It’s a Start

3 02 2009

Martin Moleski
mmoleski@igpr.com

Warning! Really long post…begins now.

Today, Republican leaders called out specific earmarks they want removed from President Obama’s $900 billion stimulus plan. This list is incredible on so many levels. I’ve put my first reaction to each item in parentheses.

  • $2 billion earmarkto re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient. (What state is our president from?)
  • A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film. (Who still uses film? Isn’t everything HD?)
  • $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program. (Biggest waste of money….ever)
  • $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (I thought global warming was taking care of this?)
  •  $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters. (I was always told  Democrats didn’t care about Homeland Security)
  • $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees. (So with the mpg savings, they’ll just drive to more “blue-ribbon committee meetings. No deal.)
  •  $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters. (My home furnishings don’t equal half the purchase price of my home.)
  • $400 millionfor the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD’s (Government trying to be parents for everyone.)
  •  $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs. (Literally throwing money away.)
  • $125 million for the Washington sewer system. (Literally flushing money down the toilet.)
  • $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities. (Just a simple “No” from me.)
  • $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion. (With all the illegal immigrants in our country, why even do a Census?)
  •  $75 million for “smoking cessation activities.” (I disagree with this one. The long-term health care savings would more than make up for it.)
  •  $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges. (I didn’t receive a free computer when I went to college.) 
  •  $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI. (I’ll give them this one.)
  •  $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction. (Sadly, this is probably not even enough. If it’s not sustainable, it has to go.)
  • $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River. (Don’t live in a bowl, and you’ll be fine.)
  • $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas. (And then what?)
  • $6 billion to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings. (No, only because I don’t like the guy from the Re-Power America commercials.)
  •  $500 million for state and local fire stations. (If a community won’t pass a fire levy, then they don’t deserve fire protection.)
  •  $650 millionfor wildland fire management on forest service lands. (Is that how much they are paying Smokey the Bear?)
     
  • $1.2 billion for “youth activities,” including youth summer job programs. (Wow, what happened to capitalism?)
  •  $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service. (Didn’t we learn anything from the former Merrill-Lynch CEO?)
  • $412 million for CDC buildings and property. (To do what with, exactly?)
  • $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland. (Give this money to Walter Reed…now!)
  •  $160 million for “paid volunteers” at the Corporation for National and Community Service. (Isn’t paid volunteer an oxymoron?)
  • $5.5 million for “energy efficiency initiatives” at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration. (The “green” movement sure has some good lobbyists.)
  •  $850 million for Amtrak. (Is this to pay for inevitable derailment lawsuits?)
  • $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint. (Don’t lick the walls and you’ll be fine.)
  •  $75 million to construct a “security training” facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies. (It doesn’t say this is a “green” building so why even attempt to build it?)
  •  $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems. (What? Isn’t that like paying the Amish to update their web site?)
  • $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations. (Shouldn’t they be marching in formation, instead?)

You have to wonder, after reading this extensive list, what else could be left?? Well, add up the numbers above and it only comes to $19.0905 billion. Hmm.. that leaves $880.9095 billion of our money. I hope this puts things into perspective.

On a personal note, I actually don’t mind investing in “green” technology as I think it could become our next industrial revolution. But from looking at the list above, I think they are missing the mark. Let me explain. Green technology is great, except nobody ever talks about the behavioral changes that go along with it. The way I see it – and research will show in a few years – people who drive hybrids or own green homes are more likely to use more gas or electricity than if they weren’t living a green lifestyle. Why? Because the feeling of getting more for your money leads to greater consumption. It’s like going to the mall and spending $500 because you saved $50 by opening a credit card. It’s the mentality of “The more I spend, the more I save.” With green technology, it leads to a “Because I’m saving, I can use more” mentality. What we should be investing in is wind and other renewable energy sources that can lead to sustainable manufacturing and service jobs. Trust me, the research isn’t out yet because green technology hasn’t been around long enough.

Wow, I just got a great idea. Let’s use some “stimulus” money to pay me to do the research on green technology. My fee is a competitive $150,000. After looking at the numbers above, it sure seems reasonable, doesn’t it?





The Media Starts to Pay Attention

23 01 2009

-Martin Moleski
mmoleski@igpr.com

I had originally planned to use this post  to outline my ideas to rebrandstructure the Republican Party, but it will have to wait at least a week. Perhaps I’ll wait until a new party chairman has been decided, but I’ve been collecting my thoughts on how the Republicans can come back stronger than ever, so prepare for a lengthy post next time.

Shocking news out of the MSM (mainstream media) today as President Obama is not playing nice with the media and “frustrations” are starting to grow.

Better late than never, I guess.

What seems to be the problem? It mostly has to deal with the fact – yes, fact – that the MSM gave Obama a free ride all the way to Election Day. Now, as Obama closes out his first week as president, the media is starting to dig a little bit and the new president, plus his administration, aren’t really interested in discussing specifics.

This outright defiance by the Obama administration should surely stop Chris Matthews’ “thrill up his leg.”  Right?





Embassy Suites – Impressed

23 01 2009

I’m staying at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque, NM, and wanted to share an impressive letter to their guests that I found on the desk…

To Our Guests

In ancient times there was a prayer for

“The Stranger within our Gates”

Because this hotel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a money making organization, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof.

May this room and hotel be your “second” home. May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams. Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be comfortable and happy as if you were in your own house.

May the business that brought you our way prosper. May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe.

We are all travelers. From “birth till death” we travel between the eternities. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those who know and love you best.

…Impressive! I now have a preferred hotel choice for whenever I travel!

Matt
mwhite@igpr.com





The Impact Group Works with the World’s Tallest Dog

21 01 2009

This Thursday, January 22, The Impact Group will spearhead some very exciting PR for its client ForeverLawn!

We will be in Albuquerque to promote Gibson, the World’s Tallest Dog, as the spokesdog for ForeverLawn’s K9Grass (the only artificial turf for dogs). While we’re in Albuquerque, we’ll be working with local morning TV shows , newspapers  and magazines  to capture this very fun and exciting moment for ForeverLawn.

Gibson is in town for the ForeverLawn dealer conference and will be making stops at Rio Rancho Petland and Lucky Paws, a no-kill animal shelter.

Stay tuned in for HUGE coverage of K9Grass/Gibson!

KK





The Twitter Effect

20 01 2009

Whether you have a Twitter account yet or not, it’s inevitable that you’ve at least heard of it. If not, it’s a site that allows users to share quick (140 characters or less) information with anyone who “follows” them. Check it out: www.twitter.com. (You can follow The Impact Group at http://twitter.com/igpr)

I recenlty read a great case study on the one-item-for-sale-each-day web site Woot.com and how they have used Twitter to effectively drive traffic and build community. Read the full article at MarketingSherpa.com (http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=30996).

This case study is a testiment to the affects of not only social media, but the web as a whole. When I open my iGoogle.com page every morning, I get everything I need – from the blogs I’m reading to weather to latest news stories to the current product on sale at Woot.com.

Amazing! If you’re not using the web beyond just your organization’s web site…you’re missing out!

Matt
mwhite@igpr.com





Another Funny Beer Commercial….

19 01 2009

Now that the holidays are behind us, I am getting in the spirit of SuperBowl weekend and great commercials! I love this commercial for Heineken beer. If anyone has ever had the challenge of writing a memorable, 30 second tv commercial, you understand how hard this task actually is – even though at times it appears easy. I think this commercial is ingenius! It is well thought out and definitely delivers the message in a very short time. I always love when humor is used also. I think that adds to us remembering it.

I love football, but I really can’t wait to see what the commercials have in store for us!

Please click below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1ZZreXEqSY

 Krista Rodriguez





Getting Started with Social Media

19 01 2009

Getting started with social media can be intimidating. There are thousands of social media tools and networks, and it’s hard to know where to start. And more social media sites are popping up everyday.

I think the best thing to do is start with the basics to get your feet wet and see how it goes. Set up a Facebook page for your business. Get on Twitter. Start a Digg account. All of these take only moments to set up. The real time investment comes in figuring out how to use them to best support your business.

But you have to learn by doing. Watch what other people do, and take notice of other social sites they may mention. Then start to get involved in those if you think they would benefit your business.

Once you learn to navigate those sites, you have to start listening to what people have to say about your company. SmartBlog on Social Media says that the three basic steps for anyone starting out in social media are to listen, respond and initiate your own conversations.

It seems simple enough, but it really does take time and effort to learn about social media and make it work for you business.

-Abbey
aswank@igpr.com