Around the South for Apr. 8: OK, NC & AR

Oklahoma: Lankford sees end of gridlock. “The Senate has started moving again,” freshman US Sen. James Lankford (R) told the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce; “One day in January, we voted more than in the entire previous year,” reported the Stillwater News-Press. He added that Congress will have passed a budget by April 15, though it won’t be balanced ……. North Carolina: Graham statue to replace Aycock’s? Gov. Charles Aycock (D), who served from 1901 to 1905, is under fire for his racist views and his critics have urged that his statue be removed as one of the two representing North Carolina in the US Capitol’s Statutory Hall. State Rep. Charles Jeter (R) has sponsored a bill to replace Aycock’s statue with one of evangelist Billy Graham. “As times change, we need to make sure that the people that represent North Carolina do so with our best foot forward,” Jeter said, reported Raleigh’s News & Observer ……. Arkansas: Cotton, Cyrus clash. Appearing on CNN, US Sen. Tom Cotton (R), a leading foreign policy hawk, defended Arkansas’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, urging that it be put in perspective. “In Iran, they hang you for the crime of being gay.” Quick to respond, reports The Daily Beast, was entertainer Miley Cyrus, who tweeted her fans to flood Cotton’s office with phone calls protesting his remarks …….