Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
Items of interest from readers and elsewhere:
* THE UNITED STATES OF ALEC: Miss Bill Moyers' report on the American Legislative Exchange Council, the corporate lobby funded by the Kochs and others to propose cookie-cutter state legislation to suppress Democratic votes, bust unions, gut environmental regulation and, most of all, reduce the tab for the wealthy? You can watch it at this link.
* DID SOMEBODY SAY VOTE SUPPRESSION?: The voter ID laws being pushed by ALEC/Republicans are the subject here of a report by Greg Palast, who uncovered the voter caging in Florida in which U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin of Little Rock was involved as a Karl Rove hatchetman. Despite no evidence of a single case of voter impersonation at the polls, Republicans push for these laws. Why? Maybe to disqualify the 10 elderly nuns denied a ballot in Indiana. Or maybe to bar college students whose photo IDs were insufficient because they didn't contain their dorm room number. Or maybe to block poor people who can't get a state ID because THEY DON'T HAVE AN ID to qualify for an ID. It's insidious, anti-American and wildly successful at suppressing the privilege that so many Republicans claim as sacred as they spit on it for people who aren't like them. They've even brought back poll taxes in required fees for the IDs.
* THE REPUBLICANS COULDN'T WIN WITH JESUS: That's the premise of Frank Schaeffer, an early proponent of the Religious Right and anti-abortion crusader, who says the Republican Party has been taken over by the crazies.
Romney will lose and then become the fall guy for the Republican pundits, as in "he was a bad candidate." But Romney's problems are a symptom of the disease afflicting Republicans, not the cause of that disease. He's wacky because they are. He panders to the super rich because that is all his party actually does care about when not trying to stop blacks from voting or women from using contraception or gays from loving whomever they want to love.
When the Republicans bring back actual "doctors" (to overuse my metaphor) and send the "faith healers" back to where they belong, we Americans just might trust them again. Meanwhile we'll reelect our sane president. I mean it's pretty basic: President Obama believes in science, that global warming is real, that the solution to the problems in the world can't be found in the book of Revelation, that the way to reduce abortions is through helping poor women and providing comprehensive sex education in schools, that Americans need Social Security and Medicare, and that most Americans like women, paved roads, our gay neighbors, our Hispanic friends and a working post office.
In other words our president is a smart compassionate decent grownup governing from the common sense center, something that used to be a prerequisite for Republican leaders too.
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Pete prefers the wide open spaces states of the mountain west and the Great Plains…