Morning Read

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Morning Read: In Iowa, Howard Dean Says He's... Backing Hillary

Posted By on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 10:12 AM

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As we noted last week (quoting the great Chris Cillizza), "No politician goes to Iowa by accident." The same generally holds true for New Hampshire — unless you're already in Vermont and you really, really need to get to Boston.

So former governor Howard Dean's trip to Iowa Wednesday and his plans to visit New Hampshire next month have gotten bored, horse-race-loving political types (I admit it! I'm one of them!) into a tizzy.

Of course, the less-often-stated corollary to the Cillizza maxim is this: "Most politicians who go to Iowa just want people to think they'll run for president." In our view, Dean falls squarely in that camp. Dude's looking for some press coverage — and he knows that's the way to get it (see: this blog post). 

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Morning Read: Times Profiles the Lynn Sisters, Vermont's Next-Gen Newspaper Publishers

Posted By on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 8:00 AM

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It ain't all bad news in the world of newspapers, writes New York Times media reporter Christine Haughney.

Up in Vermont, three twentysomething sisters are making a go at extending their family's publishing reign to a fifth generation. And the papers they run, Haughney writes in a B1 story in Friday's Times, "have been surprisingly profitable."

That's right. She's talking about the one and only Lynn family, whose small empire of Vermont newspapers includes the Addison County IndependentSt. Albans Messenger, Milton Independent, Colchester Sun, Essex Reporter, Brandon Reporter and Mountain Times

As Seven Days' Shay Totten did back in January 2011, Haughney focuses mostly on Addy Indy publisher Angelo Lynn's three daughters: Polly, Elsie and Christy:

[I]nstead of fleeing the newspaper business, the Lynn sisters have embraced it, and not just because it is part of their heritage.

“I’ve grown up in the papers,” said Elsie Lynn. “But I don’t think that’s the reason I’m in it. The future is exciting for me. We have this chance and this opportunity to be pioneers and change our career and change this industry.”

You can read Haughney's story here. And while you're at it, check out Seven Days' Ken Picard's January 2010 profile of the fourth-generation Lynns, Angelo and Emerson. (Haughney, btw, must really dig the Vermont newspaper industry. Last September, she wrote about recent changes at the Burlington Free Press.)

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Morning Read: BuzzFeed Calls Welch "Republicans' Favorite House Liberal"

Posted By on Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 8:27 AM

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Which member of Vermont's congressional delegation travels to the Middle East with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor? Hikes in the Grand Canyon with Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.)? Steals popcorn from the Republican cloakroom?

Here's a hint: It sure ain't Bernie Sanders.

Splashed across BuzzFeed's homepage this morning — right above a pair of stories titled "15 Experiences EVERYONE Should Have In College" and "11 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Dogs" — is an improbable homage to the apparent bipartisan street cred of Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.).

"Meet Republicans' Favorite House Liberal," the story is called. 

Not the most compelling link bait we've seen, but hey!

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Morning Read: Leahy Questions Spy Chiefs on Surveillance Programs

Posted By on Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 9:35 AM

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Sen. Patrick Leahy got all up in the National Security Agency's grill Wednesday, questioning whether its controversial collection of domestic phone data directly led to the apprehension of terrorists.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing he called to discuss surveillance programs disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Leahy "accused Obama administration officials of overstating the success" of the phone data program, according to the New York Times.

Times reporters Charlie Savage and David Sanger write :

[Leahy] said he had been shown a classified list of “terrorist events” detected through surveillance, and it did not show that “dozens or even several terrorist plots” had been thwarted by the domestic program.

“If this program is not effective it has to end. So far, I’m not convinced by what I’ve seen,” Mr. Leahy said, citing the “massive privacy implications” of keeping records of every American’s domestic calls.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Morning Read: Vermont's "World Citizen" Garry Davis Dies at 91

Posted By on Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 11:59 AM

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Like many prophets, Garry Davis was egotistical, single-minded and ... uniquely in touch with a higher truth. The Vermont-based founder of the World Government of World Citizens, who died in Williston last week at age 91, gets a full-scale, strongly sympathetic send-off in today's New York Times.

"His rationale was simple, his aim immense: If there were no nation-states, he believed, there would be no wars," the Times observes.

Davis, the longtime companion of local philanthropist and activist Robin Lloyd, launched his world government in 1953 from the steps of the Ellsworth, Maine, town hall. His organization has since issued some 2.5 million "world passports." 

Davis was a regular at public meetings in and around Burlington. He often took advantage of the Q&A portion to pitch his project. Seven Days profiled Davis in 2001. Last month, a new documentary about his life was released, entitled My Country Is the World, and the World Is My Stage: The True Story of Garry Davis

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"Whether Mr. Davis was a visionary utopian or a quixotic naïf was long debated by press and public," the Times recounts. "His supporters argued that the documents he issued had genuine value for refugees and other stateless people. His detractors countered that by issuing them — and charging a fee — Mr. Davis was selling false hope to people who spent what little they had on papers that are legally recognized almost nowhere in the world."

It's clear, though, where the Times and writer Margalit Fox stand on Davis' unparalled act of chutzpah in declaring himself head of a world government.

"What is beyond dispute is that Mr. Davis’s long insistence on the inalienable right of anyone to travel anywhere prefigures the present-day immigration debate by decades," the obit opines. "It likewise anticipates the current stateless conditions of Julian Assange and Edward J. Snowden."

Read the full New York Times story here.

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