Monday, September 17, 2012

Guten morgan — the morning roundup

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 6:05 AM

Some odds and ends:

COVERING UP: Bruce Holland rapped for trying to seal record of his high-speed chase to avoid law.
  • COVERING UP: Bruce Holland rapped for trying to seal record of his high-speed chase to avoid law.
* FIREBALL HOLLAND TRIES TO SEAL HIS POLICE RECORD: State Rep. Tracy Pennartz of Fort Smith, who's opposing Bruce "Fireball" Holland, for a state Senate seat, notes a Northwest Arkansas newspaper article reporting Holland's effort to seal statements made after he tried to outrun a Perry county deputy on a 100-mph chase through a couple of counties, a case that led to a conviction.

Holland's dangerous high-speed run to evade the law is old news. The new news is that Holland tried to seal the record, which included statements made by the arresting officer. Such as:

“When asked why he was driving in that manner and not stopping for me, he replied ‘I just got the car yesterday and was trying it out.’”

Not ready for prime time. But, in this day and age, ready for the Arkansas legislature. Pennartz commented:

"I read the Doug Thompson article this morning with dismay," said Pennartz.

"I found the facts to be troubling—fleeing an officer at 110 mph, passing on bridges and in no-passing zones." Pennartz added, "Behavior such as this is inexcusable for a State Senator."

Holland is also a hypocrite, Democrats note. He voted against a bill that allows expungement of misdemeanor offenses and sealing of records such as his. Now he wants his own records sealed under a law he opposed.

"Anyone who reads this article would find it troubling especially now that there seems to have been an attempt to cover-up the behavior." Pennartz emphasized, "When a person is given the trust of the people to hold elected office and sent to the Senate or House to make laws, we should live by the laws we pass."

* TREASURER TO APPEAR: State Treasurer Martha Shoffner's office says she will appear today before the legislative audit committee to answer questions raised about investment practices. An unprecedented subpoena was issued for the Democratic treasurer by the Republican co-chairs of the committee when she failed to appear Friday. She sent word of an unspecified conflict. I learned late yesterday that she had attempted to return a message I left Friday, so I take it to mean she's prepared to discuss specifics now.

* PRAY FOR THE ARKANSAS LEGISLATURE: I noticed a twitter this morning from state Rep. Justin Harris, the Republican from West Fork who's bound and determined to draw family income from a state-financed pre-school program while providing Bible instruction to his young charges. He says a legislative education committee is to discuss today rules for religious institutions. I presume he means the state's belated attempt — under pressure from a group that supports church-state separation — to institute rules that end the use of taxpayer money to propagate one flavor of religion. If Republicans take control, this is another constitutional idea that won't enjoy much favor. You'll remember that a leading Republican senator, Johnny Key, also draws family income from pre-schools that believed in using the money for religious indoctrination.

* FOREIGN LANGUAGE: A discussion on-line and off about foreign language instruction yesterday prompted by plans at UALR to end the German studies program led to an exchange of notes with Kathleen Condray, head of the German section at UAF. She volunteered that she's embarked on a research project that includes use of correspondence from German families that immigrated to Arkansas. In that pursuit, she volunteers to translate family archival letters in return for permission to include them in an archive for research (they may be redacted). Write her at condray@uark.edu. Also, she noted, a colleague, Dr. Linda Jones, is doing research in the French colonial period and has made a similar translation offer.

* OCCUPY ARKANSAS: The Occupy Wall Street movement started a year ago. Occupy Little Rock is still busy, with plans on tap for some activities today.

* THE STRAIGHT OLD WHITE MEN'S PARTY: Bill Keller in NY Times writes of close Republican primary battles to unseat Republican lawmakers who joined the side of equal rights in the same-sex marriage controversy. He notes New York Republican Party leadership's move to put homophobia in the past as a party identifier by supporting the equal rights candidates. New York is obviously a few years (decades) ahead of Dixie on this issue. Kelller comments:

The Republican leaders did not do all this because they are closet liberals. They did it because if they had killed same-sex marriage a second time, their candidates would have faced the wrath (and cash) of marriage proponents in districts across the state. Including, not incidentally, a popular Democratic governor, with whom the Republicans have forged an unusually congenial working relationship.

“Had that issue been in the forefront right now, we probably would be in trouble with a lot of seats,” Senator Tom Libous, the deputy Senate majority leader, told me after the primary vote.

That’s the sound of something you don’t hear much in our politics these days, especially Republican politics: pragmatic common sense. Don’t hold your breath, but if it catches on nationally, the Republicans might start to attract someone other than straight old white guys.

Here, the thinking is that there are enough angry old white men to get the job done for some time to come.

lizhoney.JPG

* ROOT HOG OR DIE: Lizhoney2u (in everyday life the city clerk of Nashville, Liz McDaniel) has gone to YouTube again, undeterred in her Hog fandom by Saturday's crushing loss to Alabama. "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" is this week's call to arms.

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