by Max Brantley
It's open. Some odds and ends:
* TERRIFYING: Fort Smith police arrested a man today near the U.S. attorney's office who said he came to talk about government corruption — in possession of several guns, ammo and, according to a Twitter post, a drum of gas. 40/29 following the story.
* SALINE COUNTY SAGAS: More from the roiling political world of Saline County, this time not the Real Housewives of Bryant edition. Here a lawyer complains about an investigation of his client, a bingo hall operator (whose charity beneficiaries included deaf Hondurans), and a seemingly fair political question about the local prosecutor's wife running to be judge of the district court in which the prosecutor's office presents cases.
* EARTHLY GOODS: Another report of a church plundered of copper wiring and air conditioning parts, a Methodist Church in Hensley.
* WHADDYA EXPECT?: Thieves shot a man who reported stopping for car trouble near 34th and Battery, then stole his car. The car was abandoned about a mile away, Channel 4 reports. Floydell Bibbs was shot in the face and leg, but said to be recovering.
Note 1: several readers asked about my position on the health care exchange. I was an early supporter of the Affordable Care Act as well as setting up a state-run exchange. I continue to support ACA and a state-run exchange. Several weeks ago, I signed an amicus brief in support of ACA, along with two other legislators from Arkansas. The State Republican party issued a press release critical of Sen. Joyce Elliott, Majority Leader Johnnie Roebuck and me for supporting it. My response was abbreviated in Saturday’s paper, but I said that while I was speaking for myself, I was also speaking for the scores of constituents and millions of Americans who need affordable health care. Additionally, I cast a vote last Friday in favor of the Department of Insurance retaining a grant in their budget so that we may have state control in at least some aspects of the exchange. If there is going to be an exchange, I don’t understand why we wouldn’t want the state to have a say-so.
Note 2: yesterday, someone in my party spoke in a derogatory manner about Minority Leader John Burris’s former employment as a manager of a fast food restaurant. As one who managed a fast food restaurant when I started out in the hospitality industry, I took offence to this. Managing a fast food restaurant is not easy. One has to balance many issues, as well as employees and customers. Additionally, I find dignity and value in hard work and honest work. Managing a fast food restaurant is both.