Recent Government Commentaries

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What Would Thurgood Marshall Do?
Many people ask me, “Hey Jim, how do you do it? How do you write and speak on, (and once a year, teach) ethics? After all, you’re just like us, aren’t you? You must face the same trials and travails as the rest of us have, right? When things are tough, how do you make the tough calls?” Well, I’ll...
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November 14, 2023
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All That Is Strong and Good
Dysfunction is no longer an adequate descriptor of Washington leadership these days. We’re all aware of the key players in this madness. The media recites them in a 24/7 loop of chaotic images and infotainment. Nonetheless, the strong and the good eventually overcame the darker forces in our nation’s past. Before we continue our march toward the abyss of cynicism,...
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October 10, 2023
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The Clint Hill Segment
While Trust and Confidence is now available through several online sources (Amazon, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, Apple), I thought I’d revisit an excerpt from the book when Secret Service director Lewis Merletti was preparing a presentation for Ken Starr. First some Cliff’s Notes. During the 1998 investigation of President Bill Clinton, independent counsel Kenneth Starr compelled Secret Service agents...
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October 6, 2023
We’ve Seen This Movie Before. We Didn’t Like It Then.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. — George Santayana, American writer, and philosopher Embed from Getty Images After watching much of today’s House committee hearing where the extreme right focused with reality show appeal, on attacking America’s well-respected Attorney General, I recalled a series I wrote in January 2022. Sadly, things have only gotten worse....
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September 21, 2023
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It’s Called Citizenship, Mr. Trump
Even as former President Donald Trump finds himself facing 4 criminal indictments, his hardcore supporters continue to parrot his false accusations that the charges against him are politically motivated. However, in his never ending bluster and blame marathon, Trump and his base overlook one crucial detail in the decision-making behind all those charges. Prosecutors don’t indict; grand juries do. That’s...
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August 17, 2023
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We Are All Americans
Last week’s arraignment of former President Donald Trump was unprecedented in many ways. I contacted retired journalist Bob Wilson to interview some of the individuals who waited in a long line, many overnight. Here’s how that conversation went. “Jim, I’m outside the E. Barrett Prettyman courthouse in downtown DC and the line of people waiting outside is something one only...
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August 8, 2023
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What Republicans Can Do To Salvage Their Immortal Souls
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it, is really cooperating with it. —Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. What should Republicans do to save themselves and the country? They should begin by listening to former vice-president Mike Pence. “President Trump asked...
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August 3, 2023
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The State of Ethics in Washington
“I remember my uncle Harold told my aunt about this affair he had. It was a sort of mildly upsetting event in my family… The affair was over something like eight years. So I remember asking him, ‘Why did you tell her? You got away with it.’ And I’ll never forget what he said. It was the getting away with...
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May 9, 2023
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The Thomas/Crow Affair
Starring Clarence Thomas as the Supreme Court’s oldest serving justice, and . . . Harlan Crow as the Republican Megadonor. The latest saga in Justice Thomas’s lifestyle has just been reported by ProPublica, a non-profit group of investigative journalists. To recap: “The Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas Caper.” Despite a complete lack of evidence, Mrs. Thomas held the opinion that the 2020...
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May 5, 2023
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A New Heart of Darkness
Is cobalt a savior for a greener planet? Possibly, but at great cost. The ferromagnetic metal—one of the most abundant of all metals found in the earth’s crust—is the essential element in all lithium-ion batteries used in cell phones, laptops, electric cars, and other products that depend on more efficient batteries. However, it is only economically feasible to mine in...
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March 31, 2023