Think Progress takes a fresh look at Richard "Dr. Evil" Berman's pro-corporate PR regime, which deploys a dizzying array of Astroturf groups in its arsenal. Key quotation, from Dr. Evil himself: "If you put enough information (sic) out there...you get in people’s mind a tie. They don’t know who is right...people are not prepared to get aggressive in moving one way or another. I’ll take a tie any day if I’m trying to preserve the status quo." The antidote? Be more aggressive with the facts than Mr. Berman is with the "information." That takes all of us, though.
Harold Meyerson at the Washington Post also describes the study showing that corporations don't invest very much in workers or research or facilities anymore. "In the 1960s and ’70s," he writes, "about 40 cents of every dollar that a corporation either borrowed or realized in net earnings went into investment in its facilities, research or new hires. Since the ’80s, however, just 10 cents of those dollars have gone to investment." Of course, with stock buybacks taking up more and more of a corporation's spending, we've also gone from the "shareholder revolution" to the CEO revolution.
ProPublica joins with NPR to describe "The Demolition of Workers' Compensation." Used to be that corporations would help support injured workers in exchange for workers not suing them -- a "grand bargain," wouldn't you know! -- but now states cut benefits and force more folks to rely on taxpayer assistance. The folks doing such "reforming" claim states have to attract new business, naturally, as if states don't offer unique business opportunities based on their natural resources or their location or anything. The tort "reform" movement, which demonizes people who file lawsuits, doesn't help matters, either.
Republican state Rep in Texas introduces bill that would repeal any marijuana-related law in the state, effectively legalizing the drug. Rep. Simpson makes some amusing arguments ("The conservative thought is that government doesn't need to fix something that God made good"), but his bill wouldn't regulate or tax marijuana, either, and unless you're against all regulation and taxation, why wouldn't you do both?
Finally, Heather Digby Parton becomes the first person to convince me that demographics might really be on the Democrats' side in national elections -- mainly by reminding us that George W. Bush actually did reach out to minorities, albeit in ways both useless (he favored immigration reform, but look how successful that was!) and patronizing (who cares if you speak Spanish if you also support policies that deprive working folks of economic opportunities?), and no Republican today emulates this behavior. I still say you never underestimate the ability of Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but maybe it'll be a bit harder for them to do that in 2016 than I thought.