by Max Brantley
Sorry, folks. I've been working on a project and away from blogging duties. Finishing up:
* ANOTHER CANDIDATE FOR TREASURER: Doug Thompson of the Northwest Arkansas newspapers says Rep. Duncan Baird is thinking about a race for state treasurer. Dare I say it? A Republican worth serious consideration for statewide office? Certainly better than this goober, Dennis "What We Need is Another 9/11" Milligan. Check out Dennis and Elvis.
* ABORTION WITCH HUNT DENIED: Sens. Jason "Vaginal Probe" Rapert and Gary Stubblefield asked Attorney General Dustin McDaniel for an official opinion on whether the FOI allows release of Health Department records on abortion providers. Of course it does not, McDaniel responded in great and specific detail. I'm surprised the anti-women crusaders didn't seek names of women who have ended pregnancies or, in Rapert's preferred term, "killed innocent babies."
* CAUTION: ROAD WORK AHEAD: The city of Little Rock sends notice that work to replace a collapsed culvert on River Mountain Road will continue for 30 days. All pedestrian, bike and vehicle access will be prohibited between the River Mountain Road boat ramp area east to the new Two Rivers Pedestrian Bridge for the remainder of this phase of the construction project, the city said in a news release. Persons wishing to access the new pedestrian bridge and River Trail may still do so from Two Rivers Park on County Farm Road or from the Big Dam Bridge area on Rebsamen Park Road.
* MORE MOVIES AT THE LIBRARY: Beginning May 1, the Central Arkansas Library System will allow you to check out up to 10 DVDs at a time and keep new-release movies for up to seven days. DVDs accounted for 24 percent of total circulation in 2012.
* G.W. BUSH: LOOKING BETTER IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR: With the George W. Bush presidential library set to open in Dallas, CNN has done a poll that says people are looking a bit more favorably on his disastrous presidency.
Forty-two percent now say his presidency was a success, up 11 points since a CNN poll in January 2009, during his final days in office. Fifty-five percent of those questioned say Bush's presidency was a failure, down 13 percentage points since 2009. Success?
* HUCKABUCK: A Florida developer will get some federal prison time for making illegal campaign contributions to Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign. The Huckster wasn't implicated in the scheme, just his fan.
I rise today to express grave doubts about the Obama Administration’s counterterrorism policies and programs. Counterterrorism is often shrouded in secrecy, as it should be, so let us judge by the results. In barely four years in office, five jihadists have reached their targets in the United States under Barack Obama: the Boston Marathon bomber, the underwear bomber, the Times Square Bomber, the Fort Hood shooter, and in my own state—the Little Rock recruiting office shooter. In the over seven years after 9/11 under George W. Bush, how many terrorists reached their target in the United States? Zero! We need to ask ‘why is the Obama Administration failing in its mission to stop terrorism before it reaches its targets in the United States?’”
Cotton apparently claimed there'd been ZERO attacks under George W. Bush. Wow.
Holding Barack Obama responsible for, among others, actions by U.S. citizens who include members of the armed services seems a little bit of a stretch. But how dishonest was it to date George W. Bush's perfect counterterrorism work AFTER the most devastating attack ever on the U.S., an attack forecast in intelligence Bush had received? Cotton also forgot or willfully ignored the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, a foreigner who came on an airplane with plans to kill during the Bush administration. He also ignored the successful interventions that have occurred. The Times Square bombing was foiled, by the way. It was nakedly dishonest opportunism by a politician who's capable of saying just about anything. He and Nate Bell should compare notes.
I wish we could have a 100 percent counterterrorism record. But the reality is that crude means are readily at hand by which people grown disturbed can cause mass casualties — including the easy availability of semi-automatic weapons with large magazines, a trade Tom Cotton does not want to restrict. I wish somebody could guarantee foolproof security. I don't think they can.