by Max Brantley
The open line is, well, open. Early, because it's been dead (though I do expect news this afternoon on the signature counting front at the secretary of state's office. Sufficiency of the petitions for the other casino amendment could be decided today.) Final words:
* OXFORD AMERICAN: Nothing new today on the lockout of editor Marc Smirnoff and managing editor Carol Ann Fitzgerald from the magazine's offices on the UCA campus. The Log Cabin Democrat story said police were involved only in building security because it is a UCA building. They are not part of an employee review by the magazine itself. The UCA police report said Smirnoff was upset and agitated when informed Wednesday that he would need to meet with magazine attorney's Thursday. Publisher Warwick Sabin has declined to talk about the meeting or the basis of the decision to close offices to employees, who continue to work from home.
* HIGHER ED APPOINTEE: Gov. Mike Beebe today named Sherrel Johnson of El Dorado to the Higher Education Coordinating Board. She's been laboring in the El Do business and education improvement world since forever. And she loves Spudnuts. So no badmouthing about this appointment.
* CONNECTING THE DOTS: A deeply cynical Northeast Arkansas resident writes to note failed Democratic congressional candidate Tim Wooldridge's recent endorsement of Republican U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford. Yes, Wooldridge works for MFA Biomass. Yes, MFA gets USDA money to grow switchgrass as a fuel source. Yes, Rick Crawford sits on the House Ag committee. Yes, the Ag Commitee can be influential in which USDA projects get funded and unfunded. So, what's your point?
* INMATES DRINK BLEACH: Two female inmates at the Baxter County Jail drank bleach, requiring medical treatment and prompting their transfer to the Arkansas State Hospital. This has prompted some Twitter dialogue today between me and the hometown Republican senator, Johnny Key, who commented.
And taxpayers have to pay for this idiocy. “@BXSO1: Two inmates in hospital serious condition after drinking bleach from cleaning cart.”
And the alternative is what? Let sick people die because they're in jail and do stupid things? No remorse from Key. His rejoinder:
Since @ArkansasBlog liked last one so much, Baxter Co inmate had other inmate to stomp his arm, break it. Taxpayers pd for that idiocy too.
Let 'em suffer, dammit, just like that Bible Key teaches in his taxpayer-financed preschool tells us to do when the undeserving suffer.