by Max Brantley
The week's about over. The line is open. Closing out:
* INDUSTRY SHILLS AT PLAY: The Conway Chamber of Commerce, chief shilling operation for the gas exploration industry in Arkansas, is touting a shill-financed study of the wondrous benefits of gas drilling in Arkansas in terms of jobs and cash flow and calamity that would follow a severance tax increase. Talk Business reports. It was performed by the same Texas outfit that produced the widely discredited report on the job impact of the Keystone pipeline,. The direct job estimates, thus, should be consumed with salt. The dollar benfits, at a minimum, include all those royalties and gas sales paid to absentee owners, of little benefit in Arkansas. (Might be helping Aubrey McClendon some. I know you want to help out Aubrey.) Remember this: If severance taxes are so damaging, why didn't everbody give up on other gas-producing states for Arkansas and its giveaway low tax rates exclusively? Also remember: This study's overestimated job loss presumes a slightly higher, at best, tax rate here will cause every single job to disappear. Nuts.
* PULASKI SCHOOL Q&A: Supporters of the ousted unions in the Pulaski County School District have started a website for questions and answers about the ongoing turmoil.
* RAZORBACK FOOTBALL PLAYERS ARRESTED: Three charged for stealing from dorm rooms — Marquel Wade, Maudrecus Humphrey and Andrew Peterson.
* BETTER ETHICS NOW: The group announced Friday to work for an ethics reform initiative hopes to have a website up with contact information in the next 24 hours or so. I'll post it when I have it.