Archive for Arkansas – Page 2

What I will not write about today



Sometimes I get so frustrated and/or disheartened and/or annoyed by some of the news stories of the day that I can’t bring myself to write about them. Here are a few recent reports that made my blood pressure hit the roof. I am avoiding delving into them at length out of concern for my physical and mental health.

Actually, I did write about one of them: Gun background check plan fails in Senate 54-46. Here are statements from NRA, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and VIDEO: #Newtown parent, Obama on failure to pass gun violence law: “Gun lobby & its allies willfully lied about the bill.”

Here are the others that drove me to drink:

See what I mean? So who’s up for a couple of Margs or a trough of wine?

soon to be a drunk mess


Asa Hutchinson, former GOP congressman who led NRA School Task Force, is running for governor of Arkansas


lawrence o'donnell asa hutchinson

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Lawrence O'Donnell:

I am looking at the members now. RBT Solutions is a company, there are 13 members of your task force, five of them work for that same company. Another company that is not listed on here, six people are affiliated with, command consulting group. RBT Solutions is actually in the business, isn't it, of training school security officers? They would make money, a lot of money, if these recommendations that they voted for on your task force were actually carried out?


Well, I doubt that. they're actually -- they do work primarily for overseas military is my understanding.


So is it your understanding no one is involved in the task force that's involved with any company that would in any way profit from the recommendation made by this report if it was carried out nationally?


I don't think so.


And how much were you and the task force members paid for this work?


Well, we're not going to provide you with a line by line.


Why wouldn't you do that, congressman?


Because it is none of your business, primarily.


If you're submitting a report to be evaluated as an independent report, and you're being paid by the people who you are giving the report to, the credibility of the report rests on a lot of things, including that payment relationship. So I would like to ask you, how much did the National Rifle Association pay you individually to do this, and are they still paying you?


Lawrence, let me tell you, I compiled this group of experts to provide the report. Have you read the 252 page report?


Yes, I have, it is right here on my desk. If there's any page you want to refer to, I am happy to go straight to it.

That man, Asa Hutchinson, the one in the video who was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell, has now announced that he is running for governor of Arkansas:

(CNN) Asa Hutchinson, the former Republican congressman who helmed the National Rifle Association's task force on school safety, said Wednesday he was formally jumping into the race for Arkansas governor.

 tweet asa hutchinson run for gov


I wonder how much it will cost the NRA to buy his election.

Current Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe beat him in 2006.

You remember Asa, right? He was one of the managers (prosecutors) during the Senate impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in 1998.


VIDEO snarkitude: "Exxon has revolutionized the way fuel gets to YOU! We'll pump that s*** right down your driveway."


oil spills via andy cobb exxon

Chris Hayes covered yet another toxic oil mess in this video: Arkansas pipeline rupture foreshadows devastating environmental impact, but Exxon won’t pay taxes to cleanup fund.


Three days after an Exxon pipeline in Central Arkansas burst and soaked the town of Mayflower in thousands of barrels of crude oil, the cleanup is ongoing. At last count, 12,000 barrels of tar sands oil and water have been dumped on the small town.

So it goes without saying that my buddy Andy Cobb was all over it. He produces videos o' snarkitude like nobody else. Watch, laugh, enjoy...

exxon oil andy cobb

"Exxon has revolutionized the way fuel gets to YOU! We'll pump that s*** right down your driveway."

"Wherever you're going, we're already there."

Andy did it again. That. Was. Awesome.

exxon oil andy cobb 2

Via HeavyCrudeVideo:

America's oil industry is terribly misunderstood. When a lot of people hear "364 pipeline spills in 2012" they think it's a big mess, like a nearly realized advent calendar of crap. What they fail to see is a revolutionary energy distribution system about to achieve NATIONWIDE COVERAGE.

And remember, that's not just gas or oil flowing through the streets of Arkansas--it's dilbit, the thick toxic hydrocarbon stew produced by tarsands. So roam wherever, and take your energy source with you! That s--t is sticky as hell, it's not like you're going to be able to get it off.

Writer/Director: Andy Cobb
Producer: Mike Damanskis
Production Assistant: Ric Rosario

Music by Kevin MacLeod & LP
Thank you to The Second City and Mark Bade


Obama Hints at Approval of Keystone XL Pipeline at SF Fundraiser, Blames Middle Class Priorities


tar sands oil handful

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Yesterday I posted a video: AR pipeline rupture foreshadows devastating environmental impact, but Exxon won’t pay taxes to cleanup fund, and before that I covered the lunacy of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline (scroll) over and over again.

As you can see from the Maddow Show video above, so did Rachel. Please watch the entire segment, and then call or write your Congress members and the White House.

And with that, your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

While President Obama didn't address the Keystone XL Pipeline directly at a San Francisco fundraiser on Wednesday, he did give a hint that political reality – or his perception of it -- will compel him to approve it. 

At the home of a pro-green, anti Keystone XL Pipeline billionaire, Obama set up an excuse for approval:

He said, "The politics of this are tough."

“[T]he thing that I’m going to have to try to work to persuade the American people a little more convincingly on is this notion that there’s a contradiction between our economy and our environment is just a false choice,” Obama said at a San Francisco fundraiser.

“If we invest now, we will create jobs, we will create entire new industries; other countries will be looking to catch up, they will be looking to import what we do,” Obama said at one of two fundraisers supporting Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee efforts to retake the House next year.

Obama’s remarks came at the home of billionaire Tom Steyer, a major supporter of green energy and climate initiatives who is planning to play an active role in the 2014 elections.

Obama said earth’s temperature probably isn’t the “number one concern” for workers who haven’t seen a raise in a decade; have an underwater mortgage; are spending $40 to fill their gas tank, can’t afford a hybrid car, and face other challenges.

The remarks of the president didn't mention Keystone, but given the recent State Department Report -- written with input from pipeline consultants -- that gave the project a green light, Obama appears to be preparing even a billionaire opponent for the inevitable: approval of the southern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline because of "the politics." [...]

Oddly, Obama called for Congress and others to educate the middle class and America about climate change, but except for some remarks in his recent State of the Union, the president himself has done little to dispel the myths about the so-called positive aspects of the pipeline.

For example, it will only create a few thousand short-term jobs more or less.  Furthermore, the tar sand extraction process in Canada is what will cause the devastating impact on carbon release, not the pipeline itself.  It is the Keystone XL Pipeline that will facilitate, at a lower transportation cost, the transfer of this heavy oil to Houston thus making it profitable to proceed with its environmentally disastrous production. Furthermore, the oil is not directed at lowering US gas prices.  It will be sold on the world spot market to the highest bidders, whoever will provide the biggest profits to the oil companies.

Yesterday, BuzzFlash at Truthout posted the commentary: "President Obama: If 'XL Pipeline Is Harmless to Environment' as Your State Department Claims, Then Explain Exxon-Mobil's Tar Sands Pipeline Rupture-Evacuation in Arkansas"

Please read the entire post here.

maddow oil tar sands


VIDEO: AR pipeline rupture foreshadows devastating environmental impact, but Exxon won't pay taxes to cleanup fund


oil spill tar sands arkansas

exxon ad

MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes started out with a bang, or in this case, a toxic gush. Thank you Chris, for this reporting in your very first segment on your premier show:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy executive director May Boeve:

Tar sands oil has the highest carbon content of any oil that we know of. And right now, the spill we’re seeing in Arkansas is a devastating problem. And the real shocker about it … is that this pipeline carries one tenth of what the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would carry.”


Three days after an Exxon pipeline in Central Arkansas burst and soaked the town of Mayflower in thousands of barrels of crude oil, the cleanup is ongoing. At last count, 12,000 barrels of tar sands oil and water have been dumped on the small town.

To repeat, there is a Keystone XL tar sands pipeline fight exploding (behind the scenes) because way too many of our elected officials are woefully shortsighted. The tar sands pipeline would bring the dirtiest oil on earth through America, it would create very few long term jobs, gas prices would increase, dependence on foreign oil would not lessen, and Bill McKibben and NASA’s Jim Hansen both warn that it would be “essentially game over for the climate” if this crackpot project gets the go-ahead.

This on top of the recent Shell oil rig disaster continues to make us wonder what it would take to open some eyes of fossil fuel devotees, especially in light of a new poll showing nearly half in the U.S. say the government should do more to protect environment.


Apparently, none of this matters to Exxon, though. Think Progress:

A technicality has spared Exxon from having to pay any money into the fund that will be covering most of the clean up costs of its Arkansas pipeline spill.

And don't get me started about BP bragging about how they've helped the gulf coast. But hey! They're committed to America and tourism is up!

bp adBP we care


VIDEO: "You can't ban abortion. Roe v. Wade, right?" Tell Arkansas, where they just passed an unconstitutional law.


abortion ban arkansas

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Rachel Maddow:

There is something slightly inexplicable going on in the great state of Arkansas right now. The Republican-controlled legislature in Arkansas has just passed back-to-back unconstitutional bans on abortion.

You can't ban abortion. Roe v. Wade, right?

Arkansas' Democratic governor Mike Beebe vetoed both of the bans. No so much because he's pro-choice, he actually has a mixed record on the subject. No, he has vetoed the bills because, dude, they are blatantly unconstitutional.

Quote: "The adoption of blatantly unconstitutional laws can be very costly to the taxpayers of our state." 

Well, today after already overriding the governor's veto of the first ban, the Arkansas senate voted to override his veto of the second even stricter abortion ban. If the house also votes to override the veto, the ACLU naturally has already promised that costly lawsuit that the governor was talking about in his veto messages... ...It is all but a forgone conclusion that the state will lose that lawsuit.

Guess what, Rachel, the New York Times has an update:

The law was passed by the newly Republican-controlled legislature over the veto of Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, who called it “blatantly unconstitutional.” On Tuesday the state Senate voted to override his veto by a vote of 20 to 14; on Wednesday the House enacted the bill into law by a vote of 55 to 33, with several Democrats joining the Republican majority. [...]

Adoption of the law, called the “Human Heartbeat Protection Act,” is the first statewide victory for a restless emerging faction within the anti-abortion movement that has lost patience with the incremental whittling away at abortion rights — the strategy of established groups like National Right to Life and the Catholic Church while they wait for a more sympathetic Supreme Court. [...]

Last weekend, a number of Democrats “got worked over” by constituents who support stringent anti-abortion measures, said Representative Greg Leding, 27, a Democrat and House minority leader.

Rita Sklar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, said “ It shows an utter disregard for women and their ability to make important personal decisions about their own reproductive health.”


...Also, the legislature can go on record as having tried to illegally ban abortion, even though they all know that is not a thing they are allowed to do. Apparently nothing is a waste of money when it comes to making the same point ever more emphatically in anti-abortion Republican politics.


VIDEO: Women's rights under attack by anti-abortion extremists


tiller cartoon anti-abortionabortion clinics maddow show

Previously I posted two must-watch videos here: Despite murder threats by anti-abortion extremists, new clinic aims to serve Kansas women.

Here are the next two from Rachel Maddow who clearly and urgently delineates the War on Women in states that are doing away with women's ability to access reproductive health services.

Sure, Roe v. Wade is still around, and women have a constitutional right to an abortion, but that doesn't mean conservatives in several states aren't making that nearly impossible, and defunct, by requiring clinics to do things clinics just cannot do.

Please watch all the segments we've made available in both posts. This is about as disturbing as it gets for women's rights as “illegal, violent, threatening behavior” and obstacles to medical programs continue under the protection of state laws. Harassing and intimidating easy female targets, hostility and scare tactics aimed at physicians and other personnel, are all working, although they are being bravely resisted and outmaneuvered when possible.

Clinics are closing, health services are disappearing, and women are being deprived of care as well as their rights.

Happy 40th, Roe:

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abortion roe v wade 40th planned parenthood