Morning roundup: A proud liberal, banker indicted, LGBT advocate at Philander, GOP punishment of poor | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Morning roundup: A proud liberal, banker indicted, LGBT advocate at Philander, GOP punishment of poor

Posted By on Sat, Nov 9, 2013 at 7:25 AM

click to enlarge THE L WORD: An Arkansas Blog reader, proud of his new license plate, sent a photo this morning. Reminder reader: It's the opening of deer season. Lot of guns out there in the South Arkansas piney woods.
  • THE L WORD: An Arkansas Blog reader, proud of his new license plate, sent a photo this morning. Reminder reader: It's the opening of deer season. Lot of guns out there in the South Arkansas piney woods.

Odds and ends to start the day:

* FORMER BANKER INDICTED: The U.S. attorney yesterday announced the indictment of Matthew Sweet, a former Onebanc vice president, for bank fraud for issuing cashier's checks to pay some $75,000 in personal credit card bills. The indictment fills in an earlier blank created when the government moved to seize $17 million in insurance from the estate of the late Layton Stuart , former CEO of the bank. The government detailed money laundering by Stuart. One of the schemes detailed, without names, involved a bank employee caught stealing who was allowed to resign but not be prosecuted after he arranged to give a cashier's check to Stuart. Sweet's indictment said he paid back Onebanc after his scheme was detected with two cashier's checks from another bank, one of $9,662 payable to the bank and one of $101,003 payable to Stuart.

* TV PRODUCER IN IMBODEN CONTROVERSY TO SPEAK AT PHILANDER SMITH: TV producer Bryant Huddleston, a native of Imboden, will speak in the Philander Smith College Bless the Mic Lecture series at 7 p.m. Thursday at the college's M.L. Harris Auditorium. An Arkansas State graduate and former newsman in Arkansas, Huddleston has worked in Los Angeles since 1998 for, among others, E! Network, NBC's Access Hollywood and BRAVO. He wrote and produced content for the new Property Envy series on BRAVO.

Huddleston was invited to speak after a controversy last May when a couple of School Board members stopped plans to have Huddleston speak at graduation of his high school alma mater, Sloan-Hendrix High School. Opponents of his appearance objected to having a gay speaker. Huddleston is a single father and advocate for equality and adoption rights for LGBT people. That was not to be the topic of his talk, however.

The lecture is free. No tickets are required. Seating is first-come, first-served.

* THE REPUBLICAN DOUBLE WHAMMY ON THE POOR: Dixiepublicans have really done a job on the poor by refusing in nearly every Republican-controlled state (not Arkansas)  to expand Medicaid with the federal money promised by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That was unspeakably mean, a huge burden on the working poor in those states. But it will have an even more perverse consequence. The New York Times reports that — because of the expectation that no rational politician would refuse expansion of a federal program to serve working poor of that politician's state — the federal health care law cut subsidies to hospitals that provide a lot of charity care to poor people. The expectation was that the poor people would now have Medicaid insurance coverage. But, no, particularly in the Deep South. The poor don't have Medicaid and the hospitals are going to lose their subsidies, imperiling their ability to deliver services.  Conservativism at work. Just don't call it compassionate.

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