Center for American Progress

From Academic Kids

The Center for American Progress is a progressive think tank both led and created by John Podesta, a former chief of staff to Bill Clinton. It is located in Washington, D.C. The Center for American Progress has a sister advocacy group, the American Progress Action Fund, and campus outreach group, Campus Progress.

History and mission

The Center for American Progress was created in 2003 as a counterweight to conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. The Center's mission is:

  • developing a long term vision of a progressive America,
  • providing a forum to generate new progressive ideas and policy proposals,
  • responding effectively and rapidly to conservative proposals and rhetoric with a thoughtful critique and clear alternatives, and
  • communicating progressive messages to the American public.

In its first year in existence, the Center has gathered a group of high-profile senior fellows, including Lawrence Korb, Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan; Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council under President Bill Clinton; and Ruy Teixeira, political scientist and author of The Emerging Democratic Majority.

The Center co-sponsored the recent, much-publicized Robert Greenwald documentary entitled Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, which was also sponsored by groups such as MoveOn.org, America Coming Together, and others.

Progress Report

The Center for American Progress publishes a daily email newsletter known as the Progress Report. The Progress Report is essentially a recap and analysis of major political news in the United States. The Center For American Progress is harshly critical of President George W. Bush and his administration on everything from foreign policy to environmental issues.

The report offers such features as the "Daily Grill", which compares major right wing figures' statements with statements they made in the past. The purpose is to show how the statements contradict each other. Another feature is the "Daily Outrage", which usually entails something which would be considered outrageous by liberals, such as a relaxation of environmental rules, an attempt by conservatives to allow more media consolidation, and so on. Yet another feature, "Under the Radar", features different snippets of political news with links to opinion-editorials and news stories.

The main part of the newsletter usually consists of two parts (though sometimes it is three, or four). The first deals with an important political issue, such as the economy or foreign policy. The report is usually attacking President Bush or responding to his administration's attacks with counterpoints. The second part also deals with an issue, but one that receives a slightly lower profile than the first part. Points are again made, paragraph by paragraph, with links to op-eds and news stories. The Progress Report has drawn praise from notable progressive figures, including Paul Begala.

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