Illegal FBI Leaks

February 19, 2017 at 10:48 am

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General Mike Flynn's case isn't the only one where leaks by the FBI — "illegal leaks," as President Trump calls them — are cause for concern. My Sunday column for the Las Vegas Review-Journal is about the Billy Walters "insider trading" case, where a new court filing highlights the government's failure to act to prevent the leaks and its making "false and misleading" statements to the court about them. Please read the whole column here.

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Trump's Foreign Policy

February 19, 2017 at 10:42 am

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President Trump's visit with Prime Minister Netanyahu was the topic of my column from last week: "If Flynn eventually does need replacing, Bolton could also fit in the national security adviser role," I wrote in the piece, which was published February 13. The New York Times reported February 18 that Ambassador Bolton is one of four people President Trump is interviewing to replace General Flynn. We'll see if Mr. Bolton is the eventually choice, but for the moment, I feel at least a bit prescient. Please check out the whole column at the New Boston Post (here), New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

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Baseball's Extra-Inning Rule Change Is Ridiculous

February 13, 2017 at 9:36 am

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The proposal by professional baseball to change the rules so that extra innings would start with a runner on second base is the topic of my column this week for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It symbolizes problems with contemporary America that go well beyond baseball. Please check the full column out by clicking here.

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FBI's Insider-Trading Strategist Faces Criminal Inquiry Over Leaks to Press

February 6, 2017 at 10:07 pm

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A New York-based FBI agent who played a leading role in a string of recent insider trading prosecutions is under criminal investigation for what federal prosecutors, in a recent court filing, call "unquestionable misconduct by an agent of the Government...improper and inexcusable."

It's the sort of story that ordinarily might be splashed across the front pages of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal — except that in this case, the misconduct of which the FBI agent, David Chaves, is suspected was leaking grand jury information to the Times and the Journal.

Please read the full column at the New Boston Post (here), New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

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Bannon on the NSC? Ted Sorensen Would Smile

February 5, 2017 at 7:09 am

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In response to Stephen Bannon, a Democratic member of Congress from Florida, Stephanie Murphy, last week introduced a bill barring political aides from NSC meetings. The legislation already has 74 co-sponsors. A press release from Ms. Murphy promised, "My bill will help depoliticize national security." My Las Vegas Review-Journal column this week looks at the Kennedy administration precedents for political involvement in foreign policy. Please check the full column out by clicking here.

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Pence 2017

January 31, 2017 at 2:56 pm

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Libertarian — or "classical liberal" — law professor Richard Epstein writes about President Trump's executive orders: "back off, or resign, or both, before it is too late."

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How Obama Caused the Trump Refugee Debacle

January 30, 2017 at 11:32 am

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My column this week is about Obama, Trump, and this past weekend's furor over a temporary ban on refugees from certain countries:

Regardless of whether you think the temporary ban was a good idea or a bad idea, or a good idea poorly executed and poorly communicated, one point that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves is that, while Mr. Trump mis-stepped here, the groundwork for it was put in place significantly by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Please read the full column at the New Boston Post (here), the New York Sun (here), and Newsmax (here).

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Seth Lipsky for the Supreme Court

January 29, 2017 at 6:53 am

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President Trump should consider naming someone who isn't a judge, and maybe isn't even a law school graduate, to the Supreme Court, I write in my Las Vegas Review-Journal column. Please check the full column out by clicking here.

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Florida Financial Boom

January 25, 2017 at 9:58 am

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A wave of hiring in Florida by financial-services firms is the topic of a fine article in Bloomberg Businessweek. It reports that "in Deutsche Bank's case, the Jacksonville campus has grown into the company's second-largest U.S. location. The bank has about 2,000 employees there—up from 1,400 in 2013—and plans to add more in 2017."

Also:

According to Jones Lang LaSalle, high-end corporate office space in Jacksonville can be leased for about $22 a square foot, cheaper than all but four major U.S. cities tracked by the company. That's about a quarter the rate in New York. Banks pay Jacksonville employees about 30 percent less on average than those in New York, according to Cathy Chambers, a senior vice president with the JaxUSA Partnership, a division of the local chamber of commerce. A financial analyst, for example, might earn $67,000 in Jacksonville, compared with $99,700 in New York....

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The Problem With Block Grants

January 24, 2017 at 10:19 am

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Instead of just "block grant it to the states," how about the option of "get rid of the program altogether, and if some state or town or county or city wants to tax its people to have the program, good luck to them"? My column this week looks at the limits of the "block grant it to the states" solution often favored by Republicans in Washington. Please check out the full column at the New Boston Post (here), New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

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Trump Border Tax

January 23, 2017 at 1:56 pm

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President Trump's threatened "border tax" is back in the news today, which makes it a good time to post my column from last week on the topic. Please check the column out at the New York Sun (here) and Newsmax (here).

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Robert Kennedy-Sargent Shriver-Jared Kushner Act

January 23, 2017 at 10:47 am

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Federal anti-nepotism law is the topic of my column for Sunday's Las Vegas Review-Journal, in which I propose the "Robert Kennedy-Sargent Shriver-Jared Kushner Act of 2017." Please check the full column out here.

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Trump Inaugural Address

January 20, 2017 at 2:50 pm

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With President Trump — there, I said it — as with all politicians, you have to pay attention not just to what he says, but to what he does. With that important caveat, my reaction to the inaugural address falls into two broad thematic categories.

The first is globalism versus nationalism. David Brooks brought to my attention Jonathan Haidt's distinction between nationalists and globalists. The 2016 election, roughly drawn, had a left nationalist (Sanders), a left globalist (Clinton), and a right nationalist (Trump). The right globalist quadrant, roughly occupied by George W. Bush (and also by previous Republican nominees Senator McCain and Governor Romney) at the moment stands vacant. Trump's speech was nationalist, not globalist:

The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.

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L.L. Bean Boycott

January 16, 2017 at 12:03 am

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The boycott of L.L. Bean for a Bean family member's support for Donald Trump is the topic of my column in Sunday's Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Somehow, the left in 2017 has become a place where doing business with Cuba and Iran is fine, but doing business with L.L. Bean or Simon & Schuster is morally questionable.

Please check the whole column out by clicking here.

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Obama Justice Versus the Democrats

January 15, 2017 at 9:52 pm

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Two articles in Saturday's New York Times underscored how much of the Obama Justice Department's work has been devoted to protecting Americans from Democratic officials at lower levels of government.

The lead article on the Times front page was about a report sharply critical of the Chicago police department. The headline is "Chicago Police Routinely Trampled on Civil Rights, Justice Dept. Says." The mayor of Chicago is Rahm Emanuel, who earlier served as an aide in Bill Clinton's White House, as President Obama's chief of staff, and as a Democratic congressman from Chicago. The Times doesn't say it, but the Democratic Party has controlled the Chicago mayoralty since 1931; perhaps the city's crime problem is evidence that one-party rule makes for poor government.

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