Compassion Politics » How to deal with unethical negation tactics–7 Strategies for Ethical Negotiators
Mary Perren lauds Governor Bredesen's unprecedented and revolutionary attempt to streamline government through state employee buyouts:
Tennessee is the first state that has ever attempted to cut personnel this way. Usually workers are given notice and then are able to exercise their rights under civil service law to bump other workers with less seniority. This can lead to months of reorganization while the workforce cuts shake out. Bredesen wisely brought in a consulting firm to guide the state through these uncharted waters. It’s easy to criticize the governor for spending money on consultants that could have been spent on workers, but the expenditure was necessary in order to make sure the permanent workforce reductions are successful.
Jun 24, 2008 8:26 AM
"I don't want to make it easy for people to make products overseas, and then ship them back in," Eaton said. Eaton proposes tax penalties for businesses that seek cheap labor by making their products outside the United States. "I want to see 'Made in the USA' again," Eaton said. "Let's go back to our mom and pop factories and small business people with ideas."
Jun 24, 2008 8:01 AM
A breaker from Whitehouse and Duncan:
Sources tell NashvillePost.com that the [Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency] will announce its intent to enter into negotiations on the last of its coveted contracts with an Atlanta-based architecture firm later this morning.
Jun 24, 2008 7:54 AM
The editorial board of our local Gannett daily struggles to reconcile their belief in Democracy with their opposition to an effort with overwhelming popular support:
It needs to be said that drumming up a petition, in its own right, is a noble, respectable way to make a case. The right to get a referendum on a ballot is part of the bedrock of a democracy. No one should dispute the group's efforts to let the people speak. But this particular effort is harmful to the community, and seems to go on ad infinitum.
Jun 24, 2008 7:49 AM
FiveThirtyEight wonders whether another terrorist attack against the West will really help John McCain or whether there is a scenario wherein Barack Obama can become the beneficiary:
But what if instead there were something more analogous to the bombing of the USS Cole: an attack on US interests on foreign soil? Or some kind of incident on domestic soil that goes off half-cocked? Say, for instance, a Muslim exchange student with vague connections to Al-Qaeda attempts to detonate a parking garage in Seattle, Washington. There is a complete failure of intelligence in envisioning the attack, but the bombs are poorly constructed and most do not detonate; five people are injured but none are killed. Or, there is some kind of incident at the Beijing Olympics comparable to the Centennial Park bombing in Atlanta, but this time with more connection to international terrorist organizations? Or, a fairly serious incident on U.S. soil, but one perpetuated by a domestic terror group? Attacks like these are more likely, perhaps by several orders of magnitude, than another 9/11. The electoral implications would depend heavily on the particular facts and circumstances, as well as the timing the incident and the reaction of the candidates. It seems to me, however, that there is perhaps some margin where the attack is significant enough to represent a serious failure of the Bush Administration's intelligence policy, but not serious enough to really scare people. If that is the case, the electoral implications are vaguer, and could possibly -- possibly -- even work against John McCain, particularly if the incident occurs at some point over the summer where there is still plenty of breathing space for each candidate to frame the narrative.
Jun 24, 2008 7:42 AM
Barack Obama reacts to the trinkets voters thrust in his hand along the camapign trail:
“I have all these things that people give me,” he says. “This eagle that a Native American woman gave me, this woman who gave me her lucky poker chip. “They hand these to you say and say, y’know, ‘I want you to do well but I want you to help me,’ ” he says. “A guy I met wanted to buy me a beer in Pennsylvania even though he had just lost his job and couldn’t afford to put gas in his car and do a job search.” He falls silent just a second, rummaging for meaning in these objects. He is describing people who are forced to play life’s game with no net below. “If you are asking them to vote for you,” he says. “If you are asking for their trust, you better be serious. You better not over-promise.”
Jun 24, 2008 7:42 AM
The Governor explains that the state employee buyouts will not not cause as much disruption in state services as some think:
“I think — as with TennCare — you’ll be astonished at how much you can take out, how little disruption in the services when you actually sit down and see what happens. We’re figuring out how to do things better and more efficiently.”
Jun 24, 2008 7:35 AM
A Newsweek columnist argues that voters should not be so quick to assume that John McCain's experience is necessarily superior to Barack Obama's:
Twenty-first century U.S. senators are, virtually by the nature of the job, gadflies. They flit from one issue to another, generally developing little expertise on any of them; devote a large portion of their day to press conferences and other publicity opportunities; follow a daily schedule printed on a 3x5 card that a member of their staff has prepared; depend even more heavily on staff for detailed and time-consuming legislative negotiation that they are too busy to attend; and develop few close relationships with colleagues, nearly all of whom are as busy as they are. There are exceptions, of course—senators who beat the odds and develop an encyclopedic knowledge of topics that interest them—but they are the minority. I don't doubt McCain's instinct for global strategy, but a few months ago, when he had to be corrected on his statement that Iran was training Al Qaeda operatives, I wasn't surprised at all. I'm surprised this doesn't happen to senators more often. By contrast, what do state legislators do? At their worst, they are doggedly parochial, people who tend first and foremost to the interests of a relatively small constituency. At their best, they keep all the state's significant issues in mind; it is possible to do that in a state legislature in a way that is not possible in Washington. During the years that Obama served in Springfield, 1997-2005, he was forced to wrestle with the minutiae of health-care policy, utility deregulation, transportation funding, school aid, and a host of other issues that are vitally important to America's coming years, but that U.S. senators are usually able to dispose of with a quick once-over. State legislators have to do this largely on their own, without ubiquitous staff guidance, because staffing is not lavish even in the more professional state capitols. They enter into day-to-day bargaining relationships over the details of legislation with colleagues of both parties; there is no one else to do it for them. At the end of the session, they are likely to know the strengths and quirks of nearly everyone who serves in their chamber.
Jun 24, 2008 7:31 AM