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10 Apr 2011 10:14


Politics: Budget deal: White House negotiation approach proves effective

  • Nope, zero. John, this is it.
  • Barack Obama, according to a senior official • Informing House Speaker John Boehner that he wouldn’t be budging on Planned Parenthood — despite the fact that Boehner had fought tooth-and-nail for the policy in a White House meeting for over an hour. The meeting itself proved to be something of a watershed moment for negotiations — proving that when they need to work together, they can pull it off. As much as it hurts. “Things got heated,” said senior White House adviser David Plouffe. “The president’s approach was to try and engage all the parties to come together. Going forward this can be a model.” source

08 Mar 2011 13:37


World: North Korea just wants these folks to talk it over with their families, honest

  • 31 North Koreans who’re presently in the South; unsurprisingly, the North wants them all back ahead of any further disarmament talks
  • four of the North Koreans are open defectors; the North demands they attend a meeting to confirm this decision to their families source
  • » The South says no dice: And for a very good reason, to boot. North Korea, for all the jokes westerners crack about its diminutive, insane leader, is no laughing matter for those who want out. Right now around 200,000 North Koreans are believed to be in concentration camps (testimony from a rare escapee here, it’s long and brutal but worth watching) worthy of the legacy of the term – medical experimentation, gas chambers, death by starvation, the whole lot. The threat of having one’s family sent to the camps (children born in the camps are forced to live their entire lives, however short, never knowing of the world outside) is the state’s major deterrent to defection. As such, dragging these four defectors in to confirm their defection to their families is essentially an elaborate, unspoken threat, along the lines of “come back, or they and their young will rot in prison for as long as they’re able to.” This is the sort of terrible dilemma that a nation is forced to make when up against a state under such villainous command.

07 Mar 2011 11:00


U.S.: Wisconsin Senate Dems pushing for border-line meeting

  • yesterday A report came out suggesting that Wisconsin Democrats were willing to come back to the state without any major victories in tow. The report was later denied, with one state senator suggesting they were taken out of context.
  • today State Sen. Mark Miller is in fact pushing for a meeting between Walker, the Senate Majority Leader and the Dems near the Wisconsin-Illinois border. We bet Walker will trap one of them in a car and bring them back to Madison. source

28 Dec 2010 20:52


World: Not even peer pressure enough to get Laurent Gbagbo to resign

See this guy in the middle here? Well, he (along with two other African leaders) went to the Ivory Coast today to see if he could get Laurent Gbagbo to resign. Not so much. source

28 Nov 2010 11:22


World: China wants to get North, South Korea back to negotiating table

  • 2008 China, North and South Korea, Japan, Russia and the U.S., had six-party disarmament talks about North Korea’s nuclear program. The North walked out when it became clear it was an intervention.
  • 2010 China, looking to help ease things between on-the-brink-of-war North and South Korea, is pushing for another round of talks. China says it won’t be like last time; South Korea is thinking about it. source

25 Aug 2010 10:32


World: Jimmy Carter’s in North Korea, following in Bill Clinton’s footsteps

Something tells us that Jimmy Carter is not the master negotiator that Bill Clinton was when he went to North Korea last year. source

29 Mar 2010 09:55


World: China jails four Rio Tinto staffers for being super sketchy

  • 7-14 years for stealing secrets and taking bribes source

04 May 2009 19:29


Biz: Deals were made, hands were shaken, The Boston Globe lives for now

  • Six of the paper’s seven unions agreed to cuts. The largest didn’t. The Globe, which looked off a cliff last night at the bottom and didn’t like the view, has apparently succeeded in getting enough concessions to stay afloat for the moment. The paper had set a May 1st deadline to get their unions to agree to $20 million in cuts. The only union that didn’t agree was the largest, the Boston Newspaper Guild. At issue are salary cuts and benefits such as lifetime job guarantees, which seem not so smart now that the paper’s bleeding money. source