"The Military is Leaving the Missing Behind," says this ProPublica article. Tracing the story of one veteran's decades-long quest to get the remains of his cousin, we learn that 45,000 MIAs (going all the way back to World War II) that could be found haven't been found; reasons include some bureaucratic overlap, a culture of extraordinary caution, and the military's general refusal to use DNA to identify remains until the very end of a long identification process.
Don't look now, but the New York Times's alleged conservative columnist, David Brooks, was right about something last week -- that solitary confinement can be as brutal and inhumane as torture or physical violence. "(W)e need to obliterate the assumption that inflicting any amount of social pain is O.K. because it’s not real pain," he writes. Both he and George Will have become a bit more libertarian on crime and punishment since Mr. Obama's re-election, and though I think they're both trailing the popular will somewhat, I welcome it.
FBI will investigate the Corrections Corporation of America's operation of Idaho's State Penitentiary. Idaho just launched its own investigation a month ago, but the FBI will take that over; allegations of short staffing and violence (fitting, I suppose, for a State Pen popularly known as "Gladiator School") have been circulating for years, and last year a U.S. District Court judge fined CCA for falsifying staffing records. CCA is America's biggest private prison corporation, by the way. Nice work if you can get it!
I'm sure I could generate a week's worth of penny rants out of the flatugasms emanating from CPAC's annual conference, but this report stuck out: a CPAC panelist said that the "biggest impediment" to passing so-called right-to-work laws in Ohio is that state's Republican Governor, John Kasich. Really? The same Governor Kasich who signed a public union-busting law in 2011? The law that got overturned by a 20-point margin at the polls later that year? Maybe the biggest impediment to right-to-work-for-less laws in Ohio is the people of Ohio. Of course, a CPAC hack wouldn't say that -- people might get the idea they can do something about the world around them.
Finally, the Wisconsin state Senate passed Gov. Walker's tax cut plan. Mr. Walker's two-year, $537 million tax cut plan would, according to one watchdog, put Wisconsin's budget over $650 million in the red before the next state budget; recall that Mr. Walker did not inherit a deficit from his predecessor, but quickly created one right before crying WE'RE BROKE!!!! and gutting public employee unions as a "response." What will he do in "response" to the looming budget crisis he's just created? I shudder to think -- the man's like a George W. Bush who can speak in complete sentences.