AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Dick Kirschten

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Retribution Before Results

February 1, 1999 dkirschten@njdc.com he three R's that constitute the curriculum for the 106th Congress will certainly encompass the topic of improving the performance of government programs and agencies. That is good news for those who care about improving government operations. But it's not likely that "results" will rank highest on the curriculum; ...

Will Civility Have a Chance?

January 1, 1999 dkirschten@govexec.com eorge Wallace, poet laureate of government bashing and architect of the Southern-fried populism that the Republican Party has emulated to build its current base, died in September. Less than two months later, Newt Gingrich, an ardent--but less humorous--imitator of Wallace's rhetoric, surrendered his speakership of the House of Representatives. ...

Scapegoats and Survivors

October 1, 1998 n the theater of Washington, the classic Punch-and-Judy ritual of politician thwacking bureaucrat is always an audience favorite. When federal agencies come under attack, the script frequently includes howls for the scalps of highly placed executives. But the behind-the-scenes secret--shared by the entire cast--is that the stoic civil servant who ...

Reinventing Tammany Hall

January 1, 1997 n the late 1800s, when New York City's Tammany Hall political machine was in its heyday, ward-heeling political operatives made a specialty of harvesting votes from the city's teeming masses of newly arrived immigrants. "Tammany had a Naturalization Committee-to serve its own ends, of course-but nonetheless an agency that facilitated ...

Reinventing Tammany Hall

January 1, 1997 n the late 1800s, when New York City's Tammany Hall political machine was in its heyday, ward-heeling political operatives made a specialty of harvesting votes from the city's teeming masses of newly arrived immigrants. "Tammany had a Naturalization Committee-to serve its own ends, of course-but nonetheless an agency that facilitated ...

The Thunderlizard Factor

January 1, 1997 hen Republicans on Capitol Hill combed White House documents for evidence of a politically motivated push to add immigrants to the voter rolls this year, they turned up some intriguing nuggets from the pen of a career civil servant named Doug Farbrother, who works at the National Performance Review. Farbrother, ...

The Politics of Citizenship

January 1, 1997 ess than two months before Election Day, immigration authorities booked a major football stadium for a mass ceremony-the largest that ever had been held-to swear in newly naturalized citizens. After a federal magistrate administered the oath, the Vice President of the United States, traveling at the expense of his ticket's ...