NDN Blog

NDN in the News: Simon in Bloomberg

Simon commented on political donations strategy by the tech sector in this major article from Bloomberg.com.  See the excerpt below.

The Democrats' recent legislative effort could give them an even greater share of campaign donations from the technology sector in the future, said Simon Rosenberg, president and founder of the New Democrat Network, which supports centrist party candidates. "The tech community is very non-partisan and very pragmatic in its giving," Rosenberg said.

NDN is Hiring

Current Available positions at NDN:

Globalization Initiative Policy Director

Location: Washington, DC

The Globalization Initiative Policy Director will work with Dr. Robert J. Shapiro, Director of NDN's Globalization Initiative, in the policy analysis, communications and event strategies of the Initiative. Specific duties will include establishing and meeting project deadlines and goals; international economic policy analysis; writing and editing policy papers, press releases, opinion pieces, and other written materials, and maintaining relationships with the Globalization Initiative advisors.
 
Candidates should have a degree in economics or international economics, 4 years minimum job experience in related policy work, possess exceptional writing, organizational, and oral communications skills. Salary commensurate with experience. Please send resumes and cover letters to jobs@ndn.org
 
Deputy Development Director

Location: Washington, DC

A new position, the Deputy Development Director will assist the Development Director in raising NDN’s $4 million annual budget.  Specific responsibilities may include oversight of small donor individual membership program and scheduled institutional member renewals.  Applicants should have experience in direct solicitation of prospective contributors, competency in data management systems and internet research, and strong organizational skills.  1-2 years of experience required.  The position reports to the Development Director.  Salary and benefits package commensurate with experience.  Please address resume and references, as well as any questions, to jobs@ndn.org.

Hispanic Strategy Center Associate
Location: Washington, DC

The Hispanic Strategy Center Associate is responsible for implementing NDN and the Hispanic Strategy Center's programs.  Specific job duties include monitoring relevant legislation, following Hispanic media trends, implementing NDN and the Hispanic Strategy Center's policy and communications objectives, and overall support of the Hispanic Strategy Center Director.  Candidates must be fluent in English and Spanish, and have 2-3 years experience working in advocacy, politics, or government.  Salary commensurate with experience.  Please address all materials and questions to jobs@ndn.org

 
Communications Director
Location: Washington, DC

A new position, the Communications Director will oversee the strategic communications operation for NDN.  Primary responsibilities include traditional media relations and the development, production and editing of the public content of the organization.  This position will work closely with the NDN President, executive director and heads of NDN’s major affiliates, the New Politics Institute and Hispanic Strategy Center.  Candidates must have 5 or more years of experience in political communications, press or media, and possess exceptional writing skills.  Video production experience and competency in Spanish a plus, but not required.  Salary commensurate with experience.  Please address all materials and questions to jobs@ndn.org.

NPI Event: 5/2/07 The Exploding World of Political Web Video

From the Macaca moment in the Virgina Senate race to a series of Presidential candidate announcements, web video has caught the attention of the established political world because it is now seriously impacting politics. This new tool is creating a wave of innovation that promises even more impact in the coming cycle. I invite you to join the New Politics Institute for a special event on this exploding world of political web video, including:

Joe Trippi, former campaign manager for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential bid, and now working for John Edward’s presidential campaign, on how the presidential campaigns can expect to use web video.

Karina Newton, Director of New Media, Office of Speaker Pelosi, on how web video is being used for governing.

Dan Manatt, founder and executive producer for PoliticsTV.com, on how any organization can immediately start using web video.

Phil de Vellis, aka ParkRidge47, an important political web video innovator, on how progressives can use the new tools to make powerful, political content.

NPI recently released an innovative “video report” that laid out a dozen categories of web video already affecting politics – from gotcha videos to video chat to flash animation to longer web features.  The event will build off that overview and bring together some of the political pioneers in this web video space to talk about what they are learning about the most effective strategies and the most promising opportunities.  You should also make sure to read Julie Bergman-Sender's NPI paper Viral Video in Politics: Case Studies on Creating Compelling Video.

As always, the event is free and lunch will be provided. Video of the event will be posted on our site for those who cannot make it or are out of town. Please RSVP if you can come, and in the spirit of the new medium, feel free to spread the word.

The Exploding World of Political Web Video
Wednesday, May 2nd
12:00PM - lunch will be served
Phoenix Park Hotel
520 North Capital Street NW, Washington DC

For more information or to RSVP you can contact: Tracy Leaman, 202-842-7213, or tleaman@ndn.org

Best,

Peter Leyden 

Director of the New Politics Institute

This event is part of the Re-imagining Video series presented by the New Politics Institute, a think tank helping progressives master today’s transformation of politics due to the rapid changes in technology, media and the demographic makeup of America. NPI is building a working network of top technology, media, and demographic professionals who want to help move best practices and new innovations into progressive politics. We are developing a body of useful reports that can be found at: http://www.newpolitics.net.

President asks college grads to help lobby for immigration reform

In his commencement speech to Miami Dade College, President Bush encouraged the graduating students to contact their Representatives and have them push for immigration legislation. More in the AP article here.

Once again, the President is preaching to the choir: more than half of the students at Miami Dade College were raised speaking a language other than English.

I'm not going to go into the details of his speech, because we've all heard the speeches. We've read the statements. We need more than words. We need comprehensive immigration reform legislation - now.

For more on NDN's work on comprehensive immigration reform, click here.

Social Networking Makes the Move to Mobile Tech

At NDN and NPI we've been making the arguement for a while that the next big thing is mobile technology.  If you haven't seen it, Tim Chambers' report Mobile Media in 21st Century Politics is an excellent way to get up-to-speed on how ever more powerful mobile phones and other mobile devices are changing our world.

The facts on the ground are backing us up.  Today's NYT profiles the proliferation of applications for mobile devices:

The social networking phenomenon is leaving the confines of the personal computer. Powerful new mobile devices are allowing people to send round-the-clock updates about their vacations, their moods or their latest haircut.

New online services, with names like Twitter, Radar and Jaiku, hope people will use their ever-present gadget to share (or, inevitably, to overshare) the details of their lives in the same way they have become accustomed to doing on Web sites like MySpace.

Unlike the older networking sites, which are still largely used on PCs, these new phone-oriented services are bringing the burgeoning culture of exhibitionism to more exotic and more personal locations. They are also contributing to the general barrage of white noise and information overload — something that even some participants say they feel ambivalent about.

But such services have the same addictive appeal for young people as BlackBerrys do for busy professionals, said Howard Hartenbaum, a partner at the venture capital firm Draper Richards, which is an investor in Kyte.

“Kids want to be connected to their friends at all times,” Mr. Hartenbaum said. “They can’t do that when you turn off the computer.”

Central to the technology of Kyte and similar services is the marriage of mobile phones and the Web. Users download Kyte software for their phones at www.kyte.tv and can send their photos and videos — however grainy — from the phone to their online Kyte “channel.”

Be a patriot

Buy George Tenet's book.  You can find it here on amazon.

Reagan's NSA Director pleads with Bush to change course in Iraq

In what can only be discribed as a remarkable event, a former head of the super-secret National Security Agency under President Reagan gave the Democratic Radio Address this weekend.  You can listen to it here.  His powerful and persuasive words follow:

“To put this in a simple army metaphor, the Commander-in-Chief seems to have gone AWOL, that is ‘absent without leave.’ He neither acts nor talks as though he is in charge. Rather, he engages in tit-for-tat games…I hope the President seizes this moment for a basic change in course and signs the bill the Congress has sent him. I will respect him greatly for such a rare act of courage, and so too, I suspect, will most Americans.” - Lieutenant General William E. Odom

General William Odom"Good morning, this is Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army, retired.

I am not now nor have I ever been a Democrat or a Republican. Thus, I do not speak for the Democratic Party. I speak for myself, as a non-partisan retired military officer who is a former Director of the National Security Agency. I do so because Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, asked me.

In principle, I do not favor Congressional involvement in the execution of U.S. foreign and military policy. I have seen its perverse effects in many cases. The conflict in Iraq is different. Over the past couple of years, the President has let it proceed on automatic pilot, making no corrections in the face of accumulating evidence that his strategy is failing and cannot be rescued.

Thus, he lets the United States fly further and further into trouble, squandering its influence, money, and blood, facilitating the gains of our enemies. The Congress is the only mechanism we have to fill this vacuum in command judgment.

To put this in a simple army metaphor, the Commander-in-Chief seems to have gone AWOL, that is ‘absent without leave.’ He neither acts nor talks as though he is in charge. Rather, he engages in tit-for-tat games.

Some in Congress on both sides of the aisle have responded with their own tits-for-tats. These kinds of games, however, are no longer helpful, much less amusing. They merely reflect the absence of effective leadership in a crisis. And we are in a crisis.

Most Americans suspect that something is fundamentally wrong with the President’s management of the conflict in Iraq. And they are right.

The challenge we face today is not how to win in Iraq; it is how to recover from a strategic mistake: invading Iraq in the first place. The war could never have served American interests.

But it has served Iran’s interest by revenging Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran in the 1980s and enhancing Iran’s influence within Iraq. It has also served al Qaeda’s interests, providing a much better training ground than did Afghanistan, allowing it to build its ranks far above the levels and competence that otherwise would have been possible.

We cannot ‘win’ a war that serves our enemies interests and not our own. Thus continuing to pursue the illusion of victory in Iraq makes no sense. We can now see that it never did.

A wise commander in this situation normally revises his objectives and changes his strategy, not just marginally, but radically. Nothing less today will limit the death and destruction that the invasion of Iraq has unleashed.

No effective new strategy can be devised for the United States until it begins withdrawing its forces from Iraq. Only that step will break the paralysis that now confronts us. Withdrawal is the pre-condition for winning support from countries in Europe that have stood aside and other major powers including India, China, Japan, Russia.

It will also shock and change attitudes in Iran, Syria, and other countries on Iraq’s borders, making them far more likely to take seriously new U.S. approaches, not just to Iraq, but to restoring regional stability and heading off the spreading chaos that our war has caused.

The bill that Congress approved this week, with bipartisan support, setting schedules for withdrawal, provides the President an opportunity to begin this kind of strategic shift, one that defines regional stability as the measure of victory, not some impossible outcome.

I hope the President seizes this moment for a basic change in course and signs the bill the Congress has sent him. I will respect him greatly for such a rare act of courage, and so too, I suspect, will most Americans.

This is retired General Odom. Thank you for listening."

Vudu: yet another assault on traditional TV

The Times ran a very good piece today on a new company, Vudu.  It is one more story of many on how TV, and video, is being re-imagined:

Vudu, if all goes as planned, hopes to turn America’s televisions into limitless multiplexes, providing instant gratification for movie buffs. It has built a small Internet-ready movie box that connects to the television and allows couch potatoes to rent or buy any of the 5,000 films now in Vudu’s growing collection. The box’s biggest asset is raw speed: the company says the films will begin playing immediately after a customer makes a selection.

If Vudu succeeds, it may mean goodbye to laborious computer downloads, sticky-floored movie theaters and cable companies’ much narrower video-on-demand offerings. It may even mean a fond farewell to the DVD itself — the profit engine of the film industry for the last decade. “Other forms of movie distribution are going to look silly and uncompetitive by comparison,” Mr. Miranz asserts...

and

“The first time I ever saw TiVo was an a-ha moment, and this was the same thing,” says Jim Wuthrich, a senior executive with Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Group. “It [Vudu] looks fairly sexy and inviting. This is going to pull people in.”

VUDU is arriving at a time of rapid change in the entertainment and media landscapes. This year, for the first time, a majority of American homes will have a broadband connection to the Web, according to iSuppli, a research firm. That benchmark has reshuffled the cards in the media and entertainment industries.

With versatile data pipes now reaching into most homes, the deep thinkers in Hollywood and Silicon Valley say they believe that television shows and movies — just like e-mail, Web pages, songs and albums — will one day be cheaply and efficiently imported into the home.

The question is when.

For all of their confidence, the new ventures now crowding the digital video launching pad look, if anything, a tad sickly. YouTube, which Google bought last year for $1.65 billion, is an exception: it has attracted millions of users fanatical about watching bite-sized video clips...

The whole piece is worth reading.  Feel free to learn more about our work on the changing media landscape at www.newpolitics.net.

Defining leadership down

In a recent essay I wrote about the terrible moral climate of the Bush era.  But in the days since that essay, written just a few weeks ago, we've seen a torrent of new revelations, resignations and accusations.  They are coming so fast and furious now that they are often not even getting on the front page of major papers.  This age of Bush the raid of a Congressman's home by the FBI has become a regular, everyday occurance. 

Let's do a quick review of what we've learned in the last few weeks: for years dozens of senior Administration officials knowingly violated laws requiring them to keep records of their communications; millions of these emails were "lost;" it has become clear that several senior staffers of Justice perjured themselves in front of Congress earlier this year; the Attorney General himself also appeared to have lied to or purposefully misled Congress; a senior Justice staffer just resigned over ties to Abramoff; more Republican staffers were convicted in the next stages of a variety of scandals; the NYTimes has a devastating story today on how many of the completed reconstruction projects in Iraq are no longer functioning as planned; at least three new Republican Members of Congress have had public action taken against them, including two who have had their homes or offices raided by the FBI; and George Tenet's new book appears to, of course, indicate once again how much the Iraq War was a neocon big lie.

In the age of Bush we've seen just about everything.  Official corruption of every kind and at a scale perhaps not seen in US history; sexual intimidation of minors; prostitutes and limos; the big lie as common strategy; to make it complete we needed a Republican Madam.  As a the Post reports today we now have one, and she is going public on 20/20 on May 4th about her client list, which appears to include a host of conservative big wigs.  A senior Rice deputy was the first to go, earlier this week. 

It is important that we muckracking progressives make the moral climate and leadership failures of this era a major topic in the Presidential campaigns of both parties this year.  It has been a leadership failure of epic scale, and needs to be discussed publically by our Presidential aspirants.

The Big Fight

It's not Oscar De la Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather, it's Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vs. David Broder.  Broder accused Reid of being The Democrats' Gonzalez in his column yesterday, and a number of leading Democrats are voicing their strong disagreement.  Reid's 50 caucus members, for instance, in a letter to the WAPO editorial page entitled Senator Reid's Fine Leadership.  Also, make sure to read Paul Begala's pull-no-punches response over on The Huffington Post

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