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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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Speaking of Voter ID, Tom Cotton

  • 'Why is Arkansas, of all states, becoming the Obamacare poster child?'

    August 27, 2014
    Arkansas is becoming a poster child for Obamacare. So why does just about every Republican running for office in Arkansas this year want to get rid of it. /more/
  • Inside the Koch retreat: Tom Cotton and fat cats' mutual admiration society

    August 27, 2014
    Remember the Koch retreat at a fancy California resort that caused Tom Cotton to miss the Pink Tomato Festival in Warren. Shades of Mitt Romney. A tape of the proceedings has emerged. And it includes rich praise for Tom Cotton, particularly his votes against the interests of Arkansas farmers. /more/
  • Tom Cotton voted for Ebola (well, not exactly)

    August 26, 2014
    A new Mark Pryor ad links Ebola with a Tom Cotton budget vote. Cotton says Pryor is desperate. /more/
  • Democrats ramp up field operation to hang onto Arkansas

    August 24, 2014
    Molly Ball writes in The Atlantic about the massive operation by the Democratic Party to turn out the vote in November to save U.S. Senator Mark Pryor's seat and perhaps propel some more Democrats to victory elsewhere on the ball. /more/
  • Democratic Party poll has good results for Democratic candidates

    August 21, 2014
    The Arkansas Democratic Party today released a summary of polling done for the party by Opinion Research Associates of Little Rock, the veteran opinion research firm. It shows Sen. Mark Pryor with a lead, but within the margin of error, over challenger Tom Cotton and shows Democrat Mike Ross in a dead heat with Republican Asa Hutchinson. /more/
  • Obamacare and the Mark Pryor-Tom Cotton Senate race

    August 21, 2014
    Yesterday, Sen. Mark Pryor did something that got national attention: he released an ad that actually took credit for the benefits of Obamacare. Cotton's response was surprisingly muted. Could this be the latest sign that the Obamacare attack doesn't pack the punch it once did? One key question of the Arkansas Senate race will be what is more politically potent, the name "Obamacare" (which Cotton will repeat while dodging policy specifics) or the law's more popular component parts (which Pryor is beginning to highlight while avoiding actually naming the law). /more/
  • Mitt Romney endorses Tom Cotton

    August 21, 2014
    “This looks fun,” said former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as he looked at the press gathered for Romney’s endorsement this morning in North Little Rock of Rep. Tom Cotton, challenging Mark Pryor for U.S. Senate. Why Romney? The main point seemed to be reminding voters of the man who defeated Romney, President Barack Obama, who remains the focal point of Cotton’s campaign. /more/
  • Voter fraud numbers: 31 faked IDs among 1 billion votes

    August 21, 2014
    Fans of Arkansas's voter-identification law and similar laws in other states should pay homage to a Tulane University professor who rounded up all the evidence of why such laws are needed, which has been lacking in legislative debates and in courts where the laws are challenged. /more/
  • Voter ID law: Unneeded and punishing legitimate voters

    August 20, 2014
    A billion votes with an absence of fraud prove there's no need for a Voter ID law. And discouragement of Arkansas voters in the recent primary election shows it's harmed legitimate voters. Ernest Dumas writes for this week's Times. /more/
  • Tom Cotton and the Republicans get desperate

    August 19, 2014
    Tom Cotton and Karl Rove and Co. are growing increasingly desperate and incoherent in attacks on Sen. Mark Pryor, who's proving not so easy to defeat as Republicans once believed. /more/
  • More »

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