The line is open. Final words:
* GOV. BEEBE ON THE RECORD: Talk Business interviewed Gov. Mike Beebe today. He defended his record as a net tax cutter and observed that if Republicans are serious about eliminating the income tax they better be ready to find billions in cuts (or new taxes). He termed the Paul Ryan budget plan “problematic,” touted the end of a “hidden tax” consumers on the cost of unreimbursed health care if Medicaid is expanded (while acknowledging it can’t happen without Republican support) and reiterated his support for 2nd District congressional candidate Herb Rule.
* WHO BUILT PAUL RYAN’S FORTUNE? It wasn’t Paul Ryan. Mitt Romney’s running mate has never had a real private sector career. Instead, he inherited millions made by his family thanks to tax money that financed their successful highway construction business. Thanks, Jack, for the tip to the Rude Pundit. Also: Early polling on the Ryan choice is not so hot. No wonder. Extremism isn’t attractive. Except maybe in Arkansas this year.
* LITTLE ROCK’S 35TH HOMICIDE OF 2012: LRPD says Desiree Rice died today of gunshot wounds suffered on a parking lot at 1225 Geyer on Aug. 6. A warrant for the arrest of Cameron Peterson on two battery charges (Billy McKinney also was shot) has been upgraded to make one a first-degree murder charge.
* REPUBLICANS COMPLAIN: The Arkansas Republican Party has complained to the Federal Election Commission that 4th District Democratic Gene Jeffress seems not to have included boilerplate required language on campaign cards, signs and gimme fans that says his campaign paid for the items. Fair enough. The miracle is that he, or someone, had any money to buy any signs, cards or fans for the determinedly grassroots campaign.
* GRASS FIRE: Though I’m happy to say my part of Little Rock got a real rain this morning, that didn’t cure everything. A grass fire has forced some people out of homes near Nimrod and Casa in Perry County, authorities sasy.
* A MODEST PROPOSAL: SOUTHERN SECESSION: A good article and interview from Salon here with Chuck Thompson, a travel writer/reporter who toured the South and, after some sharp observation, concluded that because of cultural tension and political gridlock, a case can be made for separation of the North and South. From the interview:
Almost every American, at one time or another, has said that it’s too bad the country didn’t just split when we had the chance. We didn’t let the South go when we had the chance. We would have avoided a lot of problems. We — meaning this group in the north as we might identify ourselves — could take the country we want into a direction that we think is befitting of America without this push and pull that comes from the Southern states. At the same time the South could do the same thing.
What really led to this call for secession was understanding that a lot of people from the South are just as sick and tired of people like Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid having an impact on their country as I am sick of people like Newt Gingrich and Jeff Sessions, Eric Cantor, and Haley Barbour having an impact on my country.
Thompson’s travels produced a chapter on Little Rock and public school woes. He unearths, among others, a middle school librarian who seems to cheer the flight of conservatives from public schools. He chronicles the failed search for a Little Rock school superintendent; the Pulaski County District’s implosion and other highlights. He quotes me some along the way (correctly if unflatteringly noting my triple chin). What I’ve read so far is pretty good.
* LET’S EAT: Lindsey Millar and Co. are jazzing up our Eat Arkansas food blog with some occasional roundups of food news of note. Like today, with news on some changes in the bar/restaurant scene, the return of Yarnell’s purple ice cream to the Purple Cow restaurants, and a good release on the secret to the Capital Bar’s Wednesday fried chicken.
- CHICKEN SECRETS: The Capital Hotel spills some. Check Eat Arkansas.