Dec 192017

America First: The Trump Doctrine of National Security

A dignified constitutional convention mandates a new American president to put forth a national security strategy at some point early in a new administration. In an unprecedented move as early as the first year – well before his second State of the Union Address in January – President Donald Trump detailed a new “National Security Strategy of the United States of America” on Monday, December 18, 2017, outlining The Trump Doctrine of “America First,” including his administration’s defense against threats from “rogue regimes” like North Korea’s imperial nuclear threats on global security.

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“America is coming back and coming back strong,” President Trump said.

The speech touched on the U.S. relationship with China and Russia, who the president described as “rival powers” that “seek to challenge American influence, values, and wealth.” The Trump Doctrine also promised “firm action against unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft.”


President Trump on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 predicted the already-humming U.S. economy is about to get a big boost, as the final version of the $1.5 trillion Republican tax bill heads to the floors of the House and the Senate, and ultimately to his desk for signature. “Stocks and the economy have a long way to go after the Tax Cut Bill is totally understood and appreciated in scope and size,” Trump tweeted. “Immediate expensing will have a big impact. Biggest Tax Cuts and Reform EVER passed. Enjoy, and create many beautiful JOBS!”

#USHouse in a 224-201 vote and #USSenate in a 51-48 vote passes the $1.5T #TaxCutsandJobsAct for President Trump’s signature on Friday, December 22, 2017 well before Christmas Day, as he promised! Here’s 3 Easy Pieces of the #TaxBill for #Jobs #Savings #Investments and #Growth:

☑️ Repeals #Obamacare Individual Mandate!

☑️ Cuts Corporate Taxes at 35% to 21%!

☑️ Reduces Tax Rates to 10-37% in just 7 Brackets!

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On this day as U.S. markets sees the Dow rise a record 5,000 points in a year, rapidly approaching a record high of 25,000 points, and as the emerging decentralized network ledger digital currency Bitcoin stretches over its 20,000 market value threshold,

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“A Growing Nation with a Crumbling Infrastructure is a Slowing Nation!”

Today is about Speed!

The Speed of our Transportation Technologies! 

The Speed of our National Security Response! 

The Speed of our High-Growth Economy!

Transportation Security is Economic Security which is National Security!

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Atlanta Airport Blackout closely followed by the Washington State Train Derailment is a classic case study of moving people, planes, trains and automobiles all at once during a high-tech disaster placed upon our national security strategy integrated with our national infrastructure system.

Look Up America, our infrastructure science and technology is integrated into these 7 Grand-Challenges: Info-Tech, Bio-Tech, Wireless-Tech, Micro-Tech, Nano-Tech, Cogno-Tech, and Elder-Tech – moving people, ideas and things!

Altogether, we must salute the Trump Administration’s FAA, FRA, FHWA, and USDOT and it’s local agencies in not only getting America back up in the air in Atlanta, but also moving forward again on the ground on Amtrak and Interstate 5 in Washington State, as local police, fire, hospitals, government and investigation officials, including the National Transportation Safety Board, move into place to determine exactly what happened.

The challenge of revitalizing and updating America’s transportation and infrastructure will be a focus of President Trump’s upcoming State of the Union Address.

President Trump has promised a $1T 10-year, revenue-neutral investment in the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

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Following the upcoming Tax Bill vote this week with 21% corporate tax rates, with 15.5% cash repatriation rates, and that will accelerate an already speedy economy, a proposed $1T Infrastructure Bill would encourage private sector investment in partnership with the public sector to repair, rehabilitate, and rebuild major, high-cost, revenue-supported Infrastructure Projects on highways, historic bridges, tunnels, airports, airplanes, schools, hospitals and our inner cities.

We need to rebuild our “Fast Transportation Infrastructure Technology” to keep up with our now “Fast Growing Economy,” so we can put our “Fast Capital” to work and create JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, especially to unite rural and urban regions across this country.

Build America Bonds” is President Trump’s 82% Tax Credits in equity private investments in infrastructure development and jobs creation.

Remarkably, the American Society of Civil Engineers gives America’s Crumbling Infrastructure a D+ Grade! This puts the state of our homeland and national security in deep jeopardy akin to a ”banana republic” operating with a world-class economy!

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President Trump is now rapidly turning his “Make America’s Infrastructure Great Again” vision into federal policy and legislation with the help of the Republican-controlled Congress, particularly through its “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act” – providing authorization through FY 2020; The U.S. Senate’s FAA Reauthorization Act (S. 2658); and The U.S. House’s ”Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act” (H.R. 4441) – providing comprehensive reforms to the Air Traffic Control System, and even provisions for enhanced airport security and airport modernization; and ”Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER)” discretionary grant program – providing operations of public transportation and passenger rail agencies to continue their transportation safety and security improvements!

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#Amtrak501, derailed Monday, December 18, 2017 in its inaugural ride on a new rail near Seattle, Washington, was traveling at 80mph in a 30mph zone, says #NTSB citing train data recorder! .@OliverMcGee, civil engineer, tells #FoxNews positive train control can prevent train derailments! Watch #FoxNews Video here:

Most of all, President Trump’s White House “America First” National Security Doctrine is 4-fold connected to his proposed National Transportation and Infrastructure Strategy:

☑️ Protects Our Homeland & Way of Life!

☑️ Promotes American Prosperity!

☑️ Demonstrates Peace Through Strength!

☑️ Advances American Influence in an Ever-Competitive World!

GDP Growth NOW Ranks 5th!

LBJ (‘64-68) 5.3%

JFK (‘61-63) 4.3%

Clinton (‘93-00) 3.9%

Reagan (‘81-88) 3.5%

Carter (‘77-80) 3.3%

IKE (‘53-60) 3.0%

Nixon (‘69-74) 2.8%

Ford (‘75-76) 2.6%

Bush1 (‘89-92) 2.3%

Bush2 (‘01-08) 2.1%

Truman (‘46-52) 1.7%

Obama (‘09-16) 1.5%

Trump 2017 3.3%!

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A Growing Nation with a Crumbling Infrastructure is a Slowing Nation!

President Trump’s Administration and the White House is shifting America from a “Hard Power, Soft Power” international politics of efficiency to a “Values-to-Storytelling” international sovereignty of dignity and wealth at home and abroad with Infrastructure, Science & Technology Policy tied to our Economic Policy of Growth & Global Trade! It’s all about Democracy (Liberty), Markets (Efficiency), Communications (Communities) & Technology (Equality)!

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A video of President Trump’s full speech can be seen here. Below is a full White House transcript of the President’s remarks as delivered.

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“Thank you very much. Thank you. Please. I want to thank Vice President Pence, along with the many members of my Cabinet here with us today.

I also want to thank all of the dedicated professionals — military, civilian, and law enforcement — who devote their lives to serving our nation. In particular, I want to recognize General Dunford and the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Applause.)

In addition, we are honored to be joined by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn. Thank you very much. Thank you for being here. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)

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Let me begin by expressing our deepest sympathies and most heartfelt prayers for the victims of the train derailment in Washington State. We are closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with local authorities. It is all the more reason why we must start immediately fixing the infrastructure of the United States.

We’re here today to discuss matters of vital importance to us all: America’s security, prosperity, and standing in the world. I want to talk about where we’ve been, where we are now, and, finally, our strategy for where we are going in the years ahead.

But to seize the opportunities of the future, we must first understand the failures of the past.

Over the past 11 months, I have traveled tens of thousands of miles to visit 13 countries. I have met with more than 100 world leaders. I have carried America’s message to a grand hall in Saudi Arabia, a great square in Warsaw, to the General Assembly of the United Nations, and to the seat of democracy on the Korean Peninsula. Everywhere I traveled, it was my highest privilege and greatest honor to represent the American people.

Throughout our history, the American people have always been the true source of American greatness. Our people have promoted our culture and promoted our values. Americans have fought and sacrificed on the battlefields all over the world. We have liberated captive nations, transformed former enemies into the best of friends, and lifted entire regions of the planet from poverty to prosperity.

Because of our people, America has been among the greatest forces for peace and justice in the history of the world. The American people are generous. You are determined, you are brave, you are strong, and you are wise.

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When the American people speak, all of us should listen. And just over one year ago, you spoke loud and you spoke clear. On November 8, 2016, you voted to make America great again. (Applause.) You embraced new leadership and very new strategies, and also a glorious new hope. That is why we are here today.

But to seize the opportunities of the future, we must first understand the failures of the past. For many years, our citizens watched as Washington politicians presided over one disappointment after another. To many of our leaders — so many who forgot whose voices they were to respect and whose interests they were supposed to defend — our leaders in Washington negotiated disastrous trade deals that brought massive profits to many foreign nations, but sent thousands of American factories, and millions of American jobs, to those other countries.

Our leaders engaged in nation-building abroad, while they failed to build up and replenish our nation at home. They undercut and shortchanged our men and women in uniform with inadequate resources, unstable funding, and unclear missions. They failed to insist that our often very wealthy allies pay their fair share for defense, putting a massive and unfair burden on the U.S. taxpayer and our great U.S. military.

They neglected a nuclear menace in North Korea; made a disastrous, weak, and incomprehensibly bad deal with Iran; and allowed terrorists such as ISIS to gain control of vast parts of territory all across the Middle East.

They put American energy under lock and key. They imposed punishing regulations and crippling taxes. They surrendered our sovereignty to foreign bureaucrats in faraway and distant capitals.

And over the profound objections of the American people, our politicians left our borders wide open. Millions of immigrants entered illegally. Millions more were admitted into our country without the proper vetting needed to protect our security and our economy. Leaders in Washington imposed on the country an immigration policy that Americans never voted for, never asked for, and never approved — a policy where the wrong people are allowed into our country and the right people are rejected. American citizens, as usual, have been left to bear the cost and to pick up the tab.

On top of everything else, our leaders drifted from American principles. They lost sight of America’s destiny. And they lost their belief in American greatness. As a result, our citizens lost something as well. The people lost confidence in their government and, eventually, even lost confidence in their future.

But last year, all of that began to change. The American people rejected the failures of the past. You rediscovered your voice and reclaimed ownership of this nation and its destiny.

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On January 20th, 2017, I stood on the steps of the Capitol to herald the day the people became the rulers of their nation again. (Applause.) Thank you. Now, less than one year later, I am proud to report that the entire world has heard the news and has already seen the signs. America is coming back, and America is coming back strong.

This strategy recognizes that, whether we like it or not, we are engaged in a new era of competition.

Upon my inauguration, I announced that the United States would return to a simple principle: The first duty of our government is to serve its citizens, many of whom have been forgotten. But they are not forgotten anymore. With every decision and every action, we are now putting America first.

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We are rebuilding our nation, our confidence, and our standing in the world. We have moved swiftly to confront our challenges, and we have confronted them head-on.

We are once again investing in our defense — almost $700 billion, a record, this coming year. We are demanding extraordinary strength, which will hopefully lead to long and extraordinary peace. We are giving our courageous military men and women the support they need and so dearly deserve.

We have withdrawn the United States from job-killing deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the very expensive and unfair Paris Climate Accord. And on our trip to Asia last month, I announced that we will no longer tolerate trading abuse.

We have established strict new vetting procedures to keep terrorists out of the United States, and our vetting is getting tougher each month.

To counter Iran and block its path to a nuclear weapon, I sanctioned the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for its support of terrorism, and I declined to certify the Iran Deal to Congress.

Following my trip to the Middle East, the Gulf states and other Muslim-majority nations joined together to fight radical Islamist ideology and terrorist financing. We have dealt ISIS one devastating defeat after another. The coalition to defeat ISIS has now recaptured almost 100 percent of the land once held by these terrorists in Iraq and Syria. Great job. (Applause.) Great job. Really good. Thank you. Thank you. We have a great military. We’re now chasing them wherever they flee, and we will not let them into the United States.

In Afghanistan, our troops are no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies of our plans. We are beginning to see results on the battlefield. And we have made clear to Pakistan that while we desire continued partnership, we must see decisive action against terrorist groups operating on their territory. And we make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help.

Our efforts to strengthen the NATO Alliance set the stage for significant increases in member contributions, with tens of billions of dollars more pouring in because I would not allow member states to be delinquent in the payment, while we guarantee their safety and are willing to fight wars for them. We have made clear that countries that are immensely wealthy should reimburse the United States for the cost of defending them. This is a major departure from the past, but a fair and necessary one — necessary for our country, necessary for our taxpayer, necessary for our own thought process.

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A nation without borders is not a nation.

Our campaign of maximum pressure on the North Korean regime has resulted in the toughest-ever sanctions. We have united our allies in an unprecedented effort to isolate North Korea. However, there is much more work to do. America and its allies will take all necessary steps to achieve a denuclearization and ensure that this regime cannot threaten the world. (Applause.) Thank you. This situation should have been taken care of long before I got into office, when it was much easier to handle. But it will be taken care of. We have no choice.

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At home, we are keeping our promises and liberating the American economy. We have created more than 2 million jobs since the election. Unemployment is at a 17-year-low. The stock market is at an all-time high and, just a little while ago, hit yet another all-time high — the 85th time since my election. (Applause.)

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We have cut 22 regulations for every one new regulation, the most in the history of our country. We have unlocked America’s vast energy resources.

As the world watches — and the world is indeed watching — we are days away from passing historic tax cuts for American families and businesses. It will be the biggest tax cut and tax reform in the history of our country. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

And we are seeing the response we fully expected. Economic growth has topped 3 percent for two quarters in a row. GDP growth, which is way ahead of schedule under my administration, will be one of America’s truly greatest weapons.

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Optimism has surged. Confidence has returned. With this new confidence, we are also bringing back clarity to our thinking. We are reasserting these fundamental truths:

A nation without borders is not a nation. (Applause.)

A nation that does not protect prosperity at home cannot protect its interests abroad.

A nation that is not prepared to win a war is a nation not capable of preventing a war.

A nation that is not proud of its history cannot be confident in its future.

And a nation that is not certain of its values cannot summon the will to defend them.

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Today, grounded in these truths, we are presenting to the world our new National Security Strategy. Based on my direction, this document has been in development for over a year. It has the endorsement of my entire Cabinet.

Our new strategy is based on a principled realism, guided by our vital national interests, and rooted in our timeless values.

This strategy recognizes that, whether we like it or not, we are engaged in a new era of competition. We accept that vigorous military, economic, and political contests are now playing out all around the world.

We face rogue regimes that threaten the United States and our allies. We face terrorist organizations, transnational criminal networks, and others who spread violence and evil around the globe.

We also face rival powers, Russia and China, that seek to challenge American influence, values, and wealth.

We also face rival powers, Russia and China, that seek to challenge American influence, values, and wealth. We will attempt to build a great partnership with those and other countries, but in a manner that always protects our national interest.

As an example, yesterday I received a call from President Putin of Russia thanking our country for the intelligence that our CIA was able to provide them concerning a major terrorist attack planned in St. Petersburg, where many people, perhaps in the thousands, could have been killed. They were able to apprehend these terrorists before the event, with no loss of life. And that’s a great thing, and the way it’s supposed to work. That is the way it’s supposed to work.

But while we seek such opportunities of cooperation, we will stand up for ourselves, and we will stand up for our country like we have never stood up before. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

We know that American success is not a forgone conclusion. It must be earned and it must be won. Our rivals are tough, they’re tenacious, and committed to the long term. But so are we.

To succeed, we must integrate every dimension of our national strength, and we must compete with every instrument of our national power.

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Under the Trump administration, America is gaining wealth, leading to enhanced power — faster than anyone thought — with $6 trillion more in the stock market alone since the election — $6 trillion.

With the strategy I am announcing today, we are declaring that America is in the game and America is going to win. (Applause.) Thank you.

Our strategy advances four vital national interests. 

First, we must protect the American people, the homeland, and our great American way of life. This strategy recognizes that we cannot secure our nation if we do not secure our borders. So for the first time ever, American strategy now includes a serious plan to defend our homeland. It calls for the construction of a wall on our southern border; ending chain migration and the horrible visa and lottery programs; closing loopholes that undermine enforcement; and strongly supporting our Border Patrol agents, ICE officers, and Homeland Security personnel. (Applause.)

In addition, our strategy calls for us to confront, discredit, and defeat radical Islamic terrorism and ideology and to prevent it from spreading into the United States. And we will develop new ways to counter those who use new domains, such as cyber and social media, to attack our nation or threaten our society.

The second pillar of our strategy is to promote American prosperity. For the first time, American strategy recognizes that economic security is national security. Economic vitality, growth, and prosperity at home is absolutely necessary for American power and influence abroad. Any nation that trades away its prosperity for security will end up losing both.

That is why this National Security Strategy emphasizes, more than any before, the critical steps we must take to ensure the prosperity of our nation for a long, long time to come.

It calls for cutting taxes and rolling back unnecessary regulations. It calls for trade based on the principles of fairness and reciprocity. It calls for firm action against unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft. And it calls for new steps to protect our national security industrial and innovation base.

The strategy proposes a complete rebuilding of American infrastructure — our roads, bridges, airports, waterways, and communications infrastructure. And it embraces a future of American energy dominance and self-sufficiency.

The third pillar of our strategy is to preserve peace through strength. (Applause.) We recognize that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unrivaled power is the most certain means of defense. For this reason, our strategy breaks from the damaging defense sequester. We’re going to get rid of that. (Applause.)

It calls for a total modernization of our military, and reversing previous decisions to shrink our armed forces — even as threats to national security grew. It calls for streamlining acquisition, eliminating bloated bureaucracy, and massively building up our military, which has the fundamental side benefit of creating millions and millions of jobs.

This strategy includes plans to counter modern threats, such as cyber and electromagnetic attacks. It recognizes space as a competitive domain and calls for multi-layered missile defense. (Applause.) This strategy outlines important steps to address new forms of conflict such as economic and political aggression.

And our strategy emphasizes strengthening alliances to cope with these threats. It recognizes that our strength is magnified by allies who share principles — and our principles — and shoulder their fair share of responsibility for our common security.

Fourth and finally, our strategy is to advance American influence in the world, but this begins with building up our wealth and power at home.

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America will lead again. 

We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but we will champion the values without apology. We want strong alliances and partnerships based on cooperation and reciprocity. We will make new partnerships with those who share our goals, and make common interests into a common cause. We will not allow inflexible ideology to become an obsolete and obstacle to peace.

We will pursue the vision we have carried around the world over this past year — a vision of strong, sovereign, and independent nations that respect their citizens and respect their neighbors; nations that thrive in commerce and cooperation, rooted in their histories and branching out toward their destinies.

That is the future we wish for this world, and that is the future we seek in America. (Applause.)

With this strategy, we are calling for a great reawakening of America, a resurgence of confidence, and a rebirth of patriotism, prosperity, and pride.

With this strategy, we are calling for a great reawakening of America, a resurgence of confidence, and a rebirth of patriotism, prosperity, and pride.

And we are returning to the wisdom of our founders. In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. What we have built here in America is precious and unique. In all of history, never before has freedom reigned, the rule of law prevailed, and the people thrived as we have here for nearly 250 years.

We must love and defend it. We must guard it with vigilance and spirit, and, if necessary, like so many before us, with our very lives. And we declare that our will is renewed, our future is regained, and our dreams are restored.

Every American has a role to play in this grand national effort. And today, I invite every citizen to take their part in our vital mission. Together, our task is to strengthen our families, to build up our communities, to serve our citizens, and to celebrate American greatness as a shining example to the world.

As long as we are proud — and very proud — of who we are, how we got here, and what we are fighting for to preserve, we will not fail.

If we do all of this, if we rediscover our resolve and commit ourselves to compete and win again, then together we will leave our children and our grandchildren a nation that is stronger, better, freer, prouder, and, yes, an America that is greater than ever before.

God Bless You. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)”

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Oct 012017

U.S. Congress Advances Smart-Vehicle START Legislation for U.S. Roadways

U.S. Senate has agreed to pass legislation this week on October 5, 2017 for lifting regulations on manufacturers of self-driving cars.  Introduced by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.), the bi-partisan legislation known as the American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act, removes regulatory barriers to “smart car” manufacturers, while ensuring enhanced safety measures for manufacturers and consumer protections, and for state and local research on traffic safety and law enforcement in the new age of advances in autonomous vehicle technologies (including legislation measures on automated trucking, smart vehicle consumer education, and protections for drivers with disabilities). The AV START Act also strengthens cyber-security policies designed to protect autonomous vehicle riders and the information such smart vehicles utilize.

“Self-driving vehicles will completely revolutionize the way we get around in the future, and it is vital that public policy keep pace with these rapidly developing lifesaving technologies that will be on our roads in a matter of years,” said Senator Peters, in his statement on the original bill. He emphasized that the industry has the potential to create thousands of new jobs.

“The biggest costs of cars are gas, insurance, maintenance (or, when you take a taxi the driver). Robocars (operated by full-automation robots) bring all of these costs down to practically zero. With 90% fewer accidents, insurance costs will drop 90% or more. Autonomous driving means you don’t need to pay for a human being behind the wheel, which is by far the biggest cost when one takes a taxi,” according to, “since Google announced its first self-driving car prototypes back in 2012.”

“Given that approximately 93% of all accidents have been attributed to human error, the senators and others have emphasized that self-driving cars aren’t just a job creator or a cool way to get around—they could save millions of lives,” reports, and in complete agreement with this statistical attribution to driver human error, I also discussed in a #DistractedDriving segment on #FoxNews #HappeningNow ( Editor’s Pick, November 17, 2016) entitled, “Can technology stem the rise of traffic fatalities?” with more than 17,700 fatalities estimated in the first six months of 2016, a 10.4 percent increase over the same period in 2015! 

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AV START Act is “expected to utilize some provisions from a similar bill that was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier in September 2017. That bill allowed manufacturers to produce an initial load of 25,000 cars in the first year. After three years, if they can prove that Artificial Intelligence (AI) vehicles are at least as safe as human-directed cars, that will increase to 100,000 annually,” according to, as “American policymakers and manufacturers alike have been hurrying to get aboard the self-driving train—so to speak. 

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Around the country and the world, self-driving cars are rapidly multiplying. The UK will be testing “platoons” of driverless semi trucks by the end of next year. Uber already uses them to pick up passengers in Pittsburgh and Arizona, Lyft is introducing them in San Francisco, and the city of Sacramento is seeking to make their city a driverless car testing ground. Tesla CEO Elon Musk even believes that most cars in production will be autonomous within ten years.”

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“Ford Motor Co has begun to develop new transportation service applications using a software platform developed by Autonomic Inc, a small Silicon Valley startup,” reports Reuters on October 9, 2017.

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Future of Smart Cars is Here Right Now!

Ride-hailing service Uber is moving forward now in carrying passengers with Ford Fusion self-driving cars with driver backups in Pittsburgh immediately. Ride-sharers will not have to pay Uber, if they allow self-driven fully-autonomous car capabilities for their trips!

Ford is putting driverless fully-automatic “smart cars” on the roads in 5 years (2021), radically changing everything we as national transportation policy officials understand about the billion-dollar ride-hauling market, like Uber and Lyft.

Interestingly, Gartner Technology projects autonomous vehicles are more than a decade away, as this widespread map of emerging future technology cycles for 2016 revealed!

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Automotive Smart Mobility technology will even alter everything we know about commercial transportation technology transfers for highway safety and security, specifically tied road traffic congestion and fully autonomous vehicle loads, as well as, future passenger engagement in relation to “drinking and driving” or “texting and driving.”

Uber has a self-driving research lab in Pittsburgh and is working on autonomous vehicles technology – known as “smart cars” – with Ford and Volvo. 

Why Pittsburgh for such a technology leap launch of “smart cars”? Uber sees nearby Carnegie Mellon as a university think-tank competency poll of specific knowledge for innovation in the Material Genomic Initiative, a White House Office of Science and Technology Policy strategic launch in 2014, alongside Gartner Technologies’ “Internet of Things” strategic outlook for the future.

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Ford announced on August 16, 2016 the automaker plans to deliver high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle for ride-sharing in five years by 2021.

Working with four startups on autonomous vehicle development, Ford has doubled the size and scope of its internal Silicon Valley team at its Palo Alto research facility.

Ford is expanding its Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto, California, adding two new buildings and 150,000 square feet of research laboratory space. Established in 2015, Ford’s Silicon Valley Research and Innovation Center allows the automaker to double the size of its Palo Alto campus by the end of 2017.

“The next decade will be defined by automation of the automobile, and we see autonomous vehicles as having as significant an impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. 

“We’re dedicated to putting on the road an autonomous vehicle that can improve safety and solve social and environmental challenges for millions of people – not just those who can afford luxury vehicles.”

Autonomous vehicles in 2021 are part of Ford Smart Mobility, says the automaker’s plan, aiming to be “a leader in autonomous vehicles, as well as in connectivity, mobility, the customer experience, and data and analytics.”

Ford is working with Stanford University, MIT, the University of Michigan, and Achen University in Germany on the automaker’s Smart Mobility technologies, moving people, ideas and things through grand-challenge areas of information technology, biotechnology, wireless technology, microtechnology, cognitive technology, and mobility and elder technology.

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Ford Aims for Smart Car Innovation and Market Leadership in Five Years

Ford’s first fully autonomous vehicle will be a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)-rated level 4-capable vehicle without a steering wheel or gas and brake pedals, as well as, significant advancements in connectivity, mobility, driving customer experience, and vehicle data analytics.

The auto manufacturer is making a huge commercial technology transfer leap after more than a decade of internal research and development to specifically design and manufacture smart cars available in high volumes by 2021 for commercial mobility services, such as Uber and Lyft ride-sharing and ride-hailing services.

“Ford has been developing and testing autonomous vehicles for more than 10 years,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, Global Product Development, and chief technical officer. “We have a strategic advantage because of our ability to combine the software and sensing technology with the sophisticated engineering necessary to manufacture high-quality vehicles. That is what it takes to make autonomous vehicles a reality for millions of people around the world.”

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In California, Arizona and Michigan, Ford aims to triple its 2016 autonomous vehicle test fleet to 30 self-driving Fusion Hybrid sedans, larger than any automaker worldwide with plans to build 90 self-driving Fusion Hybrid vehicles.

Ford was the first automaker to begin testing its vehicles at Mcity, University of Michigan’s simulated urban environment, the first automaker to publicly demonstrate autonomous vehicle operation in the snow, and the first automaker to test its autonomous research vehicles at night, in complete darkness, as part of LiDAR sensor development.

Strategic alliances, joint venturing, license contracting, and partnerships drive the automaker’s inorganic growth and autonomous vehicle commercial technology transfer leap to Uber and Lyft ride-sharing and ride-hauling services. Ford announced that it is strategically investing in or outright buying four companies: (1) Ford is investing in Velodyne, the Silicon Valley-based leader in LiDAR sensors. (2) Ford is acquiring SAIPS, an Israeli computer vision and machine learning company for its expertise with artificial intelligence and computer vision. Ford says this partnership will help its autonomous vehicle learn and adapt to the surroundings. (3) Nirenberg Neuroscience LLC will have an exclusive licensing agreement with Ford. Ford says Dr. Sheila Nirenberg has cracked the neural code the eye uses to transmit visual information to the brain. Niremberg’s research will help bring more human-like intelligence to Ford’s autonomous vehicles. (4) Ford has invested in the Berkeley, California-based Civil Maps to further develop high-resolution 3D mapping capabilities.

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To deliver an autonomous vehicle in 2021, Ford announced in its press release four key investments and collaborations that are expanding its strong research in advanced algorithms, 3D mapping, LiDAR, and radar and camera sensors, the automaker details as follows:

Velodyne: Ford has invested in Velodyne, the Silicon Valley-based leader in light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors. The aim is to quickly mass-produce a more affordable automotive LiDAR sensor. Ford has a longstanding relationship with Velodyne, and was among the first to use LiDAR for both high-resolution mapping and autonomous driving beginning more than 10 years ago.

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SAIPS: Ford has acquired the Israel-based computer vision and machine learning company to further strengthen its expertise in artificial intelligence and enhance computer vision. SAIPS has developed algorithmic solutions in image and video processing, deep learning, signal processing and classification. This expertise will help Ford autonomous vehicles learn and adapt to the surroundings of their environment.

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Nirenberg Neuroscience LLC: Ford has an exclusive licensing agreement with Nirenberg Neuroscience, a machine vision company founded by neuroscientist Dr. Sheila Nirenberg, who cracked the neural code the eye uses to transmit visual information to the brain. This has led to a powerful machine vision platform for performing navigation, object recognition, facial recognition and other functions, with many potential applications. For example, it is already being applied by Dr. Nirenberg to develop a device for restoring sight to patients with degenerative diseases of the retina. Ford’s partnership with Nirenberg Neuroscience will help bring humanlike intelligence to the machine learning modules of its autonomous vehicle virtual driver system.

Civil Maps: Ford has invested in Berkeley, California-based Civil Maps to further develop high-resolution 3D mapping capabilities. Civil Maps has pioneered an innovative 3D mapping technique that is scalable and more efficient than existing processes. This provides Ford another way to develop high-resolution 3D maps of autonomous vehicle environments.

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Silicon Valley Expansion

Ford also is expanding its Silicon Valley operations, creating a dedicated campus in Palo Alto, in colloboration with Uber’s self-driving research lab in Pittsburgh.

Adding two new buildings and 150,000 square feet of work and lab space adjacent to the current Research and Innovation Center, the expanded campus grows the company’s local footprint and supports plans to double the size of the Palo Alto team by the end of 2017.

“Our presence in Silicon Valley has been integral to accelerating our learning and deliverables driving Ford Smart Mobility,” said Ken Washington, Ford vice president, Research and Advanced Engineering. “Our goal was to become a member of the community. Today, we are actively working with more than 40 startups, and have developed a strong collaboration with many incubators, allowing us to accelerate development of technologies and services.”

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Since the new Ford Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto opened in January 2015, the facility has rapidly grown to be one of the largest automotive manufacturer research centers in the region. Today, it is home to more than 130 researchers, engineers and scientists, who are increasing Ford’s collaboration with the Silicon Valley ecosystem.

Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto’s multi-disciplinary research and innovation facility is the newest of nearly a dozen of Ford’s global research, innovation, IT and engineering centers. The expanded Palo Alto campus opens in mid-2017.

Clearly now in Pittsburgh, late at night, entrepreneurial market-marking challenger, Lyft, appealing to a late nightlife scene of younger millennials, as “your fully-autonomous friend with a smart car,” will eventually in weeks perhaps months later spring into a full-force autonomous-vehicle market substitute assault on Uber, the deep-pocket technology-leap strong-holder on the Pittsburgh ride-share market, appealing to a mature evening rush-hour clientele of Generation XYZs, baby-busters, and baby-boomers, as everyone’s private fully-autonomous smart car driver, Johnny Cab (below).”

Photo Credits: Ford Motor Company, Uber, Lyft, New York Daily News, Vanity Fair

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Oliver G. McGee III is a teacher, a researcher, an administrator, and an advisor to government, corporations and philanthropy. He is former department chair (2016-17) and professor of mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University. He is former professor of mechanical engineering and former Vice President for Research and Compliance (2007-08) at Howard University. Dr. McGee is former Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Inc. He was Professor and former department chair (2001-2005) of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Geodetic Science at Ohio State University. He is the first African-American to hold a professorship and a departmental chair leadership in the century-and-a-quarter history of Ohio State University’s engineering college. Dr. McGee has also held several professorships and research positions at Georgia Tech and MIT.

McGee is the former United States (U.S.) Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Technology Policy (1999-2001) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and former Senior Policy Advisor (1997-1999) in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is a NASDAQ certified graduate of UCLA John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management’s 2013 Director Education and Certification Program, and NYSE Governance Services Guide to Corporate Board Education’s 2003 Directors’ Consortium (on corporate board governance).

McGee is a 2012-13 American Council on Education Fellow at UCLA Office of the Chancellor Gene Block. He is a 2013 University of California Berkeley Institutes on Higher Education (BIHE) graduate. He is also an Executive Leadership Academy Fellow of the University of California, Berkeley Center of Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), Inc. McGee is an American Association of State Colleges & Universities’ (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Fellow – educational leadership and management development programs for prospective university chancellors and presidents.

Education Background: Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Masters of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Mechanics, Aerospace Engineering (Minor), The University of Chicago, Booth School, Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Certificate of Professional Development (C.P.D.), Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy – Certificate of Fund Raising Management (C.F.R.M.).

Partnership Possibilities for America – Invested in STEEP Giving Forward, founded by McGee in 2010, is based in Washington, DC.

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Jun 302014

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Chris, formerly trained as a NCAA swing-man guard-forward, was suddenly playing in the game of his life.

White House Photo. President Obama positions himself under the basket during a pickup game with Congressional members and Cabinet Secretaries at the White House Basketball Court.

One summer day back in 2010, a tall, lean athlete, Chris (anonymously named herein for United States Secret Service and presidential discretion), stuffed a pair of size 14 basketball shoes and a change of clothing into his gym bag. Instead of heading for hoops as usual at my Georgetown neighborhood gym, this athlete was instead escorted to Camp David by the United States Secret Service.

“President Obama wanted to play some pickup games before taking a vacation,” says Chris, who was frequenting my Georgetown gym, where a White House correspondent point-man for The President played as well. That’s how the invite came his way.

After playing a couple of pickup games with the White House point-man, “I got this text from him simply saying, ‘The Boss Wants to Play Pickup.’ ”

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White House Photo: President Obama playing pickup basketball at Camp David.

“Needless to say, I was kind of in disbelief, but I took him seriously, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, and so the rest is well history,” Chris told me just as causal, quiet, and humble as he is.

“The secret service was on guard, but they were very relaxed, because they knew The President had some pickup ball to play,” Chris says.

And boy did Chris bring it for ‘The Boss‘.

Skillfully trained in the game of basketball, Chris says shooting hoops with President Obama ranks near the top of his NCAA college basketball career memories.

But, playing pickup with The Boss is the highest-tier.

And, Obama plays a ‘mean‘ pickup game too recalls Chris to me.

“The President can play, Chris exclaims confidently, “he threw his body up into the ball a lot, and was really being physical with us in play,” says Chris with a nodding smile.

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White House Photo Credit: President Obama takes a shot during a pickup game with Congressional members and Cabinet Secretaries at the White House Basketball Court.

Chris recalls further how he just fell into ‘the zone‘ in play with The President, as just one of the guys, much like he did, while playing on the NCAA varsity basketball floor.

“I even had to block him once,” remembers Chris with some pride.

You would be proud too, if you had the chance to block The President’s stuff, like Chris did.

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“The President’s got a crossover and he’s got some fundamentally sound basketball moves,” as Chris breaks it down, “The President uses his body positioning well, and he out-smarts his defenders, when he gets the chance. He’s even got a ‘mean‘ pump fake, hopping under the defender’s arm, and at times, driving hard straight to the hoop” Chris analyzes.

“The President regularly posted up two points, recalls Chris, “assisting his side of 5-on-5 teammates on their way to victory in the game.”

Sounds like just a normal day at the office for The President.

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Photo Credit: Obama for America Campaign 2008, Former Illinois Senator Obama takes the ball to the hole as Reggie Love, green jersey, former Duke basketball team Captain, left, and Chris Duhon, former Duke basketball standout, right, guard the Senator in quick pursuit.

In fact, a bond between The President, and his young 29-year old and outgoing former personal aid, Reggie Love, now enrolled at The Wharton School, it is generally-known has been set on a basketball court. The pair played pickup games regularly during the presidential campaign, a practice that has carried over to the South Lawn of the White House. Love, a star wide receiver on the football team and captain of the basketball team at Duke, rarely plays against The President.

“Reggie is 20 years younger than me,” Obama said during his first presidential campaign. “So there is no doubt that I have to have Reggie on my team. I can’t be guarding Reggie.”

“I know definitely I’m going to miss that,” Love said. “He’s been like a big brother to me, a mentor. I’ve learned so much about life from him. I’ve spent most of my adult life working for him, so it’s going to be a challenge….”


Frankly speaking, I could never do what Chris or Reggie has done with The President. I am as tall as Chris at 6 foot and 4 inches. Many times, as I board a very tight commuter airplane completely bent over, folks on-board always ask me, if I ever played basketball.

Thankfully, Not!

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Watching me play on a basketball court is like watching Will Ferrell – ‘all-out laughs’ in some of his most classic physical comedy, if you can just imagine me on a basketball court.

In shooting the ball, my buddies repeatedly ask me, “How do you completely miss the entire back-board in sailing the basketball over it, when you take a shot.” I never make two points. We do not even think about me making any three’s, because it is hysterically funny to watch. I am such a ‘Gomer’ on the basketball court.

And watching me jump is just hilarious, especially as tall as I am at 6 foot and 4 inches, like Chris.

Dunking the ball is simply out-of-the-question hysterical. As jumping for me, looks like I have an old broken rusted-out ‘slinky toy’ attached to my heels and nailed to the floor. I jump up to nowhere near any kind of respectable heights. I usually come right back down fast with absolutely no kind of so-called ‘hang time.’ Sometimes, I even land face-first – learning quite fast that we have gravity here on earth. And, I should stay on it.

Usually my buddies are saying, “Stop! Please stop, don’t do that, stop! Our sides are splitting we’re crying laughing so hard.”

It is great comedic stuff watching me playing some pickup basketball. Let’s just say I won’t be getting a text like Chris did saying, ‘The Boss Wants to Play Pickup‘ anytime soon.

Notwithstanding, I love to watch Kobe, LeBron, and the NBA professional’s magic in the The Finals. Besides this, I love the college pageantry of March Madness, like The President and all of America in the spring.

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I personally believe basketball players are the most finely-tuned, cross-fit endurance, and physically-trained athletes. A basketball player’s strengths include a quick first-step, a long wing-span, an exceptional leaping ability, some miraculous passing like Magic, and a versatile 3-point range like MJ. Some swing-man guard-forward pickup players, like Chris and President Obama, are smart and accomplished in making sound floor judgment and providing unbeatable floor leadership.

You see it is all about the mind and the body coming together, as one team spirit and trust in each other, oftentimes in deep trusting bonds for life. I have experienced this, indeed, I am blessed to now say.

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Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images. President Barack Obama accepts a jersey and basketball from Lakers captains Derek Fisher (left) and Kobe Bryant (center) during a ceremony to honor the 2008-09 NBA champions.

A father’s legacy of pickup basketball.

It has been many times said, “The Road to the White House is through Cincinnati.”

My admiration of the pickup game is for good reason. In my family it has been all around me for a couple of decades.

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My stepfather is the great George Wilson, a two-time NCAA Basketball Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist. Currently living in Cincinnati with his lovely wife of 25 years – Jean Wilson, my mother – George was a member of the 1961-1962 University of Cincinnati Bearcats NCAA Basketball Championship Teams and a member of the Gold Medal winning 1964 United States of America Basketball Team – including former New Jersey Senator and 2001 presidential candidate Bill Bradley of Princeton – at the 1964 Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan.

As a 6’8” pivot man, George established ‘a mean hook-shot’ very early back in 1958, modeled after then-Northwestern great Joe Ruklick – way before the rise of Kareem’s famed ‘sky-hook’ a decade later at UCLA.

In 1958 George, a high school All-American (1956-60), led Chicago’s west side Marshall High School to a 31-0 record and the Illinois State Championship. In 1960 he was the inaugural winner of the Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year award. George was also named All-State of Illinois in high school basketball for three years.

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Photo Credit: Longtime friends, Oscar Robertson and Jean Wilson, my mother, at a book signing of “The Big O” by Oscar Robertson.

Upon the urging of 1960 Olympic Gold Medalist in Basketball, the incomparable Oscar Robertson, who had just led the University of Cincinnati Bearcats in a buzzer-finishing heartbreaking defeat to Fred Taylor’s Ohio State Buckeyes – including sophomore basketball greats John Havilcek, Jerry Lucas, and senior Bobby Knight – in the 1960 NCAA Championship game, George later led the Bearcats back to a NCAA Championship in 1961 against that same Fred Taylor Ohio State team, then juniors at the time – excluding Bobby Knight, who had graduated.

George also became a NCAA All-American, as part of the 1962 NCAA Champion Bearcats again in the championship game victory over the same Fred Taylor Ohio State Buckeye team, then seniors at the time. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati with an education degree in 1964, George rejoined his close friend, the NBA great Oscar Robertson, and former New York Knicks great, Jerry Lucas, on the 1964 then-Cincinnati Royals of the NBA. From 1964-71 George went on to play seven seasons in the NBA for various teams, including the Chicago Bulls, the then-Seattle Supersonics, Philadelphia 76ers, the first Phoenix Suns team, and the then-Buffalo Braves, averaging 5.4 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game in his NBA career.

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George has been induced into Chicago’s Marshall High School Hall of Fame, the Chicago Coaches Hall of Fame, the Illinois High School Hall of Fame, the University of Cincinnati Hall of Fame, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, the Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame, the Ohio Hall of Fame, and most recently in 2008, the Chicago-Land Sports Hall of Fame.

Our family’s pickup basketball legacy does not end here.

George’s son, Derek Wilson Sr., my stepbrother, who is currently living in Luxembourg, also was raised in Cincinnati, a 1985 graduate of Walnut Hills High School. Following graduation he earned a full basketball scholarship to Coastal Carolina College, playing for Coach Russ Bergman. At Coastal Carolina, he was named to Playboy magazine’s All-American Team (1988-89) during both his junior and senior years (also being named the Playboy magazine’s Anson Mount Scholar Athlete of the Year in 1988). Following college, Derek played professional basketball overseas in both South America (in Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil) and Europe (in Luxembourg).

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Photo Credit: Playboy Magazine’s 1988-1989 ALL AMERICA TEAM: Left to right, top to bottom: Derek Wilson, forward, Anson Mount Scholar/Athlete, Coastal Carolina; Mark Macon, guard, Temple; Glen Rice, forward, Michigan; Sean Elliot, forward, Arizona; Tom Hammonds, forward, Georgia Tech; Stacey King, center, Oklahoma; John Chaney, Coach of the Year, Temple; Sherman Douglas, guard, Syracuse; Michael Smith, forward, Brigham Young; Charles Smith, guard, Georgetown; Todd Lichti, guard, Stanford

George’s grandson and Derek’s and Daniele Wilson’s son, Derek Wilson Jr. (nicknamed “DJ”), has grown up to become a 6’5” shooting guard, including versatilities as point guard and small forward, for his Luxembourg high school, LCD Diekirch. Leading his team in scoring (at 22.7 points), rebounds (at 8.5) and assists (at 4.3) in 2009, DJ represented Luxembourg in the U20 European championship in July 2009 in Macedonia. He was the second youngest competitor in the international field of basketball players, which included more than 200 players from more than 15 European nations.

Now that’s a global pickup game for DJ.

Born in 1991 and raised in Luxembourg, Europe, DJ has both an American (by his father) and Luxemburgish (by his mother) passport. He’s an excellent student, scoring a 1550 on his SAT in May 2009, and he speaks and writes in four languages fluently (English, German, French, and Luxemburgish). He has three younger brothers Jamal, 16, Malik, 14, and Isaiah, 12.

And now our family’s pickup basketball legacy continues onto the new generation.

My lovely niece, Nailah Edwards, daughter of my delighted sister, Brenda McGee, was a center-forward and point-guard basketball star for the Mount Washington Middle School Mustangs, and she was a standout teammate for The Cincy Tigerette, an AAU-sponsored select team from Cincinnati-wide middle schools. Nailah’s most notable basketball achievement has been top rebounder and her nickname is “Dunkin,” because she regularly rebounds the ball and quickly runs back and dunks it in her team’s basket. Wow.

And remember, dunking the ball by me is simply hilarious.

So, you can see why I so admire George, Derek, DJ, Nailah, and Chris. They really can play pickup with ‘The Boss‘ and even dunk the ball with him too.

I can only watch them all play pickup. But, I do appreciate hearing about their achievements in the pickup game too.


Playing a Pickup Game is as much about what is not being said than what is.

“After our game we all hung around with President Obama, who provided us with a great meal and an awesome tour around Camp David,” Chris recounts. “The President is a great mentor, as he gave me some personal moments and great advice on planning forward in my life.”

“I found The President to be very approachable and relaxed in socializing and talking with us like one of the guys,” recalls Chris fondly, “it was more than a fun day, I can’t say enough about it.”

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Listening as Chris recalled his wonderful story one cannot help but to immediately like him, as many of us cross-fitness enthusiasts at our private exclusive Georgetown gym do. I also thought as I listened to Chris’s unique perspective and take on his life-changing moment at Camp David that there is something humbling about playing ‘5-on-5 pickup’ basketball with the most powerful man in the world. This is what makes the White House such an exceptional institution respected around the world. The White House is extraordinary, because it is so ordinary for all of us.

Although I have been inside the White House, I have never been to Camp David. Yet, I find myself possessing so much pride in Chris, my friend, having been given the opportunity to be there already at his tender age so soon just beyond 22. Camp David, as Chris and I believe, is such a place of relaxation and humility for brokering any high-stakes game of pickup.

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We all can indeed be most extremely proud of The President for giving to Chris – at such a tender age beyond 22 – an experience that will transform his life. For Chris now knows what’s possible for him – the power of communication in a pickup game with ‘The Boss.’ And as his friend, I am truly rejoicing in that for him.

This is what makes such power of communication in the age of Obama, so unique and unusual to so many Americans in these times of our history. When it is as much about what is not being said than what is. Or, as much about what people are saying to each other or are not saying.

According to my in-house expert, my stepfather, George, in pickup basketball it is all about the art of the game – “where not much gets said, except where to be, who to box out, who’s shot to block” – including Obama’s humbly for Chris. Most of all, pickup basketball is all about “where the ball is,” says my stepfather. “The pickup is also about the physical squaring up, the pick and roll, the quick crossover move, the head fake and round-under, and then the “open shot” or “lay-up” or “tip-in” or even an occasional ‘dunk’ – altogether leading to just two points,” counsels George. “And then quickly you get ready, get set, launch your defense, and try to do it all over again, once you go up and back down the court.”

Sounds a lot like the risk and uncertainty of the American experience, right?

President Reagan was fondly known as “The Gipper” – who went for it all, most of the time throwing the touchdown pass for six points.

In the pickup that’s three baskets. Or, for a swingman guard-forward like Chris playing against President Obama, that’s two “sharp-shooting” three-pointers.

President George W. Bush, in contrast, was more focused on throwing the strike, but sometimes he threw a ball – and domestically that ball at times hit the dirt for no points at all.

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For President Obama it takes an individual focus – “a zone sort-of-speak,” says Chris – and a calm patience to consistently make two points at a time each trip he takes up and back down The Forum – that is, Congress – in ‘finding the votes that fits the fuss.’

Sometimes you get them. Sometimes you don’t.

And the pickup and floor leadership here is really once again, as much about what is not being said than what is, or about what people are saying to each other or are not saying.

Nonetheless, it is the eloquence of the endgame in the pickup that matters most.

The win achieved in the game is oftentimes only by a basket. Inasmuch as, the two teams logged into history, separated as winner and loser, is oftentimes determined by a slim margin of just only one or two points. On rare occasions, a margin wider than that becomes a ‘blowout’ – or a landslide.

The age of Obama understands this art of the pickup. This was the anatomy of its biggest win – The White House.

“This happens all the time throughout history,” Obama says to ABC’s Barbara Walters on November 26, 2010 in calmly responding to her questions.

No Drama Obama’ is as cool as his pickup game text message to Chris, “The Boss Wants to Play Pickup.”

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White House Photo. President Obama reaches over the shoulders of 6’9″ Bill Russell to present him with the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the White House East Room.

Basketball is an inner circle of five with no single leader in a pick-up game. Average teams have little to no leadership and no plan just everybody is attempting to score. Football is an organizing cabinet of twenty-two, and there is always a quarterback – where the process temporarily pauses, while the next strategy is planned before the next play resumes. There is a difference in the object of each game. Basketball is individual management for team leadership, whereas football is team leadership for individual management – the glory and the grief falls onto the shoulders of the quarterback and his decision-making.

This is what we recently laid claim to The “Tebowing” Effect.

Essentially, we want this in our business and government leaders. We want our executives to be team quarterbacks not just individual dunkers. The Boss Wants to Play Pickup is more about how our American experience can perhaps focus too much on picking up issues, but not enough on why or what we should be focusing on.

Likability is an art of our picks.

Chris and I, in our discussions about this, of course, can see why Obama likes to play pickup. He signals to us his passion each spring during March Madness. It also reveals a little something about the intimacy of the man outside his prominent role in the American experience.

What can be said by people in the midst of what is not being said is we should take some comfort in The President’s sense of intimacy in his presidency. This is what is underlying The President’s consistently high likability personally in all the tracking polls on his game.

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Chris, my friend, possesses a similar likability as The President, which, through a pickup basketball game, has awakened the true secret of his future promise and potential in life. And for this, The President is a good man.

I am honored and humbled to share in Chris’s life transforming pickup basketball moment with ‘The Boss.’ For Chris can now truly see what’s possible for him. And for that, this is good for this young man.

Like most college athletes I have worked with, Chris is not planning to chase the professional ‘sports star’ dream after graduation. He currently serves the federal levels, as a post-graduate intern on information and security technologies. But like The President (whose brother-in-law Craig Robinson is former basketball head coach at Oregon State, and whose Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, is an ‘old hoops buddy’ Chris also played with at Camp David), Chris expects basketball to remain a big part of his life for as long as he can drive the lane (with whoever wants to be in the lane with him, including a sitting president and a cabinet secretary).

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Chris, like The President, will go far too. I like to think The President saw this in him, like I have in mentoring him.

I wholeheartedly agree with how Chris has conveyed in our conversations, as to how he has attempted to make major social impacts through his academic experiences and professional development. His contributions to the community will always remain with him, as a guiding principle of his undergraduate education and NCAA basketball playing experiences.

This guiding principle, I can attest Chris has gained from his pickup basketball game at Camp David, is increasing the public’s understanding of intimacy and humility in leadership for the good and benefit of our American institutions of family, church, schools, government, businesses, philanthropy, and communities.

I have spoken to Chris on several occasions regarding his future plans and each time I have come away with a real sense that he is firmly grounded toward reaching his goals in service to our country now. Furthermore, he is crafting a clearer and definitive plan towards completing his training to do so, the first step in his calling towards making a real difference.

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I have often expressed to him that I believe he will make a fine Congressman. He has an individual sense of people as much as his sense of the issues important to our lives, a quality I firmly believe is an early prerequisite for one to be successful in a political career, like The President.

I think Chris’s acceptance of the opportunity of presidential pickup basketball is one transforming moment that may launch his quest along his future professional career path.

I believe young people should be more exposed to outstanding opportunities that encourage them not only to pursue careers in public service, political-economic sciences and technology. But also, encourage young people to provide a good life and a good society for us all. Chris has exhibited the future promise and innovative ability to lead in this national effort and to represent his generation in a truly outstanding and positive way. In addition, he has showed early evidence that he is able to address tough questions we all face in these times. He has a genuinely creative and unusually penetrating mind and his judgment is extremely sound.

Sounds to me like a good pickup basketball player and floor leader in a good life for a good society.

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Like young George Wilson then in the early sixties, Chris is a similarly remarkable scholar-athlete and young man now. He is among the best scholar-athletes I have had the unique pleasure to mentor during my life and that I fully expect to see that he will indeed go far like so many scholar-athletes do.

I hope that you will agree with me about the quality of this fine young man’s story at Camp David playing pickup with ‘The Boss.’ I am especially gratified by President Obama for affording him the opportunity to socialize at Camp David, and to further Chris’ commitment to not only his higher education, but also his love for pickup basketball – and “more than a fun day” with ‘The Boss‘ and ‘the secrets of his service.’

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