Attacking the press
Criticizing the press is nothing new in American politics. However, what we are seeing from this president and his administration is on a whole new level. While we should always hold the media to be accountable and honest, lambasting respected and credible news outlets as "fake news" simply because they are asking tough questions is not only childish, but also dangerous. Democracies need an active and free press. If the public trust in the free press erodes, then it will be a less effective check on those in power. The president of the United States tweeted on Feb. 17 that the media is the enemy of the American people. This is not normal in functional democracies. Not since President Nixon have we seen such animus from a president toward the press, and even he saved his more colorful comments for private conversation rather than through a medium like Twitter. If anything, President Trump should follow the example of a different Republican president, Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt understood the importance, and the utility, of the press. My only fear is that President Trump will take the phrase "bully pulpit" too literally.
From the web
In response to the Feb. 20 Arkansas Blog post "Senate defeats resolutions on amendments to prohibit same-sex marriage and ban abortion":
It is something of a comfort to know that at least 17 Arkansas legislators have better sense than Rapert.
Seems folks are figuring out that Stanley is one costly dude.
Why do we keep allowing these idiots to be voted into office? Oh my God, get rid of him and Tom Cotton and start over.
I'm scared Rapert will bully his way with those senators who didn't vote today and actually pass his terrible resolution. The resolutions are terrible in themselves, but holding a constitutional convention would be a complete disaster. Every ultra-right-wing activist would try to insert their perverse ideology on the whole country and there are enough Republican legislatures to get it done.
Guess he doesn't realize that abortion is self-defense for girls and women. After all, pregnancy and birthing causes much pain, usually injury that sometimes can be permanent and potential death (800 plus a year just in the U.S. die!).
They are defending themselves, as surely as they would be if they used a gun to shoot someone that was threatening them.
In response to the Feb. 20 Arkansas Blog post "Campus carry deal: Anyone over 25 can carry, with training":
Utter insanity. So now any hotdog, wannabe cop can sit through a class and then patrol our campuses carrying deadly force? Dammit, all the other students, parents, faculty and administrators who oppose this ought to have a louder voice than this handful of idiotic, NRA-butt-sucking fools in the legislature! For God's sake, Arkansas, punish these jackasses at the next election!
What could possibly go wrong?
Why should college campuses be the only safe place? I think people should be allowed to carry weapons in the state Capitol. Mr. Collins et al. should be safe, too!
Quid pro quo
Amen on being allowed to carry weapons in the Capitol. What's the old saying — what's good for the goose is good for the gander? The fools in the legislature are the truly scary ones.
Welp, I guess we'll have to start carrying dildos in our holsters, too ... .
In response to the Feb. 17 Arkansas Blog post "Gov. Hutchinson: 'Concerns' on using National Guard for immigration enforcement":
Don't give Asa too much credit for any "moderate" view. He's not disavowing the illegal nature of putting troops into the streets to ask folks for "their papers" or conduct searches and make arrests. He's basically saying the Arkansas Guard is too busy.
"During my time at Homeland Security, we utilized National Guard partnerships for specific responsibilities along the border, so the concept is fine."
It's a false equivalency to compare previous guard border observation/surveillance missions with troops making arrests in downtown Little Rock.
Setting aside the legalities of federalizing troops, what about making targets out of military personnel in uniform? The Hispanic population in many areas is already a bit perturbed with law enforcement in general. Our folks in uniform are already on a heightened state of alertness when outside their own homes. People thinking they might apprehend someone would only make their sense of uneasiness worse, especially when going into areas that are predominately Hispanic. That said, I don't think there's a chance in the world our Guard would be used in such a manner.