Not a Bad Week…

It remains unclear where we are heading in Iraq and whether the IRS investigation will gain much traction. But this was a pretty good week for the Supreme Court. Wednesday, SCOTUS decided unanimously that police need warrants to search cellphones. As the New York Times reported: "While the decision will offer protection to the 12 … Continue reading Not a Bad Week…

Spoils of War [Surplus] continued

A few weeks ago I posted on the distribution of war surplus to state and local law enforcement agencies under the DOD’s Excess Property Program. This is all part of a larger trend detailed in the ACLU’s new report, War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing. From the executive summary: This investigation gave … Continue reading Spoils of War [Surplus] continued

Larison’s Non-Interventionist Primer

At The American Conservative, Daniel Larison has written a long, comprehensive description and defense of a principled non-interventionist foreign policy that manages to avoid the extremes of isolationism while retaining its coherence. How well does it succeed? First, a general principle: When a conflict or dispute erupts somewhere, unless it directly threatens the security of … Continue reading Larison’s Non-Interventionist Primer

Expanding Opportunity in Oklahoma: Video Up

Video of last week's panel discussion of "Expanding Opportunity in Oklahoma," sponsored by the Charles Koch Institute and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, is now up. Things got rather feisty among the three Oklahomans (two progressives and a conservative). I tried to play peacemaker on occasion. P.S. I did not get any Koch money … Continue reading Expanding Opportunity in Oklahoma: Video Up

This Week in Political Violence

Want to understand the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Iraq? You can do no better than read this masterful account by Kenneth M. Pollock at Brookings. One quote: These [ISIS and other Sunni militants] are Militias First and Foremost, Terrorists only a Distant Second. Here as well, Prime Minister Maliki and his apologists like to … Continue reading This Week in Political Violence

The Spoils of War [Surplus]

The New York Times had a wonderful piece earlier this week on the disposal of war surplus to state and local law enforcement agencies under the Department of Defense Excess Property Program (1033 Program). Since 2006, the Department of Defense has sold or given away (at minimum): 432 MRAPs (mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles) 435 other armored … Continue reading The Spoils of War [Surplus]

The Economy: On the One Hand…

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its Employment Situation Summary for May and the economy added 217 thousand jobs in May. As the Washington Post reports: The strong report, which was released Friday, marks the fourth consecutive month that the country has added more than 200,000 jobs -- a key benchmark for a healthy … Continue reading The Economy: On the One Hand…

Institutions and Climate Change Policies

Ezra Klein is a global warming pessimist. In his own words, "we're fucked." While he gives several different reasons for this belief, the crux of it seems to be U.S. political institutions and parties (the Republicans). Yet he also concedes that other governments are not serious about climate change either. Indeed, no government has taken … Continue reading Institutions and Climate Change Policies

Twenty-Five Years

It is hard to believe that it has been 25 years since Tiananmen Square Massacre.   The picture of an unidentified man standing before the tanks has become something of a symbol of the individual versus the state. Much has changed in China over the past quarter century, particularly with respect to economic growth, per … Continue reading Twenty-Five Years