breckfield

Archive for July 2011

Have You No Sense Of Decency, Sir?

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In his win-at-all-costs drive to The White House, Barack Obama repeatedly told the story of how his dying mother battled the evil insurance company to try to obtain insurance coverage:

“…she was thinking about whether or not insurance was going to cover the medical bills and whether our family would be bankrupt as a consequence,” Obama said in September 2007.

Once elected President of the United States, Obama used the same story to help sell his massive ObamaCare health-care package.

Now it has been revealed that Mr. Obama lied about the incident:

But in “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother,” author Janny Scott quotes from correspondence from the president’s mother to assert that the 1995 dispute concerned a Cigna disability insurance policy and that her actual health insurer had apparently reimbursed most of her medical expenses without argument.

…The book concludes that although Mr. Obama often suggested that Ms. Dunham “was denied health coverage because of a pre-existing condition, it appears from her correspondence that she was only denied disability coverage.”

Read the whole NYT article.

He used the tragedy of his own mother’s death to get himself elected and sell ObamaCare, changing the facts along the way to fit his agenda.

Is there anything that Barack Obama won’t sacrifice on the altar of his ambition?

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Written by breckfield

July 16, 2011 at 7:53 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with , , ,

The Olympics In Jerusalem: Does That Sound Crazy?

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Over at Harvard Business Review, Lynda Lawrence, William Hernández Requejo, and John L. Graham suggest that Jerusalem should host the 2024 Olympic Games:

What is needed in Israel and Palestine is a shared goal to kick off this process. How about Jerusalem as the site for the 2024 Olympic games?

…The Olympics could bring as much as $50 billion in revenues. And the spiritual symbolism of so many millions visiting the sources of their faith would be priceless.

Does that sound crazy?

Yes, actually, it does sound crazy, as most readers’ comments indicate:

It must be comfortable doing inventive negotiations with yourself from the confines of a conference room. I suspect you’ve never seen Jerusalem up close.

This is a disaster of an article.

As inventive as the idea sounds, so much can go so wrong.

A very idealistic concept, but highly unlikely. The Olympics in Israel would be a terrorist’s dream come true.

“JGraham”, presumably the co-author, responds to—or rather dismisses—the criticism:

Three quick lessons about inventive negotiations are nicely represented in the discussion so far: (1) Venting emotions about the impossibility of the task can be a useful prelude to creative thinking; (2) Ad hominem attacks almost always damage the process of invention; and (3) It is essential to focus on the future, not the past, for the sake of invention.

Here’s a fourth lesson, Mr. Graham: Packaging an anti-Israeli agenda as an innovative business solution is likely to fail with HBR’s intelligent readership. Whether they are pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, or uncommitted, they will see your proposal for what it really is.

It presumes that Palestinians won’t have to risk being shot while “hopping the fence” to work in Israel…. It presumes that the United States and other countries will send to the region legions of tourists rather than boatloads of weapons.

It also presumes that the world has forgotten about the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics, an Inconvenient Truth that Lawrence, Requejo, and Graham conveniently ignore in their article.

Written by breckfield

July 9, 2011 at 10:14 am

Information Overload: Focus, Filter, and Forget

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At The Economist, Schumpeter talks about the all-too-common problem of “information overload”…

First, information overload can make people feel anxious and powerless: scientists have discovered that multitaskers produce more stress hormones. Second, overload can reduce creativity. Teresa Amabile of Harvard Business School has spent more than a decade studying the work habits of 238 people, collecting a total of 12,000 diary entries between them. She finds that focus and creativity are connected. People are more likely to be creative if they are allowed to focus on something for some time without interruptions. If constantly interrupted or forced to attend meetings, they are less likely to be creative. Third, overload can also make workers less productive. David Meyer, of the University of Michigan, has shown that people who complete certain tasks in parallel take much longer and make many more errors than people who complete the same tasks in sequence.

…and how to cope:

Derek Dean and Caroline Webb of McKinsey urge businesses to embrace three principles to deal with data overload: find time to focus, filter out noise and forget about work when you can. Business leaders are chipping in. David Novak of Yum! Brands urges people to ask themselves whether what they are doing is constructive or a mere “activity”. John Doerr, a venture capitalist, urges people to focus on a narrow range of objectives and filter out everything else. Cristobal Conde of SunGard, an IT firm, preserves “thinking time” in his schedule when he cannot be disturbed. This might sound like common sense. But common sense is rare amid the cacophony of corporate life.

Written by breckfield

July 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm

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