Here’s what’s up Monday morning:
1. House Speaker Davy Carter went on Roby Brock’s Talk Business program last night and flirted with logic, which made him seem brilliant in the context of his party’s behavior in this legislative session so far.
He said Medicaid expansion makes a lot of economic sense for Arkansas in the short term — if none for the federal government, he said — and we need to look at it carefully in the context — troubling, he said — of additional cash required from the state treasury after five or six years.
By the perverted Arkansas political model, anyone admitting Medicaid expansion makes economic sense — saving our hospitals and pouring federal dollars into our economy and getting more people insured for health care so we won’t have to eat their costs — is practically a gol-darned socialist.
Davy, Davy, Davy. You need to take those ideas out of Cabot and pop a beret on that hairdo and move to France or somewhere.
Oh, and Davy also indicated we’ll take the steel mill unless there’s some “red flag.” Always red with him, isn’t it?
Seriously, here’s what’s going to have to happen if logic is to prevail. After he plays along with his party’s neanderthals on guns and woman-hating and such, Carter will need to lead a dozen, maybe, in his party in a center-out coalition with the majority in 49-member Democratic caucus to effect Medicaid expansion. UPDATE: That’s wrong. 75 votes will require more than two-dozen Republicans. Will he have the courage? It’d probably ruin him in a statewide Republican primary for higher office. So he could go make some money in banking and take heart that he had helped his state and her people.
2. There’s a freshman Republican state representative from Hindsville, name of Bob Ballinger, who pronounced over the weekend at a gun rally that people in New York and Washington, the latter presumably the federal government, need to understand, for their “own safety,” that we in Arkansas are not going to give up our firearms.
When somebody seems to shake his fist at the United States of America, a country I love, then he needs to account. I’ve put in a call. I’ve made an open tweet, which he favorited.
As a practical matter, I would install the United States with its drones as an early favorite over backwoods Arkansawyers with their guns — if it comes to that, as perhaps it won’t.
I think the main issue is that a few people in Washington would like to make it harder for crazies to get rapid-fire weapons suitable for slaughtering children.
Ballinger replies to me my tweet query that that’s not exactly what he said, then adds, as if essentially to repeat what he said: “The point is there are many who would not surrender their firearms under any circumstances.”
I’m going to get him on the phone or run him down at the Capitol. Perhaps he is merely analyzing rather than seceding.
UPDATE: I have now spoken with Rep. Ballinger. He says he was speaking in “jest” and got a nice laugh from the audience that knew he wasn’t serious about people from the federal government being in peril, and that he is a “bad politician” to have not recognized the prospect of out-of-context publicity for his comment. His point, he said, is that there are some who would resist, though he is not one of them himself. His forthcoming bill, he said, will seek to establish that Arkansas will not abide by any “further restrictions” from the federal government on guns, seeing as how those violate the 2nd Amendment, but that the point will be to try to deter such federal action and provide a basis for litigation should further federal action occur. His position is that the 2nd Amendment keeps the federal government out of our personal arsenals, though he does acknowledge that, at some point, we must be “reasonable.” There is more, but I will save that for my online-only column Wednesday.
3. Mike Beebe is said by The Associated Press to be warming up to veto some stuff. ‘Bout time. The bad guys have scored 10 runs in the first inning and he’s just now getting up in the bullpen. I’m assuming he won’t veto anything by his best-bud ally, Jason Rapert.