Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is research director of People for the American Way, and a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism. Opinions expressed here are her own.

Recent Articles


HEAD TRIP. One hopes this official White House photo would finish off for good the idiotic Pelosi-in-terrorist-garb narrative advanced, as noted here by Brother Sam yesterday, by the hateful Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (and further commented on here by Brother Bossman Tomasky ). At a recent religious-right conference I had the privilege of covering last month for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Perkins went on a long riff deriding Islam, especially the Arabic saying that translates as "God is great." Bemoaning the fact that the Muslim call to prayer is now heard in American cities, Perkins noted that the call includes those words. "Allah akbar," he said, his voice dripping with contempt. "That's what Islamic terrorists say before they cut your head off." Of course, this whole riff hangs on the notion of "Allah" as an entity different from the G-d of Abraham, rather than a translation of the name given in Arabic to that same supreme being. From his...


AFGHANISTAN, A SUCCESS STORY -- NOT. Once upon a time, electricity flowed through the buildings of Kabul, the Afghan capital, 24 hours a day. Today, it's more like every other day for a three-hour stint. So says Eleanor Smeal , president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, who today convened a media briefing at the National Press Club on the status of Afghan women , five years after the U.S. pushed the Taliban from power. It was Smeal, you'll recall, who relentlessly pushed the plight of Afghan women under the Taliban -- which the U.S. was poised to recognize as the legitimate government of Afghanistan -- effectively ending the pipeline dreams of the U.S. oil company UNOCAL, who counted among its paid consultants one Hamid Karzai , now the beleaguered president of Afghanistan. (Another UNOCAL hired hand was Zalmay Khalizad , now the beleaguered U.S. ambassador to Iraq , and soon to be the beleaguered U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.)


CHILDLESSNESS. I'm grateful to Brother Paul for the loophole in his wording that appears to exempt yours truly from presumed incapability of understanding the profound grief of burying one's own child: "At the risk of being exclusionary to the young and childless here on Tapped , if you don�t have kids, you wouldn�t understand." Thank goodness the old and childless are spared such judgment. As for the rest of Paul's post , I daresay that the Edwards marriage may well be the thing that best recommends the one-term senator for the job. He definitely seems like a good guy and his wife, Elizabeth , is even more impressive. On the matter of religion, I like that Edwards doesn't make a big show of his. While I find it admirable of Paul (and Harold) to state, in public, their disbelief, I remain wary of any full exposition of religious beliefs or lack thereof by politicians. Alas, the conditions that led Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to play coy on the exact nature of...


FOG OF THE WAR ON UNIONS. Neo-liberals, neo-cons, con-cons, and con men would have us all believe that unions exist to protect the incompetent and reward them with undeservedly exhorbitant levels of compensation. Even if unions did functionally fulfill such a purpose -- which, in the case of most unionized workers, they do not -- I can nonetheless assure you that opposition to labor unions from the likes of this administration has little to do with such arguments. Brothers Scott and Matthew have weighed in on this topic, but I think it's important enough to warrant a regular flogging. This is not really about compensation or competence; it's about transparency. Knock the unions out of the public sector, and government becomes nearly opaque, all the better for the looting of public coffers by contractors, and promoting all manner of cronyism and nepotism, not to mention retributionism (which is, I admit, a made-up word for whose use my unionized grade-school teachers would have sternly...


YA NEVER DO KNOW. Before we go all triumphal and everything, we'd be wise to heed Brother Ezra 's cautionary note on whether or not the GOP is a gone-er for '08. A terrorist attack would, indeed, change everything, as could any number of other variables, the economy not least among them. Having covered the religious right's role in presidential elections for a couple of decades, I can tell you that I have witnessed the movement come back ever stronger after each implosion, and the righties still run the party at the operational level. The politics of resentment are viral in nature; they often go into remission after sickening the host. After a period of dormancy, they'll be back with a bang the next time a national tragedy, depression or malaise cries out for a scapegoat. No one can pinpoint a scapegoat like the righties. They'll be back the moment they're needed. -- Adele M. Stan