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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Where Was Tapscott Yesterday?

Just in case you wondered, I was at the National Press Club most of the day leading a Computer-Assisted Research and Reporting (CARR) seminar for 20 of the National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Fellows.

The Miller Fellows are rising stars of American mainstream media journalism and yesterday was the third year in a row in which The Heritage Foundation's Center for Media and Public Policy has provided the half-day seminar.

The Fellows spent the morning listening to presentations from Sarah Cohen of The Washington Post and David Pace of the Associated Press, then the afternoon at the press club with me doing an hour or so on basic spreadsheet skills and Dr. Kirk Johnson, one of my Heritage colleagues, on finding and using public policy data on the Internet.

Doing these CARR seminars is among the best parts of my job, but I was absolutely exhausted at the end of the day yesterday and it was snowing in the afternoon. If you know anything about our nation's capitol, you know even a rumor of a snow flake somewhere in West Virginia is sufficient to shut the city down, making daily commuting a miserable experience.

But today is a new day! Don't miss these excellent articles:

Over at my automotive blog, Tapscott Behind the Wheel, I link to James Womack's superb Sunday op-ed in The Washington Post on why Detroit is losing the battle to Toyota and Honda in the struggle for the American car market.

I've covered the auto industry since 1985, so this is a topic that greatly interests me and ought to interests every American. Womack's point of departure is a speech by Bill Ford last month at the National Press Club. In reviewing Ford's text, I was struck by how Detroit's view of itself and the world hasn't changed in decades.

Then there is this excellent piece at AEI's web site on the GOP's problems by Trevor Bothwell of Democracy Project. Trevor nails it in noting:

"It is precisely the GOP's overall inattention to fiscal restraint that has empowered a faction of moderate Republicans -led primarily by the Republican Main Street Partnership -to undermine some of the party's more fiscally conservative ambitions.
"They quite accurately have assessed that if the conservatives amongst them have committed to expanding government, then any rationale for passing measures to counter such distension is severely compromised."

And over at the First Amendment Center, my friend Paul McMasters has some thoughts on the increasing raciness of the materials routinely being podcast. Trust me, what Paul is talking about has nothing to do with NASCAR.

There will be more later today.