?Early voting in the Nov. 4 general election begins next week and no contest is more important than the race for president. It's 1992 again.
The nation thirsts for change from a Bush White House. His loyal supporter John McCain promises no change at all.
Suspect already for his tempestuous judgment, McCain compounded the unease by his choice of a running mate.
It's well to remember that McCain has demonstrated loyalty to a president whose campaign visited unspeakable personal attacks on McCain's family in the 2000 primary season. There are some things honorable people do not forget or forgive.
A vote for president this year does not mean a decision built on negatives. The Arkansas Times happily endorses the Democrat, Barack Obama. His measured judgment on the war is reassuring against a backdrop of continued violence in the Middle East and beyond. He offers a health insurance plan, which, if short of the single-payer plan we prefer, promises more coverage than hard-pressed Americans now enjoy and far more protection than John McCain's tax credit mirage could ever provide. He promises, moreo-ver, an end to the trickle-down Republican economic theory that John McCain espouses. Finally, smarts count for something. We've tried it the other way for eight years.
Vote for Barack Obama.
‘No' on Initiated Act 1
The Family Council of Arkansas, unable to make homosexuality a crime, has settled for the next best thing. It works tirelessly to marginalize gay people. It backed the successful amendment to prohibit same sex marriages in Arkansas. Now it has proposed an initiated act to ban adoption or foster parenting by “cohabitating” couples. The Council protests that the proposal covers gays and straights, but all understand the primary victims – after the children who will be denied stable homes by this mean idea – are gay people.
An all-star lineup of judges, including three former Supreme Court chief justices, have opposed the initiative. They know from ex-perience it will complicate an already difficult process to put blanket rules on child placement. Children could be denied homes with straight relatives in the name of the Family Council's agenda to punish gay people. The state will become sex police. Its agents will be charged with investigating if a potential parent has “cohabitated” any time recently – or might in the future.
Disingenuous people with malicious intent make for bad law.
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.
Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled today that he had no choice based on a past Arkansas Supreme Court decision but to dismiss a lawsuit by Death Row inmates seeking to challenge the constitutionality of the state's lethal injection process.But the judge did so unhappily with sharp criticism of the Arkansas Supreme Court for failing to address critical points raised in the lawsuit.
We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.