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Feb. 6-12, 2008 

It was a good week for …

HILLARY CLINTON. At least it was in Arkansas, where she won nearly 70 percent of the vote in Democratic primary balloting for the presidential nomination. Results elsewhere were mixed, though she did triumph in important California and in Massachusetts, where all the major politicians had endorsed Barack Obama.

MIKE HUCKABEE. He didn't do quite so well as Clinton, but he also carried Arkansas handily and surprised many by winning a number of other states as well. His winning record continued last Saturday.

GOV. MIKE BEEBE. He said he wouldn't go along with a budding legislative plan to increase the gas severance tax, but only to a paltry 2.5 percent. That's a level low enough, thanks to a legal technicality, to be approved by a simple legislative majority, rather than the three-fourths vote a meaningful increase would require. If he can't get an acceptable deal, an initiative campaign is waiting in the wings.

It was a bad week for …

ARKANSAS. It awoke Wednesday morning to 13 deaths and untold millions in damage the morning after a monster storm system that included a single tornado that tore a hundred-mile path through the state.

MAYOR MARK STODOLA. His idea of being a strong mayor is to cut deals with BFI, the giant garbage hauler, to give it the city's landfill business. He paints this gift as a way to get BFI to give up on expansion of its Southwest Little Rock landfill. That expansion is already dead, however, on account of neighborhood opposition. Or it should be.

EDUCATION PRIORITIES. A new state report showed that Cabot and Mayflower — two suburban districts to which parents have fled for supposed quality education — spent far more on athletics than Pulaski County school districts. Cabot spent a whopping $2.4 million, or 4.23 percent of its total budget, and Mayflower spent 6.7 percent of its budget on sports. The Little Rock School District spent less than 1 percent of its budget on sports. In North Little Rock and Pulaski County districts, the percentage was 1.7.

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