by Max Brantley
The line is open. Final notes:
* FAREWELL TO PREACHER DICK: Richard B. Hardie Jr., the retired pastor of Westover Hills Presbyterian Church, died today and I owe him a mention. He officiated at my wedding, for one thing, more than 35 years ago. For another, after hearing him thunder one morning against the social ills of the Republican administration, I threw over my Wesleyan upbringing and joined his church. It was where my wife had grown up and where our own kids would be baptized. Preacher Dick was a liberal lion. He joined marchers in Selma when most Southern clergy tended toward timidity, if not outright collusion, in the face of the civil wrongs of the 1960s. He possessed a huge laugh, great passion and great compassion. Now, as the hymn says, "...to faithful warriors comes their rest."
* TEA PARTY TANKING: Polling shows Tea Party favorable ratings dropping, notably in districts that elected 'baggers to Congress. Wonder if this explains why Tea Party U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin was talking so much (dishonestly) about his bipartisan spirit in a recent talk to local Rotarians. He flunked the very first question of the four-way test that day, for sure — Is it the truth? Bipartisan he ain't.
* OPEN LRPD RECORDS: Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen amended and extended his order that the Little Rock police must release documents prepared by Lt. David Hudson, as required by the department, when he used force against people. Griffen says they are clearly records the public is entitled to see, not personnel records and shielded from release except in cases of termination or suspension. The city has said it will appeal Griffen's order.