It’s tough to make sense of what basically amounts to chaos within many parts of the U.S. government right now. The once-mighty are in jail, allegiances have been strained, and political borders have been redrawn. The appointment the of the special counsel and the subsequent investigations have begun a long-needed purge in Washington. Overdue house-cleaning, swamp draining — whatever you’d like to call it, it’s happening.

The results so far of the numerous investigations triggered after the 2016 election have blown the cover off festering corruption and white collar crime. America’s dirty laundry, from Democrats and Republicans, is being aired…


They Should be Decriminalized

It was part of my job as a police officer in Washington, D.C. Crack cocaine, PCP, and synthetic marijuana were the big ones. But I knew that drugs have never been of a higher quality, more plentiful, more potent, or cheaper to acquire. It’s time to decriminalize most major street drugs and to stop sending users to jail. The government should instead invest in treatment and diversion programs. Doing so will take pressure off police and save public safety resources by keeping non-violent, low-level offenders out of their local court system.

Wasting Public Resources

“Catch-and-release” aptly describes what happens to drug offenders when…


Roseanne Barr’s self-titled TV show has been canceled by ABC after she tweeted “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” She was referring to a senior Obama advisor, Valerie Jarrett, who is black. Is it abhorrent? No doubt. Roseanne ran on ABC, and ABC is owned by Disney, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

But ABC canceling Roseanne feels like a gun going off during a game of Russian roulette. It’s seems random and arbitrary, considering the circumstances. We live in the age of the Internet and Twitter now. Instant thoughts mean instant outrage…


If you were to tune in to most mainstream news sources, you will likely hear that there is an epidemic of gun violence in this country. Make no mistake, many U.S. cities suffer from stubbornly high crime rates. We’ve covered America’s gun violence and poverty problem here. While violence is indeed a daily nightmare for millions of Americans, it bears repeating that violent crime and murder rates in the U.S. are dramatically lower than they were in the 1990s. The same goes for the frequency of school shootings, which tend to dominate the airwaves over other crime trends. …


The American economy is reorganizing itself as wealth shifts deeper into large metropolitan areas and away from rural America. The explosion of the Internet coupled with new economic priorities of Americans hurt by the Great Recession have played a huge role in this transformation. Although signs of this economic divide have been on display for decades, they came to a head in the 2016 presidential election. The economic trends are clear: major urban areas are pulling away from rural ones in population and economic prosperity. This is unsustainable for the whole country.

Perhaps the most accurate illustration of America right…


A handgun I recovered during an arrest in Washington, DC.

Every year, about 30,000 people are killed by a firearm. Two-thirds of these deaths are self-inflicted. These gun suicides are an entirely separate beast that begs its own analysis. That leaves about 10,000 gun homicides annually. These murders happen in our crime-stricken cities. Men, in crippling poverty, are predominantly the perpetrators and victims. That is the meat of the gun crisis so agonizingly discussed in the news right now. Mass shooters are a problem mostly unique to the U.S. But their victims are the equivalent of a rounding error compared to the body count in our impoverished urban areas.

Mass…


The New York Times reported today that massive protests in Gaza have resulted in the deaths of over 50 Palestinians. Thousands more have been injured. The protests coincide with the Trump Administration formal relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I don’t have a dog in this fight. But what’s going in Israel has been going on for far too long. It’s an extended humanitarian crisis that could be resolved if both sides made minor concessions.

Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem was a selfish decision. It was made with complete disregard by American and Israeli officials…


Although normally docile, government lawyers often feel they go unappreciated and lack adequate outlets to discuss their work. They’re permitted to speak briefly about their roles at division meetings and quarterlies, but all too often things get out of hand.

Lawyers bloviating endlessly during government meetings became an enormous problem for federal offices. Unrestrained lawyer-speak was sending hordes of federal employees to therapists and clinics due to hostile overexposure to mundane legalese.

Something had to be done. The Attorney Compliance Division (ACD) was established in response. Attorney Compliance Officers, or ACOs, are sent to office meetings to keep government lawyers…


Ron Livingston in Office Space (AKA me IRL)

I used to work in government and law enforcement in Washington, DC. I started out with the DC Police Department. Yeah, I was a cop. “Running and gunning,” as the face-paced work was lovingly referred to. I did enjoy it, but I wasn’t going to do it for 25 years. That’s for sure. I guess my standards were too high. I had my sights on the federal government.

So I transitioned up as a contractor for the Department of Justice. I was thinking I’d make some more connections there and work my way up in my particular division.

Have you…


Former New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

Anthony Weiner. Eliot Spitzer. And now Eric Schneiderman. There’s a trend here. They are all New York state politicians. They were all at one time considered rising stars and future forces to be reckoned with. They were going to do great things for the state and for the country. And then they all self-destructed because of their own hubris and self-made scandals.

New York state has a leadership problem. Our politicians should be ascending to high offices in our country. Instead, they can’t seem to get out of their own way. …

Rational Take

Politics and culture commentary. Mourning the death of intellectual honesty on all sides.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store