Josh Dorner

On the 1-Year Anniversary of Obama's DACA Program, Here are 7 Stories of Change

Today is the one-year anniversary of the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, “a presidential initiative that grants temporary legal presence to non-criminal undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as youths by their parents. The two-year program allows DACA recipients to apply for a social security number, to legally work in the United States, and to pay taxes. It also protects them from deportation. The program has attracted more than half a million applicants. As of August, 430,236 undocumented youths have been approved.”

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GOP Obliterates Voting Rights in North Carolina

We’ve previously discussed the extremist takeover of North Carolina and the Moral Monday protests that have arisen in response. The extreme right-wing of the GOP that now apparently controls the state has rolled back decades of progress on nearly every issue in an apparent attempt to create some sort of you’re-on-your-own utopia for the rich, powerful and well-connected. By contrast, the state’s middle class and the poor will be, well, on their own.

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Romney Makes Closing Argument On The Economy At Firm That Benefited From Stimulus Funds

On Friday, Mitt Romney will make his closing argument on the economy in what his campaign is touting as a major address. The site Romney has chosen, however, exposes the hypocrisy and fallaciousness of one of Romney’s central economic arguments: the notion that government has no role in growing the private economy and helping businesses expand. Romney frequently mocks Obama’s “didn’t build it” remarks and routinely derides the 2009 Recovery Act as a failure that did nothing to create jobs.

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The Best Convention Speech You Missed

While most of the excitement last night was focused on Senator Clinton's speech, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer gave an electrifying (and highly animated) speech outlining a strong, clear vision for a new energy future.

Given his strong performance, it came as no surprise that Schweitzer was mobbed by bloggers and camera crews this morning as he strode through the Big Tent.

Here's some excerpts from his speech:

On the crises we face:

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John McCain Gets a Zero Rating for His Environmental Record

We were shocked -- but definitely not awed -- by Senator McCain's decision two weeks ago to dodge a crucial vote on the future of clean energy in America.

Remember, his choice to stay parked on the tarmac at Dulles (while his two planemates, Senators Lieberman and Graham, dashed to the Capitol in time to vote) doomed the measure to fail by just a single vote.

It was, however, awesome that thousands of Sierra Club e-activists took the phones and called McCain's office to register their discontent with the Arizona senator's no-show act.  In fact, so many called that his phone system was down intermittently for days.  Not awesome: McCain's office lying to our members about how he voted.

But, last week we got an even bigger reminder of John McCain's Not Awesome status when it comes to crucial votes on the environment. He received a big fat ZERO from the League of Conservation Voters on their 2007 National Environmental Scorecard.

Turns out his recent attendance problem is no exception, just merely the most recent example of a consistent pattern of refusing to stand up and be counted when the environment is on the line. In fact, out of 535 Members of Congress, John McCain is the only one who chose to miss every single key environmental vote last year.

Global Warming Talk Canceled at Montana School

It all started with the Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee way back when. Then more recently many of us have been asking "What's the matter with Kansas?" Well, today I'm wondering just what the deal is in Montana?

Seems that in the tiny hamlet of Choteau, Montana (pop. 1781) a few grumbling conservatives are enough to keep a Nobel laureate from discussing global warming at the local high school.

Dr. Steven Running, a professor of ecology at the University of Montana and one of the lead authors of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report, was due to speak to high school students in the small agricultural town located on the plains that spread out east of the Rocky Mountains. It seems that a vocal minority objected to his talk before 130 high school students because it would be "one-sided," so the local school superintendent, Kevin St. John, canceled it.

St. John went on to lamely explain that there simply wasn't time to explain to everyone that Running was a "leading scientist" and not an "agenda-driven ideologue." (I'm guessing I'd be in that latter category. And just how long could it possibly take to explain things in a town of 1,781 anyway?) Sensing he might have some 'splainin' to do, St. John added -- rather unconvincingly methinks -- that "academic freedom is very important here, and science education is very important here."

But apparently not important enough for him to actually do his job as an educator it would seem. If Choteau's anything like the town in Wyoming where yours truly grew up -- where the closest any of us got to a Nobel laureate was a particularly exciting film strip about Marie Curie that we watched in the 3rd grade -- it's pretty stupid to pass up an opportunity like this one.

Besides general objections to reality and science, it seems that the opponents of Running's talk didn't really have too much else to say. One school board member who had opposed the talk hid behind a curt "no comment." He's probably right to keep a low profile -- the seven people who wrote letters to the editor of the local paper criticizing the school board could well represent half the electorate.

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