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Jason Rapert weighs in 

Beverly Carter found dead

Real estate agent Beverly Carter, 49, went missing last Thursday after she went to show a house to someone who represented himself as a cash buyer. The search for Carter ended tragically Tuesday morning when she was found buried in a shallow grave on Highway 5 in northern Pulaski County. Arron Lewis, 33, was arrested and is in custody. As he was being walked out of the Pulaski Sheriff's investigations division, a television reporter asked if he had killed Carter. "No," Lewis said. When a reporter asked, "Why Beverly?" Lewis said, "Because she was a woman that worked alone — a rich broker."

The Rapert response

Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) reacted to Carter's tragic death with a suggestion that parole in Arkansas be abolished. "As we mourn with the Carter family, let us take positive action," he wrote on Facebook. "I don't think Arkansas even needs a parole board anymore. Let these criminals serve every day, hour and minute of the sentences they have been given." Lewis, whose criminal history was nonviolent but included multiple theft charges, was on active parole. Rapert did not comment on how to pay for his proposal.

Mazel tov!

Last weekend, Chelsea Clinton and husband Marc Mezvinsky announced the birth of their daughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky. New grandparents Bill and Hillary Clinton tweeted baby pics. Speculation immediately began on Charlotte's plans for 2052.

The few, the proud

"A small group of officeholders, selected for their wisdom and virtue, motivated by their honor and ambition, coming together to devote themselves without distraction to the management of public affairs, are much better situated to adopt subtle and refined measures designed to promote the common good." — U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, from a 2000 Law Review article on the trouble with popular ballot initiatives in Arkansas. Guess who Cotton thinks is the wise, virtuous, honorable, ambitious man for the job?  

The debates debate

The campaigns of Sen. Mark Pryor and his challenger, U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, have been trading tedious barbs all week over debates between the candidates. Cotton has criticized Pryor for passing on a debate hosted by KARK, Channel 4, which got a splashy bit of publicity when NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd said he would be a moderator. In the end, the Cotton camp caved and agreed to do an AETN debate in Conway preferred by the Pryor campaign, while Pryor declined the KARK debate. The final tally will be two debates: the AETN debate in Conway and a debate in Fayetteville sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Arkansans having trouble falling asleep should be sure to tune in to both.

Adventures in headline writing

"Islamic State underrated, Obama says." That was the headline in the Democrat-Gazette last Monday. They meant that U.S. intelligence underestimated the threat posed by ISIS. But surely some Arkansas Tea Partier somewhere spit out his coffee that morning — his long-held theory of the terrorist-friendly, secret-Muslim President Obama finally confirmed! The Islamic State ain't so bad, he says. It's underrated! 

Mystery food

A study by researchers at the University of Arizona examined 3.5 million tweets from October through May 2014 and conducted a state-by-state breakdown to determine which foods were most often mentioned on Twitter. What foods reigned supreme? In Texas: brisket, natch. In ritzy California, caviar is king. In New York ... prunes! Grits dominates in almost the entire South, but Arkansas? Oh, Arkansas. Entree! That is, pretty obviously, the lamest winner on the map. 

No Second Amendment for the infidels

The proprietor of a Hot Springs firing range, The Gun Cave, announced on social media that she has banned all Muslims from her business out of concern for public safety. Jan Morgan said that because of the Fort Hood shooting, the Boston Marathon bombing and 9/11, she's concluded that "muslims can and will follow the directives in their Koran and kill here at home." Give them access to target practice, she reasons, and they'll just be that much more deadly.

Of course, only a tiny sliver of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims are behind the atrocities performed by groups like ISIS or Al Qaeda. Of course, bloody crimes are committed by individuals belonging to every religion and race on Earth. Of course, there are thousands of Muslims living right here in Arkansas who are American citizens and members of our communities. And, of course, somewhere out there, a civil rights lawsuit is surely headed down the pike toward Morgan's blatant display of bigotry.

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