If he can’t do it, nobody can

“United They Fall: Why only Bill Clinton can save the U.N.” is the title of a lengthy essay in the January issue of Harper’s magazine. The writer, Parag Khanna, is identified as an author and “the Global Governance Fellow at the Brookings Institution,” a prestigious Washington think tank. He proposes that Clinton be chosen as the next secretary-general of the U.N. Some excerpts:


“For better or worse, there is only one solution to enhancing the utility and image of the U.N. in America while simultaneously revitalizing the organization for the 21st century: Embed a super-American at the highest level. That man, at this moment, is Bill Clinton. … Clinton would have no need to ingratiate himself with world leaders but would serve as a mentor to them. Around the world, Clinton is viewed as a peacemaker and someone so great that he has outgrown the United States. … The one attribute he has that few other Americans have is that beyond our borders he is considered fair.”

2005: No. 2 hottest year


Feeling the heat? You haven’t been imagining things: 2005 promises to be the second hottest year since 1861, when weather records started being kept. (1998 was the hottest.) Official figures won’t be released until February, but the World Meteorological Organization said data indicates mean surface temperature for 2005 will be .48 degrees C above the annual average for the years 1961-1990 (14 degrees C). June 2005 was the hottest June on record and October 2005 was the warmest October on record.

Don Richardson of Clinton, who served on EPA’s National Council for Environmental Policy and Technology and is the state consultant for the National Environmental Trust, said NET partner Clear the Air calculated some Arkansas figures: Fort Smith’s maximum mean temperature was 3.8 percent higher than the 1961-1990 average and its minimum mean was 5.7 percent higher. In Little Rock, the highs are 3.1 percent higher and the lows 5.3 percent higher, compared to the 1961-1990 mean.


“Congress is not responding in a realistic way,” Richard said in a news release on the WMO figures. His organization is asking Arkansas Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor to “adopt a New Year’s Resolution on Global Warming” to address the problems it poses to health, economy and climate.

Huckabee’s little (black) money bag

Gov. Mike Huckabee established the Healthy America Political Action Committee this year to promote his message of a healthier America. (If promoting a healthier America gets him exposure for a future national political race, so much the better, presumably.)

Huckabee incorporated the PAC in Virginia, near Washington and far removed from hometown eyes. But Virginia’s PAC record-keeping is on-line. It shows Huckabee raised about $44,000 this year and spent about $16,000, much of it for a July fund-raiser at the Little Rock Club and the rest for legal and other consulting.


The two biggest contributors were Morgan Bassey, owner of a Denver investment firm, and Beverly Enterprises, the Fort Smith-based nursing home chain, each of which gave $10,000. Virtually all the individual givers, interestingly, were black people, including Bassey and a St. Louis lawyer, Jerry Hunter ($2,000), and Wilbur Peer ($4,000) a Maryland official of the USDA. Arkansans on the list included MSRM Inc., a Little Rock firm ($5,000); these $1,000 contributors, Surgical Associates of Arkansas, Little Rock lawyer Woodson Walker, and Forrest City accountant Sharon Wilson; and these $500 contributors, state employee Jessica Caldwell, Cardiology and Medicine Clinic, Calvin King of Marianna, Pine Bluff Adult Day Care, Jerry Riley of Pine Bluff and Artee Williams, who heads the state’s employment security department. Support in the black community is important to political candidates, of course, and unusual among Republican candidates.