by Max Brantley
The Wednesday night line is open. Final words:
* SENATE APPROVES TAX CUT BILL: It's only symbolic, because the Republican House won't go along, but the Senate today voted 51-49 to approve extension of many of the Bush tax cuts, particularly for the middle class. Republicans allowed the up-or-down vote because the bill includes some tax increases for wealthy people, something that the GOP thinks will harm Democrats politically. Sen. Mark Pryor voted with the Democrats. Dr. No Boozman voted as you'd expect, with the rich. (Pryor also voted for the bigger tax cuts in a failed Republican bill, thus covering himself every which way.)
* STUNNING: Norma Bates says all the nervous shoppers on Rodeo Drive have a new self-defense device: A case that turns their iPhones into 650-watt stun guns.
* ROMNEY-HUCKABEE TICKET: Why not? I had no idea how eerily similar the Mormon and the Baptist preacher were when it came to secrecy, including disappearing computer hard drives in their final days as governor. At least the Romney staff bought theirs, rather than shredding public property, as the Huckabytes did.
* CLEAN UP THE PETITION PROCESS: Nancy Todd, working to get a casino gambling amendment approved for the November ballot, issued a news release today decrying fraud by signature gatherers and pledging to work to streamline voter registration, a stumbling block for some canvassers trying to register people so they could then sign petitions.
* $10,000 REWARD IN SHOOTING: Little Rock police have announced a $10,000 reward in the case of Terry Bullard, a recent Central High graduate shot to death on a parking lot outside a nightclub near Sixth on Center on May 26. Police believe he was an unintended victim of shots fired in an argument between other people. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Terrell Vaughn at 580-8706, or the Major Crimes Division at 371-4660.
* IT'S HOT: 16th 100-degree day this summer, Ned says.