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More of the same

Authoritarian? C'mon, folks. The extremes of both sides are completely drowning out the bipartisan middle's take (that maybe I'm just naive enough to still claim exists).

I've been very concerned about the breadth of executive branch power over the past 16 years and this all seems to be a continuation. With George W. Bush's White House counsel torture memos and Obama's unprecedented use of the 1917 Espionage Act against nine whistleblowers and skirting congressional obstructionism with reliance on wide-ranging executive orders, some truly terrible precedents have been set for the future. And yes, they set up entirely too well for the current fellow in office, who's not too big on "process."

This is why we've got to hold leaders within our chosen political parties accountable and not be so shortsighted about important principles. We should certainly always stand up for free speech and government transparency. Am I right, or am I right?

Jeff B. Woodmansee

Associate Professor

UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law

From the web

In response to last week's cover story, "Big Ideas for Arkansas":

Thank you for this always-interesting feature, Arkansas Times!

I would like to clarify a claim made by Marion Humphrey Jr. in regard to how many Rock Region METRO student 31-day passes eSTEM distributes to its students. The eSTEM CFO, Mark Milhollen, told me that eSTEM has roughly 100 students using these passes as of Jan. 27. With a current enrollment of 1,462, 100 students is 7 percent of the student population at eSTEM.

Our public transit system is serving students of a variety of ages every weekday, taking them to educational opportunities throughout the county. Whatever your beliefs on charter schools, it makes great sense for as many students who are able, whether they are public school students (including traditional public school students and charter school students) or private school students, to make use of our community's existing public transportation resources. With more investment, our system could reach even more area students, helping to reduce traffic congestion and giving parents and other caregivers an opportunity to let a professional driver get their students to school with safe, reliable and affordable transportation. We enjoy connecting people with opportunities, including the students of Pulaski County! Parents and educators can learn more about our system at rrmetro.org.

Thanks for your support of public transit, and ride on!

Becca Green

Director of Public Outreach

Rock Region METRO

North Little Rock

Regarding the post about recess in elementary schools, I agree wholeheartedly. However, I believe one of our wonderful state senators was trying to get a law passed requiring a cursive writing class at some grade. This would be great for the future learning and production of our youth. (Yes, that is sarcasm.)

Spicolihog

In response to the Jan. 30 Arkansas Blog post, "Gov. Hutchinson's scam to slip giveaway for soda industry into military retirement tax exemption bill":

Our state has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the country. So, let's make it easier for the sugar peddlers to feed the beast.

And blending one bill with another that has nothing to do with one another is pathetic and dishonest. This is another example of our elected officials not giving a crap about our military and pathetically sliding a crappy bill underneath their sacrifice.

yapperjohn

More of Asa and crew's corporate welfare. Make the corporations earn their money honestly, and not rely on taxpayers to make a profit.

Sound Policy

Ah, the incredible honesty of Republican lawmakers. Now they've got one of America's greatest scammers in the White House (remind me: how many bankruptcies did Obama go through before getting elected? How many divorces?), they have a true professional to emulate.

peterjkraus

Always spineless Asa, always!

What a crock of stinking doodoo, brought to us by those self-professed small-government, fiscally conservative, lying liars with R after their names!

I choose to call them "Teapublibans."

RYD

In response to the Jan. 30 Arkansas Blog post "Remove two LR high schools from 'academic distress' list, Education Dept. recommends":

And so it continues. LRSD with 48 schools has 6 (12 percent) declared academically deficient and get taken over while a state-sponsored charter school in Little Rock has never passed the requirement (100 percent fail) and they give it another 13 years of uneducating people. How many other charters and private schools are getting a Republican Board of Education free pass?

couldn't be better

Time for Johnny Key to leave LRSD alone and to return the district to local control. He had little or nothing to do with LRSD's improvements, so his usefulness is questionable anyway. 

Jake da Snake

What happens to Michael Poore if the district is returned to local control? Does he have a contract that guarantees him a certain term as superintendent? I watched him when he was superintendent in Bentonville, and he served creditably. I thought he was crazy when he gave up that position to take the Little Rock one. Time will tell whether he will survive or not.

plainjim

In response to the Jan. 30 Arkansas Blog post "Bentley's bill restricting use of food stamps passes House":

Are they going to give grocery store owners' tax breaks or pay them for the expense of making all these changes? Will there be blind studies to show the results of this action?

Maxifer

I am really not as naive as the following comment might make me appear, and far be it from me to defend a woman who would threaten to use her elected position to take a game warden's job for giving her husband a ticket, but removing public funds from the purchase of foods that are clearly unhealthy is not a terrible idea. Such an action would not correct the problem of poverty-induced obesity, but at least the action would diminish the enablement a bit. The people of limited disposable funds do not have to eat for satiation; they just do so out of habit, and no small amount of susceptibility to advertising. The amount of sugar added to everything from children's cereals to salad dressings is huge, disappointing, and entirely intentional. Putting a bit of economic pressure on the decision process as to what to buy and eat would help. The major transgressors, such as sugary soft drinks, are very easy to identify. If Asa is trying to slip through additional support for the soft drink industry, I just cannot imagine how any decent human being could be part of such an action and how anyone could sleep at night.

deadseasquirrel

You know, Mary does not not exactly fit the profile of someone who has been eating healthy, and she has all the money she needs to do so. The poor people she has targeted have to try to eat enough bulk to make them feel sated, whether healthy or not, so as to just get through the night and live another day. The smugness and condescension on these dictatorial legislators continues to dismay me. Remember, she is the one who threatened a game warden with his job when he ticketed her husband. Why do we elect these kinds of people in Arkansas, when there are so many more people who could do a better job?

plainjim

She wrote this bill from the back of her rainbow-farting unicorn, so, you know it's grounded in reality.

dimplasm

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