Archive for: Practices


WHWG Job Opening: Communications Associate

Job Description

Are you the type of person that wants to learn more about strategic communications and likes to take on multiple projects at once?   Are you interested in public policy and its impact on the corporate world?  Are you anxious to kick-start your career by diving head-first into an office with a wide-range of clients?

If so, then you are invited to submit your resume for our Communications Associate position.  We are a small D.C. strategic communications firm, founded by Republican speechwriters.  We craft communications for major corporations and foundations, and develop broad campaigns in support of their objectives.

We are looking for a skilled researcher who can use tools like Lexis-Nexis, and who is proficient with Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.  A demonstrable knowledge of social media is a big plus, as is familiarity with website management and iMovie.  Responsibilities will include research, editing, writing daily tweets for clients, event planning, social media outreach and occasional administrative work. Salary is commensurate with experience.  Position to start immediately.

Please email a cover letter and resume to

What Do Opposition Electoral Gains Mean for Ecuador?

Inter-American Dialogues

The municipal defeats of President Correa’s Alianza Pais in Ecuador’s 10 largest cities, including Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, in last month’s elections do not signal the end for Correa’s government, but perhaps the beginning of the end. The losses were due to a host of differing local issues and can’t necessarily be read as a referendum on Correa, whose term runs through 2017 in any case. The opposition remains divided and lacks a comparably prominent leaders — though the election results may give Quito’s new mayor, Mauricio Rodas, a chance to audition for that role. 

Read the full piece here.

Defending Mr. Disney

Managing director Clark S. Judge discusses accusations of anti-Semitism against Walt Disney, and describes a particular trend in Hollywood.

As a child, I was fascinated by Walt Disney.  Not by his cartoons.  Not by the Mouseketeers.  Not by Davy Crocket.  But by Disney himself, the creator of the company that produced all those films and TV shows.  So I was dismayed two weeks ago when, as you have no doubt heard, actress Meryl Streep accused Disney of being a “gender bigot” and an anti-Semite.

Ms. Streep leveled the charges in the course of presenting a best actress award to Emma Thompson for her work in Saving Mr. Banks, which is about Disney, the children’s book author P.L Travers and the making of Mary Poppins.  Commentators have noted that Streep spoke midway through the voting period for the Oscars.  In a Hollywood meets Washington move, Streep was, some suggest, attempting to deny Thompson that highest profile Best Actress nod, and if so, she succeeded.  Thompson and her film failed to snag a single major slot on this year’s lists.

Of course, Streep said the other day that she was “shocked” at Thompson being bumped from the Oscar lists, “shocked,” some say, in a Claude Raines Casablanca style.  Ms. Streep is among the five nominees.

But what about the charges?  Was Disney misogynous or anti-Semitic?

Read the full piece here.

Is Money Too Easy…or Too Tight?

Managing director Clark S. Judge explained the trouble with the housing market.

Last week, I posted a summary to a New York Times op-ed by financial crisis expert Peter Wallison. Wallison had argued that a new housing bubble was developing.  I included with my summary a chart that he circulated privately to back up his claim.

In a comment on my post, J Climacus wrote: “I’d like to see a debate between you and [American Enterprise Institute scholar and Ricochet contributor] Jim Pethokoukis, who seems convinced that the problem is that there hasn’t been enough easy money, not that there is too much.” To me Mr. Climacus’ comment pointed to some of the most urgent issues in the economy today and widely spread confusion about them. I felt the response deserved a full post.

Read the full piece here.

Remembering Judge William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan’s Personal Emissary

Managing director Clark S. Judge describes a man who was an integral part of the Reagan administration.

William P. Clark — Judge Clark, as he was known in Washington during the Reagan years — passed away on Saturday.  He was a deeply good man and an essential contributor to the successful resolution of the Cold War.  The obituaries will tell you the main parts of his story, but on one point all those I have seen so far are wrong.

Noting that no aide was personally closer to Mr. Reagan than Bill Clark, they all say that after serving as Deputy Secretary of State, National Security Advisor and Interior Secretary, in 1985 he left government and returned home to California.  Here is how I discovered that this last detail — left government and returned home in 1985 — wasn’t true, or at least, wasn’t the whole truth, by a long shot.

Read the full piece here.

GOP Wise Up: New Media = Smarter Campaigns

Managing director Clark S. Judge provided advice on new media and modern political campaigns.

I was in a meeting with a nationally respected consultant to political campaigns this morning. We were talking about how the web had changed campaigns. His answer: Substance is becoming king.

“Take endorsements,” he said. “When TV drove campaigns, all you would see about newspaper editorials in campaign advertising was the banner, ‘L.A. Times or O.C. Register endorses.’ Now with the web a smart campaign takes every substantive sentence and dwells on it. The facts and detail appear in any number of posts and ads. They get DISCUSSED.”

With the web, he said, campaigns must build deep cases around their positions, marshaling facts and arguments to a degree that campaign advisors have disdained for more than a decade.

Read the full piece here.

What 2016 GOPers Need: Knowledge and Power

In a recent article, White House Writers Group Senior Director Joshua Gilder discusses the book “Knowledge and Power,” written by George Gilder, and why Republicans today should internalize its message.

The full article can be found here.

The Crisis In Entrepreneurial Finance: The Death of ‘Liquidity Event’ IPOs

Managing director Clark S. Judge outlined recent IPO developments and the death of ‘liquidity event’ IPOs.

Why are the American economy and the number of American jobs growing so slowly?  A few days ago, I stumbled on one answer.  And for once, it didn’t have to do – or, at least, much to do — with economy’s mismanagement by the current administration.

As part of a swing through California, I spent a morning with one of Silicon Valley’s most experienced and impressive serial entrepreneurs.  I’ve lost track of all the ventures he has started or captained.  But from twenty years in the tech community, he has gained unparalleled insight into the entrepreneurial ecosystem in our time.

Read the full piece here.

The Trouble With Clinton’s State Department Report Card

U.S. News & World Report

Among the U.S. State Department’s perennial challenges is to live down the hackneyed sobriquet of “striped-pants cookie-pushers,” with its implied weakness, elitism and ineffectual foppery. Another is to overcome what it sees as its perennial under-funding.

Trying to kill two birds with one stone, the department has for some years styled itself as the nation’s first line of defense, an indispensable contributor to our national security. Its less-than $30 billion budget, dwarfed by U.S. defense and intelligence expenditures, looks like a national security bargain. And so it is.

But since talk is cheap, to bolster its case, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton innovated the State Department’s first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) – a direct lift from the 1997 Defense Authorization Act’s mandate for a Quadrennial Defense Review. Hillary’s QDDR called forth a whole raft of monitoring and evaluation initiatives “for evidence-based decision-making.”

The aim is clear: simultaneously improve the State Department’s internal management while bolstering its case for adequate resources through a quantitative demonstration of effectiveness. And so, now, to implement this “QDDR mandate,” beltway contractors are queuing up to devise these evaluation schemes and then apply them to the State Department’s and USAID’s (the U.S. Agency for International Development’s) programs.

This is all so self-evidently sensible and managerial. How could anyone object?

Well, first, this is just the kind of thing that’s instantly attractive to spendthrift Democrats whenever they drift into a thoughtful, reflective moment. It’s a “two-fer”: It enables them to posture as eagle-eyed stewards of taxpayer money while equipping themselves with data and statistics to spend even more of it. But more than that, Hillary’s seemingly unobjectionable initiative – assuming it’s really implemented in a serious, not a haphazard, fashion – could end up further dumbing down American diplomacy.

How? Unlike the military programs from which the QDDR is copied, diplomacy involves many intangibles – combinations of private communication and public rhetoric; maneuvers with friends and allies, neutrals and others, bilaterally and in multi-lateral organizations; blandishments of different inducements and expressed or implied consequences – all sequenced strategically and tactically in time.

It’s not quite as straight-forward as determining whether a new tank procurement is on schedule, on budget, and meeting its performance targets, or whether a new aircraft design can achieve its maximum operating ceiling, turn rate, or payload capacity.

A lot has to do with time – specifically when the evaluative judgments and assessments are made. Take, for instance, President Reagan’s bold arms control approach with the Soviet Union. Assessed in, say, the election year of 1984 – when the Soviets had walked out of the Geneva Strategic Arms Reduction Talks for over a year due to Reagan’s intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) deployments to Europe and his Strategic Defense Initiative, and when talks on an INF agreement to ban all such U.S. and Russian weapons were similarly on ice – Reagan’s arms control diplomacy looked to many like a failure.

But fast-forward to 1987 – the year after the spectacular collapse of Reagan’s and Gorbachev’s Reykjavik Summit – when Reagan signed an INF weapons ban with Gorbachev in Washington. Then Reagan’s tough stance looked pretty smart. Fast-forward another few years, to Moscow in July, 1991 where George H.W. Bush and Gorbachev signed a START I nuclear arms treaty embodying the dramatic reductions, throw-weight and multiple-warhead limitations that Reagan demanded, and Reagan’s policy looked inspired. Fast-forward less than six more months more, to Christmas of 1991 and the dissolution of the USSR, and Reagan’s policies looked like genius.

Or consider the Clinton Administration’s years-long, torturous military-intervention-cum-diplomacy in former Yugoslavia that finally put an end to Serbian atrocities and genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. Take a snap-shot at any point up to the conclusion of the Dayton Peace Accords and you’d probably have, at best, a qualified, if not a negative or doubtful, verdict. Put that snapshot in the hands of partisan detractors and you’d have headlines – as unhelpful abroad diplomatically as they will be at home politically.

Of course, if you’re not attempting something as bold and gutsy as staring down the Soviet Union over nuclear arms reduction during a Cold War or facing down a genocidal, nationalistic thug like Slobodan Milosevic, maybe getting your bureaucracy to write you a diplomatic report-card that rewards things like “leading from behind” and “preserving the relationship” – and likely penalizes risky, high-stakes measures against today’s thugs, like Kim Jung Un or Bashir Assad – well, that might look good all the way around, politically and budgetarily.

The trouble is that someday we may have a president with a larger, longer-range strategy and the ambition and capacity for strong international leadership. It would be too bad if Hillary’s little diplomacy report-card idea turned out then to be a stumbling block.

No Wedding Bells for Catholic Priests

U.S. News & World Report

The Catholic Church has received ample focus in the last two months, between Pope Benedict’s surprise resignation and the election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis, the first pope from Latin America.

These dramatic events have evoked torrents of commentary about the Church, ranging across issues far beyond the papal succession. And, predictably, a good many of those commentaries have revealed Catholicism’s remarkable capacity to drive some otherwise sane men (and women) absolutely nuts.

Take Bret Stephens’ March 14 Wall Street Journal column, “A Church, If You Can Keep It.” Stephens, to my mind, is an almost unfailingly insightful columnist whose arguments are generally penetrating and trenchant. More often than not, I agree with his analysis, and I almost never fail to learn from his columns.

To be fair, Stephens opened his pre-papal-election commentary with the admonition that non-members of a religion should comment on it in much the way that porcupines make love: very carefully. So, while carefully tripping through Catholicism’s recent years of sex abuse scandals and revelations—as heart-breaking and dispiriting for the faithful as they’ve been lucrative for trial lawyers and glee-filled for those who glory in sneering at others struggling to live righteously—Stephens came to this startling curative: “The obvious and needful solution is to abolish the celibacy of the priesthood, a stricture that all but guarantees the sorts of sordid outcomes” that he had just chronicled.

But wait a minute! The John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s exhaustive study of sexual misconduct by Catholic priests, commissioned in 2002 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (and accurately cited by Stephens) makes clear that just over 80 percent of the victims in these abuse cases are males, mostly between the ages of 11 and 17. In the 52 years between 1950 and 2002 (with most cases having occurred between 1960 and 1984), the 4392 priests against whom at least one abuse allegation had been made represented 4 percent of the total number of priests serving in the U.S. during those years. This is roughly the same rate at which sexual misconduct charges against men occur in society at large and is comparable to the experience of clergy of other faiths.

The priestly abuse problem has clearly and preponderantly been a homosexual one. So, the solution is … married priests? Or at least permitting priests to marry? Certainly,  nobody thinks that homosexually inclined men are going to be ‘converted’ by marriage. Apart from being contradicted by all experience, such a notion would be laughable to adherents of the contemporary cannon of homosexual ideology. What a quaint and condescending notion!

Enlarging the pool of ‘eligibles’ to those who want to marry might make it easier for the Catholic Church to say ‘no’ to homosexual candidates for the priesthood. But, ironically, the Church—thanks to lawsuit settlements and moral imperatives—is being impelled toexclude homosexuals from ministry at a time when, in every other walk of life, the impetus is to include homosexuals in everything and to prevent discrimination against them.

And what of the implication that homosexual priests manifestly prey on and victimize underage young men? How is it that this is such an acute problem only when homosexual men train in seminaries and are ordained? Because it’s a cardinal tenet of contemporary social policy and jurisprudence that homosexuals pose no danger, moral or otherwise, to the welfare of children. To suggest the contrary—something that only the bravest or most foolhardy would do—would imply that today’s widespread homosexual adoption and child-rearing would be tantamount to state-sanctioned child endangerment, another anathema within homosexual ideology. This ‘sleeping dog’ implication of the priestly sex abuse scandals will, predictably, remain undisturbed.

Of course, marriage would completely change both the economics and the priorities of Catholic priesthood. Every married man’s family must be his first priority. This means satisfying the economic needs and demands of wife and children—a fundamental challenge to the cost-structure of ministering to the Catholic faithful. Priesthood would become much like any other job, with motivations for higher paying positions and ways to eke more money out of the role taking precedence. Pondering this possibility reminds us of one of the chief reasons—besides sacrifice, mortification, discipline and tradition—that Catholic priests are unmarried in the first place: their first and over-riding priority is ministering to the faithful. Changing priests’ civil status will change their priorities, inevitably.

Naturally, those who suggest abolishing the stricture of priestly celibacy claim to have only the best interests of the Catholic Church in mind, helping it save itself from a tradition-bound cul-de-sac freighted with recurrent, tragic implications. But in light of the paradoxes and contradictions between the nature of the problem and the proposed remedy, and the implications of that remedy for the Church’s future operation, it makes one wonder.