Just in time for the charter school rally to be led this morning by Walmart billionaire Jim Walton and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette publisher Walter Hussman, among others, comes a timely news article from, where else, the Democrat-Gazette, on Arkansas's fall in ranking by a charter school advocacy group.
Some morning moments:
* WHY DIDN'T SKIP RUTHERFORD THINK OF THIS? An item in D magazine reports that the director the George W. Bush Presidential Library being built in Dallas is using free chicken pot pie ($4.99 typically) from the Highland Park Cafeteria to lure people to a program on the coming facility.
Wow, when the Walton family — which has put more than $1 billion into "education reform" through its foundation and spent untold millions more in separate political activties — indicates it's going to increase its political effort it's time for political opponents to build a bomb shelter.
May tomorrow bring universal electrical service, safe streets, garbage trucks to haul the mountains of accumulated wrapping paper, a federal budget that doesn't favor a handful of billionaires and peace in our time.
OK, things ARE different in Arkansas in the party politics realm. Stephens Media profiles the new Republican leaders of the Arkansas legislature - Sen. Michael Lamoureux and Rep. Davy Carter - and features their professed willingness to work "across the aisle" with Democrats.
A few odds and ends:
* A BRIDGE TO FITNESS: Skip Rutherford sent a Twitter this morning noting that the pedestrian bridge by the Clinton Library, fashioned from an abandoned railroad bridge, opened a year ago.
I asked Gary Newton, then a Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce employee, last week about a report from a well-informed source that he was taking off to start another think tank/lobby/special interest group on education to be called Arkansas Learns.
The Benton County clerk says backers of the Walton-funded drive to put a retail alcohol sales proposal on the county election ballot in November submitted enough signatures to qualify (City Wire, via Talk Business).
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.
The Walton Family Foundation announced today that it had given an additional $403 million this year to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville for acquisitions, construction costs and other expenses.
A report from Wisconsin on the state of affairs in that Tea Party Republican-controlled state:
The Republican governor and legislator are cutting spending on public schools by $800 million, but increasing the amount sent to private schools by $17 million.
Hog fans just can't quit blaming the refs for the NCAA men's basketball tournament loss to North Carolina. Now the Arkansas Senate has gotten in on the act, with this resolution introduced by Democratic Sen. Keith Ingram and getting bipartisan co-sponsorship from that brutish and short sandlot roundball player, Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson.
IndieWire breaks news long whispered downtown — a more ambitious successor to the Little Rock Film Festival is in the works, with backing from writer/director Jeff Nichols, a Little Rock native. His "Loving" has won wide acclaim recently.