The Pope is coming, Boehner is going; links

The crazies have officially descended upon Philadelphia for the Pope this weekend. I came into the office today, which included walking past National Guardsmen stationed on street corners, snaking through a barricade and passing two additional security guards in my building. Oh, and the Pope isn't actually here until tomorrow! This is going to be a disaster.

Before I get to links, a quick note on this AM's news about John Boehner's resignation: it's very, very sad. My liberal and ultra-conservative friends have been posting with equal amount of glee about this on Facebook, and I think it's misplaced. The hyper-partisan atmosphere is not good for America. We need our representatives to govern, not maintain strict ideological purity. Negotiation is how America achieves great things and moves forward in a way that makes sense for all Americans.

Conservatives see this is a validation of their purity, when in reality they're only laying the potential groundwork for massive blowback against the party. Liberals demonize Boehner because he's "not one of them" — except that every attack against a Boehner or Scott Brown only drive a further wedge into American civic life. 

And no, Boehner didn't resign because of what the Pope said. Brining the Pope to Congress has been a lifelong dream of the Speaker's; I'd guess he planned on resigning weeks ago when it became clear the fight ahead of him on a government shutdown, and simply held out long enough to be there when the Pope came.

If the man outside our office window with a microphone is any indication, the craziness is only beginning today and may extend to Washington for some time. Now, on to links:

Slack's $2.8BB secret sauce
God, I love Slack. In March of this year, a client of ours introduced Woden to Slack. Now we'll never go back. This post is a bit old, and from the Chairman of MetaLab, the company Slack hired to turn its platform from just another workplace-collaboration tool to something with real personality. It's a validation of what we tell clients at Woden all day long: that brand story and narrative really is the difference between being successful or not. Be inspired by how personality drives great products.

Why American soldiers turn a blind eye to Afghan pedophiles
According to the New York Times, pedastry is and has been a part of Afghan tribal culture for some time. In an effort to speed our exit from the war and cooperation with local forces opposing the Taliban, the military has been instructed to turn a blind eye to the exploitation of young people by allied forces. Servicemen are faced with an impossible choice: face the repercussions of disobeying orders, or the crisis of conscience from allowing that activity to happen.

Life isn't looking any better for the future of McDonald's
McDonald's is in crisis, as explained by this in-depth article and perspective of a former franchisee. This piece zeroes in on operational issues brought on by an ever-expanding menu, financial performance by the corporation, and franchisee issues. The core issue here, though, is the flip-side of the article about Slack. McDonald's is a brand that was built on an essential promise and premise, and in an attempt to remain relevant they've strayed so far from that they have diluted their brand. McDonald's is a restaurant that produces quality, fast, cheap food. In an attempt to compete with the fast-casual segment they've tried to abandon three of those ideas and, in turn, are ruining their business.