New York Times columnist David Brooks writes perhaps the single most offensive op-ed I've read this year, in which he actually argues that we should borrow the workings of more totalitarian states like China in order to "make democracy dynamic again." The notion of an "unapologetically elitist" "Simpson/Bowles-type commission to push populist reforms" would be merely hilarious if his "populist reforms" weren't the kind of Beltway autofellatio that's actually unpopular with Americans. The best part will be when he complains that we folks just aren't sophisticated enough to understand that when he said we should have less democracy, he wasn't really saying we should have less democracy.
Dick "Tha Dicksta" Cheney suggests that President Obama scrapped missile defense systems just because Vladimir Putin told him so. No word on whether Mr. Putin was shirtless when he gave Mr. Obama the order, but could it be possible that Mr. Obama scrapped missile defense because missile defense doesn't work, and only benefits defense contractors who'd rather not build something useful? And why on Earth is Mr. Cheney walking around in public without a paper bag over his head after everything he's done?
Navy reservist suspended for two weeks after refusing to hide wait times for appointments at the Veterans Administration. You'd think the King of Everyone Getting Along would welcome the testimony of government workers who want government to work better, but Mr. Obama generally treats whistleblowers like they've just leaked wartime troop movements, regardless of what they've actually said. And no, this isn't a mark of George W. Bush's tenure, Bush-league though it may seem.
Three North Carolina Republican state Senators introduce bill making it a felony to disclose fracking chemicals. Because some corporation's "right" to "trade secrets" trumps everyone else's right to drinking water that doesn't catch fire and doesn't turn gelatinous if left out too long! No fracking currently goes on in North Carolina, but that'll change soon -- and we'll see if the Moral Monday folks can counter the will of a reactionary legislature that cares about nothing except money.
Philly.com blogger tells us how "Tom Corbett Just Won Re-election." Sympathetic as I am to how-Democrats-will-screw-it-up-this-time narratives, and noting that Democratic nominee Tom Wolf pounds an I'm-an-outsider-can't-we-all-get-along message that has stranded better candidates at 48 percent, I still think listing Mr. Corbett's leftward moves (or non-moves -- refusing to appeal reversals on Voter ID and gay marriage hardly required him to lift a finger) doesn't prove he's been playing us; it merely proves that he's not completely brain-dead. Plus, dude always looks mad even when he's got nothing to be mad about. People get tired of that.
Jim Hightower delivers the messaging goods when discussing the Koch Brothers' obsession with making solar power users pay a Sun Tax: "Koch Brothers Demand More Government Intervention and Taxes," runs the headline, "they want states to tax homeowners as punishment for becoming innovative energy producers" runs the last line of paragraph five, and here's how the final paragraph begins: "Now we know what the Koch-ALEC complex means by 'free markets' and 'liberty.' They mean that corporate energy interests should be free to stifle our individual liberty." You'd almost wonder why the Crusty Centrists of the Beltway don't find Mr. Hightower's words to be "pitch-perfect populism." OK, not really -- we all know the answer is "money."