Flail away. Final words:
* REFORM SCHOOL: The great Common Core debate ground on for a second day today at the Capitol, with more speakers this time around from the pro-side of the coin. One Republican legislator took note that the crowd diminished for the pro-Core lineup. Sure, the Tea Party zanies went home. This issue is proving as hard as I predicted to readily categorize in the normal binary Republican style — heroes and villains easily defined. Rep. Nate Bell marveled at a fine presentation presented in favor of the Common Core by a conservative. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m with the Billionaire Boys Club generally on this one. Gary Ritter, from the school reform machinery financed by the Waltons at UA, testified as a “neutral,” but with a reasonable presentation that, while acknowledging some concerns worth addressing, read mostly as an extinguisher for the flame-throwing of the most extreme opponents. Benjamin Hardy at the Arkansas Legislative Digest blog chronicles quite a bit of the proceedings.
* GO ALL THE WAY, REP. COTTON: Most of the congressional delegation from Arkansas today joined in announcing some grants to local airports. U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton chose not to participate, though the Mena Intermountain Airport in his district got $212,130 to rehabilitate a connector taxiway. Fine. But merely avoiding the news release isn’t enough to clean his hands of this wasteful spending. If this money isn’t good enough to take credit for, it’s not good enough to accept. Cotton should get with the county judge and whoever else is responsible and demand that the feds take that money back.
* MARRIAGE EQUALITY REJECTED: Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has again rejected the form of a proposed constitutional amendment to give marriage rights to same-sex couples.