by Max Brantley
1) We've been out of pocket for an airport run.
2) If you plan to drive to or from downtown on Cantrell Road/LaHarpe, don't. Power lines are down near the curve over the small railroad overpass west of Chester, blocking traffic in both directions. The movement of traffic to alternate routes has created a nightmare on crossover streets and terrible backups on Kavanaugh and Markham.
3) A news release in our box says Tim Griffin was sworn in today as interim United States attorney, replacing Bud Cummins. Cummins stepped aside so Griffin, a former top employee at the White House under Karl Rove, could have the seat. The appointment, outside the normal nominating process, has stirred unhappiness among Arkansas's two Democratic senators. We hope Griffin will prove as open and accommodating to the press as Cummins has been (and inspire the same kind of bipartisan praise) and that he'll speak openly about his situation as a means of easing the unavoidable political appearances that attend his new job. It would be better, of course, if Bush makes a formal nomination of Grffin when Congress is back in session. If Grffin's record and intentions are as good as his admirers say, it should pose his appointment no problem.
4) Consider this an open line. It's Arkansas Times Christmas Party night. Somebody's tapping a keg of Old Milwaukee and laying out the Lipton's onion dip somewhere.