The line is now open. Closing notes:
* MEDIA MOVE: Kane Webb, who stepped down recently from heading the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s glossy monthly magazine Arkansas Life and moved into the slot Meredith Oakley had vacated overseeing the newspaper’s Voices page, tells me he’s resigned from the newspaper. He’s taking a magazine job in another state, as yet unidentified.
* POLITICAL APPOINTMENTS: Gov. Mike Beebe made 70 appointments today. They included Dr. Robert Sproles of Little Rock to the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority. I don’t know if this is the specific Authority slot to which Beebe had been inclined to appoint Suzanne Clark, wife of Steve Clark, head of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Clark’s senator, Sen. Sue Madison, wouldn’t sign off on that nomination. The Republican wingnuts are mewling about this as if some great affront was done to the Clark family. It’s understandable politics. Steve Clark verbally mauled Sue Madison — several times without solid basis and without talking to her — for not sufficiently opposing a congressional redistricting plan that moved Fayetteville to the 4th District. It is not petty, as Madison haters frame it, to decline to reward people who’ve crapped on you.
A couple of new names were added to the state Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission. Leroy Dangeau of Wynne was named to replace Montine McNulty of Pine Bluff, the hospitality industry executive who was designated an “emeritus commissioner” for her long service. Barbara Harvel of Fort Smith was appointed to replace Tom Schueck, the Little Rock industrialist, who recently was named to the Highway Commission. Heck, why not keep Schueck on board? Or why not make him commissioner without portfolio to EVERYTHING? He had doubled previously on both the Parks and Pollution Control commissions, while also serving on the Little Rock Airport Commission.
* FOG OF WAR: The White House is correcting the record on details of the bin Laden raid.
* EARLIER TODAY: If you don’t normally scroll to old posts, you still might be interested in a National Guard photo of the helicopter that set down on Little Missouri riverbank to pick up stranded Boy Scouts. Someday I gotta get somebody to explain to me how they know they have enough room for the big rotor. Never mind at night, under fire. Heckuva job Guard.