CHURCH AND STATE: A campaign sign on the lawn of a church? Sure. Its in Fort Smith. Mat Pitsch is a Republican candidate for legislature. Hes also chairman of Bethel Lutheran Church, on whose property the sign is placed.

  • CHURCH AND STATE: A campaign sign on the lawn of a church? Sure. It’s in Fort Smith. Mat Pitsch is a Republican candidate for legislature. He’s also chairman of Bethel Lutheran Church, on whose property the sign is placed. That old church-state thing has always been viewed a bit differently by GOPers.

The week has begun. Closing out:

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* THREE DEAD IN EL DORADO BLAST: Channel 4 here on an explosion that killed three at Long Brothers Oil Company in El Dorado. Vapors in an abandoned tank apparently ignited. A resulting fire also burned two vehicles.

* HUCKABEE: $5 MILLION A YEAR MAN: Thanks to Roby Brock for pointing me to an interesting Bloomberg report on Cumulus Media’s strategy to grow, using Mike Huckabee to challenge Rush Limbaugh. The deal could produce $5 million a year for Huckabee, with sufficient station pickup, the article says, plus Cumulus’ boss built a studio in Huckabee’s home in Florida to keep him off the road. Huckabee spins Republican red meat with a smile, Bloomberg says. Limbaugh’s listeners always liked the snarl. How it plays out will be worth a lot of money, either way, to all concerned. Huckabee still nurses his resentments, such as frequent airport screening despite the fact that “Good God, I was the governor of a state…..” Yes, but as Huckabee himself once said, it was a banana republic.

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* GETTING FRACKED: Perils of shale gas exploration are varied and not always widely known. For example: There’s frac-sand mining to get at a vital ingredient used in the fracking process. Taking the silica sand can remove an important element in water filtration. And, in Wisconsin, the linked story says, reclamation of mined land just isn’t happening, among other concerns. Who cares about Wisconsin and sand mining? And, anyway: Doesn’t that mining smell like money to you, even if it does ruin the rural landscape?

Well, would it make you feel any different if you knew they mined this sand in Arkansas, too? Members of the Shale Caucus need not answer; your cheer is noted, Sen. Rapert.

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* REOCCUPY LITTLE ROCK: Former state Rep. Robert Johnston, more civicly engaged each passing year, proposes to begin an every-Thursday demonstration at the former Occupy Little Rock campsite at 4th and Ferry. He invites supporters to join him. Check it out: