The new era open line | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The new era open line

Posted By on Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 4:09 PM

ARKANSAS BREAKS FROM SOLID SOUTH: Note Arkansas alone in Dixie has moved forward on Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. Thank a Republican.
  • ARKANSAS BREAKS FROM SOLID SOUTH: Note Arkansas alone in Dixie has moved forward on Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. Thank a Republican.

Well. We've begun our digital memership with hundreds of inaugural members and remarkably few glitches so far. Write me or Lindsey if I'm wrong on the glitch part. More here on memberships if you haven't signed up yet and have been back enough to run into the metered limit on free access:

So, to the open line.

* MASSIVE RESISTANCE TO MEDICAID: Isn't the map above striking? Isn't it remarkable that the all-out Koch-financed battle to resist Obamacare has carried the day everywhere in the South so far except Arkansas? And that Republican leadership was vital in approving Obamacare here? And that the marquee Republican candidates will be railing against Obamacare every single second in 2014, including U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton, who's employed as his political director the chief architect of Obamacare adoption in Arkansas, Rep. John Burris?

The resistance is daunting. And it has become downright ugly. How unbelievable is it that the resistance has now resorted to encouraging people without health insurance to resist becoming insured at all costs? With young people, the resisters urge burning (non-existent) "Obamacare cards." They've thus equated principled opposition to killing people in foreign proxy wars to opposition to universal health care. It gets much worse. Here's a story about the Refuse to Enroll campaign that targets everyone. Stand up for liberty by refusing new health care options! Die from a dread illness rather than insure yourself, all in the name of the Kochs! It doesn't get much lower than this.

* FOOD AND FELLOWSHIP: Everybody's barbecuing. Next week, it's Tom Cotton with a free feed in Dardanelle to announce his race for Senate. Food stamp recipients soon to be cut off by Cotton's politics might want to take a takeout container or two. Today, there was a friendlier barbecue. 100 members of the U.S. Senate were invited and all were expected said the Washington Post. Hosts include friendly Sen. Mark Pryor:

In a sign that maybe icy relations between the two parties might be getting a little better, all 100 senators were scheduled to meet Thursday in the Old Senate Chamber for, depending who you ask, an informal luncheon or, as Democratic aides describe it, a "bipartisan caucus meeting," The Washington Post reports. Today's meeting is at the behest of senators from both parties, but Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., are cohosting the lunch with Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. Barbeque One, from Isakson's hometown of Marietta, Ga., was catering the rare bipartisan event.

Two questions: 1) Why can't we all get along? 2) Do you think Tom Cotton's brand of my-way-or-the-highway politics fits in this picture?

* WILL BOND OR WON'T HE?: Outgoing Democratic Party Chairman Will Bond sent out a note about his planned departure today and encouraged attendance at a coming state committee meeting. He also hinted again that he might enter politics himself soon, but broadly. "I want to explore other ways I can serve Arkansas," he said. Both attorney general and 2nd District Congress come to mind.

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