by Max Brantley
A roundup to start this rainy Saturday morning:
* BECAUSE NO CONGRESSMAN USES A HEAD START CENTER: Administrators of Head Start agencies received word yesterday that budgets for the remainder of this fiscal year would be reduced 5.27 percent and that agencies could expect a similar cut in the 2014 budget barring action by Congress. Head Start is suffering as most other agencies are from Republican refusal to accept a mix of budget cuts and tax increases to keep the government operating at previous levels. The Republican prefer cuts, except at the FAA, which speeds their jets home from Washington. Head Start? Just poor kids in their formative years. Who cares? Some 10,000 real children in Arkansas are affected by strangling of Head Start.
* REPUBLICANS PUSH FOR GAY RIGHTS: You read that headline correctly. The New York Times reports on a new Republican-financed interest group, the American Unity Fund, that has played a role with key Republican swing votes in moving Rhode Island toward expected legislative approval of gay marriage.
Founded and financed by some of the country’s leading Republican fund-raisers and strategists, the fund expects to raise up to $7 million this year, officials said. The fund’s organizers include Paul E. Singer and Clifford S. Asness, libertarian-leaning New York investors; David Herro, a prominent Chicago money manager; and Seth Klarman, a billionaire Boston philanthropist and hedge fund manager.
“The concept of gay unions fits very well within our framework of individual liberty and our belief that strong families make for a stronger society,” Mr. Singer said in an e-mail. “The institution of marriage is in very bad shape in this country, yet gay and lesbian couples want very much to be a part of it, to live as committed husbands and wives with their children in traditional family units. This should be what we want as conservatives, for people to cherish and respect this model and to want it for themselves.”
The fund is one of several advocacy organizations backed by wealthy Republicans and business leaders to shift their party’s stance in recent months on issues like immigration and same-sex marriage. And the new effort traces a rift between Republican elites and grass-roots voters over a handful of hot-button social issues that one group views as handcuffing the party and the other sees as essential to its identity.
I don't look for them in Arkansas soon. It is official Arkansas Republican dogma to support legal discrimination in adoption, marriage, employment and family benefits against gay people. But still.
* ROGER WILCO: CRIMINALS COMMUNICATE: Fox 16 reports on the frequent use of simple two-way radios and police scanners by criminals. Such radios were involved in the car burglary this week that led to the police shooting of a suspect.