Monday Buzz: Sotomayor and the Supremes, Waxman-Markey and More

Simon had an excellent quote in Dan Balz's story on Sotomayor in today's Washington Post:

...But in energizing the conservative base, Republicans almost certainly will face questions about whether their hearing-room strategy does damage to their efforts to appeal more broadly to Hispanics.

Simon Rosenberg, president of the Democratic-leaning think tank NDN, argued in an e-mail message Monday that his party has been far more deft at capitalizing on the nation's changing demographics and called the Sotomayor nomination another example of the party's recognition of the fact that America will soon be a majority-minority nation.

"If during the next few weeks the Republicans appear to be playing politics with race rather than raising legitimate issues about Sotomayor's judicial approach it could reinforce the deep impression that the Republican Party's anachronistic and intolerant approach to race and diversity is making them less capable of leading a very different and more racially diverse America of the early 21st century," he wrote.

Ruy Texiera, a New Politics Institute fellow, also discussed Sotomayor on The New Republic's TNRtv - check it out here.

Rob was quoted this week in articles from both sides of the aisle, in the American Spectator as well as the Huffington Post and GreenLeft, attacking Waxman-Markey - on the right, mostly because they don't believe in climate change, and on the left, mostly because they want a bill that actually does something about it. Here's a snippet from the excellent and highly-recommended Huffington Post article by NASA Scientist Dr. James Hansen:

For all its "green" aura, Waxman-Markey locks in fossil fuel business-as-usual and garlands it with a Ponzi-like "cap-and-trade" scheme. Here are a few of the bill's egregious flaws:

  • It guts the Clean Air Act, removing EPA's ability to regulate CO2 emissions from power plants.
  • It sets meager targets -- 2020 emissions are to be a paltry 13% less than this year's level -- and sabotages even these by permitting fictitious "offsets," by which other nations are paid to preserve forests - while logging and food production will simply move elsewhere to meet market demand.
  • Its cap-and-trade system, reports former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs Robert Shapiro, "has no provisions to prevent insider trading by utilities and energy companies or a financial meltdown from speculators trading frantically in the permits and their derivatives."
  • It fails to set predictable prices for carbon, without which, Shapiro notes, "businesses and households won't be able to calculate whether developing and using less carbon-intensive energy and technologies makes economic sense," thus ensuring that millions of carbon-critical decisions fall short.

Finally, NDN Fellow Joe Garcia's recent Administration appointment was covered by the Miami New Times:


Joe Garcia put up a good fight against Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart in last year's election but came up just a few percentage points shy. No matter, because he's headed to D.C. anyway. 

Garcia landed a job in the Obama administration as director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity in the Department of Energy. Garcia has previously been president of the Cuban American National Foundation, chairman of Florida's Public Service Commission, and executive VP and director of the Hispanic Project for NDN.

Here's the official release from the White House about Joe's appointment (congratulations again, Joe!).