Commentary

Senior Fellow David Callahan suggests that the anti-war movement hints at growing disenchantment with American democracy and a new concern about sustainable energy policy.

What might today's antiwar movement say about domestic politics? Two undercurrents of the protests hint at larger critiques of United States society that seem to be gaining momentum. One relates to consumption, the other to democracy.

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In making the case for war, there is one thing on which President Bush and his critics agree: It's all about trust. The leaders of eight European countries who signed on to the war effort in a commentary in the Wall Street Journal and European papers last week didn't make a judgment on the evidence; they argued that history and the North Atlantic alliance demanded that Europe trust America.

But if the case for war rests on trust, there are good reasons why this president, like any powerful democratic leader, needs to be distrusted.

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This report deals with the role Mexican immigrant organizations are playing in promoting or inhibiting immigrant political incorporation into the U.S. political system.

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studentorgs

America has lived for two centuries with the myth of its independence, sure that its sovereignty would protect it from outside aggression. After all, before Sept. 11, the last major assault by foreigners on mainland American soil was the British attack on the White House and the Capitol in 1814. But our sovereign independence, already under siege from new forms of global disease, global technology, global crime, global ecology and global markets, came under direct assault on Sept. 11.

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NEW YORK -- Over the last year and a half, Federal Reserve rate cuts have dramatically lowered interest rates on consumer loans, setting off a stampede of home refinancing, as well as new home and auto purchases. But such Fed inspired rate relief is not happening everywhere: credit card rates remain staggeringly high. It's almost inconceivable -- yet true -- that in 2001, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates 11 times, yet the average credit card rate dropped by less than 1 percentage point.

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Congress passed sweeping legislation to reform corporate conduct and governance last week, and President Bush has pledged to sign it. A mere two months ago, the prospects for such broad reform were grim, as Congressional Republicans and the president himself favored a more limited approach.

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DODGE CITY -- As Congress debates President Bush's welfare plan, they are hearing a lot of complaints about the plan from the nation's governors. The White House proposal, which would increase work requirements and encourage marriage among poor women, has Mr. Bush's former colleagues in state houses protesting that it will reduce their flexibility. But Bush's proposal is even more out of touch with a far larger constituency: the American public.

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JERSEY CITY, NJ -- Release of the latest round of data from the 2000 Census attracted a lot of attention, and not because the news was good. The figures showed that poverty had increased over the course of the last decade, and that all too many other people were falling behind. For example, men who worked full-time and year-round saw median individual earnings decline, adjusted for inflation.

To many who heard the news it didn't seem to make sense. How could this have happened during the booming 90s?

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HARTFORD, CT -- Watching Connecticut's budget challenge with the benefit of a little distance and historical perspective, I see the state's choices as stunningly clear:

Balancing the budget on the backs of the people who have benefited the least from the economic boom of the '90s makes no sense. Asking those who have been the big winners of the past decade to contribute their fair share is a sound approach for the long term.

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Senior Fellow David Callahan explains that the real New Economy -- the Wal-Mart economy -- is almost the exact opposite of the New Economy hyped during the 1990s.

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