Recent Commentaries

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The Conscience of the Senate
Whom can we trust? Who has the credibility to lead? These are just two of the critical questions Charles Lewis, founder of The Center for Public Integrity has raised in his investigative examinations into the inextricable link between Congress and special interests.  And yet, there are examples of leaders who do it right.  In his 1998 book, The Buying of the...
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July 30, 2008
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Building a Better House
The 2007 “Honest Leadership and Open Government Act” was passed in response to a laundry list of scandals involving convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.  The new law outlines tougher standards for lobbyists in an effort to stop the flow of undue influence in Congress. That’s a good thing. There’s just one tiny flaw. “…former Senator John Breaux, Democrat of Louisiana, said lobbyists [have]...
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July 28, 2008
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Courage and Undue Influence
The Washington Post reported (July 23) that the Government Accountability Office found that supervisors at the Pentagon pressured internal auditors “…to skew their reports on a major defense contractor’s work, hiding wrongdoing and charges of overbilling.” Of course, whenever we hear another story detailing fraud and corruption in Washington it serves to strengthen the argument that everyone in Washington is corrupt.  And...
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July 25, 2008
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But Wait… That’s Not All!
It’s new.  It’s terrific.  It’s the greatest thing since the I-Mac™, I-Pod™ and I-Phone™! What is it? It’s the XRS R9G IntelliLink™ Wireless Remote Maximum Performance Digital Radar/Laser Detector with Speed & Red Light Camera GPS Locator!! Wow, what’s that? Back in the day, we used to call it… a Fuzzbuster. Sooner or later, high-performance technology had to return to the...
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July 23, 2008
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Ethical Heroes
In 2002 Time magazine selected three women of “ordinary demeanor,” and extraordinary personal integrity to become the magazine’s Persons of the Year. Cynthia Cooper was the internal auditor who exposed what has grown to $11 billion in fraud at WorldCom.  Coleen Rowley was the FBI attorney who wrote a memo to Director Robert Mueller “about how the bureau brushed off...
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July 21, 2008
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Lessons in Courage
John Wayne famously said that “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” Time magazine’s current (July 21) cover story offers lessons in leadership by South African leader Nelson Mandela.  Managing editor Richard Stengel tells a story that illustrates one characteristic that distinguishes Mandela, the leader. “In 1994, during the presidential election campaign, Mandela got on a tiny...
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July 21, 2008
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Before the Dark Knight
There’s a lot of “buzz” surrounding the new Batman summer movie. One aspect that critics point to is the film’s faithfulness to the original concept of a dark and mysterious character committed to fighting injustice — a departure from the over-the-top cartoon characters present in earlier films. However, before the Bat-man’s appearance in 1939, before Superman debuted in ’38, another...
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July 19, 2008
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When Does Satire Go To Far?
Answer:  When it depicts a national, political candidate with a boatload of misconceptions that many still believe to be true. The cartoon on the latest cover of New Yorker magazine has Senator Barack Obama standing in the oval office, dressed as a Muslim, a picture of Osama bin Laden above the mantel and a flag burning in the fireplace.  His...
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July 18, 2008
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Essential Duty
To say that Dr. Michael DeBakey was an extraordinary and innovative heart surgeon is a little like saying that Joe DiMaggio was a pretty good ball player. Dr. DeBakey’s pioneering work in the field of cardiovascular surgery earned him international recognition. He is credited with inventing and perfecting scores of medical devices, techniques, and procedures, which have led to healthy...
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July 14, 2008
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July 2008 Ethical Hero – Julian Dean
Julian Dean was born in East Aurora, New York, moved around a lot and attended 10 schools by age 18. He attended two institutes, one college and two universities, finishing with an MA in Organizational Management. Oh, and he was the best friend I ever had at a time when I needed it most. Shortly after my mother had been...
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July 13, 2008

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