NDN Blog

Tancredo is in.

Congressman Tom Tancredo (click here for his campaign website) officially announced his candidacy for President today. From his statement:

While we fight around the world to defend our nation, we are entrenched now in a struggle here at home to define it. The crisis of illegal immigration threatens not only our economy and our security, but our very identity...The great tradition of American assimilation has broken down. The melting pot has cracked, and our Founding ideals are leaking through....For too long Americans have been force-fed candidates who ignore or mock their valid concerns about the security of our borders, the enforcement of our immigration laws, and the survival of our national heritage. That ends today.

Reminder: Tancredo drew fire from Governor Jeb Bush (and many others) after saying that Miami resembled a Third World Country.

NDN Welcomes New Development Director

On behalf of the entire NDN team, I’m excited to announce that Chris McCleary has joined us as our new Development Director. 

Chris is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and a seasoned campaign veteran with 10 years of fundraising experience at nearly every electoral level.  Chris has been involved in over 30 races across the country, from Congress to President, in the past 10 years and also worked at America Coming Together in 2004.  Chris is excited to join our team and will be designing a national program to ensure that NDN has the resources it needs to imagine and build the new progressive politics for this new century.  Chris and his fiancé Carol live in northern Virginia.

Please join us in welcoming Chris and feel free to e-mail him at cmccleary@ndn.org to say hello.  We’re thrilled to have him aboard!

WSJ's Perspective on the 110th Congress

David Rogers' look at the Congressional Democrats' priorities and challenges from when they return in two weeks until the Memorial Day recess is informative, but its best point is left unsaid: Republicans, particulalry in the Senate, are doing a pretty good job of holding-up Democratic priorities from a minimum wage hike to immigration reform, and everything in between.  Speaker Pelosi let some frustration show through, before the always on-message Rahm Emanul chipped-in:

In Ms. Pelosi's words, "Each house in its own tempo is moving forward." But when she said she couldn't promise a minimum-wage bill by Memorial Day, an agitated-looking Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D., Ill.) stepped in quickly: "It is a pledge we made to the American people and it will get done," he said.

The article includes a graphic at some of the biggest issues facing Congress:

"La Audacia de la Esperanza"

I wanted to acknowledge the Spanish release of Sen. Barack Obama's best-selling book "The Audacity of Hope." From the AP article:

Vintage Espanol, a paperback imprint of Random House Inc., will publish "La Audacia de la Esperanza" in June with a first printing of 50,000, a high number for a Spanish release.

"It will be our biggest book of the year in Spanish," Vintage spokesman Russell Perreault said Thursday.

The work of our New Politics Institute - which encourages the use of new tools like speaking in Spanish - suggests that this could bode well for Senator Obama.

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

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