"We hope to do well here in Arkansas," presidential hopeful Ted Cruz told Roby Brock of Talk Business in an interview while he was in town this weekend.
Sitting down with Brock in Little Rock, Cruz hammed and sighed and dramatically paused his way through his talking points in his oleaginous style. Arkansans are tired of Washington dealmakers, Cruz said, and he's the only one with a proven record of leading the fight against Obamacare, amnesty, and the Second Amendment. Cruz is fighting a cold and it's impressive that he is able to sustain his performative riffs even under the weather.
Brock asked Cruz if he needed to win Texas (he does), but Cruz declined to predict a victory.
Brock is one of the best interviewers in Arkansas, but on policy and politics, Cruz didn't say a single word that isn't part of his normal stump speech/media availability routine.
"My guess is that coming out of Super Tuesday, Donald and I will be far and away the major delegate leaders and that will tee this up to be effectively a two-person race," Cruz said. He added, "If Marco comes out of Super Tuesday winning very, very few delegates, becomes hard [for him] to stay in the race without winning any states. To date, he has not won any states."
Cruz also revealed that he loves video games. Brock asked where he was going to lunch today in Arkansas but Cruz said he'd be on the road. Boring. Cruz said his favorite movie is "The Princess Bride." Okay, that's awesome.
Cruz was droppin' his g's for most of the interview but started slippin[g] into using the full suffix toward the end.
Appearing with Clinton School for Public Service Dean Skip Rutherford, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton spoke today at a Clinton School event focused on Cotton's assessment of Donald Trump's First 100 days in office. While there were some moments of applause and isolated jeering, the event was much less raucous than the town hall meetings Cotton has been attending of late, though Rutherford's questions pulled no punches in questioning Trump's temperament and agenda. /more/
Must read: Ernest Dumas explains why coal is dead, no matter how much Donald Trump, Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas congressmen and the State Chamber of Commerce and others talk about overturning clean power rules. The future is gas, wind and solar. /more/
As is typical, President Trump has tweeted about any number of subjects in recent days. They ranged from advising former NSA head Michael Flynn that he should seek immunity for testimony related to the Trump/Russia case to personal insults directed toward "Meet the Press" host Chuck "Sleepy Eyes" Todd. /more/
U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, who's scheduled a town hall next week in Bentonville, says he expects some frustration from constituents because of the tactics so far in Republican efforts to ditch the Affordable Care Act and come up with something different. /more/
Arkansas Public Service Commission Chair Ted Thomas is getting attention for calling out Trump administration climate policy. He even acknowledges the role of carbon burning and humans in climate change. /more/
Making Change at Walmart, an effort by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union to advocate for the retailer to pay employees a living wage, is kicking off a campaign this month, with Arkansas among the target states.
Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.
Lee Short, the lawyer for Ledell Lee, the man Arkansas put to death just before midnight last night, posted on Facebook the following letter of thanks for personal support and a bit about Lee's last hours, distributing his possessions and talking to family.
Photos taken Thursday night by Brian Chilson and David Koon, at Cummins Prison in Grady, the State Police barricade away from the prison and in front of the Governor's Mansion, before and after the execution of Ledell Lee.