Jeff Kurzon's Living Room, Union Sqaure, Times Square, King Arthur

SoHo MeetUp: The New York Obama for President Chapter

You get off on Broadway/Lafayette, and then you go walk down to Broome St. You jog if you are running late. You go up a rickety flight of stairs. And you enter this large living room of Jeff Kurzon. This is the kind of setting I have been imaging when I have attended numerous other MeetUps. I prefer the large living room to the bar. I am not big on the obligatory drink, drowned out talk. Before the day was over, I proposed to Jeff that we use the room to engage in ice-breaking, team-building exercises. Jeff and I were the last two people in Union Square, where we went after the brief meeting in the living room.

Jeff is Armenian, I am half Indian. We are both progressive. He is a corporate lawyer working for one of the top 100 law firms in the country, the New York City chapter of the same firm where Obama met Michelle in Chicago. He is a corporate lawyer, I am a tech entrepreneur on the ground floor. I have a string of flops from the dot com era. But this is one effort where I am totally in-charge. I don't take responsibility for the flops.

I showed up Sunday. This was my second time. I showed up a little late - 10 minutes - because I got a call from an investor in Arizona just when I was getting ready to leave home for the train station: best news to date on that front. Things are cooking. Web 2.0 + geography being irrelevant + the butterfuly effect = amazing stuff. I have proven that for the democracy movement in Nepal, twice. I want to relive it corporate, a company functioning almost exclusively in a Web 2.0 environment. That should be very efficient, extremely cheap, and nimble: zip, zip, zip.

The first time they put me - and others - into a movie by a BBC team. The movie should be out in early 2008. Watch out.

This is the first MeetUp of its kind. I expect there to be 50-100 by the time Obama is in the White House.

Jeff is keen on getting as many New Yorkers as possible to register to vote. He wants the February 5 prize. I am more keen on finding ways to send as many people as possible to That is why I am thinking Times Square. You get people from all over the country.

The MeetUp started at noon. Jeff and I left Union Square at sunset. I sneaked to a nearby McDonald's somewhere along the way. When I got back, the three women were gone. Jeff and I stayed a few more hours. I beat him twice on a chessboard. Then a chessmaster showed up. He cost me five bucks. He beat me a few times. He cost Jeff two bucks. Then an Israeli dude showed up. He was a master himself. Two masters played. The dude did not want to be photographed. "Do you know who I am?"

I met a few lefty loonies. Like this one guy who asked me if I believed the official 9/11 story, that it was the Al Qaeda, and not an insider job. I said yes, I did. "You must be from a different country," he said.

I met a few different black men who were for "Hillary." I listened to them at length. These were all men wounded by the MLK assassination, black folks with low self-esteem in terms of how high a black politician can hope to go.

"Barack is Irish," Jeff interjected a few times.

I met two Italians who were Rudy fans. They were convinced Rudy was going to be president.

"You better like ravioli," one said.

We drank copious quantities of water. I remember being hungry and thirsty a few different times. It was hot. I don't mind hot, any more than I mind filth, city filth.

Three Things

I suggested.

(1) I want to videoblog the future MeetUps.
(2) I want to introduce some ice breakers, some team-building exercises into the MeetUp.
(3) I want to go spend a few hours in Times Square each week loaded with business cards.

King Arthur

Jeff mentioned. There is this guy Arthur, the first guy Senator Schumer hugged after he got re-elected. Arthur is leading the Obama organizational effort in Manhattan. He is a lawyer, an organizer.

My style is to primarily stay informed through Google News, to blog as if I had direct access to Obama himself. Locally my style is to show up for select events, get to know people like Jeff. As long as the work is being done, I don't have to be the one doing it. Actually I am not good at nuts and bolts stuff at all. Others are better. Let them do it. I am not going to feel lost if the ground organization gets too big. I am going to feel happy. Delirious.

I am more like an outside consultant who understands the stuff, and makes strategic suggestions. This blog is my primary tool. This is my primary contribution.

Manhattan4Obama Kick-Off Organizational Meeting

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2007, 7:15 PM 20070717T231500Z
St. Vincent's Hospital Cafeteria
12th Street at 7th Ave
New York, NY 10011

The first MeetUp, we went to a bar across the street afterwards, the BBC movie crew in tow. Gary Younge, the black British dude - "Google me, I am all over the place" - wanted to know if America was ready for a black president.

I learned Emily worked for ClearChannel.

"I don't own a television. So tell me about your channel."

Ends up ClearChannel is nothing to do with TV. It owns radio stations.

That first evening ended with three Indians - me, Raj, Vishesh - having an intense conversation around Raj's dot com idea of a social networking site for doctors. Everyone else had left by then. We were Indians unaffected by the memo fiasco. We were hard core.

In The News

Renewing American Leadership Barack Obama Foreign Affairs After Iraq, we may be tempted to turn inward. That would be a mistake. The American moment is not over, but it must be seized anew. We must bring the war to a responsible end and then renew our leadership -- military, diplomatic, moral -- to confront new threats and capitalize on new opportunities. America cannot meet this century's challenges alone; the world cannot meet them without America. ...... we stood for and fought for the freedoms sought by billions of people beyond our borders ...... a warming planet that will spur new diseases, spawn more devastating natural disasters, and catalyze deadly conflicts. ..... a vision that draws from the past but is not bound by outdated thinking ...... To see American power in terminal decline is to ignore America's great promise and historic purpose in the world. ...... bring the Iraq war to a responsible end and refocus our attention on the broader Middle East ....... in the end, only Iraqi leaders can bring real peace and stability to their country. ...... we seek no permanent bases in Iraq. We should leave behind only a minimal over-the-horizon military force in the region to protect American personnel and facilities, continue training Iraqi security forces, and root out al Qaeda. ........ focus our attention and influence on resolving the festering conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians ...... Israel, our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy ...... a strengthened Iran, a chaotic Iraq, the resurgence of al Qaeda, the reinvigoration of Hamas and Hezbollah ....... Tough-minded diplomacy, backed by the whole range of instruments of American power -- political, economic, and military -- could bring success even when dealing with long-standing adversaries such as Iran and Syria. ....... Although we must not rule out using military force, we should not hesitate to talk directly to Iran. ....... revitalize our military ..... The Pentagon cannot certify a single army unit within the United States as fully ready to respond in the event of a new crisis or emergency beyond Iraq; 88 percent of the National Guard is not ready to deploy overseas. ....... to put boots on the ground in order to take on foes that fight asymmetrical and highly adaptive campaigns on a global scale. ....... adding 65,000 soldiers to the army and 27,000 marines. ...... training -- including in foreign languages and other critical skills. ....... the spread of nuclear weapons, material, and technology and the risk that a nuclear device will fall into the hands of terrorists. The explosion of one such device would bring catastrophe, dwarfing the devastation of 9/11 and shaking every corner of the globe. ........ Al Qaeda has made it a goal to bring a "Hiroshima" to the United States. .... There is now highly enriched uranium -- some of it poorly secured -- sitting in civilian nuclear facilities in over 40 countries around the world. In the former Soviet Union, there are approximately 15,000-16,000 nuclear weapons and stockpiles of uranium and plutonium capable of making another 40,000 weapons -- all scattered across 11 time zones. People have already been caught trying to smuggle nuclear material to sell on the black market. ........ America must not rush to produce a new generation of nuclear warheads. ..... provide $50 million to jump-start the creation of an International Atomic Energy Agency-controlled nuclear fuel bank ........ sustained, direct, and aggressive diplomacy ........ Bali to London, Baghdad to Algiers, Mumbai to Mombasa to Madrid ...... Because this enemy operates globally, it must be confronted globally. .... refocus our efforts on Afghanistan and Pakistan -- the central front in our war against al Qaeda .. confronting terrorists where their roots run deepest ..... To defeat al Qaeda, I will build a twenty-first-century military and twenty-first-century partnerships as strong as the anticommunist alliance that won the Cold War to stay on the offense everywhere from Djibouti to Kandahar. ............. spending homeland security dollars on the basis of risk. .... Today, we rely largely on the same institutions and practices that were in place before 9/11. We need to revisit intelligence reform, going beyond rearranging boxes on an organizational chart. To keep pace with highly adaptable enemies, we need technologies and practices that enable us to efficiently collect and share information within and across our intelligence agencies. We must invest still more in human intelligence and deploy additional trained operatives and diplomats with specialized knowledge of local cultures and languages. And we should institutionalize the practice of developing competitive assessments of critical threats and strengthen our methodologies of analysis. ................. when people have dignity and opportunity, "the chance of extremism being welcomed greatly, if not completely, diminishes." ....... strengthening weak states and helping to rebuild failed ones. ...... deepen our knowledge of the circumstances and beliefs that underpin extremism ...... steady support for political reformers and civil society that enabled our victory in the Cold War ....... Needed reform of these alliances and institutions will not come by bullying other countries to ratify changes we hatch in isolation. ....... In the case of Europe, we dismissed European reservations about the wisdom and necessity of the Iraq war. In Asia, we belittled South Korean efforts to improve relations with the North. In Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, we failed to adequately address concerns about immigration and equity and economic growth. In Africa, we have allowed genocide to persist for over four years in Darfur and have not done nearly enough to answer the African Union's call for more support to stop the killing...................... terrorist cells in the Philippines to avian flu in Indonesia ...... We will compete with China in some areas and cooperate in others. ....... Brazil, India, Nigeria, and South Africa ....... the United Nations requires far-reaching reform ....... By 2050, famine could displace more than 250 million people worldwide. ....... China will soon replace America as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases. ..... help developing countries leapfrog the carbon-energy-intensive stage of development ...... those that pollute the most: the United States, China, India, the European Union, and Russia. .... By 2050, global demand for low-carbon energy could create an annual market worth $500 billion. ........ ending the practices of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, of detaining thousands without charge or trial, of maintaining a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of the law. ......... strong legislatures, independent judiciaries, honest police forces, free presses, vibrant civil societies ........ since extremely poor societies and weak states provide optimal breeding grounds for disease, terrorism, and conflict, the United States has a direct national security interest in dramatically reducing global poverty and joining with our allies in sharing more of our riches to help those most in need ........ building capable, democratic states that can establish healthy and educated communities, develop markets, and generate wealth ....... combat the corruption that rots societies and governments from within ....... a $2 billion Global Education Fund that will bring the world together in eliminating the global education deficit ...... Confronted by Hitler, Roosevelt said that our power would be "directed toward ultimate good as well as against immediate evil. ....... help to working Americans burdened by the dislocations of a global economy ....... when millions, like my father, waited every day for a letter in the mail that would grant them the privilege to come to America to study, work, live, or just be free. ...... an America that battles immediate evils, promotes an ultimate good, and leads the world once more

New Terror Threat? Radicalized Professionals Newsweek Bilal Abdullah, a medical doctor ..... Abdullah's story—how he had been radicalized in Iraq after the March 2003 invasion—and saw the fulfillment of their fears, that the war in Iraq would serve only to breed terrorists, who would, in time, strike out against the West. ..... eight suspects in Britain and Australia—seven of them physicians and one a medical technician ..... the most dangerous extremists are not embittered young men without jobs or hope. They are the elites, or, more typically, the sons of the elite, who are working out some grievance or vengeance and have the know-how and means to find truly dangerous weapons ........ Going to Britain from India, Ahmed is an engineer ..... Instructions on making a car bomb are not hard to find on the Internet. But the two Mercedeses found in Central London packed with propane cylinders and nails were crude and possibly ineffectual. ......... Scion of a prominent Iraqi family, Abdullah, 27, was born in England, where his father had come to study medicine. The family returned to Baghdad, where they reportedly enjoyed the privileges of a Sunni family with good connections to Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime. Quiet and studious, Abdullah was always devout. ........ The troubled young Abdullah would have preferred being a mullah, said the relative. "I saw him praying one time and he had tears in his eyes." ..... intensely followed the news in Iraq by Internet ..... as for Al Qaeda, "he liked what they were doing in Iraq." ...... Mohammed Asha, arrested, along with his wife, Marwa, as they drove up the motorway between England and Scotland. The child of educated, middle-class parents, Asha graduated from the Jubilee School in Amman, Jordan (set up by Queen Noor for gifted children), with the third highest academic ranking in the country. His grades in medical school were a perfect 4.0. "About once in 10 years a student comes along that good," says Zuhair Abu Faris, head of the Jordan Medical Association. ......... Al Qaeda in Iraq was planning "large scale" terror attacks against Britain and other Western countries ...... the operation would be on a par with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and would "shake the Roman throne." ....... a video surfaced, purporting to show a "graduation ceremony" at which a senior Taliban commander was depicted sending off squads of masked men to be suicide bombers in Germany, Britain, Canada and the United States. ...... the current situation recalled the summer of 2001, when, as he put it, "obscure threats surfaced, which, as we know, became reality."
The Changing Course of Libya Kaddafi, whom Ronald Reagan once called "the mad dog of the Middle East," has now become, in Blair's words, "very easy to deal with." ..... Libya now cooperates more closely with the CIA in antiterror efforts than virtually all its neighbors ..... Libya remains a serious threat to itself. Kaddafi now faces worrisome challenges from within: an underdeveloped economy (outside the profitable oil sector), rising public discontent, high unemployment and, perhaps most threatening, a surge in Islamic fundamentalism. ...... "Kaddafi has lost his position at the forefront of Arab political activism to Islamic fundamentalists. ...... Libya remains strangely decentralized ..... relies on black crude for 95 percent of its exports and 60 percent of its total GDP ...... any big oil project takes at least a decade ...... With an annual per capita income of more than $6,000, Libya is by far the richest African nation ....... On the street, Libya feels like one of the former Eastern European states before the fall of communism, albeit with a desert climate and friendly populace. Only the barest signs of entrepreneurial spirit are visible. Storefronts are drab; plastic bags and paper litter the countryside. You can walk for an hour through the Tripoli souk (bazaar) without anyone offering to sell you anything. ........ Libya could easily remake itself as a tourist paradise. ...... the vested interests of the bureaucracy, the personal investments of the Kaddafi family, complex and onerous regulations and outright corruption have kept foreign investors away ....... Libya the third most repressive economy in the world. ...... one in three young people are now unemployed ..... disastrous economic experiments Kaddafi conducted over the years, such as an effort to eliminate small retail shops in the name of "Arab socialism." ....... "No Libyan works in the sun; we hire Egyptians and Africans for that." (Foreigners may total a third of the Libya's 5.7 million inhabitants.) Of those Libyans who do have jobs, half work in a bureaucracy with 900,000 employees. And Taher El Jehaimi, former Libyan chief of planning, estimates that half those public employees are unneeded. ....... the dictator seems unable to control the lower reaches of his own bureaucracy ...... Tripoli's generosity in the Lockerbie case (it gave victims' families $10 million each) .... after nearly four decades in power he's now the longest-serving leader in the Middle East.... the historical irony: after three decades of isolation, Libya may be emerging as the West's best hope in the turbulent Middle East.
U.S. Power Wanes in Latin America Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, Cuba's Fidel Castro, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Bolivia's Evo Morales, Ecuador's Rafael Correa and perhaps soon Guatemala's Alvaro Colón and even Argentina's Néstor Kirchner—form an increasingly cohesive coalition and are reaching out to rogues on other continents. After neglecting Latin America for five years, Washington's influence is at a low point. And its new rival, Russia, is gaining ground. ...... When his reform plan recently collapsed, with little prospect of revival before mid-2009, the response from down South was immediate: Mexico and the countries of Central America issued a strong statement blasting the U.S. Senate for rejecting the bill. Many Latin American countries see immigration as a fundamental foreign-policy issue. ........ Crossings will become more expensive and more dangerous, but probably not more scarce. ...... Chávez .. headed to Russia, Belarus and Iran instead, where he got a warm welcome. ...... the construction of a Kalashnikov plant in Maracay. Chávez has declared his intention to use the plant to "arm every Venezuelan patriot." The factory, of course, will only supplement the 100,000 AK-47s he purchased from Vladimir Putin last year, many of which have now arrived in Venezuela. .......... Where does all this leave Washington? Isolated and weakened.
Levy: Why We Went Nuts About the iPhone selling an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 units the first weekend .... moved more iPhones that weekend than any previous cell phone sold in a month ..... the beautiful screen, the clever multitouch navigation and the well-designed and -integrated applications make this gizmo a genuine breakthrough. ..... a five-ounce slab of silicon, aluminum and glass ..... 100 million customers discovered Apple's tiny music player, and bonded with it as they had with no previous gadget. ...... Our everyday tools are the stuff of 1950s science-fiction novels. ..... promises to perform its duties with beauty and pizzazz—Apple's trademarks—we get a visceral buzz that's as much artistic enthusiasm as consumerism. ..... In 1967, it was "All You Need Is Love." In 2007, it's "All You Need Is AT&T Activation." Welcome to the summer of technolust.
Dickey: Al Qaeda’s New Thinking the “intellectual authors” of the earlier plots and very probably of this one, already are well known ..... Abu Musab al-Suri ... “Francis Fukuyama of Al Qaeda” ..... the doctrines he published previously on the Web. His chef d’oeuvre, “The Call for an International Islamic Resistance,” is 1,604 pages long, and is gaining an ever wider audience not only among would-be terrorists, but among those who would try to stop them..... Born Mustafa bin Abd al-Qadir Setmariam Nasar in 1958 in Syria, and educated there as a mechanical engineer, al-Suri has established terrorist connections literally all over the map: Syria, Jordan, Spain (where he married and became a citizen), Afghanistan (where he trained fighters and worked his way up in the councils of Osama bin Laden as, not least, a media adviser), France, Algeria and in Great Britain when “Londonistan” was the great refuge for Muslim dissidents from around the world. Fair skinned with red hair, and speaking Spanish, English and French in addition to Arabic, he moved easily among Europeans. ....... One of his great goals is to see the United States attacked using explosives laced with radioactive materials: “A dirty bomb for a dirty nation,” as he put it. ....... his wider approach to what U.S. officials have called “fourth-generation warfare,” where no clear battle lines, or, for that matter, borders, are respected. He disdains old, hierarchical jihadi organizations, espousing instead complete decentralization of a global war where “groups of guys,” as American analysts like to call them—groups much like the doctors arrested in Britain and Australia this week—will operate almost independently. ....... isolate the self-created cells completely from one another before and during their attacks in the West ..... contacts among several groups that operated in the U.K. from 2004 to early 2007 were much more extensive than initially reported .... the visits of their ringleaders to secret training camps in Pakistan ...... a strong urge by these people to reach back to the leaderships of Al Qaeda ..... There’s this need to be touched on the shoulder and told, ‘Yes, you are a member of the larger global jihad' ...... The facilitators might supply some start-up money and training, but they’re supposed to “vanish from the scene completely before any jihadi operations commence ..... They don’t want to leave any telltale footprints that could compromise the rest of the network. ...... advocates “causing mass civilian casualties’s strict separation between operative cells on the one hand and media and propaganda on the other ...... What matters most, according to Lia, is the quantity, not the quality of small terrorist cells willing to attack as often and as effectively as they can manage. ....... Al-Suri is not a big believer in killing yourself ...... his focus on the doctrines of war rather than dogmas of faith ..... “no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. ........ al-Suri “comes close to ridiculing the martyrdom obsession” of many would-be jihadis ...... the impact in terms of confusing, paralyzing and terrorizing the enemy
True or False: We Are Losing The War Against Radical Islam
Men and Depression: New Treatments Most days, he attended Senate meetings and appeared on behalf of clients at the courthouse. But privately, he was irritable and short-tempered, ruminating endlessly over his cases and becoming easily frustrated by small things, like deciding which TV show to watch with his girlfriend.
Health: Can Exercise Make You Smarter? Nearly every semester in his classroom, he says, students on the women's cross-country team set the curve on his exams.

How Obama Is Shaking Up Campaign Newsweek West was questioning why Obama was 600 miles away, announcing his bid for the White House in Springfield, Ill. Did he really care about black voters? ....... Over the next two hours, Obama explained his Illinois state Senate record on criminal justice and affordable health care. West asked Obama how he understood the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and interrogated him about a single phrase in Obama's 2004 Democratic-convention speech: that America was "a magical place" for his Kenyan father. ....... he settled his own struggle with racial identity (as the son of an African father and white, Kansan mother) in his late teens. ...... To the candidate, the debate says more about America's state of mind than it does about him. ....... 59 percent—says the country is ready to elect an African-American president. That's up from 37 percent at the start of the decade ..... a significant percentage of the country is either skeptical or prejudiced .... few are as complex or emotional as the politics of race ...... For Obama and his wife, Michelle, navigating the racial riptides can be uncomfortably personal. ...... a string of racist e-mails sent to his Senate office ....... Many also are excited by the color of his skin and the chance to turn the page on more than two centuries of painful racial history. ........ Obama offered an unprompted statement about "post-racial" politics: "That term I reject because it implies that somehow my campaign represents an easy shortcut to racial reconciliation ........ conservative whites, who have been surprised by his lack of grievance and encouraged by his pragmatism ......Obama's first campaign was among the mostly white voters at Harvard Law School. ....... he did not demonize the people on the other side of the dispute ...... rewarded the conservatives by appointing several to the masthead of the law review ...... her mother still lives in the humble house where Michelle was born ...... "Yeah, he's probably a black guy who can talk straight," she recalls saying to herself. "This is a black guy who's biracial who grew up in Hawaii? He's got to be weird." .......... Three years later, they married. .... Michelle had to work through her early misperceptions about him; now, she says, the nation needs to do the same. ..... He became very entrenched and rooted in the black community on the South Side. He is very much a black man, but he's very much the son of his mother, who was very much a white woman, and he grew up with white grandparents. ..... Obama has a rare ability to work comfortably in different worlds ..... Barack has that capacity to move in and out of privilege and power. ..... He befriended an eclectic group of lawmakers ..... Obama was handed the herculean task of reaching a compromise. ..... Obama's seat on the Senate floor was close to the bathroom, a lowly place he'd taken as a freshman. But he learned how to use it to his advantage: he would watch legislators going into the restroom and buttonhole them on their way out. .......... Dillard was struck by Obama's discomfort. "I remember thinking, 'I feel sorry for this guy because he's got to justify himself to blacks and whites alike'." .......... Obama can be idealistic about race, but he can also be blunt in ways that few white politicians could ever pull off. ..... "There are a lot of folks, a lot of brothers, who are walking around and they look like men," Obama said. "They've got whiskers, they might even have sired a child, but it's not clear to me that they are full-grown men." The senator urged them not just to get a job, but to start a business; not just to stay at home, but to turn off the TV....... "Sometimes," he said, "I go to an eighth-grade graduation and there's all that pomp and circumstance and gowns and flowers. It's just eighth grade, people. Just give them a handshake. Congratulations. Now get your butt in the library." ........ the middle ground between the need for personal duty and the imperative of social action ..... Obama's innate sense of caution and compromise .... "The Audacity of Hope." .... Reverend Wright ... one of the top 15 black preachers in America. ...... "Fifteen minutes before Shabbos I get a call from Barack," a clearly perturbed Reverend Wright told The New York Times. "One of his members had talked him into uninviting me." ........ "We as a black community are struggling with our own identity and what it means to be black," she tells NEWSWEEK. "We see what is shown of us on TV but we also know that is not the full picture. So what is the picture? We're figuring it out. It's a conversation that needs to take place." ........ "When I went back to Washington [from Selma], some people slapped me on the back and said, 'That was a wonderful celebration of African-American history.' I said, 'You don't understand: that was a celebration of American history.' ........ in ways his forebears could hardly imagine, he's still got his eyes on the prize.
After the Trailblazers operatives launched a whispering campaign ..... Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty .... In D.C., which is slightly more than half black, Fenty carried every voting district, including the heavily white ones. ...... criticized by some blacks in Washington for appointing nonblack police, fire and school chiefs. ....... combating the media's tendency to oversimplify by labeling them "postracial" politicians (a term they all reject) and by casting them in opposition to their political forebears. "We're the beneficiaries of a lot of trailblazing and hard work and sacrifice from African-Americans who came before," says Brown of Maryland (who, like Obama and Fenty, is biracial). ....... Booker graduated from Stanford and Yale Law and Patrick and Davis both graduated from Harvard. Booker, who grew up in a mostly white neighborhood, says his father used to say that the Bookers were "the raisins on top of the ice cream." "I luxuriate in black humor and black food and music, but for me, it's a portal to transport myself into a deeper understanding of humanity," says Booker, the Popeye who can sound like a philosopher king. "Lincoln has a wonderful quote where he says that everyone is born an original, but sadly most men die copies. I don't want to die a copy."
Transcript: NEWSWEEK's Interview With Barack Obama with Cornel it was just a matter of calling him up, introducing myself and having a conversation. ......... Me introducing myself, having a conversation, and trying to cut through the noise that is created by political opponents or media that's looking for a good story or my own fumbles and gaffes ....... passion for justice and fairness ..... maintaining my voice through this process is critical and it can be a difficult task. There are a lot of forces at work designed to homogenize candidates and there's a premium placed on risk avoidance and not making mistakes. ......... we had given 500 press credentials that day ..... there's always a tension between getting things done and how people experience issues in very visceral, emotional ways ...... trying to see the world through the eyes of people you don't agree with ...... discovered I had 11 percent name recognition ...... a young man's mistake. Just because you think you're smart, you think you can shake things up........ didn't know a soul when I moved to Chicago. ...... I ran Project Vote without much supervision. ...... I've been going by my instincts of what I think is right. ...... Solving our racial problems in this country will require concrete steps, significant investment. We're going to have a lot of work to do to overcome the long legacy of Jim Crow and slavery. It can't be purchased on the cheap. .......... these issues aren't just solved by electing a black president. ..... there's a temptation to posit me in contrast to Jesse [Jackson] or [Al] Sharpton, and the thing I am constantly trying to explain is that I'm a direct outgrowth of the civil rights movement
Cose: How Far Have We Really Come on Race in America? Barack Obama is both transracial and largely defined by race. He stands with one foot in a longed-for postracial future and the other in America's thoroughly racialized past. That reality, along with his stirring message of hope, gives his candidacy much of its power. ........ Obama and Bill Richardson, a Latino and governor of New Mexico, were warmly received at the annual meeting of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Orlando, Fla., earlier this month, but Clinton got more applause. ........ Clinton garnered 60 percent of the votes from prospective Latino voters. Obama and Richardson received 12 and 9 percent, respectively. Part of the problem, for both Obama and Richardson, is that they are relatively unknown among Latinos. Indeed, many Latinos don't even realize Richardson is Latino. ........ "A person of color is a person of color, whether Hispanic or Asian. If Barack makes it, we make it." ..... Obama's Hawaiian roots and his half Indonesian sister. ...... 80 percent of registered voters said they would vote for a qualified Hispanic—but only 40 percent thought the country was "ready to elect a Hispanic president." ........ a Latino politician with Barack Obama's charisma has not yet surfaced on the national level. ........ "The Presumed Alliance," a book that explores black-Latino politics. ....... many states with large Latino populations, including California, Illinois and Texas, have scheduled earlier primaries
Poll: Americans Ready to Elect a Black President an unbroken 218-year streak of electing white male presidents ...... Large majorities report a willingness to vote for either a woman or an African-American candidate ... those numbers drop significantly when respondents are asked whether the country is ready to accept a black or a woman in the White House. ........ 92 percent of the NEWSWEEK Poll’s respondents claim they would vote for a black candidate (up from 83 percent in 1991), only 59 percent believe the country is actually ready for an African-American president (an improvement over 37 percent in a 2000 CBS News poll). Similarly, 86 percent of voters say they would vote for a female commander in chief, but only 58 percent believe the country is ready for one (up from 40 percent in a 1996 CBS poll). ...... In a head-to-head race, though, Clinton dominates Obama 56 to 33 percent. ...... Both candidates are considered more qualified for office by nonwhites than by whites. ...... 27 percent say they’ve never heard of him or don't have an opinion, down from 60 percent ........ over a third of voters think the country is ready to elect a Mormon; 50 percent don’t. .... the idea of race more broadly being a factor in education or business is a solidly unpopular one. Eight in 10 (82 percent) of adults say race should not be allowed as a factor in making a decision about employment or education
Live Talk: Wolffe on Obama and Race
Photo Gallery: Reaching Out

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The Australian
Iraq may not meet goals set by Bush Boston Globe
Obama: Promise and Peril
RealClearPolitics the people who disagree with his particular answers are neither evil nor ignorant ..... intelligence, perceptiveness, and empathy .... Obama has run a top-rate political organization to date. I think that he is well positioned to capture the nomination. ....... the premise of Obama's candidacy is that he intends to change the tone of politics in Washington - and that the evidence that he can do this is the force of his personality. ...... 1988 and 2004. In both years, the GOP was able to cast opponents as somehow beneath the office - thus deflecting, at least to a degree, any debate over issues that favor Democrats ...... When the other side attempts to recast you, you really need to respond twice as hard. Kerry and Dukakis did not do that. ...... he is more charming than Kerry or Dukakis ..... the political environment favors Democrats so much right now that his weaknesses may not even matter ....... the nation will treat the GOP as Pennsylvania treated Rick Santorum last cycle. It did not matter how much money Santorum spent, how clever his ads were, or how incisive his campaign message was; the good people of the Commonwealth had had enough of him ........ I doubt very seriously that a greenhorn like Obama could be elected in the kind of 49/49 environment that characterized 1996-2004 ..... Obama's qualities and Clinton's qualities are not mutually exclusive
Obama's School Uniform Wall Street Journal declared that his "main opponent in this race isn't other candidates -- it's cynicism."
Sweet blog special: Obama on cover of Newsweek talking about race.
Chicago Sun-Times
Clinton Urges Indian Businesses to Invest in US
PC World
Clinton taps growing political clout of Indian-Americans International Herald Tribune
The Candidates No incumbent. No favorite. Anything could happen
U.S. News & World Report a campaign of historic "firsts." Americans could elect the first woman president in Hillary Clinton. Or the first African-American president in Barack Obama. The first Mormon, Mitt Romney. The first Hispanic, Bill Richardson. The oldest president, John McCain. ..... "You're starting with the kind of blank slate that almost assures that it's going to be a wild-card race. There's a complete absence of a front-runner on the Republican side, which is unprecedented. ...... Clinton should not be considered the inevitable nominee, despite her lead in national polls. ...... her eight years as first lady, when critics concluded that she was ruthless, bloodless, and an extreme liberal. Now she is trying to show her warm and pragmatic side as a senator from New York whose work ethic has made her popular in even conservative areas of her state. ...... Bill Clinton brings another big asset—he is one of the most brilliant strategists of his generation. ..... Rudy Giuliani ... If he wins the nomination, the Republican Party will be a different entity than it has been for a generation. ....... many Americans think that, at 70, his time has passed. ...... Mitt Romney is making steady progress in Iowa and New Hampshire, where he holds modest leads, but he is still far behind in national polls ....... he is considering making a major speech explaining how his Mormon faith would fit into a Romney presidency ......... The GOP race is so unsettled that Thompson is leading in some GOP polls ...... Newt Gingrich is also trying to parlay himself as an "ideas candidate" ...... Bloomberg, a billionaire, could pay for his own campaign, so he could enter the race late and run as an effective, nonpartisan manager of a large and complex municipal government.
Obama arrives for Alabama visit Birmingham News, AL
Burglary at Obama's Iowa Campaign Headquarters
7/9: Obama Is No Dean
National Journal, DC If the typical Dean/internet donor was a guy in his 40s with an advanced degree, than it appears the typical Obama donor is a Tufts senior selling Obama tickets outside his dorm. ..... "rhetoric is soaring and high-minded, the policy proposals consensus-seeking and incremental." ..... Obama must find a way to expand his support. While he has made a splash with his entry into the race, along with raising ungodly amounts of money through an amazing base of support, Obama has barely been able to make the kind of permanent dent in Clinton's edge that he needs. ... Obama has not seen the numbers on the national scale (or the local polls, either) that he should be seeing. .... Edwards .. if he cannot maintain his lead in Iowa and win there, his campaign is dead. ...... a Obama call for $5 donations at a rally in Cleveland that author Sasha Issenberg likened to Amway: "[I]t's about getting people to buy in--with the idea that once their dollars are committed, they will be, too." ...... a breakthrough discovery by the Obama fundraising team-- well-to-do students with disposable income ...... Al Gore is the only man alive who can save us from Global Warming. Al Gore is that cool. After Al Gore is elected, Al Gore will turn back time and erase the last seven years. Al Gore will be the first President to win three terms since Roosevelt. Republicans want to build a wall on the border. To keep Al Gore out. When Al Gore falls in water, Al Gore doesn't get wet. Water gets Al Gore. Al Gore didn't just invent the internet. All Gore invented science. And fire. When Al Gore is elected, Al Qaeda will follow us home from Iraq. To surrender.
Government can and must do more for New Orleans, Obama says Louisiana Weekly, LA
Clinton/Obama in ’08? Or not
Politico, DC Her best bet would be to make a symbolic offer to Obama in the certain knowledge he would refuse. ...... Safer choices (we think) would be Mark Warner or Evan Bayh. ..... Why is the Obama camp certain Rahm Emanuel will be endorsing Hillary Clinton, while some in the Clinton camp seem certain Emanuel will be endorsing Barack Obama? ..... he is also close to Obama and even closer to the Obama’s big backers, the Daleys of Chicago. ...... “I’m hiding under the desk,” Emanuel told the Chicago Tribune earlier this year. ..... Bill Bradley .. at a small junior college in Iowa, he abandoned his stump speech in order to deal with what was really on his mind.

Only 305 words long (which still makes it significantly longer than the Gettysburg Address) it does manage to cover the topic completely: “The other day, you know, it wasn't the other day, I’ll be honest it was a couple of months ago, I was in a motel and, you know, I've been spending a lot of nights in motels and this is one of those motels where the sheet comes off, you know, when you roll over, the bottom sheet comes off because the sheets aren’t long enough to tuck in, you know, so it’s the middle of the night and you’re sleeping on an open mattress as opposed to the sheets and you ask yourself, ‘Who slept here last night?’ you know, and I was there and I had my head on the pillow and it was one of those rubberized pillows and you put your head down and your head bounces back up like this, you know, it was one of those places where you turn the heat on and it’s too hot and I think it’s 100 degrees in the room and, you know, if you turn it off, 10 minutes later you’re freezing. Life along the road. And I thought that night, you know: I've been on the road in America for 30 years. Thirty years. That's why I know so much about this.”

Obama visit may block streets, AL
Obama’s campaignis all about the people
Nashua Telegraph (subscription), NH
Obama the Only Presidential Candidate to Promote Live Earth Concert
Associated Content, CO
2008: Voters Weigh In On ‘08 Burnout
New York Times, United States voters are hardly disengaged ..... a sense in both parties that the country is ready to move beyond the Bush administration. ...... video clips of interviews with voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. ..... candidates are showing up in all sorts of novel venues to find new niches of support .... Giuliani’s first NASCAR event. ..... Giuliani’s fundraising prowess is one example of the widening gap between the “rich and poor” in the race for president. ...... Cornel West who has become an unpaid adviser to the campaign ..... Romney “has taken a commanding organizational lead” in Iowa with 20 full-time staffers around the state as well as a troop of volunteers ...... Thompson has vowed to visit all of Iowa’s 99 counties. ..... Edwards is expected to spend a few days next week on a “eight-state, 12-city ‘Road to One America’ tour aimed at calling attention to poverty in the deep South, the Mississippi Delta, Appalachia and the Rust Belt.” ....... proposal to increase taxes on private-equity and hedge-fund managers ...... inviting voters across the country to have an honest participation in shaping the healthcare debates ...... allow participants to collaborate with each other to define and refine the best ideas for the future of health care policy ...... Healthcare issue is becoming the second most concerned issue beside the war in Iraq. ..... Every year, the U.S. spends over $2 trillion on healthcare ..... The country also has the best medical and technological facility in the world. ..... employer contribution, expansion of Medicaid and SCHIP, flexibility for state plans, mandatory coverage for children, choice for those who want to buy private insurance, bringing up to technology in lowering cost and improving quality, dealing with prevent .... saving up to $2500 for a household .... The launching of the web blog is part of Obama's goal to put the campaign in the hands of ordinary Americans in bringing about the needed changes in the direction of healthcare issue. Obama is running a different kind of campaign ....... voters are offered the choice to submit their ideas, tell their stories and even upload their video as a way to engage in an honest and productive debate that will end the political divide of the past 16 years on healthcare.
Money Shouldn't Talk In Presidential Race CBS News, NY
Race, sex may be key
Chicago Sun-Times, United States
Americans ready to elect a black president Tehran Times
US presidency: Toss between Clinton, Obama: Newsweek The Brunei Times
'About 60 pc voters believe US ready for Black President' Hindu
Out to capture hearts and minds on YouTube New Zealand Herald, New Zealand
Obama and Clinton play the China card Salon
'Billary' will take beating Melbourne Herald Sun
Obama catches fire with netroots
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA
Grim Old Pantry looks bare; meanwhile Obama fundraising soars
National Post, Canada
Dems blast Sen. Clinton for using strategist who's also CEO of PR firm
Chicago Sun-Times, United States
Obama Launches Healthcare Blog
Associated Content, CO
Sweet column: In Iowa, Obama jousts with Bill.
Chicago Sun-Times, United States
Clinton, Obama back China currency bill
China Daily, China
But Can Hillary Clinton Win?
FOX News The low hanging fruit has long been picked, and the smart money doesn't go to the guy who's falling down the well. ..... the "anything can change in a minute" nature of politics, and the "nobody knows anything" reality of punditry. ..... the two of them are operating in a zone beyond everyone else, Democrat or Republican. Barack may have more, but Hillary has plenty. And notwithstanding his financial success, he's yet to catch her in any polls, national or state. ..... She has dominated the debates, demonstrated mastery on the issues, deftly deployed her husband, shown a sense of humor and warmth that some doubted she had (as in the Sopranos video), and withstood the slingshots of former friends (for instance David Geffen) and foes. ........ No one has questioned her ability or her toughness, her stamina or her style. I've hardly read a word about her hair or her clothes. ...... 52 percent of American voters say they wouldn't vote for Hillary ...... in a contest between two white male Republican New York City mayors and a female Senator, my money's on the girl. ...... her ability to change voters' minds, including traditionally moderate and even Republican voters in the reddest part of the state. ...... The real person who they saw in that much-covered campaign turned out to be a lot more attractive than the caricature they'd been carrying in their heads. ........ presidential campaigns, by the time they end, tend to be stunningly transparent. ....... The real Hillary Clinton is much loved by her friends, much respected by her fiercely loyal staff, a woman who is far warmer, funnier, and more human than the caricature that still dominates her public image. ... Susan Estrich ... the first woman President of the Harvard Law Review. .. She served as campaign manager for Michael Dukakis' presidential bid, becoming the first woman to head a U.S. presidential campaign.
Clinton and Obama back China crackdown Financial Times, UK
Sweet Iowa blog special. Obama on fire, delivers stemwinder for ...
Chicago Sun-Times, United States Obama was on fire on Tuesday night, speaking on the steps of a gazebo ..... Obama has various versions of his stump speech, tailored to time, place, people and space. .....They got their vegetables, were full, but they really wanted some meat. ..... the complete latest version of the Obama stump delivered with inspirational passion. .... every item in the Obama catalogue: sections on the smallness of our politics based on who is up and who is down, the empathy deficit, how he came to Chicago to work as a community organizer inspired by the civil rights movement, the lessons of Selma, unnamed reporter-cynics accusing Obama of hope-mongering, green technology, the Iraq War, climate change, leadership and hope. .... mainly they’re just busy, they’re tired, they’re not paying attention ..... It was nationally televised live on C-SPAN and Obama knew that.
Obama’s Iowa News Conference New York Times, United States Obama held a news conference to attract network television cameras to his stop ...... we have not had – in a long time – a sense of common purpose where we have a working majority where we can move ahead on the issues ..... to bring about significant, real change ..... demonstrated day-to-day on an on-going basis .... “What I am pretty confident,” Mr. Obama, “is that we are going to have both the resources and the grassroots base that’s going to allow us to compete fiercely and aggressively all the way through.”
Obama's Vacuous Foreign Policy Huffington Post, NY Foreign Affairs ... read world-wide as a sort of voice of the American foreign policy establishment .... We should not retreat into Fortress America. We should not get out of Iraq in an "irresponsible" way. And we cannot stop fighting terrorism. ...... unfurl a richer fabric of foreign policy ..... deepen our knowledge of the Muslim world .... democracies do not fight one another
US Election: Is McCain Falling Through the Cracks? Angus Reid Global Monitor, Canada
Even Bill Clinton can't halt the Obama show, United Kingdom Never before has campaigning reached fever pitch six months before a ballot will be cast. ..... the yearning for change presents candidates with an unprecedented opportunity ..... beneath the surface a battle to the political death has begun. ..... "As a Democrat, I love this election because I don't have to be against anybody," Bill Clinton said ...... Mr Clinton's very presence in Iowa on a three-day trip is an attempt to suck the oxygen away from Mr Obama just after he announced a colossal fundraising total of $31 million in the past three months - easily eclipsing the New York senator despite her network of big donors. ........ By this stage, Mrs Clinton's strategists had planned that the former First Lady would be established as the "inevitable" Democratic candidate ..... he has built a political movement of apparently almost limitless potential. ..... her polished debate performances have highlighted Mr Obama's inexperience, as well as a reluctance to engage in the cut and thrust that might be needed to deliver victory. ...... "We're ahead in New Hampshire and Iowa. We're ahead in all the February 5 states. Our numbers are picking up nationally. ....... February 5, 2008 ... Super-Duper Tuesday or Tsunami Tuesday ... Bill Clinton, one of the most potent weapons in American politics but also one that could badly misfire ..... Team Clinton is not where it wanted or expected to be .... Hillary Clinton may have reached her high-water mark, both in the polls and among donors. ..... many of her contributors already having given the maximum. ..... this is now the internet age and Mr Obama is already the hero of the YouTube generation that gets its news and organises much of its social activities via the internet ...... Obama, who has the rare, uncanny knack of being almost impossible to dislike ..... an "enthusiasm gap" that he enjoys over Mrs Clinton. .... Americans are cynical about politicians, deeply fearful about the future and bracing themselves for defeat in Iraq. .... if the yearning for something truly different trumps deference and respect for a proven track record.
MSNBC's Carlson on Obama: "[H]e sounds like a pothead to me" Media Matters for America, DC
Obama In Iowa: Setting The Scene
Atlantic Online a two-day, five city swing through central and eastern Iowa .... We're aboard the "Audacity One," a name I completely made up two seconds ago .... Obama's counterprogramming will be Seinfeldian -- it consists of nothing. Instead of major speeches, raucus message events and town halls, Obama will speak to what to him are fairly small crowds. They're billed as "grassroots" events and "family" events. He will keep his remarks brief and spend more time than usual working the ropelines. ....... instead of taking questions, Obama will take the time to meet Iowans one and one. ..... smaller meetings are often the most efficient way to convince Democrats to caucus. Personal contact turns might-caucusers into definite-caucusers ..... Obama's campaign launch generated more publicity than any other presidential candidate in history -- publicity reaching the level usually reserved for presidential nominees. ....... has started to target Iowa-based websites with internet video. Some 30,000 Iowans received a biographical video of Obama's life. ...... As of next week, his Iowa campaign will have almost 30 functioning field offices and about 40 full-time employees. 1,500 volunteers canvassed for Obama in Iowa in June, knocking on 30,000 doors. ...... Obama has so far visited 26 counties. .... has held organizational meetings in all 99 counties. ... attracted 10,000 to an April event in Iowa City and 6,500 to an event in Ames.
Bugging Barack Obama New York Times, United States First, he swallowed a bug. Then, his words about the civil rights movement were drowned out by the sounds of a loud train. .... Things went a little off-script when a bug flew into the senator’s mouth. He looked directly at the camera, declaring: “Sorry I’ve got one of those little bugs. Don’t film that.” ....... “Don’t worry, I’m going to survive this. I hadn’t had lunch yet – protein.” ..... he declined to answer questions from a few reporters gathered on the rope line. He would, however, confirm that the bug he swallowed was a gnat.
Obama Tells Teachers Public Schools Should Consider Merit Pay Diverse, VA
Going back a few years with Obama
Chicago Tribune, United States eight friends decided to speak out against the war, planning a rally at Federal Plaza eight days from our meeting and with no knowledge if anyone would come, let alone whether anyone in public life would be willing to risk speaking out against the war. ..... speaking out against the impending war at a time when Bush's ratings were at their height was not the politically expedient thing to do -- particularly when no one knew whether we would get the 2,000 people that we did or just the original eight of us.
Jeff O’Bryant: Obama’s Bible Walker County Messenger, GA There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that its No. 1 legislative priority was tax cuts for the rich.
Dodd Swipes Obama on Merit Pay RealClearPolitics Blog
Will Gore re-enter the race?
Courier Mail, Australia
Obama sees financial lead as launch pad, United Kingdom
Obama vows overhaul of No Child Left Behind, PA
Obama Hands NEA Endorsement To Clinton
Education Week News, MD
Man arrested near Obama called victim of a 'misunderstanding'
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, IA the subject of a "huge misunderstanding," said a businessman from Cincinnati whose company makes playing cards featuring the presidential candidates. David Krikorian, owner of Parody Productions, said the arrested man sells his company' playing cards at campaign rallies and had simply been trying to find out where Obama's next event would be held. .... he looked and spoke foreign .... Krikorian didn't know the man who was arrested, but said he had purchased Obama and Hillary Clinton playing decks from his company. He said he has called the Secret Service on Zakaryan's behalf. ..... "He's a customer of ours. We sell to lots of people like him, you know. They make their living going to different political rallies in all sorts of states, and they sell tchotchke items at political rallies," Krikorian said.
Obama is the leader of the pack Escanaba Daily Press, MI
USAT/Gallup Poll: Steady leads for Giuliani & Clinton
USA Today
Giuliani Could Capture New Jersey in 2008
Angus Reid Global Monitor, Canada Rudy Giuliani remains the most popular United States presidential candidate in New Jersey .... At least 47 per cent of respondents in the Garden State would vote for the former New York City mayor .... Giuliani holds a three-point lead over New York senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, an eight-point advantage over Illinois senator Barack Obama .... No Republican has won the Garden State since George H. Bush in 1988.
Obama message seen lacking World Peace Herald, DC
"Is Barack Obama An Alternative for US Workers?"
Bay Area Indymedia, CA
Dreamers dream of Clinton-Obama ticket
The Union Leader, NH Two Democratic front-runners came within 100 miles of each other this week in a long, hot day of Iowa barnstorming. ...... At nationally televised debates, they're cordial to each other. .... some undecided Democrats in the crowds said they hoped the rivalry would not intensify between now and January .... "I'm really torn between Obama and Hillary," said John Christenson, 70, a retired library director who caught Clinton's midday rally at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. "I've heard both of them talk, and I haven't disagreed with a thing anyone said." "I'd rather see some collaboration," said Ryan O'Leary, 30, of -Iowa City. "I do care, because I think both of them have the ability to inspire people." ...... calling Iowa "ground zero of the politics of hope." ...... he argued that details of the candidates' various plans aren't as important as the leadership question. ..... on the edge of the square, a car horn honked. It was a Republican couple, Jack and Shirley Cavenee. They weren't honking their approval but were trying to get the attention of a hat salesman so they could buy an Obama baseball cap. "I like what this guy says," said Jack Cavenee, 75, who planned to vote for a Democrat for the first time since John F. Kennedy in 1960 - but only if the nominee is Obama, not Clinton. ....... Kowalczyk said he hasn't made up his mind yet, but he wants Clinton and Obama supporters to keep their disagreements civil because they might make a good ticket some day. ....... "I just want anyone who's not male and white," said Bill Boon, a retired college professor who is both male and white - except for the red clown nose he was wearing. "White males are what I don't want anymore." .... Why not put them on the same ticket, said Evelyn Buddin, 87, of -Iowa City .... Buddin was born in 1920, the same year women were able to vote in national elections for the first time. She has been hoping for a female president since the 1950s.
Obama's Haul Doesn't Make Him the Frontrunner ... Yet Washington Post, United States When this race started it was widely assumed that Clinton would dominate the money chase. But that conventional wisdom has been upended as Obama has outraised Clinton in primary cash for the second straight quarter. Obama's success on the fundraising trail came even as Clinton rode high in national polls and was widely recognized as performing best of the top candidates in the three debates held during the past three months. ....... Obama will have the resources to run Rolls Royce campaigns in each of the first four states -- Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina -- and build the sort of organizations in places like Florida, Michigan and California to capitalize on any early momentum he gathers. .....That's not to say Clinton is a sure-fire winner -- she isn't.
Barack Obama Takes On The Clintons Bayou Buzz, LA
Obama Camp to Launch Book Club
Campaigns & Elections (press release) Michael Kruglik, who served as a community organizer alongside Barack Obama on Chicago’s South Side, will discuss how Obama’s early life and young adulthood shaped the leader we see today—a key theme of the From Doubt to Hope book clubs.

Rowling devastated as final words of Harry Potter saga are written The Herald the first person to become a dollar billionaire solely through writing, said she broke down as she completed the book in room 652 of the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. ....... near the end I absolutely howled .... "I was in a hotel room on my own, I was sobbing my heart out, I downed half a bottle of champagne from the mini bar in one and went home with mascara all over my face - that was really tough." ...... Harry was "totally imaginary" .... Muggles (Potter argot for non-magical people) ...... 12m copies from the initial printing
Red Mosque Peace Efforts Collapse Washington Post Musharraf called on Islamic radicals hunkered down inside to surrender or face death. ..... The government has been trying to force the militants to surrender by depriving them of food, water and electricity. .... concern grew that many of those inside were being held against their will. .... more than 1,200 people have fled the mosque since the siege began Tuesday, authorities estimated that several hundred remain within. Only a few dozen are suspected to be hard-core radicals ..... Clerics at the pro-Taliban Red Mosque, also called the Lal Masjid, want to turn Pakistan into a theocracy. ..... "The cleric inside is using these children as hostages" ..... "If my sister dies, she will be a martyr, and we will be happy," said Mohammad Khalid, who stood with other family members outside the mosque Friday afternoon. "We are here to take her body back." ........ his refusal to turn the country back over to civilian leadership after eight years of military rule has fostered greater radicalism
A Song of Innocence, a Song of Experience and a Greek Chorus New York Times Ms. Heckroth said. “As much as I liked the Clintons, think what a President Obama could do?” ... a candidate of the future, a healer for a nation only beginning to be aware of its wounds ..... “Her baggage, if you will, is experience and her strength is experience,” Mr. Hart added. “He would be more likely to try new things.” ...... To critics who suggested the Clintons were old news, he retorted: “Yesterday’s news was pretty good.”
Report: Man in south India says his son drove Jeep in Glasgow attack International Herald Tribune
Can China Reform Itself?
New York Times PHONY fertilizer destroys crops. Stores shelves are filled with deodorized rotten eggs, and chemical glucose is passed off as honey. Exports slump when European regulators find dangerous bacteria in packaged meat. ...... 101 years ago .... Like America’s industrializing economy a century ago, China’s is powered by zealous entrepreneurs who sometimes act like pirates. ...... Beijing must take a fresh approach to inspecting and policing its often unruly economy. .... Chinese exporters sold nearly $1 trillion worth of goods overseas last year. ..... a modern, unified regulatory system that can supervise a dynamic market economy. ..... Hundreds of parents in Liaoning Province were so frustrated by the local government’s response to a spate of food poisonings at a school cafeteria in 2003 that they blockaded the local railroad. ...... “It came down to turf warfare between departments” ...... capitalist excesses that have thrived during China’s economic transition have already sparked corrective action, not totally unlike the Progressive Era changes in the United States. ..... With China’s reputation having taken a hit in the United States, resistance to tightening standards seems likely to fade. ...... United States F.D.A. .... that agency was created in the regulatory rush of 1906, it took more than 55 years, until the Kennedy administration, for the F.D.A. to acquire the powers it sought to ensure a safe drug supply.
Sprint bets billions on 'Wi-Fi on steroids' Atlanta Journal Constitution Sprint Nextel Corp.'s $3 billion bet on WiMax ..... WiMax offers speeds similar to those of cable modems ..... that speed even while in a moving car. .... Sprint's nationwide plan .... WiMax is a gamble for Sprint — the No. 3 carrier that lately has lost cellphone customers to rivals Verizon and AT&T — because building a business around the technology is unproven on such a large scale. ...... Sprint plans WiMax test launches in December in Chicago, Washington and Baltimore, followed by commercial availability in those markets in April. The company intends to offer WiMax coverage reaching 100 million people by the end of 2008 in cities including Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Seattle and Austin, Texas. ...... download speeds would be 3 to 4 megabits per second and uploads about half that. .... the enthusiasm for Apple's iPhone shows an appetite among consumers for a better mobile Internet experience .... the idea of the 'real Internet' on mobile devices on the go ..... many computers and gadgets are expected to have embedded WiMax technology by the time Sprint's networks are widely available. ..... "2008 is really being billed as the WiMax year," said Julie Coppernoll, director of WiMax marketing for Intel Corp., a leading backer of the technology. ..... digital cameras with built-in WiMax that can immediately transmit new photos to Web sites or a backup location. ...... Around the world, flavors of WiMax deliver Internet access to rural or developing areas where it is too expensive or difficult to build wired networks. ...... While the United States tends to lag Asia and Europe in wireless technology, Sprint's plan to create the largest mobile WiMax network is drawing worldwide attention. ..... While Sprint plans to offer download speeds of about 4 megabits per second, the technology could provide much faster access by packing WiMax sites more densely .... even as Chicago is mulling which company might build a municipal Wi-Fi network to blanket its 160 square miles and offer inexpensive or free access. ..... "If you really want to know how this all comes down in the next few years in terms of Wi-Fi and WiMax, Chicago is the city to watch"
Beckham Arrives to Find a Sport Thriving in Its Own Way New York Times Major League Soccer, the top professional league in the United States. ..... a contract worth at least $5.5 million a year and potentially worth $250 million over five years in marketing and profit-sharing deals ..... he will bring unprecedented buzz and credibility to a league that has grown by small, careful steps and not giant, reckless leaps. ...... Magic Johnson and Larry Bird reinvigorated the N.B.A. in the 1980s and prepared the way for Michael Jordan’s ascendancy ....... the United States might have to win the World Cup before the sport entered the mainstream at home ..... Beckham’s career, which was fading after a disappointing 2006 World Cup, has been rejuvenated. He won a Spanish league title with Real Madrid last month, and he has returned to the fold of England’s national team, where he formerly was the captain. Even the career of his pop-star wife, Victoria Adams, has gained a lift with an announced reunion of the Spice Girls. ...... The combined American television audience for the final of the 2006 World Cup on ABC and Spanish-language Univision was 16.9 million viewers, compared with an average audience of 15.8 million viewers for the 2006 World Series on Fox. ...... 14.5 million Americans played soccer in 2006, and two-thirds of them were younger than 18. ....... three cable networks devoted exclusively to soccer ..... Sometimes, to rise above, you have to do bold and risky things ...... Without playing a game, Beckham has given the Galaxy about $20 million in revenue through increased ticket sales and sponsorships ....... The Galaxy strives to become the first American soccer team with annual gross revenues of $100 million ...... His astronomical contract could incite tension in a league where the average salary is about $100,000 and the minimum pay is $11,700. .....Beckham is often at his best when play is stopped and all eyes can focus on his clearly understood actions. .... “Great American outdoor spectator sports all share a common aspect of socialization and conversation that is not conducive to soccer,” Paglia wrote. “By its nature, soccer is an extemporaneous and improvisational sport.
Study: Organic Fruit, Vegetables Better for the Heart FOX News