Bush, alcohol, and meritocracy

A couple of days ago I mentioned (*) the booze lobby’s campaign against the National Academy underage-drinking panel. There’s more detail in an op-ed in today’s

s Washington Post (*).

My favorite tidbit: George W. Bush named his brother-in-law, Robert Koch (*), to the search committee to find a new director for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. But don’t imagine that this was mere nepotism. Not only does Koch have superb academic qualifications in medicine, public health, neuroscience, and psychology — he holds a B.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland — but he was at the time the chief lobbyist for the Wine Institute. He has since, no doubt on sheer merit, risen to be President of the Institute.

And let’s not hear any more charges that this administration is excessively partisan. It turns out that the First Brother-in-Law got his start working for Dick Gephardt and Tony Coehlo.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com