Michelle Obama for Supreme Court? Trump says “Maybe”

First Ladies Meet and Greet

One of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s top post-inaugural priorities is to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Earlier today, Mr. Trump confirmed that First Lady Michelle Obama is on his short list of possible nominees.

“Mrs. Obama is very, very qualified to serve on the United States Supreme Court,” Trump said. “I like her a lot. Melania and the First Lady really hit it off. They like each other. It was wonderful watching them cackling away as excited women tend to do.”

“We’ve confirmed that Michelle’s birth certificate clearly indicates she was born in the United States, which I think is important,” Trump continued. “She’s a very good woman.”

Sources indicate that Trump’s post-election White House visit had a positive impact on his opinions of the Obamas.

“They’re nice people, those Obamas,” Trump said. “While I am committed to taking much fewer vacations than the Obamas enjoyed over the past eight years, I look forward to a round or two of golf with Barrack. He’s a great guy.”

Melania Trump expressed similar sentiments.

“For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of the Obamas,” Mrs. Trump said. “Not just because Donald has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change, including the Obamas.”

Mr. Trump said that Mrs. Obama’s youth and vitality will inject life and excitement into the Supreme Court.

“I think the court is kind of dismal, almost like a hospital waiting room,” Trump said. “They’re pretty much a negative bunch and I don’t like negative. I believe we can count on Michelle to go high when those other ones go low.”

“Add to that she’s a sharp looking gal,” Trump continued. “She’s got great triceps and there’s no question she will fill out her judicial robes very nicely. Contrast that to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and those other two gals, and I think you’ll get my point.”

The Office of the First Lady did not return our calls by press time.

Get on board for the Imminent Internet 3.0 Gold Rush

Bill Gates Internet 3.0

Twenty years ago this month, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates looked into the future and predicted how the Internet would function today — and most importantly what that would mean for small businesses.

In a paper entitled “Content is King,” Gates predicted much of the “real money” would be made on the Internet and no business would be too small to participate. How right he was!

Never in the history of the United States has there existed so much opportunity for anyone with a marketable business idea to become an entrepreneur as a result of technological advancements of the past two decades.

Compared to the technological advances of even just the past two years, 1996 looks like a modern-day stone age.

The crawling World Wide Web was just learning to walk. Landline phones, fax and courier services served as our main modes of communication. The Yellow Pages were used to seek services and the White Pages to find friends.

CompuServe and AOL were the big names in connecting people online through the lure of chat rooms. Websites were few, and less than 1 percent of the world was connected to the Internet through the painfully “fast” 56K-speed modem.

Today, email and cloud-based services such as Dropbox have taken a huge slice out of jockeying important documents. Used creatively, Salesforce.com empowers a sales team of one to be as effective as a team of seasoned business developers.

Google has pretty much replaced phone books and has given us access to every research venue imaginable, enabling small and midsized businesses to acquire vast amounts of data that were once unaffordable.

Facebook has quieted chat rooms and message boards and has become an extremely powerful tool for retail and business-to-consumer companies.

Now, much of the world is connected to the Internet at lightning speed — all accessible from smartphones, which, by the way, replaced the highly innovative and panache flip-phone of the ’90s.

Apps downloaded to today’s smartphones can empower an entrepreneur to run a profitable business anywhere from a small apartment to a coffee shop to an office complex.

Overnight Success

Flash back to 1996, when the word “entrepreneur” was mentioned, great business leaders such as Gates, Ted Turner and Warren Buffet came to mind. Competing against corporate giants was typically not an option for small and midsized business.

That is no longer the case. Today, anyone with a Mac and something to sell can become a successful entrepreneur and create new jobs.

What a difference two decades can make. Or, these days, two years, two months and even two weeks.

Never before has there existed so vast an opportunity to become an overnight success.

Internet of Things (IoT)

So what does this small slice of history teach us?

Now, there’s a storm on the edge of the sky. It’s called the Internet of Things, or IoT. What we consider progress since the birth of the Internet will be miniscule in just four years as we celebrate the new decade.

Today, IoT is most evident on the consumer side, such as smart watches and other wearable devices.

However, great opportunity exists in the business community — just like the Internet “Gold Rush” of 20 years ago. IoT will enable businesses to automate in ways once unimaginable, reduce labor costs and compete globally like never before.

Most importantly, IoT will open a floodgate of possibilities for small and midsized businesses.

Seize the Opportunity

There is a huge advantage businesses now have that most did not in 1996: We know the Gold Rush is coming. In fact, it is here. Now is the time to seize the opportunity, because, on the flip side, never before has there been a time where so many can easily become “here today, gone later today.”

IoT will be both a blessing and a curse. Many will prosper, but seating is limited.

It will be a blessing to entrepreneurs who are now determining how IoT can benefit their business, developing a strong online marketing strategy in response to their findings, while fully establishing their online presence through consistently producing meaningful content.

Conversely, IoT will be a curse to those who will become obsolete by trying to get in too little, too late.

Ken Kilpatrick is president of Sylvia Marketing & Public Relations, a Philadelphia area-based agency specializing in getting clients in the news, or out of the news. He can be reached at 610-323-3500 or ken@sylviamarketing.com.

Pennsylvania Governor’s War Against Black Children

As featured in the Harrisburg, PA Patriot-News 

By Ken Kilpatrick

Next year will mark the twentieth anniversary of the creation of Pennsylvania’s Charter School Law.

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However, if Gov Tom Wolf has his way, there will be little or perhaps nothing left to celebrate.

Since taking office, Wolf has locked his sights on charter schools, effectively declaring war on many of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable children.

During his first budget proposal, Wolf sought to slash public cyber charter school funding to a dollar amount that would make it impossible for a cyber to operate. Rather than studying what the real costs are to operate a cyber charter school, Wolf decided that choosing an arbitrary funding limit would be best.

That number was chosen based upon what it costs a certain Intermediate Unit to deliver a limited online program that does not come close to offering the comprehensive educational experience that a cyber charter school provides.

Wolf’s war is not limited to cyber charter schools. He is seeking to destroy all charters.

Gov. Tom Wolf has locked his sights on charter schools, declaring war on Pa.’s most vulnerable children.

The real issue is not about money as Mr. Wolf and his anti-public school choice allies would have Pennsylvanians believe. This is about Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable, challenged, and impoverished students.

Early in my career I met with Dr. Walter Palmer, a charter school pioneer, to seek his advice. Walt had long fought for civil rights and saw charter schools as an equal educational opportunity for inner city youth.

He implored me, “Ken, always remember charter schools are about black children.” I promised him I would.

Walt did not mean that charter schools were exclusively for African American children, which they are not.

He meant that charter schools are the key for so many impoverished children to find not only hope, but also a path to a successful future they could never otherwise obtain.

Having grown up in extreme urban poverty, I can, at least in part, understand how parents must feel who so desperately want something better for their children.

Whether he intends it or not, Mr. Wolf’s attacks on charters is a war against African American children.

It does not seem as if this millionaire businessman turned politician has the understanding or concern for the needs and rights of inner city families to have access to a fair opportunity for their children to obtain a decent education in a learning environment that understands, respects, and addresses those needs.

Rather, Wolf is seeking to rob these children of their only opportunity to escape substandard, overcrowded, and unsafe schools to obtain a quality education that will empower them to succeed in life.

Wolf is the only Pennsylvania governor who holds the distinction of proposing a new budget while the current year’s budget remains unresolved. In next year’s budget, he calls for cutting $500 million in charter school student funding which would force many public charter schools to go out of business.

He is also taking aim at special education students by gutting a huge amount of their funding. Citizens should raise serious questions about the character of anyone who would harm the ability of differently-abled children to receive the services and quality education they deserve.

Here’s the kicker. Wolf wants to eliminate the right of public charter schools to set aside reserve funds for future expenses.

Any knowledgeable Certified Public Account would agree having fund reserves is prudent, sound, and necessary.

But Wolf knows if he can get this provision through, charter schools will not have the money to survive another drawn out budget impasse.

This scenario would leave Wolf and his anti-public school choice colleagues the only ones left standing to celebrate Pennsylvania’s twentieth anniversary and now death of public school choice.

Ken Kilpatrick is CEO of Sylvia Marketing & Public Relations, a consultancy that specializes in marketing services for public charter schools, private schools, and higher education.