Edwards rally in Chapel Hill: Where is the America We All Believe in?

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Pretty big rally on the green just south of Chapel Hill tonight. A long wait (never known a political rally to start on time). Couple of quick notes on Edwards and his themes:
Get involved. He promised a “very different campaign” that takes action now. “Take action to change America. . .We’ve got to take it by the horns and bring the change America needs.”

Restore the country’s moral leadership.
“Where is the America we all believe in?”

Called for the country to lead again in respect for individual rights and liberties.
Here’s the clip.

(mov version)

On the war:
“I say to all of you, I reject categorically any escalation of this war.”
Says he rejects this “McCain Doctrine” of a surge in troops.
Says, we need to make it clear to the Iraqis that we are leaving.
“Best way to make that clear is start leaving.”

Spoke out on Darfur, Uganda and AIDS in Africa. On the lack of AIDS drugs to prevent mothers from passing it on to their children; “How can the richest nation stand by and watch this happen.”

Called on the country to kick the foreign oil addiction, to change our habits, to do something about Global Warming on a personal level.

Called for moral leadership through universal health care, fighting poverty, by allowing workers to organize. “If anyone can join the Republican Party just by signing a card, they should be able to join a union the same way.”

Morning Post: Eid

Eid ul-Adha

Raed Jarrar: No victory

Reuters: Outrage among Sunni at Haj

WaPo
Al-Jazeera
BBC

This from the NYT account of the hanging of Saddam Hussein–it reads a little like the first take for the history books:

When Mr. Hussein came to power three years before the Dujail killings, he ruled over an oil-rich country that was an economic and technical powerhouse in the Middle East with rising cultural and political influence. When he hurtled through the trap door of the gallows Saturday morning, the nation he left behind was a smashed and traumatized remnant, desperately trying to restore its own identity and its place in the world.
Video

In between, Mr. Hussein invaded Iran and Kuwait in wars that cost over a million lives and left his military in a shambles, brutally suppressed a Shiite uprising in the south and saw his country become isolated and impoverished under the weight of United Nations-imposed sanctions. Finally, he was ousted by an American-led invasion force in 2003 and the country fell into a new round of internal violence as the rule of law disintegrated and the Western invaders proved unable to control a country in the aftermath of totalitarian rule.

This other short excerpt also reminds me that the prez has no sense of, well, sense. One would think the man would at least stay awake and take in the gravity of the moment, the execution of his sworn enemy.

At President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Tex., a White House spokesman, Scott Stanzel, said Mr. Bush had gone to bed before the execution took place and was not awakened. Mr. Bush had received a briefing from his national security adviser Friday afternoon, when he learned the execution would be carried out within hours, Mr. Stanzel said. Asked why Mr. Bush had gone to sleep before hearing the news, he said Mr. Bush “knew that it was going to happen.”

For posterity:

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Attention citizen journalists

I’ve been to this seminar a couple of times. It’s aimed more at conventional media, but if you plan to cover government in NC, I’d say it’s essential.

Here’s the agenda

North Carolina Press Association, UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication
and UNC School of Government present

How Government Works 2007
Seminar for Local Government Reporters
Friday, January 19, 2007

Knapp-Sanders Building
School of Government
UNC Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

8:15 Registration and coffee

9:00 Overview of local government–David Lawrence

9:45 Taxing and spending by local governments–Kara Millonzi

10:30 Break

10:45 Understanding local government budgets and financial statements–Greg Allison

12:00 Lunch (included)

12:45 Open meetings law–Amanda Martin and David Lawrence

1:45 Break

2:00 Land use law–David Owens

2:45 Election law–Bob Joyce

3:00 Break

3:15 Public employment law–Bob Joyce

4:00 Adjourn

Martin is general counsel of the North Carolina Press Association
Allison, Joyce, Lawrence, Millonzi, and Owens are members of the faculty of the School of Government

Morning Post: Twenty-nine Questions for Old Media

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Twenty-nine Questions for Old Media (as it ponders the internets in 2007)

1. Do you look at your readers or do you look at your numbers?
2. Do you still use words like “chatter,” “gossip” and “noise” in stories about online conversations?
3. Are your readers a community?
4. Why not?
5. How do you quote from blogs?
6. Do you link to past stories or features within stories?
7. How much do you filter your readers’ responses?
8. How do you quote from something on You Tube or a podcast?
9. How long will it be before most newspapers link to other newspapers’ stories on their sites?
10. How long will it be before most newspapers link to blogs and other non-traditional media?
11. Do you still think in terms of a news cycle?
12. Are online polls a valid measure?
13. How do you inform people of how they can respond or get involved?
14. Does the discussion continue after the story is filed?
15. How long has the industry really had “centuries-old standards?”
16. Do items appear on the Net before or after they appear in print?
17. Do items appear in print but not on the Net and vice versa?
18. Do you use feeds and tags?
19. Is it easy to find what’s new on your site?
20. Is it easy to find something old on your site?
21. Have you ever heard of moving pictures?
22. Have you ever heard of talking moving pictures?
23. Is there a map I can look at?
24. What does that song/bird/war/wind/neighbor sound like?
25. Where’s the online edition for my neighborhood?
26. Are your readers allowed to be journalists?
27. Are your journalists allowed to be citizens?
28. Do you think you or anyone else has the answer?
29. Anyone at the paper remember type made from molten lead?

Edwards is in

This morning, John Edwards is making the rounds of the network talk shows to announce he’s running for President–no surprise if you’ve been watching the news and following his announcement swing through the early primary states. (Here’s the link to the official Edwards 08 site)
Last night from New Orleans, around 7:30, he got on a conference call to let a group of us NC bloggers in on what he’s going to say and the direction of the campaign. He said he wanted to get up with us early because the Net is important to getting the message out and needs to be a forethought and not an afterthought.
A couple of interesting points of emphasis:
– The country, he said, can’t wait two years for change. It has to start now. I got the impression that action and not change was the operative word.
– Edwards stressed that it is up the citizens to take the reins to rebuild the country and fix its problems. The idea that some politician is going to come along and save us, he said, is nonsense.

We’ll see how these ideas get sliced and diced over the next few days as well as how the Washington establishment responds to the idea that citizen involvement and not the Great Washed in D.C. is the solution.
Here’s the video they sent us shortly afterward.

Morning Post

McClatchy has sold it’s largest paper–The Star Tribune–for half of what it bought it for in 1998. I was working for the company when they bought it and everyone was told how important the buy was and that we’d have to tighten our belts. Wonder what they’re saying on the inside now.
Menawhile,
– Expect some John Edwards news any minute now.
– President Ford dies
– Yesterday, the Post had a good breakdown of the new chiefs of staff for top congressional committees
Josh made me read a post by Dennis Parager and I now feel icky (mostly because there were two ads for Ann Coulter on the page–shudder)
– Al Kamen on Dr. Video

Morning Post: Reality lives edition

Earlier this month, Jay Rosen penned an excellent essay on what happen to the press during the Bush administration’s coup against reality:

Journalists and talking heads: if this month you wish to tell me that realism is back kindly tell me where you think it had gone to.

The Bush administration’s retreat from empiricism has consequences, of course. It means they don’t have to pay attention to reports like this one on Iran’s deteriorating oil industry. The study’s author makes a strong case for playing the waiting game.

The shortfall represents a loss of about $5.5 billion a year, Stern said. In 2004, Iran’s oil profits were 65 percent of the government’s revenues.

“If we look at that shortfall, and failure to rectify leaks in their refineries, that adds up to a loss of about $10 billion to $11 billion a year,” he said. “That is a picture of an industry in collapse.”

If the United States can “hold its breath” for a few years it may find Iran a much more conciliatory country, he said. And that, Stern said, is good reason to belay any instinct to take on Iran militarily.

Meanwhile,
– Speaking of messes, NYT on the importance of disorganization.
– Dems to reign in the borrow-and-spend GOP budgets

– The toll mounts in the war of choice
– Liberated? Report on Afghan Women