NDN Blog

NDN is Hiring!

Open Positions

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.

The Iraq War and Honesty

Troubling news from recently declassified documents on the killing of Iraqi civilians by US marines in Haditha in 2005.  A Captain and three enlisted men face charges in a military court tomorrow, but does the cover-up extend much higher up the chain of command?

Recently unclassified documents suggest that senior officers viewed the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha in late 2005 as a potential public relations problem that could fuel insurgent propaganda against the American military, leading investigators to question whether the officers’ immediate response had been intentionally misleading. 

Col. R. Gary Sokoloski, a lawyer who was chief of staff to Maj. General Richard A. Huck, the division commander, approved a news release about the killings that investigators interviewing him in March 2006 suggested was “intentionally inaccurate” because it stated, contrary to the facts at hand, that the civilians had been killed by an insurgent’s bomb...

The documents also show that derailing enemy propaganda was important to senior Marine commanders, including Col. Stephen W. Davis, a highly regarded regimental commander under General Huck, who played down questions about the civilian killings from a Time magazine reporter last year, long after the attacks and the civilian toll were clear to the military...

Four officers were charged with failing to properly investigate the civilian killings. The first hearing against one of the officers, Capt. Randy W. Stone, is set for Tuesday morning, in a military courtroom at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Three enlisted marines are charged with the killings. Their hearings, to determine whether the charges warrant general courts-martial, are set to begin in the coming weeks. As Marine Corps prosecutors prepare their evidence against Captain Stone and his fellow officers, the unclassified documents suggest that senior Marine commanders dismissed, played down or publicly mischaracterized the civilian deaths in ways that a military investigation found deeply troubling. The documents suggest that General Huck ignored early reports that women and children were killed in the attack, and later told investigators that he was unaware of regulations that required his staff to investigate further.

And this kind of intentional inaccuracy in word and deed - recently pointed out to the nation in the Tilman/Lynch hearings - is reflected on a diplomatic scale by the Bush Administration.  After basing Speaker Pelosi for meeting with the Syrians, we now hear that Secretary of State Condi Rice is meeting with top representatives of the Syrian and Iranian governments, and it isn't even going very well:

The United States reached out to the Iranians, seeking a diplomatic conversation after years of pursuing a policy of trying to isolate them. But the Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, seemed unimpressed, offering a blistering critique of the American role in Iraq. He also used the international platform to attack Israel and to reaffirm Iran’s right to a nuclear program, which it says is peaceful and the West says is intended to build weapons.“The unilateral policy, the arrogant one-sided policy, is a principal reason for the complex situation we are seeing in Iraq,” Mr. Mottaki said of Washington’s stance in remarks made at a news conference at the end of the two-day meeting. “Even the ordinary people of the United States realize that the policies pursued by the United States in Iraq are flawed, and they at least must admit that the policies have failed.” Mr. Mottaki’s remarks disappointed many diplomats here — including Iraqi officials — who had tried to orchestrate a brief meeting between him and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a step toward thawing tensions between the two countries.

And yesterday's tragic news makes it hard to be optimistic about the surge and our presence in Iraq.  Especially since the worst attacks were in a town that had been pointed to as a success

Romney on the air in Spanish

Leading Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is up on the air, with the first Spanish language radio ads of the '08 cycle.  But here's a few things you won't hear in his ads.  First, Mitt Romney wants to amend the constitution to make English the national language: "English needs to be the language that is spoken in America. We cannot be a bilingual nation like Canada."  And Romney opposes comprehensive immigration reform that would bring millions out of the shadows and provide a path to citizenship for hard-working, tax-paying immigrants who play by the rules and want a better future for their families.  At this month's Conservative Politcal Action Conference Romney said: "McCain-Kennedy [Comprehensive Immigration Reform] isn't the answer. As governor, I took a very different approach. I authorized our state police to enforce immigration laws. I vetoed a tuition break for illegals and said no to driver's licenses. McCain-Kennedy gives benefits to illegals that would cost taxpayers millions. And more importantly, amnesty didn't work 20 years ago, and it won't work today."  This kind of anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic rhetoric is bad policy.  It did not help Republicans win elections in 2006 and it won't help them in 2008. 

Jonathan Chait and TNR on the netroots

If you haven't read it already, check out Jonathan Chait's cover story from The New Republic on the netroots The Left's New Machine.  And American Prospect Senior Editor Garance Franke-Ruta has a reasoned critique of Chait's tomb over at her blogTNR Editor Franklin Foer says that the magazine will be publishing responses to Chait's piece in coming editions, let's hope that Franke-Ruta is one of the responders. 

Mobile media piece in the Times today

Times has an interesting look at the emerging space of mobile video today.  It is worth reading the piece in its entirety.  The big takeaway is the entertainment industry is working hard to figure this media out, believing it has huge potential.  Similar experiments will have to be made in politics.  An excerpt:

Many in Hollywood are betting that interest in mobile video will be hastened by the debut of the new touch-screen iPhone from Apple, which are expected to begin selling this summer. With a 3 1/2-inch screen and no cumbersome keypad, many people believe it will be easier for Americans to watch movies and television shows like their peers in Europe and Asia readily do.

“The iPhone is going to shake things up and make cellphone companies look like they are behind the curve,” said Thomas Lesinski, president of digital entertainment for Paramount Pictures. “It is going to be good for us.”

The Times crafts an excellent editorial on the economy

The Times has an excellent editorial today on the challenges the economy is posing to policy makers.   It is deeply consistent with what NDN has been advocating for these past several years, and makes a strong case for why we need a New Economic Strategy for America:

How Slow Can It Go?

Last week, when the government reported that the economy had slowed to a crawl in the first quarter of the year, any lingering hope for robust employment growth was tempered accordingly. But no one was quite prepared for a job report as weak as the one released yesterday. Only 88,000 jobs were created in April, the smallest gain in nearly two and half years and a sharp deceleration from job growth in the recent past.

Predictably, the slowdown was reflected in Americans’ paychecks. Weekly earnings are up over the past year. But of late, the rate of increase has dropped significantly. A squeeze on jobs and paychecks is the last thing Americans need right now.

Though the economy has been expanding for more than five years, wages and salaries for most workers have picked up in earnest only in the past year. And now hiring and pay increases appear to be slowing before many families have had the chance to rebuild their finances. For many people, mortgage payments are also being adjusted upward as home prices fall, making it harder for them to refinance their debts. At the same time, the price of everyday essentials, like food and gasoline, is rising. And life’s big-ticket items, like health care and education, are increasingly expensive, even as employers and government shoulder less of those costs.

If this strain on family finances ends up curbing consumers’ spending, the economy at large will be in danger of a recession. The Federal Reserve would probably try to counter such a downturn by cutting interest rates. But rate cuts are not magic. Their effectiveness would depend on the depth of the recession and the ways the lower rates reverberated through global markets.

More likely, the real solutions will have to be political, not merely technical. When the next downturn hits in force, it will become painfully clear that American workers have not shared in the benefits of Bush-era economic growth in any way commensurate with their hard work and productivity.

The nation will need policies — and leaders — to reconnect economic growth with rising living standards, for all.

The Week That Was 5-4

In the continuing repudiation of the Bush era that NDN has written extensively about, Ronald Reagan’s Director of the National Security Agency, Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army, retired, spoke out against President Bush and his failed foreign policy on last weekend’s Democratic Radio Address.

The next night, former CIA Director George Tenet went on 60 Minutes to talk about his new book At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA.  In it, he took some pretty serious swings at the administration.  He saved his harshest criticism for then National Security Advisor Condi Rice, for largely ignoring his warnings about al-Qaeda’s determination to carry out attacks in the United States. 

Also on Sunday, the Washington Post reported that over $800 million in foreign donations that were never collected and spent in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  Senator Landrieu of Louisiana wants Karen Hughes to come explain what happened to Congress.

Paul Wolfowitz remains on the hot seat at the World Bank.  He defended his actions before the bank’s Board of Directors, which is now reviewing the case and will then decide what steps, including firing him, to take.

There were immigration marches across the country this week, which while smaller than last year’s had a special focus on making sure families aren’t separated, because of a failure to pass fair Comprehensive Immigration Reform. 

In the biggest story of the week, President Bush vetoed the $124 billion Iraq Responsibility Act as expected last night and immediately gave a nationally televised 6 minute speech in which he lashed out at Democrats in Congress for sending him a bill that he said "substitutes the opinions of politicians for the judgments of our military commanders."  He also called it a "prescription of for chaos.

And there was a politics and the internet kerfuffle this week when in an effort to migrate to an official MySpace page, Senator Barack Obama lost about 80-90% of his friends that were on his unofficial page.  And the unofficial page creator Joe Anthony felt more than a little left out.

The GOP Presidential candidates debated last night, which gave America the opportunity to see ten AARP eligible white men on a stage together.  Their views seemed outside the mainstream compared to their Democratic counterparts last week.  The only vaguely newsworthy moments were Giuliani’s trouble with the abortion question, Thompson’s trip-up on discrimination based on sexuality, Romney’s ignorance of the budget process, McCain’s guarded support for federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and the fact that three of the ten said they do not believe in evolution.

Finally, the Queen is visiting Britain’s former colonies – Virginia specifically – for the 400th Anniversary of the founding of Jamestown.

Florida shifts primary date

According to an article in the New York Times, Florida moved up its primary date yesterday. Details are in the lede:

Casting more uncertainty over the presidential nominating process for 2008, the Florida Legislature on Thursday moved the state’s primary up to Jan. 29, ignoring the threat of sanctions from the national Republican and Democratic parties.

Marco Rubio, speaker of the Florida State House of Representatives, had this to say of the decision:

“We have people who get invited to a big party where they drop a balloon and people wear funny hats,” said Marco Rubio, speaker of the State House of Representatives. “But they don’t have any role to play.”

“At the end of the day,” said Mr. Rubio, a Republican, “the truth of the matter is that the nominee of either party is going to want to make sure they have not offended the big donors and the biggest activists in the most important state in the country that is electorally available.”

Now I know how he feels about the Florida primary AND apparently the Kentucky Derby...

NPI Event: The Exploding World of Web Video

If you missed this week's NPI event don't worry, you can watch the video here and learn much more by visiting the New Politics Institute on the web at http://www.newpolitics.net.  Click on the names or images below to watch the videos.

          

       Simon Rosenberg                              Peter Leyden                                  Phil De Vellis     

    

           Daniel Manatt                                 Karina Newton

Law and Order and Politics

No, it's not Fred Dalton Thompson, it's a pretty good mash-up video chronicling some of the many examples of Congressional GOP corruption.

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