The night is young | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 20, 2012

The night is young

Posted By on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 4:23 PM

THE STATES BEST DOUGHNUT: From El Dorados Spudnut.
  • THE STATE'S BEST DOUGHNUT: From El Dorado's Spudnut.
After a day on the road, I don't have much to offer but an open line and a few odds and ends:

* EL DORADO IS OK: I love El Dorado and not just because my gifts for speaking to the Rotary Club included a box of Spudnuts, (shown) probably the state's best doughnuts, and a box full of incredible looking stuff from the Elm Street Bakery, including a King Cake for tomorrow. Thanks to Sherrel Johnson and John Talpas.

The many Republicans in the crowd politely endured my usual liberal rant.

El Dorado School Superintendent Bob Watson gave me a tour of the new $43 million high school after lunch and it's a stunner. Lots of sunlight, broad hallways, thoughtful arrangement of space and gorgeous pine beams (cheaper than structural steel and true to the surrounding piney woods, Watson told me) distinguish all the major venues — basketball arena, theater, central atrium and lunchroom.

Here's the greatest thing about the school. Perhaps it's becoming commonplace, but it was unheard of in my own schools and those I'm familiar with. The library, theater, arena and bandroom, among others, can be locked off from the rest of the building. This means many of them — the library nightly — are open for use after normal hours. Great idea. As I told Rotary, they have a high school worthy of the state championship football team.

* A DAY OF LEGISLATIVE REST: I checked in briefly by phone a couple of times and saw Republican House Minority Leader John Burris used the holiday to good effect by providing hungry news reporters with something to cover. He explained how his arbitrary $21 million budget cut — including an arbitrary 3 percent cut for agencies Republicans don't like — won't hurt a fly. There'll be no lost jobs, and no lost services, he said. The Department of Human Services has already provided a report that suggests otherwise, but in a brief Twitter colloquy with me Burris dispensed with that detailed report by saying, "They're wrong." Noted: Among the cuts Burris has identified as worthwhile are the legislature's dues payments to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a non-partisan organization that provides study and research. Republicans prefer the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, which gins out mostly cookie-cutter corporate legislation much favored by Republicans. No mention of ITS dues. Burris response to my question on that point: "Dues can be paid for by member if desired, as is done with ALEC now." Funding of trips for each is a separate matter, he said. A Republican House majority will provide whatever's necessary to go to ALEC, though ALEC's corporate funding makes it possible for them to come here, which they have done, repeatedly. Pretty tricky stuff in Burris' bag, I must admit. If his minority blockade works, he'll force the governor to accept a 3 percent budget cut on a group of state agencies, but the governor will have to choose the specific cuts. Beebe will get the blame for harm to services; Republicans will get credit for budget cutting. In other words, Burris doesn't care what Beebe cuts, so long as SOMETHING is cut. That's the very definition of arbitrary, political sports fans.

* FOURTH DISTRICT: Nobody in El Dorado had insight into the race for 4th District Congress, or much outward enthusiasm for anyone so far firmly in the race. I still haven't heard back from Gene Jeffress on whether he'll follow through with his threat to run as a Democrat, though the party seems to be counting on it. D.C. Morrison had a sign up at a convenience store on Highway 167, so somebody claiming, without much believability, to be a Democrat apparently will be on the ballot. He's one candidate against whom I could see a vote for Mike Ross, were he running again.

Tags: , , , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (37)

Showing 1-37 of 37

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-37 of 37

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Arkansas legislature rejects bipartisan effort to study race relations

    On Friday, the Arkansas Legislative Council soundly rejected a bipartisan effort by two senators to to create a temporary legislative subcommittee to study race relations in the state.
    • Sep 15, 2017
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation