Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Posts in category Governmental Entities

Why Trump’s Government Overhaul Won’t Work

Why Trump’s Government Overhaul Won’t Work

The executive order issued by President Donald Trump yesterday has a goal nearly every citizen and legislator would cheer: to “improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of the executive branch.” What’s not to like? The executive branch is an organizational basket case, and it sorely needs a re-think. For 238 years, citizen legislators and presidents […]

Collection of CRS Reports Released to the Public

Something rare has occurred—a collection of reports authored by the Congressional Research Service has been published and made freely available to the public. The 500-page volume, titled “The Evolving Congress,” was produced in conjunction with CRS’s celebration of its 100th anniversary this year. Congress, not CRS, published it. (Disclaimer: Before departing CRS in October, I […]

Yes, the Government Can Open Your Mail Without a Warrant

Yes, the Government Can Open Your Mail Without a Warrant

By law, first-class mail is sealed against inspection, meaning that government officials may not open it without first getting a warrant from a judge. A citizen would be forgiven for imagining that this law ensures his or her mail is private, but that’s not quite true. For one thing, other classes of mail do not […]

Mail Surveillance: The Time For Secrecy Has Passed

Mail Surveillance: The Time For Secrecy Has Passed

Recent news that federal authorities approved 49,000 instances of mail surveillance in 2013 is disturbing. Not only was this a huge jump from the usual average number of 8,000 annual approvals, but according to the Postal Service’s Inspector General, more than one-fifth of the surveillance requests from law enforcement agencies were inappropriately approved… (read more)

Mark Hemingway, “The Sensitivity Apparat,” The Weekly Standard, February 4, 2013

Mark Hemingway, “The Sensitivity Apparat,” The Weekly Standard, February 4, 2013

Mark Hemingway has written a  damning piece on “human rights” and “civil rights” commissions. Most people live in total ignorance of “human rights” or “civil rights” commissions, until they run afoul of them. They began popping up all over the country in the 1960s and ’70s, and now nearly every state and good-sized municipality has […]

Paul Goldberger “A Monumental Conflict,” Vanity Fair, August 2012

Paul Goldberger “A Monumental Conflict,” Vanity Fair, August 2012

For those of you who have visited Washington, DC, the site in question is directly across from the National Air and Space Museum. Currently, there is a small vegetable garden there and a dozen or two parking spaces. As this story shows, the effort to establish an Eisenhower memorial has become a mess. One aspect […]

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