by Max Brantley
The Monday night line is open. Final items:
* CONSPIRACY WATCH: The latest wackjob alarum, over the White River Blueway, will come before Arkansas legislative committees at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Big Mac. Happily, some do-gooders (including the Arkansas Citizens First Congress) will attempt to dispel some the nuttiness surrounding this topic. Good luck with that. Said the Congress:
Recently, extremist groups have been circulating misinformation claiming that the designation will allow the federal government to seize their lands under eminent domain, or that landowners will face strict regulations governing use of their own property and water. This is simply not true.
The Blueway designation simply provides for partnerships between federal and local governments and groups and individuals within the White River Watershed for voluntary conservation efforts. It will also foster economic development of the area by providing funding for fish hatcheries, erosion prevention efforts, and additional resources for the state to keep the river healthy and beautiful.
There is nothing in the order which affects property rights or water rights in any way.
* IRS TARGETED LIBERALS, TOO: The IRS watch for putative nonprofits seeking tax-exempt status to promote political agendas wasn't limited to the Tea Party lookout. New information indicates key words for IRS scrutiny also included "progressive," "occupy" and "Israel."
* IMMIGRATION REFORM: The Senate, in a strong bipartisan vote, defeated filibuster of an immigration reform bill 67-27. The right-wing Republican House isn't likely to be so friendly. A good indication is Sen./Dr. No Boozman's vote for the filibuster, with the hardest of the hard right.