Obama’s missed legacy

I’m a big fan of Obama, and have publicly supported him on this blog several times. I think, by in large, he’s done a great job of managing the presidency and engaging in traditional politics — which is, in my opinion, his biggest (and most annoying) failure.


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Obama stopped mobilizing his supporters when he took office. His email database, SMS database, and social lists have been relegated to un-targeted and 2nd-rate messages. Used effectively, those tools could have been extremely powerful tools in Obama’s push for agenda items like healthcare.  It would have galvanized and involved a broad audience of people, which would have made the public view of the debate more of a citizen v. citizen issue.

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This would have been messier. It might have even cost us healthcare reform. But if Obama pushed his main agenda points by proxy through millions of supporters who signed up to be involved (email/SMS/social), it would have ushered in an age of consistent engagement by forcing the other side to engage their base similarly.

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Obama could have created a legacy of being the man who brought the public back into the fold, who engaged the common man more than once a term. That’s one of the many reasons I voted for him — because he represented that promise.  Instead, you hear that “Social Media in the Age of Obama” is all about how this marketing channel is changing campaigning.  Trust me, that wasn’t the part of the process that needed better engagement tools.

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Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
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How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

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  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
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Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
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Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

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Scientists find a horrible new way cocaine can damage your brain

Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.

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Mind & Brain
  • Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
  • Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
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