Sequester

Pierce:

According to the proposed sequester, the FAA is going to face approximately $1 billion in cuts. This could mean a couple of thousand air-traffic controllers could be laid off. Anybody who doesn’t think this will materially affect the way all these people — like, say, me — get their business done hasn’t flown any time in the past 20 years, and is more than welcome to spend eight days in a Chipotle while trying to get from Charlotte to Tucson. There was, I thought, absolutely no way that the people who own both large corporations and the politicians that serve them would allow something like this to happen. Sure, I reasoned, those folks could live very well without, say, the FDA or OSHA. (The rest of us couldn’t, but that’s the way it goes.) But they couldn’t live with things like air travel grinding to a halt.


However, as the government has lurched toward the March 1 deadline, it became clear that I had misapprehended what was really going on. For almost 40 years, both deliberately and by accident, the conservative movement had run against their fanciful notions of what a command economy was, but against the notion of a mixed economy at all. They fashioned a philosophy in which private money and public money were best left apart from each other. They created a view of the how the country operates that was laissez faire in ridiculous extreme. They have convinced themselves that any mixing of public and private money is invariably destructive to the latter to the benefit of the former. (That this rarely in their minds applied to military spending is beside the point for the moment, and will continue to be, because I still believe that there is absolutely no way the defense-related sequester cuts happen.) What you are seeing now is the blank wall at the end of the ideological blind alley down which the conservative movement has frolicked since the day Ronald Reagan told us that government really was the problem.


Without the involvement of government, the planes don’t fly. Or, at best, they fly into each other, which is bad for business. Without the involvement of government, the trucks have no highways on which to roll. Break faith in the covenant of a mixed economy and you wind up with no economy at all. If the corporate class in this country still took pride in, you know, making stuff, instead of banking profits by shuffling paper around on Wall Street, it would crack the whip in 10 minutes on this foolishness. Alas, even that check-and-balance exercise is gone now. I really thought that mutual self-interest would win the day.

Silly me.

Transparency!

The things your librul media gets worked up about? Golf. Via Kevin Drum:

Over at Politico, Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen have a long piece today about press corps unhappiness with their access to President Obama. Their timing is unfortunate, coming just a day after the press corps embarrassed itself by coming completely unglued over…..


…..their lack of access to Obama’s golf date this weekend with Tiger Woods. Seriously:

The frustrated Obama press corps neared rebellion this past holiday weekend when reporters and photographers were not even allowed onto the Floridian National Golf Club, where Obama was golfing. That breached the tradition of the pool “holding” in the clubhouse and often covering — and even questioning — the president on the first and last holes.


Yep. They “neared rebellion” not over OLC memos or drone strikes or FOIA tardiness or leak prosecutions, but over their inability to ask Obama questions—tough ones! penetrating ones!—before and after he hit the links. Sheesh.

The LAPD got what they wanted: A dead man

It’s kind of eerie, the continued silence in the corporate media about this execution. Seems like they no long have even the slightest interest in checking the abuses of the militarized police. Dave Lindorrf writes:

It was clear from the outset when fired LAPD cop Chris Dorner began wreaking his campaign of vengeance and terror against his former employer that the California law enforcement establishment, led by the LAPD itself, had no interest in Dorner surviving to face trial, where he could continue to rat out the racist and corrupt underbelly of the one of the country’s biggest police departments.

Dorner, as I wrote earlier, claimed he had been fired for speaking up during his three years on the force, through channels and to superior officers, about incidents he had witnessed of police brutality and of the rampant racism that permeates the department — not just white on black, but black on Asian, Asian on Latino and Latino on white. His response to being sacked — threatening to kill senior officers he blamed for this law enforcement distopia as well as some of their family members — was criminally insane, but his complaints, made in a 6000-word post on Facebook, had and continue to have the ring of truth.

The LAPD response to his threats was to mobilize the whole 10,000-member department in a manhunt, complete with $1-million reward. Cops exchanged their black uniforms for military fatigues and armed up with semi-automatic weapons. Two Latino women delivering papers in Torrance were attacked from the rear of their pick-up by seven LAPD cops who, with no warning, peppered their truck with bullets, targeting the back of the driver’s head, firing at least 70 rounds and destroying the vehicle (amazingly, neither woman was killed, though one was hospitalized in serious condition). That attack, which looked like the kind of thing US soldiers and Marines routinely did to suspect vehicles in Iraq with such deadly impact, made it clear that the LAPD wanted Dorner badly, but only dead, not alive and talking.
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