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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Puppies and Kittens: The Morning Briefing

I think we make a mistake by requiring the president to have a morning intelligence meeting.  Why? I think it ends up brainwashing those elected to favor certain information.

Imagine if instead, the president received a morning puppy and kitten briefing from the ASPCA. Yes, this sounds absurd already, but if we have morning meetings about spies and bad guys, it is possible to have a morning meeting on a weird topic.

So, each morning it is puppies and kittens. I think most of us would begin our presidency being polite and interested in the presentations. Within a few months, we may start to get involved with the details of all these puppies and kittens. 

As we become insiders with expert information supplied ahead of everyone else in the world, we begin using our puppy and kitten policies to get things done, and perhaps defending them as essential when others start asking questions about the briefings.

After a few years of puppy and kitten briefings every morning, we're going to start favoring puppy and kitten issues. We're going to see puppies and kittens as perhaps more important than they really are in the grand scheme of things.

We might expand the ASPCA, so that we can hear about puppies and kittens from all departments, not just one, and to coordinate a massive puppy and kitten plan across departments for maximum attention to the issue.

Any attempts to return to the pre-puppy and kitten days will be met with opposition. How will we know what the puppies and kittens are doing if we stop the briefings? Better safe than sorry. Keep them going!

More seriously, I worry that we've created a system around the presidency that limits thinking. In the name of clear information, I think we create fog. I think the greatest minds would be hamstrung by advisors and tradition, let alone the people that actually run for the office.

Think of the difference, too, between reading the newspaper yourself, and asking someone else what happened today. You will find what interests you in the news; a friend will tell you what they think is important. What if all of your daily information came second hand? Does the bubble matter?

I think it would be an interesting project for someone to find out how world leaders begin their days around the world. Do they all focus on threats and spies first thing in the morning? Does anyone take a walk, play with kids, and work alone at a desk for an hour? Anyone contemplate happiness? Go for a swim? Walk the dog?


How does the way we begin our mornings impact our long-term work and decisions?


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Starting mornings

I love this idea!


We are what we think about?

I tend to agree that if we make homeland security, terrorism, and other horrors the primary focus of the federal gov't we may end up protecting ourselves to death.

If we thought about other things like jobs, healthcare, quality of life, and such, even half as much, we might actually make headway on these problems too....

I'm a lousy example when it comes to morning routine -- I read the news with my coffee everyday and always have.


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