NDN Blog

MyDD on Rob Shapiro's carbon tax paper

Matt Stoller over at MyDD is talking about a carbon tax versus the cap and trade approach and he had only good things to say about NDN Globalization Initiative Director Robert J. Shapiro's paper on the carbon tax.  Read the entire post here.

The Cap and Trade Scam
by Matt Stoller, Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 11:46:18 AM EST

Alright, it's time to understand the global warming debate, and who's selling what.  And basically, the state of the policy world is pretty bad.  The urgency on the problem is high, and paradoxically, Bushnik's refusal to admit the problem exists has obscured the choices we'll have to make post-2009.  But the choices exist, and all the major Presidential candidates are pushing policies that are not only ineffective, but subject to massive corporate corruption.  Like with Iraq, it's time for us to engage. Thankfully all of them are bad on this, so I don't want to hear any secret agenda whining, though I do have an emerging secret agenda in favor of Chris Dodd, as you'll soon see.

Economist Robert Shapiro has a very important and readable paper on different ways to deal with the carbon problem.

Corrupt conservative 'o the day: Karl Rove

There's a new investigation into Karl Rove's potential abuses of power and violation of the Hatch Act.  From WAPO:

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is expanding its investigation of a January videoconference, conducted by Karl Rove's deputy for General Services Administration appointees, to look at whether the political dealings of the White House have violated the Hatch Act, its chairman said last night.

Not long into its investigation of the presentation, Special Counsel Scott J. Bloch said, his office had collected "a sufficient amount of evidence" that merited a deeper examination of whether the White House was running afoul of the law.

J. Scott Jennings conducted the Jan. 26 videoconference in the political affairs office at the White House. His PowerPoint presentation, to as many as 40 Republican GSA political appointees, contained slides describing Democratic seats that the GOP planned to target in the next election and Republican seats that needed to be protected.

We've been talking about corruption and conservatives for years.  Make sure to read Simon's latest analysis:

Renewing Our Democracy

29%.   That is the percentage of Americans who approve of the President’s performance today.   To me it is an accurate appraisal, as it has been a disappointing time for our nation.  Despite a sustained economic recovery wages haven’t risen and jobs haven’t been created at historic norms.   Iraq has gone terribly wrong, costing American lives, respect and so much money.   Katrina showed terrifying incompetence, reminding us with Bush we are not safer.  So little has worked as advertised in this age of Bush, and critical challenges like the funding of the retirement of baby boom, really improving our schools, fixing our broken immigration system, offering all Americans access to health insurance, lessening our dependence on foreign sources of energy and global climate change have gone unmet.

Read more...

Wolfowitz lawyers-up

Of all the 'loyal Bushies' who are in trouble these days Paul Wolfowitz's collapse seems most likely to be turned into a made for TV movie, with corruption acusations against the anti-corruption crusader, sex, lots of blame for a war that has proven to be expensive in blood and treasure.  But the World Bank chief seems to be intent on going down fighting, meeting with the World Bank board and hiring a prominent defense attorney.  WAPO has more:

"I want to make sure his rights are fully protected," said Robert S. Bennett, whom Wolfowitz retained on Saturday. On Friday, the World Bank executive board named an ad hoc committee to consider "conflict of interest, ethical, reputational, and other relevant standards" in judging Wolfowitz's performance, including his role in setting the terms of a pay and promotion package for his girlfriend, a bank employee...

More than three dozen former senior bank officials, including a number who served with Wolfowitz, signed a letter published yesterday in the Financial Times urging that he resign so the bank can "speak with the moral authority necessary to move the poverty agenda forward."

Read more in the NYT...

America's Mayor on Immigration

According to the New York Times, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani is switching his once pro-immigration stance as he navigates his way as a Presidential candidate. As the article explains how this could harm him:

But now he is running for president, and the politics of immigration in the post-9/11 world is vastly different, with the issue splitting the Republican Party and voters peppering Mr. Giuliani on the campaign trail with questions about his current thinking. Perhaps more than any other candidate, Mr. Giuliani has a record on immigration with the potential to complicate his bid for the nomination.

In contrast to his years as mayor, when he fought federal efforts to curtail public hospital or educational services to illegal immigrants, he now talks of penalties for people here illegally and requirements for them to wait at the back of the line. And while he once pushed policies like providing schooling for the children of illegal immigrants by saying, “The reality is that they are here, and they’re going to remain here,” now he emphasizes denying amnesty.

Articles like these probably make Rudy wish YouTube didn't exist:

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

 

State AGs Crack Down on Student Lenders

From the NYT: 

State attorneys general around the country are stepping up their scrutiny of college lending practices in the absence of federal enforcement action, following a pattern that experts say has prevailed in some other major consumer investigations in recent years...

The state-by-state regulatory action, so far limited largely to efforts by Democrats, comes at a time of little progress in the development of federal rules on lenders’ dealings with colleges. A bid by the Education Department to negotiate such rules collapsed on Friday in disagreement among representatives of colleges, banks and other groups.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, aides say, now plans to form a task force that will recommend federal rules, which would govern lender gifts to colleges and university officials, how colleges refer students to lenders and how to prevent lenders’ misuse of a national student data system.

But Ms. Spellings is in danger of being overtaken both by Congress, which is considering new legislation, and by the attorneys general.

Just one more example of how conservatives failed to meet the governing challenges of our time.  Although, maybe it was less of an abdication or responsibility and just a reminder that they were too busy playing politics with the justice department to deal with the people's business. 

Obama, McCain speeches

Yesterday, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain presented policy speeches as they continue their campaigns for the White House.

Obama, whose speech focused on Foregin Policy, spoke to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Press coverage of the speech can be found here. To read the speech, click here.

McCain focused on Energy security, spoke to the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) on global warming and US reliance on foreign oil. Press coverage of the speech can be found here. To read the speech, click here.

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

Richardson first to go on air

Governor Bill Richardson is the first Democratic presidential candidate to air television ads in the 2008 race. The ads, which will air in Iowa and New Hampshire, are biographical spots entitled "Life's Work" (30 seconds) and "The Wall" (60 seconds). Check them out below:


For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

I miss the O'Briens

Not sure what happened to CNN's East Coast morning show, but I miss Soledad and Miles.  Gonna give these new guys a chance but so far not impressed.

India: launching itself ahead of the US?

India launched it's first commercial rocket today, a major technological and entreprenuerial milestone for the world's second largest nation.  I was reminded of a great post by former NDNer James Crabtree on the phenomenon that is "Chinarunindia."  Read on...

Chinarunindia

by James Crabtree -- 7/21/06 

It is now almost a political trope that Chinarunindia threatens American jobs. And so it does. But not in the way people often think. Case in point are the statistics people use. You see this often, of the following type...

Such statistics are part of statistics-as-metaphor. Whether or not they are true is not the point. You should treat them in the same way people say "Eskimo's have 27 words for snow" or "half the world has never made a phone call." Are these true? They might be. They probably are not. [Read for instance this superb essay by technology thinker Clay Shirky on exactly this point, examining the truth behind the second quote.] But that isn't the point. The point is that they are meant to tell you something bigger: namely that language responds to circumstance, and the technological revolution is confined to rich countries. My favourite is: "1 in 7 people is a chinese farmer." This one is actually true, with 6 billion people and 900m employed in chinese agriculture. But what it really means is nothing to do with farming. It means: holy hell! there are a lot of people in China!

The same habit crops up with the statistics politicians use to describe Chinarunindia. They are trying to make the point - quite correctly - that the world is changing fast. They want you to understand that this brief period of history when the US is the (as Rob Shaprio, our Globalization Initiative directorl likes to say) only global power with no peer since Rome, will be just that. Brief. But in the course of making this point, some real whoppers emerge. As the FT explains:

Although both countries produce millions of graduates annually, the raw numbers are a misleading metric for employable skills. China produces 600,000 university-trained engineers every year, for example, a figure often cited to illustrate the country's inexorable rise as a technology power. But a McKinsey survey of nine occupations including engineers, accountants and doctors found that fewer than one in 10 were employable by multinationals.

The rest of the piece is similarily on the money, and you should read it. It highlights something almost no one seems to understand, namely that (unbelievably) Chinarunindia are running out of workers. They aren't running out of people exactly. But because they invest so little in education, they are running out of employable workers. These labour shortages will ripple out accross the world economy in the coming years. But because politicans use these misleading stats, they miss the bigger point. It is this. Imagine how much Chinarunindia will change our economy when 9 out of 10 of their professionals are employable by multinationals? Makes you think. Have a great weekend............

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.newpoltiics.net.

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