Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The open line: Walmart might back minimum wage increase. Food photo contest. Edwin is coming!

Posted By on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 4:03 PM

The midweek line is now open. Final words:

click to enlarge LOOKING GOOD: Nice food shots like this are sought for our photo contest.
  • LOOKING GOOD: Nice food shots like this are sought for our photo contest.
* 'FOOD PORN' WANTED: Our Eat Arkansas blog has begun a food photo contest. All the details on the blog.  Send in your lip-smacking food shots, the kind a fellow food fancier once characterized to me as food porn. Send your entries to arkansas.foodies@gmail.com  They'll be accepted through March 9 and then judging will follow. Submissions must be food related. Creativity is a plus.

* WALMART CONSIDERING SUPPORT FOR MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE: Retail giant Walmart says it is "looking at" getting behind the president's proposal for an increase in the minimum wage. 

* AGREED: LT. GOV. IS WORTHLESS: A bill to eliminate the need for a special election to fill the office of lieutenant governor advanced from committee in the Senate today. Funny. We are in agreement that we have an office so worthless it need not be filled now that Mark Darr has decamped following an ethics scandal. But we continue to pay $267,000 annually for a staff for someone who doesn't exist — and the legislature sees no need to exist.

* BEST POLITICAL NEWS OF THE DAY: Edwin Edwards, 86, the former Louisiana governor and ex-con, says he'll run for Congress. I still remember the "Edwin is Coming!" bumper stickers — think an enthusiasm similar to that for Jesus' second coming — all over cars in SW La. during his last race for office. He was beloved among sectors of the community. I agree with him that he has a good shot at a runoff. If a prostitute fancier reputedly fond of wearing diapers during his dalliances can be favored in a race for Louisiana governor, why not?

* FIXING THE UNFIXABLE: Pulaski County Election Commissioner Chris Burks informs me that the state Election Commission has voted unanimously to direct its staff to come up with an emergency rule that would allow a fix for absentee voters who fail to include the newly required proof of ID in their mailed ballots. The attorney general has already said the law does not allow a cure for insufficient absentee ballots, though it does give in-person voters a week to produce an ID if they did not have one at the poll. I think what's at work here are competing interests. Democrats, who hold a majority of the seats on the commission, want to preserve as many votes as possible. Republicans aren't anxious to admit their Voter ID law included this screwup, just a small part of the larger malicious effort to suppress votes of traditionally Democratic constituencies. Can the staff come up with a legal fix for something the law doesn't mention?  You may recall that this issue arose in a Senate election in Jonesboro, when many of the absentee ballots were insufficient. The Democratic-controlled commission, following advice from Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin, provided a "cure" period, though few voters took advantage. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said the law didn't provide a cure.

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