Feb. 27-March 4, 2008 

 It was a good week for …

MIKE HUCKABEE. He continued to reap handsome publicity for his no-chance presidential campaign, all valuable in the name recognition game for future endeavors. Conservatives are touting him as the next Jerry Falwell-style leader of the Religious Right. Some honor.

ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY. It retired its Indian mascot, ending a 77-year tradition on account of objections from Indian tribes to collegiate use of such mascots. ASU, now to be the Wolves, had held on to its chiefs long after most other colleges had given up the fight.

It was a bad week for …

The LITTLE ROCK MARATHON. Adam Nickel, 27, of Madison, Wis., collapsed and died after crossing the finish line of the race. The death overshadowed what otherwise would have been a highly successful event run on a day delightful for spectators, but warm for runners.

The LEGISLATURE. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette detailed how many of them pad expense accounts to knock down an additional $40,000 to $50,000 a year, sometimes by driving to faraway conferences so as to reap far more reimbursement than the cost of a plane ticket.

A GAS SEVERANCE TAX. One or more gas company was too greedy to get behind Gov. Mike Beebe's effort to broker a negotiated severance tax increase. An initiative campaign seems the more likely remedy than a special legislative session. In the meanwhile, media have been spreading the word about the big lie from gas companies that a tax increase would be passed along to consumers. It wouldn't.

WEST MEMPHIS. The city council is working on an ordinance to ban toy guns in the city after the police killed a child who allegedly was carrying one. Toys don't kill people. Guns kill people. Aggressive cops who carry deep suspicions about black people kill people. What's eating West Memphis won't be solved by banning toys.

UALR. A student was shot on campus in broad daylight, which set off a media uproar. The shooting was apparently an isolated event involving parties known to each other.


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