Favorite

How do you say thanks in Chinese? 

Some seasonal cheer.

THANKS FROM THE CHINESE: A Chinese paper company announced plans to build a $1.3 billion pulp mill somewhere amid the vast and welcoming piney woods of South Arkansas to make the material for diapers and sanitary products. Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced this as if it was his doing, rather than something working since a trip by Gov. Mike Beebe in 2012, but that's politics. More interesting are the specifics of Arkansas's promise of "preferential tax policies and other policy support" in a letter that Hutchinson signed. Will Arkansas loan money at a low rate and make direct cash grants to a Chinese company, even though they've naturally focused on locating in a cheap place to obtain the raw supply they'll grind up for diapers? In short: Arkansas, one of the poorest states in the country, will be giving tax breaks to benefit the communist Chinese economy. Could Arkansas even wind up with taxpayers (the government) owning a share of the means of production? It does in the Big River Steel Mill, where the equity partners include retired Arkansas teachers. Who'll pay for the road damage more log trucks will cause on Arkansas's secondary highways? Not new revenues. Gov. Hutchinson has ruled those off the table for highway building in Arkansas. Camden, Crossett or Arkadelphia will get perhaps 350 new jobs and log cutters will have a lot more business, so that's good. I'm thankful beyond ironic belief to be alive to see Arkansas's Republican governor engage in socialism to help Chinese communists make a bigger profit.

THANKS TO LOUISIANA: Speaking of diapers: It was, yes, a "perfect storm" as all are saying that allowed a Democrat, John Bel Edwards, to defeat Republican David Vitter in the race for Louisiana governor, a rare big Democratic victory in Dixie. Vitter's dalliance with prostitutes, including a reported diaper fetish, didn't help him. Nor did a divided Republican Party in Louisiana — crazy vs. crazier.

Arkansas Republicans want you to believe John Bel Edwards is not really a Democrat. They base this on his pro-gun and Catholic anti-abortion leanings, forgetting that Democratic legislatures in Arkansas passed cutting edge pro-gun legislation decades ago and have never favored abortion. What's more, Edwards has friends in the teachers union and the environmental movement, is cool to charter schools, and announced after his election that his top priority was not further harassing women or gay people, but getting the legislature to adopt Obamacare's Medicaid expansion in Louisiana. That's a DINO Comrade Asa could love, given how badly Hutchinson's budget needs to continue Obamacare in Arkansas.

I'm thankful, fluky though it was, that the victory at least offered the hope for further flukes in the South. The Louisiana electorate is 33 percent black, vs. 15 percent in Arkansas, however, so odds of a Democratic fluke here are more remote. Even if the GOP nominated a diaper fetishist. Despite his baggage, Vitter still got 44 percent of the vote.

THANKS FOR A LIVING WAGE: I'm happy to make enough money to support myself (even without a far more productive wife). I could work at UAMS. That 10,000-employee colossus has hundreds of the state's highest paid employees on its payrolls. But they'd be in a bind without the less-valued (in monetary terms) people who mop the floors, empty the bedpans, haul the trash and do any number of other essential tasks. Do all make a living wage?

I'd judge not by the annual UAMS drive to round up stuffing, meat, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and other food so that all UAMS employees can celebrate Thanksgiving.

Rounding up political support for a living wage for UAMS workers would fill stomachs more days of the year, but this being Arkansas and the custodial staff not being Chinese tycoons, they'll just have to be thankful for what they can get.

Favorite

Speaking of Asa Hutchinson

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Gunfire reported at downtown hotel

    Guests at the Marriott Hotel downtown reported hearing multiple gunshots about 9:30 p.m. Saturday night, but, at last report on KTHV, police had found no evidence that anyone was hurt.
    • Feb 19, 2017
  • Trump ventures into fake news as he decries it

    President Donald Trump continued his attack on the media at a rally in Florida Saturday, but his own reporting of facts continued to be fractured, with reference to a non-existent incident in Sweden.
    • Feb 19, 2017
  • More objections to the bathroom bill from Buffalo River businessman

    A tourism operator in the district of a senator who's sponsored a "bathroom bill" to discourage transgender use of public facilities has joined those objecting to the legislation as damaging to business.
    • Feb 19, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Supremely discredited

    Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Wood and her allies continue to discredit the state's highest court.
    • Jul 30, 2015
  • Hutchinson pulls Faubus move

    I don't know what if anything might arise or be planned in the future relative to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's order to end Medicaid reimbursement for medical services (not abortion) provided by Planned Parenthood in Arkansas.
    • Aug 20, 2015
  • Neighborliness, in Little Rock and beyond

    I had a parochial topic in mind this week — a surprise plan by Mayor Mark Stodola to address the Arkansas Arts Center's many needs.
    • Nov 19, 2015

Most Shared

  • "Nasty Woman" at HSU: 32 artists celebrate Women's History Month

    A photograph of a woman doing a headstand so you can see her red underpants. A sculpture by Robyn Horn titled "Approaching Collapse." Those and other works that assistant professor of photography Margo Duvall says "celebrates the female voice in art" for Women's History Month go on exhibit March 1 in the gallery in the Russell Fine Arts Building.
  • Home again

    The plan, formulated months ago, was this: Ellen and I were going to go to Washington for inauguration festivities, then fly out the morning after the balls for Panama City and a long planned cruise to begin with a Panama Canal passage.
  • Who needs courts?

    Not since the John Birch Society's "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards littered Southern roadsides after the Supreme Court's school-integration decision in 1954 has the American judicial system been under such siege, but who would have thought the trifling Arkansas legislature would lead the charge?
  • Bungling

    If the late, great Donald Westlake had written spy thrillers instead of crime capers, they'd read a lot like the opening weeks of the Trump administration.
  • UPDATE: Campus carry bill amended by Senate to require training

    The Senate this morning added an amendment to Rep. Charlie Collins campus carry bill that incorporates the effort denied in committee yesterday to require a 16-hour additional training period before university staff members with concealed carry permits may take the weapons on campus.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Home again

    The plan, formulated months ago, was this: Ellen and I were going to go to Washington for inauguration festivities, then fly out the morning after the balls for Panama City and a long planned cruise to begin with a Panama Canal passage.
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
    • Jan 19, 2017
  • Praising Asa

    Let us now praise the governor for a starkly moderate record, at least in comparison with other red-state executives.
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.

Event Calendar

« »

February

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Future is female

    • Good article. I think you are right about running a new type of candidate, with…

    • on February 17, 2017
  • Re: Bungling

    • When did liberals and so called progressives start hating on old Russia? In the the…

    • on February 17, 2017
  • Re: Bungling

    • Press conference? Is that what that was? I thought I'd had the misfortune of stumbling…

    • on February 17, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation