Good week for public hyprocrisy 

It was a good week for...

PUBLIC HYPOCRISY. Sen. Bruce "Fireball" Holland (R-Greenwood), who once led a Perry County deputy in a high-speed chase across two counties, served as the guest of honor at Mansfield High School in Fort Smith for a ceremony awarding a grant for safe driving.

CRUSHED HOPES RIDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF A TEEN-AGER. The latest phenom on whom the Hog faithful had invested dreams of pigskin paradise — Dorial Green-Beckham of Springfield, Mo. — announced he'll take his football receiving talents to his home state's University of Missouri.

A NEW LOW. The Democrat-Gazette editorial page hit a new low Tuesday in its opposition to an expanded veterans service center on Main Street. It compared the Department of Veterans Affairs with an authoritarian Germany and parroted Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola's characterization of the move as an "idiotic idea," considering it would be across the street from a liquor store and on Main Street just as it's "getting its groove back." Take a visit to the deplorable location on Confederate Boulevard that Stodola and the D-G seem to think is just a fine place to dump the veterans and remember them and U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin when they trot out the tear-stained tributes to troops on Memorial Day.

It was a bad week for...

REP. JOHN BURRIS. Already on record supporting a statement Mitt Romney has repudiated — about lack of concern for the very poor because of their "safety net" — the Republican minority leader doubled down, telling Talk Business, "We've got to change the way we do business in Arkansas. The real problem, the real solution to get people off Medicaid rolls is to give them a job, make them able to self-sustain themselves without government assistance." Never mind that most Medicaid recipients are nursing home residents, the disabled and children.

REP. JUSTIN HARRIS. The West Fork state representative and owner of the Growing God's Kingdom preschool, which receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state through the Arkansas Better Chance program, said he wants his colleagues in the legislature to block a proposed Department of Human Services rule that disallows religious activity during the day at organizations that receive ABC funds.

GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY IN ARKANSAS. Governing magazine, in reporting that federal stimulus programs have generally resulted in improved access to government spending data, includes a nationwide rating on online access to state spending that gives Arkansas and six other states a big fat F. Arkansas passed an "online checkbook" law in 2011. It is scheduled to go online July 1.


Speaking of...

  • The private option and the Republican primaries

    May 20, 2014
    Roundup on the GOP primaries in which the private option played a heavy role: three private option supporters win, two go down, and one is heading to a runoff. And the Senate — where the margin for re-authorization is extremely tight — now appears to be one vote short. /more/
  • No, there is a not a "bailout" for the Arkansas private option

    May 19, 2014
    Apparently if you call something a “bailout,” people won’t like it! This is the approach taken in a piece on the private option posted earlier last week at Forbes, the third article Forbes has published in the last month or so criticizing the Arkansas plan. We take a look at some of their insinuations, and where things actually stand on the policy and politics of the private option. /more/
  • The coming political fallout on gay marriage

    April 12, 2014
    We could be fast approaching a national decision on gay marriage from the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court disallows states from banning gay marriage "the political fallout will be enormous," writes Paul Waldman at the Washington Post. Republicans in Arkansas and elsewhere might hope to take advantage of a base-motivating backlash — but that's a strategy that could come with long-term costs. /more/
  • Saturday night line: Fireball Holland edition

    February 4, 2012
    News summary: Fireball Holland praises safe driving. Petition drive started for Little Rock veterans center. Federal grand jury reaches into Crittenden County. /more/
  • Pious con artists

    February 1, 2012
    Counter-complaining against those who've complained about him getting public money for a school that teaches his religion, state Rep. Justin Harris, R-West Fork, said, "They don't have freedom of religion. Their whole deal is freedom from religion." Which is another way of saying, "Their whole deal is belief in the First Amendment. /more/
  • Legislator: State-paid Bible classes sent to attorney general

    November 18, 2011
    It sounds like the Department of Human Services has sent another hot potato to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. /more/
  • More Bible study with tax support UPDATE

    November 7, 2011
    John Lyon of Stephens Media advances the story about religious instruction in state-financed pre-schools with news that Republican state Sen. Johnny Key of Mountain Home also provides religious instruction in his pre-school, which receives almost $200,000 a year in tax dollars. /more/
  • Your tax dollars at work — teaching Bible

    November 5, 2011
    I'm sorry to say that Republican state Rep. Justin Harris has cut off my access to his Facebook page (after I asked him there about his animus to Scooby-Doo) and he won't return calls or e-mail messages. /more/
  • Republican leader faults whistleblower

    September 16, 2011
    Hoo, boy. House Minority Leader John Burris isn't giving me much confidence on governmental integrity should his party come to power in the next election. /more/
  • Senator Holland fails to follow judge's order

    September 9, 2011
    Much as I like the photo of Sen. Bruce "Fireball" Holland in his cowboy hat, I thought a more appropriate shot would be a Perry County jail mugshot taken yesterday following his conviction in Perry District Court of fleeing a deputy, speeding and improper passing in a high-speed cannonball run across two counties in his Nissan 350Z. /more/
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