chris Mooney is a Prospect senior correspondent and, most recently, author of Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatened Our Future (with Sheril Kirshenbaum).

Recent Articles

Editor's Desk:

Dear TAP Online Reader, As you may have noticed, our Web site is undergoing a number of changes. Not only are we posting articles on our home page far more frequently, we're also making significant design and format changes to the way we present our content, on our home page and on other parts of the site. The ultimate goal is to turn TAP Online into a political Web site capable of presenting fresh writing and a liberal perspective every day of the week, within the 24-hour news cycle. The kind of site that you'll want -- no, need -- to visit several times a day. This is a long process and we're in the early stages, but we hope you've already noticed some differences -- even some improvements. So over the coming weeks, expect the site to move even faster, and have fresher, funnier, and more canny political content. (You should also expect the unexpected.) Finally, at this stage of the game I'd love to hear your comments, about new changes to the site or about anything else that crosses...

Idea Log:

03/01/2002 To: Ann Coulter, syndicated columnist Re: Where's the carnage? Dear Ann, I must confess that my heart sank when I read your latest column, " >Mineta's Bataan death march," in which you criticize Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta for opposing the racial profiling of Arabs in U.S. airports. It's not so much that I have problems with your argument (though I do personally disagree with it). What I don't get is why you tip-toed, quite un-Coulterlike, around your most striking point: That you'd like to see Mineta dead. Here's what you wrote at the opening of the column: According to initial buoyant reports in early February, enraged travelers rose up in a savage attack on the secretary of transportation. Hope was dashed when later reports indicated that the irritated travelers were actually rival warlords, the airport was the Kabul Airport, and Norman Mineta was still with us. Frankly, Ann, I've come to expect better from you. Why use a rhetorical trick that depends on...

Idea Log:

You may recall that a few weeks back, Idea Log discussed how the left wing environmental group href="http://www.prospect.org/webfeatures/2002/01/mooney-c-01-29.html" target="outlink">Friends of the Earth had thrown in its lot with conservative anti-abortionists on the issue of reproductive cloning. The two strange bedfellows came together to oppose the middle-of-the road Feinstein-Kennedy bill now in the Senate, which would ban human reproductive cloning but would not limit the therapeutic cloning of human embryos for research purposes. You can rest assured that FoE's overture did not go unnoticed or unappreciated on the "pro-life" front. Arguing against Senator Dianne Feinstein on Meet the Press this weekend, Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) -- the antiabortionist author of a more extreme bill to ban both reproductive and therapeutic cloning -- did far more than merely tip his hat to his new left-wing environmentalist allies. Indeed, Brownback hardly even made a conservative pro-...

Idea Log

If you follow green issues at all closely, by now you'll have probably heard of a book titled The Skeptical Environmentalist , by a Danish statistician named Bjorn Lomborg. Published in the U.S. last year by Cambridge University Press, the work has set off a firestorm, largely because it purports to show that for decades, environmental groups have been overly pessimistic about nothing less fundamental than the actual state of the world. But there's a funny aspect to the Lomborg debate. Many commentators who have praised The Skeptical Environmentalist have lingered at length upon its organizational and physical attributes -- finding their own bizarre figures by which to measure this highly statistical book. It's almost as if the density of Lomborg's tome has become a testimonial to its validity. Here's Thomas Bray, from Tuesday's Wall Street Journal : The 515-page paperback version, complete with 2,930 footnotes and a 69-page bibliography, received respectful, indeed glowing, reviews...

Turning Green with Evil

Remember John McCain's 2000 campaign pledge to defeat the special interest "forces of evil" that have corrupted our politics, and to blow up the "Death Star" of the traditional Republican Party? Does any of that sound familiar? At the time, McCain's black-and-white worldview got him into deep trouble. In particular, GOP stalwarts fought back hard after McCain classified Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell in almost precisely the same way that George W. Bush recently described Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. But if McCain went over the top in naming evil-doers in 2000, today it seems as though Republican party evil-sayers can't go far enough. Even McCain's most dire opponents on campaign finance reform are now casting themselves as Luke Skywalker. Take the example of Republican congressman Roy Blunt of Missouri, who used the word "evil" four consecutive times in reference to soft money on Meet the Press on Sunday. "If soft money is corrupt and evil," said Blunt, seeming to agree, "then let's...

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