NDN Blog

Thu 7/23 Roundup: Presser, Unconstitutionality, Matthews on the Warpath

Obama- President Obama gave a major press conference last night, spending the vast majority of his time defending and promoting health care reform.

- The WaPo's Fred Hiatt interviewed President Obama about health care reform.  Worth your time.

- Karen Tumulty thinks Congress is still sure to miss Obama's deadline.

- Mike Tomasky was not sold on Obama's health care pitch.

- Massachusetts is considering dropping health care coverage of legal immigrants to make up a budget shortfall.  This is, um, unconstitutional.

- Drop by our offices around noon today for a presentation of Simon's Dawn of a New Politics presentation.

- Jake broke down the analysis of Ben Bernanke's recent statement.

- Be sure to keep up with Nico Pitney's coverage of the ongoing uprising in Iran.

- Last, it's almost painful to watch Chris Matthews rip Rep. John Campbell to shreds over this "birther" nonsense:

Wed 7/22 Roundup: Obama Presser, Demos, Steele Shamed

- President Obama will give a major press conference this evening, and the NY Times says he's at a pivotal moment, with health care in the balance and the nation still troubled by the economy.

- The NYT's David Leonhardt says the big challenge to passing health care is answering the question the country is asking: "What's in it for me?"

- James Purnell has launched a new project at Demos, a British think tank, which will ask what it means to be on the left today.  Keep an eye out for a contribution from Simon in the coming days!

- Despite the recession, the flow of immigrants into and out of the country from Mexico has been mostly stable.

- A pilot program at a school in Chinatown, New York is employing technology to move education into the 21st century.  Laptop in every backpack, anyone?

- CQ is being sold to Roll Call.  No layoffs for now.

- In a small victory for the Administration, the Senate voted to kill the F-22.  More money for relevant military technology!

- Pakistan is unhappy with the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, claiming it's pushing Taliban militants over the border.

- Michael Moynihan writes on the blog today that the use of trade policy, specifically tariffs, is not the best way to get countries to reduce emissions.

- A proposed power-transfer compromise in Honduras was rejected by the de facto government.

- Last, Michael Steele gets embarrassed on CNN:

Tue, 7/21 Roundup: Health Care on Tap, Breaking and Entering, Mouthpiece Theatre

Health- The big story today is still health care.  The NYT and WSJ say Dems are ready to compromise.  The WaPo says the GOP is on the attack.

- Obama has summoned the bloggers to the cause of health care!  I'm coming, Mr. President!

- Howard Fineman sees mostly challenges for health care in coming months.

- Mike Tomasky looks at the role of centrists in the health care debate.

- NDN Fellows Morley Winograd and Mike Hais have a tee-rific op-ed in today's Roll Call, showing how the health care debate is shaped by generational lines.

- Jorge Castaneda and Tamar Jacoby have an op-ed in the WaPo arguing for the need for a single, comprehensive immigration reform bill.

- California is saved.  In a shrunken state.

- A Harvard professor was arrested for trying to break into his own house.

- Last, the gentlemen of the Washington Post offer Mouthpiece Theatre:

Mon 7/20 Roundup: Obama's Challenges, Healthcare Zero Hour, Gorilla Glue

- The WaPo has a big above-the-fold feature this morning on new polling that shows President Barack Obama has lost some of his support on key issues.  Less than half of Americans approve of the way he's handling health care. He enjoys a 59% overall approval rating-- his first dip below 60%, though still high.

- He's still doing well in Michigan.

- Two editors from Reason see President Obama headed toward a Carter-style train wreck.

- Rick Hertzberg looks back at Carter's malaise speech.

- Matt Bai calls Obama "the shuffle president," for the way he's taking on everything at once.  Appropriate for the age, but politically risky, too.

- Frank Rich on the Sotomayor hearings: Will we look back on these as the final death rattle of ancien-regime conservatism?

- Charles Blow is confused by the GOP's utter disregard and disinterest in America's non-whites.

- In Newsweek, Ted Kennedy makes a powerful case for universal health care.

- A big bipartisan group of Governors are uneasy about the health care plan as it is emerging from Congress.

- John Cohn says we'll find out soon if Dems have what it takes to pass health care.

- CQ says this is a pivotal week for health care.

- According to the FT, the next major global brand will probably emerge from Asia. 

- Laura Rozen has the story that Obama's meeting in Saudi Arabia was a total loss for the U.S.

- Fareed Zakaria sees Rwanda and its leader, Paul Kagame, as a model for Africa.

- Simon says we need new language to talk about our deteriorating economy.

- Rob Shapiro has a good quote in a HuffPo piece on the IMF and its projections for our economy.

- The Gorilla Glue Company does not advocate the gluing of President Obama to his chair with their product.

- Unemployed?  Move to DC! We've got jobs.  And I'll be your friend.

- Senator Leahy asks Republicans to stop the racial politics.

 

 

Fri 7/17 Roundup: Tear Gas in Iran, Saving Healthcare, Giant Blob of Goo

Tear Gas- Security forces fired tear gas at a demonstration in Iran.  At the event, former president Rafsanjani spoke out against the government's handling of the uprising.  It was Mir Hussein Mousavi's first public appearance in weeks.

- The Director of the CBO issued a gloomy statement about the prospects for health care reform.

- Ezra Klein says Ron Wyden's Free Choice Act could save health care reform.

- Bank of America made a $3.2 billion profit.  Citigroup pulled in $4.3 billion.  Back to business as usual?

- Yes indeed, says Paul Krugman. Goldman Sachs and friends are good at what they do.  And what they do is bad for America.  And we're going back to the system that killed us in the first place.

- President Obama gave a powerful speech before the NAACP yesterday.  He concluded:

One hundred years from now, on the 200th anniversary of the NAACP, let it be said that this generation did its part; that we too ran the race; that full of the faith that our dark past has taught us, full of the hope that the present has brought us, we faced, in our own lives and all across this nation, the rising sun of a new day begun.

- Two bombs in Jakarta killed at least eight.

- Kids are getting high on hot Cheetos, creating a nutritional and janitorial nightmare.

- Last, there is a giant blob of goo floating off the coast of Alaska.  Nobody knows what it is. Guesses?:

Thu 7/16 Roundup: HELP Pass This Bill, JP Morgan Chasing Goldman, Perry Mason

HELPLeader: HELP Pass This Bill

- The health care bill drafted by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions came up for a vote yesterday, and passed along party lines, 13-10. The bill has taken criticism already from some industry players and moderate Democrats. The Senate Finance Committee is drafting their own bill, which is projected to be more amenable for Republicans. 

- An NY Times editorial comes out strongly in support of the health care bill just unveiled in the House.

- NPR's Steve Inskeep did a great interview with Senators Dodd and Hatch just before their vote in the HELP committee yesterday.

Politics

- New York AG Andrew Cuomo has significantly outraised Governor David Paterson so far this year.  Cuomo is still cagey about his gubernatorial aspirations, but he's widely seen as a likely primary challenger to Paterson.

- Sonia Sotomayor's hearings went into their third day yesterday.  In an analysis piece, the WaPo says that Republicans have failed to pin her down with any of the labels they'd like to stick on her.

Economy

- JP Morgan Chase followed Goldman Sachs in announcing stellar profits in the second quarter this year.  Good news for the New York economy, probably, but hardly heartening for those of us who would rather not rush back to the same economy we rode for most of this decade.

International

- Secretary of State Clinton gave a major address on foreign policy yesterday, urging a multi-partner world.

- A UAE Blackberry service provider is pushing an app to users that would allow the service provider to spy on them.  Creepy.

New From NDN

- Jake blogged on President Obama's new economic rhetoric yesterday.

- We had a terrific event yesterday with Eric Jaye, Theo Yedinsky, and Nico Pitney yesterday, talking about Twitter and its role in politics and in Iran.  Keep an eye out for video soon!

One More Thing

- Mark Sanford is gone on vacation again! This time, his wife is with him.

- Last, Al Franken made his first joke yesterday, questioning Sonia Sotomayor's devotion to Perry Mason:

Wed 7/15 Roundup: Sonia on the Spot, 21st Century Jobs, Ball One

Leader: Sonia on the Spot

- The second day of Sonia Sotomayor's hearings to become a Supreme Court Justice went off yesterday without fireworks or, really, much excitement at all.  She attempted to reassure skeptical Republicans that she would not let her identity distort her decisions, and dismissed her "wise Latina" remarks as "a rhetorical flourish" meant to inspire young Latinos that "fell flat." Republicans evidently "don't buy" the explanation, but it doesn't much matter-- she all but guaranteed yesterday that she would be confirmed in short order.

- Ann Gerhart interprets Sotomayor's body language, and sees a confident, mature woman who has controlled the hearing room with her warmth and her strength.

Politics

- In a speech in Michigan yesterday, President Obama laid out his plan to get our college graduation rates to the highest levels of any country in the world by 2020.  Central to his plan is support of our community college system.  Here's an excerpt from the speech which sounds like some of the arguments we've been making here at NDN in recent years:

But we also have to ensure that we're educating and preparing our people for the new jobs of the 21st century. We've got to prepare our people with the skills they need to compete in this global economy.

- Organizing for America, a branch of the DNC, will be running ads targeting Democratic Senators, urging them to get behind health care reform. That's Democratic Senators.

Economy

- The latest column from David Leonhardt of the NY Times argues that our current 9.5% unemployment rate is considerably lower than the real level of unemployment, as it is skewed downward by ignoring people who are working part-time, or have given up looking for work altogether. The NY Times also runs an editorial urging President Obama to take action on the economy.  We at NDN have been making the same case, arguing that the President needs to keep his focus on the economy.  A piece of analysis from the AP says that yesterday, Obama did take full ownership of the economy, with four words in his Michigan speech: "Give it to me!"

New From NDN

- Join us at noon today for an event on Twitter and the bottom-up media revolution.  Eric Jaye and Theo Yedinsky from Gavin Newsom's gubernatorial campaign will be there, as will the notorious Nico Pitney of the Huffington Post.

- James Crabtree came through with his second post for NDN, writing that television may be an old technology, but it's by far the most important way of expressing the aspirations of Pakistan's people.

One More Thing

- Sarah Palin said she would be willing to campaign on behalf of certain Democrats.  Could this be the secret Republican plan to bring down the Democratic Party?

- The American League beat the National League in baseball's All-Star Game for the 13th consecutive year. President Obama threw out the first pitch  (Not a strike):

Tue 7/14 Roundup: Secret Assassins, Sotomayor, Jay-Z v. The Game

PanettaLeader: Secret Assassins

- For eight years during the George W. Bush presidency, the C.I.A. had plans to send elite squads of their own field operatives along with military special forces to assassinate al Qaeda leaders overseas.  The plans were never carried out, and the program was abolished by current C.I.A. Director Leon Panetta.  New details continue to come to light about the program, and it sounds an awful lot like what Israel did after the massacre at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

- As Simon noted late last week, Dick Cheney has been implicated in the cover-up of this program.

Politics

- Sonia Sotomayor got through round one yesterday, spending the morning listening to Senators speak at length about her and her judicial record. The line of attack taken by Republicans was to question her impartiality, and suggest that she would rule according to her biases and prejudices, rather than according to the law.  She gave a brief, 7-minute prepared statement designed to be non-controversial, in which she emphasized that a "fidelity to the law" is her chief judicial philosophy.

- On a trip to Michigan today, President Obama will unveil a $12 billion program to bolster our nation's community colleges, and raise the percentage of people with college degrees to the highest in the world by 2020. We have had more than a little to say about this in recent months.

Economy

- Mort Zuckerman, looking at length of unemployment as an indicator, would like you to know that the economy is even worse than you think.

- Steve Rattner stepped down as President Obama's car czar yesterday, and received plaudits for getting GM and Chrysler through bankruptcy so quickly.

International

- Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso survived a no-confidence vote yesterday, but he can't have much confidence in himself going into next month's elections. His party seems poised to lose power for the first time in fifty years.

- Hillary Clinton has been trying to get the administrator of USAID appointed, and griped yesterday about the "nightmare" White House vetting process that the nominee is suffering through now.

New From NDN

- Jake did a full update of the progress of H.R. 2060, the Community College Technology Access Bill of 2009, which was introduced by Rep. John Larson and based on a paper written by our own Dr. Rob Shapiro.

- And another reminder that you should come to our event on Twitter tomorrow-- starring Nico Pitney, Eric Jaye, and Theo Yedinsky.  Should be a good one.

One More Thing

- FP blogger Marc Lynch analyzes the beef between Jay-Z and The Game through the lens of international great power politics.  One of the most entertaining blog posts I've read in a while....

- Last, Sonia Sotomayor speaking about how she was affected by a particular case.  Personal experience indeed:

Mon 7/13: Sotomayor Under Fire, Goldman Does OK, Blakk Rasta on Obama

Sotomayor and ObamaLeader: Sotomayor Under Fire

- The confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor begin today, as she runs the final gauntlet before hopefully taking her seat on the Supreme Court. The battle this week will hardly be over her fate-- it seems almost certain that she will be confirmed, and may pull as many as 78 votes in her favor-- but the sessions will have major political implications for the President and both parties. GOP Senators are hoping to use the hearings to excite their base, but an excessively aggressive attack on racial issues could push yet more Hispanics into the Democratic base.

- Time looks ahead at how the GOP will go after Sotomayor.

- CQ tells us what to look for in the hearings.  So does Politico.

- Check out the backgrounder we released when Sotomayor's nomination was announced back in May.  It covers our commentary on her and some of our work on America's changing demography.

Politics

- Michael Scherer of Time thinks he's figured out the five basic tenets of the Obama Doctrine.

- The NY Times chronicles the bizarre, seemingly unplanned route that led to Sarah Palin's resignation.

- In Politico, Rep. Jay Inslee calls for an Apollo program for clean energy.

- The NY Times reports that unemployment is hitting blacks in New York disproportionately harder than whites.

Economy

- Tomorrow, Goldman Sachs is expected to report a $2 billion profit from March-June.  They attribute it all to the fact that they're just very, very good at international trading.

International

- The violence in Xinjiang has led to two very different narratives about the violence-- both the Han and the Uighurs would play the victim in their own account. 

- Hundreds of thousands of Tamils are stuck in refugee camps that are almost entirely off-limits to aid workers, journalists, and other outsiders because the Sri Lankan government says Tamil Tiger rebels are hidden in the camps, and pose a security risk to the state.

New From NDN

- Simon has been writing in the past few days about President Obama's attempt to refocus attention on the economy. Have you looked at Obama's op-ed from Sunday's WaPo?

- You should roll through our offices on Wednesday when we host an all-star cast for a discussion of the power of Twitter and other crazy social media.

One More Thing

- Blakk Rasta provided the theme song for President Obama's visit to Ghana late last week.  Keep the fire burning, Mr. President:

Fri 7/10 Roundup: Kurds, Roland, Obama in Africa

IraqLeader: Kurds

- The Kurds of northern Iraq have, with little fanfare, drafted a new constitution for their autonomous region, and passed it through their legislature.  It will go up for referendum later this year.  The constitution gives the Kurds strong control over their region, and entitles them to the oil and gas below the surface of their land.  The new constitution is opposed by Baghdad, and causes worry in the Washington that this could lead to a more fractured Iraq.

- Fifty-four were killed in bombings around Iraq yesterday, the bloodiest day since the American troops have withdrawn.  Most of the deaths came in Tall Afar in Ninevah province, where Shi'a-Kurdish tensions run deep-- fissures there could spark a civil war. 

- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sat down with the WSJ for an interview in advance of his trip to the U.S. later this month.  He was conciliatory toward the U.S., and said he planned to thank America on his visit, for sharing the sacrifice with the Iraqi people during the years after Saddam's topple in 2003.

Politics

- Senator Roland Burris will not seek another term, and will step down from his Senate seat in 2010, clearing the way for a fresh-faced, clean-slate Democrat to seek Illinois' junior seat.

- Joe Crowley is now officially the head of the New Democrat Coalition.

- The Senate will not take up climate change legislation until after the August recess.

Economy

- Early this morning, while you were still deep aslumber, GM completed a scarily fast bankruptcy proceeding, signing their good assets over to a new, government-backed auto manufacturer.

International

- New protests broke out in Iran yesterday, and fortunately for us, Nico Pitney is on the case.

- The G8 summit ended in disappointment across the board, with a lower-than-expected commitment to food aid rounding out the meeting's failings. The NY Times sees the G8 summit as no longer particularly relevantJake concurs.

New From NDN

- Rob Shapiro sees lessons for Barack Obama in the life and work of Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara. 

- Mike Hais writes on the importance of sustaining Obama's honeymoon.

One More Thing

- President Obama lands in Ghana today.  Here he is, on the subject:

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