Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Jobs Bill Train is Leaving the Station -- and SBIR is being smuggled aboard!

Evan Bayh said it true. The process Congress uses is flawed. It's more about partisan deal making than the public interest. Back room deals. Sneaking legislative provisions into sometimes unrelated bills to serve private interests and avoid scrutiny and discussion.

We have new evidence today, as they're at it again. With SBIR the victim! And they do it with smug satisfaction, unabashedly sanctimonious. They talk up the little guy (small business) but serve big money (VC) interests instead.

Basically, the House, via Rep Jason Altmire (D-PA), is attempting to bypass the SBIR reauthorization negotiations with the Senate and force the House version of the bill (S.2965) through the back door. If he succeeds in including it in the Job Stimulus bill, it will be difficult for the Senate to oppose it, especially since the President wants this legislation passed quickly.

The alert was sounded yesterday by both Rick Shindell in his SBIR Insider, and by the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC) in a Special Alert. Follow the links, or just go to to see them in their entirety, along with an open letter from my good friend Gary Marsden of Trout Green Technologies (a savvy SBIR Awardee), who by asking a simple question at the Navy Opportunity Forum, created a small firestorm.

It's not over until its over (thanks Yogi), but I fear this train is gathering speed. The Engineer (Pelosi) has blinders on, the Conductor (Velazquez) has had her pockets stuffed and refuses to look at (let alone punch) our tickets, and the Fireman (Altmire) is stoking the furnace with false fuel.

Somehow we need to find the right switch, and divert this train to a siding. We need a bunch of Evan Bayhs to stand up and say ENOUGH! Any more of you out there?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

DC Snow Job - A metaphor for SBIR reauthorization?

Washington DC is shut down this week, buried in a couple feet of snow! Nothing much happening in Congress this week. That's probably a good thing, over all.

The only thing of interest this week is the SBIR Gateway's Matching Service for the new DOD STTR Solicitation. Read all about it on the Gateway: This is a very effective way for small businesses and universities to find STTR partners -- always a challenge. Check it out!

Nothing's happened with SBIR reauthorization for months, so I guess we won't notice any difference there. Besides the snow job done by the VC lobby and their BIO compatriots still has the House Small Business Committee immobilized. Guess they gave away all of their shovels to the Stimulus -- remember "shovel ready" -- and just can't dig out of their offices to discuss the still secret Senate's SBIR reauthorization compromise. It does take two to compromise. So far it's just one-sided.

Hmmm... Come to think of it the situation may not be an incongruity. If con is the opposite of pro, Congress must be the the opposite of progress!

And speaking of incongruities, my lovely daughter-in-law, Kelly, gave me the biggest smiles this week with a list of them. Since there's nothing much else to talk about, I thought I'd share:

  • Why do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front?
  • Why do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a Diet Coke?
  • Why do banks leave vault doors open and then chain the pens to the counters?
  • Why do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage?
  • Why are hot dogs sold in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight?
  • Why do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering?
  • Why does the sun lighten our hair, but darken our skin?
  • Why can't women put on mascara with their mouth closed?
  • Why don't you ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'?
  • Why 'abbreviated' is such a long word?
  • Why is it that doctors and lawyers call what they do 'practice'? (Lawyers I can understand, but doctors???)
  • Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dish washing liquid made with real lemons?
  • Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
  • Why do your feet smell and your nose run?
  • Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
  • Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?
  • Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
  • Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?
  • Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
  • Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?

Thank you, Kelly! We needed the smiles!