Uberizing Big Trucks: 18 Wheels Have Never Been So Cool Or Important

By Eric Tanenblatt

Ed. note: This item was originally published at the Huffington Post.

For the commute-weary driver, autonomous technology represents a sexy splurge, but for fleet operations, full autonomy represents the singular business imperative of the 21st century. Continue reading

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National service, not government, will make America great

By Eric Tanenblatt

Ed. Note: This item was originally published in The Hill.

As the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 lurched to a close after months of grueling debate, history holds that a woman approached Benjamin Franklin to ask whether the framers of the then-in utero government had birthed a republic or monarchy. An exhausted Franklin replied soberly, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

You see, the American experiment in government was so radically improbable that the nation’s very founders had little hope it would survive the frailties of human nature, because a government of the people requires not only their consent but more importantly their active participation.

Somehow, we preserved the republic, even in spite of ourselves, and in days will bear witness to the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next. This episodic transition sets us apart from antiquity and the world as it exists today, but it’s cultivated the simplistic perception that responsible civic engagement is limited only to the realm of voting.

President-elect Donald Trump will assume his new office at a precarious moment in America’s history, set to lead a nation besieged on the world stage and beset on main street. The election calcified our divides, both real and imagined, and laid bare the sometimes-ugly underbelly of the process.

War and recession, social upheaval and scandal: these are the punctuations of our nation’s history. But in these challenges lie formative opportunities.

Just as past presidents have, Mr. Trump can leverage this turbulent moment by summoning, as President Abraham Lincoln once said, the better angels of our nature in a national call to service.

The values of duty, honor, and country transcend partisanship–just ask the Republicans who served in the administration of President Barack Obama and the Democrats who auditioned for Mr. Trump’s–but one need not seek office or military commission to serve.

President John F. Kennedy entered office in 1961 having won the closest presidential election in almost fifty years. The nation had just limped through a recession and would presently barrel its way through the tumult of the civil rights movement.

Yet in spite of the nation’s searing divisions, Kennedy used his inaugural address to urge Americans to access individually within us that which sets us collectively apart: the innate American eagerness to serve. “And so, my fellow Americans,” he said, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Today, too few Americans ask what they can do for their country. Consider: fewer than one percent of all eligible citizens serve in the United States armed forces, according to Army estimates. That’s an historic wartime low.

The shared commitment that defined generations past is eroding, but our new president has the tremendous opportunity to reinvigorate it when he takes the oath of office later this month.

As a Republican and former Senate-confirmed vice chairman of the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, I’ve seen first-hand the impact of service on communities and those who volunteer. This government agency, which administers the AmeriCorps program, enhances and supports the efforts of some 3,000 nonprofit, faith-based and community groups, including Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities, Boys and Girls Club, Teach for America, and United Way, through public-private partnerships with businesses and foundations.

Just as President Bill Clinton urged the nation to consider the possibility of “millions of energetic young men and women serving their country,” President-elect Trump can call us to transcend our divisions in common unity. Just as President George H. W. Bush did when he spoke of the timeless ideals of duty, sacrifice, and patriotism embodied in the act of “taking part and pitching in,” President-elect Trump can reanimate those flicking points of light across our land.

National service builds better communities by building better, more civically invested citizens. Service creates opportunities to bridge the divides that separate us, to find common ground in the greatness of our people. Government won’t make America great, but her people in common cause, in common service, can and will.


Eric Tanenblatt, leader of the Public Policy and Regulation practice, Dentons

Eric Tanenblatt

Eric Tanenblatt, a former chief of staff to Governor Sonny Perdue and an advisor to Senator Paul Coverdell, served on the Board of the Directors of Corporation for National and Community Service from 2008-2013.  He currently serves as the chair of the public policy practice of the global law firm Dentons.

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A vote for ‘selfies’ in the voter booth

Jeremy Berry

Jeremy Berry

By Jeremy Berry

Voters in Georgia “Post the Peach” voting stickers for many reasons.  We do so to show our pride in voting. We share pictures of our stickers after voting on social media to encourage others to vote. We post pictures of our kids wearing the “I voted” peach stickers to ensure future generations are aware of voting and the need to remain active in the democratic process. Continue reading

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Donald Trump, political heir to Georgia’s Sonny Perdue

By Eric Tanenblatt

As an outsider, they said he couldn’t win his party’s nomination against mainline, monied rivals. As a political renegade, they said he couldn’t create a winning general election coalition. Continue reading

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With a green light from the Feds, states race to regulate driverless cars

By Eric Tanenblatt

Ed. Note: this column originally ran at TechCrunch.

California lawmakers and regulators just conditionally approved the road-testing of high autonomy cars that require no driver or even human controls, becoming the first state in the nation to flesh out an innovation-nurturing framework after federal regulators last month gave the green light to driverless technology. Continue reading

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Robots and red tape: Regulatory uncertainty in Uber’s self-driving bet

Eric Tanenblatt, leader of the Public Policy and Regulation practice, Dentons

Eric Tanenblatt

Driverless cars represent the true Wild West of public policy

By Eric Tanenblatt

Ed. Note: This column originally ran in Recode.

When Uber sets loose the world’s largest commercial fleet of autonomous vehicles on the streets of Pittsburgh, Penn., this month, the pioneering experiment in self-driving will likely fix the ride-sharing giant on course for a dramatic collision with obstinate lawmakers and antique regulations. Continue reading

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The four public policy questions every startup should ask–but isn’t

Eric Tanenblatt, leader of the Public Policy and Regulation practice, Dentons

Eric Tanenblatt

By Eric Tanenblatt

Ed. Note: This column originally ran in Tech Crunch.

Quietly incubating in dusty, ramen-scented apartments and college dormitories all across the country, the brainchild of some sleep-deprived twenty-something will revolutionize our lives in ways that today seem wholly unimaginable: how we hail on-demand services, how we communicate and interact with one another, how we work, how we play, and even how we sleep. Continue reading

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Schock and awe: a Democrat, in defense of Aaron Schock

By Jeremy Berry

This article originally ran in The Hill.

“Good government” Democrats have wavered into the peculiar spot of defending former Rep. Aaron Schock, the Illinois Republican who left office last year amid a federal corruption probe, from a bizarre class action lawsuit alleging the ex-lawmaker defrauded the public and campaign contributors through false campaign representations. Continue reading

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In wake of Orlando, answer the call to serve – What could a thousand points of light do for their country?

By Eric Tanenblatt

This article originally ran at the Huffington Post.

A community’s peace shattered, a nation left to mourn—processes so unremarkably routine today they’re almost perverse: the Orlando, Florida massacre this month jolted the whole country’s emotional quotient, but to what end? Continue reading

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The reason why the ‘next Uber’ might never exist

Editor’s Note: This article originally ran at the Huffington Post.

By Eric Tanenblatt

The disruption economy is a uniquely perilous landscape, a theater of war littered with the corpses of those upstarts whose technology failed or, worse yet, those whose industry-rattling innovation was sabotaged by inadequate responses to regulatory hazards. Continue reading

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