Pema Levy

Pema Levy is an assistant editor at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

There's Always a Catch

House Republicans offer tax-revenue increases ... in exchange for an extension of the Bush tax cuts.

Republicans seemingly broke with their anti-tax orthodoxy last night when they offered Democrats $300 billion in revenue increases over the next decade, largely from reducing tax deductions on things like mortgage payments. But there was a catch: In return, Republicans want to extend the Bush tax cuts, which are currently set to expire in January 2013. The extension would cost $4 trillion over the next decade. Democrats refused the GOP offer, saying it would increase the deficit over the next ten years rather than reduce it. Strategically, the Republican offer made perfect sense; they came across as willing to compromise and can now accuse Democrats of blocking a deal. With two weeks until their deadline, the Super Committee has made little progress. The Latest Republicans offer tax deal to break debt impasse; Democrats dismiss it Washington Post Ohio Turns Back a Law Limiting Unions' Rights The New York Times Occupy Movement Inspires Unions to Embrace Bold Tactics The New York Times...

Is There a "Bradley Effect" for Abortion?

Amendment 26 supporter Sandy Comer puts out a campaign sign at the polls at the Chamber of Commerce in Oxford, Mississippi, on Tuesday, November 8, 2011. Mississippians go to the polls today for state and local elections, as well as referendums including the so-called personhood amendment, a referendum on whether to define life as beginning at conception. (AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)
Yesterday, Mississippi voters soundly defeated Amendment 26, an anti-abortion ballot initiative that would have altered the state's constitution to define personhood as beginning at fertilization. Going into the election, a survey from Public Policy Polling showed 45 percent of voters in favor, 44 percent opposed, and 11 percent undecided—much closer than the vote turned out to be. A personhood amendment like the one in Mississippi has never been enacted and would have had radical implications, even in a strongly pro-life state like Mississippi. Not only would it have banned all abortions without exception, but popular forms of contraception like the morning after pill, IUDs, and even the pill would have been outlawed as well. In addition, miscarriages could be prosecuted as murder or manslaughter. But Mississippians won't have to deal with any of that, because Amendment 26 lost 58 percent to 42 percent. The discrepancy between what the polls said going in and the results means...

Democrats Misbehave, Obama Gets the Time-Out
When it comes to addressing the economic crisis, creating jobs, or tackling the deficit, Congress is at a standstill and the American people know it. This morning, a poll from the National Journal shows Americans have little faith that Congress will take on the issues that matter most. For example, 68 percent of respondents said it was "very important" for Congress to spend money in order to create new jobs, but only 27 percent thought it was likely to happen. Another poll, this one by The Washington Post , found that 50 percent of Americans believe Republicans are holding up President Obama's jobs bill for political reasons. The public sentiment expressed in these polls should spell disaster for Republicans who are perceived to be recklessly blocking popular legislation. In elections today and a year from now, these sentiments should play to Democrats' favor. The problem, however, is that in hard economic times, the president takes the blame, even if the other party deserves a hefty...

Cain's High Crimes, Not Misdemeanors

Minutes ago, Sharon Bialek, one of the four women who alleged Herman Cain sexually harassed her, came forward in a press conference to recount what happened. In short, after losing her job at the National Restaurant Association in 1997, Bialek traveled to D.C. to meet with Cain for a discussion about her finding a new job. Before meeting with Bialek, Cain had her hotel room upgraded to an expensive suite and let her know he was responsible for the nice room. After drinks, he took her to a fancy Italian restaurant, then offered to show her the NRA offices. At that point, Cain allegedly parked the car, reached his hand under her skirt, pulled her head toward his crotch and said, "You want a job, right?" When she resisted, he drove her back to her hotel. This account is shocking on several levels. First, what the media have described up to this point as sexual harassment has in fact turned out to be sexual assault (though Bialek's lawyer, Gloria Allred, refused to define the crime as...

Union Busters Going Down

Polls for a referendum on an anti-union law in Ohio indicate repeal.
Tomorrow, Ohioans will vote on Issue 2, a referendum to repeal an anti-union law that threatens to destroy public-sector unions in the state. Last spring, the governor and majority-Republican legislature passed Senate Bill 5, restricting public unions' ability to strike, collectively bargain with employers, and collect dues. In response, state Democrats and unions put the law on the ballot. Going into tomorrow's vote, it looks like labor will pull it off. A new survey from Public Policy Polling shows 59 percent of voters plan to reject SB 5 on Tuesday, while only 36 percent of voters will vote to approve it. It would be an immediate victory for workers' wages and job stability. As a crucial swing state, the win for labor also bodes well for Democrats in the 2012 elections. The Latest Ohio Set to Vote Big Against Kasich's Anti-Union Bill Talking Points Memo Democrats hatch new jobs bill plan Politico Greek Leaders Reach Deal to Form a New Government The New York Times As crisis spreads...