Riff Raff: Observations, Muslims, gun ranges, and a Hill too far

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 768 views 

The lady who may run against Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson in the Republican primary owns a gun range in Hot Springs. She captured national news when she banned muslims from her gun range. The guy walking through the range entrance past any number of Arkansas’ best doctors, research scientists and entrepreneurs could have been the Vegas shooter. When’s that medical marijuana become available?

• Hated like hell to lose Tom Petty. He was the Dylan for a generation coming of age in the 80s and 90s. One of those guys who was as much a poet as a musician. I wouldn’t pass Trump’s IQ test because I had two chances to see Petty in concert and failed to attend both. If you want proof life isn’t fair, consider that Petty is dead and still alive is David Duke.

Take a few minutes and Google his song lyrics. You’ll wonder how he was in your head during your formative years. And in the other years.

The only solace in the loss is Jason Isbell also is a fan. His recent concert covers of Petty tunes are a mix of brilliance and goose bumps and religious service. Damn near pledged my soul to not being a refugee, not backing down, and running down a dream.

Take a few minutes and YouTube Isbell’s covers. You’ll wonder how he was in Petty’s head.

• You’re gonna be asked to give up a slice of your civil liberties when you vote. It seems we’ve been convinced voter fraud is such a threat to our democracy that we need to go beyond what the law requires to prove we are voters of record.

Voter fraud. It’s everywhere. You’ve heard about it because the President has said 3 million folks who voted for Hillary Clinton were bogus voters. We have to take this seriously because the President has never said anything that wasn’t true.

Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt, has for years tracked allegations of voter fraud.

“So far,” he wrote in 2014 for a piece in the Washington Post, “I’ve found about 31 different incidents (some of which involve multiple ballots) since 2000, anywhere in the country. … To put this in perspective, the 31 incidents below come in the context of general, primary, special, and municipal elections from 2000 through 2014. In general and primary elections alone, more than 1 billion ballots were cast in that period.”

The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law published a comprehensive report – “The Truth About Voter Fraud” – on the issue.

“The Truth About Voter Fraud, found that most reported incidents of voter fraud are actually traceable to other sources, such as clerical errors or bad data matching practices. The report reviewed elections that had been meticulously studied for voter fraud, and found incident rates between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent. Given this tiny incident rate for voter impersonation fraud, it is more likely, the report noted, that an American ‘will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls,’” noted a Brennan Center statement.

The center also noted: “Electoral integrity is key to our democracy, and politicians who genuinely care about protecting our elections should focus not on phantom fraud concerns, but on those abuses that actually threaten election security.”

• This French Hill guy is a piece of work. He’s the member of the U.S. House of Representatives who represents Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional District.

He voted against a relief package for Puerto Rico because it included a provision to erase $16 billion in debt accrued by the U.S. territorial government of Puerto Rico. He was so proud of his vote that he pushed out a press release to us fake news folks touting the reasons he voted against supporting this small U.S. controlled island.

Here’s a quote from this fella: “Forgiving $16 billion of NFIP’s debt with no reforms is just business-as-usual for Washington. We once again are not taking seriously our national debt and putting it on the shoulders of future generations.”

The extra $60-plus billion in defense spending (without offsets) and the estimated $2.2 trillion the tax plan might add to the deficit are OK according to Hill, but we don’t need to be giving these brown folks on this small island an $18.67 billion relief package.

What’s more, this former banker benefited from the multi-trillion-dolllar bailout of the banking industry in 2007, but now has discovered empathy for “future generations.”

There are times when it doesn’t fully encapsulate the reality to suggest the position of a politician is exquisite BS.