by Max Brantley
The line is open. Closing out:
* EXECUTION LAW CHALLENGED: A new state law specifying drugs to be used in executions still doesn't meet constitutional muster, inmates have argued in a new lawsuit.
* MARK DARR DOES THE DELTA: Lt. Gov. Mark Darr served up a heaping dose of conservative blather in Blytheville yesterday, but played it coy about political plans for next year. Re-election? U.S. Senate? 4th District Congress? (Wrong locale for that last one.) The world hangs on the outcome.
* BIKE LANES FOR MAIN STREET: The city of Little Rock is going to hold a public meeting from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday at 1423 Main Street to discuss resurfacing and restriping Main from I-630 to Roosevelt from four lanes to three lanes with dedicated bike lanes. I like the idea and the good things that are happening along that stretch. But I heard today from at least one neighbor who says some aren't happy at their belief that the city is catering to elites (read whites) while delaying work and otherwise underemphasizing blighted (read majority black) neighborhoods. Perhaps they'll speak up Thursday.
* CHELSEA CLINTON PAYS A VISIT: The former president's daughter was in Little Rock today, in part to be honored by Ballet Arkansas for contributions to performing arts at a fund-raiser this evening. She spoke during the day to high school students at the Clinton library on a panel for Global Youth Service Day. Jessica Dean of Channel 4 will air an interview at 6 p.m. Clinton put out a tweet on the service event to her 147,000 Twitter followers, not too long after she distributed a "twitpic," a favorite photo (below) with her father, in honor of his joining the Twitterverse.
* NARAL RESPONDS TO ANTI-ABORTION CONGRESSMAN: NARAL, the abortion rights organization, in defending itself against a lie on the floor of Congress from an anti-abortion Republican, makes an important point. The effort to drive legitimate doctors and abortion clinics out of business inevitably creates the likes of Kermit Gosnell, a provider of illegal abortions, currently on trial for murder.
Today, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) took to the floor of the House of Representatives to attack NARAL Pro-Choice America by name for what he called “silence” on the case of Kermit Gosnell. Following is the statement of Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, on his remarks.
“It’s understandable — since we haven’t been on MTV yet — that Rep. Duffy may have missed us condemning Gosnell to the Washington Post, ABC News, USA Today, "Hardball with Chris Matthews," and The Huffington Post, just to name a few. So let me be loud and clear: Kermit Gosnell is a dangerous predator. He wouldn’t exist, couldn’t exist, without the work of Rep. Duffy and his friends in the anti-choice movement. Opponents of women’s rights have hounded safe, legal health providers halfway out of business and blocked women’s access to the quality care they need.
“The allegations against Gosnell are nothing short of horrific. His actions were reprehensible and illegal. What he did in his clinic was reminiscent of the pre-Roe v. Wade days of back-alley abortion. He took advantage of lax state oversight and desperate women whose options were limited by the relentless efforts of anti-choice lawmakers in Pennsylvania.
“Rep. Duffy should check his facts. We stand for the right of every woman to get safe, legal access to high-quality abortion care. We fight every day to protect that right. If Duffy and other anti-choice lawmakers had their way, abortion would be outlawed and there would be a Kermit Gosnell preying on women in every back alley in this country.”