Congress

Technical Politics

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A new San Francisco based startup is providing politics with another platform.

In November I attended a tech summit in Dublin, Ireland. I spoke with Matt Mahan and James Windon of Brigade. A company that is set to launch sometime this year and will give people an easy and social way to take action on issues they are about. Right now the company is still working on its commercial revenue model and Windon, the company’s president says their strategy is about matchmaking, and not persuasion.

“What we’re trying to do is understand people’s political views and match them with candidates that share those views.”  read more »

Brigade

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A San Francisco startup is getting political with technology.

“Our fundamental belief is that the political system is broken. It’s not working for people anymore. We see incredible high levels of cynicism, apathy, low participation rates and a general sense that government can’t solve the biggest problems that we face.”

Matt Mahan is CEO of Brigade. A company set to launch sometime this year that will provide voters with the platform they need to get involved. And it’s an idea that can’t come fast enough for politicians. Only 25% of registered voters cast ballots in the June third primary election. Mahan says that’s a sign that voter apathy is at an all-time high.  read more »

Do Nothing Congress

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Looking for a great gig that pays a lot of money for just a little work? You should run for congress.

It seems what critics are calling this years do nothing congress has done it again. On Thursday, CBS news congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes reported on “CBS This Morning,” that congress is in a two week recess, after having passed the fewest number of laws in the past 66 years. And many of those laws that were passed were extensions of bills already passed.  read more »

Non-Essential Workers

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This week the government shut down; and that wasn't the worst news for federal employees.

When the shutdown went into effect hundreds of thousands of federal employees were divided into two groups; essential and non-essential. People labeled non-essential say it's a slap in the face; especially because it's not the first time.

The first labels were handed out during the across the board spending cuts known as the “sequester.” In the weeks leading up to the shutdown it was up to managers to let their staff know who was and was not an asset. The people considered essential were ecstatic and the others began trying their worth and the people who had made the decision were wrong.  read more »

Government Vs. Business

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If you ran your business the way the government runs theirs; you'd be out of business.

When the government shut down on Tuesday it telegraphed a complete breakdown in leadership, communications and teamwork. The lack of strong leadership in Congress let a small minority frustrate the will of the majority.

In business you could get fired for not going with the majority after the vote was taken. And because so many members of Congress have so many hidden agenda's communicating a simple message to the public is impossible. Successful businesses are able to communicate messages that grab customers. Then there is teamwork, the backbone of business. In Congress it is all about getting re-elected.  read more »

The Fiscal Cliff

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The Country ended the year teetering on the fiscal cliff; and we're still not on solid ground.

On New Year's Eve, Congress reached a last minute deal to avert financial disaster. Terms included extending tax cuts and extending unemployment benefits for one year.

But despite the deal, former San Francisco mayor and media pundit, Willie Brown, tells me this won't be the last time the economy will be on the edge.

"We no longer have the ability, the willingness or the understanding for the stability of the stock market and for the stability of the economy. We should play politics with things as important as the debt limit," said Brown.

Brown says this financial game of politics isn't sitting well with voters and is being reflected in surveys.  read more »

Congressional Distractions

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It’s a scandalous time for Capitol Hill and one company is hoping to cash in.

Florida based Spirit airlines has taken the recent GSA spending and secret service sex scandals and turned them into a marketing opportunity. Right now they are offering a GSA sale with fares starting from just $19.80 one way. Spirit says in the case of their campaign GSA stands for “great savings always.” It is also offering cheap flights to Colombia; the sight of an alleged tryst between secret service agents and a prostitute. Spirit says upfront payment for this trip is required.

But not everyone is laughing; I recently spoke with Congressman George Miller about the congressional distractions.  read more »

Hoping For Change

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The world was happy to wave goodbye to 2009 while hoping 2010 would bring down unemployment and pump up salaries. But what can you really expect from the new decade?

U.S. News & World Report has put together a list of four things we can expect from the business world. President Obama has said that the economy has been rescued but jobs are still being cut, so will the actions of the coming year speak louder than our Commander in Chief promises?  read more »

A Make or Break Moment

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Greeting Congress just back from summer recess last night was President Obama, giving them an unprecedented one-topic State of the Union style address under the capital dome, designed to save his critically ill health care plan.

Media pundits called it the most important address of the Obama presidency, saying health care reform will die without his taking charge of the patient. But that is a big change from the Administrations earlier decision to avoid the failures of the Clinton administration by letting Congress write the first draft.  read more »

Failure is Not an Option

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Watching the raucous debate over President Obama’s proposed stimulus package rage on Capitol Hill you might just throw up your hands in disgust and say, as President Ronald Reagan often did, “There you go again”.

Democrats are accusing Republicans of using tax cuts for the rich as the magic bullet that will kill the recession. Republicans are pointing the finger at spend-happy democrats who would sacrifice the nation on the altar of socialism. And the public just hopes they can all get along well enough to help them survive this historic economic meltdown.  read more »