Latest Commentary

Data-driven performance metrics require nuance in interpretation

In an increasingly data-driven government, the importance of metrics is only increasing. But in using them, government managers will have to be careful about drawing facile conclusions--as the...

Congress should approve affordability test for NFIP rate increases

Floods don't work on a human timetable. People see a placid creek and assume there's no danger. They hear the phrase "100 year flood" and tend to think they're safe if the last...

FEMA should act more, study less possible public assistance grant changes

The problems associated with Federal Emergency Management Agency public assistance grants aren't new--the agency explored as far back as 1994 shifting its clunky long-term project close-out...

Song is still the same when it comes to willful ignorance of climate change

Listening to radio the other day, I was rewarded with an even more vile commercial than usual--a soft rock anthem to climate change denial meant to promote New Jersey beach tourism called...

Obama should act to counter intelligence community overreach

A country perpetually on a war footing will ultimately defeat itself. That was the laudable message from President Obama just two-and-a-half weeks ago – before revelations of the intelligence...

The end of GWOT

President Obama's May 22 speech declaring that the global war on terrorism the United States has fought since Sept. 11, 2001 is largely concluded – as well as being unsustainable –...

Misreading Border Patrol statistics

Lies, damned lies and statistics, of course; but debate bereft of data is vacuous hot air--otherwise known as a lot of the present-day discourse around key homeland security issues. There's the...

The Constitution protects even Tsarnaev

Inflammatory rhetoric aimed at scoring political points against the Obama administration regarding the mirandizing of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has the potential to cause real damage to the society that...

Coast Guard budget cuts have long term effects

In the race against time and money that Coast Guard recapitalization turned into once austerity became the watchword in Washington, D.C., time and money appear to be winning. For evidence, let's...

Irrationality and Patrick Meehan's fear of Iran

Let's check in on the House Homeland Security Committee; what is the current setting for fear mongering and irrationality there? Ah, Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Penn.) has been holding a hearing on...