The week that was Dec. 8-14 

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR … The DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE (if anyone was paying attention). The Sunday editorial section printed an important essay by environmental lawyer Richard H. Mays on the growing state water crisis. Any solution, he wrote, “must begin with reductions in the agricultural demands on ground and surface waters.” So right. And so politically difficult. POLITICAL SPECULATION. Asa Hutchinson’s potential selection for a Bush cabinet position had everyone talking about whether he would or would not run for governor in 2006. Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller, a likely Republican primary opponent, has the greatest interest because Hutchinson’s Northwest Arkansas base would spell Rocky’s likely primary doom.. IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR … PUBLIC SCHOOLS. The budget is inadequate to pay teachers, fix buildings and provide pre-school. Legislators not only won’t raise taxes to meet needs, they’re cutting them by allowing the income tax surcharge and the estate tax to expire. State legislators also are willing to further deplete state money by paying to replace local school money spent on private development in Rogers, Jonesboro and other wealthy cities. State to kids: Get lost. Gov. Mike Huckabee says he’s concerned about colleges now, not grade school. The ARKANSAS SUPREME COURT. The above item is one small example of why it was such a bad idea for the court to call the Lake View decision closed and end court supervision of school finance and equity. The STATE CRIME LAB. It’s always been overworked and underfunded. Now, it’s swamped by analysis for the war on drugs. Gov. Mike Huckabee says we can’t afford to fix the lab’s problem. SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN. In a speech pandering to the Religious Right, she said Democrats need to realize the “answer is not always a government program.” Could you please, then, Sen. Lincoln, introduce legislation to stop subsidizing farmers and helping them drain the state dry.

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