Smart Talk June 23 

Guv for a day Sen. Jim Argue was governor for a day or so last week because both Gov. Mike Huckabee and Lt. Gov Win Rockefeller were out of town and that put the Senate president pro tempore in charge. Our Constitution, which dates to 1874, provides for such successions because telephones and Blackberries weren’t around then. Argue kept his cool. He didn’t fire a gubernatorial staffer, as Sen. Nick Wilson once did during the Clinton years, or pardon anyone, as Sen. Jerry Jewell did when Jim Guy Tucker was out of town. Argue had a little reception and issued three proclamations. Two praised friends and political allies Sheila Bronfman and Stacy Pittman and the third lauded his wife, Elise. The last, he tells us, won him plenty of slack the next time he forgets to put a dirty coffee mug in the dishwasher. There are many whereases praising his wife of 25 years as a mother, school and church volunteer. It closes: “NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that on this day, Wednesday, June 15, 2005, I honor my wife, Elise Carey Argue, who has also been there for me in her gracious and loving style, who has supported this great state through her own service as a mother and volunteer extraordinaire. Elise, I love you forever and a day.” A marriage made in heaven For a presidential wannabe, it’s a hookup made in heaven. Gov. Mike Huckabee is lending his covenant-marriage message to a celebrity group that wants to encourage marital fidelity. Stephens Media’s Arkansas News Bureau reported last week that the Huckster will speak Aug. 9 at Robinson Center at the first public event of Stand F.I.R.M. (Fidelity Initiative — Restore Marriage), an Arizona-based nonprofit. The group was organized by R&B singer Troy Johnson. Former Washington Redskin Darrell Green will speak. Other pro basketball and football players will give advice in videos. The group will hold quarterly events and national marriage seminars. Johnson, whose single “It’s You” is said to have sparked the group, says infidelity is the leading cause of divorce. A spokesman said Huckabee’s support of covenant marriage makes him a perfect spokesman for the cause. What’s wrong with Kansas? There’s a dangerous lesson for Arkansas in Kansas. There, after the legislature got an expert analysis of its unconstitutional school system, it met and appropriated an amount short of what the expert said was necessary for suitable schools. The Kansas Supreme Court ordered the legislature to provide an additional $143 million by July 1. Some legislators want to defy the court. The governor has called a special session and says a rise in revenue will allow the state to meet the court order without a tax increase. But the most damaging response is an effort led by a conservative Republican senator to push a constitutional amendment that would strip the Kansas charter of education provisions and thus deprive the court of the ability to review the constitutionality of education laws. This “remedy” has been mentioned in Arkansas before. Only one sentence need be removed from Article 14 of the state Constitution: “Intelligence and virtue being the safeguards of liberty and the bulwark of a free and good government, the State shall ever maintain a general, suitable and efficient system of free public schools and shall adopt all suitable means to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education.” Don’t tell anybody.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Latest in Smart Talk

  • Better than Texas

    Arkansas's tax system is slightly more friendly to the poorest people, but only slightly.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Small-school champions

    Two Arkansas congressmen are among the 14 sponsors of a bill that would "correct" a provision of the federal school-funding formula they say favors large school districts over small districts.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Bipartisan race

    The rise of Republicanism in Arkansas has brought a rare two-party race to the state Senate in Southeast Arkansas, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »


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
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Inconsequential News Quiz: Trumpocalypse Now Edition

    • PLEASE READ!!! Celebrate this season with joy and gladness in your heart, Do you know…

    • on January 20, 2017
  • Re: Profile of a plant

    • I have been diagnosed with COPD for over 7 years. A couple of months ago…

    • on January 19, 2017
  • Re: Profile of a plant

    • There is plenty of studies out there, which fill in the holes in this story…

    • on January 19, 2017

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