Thursday, October 13, 2011

BLUE LIKE JAZZ | finally!

I stayed up late with several hundred of my closest friends at the National Youth Workers Convention in San Diego to watch a rough cut of Donald Miller + Steve Taylor's film, Blue Like Jazz.

In the spirit of full disclosure. Mr. Taylor and I have been friends for something on the order of 30 years. That said, we have an informal agreement not to kid each other. So, I can tell you what I told him: "It's really good; stop listening to other voices; finish it."

Of course, he's too polite to stop listening, but he sees things too clearly to make false compromises at this point.

Taylor directed Donald Miller's screenplay and I think it's funny, thoughtful, unpredictable and real — by which I mean two things. First, Blue Like Jazz will earn a PG-13 rating because freshman year at Reed College — the very same institution from which Steve Jobs dropped-out back in the day — was a PG-13 experience (give or take an R). So don't take your grandmother or your middle school Bible Study when this film is released next April and then pretend to be shocked — shocked! I tell youat the language and debauchery. It's not a movie for 12 year-olds. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We won't even debate the American Jobs Act?

Last night the United States Senate failed to muster 60 elected officials willing to even debate the merits of the American Jobs Act.

That's how things work under current Senate rules. The Act itself might be passed with a simple majority of 51 votes. But 60 votes are required to bring the matter up for debate.

What part of we need jobs makes this proposal so distasteful that it can't be discussed?
  • Incentivizing employers to hire returning Iraq and Afghanistan Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines?
  • Hiring, rehiring and preventing the layoff of tens of thousands of firefighters, law enforcement officers and teachers?
  • Training to refit capable but unemployed American workers to take jobs requiring knowledge and skills they lack?
  • Modernizing more than 30,000 schools across the U.S.?
  • Adding — if Moody's Analytics is in the ballpark — 1.9 million jobs — lowering the unemployment rate by a full point and growing the U.S. economy by two percent? (Could your enterprise use a two percent bump at the closing of the year?)
Read the American Jobs Act for yourself. If your Senator voted against even debating the measure, you have a right to know why. Here's where you'll find Senate contact information

Friday, October 07, 2011

Press Conference on the Economy | 10.06.11

"If Congress does something, then I can’t run against a do-nothing Congress."
— Barack Obama

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

News Conference by the President

East Room
11:00 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. I will take your questions in a second. But first, I just want to say a few words about the economy.
Next week, the Senate will vote on the American Jobs Act. And I think by now I’ve made my views pretty well known. Some of you are even keeping a tally of how many times I’ve talked about the American Jobs Act. And the reason I keep going around the country talking about this jobs bill is because people really need help right now. Our economy really needs a jolt right now.
This is not a game; this is not the time for the usual political gridlock. The problems Europe is having today could have a very real effect on our economy at a time when it’s already fragile. But this jobs bill can help guard against another downturn if the situation in Europe gets any worse. It will boost economic growth; it will put people back to work.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The 'F' Bomb | Make it Stop

There's a petition to stop the 'F' Bomb.
 Dear Members of Congress,
The famine in Somalia has killed 30,000 children in 3 months. In 2011 we have the opportunity to make famine a thing of the past. Lives are in your hands. Please fully fund Feed the Future and help break the cycle of famine for good. 
The reasons for the famine in the Horn of Africa are complex and solutions are difficult, especially in Somalia, but we can’t lose sight of some simple facts: 
1. 30,000 children have died in just 3 months. Thirty thousand. With over 12 million people at risk.