by Max Brantley
The line is open. Final words:
* IRRATIONAL EXUBERANCE EDITION: The market soared today, with the Dow up more than 300 on positive housing news. Employment edging up. Europe, today, seemed slightly more hopeful. Most polls show Obama ratings rising. This is all depressing to Republicans, of course, who want the U.S. to fail.
* FOOTBALL FINANCES: Still no word from Arkansas State University on the contract between the school and new football coach Gus Malzahn. So there continue to be no details to substantiate Alabama reports that Malzahn was looking at pay in the range of $850,000 a year at Arkansas State (down from $1.3 million at Auburn). His state salary is only about $156,000. He gets a free house. He can score money off camps and TV. But that leaves a lot of ground to cover. The latest chatter suggests that, in addition to Jonesboro banker Wallace Fowler's continuing support for ASU football, some significant pledges for the new contract may have come from Northwest Arkansas, generally considered UA territory. Malzahn spent a number of years at Shiloh Christian and Springdale High and was a member of Armani Ronnie's power church, within which plenty of wealth rests, so who knows?
* WOMACK, DEFINITELY SOPHOMORIC: Dana Milbank gives a shout-out to U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, of a sort. Like, "Hey, doofus." On the House Tea Party rebellion against a tax cut for workers:
The House Republican freshmen have become a bit tipsy with power, and freshman Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) on Tuesday boasted at a news conference that his class is “performing more like sophomores now than freshmen.” Actually, their performance is more sophomoric than anything, but they’ve been able to deliver a string of insults to Boehner, most notably the July revolt that forced the speaker to pull his debt-limit plan from the floor. If Boehner needs any more evidence he’s out of style in his party, he can ponder the rise in the presidential race of Newt Gingrich, the man Boehner tried to depose from the speakership 15 years ago, losing his leadership position in the process.
* LITTLE ROCK UPHELD ON HOUSING AUTHORITY APPOINTMENT: An attorney general's opinion today requested by state Rep. John Walker says the city of Little Rock had acted legally in failure to act on a preliminary reappointment of Robert Webb to the Housing Authority and then in rejecting his reappointment. The opinion said, effectively, that Webb was NOT reappointed by default because the city failed to act within the required 45 days after Webb's provisional appointment. A provisional appointment cannot be made, the opinion said. An appointment can be made only when the seat is open. Mayor Mark Stodola made sure Webb would not be reappointed because Webb raised questions about the city sales tax increase. (A lesson to Pulaski Tech, I'm afraid.)