J. Stephen Griles was the second highest ranking official in the Interior Department for President Bush's entire first term, where he used his position to do the bidding of his former bosses (he was an oil industry lobbyist before joining the administration) in the energy industry. He's pleading guilty to obstruction of justice charges related to the Abramoff scandal. Learn more from CREW, TPM Muckraker and the AP.
This is an important day for our nation. The US House of Representatives took a critical step towards bringing the failed foreign policy of the Bush era to an end, and have offered America a new and better path. Though there is much to do in the years ahead to bring greater peace, prosperity and stability to the Middle East, the passage of the US Troop Readiness, Veteran's Health and Iraq Accountability Act is a responsible step in the right direction.
I congratulate Speaker Pelosi and the entire Democratic leadership for having the courage to challenge our current course in Iraq, and for bringing the Democratic caucus together on such an important issue. There should be little doubt that the Democrats heard the message sent by the voters last year, and are working to offer America a brighter future.
MoveOn's "Stop the Falsiness" campaign is a light-hearted mockery of Steven Colbert's send-up of conservative cable news (that's a spoof on a spoof for those of you keeping score at home) and of their own political earnestness. It's pretty funny stuff, or at least it was until Viacom demanded it be taken off YouTube for alleged copyright violations. You can watch the video on the satirical campaign's homepage here: http://falsiness.org/ and click here learn more about how MoveOn and the Electronic Frontier Foundation's efforts to get Viacom to stop muzzling online free speech. You can also read our recent NPI paper on making video for the internet.
It's a sign of how fast the technology and politics are moving that what was meant to be a relatively silly diversion has turned into a flashpoint in the debate over who owns video in the age of the global network.
“I applaud today’s introduction of the STRIVE Act of 2007. It is a significant step forward.
“It reflects a strong commitment by a bipartisan group of House Members toward realistic and comprehensive immigration reform. It provides an excellent framework for Congress and the President to begin work on the vital task of immigration reform, collaboratively and on a bipartisan basis. The President should embrace this framework.
“Our priorities on immigration reform are clear. Our first responsibility to the American people is their safety. We must secure our borders and enforce our laws, while also protecting against discrimination and adhering faithfully to the rule of law. At the same time, we must enact immigration reform that is humane and honors our American tradition of being a nation of immigrants and a land of opportunity for all.
“Today, the House has begun the hard work of addressing immigration reform.”
Democratic Caucus Vice Chair and good friend of NDN Rep. John Larson, speaking in passionate defense of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health and Iraq Accountability Act. It's truly time for a better way forward in the Middle East.
A new poll from the Pew Research Center for People and the Press shows that the number of Americans identifying with the Republican party has dropped steadily since 2002, when the the two parties were even in voter allegience. Democrats now lead 50% - 35%.
"Iraq has played a large part; the pushback on the Republican Party has to do with Bush, but there are other things going on here that Republicans will have to contend with," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. "There is a difference in the landscape."
NDN, a progressive think tank and advocacy organization, today issued the following statement in support of The STRIVE (Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy) Act of 2007, which was introduced this morning.
Joe Garcia, Director of NDN's Hispanic Strategy Center said, “The introduction of the STRIVE Act of 2007 is a significant step towards passing comprehensive immigration reform this year, and NDN strongly endorses it. We applaud the continued leadership of Congressman Luis Gutierrez on this important issue.
We look forward to working with Congressman Gutierrez, Senator Edward Kennedy, and their bipartisan allies in Congress like Congressman Jeff Flake and Senator John McCain; the White House; and other immigration reform coalition members to pass the STRIVE Act in this Congress.
NDN has championed comprehensive immigration reform since 2005. We believe it is the best solution to one of the great governing challenges of our time: reforming our broken immigration system. This support places NDN in a remarkable and diverse coalition that includes labor, business, religious and immigration groups."
For more information about NDN’s work on comprehensive immigration reform, please refer to the following links:
I spent a little time this morning looking at the 2006 census numbers that were just released, and they were, dare I say it, pretty exciting. Exciting, because they strongly support the demographics arguments NDN has been making, by showing that the fastest growing states are by and large concentrated in the Southwest and have the highest percentage of Hispanics relative to total population. Three important conclusions:
The two fastest growing states between July 2000 and July 2006 were Nevada and Arizona, fourth and fifth respectively in Hispanics as a percentage of population. Nevada's population increased by 24.9% and Arizona's by 20.2%. That compares to a national average of 4.7% population growth.
The seven states with the highest percentage of Hispanics relative to total population (New Mexico, California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Florida) make up seven of the top fifteen fastest growing states and five of the top eight.
Those seven states, mentioned above, grew by an average of 13.8% between July 2000 and July 2006. The average growth for the rest of the country over the same period was 4.7%. That means that these states, where Hispanics comprise 16.8% to 42.1% of the population, are growing three times as fast as the rest of the country.
Yesterday, Senator Bob Menendez gave a response to the President's trip to Latin America. As the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Development, the Senator highlighted his ideas on how the US can engage Latin America with an increase in funding development programs. Specifically, he detailed his Social Investment and Economic Development Fund for the Americas. You can read more in the press release here.