Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 10, 2009 by capitolmoxie

Embedded video from CNN VideoHealth care reform that aims to help millions of Americans is bound to lead to euthanasia (acc0rding to Ms. Sarah Palin, expert policymaker from the Great State of Alaska). I wonder what Ms. Palin thinks leaving millions of Americans uninsured leads to . . . death perhaps? As it stands now, everyday hundreds of Americans feel they may need to go to the ER (an unusual heartbeat of a retiree, a rising fevor of a child of a single parent home) . . . but don’t because they are worried about the cost. This kind of risktaking is sad, so much more sad than the type of risk taking her daughter took when having unprotected sex.  Bristol had a choice. The uninsured, and all too often insured middle class Americans, do NOT have a choice.

My advice to anyone reading this is to harness their moxie and lobby their represenatives in Washington to stand up for health care reform. Tune out the stupid special interest commercials and get real.  Oh and check out one of these t-shirts:



Authentic Bullshit . . .

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 16, 2009 by capitolmoxie

. .  .  I’ll admit,  I generally think brand-name fashion divas fall a little short when it comes to IQ . . . but seriously, how stupid do the marketing folks at J. Crew actually think people are? I have never ordered a thing from J Crew in my life but I have some how ended up on one of their listservs.  Imagine my excitement tonight when I just saw I had a new message from my friend [first name “J.” last name “Crew”] that said: “PRIVATE SALE  (it’s super top secret).”  If it is so super top secret why in the hell am I and a million other people being alerted to it?! Furthermore if it is private THAN WHY ARE YOU USING  CAPITOL LETTERS?? (and if it so secret, do you really think using parenthesis is going to help keep the cat in the bag?)

Let’s face it–what bothers me about this is the same thing that bothers you all the time, you just haven’t known what to call it. Well, now you do: authentic bullshit. What J. Crew is saying is so unbelievable and rediculous they might as well ask Michelle Obama if she would sport a tat for them after Barack gets re-elected in 2012. Authenticity. Is it really that hard?

Well, if you turn on a morning show you will find out for some people it really is a challenge. The sense of down-to-earthness swelling up in the heart of over-glossed female anchors (and male, if you want to count Matt Lauer as such) when they refer to Michelle Obama being a woman of the people because she wears J Crew makes me rather ill. In what world is a dress that looks like a potatoe sack and costs $188 a bargain?  What’s really sad is women across the country are turning on their tvs listening to these airheads babble on about this and starting to assume there is a norm they are not privy to. No NO NO NO. Don’t get me wrong, I am really happy that Michelle Obama is not wearing $300,000 assembles the likes of Cindy McCain. However, I cannot just accept this kind of trying to be “authentic” bullshit because it is the lesser of two evils. And to the marketing team at J Crew– you can attempt to rebrand all you want but the reality is it is a recession and you there is nothing about your prices that reflect that(.) This crazy have and have not dichotomy is well demonstrated here:

Video email: Who’s Brilliant Idea Was This??

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 5, 2009 by capitolmoxie

The headline—that’s a joke. I think video email is a TERRIBLE idea. Just a few moments ago I opened a response to a response I just sent someone who contacted me saying I had contacted him on Linkedin a little over a year ago re: some opportunity (rather convoluted I know). I was confused—at first all I could see was the text I had just sent him. Then though, I noticed this small green link. I clicked.

Next thing I know I hear this guy’s voice saying “Hey Rachel, I got your email.” Woahhhhh. Come again?! I look up to my screen and realize this guy is just talking to me as if I am sitting across the desk from him. I can see his desk and seriously, I all of the sudden felt like I was in an office—zoinks! I’m naked!! I can’t be naked in this guy’s office!! Of course, I am not really in his office but this is the odd feeling this whole thing gives me.

When I worked on Capitol Hill, it was like I was living in the business version of NYC Fashion Week. Way too many folks Trumpin’ it up Apprentice style. Of course, I didn’t mind it at first. I was fresh out of college and it felt fun—look at me, I’m a grown up now! However, day after day I soon came to hate panty hose, those oh so crucial but uncomfortable pointy heels, the dread of hot weather and sweat and outrageous dry cleaner bills. There had to be a better way. There was! At dysfunctional nonprofits, you can get away with a lot but it still needed to be somewhat business. I couldn’t do business casual—I had all these awful conservative outfits my Mom made me get for the Hill, my pointy shoes, my clubbing outfits and my sweats.  Take three—now I freelance and one of the beautiful things about freelancing is, for the most part, you can do it in your sweats. You can get up and not worry about drawing in your eyebrows (mine are so blonde and my skin so pale that apparently without significant eye makeup my face appears to be “a white spot”) but now NOW it’s all screwed up!!! The beauty of typing an email is you can sound professional when you’re actually sitting Indian style with bed head and no one knows.

I fear the day now is just around the corner when I too will have to once again turn my thoughts to my appearance, as opposed to the substance of what I am saying. Email to John Doe, take four! We will all also have to be worrying about our tone. This is really going to make it so much harder for people like me who like to be passive aggressive and snarky via words who cannot be questioned because they aren’t spoken and their true intent cannot be completely ascertained in any way—just kidding—I don’t ever do that!

Does Sonia Sotomayor have capitol moxie?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 26, 2009 by capitolmoxie

Well, surprise, surprise . . . Mitt Romney finds President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor  “troubling” Wouldn’t it be scary, someone who wasn’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth sitting on the Supreme Court? Someone who grew up in a housing project?!? Give me a break.  The way things are in Washington it really doesn’t matter who is selected–if they are selected by the other party there is going to be a fight (.) No doubt the news anchors are already foaming at the mouth on this one. Here we go . . .

I am at work now so it may be a while longer before I bestow the CapitolMoxie Seal of Approval but I have to say, she looks like she’s got moxie if I have ever seen it. Oh yeah, and she was inspired by Nancy Drew, who wasn’t?! Oh yeah, you Sweet Valley High girls–well, you can keep pouring coffee.  Sonia will keep prepping for her Senate hearing.

“A” Dilemma of Epic Proportions

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 18, 2009 by capitolmoxie

Have you ever considered the advantages and disadvantages of having a name that starts with an “A”?? In the social media world, having an A name is profound.

Ex: I stress about who I let be a connection on Linkedin, especially if their last name starts with an A. God forbid I slip and let my connections lose their luster by allowing Dolly Akers (unemployed) take over the coveted spot of Joe Aaron, a big wheeler and dealer with a company name that says–“damn, she’s connected!”

Ex: Whenever I pull up my Facebook friends, I always see the updates of my A friends, almost never see the updates of “G” friends.

Ex: If you’re name starts with an A on an online dating site–when someone’s “matches” are pulled up, or a search conducted– “a_very_lovely_lady” will beat out “ZsaZsa” any day of the week (which is really unfortunate bc I would bet that ZsaZsa is the real catch).

Ex: Cell phones. It’s 5:45 on a Thursday night and you just saw a blog post about some great HH specials at that new bar down the street. You want to get some of your peeps together to partake but you’ve gotta move fast. Who are you going to call?! (ghost busters, just admit it. half of you probably said ghost busters)  You’re going to call the first person on your contact list that you could enjoy having a drink with. There are probably a lot of people you might enjoy having a drink with but are you actually going to call all of them no?

A big thing in the marketing jargon world is TOM. TOM stands for top of mind awareness. Think about the TOM of Abby, Ava, Adonnis (yes, that’s a name of a contact of mine–further proof that TOM is aptly referenced when it comes to  the “A” Dilemma ).

LinkedIn aside, from a personal branding perspective, alex letter A I believe the As are advantaged more than they are disadvantaged in this  alphabetically sorted online world of oh-so-short attention spans.

I bet expecting couples  are probably already trying to come up with names that start with an A  in the hopes it will up their child’s social standing on down the online networking line.

Crazy, no?

Innovative Government: Not an Oxymoron

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 6, 2009 by capitolmoxie

Bright and early tomorrow AM, government managers will start to congregate at The Performance Institute Conference Center for . . .

The 2009 Federal Performance Policy Forum:
Insights and Ideas to Transform Federal Program Management

(Sounds pretty heavy no?) Well, it is and it isn’t. On the one hand, it’s easy in times of trouble to want to keep the course, to not switch things up too much.  On the other hand, when things are really bad–they may be really bad in large part to the fact we’ve been doing things the wrong way and some innovative thinking is called for.

“Nothing endures but change.” Heraclitus (540 BC – 480 BC)

There is no doubt in my mind any more just how quickly change can happen. I remember when I decided to be a public policy major at William and Mary. It was a hopeful time. The economy was great. We finally had a budget surplus. And I believed I was going to graduate and move to Washington to work on environmental issues and be a part of this huge social policy agenda. Then there was 9/11. I can remember classmates gathering into a random classroom and watching CNN. I definitely didn’t understand the gravity of the situation but one of my government professors did as I can remember him saying, “This will change the focus of public policy for the next two decades.” Sure enough, by the time I graduated and came to Washington– three letters, D.H.S.,  had come to define agency funding levels, the discourse of the national media, the messaging platforms of both political parties and the job prospects of many idealists like me.

When you hear the word bureaucracy– innovation is likely not the first word that pops up in your head.  And yet, it should be. It has to be. Another wave of change has swept into Washington and now is not the time to be timid. Now is the time to be smart and nimble. There is a climate of tolerance towards changing policies that has not existed in decades. People aren’t looking for the same old. I believe most Americans know that we have to plot a new route. Remember that saying, “can’t go over it. can’t go around it. can’t go under it ” well, it is time to go “through it.” For years we have been facing enormous policy issues. The short-term-gotta-get-re-elected-horse-and-pony-show has increasingly drawn politicians away from the roots of problems and fixated on them on the “talking points” of the problem. Using the right rhetoric ain’t getting us out of this mess though.

I am pretty excited to see this gathering of government managers tomorrow. All too often career civil servants go unnoticed. Now I hope these unsung heroes will have a chance in the spotlight. Let’s reach out to them. Tell them we are thankful for their leadership, empower them to speak for us and to draw upon their expertise to drive innovation in a time when innovation is needed more than ever.

You can learn more about InnoGOV on the LinkedIn group I belong to. Just do a group search on there for  “InnoGOV” and message how you heard about Innovations in Government and what your interests are. I am looking forward to having a great dialogue with as many different people as possible on there.

If you aren’t following on Twitter– get with the program here. They are tweeting up a storm . ..


oh and here’s another! Justice Souter is leaving the Supreme Court

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2009 by capitolmoxie