Government Articles

The End-of-Life Bureaucracy

Medicare and advance directives.
Dec 07, 2015

The federal technocracy, like the old B-horror-movie monster The Blob, grows by sucking all surrounding life into its amoeba-like digestive system. There are never enough bureaucratic controls or government programs to “incentivize” us—in the jargon—to behave in ways the technocrats think best.

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Feds to Punish Public Housing Tenants for Smoking in Their Own Apartments

8:12 AM, Nov 16, 2015

Sometime in the next two years, if Obama administration bureaucrats get their way, public housing tenants who smoke in their own apartments will face sanctions, fines and perhaps even eviction. The proposed  policy is deeply flawed. However, those who oppose it—as many conservatives will reflexively—ought to use their opposition to reconsider misguided if well intentioned efforts to micromanage the lives of the poor even when such efforts come from the political right.

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Ben Sasse Is Now Ready to Shake Up Washington

9:45 AM, Nov 03, 2015

A tradition in the Senate required a newly elected member to wait a year or more before addressing his colleagues on the Senate floor.  But that practice has been absent from the Senate for decades—until today.

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The Claws Are Out

When government bureaucrats attack.
Oct 19, 2015

It has long been good sport to make fun of the government. Ronald Reagan did it with a fine, almost deft touch. “The nine most terrifying words in the English language,” he would tell an audience, “are I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

Just about everyone, at one time or another, has used the phrase “Good enough for government work,” and we all know what it means: that something conforms to the high customer service standards one enjoys when shopping for stamps in the post office.

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What the Hell Is Going On?

The fraying of the national political consensus.
Oct 12, 2015

The latest political happenings—the rise of Donald Trump, John Boehner’s surprise resignation as speaker of the House of Representatives, Hillary Clinton’s slide against the septuagenarian socialist Bernie Sanders—remind me of a verse from the old Rolling Stones song “Jigsaw Puzzle”:

Oh, there’s twenty-thousand grandmas.

Wave their hankies in the air.

All burning up their pensions

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Report: Employee Satisfaction Plummets at Homeland Security

1:40 PM, Oct 05, 2015

How happy in their jobs are government workers?  Well, the sovereign answer to that question would be: “Who cares?”  They have steady work and, for most of them, it is all indoors with no heavy lifting.  And they practically have to commit a felony to get fired. 

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Feel Safe: Your Governments Are Protecting You

Gleanings and observations.
11:41 AM, Sep 30, 2015

Worry not about the tens of thousands of Syrians that Barack Obama plans to invite to take up residence here. Secretary of State Kerry assures us that the vetting process to screen out the bad guys will be thorough. Alas, Michael Steinbach, assistant director of counterterrorism of the F.B.I. told a House committee that Syria lacked the systems that would provide us with the information we need to evaluate refugees. Kerry is unworried, for two reasons.

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What Accounts for Gallup’s Corruption Numbers?

11:16 AM, Sep 28, 2015

Recent polling by Gallup shows that

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What's Cruz's Strategy?

2:59 PM, Sep 24, 2015

Something has gotten into Ted Cruz. The Republican senator is known as a conservative firebrand willing to take on his own party, but in a Thursday meeting with reporters in his Capitol Hill office, Cruz was sounding almost ecumenical. Maybe it was the presence of Pope Francis.

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Discouraging Marriage

The hidden cost of means-tested government ­benefits.
Sep 21, 2015

Traditional marriage is in big trouble in the United States. Between 1960 and 2011, the share of white adults 18 and older who were married declined by 25 percent, while the declines for Hispanic and black adults were 35 percent and 50 percent respectively. 

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On Constitution Day

7:45 AM, Sep 17, 2015

In 1878, William Gladstone described the U.S. Constitution as “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.” Gladstone was right.

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Govt's Attempt to Decrease Regs Adds $14.7 Billion in New Costs, 13.5 Million Burden Hours

And an increase of 1,500 years of paperwork per year.
6:04 AM, Aug 25, 2015

The American Action Forum (AAF) is out with a new report about the Obama administration's unsuccessful efforts to reduce regulations. The findings are jaw-dropping.

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Update: Cost of Hotels for President Obama's Ethiopia Stay Likely Tops $1 Million

6:45 AM, Aug 18, 2015

Last week, THE WEEKLY STANDARD reported on a $412,000 contract for 1,280 sleeping room nights at the 

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The Wrong Time To Be Cutting Defense

9:52 AM, Aug 10, 2015

“We have already cut defense … about 30 percent over the last 10 years, and we’re still at war. We’re actively involved on multiple continents in real combat operations. We should not be drastically reducing our troop levels.”

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$4.3M OPM Contract for 'Data Warehouse Program' Extended Two Months

9:29 AM, Jul 15, 2015

In the midst of revelations about a massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the agency awarded a $4.3 million two-month contract extension to Northrop Grumman for the OPM's Data Warehouse Program (DWP).

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Veterans Affairs, Now Worse Than Ever

9:19 AM, Jun 16, 2015

The government doesn’t seem to have many good days, these days.  If it isn’t a vast hacking of its employees’ personal information by, presumably, the Chinese, then it is the revelation that the people who are supposed to keep air travel safe, the crack agents of the TSA, missed some 95 percent of the dummy bombs that a task force attempted to slip by them in a recent test.  Ninety-five percent.

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Leo Strauss Online!

12:00 PM, Jun 15, 2015

I'm not sure what the great political philosopher Leo Strauss would have thought of the Internet (he was a skeptic about progress, but also a skeptic about reaction). I personally think he would have appreciated aspects of it. Perhaps he would have even written an essay on "Persecution and the Art of Tweeting." Or not.

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Kerry: Nations Prosper When 'Citizens Have Faith in Their Governments'

6:14 AM, Apr 22, 2015

Speaking Tuesday at the 45th Annual Washington Conference of the Council of the Americas, Secretary of State John Kerry said that "countries are far more likely to advance economically and socially when citizens have faith in their governments and are able to rely on them for justice and equal treatment under the law." Kerry said that a "new kind of relationship" with Latin American countries, emphasizing democracy and human rights, will contribute to "our common ag

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State Department Confirms Network 'Has Been Hacked'

4:23 PM, Apr 21, 2015

The inspector general of the State Department confirmed today in Senate testimony that the State Department network at some point was hacked. He made the comments in response to a question from Georgia senator David Perdue.

Here's video:

Perdue asked, “Do you have evidence that the State Department’s network has been attacked, and does that affect you guys?”

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State Dept. to Offer Course on Ethics for Journalists: 'Blurred Lines'

7:01 AM, Apr 20, 2015

The U.S. State Department is looking to design and facilitate a media ethics course for journalists in India, and has even proposed appropriating the name of Robin Thicke's 2013 hit "Blurred Lines" as a title for the course. The U.S.

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HHS Announces $201 Million for Obamacare Navigators

9:04 AM, Apr 17, 2015

The system of federal and state "exchanges" or "marketplaces" that offer health insurance through the Affordable Care Act lean heavily on "navigators" to guide consumers in their choices.

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Feds Paid Politico $432K in 2014

Nearly a million taxpayer dollars to Politico since 2011.
10:28 AM, Mar 25, 2015

Since Politico, a politics-focused website and newspaper, launched its subscription-based news service Politico Pro in 2011, government agencies have increasingly turned to the service to keep abreast of the latest developments in their spheres of policy. Government records show fiscal year 2011 contracts with the owner of Politico, Capitol News Company, totaling $41,900.

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Senator Presses for Info on Huma's Special Gov't Status--and Her Emails

11:10 AM, Mar 19, 2015

Senator Chuck Grassley has sent two letters to the State Department to ask about Huma Abedin's special government status when she was a government employee--and for information on Abedin's email use while working for the government. Abedin is a close aide to Hillary Clinton, and worked for the consulting firm Teneo (under a special government employee status) while working for Clinton.

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Cost of Cars for President's Australia Visit: $1.37M

8:07 AM, Mar 17, 2015

When President Obama attended the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia last November, the entire delegation required over 5,000 room nights at five different hotels over the cours

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The Confidence Game

The road goes on forever, and the party never ends.
12:05 PM, Mar 15, 2015

Busy week for Washington and the political class it succors. So busy that a headline screaming for the attention of our leaders came and went barely leaving a footprint.

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Longtime Federal Worker: Hillary's Use of Email 'Imperial'

11:41 AM, Mar 13, 2015

We received this email from a 40-year veteran of the federal workforce, who raises serious questions about Hillary Clinton and her emails:

Since this story broke I have been wondering why "Conversion" has not entered the discussion. In my 40 years in government service, 20 as a senior supervisor, there has been an inviolable rule. One does not use Government resources for personal benefit, and one does not use private resources for Government benefit for personal convenience.

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Last Time Clintons Withheld Gov't Docs, Obama Urged Voters to 'Turn the Page' on Them

Obama blasted Hillary's secrecy in 2007.
7:07 AM, Mar 13, 2015

As the White House claims that it was caught off-guard by the Clinton email scandal, or that President Obama 

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Federal Workers Doing Well

12:18 PM, Mar 11, 2015

As Justin Sink of Government Executive reports:

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DHS Posts 'Due to a Lapse in Funding' Notice

10:25 AM, Mar 01, 2015

In spite of the Friday night passage of an eleventh hour, one-week stopgap spending bill to 

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Pence for Defense

The presidential candidates could learn from Indiana’s governor.
4:39 PM, Feb 28, 2015

Lost in much of the reporting about CPAC is that almost all of the likely presidential candidates—really, all of them, with the exception of Rand Paul—seemed to place themselves at the Reaganite hawkish-internationalist end of the foreign policy spectrum. The much-heralded return of Republican isolationism or anti-interventionism wasn’t much in evidence, except during Rand Paul's half hour on the stage.

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