Bureaucracy

Only in California

Featured image Today’s California Crazy comes from the Los Angeles Times. Question: Is electricity for these housing units extra? Housing costs for the homeless rose to $531,000 a unit, L.A. controller’s report says The average cost of building a single unit of housing for the homeless in Los Angeles has risen to $531,000, according to an audit from the city controller, who recommends that L.A. rehab motels and open dormitory-style buildings to »

Noxious diversity training in federal government flourishes under Trump

Featured image Christopher Rufo reports that “critical race theory — the far-left academic discourse centered on the concepts of ‘whiteness,’ ‘white fragility’ and ‘white privilege’ — is coursing through the federal government’s veins. Under a GOP ­administration, no less.” Last month, a private diversity-consulting firm conducted a training titled “Difficult Conversations About Race in Troubling Times” for several federal agencies. The training called on white employees at the Treasury Department, the Federal »

Burn Down the Regulatory House

Featured image The Wuhan epidemic is bringing to light many regulations and processes that have needlessly impeded efforts to fight the virus by private industry, as well as by government. Quite a few such regulations are now being suspended, causing many to ask, why did we have them in the first place? At Center of the American Experiment’s web site, economist John Phelan offers a textbook example from our state of Minnesota. »

A Good Night to Watch PBS

Featured image I wrote here about a doctor who preyed on Indian boys and young men on reservations for decades before finally being brought to justice. One of my closest childhood friends battled the bureaucracy to blow the whistle on the predator, with the result that he–my friend, not the predator–was effectively forced out of the Indian Health Service. That appalling story was reported by the Wall Street Journal and PBS Frontline. »

A Pedophile On the Reservation

Featured image The Wall Street Journal reports the appalling story of Dr. Pat Weber, a pediatrician who apparently preyed on young Indian boys for decades without being held accountable. The story caught my attention because it featured, in a positive role, one of my closest boyhood friends: At first, officials at the U.S. Indian Health Service overlooked the peculiarities of their unmarried new doctor, including the children’s toys he hoarded in his »

Bureaucracy All the Way Down

Featured image People tend to think that bureaucracy is a problem of centralization—of power concentrated in Washington, DC, or in state capitals. I think the problem of bureaucracy is more cultural than organizational or doctrinal. The culture of bureaucracy has taken root in most local governments—the unit of government supposedly closest and most responsive to the people. Like the turtles in the probably apocryphal story of Bertrand Russell, it’s bureaucracy all the »

Trump takes on the bureaucracy with civil service reform

Featured image On Friday, President Trump signed three executive orders aimed reforming the federal bureaucracy. The first order makes it easier to fire incompetent federal employees. The second limits the amount of time federal employees can be paid for union work. The third requires federal agencies to negotiate union contracts in less than a year. Last year, Congress passed a law that made it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to »

Breaking: The Memo Is Out!

Featured image The infamous Nunes memo has been released in the last hour. The House website is intermittently clogging up as you might imagine, but you can try to download it yourself here or here. On a quick first read, there is not much in it that we didn’t already know in general terms— the flyblown Steele dossier was the sole “evidence” the FBI used to obtain a FISA warrant to monitor »

Does the VA Point the Way Toward Agency Reform?

Featured image Everyone knows that under Barack Obama, and perhaps prior presidents, the quality of health care rendered by the Veterans Administration slipped. By the end of the Obama administration, the situation had become catastrophic. This is one of many areas where the Trump administration, together with the Republican Congress, has brought about meaningful reform. On the Laura Ingraham show this morning, one of my guests was Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. »

What Trump (And Everyone Else) Is Up Against

Featured image We had a lively discussion last night on the Power Line VIP video chat about the “permanent government,” or “the swamp” as Trump and others call it, and how difficult it is to conquer. It reminded me that I’ve been thinking for years about teaching an entire course based on episodes of the great “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister” BBC series, which holds up astoundingly well after 30 years »

Is the Deep State Attempting a Coup?

Featured image That is a question I never thought I would need to ask. But, via InstaPundit, law professor Randy Barnett makes an alarming point: Democrats’ #Resistance is creating a genuine constitutional crisis in which governmental power is not allowed by them to be peacefully transferred after a lawful election. The potential for escalation is very very dangerous. https://t.co/vPRjzbhwPI — Randy Barnett (@RandyEBarnett) December 6, 2017 Barnett was responding to this tweet: »

Trump Administration Cancels Oppressive Obama Employment Regulations

Featured image This is one of many similar stories we have seen over the past seven months, which cause one to question the judgment of those who claim to be conservatives, but who favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. The Free Beacon reports: “Trump Rolls Back Onerous Diversity Regs.” The Trump administration blocked Obama-era rules that would have saddled employers with hundreds of millions of dollars in compliance costs and increased paperwork »

The Administrative State Declares Independence

Featured image Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama holdover, recently authored one of the most pernicious columns within memory in the New York Times. Her column was titled, “Protect the Justice Department From President Trump.” Yates argued, in essence, that there exists an Executive Branch that is independent of, and superior to, the President–at least as long as that Executive Branch is staffed pretty much exclusively by Democrats. This is, »

Someone Gets Serious About Leaks

Featured image Unfortunately, it isn’t the federal government. It’s Apple, Inc.: A recording of an internal briefing at Apple earlier this month obtained by The Outline sheds new light on how far the most valuable company in the world will go to prevent leaks about new products. The briefing, titled “Stopping Leakers – Keeping Confidential at Apple,” was led by Director of Global Security David Rice, Director of Worldwide Investigations Lee Freedman, »

Trump agonistes

Featured image Reading the news stories that have created the consuming controversies of the past few days, this is what I see. Hostile officials inside the executive branch of the government seek the removal of Donald Trump from office. They are powerful. They lack any qualms about abusing their positions. And they are determined. With malicious intent, “current officials” inside the intelligence agencies with access to top secret information, for example, have »

Federal employees receive “resistance” training

Featured image The Washington Post reports that some federal workers are “in regular consultation with recently departed Obama-era political appointees about what they can to to push back against the new president’s initiatives.” In addition, “180 federal employees have signed up for a workshop next weekend where experts will offer advice on workers’ rights and how they can express civil disobedience.” One Justice Department employee told the Post that “through leaks to »

Bureaucracy in the Age of Trump

Featured image Who knows just how the clash between the Trump Administration and career bureaucrats will play out, but for the time being we have the great Dan Mitchell to thank for bringing our attention to this splendid video from someone in Latin America, where bureaucracy is a fine art (just 3:30 long): »