I'm going to do a morning roundup of some odds and ends I saw waiting for the Blog to come back on-line:
1) E-mail tipster says a financial angel may step in to save the Nike Tour pro golf event previously known as the Rheem Classic in Fort Smith. A big sponsorship is required. Speculation on a substitute sponsor seems to center on that familiar family from Little Rock, the ones who like golf and own a newspaper in Fort Smith.
2) John McCain stole the thunder of other presidential wannabes at the Republican Governors confab in Florida. (No, he's not a governor, but he wined and dined them.) Gov. Mike Huckabee didn't merit mention in NY Times story, but did get this quote in the Washington Post. (Were they trying to make it appear that he was some of the welcome brush-removal?)
Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, trying to put the best face on the losses, compared the elections to a controlled forest fire. "We didn't burn down the overall infrastructure," said Huckabee, who is testing the waters for a possible 2008 presidential run, "but we sure did get rid of a lot of the unnecessary growth and brush that really choked us. It's an opportunity to rebuild." Huckabee's successor is a Democrat.
UPDATE: The NY Times Caucus blog reports from the GOP governors' meeting that the governors apparently don't like blogs much. Do tell. Huckabee, again, is not quoted. But we think he'd have been happy to pitch in.
3) All the big papers scooped up an Arkansas AP report on a new faith-based prison program for women in Arkansas. This, and other Arkansas prison programs with a religious orientation, were the subject of a cover story in the Arkansas Times. But we're curious now. We had been assured religious activities were strictly voluntary (that you could participate in self-improvement programs without being required to take religious instruction). The guy running the newest program says no, participation in religious exercises is mandatory in his program. Smells like a lawsuit, such as the one the religious outfit has lost in Iowa. You also have to arch an eyebrow at prison spokeswoman Dina Tyler's seeming suggestion that state spending on the program at Wrightsville is minimal -- only "housing and feeding." Last time I looked, "housing" state prison inmates was a pretty costly proposition.
4) Stephens Media has a couple of items of note in addition to the run of the news, at least one of which is sure to provoke the psychotic Bush voters -- Jesse Jackson talking about "anti-black mania." In less controversial news, car insurance rates are going down at State Farm.