Donald Trump’s war on U.S. governance and democracy has targeted two of the oldest institutions in the country—the Post Office and the Census. The Post Office is older than the Constitution, tracing its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general. The first Census was taken in 1790, just after the election of George Washington; it is taken every ten years in order to allocate seats for the House of Representatives. Both institutions are explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution, and no U.S. president—other than Andrew Jackson—has tried to compromise them.
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Breaking the Addiction to Secrets and Secrecy
There is no question that the government must protect its sources and methods in the collection of intelligence. Regarding substance, however, I believe that, with the exception of details on weapons systems as well as on sensitive negotiations, there are few legitimate secrets and almost none that must remain classified for more than ten years at most. The secrecy that surrounded the Iran-Contra affair probably saved the Reagan presidency over the short term, but greater transparency would have prevented Iran-Contra from ever getting off the ground in the first place.
Harvard’s Kennedy School: Key Part Of The Military-Industrial Complex
Harvard’s Kennedy School’s denial of a fellowship to Kenneth Roth, the former head of Human Rights Watch, because of his criticism of Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza is only the latest example of the corporate role played by Harvard’s most prestigious think tank on public policy. Roth, who has spent the last three decades at HRW defending human rights around the world, was offered a senior fellowship at the School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. It was quickly withdrawn.