NDN Blog

FIU releases survey of Cuban Americans

Florida International University released a new poll of Cuban Americans today. According to an article in the Miami Herald covering the survey, this is the eighth such poll in 16 years, and organizers have tried to ask questions consistent over time to get a clearer picture of how attitudes are evolving. From the poll's findings:

The survey showed 55.2 percent of those polled favor "unrestricted" travel to Cuba, though a majority of those registered to vote opposed the option, and support for the embargo was at the lowest level since the survey was launched in 1991.

The results also show a community divided in opinions on Havana depending on the year of arrival, skeptical that a quick change will happen on the island, and attitudes that seem contradictory: A narrow majority favors a U.S. invasion of Cuba, but a bigger majority supports a restoration of diplomatic ties between Havana and Washington.

The FIU poll reveals similar findings to a poll NDN conducted in October of 2006. You can view that here.

Gingrich calls Spanish the language of the "ghetto"

The GOP's leaders, once again, thinking big:

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich yesterday described bilingual education as teaching "the language of living in a ghetto," and he mocked requirements that ballots be printed in multiple languages.

"The government should quit mandating that various documents be printed in any one of 700 languages depending on who randomly shows up" to vote, Gingrich said. The former Georgia congressman, who is considering seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, made the comments in a speech to the National Federation of Republican Women.

"The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. . . . We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto," Gingrich said, drawing cheers from the crowd of more than 100...

Bush's chief strategist repudiates him

The New York Times just posted a rather remarkable story - a wide ranging repudiation of Bush by his 2004 chief campaign strategist, Matthew Dowd. 

This new must read story reinforces what we've been writing for the last several months - the country is in the midst of a powerful and sustained repudiation of Bush, his government, his Party and his politics. 

The early graphs:

In 1999, Matthew Dowd became a symbol of George W. Bush’s early success at positioning himself as a Republican with Democratic appeal.

A top strategist for the Texas Democrats who was disappointed by the Bill Clinton years, Mr. Dowd was impressed by the pledge of Mr. Bush, then governor of Texas, to bring a spirit of cooperation to Washington. He switched parties, joined Mr. Bush’s political brain trust and dedicated the next six years to getting him to the Oval Office and keeping him there. In 2004, he was appointed the president’s chief campaign strategist.

Looking back, Mr. Dowd now says his faith in Mr. Bush was misplaced.

Read on. 

Keroack Resigns as Director of Office of Population Affairs

Anti-birth control advocate Eric Keroack, Director of the Office of Population Affairs, will no longer oversee Title X, the nation’s family planning program!  Keroack resigned after months of strong opposition from the family planning community and the urging of HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt to replace Keroack. 

Keroack, the former medical director of a network of crisis pregnancy centers,  once stated that "the crass commercialization and distribution of birth control is demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness.", was clearly not qualified to run the nation’s family planning program. Hopefully President Bush will appoint a heathcare professional who supports access to birth control and understands the countries need for this important program.    

Senate GOP to Latinos: “¡no se puede!”

REPUBLICANOS DEL SENADO A LOS LATINOS: ¡NO SE PUEDE!

En el día de César Chávez, los republicanos del Senado deshonran al líder legendario de los derechos civiles

Washington, DC –El Líder de la Mayoría del Senado Harry Reid hizo las siguientes declaraciones hoy celebrando el natalicio del líder legendario de los derechos civiles y fundador de los Trabajadores Agrícolas Unidos (UFW, por sus siglas en inglés), César Chávez, el cual se celebra mañana. Reid también condenó a los republicanos del Senado por bloquear una resolución anoche que hubiese honrado el legado de Chávez, por su insistencia en añadir un lenguaje controversial relacionado a la  inmigración.

“Hoy me uno en el reconocimiento del legado y las contribuciones de César Chávez, un estadounidense que inspiró a un pueblo y quien luchó por la justicia social y económica para aquellos que trabajaban en los campos recogiendo la comida para nuestras mesas. Él se enfrentó a obstáculos grandes y siempre se destacó por su búsqueda incansable por los la justicia, la igualdad y la libertad.  Su ejemplo demuestra cómo un individuo con valentía y determinación puede lograr superar retos significativos y mejorar las vidas de los demás.

“Desgraciadamente, los republicanos del Senado se opusieron a honrar el legado verdadero de César Chávez. En vez de unirse a los demócratas para honrar a este gran estadounidense con una resolución que hubiese celebrado su vida, el liderazgo republicano del Senado decidió anoche que era mejor bloquear la resolución, porque fallaron al no poder incluir lenguaje controversial relacionado a la inmigración. Esto es un escándalo y es una falta de respeto al legado de este líder que inspiró a un pueblo.

“Mientras el Congreso considera una reforma de inmigración, necesitamos aprender del ejemplo de César Chávez, reparar lo que es incorrecto, restaurar el orden y la dignidad de nuestro sistema de inmigración que está roto. Necesitamos una reforma integral y bi-partidista de inmigración que fortalezca la seguridad en las fronteras, provea un camino hacia la ciudadanía para los inmigrantes indocumentados, reunifique a las familias y que tenga medidas fuertes e inteligentes para la aplicación de las leyes en los lugares de trabajo. Tenemos a 11 millones de personas que residen en las sombras de nuestra sociedad y ya es hora que sepamos quiénes son y proveerles una oportunidad para que puedan lograr el ‘Sueño Americano.’  

“Chávez una vez dijo que: ‘Si estas indignado con las condiciones entones no será posible que seas feliz hasta que hagas todo lo puedas para cambiarlas.’ Los demócratas del Senado seguiremos luchando por las causas que hicieron de César Chávez el gran héroe estadounidense que fue. Ya sea el proveerle los derechos que los trabajadores se merecen, mejorar la calidad de la educación pública de nuestros niños, o proveerle servicios de salud económicos y de calidad a todos los estadounidenses, el legado de César Chávez continua inspirándonos para hacer que esta gran nación viva de acuerdo a sus principios.”

The Onion's Take on Immigration

There's going to be a lot of serious and distressing news about passing comprehensive immigration reform coming out today.  All the more reason to see this light-hearted satirical take on the issue from the Onion News Network.

Immigration: The Human Cost

NPI Video Report: The Political Web Video World

Below is the email that went out to NDN and NPI members earlier today, highlighting NPI's newest report, an innovative video report "The Political Web Video World."  Watch the video below:

Web video and the power of user-generated content created by cheap digital tools has taken the political world by storm in recent weeks.

With that in mind, The New Politics Institute partnered with PoliticsTV.com and created a new kind of think tank product that we’re calling a “video report.” We've created a web video that gives an overview of the entire political web video world, breaking it down into a dozen categories that are seriously beginning to impact politics today.

Each category is explained and analyzed, and then portions of an example or two are laid out. You can watch the entire overview piece of all 12 categories taken together, or view each category as its own video piece. There's also a short accompanying written report that gives the link to every web video referenced.

NPI soon will be holding an event in Washington DC that will gather some of the most knowledgeable people on political web videos to deepen our understanding of how these powerful new tools work. More information on that event will be coming soon. For now, the report draws on the longtime experience of PoliticsTV.com’s CEO and Executive Producer Dan Manatt, and yours truly.

We welcome feedback on this innovative video report, and expect to do more experimentation the year ahead. Keep an eye on the New Politics Institute website, at www.newpolitics.net, where you can find work from a community that’s thinking deeply and strategizing about how politics is being changed by the transformation of technology, media and the demographics of the country. Please join us there throughout the coming political cycle – which promises to be a very interesting cycle indeed.

Links:

Click here or on the picture to watch the entire video

Watch individual sections of the video

Read the accompanying written report with links to web video discussed in the video report

Read Julie Bergman-Sender's NPI paper Viral Video in Politics: Case Studies on Creating Compelling Video

Read Simon Rosenberg's essay TV ads feel different this cycle, and are

Watch other video content from the New Politics Institute 

Visit PoliticsTV on the web: http://www.politicstv.com

Visit NPI on the web: http://www.newpolitics.net

On immigration the GOP chooses politics over progress

In this time of deep partisanship in Washington, there has been one issue where the President, Senator McCain, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the Catholic Church, the Chamber of Commerce, numerous labor unions and many other grassroots groups were able to find common cause and work together: the McCain-Kennedy approach to comprehensive immigration reform that passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support in 2006.

Unfortunately, we've now learned that once again Republican leaders have chosen politics over progress, and have walked away from this remarkable coalition and sensible approach. In news articles that have run this morning it is clear the Senate Republicans and the White House will now offer a new bill, one that abandons the smart principles of McCain-Kennedy, and that makes clear the President's support for comprehensive immigration reform has only been a spirited set of hollow promises.

Years of work went into crafting the McCain-Kennedy approach. It has made great progress through Congress. It has a deep and broad coalition behind it. Democratic Congressional leaders in both chambers have made it clear that passing this bill this year is a very high priority (see video from our recent event with leaders from both chambers reiterating their support). The new and flawed Republican approach unravels this coalition, and has dealt a severe blow to those hoping to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year.

The Republicans lost power in 2006 because their government did not produced the results they had promised and had left many important challenges left unmet. At NDN, we believe the American people sent a clear message to Washington to stop playing politics and start focusing on solving a daunting set of 21st century challenges. On this issue of immigration reform, once again the Republicans have chosen to listen more to their partisans than the American people, and have walked away from a good and sensible bipartisan solution to a difficult national challenge.

Crowning Edwards King of Social Networking?

The Washington Post analyzes John Edwards' embrace of social networking sites. Comparing his efforts to the rest in the 2008 field, the article shows that while Sen. Barack Obama might be more popular, Edwards is more visible:

All the presidential hopefuls are online. Everyone's got a Web site. A few hired full-time bloggers and videographers. Most have MySpace profiles, just a click away from "friending" a supporter. Yet Edwards has taken his Internet presence a step further, fully exploiting the unknown possibilities (and known pitfalls) of the social Web, online strategists say. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), judging by the number of friends on MySpace or number of views of his YouTube videos, may be the most popular online candidate, Republican or Democrat. But Edwards arguably has the most dynamic Web presence -- he's everywhere, doing everything.

But exactly where is he?

...the former senator is signed up in at least 23 socnets -- more than any other presidential candidate. And that's not counting John Edwards One Corps, his own networking site that campaign officials say has 20,000 members and 1,200 chapters across the country.

For more information on how candidates can leverage the internet and its possibilities, check out the work of our New Politics Institute.

White House PowerPoint on Immigration

The White House's Immigration PowerPoint presentation that outlines plans hashed out by Republican Senators was floated the other day. You can find it here.

Analyzing the details, the LA Times has this article (an interesting contrast to this one) which depicts the situation as it stands. Reactions to the presentation were alarming. From the article:

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who was heavily involved in the GOP planning, called the presentation "a temperature taking." He added: "It's still very early, there will certainly be controversy."

...

Referring to those positions and his support for admission policies driven by the goal of family reunification, Kennedy emphasized that immigration policy involved special moral obligations to treat people well.

"This is unique," said Kennedy, chairman of the Senate immigration subcommittee. "You don't compromise on the morality of these issues, and we're not going to."

For someone seeking to solidify some semblance of a legacy, the President seems to have taken a step backwards.

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