Archive for the ‘Badger Sightings’ category

Lockheed Martin Part I

June 16, 2010

Hey all.  Today several of us Madison alumni visited Lockheed Martin, one of the military’s big 5 military contractors.  Military spending makes up approximately 4% of the United State’s GDP.  The VP of Lockheed Martin, Bob Trice (pictured below) is a UW Madison alumni who graciously offered us dinner and some time in their flight simulators.  While I had some issues with the content of Mr. Trice’s presentation, such as his labeling of military/industrial spending as “small potatoes” when compared to overall economic spending, more on that topic will be written tomorrow by my roommate Paco.

While it wasn’t a Badger sighting, tonight I also had the pleasure of meeting a former Drum Major of the Michigan Marching band (2002-2004) named Matt Cavanaugh.  He has been working for Lockheed Martin as an engineer for a number of years.  We had a long conversation about the differences in band culture, performance styles, and Drum Major philosophies (for those that don’t know, I was the Drum Major at UW-Madison from 2008-2009).  He’s also the guy who claims to have invented the Maize out at Michigan, and I have no reason to doubt him.  We also talked a lot about leadership and how no course can prepare you for the things you’ll learn about leading an organization like being in Marching Band.

One of my favorite aspects about Washington DC is that it is a small world, and that you can make connections with just about everyone if only you’re willing to take the initiative and talk with them.  Chances are that if you open up and have the courage to interact with those around you on the subway or at the lunch counter, you’ll find something that the two of you have in common!

Tune in tomorrow for Paco’s take on the Lockheed Martin and a report from my tour of the White House!

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Health Care and Badger Sightings

June 4, 2010

Three more Badger sightings in DC today.  Patrick and I had lunch with Alexis Macdonald and Kate Nast, two Badger alumni working on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) health care team.  We met up with them in China town and talked about their work and how much they’ve enjoyed DC.  The Thai food was wonderful!

On another note, the TANF conference I’ve been attending saw one of Wisconsin’s better known professor’s today, Dr. Tim Smeedling of the Urban Institute on poverty deliver a stirring talk on out of wedlock births in America today.  Wisconsin has been well represented at this conference because of our nation-leading health and social policy innovations.  (Tim’s picture is on the right)

On another note, anyone who’s know me for a while knows I have a passion for health policy.  With that in mind, I came across this article a couple days ago on Obama’s nominee to run Medicare and Medicaid, Donald Berwick.

If you don’t know the name now, you will in the next few months, as the GOP will most likely use him to open the health care debate back up.  They’ve cited his “love for the NHS” in the UK as a negative and plan to fight him tooth and nail.  From what I’ve read, the man does not believe that the NHS offers health care perfection, rather, he admires its commitment to providing a national health system framework and universal health care coverage.  Which I feel are two very admirable things.

Other than being an unfortunate display of politics, this will delay the appointment of a man that has done much to lower health care costs in the US WITHOUT RATIONING HEALTH CARE or resorting to massive cuts in health care spending.  I’ve been reading up on the guy and he advocates for a system wide approach in which doctors work from the ground up to reduce unnecessary use of care and to reward and encourage doctors to improve when they make mistakes, rather than to threaten them with firing or legal action when they screw up, like every human does from time to time. Just because someone makes a mistake doesn’t mean they’re grossly negligent.

Here are some reasons to get excited about this guy from a health care perspective.

Finally, a quote from one of his articles that I think summarizes his position nicely

Everybody has two jobs. Their job as they know it and the job of helping make their own jobs and the jobs of those around them better.

Watch for this guy’s name.  I assure you that you’ll be hearing about him in the coming months!