Perfect record

Last week’s vote on the constitutional amendment to prohibit flag desecration prompted some spirited discussion on our Arkansas Blog. Sen. Mark Pryor voted against the amendment; Sen. Blanche Lincoln voted for it. Her vote prompted the inevitable Blog reader comparisons with a previous Arkansas senator, Dale Bumpers.

Bumpers, in defending the impeached Bill Clinton before the U.S. Senate, had said he’d never voted for a constitutional amendment in his 24 years in the Senate. But a Blog reader dredged up a 1999 quote from Bumpers that suggested he once voted for a constitutional amendment. Other Internet references say Bumpers’ record was unblemished.

We called Bumpers to clarify. “Absolutely not,” said Bumpers. He’d never voted for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 38 tries, he said. He said, in the quote that suggested otherwise, he might have intended to indicate his regret over opposing one of those measures.

Bumpers said he’d later decided he should have supported an amendment proposed by Sen. Fritz Hollings to give Congress more power to set limits on campaign spending. “I voted against it, just because I was so pristine then about doing anything to the Constitution.”

But Bumpers added, “I never intended to say I would never vote for one. I just said in my 24 years I never voted for one. And, frankly, I couldn’t stand for voting for something Jesse Helms was proposing to tinker with something James Madison had crafted.”

Would he have voted for the flag amendment? “I promise I wouldn’t.”

Those were the days, my friend.

Realtor backs award

The donor of the $10,000 the Nature Conservancy of Arkansas is offering as reward for good information that will produce a photograph of an ivory-billed woodpecker is Fayetteville real estate developer Mitchell Massey. Massey is on the Northwest Arkansas advisory board for the conservation organization and has been a member for several years. Massey’s idea was to inspire people who know and use the Big Woods to help in the documentation, director Scott Simon said.

The award has already produced several “inquiries,” Simon said, but he declined to say if the inquiries included information on possible woodpecker evidence. The state Game and Fish Commission is working with TNC to follow up leads.

Photographs or sound recordings are optimal, but persons who can lead a biologist to an active roost are also encouraged to call. The numbers: (800) 364-4263 for Game and Fish, 614-5081 for TNC.

Kids getting poorer

Arkansas ranks 45th among the 50 states in well-being of children, according to a new report. The state slipped backward from the rating of 44th it held in 2004 and 2005.

Although it showed improvement in some categories, such as the percentage of high school dropouts — the state experienced a 42 percent decrease in dropouts between 2000 and 2004 — Arkansas lost ground in other areas, such as the percentage of children under 18 whose parents do not have fulltime, year-round employment. In 2004, 38 percent of Arkansas children lacked secure parental employment, a 15-percent increase since 2000.

The percentage of children without secure parental employment increased nationwide too, from 32 percent in 2000 to 33 percent in 2004, the report said. The percentage of American children living in poverty also went up, from 17 percent in 2000 to 18 percent in 2004. The report concluded that overall, “National trends in child well-being are no longer improving in the steady way they did in the late 1990s.”

The report, the 2006 version of the Kids Count Data Book, was made by the Annie E. Casey Foundation of Baltimore, a private charitable organization that advocates programs to benefit children and families.


From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • City plans more spending on 30 Crossing

    The Little Rock City Board meets Tuesday to set an agenda for the following week and among the "consent" items is a new $175,000 with Nelson/Nygaard consultants to "assist with a comprehensive review" of the 30 Crossing project, otherwise known as the bigger concrete ditch the Department of Transportation wants to tear through the heart of Little Rock.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • NFL owners rise to defense of players against Trump and false patriots

    Many football team owners have risen to the defense of players against Donald Trump criticism as yet another racially fraught issue seems likely to gain increasing heat thanks to Trump's rhetoric.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • The school crisis at 60: A light show and light cast on the lack of progress

    The 60th school crisis anniversary observance continues with a spectacular light show and some sobering thoughts on just what was accomplished and how much progress has been made in theintervening six decades.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Latest in Smart Talk

  • Better than Texas

    Arkansas's tax system is slightly more friendly to the poorest people, but only slightly.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Small-school champions

    Two Arkansas congressmen are among the 14 sponsors of a bill that would "correct" a provision of the federal school-funding formula they say favors large school districts over small districts.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Bipartisan race

    The rise of Republicanism in Arkansas has brought a rare two-party race to the state Senate in Southeast Arkansas, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


  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 Recent Comments


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