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Always and Forever, Bad Apples

by danps Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 05:01:49 AM EST

When bad news breaks it has become almost routine for those at the top to disavow all knowledge and let the hammer come down on those well down in the hierarchy.  The pattern showed up again twice this week, and is now so common as to be almost standardized.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (2 comments, 1101 words in story)

The Ideological Assault on the Fourth Amendment

by danps Sat Sep 18th, 2010 at 06:30:31 AM EST

In the last few years there has been a steady erosion of 4th Amendment protections.  Now in addition to chipping way at it through judicial rulings there appears to be a movement to weaken its very concept.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (3 comments, 1019 words in story)

The Persistence of Selfishness

by danps Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 05:25:15 AM EST

One of the bedrock assumptions of economic theory for the last few decades has never been true.  When an error is both generally acknowledged and fervently embraced there is usually a good (and unfortunate) explanation, and this is no exception.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

Read more... (10 comments, 858 words in story)

The Ongoing Relevance of the White House Email Fiasco

by danps Sat Sep 4th, 2010 at 06:43:49 AM EST

A detailed report on the Bush administration's loss of millions of emails has been greeted as little more than a post mortem from several years ago.  Even if it was only that, though, it would deserve much more coverage than it has received - and it has serious implications for the present and future as well.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (3 comments, 909 words in story)

All Those Partnerships With Business Might Not Be So Great

by danps Sat Aug 28th, 2010 at 05:48:01 AM EST

It has become almost universally accepted in Washington that government needs to work with the private sector in various capacities in order to function effectively.  The track record from recent years suggests exactly the opposite.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (1 comment, 1018 words in story)

America's Bad Reputation Gets a Little Worse

by danps Sat Aug 21st, 2010 at 05:11:26 AM EST

The tribunals in Guantánamo and newly revealed military campaigns are reinforcing some less than admirable qualities.  The stain will not wash out as easily as some might want.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (2 comments, 1022 words in story)

Raise Their Pay and Make Them Stay

by danps Sat Aug 14th, 2010 at 05:27:45 AM EST

This week furnished the latest examples of Republican antipathy to government.  Because their view has been in favor for many years, changing expectations of Congress requires changing the terms of the debate.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (5 comments, 946 words in story)

The Problem Isn't Fast News, It's Dumb News

by danps Sat Jul 31st, 2010 at 04:37:32 AM EST

An analyst has called for a more deliberate pace in the production and consumption of news.  He could have demonstrated his commitment to such improvement by shelving yet another exercise in media self-mortification and spending time with some primary sources.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (13 comments, 1173 words in story)

Putting Geneva Down the Memory Hole

by danps Sat Jul 24th, 2010 at 09:45:22 AM EST

An opinion piece from a former Attorney General shows just how inconvenient one of the bedrock treaties of international relations has become for Guantánamo supporters.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (1 comment, 1195 words in story)

The Pneumatics of Washington DC

by danps Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 06:38:49 AM EST

The federal government has begun to acquire an almost reflexive opposition to transparency.  Many of the usual explanations for that may be true, but there could be a more philosophical reason as well.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (1 comment, 963 words in story)

Memo to Congress: Unemployment Trumps Everything

by danps Sat Jul 10th, 2010 at 05:29:26 AM EST

The midterm elections look unfriendly to the Democrats at the moment.  They could change that picture, but it might require a challenge to their ostensible leader.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (5 comments, 989 words in story)

Why Looking Back Matters

by danps Sat Jul 3rd, 2010 at 06:37:04 AM EST

The need to not investigate allegations of criminality has become a common refrain in Washington, but there are some obvious and unpleasant consequences that come from doing so.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (7 comments, 1047 words in story)

The Unfortunate Necessity of Wikileaks

by danps Sat Jun 19th, 2010 at 10:34:44 AM EST

The rogue whistleblower site keeps popping up in the news, and the reasons it does illustrate why it has become so important.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (2 comments, 989 words in story)

Will public anxiety on the oil spill be harnessed or allowed to dissipate?

by danps Sat Jun 12th, 2010 at 06:33:46 AM EST

Many people are looking for a way to pitch in and help in response to an emergency.  The last time it happened the opportunity slipped away; will it this time?

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

Read more... (10 comments, 947 words in story)

Some Suggestions For America's Inert President

by danps Sat May 29th, 2010 at 07:49:38 AM EST

The president, along with some of his defenders, have been protesting that his ability to address the environmental meltdown in the Gulf is limited.  Not everyone agrees his hands are tied so tightly, though.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

Read more... (7 comments, 1167 words in story)

The Midterms Are All About the 'Stills'

by danps Sat May 22nd, 2010 at 06:55:47 AM EST

Analysis of Tuesday's results has largely skewed towards nuts-and-bolts electoral minutiae and lazy repetition of talking points.  Not much has focused on the actual policies leaders have put in place, though.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (3 comments, 1175 words in story)

Consumers Get Businesslike; Business Gets Nervous

by danps Sat May 15th, 2010 at 07:32:41 AM EST

While the political class waits for the economic crisis to resolve itself, homeowners have started to show considerably more initiative.  It's making the titans of finance very edgy.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

Read more... (19 comments, 1023 words in story)

ACTA and the Overblown Threat of Piracy

by danps Sat May 8th, 2010 at 05:13:40 AM EST

A secretly negotiated international treaty recently had a draft released.  It has all the earmarks of a consumer-hostile power grab by the entertainment industry, happily aided by the Obama administration.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (5 comments, 1097 words in story)

Peter G. Peterson Foundation: What About Military Bases?

by danps Sat May 1st, 2010 at 06:17:32 AM EST

Concern over deficits is suddenly all the rage again.  One player putting itself in the forefront of the issue has missed an obvious candidate for cost savings, though.

Read more... (11 comments, 1105 words in story)

Where is the Debate on Obama's Assassination Program?

by danps Sat Apr 17th, 2010 at 05:45:48 AM EST

Last week a remarkable story was broken about the president's directive to assassinate a citizen, and there has been a troubling silence about it from nearly all the major players.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Read more... (6 comments, 1007 words in story)
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