Monday, March 18, 2013

Back in Arkansas

Posted By on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Well, I'm back in Arkansas, operating on some time zone other than Central Daylight Time. Noted:

* VOTE SUPPRESSION: The Republican voter ID bill, part of a national strategy to suppress votes among core Democratic constituencies, should get routine Senate approval today of a minor House amendment. The question again of whether a law that addresses a constitutional provision requires a two-thirds vote might arise and again be overridden by the Republican majority. That debate shouldn't obscure the core constitutional question of whether the legislation unconstitutionally abridges vote protection enshrined in the document, as Ernie Dumas has written. It will join the long list of constitutionally questionable acts in court.

* SPEAKING OF LEGISLATION; Anybody else struck by the torrent of bill filings by the Republican majority. You know, the majority that favors less government intrusion in personal lives?

* PICKING ON COTTON: U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton got still more national air time yesterday with an appearance on CNN in which he lauded the "just and noble" war in Iraq. Crooks and Liars notes that some think the adventure in Iraq, based on Bush Administration representations, wasn't perhaps quite so noble.

* BEWARE SCHOOL VOUCHERS: Arkansas legislators are spoiling to pass bills to funnel public dollars into private schools. Various means have been proposed, including one scheme by which taxpayers could direct their tax payments to private school scholarships. This is bad governance on a number of grounds. (How about a bill to let me funnel my tax dollars into health services for women?) But a leading problem is the example of other states, where public money has gone to heavily fund church schools offering some dubious academics. To wit (though it isn't funny):

"Voucher schools in Louisiana and Indiana are using a “U.S. History” textbook in their eighth grade classes that teaches that the “hippies” of the 1960s were draft dodgers who were rude, didn’t bathe, and worshipped Satan."

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