Is it worse to find that Governor Huckabee is unaccountably missing or that his secretive spokesman/brother-in-law is not?
U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor arrived at the Capitol thinking he had an appointment with Huckabee to discuss the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. The senator said he was on a mission to find problems and fix them.
Finding ’em, fixing ’em and forgetting ’em was not on Huckabee’s agenda. According to a newspaper account, “Huckabee’s whereabouts were a mystery. Gubernatorial spokesman Jim Harris wouldn’t say where Huckabee was or what he was doing. He said Huckabee was scheduled to meet with someone else somewhere in Arkansas, but he wouldn’t say where that was or who it was with.”
To recap, Huckabee was off somewhere with somebody — doing something, presumably. Ordinarily, people want to know a little more than that of the governor’s activities, being as he works for them, but they and a stood-up Senator Pryor were left to speculate. Could Huckabee have been conferring with Dick Cheney in the vice president’s hideout? (It’s not in Arkansas as far as we know, but then we don’t know that it’s not either, Cheney like Huckabee believing what the taxpayers don’t know won’t hurt him.) Had President Bush commissioned the governor to search for weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein might have secreted in the caves of North Arkansas? Possibly Huckabee was only engaged in his hobby, which is accepting gifts. Or maybe that brush the president fights so gallantly in Texas has been creeping up on Arkansas, and Huckabee was clearing it from Stateline Avenue.
We’ll never know, apparently. Wild horses couldn’t drag it out of Harris, though they might be worth a try.
n Sen. Blanche Lincoln has been working on flood relief also, and was displeased to learn last week that Arkansas had been denied federal funds to create jobs for displaced hurricane victims. Instead of aiding many states, the Bush administration divided all the available money among four — Texas ($75 million), Louisiana ($62.1 million), Mississippi ($50 million) and Alabama ($4 million).
“Per capita, Arkansas has welcomed more evacuees into its communities than any state in the country,” Lincoln said, and it’s “completely inexcusable” that Arkansas was stiffed.
Inexcusable, yes, but not inexplicable. Like his father, who called Arkansans “the lowest of the low” (and was applauded by such as Asa Hutchinson, more opportunist than Arkansan), the current President Bush relentlessly pursues policies harmful to Arkansas. It’s rumored that the White House has ordered a tape of the Arkansas-USC game and plans to show it at a fund-raiser for Hutchinson’s gubernatorial campaign. More on this as it develops.
The Christian Ministerial Alliance has announced it will give the Rev. Williams Robinson Justice Award today to five members of the Little Rock Schoo Board removed by the state Board of Education Jan. 28, 2015.
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.
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?
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.
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.