Sunday, May 17, 2020

Ep 15 Ira Shapiro - Politics in the Age of COVID-19












The Radical Centrist: Ira Shapiro, Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?
Ira Shapiro is the President of Ira Shapiro Global Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in international trade, U.S.-Japan relations, and American politics, which he founded in 2014.  He brings to the firm 40 years of experience in senior staff positions in the U.S. Senate, the Clinton administration, and private law practice.  He is also the author of the critically acclaimed book,  The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis, published in 2012. He has just released his newest book: "Broken - Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?"






Author of:
  • Broken:  Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?
  • The Last Great Senate:  Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis
Ira Shapiro Global Strategies, LLC
1200 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC  20036
Office:    202-419-3412
Mobile:  202-577-5789


ABOUT IRA SHAPIRO
Ira Shapiro is the President of Ira Shapiro Global Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in international trade, U.S.-Japan relations, and American politics, which he founded in 2014.  He brings to the firm 40 years of experience in senior staff positions in the U.S. Senate, the Clinton administration, and private law practice.  He is also the author of the critically acclaimed book,  The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis, published in 2012.
Mr. Shapiro came to Washington, D.C., in October 1975, to work as Legislative Legal Counsel to Senator Gaylord Nelson (D.-Wisconsin), probably the greatest environmentalist ever to serve in the Senate.  In his 12 years working in the Senate, Mr. Shapiro also worked for other Senators.  He served as Minority Staff Director to the Governmental Affairs Committee, Staff Director and Chief Counsel to the special Senate Committee on Official Conduct, counsel to Senator Majority Leader Robert Byrd, and the first chief of staff for Jay Rockefeller.
During the deep reces sion of the early 1980’s, Mr. Shapiro began to focus on America’s position in international trade.  He became one of a handful of Senate staffers seeking to define a new U.S. trade and competitiveness policy, working closely with leaders in business, labor, and academia concerned about the same issues.  When Bill Clinton became president, Mr. Shapiro became General Counsel to United States Trade Representative Mickey Kantor in February 1993.  As General Counsel, he played a central role in the negotiation and legislative approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the multilateral Uruguay Round that created the World Trade Organization and the current trade rules.
In 1995, President Clinton nominated Mr. Shapiro for Ambassadorial rank, which the Senate rapidly and unanimously approved.  Ambassador Shapiro served as the principal U.S. trade negotiator with Japan and Canada, helping to successfully resolve some of the most contentious bilateral disputes with America’s two leading trading partners: autos and auto parts, semiconductors and insurance with Japan, and softwood lumber with Canada.
Mr. Shapiro has experience in dealing with the European Union, Canada, Mexico and China, but he has focused particularly on Japan, and U.S-Japan relations.  He has 30 years of extensive and diverse experience in dealing with the Japanese government and business community.  He first worked with Japan as Chief of Staff to Senator Rockefeller and played a key role in the efforts to save Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel through a joint venture with Nisshin Steel of Japan.  After his work in the Clinton administration, as many other trade lawyers and consultants shifted their focus to China, Mr. Shapiro continued to concentrate his work on U.S.-Japan relations. In September 2012, Mr. Shapiro became the Chairman of the National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS), the Washington-based organization that supports the activities of 36 Japan-America Societies around the country.   As Chairman, he speaks frequently about U.S.-Japan relations and the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, appearing in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, San Diego, Cincinnati, Chicago, Denver, Seattle and San Francisco.  On December 10, 2015, during a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the War, Japanese Ambassador to the U.S., Ken-Ichiro Sasae, gave Mr. Shapiro the Foreign Minister’s Commendation, an award from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in recognition of his outstanding achievements in promoting friendship between Japan and the United States.
Mr. Shapiro is well known in Tokyo, where he has spoken regularly and been received considerable press coverage. In February 2014, he came to Tokyo at the invitation of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and spoke to several leading business organizations, including Keidanren, the Japan Electronics Association (JEITA), and the Japan Foreign Trade Council.   In September 2013, his remarks at the Japan National Press Club attracted 45 reporters.  Mr. Shapiro’s interviews have appeared in Asahi Shimbun, Japan Times, Nikkei, and on NHK, where Tokyo’s best known interviewer, Kaori Iida, interviewed him for 30 minutes.
Mr. Shapiro has considerable experience working at the intersection of trade and health. From 2001-2003, representing the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, he played a prominent role in the negotiation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the first global treaty negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization.  He authored an article contending that cigarettes should be treated as an exception to the normal trade rules, because of their lethal nature.   Most recently, Mr. Shapiro served on a Council on Foreign Relations task force studying the spread of non-communicable diseases in the developing world.
Since leaving government, Mr. Shapiro has practiced international trade law in Washington, D.C., and been a partner in several major law firms, most recently Greenberg Traurig, LLP.  In August 2015, while continuing his own law work, he became a Senior Advisor to the Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG),  a premier consulting firm with tremendous global reach co-chaired by Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger and Carlos Gutierrez.  He has specialized in WTO disputes, and played an important role in the landmark cases brought by the United States against China for copyright piracy, representing the motion picture, recording and publishing industries.
Mr. Shapiro has a long history of deep involvement in Democratic presidential campaigns, and was part of the legal teams that helped Bill Clinton and Al Gore make their vice presidential choices. Mr. Shapiro ran an unsuccessful, but widely admired, race for Congress in Maryland in 2002.  A local newspaper described his campaign as the “antidote to cynicism that he promised to deliver.”
He writes and speaks frequently about U.S. politics, and particularly the U.S. Senate.  After the publication of his book in 2012, Mr. Shapiro spoke in 19 states, including appearances at four Presidential Libraries (Kennedy, Ford, Carter and Clinton).  His articles have been published in the New York Times, Bloomberg Review, ccn.com, and local newspapers in Seattle, Detroit, and Portland, Maine.
Mr. Shapiro graduated from Brandeis University, magna cum laude with honors in politics, in 1969, received his Master’s degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1970, and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973.  Before coming to Washington to work in the Senate, Mr. Shapiro clerked for a federal district judge in Philadelphia and practiced law in Chicago.


Thursday, May 14, 2020

Roaring Back Economically - Now is the Time for a Basic Income and National Healthcare

American Spirit

The View From Rattlesnake Ridge
Ruminations from an Unabashed Optimist, an Environmental Patriot and a Radical Centrist


Roaring Back Economically
Now is the Time for a Basic Income and National Healthcare


In this age of Covid-19, I am unable to experience the day to day joys of sharing time with neighbors and measuring their sentiments, hearing their stories, and drawing on them for life lessons. There will come a time, again, when we will be able to do this, and again I will return to my perambulations among neighbors in search of their stories and sensibilities for this column.

For now, my walks and rambles are solitary. I am alone with only my thoughts, the sounds of the brook, the wind, the pileated woodpeckers hammering at the trees, the red squirrels chattering at me. Some days my thoughts are small and parochial. Some days they range like a mountain lion, covering ground like a river tracing its tributaries high into the rocky precipices.

Lately, most of those thoughts have focused on the tragedy confronting our beloved American family.  Today, my mind wandered to my other family, a proud part of the American family but also distinctive in its own way.

My Grandfather’s people, and by birthright mine, the Haudenausanee - also known as the Iroquois - in the early years of the republic would range well down into the Rattlesnake Ridge area from time to time, sometimes in search of game and other times empire. For 500 years before the birth of the United States, the Iroquois people nurtured and sustained the first and only democratic republican form of government. Long before the birth of Jefferson and Adams, even before John Locke from whom Adams and Jefferson drew inspiration, the Iroquois were gathering to make decisions collectively and democratically. There is evidence that Ben Franklin looked to the Iroquois confederacy as he helped craft the US Constitution.

Esheheman's Breath


One of the most striking aspects of the Iroquois Confederacy’s democratic deliberations is that they were required to consider the effect of their actions, not just in terms of their immediate needs, but in light of the effect on the next 7 generations before arriving at a decision. So today I am doing just that in my rambling ruminations.

This pandemic has laid bare many of the weaknesses in our democracy and our economy. A significant portion of the economic tragedy has its roots in an economy that for 50 years - since the early 1970s - has slowly drained wealth from the middle class, the working class and the poor. Only a year ago a report from the Federal Reserve found that 40% of Americans would be unable to cover a $400 emergency with cash, savings, or a credit card. This growing disparity of wealth had already begun to blossom into a crisis before we were struck with the Covid-19 crisis affecting every aspect of American lives.

The existential crisis of Climate Change has faded from the light of public discourse, eclipsed by an even more immediate crisis. But, like the Covid-19 Pandemic, Climate Change is a science-based crisis and if there is one thing that we have all learned - with the possible exception of the Trump administration - science-based challenges don’t respond to lies, bullying, and spin. Eventually, they will bite you.

The marginalization of communities of color has come into full public view as the numbers of cases and deaths among black, brown, and Indian communities dramatically outpace even the high numbers among the general population.

These and other challenges are mixed in the rich stew of partisanship and culture wars, cooked up by Newt Gingrich in 1994 and today boiling vigorously as Donald Trump turns up the heat in anticipation of the coming election. One need only count the number of times the President uses the words “I” and “me” when he addresses the nation or the media, and how little he uses the word “we”. His lack of empathy for the 80,000 plus Americans who have lost their lives is shocking and disheartening, but not surprising.



The good news is that American’s have come together as we always do in a real crisis. There are signs that the efforts of a small vocal minority supported by the President are causing even that rare unity to fray but polling shows that most people have taken their lives and their safety into their own (well-washed) hands and have stopped listening to the President and turned their attention to those who will tell them the truth.

Even Congress has demonstrated a willingness to push partisanship aside in the best interests of the American people. Let’s hope they continue to do so because the challenges ahead are going to require that they continue to step up and that the sacred cows of both the Republicans and the Democrats will be put to the test and found wanting.

This Pandemic raging around us has created the perfect storm for many Americans - a catastrophic convergence of forces over which we have almost no control.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, it is estimated that 27 million Americans have already lost their health care insurance and that number may rise to 45 million before the worst is over. Despite this, the Trump administration refuses to reopen enrollment in the ACA, otherwise referred to as “Obama Care”. Congress should immediately reopen the ACA enrollment. Furthermore, they should do something they have stopped doing for a long time - taking a page from the Iroquois Confederacy and looking for solutions that consider the next 7 generations of Americans. Americans deserve a national healthcare plan that covers every single American.

Over the course of the last few years I have made the case for an American Dividend, more commonly referred to as a Universal Basic Income based on the presumption that Americans have contributed to the wealth of the nation through their sacrifices, their labor, and their taxes - but have never been included as shareholders in the economic miracle. I won’t reiterate all of the arguments for a UBI here, but you can read previous columns about it and there are a lot of people of all political persuasions who are now talking about it and writing about it. What I will do is try - in a few paragraphs - to make the case for doing it NOW - even as a temporary measure - as the most effective way to drive our economy forward and find our way out of this pandemic while respecting and protecting one another.

As impatience grows for restarting our economy and for resuming some semblance of normalcy in our day-to-day lives we will continue to experience the push and pull between economic needs and health and safety needs. While we must let the science and data drive our decisions in order to minimize the rate of new infections and deaths, we clearly must begin making efforts where possible to reopen the economy and return to life in a new normal. However, the challenge we face is one at the confluence of science, psychology, and economics, presenting a significant challenge and the need for our leaders, and each of us, to exercise judgment. Even as our Governors and policymakers begin this process, carefully laying out rules regarding testing, tracing and isolation, social distancing, and other safety measures, many folks will not be comfortable resuming “normal” life without confidence that we have flattened the curve sufficiently to make venturing out safe. Furthermore, rebounding economically, especially for our small businesses, will be profoundly challenging at 25% or even 50% of their previous capacity. We need to find a way to harness the economic power of both those who are ready to venture out and those who are not. Here’s where a basic income for every American can drive a robust resurgence.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos makes $6.54 billion dollars per month. If he dines at the most expensive restaurant in America, “Per Se” Restaurant in New York City, it will cost him $685.00. In his home state of Washington, “the Herbfarm Restaurant”, located on the outskirts of Seattle will cost you a more affordable $285. But Jeff Bezos can only eat ONE dinner.

One month of Jeff Bezos income would cover a $2,000 basic income for three million two hundred seventy thousand Americans, roughly 1% of the entire population; men, women and children; roughly 2% of American households.

So here’s a simple question: What is going to have a greater impact on the US economy: a month of dinners for Jeff Bezos (at $8,550) or 10 million dinners purchased by American families from local grocery stores and restaurants? Which of these is more likely to help save small businesses on Main street?

Now I’m not picking on Jeff Bezos, whom I admire immensely, but last year any one single American paid more in taxes than Amazon, which paid no taxes because of a tax code heavily skewed to the wealthy in our nation.

Businesses don’t create jobs, CONSUMERS create jobs through demand and businesses respond by hiring labor sufficient to meet the demand. It’s simple economics.

Put a basic income of $2,000 per month in the pockets of every American for the remainder of the year and it will cost half of what any of the previous 3 “relief” packages have cost and you can bet that - whether they are sheltering in place or out and about - Americans will drive the economy and support their local businesses. With real disposable income, the free market will determine how that income is used and most of the businesses we know and love in our communities all over America will find a way through this crisis. Furthermore, you will see a flurry of new entrepreneurial activity as Americans find new ways to create jobs and generate income using some of that disposable income to launch startups. In addition to this the President, The Speaker of the House, and the Majority Leader of the Senate, should appoint a blue-ribbon task force to look at ways to fund a basic income permanently.

None of this should be construed to ignore the need for an aggressive, nationally-directed system of testing, tracing, and isolating. If we had a national service requirement, that most Americans - from all parts of the political spectrum - support, we would be able to activate that network of millions of Americans to do the testing and contact tracing. As it stands the use of Americorp and Peace Corps volunteers could be activated immediately to fill much of the need. If we do not aggressively develop such a system quickly, few of us will feel comfortable about emerging into a world where a simple, and desperately needed, embrace can end in tragedy.

Americans of all political persuasions have set aside their differences in this pandemic and we can hear the faint but growing sound of the American song rising from their efforts, as they cheer for our frontline heroes, as they check on elderly neighbors and greet one another walking in the park or on the trail, even in acts as simple as paying for the coffee of the next car in line at the Dunkin Donuts drive-through.

Keep singing. Don’t let tribalism and partisanship derail what could be the great American renaissance after we beat back Covid-19. Dream 7 generations ahead.


Wayne King is an author, artist, activist and recovering politician. A three-term State Senator, he was the 1994 Democratic nominee for Governor and most recently the CEO of MOP Environmental Solutions Inc., a public company in the environmental cleanup space. His art is exhibited nationally in galleries and he has published three books of his images with another, "New Hampshire - a Love Story", on the way. His most recent novel "Sacred Trust" a vicarious, high voltage adventure to stop a private powerline is available on Amazon.com. He lives in Thornton, between Rattlesnake Ridge and the Waterville Range. He proudly flies both the American and Iroquois Flags. His website is: http://bit.ly/WayneDKing
UBI, Basic Income, American Dividend, Roaring back, recovery, Pandemic, Covid-19, truth, testing, healthcare, insurance, national service

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Episode 14 - A New Old Immigrant, a Red Pickup and a Trump Voter . . . and a Glimpse of the Real America


Episode 14 - A New Old Immigrant, a Red Pickup and a Trump Voter . . . and a Glimpse of the Real America

An American Immigrant's First Vote






This morning at 4:34am Carol Stanigar of Lebanon, New Hampshire wrote this email to her friend Maryann

Dearest Maryann,
I can always be sure that you will be cheering me on.
I am sure that people in San Francisco get all gussied up to vote but here in NH Ill be wearing my uniform. A flannel shirt.
OMG! Im up before the sun. Sooooooo excited!

Can you STAND it: My Trumpster neighbor is going to take me to show me the ropes and to “make sure that nobody shoots me”, although I am contemplating making a sign to hang around my neck that says "NEW OLD IMMIGRANT". 

Furthermore, he is going to take me in his pickup truck. All these years and I never did get a ride in one. God, I wish that I could ride in the back with my sign.

OH, I did get his wife, who is going to be tending the event to agree to write in Romney if she can't bring herself to vote Democrat. Maybe Roy will too.

OMG! This brings back memories of my first day of school....running up Mountain View avenue with Nursie in full pursuit


I was soooo excited. No, nervous. 

I wish that you could have seen Roy. I tried to take a picture but my camera failed me. 

He had the red Ford pickup with his HUGE moustache all gooped up and extending 2” on each side. Blue jeans and felt cowboy hat. 

I was so proud hanging onto his arm so I wouldn’t slip on the ice. You should have seen the look on a lot of the faces that knew Roy. OMG! I’m causing a small town scandal. 

He walked me through the whole thing and insisted that I wear my “I voted sticker” on my coat.


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Episode 13 Experiential Education Comes of Age - A Conversation with Fred Bramante


Experiential Education and Competency Mastery Comes of Age
A Conversation with Fred Bramante

You've heard me say it before, the world is changing under our feet and we will either be the agents of change or its victims. And make no mistake, we are entering an era of unparalleled change - whether you call it the Third Industrial Revolution or the Fourth, the Anthropocene, or anything else, is irrelevant. But it will be a revolutionary period. In another decade, almost nothing in our lives will look the same.  If we respond with courage and wisdom, humanity and civility, to the challenges, most of what we will create will be for the betterment of our world.

If Fred Bramante has his way - and I fervently hope he does - schools will look nothing like they do today in ten years. Where today many schools remain mired in the old ways - 180 days in a seat with teachers imparting and students absorbing - under the best of circumstances. If they are lucky their four years of school will yield a high school diploma. If Fred Bramante gets his way, Teachers will become facilitators, teaching in classrooms part-time and working with students of all kinds to help them find experiences that yield mastery over various competencies identified by schools, communities, teachers and other educational leaders. Students will not only finish high school, having engaged in experiential activities that augment their book learning and they will do so with not only a diploma but perhaps a certificate of mastery for a marketable skill or an Associates Degree. That means two years of college paid for in the midst of their High School experience.

Now, in fairness to my friends Dr. Everett Barnes and John True who helped me craft my own education plan when Fred and I ran for Governor in 1994, they too were touting similar ideas - and consequently so was I,  but along with Fred Bramante, they were way ahead of the curve. After the campaigns were over, I headed off to Introduce the Internet to the Civil Society Community in West Africa, but Fred - still filled with the fire that had grown inside him - continued to work for education reform.

Eleven years after Fred's run for Governor he found himself the Chair of the New Hampshire Board of Education, appointed by then-Governor Craig Benson. Given broad latitude by the Governor, Fred put his considerable interpersonal skills to work convincing a bi-partisan Board of Education to create the broadest, most sweeping goals for education. A set of goals that is a powerful combination of classroom experience, experiential learning, internships and more.

While Fred will be the first to tell you that - from his perspective - things have moved far too slowly since then that he remains optimistic that we are headed in the right direction and is proud of the lead role that NH has played in this educational revolution.

Fred Bramante is a former 8th grade Science teacher, a former candidate for governor, and the past Chairman of the New Hampshire State Board of Education. ... In 2003, Mr. Bramante led New Hampshire's first full-scale effort to redesign public education since 1919.Jun 12, 2013






The Radical Centrist
Experiential Education and Competency Mastery Comes of Age - A Conversation with Fred Bramante

https://soundcloud.com/user-90457918/episode-13-fred-bramante-experiential-education-comes-of-age

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Episode 12 Ira Shapiro - Can The United States Senate Save the Country?










The Radical Centrist: Ira Shapiro, Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?
Ira Shapiro is the President of Ira Shapiro Global Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in international trade, U.S.-Japan relations, and American politics, which he founded in 2014.  He brings to the firm 40 years of experience in senior staff positions in the U.S. Senate, the Clinton administration, and private law practice.  He is also the author of the critically acclaimed book,  The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis, published in 2012. He has just released his newest book: "Broken - Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?"






Author of:
  • Broken:  Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?
  • The Last Great Senate:  Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis
Ira Shapiro Global Strategies, LLC
1200 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC  20036
Office:    202-419-3412
Mobile:  202-577-5789


ABOUT IRA SHAPIRO
Ira Shapiro is the President of Ira Shapiro Global Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in international trade, U.S.-Japan relations, and American politics, which he founded in 2014.  He brings to the firm 40 years of experience in senior staff positions in the U.S. Senate, the Clinton administration, and private law practice.  He is also the author of the critically acclaimed book,  The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis, published in 2012.
Mr. Shapiro came to Washington, D.C., in October 1975, to work as Legislative Legal Counsel to Senator Gaylord Nelson (D.-Wisconsin), probably the greatest environmentalist ever to serve in the Senate.  In his 12 years working in the Senate, Mr. Shapiro also worked for other Senators.  He served as Minority Staff Director to the Governmental Affairs Committee, Staff Director and Chief Counsel to the special Senate Committee on Official Conduct, counsel to Senator Majority Leader Robert Byrd, and the first chief of staff for Jay Rockefeller.
During the deep reces sion of the early 1980’s, Mr. Shapiro began to focus on America’s position in international trade.  He became one of a handful of Senate staffers seeking to define a new U.S. trade and competitiveness policy, working closely with leaders in business, labor, and academia concerned about the same issues.  When Bill Clinton became president, Mr. Shapiro became General Counsel to United States Trade Representative Mickey Kantor in February 1993.  As General Counsel, he played a central role in the negotiation and legislative approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the multilateral Uruguay Round that created the World Trade Organization and the current trade rules.
In 1995, President Clinton nominated Mr. Shapiro for Ambassadorial rank, which the Senate rapidly and unanimously approved.  Ambassador Shapiro served as the principal U.S. trade negotiator with Japan and Canada, helping to successfully resolve some of the most contentious bilateral disputes with America’s two leading trading partners: autos and auto parts, semiconductors and insurance with Japan, and softwood lumber with Canada.
Mr. Shapiro has experience in dealing with the European Union, Canada, Mexico and China, but he has focused particularly on Japan, and U.S-Japan relations.  He has 30 years of extensive and diverse experience in dealing with the Japanese government and business community.  He first worked with Japan as Chief of Staff to Senator Rockefeller and played a key role in the efforts to save Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel through a joint venture with Nisshin Steel of Japan.  After his work in the Clinton administration, as many other trade lawyers and consultants shifted their focus to China, Mr. Shapiro continued to concentrate his work on U.S.-Japan relations. In September 2012, Mr. Shapiro became the Chairman of the National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS), the Washington-based organization that supports the activities of 36 Japan-America Societies around the country.   As Chairman, he speaks frequently about U.S.-Japan relations and the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, appearing in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, San Diego, Cincinnati, Chicago, Denver, Seattle and San Francisco.  On December 10, 2015, during a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the War, Japanese Ambassador to the U.S., Ken-Ichiro Sasae, gave Mr. Shapiro the Foreign Minister’s Commendation, an award from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in recognition of his outstanding achievements in promoting friendship between Japan and the United States.
Mr. Shapiro is well known in Tokyo, where he has spoken regularly and been received considerable press coverage. In February 2014, he came to Tokyo at the invitation of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and spoke to several leading business organizations, including Keidanren, the Japan Electronics Association (JEITA), and the Japan Foreign Trade Council.   In September 2013, his remarks at the Japan National Press Club attracted 45 reporters.  Mr. Shapiro’s interviews have appeared in Asahi Shimbun, Japan Times, Nikkei, and on NHK, where Tokyo’s best known interviewer, Kaori Iida, interviewed him for 30 minutes.
Mr. Shapiro has considerable experience working at the intersection of trade and health. From 2001-2003, representing the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, he played a prominent role in the negotiation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the first global treaty negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization.  He authored an article contending that cigarettes should be treated as an exception to the normal trade rules, because of their lethal nature.   Most recently, Mr. Shapiro served on a Council on Foreign Relations task force studying the spread of non-communicable diseases in the developing world.
Since leaving government, Mr. Shapiro has practiced international trade law in Washington, D.C., and been a partner in several major law firms, most recently Greenberg Traurig, LLP.  In August 2015, while continuing his own law work, he became a Senior Advisor to the Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG),  a premier consulting firm with tremendous global reach co-chaired by Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger and Carlos Gutierrez.  He has specialized in WTO disputes, and played an important role in the landmark cases brought by the United States against China for copyright piracy, representing the motion picture, recording and publishing industries.
Mr. Shapiro has a long history of deep involvement in Democratic presidential campaigns, and was part of the legal teams that helped Bill Clinton and Al Gore make their vice presidential choices. Mr. Shapiro ran an unsuccessful, but widely admired, race for Congress in Maryland in 2002.  A local newspaper described his campaign as the “antidote to cynicism that he promised to deliver.”
He writes and speaks frequently about U.S. politics, and particularly the U.S. Senate.  After the publication of his book in 2012, Mr. Shapiro spoke in 19 states, including appearances at four Presidential Libraries (Kennedy, Ford, Carter and Clinton).  His articles have been published in the New York Times, Bloomberg Review, ccn.com, and local newspapers in Seattle, Detroit, and Portland, Maine.
Mr. Shapiro graduated from Brandeis University, magna cum laude with honors in politics, in 1969, received his Master’s degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1970, and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973.  Before coming to Washington to work in the Senate, Mr. Shapiro clerked for a federal district judge in Philadelphia and practiced law in Chicago.


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Episoda 11 Rebels at Work Lois Kelly Radical Centrist


Lois Kelly, International speaker, consultant and co-author of "Rebels at Work".
Rebels at Work - Lois Kelly
Creating Change from Within your organization

Rebels at Work - Lois Kelly
Creating Change From the Belly of the Beast

Can you be an effective Change Agent if you aren’t at the top of the corporate ladder?  

And answers that question with a resounding yes.

Few of us get to start at the top of the corporate ladder. Yet many of us have good ideas that could create real and positive change in the company where we are hoping to move up the ladder. But creating change when you don’t possess the “portfolio” of a member of upper management can be very intimidating - even terrifying. After all, those with a portfolio have some degree of protection built into the system. But if you are - perhaps just getting your feet wet - you may find yourself on very slippery ground in trying to bring about change. 

“Creativity is a renewable Resource” says Lois Kelly. If you’ve had one good idea, you are bound to have others as well. Take those ideas and make them

Twitter:
@loiskelly
@rebelsatwork




Uncover possibilities, build your change muscles
Lifelong communications and marketing strategist, working with leaders in Fortune 500 companies to "forklift thinking" on marketing, communications and team development. (Thanks to my HP executive client for the forklift descriptor.)
Co-founded the Rebels at Work movement with Carmen Medina, the most rewarding labor of love in my professional life so far. (More of my views, research and writing can be found at https://www.rebelsatwork.com/.)
Happiest when I'm facilitating workshops on change and resiliency, and infecting people with optimism and practices to achieve more than they ever thought possible.
Author and performance storyteller.
Certified in positive psychology; I believe in teaching evidence-based practices. No woo-woo, guru jargon.
Committed to growing wiser and wilder.
Top VIA Character Traits that guide my professional and personal life:  Honesty, creativity, bravery, appreciation of excellence, self-regulation, relationships, curiosity.

Make your idea community property
Don't worry about getting the credit.




Monday, July 22, 2019

Episode 10 - Beyond Carbon - Senator John Durkin and the Prevailing Rate Amendment



How Senator John Durkin Changed the World and Launched the Renewable Energy Revolution

One Visionary Senator, One Great Staff, One Quiet amendment and 42+ years of Activism have set in motion America's Renewable Energy Revolution

https://soundcloud.com/user-90457918/john-durkin-purpa-renewable-energy-revolution

Today's podcast, the fourth in our "Beyond Carbon" series, is a story of a man with vision, a terrific staff of people around him and a Senate that - unlike today's Senate and House - was functional. Where Democrats and Republicans worked together for the best interests of the country and their constituents. It is a story of a man, and his staff, who saw their job - not in terms of the next election but the next generation and the next after that.

In 1975 Senator John Durkin was elected to the US Senate in the closest race in Senate history. As a US Senator he would play a vital role in two landmark pieces of legislation, The Alaska Lands Act - protecting the Alaska Wilderness as a National Resource and The National Energy Policy Act, including the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, among others. 

John Durkin had established a reputation as a fighter for the "little guy" long before he ran for the Senate. As the State Insurance Commissioner, he regularly butted heads with major insurance companies on behalf of consumers. And that no-nonsense style continued after his election to the Senate. Unlike most first-term Senators who spend their first term learning the ropes and keeping their mouths shut, John Durkin waded right into the fray and as you will hear from two of his staff  Edward Tanzman and Harris Miller his colorful approach and fierce loyalty to the little guy continued during his one, and only, term in the United States Senate.

This Podcast, while it looks at John Durkin's many sides is largely focused on the Amendment that Durkin placed in the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act  (PURPA) that effectively ended the utility company monopoly of the generation, sale and distribution of electricity and required those utility companies to pay prevailing rates (also known as Avoided Costs) to companies generating up to 80Megawatts of energy using renewable resources.


(From Wikipedia)
The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPAPub.L. 95–617, 92 Stat. 3117, enacted November 9, 1978) is an United States Act passed as part of the National Energy Act. It was meant to promote energy conservation (reduce demand) and promote greater use of domestic energy and renewable energy (increase supply). The law was created in response to the 1973 energy crisis, and one year in advance of a second energy crisis.
Upon entering the White House, President Jimmy Carter made energy policy a top priority. The law started the energy industry on the road to restructuring.[1]

Before the passage of the National Energy Policy Act and the provisions of PURPA, Energy companies were classified as natural monopolies, and for this reason, most were established with vertically integrated structures (that is, they undertook all the functions of generating, transmitting, and distributing electricity to the customer). 
Utilities were protected as regulated monopolies because it was thought that a company could produce power more efficiently and economically as one company than as several.
PURPA started the industry on the road to restructuring and is one of the first laws that began the deregulation of energy companies. The provision which enabled non-utility generators ("NUGs") to produce power for use by customers attached to a utility's grid broke the previous monopoly in the generation function.[2]

As you will hear from Ed and Harris, John Durkin had to tread a fine line of educating his fellow Senators on renewable energy and not causing alarm over what would certainly be a game-changing addition to the law. 

Whether John Durkin was a radical centrist or not is not the critical point here. He was Senator before anyone had even conceived of the term. But he had all the markings of one. One of the central tenets of Radical Centrism is to use the power of innovation and imagination to fashion solutions across party line and ideology. John Durkin saw the opportunity to open up the world of small power production that today is leading us, Beyond Carbon, toward a distributed energy future based on the use of renewables. Durkin added a two-line amendment to the PURPA law as it made its way through his committee He recruited his friend and colleague, conservative New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici who saw the wisdom in empowering small renewable power producers in his own state and helped Durkin fashion a market-based approach to renewables that today is driving the renewable energy revolution in this country.


The final word on John Durkin. In today's poisonous partisan times such an act would be deemed an offense against the party but in 1980 John Durkin, defeated in his Senate re-election bid by former state Attorney General Warren Rudman, resigned early to allow Rudman - and thus NH to gain seniority advantages over others elected in the same election. He was a class act right to the end.  


About John Durkin
From Wikipedia
Born March 29, 1936, in 
Brookfield, Massachusetts, John Durkin was the youngest of four children, and graduated from St. John's High School in 1954. He later claimed that his parents told him that the highest callings in life were to become a priest or an honest politician, and that he opted for politics. At the age of 18, Durkin held his first elective office - Moderator of the Brookfield Town Meeting.[1] He went on to attend the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, graduating in 1959. Through the U.S Navy ROTC program, he received his commission in the United States Navy as an Ensign. Durkin served in the Navy from 1959 to 1961, attaining the rank of Lieutenant (Junior Grade).
After his Navy service, Durkin enrolled at Georgetown University Law Center, where he earned his J.D. degree in 1965. He was admitted to the bar, and began to practice in New Hampshire.[1] He served as an Assistant State Attorney General from 1966-68, and as State Insurance Commissioner from 1968 to 1973.[2] He gained a degree of name recognition throughout the State, and frequently made headlines fighting insurance companies on behalf of consumers.[1]

In 1974, Durkin won the Democratic nomination for the Senate being vacated by the retiring 20-year Republican incumbent, Norris Cotton. In the November 5 general election Durkin appeared to have lost against Republican Congressman Louis Wyman by 355 votes. Durkin requested a recount, which resulted in his victory by 10 votes. Governor Meldrim Thomson then certified Durkin as the winner. Wyman then requested a second recount, in which he prevailed by two votes. Senator Cotton resigned on December 31, 1974, and Gov. Thomson appointed Wyman for the balance of the term ending January 3, 1975, a common practice intended to give an incoming Senator an advantage in seniority. Most thought this ended the disputed election, but Durkin appealed to the full United States Senate, which is the final arbiter of Senate elections under the Constitution.[3]

The Senate Rules Committee, deadlocked on whether to seat Wyman for the 1975-1981 term, and sent the question to the full Senate. On January 14, 1975, the Senate returned the matter to the Rules Committee, which again returned it to the full Senate, enumerating 35 disputed points that questioned the election based on 3,000 questionable ballots. The full Senate was still unable to break the deadlock on even one of the 35 points. After seven months and six unsuccessful attempts by Democratic Senators to seat Durkin, and much media attention in the New Hampshire press, Wyman proposed that he and Durkin run again in a special election. Durkin agreed, and the Senate declared the seat vacant on August 8, 1975, pending the outcome of the new election. In the meantime, Thomson again appointed Cotton as a caretaker until the new election was held. In the September 16, 1975 special election, Durkin defeated Wyman by over 27,000 votes. This ended what remains the longest Senate vacancy, following the most closely contested direct Senate election in the history of the United States Senate.[3]

When asked about the experience of going through such a long-contested election many years later in 2008, Durkin told The Associated Press that he wouldn’t wish the experience on his worst enemy. “I’d much rather have read about it than have lived it,” he said.[4] Having initially resisted the idea of holding a special election to resolve the matter, Durkin recalled in 2008, that it was eventually his daughter, 8-years-old at the time, who helped change his mind: “She said, ‘Dad, don’t you realize they can’t make their mind up about anything?’,” Durkin said. “When the kids realize it, I thought I had to do something.”[4]

Edward Tanzman

Edward Tanzman Emergency and Disaster Analytics Group Director
Decision and Infrastructure Sciences Division
Argonne National Laboratory

Education J.D., Georgetown University Law Center.
Notes and Comments Editor of The Tax Lawyer law review.
Special course work in legislative policy-making. (1976)
B.A., Political Science, University of Chicago, with Departmental and College Honors (1973) Employment History

Argonne National Laboratory Director, Emergency and Disaster Analytics Group, Decision and Infrastructure Sciences Division. Leads group of 12 regular staff members and 18 Argonne Associates. Prioritizes safety in a high risk program element, fosters group member intellectual, educational, and career advancement. Develops and manages programs with a total annual budget of more than $6.5 million that integrates emergency management and critical infrastructure resiliency analysis. Supports Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty safeguards initiatives, as well.


Harris Miller

Harris Miller is President of Harris Miller & Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in government and public affairs, strategic planning, and organizational turnarounds.  He currently is only consulting part-time on a non-compensated basis for organizations in which he is personally involved such as Campaign for Free College Tuition (Co-Founder and Vice Chair) and the National Philharmonic (Board Member).  He previously served as a Board Member of the Heart and Vascular Institute at George Washington University, the Code of Support, and Global Good Fund.  He is also very involved in local, state, and federal Democratic politics.
Harris served as CEO of three large trade associations, the Information Technology Association of America, the World Information Technology and Services Alliance, and the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities.  In between, he got the Silver Medal in the 2006 Virginia US Senate Democratic nomination race, losing to Jim Webb who then went on to beat George Allen.
Mr. Miller has worked in senior staff positions in both the U.S. House of Representatives (Subcommittee on Immigration and Refugee Affairs) where he was directly involved in the Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986, the last major overhaul of our nation’s immigration system; the U.S. Senate (Policy Director for the late Senator John Durkin, D-NH); and in President Jimmy Carter’s Administration.  He also served as Research Assistant in the British House of Commons to the late Rt. Hon. Lord Roper, then John Roper, MP.  He has a BA summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh (where he was Senior Man of the Year and later alum of the year) and an MPhil in political science from Yale. He and his wife Deborah Kahn live in McLean, Virginia and have two children and three (soon four) grandchildren.  

Andrea Durkin
Portsmouth, NH 03801.




The Last Great Senate
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PURPA



Once an Obscure Law, PURPA Now Drives Utility-Scale Solar.
https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/purpa-is-causing-conflict-in-montana




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