John Kerry Awarded Historic Rating! Unfortunately, Not the Good Kind: Kerry Rated ‘Worst Secretary of State in 50 Years’

Kerry-bump-reuters-denis-bailbouse

The Survey of 1,375 U.S. Colleges and Universities was Conducted by Foreign Policy Magazine and the College of William & Mary. John Kerry Came in Dead Last.kerry-phone-2

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — A new survey of scholars ranks Secretary of State John Kerry dead last in terms of effectiveness in that job over the past 50 years.

“I got beat by James Baker and Madeleine Albright?”

Henry Kissinger was ranked the most effective secretary of state with 32.2% of the vote. He was followed by James Baker, Madeleine Albright, and Hillary Clinton, as judged by a survey of 1,615 international relations scholars.

Kerry received only 0.3% of the votes cast. Read the rest of this entry »


Call Off the Meeting and Get Back to Work

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Maybe you’re sitting in a boring meeting right now, peeking at this on your phone. Don’t Just sit there! Get up! Walk out. Join the anti-meeting revolution!

Andy Kessler explains: I hate meetings. Everybody does. Yet Nancy Koehn, who teaches at the Harvard Business School, estimates that there will be 11 million meetings taking place today in the United States. Yes, just today. Maybe you’re sitting in a boring one right now, peeking at this on your phone. Not much consolation to know that millions of others are stuck in the same conference-table-shaped circle of hell.

“A 2013 study by officebroker.com found that the average office worker spends 16 hours in meetings every week; government workers spend 22 hours a week in meetings.”

Meetings are supposed to be about discovery and buy-in. That’s it. Someone has decided that a group needs to be informed about some new idea or process or scheme, and by the end of the meeting everyone has supposedly bought into this new vision of the world—one that, if you’re lucky, didn’t come with a 50-slide PowerPoint deck. But meetings instead too often end up being about preening and politicking, and devolve into productivity-robbing, mind-numbing monotony.

“Meetings are supposed to be about discovery and buy-in…But meetings instead too often end up being about preening and politicking, and devolve into productivity-robbing, mind-numbing monotony.”

Given that the hours taken up by meetings increase when the profit motive is absent—a 2013 study by officebroker.com found that the average eat-peopleoffice worker spends 16 hours in meetings every week; government workers spend 22 hours a week in meetings—many companies have their own homeopathic cure for meeting madness.

[Check out Andy Kressler’s book “Eat People” at Amazon.com]

At Amazon, Jeff Bezos starts executive meetings with 30 minutes of silence and has everyone read a carefully crafted six-page report. That’s still a waste of 30 minutes. Some executives at Twitter and Apple set aside Mondays for meetings; the rest of the week is for full days of actual work. BuzzFeed President Jon Steinberg is more lenient; he sets aside Tuesdays and Thursdays as “no meeting” days. Someone I met who runs a music startup bans electronics, restricts meetings to a single topic—and limits them to 10 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »


Washington isn’t working

credit: photoblog.nbcnews.com

credit: photoblog.nbcnews.com

While scientists are innovating and creating, politicians aren’t doing much of anything.

Glenn Reynolds writes: There are two Americas, all right. There’s one that works — where new and creative things happen, where mistakes are corrected, and where excellence is rewarded. Then there’s Washington, where everything is pretty much the opposite. That has been particularly evident over the past week or so. One America can launch rockets. The other America can’t even launch a website.

In Washington, it’s been stalemate, impasse, and theater — the kind of place where a government shutdown leads park rangers to complain, “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.” Well, yes. The politics don’t work, the websites don’t work — even for the people who manage to log on — and the government shutdown informs us that most of government is “non-essential.” Instead of correcting mistakes or rewarding excellence, it’s mostly finger-pointing, blame-shifting, and excuse-making. Read the rest of this entry »


The Left’s Hatred of Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz, traitor to his class

By Rich Lowry

Ted Cruz, traitor to his class - POLITICO.com Print View

Henry Adams said that politics is the systematic organization of hatreds. For the left, over the past year it has seemed at times to be the systematic organization of hatred of Ted Cruz.The freshman senator is not the first Texan to be so honored. In fact, the state isn’t holding up its end if, at any given moment, it isn’t throwing onto the national scene at least one Republican reviled by the other side.

The party’s highest-profile Texans, George W. Bush and Rick Perry, tended to match inarticulateness with cowboy swagger and lend themselves to mockery as intellectual lightweights. Bush went to Yale and Harvard Business School, yet no one naturally thinks of him as an Ivy Leaguer. The two Lone Star State governors played into the left’s stereotypes so nicely that if they didn’t exist, Gail Collins would have had to make them up.

Cruz is different — a Princeton and Harvard man who not only matriculated at those fine institutions but excelled at them. Champion debater at Princeton. Magna cum laude graduate at Harvard. Supreme Court clerkship, on the way to Texas solicitor general and dozens of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cruz is from the intellectual elite, but not of it, a tea party conservative whose politics are considered gauche at best at the storied universities where he studied. He is, to borrow the words of the 2009 H.W. Brands biography of FDR, a traitor to his class. Read the rest of this entry »