Minggu, 15 Januari 2012

God and Politics:Examining Religion inthe 2012 Election

Religion is a dynamic force in America,
so it should be no surprise that every
four years issues involving religion
raise compelling questions for the
media and public. How deeply should
the religious beliefs of a candidate be tested? What press questions
involving religion are suitable, and
what are out of bounds, irrelevant, or
trivial? What religious voting blocs will
help shape the election? How
influential will “culture war” issues be in the 2012 election? What religious
beliefs undergird views toward the
economy and budget cuts? And how
do the growing number of
nonreligious voters respond to God-
talk on the campaign trail? The Center for American Progress
invites you to join our panel of experts
for a lively and informative
conversation. Welcoming remarks : Eleni Towns, Research Assistant, Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative,
Center for American Progress Polling overview on religion and
the 2012 campaign: Dr. Robert P. Jones, Founding CEO, Public Religion Research Institute Featured panelists: Joanna Brooks, columnist, Religion Dispatches; author of the upcoming
book The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories
from an American Faith Shaun A. Casey, Professor of Christian Ethics, Wesley Theological Seminary;
consultant to the Project on Religion
and Post Conflict Reconstruction at the
Center for Strategic and International
Studies, and author of The Making of a
Catholic President: Kennedy v. Nixon 1960 Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Hispanic Evangelical Coalition;
executive member of the Latino
Leadership Circle Moderator: Sally Steenland, Director, Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative, Center for
American Progress A light lunch will be served at 11:30
a.m. RSVP RSVP for this event For more information, call
202-682-1611 Location Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

Kamis, 08 Desember 2011

Sabtu, 19 Februari 2011

Science makes a difficult

Our “charticle” puts the current debate about
science and technology budgets into historical
context. A few things might surprise you. Click
here to download the PDF.
The White House Office of Science and
Technology Policy earlier this week unveiled its
plan for the fiscal year 2012 science and
technology budget in an event at the American
Association for the Advancement of Science in
Washington, D.C. The budget echoes the
priorities identified by the president in his State of
the Union address and in his “Strategy for
American Innovation,” which the White House
released last week. Here’s a look at how the two
documents match up the strategy with the
A tough-love budget
In what OSTP Director John P. Holdren referred
to as a “tough-love budget” at the release event,
this year’s request to Congress keeps overall
nondefense spending flat while increasing the
crucial investments in science and technology
R&D , so-called STEM (science, technology,
engineering, and math) education, and 21st
century infrastructure that we need to “out-
innovate, out-educate, and out-build” our
economic competitors. Proposing $147.9 billion
for federal research and development overall, the
budget provides increases for areas identified by
the president as critically important to America’s
competitive future, such as sustainable energy,
information technology, advanced
manufacturing, and STEM education initiatives.
Programs that were uncompetitive with these
high-priority areas were reduced, including the
R&D programs at the Department of Veterans
Affairs (falling 12 percent from the 2010 enacted
level) and the Environmental Protection Agency,
which was cut by $11 million. Developmental
research overall saw a decrease in funding from
previous budgets with a total of $79.4 billion —a
decrease mostly due to cuts made in defense
research. The budget proposes a $4 billion
decrease for the Department of Defense R&D
budget from 2010 levels, putting it at $76.6
Holdren credited tactical, hard-nosed financial
discipline as the reason why the 2012 budget,
which begins in October this year, achieved what
most people thought wasn ’t possible. This year’s
budget calls for a total nondefense R&D budget of
$66.8 billion ($4.1 billion or 6.5 percent more
than the 2010 enacted budget).
Doubling path for key science agency
The FY 2012 budget proposed by the White
House does not lose focus on previous long-term
agency goals set by the Obama administration.
The three key agencies identified by the president
as crucial to national competitiveness —the
National Institute of Standards and Technology,
the National Science Foundation, and the
Department of Energy ’s Office of Science—
maintain financial momentum to reach their
budget-doubling goal by 2017. The budget
proposes an increase for these agencies of 12.2
percent from the 2010 enacted budget for a total
of $13.9 billion in funding. The NSF increases 13
percent from 2010 enacted levels to $7.8 billion,
the DOE Office of Science increases 10.7 percent
to $5.4 billion, and NIST intramural laboratories
increase to $764 million, a 15.1 percent increase
over 2010.
Clean energy innovation
To further advance American clean energy
innovation, $550 million was directed to continue
to fund DOE ’s Advanced Research Projects
Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E. Additionally, the
budget provides financial support to double the
number of Energy Innovation Hubs from three to
six in order to promote collaboration between
industry and academia.
The three new hubs will focus on rare earth
materials, advanced car batteries, and new
materials to advance the smart grid. Funding for
the existing hubs for building energy efficiency,
fuels from sunlight, and nuclear modeling
continue to receive funding.
Educating our children in science,
technology, engineering, and math
Recognizing that a workforce well trained in
science, technology, engineering, and math, or
STEM, is a critical building block for long-run,
innovation-driven economic success, the budget
also includes $3.4 billion across the federal
government for STEM education. New STEM
initiatives include a $100 million “down payment”
on preparing 100,000 new STEM teachers within
the upcoming decade with 80 percent going to
the Department of Education and 20 percent of
the down payment going to NSF.
Also included is $90 million for the Department of
Education to create a new agency called
Advanced Research Projects Agency-Education,
or ARPA-ED. This new agency mimics the
successful model used by DARPA and ARPA-E to
develop and commercialize game-changing and
transformational new technologies of national
importance. ARPA-ED, according to the OSTP,
Push the field of education research,
development, and demonstration forward by:
sponsoring synthesis and vetting of public and
private R&D efforts; identifying breakthrough
development opportunities; shaping the next
wave of R&D; investing in the development of
new education technologies, learning systems,
and digital learning materials; and identifying and
transitioning the best and most relevant R&D
from other federal agencies.
Infrastructure to keep people, goods, and
information on the move
At the budget-release event at the AAAS on
Monday, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh
Chopra discussed how investments in 21st
century infrastructure will provide the
foundational capacity to foster the growth of new
jobs and industries. Specific infrastructure
investments that the budget makes include a one-
time $5 billion investment in the Universal Service
Fund to ensure all Americans have access to 4G
high-speed wireless, even those living in remote
areas. Some of this will be paid for by increasing
the wireless spectrum available for mobile
broadband. The auction of these new frequencies
to companies will cut the deficit by nearly $10
billion over the next decade.
Advancing manufacturing innovation
We’ve pointed out at Science Progress many
times that innovation does not just take place in
labs; it also happens on assembly lines. The
president ’s budget would increase funding for the
National Science Foundation, the National Institute
of Standards and Technology, the Department of
Energy, and the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency to support development of
advanced manufacturing technologies.
Investments in nanomanufacturing,
biomanufacturing, next-generation robotics, and
cyber-physical systems are important to keeping
American manufacturing on the cutting edge of
innovation. In addition, the budget proposes
reauthorizing the wildly successful and
oversubscribed section 48(c) clean energy
manufacturing tax credit for $5 billion.
Leveraging private-sector investment in
The FY 2012 budget also displays a solid
realization of the importance of private-sector
investment in innovation. The government
simply does not have the size, expertise, or
resources to directly develop the technologies of
the future. The research and experimentation tax
credit helps unlock private investment in research
and development by encouraging companies to
develop new technology.
But since 1981 the R&D tax credit has been
renewed by Congress on a temporary basis
every two to three years, creating considerable
uncertainty for businesses trying to make the
necessarily long-term investments in technology
research and development. The president ’s
budget proposes finally to expand, simplify, and
make permanent the R&D tax credit.
The budget also includes a new Innovation Fund
within the Small Business Investment Company,
or SBIC, program. The new fund will specifically
address the “valley of death” financing gap that
prevents promising technical ideas from
becoming job-creating business plans by making
$200 million in matching grant funds available to
augment private investments that support job-
creating and innovative startup technology
companies with high growth potential.
In addition, the budget includes $15 million for the
Small Business Administration ’s Emerging
Leaders initiative to “enhance small business
participation in regional economic clusters.” By
signaling to the private sector that investments in
research and development will carry tax benefits
long into the future, this administration hopes to
help kick start innovation across all of America ’s
Looming budget battle
Though these key investments in science and
innovation have made it into the president ’s
budget, they still face a long road ahead to secure
funding in the eventual FY 2012 budget that
Congress must pass and the president must sign.
President Obama ’s budget can be thought of as
an “opening bid,” as he characterized it earlier this
week, in a long process of haggling that will take
place between the Republican-controlled House
and the Democrat-controlled Senate and White
Elaine Sedenberg is an Intern at Science Progress
and an undergraduate in honors biochemistry at
the University of Texas at Austin. Sean Pool is
Assistant Editor for Science Progress. Also see
our new “charticle” on U.S. Science R&D 101 (pdf).

Jumat, 04 Februari 2011

Taylor Alison Swift Profile

Taylor Swift yang lahir pada 13 Desember 1989 adalah
penyanyi sekaligus pencipta lagu musik country. Memulai
debutnya lewat jalur indie di tahun 2006, Swift memulai
perjalanan karir bermusiknya dengan merilis single Tim
McGraw dan langsung menempati posisi di tangga lagu U.S.
Swift lahir di Pennsylvania dan tinggal dengan orang tuanya
serta saudara lelakinya, Austin di Tennesse. Bakat
bermusiknya diperolehnya dari neneknya yang seorang
penyanyi opera serta dipengaruhi oleh penyanyi LeAnn
Rimes. Di usia 10 tahun, ia sudah mulai tampil di depan
umum dan mulai menulis lirik lagu.
Pada 24 Oktober 2006, Swift yang mempunyai nama asli
Taylor Alison Swift merilis albumnya yang berjudul
TAYLOR SWIFT. Hampir seluruh lagu di album ini ditulis
olehnya sendiri. Dan hasilnya, album penyanyi muda berbakat
ini dapat terjual hingga 61.000 kopi pada minggu pertamanya.
Tak berapa lama setelahnya, album ini menjadi juara di tangga
lagu Billboard Top Country.
Swift juga mengeluarkan album SOUNDS OF THE SEASON
yang dirilis pada 16 Oktober 2007. Sayangnya, album ini tidak
sesukses album perdananya.
Pada musim gugur 2008, pelantung tembang Love Story dan
White Horse ini merilis album keduanya, FEARLESS. Dalam
tiga minggu saja sudah terjual sebanyak 330 ribu keping.
Lewat album FEARLESS, Swift mendapatkan penghargaan di
ajang Academy of Country Music Awards Ke-44 dalam
kategori Album of The Year. Ia juga menerima trofi crystal
milestone sebagai artis musik country dengan penjualan
terbaik selama 2008.

Senin, 31 Januari 2011

Stay beautiful..

Drew looks at me, I fake a smile so he won't see
That I want and I'm needing everything that we should be
I'll bet she's beautiful, that girl he talks about
And she's got everything that I have to live without
Drew talks to me, I laugh cause it's so damn funny
That I can't even see anyone when he's with me
He says he's so in love, he's finally got it right,
I wonder if he knows he's all I think about at night
He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star
He's the song in the car I keep singing, don't know why I do
Drew walks by me, can he tell that I can't breathe?
And there he goes, so perfectly,
The kind of flawless I wish I could be
She'd better hold him tight, give him all her love
Look in those beautiful eyes and know she's lucky cause
[Repeat Chorus]
So I drive home alone, as I turn out the light
I'll put his picture down and maybe
Get some sleep tonight
He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only one who's got enough of me to break my heart
He's the song in the car I keep singing, don't know why I do
He's the time taken up, but there's never enough
And he's all that I need to fall into..
Drew looks at me, I fake a smile so he won't see.

Kamis, 27 Januari 2011

Washington, D.C., Jan. 28, 1861
His speech was a memorable one — that was the only thing that
everyone could agree upon. The anti-slavery New-York Tribune
called it “pathetic.” A pro-Southern newspaper in Washington
found it “solemn and impressive.” Today, the words have even
more resonance than in 1861. For they may have been the very
first eerie echo of what would become a famous American
rallying cry: “The South will rise again.” They also marked a
moment in national politics whose repercussions are still being
Library of Congress
Sen. Alfred Iverson of Georgia
After six years in the Senate, Alfred Iverson of Georgia had come
to the Capitol that morning to bid farewell to his fellow legislators,
to Washington — and to the United States of America. He waited
impatiently through the chaplain’s morning prayer, a report from
the secretary of the Navy, and multiple petitions from citizens
begging their lawmakers to forge a Union-saving compromise. At
last he could sit quiet no longer and interrupted one of his
colleagues, begging leave to speak.
Iverson began by having the Senate secretary read Georgia’s
ordinance of secession, passed little more than a week earlier.
Unlike other Southern politicians, he had never claimed that his
state ’s withdrawal was constitutional. It was, he frankly admitted,
simply a revolution. And now he challenged the Northern
You may acquiesce in the revolution, and acknowledge the
independence of the new confederacy, or you may make war
on the seceding States, and attempt to force them back into a
Union with you. If you acknowledge our independence, and
treat us as one of the nations of the earth, you can have
friendly intercourse with us; you can have an equitable
division of the public property and of the existing public debt
of the United States. If you make war upon us, we will seize
and hold all the public property within our borders or within
our reach.
As he went on to imagine this war that might well lie ahead, the
senator ’s rhetoric grew more and more heated:
You boast of your superior numbers and strength.
Remember that “the race is not always to the swift, nor the
battle to the strong.” You have your hundreds of thousands of
fighting men. So have we; and, fighting upon our own soil, to
preserve our rights, vindicate our honor and defend our
homes and firesides, our wives and children from the invader,
we shall not be easily conquered.
You may possibly overrun us, desolate our fields, burn our
dwellings, lay our cities in ruins, murder our people and
reduce us to beggary, but you cannot subdue or subjugate us
to your government or your will. Your conquest, if you gain
one, will cost you a hundred thousand lives, and more than a
hundred million dollars. Nay more, it will take a standing army
of 100,000 men, and millions of money annually, to keep us
in subjection.
You may whip us, but we will not stay whipped. We will rise
again and again to vindicate our right to liberty, and throw off
your oppressive and accursed yoke, and never cease the
mortal strife until our whole white race is extinguished and our
fair land given over to desolation.
“The Rubicon is passed,” Iverson concluded, “and it shall never,
with my consent, be recrossed.” There was still a chance, he
conceded, that other Southerners might agree to a compromise.
“ I may safely say, however, that nothing will satisfy them, or
bring them back, short of a full and explicit recognition of the
guarantee of the safety of their institution of domestic slavery and
the protection of the constitutional rights for which in the Union
they have so long been contending, and a denial of which, by
their Northern confederates, has forced them into their present
attitude of separate independence. ”
Library of Congress
Members of the Senate, Thirty-Sixth Congress (1859-1861), in a
composite photograph by Mathew Brady. Jefferson Davis is in the
lower left-hand corner, Robert Toombs in the lower right. David
Levy Yulee is the third senator directly above Davis. Stephen
Mallory is just above Toombs, diagonally to the left. CLICK TO
Not all of Iverson’s colleagues listened to him with the respect that
he might have hoped for. According to one Washington
newspaper, some of the Republican senators interrupted several
times with “derisive cheers and laughter.” (Its editor expressed his
“deep sense of shame and disgust that men occupying such high
and dignified positions could be guilty of such unseemly levity.”)
But the legislators were growing weary of operatic farewells.
Iverson ’s swan song was just the latest of many throughout the
preceding month. As they joined the new Confederacy, one
Southern senator after another had risen to declaim his valedictory
Some left bitter recriminations as their last entries in the
Congressional annals, others gave polite and regretful farewells.
On Jan. 7th Iverson ’s fellow Georgian, Robert Toombs, had used
his departure speech to fire parting shots at “Black Republicans”
and abolitionists: “We want no negro equality, no negro
citizenship; we want no negro race to degrade our own; and as
one man [we] would meet you upon the border with the sword
in one hand and the torch in the other. ”
Library of Congress
The Senate Chamber, 1859
On Jan. 21, no fewer than five senators had departed in quick
succession. Stephen Mallory of Florida blasted the North with
brimstone: “You cannot conquer us. Imbrue your hands in our
blood and the rains of a century will not wipe from them the stain,
while coming generations will weep for your wickedness and
folly. ” His fellow Floridian, David Levy Yulee, was somewhat more
genteel, “acknowledging, with grateful emotions, my obligations
for the many courtesies I have enjoyed [from] the gentlemen of
this body, and with most cordial good wishes for their personal
welfare. ” Alabama’s Clement Clay and Benjamin Fitzpatrick likewise
Finally it was the turn of the man whom many already suspected
would be the first president of the new Confederacy: Jefferson
Davis of Mississippi. In a low, hoarse voice, weakened by recent
illness and by the emotion of the moment, he explained why his
state had seceded:
It has been a conviction of pressing necessity — it has been a
belief that we are to be deprived in the Union of the rights
which our fathers bequeathed to us — which has brought
Mississippi to her present decision. She has heard proclaimed
the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this
made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and
the sacred Declaration of Independence has been invoked to
maintain the position of the equality of the races.
Then Davis bade a gracious farewell to his longtime colleagues: “I
carry with me no hostile remembrance. Whatever offense I have
given which has not been redressed, or for which satisfaction has
not been demanded, I have, Senators, in this hour of parting, to
offer my apology. … Senators, having made the announcement
which the occasion seemed to me to require, it only remains to
me to bid you a final adieu. ”
At these words, Davis and his four fellow Southerners turned to
make their way slowly up the aisle toward the door. It is said that
spectators sobbed in the gallery, as stern legislators choked back
tears. The Union seemed truly — perhaps irrevocably —
dissolved. Democrats and a few moderate Republicans crowded
around to shake the five men ’s hands and wish them well. The
rest of the Northerners sat, hands folded, at their desks.
Civil War Timeline
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That dramatic exit overshadowed another piece of business
transacted in the Senate that day, one that may, however, have
been just as momentous. After the Southerners ’ departure, their
remaining colleagues passed a bill that had languished for almost a
year: one that admitted Kansas to the Union as a free state. The
newly powerful Republican majority thus settled peacefully an
issue over which so much American blood had already been
A week later, on Jan. 28, as Iverson was speaking in the Senate,
the House of Representatives made Kansas ’ statehood official. The
balance of power had shifted for good that week, in the nation and
in Congress. Throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction years,
a Congress dominated by Northern Republicans would pass
legislation that, collectively, would change America forever. And
the South might “rise again and again” over the following century,
but it would never regain the political leverage that it had just
willingly abdicated.
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Sources: Congressional Globe, 36th Congress, 2nd Session; New
York Times, Jan. 29, 1861; New-York Tribune, Jan. 29, 1861; The
Constitution (Washington, D.C.), Jan. 30, 1861; Thomas Ricaud
Martin, ed., “The Great Parliamentary Battle and Farewell
Addresses of the Southern Senators on the Eve of the Civil War.”
Note: The exact text of Iverson’s address varies a bit from source
to source, due to the vagaries of period newspaper reports. I have
relied on the official record, the Congressional Globe.
Adam Goodheart is the author of the forthcoming book “1861: The
Civil War Awakening.” He lives in Washington, D.C., and on the
Eastern Shore of Maryland, where he is the Hodson Trust-
Griswold Director of Washington College ’s C.V. Starr Center for
the Study of the American Experience.
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January 27, 2011
The South Rises Again – and Again, and Again
A catchphrase is born – and the balance of American political
power changes forever.
January 26, 2011
Old Hickory’s Ghost
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