July 1st, 2010
03:15 PM ET

Undocumented workers need legal rights

Richard L. Trumka
Special to CNN
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/07/01/trumka.immigration/tzleft.trumka.richard.courtesy.jpg caption="Richard L. Trumka: Too many employers like using hard workers who have no rights" width=300 height=169]

By now it should be clear that we need a new national economic strategy for a global economy - and we cannot talk about one without facing head-on our own contradictions, hypocrisy and history on immigration.

The truth is that in a global economy in the 21st century, we simply cannot afford to have millions of hard-working people without legal protections, shut off from economic gain. But the way we treat the immigrants among us is about more than economic strategy: It is about who we are as a nation.

Look around most of our communities and you'll see what's been built by Hungarians and Poles, Irish and Italians, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Serbs and Croats, Jews and others.

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Filed under: Immigration
July 1st, 2010
01:45 PM ET

7 oil crisis views, from comic to tragic

Richard Galant
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/01/t1.boatinoilywater.jpg caption="Oil dispersants are visible in the water. They work the same way dishwater detergent would work against grease." width=300 height=169]

The one-day TEDx OilSpill conference in Washington provided many perspectives on the oil crisis. Ranging form satirical, to conservationist, to heart-breaking, individuals have reacted to the oil spill... here are seven views of the crisis as described at the conference:

Casey DeMoss Roberts

Roberts, of the Gulf Restoration Network, sketched the ways in which the oil industry has become embedded in Gulf communities that once relied only on fishing for their livelihood. In one example she cited: The shrimp festival in Morgan City, Louisiana, was renamed the "Shrimp and Petroleum festival" in 1960.

She recalled her father's death in an offshore oil accident in Asia and contrasted the precautionary principle used in drug regulation, where products are tested for safety before they're marketed, to the oil industry, where she said safety precautions are too often instituted only after an accident. FULL POST

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
July 1st, 2010
12:31 PM ET
July 1st, 2010
12:12 PM ET

Why Russia and the U.S. still spy

Peter Earnest
Special to CNN

The arrests of 11 people accused of being part of an espionage ring under deep cover for Russia shocked their neighbors in the suburbs. Presumably it was also news to President Obama, coming as it did right after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's departure.

What should not be a surprise to any of us, however, is that Russia continues to spy on the United States.

Espionage is a fact of international life and always has been. The first spy manual, The Art of War, was written by Sun Tzu some 2,500 years ago. Espionage fills a vital niche; a successful operation can provide insight into intentions, plans, and human dynamics that cannot be gleaned from intercepted communications or pictures from space.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Opinion • Russia
July 1st, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Can Obama close divide on immigration?

Tamar Jacoby
Special to CNN
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/07/01/pol.obama.immigration/story.obama.afp.gi.jpg caption="Tamar Jacoby: Polls show people favor immigration reform, yet it still divides America" width=300 height=169]

As President Obama prepares the high-stakes speech he's scheduled to give Thursday on immigration, I hope he'll keep in mind the paradox of immigration politics.

The polling is consistent. Survey after survey shows the overwhelming majority of Americans support comprehensive immigration reform.

A national poll conducted in May by Lake Research Partners and Public Opinion Strategies found 84 percent in favor of legislation that strengthens enforcement on the border and in the workplace and puts illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship.

A few weeks earlier, a Hart Research survey of voters in four "moderate-conservative" states, Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri and Ohio, found that 67 percent supported a similar overhaul.

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Filed under: Immigration • President Barack Obama
July 1st, 2010
11:59 AM ET
July 1st, 2010
11:43 AM ET
July 1st, 2010
11:03 AM ET
July 1st, 2010
10:51 AM ET
July 1st, 2010
10:20 AM ET

Letter to the President #528: 'Release the Hounds!'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/06/28/tedx.oilspill.conference/t1larg.tedx.oil.spill.expedition.courtesy.jpg caption="The companies most often insisting that they need no oversight are often the ones that most emphatically do."]

Reporter's Note: President Obama is watching Congress inch toward some sort of reform regulation for the financial industry. But away from the Hill, some companies…notably one…are trying to pull the curtains on prying eyes, which is what I am writing about in today’s letter to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

So I read this story about how BP allegedly wants to shut down an ombudsman program (meaning an independent watchdog office) that was set up some years ago to investigate safety concerns from employees after some horrific accidents. Congress members pushed for it back then, but BP apparently thinks now it can handle these matters on its own; so “thanks, but you can call off the dogs.”

Forgive me if I say, “Ha!” Big business, and in particular this big business, does not seem to have a great record of policing itself. Oh sure, every company has all the right paperwork; stacks of shiny brochures and employee handbooks, and terabytes of computer graphics explaining how serious they are about safety, putting their employees first, letting no concern go unaddressed, and yadda, yadda, yadda. You and I know, however, that in an awful lot of places that is just talk.

Companies are in the primary business of making money, and I have no bone to pick with that. But when that goal becomes too dominant, in my experience, they often give painfully short shrift to all those other things they claim to care about… quality, safety, human decency, company softball leagues. And here is the key: The companies most often insisting that they need no oversight are often the ones that most emphatically do. FULL POST

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