by Max Brantley
The morning report:
* SUPPORT FOR IMMIGRANTS: The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce has annouced it supports Sen. Joyce Elliott's legislation to allow in-state tuition for children of immigrants who lack legal status. The chamber joins Gov. Mike Beebe, a previous opponent of the proposal. The bill covers students who are Arkansas high school graduates who have spent at least three years in Arkansas schools. Republican opposition to the plan has been great enough, to date, to stymie the measure, which has failed in previous sessions.
* TINY TIM GRIFFIN: Of course he is an apologist for Exxon Mobil in the pipeline spill in Mayflower and he continues to exaggerate to the point of nearly criminal dishonesty about the jobs to be created by the Keystone XL pipeline he's shamelessly flogging for his financial patrons like the Koch brothers. 20,000 jobs in construction? Right. He also lies in saying Keystone will reduce dependency in the U.S. on foreign oil. The pipeline will ship Canadian petroleum to China.
* MORE PIPELINE NEWS: Happily, many anti-Tim Griffins are at work. These include the Tar Sands Blockade, which isn't as sanguine as Tiny Tim about pushing asphalt sludge diluted with dangerous chemicals through pipelines that run under residential subdivisions. In this post, the blockade reports unhappily about how Exxon Mobil is attempting to close the disaster scene to the wrong kinds of people. Like environmental activists. Points to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel for reacting sharply to Exxon's assertion that this really isn't a big deal. It's pretty big to those dislocated families and sick people in Mayflower.
* PLEASE, SHUT THE HUCK UP: Of course Mike Huckabee will peddle anything to build audience among the wackjobs that he attracts. Such as an Obama plan to seize guns to install a Nazi-style dictatorship. Shameful.
* BREAD AND CIRCUSES: Great story about a seemingly out-of-control football program at Auburn University. Something tells me fact situations there are not unique in the SEC and beyond.
* SHADES OF NICK, BEEBE AND MORRIL; Just like the bad old days, the special language subcommittee of Joint Budget can be a legal authority all to itself. I read in Democrat-Gazette that Sen. Johnny Key used it to achieve what the normal commitee system wouldn't provide, an enormous financial windfall to the scam known as virtual charter schooling. This is a highly profitable endeavor for private business by which money equivalent to state support for brick-and-mortar real schools is shipped to a private agency that provides assistance to home schoolers as if they have gyms, cafeterias, buses and full curicula like real schools. Thanks to Key's sleight-of-hand in special language, legislation is now alive to ship this windfall to the private agency in an amount equivalent to state support for 2,500 students in real schools, compared with the current limit of 500. This is a $12 million windfall for the sellers of this crapola, not so much to students themselves.
* WALMART WOES: The Arkansas retailer getting unflattering attention today in the New York Times.
Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer and grocer, has cut so many employees that it no longer has enough workers to stock its shelves properly, according to some employees and industry analysts. Internal notes from a March meeting of top Walmart managers show the company grappling with low customer confidence in its produce and poor quality. “Lose Trust,” reads one note, “Don’t have items they are looking for — can’t find it.”
On a strictly personal note, I was happy about Walmart's arrival with a neighborhood market near my house because it's on my way home from work and handy for a fill-in stop. Kroger ruined the neighborhood outlet I once shopped at regularly, but Edwards, farther away, has proved a more than adequate substitute for weekly shopping. But the Walmart has been a disappointment, particularly in the understocked and often tired produce and meat departments.