Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle Gurley is The American Prospect’s deputy editor. Her email is

Recent Articles

The Hudson River Rail Tunnel Gets Boost From Congress but Problems Loom

Preoccupied with his border wall, Trump has little to say about newly authorized funding—and he’s still sitting on last year’s money.

AP Photo/Mel Evans, File A view of the train tunnel under the Hudson River as seen from the back of an Amtrak train bound for New York's Penn Station. screen_shot_2017-07-19_at_4.28.52_pm.png Little noticed in the maelstrom over the shutdown-averting deal and the president’s border wall emergency declaration was some good news for New Jersey and New York. Among the appropriations that kept the government running was $650 million for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, the busiest and most profitable segment of the national rail network. Portions of that funding will go to the $30 billion Gateway Program to revitalize crumbling rail connections between New York and New Jersey, some of them more than a century old. Yet despite the signed, sealed and delivered deal, the Trump administration continues to resort to Nixonian tactics to block Gateway funds and delay replacing the Hurricane Sandy-damaged tunnel. Department of Transportation officials manage to do Trump’s bidding on...

Markey and Ocasio-Cortez Team Up on Green New Deal

Can an intergenerational alliance solidify a Democratic consensus on climate?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the brightest star in the Democratic firmament, came to Washington championing fast and bold solutions for climate change. She wanted to see more “environmental hardliners” on the job in Congress. Now the New York Democrat is in a prime spot to steer a Green New Deal. On Wednesday, Axios reported that Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat, have joined forces to lay the groundwork for legislation to jumpstart a transition from a fossil-fuel dependent economy to one that relies on renewable energy sources like wind and solar to stave off the most pernicious effects of climate change. A Green New Deal would likely also have strong economic and environmental justice components to help at-risk communities navigate the transition. The legislation could be unveiled as early as next week. Republican control of the White House and the Senate means the chances of passing in the 116th Congress this transformative...

Steve King’s Bridge Too Far?

The outrage that greeted the Iowa Republican’s latest transgression means little so long as the GOP continues to let Donald Trump off the hook. 

Representative Steve King’s dog-paddling through the cesspool of white supremacy is winding down. The racist inanities that the Iowa Republican spewed to The New York Times are actually among the tamer comments from a man who not so long ago invited a cable television panel to consider what people who were not white had contributed to civilization. Deciding that his latest foray into the etymology of “white nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization”is untenable, House Republican leaders have moved to save their colleague from a harder fall. To that end, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy delivered a coup de grace of sorts, stripping King of his committee assignments and—so far—staving off a censure motion from Democrats. Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst, Liz Cheney, and Mitt Romney served up lukewarm bromides of condemnation from afar. In a sense, King paved the way for Donald Trump, thereby helping install an avatar of...

ExxonMobil Can’t Hide Its Climate Records Any Longer

The Supreme Court has allowed Massachusetts to access the fossil fuel giant’s records—one of many legal challenges the company now faces. 

Last Monday, the Supreme Court batted off ExxonMobil’s attempt to quash Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy’s investigation of the company’s outsized influence on the country’s climate change policies. Exxon has long been one of the fiercest climate change deniers in the fossil fuel industry. The company has also played a major role in feeding disinformation to the public and to a news media mired in he-said-she-said notions of journalistic balance. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s rejection of its petition to hear the case, the company could now be poised to take a hard fall as Massachusetts and other states and jurisdictions investigate how the company reacted to the climate threat. In 2016, Healey launched an effort to obtain several decades worth of materials on the company’s internal deliberations on climate to uncover what Exxon knew about the crisis as it crafted its policies. After the Supreme Judicial Court, the top Massachusetts...

Q&A: Vietnam and the Road to Disaster

A Naval Academy historian examines how a savvy president and his smart advisors failed in Southeast Asia and helped sow the seeds of polarization in American politics and society.

roadtodisaster_cover.jpg E quipped with fresh insights from the fields of cognitive science and psychology, Brian VanDeMark’s Road to Disaster: A New History of America’s Descent Into Vietnam examines how Lyndon Johnson and his Vietnam advisors, “best and the brightest,” as David Halberstam’s famously called them in his seminal work, unspooled the decisions that cost the lives of more than 58,000 Americans. VanDeMark, an associate professor of history at the U.S. Naval Academy, has taught courses on the Vietnam War for nearly 30 years. As a young historian, he assisted Robert McNamara, Lyndon Johnson’s Secretary of Defense, with his controversial 1995 memoir on the war and got to know other senior advisors like Clark Clifford, McNamara’s successor. After Vietnam, Americans embraced a less jaundiced view of veterans and military service, but VanDeMark also tells The American Prospect that the contemporary polarization that now runs deep in...