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  1. Sen. Collins says she used a 'secret weapon' in shutdown negotiations WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said she used a "secret weapon" to help end the government shutdown. “I quickly realized that I needed a way to control the debate because senators can be quite loquacious and they always want to be the first to speak. There's a lot of crosstalk and I wanted to make sure that everybody's voice was heard. So Sen. Heidi Heitkamp a few years ago gave me an African Talking Stick that is used by a tribe that is in Kenya and in the Sudan region. And it is used by the tribe to control the debate when they are in meeting and I found that it worked very well.” ... I would hand the stick to whoever was seeking recognition and until that person was finished, no one could interrupt him or her. And then I would take the stick and pass it on to the next person," Collins said. "Occasionally it was tossed to the next person, but it worked amazingly well to ensure that everyone had a chance to be heard.” So what works for Cub Scout den meetings is now being used in Congress? Source link: http://www.wcsjnews.com/news/politics/sen-collins-says-she-used-secret-weapon-in-shutdown-negotiations/article_d124bbb5-19d5-51fb-9b72-e13a2e867802.html
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