Favorite

Outlaw in office 


 We know that Bill Clinton was not the first horny president, despite what his critics said, but George Bush is surely the first torturemonger.
As old-time Southern congressmen resisted anti-lynching laws, so Bush defies restraints on his use of torture. After first opposing legislation that would prohibit “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” of suspected wrongdoers, Bush appeared to change course and signed the bill, to general applause. Torture is in bad odor with most people.
Then it was revealed that the president found giving up torture “cold turkey” too difficult, that he was reserving the right to bypass the new law under his powers as commander in chief, that he will continue to indulge in fingernail removal and genital electroshock when the craving becomes really strong.
Republican lawmakers who accused Bill Clinton of putting himself above the law tried to impeach him for it (and failed for lack of popular support). Bush states openly that he won’t be bound by laws that apply to lesser men, and the Republican majority in Congress acquiesces. “Nobody died when Clinton lied” is a well-known slogan comparing the former president’s deceptive comments about a consensual sexual encounter to Bush’s untruths that have caused thousands of unwilling deaths in Iraq. Bush’s insistence on an unlawful right to torture suggests that some of those who are dying will die in agony. Prior presidents would have thought this un-American.

He’ll keep on keeping on
 The speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives for the 2007 legislative session wants to give more tax breaks to corporations and listen more closely to the advice of special interests. He’s not an innovator, in other words.
Rep. Benny Petrus, D-Stuttgart, says he wants to advance economic development by providing “performance-based” tax incentives to business and industry. He also wants to consider exempting the utility bills of manufacturing plants from the state sales tax.
If giving tax breaks to corporations would make Arkansas prosperous, the state would be as rich as a Texas defense contractor by now. The legislature hands out these favors at every session, with little or no benefit to the people of Arkansas.
Petrus also says he’ll seek counsel from Sen. Bob Johnson, D-Bigelow, a former speaker who has become perhaps the foremost champion of corporate enrichment in the whole legislature. Johnson’s bill that could endanger the drinking water of Central Arkansas in order to benefit Deltic Timber Corp. will be back before the legislature next year, having narrowly failed in 2005 (while Petrus was allowing a Deltic lobbyist to work out of Petrus’ apartment, incidentally). Same old song.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Turkeys rescued in Yellville enjoy their Thanksgiving

    Farm Sanctuary, an animal protection organization, sends word that four turkeys rescued from the Yellville Turkey Trot after the annual drops from buildings and an airplane will enjoy Thanksgiving in friendlier places
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • More criticism of UA proposal to change tenure policy

    Reason is among the latest to offer critical commentary of a proposal from University of Arkansas System lawyers to change the tenure policy so that a lack of collegiality could be used as a justification for firing a tenured professor.
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • The Clintons

    I wasn't particularly excited about the 25th anniversary celebration of Bill Clinton's election. Life goes on.
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

November

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30  

Most Viewed

  • A new Snyder?

    Last week, loyalists of former U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder celebrated a belated 70th birthday and fundraised to aid UA Little Rock's Center for Arkansas History and Culture's work to process his congressional papers from seven terms in Congress.
  • The Clintons

    I wasn't particularly excited about the 25th anniversary celebration of Bill Clinton's election. Life goes on.
  • Selling tax cuts

    Making tax law is always pretty simple, despite the arcane references to S corporations, pass-throughs, carried-interest deductions and the like, which define the ways that lots of rich people get their income.
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation