Favorite

The Observer, Sept. 18 

In the Bush Legacy Museum on Wheels, a visitor can push buttons on a touch panel and learn how much money his state has paid for the war in Iraq, and what that money could have been used for otherwise. The Observer pushed the Arkansas button, of course, and found that the Natural State has ponied up $4.9 billion for the war to date. That amount could have provided health care for 3.2 million people for one year — roughly the population of Arkansas. The costs of Bush's War are not all payable in currency, of course. Some are paid in blood. The exhibit shows Arkansas's casualties in the war as 60 killed and 455 wounded.

Voters need to know such things. Arkansans got a chance to learn them Friday, Sept. 12, when the 45-foot, 28-ton bus that is the Bush Legacy Museum on Wheels stopped at the River Market for a couple of hours. The bus is sponsored by a Democratic group, Americans United for Change.

There weren't a lot of visitors while we were there, just after the museum opened at 11 a.m., and the only recognizable politician was Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who'd been invited to participate in a press conference that apparently never came off, through some slip-up. Coincidentally, McDaniel was standing near an exhibit on Bush's failures during the Hurricane Katrina disaster as he told how the approach of Hurricane Ike was causing lines at gas stations all over Arkansas, and prompting numerous phone calls to his office, some of the callers claiming to know where gasoline was being sold for $6 a gallon. He'd been unable to verify these claims, he said. 

Employing videos, recordings, still photographs and extensive research, the museum depicts President Bush's legacy in several areas. On health care, the museum shows that 47 million Americans lack health insurance today. That's 9 million more than when Bush took office. Only 60 percent of American firms provide health insurance for their employees today, compared with 69 percent in 2000, the year before Bush was sworn in. And the Bush legacy for workers? “Productivity over the past 5 years rose almost 20 percent, but inflation-adjusted wages for workers have been flat.”

The floor of the bus is a timeline of the Bush administration — “April 29, 2004. Iraq prison-abuse scandal revealed.”

The exhibits are intelligent, earnest and tasteful, and for that reason, will probably be criticized by some Democrats, who believe their party has been too timid in the political arena, allowing the opposition to score uncontested points. Where are the “Smirking Chimp” posters, they will ask, where the “Worst President Ever” T-shirts? They note that the Republicans practice reckless, aggressive, hit-and-run politics, and they believe Democrats should reply in kind. Moderates counter that the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton, won elections by staying above gutter politics. In November, we'll find out who was right. 

 

In lieu of Lu: The Observer had to chuckle as the announcement was made a couple of weeks ago that Tom Courtway, UCA's general counsel and director of government relations, would replace Lu Hardin as the university's interim president. 

As soon as the decision was announced, we looked up from our twiddling thumbs to see former Times writer, and now associate vice president for communications at UCA, Warwick Sabin turn away from the crowd, scuttle to the corner and call Courtway on his cell phone to give him the news.     

“You've just been named the president,” Sabin said before a brief pause.  “No, I'm right here in the meeting, and you've just been named the president!” 

Courtway acknowledges being a bit taken aback, although he knew his appointment was a possibility. “I've served in this capacity before,” he says.  “I had either the good fortune or misfortune, depending on how you look at it, to be the interim director of the state department of education at one time.” 

The interim prez said he looks forward to continuing the university's success and mission of education. After the board finds a new president, he hopes to return to his former position with the university. 

Here's wishing him a seamless and scandal-free tenure.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

  • Friday's headlines and your holiday open line

    What happened at the State Board of Education and what does it mean; Legislation filed for Hutchinson's government reorganization plan; Pediatric flu-related death in Arkansas reported; Suspect arrested in unsolved 2008 North Little Rock homicide.
    • Dec 21, 2018
  • New episode of Rock the Culture: "Juice In Your Own Life"

    In this week’s episode, Charles and Antwan provide perspective and conversation on the Little Rock Mayoral Election and State Board of Education’s consideration of the anticipated request to waive the Fair Teacher Dismissal Act. In addition, Charles and Antwan discuss all things happening in the Little Rock School District with Superintendent Michael Poore.
    • Dec 11, 2018
  • End of the week headlines and your open line

    Alderman candidate misses chance to cast deciding vote for himself in runoff election; Dem-Gaz to phase out print delivery in El Dorado, Camden and Magnolia; Rapert threatens UA Fort Smith over 'Drag Queen Story Time' event; The Van seeks to raise $35,000 in three weeks for new warehouse facility in South Little Rock.
    • Dec 7, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • On Walmart and state money

    No they don't need state help. Any conservative legislator who is true to their tea party principles will crow on about crony capitalism. I look forward to deafening silence.
    • Sep 21, 2017
  • On shitholes

    The Observer is at home today in our kitty cat socks, weathering a combination sick day and snow day. Way down in Stifft Station, we live at the top of a hill that slopes away in all directions. That's good in a flood, but piss poor other than for sledding during snow and ice, especially when you only have access to a two-wheel drive car.
    • Jan 18, 2018
  • The job

    The Observer and Mr. Photographer were headed across town on our way to another press conference the other day when we got to talking about The Job. Newspaperin'.
    • Mar 15, 2018

Latest in The Observer

  • Phoenix

    If you're reading a paper copy of this esteemed publication right now, you're holding something special in your hands: the last weekly print edition of the Arkansas Times, the end of an unbroken chain that goes back and back, week by week, every week, to May 1992, when the Times became what the hep cats call an "alternative newsweekly."
    • Dec 20, 2018
  • Ramblin' Jack

    The Observer, like a lot of folks, is drawn to the real places: barbecue joints and honky-tonks, seedy truck stops and greasy little diners where the waitresses and clerks still call you "Hun," used bookstores that have been there since Faulkner was still drinking mint juleps, bait shops hung with dusty-eyed bass pulled up from the deep when Eisenhower was in the White House.
    • Dec 13, 2018
  • Phillips

    After many years of faithful service, it seems as if the transmission in Black Phillip — our trusty 2006 Honda CRV — is in the process of giving up the ghost.
    • Dec 6, 2018
  • More »

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Scrubbed from the system

    • I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 1 month after I turned 45. My grandma is…

    • on January 22, 2019
  • Re: Hep A still spreading

    • I am so so happy today, I have been suffering from hepatitis b for the…

    • on January 21, 2019
  • Re: Hep A still spreading

    • I am really happy that i have been cured from (HEPATITIS B VIRUS) with the…

    • on January 21, 2019
 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation