Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Scandals and the Unwritten Constitution | | 05.29.13

All the talk about the IRS targeting conservative for audits and the Department of Justice hacking into the email files of the Associated Press is disturbing enough.  But it may be only the start. Reports have been circulating in the past week that other agencies have engaged in similarly aggressive behavior towards administration critics.  The […]
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An Evening with Presidential Speechwriters of Days Gone By | | 05.28.13

You may or may not have heard of the Judson Welliver Society.  It was the creation of William Safire, the now-departed columnist for The New York Times and before that a speechwriter for President Richard Nixon.  Periodically it brings together former presidential speechwriters from all prior administrations with living speechwriters.  Peter has asked me to report on […]
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Ike’s Warning: Beware the Corruption of Science | | 05.20.13

Just before he left the presidency, Dwight Eisenhower famously cautioned the nation that “[i]n the councils of government we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” In that same address, he offered a less heralded warning: Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been […]
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The First Amendment Under Siege | | 5.23.13

It has been a bad few weeks for the First Amendment. The sinister commonality to the Internal Revenue Service and AP scandals and the James Rosen affair is that each appears to have been (strike “appears “: each was) an attempt to suppress a core American right. Freedom of the press was clearly the target […]
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The AP, the IRS and President Obama’s Leadership | | 05.21.13

It will come as no surprise to anyone when I say that Washington is in full scandal mode these days. I attended a Washington dinner this past week — one of those fancy affairs in a fancy room with fancy speakers, fancy food, and funds raised.  There may be a dozen such events a night […]
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Watergate, Monicagate, and Benghazi | | 5.13.13

During Watergate, President Richard Nixon’s press secretary, Ron Ziegler, became infamous for such remarks as, “This is the operative statement; the others are inoperative” in the face of the developing scandal.  Say what you want about Mr. Ziegler, who passed away a decade ago, that phrase was at least an admission that something the presidential […]
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My Most Recent OMG National Security Moment. Does it Give You the Shivers, Too? | | 5.10.13

OK now, Team Ricochet, here’s a riddle: You are the U.S. government. You know, the same government whose Secretary of State and her superior could not get it together to send rescuers to the aid of our ambassador to Libya. That aside, your top concern is, as your mission statement puts it, “to provide for […]
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Question re. Benghazi: Does this Administration Have Any Idea How to Handle a Crisis? What is the Protocol? | | 5.08.13

Today the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on Benghazi. In case you’ve missed all the scuttlebutt, Wes Pruden, editor emeritus of the Washington Times, has an excellent curtain raiser in his paper this morning ( The committee will hear that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cut out her department’s counterterrorism experts […]
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