by Max Brantley
Still more stuff to roundup this morning;
* LAKE CONWAY: POLLUTED OR NOT: Exxon Mobil, given broad control over just about everything related to the major pipeline oil spill in Mayflower, has put out daily communiques saying Lake Conway, a prime fishing lake has not been affected. KATV reports on a biologist finding oil-covered snakes in Lake Conway tailwater. Does that mean the oil has reached connected waters?
"For me, simply as a biologist, when I look at that whether it's tail water area or not it's in areas that are connected to the lake," Dr. Cash added about Exxon's stance that oil isn't in the water.
Not to worry. Just ask U.S. Rep. Tin Griffin. Pipelines are not hazardous.
* NONE DARE CALL IT AN OIL SPILL: Also on the Mayflower spill of heavy Canadian tar sands effluent. Stephen Colbert works out on the finding that Exxon doesn't have to pay into an environmental risk fund for this nasty stuff because it isn't oil. Nor is the diluted bitumen that will be pushed through the Tim Griffin Memorial Keystone XL Pipeline.
* MARK PRYOR'S ALLIANCE WITH THE NRA: I've noted before Sen. Mark Pryor's alliance with the NRA on legislation supposedly aimed at reducing gun purchases by the mentally ill. The NRA favor reduced gun purchases? Hard to credit, but Pryor's staff insists this is a gun control measure. An article by Paul Barton for USA Today finds more skeptics:
The Center for American Progress said its own analysis showed the Pryor-Graham bill would weaken rather than strengthen protections against the mentally ill getting guns.
"The NRA has presented (the legislation) as a bill to strengthen background checks, but in fact, it weakens background checks. If it passes, it will become easier — not harder — for dangerously mentally ill people to buy guns," the center said.
That's because, the group said, another section of the bill spells out conditions under which persons considered mentally ill would no longer fall under that label, especially those released from treatment.
* WHEN SEN. JON WOODS SAYS IT'S NOT ABOUT PAYDAY LENDING .... Why does Republican Sen. Jon Woods of Springdale have to lie? Why does he have to say his bill to let the legislature define interest (probably unconstitutionally) isn't about payday lending? If it passes, he — or an ally — will be back with a measure he's tried before to increase the cap on small loans to re-open the door to bloodsucking payday lenders in Arkansas. That's what Wood's financial benefactors want and that's what he'll get if he has his way. Just tell the damn truth, senator.