The House's richest member, California Republican Darrell Issa (net worth: $448 million) says our poorest folks are "the envy of the world." He's not completely full of soup, but why would one suggest people should stop trying to make the world better just because our poor don't literally live in holes as much as in other countries? Recall that the John Birch society used to tell blacks they didn't have to agitate against Jim Crow laws because they have more color TVs than most of the rest of the world, and you'll find your answer. And, ah, to the degree our poor do have more access to things like heat and clean water than their brethren in Africa or India, it's because we're civilized enough to force our government to keep water clean and subsidize heating bills. But I suppose Darrell Issa thinks people like him are responsible for all of that.
Independent audit finds that Gov. Walker's Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (or WEDC) has hardly kept track of whether the corporations to which it's giving money to create jobs are actually creating jobs. This should be a much, much bigger story -- this is the jewel of Mr. Walker's economic policy, and it's either become a slush fund for Mr. Walker's corporate cronies or an incredibly incompetently-managed bureaucracy piddling away Wisconsin taxpayer money. It is, in short, everything wrong with right-wing economic policy. Which is why the "liberal" media won't touch it.
The City of Los Angeles sues Wells Fargo, but not for the reason you'd think -- apparently some Wells Fargo employees have been opening completely fake credit card and checking accounts using their customers' information. They were trying to meet sales quotas, apparently, but you shouldn't have to see customers get assessed fees for products they didn't want and get their credit reports get dinged for inquiries they didn't want made to know you're doing wrong. I'd still like to know how draconian Wells Fargo's sales quotas were -- there is a point at which yearning for statistical certainty becomes pedantry.
I've concentrated perhaps too much on how "free" trade adversely affects working families in America, but "free" trade harms working families in Guatemala, too -- and they're fighting back. Battered on all sides by big landowners, their government's mad embrace of African palm trees, and cheap American corn exports, Guatemalan farmers are growing a diverse range of crops, in an attempt to simultaneously sell to markets and feed their people, and they're growing them organically, to avoid becoming slaves to the pesticide industry. They also agitate for more equitable laws at the federal level. I wish them all the best.
Finally, Jeb Bush tells an audience of Republican donors that he looks to his brother George W. Bush for advice on Middle East politics. Some witnesses say he was really talking about Israel, and Israel was the jewel of Bush the Lesser's foreign policy, but that was only by default, and asking George W. Bush for advice about anything is sort of like asking the 1980-81 Winnipeg Jets for advice on winning hockey games. But let's not forget that President Obama hired a lot of Bush the Lesser's failures, too. I mean, really, John freaking Brennan? Or Robert Gates, whom Bush the Better couldn't get confirmed back in the day?