Rick Perlstein writes a lengthy analysis of how the city of Chicago (run just about entirely by Democrats, mind you) has privatized so many of its public assets over the last two decades. If you're attentive, you'll note that the same problem so many describe with Big Gummint bureaucracy -- that it "thrive(s) whether it effectively delivers services or not" -- doesn't exactly disappear with the advent of privatization, where "(c)ompanies frequently get paid whether they deliver the goods or not." The difference? Your government belongs to you, so you can do something about the former. And even when your government does it badly, it usually does it more cheaply.
Former Army sergeant and his wife create a fake Army website designed to take advantage of the Army's now-thankfully-defunct Referral Bonus Program -- and make $4 million "referring" soldiers who were likely already going to enlist! Nice work if you can get it! This is yet another reason we shouldn't fight stupid wars, because it was a dearth of volunteers for stupid wars that led to these referral bonus programs. I'm no more pleased with this quotation from Sen. McCaskill (D-MO): "No one envisioned that someone would be bold enough to put up a fake Army website...and make $4 million in the process." If you're going to create this kind of program, you have to envision the, er, boldness of criminals. You'd have thought Tha Bush Mobb would have had an easy time with that.
Cliff Weathers provides a fascinating account of how outlet malls, once the go-to place for discount shopping, no longer provide better deals than your average neighborhood mall does. You'll learn about the history of outlet malls (they were originally "factory stores," located right next to factories and mainly for that factory's workers), and you'll learn how modern-day outlets manipulate you into thinking you're getting things for cheap. Some of their nefarious ways: they put their outlets out in the middle of nowhere so people stay all day and buy more, they sell more cheaply-made stuff that wouldn't sell in a neighborhood mall, and they manipulate reference prices so customers think something's a deal when it's not.
FAIR tells you "What Corporate Media Don't Want You to Know About Joni Ernst," the Iowa Senator who delivered the Republican response to the President's State of the Union address. Warning: it's not just that they won't tell you the more bat-guano stuff she's said (Obama's a dictator, local law enforcement can arrest people trying to enforce the Affordable Care Act however that would work, the U.N. wants to force Iowa farmers off their land), it's that they all seem to be pilfering from the same PR release, one that mentions her hog-castrating ad and her status as the first woman in Congress from Iowa and her Iraq war experience. Ms. Ernst could be our next Vice President, so maybe the "liberal" media could be, you know, not so lazy?
Finally, Senate Majority Leader/One True King of Bipartisanship Mitch McConnell (E-KY) says the Senate absolutely positively will not adopt a budgeting rule preventing Congress from shoring up Social Security disability using money from the seniors' trust fund, unless of course Democrats go along. But of course Mr. McConnell can make this "stand on principle," knowing that the House has already adopted such a rule, and that both Houses need to pass spending bills, so the anti-Social Security forces have no less leverage than they did before Mr. McConnell's utterance. I'd say that's clever, but I only admire good works.