A bunch of times the past 150 years we were right here — the country in economic distress, millions disillusioned and the political order mesmerized by a paranoid minority convinced that government is in the hands of sinister forces and the social fabric threatened by demons from rum and foreign agents to immigrants and alien religions.
Is there greater conservative virtue in opposing federal health reform, period, or in saying it ought to be implemented locally instead of from Washington in the event we are unavoidably laden with it?
Legislators filed claims Monday for monthly expenses for the first time since a lawsuit was filed by the Arkansas Public Law Center challenging the flat monthly reimbursement scheme as an unconstitutional salary supplement.
Propaganda party touted here by the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, which has served for some time as an enabler of messaging about the alleged waste of money that is the Little Rock School District.
When I went to work at the Arkansas Gazette in 1973, one of many welcoming staff members was a hip, sassy state desk reporter named Ginger Shiras, who turned heads all over Arkansas shortly after I arrived with a spicy profile of Jim Dandy and the then-hot Black Oak Arkansas.
Columbia Journalism Review has a good summary of new reporting by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker about Art Pope, a North Carolina multi-millionaire — aided by the Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court and careful manipulation of rules governing nonprofits — has all but taken control of that important swing state's politics.
Dr. Robert Brown, president of Arkansas Tech, defends his decision to close a theater workshop as a safety hazard. He says the decision was motivated only by safety concerns, not philosophical disagreements.
John Brummett lays out competing political interests that pit the Arkansas Republican Party against Gov. Mike Beebe, Blue Cross and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce on planning for health insurance exchanges to be set up under federal health care legislation, presuming the right-wing Supreme Court doesn't go to legislating and strike it down.
Gotta love candidate Arkie root nurturing. A political observer notes from various news releases:
2nd District Republican:
The youngest son of a minister and teacher, Tim Griffin is a fifth generation Arkansan, veteran, attorney and former small business owner who lives in Little Rock with his wife Elizabeth and their two children.
Photos from the set of Jeff Nichols' new film "Mud" continue to trickle out of Dumas, where the Arkansas filmmaker is shooting his third feature — his follow up to the critically-acclaimed "Take Shelter," which won big at Cannes and is getting some early awards buzz.
The New York Times reports that Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin will be in attendance when the latest version of "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" debuts at the 49th annual New York Film Festival on Monday night.
I have my direct answer from state Rep. David Sanders. He still backs Texas Gov. Rick Perry for the Republican presidential nomination and he sends along a Perry news release that lists other Arkansans who are standing tall with him, including 19 of the 20 legislators who originally signed Sanders letter of support.
Open for your comments. Close-outs:
* CHARTER SCHOOL PANEL EXPANDED: The Walton- and Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce-sponsored program Oct. 25 to further demonize conventional public schools in the name of advancing "choice" will include a voice from the Little Rock School District.
Mulling this morning the end of the South Carolina triumvirate at the Arkansas Lottery, I realized the departure of Ernie P., David Barden and Ernestine Middleton saves, on an annual basis, more than $750,000, or 150 one-year lottery scholarships.
A Federal Aviation Administration official tells the Democrat-Gazette's Debra Hale-Shelton in an article today that the agency will be on the lookout for the rogue pilot who drops live turkeys over the Yellville Turkey Trot festival, scheduled today and tomorrow.
New York Times
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 was awarded on Friday to three campaigning women from Africa and the Arab world in acknowledgment of their nonviolent role in promoting peace, democracy and gender equality.
The NY Times' Paul Krugman cheers the Occupy Wall Street movement. He offers some caveats, but his core explanation of the justification for demonstrations is worth noting:
In the first act, bankers took advantage of deregulation to run wild (and pay themselves princely sums), inflating huge bubbles through reckless lending.
What a coincidence of timing. I'd just read another story on the flight of undocumented immigrants from Alabama because of draconian new law by which that state will cut off its nose to spite the employment needs it will frace by jerking a welcome mat.
The Little Rock Zoo received a $4,000 check Thursday afternoon from the promoters of last Sunday's Zoo Jam, a Toby Keith-headlined concert on the War Memorial Golf Course that proved an attendance flop.
Videographer Gabe Gentry caught some video of the Oct. 4 planning meeting of Occupy Little Rock — our home-grown offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City — as the local movement continues to gel.
I'm all for signature architectural works. But, as I wrote yesterday, I'm nowhere near ready for the three amigos — Mayors Stodola and Hays and County Judge Villines — to go to the sales tax (or property tax) well again to replace the Broadway Bridge with an artistic design that would cost a great deal more if it serves art as well as simple function.
The Democrat-Gazette this morning (pay wall) North Little Rock May Pat Hays this morning a crack at explaining the hurryup, almost secretive means by which the city wants to add another penny sales tax on that city's voters.
The Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce is joining hands with a Walton-financed lobbyist to screen the pro-charter school propaganda film "Waiting for Superman" at a session Oct. 25 at Philander Smith.
Back in my Jonesboro days, back in the late 90s, I'd splurge on this great little Italian place called Lazzari's Italian Oven. It was reasonably priced, my friends worked there and I adored the asiago cream sauce and the salty crusted bread and the Mista salad and the... well, everything. It's good to know it's still there and still that good.
Residents of Oak Forest and other neighborhoods have been buzzing with news of a land appraiser sending letters about the city of Little Rock's planned acquisition of property south of Interstate 630 near the Little Rock Zoo.
Maybe because of stories like this: Craig Dubow, CEO of Gannett Corp., who oversaw implosion of the stock's price, plummeting newspaper circulation, layoffs of thousands of workers, retires with a $37 million golden parachute on account of a bad back.
David Wiegel in Slate notes that Mike Huckabee contributed the foreword to a new book, "Twilight's Last Gleaming," by Robert Jeffress, the preacher who infamously described the Mormon Church as a cult.
Mike Laux, a Chicago lawyer, says he'll file a promised civil rights lawsuit over the fatal shooting Dec. 9 of Eugene Ellison by off-duty Little Rock police working as security guards at his apartment complex.
Videographer Gabe Gentry with Mindful Media Productions made it out to the second planning meeting for Occupy Little Rock last night, and came back with some very enlightening video from the proceedings.
I wrote recently about a state agency head, Bill Walker of the Arkansas Department of Career Services, who'd picked a building for consolidation of the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services Division that happened to be owned by an LLC headed by his friend and fellow Mike Beebe supporter, Richard Mays, a Little Rock lawyer and former legislator.
Readers take over. Some final words:
* HEALTH CARE REFORM: Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford bravely tried again today to persuade the unpersuadable that the state should apply for federal money to set up and run health care exchanges contemplated by federal law.