2010 Program Archive

2010 Program Archive

Background Briefing - Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thomas Ferguson is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His books include Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems and Right Turn: The Decline of the Democrats and the Future of American Politics. He is a member of the advisory board for George Soros' Institute for New Economic Thinking and a contributing editor to The Nation.

Dr. Jacob Hacker is a Professor of Political Science at Yale University, a Resident Fellow at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies and a Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C. An expert on the politics of U.S. health and social policy, he is author of The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream, The Divided Welfare State: The Battle over Public and Private Social Benefits in the United States, and is also co-author of Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy. His latest book, with Paul Pierson, is Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class.

C. Christine Fair is a professor in the Center for Peace and Security Studies within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Previously, she served as a political officer to the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan in Kabul, and as a senior research associate in USIP’s Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention. She is also a senior fellow with the Counter Terrorism Center at West Point. She has authored, co-authored and co-edited several books including Treading Softly on Sacred Ground: Counterinsurgency Operations on Sacred Space, The Madrassah Challenge: Militancy and Religious Education in Pakistan, and Fortifying Pakistan: The Role of U.S. Internal Security Assistance.

Daily Briefing - Thursday, November 4, 2010

Steve Clemons @SCClemons directs the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation and is also a Senior Fellow at New America, and also served as Executive Vice President. Previously, Mr. Clemons served for seven years as Executive Director of the Japan America Society of Southern California, and co-founded with Chalmers Johnson the Japan Policy Research Institute, of which he is still Director. Steve Clemons writes frequently on matters of foreign policy, defense, and international economic policy. He is the publisher of the popular political blog The Washington Note.

Jane Hamsher @janehamsher is the founder of Firedoglake.com and one of America's most popular and influential political bloggers. She is also a motion picture producer, wth such films as "Natural Born Killers," "Apt Pupil," "Permanent Midnight" and "From Hell." Her political writing and analysis has appeared in a number of other publications, including the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She is author of the best-selling book, "Killer Instinct."

Peter H. Stone heads the Money and Politics team at the Center for Public Integrity. As a journalist he has covered a wide array of lobbying and campaign finance issues in Washington for the Legal Times and National Journal. He began his career at the California-based muckraking magazine, Ramparts and his latest book is Casino Jack and the United States of Money: Superlobbyist Jack Abramoff and the Buying of Washington.

Benjamin Hallman covers business and finance for the Center for Public Integrity. He was a legal affairs reporter at The American Lawyer, where he covered the business of law, white collar crime, and regulatory Washington. Hallman has reported on the accounting fraud prosecutions of HealthSouth’s Richard Scrushy and Qwest’s Joesph Nacchio; on the massive Google book search settlement; and, from Iraq, on American-led efforts to rebuild the Iraqi justice system. His story about the crash of Lehman Brothers was anthologized in The Best American Legal Writing (2009).

Daily Briefing - Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Paul Blumenthal is the senior writer at the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan organization which uses cutting-edge technology and ideas to make government transparent and accountable. Blumenthal focuses his attention on the intersection between influence and politics in Washington. His work has been featured by National Public Radio, PBS' Frontline, The New York Review of Books and The New York Times.

Paul Pierson is Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. His most recent books are Off-Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy, co-authored by Jacob Hacker, Politics in Time: History, Institutions and Social Analysis and The Transformation of American Politics: Activist Government and the Rise of Conservatism. His latest book, with Jacob Hacker, is Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class.

John G. Geer is Distinguished Professor and Chair of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. His book In Defense of Negativity: Attacks Ads in Presidential Campaigns won the 2008 Goldsmith Book prize from Harvard University. Professor Geer is currently working on a series of projects that looks at the news media's coverage of attack advertising and how negativity may help voters make better choices.

Erika Franklin Fowler is Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University, where she teaches courses in American Politics, media and politics, campaigns and elections, public opinion, and empirical methods. She also directs the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks and analyzes all political advertisements aired on television in real-time throughout the 2010 election cycle. Fowler specializes in political communication - local media and campaign advertising in particular - and her work on local news coverage of politics and policy has been published in political science, communication, law/policy, and medical journals. 

Daily Briefing - Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mike Bocian is a principal at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and serves as pollster and strategist for gubernatorial, senate, congressional, state legislative and mayoral campaigns. With 15 years of experience, he also works for party committees, corporate clients, and issue advocacy groups, specializing in energy, environment, and conservation. In 2008, Bocian helped Democrats win a sweep in New Mexico, and has led polling for many successful ballot initiatives.

Shaun Bowler received his Ph.D from Washington University, St. Louis and joined the University of California Riverisde faculty in 1989 and is Interim Chair of the Department of Political Science. Professor Bowler’s research interests include comparative electoral systems and voting behavior. His work examines the relationship between institutional arrangements and voter choice in a variety of settings ranging from the Republic of Ireland to California’s initiative process. Professor Bowler is the author of Demanding Choices: Opinion Voting and Direct Democracy with Todd Donovan.

Harold Meyerson is Editor-at-Large and chief political writer of The American Prospect, and a regular columnist for the Washington Post, the LA Times, and numerous other publications. Last year Atlantic Monthly named Harold Meyerson to their list of the most influential commentators in the nation, those who shape the national debate.

Daily Briefing - Monday, November 1, 2010

Cliff Schecter is a political commentator, veteran campaign strategist, author, columnist and president of Libertas LLC, a Progressive public relations firm whose clients include organizations run by Michael Bloomberg and Al Gore. Schecter was a pollster for the successful reelection of Bill Clinton in 1996, and has worked on campaigns for Governor Mark Warner and Ned Lamont in his primary victory over Joe Lieberman, among others. He is the author of the 2008 bestseller, The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don't Trust Him & Independents Shouldn't. He is a contributor to the Huffington Post & Guardian Online and has a weekly column for Al Jazeera English.

Sam Tanenhaus is the editor of The New York Times Book Review and was the editor of the Week in Review section of the Times. From 1999 to 2004 he was a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, where he wrote often on politics. His work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, and many other publications. Tanenhaus’s book, Whittaker Chambers: A Biography, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. His latest book is The Death of Conservatism: A Movement and Its Consequences.

David Freeman is a leading authority on the production, management and delivery of energy to large populations. He has had the ear of federal officials since the days of JFK and helped bring about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Nixon. He headed the Tennessee Valley Authority under Jimmy Carter. He also headed New York power and the Los Angeles DWP and was the state energy czar responsible for rescuing California from the predations of Enron & Company. David Freeman’s book is Winning Our Energy Independence (an Energy Insider Shows How).

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