by Max Brantley
The line is open. Closing out:
* THE FRIEND OF MY ENEMY, ETC.: Tom Cotton, the 4th District Republican congressional candidate, keeps adding to his rogue's gallery of endorsements. Today it's the United States Chamber of Commerce, the corporation's friend. Add Club for Growth and Citizens United and you have a murderer's row of bad political actors. Cotton, a D.C. corporate insider before moving to Arkansas to snare a congressional seat, is cut from exactly that cloth.
* NEWSPAPER WOES: Arkansas Business reports that Stephens Media is reducing by half (from 8 to 4) the number of staff writing jobs for its seven community newspapers in Central Arkansas.
* SMOKIN'! It was a balmy 106 at 1:30 p.m. today, but expected to edge a little higher (update: yep, 107). But not so high as the 112 record for the date set in 1986. If that's any consolation.
* HIGHER EDUCATION APPLICANT: Interesting new applicant today for the job of director of the state Department of Higher Education — Jeannie Winston, vice chancellor at UALR. The Higher Ed Coordinating Board recently chose two candidates from outside Arkansas to interview, but made it clear it wasn't happy with applicants it had received so far and said it would consider other candidates. The two "finalists" have now dropped out.