Tuesday topics | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday topics

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Another Tuesday, another open line. Final words:

* INDEPENDENTS QUALIFY: The secretary of state has qualified six independent candidates for state legislature and is reviewing petitions by two more. Those qualified: Ronnie Spence (House district 57); James E. George (House district 41); Dennis Knapp (House district 64); Mark Moore (House district 95); Anton Such (House district 99); and Peter Sam Cyphers (House district 6).

* ROBBERY IN UALR NEIGHBORHOOD: Three UALR students faced a gunman about 2:30 p.m. today at Anna and Lucie Streets, two blocks east of Fair Park Boulevard. A man with a gun and wearing a hoodie tried to rob the students and left on a motorycycle, according to an alert sent campus-wide. Additional reports said the students ran when he tried to rob them and he fired shots and hit one student with the weapon, but apparently no one was wounded by gunfire.

* HYPOCRITE OF THE DAY: Mitt Romney. He takes credit for the auto industry bailout. I'm not kidding. Also from TPM:

Former auto czar Steve Rattner reacts to Mitt Romney taking credit for the auto bailout: “I’ve read, I think, everything Romney’s had to say on this subject, and the level of flip flopping and dissembling is truly mindboggling. He’s been on every side of the auto rescue at different times and said different things, so it’s hard to know what he honestly thinks.”

* SENATE REPUBLICANS CHOOSE WEALTHY OVER COLLEGE STUDENTS: The Senate couldn't muster sufficient votes to defeat a filibuster of legislation to keep the interest rate low on college loans because Republicans refused to pay for the subsidy with a payroll tax on high-earning stockholders of public corporations.

* THANK A TEACHER: It's Teacher Day (no holiday for them, but people are encouraged to thank them). I've said before that the hardest job I ever had was a part-time teaching job at Philander Smith College. It really made me appreciate my good teachers. Three stand out: My first grade teacher, Mrs. Pawnee Meek, who lavished nearly unconditional love on every child in her class (and there were some tough nuts from "The Projects" in that bunch); my demanding high school English teacher, Miss Ebbie Whitten, who gave no social promotions on the required regular oral book reports (I still remember the happy look on her face at my appreciation of "Cry the Beloved Country") or memorization from Shakespeare to Emily Dickinson, and Miss Iris Murphy, a Junction City, Ark., native who became one of the finest Latin teachers anywhere and who taught English as well. If Miss Murphy's students didn't win state academic "rally" in Latin ... well, they always did. I was no pet — except that all of Mrs. Meek's students were pets — but they set high standards and, somehow or another, inspired more than my customary slackerdom. Surely readers, too, have teachers to revere.

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