Listen & Make Up Your Own Mind

Since I grow incredibly weary of arguing with people whose data points come from talking heads at Fox News/MSNBC/CNN, the “Tea Party,” from Sarah Palin’s Twitter feed or any strictly partisan outlet, I only ask that they invest some of their precious time in listening. The non-critical thinkers don’t even have to try to find news outlets that offer mostly pictures instead of those hard to digest big words in paragraph after paragraph of text.

Rather than watch a 90 minute movie this week, instead watch this short speech and long Q&A between President Obama and the House Republican caucus. THIS is reasoned dialogue without all the rhetoric, spin and positioning, making Obama out to be the anti-Christ so that the Republicans can have the audacity of hoping for a shot at the next presidency.

President Obama’s short speech and hour of Q&A:

The Republican leadership response. No demonizing and they come across as reasonable, willing to engage in conversation, and men who don’t embarrass me as someone who used to identify with this party, more than a decade ago before they lost touch with reality:

Uncle Sam is listening…but this time without a wiretap

unclesamiphoneWhen I wrote, “Lessons from Our First Social Media President” last November, it was clear then that this incoming Administration would probably fulfill their campaign pledges of transparency, continuing to engage the American people, and bring change to government.

On January 21, 2009, his first full day in office, the President issued a Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, in which he called for recommendations that make the Federal government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative.

As part of that mandate, the White House recently completed the first phase of their “Open Government Brainstorm” initiative, which opened the door to ideas from citizens, government employees, and interested others.

Guess what they discovered? We want to participate and do so online with things like social media. One document, Social Media and the Federal Government: Perceived and Real Barriers and Potential Solutions (PDF) produced by the Federal Web Managers Council (the 30 most senior web managers) which clearly shows that there is pent-up demand by both citizens and employees to leverage social media…but there are a bunch of barriers and obstacles in the way. With what I’ve seen thus far, the Obama administration is all about removing obstacles and this will be no different.

If you’re interested in reading more, check out this White House blog post on the brainstorm wrap-up.