Eric Holder won’t like this

All I could think of when I read this story was Barack Obama and his attorney general and their absurd anti-marijuana crusade:

New Approach Washington unveiled new advertisements Wednesday that show former law enforcement officials supporting Initiative 502.

The ballot initiative would legalize the production and sale of marijuana in Washington state through state-licensed stores, if approved by voters in November. Under the proposed law, the Washington State Liquor Control Board would regulated marijuana-shops and possessing up to an ounce of marijuana would be legal.

“We know firsthand that decades of marijuana arrests have failed to reduce use and the drug cartels are pocketing all the profits,” says Charlie Mandigo, a former FBI special agent, in one of the ads…

‘Bravado’ a euphemism for lying

In a recent piece headlined “Never Waver, Never Wobble,” Frank Bruni argued that Mitt Romney won his first debate with Barack Obama because he showed more “bravado,” which Bruni seems to think is the one character trait common to all successful politicians.

In making his point, Bruni dodged an important question: Would voters favor the candidate with bravado — “outsize confidence” is another term Bruni used — if they knew that candidate was a liar?

Bruni wrote “For the debate viewers [Romney] was all pluck and no doubt, even when he fibbed or flipped,” while Obama, on the other hand, “…just lost touch with his bravado in Denver.”

There’s the dodge — Romney didn’t merely fib and flip, he contradicted positions he’d previously taken and pretended he’d been taking the same positions all along. He lied, boldly and frequently, and Bruni should have stated this plainly. He should have mentioned that Romney lied when he said Obama “has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four years”, and when he said Obama was “silent” in the face of street protests in Iran in 2009. And so on.

Bruni’s piece would have seemed a lot less specious if he’d addressed the history of Romney’s compulsive lying, as Robert Parry recently did.

More here.

‘Associates’ fight the power

The Waltons must be very disappointed by what’s happening at some of their plantations:

Walmart workers who went on strike in Illinois and California appear to have inspired some of their fellow big box employees, and now it looks like the movement is going viral.

Labor leaders said Tuesday, just one day before Walmart’s annual shareholder meeting, that workers at 28 stores in 12 states walked out and went on strike to demand the anti-union employer raise wages, improve working conditions and end retaliations against employees who attempt to form unions…

Berkeley labor economist Sylvia Allegretto found last year that just six of the Walton family’s richest members have a combined wealth greater than the bottom 30 percent of American earners put together…

No fiscal cliff

It’s a slope:

They put the band back together. The Gang of Six – now a Gang of Eight, with Lamar Alexander and Michael Bennet added to the roster of Crapo, Coburn, Chambliss, Warner, Durbin and Conrad, met in Virginia yesterday, aiming to create a grand bargain of tax increases, spending cuts and vaguely worded “entitlement reforms” (you can call it cuts, it’s OK) that would reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next ten years.

The impetus this time is the set of expiring measures known in Washington as the fiscal cliff, which if allowed to expire entirely could throw the economy back into recession.

But the word “cliff” does a lot of work here. If there is a drop-dead date, a point of no return where the unwinding of the damage would be too great, then the sense of urgency generated by the Gang of Eight would make more sense. But it actually doesn’t work that way. The economy won’t fall off a cliff, but amble down a slope, in a way that allows for much more deliberative conversation about the best practices for the economy today, not just in the future.

Good news

Wouldn’t it be great if this kicked off a trend?

U.S. workers have been dealing with the effects of outsourcing for years now. But in a trend that many no doubt would like to see continue, General Motors Co. has committed to bringing back technology jobs it now outsources.

The automaker currently outsources about 90 percent of its information-technology services, including running data centers and writing applications, to other companies. But in a 180-degree turn, newly installed chief information officer, Randy Mott, who joined GM in February, wants to “insource” 90 percent of the company’s IT operations within three years,InformationWeek reports.

Bringing back IT jobs at the scale GM needs would require the Detroit-based company, which currently employs about 1,500 IT workers worldwide, to go on a hiring binge to staff the three U.S.-based software development centers it’s planning to build. Those would include jobs such as software developers, project managers,database experts and business analysts, according to the magazine.

Fuck the elites

So Pete Peterson-surrogate David Walker is pushing a new deficit plan, I guess because people are connecting the dots about Simpson Bowles. Check out the insight into how the Very Serious People think:

To most Democrats’ chagrin, Walker’s group wants to block-grant Medicaid, repeal and scale back parts of the Affordable Care Act, and raise taxes on Americans who are above the poverty live but pay no federal income taxes, as it outlined in a 2011 fiscal reform plan.

“There are a lot of people well above the poverty rate who aren’t paying income tax,” says Walker, the former Comptroller General who previously ran Pete Peterson’s foundation. He acknowledges that the tax change won’t be a big money saver. “That’s not going to generate a lot of money, but we’ve got to have more people have a stake in government finance,” he explains, adding that the framework would hold middle-class taxpayers harmless.

Punitive taxation! The man is a genteel monster.

We’ve seen this kind of “gentle” character guidance from our betters again and again. These are the same geniuses who decided people were being wasteful with their medical benefits, and instituted significant co-pays that did exactly what they wanted: kept sick people from going to the doctor’s. It worked so well that people were getting seriously ill, because they delayed seeing a doctor until their condition was serious. Progress!

God, I hate these people.

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