For Washington – Avoiding the Seventh Labor of Hercules

Americans across party lines are deeply dissatisfied with Washington. And well they might be, as government incompetence and corruption have become hallmarks of the daily news cycle. Congressional oversight of the Executive Branch is partisan and ineffective, with an Administration's party refusing to address problems within its agencies and the opposition party doing little else. Neither party is offering solutions.. . . Here are a few remedies. Read more »

Here are the Facts: State Does It Again

This is a summary of a longer article by Joan Wadleton that begins below the fold titled Background on My Case that sets out new developments in my lengthy battle with the State Department’s Bureau of Human Resources (HR), including a July 2015 Report from State’s Office of Inspector General (OIG). Read more »

What’s the big secret with the State Department’s diversity statistics and why?

This past summer, the State Department claimed that it publicly released its aggregate promotion data for 2013 in The State Department Magazine, its trade magazine. There is just one problem: the statistics on diversity and gender were, as usual, missing. I noted this in two different posts this summer: one on discrimination against Hispanics in the Foreign Service and an earlier one on continuing gender inequality. . . . Doesn’t a law exist that mandates all federal agencies to collect and publicly release such data annually? If so, how can State consistently fail to comply - not once, not twice - but for years? Or am I wrong? Could it have some kind of special secret dispensation from the requirement? And if so why? In short, what is State hiding behind the Great Diversity Firewall? And why doesn't the administration and Congress demand accountability for a change? Read more »

Unfulfilled Promises, Ignored Mandates: State’s Abysmal Hispanic Record

How does State fare in OMB’s annual reports and with the EEOC, which also keeps gender and ethnicity statistics on the federal agencies? Well, it’s hard to be precise because State, uniquely it seems among federal agencies, does not allow the general public access to its gender/ethnic promotion statistics, classifying them as SBU and hiding them behind the department’s intranet wall. Read more »

Review: “De-Legitimizing al-Qaeda”

by Jeffry R. Halverson The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) has released a short monograph, De-Legitimizing al-Qaeda: A Jihad-Realist Approach, by sociologist Paul Kamolnick, a professor at Eastern Tennessee State University. Kamolnick criticizes current US efforts to counter al-Qaeda’s messaging and recruitment strategies as ineffective, and proposes an alternative two-fold solution to marginalize and defeat al-Qaeda. However, Kamolnick’s proposed strategy is problematic for several reasons. In the first component of his proposed strategy, Kamolnick suggests that […] Read more »