Razorback Madness

The politicians from my native state of Arkansas are embarrassing me again. And themselves. And the country. If this keeps up, I may have to create a new blog category just for them.

Last week, Teabagger Tom Cotton, freshman US Senator, penned a letter to Iran. The explicit purpose of said letter was to sabotage negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. It appears — at least for now — to have failed that mission, but it did succeed in detailing just how dysfunctional and divided our government has become. Cotton was, after all, able to get 46 of his fellow Republican Senators to co-sign the letter. Several of those 46 have since expressed second thoughts, but the damage is done.

The whole world now knows that the US Republican Party will go to any lengths to torpedo any potential accomplishments by our current preznit. These negotiations have the stated goal of preventing Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons, a goal shared by pretty much every country on the planet. But, for purely partisan reasons, the Republicans have declared the deal “bad.” The rest of the civilized world knows the Republicans have not read the deal they have declared “bad” because no deal has yet been written, and may never be. Negotiations for a deal, however, continue.

Meanwhile, Teabagger Tom has become the latest right-wing media darling. What the rest of the world sees as scoring an own goal, counts as victory for his conservative base. He showed that nigger in the White House a thing or two.

Cotton has the zombie-eyed look of the true believer, the zealot, and his actions thus far in Congress reflect that.

While in the House in 2013, Cotton introduced an amendment to prosecute the relatives of those who violated sanctions on Iran, saying that his proposed penalties of up to 20 years in prison would “include a spouse and any relative to the third degree,” including “parents, children, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandparents, great grandparents, grandkids, great grandkids.” Forget about the fact that the Constitution expressly prohibits “corruption of blood” penalties — just consider that Cotton wanted to take someone who had violated sanctions and imprison their grandchildren. Needless to say, this deranged piece of legislation was too much even for Republicans to stomach, and it went nowhere.

Hoo boy, that’s some crazy shit, right there, so of course it’s got people thinking Cotton’s name belongs on a national ticket.

Indeed, a legislator in his home state of Arkansas has just introduced a bill that would allow Cotton to run for both re-election to his Senate seat and for president in 2020.

Ah, the Arkansas State Legislature. The minor leagues of modern conservatism. Which brings me to this story about State Representative Justin Harris. Another true believer, the “good Christian” kind, that uses his position in the legislature to pressure the Department of Human Services to approve he and his wife’s adoption of three troubled little girls, even though the DHS told them they wouldn’t be able to handle the girls special needs. And when the DHS predictions proved true, the Harrises gave them away re-homed the girls. With a child molester.

And it gets worse. Apparently Representative Justin Harris and his wife Marsha are both nuttier than squirrel shit.

According to Goldsborough, the two girls were kept in separate rooms that were outfitted with locks, alarms and video cameras. They were not allowed to be around each other because of the Harrises’ belief in demonic possession and telepathy, she said.

You really should read the whole story. It’s got all sorts of crazy; child abuse, political extortion, lots of lying and even exorcism of a 4-year old. To top it all off, the Harrises run a Christian day care center that, of course, collects state funds. Oh, Arkansas…

One thought on “Razorback Madness

  1. While I won’t read the story,,I do believe it. The GOP just lies to the sheep that listen. I want to relocate to California, and have heard EVERY reason not to. But this is one of the ones that pushes me west…
    From Daily KOS

    Sun Mar 15, 2015 at 09:44 AM PDT

    A Tale of Three States: California, Kansas, and Florida

    by SemDemFollow

    Robert Reich recently pointed out that if you listen to rightwing groups like the Tax Foundation, you would think California is a horrible place for business. These groups rank it in the top 10 worst due to “high cost” and “burdensome environmental regulations”. However, these same groups rank Sam Brownback’s Kansas as one of the best.

    Here’s the problem with that:

    Kansas is collapsing. In four short years, since the tea party takeover, Kansas has had three credit downgrades along with a billion-dollar budget deficit. They are struggling to fund basic services and their education system is hanging on by a thread, with cutbacks making it almost dead last in teacher quality, pay, student spending and pupil-teacher ratio. It’s so bad that REPUBLICAN state Sen. Wint Winter Jr. said Brownback’s tax cuts have been a “train wreck”.

    Yet while the Sunflower state is falling apart, the Eureka State is CRUSHING it.

    By any metric you use, California has become the best state in the union for investors. A great Democratic governor (Jerry Brown) and a Democratic-led legislature turned California around in four short years from a 27 billion dollar deficit disaster into a surplus and, according to Bloomberg, an absolute mecca for corporations! California companies in the S&P 500 have delivered returns of 134 percent! (No other state comes close.) These same companies outperformed the S&P 500 by a margin of 23%; and CA tech company sales account for 52% of all the tech sales in America.

    So how can California have some of the highest business taxes and regulations in America, and yet be the most successful? The answer is simple. California invested in itself!

    By cutting education, infrastructure development, and other vital social services, Kansas squandered the billions of dollars into paying for very wealthy people’s tax cuts on the zombie alter of the failed cult known as “trickle-down economics”. California, on the other hand, asked that its corporations contribute fairly and used the tax money to invest heavily in infrastructure, higher education, and research and development. Companies flocked to California and scored big. Also, as Reich points out, the environmental regulations not only didn’t hurt the economy, they EXPANDED it. Companies were driven to fuel innovation in the fast-growing field of renewable energy. Furthermore, California didn’t demonize immigrants, they welcomed them and gave undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses.

    California is once again leading the way.

    Rick Scott, of course, is aggressively trying to follow the disastrous Brownback model. He’s very lucky that our state has a lot of natural resources, great climate, and tourist attractions that help sustain us during disaster (like a hurricane or the current tea party legislature). However, he has done his damnest to hurt us.

    Scott pledged over $266,000,000.00 in tax breaks and incentives for the promise of 45,258 jobs, a large portion of which went to minimum wage jobs with annual salaries that don’t even break the poverty line.

    Public transportation is a complete joke in this state, and our roads are infamously clogged (unless you want to pay thousands in the extremely corrupted tolling agencies). Rick Scott cut over a billion in education spending and has led the attack on higher education. Scientists are held in very low regard by our state government. Our health care needs are huge, but thanks to Scott and the GOP refusing all subsidies for Medicaid, a a Florida citizen with kids needs to make UNDER $3200 A YEAR to qualify! Our pollution laws have been gutted, and our state is the most vulnerable to rising sea levels.

    Who the hell wants that? The people with skills you need for your company will go where they will be appreciated. Companies want to go somewhere that at least invests in basic infrastructure: a place where corporate employees can access public transportation and send their kids to receive reasonable k-12 education. Companies want access to a highly skilled labor force, not one where the citizens earn bottom-barrel wages (because that’s the overwhelming majority of jobs we have available here). They want a state where they can partner with top schools: Florida’s universities our not known for their academic standards as much as they are for their football teams.

    Also, since we now have legalized homicide with Stand Your Ground, anyone can claim they had a “reasonable fear” and shoot you in the face even if you are unarmed and minding your own business. OF COURSE you don’t want to live here. I DON’T want to live here either. And unless you are starting a company that just wants to exploit cheap labor, you aren’t going to move here either no matter how low our tax rate is. It is the same reason I don’t choose to live in a dilapidated condo on Orange Blossom Trail. It would save me a lot of money and I wouldn’t have to deal with homeowner’s association rules and fees, but there is something to be said about quality of life.

    I am told by my brainwashed conservative friends that California is terrible, but I don’t see boarded up storefronts in San Francisco. I see everyone with a living wage and healthcare. I see carefree and happy, which are two words that are never used to describe Kansas–and since 2010, Florida.

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