Josh Marshall: "If I'm understanding this correctly, that means that the leaders of
the House Republican caucus have known for almost a year that a member
of their caucus was having cybersex with an underage congressional
page. And apparently they did nothing about it.
"I think this story is about to get a lot bigger."
Kakutani of the Times on Woodward's State of Denial: President Bush emerges as a passive, impatient, sophomoric and
intellectually incurious leader, presiding over a grossly dysfunctional
war cabinet and given to an almost religious certainty that makes him
disinclined to rethink or re-evaluate decisions he has made about the
war. It’s a portrait that stands in stark contrast to the laudatory one
Mr. Woodward drew in 'Bush at War,' his 2002 book...
A quote from Woodward: "The whole atmosphere too often resembled a royal court, with Cheney and
Rice in attendance, some upbeat stories, exaggerated good news and a
good time had by all."
Ben Holder asks why I haven't been writing about Bledsoe's series on David Wray.
I answered in his comments:
As I've said before, I'm reading it with interest and waiting for it to
reach some sort of conclusion. I've made a few comments on it, but we
have yet to reach the stuff that's really at issue: what is Wray's
version of the events that actually led to his departure?
Hammer wrote in January: "The Police Chief David Wray resignation story
isn't about a black book, although there is a black book in it. It
isn't about Greensboro Police Lt. James Hinson or drug dealers,
although they are in it. And most importantly it isn't just about race
although there are some racial factors that cannot be ignored.
story is about honesty and trust, and it can be summed up simply: City
Manager Mitch Johnson, Mayor Keith Holliday, and [the rest of the
Council members] didn't trust former Police Chief David Wray and don't
believe Wray was honest with them."
That's the statement I'm waiting to see addressed.
found Jerry's narrative to be a fascinating look inside the GPD. It has
a clear agenda, but that's fine, it's right on the table so there's no
confusion there. But in terms of actually moving the Wray story
forward, well, that part is still to come.
Also, a minor point, but it would be easier to blog about the series if the Rhino collated it online.
I had an interesting phone call with some folks at Greenprint Denver today. They want to use the web to facilitate the growth of a community around the Greenprint idea -- getting people to talk, share ideas, and take action (e.g., participate in a tree-planting campaign).
Among my suggestions for getting things going: hold meetings in physical space with bloggers, environmental groups, city departments, and other potential partners; find champions in city government and the media to promote and blog about the project; don't limit yourself to a single approach, try both a central Kos-like community site and a loosely-joined network of blogs with an aggregator page at the central site, too. And I sent them here.
They are concerned about creating a safe place for people to comment, without fear of losing their jobs or getting flamed. I didn't have an easy answer to that one, beyond strong moderation at the home site and more open conversation on sites where the hosts allow it. I suggested that all this stuff be discussed early and often, and made available as a FAQ.
The White House ignored an urgent warning in September 2003 from a top Iraq adviser who said that thousands of additional American troops were desperately needed to quell the insurgency there, according to a new book by Bob Woodward, the Washington Post reporter and author. The book describes a White House riven by dysfunction and division over the war.
The warning is described in “State of Denial,” scheduled for publication on Monday by Simon & Schuster. The book says President Bush’s top advisers were often at odds among themselves, and sometimes were barely on speaking terms, but shared a tendency to dismiss as too pessimistic assessments from American commanders and others about the situation in Iraq.
The Post, scooped by the Times on its own writer's book, hurries out a story detailing attempts to dump Rumsfeld, and saying:
[T]here was a vast difference between what the White House and Pentagon had known about the situation in Iraq and what they were saying publicly. In memos, reports and internal debates administration officials have voiced their concern about the conduct of the war, even while Bush and cabinet members such as Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have insisted that the war was going well.
Last May, Woodward writes, the intelligence division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff circulated a secret intelligence estimate predicting that violence will not only continue for the rest of this year in Iraq but increase in 2007.
On the bright side for Bush, this is detail about stuff most people have known for a while, and maybe it will distract attention from the news that "Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff had hundreds more contacts with top White House officials than those Bush administration officials had previously acknowledged, according to a congressional report to be released on Friday."
Bush on energy policy: "Energy is a significant priority. And as a matter of
fact, it's one of the top priorities because energy diversification --
in other words, diversifying away from foreign sources of oil not only
has got economic implications, it's got national security implications.
"It's very important for the President and the
administration to think about that which has to happen in order to
achieve long-term -- positive long-term consequences for the country.
Energy diversification is one. Encouraging conservation of energy,
non-renewable energy sources, all goes hand-in-hand with
Don't forget: Carolina FreedomNet, a conference featuring panel discussions by NC bloggers and a speech by Power Line's Scott Johnson is coming up just one week from tomorrow at the Sheraton/Koury Center here in Greensboro. $25 admission.
I've been asked if the timing and location of this event are a problem for me, given the proximity along the space/time continuum to ConvergeSouth. Nope. I wish the scheduling had worked out better, but CFN was planned around Johnson's availability, GSO's central location, and the Sheraton's wireless access. John Hood, an honorary member of the GSO blogging scene, has been in touch with me early and often about his show. And it's a very different animal than CS, with traditional panels and a keynote, an admission fee, and a definite political point of view. I hope to be there.
I visited Tom Steadman's journalism seminar at UNCG this evening. Fun.
Question from a student: given all the uncertainty, is a job as a professional print journalist worth considering these days? My answer: yes, but don't define yourself by the platform or medium in which you happen to operate at a given moment, print or the web or other. The business model is broken but journalism itself is entering a really exciting time, and there will always be a market for talented people, and as long as you can tolerate risk and understand that you don't go into journalism for the money in the first place, well, go for it.
Question: why doesn't the N&R use video at its website, and generally embrace the web more completely? Answer: I dunno, but they need to do all that stuff.
FactCheck.org on Vernon Robinson's latest ad: "We find the ad misleading on several counts... It was Robinson's decision to put this fact-twisting bunk on the air. If he had greater respect for the facts you wouldn't have to be reading this."
Greenprint Denver is a community site built to track and support the eponymous initiative, which is described by mayor John Hickenlooper as "an action agenda for sustainable development for the City and County of Denver that demonstrates local government can be an effective force for innovation and leadership to improve the environment."
USA Today: "Newspapers grappling with declining circulation and profit margins can turn themselves around if they quickly develop publications and affiliated websites packed with local information, according to an eagerly awaited industry report Wednesday."
The report is by the Newspaper Next project, which is selling copies if you want one.
An earlier blog post by NN asked a good question: "'Local' is the answer -- but which 'local'?"
One financial model suggested by the report seems to involve a lot of online service journalism and data-sifting. While this may be achievable for local publishers, it may also be part of the same unbundling of the journalistic business model that is causing all these problems in the first place. If you can make money providing classified ads and local search and quick-hit recommendations and reviews, why bother with reporting and analysis of news?
The easy answer is that people who are connected to a place want and need to know about it. The harder question: do people, especially the younger readers craved by advertisers, feel connected to their communities?
Hammer: "The City Council is immensely proud of the rebirth of the downtown, but councilmembers don’t seem to realize that any weekend, something could happen that could drastically alter the way people now feel about downtown Greensboro."
Clarey: "John Hammer's downtown is not a cultural center or town square, but a playground for spenders, decent people who didn't drive all the way out there to interact with anyone who doesn't intend to sample the fine shops, theaters or eateries.
FT: "A controversial Mozart opera adapted to include a scene showing Mohammed's severed head on stage appears set for a new run in Berlin after the German government said the show must go on as a 'signal of closer dialogue' with the country's 3.4m Muslims.
"Mozart's Idomeneo was this week removed from the programme of Berlin's Deutsche Oper because of police fears it would be targeted by Islamic extremists...officials said on Wednesday night that efforts were under way to ensure the opera, already shown dozens of times in Berlin since 2003, returned to the stage."
An annotated copy of the released portion of the National Intelligence Estimate, at Slate, where Timothy Noah says: "Bush was clearly wrong to suggest that the Times mischaracterized the NIE. The document he released says what the New York Times reported."
This clip was shot in Scottsburg, VA, and edited at our kitchen table. When Edward lists the places he has lived he sounds a little like Harlan Pepper naming varieties of nuts or hounds. My suggestion that the AAA team interview only persons named Edward from here to Cali was not taken seriously.
Lisa often ventures out of her comfort zone in search of a good picture. She wrote this in the statement that hangs with her photos at the Green Bean:
I usually feel two things when I’m taking a picture:fascination and fear. The fascination comes from really looking at an environment for the first time. The fear is both this discomfort with how the image makes me feel, as well as an apprehension about how my presence with a camera is going to be interpreted by passersby. Sometimes people want to know why I’m taking pictures. They can get confrontational. I have to get past the fear to satisfy my fascination.
The show is up for another couple of weeks.
She took this picture on Sunday (click to enlarge):
From an email in response to my column on branding Greensboro, from Derrick Daye (reprinted with permission):
If properly designed, the Greensboro brand should promise relevant differentiated benefits to its target audience(s). Carefully choosing the most powerful benefits is key as it will not only result in brand preference, but brand insistence. That is, the brand will be perceived to be the only viable solution for the customer's need. Put another way, the customer will not pursue substitutes if the brand is not available. The brand establishes a consideration set of one. (Optimistic for Greensboro? Maybe not depending on the goals)
The optimal benefits for a brand to claim are those that are (1) very important to the target audience, (2) supported by organizational/governmental strengths and (3) not being addressed by the competition. Ideally, the brand tries to 'own' only one or two key benefits, as that is all a prospect/customer will remember. The benefits should be understandable, believable, unique and compelling.
Establishing the brand positioning requires a consensus from community stakeholders who then must back the output of the process and speak in a unified voice.
While this is easier said than done, the process can deliver great benefits.
What it looks like when a Senate candidate runs against Bush.
And what it looks like to bang on a character issue in the age of web video. (I know I'm literal-minded, but I have to admit that when the guy says Allen bullied the only person in the room who didn't look like him, I said out loud to my computer screen that he was also the only person in the room known to work for Jim Webb.)
Jeri Rowe: Like Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs and Blind Boy Fuller, she became a giant of North Carolina traditional music. She showed the world how a slightly built woman from the North Carolina mountains can make a guitar sing. It was gorgeous to hear and beautiful to see: a woman with swept back hair, dancing her long, delicate fingers across the neck of a guitar, playing the Piedmont blues she first learned from her daddy when she was just 3.
And whenever she played — whether it was at MerleFest in Wilkesboro or The Depot in Greensboro — she ushered us back to a North Carolina many of us don't recognize today.
It was a time dictated by the farm and factory whistle, when people gathered in barns and on back porches to pick through tunes passed down from family or friend. That's what made our state into what Tim Duffy calls "one of the holy lands of American music.''
AP: "Ms. Baker became a hit on the international folk-festival circuit, playing Piedmont blues, a mix of the clattery rhythms of bluegrass and blues."
James Inhofe, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, says of global warming that the "threat is originating from the software installed on the hard drives of the publicity seeking climate modelers."
He spends a lot of time on the fact that scientists have in the past predicted global cooling. It's a popular argument among warming skeptics, and one that I really don't get -- science changes with better data, that's part of the definition of science. Scientists used to believe in a steady-state universe, too. I guess it's a reminder to keep an open mind, but it doesn't really challenge a specific set of facts.
He also calls out the "Hollywood elites," which I mention because I always find it amusing when a United States Senator derides somebody else as a member of an elite group.
And his media roster omits the recent Economist package.
The rest of his speech, including the specifics on data and scientific consensus? Have at it in the comments...
It's easy to think about building communities online as a geek-to-geek inititative, and of course to some degree a network has to have people plugged in...but when I read a post like this from Cara Michele (and I urge you to read it even if you don't care at all about online networks, it's important stuff) I realize that communities can be built online even if large groups of people don't have access to computers. There's a lesson in there for all kinds of network-builders. Michele is using the web to tie her wired community to her homeless community, something she has done with measurable results in the past.
I hope if the moment is right she'll join in the open conversation about communities at ConvergeSouth.
...but Tony Snow needs to work on marketing: ''We're having them closed because they are in private homes,'' Snow said. ''People understand what the president stands for. He's saying things you've heard before.''