For our weekend business and political readers:

CONNECTING THE DOTS OF CREATIVITY
Fast Company takes a look at creativity through the thought processes of three geniuses, but is it something that can be taught?

“We learn, from the time we”re little, the process of the scientific method how to discover things – but we don”t teach the parallel art of how to invent things,” Stanford innovation scholar Tina Seelig told us “That”s one of the reasons creativity seems so mysterious. We don”t, from the time they”re young, teach people the components of what you need to invent, as opposed to discover.”

And so we seek to discover how people invent, by dissecting their morning routines and unraveling the habits of what makes the most creative people – so that we normal folks may become more creative.

Go inside the Fast Company post at this link to learn more about connecting the dots of creativity by exploring how brilliant minds learned to do it.

HOW ABOUT BRINGING YOUR PARENTS TO WORK?
The Wall Street Journal reports in fact, Millennials are getting their parents involved in their work surroundings and many companies are embracing it.

Millennials — people born between 1981 and the early 2000s — are much closer to their parents than previous generations, and they have gained a reputation for being coddled by so-called helicopter parents, say researchers who study Millennials. But when they started joining the workforce in the early 2000s, managers balked at parents getting involved in their kids” workplace struggles or job searches.

That was then. Now, some firms have begun embracing parental involvement and using it to attract and hold onto talent and boost employee morale.

One company goes as far as to call it, “Best practice.”

Go to to learn why, and find out which countries are far ahead of the U.S. in parental participation including being much more involved in their children”s job offers and job reviews.

SURPRISING STATS ABOUT SMALL BUSINESSES
Actually 16 surprising stats about small businesses from Forbes.

In the last 6 years, we’ve amassed a wealth of knowledge about the state of small business from our 38 million members and we never cease to be surprised.

Here”s an example:

Small businesses have generated over 65% of the net new jobs since 1995.

Click on this link for 15 more “vital (and surprising)” statistics uncovered about the small business landscape.

WHAT DO BILLIONAIRES HAVE IN COMMON?
That”s the question Forbes wanted to find out and in a recent post one of its writers explores the common threads of the world”s richest people.

I’ve spent some time trying to identify common traits in the Forbes list of billionaires and other similar lists of the world’s wealthiest. I’m particularly interested in finding patterns in the types of people whom I respect. It’s less about all that dough they’ve accumulated than about better understanding how and why they made their fortunes.

It turns out there are many ways to make a billion dollars: real estate, investing, gaming and entertainment, retail, technology, and good old-fashioned inheritance. But the most interesting (and most respected) businesses and personalities are also the ones with the strongest and most authentic purposes behind them.

What are those purposes and the “why” behind it? Surprisingly, it can be boiled down to three simple things that almost anyone can understand and relate to. Find out what they are at this link.

NINETEEN PRECENT APPROVAL RATING IS GOOD
If you think 19 percent is bad, how bad was Congress”s rating before?

How poor a job is Congress doing in the eyes of the American public?  So bad that fewer than one in five Americans approve — and that’s actually GOOD news for Capitol Hill lawmakers.

The Washington Post has new Gallup numbers on how much Congress”s approval rating has risen at this link.

HIGHER TAX ON SUDS PROPOSED IN WYOMING
Well it”s for a good cause and if it passes, beer lovers in Wyoming will be paying a higher tax for sipping a cold one.

Members of the House and Senate revenue committees will hold a hearing in Buffalo, a small town north of Casper at the intersection of Interstates 90 and 25, to debate a proposal that would increase the state beer tax. The added revenue would be used to fund substance abuse treatment, under a proposal advanced by state Sen. Ray Peterson (R).

The Washington Post reports Wyoming hasn”t raised its beer tax since 1935 and has the lowest tax in the nation.

How much additional tax does the Wyoming legislature want to put on a long neck, and will it all be worth it?

Find out by clicking on this link.

COLORADO VOTERS RECALL TWO STATE SENATORS
This past week supporters of a recall were able to get enough signatures to recall two Colorado Democratic Senators. One, John Morse, was the president of the senate. How and why did this happen?

In the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., Colorado passed a law requiring universal background checks and banning ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. It was similar to federal legislation that failed in Congress.

Gun-rights supporters were apoplectic, and vowed to recall four state legislators who supported the legislation. In the end, they managed to get the requisite number of signatures to recall two of them.

Real Clear Politics takes a look at what this could mean for Colorado politics once the dust settles and whether or not it actually will matter. For full details, go to this link.

CHARLES AND DAVID KOCH”S SECRET FUNDRAISING EMPIRE
It”s called Freedom Partners, an Arlington, Va. based conservative group, “whose existence until now was unknown to almost everyone in politics, raised and spent $250 million in 2012 to shape political and policy debate nationwide.”

The group, Freedom Partners, and its president, Marc Short, serve as an outlet for the ideas and funds of the mysterious Koch brothers, cutting checks as large as $63 million to groups promoting conservative causes, according to an IRS document to be filed shortly.

The 38-page IRS filing amounts to the Rosetta Stone of the vast web of conservative groups — some prominent, some obscure — that spend time, money and resources to influence public debate, especially over Obamacare.

Who are this group”s donors that include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and how much are they giving? POLITICO has the numbers along with an interview of the group”s president at this link.

THE COVER OF THE ROLLING STONE
Suffering from Parkinson”s disease, he is returning to television with an NBC show that Rolling Stone calls “one of the most remarkable comebacks in showbiz history.”

The story, by senior writer Brian Hiatt, offers an in-depth, intimate look at the star”s life and career.

Yes, if you haven”t guessed, it”s Michael J. Fox.

But how will the actor be able to handle the grueling regimen of a full-time television show? Rolling Stone talked to the actor about that and has his responses in a preview of the issue at this link.

FORMER PBS “NEWSHOUR” ANCHOR PENS NEW PLAY
79-year-old Jim Lehrer is best known for hosting PBS”s NewsHour and moderating 12 presidential debates, but did you know he was also a novelist and playwright?

Mr. Lehrer’s career in television news has made him famous. But far less well known is that he has always loved writing for the theater, and that he is the author of four plays. (He also has 21 novels to his name.) His first play in two decades opens at the National Geographic Society here on Thursday: “Bell” a one-man show about Alexander Graham Bell.

The New York Times goes to the theater during rehearsal for his upcoming play to visit with this legendary newsman about how he began writing fiction and how his life changed after a heart attack. Click on for the full story.

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Larry Brannan

Larry Brannan

Larry Brannan is a contributor to Talk Business & Politics and compiles our popular Weekend Digest stories. He can be reached by email at LTBrannon@aol.com.
Larry Brannan

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