Administrative state

What’s Wrong with American Foreign Policy in One Embassy

Featured image Sometime in the middle of our unfolding Iraq agony beginning 20 years ago, the State Department decided it needed to build a new embassy compound in Baghdad at a total cost approaching $1 billion. No one seemed to ask why our mission in Iraq, which we assumed wouldn’t last forever, needed what looked like an outpost for a permanent colonial empire rather than a mere security necessity. What security necessity—both »

Trump’s Good Idea

Featured image Trump doesn’t seem to have the same clear central focus for his agenda and campaign messaging so far, partly because he can’t seem to decide whether to attack Biden and Democrats more than his GOP rivals, despite his clear front-runner status. But one of his good ideas that is front and center is civil service reform, aimed at bringing the administrative state back inside the Constitution. Our permanent government rules »

A Twitter Files footnote (17)

Featured image Tucker Carlson has tweeted two brief video clips of his interview with Elon Musk. The clips are a preview of coming attractions. The interview is to be broadcast tonight and tomorrow night. In one of the clips, Musk reveals what he has learned from his perch as the new owner of Twitter: “The degree to which various government agencies effectively had full access to everything that was going on at »

A time for charging

Featured image The Biden administration’s effort to impose electric vehicles on the car-buying public should at least be noted. It is taking place under power delegated to the Environmental Protection Agency by Congress under the regime of administrative law that controls so much of the way we live now. Forgive me for citing my own review “A new old regime.” Politico called on six reporters to celebrate the regulatory diktat intended to »

Gleichschaltung, Biden style

Featured image The Biden administration is taking a whole-of-government approach to torturing new Twitter under Elon Musk into silence. Those damn Twitter Files have gotten under someone’s skin and the FTC is on the case, demanding that Twitter “identify all journalists” who have had a look. That should get someone’s attention. The FTC demand is part of a broader investigation on which the Wall Street Journal reports here (“The FTC is also »

Notes on the Twitter Files (17)

Featured image Matt Taibbi has now contributed thread number 17 to the Twitter Files series beginning with the tweet below. The thread comes in 50 parts that can be accessed here. 1. TWITTER FILES #17New Knowledge, the Global Engagement Center, and State-Sponsored Blacklists — Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) March 2, 2023 Taibbi has separately summarized each of the 17 threads here at his Racket News site. He summarizes the current installment as »

Thinking about Biden v. Nebraska

Featured image I commented on the oral argument held by the Supreme Court in Biden v. Nebraska in “Giving it away” earlier this week. It’s an important case. The Biden administration should go down in flames in it. Based on the oral argument, I thought Missouri’s alleged standing in the case deriving directly or indirectly from the state’s student loan administrator (MOHELA) is tenuous. If a majority of the Court reaches the »

Giving it away

Featured image I subscribe to alerts from services including the Associated Press, the New York Times, Axios, Politico, and Semafor. Every one of them agrees that yesterday’s oral argument in Biden v. Nebraska portended difficulties for President Biden’s $500 billion student loan giveaway. I listened to the oral argument on C-SPAN and have posted it below. I hope they have it right. Biden’s royal decree (via Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona) canceling »

Podcast: The Origin of the Administrative State, with John Marini, Part 1

Featured image The “administrative state” is an obscure and ungainly phrase, but in recent years the term has burst out into general use, though it is often conflated with another term currently popular—the “deep state.” They are not the same thing, though they do overlap, and “deep state” does enjoy the advantage of being shorter and pithier. What is “the administrative state”? It is a mistake to confuse it with mere bureaucracy, »

Biden nationalizes DEI

Featured image Chris Rufo has posted a discourse he titles “Biden nationalizes the DEI bureaucracy” (“How the president’s recent executive order threatens to subvert the principles of liberty and equality,” video below) on President Biden’s long and painful DEI executive order with this introduction: Last week, President Joseph Biden quietly signed an executive order that promises to create a national DEI bureaucracy and embed the principles of left-wing racialism throughout the federal »

A Twitter Files footnote (12)

Featured image The current issue of Imprimis carries an adaptation of John Daniel Davidson’s February 7 Hillsdale College lecture on the Twitter Files. The title of the lecture is “The Twitter Files Reveal an Existential Threat.” Davidson begins with a point I have made several times in my own comments on the Twitter Files: Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter last October and the subsequent reporting on the Twitter Files by journalists Matt »

Why Deception Is Essential to the Left

Featured image News item: Stanford University withdraws its “Harmful Language” list after it received widespread publicity—and universal ridicule. But other universities are quietly imposing similar “language guidance” albeit without high-profile master lists that would expose them to the withering laughter and contempt they deserve. News item: The Biden Administration rushes to reassure Americans that there is “no plan” to ban natural gas stoves. This is a lie, of course. Lots of progressive »

Talk about Gaslighting!

Featured image The Biden Administration has beat a hasty retreat from the trial balloon of banning natural gas stoves and other appliances, but this is likely only because they got caught before the bureaucratic rule-making machinery of the administrative state could make it fait accompli and provide cover for Democratic politicians. You know in your bones the authoritarian climatistas are determined to ban all natural gas use that they can. As Jim »

Seriously Washington?

Featured image No, this headline is not a reference to the chaos in the House of Representatives. Rather it refers to the latest disgrace of the NFL team formerly known as the Redskins. The “Washington Football Team,” as it has been known the last three seasons, decided to become “The Commanders,” which, Richard Samuelson points out, is quite fitting for the age of the administrative state in Washington, which prefers to govern by »

The World According to “Yellowstone”

Featured image We’ve been meaning to devote an episode of the 3WHH podcast to a consideration of “Yellowstone,” which has been a monster hit on streaming TV the last few years. One problem is that I am two seasons behind, as is my typical TV viewing practice. At some point we’ll all get caught up and try it. The fact that the New York Times and other typical media morons have run »

The coming Shoganate

Featured image We have learned in recent weeks that there is such a thing as an Archivist of the United States at the head of the National Archives and Records Administration and that the position is not unimportant. President Biden has nominated one Colleen Shogan to fill the position and she appeared for a confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security Committee yesterday. C-SPAN has posted video of the hearing here. ABC »

Fauci’s long goodbye

Featured image At age 81, the fallacious Dr. Anthony Fauci is living proof that self-love can’t kill you. If self-love could kill you, Dr. Fauci would be pushing up daisies instead of basking in the glow of his bottomless self-regard. His official motto — “La Science, c’est moi” — is fit for a king. Students of ancient history may recall that only last month Fauci contemplated leading the NIAID and advising President »