The line is open. Some closing notes:



* JUDICIAL ENDORSEMENTS: Our Insider column for this week is now on the web. It includes an item about Supreme Court Justice Karen Baker appearing in a newspaper ad (above) for fashion designer Jamileh Kamran wearing one of Kamran’s suits. The judge tells us she doesn’t think this violates an ethical canon that says “A judge shall not abuse the prestige of judicial office to advance the personal or economic interests of the judge or others, or allow others to do so.” OK, then. Who’s next? Justice Courtney Henry for Coach handbags? Justice Robert Brown for Wordsworth Books?

*NEW DIGS: Also in the Insider is a report on the completed purchase of a $750,000 house in Chenal Valley for Arkansas State University System President Chuck Welch. The purchase had been approved by the ASU Board earlier — and criticized by the student newspaper.


* THE P WORD: Glenn Beck has called Mike Huckabee a progressive. In the Becktionary, it doesn’t get any lower than that.

* TRANSPARENCY: Remember when Secretary of State Mark Martin was a crusading legislator, urging government transparency and on-line checkbooks for government spending? Blue Hog Report does. But that was before he became a secrecy-obsessed official with contracts to hide.


* CAMPAIGNING UNDERWAY: U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin announced that Mitchell Lowe would be his campaign manager next year. The announcement invokes last year’s favorite Democratic demon, Nancy Pelosi, but naturally omits Griffin’s vote to destroy Medicare. Lowe has worked for various Republican candidates and as the state party’s executive director.

* INCOME INEQUALITY: Another good article, this in Vanity Fair, about why it’s a bad thing for everyone that the rich are getting impossibly richer while the middle class and below keep falling farther behind.