Category Archives: Uncategorized

After legislators meet, marijuana more limited but still legal

By Steve Brawner
© 2017 by Steve Brawner Communications, Inc.

It was a good legislative session for some (gun rights supporters), a bad one for others (supporters of more highway spending), and for supporters of medical marijuana, it was as good as could be expected.

The amendment passed by Arkansas voters in November could be amended with a two-thirds vote by legislators, and at least that percentage likely voted against it, as did Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. There were ample opportunities these past three months for those lawmakers to mostly overturn the amendment overtly or subversively. But the attitude among many legislators and the governor was that regardless of what they believed about the amendment, the people voted for it, so their democratic duty was to make it work.

When Democrats should vote for Republicans

By Steve Brawner
© 2017 by Steve Brawner Communications, Inc.

A couple of thousand mostly Democratic-leaning participants gave Sen. Tom Cotton an earful last week during his rowdy town hall meeting in Springdale. While civic engagement is good (and civil discourse would be even better), most of those folks would accomplish more by voting in the Republican Party primary.

That’s because, for the foreseeable future, Arkansas is going to be a mirror image of what it’s been for much of its past, and that’s a reliably one-party state. After 150 years of being dominated by Democrats and a brief period from 2008-12 when it was competitive, the state will be ruled by Republicans for a while, if not the rest of most of our lives.

The wrong wall

By Steve Brawner
© 2017 by Steve Brawner Communications, Inc.

After signing executive orders regarding trade, abortion and Obamacare, President Trump has begun addressing the issue that propelled him to the presidency: illegal immigration. Specifically, he wants that wall on the border with Mexico built, and he still wants Mexico to pay for it.

Enforcing the border is a core responsibility of government. But is this the right kind of wall?

This is 2017. Everything about our lives that can move from the physical to the digital is doing so. You can deposit a check with your cell phone. The U.S. Postal Service is going broke because we’re all texting and emailing.

Walmart, king of retail, is focusing much of its efforts on online sales. Many products can be bought online and shipped to your doorstep, for free. In many cities in Arkansas, you can order groceries online and then have them brought to you in the parking lot, again for no extra cost.

Out of the shadows

By Steve Brawner
© 2017 by Steve Brawner Communications, Inc.

Last Saturday, Ana Aguayo stood on the steps of the State Capitol and admitted – proclaimed, you might say – before thousands of people including police officers that she was committing a crime.

Ana, 28, is an undocumented immigrant, so her crime is not crossing the border to return to a homeland that hasn’t been home for a very long time. At the age of 8, she was bought by her parents from Guadalajara to Springdale, where she was raised knowing nothing of her status. Her teachers taught her English and helped her integrate into the community, and by the age of 16 she was pretty much an American girl.

That’s when she found out she wasn’t. When her peers started getting driver’s licenses and jobs, she learned she wasn’t like them, that she was an unacknowledged guest and not part of the family. And it changed her childhood.