The line is open. Final words (not to mention the flyer that went up on Facebook today shown above):
* FREEDOM OF COMMERCIAL SPEECH: You perhaps noticed a full-page ad in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette this week by a PAC hoping to drive Sen. Mark Pryor out of office. It was dense. The basic innuendo is that Pryor must have had something to do with the IRS seeking back corporate taxes from local businessman Ralph Bradbury rather than from Pryor's in-laws, also once involved in the same company. No shred of evidence exists for this allegation as yet. D-G General Manager Nat Lea was quoted as saying the newspaper favors free commercial speech and only rejects ads false or misleading on their face. Oh, yeah? How about when the D-G rejected Joyce Elliott's spot-on political cartoon ad lampooning Tim Griffin, the Republican who beat her for 2nd District Congress in 2010? It so happens Griffin is widely rumored as a future challenge of Mark Pryor. It so happens that the newspaper lambastes Pryor regularly and has been warm toward Griffin. From the D-G's Salon de Refuse:
* MUST-READ ON GEORGE W. BUSH: It's all over but the history books, but this is still a must-read from Texas Monthly on the full story of the George W. Bush military records. Yes, he got favorable treatment. Yes, Dan Rather was right. Yes, the typewriter used to type the records he relied on existed then. Yes, Bush's military career is full of holes. But here's the really interesting and Arkansas-pertinent thing: It appears Bush ally Harriet Miers pulled back from a cleanup of smelly Texas Lottery dealings with a major lottery vendor (sound familiar?) coincidental with in-the-know people shutting up about Bush's military records as he prepared to run for president.
* CHINA ROAD: Gov. Mike Beebe is back from China. He says he has some Chinese prospects for Arkansas investment. He says UA did the right thing in firing Bobby Petrino. He says the lottery contract struck by Ernie P, which has already put $7 million in the pocket of a vendor and will put millions more, stinks. But, according to his counsel, it's legal. More here on Beebe's assertion that lottery contract stinks and that the vendor ought to give the states some concessions. BUT GETTALOADA THIS: Lottery Chair Diane Lamberth AGREES with Beebe. AGREES there should be concessions. Than why in the Sam Hill did she vote with commission to retroactively approve this stinker of a deal? Stupid.
* CONSERVATION INCENTIVES UPHELD: The Arkansas Court of Appeals today upheld PSC-approved plan for utilities to recover costs of energy conservation programs. Corporate groups opposed the plan. One judge, Jo Hart, split from five judges in the decision. Note that she's running for Arkansas Supreme Court this year.
* THE WAR ON ALEC: The corporate/Republican lobby American Legislative Exchange Council is trying to round up conservative blog fire against the avalanche of publicity about how it uses state legislative stooges to advance the corporate/rightwing agenda. AFPArkansas (@ttoelke prop.), Rep. Nate Bell and Sen. Missy Irvin already have ALEC's back in Arkansas on Twitter, that's for sure.
* 'SWILLARY': Seen the photo of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enjoying a cold brew in Colombia? Murdoch paper tried to make something of it. Sen. John McCain rose to her defense.
* REPUBLICAN HYPOCRISY (REPETITIVE, I KNOW): Jon Stewart does the honors again. Oklahoma Republicans are poised to take control of women's bodies over all abortion decisions and even some contraceptive issues. But, a Democratic legislator wants to prohibit men from putting sperm anywhere but in a woman's vagina. Republican legislative sponsor objects: "She's trying to legislate what a man can and cannot do with his body." It goes from there.