New Politics

Clare Giesen Speaks to American University's WE LEAD Program

Women and Politics Institute
Saturday, October 29, 2:00pm

Join NDN Staffer Clare Giesen  who will speak before American University's Women & Politics Institute, which works to increase the number of women working in politics and running for office.  Other speakers include Sui Lang Panohe of the Young Women Leaders Board, Carolyn Pierce of NJI Media, Lisa Spies of LS Group, and Melissa Sullivan of American University.


American University
Butler Auditorium
Washington, DC
United States

Thanks for watching, attending our event today

Thanks to everyone who participated in our wonderful event today, Twitter, Iran and More: Impressions from the Frontlines of the Global Media Revolution with Nico Pitney, Eric Jaye and Theo Yedinsky.  We had a packed house and more than a 1,000 people watching live online, our most viewed on-line event in the recent history of NDN. 

For those wanting to watch it again, or refer others to it, look back here in the next few days for a full video of the event. 

Thanks all.

Join Us at Noon Today for Nico Pitney and Gavin Newsom's Media Team

Hope you will join us either at the NDN office or over the web for what is going to be one of our more interesting events of the year - a discussion with three people on the frontlines of the global media revolution.  Eric Jaye and Theo Yedinsky will be talking about the wildly innovative ways the Gavin Newsom for Governor campaign is currently using new media, particularly twitter.  They will be followed by Nico Pitney, of the Huffington Post, who has been at the very center of reporting on, and interpreting the extraordinary events in Iran these past few weeks.  

To learn more or to rsvp visit here, and I hope to see you later today! It is going to one of our better events of the year.

New Politics

Over the years, NDN has been among the leading analysts of American politics, arguing that new tools and technology, shifting demography, and 21st century governing challenges are creating a new politics in America.

The Choice: Recovery vs. Drift and Decline

Each day you can feel the media and the public grow slightly more aware of the gravity of the economic problems facing America and the world.   We are all still getting our arms around this economic moment, and like Paul Krugman's column today, the emerging conventional wisdom is the recovery is going to be long and hard - longer and harder than any other recession since the Great Depression.  I feel, each day, that it is more and more apparent that we are living in no ordinary time - that the decisions made by our leaders in the days ahead here and across the world will be ones of great consequence.  Ones that will lead to a prosperous and peaceful 21st century; ones reinforcing the drift of the moment, the inability of our politics to face our challenges forthrightly; ones that could indeed make matters much much worse. 

Tuesday night the President will address the nation from the Capitol.  Once again the nation, and the world, wlll be watching.  It will be a critical opportunity for our new President to lay out the challenges we face and the solutions he envisions.  I hope he takes the opportunity to more clearly define the choice we face.  For I don't think the choice is between forward and backward any more, or between progress and failed old ideas.  I think it is a graver choice, a starker choice, a much more serious choice - one of recovery, global stability and national greatness versus continued drift, global chaos and national decline.  

As the saying goes times of crisis are also times of great opportunity.  It is increasingly clear the task of the Obama Presidency will be a great one - to prevent the world and the US from sliding into economic and political chaos, to chart a domestic and global path for recovery, and to update the successful but aging geopolitical architecture forged by FDR and Truman for a new day and a new century.  No small tasks these.  But these are the tasks that are in front of us now.  To put it simply - it is time to remake and renew the world, to offer a "new politics" on a global scale.  

If history is any guide creating this new global architecture that allows us to better manage the collective challenges in front of us won't be easy, or without pain.  Mistakes will be made, years and nations lost.  But it is now the great challenge facing our nation, whose role in the world is different from the rest.  And it will now be at the very center of our politics for perhaps decades to come.  I am anxious to see how the President talks about all this on Tuesday night, the most important night yet of his already historic Presidency.  

The New DOJ report

The New York Times covers it this way:

Justice Department officials over the last six years illegally used "political or ideological" factors to hire new lawyers into an elite recruitment program, tapping law school graduates with conservative credentials over those with liberal-sounding resumes, a new report found Tuesday.

The blistering report, prepared by the Justice Department's inspector general, is the first in what will be a series of investigations growing out of last year's scandal over the firings of nine United States attorneys. It appeared to confirm for the first time in an official examination many of the allegations from critics who charged that the Justice Department had become overly politicized during the Bush administration.

"Many qualified candidates" were rejected for the department's honors program because of what was perceived as a liberal bias, the report found. Those practices, the report concluded, "constituted misconduct and also violated the department's policies and civil service law that prohibit discrimination in hiring based on political or ideological affiliations."

The shift began in 2002, when advisers to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft restructured the honors program in response to what some officials saw as a liberal tilt in recruiting young lawyers from elite law schools like Harvard and Yale. While the recruitment was once controlled largely by career officials in each section who would review applications, political officials in the department began to assume more control, rejecting candidates with liberal or Democratic affiliations "at a significantly higher rate" than those with Republican or conservative credentials, the report said.

The shift appeared to accelerate in 2006, under then-Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, with two aides on the screening committee - Michael Elston and Esther Slater McDonald - singled out for particular criticism. The blocking of applicants with liberal credentials appeared to be a particular problem in the Justice Department's civil rights division, which has seen an exodus of career employees in recent years as the department has pursued a more conservative agenda in deciding what types of cases to bring....

Of course, this single event cannot be viewed in isolation. Add to the mix the lying over Iraq,the incredible bungling of the reconstruction and occupation of Iraq, the systemic corruption of GOP politics, the lack of any kind of response to declining incomes and the struggling middle class, the complete botching of the Department of Homeland Security that led to Katrina, the degradation of the U.S. Census process, the now-accepted repudiation of the various Bush legal theories around torture, enemy combatants and habeus corpus, and the picture of the Bush era that emerges is a national party more concerned with its power, privilege and perogative than fulfilling its basic obligations to the American people and the common good (as I wrote recently it is this failure that is at the heart of the recent collapse of the GOP brand).  

The challenge to the Democrats next year will be to uncover all the illegality and malfeasance of this era - as they are obligated to do - without appearing to be on a partisan witch hunt. The government must investigate and uncover, and inform, so as to prevent any thing like this from happening again.

The challenge for a possible President Obama will be to lift up this broken national capital and culture and create a climate and a politics that will allow the American people to have a government again as good and as fair and as smart as they are themselves. For those who have not been here in DC in recent years, it is hard to overstate how broken Washington has become, and how hard it is going to be to get it moving forward in a way that will allow us to tackle the great challenges ahead of us. But creating a politics that will help usher in an age of progress is what is required now, something Obama seems intent on bringing about, and is certainly something we focus on here every day at NDN.

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