Three down, two to go. The line is open. Final thoughts:
* THE SOUTH HAS RISEN AGAIN: A couple of articles in Salon of note, with similar themes. One is an interview with a liberal economist who thinks the Tea Party has deposed the ruling elite in Washington and is set to avenge the South’s loss of the Civil War. Then there’s David Sirota with an article, “Right-wing coup: Deluded secessionists have already won.” Who needs to secede when a small minority of the populace can dictate actions of the House and Senate and, thus, the country?
* TOM COTTON’S PANTS ARE STILL ON FIRE: Another independent fact-checker ranks a Tom Cotton claim as “false” — this one about the lack of privacy in online health marketplaces. And this is kind of funny: An Arkansas Democratic Party quiz on who said it, Too Extreme Tom Cotton or Wackjob Allen West? Spoiler alert: Cotton’s as bad as West.
* VOTER SUPPRESSION RULES GET APPROVAL: Rules for the new voter ID law, a national Republican strategy to suppress the vote of Democratically inclined voter segments, were approved by the majority-Republican Legislative Council today. A lawsuit challenging the law is very close to the filing point. The ACLU and the Arkansas Public Law Center, a group in which I participate, are cooperating on the legal challenge.
* STAY SOUGHT IN FEDERAL MAYFLOWER SPILL LAWSUIT: Because the government shutdown has caused furloughs of lawyers, the government is seeking a delay in the lawsuit with the state of Arkansas over the Exxon Mobil pipeline spill of tar sands in Mayflower.
* THE HON. STEVE WOMACK HAS HAD ENOUGH: Turns out Rep. Steve Womack was acting as speaker when Rep. Allen Grayson began a stemwinder on the low state of Congress, including a reference to an opinion poll that found the public rated Congress lower than hemorrhoids, toenail fungus and dog poop. Womack cut him off. I think Grayson had a point. You can watch it on video here.
* LAYOFFS COMING: Gov. Mike Beebe put out word today that federally funded state workers can expect furloughs soon because of the federal budge crisis created by House Republicans. Send thank you notes to Tom, Tim and Rick.