by Max Brantley
Another day in San Francisco paradise — 60 and sunny — but I'll be in a final round of meetings before heading home this afternoon. So, I apologize for insufficient attention to blogging tasks. Some thoughts before I close follow. Yours are welcome on this all-day/night line.
* VETERANS DAY: I have a few more things to say this week about relocation of the veterans center to an abandoned Main Street building, but mostly turn the floor over to Dr. Tina McClain of the VA, with a helpful reminder that veterans are people with individual needs, not a collective burden on society, whatever U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin might prefer you to think.
* TWITS: How Twitter is changing politics. The GOP, naturally, has the current edge in using micromessaging on Twitter to drive story lines. 140 characters can't fully or fairly depict a candidate's stance on, for example, a pipeline or abortion. Doesn't matter. Republican messaging has always been black/white. You support guns anywhere anytime anyplace and of any killing capacity or you don't. Yes/No. Black/White. Twitter spinning has boiled this process down further to almost entirely a binary choice — are you one of us? (and the Republican identifiers are well known) or not? It is funny to see this binary process being applied currently in some Republican primary races for Arkansas legislature, not to mention the race for president. (Up in Northwest Arkansas, Rep. Tim Summers of Bentonville, who's running for Senate, has for example taken the common-sense approach that signing sweeping pledges is a game he won't play. It's irresponsible to say you'd NEVER vote for a tax, or make some unbreakable commitment relative to changing rules of legislative expenses, or vow to always punish gay people or whatever. Circumstances change. If Grover Norquist or some brush arbor preacher waving a pledge wants to control or pre-empt a vote, let them run. Summers' opponent, a Pavlovian Republican who'd like to pre-identify and declare all votes before bills are even introduced, is making hay.)
* CALL THE COPPERS: Last word before I head to the airport — the Pulaski sheriff's office has filed a couple of reports on copper ripped from mechanical systems at the closed Oak Grove High School.