Two CAP pieces looked at the Americas region this week. Stephanie Miller wrote about how President Barack Obama can set the tone for his administration’s policy toward the region in anticipation of the Summit of the Americas. And the Center for American Progress’ Mexico Working Group released a report, "Transcending the Rio Grande," which focused on improving U.S.-Mexico relations with four recommendations: improving the rule of law and judicial reform in Mexico, stopping the illegal flow of arms and money from the United States to Mexico, finding ways to enhance economic development, and promoting alternative energy cooperation and development.
Director of International Law and Diplomacy Spencer Boyer also discussed what the United States and Europe can learn from each other when it comes to integrating immigrant and minority groups into their larger societies, while Ken Gude explained how President Obama showed leadership in releasing Bush-era memos providing legal justification for certain types of torture.
The recession has taken a toll on low-incomes families and minorities. A report by Research Associate Alexandra Cawthorne, "Weathering the Storm," showed how the recession is negatively affecting African-American men. And Policy Analyst Joy Moses argued that full refundability of the Child Tax Credit would work best for low-income families.
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
CAP President and CEO John Podesta spoke in China about the need for the United States and China to work together on global warming. Both countries can benefit from teaming up on energy security and renewable energy development in particular, Podesta said.
And there’s been much talk lately about the need for a national clean-energy smart grid, but some parts of the country are already pushing ahead with projects. Senior Fellow Tom Kenworthy reported on such a project, called the SmartGrid City, in Boulder, CO. And the Easy Being Green series documented another big green project in New York City: a retrofit of the Empire State Building.
Kalen Pruss and Carlin Rosengarten pointed out the dishonesty in conservatives’ claims against global warming legislation in "The False Heroes of the Poor" (CAP Action), and climate activist Bill McKibben stopped by CAP to discuss his experiences with grassroots organizing and other issues related to global warming.
MEDIA AND CULTURE
Current Christian arguments against same-sex marriage received closer scrutiny this week in "Four Things You Didn’t Know About God and Same-Sex Marriage." Christians who oppose same-sex marriage say it goes against the biblical conception of marriage and sexuality, but the Bible never mentions or condemns the concept we call same-sex marriage.
Senior Fellow Eric Alterman and Danielle Ivory wrote about the media’s amnesia with regard to who caused the current recession in "Think Again: It’s Still the Bush Economy," while Ruy Teixeira argued the public prioritizes spending on health care and education over reducing the deficit in his weekly snapshot. And Brookings Institution economist Rebecca Blank discussed the recession, failures of the market, populist anger, and the role of faith communities during this time of economic turmoil with Sally Steenland.